A/N: My favorite character on SGA is Carson Beckett, so this story is mostly about my dear Scottish doctor. Please note that I refer to many episodes, both in Seasons 1 and 2, so beware of spoilers. Finally, I am not certain if there is an established mythology when it come to the city of Atlantis, so I took advantage of writer's license, and made my own up. I hope you enjoy it, and a huge thanks to those who read and review.
Dr. Carson Beckett, the chief medical officer of the Atlantis expedition, glared at Dr. Rodney McKay. Protruding from McKay's left arm was a small piece of shrapnel, a parting gift from the residents of P3X-133. Rodney, never a brave soul when it came to dealing with his own pain, was alternately whimpering and yelping, yanking his injured arm away from Carson.
"Rodney, if you won't let me see your arm, how do you expect me to fix it?" Carson barked, exasperated by the scientist's antics. He grasped McKay's shoulder, and peered at the injury. Resigned, Rodney stopped fidgeting, his mouth drawn in a straight line.
"Hold still," Carson warned, then reached for a small pair of sterile pliers. He carefully grasped the edge of the metal, then gave a quick yank. He was rewarded for his efforts by nearly being elbowed in the eye.
"OUCH! Damn it, Carson, you could have warned me!" Rodney spun around, nearly toppling off the small examination table. His face turned white as he spotted the metal in the jaws in the pliers, small bits of flesh still clinging to the rough edges. Fresh blood streamed from the injured site, traveling down his arm to his hand, then on to the floor.
"Gross," he muttered, then his eyelids fluttered and with a small sigh, he fainted.
Carson dropped the pliers and grabbed Rodney before he could fall on to the floor. Giving a small shove, he steered the scientist on to his back, flopping him down on to the table. He grimaced as Rodney's head hit the metal with an audible 'thunk.'
"Nurse? I suggest you clean and bandage the wound before he wakes up," Carson called over his shoulder. The woman, one of the new arrivals, nodded her head. "Oh, and give him a tetanus shot as well. But wait until he's awake for that."
She smiled, a pretty African-American woman with chocolate eyes. Carson searched his mind for her name, but only came up with Perkins. He sighed, watching as she bent and picked up the bloody pliers.
"I always knew you had a mean streak, Doctor." Lt. Colonel John Sheppard was perched against the door frame, his arms across his chest. He was in his off-world gear, which was splattered with mud.
"Aye…and don't you forget it," Carson said, his Scottish brogue heavier than usual. John took a moment and studied the doctor; he seemed distant and tired, dark circles underscoring his blue eyes. Oblivious to John's perusal, Carson wearily ran a hand through his thick, dark hair, then turned his attention to John.
"Dr. McKay should be able to go off-world in a day or so, Colonel. His wound didn't require any stitches, so I'm just ordering a day of rest." John only nodded as Carson plodded over to his office. He stared at the physician's back for a moment, then stepped up to the examination table Rodney currently occupied.
The scientist was waking up, and blearily focused his gaze on John.
"Hey Rodney, that makes four," John said, a sarcastic smile on his face. McKay looked confused for a moment, then groaned.
"I cannot believe you are tallying how many times I fain…pass out!" Rodney struggled to an upright position, ignoring the woman who was trying to bandage his arm. He yanked his arm away, his glare alternating between the Colonel and the nurse. His heated gaze turned to apprehension, however, when she leaned in, rubbing his arm with alcohol. In her other hand was a large needle.
"Damn it," he said softly, then his blue eyes glazed over, and with a small 'thunk,' he fell back on to the table, unconscious.
"I stand corrected. This makes five," John amended, as the nurse administered the shot.
It was nearly midnight, Atlantis time, before Dr. Beckett was able to leave the sick bay. Although there had been relatively few injuries for him to attend to, he still had piles of paperwork to address. Finally, his head aching and his eyes blood-shot, he had tossed the files away, needing to sleep.
After checking on the few patients that were in the infirmary one last time, he nodded in response to a nurse's "Good night, Doctor," then made his way to his quarters. At his silent request, the doors slid open, admitting him to his haven.
On autopilot, Carson shrugged out of his clothes, and slid into bed. He lay there, soft moonlight streaming through his open window. A light breeze wafted in, cooling his skin. He willed his body to relax, to drift into the rest he knew he needed, but his mind refused his request for sleep. Random thoughts and hidden fears insisted on surfacing, taunting him. Frustrated, Carson gave a deep sigh, then flipped on to his side. He knew that almost everyone on Atlantis – at least those who had been there since the beginning – had trouble sleeping. The 'newbies,' as Rodney called the recently arrived personnel, had not yet encountered the Wraith, and still slept like babies. Carson envied them.
His mind wandered to Laura. He wondered when he would get the chance to see her again. The influx of additional staff had not eased Carson's load at all; rather, it required even more of his time. And the paperwork – it never ended. Scheduling, research, medical records, transmissions to Earth every six weeks or so; they all required the chief medical officer's attention. That didn't include patching up Colonel Sheppard's team, or any one of the other six off-world teams that now explored the Pegasus galaxy. Carson couldn't believe how many hostile worlds there were out there. Then there was the small tribe of Athosians that dwelled on the mainland that he visited every two weeks or so. One of Teyla's closest friends was pregnant, and her baby was due very soon. Carson gave a small grin at that thought; it would be refreshing to deliver a new life into this world, rather than watching another friend die.
He flipped on to his back, twisting the sheets around him. He closed his eyes, focusing on his breathing like Dr. Heightmeyer suggested. In. Out. In. Out. He did this for about five minutes, and ever so slowly, his troubled mind gave in to his body's need for rest. Ten minutes later, Carson Beckett was sound asleep.