Author's Note: This is a Condemned tag for Shelly, who literally begged me to write one (even though she has already written a fantastic one herself). I have to admit that I had fun once I got an idea and got started. They really did cheat us with that one.
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis or have any rights to the show or its characters. I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
Dazed and Confused – Chapter 1
Carson Beckett and his team arrived in the gateroom just as the stargate shut down to find a jumble of people deposited on the floor. All of them seemed to be dirty, tired, bruised, and generally worse for wear. He waved his people forward to start assessing the various pieces of the human jigsaw puzzle for injuries. Reaching Teyla first, he took her arm and helped her disengage her leg from the now squirming pile of people as she got to her feet.
"Teyla, are you all right?"
Teyla nodded as she straightened herself. "I am uninjured, Dr. Beckett."
Beckett eyes the bruise on her face and the scratches on her arms. "Somehow I doubt that, lass, but at least nothing looks life threatening. We can fix you up in the infirmary."
He moved on to Ronon, taking one arm of the former runner as Teyla took the other. Beckett noticed him favoring one leg as he stood and, looking down, saw blood on his pants leg. "You're injured."
Ronon glanced down. "It's nothing."
Teyla sighed as she leaned over closer to Beckett. "He was shot through the leg with an arrow."
Beckett's eyes widened. "And you're walking on it? Where's the arrow?"
Ronon shrugged. "I pulled it out. It was in the way."
Beckett shook his head, but decided that he would save the lecture about not removing penetrating objects in the field until he had some pain medication into the big man. No use getting him riled up here in the gateroom when he had other patients to tend to.
"We have a gurney –"
"I can walk. Been walking all day."
Ronon glared at Beckett and the doctor decided not to push his luck. "All right, but be sure to go to the infirmary. Like it or not, I need to get it cleaned and you'll probably be needing some antibiotics."
Teyla nodded at Beckett, a coy smile playing across her lips. "I'll make sure that Ronon gets there."
Beckett smiled, thanking the powers that be for blessing them with Teyla. She diffused so many situations. "Thank you, lass."
Beckett turned his attention to see who was next, only to discover a dirty looking stranger in an odd cap standing before him. "Hello, who are you?"
Teyla stepped forward as a marine appeared, his hand on his gun. "This is Eldon. He helped us escape and we told him he could accompany us back to Atlantis."
"Well, that means you'll need to be checked out by me, but not until after I take care of the injuries." He looked over at the young soldier. "Could you show this man the infirmary and perhaps stay with him until we get there?"
The marine nodded and took Eldon by the arm. "Come with me, sir, and I'll show you the way." Eldon waved at Teyla and then turned back to the marine who was escorting him.
"Can I get something to eat?"
Beckett turned and saw that McKay was being helped up by two of the nurses, talking in a fast, high-pitched staccato. " . . . and I'm almost sure that these scrapes on my wrists are infected by now, not to mention the cut on my arm. I'm not positive, but I may have hit my head when the jumper crashed because I'm pretty sure I cracked a tooth. Do we have a dentist in Atlantis?"
One of the nurses looked back over her shoulder to make eye contact with Beckett as they guided McKay toward the infirmary and mouthed "I hate you". Beckett just laughed and waved.
That only left one person. He saw Colonel Sheppard still on the floor, several feet away from where the others had been tangled together in a mass. Beckett noted that he had not moved from his position, lying on his right side with his back to the doctor. He covered the distance in a few seconds and knelt behind Sheppard, placing his hand on the Colonel's shoulder.
"Colonel, are you all right?"
Beckett frowned when he didn't get an answer and shook Sheppard's shoulder as he started to speak to him again. But he didn't get the chance as Sheppard suddenly rolled over and knocked Beckett to the floor on his back. Instantly, Sheppard moved forward to straddle the doctor, his forearm pressed firmly to Beckett's throat, making it hard for him to breathe.
