Title: Left Behind
Rating: PG13
Author: MacGateFan
Spoilers: None really.
Pairing: Shep/Weir, Beckett/Cadman, many others that aren't listed...
Notes: This is an AU and future fic. Much angst, of course, cause when do I write a fic without it? ;) Special thanks to my friend, Kat, for her input!

Prologue

John watched in horror as the building burned to the ground. People were running and screaming, crying out. He tried to rush towards it, but strong arms held him back.

"They deserved their deaths, Colonel!" the man said as he shoved John to the ground. "You and your kind are no longer welcome here! Leave now or we will have no choice but to kill you!"

"I don't understand!" John cried.

"And you never will! GO! I cannot hold my people back for much longer!"

John took a deep breath. How could this have happened? How could he be the sole survivor of his team? This wasn't fair. Rodney didn't even want to come to this world, but John made him.

"Colonel!"

"I'm going!" John replied, getting up and rushing to the 'Gate.

He felt like an absolute chicken, but he knew he couldn't defeat those people and he knew that his punishment would have to be living with the deaths of his friends for the rest of his life…

"John! John, wake up!"

John blinked and took a deep breath. "Elizabeth?"

"It's me. You were dreaming about that day again, weren't you?"

He nodded. "Five years to the date," he replied. "I am never going to get it out of my mind."

She kissed him tenderly and wrapped her arms around him. "I'm sorry you have to go through that."

The couple was drifting back to sleep when they heard a thump echo in the room followed by giggling.

"Rodney, Teyla, what are you doing?"

The children appeared and jumped onto the bed. "Hi Daddy!" Three year old Rodney exclaimed.

"Hi. Why don't you help your sister?" John asked.

Rodney pouted and looked down at Teyla. She was almost two and such a little baby according to him. He helped her climb onto the bed and watched enviously as she crawled over John, grinning as she sat between her parents.

John chuckled, reaching over to pick his son up. It was uncanny how the children were so much like their namesakes. "What's wrong?" John asked as Elizabeth looked at him sadly.

"It's time to get to work," she replied, pointing at the clock.

"Aw, do ya have to go to work, Mommy?"

Elizabeth smiled, ruffling Rodney's hair. "I have to sweetheart. Besides, General O'Neill and many other important people are coming to Atlantis today."

"Can I see Uncle Jack?"

"I'll make sure he comes to see you before he leaves," she told him, getting up from the bed. Teyla reached out to be held. "Let's get the two of you dressed so we can get you some breakfast."

"Great idea, Mommy!" Rodney exclaimed, hopping back off the bed.

John watched them leave before getting up himself. The last five years had been difficult for him. Especially living with the memories of the death of three of his closest friends.

John thought back to that moment just as they stepped through the 'Gate to that fateful planet.

FLASHBACK

"I told you my presence here would be pointless," Rodney said, gesturing to the small village a few feet from the Stargate. The M.A.L.P. detected nothing but that village. There wasn't even a spark of an energy reading. This place is primitive compared to what we've seen lately."

Without warning, people rushed all around them. "Oh yeah, Rodney," John replied. "Just like those not so primitive looking weapons."

A tall man with dark eyes glared at them. "Who are you and where are you from?"

"I'm Lt Col John Sheppard; this is Dr. McKay, Teyla, and Ronon. We're peaceful explorers from..."

Weapons fire erupted into the air, effectively cutting John off. "Silence! We know who you are! Leave the leader here, but bring the others to the Council Chamber."

"I don't think so!" Ronon said, firing his weapon.

John moved in front of him. "Stop it and go with them! We're outnumbered and outgunned; I don't feel like dying right now, do you?" Ronon was about to speak up, but John shook his head. "I'll be fine."

"Are you insane?" Rodney asked.

"Just go with them."

"Be careful, John," Teyla said.

John nodded, not realizing that would be the last time he'd see his friends.

Half of the guards had remained with the speaker. "So... are you going to tell me what this is all about?"

"We are not," he replied. He nodded to one of his men who spoke into what looked like a radio. John wasn't close enough to hear what he said, but from the looks on their faces, he knew it wasn't going to be good.

Suddenly he heard a loud pop and he saw what looked like fireworks heading to the main building within the middle of the village. A sick feeling settled in his stomach as he watched the explosion…

"Unscheduled off world activation!" Chuck exclaimed. "It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC, Ma'am."

