Warning: Spoilers for "The Hive"

Note: This is only my second Atlantis fic, so feedback is more than appreciated as I work to grasp these characters.

Disclaimer: I don't own it, I make no money, yadda, yadda, yadda.


His hand was shaking. Sitting here, in Dr. Weir's office, reviewing Rodney's treatment with Weir as if just another challenge, just another illness. As if Rodney hadn't become addicted to the Wraith Enzyme. As if he hadn't just purposefully OD'd. As if this were just another illness, from which the patient would recover with no long-term after-effects.

His hand was shaking.

What Rodney had said to him in the infirmary, in the heat of his withdrawal,

"You have no idea of the kind of hell I'm going through!"

That had shaken him, and he'd been unable to cover, or to bite back his reply,

"Oh, I think I have an inkling."

Carson closed his fist and took a deep breath, trying to steady himself. He was all right. He could get through this.

A minute. He just needed a minute.


Carson ran a brisk hand through his hair, shrugging at the reflection in his lavatory mirror as the errant strands sprang back to disorder. Giving up on his hair, he leaned down, splashing his face with water, roughly running the towel over his skin, then tossing it aside.

He stood in the door of the bath, looking into his room. He just needed -

He moved quickly, striding purposefully to his bureau. Sliding open the top drawer, he thrust a hand under the clothing inside and grasped the box at the back. He pulled it out roughly and sat, hard, on his bed, his hand clenched around the small container. Consciously relaxing his hand, he moved his fingers over the box's smooth surface, a caress of sorts.

He'd made so many sacrifices to come to Atlantis. He'd left behind friends, family, his mum, telling them some story that they chose to believe. He'd left behind Scotland, the places he loved, to come here, hoping for salvation. Yet even here, millions of miles from home, he couldn't get away from it. Couldn't get away from himself.

"You can run, but you cannot hide," he said aloud. With a casual movement, he opened the box.

Even at university, the professors had explained that drug addiction was more than a sum of its physical symptoms, although certainly the body could have cravings even years later. There was a psychological component, often even more powerful than the physical cravings.

He wondered if cravings for Wraith enzyme would continue to plague Rodney even after his physical withdrawal completed.

He wondered if, given the chance, Rodney would take the enzyme again. If, even once past the withdrawal, he'd find himself craving it, body and soul. Craving it, and willing to make the sacrifice for that feeling of completion.

Hand clenched around box, Carson sat there, immobile.

A small enough sacrifice, perhaps.

I'd once offered myself as a sacrifice, he thought, staring down at the box, the contents hidden beneath his hand. I believe that the gods accepted.

Carson stood and put the box away.


Again, since this is only my second Atlantis fic, and my first posted here, I'd really appreciate your reviews. Thanks!