Note: Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, I'm back, a lot sooner than I though. I've been awake for like 18 hours, and still going just so I could finish this chapter for you. Yes it's short again, my appologies but next one I'll make it up to you. Thanks again for all the reviews, they keep me going through long, long, LONG week. LOL! Hope you like this chapter, had to get it out of the way, this is prob the last boring chapter, now can get into the good stuff, all talking is over, for now, LOL. Grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy :)

fyd818: You're gonna stick with me hey? Oh, so much preasure. I appreciate that, but now I have to make sure I keep you interested, LOL! I want to hug him too, he's like the little miserable kid with no one. You'll wanna hug him more later, trust me, he he. And Lourne, he will be there for sure, don't worry. I just haven't decided whether I want him to have a family or not, I'll sleep on that one. Thanks for reviews, they are much appreciated and well received. Thanks again xxoo hope you like this one.

miss Kittyplank: LOL! I was wonderin how long it would be till someone reviewed and reminded me about Elizabeth Weir's Diary, happens all the time. LOL, makes me happy though. I haven't forgotten about it. I am now taking small break from this fic and working on the other. So you're the first to know that it will prob be about 5 days away, so keep a look out. And thanks for taking the time in between to read this fic, hope you enjoy.

Sorry for cliff hanger guys, sort of another one here, but at least you know where this one is going, lol. Thanks for the reviews all, xxoo.

Pairings: Sam/Jack, Rodney/OC, Teyla/Ronan, Sheppard/Weir. Yayness!!!

Disclaimer: I do not own StarGate Atlantis or its character, nor do I own StarGate Sg-1 and it's characters. This is merely fan fiction, written for my own amusement.

Hearts in Atlantis.

Chapter Four: The Way We Weren't.

John stared at Rodney for a moment before the realisation of what he just said hit him. "What do you mean we're going back to Atlantis?"

Staring at his phone again in disbelief Rodney seemed to be so deep into his own thoughts that he didn't hear a word of Johns' question.

"Rodney!" he said, hitting him in the arm to get his attention.

"Wh-what? Huh?" Rodney said, hastily putting his phone away and looking at John rather confused. He screwed up his face and rubbed his arm on the spot John had struck him.

"What did you mean by we're going back to Atlantis?" John asked again, losing what little patience he had left.

"Elizabeth did it!" Rodney said simply, with a smile, once again deep within his own thoughts. John waited for him to remember that he was still waiting to hear what was going on. "She obviously managed to talk the president into allowing the Atlantis expedition to continue. This is great, this is fantastic ... I - I can't believe it ..."

John didn't need to hear that from Rodney, he had already figured that much out on his own. Elizabeth could talk anyone into anything if she set her mind to it and he knew from the moment she told him about the interview that she would get her way. But that wasn't the question he had asked.

"Stay with me here Rodney," John said as Rodney started muttering to himself and counting things off on his fingers. "How do we come into all of this?"

"What?" Rodney spun around to look at John, he looked very put-out that his thoughts were still being interrupted. "Elizabeth knew from the start that if the expidition was to go ahead, the government didn't want to have to waste the time training anyone else for the job, especially when all the members of the old expedition team are still in perfect working condition," he stood up straighter and had a smug smile on his face. "That was one of the reasons Elizabeth was holding it off for so long, she wanted to check with everyone first to make sure they were happy with going back."

"She never checked with me!" John felt his frustration rising, he didn't like being kept out of the loop and he certainly wasn't very fond of these sort of suprises.

"Guess Elizabeth just assumed that where she went you'd follow," Rodney said, with a sly smile at John. John thought it best just to let that comment role off his shoulders for now. "You seriously don't want to go back?" he asked, suddenly very serious.

"I never said that. It's just, things have changed now Rodney, we have families, what about Katie and Mikala?"

"Do you really think Elizabeth would have been so happy about this if we weren't allowed to bring our whole family?" John hated it when Rodney answered his question with a question of his own.

"How was I supposed to know that she sounded happy McKay, she called you, not me!" John's level of frustration was rising by the minute. There was so much he wanted to know, so much he needed to know.

