Rating/genre: T for bad language and violence visited upon poor, unsuspecting tech. Gen... um, angst?
Spoilers: Takes place some time post- Duet and pre-Sunday.
Disclaimer: Other people own them. I am not those people.
Summary: Sometimes first aid isn't about splints and bandages. (Written for the sgaflashfic first aid challenge)
Ronon heard McKay before he saw him.
"Damn natives!" Crash. "Damn planet!" Thunk. "Damn Ancients and their delusions of — " Crash-shatter — "fucking grandeur!"
Ronon paused in the shadow of the doorway and watched McKay, wide-eyed and wild, tear apart the abandoned sub-level lab.
"I hate this!" the scientist screamed to no one, picking up part of a shattered monitor and heaving it at the wall. He turned away before the echoing bangof connection and kicked over a tilting console. "I hate this!"
McKay hadn't acted right since they got back. Too quiet when the doctors were patching him up. Too loud when Beckett refused to release Teyla and Sheppard. Too. . . self-contained, controlled, during the debriefing. It was obvious he was about to blow. Sheppard and Teyla would have noticed — would have been the first to notice — if they hadn't been whisked away to the quiet part of the infirmary to rest.
Still, if he radioed Sheppard now, Ronon knew, he would come. He'd lean against the doorway, arms crossed nonchalantly or hands stuffed casually into the pockets of the BDUs he would have rushed to tug on over his cast. "Hey, buddy," he'd say. "What'd the room ever do to you?" And then the two of them would trade insults and banter until Sheppard talked him down.
"God dammit!" McKay yelled and stomped on a pile of broken control crystals. They creaked and cracked under the pressure, and when they finally snapped into smaller bits, McKay ground them into the floor with the heel of his boot and twisted expression on his face.
If he radioed her, Ronon knew, Teyla would come. She'd move quietly to McKay's side and still his tirade with a hand on his arm. "We are all right," she would say softly. McKay would look pointedly at her singed, bandaged shoulder and open his mouth to protest her statement loudly and with venom, but she would emphasize, "Rodney, we are all right," and mean alive. It would take another moment and then he would deflate, drained of the anger and too tired to protest as she'd lead him away.
There was a loud clang followed by a series of grunts. McKay had taken up a metal bar and was wielding it like a club, battering the broken consoles and equipment and tables and tech with hard, heavy swings. His grip was tight, white-knuckled. A jagged piece of the metal bar must have bitten into his palm because a thin line of blood was trickling between his fingers and down his arm.
Ronon could radio Weir, who would stand in the doorway and reason kindly with McKay until he calmed down. He could call Beckett, who would approach cautiously but unhesitant, distracting McKay by tending to his hand and then walking him to the infirmary where they would talk.
He could call Kate Heightmeyer, who would ask McKay a lot of questions while he destroyed stuff. Or Radek, who would try to argue him out of it. Or Lorne, who would offer to open up the shooting range instead.
"I can't do this anymore," McKay said, grunting the words through clenched teeth as he beat a broken pile of tech. "I. Can't. Do. This."
Then he howled, wordless and furious and so wrong coming from McKay that it raised the tiny hairs on the back of Ronon's neck.
He could've called anyone. Instead, Ronon moved into the room, picked up a stray metal rod in the corner and started beating the largest pile of junk into dust.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw McKay pause for the briefest of seconds, startled by the interruption that wasn't an interruption, before he pushed over a table and began hacking it in two.
They worked together, moving around to break large things into small things and small things into rubble. After a few minutes, by agreement made solely with a flicker of eye contact, they tossed everything in the center of the room where they could destroy it efficiently. Completely.
Fragments flew as they kicked and stomped and beat at the pile. Ronon twice felt the sting of metal or glass against his bare forearm. He saw a slice of crystal cut a jagged line just under McKay's eye. The other man didn't even flinch.
It took an hour to demolish the room.
In the end, they just… stopped.
Panting, McKay surveyed the room. The abandoned lab was now nothing more than four gray walls and a mountain of wreckage. He threw his metal bar on top of the pile of debris.
"Good," he said.
Ronon looked at McKay. Dirt and blood smudged his hands and face. His right pant leg was torn at the knee, his left sleeve torn at the elbow. His breath came in ragged huffs.
He was calm.
Ronon tossed his own metal bar next to McKay's.
"Good," he echoed.