Disclaimer - I don't own them.. I only play with them
Authors Note - Missing Scene/Time set between Progeny and The Real World
She gasped for breath, the ragged sounds echoing through the small cockpit of the puddle jumper. Teyla put a comforting arm around her as Rodney blamed himself yet again for something befalling the Atlantis' leader. John swivels in the pilots' seat, his concerned gaze taking in the tinge of blue that was slowly vanishing from her complexion. It had been close.
" You OK?" He asked, his barely tone masking the true depth of his concern.
" Yeah" Elizabeth replied, still a little breathless. She nodded towards Teyla to give her space and rubbed the red marks on her neck where Niam and tried to choke her. It tingled a little and she put the sensation down to something akin to pins and needles, disregarding it as trivial. The rest of the crew remained quiet as they glide in towards Atlantis, the puddle jumper docking easily in the jumper bay. They filed out, John remaining by her shoulder as the others left the cavernous hanger.
" You sure you're ok? You don't want to get checked out by Beckett?" He asked, touching her shoulder lightly to gain her full attention. She seemed a little distracted and her expression told him she was more than a little rattled by the recent experience.
" I'm fine" Elizabeth shook her head absently, as if trying to brush off his concern. Something was wrong and she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Physically she felt fine, her neck was a little sore and still tingled, but she still felt... off. Not that she was about to admit that to John - he who had been shot up more time than she could care to count. Usually it was her dishing out the concern and dodgy bedside manner, it felt strange to hear it from him.
" You sure? You seem a little.... rattled" John ignored her attempt at sidestepping his question. She finally looked at him, her green eyes telling him more than her words ever could.
" Yeah.. I'm fine. Just...rattled… as you put it. Let's just say I'm glad he's drifting aimlessly out in space" She admitted, touching her neck again. The tingling had abated a little but was still somewhat present. Pulling up the collar of her jacket to cover the marks she strode towards the door, leaving a confused John Sheppard in her wake.
Several hours later John came looking for her, his guise of wanting to check on her covered by a half assed attempt at a report on what Rodney and Radek had found. He found her alone on the balcony she so favoured, her face cast towards the moonlight and the breeze ruffling her hair.
The cool rays of the moon cast shadows over her face, complimenting her reflective mood. John watched her silently for a few seconds from his vantage point before walking through the doors, effectively announcing his presence without him even saying a word. He approached her quietly, not wanting to break her reverie, his tone even as he made small talk about how little the scientists had discovered about the Asurans.
She commented on how they were probably rebuilding their own version of Atlantis, and how that maybe, they had been scared off enough to leave the expedition alone. Her tone belayed the fact she doesn't believe her own words, and that empty hope was all she was clinging to. She knew that would be coming back, to complete what they started in destroying the Lantean city.
John remained silent for a while, remaining by her side as they gazed out into the vastness of the ocean before heading back to the control room to finish up a few things. Something was wrong, he could feel it but just couldn't put his finger on it. He made a mental note to check on her a little later as he picked up on the report he'd been trying to write earlier.
He noted Elizabeth return to her office a short while later, pulling her jacket around herself as the chill of the night air caused her skin to rise into goosebumps. She shivered and nodded as she passed him, her hands once again absently rubbing the red marks still present on her neck. John's attention piqued a little at the movement, and knew there were something more going on. He watched through he glass windows as she settled herself at her desk and buried herself in reports, before turning his own attention back to the half written report on his laptop.
Two hours later he found himself in the doorway of Elizabeth's office, a cup of coffee in one hand for himself and a herbal tea that he'd found in the mess hall for her in the other.
" Hey... got you some tea" He said by way of an introduction. He noticed her head snap up from resting on a propped up hand, the confusion in her eyes staying there just a little longer that he would have liked. She seemed to shake her head a little as if to clear the fog from her mind before answering.
" Hey" She replied, her complexion pale and her movements sluggish.
John walked over and placed the mugs on the desk, plonking himself down in one of the chairs opposite her.
" You don't look so hot... if you don't mind me saying" He said carefully, picking up his coffee and sipping it tentatively. He resisted the urge to go to her side, knowing if she wanted help, she would ask for it.
