Title: Unspoken Words.
Warnings/Spoilers: Character Death. Aww.. Also, for those that need the warning, pre-slash.
Characters: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay
Summary: Lt. Colonel John Sheppard had never been good with words.
Beta: None/Self Beta-ed.
Notes: Originally written for challenge #18 "A Matter of Time" over at the McSheplets Community on LJ.
Lt. Colonel John Sheppard had never been good with words. Not when it truly mattered, and now proved to be no different.
His throat clenched, no words would come. Only a strange, softly strangled sound. A sound lost to the chaos around them. He didn't know what had caused the natives sudden and violent change of heart, at this point he didn't really care.
Above the frantic beating of his heart he heard the rat-a-tat-tat of P90 fire, Teyla and Ronon covering their position as best they could.
At the center of his soul he heard himself dying.
Faintly he heard the dull clang of the P90 as it slipped from his numb fingers as he moved forward only to fall a short while later to his knees by McKay's side.
Rodney lay unmoving, the veil of death morbidly beautiful against the bright red that stained his slightly parted lips.
Ignoring the warmth that was soaking too quickly into his BDU's, replacing the cold of the stone beneath him, John sternly kept his gaze away from the mangled thing that used to be Rodney's chest. Instead looking intently on his best friends face, searing this image, in all its morbid beauty, into his mind forever.
John had failed. He had failed to protect a member of his team. He had failed to protect his best friend. He had failed to protect Rodney.
John had never been good with words, in that respect he had failed them both. With the absence of words there was that absence of 'what ifs', of 'what could have beens'. John had never been able to tell Rodney how he had felt about him, had always regretted it, especially now.
He found himself lost in possibilities. If Rodney had known would he have decked him? Sneered and tilted his chin in the air before walking forever out of John's life? Or would he have gotten that lopsided, pleased with himself grin and allowed John to stay by his side? To get closer.
It was the latter John chose to dwell on now. The one that had always terrified and thrilled him the most.
But now he would never get that chance. Never be able to hold or touch or kiss... Never be able to make love, because with Rodney he knew it wouldn't be just sex, just fucking. He would tell Rodney through every soft touch, every gentle kiss everything that he was unable to say in words.
Closing down on his thoughts he reaches out, brushing his fingertips gently over Rodney's jawline and back to thread through the damp hair at the base of Rodney's neck. At the gentle movement Rodney's eyes open, a sliver of piercing blue and his breath hitches slightly, hissing through freshly coated lips.
John stills, caught and trapped by that too small gaze until with a shuddering breath Rodney closes his eyes once more.
John had never been good with words, but actions he could work with.
Leaning down, bracing himself with one hand, he gently rubs his thumb along Rodney's jaw, causing his eyes to flutter slightly, but remain closed this time. Lightly at first John presses his lips against Rodney's, the barest of touches. Then breathing Rodney's name between them he deepens the kiss, finding no resistance in the dying man.
He means the kiss to be gentle, soft, to say all those words that would now never have the chance to be said. Instead the kiss was raw, powerful and desperate. The coppery tang of Rodney's blood on his lips and on his tongue driving John forward, driving him to a frenzy as he plunders the others mans mouth. All of his love, forever unspoken, all of his regret, longing, fears, anger, helplessness, all of his being going into this one kiss. Their first. Their last.
Not noticing or caring for the dampness of tears on his cheeks John finally pulls away from Rodney, Rodney whose lips seem to curve slightly into a faint and wistful smile before one last shuddering breath stills them.
Unclipping his 9M from his leg holster John stands slowly, his narrowed gaze sliding from Rodney to where Ronon and Teyla are still fighting, neither one aware of the two lives that ended in a kiss. His grip tightening on the 9M John takes a shaky step towards them.
John had never been good with words, but action he could do.
And God help them all.