Character(s): John Sheppard and team.
Genre(s): Stargate Atlantis: H/C -Angst
Words: Various and many.
Warnings: Nothing too explicit.
Summary: Sheppard ends up in hospital on earth with no sign of his team.
Doctor Abby Jenner dropped her case files onto the admittance desk and stifled a yawn before downing the last of her coffee. Four car crash victims, three DOA's, one case of herpes, two GSW's, one survived the other wasn't so lucky and one elderly man with a mobile phone lodged in a place that was wrong on so many levels. And that was in the first hour. Abby had spent various hours of the day covered in vomit, blood and other bodily fluids. She was tired, her head was aching and she didn't want to see another patient for at least twenty four hours.
"You finished for the night?" Matt, the desk clerk asked as he surfed the internet and shoved a doughnut into his mouth.
"Yep," she said with an exhausted smile, "I am going to go home and sleep for the next two days."
"Sound's like a plan."
"It does, doesn't it?"
"A couple of the guys are going out for beers tomorrow night. Fancy it?"
Abby's reply was cut off by the sounds of a commotion further up the corridor. Somebody wasn't happy.
"Oh, what now?"
She leaned backwards and could see that the paramedics were wheeling a gurney her way.
There was a tall, handsome man struggling with the paramedics and trying to get off the gurney.
"Looks like you're not going anywhere," Matt mocked.
Abby sighed, "The work of a registrar is never done," and with a mutinous look she pushed herself away from the counter to join the paramedics.
"What have we got?" she asked as one of them battled to restrain her new patient.
She gave the man a cursory look, checking for signs of injury, already cataloguing the tests that would have to be carried out and the amount it would cost the hospital.
"John Doe," the head paramedic Michael said, "Picked him up off the highway after a concerned caller saw him collapse. He's been disorientated and combatant ever since we picked him up."
"I told you I'm fine," The man said with an aggrieved sigh, "I need to get out of here!"
He was swinging his legs over the edge of the gurney, one foot touching the floor and Abby had the urge to let him go. After all, if a patient refused treatment there wasn't much they could do. But then her guilty conscience kicked the devil off her shoulder and she reached out for his arm.
"Hold up," Abby said, "We need to take a look at you first."
He tore his eyes away from the paramedic and met her look, "I'm fine. I need to find my team."
Michael was trying to restrain a smile, "His team the…uh…fantastic four."
Abby raised her eyebrows and instantly regretted her decision. Her new patient however, didn't find the comment funny and he turned to Michael with a scowl.
"Okay, get him into exam room three. I'll be right in."
As the gurney was wheeled away Michael remained at her side, "Just thought I'd warn you. This guy is nuts. You should have heard what he was saying on the way in."
Abby arched an eyebrow, "Really?"
"Yeah. We asked him where he lived and he said something about Atlantis and a flying ship. Apparently he has the power to turn stuff on with the power of his mind." Michael wiggled his fingers menacingly.
Abby could see her night of relaxation and rest slipping away, "Seriously?"
Michael's expression grew sober, "He was walking down a busy highway in the middle of the night with no shoes. How cracked can you get?"
Abby took a last sip of her coffee and tossed it into the trashcan.
"Okay, well leave him to me."
"You sure? We can stick around if you want."
"No, I'll be-"
For the second time that night Abby was cut off mid-sentence by a raised voice. The sounds of something falling to the ground came after that and then one of the paramedics rushed out with his hands covering his nose.
There was blood spilling between his fingertips.
"What happened?" Abby asked, prying his hands away from his face to inspect the damage.
"He hit me!" the paramedic informed her in a nasal voice, "I think he broke my nose."
"I don't think it's broken. It looks worse than it is."
"It feels broken. Damn, he has a strong right hook."
"What were you doing?" his team-mate asked sympathy devoid from his voice.
"Why would you think it was my fault?"
"Here," the paramedic handed Abby a chain with two tags on them.
