Rating: R (violence, torture, cursing) Gen.
Summary: Rodney fights back any way he can.
AN: Commentfic written for the sgahcchallenges comment fic exchange. (So not beta read and not as polished as other fics) For x_varda_x who wanted Rodney torture.
Rodney fights when they take him from the cell.
He doesn't mean to, not really. The two guards are as big a buildings and armed, and Rodney knows he doesn't stand a chance of getting away, getting far enough away to last until Ronon and Teyla rescue them. But Sheppard. Sheppard yells when the guards latch on to Rodney's arms. He curses, tells them he's the one they want, the one who knows everything while Rodney knows nothing. A punch, a scuffle, and then the guards shove Sheppard against the far wall and hit him with the shock-probe to the back. The air snaps and sizzles with the smell of burned flesh and Sheppard screams, screams loud, so very, very loud. It sounds like he is dying.
Rodney fights to get back to him.
But the guards pull him back, pull him out of the cell and away, even when Rodney kicks and punches and bites, leaving red half-moon marks on meaty bare arms but little else. He fights when the drag him down the hall. He fights as they shove him into another room.
He fights even when they strap him to the table.
His punches are aborted first. The guards tie down his hands with rough, heavy black rope looped so many times around his palms and wrists that in the dim light it looks like his hands have been severed, his pale fingers left to float uselessly along the table.
Kicking goes next. He gets in a lucky shot, a heel to a guard's throat, but his leg is caught and twisted, and Rodney hears the sickening snap a split second before he registers the pain. It's white hot when it comes, stealing his breath and making the world wash away in gray and white. When he comes to his senses, his legs have been tied like his arms, the right one crooked.
So he uses what he has left, what he's always used best. He yells, curses, spits invectives. He thrashes his head from left to right, working to keep one guard in sight at all times as he tells them how sorry they're going to be, how so very sorry they're going to be, because he's going to get revenge and his friends are going to get revenge and the entire fucking city of the Ancients is going to get revenge because do they know who they killed back there? Do they know?
The gag is dirty and damp and they tie it around his mouth so tight that it draws his lips back into a demented smile. They slam his head down so hard it bounces against the table. Rodney sees stars.
The stars don't even have time to fade from his vision before the torture starts.
Rodney catches sight of a shock probe and that's enough to convince him he doesn't want to see this. He squeezes his eyes shut.
The pain doesn't.
He feels every sizzle to his stomach, every punch to his ribs, every twist of his broken leg, every burn to each finger. Every breath is pain.
He lets the world slip away. Turns it into a different kind of fight.
The void is gray, muffled, pain free. Rodney floats. Resists the world. The torture is not fatal, not yet, but it will be. He knows that. Knows it as well as pi.
"Ronon, get his —"
"Jesus. What did they do to you?"
It's a soft touch, the barest brush against his eyelids that gets him.
"C'mon, buddy. Open your eyes."
He floats, hesitant. There is pain and death on that side. He's sure of it.
Sure of it.
Another touch, his forehead this time, and he's drawn to it. Drawn to the possibilities of it. He hovers on the edge, waiting. Waiting for the old pain, for new pain, for hard fists and cruel implements. Waiting.
He tips over the edge.
It's hard to open his eyes. They feel encrusted — blood, he thinks, or tears. It takes one try, two, then someone wipes gently at them with a cool, wet cloth and it's suddenly easier. The room is dim.
It's still the torture room.
Betrayed! Deceived! He draws back.
The touch is back. So soft. So much softer than the guards had ever… could ever….
He opens his eyes again.
It's Teyla he sees first, her fingers brushing his temples lightly, her expression troubled… then relieved.
"It is good to see you," she says.
Suddenly, a shadow moves to his side and Rodney flinches, sending spikes of pain down his leg, through both hands, down his back. He groans and the pain flares, twists and it feels like a his body is on fire —
A large, cool hand settles on his chest, stilling him. The pain slides away, replaced by a dull, heavy ache.
The shadow resolves into Ronon. Ronon's hand on his chest.
"Hey," he says, glancing at Teyla and then back at Rodney. "Jumper's coming."
Sheppard. He needs to tell them about Sheppard. Sheppard is. . . Sheppard is. . . . Sheppard is. . . .
Sheppard hobbles over from the doorway. He looks haggard and worn but alive. Alivealivealive —
Sheppard's hand rests next to Ronon's.
"One shot of morphine already, buddy, and more's coming as soon as we get you home." He pats Rodney lightly on the chest. "We'll get you home."
Rodney's eyes feel heavy, his body weighed with exhaustion. But he stays awake until the jumper comes. Until he's sure everyone is safe.
Until he doesn't have to fight anymore.