Author's Note: Sorry for the wait and any mistakes.
In the blink of an eye they materialised in a room, in the exact positions they were in on the Jumper. Unfortunately for John their captors weren't kind enough to transport his chair as well and he fell to the floor, cursing, before he picked himself back up quickly. As he stood he noticed Ronon had moved, peering out of the window in the door of the room; Teyla was standing next to McKay her own eyes searching their new environment; McKay looked wide eyed and he met John's eyes. Rodney knew who had them
Dread prickled from the pit of John's stomach as he recognised the décor; the clinical, Atlantis-like style of the room set all sorts of alarm bells ringing and he moved over to Ronon looking out into a corridor that looked as if it was pulled directly from an Ancient vessel. That could only mean one thing…
"Rodney, can you get us out of here?" John questioned, even as the scientist started moving towards the door mechanism. John turned as he spoke and saw the stars streaking past the windows, the small settee under the window and the table and chairs situated in the middle of the room.
"To where? In case you haven't noticed we're on a ship. Even if I could get us through the door, which I can, where would we go? I know I'm a genius Sheppard, but even I can't space walk," the scientist snapped, as he pulled the panel from the wall next to the door.
"McKay…"John growled warningly, but Ronon tensed at the door and distracted John's attention.
"Company," the Satedan growled his body tense and ready to fight. John nodded and Ronon stepped back, Teyla moving to his side and Rodney taking a few steps away from the door. They waited…
The doors parted and guns poked there head through the gap created followed closely by cream-suited people, neutral expressions on their faces as their weapons forced John and his team back. Four male Replicators stood guard, each taking their place at either side of the door. When John tried to step forward three guns were instantly aimed at him. He smirked.
"Aren't you going to introduce yourself?" John questioned sarcastically, shoving his hands in his pockets as he smirked. They stared at him blankly, obviously not amused. "I guess not," he muttered to himself glancing back at his team with a shrug. His expression turned puzzled as Teyla's face went white, her eyes widening with surprise as she tried to step forward, Ronon's arm keeping her in place.
"Oh my God…" Rodney cried out causing John's head to whip around to the door. His heart jumped up into his throat, his face betraying all of his emotions.
"I didn't think I'd need an introduction," she said with a small smile aimed at John, finally stepping into the room fully, the sound of her heels echoing from the walls. John couldn't help but notice how much her hair had grown, how the leather jacket really suited her, and how she still wore red; the top underneath the jacket peeking through the zip that wasn't fully done up. It was so familiar and yet so, so different.
"Elizabeth, how? When? You?" Rodney muttered, not able to grasp the words he needed as he eyed the friend he thought had died. The scientist floundered, his arms waving about madly before he quietened. Elizabeth gave the guards a look and they lowered their weapons. She moved to stand in front of Rodney and smiled at him softly. Then, much to the scientists surprise, pulled him into a hug.
"Sheppard?" Ronon questioned gruffly his eyes glaring at the guards and Elizabeth warily. Elizabeth broke her hug off and looked into Rodney's face, her lips upturning in the corners.
"It really is me," she promised as Rodney examined her thoughtfully, arms folded across his chest. She met his searching gaze unflinchingly.
"It's Elizabeth," John stated confidently, replying to Ronon's question.
"Oh, and how do you know for sure," Rodney sniped, his eyes falling away from Elizabeth. "It could be another clone." He moved away from her, even though it was hesitant, and walked over to Ronon, facing John and gesturing angrily. "If it was Elizabeth, the real Elizabeth, why hasn't she contacted us? Why is she on a Replicator ship, giving the orders? Does that sound like the Elizabeth we knew to you?"
"McKay. Trust me…" John started, only to be cut off when Elizabeth's hand landed on his arm. She faced the guards.
"Leave us," she ordered, her tone commanding. None of them hesitated, they just nodded, sheathed their weapons and left the room. The door hissed shut behind them. Elizabeth looked to the floor and took a deep breath, tucking her hair behind her ears with her free hand before looking up at John. "It's good to see you again. All of you," she stated as she moved to stand before Teyla, Ronon and McKay.
She folded her arms across her chest and met each set of eyes aimed her way. Ronon's were wary and defensive, Teyla's hopeful yet guarded, and Rodney pulled his away too quickly for her to tell.
