This is a my first attempt at a Stargate Atlantis story.
(Apologies to any NCIS fans- Good Men is still in progress, it hasn't been forgotten.)
Disclaimers: I do not own any part of the Stargate franchise and write this purely for fun. However, if I did have some control over Atlantis poor McKay would be a quivering wreck :)
I would like to thank Jayne Perry and Welshgirl, my fellow squirrels. Thanks to their brilliant fun-filled writing it inspired me to write this story ( which I should point out isn't fun-filled or brilliant!). That fact that it is finished and short is a marvel in itself.
He slipped and fell again, sliding back down the muddy slope, the rain, whipped up by the howling wind, stung his exposed flesh. He gave a cry of frustration as he hit the bottom of the slope, the cry turning to one of pain as the sudden stop jarred his damaged leg.
He rolled onto his back leaning over to grasp his leg, closing his eyes and gritting his teeth as he tried to breathe through the pain. As the initial flare of pain faded, he opened his eyes, the field dressing he had tied around the wound was soaked with blood, he patted down his vest for another, but came up empty.
The sound startled him, he whipped his head up, blinking several times as his vision blurred and swam, he withdrew his sidearm from its holster. A movement caught his eye; he brought the gun up as a shaggy haired goliath came into view.
"I've found him," It said. "By the ridge, west of the city." It moved closer to him, he cocked the gun.
"McKay?" It said. "Put the gun down," It cocked its head. "Don't think he recognizes me," It paused for a movement, still looking at him. "Besides being covered in mud? Head injury, bled pretty bad, something wrong with his leg. He's bandaged it but it's bled though. What! Can't I just stun him?" It gave an angry sigh. "Fine, I'll do it your way. Just get here."
"McKay," It said. "That's your name. Rodney McKay. I'm Ronon; we're on the same team."
He looked at the beast in puzzlement, he understood the words, but couldn't be certain if it was talking to him, even though its eyes never left him. He frowned as he tried to process what it had said, it did look familiar but the only word that came to him was Chewie.
He pushed himself up off the slope, a wave of vertigo hitting as he stood upright, he saw it move forward and snapped the gun back up. It backed up a step.
"Damn it McKay," It growled. "You've hurt your head, that's why you don't recognize me, but I'm your friend," It said, slapping a hand to its chest.
McKay gritted his teeth trying to keep the arm that held the gun from shaking, strange images ran through his mind, but it was all muddled, nothing made sense. The rain poured down as he stood facing the beast, it seemed to have run out of words. It just stared at him.
"Who's Chewie?" he asked, mainly to break the strange silent standoff, but also because it was the only name he could recall.
It smiled and then it threw its head back and laughed. "I'm Chewie," It laughed. "That's what you and Sheppard call me sometimes. But the name's Ronon."
"Ronon," McKay repeated.
"Yeah, Ronon," It confirmed. "Me, you, Sheppard and Teyla, we're all on the same team. "
"Team?" McKay asked. "I,I don't understand, I ….." he broke off as it stepped towards him, he instinctively took a step backwards, pain raced up his leg, he cried out as his leg gave way and he fell to the ground. The last thing he saw was the shaggy beast reach for him.
He reluctantly opened his eyes; screwing them shut again as bright light assaulted them. He groaned in discomfort.
He opened his eyes again, blinking several times; a huge shaggy haired shape loomed in front of him.
"Ronon?" he asked hoarsely.
A hand gripped his arm tightly for a second. "Yeah, it's me."
"Where are we?"
"Infirmary. You got hurt in an explosion."
"Oh." There was a few seconds silence. "Was I in a forest?"
"Hey buddy, you're awake," Sheppard broke in as he entered the infirmary, striding up to the bed. "Ronon been filling you in on your heroics."
"Heroics?" McKay asked.
"You haven't told him?" Sheppard said to Ronon.
"I was getting to it," Ronon replied.
"Getting to what?" McKay asked, puzzled.
"Your heroic deed," Sheppard smiled.
"Oh," McKay replied, a blush of embarrassment staining his pale cheeks, knowing yet again that he had made a fool of himself. He knew he was no hero, he wanted to be heroic but it was not in his nature, his sense of self preservation was just too strong.
He frowned as he tried to remember what had transpired, the painful throbbing in his head intensifying. He closed his eyes trying to force the throbbing away, so he could recall what had happened. He remembered going to M3T-756, a world that they had visited several times, the inhabitants over the generations had carved out a vast city in one of the mountain ranges. It had reminded him of the ancient city of Petra back on Earth.
The Hakains technology level had also risen over the years, as they lost very few to Wraith culling, the entrances to the city well hidden. They had recently discovered an ore that they hoped would solve their power supply problems. He had taken a keen interest in their experiments, the ore having the potential of being as powerful as naquadah and more readily available.
He had visited their processing plant, set away from the city, on the edge of a vast woodland. The head scientist had been keen for him to look at their latest set of calculations, as the results they were producing were causing concern. He was walking alongside the head scientist, Ronon walking behind, why Ronon had tagged along he couldn't remember, when there was an explosion, the whole facility shaking.