"Ha ... so she did," Rodney said sounding very pleased with himself, one thing he loved to do was tease John, and John hated that, in this case, he had the upper hand. "Well, I'm affraid your going to have to discuss this with her, I have a lot of loose ends to tie up."

John watched in disbelief as Rodney walked off without so much as another word on the topic. There was no way he was going to wait until he got home that night to find out all the details. Running back into his office, he quickly located his mobile under a pile of paper work and hastily picked it up. As he pushed a button and the screen came to life he looked guiltily at the '4 missed calls' message that occupied it. The calls were all from Elizabeth. He had been so preoccupied with feeling angry at the fact she had called Rodney to tell him how the interview had gone and not her actual husband who worried about her, that he didn't even think about that his phone wasn't even on him and that she might be trying to call.

He dialed her number and couldn't help but pace back and forth whilst it rang. If what Rodney said was true and they were allowed to go back to Atlantis, with their families, what did this mean for their children? They would be exposing them to everything that John had promised himself he never wanted his kids to see; death, distruction, panic, madness, everything that had haunted his dreams for many, many years. But then again, if they stayed, then their children would never know the wonders of Atlantis, never understand the importance of peace, the value of friendship and most importantly, the value of life. What was more important to him? Sheltering his son from all the bad in life for as long as he could? or, showing him the experience of a life time?

"Darn it, Elizabeth," John said as the phone went straight through to Elizabeth's voice mail.

He tried to get through to her all day, but she had most likely switched her phone off as there was still no answer. Having no other choice but to wait, the working day was probably the slowest John had ever experienced. He spent most of it staring at his paper work deep in thought, or pacing around his office wishing time would go faster.

The second it was time for John to leave, he was out of there as quickly as he possibly could. Naturally, he was stuck in traffic, so it took him another painful fifteen minutes before he actually pulled up in his drive way. The house seemed unusually quiet. Usually it was full of the sounds of Riley screaming happily at being finnished from school and the cries from Elizabeth trying to get him to settle down long enough to bath him, feed him and get him into bed. But today there was none of those noises, the house seemed dark and if John hadn't already seen Elizabeths' flash sports car parked just in front of his, he would have thought noone was home.

"Hey, I'm home," he said as he walked in the door. The first place he looked was the kitchen, Elizabeth was usually trying to make dinner when he got home, but today it was empty.

"John." He spun around to see Elizabeth standing in the door way. She was still in her work clothes but looked as though she was about ready for bed, her eyes were slightly blood shot and she didn't seem to be standing as straight as she usually did. At first he wondered why she hadn't greeted him with a hug and kiss like she usually did when he was home, then he remembered their little fight that morning.

He felt like a moron, just standing there, staring at her, not quiet knowing what to say to her first. It was funny how moments ago he couldn't wait to get home to ask her all about the interview, but now that he was home, he didn't quite know where to start.

"Riley's teacher called me today," Elizabeth said, breaking the ice first.

"What about?" John asked, suddenly his full attention on her. He hoped it was nothing serious, the house was quiet, Riley hadn't raced to the door to greet him.

"He got into a fight today at school," she informed him, rubbing at her eyes tiredly. "His teacher said that another boy in his class had picked on him earlier in the day when he wasn't paying attention and couldn't answer her question. Then apparently, some time during lunch, the two got into a fight ... and Riley punched him."

"Punched him?" John said in disbelief. Riley had been in trouble at school before, sometimes for pushing other kids or refusing to join in team games, but he had never punched anyone before.

"Apparently the other boy was a bit of a bully so they're not taking any serious action, but she did say something else," Elizabeth continued, barely able to make eye contact with John. He knew her well enough to know that what she was about to say would be bad, but lately, he was preety much expecting it ... it hadn't been a good week.

"What did they say?" he urged her on, even though he wasn't sure he wanted to know.

"They recommended that Riley see a psychiatrist." She shuffled uncomfortable in the doorway for a bit before hanging her head in defeat. John didn't really know what else to do but stare. The truth was, he had been thinking about it himself all afternoon. The talk he had had with his son that morning had proved that he was keeping something bottled up. It had to be hard for a five year old to try and understand exactally what was going on in their head sometimes, especially when they had to put it into words. John was just worried that they had done something wrong. Had they been bad parents? Had they raised him wrong?

