Love Me Tender-Tired

Author:  Angelee

Fandom:  Stargate Atlantis

Pairing: Rodney/John

Rating: Adult

Summary:  So tired.  So very tired. 

Beta:  By my sister Anna.  All remaining errors are my own-with apologies.


Love Me Tender-Tired




Rodney wiped the tears coursing down his face.


He really thought he could get the device to work.  He truly did.  And it wasn’t because he was the smartest person in two galaxies, though that was kinda true.


Everyone hated him now.  John had believed in him and John was sort of his friend.   Now he’d lost that too.  And it wasn’t like he had all that many friends to start with.  He couldn’t afford to lose the only one he really had.


He’d apologized for blowing up a universe.  He would be eternally grateful there hadn’t been any sentient beings in it.  The Wraith had pretty much made sure of it.  If there had been, Rodney wouldn’t be able to forgive himself.  Who would willingly blow up a galaxy?   Well, come to think of it, he did know a few people, but they hadn’t been exactly stable.


So, now he sat in an unused portion of Atlantis.  Alone, friendless and extremely sad.  It was his own fault after all.  Rodney thought to himself, pulling on a lose thread on his uniform pants.


Rodney wiped at the tears angrily. He was such a woose.  He didn’t need anyone.  He was Rodney McKay.  The smartest person in two galaxies.  He didn’t need anyone.


Why then did his heart hurt?


John was the only person he let get close.  Not to close, but close enough to where it stung when Sheppard hadn’t let him into his quarters when he’d gone to apologize.


John had never denied him entry before.  But now in the Major’s hazel eyes, Rodney could see he’d let John down too.


That hurt worst of all.  He didn’t care about the funny looks the others were giving him.  He was use to it.  He was after all extremely smart with a supposed ego to match.


Rodney missed John’s quirk humor.  His warmth.  John hated him and Rodney didn’t really blame him.  But then John couldn’t hate him as much as Rodney hated himself.


“What are you doing in here all by yourself?”


Rodney jumped.  “What do you want, Major?”  He asked, uncharitably.  “And how did you find me?”  he asked, turning his face into the dark, so Sheppard couldn’t see he’d been crying.


“Colonel,” John reminded him, sitting next to him on the floor.


“Whatever.  How did you find me?”  Rodney asked again, moving away from Sheppard.


“The city told me,” John replied, moving closer to the skittish scientist.  “The city will pretty much do whatever I ask.  Including telling me where one wayward scientist got to.”


“Figures.  What  do you want, Major?”




“Whatever.  I ask again-what do you want?”  Rodney scooted away from the pilot, sighing when Sheppard scooted right along with him.


“I wanted to see how you were and I didn’t find you in your room.”


“Oh, well as you can see, I’m fine, so you can leave.  And while you at it, tell the city to mind it’s own business.”




“Go away, Major.”




“Whatever.  I say again-go away.”


“I don’t want to.  And besides I brought candy,  John replied, digging into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out a slightly squished Hershey.  He offered it to Rodney.


Who looked at it interestingly for a second before turning his head away. “Don’t want chocolate, Major.”




“Whatever.  I don’t want it.”

John offered it again.  Rodney never turned down chocolate.  He loved chocolate.  Sighing when the scientist shook his head again.  John reached into another pocket.  “Power bar, then?”




“Come on.  I know you haven’t been eating.  Please, Rodney,” John said offering both.  Rodney loved to eat, He’d give in eventually.  At least John hoped so.


“No.  Go away.”




“Please, Major.”




“Whatever.  I want to be alone.  That’s the whole reason I came here.  Please take the hint and-GO AWAY.”


“No.  If you don’t want company, I totally understand.  But I’m not leaving you alone.  I’ll just sit here next to you and not make a sound.  You can completely ignore me if you like.”  John said, placing the candy and the power bar within east reach of the scientist.  Taking a bottle of water out of one of the many handy pockets of his uniform, holding it at the ready.


Silence filled the small room for the longest time.


John hid his smile when Rodney reached out for the power bar.


