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New Fic: Ghost Runner

Ghost Runner
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Rated:  PG
Category:  Gen, SGA/SG-1 X-Over, Carson/Lam Friendship.
Word Count: 1127
Season:  SGA Five
Spoilers:  Kindred II
Summary:  To play baseball on a team of one, you use an imaginary person to hold your place on base as you bat again.  Such a being is called a ghost runner, and they’re not just for baseball.
Note: This one’s for Jessica.  Thanks, luv.


Dr. Carolyn Lam was panicked.

She didn’t look it, but she was.  She appeared to be calm, poised, and in control as her eyes darted from bed to bed trying to decide which trauma patient needed surgery first, but her mind was reeling with variables and what-if scenarios and flat out panic.

It was early evening, and she was the only doctor in the infirmary until her emergency relief team arrived.  She’d called them in the moment she heard SG-17 was coming in hot, but they wouldn’t be there for at least another half hour.  That left her alone with two soldiers in critical condition.  Both needed surgeons, and they needed them now.

But she was only one person, and try as she might, she couldn’t be in two places at once.

Carolyn nodded stiffly after only a second and motioned to the bed on her left.

“This one,” she said, and she moved to begin her prep procedure.

At that very instant, a commotion near the infirmary entrance dragged her attention away from her patients for a moment.  A group of SFs, who clearly hadn’t gotten the message that any non-critical infirmary business could wait, were escorting a man into the room with some effort.  Their charge wasn’t exactly struggling against them, but he sure put up enough of a fuss to explain their pained expressions.

“I know where it is, lad.  No need to push.  I can get there on my own, thank you!”

Carolyn might have grinned at the man’s antics or been annoyed for the guards or at the interruption if she hadn’t been so relieved to see the complainer.  She barked out two words that were half greeting and half order.

“Doctor Beckett!”

Carson Beckett’s head snapped toward her voice and he stopped complaining immediately as his attention shifted from his escorts to the situation in front of him.  His eyes met Lam’s and he asked one simple question.

“Where do you need me?”

Lam sighed slightly and nodded to the second trauma patient.

“Trauma bay two.  You up for that?”

Carson nodded.  “Fit as a fiddle.”

“You sure?” asked Lam.  She’d completely forgotten that the cloned version of Carson Beckett was arriving back on Earth from Atlantis today for medical and psychological evaluation by the IOA and the other powers that be before assuming some semblance of his former life.  She didn’t envy the man one bit, but his plight didn’t concern her right now.  She was just glad to have another surgeon at her disposal.  SG-17 had not been alone on their mission.  Two companies of marines had been with them, and while most of them had escaped unscathed, there were still plenty of wounds to tend, and more were coming through the stargate by the minute.  Lam was in over her head, and at that point she would’ve accepted a half-trained monkey for help.  Fortunately for her and her patients, the arrival of the Daedulus and its special passenger meant she didn’t have to.

For his part, Carson kept things simple.  He’d been in Lam’s shoes, and he knew the only response he could give.


Lam nodded and turned away.  She scrubbed in for her surgery and within minutes she was wrist-deep in an abdomen, looking for the source of her patient’s internal bleeding.

As she reached for an instrument, she caught a flash of movement in the OR next to hers through the glass window that connected them.

Carson Beckett was working on his patient next door.

Lam breathed a sigh of relief and returned her focus to her patient.


Five hours later, every wounded airman and marine was settled into recovery, and Carolyn was munching on a stale bagel in her office when Carson popped his head into the doorway.

“I don’t suppose you’ve got another of those?” he asked.

Lam shook her head.  “Sorry.  But I’ve got these if you want them.”

She tossed Carson a package of cheese and peanut butter crackers.  Carson tore open the package and stuffed one into his mouth unceremoniously.

“Thanks,” he mumbled.

Lam waved a hand.  “No problem.”

Carson sank down into a chair next to Lam and sighed.  He rubbed one hand over his face.

“Tired?” asked Lam.

“Aye,” answered Carson.  “But I’ll live.  You?”

“I’ll be fine,” said Lam.  “Thanks for your help back there.”

“Don’t mention it.”

“No, I mean it.  I don’t know how I managed to get caught alone like that.  If you hadn’t turned up…”

Carson interrupted.  “I mean it, too.  Don’t mention it.  I’m not supposed to be working.  The big wigs aren’t convinced I’m me or some such thing.”

“Oh, right.  I forgot.  Sure thing, soldier.  What was your name again?”

Carson chuckled for a second, then grew serious.  “Rodney McKay,” he said, without a trace of sarcasm.

“Pleasure to meet you, Rodney,” said Lam, with as straight a face as she could muster while stifling laughter.  “You know, we’ve got another Rodney McKay around here.”

“Do you, now?  Imagine that!” said Carson, with a twinkle in his eye.  “But I must say the pleasure’s all mine, lass.  Care for a drink?”  Carson waggled his eyebrows at his colleague in a most unprofessional but ridiculous way that made it obvious he was playing.

Lam gave up all pretense of a straight face and laughed openly at Carson’s antics.  The two physicians giggled together for several moments before Lam answered.

“You know I can’t.  Work to do and all that.”

Carson nodded in understanding.  “Aye.  Always.  Can I do anything else for you?”

Lam shook her head.  “Nah.  Go on home.  I can finish up here.”

“Well, since home’s just down the hall for now, don’t hesitate to give a call if you need me, luv.”

“Thanks, Carson.”

“Anytime, Carolyn.”

Carson headed to bed then, but Dr. Lam stayed in the infirmary for several more hours.  She caught up on her paperwork and made sure to properly credit Carson with his work, powers that be be damned.

When she was finally finished, she looked in on her surgery case and then on Carson’s.

She grinned when she saw both men resting comfortably.

Carolyn Lam was only human, but today she’d proven she actually could be in two places at once.  Or rather, she’d proven she didn’t have to be.  A strange thought floated across Lam’s mind, and her grin turned quirky.  Carolyn had played a lot of sports growing up, and an analogy came to her unbidden.  Today, like a kid playing baseball on a team of one, she’d had a real life ghost runner.

Everyone knows ghost runners can’t steal bases, but Carolyn was beginning to wonder if they could hit.  After all, hers had belted a grand slam today.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
May. 24th, 2009 04:18 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I do believe I promised some Carson fic recently, didn't I?

And here we are. Real life once again brings the muse...sigh...

I hope to heaven you're never starving and struggling with red blood cell counts, odds of hemorrhage, and treatment decisions past eleven on a school night when all by your lonesome, but if you ever are, I wish you a ghost runner.
May. 25th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Heh. So *this* was the hematomato question, eh?
Oh, luv. Never ends.
Maybe I can pinch-hit for you next time.
Glad you had some help ;)
May. 26th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
Rare or lucky are those who find it. For although we may not be alone in the universe, on this planet, in our own, separate ways, we are all...alone.
May. 26th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
And I echo my thanks! Glad you all liked it.

There's more, you know...Carson, Carson, Carson, Carson...oh, look! Star Trek!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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