A/N i am deeply sorry for all those that had to wait for this. I meant to have it up sooner but life kept getting in the way. i hope the end meets up to all your expectations.
Reid opened the door in the morning to McKay.
"hello." Reid said with a nod.
"Hi." McKay fidgeted. "I was going to show you to the mess."
Reid nodded and walked out shutting the door. As he walked the profiler in him noticed that McKay seemed nervous….. Or more nervous than usual.
They walked through a slight maze of halls and took a ride in an elevator. McKay was leading him through yet another hallway when he suddenly stopped. With a look around he swiped a badge and ducked into an empty room motioning for Reid to follow.
The room into which Reid was led seemed to be a office of some sort. It looked slightly unused. The computer had a fine layer of dust and the wheeled chair was pushed into the corner. A work table was situated against one wall and an odd assortment of devices and tools lay spread out. A large white board filled another wall. Reid was startled to see similar lettering to the ones on the blades scribbled onto the boards.
"Listen." McKay said when they were alone. "Sheppard….well he means a lot to us. And I uh… well… I didn't notice… and this doesn't come easily." McKay looked around and began fidgeting with one of the odd devices. "What I'm trying to say is thanks. I didn't notice the extra space. We could have lost him. And I owe a lot to him. I'm not sure that Atlantis would have been ok if we hadn't brought him home…. After what we face Earth is supposed to be the safe haven. And I know that I'm not supposed to do this but you gave us so much it's only fair…."
"I'm smart I always have been. I was recruited to work with the US military for a top secret project that would 'challenge me the most'. And it has. My eyes were opened to a whole new world. A race called the Ancients, for lack of better term, created a intergalactic network of devices we call a star gate. Each device, when dialed with the proper coordinates can connect to another gate to form a stable wormhole through which near instantaneous travel is possible. I'm based in the Pegasus Galaxy or more accurately in the city of Atlantis. The Atlantis. We fight a war against an enemy I never dreamed possible, and Sheppard, he leads us. And I have found that when one shares enough…. Danger with another certain bonds are formed and….."
"Thanks." Reid interrupted.
McKay nodded without looking Reid in the eyes. He noticed Reid's eyes staring at the weird writing.
"It's Ancient. The language of the gate builders."
"Let's get food." Rodney declared opening the door and heading out. Reid had no choice but to leave the interesting room and it's assortment of items.
"Why'd you tell me so much?" Reid asked as they turned into a large room that had the pleasant hum of conversation from the many people in the room.
McKay shrugged. "You remind me of me a little. You love knowledge." McKay shrugged.
"McKay." A slightly annoyed female spoke.
"Yes?" McKay turned to face Colonel Carter.
"How much did you tell him?" To Reid's surprise he just smiled tiredly.
"We owe it to him. To all of them. They can keep secrets. And after we endangered their team and after all the help they gave to get him back it's the least we can do." Rodney declared in a wan voice.
Sam understood the tiredness. Rodney had spent the last week or so on full alert worrying if he would ever see his friend again. Sam nodded.
The BAU team knew enough to make not knowing the rest torture. And Sam had read the files. She knew they could keep a secret.
"Fine." She ordered. Rodney nodded and turned around to begin dishing out breakfast for himself.
Reid processed all the information as he collected a tray of breakfast items.
Rodney looked at what he had and compared it to his own as they sat. "That's all you going to eat?" Rodney demanded. JJ laughed as she sat next to them. Morgan sat as well having been led by a silent Ronon. Ronon's tray was even more packed than Rodney's. the team watched in amazement as both men cleared their plates.
"Let's go relieve your Agent Rossi and Teyla shall we?" Rodney said standing and picking up the tray.
Teyla was sitting still her eyes watching the constant rise and fall of her leaders chest. Rossi was flipping through a magazine but his eyes weren't focused on the paper.
"They have both slept peacefully through the night. Although Sheppard has an elevated temperature that has Dr. Lam anxious. They have given him something to help control it. They believe the incision from the removal of the subcutaneous transmitter to be the cause for the infection." Teyla reported.
"The temperature is going down." Jen's voice said from behind Rodney.
"I'll take my turn Teyla you go rest and eat." Rodney volunteered.
"Very well." Teyla stood and bent low. At first JJ and Prentiss thought that she was going to kiss John but instead she just touched her forehead to John's.
"You'll let me know if anything gets worse." Teyla said as she faced Rodney.
"Of course." Rodney nodded solemn.
Teyla touched foreheads with Rodney and left with Rossi showing him to the room.
Both teams stayed with their leaders.
Hotch woke up a little after nine. he seemed stronger than he had the day before.
"Ready for breakfast agent?" Jen asked coming to stand by him.
Hotch nodded his eyes looking over at the sleeping Sheppard.
"A slight fever is wearing him out. He'll probably sleep for most of the day."
A tray in front of him with appetizing aromas drifting up caught his attention. Slightly self consciously he ate some of what was placed before him. His stomach couldn't fit it all after so little food for so long.
As he finished he heard Rodney talking quietly.
"Sorry." Sheppard's tired voice sounded.
"Well Teyla was the most worried." he heard Rodney proclaim.
