And so another tale of Atlantis and her occupants. Well, two of them anyway.
I did not think I would be writing another story so soon after the White Death stories, but you know what it is like when the plot bunnies bite...very sore actually! This was meant to be a one shot that grew all kinds of limbs and became what is at present a seven chapter story...
This story is sad, I can not hide that fact as it hits you right away in the first chapter. To disclose anything would ruin the story so I ask you to keep an open mind and trust me. It is a major whumper, that's all I can say.
Thanks again to Jbpiggy, my beta with an iron will. An iron will to be able put up with my insane way of writing that is!
I hope you enjoy! And PLEASE comment, I get nervous when there are no comments! *big huge staring eyes looking at you* :D
The sound of groaning metal greeted him as he emerged from dreamless slumber and reality came crushing down. Twisted metal could be seen embedded in trees. Small flames still puttered here and there while smoke rose lazily into air thick with the stench of oil, charred wood and an odour that McKay had become all too familiar with in his time in the Pegasus Galaxy, the coppery tang of blood. Some lights from the panels still flickered in a futile attempt to relay some message to a circuit that no longer functioned, intermittent sparks cascading from control panels.
Panic knotted his stomach as he took in the carnage around him. His body was pinned to the ground by the main bulkhead of the puddlejumper. The shout that erupted from his mouth startled him but not enough to make him stop shouting for someone, anyone, to help him get out from beneath the twisted metal. His voice gave out after what seemed like hours, his throat raw and crying out for water to soothe it.
With his head pounding in time to his heartbeat, Rodney closed his eyes for a brief moment and began to drift in and out of consciousness. He knew this was happening because each time he opened his eyes the shadows had grown longer. One particular shadow caught his attention. It rippled like a stone had been thrown into it.
He tried to focus his concussed brain because he knew that shadows shouldn't do that, and as he looked closer he saw another ripple. Looking up from the puddle he saw an arm. A startlingly familiar arm and as he watched another drop of blood dripped from the fingertips down into what Rodney now knew was a puddle of John Sheppards blood.
He could see him now, thick black hair covered in dust that had helped hide him at first, his head twisted away from Rodney. Laid on his back, legs sprawled with his other arm twisted horribly under the pilots chair, John lay silent as a corpse.
Rodney tried to pry himself out from beneath the hulk of metal, but a fierce ache in his side stopped him instantly. Gasping in torment, having great difficulty drawing each breath in, images of the crash replayed through his mind unbidden.
The wraith dart that had surprised them as soon as they egressed the space gate. The fight that triggered the explosion that sent them spiraling down through the upper atmosphere. Watching it in slow motion in his mind he wondered how the hell he was still alive at all.
As the shadows deepened further he watched as the first stars winked into sight, only putting two and two together after a very long time; the roof was missing. Well not missing as it was pinning him to the deckplates of the Jumper. A canopy of tall trees swayed gently in a warm evening breeze that blew over his face, stirring the lingering traces of smoke within the cockpit.
He looked again towards John. There was so much blood it scared him, gradually bringing him to the only possible conclusion.
The painful thought filled him with a deep sense of foreboding, his chest suddenly felt as if it had been put in a vice and it had nothing to do with the large chunk of metal pinning him down. He began to struggle under the metal as a deep and overriding panic set in, frantically he tried to pull himself free. Claustrophobia made him grunt in fear, but something in his side stopped him moving. Changing the position of his hands on the debris, he encountered a warm slick patch spreading out in pattern from the ache in his side. Not wanting to deal with that at the moment he tried to move his legs up and under the metal beam in order to gain extra leverage. This attempt was in vain as he couldn't see what he was doing and his legs were so cold they were numb.
Huffing in despair he turned to look at his best friend. John Sheppard lay there, the strong arm just out of reach. Mere inches separated them but it might as well have been a galaxy. All Rodney wanted at this moment was to touch his friend and prove his overactive imagination wrong. A simple crash in a puddlejumper could not snuff out the mighty Shep. He cursed aloud at his inability to free himself.
He closed his eyes tight, attempting to force the rising panic and feelings of utter hopelessness from his mind as he knew hysteria would not help him. Tears burned at the corners of his eyes no matter how hard he scrunched them, the attempt to dam the flood in vain as fear and grief took over.
His eyes remained closed for some time as his mind took him back to earlier, sitting in the puddle jumper, facing the active Stargate.
"Ok, systems are go and gate is active. Shall we go join the barn dance?" John said with that stupid cocky smile on his face.
He barked off a snarky return, the last thing he wanted to do was go to an agricultural world and fix their stupid version of a tractor, even if said tractor was as big as a semi and so advanced that it could help farmers in the third world manage larger crops. He just wanted to get into that new box of delights they had found on the last mission a few days ago, and John knew it.
"Come on Rodney, how bad can it be, huh?"
The image of John, his face alive and animated, jolted Rodney from his memory, back to the stark reality of a universe without his best friend. That and a sudden stab of pain from his side. He was almost grateful for the pain as it took his mind from the ache in his heart. He slid a hand under the roof hull plate to touch his side gingerly. He knew the instant his hand came into contact with his side that he was bleeding to death, or would if help didn't arrive soon. He could feel the large jagged piece of metal that was lodged deep within his body and the sluggish flow of blood that seemed to be oozing from the wound.
"Where the hell were your famed flying skills today, Mr Bedhead? You've doomed us both to rot here." The words were out of his mouth before he heard them and the instant wave of guilt would have floored him if he wasn't already laying on his back.
His head would not accept the finality of this existence, this fate, could not accept it. John Sheppard could not be dead. He forced himself to calm and began to speak aloud and tell the Colonel's deaf ears his thoughts. In his ramblings he almost believed that John was sitting beside him, agreeing or disagreeing with a nod or a shake of his head, and this comforted him somewhat.
And so Rodney McKay spoke of their successes, and failures, in order to keep himself sane while he lay dying on a planet far from home.
Thank Jbpiggy for Mr Bedhead, I thought that was funny as lol! TBC!