Title: Sleep is for the Weak
Archive: Please ask first
Summary: Rodney's avoiding sleep and someone comes to find out why.
Spoilers: The Storm
Sequel/Season: Season One
Authors Note: Okay..this started out it was to be a silly and loosely based on my own lack of sleep issues lately and then turned into this. shrug
I don't own them, Gecko and Scifi does. I'm just borrowing them for while and promise to give them back when I'm done, though I might just keep Rodney for little longer ;-)
Sleep is for the Weak
Rodney McKay sat in his lab, well, what he had claimed as his lab, staring at a device he had absolutely no clue what it did. He knew he should be sleeping, but he really didn't feel like sleeping. That would probably be from the five cups of coffee he had after he promised Zelenka he wouldn't have any more. This was before Zelenka had himself left for bed and before Rodney found he could make the device light up. He wasn't really sure why it lit up, but it did make the most amazing colors if he concentrated hard enough.
He sighed and sipped the tepid coffee. He really didn't like cold coffee, but given the fact that get himself some water involved, getting up, he stuck with what he had at hand: cold coffee.
He had slipped into the fuzzy place where you've already gone through the stage where you're so tired you feel like crap, through the dizzy, nasty headachy place, right past where your eyes feel all gritty and like they're going to fall out of your head and into the fuzzy place where you're just sort of numb. He thought that might be a bad thing, but the pretty colors the device were making were just so...pretty.
He liked the lab at this time of the night. It was quiet. There weren't other scientist milling around looking for things or asking questions they should have known the answer for themselves, but were too lazy to look up and there weren't military men wondering with something they found and wanting to know if it was going to kill them since they managed to get their hand stuck it in.
He sighed again and put the device down and glanced over at his laptop. The readings it was giving off were really rather impressive, if he could still figure out what the meant. He watched the numbers dance across the screen hypnotically.
He turned toward the voice and blinked. He stared at the man staring at him a moment before his brain caught up putting a name with the face.
"Yes, Major Sheppard, what do you want?"
"Shouldn't you be in bed?" Sheppard asked, folding his arms in front of him.
Rodney glanced at the clock and frowned at the time. Nearly three A.M. He was supposed to be at a briefing at 6 A.M. There really wasn't a point to going to bed now. "I'm fine, Major," he answered.
"When was the last time you slept?" he asked.
Rodney huffed indignantly. "Really, speaking of which, shouldn't you be in bed, Major."
Sheppard sighed. "I was," he pulled up a stool opposite him. "Whatcha working on?"
Rodney huffed. "One of the devices the Ancient's left behind."
"What's it do?" he asked, leaning forward eagerly.
"I'm studying it."
Rodney fight an urge to roll his eyes, more from the fact his eyes hurt from staring at the device for so long than from irritation, which was growing.
He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I'm studying it because we're not sure what it does."
Sheppard looked at him. "Cranky, much," he commented.
Rodney closed his eyes. "Major, is there something you need?"
He leaned against the counter top. "Zelenka and Beckett both asked me to look in on you."
"Oh," Rodney brissled.
"Yeah, they're worried about you," Sheppard went on smoothly. "Seems they think you're not sleeping like you should. Up all hours in the lab. You know, that kind of stuff," he said casually.
Rodney stared down at the device he was working on. "I'm fine," he said tightly.
"You see it's more than just them. Ford and Teyla's made comment about it too. Groden even said something to Weir and she talked to me about it too."
Rodney put down the device. "I'm flattered everyone is so concerned about my well-being, but I assure, you, Major, I'm fine," he stood and the grit his teeth to keep his balance as the room looped around for a moment.
Sheppard sat back and continued to study him. "See, that's just the thing they're worried about."
He was starting to get mad now. "I'm fine," he snapped. "Now if you would get out of my lab, I have work to do."
Sheppard just sat there, his placid expression never changing. Finally, he said softly. "It's not your fault."
Rodney stared at him "Excuse me?"
"What happened with Kolya. You're not trained for that kind of thing. You kept your head and kept you and Elizabeth alive and you saved the city. You did good," he said kindly.
Thunderstruck, Rodney sat back down on the stool. "I didn't," he said after a moment. "I broke. I talked. I told him everything he wanted to know."
"Not everything," Sheppard said smoothly. "You wiggled things around so they were true," the corner of his mouth quirked up in a bit of a smile, "from a certain point of view."
Rodney scrubbed his hands over his face. "I thought he was going to cut my arm off," he said softly. "He just kept twisting that knife around in my arm and telling me I only needed one arm to fix the electrical systems." He hated the quaver in his voice, but he couldn't stop talking now. "Then he started in about what he'd do to Elizabeth if I didn't tell him what he wanted. I couldn't—" He cleared his throat. "I couldn't let him do that." He stared down at his hands folded in his lap. "I told him just what I thought would placate him, then I twisted what I could so it wouldn't work if he tried it on his own."
Sheppard nodded. "You did what you had to."
Rodney looked up at him and was surprised at the understanding look on the other man's face.
"I never meant to put you in danger," he said. "I didn't think they would be that stupid to try to kill you."
The Major smiled. "Never underestimate the stupidity of your opponent."
Rodney just nodded.
Sheppard stood, the stool grating loudly on the floor. "Let's get you to bed. I'll let Weir know to tell your team to cancel your meeting in the morning."
He started to protest, but fatigue was suddenly catching up on him with a vengeance and he just nodded.
Sheppard came around the worktable and slid a hand under his arm, helping to his feet and guiding him out the door. The walk back to his quarters went by in a blur and he found himself standing outside his door before he realized they had stopped walking.
"You," Sheppard said, pointing at him. "In bed," he pointed at the door. "Now."
Rodney nodded and then paused. He looked up at the other man. "Thank you."
Sheppard smiled. "I should be thanking you, but instead, I'm telling you good night."
A tired smile, turned up the corners of the physicist's mouth. "Good night," he said, heading into his room.
The door hissed shut behind him and he kicked off his shoes and shucked off his jacket before collapsing onto the bed without even bothering to undress and into the first untroubled sleep he had had since the storm.