Title; The Rescue.
Characters; John Sheppard and team.
Spoilers; Season five – BIG SPOILERS – If you haven't seen Search and Rescue then this is going to spoil you big time .
Summary; This is a tag/insert. Happens between Sheppard being in the dart and being in the infirmary with Teyla.
One minute Teyla had been in complete nothingness, feeling the aching loss of parting with her son, and the next, she was re-materialising on the deck of the Daedalus.
Her legs crumpled through sheer exhaustion and she fell to the hard floor, just as Ronon and Rodney did the same.
"Are you….you know…okay?" Rodney was hovering beside her, looking as tired as she felt and only now she noticed the cuts and bruises marring his face.
The dart was sitting beside them and Sheppard had yet to emerge, yet to reunite her with her son.
"I am fine Rodney," she told him, "Just very tired."
"Well, you just had a baby…" he said and Ronon slapped him on his back.
"I think she knows that."
"Hey," Rodney commented, "I was instrumental in the birth I'll have you know. Wasn't I Teyla?!
"Yes," she curled her slender fingers around his bruised wrist, "Yes you were."
Keller entered the hangar bay with a medical team, already snapping on latex gloves and shouting orders. Behind her, Colonel Carter was rushing in, taking in the imposing dart before them.
"Teyla," Keller said, "How are you doing? I hear congratulations are in order?"
"I helped!" Rodney piped up, "I caught him!"
Colonel Carter leaned in and beamed, "Well done Teyla."
"Yes well done Rodney."
"How are you feeling?" Keller asked, flicking her eyes towards the dart.
"I am fine."
"You're not in too much pain?"
Teyla shook her head dumbly, noticing the bruises on Ronon's strong forearms. A feeling of unease was settling upon her and it wasn't just the distance from her newborn.
Sheppard still hadn't left the dart. She started to replay the rescue in her mind. She remembered the pallor of his skin, the barely perceptible shake of his hands as he took the baby from her arms, the slightly hunched gait and it worried her.
She caught the tale of end of Carter sentence, "……Sheppard doing?"
"Did something happen while I was gone?" she asked as Keller helped her into a wheelchair.
Keller averted her gaze, but she didn't miss the look that was thrown Rodney's and Ronon's way, or the sudden rigidness in Carter's shoulders.
"Don't worry about that now. We need to get you to the infirmary."
One of the medics had propped a ladder against the dart and was reaching in for her son.
He was crying as the medic returned and carefully passed the baby to Teyla. She didn't miss the worried glances exchanged.
Keller nodded in understanding, "Okay," and was about to wheel Teyla away, when she dug her bare feet into the floor.
"What is going on?" she asked, aware that there were many sets of eyes upon her.
"Everything's fine," Keller told her serenely as more medics rushed up to the dart.
The scene before her was anything but fine. She was perfectly attuned to the feeling of tension. Something was wrong. For such a happy occasion, her friends were acting very strangely and one of her closest friends was absent.
Rodney was shifting from one foot to the other and now peering anxiously at the dart and Ronon was already stepping forward as if tensing in readiness for something. Something he knew would happen.
"Until you tell me the truth I am not moving," because she was worried now and the medics were throwing Keller worried looks as well.
"He was in some pain on the Hive," she caught Ronon whisper somewhere behind her and then Keller's reply was cut off because she was shouting, unable to remain in silence for any longer.
"John!" she called out.
Her heart was pounding in her chest and she eased forward until a hand stopped her and she watched as John was pulled from the craft. He was awake, moving stiffly and cursing but he seemed otherwise okay. Some of her panic was assuaged but she couldn't shake the feeling that something was going on.
"I'm fine," he called out, pushing the medics off him, "You get yourself and the kid checked out."
"See?" Keller told her, "He's……"
She would have finished her statement, but then John was collapsing to the ground in a boneless heap.
"John!" Teyla reached out for Keller's hand and pleaded, "Help him!"
Keller turned to one of the other medics, "Get her to the infirmary."
"I am fine!" Teyla told the medic that wanted to wheel her away, "Please. Ronon, what happened?" she asked, watching as Keller knelt beside John and between the array of hands fussing over him, she could see that John was still moving a little as his foot was scraped across the floor.
When there was no answer, she tried again, "Please."
"There was a trap," Ronon told her as Teyla watched Keller lift John's t-shirt, "Back at the warehouse…….."
There was blood pooling on the floor and by the looks of it John was conscious, just, and looking her way, saying something that she could not hear.
Ronon nodded, "It was rigged to explode."
"And you were caught in it? The bruises…" she remarked.
"You didn't say it was that bad!" Rodney scolded Ronon, "I thought…."
"Sheppard was crushed by some debris."
A gurney was being pushed into the hangar bay and Carter was standing over Keller, asking questions while John lay prone.
"We need to suture this now," Keller was saying, "If I don't he's going to bleed out here."
"You allowed him to rescue me in his condition," Teyla asked, disappointed.
"He wouldn't have taken no for an answer."
"That's because he's an idiot!" Rodney told them both.
"He knew the risks," Ronon said in John's defence.
