So I Married A Chair
Story 2 - Buttons
“Ye captured another Wraith,” Beckett stated rather than asked as a fuming John Sheppard entered the infirmary.
The Major sighed in frustration. “Does everyone know they push my buttons?”
Beckett smiled. “Well, Weir doesn’t. Yer lucky on that count.”
The doctor resumed his tests. Of course, the laptop screen was always pointed away from the door – which John had just entered through. Only Carson Beckett would understand the results splayed across the screen.
The tests were of his “unborn” daughter.
His daughter’s mother was the entity of Atlantis, who could only be viewed up close as a chair in a supposedly uninhabited part of the city.
“What you working on?” John asked, peering over the top.
Smoothly, Beckett switched screens to tedious reports on the health of each person on the base. The doctor glanced up. “Haven’t ye got better things to do than be tormented by prisoners? Reports, maybe?”
“I would if I had your patience, Carson,” John grinned flippantly.
The Major’s smirk reminded Beckett fully of a certain General at the SGC. Carson shook his head. “It’s a virtue we Scots have plenty of.”
“Really?” Sheppard asked, eyes dancing. “So no one can push your buttons?”
“Englishmen, aye. Anyone else, no.”
John declared, shutting the laptop firmly, “I have an idea!”
“I’m not going to like this, am I?”
Beckett entered the holding room calmly. He hoped Nena was watching – and by the crackling noise that seemed to issue while he walked, she definitely was. The guards eyed him warily, but a short explanation from John stilled their protests.
“What have we here?” Carson muttered under his breath.
The Wraith spun and spitted him with a look which crossed between aloof and loathing. It snarled, “Come to stare at your predator?”
Beckett raised his eyebrows. “I was jus’ about to say that myself.”
It was as easy as fencing with an Englishman after a cricket match. The Wraith studied him for a while, eyes filled with hunger…and something foreign. A nasty smile lit its blue lips. Beckett had a queasy feeling in his stomach. The Wraith leant forward, voice lowering to a quiet hiss, “Atlantis has chosen a human as her consort.”
“W-What?” Carson stammered.
He heard his heart throbbing in his ears for that brief moment. How could the Wraith know? Beckett drained nervousness from his face. He said calmly, “Care to say somethin’ useful? Do ye remember anythin’ about Hive ships? No?”
“Ha, I see right through you human!” the Wraith barked in cruel laughter.
Carson crossed his arms. “I have no secrets.”
Some of his uneasiness must have shown for the wicked smile on the Wraith’s lips widened. It hissed loudly, “Your one secret is our fruit for the taking! You are weak. Why should you be her consort?”
Beckett shifted uncomfortably, aware of the stares from John and the others he was getting. He lifted his chin. “I know nothin’ of which ye speak.”
“The walls speak it better than us." The Wraith took in the whole room in a sweeping gesture. “Oh here’s something…a child? You amuse me, human! She has used you well!”
Anger flushed from Carson’s toes to his face, where it settled in a ruddy colour. He growled, “Ye know nothin’! Nena is not using me, Wraith. How would you know? You’re not fit to stand in her cells!”
He spun on his heel and stormed out, fury painting his features. John hurried after him, asking in bewilderment, “What was all that about, Carson?”
“Nothin’!” Beckett roared and continued down the corridors, towards where he would find his Nena.
Sheppard watched him go, stunned. He knew the doctor could be emotional and fired up at times, but he would never have cracked. Unless the Wraith had said something in particular…the Major went to the Atlantis control room.
“Get me the recording in the Wraith cell,” he ordered, “From ten minutes ago.”
“Nena!” Beckett called as he strode through the water.
The shield went up and the doors opened. There seemed to be urgency to the way the simple act was performed. Beckett entered, breathing fast and thoughts in a whirl. Was the Wraith right? Had Nena only used him to have a child?
Carson reclined in the chair and closed his eyes tightly. He begged, “Tell me it isn’t true, love.”
Do you believe everything that monster says? she sounded very hurt.
“I’m sorry, Nena. But how do they know?”
It is old legend. When they destroyed the Ancients, I swore revenge on them. I told them one day I’d have human form. I sank the city.
“Ye are using me!”
No, no! I never meant to fall in love. I never thought of how I could live up to my vengeance. You have made my existence worthwhile, Carson. I love you.
“I love ye, too, darlin’,” Beckett murmured.“I jus’ didn’t know they had that over me. How do they recognise me?”
When we connected, you gained a new life signature. They can see me in you. Although, my love, this means they cannot touch you.
Carson felt the phantom lips on his. He sat up and stroked one of the arms. "Fair thee well, my bonnie lass.”
Your birthday is this week. I will have a surprise for you.
Beckett laughed and, as always, paused by the pod on his way out.
He hummed to himself as he entered his rooms and began reciting animatedly Red Rose by Robert Burns.
“You’re in a good mood,” noted a voice from the dark.
Carson started and slapped on the lights. Draped casually across the plastic like sofa was John Sheppard with his interrogating expression and voice in full use. Beckett clutched his chest. “Och, John, I didn’t see ye there. Why shouldn’t I be?”
He hummed some more. The Major raised his eyebrows. “Well, for one, the Wraith pushed your buttons. You’re a patient man, Carson. I want to know what had you so uptight.”
“Well, ye will never learn that from me,” Beckett told him, still smiling. “Guess I do have buttons. The Wraith took me by surprise.”
John frowned for a moment. He offered, “If you ever need to tell me something, you can.”
Carson chuckled. “What are ye, the doctor now?”
“You’re only a doctor of the body,” Sheppard reminded him, standing up and stretching. “Sometimes our buttons need cleaning out. You can talk to me,” he added in a stressed note.
Touched, Beckett became serious. He nodded. “Thankye, John.”
Major Sheppard left. Unknown to Carson Beckett, John was calculating his next move.