"Sure." John said with an amused tone. From the look in both their eyes Hotch knew that Rodney had been panicked and he knew that John knew this and was allowing Rodney this small deception. Sheppard was the true example of everything a good leader should be. Easy to talk to, confidant, he cared but when needed he could be ruthless and from his little performance in the basement he could take complete control at a moments notice.
"Of course without that young kid we wouldn't have found you. He's actually pretty smart…. not as smart as me but still. It was lucky he was in that elevator with you. He saved your life."
"He's not a kid." John said with a quiet glance at the young man that was talking to Hotch, explaining the case.
"His looks are somewhat deceiving. One could almost think him harmless until starts in on all that knowledge. Eidetic memory would be so cool." Rodney said sounding slightly envious.
Something about Sheppard clued in to the fact that he knew Hotch was listening.
"Agent Hotchner has a fine team." he looked Hotch in the eye and nodded.
"So do you John." Rodney declared.
"Yes I do." John agreed with a grin his attention once more focused on Rodney. Hotch drifted back to Reid tale. The next time their was a loll in the conversation he listened Sheppard and Rodney debate on who would be a better addition to the team, Batman or Superman. Ronon joined in with arguments on both sides. With a snicker Rodney mentioned something about Xena. Sheppard chuckled and Ronon grinned.
Hotch looked over to both tightly knit teams and smiled. Without both of them he and Sheppard might never have been found in time. Both were, in Hotch's opinion, the best of the best.
"Reid." Hotch said and the young man's eyes turned to him.
"Thank you." Hotch said meaning it. "You picked out the missing piece. And good work."
Reid smiled ecstatically. It wasn't unheard of for Hotch to freely give out praise once one had earned it but each time it meant something special to the young man that had been a genius in public school. Hotch looked over to see that Sheppard had given in to droopy eyelids and settled deeper in the bed. Hotch allowed to talking of his team to sooth his frayed nerves and he relaxed into the kind of warmth only the closest of families could bring about.
"So kid. How does one get out of an elevator without being spotted by video camera's?" Morgan asked.
"I went up." Reid said looking away.
"Up?" Morgan asked disbelievingly.
"Way up." Reid said nodding. He knew that Rodney was going to tell them and he didn't want to spoil any of it by talking now.
"Classified?" Morgan asked with a half teasing half frustrated grin.
"Sorry." Reid looked down.
"It's fine kid. We understand. We might not like it but we understand." Morgan said.
John slept most of the day fighting off the slight temperature. Both teams spent the day talking and finishing paperwork via the laptops the military personnel left them to use.
The next morning when he woke up Sheppard's bed was empty and neatly made.
Morgan was flipping through a magazine by his bedside.
"Sheppard woke up early and snuck out before the doctors saw anything." He said without looking up. "The doctors say it's ok if you get up. They just want you to take it easy and the arm gets a sling." Morgan pointed to the neatly folded pile of clothes with a blue thing on top. "Sheppard said for you to be ready in half an hour."
Carefully Hotch walked to the bathroom and put on the clothes. The simple white shirt caused his wrist enough pain without trying to pull the jacket over it. He was lucky to get the outfit on right without any help. He found himself feeling better when Sheppard walked in in a tee shirt and black military style pants. Sheppard looked good. Most of the bruising was covered by the black tee shirt His wrists were neatly bandaged and he wore one arm in a sling.
"Ready?" he asked looking Hotch over. Hotch saw both teams waiting in the hall. His team looked confused while John's team looked normal.
"Sure." hotch said. When Sheppard started out he fell into step with him. Together they led the team through a series of twisting hallways.
"So this is what a classified base looks like." Hotch said speaking to Sheppard.
"Yes but this isn't home." They squeezed both teams into the elevator and started up.
"I owe you this." Sheppard said as the entered a room filled with dozens of computers. A window filled one wall but it was covered in a metal sheet. "I thought I could explain a part of it this morning before you got released."
"My team's goal is to explore alien worlds and acquire technology. We do this using a device known as the star gate that uses a stable wormhole fixed between to points in space that allows near instantaneous travel." Sheppard said "last year when the elevator was broken me team beamed Reid out of the building and up into a battleship that had been orbiting Earth."
He saw the disbelief on the faces of the team and nodded a man. The metal wall rose to reveal a solitary ring. A team of marines sat in front of it checking over large guns. To the teams amazement the gate began spinning as a man to the side anounced "First cheveron encoded. Second… third…" Until finnaly he hit. "Seven cheveron locked." The team gasped as a wash of brilliant blue light burst forward of the ring.
"That is so…." Reid began looking for the right word as the gate whooshed back into a calm blue pool in the metallic ring. Cool, amazing, awe inspiring.
Sheppard looked at Hotch straight in the eye and said with a solemn command.
"Classified." Hotch supplied looking into the grim eyes of the man and caught the faint glimmer of mirth. He allowed an answering grin to flow over his features.
"Secretive." Hotch said with a chuckle himself. Sheppard couldn't contain the hidden laughter and let an answering lopsided grin light his face.
"The best kind of both."
A/n 2 ...again i am very sorry for the awful wait. Please let me know what you thought. I have a really awesome idea for at least a few members of the teams to meet again that i am very excited about. It might take a while because i hope to write the whole thing before publishing any of it so that there aren't awfully long waits. Anyhowz please review and thanks for sticking with the story until the end. ;)