Work Header

Trees Stand

Work Text:

Teyla has seen a lot of death. Fighters, children, even, very rarely, the old and infirm. But she's never seen this much blood. It's dried into John's hair, on his arms, across his chest.

There's fresh blood seeping into the jacket they put on him.

It's on Rodney's hands.

Rodney is sitting facing John, one leg behind him, his arms clasped around John's shoulders, as though he can surround John with his body. John is leaning into him, his head on Rodney's shoulder, Rodney's unbruised cheek resting against his hair, John's hand fisted in Rodney's shirt.

Teyla turns her face just enough to keep them in her peripheral vision, wanting to give them privacy, not able to let them out of her sight.


Rodney has to be restrained to keep him from following John into surgery. His demands to be allowed to stay with John replaced by a pleading that makes her go to him, makes her take his face in her hands, press a kiss to his lips and whisper that it will be all right, that John will be all right.

They both know John needs him to be strong, will need them all. But Rodney needs time to be weak, to wail and scream and rage.

Only he doesn't. He pulls away with a single nod, allows himself to be stripped and examined, insisting only once that the blood isn't his, only the bruises are. Teyla stays with him but he never looks at her, his eyes fixed on the room where they've taken John.


"Let me see him."

"You need to rest, Rodney."

"I need to see him."

"Carson," Elizabeth says, ending the discussion.


Rodney sits at John's bedside, his hand on John's forearm, not saying or doing anything else. John's face is untouched, only the bulge of bandages beneath his scrubs revealing what was done to him.

Elizabeth comes to stand beside her, not saying a word as she slips her hand into Teyla's.

Teyla squeezes it, takes a breath, and watches.