Stargate Atlantis: Journey's End

"John Sheppard." John Sheppard stated his name again, clearing his throat. He began again, trying not to sound as ridiculous as he felt. It wasn't the fact that he was recording a message to be relayed in space. It was the fact that he was dressed in a suit, like all the men were. They appeared incongruous, comical in the control room, dressed up instead of wearing their normal uniforms. The idea of penguins in Atlantis crossed his mind and he tried not to snort his amusement. "This is Colonel John Sheppard requesting any and all assistance from the Daedalus. Do you copy, Daedalus?"

Silence. Not even static interrupted the absolute silence.

John frowned. He was hunched over the comm unit in the control room, relaying a message that would hopefully be intercepted by the long range sensors of the Daedalus, assuming it was on its way. Assuming that the brief glimmer of contact that Atlantis had achieved with Earth had been enough to transmit their request for aid. Assuming that the SGC had caught all or part of the message and was sending the Daedalus to them. There were too many assumptions for John to feel anything like confidence. He straightened. "Well? If the Daedalus is heading our way it will be able to pick that up?"

"Yes," Rodney McKay answered, but he was squinting which indicated he really didn't know. "Assuming our message reached Earth and assuming the trajectory of the Daedalus will follow the normal space routes we can project your message to the ship on a looping, encrypted signal. If the Daedalus is out there it will easily pick up the signal and translate it." He turned back to the computer and activated the program.

"We can't contact Earth again," Radek Zelenka stated. He sighed, removed his glasses and wiped them with his tie before restoring them to his face. "The power requirements are too draining. It will be at least a month or two before we can even begin to attempt it again, given our current levels of power consumption."

"We can keep scanning for the Daedalus, and with any luck our message will get through during one of its drops out of hyperspace. Our long-range scanners should be able to detect the ship once it enters our solar system," Rodney asserted.

"There have been some unusual static discharges as of late outt here," Radek reminded, tapping a screen where a star chart was illuminated. "If the Daedalus is shielding they may not be able to receive the message."

"That's why I put it on a repetitive loop," Rodney argued, scowling at his friend. "They should pick up some of it if not all of it once they get clear of any interference."

"That will also affect our own scans."

"I know that! I have compensated for that in the program!"

"You cannot compensate for unpredictable discharges of—"

"I can!"

"Boys!" John looked from Radek to Rodney, shaking his head. "Keep monitoring all systems and frequencies and keep scanning. Keep looping that message. If we don't pick them up or hear from them soon I want you to extrapolate their last known location. Maybe we can 'Gate there via Jumper and meet them halfway."

"That's a good idea," Rodney conceded with a shrug. He turned in his chair to look at the military commander. John was staring at nothing, seemingly lost in his own thoughts or listening to something only he could hear. "John? John! Getting nervous about your speech?"

"Huh?" John broke from his scattered thoughts, from the odd sensation of almost hearing a voice but it was just out of hearing. It was more of a sensation than a sound that was tickling his ear, but he shrugged off the feeling. He scowled. "No. I was just thinking."

"That's never good," Rodney jested.

"Ha ha."

"I must say I have never presided over a wedding before," Richard Woolsey commented as he joined the men, adjusting his tie. He smoothed down his brocade vest, adjusted the tie once more. "I hope I don't forget anything."

"There's a first time for everything," John noted with a smirk.

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Teyla Emmagan smiled. "You look fine."

Amelia Banks fretted as she turned this way and that. Her hands fluttered over her auburn hair, over the white dress she wore. Incredibly someone had brought a wedding dress to Atlantis, and had generously let Amelia wear it. The women were sequestered in Amelia's room, preparing for the upcoming nuptials. "I, I, I don't know! I mean I'm used to fatigues, not this! I'd rather go into combat!"

Ann Teldy laughed at her friend's consternation. "Does this mean you want to call off the wedding?"

"What? No! I just…now that it is really here I think I have cold feet!"

Teyla patted the woman's arm. "That is only natural. I was quite nervous when I was hand fasted to Kanaan," she soothed. "You will be fine." Teyla found all this fuss and bother fascinating, although she had been told that weddings on Earth were much more complicated affairs than this one. Still, this one was much more complicated than her hand fasting had been and she found herself amused at the strange Earth customs she was learning.

