Disclaimer: not mine
Sheppard pushed Mckay forward as they ascended the grassy slope and caught Beckett's elbow as he slipped and ambled back into him. He winced when his hand knocked his stomach and he managed to keep it together and not swear against the stabbing sensation he had had there all day. Beckett turned to him sheepishly and continued the hike to the top of the hill.
"Why I had to come through the gate is beyond me," said Beckett taking in a deep breath and moving his medical bag onto his other shoulder.
"Well, Rodney insisted that he couldn't make it back to the gate without medical attention," said Sheppard reaching the top himself and shooting Mckay a look.
"I thought I had a broken ankle," said Mckay pointedly hopping on one foot.
"It's a sprain," conceded Beckett and he rubbed the sweat forming on his forehead, "A mild one at that."
"How was I supposed to know," shot Mckay. He leaned on his makeshift crutch heavily as if to make a point.
"You know I have real sick people back at the Infirmary, in need of real medical attention," said Beckett.
Sheppard pushed them on, "We need to keep moving. The sooner we're back to the gate, the sooner we can all get on with our lives," he said and wiped at his forehead. He was feeling hot and sweaty. And the sooner I can curl up into a ball and die in peace. Ow Ow Ow Ow. "I don't like this place."
"Why not?" asked Mckay, his eyes darting left and right wildly, "Is there something here?"
Beckett was now tensing to his side and his hand was gripping his medical bag tightly.
"It's just gut feeling," said Sheppard, inwardly groaning at his use of the world gut. It made his mind leap at the chance to remind him of the ache there.
"Gut feeling," repeated Mckay, "okay, so that's just a feeling. Not fact," he paused, "We're fine."
Sheppard raised a finger and looked upwards at the sky. He could hear something. High pitched whining, getting closer. Getting louder, "You hear that?" he said curling his finger around the trigger of his P90.
Beckett was crouching down in response to Sheppard's hand signals and Mckay was attempting the same, "Wraith," blurted out Beckett and he forced a hand over his mouth.
"Just stay low, they'll probably just fly overhead," whispered Sheppard.
"What if they don't?" asked Mckay, "Im injured."
Sheppard shot him a glare and found himself sighing, "I'll get you both back." He looked upwards and a wraith dart shot by. The trees were buffeted by the wind and leaves and various debris began to fall down around them, "Lets move," said Sheppard getting back up with some difficulty. He found his head was swimming and he managed to disguise a dizzy spell by pushing on Beckett and Mckay, "Move," he said.
"What are you doing?" asked Mckay, when he realised that Sheppard wasn't moving.
Sheppard gave him a hand signal which told him to be quiet and then mouthed, "Wraith."
Mckay's eyes widened and Beckett started to push him towards the dense underbrush.
"Keep moving," whispered Sheppard, "I'll catch you up."
He watched them disappear and descended a slope littered with bark and slippy leaves. He knew there was a wraith below him. He had seen the flash of grey withered features and he was pretty certain it was on its own.
He unlatched the safety and waited breathlessly next to a large tree.
"Major are you okay?" Becketts Scottish brogue sounded twice as loud over the radio and he cursed.
Movement from beside him forced him to turn quickly and he spotted a wraith walking quickly and determined towards him. Sheppard stood up and fired rapidly at the Wraiths chest. It dropped to the floor with a dull thud and Sheppard managed to straighten part way to unload another mag into its belly. His own side was protesting and he kicked at the Wraith to make sure it was well and truly dead. He could see a transmitter on its sleeve was glowing and knew that now they needed to be moving quickly.
"Beckett, McKay? How you doing?" he asked as he activated his radio.
"Oh we are just dandy," said Mckay sarcastically, "You left us alone, with no weapons and-"
"Good to hear you're fine. I'm okay by the way Rodney," shot Sheppard and he reached down to push on his stomach, "I got it," He winced when he could feel his side was tender. "But more are coming," he said shakily. Adrenaline was running down and he was beginning to feel the ebbing and flowing of pain in his side again.
"You coming back up?" asked Beckett.
Sheppard swallowed against the bile in his throat, "Yeah, I'll catch you up," he said weakly ascending the slope, "Be…right….with…you," he said walking slowly. He had to ignore his pain and get them back, if the wraith were around, he had to protect them.
