Little White Pills
Rating PG
Category: Slash Pairings > Beckett/Other
Characters: Carson Beckett, Other
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Vignette
Warnings: Adult themes

Summary: "No, no one would blame him, and no one knew."


Carson Beckett briefly glanced at the two tablets in the palm of his hand before popping them into his mouth and swallowing them. He had done the same four hours previously, and four hours before that, and four hours before that. In fact, it would be hard to pinpoint the times when he didn't take his medication.

Glancing again round the now darkened infirmary, to make sure one last time before he took some rest that those in his care were sleeping peacefully, he headed back into his office and shrugged out of the white coat, tossing it over the back of the chair at his desk.

Tiredly, he made his way over to the small cot at the far side of the room. He lowered himself down onto it and waited in the still and the darkness for the familiar feeling to start in his stomach and spread out through his body.

True, the opiate he took was mild, but it always had the desired effect. Rest or strength--whichever reserve he needed from it at the time.

With eyes now closed he let his mind follow the path of the drug, which was moving through system after system in his body. The comforting heat in his stomach, the slight headiness--not quite like intoxication but similar--making it hard to focus completely.

His breathing too was affected, becoming shallow and somewhat slower, and he could feel the steady rhythm of his heart beating in his chest.

At first he had felt guilty, taking the drugs. He justified it by telling the other doctors in his staff that he often had pain from a neck injury he had sustained while working as a junior house officer at one of Scotland's psychiatric hospital prisons. While he was not exactly lying, he also wasn't exactly telling the truth.

It was true he had been attacked, thrown up against the wall by a psychotic and delusional patient who was sure he had been sent to Earth to rid the world of the evil that was medicine.

Three doctors had died at his hand before he had been caught and convicted. Carson could still see the hate in the man's eyes as he held him by the throat, choking the life slowly from him before the guards managed to pull him off. The injury had happened, but it seldom gave him cause for concern.

He thought back to his life in the city. Glasgow was well known for its beauty, its culture and its class differences. He was remembering the house he had been brought up in, in Glasgow's 'Gorbals.'

It was a hard area, full of hard men and harder-working women. His father was a riveter, working in the shipyards, and his mother cleaned houses for the rich of the city. Their wish that their son do more with his life than they had been able to do drove them to save the money for his education, where the other kids he knew were just expected to follow in their parents' footsteps.

But for all that the Gorbals were a place that others might be afraid to step foot in, it was a world where people cared for each other--where doors were left unlocked and where those who had little could count on their neighbours.

And Carson had thought long and hard before leaving his native country and heading to America to take up a surgical position in--of all places--a military hospital.

He smiled sleepily, remembering the curious looks and the questions when he first arrived.

"Don't you people wear skirts? Shouldn't you speak that funny language that no one else in the world understands? Is it true that the Haggis is native only to Scotland and doesn't breed anywhere else?"

Questions, questions. It seemed every Air Force man he came across had links to Scottish blood. Their great-great-great-second-uncle-on-their-grandmother's-sister-in-law's side was directly descended from William Wallace or Robert the Bruce.

Still, they liked him, even if he did talk a little too fast and too quietly for them to easily catch what he was saying.

If his parents could see his home now--the metal and glass structures that towered towards the sky while floating on top of a sea that was always blue.

Atlantis was never quiet. She had a heart that was heard no matter where you might find yourself in the magnificent city: a low, soft hum of contentment now that life had returned.

Life was full of the unusual, and he had to be constantly ready to deal with the consequences.

Hence the drugs. In the morning after his shower with his first cup of tea, he slipped the tablets into his mouth. They caused that familiar heat in his stomach, but first thing in the morning his mind seemed to become sharper, his senses more attuned and his skin tingling, as if in anticipation of the day. As the day wore on and he began to tire, the drugs gave him a much-needed spurt of energy, and at night they helped him to switch off the events of the day and drift off into the past where his life was simple.

Surely no one would question his reasons, surely no one cared enough to be interested in how he coped from day to day--patching up battered and bruised bodies, declaring too many young men and women dead.

No, no one would blame him, and no one knew.

The Atlantean's, though, were ever-aware that those loyal to the Wraith might infiltrate the city, and a few of her new residents had discovered her many surveillance devices.

For nights now, he had watched him as he moved about the infirmary, checking on patients and equipment.

He had watched this gentle man who had became his friend grieve and mourn when he though he was alone. He had watched him toss through his sleep and waken from his nightmares, and he had counted all the little white tablets that he saw being too-frequently taken.

Carson Beckett kept no secrets from him, and soon he would confront him.