"Open the shield!" Elizabeth replied.

She ran down the steps knowing that when teams came back early, it usually meant something went wrong. And as John stepped through, her heart stopped because the 'Gate shutdown immediately.

"John!" she said, rushing over to him. The blackness of a bruise around his eye was in contrast to the pasty color of his skin. "What happened?"

"I..."

Elizabeth suddenly felt him falling to his knees, trying her best to keep him from slamming onto the floor. Lorne, who had been waiting with his team to go off world, ran over to help her.

"John? What happened? Where's your team?" she asked gently.

"Gone."

"Gone?"

"They're dead."

Before Elizabeth could respond, John passed out. She looked up at Lorne. The two continued to stare at one another as Carson and his team arrived.

"Elizabeth? Major?"

Elizabeth blinked. "Carson, John's in shock right now. The others... I mean his team..."

"It's all right, Love," Carson replied, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Major, why don't you bring Dr. Weir to the infirmary? And it's probably best to suspend all out going missions for the moment."

Lorne nodded. "Good idea, Doc."

An hour later, John came to. He had hoped it was all a nightmare, but the expression on Carson's face when he walked into the room, told him it wasn't. "How are you feeling, Colonel?" Carson must have realized what he asked so he added, "Physically."

"A little tired and my head hurts."

"I'm not surprised. Besides actually punching you in the eye, they hit you over the head with a blunt object. I daresay what would have happened had you not returned when you did."

"Carson just ask me."

The physician blinked. "Sorry?"

"You want to know what happened, don't you?"

"I suppose I do."

"That's fine," John replied. "But get Elizabeth and Major Lorne. I don't relish telling this story once let alone twice in a briefing room."


John shook his head, clearing his current thoughts from his mind. Today they were going to hold a memorial service for his friends and he wasn't going to show everyone how much it hurt.

John had just arrived in the Gateroom when the Gate began to dial. He looked over at Chuck, who shrugged. After a few minutes, he glanced up at John. "Um... It's Dr. McKay's IDC, Sir."

"What?"

John didn't know what to do. It had been years. Was it possible? Even if it was, who was to say it was Rodney punching in the code? He decided he was going to take the chance.

"Open the shield," he replied as Elizabeth stepped up beside him.

"What's going on?"

John swallowed around the lump in his throat as he ordered his men around the 'Gate. "Rodney's IDC."

"John...?"

"I don't know, but I..."

They had walked halfway down the stairs when Teyla, Ronon, and Rodney stepped from the event horizon. "What the hell happened?" Rodney exclaimed. "We've been stuck on that planet for nearly a week, hoping for a rescue!"

"Rodney, calm down," Teyla replied, placing a hand on his shoulder.

Silence reverberated throughout the room as John and Elizabeth moved to stand in front of them. John could hear his heart beat thundering in his ears and the room suddenly began to spin.

"Sit down, John," Elizabeth was saying as he caught his breath.

"What's going on?" Ronon wanted to know, glancing at the others.

Rodney watched the exchange between Elizabeth and John. They seemed to be sitting much closer than normal. Something wasn't right. He was about to say something to that effect when Lorne came around the corner.

"General, Dr. Weir, the Pegasus has arrived."

"Thank you, Colonel," Elizabeth replied. "We'll be right there."

John finally stood up, gently pulling away from his wife. "I guess there's a lot of confusion going around. We got to meet the brass first. Besides, you should head down to the infirmary."

"I can take them," Lorne offered.

"Thanks."

Once the four had left the room, John told everyone to stand down. Elizabeth took his hand and they headed for the east pier. "Are you all right?" she asked.

"I can't even believe they're alive. I mean... And from the way Rodney was talking, they've only been gone for a week."

Elizabeth nodded. "Another time dilation field?"

"That seems to be the best answer."


Rodney was walking silently to meet Teyla and Ronon in the mess hall. Apparently five years had passed on Earth and Atlantis. Five years! And here they thought it was only a week. Now he new what John felt like when he had gone through that portal.

The expedition had changed drastically since they left for that mission. Besides the obvious factor that pretty much every soldier had been promoted, most of the members had paired off and were parents. Everyone on Earth knew about the Stargate and the people of Pegasus had found an amazing alliance that helped them to destroy more than half the Wraith.