The gate was still another hour off and with Mckay hobbling on his crutch and letting out intermittent groans and Beckett stopping every other minute to readjust his bag, it was going to be slow going. They walked in silence for a while with Sheppard trying his best to move the men on whilst insisting there wasn't much farther to walk.
"I've come to realise the off world means walking," said Beckett straining under the weight of his bag."
"You get used to it," said Sheppard stepping over a fallen tree and pointing in the direction of some woods, "Short cut."
"Aye, you get used to it, because you're bloody military."
"Well after this I promise I wont ask you to come off world again," said Sheppard falling into step beside Mckay, "How're you doing?"
Mckay shot him a disgruntled look and made a point to struggle over another clump of earth, "Oh this is great. Really convenient," he snapped.
"Well if you had been looking where you were going instead of staring at the scanner, you wouldn't have fallen into that hole," said Sheppard smiling. It fell short though when he felt a slight twinge in his side and he stopped and bent inwards.
"Are you okay?" asked Beckett coming up beside him and placing a hand on his shoulder.
Sheppard waved it away and straightened up after a second, "Just got a cramp. Haven't eaten in a while," he confessed and pulled out a power bar from his vest. "We don't have time for this. We need to get to the gate before the Wraith get here." He took a bite of it to show Beckett he was okay, but immediately regretted it once he had swallowed he felt his stomach roll.
All he wanted to do was get back to the gate quickly, without being poked and prodded by Beckett. If Beckett sat him down he would want to know how long he had been feeling unwell and then he would have to tell him that he had been feeling ill all night, intermittently throwing up, and rolling around his bed in agony. Beckett would tell him it was food poisoning, as Sheppard suspected, and then he would spend the next few weeks in the infirmary trying to escape and pestering Beckett until he threw him out of his infirmary. It was best for all that he put up and shut up. That way he could keep going on his missions and Beckett could concentrate on healing people who were quite content to lie in bed all day and eat hospital food. See, what a kind man he was.
"Come on, lets keep moving," he said swallowing against the nausea. Boy, he was sure hot too. With night closing in there was a distinct chill in the air, but he was burning up inside his uniform and as he walked he unzipped his vest and his jacket. The cold air caught on his skin and offered him some fleeting relief.
An hour later and the gate was within sight. Sheppard was thankful of that fact because he didn't think he could walk any longer. The pain in his side had increased threefold and now aside from the nausea, a headache had joined the party. Mckay was still moaning and until he was safe in the infirmary Sheppard wasn't going to admit to his own ills.
Beckett could obviously see his was having some trouble as he weaved towards the DHD and stopped him before they started dialling, "Are you okay?"
Sheppard lifted his eyes to Beckett's and managed a weak nod, "Just feeling a little off," he said as Mckay started to activate the gate.
"Off how?" Beckett asked and Sheppard held his hand up as he tapped his earpiece.
"Doctor Weir, we're back at the gate," he said turning away from Beckett and letting out a shaky breath.
"Major Sheppard, good to hear your voice."
"We had a little problem with some wraith but we're okay now," he paused and swallowed as his stomach recoiled.
" How is Rodney?"
"He's fine," said Sheppard looking over to where Mckay was leaning against his crutch and looking thoroughly miserable, "He's just-"
Sheppard couldn't continue, because it was at that moment he lost the battle with his insides and Weir and everybody else in the gateroom were treated to the sound of Sheppard expelling his stomach contents.
Beckett was at Sheppard's side and patted him on the back whilst Sheppard wretched on an empty stomach. He stayed bent over for a minute before slowly straightening up. He let Beckett feel his forehead and he tutted, "You have a fever."
Sheppard's eyes looked glassy and sweat had formed on his brow. He raised his eyebrows weakly and tapped his earpiece, "Sorry about that," he said and put his hand over his mouth when he felt his stomach heave again.
Beckett, having some sympathy, connected his own radio and said, "The Major's not too well, we're coming through."
Weir answered quickly, "Very well. Your clear to do so."
Mckay wrinkled his nose as Sheppard turned around and slowly walked towards the gate, all the while being guided by Beckett.
When they stepped through the gate on the other side, Weir was standing at the base of the steps waiting for them. She watched as Mckay hobbled through and dropped to the floor on the other side. He bought his foot around and rubbed at his ankle.
She was shocked when she saw Sheppard coming through with the aid of Beckett. He was hunched over and gripping his right side and looked to be a lot of distress.
