kageygirl

Atlantis slash

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Atlantis kageygirl

Kings of Infinite Space

Title: Kings of Infinite Space

Author: kageygirl

E-mail: kageygirl@gmail.com

URL: http://www.kageygirl.com

Feedback: LiveJournal

Archive: Ask first.

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: McKay/Sheppard

Rating: G

Spoilers: "38 Minutes"

Beta: Huge thanks to wickdzoot for the wicked-fast beta. *g*

Summary: It was a pretty crappy two hours for everyone.

A/N: Written for the sga_flashfic "Enclosed Spaces" Challenge.

The pain is sharp, blinding, and for a moment John can't see, can't even breathe—and then he sucks in one shuddering breath, and then another, and another. He guesses it would make the pain worse—being able to breathe again, getting past that first moment of shock—except that he doesn't think the pain could get worse than this.

His first thought, after Pain and Breathe, is Blind, and he's on the verge of panic. Blind means no flying again, ever, trapped on the ground for the rest of his life. Awareness bleeds back into him, and that's how he realizes the pain is fading—no, not fading, being smothered, covered in a haze of numbness that's taking the rest of the feeling from him, too. He can barely tell that he's kneeling, panting. But his eyes are working again, because he can see a wash of light ahead of him. And then something moves across it.

He's still kneeling, still panting, because he can't do anything else right now, and the something turns into Colonel Sumner.

Sumner walks up slowly and gives John that narrow-eyed look of grim disgust. That look never really gets old, because John's not sure he wants to be liked by COs like Sumner, even if it means he'd get his balls busted a little less frequently. Sumner nods down at John. "Hell of a way to die, there, Sheppard."

John would give him the "fuck you, sir" smirk, but he feels like all his muscles are just forgetting how to move, the numbness eating away at them. He wishes that the piercing ache in his neck would go away, too, where the damn bug's latched onto him, but he's betting that'll be the last thing to stop hurting.

"Slow and painful death, getting the life sucked out of you like an empty soda bottle?" Sumner grimaces at the bug himself, with even less humor than he's ever shown John. "Me, I wouldn't want to go out like that."

No, John thinks. You wouldn't. I don't. But there's still time—

Sumner hefts his P90, and sights down the barrel at John.

John wants to tell him not to do it, that his team will be here any minute to take him back to the Jumper, back to Atlantis, but he can't move, can't speak, he's trapped in his own body, and this isn't right, this shouldn't be happening, but he can't fight it and Sumner's just starting to squeeze the trigger—

"Whoa, Major—calm down, it's—you're all right—"

John's eyes snap open. He's in the infirmary, and McKay's there, with his hands on John's shoulders, though he pulls them back so quickly that John feels the absence of his grip more than he remembers the hold. "McKay?"

McKay straightens away from John, stiffly, looking kind of like he's been caught red-handed. "You were—you looked like you were having a bad dream." His lips twitch into something like a smile, though not really a happy one. "I can't possibly imagine why."

John wipes a hand over his face, getting the worst of the sweat off, absently touching the bandage on his neck before dropping his hand back down. He has a moment of relief at being able to feel his own hand, to move it, and he blinks up at McKay. "Yeah, no reason for that, really." He smiles a little, and he's so glad he can do that—smile, look at McKay, even make a lame joke.

McKay tilts his head to the side, as if he's really considering the 'problem,' but the assessing gaze he flicks over John is somehow gentle. "I wouldn't be surprised if it were some sort of guilt over the way you're malingering here in the infirmary. If it weren't for you, Carson and his staff could be doing whatever it is physicians do when the nearest golf course is in the next galaxy—torture lab mice, maybe? Play doctor with each other?" McKay folds his hands behind his back again, like he did earlier when Weir and Ford and Teyla were here, too.

It strikes John kind of funny, because McKay's pretty much always doing something with his hands.

The mention of the medical staff makes John realize that the infirmary's actually quiet right now, the lights dimmed. He frowns at McKay. "What time is it?"

Raising his chin, McKay glances away from John. "Given the slight time differential between an Earth day and an Atlantis day, that's becoming more of an epistemological question every—"

"McKay."

McKay sighs. "It's, ah—late, Major. Very late. Or—very early, depending on your point of view."

"And you're here because…"

"No reason," McKay says quickly, lightly. "Gate lag, couldn't sleep, you know how it is."

"Gate lag," John says, nodding seriously. They were gone less than two hours, all told, but John's not going to hassle McKay too much.

It was a pretty crappy two hours for everyone.

"Exactly." McKay drops his chin, looking at John more directly, a little more relaxed.

John lets his smile sneak out just enough to feel it. "So you came to watch me sleep."

"Given how exceptionally boring you can be, Major, I suspected you might have a soporific effect." McKay's adopted that lofty tone of voice, but he crosses his arms over his chest and moves closer.

Despite the insult, John feels like maybe he's won something. "So I'm just your alternative to sleeping pills."

"In a nutshell."

McKay gives him a smug smile, but he doesn't look like he's planning on leaving any time soon.

If he's being honest, John doesn't really want him to go, either. The dream's still with him, and as much as he was enjoying the nice soft infirmary bed earlier, right now it's reminding him a little too much of the numbness that crept along his nerves, making him a prisoner in his own body.

Deadening him before he actually died.

Right now, he could use some hard edges to hold onto. And McKay's got those to spare.

So John waves at the stool behind McKay. "In that case, feel free to pull up a seat until your insomnia wears off. I'm sure Beckett would be just as happy not to waste his meds on you."

McKay watches him for a long moment, then nods, dragging the stool closer to the bed. "Excellent point, Major. It's important to conserve our limited resources." He launches into a detailed description of the culpable inefficiency of the science teams, and John just listens to him, following McKay's hands with his eyes, covering a smile at the each of the personal observations and tangential asides.

By the time John realizes he's been had, that McKay's been lulling him back to sleep, he's too relaxed to care. He feels McKay's hand rest on his shoulder briefly, warm and solid and real, and he slides into a dreamless sleep.

~~~

"O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." Hamlet, Act II, Scene II.