Disclaimer: Don't own them, dagnabit


CONDEMNED: Missing tag scene by Merlin7

John was tired. Actually, he knew he was veering towards exhaustion. Not so surprising given his day. Being beaten and held captive by a bunch of condemned prisoners was not high on his list of ways to spend a day in the Pegasus galaxy.

Ending his captivity by diving through the gate hadn't been on his list either. But he and his team and their one tag-along had done just that, and barely in time to escape being culled. John didn't want to think about that or about what had happened on the planet after they had left.

Soon after Elizabeth had appeared, safe and sound. She had ordered Major Lorne to escort their new "guest" to the infirmary, get him something to eat, and find a place for him to sleep. She had then ordered Teyla to accompany Ronon to the infirmary after learning he had been pierced in the leg by an arrow.

After that, she had escorted John and Rodney into her office where they had spent the past two hours debriefing and discussing what to do about the Puddle Jumper they had left behind as well as the disposition of their new guest. Rodney had offered to take him on his own team and had left the debriefing first, Elizabeth having reminded him to stop by the infirmary.

Once alone, John had listened to Elizabeth's thoughts on what had happened. They were on the same page for once and in a few days they would return for the Jumper, and check out the city. John was pretty sure there wouldn't be too many survivors. He wasn't happy about what had happened, but that's war; and in this war they couldn't really identify the good guys from the bad.

After making their future plans, Elizabeth had sent John off for his own trip to the infirmary, which was where he was headed to at the moment, although he wasn't moving too fast. Every muscle in his body felt stiff and he was limping. John sighed and made a mental memo to himself – in future find a smaller branch to break in half. Wincing, he rubbed the spot above his right knee. It hurt like hell and he knew he was going to have one heck of a bruise.

He finally wandered through the infirmary doors to find Beckett waiting for him. In fact, the doc was standing by one of the med beds, patting it, with a grim smile on his face. John wondered if he looked worse than he felt and decided that wasn't possible. He noticed that Beckett was frowning at his limp. "Did everyone check out okay?" he queried, hoping to divert attention away from himself. It didn't work.

"Everyone is fine," Carson stated. He reached out to snag Sheppard by the arm, practically hoisting him onto the medbed. "Teyla and Rodney are exhausted and should be sound asleep by now. Ronon's injury needed a thorough cleaning but Teyla had done a good field job so I shot him full of antibiotics and sent him to his room. Now...Colonel, what the hell happened to you? Ronon was shot in the leg with an arrow and he wasn't even limping. You on the other hand..."

"Muscle bruise," John replied, knowing it was easier to just fess up. "And I did it to myself so don't even ask."

Carson bit his lip, obviously holding back the question he was dying to ask, and nodded. He did his usual checks before grabbing Sheppard's hands and turning them to observe his wrists. "You and Ronon took the most damage," he stated, reaching for a brown bottle and a soft rag.

John hissed as the disinfecting liquid touched his skin. "Figures," he stated. It was a testament to his crappy day. John closed his eyes as Beckett fussed with his other wrist, but opened them when he felt the zipper on his shirt being tugged down. Then gentle fingers were exploring his throat where the collar had been. God he had hated that thing. He'd been captured behind enemy lines a few years back and they'd bound him in much the same way. Which was why, this time, John had known enough not to struggle too much. It sucked when you felt like you were choking yourself.

"Does it hurt to swallow?" Carson asked.

"Not really," John replied. "So...we done?" He wanted a shower and bed. Preferably right now.

Carson shook his head. "Not yet." He pulled a penlight out of his pocket then gripped Sheppard's chin. "Look straight ahead for me."

John did but he was peeved. "What are you doing?"

"Teyla told me that you were a bit disoriented after the jumper crashed. She thought you might have hit your head, even though you appeared fully functional at the time."

"Hey...I'm still fully functional," John protested, feeling a bit offended. He'd have to have a word in private with Teyla, later on, about her snitching on him.

Carson narrowed his gaze on him. "Well...your pupils are a bit dilated so I'm going to keep you overnight for observation."

John was stunned and he shook his head as he made to slide off the medbed, only to find a hand on his chest, stopping him. "Look...I'm fine. Just dirty and tired. I want a long, hot, shower then I'm going to sleep till this time tomorrow. Okay?"

"Not okay. You're staying here, Colonel." Carson's tone was firm. "Doctor's orders."

John knew he couldn't win that one. "Bastard," he sniped, but he caught Carson's half smile so he knew the man didn't take it personally. "I'm still taking a shower." About that John was adamant. He felt gritty and itchy and he wanted to be clean again.

Carson was a step ahead of him. He held out a pair of red scrubs. "Go ahead but don't take long or I'll send Michael in to check on you."

"You suck," John proclaimed, as he slid off the gurney. Only to lurch sideways when his right leg gave out.

"Steady on!" Carson exclaimed, as he steadied Sheppard. "Maybe you should sit down, Colonel." He tried to ease Sheppard back onto the medbed.

John shook his head. "I'm good. Just sore." He was going to shower if it killed him.

Carson sighed then nodded. "All right, but I'm sticking around. And when you're done just wrap a towel around yourself. I want to check on your leg before you get dressed. On second thought, maybe I should just get you a gown."

"Hell no!" John hated those things and made no bones about it. "You can check my leg but I'm wearing scrubs." That said, he grabbed them from the bed where Beckett had tossed them and limped into the bathroom. Once there, John shucked his boots and his clothes and a moment later he was standing under blessed, warm water. Five minutes later Beckett was knocking on the door so John got out and wrapped a towel around his waist, opening the door.

"Have a seat." Carson gestured Sheppard towards what passed for the toilet in Atlantis. Like the bathrooms at home, it had a lid.

John sat down and stretched out his leg. He was right about the bruising. It was already turning dark purple. He watched Beckett probe at it, trying not to hiss in pain. But after a moment he had to slap the doctor's hand away. "Lay off already. Ouch...okay?" John knew he was snapping at the man but he was tired and sore and feeling irritable.

Carson looked grim. "It's a deep bruise, into the muscle. You're going to be feeling it for a while, laddie."

"No kidding." John could have told him that without all the painful prodding.

"I brought some liniment," Carson stated, pulling a tube out of his pocket. He squeezed some brown glop on his fingers then spread it over the bruised area. "How's it feel?"

John was too busy wincing to reply at first. The stuff felt cold at first, but then it warmed up as it penetrated. "It's good," he said, finally. "Now can I get dressed? I'm cold and I'm tired."

Carson stood up, putting the tube back in his pocket then reaching for a towel to wipe his fingers. "Get dressed then I'll give you a bit of something for the pain and to help you sleep."

"I don't think I'll need any help in that department, doc," John replied. He was pretty sure if he closed his eyes right now he'd fall asleep sitting up.

"I'll give it to you anyway," Carson replied, before he headed out the door.

John got dressed in the scrubs, wincing as every muscle in his body protested. Then he made his way out to his usual bed in the corner. No surprise that Beckett was waiting for him, needles in hand. John sighed and crawled into bed, dragging the covers up over him. Once settled against the pillows he held out his arm and didn't even flinch as Beckett gave him the injections. "Night, doc," John said softly, as he felt liquid warmth spread throughout his veins.

Beckett patted his shoulder. "Good night, Colonel. Sweet dreams."

John didn't reply. He was already drifting into darkness.

THE END