Life Support by PuddleJ [NC-17]
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Summary: Dr Tamsin Lucas is used to standing on her own two feet. Sent to Atlantis on a routine rotation, she discovers that sometimes it's ok to let people in. But when the life of a friend hangs in the balance, is it worth the risk?

Categories: Ship Pairings > Beckett/Other
Characters: Carson Beckett, Jennifer Keller, John Sheppard, Major Lorne, Original Character, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan
Genres: Angst, Friendship, Hurt Comfort, Romance
Warnings: Adult themes
Chapters: 18 [Table of Contents]
Series: None

Word count: 70359; Completed: No
Updated: 15 Dec 2016; Published: 24 Nov 2015

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Author's Chapter Notes:
Don't own it, no profit, yada yada.

Tamsin is mine, as are the other OCs.

Tamsin Lucas sighed, rolled her shoulders and looked up from the silver laptop wedged onto the desk in front of her. Standing up from the chair, she took the few steps to the cabin's tiny window. The blue and white streaks of hyperspace, barely changed for the fifteen days, still glowed outside. Idly, she wondered why spaceships had windows in living quarters anyway. Possibly, it was something to do with trying to distract the occupants from the fact that they were sealed in a metal box, travelling at incomprehensible speeds in a complete vacuum.

Get a grip, Lucas, she told herself. Three more days and you're on solid ground. Well, metaphorically speaking. Atlantis is a metal city, floating on an ocean planet in a distant galaxy. Not to mention life-sucking enemies, killer diseases and general peril.

"Mess hall, I think," she announced to the grey walls. It was definitely time for a caffeine fix.

Eighteen days was a long time to spend cooped up with little to do beyond reading and sleeping. Even on a ship as large as the Daedalus, there were only so many times a passenger could walk around it before they started getting under the crew's feet. It was silly, but part of Tamsin wished she was important enough to have gone through the Stargate. Getting ideas above your station, again, girl, her grandmother's voice echoed in her mind. She smirked to herself at the memory. She had to be discrete, though – it wouldn't do for anyone to see a medical doctor looking like she was hearing voices or was in anything less than peak mental health.

Waving a greeting to two fellow passengers, Tamsin grabbed a cup and poured out some of the dark brown liquid that was trying and failing miserably to pass for coffee. This far into the journey, supplies were running low. Ship rumour had it that if there were scientists aboard, the good stuff ran out even quicker. Tamsin really preferred tea, anyway. She'd brought a large stash of her favourite brand from Earth, but she'd have to ration it when she made it to Atlantis. Maybe I can befriend a fellow Brit and beg space in care packages, she mused.

Coffee in one hand, laptop in the other, she turned away from the table, promptly collided with a solid body that had materialised unnoticed to her left. The impact sent mug, hot liquid and computer flying.

"I'm so sorry..." she began.

"It's fine, it's just coffee. But you really need to work on your aim if you were trying to hit me." American, amused and if the voice was anything to go by, attractive too. She risked a glance at the speaker and groaned inwardly. Yep, definitely attractive. Tall, dark messy hair with a few strands of silver, hazel eyes and dressed in black military shirt and pants.

"Colonel John Sheppard," he grinned and stuck out his hand.

"Tamsin Lucas," she squeaked. She managed to shake the proffered hand, collect the laptop from the floor and scuttle out of the mess hall, more or less in one movement.


"Scientists." Dr Rodney McKay rolled his eyes and pulled a face at the coffee pot. "Where're they keeping the good stuff now? On the bridge? Under Caldwell's seat?"

"If they've got any sense, it's under lock and key. The last time you were here you drank the lot and nearly caused a mutiny," Sheppard replied, fixing his own coffee.

"Oh, I'd completely forgotten about that," McKay had the grace to look slightly sheepish at the memory. "But now I recall, I was about to save the entire ship from imminent destruction, so the least they could do was share the coffee." He'd gone from sheepish to smug in the space of ten seconds.

The two men walked over to a corner table. Sheppard couldn't help thinking he recognised the name the woman had given, but he couldn't remember where from.

