Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or anything else related to Stargate Atlantis, nor am I receiving any profit from it. This is purely for free entertainment purposes only.
Author's Note: This is from Sheppard's point of view, and contains no ship except friendship. Conversations are marked standard (" " ) and thoughts are in italics.
Chapter 1 What's Up, Doc?
The return to consciousness was slow, and anything but pleasant. My head throbbed in time with my heart beat, which I could feel throughout my body.
Who decided to ring the giant bell in my cranium? Hope they know how ta run real fast 'cause I've got a bullet with their name on it!
I really didn't want to move, but something was poking me on the leg and I'd just about had it. I tried to move away from whatever it was, only to have hands clamp down on the abused limb. The tiny pokes and tugs continued. That feeling was familiar, but I just couldn't place it. No matter. All I wanted to do was find the offending item and break it. Though it would help if I opened my eyes first.
Harsh, bright light assaulted my eyes, but before I could complain, they abruptly dimmed. Much better. At least for a moment.
Doctor with annoying penlight, twelve o'clock high!
"Can ya hear me, son?"
Make that annoying Scottish doctor.
The man's accent was thick, almost to the point where I had trouble understanding him. As I blinked away the afterimages from the light, he came into my view. After hearing him call me 'son', I wasn't expecting someone who looked only a little older then me. Not to mention the fact that his brown hair obeyed a comb about as much as mine did. Other then that, he really wasn't someone I would have remarked on if I'd met him walking down the street. Which, come to think of it, would be a little hard considering there were no streets where we were. Turning away as I struggled to stay awake, he addressed someone unseen.
"I think he may actually be coherent this time. I really donna want him rippin' out those stitches again!"
Stitches! That's what the tugging on my leg had been! Wonder what I did this time?
"Come on now, John! I need ya ta keep your eyes open for me just a wee bit longer! Open them up again, son!"
Might as well get this over with. Though if he keeps calling me son, I may be tempted to call him some names in return. They just won't be as nice!
It took a minute, but my eyes quit their latest round of watering and the doctor once again came into focus.
"Go away, I'm sleeping!" I muttered, hoping the man would take the hint. No such luck.
"Aye, I know ya hate this, lad, but after the blow you took, not ta mention your recent tumble outta bed, I need to ask you some questions. Can ya tell me your name?"
Oh, goody. Neural checks to see if I've lost any marbles.
"Good. Now, where are ya?"
Well, that's a stupid one! With this headache and a doc hovering over me, there's only one place I could be!
Shut up, go away, and let me sleep! I hate doctors! Oh, good one, John, you just riled your head up more!
Now it felt like an entire construction company was at work in my head! Or maybe it was demolition? To top it all off, there was someone else there, and they were laughing at me!
"Well, I canna speak to the religious state o' the area, but ya got the second part right. Now, where is the infirmary?"
It seemed I had a comedian for a doctor. Two could play at that game!
"Right turn, down the stairs, first door on the left!"
"John!" A woman's voice chided me gently, but I could hear the laugh she was trying hard to suppress. Rolling my head carefully, I brought her into my view. She was pretty, with a strong, yet feminine, face and short dark hair. Her fair complexion was nicely set off by the red of the shirt that she wore. I'd seen her somewhere before, I just couldn't quite place her. It was almost as if my mind slammed down a wall as soon as I started to recall. Weird. Must be the head injury. For her, I decided to relent and answer the question, though.
"Frozen wasteland. Back end of beyond. McMurdo."
Before I could even finish the base name, my eyes were sliding irresistibly closed. My last conscious moments for a while took place in the stunned silence my response had produced, but I wasn't able to question it. That was my second mistake.
The next time that I awoke, the ache in my head was milder. Someone seemed to have fired about half the construction company. It was quiet around me on the outside, too, and someone had moved the white cloth privacy barriers that had previously blocked my view of the room. And that room looked wrong. Columns lined with softly glowing blue lights and stained glass windows were definitely not standard U.S. Air Force issue.
Sheppard, I don't think you're in Kansas anymore!
Wait a minute! I had seen those two before! I had ferried them to and from that strange international research station set up on the middle of a glacier! Never could figure out what could possibly be that interesting in the middle of nowhere. So, was this weird infirmary under those domes? What was I doing here? The last thing that I remembered was...wince three jerks waylaying me in the gym when I went to work out early in the morning. That wasn't anything surprising, though.
I hadn't exactly been welcomed with open arms at McMurdo. The base commander was a real stickler for the regulations, and having a maverick screw-up like me pushed on him hadn't exactly sat well. His buddies had taken it upon themselves to make my life miserable whenever I was on the ground, and the jerk turned a blind eye. I didn't really care, though. I was able to fly. That was all that mattered. Until now, the harassment had all been minor stuff anyway, like shaving cream in my flight helmet or the base laundry conveniently 'losing' my clothing. The looks in their eyes when they locked the gym door, though...
"Awake again, are we? Can ya tell me your name?"
Here we go again! My favorite doc is back!
"John Sheppard, Major, United States Air Force."
There! Let's see how he likes that answer!
He didn't, from the look on his face. Maybe it was time to start asking some questions of my own.
"What's going on here, doc? Where am I, anyway?"
That received a troubled glance and a weary sigh.
"You were injured in an accident, Col- Major. Seems you've got a touch o' amnesia. Now, I don't want ya ta worry about it, these things usually sort themselves out once the effects of the concussion ease."
"And my leg?"
"Just a wee bit o' a cut. It'll be sore for a while, that 's all. Are ya still nauseous, son?"
Again with the son. And don't worry! Who was he kidding?
"Nauseous?" Rolling my head to the right, I saw a basin standing ready on the table. "No, not at the moment. You said this usually clears up? Just how long am I missing?"
"I'd rather you remember that on your own. Go back to sleep, son. We have ta wake you every two hours for a neural check as it is. I'll be in my office. Just call if ya need anythin', I'll hear."
Did I mention how much I hate doctors? He started to turn away, only to be stopped short by my slightly snippy question.
"And just what do I call you?"
I watched as he wearily closed his eyes for a moment, wincing at my tone. The poor guy probably didn't deserve that, especially since he looked dead on his feet, but...I don't exactly take well to situations that I don't have any control over.
"I'm sorry. Dr. Carson Beckett."