[identity profile] sheafrotherdon.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_flashfic
Feels Weird by [livejournal.com profile] sheafrotherdon
~ 2500 words, PG, John/Rodney. For the [livejournal.com profile] sga_flashfic Must Be Dreaming challenge. Beta'd by the tense-swap battlin' [livejournal.com profile] dogeared!

"Feels weird."

John starts, elbow slipping from the arm of his chair, his whole body jarring to unhappy wakefulness at Rodney's words. He blinks and swallows, shakes his head as if the action might force a little vitality back into his blood, scoots forward and lays a hand on Rodney's bed, the infirmary blankets scratchy beneath his palm. "Yeah. They drugged you," he says roughly. He could use some water.

Rodney closes his eyes slowly and opens them again. "The – " he gestures as best he can, lifting his right hand and wrinkling his nose when the IV pulls against his skin. "Or Beckett?"

"Them," John says. "Wanted you pliable."

Rodney huffs and looks smug as he closes his eyes again. "Ha."

John feels his mouth twitch – it's almost a smile. "We got to you before anything happened. You're – "

Rodney raises his left hand and clumsily pats John's as he yawns. "S'okay," he mumbles, drifting again. "Y'always do. Know that." And he's gone, pulled back under, mouth slightly open and the makings of a snore rumbling up from his chest.


"He's heavy," Rodney whines, trying to shove Ronon out of his lap. "I'm losing all feeling in my legs!" He looks up at John. "If you don't wake him up soon, they'll probably have to amputate and then you'll be sorry." He lifts his chin. "Pass the popcorn."

John does that much. "He'll wake up when he's ready."

"And what if I'm ready?" Rodney asks. "What happens when I have to use the bathroom? Which – oh no, oh no, I think I have to go, I think . . ."

"Rodney," Teyla says gently, turning around on the floor to lay a hand on his leg. "I believe if you think of something else you will find the situation bearable."

"But why'd he have to fall asleep on me?" Rodney asks pitifully. "It's not normal, you know, to topple over like that, sprawl on your team member's legs without so much as a by-your-leave and – "

Ronon snorts and groans in his sleep, twitches, then goes lax again.

There's a moment of silence. "I don't know how Jennifer ever gets a good night's rest," Rodney says in wonder.

John laughs softly. "Yeah, well, maybe she wears him out, wears herself out – "

"Hey!" Rodney says. "LA LA LA LA"

Teyla grins at him. "I believe you understand what happens when a man and a woman love each other very much . . ."

"I hate all of you," Rodney grumbles. "And your choice in movies. And your hoarding of the Raisinets, Sheppard, don't go thinking you're fooling me for a second with your – "

Ronon offers up a long, fast-asleep growl that ends in a happy little 'hmph.'

"I think he likes you," Teyla says archly.

Rodney rolls his eyes. "Someone press play, for the love of – "

John stealthily eats a handful of candy.


"You did what?"

"Ordered it from IKEA," Rodney says as if it's the most obvious thing in the world, twitching the last corner of the duvet into place. He looks up. "Is your hearing completely shot? Did you actually plug your ears with flash-bangs this time?"

John rolls his eyes and sighs heavily. "Rodney . . . "

"I know it's something of an unlikely choice for bedding, I could have ordered from any number of stores, but I had a duvet from them in graduate school, Jeannie sent it, best thing I ever slept under, warm and – well you can see; soft, lots of it, very . . . "

John squints at their bed, a luxurious double-sized mattress after years of twin-sized agony, hidden now by an ocean of poofy duvet. "I never minded the blankets," he says, hitching up his t-shirt to scratch just above his hip.

Rodney snorts at that, bustling over to the windows, cracking each open by about an inch and letting in New Lantea's winter chill. "Blankets . . ." he mutters.

"It's freezing out there," John cuts in.

"Exactly!" Rodney offers, waving a finger. "In bed, come on, chop chop."

John eyes him dubiously. "Chop chop?" he drawls.

"Whatever," Rodney says with exaggerated patience. "Could we get to the good part now? With the duvet and the mattress and the pillows and – "

John sighs and ambles over to the bed, bare feet already protesting the bitter air drifting in from outside, pulls back the duvet and begrudgingly settles himself beneath it. Rodney tumbles in beside him, humming with satisfaction, and tugs the duvet all the way up to their chins.

