John sat next to Rodney's bed, his head in his hands. It had been almost two weeks since the accident. Dr. Keller assured them that Rodney's body was healing well, but even though she didn't say it they could tell she was concerned that he hadn't woken up. John sat up straight, looking around the infirmary. Normally there were others keeping him company during this vigil, but this time he was alone. He scooted his chair closer to Rodney's bed and leaned in.

"Look buddy, I know you probably can't hear me, but it's worth a try anyway." He sighed, trying to think of the right words to say. "I know we have our moments, times where I just want to kill you, but truthfully, I don't want you to die. That's dumb; of course I don't want you to die. What I'm trying to say is that I don't want you to go anywhere. We need you here, hell, I need you here, ok? I never had a brother, I have a sister," he shook his head, "that's not the point. I'm trying to say that you're kind of like a brother to me. Things just wouldn't be the same without you." He sighed again. "Look, I know it's my fault that you're laying in here, and I swear I'll make it up to you, but you gotta come out of your coma first, k buddy?"

Rodney shifted, causing John to jump back in shock.

"Dr. Keller!" he shouted.

Rodney moved again, this time accompanied by a groan. John got to his feet and moved away from the bed as Dr. Keller came into the room.

"He just moved," he said as she went over to Rodney's side.

Rodney's eyes blinked open, and he looked around.

"Dr. McKay, can you hear me?" Keller asked as she shone a little light into Rodney's eyes.

"Yes. I can also see you, I'm not blind," he said, pushing Keller away.

"Same old Rodney," John said with a laugh.

"Yes, so it would seem," said Keller. "But I'd still like to get him under a scanner, see if there was any lasting damage."

John nodded. "I'll go and see that the others know that he's up. You hang in there buddy," he added to Rodney, "we'll be back."

"I'll hold my breath," he mumbled.

John raced up to Elizabeth's office, not pausing to find out if she could see him, but just bursting right in.

"He's awake," he said breathlessly.

Elizabeth heaved a sigh of relief. "Finally. Have you informed Teyla and Ronon?"

"Not yet, I came straight here."

"Did Dr. Keller have anything to say?"

John shook his head. "She wanted to check him out first, get some scans, make sure everything really is fine."

Elizabeth stood up and walked out from behind her desk. "I suppose that makes sense. Let's go down and see how he's doing."

When they got to the infirmary, accompanied by Ronon and Teyla, they found Dr. Keller waiting for them, looking concerned.

"What is it?" asked John, stopping in front of her.

Keller sighed. "The scans were not what I had hoped for. They show a considerable decrease in brain activity."

"What does that mean?"

"He's not as smart as he should be. I would call it brain damage, but there's a suspicious lack of trauma."

"He's not the same old Rodney?"

She shook her head.

John leaned around her, peering into the infirmary to see Rodney lying in his bed, fiddling with his computer. "Well look at that. He's hard at work."

Keller glanced back over her shoulder. "He's playing minesweeper, and losing."

John shook his head. "What does that mean? Will he ever be the same?"

Keller shrugged. "It's hard to say. If it is brain damage, well, he might never get better then, no."

John put his face in his hands and sighed. This was his fault, if Rodney was permanently damaged it was his, John's, fault. He didn't know if he could handle that. "Can we see him?" he asked, dropping his hands back to his sides.

Keller nodded. "But not for long, I don't want to overwhelm him."

She stepped aside and the four of them went over to Rodney's side. He didn't look up from his tablet as they pulled chairs up and sat down.

"Hey buddy," said John, trying to get his attention.


"How are you doing?"

"Fine," he said, still not looking up from his tablet.

They all exchanged a worried look.

"Do you know what's going on Rodney?" Elizabeth asked tenderly.

"Yes, I'm not stupid."

Elizabeth grimaced.

"There was an explosion, I fell and got hurt, apparently."

"Yes, but do you know anything else?" John asked.

Elizabeth shot him an angry look for his choice of words, but Rodney didn't notice.

"No, Dr. Keller didn't tell me anything…aw come on!" he yelled, throwing his tablet down onto the bed, he had lost. "I don't get this, I remember being good at this game. Aren't I good at this game?" he asked, finally looking at them.

They exchanged another look, trying to find the best thing to say.

"You are just having an off day," said Teyla with a smile. "Perhaps you could use some more rest?"

Rodney looked at them suspiciously, but nodded.

"Then we'll leave you," said Elizabeth. "But we'll be back before you know it."

They got up from their seats and headed out of the infirmary, leaving McKay to his rest.

"John," said Elizabeth out in the hallway, stopping him from following after the others. "I want to know what's happened here. Take your team back to that planet."

"But Elizabeth we don't know if the Wraith are still there…"

"It's been two weeks John; I'm ready to take the chance, aren't you?"

John looked back over his shoulder Rodney's sleeping figure and nodded. Whatever was the cause of this, he would get to the bottom of it.