Trials of Faith – Chapter 22

Beginnings

The team had come through the Gate to find Astra on the planet awaiting the Wraith. Once they had informed her of the plan, they walked back to the Jumper that was hiding in the trees, Radik and Carson waiting for them.

'How'd it go?' Carson asked, practically bumping into the Colonel as he walked up the ramp.

'She'll do it, if you guys ever finish that damn thing.' He eyed Radik as Rodney moved toward him, getting back to work with the device.

'It'll be finished. We have maybe an hour before the Wraith show up, fifteen – twenty minutes when she's inside.' Rodney informed.

Teyla glanced at John and saw him looking quite relaxed, odd considering that what they were about to do would most likely kill Astra and Major Lorne in the process. 'You are not worried?'

John smiled. 'Nah. I love buggin' the Wraith.'

John closed the Jumper and flew it to a high orbit over the planet. He noticed the silence in the small ship, only the sounds of the two scientists hard at work. He couldn't see Ronan, but knew that he was brooding. Understandably, he had a lot on his mind right now.

When the Wraith finally arrived, the Colonel's relaxed attitude melted like a snowball in the desert. 'We may have a problem.'

'What? What problem?' Rodney snapped, turning from the device.

Two Wraith Hive ships sent thirty darts to the planets surface, feeding obviously being their main motivation now that they believed that they knew where Astra was.

'Well the chances of this being a success just decreased dramatically.' Rodney groaned negatively.

'Keep working Mckay.' Ronan insisted, watching the darts descend on the planet, wondering which would bring Astra back to one of the Hives.

They watched while Rodney and Radik worked. The Jumper was cloaked, but John took it closer to the Hives as the darts rejoined the ships. It would be half an hour before the Wraith cooled their engines and fed, half an hour for Astra to get the hell out of there. Minutes ticked by and John kept looking at his watch, Teyla and Carson both becoming annoyed at him for it.

'Would you stop that? I'm nervous as it is!' Carson burst.

'Quiet! It means no talking so that the scientists can build the machine to save the day!' Rodney snapped, not looking up. Carson glared at him.

Silence descended again. John looked at his watch. All of the darts had docked close to fifteen minutes ago.

'Rodney?' Sheppard queried firmly.

'Yes?' He snarled.

'How long?'

'It gets longer every time someone talks.' He snarled again.

'Rodney!' John yelled. 'Let's go! We need to get her out!'

'We have little time; we do not know where she could be.' Teyla urged.

Rodney focused.

'Just a few more minutes.' He breathed.

Minutes came and went. Ronan shook his head.

'Something must have gone wrong.' He stated.

'She will escape, Ronan, she will not allow the Wraith to capture her. Too many lives depend on it.' Teyla comforted, trying to believe in the words herself.

'She's cutting it close.' John whispered to her.

At that moment, he saw a single dart racing from the closest Hive.

'Colonel Sheppard?'

'Astra! We copy. You got Lorne?'

Astra shifted in the darts uncomfortable seat, fixing the radio to her ear as she flew. 'Yes.'

Teyla smiled at John and Carson just as both Hive ships began firing on her. John moved the Jumper in, hoping that being closer would help somehow. He kept well out of the line of fire.

'I thought you didn't know how to fly a dart?' John asked her. 'I was supposed to direct you.'

He could see the ship frantically spinning and twirling left and right, trying to miss the weapons fire.

'I am using my mind!' She cried in desperation. 'I did not know there would be two! It is most difficult!'

'Rodney, we are almost in range, are you-?' John growled.

'Done!' Rodney exclaimed, turning to the front of the Jumper. 'Oh boy.' He saw the two Wraith ships firing on nothing, he couldn't see who it was.

'Oh my god.' Radik whispered.

'Astra, ready when you are!' John informed. Before he had finished speaking, the dart blew.

The team watched in horror as a small explosion of bright orange flared in the dark of space, debris flew in all directions.

'Rodney?' John asked.

Rodney looked at all of the faces watching him before turning to Radik. They both looked down at the device.

'I don't believe it.' He whispered, rushing to kneel by it. 'It worked!'

