Another Time, Another Place!
He couldn't understand why it wouldn't work. He had tried several simulations and everything seemed to be going fine. But actually conducting the real test all he ended up with was a whole lot of slop on a plate for trouble. You would think that with all the Ancient technology they had at their disposal and some technology they had taken from the Wraith that he could get something like this to work. It seemed so simple in theory and he was sure that with time he could perfect it. Doctor Rodney McKay gave his contraption a kick for good measure
"Owe! You stupid heap of junk!" he yelled hoping around on one foot
"Well that's certainly going to help." Sheppard said sarcastically having caught the last of McKay's tirade.
"Shut Up Major!"
"Now, now," Sheppard teased. "May I ask why you are kicking and yelling at inanimate objects?"
"Because said inanimate object won't work." he answered angrily still rubbing his sore foot.
"What is it anyway?" Sheppard asked, walking up to the strange contraption and fiddling with its parts.
Rodney limped over and slapped the Major's hands away
"Leave it alone before you break something." he snapped. Sheppard just raised an eyebrow.
"Oh I see you can kick it but I can't even touch it."
"Yes because it's mine, not yours." Rodney said then shook his head. Why was it whenever he was with this man they reverted back to children? "Go play with your own toys!" he added.
"Take it easy. I won't touch your damn … whatever it is!" John told him "What is it anyway?"
"It's complicated and you wouldn't understand." Rodney told him as he started putting his equipment away.
"Try me." John told him with a cheeky smile when all of a sudden a thought came to him. "Hey! We're on downtime right now. Don't you ever relax?"
"Yes I relax plenty. Now I have a lot to do so do you mind?"
"You still haven't told me what it is." John reminded him.
Rodney kept trying to evade his question, so John was more determined than ever to not let this drop. Besides it was always fun annoying his favourite scientist. Rodney sighed. He really didn't want anyone to know just yet what he had been working on. Especially Major Sheppard or Lieutenant Ford for that matter. But he also knew that Major John Sheppard could be like a dog with a bone when he wanted to be.
"Okay if you must know …" Rodney started but then hesitated.
"Yes?" John drawled out.
"Okay if you must know," Rodney started again "I was attempting to combine what we know about the Stargate's de-molecular process with Wraith beams, to hopefully make a Replicator!"
"Those techno bug's, I've read about in SGC mission files?" John asked incredulously. "It doesn't look like a bug. It looks more like a pop corn maker."
Rodney rolled his eyes
"No not Replicator's. A Replicator. You know like in Star Trek?" Rodney told him looking everywhere but at John.
"Let me get this straight." John said trying not to laugh "We are stranded in an Ancient city, up against a dangerous life sucking enemy and you're trying to make something out of a science fiction TV show."
"Yes, yes, yes laugh it up Major but if I succeed we'll never have to worry about running out of supplies." Rodney said indignantly. "Besides I'm doing this in my spare time. The little I have anyway."
John really didn't mean to laugh at him but here they were still trying to work out most of the Ancient technology and here's Rodney trying to create a whole new type of Technology. He looked over at Rodney as he mumbled to himself while roughly putting the contraption away. All in all it wasn't a bad idea but it just seemed a bit science fiction for him. He had to admit though that Rodney was right. It would come in handy if they were stuck here for years on end. Hopefully that wasn't the case. Hopefully they found a Z-PM and could contact Earth again. He shivered remembering the last time they had searched for a Z-PM. It ended up in a whole mess with him and Rodney being kidnapped then losing his ancient gene. Thank god that little crisis was truly over and done with now.
"What did you want Major?" Rodney asked bringing John back to the present.
"Oh nothing really. I just finished training with Teyla and thought I'd come and see what you were doing."
"You mean to say that you would see if you could annoy me."
"Would I do that?" John asked innocently.
"No, of course not," Rodney told him sarcastically as he walked passed him and out into the hallway.
"So I take it project Replicator is not working so well?" John asked following him out.
"In all the simulations I've run on the computer it works fine. But it is along way from practical use. That is of course unless you like to eat mush."
"We have bad enough food in the commissary and MRE's so I think you can count me out on the mush." John grimaced.
In the background they heard the familiar sound of the Stargate coming to life but neither of them were on duty so they ignored it. John had no idea where Rodney was headed, but he had nothing better to do right now, so decided to follow. As they walked a thought popped into Johns head.
"Hey McKay where are we headed?"
"I don't know where you're headed but I'm headed to the commissary to get some lunch."
"Sound like a plan. Then you and me can go and get in some target and weapons practice."
"Major I don't need anymore weapons practice. You and Ford have already shown me all I need to know."
"Practice makes perfect and besides it's always good to freshen up besides you could use some self defense lessons."
"Isn't it your job to do the fighting and mine to figure out all the important things?"
"Come on McKay."
"I think I'll pass for now Major. No offense."
John shrugged his shoulders. He could order him if he wanted, considering that he was on his field team. But he thought he'd let the topic drop for now. Just as the two walked into the commissary, Doctor Grodin's voice came through their headsets.
"Major Sheppard, Doctor Weir wants you to meet her at the infirmary. Now please."
"Understood Doctor," He answered into his radio, then turned to McKay. "I guess I'm bailing on lunch again." he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Have fun. Carson probably wants to use you as a pin cushion." Rodney laughed.
"Yeah thanks Rodney." He said as he walked out the door.
He was kind of curious as to why Elizabeth would want to meet him in the infirmary. He made his way there in no time. He spent so much time there that he thought he could probably walk there in his sleep. Finally approaching the infirmary door he walked in and saw Carson and Elizabeth standing beside one of the infirmary beds. Sitting on that bed was a pretty young woman probably in her early twenty's with shoulder length blonde hair. Getting up closer the woman looked up as he approached he saw that she had big blue eyes. In fact her eyes looked strangely familiar to him. But he was sure that he had never met this woman before, he surely would have remembered. All other thoughts left his head as soon as the girl spoke.
"Uncle John!" She exclaimed jumping off the bed and throwing her arms around him.
He staggered backwards a bit with the force of her hug. He didn't know what to do and did she just call him Uncle John? He was sure he'd remember if he had a niece. He brought his arms up and patted her back. Finally she pulled away smiling at him.
"I'm sorry did you say Uncle?" He asked bewildered.
She rolled her eyes in again a very familiar way that he just couldn't get his head around.
"Has this place gone mad?" she asked "We haven't got time to be messing around here."
John looked at Carson and Elizabeth, who in turn shrugged their shoulders.
"You know this is ridiculous I thought at least you would take me seriously Uncle John. I mean I come back here worried sick about you all and you continue to play this silly little prank. What's going on here?" she started yelling.
"Okay miss um settle down!" he said looking down at her. "Elizabeth, Doc can I speak with you for a second?" he asked.
The strange yet familiar woman sighed and rolled her eyes once more crossing her arms across her chest she leaned against the infirmary bed.
Elizabeth and Carson followed John into Carson's office a few feet away.
"Does someone want to tell me what the hell is going on and who that obviously confused young woman is out there?" He asked clearly perturbed.
"Well SGA-3 came back through the gate with her saying that she needed to speak to me. When she saw me she called me Aunt Liz and she's been calling Carson Uncle as well. She seems to think she knows us." Elizabeth explained to a confused looking John.
"What's her name?"
"We don't know Major she seems to think that we are playing a trick on her and she said that she wouldn't answer any more questions until she saw you." explained Carson.
John looked out the doorway at this young woman and still couldn't get that feeling that she looked familiar out of his head. He sighed. He guessed the only way he was going to get answers was if he talked to her but he realized now that he was going to have to tread lightly.
"I guess I'll give it a shot." John conceded.
"Thank you Major." Elizabeth said as they all went to go back into the infirmary. Before any of them got very far they heard a cry and the sound of someone falling to the ground.
She couldn't believe they were playing jokes at a time like this. She struggles all the way back to the Stargate to warn her family of the danger they were in and they pretend like they don't know her. And when did they all go and dye their hair? These people really went far when playing a prank. She was especially hurt with her Uncle John. In normal circumstances, him playing a prank like this wouldn't be so surprising but not right now when everything was going to hell. She felt like crying and she hated that feeling. She hadn't felt this way since her father had died 15 years ago. She was a Lieutenant in the US. Air Force and had a PHD in astrophysics. She was not going to start breaking down over this. She was also worried about the rest of her team that she had left in order to come and warn Atlantis. She hadn't wanted to leave them but she was following her commanding officer's order and she knew that the bigger picture was more important. So now here she was standing here while her so called family plotted against her. Her rambling thoughts were interrupted when she heard a familiar voice calling her Uncle Carson's name. Her heart almost stopped when the man that belonged to that voice came walking into the infirmary in search of the resident Doctor. She couldn't believe her eyes.
"Daddy?" she squeaked just before her she fainted, dropping to the floor with a thud, leaving a speechless Doctor Rodney McKay standing there.
McKay just stood there staring at the unconscious girl lying on the floor beside the bed all thought of why he had rushed in there forgotten. Had he just heard right? Did she just call him Daddy? Carson rushed passed him and checked the girls pulse. Finding a strong one, he motioned for Major Sheppard to help him get her on the bed. Once they had her lying down Carson went to work and Sheppard walked over to a still spaced out McKay.
"What happened?" John asked.
"Well I know that much."
"What happened before she collapsed Rodney?" Elizabeth asked coming to stand next to him also.
"She um … she um …" Rodney stuttered. "She looked like she'd seen a ghost and then she called me Daddy." he finally got out.
John raised his eyebrows. "Is there something you've been keeping from us McKay?" he asked jokingly.
"Don't be ridiculous Major. The girl is obviously confused." McKay snapped, coming out of his confusion.
"Well obviously." John agreed.
"Is it possible she's come from the future? I read a report from SG-1 while commanding the SGC. Near the end of the second year of operation SG-1 was sent back to 1969 by a solar flare." Elizabeth explained remembering the report.
"I guess anything's possible," Rodney said. "But my daughter? I'm terrible with kids." he announced.
"I guess we won't know until she wakes up and we can talk to her again." John surmised.
They all looked to where Carson was bent over the prone figure. Elizabeth walked up to the bed and watched what Carson was doing.
"How is she Carson?"
"I think the lass is coming to." he observed. "Keep Rodney away for a minute." He added he didn't want a repeat of what just happened.
The girl's eyelids fluttered as consciousness returned to her. Slowly she dared opening her eyes to see two worried faces looking down at her. It was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream she thought to herself.
"How are ya feeling lass?" Carson asked her.
"Okay I think. What happened?"
"There has to be a better word than that doesn't there?" she asked innocently not noticing the shocked look on Carson and Elizabeth's face. Carson had heard Rodney complain about the term a few times.
"I just want to ask you a few questions if it's alright?" Carson asked her gently.
"What year is it?"
"Uncle Carson what type of a question is that? You know what year it is." she said getting annoyed again.
"Please just answer the question." Elizabeth asked her kindly.
"As you all well know its 2031," she told them, and then added "in Earth years anyway."
Carson and Elizabeth just looked at each other with worried expressions on their face.
"Dad! I saw Dad!" she exclaimed all of a sudden remembering. She tried to get up and off the bed.
"Stay still." Carson reprimanded as he lightly pushed her shoulders back down on the bed.
"How is my Dad here?" she asked looking quite upset.
