Death and an Accent by AndromedaMarine

Laura will kill me when she learns I'm doing this myself. If only she knew how much worry this has been causing me – it's just sitting there in that cooler. A time-bomb... I told him I'd meet him halfway – and that's what I'm doing right now. Good – I just handed it off and the worry has gone. I'm just past the closest bulkhead and I hear the explosion. My eyes widen as I see the fireball approach, and with whatever fragment of my mind that holds the ATA gene I close the bulkhead behind me. I'm slammed against the wall from the force of the explosion. I see darkness on the edges of my eyes and now I can't see anything – ah, the peaceful call of oblivion.

Laura Cadman paced the infirmary furiously, internally shouting at Carson for his foolishness but praising him for his life. Every few seconds she would bite a fingernail and glance at the hospital bed that supported a bruised and unconscious Carson Beckett. He hadn't left the infirmary to transport the explosive tumor a moment too soon – or a moment too late. He'd just made it – saving Atlantis at least one casualty. The soldier was sniffing back inevitable tears, telling herself that she shouldn't be this emotional. Hell, her fiancé was in a coma – how could she not be emotional? Every so often the doctor in place of Carson's CMO position would give her a very sad expression, prompting a glare and a new bout of tears every time.

Pain. It felt good. He'd never thought of himself as masochistic, but he knew that pain meant life. He vaguely remembered the ball of bright orange barreling towards him at what seemed like Mach 27 and he also remembered the blackness that had engulfed him. But he wasn't dead. No, he was far, far, far from dead – and it felt damn good to be alive. Carson suddenly realized that Laura would kill him (for the fact that he wasn't dead allowed her to do such) for being a fool and trying to be the hero. He was no hero – or so he thought. He tried wiggling his fingers – there the pain was again. And something soft? Warm? He curled his fingers and felt more of the soft, warm substance. A hand, it was definitely a hand, he decided. He moved his fingers again, and one of them passed over a raised, elongated bump. He knew what it was – it was a scar. And not just any scar, a scar that Laura Cadman (soon to be Laura Beckett) distinctly owned. He tried speaking.

"Laura," he breathed, his accent coming through even with the haze he was still in. The haze quickly cleared.

Laura smiled a watery smile and grasped his hand with both of hers. "Yeah, Carson, it's me." She leaned down and kissed his hand and stroked the side of his face gently. "Took you long enough to wake up," she said.

Carson gave a feeble attempt at a laugh. "Sorry, love," he said softly and the corners of his mouth rose into a smile. "How long did it take me?"

"Three days. Elizabeth said the problem was finished when you got rid of that last tumor. You scared the hell out of me, Carson."

The doctor opened his eyes and was met with the shoddy appearance of Laura Cadman. "You look disheveled, my dear," he said.

His brilliant blue eyes were a relief to Laura. "Only because I've been terribly worried about you."

"So, what's wrong with me? Do I get to sleep in a normal bed anytime soon?" he asked with a smile only he could give.

"No concussion and the inexperienced doctor who took your place said once you woke up you're free to go." She gave him another watery smile.

Carson groaned as he shifted in the bed. "Of course she did. Well, I'll admit she's done a good job. Help me up, love. I'm ready to go." Carson swung out of the bed and took the IV and monitoring equipment tubes and assorted off his body. He paused, with a rather embarrassed look on his face. "Clothes, love?"

Laura smiled. "Oh, yeah – they're over here." She left her fiancé for a moment and retrieved the clothes she had brought from Carson's quarters, always a hopeful. "Here you go." She handed him the clothes.

"Thank you, love." Quickly and quietly he changed, still wincing from the bruises the shockwave's throwing him against the wall had caused. They left and wove their way to Carson's quarters.

--

Carson fell asleep to the crash of the ocean against the city. He fell asleep on the balcony (he'd just been sitting there too long). It was a week after the explosion that had almost killed Carson. Laura found her now-husband (they had married as soon as possible after deciding it was too stupid to wait) and smiled at his sleeping form. But it was too cold outside. She nudged him awake and pointed at the bed.

Of the body count that had piled up due to Sunday's hectic events, Carson's was one less death she'd have to deal with.