Author: Blue Shadowdancer

Summary: Rodney wakes up in the infirmary, with no memory of how he got there. Just another day? Not quite...

Disclaimer: Unsurprisingly, I don't own.


"Rodney? Can you hear me?"

He could, just about. He was slowly swimming up to consciousness, his thoughts sluggish and confused. Where am I?

"Rodney, I need you to open your eyes for me. Can you do that?"

Carson's brogue was unmistakable. So, probably the infirmary.

"You sure he can hear us, doc?"

Sheppard was there too? What was going on? He was so tired. It would be nice if they would just go away and let him sleep…

But Beckett seemed to have other ideas. "Rodney, you lazy bugger, open yer eyes!"

"G'way," Rodney muttered, attempting to swat out with one hand. It didn't really work.

There was the sound of movement.

"He's awake!" Yes, I know. Why was Sheppard getting so worked up about it?

"Aye, that he is," Beckett agreed. "And sounding like his usual grumpy self already."

He was in the infirmary, barely conscious, and they were already insulting him?

Galvanised, Rodney finally managed to crack his eyes open. Two blurry faces filled the slice of vision beneath his heavy eyelids. "Be nice to the sick man," he rasped.

"Aye, that's our Rodney."

Beckett sounded unconcerned about the mental trauma he could be causing in his patient. So much for bedside manner. Hadn't that been mentioned at all during Beckett's medical training, or had the man skipped that part of the course?

He was about to voice as much of that aloud as his dry throat would let him, but John leaned forward, and there was real concern in his face. He held out a cup of water, and let Rodney take a couple of small sips. The sandpaper scratching in his throat abated. "How're you feeling, McKay?"

He was feeling groggy, sick, and his head was pounding ferociously, but when he snapped as much, he was surprised to see that the smile on John's face only grew wider. "You sure?" he asked.

Rodney snorted. "Yes, yes, that's all, Colonel. Are you disappointed it's not more than that?"

Beckett, reading Rodney's stats from the machine he had only just noticed that he was hooked up to, chuckled. "Well, your tongue certainly seems undamaged."

John, in contrast, spoke quietly. "You had us worried there."

"I did?" Rodney's forehead creased as he dug through his recent memories, but found none connected to him winding up unconscious in the infirmary. "What happened?"

"You don't remember?"

"No, hence asking that question."

John's eyes briefly clouded. "We were on an exploratory mission to P5M-314. Ring any bells?"

"No." He could sense a drawn-out story coming, and right now he just wanted Sheppard to bring him quickly up to speed, so that he could go back to sleep again. Actually, he'd settle with just going back to sleep again…

"None of that," Cason chided, as his eyes began to droop closed. "I need to check that you're fully functioning. We can leave what happened for another time, if you'd prefer, but what's the last thing you do remember?"

"Umm..." Thinking was making his head hurt. In fact, it was surprisingly difficult. "Zelenka wanted me to approve some completely ridiculous survey project on one of the piers. And I was getting my stuff together for one of Teyla's lets-go-meet-the-neighbours parties." He considered for a moment longer. "Yep, that's all I got. Are you going to go on torturing the poor invalid at your mercy, or are you going to let me sleep?"

Carson smiled ruefully. "Alright, we'll leave you in peace for a bit. Colonel, if you wouldn't mind giving my patient some quiet?"

John protested, but with his eyes already closed, Rodney simply tuned him out. He felt Cason's hand rest comfortably on his shoulder for a moment. He wondered vaguely about what had happened to him, but wasn't really interested. And then a ghost of a memory suddenly swam into his head. His eyes flickered open, to see that Carson was still standing near the bed, looking down at him. "What is it, lad?" he asked.

Rodney's forehead creased into a slight frown as the not-quite-a-memory burrowed upwards through his mind, uncertain of what it meant. "Fishing," he murmured.

"Fishing?" Confusion crossed Carson's face. He reached to adjust Rodney's IV drip.

"Fishing," Rodney confirmed. "Just remembered…" His voice slurred and trailed off as the heaviness of sleep dragged him, unresisting, down into darkness.


The next time he woke up, only Beckett was there. "How are you feeling?" he asked.

Rodney sat up gingerly. He was surprised to find that he didn't actually hurt, but he had the strangest feeling that his brain was filled with a thick fog, and that most of it was temporarily misplaced. "What happened?" he asked.

"You were injured, Rodney. Don't you remember?"

