Blood on his hands.
Some of it was his, the rest. The majority of it wasn’t. It was…
His eyes traveled down to the still bloodied body at his feet. John Sheppard’s cold, dead eyes stared up at him accusingly, a long silver knife was buried hilt deep into his chest.
“No,” he whispered. He glanced wildly around the room only to find another body draped haphazardly over a consol. His heart froze in his chest. “No,” he whispered again, stumbling over to Elizabeth Weir’s body. A large bullet hole marring the smooth lines of her jacket directly over her heart.
He looked back down at the blood on his hands. Their blood. It was their blood and it was his fault. His weakness had gotten John killed. His cowardess had gotten Elizabeth killed.
It was all his fault.
A hand shook his shoulder and he flinched back, his eyes snapping open.
“Easy there,” Sheppard said gently. “You were having a nightmare.”
Rodney stared at him for a long moment, his mind struggling to justify the two images. The dead Sheppard from his memory and the living one standing here in front of him.
“Are you real?”
Sheppard smiled. “Last time I checked.”
“You’re not dead?” he asked softly, his mind still trying to comprehend what he was seeing.
He shook his head and then smiled mischievously. “No, I’m dead and I’ve come back to haunt you.”
Irrational anger flashed through him at the other man’s flippant attitude and he glared at him. “Fine. Then go haunt someone who actually gives a care,” he snarled, rolling on his side so his back was to the stunned man.
“Hey,” Sheppard said in stunned surprise. “Whoa, what is all that about?”
Rodney kept his back to him, trying to keep his breathing even. He squeezed his eyes tight in pain. He had had banged his sore arm hard against the rail of the bed when he had rolled over.
Sheppard grabbed his shoulder pulling back over. When he saw Rodney’s face he said, “Oh, crap. What’s wrong?” he demanded.
“Nothing,” Rodney ground out. “Leave me alone,” he said with a snarl.
“Yeah, like I’m going to believe that,” Sheppard responded and then quirked an eyebrow up at him. “You know, you are not a pleasant person when you’re sick.”
Rodney just sighed and closed his eyes. His arm hurt, his head hurt, and he felt like he was going to be sick.
Sheppard squeezed his shoulder gently. “I’ll get Beckett. You just hold on,” he said stepping away quickly.
Rodney frowned. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud. He rubbed his nose and pulled the oxygen cranial out of nose and unhooked it from behind his ears. He sighed again and looked around him. An IV with a couple different bags of stuff hung from a frame over his head and he was hooked up to several different monitors. He watched the numbers scroll by on the one he thought was heart rate and blood pressure and the numbers looked all off. The little squiggly line was kind of hypnotic if you watched bounce up and down and up and down and up and…
A soft cool hand rested on his forehead and he opened his eyes again. Teyla smiled down at him. “Good evening, Rodney.”
“Hi,” he said, his voice sounding harsh and scratchy.
He tried to clear his throat, but something hitched in his chest and he started to cough. Teyla brought a glass of water to his lips and he sipped it and it settled the worse of the coughing down.
He felt his cheeks warm with embarrassment. “Thank you,” he said sheepishly.
“You are quite welcome,” she said, putting the glass back and then sitting in the chair beside his bed. She settled herself in and he saw a blanket and something that kind of looked like knitting beside her.
He watched her making herself comfortable. “You don’t have to stay,” he told her.
She just smiled. “You are ill. It is not good for someone to be alone when they do not feel well.”
“It’s really not necessary, Teyla. Carson and his people are here. It’s their job to keep track of the patients,” he said, rubbing his face. He frowned when his hand tangled a bit in the oxygen line again. He started to pull it off and Teyla stood, reaching to stop him.
“You must not. Doctor Beckett said you need this for now,” she told him, settling it back in place and tucking it behind his ears again.
“Is he giving you hard time, lass?” Carson said, walking up to the bed. “Rodney, you need to keep that on,” he chided.
Rodney sighed impatiently. “Carson, this really isn’t necessary?” he groused. “I don’t know why you’re keeping me here. Yes, I’m tired, but I’m usually tired. I just need some coffee and antibiotics and left to get back to work. I’m supposed to be working with Zelenka on the new lab we just found. There were a lot of small devices we’re still trying to figure out what they’re for.”
“Rodney,” Carson interrupted him. “You’re got a pretty nasty infection running through your system right now and you’re temperature been running over thirty-nine degrees for the last few hours. I’m not letting you out of here until that comes down and we’ve got that infection under control.”
“Thirty-nine, Doc?” Rodney hadn’t heard Sheppard or Ford come in. Ford glanced around at them for someone to convert it to something he was use to.
“That’s over a hundred and two Fahrenheit,” Sheppard told him. “Not good.”
Rodney frowned, his mind working sluggishly. “But antibiotics should knock that out pretty fast, right?”
Carson glanced over at Sheppard and frowned and wouldn’t meet Rodney’s eyes.
“Carson?” Rodney felt something very uncomfortable settle in his stomach.
“We just need to find the right one,” the Scottish physician hedged. “It’s a nasty little beastie native to this galaxy we’re dealing with. So, we just have to find what it responds to.”
Rodney just looked at him. “So, basically, I’m going to die,” he said softly. The prospect didn’t frighten and he thought that was odd.
“No,” Sheppard said harshly and then caught himself. He glanced over at Beckett. “Right, Doc?”
“Right,” he agreed. “We just need to find what works and get these beasties gone.”
Rodney just nodded and then looked around at his team members questioningly as they settled themselves around his bed. “What are you doing?” he asked finally.
“Keeping you company,” Sheppard told him. “This place gets pretty spooky at night.”
Rodney just arched his eyebrows. “I’m not a child.”
“I know that,” Sheppard stated mildly.
“And I don’t appreciate being treated by one.”
“And no one is,” Sheppard told him, settling himself in. “We are you friends and we’re concerned about you,” he stated.
“Yeah,” Ford added, straddling a chair he had pulled over to sit on.
Beckett smiled. “Half hour, Major, and don’t tired him out,” he said as he left.
Rodney just watched them all. People didn’t do this with him. They tried to avoid him. They didn’t come to see him unless they needed something.
He narrowed his eyes at Sheppard. “What’s going on, really? What’s not working?”
Sheppard gave him a confused look. “Broken?”
“What system is down that you need me to tell you how to fix?”
“Everything like that’s fine,” Ford told him. “Night shift just took over in the control room when we came down. Groden told me tell you to feel better.”
Rodney frowned deeper, his head really starting to throb.
A soft hand on his shoulder caused him to look up. “You do not have to stay awake if you do not wish,” she said gently. “If you are tired, go to sleep.”
He started to protest, but that really seemed to make a lot of sense and he decided, for once, to listen.