John looked both ways before quietly slipping into the corridor that led toward the infirmary. He had to time this just right; otherwise he was in deep trouble. Getting drained of blood was not high on his list of favorite things to do, but that was his likely fate if he were caught.

Damn Cadman for a tattletale, anyway!

This was all her fault. John would have been perfectly happy never to know that she was the Slayer. Heck, even now it sounded crazy, like something out of a myth. (He groaned to himself as he remembered Cadman's response to that sentiment. "You're myth-taken!" she'd chirped happily.) Even worse was the fact that there was a television show with the same premise, the purpose of which was supposedly to create plausible deniability. Unfortunately for him, though, John had used his knowledge of that show to tease Cadman about her relationship with Beckett. She, in turn, had gotten him back by reporting his "vampire with a soul" comment to the good doctor.

Hey, wasn't that insubordination? Hmm... he'd have to think about that.

Now John was due for his monthly check-up. Carson's grin had been positively evil when he reminded John of that, so the pilot had tried to figure out a way to have one of the other doctors perform the physical instead. Eventually he'd resorted to bribery; he gave some excellent chocolate to one of the nurses in exchange for information about Carson's scheduled days off. According to his source, the Chief Medical Officer should be fishing off the East pier right about now and Jennifer Keller should be running the show. If everything went smoothly, John would be able to slip in, have Keller do his exam, and slip out again without anyone the wiser. Hopefully he'd have some blood left, too.

In retrospect, John was surprised he made it as far as he did before getting busted. He had one foot in the infirmary doorway when a firm hand fell on his shoulder. "Why, Colonel Sheppard!" said a much-too-cheerful-sounding brogue. "How are you doing this fine morning?"

Crap. Crappity crap, crap.

"Carson." John eyed the physician warily. "I'm good, thanks. What about you? I thought for sure you'd be..." His voice trailed off as he realized that knowing Carson's schedule would look very suspicious.

From the gleam in his eye, John knew that the physician was perfectly aware of what he'd been about to say, but Carson chose to ignore the slip. "Ach, you know how it is. Sometimes you just can't take your mind off work. So, since the fish weren't biting, I decided to come back and make myself useful."

Double crap.

"Now, I'm assuming you're here for your physical." Carson continued. "I must say I'm surprised, lad. Usually we almost have to drag you in."

John thought quickly. "Well, I didn't want to burden anyone, so I figured I'd come in when the infirmary was quiet. You'd never go fishing if the infirmary was full, so I thought this would be a good time." He surreptitiously inched away from the Scot. "But since you're here at work now, I won't disturb you. I can always come back later and see if Keller has time for me."

Carson steered John through the doorway. "It's not a burden at all. He grinned. "I'm always glad to help out a friend. We'll just get you checked out, do your bloodwork, and then it'll be time for lunch."

The colonel gulped. Beckett's dimples were showing, which was never a good sign. And after the vampire remark, it was also a bad thing if he was using the words "bloodwork" and "lunch" in the same sentence. But since John couldn't see any way out of his predicament, he walked over to an exam cubicle without any further resistance.


Carson smiled to himself as John started undressing behind the privacy curtain. It was fun to watch the colonel squirming and looking like a deer in the headlights. Oh, he knew he'd have to stop soon, but in the meantime he could enjoy his little bit of payback. The ranking military officer, a man known for his determination and courage under fire, was really a big baby when it came to all things medical. He might not be as vocal about it as some others the physician could name, but John Sheppard definitely did not like to be poked and prodded.

There were times Carson had been tempted to stock the infirmary with lollipops to reward children of all ages for good behavior.

He waited for another minute, then picked up John's chart and ducked behind the curtain. "All right, then. Looks like it's been a pretty good month for you. You've only had... let's see... two unscheduled visits to the infirmary, and neither of them required more than an overnight stay. No major traumas or broken bones, no surgeries or blood transfusions, and no encounters with Pegasus galaxy arthropods."

"Hey! You promised never to mention the bugs again!"

"So I did. My apologies. Now, any problems I should know about?"

"Aside from the obvious?" John muttered.

"I'm not sure what you mean, John," Carson said innocently. He hummed to himself as he continued to peruse the chart. "Ah. Last month you were a touch on the anemic side. We'll have to check that again. Are you taking the vitamin pills I gave you?"

John looked uncomfortable. "Uh, can I plead the Fifth Amendment?"

"Scotland doesn't have a Fifth Amendment, son. I'm afraid you're out of luck. And I take it that means no."

"They're gigantic horse pills, Carson!"

The physician gave a put-upon sigh. "Colonel Sheppard, I swear you're going to turn my hair prematurely gray. Well, we'll see what your blood counts look like without them." He first proceeded to conduct a thorough physical examination, noting with satisfaction that Ellia's feeding scar was almost completely gone. Then he started picking up blood collection tubes, noting that John looked more and more nervous as the number of tubes increased.

"How many of those are you going to take?" John asked uneasily, no doubt thinking about Dracula.

"Oh, just enough." Carson wound a tourniquet around John's left arm and deftly punctured a vein. He drew one purple-topped and two red-topped tubes, then removed the needle, putting the rest of the tubes down on a lab table. "Hold that there," Carson said as he put a piece of gauze over the puncture site.

"That's it?" John asked incredulously.

"That's it. You can go now," Carson said as he gathered up his equipment and samples.

"Sooo... only those three tubes." John looked like he couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"That's right."

"And no horrifically invasive medical procedures?"


John snorted. "I thought you were gonna get revenge for the vampire comment. You mean I got worked up over nothing?"

Carson smiled sweetly. "I would never do anything that wasn't medically necessary, Colonel. It wouldn't be ethical, even if you were being an ass."

John winced a little at that. "Well, for a while there, you really had me going," he said ruefully. "Anyway, you mentioned lunch. Are you heading to the mess hall?"

Carson waved a hand. "In a little while. I want to get these taken care of first."

John nodded and left the infirmary. The physician could hear him muttering under his breath. "... totally messing with my head."

Carson grinned broadly. That was the idea. Although he would never do anything painful or potentially harmful as payback, he wasn't above a little psychological warfare. And if John were to retaliate, well, he was sure that both he and his Slayer girlfriend would be able to handle it.


A/N: The inspiration for this was from an old MASH episode. Hawkeye was expecting revenge from Trapper for something stupid he'd done, and he spent the entire episode making himself crazy with paranoia. Turned out that making Hawkeye crazy with paranoia was the revenge...