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newcomers, pacific ocean

Fic: Newcomers: Soldier (SGA, OCs, PG)

Title: Newcomers: Soldier
Rating: PG
Character: OCs, Lorne, Parrish (Lorne/Parrish, also)
Disclaimer: The context isn't mine (AR-27 are), no harm meant.
Summary: Bad decisions. Close calls. Unknown enemies. Uncertain friends. Welcome to Pegasus.
A/N: Sequel to Medic, part 2 of 5. This took longer than I intended :/

Soldier

When the mercenary points his weapon in the captain's face, Tom switches off the cloak. He doesn't prime the drones until the jumper is visible, and is rewarded as the looks of disbelief on their enemies' faces turn to horror.

It's over in a flash, the captain bringing up her P90 sharply to knock out the leader, the rest fleeing, but he keeps the jumper hovering until the area is secured and Captain Rodriguez signals the all clear, hand raised.

Tom lands the jumper as carefully as he can, surprised that it doesn't shake as much as his hands.

They have Major Lorne on the stretcher before Tom even gets the hatch down, the rest of the teams streaming into the jumper, clearing a space, working so fast that Tom has to jump back into the cockpit to get out of their way.

Captain Rodriguez slaps Tom on the shoulder as she heads to the pilot's seat, grinning at him too brightly. "Perfect timing, kid."

They bring in the mercenary, too. There's not enough room in the jumper, with the stretcher, and Janel working at the Major's side, so the prisoner is set on his knees, still unconscious, with Mark's hand on his collar pulling him upright. Mark throws Tom a tight, unreadable smile.

~

They left before Nate realised there was anything wrong. By the time he reaches the jumper bay, there's already a full medical team waiting for their return.

He hates this. The last three months, half their missions have been rescues or 'supporting strategic withdrawals', and for three quarters of those he's been left behind. Against the Wraith, he can be useful, but in this piecemeal, endlessly circular war against their human enemies, he's just another body to be shot at.

He has to wait.

He spends the time getting angrier and angrier at Anna, just as he always does, because he knows she takes on these missions more often than she needs to. He's pretty sure Sheppard takes advantage of her willingness to head into danger. Or maybe Sheppard doesn't realise how insane it is.

His anger always dissipates when he sees them back safe. If only they get back safe.

~

"Black Colonel, huh?" says Lorne, through wet, hitching breaths. "Sheppard's gonna love that."

"I don't intend to tell him."

"They say anything about me?"

Tom could swear that Janel colours a little at that. "The Little Major," she says, and Lorne laughs, until his breath catches and he coughs, the harsh sound filling the whole jumper.

"Figures."

"Don't talk, Major."

"Pegasus. Buncha - assholes." He heaves a breath. "No - offense."

"I'll blame the morphine."

Lorne grins.

The jumper's silent, until Lorne says, his voice weaker, "Doc?" For a moment, Tom's as confused as Janel looks, until he remembers Dr Parrish just as Lorne says, a hint of panic in his voice, "David?"

Dr Parrish leans forward in his seat. "I'm here, Major."

"You - okay?"

"I'm fine, Major." He doesn't sound very convincing.

Lorne twists around as if trying to see Parrish, and Janel stops him. She beckons Dr Parrish, who hesitates.

Into the sudden silence Mark says, his voice loud and accent thicker than usual, "So, Captain, what's going on out there?"

The captain turns to catch Mark's eye, frowning at the distraction. But then her gaze clears, and she says, "Yes, right. I need a couple of eyes on the hills over there, 'case they have artillery. Walker, Flynn, tell me if you see anything. Rest of you, weapons check. We're not home yet."

~

She works to give the two men a little privacy, just as the soldiers do, turning their backs. The Major is stable, and she can hardly deny him the little comfort of Dr Parrish's hand curling round his.

So instead she looks around her at the Marines, and the studious concentration they show to their weapons. Two of them - they must be the Major's team, she realises, because they weren't in the jumper earlier - talk, over-loud and inconsequential. Only Wright watches the Major and Dr Parrish, and he looks away with a blush when he realises she sees this.

Collins is also looking around the jumper, but his expression has hardened into something angry. At first she wonders if it's distaste - or even jealousy - but then she realises that he's watching the other soldiers.

When he catches her eye, his frown twists into a bitter smile. He leans forward, nodding for her to do the same. "You didn't see any of this." His voice is low, but each word is weighted. With what, she doesn't understand.

"Just - don't tell anyone," says Collins, his voice still low, but suddenly weary. "I'll explain, okay? Just don't say anything."