Ronan froze, before sinking into a chair and holding his head in his hands. 'That was close.' He said.

John smiled at Teyla and Carson while the Scientists shook hands. He headed for the planet.

An hour and a half before…

'I do not know what these are.' Astra stated, looking at the two small objects in Rodney's hands. He sat across from her, the noise of the Tavern at a minimum, but she spoke quietly anyway.

Rodney nodded as though he were speaking to a five year old. 'This is a radio, when you get out to the bay, you put it in your ear, and Sheppard will tell you how to fly out.' He passed it to her. John nodded.

'You don't know how to fly a dart, do you?' He asked.

'I do not.' She replied, slipping it into her pocket.

'And this –' Rodney continued, holding up a small round piece of technology about the size of a brass button. '- is a special transmitter. It will give us your location – or more precisely – it will give the device your position.'

Astra blinked. 'What device?'

'A Wraith hologram emitter.' He said slowly, the vowels ringing perfectly.

'We call it WHE for short.' John added. Rodney gave him a look which took the glee from his face in a microsecond.

'We call it the emitter; I'd rather our little invention weren't called after a crude bodily function.' He tuned back to Astra just as John gave him a raised eyebrow. 'We were on a planet where the Wraith had been experimenting in making their holograms even more evil and convincing – it was eventually abandoned and screwed up by the Genii so that when we arrived, Sheppard and Ronan went nuts and ended up shooting everyone.'

'I didn't shoot everyone!' John yelled, holding his hands up.

'I didn't shoot anyone.' Ronan stated, turning to Astra with an innocent look.

'You shot me and Ronan! And me!' Rodney squealed.

'Well, I thought you were both bad guys!' He said defensively. 'I didn't shoot Teyla!' He looked at her for support.

She smiled and laughed gently.

'Moving on!' Rodney dismissed him. 'From dealing with this device and Wraith darts in the past, I knew pretty much everything there was to know about it. Building it in the amount of time we had to give an accurate, and not to mention, entertaining performance however took the entire scientific workforce of Atlantis. They've all seen sense and come back to me.' He smiled, the thought of having his minions back making him giddy.

'I do not understand how this helps me in saving Lorne?' Astra prodded. The man could talk – and talk, and talk, and talk…

'The Wraith will undoubtedly fire on you when you escape, and when they do, we are going to fake your death by causing an explosion that can be read by their sensors when they finally place accurate fire.' He paused. 'Using the Wraith Darts computer, and your own abilities, you should be able to place the ship in the line of fire at the last second, and using your telekinetic powers at the right time, turn the device on when you need it. At this point the device will transmit the image we have created of the explosion and debris as well as a whole mess of false readings , and you will hide the dart from their sensors, just like you hid from ours when you first came to Atlantis.' He smiled at her, triumphantly.

Astra paused. 'I said that I did not do that purposefully.' She stared at him. 'How did you know that I had lied?'

Rodney grinned. 'When we had that little falling out and I was convinced you were evil, I had another look at the sensors to see if I could reconfigure them to keep an eye on you – and it turns out, I didn't have to.' He glanced at Sheppard. 'You couldn't be found when you didn't want to be, but when you weren't thinking about, you showed up. Plus this way, they think you're dead. No more destroying of the planets to find you!'

Astra nodded, smiling slightly. 'So I am to telekinetically switch the device on from a distance without physically seeing it, where the information is passed to my location through this-' She held up the transmitter '- where it will tell the Wraith I have been destroyed, while at the same time, using my already weakened abilities to cloak the entire dart from their sensors?' She finished, watching Rodney.

His smiled drooped. 'Well, when you put it that way…' He leant back and folded his arms.

'Why will your powers already be weakened?' Teyla asked.

'I will have to use them inside, first to locate the Major, second to locate the dart bay, and thirdly to fight any resistance I may meet on the inside.' She informed them, Ronan shifting uncomfortably next to her.

'That warm feeling I had for this plan, just disappeared. It's a Sheppard plan disguised as a Mckay.' He glared at John.

'It's all we've got.' John glared right back. They all looked at Astra.

'It's better than my plan.'

