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Two Honor Guard snippets:

„Do you think John will ever find somebody,“ Rodney asks Teyla after watching Sheppard fend off yet another admirer. Thus far this evening, there have been three advances from women and one from a man, all of which had received the same polite response, aw-chucks, not this evening.

Tonight, as nearly all nights Rodney can remember, the military commander of Atlantis will go home by himself. Or, rather, he'll find his way to the tent that Halling always erects for Teyla and her friends, but he will sleep alone.

Teyla is quiet beside him for so long that Rodney is just about to repeat the question, when it occurs to him that maybe she is waiting to see if he is really paying attention.

“Sometimes, I fear that he will not.” Something in Rodney's stomach clenches unhappily, not unlike the sensation he has whenever he sits at John's bedside when his friend is recovering from his most recent brush of death in the infirmary.

“I think it is not a question of whether John will find somebody, it is a question of whether somebody will find John,” Teyla says.

His own voice is more quiet than he likes to admit when he says, “I know.”

If the universe had any common sense showing for itself – not that Rodney would stoop to such asinine pastimes as to anthropomorphize the universe – it would have happened back when Jumper One had crashed into the hive ship, or when Todd had left him a near-corpse or, if it absolutely had to wait as long as until today, when the arrow had pierced John's skin.

Instead, it doesn't even happen until after Rodney is back in his own bedroom, assured that everything that could possibly be done has been done, that both Teyla and John will be fine.

There have been plenty occasions before. This is, after all, far from the first time since Rodney's aborted wedding that John has gotten shot. Not even the second, or the third. The more he thinks about it, the more upset Rodney gets that this is the fourth time Jennifer has to spend hours in surgery saving John's life since then.

He can no longer count the number of times he has seen the man almost die. He has fought alongside him, shared food and company, rescued Teyla and her baby, carved out their place in the Pegasus galaxy, made unimaginable discoveries. But this, lying face-down on his bed in the dark, is the moment the universe chooses to make him see.

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