Title: Blood in the Sand

Summary: It didn't take me long to realize what he had said. And know what he meant. I knew what must have happened…what I must have done.

Disclaimer: If I had owned it, Rodney would've gotten hugely pwnful angst hallucinations in this ep like everyone else, plus the gun shot wound. :P I'm just that picky.

Authors Notes: I was so entirely proud of Rodney! I honestly would've written him freaking out a bit more, but in this ep he didn't flip out at all when he got shot! x3 I'm so proud of him! Plus has anyone noticed his now amazing Puddle Jumper skills? I dance! But right, so I wrote this because I thought there was a serious call for this missing scene. I really think they should've shown Sheppard's first reaction to shooting Rodney, plus the fact that wound really looked fatal! .. Oh right, and from the fact Sheppard says at one point "McKay and Kagan are finally out of the woods" I assume it had been fatal-ish for a while…or something. If not, we can pretend… :P Anyways, apology for any speeding, out of character, too dramaticness, the title, or other crappy things I might've done. ..

"Buddy, you might wanna lower your gun?" Ronon stood there, looking as shocked as I felt. The world was back in sharp colors and sounds. The sand was gone, the memories were back and everything was tilted out of proportion. Even I could see the pain and confusion reflected in Ronon's eyes as his gun dropped to his side and I understood it all too well.

"What the hell?" Ronon took in everything, as desperate as I was to make sense of it.

"Yea…I know." And I really did. All at once everything was gone, the desert, the fighting, ripped away in a sea of memories and pain back to the present. Back to this planet. Back to the cave. It took me a while to really grasp that it really was far too late for Holland…That he really was gone and that it had really been too late for him for a long time.

"John." I took in Teyla as she stood beside me. Her relief had vanished, replaced suddenly and urgently with fear. She gasped as she grabbed my sleeve painfully. "Rodney." The word came out in a small gasp, eyes piercing into mine. I felt my breath leave me all at once and I stared at her, memories and confusion gone. No…Something could not have happened to Rodney. But the fear was there, the panic that I never saw in Teyla at the worst of times was written all over her face. Something had happened.

"Where is he?" My voice cut through my own rising panic. Memories of Holland were brought back in force with painful detail, the pain and the rescue that never was, only this time it was for Rodney. A hopeless rescue…this couldn't be a hopeless rescue. He had to be here. He had to be alive.

"Go! He's outside, he was shot." Her grip was getting painful, but my heart leapt back into action and I didn't even remember getting loose. There I was in a moment's time, already sprinting outside the cave, passed the body of Sergeant Braso and out in the open. And I was there, only pausing to take in the man before me, gasping with pain and clutching his side horribly.

"Don't…shoot…please Sheppard…it's me." I could hear his voice shaking, almost incoherent as he lay there, looking at me with pain filled, unfocused eyes. It didn't take me long to realize what he had said. And know what he meant. I knew what must have happened…what I must have done.

"Oh god, Rodney." I dropped to my knees, digging frantically in my vest pocket for something, anything to wrap the wound in. "Move your hand." He didn't seem capable of even doing that much, clinging to his wound instinctively and I grabbed it, suppressing my own panic as I ripped out what little gauze I had left.

He glanced up at me in relief and relaxed his hold. I couldn't hide my own relief that he was responding at all. Blood covered my hands as I pressed down on the wound, trying desperately to get it to stop. It was so close. So close. God, if it had been even a little higher Rodney…he wouldn't even be here.

"B-bastard…you shot me." His voice cracked, but the relief was still there. The snark that I knew so well.

"We're gonna get you out of this Rodney, alright?" I told him and made sure he understood that with a look his way. "We're going to get Carson and get back to Atlantis." I promised him.

"Sheppard." Ronon's voice broke in; eyes looking passed me, fixed on Rodney. I could see the concern. The regret. The guilt that wasn't even his. Teyla was next to him, gasping with pain but eyes still filled with fear.

"Find Carson." I didn't even think about the order as I turned back to McKay, frantically patting my vest for something to help his pain. I could see it reflected in glassy eyes, from the way he gripped my sleeve as if it was the only thing keeping him there.

"GO!" I shot at them angrily when they didn't move.

"John…I will stay with Rodney." No. I turned to her, fear and anger reflecting clearly on my face, but I didn't care.

"I'm not leaving him." I made sure they understood. I made sure they knew that it was my fault and I'd be damned if I'd let him die…let him die because of me.

"John…" I could hear Teyla trying to reach me, as though I was still lost in a different time, different world with another dying friend.

"Teyla, I won't leave him like this. Now go get Carson before-" My voice rose in intensity, panic and anger mounting before Ronon cut in.

"We need to split up. You and I have to look for Becket. Teyla can stay behind." Ronon's voice was unwavering, eyes focused to mine, making it clear I had no choice in the matter. I stopped. My hands still pressing down, my eyes reflecting the guilt and anger I felt. He was right…they…they were right.

Teyla dropped down beside me and I turned to Rodney, trying to force out some words that may be the last I'd ever say to him. This…I couldn't do this. He might die and I wouldn't even be here. I'd been in this position before, but that time had been different. The roles had been reversed. It had been so much easier then. So much less painful.

"I…Rodney…" Nothing came to me. Regrets and memories came back so hard and sharp; so many times I'd taken for granted, so many apologies that had never been made…

"G-go get Carson." His grip was even tighter, shuddering even more intensely as he looked me in the eye. I stared back, seeing the panic and fear, the concern and friendship that had always been there and needing him to understand everything that had never been said. But nothing…nothing really came. All I could do was grin a fake, rakish grin and pat him lightly on the shoulder with my free hand.

"Yea. I'll…I'll see you later Rodney." It was all I could say. An old repeat of a painful memory, of a time so long ago it seemed like forever. Somehow…I hoped he understood. He broke out coughing, gasping and Teyla pushed into my place, telling him words of comfort I didn't even hear.

Then before I knew it I was on my feet, hands covered in blood and eyes fixed on Rodney. I felt Ronon's hand on my shoulder, heard the urgency repeat in Rodney's words. And I had to leave him. One last look, one last chance of an apology, of a thank you or encouragement gone and then I was running; Carson's name being called through a foreign voice as we split off, me jumping over logs and passed trees, just trying to find him in time. Trying not to think about my best friend, bleeding to death on a foreign planet…my bullet stuck through his chest.

The End…

GAH! How horrible that was. x.x It makes me die a little inside. I read through it again and realized not only how it was pretty out of character, but how fast it was. I tend to speed in my stories a bit and I'm terribly sorry for it. Also notice the line he's referring to when saying "See you later Rodney" is from Siege part 2 for those who didn't get that. Please, any revisions, comments or anything would be wonderful. Ah yes, and it seems I always have to add that one line in all my fics. Or at any rate I can at least try…just because I can.

Right, and you'll notice in the scene he finds Carson he's a lot less panicked. My solution: Teyla radioed him telling him Rodney'd be fine…or something. Pretty good loophole there, huh? XP Besides, I'd think it'd be lame if he didn't respond like this in some way at least. O-o