"Honey you need to listen to us very carefully," Elizabeth interrupted. "I know you believe that it's the year 2031 but here its 2004."
"You've got to be kidding me." she almost laughed and tried to get up again to no avail with Carson pinning her down.
"Think of it this way. You say I'm your Aunt and you know me well right?" Elizabeth asked looking into her intense blue eyes. She nodded.
"Well knowing me do you really think I would make something like this up?"
The girl looked into Elizabeth's eyes and then looked at Carson's honest face. Coming to a conclusion.
"Your telling the truth aren't you?" she asked hesitantly.
"Yes we are." Carson answered her.
"Now that we finally have cleared that up can you tell us your name?" Elizabeth asked her helping her sit up.
"Melanie Elizabeth McKay." she told them. Elizabeth shocked to hear her own name. "What happened and how am I back in 2004?"
"We're not sure but we're definitely going to help you find out." Elizabeth assured her.
Melanie nodded and wiped her hand across her damp eyes. How could this have happened to her? Well being an astrophysicist she knew the many ways how this could happen, but how exactly did it happen in this case. She couldn't afford to be here.
"What's going on?" Rodney asked as he and John rushed to catch up to Elizabeth as she walked into her office.
"Well Carson is doing some standard tests now and also a paternity test to see if she really is your Daughter." She told them as her and John sat down on chairs on either side of her desk.
Rodney continued to stand and it wasn't long before he was pacing.
"If you haven't realized I don't have a Daughter. Besides she's too old to be my daughter."
"She says her name is Melanie Elizabeth McKay. She was born here in Atlantis late 2006 to a woman that you," she said pointing to Rodney "apparently married. She also says that the last thing she remembers is that it was 2031 and she was out with her SGA team and was coming back here to warn Atlantis about something she wasn't specific about."
"I knew I'd seen those eyes before." was all John could say.
"She does not have my eyes Major!"
"Boys!" Elizabeth snapped.
"Well do we know if she's telling the truth?" Rodney was having trouble digesting all this.
"Well we will know more when Carson gets his results back."
"You know she seemed really shocked to see me, like I wasn't supposed to be here. What do you suppose that means?" Rodney asked "That's if she's telling the truth that is."
"I'm not sure I guess we'll just have to wait till Carson is ready."
Rodney rubbed his face with his hands. This day had not turned out like he had planned at all.
Melanie still found it hard to believe what they were telling her. But considering it did explain a lot of things. Like the fact that she wasn't even born yet. That would explain why no-one even knew of her existence. As worried as she was about her own time and what was happening there she couldn't help but think that this gave her a great opportunity. Her mother would kick her butt if she even knew she was thinking of it but, she wasn't sure what else she could do. Maybe if she told this Atlantis about the impending doom they could avoid it all together and she could go back and everything would be great again. Maybe she could even stop her father from dying. She had been walking beside her Uncle Carson through the very familiar hallways towards the briefing room where Aunt Liz and the rest of SGA-1 were waiting. Atlantis hadn't really changed in all the years that she had lived there. Coming to a stop behind Carson she looked through the doors to the briefing room. There they all sat, but here eyes were drawn to her long lost father. It was hard to believe that he was sitting right there very much alive.
"Take a seat Lass." Carson led her to a seat as she continued to stare at Rodney.
"Melanie, how are you feeling?" Elizabeth asked, noticing that Rodney was getting a bit uncomfortable with the girls staring.
"I'm fine, just a little confused by all this," she told Elizabeth finally looking away from Rodney.
"Well let's get this underway, shall we?"
John couldn't help but look between Melanie and Rodney, the resemblance was uncanny now that he took a real good look at them together. She had a lot of the same mannerisms as his friend. This girl had to be telling the truth.
"Well I have all my results back and it appears that Rodney is her father." Carson told tem looking up from his lab results.
"What?" Rodney exclaimed. Melanie stayed quiet.
"Rodney besides the results you can not deny the resemblance." Carson sighed.
"Melanie why don't you tell us the last thing you remember before coming here?" Elizabeth suggested, shutting Rodney up with a look.
"Okay well I was out with my team, lead by Major Hardford and we had learnt that the Replicator's had finally got a hold in this galaxy. Not just your normal everyday Relicator but we ran into some human form Replicator's. My team was captured. I was able to escape so the Major ordered me to go and warn Atlantis that the Replicator's next target would be Atlantis." She explained. "I didn't want to leave my team behind but I had to follow Major Hardford's orders."
"The Relicator's made it to Pegasus?" Rodney piped up.
"Yes. You tried so hard to make sure they couldn't make it out here. Especially, after Mum died."
"Your mother?" Rodney asked still suspicious about this whole daughter thing regardless of Carson's results.
"Yes my mother, your wife," Melanie answered him a little testily.
"And that would be?" Rodney challenged.
Rodney stopped his inquisition as his jaw dropped in shock. He married Samantha Carter?
"Are you sure?" John joked "Because from what my sources tell me that's nearly impossible."
"No I'm not sure who my own Mother is." Melanie answered him sarcastically "Of course I'm sure, she told me that they didn't exactly get along when they first met but things obviously changed."
"Sounds like a McKay, sarcastic wit." John stated smiling to himself.
Rodney was half way through rolling his eyes when he looked across the table and caught Melanie doing the same thing, he stopped and looked around the table to see if anyone else caught that.
"You Know Uncle John you haven't changed a bit." She told him.
"Nice to know something's stay the same."
"People can we get back on topic please," Elizabeth asked them. "Melanie you were saying that we were trying to stop the Replicator's from coming to Pegasus. I'm going to assume that it didn't work," Elizabeth prodded.
"I'm actually not sure how much I should tell you, causality affect and all, I wouldn't want to screw up the future."
"Um it seems like the future is already pretty much screwed." Rodney pointed out.
"True it's just ever since I was young both you and mum warned me about those things."
"We understand if you would rather not say anything Melanie." Elizabeth assured her.
"Oh come on!" Rodney exclaimed again "She can't tell us there is impending doom and then not tell us what it is!"
"You know I remember you being a lot nicer."
"You do?" Ford asked coming into the conversation.
"Shut up Lieutenant!"
"Don't tell me to shut up Doctor McKay!" Melanie yelled back at Rodney thinking he was talking to her.
"I wasn't talking to you; I was talking to Ford,"
"Rodney, knock it off!" Sheppard ordered seeing that Rodney was getting out of hand.
"Rodney if you can't act properly then maybe you should leave." Elizabeth suggested raising an eyebrow, showing that she was not impressed by his actions.
Everybody was quiet. Rodney shifted in his seat and looked like he had a few retorts coming but in the end just nodded "I'll behave." he conceded.
"I'm sorry about that Melanie." Elizabeth apologized giving a pointed look in Rodney's direction.
"It's Okay Aunt Liz. Should I continue?" she asked looking at Elizabeth.
"Yes please." Elizabeth nodded. She still found it weird hearing this young lady calling her Aunt Liz.
"Well after a year of you guys being stuck here, Earth managed to find a Zed-PM. They used it to charge the Daedulus, which was their new ship, and made their way out here and gave Atlantis the Zed-PM." Melanie explained. "Mum and Uncle Daniel, sorry Doctor Jackson, came out with the Daedulus to make sure everything went smoothly. That's where Mum and Dad met again. They worked on numerous technologies together and eventually something must have happened because Mum decided to stay in Atlantis and they married. Nine months later I was born."
She paused to take a sip of water while everyone as engrossed in her story.
"Should I continue?"
"Yes please." Elizabeth urged her.
"Well Earth wouldn't allow me to be brought up in Atlantis so Mum and Dad agreed that she would take me back to Earth and Dad would visit whenever he could. That worked for a while but even with the Goa'uld gone, Earth and the Asgard were still having trouble battling the Replicator's." She stopped for a moment looking sad. "When I was five years old Mum was killed in a battle with some human Form Replicator's. Uncle Jack and Uncle Daniel sent me through to Atlantis to be with Dad and they promised they would come through later to see me. They never did. I learnt later that they had been killed in battle. Even Teal'c was dead. Since Dad was my only surviving parent I was allowed to live in Atlantis. When Dad was killed his last wish was that Uncle John looked after me. I was ten. When I turned 18 I traveled back to Earth to join the Air force and get my doctorate in Astrophysics. It didn't take me long. Living here sort of set me ahead of everyone else. I'd been back in Atlantis for two years when we received word from Earth that the Asgard had fallen in their battle with the Replicator's and that Earth needed to relocate as many Earth people as possible. So for the last year we have been trying to make sure the Replicator's don't get a foothold in this galaxy. It didn't work. I was coming to warn Atlantis when I found myself here." She finally finished taking a big breath.
"Wow!" was all Ford said.
"That's an understatement Lieutenant." Sheppard told him. He was secretly touched that Rodney had trusted him enough to hand over the raising of his child. Although he was going to try to make sure that he would never have to. If he could.
"I hope me telling you this makes a good difference," she told them earnestly. "Am I going to be able to get back to my own timeline?"
"Rodney?" Elizabeth asked.
Rodney was sitting there stunned. This was all a lot to get his head around. He looked up and across the table at Melanie and realized that if he looked closely he could see a little bit of Sam in her. This was strange. As much as he'd like to fantasize over her, he had never actually believed that anything would happen between them. She thought he was a rude, arrogant, egotistical pig. He was sure of it. Maybe his time on Atlantis had changed him. One thing he was sure of was that regardless of whether he married the woman or not he was still never going to admit that she was smarter than him.
"Rodney?" John asked nudging him in the side to get his attention back on the here and now.
"What? Sorry, what was the question?" Rodney asked.
"Is there anyway to get Melanie back to her timeline?" John asked impatiently.
"Well that depends." He told them sitting up straighter. His brain was working on things it could establish now instead of impossible marriages and children.
"Depends on what?" Ford asked.
"Lieutenant did you touch anything on the planet? Anything at all? Even if it seems insignificant," He asked looking directly at her so he knew he was talking to her and not Ford like last time.
"Um I'm not sure I was kind of in a hurry." She answered him with a hurt look on her face. He couldn't even call her by her name.
"What if we went back to the planet and took a look around?" Teyla suggested.
"Yeah maybe it might jog your memory?" said John already looking to Elizabeth for confirmation.
"That's fine with me Major be ready to leave in one hour." Elizabeth told the team then turned to Melanie "We are going to try our best to get you back." She assured her.
"I know you will." Melanie smiled at her. "Maybe I can be of some help? I might be in the military but I can be a pretty good scientist when it needs be. Scientist's for parents couldn't be helped." She smirked.
"Of course you're welcome to help if you and Rodney don't mind working together?" Elizabeth said looking warily at Rodney.
"Fine." He stated shortly. "I have to go get my stuff ready."
"Very well you're all dismissed and good luck." Elizabeth told them
They all stood up from where they were seating and Rodney rushed out of the room with John looking on shaking his head. Rodney wasn't taking all this well. He couldn't really understand why. He would have assumed that Rodney would be happy with this knowledge. He finally actually got with Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter and his daughter turned out to be a beautiful well rounded person. What more could a person ask for? Well he guessed him and Carter dying didn't sound too good but now that they new they could avoid that couldn't they?
Walking down the hall intending on getting his gear together he noticed Melanie walking slowly down the hallway ahead of him. She looked extremely upset. He decided that he had better see what was wrong so jogged the rest of the way to her and put a hand on her shoulder making her start.
