Word Count: 813
Rating: PG.
Category: Angst.
Story Status: Complete
Summary: Missing scene for This Mortal Coil.  Radek is worried about Rodney.
Author's Notes: On the Jumper Bay yahoo group's Christmas Wish List, Rowan asked for a Radek or Ronon centred story, that could have other characters in it. This is a Radek POV involving Rodney and John that I sent to her on Christmas Day, 2007.

Beta: Thank you to Jayne Perry for the beta-reading.

Loss, and the Art of Coping (or Not)
By Leesa Perrie

Radek was concerned.  The conversation with Rodney had unsettled him greatly.  He knew that working was the Canadian’s way of not dealing with bad events, he’d seen it before, but for Rodney to admit it, and to admit that he wasn’t ready to deal with Elizabeth’s death, had thrown him.  Rodney didn’t admit things like that, not to him; well, unless he was trying to fix things so that he could ascend, that was.

Radek and Rodney

He thought back to Carson’s death.  It had been a hard time for everyone; Carson was well-liked and his death had shaken the Atlantis personnel badly.  Rodney had buried himself in his work that time as well, though it was also different; he’d snapped and snarled at the science staff to a degree that he’d never done before, causing them to avoid him at all costs.  Radek, to his shame now, hadn’t tried to help Rodney back then; hadn’t known what to say, what to do; had been struggling with his own grief too much to look beyond himself.

It had only been when he felt the scientists were on the verge of mutiny, themselves mourning Carson’s loss and not taking to Rodney’s temper tantrums well, that he had done anything, and even then that had been to ask Elizabeth to intervene.

He couldn’t do that this time.

Walking into the mess hall, he grabbed a tray, placing on it a sandwich, an apple and a mug of coffee.  He intended to go back to the lab to eat, mainly so that Rodney was not alone even if he wasn’t ready to talk to anyone, but spotted Sheppard off in a corner on his own.  Perhaps this was the answer.

“Colonel, may I join you?” he asked, setting his tray down onto the table and taking a seat.

“Do I have any choice?” Sheppard said dryly, with raised eyebrows.

“There is always choice,” he replied succinctly.  “You could leave.”

“Right,” John drawled.  “Of course I could.  Any particular reason for sitting here?”

“Ah, perhaps I have slight ulterior motive.”

“Okay, spill it, doc.”

“It is Rodney.  He is working too hard.  I suggest he take a break but he will not,” he said, trying to convey his concern.

“Rodney always works hard,” Sheppard dismissed lightly, but Radek saw the fleeting look of concern on the Colonel’s face before it was quickly masked by nonchalance and a casual shrug of his shoulders.

“Yes, but this is… I suggested to him he is trying to is lose himself in his work, he admits this it true.  That it is Carson all over again and he is not ready to deal with it.” Radek absentmindedly pushed his glasses further up the bridge of his nose while nervously awaiting the Colonel’s response.

“We all deal with things our own way,” Sheppard replied after a moment’s pause, looking highly uncomfortable with the subject.

“Yes, yes, but Rodney is not dealing with Elizabeth’s death.  It is not healthy.  But he will not talk to me, that much is clear.  He may not talk to anyone, but…”

“You want me to try?” Sheppard finished for him, with a grimace.

“Perhaps, or if not you, then Teyla, or Ronon even.”

Sheppard was quiet for a minute, clearly lost in thought.  He wasn’t certain if approaching the Colonel had been the right thing to do, knowing that the man was also grieving.

“You going to eat that or just play with it?”  Sheppard suddenly said, looking pointedly at the sandwich he had been dissecting.

“I think I am not so hungry as I thought,” he said, thinking that Sheppard didn’t want to talk about it either.  Perhaps he should talk to Teyla, he thought as a yawn escaped him.

“You should get some rest, it’s late,” John suggested.

“No, I will return to lab.  Keep Rodney company.  I doubt I’ll be able to sleep anyway.”

“No, really, you should turn in for the night,” Sheppard repeated, standing up and grabbing his tray, giving Radek a meaningful look before adding quietly, “I got it covered.”

Radek nodded his understanding, quietly relieved.

“Then I shall at least try to sleep,” he replied.

As he watched the Colonel leave the mess hall, he smiled to himself.  Hopefully Sheppard could help; if not, at least he was aware of the problem, and that was a start.

Picking up his own tray, he deposited it on his way out.  He didn’t go to straight to his quarters, however, but instead went to the balcony closest to Elizabeth’s room.  A place that he knew she had visited whenever she needed to get away from her responsibilities and relax; this balcony offering more privacy than the one off her office.

Standing, he looked out over the ocean, an ocean that Elizabeth had never seen, and thought of another friend lost. 

And allowed himself to grieve.


The End

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