Warnings/Spoilers: None - mention of past whump
Summary: "You got me a toaster for my birthday?"
For mcsheplets Challenge #110 - Brave and for all the birthdays I've missed lately... ;-)
John peered into the box. "It's a toaster," he couldn't keep the curiosity out of his voice. "You got me a toaster for my birthday?"
Rodney blushed. "Ummm... Yeah?"
John tilted his head in consideration. "Is that a question or an answer?"
"Both?" Rodney grinned.
"A toaster?" John asked, now mystified.
"It... well, it reminded me of you," Rodney stammered.
"Okay, even I don't follow that," John admitted.
"Well, ummm, it was when I was in the infirmary after P47-398 and, you know, where I got injured," Rodney started.
John held his breath, for injured didn't quite cover it. Rodney had almost died when the bomb he was working on defusing exploded in his hands. It didn't go off full force, he had done that much, but Rodney had spent two weeks in the infirmary and another six weeks doing physical therapy after. Even now, rainy days made Rodney's hands ache and Carson was worried that arthritis would develop if he didn't take care.
All John could do was nod.
"Well, the first few days are blank but I have this clear memory of one night you were there with your hand on my arm, telling me that I'd be okay and that I had 'done good' in not getting us all killed and that, well, I was your brave little toaster for saving everyone else's life."
Rodney's voice trailed off in embarrassment at the end.
"No one had ever told me I was brave before," Rodney said softly into the silence.
"Rodney!" John remembered babbling on and on, those endless nights. The first few days had been so scary since Carson hadn't been certain that Rodney wouldn't lose some fingers or even a hand. It wasn't until the second set of surgeries that Carson had been more optimistic. Even then, John spent his nights talking to Rodney hoping the sound of his voice helped his friend understand that everything would be all right.
"And, well, I know it's stupid but knowing you believed in me like that, I... it was easier and harder to live up to it," Rodney admitted.
"I... I don't know what to say," John whispered.
"So, I watched and saw you watching back and thought that, maybe, there was more?" Rodney asked hopefully, blue eyes searching and looking faintly worried.
Rodney didn't stir as John put the box carefully aside and moved closer.