"No, I don't remember," Rodney said. "I don't remember anything about the planet we were supposedly on. P5M-3… 314. I don't even remember that address being in the mission logs!"

"Snappy," Beckett commented, his eyebrows raised slightly. "You were just as bad the last couple of times you were awake."

"What?" That didn't make sense. "I've only been awake once."

Beckett's forehead creased. "You've been awake half a dozen times at least, Rodney, during the past week. Not that each of them lasted very long, I grant you. Don't you remember?"

"What? No, that can't be right." His eyes had widened, and he felt panic beginning to set in, because the only thing he really trusted was himself, and if he couldn't even do that… "I've been here a whole week? Carson, what happened?"

"I'm sure Sheppard will explain everything later. How are you feeling?"

"You've asked me that already," Rodney said, momentarily distracted from the alarming gap in his memories.

"Aye, but you didn't answer me."

"I'm fine, I'm fine," Rodney said quickly, waving his hand to emphasise the point. "Well, as fine as I can be right now, I suppose. But why aren't you answering my questions?"

Beckett's hand rested on his shoulder. "Calm down, lad. I need you to remember for yourself what happened."


"It'll be better that way, trust me on that."

One of the monitors attached to him began to beep softly, recording a sudden blood pressure increase. He was surprised that it wasn't higher than it was. "Dammit, Carson, answer my questions! What's going on?"

"Now, Rodney, calm down," Beckett said firmly, in a tone suited to addressing a naughty child. "Your system has been through a great deal of strain, and I need you to relax, otherwise I'm going to have to sedate you. Understand?"

"Understand?!" Rodney half-spluttered. "You aren't answering my questions, you aren't telling me what's going on or why I'm in here, except that supposedly I'm missing several days worth of memories, and you're expecting me to relax?"


"No! I will not calm down!"


He was all ready to jump out of bed, injury or no injury, and search for someone who would give him some answers, but as if from nowhere, a strong pair of hands was suddenly pressing him back to the bed. "Hold him, Colonel!" Beckett was shouting.

"Sheppard, let go of me!" Rodney commanded, but John's face was grim, and he didn't move. Rodney could feel the drug's effect immediately, as his muscles went limp, and vision spun and disintegrated, leaving only black.


He was allowed his tablet computer in the infirmary with him.

It actually surprised him that Beckett hadn't even argued. In fact, he had had the tablet ready on his desk, just waiting for Rodney to request it. He seized it with glee and had it booted up almost immediately, and then spent thirty seconds just staring at the desktop wallpaper in consternation.

He couldn't remember what it was that he had been working on.

John was sitting by his bed reading, and he looked up at Rodney's unnatural stillness. "What's up, McKay?"

"Nothing," Rodney said quickly. Both Beckett and Sheppard were being almost unnaturally patient with him, but they still refused to tell him what had happened, saying that it would be better for his recovery if he remembered it himself. From their tone, he wasn't certain that he would want to remember. And right now, he certainly didn't want either of them to realise that here was yet another thing he couldn't get his mind to focus on.

"I'm just running some diagnostics on the city's systems," he said instead, and began to open several programs. This was the point at which John would usually stare blankly at the screen for a couple of seconds, and then leave the scientist to it. But this time, possibly out of companionship, John actually put his book down and scooted his chair around so that he could see the data.

"So what're you doing?" he asked, sounding genuinely interested.

Rodney stared at him suspiciously. "Running diagnostics. I just said. Would you like me to call Carson over to check your ears?"

"No," John clarified patiently. "I meant, what specifically? Talk me through it."

The sceptical look didn't leave Rodney's face. "You're suddenly interested in science?"

John shrugged. "I've been meaning to ask for a while. Strikes me that I should know a bit more about this city, in case we have any more problems with it." He leaned back in his chair, and joined his hands behind his head, in a languid gesture suggesting that he wasn't going anywhere.

"You're serious?" Rodney asked cautiously, trying to probe John's words for any possible trap that could later be used against him.

"Sure I'm serious. It's you that always complains that we military aren't good for anything when there's a problem that needs 'brains' to fix." He used his fingers to quote 'brains', and then returned them back to behind his head.

"Well…" Still looking for a catch, Rodney tilted the screen so that John could see the interface to the city's power system. "Ok, so these values here are the most important ones, and they tell you…"


He dreamt he heard unfamiliar voices above him, arguing.

"No, you idiot, that dose is too strong!"

"It's what you told me…"

"..he'll never…"

"What if they…"


"…don't wake him…"


"How are you feeling today?"

