Written for: Rosie/LFD letfatedecide as part of the Atlantis Basics Challenge

Notes: Takes place early in Season One

Warnings: Swearing

Rosie's request: Anything from season one, especially team!fic. (Ford!)


Ford's fingers grasped at fabric as Sheppard pulled away. Ford froze, afraid that any movement on his part would only make things worse.

"Sir?" he said, keeping his voice purposefully low and even despite the mad beat of his heart. This was bad – the cliff's edge was just in front of Sheppard, and Ford wasn't sure of the stability of the terrain.

Sheppard turned to face him, his back now to the cliff, his heels directly at its edge.

Slowly, Ford held one hand out, motioning the other man forward, toward him.

Sheppard, eyes wide and dilated despite the bright sun overhead, took another step backwards, so Ford dropped his arm. Sheppard's skin was paler than normal, his dark eyes and hair standing out in stark contrast to his ashen skin. Something was seriously wrong; maybe drugs, or who knows what, but the look on Sheppard's face was just – well, he knew the major enough to know that it wasn't Sheppard. He could see sweat beading on the man's forehead, and coming through his shirt. Sheppard's gun and jacket were long-gone, and he thought Teyla might have grabbed them en-route, but he couldn't be sure. She and McKay were somewhere behind him, and he hoped they had his back, because right now, he had eyes only for his commander.

"Major?" he said. He heard something screech nearby – likely some sort of small animal in the woods rear of where he was standing – but he didn't turn.

Sheppard simply stood there, arms at his sides, heels just at the edge of the cliff, sky spreading blue behind him. His eyes moved from Ford, to Teyla and McKay behind him. His hand shook.

Okay, shit. Right. This wasn't good.

"John," Ford said gently, dropping formality in his desperation. He took a careful step forward, right hand out, left holding his weapon against his chest. "Don't."

Sheppard's eyes snapped to meet his. Then he looked over Ford's shoulder, to Teyla and McKay, and his expression changed. He almost looked apologetic.

Before Ford could react, Sheppard had stepped back off the edge and was gone.


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