I know, it seems weird that here it is, the final chapter, but here it is. :-)

This had been a wild ride and lot of fun. Glad you guys liked it! Couldn't have done it without you!!!


Chapter 29 - And in the Stillness, Peace

The dull scrap of the chair beside his bed and the soft grunt of someone sitting announced the arrival of a visitor. Rodney sighed. "Ford, I thought Carson told you to go rest," he mumbled softly.

"He is," a baritone voice told him.

Rodney slitted an eye open. "Major, good, you're back." He closed his eyes again and then frowned, opening them again. "You aren't hurt, are you?" he asked, squinting in the dim like to try to see if the other man was injured. Carson had been keeping the lights dim to help with his headaches.

Sheppard was filthy and his arm was in sling. "You are hurt. What are you doing here?" Rodney asked, too tired and his brain too fuzzy from pain medication to really sound irritated.

Sheppard glanced at his arm. "Not new," he commented. "From our first trip to the planet."

Rodney frowned. "Did I know you were hurt?" he asked. Between the concussion and the pain medication fact were bleeding into each other or just getting lost in the shuffle completely.

"Don't know," Sheppard commented casually. "It's nothing serious, just a flesh wound," he said with a quirk of his mouth. "How you feeling?"

"Fuzzy," Rodney answered. He shifted a bit and sharp stab of pain in chest stopped him. "And achy," he answered tightly.

Sheppard was on his feet beside him when he opened his eyes again. "You need Beckett?" Sheppard asked in concern.

Rodney shook his head. "I just need to be still." He took a careful breath and started to relax again. He grimaced. "Sorry."

"I can get Beckett if you want," Sheppard said again.

Rodney sighed and grimaced at the tightness in his chest "I'm fine," he said in exasperation.

Sheppard looked at him with pursed lips and then nodded. "Sure," he said, taking his seat again.

A comfortable silence settled between them and Rodney realized he had begun to doze off when Sheppard voice snapped his eyes open again.

"Doc says you're doing better."

"So he says," Rodney said, trying to shift himself again. Pain lanced through his chest, stealing his breath for a moment. He felt a hand ease him over on his side gently and then a pillow slid in along side the right side of his back, propping him there. He relaxed back, taking a moment to catch his breath again. "Thanks," he said, irritated by how weak his voice sounded. He hated being his helpless and how grateful he felt Sheppard was here.

"No problem," Sheppard said, easing himself back into the chair with a groan. He sighed and propped his feet up on the edge of the bed, settling in.

Rodney watched him. "Comfortable?" he asked.

Sheppard smiled a bit lopsidedly. "Yup."

He watched him a bit longer. "Wouldn't you be more comfortable in your own bed?"

"Probably," Sheppard answered, shifting the chair over a bit to rest back against one of the pillars. He tipped it back, straightening out his legs.

"You're going to stay, aren't you?" Rodney asked him.

"Yup," Sheppard said, closing his eyes and tucking his chin down. He crossed his arms across his chest being careful of his arm.

Rodney watched a little longer. "Why?" he asked his curiosity overriding his pride.

"Because you scared the crap out of us and you're hurt and being stuck in the infirmary by yourself sucks," Sheppard said, without opening his eyes.

Rodney settled back into the pillows and smiled a little. He had to admit he had been rather surprised by all the people who had stopped in to check on him. He had friends. He smiled a bit wistfully. His sister would be proud of him. He remembered the last time he had seen her, she had snapped the only thing he cared about more than himself was his cat. He wondered what she would think of him now.

"Did you kiss her?" Sheppard asked suddenly..

"Huh?" Rodney blinked at him.

"Carter, did you two ever kiss?"

"Who?"

"Colonel Carter."

"Samantha?"

"Yeah."

"What do you mean?"

Sheppard opened his eyes and studied him. "Did you and Colonel Samantha Carter ever kiss?" he asked enunciating the words slowly.

Rodney looked at him, completely confused and shook his head. He smiled a little. "You know it's not polite to kiss and tell, Major."

The other man huffed in irritation. "I'm serious, McKay. Did you two ever kiss?"

"Why do you want to know?" he asked, eyeing the Major suspiciously.

Sheppard sat up, planting his feet on the floor. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Just answer the question, McKay."

"Since when did my romantic life become a matter of your curiosity?"

Sheppard sat back. "I'm going to allow the fact that you've had a serious knock on your head addling your brain and not get irritated at you. Did you two ever kiss?"

Rodney signed carefully. "Fine. Kind of," he answered finally.

"'Kind of'?" the Major responded, leaning back down to rest his elbows on his knees. "How you 'kind of' kiss?"

Rodney rested his head back into the pillows. "It was just after Anubis attacked the gate on Earth. They brought me in from heading the Russian naquada reactor program to work with her on finding a way to keep the gate from blowing a serious chunk out of United States."

"Skip to the kiss," Sheppard interrupted.

Rodney started to sigh, but painful hitch in his chest stopped him. "Fine," he grumbled. "She kissed me on the check when I leaving." He smirked a little. "She also told me how much she was attracted to me."

"She kissed you on the cheek?" Sheppard said incredulously.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "What?"

The Major shook his head and sat back, crossing his arms again. "That explains it."

Rodney frowned. "What?"

"You're still alive," Sheppard said, sounding a bit relieved.

"What are you talking about?" Rodney asked in confusion.

Sheppard just shook his head, settling himself back and propping his legs up on the edge of the bed again. "Nothing. Go back to sleep."

He opened his mouth to protest again, but then closed it, giving up. His head was too muddled to make sense of the Major right now and as it was Sheppard has his eyes closed again and that seemed a pretty good idea to him. Rodney shook his head a little and settled himself in, just glad to be home and for once in his life surrounded by people who actually seemed to care about him. That was enough for now. He'd grill Sheppard later about this, but, for now, he was just going to go to sleep.

fin