Rodney frowned. "You always ask me that."

"Aye, well, that does happen to be my job. You sound a wee bit grumpy this morning."

"Yeah, well, I guess I'm fed up of being here. Can I really not get up yet?"

Beckett gave him a smile keyed to be reassuring. "You have to give it time, Rodney. You were pretty badly injured, you know, with very serious internal bleeding. I'll need to keep you in here for at least several more days to monitor your progress, but I'm sure Colonel Sheppard'll be along soon to keep you company. Not that I know how he manages to put up with you for as long as he does!" He grinned.

Rodney frowned irritably, not in the mood for jokes, especially not ones directed at him. "And that's another thing. Why does no one else ever visit me? It's always just you and Sheppard. What about Ronon and Teyla, and…" there was another name, but somehow the one he found uppermost in his mind seemed to be wrong. He went with it anyway, in lieu of any other options. "And Elizabeth?"

"Rodney," Beckett said kindly and patiently, "We've been over this. Elizabeth is currently busy off world negotiating a trade agreement, and Ronon and Teyla have been borrowed by Lorne for exploration of P6Y-592. His team found the remains of what looks like an Ancient outpost. Hurry up and get yourself better, and you can go and join them. I'm sure they could use your help in translation."

He was about to ask why Sheppard wasn't with them, but then remembered every other time that they had encountered Ancient ruins, and decided that the question was pointless. Archaeology had never been one of the Colonel's particular interests.

Rodney stared at Beckett as he made notes of the output from the monitors hooked up to his arm and chest. Whenever he looked at the doctor, he had the strangest feeling that he was missing something incredibly obvious, that he ought to know. A question he badly wanted to ask, but didn't know what any of the words were. Whatever drugs were in his system completely neutralised any pain, but also gave him a head thick with cotton wool, and he keenly felt the slowness of his thoughts, barely crawling along compared to the speeds he was accustomed to.

"What's on your mind?" Beckett asked. Rodney's forehead was furrowed with the effort of reaching for the thought which kept slipping away, like… a fish.


"Fish?" The single word sounded like an even more ridiculous statement when repeated in Carson's Scottish accent, but Rodney persevered.

"I keep thinking of fish. Or fishing. I don't know why."

The idea seemed to give as much confusion to Beckett as it did to Rodney. "You want to go fishing? I wouldn't have put you down for that sort of person."

"No. No, I'd hate to go fishing. I can't think of anything more boring, and I hate the outdoors."

"Aye, I've never seen the attraction in it myself."

"Sport of kings, though, isn't it?" He frowned again as the words left his mouth, not sure where they had come from.

Beckett looked even more confused. "I thought you just said that you didn't like it?"

"I don't. I think I heard that somewhere… someone said it to me."

"Aye, well, I don't think it's anything to concern yourself with." Beckett waved his hand dismissively. "You just worry about getting your strength back. I've got your computer here if you want to spend all day tapping away at that bloody thing again."

Sheppard entered, and the words right on cue leapt unbidden into Rodney's head. "Colonel!" Beckett greeted him heartily. "Here to get some more learning into that skull o'yours?"

"You got it, doc," John confirmed, settling himself down into his usual chair. "We're looking at the Stargate today, security protocols and fun stuff like that."

"Yes, well," Rodney said, a bite of sarcasm tinting his voice, "I think that 'we' have a lot of 'fun stuff like that' to cover, and it takes me five times as long when I'm having to explain every step to you, so shall we get started?"

"Fine by me," John drawled, leaning back into his now-familiar 'learning' posture.



"Huh?" His head jerked up, and he stared at John.

"You've stopped."

Rodney's eyes were again fixed to his tablet. His voice was strained when he spoke. "There's data missing."

"Are you sure?" John asked cautiously.

"Of course I'm sure!" Rodney snapped. "I've been taking you through checks I'm running on the protocols we already have in place, and I just tried to access a part of the database we haven't translated yet, and there's nothing there! It's like it's just all been erased!"

John was showing a disturbing lack of worry. "Colonel, this is serious! All the knowledge in the database – it can't have just vanished! Give me your radio, I need to talk to Zelenka."

"The doc said you weren't allowed a radio."

