By: Antares Star
Chapter Nine: Code K
PG-13: For character whumping, blood, and language
A/N: Well, this is it! The final chapter. I considered doing something extremely evil and having complications, but I have an affinity for 9 chapter stories. Seems like the perfect length so people don't loose interest. And there's only some much whump-age you can put everyone through in one fic.
I can't thank my reviewers and readers enough, ya'll rock. I hope to be writing some shorter fics soon, depends on amount of work those darn professors give!
An eerie silence permeated the infirmary when Carson reached over one-handed and hit off the patient alarms. With his other hand he forced air into Rodney's lungs with an oxygen mask.
"Doctor Beckett?" A nurse came up beside him, ready with a ventilator.
Carson squeezed the pump again, quietly counting the seconds under his breath. "Wait lass, give it a chance."
They waited in tense silence.
"Teyla is showing an increased heart rate." Padgett's voice sounded absurdly loud in the quiet room as she removed Teyla's oxygen mask to check.
"Come on." Sheppard muttered. He studied McKay, who was closest. The man continued to lie deathly still and his skin was so white it matched the sheets. His pale eyes were open and stared glassily up at the ceiling. Sheppard spoke hesitantly. He'd never seen the man's eyes so blank and frankly it freaked him out. "Doc? How's it looking?"
Their hearts sluggishly searched for its next beat. "Improving slightly, but it's not enough." Carson turned quickly to Teyla's bed and checked a monitor, sending a silent prayer to heaven. He would never forgive himself...he couldn't think about it, wouldn't let himself be distracted by doubt.
They waited. Hadn't it been too long?
Rodney's eyes flickered, his mouth worked silently. Everyone held their breath, as if unable to take one until Rodney did so first.
Then, with a grand effort and a painful sounding rasp, Rodney drew in a huge gulp of air. He began coughing violently and Carson leaned back from him with an expression of deep relief. The tension in the infirmary shattered like glass.
Völker cried above the wheezing, "Teyla's breathing on her own too!" Ford and Wallace weren't far behind, and soon their coughing abated and the patients lay quietly, sinking into a healthy sleep.
Allowing herself to relax, Elizabeth breathed quietly, "It worked!" She didn't mean to sound so shocked, she'd had confidence in Carson from the beginning, but admittedly she'd been nervous for a while there. "Good job Carson, Doctors!"
Carson permitted a small smile but warned, "They aren't out of the woods yet, I want blood tests and a full work up first." He allowed the smile to grow as he read Rodney's scans. "He's already stabilized, that's incredible!" He turned to Sheppard. "Major, you need your injection too, unless you care to stay the way you are."
"Negative on that count Doc. This is one needle I won't complain about." Padgett was already bearing down on him with another dose of the remedy. He was ready to be back to normal. He received his shot and smiled fantastically at the dark haired doctor, who looked away quickly.
Carson turned slowly to Elizabeth. It was done! Everyone had received the antidote and seemed to be stabilizing. Elizabeth noticed with concern he was favoring his injured leg. She doubted her wisdom of allowing him back on his feet so soon after his recovery.
"If they continue like this, I'll be able to release them soon…" He trailed off with a confused look on his weary face.
"Carson?" Elizabeth approached him with alarm and placed her hand on his arm.
"I…" He gave her one last look, so completely bewildered it was almost comical. Almost. No one was laughing when the doctor staggered back clumsily, as though trying to gain balance and banged into the bed Sheppard sat on.
Sheppard hopped down hastily and took Carson's other arm. "Whoa! Doc?"
Carson jumped a little when Sheppard touched him, proving he was still uneasy around the major. However, he sighed gratefully as they eased him to the floor. Sheppard straightened the Scot's lab coat, which had twisted in an uncomfortable fashion. Elizabeth took the oxygen mask still clamped in his hand and unlooped the stethoscope from his neck, putting them aside. "Carson, can you hear me?"
Völker was shouting something now.
He just gave a tired sigh, blue eyes dim and face an unhealthy shade of grey, before sinking back against the bed and slowly sliding into Sheppard's embrace.
Voices were the first thing Carson was aware of. Then, a fuzzy sort of light just beyond his reach. Something on his cheek, a comforting presence. The voice was asking him to open his eyes, to wake up. He didn't want to, but the comforting hand began to slap him softly, becoming decidedly less pleasant. He groaned and pried his lids open; surprised that it didn't hurt his eyes. The lights were dimmed.
The shape bending over him blurred fantastically before sliding into focus. Pale eyes, brown hair, a scowl. Rodney. The name came easily but it seemed wrong. Rodney shouldn't be up, should he? He'd been ill, very ill. Carson blinked several times and looked again, expecting something different. He peered up at the man in confusion.
