Title: The Invisible Attacker

Rating: G

Author: MacGateFan

Disclaimer: They're not mine. If they were, Elizabeth would never have been killed off the show.


John was getting worried about Elizabeth because she wasn't answering his calls. John didn't know what was going on and that's what was bothering him.

A week after returning to Earth because of the Ancients, he and Elizabeth were married. Rodney's shock was most amusing while Carson had this grin that said he knew all along that they'd end up together.

They didn't mention it to anyone but they knew each other before Atlantis. Even before Antarctica. John didn't think she realized it was him at first sitting in that chair.

When she found out it was like they were never apart. They had been the greatest of friends in college but hadn't kept in touch.

John loved her since the day he met her. She was in his calculus class. John pretended to have no clue what he was doing so he could be tutored by Elizabeth. Eventually she saw through his scheme but by then he had her interested.

And she had his heart.

The last few weeks, back on Earth, John and Elizabeth figured they couldn't hide it any longer. At least among their friends. So John allowed Elizabeth to plan her perfect wedding. The only sad part about it was that Teyla and Ronon weren't there to share that day with them.

Of course when they heard that Replicators had taken over Atlantis they made a pact with Rodney and Carson that they should go back... despite the consequences. There was one that was constantly on their minds, though.

What would happened when they succeeded? Would they allow a married couple to remain in charge of Atlantis? Or would one of them be shipped back to Earth?

General O'Neill was able to keep John and Elizabeth where they were for the time being and John was content with that. They figured the IOA is trying to decide what to do with them. They could take as long as they wanted as far as he was concerned.

John went to the balcony near their quarters to find Elizabeth on the bench staring out at the ocean. When he went up behind her he expected her to turn around, but she didn't.

"Elizabeth?" John said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

The minute she looked at him, he knew something was wrong. Elizabeth's skin was clammy and looked extremely pale. John knelt next her and moved his hand to her cheek. She was burning up!

"Elizabeth!" he said again.

She blinked, finally realizing he was there. "John?"

"Come on, let's get you to the infirmary," he replied, helping her stand.

Of course things never go well when it comes to John or Elizabeth. The dark clouds that had been looming over decided it would break forth that storm sooner than predicted.

As John reached over to open the door, it sparked and the crystals blew. He protectively covered Elizabeth, grunting as one of the crystal shards cut his face. Satisfied that she was all right, John called Rodney.

"Hey, got a problem."

"Oh really? Let me just tell you how many problems are going on with the city because of this damn storm."

John shook his head. "Is it life threatening?"

"Not at the moment, no," came Rodney's reply. "Why?"

"Because Elizabeth and I are stuck on a balcony with this storm going on and she's burning up with a fever!"

John was greeted with silence and finally, "Which balcony?"

"The one near our quarters."

"Just hang tight, I'll have it open in no time."

He acknowledged Rodney, then led Elizabeth back to the bench, covering her with his jacket. "Hey," John said, kneeling in front of her. "What's going on?"

"I... I don't know. I felt fine when I woke up this morning. About an hour ago I came out here because I was hot."

John frowned, glancing at his watch. "Elizabeth, the last time I talked to you was 1300. It's 1500 now."

"What?" she asked. "Do you mean I've been sitting out here for two hours?"

"It would appear so. Let me call Carson. I know he can't do much over the radio, but..."

John moved to sit next to her and that's when she saw the cut on his face. "Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, Elizabeth. I'm more worried about you right now," he replied, holding her close. She laid her head on his shoulder as he called Carson.

"Aye, Colonel, what can I do for you?"

John sighed. "Unfortunately not much at the moment. Elizabeth and I are stuck on the balcony near our room. Wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't started storming or Elizabeth didn't have a fever."

"Bloody hell. I take it Rodney's working on whatever the problem is. Okay, what other symptoms does she have?"

"Her skin is clammy, she's very pale and..." John trailed off, glancing at the blood on his hand. There was a lot too.

"Colonel?"

Instead of replying, John looked down at Elizabeth, who seemed to be in and out of consciousness. "Elizabeth! Honey, answer me."

"Love you," she whispered as her eyes closed.

