Chapter 19

Helen sat at the side of the infirmary bed holding her old friend. Him and his double had been unconscious for almost a week now, showing normal brain function, eveything was normal actually, physically anyways. Hayley and Kate sat with Parrish, keeping him company, talking to him like he was in a coma and could hear them. Magnus however, kept her hand entwined with Nikola's, never leaving his side.

They had reached earth and were in the infirmary of Stargate Command. Had been for the last few hours. Will, Henry and Big Guy had come in sporadically offering to let her rest and keep watch but each time she refused them, wanting to be the first then he saw when he woke up.

Remarkably, she had the presence of mind to eat, and sometimes rest, still keeping her hand within his in case he would wake and she would feel him squeezing her hand.

Carter and McKay had taken the now broken device to the lab, poking and proding it for answers, and she had been visited once by a Dr. Daniel Jackson, who at first glance reminded her of her friend Jimmy. They had chatted for awhile, she immediately recognizing the archaeologist in him, and sharing anecdotes about the time she had worked on an expedition with his grandfather.

Once he had left it was back to Tesla. Waiting in anticipation for his eyes to flutter, or for his body to stir, any sign that he was still alive in there.

She let out a long sigh. Talking to him couldn't hurt, right?

She clutched his hand in hers and looked at his sleeping face.

"I was worried about you...so worried," she felt a small blush on her cheeks, this was hard to admit to him even when he was unconscious. "It was the same feeling I got when you had gotten yourself de-vamped. You and I, we're going to be the last two standing. Nigel is...and then James...and John...I just wanted someone to live out eternity with me, I still do. You said it yourself, never underestimate the determination of a woman, I revamped you, not only to save you because you're my friend, but so that you would remain, with me, like always. So one thing in this world would stay the same, my constant."

She squeezed his hand again.

"You trapped in that device had brought it all back. I felt that fear again. My constant slipping through my fingers once again. But here you are, supposedly alive, still my constant, the thing keeping me glued to this planet. Now, all you have to do is wake up, then nothing has to change. Or maybe..." she hesitated in saying what she was thinking, and changed her mind. "Maybe we could have lunch sometime...as friends...like before, you know."

She rolled her eyes. He was unconscious for pete's sake, why was she acting like any moment he was going to wake up and say something lewd that would ruin the moment. She laughed slightly. It would be just like him to give her that cheeky grin, leer at her, and tease her for missing him. It's not like he hasn't done it before. The man makes it damn near impossible for her to feel anything, because if he points it out she has to deny it or he'd be insufferable.

She shook her head again. Why was everything between them an one-upmanship?

She looked down at their entwined hands. If he woke up with her hand in his he'd probably come to some kind of drastic conclusion. She dropped is hand as if it were on fire. Then growled at herself. This was ridiculous, if she wanted to hold her best friend's hand it was in her damn right to do so despite the teasing he'd give her upon awakening.

She snatched his hand back and held it firmly and steadfastly.

"Why do you always have to make these things so difficult?" she muttered to him, as if this were one of his mind games.

He stayed unconscious.

"We were having a nice moment and you had to ruin it, didn't you? You can never let anything go, can you? Ass," she scoffed, resting the back of his hand against her cheek absentmindedly. "Once you wake up, don't even think about gloating, I'll make them fire up the stargate and push you into the whoosh."

Nikola remained silent.

"Of course, you haven't been debriefed on th Stargate program, so you have no idea what that is, so it's hardly a threat, but I can still shoot you..." she blinked as realization dawned on her. "Bloody hell, I'm having an argument with an unconscious man."

She looked at him again and offered a soft, gentle smile, taking his hand from her cheek and kissing the top of it lightly.

"Nikola Tesla, you drive me crazy," she teased lightly. "I miss you, wake up, please."

