Title: Triumph Through Adversity
Author's Notes: AU version of Lifeline
Disclaimers: Unfortunately they don't belong to me or Elizabeth Weir would not have been killed off the show.
"John, go. I'll catch up."
He wasn't so sure, but moved on Ronon's insistence. If they got out of this, he was going to tell her how he felt, consequences be damned.John loved her dearly -- way more than he should -- and he was going to tell her.
They arrived back at the Jumper to see a panicked Rodney. "Where's Elizabeth?" he asked.
"Right here, Rodney. Now let's go before Oberoth realizes we're gone. I was able to put them all in stasis of sorts and the planet is going to explode, so I think we should leave. Once we're gone, you can turn these things off, Rodney."
The three men stared at her in stunned silence. Finally, John shook his head with a grin. "Let's get out of here before we explode then!"
"Are we going to be able to jump into hyperspace?" Ronon asked.
"We should have enough power," replied Rodney.
John nodded. "That we do."
Radek and a security detail were waiting for them. The latter was Elizabeth's idea just in case the nasty little nanites had other ideas for her. Radek was there to obtain the ZPM Elizabeth had stolen and set it up.
"Do not break it," Rodney told the scientist,"or I will have to hurt you!"
"I get it Rodney."
John and Ronon headed up to the control room while Rodney took Elizabeth to the infirmary. He really had no idea if he could completely shut off the nanites for her, but he had to try. He was, after all, the reason she was put in that position in the first place.
Teyla smiled at her teammates. "It is good to see you!"
"Everything all right?" John asked, looking around. He saw that things had been cleaned up for the most part. The shattered glass that had hit Elizabeth was shoved into a corner for the time being.
"Are you all right? You seemed distracted for a moment."
"I'm fine, Teyla. Radek is setting up the ZPM so I gotta head down to the chair room. Make an announcement to let everyone know what's going on. Ronon, you feel like watching me fly this thing?"
Ronon shrugged. It was either that or stay in the control room and be just as bored with nothing to do. "Yeah."
"We are ready."
"Dr. McKay, did you hear the announcement?"
"Yes I heard, Dr. Keller," he snapped, "but I have to get this done. I'll be fine." Rodney looked up at her, realizing he nearly ripped her head off. "Sorry. It's just... I don't want to stop right now."
Jennifer nodded. "I know that, but you'll be no help to Elizabeth if you fall and knock yourself unconscious. At least stop long enough for him to start the... what's it called?"
Once John fired the drive, Rodney leaned back in his chair, assessing what he had. This was the moment of truth.
He knew the city was in good hands with John at the helm (not that he would ever admit it). He remembered the look of utter horror on John's face when he told his friend about the nanites. Rodney truly thought his life was over.
"We're ready for the final program," Jennifer said.
He took a deep breath and was about to join her in the isolation room when the city shuddered. They had made it to their new home. Rodney smiled at Jennifer. "Here's hoping this will work. This city needs Elizabeth no matter what planet we're on."
She nodded in agreement was about to follow him when Ronon called her over the radio. "Go ahead."
"Colonel Sheppard collapsed," he told her.
"Is he conscious?"
"Yeah. I'm bringing him in. Or should I say dragging him in."
Jennifer chuckled. "We'll be ready."
A few moments later, her patient entered being supported by Ronon and Radek. "Colonel?"
"That took a lot more out of me than I thought it would," he admitted as Jennifer did a quick scan.
"When was the last time you slept?"
John tried to remember, but the pounding in his skull wasn't letting him. However tired he was, sleep would have to wait. There were more important things that needed to be done and with Elizabeth down for the count, it fell to him.
"Whoa, Colonel!" Jennifer exclaimed when he jumped off the bed clumsily.
"I'm fine, Doc."
"Like hell you are, John."
Everyone turned at the sound of her voice. John could hardly believe she was standing there. He couldn't believe he had almost given up on her... twice. Without thinking about what he was doing, John walked over and kissed Elizabeth fully on the lips.
Rodney was shocked to say the least. Not only that he was kissing her, but also that it was a pretty long kiss. And suddenly it dawned on him what could be wrong. "Oh God, he's been taken over by another alien consciousness!"
Jennifer smiled, shaking her head. "No, I think they're in love."
"Well, Rodney?" Elizabeth asked.
She had been waiting patiently for him to go over the last of her results. She no longer felt the nanites in her system, nor any link to the replicators. All Elizabeth wanted to do was get back to work... and to John Sheppard.
Elizabeth still couldn't believe she had fallen in love with the man but here she was, three years later and wanting so much to be held by him.
Rodney looked up from his tablet smiling in near disbelief. "Oh my God, it worked! They're gone, Elizabeth!"
She was stunned to say the least.True, Elizabeth had every confidence in Rodney's abilities, butthere was only so muchthe man could do. He wasn't agod no matter howmuch his ego led him to believe.
Elizabeth gave him a hug. "Thank you, Rodney! For everything. I know that I wasn't exactly thrilled about this when I first woke up."
"Don't apologize; I wouldn't have been too thrilled either."
Elizabeth smiled and the pair headed to main part of the infirmary where they found John arguing with Jennifer. "I'm fine, Doc."
"Like hell you are, John," she replied.
The look on his face was worth this whole mess. She was going to say more when he began walking towards her in stunned silence. She was expecting a hug, not a kiss. And it wasn't just any kiss. Elizabeth had never experienced such passion before.
John stepped back, breathing heavily and before either could say a word, he was falling to the floor. "John!" she exclaimed, attempting to keep him from injuring himself.
Ronon and Rodney rushed to help her. Ronon smirked. "Nice kiss."
"Quiet," Elizabeth replied. Her face felt hot and she realized she was blushing as they laid John down.