"Oh Uncle John, I thought you'd gone to get ready." She said wiping at her eyes trying to hide the fact that she had been crying.
"Are you okay?" he asked sincerely.
Hearing him ask her that broke the floodgates. He sounded so much like her John Sheppard and hearing that familiar voice right now, with how she was feeling made her cry even more.
"Hey, hey what's this about?" he asked pulling her into a hug and leading her into a room to his left for some privacy.
"He doesn't even care about me!" she cried into his chest. "After all this time I finally get to see him again and he acts as if he hates me. Am I that terrible?" she sobbed.
John held onto her more tightly. He hadn't really thought about how hard this would be for her. He was more worried about how Rodney was feeling especially since he had been acting like he wasn't dealing with this new found knowledge.
"He doesn't hate you!" John insisted to her. "You have to understand that even though Rodney McKay is one of my best friends he is still very self absorbed and is obviously having trouble dealing with this. I doubt it has even occurred to him about how you're feeling."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" she cried.
"No I guess it wouldn't, and hey give me a break I'm new to this Uncle thing" he joked, rubbing her back. "What I'm trying to say is that if you give him time to get his head around this he'll realize what he has is a real opportunity here. He'll also realize what a good person you are."
"You know something? You might be new to this Uncle thing, but you're very good at it." She told him looking up at him.
"What can I say? I'm a natural." He joked making her laugh.
"You know you haven't changed a bit. Well maybe a bit more greyer but inside your still like the same old John Sheppard and I think that's what I needed. Thank you!" he told him as she hugged him once more, her tears subsiding.
He hugged her back. He hadn't known her very long but he already felt very fondly of her. Maybe he would make a good Uncle. It was nice to know.
"Thank you again Uncle John." She said stepping back from him. "And I'm sorry I got your shirt all wet."
He looked down and realized that it was wet with tears. He looked up and gave her one of his trademark lopsided grins. "What are Uncle's for?"
She laughed and leaned up in kissed him on the cheek earning a surprised look.
"I guess we should go get ready." She suggested already heading for the door while trying to wipe away the redness around her eyes.
"Yeah I guess we should. I'll see you in the gate room." He told her as he watched her wave goodbye and make her way down the hallway.
He turned around and headed the opposite way intending on getting his own gear ready for the mission, thinking that he was going to have to have a talk with Rodney.
Rodney continued to slam equipment around his lab. If he had caught anyone else doing the same thing he would go ballistic at them. Right now though, he just didn't care. How could he be a father, let alone a father to Sam's child? Kids and him, just did not work, yet according to this woman he had raised her till she was ten years old. He shouldn't have been so harsh with her but thinking about her as she was now meant that there had to be a little her and in 2 years. He just didn't think he was ready to be anyone's father. Not to mention that he was a little disturbed about the dying part of the whole story. He'd survived almost a year out here against the Wraith only to die in twelve years. That seriously sucked. The Replicator situation wasn't much better. He started looking for the equipment he would need to pack for the mission when he heard familiar footsteps outside his lab. He had been waiting for this visit. What business it was of Sheppard's he had no idea but he knew the man was going to stick his nose in regardless. He sighed as he continued to pack when he heard John walk through the door.
"Rodney, we need to talk." John announced as he walked in.
"And what in particular would you like to talk about?" Rodney asked trying to come across innocently.
"You know damn well what I want to talk about! What the hell was that display in the briefing room?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Rodney lied and continued to pack.
"Why is this bothering you so much?"
"Oh you mean the whole dying and Replicator invasion thing."
"Rodney." John said knowing Rodney would understand he meant cut the crap.
"Not that it is any of your business Major but I would just rather we get her back to her time sooner rather than later."
"What is so wrong with her being your daughter?" seeing through Rodney façade.
Rodney sighed. Once again he knew that he was not going to get out of this conversation. Why didn't he just tell the Major to go away and leave him alone? In the past that's exactly what he would have done. In the past though, he hadn't had friends quite like the ones he had here, especially the stubborn Major, currently standing before him waiting for an answer. He realized that John wasn't just being nosey he was trying to be a friend. Emotions! Who needs them! he thought to himself.
"I'm not so sure I would make a good father." he finally confessed. "My own father wasn't much of a role model and I obviously didn't stick around long in her case as it is."
John nodded as if sorting through Rodney's confession.
"Okay Rodney firstly I don't know the first thing about raising kids but I do know one thing. Just because your Dad wasn't much of a father doesn't mean that you're going to be the same. In fact it could even make you a better father because you know where he went wrong and you can avoid that." John told him seriously. "Secondly you not sticking around for her wasn't entirely your fault. I'm pretty sure you didn't plan on dying. Personally besides all your snarky and bad tempered ways, I think you'd make a great Dad because most importantly you care."
Rodney stayed silent, pondering John's words.
"Another thing Rodney," John added. "I spoke to her just after the briefing and let me tell you that there is no doubt in my mind that she loves her father. And think of it this way, you don't know how to handle these revelations, well imagine how she's feeling. She's a McKay, she hides her feelings well. But it must be a shock to be shoved into this environment and be faced with her dead father. So that I think entitles you to try to be a little nicer. If just for her sake." He concluded
"Do you really believe what you said?" Rodney asked skeptically.
"What? About you being a good Dad? Sure and I'm also sure that when the time comes you'll be more than ready to be one." John informed him confidently.
"Thank you. That means a lot." Rodney told him sincerely.
"Good I'm glad I could help." John said then added, "Now I think I have had enough mushy friendship stuff to last e a lifetime in the last 5 minutes so please if your ready can we get back to normal." He pleaded.
"Yes please." Rodney laughed.
"Good well I'll see you in the gate room." With his work accomplished he left the Lab with a wave of his hand.
Rodney was still for a moment thinking over what John had told him. He was touched that John had so much faith in him. He had no doubt that he man trusted his abilities but this was a whole other level of admiration and he was glad that he had such good friends.
Teyla and Ford stood in the gate room waiting for the other members of their team.
"What do you think about all this?" Ford asked her.
"I am not sure but I think it could be dangerous knowing too much about ones future."
"I think it's kinda cool! I love to know what I'm going to be doing in the future. I wonder if I'll ever make Colonel?" he told her wistfully.
"Depending on what lies in your future you may not want to know."
"Are you naturally a pessimist?"
"Not all the time." Teyla smiled and then turned and waited as she saw Melanie approach.
"Aunt Teyla." Melanie greeted, and then looked at Ford.
"I'm sorry we weren't introduced before, you must be … Lieutenant Aiden Ford right?" She asked him.
"Um yeah that would be me … you don't know me?" he asked with a worried look on his face.
"Not personally, no. But Uncle John has mentioned you in the past." She told him realizing that she had probably started something she didn't want to finish.
"So what? I'm dead?"
"I don't know, Dad and Uncle John never said. Maybe you just moved on?" she replied honestly not knowing what had happened to him.
"Okay well I guess it's nice to meet you anyway and just for the record, you're a lot nicer than Doctor McKay," he told her jokingly, earning a laugh in return.
"Where is Ronan?" Melanie asked turning to Teyla.
"I am afraid I do not know a Ronan."
"Oh I guess you guys haven't met him yet." She said. "Never Mind."
Rodney watched his team mate's interaction with Melanie from the doorway that led to the gate room. He had been standing there for at least a couple of minutes. In truth he was working up the courage to join them, feeling embarrassed about his earlier reaction. Not that he was going to admit that to anyone. He watched Ford eyeing Melanie up and down and felt a weird sense of protection well up inside him. Which to him, was a total irrational feeling. He didn't even know the girl yet. All they shared so far was the same bloodline. Thinking that now was a good a time as any he made his way out of his hiding spot.
"I'd watch where your eyes are going Lieutenant." He teased. "That's my Daughter your looking at." He pronounced, giving Melanie an uncertain look.
Melanie was more than a little shocked hearing Rodney actually call her his daughter. She had assumed he wanted nothing to do with her, judging by his earlier reaction.
"Shut up McKay!" Ford exclaimed his cheeks going a light shade of red, making Teyla smile in amusement.
"Hey guys! Are we all ready?" Sheppard asked walking into the gate room causing any other conversation to be halted.
"As we'll ever be." Melanie told him, giving a small smile to Rodney, who smiled back.
"Good well let's get this show on the road shall we. Dial it up Sergeant!" he called up to the gate technician in the control room.
John rubbed his hands together as he waited for the wormhole to establish. Looking at his team members, everyone seemed to be in a good mood, even Rodney. He was glad that Rodney seemed to have taken his advice. Now hopefully this mission would go as planned and everything would turn out alright. However he was very aware that things rarely went the way they wanted them to, so he was prepared for anything as he stepped through the event horizon in front of his team.
Stepping out of the Stargate on the other side, the team was greeted by a lush green landscape with trees and bushes everywhere. John looked around, and then looked to Melanie.
"So where about did your team encounter the Human Form Replicator's?" John asked her.
"It was about a Half hour run in that direction." She told him pointing in a North Eastern direction from the gate. "Just past that row of really tall trees."
"Okay we'll back track the way you came and hopefully find something that can tell us more," Sheppard told them. "We'll spread out to cover more area. Teyla, Ford spread out to the right and keep and eye out because we don't know what we are looking for. You find anything let us know." he told them as he moved off, Melanie and Rodney trailing behind.
They had been walking for half and hour and had gotten further and further away from Teyla and Ford. They had stopped a few times coming across things that Melanie remembered seeing on her trek to the gate. The three of them hadn't said much on the walk, all lost in their own thoughts. Rodney had been meaning to start up a conversation with Melanie for some time since coming to the Planet but for the life of him he had no idea what to say. John too had been quiet which hadn't helped matters. Teyla's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Major Sheppard. Come in please."
"Sheppard here, what is it Teyla?" John asked putting his hand up silently telling Rodney and Melanie to hold up.
"I believe we have found a device that looks as if it was made by the ancients." Teyla told him.
"Teyla can you describe it?" McKay asked coming to stand next to John.
"It is round and about the size of one of your lap top computers. It has a small round crystal similar to that on a DHD." She explained. "At first glance we thought it was a rock. It's lucky we saw it at all."
Both John and Rodney looked at Melanie to see if it was ringing any bells. She closed her eyes and tried to think. She could remember running as fast as she could back to the Stargate. Suddenly it came to her.
"Oh wait I remember I tripped over at one stage and I remember a bright light as I landed. Like a sheet of lightning but at the time I didn't think anything of it. I was too worried about getting back to the Stargate in time to warn Atlantis." She exclaimed excitedly.
Rodney nodded then tapped his headset again.
"Teyla is there any writing or inscriptions on the device?"
"Yes there is tiny writing right around the edge of it." she replied.
"We can't be sure till we get a look at it but that could be it." Rodney said looking at John to see what he thought they should do next.
"Well it can't me that much longer till we reach the area where Melanie said they encountered the Replicator's. I say we at least check out the rest of the area ahead and then head back to the gate." He told Rodney.
Rodney sighed; he really didn't feel like walking anymore. Why was it they always had to walk far distances when going through the Stargate. It wasn't as if they were at the SGC. They had the advantage of Puddle Jumpers here. Even when the team did take a Puddle Jumper Sheppard always seemed to like to park as far away from the destination as possible. That defeated the purpose of taking the Jumper in the first case if you asked Rodney.
