Word Count: 2,142
Notes: For sablewick, for the sg_flyboys thing-a-thon :) Hope this is to your liking!
Other notes: Thanks to race_the_ace for reading through this for me :D
John thinks about how he’s going to write the mission report for this, comes up with it was a dark and stormy night, and laughs a little hysterically.
“What?” Cam asks, looking up at him from his spot near the fire. He’s still shivering, John notices, or he hopes that’s it; otherwise, it’s John vision, blurring and shaking around the edges, and he’s not sure he can handle that right now.
“Cold,” John says, hoping that Cam will accept that as explanation enough. He thinks Cam probably will.
Sure enough, Cam nods and looks back down to the fire, watching as the water in the shell-thing he’s using as a pot bubbles. “Give it a few,” he says. “I think it’s almost done.”
John leans his head against the wall of the cave they’re using as shelter and closes his eyes. This mission has been a complete and total clusterfuck, from start to finish; it began with Rodney sliding down a hill and breaking his wrist, continued with John and Cam getting separated from the rest of the team when the not-as-friendly-as-advertised natives materialized from nowhere, proceeded to John sliding down a different hill and Cam tumbling after, and culminated with them getting away from the people chasing them but having to hole up in this cave. And the rain, John remembers to add as he hears a gust of wind bring the water inside the mouth of the cave. That’s just adding to the fun of it. It wouldn’t be a true Pegasus mission unless they were both injured and soaking wet.
“Hey,” Cam says, and John opens his eyes to find Cam right beside him, crouching. “Don’t fall asleep on me.”
“I didn’t hit my head,” John says for at least the tenth time, and Cam just twists his lips in what might be a smile.
“Humor me,” Cam says back to him, just like he’s been doing, and John dutifully keeps his eyes open as Cam limps back to the fire.
They’re in a sorry state, the two of them, from the fall down the hill and the climb to the cave. John’s right ankle is pretty twisted and there’s a long, shallow gash up his leg from where he’d dragged along a rock. He’d swear he didn’t hit his head, would have remembered doing it, but the world had been a little fuzzy when he’d opened his eyes at the bottom of the hill and Cam had been frowning.
Cam’s not doing much better, all told. He hadn’t started out falling – no, he’d seen John go and had tried to work his way down on his feet, which had gotten him about halfway before he’d slipped as well. He’d landed pretty hard on one of his hips, and John knows that he’s trying to conceal how much it hurts. John thinks back to Antarctica and the crash and a year of physio that had pushed every limit that either of them had, but he tries to push it out of his mind, because Cam’s a little bruised now but he’s not broken, not like that, not like he was-
“John,” Cam says gently, from right next to him again, and John has to blink because Cam was just right near the fire, so how did he get here so fast?
Cam’s frowning a little as he reaches for John’s face, and his palm feels cool against John’s cheek. It’s a good kind of cool, amazing actually, and John turns his face into it and lets his eyes slip closed again. He hears Cam swearing under his breath and forces his eyelids back up.
“John,” Cam says clearly, reaching to open a pocket in his tac vest. “You’ve got a fever. I’ve got some aspirin, and the soup’s about done, okay?”
John nods and the world starts to slide around again, but he manages to blink it away and swallow as Cam pops the pills into his mouth and spills a little water in. Cam moves away, back to the fire, and John forces his eyes to follow, narrating Cam’s motions in his head to keep himself awake.
It’s not long before Cam is sitting beside him, the soup – broth, really, there’s nothing in it but some leaves that John had recalled being vaguely edible, but he refuses to call this tea – divided between John’s canteen and his own. He drinks a sip of his own, makes a face, and lifts John’s to his lips.
I can do it myself, John wants to protest, but he can’t, he can’t convince his hand to do much more than tremble and tremble in his lap, so he opens his lips and lets Cam tip the canteen towards him. It’s bitter, but he’d been expecting that, so he swallows it down and accepts another sip.
It’s warm, at least, and John feels a little bit better when Cam finally lowers the empty canteen and returns to drinking his own broth. He tries to watch as Cam drinks, focused on something outside the mouth of the cave, but John has to struggle to keep his eyes open after a few minutes.
Cam sets his own canteen down with a clanging that John’s pretty sure is designed to jar him awake for a bit. It works; his eyes fly open, but Cam’s not watching him. He’s tugging at the straps on his tac vest, loosening and unbuckling until it slides off. John sees him shiver as the chilled air in the cave hits his damp shirt, but Cam continues, pulling off his shirt and working his way out of his pants before laying them out by the fire. Finished, clad only in his boxers, he turns to John.
“Sorry,” he says as he leans down to unfasten John’s own tac vest. “Gotta get this stuff dry. Staying in wet clothes is only gonna make us miserable, and make you more sick.”
John knows it, rationally, but it’s hard to agree with what Cam’s doing. Every layer he peels off makes John feel ten degrees colder, and by the time he’s down to his own boxers, his teeth are chattering.
“I’m sorry,” Cam murmurs, running his fingers through John’s hair. “I’m gonna help you scoot over to the fire, okay?”
