lantean_drift (lantean_drift) wrote,

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Angel in My Pocket

Title: Angel in My Pocket
Author: lantean_drift
Pairing: McShep
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 2,500ish.

Summary: Written for sgamadison’s Epistolary Challenge.
He’d lost his mind the day Teyla had handed him the letter that Rodney had left for him in her keeping.
Happy ending, though, I promise.

Authors notes: I couldn’t resist, I know I should be working on my MBB fic but I couldn’t resist having a play in this sandbox, too.
Written for sgamadison because she’s made of awesome, not just for hosting this challenge but for sharing happiness. ♥ ♥

Disclaimer: *laughs ass off* Do you think if they were mine the series would have ended like that?!


Why is it that I always save you until last?

That’s probably a bad way to start a letter. Especially a letter like this. The sort you’re not going to want, but you know you have to read. The sort you know you have to write, but never want to receive.

Don’t worry, there’s no dying wish for you to fulfil in here – other than to ask that you do the things I know you’ll do anyway; go and see Jeannie for me, pass on the letters like this one. Let her…Stay with her, just for a while, John. She’ll need you and I think you’ll need her too. Besides Madison adores you – and whatsisname always liked you more than me, so you’ll be fine.

You’ll be fine.

Actually, the chances are you won’t be. Every time I re-write this letter I’m more convinced that if the situation in which you must read it has occurred then you probably wont be around any more to read it. You do have distressingly suicidal tendencies sometimes, there aren’t words to tell you how much I hate that but I can tell you that I do understand why you do it; and that I don’t hate.

I really hope that you’re reading this and you haven’t flown off on the back of some nuke. (Yes, still mad at you!)

Well, if you are reading this then obviously I’m…I’m gone. Dead. I hope it wasn’t a totally pointless death but if it was then you’ll just have to remember that I didn’t have a pointless life – the things we’ve seen and done out here, John; I wouldn’t change that for the universe. Well, maybe some of it - like you riding out on a nuke and aging me by about fifty years. (I’ll always be mad and you know it!)

What I need you to know now, what becomes more important for me to stress with each draft I write over the years, is that this – whatever happened, whatever the ‘this’ is – was not your fault, John. I know you and I know, without a single doubt, that you did everything you could. At this point, in previous letters, I’ve told you not to feel bad, I’ve begged you not to blame yourself or demanded that you don’t feel guilty. This time I’m not going to do that, this time I’m just going to tell you that I know you did everything you could. However, I will tell you to go and get some sleep when you’re done here; you’ll be driving everybody insane running around the city at midnight and bloodying your knuckles on the punch bags in the early hours. Seriously John, you need to rest, there’s nothing else you could have done.

The last thing I usually write is what I’ve come to think of as ‘The Confession’. I guess it isn’t that anymore. Normally, I write something along the lines of ‘I’ve loved you for a long time, please don’t think less of me or remember me any differently.’ This time I can tell you that loving you is the most important thing I have done with my life. And okay, so the moment we finally figured it out wasn’t the most romantic or earth shattering of moments, but it led to everything I could have wanted. And I suppose, now that I’m dead and he can’t call me Fay Wray, you can play Ronon the scene from King Kong and let him laugh himself stupid. It was entirely your fault for putting me up there in that stupid white robe in the first place. That makes you the monkey, Sheppard. The monkey. Despite all that, it was a good day. And seriously, everything I could have wanted.

I know we’re both – what is it Teyla always called us? Ah yes, ‘emotionally stunted’, but I need you to know that…I guess, I talked all the time but rarely said what mattered…but you deserve to know that I love you, I used to laugh myself stupid with you, I was a better person because of you, I lived and cared so fiercely because of you. I love you, John Sheppard, and you may be even more emotionally retarded than I am, but I know that you love me too.

One more thing - the last thing, I promise; just a plea, for god sake don’t ride another nuke! (See? Still mad; even from beyond the grave). Also, go and find Teyla and Ronon, don’t be alone right now. You won’t have to explain anything to them, they’ll know and they’ll help you and you can help them.