"Isn't it great?" he whispers reverently.

John opens his mouth to protest – he's not the sort of guy who needs to be coddled into sleep; years in the military have taught him the value of sleeping anywhere, at any time, under any circumstance, and really, blankets were a bonus, and this is kind of domestic, the sort of thing people when they're living together, which they are, but that doesn't change the face that it's a whole new thing, to be sleeping under a duvet, he could have handled blankets a bit longer. But son-of-a-bitch, if it isn't actually just as good as Rodney promised, warm and soft and ridiculously comfortable, and his nose is cold, but that just makes the fact that his feet are warm all the better (an equation he plain doesn't understand). "Wow," John offers, trying to get all his feelings in place. "It's – "

Rodney wriggles around beside him, heaping the duvet about them both until there's no other word for it, they're pressed together inside some sort of nest, and John feels the wild urge to burst out laughing. "Warm," Rodney crows, flopping on his side, nose an inch from John's right shoulder.

John snorts and turns over to face him, slides a hand across Rodney's back. "You're a freak," he says, but it's not really an insult and Rodney knows it – he's smiling smugly and burrowing close.

"Waaarm," Rodney mumbles again, hooking his fingers in the back of John's boxer shorts.

John thinks all this means he's probably gone soft, but he falls asleep anyway. It's a pretty good duvet. Maybe they should keep it.


John's nails have grown just long enough to cut a half-moon of wakefulness into his palm. His sense of unease is usually enough to keep him alert, but he's not taking chances, not with his team, not under these conditions, not with damp stone beneath his ass and the only light in the cell a faint grey flickering from the guard's TV. He catalogs his bruises – two self-inflicted of a sort, too focused on the glint of a scope in the distance to have noticed the pipe jutting level with his shins; seven or eight inflicted by others, blooming across his chest, the size and shape of fists. If he moves just a little, a fresh jolt of pain keeps his chin up, his hearing sharp, lets him distinguish between the reassuring rise and fall of Ronon's breathing, the potential for a chair to scrape across a concrete floor before boots scuff a path toward them.

"John," Teyla whispers. He can almost see her if he looks in that direction, her head tilted slightly as she studies him.

"Go back to sleep," he says roughly, and he nudges a hand to the split in his lip that the words reopen.

Teyla pauses – there's a wealth of patience in the way she goes quiet – then stands and moves gracefully to sit beside him. "I will keep watch now," she murmurs. "And you will sleep."

John rolls his eyes and gathers breath to tell her how wrong she is, but she lays a hand on his arm. He blinks and stares at the vague, pale shape of her fingers. "Okay," he mutters, for reasons that he doesn't entirely understand, and he tips his head back against the wall, closes his eyes, and trusts her to do what, right now, he can't.


"You are not going to believe this," Rodney says, jogging to catch up with John in the hallway outside the mess. "This is the single greatest creation in the history of everything, ever. Watch . . ." And he aims something that looks a lot like a gun at Jemison's head as he walks past, and the next thing John knows, Atlantis's favorite tech support guy is falling to the floor, fast asleep.

John snatches the gun out of Rodney's hand – reflex; no pointing weaponry at other people, first rule of command – and eyes the thing warily. "What did you do?"

"It's a sleep gun," Rodney says, bouncing on the balls of his feet. "It makes people go to sleep. Instantly!"

John points it at Rodney and pulls the trigger. Fifteen minutes later Rodney wakes up and snatches it back. "You're not supposed to use it on me," he says, and turns the gun on John.

Fifteen minutes later, John wakes up and grabs for it again.

This goes on for some time.


John's still shaking when Rodney comes to bed, revenge painting vivid pictures behind his eyes whenever he tries to close them. He's cold, but it isn't something he thinks he can fix, and he's hungry, but the idea of food makes his stomach roll.

The mattress dips as Rodney slides in behind him, presses himself against John's back. "It's okay," Rodney whispers. "It's okay."

And it's not, it's not going to be, there's no way to make all of this right, but it's easier to think he'll survive it anyway once Rodney's there, once Rodney's fingers are splayed across his belly, once Rodney's breathing comfort across the skin at the back of his neck.


"I can too go longer than you without sleep," Rodney says, waving his spoon at Zelenka. "You don't get two PhDs before you're twenty-two by napping you know."

