John Sheppard stared at the machine that had his two friends trapped, his jaw clenched as he attempted to keep himself from shouting at Zelenka and Beckett as the two men worked desperately to keep the people inside alive. Zelenka was working the controls as best he could without knowing exactly what they did while Beckett was monitoring the life-signs.
McKay and Dr. Weir had somehow become trapped in the machine, and as far as anyone had been able to determine it wasn't used for anything they could tell. Sheppard had started to get them out, but a buzzer had sounded. It was then that Beckett realized their brains were hooked up to the machine directly, and that their brain-waves were in danger of merging. Zelenka had discovered how to fix that, and had. Unfortunately, they seemed not to want to stay fixed, and so for nearly forty-eight hours they'd been monitoring the situation. Zelenka was looking haggard, and Beckett even worse.
Zelenka suddenly let loose a sigh of relief. "It looks as if it is stable for now," he said in the formal sounding English he always used, "there is not so much resistance as before."
"I agree, the patterns are staying separated," Beckett seconded, "that's a good sign."
"Then can we get them out of there?" Sheppard asked impatiently.
"Look, do you think they want to be stuck there for the rest of their lives? I don't. This is the best chance we have, that they have," John pleaded, "They'd want us to get them out of there…even if it…we just have to try, all right?" he said, changing what he had been going to say at the last minute.
"I agree," Teyla remarked from where she had been standing in the doorway, holding three cups of something steaming, "Dr. Weir and Dr. McKay would not wish to remain trapped like that."
John smiled at the Athosian in gratitude for her support, then turned back to look at Beckett, who still seemed undecided. Finally, the Scot nodded reluctantly. "All right, we'll try it. But any signs of danger at all, and we stop. Okay?"
John quickly acquiesced, and reached over the Czech's hands to press the release button. At first, nothing happened, and they all stared at the machine in disappointment. Then, it suddenly whirred to life, and the hatch that covered the two lifted.
Weir woke up first and looked around in confusion. She blinked rapidly before her eyes settled on John's. "What…what happened?"
John grinned at her, "You got stuck in some kind of Ancient machine, we're still not sure what it does yet."
"What about…my baby?"
The three men traded glances with Teyla, who then asked gently, "What baby, Dr. Weir?"
It was almost heartbreaking to watch the expressions that crossed her face. John had a sudden idea what the machine could have been. "It's something like virtual reality," he murmured, "That's why their brains were hooked directly up."
"But why would their brain patterns attempt to merge?" Zelenka asked.
Before anyone could respond, Dr. Weir interrupted, "It wasn't real? What do you mean by 'their' brain waves?" Her face was still a ghastly pale, but she seemed to have got over her initial shock. She turned her head and a look of understanding crossed her features. "Oh. I think it was a little more than virtual reality," she said, her voice little more than a whisper, "I can't believe it made me forget about Simon…"
It was about that time that McKay woke. He sat straight up and looked around, anger coming off of him in waves. "Where is that ass-hole! I'm gonna show him who's 'unfit' for duty. That long-haired, egotistical…just because I'm mad at her doesn't mean he can talk about…" he broke off suddenly and glanced at the people gathered around.
John couldn't help the grin that spread across his face. He'd never seen McKay angry with anyone before. Annoyed, yes. Upset, definitely. Never angry. It was rather amusing.
"What's going on? I was just standing in the corridor outside my lab, and I overheard Zelenka and Kavanaugh talking about…" he glanced at Dr. Weir before continuing, "Anyway, how did I get from there to here? And why is this stuck on my head?"
The scientist impatiently pulled the wires that were still on his head off and then proceeded to glare at the assembled. "Well? Is anyone going to see fit to fill me in?"
John cleared his throat. "Chill out McKay…here's what happened." He explained what they had found out, and as he talked, the physicist's face lost it's angry redness and began to go pale.
"It was…it was just a dream?" He shot a glance at Dr. Weir again. "Well, that's something of a relief, but…well. It seemed so real." Then his face took on that excited quality he always got when confronted with a new piece of technology. "But what was it for? Was it just a game? Or a type of simulator like the ones we use or…"
"All right, I want to get you two down to the infirmary. We can discuss what the Ancient's intended for this when I've given you the all-clear," Beckett interrupted what could have become a very long dissertation on the merits of the Ancients.
Elizabeth stared at the far wall of her quarters. Everything that she remembered happening over the past few days had all been a dream. Well, it wasn't quite as real now that she knew she was awake, but it was still raw and painful. How could she have forgotten Simon so quickly? While the Ancient machine had apparently been used as something of a matchmaker in determining if brain-waves were compatible and the scenario created would have disregarded all else, she still felt guilty for some reason.
No, not for some reason. It was because she wished she could go back to that. Even if she and Rodney had been upset with each other, she knew they would have worked it out eventually. She wished she could really have been having Rodney McKay's baby.
A knock on the door interrupted her reverie, and she called out rather dispassionately for them to come in, only to sigh when she realized it was Rodney.
"I'm sorry," he said, "For everything that happened. I know it was somehow my fault…for all of it."
She knew he wasn't just talking about the real Ancient machine. "No, it wasn't Rodney. We all make mistakes, and we're bound to make a lot working with technology that's light years ahead of us. I don't blame you in any way. And I didn't blame you then, either."
She wasn't sure why she added that last, but felt a weight lift from her shoulders when he smiled.
"Well," he began, "Now that that's over, wanna have some dinner with me while we catch up on lost time?"
Elizabeth didn't even hesitate as she jumped off the bed. "I'd love to."
Sorry this took so long to get out, but I wasn't sure how to do it right. Hope you liked it.