The Fine Art of Modern Medicine

Rodney glared at his finger. It wasn't bad enough he'd sliced his finger on a piece of paper, but the cut was exactly in the spot where he hit the keys when he typed. It had stopped bleeding at least -- after applying the modern medical technique of sucking on it. But he apparently needed a bandage, before he could get any work done.

A quick search of the lab turned up four empty boxes. Whoever had used the last one and not replaced the stash was going to regret it, Rodney told himself. Cruel to not even throw the boxes away, making a person think there were bandaids to be had when there were none.

With a sigh at the inevitable loss of work getting done, Rodney left the lab and headed down to the dispensary. Maybe they'd let him get a couple extra boxes this time without going through the lecture about rationing supplies and letting non-medically-trained scientists bandage their own wounds.

He found Nurse Hamilton at the dispensary desk, sitting in front of the large storage room where the regular medical supplies were kept. All the important stuff was kept in another room, under lock, key, and tight surveillance.

Rodney gave Hamilton a brief smile as she looked up. As she opened her mouth, though, she looked past Rodney. From behind, he heard, "Hello, Rodney. What seems to be the problem?"

Turning, Rodney held up his finger. "Papercut."

Carson gave Rodney's finger a serious look. Rodney started to tell Hamilton he needed bandaids, when Carson took hold of his finger and gave it a professionally-medical frown.

"I didn't actually--" Rodney began. He stopped as Carson placed a kiss on his finger.

Rodney blinked. Carson was still holding his hand and looking at him now with a wide smile. "Better?"

"Um... I... Yes." Rodney waited until Carson let go of his hand, then he let his hand fall back to his side, and blinked more. He turned to Hamilton and said, "We need bandaids in the lab."

She glanced at Carson before nodding and going into the storage room. Carson, however, said, "You're not even bleeding."

"I can't type," Rodney said, holding up his finger again to show Carson the location of the sliced skin.

And again Carson took hold of his hand, and gazed seriously at his finger. For a moment, Rodney half-expected Carson to say something long and Latin sounding, to describe the nature of his injury.

Instead, Carson held out his hand as Nurse Hamilton returned, and took one of the boxes of bandaids. Rodney waited, holding his hand out, as Carson removed a bandaid and very carefully put it on Rodney's finger.

"There," Carson said, when the bandaid was in place. "All better."

Rodney frowned. "I'm pretty sure I also get candy."

There was a stifled noise from Hamilton, and Carson just grinned. "You're absolutely right. You were very good, and didn't cry at all."

Rodney kept holding his finger up. "I want my candy," he repeated.

"Come on, then," Carson said, and he took Rodney by the hand and led him away. Rodney went willingly as Carson led him to Carson's office. He had a brief moment to hope that his candy was going to be something not appropriate for those under eighteen.

But Carson let go of his hand and walked around to his desk. He pulled open a drawer and pulled out a small jar.

"You really have candy?" Rodney leapt forward, trying to peer over the edge of the desk, into the top of the jar.

Carson pulled out a small wrapped piece of red candy. Rodney held out his hand immediately, and Carson dropped it into his palm.

"You have candy! You really--" He stopped, and unwrapped it. He thought for a moment about saving it, then he popped it into his mouth.

Carson leaned back in his chair and smiled at him -- laughing, really. Rodney didn't care. The candy was one of those strawberry things with the soft stuff inside a hard candy shell. Not his favorite, but -- it had been months since he'd had real candy.

He sucked on it for a moment, then carefully tried crunching it. Not ready, yet. He went back to sucking. He probably should get back to the lab, as well. "Thank oo," he said, the candy rolling across his tongue.

"Go on," Carson said, shooing him out. Rodney started to go, then he stopped and turned back around.

He held up his finger, and said, "Ow."

With an indulgent smile, Carson walked over and held his hand. Gave his finger another kiss. "Better?"

"Almost."

Carson's smile widened, and he leaned forward -- gave Rodney a third kiss, gently brushing his lips.

"Now I'm better," Rodney said. And with that, he took his boxes of bandaids and headed back to the lab.

Where, unfortunately, Radek found out that Rodney had candy.