How to Save a Life

by the Watch Stander

Disclaimer: All of Atlantis belongs to Sony/ MGM. The wonderful actors on the show have brought these characters to life. This is all for fun not profit.

Rating: Angst/Adventure/Hurt Comfort/No Slash just friendship!

AN: I love the friendship between Carson & Rodney and thought we could use another story focusing on these two and the rest of the team as secondary.

Love reviews so please let me know how you like it. Should be about 100 pages maybe? Could be longer. It will be a WIP and I'm halfway through writing it already.

On with the story!


Chapter One - The Flight from Hell

Carson Beckett carefully made his way down the trail to where they had parked the jumper, intent on returning to Atlantis to pick up medical supplies that Colonel Sheppard and Teyla had promised the people of this planet. There was an Illness running rampant here, one that could be quickly cured by medicines he had available back on Atlantis.

Atlantis could easily spare the medicine as the Daedalus was due in this week and would have another load of them on board. Supplies being constantly replenished was one of the niceties of the ship frequently traveling back and forth between the Pegasus Galaxy and the Milky Way.

As he walked down the trail, Carson could hear Rodney right behind him, grumbling about being a bus driver. The scientist wasn't happy, having reluctantly agreed to take Carson back to Atlantis to pickup the necessary medical supplies.

It's going to be a long trip, Carson thought to himself, Aye, . . . a bloody long trip indeed!


Sheppard felt a sense of trepidation as he watched the men pack and get ready to leave. They were his friends and he had to quell the urge to watch over them and somehow keep them out of harm's way.

He just had a bad feeling about this trip back to Atlantis, since neither one of the two men was very good at protecting themselves. With Rodney and Carson together there was always the possibility of trouble.

Unfortunately, John had to remain here with Teyla for the trade ceremonies, or he would have flown them back himself. There was no one else he could send, since the jumper had come here filled with trading goods and supplies, allowing only enough room for Sheppard, Teyla, Rodney and Carson.

He walked over to where the scientist was still filling his backpack, "You'd better fly the jumper, McKay. Carson gets too excited if you have any kind of a bumpy ride."

"I heard that Colonel!", Beckett's voice rang out from across the room.

John smiled insincerely, "Sorry," he called over to the Doctor as he took Rodney's arm and pulled him further away and out of Carson's earshot.

"Just be careful, don't take any unnecessary chances," John had a worried look on his face.

Rodney sighed as he stopped his packing, knowing Sheppard meant well, but sometimes this overprotectiveness was a bit much and got on his nerves.

"Yes, yes, Mother! We'll be careful and bring back the goods."

Hearing the snarky reply made John's eyes twinkle as he smiled, "Just fly in a straight line and you'll find the gate."

"What? ... You're telling me how to find the gate? ... I'm not the one who got us lost coming here," Rodney replied indignantly.

"Yes, well . . . I just got a little turned around that's all," defended Sheppard.

Rodney shook his head, remembering their being off course for well over an hour on the way here, "Right!"

John looked serious again, "All I'm saying is . . . just be careful. "

Rodney finally nodded, knowing that Sheppard was worried about them.

"We'll be back in about three hours. I'll let Elizabeth know that we'll be bringing back extra crops and we'll need another jumper to help."

"Have her send Lorne. He needs a break."

"Right, I'll catch yah later," with that said, Rodney turned and left in a hurry to catch up with Carson, who was already halfway down the trail to the jumper.

John watched him go, then went back over to where Teyla stood with their host.


The puddle jumper left the planet and Rodney flew it toward space, flying on a direct course through the planet's atmosphere to get there.

Carson smiled to himself as he watched the scientist fly the jumper; somewhere along the way Rodney had become a better pilot. The doctor was impressed that his friend even seemed to be flying in a straight line.

"So, what did you think of all the crops that we will be able to trade for?" Carson finally asked after the ship was settled on a course toward the space gate.

Rodney kept his eyes straight ahead, "As long as they have some sort of coffee bean I'll be happy."

Beckett smiled, knowing how addicted Rodney was to caffeine, the man seemed to inhale it.

"Aye, I'm for that as well. It'll be nice to have an extra source, since the Daedalus doesn't seem to bring enough to keep us supplied between runs."

The silence seemed to drag on for a while, then just as Rodney was about to say something, a sudden violent jolt made the jumper lurch.

