Healing Goes Both Ways
By sorrow angel
Harry knew that being one of the finest doctors at the age of twenty-four wasn't easy, but it turned out to be a lot more difficult when you had a patient like John Sheppard. That man appeared in the infirmary too many times for his liking and never stayed in bed. Whenever Sheppard steps in, Carson Beckett would gladly throw him to Harry to be in charge since he was the only one who was able to handle the colonel.
Harry had a reputation in Atlantis as well as in the hospitals he visited on Earth. He was not someone to take things lying down, regardless of who they were. Once, a marine was injured and had refused to head to the infirmary, before John could make it into an order, Harry knocked the marine out easily without any hesitation and dragged him to the infirmary. The silence and the look on everyone's faces was something no one in Atlantis would ever forget. Since then, no one really dared go against him.
He looked up from his work when he heard someone walking into the infirmary and groaned inwardly when he saw who it was. Harry wanted to smack the lopsided grin off John's face but pushed the urge away with some difficulty. "What happened now?" Harry gestured to an infirmary bed and John hopped onto it.
"Sparring accident," John replied as he showed the doctor the gash on his arm and Harry stared at him. "It's in the middle of the night." How the colonel could still grin when he was injured, was something Harry still couldn't figure out and what the hell was John thinking, sparring at such an hour?
"It is. Then what are you still doing here?"
"Just finishing some work." Harry glanced at him briefly before focusing on the wound. "Ronan?" He asked with some certainty.
"Yeah, how did you know?" John asked.
Harry went to grab some cloths and bandages. "Teyla gives you bruises; Ronan gives you cuts and bruises. Besides, only Ronan is crazy enough to spare with you at this hour." He pressed the cloth against the gash. "Honestly, you're such a trouble magnet."
John looked insulted. "I'm not."
"Yes, you are. You got a bug attached to your neck, adducted, drugged, attacked and other unpleasant stuffs." Harry stated. "Your team is ranked first for trouble." He watched in satisfaction as John opened his mouth and snap shut without uttering a word. Ignoring the scowl directed at him, Harry continued tending the wound before him.
John watched as Harry bandaged the gash carefully. "If that's the case, you must be an even bigger trouble magnet," Harry raised an eyebrow in question and he continued, "since you are attracting a trouble magnet like me."
Harry stilled for a brief moment before quickly finishing bandaging the injury, turned and walked towards his table, throwing the blooded cloth into the bin. "Just remember not to open up the wound again. I recall Elizabeth saying that you have an off-world mission tomorrow."
John frowned and went up to Harry, turning the doctor to face him by the arm. "Why do you keep avoiding this?"
John glared, "You know what." He didn't believe for a moment that Harry had no idea what he was talking about.
"John..." Harry sighed but was cut off by a pair of lips on his. He knew he should be pushing the other away, his mind was screaming for him to do that but his arms seemed to have a mind of their own. He wrapped his arms around the colonel's neck, pulling him closer while John's wrapped around his waist.
Harry moaned softly as John's tongue slid past his lips and mapped its territory possessively. He tightened his arms till their body were flushed against each other and heard John groaned at the contact. Harry's mind was fuzzy; he couldn't think with that sinful mouth against his.
It was only until the lack of air that caused his mind to become clear, that it hit Harry what he was doing and immediately pushed John away, abruptly ending the kiss. He was still slightly dazed and tried to calm his breathing while John was slightly breathless and eyes darkened with emotions that Harry didn't want to admit. Harry shifted his gaze away from John, "You should get some rest, Colonel."
Harry turned to leave the infirmary when the next sentence stopped him in his tracks, "Running away again?" Whatever emotions he had been feeling earlier vanished as if they were never there and Harry felt himself tense.
"... Don't go there, John." Harry warned softly.
John continued as if he hadn't heard it, "That's what you did three years ago. You left without a word; I couldn't find you or contact you. You practically disappeared from the face of the planet." He bit out harshly, "You knew how I felt yet you left."
Closing his eyes, Harry felt the familiar guilt wash over him. The incident that happened three years ago was a sore point between him and John; they avoided going anywhere near it but it never left their minds. He didn't blame John for viewing it as his fault because it was true, though if he was given a chance to do over, he would still do what he did. "... Good night, Colonel." Harry said without turning around and left the infirmary.
