A/N: I don't know about you - but the Ronon/Rodney/Jennifer thing was a bit of a disappointment to me. I was thinking that at the end of The Lost Tribe, it would have been fun if the writers would've thrown in a little surprise. If Jennifer was going to announce she was interested in someone else, what a shock it would've been to find out it was Chuck or Sheppard or Kiryk even. So once those wheels were turning this story came to mind. Hope it is a fun twist that never could have happened on the show, but certainly can in fan fiction.
A huge thank you to ShaViva for patiently doing the beta for this story. Loved all the red ink, some made me smile and some made me think harder. It made this story a much better read. Don't forget to review. Any type of criticism is helpful. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG1 or it's wonderful characters.
Spoilers: Probably Everything SGA & SG1. If you are worried it may be better not to read – sorry.
On the timeline: SG1 Season 10 – The Pegasus Project, SGA Season 3 – Irresistible
1 – New Friend
1 – New Friend
Colonel Cameron Mitchell walked through the halls of Atlantis admiring the beauty of the city surrounding him. He really did have the best job in the world. He wasn't sure why he was so lucky, but there was no doubt that he was.
SG1 had just finished their mission destroying an Ori ship in the Milky Way by blowing up a Wraith ship in the Pegasus galaxy. In doing so they'd triggered the event horizon of the Supergate and hopefully prevented any more Ori ships from coming through the gate. He sure hoped it worked. Mitchell shook his head and chuckled out loud. He didn't understand any of it, but Carter seemed excited and hopeful, so it must be good.
As Cameron neared the infirmary he saw Colonel Sheppard ahead of him walking in the same direction. He'd heard a lot about Colonel Sheppard through mission reports and various personnel and after meeting the man he found he liked him. Sheppard was a man who led his troops in a similar fashion as Mitchell himself. He felt a great responsibility for his team and those around him and would sacrifice himself for any one of them.
As he caught up with the man in front of him he called out, "Colonel Sheppard."
"Colonel Mitchell," Sheppard acknowledged, falling into step beside Cameron, "Heard you had a typical mission for the Pegasus galaxy. You ran into the Wraith, saved the galaxy, your own at least, and had to endure McKay." Sheppard lowered his voice, "You sure you don't want him, because I'd be willing to trade you straight across for Jackson?"
"No, I think we're good," Mitchell said while pulling the lemon out of his pocket and tossing it to Sheppard. "If I lost Jackson then I'd have to deal with Vala and her, shall we say, charming personality, or worse play referee between McKay and Vala because those are two personalities meant to clash."
Sheppard chuckled while picturing Vala and McKay on a mission together. "Yeah, you'd probably need a crate of lemons, minimum."
The two men slowed as they approached the entrance to the infirmary, "So, your team's back from a mission I take it?" Mitchell guessed.
"No matter the galaxy, I see there are still some things exactly the same," Mitchell acknowledged.
"Post mission briefings and physicals," Sheppard complained.
"Exactly," Mitchell agreed as they entered the infirmary. Unlike the drab, gray, cement and metal infirmary back home at the SGC, this one was light, cheerful and… "Is that a stained glass window?" Mitchell asked, surprised and a little jealous.
"It sure is," Sheppard smirked at Mitchell just before walking away to join his team being checked out by Dr. Beckett.
Cameron turned and saw Carter chatting with a beautiful woman who was obviously a member of the medical staff. With her dark blond hair in a ponytail she looked too young to be a member of the expedition, but knowing the kind of screening members went through and the type of credentials you had to have under your belt, he was sure she was probably a very smart and skilled individual.
"Hey, Cam," Carter called, motioning him over.
"Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell, this is Dr. Jennifer Keller." Carter said nodding in Jennifer's direction.
"It's nice to meet you," Cameron said extending his hand to Jennifer.
"You too, Colonel," Jennifer replied taking his hand. "I take it you're here for your post mission physical, since we don't get many social calls, especially from the military contingent," she teased.
"We're not a brave lot when it comes to needles and things," he winked back.
"Well, I'll let you two get to it then," Carter interrupted, "They need me back on the Odyssey to help with some of the repairs after the hits we took from the Wraith."
Cameron and Jennifer both gave Sam a nod as she departed.
"Well, Colonel, why don't you sit down up here and we'll get this started," Jennifer said.
Cameron settled on the bed with his legs dangling and waited for the physical to begin. He found himself overly aware of what the doctor was doing and hoped it didn't show. Her hands were gentle but sure and she smelled like warm cookies. He wanted to close his eyes and breathe deep. His reaction to this woman was a little curious, but then again he didn't meet many women in his line of work, and most of them were the murdering, enslaving or brainwashing type.
He knew these physicals must be second nature to Dr. Keller because within what seemed like a couple minutes she was done.
Jennifer had moved about the gurney quickly, thankful for her training which made these physicals something she could almost do in her sleep. She found her mind drifting to the man in front of her rather than the physical. She found herself wondering what he was like, if he had a good personality? Did he lead with a style like Colonel Caldwell or more relaxed like Colonel Sheppard?
