Disclaimer: I don't own them and never will (sob)

Setting: Latter half of season 2

Spoilers: Siege Pt 3, Intruder, Duet, Instinct, Conversion, The Lost Boys

Pairings: ShepWeir, McKay/Beckett/Sheppard friendship

A/N: This was just kind of floating around in my head and I felt the need to write it before it drifted away. I hope you enjoy. Please R&R, they're like a drug I need them, please don't make me beg. (no flames, please)

Going Down

The first thing he felt when waking was pain and cold. Opening his eyes he saw that everything seemed to glow with a blue hue. He took off his flight mask and switched on the cockpit transceiver. "This is Dart One can anyone hear me?" he said, his voice not even above a whisper. The radio hissed and crackled. "I repeat, can anyone hear me?" he said slightly louder.

"Colonel Sheppard?" asked a small voice over the radio.

John recognized that Scottish brogue in a second. "Hey doc."

"Colonel, we have you on the jumper's sensors. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. What happened?" he asked.

"You don't remember?"

"No." he answered and shifted in is seat, groaning as his muscles protested to the movement.

"Colonel, are you okay?" asked Carson concern showing in his voice.

"I said I'm fine, doc." he answered a little too curtly than intended. A snort was heard from someone in the background, probably McKay. He then added "I just have a little bump on my head, nothing serious."

McKay bellowed "Nothing serious! You've been unconscious for awhile, Sheppard. For all we know…"

"Who's the real doctor here?" interrupted Beckett. John heard Rodney begin to protest, but he was beaten by Carson in this verbal battle. "Now Colonel, what's the last thing you do remember?" he asked.

John took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. "I remember being in the dart and getting attacked…"

SG SG SG SG SG SG

John shot down another dart as he weaved through the angry hoard. Suddenly a shot rocked his vessel and he began to descend at a rapid velocity. "This is Dart One, I'm going down." he yelled in his transceiver.

"This is McKay, Where are you?"

"I'm the only dart that's being shot at by all the others Rodney!" he snapped.

There was a slight pause. "Right. We have a visual."

John dodged and twisted his battered craft, trying to lose the others. He knew it was futile but he wasn't going down without a fight. Another shot shook the craft and he lost all control. The last thing he remembered was the blue abyss of the lake rushing towards him.

SG SG SG SG SG SG

John woke up with a start. He heard his name being called. "What?" he asked annoyed at the interruption from the serene blackness.

"Oh thank God." said Carson. "You have to try and stay awake, Colonel."

"Okay, sorry about that." he said. "I guess I'll run a systems check while I'm awake." His true purpose though was to keep himself awake. After a few minutes of checking and rechecking the system, he finally signaled the jumper. "Umm…Houston we have a problem"

"What is it?" asked Rodney.

"I just finished the check and my power levels are steadily decreasing."

"Bloody hell" said Carson.

"Are you sure? I mean you hit your head pretty hard. You could've…you know… missed something." said Rodney.

"You're not talking to an idiot. I double checked it before I even contacted you."

"How long do you have till power fails completely?" asked Rodney.

"With all of the power focused on keeping the cockpit shield running…about an hour, if I keep life support on even less."

"Divert all of your power to the shields."

"You know I never would have figured that out on my own if it weren't for your genius. Then again I would never be in this predicament either." he snapped. Right when the words left his mouth he mentally kicked himself. "I'm sorry, Rodney. I didn't mean it. It's just the headache talking."

"No you're right." Rodney answered under his breath so quietly that it wasn't heard.

SG SG SG SG SG SG

Rodney was hurrying after the ever elusive lieutenant colonel. "Come on, Sheppard! It's just a little recon mission!" he called after the man.

John hoped that if he kept on walking he would lose the pestering physicist, but unfortunately for his part Rodney was an extremely stubborn man. He finally stopped after a few minutes of continuous begging. "I don't think it's a good idea."

"Why not, you've flown one before. It should be a piece of cake."

John stopped and turned around to face him "I just think flying into a wraith culling to get intel is a bad idea."

Rodney crossed his arms "Is that the reason, or is it that I thought of it before you?"

John hesitated for a brief moment and then answered "No, I just think it's reckless."

"Don't try and pull that card out now, colonel. As I recall you flew a jumper armed with a nuke into a wraith hive ship, you flew with no navigational computer after a virus infested F-302 towards a star, and you went after an insane female wraith alone." he said while ticking each one off on his fingers. "That's just this year alone." He then went into a thoughtful pose. "Or…maybe that's a different John Sheppard I know."

