A Stargate Atlantis story by Deana Lisi
Tag for the episode, 'Misbegotten'.
Disclaimer: I don't own any SGA characters. Phooey.
Everyone was watching him. He knew it without even looking up from his seat.
"Doc?" John Sheppard called, piloting the Jumper. "You okay back there?"
"Fine," Carson answered, slouched on the padded bench in the ship's back compartment. His mind felt fuzzy, and he found it hard to accept the reality that he was still alive and no longer the prisoner of Michael the wraith. They rescued me,he thought. They came back and rescued me! Even though he knew that his friends on Atlantis would never leave him behind, he still felt extremely touched…and relieved beyond words.
Suddenly, he noticed that Teyla's face had appeared before his own, her gaze worried. "Carson?" she said.
The doctor couldn't prevent a startled jump. "Teyla! Aye, lass?"
Rodney spoke before she had a chance. "We were talking to you, and you just sat here like you were deaf!" he said, standing behind the crouched Athosian, who Carson realized was grasping his hands...his shaking hands.
He made a conscious effort to make them stop, hoping fruitlessly that she hadn't noticed. "Sorry," he said, looking up at Rodney. He frowned when the motion caused a sudden lightheadedness, increasing the headache that he suddenly noticed.
"Is he okay?" Sheppard called.
"He's pretending to be," Ronon answered, gruffly.
"I'm fine!" Carson exclaimed, sounding high-strung. "Fine!" His head throbbed painfully, but thanks to Teyla's grasp, he couldn't rub it.
Teyla looked up at Rodney and Ronon, before releasing Carson's hands and reaching for the medical pack, taking out a blanket and draping it around the doctor. She then sat beside him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "You are not well. Just rest; we will soon be aboard the Daedalus."
Carson hadn't realized how cold he was until he felt the warmth of the blanket. "It's just…reaction. I'm fine."
The Athosian woman gently pulled his head down to lay on her shoulder.
Carson submitted, closing his eyes tiredly.
Rodney nervously watched. "Is he going into shock or something? I don't see any injuries!"
"Hush," Teyla said.
Rodney obeyed, sitting on Carson's other side.
The doctor started to drift off, but a minute later, John's whispered voice suddenly said, "Is he asleep?"
Carson was startled again, and reopened his eyes. "No."
John bent down, to see into his face. "We're here," he said. "Let's get a doctor to look at you."
Carson shook his head. "I don' need one."
John made a face, as Rodney headed towards the back hatch of the ship.
"Oh that's intelligent!" the scientist exclaimed. "If I was taken prisoner by a wraith, and you found me tied up and unconscious, would you let me go without an exam?"
Carson sighed, not wanting the mental picture of what Michael had done to him.
"A little more tact, Rodney," said John. He took Carson's arm and helped him stand. "Come on, doc."
Carson submitted, knowing that he had no choice.
The back hatch of the Jumper opened, and the Atlantis crew found Colonel Caldwell standing at the entrance.
"Colonel Sheppard," said the commander of the Daedalus. "Is everyone all right?"
John pursed his lips, glancing at Carson, whose arm he was still holding. "For the most part."
"Doctor?" said Caldwell.
"I'm all right," Carson said, sounding slightly exasperated. His pale features denied his words.
John let go of Carson and made a face at Ronon. "Well, we're gonna take a little trip to the infirmary anyway. Just in case."
Ronon understood the silent command and took John's place, herding the others out of the Bay.
Sheppard hung back to speak to Caldwell. "Does Elizabeth know that we found Carson and escaped?"
Caldwell nodded. "He was the wraith's prisoner?"
"Yeah," John said, with a sigh.
"He's lucky to be alive."
John nodded his head as they started to follow the others. "You have no idea. Unless Elizabeth told you, that is."
Caldwell nodded. "She's eager for you all to get back to Atlantis."
John smiled, slightly. "The feeling is definitely mutual."
When the doors to their destination opened, Carson desperately wished that it was his own infirmary. After the experience that he'd just had, he wanted nothing more than to go home.