'What was your plan, just out of interest.' John asked, curiosity peaked.

'Give myself to the Wraith in return for the Major's life.' She stated. They all paused, and then Rodney and John laughed in the same "yeah right" manner.

'That would never happen.' John said.

'Not in a million years would they give Lorne up when they already have you.' Rodney agreed. 'Yeah, suddenly feeling better about our plan. It's becoming more Mckay than Sheppard again.' He smiled.

John rolled his eyes.

'What do you think?' Ronan asked Astra, sliding a hand onto hers. Astra looked at him.

'It is worth a try.' She stated. Ronan smiled.

An hour and a half later…

Rodney studied the Wraith Hologram Emitter. It had been activated, and there had been an explosion. John could detect no life signs with the Jumper. They assumed that Astra had made it and would head for the place they had agreed to meet on the planet. John set the Jumper down.

John tapped Ronan's shoulder in comfort before heading down the ramp and onto the grass, Teyla just behind.

'John.' Teyla called. He turned to see her face looking ashen. She walked forward, pausing in front of him, before stepping into his body for a hug. He was startled for a moment before wrapping his arms around her and placing a hand on her head, bringing his mouth to her hair.

He paused when he heard the familiar sound above.

A Wraith dart came toward the planet at an alarming speed. John frowned and forced himself and Teyla to step back. A beam suddenly hit the surface depositing eight dazed people before crashing into the forest, smoke billowing out of its bulbous red tail. Ronan leapt down the ramp and stared before tearing into the Forest.

'Well that wasn't part of the plan.' John stated, staring at Teyla before they followed Ronan.

Carson grabbed his med kit before sprinting after them, Rodney and Radik watching them disappear into the forest.

Ronan tore through the bushes and trees, swatting the branches from his path, his legs, his mind, his heart, running for just one thing. The dart had indeed survived the attack; the Hives had left the planet thinking that Astra was dead. The thought on Ronan's mind was that this crash could have killed her.

He had seen the people that had been beamed to the surface – none of them were Astra. It looks like she had gone out of her way to save more than just the one person – he hoped that it hadn't costed her her life.

Ronan arrived at the stretch of ploughed over trees, flattened to the ground by the crashed dart. He saw it ahead, smoke rising. It looked in one piece, but the canopy had not been blown. She was still inside.

He bounded over the debris and jumped onto the ship, hoisting his weapon from his side and aiming for the canopies edge. There was not a latch to open it, so he would have to make a hole of his own.

He blasted it with three shots when it sprang open; he lifted it and tore it to the sky. He stopped.

Astra sat in the dart unconscious and bleeding from the head. He reached in and felt for a pulse, his own heart skipping beats. He felt the bump of blood pumping under his fingertips. She was alive. He put his weapon back in his holster and reached in, pulling her out with his strong arms and holding her to his chest.

Ronan hopped off the dart and placed her on the ground, propping up her head with his arm. John and Teyla raced into the opening with Carson on their heels.

'Astra?' Ronan whispered. She did not wake.

Carson sped to her side, checking pulse, opening her eyes, calling her name. He bandaged her wound, insisting that it was bad and that she needed to return to Atlantis immediately. Ronan swept a piece of hair out of her face before lifting her up again and walking to the Jumper.

Carson stayed by his side the entire time, keeping an eye on her. Teyla and John walked together.

'The Wraith are a menace to us all.' Teyla stated suddenly. 'They take so much and give only pain.'

John frowned. 'Yeah.' He watched Ronan carry the limp form of Astra, and knew this was true for so many.

'I say this because I have lived it, I am accustomed to it. I am not afraid of relying on someone so completely as I am afraid of losing them to the Wraith, and not being able to cope.'

John looked at her sideways. It was the end of that conversation…

'Both of us are in that position all the time. That won't change.' John explained.

'This I know.' She looked on. Her brown eyes scanned the forest. 'The question I must ask is, would it be right? Would I focus just as well? Am I letting something important pass me by because of fear?'

John knew these questions were rhetorical, so he stayed silent. He was here. He was ready. It was her move, her decision.

