When John had first gotten involved with Rodney McKay he had clearly understood the main reason that fraternisation between team members was forbidden.
And he had always been proud of the way that he and Rodney acted no differently in the field now than when they had first gotten together.
It hadn't mattered that she was new and that he hadn't known her name, she had understood.
That's what he had to keep telling himself when he remembered seeing her prone form for those few seconds before he'd turned to Rodney's body, floating face down.
Understood that there was only time to save one of them from a room rapidly filling with icy water with a door that was closing faster than John knew how to swim and that she was, therefore, going to die.
Because the choice was her or Doctor Rodney McKay.
Understood that John would, *correctly*, deduce Rodney to be more valuable to the mission. She must have understood that before she had fallen unconscious.
What she wouldn't have understood was that it didn't matter, that it had never mattered.
He finally understood why he and Rodney acted no differently now than before, why it didn't matter if he and Rodney were sleeping together or not.
Because, quite frankly, if it had been Elizabeth, a general or even the President of the United States with his lover whether today or a year ago today he would still have done exactly the same thing.
And what's more he didn't regret it.
He *couldn't bring* himself to regret it.
Would probably never regret it.
The next day John resigned.
Summary: John had to keep telling himself that she had understood, understood that the choice between her and Rodney McKay was no choice at all really. Character death, not major or even minor really, 270 words, longish drabble