"He's military," Michael said with a resigned sigh, "That's all we need. A whacked out soldier."
Abby shot him a look for being an ass.
"Kerry?" Abby turned to one of the nurses, "Can you sort Ed's nose out? And Ed?"
The paramedic turned back to her with a sorry expression on his face.
"Last time I checked, you only take dog tags off a soldier when they're dead. I'm not surprised he hit you."
Ed waved a dismissive hand at her and walked off, his team-mate in tow.
Abby studied the tags and read the information embossed in the silver.
"Well, our patient has a name. John Sheppard." She turned to the clerk, "Matt, can you write down this information and see if you can track down Mr. Sheppard's files."
Matt took the dog tags off her and read them, "That's Lt Colonel Sheppard."
"Whatever, just see if you can track down his files. Call Evans U.S Army hospital if you have to."
Matt quickly wrote down his service number, social security number and anything else of use.
"You're not going in there alone?" he pushed when Abby turned on her heel.
"I'll call if I need you to rescue me Matt."
"I'm calling security."
"Fine, call them. But have them stand out in the corridor."
Abby grabbed the tags off him before heading into the exam room.
Lt Colonel Sheppard was swinging his legs over the edge of the bed and sitting upright clutching his hand with a pained expression on his face when she entered. Obviously throwing that punch had hurt him as much as it had hurt Ed. Even though he was military he wasn't dressed in what she would have called the usual military attire. He was dressed in black trousers; black t-shirt and he was definitely missing his shoes. Either he was in a hurry to get somewhere or get away.
With any thoughts of home and bed truly dissipated, Abby thought it was some small consolation that her patient was good looking. Being the consummate professional that she was, she admired him for a few seconds and then got down to business.
"Here," Abby dropped his tags into his hand and he quickly put them over his head and tucked them into his t-shirt.
"Sorry I hit that guy," he mumbled, "But, last I checked, I'm still alive."
"That you are."
He smiled crookedly and silence settled in the room.
"I have to go," he said wiping a hand across his forehead.
The hand was shaking; in fact, his whole body was trembling as if he were cold.
"I have to go."
Everything he said seemed to spill out quickly and he was jittery, unable to stay still as he sat.
"Not until I have checked you over," Abby said waiting for him to get back into bed.
He didn't. He merely sat there and stared at her with a blank expression.
"Where's Beckett?" he said tracking the room with lazy eyes.
"Beckett?" Abby pulled out her penlight and stood in front of him, "Who's that?"
"My Doctor," Sheppard informed her, "Doctor Carson Beckett."
"Atlantis," he said looking passed her and out into the corridor.
As in Lost city of?
Abby bit her lip. She wasn't familiar with it. "Atlantis? Which state is that in?"
"It's in the Pegasus galaxy," he stated.
Abby groaned inwardly. Great! He really was crazy.
He nodded, reacting as if his statement was completely normal, "You should get him. I think….he wouldn't want you treating me."
Abby mentally noted that. Doctor Carson Beckett. Sheppard might have escaped from another hospital which meant they might be able to track his medical records down.
"Okay, I tell you what. I will go and get Doctor Beckett if you just let me check you over."
Sheppard seemed to consider her suggestion, but was still on edge. Hands clenching and unclenching. She didn't know what it was about this man though. She felt strangely safe with him. There was something honest about his face.
"Will you let me do that?"
"I really think I should wait for Beckett," he looked over her shoulder as if he expected the man to appear, "He's Scottish."
Abby tried to get his attention by blocking out his view, "It's going to take us a while to locate him. Surely, he would want you to get looked over."
"Of course." The response was of that of a five year old.
"And then I can go?" he asked looking up at her with wide glassy eyes.
Abby nodded. Go, stay, go; he didn't seem to be able to make up his mind.
"Because, they'll be looking for me," he said scratching his arm absent mindedly, "I'm…kind of important."