He knew eventually hunger would win out and Rodney hadn’t been eating right since before the Wraith attack.


The only sound was that of the power bar being opened and Rodney chewing carefully.  When he’d finished it, John offered the bottle of water.


“That was good.  Thank you.”


“You’re welcome.  I believe in you Rodney.  I never stopped.”


The bottle of water never mad it to Rodney’s mouth.  It stopped half way there.  “Really?”


“Yup, I know you really thought you could get the weapon to work.  It wasn’t about your ego or lack there of.”




John offered Rodney the chocolate.  “Your ego’s all for show.  You use it to push people away.  I knew that the moment I laid eyes on you.”


“You did?”  Rodney asked, taking the chocolate bar.


“Yes.  Doesn’t it get lonely pushing people away like that?”


Rodney opened the chocolate, offering half to John.  “Yes.”


“Then why do it?”  John asked, taking it.


“It’s less painful.”


John turned toward Rodney.  Wishing it wasn’t so dark in Rodney’s hidey hole.  “Who burned you, Rodney?  Who hurt you so bad that you think you need to hide?”


Rodney looked out of one of the glass panels to where the twin moons of this world were beginning to rise.  “What makes you think I’ve been hurt?  Or that I’m hiding?”


Sheppard took of his jacket.  It was getting hot in Rodney’s small closet.  “Because you won’t let anyone near.  I’m lucky I got as close as I did.  And someone who had been badly hurt uses a defense mechanism, such as a super ego, to keep from getting hurt again.  To push people away.”


Rodney took a small drink.  “That’s very observant, Major.”


“Colonel.  And I’m a pilot.  Being observant keeps me from running into odd things like mountains, trees, dogs, cat and the like.”


“I see.  Yes, I was hurt and let’s leave it at that.  I’m thinking about going back to Earth.”


Rodney couldn’t have stunned Sheppard more if he had said he was moving to a Hive ship to teach the Wraith how to macramé.  “W…what? W…why?”


“I don’t belong here any more.  The Daedalus leaves for Earth in a week I plan on being on it.”


“But Atlantis needs you,” John whispered hoarsely.  I need you.  He thought to himself, yet unable to voice it.


“No, it doesn’t.  Perhaps Samantha Carter will take my place.  She’s smarter than me anyway.”


“Is that even possible?”


Rodney turned to look at John sharply.  The look was returned steadily.  The pilot meant no insult.


John was trying desperately to ignore the fact that tears were still streaming down Rodney’s face unchecked.  He ached to reach out and wipe them away.  Try and ease the pain his friend was in.


“Yeah, it’s possible.  Unlikely as it may seem.”  Rodney replied, turning to look back at the rising moons.  It really was a pretty sight.  One he was going to miss.


“I’ll miss you.  You’re the smartest man I’ve ever met.  I love brains and beauty in my scientist.”


Rodney snickered slightly.  “Then you’ll love Sam.”


“She’s not my favorite male scientist.’


“Well then, if you are that way inclined, there’s always Daniel Jackson.  I heard he was gay,” Rodney replied, not in the least bothered by what John may have just revealed.


John moved a little closer.  “Naw, really?  I hadn’t heard that.”


Rodney nodded.  That’s what the rumors say.”


“Well, he is kinda cute in a geeky, anthropological sort of way.”


“I suppose.”  Rodney wiped at his eyes.  Finally realizing that he was still crying.  “I’m so tired,” he said softly.


“It’s been a rough few weeks.”


“Yes.  Do you have any more power bars on you?”  John handed him one.  “Thank you,  Rodney said quietly as he opened it.  “I’m going to miss this place.”


“Then don’t go.”


“I don’t belong here any more.  I’m always messing up.”


“Rodney, you really thought you could get the weapon to work and you’re not always messing up.  If it wasn’t for you, Atlantis wouldn’t still be standing.”


“My ego got in the way and a universe died because of it.” 


John accepted the empty wrapper, shoving into his pocket.  “It was already dead.  And it wasn’t your ego.  It was what you thought was a way to fight the Wraith.  It was a gamble well worth taking.”