"What the hell!"

He quickly recovered control and brought up the HUD display before them.

What came up on the display made his eyes widen, "Oh God! We're screwed!"

" Rodney! ... That's a Wraith dart following us!" Carson was quick to observe.

Before the scientist could activate the cloak, another weapon's burst from the dart struck them, causing an explosion in the jumper's rear section. Sparks and smoke quickly appeared as the control panel before him flashed a warning.

Rodney's eyes reflected his panic as he read the display and spotted the area that had just been damaged - a power relay that handled both the shield and the cloak.

"OH, no, no, no, . . . This is bad! I need to fix that before we lose the shield."

He quickly turned to Carson, "Take over the controls! I have to get back there and repair this or we're both dead!"

"Right, Right!" Carson slid into the pilot seat after its previous occupant hurried into the back of the jumper to make repairs.

Rodney pulled down the overhead panel and rapidly started to cross wires that were salvageable, trying to keep the jumper under power and not allow their shield to fail.

Another jolt hit the ship and more sparks appeared from the panel before him.

"Carson, don't just sit there! Fire back!"

"Yes, I'll try!" Carson closed his eyes and a drone magically flew from beneath the smaller ship and headed back at the dart. The wraith ship failed in its attempt to avoid being hit by the drone.

A large explosion filled the screen of the HUD making Cason happily exclaim, "That's got the bloody bugger!"

His victory was short lived as another jolt hit them, proving the dart wasn't quite dead yet.

The force from this last blast threw Rodney forward against the panel. He was having trouble staying on his feet between strikes as well as rewiring the panels contents.

"Carson, how far to the gate?"

Beckett looked up at the HUD, noticing the Stargate coming up fast on the display, "Two minutes and we'll be there!"

The scientist paused a moment then stumbled again when another shot hit them, forcing him to cover his eyes this time, as sparks flew from the panel before him.

"Carson, dial another planet, don't use the Atlantis address! We can't have him follow us into the gate room!", he yelled out as he opened the adjoining panel and started repairs on that one. Even though his fingers were already singed from the hot metal and wires, he kept going, knowing if he didn't they weren't going to survive.

In the pilot seat, Carson was beside himself, "What bloody address? I don't know any other addresses!" he practically screamed back, painfully aware it was now up to him to dial and get them through the gate ahead.

"Dial anything! It doesn't matter!", was the high-pitched response from Rodney, fear clearly evident in his voice.

"Oh, Bloody hell! ... here goes nothing!"

Carson held his breath and punched in an address he made up. Much to his surprise the space gate puddle suddenly appeared and he headed for it as he sent another drone back toward the dart.

Too badly damaged to follow, the wraith fired one more shot at the jumper before turning away from the gate, trying to escape the drone that was hot on its tail.

The dart's shot hit the right pod, just as the jumper began to enter the Stargate. However, the drone that followed the dart impacted on its engine, causing the dart to explode.

The explosive force from the pod being hit, threw Rodney back against a bulkhead striking it hard and cutting his head, but somehow he managed to get up and make his way back to the panel, determined to finish.

The jumper slid through the Stargate, into the wormhole and finally emerged from a planet Stargate leaving a trail of smoke, as the damaged pod continued to burn.

Fighting the controls, Carson desperately tried to stabilize the jumper and keep it level, but it had a mind of its own and wanted to fly sideways.

Rodney kept yelling at Carson to keep it steady, as he tried to rewire the damaged panel and stay on his feet.

Power continually diminished from the right pod as the jumper slowly descended. Carson's heart sank when a forrest of trees appeared ahead directly in their path.

With all the jumper's power now gone, he was no longer in control of it.

They were about to meet those trees up close and personal and there wasn't a thing he could do to prevent it.

Panicking, he yelled, "Rodney! ... I can't hold it! ... We're going to crash! "

McKay stopped what he was doing and looked up at Carson, just in time to see the trees rushing at them through the forward screen, "Crap!" was all he said as he was suddenly sent flying backwards, his body and head striking the rear door hard as he crumpled to the floor.

Several rows of trees were mowed down before the ship finally slid to a sudden stop, sending Carson flying forward, striking his head against the console. He lost track of everything as blackness claimed him.