Jennifer went over to John's bedside to check his vitals. "This is a good thing," she told them. "Colonel Sheppard needs his rest. From his condition, I'd say it's been at least a week since he slept. That plus the strain put on him by the chair..."
Rodney cleared his throat. "So, Elizabeth, are you ready to go back to the control room? We still have to contact Earth."
"Let's go then. Dr. Keller, let me know when John wakes up."
She smiled. "I will."
The expedition team greeted Elizabeth happily. Teyla gave her a hug and said, "It is good to have you back, Elizabeth."
"It's good to be back," she replied with a smile. "Are we set to dial Earth?"
"We are. Dr. Zelenka also suggested we shut down the shield now that we've arrived, so he is down there doing that."
Elizabeth nodded. "Chuck, dial Earth."
As he did so, Teyla watched her with relief. She could still hardly believe that merely hours ago, Elizabeth had been a death's door. Teyla had no idea what Rodney did, but right now she was very grateful.
"Where is Colonel Sheppard?" Teyla asked, just then noticing her missing teammate.
"In the infirmary. He hasn't sleep in days and collapsed after landing the city," she replied.
Before Teyla could respond, a connection was established. "Stargate Command, this is Atlantis, please respond."
Samantha Carter appeared on screen. "Dr. Weir, it's good to hear from you. We were getting worried. I trust everyone is safe and sound."
"For the most part," Elizabeth said with a smile.
"We'll send some people over to help out in anyway you see fit and adjust your new coordinates in Pegasus."
Elizabeth nodded. "Thank you, we really appreciate it. I'll have my teams send over a preliminary report within the hour. Atlantis out."
She looked around the Gateroom, noting the broken glass in the corner. She couldn't believe that she was still alive. The gate began to dial, shaking Elizabeth from her thoughts.
"It's the SGC," Chuck told her.
"Open the shield," Elizabeth replied, heading down to greet the personnel.
When John woke up he still felt tired and his head was pounding, but he needed to see Elizabeth. He needed to make certain he hadn't been dreaming her.
He slowly sat up, closing his eyes at the sudden dizziness that assaulted him. Once it had settled, he swung his legs over the side of the bed. John ignored the coldness of the floor coming through his socks and gently pulled out his IV.
Taking a deep breath, he stood and left the infirmary. His stomach was growling at him by the time he reached his quarters. John had gone there first, though, because he wanted a quick shower and change.
Hey, he couldn't go running up to the control room in socks and scrubs!
John felt more awake after his shower and quickly got dressed. A glance to his nightstand showed his radio sitting there. He put it on and winced at the shouting going on.
"Colonel Sheppard, if you can hear me, you had better get back to the infirmary in 10 minutes or I'm going to send Ronon after you!"
Who knew that Dr. Keller could channel Carson, he thought to himself. She may be small, but she certainly has a temper.
"Relax, Doc," John said. "I'm in my quarters and I'm fine. Just wanted to go down to the mess hall for something to eat."
Dr. Keller sighed. "Fine, but I'm sending someone to meet you and when you're finished there I want you back here for an exam."
"I have one quick stop to make after I eat, but as soon as I'm finished, I promise I'll be down there."
"You'd better, Colonel, or I'll make Ronon carry you!"
Ronon met John in the infirmary and stuck with him like glue even as John headed up to the control room to see Elizabeth. He wanted to make certain she was all right and truth be told, he wanted to kiss her again.
He glanced at the Satedan and he nodded in understanding, allowing John to speak to her alone. John knocked on the doorframe and smiled when she looked up at him. "I thought I may have been dreaming," he gasped, entering the room.
"No, John" she replied, walking over to him. "I'm still here."
"Can we talk on the balcony?"
John let Ronon know where they were going and he nodded. He knew his friend wouldn't rest until he had spoken with Elizabeth. That much was clear and he told Keller that when she called a few minutes ago to ask where they were.
Elizabeth closed her eyes and took a deep breath as they stepped outside. When she opened them, John was staring at her. "Are you all right?" she asked.
"I could ask the same about you," he replied with a smile.
She nodded. "I know. I half expect Oberoth to come up behind me and force his hand into my forehead. It was very disconcerting. It was bad enough when Niam infected me to begin with. But now to have all those thoughts resurface. I hate thinking that all this could beareality that Oberoth created."
John had immediately wrapped his arms around her as she cried. "Shh, you're safe," he said. "Oberoth and all those replicators are gone, Elizabeth. You destroyed them! And if it weren't for you, we'd all be dead right now."
"John," she whispered, looking at him. He eyed her expectantly as he wiped her tears. "I love you."
He held her tightly. "I love you too, Elizabeth. We'll work through this."
"Yes, we will," she replied, looking up at him. John's lips were quite inviting and she found herself leaning towards him.
But John was suddenly feeling very dizzy and felt his knees giving out. Elizabeth grabbed him and helped John to the floor. As she knelt in front him, he had his eyes closed and was taking deep breaths.
"I'm okay," he said after a few minutes."
"Like hell you are, John," Elizabeth said. "Dr. Keller said you haven't been sleeping in days. Plus you used most of your energy to fly the city! We've had a lot of loss here, John, we don't need yours added to that."
He nodded, looking quite sheepish. "Sorry."
Elizabeth smiled as she helped him to his feet. "Don't worry about it. Let's just get you down to the infirmary before Dr. Keller has your head."
As they headed back inside, John paused. He smiled reassuringly at her when a worried expression appeared on her face. "I'm fine. I just want you to know that know matter what happens with you, with me... with us, I will always be there for you. And I will follow you anywhere, even if it means we have to go back to Earth."
"Well, I know neither of us want to go back there, but the same goes for me, John. Well get through this... together."