Disclaimer: SGA isn't mine.

AN: One shot. Rodney/John friendship fic...dose of Carson as well :P Rodney McKay never breaks his promise.


Rodney McKay never breaks his promise.

He wants to break the second, unspoken promise often, but he reigns in his curiosity. Remains true.

They do not talk about the promises--the only mention is reflected in John Sheppard's wide-eyed gaze as he wakes in an infirmary bed once again, anxious eyes roving until they lock onto Rodney's--and then he relaxes.

The promises have not even been mentioned since the first time John was hurt, and Carson said that he'd need surgery, and a desperate John had looked at the faces surrounding him and chosen.

He's never regretted.

"Rodney," he'd whispered, voice laced with pain, and the scientist had leaned close to catch the precious words--secret words--falling from the Major's lips. "When he puts me under…Rodney, sit with me afterwards. In case I say something."

They'd stared for a moment at each other--Rodney wide-eyed, John desperate.

"Of course, John," he'd said. Not bothering to add that that had been his intention all along.

That night, hours later, he'd sat by his friend's side.

John had screamed in his sleep. Screamed the names of people Rodney had never met. Pleaded for an unknown enemy to spare the lives of others. Grieved for lost friends, and cursed against those that held him.

Carson was by their side in an instant, and seeing the situation immediately dismissed the nurse who'd come running as well.

Almost turned Rodney out except for a faint echo of John's words.

They watched him through the night, and in the morning John had woken from nightmares to the two of them slumped in chairs next to his bed, asleep.

He'd closed his eyes in relief and gratitude.

Carson was always careful about the doses of medication he gave John, trying to avoid the Major's violent reaction as much as possible.

And Rodney--Rodney always kept his promise. Always sat there by his side.

And kept the second, unspoken one as well.

He did not ask who these faceless people were. Did not speak of the terror in his friend's voice.

Never questioned, but remained curious…

But once…once, when John tossed and turned on the narrow cot, he called out different names. Familiar names.

Shouted, pleaded with Kolya. Begged for the lives of Drs. McKay and Weir.

And Rodney lowered his head, unable to meet Carson's eyes. Stepped back from his friends bedside with trembling hands and pale face. Watched horrified the tapestry of fear and grief play on John's face.

So he does not break his promise.

Does not ask him about his nightmares.

Each man is entitled to his own fears, and some things are better left unknown.