Series: The Haunting of Carson Beckett
Warnings: Character death, strong language, and slash
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Characters: All but focuses on Carson Beckett
Disclaimer: I don't know SGA and I'm not making money off of this.
Notes: You'll notice I stopped writing Carson's accent. That's because
butdotheyseeyou told me she would "love me forever" if I
stopped. I can't pass up the option of being loved forever so here I am.
You best not back out of that, butdotheyseeyou because that would so not
Summary: "The air grew colder and Carson shivered before sitting up in
bed, 'It's you again, isn't it?'"
"What do you mean 'gone,' Zelenka?" Sheppard was staring at the scientist as if he had grown a second nose. "He can't have just vanished! That doesn't make any sense!"
"I didn't say that it did, Colonel. There was a flash, and when I looked up, Dr. McKay was gone. I can't explain it." He looked down at the ancient device that he hadn't touched. He wasn't willing to risk vanishing as well.
"Well we need to find him! Why haven't you started fixing this yet?" John wasn't mad, really he wasn't. He was just worried for his friend. He glanced up at Carson who was standing silently to their right. The Medical Doctor had his gaze fixed on the device that had sent Rodney somewhere not here.
"Colonel, there is no reason to get upset," Zelenka said calmly. "It doesn't help. One would hope that you and Rodney would have figured that out by now."
"This is all my fault," Carson said and the others turned to look at him. "I should never have—if I had just kept that thing away from him…"
"You didn't know, Carson," Dr. Weir placed a hand on Carson's arm, trying to reassure him. "And neither did Rodney. I have every confidence that Dr. Zelenka will be able to fix this and bring our friend back shortly."
"She's right," Sheppard said. "Rodney's been through worse. We all have. Is there anything we can do to help the process, Radek?"
"No. Just give us sometime to try and figure out what it that thing is used for."
Carson and the others nodded. He looked around the lab and for a moment, thought he saw the image of Rodney, looking rather confused at the people. As soon as Rodney's face turned to meet Carson's, the image faded. The lump that had grown in Carson's throat since he'd heard the news threatened to come out as a sob. No. This would get fixed. It had to get fixed. He needed him, damn it! He needed that man.
"Get to work," Weir said. Zelenka nodded and the others turned to walk out. Weir waited until they were out of the lab before speaking again. She gave the Colonel and the doctor what she hoped were reassuring smiles. "We'll get him back. Don't worry."
"Aye, I'm sure we will," Carson said, forcing his voice to sound firm and assured. "I should get back to work as well. Would you—"
"If anything comes up you'll be the first to know," Sheppard said.
"Thank you," He smiled a sort of half smile and then slowly started back to the lab. Each step felt heavy, forced, like his legs weighted more than they should and where trying to pull him down through the floorboards. When he walked back into his office and turned on the lights, it looked far too empty. Lowering himself into his chair he stared at the paper work he really had to get finished, but it could have been written in Chinese for how much sense it was making to him a the moment.
Over the next few hours, he only managed to get a little of the work done. He listened constantly on his headset, even checking to make sure it was still working, just in case he missed something. No news was bad news. But news itself could be even worse. He was scared. That's what it was when he got right down to it. Scared of knowing what had happened scared of not knowing. Scared of being right and scared of being wrong. Scared of losing something he didn't have yet.
Sighing, he looked up from his desk and was shocked to find Rodney staring at him with worried eyes. "Rodney!" He stood up and as soon as he did, the man was gone and Carson was alone. He blinked a few times and then rubbed his eyes. "I must be going crazy!" He said.
There was a nock on the door and Carson jumped in surprise. "Come in," he said, running a tired hand through his hair. It was Sheppard who stepped through the door looking just as tired as Carson felt.
"Wanted to see if you were up for some dinner," The Colonel said.
"Dinner? But it isn't even—" He stopped when he looked at his watch. Had that much time really past? He hadn't been paying attention. "Oh, well," he said. "Yes, I suppose I should eat something." He really felt like if he ate he would throw up, but it was better to pretend to eat than for John to start worrying about him. So they walked out in silence. John cleared his throat at last.
“So, slow enough day for you in there? No one shoot off any body parts or anything?”
“Oh, aye, very slow,” Carson replied. “Seems everyone has decided to be safe today. Rodney hasn’t even—“ He stopped suddenly, hardly even believing he could have forgotten even for a moment. He was so shocked by himself that he stopped walking. Sorrow flooded back over him.
John stopped ahead of him and turned to look at him. Wow, awkward. “Carson,” he whispered.
“I’m fine. Really I just… I’m sorry, John, I’m not very hungry. I think I’ll turn in early if that’s all right with you.”
“You sure? Food might be good for you.”
“I’m sure. Thank you, though. Perhaps tomorrow, yes? Alright then.” He didn’t wait for an answer, just turned on his heels and walked the other way as fast as he could without running.
He made it to his room before any tears spilled. He opened the door and turned on the lights and jumped suddenly. Rodney was sitting on his bed. But it wasn’t really Rodney. Carson could see right through him as if…as if he were a ghost.
The Phantom Astrophysicist stood up and opened his mouth but no sound came out. He was saying Carson’s name from the look of it. It was then that the Doctor noticed how awfully cold it was in the room. He shivered and took a slow step forward.
“Rodney… I don’t… I must be dreaming. Or out of my mind.” Surely he wasn’t staring at the ghost of a man whom he didn’t even know to be dead. It must just be a dream. Rodney took a step toward him, reaching out a hand as if to grab his arm.
“C---s--n--” The ghost spoke in a way that made it impossible to hear the whole world. “H--l--p--m--.” Rodney’s hand was just about to touch Carson’s when the figure vanished. Carson reached frantically for where the man had just been, but there was nothing.
Something snapped inside Carson. He through himself on the bed, silent sobs racking his body. He cried so hard it physically hurt. He cried until he was shoved into a restless sleep, a sleep haunted by dreams of the one Carson couldn’t rescue. Throughout the night, he shivered and huddled further into his blanket.