She leaned back in her chair, still holding his hand, waiting for him to flutter back into consciousness.

~~~~Elsewhere~~~~

Nikola blinked in confusion.

"Where am I?" his eyes roamed in big wide circles to look over every inch of space in this strange location.

He was sure that he had...

"Tesla!" came a cry behind him and he turned to it.

"Parrish! Is that you?" he called back.

"Yah! I'm stuck!" he called back.

"In what?" he asked.

"I-I don't know, some kind of vine, I think," he responded.

"I'll be right there," Nikola chanced one more look at his surroundings before heading in the direction of Parrish's voice.

Once he approached his double he saw exactly what had happened to him. He had a vine tightly wound around his leg, keeping him pinned against the ground.

"Parrish, what'd you do?" he sighed, rolling his eyes. "Didn't your mother ever teach you not to play with strange things?"

"I wasn't doing anything, I woke up this way," Parrish cried indignantly. "Hell, I didn't even think you could provoke vines!"

"Apparently you had something it wanted," teased Nikola as he extended a claw and cut away the offending greenery.

Parrish scrambled away once he was free.

"Where are we?" he asked, wiping the dust off his clothes. "Are we still in-?"

"I don't know, we were supposed to have gone back to the surface, back to our normal lives, our normal bodies."

The two of them looked down at themselves.

Parrish still wore the slightly torn, light blue garments he was given in the vrtual world, and Nikola still wore his wedding garments, complete with cape and boots.

"Maybe we didn't leave, maybe the world itselt shifted," suggested Nikola.

"You mean, Galidriel could still be out there?" asked Parrish in horror.

Nikola shook his head.

"No, Lilia took her down, right before we left, remember?"

"How do I know we weren't tricked to think that? What if Galidriel changed the parameters of the world? What if we're being hunted?" Parrish was beginning to panic again.

"I don't know, let's just, not go down that road until we have to," Nikola grabbed his double by the lapel and pulled him along, to further explore this new place.

It was a picturesque forest. A mystical sheet of fog rolled above their heads, blocking their view of the sky, the sounds of tropical birds and other creatures around them, and a waterfall in the distance. This wasn't exactly his idea of a hunting ground, more like an oasis, but an oasis from what he didn't know. He decided to head towards the waterfall.

Parrish admired the place. He saw flowers and plants, unlike anything he'd ever seen, if this were a new planet he'd have examined each one with gusto, taking leaf and sap samples of everything. His eyes nearly bulged at the beauty of this place, he'd hate to think of the looming doom that possibly surrounded them.

"What is this place?" he said out of awe.

"I don't know, but I hear a waterfall, maybe there the air is clear enough so we can see the sky, see what kind of place this is, maybe even find a cliff to see how big it is," Nikola said, still pulling his double along.

"Good idea," Parrish nodded.

The waterfall wasn't as far of a distance as they had thought it was and before too long they had arrived at it's banks, a crystalline pool at it's bottom.

"This is weird," Nikola kneeled down to gently dip his fingers in the clear blue water. "Everything here is so surreal, like some kind of dream."

"Huh?" Parrish looked down at Nikola.

"Like we're here, yet we're not," Nikola clarified.

"What do you mean?" Parrish was still confused.

"I mean I don't think we are in the device anymore, we're someplace else," Nikola stood up, wiping his hand on his pants.

"Like, in the real world?" asked Parrish.

"I've travelled all around the world, I have never seen a place like this," Nikola shook his head.

"Who says it's any world we know," shrugged Parrish.

"What?" Nikola looked at his double incredulously.

"You're really not cluing into this are you?" Parrish smiled, a little smug that he had an edge on the universe that the aged scientist did not.

"What are you talking about?" Nikola asked sharply.

"Nothing," Parrish shook his head. If he wasn't debriefed then obviously the SGC was trying to keep him as out of the loop as possible.

"Could this be a dream? Some kind of shared consciousness kind of thing? Or am I crazy again?...Helen...you there?" Nikola looked all around them.

"Helen?"

"Yes, if I'm crazy she'll make an appearance, she always does...Helen! Well, am I crazy or what?" Nikola barked to the empty silence.

"If you're crazy then why am I here?" asked Parrish.

"To trick me! Oh you would, to make me think that I am still trapped when really everything's fine! Alright Nikki, up and at 'em! Upsy-daisy! Get up! Wake up! SNAP OUT OF IT!" he smacked his hand across his cheek hard enough to knock himself to the ground. "Owww."

Parrish tried not to snicker.

Nikola scrambled back to his feet.

"Well, there goes the crazy theory," he muttered.

"Oh, I'm pretty sure that was a confirmation of jsut ow crazy you are," smirked Parrish.

"Cheeky," Nikola smiled sardonically at his double. "I don't see you coming up with any alternate theories."

"Well, we're either still in the device or unconscious," shrugged Parrish.

"Right, and since this is nothing like being in the device we must be in some kind of dream," added Nikola.

"Yah, but whose dream?" asked Parrish.

"Good question...I don't think it's me," he pointed to himself.

"Why not?" asked Parrish.

"Do you see Helen?" he said like it was obvious.

"Is that all you think about?" asked Parrish.

"I don't always think about her she's just always there!" Nikola cried indignantly.

"Maybe I'm not the only one in love with a ghost," Parrish crossed his arms.

"She's not a ghost, she's...just there!"

"Well I-"

A soft giggle stopped the argument in it's tracks just as abruptly as it had started and they spun to the source of the noise.

Behind them stood Lilia, covering her mouth with her hand to stifle her laugh.

"Lilia," Parrish melted, suddenly ignoring his double.

"You guys are too funny," she giggled again.

"Lilia, what are you...where are we?" asked Parrish.

"You said you would bring me with you, so I came," she sighed with a smile. "I can't stay long, the connection between your brains would be too hard to hold together, but I thought at least I could say goodbye, and thank you."

Nikola stepped up to her, standing next to Parrish.

"I'm sorry, Lilia, it was my idea not to tell you the truth, but for all you've done for us I would've gladly brought you if it was possible," Nikola said earnestly.

"I know...and thank you," she took Nikola's hands gently in hers. "I believe your friends eagerly await your return, I won't take too long."

She leaned up and gently kissed him on the lips. A brief chaste kiss.

"That's for stopping Galidriel," she released his hands and moved to Parrish. "I'm going to miss you, David."

"Lilia, I-"

"You don't have to say anything," she grasped his cheek then pulled him down for a kiss, more passionate then the kiss she had given to Nikola. "You made this place for me, I shall live very peacefully here, lots of flowers to take care of."

"What do you mean?" he asked with confusion.

"Oh, I'm not dead, I'm here, isn't it nice?" sh smiled widely. "I would've never found this place without you two, so thank you."

Parrish smiled.

"I'm glad," he squeezed her hand and stepped back.

"Well, I should let you get back now, don't worry about me, I'll be fine," she hugged the two of them. "My vampire and my botanist. So alike yet so different."

She released them.

"I'm sure more adventurures await you where you're going," she waved and suddenly her and her whole world began to fade away, leaving the two encompassed in darkness.