"Elizabeth!" John looked everywhere for the source of the blood and finally found it on her left side. "Sweetheart, what happened?" John asked, gently laying her on the bench.

"Colonel! Would you answer me? John!"

John took a deep breath, willing his heart to stop beating so fast. "Sorry, Carson. I...I don't know how it happened, but Elizabeth is bleeding heavily from a wound in her side."

"What?!"

"Carson she's been out here since I talked to her two hours ago. She has no memory of what happened and God help me, I only just now noticed all the blood that's pooling around the bench."

"Colonel. John, listen to me. You need to relax. I know it's difficult, but Elizabeth is going to need you to be calm, all right?"

John swallowed around the lump in his throat. "Got it, Doc. I guess I just keep the pressure on this until Rodney can open the doors, huh?"

"Pretty much. I'll get a team together right away. Don't worry about Rodney, I'm going to let him know what's going on. We'll be waiting for you on the other side of the door."

***************

Rodney never thought he'd be back in Atlantis. It certainly felt good, though. The whole time he was Earth, he practically lived at Area 51. That is, of course, until his friend's wedding.

Rodney still couldn't believe John and Elizabeth were married. How did he not see it? Well he definitely saw it now. Especially after talking to Carson and remembering how John was screaming into the radio at Kolya when he thought Elizabeth was dead.

There were so many other things. The look on Elizabeth's face as John told her he was going to take a Jumper into the belly of a Wraith cruiser. The way John reacted when Elizabeth had been infected by replicators.

Rodney's thoughts were interrupted by a beep from one of the consoles. "What the hell?" he exclaimed, glancing over at Radek.

"Seems like the storm is wreaking havoc on all systems," the Czech replied.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "What gave that away, genius? Of course it is. Why it's doing that is beyond me... at least for the moment. The hurricanes we experienced during the Genii take over were 1000 times worse than this and that one didn't cause this kind of problem."

"No," Radek replied. "It just caused a different set of problems."

"Yes, of course, but that's not my point. The point is..."

Before Rodney could finish, John was calling him. "Hey, got a problem."

"Oh really? Let me just tell you how many problems are going on with the city right. Yours can wait."

John did not take the bait. "Is it life threatening?"

"Not at the moment, no," came Rodney's reply. "Why?"

"Because Elizabeth and I are stuck on a balcony with this storm going on and she's burning up with a fever!"

Rodney was silent for a moment before he replied, "Which balcony?"

"The one near our quarters."

"Just hang tight, I'll have it open in no time."

Ten minutes after Rodney received John's call, his radio beeped again. "You can't rush genius, you know!"

"Rodney."

"Carson," he replied. "Something else wrong?"

"No, I just though I could give you heads up on Elizabeth's condition since the Colonel is a bit preoccupied keeping her shielded from the storm out there."

Rodney entered more command codes as he replied. "So...?"

"She's bleeding from a stab wound."

"What? How did that happen?"

"We don't know," Carson replied. "But it seems she's been bleeding out for at least an hour already. I don't think I need to tell you that time is of the essence."

"No," he muttered. "No you don't."

*************

The wind had picked up and the rain was pelting them. John watched with fascination as the water removed all evidence of Elizabeth's injury. Well, at least on the floor of the balcony, her actual wound was another story.

John didn't know how much longer Elizabeth could wait for medical attention. The amount of blood loss he was witnessing was staggering. He nearly jumped up in excitement when her eyes blinked open.

"Hey," he said.

"Hey."

John held her hand in his as the other kept pressure to the wound. Her lips were colorless, but still as beautiful as ever. "C-cold."

"I know," he replied, protecting her from the rain as best he could. "We'll get you to the infirmary soon."

"R-remember what happen--ed."

"What?" John asked.

"Not sure what...what stabbed me, but it hurt like hell," she said, squeezing her eyes as a wave o pain washed over.

"Just hang on, Elizabeth. Carson will be out here soon."

She nodded. "For you, John..."

*************

Carson found John trying in vain to protect Elizabeth from the current weather conditions. He rushed to them, his team right behind them. "Colonel!" he said, placing a hand on the man's shoulder.

"Carson! Oh thank, God!" John replied. "You have to help her!"

