Title: The Repercussions of Insane Ideas
Spoilers: None, but set after "The Eye" Notes: Written for Rose Wilde Irish in response to the "OMG, it's so hot that Character X comes into Character Y's room in the middle of the night and WATCHES CHARACTER Y SLEEP! That's SO ROMANTIC and not at ALL creepy!" fics. Beta'd by Rose Wilde Irish, and the title is by Rose Wilde Irish.
It had started out innocently enough- he'd had trouble sleeping, shifting restlessly beneath the blanket, twisting and turning in his bed. He would close his eyes, only to be tormented by thoughts of her, bleeding and broken. And when he slept- or, at least, he thought he slept, perhaps he hadn't- his dreams were no different. Watching her fall, watching her die in front of him, hazel eyes staring lifelessly at him, at nothing, glazed over with death.
Waking (if he had even slept at all), he knew he had to see her. Never mind that it was two in the morning- he wasn't thinking, anyway. Thoughts weren't driving him, for once in his life; emotion, pure and simple, the need to make sure she was all right- basic male instinct. How else could he explain the insanity of creeping into her room that first night, and every other night that followed, sitting on the edge of her bed, gazing at her as she slept, completely oblivious to his presence?
Sometimes, that was enough- just watching her sleep, hearing her breathe. Other times, he had to gently touch her face, her hair, feel the heat of her skin, of her breath, until he could convince himself that she was really here, really alive.
Rationally, in daylight, he could categorize his actions as "creepy" and "stalkerish," "demented" and "screwed up." And yet, even then, acknowledging what he was doing, the absolute wrongness of it, his nightly visits to her room never ceased. He didn't visit her every night- he could console himself with that much- but he did so often enough to realize he was dangerously dependent on this... "addiction."
But it wasn't sexual. His feelings for here weren't romantic. Not really. He respected her, admired her, and yes, even loved her. He appreciated her beauty and her grace and her intelligence, the way she could command a room, how she regarded him as an equal and listened to him with an honest ear. But she was out of his league; treated him, at times, with the amused, affectionate tolerance of an older sister; and anyway, his heart belonged to someone else.
He wondered, occasionally, if she knew- if she had ever sensed him or been awakened by him. But she never gave any indication that she had, never acted towards him any differently. He eventually concluded that she was ignorant of his visits, and he was simultaneously both relieved (she would never look at him in disgust, angry and hurt by his perversion) and disappointed (no tacit approval to continue, no absolution of guilt).
So now, in the dead of night, disturbed by dreams once more, he found himself silently heading towards her room to ward away demons.
Her door slid open silently, as it always did, and as he stepped into her room, it registered, vaguely at first (for he was still wrapped up in the fear and terror of his dreams), that something tonight was off.
And then, more startlingly: something was different.
For one thing, the noises coming from the usually silent bed.
"Oh, god, John-"
A string of horrified profanities shot through his brain. He felt his face flame, couldn't help the surprised involuntary squeak that slipped out from his lips before he slammed his hands over his mouth- not that they would have heard him anyway, they were so damn loud. He was immediately thankful that the hallways were dark and that little light spilled into the room, so that nothing would draw their attention from what they were doing to each other (enjoying it thoroughly, too, if their moans and grunts and cries were any indication) to him. And he could see them now, too, almost, the bare outlines of their bodies, dark shapes moving against one another, writhing in convoluted pleasure, and why the fuck was he still standing there?
Quickly, almost stumbling, he backed out of the room, into the hall, and was relieved when the door closed as quietly as it had opened.
Slowly, what was left of his wits processed what had just happened: he had walked in on Elizabeth and Sheppard... doing that... together, and- oh, my God. Could one go into shock from this sort of thing? For some reason, he couldn't seem to wrench himself free from whatever twisted spell had been cast over him, which hearing and seeing that had created. It was only when he realized he was unconsciously straining to hear sounds from the room- he couldn't, remembering that Ancient rooms were soundproof- that he managed to get his legs moving in the direction of his own quarters.
Somehow, he made it back to his room and into his bed (blessed harbor of safety). Huddling underneath the covers, he curled up into the fetal position and tried very, very hard not to think about what he'd just witnessed- but the images and sounds swirling around inside his head were unrelenting. He whimpered.
It was a very long time before he fell asleep.
Early morning. Breakfast. Rodney, with blood-shot eyes, unshaven face, and uncombed hair, sat alone and poked at his oatmeal half-heartedly. The obnoxious clank of a tray dropping onto the table drew his attention, and ready with a withering comment about the number of empty tables available elsewhere, the words died in his throat upon seeing Sheppard sitting across from him.
(Fuck, Liz, you're so fucking-)
"Late night, McKay?" Sheppard asked as he bit into his toast.
"What?" Rodney gawked at him, somewhat idiotically. Something about Sheppard seemed... off. Or was Rodney just projecting?
"You look like crap."
"Uh... yeah. I was... working. Important research and everything."
"Not working too hard, I hope." Was Sheppard being facetious?
"No, no..." Rodney muttered.
"Good. Remember, we have a mission briefing at 08:00 with Elizabeth."
(Elizabeth. Harder, John-)
They ate in silence. Every few minutes, Rodney darted a look at Sheppard, trying to read the man's expression, wondering. Sheppard, however, either didn't notice Rodney's behavior or was ignoring him. Maybe, Rodney thought, he was just imagining the weird vibes from Sheppard. A guilty conscience creating hostility, perhaps? After all, if Sheppard had seen him last night, he wouldn't be acting so... normally. Would he?
Sheppard finished the last of his food. Rodney, still plodding through his breakfast, glanced up- and swallowed. Swallowed hard. Sheppard was staring directly at him, smiling, but with a distinct lack of friendliness in his hazel eyes.
Shit. Sheppard knew.
"I'll see you at the briefing, McKay."
Rodney nodded woodenly, not trusting his voice. Sheppard stood.
"And McKay?" Sheppard spoke pleasantly enough, but there was an undercurrent to his voice that caused Rodney to sit up straight.
"Yes, Major?" He tried to force a non-pasty smile on his face.
"The next time you're up late, find somewhere else to work."
It wasn't a request or a suggestion- it was an order. Rodney didn't answer. Not that he needed to. Sheppard wasn't looking at him anyway, was practically already gone.
Implicit in Sheppard's words, too (so obvious it hadn't required saying), was the message: "Keep your mouth shut."
Who would he tell, anyway? And why? 'Oh, yes, I happened to be paying Dr. Weir a routine nightly visit at three in the morning, when I stumbled across her and Major Sheppard in mad, passionate flagrante delicto, going at it like two sex-starved rabbits on Viagra.' That would go over beautifully.
All Rodney knew for certain was that whatever nightmares he'd have from now on would be ones he'd never see Elizabeth about. Ever.