This was it, Rodney thought hysterically. He'd finally gone round the bend and lost his vastly superior mind. Here he was, toting an unconscious Colonel over his shoulder like he was a bag of laundry and shooting his P90 with abandon at the two soldiers still chasing him like he was some freaking Rambo or something. Yes, he had lost his mind.
He sprayed another arc of bullets at the soldiers while hollering a bloodcurdling scream and both of them dropped in their tracks, blood fountaining from their bodies. If Rodney had the time, he would have been sick right there, but he was busy at the moment; very, very busy, and so he swallowed heavily and kept running.
He crashed through the underbrush, taking a shortcut back to the damaged jumper. As soon as he saw the area where they had managed to land it, he grabbing the remote from a vest pocket, decloaked it and opened the door. Running in, he immediately reengaged the cloak and then slapped the door switch on the wall to close it up. Wheezing, Rodney then gently, so, so gently lowered his burden to the floor.
Sheppard's face was streaming with blood and Rodney swallowed down another urge to hurl his lunch as he frantically opened his canister of water and shakily began washing off the blood so he could see the injury more clearly. Head wounds bleed more, head wounds bleed more, it looks worse than it is, he'll be okay, Rodney recited to himself in an effort to not freak out as he cleared away the obscuring blood to show the ugly gash in the John's head. Stupid bastard, tripping over a god damned rock and slamming face first into a tree when he was supposed to be running for his life. Rodney was never going to let John live this down.
He quickly grabbed a medical kit from an overhead compartment, ripped it open, and snatched out bandages and antibiotic ointment. He quickly slathered the wound in ointment and bandaged it; quickly, but with care. He then moved John into the recovery position and bolted for the cockpit of the jumper.
He had to move the jumper somehow. There were more soldiers on the way and it was likely that they'd trip over the damn thing and find them because they were unfortunately parked on what was apparently a frequently used path. And these people had the firepower to bust open the damaged jumper like an eggshell. He slung himself under the dashboard and pried open a panel. This crystal here, that crystal there, some switching, some rerouting and Rodney thought that he'd come up with a quick fix to get the jumper moving again. Unfortunately not good enough to get to the gate, but at least good enough to get far away from soldiers canvassing the area.
He threw himself into the pilot's seat and with a silent prayer to a god he didn't believe in, started the jumper and coaxed it unsteadily into the air. The ship rattled and shook, but his hurried work around held and Rodney aimed it towards the west, away from the small town that the soldiers had originated from. He checked the jumper's HUD for life signs and when he found a clear area far from any settlements he lowered the protesting jumper with a jarring thud into the little pocket of meadow that he'd found. He quickly engaged the distress beacon and then headed back to see how John was doing.
John was blinking in confusion and started to struggle to get up, but as Rodney came closer, John gagged and threw up on the jumper floor. Great, thought Rodney sarcastically, coming over to support him as he retched again miserably, the idiot has a concussion. When it looked like John had finished barfing up his breakfast, Rodney offered him a rag to wipe his mouth with and then some water to wash his mouth out with. John obediently swished and spat, and Rodney tried not to think about the fact that he was going to have to clean up the mess if they were going to stay inside the jumper until help arrived.
"What happened?" John said raspily, squinting in pain, as Rodney helped him the rest of the way up and onto one of the benches.
Rodney peeled back each of John's eyelids in turn and noted with relief that his pupils were both responding appropriately, "You ran into a tree while soldiers with big guns were chasing us."
"Oh," replied John. "I did?"
"Yes, Colonel, you did. And I'm not ever going let you live it down, because I had to haul your sorry unconscious ass to the jumper all by myself while trying to outrun those goons. My back will never recover. You're surprisingly heavy."
John gave a small tired smile. "My hero," he murmured, then winced. "I have a concussion, don't I?"
"Brilliant deduction, Holmes. What clued you in?" Rodney replied, relaxing just a little. The last time John had gotten bonked on the head and gotten a concussion he'd kept asking repeatedly what had happened. His awareness of his surroundings and condition comforted Rodney into believing that this time wasn't as bad.
