|Left Behind II
Author: MacGateFan PM
Timeline fic for Left Behind I. What happened from the day John lost his friends until they day they returned?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Words: 9,263 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-07-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3933120
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Left Behind II
Disclaimers: Unfortunately they don't belong to me.
Author's Note: This fic is a sort of time line for Left Behind. You can read the fics in either order but this one technically takes place before the first one I wrote.
John sighed as he dropped to the balcony floor, leaning his back against the wall. The SGC had finally given the order for him to stop looking for his friends. He did not relish having to tell Jeannie that her brother was dead. Especially after the siblings had finally begun speaking again.
He shivered as the cold air blew, but he didn't move. He figured he could live with the cold. He deserved it since he didn't protect his friends. His family. Why did he have to be the one to survive?
"John." He looked up to see Elizabeth. "Are you ready to go to New Athos?" she asked.
John nodded slowly and accepted Elizabeth's hand. "I'm ready as I'll ever be," he told her.
Carson met the pair in the Gateroom. "Colonel, Elizabeth," he said.
"Hello, Carson," Elizabeth responded. She glanced over at John, who had not replied, and silently shook her head. Carson understood. John was not in the mood to speak. Not that he blamed the man. They had lost some great friends, his family. Carson could feel a great hole in his heart well.
The 'Gate sprang to live and Carson and Elizabeth followed John through to New Athos. Halling greeted them, but immediately knew something was wrong by the expression on John's face. "Please, come with me," he said.
Once in the small hut, John told Halling what happened to Teyla and the others while on that fateful planet. "I am so sorry, Halling. I couldn't save her."
"There is no need to apologize, Sheppard," he replied, placing a hand on John's shoulder. "Teyla would not blame you for what happened. She would be deeply thrilled to know you are still alive. That you are still here to help in the fight against the Wraith. Remember that."
"He's right, Colonel," Carson added. "Now true, Rodney would yell at you until he was blue in the face, but he is no doubt grateful you were able to survive."
John wasn't so certain and excused himself from the hut. "He is in deep pain," Halling said. "I have felt that once before as well. The pain of being the only one to remain."
Elizabeth sighed. "Survivor's guilt."
"Yeah," he replied. "I'm sure. Thanks, though."
She smiled, giving him a hug as the 'Gate activated. "Take care."
"I will. See you soon."
Two hours after arriving on Earth, John was heading over to Jeannie's home. He couldn't believe he had to tell her Rodney was gone. Well, MIA to him, but to the IOA Rodney was dead.
John took a deep breath as he got out of the car, telling the driver to pick him up in an hour. He didn't want to over stay his welcome. He glanced down at small box in his hand. Rodney had picked it up on a trading planet and planned to give it to Madison for her upcoming birthday (with the approval of the SGC, of course).
He slowly made his way up the walk and was about to knock on the door when it opened. Jeannie was standing there, a look of horror on her face. "I just had this feeling, you know?" she said, taking his hand. "Come in, John."
Madison looked up her coloring book. "Who's that Mommy?"
"This is Uncle Mere's friend, John."
"Hi," she said shyly, and then noticed the box in his hand. "Is that for me?"
John smiled and knelt down in front of the little girl. "This is from Uncle Mere. He's on an important trip and couldn't come to give it to you so he asked me to."
"Thanks!" she replied.
Once she was in her own world, reveling in the gift from her uncle, John walked back over to Jeannie. The pair moved away from the young girl as John began to explain what happened.
John's heart was beating wildly beneath his chest. Surely Jeannie was going to kick him out at any moment. After all, it was his fault her brother was missing, possibly dead. Imagine his surprise when she gave him a hug.
"Jeannie?" he asked after a few moments.
"It's not your fault, John. I know Meredith wouldn't blame you so you have to stop as well! There was no way you could have predicted what was going to happen. If anyone is to blame, it's those horrible people on that planet."
John nodded slowly. "I know."
"I don't know, Sir, they weren't here when I left."
The gate opened as everyone peered into the car to see who was in it. John decided he wasn't all that anxious to get his face plastered all over televisions and newspapers so he ducked down below the window.
Chaos seemed to have erupted within the walls of the SGC. John finally reached level 28 and saw Cameron Mitchell talking to Teal'c. "What's going on?" he asked.
"We've come out of the closet," Cam replied.
"Major security breech. General Landry seems to think it was someone in The Trust. It's an ongoing investigation, of course, but I doubt we'll ever find out who. The President and other world leaders are getting ready to go on the air to officially let everyone know about the Stargate Program."
John shook his head. "Damn, you visit Earth for a day and all hell breaks lose."
"Well, better than the planet being blown up, I suppose," Cam said. "How the President's gonna break it to the world, that's another story."
