"Get up. Come on. Move it!"
Rodney groaned as John poked and prodded at him with sharp, bony fingers, and he swiped at him haphazardly. "Quit it, Sheppard!"
"No. On your feet, Rodney. NOW! Move that lazy ass!"
His head lolled and he looked out through blurry eyes, wondering why John was in his room disturbing his lazy day. Hard fingers dug into his arm and half pushed him upwards and it was only then that he realized he wasn't in his comfy bed having lustful thoughts of John. He wasn't in his bed at all, or his room, or even on Atlantis. The warm cover over him was fallen leaves from some Maple-like trees, and the mattress and pillow beneath his head had been John, who was struggling out from beneath him.
"Come on, Rodney. We have to go now!"
"It's a forest," he exclaimed softly, seeing nothing but trees and shrubs in every direction.
"Yeah. A forest full of Wraith Worshipers who are getting a little too close for comfort."
He was sitting up now but his vision was swimming, his head throbbed and his stomach lurched as a feeling of nausea swept over him. The next thing he knew he was losing his last meal, whenever that was, and only the strong hands holding his shoulders relieved any of the misery.
"I don't feel so good," he stated pitifully as one hand rubbed over his back in a gentle, circular motion.
"I know, buddy, but we have to move. Now. You have to get up."
He regretted nodding that he understood when the throb turned into a jackhammer drilling through his brain, and gathered his strength before slowly climbing to his feet, aided by John, only to feel the world begin to tilt and spin. Those strong hands were there again, holding him.
"I got you. I got you."
One hand was dragged across John's shoulders and he felt one of John's arms slip around his waist, holding him firm.
"Can't be too far now," John stated and Rodney had no clue what he was talking about, only that they had to move. Now. He wondered if it had anything to do with the strange noises closing in on them that sounded like shouts and cries.
He let John set the pace and direction, leaning heavily into his best friend and wishing they could be more than that. He hissed in pain when John lost his footing momentarily.
"I think... Doctor Keller might mind," John gasped out, his voice sounding strained from more than just the exertion.
Rodney hummed at the strange words, wondering if he was missing some conversation. Everything seemed so hard though. His thoughts were in a turmoil, recalling another conversation with Jennifer about just being friends, about not being the man she needed, about moving on and seeing others. His body was aching and throbbing, his head hurt so much, and his face was itching down one side. He almost overbalanced them both as he reached up to scratch at his face, confused when he saw red on his fingertips and beneath his nails. Red like blood. Before he could ponder over that, they broke through the trees into a large clearing.
"Stargate!" Rodney exclaimed in surprise.
"Yeah. Let's go home."
John held Rodney tight against his side, precariously balanced, as he slammed his free hand over the symbols. Rodney felt him fumbling for his radio before telling someone, probably Chuck, that they needed medical in the gate room. They lurched towards the gate together, stepping from the humidity of one world into the more bearable warmth of Atlantis. Hands grabbed at him and it seemed as if only seconds later he was lying down in a warm and comfortable bed with real covers draped over him. He smiled lazily. He deserved a lie-in.
Just another weird dream, courtesy of Pegasus, he thought, until the soft beeps of the medical equipment caught upon his hearing. He blinked tiredly around the infirmary until he came to the next bed.
"We're home. Go back to sleep, Rodney."
He closed his eyes and this time he thought of John lying with his head on the pillow right beside him, and he dreamed of lazy days spent in bed snuggled up together.