"Major do we really have to go any further?" Rodney complained getting an eye roll off John.
"No seriously I mean I have a good feeling that Teyla and Ford have found what we need. We have seen nothing else that leads me to believe that we will find anything remotely like a time travel device."
"Rodney we haven't even gone the whole way yet."
"It's Okay I agree with Rodney." Melanie spoke up looking at John. "It's starting to come back to me now. Even though I haven't seen what Teyla found I'm pretty sure by her description that it's what caused this to happen. The faster we get back to Atlantis the faster we get this sorted out."
John looked unsure. He would be more comfortable if they looked everywhere before they headed back. But looking at Melanie, she looked certain and out of everyone she had the most to lose if Teyla had found the wrong device.
"Okay if you're sure," John conceded getting a relieved sigh from Rodney. "Teyla we are making our way back now we should be about half an hour or so. You and Ford start heading back to the gate and bring the device back with you."
"Understood Major," Teyla answered ending the communication.
"Okay kiddies of we go back to the Stargate." John said sweeping his arm in the opposite direction they had come.
Ford could see the Stargate in the distance now and couldn't help but be relieved. They had put the ancient device in his back pack and after the long walk it was starting to get rather heavy. Ford looked over at Teyla and noticed that she had a frown on her face.
"Teyla? Is anything wrong?" he asked her quickening his pace to catch up to her.
"I've had an uneasy feeling for a while." She confessed.
"Your not sensing any Wraith are you?"
"It is hard to explain. The feeling I am getting now is similar to the one I get when a Wraith is around but not as strong. Like really foggy."
"Well that can't be good." Ford stated the obvious.
"No I believe maybe we should warn Major Sheppard. It may be nothing but …"
"It's better to be safe than sorry." Ford finished. Receiving a nod from her
"Major Sheppard, come in," Ford said into his radio.
He was answered with Silence. Both Teyla and Ford looked at one another realizing the same thing. Something was terribly wrong. Ford was just about to try again when Teyla's eyes widened as if she was sensing something.
"Aiden I sense the Wraith now. They are here on this planet." She informed him with a worried look in her eyes.
"What?" Ford exclaimed. "How come you couldn't sense them properly before?"
"I'm not sure but we need to get in contact with Major Sheppard. They could be in danger." Teyla told him.
"Major Sheppard Come in!" he asked into his radio again.
"A little busy here Ford." Ford sighed the Major sounded like they were in trouble but he was just glad that he got some kind of response this time.
"Sir Teyla believes that there could be Wraith on the planet."
"Kind of figured that out already Lieutenant. We are trying to make our way back now without getting killed. Go through the gate and let Weir know what the situation is. We are hoping to make it to the gate undetected."
"Sir we could double back and help." Ford suggested. It didn't sit well with him to just leave them behind.
"Ford, get through the gate. That's an order." Sheppard emphasized.
"Yes Sir." Ford replied then looked at Teyla. "Let's get going before we are detected."
Both Teyla and Ford started of running towards the gate. They weren't that far away, they just hoped their friends made it back.
"How far is it to the gate?" Rodney asked for what seemed like the hundredth time.
John sighed, you would think with how long Rodney had been in a field unit that he would finally understand the word silence. But no the scientist had yet to grasp that concept. Without Teyla's unique abilities John was unable to know how far they were from the Wraith. Upon seeing some Wraith on foot on their way back to the gate John had very quickly, but quietly in another direction.
"Rodney." He grounded out. "For the last time I'm not sure."
"Please tell me you know where you're going?"
"Of course I do." John told him not sounding so confident. If he was honest getting of course had put him off a bit. There was no way he was telling McKay that right now. He would never hear the end of it and he really wanted McKay to shut up right about now.
"I seriously hope I never bitch and complain like he does." Melanie spoke up.
"Excuse me?" Rodney hissed clearly insulted.
"You heard me." She counted.
"I don't bitch and complain." He told her, "and watch your language."
"Watch my language? Now you wanna go acting all fatherly well let me tell you something Doctor McKay, you have made it quite clear that you want nothing to do with me and the sooner we get me back the better."
"That's it!" John said as loud as he could without being loud, cutting of any reply Rodney was going to make. "You two can argue as much as you want to when we get back but right now my main concern is getting back, that said no more talking is that understood?"
John's serious demeanor was nearly compromised by the identical looks of surprise coming from both McKay's.
"Right." was all Rodney said.
"Sorry." Melanie apologized looking sheepish.
"Good now let's get going, we have …" John's sentence was cut off when out of nowhere a Wraith Stunner blast hit him right in the middle of his back, causing him to fall forward hitting his head on the nearest tree.
"Major!" Rodney yelled accompanied by a simultaneous "Uncle John!" from Melanie.
It didn't take long for Melanie to get over her shock and let the soldier in her take control, bringing up her P-90 in the direction of the Wraith blasts.
"Major?" Rodney called, trying to shake his friend awake.
"We don't have time for this. You're going to have to pick him up." Melanie told him.
"What? Do have any idea how heavy he is?" Rodney exclaimed.
"Doctor, if we don't move now we're dead now come on!" Melanie almost yelled him.
Rodney sighed. He wasn't looking forward to this. Sheppard's thin and lanky frame was deceiving and if he was honest with himself, he wasn't the fittest of individuals. A stunner blast zoomed past his head just missing it, made his mind up for him. He grabbed hold of Sheppard in a fireman's carry and set off in the direction they had been heading with Melanie covering his six. After running for about 10 minutes with Sheppard's dead weight on his shoulder he felt like his lungs were going to burst. The Major seemed to be getting heavier and heavier. Rodney surmised that was because he felt extremely tired. As tired as we was, he knew he couldn't stop. If they did they would be caught for sure.
Up ahead of them Melanie saw what looked like an outcropping or the entrance to a cave that was covered by vines and plants. Knowing that if they didn't find cover soon the Wraith were going to find them. She sped up her pace in order to get passed Rodney, which wasn't hard because he was really starting to lag under the extra weight. As she ran past him she told him to follow her, not looking back to see if he had complied. Once she reached her destination she sighed with relief. Moving some of the vines to the side, she found a small cave. Big enough to fit the three of them and with enough cover for them to hide, she hoped. She turned to look behind her and saw that Rodney was just catching up and she waved him through. He did so without question, his mind she thought, running on adrenaline. Once they were inside the cave she concealed their entrance as best she could. It was the best she could hope for because if they had of kept running they wouldn't have made it much further. She looked over to where her father, no she told her self, Doctor McKay was dumping Sheppard. He was breathing extremely hard that she thought the Wraith would be able to here them a mile away. Major Sheppard was still out for the count.
"Stop breathing so loud, they'll here you!" she snapped at him.
"I'm … so … sorry … if my … breathing offends … you" he told her snarkly while trying to get his breath back.
"I'm serious; I can see them in the distance now."
"Well next time … why don't you try lugging … his ass around through the forest in a dead run and see how you are," He snipped and then all of a sudden realized what she had said, "You can see them?" he asked getting up to take a peek through the coverage of the plants.
"Yes Mr. Genius now shut up!" she snapped in a low tone.
Rodney looked as if he was going to say something else but thought better of it. The last thing he needed was for the Wraith to find them because of his mouth. He had gotten into enough trouble because of his mouth and didn't want to add that to the list. He looked at Melanie as she continued to keep a lookout outside. How could he have a daughter like this? She was Mouthy, impatient, sarcastic. It must have come from Sam's side. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of someone moaning. Both Melanie and Rodney looked in the direction of Sheppard he was beginning to moan as he lifted his hands to his bleeding head.
"We have to keep him quiet they are getting close." She whispered to Rodney.
Rodney moved to sit next to the Major and put a hand over his mouth. John not totally being awake just yet started to thrash since he didn't know who the hell had their hand over his mouth.
"Major!" Rodney hissed quietly giving him a shake to try and get rid of his friends cobwebs, "We need to be quiet."
Rodney didn't know whether it was his voice or the words but John seemed to calm down a little at that. Melanie once again focused her observations on the Wraith party that seemed to be getting closer and closer. She held her breath as one of the Wraith headed towards their hideout, praying that he didn't see them. She watched as the Wraith looked around but obviously didn't find anything when he started walking back to his group. Melanie watched as they regrouped and then head off through the trees and away from where they were hiding. She could finally let out the breath she had been holding and turned back to look at her father and uncle.
"They're moving away." She told him looked very relieved.
"Thank God for that." He said and lifted his hand away from John's face and noticed that he had gotten some of his blood on his hand.
Melanie made her way over to where the two were and looked down at the once again unconscious Major.
"He's out again." She said to no-one in particular.
"How very observant of you." He snarked at her while wiping his hands on his pants in effort to get John's blood off them.
"Are we going to start this again?" she asked tiredly.
"You started it." He stated childishly.
"Oh my god! And how do you figure that?"
"Back before we were attacked."
"You know mum was right you were an arrogant, petty son of a bitch and I'm sorry that I ever got to know you like this." She told him, turning away from him.
Rodney watched as she turned away from him and he regretted once again for being so harsh with her. It wasn't her fault for the way he was feeling. It was just hard to get his head around. Looking at her she looked totally miserable. Thinking about it he supposed that she would be considering that they were hiding out in a small cave with an unconscious Air Force Major. He knew that, that wasn't the only reason she was upset though and he was starting to feel guilty. Here he was worried that he would be bad like his father and because he was worrying so much he had turned into a bad father anyway. Ironic he thought. He looked back down at John and realized that his head wound was still bleeding. God I cant even be a good friend he thought to himself he thought to himself. Shaking his head he started rummaging through his pack to find the med kit. Once he found it he took it out and went about cleaning up the wound and putting a field dressing on it.
"Shouldn't you be awake yet Major?" he asked his unconscious friend, "You it seems I'm having to patch your head together a lot lately. It's any wonder you have any brain left at the rate your going." He grumbled.
"It's most likely that he will be out longer than usual with the combined effects of the Stunner and the blow to the head." Melanie told him quietly, still not looking his way.
Rodney was about to come back with a sarcastic remark but stopped himself just in time.
"Your right," he agreed, "Melanie …"
"Yes?" she asked tightly.
"I would … I would like to say …" Rodney stumbled.
"Spit it out Doctor."
"I would like to say that I'm … I'm sorry for the way I've been behaving. This has all been quite a shock for me and I realize that I have made a …"
"Ass of yourself?" Melanie finished for him.
"Well yes. I wouldn't have put it that way …"
"Okay then yes I have made an ass of myself and I am trying to apologies. This mustn't be easy for you either and … well … is it possible to maybe start again?" Rodney asked hesitantly.
Melanie turned to face him once again and looked him in the eyes. The same blue eyes, that she saw in the mirror every morning. He looked genuinely sincere. She sighed.
"Okay I um have something I'd like to say as well," she started, "I'd like to apologies for expecting you to act like the father I have always known. It was unfair of me since you don't even know me yet. It was just a shock seeing you again after all this time. I missed you so much. Don't get me wrong Uncle John made a great parent but you'll always be my dad and I wanted you back. So I apologies as well."
Rodney looked taken back. He hadn't expected her to apologies for anything.
"There's no need to apologies. Can I ask you a question?"
"How do I die?"
