You belong to me

Author: ShaViva

Rating: T

Content Warning: Some action violence, a couple of instances of language, rated T to be safe

Season: Season 3, after 'McKay and Mrs Miller' and before 'The Return Part 1'

Summary: "Am I the only one worried about you?" Rodney asked. Sheppard's deepening connection to Atlantis offers unexpected solutions when a threat from within risks the safety of everyone in the city. Shep Whump plus Sheplantis. Also lots of team friendship, especially Shep/McKay friendship.

Classifications: Adventure, Drama, Team Friendship

Pairings: None

Spoilers for: Nothing really – minor references to 'Common Ground' and 'McKay and Mrs Miller'.

Disclaimer: The Stargate characters, storylines, etc aren't mine – I'm just playing with them for my own, and hopefully your enjoyment. I am unfortunately not associated in any way with the creators, owners, or producers of Stargate or any of its media franchises. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, equipment, etc are the property of whoever owns them. Any original characters and plot and anything else I made up are the property of me, the author. No copyright infringement is intended.

Copyright (c) 2008 ShaViva

Authors Note:

This story follows on from "Feelin' Hot Hot Hot". You can probably work most things out if you haven't read Hot Hot Hot and you can't be bothered going and doing it now ... so don't let that stop you from reading on. I mean I'd like it if you did go and read Hot Hot Hot ... but you don't have to :D

On with the new story ...

Chapter 1: Remember, we don't want to turn it on

Lt Colonel John Sheppard rubbed a tired hand over his face, propping his feet on his desk as he tried to finish reading the background information Rodney had prepared for their next mission briefing the following morning. It was already late evening and he really needed to get it done so he could get some much needed sleep.

"Sheppard," Doctor Rodney McKay's voice issued from Sheppard's radio ear piece. "I need you down here in the lab."

"Can't it wait McKay?" Sheppard replied irritably. "I'm still wading through your War and Peace on the mission to M4R-993."

"No it can't wait!" Rodney exclaimed impatiently. "We've discovered a new system within the database and I need your ... help working out what it is."

"Oh," Sheppard frowned, knowing that Rodney was alluding to having him use his unique connection with Atlantis to find out more information. "Fine ... I'll be there in a few minutes."

It had only been a couple of weeks since John had discovered he even had the ability to find out things by directly talking with the city. The whole idea still freaked him out a bit and he wasn't sure he was ready to open that door again so soon. Sure he still heard the city humming in his head, still felt that warm tingle under the skin. After more than two years he'd become accustomed to it, to the point where he hardly noticed it. That was still the case now that those things had become stronger, more insistent.

In the end Sheppard had agreed with Rodney that controlled access to information they couldn't have gotten otherwise was an advantage they had to use. Translation – he had to force himself to access a part of himself he really wasn't comfortable with.

"Don't you ever sleep McKay?" Sheppard greeted Rodney as he strode into the lab. Glancing around he noticed immediately that Rodney had already given his two underlings still on duty tasks that took them outside of hearing range.

"When I have to," Rodney dismissed the comment, motioning Sheppard over to his workspace.

"What have you got?" Sheppard looked curiously over Rodney's shoulder.

"Not sure," Rodney admitted, drawing Sheppard's attention to some diagrams on his laptop screen. They looked like schematics for some kind of cube like structure with lots of pathways travelling in many directions. "Doctor Spencer came across this system while running a new cross referencing program on the Ancient database."

"Who's Spencer again?" Sheppard tried to remember where all the scientists slotted in but some of them he only came into contact with infrequently, if at all.

"He's our resident systems architecture expert,' Rodney replied, waving his hand to indicate Spencer's specialty wasn't relevant to the discussion. "The important thing is that the design of the system suggests the Ancients deliberately segregated it away from all the other systems. It's substantial but it looks like it hasn't been activated probably since they abandoned the city."

"And why do we care?" Sheppard raised an eyebrow expectantly.

"Because without a ZedPM we need every advantage we can get," Rodney said in his 'isn't it obvious' tone. "Look, this could be some kind of defensive system to supplement the shields, or a ... a new power control system or -"

"Or a program to keep track of the local football tipping competition," Sheppard broke in to suggest snidely.

"Can you just ask Atlantis what the system does please?" Rodney asked with a long suffering sigh.

"Have you tried to work out what it is on your own?" Sheppard turned serious, considering the problem from all angles. "You know I'm not keen for us to rely on Atlantis when we have the means to solve problems ourselves."

"I already tried accessing the system from the main lab console," Rodney said impatiently. "I couldn't get in. Doctor Cooper did a search of the database too and didn't find squat."

"Fine," Sheppard walked over to the control console himself. "Let's just see if I can access the system first. If I can't, then we'll ask Atlantis."

"Remember, we don't want to turn it on," Rodney coached, looking on with a faintly worried expression. "Just lean on it a little so we can find out what it's for."

"I have done this just a few times before McKay," Sheppard drawled, putting his hands on the science console and directing his attention to the system Rodney had called up for access. Concentrating hard, Sheppard thought 'overview', looking for a rundown on the system purpose and specifications. Nothing happened so he leaned just a little firmer, sending the same thought. The air pulsed ... like a ripple of energy shimmering through everything as it travelled from ceiling to floor.

"Crap, what was that?" John turned to glance at Rodney in concern, skin tingling slightly.

"What was what?" Rodney asked in confusion, looking over Sheppard's shoulder as if whatever was on the console would be able to explain the question.

"That ... pulse," Sheppard persisted, still feeling somewhat disorientated. "Didn't you feel it?"

"No," Rodney denied with a frown. "Is it still there?"

"Ah ... no. I'm not picking up anything," Sheppard stood still for a moment waiting for something to happen before shrugging. "There's nothing coming from this console either."

"So can we ask Atlantis for help now?" Rodney looked at Sheppard hopefully.

"Sure," Sheppard agreed, closing his eyes to have a little conversation in his head. "You there?" he called out softly, expecting the usual immediate response. None was forthcoming. "Hello? Atlantis?" Still nothing. Opening his eyes Sheppard looked at Rodney in puzzlement. "I'm not getting anything."

"Atlantis can't help?" Rodney asked incredulously.

"No Rodney," Sheppard countered. "I'm not getting anything from Atlantis ... she's just not there."

"What, nothing at all?" Rodney responded weakly.

"No words, no hum, no familiar tingle under the skin," Sheppard confirmed. "Nothing at all."

"We are in so much trouble," Rodney said in a panicky tone.