Don't get me wrong, the last fic is how it went down, character deaths and all. But ... maybe, somewhere, in an AU of an AU, this happened:
Prompt: Teyla - homesick; kind of dark; 1100 wds
Rodney falls into darkness knowing that at least he managed to take the other bastard with him...
Except he doesn't. Instead he wakes in the sickbay on the Daedalus, his chest hurting like it had been cracked open.
For a while he lays there, staring at the ceiling. A brusque corpsman comes by, pokes at him and tells him a doctor will be able to look at him shortly, make sure there's no internal bleeding before they let him go. They're awfully short-staffed, he's told, but someone will bring him dinner later.
He's hungry now. And thirsty, but the corpsman already left, and there's no call button, and now they're ignoring him.
O'Neill wanders in a little later. "Told you the body armor would save your ass, McKay. They told me you're bruised as hell, but you'll live."
Rodney glowers at him. He's finally managed to get his bed upright, but he's desperately bored and no one will give him anything to do. And he's starving. Sure, people are busy, there are casualties everywhere -- he understands this; all you have to do is look around at the crowded sickbay. They didn't have to yell at him when he asked if he could have a computer.
He's mentally preparing his list of complaints when O'Neill says, "You did good, McKay."
Rodney blinks at him. "What?"
"Don't make me repeat it." O'Neill pats him on the shoulder; Rodney stiffens, not sure how to deal with the sudden switch to unexpected and somewhat unwelcome friendliness -- it just makes him wonder what O'Neill wants from him. "You handled yourself all right down there. I take back ... some of the things I said about you."
"Thanks ... I think." Rodney narrows his eyes. "Wait ... what did you say about me?" But O'Neill is already gone.
He learns over the next few days that Carter's superweapon was a broad-spectrum stun pulse, a modified application of zat technology -- Rodney hates to admit it, but it's kind of, almost, sort of brilliant. It knocked out everyone in Atlantis; most of them -- the survivors of the fighting -- are currently being held down on Atlantis itself, since the two Earth ships are damaged from the fighting and burdened with wounded.
Rodney is surprised to discover that the enemy woman with the copper hair is actually in the sickbay; he sees her one of the times he comes in to get more pain pills for his cracked ribs. He'd thought she was dead on Atlantis; apparently, though, she was only very badly hurt. He's actually a little surprised that he recognizes and remembers her, but she's very distinctive looking. Lying under a blanket with tubes going in and out of her, she looks very fragile and small.
He gets a handful of Tylenol 3 rattling around in the bottom of a plastic bottle (for all their complaints about limited supplies, blah blah, he saw lots of pills in that cabinet; they're obviously just lying to him) and he's beating a hasty retreat past the rows of beds when something snags at his leg.
He looks down in surprise to see that a small, surprisingly strong hand has latched onto the lower edge of his jacket. The copper-haired woman looks up at him from beneath an oxygen mask, blinking sleepily.
"Um," Rodney says, trying to dislodge her with surreptitious tugs, terrified that she's going to try to throw up on him or something. He hates being around sick people; he never knows what they're going to do, and they're always shedding germs and unpleasant bodily fluids.
"Could you please --" Her voice is barely audible. Her free arm is in a cast, but she somehow uses her eyebrows to point at a paper cup beside the bed.
Rodney reluctantly peeks in and discovers ice water, with most of the ice melted. "Uh ... you need a drink?"
She inclines her head in a weak nod. "I am sorry," she whispers. "They are very busy -- I have been waiting a long time..."
Rodney remembers his own tenure in Corpsman Hell. Bracing himself, he picks up the cup, nervously nudging the oxygen mask out of the way (after looking around for medical personnel who might take umbrage at this), and tilts it to her cracked lips. Somehow he manages not to spill it all over her. After taking a few sips, she tries to reach for a small tub of Vaseline with a Q-tip stuck in it. Despite brief horror, Rodney realizes what she wants, and (feeling very proud of himself) dabs a little of it tentatively on her dry lips before replacing the mask.
When he's all done, she smiles at him, and the weird warm feeling is not unpleasant. Then she whispers, "Do you know -- are there survivors? On Atlantis?"
"Yes," he tells her, and her eyes light up in a way that makes him feel about ten feet tall.
"Who?" she whispers, and he has to watch the light go out of her eyes as he says that he doesn't know. Never bothered to ask. He doesn't even know if Weir, the only one of them he's met (however briefly), is one of the surviving prisoners.
"Thank you anyway," she whispers.
Rodney starts to turn away, and then he pauses, remembering what it was like for him, while he was waiting for the doctor to finally check him over and release him. No one came to see him; all the corpsmen were running around doing mysterious medical things, and no one could be bothered to get him a cup of water or bring his laptop. Would people come to see her, he wonders, if they knew she was here? Would they even be allowed?
"Do you want me to check for you?" he asks. "I could look -- I mean, I'm not promising ..."
But she's smiling again, some of the shadows chased away from her eyes -- and it feels good, in a way he can't quite understand, to be able to make her look like that. "Yes, please, if you can," she whispers, reaching out, and he hesitantly allows her dry, cold fingers to curl around his. "And ..." she whispers, "... if Elizabeth or John still lives, could you tell them that Teyla is alive, please, if they don't know?"
"Teyla -- that's you?" he asks, and she nods. "Elizabeth or John?" Another nod.
"Elizabeth Weir," she whispers, "or John Sheppard," and then her eyes close, and Rodney thinks in horror, Oh no, I broke her, before he sees that her chest is still rising and falling.
He gently detaches her fingers from his own, and beats a hasty retreat before he can make any more promises that will get him in trouble.