" I don't feel so hot to tell you the truth" She admitted, extending a hand shaking with small tremors towards the teacup. John was on his feet in moments, moving to rest a hip on the corner of the desk closest to her.
" You want me to call Doc Beckett?" He asked again, noting how her eyes were not refusing to focus properly.
" I'll go down in a minute... just let me close this report" Elizabeth replied, her voice becoming distant. She slumped a little in her chair, her hand trembling as she tried to bring it to feel her forehead.
" Elizabeth?" John questioned, not bothering the mask the worry in his voice.
" John... I...." She started.. her voice trailing off as her body began to fail her. She sagged forward in her chair as consciousness fled, her head barely missing connecting with the desk as John leapt forward to prevent it.
" Medical Emergency in Dr Weir's office!" John struggled to find a hand to tap his radio to key it on, whilst easing Elizabeth onto the soft carpeting of the floor. He noticed heads snapping up from the control room at the urgent tone of his voice, each of them frozen in shock for the barest of moments. Rodney and Radek left their laptops and ran towards the office, pushing past the others in their way.
" What happened?" Rodney burst out as he took in the scene before him.
" I don't know. Where's Beckett?" John retorted angrily, his frustration evident. He pressed two fingers gently against the side of Elizabeth's neck, his anguish easing some what as he felt a thready rhythm.
" I'm here, now what..... Elizabeth!" Carson retorted himself as he burst into the room several minutes later, medical kit slung over one shoulder and a gurney being pushed by some orderlies behind him. He dropped to his knees by the city's leader and began assessing her condition.
" What happened to her?" The doctor asked as he began taking readings.
" She seemed a little rattled when we got back from Asurus, so I came to check on her and she seemed... I dunno…distant. Then she passed out" John tried to explain, not doing a very good job of covering his emotional angst for her.
" Let's get her to the infirmary, I can run some more tests there" Carson stated, packing some of his equipment away so he could carry it easier. John scooped up Elizabeth and laid her gently on the gurney, standing back a little so the orderlies could secure her.
" All right Lads, let's go" Beckett instructed, hoisting his medical kit over his shoulder and taking up a position near Elizabeth's head to monitor her condition as they wheeled her out of her office and towards the infirmary. There were shocked glances, gasps of concern and general worry as she was wheeled briskly through the corridors, the entire expedition shocked that their infallible leader was unconscious or possibly even dying.
Arriving in the infirmary they transferred Elizabeth to a proper bed and drew a privacy curtain around the area, changing her quickly out of her standard uniform and into a pair of surgical scrubs and hooking her up to a number of monitoring devices that would alert the medics to any change in her vital signs.
The Lantean scanner was set up over her bed, the lime green grid casting an eerie glow over her pale skin. It was a few moments before the results started to display on one of the many screens around the infirmary, Carson suppressing a shocked gasp as he realised what indeed was wrong.
John hovered nearby, as constant as a shadow by Elizabeths bedside.
" Set up an isolation tent. NOW!" Carson barked, startling the orderlies still working around her bed. They immediately scurried back from the cities' leader, raising their hands as if to avoid any further contact with whatever it was that had Carson so worried.
" What's going on Doc" John asked, his voice low and beginning to take a dangerous tone as he was kept in the dark.
" She's been infected with nanites" Carson replied, his anxiety evident in his voice.
John's mind began assessing the situation, having too many years in the military to do anything but. It wasn't long before one word popped into his mind.
During the brief struggle in the puddlejumper when the replicator had tried to strange Elizabeth, he'd also infected her with nanites... a failsafe weapon almost so to speak. If Niam didn't crush the life at of her with his bare hands, he left a lasting legacy that would kill her just the same. Or better yet, turn her into one of his own, a replicator.
John's gaze drifted back to his boss, lying pale and unresponsive, her complexion almost white against the pale sheets around her.
The nanites were inside her, causing her to be like this. What other damage were they trying to cause?
John wasn't a doctor but he knew when a situation seemed dire. Tapping his radio he called the rest of the senior staff to the infirmary to fill them in. This time, he may not be able to save her.