"Yes, yes, you are quite the prodigy in all matters, including sleep deprivation, I am sure," Zelenka replies. "And yet when you did sleep it was in a warm facility with –"

"Oh, here we go," Rodney sighs. "More tales of how impoverished your childhood was – really, do you have any other line of argument? Or does everything - don't even think about it."

John stills his hand a inch from one of the mini-muffins on Rodney's plate. "I was just going to check for citrus," he says lightly.

"Thank you, but no," Rodney says, pushing his hand away and turning his attention back to Zelenka. "It's been what, thirty-seven hours since I last got any sleep? And I am on my game, solving problems right and left, bringing down a Hive ship with the power of my mind . . ."

"And a drone or two," John puts in.

". . . while you've done what, undone Ashland's programming of the sewer treatment system? Terribly important, I'm sure you'd argue, but it's hardly of the caliber that I deal in even when my stuff is with my thing on the – "

"Rodney, I concede, you are the king, the emperor, sleep deprivation is your crown," Zelenka offers. "I do not covet this prize, I merely feel that the terms of your data gathering are shoddy and unprofessional considering– "

"Oh, just like someone who trained under . . . thingamy."

"Thingamy. Yes, yes, he was my thesis adviser, very true . . ."

"I know, and that guy, his whatjamacallit with that gravity-based doodah . . . ."

John shoots Zelenka a deeply amused look and makes another try for the muffin.

"Doodah. Highly technical term," Zelenka agrees. "Theories of doodahs have been published in all the best academic journals – "

"Don't you – " Rodney wavers, spoon swinging from between his fingers. "Don't you . . ."

"I am forbidden a new thing?" Zelenka asks. "Please tell me what it is so that I might ignore you and this directive at all times."

"I'll – you with the . . ." And Rodney slumps forward, face half in his bowl of cereal, milk leaking into his tray.

John swallows a bite of muffin and checks his watch. "Thirty-six and forty two minutes." He shakes his head. "Rodney, buddy, you let me down." He roots in his pocket, pulls out $20 bill and two mini Snickers bars. "I'll drop the rest off later."

Zelenka beams happily, ripping the wrapper from one of the Snickers and popping it into his mouth. "Never bet against a man who has eaten the intestines of small wild animals," he says sagely.

John nods slowly. "I'll bear that in mind," he said, and stuffs a napkin under Rodney's chin to soak up the drool.


They fall asleep in the storage closet right off the gateroom, because no one will think to look for them there. Not even Chuck, who ends up being the one who finds them, but who's only trying to get to the stash of Altoids he keeps on the second highest shelf, lodged behind two crates of replacement crystals and a box of tablet styluses. John has to give him credit – the sight of the expedition's chief scientist and military commander curled up together on the storeroom floor doesn't seem to faze him one bit – he just roots around for the Altoids, calling to the things under his breath.

John sighs and cracks one eye just a fraction. "Get out of here, Campbell."

"Yes, sir. Just – " Chuck already has one tin of Altoids in his hand, and he's reaching for another.

"I said," John repeats with all the patience he can muster, "get out of here."

"Sir." Chuck straightens up and looks a little shamefaced. "It's okay. I won't tell anyone you're – " He trails off.

John raises an eyebrow, wondering how that sentence is supposed to end. "I'm – "

"That you're in here. Hiding. I mean – you know, military stealth stuff. Major Lorne's looking for you, and I'm guessing Dr. McKay did something to the life-signs detectors because – "

Rodney snuffles helpfully, still fast asleep, face buried in John's shoulder.

"Anyway," Chuck says. "I'll just go back to –"

"Yep," John agrees. "With your mints."

"I like them a lot," Chuck sighs wistfully. "Can I get you anything? Would you like the lights out?"

"Lights out," John nods, closing his eyes and he turns his face back toward Rodney, burrowing his nose in Rodney's hair as the door slides closed and the lights go dim. Above the sound of Rodney's breathing, John hears the beep of a security code being programmed into the door.

"Everything all right?" John hears Sam ask.

"Oh – uh . . . just – " There's a pause. John listens closely. "Can I interest you in a mint, Colonel?"

