Gift for: ladytalon1
Prompt used: Jonas/Carson; what happens in the infirmary, stays in the infirmary
Notes: 3,080 words, PG, a wee bit AU. Beta'd by the marvelous ivorygates.
There were a great many aliens in the Pegasus Galaxy, but only one of them had come through the Stargate with the Atlantis Expedition.
His personnel file explained how he had come to Earth from his home planet of Kelowna and how he’d ended up staying. He’d served on the SGC’s flagship team, SG-1, for the year that Dr. Daniel Jackson had been an Ascended Being, and transferred to another team when Dr. Jackson very unexpectedly returned home and picked up the threads of his former life.
If you read between the lines, and Carson had a knack for that, it was fairly strange that Daniel had wound up taking Jonas under his wing, considering everything that had happened on Jonas’s planet. Nobody knew more about the Ancients, the Ascended Beings, than the brilliant Dr. Jackson. But thanks to his tutelage, Jonas, who had his own genius IQ, ran a close second in that field of expertise.
And it was specifically his knowledge of the Ancient language that led to Jonas being selected for the Expedition. His two years of experience travelling through the Stargate with front-line teams was a bonus that made Elizabeth Weir practically drool.
Jonas’s medical file was of far greater interest to Carson. Exposure to naquadriah. Genetic manipulation by the Goa’uld ‘goddess’ Nirrti which had revealed that Jonas and his people, although of human stock, had evolved differently from the section of the human family that had remained on Earth. A growth on his brain as the result of Nirrti’s mucking about that had gifted Jonas briefly and dangerously with precognition, of all things.
What none of the official data mentioned was broad shoulders, a strong, fit body, warm blue eyes, and straight white teeth which showed when Jonas smiled, which was often.
Carson observed all of those things for himself, before the Expedition ever reached Atlantis. He’d been the one to conduct Jonas’s final medical exam, the same examination that every member of the Expedition had to undergo. There hadn’t been a lot of time for chit-chat; Carson had been under the gun to get everyone confirmed as cleared to travel as soon as possible, so that replacements hopefully could be lined up for anyone who didn’t clear this final hurdle. So Carson had had time to do little more than mentally note that Jonas was a very attractive individual, before moving on to other things.
The first occasion he had to spend any length of time with Jonas was not long after they’d arrived in Atlantis, when the gene therapy inoculations were being administered. For everyone else who received the injection, one of two things happened. It either worked or it didn’t.
Things went differently with Jonas. The gene didn’t take, but the shot had an adverse effect. Jonas came back a few hours later, presenting with a headache and a fever of 102.4 degrees. Carson quickly ordered him into a gown and into bed, and drew blood. While the blood was being given the rush treatment in the lab, Carson hooked Jonas up to every monitor he had, including a few pieces of Ancient technology that he hadn’t quite figured out yet, and gave him something to reduce the fever and relieve the headache after triple-checking his medical history for any past problems with the usual treatments given for such things.
Over the next few hours, the fever edged down to just under 101, and Jonas reported being comfortable enough. He didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger, but Carson remained concerned. Obviously the subtle differences between Jonas’s genetic makeup and that of the Earth humans was something that would always need to be taken into consideration before subjecting the man to any medical treatments. He’d known that, but he’d allowed himself to be lulled by the fact that Jonas’s comprehensive medical history, with its copious notes by Doctor Janet Frasier and her successors, hadn’t reported any problems arising in the past. But this gene therapy was treading on new ground, and there was no telling what else their stay in the Pegasus Galaxy might bring about in the future. As far as Carson was concerned, any unnecessary treatments were right out of the question for Jonas from now on.
The lab results came back marked ‘inconclusive’, but fortunately Jonas continued to improve overnight while Carson kept a close eye on him. When his temperature was down to 99.3, Jonas insisted that he was well enough to leave the infirmary. “Not that I’m not enjoying all this attention, Doc. But these four walls are getting pretty stale. I feel great. Can’t I just go rest in my quarters?”