Not knowing what to say to his wife and still not having the heart to tell her how Riley had behaved at Teyla and Ronan's, John did the only thing that felt right at that moment. He walked up to Elizabeth, his sudden movement making her finally look up at him, and he pulled her into a hug. He felt her arms wrap around him weekly as she sighed into his chest. "What are we going to do?" she asked as they held on a little longer.

"I have no idea," he said honestly. This wasn't the conversation he had wanted to have with her, he had wanted things to start off differently, but at least he could safely say they had made-up now. He broke the hug, reluctantly pulling away from her.

"So ..." she said, looking up at him and forcing a smile. "How was your day?" He was glad she had changed the subject. They both knew that the topic of Riley was not over, but for now they could let it go.

"Forget my day," he quickly replied. "I want to hear about Atlantis!"

Elizabeth looked at him a little stunned, but she smiled at him again, this time it was genuine. Then as though suddenly realising something her smile fadded and she looked up at him appologetically. "I-I tried to call you, but when I couldn't get you I had to call Rodney, I'd promised him and -"

Knowing where she was going with this he raised his hand to stop her. "Liz, it's okay. I left my phone in my office. Rodney relayed most of the message, but he seemed more satisfied with himself when he left out all the important bits." John scowled at the thought of Rodney sitting smugly in his office, knowing everything that was going on, whilst John had paced a hole in his floor, waiting to get home and find out.

Elizabeth grabbed his hand and led him down the hall and into their room. He sat on the bed and watched as she looked back down the hall before closing the door as though afraid they might be over-heard. "Just so Riley doesn't hear us," she said, looking very excited and joining him on the bed.

"Where is he?" John asked, realising he hadn't even asked her yet and feeling guilty.

"Sleeping again. As soon as I bought him home he said he wasn't hungry and stormed off to his room." Realising they had once again fallen onto the topic of their troublesome son, John tried to bring her mind back around to Atlantis without being too blunt.

"Rodney said something about us being the only one's that the president wants back on Atlantis," John said, remembering what McKay had said to him.

"That's right. They didn't want to spend all the time training up any new people, especially when we're all fit and healthy enough to do it ourselves. I mean, more than half of the old team have been given the ancient gene and most of them already know how to use some ancient technology, like the jumpers. It was too time consuming and far too costly to start training anyone new."

"Makes sense," John said, nodding his head. Due to the fact the Dedalus had been making regular rounds back and fourth between Atlantis and Earth, they had received quite a number of new military staff as it were. Those men and women were only there for a few months before the expedition was terminated, yet they still learnt an exceptional amount about the city and the ancient technology. Truth was, if they could get everyone to go back again, they certainly wouldn't need any more staff.

"When I first spoke to the president about starting the expedition again he told me he would concider it, but he refused to recruit new people to the cause. So, that was when Rodney and I went around to as many of the ex-expedition team as we could find and asked them how they would feel about going back," she continued, bringing Rodney into her story carefully, as he had been a sore spot earlier that day. "I don't think there was one person that said they didn't want to return, guess everyone just missed it too much. So, once I had the list of names and a strong case for going back I arranged todays meeting. The president congratuated me on my presentation saying that it was very hard to refuse and that was when he shook my hand and said I had proved my point and that we could return to Atlantis and continue the work that we started."

John smiled at her proudly. It was no shock to him that she had single handedly turned the president around to her way of thinking, she could be very persuasive when she wanted to be.

"However, there were obviously a few conditions on both sides." Elizabeths face dropped slightly, up untill now she had been smiling whilst she discussed their return, but now, when they reached the conditions, things were different.

"What sort of conditions?" he asked, keen to know what lay ahead.

"Well, naturally, after six years, some of the expedition team have families. Not as many as I thought, but still at least thirty five percent. I never thought the president would agree to letting people have their families on Atlantis with them as well, the thought of children living in the city ... I mean, could you imagine it?" John had to imagine that it would be an interesting site. They had the athosian children living with them for a while, but that didn't last long, it had been ages since they had any children in Atlantis.