The sudden stop also threw Rodney forward. His unconscious body slid across the floor and came to rest against one of the seats behind Carson. Blood ran down his face as he lay there.

An eerie hissing sound was added to the silence in the jumper as smoke slowly seeped out of the panels and sparks continued to flare.

Light given off by the sparks reflected off the faces of the unconscious men.



What sounded like metal creaking was the first thing Carson heard as awareness slowly came back to him. His head felt like it had been smashed into a brick wall and his body had gone along for the ride. Every part of him was aching.

Oh God, what the bloody hell happened?

Slowly opening his eyes, his vision blurry, he finally noticed the cracked forward screen. Light filtered through the broken glass and there appeared to be tree branches covering most of it.

All around him, the smell of burning electrical circuits seemed to permeate the air. The smell assaulted his nose and throat as he started to lift his head off the console.

Groaning from the pain the movement caused, he tried to think around what must have happened. His pounding head told him he might have a concussion, so that meant he had hit something hard. It wasn't too big a leap in logic that confirmed he had crashed the jumper and hit his head on the console before him. Gently touching his forehead, his fingers came away sticky with blood.

A sudden realization came to him. Rodney!... He wasn't alone in this mess.

"Rodney! Are you all right?", he called out. His voice came out sounding more like a croak, but he was in worry mode and it spurred him on.

"Where are you? Answer me!"

There was nothing but silence from the jumper around him. Smoke and air hissed from the back panels giving the jumper's interior an eerie foggy look.

Oh Crap, I know he's hurt and I'm sitting here like I have all the time in the world . . .

It took him a few attempts, but finally he was able to fully raise his head and sit up in the seat, still trying to get the area around him to stop spinning. With renewed purpose, he pushed himself out of the chair. Stumbling to the back, he practically tripped over the scientist's body, that lay wrapped around the base of a rear seat.

The lighting was poor, but even at this low level, he could see that blood covered most of his friend's face.

"God, Rodney! Don't you be dead! You hear me or so help me . . . "

He went to his knees beside the scientist and checked for a pulse. There was a rapid one and he let out his held breath. Slowly he turned the scientist onto his back and away from the seat base. The wound that was bleeding was on the side of Rodney's head and looked deep.

Probably a concussion and hopefully nothing more, he prayed.

Gently he probed his friend's body for further damage and to his dismay found ribs that were broken and others that were cracked. Not good.

After rubbing his face with his hand to try and clear his mind, he pulled himself up using the back of the seat and went to find his medical pack. His friend needed help.

A short while later he returned with his medical pack and dumped out the contents on the floor beside Rodney. There wasn't time to carefully search through it for the items he needed as many of them had been given to the people on the planet they had just left.

Fortunately, he still had some painkillers, several bandages, medical wipes and cleaning solution, as well as three morphine vials that would come in handy.

He swallowed two ibuprofen tablets to appease his throbbing headache, then went to work on the wound on Rodney's head.

First he checked the man's pupils with the hated flashlight he carried everywhere. Getting no response from the scientist, he cleaned the deep wound, carefully stitched it, then applied a bandage. The hard part came next, wrapping ribs while his patient was still unconscious and prone.

Gathering what thoughts he could muster from his addled mind he decided to do it right away, before the scientist awoke. Wrapping the ribs now would be less painful for Rodney and would save Carson's headache from unneeded loud sounds, mainly his friend's painful cries. Rodney was not good with pain.

Gently settling the scientist up into a sitting position, back resting against the seat, Carson proceeded to tape, then wrap the man's ribs tightly. When it was done, he sat back and took a deep breath. The pain tablets he'd taken weren't doing a very good job of masking his throbbing headache. Several hammers, in rhythm with his heart beat, continued pounding inside his head.

Touching his own forehead with his hand, Carson discovered the wound there seemed to have stopped bleeding, so he cleaned it with a medical wipe, saving what bandages he had left for McKay's head injury.

Right now there was nothing more he could do for his friend till he woke up.

"I'll be right back, Rodney, just need to get some items." Carson patted the scientist's hand even though he knew the man was unconscious. Somehow doing it made him feel better as he considered the acerbic scientist his closest friend.

Grunting from the effort, he painfully forced himself to his feet and went to search for food and water, as well as other items they would need to survive.

No one was going to rescue them here, for even he didn't know where 'here' was . . .