Author: Rhiannon rhian_morwenna
Summary: John contemplates the loss of Rodney
Word Count: 768
Characters: Carson Beckett, John Sheppard, Rodney McKay
Genre: Character Study, Hurt/Comfort, AU
Pairing: Beckett/McKay, Beckett/Sheppard
Warnings: Character Death
Sequel To: A Week of Emptiness / The 7 Sins of Dr. Beckett Series
Series: The 7 Sins of John Sheppard – Challenge table here
Disclaimer: Don’t own, never will, don’t sue. Only the plot is my own.
Author's Note: Written as a part of the 7_deadly_sins_ challenge. Takes place immediately after A Week of Emptiness. John’s thoughts are in italics. Oh, and feedback makes me very happy.
Thanks to lvs2read and pesha for beta reading and helping a tech writer become a fiction writer, despite knowing nothing about Stargate Atlantis, or its characters. Any problems with the story at this point are all mine.
John walked into Carson’s quarters, bringing a basket of food to prepare for dinner. He set it down on the counter in the kitchenette and went looking for his friend. He heard voices coming from the open doors to the balcony, Carson talking to somebody or something.
“I luv ya, Rodney, I always will,” Carson’s brogue was distinct. Great, Carson’s talking to himself.
“I know, and I love you. Please remember, you don’t have to be alone while you live. There are others who love you, too. I’ll be waiting for you,” another voice said. Rodney? Now I’m hearing things.
He walked out onto the balcony and saw Carson staring up at the sky. “I thought I heard…,” John trailed off as he looked up where Carson was staring, and saw an ascended Ancient fading away. At the last moment, he saw Rodney’s face, and knew what had just happened. Rodney really did Ascend… He stood quietly next to Carson for a moment before gently grasping one of his arms.
“Come on in; it’s getting cold out here. I’ll make us something to eat. He’d want you to eat,” John said quietly, leading Carson back inside, mentally shutting the door behind him. Carson swayed as he walked; John refused to let go of his arm. How much has he been drinking? He guided Carson to the couch then went into the kitchen area to prepare dinner. A few minutes later, he carried two plates into the living room, handing one to Carson and sitting down next to him with his own plate.
“Carson, please eat something. I know you haven’t been eating much this past week. You’ve lost weight,” he said gently, seeing Carson stare blankly at his plate.
Carson nodded. “John, might I ‘ave some water, please? I’m a bit dehydrated, I can already feel the bloody ‘eadache startin’.”
John got up, walked over to the kitchenette, and filled a glass with water. He really looked around for the first time and saw the empty bottles of Scotch lying scattered everywhere. He tried to drink himself to death. John shuddered at the realization. He returned and handed Carson the water. Maybe he’ll finally start talking. God, I hate seeing him like this. Carson took a few tentative sips before slowly picking at his food. John watched as he very slowly ate most of what was on the plate. It took a dead man to do what I couldn’t, to keep Carson from starving himself to death.
“So, do you want to talk about what just happened?” John asked, trying to sound casual, normal.
“I thought I was goin’ mad. I may be mad, I dunna know. I mean, I saw with ma own eyes what ‘appened in surgery, an’ I know what tha’ means. Rodney ascended. I just dunna know if wha’ I just saw was real or not.”
“I heard and saw him, too. You didn’t imagine it.” He couldn’t have waited another moment to say goodbye to me, too?
Carson visibly relaxed and leaned back against the couch, closing his eyes. “I’m s’ glad I’m not goin’ mad, tha’ ye ‘eard and saw ‘im, too.”
John leaned back in the corner of the couch and looked at Carson. Why couldn’t you come to me before? “Carson, you know you can always come to me for anything. I can’t always be on Atlantis, but when I am, I’ll be here for you.” I’ll be here for you in any way you want.
Carson opened his eyes and stared into John’s. “Do ya’ mean tha’?”
“Always.” Get it through your thick skull.
Carson stared at John, eyes unfocused, seemingly thinking about something. Something flickered in his eyes, and he shifted on the couch, leaning against John’s chest. John moved slightly, making them more comfortable. Why couldn’t this have happened before Rodney died? He felt a warm wetness on his chest. Carson shuddered slightly, but stayed silent. John wrapped his arm around Carson's shoulder, and kissed the top of his head.
“Let it out, I'm here for you.” I’ll be here as much as you want, whatever you want. All you have to do is ask.
“It ‘urts s’ bloody much,” he sobbed.
“I know,” John said softly as he continued to hold the weeping Carson. It hurts so much that I get the leftovers, the ghost of Rodney.
John knew he shouldn’t be jealous of what his best friend had while he was alive. Or that Rodney only came back to visit Carson. He shouldn’t be jealous of a dead man. Didn’t mean he wasn’t.