~~~~Infirmary~~~~

Nikola's eyes opened slowly to the blinding white lights, causing him to wince slightly.

He attempted to bring his hands up to rub his face but found one of them was weighted down by something. He felt around whatever it was. It felt like a hand. Was someone holding his hand?

He cracked his eyes open wider, turning his head in the direction of the hand and was met with a head of brown locks.

Nikola grinned slightly and reached his hand over to brush the hair from her face. The action caused her to stir, and she awoke with a light mumble, then a gasp as she looked over and their eyes met.

"Hey," she smiled with relief, scooching closer to him.

"Hey," he smiled back.

"How long have you been awake?" she asked.

"Not long...how long have you been sitting there?" he retaliated.

"Not long," she shrugged.

"Long enough to fall asleep," he grinned wider at her denial.

"I was tired, I have been working with the others to try and save you, you know," she rolled her eyes.

"Helen, it warms my heart that you lost sleep over me," he brought a hand to his heart and smirked teasingly.

"You were out a long time, Nikola," she tried to avoiding giving him a straight answer.

"You can say it, you missed me," Nikola teased some more.

"I was actually worried more about Parrish," Helen teased back. "Being stuck with you, the man ought to get a medal."

"I swear, I was not the bad one this time," Nikola raised his hand defensively, realizing their hands were still entwined.

"Really?" Helen scoffed disbelievingly.

"Really, these people would have made your beautiful brown locks turn white, and kicked your victorian sensibilities into high gear," he sighed.