Rodney was a pissed off that he hadn't been there to witness that. He was pretty sure Ronon and Teyla were too.

So now they were headed to a banquet in their honor. It was originally going to be a memorial dinner, but things had changed a bit. Rodney couldn't decide if they were for the better or not...

"Rodney are you all right?"

He blinked. He had no idea he arrived at the mess hall already. "Just trying to take this all in, ya know?" Rodney replied to Teyla.

She smiled sympathetically. "I know."

"Are you three settling in okay?" Elizabeth asked as she joined them.

"Think so." Rodney's eyes strayed to her left ring finger. "Um... congratulations?"

Elizabeth blushed. "Thank you. We really wished you all could have been there. We searched everywhere for two years and Stargate Command finally forced us to stop. I'm sorry..."

"Do not worry yourself on this," Teyla said. "What matters is that we have returned."

"So who's the lucky guy?" Ronon asked.

Teyla glanced at Elizabeth with a knowing grin before responding. "You do not know?"

"I'll show you." Elizabeth said, grinning back at Teyla and stepping into the mess hall. She pointed to John as he raced after a small boy.

"Rodney, I told you no more sweets!"

Little Rodney turned around and lobbed the chocolate cake at his Father. John ducked just in time, but as he stood up, another piece flew towards him. Elizabeth stifled a laugh as she walked over to her son.

"Rodney David Sheppard!"

The child looked sheepishly at her. He could tell she wanted him to come over. "Sorry Daddy," he muttered, running to Elizabeth.

"Why did you do that?"

"I don't know," he replied, shifting his weight from one foot to another.

"This is a special day for Daddy. His friends came back and he missed them very much. Don't ruin that for him."

Little Rodney nodded, and then peered around Elizabeth. His eyes widened. "Is that them?"

"Yep. That's Ronon, Teyla, and Rodney," she replied.

"Whoa!" Little Rodney said as he moved towards Ronon. "You really are as big as Chewbacca!"

Ronon grunted having seen Star Wars once before. This child was probably the only one who was going to get away with calling him that.

He moved to the next adult. "Teyla? Oh, that's right! I got a sister named Teyla. You're prettier though. She's over there with Uncle Carson."

Teyla smiled. "That's sweet, Rodney, but I'm sure you're sister is beautiful."

He shrugged and moved onto to the funny looking man with his name, holding out his hand in greeting. The older Rodney looked at Elizabeth, then back at the boy as he returned the gesture.

"How old are you?"

"I just turned four, didn't I Mommy?"

Elizabeth smiled and picked up her son. "You did!"

Rodney watched the scene unfolding before him. Not only had they'd been gone for five years, but his quiet (sometimes not so quiet) days in Atlantis seemed to be a thing of the past. He couldn't believe that everywhere he looked, familiar faces were coupled together and little kids were running around.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned to see John holding a little girl. "You ok?"

"Just a little overwhelmed, I guess," Rodney replied. "I know how you felt when you were stuck with those Ancients."

"That was nothing compared to this. So are you gonna tell me what happened after we were separated?"

Before Rodney could respond, Teyla squealed and reached out for him. John chuckled at the scared look on his friend's face. "What does she want from me?"

"She must like you because she wants you to hold her."

"I can't hold a baby!"

"Oh no, you are not going to be the reason Teyla starts screaming her head off!" John exclaimed, handing the little girl to Rodney. He grinned when she laid her head on his shoulder. "Just relax, Rodney!"

"That's easy for you to say! You've had two years of practice!"

John smirked as he walked away. "I used to baby-sit too."


John was standing on the balcony, watching the small waves lap against the city. He felt arms wrap around his waist and closed his eyes, taking in the feel of his wife pressed to him.

"Hey," she said.

He turned to face her. "Hey yourself."

"How are you doing? This is a lot to take in."

"I'm all right. I'm not the one you should be asking, though. Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon are going to find it hard to adjust here. Especially Rodney, he was freaking out just because Teyla wanted him to hold her."

Elizabeth chuckled. "Well, she is selective about that kind of thing. I hope she can be a calming influence on him."

"Excuse me." They pair turned to see Chuck. "General Sheppard, Dr. Weir, the President is getting ready to leave."

"We'll be right there," Elizabeth replied. Once he walked a way, she planted a kiss on John. "Duty calls!"