Melanie wanted nothing more than to tell him right there but knew she couldn't. It went against everything she was taught and would probably only make him nervous about being out in the field and she didn't want him to live like that.
"I don't know the details," she lied, "But everyone was a mess about it. Especially Uncle John, He kind of blamed himself, even though there was nothing he could have done about it."
Rodney sighed. He guessed he knew that she wasn't going to tell him but he was definitely curious.
"Okay can you at least answer this …" He asked, "Was I a good father?"
"The best. You were always there for me and I always knew that you loved me and I have tons of great memories of you, that's why it was so painful to see you again." She said with tears in her eyes.
Now that she was finally talking to her father and not snapping at each other her emotions were brought back to the surface again.
Rodney moved over to her and uncertainly put his arm's around her. Not entirely sure that, she wanted him to. His worries were extinguished when she wrapped her arms around him and cried. Rodney had never been a real sentimental type and was extremely uncomfortable having a young woman crying in his arms, but he was determined that he could do this. He held onto her more tightly and rubbed soothing circles on her back in an effort to offer comfort.
"I love you dad!" she cried into his shoulder.
This all felt so surreal to Rodney here he was comforting his future daughter over his impending death. On the other hand he felt a connection with this girl that he hadn't noticed before, probably because he was too busy trying to avoid her and pretend that all this wasn't real.
"I love you too." He told her and he thought strangely that it wasn't a lie. Deep down there must have been some father, child connection that made him feel love for this person without even really knowing her.
It didn't take long for her cries to dissipate leaving her embarrassed that she had once again lost it. I really need to get a hold of myself she thought to herself.
"I'm sorry. I'm not really this emotional." She apologized moving out of his embrace while wiping her eyes.
"It's fine really."
Both of them were saved of saying anymore when they heard movement behind them and found that John was once again regaining consciousness. Rodney and Melanie made there way across to John, Rodney giving him a light pat on the cheek.
"Major?" he asked as he saw John's eyes beginning to flutter open. "Come on Captain Kirk, open those Green eyes."
"Owe," was the first thing that came to John's lips as he lifted his hand to his head. "Rodney?" he croaked.
"No, it's Spock," he answered sarcastically, "Of course it's me."
"Uncle John we really need to get going before the Wraith double back." Melanie told him.
John's eyes were open all the way now and he saw two concerned McKay's looking down on him. He couldn't for the life of him remember what had happened to him this time. He did know for one thing that he had a massive headache. He seemed to get them a lot lately and he wondered how he manage to acquire one this time. The last thing he remembered was going on the mission to find the device that could send Melanie back to the future and then on their way back running from the Wraith. The rest was all blank. He put a hand to his head once again and realized that he had a field dressing wrapped around his head and figured he must have been knocked out.
"What happened?" John asked as he tried to sit up with little affect.
"You don't remember?" Rodney asked helping his friend to sit up.
"McKay, would I be asking if I remembered?"
"Right. Well we were attacked by the Wraith. You took a stunner blast to your back and cracked your head on a tree."
"We managed to hide in here as the Wraith went passed but I think we should move soon. They're bound to double back once they don't find us." Melanie finished her father's explanation.
"Good idea." he said roughly as his head was still pounding.
"Can you walk? Because let me tell you I'm not carrying you again." Rodney told him.
"I can walk. Help me up."
Both Melanie and Rodney grabbed one of John's arms each and pulled him up. He wobbled for a minute and Rodney seriously doubted whether he could make it back under his own steam.
"Are you okay?" Melanie asked concern evident in her face.
"I'm fine. Lets go before they come. The sooner we get back to Atlantis, the infirmary and Carson the sooner my headache will disappear." He said taking a step towards the entrance and losing his balance, Rodney catching him just in time.
"Sure your fine." He said sarcastically.
"I'll be fine. Let's go."
He made his way to the entrance once again Rodney keeping a hand under his elbow for support incase he made another nose dive. Melanie poked her head out first to make sure the cost was clear. Seeing that no-one was out there she gave them the all clear and they all headed out of the sanctuary. As soon as John stepped out into the daylight, the pain in his head intensified and his legs nearly gave out on him. Rodney managed to keep him standing and without saying another word draped the Major's right arm over his shoulder so he could give him more support. It worried Rodney that John hadn't argued over that. He seemed content to let Rodney help him, which meant that his headache must have been more serious than he thought.
Elizabeth Weir once again found herself not knowing what had happened to her two friends. Once Ford and Teyla had made it back through the gate and told her what happened, she ordered Ford and Teyla to go back through the gate with a Jumper to pick them up. She didn't want to take any chances. So enlisting Sergeant Stackhouse's help in flying the Jumper, the three were ready to head back to the planet.
"Lieutenant are you all set?" she asked Ford through her radio.
"Okay you have a go. Good Luck." She told them as she watched the Jumper lower into the gate room and head through the event horizon.
Why cant anything ever go simply? she asked herself. She turned to Peter Grodin who sat at the Control Room's main console.
"Peter, get Doctor Zelenka to come and collect the Ancient device, see what he can make of it and maybe give Rodney a head start when he gets back."
"Okay." He answered as Elizabeth walked back into her office.
John's head was feeling worse. Definitely another concussion. he thought. He had been leaning more and more heavily on Rodney, the more they walked. He was just thankful that Rodney hadn't really uttered one complaint. Besides the fact they didn't want to give away their position he didn't think that he could handle Rodney's normal barrage of complaints right now with his head pounding. The dizziness wasn't helping matters. His thoughts were interrupted as he stumbled once again, this time not being able to stop the nauseous feeling. He pushed away from Rodney and got a couple of feet away before he lost the contents of his stomach. Once the heaves started to subside he felt Rodney's hand on his back.
"That's just great." Rodney told him.
"So sorry to offend you." He whispered back.
Rodney helped him to a standing position and they continued on. It wasn't long before Melanie stopped and silently told them that they needed to be quiet. For once Rodney complied. She instructed them to hide behind a group of trees that was nearby and once she saw that they had hidden themselves she followed them. She was hoping the Wraith might bypass them altogether. It would have made things a lot easier. Unfortunately they had no such luck, because just as the Wraith were about to leave, their radio's came to life.
"Major? Doctor McKay? Come in please." Ford asked them.
Although the radio transmission wasn't that loud, it must have been loud enough for the Wraith to notice something. This time they obviously spotted something because they started firing their stunners.
"Shit," Melanie cursed, firing a round off her P-90, "Lieutenant we are at the edge of the forest but the Wraith have found out position and are firing at us. I don't know how much longer we can hold them off and Major Sheppard is injured." She told him quickly into the radio.
"I'm fine." John protested and prove his point he went to grab his P-90 from the front of his vest but realized that Rodney had taken it and was using it himself. Both Melanie and Rodney ignored his protest.
"Understood, we'll be there to help you out shortly." Ford assured her.
Melanie and Rodney kept up the fire and so far had been lucky not to get hit. The Wraith were closing in and Rodney was starting to get nervous.
"They're still getting closer!" he shouted so Melanie could hear him over the gun fire.
"Really, what makes you say that?" she replied sarcastically.
He was going to reply when he realized that John had managed to stand up and had taken his sidearm out and was attempting to fire. Only problem was he was shooting with his eyes closed because all the gunfire was making his head pound worse. Rodney grabbed him by the arm and sat him down forcefully.
"Stay down Major, before you fall down," Rodney told him and seeing that he was going to argue he added, "and that's an order!" then resumed his shooting.
John couldn't believe his ears. Had Rodney just given him an order? If his head hadn't hurt so much he might have argued the point but in the distance he could hear more gunfire and wondered for a moment what was going on. Then he remembered that Ford said he would be there shortly. Just then Melanie, Rodney and John witnessed Ford, Teyla and Stackhouse running in the direction of the Wraith and shooting them with all they had. Seeing this gave Melanie the chance to make a move out of their cover and help their rescue. Now that they had backup the Wraith were taken down easily and they could breathe again.
"Are you all alright?" Teyla asked her concern evident as she saw Rodney come out from behind the trees supporting a dazed looking Major Sheppard.
"We're fine but Major Sheppard took a stunner blast and hit his head." Rodney informed her.
"I'm fine." John repeated.
"You know Major you are starting to sound like a broken record." Rodney complained.
"Well if you believed me then I wouldn't have to repeat myself."
"Yes I believe the man who has blood down the side of his face and can't walk in a straight line."
"McKay as interesting as this conversation is getting, we really should be getting out of here." Ford interrupted the two bickering.
"Yes I still sense the Wraith nearby, we should leave before more come." Teyla told them, moving to the other side of John to lend support.
"Yes. Home … Carson … Painkillers … sounds good." John stated as he started walking back out of the forest between Rodney and Teyla.
Thankfully Stackhouse had parked right at the edge of the forest so they didn't have long to travel before they were safely inside the Jumper. The ride home was quiet and uneventful and John was a little surprised to see that since he had awakened in that cave that he hadn't really heard Rodney or Melanie argue once and wondered what was up with that. He would just be glad when they got through and he thought he might sleep for week. It was funny how tired you got after smashing you head up against a tree and running from the Wraith. Stackhouse flew the Jumper through the Stargate and they appeared in the gate room. The Jumper automatically ascended up into the roof and into the Jumper Bay. Upon opening the back hatch of the Jumper they were met with a medical team and even though John still protested that he was fine and he could walk, they made him take the ride to the infirmary on a gurney. They thanked Stackhouse for his help and Rodney, Melanie, Teyla and Ford made their way to see Weir. The moment Elizabeth saw them she directed them to the briefing room. Once they were all inside she began.
"I won't keep you long as I know you must be tired but I would like an update of what went down over there."
"Basically we spotted the Wraith on the way back and Major Sheppard told Teyla and Ford to go through the gate. We tried to make it back ourselves without being spotted but they found us and opened fire. Sheppard was hit. We found a cave we hid then when Sheppard woke up we moved on and eventually the Wraith found us again but Ford and Teyla came to the rescue." Rodney told her in one big mouthful.
It surprised Elizabeth that she no longer seemed surprised at Rodney habit of speaking really fast.
"I have started Doctor Zelenka on the Device. But maybe you all should get some rest before you start anything." She suggested.
"We'd like to start right away." Melanie and Rodney told her simultaneously.
"Okay if you're sure. You're all dismissed."
Elizabeth nodded to Teyla and Ford as she passed them on her way out.
"Well I guess you wont be needing us … so …" Ford said pointing a thumb over his shoulder.
"Yes, yes go," Rodney told him, then looked at Melanie, "Well let's get this figured out shall we?"
"Yes let's." she answered him following out of the briefing and towards the labs where Zelenka was working.
Teyla accompanied Lieutenant Ford to the infirmary so that they could get their post mission exams out of the way. Also they both wanted to see how their C.O was doing. Surprisingly when they got the Infirmary it was oddly quiet. Teyla had expected to here the Major complaining about being poked and prodded by their Scottish doctor. Turning into the Infirmary she looked in and noticed that the reason it was so quiet was because the Major was sound asleep at the end of the room. Teyla looked at Ford and smirked. This was a first. Carson came out of his office at that moment and looked up and smiled as the two came closer.
"How did you get him like this? He was pretty vocal when we brought him in." Ford asked quietly as to not wake Sheppard.
