Never Forget

Chapter 1

It had been an interesting two weeks since Captain Tina Rogers had arrived on Atlantis. The Daedalus had dropped out of hyper space in the middle of a heated battle between two Wraith Hive ships, a hand full of cruisers, and the city. She saw her first action almost as soon as they arrived.

One hive had been blown up right after they got there, the second, after Hermiod had made a site to site transfer of a nuclear war head inside the Hive. Still she had had the chance to get up close and personal with the wraith darts before the rest of the invading fleet had turned tail and fled, leaving the last of the darts to make a mass suicide run at the city. Just as well Dr McKay was as smart and the stories made him out to be, he got the shields up just in time!

There had been no time to search out old friends in the next few days either, with 12 other hive ships headed their way! Again, Dr McKay and some others came up with a brilliant plan to make it appear that the city had used its self-destruct, and then to cloak it. With the city gone, as far as the wraith could see, there was no reason for them to stay, so they left.

Now there appeared to be a little peace and quiet. The Daedalus had left on its return journey back to Earth, and by all accounts most of the senior staff would be following, taking the trip through the Stargate soon as well. That was one of the reasons why Tina and 18 other pilots and their specialized F302 fighters had stayed when the Daedalus left. It had always been the plan, but still, when she had stood with Major Lorne and the other pilots to watch the Earth ship lift off and vanish into the heavens, she had felt a loss she hadn't expected.

"Alright," Major Lorne called to the assembled pilots. "You all know your rosters. You lend a hand anywhere on the base you are needed, but remember if the call to scramble comes, you are all on duty. Bearing that in mind, enjoy your evening off, and I will expect the first shift on deck in the mess hall for duty assignments at 0700. Dismissed."

This was the first time since she had arrived at the Atlantis base that she had nothing to do.

"Ok" she thought to herself, "big deep breath, time to go say Hi."

This was something she had both been looking forward to and dreading ever since she had found out she was going to be stationed here. She hadn't seen him in what, had to be four? No, five years. When they had parted that last time they had been on very good terms, but he had been posted overseas, and she had stayed firmly in the US. She hadn't seen him since, except for a glimpse of his tousled hair just before he shipped out through the Stargate in the first contingent to Atlantis. She had been on her way to say Hi, when she had been called to duty by General O'Neill himself. It seemed there had been a small band of enemy craft tickling the edges of US airspace that needed to be seen on their way. She had been so close, only about 6 to 8 feet away, but it might as well have been 200 miles.

She wasn't at all sure where he might be at this time of day, but since she was hungry, the Mess Hall sounded like a good place to start.

"Going to grab something to eat?" asked First Lieutenant Bradly Lewis as he fell into step beside her.

"Looks that way." She answered good naturedly. She and Lewis had been friends since they met in basic a little over 6 years ago. She edged him out in rank now, mainly she thought because she had made a good first impression on General O'Neill. She had put his name forward for the mission when she had been asked if she knew any other pilots as good as she was. She knew a few, but not many she wanted to be trapped in another galaxy with. Lewis was a year younger than Tina was, and she thought of him as a kid brother, annoying at times, but loveable all the same.

They chatted about everything and nothing as they walked to the mess hall, he was very interested in the architecture, if he hadn't been an Air Force pilot, she was sure he would have been happy in a small office in some town, designing buildings.

For herself, it had been flying or nothing, she had no other dreams growing up. It was the freedom that drew her, to be able to lift off and fly away, leaving all the dirt, poverty and yelling behind, had been her fondest wish. She hadn't looked back once, never went back home, there was nothing for her there, a drunken father, and a mother who blamed her for everything that had gone wrong in her life. It had nothing to do with the man who beat her, no it was the baby who needed her that was the root of all her problems.

The Mess Hall was full at this time of the early evening, with people grabbing a meal before they had to report for night duty, and a few lucky souls who had got off day duty early. A quick scan showed that the person of interest was not there, as well as showing that there were very few seats to be had. They ended up sitting at a table filled with Lab techs. If she had tried, Tina could probably have kept up with their conversation, but she had too much on her mind, wondering how he would react when he saw her. She knew he was here, but there was no reason for him to really know she was. She thought about asking if anyone knew where he was, but she discarded the idea as quickly as she had it.

Lewis wanted to wander round the halls "just to see what's there" he said, but Tina was on a mission and needed to get on with it, for her own peace of mind, if nothing else. So they parted company at the door. She decided to go to the Gateroom, the hub of the central tower and probably the best place to start looking. If nothing else she would see arguably the most important room in the whole of the Atlantis Base, well besides the Hangar Bay, she corrected herself.

She found herself standing on a balcony overlooking the main floor. This room was always busy it seemed. There were at least 3 technicians and 2 armed guards on at any one time, and Dr Weir's office was just off to the side of the room. She leaned her arms against the railing and fixed her gaze on the Stargate. She had seen them before of course, having been a backup member of an SG team on earth. It didn't matter where they were going, they always needed to take along someone who knew how to handle a gun. Although Tina was no Sharp shooter, she could hit any target 9 times out of 10.

Voices started to intrude on her musings.

"It's not that I don't trust her, of course I do, she's Teyla, but she isn't even from Earth"

"Rodney what are you trying so hard not to say here?"

"There is any number of people who could be left in charge of the base, but Elizabeth chose Teyla."

