Rodney had always wanted to be a hero. He wasn't sure he'd be a very good one, given his life-threatening allergies and his severe dislike of pain but he'd always thought he'd rise to the occasion, give it his best shot...
Only it wasn't working. It was hard to be a hero when you had a heavily bleeding wound in your thigh that was probably going to cause you to exsanguinate before you could reach the DHD, dial Atlantis and procure help for your comrades.
Still, he had to try. So he bit down on his lip and pushed ahead through the overhanging branches and tangling weeds, while sweat dripped down his overheated face, and his breath heaved out of his lungs in deep gasps, until the DHD came into view.
By then all he wanted was to sink down into the grass at his feet and rest, just bloody rest for five minutes before he had to get up and do the hero thing all over again.
He couldn't rest. He knew that. The others were relying on him. As usual. So he kept moving and finally reached the device, pounded the coordinates in, then threw himself through the horizon.
Arriving on the Atlantis side, he didn't get much of a hero's welcome. Instead, Elizabeth began bombarding him with questions about where the rest of his team was, completely ignoring the fact that he was bleeding out all over the gateroom floor.
He filled her in as succinctly as he could, given the severity of his injury and the fact that he was on the verge of hypovolemic shock, told her his team had been captured and that she needed to send in reinforcements.
She turned from him, barking out orders in that almost-military way she'd adopted, then she turned back to him, looked at his leg and called for Carson.
Rodney had given up caring about being a hero by then. He was too busy trying to keep from puking his guts up when he followed her gaze and saw the state of his leg.
He was vaguely aware of being lowered to the floor and then
"Hey, Rodney, you're something of a hero, you know."
Rodney opened his eyes and looked at Sheppard. "Oh," he said casually, while his heart beat a rapid tattoo inside his chest, "you're back then?"
Sheppard nodded and patted his shoulder in a friendly fashion. "Thanks to you."
Rodney narrowed his eyes and looked for a sign that Sheppard was yanking his chain, something the Colonel seemed to enjoy doing with monotonous regularity. Sheppard looked as if he was serious so Rodney decided a look was as good as anything to go by and took him at his word. "Well," he replied, "you're welcome. I'm glad you're all right. Teyla? Ronon?"
Sheppard grinned and nodded. "Everyone's okay."
"Well, except for me." Rodney looked pointedly down at his heavily bandaged and extremely painful thigh.
"Yeah, sorry about the war wound," Sheppard said. "But I meant it. Thanks, Rodney. You did good. Get some rest, okay? "
Rodney watched him leave then closed his eyes. He was exhausted. Being a hero wasn't all it was cracked up to be.