John kissed her back and continued kissing her down her neck as he spoke. "I suppose we shouldn't keep the President waiting."

"Probably not, John," she replied.


The next morning, John and his current team were getting ready to head off world while his former team read up on the last five years and Rodney was getting read to head back to Earth and visit his sister.

Elizabeth smiled as she waved to him, laughing as Telya exclaimed, "Bye Daddy! Be safe!"

"That was sweet, Teyla," Elizabeth replied. "Daddy will be... be so happy."

"Mama?" she asked.

Elizabeth tried to hold onto Teyla as she felt herself sway from dizziness and nausea. Before she could even blink, the young girl was taken from her and she lost consciousness, falling into someone's arms.

"Is she going to be ok, Carson?" Elizabeth heard Rodney ask.

"Aye, Rodney, she'll be fine."

Elizabeth's eyes blinked open and she was immediately looking around the room for her daughter. "Carson!"

"It's all right, Love," he said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "She's with Laura right now."

Rodney stared at Carson in disbelief. "You left a child with Cadman!? Are you sure I'm in the right reality?"

"Of course I left her with Laura, I trust her implicitly. She is my wife, after all."

Elizabeth chuckled at Rodney's expression, but suddenly felt a bout of nausea. "Carson...?"

"Yes, you're pregnant, Elizabeth," he replied with a smile.


"General, are you all right?"

He turned to face Major Tina Whitehair. "Yeah, why do you ask?"

"You seem distracted is all," she replied. "You still feel guilty about leaving them behind, don't you?"

He nodded. "I guess I do especially now since I know they're alive. When Chuck told me Rodney's IDC was coming through, I was half tempted not to open the shield. I... I didn't want to be disappointed if it wasn't them, ya know?"

"I understand."

John was about to say more when the two Airmen in front of them fell to the ground. They glanced at one another, and then rushed over to them. "John," Tina said her voice shaky, "they're dead."

John took a deep breath, attempting to hold in his anger. "We need to get under cover," he told her.


Lorne entered the control room just as the Stargate activated. "What's going on, Chuck?" he asked.

"Major Whitehair's IDC, Sir."

"Open the shield."

"This is Whitehair, we're coming in hot and we're gonna need a medical team!"

"Understood, Major," Lorne replied. "Chuck, get Carson up here now."

Tina was pulling someone through the 'Gate with her and the minute they came through, she yelled from them to close the shield. Lorne rushed down the stairs, trying to make out who was unconscious and bleeding onto the floor.

"What happened, Tina?"

She sank to the floor. "Is he still breathing?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"Good."

Lorne watched in surprise as she lost consciousness. He caught her just in time to prevent Tina from smacking her head on the floor.

Carson had rushed into the Gateroom with his med team just in time to see her losing consciousness. "I've got her Doc," Lorne replied. "She's more exhausted than anything. Sheppard's in worse shape."

"Thank you, Colonel." Carson moved over to examine his patient. "Stab wound to the lower left quadrant. Let's get him to the infirmary stat! It doesn't look too bad, but we don't want to take any chances!"

Dr. Sarah Cole was just releasing Elizabeth when Carson and his team came rushing in. Elizabeth couldn't tell who was on the gurney, but she didn't need to see him to know who it was.

"John..."

Sarah moved to Elizabeth just in time to catch her. "Let's not worry until we know what's going on," she said. She merely nodded as she was seated on a chair, taking deep breaths.

After 20 agonizingly long minutes, Carson emerged. He stopped to remove the scrubs with blood on it. Seeing that would scare the living daylights out of Elizabeth and she certainly didn't need that right now.

"Elizabeth, Love, are you all right?"

She nodded. "I'm fine Carson. What about John?"

"He was stabbed in the side and lost a fair amount of blood. He was lucky that it missed his kidney. He's sleeping right now from the blood lost and he'll be in a lot of pain, but he was lucky. It could have been a lot worse."

Elizabeth nodded again. "Can I see him?" she asked voice barely above a whisper.

"Mommy! Mommy!" Rodney called as he ran into the infirmary. "I heard people talking. Is Daddy ok?"

She knelt down to be eye level with her son. "I was just talking to Uncle Carson, sweetheart. Daddy is hurting very much, but he'll be all right."

"Are you gonna see him? Can I go too?"