“Even if I blew up a galaxy?”


“It wasn’t a compete galaxy.”


Rodney gave a shaky laugh.  “Like that matters.  All everyone cares about is that I messed up-again.  Everyone hates me and I can’t say I blame them.”


“I don’t,” John replied, moving just that much closer.  Hoping Rodney wouldn’t shove him away.


“That’s because you don’t know any better.  “I’m so fucking tired,” Rodney whispered, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hands.


“Then rest.  Here, use my as a pillow.”  John, said urging Rodney to lay down.  Not really surprised when the scientist went willingly.  Resting his head wearily against John’s legs.


He hesitantly placed a hand on top of Rodney’s head.  Waiting for a comment that would blister the skin right off his body.  It never came.  After a moment John started stroking Rodney’s baby fine hair.


John smiled when Rodney sighed softly.  The scientist was bone weary.  It came off of him in agonizing waves, the pilot could almost feel.  John didn’t under stand how Rodney had been able to keep going for so long without collapsing.






“Are you taking stimulants?  Did Carson give you something to keep you going?”


“Yes.  I needed to be able to function.  There was a lot of work that need to be done.  Stuff only I could do.  Atlantis needed me.”


John gently caressed Rodney’s hair as he thought abou what the scientist had just admitted.  “You still on them?”


“No.  Carson refused to give me anymore now that the crises have temporarily stopped.  He told me to get sleep. Lots and lots of sleep.”




Rodney turned his head slightly to look up at the pilot.  “You’re not going to kill, main or mutilate him are you?”


“No.  I may just rough him up a bit.  Not to much.  Just so that he won’t be able to lift his beloved pint with his primary hand for a while.  For even giving them to you in the first place.”


Rodney blinked at his with blood-shot eyes for a minute before laying his head back down.  “Oh, well-that’s okay then.”


John fingered a strand of Rodney’s hair between his fingers.  It was like silk.  “Your hair is so soft.”


“Shampoo and conditioner.  I use Suave Orange Smoothie.  Not only does I make your hair soft, it makes it smell great too.”


John chuckled.  “What-doing commercials for Suave now?”


“Yup.  I not only get paid good money.  I get a life-time supple of shampoo, but at the rate I’m losing my hair, my lifetime supply won’t be needed for much longer,” Rodney replied, rubbing his face tiredly against John’s cloth-covered legs.


“Oh, I don’t know, I think you still got plenty.  Rodney?”




“Don’t go.”


“I’m not going anywhere.  I’m rather comfortable at the moment.”


“That’s not what I mean, you nerd,” John tisked at him.  “Don’t leave Atlantis.  Stay.”




John began rubbing Rodney’s broad back with his free hand.  “Because I want you to stay.”


“I don’t know.  That feels goof.”


“I’ll give you a full-fledged massage if you stay.”


Rodney chuckled tiredly.  “A bribe?”


“If you like.  Will you think about it?”


“I suppose.  “I’m not really thinking straight right now, anyway.  Shouldn’t be making any kind of decisions.”


“That’s true.  But now you’ve got a full tummy, a nice comfortable pillow and you can sleep all you want. Make the decision when you’re a little more alert.”


Rodney turned to look up at John again.  “Can’t be to comfortable for you.”


John urged his head back down.  “I’m fine.  As long as you’re okay.  I’ll be just fine.  Close those beautiful blue eyes of yours and count dead Wraith if you like.”


Rodney shuddered. “Okay, now I’m wide awake.”


John chucked.  “Count pretty Taylas then.”


“Much better.  She is very pretty.  John?”


“Yes, Rodney?”


“Did you and Tayla ever…”


“No.  Pretty as she is.  I’ve had my sights on this one blue eyed scientist for awhile now.  Smartest thing in two galaxies.  Or so he keeps telling me.”  John replied, covering Rodney with his jacket.


“Does Radek know you have a thing for him?”


“Heh, funny.  Go to sleep.”


“Yes, Major.”