"Everything checks out normal, Colonel, is there anything about the mission I should know about?"
Jennifer laughed, "So, I'm dealing with a Southern boy." By the drawl in his voice she would guess 'mama instilled gentleman', not 'ladies man' charm.
"You're right – Kansas. I'd guess by your accent I'm looking at a gal from Minnesota or Wisconsin," he grinned at her. He was enjoying this get to know you bit; it'd been such a long time since he'd met anyone new.
"You're good. Wisconsin, there are times I really miss the mid-west," she said wistfully.
"I know exactly what you mean, the wide open spaces, homemade pies, farms, county fairs…" he said warming to the subject.
"Small town," Jennifer interrupted, "knowing most of the neighbors, lack of imminent death," Jennifer laughed as she scooted up on the bed next to him with her feet dangling.
"I'm not keeping you from being somewhere am I," Cameron asked.
"No, not at all Colonel, but I don't want to keep you," Jennifer said preparing to jump back down.
"No, no, I'm actually kind of enjoying this, I don't meet people very often in my line of work," he replied earnestly. "More importantly, those I do meet don't appreciate the mid-west and its many charms."
"Like backyard barbecues with all of the kin folk," she said with a smile.
"Yes, now that's what I'm talking about," he said excitedly. "Steaks or hamburgers?"
"Are you kidding, brauts," she answered looking offended.
"And hotdogs for the kiddies."
"Definitely," she laughed. "Sledding?"
"With an inner-tube."
"A tractor one, if it can be found," she challenged.
"I'm from Wisconsin aren't I?" Jennifer answered looking appalled. "Gosh, I haven't thought about the Packers in so long," she said in a distant voice.
Cameron understood her reaction. He hadn't thought about watching a football game in a long time, and he had access to a television from time to time.
Cameron cleared his throat, "Damn…I'm going to have to make it a point to have the team over for a barbeque and football game soon." Cameron looked at Jennifer for a moment before asking, "There must be a lot of things you miss because you're in a whole different galaxy."
"There are certain things that come up every now and then that I took for granted, but now I miss," she agreed wistfully.
He watched her thinking and her smile began to return. It was an infectious smile. "I would give up a days pay for some mac and cheese, the blue box."
"So, the Doctor is also a connoisseur."
"Take out pizza, Chinese food, you just never think about there being a lack of those things until you're out of their delivery area," she said shaking her head as she made herself more comfortable by pulling one of her legs up on the bed and turning her body so that she faced him.
He liked the idea that she was settling in and didn't plan on leaving anytime soon. He did the same so he faced her and they continued to talk about home, things they missed and their favorite things.
Lt. Laura Cadman made her way towards the infirmary when her shift on the Odyssey ended. When she'd learned the Odyssey would be making the trek to the Pegasus this go round instead of the Daedalus, she'd immediately put in a request to be temporarily reassigned for the mission. She was grateful when she'd learned Colonel Mitchell had approved the request, she would've missed seeing her friends.
She had plans to pry Jennifer away from work and make her eat an actual meal in the mess hall. The girl worked too hard and Laura knew with Lorne out on a mission these last few days, Jennifer would have no one prodding her to live a little.
As Laura entered the infirmary she heard voices and was surprised when she realized one of them was Jennifer's. She was visiting with a guy and as Laura made her way deeper into the infirmary she found the guy was none other then Colonel Mitchell. Well, this was definitely interesting. Someone had distracted Dr. Keller from her work and it looked as if she'd been distracted for a while now.
Laura knew the moment her presence had been detected and was disappointed she couldn't observe for a few more moments. Jennifer didn't seem to make friends easily and was always one to bury herself in her work. It'd be interesting to see what it was about this situation that allowed Jenn to let her guard down.
It wasn't that Jennifer wasn't a friendly, and nice person – Atlantis just didn't provide a ton of opportunities for socializing when you were constantly needed in the infirmary. Jennifer also had the disadvantage of being smart and skipping a few grades in school, so her social life had been somewhat limited and sparse.
But Major Lorne and Jennifer hit it off right away and had a sibling-ish type relationship. Laura envied Evan and Jennifer being able to spend time together, while she only got to see her best friends when the Daedalus, and this time the Odyssey, was in Atlantis.
Taking the last step, Laura smirked at Jennifer, "I came here to save you from your work-aholic tendencies, but I see I'm not needed."
Cameron watched Jennifer hop down and hug Lt. Cadman, "I'm not a work-aholic, I was just visiting for a few minutes with Colonel Mitchell." Jennifer looked around the infirmary and noticed they were down to just the night staff and no patients. "I guess we kind of lost track of time," Jenn said with embarrassment evident in her reddening cheeks.
By this time Cameron had hopped down and was standing next to Jennifer.
Laura raised a knowing eyebrow at Jennifer, who quickly wanted to change the direction Laura's thoughts were headed. "Colonel Mitchell, this is one of my best friends Laura…"
"Lt. Cadman," he acknowledged, nodding in her direction.
