Warnings/Spoilers: None; post-series
Summary: Rodney drew the line at the dancing hearts.
For the avfe "So Don't Be My Valentine Fiction Function" -- okay, I was desperate for a title...
Rodney drew the line at the dancing hearts.
It's not that they were dancing, exactly. But when he looked up from his computer to see Dr. Rosalia Stephenson standing in front of his desk, the hearts on her sweater started dancing. Since they had returned Atlantis to Pegasus, Woolsey had told the department heads – he had looked meaningfully at Rodney when he had said it – that allowing the staff to occasionally wear non-uniform clothing would "boost morale." Right now all it was doing was boosting his blood pressure.
He closed his eyes to try to clear his vision and opened them again.
He realized that he had a splitting headache, his eyes were more than bleary and the fucking hearts wouldn't stop dancing.
"What are you wearing?" he demanded. Well, tried to demand. He suspected it came out more like a faint whine.
"It's Valentine's day," she reminded him. "Thought I'd wear something special."
Rodney shut his eyes again, took a deep breath. It actually made the pounding in his head worse.
"We need to reschedule," he gritted out, not opening his eyes. "I'm not feeling well and if you don't go away right now, I'll probably throw up all over you."
"I'll email you," she replied softly. Rodney heard footsteps walking quickly out of the office.
Rodney waited a full minute before he cracked an eye open. She was gone, thank god. Normally she was one of his scientists he didn't mind, she had a wicked sense of humor, got his Dr. Who references and actually followed directions. He kept the one eye cracked open long enough to send Zelenka an email announcing that he was taking the rest of the day off sick and the city had better be on the brink of total destruction before anyone dared disturb him.
Saving his work mostly by instinct, Rodney closed up his laptop and shuffled everything else lying loose into a desk drawer. He'd sort it out later.
The walk to his room was miserable. It felt like someone had moved his room further down the hall, the light from the windows continuing to make his vision swim. He stopped to put a hand on the wall for balance and closed his eyes for a moment before continuing. He was grateful that no one else was around to try to 'help' him -- he probably really would throw up on them. An eternity of walking that probably was close to staggering brought him finally to his room and into blessed darkness.
Rodney carefully set the laptop down on the desk and stripped to his boxers, dropping his clothes on the floor on his way to the bathroom. A quick piss, a double dose of painkillers swallowed dry – he considered more but that would probably make the nausea worse – and he was climbing into bed.
He wasn't sure if the door was chiming or if he was dreaming, either way he didn't care. He pulled the sheet over his head. The pills hadn't kicked in yet and his head still pounded.
In his dream, the door slid open and John's voice called softly, "Rodney? You okay?"
Rodney grunted and he heard John come closer. Something rustled, an odd thump, and the bed dipped behind him.
"Jn?" Rodney mumbled, afraid to move since it might make the headache worse. Or make him throw up. He hated throwing up.
"Shhh...." John whispered as a body wrapped around him. A warm hand settled on his shoulder, massaging gently. The thumb dug into the muscles on the back of his neck.
"Nnnnngggghhh," Rodney moaned. That felt so good.
"What's wrong?" John asked gently.
"Dancing hearts," Rodney mumbled. "Head hurts... Hate fuckin' Valentine.... No one loves me." The last, a whisper.
"Awww, geez," John replied, his breath puffing close on the back of Rodney's neck. "I love you." Something that felt like a kiss on his shoulder.
Rodney settled back into the warmth and arms held him close.
The pressure of his bladder woke him but Rodney lay still for a long moment, resisting, almost afraid to move. Some cautious movement showed that the headache was gone and his vision had cleared. He cautiously climbed out of bed and headed toward the bathroom.
Feeling tender and unsteady, Rodney took a careful shower which helped clear up the rest of the fog in his head. He dressed and noticed that he must have been doing better yesterday than he thought, he had managed to toss yesterday's clothes in the laundry basket.
Rodney was feeling almost normal by the time he got to a late breakfast. He took his tray to an empty table since there were only a small handful of people still in the mess and he wasn't feeling sociable. He downed one of the cups of coffee before starting on his food. Rodney was nursing the last of the coffee he had taken when Sheppard joined him.
"Hey," Rodney greeted Sheppard. "Second breakfast?"
"Nah, just some coffee," Sheppard replied, lifting his cup. "Needed a break from the paperwork. How are you?"
"Better," Rodney admitted. "Wait... how? What?"
"Zelenka said you left not feeling well and Dr. Stephenson was telling someone you threatened to throw up on her Valentine's Day sweater?" John asked, obviously curious.
"Fucking sweater was hideous and I don't do Valentine's Day, so she deserved to be thrown up on," Rodney replied with a small grin. "But, vicious headache made it worse so I took some aspirin and called it a night."
"If it was that bad, you should have gone to the infirmary," Sheppard looked concerned.
"And the evil penlight of doom would have made the headache worse," Rodney replied. "I'm fine, although I had this weird dream," his mouth started to say before he could shut it up.
"Dream? What about?" John asked, not looking at Rodney.
Rodney sat back for a moment, embarrassed at what he had been about to say. "Nah, gone now," he blustered. "Only remember it was weird."
"Okay, then," Sheppard replied. "Guess I should, umm, go..."
"Yeah," Rodney agreed. "Me, too. Heaven only knows what they did while I was unconscious."
"See you at dinner?" Sheppard asked, standing up to leave.
"Sure," Rodney answered. "See you then."
Rodney watched Sheppard leave the mess and wondered....