"Take it easy, John, we'll take good care of her. Now you need to do Elizabeth a favor and take care of yourself."

John nodded, but didn't move until one of the nurses prodded him. He glanced back at Elizabeth over his shoulder and reluctantly followed. John was shivering once they got inside and Teyla was standing there with a blanket.

"Come, John. Let us get you warmed up."

"No, Teyla," he replied. "Not until I..."

Teyla took John's arm as a wave a dizziness assaulted him. "I think it would be best to get you to the infirmary. You are in shock."

"Shock. Yeah."

By the time the pair reached the infirmary, John had loss consciousness. Teyla was grateful when Ronon appeared having been waiting on word of Elizabeth's condition. "What happened?" he asked as they settled John onto one of the beds.

Teyla watched as Dr. Cole and the nurses went to work on their patient. "With everything that happened with Elizabeth, John is in a state of shock."

Rodney arrived a few minutes later. "Where's Sheppard?" he asked.

"He is being checked on, Rodney," Teyla responded.

"You know what happened?" Ronon wanted to know.

"I do, but you're not going to like it."

Ronon sighed. He hated when Rodney took forever to tell them important news by adding a running commentary. "What's going on, McKay?"

"We have an intruder in the city."

Teyla stared at Rodney in disbelief. "How is that possible?"

"Well," Rodney said. "Zelenka and I were going through the logs for other reasons when we noticed a rather unusual energy spike had come through the wormhole the exact same time as us when we returned from M12589."

"Good job, Rodney. You need to configure the sensors to match that energy signature so I can hunt it's ass."

The three turned to see John standing behind them. His face was still a bit pale, but he was in dry clothes now and had a look of determination in his eyes. Rodney noticed this and nodded, rushing out of the room.

"Where's Carson? Has he been out yet?"

"Not yet, John," Teyla replied. "Why don't sit down until he does?"

Before John could protest the physician appeared. John did not like the look Carson had. "Doc?"

"Elizabeth's stable for now, but she's lost a fair amount of blood. She's also developing pneumonia from exposure to the wind and rain." Carson noticed John's appearance. "You should be resting as well, Son."

"Not until I've seen Elizabeth and not until we find our intruder."

Carson nodded his approval and once John was gone, he looked over at Ronon and Teyla. "What in the bloody hell is he on about?"

**************

John entered Elizabeth's room quietly. The only sounds he heard were the beeping of the machines and her breathing. He reached for her hand and leaned down to kiss her softly on the lips.

"Mmm... John?"

He smiled. "Yeah, it's me."

"Feeling a bit out of it. Carson may have mentioned what was going on earlier, but..."

John brushed a lock of hair from her eyes. "You've lost a lot of blood and it looks like you're getting pneumonia from being out there. I'm sorry, Elizabeth! I should have realized something was wrong. I didn't even notice you were bleeding until I had you sit back down."

Elizabeth reached up to touch his cheek. "John, it wasn't your fault so stop blaming yourself."

"I'll try," he replied, kissing her again. "You concentrate on getting better. I'll deal with what happened to you."

"John?"

"According to Rodney some invisible creature or person came through the 'Gate from M12589. He and Zelenka noted some kind of energy spike so Rodney's going to configure an LSD to reflect that so we can track it down."

Elizabeth nodded, upset that there was an intruder in her city. "John, promise me you'll be careful."

"I promise," he replied with a smile.

For some reason she felt her request fell on deaf ears.

**************

Morktar waited for the military leader in his quarters. He knew the man would be there if only to try and make sense as to what happened to his mate. Once the man entered the room, Morktar made certain no one else could gain access.

"God, Elizabeth," the Colonel whispered, taking in the broken glass and blood on the floor of the bathroom.

This is when Morktar made his appearance. The Colonel jumped back more from surprise than fright. "You have killed my family."

"What?" John asked in confusion.

He was pretty sure if he killed anyone who looked like the thing in front of him (large, scaly and humanoid), he would have noticed. Then he remembered the MALP on the planet. It ran into something that Rodney thought had been an invisible force field.

That would also mean the spurt of the event horizon... It was like that planet with the mist people all over again!

