Rodney was too tired to protest as Carson lead him out of the mess hall and down to the infirmary. He tried to pull his injured hand away from Carson, but Scottish doctor kept a tight grip on his wrist. It was the same arm Kolya had used his creative persuasion on and the stitches pulled as Beckett yanked him along.
“Carson,” he protested. “That’s my bad arm, could you let up a little? You were the one lecturing me about being careful with it and not popping the stitches.”
Carson’s grip immediately released and Rodney massaged his wrist. His arm ached, but that was nothing new. It had been aching since he had finally gotten down off the adrenaline high after the crisis was over. Carson had given him something for the pain, but he hadn’t used any of them. They made it hard to concentrate and made him sleepy and sleep had been the last thing he had wanted right then. Sleep meant letting his mind slow down enough to start analyzing what had happened and just how badly he had screwed up.
“Rodney?” A hand on his shoulder snapped him out of his revelry. Carson frowned deeply at him. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” he snapped automatically. He was getting sick of everyone asking him if he was “alright.” No, he wasn’t all right, but that was none of their business. He screwed up. He nearly got John killed. He could have gotten Elizabeth killed. His stupidity could have caused the whole of Atlantis to have been destroyed along with the team still working in it and stranding Carson, Ford, Teyla and the three Athosians that had been with them on this planet forever.
Carson just nodded and ushered him into the infirmary and over to a bed. He sighed and sat down on it, while Carson went to get something for his burnt hand.
He stared down at the reddened skin of his hand. Stupid move. Stupid just like everything else. Yes, he was brilliant, but in just a few very specific things. He failed at music. He failed at pleasing his parents. He would have failed here if John hadn’t saved the day, as usual.
He flexed his fingers and winced a little. He shifted on the bed and something poked him in the ribs. He slid his hand in his pocket gingerly and pulled out the little device he had been studying earlier. It flashed indigo blue in his hands. He turned it over and it slipped out of his grip, clattering on the floor. He groaned. He had been doing that a lot lately. It seemed he dropped everything he picked up.
He slipped down off the bed and bent over, picking up the scanner. He stood and the room did a sickening loop.
Hands grabbed him and things slowly came back into focus, from the floor. His butt hurt and realized his legs must have fold on him when he stood up. Crap. If things weren’t bad enough already, he didn’t need to be ribbed about ‘fainting’ again.
“Rodney, are you okay?”
He looked toward the voice and frowned. “Major?”
“There we go,” Sheppard said, with a smile as he and Carson helped Rodney back to his feet on to the bed again. The major gave him an appraising look. “You know, you look like crap.”
Rodney sighed tiredly, rubbing his good hand across his face. He felt like crap. “So Carson said,” he commented dryly.
Carson gave him a gentle push back. “Lay down before you pass out again, Rodney.”
“No snide comments about me fainting?” he asked acidly, his eyes flashing to Sheppard. He instantly regretted the remark when he saw the concern on the other man’s face.
“Rodney,” Carson said with a bit more insistently and he gave in. The ache and fuzziness in his head started to ease the moment he lay down.
He sighed deeply and let his eyes slid shut a moment. He was so tired.
“Ow!” His eyes snapped open at the hard pinch on his finger. A nurse stood over him holding his good hand in hers. His right hand had been bandaged and he frowned at it. When did that happen?
The nurse touched his finger to something and then gave him a sympathetic smile. “Sorry, Doctor Beckett asked me to check you blood sugar.”
He took a deep breath and blew it out slowly and just nodded. He didn’t have the energy to argue with her. He let his eyes slid back shut again.
He blinked his eyes back open and found the back of the bed had been angled up. He moved to rub his blurry eyes with his left hand and winced as something pinched the inside of his arm. That was when he noticed he was wearing burgundy scrubs. He looked up at Carson in confusion.
The Scottish physician wore a serious expression. “Rodney, I want you to drink this and then I want you to try to go back to sleep,” he said, holding a glass for him to take.
Rodney frowned suspiciously. “What is that?”
“Juice,” Carson told him, motioning for him to take the glass. “You’re blood sugar is low. That’s why you fain…passed out earlier.”
Rodney winced at the stuttered word and nodded, taking the glass, taking a sip. He grimaced as the sweetness of the juice set his teeth on edge. “You put sugar in it?” he asked and Carson nodded.
“You need the extra sugar,” he said, taking out his stethoscope to listen to Rodney’s chest while he sipped the juice.
He watched Carson as he took his vitals in total doctor mode. “Carson, what’s wrong?” he asked, starting to become unnerved by the other man’s serious demeanor. “And what happened to my clothes?”
That made Carson smile a little. “I hid those,” he said, a mischievous twinkle lighting his eyes a moment and then disappearing again. “Rodney, how long has your arm been hot and swollen?”
He looked down at his right arm a bit guiltily. It was now hidden under a fresh bandage. “I don’t know,” he said truthfully.
Carson gave him a searching look and he looked away unable to hold it. “Rodney,” he said in a warning tone.
“I don’t know,” he responded. “I haven’t being paying a whole lot of attention to it. I’ve been trying not too.”
Carson just sighed. “You’ve got a fairly nasty infection going on here and you’re going to stay put until we get it under control. Understand?”
Rodney looked back up at him starting to protest, but the look on the Beckett’s face instantly silenced his protest and he sighed, just nodded.
He took the now empty glass from Rodney and patted his shoulder. “Try to get some sleep,” he said, easing the bed back down.
Rodney watched his back as he walked away from the bed and then closed his eyes. Great, just great. Now, he could just let his entire research team down as well. At least everyone would get a break from him. He had heard the comments when no one thought he was around. He knew his personality grated on people. It wasn’t that he particularly liked that part of himself, but people were easier to deal with when they were irritated at you. You knew how they were going to respond. It was when they were your ‘friend’ they were dangerous.
He shivered and pulled the thin blanket over him tight up under his chin, curling up on his side and back to sleep.