"Aye he was but as his adrenaline wore off his body realized how tired he was. As soon as I deemed it safe he went straight to sleep," he explained to the Lieutenant then added a quiet "Thank God."
"It is good he needs the rest." Teyla stated.
"Where are the two McKay's?"
"They went to start working on the device we found. I think they're pretty anxious." Ford told him.
"Is the man bloody daft? He knows he has to have his post mission exam when he comes back from a mission." Carson grumbled.
"I think they want to just get this over with as soon as possible. After you finish with us I'll go and remind him if you want." he offered.
"No that's okay lad I'll contact him later now who's first?" Carson asked rubbing his hands together.
Ford put his hand up and Carson told him to follow him to another bed across the room. Teyla watched her two friends then sat on the chair besides the Major's bed to wait.
Rodney thought they were making good progress and as it turned out, Melanie was quite a skilled scientist. He felt quite proud that his daughter, well … daughter to be had followed in his footsteps. Well both Parents' footsteps really considering she was also in the Air Force like Sam. He looked over to where Melanie and Zelenka were bent over some readings. The two of them seemed to get on like a house on fire. Although Melanie had a lot of Rodney's qualities like the sarcastic and fast wit, his impatience and his intelligence, she wasn't arrogant and tended to deal with people a lot better than what Rodney did. They had found the power source for the device but had been reluctant to do much with it since they didn't want to chance wrecking it. Zelenka had one of the scientist's translating the Ancient writing around the edge. Rodney was hoping that it was instructions on how to use it. Melanie sighed and leaned back in her chair and rubbed her hands over her face.
"Maybe we should take a break?" suggested Zelenka noticing that she seemed tired.
"No I'm fine." She quickly told him sounding a lot like Sheppard earlier. Rodney guessed she had picked up habits from a few people.
"Rodney this is Carson come in please." Carson said through the radio.
"Have you forgotten something Rodney?" he asked him in a sing song voice.
"No Carson I haven't forgotten anything" he sniped back.
"Post mission exams are mandatory Rodney I suggest to come here and get it over and done with and that goes for your lovely daughter as well."
"On our way" Rodney sighed.
"Looks like you did forget something." Zelenka said with a smirk on his face.
"Yes well aren't you just perfect Radek." Rodney sniped back at him.
"You know Rodney your daughter here is much more pleasant to work with than you."
"Thank you Radek." Melanie said smiling brightly.
"I'm so happy for you both."
"Now, now we are just playing with you." She told him laughing as she put a hand on his shoulder and walked him out the door leaving Zelenka chuckling to himself.
Upon entering the Infirmary Rodney saw that John was sitting up in his bed.
"Rodney, come to save me from Doctor Dread?" he asked with a hopeful look on his face.
"I heard that Major!" Carson said almost coming out of nowhere surprising all three of them before Rodney could even answer him, "And you will stay in that bed until I tell you otherwise. Are we clear?"
"I'm not a child ya know." John complained crossing his arms across his chest.
"Well then don't act like one. I meant what I said!" Carson stated firmly then shuffled Rodney and Melanie into the curtained off part of the Infirmary leaving John sitting there with an insulted look on his face.
"When did the child impersonating a U.S Air Force Major wake up?" Rodney quipped.
"About half an hour ago, this is why I called you. I needed something to distract me."
"Okay who would like to go first?" Carson asked looking at both McKay's
Both of them looked at each other and Melanie shrugged.
"I'll go." She told Carson finally.
"Good okay then lass Jump up on the bed and I'll be back in a minute." Carson told her then walked back out from behind the curtain.
"So …" she said not really knowing what to say now that they weren't evading Wraith and weren't working.
"So …" Rodney repeated.
They were both quiet for a minute when all of a sudden they heard Carson yelling.
"Major I told you to quit playing with that!"
The both smiled at that. Carson definitely had his hands full.
"So Melanie, do you have any cousins?" Rodney asked to strike up conversation.
"I don't know whether I should tell you." she said uncertainly.
"Come on. What harm could it do?"
"Okay. Well I have two cousins on Mum's side and one cousin that I grew up with here on Atlantis."
"Really? My sister Jeanie had a kid?" Rodney asked surprised.
"No, Uncle John and Aunt Teyla did."
"What?" Rodney exclaimed.
"What you never felt that coming?"
"No … well I notice a little bit, but I never thought that would happen."
"Well anyway his name is Nathan and he is five years younger than me. We're almost like brother and sister, especially after you … died."
"Wow that's interesting."
Carson interrupted their conversation and he seemed all flustered.
"I swear that man is impossible to deal with. He gets bored way too easily." Carson complained.
"Now you know how I feel most of the time." Rodney told him jokingly.
"Yes well I would knock him out with a sedative if he didn't have a bloody concussion. Anyway Rodney go keep the Major entertained while I'm busy with Melanie."
"Yes you now go shoo." Carson said pushing him outside the curtain.
Doctor Radek Zelenka was taking a coffee break when Doctor Gaul, the scientist he had assigned to go over the translation came in and handed him a notepad.
"Is this the translation?" he asked the man standing in front of him.
"Yes that's all of it." Gaul replied.
"Thank you Doctor this should be very helpful." Zelenka told him and watched as the scientist nodded then headed out of the room.
Zelenka looked back down at the notepad that he had been handed. He read through the translation, which just confirmed that this device had been what they were looking for. Rodney would be glad to hear that. Reading on he came across apart that he had to read again.
"Oh My!" he said to himself.
"So what else can you tell me?" Rodney asked Melanie as they walked along the corridor back towards the lab that they had been working in.
He had been relieved when Carson had told him that it was his turn for the post mission exam. Not that he minded spending time with John, but when the man was in bored mood he was as Carson put it impossible. In the end Rodney had resorted to talking techno babble and managed to put the Major to sleep. Which Carson was eternally grateful for and Rodney intended to hang that over his head for a while. John's body needed as much rest as he could get so all round Rodney had done everyone a favour.
"Well let me see … well you did a lot of amazing things for the city. You even created a Food replicator."
"That ended up working?" Rodney asked with a big smile on his face.
"Well for a while."
"What do you mean for a while?"
"Well it worked really well for a while and they installed one in the commissary, but after about 2 weeks of use it exploded and all this gunk went all over the place including Doctor Kavanaugh."
"That must have been a sight to see. It's a shame that it didn't work though."
"Yeah well I didn't actually see it happen. I wasn't born yet but Doctor Kavanaugh didn't stay here long after that. Uncle John said that he wasn't a happy camper." She said laughing.
They walked in silence for a bit, Rodney replaying the image of Kavanaugh being attacked by his replicator machine. A sight to see indeed. he thought.
"So you joined the Air Force." Rodney stated more than asked.
"Yeah I felt I had to help my people with more than just science."
"Well I guess you had to take after your mother in some way."
"Mum was never in the Air Force." Melanie said frowning as Rodney had lost his mind.
"Sue she was. Right now she's a Lt. Colonel and a member of SG-1."
"She might have been a member of SG-1 but she was never in the Air Force. She was a Doctor of Astrophysics. Uncle John is who inspired me to join the Air Force."
Rodney and Melanie had stopped the walking and were now both starring at each other in the hallway as if the other one had lost their mind.
"You're telling me that Samantha Carter never joined the military?" Rodney asked realizing something was very wrong.
"God no, he dad was always military and it turned her against joining."
Rodney just stood there not knowing what to think, when Zelenka contacted him on the radio telling him that he needed to come straight back to the lab. Melanie and Rodney both looked at each other and quickly made their way to the Lab.
Consciousness slowly came back to John. He wasn't sure whether he wanted it to because he had been having a great dream, strangely enough about Elizabeth and Teyla. Deciding that he wasn't going analyze that, he slowly opened his eyes to find that he was still in the Infirmary. He looked around the immediate area and noticed that no-one was around. Not a nurse or a bad tempered Scot in sight. His headache wasn't half as bad now either which he was thankful for. He sat up further and suddenly thought to himself that maybe this was his chance. If only Carson would let him rest in his quarters he wouldn't make the guy's life hell. That's all he wanted. He was sick of being in the Infirmary and had no intention of remaining there if he could rest just as easily in his own room. Besides he wasn't scared of Carson. He had faced off against a lot worse. Taking another quick scan around the room to make sure that there was still no-one around, he lifted the covers to the side and swung his legs over the side of the bed. Standing up he realized they hadn't even had the decency to put him in scrubs. They had given him one of those flimsy nightgown things common in hospitals. No matter how bad he wanted out of here he wasn't walking down the corridors of Atlantis in drafty night gown. What would his subordinates think? Okay John next course of action is to find uniform or scrubs. Preferably uniform so I attract less attention to myself he thought. He knew he had to be very careful because Carson was shifty and had a habit of showing up out of nowhere. He looked around the room trying to remember where they kept the scrubs when his eyes caught something at the end of his bed. My Uniform he thought in surprise. Picking it up he took a closer look and realized it wasn't the same uniform he had come in with because this one was clean. There was a note attached to the jacket. It read, "Major I'm assuming by now if you are reading this note that you were planning an escape. I thought these might help. Ford."
"Ford you're a genius." He said quietly and starting putting the uniform on.
Once he was dressed he grabbed the jacket and made sure not to leave the note behind as evidence that Ford helped him escape. That was the least he could do for the Lieutenant. He made his way quickly across the room and made one more look behind him before he vanished out the door on his way to freedom, feeling quite proud of himself.
Carson had watched the whole thing on security camera from his office and shook his head Major do you really think that if I wanted to stop you that you would get so far? he asked himself. He had been planning on letting him out when he woke up but it had been too fun to watch the Major's daring escape.
"Radek what did you find?" Rodney barked as Melanie and he barged into the lab.
"I have the translations back from Gaul."
"Well it is a time travel device of sorts but the translation also leads me to believe that it not only transports you to another time but also another reality." Zelenka told him.
"Well that explains a few things." Rodney said thoughtfully.
"Explains what exactly?"
"We had a difference of opinion on memories," Melanie supplied then added, "Why would the Ancients make such a device?"
"That I cannot tell you but I can tell you that there are instructions on how to send you back."
"This means you're not really my father." she said sadly and left the room.
"Aren't you going to go after her?" Zelenka asked worriedly.
"No I think I'll let her come to terms about all this first." Rodney said, he was terribly shocked at this new revelation.
"And you." Zelenka commented.
"Yes and me," Rodney sighed, "Let's go brief Elizabeth."
Ford turned around at hearing his name and saw Major Sheppard making his way across the commissary to him. Ford smiled. The Major had obviously been able to escape the dreaded Infirmary and he was glad he was able to help.
"Major, it's good to see you up and around again." Ford told him and John came up and slapped him on the back.
"Lieutenant I owe you big time. I always knew you had it in you to be sneaky." He said smiling.
"Thank you Sir and it was no problem. Are you having Dinner?"
"Nope Elizabeth has asked to see me but I wanted to come and thank you first."
"You don't think she wants to see you because you left the Infirmary without being told you could do you?" Ford asked looking worried.
"I hope not but if she does don't worry your good name will stay clear."
"No worries. I better be off before she does get angry at me." John joked and then headed out of the commissary and towards Elizabeth's office.
When he got there he saw Rodney and Zelenka already in there.
"I'm sorry am I late?" John asked rapping his knuckles on the door frame.