~

His stomach lurches as the medical team surge in to deal with the wounded, but then he sees Tom, head and shoulders above them. Tom looks worried, but he sees Nate and nods. Nate sags with relief.

Then, as the medical team pulls past, he sees Janel, and his anger flares again. She wasn't waiting in the jumper bay before they arrived, which means -

Anna's the last to exit the jumper, and he pushes past the Marines to reach her, pulling her aside. "What the hell were you thinking?" he hisses.

"We're all fine, thank you, Nate." She watches the departing medical team. "Will be."

"You took Janel - Did you even ask? What the -"

"I was thinking, I really hope we reach them in time, with a medic, so they don't die, Nate."

"And if it hadn't been -"

She cuts him off abruptly. "Don't you dare -"

"You really couldn't wait for a medic who isn't suffering from PTSD?"

"She was fine, Nate. Hell, she - You know what? I have a prisoner to process and a debriefing to go to. We'll talk about this later."

~

Janel doesn't let herself think until Dr Keller takes the Major into surgery. Doesn't let herself notice the sharp surprise and soft sympathy of the other medics. Doesn't hear Hillary's babbled apologies for not being there, not being fast enough.

She hears Sadia's biting "Oh, I will kick Rodriguez' ass for this. Or, well, tell Teyla to -"

"Don't," she snaps back. "It's not your problem."

"That is not the point, Ettesdotter. Military don't push medical around."

"Is that a rule, Rizk?" Sadia is about to reply, and Janel cuts her off, hand raised, still bloody. "Like the rule that stops Dr Parrish from being here?"

Sadia's face falls. "Janel -"

"Anything else that my 're-training' has missed?"

"I'm sorry, it shouldn't have -" Sadia holds up her hands helplessly. "We - we're so used to working round it."

"So they don't push, ah?"

~

The debriefings are slow and drawn out, and it doesn't help, as Tom waits for Major Hughes to reach him, that Mark is tense and silent beside him.

Diaz and Thomson are the first to leave, subdued, but Diaz nods at Mark, and his tension eases slightly.

"Listen, Tommy -" Mark breaks off as his radio buzzes. "Not a good moment, Riz-" Then he's on his feet, and Tom stands, instinctively. "Shite. No, it's okay, I'll find her."

"What -"

"You're not going to say anything stupid, are you?"

"What? No - why would I -"

"Good." Mark slaps his shoulder. "Stall 'em, wouldya?"

"Mark -"

"Good lad." Mark turns to leave.

"Where are you going?"

"I'm just gonnae find the medic."


Continued in Traitor

Sigh. I'm - underwhelmed by this section. It feels kind of stolid. I hope that's just because I've read it too many times...
 
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Comments

Lots of conflicting realities, here, so many crossing lines that sooner or later the friction is going to catch something afire.

(also, last line of the second section, it's "dissipates")

Julia, sitting with folded hands patiently awaiting the next bit like a good girl.
Ack! You're right! *fixes* See, I've read it too often to actually see it...

I'm tangling them up in plot ;)
I had to read a couple times to figure out everything that's *not* being said, and slotting the things that are said into place between that. I think this is a piece that will make more sense once I can read all the bits together.

This is not intended to imply badness - quite the contrary! I love the fact that you say just as much as you need and don't spend paragraphs hitting us with obvious-sticks. It means I can't just skim through, and that's actually pretty awesome :)
Thanks! For once, leaving things out is intentional (although that's partly because I do always write the bits where people say what they mean, and then have to cut them out because it ends up like Greek theatre, the chorus describing all the action that's happening off-stage);

...of course, now I have to make sure all the bits do fit together in the end...
It really feels like that second when the fuse-light travels into the barrel, just before the boom. And oh, there will be a boom. No one booms quite like a paramedic.

I think the reason it's so insensible is two reasons. One, your main narrator, who's ptsd, has just had her trauma thrown in her face, shoved in a combat medical situation, has to defend her patient, then confronted with a situation that makes no sense to her culturally. Two, the narrative focus is drifting, from Tom to Nate to Janel, twice, to Nate to Janel to Mark - it feels a little jarring and confusing. For post-operation, pre-explosion? Perfect. Compared to the rest of the single-focused narrative? Jarring.

As a lit ABD? A rough edge or two, but not underwhelming at all.
It really feels like that second when the fuse-light travels into the barrel, just before the boom.

That sounds about right ;) Except I'm not sure where the barrel is aimed...
Jeez, I finally got around to read this one. God, I love to see Anna in kick-ass mood. I just hope her team will be there when the infirmary staff descends on her :S

BTW, amount of slash is still tolerable... and I just love your writing too much to let the slash put me off for long ;)