Title: Found & Lost (1/1)

Author: Tali

Disclaimer: NOT MINE! I do not own any one or thing you might recognize.

Rating: R - for slash pairing and language

Dedication: This is for Oran's birthday. I hope you like it love... you did ask for angst. Sorry it took so long, I still don't think it's as good as the first. I know the original had an AWESOME ending line, but I can't for the life of me remember it. I suck, but I think this one is MUCH angstier. Also a quick thank you to my BETA Emma with out whom this fic might NEVER have been done, or posted.

Notes: This fic is immediately POST TRINITY.


The first night Rodney didn't come to their bed was the first night since joining up John had been completely unable to sleep. John should have been more suspicious. Of all the people on Atlantis John should have been the one to notice the changes in Rodney. He should have been more concerned, but he let it slip by him and soon days turned into weeks and Rodney never returned.

The shoulders John had once worshiped were now hunched, Rodney had lost a bit of weight and none of his clothes, even his pants which once enhanced John's favorite view of Rodney's pert round ass, no longer fit well. The once bright blue eyes now seemed distant and almost dead. What had to be the most brilliant mind in two galaxies was now second guessing itself at every turn. Rodney now seemed to leave the decision making to Elizabeth or John. He'd give them the options for what could be done, then request they choose what to do. Rodney McKay was broken, and John realized it was his fault. He had broken Rodney, and he had no idea how to put him back together.

More weeks than he'd realized had passed since Rodney had been with John and it became apparent to him that things might be much worse then he originally thought. The insight troubled John and he was quick to gather his team, in hopes of making amends to his lost lover. They'd started to fix things that night, but the habit was apparently hard to break. John found that his well placed words still fell too easily from the tongue. Striking the brilliant man with sniper precision so they caused the worst wounds, wounds that John could and did reopen endlessly. He would put in as much effort as he could to proving he was sorry and then destroy Rodney with a simple shrug and a spite filled sentence. Asking Rodney's forgiveness had never been necessary. Rodney had given it with that small McKay smirk as he'd admitted he couldn't be mad at John for long, but even that stopped after a while and the distance between them grew.

It eventually became too much to bear and John couldn't take any more. Rodney was so distant, so lost to him, John hardly knew where to start. He hadn't had a decent nights sleep since Rodney had left their bed. While Rodney had accepted the apologies of the team, and it appeared people on Atlantis were beginning to treat him better, Rodney was still distant with John. There were walls now around Rodney and they were all intended for one purpose, to keep Colonel John Shepherd out. Rodney often made excuses not to be alone with John, he'd repeatedly left rooms to ensure it. He would flinch when John's touch became anything other than a life saving necessity off world and when they were in the city he made sure they didn't so much as brush against one another. John finally decided he had to fix this before he lost Rodney forever. It hurt him just to watch what Rodney had become.

John had taken even longer to wrestle with his own guilt before he was ready to approach Rodney. He gathered himself and headed for Rodney's room. He moved through the city, thing about the conversation before him. He wasn't sure he was ready for but he knew if he wanted his lover back, there was no choice any more. John should have knocked but then he risked not being permitted in. Instead he let himself into Rodney's quarters and sat at the desk, staring at the bed they once shared. The first place Rodney had allowed John to touch him. The first place Rodney had allowed John to see him with out any clothes. The place John would sit late at night and watch Rodney sleep. Even in his sleep Rodney McKay was a thing of beauty and chaos. He would twitch and mumble things and John, who had no problem watching Rodney during the day, would find himself mesmerized by his amazing lover at night.

The Colonel could hear the shower going and knew Rodney would be out shortly. For a second John wondered if he should have brought some dinner with him, Rodney was easiest to deal with when distracted by food. Shaking his head John decided that no, he wanted all of Rodney's attention for this. When he heard the shower go off John cleared his throat and decided to let Rodney know he was out here not wanting to start off with an irate McKay.

"Rodney, I let myself in… you didn't answer." It was a small fib, and he was sure Rodney wouldn't know so it couldn't hurt. He could hear a scuffle and something drop then his scientist cursing. John couldn't help but smile, it was so familiar.

