Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis and no infringement was intended, just having some fun with the characters.
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for Search and Rescue and slight ones for The Last Man
Summary: David Sheppard's perspective of some of the events in Search and Rescue.
Beta: Isobel Kelte
A/N: I have to thank Jasminesmommy for the idea to do a tag for Search and Rescue with David.
A/N 2: This is tied to the episode Search and Rescue. Yet, it also follows some of the events I put in my story Brought to the Brink and my The Last Man tag, Disappeared, but I don't think you really need to read those to understand this one. All you need to know is that in this story David knows about Atlantis and has Rodney update him when John gets hurt.
Search and Rescue: Not the Easiest Thing
The email from geniusnumberone had been expected. The rambling way it had been written had been expected. Even the first paragraph or so of information had been expected, in at least in a general way. It was the paragraphs that followed it that had thrown David Sheppard for a loop.
Well…I said I would give you more details, and though I can't get into too many specifics because everything is of course classified, here it is. John was gone a total of 12 incredibly long and slow days; I, along with a bit of help from some others, worked desperately to find clues as to what had happened to him. Then he just showed up! Came through the gate and started mumbling something about "it worked" and me being a genius. Which of course I am, though I was a little unsure as to why he was saying so at that particular moment; I mean; why is that one of the first things he says when he steps through a gate after having disappeared for almost two weeks? He usually doesn't say that after my most incredible scientific feats, so why would he say that right then? But I digress. Without going too deeply into classified information there was a malfunction with the gate and it took awhile for John to be able to get back. He was dehydrated, malnourished, and apparently it was an extremely hot planet he was on with sand storms, so he was a little worse for wear…however, overall he was fine.
The thing was, he had gotten some information on where Teyla might be. And so, as soon as we checked out his story and got him at least mostly alright, we were off on a mission. Well…the mission didn't go as planned. A building collapsed on us, and John got a piece of metal stuck in his side. It was hours before he and Ronon, who was with him in that section of the building, were able to be rescued. He had lost a lot of blood by that time and needed surgery, but since there was a chance to save Teyla, he got Dr. Keller to give him a quick fix so he could get back out to help rescue her. You really need to talk to your idiot brother about risking his life all the time by the way, because I am not making a dent in getting it across to him… Anyhow, we all managed to rescue Teyla and I even delivered her baby! Can you believe that! I did it all alone…I mean Teyla was there of course…and the baby, though he was only out at the end…but I was the person who helped her and held Torren John for the first time and everything! I know digressing again…
Okay, so when we get back to base John isn't doing perfect—go figure, first he's a shish kabob and then he goes around acting like nothing is wrong with him even as he still's bleeding and his doctor wanted him to stay and have surgery and he's still not fully recovered from being gone for 12 days! Keller wasn't exactly happy with him as you can imagine, but he had the surgery earlier today and she said he is going to be fine. In fact, I'm going to go check on him again after I finish this email to you—you know, just to make sure he isn't trying to escape again already, though I don't even think he's suicidal enough to risk more of Keller's wrath right now. I overheard the end of her lecture to him and it was brutal, let me tell you! I'm hoping it will make him think next time, but I'm not about to hold my breath about it. You're brother is the most stubborn hard-headed person I know…well he and Ronon…
Yeah…so…ummm…that's what's been happening with your brother.
Dr. Rodney McKay
David was glad he was sitting by the time he was done with the email for otherwise he was sure he would have collapsed. David could barely believe it. "He's barely back from being missing in action for twelve days and not fully recovered from that ordeal, and he has a building fall on him!" muttered David in exasperation.
David's thoughts then went round in circles as one moment he thought of how John must be the most unlucky person in the world, no in two galaxies, to have as much trouble as he managed-and then the next moment he considered how John must be the luckiest as so far he had survived it all. Yet, it was the 'so far' that made David's stomach clench. "What if next time he doesn't return? What if next time a piece of metal does irreparable damage to one of his organs? What if next time it takes too long for him to be rescued? What if next time the surgery isn't successful?" David's questions ran one after another and he wondered when would the 'what ifs' become reality.
David sighed, he had already seen his mom and dad buried and he had no desire to bury his little brother, though he was no longer "little". He realized that despite the fact he knew his brother was doing something important and saving tons of lives in his chosen profession, part of him desperately wished that he could prevail upon John to join the family business.