She stepped forward as the gate deactivated and she could hear Mckay moaning, "Where's the medical team. I cant possibly walk, my ankle kills," he said rocking back and forth.
"They are on their way. Major?" she inquired and Sheppard looked up at her and let out a long shaky breath. He managed a weak smile for a second, before it curled into a wince. "I'm fine," he lied, "Get Rodney to the infirmary before he moans us all to death." He curled in on himself again.
"Beckett?" she asked, "What's going-" She would have finished, but all of a sudden the gate alarm began to blare over head and the room was plunged into darkness. Only the lights from the various consoles were still lit and some bleeped intermittently.
"What the hells going on?" asked Weir turning around and looking up at one of the techs. He was holding his hands out and shrugged. As if things could get any worse, another louder alarm started to bleat, its arrival, indication that the base was going into lockdown and they all watched helplessly as large shutters began to drop around the gateroom.
Sheppard groaned and sank to the floor. He was panting hard and trying to send a message to his stomach to not try and throw his actual stomach up. Not in front of Elizabeth and most definitely not on her shoes.
"Rodney?" Weir asked.
Mckay was already up onto his feet, the pain in his ankle forgotten and he was running up the stairs to look over the consoles. When he was at the central console, he elbowed one of the techs out of the way and started to type in various commands.
"Rodney?" asked Weir again. She was growing impatient and her eyes sought out Sheppard who was looking up at her, gritting his teeth and waiting for an explanation.
"The base has gone into lockdown and power has deferred from the central room and redirected to….I cant tell. All I know, is this is going to take some time."
"What's working?" she asked hopefully.
"We still have gate controls and most of the systems are unaffected. Radio's are down." He shook his head and moved to another console. "Move," he said harshly and started typing away, "Its not a virus, It's internal," he said and walked over to a position where he could see Weir again.
"Can you get us back up and running," she said.
Mckay nodded and walked back over to a console. "Of course I can. Just give me a few minutes."
Sheppard stood up behind her and started towards the steps, "I'll help," he managed to get out before gripping his side again.
"Oh no you don't," said Beckett holding him back.
Sheppard turned around to face him and gritted his teeth against another onslaught of pain, "I'm fine," The last word he raised the pitch of his voice and he sank to the ground clutching his stomach and gasping.
"You're not fine," said Beckett indicating for Weir to bring him his medical kit.
Weir sat beside him on the steps and put a hand on his shoulder, "Beckett, what's wrong with him?" she asked and Sheppard gripped her hand in his.
Beckett was getting out his thermometer and stuck it in Sheppard's ear as he asked, "What are your symptoms?"
Sheppard bought a hand up to wipe the sweat on his forehead and said, "Hot, pain in my side," he said before leaning forward. "What is it?"
Beckett removed the thermometer and tutted, "103,"
"Toasty," said Sheppard feeling more green with every second that passed.
Beckett shook his head, "We need to get you to the infirmary." He caught Sheppard as he pitched forward and he instructed the man to lie flat on the floor. He took off his jacket and laid it under Sheppard's head.
Staff had begin to gather around to watch the spectacle. Many of them were of no help to Mckay, plus he had told a lot of them to go away anyway.
Beckett pulled Sheppard's hand away from his side and gave the area a small push. Sheppard let out a yelp and his hands sought out the spot on his stomach again, "Please, don't do that again," he said balling his fists up.
Beckett bit his lip and the looked back up towards the control centre, "Rodney, how long till we get out of here?" he shouted.
Mckay appeared at the top of the stairs with a bunch of wires in his hands and shrugged, "Within two hours or so," he looked down at Sheppard who was writhing on the floor, "What's up with him?"
Beckett glanced down at Sheppard who had closed his eyes and then over to Weir, "I think you've got appendicitis. All the symptoms are there," he said.
"No I don't," said Sheppard attempting to sit.
"You do," said Beckett poking his side to emphasise the point, "Mcburney's point," he said knowingly.
"I don't have appendicitis," moaned Sheppard, "I cant."
"You'd rather be taken out by the wraith or in a heroic act huh?" asked Beckett smiling. He gave Weir a worried glance and she knew the implications.
"Appendicitis is so…normal," said Sheppard. He rolled onto his side.
"And-" began Beckett.
"And," groaned Sheppard attempting to sit. The action failed and he lay back again.