Elizabeth glanced up at Carson. "Is it...?"

"He's a bit pale and he has some bruising on his face, but nothing horrible looking. Rodney should be fine. Why don't you go on ahead and I'll talk to him about it and what to expect."

She waited until Carson took Rodney aside before walking over to John. Tears formed in her eyes when she saw his sleeping form. Elizabeth took his hand in hers, causing him to stir.

"I'm sorry," she whispered.

"It's all right," John replied. "I'm tired, but I can't seem to fall asleep."

Elizabeth pulled up a chair. "We should see if Carson can give you something for that, but Rodney wants to see you first. He over heard someone talking about you being hurt."

"K." John suddenly winced when he moved. He looked up at her and noticed something in her eyes. "Elizabeth?"

She smiled warmly. "John, you're going to be a Dad again."

"What?"

"I'm pregnant! We found out after you left," she explained. She looked down. "We found out because I... sort of fainted."

John's eyes widened. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine and so is the baby," she replied, kissing him softly on the lips. "We just need you to concentrate on getting better."

"I will."

Little Rodney rushed over to him at that moment. "Daddy!"

"Hey, Squirt!"

"Uncle Carson said I can't stay long. You ok?"

He nodded. "I am now that you came to visit me," John said with a smile.


Jeanne Miller watched her brother pick at his food. The last time he did that Caleb was serving tofu, but this time he made steak just for his brother in law and Rodney hadn't even taken one bite. She was about to speak up when Madison did for her.

"Uncle Mere, are you ok?" 8 year old Madison asked.

He swallowed around the lump in his throat and plastered on a fake smile. "Yeah, just great. Why do you ask?"

Madison wasn't buying into it. "Pull the other one."

"I... what?"

Caleb shook his head at her. "Maddie, don't be rude. Your uncle is just getting used to being back from his trip."

"Caleb, Maddie, would you excuse us for a minute?" Jeanne asked, standing up. She walked by Rodney and gently took him by the arm. Once they were out of earshot of Madison, she spoke up. "Mere, I can't even imagine how hard this is on you."

"No, you can't," Rodney replied, as he began pacing. "Everything has changed! The big, bad enemy we were fighting has been defeated and I didn't even get to witness that! My friends were married and I didn't get to witness that either! The woman I love... she's married too."

Jeanne took a deep breath. "Mere?"

For the first time since his Mom died, Rodney was crying. "Katie Brown. You met her." At Jeanne's nod, he continued. "Finding out was like having a knife shoved into my heart and twisted."

Jeanne had never seen him so distraught. She walked over to her brother and caught his arm "Hey, it's all right to feel like that, Mere. What happened to you was unfair. You did miss out on a lot. I know it doesn't feel like it, but things will get better."

Rodney accepted Jeanne's hug. He never thought something as life changing as this would happen to him, but for now he was going to let it all slip away for awhile in a hug with his little sister.


Teyla took a deep breath as she stepped through the event horizon. She had contacted her people to let them know she was alive and they were most joyful. Now she stood at the 'Gate, alone, in front of them.

She recognized many faces but they were older to her. A young man stepped forward and moved take her shoulders, bowing his head towards hers. Teyla responded in kind allowing tears to flow down her face.

When she lifted her head, she recognized the man before her and smiled. "Jinto!"

"Teyla," he replied, taking her hand and leading her towards everyone. "It is good to see you again. We have prepared a feast in your honor. Come. Join us."

She smiled. "Thank you, Jinto."

Teyla walked through the village and she could see the changes that occurred over the five years she missed. She even noticed some technology from their Earth friends within various areas. This village was now about the size of small city.

It was with surprise that Teyla realized she had not seen or heard anything about Halling. Perhaps he was off world somewhere trading. She walked over to join Jinto, apologizing for interrupting their conversation.

"May I speak with you in private?" she asked. At his nod, the pair moved away from his family. "Jinto," she said, taking a breath. "Where is your Father? I have not seen him since I arrived."

Jinto glanced down at the ground. "He was lost in our final battle with the Wraith. I am sorry I did not tell you sooner, but we were so overjoyed that you were still alive that it did not even occur to me that you had not been informed of it."

"It is all right, Jinto. It's just that many things have changed within Atlantis, on this planet, the whole galaxy. It is... difficult to adjust. I was almost angered to hear that I was not here for the destruction of the Wraith, but then my anger is calmed by relief when I know that they will no longer be a threat to us."


