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A Pain in the Neck

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John rubbed his neck and said, "That rat bastard. I'm gonna kill him."

Ronon rumbled something in his chest, cleared his throat, and said, "He saved your ass."

"He's not supposed to save my ass," John hissed at Ronon, then cursed as his neck cramped up. "Shit, shit!" he said, rubbing it again. "My neck is killing me."

"He was kinda heroic," Ronon said.

"He's not supposed to be heroic. That's my job. I'm the…guy. You know, the guy."

"You just can't say you're the Man, can you?"

John stared at him narrowly, hunched over still rubbing his neck. "I never should have told you about that."

Ronon smiled slyly then grabbed him, did something twisty with his arms around John's neck, and lifted him right off his feet. The pain eased up so fast John felt a little faint.

"There, that should hold you," Ronon said.

Teyla came out of the infirmary guiding Rodney, irate and ranting with his arm in a sling and a bandage on his forehead. John breathed a sigh of relief.

Teyla said fondly, "Take him home before Marie decides to break his other wrist."

Rodney turned as if to go back. "It was my turn, you know! I'll have a scar—"

John grabbed for him just as Ronon and Teyla did, getting Rodney turned around in the right direction. "Let's go, buddy."

"Me and my tablet, the heroes of the day!" Rodney grinned suddenly at John, and John masterfully didn't slug him, instead tugging Rodney against his side like a warm, grumbling sack of meat. They slowly walked back to their quarters, where John thanked Ronon and Teyla again. Rodney slumped against John and mumbled his thanks into John's neck.

"It was no trouble. You were very courageous today, Rodney," Teyla said, bowing her head against his bandaged one.

"My poor tablet," Rodney mourned.

"C'mon, buddy, let's get you to bed." John waved the door open and herded Rodney inside like a wobbly calf.

"But I'm not sleepy!" Rodney protested.

"I am! I haven't slept for shit for two nights." John bundled Rodney into bed, propping his wrist on a couple of pillows.

"But I'm the hero! I saved you, me and my mighty tablet! Good thing it didn't have much on it, since it has a bullet hole in it."

"Let's not forget the body armor. And don't ever do that again!" He took off Rodney's shoes and crawled up the bed between his legs. John laid his head on Rodney's belly with a deep sigh and tried to get comfortable.

"You worried about me while I was gone, didn't you?" Rodney asked, fingers curling into John's hair to pet and stroke. John arched into his hand like a pampered house panther and felt the last of the tension go out of his neck.

"I worry about you all the damn time. No more jumping in front of bullets," John said to Rodney's bellybutton.

"Hero!" Rodney mumbled sleepily.

"And a damn fine pillow."

 

16 October 2021
Madison Wisconsin