John raised his eyebrows, surprised that Rodney could recall those incidents. "Those were completely different situations."

"And so is this. All you have to do is fly around and intercept any transmissions."

John thought for a moment. "I still don't think it's a good idea…and you have to run it by Elizabeth first." He added in real quick. Crossing his fingers behind his back, he hoped she would say 'no'.

"Actually I already mentioned it to Elizabeth and Colonel Caldwell. Caldwell actually liked the idea and talked Elizabeth into agreeing."

"Of course he would." muttered John.

"What was that?"

"Nothing…nothing."

"So all you have to do is agree and we'll prep for departure."

"Fine, I'll do it, but for the record I still think it's a bad idea."

"Fine, your opinion is dually noted. Now suit up we'll be leaving in a hour." he said and turned away smiling like a kid who just got his own way, which he definitely did.

SG SG SG SG SG SG

Rodney came back to the present when he heard John's voice on the radio, slightly raised in panic. "Guys we have another problem."

"Wh…what is it?" he asked.

"The ship's leaking. I didn't notice it until the water was up to my ankles."

"Do you know where the leak is comin' from?" asked Carson.

"I've already looked, I can't find it."

"Oh crap."

"No shit."

Carson leaned towards Rodney, covering the microphone with his hand so John couldn't hear them. "Are you sure we can't get him out? I mean there has to be another way instead of sittin' around waitin' for the Daedalus."

Rodney sighed. "No Carson. There's nothing we can do."

SG SG SG SG SG SG

Carson watched helplessly in the cloaked puddle jumper as John tried to dodge the other wraith darts homing in on his position. He watched in minor fascination at the colonel's skill behind the stick as he weaved gracefully through the swarm of darts. After shooting a few of them down the rear end of the dart was hit and it ignited in flames. The dart was still maneuvering with ease until it was hit a second time. He watched as it seemed to plummet directly towards the now empty village. Thankfully for Sheppard's sake it missed the village and plunged in the large lake located just east of the village.

"Colonel?" called Rodney. There was no answer "Colonel Sheppard? John?" All that could be heard was static. Rodney looked at Carson sitting in the pilot's seat "We have to call Atlantis and get Elizabeth to send the Daedalus."

"Can't we just get him out ourselves?" asked Carson.

"Exactly how, Carson? I don't know about you but last time I checked I didn't see any Asgard beaming technology in here?" he snapped.

Carson turned the jumper around and headed for the stargate. Luckily it was disengaged and the wraith were already leaving their culling behind. Rodney dialed Atlantis and when the giant splash settled down he keyed the radio. "Atlantis, this jumper one we have a medical emergency!"

"What is it jumper one?" came Elizabeth's calm voice on the radio.

"Dart one was shot down and it's at the bottom of a lake. We need the Daedalus to beam Sheppard out."

"It's on its way." said Elizabeth. "We'll contact you with its ETA, Atlantis out."

Rodney disengaged the stargate and Carson flew the jumper back to the crash site and hovered, waiting for a rescue.

SG SG SG SG SG SG

Beckett shook his head to drive away the memory. "How long until the Daedalus arrives?"

"Not soon enough." answered Rodney.

"How long?" he repeated.

"Two hours."

"The colonel doesn't have that long!" he hollered.

"You think I don't know that!" Rodney yelled. "I want him out of that dart just as much as you!"

Carson sighed in frustration. He then switched the radio on. "Colonel, how're you doin'?" For a moment there was only static. Then a faint moan was heard.

"It's…startin' to…get…a lil'…cold…in here…doc." he said through chattering teeth.

Beckett covered his microphone again. "Bugger, hypothermia is startin' to set in. He doesn't have much longer." he mumbled. He put his hand down and turned his attention back to his now future patient. "How high is the water level?"

"'bout…chest." he slurred.

Carson shook his head. "I want you to pull you knees up to your chest to keep your body heat from escapin'."

"I'm…already…doin'…" he answered weakly. Then there was silence.

"John!" yelled Carson and Rodney in unison. There was no answer. They both looked at each other fear etched on their faces. Carson finally had the courage to speak "Rodney, we have to get him out now or we're goin' to lose him."

Rodney jumped up from the co-pilot chair and ran to the back of the jumper going through the supplies in the racks. "What depth is the dart at?" he called.

Beckett checked the onboard computer. "About twenty feet."

"Good, good." mumbled Rodney as he started firmly securing the supplies on the racks.

"Why? What are you doing?"

"If he was deeper than thirty then we would have to worry about decompression sickness, but he'll be fine."

"Rodney, what are you doin'?"