"No Major we haven't started yet. Carson didn't tell me he released you are you sure your supposed to leave yet?" Elizabeth asked innocently.
John looked at her suspiciously for a second. Why did he feel like he had been had?
"Would I leave without getting Carson's approval?" he asked just as innocently, not knowing that he was playing a losing game because Carson had already informed Elizabeth of his little escape.
Elizabeth decided to let it drop. It was quite amusing and she could see that John didn't look half as confident as he did when he first walked in. She'd let him stew on it for a bit. Turning to Rodney and Zelenka she thought she better let them get started because the both looked ready to burst.
"Rodney, Doctor Zelenka you had some information you wanted to share."
"Yes we do. Elizabeth, that device doesn't just send you to the future it also sends you to another alternate reality." Rodney interrupted, earning him an annoyed glance from Zelenka.
"Why would they make a device like that?" John asked sitting down on the couch that sat against the wall in Elizabeth's office.
"As I have said to Rodney I do not know. It would seem that the device doesn't work all of the time. It works in windows of time. Giving a person a chance to visit another place in a different time period and then one chance to send them back." Zelenka explained.
"Have we already passed that window?" Rodney asked.
"No. From what I can tell the next window is a week from yesterday."
"Wait a minute," John interrupted, "That means that Melanie isn't really you're daughter."
"No she isn't. She's the daughter of Doctor Rodney McKay in a different reality."
"Well that explains why Lt. Colonel Carter is her mother. Because in reality, our reality I couldn't ever see that happening." John joked.
"Shut Up Major." Rodney snapped at him.
"Okay so all we have to do is have her touch the device at the right time and she'll be sent back?" Elizabeth asked trying to sooth the temper she could see building in Rodney.
"Well it isn't as simple as that," Zelenka continued, "We're going to have to take the device back to where we found it and from there theoretically she should be taken back to her own time."
"Don't people who visit from alternate realities suffer from some seizures or something. I read that in one of the SG-1 reports?" Elizabeth asked.
"They're called Entropic Cascade Tremors and it only happens after 48 hours. In Melanie's case she doesn't exist here so she won't experience them." Rodney told them.
"Okay well I guess Melanie is our guest until next week." Elizabeth said dismissing them.
"Where is Melanie now?" John asked as he and Rodney made their way out of Weir's office.
"How should I know Major?" Rodney asked him irritably.
"Well maybe because since she's your daughter, you care enough to know." John said smartly.
"Weren't you listening to what we said in there? She apparently isn't my daughter."
"Whoa there!" John exclaimed stopping Rodney by grabbing a hold of his shoulders.
"Major let me go." Rodney complained.
"Not until you listen to me," John told him, "Just because she's from another reality doesn't mean she's not your daughter."
"Um yes it does Major."
"Okay well yeah it does but your still Rodney McKay and she's still the daughter of Rodney McKay. Now she might not be YOUR daughter but in a way she is."
"Have you had enough confusing me now?" Rodney asked impatiently.
"Do you get what I mean?" John asked him. He wasn't letting go until Rodney saw reason.
"Yes I think I do, I guess," Rodney conceded, "It's just that I just started to accept that she was my daughter and I was starting to get to know her and then it all changes. I just need to get head around this new change of events."
"Okay I'm glad we got that sorted." John said but still didn't let go of Rodney's arms.
"Um Major do you think you can let go now?"
John looked around and saw that they hadn't moved any farther from the control room and they everyone was starting to stare at them so he let go of Rodney's arms.
"Thank you. Who let you out of the infirmary anyway?"
"I snuck out." John whispered to him leaning in closer as if telling him a secret. He sported a big dopey smile like he was extremely proud of himself.
"Good for you. Now if you don't mind I have things I need to do so … I'm going."
John stood in the control room and watched Rodney leave. Noticing that a lot of the personnel were still looking at him he decided to make a retreat himself. He thought he should still keep himself scarce. He wasn't quite up to facing Carson just yet. He wasn't scared of the Doctor he reminded himself just not up to a long lecture about doing as he was told.
Rodney had looked everywhere he could think of for Melanie. She wasn't in the labs, she wasn't in the quarter's Elizabeth had assigned her, she wasn't in the gym. So he started heading for the Northern Balcony. He always thought that was the best view and it was calming to feel the fresh air and the sounds and smells of the ocean. Considering she was his child on some sort of alternate reality level he thought just maybe she might like it there too. It was a bit of a far walk from his quarters and his lab but that was another reason he liked it so much. Once he finally got there he looked out the door and out onto the balcony and sure enough Melanie was leaning against the railing looking out at the Ocean below them. He hesitated at the door. He wasn't sure what to say to her. He himself wasn't really sure about how he felt about the whole mess. One minute he had a daughter from the future and the next minute she's not his daughter but some other Rodney McKay's daughter. It was confusing at best. It made it even worse that he had struggled to feel connected to her through his own stubbornness and when he finally relents and accepts it, its taken away. He had to admit that the whole Sam Carter thing did sound a bit impossible, in this reality anyway. Because even if he had changed, he knew that her heart belonged with someone else.
Getting up his courage, which was minimal at best, he walked out onto the balcony.
"You know if you ask Major Sheppard he'll tell you that the South East Balcony has the best view. I kind of like this one though." He started hoping that was a good ice breaker.
Melanie jumped a little at his voice. She hadn't been expecting anyone to be out there at the late hour. It had to be at least midnight Atlantis time.
"I know. My dad use to take me out here all the time. I always love it. Uncle John was always taking me to the South East. Trying to convert me I think." She smiled as she told him.
"Well you they maybe two different sides of the city but realistically the view is nearly exactly the same. Even so I still like the balcony better." Rodney told her moving closer.
"I know me too." she said quietly.
"You know it's sort of the same with this whole alternate reality thing really."
"How do you figure that?"
"Well … there's me and there's your father. We are both Rodney McKay's we look and sound a lot a like but you like one better than the other." Rodney winced at his own analogy.
"When did you get so philosophical?" she asked turning to face him.
"I'm not really," he admitted, "I'm also terrible with emotions and bad with people but what I'm trying to say is that I know that I'm not your father and I've never had a daughter but … maybe … we can both benefit from the opportunity that's presented itself to us."
Melanie looked at him for a few moments mulling over what he said in her mind. What he said had made sense to her. He wasn't her actual father but he was still Rodney McKay. She probably wouldn't have noticed the difference judging by just him.
"I think I can do that Dad." she responded putting her arm around him.
"That still sounds weird," he told her returning her embrace, "But not at all unpleasant."
They stood there with there arms around each other for a long time just taking in the scenery below them and enjoying each other company.
John was aching all over and his black uniform t-shirt was dripping with sweat, but he wasn't going to admit defeat. Teyla had been training for a good couple of hours and although he hated to admit it, Teyla was once again kicking his sorry butt. He had the feeling that he would never win against her, she was just too damn good.
"Ouch!" he exclaimed as he coped another whack across his forearm.
"You seem to be getting every time we practice Major." Teyla told him while they still circled each other.
"That's easy for you to say. You never lose."
He struck out again only to be blocked by one of her sticks, again and again. Damn he couldn't get one hit.
"We can stop anytime Major, we have been training for a long time now."
"Just a little bit longer."
"As you wish." She answered as she nodded.
They started circling each other again as the door to the training room opened and Ford, Rodney and Melanie walked in. The three newcomers walked over to the seats at the side of the room and sat down to watch the show.
"You know in my reality they still do this." Melanie told Ford and Rodney.
"What's so strange about that?" Ford asked and winced as Sheppard copped a hit to his calf and started limping around while still in a fighter's stance. It was always fun to watch these too spar. Ford wasn't game enough to fight Teyla himself. He knew he'd have no hope.
"Not really strange," Rodney told Ford then raised his voice so John and Teyla could hear him, "It's just Major Sheppard and Teyla are married in Melanie's reality!"
"What?" John exclaimed losing concentration when he looked over at Rodney earning him a whack across the back with one of Teyla's sticks.
"Owe!" he complained, trying ineffectively to rub his sore back, making quite a spectacle.
Ford was trying hard not to laugh but the effort became a lot easier when he received a glare from Sheppard that clearly warned him not to.
"Would you like to stop for the day Major?" Teyla asked him.
"Well only because you like tired." He told her walking over to the bench the others were sitting on and started looking for his towel.
Teyla smirked and followed him to the bench. John finally found that McKay was sitting on his towel. Instead of asking the scientist to move he yanked it out from under him nearly sending his friend flying.
"Hey! What was that for?"
"That's what you get for making me lose my concentration on nonsense." John said putting the towel around his neck.
"Actually he was telling the truth. In my reality you two are married and you have a son." Melanie said looking up at him. It felt good not having to worry about what she said to these people, because what happened in her reality wasn't necessarily going to happen in theirs.
"Well now I definitely know you're from a different reality."
"Is the thought that terrible Major?" Teyla asked innocently, taking a sip of water from her canteen.
"Well no … it's … well we are just team members, friends, good friends …"
Teyla just smiled, she knew that John felt put on the spot there but it was funny none the less.
"So Melanie," John said, changing the subject, "This is your last day isn't it? What you got planned."
"Well we actually came down here to see if you and Teyla would like to join us for lunch?"
"And then she is going to give us some last minute help with some of the Ancient devices we haven't worked out yet." Rodney piped up.
"Gee McKay aren't you gonna let the girl have any fun before she goes home?" John asked incredulously.
"It's okay John it will be fun. I enjoy doing it." Melanie assured him standing up.
"If you say so," John said shaking his head, "So lunch it is then. I guess Teyla and I will go get changed and meet you in there."
The five friends made there way out of the training room, John and Teyla separating from the group to get changed out of their work out clothes.
Melanie was a bit nervous. Today was the day that she was going back to her time and her reality. A reality where everything was falling apart. Rodney, Zelenka and Melanie had devised a way to send her back at least 30 minutes before she had originally left a week ago, hoping to give her enough time to miss out on getting captured by the Human Form Replicator's at all. Then she could warn Atlantis sooner and her team would be safe. That was the best they could do and Melanie was just grateful that they could do that much. As much as she wanted to get back home to her real family and friends, she was going to miss these younger versions. She was especially going to miss Rodney. He was right. This experience had given her the opportunity to get to know her father again. Now that she was older she could appreciate a lot more things and she would be forever grateful for that. She didn't know if she would ever be born in this reality but one thing she knew for sure that this Rodney McKay a great father and she would be lucky to have him. She heard the gate coming to life as the gate technician dialed the address to the planet where all this had started. First they were going to check to see if there was any more Wraiths on the planet. Hopefully if the Wraith were there the sensors would be able to pick them up. Considering the planet wasn't inhabited and they hadn't been there in almost a week it was unlikely that the Wraith would have stayed but it was better to be safe than sorry.
"Is the MALP picking up anything?" Elizabeth asked coming to stand next to Melanie.
"No, as far as I can tell there are no life signs on the planet." Peter told her while looking at the data the MALP was sending him.
"Well looks we shouldn't have any trouble. Major you and your team have a go." Elizabeth told him as the team moved off towards the stairs that would take them down to the Stargate.
"Well I guess I should thank you for all your help. I'll miss you." Melanie said as she moved forward and gave Elizabeth a hug.
"I'll miss you too but I'm sure the older me will be very anxious to see you."
