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Title: Silent Treatment
Characters: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay
Length: 600ish words
Author's Notes: Warning - this is a Halloween story, expect creepy things. Many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] kimberlyfdr for her thorough and speedy beta job. Any remaining errors are all mine.
Summary: After spending a few years stranded with only each other for company, the cracks are beginning to show.



John climbed the hill, singing softly under his breath, “Don’t take your guns to town, son. Leave your guns at home, Bill.” The sun was shining, his leg wasn’t bothering him, and he’d trapped two rabbils in his snares. All in all, he’d had an excellent day.

“Rodney, I’m back,” he called out as he reached the hulk of the crashed puddlejumper, but no one answered. Rodney must still be mad at him. That morning they had argued fiercely and Rodney had made it clear that he planned to spend the entire day ignoring John. “I brought tasty squirbits, already dressed and ready to cook.” Maybe the offer of his favorite hard-to-catch treat would soften Rodney up. They were rather like rabbits and even more like squirrels. John and Rodney had spent days arguing over the best name for the critters in the beginning. Now, John made sure never to call them the same thing twice in a row. He knew it irritated Rodney.

John kept up a nonstop flow of conversation as he moved around camp, setting up dinner. He moved past Rodney as often as possible, stopping each time to say, “Excuse me, Dr. McKay.” He could tell he was getting to Rodney, but McKay never cracked.

“Looks like the sun is nearly down, and I think the long-tailed hopper is roasted up nicely. ‘What perfect timing,’ you say? Why thank you, Rodney.” He offered McKay his share of the meat.

“By the way, thanks for replenishing the firewood today. ‘But I didn’t get around to it,’ you say. And I snort in derision at your total failure to recognize sarcasm.” He was pretty sure he’d gotten an eyebrow rise from Rodney on that one. “I mean, if I go out and catch us food and haul the water, all on a bad leg, it hardly seems fair that I have to gather the firewood, too.” Rodney continued to ignore him.

After dinner, John moved closer to the fire. His leg always bothered him more at night as the temperature dropped. John offered Rodney a spot, but he was still being studiously ignored.

John lay back with his head pillowed on his rolled-up sleeping bag, watching stars now as familiar to him as those on Earth. “Do you think they miss us, back on Atlantis? I think Ronon and Teyla do. Man, I’d like to see Torren. I bet he’s nearly as big as Jinto was when we first saw him. I wonder about it sometimes, you know; how they’re doing, if the city is ok, if they’re still looking. I wonder about Carson and Keller and even Dave and Jeannie. Don’t you miss them sometimes?

“Come on, damn it, talk to me. I apologize for whatever I did that set you off. Don’t be so damn stubborn, Rodney, you win. Now answer me, because you’re pissing me off.” He sat up and snatched the rolled sleeping bag, flinging it at McKay and hitting him in the head.

“Oh, damn, Rodney, I’m sorry.” John leapt to his feet and ran over to pick up McKay’s head from where the sleeping bag had knocked it. He set the skull carefully back at the base of the neck. “It’s your own fault, you know. I hate it when you give me the silent treatment.”

Rodney still didn’t answer.
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