Rodney stopped in the middle of working. "I'm trying to get Sheppard out of that dart. What the hell do you think I'm doing?" He then went back to working on a plan to save their friend.

Carson turned back to face the front and checked to see if they were still hovering over the dart's co-ordinates. "John can you hear me?"

"Yeah." came a faint voice.

"How high is the water level now?"

There were a couple of shallow raspy breaths then he spoke. "J…j…jus'…i...inches…ss…ssspace."

Carson spun in his chair, alarmed, and yelled "Rodney!"

"I heard!" he yelled back in the exact panicked tone. He suddenly stopped working, staring at the supplies.

Carson didn't wait. "What is it?"

"When did we get scuba gear?"

"What! Never mind, do you know how to use it?"

"No, you?"

"No."

Rodney punched the wall of the jumper. "Shit! Can something just go right one fucking time?" He then looked at the dive gear again, his eyes staring at the weight belt. Suddenly a really dumb idea struck him. "This is has to be the dumbest idea yet." he mumbled as he grabbed the weight belt and started fastening it to his waist. "Carson, lower the jumper as close to the water as you can and on my mark tell Sheppard to disengage the dart's shield."

"But…"

"Carson just do it!"

Carson decloaked and lowered the jumper, until it was a few feet from the water directly above the dart's position. "Colonel…" he called.

"Yea…"

"Son, I want you to disengage the shield and get ready for a swim, on my mark."

"K…kay…r…readddy."

Carson took a quick glance over his shoulder and saw the rear hatch of the jumper open and Rodney standing on the edge.

Rodney gave Carson a quick smile and yelled "NOW!" Then he jumped in the water letting the weight belt take him downwards to the dart.

"NOW!" yelled Carson over the radio.

John took the deepest breath he could manage and deactivated the shield. He pushed up from the seat and started kicking towards the rippling surface, praying that he had the strength to make it.

Rodney was halfway down to the dart when he noticed John swimming up towards him. Waiting a little bit more, he came level with him. He pulled off the weight belt, letting it sink to the bottom and grabbed John's flight jacket. They both kicked hard to the surface, but about five feet from fresh air John's kicks stopped. Panicking Rodney kicked harder and then broke the surface. He took in a lungful of the best air he's ever breathed in his entire life and was eternally grateful when he heard John coughing and taking great gasps of air causing him to cough more. Rodney craned his neck around and found the jumper a short distance away. He wrapped his arm securely around John's chest and began paddling towards it. When his free arm hit the back hatch of the puddle jumper, Rodney pulled him self up and then hauled John inside. He closed the hatch and ran to the cockpit.

"You have him?" asked Carson.

"Yes…go." gasped Rodney as he tried to catch his breath. He sat in the pilot's chair and aimed the jumper to the stargate.

Carson rushed to John's side and was frightened to see how blue his skin was. He sighed in relief when he found that the colonel had a pulse, though weak, and was breathing. He reached down and gently took the flight helmet off that John was still wearing. Noticing the dent on the side of the helmet where he hit his head during the crash. He then quickly stripped off the flight jacket and the rest of his clothing. Then covered him up in the emergency blankets Rodney brought out in advance. "How long until we get there?" he called out.

"I'm dialing the 'gate now!" Rodney answered.

SG SG SG SG SG SG

Elizabeth Weir sat in her office staring wearily at her laptop. As much as she tried focus on her reports, her mind kept drifting to the rescue mission. She reached for her mug of coffee and took a sip, cringing that it was ice cold. Suddenly there was a knocking. She looked up to see Teyla and Ronon standing hesitantly at her door. Standing up from her desk she motioned them in. "Teyla, Ronon, what can I do for you?"

Ronon looked at Teyla, worry showing in the runner's eyes. Teyla met his gaze and nodded. Then she looked back at Elizabeth. "We were curious about the progress of the rescue mission." she said.

"The Daedalus should be there in an hour."

Teyla gave Elizabeth a small smile. "Thank you, Dr. Weir." she said and they turned to leave her office. Before Teyla stepped out she turned back and said "Do not worry, everything will turn out fine."

Elizabeth smiled at the Athosian slightly surprised. "Funny, I thought I would be the one telling you that."

Teyla's smile grew and she left. When she met Ronon at the transporter the gateroom claxon blared to life. "We have an unscheduled offworld activation." announced the young Canadian sergeant that took over Grodin's position during the siege against the wraith.

Ronon looked down at Teyla. "Maybe it's them." he said hopefully.

"Maybe." she said and they both walked over to the railing to watch and wait.

Elizabeth rushed out of her office to stand beside the sergeant. "Who is it? Have they sent a signal through yet?"