"I am so sorry about this," he said. "Truly, I am, but you have to understand that we had no idea."

"That may be but it did happen. That is why I followed you back here. I wanted to punish the one who ordered you to come to our world. It was only justice when I realized that she was your family."

Morktar could see the pain in the man's eyes and suddenly felt guilty. The Colonel did not knowingly go after his family he knew that to be true now. And in turn Morktar had shamed his own family.

"There is one small thing I can do for you, Colonel," he said. "However it does come with a price."

"I'm listening."

Twenty minutes later John was heading up to the control room, Morktar behind him invisible. He really didn't want to freak anyone out he didn't have to. "Rodney."

"Hey, I've been trying to reach you. I finally got the LSD configured..." he trailed off when he glanced at the Ancient equipment. "Sheppard, it's behind you."

"Yeah, Rodney, that's what I was going to tell you. Dial M12589."

Rodney stared at him in disbelief. "You're just gonna let it go?"

"Don't call him an it and yes, I am," John told him. "We made a deal. We'll lock their planet out from our database and Elizabeth will be healed."

Again Rodney stared at him. "Healed? How can we let something like that just go away?"

"Not now, Rodney. In the future maybe, but definitely not now. Just dial the damn 'gate."

As Rodney did, Morktar appeared again. "I thank you, Colonel. And yes we shall revisit this discussion in the future."

John nodded and Morktar headed towards the 'gate. "Rodney," John said, turning to face his friend. "Call Carson."

"What? Why? What's wrong?"

John suddenly cried out and fell to the ground. "Sheppard!"

"Sorry, Rodney. Tell Elizabeth I'm sorry and I love her."

Rodney quickly reached up and called for Carson. As he did so, he saw a pool of blood forming around John's left side and had a sinking feeling he knew what his friend did.

**************

Elizabeth woke up feeling 100 percent better than she had in the last 10 hours, which really confused her considering she lost a lot of blood and pneumonia had been settling in her chest.

She heard Carson giving orders to his team as Teyla walked towards her. She immediately knew who they were working on. "Is John all right?" Elizabeth asked.

Teyla stared at Elizabeth, who was now sitting up in bed the opposite of someone who had been in her condition earlier. "How is this possible?"

"I don't care about me right now, Teyla, I just need to know that John's all right."

"Just allow me to explain what is happening," Teyla replied, placing a hand on her shoulder. "I think you will know and understand the Colonel's condition better if you do."

Elizabeth nodded and listened as Teyla told her what Rodney had figured out. "Oh God," she whispered. She was immediately pulled into a hug. "Why does he always have to do things like that?"

"Because he is John Sheppard."

The next morning Elizabeth found herself at John's bed side. Carson was pretty amazed by it all especially considering that John had every ailment Elizabeth had minus the pneumonia.

She moved her chair closer to lay her head next to his. When she ran her hand through his hair, John stirred. He blinked and smiled when he saw her. "Hey."

"Hey. Does your arm hurt?" she asked.

"Um... no."

"Good!" she replied, smacking it.

John yelped, rubbing his arm. "What the hell was that for?"

"For scaring the shit out of me, John! Why did you make that deal with that alien! We didn't kill his family on purpose!"

John stared at her. He didn't say anything about that... did he? "How did you know about that? I haven't talked to you since yesterday afternoon."

"John, you've been in and out of consciousness all night. Carson put you on the good stuff so you probably just forgot about what we talked about. I didn't, though. Why did you do that? I was the one who sent your team to that planet."

He nodded. "But you weren't there, Elizabeth. You couldn't have--"

"Stop right there! I couldn't have known, this is true, but neither could you have. They're invisible, John! It's not like you went to their planet and shot them at point blank range."

John nodded. "Maybe so, but I can't..."

"What is it, John?" Elizabeth asked, suddenly acutely aware of what her husband had been worried about. "You were worried about our baby, weren't you?"

"When Carson told me you were pregnant I got scared. I mean, yeah he said you were both going to be fine, but I didn't want to take any chances."

Elizabeth smiled, standing to kiss him fully on the lips. "Have I ever told you how much I loved you?"

"All the time, but I wouldn't mind hearing it again."