Will The Real Carson Beckett…
Dr Carson Beckett had always had the kind of bedside manner that sat well with his patients. It was, he’d been told, that of an old style country doctor mixed with the professional competence of an experienced medical practitioner. It came naturally to him, wasn’t something he’d ever really noticed. He hadn’t really thought about how things might change once he was no longer really the Carson Beckett these people had known and loved.
“Are you all right, Carson?”
He turned and offered Jennifer Keller an apologetic smile. “I’m fine. Just tired.” The smile he forced onto his lips caused the cut on his cheek to open and he dabbed at it with the wadded-up gauze in his hand.
“I don’t know what came over Sergeant Paulsen,” Keller said softly. She lifted the corner of the gauze and shook her head. “This really could use a suture or two.” Without waiting for him to agree, she grabbed a suture tray then walked over to wash her hands. “Up you go,” she said, pointing at the gurney and waiting till he was seated. “Just some antiseptic,” she murmured, brushing a soaked swab over the wound. “Sorry,” she added as he flinched.
“It’s fine,” Carson said. He stayed still while she infiltrated the cut with local then inserted three stitches with precise and gentle efficiency. “Thank you,” he said as she dressed the wound then allowed him to sit up. “You have a surgeon’s hands.”
She blushed, turned to wrap the detritus neatly into a bundle. “Thanks. You shouldn’t even have a scar.” She faced him again. “Why do you think he hit out at you?”
Carson shrugged. “To some people, I’m not really Carson Beckett, no matter how much I feel like I am.”
“He was shouting that he wanted a *real* doctor to treat him,” Keller said. “I wanted to tell him that, clone or not, he already had the best doctor in two galaxies looking after him.”
“He and the other Beckett were friends, you know?” Carson said. “Joe’s a diabetic and could easily have been shipped back to Earth when he was diagnosed but he wanted to stay on Atlantis and I… he… the other Carson… made that possible. I hope we can be friends again sometime.”
“Give him time. Everyone missed you. It was tough,” Keller said. “I take it you won’t be pressing charges?”
“Goodness, no. That’d be the worst possible way to regain his trust, wouldn’t it? Well, off you go now. It’s my shift tonight.”
“Goodnight, Carson. It’s good to have you back.”
“Goodnight, lass. It’s good to be back.” He meant it too, Carson realized as he went back to his patients. He felt like he was home.