Chapter 11: And a Good Time was had by All

Warning: Major Critical Mass Spoilers!

One Month Later...

The sun was warm on my face, relaxing, almost lulling me into sleep where I sat on the balcony, back braced against the wall of the city I called home. Things seemed to finally be settling down again, though I knew it would probably take a while for true normalcy to return. This morning, I had passed all my gate authorizing tests with Carson Beckett with flying colors, even the neural recall. Once Allie had quit blocking them, all of my memories had slowly returned, except the mission itself, which Carson told me was normal for trauma. Tomorrow, we would go back through the gate as a team for the first time since that mysterious injury that started it all. We needed it, too.

With a sigh, I glanced over at the petite woman leaning silently against one of the railings, steadfastly ignoring both Ronon and I. Teyla. The reason we were out here. I still felt a little guilty about not being at Charin's Ring Ceremony to support my friend in her grief, but it just hadn't been possible. Not with a Gou'ld trying to blow up Atlantis. Fortunately, that whole mess had come out right and Daedalus was now headed back to Earth with a recovering Colonel Caldwell, a captive snake, and a whiny Kavanaugh who threatened everyone he saw.

Good riddance.

'You can say that again. You never told them you weren't going to leave me, did you?'

I smiled at the scrawl that appeared on the screen of the open laptop beside me. The little minx had even found a font that looked like a child's handwriting.

No. They would have tried to stop me. But I made a promise to you and I have no intention of breaking it if its in my power to decide.

'Is Dr. Weir really okay with me being here? She wasn't very happy to find out I can effect a lot of the systems.'

Elizabeth and I had a long talk not long ago, I just haven't had time to talk to you about it. She's worried, yes, but that's because she's never really met you. Go talk to her. Get to know her. Hey, here's an idea, play double solitaire with her! She plays it on the computer all the time.

'Huh. I might try that. I like games. Is it almost time for ours?'

Almost. As soon as Rodney's here, too.

Allie and I had found that it was fairly easy for us to communicate over a computer, with her making text pop up, then reading the nonverbal answers I formed in my mind. It allowed her to interact with the others, as well, though they had to actually type or say their answers out loud so she could hear them through Atlantis' systems. Most typed since they felt weird talking to thin air. It didn't take her long to charm just about everyone willing to take the time to get to know her, either. I had no doubt that once she and Elizabeth actually had time, Allie would have her wrapped around her little finger, too. I still wasn't sure what she and Ronon talked about that had me hearing little giggles in my head.

Unfortunately, Rodney and children were not a good mix, even virtual ones. It seemed that I spent half my recuperation time in the infirmary after we got out of that room mediating yet another fight between the two of them. Carson finally banned Rodney from my bedside completely when he upset Allie to the point that my head was ready to explode and the lights in the infirmary were going nuts. I had to smile at the memory of that. I'd picked up a few new swear words in Gaelic to go with the Czech I was learning from Dr. Z. Rodney had that affect on people.

The only real problem that we still had was the question of the nurse who had tried to poison me. The Daedalus hadn't brought any answers, but then, if the guy was a Trust operative as we now suspected, Caldwell wouldn't have given us real information on the guy anyway. We had Dr. Novak's promise that she would speak with General Landry about it as soon as she got back to the SGC. I wasn't expecting much, though. These guys had been too good at covering their tracks in the past, and all of us were afraid that we hadn't seen the last of them.

Problem for another day, John. Just enjoy the peace and quiet right now. Ooops, spoke too soon.

"Sheppard! There you are! I've been trying to reach you over the com for the last twenty minutes!"

I didn't even bother to open my eyes, though I felt the cold as his shadow fell over me, blocking the warm sun. "That's called ignoring you, Rodney. Carson's worried about my stress levels being too high."

Now, I did look at him, giving him an evil grin, daring him to contradict me.

He just rolled his eyes. "Hah! Hah! Now, why was your little friend not able to help with the ZedPM overloading? I thought she was part of Atlantis!"

I glanced to Ronon and Teyla for help, but they were busy talking and pointedly ignoring me. Apparently, I was on my own.

"For the thousandth time, McKay, she's a kid! She's still learning! Besides, there was the small problem of the command code. The same one, I might add, that locked you out!"

"Well, then, what good is she?"

"I don't know, McKay, but I'll bet she could at least drive in a straight line!"

A stifled laugh from our other team mates widened my own 100 Sheppard lopsided grin. The astrophysicist stared at me, his face slack.

"I was hoping you wouldn't remember that!"

"Too bad. As a matter of fact, as near as Carson and I can tell, all my memories have returned except how I got injured in the first place. Which one of you is about to volunteer to tell me." Now I had the attention of Teyla and Ronon, too.

McKay crossed his arms, stiffening. "And why would we want to do that? It doesn't matter anymore anyway. You're fine!"

"Because, Rodney, I want to know, so here's the deal. One of you tells me and I get Allie to remove the force field she just sealed off this balcony with. If you don't, your only way off is to take a swim, and we never did find out if Mrs. Jaws had more kids than the dead one Beckett stepped on. Your choice, folks."

I waited, entirely too pleased with myself. Teyla smiled slightly, giving her companions an 'I told you so' look, but she didn't answer me. McKay just looked grumpier, if that were possible. Ronon, however, shot one look over the high balcony and turned to McKay.

"I'm telling."

"What! You can't! I gave you my chocolate stash-!" McKay broke off, flashing me a guilty look as he realized what he'd just implied. I slowly stood, glaring at him. I'd had a feeling all along that the Canadian was mixed up in this somehow.

"You only gave me half, little man. I'm telling." Ronon loomed over the shorter man, daring him to object. After several seconds of silence, the Satedan turned to me. "We went to an uninhabited planet. Swampy. You told everyone to be careful about touching anything. McKay ignored you. Leaned against a tree."

I closed my eyes and counted to ten, having no doubt as to what the man was about to say.

"It fell on you."


I spun around, but the only signs of the astrophysicist were an abandon PowerBar and the sound of footsteps quickly fading down the hall.

The End. Yes, I have a sequel being planned, so I left a few things loose. Thanks for reading:- )