"Do you think I care right now? Something is seriously wrong, can't you understand that?" It was as if the floor had suddenly crumpled away under him, leaving him teetering on a narrow ledge above an abyss. The database was vital. The computer systems and the information contained was their only chance against the Wraith, whatever the military's high opinion of itself might be, and it was what they depended on absolutely to keep the city safe. If it had suddenly started forbidding access to itself… or worse, if something was erasing it, then all that would be lost… And John still hadn't moved! He wasn't even wearing his radio!

"I don't think you understand the urgency of the situation!" His voice was approaching a shout, but he had never been one to care how audible he was, or how much of a disturbance he might cause. "I'm not just going to sit here doing nothing!"

"McKay, you're in the infirmary. There's nothing you can do. Are you sure there isn't just a glitch with your computer?"

"Perfectly sure, thank you for that valid insight." He pulled the monitoring leads from his chest and yanked the IV needle from his hand, feeling the sharp sting as it left the vein. The machines began to bleep in alarm at his apparent sudden death, but he ignored them as he pulled the blanket away and swung his bare feet down to meet the floor. John was rising with a look of consternation, suddenly realising what he was doing.


"Rodney! Where in god's name do you think you're going?" Beckett had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and he looked considerably displeased.

"I need to get to my lab." He didn't bother explaining.

"Oh no, you're not going anywhere. Colonel, help me get him back into bed."

Rodney backed against the nearest wall, feeling its surface cold through the thin white scrubs he was wearing, not quite sure what was going on, but knowing, against reason, that he really shouldn't get back into the bed. "What's wrong with me?" he asked instead, violently. "I don't feel injured at all. Shouldn't I be in some pain or something, now I'm not having the meds pumped into me?"

"The ones in your system haven't worn off yet," Carson said calmly, as if addressing a stubborn child. "And believe me, you won't like it when they do. Just get back into bed, and I'll see if I can arrange for Zelenka to come and visit you, if there's something you're worried about."

Rodney's voice tremoured on the edge of breaking into hysterical laughter. "There're plenty of things I'm worried about! Starting with why neither of you will answer any of my questions, and keep saying either that you'll tell me later, or that you've already told me, but I've forgotten!"

"Rodney – " Beckett began, but was cut off almost instantly.

"No! Something's definitely not right here, and if you don't tell me right away, I'll…" His voice suddenly dropped and died away.

"McKay?" Sheppard sounded uncertain, an emotion that had never sat well on him.

"Fishing," Rodney muttered, with terrible certainty. "We were going to go fishing."

"Me?" John asked, looking confused.

"No. Not you. Me and Carson. We were supposed to go fishing together."

Beckett had something in his expression which Rodney couldn't read. "Didn't we talk about this earlier?"

"You aren't Carson," Rodney said slowly and heavily, with terrible finality. "Carson's dead."

"Dead? Well, I like that! Who do you think's standing right in front of you, then?"

He could do nothing except carry on talking. Thoughts, images, more than there had been for days, were rising up through his mind, and it was as if he had no choice but to let them out. "I don't know who you are. But you aren't Carson. He died in an explosion, because we didn't go fishing together and so he was still in Atlantis when it happened. And Elizabeth isn't too busy to see me. She's dead too. The Replicators killed her. Carter's in charge of Atlantis now." The clouds in his brain was dissolving, leaving clarity. Clarity that, right now, he hated, because of what it was bringing with it. The memories. The emotions.

The two men had stopped moving, seemingly considering their next course of action.

"You aren't Carson," Rodney said again, feeling the words like lead in his chest, because his eyes were telling him that Carson was standing in front of him, alive, but his brain was telling him otherwise. And he had learnt to trust his brain. His eyes had deceived him before now, especially here in the Pegasus galaxy. That was not Carson.

"Rodney, calm down," Not-Carson was saying, but he didn't listen to the words. Just to the accent, which suddenly didn't sound nearly as Scottish anymore, now that he actually wanted to see and hear what was real.

"And you probably aren't Sheppard either. What's going on? This isn't Atlantis, is it? Where am I?"

Not-Sheppard's mouth suddenly twisted into a leering grin. "McKay, you don't look so hot. Maybe you should lie down."

And Not-Carson was approaching him, with a cold look on his face. Carson had never looked cold. It was a facial expression he had just not been capable of.

Rodney tried to back away, but the wall he was pressed against prevented that, and there was nothing in arms' reach which he could use as a weapon. Instead he raised his shaking fists defensively, and a wave of dizziness suddenly swayed through him. He felt his legs begin to buckle and despite his efforts to remain upright he slid down the wall to land on the floor with his knees bent up in front of him, forearms still raised, protecting his face. "You aren't real!" he shouted desperately. "None of this is real!"