"Colonel Sheppard." John turned to see General Landry heading over. "I'm sure you're interested to see how this plays out, but Dr. Weir is requesting you back in Atlantis. Another team has gone missing."
John nodded slowly. "Whose team, Sir?"
"Major Lorne's. You leave in 20 minutes, Colonel."
John arrived back in the Gateroom 18 minutes later. He took a breath as the 'Gate began to dial. He couldn't believe this was happening. Another team, another group of good people was missing. And this time, no matter what the SGC or IOA said, he was going to find them!
Elizabeth paced back and forth as she waited for John and his new team to return, hopefully with Major Lorne's team. She hated not knowing. She hated that she may very well lose more people. Elizabeth knew the risks when she took the position as leader of Atlantis, but that didn't mean she had to like it.
"Unscheduled off-world activation!" Chuck exclaimed. She waited as calmly as possible for his confirmation. "It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC."
"Open the shield."
Elizabeth went down to greet the teams and was relieved to see them all in one piece, more or less. She noticed some cuts and bruising. "Welcome back."
"It's good to be back, Ma'am," Major Lorne responded.
Before Elizabeth could respond, John crumbled to the ground. "I need a medical team up here now!" she exclaimed, kneeling next to him. She saw blood seeping from a large jagged gash near his left eye. A nasty bluish-purple bruise had formed around it.
"John," she said. He moaned, opening his eyes slowly. "Hey, you still in there?"
"Elizabeth? Damn, what the hell did I get clobbered with?"
"You don't remember?" Elizabeth asked.
John shook his head, immediately regretting it. "No. Don't remember much of anything. Are Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon all right?"
Carson stopped a few feet from his disoriented patient. He composed himself and moved to check on John. "Colonel, can you tell me what day it is?"
"Tuesday, August 14th, 2007."
"Let's get him down to the infirmary for a scan now," he said. "Colonel, it seems that you've lost a few months."
"A few months??" John asked in confusion.
"Aye, Lad. Now come on. We'll go to the infirmary and check the extent of your injuries."
Once John had been wheeled away on a gurney, he looked over at Elizabeth. She was still sitting on the floor and looked quite pale. Carson placed a hand on her shoulder and she looked up at him. "God, Carson, how are we going to break the news to him?"
"We'll figure something out, Love. Why don't you come down with me?"
A nurse came over to clean the cut on his forehead so he decided to ask her. "Have you heard anything regarding the rest of my team?"
"I'm afraid not, Colonel," she responded. "I don't believe anyone has heard from them in quite some time. Three months, maybe?"
John's heart skipped a beat. No wonder Carson and Elizabeth had been so quiet. They must have been trying to figure out a way to tell him that his friends were gone.
"Um... I gotta use the rest room."
The nurse nodded, handing John a urinal and closing the curtain around him. John stared at it. He really didn't need to go, just wanted a minute to himself.
"Yeah, Doc," he replied, pulling the curtain back.
"I'm sorry you had to find out the way you did," Carson said. "It wasn't our intention to keep it from you."
"It's all right, Doc. So how bad was this knock on the head? Will I be all right?"
Carson nodded. "Aye. You have a concussion, but it's not severe. I'd like to keep you over night for observation, though.
"If you have to," John replied with a sigh.
Carson patted John on the shoulder. "You'll be out before you know it. Try to get some rest, ok?"
"I will, Doc."
John drifted off to sleep, and in his dreams, remembered what he had forgotten. When he woke up again, Elizabeth was sitting on a chair next to him, reading a file. She looked up when she felt his eyes on her.
"Hey. How are you feeling?"
"Much better, thanks. I'm also in the right timeline, although I'd rather not be."
She nodded in understanding. "I know, John."
Elizabeth raced up to the control room when Chuck announced the incoming travelers. "It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC, Ma'am."
"Open the shield," she replied, heading for the stairs. She was happy to note that the entire off world team had returned alive and well. In fact, it'd been awhile since she'd seen the happy expressions on any of their faces. "John?" she asked.
"Do you remember those four alien races Dr. Jackson always talks about?"
"He's going to be completely jealous because we finally met the Furlings."
Elizabeth was stunned to say the least. "Let's debrief right now."
John explained that the moment they arrived on the planet, the Furlings, who are human by most accounts except that they have a light green skin tone, greeted them warmly. They were happy to finally meet the Earthlings they had heard so much about.
"If they were so excited," Elizabeth said, "then why didn't they come to us?"
"They would have, but their laws forbade them to until the year of the... Preshaw, I think it was?"
Laura Cadman nodded. "That's right, Colonel. The year of the Preshaw occurs once every 15,000 years unless we approached them first. According to their laws, which were written when they began their alliance with the Ancients, they had to wait until that time was gone since the Ancients would not be able to help once they were ascended."