"I think it was the headache," John replied as he closed his eyes and gingerly rested his head against the bulkhead.
Rodney fished out some painkillers from the medical kit and handed them over to John along with the canteen. "Take these. They won't help that much, but they might take the edge off of it, at least."
John obediently took the pills and swallowed them down with a swig of water. "So, what's our situation?" he asked.
"We escaped the freaky bad guys that wanted to kill us, I rerouted some things and got the jumper moved to a more secure location and I got our distress beacon up." Rodney replied, only mildly annoyed that even with a concussion Sheppard was thinking tactically.
"I thought you said you couldn't fix it," John said, slitting his eyes open to look at Rodney.
Rodney rolled his eyes, "Not well enough to get it to the gate, no. Or did you forget that it's in orbit around this planet?"
John sighed. "No. So, we're only good for atmospheric flight?"
Rodney snorted contemptuously. "Barely. I got it into the air, but it rattles like the pebbles in Vogel's head when he's trying to think."
"Damn," John said softly. "You know, I never used to crash this much on earth."
"You didn't have misfiring Ancient weapons systems firing on you on earth either," Rodney replied dryly. He got up, checked the life signs on the HUD, and then opened the back of the jumper when he was satisfied that nothing as large as a human was out there waiting to open fire on them. "I'm going outside to get something to clean up the floor. I'll be right back."
"Be careful," John cautioned, closing his eyes in pain as the light hit his face.
Rodney nodded and stepped outside. It was warm and quiet in the meadow, with only a few chirping birds and buzzing insects to disturb the peace. There was a plenitude of long grass, so he gathered a large armful and brought it back into the jumper. He crisscrossed it over top of the mess John had made on the floor and then shoved the whole mass back out the door with a minimum of fuss using his feet. He got a second armful and repeated the process to soak up and dispose of any remainders. It wasn't a perfect clean up job, but it certainly smelled a damned sight better inside and Rodney's urge to sympathy retch decreased dramatically.
"Thanks," John said, lolling to the side, looking kind of pale and squinty-eyed in the sunlight streaming in through the doorway. "The smell was kind of getting to me."
Rodney just huffed and came back over to check John's eyes again. "How's the head now?"
John winced away from the light and grimaced. "Still hurts. Can we get a call into Atlantis?"
"No," Rodney replied as he got up and shut the door. "The dialing crystals were damaged when we were hit, as well as propulsion, communications and life support. We've got another three hours until we miss our check in and Atlantis calls to find out what happened to us. I suggest you get comfortable."
John slitted open one eye. "Comfortable. In a jumper."
Rodney rolled his eyes and stumped over to the bench where John sat. He plunked down on the other end, nabbed John by the arm and hauled him down until John's head rested on his thigh. "Will that do, princess?"
"I suppose," John drawled, closing his eye again. "It's better than that pile of mattresses that had that pea stuck at the bottom of them, at any rate."
Rodney snorted in amusement and his hand drifted over to gently fluff John's reckless hair. "You big dork."
John gave a brief smirk, then asked, "How'd we get away from those guys anyways? Last thing I remember we were running through that tava bean field."
Rodney's hand stilled. "We almost outran them. Then you got into that liplock with a tree and they caught up to us. I... I did what I had to."
John opened his eyes and rolled his head slowly to look up at Rodney. "How many?"
"All eight of them," Rodney replied brokenly. "I had to. They wouldn't stop chasing me, and I was worried about you, and, and..."
"Hey," John said softly, lifting a hand to gently touch Rodney's face. "They started it. You only finished the job."
Rodney blinked at him for a couple of moments, then sighed. "Yeah. I did."
"Yeah, you did." John affirmed. After a moment, he rubbed his thumb against Rodney's cheek. "Thanks for saving me and stuff."
"Well, you know, knight in shining armor and whatnot," Rodney replied, shrugging awkwardly. "It was my turn."
John lowered his hand and turned his face back into the warmth of Rodney's thigh, "Yeah."
Rodney gently ran his fingers through the hair on the back of John's head. John sighed and relaxed further into Rodney's thigh. They spent the next three hours that way, comfortable with each other, waiting for Atlantis to call.