Ronon leaned back on the chair in the mess hall as he watched various groups of people eating. He had been there for hours as they ate, laughed, and carried on as if they didn't have one worry in the world.

It was... disconcerting to him.

The most disconcerting was the amount of small children running around the city. True he didn't think they would have ignored the impulses for five years, but it probably would have been an easier adjustment had he been there.

Ronon watched as John (just released from the infirmary with instructions to take it easy) and Elizabeth sat at a table with their children. John had told him once before he was married and he wasn't good at it. As he witnessed it, Ronon thought maybe it hadn't been Sheppard, but the woman he was married to.

He had been so lost in thought that he didn't notice John in front of him until a hand was being waved in his face. "Earth to Ronon."

The Satedan blinked. "Sheppard."

"Yeah. You ok, buddy? You seem a bit out of it."

Ronon shrugged. "Guess just trying to find some common ground between us."

John stared at him in confusion. "Common ground? You mean any common ground we had before we left on that mission is gone?"

"Well, look at you! You're married, Sheppard, you have children. I have nothing but the clothes on my back, a scientist who whines, a woman who can kick ass any day of the week, and an enemy who's been long dead for five years. Anything thing we had in common went out the door the minute you returned to Atlantis without us."

John again stared at Ronon, this time in stunned silence. "You're jealous," he finally said.

"What?"

"You heard me! You're jealous because I came back. You're jealous because I witnessed the defeat of the Wraith! Well, I didn't ask for this to happen! If I could go back and change everything, I would, even knowing what I have right now! You all had each other but I had to live with this hanging on me for five years so don't act like you were the only ones affected by this!"

By this time, John's yelling had Elizabeth rushing to his side. She could tell that he was pale and could see a thin sheen of sweat forming on his forehead.

"John," she said, taking his hand. "Calm down, honey. Remember that Carson wants you to take it easy."

He blinked. "I... I know," he replied, allowing her to lead him back to their table.

Ronon sighed and stood up. He really needed to punch something (mostly himself) so he decided to head down to the gym.


By the time Elizabeth had gotten the children to bed, she found John sitting on the bed, sulking. She moved to kneel down in front of him, taking his hands in hers. "Are you all right, John?"

"Fine."

"John."

He quickly stood up, wincing at the pain it caused. "I'm fine, Elizabeth!"

"John Sheppard, you cannot lie to me! I know what Ronon said hurt you, but you have to know he didn't mean what he said. You need to calm down."

"Maybe not consciously, but deep down I'm sure he did." John took a breath. His side was hurting much more than earlier. Elizabeth was right; he needed to calm down in more ways than one. "I'm sorry," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.

She took his hand again and led him to the bed. "It's all right. Now why don't you lie down and try to get some sleep? I'll be right back with some water and a couple of pain pills from Carson."

"Thanks... I don't know what I've done to deserve you."

Elizabeth smiled, kissing him softly on the lips. "I don't know either, John."

She opened the door to head out to the infirmary to find herself face to face with Carson. "I was just coming to see you," she said.

Carson nodded. "I figured as much so I thought I'd save you the trip," he replied, handing her a few pills. I heard about his altercation with Ronon, how's he faring?"

Elizabeth shook her head. "Not well. I know Ronon didn't mean to say what he did, but John's been affected by leaving them behind more than anyone."

"Aye, that he has. I've sent Kate to try and talk to him. I'm not certain if she'll be able to, but it couldn't hurt. If the two of you are settled, I'm going to turn in for the night. I hope you'll be able to as well seeing as you're sleeping for two."

Elizabeth smiled. "I'm sure I'll fine. Thank you, Carson."

"You're welcome, Love. Good night."


Rodney, Teyla, and Ronon sat on the mess hall balcony quietly staring out into the ocean. They had told each other how their return has affected themselves. Ronon finished his with a grunt.

Rodney and Teyla stared at him. "How could you act like that?" Rodney asked.

"What are talking about, McKay?"

"He thought we were dead. For five years he thought we were dead! I know we missed out on that same five years, but we had each other and we were only gone a week."

Ronon shrugged, but remained silent because even he knew he'd been acting like a complete idiot. He had no idea what he would have done had their positions been reversed.