"I guess inadvertently the Ancients are helping. What can the Furlings offer? Will they be able to help us defeat the Wraith?"
"It was set in motion the moment we stepped foot on the planet," John replied. "By the end of next year, the Wraith will be gone. I don't really know the all the details yet, they asked me to return and request a meeting with our world leaders. Not just you, they want to meet the leaders of Earth as well. That's when everything will be revealed to us."
Elizabeth smiled. "That's fantastic. I'll have check dial Earth immediately. Everyone else can take some time and rest, you deserve it!"
"Thank you, Dr. Weir," Cadman replied.
As the team filed out, John remained behind. He had been quite once everyone began moving around and Elizabeth looked at him to find he was staring at her. "John?"
"You heard me."
She walked over and rested her hands on the table. "If you were going to ask me to marry you, couldn't you have done so in a more romantic way? I mean, how long have we officially been together now?"
"Three months, but it seems longer," he replied. He stood to mirror her actions. "I did have a romantic idea planned. It'd be dark with the moon shining right over our favorite balcony. You'd be standing there in that cute little piece of lingerie that I love and I'd..."
Elizabeth giggled. "I'm sure you'd love to see that, but there's no way in hell I'd walk through the city wearing nothing but lingerie just to get to that balcony, John Sheppard."
"What about to get to this?" he asked, holding a small velvet box.
She accepted it and opened it slowly. Inside rested the most gorgeous ring she had ever seen; the diamond tinted a light blue. "Oh my God, John, it's beautiful!"
"It was my Mom's. The only thing of hers I have. So, I ask you again, Elizabeth Weir, will you marry me?"
Elizabeth wiped away the tear that fell from her eye and nodded. "Yes, John Sheppard, I'll marry you!"
John grinned and shouted. "She said yes!"
"John!" she said, slapping him playfully on his arm as everyone in the control room cheered happily. "Heh, sorry," he replied. "Let me put that on for you."
Elizabeth was grinning and before she knew it, John was planting a very passionate kiss on her lips. She almost didn't want to break away but then she heard Chuck clearing his throat.
"Um, sorry to interrupt, Dr. Weir, Colonel, but we have a connection to Earth"
Elizabeth now knew what her Mother must have felt like. Still she wouldn't have traded it for the world. Well, maybe something to help her off the bed. She had no idea what her child was made of, but she could not even sit up on her own. She turned to her left to see John happily snoring away.
She pretended to elbow him accidentally (on purpose). "Oh, honey, I'm sorry!" she exclaimed as he woke up with a shot. He was up and rushing around the room before she could say anything else.
"Is it time? It's time! Infirmary. Where's my radio? Elizabeth, why aren't you moving?"
"Calm down, John, it's not time for the baby to come, but my bladder is about to explode."
He rushed to her side and helped her up. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"I'm fine," she replied. "I just have to go to the bathroom and then we can get dressed and head up to see Carson for, what I hope to be, my final check up."
John smiled, kissing her on the lips. "I love you."
"I love you too; now move out of my way."
Twenty minutes later the pair was in the infirmary. "Well, everything looks in order and it seems as though your baby is about ready to join the world."
John looked down. "Is that the outline of his head?"
"Carson said the baby is a girl," Elizabeth said.
"I still say boy," John replied. "I mean, did you see..."
Carson shook his head. "Graham, Annabel, you both know not to come down here without your Mother."
"She's coming," Graham replied.
"Sorry, Carson, but they're faster than me it seems."
"It's all right, Laura," Carson said, giving his wife a kiss.
John leaned against Elizabeth's bed. "Maybe I should set up a more rigorous work out session for you, Lieutenant."
"Yeah, Mommy!" Annabel squealed. "Uncle John is really good and teaching us how to exercise. You should try it some time."
Before Laura could respond, Elizabeth gave out a cry. John immediately took her hand. "You okay?"
"I think this is it."
John stared at himself in the mirror, glancing up at the reflection of Elizabeth and baby Rodney when they appeared behind him. "I hate dress uniforms."
"I know you do," she replied, "but the President insists. You can get changed after you receive your promotion."
John smiled and turned to wrap them both in his arms. "At least he doesn't look like Rodney."
Elizabeth could tell that smile was forced. "I know how much you miss them. I do too, but I really doubt the President is going to allow you to re-open the search for them?"
"I know, but it couldn't hurt to ask," John said, kissing her softly.
"Maybe not physically, John."
"General O'Neill, welcome back to Atlantis."
"Thank you, General Sheppard," he replied, shaking John's hand. "Of course, you know SG-1."
