Ok, so after a kind anonymous reviewer pointed out the flaws in this, I decided to rewrite it. I am a huge fan of the minor characters on SGA, so I decided to write a nice fluffy fic about two of my favourites, Laura Cadman and Evan Lorne. I think that they are underdeveloped characters, but what's ff for if you can't use your imagination! Pairings in this story include John/Teyla, Ronon/Keller and eventually Cadman/Lorne.
This story is set about 5 years after Carson died, and it's Laura's story as she returns to Atlantis for the first time since he was killed. Will feature the rest of the team.
Chapter 1. Coming Back Home.
Laura Cadman stood looking out of the window of her quarters aboard the Daedalus. They were currently in orbit above Atlantis, and Colonel Cauldwell had ordered the crew to be ready to land in ten minutes.
She smoothed down her uniform nervously, taking a deep breath. For what seemed like the millionth time, she checked her hair in the mirror, making sure the blonde tresses were still in a smooth knot at the back of her head.
The last time she'd been aboard the Daedalus, it had been taking her back to Stargate Command, almost five years ago. Things had changed in Atlantis since then, she thought sadly. The last time she'd been there, Carson had been alive and well. They'd kissed goodbye on the beaming platform, promising to see each other again soon.
Carson. Even after all this time, her heart twisted in pain at the thought of the Scottish doctor she'd loved so much. She remembered the time he'd surprised her at Stargate Command with a bunch of flowers and an engagement ring. He'd had three weeks of leave and they'd spent every spare second together, talking and laughing. Kissing. Making promises and planning for the future.
He'd left her with the promise of coming home to get married and then taking her back with him to Atlantis as soon as the Marine Corps would station her there again. She'd cried, of course, but had accepted the parting as she'd been trained to do. Little had she known that she'd never see him again.
"Lieutenant? A moment, please." Colonel Cameron Mitchell, leader of SG1 stood outside the explosives lab, his expression sombre.
"Of course, sir," Laura said in surprise. She abandoned the Ori explosive device she'd been analysing and stood up, following him out of the room.
"Lieutenant, your presence is required in the General's office, " Colonel Mitchell told her. "Immediately."
She knocked on the door of General Landry's office, waiting for permission to enter. When ordered, she went in and her jaw dropped when she saw Colonel Sheppard sitting in the General's office.
"Colonel Sheppard!" She snapped to attention again, colouring a little at her lack of respect. The Atlantis military contingent was a little different to the one here at Stargate Command, in that they didn't tend to be quite as strict as their Milky Way counterparts. "What are you doing here, sir?"
"At ease, Cadman." John Sheppard raked a hand through his shaggy black hair and looked at her. "In fact, why don't you take a seat."
"Yes sir." Laura sat down, her heart suddenly pounding. "Sir, has something happened? Is everyone in Atlantis ok?"
John sighed and shook his head slowly. "Cadman, there was an accident. An explosion."
Laura sat up straight in her chair. "Sir, what are you saying?"
"Carson…"John watched as she shook her head violently. "Cadman. Laura, there was nothing we could do. He was trying to save a patient, and the explosion…I'm so sorry."
"He's gone?" Laura asked, feeling as if she were watching the scene unfold from outside her body. "Carson?"
A knock sounded on the door and Major Evan Lorne entered at John's bidding, followed by Rodney McKay and Ronon Dex. The scientist's eyes were red rimmed, his face pale. He greeted Laura sombrely and sat in the chair opposite her.
"We're taking his body back to Scotland," Colonel Sheppard was saying. "Rodney's going to tell his mom…"
"Sir, may I be excused?" Laura stood up, feeling as if she would explode if she stayed in the room any longer. "Please?"
"We've arranged with General Landry for you to accompany us to the funeral," Sheppard told her, his green eyes watching her warily. Across the room, Evan Lorne sat uncomfortably, his dark eyes unreadable. "Cadman, your orders are to take three days leave and come with us, then see Dr Lam and her team for assessment when you get back."
"Yes sir." Laura replied in a monotone. "I'll go get ready."
She took three steps and turned around. "Colonel?"
"Did he suffer?"
"No. No, he didn't. It was over immediately."
Laura nodded, the numbness spreading over her. She looked at Rodney. "He was going to ask you to be best man."
Rodney's head snapped up. "He was what?"
Silently, Laura pulled out her dog tags to reveal the white gold and diamond engagement ring Carson had given her hanging on the chain. "He gave me this. We were going to tell everyone together when I went to Atlantis next month. "
"He loved you," Rodney said suddenly. "He told me that you made him happier than he'd ever been."