'I believe that to live in this galaxy is to understand how precious one's time can be, and how we must choose to live it.' Teyla took his hand in hers, like lovers walking along a beach. 'I choose a time of happiness, a time that the Wraith can never take from me.'

John smiled and squeezed her hand. He was about to turn from her, to tell her something, or to kiss her, whatever he felt like doing, when…

'Teyla!' A woman jumped on Teyla, hugging her fiercely.

Teyla pulled her back. 'Lara?' She breathed, pulling her back into the hug. 'I thought the Wraith had taken you!'

'They had! Astra has saved us!' The girl told her.

Sure enough, when Teyla turned she saw six other Athosians beaming at her. She surged forward, hugging them all, greeting them and telling them that they were going home.

John looked on. So many of her people had died, and yet, he saw the smile on her face, and he knew that just seven were a God send. He stepped up to Major Lorne and shook his hand.

'You're like a cat.' He stated. 'How many lives have you got?' He smirked at the Major who nodded, smiling.

Lorne turned to watch Ronan and Carson walk onto the Jumper with Astra.

'She's something.' He said.

'Yup. Just don't let Ronan hear you say that, he starts getting a little paranoid is all.' John whispered.

John turned to the crowd of Athosians and clapped his hands together.

'Okay Ladies and Gents, let's go!' He pointed to the Jumper.

They all squeezed in, Teyla standing at his side as the Jumper rose. He smiled as the Gate engaged.

Atlantis was a buzz with the new information about Astra About the missions to Tolas and Medda, especially the recent mission to save Major Lorne and the daring it had taken for the front line team. Many people blamed Astra for the devastating loss the galaxy had suffered, not to mention the loss to the Athosians. But seeing seven of them walk out of the Jumper, alive and well thanks to Astra's heroics softened their harsh views some. The fact that she had come back severely injured in the arms of Ronan had also stayed their hatred.

She had been in the infirmary for the last three days. Major Lorne being in good shape had returned to active duty the next morning, giving his report to Elizabeth with all the haste and expertise drilled into a good soldier. Elizabeth smiled and nodded, keeping the meeting short. The only thoughts in her mind consisted of all the people in Atlantis – alive and safe. No casualties. No useless explanations to grieving families. She smiled at the Major, told him that it was a job well done – the not dieing part of the job. She offered him a few days leave and he refused.

The next people she saw were the team. John, Teyla and Rodney stood in front of her desk, delivering the other side of the incident. Rodney seemed his old self again with all his minions back to work and his lab working to one hundred percent efficiency.

'Well, more like seventy eight, they were always a firm seventy two before the whole rebelling thing.' He insisted. 'But at least they're actually doing their jobs now. Like they were supposed to in the first place.'

Elizabeth smiled. 'You couldn't have save Lorne without their help, Rodney. I'd cut them a little slack, give them the afternoon off to show them that you appreciate their hard work.'

'Huh! Don't you think they've had enough time off with the mutiny and all?' He laughed heartily, folding his arms. Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at him but said nothing.

John and Teyla smiled at Mckay, both seeming abnormally merry. More merry than they should be according to gossip. Elizabeth knew that it was bound to happen sooner or later; thank god they figured it out before it was too late. It would be interesting to see how it would affect things, whether it would be good or bad, she decided to wait and see. Sometimes there was nothing more she could do than wait.

John told their side of the story with animated detail, especially when it came to describing Astra's flying from the Wraith.

'She took a hard turn to avoid the shots coming from the second Wraith ship, and believe me when I say that there are only a few pilots on Earth, me included, who could pull off that manoeuvre!' He said energetically.

Teyla shook her head with a smile on her face while Rodney glared at him as though he were diseased. Elizabeth grinned, nodding her head for him to continue.

He looked down at his hands and realised that he must have been doing more than just talking about the manoeuvre – more like rein acting it. Well, it had been a very cool move. He grinned sheepishly, linking his hands behind his back before continuing the report at a gentler pace.

When finished, Elizabeth stopped herself from asking where Ronan was, knowing that he would be in the infirmary with Astra. She gave them a kind inquiring look. 'How is she? Carson's coming to see me in a while, but I thought that I might go and visit her, see Ronan too.'