"Yes the risks of death and infection and-"
"He felt guilty." Ronon shrugged, "For what, I don't know. But I know I'd have gone too."
"Ford," Teyla whispered.
Sheppard in the meantime had been lifted onto the gurney, his hand had flopped down over the side as Keller leaned in over the wound and sutured.
One of the nurses was touching Teyla's arm and bringing her out of her fugue, "We need to get you cleaned up."
Teyla looked down at her son and then back to Sheppard. Without him, without their rescue….it didn't bare thinking about.
She swallowed and allowed herself to be wheeled away.
Sheppard had let go as soon as the dart had come to a stand still. All the exhaustion, all the pain, just fighting to stay upright had finally pulled him and when the medic had found him he had been out of it.
The baby jostling and the penlight in his eye had both bought him back to the surface.
He blinked tiredly and attempted to nod with what little energy was left. "I didn't hurt the baby did I?"
"No Colonel," the medic grasped the little baby and checked him over.
"Ten fingers and toes?" he asked.
The medic smiled softly, "I'm going to re-unite this little one with his mom."
Sheppard nodded, "Cool."
"I'll be right back."
He didn't need a doctor to tell him he was in real trouble. His side was throbbing painfully and the waistband of his BDU's were soaked through. He touched his side and his fingers came away bloody.
He hadn't even realised the medics had come back until they were lifting his t-shirt and batting his blood soaked hands away.
"This doesn't look good," one of them told the other.
Sheppard leaned forward and attempted to get up, "I'm okay," he slurred drunkenly, "I can walk."
"What is going on?" He heard Teyla shout, clearly distressed.
"Colonel, you've burst your stitches and you're bleeding heavily. Let us worry about getting you out."
He was distracted, "Why isn't Teyla in the infirmary?" he asked, blinking to clear his vision, "Someone should check her over."
"She wants to stay until she sees that you're okay," one of the medics told him.
He suddenly felt awash with guilt. Her joyous moment shouldn't be marred with worry for him.
He had to pull on his last reserves of strength to reach up and push himself into a standing position.
"Colonel!" he was scolded.
"She wants to see I'm okay, I'll let her see it, then get her out of here."
"You need to stay still."
"I need her to get to the infirmary," and he cursed as his knee caught on the edge of the dart,
He felt drunk and un-coordinated and he hadn't wanted to move, but he had to show her that he was okay.
He turned to Teyla and found himself smiling faintly at her stubbornness. And a little at his own.
"I'm……. fine," he told her, realising too late that his vision was already beginning to grey out at the edges and that his legs were shaking.
What had been a magnanimous attempt to show her that he was fine, turned into a show of his complete idiocy. Before he could stop himself he was pitching forward and landing heavily on the floor.
He tried to look up and move and signal to the others that he was okay, that he was just resting, when Doctor Keller was rushing over to him and making little clucking noises as she examined his side.
"You owe me Colonel," she told him as she palpitated the wound, "This doesn't look too good."
"That's……. what the other………. guy said," he told her, letting his head drop to the side. Teyla was still watching him, "I'm in trouble."
"Without a blood transfusion and surgery you are."
"I mean………with Teyla," he said hissing against a bought of pain.
He could already feel himself fading. The bone tiredness he'd been fighting was beginning to claim him and as Keller settled an oxygen mask over his face he could already feel his eyelids dropping.
"I'm gonna be alright yeah?" he asked, just as the lights went out.
Teyla was switching between staring intently at her son and doing the same with John. They'd patched him up for the minute to stabilise him, but he was going to have to go back into surgery. He had been sleeping soundly for the last hour.
Her son. He had endangered himself for him. And for her. Torren looked up at her with inquisitive eyes and when she turned back to John's bed, he was doing the same.
"You mad at me?" he asked, giving her a pathetic smile.
"Why would I be mad John?"
He shifted in the bed, sucked in a painful breath and held a hand to his side, "Okay," he admitted, "It was stupid. I know that."
She ignored him and listened to him move around until he was obviously comfortable.
"I'm not going to say I'm sorry or that I wouldn't do it again," he sighed, "Because I would."
Teyla arched an eyebrow, "I realise that."
"I wasn't going to let Michael take you. Either of you."
"I know," she said quietly.
His mouth twisted at the side, "Good."
Teyla stroked her son's head.
John wincing had her looking over at him. Her maternal side couldn't allow her to ignore his pain.
He prodded his side, "Surgery wasn't as bad as I thought."
"You have not had it yet."
"Really?" he looked disappointed, "Oh."
"You were very lucky John. A minute longer and-"
He turned to her with dark eyes, "A minute longer and your son would have been in the hands of the wraith."
"Yes," she admitted and watched as Torren gripped her finger tightly.
John couldn't seem to settle. She could feel his eyes on hers until she finally said, "Thank you."
John looked from her to the baby and then sagged back into the bed.
There was a minute of companionable silence before. "Sorry Teyla. It wont happen again."
Teyla smiled. She was sure it would.
A/N - This is how I envisaged John's return. Well, he was in pain and bleeding! This had to happen right?……..right?…….yes? Okay, we're all agreed.
Reviews are gratefully received.