Disclaimer: SGA and it's characters is not mine. If it was, Elizabeth and John would be back from their honeymoon by now.
AN: This came to me about 11:30 last night, so it might be a bit shaky.
John was feeling decidedly spooked out by the feeling that something wasn't quiet right, and he was pretty sure it had everything to do with the fact that he and his team were posing as Slave-Traders and were currently being led around a choice of slaves in an underground dungeon, and nothing to do with lack of sleep as Dr. Keller had suggested. The place was dark and smelt of disease and sweat. The slaves were in a terrible condition and he had to constantly yank Rodney's hand off his nose so as not to blow their cover. They had to pretend they were used to this.
They were walking past one cell when John heard quiet muttering and something about the voice called for his attention.
"What's in this one?" The guard stopped and unlocked the door.
"Something we'd rather be rid off, you are welcome to her." The team walked in, only to halt suddenly. Teyla gasped and her hand flew to her mouth as tears filled her eyes.
Ronan's heavy hand on John's shoulder stopped him from running forward and enveloping the woman in his arms. She was in an awful state, terribly thin and pale. She stared at them, but did not seem to recognise the faces or the whispered voices. Her hair was slightly matted and her hands shook. John still could only stare. Surprisingly, it was Rodney who kept the whole thing together. Casually walking back out to the guard, he enquired as to Elizabeth's state. The guard shrugged.
"She was like this when we captured her, but now she is worse. Legend has it that there are people who are half metal and possess amazing powers, we thought she might be one of them."
"She's not?" Rodney grimaced as the surprise leaked into his voice but the guard seemed not to notice.
"No, flesh and blood like the rest of us. Like I said, we would be glad to be rid of her."
"Elizabeth?" The woman frowned at the man with spiky black hair but did not flinch when they came nearer.
"John, John! She's not Replicater!" Ronan snorted.
"You trust that creep who was showing us around? Prove it." Rodney huffed.
"Fine, let me do a scan." He stepped forward as he dug in his pack for his life detector. Now Elizabeth flinched.
"It's ok, we're checking to make sure nothing inside you is hurting you." Teyla's voice was soft and soothing.
"Hurts." Teyla nodded.
"I know, but we will try and fix it." She turned to Rodney who had finished his scanning was a reading the outputs.
"No nanites, she's…she's our Elizabeth." The realisation seemed to finally sink in and he dropped to the floor staring at first the device in his hands and then at the woman on the cot.
Ronan strode towards her and bent down, all the time telling her it was alright and that he wouldn't hurt her.
"We're going home now."
"Yes, Home. Do you know your name?" The woman dazed out for a bit as she tried to process Ronan's question. Vaguely she heard one of the others tell the guard that they would have her.
"Elizabeth." Ronan smiled. He picked her up and had to bite back the rage that suddenly flared up inside of him at how little she weighed. Only when they approached the door did Elizabeth suddenly start to fight, and for someone so malnourished she certainly had strength. She struggled to get back over Ronan's shoulder.
"Home!" She pointed to the damp cot on which they had found her. John shook his head.
"No Elizabeth, your home is with us, we're taking you back home now." When she calmed again Ronan herded the others out of the cell.
All the way through the tunnels and to the gate Teyla kept her hand on her friends arm, talking softly of home and friends and how they had missed her, while Rodney babbled on about how this could and could not be. Still Elizabeth showed no recognition, but placed her trust in the people who now owed her that they were taking her way from this place. Ronan sat her on the grass while Rodney dialled the gate and Teyla stayed close should she frighten at the sound. Elizabeth stared up at it in wonder, as if she'd never seen in before.
"She doesn't remember us John, she may never do. God knows what the Replicaters did to her; they could've wiped her memories or anything. There may be no Elizabeth left!"
"Rodney now is not the time." John bent down next to the woman and she turned to him expectantly.
"Do you remember?" Elizabeth frowned him and shook her head. "You will." He promised. The wormhole engaged and Ronan picked her up off the ground. She looked at the shimmering blue and then up at Ronan.
"Home." The group stepped through.