The sergeant never responded because a panicked voice of none other than Rodney McKay pierced through the silence. "Atlantis, this is McKay. We have Sheppard. Have a medical team waiting for us in the jumper bay."

Before Elizabeth could even give the order to shut the shield down, the sergeant had it deactivated and the puddle jumper was emerging from the event horizon. When it began rising towards the bay, Elizabeth was already in a transporter with Teyla and Ronon.

When the three made it to the bay all they saw was a crowd of medical personnel gently lifting a limp form, no doubt Sheppard, onto a gurney. Elizabeth gasped as she caught a glimpse of the man. She'd only seen him that blue once and that was when he had lizard like eyes and had her pressed against a wall with his hand around her throat. She shivered as she pushed the memory away and saw Rodney stepping out of the jumper soaking wet and pale. He watched as Carson rushed away with his medical staff looking like a lost and scared child. Elizabeth walked up and placed a hand on his shoulder, jolting him out of his thoughts.

"Rodney, are you okay?" she asked noting how cold he felt and saw him tremble a little.

"Huh, yeah…I'm good." he mumbled.

Elizabeth's mouth twitched in a small grin not surprised in the least at how Sheppard and McKay's attitudes were beginning to rub off on each other. "Let's get you to the infirmary." she said softly and led the three team members.

Elizabeth, Ronon and Teyla watched the still wet and ever pacing Canadian with intent eyes. They all argued with him to get changed or to see one of the medical personnel, but he was adamant on staying. He swore as he stubbed his toe for the fourth time on one of the waiting room chairs and sat down in defeat. They've been waiting for half an hour and there was still no news on Sheppard's condition.

"Did you contact the Daedalus?" asked Rodney.

"It's on its way back." answered Elizabeth, watching as he rubbed his arms attempting to get warm. "Rodney, go get changed and warmed up." she said.

"I'm fine"

For the second time since they've been on Atlantis she had to pull rank, per se. "I'm not asking you Rodney, I'm telling you."

"I don't care." he said. "I'm staying right here until Carson comes out and tells us what's going on."

Teyla reached over and placed a hand on his knee. "We will contact you when we receive any news."

Rodney was saved from furthering the argument when Carson walked in. Everyone stood up waiting for the news, but there attention was diverted when Rodney's knees buckled. Ronon grabbed him before he hit the floor and held on to him, keeping him upright.

"Bloody hell, are you still wearin' those wet clothes?" demanded Carson. When he didn't get a response he motioned for Ronon to guide Rodney to one of the beds. He grabbed some scrubs and placed them on Rodney's lap. "Shower, change, and get right back here. You've just won a free stay for the night."

Rodney didn't even argue and went to the restroom. After a quick shower and change of dry clothes, he plopped back down on the bed and was stuck in the ear with a thermometer. He wrapped his arms around him self still shivering.

"Temperature's 34.8 degrees Celsius." said Carson. "I swear you're bloody daft, Rodney." A nurse came by with several warm blankets and she and Carson wrapped Rodney up in them and had him laying back in the bed. "Later, I'll bring some warm soup for you."

"How's Sheppard?" he asked.

Carson looked in his eyes and then the eyes of the other three, seeing the concern. "His temperature was 29 degrees Celsius when we brought him in. We're rewarmin' him as I speak. He's receivin' warm, humidified air and his blood is circulatin' through a warmin' machine. It's the fastest way raise his temperature with it bein' so low."

"How long should that take?" asked Elizabeth.

"Not long."

"May we see him?" asked Teyla.

"He's still unconscious, so just few minutes."

Everyone moved to the curtained off bed, except Rodney who tried to get out of bed and caught Carson's warning glare. They pushed the curtain aside and were taken aback at the prone form resting in bed. The only visible part of John Sheppard was his head as the rest of him was covered in layers of thick blankets. There were wires and tubes running from various machines disappearing underneath the blankets keeping the pilot alive.

Elizabeth stayed back as Teyla and Ronon stepped forward to check on their leader. Ronon placed a hand on John's leg and Teyla placed her hand on his shoulder. They both gave John words of encouragement and exited the area, each giving Elizabeth a nod or small smile.

Elizabeth looked at the sleeping man. A comfort washed over her as she heard the steady beep of the heart monitor telling her that he was still alive. She walked over and saw his face up close for the first time since he returned. Most of it was obscured by the oxygen mask, but the part that was showing was extremely pale. She pulled up a chair and sat down beside his bed. She unconsciously began stroking his hair which was resting flat to his head unlike its usual unruliness. She heard a soft moan and saw his eyelids begin to flutter. "Come on, John. Wake up." she encouraged quietly. He let out another moan and settled back down in the bed without any intention of waking. Elizabeth sighed and stood up, resisting the urge to kiss him on the forehead. She left the infirmary glancing over her shoulder at John once more and went back to work.