Once he was out of the room, John clenched his teeth and resisted the urge to slam his fist against the wall. It would do no good other than hurt himself, though he felt that it would be better compared to an emotionally one. It was said that time heals all wounds but in this case, the pain and anger cause by Harry's unannounced departure didn't diminish.
The first time they met after three years was in Atlantis when Harry accepted the post. Apparently, he hadn't expected to see John here and things had been slightly awkward between them at first but they easily slipped into the comfortable relationship they had before. Harry had kept things platonic between them and John had gone along with it with much difficulty.
John leaned against the wall behind him and rubbed his face with the palm of his hand, wondering how long he has to continue keeping this façade up as he licked his lips, feeling the tingling effect of the aftermath of the kiss.
To anyone, he seemed normal but Carson knew better. He could tell that Harry was distracted but applauded him for still being able to complete his duties without a single hitch. Carson watched as Harry poked uninterestedly at the food in front of him. "You've been avoiding the colonel for three days." Harry just twitched slightly. "... I saw what happened that night."
Harry dropped his fork and snapped his head up. He felt his face heating up at the thought of someone witnessing what happened in the infirmary. He wished that the ground would open and swallow him but kept his face neutral.
"Why do you do that?"
"Do what?" Harry asked, frowning in confusion.
"Push the colonel away. I can tell how you feel about him." Carson said patiently.
Harry tilted his head to the side slightly, "What are you talking about, Carson?" He continued playing innocent until he received a dry look, and let out a sigh as he asked, "How did you know?"
Carson gave him a knowing smile, "When you arrived in Atlantis, you and Colonel Sheppard were acting a wee bit odd around each other though it got better after a while." He said, "What gave you away was the way you treat the colonel."
Harry frowned in thought, "I treat everyone the same." He didn't remember treating John any differently from the rest of the expedition.
"It's not noticeable, but trust me, it's different." Carson had noticed the way Harry tended to soften slightly when dealing with the colonel. It wasn't easy to notice but he had known the other doctor for eight years, plus the fact that he saw him every day; he tended to notice the changes.
Harry closed his eyes for a brief moment before opening them again, "Did you know that I knew John five years ago?"
The Scottish's eyebrows were raised above their normal position. "Really?" He had no idea that the two knew each other before Atlantis.
The younger doctor nodded, "We met each other at a café. We didn't know each other back then but for some reason, we clicked. As cliché as it sounds, it's true." Carson let out a chuckle at that. "But what I didn't expect was for me to start having feelings for him. I wasn't ready to feel, especially not this much. And when Hogwarts contacted me three years ago... I took it." Pain and guilt was evident in those emerald eyes.
"You didn't tell the colonel?" Carson asked slowly.
Harry let out a harsh laugh, "I knew how I felt towards him and I knew his feelings for me, that's why I ran. Do you think I would tell him?" He let out a tired sigh, "When I accepted this post in Atlantis, I wasn't expecting to see John here. Those feelings, Carson, were never gone, just buried. And seeing him again..." Harry shifted his gaze away from the other doctor, "I push him away because I don't want to endanger him."
Carson scrunched his eyebrows together but it wasn't from confusion. "Harry, you have to let go and move on."A bitter smile appeared on Harry's face, as if mocking himself at such a thought and Carson wondered, not for the first time, why someone this young was placed with such a heavy burden on his shoulders that resulted in destroying his life. "Harry," he waited until green eyes focused on him before continuing, "What happened in the wizarding world was not your fault. If a war of that magnitude didn't have any casualties, then that would be bloody weird."
Harry gave the doctor a humorless smirk, "Maybe, but everyone around me died. Most of my family and friends are dead because of me."
"I'm still alive." Carson tried to reason.
"That's because you didn't know me when the war occurred. Plus," Harry said as he leaned back against his seat, "the first time we met, you and your brother were almost killed."
The first time when fate decided to arrange a meeting between the two of them, Diagon Alley was attacked and the Becketts were unfortunately caught in the crossfire. Carson was a squib while his brother was a wizard, though he wasn't that skilled in combat. If Harry hadn't appeared and defended them against the Death Eaters, both siblings would already be dead. It was hardly a meeting, but Carson had remembered that both he and his brother owned Harry their lives.
Dull green eyes that appeared whenever his past was brought up shifted to look at the table instead, "If John gets too close to me, he may end up meeting them sooner than I like."
"That is not true, you know that." Carson retorted. He didn't like it whenever Harry made himself sound like a deliverer of death. "And it's not like Colonel Sheppard's going to, god forbid, drop dead this very moment." As soon as those words left him, the Scottish winced visibly.