“Aye, I suppose there’s no real reason to keep you cooped up in here. Here then, take this thermometer with you when you go, and take your temperature every two hours. Call me if you feel the least bit unwell, and you’re to come back straightaway if your fever increases.”
Jonas’s eyes sparkled as he smiled his gratitude, and Carson felt a little frisson of wholly inappropriate arousal. “Well, then. You’ll find your clothing in the wee cupboard over there. Let me know how you’re doing.”
“I’ll come back tomorrow so you can see for yourself,” Jonas said, throwing back the bedcovers and treating Carson to the sight of long, muscular legs and a gown that was riding up as those legs were swung over the side of the bed.
“Yes, very well. I’ll look forward to that, then,” Carson said foolishly, and got himself out of there as quickly as he could without tripping over his own feet. Which would have been an easy thing to do as he was busy kicking himself. He was going to have to watch himself more carefully around the far-too-attractive-for-comfort Mr. Quinn.
Strictly professional from now on, he pledged to himself.
And in keeping with that promise, he may have been a little cool and distant when a perfectly healthy Jonas dropped in the next day.
And Jonas’s habitually sunny smile may have become tinged with a bit of perplexity.
Carson managed to maintain his professional attitude as time went along. He’d transfer Jonas’s care to another doctor whenever he could do so without being obvious, and he kept a nurse with him at all other times. He was fairly pleased with himself for sticking to his guns, but felt regretful that he’d perhaps treated Jonas a little shabbily in the whole process of staying within the boundaries he’d set for himself. But there were rules, and there were reasons for such rules. Good and time-honored reasons.
The only alternative would have been to confess his attraction to Jonas to explain why he’d needed to back away. And Carson couldn’t in his wildest dreams imagine having that conversation.
So, of course, the day came when he had to.
He was alone in the infirmary, very late at night. The beds were blessedly empty, which always indicated good things about the health of the Expedition as a whole even if it meant that the medical staff didn’t have quite enough to occupy itself.
He’d given some of his staff a few days off, and was catching up on paperwork himself when Jonas walked in.
“Doctor Beckett? Sorry to disturb you.”
“Not at all. That’s what I’m here for. What brings you by at such an hour?” Carson rose from his desk, trying not to appear flustered.
“Stupid, really. I’m not sure what I did, but I seem to have pulled a muscle in my upper arm.”
“Were you lifting something heavy?” Carson led Jonas towards an examination table.
“No.” Jonas snorted. “I was moving a lamp.”
“I’m afraid so. That was about an hour ago. I’ve been massaging the arm, but it doesn’t seem to be doing any good.”
Carson pulled on a pair of gloves. “Does it hurt right now?”
“No, not just sitting here. Only if I move it, and especially if I’m holding something, even a coffee mug.”
“Coffee at this hour?” Carson prodded gently at Jonas’s arm.
“A little late night translating.” Jonas grinned and Carson was standing close enough to get the full impact. His heart gave a flutter.
Carson stepped back a few feet and fumbled around for a medical scanner. “Let’s see what this tells us,” he muttered, reaching for Jonas’s arm again.
An alarm sounded and Carson nearly dropped the scanner.
“What the bloody hell is that?”
“I’ve never heard it before,” Jonas answered, hopping off the bed with a frown.
“It’s been too quiet,” Carson said fretfully. “Empty infirmary, no sign of the Wraith in weeks, no problems with any indigenous popula….”
The doors to the infirmary slammed closed.
The alarm kept blaring. Carson stared at the door in disbelief.
Jonas said, “Huh.”
Carson touched his ear bud. “This is Doctor Beckett, in the infirmary. Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” There was no answer.
“Nothing?” Jonas asked. He touched his own ear bud. Also nothing.
The alarm stopped. The two men looked at each other in the deafening sudden silence.
“Well, that’s probably good, right?” Jonas said hopefully.
“Aye. Better yet would be the doors opening.”
The doors did nothing.