Elizabeth was startled from her sleep by the radio crackling on her nightstand. She placed it in her ear and heard Carson's voice. "Elizabeth, I need you in the infirmary now!"

She jumped out of the bed still clad in her night clothes and ran to the infirmary. She skidded to a halt inside the infirmary to see Carson, Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon staring at her. "What is it, Carson? Is there something wrong with Sheppard?" she asked.

"He's dead, Elizabeth." stated Carson in a usual flat tone.

She stumbled backwards as the words hit her like a physical blow. "Wh…what happened?"

Rodney stepped forward. "What does it matter, he's dead because of you."

"What?"

"If it weren't for you approving the mission, than Colonel Sheppard would still be alive." sneered Teyla.

"If I knew this was going to happen then I wouldn't have sent him on that mission. You all know that." she said in defense.

"You knew it was reckless…" snarled Ronon "But you let him go anyway."

"I thought you cared about him Elizabeth." said Rodney. "I guess not as much as we all thought."

She stared in disbelief at the accusations. Tears started falling down her face. "I do care about him." She added in her mind 'More than you would ever know'

All four stepped towards her and said in unison "This is your fault." Elizabeth tried to protest, but she was washed into darkness.

She opened her eyes and was greeted by blackness. She looked around in every direction and found a beam of blue light shining down on a figure laying on the floor. She ran to the figure and saw it was John. He was dressed in his uniform and soaking wet. His face was deathly pale with dark circles under his eyes and his skin was cold to the touch. She checked for a pulse and found it was weak and his breathing was shallow. She sat on the floor holding him in her arms. "John?" she said, hoping to bring him out of unconsciousness. "John?" she said again while shaking him a bit. His eyes fluttered open and met hers.

"Elizabeth?" he whispered.

A single tear fell down her face and he lifted up his hand and wiped away the tear. "I'm so sorry, John. You know I wouldn't have approved the mission if I knew this was going to happen."

His breathing was becoming more laboured by the moment. "I know. It wasn't your fault and I would never blame you." he said. Then his eyes rolled in the back of his head and his entire body went limp.

"John?" she said, shaking him again. She checked his breathing and pulse, but there was nothing. "No" she said "No, this can't happen." She placed him back on the ground and began artificial resuscitation. "After all we've been through you're going to give up now?" She continued to try and bring him back to life until exhaustion set in. She reluctantly stopped and began to sob "I need you! Please don't leave me!"

Elizabeth shot straight up, breathing heavily. She saw that she was in her room and noticed that she was covered in a fine sheen of sweat. Her sheets were sitting on the floor and a cool breeze was coming through the window she always kept open making her shiver. The memories of the dream flooded back and tears began welling in her eyes. She wiped them away and jumped out of bed, grabbing her sweatshirt she always had draped over her desk chair and went straight for the infirmary.

The infirmary was quiet when she entered. The only occupants at the moment were a nurse going through some paperwork at a desk, Rodney who was snoring away, and Sheppard still hidden behind the curtain. Elizabeth got by the nurse without her noticing and went towards the curtain. She entered to see that he was still heavily covered in blankets, but there were fewer tubes and wires and the oxygen mask had been removed. She sat on the chair that was still next to his bed and held his hand with the both of hers. His hand was still cool, but it was a lot warmer than in her nightmare. She then took one hand and ran her fingers down his cheek, smiling that there was more colour to his face. Knowing that he was alive, she leaned back in the chair still holding his hand and fell asleep.

Later on in the night Elizabeth was woken up by a rapid beeping. She opened her eyes and saw John tossing in his sleep and his heart beat was very fast. His brow was furrowed and he was mumbling something incoherent. "John wake up." she said as she stood up and shook his shoulder gently.

His eyes suddenly snapped open and he sat up abruptly in the bed. Elizabeth jumped back, startled at the rapid movement. She watched as his hazel eyes began focusing on his surroundings. Soon they fell upon her. "Liz…beth?" he slurred and winced, placing a hand to his head. His body began leaning dangerously to the side of the bed and she rushed over and caught him before he did a face plant on the infirmary floor. She leaned him back into the pillows and saw that he was beginning to shiver.

"Do you want me to get the nurse?" she asked.

"No, I'm jus' lil' cold." he muttered.