"Rodney, what are you talking about?" But Not-Sheppard knew exactly what he was talking about. He sounded less and less like Sheppard by the second.

"You aren't Sheppard, you aren't Carson, and this isn't Atlantis!" He was still shouting, as if that would ward off the approaching figures. Nausea suddenly flooded him and he squeezed his eyes shut. "THIS ISN'T REAL!"

A faint sound of shouting, muffled by distance or a barrier…

He opened his eyes and found that his surroundings had changed. Or, rather, that the way he was seeing them had changed. There was still the Atlantean infirmary, but it was overlaid onto walls which were bare and dank, reminiscent of a jail cell. What was not there, and what was. And the real Not-Carson and Not-Sheppard were becoming visible beneath the illusions of Carson and Sheppard which still lingered gauzily around them, moving slightly out of step with the more solid bodies underneath, as the effects of the drugs pumping through his veins began to wear off, allowing him to see reality again, instead of merely what he had been expecting to see, his own brain working to betray him. And Not-Carson was pulling something from a holster at his side…

"Help!" Rodney screamed instinctively, regardless of whether or not anyone could hear him. "Help me! HELP! HELP!"

More indistinct shouting reached him from outside, and suddenly the door was sent crashing off its hinges by a well-placed kick from a booted Satedan foot. "He's in here!"

A flash of red light, and another, and suddenly Not-Carson and Not-Sheppard were not anyone anymore, just bodies lying limply on the floor which wavered between being that of the infirmary and that of bare cement, their visages still horribly, horribly like those of his friends.

"McKay," Ronon growled, and then he was striding solidly towards him, stowing his blaster, and stepping through a misty bed as though it wasn't there. Rodney felt rough hands clap down onto his shoulders as he gasped for breath, trying to take everything in. "Buddy. Glad we found you. You ok?"

And then Teyla was there too, and John, looking so exactly like Not-Sheppard that Rodney jerked automatically back as his hand reached down to pull him up.

"Are you injured?" Teyla was asking anxiously, kneeling down and lifting the hand that was still dripping blood from where the IV needle had been ripped out. She pulled a dressing from a pocket of her flak vest. "Doctor McKay?"

But Rodney was staring at John. "Are you – you?"

"Of course I am, buddy. Who else would I be?"

He couldn't think of any way to answer that. Instead he stared at the bodies on the floor. "Who – who are they?"

"They are renegades," Teyla said. "They believed that we should be forced to share the secrets of Atlantis with them, and petitioned the council of this planet for that purpose, but were overruled." She paused, as if wondering how much to tell him. "Four days ago you disappeared, and we have been searching for you since. We were informed that this small settlement we are in would be the most likely area for hiding you, but the door to this room was concealed, and if you had not called out we might not have found you."

Rodney took it in. "What are their names?"

His teammates shared a look that he couldn't read. "Dunno," said Ronon. "Didn't stop to ask them."

"Why do you wish to know their names?" Teyla questioned carefully.

"They were – " Rodney stopped, and swallowed. "Carson's dead."

Now there was definite worry on the faces of the others. John crouched down in front of him. "McKay," he said, slowly and anxiously, "Carson's been dead for months. What did they do to you?"

"I told them… I told them everything! I didn't realise!" The realisation of what he had done while in that strange state of hallucination was dawning on him, while Atlantis and the faces of his friends he had just watched die were still superimposed on his surroundings. He had told Not-Sheppard everything he had asked for, without resistance, or holding anything back, delighted by the uncharacteristic attention. No wonder the man had been so uncharacteristically eager to learn about all of Atlantis's systems and security protocols!

Teyla's cool hand rested against his forehead. "He is feverish. We should get him home quickly."

John hadn't moved, still looking straight at him, his expression unchanging. "McKay. Rodney. Listen to me. What did they do to you? You need to tell us."

"They made me see things," Rodney admitted, shame washing over him at having been taken in as easily as he had been. He couldn't meet John's eyes. "I was drugged. In fact, I still am, because I'm hallucinating that we're in the infirmary in Atlantis, when I know for a fact that we're not. But now I can see the real things too, sort of behind. It's – confusing."

"This looks like it contains drugs to me," Ronon stated, stalking over to the one bed that existed both in Rodney's eyes and in reality, and picking up a trailing IV line. "Surprised you got away."

"Yes, well," Rodney answered snappishly, "I am capable of some things, you know."

