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Life is a rollercoaster

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When John wakes, it is with some confusion. He recognizes that he is in his own quarters, however Carson is in a chair at his bedside and John feels like he should maybe be sore or in pain or something.

He must make a noise, because Carson looks up from the tablet he had been tapping at to smile at him broadly.

"Aye and it's good to see you awake, laddie," he says joyfully, discarding the tablet to step to John's side.

"Uh, thanks?" John says, half-questioning.

Carson holds out a hand and John automatically takes it, feeling Carson's fingers rest on his wrist, checking his pulse out of habit. "How do you feel, John?" he asks, as he sweeps a professional glance over John's body.

John realizes he is wearing his usual sleeping clothes – an old T-shirt and boxers, as he replies to Carson's question with a "Confused."

Carson hums and gets out the penlight of doom. John groans, still not knowing why all the checks are necessary, but just gets a glare in return, so he endures the pupil check as best he can.

"What's the last thing you remember?" Carson asks next.

John concentrates for a minute, trying to think back. And the next second, it all comes flooding back; the city exploration, the room they thought had a medical function, Carson arriving to take a look. Some crazy Ancient technology activating to seal them in the room and a gas that had then flooded in.

"Right," Carson says matter of factly, making John realize his memories must be written all over his face.

"You weren't as badly affected," John says, as he carefully swings to a sitting position on the edge of his bed.

"No," Carson agrees. "Probably due to the difference in our ATA expression."

John nods, surprised he doesn't feel more sore, sure he ought to, after what had happened.

"You've been asleep eighteen hours, lad," Carson tells him, clearly guessing John's thoughts again. That used to bother John, now he's just grateful. "I expect you're hungry."

As if on cue, John's stomach rumbles and they both laugh briefly. "I wouldn't mind a shower first," John says, plucking at his T-shirt. He is surprisingly clean, for someone who got fucked six ways from Sunday and came about a million times, but still.

"How about I get Elizabeth and your team to wait on us in the mess hall, then?" Carson suggests.

John nods as he gets to his feet. He's sure they've been worried about him, but the fact that Carson is up and about suggests they've had some sort of update on his condition. "I'll meet you there," he tells Carson, knowing it's an unfair dismissal, but needing his own space to adjust to what happened.

"Of course," Carson accepts the unspoken request gracefully as ever. He really does get John, in ways no-one else seems to, even Teyla.

John leans forward for a kiss, reassurance for both of them and Carson keeps it brief, but thorough, pulling back just when John needs him to. It's a relief to John, even though he loves Carson, as best he can, in his own screwed up way.

"I'll let you get to that shower, then," Carson says, turning to pick up his tablet.

"Carson," John calls, as he walks away. The other man stops, but doesn't turn around. "Thanks," John tells him.

He does turn around then and smiles sweetly at John. "My pleasure, love," he says, then comes back for one more kiss, just as sweet as his smile, before heading out the door, reaching up to tap his radio and call for Elizabeth as he goes.

John smiles to himself, then goes to his bathroom, as his stomach reminds him of its need to be filled soon. He decides things are going to be okay.