Rating: PG-13 (language)
Word Count: 1,423
Characters: Ronon/John, Teyla, Rodney
Summary: Sheppard recovers from a mission gone bad, and Teyla and Rodney walk into something they shouldn't.
Friendly Bed Hugging
Teyla was the one who walked in first, and had McKay been more than fractions of a second behind her, had she had a moment longer to actually see and process what was there, she would have stopped Rodney before he could come in - and shuffled them both out and back into the hall.
Ronon knows this, because Teyla told him as much.
But she hadn't had more than fractions of a second, and it hadn't been long enough time for her to not only see, but react to, the scene in Sheppard's room, which meant McKay came bursting in behind her. She'd seen enough that she paused, hesitated for a split second, and McKay crashed into the back of her, knocking her forward another two steps.
McKay rubbed his face and murmured something about needing to 'not stop in the middle of halls,' because that was just stupid.
Teyla didn't respond, but Ronon was already turning over, blinking himself awake in a way he refused to think was anything along the lines of 'blearily,' and could see a flash in her eyes that clearly said, 'we're not in a hallway, Rodney.'
That was when his mind caught up with what was happening - damn sleepless nights were slowing him down.
It was also when McKay looked up and actually looked into the room, mouth open, tongue flailing, words suddenly dying in his throat.
Sheppard was on his bed, laying on his back, eyes closed, hair tousled, breathing deep with much needed sleep. His arm was in a sling and his bare chest was wrapped heavily in ace bandages that didn't quite hide all of the dark bruising that leaked out from the edges - and whenever Ronon looked at Sheppard's chest, he saw the Lieutenant flying through the air, heard the full-body thud of him hitting that tree, and the complete and utter stillness of him as he crumpled to the ground.
Not that Teyla or McKay could see him, because Ronon was on Sheppard's bed too. Had been laying on his side, one arm trapped under Sheppard's neck, the other loosely over his hips - lightly, ever so lightly - protecting, guarding, watching. He was shirtless, which was the natural state he was in when he was in Sheppard's bed - not the only state, because more often than not he was pantsless as well, but considering the circumstances, this had not been one of those times - and the bed's thin blanket had only lightly been pulled up to their knees, covering bare feet, and there really wasn't any way you mistook this for some kind of platonic 'friendly bed hugging'.
At least, not in Ronon's book.
Not that he couldn't try it. It might actually work on McKay. Teyla on the other hand... well, he wasn't really worried about her one way or another - already he could see the soft understanding in her eyes, the ever so slight curve of her lips that pulled them into a ghost of a satisfied smile.
She looked almost relieved, of all things.
"What are you doing?"
Sometimes Ronon wondered why everybody thought McKay was so smart. Sure the pudgy little scientist could play with numbers better than anybody else but - well, come on.
Teyla's lips twitched into a full smile at that, warm eyes dancing with amusement as she turned her attention from the bed to the scientist beside her, resting her fingers lightly on his shoulder. "Come, Rodney, I believe it is chocolate pudding day at the cafeteria."
Rodney's eyebrows, scrunched together in something that was akin to confusion - the same look he got when he was doing something 'impossible' and talking to himself - glanced up at her. "Wha- Pudding?"
The distraction didn't work as well as Teyla was hoping.
For a moment McKay looked like he was going to take the bait, head cocked to the side, facial muscles slowly loosening into that pleased little look McKay got whenever he was thinking about good food; and then he tightened back up, shook his head as though throwing the film off his thoughts, and looked back at Sheppard's bed - and Ronon. "No... Wait..." His eyebrows scrunched together again, and Ronon suppressed a growl of frustration. "What's going on?"
Against his chest, Sheppard made a low noise is sleep, a low breathed mutter crossed between a complaining groan and a word, and Ronon fought the instinct to hold him tighter. Sheppard needed the sleep, needed the rest - sure as hell didn't need to deal with McKay walking in on them like this.
"McKay..." Teyla's voice was soft, but persistent, her fingers curling more securely around his shoulder as though to bodily force him to the room, if it came to that.
Rodney paused, head still cocked to the side, face squeezed together in thought, staring hard at Ronon - and, God, you wouldn't think it would be so hard to figure this out, then again this was Rodney, and, well, this was Rodney. "Why are you in Sheppard's be-..."
It was as though actually saying it, flipped a switch in the man's brain, and suddenly his eyes were wide, brows shooting up his forehead, jaw loosening and hang, almost slack, from his head. Slowly, he got control of himself and breathed out an, "Ohh..." of understanding. The silence settled again, and Rodney shifted uncomfortably under the weight of Ronon's stare and Teyla's fingers, but he didn't quite seem ready to leave, why, Ronon had no clue, but he'd rather appreciate if it was sometime soon.
Beside him, Teyla's eyes slid to Ronon quickly and back to Rodney, thin lips still curved into a soft, knowing smile, and finally, finally, she began to pull McKay back. "I do not think this is the appropriate time, Rodney."
For a moment, it looked like Rodney was going to disagree, and then his eyes slid to something just past Ronon's head - the dark bush of Sheppard's tousled head on the pillow next to Ronon's shoulder - and he stopped, mouth shutting with a soft click, and nodded his head.
Teyla turned Rodney back around, whispering a reminder of chocolate pudding as she walked them back into the hall, looking back once to smile at Ronon, before the door's slid shut behind them.
Satisfied that they were once again alone, for the moment, Ronon turned back to Sheppard, looking down at the man who was still unnaturally pale and still. Almost twelve hours since he'd been released from the infirmary, and he didn't look all that much better. Then again, Ronon could still hear the sound of Sheppard hitting the tree, could have sworn he'd heard bones snap and the tree itself grunt until the speed and harshness of the impact. He still remembered, all too well, Sheppard hitting the ground, unmoving, and not being sure if he was breathing or not.
He remembered the tightness in his chest when the Wraith finally died, and when he bent over Teyla, whose slim fingers were pressed against Sheppard's pale neck, and she was confidently stating, "He is alive," and then, "He is breathing, but it does not sound right."
Sheppard had been light in his arms - Sheppard was always light in his arms, despite the fact that he was a man, a leader, a solider - and had been numbingly still. And even when he'd moved, finally, it had been to let out low groans as Ronon walked. His eyes had been bloodshot and glazed, and he didn't look in the right place when he tried to look up at Ronon, and tell him, through hissed breaths and slurred words, that he was fine.
"Ronon?" The word was soft and mumbled, slurring together in half-unconsciousness, and Ronon looked down to see a single bloodshot eye squinted open and looking up at him.
Sheppard raised an eyebrow up at him, but only asked, "' that Teyla and McKay?"
He thought about lying. In the end he settled with a nod.
Not moving, Sheppard's half-opened eye rolled before sliding shut. Ronon felt a slim smile threatening to tug at the edges of his lips, and he fought it back, knowing Sheppard would most definitely not appreciate it.
The corner of his lip twitched ever so slightly before he managed to pull it back into place. "Eloquent, Sheppard."
The red eye blearily blinked up at him again, unamused. Seconds ticked by comfortably before he managed a surprisingly stern, "Oh, shut up," before closing his eyes once again, letting out a low breath, and sliding back asleep.