Title: But…

Author: Shannon – shannyfish

Rating: PG

Summary: Garcia is sent to a top secret facility in order to help with a technical problem. With the destination unknown, Morgan insists on going along.

Fandoms: Criminal Minds (current season)/Stargate Atlantis (early season 4)

Author's Note: Thanks to Riley for beta-ing.

. . .

BAU – Quantico, Virginia

"Garcia, I'm not letting you go by yourself," Morgan told her. "You don't even know WHERE you're going. I can't be sure that you're going to be safe."

"I'm pretty sure the US Government isn't going to send me somewhere dangerous," Garcia told him. They'd been arguing about this for a whole week, since she'd agreed to the trip. It was only supposed to be a couple days and they desperately needed help on a system at this facility. With things being pretty quiet at the BAU, it was likely she wouldn't be missed.

Her brightly colored luggage was stacked beside Morgan's desk. She was supposed to be picked up there by whoever was going to take her to wherever she was going. Garcia had told Morgan that she'd be fine, but he'd brought luggage of his own and had insisted on telling whoever was picking her up that he had to go in a bodyguard capacity. She'd hoped that Hotch would have told him she'd be fine. He didn't. She'd hoped that Rossi, Prentiss, or even JJ would have said anything. Garcia was pretty sure that no one wanted to challenge Morgan since he was so worked up about it. She couldn't blame them though; Morgan was fiercely protective of her.

Garcia just hoped it was somewhere with beaches. She could really go for some relaxing by the beach and just admiring Morgan's practically naked body. Though, she honestly would still be okay just ogling Morgan with clothing in a dark tech room if that's what the trip ended up being. For all she knew they were going to the Arctic or an underground bunker…she cold hope for sunshine and beaches though.

"Baby Girl," Morgan said a moment later. "I'm going with you. Stop arguing. You can't get rid of me that easily."

She smiled at him. "Normally I wouldn't even try, My Vision. Though, if the men in black show up to take me to this top secret location and they say you can't go…not sure they'd take kindly to you insisting or pulling your weapon on them."

"I can be charming…"

Laughter filled her throat. "Yes, you definitely can be. Not sure your powers of charm work as well on the male gender though…well, not all of them at least."

"I don't care if they can be charmed or not, I'm still going," Morgan told her.

It wasn't long before a small military team entered. Garcia suddenly wished that everyone else were there. Hotch had given everyone a day or two off (depending on if they got called in before that). Anxiety filled her as she took in the military escort. Maybe it was a good idea that Morgan went along with her.

"Penelope Garcia?" one of them asked.

"Yes," she said as she took a small step forward. "And escort," she added after a moment as she pointed to Morgan. She definitely wanted Morgan to come now. Military meant guns and though all her co-workers carried one, military normally meant even more guns than she was used to. She really didn't like guns.

"We don't have a record of a bodyguard on the list," he spoke up again as he looked through the papers he was carrying.

"She's not leaving without me," Morgan said as he stepped forward.

"Sir, we don't have clearance for you to travel where we're going," he spoke up.

Morgan motioned towards him. "Then pick up a phone and get me clearance because you aren't taking her without me. She's an irreplaceable part of our team and she's only on loan to you. My boss wants her returned in the same fashion she was loaned to you, which means I go along to ensure nothing happens to her."

"Your name?"

"Derrick Morgan."

The military officer turned and pulled out a phone and started to make a call. At least they weren't yelling and guns were still all holstered. At least they were all acting civilized, that was a good sign. She just hoped that they could get Morgan the clearance. She really, really didn't want to go by herself now that she knew that she was going somewhere with the military.

It took about twenty minutes, but Derrick Morgan received clearance. She'd hugged him and squealed when they'd announced that he could come along. She felt a lot better about this trip now, plus she'd be able to have someone she knew there. At the very least, Morgan would keep her company.

"Let's head out," the military officer said and checked his watch. "We've already fallen behind.

