Summary: The sweat left behind as a palm print slowly fades and all he can do is stare beyond where it's suspended, seemingly in mid air. A small smear of blood outlines where his index finger was pressed against the glass, but he doesn't notice or care.

Rating: Teen

Genre: Angst

Series: None

A/N's: I'm playing around with this style of writing. Hopefully it worked.

I have no beta.

Dr. Kushnikov is mine, he pops up in a few of my stories.

Dr. Itzhak Perlman belongs to SpecialAgentJim in The Song of Silent Rivers, The Promised Land, and All Fun And Games.

Inspired by Stone Sour's Through Glass, but in no way is this a song fic.

If you squint, this could be read as pre-slashy, but it's not what I had in mind when I got the idea for this. (thanks to a certain person for pointing that out, I forgot to mention it)

Through the Glass

By NenyaVilyaNenya

The sweat left behind as a palm print slowly fades and all he can do is stare beyond where it's suspended, seemingly in mid air. A small smear of blood outlines where his index finger was pressed against the glass, but he doesn't notice or care.

His focus is on the scene playing out in front of him, and he feels a pull into the sterile room. It is a need to work, a need to do something, anything other than stand and watch.

He shouldn't even be on his feet.

A hand clings to the IV pole, requiring most of his strength to keep his damaged body standing.

At any moment he could collapse due to strain and his injuries if he isn't careful. He doesn't think about that. Instead, he thinks about the patient on the other side of the glass. It is yet another member of the Expedition, another potential for disaster, another person hanging on to life.

He'd be lying to himself if he said each patient meant the same. The situation in Atlantis naturally affects what most doctors and medical staff do to distance themselves enough from patients to successfully do their jobs. If they didn't, work would destroy them, but they still show caring and compassion. The medical staff of Atlantis has friends, and even significant others, that end up passing through the doors on stretchers.

As Chief Medical Officer, he worked on his friends even though it went against the unwritten medical code.

He never fails to notice Dr.'s Biro, Perlman, or Kushnikov shadowing him in the more sticky and emotional cases. He welcomes Kushnikov's help in the operating room and he bounces ideas off of the others. The extra pairs of eyes serve to reassure him.

He does the same for them when the need arises.

He doesn't know how much time has passed since he hobbled away from his bed to the observation room, but at any moment he'll be found, discovered.

It feels like forever.

He wonders how the bloody hell the mission turned disastrous.

Why had Mother Nature turned against them, ripping the sky open and picking them up like ragdolls? Who knew Pegasus had tornadoes? Why hadn't they taken the Midelton's offer and stayed in the shelter?

He starts to sway, his head swirls, and he looks down at his side.

It's crimson. He paws at it and his hand begins to match.

He instantly knows he's ripped his stitches.

"Dr. Beckett!"

He coughs a hello as he falls. He's not conscious by the time Dr. Perlman catches him.

On the other side of the glass, Dr. Kushnikov's surgical team finishes.

Xxx xxx xxX

He blinks his eyes as he wakes up for the third time, wanting to stay conscious long enough to get answers this time.

Images of his team being carried away by empty air flash through his mind.

He thinks they should've stayed with the Mideltons.

The lights of what he assumes to be the infirmary aren't bright, but his eyes still need adjusting.

He needs answers.

Lifting his arm is difficult, but the movement catches the eye of the Japanese nurse anyway. He refuses to drift off again.

She approaches quickly and checks his pupils as she says, "Your team's in recovery, Colonel. Sleep without worry."

Worry.

The word means so much.

He refuses to sleep again and demands as sweetly and flirtatiously as his tired body allows him to see his team.

She stands her ground knowing all about his tricks. He's not allowed out of bed, though he tries.

The argument continues until the team appears at his side, all had been discharged with minor injuries. He sees one less member.

He asks about Carson.

Xxx xxx xxX

"You alone prove the saying about doctors making the worst patients."

Carson chuckles as much as he can without it hurting, "Who snitched?"

"I don't reveal where I get my intel." John's head is turned sideways so he can look at the man in the neighboring bed. He couldn't help to feel a wave of relief when Kushnikov wheeled an awake Carson into the room.

"Rodney then." Carson snuggles down into his bed, also satisfied to see the other man alive and talking.

"I'm neither confirming nor denying that." He wipes his face and words come out of his mouth with a sigh, "As much as I appreciate you looking out for me during surgery-"

Carson is tired and not in the mood for a deep conversation, he cuts John off. "Perlman gave me an earful already. I don't need more." He doesn't look at John, with a clear head he knows he was foolish to go to the observation room with his injuries.

"Worrying isn't good for your health." He says, using the word that means so much and gnaws at the back of his head constantly not only from responsibilities as Commanding Officer, but as a friend.

"Neither is going offworld with your team." Carson's voice is not bitter, but teasing and John takes the opportunity to lighten the mood.

He defends himself with a bit of a smile, "The tornado was not my fault."

"I have half a right mind to ground you. It would save me a deal of trouble."

John smiles but Carson doesn't see, "You wouldn't."

"Save on medical supplies." Now Carson is smiling, he knows the Colonel is on the road to recovery.

"I don't get into trouble that much."

Carson's mood declines again, but he doesn't show it. He knows the exact number of times the Colonel's shown up in the infirmary. It is too many. "Your file begs to differ."

John doesn't get to respond since Dr. Perlman sweeps into the room. He tells the men he could hear them from his lab and that they need to quiet down and get some sleep unless they want to be separated. He leaves after patting Carson's shoulder.

"I smell a mutiny." John teases.

Carson stops staring at the ceiling and instantly responds, "That's long over."

John mentally smacks himself, he temporarily forgot about when the Israeli pathologist and epidemiologist first arrived in Atlantis. "Right." He stretches as much as his body lets him.

Carson takes a deep breath, forcing his mind to clear out the images of a battered flagship team, his medical kit being torn away from him in the storm…

"Thanks, Doc." John's voice comes out as a whisper.

"What for?" He looks over at John, who's now lying with closed eyes.

"Back on the planet." He's almost asleep, but the image of the bleeding CMO bending over him and taking care of him despite his own injuries won't leave his brain.

Carson responds hiding a loaded sigh, "It's what I do."

FIN

A/N: Writing something without a complete "happy ending" is new to me. But I decided to take the plunge. Tell me how well it worked, thanks!

Oh and if you want to know what's up with Perlman, then you're just going to have to read SpecialAgentJim's stories... The Promised Land is the main one I refer to. (-pokes SpecialAgentJim for an update-).