John nodded, all of them looking to the floor suddenly.

'She hasn't changed. Carson says that she's still in some sorta coma.' He informed her.

'The power she had been forced to access was a great strain on her mind, I believe that she is healing and that she will wake.' Teyla insisted, looking hopeful.

'In the meantime, my minions and I are taking apart the dart that she crashed.' Rodney added, grinning. 'It's been informative, to a certain extent, although some parts were completely obliterated and will never be useful again.'

'Well she was kinda busy trying to land the thing without killing everyone on board, herself included.' John said lightly, frowning at him out of the corner of his eye.

'Okay, thanks.' Elizabeth nodded at them as they filed out of her office. She shook her head as she heard their continued argument.

'I am just saying, she could have glided in-'

'Glided in Mckay? Have you see the fat asses those darts have, which was also blown off by a Wraith Hive ship? She was lucky that it didn't completely break up entering the planets atmosphere-'

'I believe that she did the right thing. She is alive as is Major Lorne and seven of my people. The Wraith Hives now believe that she is dead and they have broken off their path to Atlantis…I think we should go to the Lunch Hall and all sample Chef's meatball spaghetti.' Teyla beamed at them.

Rodney raised his hands. 'Those greasy balls of processed meat? No thank you! I have important things to do.' He stopped. 'Like repair a dart for further study, even though it is almost impossible to rebuild thanks to someone's careless driving.'

John came close to fighting with him, but meatballs with Teyla sounded like a better choice. 'Nothing's impossible for you Mckay.'

'I know, did I not just say "almost" impossible?' He gave them a weary look before striding down the corridor toward his lab. John turned to Teyla.

'So, Meatballs?'

Teyla smiled. 'First we should visit Ronan and Astra, to see if everything is – the same.' She smiled weakly, and John nodded. He offered her his arm and she took it with a wide smile.

It was midday, the infirmary splashed with sun and a cool breeze flowing through the slightly open balcony door. Ronan was spread out in a chair next to Astra's bed, his head resting on his arm. He watched her with tired eyes. John wondered if he had left her side at all.

'Ronan!' He called. 'How's it going?'

Ronan turned to see his friends enter. 'She's still asleep.' He looked back.

Carson walked over and greeted them with a warm smile. His face looked over Astra and fell slightly. He took them to the side.

'There's been no change since we brought her in. The longer she stays like this, the bigger the chance that she'll never wake. There's nothing I can do but watch.' He explained in a whisper. Teyla frowned at John. They knew this already, he didn't have to say it. The fact that he had said it only served in disturbing them. And if they knew, then Ronan knew.

John grabbed two chairs and hoisted them to the Satedan's side. 'So? Cards?' He looked between his alien friends. 'Oh come on, you both beat me last time, what are you afraid of?'

Teyla smiled at Ronan. Ronan appreciated their company.

They dealt the cards on a small table, John explaining the rules of 'Go Fish.'

'Sevens?' He asked, guarding his cards protectively.

Teyla shook her head. 'Go Fish. I have three fours, Ronan?'

John's head drooped. 'You don't tell people what you've got; it defeats the purpose of the game. Unless you're looking for me and Ronan to kick your butt.'

Teyla smiled. 'I am sorry. Continue.'

Ronan handed a card to her.

'So, the Athosians don't have any games like this?' John asked, not knowing what he would have done in his years of training without cards.

'No, although we have a small activity where children find acorns and pebbles and using their fingers…it is not a good game. This is more interesting. I am afraid the Athosians only play with hide and herbs-' She paused. Ronan and John watched.

'What?' Ronan asked.

'I will return, soon! Carson!' Teyla jogged over to the Doctor and spoke with him for a second, he nodded and they both walked from the infirmary.

John did a double take. 'Well that was weird.' He returned to the game. 'Sevens?' He grinned at Ronan. Ronan narrowed his eyes, passing two cards to the Colonel.

An hour later, Teyla and Carson walked into the infirmary. John and Ronan had moved onto backgammon, something which Ronan seemed to do very well at. John growled in frustration.