"What happened to you two?" asked Helen.

"Um, we got kidnapped, assaulted, drugged, brainwashed, Parrish got a girlfriend, and I almost got married. Get a good Chardonnay and I'll tell you all about it," Nikola smirked.

"I'll wait for the debriefing," she laughed, squeezing his hand lightly.

"Magnus...Parrish is awa-" Kate burst in and stopped dead in her tracks seeing her boss and the vampire holding hands and smiling at each other.

"I know, Kate, thank you," she turned to her colleague. "I was just about to go get this one something to eat."

"Were you?" Nikola grinned

"I was, you must be famished, besides, you owe me a lunch break," she pointed a finger at him as she released his hand and stood up and he raised his hand defensively.

"No arguments there,"Nikola shook his head, moving to to sit up more fully.

Helen smirked and left, leaving Kate and Nikola alone together.

"How is ole Plantboy anyway?" asked Nikola.

"Parrish is fine, Hayley is keeping him company," Kate answered.

"Of course she is," Nikola smirked.

"I should go...get him somethign to eat," Kate pointed to the door.

"Of course," Nikola nodded his head, watching his colleague shuffle towards the doors.

"I'll et you get some rest," she continued awkwardly.

"Thank you," Nikola kept watching.

"Right, well, bye," she turned to leave then stopped. "Tesla?"

"Yes," he looked in her direction.

"Its, uh, good...to have you back," she said as sincerely as she could before scurrying out.

Nikola smirked and then let out a short laugh.