"You're right Rodney," she told everyone, causing McKay to look up quickly, "I'm not the Elizabeth you remember. I've changed, I am part-replicator. You should know, after all you made me this way." When Rodney tried to speak she held up her hand, in a way she had done a million times before on Atlantis. "It's been over two years now you have all changed too, that doesn't mean you aren't who you are."
Elizabeth turned away, and John saw her struggle to regain control of her emotions. That was obviously another change, she never used to have trouble with that, at least in public anyway.
"Do you know what they would have done to Elizabeth if she had contacted us, or come back to Atlantis?" John questioned rhetorically, moving to stand beside his old boss. "They would have demanded we bring her in. She would have been placed in a cell, questioned, probably experimented on. Would you have come back to that McKay? I wouldn't and I wouldn't let it happen."
Teyla who had remained silent moved forward. "You knew she was alive," she stated quietly so that only John could hear her, narrowing her eyes as she stepped around him. She smiled brightly at Elizabeth, her eyes glimmering as Elizabeth met her gaze. "Hello Elizabeth, it is good to see you," she whispered emotionally pulling Elizabeth into her arms. Elizabeth clung back using one hand to wipe a tear away.
"Hello Teyla," she whispered back. Mouthing 'thank you' to John as she pulled away and turned to Ronon who stood as still as a statue, arms folded with a neutral expression on his face. Elizabeth matched his expression and stance. For what seemed like ages they stared each other down until Ronon stepped forward and dragged Elizabeth into a bear hug, spinning her around as she shrieked in surprise. Finally he set her back on her feet.
"It hasn't been the same without you," the Satedan grumbled truthfully before glaring at Teyla who was smiling at him proudly.
"So…" Rodney began, "it really is you." Elizabeth nodded and Rodney started to look smug. "I knew it." John snorted in disbelief and Elizabeth laughed and rolled her eyes playfully. It was good to have her family back, even if it could only be for a short time. Her smile faded as she glanced towards the viewport lost in thought. The chatter from the team slowly died out and John moved to stand in front of Elizabeth, blocking her view of the stars.
"So…what happens now?" John asked seriously gaining everyone's attention.
"You could come back," Rodney expressed hopefully. "I mean we could talk to Carter, and I bet General O'Neill would back you up, he wouldn't let anyone lock you away. Neither will we…"
Elizabeth shook her head sadly, quieting her friend. "As much as I would love that, I can't, not yet.
"What? Why not?" Rodney snapped, his emotions getting the better of him. John was inclined to agree with him on the matter, but knew from the look on Elizabeth's face that she wouldn't change her mind. She had a plan of some sort and she wouldn't leave until it was completed.
"Because I have responsibilities," she explained, "and I can't leave until I've finished what we set out to do. We're going to take you back to Atlantis, in fact we're nearly there already."
"But, Atlantis is no longer on the same planet. How do you know where to take us?" Teyla questioned.
"And they'll pick you up on long range scans and you'll be intercepted before you can reach it as well," Rodney added grumpily.
Elizabeth sighed, "No they won't. We have a cloak. As for Atlantis, I have my sources."
"So that's it then," Rodney complained. "You save us and we see you for the first time in years and we're just supposed to let you leave again?"
"Yes," Elizabeth replied simply, "It's…"
There was a quiet knock at the door before one of the previous guards stepped through.
"Doctor Weir, we have arrived and the transporter has been prepared." Elizabeth nodded in acknowledgement and the guard waited patiently by the door.
"I guess that's it then," John stated looking down at Elizabeth sadly. "Don't leave it four months again this time though, I was starting to think I'd dreamt it," he joked.
"Tell Sam," Elizabeth told him before looking at her friends sadly. "I promise I'll be in touch."
"Yeah well, you'd better," John mock threatened, "or I'll hunt you down myself. " He grasped her hand and pulled her close, resting his cheek on her hair as her breath fanned his and her arms stole around him. It was the closest they'd ever been and John was reluctant to let go. He whispered into her hair, "What are you up to Elizabeth?"
"I'm going to destroy the Wraith," she whispered in response, pulling back and covering his lips with hers, silencing his response. John responded just as the transporter beam took hold and Atlantis' gate room formed around them.