"If we don't operate," he paused, "A peri-appendiceal abscess if not treated can rupture and then we're in a whole lot of trouble."
"You're kidding me?" said Sheppard with a short laugh, "Well get me to the infirmary and-"
Beckett shot Mckay a look. "I'll keep working," said Mckay.
"What are you going to do?" asked Weir and she reached for Sheppard's hand again and gave it a squeeze.
"I need to do an appendectomy as soon as possible," said Beckett looking up nervously. He realised there were lights on them and he saw that some of the military men had had the forethought to turn on their P90 lights and shine them in his direction. He offered them a small thank you and looked at the contents of his medical bag.
"How long can we wait?" asked Weir.
"Yeah how long can we wait?" asked Sheppard, his face sweating and eyes looking glassy.
"We cant," he said and just at that moment a console in the control room made a large bang and wisps of smoke started to fizzle through to the gateroom, "What the bloody hell was that?"
"Sorry," said Mckay coming to the top of the stairs again, "I don't know what's going on here, but it's we're not going anywhere for a while."
"How's the ankle….Rodney?" Sheppard called out from the floor.
Mckay looked down at his previously injured foot and embarrassed looked up again, "It's fine. Why don't you worry about your exploding appendix down there and I'll worry about everything up here." He looked over to Beckett, "Stop interrupting me and I'll get this fixed."
"I'm going to have to operate," said Beckett snapping on his latex gloves, "If we leave it, we risk it rupturing and causing more damage, not to mention infection."
Sheppard nodded, "Do what you have to Doc, I trust you."
Beckett leant forwards and practically whispered the next part, "Major, this is going to hurt. I have no analgesic and very little morphine. You'll be awake throughout the whole procedure."
Sheppard seemed to pale, but he nodded.
"Beckett, you cant be serous?" said Weir looking down at Sheppard, "What if something goes wrong?"
Sheppard sat up slightly, "Nothing will go wrong," he said patting Beckett on the arm, "Right?"
"It really is a very simple procedure," said Beckett, "But usually my patients are asleep when I do it." He gave Sheppard an apologetic look, but he understood.
Beckett set about taking Sheppard's vest off and cutting open his shirt. He then injected Sheppard with some morphine and some antibiotics.
He reached for a scalpel he had stashed in his medical bag. It was the wrong size and the blade wasn't an intricate as he would have liked, but it would do the job, and hopefully by the time he had finished he would be able to patch Sheppard up properly in the Infirmary. That was what he hoped anyway.
Beckett looked up at all of the people above watching and he found himself getting angry, "This isn't going to be pleasant and I'm sure Major Sheppard does not want you gawping at him over his head so I suggest you find some other point in the room to stare at." He poised the scalpel over Sheppard abdomen and paused. Sheppard looked up at him and nodded, "Do it," he said gently and then looked upwards and prepared to grit his teeth.
Weir positioned herself next to Sheppard so he could see her and hopefully be distracted from the pain. The thought died when Beckett made his first incision and Sheppard sucked in a deep breath and hissed it out in pain.
Beckett made an incision two to three inches in length through the skin and the layers of the abdominal wall in the area of the appendix.
"So how was today's mission?" asked Weir.
Sheppard looked up at her and through gritted teeth said, "What?"
"Your mission, today. How did it go? I take it you didn't find anything?"
"You cant be serious," he rasped.
Weir raised an eyebrow at him and nodded.
Sheppard knew why she was doing this and he inwardly thanked her for it. "It was a bust, " he sucked in his breath and held it, as he felt a tugging sensation in his side. He could feel something warm, probably his blood dribbling down the side of his stomach, "Mckay fell ….ah…over and there wasn't even anything at the ruin that….shit…..ow…..yielded further investi…crap….gation. Beckett?"
Becketts face appeared over his head, "What is it son?"
"Is everything. I mean you're not cutting anything you shouldn't down there?" Sheppard balled his fists up and tried to concentrate on something else, but he was somewhat curious to know what was going on.
Beckett smiled and patted his shoulder, he could see the blood on his gloves, "You let me worry about it. Keep talking to Doctor Weir." He disappeared from sight again.
"A bust huh?" repeated Weir.
Sheppard nodded, "I'm not going to let Mckay convince me to look at ruins again." He paused.
