Title: A Change is gonna come (whether you want it or not)
Author: Vicky
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Pairings: John/Elizabeth, Sam/Jack
Word Count: 30,223
Rating/Warnings: PG-13
Beta: csiangel & valeria_sg_1
Category: angst, romance, friendship
Summary: After Elizabeth is saved in extremis, the expedition has to save Atlantis and find their way to their new planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fiasco of the first strike leads to a decision that will change everything.
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: I'm quite happy to present you this fic, as it's the second Big Bang I do, but the first I finish on time. And I haven't written a fic this long in such a short time before. Some dialogues in the first two chapters aren't mine but come directly from First Strike and Adrift. Many thanks to my wonderful betas who has done a great job betaing this fic in less than five days! And much love to my f'list because without them I might not have finished this on time.

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Prologue

He hadn't come by in a long time, not because he didn't want to, but because it wasn't allowed. It was still forbidden, but he hadn't been able to stay away this time. Living on a higher plane of existence meant that he knew what was going to happen, and he just wished there was some way he could prevent this. But the Others would stop him before he could make a move, of that he was sure.

He could only watch from afar and hope things would turn out for the best on their own. But he wasn't sure that this time it would be possible at all.

"You shouldn't be here," her voice jolted him out of his thoughts.

"Neither should you."

"Someone has to be here to make sure you won't do something stupid."

"You plan to stop me if I do?"

"I don't know," she replied honestly.

"I'd like to think that I can sit and watch and not do anything this time again, but it's getting harder and harder."

"Janus…"

"I know, Ayiana, but this time, there's too much at stake."

"If the Others hear you…"

"They can't do anything to me now. I'm just talking. I haven't done anything to provoke their wrath, yet. And I'm sure that more and more of us are getting sick of doing nothing."

"There are a couple of us who are doing something even as we speak," she replied, thinking about Oma Desala and Ganos Lal locked in eternal battles with two of their most powerful enemies.

"But there should be more of us intervening. We're responsible for the Wraith and the Asurans, and yet, we've done nothing to fight them. We're leaving this battle to humans who are ready to give their lives for a City and for a Galaxy they didn't even know three years ago."

"Maybe we're afraid of what we've done, and what we could do if we were to interfere." She paused, as she remembered what happened just a few years before. "Look at me. The first time I met humans, I nearly killed them all."

"But you've saved them in the end. You gave up your life for them."

"And I'd do it again in a heartbeat," she admitted. "I was responsible for their sickness. I couldn't just stand there and watch them all die. Like you couldn't let Atlantis die and risked everything."

"I wasn't the one who sacrificed the most," he replied, thinking about Elizabeth, who gave up her entire life to ensure that her expedition wouldn't die this time.

"Can I ask you something?"

"Anything you want."

"Why do you keep calling me Ayiana? You know it's not my real name. And you know what my real name is."

"I know, but it suits you better than your real name ever did. And it's Ayiana who saved SG1 and the scientific team in Antarctica."

She smiled at his words. He had always been the one who could understand her the best, and vice versa. That was why she already knew the answer to her next question before she could even voice it.

"So what are you going to do?"

"What I need to."

"Then you won't be alone."

He looked at her, surprised by her words, but he shouldn't be. She sought him out here; she knew what he was up to even before he himself did. And as the plan began taking shape in his head, he knew he would need her help. They would need to act at the exact same moment for it to work. Now, they could only hope that the Others wouldn't be able to stop them before they were could complete their mission.

"What happens to us afterwards doesn't matter," Ayiana voiced both of their thoughts. "As long as we're able to save them, I'm willing to give up everything."

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To be continued