Disclaimer: Wouldn't mind owning the characters or the show, but when you think of the feeding, housing and upkeep of everything, not to mention trying to keep everything running smoothly…kind of glad I don't own it.

Que Sera Sera

Sometimes Chuck wonders how it will end.

He knew that the odds of his survival on Atlantis were not the highest. Nearly half of the original expedition we now dead or missing, and a number of the members had transferred back to Earth when the option was available. The fact that the majority of the deceased were military personal put the odds slightly in his favor, but yesterday David Mounse had been clipped in the shoulder by a stray blast that had made it's way through the Gate. This had brought reality to the forefront of his mind. The reality that he probably wouldn't survive.

Chuck knew that so far he had been lucky. The two times he had been off-world as part of his requirements had been for trading missions where nothing serious had gone wrong. During the quarantine he had been stuck in the Mess Hall, so no great hardship there. The worst injury he had received to date was the tiny cut to his face from flying glass, received when Atlantis was departing from its original planet. The Jello to the eye he got during the Great Atlantis Food Fight had been more painful than that.

So now Chuck wondered how it would end. Even if he did survive all the natural disasters and the aliens out to kill them, would he still be on Atlantis in fifty years time, operating the Gate and running interference for the City Leader? He could just imagine himself, white-haired and wrinkly, bossing around the younger generation and receiving rolled eyes and condescending agreement in return. He would welcome back the teams and remember the originals. Heck, in fifty years time it would probably be the grandkids of the original team members that would be going through the Gate.

Most likely, he would end up back in Earth, retired from the Stargate Program. Unable to tell his grandkids about his adventures the a fabulous city in another galaxy because it would undoubtedly still be classified, he would have to turn them into fairy tales. The Queen ruling the city with a fair and just hand. The spiky-haired Prince, fighting to protect it. The fast-talking Wizard with brightest mind and the coffee addiction. The Warrior from far-off lands who had made the city his home. The beautiful Maiden, loyal and true, who had been stolen from them but would be found again. And looking out for them all, the Squire who made sure they ate real food and got rest when it was needed.

Come to think of it, it made a pretty great story.

But no matter what happened in the future, Chuck knew that he would stay on Atlantis for as long as he possibly could. If it was abandoned or destroyed, he would be one of the last through that Gate. If it was a civilian expedition, military outpost, or even a future colony, he would find a place for himself. The one thing he had really noticed about Atlantis was when he was back on Earth after the Ancients had returned and taken over the city. It was when he was at his parents' place, surrounded by his brothers, sisters-in-law, and the multitudes of offspring that they had produced, he realized that it didn't feel like home anymore. It wasn't until he stepped back through the Gate and saw the stained glass window of the Gateroom that the familiar feeling of welcome and contentedness had settled through him. He was home.

"…and you are blatantly ignoring me. Why am I not surprised? I could have been confessing my undying love for you for the past ten minutes and you wouldn't have noticed in the least! Chuck! Wake up!!"

Startled out of his reverie by the loud (and amused) voice of Emily Berryman, Chuck shook off the fog of his thoughts and focussed on the grinning Gate Tech. "Huh? What did you say?"

"Chuck, I know you love your job, but your shift ended twenty minutes ago! I was heading down to see how David is and was checking to see if you wanted to tag along?"

Nodding his acceptance of Emily's suggestion, Chuck quickly shut down his station for the evening and gathered his gear. Quickly ducking over to David's station, he grabbed the camera that was stowed in its normal hiding spot. "You know he's going to want photographic proof of his 'War Wounds' for future retelling!"

With that, Chuck and Emily turned their backs on the Gateroom and headed in the direction of the infirmary with the intention of cheering up their injured friend (and probably stealing his dessert from his dinner tray at the same time). And as they exited the room, a question floated back from the echoing corridor.

"So…professing your undying love, huh?"

FIN

AN2: And this is the end of Insiders Knowledge. I want to say a huge Thank You to every one who reviewed, especially those who shared my love of the non-lead cast of Atlantis (I don't want to say 'B Characters') . I am humbled and awed at not only the volume of response, but also the level of intelligence and humor in the reviews. I am greatly flattered.

The characters of Emily Berryman and David Mounse were created by me, but feel free to utilize them if you have need of a Gate Tech in a fic. Otherwise they will probably get bored, waiting around until I find a way to work them into a yet-to-be-written fic. And who knows when that might happen!

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hoped you enjoyed the series.

Fred the Wraith