Title: Daft Bugger

Rating: K+ some naughty words
Disclaimer: The characters, Atlantis, etc, all belong to Sony, MGM, Gecko, Showtime, the Sci-Fi Channel.
Spoilers: None
Summary: Sequel to "A New Respect"- An Infirmary scene where Rodney is suffering from his encounter with the winged beasty.

An answer to the sgahcchallenges : Challenge # 5: "I'm Not Tasty"
must include phrase "I'm not as appetizing as you may think."

A/N- Many thanks to NT for betaing. All mistakes are mine.I hate coming up with titles so thanks go to the others (they know who they are) for helping me with title suggestions. The runners up for this short were "Tasty McNugget" and "Bite me!" It was a tough decision really.


Warm hands grasped his wrist and Rodney kept his eyes closed as he waited. He was certain Carson knew he was awake again but at the same time, had no real desire to talk. He hurt…everywhere.

Carson's hand slid up his forearm and he felt the slight tug on his IV line as Beckett untangled the tubes. The tug pulled and stung the back of his hand where the needle was taped down, bruising and burning.

Rodney hissed, despite himself.

"Sorry, Rodney," Beckett whispered lightly,but continued to work.

"Must you do this now?" Rodney grumbled, opening his eyes enough to squint at the doctor. Why couldn't Beckett just leave him alone?

"Yes, Rodney. I must." Carson kept his tone even but Rodney could see the frustration and total exhaustion in his features. Dark circles shadowed red-rimmed eyes. His hair stood up at whole new gravity defying angles--the doctor looked almost as bad as his patient felt. He knew Beckett well enough…if he could just push the right buttons…

"Of course. Annoy the dying man." McKay closed his eyes again and stifled a moan as the sharp ache in his shoulder intensified. He was so hot. He wanted to move, to adjust his arm, but it was strapped across his chest. The straps and bandaging were scratchy against his bare skin. The air was cold. Damn it.

"You're not dying." Carson's hand brushed his forehead for a reason Rodney couldn't understand.

Pain flared. Oh yeah. He had stitches there. Concussion.

"Carson," he growled the name. "Just leave me alone."

"Easy, Rodney. Your stitches are oozing again. I need to change the dressing."

"Just leave it. I'm cold. Can you do something useful and bring me a real blanket?"

He felt Beckett pause and sensed the man studying him closely. He wondered what Carson could see. Can you 'see' pain?


"What?" he snapped again and winced as the action jarred his whole body. Dizziness assaulted him. It felt like the bed was floating, rocking back and forth on the waves like a freaking row boat. He hated boats.

"What do you need?"

"A blanket. Some uninterrupted sleep. For you to go away already. What are you trying to do, bug your patients to death?" His throat ached with thirst,but he didn't want to ask for anything to drink. So far, he hadn't kept anything down. He didn't even want to try again.

He listened to Carson sigh heavily. It was working.

"I need to get some supplies and check on Ronon. I'll be back in a minute."

"Of course."

He listened to Beckett's footsteps fade. He hadn't gone far. Must be checking on Ronon now. Rodney debated whether or not to try to listen but his head was pounding too much. He knew Ronon was okay. Carson had filled him in earlier. Somehow, he had managed not to shoot the former runner. Instead, he'd actually done something right. He'd killed the beast and saved them both.

He didn't feel like a hero. He felt like he'd been used as a chew toy. Breathe. Breathe. He concentrated on not panicking as visions of the winged cat-thing flashed through his memory.

He'd been sure they were both goners. The thing had attacked and Ronon just disappeared. Rodney knew he'd screamed like a girl,but seeing someone like Ronon batted over the embankment like he was nothing… Then it'd just been him and the creature and there was no escape. He'd been alone.

Rodney could feel the heat of that sun again, could smell the dirt and the stink of the animal as it charged. He could feel the impact and the pain and the raw terror as the beast had bitten through his shoulder. He heard his own scream echoing through his mind as if he was back there again. Ronon was gone, dead already, most likely,and Rodney was left with this thing. He was alone and helpless.

Voices murmured in the background and Rodney drifted in a haze of pain and confusion. Then just as he was certain he was going to slip away…Carson returned.

"Rodney?" It wasn't really a whisper, but it was soft so as not to startle him. He jumped all the same.

"I brought you another blanket."

Rodney felt the warm material settle over him. It felt so heavy.

"Too hot," he complained in a whisper.

"You just said you were cold." He could hear the annoyance in Beckett's voice now as it raised a notch. Perfect.

"Well, now I'm hot. Are you trying to smother me?" Pushing weakly at the new blanket, he moved his hand wrong and set the IV alarm off.

Beckett swore under his breath as he rounded the bed. Rodney listened as the machine beeped three times and the alarm cut off. "I don't know why that beast didn't eat you when it had the chance." The doctor muttered as he fussed with the IV site again, securing the tape again.

Rodney tried not to go back there but his mind, it had its own plan and he was in the dirt again, struggling under the creature, his shoulder exploding in pain. He could feel the thing's teeth scraping against bone, his nerves burning. The agony of knowing there was no one coming to help him. There was no escape… He could feel it all again.

"I'm not as appetizing as you may think." Rodney tossed back through clenched teeth.

"Aye, no one would…" Carson stopped suddenly.

The silence was heavy and uncomfortable. Rodney opened watery eyes and found Beckett staring at him.

"What?" he asked finally. Trying to relax. He hadn't realized he was holding himself so stiff and tight. Bracing for another remembered attack.

"You're a daft bugger, you are." Carson shook his head.

"What? Why?" Rodney blinked, uncertain how to read Beckett's newest expression. "What are you doing to me now?" He watched as Carson walked over to a nearby tray and retrieved a syringe. Beckett checked it carefully and then returned, injecting it into the IV.

"What was that?" Rodney eyed him suspiciously.

"It was something more for the pain. Now rest, and next time, I want you to tell me when you're hurting so much."

How did he know that? Rodney closed his eyes. "Does this mean you're going to leave me alone now?" he whispered.

He felt Carson readjust the blanket, tucking it gently about him, careful to avoid jostling him. A solid hand gripped his and surprisingly, it didn't hurt at all. His own fingers curled into a light grasp in response.

"I'm not going anywhere, Rodney."

A soothing warmth settled over him with the whispered words and he wondered absently if it was more than just the medicine hitting his system.