He suddenly found himself sitting on a bed with a penlight shining in his eyes. "What ya doin'?!" he uncharacteristically snapped. "I don' need that!"
The doctor stood up straight, frowning.
"You know, Carson," said Rodney. "It'd probably be a lot easier if you told us what Michael did to you!"
Carson deflated, not wanting to remember. The pain…oh the pain, as the evil wraith dug through his mind, discovering things that Carson tried so hard not to reveal…
Everyone watched as Carson reached up to his head, rubbing it absentmindedly. His eyes looked far away.
"Carson?" said John, putting a hand on his shoulder. He easily recognized the look of someone who'd been tortured.
Carson gave no indication of having heard him.
"Doc," John said, gently shaking his shoulder. "Carson."
Life returned to the blue eyes and Carson jumped, startled, looking up at the pilot. "W-what?"
John gestured towards the Daedalus doctor.
Carson looked at him, looking sheepish. "Oh. I'm so sorry."
The doctor smiled comfortingly. "That's all right. Now, do you have any symptoms? Were you injured in any way besides your wrists?"
"My wrists?" Carson said. He looked down at them to see chafing and bruising circling them both. Frowning, he stared, trying to remember when that had happened.
The doctor reached over to pull off Carson's jacket, to get better access to the injuries. "What happened to your head?"
"You were just rubbing it," Rodney stated, frowning. "And we found you unconscious, remember!"
"Oh." How did one say that an alien sorted through his thoughts like a person looking for gold in a garbage heap? "Michael…he…he probed my mind…"
Rodney winced at that.
John's senses went on alert at that statement.What did Michael find out? He still had his hand on Carson's shoulder, and squeezed it, comfortingly.
Carson looked back at his wrists again. I musta fought the restraints while Michael was messin' with m' head…He shivered, and everyone saw it.
"Can you all please leave for a short while?" the doctor asked. "While I examine him further."
Carson looked at his friends, almost blurting that he wanted someone to stay. He stopped himself, feeling childish.
"All right," John said, nodding. "Rodney will stay, if that's okay with you, Carson."
Carson looked at him, relieved. John was very perceptive. "Aye, that's fine with me."
Rodney shot a questioning look at John, wondering why he'd picked him to stay. He was concerned about Carson, of course, but really wasn't good at the whole comforting thing.
John smiled at them and headed towards the door, the others following. As soon as the door closed behind them, he heard Teyla sigh. "Don't worry, guys, he'll be fine."
"He shouldn't've had to go through that," said Ronon. "He's not a warrior." The Satedan felt guilty…after Carson had removed the wraith tracking device from his back, he'd vowed to protect the doctor with his life. He mentally kicked himself for not accompanying Carson to the planet as his guard.
A few minutes later, they reached the bridge, and soon had contact with Dr. Weir.
"John!" her disembodied voice exclaimed. "Is everyone all right? Did Michael harm Carson?"
"We're all fine," John told her. "Carson's pretty shaken up, but he's not really injured." He left out mention of the mind-probe, not wanting to mention it in Caldwell's presence. That's all he needed; for the often rigid colonel to get paranoid about his ship possibly being compromised.
Elizabeth's relieved sigh could be heard through the speakers. "Thank God! Can I talk to him?"
"Not yet; he's getting looked at in the infirmary, just in case," John told her.
"All right," she said. "When do you think you'll be home?"
"Sometime tomorrow," Caldwell answered for him.
"I'd like to talk to Carson after he gets out of the infirmary," Elizabeth said. "Unless you find him resting. Tell him how glad I am that he's all right."
"We will." The sudden loud rumble of someone's stomach caught his attention, and he looked over his shoulder at Ronon, who shrugged with a grin. "You didn't by any chance hear that, did you, Elizabeth?"
"Nevermind," John rolled his eyes. "Everyone's starved, so we're gonna pay a little visit to the mess hall. Don't worry about us, we'll keep in touch and be home soon."
"All right, John. I'll talk to you later."
"Okay. Sheppard out." He turned to look at Ronon again when the huge man's stomach growled even louder. "Come on, Chewie."