Okay, so Sheppard seemed to have a superiority complex. Abby was slightly disappointed. Good looks and arrogance always seemed to go together.
"I think maybe I shouldn't have…." He looked around the room, scanning all four corners, one hand planted on his thigh by an empty calf holster.
"Maybe you shouldn't have?"
"Left," he said quietly, "Maybe I should have…..but they were….." he trailed off into his thoughts.
She took his silence as her cue to get him looked over.
"If you just lie back, we can get started."
Sheppard still didn't sit back in bed. Instead, he pierced her with tired hazel eyes.
"Am I safe here?"
Abby reached out for his shoulder and felt the muscles tense beneath the fabric of his t-shirt, "Of course."
She wondered what had happened to him to make him like this. He was like a coiled spring, nervous energy radiated from him.
She was forced to do her exam while he was sat bolt upright. He was listing to the side, breathing in and out in shallow breaths, obviously exhausted and yet unwilling to submit.
She set about examining him. His eyes were wide and dilated which pointed to possible drug use.
"Have you taken anything?"
He shook his head and bit his lip.
He had a temperature of 102. Fever's often led to confusion and hallucinations.
He had a small cut in his hairline which would need suturing.
"Did you hit your head?"
He had minor cuts and abrasions on his feet. She palpitated his stomach for any tenderness and examined the crooks of his arm which had small, fresh track marks in them.
"Are you sure you haven't taken anything?"
Sheppard pulled his arm out of her grasp and acknowledged her with the same glassy stare.
"I need to be able to fly," he said with a scowl.
Fly? So maybe it was drugs.
She also noted that on his hand was a plaster which could have held an I.V line in place and secured around his wrist was a white hospital tag.
"Were you at another hospital?"
Sheppard covered the tag with his hand, "I think….." he scrunched his face up.
She decided to order a CT scan and Tox screen and start Sheppard on an I.V line. She wouldn't be able to give him anything more until she had his medical files and eliminated any drugs from his system with the blood work.
"So, where are your shoes?"
Sheppard swung his legs back and forth, examining his feet with a confused expression, "I left them…somewhere," he was distracted, "Can you call Beckett now? You should find out where my team is too."
"Okay, what's Beckett's number?"
"Uh…" Sheppard sighed and scrubbed a hand through his unruly hair, "I'm not sure. It's….."
"Okay," she said, "How about you lie back and get some rest? I'm going to send someone in to clean up your cuts and then we can see about finding this Doctor Beckett character."
"And your team," she said masking her bewilderment with a smile.
Sheppard sat back but didn't close his eyes. He seemed wide awake and unwilling to surrender to the apparent exhaustion he was experiencing.
Her father had been military. She had heard some of his terrible stories. He had never recovered from what he had experienced and died a year ago having never recovered, still suffering from nightmares, tearing up the night with his screams. She wondered if this Sheppard was suffering from the same affliction. Combat stress or worse Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Out at the clerks desk and she found Matt still eating doughnuts.
"You found out anything?" She asked leaning against the desk.
"I rang up Evans, gave them his service number and they have his files."
"Not great, they can't get into them or send them through. His file has a clause that says only authorized personnel can gain access."
"So I guess he is important," Abby said taking a bite out of one of Matt's pastries.
Matt slapped her hand away, "They need both Sheppard and a third party, which they need to ring, to sign a release form and then they can send his files over."
Abby scowled, "That could take forever."
And it could. Patient's details weren't collaborated on one system and each hospital had its own archaic way of storing records. She had once waited for three days before having a record faxed over and that was because that particular hospital needed a patient ID number rather than a social security number to release the forms. It was a logistical nightmare.
"I know, but they were able to give me his listed next of kin," he reached for a crumpled piece of paper, "Nancy Sheppard. His wife."
"Okay, call her up and see if you can get some kind of medical history out of her. I'm going to get our Colonel nice and comfortable and I think I might have to order a psyche consult down too."