I don't have the gift of writing humor (this is h/c instead) but the other thing I admired about Five Planets... was that there was a story arc in the progression of the five things. I experimented with that here. Aaaaand I used a McSheplets prompt.
Spoilers for Doppelganger and The Shrine. PG.
Five Symptoms John Sheppard Isn't Used to Having
1. Chest pain.
John's used to the clench of fear in his stomach when a mission goes to hell, but when Rodney goes down, his chest suddenly blooms with pain. He can't see how much damage the Sidari weapon caused, but Rodney's convulsing from the energy residual, and suddenly John's abandoning his cover and running toward their pursuers with his P90 spitting a solid wall of fire.
When the last Sidari hits the ground he's already on his way back to Rodney, panting for breath past the crushing pain in his chest, and fuck but this is no time to be having a heart attack. Ronon heaves Rodney's limp body up into his arms, blood everywhere. Teyla runs ahead to dial the gate while John covers their retreat, and they dive through the event horizon just as Sidari reinforcements burst into the clearing.
2. Muscle tremors.
It's hour six of what Keller had told them, hurriedly, would be at least four hours of surgery. She'd pushed all three of them toward the waiting area without pausing for questions and disappeared into the operating theatre.
John's wracking his brain for how he could have kept his team from walking into an ambush, sick with guilt, and most of all afraid this will be the time their crazy luck runs out. When the parasite was destroying Rodney's mind John swore he'd say something, do something, if he had the chance. But he let himself get distracted with relief and the demands of keeping Atlantis safe... not to mention his own complete failure to find the right words. Or a gesture that wouldn't be misunderstood.
John doesn't realize his hands are shaking until Teyla passes the baby to Ronon and wraps her own hand firmly around his. "Rodney is strong, and Dr. Keller is very skilled," she says quietly. John can't answer, his throat is too tight, but he manages to squeeze back and Teyla eases back in her chair a little, still holding his hand.
3. Increased sensitivity to sounds.
John sits by Rodney's bed in a dimly lit, secluded corner, away from the activity of the infirmary but close enough for Keller to come running if there's a problem. Even with the hum of all the machines keeping him alive, John can hear Rodney's shallow, labored breaths. He's agitated too, struggling weakly against the anesthetic.
It might be a side effect of the Sidari weapon, Keller says uncertainly, and it's not good, but Rodney's condition is too precarious to throw sedatives into the mix. John thinks back to the crystal entity and wonders if Rodney's having a nightmare of being in danger, and alone.
He starts to talk quietly. They aren't the words he wants to say, but if Rodney can hear John's voice he'll know he's not alone.
At hour 19 Rodney finally wakes up. He's been drifting in and out for a while, but now he opens his eyes blearily and John can see that he's able to focus.
Hey buddy, John starts to say, but all of a sudden his casual act deserts him and he's left with nothing but honesty, the power of his feelings driving out everything else. The force of it leaves him dizzy, the room turning around him.
"Rodney, I was so afraid," he says, voice shaking. Rodney nods, wide-eyed at what he sees on John's face. John squeezes Rodney's arm with one hand, cups his cheek with the other, and leans close enough to press fervent kisses to Rodney's lips, his cheekbones, his forehead.
In the next moment Rodney wraps his arm slowly around John, too weak to really pull him in closer but the intent is clear. "John," he sighs, kissing John's temple and ear. "John. John."
It's love and relief and happiness, and it's like nothing John's ever felt before.