'I am gonna get to a game soon that I can actually win!'

Ronan grinned. They looked up, and stood. Behind Teyla and Carson, giving them a little wave, was Ilea.

'What is crazy snake lady doing here?' Came a horrified voice from behind. Rodney and Elizabeth had entered.

'Teyla asked me to allow her access to Astra; she seemed to think that Ilea could help.' Elizabeth explained.

'She sent us into a cave that injured everyone except Rodney!' John frowned, giving the old woman a steely eye.

'Oh you mustn't be angry with me my handsome boy!' She said lightly. 'If I had not sent your friend to the cave, then she would not have discovered her powers! None of this would have been possible!' She smiled.

'Ilea is here to help, John.' Teyla insisted.

'And how can she possibly help? Wave a few snakes in our direction, chanting naked round a fire?' Rodney snapped.

'I could if you like, but I believe that it would accomplish nothing.' Ilea offered, eyeing the scientist with a girlish grin.

Rodney took a step back. 'God no, no thank you, I would rather see Ronan-' He paused. 'No I wouldn't.' He turned to Ronan he looked at him with a raised eyebrow. Carson and John looked highly amused. 'I wouldn't. I would rather the snake woman slithered back to her home made of hide.' He glared at the woman for making him jittery.

'Rodney, calm down.' Elizabeth put a hand on his shoulder. 'Ilea?' She extended her other arm to the bed where Astra lay.

The old woman stepped forward with Carson at her side. She carried a hide pouch, clutched in her nervous hands.

'Poor girl, such hard ship and pain.' She put a hand on her forehead. 'That will soon change.'

'What are you doing?' Ronan asked as she opened the pouch. Carson, Rodney, John and Elizabeth all stepping closer to get a better look.

'These secrets have been passed down through the ages.' She retrieved two vials and a small branch. 'They have never failed.'

She took a drop of clear liquid from the first vial, placing it on Astra's forehead. She then took the branch and held it under her nose, whispering to herself. She put the objects aside, reaching for the last vial. It had a yellow-green mush inside. She took a small amount out with her index finger, parted Astra's lips and smeared it on the tip of her tongue.

'What is that?' Carson asked, slightly concerned.

'Am I likely to tell you? Another man of science! The ways of the old are forgotten, their power diminished when you sought far more technical means to heal!' She complained, closing Astra's mouth and putting a hand to her forehead, closing her eyes. She whispered to herself once more. 'This mixture is strong; no sleep will resist its mighty bite!'

She opened her eyes and stood. 'I am done.' She headed for the door, leaving a group of stunned people in her wake.

'Interesting.' John said slowly as Ronan crossed to Astra, wiping the clear liquid from her head.

'Waste of time.' He muttered.

'It was worth a try.' Teyla insisted, putting a hand to his arm.

'Worth a try?' Rodney groaned. 'Carson has used every modern technique known to man to try and get her to wake up, and it hasn't worked! And she waltzes in here with her crushed roots and dead snakes and thinks that it's just gonna-'

'Ronan?'

They spun.

Astra's eyes flickered open, searching for the voices. Ronan took her hand immediately while Carson rushed to the other side.

'Let's just hope that there were no blitzed snakes in there…' Rodney mumbled.

'Amazing.' Carson breathed. 'Astra? Can you hear me?'

Astra nodded at him, her eyes glued to Ronan who was stroking her face.

'Good, that's very good. She seems very alert for someone out of a coma, she won't be dancing the jig any time soon but I'm sure she'll get round to-' He paused as Ronan and Astra kissed tenderly. He frowned. 'What is it with you bloody people?' He looked accusingly at John and Teyla. Carson stepped back while the others did the same.

'Wait!' Astra cried, prying Ronan from her. 'I must tell you something!'

They all paused, watching her.

'I believe that I can activate the Gate.' She stated. 'Maybe not now, but soon, when I am better trained.'

Rodney folded his arms. 'We have a working ZPM to get us to Earth-' He paused, unfolding his arms and smiling widely, pointing at her with both hands. 'You mean the other Gate, don't you?'

Astra nodded, smiling.