"Uncle Carson, thank you too … bye." she said to Carson also leaning in and hugging him.
"No Worried lass and good luck."
Melanie took one last look at the younger versions of her Aunt Liz and Uncle Carson and smiled before she followed the rest of SGA-1 down to the Stargate. Spotting John standing off to the side and thankfully not near Rodney she took this opportunity to talk to him before they stepped through.
"Major I need to say something before we go through with this."
"Can we talk on the way?" he asked, as the Stargate was already open.
The team plus Melanie walked up to and through the event horizon and onto the planet. John automatically pulled his sunglasses over his eyes when the bright sun hit his face. The group started moving toward their destination. Ford and Rodney were up front bickering about one thing or the other. John vaguely heard Rodney say he was going to kill him and Ford just looked amused. Teyla was in the middle and John and Melanie bringing up the rear.
John looked next to him at Melanie and remembered she had wanted to talk to him about something.
"So what was it you wanted to talk about?"
"I haven't told Rodney because I didn't think I should but I feel I have to tell someone. I wanted to warn you about how my father died."
"You lead your team on a mission to a planet some primitive natives and everything seemed to be going fine. You were negotiating for food I think. Anyway, the team participated in a feast and stayed over night there to tie up the negotiations. The whole time you were there my father and one of the natives didn't get along. While everyone was enjoying the festivities Dad went to get something out of his tent and that same native attacked him. The guy apparently wasn't the most skilled warrior but dad was no match for him. You found them just as the man stabbed my father."
"Somehow that wasn't what I was expecting."
"I know you … well, the, you I know have always said that it was a shock. You all always assumed it would be the Wraith of something to take you out. Not some villager who was supposed to be an ally. You always blamed yourself for his death. You had been nagging him for years to practice self defense and his weapon skills but he never did. After he died you blamed yourself because you believed that he was your responsibility and you should have made him train. Everyone tried to tell you that it wasn't your fault but I don't think you have ever believed us."
"Wow." John said not really knowing what to say.
"I just thought I should tell you, because if there is some way I can prevent that happening to this Rodney McKay then that would be worth it. He is a good man as much as he likes to make people believe otherwise."
"Yes it would and yes he is. Thank you for warning Me." He thanked her putting a hand on her shoulder.
They walked for a while in silence until Rodney decided he'd had enough of Ford's teasing and joined them, getting into a discussion with Melanie about something John had no idea about. He had to admit that Melanie's story of her fathers death had shocked him. Just before this whole fiasco started he had been nagging Rodney to come practice with him. This had made his mind up. John was no longer just going to nag Rodney about it then let it go. The man was going to train in self defense and weapons if he had to drag him there himself. It took a shorter amount of time than John anticipated to get to the spot where Teyla and Ford had originally found the device, or maybe it was that john had been in deep thought most of the way.
"Here we are." Rodney said taking the device out of Ford's pack and setting it down on the ground where Teyla indicated.
"We still have ten minutes before its show time." Ford told them.
Everyone sat down, Rodney making himself comfortable beside Melanie, still in deep conversation. The two had so much in common it was a little spooky at times. After about five minutes Melanie stood up and walked up to Ford.
"Well I guess I should say my goodbyes before it's too late," she told them as they all stood up. "Lieutenant Ford it was really nice to meet you. I had heard a lot about you but never met you so this was a real treat." She said as she hugged him. Letting go she turned towards Teyla.
"Aunt Teyla, it's been great to get to know you. I've enjoyed our talks." She told her once again giving Teyla a hug.
"Uncle John," She said smiling as she walked up to him, "You're so much like my Uncle John, that's been a great comfort thank you for being there for me. You'll make a great Uncle and Father one day." She told him giving him a quick peck on the cheek and a long hug.
"Thanks it was kinda nice having a niece for a while," He smiled his cocky grin, "Good luck."
Last but not least she turned to Doctor Rodney McKay. Being around him this last week had been both comforting and painful. She had never thought that she would ever get to see her father again and she was glad that she had got the chance to know him as an adult, even if he was from another reality.
"Dad," she said quietly, walking up to him and throwing her arms around him, "I'm going to miss him so much when I get back there but I'm also going to miss you. Thanks for giving me this experience."
"I enjoyed the experience as well, so thank you. I can tell you this, if I was to have a daughter I'd want it to be you. Your father was lucky." He told her hugging her tightly and surprised to find that he was telling the truth.
"I hate to break up this bonding moment but the lady has a plane to catch that she doesn't want to miss." John spoke up tapping his watch.
"Yes, yes," Rodney said straightening up and holding her at arms length, "Good luck and take care of yourself."
"I will and you too." She responded giving him one last peck on the check before she stepped over to the device.
"Just place your foot on it and it should happen automatically." Rodney told her.
She looked down at the device and wiped a sleeve across her eyes. It was now or never. She placed her foot on the device and waited. After about twenty seconds she could feel something happening. She looked up and waved just as a white light beamed out of the crystal and in a single moment she was gone.
Everyone just stood there for a moment in silence not knowing quite what to say. Rodney didn't know how he was feeling. This had been one abnormal week. It had been an experience that would stay with him forever. In a way he hoped that their realities were different. If their reality followed in Melanie's footsteps then the future wasn't something he would look forward too but he guessed that he couldn't dwell on it. Take it just one day at a time. Rodney looked at John and caught his eye and nodded, silently telling him that him that he was ready to go home.
"Okay I guess it's time to head home. There's nothing really to do here." John stated.
The team made the slow trek back in towards the direction of the gate in silence until Ford spoke up.
"I wonder what happened. Whether she made it back to Atlantis to warn them?"
"I guess we'll never know. I hope she did." Teyla added.
"I wonder why she didn't know me?" Ford asked puzzled.
"Maybe because I shot you for teasing me before she was born." Rodney teased.
"Ha, ha that's very funny."
"I thought so." Rodney said looking happy with himself.
"Maybe you got sick of Atlantis and went back to Earth?" Teyla suggested.
"Nah, I could never get sick of the Pegasus Galaxy."
"Hmm, I don't know I'm pretty sick of the Wraith and Bug's." Rodney said looking ahead.
"Hey thought we weren't ever going to mention bugs again?" Sheppard complained, ever since he had that Iratus bug stuck to his neck trying to suck the life out of him he had an aversion to bugs and didn't want to hear about them. He had made that known several times.
"Sorry Major." Rodney said sounding anything but, but John didn't really mind because Rodney was beginning to get more like himself and the silence of before was weirdly deafening.
Sheppard smiled as he walked along beside his team mates as they made guesses about what the future held for them all. Everything was fine once again. The Wraith hadn't even ruined the day.
To John's dismay Elizabeth and Carson were waiting for them in front of the Stargate when they came through. Not that he minded Elizabeth being there but he had yet to run into Carson since he executed his escape a week ago. He thought Carson had an evil look on his face, which could only mean that his good day wasn't going to be ruined by the Wraith but by Carson. He it was too good to be true.
"Major, I assume everything went well." Elizabeth said upon greeting.
"Yes. Went off without a hitch," he told her still eyeing Carson, "Carson." He greeted with a nod.
"Major," Carson greeted him back. "I have a wonderful post mission exam waiting for you and think yours will be much more thorough than usual. Just for precautions of course."
"Of course." John replied knowing that this exam was going to be his payback for sneaking out without permission. He was so tempted to blame it all on Ford for leaving out his clothes but he didn't think that would get him off the hook with Carson and it would only serve to Make the Lieutenant pissed with him.
"All of you follow me please." Carson said and walked out of the gate room not waiting to see if they had followed him.
"Good Luck." Elizabeth whispered to him and then made a hasty retreat up stairs and into her office.
"Word of advice Major," Rodney said as the group made their way to the Infirmary, "Never piss of a Scottish Doctor, in the long run it isn't worth it."
"Thank You McKay for that beautiful insight." John told him sarcastically.
"You're quite welcome." Rodney fired back with a big smile on his face.
As they finally got to the Infirmary John hesitated at the door. Rodney strode passed, but not before whispering,
"I see big needles in your future."
"I see lots of weapons practice and self defense lessons in your future." He counted, wiping the smile off Rodney's face.
John's victory was short lived however when he heard their very own Doctor Dread come out of his office.
"Ah here ya all are. Teyla, Lieutenant and Rodney choose a bed and wait a doctor will be with you shortly to conduct you post mission exams," Carson told them, and then he looked at John. "Major why don't you jump up here. You're all mine." He said patting the bed with his hand.
Any person who didn't know Carson well might think that he had a friendly face on, but John knew well enough that his payback was coming and Carson had the advantage. He was just going to have to grin and bear it. He had faced off against Wraith, he could face Carson.
Rodney blew at his cup of coffee as it was way to hot to start drinking yet. He was leaning on the railing of the Northern Balcony and looking out at the view. The sun was just setting and he was just soaking in the wonderful view. The sound of the waves in the ocean was calming. The calming noise however didn't last long as he heard footsteps coming in his direction. He didn't bother turning around as he already knew who would be there. If he knew the man hadn't been in Carson's clutched he would have been surprised that he took this long to find him.
"Owe." said the voice behind him.
Rodney turned slightly to see Sheppard standing slightly behind him rubbing his butt and wincing.
"Are you enjoying yourself?" Rodney smirked, turning back to look at the sunset.
"Yes Rodney I have a fetish for rubbing my ass," John sniped, "I swear that man has the biggest needles known on Earth and enjoys inflicting them on people way too much."
"I would surprisingly have to agree with you but fortunately I wasn't under his wrath for a change."
"I'm so happy for you and your un sore butt."
Rodney smiled and looked next too him to see that John had come up right beside him and was also leaning against the railing. They stayed in a companionable silence for five minutes before John spoke again.
"So how are ya feeling?"
"Great! Now I can finally get back to my work."
"Okay," Rodney conceded, "Maybe I'm a little bit down that she's gone. It was nice having her around. She was a great help with a lot of my research."
"How do feel about the whole dad thing?"
"Are you sure you're feeling alright?" Rodney teased putting the back of his hand to Johns forehead before John could slap it away.
"I'm fine. I can talk about serious stuff sometimes you know." John told him looking quite insulted.
"It's few and far between."
"Exactly why you should relish this moment it won't come again soon, so you were saying?"
"The whole dad thing right, um well you know I had always thought I wouldn't want to be a dad. I assumed I wouldn't be any good at it. I still don't know how good I'd be but I guess I'd like to give it a try one day. Besides the universe would benefit from my offspring."
John rolled his eyes, Rodney always had to get in his intelligence. It was amazing.
"How about you? Have you ever thought about having kids?" Rodney asked him.
"To be honest I never really thought about it, but I wouldn't want to rule it out completely."
"You should one day. Your great with kids, probably because you act like one most of the time, but regardless I think you'd do a good job."
"Well that was a backhanded compliment, but I guess I'll have to take what I get." John laughed and leaned more over the railing to look below.
"Is this serious talk over now?" Rodney asked hopefully.
"Yeah besides I think it's time for a jog?" John told him with a huge smile on his face.
"Why not now? It's great out here. Come on Rodney it will be good for you. Don't make me turn it into an order."
"We're off duty, you can't order me."
"Fair enough but come on. It'll make a new man out of ya." John said grabbing Rodney's arm and pulling him along.
"But I like the man I am now." Rodney called after him and he picked up his pace to catch up.