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Just a Scratch

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John was still sitting on the back bumper of the ambulance when Rodney arrived at the accident scene, leaning stubbornly away from the EMT who was trying to shine a penlight into his eye.

It looked like there had been three vehicles involved— John’s motor-pool sedan was crumpled in on the passenger side, a blue pickup truck had matching damage along it’s left front bumper, and some kind of little red sports car was on its side against the metal guardrail— and Rodney parked his own motor-pool-issue car out of the way. A police officer tried to stop him as he ducked around the pickup, but Rodney ignored him, stomping over to the ambulance, arms crossed.

“Are you seriously telling me you can’t even go out for milk without getting yourself injured, Sheppard?” he demanded.

John didn’t look too badly injured, though. There was a scrape along his cheek that had already stopped bleeding, and his left sleeve had been rolled up for access to whatever was under that bandage, but the colonel just blinked at him, slowly.

“Sorry,” he said. “Do I know you?”

“I— What!?” Rodney spluttered. “We’ve been on Ea— in town for less than twenty-four hours, and you’ve gone and gotten yourself— What is so funny?”

John, still laughing, reached out to catch one of Rodney’s flailing hands. “Sorry! I’m sorry, McKay, but the look on your face…”

Rodney used the hand John wasn’t holding to smack John in the shoulder, hard. “You… you… I’m gonna give you a head injury, you—”

“Hey, hey, I’m sorry,” said John, using his grip on Rodney’s wrist to pull him closer, turning their hands so he could lace their fingers together. “I just got clipped when the pickup swerved to avoid the other guy.”

“That was more than just ‘clipped’,” Rodney protested.

“Okay, maybe,” allowed John. “But I’m fine. A few cuts, a few bruises, but I’m fine. Right, Alyssa?”

The EMT, who had wisely stepped out of Rodney’s way, looked back up at him. “I still recommend you get checked out by a doctor,” she said. “But since it looks like you don’t have a concussion, I can let you go if you sign the release form.”

“Done,” said John, taking the clipboard from her.

“And you’ll see Carson when we get back to the base,” Rodney added. “But I’m glad you’re okay.”

John smiled. “Me, too.”