. . .

En Route to Airport

"Baby Girl, did you really need to bring all those bags with you?" Morgan questioned as he motioned to the back of the vehicle.

Garcia gawked at him. She huffed a bit. "Why does everyone keep asking me that? I only brought the essentials."

Morgan grinned and shook his head a bit. "Probably because the normal go-bag for a BAU agent is ONE bag…not a whole armada of matching bags."

"You should know by now that I'm no NORMAL BAU agent," she told him. "Plus, with you along…I need everything including the kitchen sink to ensure that I stay this beautiful for you."

He scoffed. "Penelope, you always look beautiful."

"It takes time!" Garcia told him. She smiled brightly. She really was glad that he was along. "You're always worth it, though."

He shook his head at her. "You are something else."

"I may have also packed up my whole Garcia cave…fluffy pens and all…"

"How long as we going to be there?" Morgan questioned with a raised eyebrow.

Garcia shrugged. "A few days…or until it's done."

Morgan turned towards the military escort in the vehicle. "Where exactly are we going?"

"Classified," one of them spoke up. He looked back at them with a smile and then eyed Garcia. "Just hope you have an open mind about things."

"I…I can do that," Garcia said. She had a feeling that wherever they were going that things were not going to be as simple and by the book as Morgan probably hoped. She supposed that that was what kept things so interesting.

. . .

Gate Room, Stargate Command

"What is it called again?" Garcia asked for about the hundredth time. She stared at what they'd called an 'event horizon'. Apparently this place was under a mountain in Colorado…it was all a blur to her now. She was still confused at the fact that they wanted her to walk through the scary, watery looking, bright portal in front of her. It was supposed to take them somewhere…and then somewhere else… Everything they'd been saying had left her mind once the event horizon had appeared.

"I like to just call it 'the Bridge', but it has a longer name," the SGC officer told her. "McKay/Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge…but like I said calling it 'the Bridge' is much easier…"

"Does it hurt?"

"You may experience a feeling of nausea, but that's it," the officer told her. "There'd a midway point where you can rest and then you'll have to cross the rest of the Bridge which will bring you to Atlantis. Colonel Carter will be waiting on the other side."

Morgan looked from Garcia to the SGC officer. "It won't hurt?" he asked again and when he got the confirmation that they'd be fine, he sighed a bit. He looked back at Garcia. "Baby Girl, they already sent your stuff through…"

"Have them bring it back," she whispered.

"C'mon…are you telling me that you don't want to step through and see the Lost City of Atlantis? I mean, even I'm curious… Imagine if Reid could have come along…"

"Maybe Reid would have been a better choice," she told him. Her arm was wrapped around his and he held her hand as he started up the ramp. She had no way to really stop him, plus Morgan wouldn't let anything happen to her. She knew that. It was still scary though. Maybe if the whole team had come along…then it wouldn't be so scary…or at least she could just start to space out when Reid started his language that only Reid understood.

The event horizon water thing was coming up far sooner than she was prepared for. Garcia closed her eyes, held her breath, and prayed. She just hoped that the guy wasn't lying…that this wouldn't hurt.

. . .

Midpoint, McKay/Carter Intergalactic Gate Bridge

Seconds later, she felt like she was going to lose her breakfast but it passed. She was determined not to be sick. She looked over to see Morgan looked fine, which meant she REALLY couldn't get sick in front of him.

"You okay?" he asked her.

He was obviously concerned…and normally if anyone else had been escorting her, she'd tell them the honest truth, but she was determined to be a good solider. She just hoped that perhaps the return trip wouldn't be so stressful. It had to get better, right? Garcia sighed and looked over at the other gate in the huge room. "Then we go through that one?" she asked.

Morgan nodded. "They're going to give us ten minutes and then open it. They said we need to be standing over there," he said as he pointed where the mover robot that had Garcia's luggage strapped to it was parked. It was off to the side and out of the way. "They wanted to make sure you had enough time before stepping through the next part."

