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Escape From Reality
City of Lost Dreams
The 7 Sins of Carson Beckett - Pride 
6th-Apr-2006 05:03 pm
α Mira, Mira
Too Little Too Late
Author: Rhiannon - rhian_morwenna
Summary: Colonel Sheppard’s team is attacked off-world. One member is critically injured.
Word Count: 1,349
Rating: R/Mature Teen/Mature
Characters: Carson Beckett, Rodney McKay, John Sheppard, Dr. Biro
Pairing: Carson Beckett/Rodney McKay
Genre: Angst, Drama
Warning: Graphic description of trauma surgery, character death, implied slash
Spoilers/Timeline: Unspecified Season 2 timeframe
Sequel To: Occurs just prior to A Week of Emptiness
Series: The 7 Sins of Carson Beckett
Disclaimer: Don’t own the series or the characters. Dammit.
Author's Note: I have a bad day, and it’s bad for the characters. That’s how it works. Xie-xie to lvs2read for beta reading this, and learning all about SGA as she reads my pieces.

Posted to rhian_morwenna, 7_deadly_sins_, atlantisfic, ancientsarchive, atlantis_slash, atlantiskink, beckett_mckay, geek__love, grouphug_carson, and stargateslash.

“Dr. Weir to the Infirmary! We have multiple incoming wounded, one critical. We’re coming to you!”

In his office in the infirmary, Dr. Carson Beckett cursed under his breath as he changed into scrubs in record time. What have they gotten themselves into this time? He stood at the sink, scrubbing as fast as he possibly could without skipping any part of the procedure. Each finger, front and back of each hand, arms up to the elbows, rinse, dry with sterile towel. Carson threw the towel in the bin as he backed into the operating theater. A nurse was waiting for him with a sterile gown and gloves.

“What have we got?” he demanded as the nurse finished securing the gown and slid a mask on his face.

“Multiple gunshot wounds, chest and abdomen. Colonel Sheppard’s team came under fire from some Genii, as I understand it,” another nurse responded while she was pouring Betadine over the patient’s chest and abdomen.

Carson actually looked at his patient for the first time, and saw his worst nightmare. Rodney lay bleeding on the table, breathing tube in place, IVs of blood and saline running into his arms. The surgical nurse had a grim look in her eyes as she unwrapped the first tray of tools. He looked at Rodney’s abdomen, the kisses I placed there last night distended with blood, and knew where he needed to start. He took the scalpel and with a sure stroke sliced through the skin.

“Get Dr. Biro in here,” he said harshly as he worked.

Carson continued cutting through the tissues until the abdominal cavity was open. Trauma surgery was easy: find the bleeding and stop it. Nothing fancy, no worrying about keeping the incisions small. Work as quickly as possible, fix the problem, put everything back together. I’ve seen worse, I can do this.

“Vascular clamp. Arterial patch,” Carson said methodically as he worked to stop the bleeding from Rodney’s nicked aorta. With the patch in place, he released the clamp, allowing blood to pump through the vessel again. The surgical nurse suctioned the area clear of blood as he watched to be sure the patch held. It did; there was no additional blood in area.

“Doctor, his blood pressure is 82 over 60 and still falling.”

“How many units has he had?”

“Three of blood, plus 2 liters of saline.”

“Hang 2 more units of blood, rapid infusion. Give him additional blood as you see fit. We still have to find the other bleeder. Pulse?”

“Steady at 125.”

“Dr. Biro, check for any other abdominal injuries while I look at the chest wound. I didn’t find any bullets. Do we know if any of these are through-and-throughs?”

“There are two apparent exit wounds in his back, one in the lumbar region, one in the upper thoracic region. There are two abdominal entry wounds, one chest.”

“Find that bullet. I’ll take care of this chest wound,” Carson said calmly. Just one more wound to explore, and we’ll be done here. You’ll make it.

Carson opened the wound at the right chest area. At least they missed your heart. He found bone shards from a fractured rib and massive damage to the lung. He went to work, cleaning out the wound, cauterizing the small vessels while he looked for deeper damage.

“Dr. Beckett! He’s crashing, BP is down to 75 over 50 and still falling. Pulse is 145. We’re up to seven units of blood total.”

“Hang more, there’s another bleeder here that I can’t visualize. Hang more blood. More suction!” Carson barked at the nurses.

Carson heard the sound of metal on metal from Dr. Biro’s area as he worked to find what was bleeding.

“Bullet is out, abdomen is clear.”

“Get up here and help me find this bleeder!”

Carson looked down at the floor which was now covered in blood. Rodney’s blood. He shook off the thought and continued to search.

“Doctor, he’s crashing!”

“Goddammit!” Carson swore. “Rib spreader and internal paddles. Dr. Biro, keep looking for that bleeder.”

Carson cut into Rodney’s chest over his heart. He inserted the paddles on either side of Rodney’s still heart.

“Clear!” He shouted just before he triggered the defibrillator. Rodney’s heart twitched but didn’t start beating.

“Clear!” The shock failed to start his heart again. “Charge to 30 and clear!”