John nodded with a smile. "It's good to have you all here. We appreciate any help you can provide us."
"It's not a problem," Cameron said.
"Well, if you're ready, the Furling delegation just arrived and we're set up in the mess hall."
"Let's go," Jack replied.
As they headed down the halls of Atlantis, Sam walked in step with John while the others followed. "How are you holding up?" she asked.
"Some days are better than others," he told her. "I sometimes think I hear Rodney's voice filter through the radio asking me to go down to the lab to test some Ancient device... Sorry."
John waved his hand to open the transporter doors. He and Sam went ahead as they were too small for more than two people. "I should probably be over this by now, shouldn't I?"
Sam shook her head. "No. That is not something you can just get over. They were your friends, they were your family. You have every right to mourn them, John."
They arrived at the mess hall before John could reply to that. The only thing about meeting with their allies that made him upset was the fact that his friends weren't there to share this moment with them.
John took a deep breath and entered the room. Elizabeth was talking to Nihara, lead delegate for the Furlings. She smiled when she saw John and waved him over. "Nihara, you remember General John Sheppard, military commander of Atlantis."
Nihara smiled, nodding at John. "It is good to see you again, General."
"You as well, but please, call me John."
Elizabeth sat back in her chair. "Do you think this is really going to work, John?"
"If everything goes according to plan it should," he said, standing behind her.
Elizabeth sighed as her husband began massaging her back. "Yes, but when do things ever go as planned around here."
"Don't spoil the moment."
"But John!" Elizabeth stood up quickly, startling him. "If this doesn't work we're going to have some angry Wraith on our hands!"
John knew that was true, but they would be crazy not to let the Furlings help with their many weapons and the fact that their species encompasses half the Pegasus Galaxy. He had wondered why they never met any over the last few years. Nihara told him it was because it wasn't their time to be found. Apparently the Furlings as have a way to cloud the mind. Reminded him of the Shadow or the Nox Dr. Jackson was always talking about.
"Come here," he said, pulling her into his arms. "We'll be fine. It always works out in the end."
"May I have your attention, please. According to Furling Intelligence, most of the Wraith have been defeated. Congratulations to all on a job well done. However, we did not come through this unscathed. A memorial service will be held tomorrow evening for all those we have lost."
Elizabeth sighed as she ended her speech. She still couldn't believe they had accomplished their goal in such a short amount of time. "Chuck, I'll be in the mess hall checking on the preparations for tomorrow."
She arrived to find her husband and son playing. Elizabeth was not happy given the ball they were kicking an the many stained glass windows in the room.
"Again Daddy! Again!"
"Mommy's not gonna like that we're doing this, Rodney."
"She not here."
Elizabeth watched the pair in amusement, turning when Carson spoke up. "They've been playing soccer in here. I've had to protect the windows about five times. John said it was Rodney's idea, but I believe he may be stretching the truth."
Rodney looked up when he heard Carson talking to someone. He giggled as John set up to kick the ball. "No, Daddy! We get in trouble."
"It was your idea," John replied, kicking the ball. It went sailing over his son's head, bounced off the wall and headed straight towards Elizabeth.
Carson jumped in front of her and was knocked the floor. "John Sheppard!" she exclaimed. It was a little difficult to bend when you were five months pregnant. "Get over here!"
"I'm all right," Carson replied, sitting up.
"I'm sorry, Carson."
"Don't worry about it, John. I'm just going to have a bruised nose. I'm just glad you didn't knock your wife down."
John nodded as he glanced up at Elizabeth. She looked utterly pissed off at him. Before he could say anything, Rodney spoke up. "I sorry, Mommy. I sorry, Uncle Carson."
Carson ruffled the boy's hair. "It's fine, Laddie."
"Carson, why don't you take Rodney with you to the infirmary?" Elizabeth suggested. Once the pair was gone, Elizabeth crossed her arms.
"So... how 'bout them... Furlings?"
John tried to keep the grin off his face. He knew he was really asking for it, but she looked so adorable with her angry glare, arms crossed, and pregnant belly. He moved closer so he was inches from her face and glared back playfully. "Do I need to be punished?"
Elizabeth shrugged nonchalantly. "Perhaps."
True, he did die in an honorable way, fighting the Wraith and helping to defeat them, but at what cost. Now Jinto had to grow up without a Father and without his friend Teyla. This was not what he pictured his life would be like.
Jinto heard footsteps heading towards him and knew who it was. John sat next to him, but didn't say anything. The pair sat in comfortable silence staring at the 'Gate for a bit until John turned to Jinto.
"Hey. Crazy day, huh?"
"I'm not even going to ask the question."
"Good because I don't feel like answering it." Jinto paused. "Although I do have one for you?"
John nodded. "What's that?"
