Colonel John Shepperd slumped against the seemingly very solid nothingness behind him, resting his aching muscles and weary bones and conserving his flagging strength.

Teyla, Rodney and Ronon had vanished some time ago to get help, trying to find someone who may know how to release him from the imprisonment forced upon him. It was supposed to be a routine scouting mission, the same routine mission they did umpteen times a month to try and find new allies, new technology and the ever illusive ZPM.

He'd been stuck in there for hours, futilely trying to find a way out of the dome shaped force field protecting a small ancient console in the middle of a forest. What it was he still didn't know, but upon touching the device the field had activated, and he'd been unable to turn it off since that time. Rodney had tried everything in his rather extensive repertoire to lower the shield and failed miserably, conceding defeat as his tablet finally ran out of batteries.

Bored out of his brain John moved over to the consol, running his fingers over the engraved figures that were probably clear instructions as to what the device was and how it operated. Problem was it was in ancient, and the only two people who really had a grasp on the language (apart from said Ancients) were Teyla, and Elizabeth. His heart twinged as he thought of Elizabeth, her grace, her beauty and her inner strength now lost to him. Again he cursed the Pegasus Replicators for taking her away from him, forcing him to leave her behind in their hands to face certain torture and as they had discovered later, death. His head bowed as he considered the times he had spent with her, both in good times and bad through the years. From their almost abrasive first meeting in Antarctica where he'd activated the drone chair by mistake, only to find he had the highest concentration of the ancient gene out of anyone in the expedition, to the time Elizabeth was nearly tearing her hair out in frustration as she tried to teach him Ancient. John had admitted to no-one apart from himself (and perhaps his secondary school teacher) that he'd been lousy with language, barely about to get through enough to pass his end of term exams each year even with solid cramming beforehand.

He'd noted Elizabeth still in her office one morning at some ungodly hour whilst he was roaming the halls trying to ease his insomnia, and foolishly sauntered into her office offering to help. Her bleary eyes and pale complexion told him she'd been there for some time, as did the stone cold coffee sitting on the desk beside a plethora of textbooks and tablets, each displaying some intelligible garble he couldn't even begin to understand. He'd picked up one of the textbooks, making a show of trying to understand exactly what it mean.

" Incarsis... something was overtaken...." He read aloud, noting that the majority of the handwriting in the texts was hers, mixed in with some of the other scientists that had been helping her on the translations over the past few years. Her curls bobbed as her head snapped up, making him almost giggle as he mocked her eloquent diction and perfect pronunciation.

" In...car..sis" He drew out... " Inc...arsi...s"

Elizabeth couldn't help but laugh as he completely destroyed the pronunciation.

" You realise you just said 'the donkey has no balls' instead of ' was overtaken'? She quipped, unable to keep the giggle from her voice.

John's face fell in surprise and he glared at the neatly written notes further down the page that detailed pronunciation and variations thereof.

" Well I was talking about donkeys..." He lamely covered, glaring at the offending word in the text. " Besides, its confusing in this text" He defended, flipping over the book and shoving it under her nose.

" John.. I WROTE that text. Are you saying I'm confusing?" Elizabeth retorted, a look of mock indignation on her tired face. " Are you saying you could do better?"

" I..." John hesitated, wondering if he really wanted to challenge her " Prolly not... but I can help you if you like?" he offered, dangling the olive branch in front of her.

And so for the next few months Elizabeth had tried to teach him the language of the Ancients, only to find very early on, that he was rather dodgy at all things language orientated. Frustrated as she had been though, she continued to try and teach him, using their time together to bond with a common purpose. Too bad the Replicators had captured her before he got to the particular few lines of Ancient that graced the console in front of him.

For the billionth time, he slumped to the ground and wished for Elizabeth.