lilyleia78: Close up of John and Rodney's torsos, standing very close together (SGA: Torso)
[personal profile] lilyleia78
Title: Unspoken
Fandom: SGA
Pairing/Charaters: John/Rodney
Genre: established romance, hurt/comfort
Warnings: None
Word Count: 1375
Summary: John may be the injured one but Rodney's got a hurt of his own.
Note: Written for [livejournal.com profile] theladymore for the [livejournal.com profile] multifan_gift exchange. Thank you to my betas, [personal profile] rivulet027 and [personal profile] which, both of whom helped me realize exactly why things weren't coming together right. Thanks guys, couldn't have done it without you.

Read on AO3 or below

Unspoken

John was finally released from the infirmary at 22:00, and Rodney wasn't anxiously waiting to help him back to their quarters. John lingered around a bit waiting for Rodney to show up, but by 22:15 Carson was making noises about keeping John another night for observation if he was so keen to hang around, so John got out while the getting was good.

Rodney didn't show up at any point on his slow trip back home which surprised John a bit, but he figured that was fair enough. His injuries were relatively minor and the prolonged stay had mainly been so Carson could observe while some unfamiliar drugs worked their way out of his system. In fact, Rodney had only visited him twice the entire time he'd been trapped staying in sick bay, although John had some groggy memories of Rodney clutching his hand tight enough to bruise when he'd first been admitted.

The point being that while John still had some rope burn around his wrists and neck, it wasn't like he needed to be coddled or to lean on someone for the grueling 10 minute walk back to their quarters.

That didn't mean he wouldn't have liked it though. John shook his head at his own foolishness and reminded himself again that he didn't need Rodney to hover and fuss over him every time he was injured, but he admitted - if only to himself - that he liked a little fussing and hovering sometimes. It made a guy feel special.

John only pouted a little and didn't worry even when he found their quarters dark and empty. He slouched his way over to the couch and put on his Hail Mary tape (comfort food for the soul) as he waited for Rodney to realize the time and come blowing in, like a hurricane, full of gruff apologies and concerns for John's mental health, both for leaving the infirmary on his own and for getting himself captured and trussed up like a turkey in the first place.

It wasn't until John woke up slumped on the couch, neck stretched out at an angle guaranteed to aggravate the bruises on his neck, that he began to feel some concern. Rodney had been known to get lost in his work and forget to eat, sleep or come home, but never when John had been hurt: never when John had been absent from their bed for six days, never after John had been held captive on a hostile planet, tied to a pole in the city center while the natives decided what to do with him, never after Rodney himself had stormed in and whisked John back to the shelter and safety of Atlantis.

Before John could locate his comm to call Rodney or maybe ask Zelenka and/or Lorne to check up on him, the door to their quarters slid up with its usual quiet swoosh.

What wasn't usual was the quiet way Rodney crept in and then stopped so abruptly he almost fell over when he found John laid out on their couch still in his infirmary scrubs.

"Oh," Rodney said clearly surprised, "you're still awake."

"Hey McKay, long time no see," John said, a hurt he didn't know he'd been feeling making the words harsher than he'd intended them: exhibit A in the case of talking and John Sheppard not being good friends.

John smiled and held a hand out to Rodney in the hope of softening his words. Rodney didn't smile back, but he did take John's hand and allow himself to be pulled down onto the couch next to John.

"You got hurt," Rodney accused, "again."

John couldn't really argue with that so he didn't try. He wrapped one arm around Rodney's broad shoulders and tugged him closer. "Yeah Buddy, that happens in our line of work."

Rodney sighed, but did not relax into the half embrace. "I know, but sometimes I get sick of it."

Rodney pulled away abruptly - away from John and off the couch. He crossed his arms across his chest, almost as if he was holding himself together. "And I'm mad at you for getting hurt. Worse, I feel bad about being mad because I know this is just who you are - throwing yourself in harm's way to protect others. You're stupidly heroic and I knew that before getting into this thing between us. I also know that things were worse for you trapped there than for me here and…. And you know I don't do well with guilt," he said reproachfully.

Rodney dropped his arms and turned to face John again. "Anyway, I'm trying to say that I was worried and pissed," Rodney looked away and added, "Maybe even a little scared." The words were so quiet that John almost didn't hear them. "And I've been avoiding you because of it so," he continued, voice back to normal levels, "I'm trying to apologize."

John couldn't contain a laugh. "Is that what that was?"

Rodney's lips twitched as he obviously smothered a smile of his own. "It's the best you're going to get." His face turned stern again. "Just to be clear, I'm only apologizing for the avoiding thing. Teyla says I've a right to be angry and she says…" Rodney trailed off, took a breath, and started again, "She says that we're going to have to talk about it sometime?" he asked uncertainly. "Maybe even talk about your suicidal need to protect everything and my," he waved his hand expansively, "stuff, with someone."

John groaned and dropped his head heavily onto the back of the couch. "You talked to Teyla? About your feelings?"

Rodney flapped his hands irritably. "I didn't want to: she tricked me! Like you've ever been able to avoid her when she's got you in your sights."

John nodded. "Yeah," he sighed.

"And she's usually," Rodney stopped to huff like he just couldn't believe what he was about to say, "right. Which means we should at least consider talking about it?"

"Really?" John whined. "Can't we just suppress our feelings and pretend everything's alright?"

Hurt flickered across Rodney's face before he turned away. "Sure, it's been working out for you so far," he said bitterly. "But you have to explain your plan to Teyla when she asks: my hands are too valuable to be beaten with those barbaric sticks of hers."

John sighed. He couldn't say he was anxious to talk about his feelings, but he knew he would do anything for Rodney. It was past time he let Rodney know that too. "No, she's right. You're right. We should talk about it."

Rodney turned back, looking startled but hopeful. "Really?" he asked.

"Yeah, Rodney, really. Whatever you want, whenever you want," John promised.

"Well," Rodney said, "good. That's good. Um, maybe tomorrow? I'll clear my schedule, and we could just stay in and see how it goes?"

"Sure," John agreed, "Like I said, whatever you want."

Rodney's answered with his first real smile in a week and John couldn't regret his decision. "Excellent," Rodney said, his smile turning to a concerned frown, "What I want right now is for you to get yourself to bed so I can take care of those bruises. I made up some special ointment to treat the burn, and Carson gave me an analgesic to ease the pain."

"Rodney," John whined, "you know I…"

"Love being coddled almost as much as you love pretending you hate it," Rodney finished. "I know."

John rolled his eyes but was secretly thrilled at how Rodney understood John. Understood and loved him anyway. He held out his hand and this time let Rodney pull him up from the couch and into a kiss that promised to turn dirty and delicious in the very near future.

John pulled back, breathless and flushed but determined to say one more thing before things got carried away. "I'm sorry I got hurt. I'm sorry you were scared."

Rodney pressed a chaste kiss to his lips. "Tomorrow, John."

John nodded. "Tomorrow." He grinned. "What do you say tonight we follow Ronon's advice and have some sweaty, dirty, life-affirming sex?"

Rodney smirked back at him and tugged him toward the bedroom. "Now that I can do."

***

The complete list of my Stargate Atlantis fiction can be found here.

Date: 2012-12-20 11:34 pm (UTC)
sid: (stargate Sheppard earbud)
From: [personal profile] sid
OMG, they're going to talk? *checks the date on the Mayan calendar* That's what I was afraid of...

Poor, bruised John. Life-affirming sex will take his mind off those bruises! Or give him a couple more. :-)

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