Rating: T

Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate or the characters. I just do this stuff for fun

A/N: This is just something that I've had in my head for a while and I needed to let my muse out. Obviously this will be an AU story, but most of the events after this episode will still happen. They will just take into account what happens in this tale. Quotes are taken off transcripts from Gate World.

Altered State of Quarantine

Chapter 1- Lockdown

"All right, so ... " Rodney pulled his earpiece out and tossed it on the table "... here I go!"

"Well, I'll ... I'll buy you a beer later. We can celebrate." John noticed how anxious his friend looked. If he did not know any better he thought Rodney would be sick.

"Yeah... or drown my sorrows should she say no." Rodney always had to see the possibility of a negative outcome.

"No, no, none of that." Sheppard tried to reassure McKay. He was kind of shocked that Rodney was ready to take this step. The Canadian had not talked about Katie much since the outbreak of Kirsan fever, so it was strange that he was talking marriage. Not that he ever really talked about her.

"Right." Rodney replied, his gaze alternating between John and the door.

"Well, go get the girl!" John watched as his friend started to leave his lab. "Which one is it again? Katie or Jennifer?"

The scientist stopped dead in his tracks, "What are you talking about?"

"I don't know. It seems that you talk more about the one who isn't your girlfriend. I just wanted to check to make sure things haven't changed," Sheppard felt like teasing his friend, hoping to alleviate some of Rodney's nerves.

Rodney knew what his friend was trying to do, but it was having the opposite effect, "Um, real funny. J...J...Jennifer and I are friends. What would give you any other idea? I am nothing like you." He knew it was a low blow, but John was hitting too close to the truth.

John rolled his eyes, "Oh, please. If Keller showed one bit of interest in you outside of friendship you would be all over it."

"Would not," he narrowed his eyes. Would so. Damn you, Sheppard. "I bought Katie a ring or is your short term memory shot? Um, I have to get going. You know enjoy my last few moments before I am an engaged man." Rodney's face started to turn green, unsure if he could do this. He had been with Katie for about a year and a half and to him marriage was the next logical step. When Jeannie told him that he would not do any better than her, he figured that marriage would make sure she would stay with him. It was better than being alone. Part of him loved her, but deep down he knew she loved him more than he could ever love her. As he left the lab he felt the need to clear his head and calm himself before going to pick up Katie. McKay knew no one ever went to the Ascension Lab since his near fatal experience with it last year. It now served as a good place to clear his mind and a place to go and not be found.

"I can't do this. I will screw up her life permanently," he paced the floor of the lab, mumbling incoherently. Rodney was so lost in his own world that he did not hear the door open and was not aware of the presence until he walked into it and a pair of hands grabbed onto him for support.

"McKay, you know conversations with yourself is not a sign of good mental health," Jennifer tried to keep her balance, but she fell right into him. Her hands grasped his shoulders and her body was lightly pressed against his. It took a moment for her head to register what had happened and even longer moment to find the will power to push herself off. There was something intoxicating about his cologne that made her brain go blank or it could have just been him.

She finally pushed herself off and smoothed out her shirt. The physician had come here to clear her head and think on a few things; ever since the incident on New Athos she had been questioning her place on the expedition. To stay or to leave? Being a doctor at the SGC was much easier and safer than being Chief of Medicine in Atlantis. The young doctor felt as if she was reaching a breaking point and was sure a mental breakdown was imminent. There was only one thing keeping her in the city at this point; her friendship with a certain cranky Canadian astrophysicist who just almost knocked her to the floor. There was something different about their friendship, a bond that was unlike anything she had before. She found his corny jokes funny and found herself making excuses to spend time with him.

"I...I...um. Huh? What?" Rodney snapped out of his stupor. "I'm sorry. Are you okay? I didn't see you there."

She cracked a smile and shook her head, "Talking to yourself will do that. What brings you down here? I thought I was the only one who came down here." Jennifer wondered what it was about him that made him attractive; to most he was the arrogant jerk who they relied on to fix everything when trouble arose, but to her... She mentally slapped herself for that thought, knowing he was involved with someone and that there was a better chance of it snowing in hell than him having any interest in her.

"I thought I saw some power fluctuations coming from down here. This place was taken off line with what happened to me last year," he lied. He could not bring himself to tell her the truth of why he was here.

