Airlock (Intruder Missing Scene) by nebbyJen

Rated: K+

Spoilers/Season: Intruder and Season 2

A/N: They still don't belong to me. I just write for the fun of it. Enjoy!

"Lindstrom! Lindstrom! What the hell are you doing?"

"Rodney? Rodney! Help me!"

"Lindstrom!"

"Rodney!"

"Oh, my God…"

The airlock slid open and then Lindstrom was gone. It all happened so fast. Another one gone, he swallowed. One more life he'd witnessed, snuffed out like the flame of a candle. Only there was no wisp of smoke, no smell of burnt wick or melted wax…there was nothing.

Sagging wearily to the floor, he tried to breathe as the coolant continued to tax his lungs, forcing them to demand air, and he wrapped his arms around his chest in an attempt to quell the suffocating bands constricting him. The little oxygen he was able to draw in tickled and burned his irritated lungs, leaving him even more breathless as deep barking coughs robbed him of what energy he had left. The ocean roared. The moonless night ensconced him. The void almost claimed him, until…

oOo

"Colonel Caldwell, there is an open airlock in the power distribution center."

The commander of the Daedalus spun around in his chair, his brow furrowed in frustration at one more disruption on his ship. "Who is down there?"

"Unknown, sir." The lieutenant's fingers flew over her keypad as she drew up the information, seconds later reading the answer. "It appears Dr. McKay and Dr. Lindstrom had accessed the logs in that area."

Sheppard's head snapped up at that information and he instantly tapped his earpiece. "McKay, this is Shepherd, come in." Not receiving an answer, he tried again. "Dr. Lindstrom, this is Colonel Shepherd, come in." He was greeted with more silence. His gaze shot across the control room and he spotted Elizabeth watching him intently. They both were struck with the same thought at the same time and raced for the hallway.

"I don't like this," Caldwell growled irritably. Reaching over the lieutenant's shoulder, he punched the communication's button, "This is Caldwell, I want an emergency response team to the power distribution center immediately." Voices instantly replied over the system but he chose to ignore them as he spun around. "Col. Shep…" he started to say, but stopped when he discovered the man was already gone.

oOo

The head of Atlantis and it's newly appointed Lt. Colonel raced down through the narrow hallways of the Daedalus, winding their way towards the engineering section. Continuing to call for Rodney and not receiving any response, Sheppard quickly paged Beckett. "Doc, where are you?"

"I'm just around the corner." Carson paused a moment before they heard the Scot snap, "Oh bloody hell, let me through. Can't you see that man needs medical attention?"

"Beckett?" Sheppard demanded.

"I need you down here right now, Colonel," the physician replied distractedly.

They descended the stairs two at a time, passing crew members who had flattened themselves against the walls to stay out of the pair's way. They all knew the team members of Atlantis were tight and right now one of them was also in trouble. When they reached the bottom, they bolted down the connecting hallway and found it filled with response teams from several different sections. "Clear a hole," Sheppard bellowed, only to be brought to a halt when a large marine stood in their way.

"Sorry Ma'am, Sir, no one can enter until the hazmat team gives the okay."

If looks could kill, the marine knew he'd be a dead man. Sheppard's stare was lethal and the towering soldier found himself taking an involuntary step backwards. He was saved by the Scottish doctor who grasped the officer's arm and tugged him back.

"Not now, son. After we get Rodney, then you can do whatever it is you do."

Sheppard's eyes narrowed as he shook his arm free. He could see McKay slumped against the wall and it appeared that the scientist was having problems breathing. When trio heard the barking cough begin, Sheppard and Weir turned to glare at Carson, "Doc?"

Beckett had apparently had enough waiting and wanted to get to his patient immediately. Stepping over to the burly man blocking his way, he stared directly up into the Marine's eyes. His accent thick, his face demanding attention, Carson snapped, "Lad, if you don't get out of my bloody way, I will find a way to make your life a living hell. There's a man in there that needs my help. Now move!"

It was like the parting of the Red Sea and Elizabeth was impressed. If the situation wasn't so dire, she might have allowed herself a brief smile, but instead dropped to her knees beside Carson and Sheppard. "What can we do?"

Beckett tugged an oxygen mask free from his gear and attached it to the canister that a med assistant was carrying behind him. "Help him sit up straight," he ordered, slipping the mask over Rodney's face and then adjusting the flow. He wasn't surprised when Sheppard plunked his butt on the floor and pushed Rodney up to lean back against the wall. Elizabeth kneeled by the scientist's legs, her hand resting in support on his shin.

The ragged cough and raspy breathing quickly faded once pure oxygen reached Rodney's lungs. His hands fluttered and he reached up to peel the mask off before Beckett smacked them away lightly. "Leave it alone, son. You need that to stay on for a little longer."

The scientist nodded slightly before edging sideways and feeling contact against something, or rather someone, beside him. Bumping his head a couple of times against the body to reaffirm to himself that 'yes, it was a person propping him up,' he stopped when Sheppard pinned him still.

"Crying out loud, McKay, knock it off before you give me a black eye."

Rodney's eyes suddenly snapped open, shifting quickly over those surrounding him, before he tried to scramble away. Ragged breaths once more emanated from behind the mask, but this time induced from panic and not deadly toxins.

Beckett instantly leaned forward and held the mask in place, his other hand on the side of the scientist's neck as he checked the racing pulse beneath his fingertips. "Rodney, you need to settle down," he said calmly.

"Lindstrom," the scientist wheezed.

"He's not here, McKay," Sheppard said. "No one's found him yet."

Rodney's pale blue eyes grew wide as he turned to stare at those seated around him and then to the sealed door behind them. He blinked and then met Sheppard's questioning gaze.

Dawning washed over Weir, Beckett, and Sheppard at the same time.

"Oh, dear lord," Carson mumbled, running his hand over his face in disbelief.

Sheppard stood up and studied the screen showing the small room with the open airlock, "McKay, what happened?"

Rodney got his feet under him and stood up with Carson and Elizabeth each holding an arm. "I'm fine," he said quietly, stepping away from those hovering around him, separating himself from their care. "We were checking the panels and Lindstrom thought he'd found something," he mumbled behind the mask before irritably plucking it off and handing it back to the physician, only to have the Scot push it back up towards his face.

"I already told you, I'm fine," he snapped, pushing it back once more.

Carson released Rodney's wrist. "He's right. It appears he didn't inhale enough toxins to cause any permanent damage. Although, a few more seconds of exposure and it would be quite a different story."

Colonel Caldwell stepped forward, watching the team interact. "Thank you, Doctor."

Beckett nodded before giving Rodney a comforting pat on the shoulder and then turning to depart. He would leave the rest of the investigation as to what happened to the scientists and the military.

The end of this scene. TBC in second scene.