Beckett sputtered and coughed, slapping his hand against the floor. As two marines, along with Teyla and Ronon, moved forward to help, Sheppard suddenly pulled back.
"Doc?" Sheppard frowned and looked around the gateroom as he sat up. Looking back down at Beckett, his mouth dropped open. "Doc . . . I'm sorry. I didn't . . . "
Beckett was coughing and gasping for air, his hand rubbing his throat, fear in his eyes. Sheppard rolled off him to a sitting position in the floor next to him, and brought one hand up to his head.
Beckett recovered quickly and moved over closer to Sheppard. "It's all right, Colonel. I didn't mean to startle you. Did you hit your head?"
Sheppard just looked at him blankly. "I . . . I don't remember."
Teyla stepped forward a step. "Doctor, I believe he may have hit his head when our jumper crashed. He was disoriented for a few minutes afterward, but then he seemed to be all right."
Beckett nodded as he felt Sheppard's head for signs of injury. "Do you know if he was unconscious for any length of time?"
"I am not certain, but he may have been unconscious for a short period, perhaps a minute or two."
"Well, we have a pretty good bump right at his hairline in the front and another goose egg on the side of his head. I'm guessing he may have gotten the second one when you came through the gate. Judging from the way you looked when I arrived, I'm assuming you came through the gate at a run."
"Yes, we had to make it through the gate quickly to avoid being hit by the wraith."
"I suspected as much. He's probably got a concussion at the very least. Colonel, we need to get you to the infirmary. I suspect you'll be spending a day or two with me."
Sheppard suddenly pulled away from Beckett. "No, I can't." He rolled over to his knees and then quickly stood up, swaying unsteadily. He lurched to his right and would have crashed to the floor if one of the marines had not been standing there to grab his arm and pull him back upright. "I have to go. I have to help them."
Beckett got to his feet as the soldier held onto Sheppard, who was struggling to pull away. Beckett put his hands on Sheppard's shoulders and got close to his face.
"Colonel, you've been injured. I need you to come to the infirmary with me."
"No, I have to help them. They sent them out there without any backup."
"Who, sir," asked the marine, frowning in confusion.
"Mitch and Dex. They sent them out without backup. I need to get to my chopper." Sheppard pulled away from the marine and staggered, falling to his knees. Teyla and Ronon were by his side almost as soon as he hit the floor. They each took and arm and helped Sheppard to his feet.
Sheppard reached up and rubbed his left shoulder. "Don't! It makes my shoulder hurt. I have to go."
Beckett positioned himself in front of Sheppard again. "Colonel, I need you to come to the infirmary with me. They've already sent backup to help Mitch and Dex. They have been taken care of, I promise. You need to come with me so I can treat your injuries."
Sheppard frowned, still rubbing his shoulder. "They sent backup? You're sure?"
Beckett nodded. "I'm sure. Please Colonel. Mitch and Dex would want you to come with me."
Sheppard thought for a second and then looked back up at Beckett, frowning. "I . . . I don't feel good."
Beckett's features relaxed a bit as he sensed some of the fight going out of Sheppard. "I know, son, that's why you need to come with me."
Sheppard nodded and began to sink as his legs gave way beneath him. Teyla and Ronon took his arms once again, supporting him.
"Doc . . . sick . . . " Sheppard suddenly leaned forward and vomited, with Beckett dodging to one side just in time to avoid it. Ronon and Teyla held Sheppard up until he was able to stop and then guided him to the nearest gurney and eased him onto it. "Sorry," Sheppard muttered.
"It's all right, lad, think nothing of it. Does your head hurt?"
Sheppard sat staring at the floor for several seconds until Beckett kneeled in front of him. "Colonel, does your head hurt?"
"Yeah, head hurts. My shoulder hurts, too."
"I know. I'm going to help you lie down now and I want you to lay on your right side so we don't hurt your shoulder."
Beckett glanced at Teyla. "Do you know how he injured his shoulder?"
