Title: If I Should Fall

Author: Settiai

Disclaimer: "Stargate Atlantis" and other related characters belong to their copyright holders. No infringement is intended. This story, such as it is, was written as a sign of respect and love for the characters, the series, and their creator. I claim no ownership of the aforementioned series and characters.

Rating: PG

Summary: She still couldn't believe that she hadn't seen the cliff.

Feedback: Comments and helpful criticisms are always appreciated.


It just hadn't been Laura Cadman's day.

She had to admit, the day had started our normally enough. It had caught her a little off guard when Doctor Weir asked her if she'd mind accompanying Major Lorne's team off world, but Cadman had agreed almost immediately. There were a surprising number of matriarchal civilizations in the Pegasus Galaxy, and she had gotten used to being asked to accompany all-male teams from time to time. In fact, she usually enjoyed going on such missions. They gave her a change of scenery, not to mention a chance to lord it over the men for a change—not that she'd ever admit just how much she enjoyed that aspect of the missions.

This mission, however, was not going on her list of favorites. In fact, there was a very good chance that it might make it near the top of her "Worst Missions Ever" list … right after the one that had ended with her spending the following week sharing a body with Rodney McKay. Everything had been fine at first: the food had been delicious, the landscape beautiful, and the people friendly. Well, at least, they had seemed friendly. Right up until Lorne had recognized one of the men in the crowd as a Genii, that is, which started a chain reaction ending with all five of the Atlanteans making a mad dash for the 'gate.

Cadman still couldn't believe that she hadn't seen the cliff.

The firm grip on her right arm suddenly loosened, and she let out a gasp as she dropped several inches. "If you let me fall, I swear I'll come back and haunt you!"

Above her, Lorne grinned weakly. "I don't believe in ghosts."

She met his gaze, carefully ignoring the fact that his left shoulder was stained with blood. "We're currently fighting space vampires," Cadman pointed out. "And we live in a flying city, built by aliens, where anything can happen. Including two people sharing one body, Colonel Sheppard turning into a monster, flying reptiles that I still say look like purple dragons taking over an entire tower in the city, and the lead off world team coming back through the 'gate looking and acting like ten-year-olds. And you don't believe in ghosts?"

"Point taken," Lorne said with a weak laugh. "And all that's just things that have happened in the Pegasus Galaxy. You should have seen some of the things that happened back at the SGC."

His laughter turned to coughing, and Cadman cleared her throat nervously as she noticed just how pale he looked. "Do you think you could try pulling me up again?' she asked. "You're already down to one arm, and, no offense, but you look like shit."

Lorne raised his eyebrow, his eyes laughing even though his face was drawn with pain. "Is that worry I hear in your voice?"

"There's about a hundred foot drop between me and the ground," Cadman said dryly. "No offense, sir, but I'd really like to know that I'm not about to find out how well I fly."

"I'm not going to let you fall, lieutenant."

Cadman started to reply, but she froze as the sound of gunfire suddenly started up somewhere west of them. "Please say that's the cavalry and not more Genii."

Not too far off, someone let out what sounded like a roar. Lorne and Cadman shared a look, and they both grinned despite the situation. "Ronon," they said, their voices overlapping.

"It's about time," Cadman said, sighing in relief.

Lorne nodded and tightened his grip on her arm. "You're right about that."