Yours forever,



Fuck, so much had happened since Rodney went missing, they’d spent the three months following his disappearance searching the planet inch by inch, analysing and following every lead they got out of Radek’s results from the planet-side DHD. John had searched tirelessly, begging, bullying and screaming through the weeks, looking for something.

His bed was empty each night, no one crawled in with him in the early hours of the morning and snuffled against the back of his neck or wound their arms around his chest. He was cold every morning when he woke up alone and looking for Rodney, even more tired than he had been the day before. The small periods of sleep he managed were always restless and plagued with nightmares. He ran off the nightmares, as best he could, or beat them into submission in the gym on the nights when he couldn’t; when not even the soothing hum of a Lantean night cycle could keep them away.

He’d lost his mind the day Teyla had handed him the letter that Rodney had left for him in her keeping. Shit, that had only been a week ago, it felt like a lifetime. He’d taken the letter with him to his quarters. He’d known what it was and he didn’t need an audience. He’d stared at it for a long time before he’d finally opened it with trembling hands. Shaking so hard he could barely see to read it.

He’d done as Rodney had asked and gone to find Ronon and Teyla, they’d been expecting him, waiting for him in Ronon’s quarters and John had spent a moment wondering what their letters had said before he handed his to Teyla, for fear that he’d rip it to pieces if he held on to it for one more second. She’d cried. She’d pressed her fingers to her lips to suppress the sob but the tears had streamed from her eyes. John remembered thinking how beautiful she looked when she shattered into a million pieces. He’d put his hand to her face, tilted her head against his before pressing a kiss over her eyes and then letting go to punch the wall. He’d hit it over and over and over again, the pain exploding through his hand and up his arm, and it had felt so good. Ronon had grabbed him in the end; held onto him until he could breathe again. His chest had ached and his throat hurt and his hand had to be set and plastered when they finally went to the infirmary.

It really hadn’t hurt enough, though.

Not until now. Not until this very second, not until Rodney lifted the cast and touched John’s bruised fingers with his own. Suddenly the pain was very real, his hand was on fire with it and he couldn’t see for blinding agony in his head and his chest, and he couldn’t even breathe, for fuck sake. All he could do was hold on to Rodney. Rodney who was bruised and ragged and tired but blissfully alive and standing right in front of him.

They’d found him. They’d found him alive and mostly unharmed. Rodney had been up on his feet, pacing his cell when they’d blasted their way in. He’d looked at them and said ‘you took your time,’ then ‘god, I’m glad to see you’, and then he’d launched himself at John and wrapped himself around him. John had buried his nose against Rodney’s neck and breathed him in.

Rodney pulled back and was now holding John’s fingers and looking disapproving.

“What did you do, you idiot?”

John shrugged. “Seemed like a plan at the time.”

There was gunfire, the screech of alien blasters and countering P90’s.

“We need to get out of here,” Ronon growled, and slapped Rodney hard on the shoulder. “Glad you’re not dead McKay,” he grinned, and then led the way out of the room.

Teyla ushered them ahead of her and, for once, John was happy to let them run things as he took his place at Rodney’s side and they made their escape.


Rodney had to stay in the infirmary that night. Just a precaution, keep an eye on him; make sure everything’s okay. The doc was distinctly unimpressed when John wouldn’t go anywhere and Rodney kept insisting he could stay.

John didn’t care what the doc said; he was definitely staying. No two ways about it.

When they’d finally finished poking and prodding and sticking Rodney full of needles he’d been given a bed and told to rest. John had pulled up a chair and hadn’t moved since.

When everyone else had gone, the night rotation staff were busy doing whatever it was they did in a quiet infirmary in the middle of the night, John sat with his good hand clasped lightly around Rodney’s arm, staring off into the darkness.

“You should go and get some sleep, you look like crap,” Rodney told him quietly.

“I’m good,” John answered, looking down at him.

“You don’t look good.”

“Gee, thanks, McKay. Way to make a guy feel like a god.”

“You know what I mean, you look ready to drop,” Rodney defended himself quietly.