"Of course, you two would know each other," Jennifer commented, "I didn't think of that."
"The ride up on the Odyssey is kind of long," Cameron offered, looking back at Jennifer.
"Yes, it is," Jennifer agreed with a grin, "That would be how Laura and I became fast friends. There are probably not many other ways a doctor and a Marine explosives expert would ever meet outside work."
"Well, this fast friend is hungry," Laura stepped up to Jenn and threw her arm over her shoulder and started moving for the door.
Cameron watched as the two headed out. "I expect details," he heard Cadman whisper to Jennifer loudly… probably intentionally. He listened to Jennifer growl back, "Will you knock it off," only to have Cadman laugh at her.
"You coming, Colonel?" Cadman called out, still laughing.
"Right behind you," he replied laughing. "Wouldn't miss it," he mumbled under his breath smirking.
Colonel Mitchell followed Jennifer and the Lieutenant towards a table in the mess hall. Their pace picked up a little speed and he watched Jennifer and Cadman set their trays down on a table occupied by a Major.
Jennifer hugged the man sitting at the table from behind, "Hey, Ev," she laughed, "You're back early."
"Hey, Jenn," he laughed back, "I was only gone four days, sweetheart. We really do need to work on getting you a life."
"I'm quite happy with the life I have, thank you very much," she laughed as she sat next to him.
"Yes, Major, it seems our little bird here has made a friend," Laura said as she sat across from Evan.
Evan looked up at the man placing his tray next to Laura and immediately stood up.
"At ease, Major," Mitchell chuckled, "I believe we're both off duty."
Laura spoke up, "Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell, this is Major Evan Lorne."
"I think you left the SGC about the time I arrived," Mitchell acknowledged.
"Yes, sir, it's an honor to meet you. I heard SG1 was with the Odyssey on this trip."
"Over three weeks of my life I'll never get back," Cameron replied sardonically. "At least the mission was successful judging by the spring in Colonel Carter's step and… therefore worth it."
While they ate and visited Cameron found himself curious about the Major and Jennifer's relationship, even after reminding himself it was none of his business. He watched the banter between the three friends and couldn't quite sort it out. He hated to admit it, but the Doctor had captured his interest and the shame of it was that he most likely would be gating back to the SGC in the morning. He'd probably not find himself in the Pegasus galaxy again for a very long time.
"What do ya'll do in your down time?" Cameron asked while looking around the table.
"Well, sir," Lorne responded, "in keeping with the college dorm type atmosphere Atlantis has going here, we've long since declared the crew of the Daedalus our arch rivals. By default that would include the crews of the Apollo and the Odyssey." Lorne grinned at him, "As long as they're here there's sure to be pick-up basketball games and chess or checkers tournaments going on. There are usually poker games, sparring and such also. One time we even had a large game of hide and seek going on in one of the unused towers."
Jennifer piped in with mischief in her eyes, "But beware of Cadman," she warned, "She loves a good round of truth or dare and she can be brutal, trust me."
Laura gave Jenn the evil eye, "Hey, it's not like anyone is forced to play," she retorted. "And why are people so afraid of a little truth once in a while? Our skeletons are what make us who we are – there's no shame."
"Some privacy or mystery is not a bad thing," Lorne chuckled. "I know I didn't need to know that Captain Hayward has six toes on one of her feet. Stupid game, now whenever I see her around base that's the first thing that pops into my head."
"Nope," Mitchell laughed, concurring with Lorne. "A little mystery can go a long way."
"So," Lorne asked as they were all finishing up dinner. "You going to come hang out tonight? Maybe play some basketball? We'll let you be honorary Atlantis crew for the evening."
"Well, I need to change out of these clothes for sure," Mitchell observed indicating his uniform, "Can't have everyone saluting me everywhere I go. Then I should probably make sure my team is settled and aware of what time we're heading out in the morning."
Cameron looked at Jennifer for a moment before looking back at Lorne. "I can catch up with ya'll when I'm done, just let me know where to go."
"I can show you," Jennifer volunteered. "I need to change and send out a couple emails real quick, I could meet you here, in front of the mess hall in say…" she looked at her watch, "half hour?"
"Sounds like a plan," Mitchell said with a grin, glad to know he'd see more of the pretty doctor tonight.
"Sure does," said Laura under her breath, earning a glare from Jennifer as they all exited the mess hall.
As Cameron stopped in front of the transport that would take him out to the Odyssey he turned to watch the threesome making their way down the corridor slowly. Cadman looked to be needling Jennifer about something that had halted their progress down the hall. It was obvious to anyone watching them they were the closest of friends.
The relationship he was unsure of was that of the third party; Major Lorne. He had obviously heard enough of the bickering between the two girls. Throwing an arm around Jennifer Lorne led her on down the hall laughing and talking to her while Cadman trailed after, pretending to be indignant. Cameron watched for another moment before proceeding into the transport, "It's none of my business," he quietly repeated to himself.