"She likes me."

~~~~Later~~~~

"Finally, going home," sighed Will as the group made it towards the lift. They had come out of their last debriefing and were finally going to back to the Sanctuary.

Will and Henry were beginning to miss the hustle and bustle of Sanctuary life after the few weeks of sitting and waiting.

Behind them was Helen and Nikola, walking close together.

"Where are we?" he looked around.

"Cheyenne Mountain," answered Helen.

"As in NORAD?" he asked.

"Sure," she said dismissively.

"No, I've dealt with NORAD before, they practically stalked me in the 40's, this isn't NORAD," he pointed all over the place.

"It's a new faction of NORAD," she said nonchalantly.

"Wait, how did we get here?" he asked again.

"We flew," she shrugged simply.

"How did we fly from the middle of the ocean to Cheyenne Mountain?" he looked at her.

"You were unconscious for a week Nikola, you missed some steps," she sighed, hoping that would shush him.

"Fine," he crossed his arms and pouted.

Behind them was Kate and Parrish.

"So you're heading back to Atlantis now?" asked Kate.

"Yep, this time we're taking the short route, I've been away from my work for enough time that they have allowed me to go back with the new troops," said Parrish.

"You must be eager to get back," she smirked.

"Yah, after this adventure, work will actually feel pretty tame, it's going to be nice," Parrish nodded his head.

"I bet," Kate smiled. "I'm just glad you guys managed to get back in one piece."

Parrish smirked.

"We had some help," he looked down at his hands.

"Yah, you talked about her...Lilia," Kate watched him carefully.

"Yah," he nodded his head and looked back at her.

"I'm going to miss you," Kate said sweetly. "Only a little bit."

"I'm sure Nikola will keep you busy," Parrish teased.

Kate laughed.

"Here," she handed him a slip of paper. "Keep in touch every once in a while."

Parrish took the slip of paper.

"You've got it," he tucked it into his jacket pocket.

They all reached the elevator.

Nikola turned to his double and extended his hand.

"Well, seems like this is the end of the road," Parrish took Nikola's hand and shook it.

"Yes, it has been...interesting," Parrish released his double's hands.

"Guess I'll go back to my work and you'll go back to your...plants," Nikola made a slight disgusted face.

Parrish laughed.

"It has it's upsides," Parrish smirked, knowing he was still kept in the dark about his visit to another galaxy.

"Well, good luck in your endeavors," Nikola said with a slight wink before turning to Helen. "Shall we go?"

Helen was about to answer before she was interrupted.

"Oh good, I'm glad I caught you before you left," Sam came up to the group, Nikola's eyes widened immediately.

"Oh my," he looked her up and down, the resemblance was uncanny.

"Nikola, would you kindly stick your tongue back in your mouth before you drool all over the floor," Helen teased, lifting his gaping jaw with finger to shut it closed.

"I'm not leering...just amazed," he muttered back to her.

"Ah, you must be the famed Tesla," said Sam, extending a hand to him.

"Charmed," he took her hand and shook, leaning over to Helen. "You know, if her hair was only a bit longer she would look exaclty how you did when you-"

Helen jutted her elbow into his side to shut him up.

Sam watched the interaction with a bemused smile.

"Helen, I just wanted to let you know that if you ever need my help you can always call," Sam offered her a genuine smile.

"Likewise," Helen returned the offer.

"Oh, and McKay says toodles," added Sam.

"Did he really use that term?" interjected Nikola.

"Sadly, yes," Carter smirked.

Nikola rolled his eyes.

"Well Parrish, we better get you to the Gate, Woolsey is expecting you," Sam tapped Parrish on the shoulder and he nodded.

"I'm ready, it's not like I packed anything," he shrugged.

"What is this infernal gate everyone keeps talking about?" Nikola fumed.

Helen sighed and Carter gave her a look.

"He has been given clearance," she said to Helen.

"Alright," she crossed her arms.

"What? Clearance for what?" Nikola looked back and forth at the doubles.

"The Stargate is an interstellar portal built by a race of Ancient beings all over the galaxy as a means for travelling great distances in a short amount of time. As of 2004, we discovered another network in a neighboring galaxy called Pegasus and have made an off-world base in the Ancients home city of Atlantis. That is where Parrish and McKay work, have been for the last 6 or 7 years," same said in record time.

Nikola's face dropped.

"You're kidding right?" he looked at Parrish who grinned slightly and shook his head.

"You mean he...and they...another galaxy..." Nikola sputtered as Carter nodded.

"I'll explain it to you in the car, let's go," sighed Helen as the elevator doors opened.

"No wait, I-"

"Your clearance ends there, Nikola," Helen grabbed him by the ear and began tugging him towards the lift.

"Ow, ow, ow!" he cried.

"I tried to prevent this but you just had to ask questions," sighed Helen.

"I was in another galaxy the whole time?" he cried. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I was afraid you'd try to commandeer the spaceship and take over the universe, let's go," she gestured to one of the team to press the buttons.

"No, no! No, no, no, no, no! Parrish, wait!" the doors began to close. "I can...and see...come on...at least let me see it! I mean...him and...they get to...No!"

"Bye Tesla!" Parrish waved.

"No, wait, I...I CAN LEARN TO LOVE PLANTS TOO!" Nikola cried as the doors shut on his face and he was blocked off from any more answers.

He faceplanted the doors and Helen sighed putting a hand on his shoulder.

"Please Nikola...like any government would send you to outerspace," she teased.

He glared at her.

"I was...this close!" he held up his hands to show her how close he was.

"I know," she put her arm around him. "At least now you know."

He whimpered unintelligibly.

"Maybe you and David can skype...maybe he can give you a little space tour," teased Kate and he groaned.

"I hate you all."

The End.

~~~~Author's Notes~~~~

Yay! I am finally done this after...way too long! It's done! It's finito! I can move on! MAHAHAHA! I hope you enjoy it. It has a bit of a whumpy ending, but seriously, couldn't end it any other way. And as for Parrish and his plethora of crushes...I leave it up to you. Does he remain attached to Lilia? Do he and Kate date long distance? Does Hayley admit her feeling? It's up to you!

If this were canon...and it can be if you want. It would fall in after Awakening...obviously...but before Carentan. Around Normandy was sitting...episode list wise. Nikola would break off from the group and do his own things may a week or two after this...that's how I see it in my mind...so maybe Kate and Parrish are just skype buddies *shrugs*

Are y'all excited the the next epi! I am :) Hoping for some more depressed Tesla kitteness :) Any bets that he will recite an Edgar Allen Poe poem and reminisce about the loss of his mustache?

Read and Review, and enjoy the holidays! Yay! Happy New Years Sanctuarians! New Years Resolution: GIVE ME SEASON 5! WHOO!