"I don't think there's that much time," she muttered.

"It's amazing… This kind of a facility right under our noses…"

"Thinking of changing jobs, Derrick?" she asked. Garcia grinned. "I am sure you would look hot in a uniform."

"I think you tuned out to the whole history lecture, but Atlantis has a bunch of civilian personnel. I wouldn't have to be Air Force or whatever to work there…"

"Don't get any thoughts about leaving me at the BAU without you to gaze upon," Garcia warned him seriously. She was not going to allow any of her family to leave. They were one family and she intended to keep it that way. They had JJ and Prentiss back. She was keeping everyone together. "Either we all go to Atlantis or we all stay at the BAU."

"You know that can't last forever, Garcia…"

"Oh, do you doubt my skills?" she asked. She was willing to hack into whatever database or system she needed to to ensure that they all stayed together. They were her family and she wasn't losing any of them.

"Don't think they need a bunch of profilers there…" he pointed out.

"Good, then it's solved," she said with a smile.

. . .

Gate Room, Atlantis

"Okay, I really don't want to do that again," Garcia told him when they stumbled to the other side. She knew that there was supposed to be Atlantis on the other side, but still felt a jolt of relief when she wasn't greeted by another Stargate. It took her a moment, but she started to take in the beauty of the place. It was absolutely gorgeous…maybe they could all come here… There was far more color in this 'lost city' than in her office at the BAU…hell, in all of the FBI's buildings put together. "This place is awesome!" she found herself cheering a lot louder than she'd intended.


The voice startled her and Garcia turned to it. She reached out for Morgan unconsciously when she realized they were being watched by a bunch of people including a blonde woman, who Garcia figured was the person who was speaking. "Hi," she said a bit quietly.

"We're supposed to be meeting with Colonel Carter?" Morgan spoke up.

Nodding, Sam smiled at them. "I'm Colonel Samantha Carter. You can call me Sam if you like." She paused for a moment. "I assume you're Penelope Garcia," she said looking to Garcia and then she looked to Morgan. "And you are?"

"He's my escort," Garcia spoke up.

"Derrick Morgan, FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit," he introduced himself. "I couldn't let Garcia go without making sure that she was going to be okay."

"Well then," Sam said. "I suppose having an escort makes sense. We normally travel in teams of at least three or four when we go off-world."

"Off-world?" Garcia asked quietly. Her eyes widened a little as she took in that possibility. Why wouldn't they? That was probably something that she'd missed in the whole lecture that Morgan got in the elevator that took forever that she spaced out on. Of course, she KNEW they weren't on Earth now…they weren't even in their galaxy…

Sam smiled. "I'll give you the tour...I'll show you to your quarters while you're here and then show you what we'll have you working on."

"I'd like that."

"I'll even be sure to inform you of who to try not to talk to," Sam said in a whisper.

Garcia couldn't help but smile. She appreciated having some insider information, especially since this Colonel Sam Carter seemed so cool. She appreciated that.

. . .

Garcia's Temporary Office, Atlantis

"What exactly are you doing?" Morgan asked.

She'd learned a lot on her tour with Sam. She'd be working on helping them reconfigure a few systems and make sure their security system was up to par. Apparently Colonel Carter had specifically asked for someone who wasn't part of the Stargate program to ensure that there was an outside perspective. And though she normally researched and relayed information for the BAU, her background did provide her the knowledge to do what the colonel needed to have done.

Right now she was setting up the domain of her office. It needed to be set up a specific way before she could even get to work. First off, she needed to fortify her office against any unwanted people, well specifically one. Sam had warned her of one in specific that would probably bother her.

Garcia carefully spread out the lemons that she'd stolen from the mess hall. "Weren't you listening when Sam was talking about that one scientist?"