It was still McKay, whose scowl had been replaced with something akin to worry. "Why are you looking at me like that Carson?" Rodney touched his face self-consciously.
Of course, that look of worry was for himself. Carson wanted to laugh but wasn't sure he could manage. To see Rodney back on his feet and as self-centered as ever was wonderful. Trying to formulate an answer, Carson could only manage a small, "Hullo."
Rodney raised a brow and nodded shortly. "Hi. Hey, are you all here?"
Carson nodded, "Aye."
"Carson, good to see you awake." Dr. Chan came up to him, smiling brightly as she began checking his vitals. "Looks good, let me now if you need anything?" He shook his head and she retreated.
"What happened?" He felt better but disoriented. Last thing he remembered Rodney and his positions had been reversed, with the Canadian flat on his back and Carson standing over him.
With a sigh McKay launched into an explanation said so quickly that his words tripped over each other in their haste. "You injected us with an antidote, oh wait, I should say a poison! Look not that I mind being your lab-rat, but next time let's try something more conventional, eh?" He smiled to let the doctor know he wasn't really upset, just fulfilling his role of the typical, complaining Rodney.
He took a seat in one of the many chairs that surrounded Carson's bed to continue. Why were there so many chairs around him?
"Then we began getting better, Sheppard recovered too, thank God. Within a few hours we were completely normal, or so that surgeon of yours said. We need to have a talk about the competence of your staff."
Carson rolled his eyes. "Trust me; they don't like you any more than you like them. What happened next?"
"Well, apparently you collapsed soon after injecting us. They were worried you were suffering from residual effects of the venom, but Dr. Thompson was just fine, so that was ruled out. You just fainted it seems." He smirked.
"Why thank you Rodney." Carson bit back a retort. Of course he had fainted! He'd been poisoned, infected with a virus, hurt on the leg and nose, and been thrown down a set of steps all within 24 hours. Then he'd spent hours on his feet trying to develop a treatment. He felt tired, drained, which was odd since he'd just woken up. "How long?"
McKay checked his watch. "Almost six hours. Dr. Völker said all you need is some rest and food, and you'll be back to yourself in no time."
Everyone waited for you, but eventually went off to sleep or to the mess." That explained all the chairs.
"And you volunteered to stay with me?" Carson was skeptical, missing an opportunity to eat was very un-Rodney like.
With a bark of laughter McKay was about to retort, but the doors swished open and Sheppard walked in. "Doc! How are you feeling? I brought you something." He grinned and motioned to the covered plate he carried. "Fresh from the mainland."
Carson struggled to sit up and said gratefully, "Thanks Major, I could use some food."
Admittedly, Sheppard was surprised at the warm tone of Carson's voice. He wouldn't have blamed the Doc for being angry with him. He took a chair and offered the plate of fruit to Carson. The Scot made to take it, but his hands were shaking badly. He looked guiltily at them and dismissed it with, "Just tired and a bit weak, nothing to worry about." Sheppard gave him an appraising look before pushing his hands away and setting the plate on Carson's lap.
"So, um." Sheppard bit his lip. looking uncomfortable. "You and me Doc, uh…"
"Oh just spit it out." Rodney drummed his fingers impatiently against his thigh.
Sheppard shot him a glare and tried again. "We're good, right? I mean, I never would have hurt you on purpose, you know…"
"Major, of course, I was never angry with you. You weren't yourself." Carson spoke firmly but avoided eye contact.
"Never?" Sheppard looked skeptical and reached out to tap Carson's bare arm.
He flinched a little but allowed the contact. "Sorry, it'll just take a few days." He ate a bit of the sweet fruit. "Do you have anything to drink major, seeing as all my apple juice is gone?"
Sheppard froze like the proverbial deer in the headlights.
"Huh?" McKay looked between them.
"Nothing!" Sheppard replied. "Doctor patient confidentiality."
Carson scoffed. "Don't play that card with me Major."
Finally getting it, Rodney grinned and leaned back. "Ah yes, the exploits of Sheppard on poison."
Sheppard growled, "McKay."
Rodney just shot him a glance. "Hm, I sensing blackmail here, what do you say Carson?"
"Oh aye. And I can't wait to see this North Pier he's been raving about."
Sheppard pretended to be displeased with them, but was just playing along. It felt good to be back to normal, sitting quietly here with two good friends. Their life was so full of desperate situations it was nice to just relax a while. Until their next mishap that is.
A/N: Wow, I'm done! Thanks so much for reading, hope it was entertaining. I sure feel good now that I've gotten it out of my system. How about one last review, I'd really appreciate it! Bye then!
Chapter Title Translation: 'Code K' is IL police code for 'peace restored'.