John/Rodney. PG. 370 words. Doppelganger tag. Further warnings behind the second tag as not to spoil the fic. Suffice it to say, it's not fluffy. Also: Thank you, lavvyan :)
John woke with a start. It was 4 am. Like clockwork, he thought, getting up and out, because he knew he wouldn't sleep again that night.
He watched the night crew, quietly bustling about, radiating normalcy and reality. But John saw through it. It just wasn't quite right.
There was something off in the atmosphere, which he wished he could attribute to the loss of Kate. But it was more. It was the overwhelming feeling that none of this was real.
Night after night, he woke up from the same "nightmare". Only with every passing night the certainty that this was the nightmare and his dream reality grew.
He didn't talk with anyone about it.
Instead he watched. He watched Carter trying to step into Elizabeth's place. He watched Keller struggling with loss and guilt. He watched Ronon trying to cheer up an inconsolable Teyla. He watched Rodney... he watched Rodney.
And every night he watched him die.
Nothing here felt as real as that moment before he woke up. And when he stood in the central tower of Atlantis, watching the control room above the gate room, buzzing with energy, it was as if he wasn't part of it at all.
He could see it, when he closed his eyes. His unconscious form lying in the infirmary, Keller without any explanation. Everyone wondering why he wouldn't wake up.
He knew the entity had left him. That wasn't the reason.
Any moment, he expected Teyla to enter, frantically telling him that this was just a dream, that he had to wake up now and come back to them. She'd plead with him or maybe they'd send Ronon.
Not Rodney though.
Sometimes after John woke up, he broke into Rodney's room just to look at him and hear him breathe. It brought John nearly to his knees with relief. Even if he didn't believe it was real.
So he went on with this life. He didn't tell anyone, didn't ask anyone. And he thought with trepidation of the moment when Teyla or Ronon would come to get him out of here.
He didn't think he'd be strong enough not to say, "I know and I don't care."
Pairing: strongly implied unrequited John/Rodney
Warnings: angst, possible character death