"Chucccccck," John murmurs, palming the base of Rodney's too-clothed spine. And he turns his thoughts toward counting laser-loaded robot sheep, sinking happily into dreams of blasting lemon-shaped aliens out of the sky.
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(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 06:53 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Default)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
This goes on for some time.

Heeeee! Oh, the ginormous dorks. XD This is wonderfully happy-making, a gorgeous selection of snapshots.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dogeared.livejournal.com
Hahahahahahaha, they're kind of ALL my favorites (well, especially the smooshy ones :">), but I do have special love for the sleep gun, because they would TOTALLY do that, and for John and Rodney inexplicably sleeping in the closet. :D *soaks in the adorable*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gaffsie.livejournal.com
This goes on for some time. :D :D :D :D

They're such boys, and I love them.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clear-as-blood.livejournal.com
This is too adorable. I just love all the little moments--Ronon falling asleep on Rodney, John and Rodney being such boys with the sleep gun, Chuck finding them all curled up together... Also, John's dream at the end is just so perfect.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:02 pm (UTC)
ext_230: a tiny green frog on a very red leaf (a little bit MIT a little bit UFO)
From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com
naw, Chucccccck, indeed!

*pleased and pleased and pleased!*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:04 pm (UTC)
wolfshark: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wolfshark
I love the sleep gun!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] geeklite.livejournal.com
All of these were awesome, but Ronon actually made me giggle :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mary-russell11.livejournal.com
awww,boys*smooches them* I can't decide what is cuter;the sleep gun game that labels them as huge geeks or the last one, when they are asleep and Chuck leaves them be and...so.much.cuteness.*melts* also, I'm having flashbacks when I say to people chop,chop....I do that a lot*blushes*

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] americanleaguer.livejournal.com
Chuck Chuck Chuck! And the movie night scene gave me the Glee.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yarnaddict.livejournal.com
Sleep gun! Sleep gun!

You win. *nods* =)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:10 pm (UTC)
ext_2410: (Canada Man)
From: [identity profile] kimberlyfdr.livejournal.com
Sleeeeeeeep :D

These were all fantastic!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] justabi.livejournal.com
Dawwwwww. They are so cute!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:29 pm (UTC)
aurora: (SGA John Sleepy)
From: [personal profile] aurora
Eeeeeee!! I love all of these, but the sleep gun one rocks beyond the telling!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabile-dictu.livejournal.com
Absolutely darling, as darling as you are. I especially love John's dreams of laser-loaded robot sheep. You make me happy, dear Cate.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dovil.livejournal.com
I'm going to be a sheep, but the sleep gun is made of fabulous.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pennyplainknits.livejournal.com
eeeee! Snuggling under Ikea duvets! Sleep guns! Robot sheep! I love how we know just enough in each snapshot to know what's going on, but there are enough spaces for us to fill in the gaps for ourselves.

And the whole Zelenka and John betting on sleep deprivation left me with a huge dorky grin. I love Zelenka!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:13 pm (UTC)
goddess47: Emu! (Default)
From: [personal profile] goddess47
And it's not, it's not going to be, there's no way to make all of this right, but it's easier to think he'll survive it anyway once Rodney's there, once Rodney's fingers are splayed across his belly, once Rodney's breathing comfort across the skin at the back of his neck.

::smooshes them:: And you! So very nice..... sleeping and cuddling and caring.....

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jessebee.livejournal.com
Sleep gun! Heeeeeeeeeeeeee. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thisissirius.livejournal.com
the sleep gun is the awesomest one, because that would so happen like that! :D

although i have a soft spot for the first one :>

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] less-star.livejournal.com
All adorable. Warm, comfy snuggling! Sleep gun! (And I'm with everyone else who commented, the "This goes on for some time" -line is a winner, the winner, even!) And of course Chuck would be totally cool about it. I suspect he's seen far weirder things.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] incidental-fire.livejournal.com
Just adorable. The duvet one makes me want to find one and have a snuggle. :) The last line is just *perfect*.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] panisdead.livejournal.com
How much would I pay for a sleep gun? A LOT.

Very fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 10:08 pm (UTC)
celli: a woman and a man holding hands, captioned "i treasure" (Default)
From: [personal profile] celli
Oh, heart!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-05-10 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redsnake05.livejournal.com
These were charming little moments. I loved the last one - what on earth were they doing asleep in the storeroom? - and, of course, the sleep gun. The weirdos.
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