Taking off her sweatshirt to reveal a tank top and her plaid pants, she pulled back his covers and climbed into bed beside him and muttered under her breath "I'm really going to regret this."

"What're you doin'?" he asked not attempting to mask the surprise on his face.

"You said you're cold and the best way to get you warm is to pool our body heat." she stated matter-of-factly as she covered them both up and wrapped her arms around him.

"This feels lil' weird." he mumbled as his eyelids already began to feel heavy as he felt her warmth.

"I won't tell if you won't." she grinned with a twinkle in her eyes that always gave him butterflies in his stomach.

John smiled "Never."

She began rocking him back and forth humming a tune she used to sing to her nieces and nephews when they've had a bad dream. Stroking his hair, she heard a quiet moan.

"Bedside manner…definitely improved." he murmured. Elizabeth just smiled and continued to hum until she felt his breathing even out. She looked down and saw his head cuddled into her shoulder. He looked more like an innocent boy than a hardened military officer. Grinning more, she decided to wait a few more minutes until he was in a deeper sleep to leave, but soon her eyelids became heavy and she fell asleep.

Carson walked into the infirmary early in the morning, whistling happily to him self. He saw the duty nurse sitting at her desk reading a book. "How were our two patients last night?" he asked, startling her.

"Good morning Dr. Beckett." she said as she straightened her uniform. "They haven't made a peep all night."

He arched an eyebrow "Really?" He walked over to check on his patients. Rodney had kicked all of his blankets off and was snoring away as usual. Carson grinned at his friend and guessed he would probably send him on his way today. He then went to the curtained off area where his more troubling patient slept. He grabbed Sheppard's chart and a thermometer so he could check the colonel's temperature. Opening the curtain, his eyes widened and he immediately closed them, hoping that no one saw the two occupants in the bed. He then snuck into the area in a way so that no one could peer inside and walked up to the bed.

The sight before him was not as much as a shock, but just a mere surprise that Atlantis' two leaders would be so open. He knew since the siege against the wraith, Elizabeth and John had grown closer. He just didn't think it was that close. It was almost funny seeing the head of military operations cuddling into the arms of the leader of the expedition. Walking as if on eggshells, Carson snuck up to the monitors and quickly jotted down the required information. He then deftly took the thermometer and placed it in John's ear, praying that it would be fast. When it beeped he rushed out of the area to write down the result on his chart. He looked at the thermometer and it read 37 degrees Celsius. He smiled due to the fact that he could discharge both men from the infirmary today and it would be quiet for once.

Elizabeth kept her eyes closed as she drifted to wakefulness. She suddenly became aware of arms wrapped around her and her arms were wrapped around someone. Slowly she opened her eyes and she saw she was almost nose to nose with John. Curious as to why she was cuddled up to her head of military operations, her memories of the previous night began to surface. She smiled as she felt the warmth of his body instead of the chill he had the previous day. Deciding to get out of bed and out of the infirmary before she got caught, she began to slowly move out of John's embrace as not to wake him. She managed with her one free arm to slide the covers down a bit when she heard a mumble of "Where're you going?"

She turned back to see drowsy hazel eyes watching her. She lay back in the pillow staring into his eyes. "I need to get to work" she answered quietly.

He sighed and closed his eyes. "Mmmkay."

She smiled and climbed out of bed. "Get better John."

He reached out and found her hand giving it a gentle squeeze. "Elizabeth?"

She looked down and locked gazes with him. "Yes?"

"About last night…thanks. I really appreciated you staying." he said and was taken over by a yawn.

Elizabeth smiled. "You're welcome." She gave his hand a final squeeze and then left the infirmary.

John watched her leave, smiling. He moved over to lay in the warm spot where Elizabeth slept and cuddled into the pillow taking in her scent. He would never admit it, but she was his pillar of strength. There were countless times he thought about what he would do if she wasn't around. She seemed to be the only one that helped keep him sane. He yawned again and then drifted off to sleep.

When he woke again, he was greeted with the heavenly smell of breakfast. He opened his eyes and when everything came into focus he saw Rodney sitting up in the adjacent bed inhaling his food like a Hoover vacuum. He shifted in his bed and grunted as his sore muscles protested to the movement. Rodney apparently heard him and turned his head.

"Good morning sleeping beauty." he greeted between mouthfuls of food.

"I don't know what's good about it." grunted John.

"How are you feeling?"

"I was just about to ask him the same question." interrupted Carson as he entered the room.

John shrugged. "I feel fine."

"Good. Well after you eat breakfast you're good to go. You'll be back on duty tomorrow, so today I want you to rest."