Carson walked over to them and tried everything he could think of to get them open. Jonas joined him in trying to pull at one side. They accomplished nothing, and Jonas was left rubbing his arm. “That was a bad idea.”
“And I’m a bad doctor,” Carson mourned. “I’m so sorry. Come back over to the table and let me treat you. I’m afraid I forgot why you were here, for a minute.”
Jonas’s lips twitched. “I forgive you. I kind of forgot for a minute, too.” He winced as Carson picked up his arm. “What do you think is going on?”
“I’ve no idea whatsoever. I can only hope it’s nothing too serious and that I’m not needed out there.” He jerked his head towards the stubborn doors.
Jonas looked around the deserted infirmary. “Well, if you’re the only doctor in here, that means all the other doctors are out there, right?”
“That’s certainly true.” Carson had to smile at himself. “Well, what we have here is easier for me to diagnose. It’s a simple muscle strain. I’ll prescribe some anti-inflammatories and recommend an icepack. Twenty minutes every three or four hours for the next day or so until you notice some improvement.”
“Got that icepack handy? I guess I might as well get started, if I’m not going anywhere.”
Carson found himself to be all thumbs as he tried to get the icepack tied around Jonas’s bicep. It really was very unlike him to be so affected by… skin. Really, just skin. And some very nice musculature, but nothing out of the ordinary, certainly. What was it about…?
Carson’s head jerked up. “Hmm?”
“Everything okay? You seem kind of… I don’t know!”
“I’m fine.” Finally, the icepack co-operated. “And there’s that done, then. I’ll get you some wee pills to swallow, shall I?”
Jonas rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know. Shall you?” His lips were quirked, but his eyes weren’t smiling.
Carson coughed and felt himself blushing. “I’ll just get those from supply,” he said, and sped from the room.
He spent five minutes getting NSAIDs and a glass of water, which was completely ridiculous and frankly insulting to his patient, but he needed the time to get his feelings back under control. He just hoped Jonas wouldn’t ask any questions about how long he’d been gone. He didn’t know what his answer would be.
What Jonas did ask, after he’d swallowed the medication, was the last thing Carson had been expecting.
“You don’t like me very much, do you?”
“If it was something I said or did, I’d like to apologize.”
“Maybe I was a little bit delirious after I had the reaction to the gene inoculation? I didn’t think I was; I don’t remember saying anything I… shouldn’t have.” Jonas looked down at the floor, frowning.
It was painful for Carson to see Jonas with a frown on his face. And to realize that he had put it there.
“No, you didn’t say or do anything, I promise you. That’s the absolute truth.”
Jonas looked up. “No? I felt like something changed. What happened?”
Carson turned away, at a loss for words, and began fussing with the items on the examination tray beside the adjacent bed.
“I don’t mean to press you, Doc. But I don’t know how long we’re going to be stuck in here… hey, maybe there’s something that needs to be gotten out into the open? I’d like to get rid of this feeling… sorry. Sorry, forget that I said that.”
Carson turned to look at him.
Jonas shrugged. “Listen, if you’ve got work you need to get back to, go ahead. I’ll just sit here and keep trying my radio or something.”
“Please,” Carson said sadly. “You mustn’t talk this way.”
“I’ll stop talking,” Jonas answered quietly.
Carson took a deep breath, working up his nerve. “I suppose I must talk, then. You have every right to know what’s been happening.”
Jonas looked wary, but a spark lit his eyes. “Then there really is something; I wasn’t imagining it.”
“No, you weren’t imagining anything. I should apologize.”
“All right. Apology accepted. Now what did you just apologize for?” Jonas was smiling, just a little, but it was an improvement, and Carson took courage from it.
“My apology is for… harboring inappropriate feelings. Not feelings of dislike. Not at all.”
Jonas’s face changed and he sat up straighter. “Oh!”
“It’s completely unprofessional of me,” Carson continued hurriedly, “and completely wrong and I certainly didn’t want to burden you with any of this. Really, I’m hopeful that we can just forget we ever had this conversation. But I couldn’t let you go on doubting yourself the way you have been. I’ve been very unfair to you, I’m afraid, on top of my other sins.”