Carson shocked Rodney's heart again with the same results. He threw the paddles on the defibrillator and reached inside Rodney’s chest, grasping his motionless heart between his hands and squeezing it.

“Get some Epi on board! I’m starting internal cardiac massage. Dr. Biro, find that bleeder! Hang two more units of blood!”

“Doctor, the last unit we have is already up.”

“Get some more from storage!” Carson replied as he squeezed Rodney’s heart, manually circulating blood through his body.

“Dr. Beckett, there is no more. No more O negative, no more of his type.”

“Dammit! Saline then!” Carson continued the cardiac massage through the tears starting to form in his eyes. You gave me your heart but I never wanted it in my hands, damn you!

“Dr. Beckett,” Dr. Biro said from her position on the opposite side of Rodney, where she had stopped working.


“He lost too much blood,” she said softly.

“No! Get the reclaimer in here; we’ll infuse him with his own blood.” Carson looked over Rodney’s body, sprawling across the operating table. Just like he does after we… Carson kept working his hands, willing Rodney to live. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light and there was no longer anything between Carson’s hands, no pressure of Rodney’s body around them. Clamps fell to the table from where they had been in Rodney. Carson nearly fell onto the table at the loss of contact. He instinctively shielded his eyes from the bright light with his hands.

Dropping his hands, he saw a bright form rising up from the table. He stared at it, seeing Rodney’s face smiling down at him as he rose through the ceiling. As quickly as it happened, it was over. The lighting in the operating theater returned to normal. There was no body on the table, just tubes and equipment where there should have been Rodney. Carson stepped back from the table while pulling his mask down, staring wide-eyed. When he bumped into the wall, he slid down and sat on the floor.

“No! No-no-no-no-no,” Carson muttered hopelessly, as if by denying what had just happened it would change. “Why?!” he cried out, burying his face in his hands, ignoring the blood my lover’s blood that covered them. He wondered who took him, which Ancient had helped Rodney Ascend. I’m going to hunt down Chaya for this, she’ll know who helped him… He didn’t notice Dr. Biro leave the room to tell everyone waiting what had happened.

“Carson? Carson, let me help you get cleaned up a little,” said one of the nurses gently. Carson nodded numbly and let her strip off the bloody gloves, mask and cap. He barely felt the moist surgical sponge that she used to wiped his face, cleaning off the worst of the blood. She helped him to his feet, pulled the surgical gown off, and led him to the scrub area so he could wash. Why did you leave me?

Carson cleaned up a little, thinking through the entire surgery. It should have been simple. Find the damage and repair it. He tried to think what he could have done differently, why he hadn't been able to save Rodney despite all of his surgical skill. He walked numbly to his office, trying to not look at Colonel Sheppard and the rest of his team, all of whom were wearing fresh bandages. He ignored their heartbroken looks and sat down at his desk. I did everything right, why did you leave me, my love? He touched the damp blood on his face that the nurse had missed, the only physical remains of Rodney. Carson folded his arms on his desk, and resting his head on them, he began to cry.
(Deleted comment)
7th-Apr-2006 02:50 am (UTC)
I hope that means the realism worked for you. *hopes*

I may have picked up a thing or three from being an EMT for 10 years. Working severe traumas are rather intense.
7th-Apr-2006 12:29 am (UTC)

So powerful.
7th-Apr-2006 04:05 am (UTC)
*hands box of tissues*

Thank you. I hoped it would get that reaction, I wanted this particular sin of Carson's to be very intense and tragic.
7th-Apr-2006 04:03 am (UTC)
OMG, I was right htere with him in the operating room. What an awful awful things to have to do....
7th-Apr-2006 04:09 am (UTC)
I'm glad I was able to pull you in, I wanted absolutely realistic, no punches pulled for this particular piece.

Usually I'm a lot nicer and don't get that detailed about medical stuff, I know a lot of people are squicked by detailed medical descriptions.
7th-Apr-2006 01:08 pm (UTC)
Someone, please, tell me, why am I torturing myself by reading this?
Find a way to bring him back, please?
7th-Apr-2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Uh...it's well written torture?
7th-Apr-2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
That's the whole problem - it is well written. If it wasn't, I could easily skip it.
Looks like it's your (your, as in all good writers in the fandom) fault I'm turning into masochist :D
7th-Apr-2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
I know that feeling. :) I have a bad day, and I turn one piece into a nice piece of sadism. *cringes at the horror Carson's going through*

All I'm going to say at this time is that you'll want to read all of Carson's and John's sins; they're intertwined. I didn't realize when I started that they were going to be and I signed my self up for a 14 story arc, although I make no guarantee that they will be written/published in chronological order. As one of my beta readers said, I'm "going all Tarantino Pulp Fiction" with this one.
5th-May-2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
Oh God


that was so intence, fantastic discription I could see it so clearly.
6th-May-2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! Intense is what I was hoping for.

I usually stay away from graphic medical descriptions since that can be a big squick, but this was an exception. I really wanted to drive home Carson's desperation as he worked.

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