He and Ronon had helped in the evacuation, many were injured by flying glass and masonry. For some reason the radios won't work, he had theorized that the explosion had caused a magnetic residue to be released that was temporarily interfering with the radios, so Ronon had run back to the city for help.
There were survivors still in the facility, cut off from the entrances by the failsafe security systems, the Hakains couldn't bypass the controls to open the doors, they had asked him to help. He had gone back into the facility; he had just rewired the first control panel, when the second explosion happened. He couldn't recall anything after that until he woke up in the infirmary.
He became aware of a tight grip on his arm; he opened his eyes and looked up into the worried face of Sheppard. "Hey McKay, you okay?" Sheppard asked. Sheppard looked across at Ronon. "Better get Beckett."
"No," McKay said finding his voice. "I'm fine, just a headache."
"You got a pretty bad concussion," Sheppard said.
"Aye, and a deep laceration on your leg. "Carson interrupted, having got from his office to McKay's bed with only Ronon noticing him. "Plus various other cuts and abrasions." He started to fuss with the IV lines, and check over the monitors. "How the bloody hell you managed to pull those people out, especially with that head injury, I'll never know." He stopped fussing with the equipment to look at McKay. "Right then, your bandages need changing. I'll be back in a moment." He looked up at Sheppard and Ronon giving them a quick nod before walking away.
McKay looked at Sheppard and Ronon. "What people?" he asked.
"What do you remember?" Sheppard asked.
"I was with Ronon, at the processing plant. They had problems with their power distribution calculations; I was going to look, but … "he paused frowning.
"The plant blew up," Ronon stated.
"… everyone had to get out, they were injured, the radios won't work ….."
"Magnetic residue," Ronon said causing McKay and Sheppard to look at him, he shrugged.
"You been hanging out with McKay too much, "Sheppard said.
Ronon shrugged again. "I went for help," he continued.
McKay frowned at him. "There was another explosion," he said uncertainly.
"The Hakains failsafe trapped people in the building. You went back in to try and override the system," Sheppard explained, "the second explosion happened just as you got the doors opened. You got injured when the ceiling collapsed."
"You saved a lot of people," Ronon added gruffly.
"But we were in the woods, away from the facility," McKay said. "Weren't we?"
"Yeah," Ronon said. "Your head injury confused you. You went for help, but got turned around in the woods. I found you."
"Scared the crap out of us when we got there and you were missing," Sheppard said. "Took us a while to realize you weren't in the building."
"How many died?" McKay asked, he wasn't the most personable man in the galaxy, but working with the Hakains had been enjoyable and he gotten to know many of them by sight, if not by name.
"Twelve died outright, twenty-four died from their injuries. Sixteen are still critical," Sheppard replied. "Beckett's still got a team there, helping out."
McKay nodded, wincing when pain shot through his head.
"We'll let you get some rest," Sheppard said, sharing a look with Ronon. "I'll stop by later." With a nod to Ronon, he left the infirmary.
"Next time send someone else for help," Ronon said, after watching Sheppard leave the infirmary.
"You were the quickest," McKay replied. "It made sense for you to go."
"No," Ronon said firmly. "Next time, we send one of their own. We stay together, so I know where you are."
McKay frowned at Ronon. "I had a head injury," he said indignantly. "I couldn't help getting lost."
Ronon leaned down moving into McKay's personal space. "That's not what I meant. We thought you were dead. Next time we stay together." He straightened up, gripped McKay's arm tightly for a moment and then turned and left.
Leaving McKay feeling even more confused.
He looked up at the statue carved into the side of the mountain, ripped clothing and injuries portrayed in impressive detail, his own likeness staring out at some unseen scene.
He always thought he would be ecstatic to have a sculpture done in his honor, to recognize his achievements, but as he looked up at his stone self, hauling an injured Hakain to safety, he felt unworthy.
The names of forty-two Hakains were listed below the statute, those who couldn't be saved.
He couldn't recall any of the events after the second explosion, only a vague impression of trees, rain and Ronon. He should be ecstatic to have his own monument, but if felt wrong, as if he had lied to receive the honor.
"It's not right," he said to the silent Satedan standing beside him.
"Looks okay to me," Ronon replied.
"No, I mean, they shouldn't have, have … "he stumbled to a stop, waving at the statue.
"Honored you," Ronon supplied.
"Yeah," McKay agreed quietly.
"You saved over a hundred lives," Ronon said.
"I just don't remember any of it," McKay replied.
Ronon slung an arm around McKay's shoulders. "Accept the honor, you deserve it."
"I just wish I could remember. All I remember after the second explosion is some vague feeling of the woods, rain and you," McKay said frowning, "And Chewbacca from the Star Wars films." He looked worriedly at Ronon, "maybe I should go see Beckett. I might have some brain damage."
Ronon laughed out loud, thumping McKay on the back.
"You're fine McKay. Come on, Sheppard and Teyla will be waiting," he said smiling, pulling McKay after him.
"What's so funny?" McKay demanded, unable to stop himself being tugged along.
"Seriously, Ronon what's so funny?"
His only reply was Ronon's rumbling laugh.