“I already told you your apology was accepted,” Jonas said swiftly. “Stop beating yourself up. And, just by the way, why do you think that it’s wrong? You’re… you’re attracted to me, right? That’s what this is all about? I can understand why you’d think it was unprofessional, but wrong?”
“It’s improper; most improper. There are rules against a doctor becoming involved with a patient.”
“I’m not sure the people who came up with those rules ever imagined a circumstance quite like this, though, do you? I mean, everyone on this Expedition is, or could potentially be your patient. You’re the Chief Medical Officer! That basically leaves you with no one to get involved with, ever. Because even the Pegasus natives can wind up as patients.” Jonas put a hand to the back of his neck and looked away. “Assuming you’d get involved with someone who wasn’t from your own planet, anyway.”
“Apparently I would,” Carson answered, with a sigh.
Jonas looked back. “So would I.”
“It would be wrong,” Carson insisted.
“Your being alone is wrong,” Jonas answered.
“We shouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
“Nobody else needs to know. We’re alone in here, and whatever we say or do is just between us.”
“And the security cameras,” Carson shot back.
“Don’t even try,” Jonas said with a glimmer of a smile. “Not in the examination area, not unless you turn them on for a specific reason.”
Carson scowled. “And how do you know so bloody much?”
“I like to learn about new places. Everyone on Atlantis is learning new things every day, and I like to pick people’s brains.” Jonas shrugged. “I’ve always been a quick study.”
From nowhere, erotic images flashed through Carson’s mind at hearing those words. “Oh, Lord.” He felt his face flush.
Jonas grinned. “Try me and find out for yourself?”
“Listen,” Carson said, trying to sound firm and failing miserably. “I’ve already told you that it would be wrong….”
Jonas jumped down from the table. “And I’ve already explained to you why the rules are what’s wrong in this case. Do you need some sort of a demonstration or something? Because I’d be happy to explain every point in excruciatingly fine detail. I really would. I’d enjoy that a lot, and I think you would, too.”
Carson backed away a step. “That won’t be necessary, thank you very much.”
“I haven’t done anything for you to thank me for yet,” Jonas said with the biggest grin Carson had ever seen from him. “Let me?”
Carson stood still, mouth slightly open, heart pounding.
Jonas’s kiss was light and sweet, and his hands lay gently on Carson’s shoulders.
He tasted wonderful. Carson leaned forward.
Jonas’s hands tightened. His lips pressed harder.
Carson put his hands at Jonas’s waist and felt the hard muscle there, and tingled with arousal. He opened his mouth wider and Jonas accepted the invitation. Their tongues met, touched.
This is Doctor Weir.
Carson and Jonas leaped apart.
We’ve been having a few problems, which I’m sure you’re all aware of by now. Communications have now been restored, obviously. Parts of the city have sealed themselves off, but we’re working on getting all the doors open. It shouldn’t take too much longer.
Carson and Jonas looked at each other, panting slightly.
So everybody who is trapped, please just relax and wait. Notify the control room if you’re in urgent need of assistance and your situation will receive priority attention. Please stay off the comm otherwise. Thank you.
“Sounds like we have a little more time,” Jonas said, reaching for Carson.
Carson resisted. “Sounds to me more like our time is running out.”
“Yeah, we’re going to be ‘rescued’,” Jonas said. “Is that a problem?”
“Problem? This whole thing is a bloody problem!”
“You weren’t complaining a minute ago,” Jonas pointed out. “I’d kind of like to recapture that. Wouldn’t you?”
Carson stared at him longingly. “Yes. But I don’t think I can.”
“Why don’t we just try? Or don’t you think it’s worth it?”
Jonas’s face was serious, and he was obviously talking about more than just recapturing a moment. And looking into Jonas’s eyes, it suddenly seemed eminently reasonable to Carson that he should be allowed to have a private life, that he shouldn’t worry so much about rules that were written centuries ago, that with a little discretion….
He stopped resisting.