"There's a tradition among my people that when a boy comes of age his Father stands with him during a Prayer Ceremony where he officially becomes a man. Sometimes another is chosen when the Father is not around. I... next week would be my Prayer Ceremony."
Jinto looked up at John hopefully.
"Of course I'll stand with you," John replied with a smile. "I'd be honored."
He peered around the curtain. He wanted a quick peek while Aunt Laura took Annabel to the potty. Rodney didn't understand why he couldn't be in the room with his Mom while she had the baby. Rodney felt a hand on his shoulder and jumped in the air. It was Graham.
"Not nice," he pouted.
"Sorry," Graham replied. "What're you doing?"
"I want to see the baby."
Graham shook his head. "No ya don't. Especially if it's a girl. Girls take the attention away from both Mommies and Daddies"
Rodney's eyes widened. "But... but I'm their big boy."
"Yeah and they won't need ya for anything anymore. Trust me, I know."
Rodney could feel tears threatening to spill over. He did not want to cry in front of Graham. With a deep breath, he glared at the older boy and shot out of the infirmary.
Carson came out a few minutes later looking for the little boy. "Graham, where's Rodney?"
"I dunno. He left."
"He left." Carson gave his son a look. Graham was known for picking on the younger kids. "What did you say to him?"
"What happened now?" Laura asked, Annabel trailing behind her.
Carson sighed. "Graham upset Rodney and he ran off. I'm going to go find him."
"Everything went well, though?"
"Aye," he replied. "You can go in to see her if you'd like."
Graham attempted to follow his Mother and sister, but Carson caught his arm. "You're coming with me to find Rodney. I honestly can't understand why you pick on children younger than you."
"I don't know," he muttered.
Luckily the pair didn't have to go far. They found Rodney hiding in corner in the chair room. He looked up when he heard footsteps, a bit nervous because he knew he wasn't supposed to be in that room, but Carson said nothing about it. Rodney rushed to him, wiping his tears on his shirt. "Uncle Carson, will Mommy and Daddy still love me?"
"Of course," Carson replied, picking him up. "Now it's true that they love little Teyla as well, but they have enough love for the both of you. And remember that she's a little baby so she doesn't know how to take care of herself as much as you."
Rodney nodded excitedly. "I can! I can brush my teeth! And maybe I can help with Teyla! Is she here yet?"
"Aye, let's go."
Elizabeth's heart skipped a bit when she woke up to Rodney's hoarse voice calling out to her. John was sleeping soundly with Teyla (who had finally drifted off to sleep because of the lovely symptom called colic) so she got up and made her way to his room.
Rodney had caught a cold so she was concerned when she entered the room and could hear him wheezing. "What's the matter, baby?" she asked, placing a hand on his forehead.
He looked at her and Elizabeth could see how miserable he felt. "Mama, I don't feel so good."
"I can see that," she said, bending down to pick him up. "Let's go to the infirmary."
John rushed into the infirmary 20 minutes later after dropping Teyla off with Katie Brown. "Elizabeth!" he called.
She had been pacing back and forth while Rodney was having scans done. "He's so sick, John. He can barely breathe. He's been coughing almost non-stop since we got here."
"See, Rodney, piece of cake," Carson was saying as the little boy was wheeled into one of the isolation rooms. He made sure he was being taken care of by the nurses before joining the worried parents.
"Carson?" Elizabeth asked, holding tightly to John's hand.
"It's seems as though his cold has developed into pneumonia. We're going to be giving him some antibiotics, penicillin most likely, and some Tylenol to help lower his temperature."
John nodded. "Can we see him?"
"Aye, but you'll have to wear protective gowns," he replied. "And Elizabeth, you're breast feeding so you need to be careful. Suzy will be out to get you gowned. Let me know if you need anything."
"Thank you, Carson," Elizabeth replied.
He placed his hand on theirs. "Rodney will be fine! He has the genes of two of the strongest people on this base."
John was beyond worried. Elizabeth had gone off world with Lorne's team and they were an hour overdue. He was just about to have Chuck dial the planet when the 'Gate activated.
"It's Colonel Lorne's IDC, Sir," he said.
"Open the shield."
His stomach dropped to the floor when all four members of the SG team stepped through and the 'Gate shut down. John could tell that at least two of them were injured.
"Get a med team up here," he told Chuck. "Evan, what happened? Where's Elizabeth?"
Lorne took a deep breath. "They grabbed her, John. We tried to stop them, but you can see what happened. We thought it would be best to get some extra teams to the planet, but I had to make certain those three got home all right."
"No, you were right to come back. Who grabbed her?"
