By Enola Jones

It had been a rough few months.

First, Teyla had gone missing and then John had gone missing. John returned, looking a little older and more tired, with information on how to save Teyla. They had swung into action to save her, and had been ultimately successful. Teyla and her newborn son – and her mate, altered by Michael and now undergoing treatment to restore his humanity – were now safely on Atlantis.

But John had been injured – skewered through the abdomen by what passed for alien rebar when a building had come down on his head. And then he'd been hit in nearly the exact same place by another barb when Keller had been infected and had nearly turned Atlantis into the mother of all Wraith ships.

The team had been on standdown while John recovered. His body had healed, but he was still lacking stamina. He would try to bluff through, but by the end of the day he was trembling and pale.

Five weeks after the surgery to save John's life, he was still trying to build up his stamina. He showed up at the mess hall so wrung out he could barely hold his tray.

"John," Teyla said, looking at him sternly over the cloth she was using to cover herself while Torren fed. "You must rest."

"I am resting," John protested. "I'm resting if I'm not in PT. I'm resting whenever I'm getting checked out. I'm even resting while I'm doing paperwork! I'm resting so much I'm about to go insane!"

"Yes, you are resting but you are not relaxing," Teyla pointed out.

Rodney raised his eyes from his laptop and tray and looked at John. "You know, I think she's right."

"I know she's right," Ronon said around a mouthful of food.

Rodney glared at him. "Nobody wants to see your digestion beginning, Chewie," he shot mildly. Then he turned back to John. "You need to relax. Not rest, relax. I know just how to do it." He closed his laptop and put his tray on top of Teyla's empty one. "You come to my quarters when you're done eating."

John shot him an incredulous look, and Rodney smiled. "Trust me." With that, he picked up both trays, tucked his laptop under his arm, ran his fingertips down Torren's back and returned Teyla's smile before walking to the recycler, depositing the trays and heading out of the Mess Hall.

All with John's eyes on him. "What got into him?" he asked.

"I honestly have no idea," Teyla said, and Ronon shook his head in agreement.


John walked into Rodney's quarters to find --- absolutely nobody there. He frowned as the door closed behind him. "Rodney?"

"In here!" Rodney called from the bathroom. "Come on in here and take off your clothes!"

"What?" John yelped. "Rodney, I don't know what you think you're doing, but I think you've got the wrong idea, here!"

"What?" Rodney appeared in the doorway, completely dressed, though he was in a black t-shirt with golden letters that read "QUOT LIBROS, QUAM BREVE TEMPUS (So Many Books, So Little Time!)" "What are you--" Then he closed his eyes, shook his head...

And burst out laughing.

"Rodney!" John yelped.

Rodney held up a hand until he got control of himself. He wiped a hand across tearing eyes, and gasped out, "Okay, number one, I so do not swing that way! And number two, considering you have no clue what I was doing, I can see why you thought that! Come in here, I'll let you see the surprise." He retreated back into the room, shaking his head and chuckling.

John followed him, and stopped in the doorway. The bathroom was as large as the other room, dominated by a truly massive black tub with steps to go into it. It was filled with water that steamed slightly and soap bubbles that smelled familiar and alien at the same time.

He turned shocked eyes to Rodney.

"Nice, isn't it?" Rodney grinned from ear to ear, leaning against the sink with one thumb absently hooked into the belt loop of his jeans. "When I really and truly need to relax, I retreat into here."

John just stared. "It's a bubble bath, Rodney."

"Ah, but it's more than that," Rodney said with a nod of his head toward the tub. "It's warmth. There's a slight massage feature that you can mentally control. I've filled it with a blend of lavender and tsanna. You can relax in there."

"Rodney," John said patiently. "It's. A. Bubble. Bath."

Rodney met his eyes. "Actually, it's a hot tub with a jacuzzi feature."

John's head snapped around and he looked at the tub with new eyes.

"So," Rodney said, pushing off of the sink and clapping a hand onto John's shoulder. "Get undressed, get in there, and relax. Oh, and here." He reached up and slid John's radio out of his ear. "I'll keep this." He fitted it into his own. "If anything important comes up, I'll let you know."

"Rodney," John said. He wasn't so sure about losing his radio.

Rodney squeezed John's shoulder. "Trust me," he said softly.

John studied his eyes, and at last took a deep breath and nodded. "I trust you," he said. "But you have to do something for me."

"What's that?"

"Get out of here. I will not get undressed with you standing right there!"

"Oh, please," Rodney laughed. "Like I've not seen it a hundred times before." But he left the room. "Let me know if you need anything!" he called over his shoulder.

"Will do!" John called back, already pulling his shirt over his head.


Rodney walked back into his quarters twenty minutes later, finishing his conversation with Lorne over the radio. “Yes, Major. If there's anything life-or-death that Colonel Sheppard has to deal with, you let me know. Otherwise, leave it alone until morning. Gotcha. McKay out.” He turned off the radio and slipped it into his jeans pocket, fitting his own radio back into his ear. “John?”

No answer.

Rodney set the bundle of clothing onto the bed and went into the bathroom. He chuckled to find John sound asleep in the tub, the hum of the massage function loud in the nearly silent room.

Smiling, Rodney thought the massager off and drained the water. He got John out of the tub and drew the pyjamas he'd brought onto John's sleepy form. John mumbled, but didn't fight him.

Rather than try to support an asleep Colonel through the hallways, Rodney turned the covers on his own bed down. He lay John down and drew the covers over him, thinking the lights down.

He gathered his own pyjamas and made up the couch for his own night's sleep before heading to the bathroom for his own relaxing soak in the tub.

There would be plenty of time later for “I told you so”s.


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