"I think I can do that."

"I hope so, I'll get someone to bring you breakfast."

When John finished breakfast, he and Rodney were discharged from the infirmary. They both went their separate ways, Rodney to his lab and John to his quarters to change into some civilian clothing. He slipped into a pair of jeans and a grey t-shirt. While putting on his running shoes, he suddenly sneezed three times. He shook his head and mumbled "What the hell was that?" Thinking nothing of it he went to the recreation room to rummage through the new shipment of DVDs the Daedalus brought. He picked one and relaxed on the couch as the golden yellow opening credits began scrolling on screen.

When the movie was over, he shut everything off thinking 'So that's how Anakin became Darth Vader' He then headed to the mess hall to grab a quick lunch. After lunch he headed back to his quarters to change in his athletic clothes for a quick run around the city before checking to see how major Lorne was handling things. When he entered his quarters a sudden wave of dizziness overwhelmed him, but it quickly passed. He flopped down on his bed suddenly feeling extremely tired. Not even bothering to take off his shoes, he curled up in his bed and fell into a restless sleep.

The first thing John felt when waking was cold. He heard the all too familiar and annoying beeping of a heart monitor. He opened his eyes and was greeted with deep green eyes full of concern. "Hey." he rasped. A straw was pressed against his lips and he took a sip of water, cherishing the cool liquid as it soothed his throat. "What happened?"

"When you didn't arrive for the briefing this morning, we went to investigate and found you passed out in your room, running a high fever." answered Elizabeth. She reached for his forehead and removed a damp cloth. She put it in a basin on the side table of the infirmary bed and wrung it out, placing it back on his forehead.

"How long was I out?"

"About twelve hours."

"Elizabeth!" scolded Carson as he approached the bed, startling her and John. "What the bloody hell are you doin' here? I told you to leave an hour ago. You don't want riskin' gettin' sick yourself do you?"

Looking like a child getting reprimanded, she said "I'm sorry Carson."

Carson sighed. "It's alright, luv. I shouldn't have snapped." He then turned his attention to John. "How are you feelin', Colonel?"

"I feel like crap, doc. How are you?" he responded.

Carson frowned at him and then at Elizabeth who was barely able to suppress a giggle. "Don't encourage him."

John just grinned and then his body shook as he had a coughing fit. When he finished he laid back in the pillow, exhausted. His face suddenly grew serious. "What's the verdict?"

"You have the flu, Colonel."

"How?"

"You're body went through quite a shock and became more susceptible to viruses. So you get to stay with us for awhile." He then locked eyes with Elizabeth. "And I don't want to see you in here for a couple of days until he gets better, missy."

Elizabeth nodded. "Yes, sir." she said like a soldier.

Carson grinned. "I'll be back in a bit to check on you, Colonel." He patted John on the leg and left.

Elizabeth looked down at the ailing pilot, staring into his red rimmed eyes. "You get better, John."

He held her hand and gave her his trademark lopsided grin. "I'll be up and bugging you in no time." Elizabeth smiled back and walked out of the infirmary. He watched her leave and sighed. Closing his eyes, he suddenly realized how tired he was. Then he drifted off.

He awoke to hear voices. One was Carson and the other was a different one he hadn't heard before. The stranger's voice was a man that sounded like his nose was plugged. Opening his eyes he saw Carson glowering at a man in the bed beside his. His eyes focused more and then he followed Carson's gaze to see Rodney dressed in scrubs, covered up with blankets and with a tissue box on his lap. Feeling too weak to laugh out loud he just smiled.

"Why do I have to get sick now?" whined Rodney.

Carson sighed. "Because you also suffered hypothermia and weakened your immune system."

"This is all Sheppard's fault." he grumbled.

Carson arched an eyebrow questioningly. "How do you figure that?"

He waved a hand towards John unaware that he was awake. "Well if Colonel Crash-a-lot didn't do a nose dive into the lake then I wouldn't be sick."

Carson crossed his arms. "So, you would've wanted him to hit the village and die?"

Rodney looked surprised and slightly hurt at the statement. "No that's not what I meant. Why would you think that?"

"Well, you're blamin' him for something that was completely out of his control." Rodney went to open his mouth, but Carson raised a hand. "And you were the one that jumped in the water after him saying that it was a dumb idea." Rodney just sat on the bed playing with a tissue in his hand.

John smiled at Carson's comment and decided to let his presence be known. "It may have been dumb, but I'm glad you did it." he said, startling the two men.

"Ach, good mornin' Colonel" smiled Carson.