"Don't know. From what we could tell there were no life signs on the planet and it was pretty quiet until a group of overly primitive humans surrounded us. They knocked us all unconscious and when we woke up, Elizabeth was gone. I'm sorry, John."
John could tell that Lorne was blaming himself for what happened. He knew that feeling all too well. "Hey, we'll find her. Now why don't you let Carson check you over?"
"Yeah..." Lorne replied.
John tapped his radio. "Laura."
"Go ahead, John."
"Rodney's not trying to listen on your radio, is he?"
"No. He's playing with Teyla. What's wrong?"
"I need to go off world. Lorne's team came back without Elizabeth. She's was taken by a group of primitive warriors. I know it's a lot to ask, but..."
"You don't need to ask, John, I'd be happy to watch them."
When she didn't think she'd be able to run any longer, he stopped and held a hand up for the others to stop as well. They seemed to be arguing about something. She realized it must be about her.
Of all planets, she had to choose this one to visit. What had possessed her to go with them? There wasn't anything special about this place. Nothing whatever... her eyes strayed to the Smelly One's hands... except for the photo of Donal. She only knew it was him from the large, dark red tattoo on his face John had told her about.
Now Elizabeth Weir was usually, well sane, but seeing that photo made her hope a little more that Teyla, Rodney, and Ronon were still alive. She decided to brave it and speak up. "Who is that?"she asked.
Before she knew it she was falling to the ground, clutching her stomach. As she caught her breath, Smelly knelt next to her. "You will not speak. Once the others are gone, I will punish you for doing so, is that understood?"
Elizabeth nodded, trying not to think of what could possibly be his punishment. Please hurry, John, she repeated to herself over and over. And suddenly Smelly was standing over her again.
His heart thumped in his throat as he headed towards the direction in came from. Well, the direction he thought it came from. He only hoped he was right. "John!" Elizabeth leapt into his arms, sobbing.
"Shh, it's all right, you're safe now," he said, giving his men a look to search the area. He wanted to calm her down before they returned to Atlantis. John reluctantly pulled away. He lightly traced the bruising around her eye.
"You should see the other guy," she replied with a nervous laugh.
"I can only imagine," he replied, glancing down at her torn shirt and pants. "Did he...?"
She shook her head. "He tried, but I kicked him pretty hard and he went down. I just kept thinking about you. I just wanted to be in your arms again and he wasn't going to let me."
John kissed her softly on the lips. "Lets get you home."
Whenever August rolled around John became quiet and moody. Elizabeth decided a trip to one of their allies' home would do him good. So, after setting things up with Evan, Carson, Katie, and Laura, she made plans to visit the Furling homeworld.
The planet was a tropical oasis and she was looking forward to some R&R herself. Trying to keep up with a three year old and almost two year old was exhausting! "Are you ready, John?" she asked, entering their quarters. "What are you...? Oh no, you are not bringing that!"
John frowned. "Why not? It's just a surfboard."
"You'll ignore me if you have it. I'll be sitting on the beach, all alone, and you'll be having fun in the water."
John shook his head and pulled her into his arms, kissing her fully on the lips. "I highly doubt that this thing will distract you from me. Besides, you're prettier."
"Damn you!" she said, playfully slapping his arm. "You are such a charmer. Bring it."
An hour later they were packed and standing in the Gateroom. "Are you sure I have to stay here?" Rodney asked.
"Yep, positive," John replied, ruffling his son's hair. "We'll be back before you know it."
"Dada!" Teyla exclaimed.
"Be good Angel... both of you."
Rodney pouted. "Why are you looking at me?"
"Because you're as crazy as your namesake."
"John!" she exclaimed.
John laughed. "Sorry, couldn't resist."
Elizabeth was glaring at him, but soon found herself gazing into his hazel eyes. Before she knew it, he had grabbed her and was kissing her passionately. John's hands moved towards her back and began unhooking her bikini top.
"John," she whispered. "Out here? What if someone..."
John smirked. "That's been taken care of."
Elizabeth woke up a few minutes later and, after making sure her suit was on correctly, moved to the water to get a better view of John surfing. All his worries seemed to disappear when he was out there. She saw the large piece of debris heading towards him before he did. "John!" Elizabeth cried, rushing into the water.
Elizabeth watched in horror as the surfboard slammed into the debris and John went flying off and into the water. She swam as fast as she could to find him face down. Elizabeth quickly turned him onto his back.
"John," she said again, but he didn't respond so she pulled him to shore. Once on the beach, Elizabeth checked to see that he was breathing. She was relieved to know he was. Elizabeth checked his head for any sign of injury. She felt stickiness on the left side of his head near his ear. "Oh God," she whispered. "John! Honey, please wake up!"
She didn't want to leave his side, but the communicator the Furlings gave to them in case of emergency was in her bag. Elizabeth rushed over, grabbed the bag and a towel, and then ran back to John.