"He's very insistent when he wants to be,"
"That's the problem"
"And then…the wraith turn up," he paused and he closed his eyes and swallowed hard, "Took one out." He stopped again and went still.
"How's the uh stick practice going?" asked Weir and he noticed her eyes flick over his head and back to him.
His eyes fluttered open again and he tried to see through the blur in his head "Stop looking at my insides, " he joked and she quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Stick practice, John?" she said again.
Sheppard was having trouble thinking straight. The morphine was making him feel drugged enough to feel sleepy but not enough to dull out the pain. It was like white noise in the background, gnawing at him and he found himself moving against a twinge in his side, "Stick practice. I still cant beat Teyla," he said through the drug induced fog, "She always kicks my ass."
"Perhaps you could show me," said Weir and her eyes they again found a point over his head. Sheppard rolled his eyes, "You wanna take a picture with it?"
Weir looked back down at him and squeezed his shoulder, "You're doing really well."
Sheppard didnt comment on the fact that she had just made him feel about ten years old. Instead he found himself looking upwards and he could see various people standing on the balcony and looking down at him. He was sure he could even hear their whispers.
"Well Rodney's ankle looks much better," she squeezed his hand and in response he squeezed back.
"Yeah," he said quietly, "Hypochondriac," he muttered.
"I heard that, "shouted Mckay.
"Aye and you're the other way," said Beckett, "This is rather advanced. How long have you been in pain?"
Sheppard pursed his lips together and said, "Since yesterday morning. I woke up with it. Thought I had pulled it in…stick practice." He smiled.
Beckett shook his head, "Why do I bother. If you had left this, you could have died."
Sheppard was aware of the seriousness of the situation and he moved under another cut form Beckett.
Beckett freed the appendix from its attachment to the abdomen and to the colon, cutting the appendix from the colon and sewing over the hole. "Not long now," he said as he worked.
Sheppard looked up at Weir and could see her paling features as she was obviously looking at his stomach, "How does it look?" he asked.
She looked back at him and nervously licked her lips before answering, "Alien goo, couple of ovaries….." She saw Sheppard's panicked look and then gave his hair a stroke, "Its fine. Beckett is sewing you up now."
"Nice and secure Doc," he said.
Mckay started to descend the steps towards him and he stopped half way, putting his hands over his eyes ad turning away abruptly, "oh god, you could have warned me," he said retching slightly, "I mean, yuck," He turned and peeked through his hands but was alarmed more than anything by the amount of blood that had pooled around Sheppard's body, "He's dead isnt he?" he said.
Sheppard jolted up at the remark and Weir pulled his shoulders back down, "I'm alive thank you," he shouted loudly.
Mckay released the breath he didn't realise he was holding and started to talk, "I'm getting us back on line. It would appear power is being directed to my lab, which means Zelenka is doing something he shouldn't and has yet again underestimated his own ineptitude and now I am needed to fix the problem."
Beckett sewed the final stitch and placed a clean gauze over his stomach. He pulled off his gloves, "All done,"
"So where is it?" asked Sheppard. His eyelids felt like lead and he having a hard time staying conscious.
"Where's what?" asked Beckett.
"My appendix. Don't you usually put them in jars and show them to the patient?" asked Sheppard and Beckett shared a glance with Weir.
"Its an ugly looking thing." He picked up the plastic bag he had placed it in and put it up in front of Sheppard's face. Sheppard inspected it for a minute before turning his nose up at it, "That was in me," he said giving the bag a poke.
"Certainly was," said Beckett dropping the bag into his medical case, "And we're lucky we got it out when we did or it would have burst."
"Better looking than you," snarked Mckay.
"Rodney, fix Atlantis," groaned Sheppard.
"So how is the patient?" asked Weir.
"Well, he's lost a lot of blood. So that's why you're probably feeling weak right now, and I need to re enter the cavity, explore and re-stitch to make sure I got out everything. I'm pretty sure I did. We'll set you on a course of antibiotics and you should be back on duty within a week or so."
Sheppard nodded," I always thought it would be the wraith that bought you down," said Weir.
Sheppard smiled but could feel himself slipping into sleep. "So did I."
As everything faded to black, he could hear alarms blaring as the lockdown was reversed and Mckay moaning about his ankle again. Everything was restored to peace, so he slipped into peaceful oblivion.
Just a little thing I fancied writing. Let me know whatcha think of it.