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: SECOND TO LAST CHAPTER! Yup, almost done!
Summary: "The air grew colder and Carson shivered before sitting up in
bed, 'It's you again, isn't it?'"
Oh god if you're out there won't you hear me
I know that we've never talked before
oh god the man I love is leaving
won't you take him when he comes to your door
Am I in heaven here or am I in hell
at the crossroads I am standing
So now you're sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
that you'll be strong tomorrow and we'll
see another day and we will praise it
and love the light that brings a smile
across your face...
-"Hold On" by Sarah McLachlan
He felt heavy here. There was something in the air that made him feel as if he had been here for weeks instead of hours. He could hardly stand it and Rodney had been here for days. He watched the man sleep, his head on Carson's lap. He didn't look peaceful, he looked sick.
Carson wondered how Rodney had been able to handle it. It was no secret that Rodney did not do well with pain, and this pain was enough to drive anyone insane. Carson smiled and ran his fingers through Rodney's hair. He was so brave and Carson was so proud of him.
At first, Rodney had refused to sleep. "I just want to see you. Don't make me close my eyes yet." The desperation in those words broke Carson's heart and made him wish and believe things he was sure were untrue. It was awful of fate to do this to him. How could he listen to words like those and not believe, even if the belief was false, that Rodney loved him?
But no. He couldn't. He as just sick and worried and lonely and Carson didn't want to take advantage of that. Oh what he wouldn't give to have those lips utter honest words of love and affection. What he wouldn't pay to wrap himself in that man.
Closing his eyes, he stilled his hand in Rodney's hair. He basked in the glow of the touch and the closeness. He wanted to stay like this, but not here in this place. He could close his eyes and make believe they were in his room, late at night, covered in the sheets and blankets. But then the weight of the place would sink down on him.
A few feet away were dead mice. It seemed that some of them could not take the place. The other mice were eating the dead flesh and Carson felt sick to watch it. He had to shoo some of Rodney, hitting one with a shoe and nearly killing it. The monsters would eat them, too, if given half a chance. Which was one of the reasons why Carson refuses to close his eyes and go to sleep.
The other reason was that he had no idea when Zelenka would be able to start up the machine again. One of them had to be awake so they could get through it. At this point, it seemed Carson would have to carry Rodney out. He would like Rodney to be awake for that.
Rodney stirred in his lap, restless. This had been going on for quiet some time. He was dreaming, Carson thought. He opened his eyes and looked down at him. There was something about his face that worried Carson. He was so pale, so sickly and clammy. It horrified Carson. He couldn't do anything to help him here. He hated that. He couldn't stand to see anyone in pain, let alone Rodney. He closed his eyes, trying not to cry.
"Cars—" a hand found its way to Carson's face. He blinked and looked down, smiling at Rodney.
"Hey, try and get some more sleep, you need your strength," he told him, covering Rodney's hand with his own.
"Can't… need you…"
Carson winced at the pain in Rodney's voice. "I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, I swear."
"Know that. Just… talk… me?" Rodney closed his eyes, but not to sleep. It seemed like he was trying to block out the pain.
"Of course," but it was easier said than done. He had no idea what to say. So he did the first think that came to mind. He made up a story.
"Once upon a time," he said, "there was a little boy named Rodney." Was that a slight chuckle from the astrophysicist? "He lived in a great big city in another galaxy. He had lots of friends and saw lots of amazing things. He also was the smartest person in any galaxy. He liked to mess with gadgets and got in lots of trouble, but everyone loved him just the same."
"Even the little boy named Carson?" It seemed a struggle to get the words out and his eyes opened to look at blue ones. Carson frowned. Did Rodney think he hated him?
"Yes, especially the little boy named Carson. In fact, he and Carson were best friends. One day Rodney got very sick and no one knew what to do. Everyone was so worried. Carson and Rodney's other friends worked night and day until they found a way to fix him. And when they did, Rodney went back to being his normal, everyday self."
"Like that," he said.
"Wasn't that good…"
"Meant… your hand…"
Carson blinked once, then realized his hand had been running through Rodney's hair the whole time. He blinked, then smiled slightly. "Yeah?"
"Yeah… don't… stop, kay?"
"As you wish."
Rodney closed his eyes again and moved into Carson's touch. He reached his hand, seemingly to wrap it around Carson's waste, but then it dropped to the ground. Carson blinked. "Rodney?" He didn't move.
"No, no, stay with me, Rodney." He checked his vitals, he was alive. He patted Rodney's cheek, but he didn't move. "Don't do this to me! I just got you back, I can't lose you. Not now." Tears streamed down his face. It was at that moment that a rush of cold air swept into the room. Carson looked up to see a hole that hadn't been there, with Zelenka, Weir, and Sheppard on the other side.
"Hold on, Rodney," he said, lifting the man up and making a mad dash for the hole. "We are going to save you."
Weir yelled at him for about an hour after they got back. He could have died from that little stunt he'd pulled, and what was he thinking, and if he ever did anything that stupid again she was going to kick his ass. He knew she was just worried. She'd also said she was sorry for thinking he was seeing things. John had said sorry, too, although his didn't involve yelling to start with.
After forgiving everyone, he had rushed off to the infirmary. They'd already taken care of Rodney who lay on his normal bed. He still wasn't awake. Not a coma, they said, but nearly. He had fainted. “Passed out,” Carson had corrected automatically. He should be awake before long. Until then, Carson was at his side, holding his hand tightly.
A knock on the door caused him to look up. It was Ori, her face was unreadable. This was the first time Carson had seen her look anything but perfectly put together. Her hair was messy, her make-up was smeared.
“So you got him back,” she said, moving in. The door closed behind her.
“Aye,” Carson smiled at Rodney’s sleeping form. “Barely. But I did.”
Ori moved over to stand beside the medical doctor and looked down at Rodney. It was an awkward silence that followed but Carson wasn’t sure why. “You love him?” Ori asked at last.
“Aye,” he answered without a pause.
“Why?” There was an edge to her voice he didn’t like much. “He hardly seems worth it. I mean, he wasn’t even smart enough to not touch a device he knows nothing about.”
“It isn’t about—“
“He probably doesn’t know how you like your tea, or where your favorite seat is in the cafeteria is. I know all those things. I bet he doesn’t know that you always dressed warmly because you get cold fast. I know all that and yet you don’t even notice me until someone tells you about me.”
Okay, now he was slightly scared of this conversation. “How do you know all that?”
“Because I’ve been watching you. Ever since I got here I noticed you.” She looked at him. “I’ve loved you forever and you can only look at him! Why?”
“It isn’t about what he notices. It’s about who he is. Orenda, I’m sorry you are in love with me but there is nothing I feel for you outside friendship. I’m in love with Rodney. There is no real reason, I just am. You can’t change that.”
“Oh, I know that.” She turned and started to leave. Carson closed his eyes and let out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. It happened so suddenly he didn’t even have time to open his eyes again. A sharp pain in his side and he gasped for breath.
“I’m sorry,” a voice said in his ear. “I’m so sorry. But you don’t understand. If I can’t have you, no one can have you.”
“Orenda,” Carson gasped. A second sharp pain in his side again. The world blurred and he slipped off his chair and onto the floor. He couldn’t breathe. He saw a shape move over toward Rodney, something in its hand that glinted. It was about to hurt Rodney and Carson couldn’t do anything about it. He tried to scream, something crashed. And then…. There was nothing.