A/N – Please forgive any medical inaccuracies. I'm no doctor. Also, thanks

to all who read & review. Your opinions are always appreciated.

Line of Fire

Chapter 1

Dr. Elizabeth Weir, leader of the Atlantis expedition, paced nervously at the stargate control center. She glanced at her watched for the thirty-third time, noting that another minute had passed without any word from Colonel Sheppard's team.

They had left this morning, their mission a relatively simple one for once. Peace-ful negotiations had already been established on P3X-770, and the team was merely returning to check up on their new neighbors. Usually, one of the newer teams was assigned to this task, but Rodney had insisted that he be a member of the returning team. At Elizabeth's questioning look, he had blushed a deep pink, insisting that there was some scientific justification for his visit, but John had pulled her aside later and confided that there was a pretty blonde scientist that Rodney had taken a shine to there. Elizabeth and John had shared a smile over that, his eyes focused on her face. She had felt her own blush spreading on her cheeks, and had turned away in embarrassment, fussing with the papers piling high on her desk.

Now, three hours later, there had been no contact with any member of SGA-1, and Elizabeth felt her worry slip towards fear. There should have been some word by now.

"Dr. Weir. My team is ready to go," Major Thompson was suddenly at her side, his dark eyes steady and sure. Behind him, the members of SGA-3 stood, garbed in their off-world gear, P-90s in their hands.

Elizabeth gave him a half-smile. "I appreciate this, Major. I know you were scheduled to go elsewhere today, but…" she trailed off, her voice interrupted by the stargate coming to life.

"Incoming wormhole," the control technician yelled out. "It's Colonel Sheppard's team," he added.

Elizabeth hurried down the stairs towards the stargate as it roared into life. "Lower the shield," she yelled over her shoulder, her eyes focused on the event horizon. Suddenly, Rodney burst through, cradling his left arm, blood dripping down his front. Directly behind him was Teyla and Ronon, the Athosian woman supported by the tall runner. A few more seconds passed, then John was there, and Elizabeth felt a small sigh of relief escape her. She turned to the technician.

"Raise the…" Elizabeth's command was cut off by the sound of gunfire as someone else burst through the gate, weapons blazing. She saw John hit the ramp, rolling away from the invader. Her eyes opened wide as she felt something hit her abdomen, and she looked down to see blood suddenly stain her uniform. She raised her eyes, confused, and, as she started to fall, she heard another shot. Then nothing.

Lt. Colonel John Sheppard rolled to his feet, his P-90 automatically coming up as he focused on the man behind him. He heard the gunfire, and felt his own weapon kick as he shot, then watched as the man fell to the ramp.

Around him was chaos, but John took another second to evaluate the intruder. He wasn't moving, and a small stream of blood started flowing down the ramp.

John stood, clicking his weapon into safety mode, then turned to check on his team.

Ronon was cradling Teyla to him, his free hand holding his gun. Rodney had stumbled to the ground, and was now on his knees, a look of horror on his face.

Descending the stairs was Major Thompson, with the members of team three right on his heels.

"Rodney? You okay?" John trotted over to the scientist, who hadn't moved. He leaned down, grasping McKay's good arm, and hauled him to his feet.

"Sheppard….Elizabeth…" Rodney managed to gasp, and he raised a shaking hand to point. John turned, and felt the room heave. Lying on the floor, blood pooling around her, was Elizabeth. John abruptly dropped Rodney's arm, and raced to her side.

"Elizabeth?" Gently, he turned her over, his face paling as he took in her injuries.

His eyes flew down her body, noting the welling of bright red blood from her abdomen and the angry red gash on the side of her head. His hand shaking, he pressed down on the stomach wound, trying to slow the bleeding. She wasn't breathing, he noted numbly. He could hear Thompson, standing behind him, calling for Beckett. One of the major's people – Annie something, John thought vacantly – knelt down next to the prone woman and started CPR. Sheppard was roughly pulled away from Elizabeth's side as another SG-3 member slapped a bandage over her abdomen, the stark white cloth instantly turning red.

John slowly came to his feet, his eyes never leaving Elizabeth's white face. He could feel his team behind him, Rodney's good hand on his shoulder. He barely registered it when Carson Beckett came rushing in, his normally good-natured face drawn with concern as he knelt down next to the still form of Dr. Weir.

"Get the gurney down here! I need to intubate – she's not breathing. And get me the crash cart!" Dr. Beckett barked out orders, his trauma team surrounding Elizabeth, blocking her from John's view. He lurched forward, wanting to know what was happening, but Rodney's hand on his shoulder held him in place. John turned and looked at the scientist, who was swaying slightly, his face devoid of any expression except shock.

"You all need to get to the infirmary," Dr. Ronny Stein, one of Carson's medical staff, advised. He gently removed Rodney's hand from John, and with a small tug, steered him down the hall. After a moment, their eyes lingering on Sheppard, Ronon and Teyla followed, Teyla noticeably limping.

John paused another minute, watching as Carson and a handful of nurses lifted Elizabeth on to the gurney. Beckett placed the paddles on her chest and Elizabeth's body heaved off the gurney as he attempted to restart her heart. Beckett did this three times, then, with a slight 'beep – beep' emitting from the machine, he dropped the paddles. Apparently satisfied for the moment, Beckett waved his hands at his team, and they shoved the gurney towards the door. As Carson raced by him, heading towards the surgery, John turned and look at the prone form of the man lying on the ramp. Rage suddenly surged through the Colonel, and he knew if the man hadn't already been dead, John would have ripped him to pieces. Hands clenched into tight fists, he turned and headed towards to infirmary.