Laura drew in her breath at the memory of the three days that had followed; the plane journey to Scotland, knowing Carson's body was in the cargo hold; the anguished sobbing of Carson's mother when Rodney had broken the news; the feeling of emptiness as she got on the plane to return home.
She thought of the way her quarters seemed to close in on her, making her breathless and dizzy.
"Cadman?" Evan Lorne's voice outside her door made her fight to breathe properly. "Open the door."
"Major," she wheezed. "Help me."
Lorne had shouldered the door until it burst open with a bang, scooped her up and carried her to the infirmary. There, Dr Lam had given her a swift check up and administered a mild sedative to help her to breathe easier and to sleep.
She had woken up to see Cameron Mitchell sitting at the foot of her bed along with Sheppard and Lorne. The Atlantis contingent was to return home that day. Laura had looked down at the ring on her left hand and the tears had finally come. Lorne had taken her hand and held it tightly, while Mitchell passed her a Kleenex. They'd said nothing, just sat with her while she curled on her side and sobbed for hours. Finally, Dr Lam had taken pity on her and upped the sedative so that she slept.
She'd never gotten to walk up the aisle. Never gotten to become Mrs Beckett and spend her life with Carson as she'd promised. Instead, she'd gotten another gift, one she'd never expected to get.
"So, Laura," Carolyn Lam peered at her over the rim of her dark glasses. "Colonel Mitchell said you fainted today. Have you had anything to eat?"
Laura shook her head with a wan smile. "I haven't been feeling so great for the past few days."
"Really?" Dr Lam eyed her. "In what way?"
"Mostly dizzy, and a little sick. Some headaches, but I'm not sleeping so well. And my appetite is gone. But that's gone since…"
"For the last month, then," Dr Lam interjected with a sympathetic smile. "Laura, it's normal to go through this. You've suffered a huge loss. Nobody could expect you to be ok after just four weeks."
"So they tell me."
"I'm going to take some blood and run a few tests, just to make sure it's nothing to worry about," Dr Lam said with another smile. "It won't hurt a bit."
Everything hurt, Laura thought but she didn't say it. The pain never stopped.
Dr Lam called her back in an hour, her face grave. "Blood results are in."
"And?" Laura sat up in her chair, her face pale. "What's wrong with me?"
"Laura, I don't know how to tell you this," Carolyn sighed.
"I'm a Marine," Laura told her. "The best way is to just tell me. I can handle it."
"Mama?" She looked down into the blue eyes of her daughter and smiled. Cara was showing signs of being exactly like her father. She had the same eyes, the same smile and the same brown hair. She was, Laura thought fondly, the best possible mixture of them both.
At just four years old, Cara Cadman Beckett was the centre of her mother's world, and she was quite used to hanging around the Stargate Base on the Cheyenne Mountain. She could talk about the Ori and the Wraith as well as any Marine or soldier on the base, and knew that she shouldn't talk about it to anyone other than the people she recognised.
"Are we home yet?" Cara demanded.
"Look out there," Laura replied, pointing to the central spire of Atlantis. "That's your new home."
Stargate Command had realised, with the arrival of Teyla's son, Torrin, that if they were to establish a permanent post in the City that the regulations would have to be revised. As a result, marriages and even children were now permitted in Atlantis. There was a wall in General Landry's office comprising photographs of all the Atlantean children and the numerous marriages that had taken place in the last four years.
Cara furrowed her brow. "Mama, why are you sad? It looks pretty!"
"It's beautiful," Laura answered, hugging her daughter tightly, wishing she wouldn't grow up so fast. "And you're going to like living here."
"Do the soldiers here know Daddy?"
"They did," Laura answered, feeling the familiar ache at the mention of Carson. "They loved him as much as I did."
"Will they love me?" Cara asked, her eyes widening. "What if they don't?"
"They'll love you, baby," Laura assured her. "Now, let's go and find Colonel Cauldwell, its time to go down."
"In the beam?" Cara clapped her hands at the thought. "I like the beam!"
Laura checked her hair again, and took Cara by the hand. "You look very pretty, Cara Beckett. They're going to love you."
"You look pretty too," Cara offered her mother a sunny grin. "Come on, Mama. We'll miss the beam!"
Ok, so I rewrote it and made it a little easier on myself. Please let me know if you like. And if you don't like. Reviews are like balm to my soul!