It’s a ridiculously slow process; they’re trying to move less than ten feet, but it feels like an agonizing distance. Every ounce of weight on his right leg feels like fire, and the fever and pain are making the world spin before his eyes. Cam’s keeping a pretty straight face, but John can see the thin lines around his eyes, creasing his brow, and he knows that Cam’s a lot more hurt than he’s letting on.
It’s warmer by the fire, though, and John can’t be anything but grateful as he finally collapses beside it. Cam helps him stretch out, and John feels his eyelids slip shut but can’t do anything about it. He can hear Cam rustling around with something before he settles right behind John, tossing whatever he’d found over their bodies and slinging an arm around John’s waist to pull him in tightly.
When John blinks his eyes open again, he’s finally, finally warm. The fire is down to embers, still warm in the ashes, and he can hear that the rain has stopped outside he cave. There’s no light coming in and Cam is still pressed right behind him, puffing out soft breaths in his sleep, so John closes his eyes again.
Cam’s hand is moving across John’s stomach as he climbs out of sleep the next time, a slow, comforting motion. John shifts his shoulders and feels the hand on his stomach stop moving.
“Did I wake you?” Cam asks softly.
“It’s fine,” John replies, and as he turns his head to look at Cam he realizes that his head isn’t spinning. “Sleep is awesome.”
Cam chuckles. “Glad you’re feeling better,” he says, pushing himself to a sitting position. “Let’s see if we can make our way towards the Gate.”
John doesn’t let himself groan. He’s feeling better, yeah, but he can feel the throbbing in his ankle and knows the cut in his leg is going to pull.
“I know,” Cam tells him, and John watches him stand carefully, catching himself on the wall of the cave as he stumbles a little. Sleeping on the floor of a cave couldn’t have been good for his hip, and as John looks more carefully, he can see the purple edges of the bruise just above the line of Cam’s boxers.
Cam just glares when John tries to swat his hands away, so John lets him unwrap the dressing they’d managed to tie around his leg last night. It’s still open, and John grits his teeth as Cam pulls the last layer away. It’s sticking to the cut, pulling in a way that just adds to the fire. Cam makes a noncommittal noise and tosses the gauze to the side, fishing another roll out of his tac vest and wrapping John’s leg in the clean cotton. He then unwraps John’s ankle, which starts to throb more steadily as the pressure is released. He prods at the bruises there, and John knows he’s feeling for a break or something torn and it’s what he’s supposed to do but it hurts like fuck and he can’t help the reflexive jerk of his foot.
“Sorry,” Cam says, and John knows he is, knows he doesn’t mean to hurt and that he hates doing it, but also knows that Cam isn’t going to stop just because it hurts. By the time he’s done rewrapping John’s ankle, John’s laying flat out, sweat slowly making its way through his hair.
They’re quiet as they pull on their clothing, which is mostly dry. Cam bends slowly, trying to help John up without losing his balance, and they’re both breathing a little heavier than normal by the time they’re upright.
“How’re you doing?” Cam asks as he hands John his radio.
“Let’s put it this way,” John says as he slips the radio into his ear. “If you weren’t fantastic in bed, I’d push you down the damn mountain myself.”
“Lucky for me, then,” Cam grins. John rolls his eyes and switches on his radio.
“-hear me, please respond,” John hears, and he’s probably never been this thankful to hear Lorne’s unflappable voice before.
“And here I was thinking we were going to have to rescue ourselves,” John replies into his radio.
“And ruin my record?” comes the reply. Cam snorts. “We can’t get a fix on your transmitters, sir. What’s your approximate location?”
“Hang on,” John replies, using the wall for support as he makes his way out of the cave. “Try it again.”
“Better,” Lorne replies. “ETA’s about ten minutes, sir. Anything we should know?”
“We’re beat to hell, but we’re both conscious,” John replies. “You can make your own decisions when you get here.”
“Copy,” Lorne responds, and John swears he can hear the man smirking through the channel.
There’s a minute of silence when the radio clicks off before Cam say, “Y’know, I think I like him.”
“He’s not interested,” John fires back, purposely misinterpreting. “You’re not his type. Not skinny enough.”
“Are you calling me fat?” Cam mock-pouts, but there’s the teasing John’s going for, the relief that help’s almost here, and John just cocks his head and gives Cam an evaluative look before shrugging, a smirk on his face. Cam laughs and shoves his arm gently. “Jackass.”
Lorne’s there in precisely ten minutes, lowering the hatch of the Jumper right on the ledge outside of the cave, and John tries not to think about how many rescues Lorne’s had to perform for him to be able to pull off a move like that.
“You look like shit, sir,” Lorne says to John bluntly before looking at Cam. “You, not so much.”
Cam laughs as John glowers, but they both settle into the back of the Jumper as the hatch closes and Carson drops at John’s side, already poking at his ankle.
“Told you I liked him,” Cam says, low in John’s ear, nodding his head at Lorne.
“I can still push you off a mountain,” John threatens, but he doesn’t mean it and they both know it.
Cam grins. “I’ll just have to remind you how fantastic I am in bed, then,” he breathes out, and John would reply but Carson’s pulling at the gauze on his leg and the burn is coming back, so he smirks as he grits his teeth against the feeling.
“I’ll hold you to that,” he promises, and Cam grins, and John lets his head fall against the bench in the Jumper, because it’s been a hell of a mission but it’s over and they’re on their way home.