"We're sending an emergency team out to you right away, Dr. Weir. We'll also contact your people."
"Thank you," she replied, holding tightly to John's hand. "Just hang on, baby, we'll be home soon."
John woke up a few minutes later. "Oh thank God, John!" Elizabeth exclaimed.
"Please don't shout," he groaned.
"Sorry," Elizabeth replied, "but you had me worried sick."
He moved to sit up, ignoring the pounding in his head. John could tell Elizabeth was about to protest. "I'm fine, I'm fine. My head just aches."
"I've had a concussion plenty of times. This doesn't hurt as bad and I'm not dizzy or nauseous. We can go back now, though, if it'll make you feel better."
Elizabeth shook her head. "We were going to go back whether you wanted to or not."
"He got a boo boo. Uncle Carson is taking care of him but he should be okay Mommy said."
Teyla nodded. "Good. I wanna play with Daddy."
The children turned around when they heard their Father arguing with Carson. "I'm fine, you said so yourself. Surprisingly no concussion. I'm just gonna get a shower and have lunch with Rodney and Teyla."
Carson sighed. "Don't blame me if you're tired or have a headache later. What do I know, I'm only a physician."
"Carson, I'll keep an eye on him," Elizabeth replied. She had heard him as she entered the infirmary. "I'll drag him right back here if there are any problems."
John just smiled sheepishly at Carson. He knew he wasn't going to get any sympathy from him and he know that Elizabeth was very serious. "I'll be good, I promise."
Rodney started giggling. "You sound like me, Daddy."
John laughed as they argued about whose turn it was to be 'It'. He was about to play referee when a sharp pain pierced his skull and he felt himself falling to his knees. "Uncle John?" Graham said, rushing to him.
"I'm all right," John replied after a few minutes. The young boy eyed him skeptically and snagged John's radio. "You don't have to call your Dad."
"He'd be mad if I didn't," Graham said, keying the radio. John soon had the attention of Teyla and Annabel. "Daddy?" Teyla said, touching his face. "Do you have another boo boo?"
"Seems like it, honey," he replied. Noting that his head didn't hurt as much as before, John figured he could stand up. Rodney and Graham reached out to hold him steady. "Whoa," he said. "What's going on, guys?"
"We're waiting for Uncle Carson, Dad," Rodney reminded him.
Teyla looked up at Annabel. "Is Daddy going to be all right?"
Before she could reply, John was clutching his head in agony again. He couldn't concentrate and the children's voices seemed so far away. He blinked looking at the terrified expressions of Rodney and Teyla. It was the last thing he saw before succumbing to the darkness.
Carson rushed into the room with his team, followed closely by Elizabeth. "Rodney! Teyla!"
"Mommy!" Teyla cried, flinging herself into Elizabeth's arms. "Daddy got sick."
"What happened, Rodney?" she asked.
He shrugged. "We were playing and he grabbed his head. He seemed a little confused too."
Carson was checking John's vitals when Elizabeth's shaky voice asked him what was going on. He gave instructions to Dr. Keller. "Get him to the infirmary and under a scanner. Prep the OR just in case. I'll be down shortly."
He stood up and had her sit down on one of the benches. "Elizabeth, I believe John has a subdural hematoma. That's when there is an increase in pressure that happens when blood collects in the space between the skull and the brain. The bleeding is usually caused by torn veins in the brain following a head injury."
"The surfboard injury," Elizabeth replied. "He is never doing that again! But how come this is just now happening? Wouldn't something like this be immediate?"
He nodded. "Aye, it can be, but sometimes, if the bleeding is minimal, symptoms may not develop for weeks. Even after the bleeding has stopped and the blood has clotted, fluid from surrounding tissues can be absorbed into the space, slowly increasing the pressure within the skull."
"What can be done?"
"Dr. Keller is checking the scanner to see how bad it is. I am sorry we missed this Elizabeth. You have no idea how much. We'll go in an drain the fluid, but there's something you need to know."
Elizabeth could tell what Carson was going to tell her by the look on his face. "John may never wake up."
She felt herself drifting off to sleep, still trying to grasp on to the last strand of hope she had. A few minutes after she had fallen asleep, Teyla woke up. The young girl squirmed off her Mother's lap and dragged a chair to John's bedside.
Once it was in place, Teyla climbed up so she could see her Daddy. Teyla took her hand in his and closed her eyes. "Daddy," she said. "Please wake up. We miss you lots! Mommy misses you, I miss you, and even Rodney misses you. Please Daddy! Wake up!! Please!"
