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Posted September 17, 2008
Series: Eureka Moments
Title: Stages of Recovery
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: Fargo lifted a hand to wave as Carter walked out, then shook his head, feeling strangely comforted. 800 words.
Spoilers: Eureka post-3.5 "Show Me the Mummy"
Notes: Refers to past canon character death.
"Hey, Fargo, you awake?"
Doug cracked an eye open and squinted over at the doorway. He'd had a lot of visitors the last couple of days, some of them friendlier than others; fortunately, this time it was Sheriff Carter, not Zane there to tease him about the mummy curse again. He stretched a little, squirming to get more comfortable on the hospital bed, and turned toward his guest. "Hmm, yeah. Just resting my eyes; I'm pretty much napped out. There's not much to do in here, and Dr. Blake says I can't even have someone bring me a laptop until tomorrow."
Carter grimaced sympathetically, approaching the bed. "At the boredom stage of recovery, huh?"
"Yeah." Doug sighed. "I was in the middle of half a dozen projects when I got infected, and who knows what's happened to them while I've been in here." Or how many had been cancelled; he hadn't missed how Thorne had been favoring Zane lately, and he'd really been feeling the pressure to produce results.
Especially after the massive failure of the hugely expensive atomic clock, one of the projects Thorne had really been counting on to boost G.D.'s profile. Doug knew, now, that Dr. Stark was okay-- the glimpse he'd seen of him in his delirium, surrounded by bright light, had settled most of Doug's nagging worries about what had happened to his mentor when their makeshift device had ripped him out of Eureka's timestream-- but the loss still felt raw, and colored Doug's perspective of the entire situation.
"Well, I wouldn't count on going back to work full-time just yet," the sheriff continued. "You came pretty close to getting eaten alive, you know? I'm sure Henry will look after things for you."
"I know." Doug shuddered. "Dr. Blake showed me the security feed from the autopsy tent; it was one of the grossest things I think I've ever seen." All those bugs exploding out of Dr. Marx's body-- that could easily have been him. Would have been, if the surviving members of Global's dream team hadn't figured out how to stop the infection in time.
"I'm glad I missed that part of it," Carter agreed. "I saw the swarm, though; you heard about that, right?" He lifted a hand, waving a clear CD case; the disc inside had some kind of home-printed label on it.
Doug grinned a little, remembering Vincent's complaints earlier that day. Café Diem had been reduced to operating from a sadly limited menu thanks to the sheriff's use of the spacious refrigerator as an impromptu extermination device. "Something about you luring them across town with music?"
Carter chuckled. "Yeah, I didn't see that coming. All these years I've been complaining about my sister's crazy hobbies, and one of them ends up saving the town. She's never going to let me forget it, either."
Doug could believe that; the woman had been a little scary when he'd talked to her. Attractive, but scary. "So-- you want me to analyze the music, or something?" He nodded at the CD, which Carter had begun tapping absently against his other hand. "Dr. Wilding told me he's started searching through known hieroglyphic texts looking for any other previously unexplained reference to that swarm-symbol; sooner or later, someone else might dig up the wrong tomb and need to know exactly which harmonics the insects are attracted to."
The sheriff raised his eyebrows at him, then stared down at the plastic case. "Uh, no, actually; though that's probably a good idea." He reached out to hand the CD over with a sheepish grin. "Lexi asked me to bring it by as a get-well present; she said she thought you were a sweet kid, and probably needed to re-center yourself after everything. Since that's what she composed it for in the first place..." He shrugged.
Doug took the CD hesitantly, blushing at the sheriff's words. Sweet? Seriously? He hoped Jo had been around to hear her say that. "Uh, thanks-- I think?"
Carter's grin brightened. "Tell her, not me. After you've listened to it."
Voices picked up in the hall, and the sheriff glanced quickly over his shoulder; then nodded to Doug again. "Feel better soon, okay, Fargo? I haven't had to threaten to kill you in weeks; I'm actually starting to miss it."
Doug lifted a hand to wave as Carter walked out, then shook his head, feeling strangely comforted by the teasing. The sheriff had been practically treating him with kid gloves the last couple of weeks, and it had gotten worse when he'd been sick; maybe he'd been trying to reassure him, or something, but Doug had found it more creepy than anything.
Maybe things weren't back to normal yet, but they were getting there. One day-- and one Global Dynamics disaster-- at a time.
© 2008 Jedi Buttercup.