Author's Note: I had this on my computer and forgot I hadn't posted it. Whoops! Originally this was just going to be a short little blurb about the bad luck that always seemed to follow Jen or Rodney, then I decided to do a little whumping and it got out of hand. Poor Jen. :P
I did a little googling on snakebites, and hope I have the details right.
To all those who have be kind enough to send me reviews - I thank you! Thank you thank you! I don't reply back to each one (not sure if that's proper protocol or not, but I did want to thank everyone. And - if anyone has an idea they'd like to see done in a story - just send it my way! :)
"All in all, I thought that went surprisingly well." Rodney nodded, stepping around a large rock.
Jennifer smiled at his back as she followed the narrow path up the rocky slope. "Surprisingly well, considering you almost electrocuted us both."
"Okay. For the hundredth time, the current wasn't strong enough to-" Rodney looked over his shoulder then stopped mid sentence and rolled his eyes. "Oh. Right. Yes. Sarcasm."
Jen laughed. "You have to admit it was pretty funny."
"Funny is not the word I'd use. Actually I believe it could be more accurately described as painful. Excruciating. Even debilitating."
"I thought you said it didn't hurt?"
"Yeah, well, I lied."
"Oh come on. Admit it. You loved being the center of attention. Big, brave scientist fixes poor villager's aqueduct. You're a hero."
"Yes, well…" Rodney smiled over his shoulder, puffing up his chest. "It was rather genius of me, wasn't it."
Jen laughed again, and gave him a gentle shove from behind. "Move it, Bob the Builder. Let's get back before they have to send out a search-
"OW!" Rodney yelled, jumping back and hopping up and down on one foot. "Something bit me!" He hissed through his teeth.
"Is that a snake?" Jen pointed to a slithering twist of orange and black that was disappearing into a narrow hole in the barren hillside.
"Snake? What? Where?" Rodney exclaimed, spinning around and quickly removing his revolver, aiming it at the ground near his feet.
Jen dropped her rucksack to the ground, and clamped her hand down on Rodney's shoulder to stop his spinning. Falling to her knees she lifted the cuff of his trousers. There was blood on his leg.
She quickly extracted a pair of latex gloves from her bag and tugged them on, moving closer to examine the wound.
"Ouch!" Rodney muttered as her fingers swiped the blood away from a very noticeable bite mark. "Take it easy, Nurse Hatchet!"
"Quit wiggling." Jen ordered.
"Well, what is it? Is it bad? It's bad isn't it?" Rodney clamped his hand down on her shoulder to steady himself while she kept his foot raised.
"Definitely a bite mark." She replied. "Puncture wounds."
"Puncture wounds?" He croaked. "It was a snake. I've been bitten by a snake. Fantastic. Just… fantastic. And it's probably poisonous. Oh God!" His fingers dug sharply into her shoulder making her wince as her shook her. "It's poisonous. Isn't it! I'm already feeling light headed."
"Rodney, we don't know that yet." Jen tried to get a better look at the bite mark but it was difficult to do while Rodney was hopping on one foot.
"Rodney, I need you to sit down."
"And now it all comes down to this? Survives the Wraith. Genii. Nanites. Replicators. Countless attacks, bombs, explosions, and God knows what else, yet here he is! The great Rodney McKay! Taken down by a slithering reptile! This is not what I expected to see on my tombstone! I mean I knew we were exponentially lucky and everything but this is completely uncalled for! Sheppard's going to laugh his ass off at this one."
"Rodney!" Jen yelled. "Calm down!"
"I will not calm down! You just said I was bitten by a poisonous snake!"
"I didn't say poisonous, you did." Jen shook her head. "Now sit down and let me do my job!"
Rodney let out a frustrated how-dare-you-use-that-tone-on-me sigh and lowered himself to the ground. Jen bent to examine the four perfectly spaced puncture holes in the side of his leg, two inches above the top of his boot. The area was already turning red and puffy.
She pushed lightly. "Does this hurt?"
"Yes!" He flinched and drew the word out with a resounding duh.
Oh damn, this is not good.
Jen looked at her knapsack, the knowledge already burning through her mind that she wasn't carrying anything that could be of use. She'd packed specifically for the vaccinations she'd come to administer to a few children in the tiny village. The planet was friendly – no warring tribes, nothing out of the ordinary in the Ancient database, nothing Teyla thought to warn them about… and no mention of poisonous snakes – so she'd brought only a few necessities for the two hour trip. Syringes. Vials. Chocolate for the kids. She had a basic first aid kit, but what was basic first aid for a Pegasus galaxy serpent?
She looked back down to where her fingers were lightly pressing against leg. The area felt like it was burning beneath the skin. Small purple veins had already spidering out through the center of the wounded area.
It could only mean one thing.
She looked up and saw the fear widen his eyes.
"Oh crap." He exhaled. "It's poisonous isn't it?"
Jen nodded. "I believe so."
He moved to get up and she shoved him back down. "Don't move. It will only make it worse."