Teyla shrugged. "I was not aware it was injured. They had our arms around a pole across our back and then our wrists bound in the front. It was very uncomfortable. Perhaps they injured his shoulder when they pulled his arms back to bind him. They were not gentle." Teyla grimaced and rolled her own shoulders, remembering the pain of having her arms wrenched back forcefully.
Beckett nodded as he remembered seeing the type of confinement Teyla was describing. "I'd probably better check everyone's shoulders for injury." Beckett turned his attention back to helping the injured pilot lay down.
Sheppard allowed himself to be eased onto his right side. The attendants buckled him in, raised the gurney, and then headed toward the infirmary. Beckett, Teyla, and Ronon walked along beside and just behind him.
Sheppard clutched at the side of the stretcher and squeezed his eyes closed as the dizziness became almost unbearable. The movement down the hall was increasing the rate of the spinning and making his stomach begin to lurch again. He could taste the bile crawling up his throat as he tried to swallow it back down.
Beckett moved over to Sheppard and helped him as he tried to lean up and forward, hanging over the side of the stretcher. He gagged as they worked and began to heave almost as soon as he reached the edge. This time there wasn't much to expel, but Sheppard dry-heaved for several seconds, finally falling back against the thin mattress. Beckett took a cloth from the nurse and wiped Sheppard's mouth.
"Colonel, do you think you can make it now?"
Sheppard just moaned softly.
Beckett sighed. "I'll take that as a yes. Let's go." He turned to the nurse who had handed him the cloth.
"Go, doctor. I'll get this taken care of," she said as she motioned to the floor.
Beckett nodded and continued with the stretcher, thankful for such a good staff. They arrived at the infirmary a few minutes later, setting the brakes on the gurney. Beckett motioned for Teyla and Ronon to move to other beds in the infirmary and then he instructed his staff.
"I want everyone's vital signs and a preliminary report on their injuries. I've got to check the Colonel and get some tests ordered, but then I'll be getting back with you on the condition of the other team members. I think you'd better start with Ronon. Marcy, you're with me."
One nurse stayed with Beckett and the others scattered, spreading out to check the other people in the infirmary. Beckett and Marcy stepped over to stand on either side of Sheppard and Beckett began taking his vital signs as Marcy cut his shirt off. She was glad to see that she didn't have to make her way through a jacket and vest this time. Sheppard was quiet and still, apparently unconscious again.
"We'll definitely need a skull series to rule out a fracture and we'd probably better get that shoulder x-rayed as well," said Beckett as he worked.
"Doctor, you'll want to see this," said Marcy as she removed the rest of Sheppard's shirt.
Beckett glanced down to see bruises beginning to form across Sheppard's chest. Beckett winced, recognizing the pattern. "Impact with the console when they crashed. We'll need to check for broken ribs too. Find out who else was sitting in the front with him so we can make sure they are examined as well."
Marcy nodded. "I'll call the x-ray tech and check on that."
As Marcy moved away, Sheppard moaned and began to stir. Beckett watched as his eyes opened a slit and he tried to focus on his surroundings.
"Colonel, you're in the infirmary. Do you remember what happened?"
Sheppard brought his hand up to his head and gently probed the side of it, grimacing as he contacted the bump. "Hit my head?" He didn't actually remember, but the pain and the bump were definitely clues. His thoughts seemed jumbled and he wasn't sure where he was. He moved his hand to look into the worried face peering down at him and recognized it as that of a doctor, but he couldn't put his finger on the name. Glancing around the room, he realized it didn't look right. Familiar faces were staring at him from across the infirmary and yet he couldn't place their names either. He was starting to get worried when he was hit by a sense of urgency. There was something he was supposed to be doing.
Sheppard suddenly sat straight up, almost bumping his head against Beckett's. "I've got to go." He quickly threw his legs over the side of the bed before Beckett could stop him. The doctor grabbed his arm as he hit the floor and weaved dangerously to one side.