'How? Oh never mind how!' He turned to Elizabeth. 'She can operate the other Gate!' Rodney beamed. Elizabeth was blank.

'The Gate we found in the Ancient Facility?' Teyla asked.

'The one that goes to a whole other galaxy?' John looked mildly impressed.

'No, the other Gate that can do another amazing thing – of course that Gate!' Rodney snapped.

'Hold on Rodney.' Elizabeth stopped his glee. 'There's a lot we have to consider before we go charging into another galaxy.' She folded her arms. 'I mean the Ancients didn't have time to set up a Gate system in that Galaxy, more likely than not. That Gate could lead to just one planet.'

'We take a Jumper.' Rodney solved.

'And if there is an unstoppable enemy waiting on the other side?'

'We cloak the Jumper!'

'And if something catastrophic should happen to the Jumper?'

'I MacGyver something up to fix it, look, stop picking holes in my happy plan!' He pouted at her. 'This is a real opportunity! If we can find more of her people, they could be an enormous help against the Wraith…not to mention the untouched technology over there!' He practically salivated.

'It sounds awfully dangerous.' She said, pausing. 'But it's something to consider.' She smiled gently. Rodney beamed. That was good enough for him.

John smiled at Teyla while Carson rolled his eyes. Astra and Ronan suddenly became less interested when they found each others lips again.

Elizabeth smiled at the team before exiting the room, heading for her office. Rodney took Carson by the arm and led him out, talking quickly.

'So that galaxy is technically unnamed, right?' He whispered.

'I don't know.' Carson stated. 'Why? Do you fancy calling it the 'Mckay Way." He chuckled.

Rodney paused. " The Mckay Way." He echoed, looking to the ceiling as though it were written in the stars. Carson gaped.

'Oh my god. Rodney, I was kidding!' He protested.

'No, it has a ring to it…' He began walking again, leading Carson like a child. 'I discovered it, so why not? The "Rodney galaxy" is bland and far too clichéd, what with how scientists directly name their amazing discoveries after themselves, and plus, the "Meredith galaxy"? People would be asking me about that for the rest of my life-'

'People aren't going to be asking you about it for the rest of your life, anyway?' Carson asked innocently.

Rodney glared, but said nothing. His mind was on more pressing things right now. '- but the "Mckay Way" sounds very…'

'It sounds like a kind of diet.' Carson insisted.

'It sounds nothing like a diet – and if it were, it would be one where people actually lost weight eating something with flavour, not like those disgusting fat free potato chips I get down at the market which taste like they've been soaked in…well…something tasteless and nasty.' He hurried on. 'Besides, it's better than the "Beckett Way," at least mine has poetry.'

Carson stormed on his heels. 'I don't want a bloody galaxy named after me!' They turned a corner.

John and Teyla smiled at each other.

Teyla took his hand and led him into the empty corridor, pulling him up against her as she had her back to the wall.

John grinned, his nose meeting hers. 'So, are we still on for those meatballs?' Teyla smiled at him, stroking the back of his head.

'I am not hungry.' She stated. John frowned. 'For food.'

His eyebrows shot to the ceiling whilst her hands massaged his arms and shoulder blades.

'I believe that there is a certain vial in your possession which Ilea handed to you on the mainland.' She ran a finger along his bottom lip, her eyes studying him mischievously. 'I believe now would be the ideal time to open it.' John grinned.

'A vial? I think I remember, yup, I remember that one. Stashed it in my dresser.' He pulled her closer, crushing her body to his.

'So you are not hungry?' She gently shook her head.

'Famished.' He kissed her hungrily.

Teyla broke the kiss and led him by one hand down the corridor to his room, biting her lip seductively. John just smiled at her in that boyishly handsome way that made women wobble like a pile of jelly.

On the way back to his office, having watched them walk away in this manner, Carson merely shook his head.

'It's about bloody time.' He whispered.

TO BE CONTINUED…

All comments are appreciated as this is my first fan fic! Opinions, suggestions, criticisms are heard and I would really like to know what parts you liked and what you didn't. Really enjoyed writing this and I feel a sequel coming on. Soon…