Authour's Note: This is AU in the fact that it assumes the body-sharing in "Duet" lasted over a month, time enough to create "muscle memory".
For the entire little bit of the day left after his release from the Infirmary, Rodney looked forward to going home and just crashing into bed.
He changed, lay down with a deep sigh --- and his eyes popped wide open.
After about fifteen minutes of fruitlessly trying to sleep, Rodney rolled onto his back and mentally took inventory.
His brain was still goggling over the improbable thing that had consumed the last month or so of his life --- sharing his body with a woman. His muscles --- especially his legs --- were twitching slightly. Almost as if....
His eyes closed as he let out a miserable sigh. Reaching over, he put his radio in his ear. "McKay to Cadman."
"Hmm? What is it, Rodney?"
"How many nights did you take my body running?"
"Every one," she admitted. "I didn't feel any soreness after the first two or three, though. What's the problem? I always dressed you and made sure you were in your own bed after....."
"I can't sleep --- and it's your fault!"
There was silence, then a burst of laughter. "Then go for a run! I bet you'll go right to sleep!" And she closed the channel.
Rodney growled all the way out of bed. He grumbled all the way through the jog, letting his legs take him where they would --- until he realised where he'd ended up.
He stepped out onto the balcony and just --- stared. It was a lower one, and it opened onto a spectacular view of lit towers and water and sky and moons.
For once, his breath was completely stolen by beauty.
The vision kept his mind so occupied that he barely noticed the run back. He barely noticed the stretches his body automatically did. He barely registered the shower he took.
But when he got into bed, he fell almost immediately into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Rodney conducted a series of experiments over the next few weeks. He found that on nights he did not run, he was nervous and nothing short of the sleeping pills he adamantly refused to take would get him to sleep.
But on the nights he ran, his sleep was deep and peaceful. His mind was clearer the next day, and many more things were accomplished.
At the start of the experiments, he sent Cadman an emailed diatribe for "ruining" him.
At their close, he sent her a large chocolate bar.
His new nightly routine attracted a few gawkers at first. Without a word, Ronon joined him a few nights a week, and Rodney was grateful for the company --- though they didn't talk much.
When Ronon first stepped onto the balcony, he whispered an alien word that the translator's didn't translate.
That told Rodney the word was probably a name, so he took a chance and asked softly, "Who?"
"Melena," Ronon repeated. "My... my wife. She would have loved ---" He broke off, his lips pressed together and his head shaking.
Rodney squeezed his shoulder. "Wraith?" he guessed.
"In the final attack," Ronon snarled.
"Yeah." Ronon looked at him. By unspoken agreement, they ran back.
When Ronon parted from him, it was with a squeeze to Rodney's shoulder and a soft, "Thanks."
It took some more experimenting, but Rodney eventually found that he didn't have to run every night. When he'd worked too late to justify the time spent, he'd swing by the gym and work on the weight bench for about a half hour.
That gave his body what it craved, and he'd get the same sleep as if he ran.
After the first day or two of this, he realised that the random Marine in the gym --- or if they were there, Lorne or Teyla or Ronon or even John --- weren't coming over to just make conversation while they worked.
They were "spotting" him, making sure he didn't hurt himself. When he realised this, he sat up and looked around --- and visibly relaxed when he saw that nobody was lifting alone.
They weren't treating him any different --- at all.
Rodney had to order new clothes --- his uniform grew baggy for some reason. His weight remained the same, as did his appetite.
But he'd had to order a size smaller uniform.
And a few sets of workout clothes.
Today, as AR-1 was suited up and preparing to go to an unexplored planet they'd encountered in the database, they ran into AR-4 as they returned from a mission. Cadman smiled at Rodney. "Lookin' good, McKay! Still mad at me?"
"A little," he said with a chuckle. "But, thanks to you, I'm sleeping better than I ever have."
She brushed a kiss to his cheek. "You're welcome."
He waited till they were almost gone, then he yelled, "I still haven't forgiven you!"
"Yes, you have," she called over her shoulder.
He grinned all the way to the Jumper Bay and onto their next mission.
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