"Colonel, you're injured. I need you to get back in bed."
"No, I've got to go after Mitch and Dex. Where's my chopper?" He tried to pull away from Beckett, but the doctor held on firmly, pushing Sheppard back toward the bed.
"Colonel, you can't go. I've already told you, they have been taken care of. Your orders are to stay here."
"No, I . . . " Sheppard's voice trailed off as his eyes slid closed and he began sliding to the floor. Beckett caught him under the arms and almost immediately two nurses appeared to help him push Sheppard back onto the bed.
As they got him settled, Marcy turned to Beckett. "They're ready for him in x-ray."
Beckett nodded. "Okay, get him to x-ray. Make sure someone is with him at all times in case he wakes up. I don't want him wandering out of here."
Marcy nodded and turned her attention to the bed with Sheppard. Beckett walked over to his worried team members sitting on adjacent beds.
"What's wrong with him?" demanded McKay.
"It's the head injury, Rodney. He's got a concussion at the very least and it's left him a bit disoriented."
"Disoriented? Are you kidding? That goes way beyond disoriented. He's in a different galaxy, not to mention a different year than the rest of us. I'd say he's downright confused. And when did he get a head injury?"
"Teyla suspects he hit his head on the jumper console during the crash, and I found a bump on his forehead that would seem to substantiate that. I found another one on the side of his head. I suspect he slammed his head on the floor when you came barreling through the gate. I'm not sure which one is causing the problems, or it could be both. But with the nausea and the disorientation, I'm sure he has a concussion."
"The Colonel will recover, though, right?" asked Teyla.
Beckett nodded. "I'm sure he will, lass. I may do CT scan to check for intracranial hemorrhaging, but I expect he'll be fine in time. Now how are you three doing?"
He turned his attention to Ronon and walked over to look at his leg. The nurse that had been cleaning the wound looked up at Beckett.
"I think I finally have the injury clean, doctor, and it got pretty red and inflamed under all that dirt." Ronon growled, but the petite nurse ignored him and continued. "You may want to hit him with some IV antibiotics to get in a good lick at the beginning."
Beckett nodded as he explored the entry and exit wounds. "I think you're right. At least the bleeding seems to have stopped. Once you get him bandaged up, get him some scrubs and we'll start him on an IV." Beckett turned to the scowling Satedan, now in full lecturing doctor mode. "And Ronon, son, we don't ever remove a penetrating object in the field. If it's blocking a blood vessel and you remove it, you could bleed to death in a matter of minutes."
Ronon grunted. "But I didn't."
"I know, but you were lucky. You might not be so lucky next time." Beckett turned to his next patient. "Teyla, how are you getting along?"
"I am fine, just a bit sore." She looked at the abrasions on her wrists. "The nurse has cleaned up my injuries and they are feeling much better."
"Where were you sitting when the jumper crashed?"
"I was in the seat next to Colonel Sheppard."
Beckett grinned. "Ah, then we'll need to examine you for rib injuries as well. I'm guessing you were thrown against the console along with Colonel Sheppard."
"I am rather sore from the crash, but I do not believe that I am seriously injured."
"Well, you won't mind if I just check to be sure."
Teyla nodded. "As you wish."
Beckett turned to McKay. "Okay, Rodney, and what about you?"
McKay hesitated, realizing that everyone was looking at him. "I know I have . . . that is, I mean I have . . . oh, fine. I'll live."
Beckett took McKay's hands and examined the red scrapes around his wrists. One of the nurses had cleaned them and he saw no sign of bleeding or infection. "Did you say you hit your head earlier?"
"Well, I didn't actually hit my head, it was more like I bumped by mouth. I thought I had chipped a tooth, but the nurse said she didn't see anything. My lip's kind of swollen and sore on the inside, but other than that, I guess I'm okay."