"But the gate! We have to get to the gate! Back to Atlantis. There has to be a cure in the database! We… I… I can't just sit here like some kind of… of… snake-bit redneck waiting to die an excruciatingly painful death in the middle of the Pegasus' version of Scotland!"
"Rodney! Just calm down. Getting excited makes your heart beat faster which is pulling the poison into your blood stream faster. It's only going to make it worse."
"Calm down? Calm down! Hello! Dying man over here!" He raised his hand and waved at her.
Jen briefly closed her eyes and ran through the checklist of what she needed to do next. Breath normally. Keep the blood pressure down. Don't move. She looked around the barren, rocky hillside they were halfway through climbing.
Up was a narrow path to the top and then a pair of rolling hills leading to the large meadow and the Stargate. Down was a sharp rocky trail to the cold lake below then a rocky beach path back to the settlement.
Taking a deep breath she tried to reason it out. Up was the gate and Atlantis, possible antivenin, and definite modern medicine. Down was the village and knowledge of whether or not it was even poisonous. Would the Ancients have the antivenin breakdown in the database? How long would it take to manufacture? Would they even know what the right one was if all she could say was orange with black spots? The villagers were local. They should know if it was even poisonous to begin with.
Although the deepening purple marks around the wound pretty much told her that answer already.
The gate was up hill, and fifteen minutes away.
The village was down hill, and only ten.
Down would definitely be faster.
"I feel dizzy." Rodney blurted out, slapping his palm to his forehead. "Lightheaded. Oh God I'm dying, aren't I?"
"Rodney, you're not going die."
"Listen. I'm going get you comfortable then I'm going for help."
"You're leaving me?" He squawked.
"Rodney. You're going to be fine. But we need to keep you still. You can't move. Moving makes the blood pump faster. You're going to have to keep still, and try to breathe normally."
"Breathe normally? How can I breathe normally? I've been bitten by a poisonous snake! I can't breathe normally! I'm going to die!"
"You're not going to die."
"I hate snakes. Foul creatures. Did I ever tell you about the time-"
"-when I was twelve and we were driving through Alberta and-"
"-the road was covered in water snakes migrating from one side of the highway to the other and we just drove over them making this horrid squishing sound. Gave me nightmares for weeks."
"Rodney! Enough." Jen put her hands on either side of his face and forced him to look at her. "The longer we chit-chat, the more time I'm wasting going for help. Do you understand?"
He nodded once and opened his mouth to comment but she clamped her hand down over his lips. "No more talking, no more getting upset. Concentrate on staying still and breathing slowly. Can you do that for me?"
"Just… think of something completely boring." She removed her hands. "Like math."
"Sorry." She tried to smile, and settled for a grimace. "Guess that's just me."
Walking behind him she hooked her fingers under the straps of his vest. Digging in her heels she yanked him back a foot towards the side of the path. "Stay here," she ordered. "And don't move." Stepping around him she forced him to lean against the rock, then pulled his feet together.
"I need to keep your legs still so I'm going to bind them together. Okay?"
Rodney was quiet. Too quiet.
"Rodney?" She dragged her pack over and squatted in front of him.
He looked up and she could see the worry and dread in his eyes.
"Look." She placed her hand on his thigh. "I know it hurts. And you'll probably feel dizzy and maybe nauseous, but that's normal. At least I think it's normal. Well, normal for Earth snakes. But you're going to be just fine. Trust me."
Rodney flinched and exhaled sharply.
She grabbed a roll of tape out of her bag and wrapped it around his ankles and thighs. She spoke while she worked.
"I'm going to go down to the village. Their local healer should know what's poisonous and what's not, and hopefully have a cure. It's going to take me at least twenty minutes there and back, estimating another five to get to the healer. My radio won't work in the valley. We're already a few minutes overdue but I doubt they're going to wait more than thirty before trying to contact us. As soon as they do, tell them what happened and have them send a medical team in a jumper. You should be high enough that your com will reach the gate. You'll probably be back in Atlantis before I am."
She patted him on the shoulder. "Okay?"
Jen stood up and took a step down the hill, then turned back, hesitating. She pulled off her coat and draped it over his legs.
"I'll be fine." He tried to smile, despite the seeds of fear that were clearly etched on his face. "Tell them it was orange with black spots."
"Orange." She nodded. "Black spots."
She took a few tentative steps then turned back. "Don't move. Just relax. Breath normally."
"I got it. Just… just go." Rodney crossed his arms. "I'll… wait here and think about listening to Zelenka's ramblings about his pigeons."
"Zelenka has pigeons?"
"Keeps them as pets." He shrugged. "Well, you said boring, right?"
Jen smiled. "You're going to be just fine."
With a deep breath, she turned and ran down the hillside, her mind racing with urgency. She hoped to God she'd made the right decision because judging from the speed at which the purple spidery veins were extending out from the wound on his leg… Rodney might not have twenty minutes.