He stood up. "I should go apologize."

"Ronon, it is late," Teyla said. "It can wait until the morning."

He was about to sit back down when he saw John enter the mess hall. "No, I think it's just the right time," he replied, walking towards his friend.

John was about to sit down when he saw Ronon coming over. He took as deep a breath as his injury would allow him as the man began to speak. "Elizabeth isn't going to be happy when she finds out you've been wondering around the city."

"Probably," John replied, sitting down. "I couldn't sleep, even with Carson's happy pills. I'm not sure why."

"Most likely because a certain friend has been acting like a certain idiot."

John grinned. "I guess that could be why. Look, I'm sorry things happened the way they did. There was nothing to indicate a time dilation field even existed on that planet and everything happened so quickly. By the time we returned, the whole city had been decimated. We looked everywhere but the sensors on the Daedalus couldn't even pick up your locator beacons."

"We were forced into some underground bunker…"

FLASHBACK

"What's going on?" Rodney exclaimed.

"McKay, I swear, if you don't shut up!"

Teyla gave them both a look as she turned to face the soldier who had threatened John's life if they did not listen. "We just want to understand what is going on."

The soldier merely glared at her and left them alone. "So that's it then?"

"McKay!"

"Look, I'm sorry, but we just left Sheppard alone out there with the wolves! Who knows what they plan on doing! And he may very well do anything; endure anything to make certain nothing happens to us."

"He is right, Ronon. We must find a way out of here."

"Sheppard this is McKay, come in." Rodney paused, hoping for a response, but all he got was static. "Damn it! This bunker is going to interfere with everything, including our locator beacons."

"Yes, Dr. McKay, you will find that no matter what building you are in."

Ronon moved towards the man, but was stopped by Teyla. "Who are you and what the hell do you want?" he growled.

The man remained calm as he spoke, clearly not afraid of the Satedan. "My name is Donal and Colonel Sheppard is to be punished for awaking the Wraith. We learned from a friend of ours that he is solely responsible for this. We will also punish the three of you for consorting with this man."

"Hey, it's not like we came to this galaxy just wake up them up!" Rodney replied.

"That may not have been your intention, but nevertheless it did happen and you will all pay the price. Food and other necessities will be provided, but you must remain here for seven cycles of the sun."

Teyla took a deep breath before speaking up because she was almost afraid to ask. "What… sort of punishment awaits Colonel Sheppard?"

Donal shook his head. "I'm afraid I cannot discuss this with you. When it is time for you to be released, the door will open and you may return to the Stargate. I hope you will enjoy your stay," he said, as he shut the door.

"He hopes we'll enjoy our stay?" Rodney scoffed, walking over to wall where the door used to be. "There has to be a panel over here that controls the door."

With Ronon's help, Rodney was able to pry off the control panel and began to work on overriding the system. It took him nearly three days but he was finally able to do just that.

Ronon was the first one out the door, ready to tear the soldiers apart, but the minute he stepped foot outside, he stood still as Teyla and Rodney came up behind him.

Rodney's eyes widened in shock at what he was seeing; building upon building had been destroyed. There was no sign of anyone within the immediate area. "Um… maybe we should start heading to the 'Gate. Whoever did this could be lurking anywhere and I just wanna get back home and eat real food for seven days straight."

Ronon was about to reply, but Teyla gave him a look. "Rodney's right let us head to the Stargate."

"It was a pretty uneventful trip to the 'Gate. There was no one around and we didn't hear any animals either. We're not really sure what happened to Donal or his people but we didn't care at that time. And of course you know what happened when we stepped through the 'Gate."

John chuckled. "Yeah, I thought I was going to have a heart attack."

Rodney and Teyla chose that moment to join them. They had stayed on the balcony so Ronon and John could work things out. Rodney sat down and shook his head.

"Why don't the two of you just kiss and make up?" he asked.

Ronon crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair. "Why don't you just shut your mouth, McKay?"

John sighed in contentment as he watched Rodney and Ronon bickering back and forth. It was great to have them all back even if they had been gone for five years.

"John?" Teyla asked, pulling him from his thoughts. "Are you all right, you seem tired."

He smiled, standing up. "I'm fine, but I think I'd better get back to my quarters before Carson's pills kick in." John paused a moment before turning to face his friends again. "Welcome home, guys."