July 27, 2006

Disclaimer: by request only. Written for ltlj. Do not archive without permission.

All tied up

On the second day, the gate opened, and the Isgarn captain and two of his men came through to check on John and see how he was doing. They came in when the sun was just above the treeline, and left when the shadow from the gate curved exactly across the DHD. John leaned forward so his nose wouldn't drip all over his face; after a little while, he spat into the grass at his feet.

On the third day, the gate opened, and one of the men, the shorter one with the graying hair, came through with water and a pail of mixed leftovers. He didn't stay all that long, and when he left again, John crouched down awkwardly and picked up a half-gnawed bird carcass and made a face.

On the fourth day, the gate opened, and nothing happened. John braced himself against the tree and waited, and nothing kept on happening, until a body fell backwards out of the blue and bounced down the steps of the gate. It took John a moment to recognize the Isgarn captain; his cap was off, and he had something that looked like a small harpoon sticking out of his chest.

Then McKay stepped through the gate, and the wormhole closed behind him. He looked around, and caught sight of John, and hurried down the steps towards him and almost tripped on the Isgarn captain. When he came up to the tree, he looked John up and down and said, "You know, I'm not in any way planning to make a habit out of this, and I hope you're not going to interpret it in, in any way," and then he grabbed John and hugged him until his ribs creaked, which, granted, didn't take very much right then.

John let his head fall forward and leaned his forehead on McKay's shoulder for a moment. "Could you maybe cut these chains for me?"

"Teyla and Ronon are bringing tools from Atlantis," McKay said. "And a jumper. And probably Carson." He loosened his grip, but didn't let go. "I'm just here for the moral support. God, you smell. Like, like—"

"Like I've been chained to a damn tree for four days?"

"Yes. Like that." McKay's hand came up and rubbed at the back of John's neck, brushing away bark and dirt. "You can have my powerbar if you want," he said, and John grinned even though it made his lips crack, and the next time the gate opened, it was the jumper, come to take him home.

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