“I’m fine.”

“What happened to your hand?” Rodney asked, obviously letting it go for the moment.

“I read your letter,” John said, grimacing and wiggling his fingers slightly in the cast.


At least Rodney didn’t try to pretend that that didn’t explain everything.

“I’d been doing all right until I read that. I was looking for you everyday, I wasn’t going to give up, I knew you weren’t dead and I was going to find you. Then Teyla gave that to me,” he said angrily, taking the crumpled letter out of his jacket pocket where it had been since Teyla handed it back to him, and tossed it on the bed. “She said you’d told her to pass it on to me if this sort of thing ever happened. I read it and figured I must have been wrong after all. That you were actually gone, you were dead. I suddenly knew you were gone and that I’d never see you again and I lost it. And damn it, McKay, I’m all about saying goodbye if you need to, but couldn’t you at least have waited until you weren’t coming back.”

“Shhh. Shut up, they’ll kick you out of here if you don’t quieten down.”

“I don’t care,” John shouted. “Let them try it.”

“John. Shh, John. Sit down.”

“I don’t want to sit down, Rodney. You were dead, this is not the time for sitting down.”

“Oh for god’s sake, come here.”


“Come. Here. I’ve got a headache and you’re not helping and I’ve been gone for over three months and I’ve missed you, you idiot. So, get over here and lie down and, please, stop shouting.”

John went quiet. Guilt and silence keeping him company as he looked at Rodney for a long moment.

“John,” Rodney snapped impatiently.

John went; he couldn’t have stopped himself if he’d tried. The need to touch Rodney, to have him alive and warm, lying against him, was just irresistible.

He ducked his head and crawled onto the narrow infirmary bed. Lying side by side, he was able to run his good hand over Rodney’s cheek, cup his face and lean in to kiss him. Rodney groaned and John felt something break inside him, something that sluiced hotly through his ribs like boiling water. It was like he was breathing Rodney in and coming alive himself. When they pulled apart John dropped shorter kisses across Rodney’s mouth, unable to stop.

“I missed you,” Rodney whispered.

“You were dead,” John accused.

“I didn’t mean it…and I tried very hard not to be,” Rodney said philosophically.

“Doesn’t matter,” John sniffed. “You’re still going to have to make it up to me.”

Rodney regarded him, eyes far too shrewd for John’s liking.

“I will. John – I would never leave you, given the choice, I mean. I would never leave you.”

John was too tired and too much on edge to have this kind of conversation, so he kissed Rodney again, loving the feel of his lips, warm and careful against his own.

“Nice distraction, Sheppard, but it won’t work.” Rodney rolled his eyes at him then leaned in so their foreheads were pressed together where they rested on the pillow.

“I will never willingly leave you,” he stated softly. “One day this might all happen for real but until it does, I promise you that I’ll be fighting to get back to you just as much as you’re fighting to find me. I promise.”

“Rodney - ” John moaned, so completely lost in the dark with only Rodney to hold on to. He moved impossibly closer and pressed his face into Rodney’s neck. Rodney’s hand came up and soothed the back of his head, tangling in his hair.

“I know, I’m sorry. I know,” Rodney was pressing kisses anywhere he could reach and John didn’t know whether to cry or laugh hysterically. Afraid that he might actually do both at once, he settled for raising his head and kissing Rodney so hungrily that he felt like a starving man at a feast.

Rodney laughed ruefully when they finally broke apart. “So completely ‘emotionally stunted’,” he grinned, shaking his head.

“Yeah,” John grinned back. “Completely. But…but what you said, in the letter, what you said – me too. I mean – you were right, and - the same. Me too – for you, I feel…the same. Love.” John cleared his throat and looked at Rodney, eyes bright even in the dimmed lights of the infirmary. “Me too,” he said.

Rodney laughed and pulled them together so tightly. “I know.”

In that moment, John resolved to spend the rest of their lives this way, tangled up together in the dark. Let the universe throw whatever it liked at them, this would always be worth fighting for.

Tags: mcshep fic

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