He loved the idea of having John live close to him, so they could see each other all the time and the most dangerous thing John would face would be a room of board members. Yet, instead, John was facing life-sucking aliens where death, though still devastating, was also commonplace.
Almost before David realized he was doing it, the phone was in his hands and he had pressed the familiar speed dial to his fiancé's cell phone.
"Sydney…" he said when she answered the phone.
"David? What's wrong?"
"It's just…John was injured again soon after he got back to base after being missing in action. Rodney says that he's going to be okay, but I guess it shook me up some…"
"Oh David, I'm so sorry...but remember, John is strong; he's going to be okay."
"I know. It's just that he's always getting hurt or going missing… I just keep thinking about how next time he might not be so lucky. Next time, he might not make it, and then… I hadn't talked to him in years, Sydney, and now I'm afraid that I'm going to lose him again."
"David, you can't always be thinking about 'next time'. You need to hold on to the fact that John is going to be okay. He's alive and he's with his friends and teammates on Atlantis, and from all you've told me of them, I know they are taking excellent care of him."
"I know. I just wish he had a safer occupation."
"John is doing something he loves and he's making a difference. Besides, do you really think John could survive being in a boardroom? He'd go crazy with boredom and then do something extra crazy and dangerous to make up for it."
"That's true," David sighed, thinking back to all the times growing up that John had gotten into trouble. Even while John was doing "safe" things it would often end up with him hurt.
"Of course it is; which means that the best place for him to be is were he is most complete. Think about it, David, how would you feel if you weren't able to do what you are best at? I can assure you that you would hate it. The same is true for John."
"I just wish that doing what he's best at didn't mean always putting himself in harm's way."
"Certainly you would wish that; in fact, I would say there would be an even bigger problem if you didn't wish it. It means you care about him and caring about someone means you get both the good and the bad, which includes worrying about them."
There was silence for a bit as David thought it over, though it wasn't uncomfortable in the slightest. Finally, David spoke. "Thanks, Sydney."
"You're welcome, David. Why don't you go with me tomorrow to pick out things for another care package for John after work?"
"That would be fine. I'll talk to you tomorrow. I love you, Sydney."
"I love you too, David. Goodnight."
As David hung up the telephone, he made a decision. He opened up a new email and began composing it.
Rodney sent me an email relating to me your current condition with a request to see if I could get my 'idiot' brother to stop risking his life. I have to say, I wish I thought I could get you to stop taking such risks. Though Rodney did not impart too many details, he did explain that you decided to go on a rescue mission even though you weren't in a condition to do so. You know, I wish I could be shocked at the idea of you risking your health that way, but I can't be.
Actually, it made me think back to that football game your sophomore year… I remember how furious both dad and our coach was when he realized you had played with cracked ribs. It wouldn't have taken much to break those ribs if you had been tackled, and yet you made sure no one knew how badly you had been hurt and stayed in the game to score the winning touchdown.
I guess thinking about that made me realize something. As much as I hate how little you think of your own health, if you didn't you probably would miss out on the 'winning touchdowns in life'. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I want you to continue to do stupid stunts with your health like that, and I still wish you would take me up on my offer to join in on the family business, but I understand. I know that for you life wouldn't be worth living if you didn't take the risks. Heck, I and Dad on occasion have taken risks, so it's not like it doesn't run in the family. It's just the risks we've taken affect only money and businesses, while your risks involve your life.
Sydney said something to me today. She told me that when you care about someone you get both the good and the bad. I guess in your case that means if I get to have you back in my life in a real way again I also get to worry about you almost getting yourself killed helping others…
I just reread this email and I think I need to say, just because I understand you risking your life does not mean I'm happy about it. I really want you to remember how much people will miss you if you get yourself killed, myself and Sydney included. So, please try to be careful with your life. Your family, both here and on Atlantis, would greatly appreciate it.
David paused a moment before pressing send on the email. It wasn't exactly what he had meant to write to John, yet he realized he didn't want to change a word of it. Hoping that John would understand, David pressed send. He sighed, being John Sheppard's brother was definitely not the easiest thing in the world, but…well—he was glad that he got to be.
A/N: Please review and let me know what you think...especially as they motivate me to write more... ;D