Title: You Were a Good Friend
Rating: G
Author: MacGateFan
Spoilers: Sunday
Disclaimers: All characters are property of people who aren't me. The song, You Were a Good Friend, was written by Kenny Rogers.
Dedication: To our favorite doctor, Carson Beckett, and the man who portrayed him.


John sat down heavily on the balcony, feet dangling over the side. They had just arrived from Earth after three days of debriefing plus the funerals and informing families. He stomach still churned at the loss of one particular person.

Carson.

When the explosion reverberated through the city, John didn't think. He raced up to the tower, ignoring Rodney's cry that it might not be safe. He had to save his friend. He had to save the one man who had performed countless miracles for everyone in Atlantis. For himself.

He closed his eyes to keep any tears from falling. He told Teyla he wasn't looking forward to his hitting him and that was definitely an understatement. John felt totally and utterly defeated. He hadn't felt that way since Sumner or Ford.

"Sheppard?"

John didn't answer him. He couldn't deal with him, not right now. Angrily, he stood up and headed towards his quarters. He just wanted to be alone. Everyone else seemed to respect that, why couldn't Rodney?

John thought the door open then immediately closed it, being sure to lock it to avoid any immediate intrusions. He knew Rodney would get in if he were determined enough.

He silently moved to the corner of the room where his guitar leaned against the wall. John picked it up and slid to the floor, back to the door and began to play. And soon he was humming to himself, feeling less angry.

If I closed my eye
It did't hurt quite so bad
'Cause tonight I just lost
A very good friend

Why did you have to go?
Just when I was gettin' to know you
I'll sing this song to show
You were a good friend

They don't make 'em quite like you
And in my memory you'll always be
A good friend to me

They don't make 'em quite like you
And in my memory you'll always be
A good friend to me

Why did you have to go?
Just when I was gettin' to know you
I'll sing this song to show
You were a good friend

They don't make 'em quite like you
And in my memory you'll always be
A good friend to me

John closed his eyes, feeling the words surround him and suddenly he was flying in a puddle jumper. Normally he'd find this odd seeing as he was supposed to be sitting on the floor in his quarters, but he wasn't about to complain about this!

"Doc."

"Colonel Sheppard," Carson replied with a nod.

"I'm sorry I didn't go…"

Carson held up his hand. "Stop right there, Colonel. I know what you're going to say. Don't beat yourself up because you didn't want to go fishing with me! And don't beat yourself up because I died. I do not regret my actions and I would do the same in a heartbeat."

John nodded. "I realize that, Carson."

"I understand you better now. Why you risk your life and how easy it is to make that decision."

"Hell of a way to find out, though."

"You're telling me!" Carson said with a smile. "Don't worry about me. Just focus on why you're out here and continue to protect everyone."

"I will, Carson. I promise."

"I know you will, John. But do one other favor for me."

"Anything."

"Behave for the new chief medical officer."

John laughed. "Sure thing, Carson."

A few minutes later, John was blinking his eyes and he was back in his quarters. He heard Rodney shouting in his ear. "What is it Rodney?" he asked calmly.

Rodney sputtered. "What the hell has been going on in there? I've been trying to raise you for about fifteen minutes now! Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Rodney." John thought the door unlocked at smirked at the worried expressions on his team's faces. "Hey guys."

"Elizabeth, he's fine!" Rodney said into his earpiece, slightly annoyed.

"Sheppard that was not funny," Ronon growled.

"What?" he asked innocently.

Teyla spoke up. "What he meant to say is that we're glad you're all right."

"Thanks, big guy," John replied standing up. "I just had to be alone for awhile."

Rodney stared at the instrument in John's hands. "Since when do you play a guitar?"

"Since I was 15."

Teyla smiled as she eyed it curiously. "Would you play something for us now?"

John took a deep breath. He hadn't played for an audience since he was in college, but that song he played earlier helped him come to terms with a few things (as well as he visit from Carson). "Sure, have a seat."

If I closed my eye
It did't hurt quite so bad
'Cause tonight I just lost
A very good friend