Warnings/Spoilers: Character Death; Future!Fic
Summary: For the McSheplets Challenge: Forever
As John sorted through the drawer his fingers brushed the edge of a picture. Most of their papers and images were digital, so much so that a picture actually printed on paper was a rarity. He lightly grasped the edge to wriggle it out of the jumble of things in the drawer.
Huh. A picture of Rodney and Madison. He squinted at the picture -- damn glasses, where were they? he hated them anyway -- Maddie must be about 8 or 9 in it. A long time ago.... her own kids were older than that now.
But... Rodney... Rodney was starting to go bald even then.... not that he would admit it... John lightly ran a finger over the picture, remembering the feel of that hair. Jeannie must have taken this on one of their trips back to Earth and sent it to Rodney. She had sent things like this often... as if she was making up for the time they had lost when they weren't speaking to each other.
This... this was how he remembered Rodney. It was Rodney who figured out that Carson's original ATA gene therapy was the problem.... Rodney was the only one still alive who had received that original treatment so there was no one else to realize what was wrong. It wasn't until almost the end that Keller identified what had happened -- something she had inadvertently fixed in refining the process.
It wasn't pleasant but even at the end, Rodney had whispered, "Worth it..." and John could only hold on as his best friend... as his soul mate.... died in his arms, a shell of the man he had been.
This... this is how he remembered Rodney.... forever young.....