John raised his eyebrows. "Morning? How long was I out?"

"Twenty four hours." answered Rodney and then sneezed.

John starting coughing and then was able to choke out "Wow. I guess I am sick." He then sneezed and Rodney tossed him his tissue box. "Thanks."

"No need to…" Rodney coughed. "…thank me." He then looked at his hands, his face downcast. "I was the one that got you in this mess in the first place."

John nodded. "True…but I did agree to go on the mission."

"Yeah, after I bugged the hell out of you."

"I could've said no."

Rodney snorted. "No you couldn't."

"On the contrary to popular belief McKay, it is possible to say no to you." grinned John.

Rodney returned the grin and suddenly they both sneezed at the same time. Carson laughed and said "Great minds do think alike." He then left after receiving glares from two very sick and very unimpressed men.

Several days later, Elizabeth entered Carson's office. "So how are our boys?"

Carson looked up from his laptop. "I'll release them to their quarters tomorrow, where they'll finish recuperatin'."

"They're driving you that crazy?"

Carson chuckled. "You don't know the half of it, luv. I have Rodney whining every five minutes about his symptoms and Col. Sheppard is constantly buggin' me about when he will be released from the infirmary."

Elizabeth laughed and then settled down when she saw Carson's glare. "I'm sorry Carson. It's just funny to think that they're Atlantis' leading scientist and military commander after how you described the way they're acting."

Carson's glare softened. "Aye, right now they're both children." He then saw her looking over her shoulder to where the two men were resting. "They're not contagious anymore. You can go check on them if you'd like?"

She turned back. "No that's okay. I just wanted an update on their condition."

Carson looked at her skeptically. "You could have asked me that over the radio, luv." When he didn't get an answer he added. "I'm goin' to check on them right now anyways. Why don't you join me?"

She checked her watch. "I think I can spare a few minutes."

As they walked over to the makeshift quarantined area the congested voices of two bickering men were heard.

"Oh please, don't even try and justify that movie." said Rodney.

"Why? It's a good movie." said John.

"The whole concept of the movie isn't physically sound."

"It's just a movie, Rodney. You know…a source of entertainment?"

"I do know what a movie is, Colonel. I just like to watch ones that have true physics in it."

"What like Star Trek?"

Elizabeth gave Carson a confused look and he chuckled. "Col. Sheppard has been tryin' to talk Rodney into watchin' Back to the Future for the past fifteen minutes." he explained. When they reached the curtained doorway he added "Just one more thin', they're receiving antibiotics and their a little dopey."

"Beckett called you Dopey." Rodney said pointing at John and giggling. He then sneezed.

"You know what Sneezy? I prefer the news not the weather." retorted John as he wiped pretend spit off his arm. He looked up and saw Elizabeth and Beckett at the doorway. "Hey Elizabeth." he greeted with a tired smile.

She returned the smile feeling awful that Carson has been dealing with these two in this state for several days. She looked at John and then at Rodney, noticing how red their eyes and noses were. Sitting on the side of John's bed, she felt a hand wrap around hers. Trying to not look in John's red rimmed eyes, she said casually. "Hello you two, how are you feeling?"

"Sick." Rodney said, answering for the both of them.

"Well, Carson says you guys are getting better and should be out soon." she said, seeing John perk up and Rodney sigh in relief. Meeting John's gaze for a second she gave him a warm smile. "Well I need to be getting back to work, you get better now." She squeezed John's hand and left.

John leaned back against the pillow attempting to get comfortable. He realized how quiet it was and looked at Rodney. Rodney was staring right back. "What?"

"You got really quiet all of a sudden" he stated.

"So?"

"She seems to be the only one that can make you quiet. Are you like Bashful around her or something?"

John's face flushed. "No I'm not. Unlike you who gets Bashful around any woman." he retorted.

"I do not!"

"Yeah, right. I've seen it plenty of times, McKay."

"I do not." he mumbled again and snuggled under his covers.

"Grumpy."

"You're Grumpy."

"No, I'm Happy." smiled John. He then yawned. "And Sleepy"

Rodney yawned. "Yeah me too."

They both then looked at each other. "We're missing one." said John.

"You're right"

They both looked at the end of their beds to see Carson still standing there watching the conversation. Looking back at each other, they smiled and yelled "DOC!" Then they started laughing, which soon ended with coughing fits.

Carson rolled his eyes mumbling to himself. "Just one more day."

The End

A/N: I'm not knowledgeable in the medical field at all, so if there's anything wrong please excuse my ignorance.

Don't own Star Wars, Star Trek, Back to the Future, or the seven dwarves.