"McKay, do you know who that was?"

"Who? Do I look like head of Human Resources?"

"The woman I just bumped into."

McKay shrugged, wincing as he took a sip from his mug. "God, that is foul. Do you think it's poisoned? Ten years of dodging wraith, homicidal natives and killer diseases and I'm going to die of coffee poisoning."

"S'okay, I'll shoot you before you start convulsing. Or Ronon will."

"Oh, thank you for your sympathy, I feel so much better."

Sheppard flashed his trademark smirk. "Anytime. Anyway, the woman – who is she?"

"How would I know? Just some grunt I guess."

"Rodney, be nice. She's probably on your team."

"She won't be for long if she does that to me. Mind you, she might be in Zelenka's department. That I would like to see!" Chuckling to himself at the thought of a coffee-drenched Zelenka, Rodney began to regale John with a list of his minion's latest mess-ups.

I really need to read those personnel files, Sheppard grimaced, thinking of the tower of paperwork waiting on his desk back in Atlantis. Maybe that's why the name is familiar. Trying to put thoughts of clumsy scientists out of his mind, John focussed his attention on McKay, who had already moved on to another topic.


Sunlight streamed through stained glass windows, painting the corridors of Atlantis in a myriad of colours. The SGC hadn't provided any images of the city in the briefing notes Tamsin had read and she was feeling a little overwhelmed by its' sheer scale and design as she made her way from her newly assigned quarters to the Infirmary. She'd arrived a few hours earlier and having attended the mandatory new personnel orientation briefings, she was keen to get started on her new post.

The familiar antiseptic smell greeted her as she approached the doors and entered the Infirmary. It looked much like any other well-equipped medical facility and it felt so much like coming home Tamsin had to remind herself that she was in another galaxy.

"Excuse me, where will I find Dr. Keller, please?" she asked a passing nurse.

"She should be in her office, it's just over there." The dark-haired nurse pointed towards the back of the room.

"Thank you ..."

"Marie," the nurse supplied.

"Thank you, Marie." Tamsin smiled and headed in the direction Marie had indicated. One of the first things she'd learnt on her first hospital placement was to be nice to the nurses – because they could make a junior doctor's life very difficult if you upset them.

Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door of the office.

"Come in." Rising from the swivel chair, with some difficulty due to her pregnancy bump, Dr. Jennifer Keller warmly greeted her new colleague.

"Dr. Lucas, it's good to meet you in person at last. I'm sorry your interview had to be over the video-link."

"Well, these things happen," Tamsin agreed, shaking Keller's hand.

They sure do, especially around here. I'm surprised to see you here today, though; I thought you only arrived this morning?"

"I did, but I'm ready to start if you need me."

"You're certainly keen," Keller glanced at Tamsin, who was in full uniform. "But we'll be fine until tomorrow."

"You're sure I can't help at all?" Tamsin had really hoped she could just throw herself into her work; she was used to hitting the ground running.

Keller shook her head. "No, take the time to get to know the city a bit, you'll appreciate it later. We're not busy at the moment, but believe me, sometimes it's all hands on deck. We'll need you then." She paused, smiling. "I'll see you bright and early at seven am."

"Tomorrow at seven, then." Tamsin replied.


Tamsin woke the next morning, surprised at how well she'd slept. She couldn't remember the last time she'd managed to sleep more than a few hours a night. She put it down to the ocean air and the evening run that she'd taken shortly before bed. It had felt good to breathe fresh air instead of the recycled atmosphere of the Daedalus.

She showered and dressed quickly, then struck out for the mess hall. She didn't recognise any of the other personnel when she arrived, so she picked a few breakfast items and took her tray out to the balcony.

She'd decided to take Keller's advice and made the most of the time she had for breakfast – she knew it could be a rare thing once she got going. There was always one more patient, one more injury – a doctor's work was never done and it was hard to hand over to someone else, even until your next shift. Checking her watch, she saw it was time she was on her way to her first shift.