An attempt to write when I couldn't seem to write anything. I think the muse went on vacation after the 2 vids and the sudden cold weather.
Many thanks to scribewraith for the IM beta!
"Rodney, the energy level's too low. You'll never make it."
"You'll never make it, Rodney."
"Shut up, Carter!"
Rodney woke up gasping for air, heart racing. In the distance, he could hear the slow lapping of the sea against Atlantis. It was supposed to be comforting.
He had to get out.
Throwing aside the bed covers, Rodney didn't even bother putting on his shoes. Sheppard's room was only down the hall. He stopped at the door, breathing still ragged, his hand inches away from the controls.
*What are you doing? You're being completely irrational.*
Rodney snatched his hand back, but the door opened anyway. Sheppard was looking at him with sleepy eyes. "Rodney?"
"I was uh... just leaving. Didn't mean to wake you, I'm just going back to – " Rodney gestured vaguely in the direction of his own room.
Sheppard blinked at him, then reached out and pulled Rodney into the room. The door hissed shut behind him before Rodney could protest. The light in Sheppard's room was low, just enough to make sure he didn't trip.
Wordlessly, Sheppard manoeuvred Rodney towards the bed.
"Really, this isn't –"
"Rodney, stop talking." Sheppard gently pushed him down onto the bed. Rodney suddenly became aware that Sheppard was tucking him into bed, and for some reason he didn't object to being treated as a child. Once he was sure that Rodney was comfortable, Sheppard climbed into bed next to him. "Go to sleep, and don't hog the blanket."
"I don't hog the – " Rodney stopped mid-sentence. "What are you doing?"
"Sleeping, or at least trying to. I suggest you do the same. Night, Rodney." The lights dimmed further until the room was completely dark.
Despite knowing he was in Atlantis, that he was safe, Rodney's heart rate sped up, his breathing became laboured. He squeezed his eyes shut, willing himself to calm down. Having a panic attack just because the lights went out was completely ridiculous.
"Shh..." Warm arms around him, Rodney could feel Sheppard's breath against his ear. "Just breathe. I've got you."
Rodney clung onto the solid warmth beside him, grounding him, keeping the cold at bay. This was real; the cold darkness was only a memory, only in his mind. This was real; John was real.
"That's right, I'm real, I'm right here. I've got you. Just breathe, I've got you."
Slowly, Rodney's heart rate and breathing returned to normal, the sound of John's voice drowning out the sea. Rodney fell asleep dreaming of sun and warmth.