"Every woman gets that way," Alison Porter soothed. The doctor was enjoying the festive air and she pondered if Carson would wear a suit or a kilt. She almost giggled trying to envision him in a kilt. "Just woman up and get on with it!" The women laughed.

"I'll be fine once it's over with!" Amelia stated and the women laughed again. They were a pretty picture. Although lacking bridesmaid dresses they were each clad in harmonious shades of blue which complimented each other and the blue ribbons on Amelia's wedding dress. "So…Ann…has he?"

Ann suddenly felt the need to smooth down her sapphire blue dress as all eyes turned to her. She ignored the question and concentrated on keeping the fabric unwrinkled as she moved. It was odd to be wearing high heels and she hoped she didn't trip or fall.

"Has he what? And who is he?" Teyla asked.

"He is John and has he asked you to attend the wedding with him?" Amelia persisted.

"He must have asked you by now. It is the eleventh hour," Alison teased.

Ann frowned. "No. He hasn't asked me yet so just drop it, will you?" The normally calm major appeared to be out of sorts at the inquiry.

"Is it customary for men to ask women to these occasions?" Teyla asked.

"Yes. He needs a date and so do you."

"Stop it, Amelia! Knowing John he will probably ask no one," Ann sighed.

"Then perhaps you should be the one who does the asking," Teyla suggested with a sly smile. The women laughed again.

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"Hold on a wee moment, will you?" Carson Beckett scolded, reaching up to adjust the tie that encircled the neck of Ronon Dex. The taller man was practically squirming, clad in unfamiliar clothes and missing the comforting feel of his gun at his side, of his sword at his back, of his knife in his boot. He had managed to conceal a small knife in his hair, however.

"Why am I wearing this gear?" Ronon complained.

"It's called a suit and since we don't have tuxedos it will have to do. You can't get married in your leather and long coat!" Carson undid the tie and re-tied it, tut-tutting. He felt more nervous than Ronon did, which was ridiculous but true.

"Why not? Satedan ceremonies are much simpler than this," Ronon grumbled. He tried to remain still as Carson fretted over the tie, over the brocade vest, over the black jacket that was bulging with the Satedan's arm muscles. It looked to burst the seams at any second.

"Because you are marrying a woman from Earth and for us it is the bride's big day, not yours. This is the first wedding we have ever had here in Atlantis," Carson mused. "Just think of it! You may have set a precedent! We could have more weddings, then families, we could really make a life out here, all of us, make a real home!" He paused as emotion overtook him and he had to calm himself a moment. Suddenly he met Ronon's dark gaze. "Och! Sorry, son. You know what I mean, though. And in fact it will still be possible for you to have—"

"I don't want to talk about it," Ronon gruffly stated. He stepped away from the doctor, about to rip the tie off him but he knew he was expected to wear it so he tried to rein in his anger.

"It will take longer but yes, you can give her a child, Ronon. Besides, I am sure she would marry you even if you couldn't, but you can."

Ronon swallowed. The Satedan was unaccountable nervous. He shyly looked at the doctor and saw only compassion. "Have you told anyone?"

"No, of course not! Doctor patient privilege."

"Not even Sheppard?"

"No. And I never shall. You suffered a terrible injury, Ronon…and you were damn lucky you didn't suffer worse, or lose more than what you did. As I told both Amelia and you only one thing has changed. You are still a fully functional male, just with a lower sperm count now. You can get her pregnant, but it will have to take some monitoring and I can help the both of you with that when you decide to start a family. Wouldn't be grand to have a wee Ronon running around Atlantis?" he mused, smiling.

Ronon smiled. "Let's have the wedding first, doc. Okay?"

"Of course. One thing at a time. You're quite right there, laddie. I expect we will be having more weddings now that the ice has been broken. Och, think of it! We could make Atlantis a real home for all of us, not just an expedition but a real, living community that will grow into the future and create our own civilization." He had to dab at his eyes as his emotions overwhelmed.

"Are you all right, doc?" Ronon asked, amused by the doctor's overly emotional reactions, and reassured by his medical opinion.

"Yes! Now stop fidgeting!" Carson scolded, stepping to the Satedan and once more adjusting his wayward tie.