She raised her hand and pointed at his empty hands, "But you don't have your tablet with you. Don't you need that to check for power fluctuations?"

"I..um...um," Rodney knew he was caught. It was a fatal error on his part. "Well you see...I must have dropped it on my way here. I um, should go look for it," he could feel his face go red. The embarrassed scientist lowered his head and headed for the door. He had just raised his hand to active the door sensor when a loud alarm blared. "Oh, crap!"

"What is that?" Jennifer knew when Rodney said Oh, crap it wasn't good.

He slumped his shoulders and sighed, "Quarantine lockdown. You don't happen to have your radio with you?"

She shook her head in the negative, "Left it in my office."

Now is the time to panic. "This is not good. So not good," Rodney gulped as he tried to pry the door open with his hands.

Jennifer knew he was prone to panic easily and she hoped this was just another one of those times. "Can't you just use the console here and let someone know where we are?"

The Canadian shook his head, "Remember...offline." Rodney frowned at the dead piece of machinery, "The crystals that powered this console were harvested and used in some jumper modifications. It looks like we are stuck." The corridor of the lab was a lightly traveled part of the city so even if someone was in the halls it would be unlikely that they would be found.

The news did not sit well with Jennifer. She was a doctor and she should be helping the sick that was sure to be coming into the infirmary and instead she was stuck in a lab where she had come initially to hide from her problems. "We have to get out of here. People are going to start getting sick."

Rodney jerked his hand toward the door, "It's no use. The lockdown deactivates the door control mechanism. I should know since I'm the one who programmed the new lockdown protocols." The physicist felt as he was going to pass out and started waving his hand in front of his face. "Is it getting warm in here? I think I might be running a fever. Oh, no it's starting."

"You don't look pale," the doctor went to check on the one patient she could hopefully help. Jennifer pressed the back of her hand to Rodney's forehead. "You don't feel like you have a fever," she tried to be reassuring and let her hand linger for a second too long.

"You don't have a computer on you, do you?" Panic was taking over. How was he supposed to fix whatever was wrong if he had no way to communicate with the rest of the city? This put Rodney out of his comfort zone and his imagination was left to run wild.

Jennifer gave him a sideways glance, "Yeah, I have one hidden under my uniform."

"Really?" he looked her up and down, looking for where one could be hidden.

"I thought you knew of all people would know what sarcasm sounded like, McKay."

Rodney groaned and rolled his eyes, not in the mood for joking around. "We are so screwed," he pressed his back to the wall and slid to the floor. The despair written on his face.

"McKay, come in," Sam tapped her radio and heard only silence. "Colonel Sheppard, please respond." Again there was only silence. Something was wrong. Very wrong. "Ronon, do you know where John and Rodney were before the alarm?"

The normally silent man shrugged, "I saw them in McKay's lab a half hour ago." Ronon was not sure what was going on. An alarm went off and now the transporter was not working.

"Communications must be down," she knew that neither man would ignore a radio call. "That was the quarantine lockdown. John and Rodney should be working on the problem and we will be out of here in no time," Carter was found the air starting growing thin in the tiny space.

John stared at the two women who were trapped with him in Rodney's lab. A very pregnant Teyla looked uncomfortable and as if she wanted to talk to Sheppard because the presence of the second woman stopped her from doing so.

Katie stood several feet away from John and Teyla. In the year and half she had been dating Rodney she had never really spoken to any of the members of his team. She had found it odd since he spent more time with the three of them than he did her.

"I don't know where Rodney is. He left here saying he was going to meet you," the colonel addressed Katie. He really wished the scientist was here so he could fix the problem and alleviate the uncomfortable vibe he was getting from his girlfriend. "Teyla, sit you are making me nervous. I don't need you going into labor like in the movies when something like this happens."

"John, I am fine," she said sternly, taking a seat. This was the exact reason why she had come to talk to the man. The Athosian did not wish to be treated differently because she was with child.

"Katie, you aren't pregnant are you?" John teased, hoping to get the red head to relax a little.

Katie was flustered by the question, "Excuse me? No." She wondered what kind of question that was to ask an almost stranger.

"Sorry," he frowned. So I can't tease her like I do McKay. "Never mind," John turned his attention to one of the many computers so he could determine what was going on.