If he could get to the Mess Hall, he knew there would be food there. He was so hungry. More than just peckish or needing a snack, this was bone-gnawing hunger. He pressed a fist to his stomach, bending double as another pang hit him. Everything was fuzzy, he was dizzy and had to use the wall for support as he made his way along. Once he had eaten, he would feel better, he was sure of it.
He wished the lights would stop blinking so erratically, it was making it hard to concentrate on walking. He covered his eyes with the hand that wasn’t pressed to the wall for support. It made the going slower, but it stopped the pain from the lights. He really needed to eat something.
“Stop right there!”
“What are you doing past the zone?”
People started shouting at him all at once. He dropped his hand from his eyes and spun towards them, annoyed that they were keeping him from a meal.
“Shoot him, Sils!”
“I’m not shooting him, that’s Doctor Parrish!”
Shoot him? David put his hands up, but another pain hit him and he hunched over, moaning with it.
“He’s infected, dammit, shoot him.”
“I’m not shooting him, he isn’t trying to attack anyone.”
“Hold your fire! Hold your fire, damn it! I will personally shoot anyone that discharges a weapon!”
“Major Lorne, the Colonel said...”
“I know what the Colonel said. Just wait a minute. David? David can you understand me?”
Evan? He looked up, squinting into the bright lights that shone from the P-90s pointed in his direction. “Evan?” He saw a shadowy figure moving slowly towards him.
“Yeah, David, it’s me.”
“I’m so hungry.”
“I know. Listen to me, this is so very, very important. Did you eat? Have you eaten anything?”
David clutched his stomach and hunched over. “No. So hungry. Mess Hall.”
“He’s still Stage One! Stand down!” Evan shouted. “Someone get me a syringe!”
Stage One? What was going on? He squinted, trying to see, but the light hurt. “Evan?”
“Okay, David. Listen to me. You’re sick. I’m not sure how you slipped past the quarantine, but you’re infected and we need to get some medicine into you. Look at me, David.” Evan moved closer, and his voice was quiet and soothing as he said, “I’m going to give you a shot. Don’t bite me, okay, sweetheart? Please don’t bite me.”
Stackhouse came over and handed Lorne a syringe, David recognized his teammate’s voice. “Major, this is a bad idea, we don’t know how long ago he was infected.”
“Sir, if he bites you, the shot won’t work on you,” someone called from the group of soldiers standing in the corridor.
“So hungry,” he whimpered.
“He’s not going to bite me. Are you David?” Evan said loudly, then he whispered in a rush, “Please don’t bite me baby, not now, I don’t want them to shoot you, please, just let the medicine work. I love you.” He felt a jab as Evan pressed the syringe into his arm. Whatever was in it burned. He cried out at the pain and fell to his knees as his middle cramped again.
“Don’t shoot, he just fell!” Evan called.
A familiar, cool hand pressed against his forehead. “You’re going to be fine David, you have to be. We’re going to get you to the infirmary. Stacks, help me carry him.”
“Don’t you go biting me, Doctor Parrish, I will shoot you, teammate or no teammate,” Stackhouse said as he helped Evan to lift him from the floor.
“Evan,” he whimpered. He felt sick. Before he had just felt hungry, but now he felt sick. He tried to walk between Evan and Stackhouse, but his legs wouldn’t hold him up anymore. He closed his eyes against the painful light. He thought he heard Evan calling his name, but he sounded so far away. It was just too much, he stopped fighting.
“You’re awake?” Evan whispered, sitting up from the floor beside him. He looked horrible, he had not shaved in days and he had dark bruises under his eyes.
David reached over and brushed at his cheek and Evan caught his hand. “What happened?”
“They’re calling it ZX, short for Zombie Extreme, some wise guy at the SGC named it. The Daedalus brought it in from Earth. You were so friggin’ lucky David. I don’t know how you made it out of the containment area. If you had attacked anyone, if you had ingested human blood or tissue, the enzymes would have... they would have killed you, baby.”
“Are you telling me I was a zombie?”
Evan squeezed his hand. “No. You had the ZX disease though. We got the antidote into you in time.”
“I was hungry.”
“Yeah, it drives people mad with hunger. We had a bloodbath down in Engineering. Half the crew of the Daedalus is dead. When I saw you in the corridor, I think my heart stopped. I thought you were safe in the greenhouse with Katie and the others.”
There were soldiers walking up and down the aisle with weapons held ready. “Is it over?”
“There have been a few people that didn’t respond to the antidote that relapsed, but for the most part, yeah, everything is under control now.”
Noting that his boyfriend looked utterly exhausted, David pushed at Evan’s shoulder. “You need to sleep. Go home.”
“Home is in the quarantine zone. I’ve been bunking here on the floor. Stacks is sleeping on the other side of you.”
David peeked over the other side of the cot, sure enough, his teammate was there. He looked back at Evan and pushed his shoulder again, this time, urging him down. “Sleep. I promise not to eat anything or anyone until you wake up.”
“I’m a funny guy. Thanks for not letting them shoot me.”
“You remember that?”
“Every bit. I love you too,” he whispered, just loudly enough for Evan to hear him down on the floor.