She nearly jogged the short distance from the mess to the infirmary. It took her only a few minutes to find Mac. Her father was sitting up in a bed, brilliant white patches of gauze covering the wounds he'd received. There was an IV was taped to the back of his left hand and Cate noticed a certain level of blur in his eyes. Obviously, Doctor Ainsley had either rendered her father totally unconscious or at least heavily sedated him. Which probably accounted for him still being in the infirmary rather than somewhere else.
Two people stood beside the bed, a young man whose bearing screamed 'military' and a dark haired woman whose stance screeched just the opposite. Both looked a bit rough around the edges, their faces smudged with dirt and grime and the man's shirt had a torn sleeve. They both took a bit of a protective stance, the man's arms tensing and the woman turning a bit to place herself firmly between Cate and Mac.
Their low conversation broke off and Mac looked up, blinking as if to clear his vision "Catherine Susanne MacGregor," he growled. "I had hoped I was damned seeing things."
"Yeah good to see you too, dad," she said, nonplussed by his anger. She'd have been more worried had he been silent. The man beside the bed simply raised his eyebrows and relaxed a bit while the woman cocked her hip and put her hands on her waist. "Someone you know, Mac?" she asked.
"You can bloody well say so," Mac growled. "Except it can't be her because she's supposed to be on Earth." He struggled to sit up in the bed. "What the bloody hell are you doing here!" he demanded, raising his voice with every word.
"My job," Cate said, her ire rising. She wasn't in the mood to be dressed down by him, and even less so with spectators.
"Your job, young lady, is on Earth," he shot back.
"My job is wherever Her Majesty sends me," Cate said, her joy at her father's condition fading by the word. She knew he'd be pissed, but she didn't need this.
"Umm, maybe we should be going," the man said.
"Nonsense, Cameron," the woman said. "This is just getting good."
"Vala," he growled.
"There's no way in hell you were sent here!" Mac yelled at Cate, ignoring the other two. "I made damn sure of that!"
"Oh you did, did ya now?" Cate asked, crossing her arms over her chest. "Got a direct line to her Majesty do ya?"
"Don't you sass me, lass!" he roared. Behind her Cate could hear silence and she could imagine exactly what it looked like as an infirmary full of people got a ringside seat to a fully fledged MacGregor tantrum.
"Don't you talk to me like I'm still a child!" she yelled back. "And don't you give me that crap about Earth being safe, because I can sure as hell tell you that it's not!"
"Umm, maybe both of you should try talking instead of yelling." Cate turned to see Daniel standing a few feet away. He held up his hands. "Sorry, I came to check on the Admiral and couldn't help but overhear." He made a little face. "Of course, I think everyone kinda overheard."
"Brilliant observation there, Jackson," Cameron said.
"You really must give him a break, he's had a bad day, " Vala said, sashaying over to Daniel and twining her arm with his. "And an equally bad night."
"Vala," Daniel groaned, pulling his arm free. "Not now. Admiral, it was nice to meet your daughter and put a face to the name," Daniel said smiling at Mac.
Mac frowned. "I never talked to you about Cate."
"Ouch," Vala quipped, leaning against the bedside table.
"Gee thanks, dad," Cate said, snagging a chair.
"I mean, not beyond…why are you here?" Mac asked again, his tone calmer.
"Ben," Cate said simply.
"Damnit Catherine," Mac groaned.
"Ben?" Cameron asked.
Cate ignored him. "Dad, I'm not going to leave him out here. And you can yell and scream at me all you want, but I'm not going home until I find him."
Mac sighed. "Cate, you have no idea what it's like out here. It's not safe."
"It's also not all bad," Vala said. Everyone turned to look at her. "Ok, so a lot of it can be bad but…there are some not so bad places out there. As a matter of fact, going by my experiences, I've run into more trouble on Earth than off it."
"Yeah, well you're special that way," Cameron quipped. "I think trouble is your middle name."
"Dad, Earth isn't safe," she said. "And you're not going to leave me behind while Mom and Julie and you are out here." She got to her feet. "I'm not going home until I find him. And if you won't let me stay on this ship, I'll just find another."
She spun on her heel and left the room. “Excuse me Admiral I think I'll go talk to her.” Daniel said as he hurried after her. Vala gave a small protest but saw the concerned look on her friend's face and conceded.
“I'll go as well.”
“Good luck.” Mac yelled at the last two retreating backs. Cam recognized a deep worry on the older man's face and placed a firm hand on his shoulder.
“Sir, do you really think this is doing you any good. I mean in theory you should be dead, we all should be. But especially you. And what was that sphere thing around you that saved us? Asgard tech?”
“Later Cam, I'll explain later. Help me up will you, I've got a delinquent to sort out.” He deliberately put Cam off.
At that very moment, just as Cam placed his arm around Mac's back, Steven Caldwell came around the corner with a reddened face. Concern showed on him like a beacon. “Will, Colonel.” He addressed them both. “We've just received a distress call from the Victory.”