The bodies on the floor were still drawing his eyes. John followed his sightline to them, and then back to him. "Who were they?" he asked quietly. And then, realising suddenly, "Who did you think they were?"

"One of them was you," Rodney said bluntly, and saw the Colonel's mouth clench as though he were tasting something bitter. "The other one – was Carson."

"But he's dead."

"I didn't remember that. It must have been the drugs they gave me, they stopped me thinking properly. I thought – I thought he was still alive, and then I began to remember bits of things – that he… isn't…"

It was almost like having to grieve all over again, this finding out for the second time. As if he had gained back his best friend, just to lose him once more. He couldn't express it in words, but from the comforting, real weight of John's hand on his shoulder, he knew that he didn't have to. And John didn't say anything about it either. "Can you walk?" he asked instead.

Rodney did manage to stand, with John's hand a steadying presence on his arm. But the removal of the drug's effects was still making him sick and disorientated, and despite the fact that there must have been nutrients in the IV line, he hadn't eaten proper food for four days… In the brief moment during which he knew he was going to pass out, but was powerless to stop it, he told himself that it wasn't his fault, and that he was entitled to a spell of proper rest…

"McKay?" Sheppard's voice was anxious, slightly slow on the uptake as always. Rodney ignored it. He was quite happy just to let the world dissolve around him and simply fall into nothingness.


"Rodney? Can you hear me?"

He could, just about. He was slowly swimming up to consciousness, his thoughts sluggish and confused. Where am I?

"Rodney, I need you to open your eyes for me. Can you do that?"

Memories surged back into his mind and his eyes snapped open as his body jolted up as though from an electric shock, panic already blossoming. Not again. No, please, please, not again…

Hands caught him. Not Carson's hands. Smaller.

A moment was all that was needed for him to realise that it had been Keller speaking, and her hair which was currently brushing against the side of his face as she held him firmly down onto the bed.

"Rodney! It's alright, you're safe."

It took a moment for that to register, and then he at last stopped struggling, and looked up. His teammates were pushing themselves up from where they had been lounging on chairs at the foot of his bed around a table. Ronon, John, Teyla, and Sam too. "This is real?" he asked cautiously. Once again, there was an IV line tugging slightly in his hand as he moved it, although the opposite hand this time. He eyed it warily.

"Very real," Sam said, patting his other hand gently, which was bandaged neatly, replacing Teyla's field dressing. Her smile was mirrored in the others' faces, and he wanted, more than anything, to allow himself to be reassured. But still there was that nagging uncertainty…

"Maybe this'll help," Keller said, as if she had read his mind. She expertly removed the IV, taping a gauze pad down over the wound. "That was just a glucose drip to get your blood sugar levels up, but I don't think you'll need it any longer. How about you try some actual food?"

"You have food?" Rodney asked instantly. He suddenly realised he was starving.

John laughed and clapped him on the shoulder. "It's good to have you back, McKay."

"Yes, well, it's good to be back." But he kept looking around him, not quite able to trust his senses anymore.

Teyla placed her hand gently on his forearm, as if she knew what he was thinking, just as Keller also had seemed to. Perhaps it was contagious. "We are real, and we are not going anywhere."

"I second that," said John. What looked like a card game half-completed was scattered over the table, along with several food wrappers and cups. He gestured to them. "We've got plenty of stuff to occupy ourselves with here. And now that you're awake, we don't even have to keep the noise down anymore."

Keller narrowed her eyes somewhat dangerously at that, and John apparently noticed. "But of course, out of the goodness of our hearts, we will keep the noise down anyway."

She rolled her eyes disbelievingly, and turned back to Rodney. "You'll be out of here in a day or too. But I want you to take it easy for the next week at least – and I'm going to schedule you sessions with Kate too." She patted him lightly on the shoulder. "Get well soon. We've all missed you."

Yes, this really did seem to be Atlantis. And Keller had actually missed him?

There was a look in John's eye which suggested that the two of them had a lot to talk about, probably out on the pier one evening after several beers from John's stash. Rodney, however, ignored that for now. He had just spotted the tray of food on the bedside table, which included one of the largest portions of blue jello he had seen this side of the Milky Way.

All discussions could wait until later. For the moment he could just try to think, It's good to be home, and maybe soon he would be able to accept that that was true.

And he was starving. It would be a shame to let the food go to waste.

Thanks for reading! I really hoped that you enjoyed; please do drop a review to let me know! :) x