"In the end, I put forward the best case I could, and whilst the president was a little undecided on the matter, he excepted ... so long as we excepted the new positions," she continued in a flat tone. She seemed to be watching him closely, watching for his reaction.

"What sort of new positions?" he asked, suddenly not liking the sound of this at all.

"The good news, Rodney will be head of the science team, Zelenka will be the second if anything should happen to him," she answered. John had to admit, Rodney was the best choice for the science team, whilst stubborn and sometimes stupidly making quick decissions, Zelenka more than made up for his mistakes.

"And what's the bad news?"

She hesitated a moment before answering. "You and I ... it wont work, not us, together like this, working in our old positions."

"Well I disagree -" John started to say, but Elizabeth interrupted.

"But you're not in charge ... and neither am I," she said bluntly.

"What do you mean you're not in charge?"

"If we're going to have people who are non-military, and people under the age of twenty one, running around Atlantis, than the president wants military control over the city. To my suprise, he had already contacted General Samantha Carter to lead the city. Which meant he had obviously been considering the move before I even had my interview." Elizabeth watched as John scowled at her.

"I knew this would happen. If the military take control, than the Atlantis we know will never be back, they'll change everything." John was frustrated at how they always had to change Atlantis, they were the originals, why couldn't they have just let them be the way they wanted it.

"There's more," she said, bitting her lip slightly.

"Great," he added sarcastically.

"Samantha Carter will obviously be leader of the city, and her military commander won't be you," she said it as gently as she could, but it hit John hard. "Colonel Caldwell, has been given Military Command ... you are second in command."

John felt his temper rising. So Caldwell finally got the position he'd always wanted. It was typical, John had worked hard to try and do the right thing and earn the respect of everyone he worked with, now, none of that even mattered. It was the presidents say over anyone elses. "He's doing this to punish us you know," he voiced biterly. He still thought they hated him and Elizabeth for getting married, but he was probably just him being paranoid.

"Don't be silly John, he's doing it to make a point. Personally, if it lets us take Riley with us, then I don't mind the change. It will take a bit of getting used to, but who knows." She looked at him expectantly, waiting for some kind of response from him.

John watched her, ready for more arguing, more complaining. He didn't like how this was going down, he didn't like change, he wanted everything back to the way it was before, when he was happy on Atlantis, not stressed about ordinary life. John had never seen himself as a man that would do the grocery shopping, take his kids to school, be a soccor coach or cook dinner for his family. It was always the military. Before Atlantis, John didn't think he would ever want to settle down.

The more John thought about it, the more he missed it. But they had Riley now, and the way Elizabeth was talking it was as though she had already made up their mind and they were going. But, why not? It was what he had wanted so badly, after all, for all of these years. It was home, his home, and it always would be. "So we're seriously concidering this?" he asked cautiously.

"Why not?" she said, raising an eyebrow. "I know we've got Riley and I know things wont be as good there as they used to, but it feels so right John. I just wanna get away from all this, go back there and finish what we started." She had a smile on her face, she was happy, just at the thought of Atlantis, and he could tell. "I wanna go back John ... but, do you?'

He studied her for a second, licking his lips as he gave it serious thought. It would be a big change for their son ... but he was young ... he was having trouble at school ... he wasn't happy either. Maybe this was their answer, the one they'd been looking for. It seemed Rodney had already made up his mind, he was going. Teyla and Ronan, they'd been wanting to go back to the galaxy that they called home since the day they left. Without them, John would have noone. He didn't like work ... he missed Atlantis. It would be different ... but maybe he would get lucky again ... so long as he still had his team ... and his home back.

Realising Elizabeth was waiting for him to answer, he gave her one long side glance before making up his mind. Slowly, he smiled and nodded his head, hardly believing what he was doing. "Let's do this!"

end

AN: Another short one, I know, next one will be longer. And by the end of it, they will be settled into Atlantis, and happy ... well maybe, LOL! You shall all just have to wait and read and see, he he he. Hopefully, next chapter up middle of next week, I have to work on my other stories for now, so slight break. But not too long, fingers crossed ey. I've got all these evil thoughts going round in my head, muhahahaha!