Beckett nodded. "I'll get the nurse to get you some pain reliever. Teyla, let's have a look at those ribs before Colonel Sheppard gets back from x-ray." Beckett drew the privacy curtain around Teyla's bed.
McKay and Ronon looked up at the sound of approaching footsteps to see Elizabeth enter the infirmary. Spotting them, she quickly made her way over to their beds.
"Ronon, Rodney, are you two okay?"
McKay nodded. "I'm fine, just a busted lip and some bruises. Conan here took an arrow to the leg, which he promptly removed on his own. Looks like he gets to stay the night."
Ronon growled at McKay, causing the scientist to cringe and scoot back a little on the bed. "Hey, I'm just reporting what happened. I'm not the one that shot you."
Elizabeth smiled as she looked around the room. Spotting a strange man with a marine guard at the far end of the infirmary, she motioned his direction. "Who is that?"
McKay followed her gaze. "Oh, that's Eldon. He helped us escape and, in return, we told him he could come back with us. He's waiting on Carson to check him out."
"And what do we do with him after that?"
McKay shrugged. "How do I know? Sheppard's the one who made the deal. You'll have to ask him."
Eyeing the pulled curtain, she continued to question McKay. "And who's behind curtain number one?"
"Dr. Beckett is checking Teyla's ribs for possible injury from the jumper crash," replied Ronon.
"Okay, now that just leaves one missing team member. Where's John hiding?"
"X-ray," replied McKay. "He apparently hit his head and it knocked him for a loop – and I do mean a big loop. The man's a bit bonkers right now, if you get my drift."
Elizabeth frowned. "No, I don't know what you mean."
Beckett pulled the curtain back. "Don't listen to Rodney. I'll explain in a minute." He turned back to give Teyla a hand off the table.
"Teyla, are you all right?" asked Elizabeth.
"She's fine. She's a bit bruised, but I don't think she's cracked any ribs. Just take it easy for a few days and give yourself time to heal. No stick fighting for a few days, either. I'll have the nurse get you some Tylenol."
Teyla nodded and went to stand by Elizabeth. "Thank you for opening the gate for us. It was a close call."
"Yes, we saw. I'm glad everyone made it back. Now what about John?"
"He has a rather nasty concussion and he's been a bit disoriented," replied Beckett.
McKay rolled his eyes. "Oh, please. Carson had to practically tie him down to keep him here. He kept popping up trying to rescue people in his chopper. I'm telling you, the man is more than just a little disoriented."
"Rodney!" Beckett snapped.
"Okay, okay. I'm just saying . . . "
They all turned at the sound of Marcy and a male med tech wheeling Sheppard's bed into the main part of the infirmary. "Thanks," said Marcy as the tech locked the wheels, nodded, and left.
Everyone but Ronon moved toward Sheppard's bed. Beckett gave the Satedan a warning glare before turning back to Marcy. "How's he doing?"
"He's been in and out, but he hasn't tried to get up any more. X-rays should be up shortly."
Beckett moved over beside Sheppard and took his pulse. As he checked Sheppard's pupils with the pen light, the pilot tried to bat his hand away, groaning as he cracked his eyes open.
"Ssssop," he slurred.
Elizabeth moved to the other side of the bed. "John, it's Elizabeth. I'm glad to see you made it back in one piece."
Sheppard lay quietly for a few seconds, staring at the ceiling. "Screwed up," he mumbled softly.
Elizabeth brushed the hair gently from his forehead. "No you didn't. Everyone made it back safely."
Sheppard closed his eyes. "No . . . didn't make it in time. Both dead."
Elizabeth frowned as she stroked the side of his face, trying to keep him linked to consciousness. "Who's dead?"
"Mitch . . . Dex . . . screwed up and . . . now they're dead." They all stood silently for several minutes as Sheppard drifted back to sleep.
McKay finally broke the silence, but his voice was soft, almost whispered. "Suddenly losing a puddle jumper doesn't seem quite so bad, considering what we could have lost."