But back to the previous round... Now I have the banner (thanks, alyburns), I can post the fic. (EDIT: Actually, since the banner is pretty big, and I've already rambled on a bit in this post, I'll put the banner as well as the story behind the cut.)
(The challenge was for 400 words exactly, from McKay's viewpoint,involving either Ronon or Teyla.)
What He Knows
Rodney had to crawl the last few yards, stone shards gouging into his knees. "Ronon?" His voice scraped on stone-dust. "Uh… buddy?" There was no response. Of course there was no response. An enormous pillar resting on your chest didn't make you feel perky, not as a general rule.
Far below, the ocean glittered, untouched by the devastation on the top of the cliff. Rodney saw a plant stripped bare by the force of the explosion, its stalk speckled with Ronon's blood. "Ronon?" Rodney had never seen him like this, so still, so fragile.
He didn't know what to do. His fingers ghosted over harsh stone. Should he try to lift it? No, you weren't supposed to do things like that. He couldn't, anyway; wasn't strong, not like Ronon. But he had other strengths, didn't he? He had different weapons: his intellect, his devices…
He dragged them out, hands quivering. He could tell the temperature of the ocean. He knew how much oxygen was in the air, and how old were the stones. He knew how far the sunlight had travelled before it struck the water, and he knew why the heat shimmered and how the seabirds soared.
But he didn't know how to save Ronon.
Ronon lay on a bed of quartz and sapphire; a frieze had covered the wall, and shards of eyes stared up from the rubble. Ronon's own eyes were more dull. "Told you… not to… press… the button."
"It was in the middle of the console," Rodney protested. "Virtually had a 'press me' label on it. What sort of stupid self-destruct--?"
Ronon threw his head back, the tendons taut in his neck, and screamed. Rodney's mouth went dry with horror, because Ronon didn't. Ronon and Sheppard… They weren't… They didn't… Not like him.
"The others'll be here soon," he said. "Bound to have heard the explosion. It was kind of, uh… large, and…" He coughed, tasting ashes. "It's ironic, isn't it? Here we are – a tropical paradise, and--."
"McKay." Ronon's voice was jagged with pain.
"Sorry." He twisted his hands together. "I talk too much. It's a bad habit. Sorry. Being quiet."
"No." Ronon's expression pierced Rodney to the heart. "Talk."
But Ronon didn't like him, not really. Rodney wasn't part of Ronon's inner circle. He didn't…
"Please." Blood-stained fingers grasped Rodney's wrist. "It helps."
And so Rodney did. He did.