"She was the leader of her people, she is well qualified for the job, and it's not like its forever, we will only be gone, what? A month?"

"Give or take."

"So what, you want to stay behind and take on the job yourself?"

"I've heard worse ideas."

"Ok, lets' put this another way…..you want to leave the choosing of your science personnel to who?"

"Alright, I know I have to go, I was just saying!"

The voices were drawing closer, and the butterflies started in the pit of Tina's stomach as she watch the two men climb the stairs towards the balcony. Dr Rodney McKay looked nothing like she had imagined, nothing like Dr Daniel Jackson at all. Amazing how knowing one Scientist coloured how you thought all the others should look. The other man however, looked very much as she remembered him, maybe a little older around the eyes, but seeing real action will do that to people. The grey uniform looked good on him, mind you she had thought the same about the desert sand coloured uniform she had last seen him in. As they drew closer to the top of the stairs Tina stood up right and to attention, she was after all about to address the Military Commander of the Atlantis Base. Dr McKay saw her first as they turned towards her at the top of the stairs.

"Oh, didn't see you there, um, Lieutenant?"

"Captain Sir, Captain Rogers."

Major John Sheppard had seen her a couple of seconds after Dr McKay. She had seen surprise on his face before he had a chance to control his reaction.

"Dr Rodney McKay." The man went to put out his hand to shake, but Tina had already snapped him a salute.

"Sir!" she said, then turned her eyes to the other man, "Major!"

The Major saluted back then said, "We don't stand too much on ceremony round here, you don't have to salute everyone all the time."

"Sorry Sir." She said, wondering what to say next.

"Well nice to meet you Captain Roberts," said McKay.

"Rogers." Tina corrected him at the same time as Major Sheppard did.

"Oh right, Rogers, well I will leave you two military types to whatever it is you do now. I'm off to the Mess. I'm dreaming of Salisbury steak and blue Jell-O. I'll catch up with you later John." And off he went.

There was a moment of silence, then John spoke.

"Tina, when did you get here? No don't answer that, you came on the Daedalus. You are one of our new fighter squadron?"

"Yes….Sir," she said hesitantly.

"Don't Sir me please," he said quickly looking around. "Walk with me?"

"Anywhere!" she answered.

He smiled and said "You look…..good, I mean really good! When did you join the Stargate program?"

"Two years ago, General O'Neill went on a recruiting drive."

"Huh, I only joined just before coming out here. So you were at Stargate Command? I thought I saw someone that looked like you when we were all in the Gateroom."

"You did, I was coming to say hi, but got called away at the last moment. I saw your messy hair sticking up above the crowd." She laughed and had to fight the urge to reach out and ruffle that same hair.

"I only saw the back of your head as you walked away. I spent many a night dreaming you had turned around and seen me." He had stopped walking and reached out placing his hand on her arm. "You're a sight for sore eyes."

She smiled, it felt like they had never been apart, it was easy, comfortable.

"You knew I was here, but it took you almost 2 full weeks to come and say hi?"

"You were busy, hell we were all busy! This is the first free time I've had since setting foot on the planet."

"Yeah of course it is. I'm gating back to Earth the day after tomorrow."

"Yes I heard, my fellow pilots and I will be the first line of defence while you're gone."

"I'll be gone a month or so." he said.

"I won't be going anywhere John, not like I'm going to leave town as soon as your back is turned."

"No, sorry, it's just, I don't know…..it's so good to see you." He looked up and down the corridor, then slipping his hand down from her elbow to her hand, turned and walked down and around a corner and into a room a couple of feet further down. The lights came on as they entered, and he had a quick look around before running his hand over the door control closing it. Then he stood and looked Tina in the eyes for a moment or two. The hand that wasn't holding hers came up and gently stroked her cheek. She leaned into it and drew a deep breath. She could smell his slightly spicy aroma of his soap and shampoo. She closed her eyes and just enjoyed being this close to the man who had filled her dreams ever since he boarded the transport plane and flew out of her life five years before. She felt his lips lightly brush hers, and her heart skipped a beat. Almost as soon as she felt them they were gone. She opened her eyes and looked straight into his. She had always loved the colour of his eye, so green at times, like now, and hazel at others. He slid his arm around her waist, freeing up her hand so she could put it around him, then he cupped her head with his other hand tilting it back as he bought his lips down on hers again, not soft this time, but full of the longing of years. She felt herself melting into him, giving herself over completely to his desires.

She heard the crackling of a radio, but it sounded faint, far away. He groaned and drew away from her lips, but still held her against him. With his left hand he reached up and activated the ear piece he was wearing.

"Sheppard," he said. She couldn't hear what was being said, but felt the change in him as he went from lover to officer.

"Alright, I'll be right there." He took a step back, but didn't let her out of his arms entirely. "I have to go, duty calls, can I see you tomorrow?"

"I'm on duty at 0700, won't know what I'm doing until Major Lorne hands out the assignments."

"Hmm" he said, "I'll see you tomorrow then." He leaned in and gave her another quick kiss, then he released her and was out the door and off to whatever it was he had been called away too.

Tina stood on her own for a little while, unwilling to move and break the spell he had left her under. She had hardly dared hope that the same spark would be there now. Finally she shook her head as if to clear it, and left the empty room. She took a moment to get her bearings, then she headed off in what she hoped was the direction of her quarters.