She sighed. "There's apparently this really annoying scientist that will most likely show up and harass me… She dropped the fact that he's allergic to citrus…"

"Hence the lemons?" Morgan asked.

Garcia looked back at him and then straightened her glasses when they slipped a bit. "Listen to me, Derrick Morgan. I have to make sure I'm protected against this crazy scientist. With my luck, you'll be off…checking things out…and then Rodney McKay will show up and try to take over my office."

"Can't have that…"

"Hence the lemons."

Morgan chuckled and got up. "Well then if you have everything under control I'm going to go get some food." He stepped past her and over the lemons. "Need anything?"

"No…no I'll set up my desk shortly…" Garcia told him as she made sure the lemons were exactly where she wanted them.

"Okay then…" he said before heading out the door and down the hallway.

Sighing, she turned back to all the luggage that was sitting there waiting for her to unpack. It was quite sad in fact. She'd hoped that Derrick would help her, but she supposed that he just wouldn't do it correctly anyways so it was best that she do it on her own just the same.

It took her about thirty minutes to get the basics set up. That's all she really needed at the moment. Her monitors and things were set up along with her fluffy pens and desktop toys. She was placing a frame of the team on her desk; she wanted to have them with her on this trip. Garcia actually was already really missing them all. She'd have to suggest that they have a girls' night out when she got back…Will and the boys could babysit Henry and Jack together while they were out. She'd decided it was an excellent plan.

"Really? Lemons? Who does this?"

The voice made her jump and she looked over to see a man standing there. He was like the man Sam had described and she immediately wished she'd brought along a light saber and a phaser or something equally as fake helpful. "Um…and you are?" she asked. Garcia just hoped that his answer wouldn't be 'Rodney McKay'. She was pretty sure Sam had said something about a way to communicate for help, but she couldn't remember now.

"Doctor Rodney McKay…and who are you? And why are there lemons all over?"

She cringed a bit. He'd found her already! And where was Morgan? "I'm…I'm Penelope Garcia…"

"Never heard of you before."

"Well I've heard of you," she said to herself.

"What was that?"

Garcia kept a close eye on him; currently he was staying on the other side of the lemons. She took that as a good sign. She remembered that Sam had also said that he was dangerous when he got to talk a lot and if she were to encounter him to try to keep him from making complete sentences. "Nothing! Nothing!" she said quickly.

"Why are you here? You're obviously not planning on staying long…"

"Why do you say that?" Garcia asked.

McKay motioned to what he was wearing. "Uniform."



"I'm here on loan from the FBI in order to do some system upgrades…nothing too major," Garcia told him.

"What? They just let an outsider in to touch our system? I could have done it!" McKay shouted and stepped past the lemons.

Garcia's eyes widened a bit as she took in the horror of McKay closing in her 'safe' space. She took a step back. "Um…well, they said I was who they needed."

"That's rid—"

"Sam said that she wanted someone from the outside," Garcia interrupted quickly.

"Sam? You're on a first—"

"Of course I am!"


"Why is that a problem?" Garcia asked quickly and took a step towards him. "I'm good at what I do and I intend on doing what they asked me to do."


Garcia brought up all her courage and strength. With no Morgan there, she needed to fight this battle on her own. "So, back off and let me do my job!" she snapped.


"I'll call for my body guard and he'll haul you away and I'm sure Colonel Carter won't have a problem throwing you in jail…or the brig…or whatever they call it…"


"Go now! Run!" Garcia said as she banished him. She extended her hand and a finger to ensure he knew the way. She wanted him out. She tried to keep his face straight as McKay took a step back and tripped over lemons. He fell and then got up and headed out. After a moment, she allowed a giggle. She turned back to her station she'd been working at. "But…" she imitated. She shook her head and allowed a few laughs.

Now she could work without interruptions! She rubbed her hands together for a moment and then started to type away. Garcia made a mental note to share this story with Sam. Yes, she was sure that the colonel would appreciate the story.

. . .

The End