Harry pursed his lips and grimaced, "That's a very disturbing thought, Carson."
"Aye, sorry." Carson apologized, which the other waved off.
"Perhaps when I can see myself in a different light, I may consider about it." Harry gave a grim smile before shaking his head, "I don't want to talk about this." Those memories still hurt and talking about them made it worse.
Carson gave a sigh and gave a resigned look, "Fine."
The young doctor gave a small smile in return, "We better get back to the infirmary. Colonel Sheppard's and Major Lorne's teams are scheduled to back in two hours. Knowing them, they'd definitely be visiting." The Scottish chuckled in agreement.
True to his words, both teams were in the infirmary two hours later. Thankfully only three members were confined to the bed, which of course included one John Sheppard. Carson looked up from his data pad and at the man lying on the bed, "You are definitely staying in the infirmary for the next week, Colonel."
John made a face at that statement. Being off-duty was good, but being off-duty because of injuries was not something to look forward to. "A week? They're just minor injuries." He tried to argue his way out but that only seemed to make things worse. Beckett looked ready to hit him with the data pad that he was holding and the colonel briefly wondered if the doctor would do it.
"Minor injuries?" Carson looked at John in disbelief, "Being shot in the leg, having a wound on your forearm that was bleeding like hell a few minutes ago, two broken ribs and a concussion is not what I call minor injuries." The doctor glared as he finished his sentence. Doctors disliked it when patients underestimate their obviously serious injuries and disliked it even more when those patients try to wiggle their way back into their duties.
John couldn't argue with that. "Fine, but a week?" The last time this happened was for three days and he had been ready to pull his hair out, but a week would definitely drive him up the wall. "How about three days?" He tried to bargain and received stronger glare in return but that didn't mean he was going to back down.
Dealing with Sheppard made Carson remember why he had happily threw the task of dealing with the colonel to Harry. This man made him ready to scratch the wall in frustration and he wondered how Harry deal with him. Maybe he should pick up a skill or two from him...
Just then, the door to the infirmary swished opened and Carson thanked whatever gods that were watching when he saw who it was. He probably shouldn't be doing this but Sheppard was giving him a headache and Harry needed to stop avoiding him as well. "Thank god you're here. The colonel's giving me a bloody headache." Carson said as he openly shifted the responsibility to Harry who just watched him disappear into the corner of the room with raised eyebrows.
Harry sighed resignedly and took up his own data pad. Trust Carson to do something like this. He went to the side of John's bed and silently scanned through the colonel's records, deliberately avoiding making any eye contact with the man on the bed. John watched the doctor for a moment before speaking, "I'm sorry."
Only then did Harry look up and asked, "Are you really?"
"No." Came the immediate reply and Harry looked back down at the pad in his hand.
"Then don't apologize."
John worked his jaw but didn't say anything else. He knew that even if he did, Harry would avoid the subject and things would be more strained between them than they were now.
"How long are you confined to the infirmary?" Harry asked suddenly and John had to take a while for the question to process.
"Three days." John replied.
Harry didn't look up from the pad and just nodded. "Judging from your injuries, you may have to be here for a month." He said, ignoring the wide brown eyes that were staring back at him.
"What?" John frowned. One week was bad enough; there was no way in hell he was staying here for a whole month. "Beckett said a week, how did it change to a mon-" He shot back and snapped his mouth shut when he realized the slip-up he made. Only then did Harry look up from his data pad, green eyes looking at him expectedly.
"Didn't you say three days?" Harry questioned. Of course he knew that no doctors would agree to release the colonel in three days, least of all Carson. He just wanted to see if Sheppard would give himself away. John was smart enough not to reply and sulked. The doctor held back his laugher though it was evident in his voice. "Carson gave you a week for your injuries to heal, so stick to it. Any earlier could aggravate them." Harry rolled his eyes, "You're twenty-eight, so stop acting like a three-year old."
John immediately shot back, "Being stuck here for a week is boring. Three days were bad enough."
Harry just shrugged; obviously not listening to Sheppard's complaining. "One week, or I can make it a month." It was obvious which one John would choose, since there wasn't much of a choice. The colonel gave the doctor one more glare before closing his eyes in defeat and muttered under his breath. "I hate doctors."
The doctor's lips twitched slightly, "You're very welcome."