Teyla climbed onto the bed and snuggled next to John, crying herself to sleep. That's where Carson found her an hour later. He let her remain since she wasn't bothering John. It was then that Carson noticed John's vitals. They were improving. In fact, they were indicating that he was going to wake up soon.
"Elizabeth!" he exclaimed.
Elizabeth jumped up from her seat, fearing the worst. "Oh God, Carson, please don't tell me."
"No, Love," he replied, pulling her over to the bed. Just as he did, John's eyes opened. Tears of joy poured from Elizabeth as she took his hand in hers. "John," she said.
"Come on, wake up for me. Enough sleep, we miss you."
"Yeah, it's me."
"Missed you guys too."
"That man seems vaguely familiar," John said.
Laura looked up from the book one of the town elders gave her to read. "Who, Sir?"
"The man who's talking with Nyra and stop calling me, 'sir', Laura. We've known each other way too long for that/"
She shrugged, trying to get a good look at the man John was referring to. "Force of habit. No, I don't recognize him. Well, it looks like Nyra's finished talking with him and heading over. Why don't you ask her?"
"General Sheppard, if you and your people would care to join us, we are going to partake in our midday meal."
"Sounds great, Nyra, thanks." John glanced at the two men behind him. New personnel that Elizabeth thought could use some training off world. John really hadn't wanted to take new people with them while they were in the middle of negotiations, but his wife insisted. Now they were acting bored and didn't seem interested in going to lunch with these people.
"Laura," he said, "keep an eye on those two."
She nodded. "Got it."
John moved closer to Nyra. "Who was that man you were talking to earlier? I think I've seen him before."
"That is Donal. He used to live on a planet called Maywahan. He and his people found the one responsible for waking the Wraith and they took their revenge. I'm not certain what happened, but the planet was dessimated. He will not speak of it and although we do not condone their actions, we understand."
John's heart thundered in his chest. That's why he knew who that was. It was the man who destroyed three lives. Three lives who were important to him. John stopped in his tracks, attempting to catch his breath. He was on the same planet with the man he secretly wanted to beat to a pulp.
"General, are you all right?" Nyra asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. She looked back at Laura. "He seems in shock."
Laura walked over to John. "Hey, what's the matter?"
"That guy," he finally spoke up.
"What about him, John?"
John decided to explain the situation to Nyra first. It dawned on Laura why her friend was feeling the way he did. "I don't even know what to say about all this," John concluded.
Nyra was thoughtful before speaking up. "I believe you, General. As I said, we do not and never did condon their actions. I do, however, still wish you to join our feast. That is if you are still interested."
John smiled. "I am. I would prefere not to sit near Donal if that's all right with you."
"I will make certain he is on the other side of the room," Nyra replied, returning a smile.
Laura eyed the two men curiously as they chatted quietly among themselves. Markson and Grady, suddenly began to laugh loudly. She knew John was really on edge when he turned around and glared at them. "The two of you had better shape up! The enemy could be around any corner and you're aren't even paying the least bit of attention."
Markson shrugged. "Just like you, Sir."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Weren't you the one who wasn't paying attention when your friends died five years ago?" Grady asked. "Seems to me like someone should be training you!"
John did not like hearing that. He was just starting to get over the guilt from that horrible day and some wet behind the ears lieutenant was calling him on it. Before John could stop himself, he punched Grady in the face.
"Sir!" Laura exclaimed, rushing to stop the fight, but not before Grady punched John in the stomach. He fell to the ground, the wind knocked out of him. "That's enough!"
She saw that Markson was holding back his friend so she knelt next to John. "Sir? Are you all right."
John nodded as she helped him up. "Just peachy. Lets just go home."
John took Elizabeth's hand and allowed her to lead him to the bed. He was quiet for a few minutes, formulating his thoughts. He didn't want to sound like a baby but he also wanted her to understand that he was still trying to overcome the guilt of losing his friends and those men.
Elizabeth listened to him intently. When he was finished he took a deep breath. "Go ahead and ask me."
"Ask you what, John?" Elizabeth asked.
"Ask me how I could have done such a stupid thing like attacking someone under my command. How I can't just get over these feelings of guilt after you tell me everyday that it wasn't my fault! How, Elizabeth?"
By this time, John had begun to pace around the room. Elizabeth stood up and grabbed him by the shoulders, taken a back by the vacant expression in his eyes. "John snap out of it! You were not out of line. Laura told me exactly what happened. And meeting Donal on the planet didn't help matters. I don't suppose Nyra spoke with him about..."
John sighed, holding her close. "She did, but the man would not answer her questions."
August 2012 The Return
John had just arrived in the Gateroom when the Gate began to dial. He looked over at Chuck, who shrugged. After a few minutes, he glanced up at John. "Um... It's Dr. McKay's IDC, Sir."