Title: Shades of Grey
Summary: Some choices are black and white, but that doesn't mean they're right or wrong
John’s finger hovered over the button as he stared at the planet below. If he pressed it, this would be his genocide, his crime against humanity.
Could he live with himself if he did it? Could he live with himself if he didn’t? Either way his world would change.
John’s finger hovered over the button and one universe split into two.
John hesitated. Could he really kill all those people? He wanted to, for Rodney, but…
He looked out over the planet…
And Rodney, slumped in the co-pilot’s seat, woke with a groan, ‘John?’
John wanted to go to him but he couldn’t move; his finger still on the button.
‘John, what’s going on, what are you doing?’
‘I could kill them all,’ John’s voice sounded strange even to him.
‘John,’ Rodney sounded scared, ‘John, don’t, step away from the console, please.’
John stared down at the planet, he wanted… But then he turned away, to his lover, who held out his arms to John. ‘Come here.’
If Rodney hadn’t been hurt, John would have climbed into his lap; instead he knelt beside the chair and wrapped his arms around him.
He buried his face in Rodney’s shoulder and muttered, ‘They… You…’
‘I know, I know, but I’m here, I’ll be okay,’ Rodney sounded reasonable and soothing, a rare enough occurrence that John actually believed him, ‘We’re safe, we’ll be okay.’
John took a deep breath, drawing in Rodney’s scent and said quietly, ‘I love you.’
He felt Rodney stiffen, then relax, ‘I love you, too.’
Two months later, when they met the same bastards again on a planet that was supposed to be safe, when they had almost killed Rodney, again. John cursed himself and really wished he’d pressed the button.
John pressed the button and watched the destruction unfold beneath him.
And Rodney woke up. ‘John?’
John rushed to him but Rodney’s attention was drawn to the devastation visible through the front windshield.
‘Rodney, I don’t understand,’ Elizabeth sounded desperate, ‘Why would you leave, you love this city,’ She paused, ‘John…’ And now she sounded apprehensive.
Rodney sighed, all he sounded was tired, ‘There’s no need to tell me what he did, I was there, remember?’ He looked up at her, ‘You’ve got to understand, Elizabeth, it doesn’t matter how much I love this city, believe me, I do love her. But no matter what he’s done, I love him more.’ And then he calmly went back to packing having pulled the universe out from under Elizabeth’s feet.
She stared at him and then said very quietly, ‘He did it for you, didn’t he? Because they hurt you?’
Rodney froze, ‘Yes,’ his voice was barely above a whisper.
Elizabeth grabbed his shoulders to force him to look at her, ‘He committed genocide, Rodney, how is that ever an acceptable outcome?’
Rodney’s eyes blazed as he practically yelled, ‘You weren’t there, you don’t know what happened,’ his voice lowered but was still harsh, ‘they raped me in front of him.’
And then Elizabeth felt her blood freeze and fear, that she wasn’t quite sure was irrational, rush through her as John Sheppard’s voice; cold and hard and deadly came from the doorway.
‘And no-one touches what’s mine.’ Elizabeth let go of Rodney’s shoulders and turned to find hazel eyes, that burned with something not quite sane, pining her in place as John stepped towards her.