When Rodney came out he was still wet and wrapped in a towel. "That's fine, I guess." He cleared his throat. Quickly McKay dressed, pulling on his boxers and pants with out dropping his towel then pulled on a soft green t-shirt. "Did you need something Colonel?" He asked chewing his nail.

Sighing John stood up and walk across to Rodney, gently he pulled Rodney's fingers away from his sweet crooked mouth. He was hit with the urge to kiss Rodney, to make it all better. "When did I stop being John to you?" He asked sadly. Shaking his head a little he continued as he saw Rodney's mouth open to answer. "I'm sorry Rodney."

Rodney's mouth snapped shut with an audible click and he shook his head looking confused. "What? You don't have…"

John pressed on, cutting Rodney off. "Yes, I do Rodney. I'm sorry I hurt you. I didn't mean to. I never meant to. Things just got so… out of control." He watched the Canadian closely for any sign he was getting through.

Rodney turned his back on John, putting more distance between them and John rushed to continue sure if he stalled now he would never get the words out, "I love you. I have for so long. I didn't mean the things I said. I just want us back. I miss you. Let's just make this better." Now John waited, he expected so many different things, but Rodney never ever did what John expected.

"WHAT?" Rodney turned back to John his hands raised as if to grab John by the throat and choke him. "You LOVE me? What kind of sick joke is this Shepard?" Rodney fought tears and the nausea rolling in his stomach.

He'd let himself believe once that John cared about him. It was like nothing he'd ever had before, it was all about feeling, not the logic he'd based most of his life one. John got him, or so Rodney had thought until it all went terribly pear shaped. That's when the cuts began to open back up. He'd thought he'd finally won something normal. , something that had nothing to do with how smart he was, or how fast he could figure something out. It was all reycamaraderie, emotion, and touch, it was so different. Rodney had given up on personal relationships years ago. He was not a child who believed in fairytales. He wasn't a silly girl who dreamed of prince charming. He was brilliant, practical, and perfectly happy with one night stands to appease his needs. At least he had been until John came along.

It turned out maybe he did have a knight, although his knight didn't wear shiny armor or ride a white stead. No his knight had wind wild hair, a cocky smile, and quick whit. He was an American Military Fly Boy who Rodney once fancied himself in love with as soon as he'd seen those mischievous hazel eyes.

"Get out." Rodney whispered. He would not give John the chance to see him break again. He would not fall into the same trap twice. He had let himself imagine that he could get things back when John had reached out to him, but John had quickly made it clear that was never really an option. "You had a right to be angry." Rodney told John, letting the other man see how serious his words were. "But you had no right to do what you did. They took their queue from you. Every one knew, if you were that angry… if you could treat me that way, then I must have done something far worse then any of them could imagine. Over and over I came back to you, hoping, waiting, near begging for forgiveness, trying in every way I knew to win your trust back. Looking for just one shred of what you used to feel for me on the surface and each time you kicked me."

Rodney was shaking now with the effort he was making to control his emotions. "You kicked me while I was down and then you took every secret I had ever shared with you and used them against me. It was emotional warfare. I'm so glad you're on our side, because at least the Wraith fight fare. You rip people to shreds using their darkest demons and you take such pleasure in it." The mouth John once worshiped turned sour and grimaced in what could only be described as disgust. "I don't want you any more, Colonel. Just get out." Rodney moved to his door opening it. "Just leave."

John stared in shock at the angry man before him. He'd never seen Rodney like this. He couldn't imagine his Rodney saying those things, being so angry with him. B, but that was the real clincher wasn't it, this wasn't his Rodney any more. He'd destroyed that sweet person. In his place he'd created this cold angry man, and now he was being rejected just as he had rejected Rodney's attempts to make amends. Stepping into the hall John turned back just in time for the doors to seal shut. He put his hand on them, but no matter how he willed it, the doors refused him entrance. John felt empty inside and he shook because he knew now, he'd truly lost Rodney.