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28 September 2009 @ 07:21 pm
Anabiosis & Anacampserote (1/2)  
Title: Anabiosis & Anacampserote (1/2)
Rating: R
Characters: Elizabeth Weir, John Sheppard, John/Elizabeth, various Atlantis supporting characters.
Spoilers: All, this makes mention of the Atlantis finale and follows after the events of it. Especially includes mention of Ghost in the Machine and First Contact/The Lost Tribe.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, if I did this would have been canon.
Beta: hihoplastic who was lovely enough to look it over even though she was very busy. &hearts♥♥. Any mistakes that might have fallen in are my own.
Summary: When the Wraith come back to Earth with Asgard technology an ascended Elizabeth comes to John, who is captured on a Hive Ship, with a plan to help intervene.

Notes: So, I know how ridiculously cliche the 'Elizabeth ascended and is back guys!' plotline is... but I really wanted to give this a go. This is also my shot at what I wish would happen in the Atlantis movie, granted this is just the John/Elizabeth part of it. This could have easily been a massive general fanfiction, but since it's already the longest thing I've written I decided to just focus on the lovely John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir and their dynamic as seen by a shipper. I'm fairly proud of this story, and hope you enjoy it. :)

Oh, and because of my love for archaic words:
Anabiosis: return to life after seeming death.
Anacampserote: something which can bring back a lost love.



John was pretty sure this was how he was going to die.

He'd gone on enough suicide missions and gotten enough second chances that it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Though he had wondered what his later life would be like. With his luck he'd wind up in a retirement home with McKay. They would get consulted by future Stargate personnel while sitting on technologically advanced rockers. He'd have to listen to McKay bicker about how, in his day, he'd saved the world with a nearly-depleted ZPM. It wouldn't be so bad, John mused, he could tease McKay relentlessly and then steal his dentures to prevent the man's usual endless rants.

He just wished his death didn't mean the inevitable end of the world.

That was the thought that spurred him from his imagined future to trying to get to his feet - for all the good it did him. John collapsed back with a groan, every muscle in his body protesting the effort to wipe a palm across his forehead and stop the blood from dripping over his eyes.

Oh yeah - he was screwed. This fact was only amplified by the knowledge that he was trapped in a cell on a Wraith Hive Ship that was currently hovering over Earth.

So screwed.

"Hello, John."

His entire body tensed at the voice. On the other hand, maybe he had already died.

His eyes opened as his head moved slowly to the spot in the cell beside the wall he was currently leaning against.

Her green eyes sparkled at him. She was wearing what he recognized as an ancient robe. Her brown curls framed her face and she smiled at him as he continued to stare at her. "Well, I didn't think I was dead yet," he drawled. Her smile widened.

"You're not."

"Uh-huh," he replied slowly, unable to do anything but stare at her. "See, but it occurs to me that seeing dead people is a sign that I'm dead. Or that I'm that creepy little boy from that movie, in which case I already know you're dead so the twist is completely gone. Unless I'm dead and you're not, that'd be quite a twist."

"I see you haven't changed," she said, her lips quirking in amusement as her eyes crinkled at him.

"I see you swapped bodies... again."

She frowned at that, nodding slowly. "Yes, a few things have changed since you last saw me." She started to literally glow with a white light and then returned as if to confirm this point.

"Ah," he nodded, not quite sure what else there was to say to that. "So... that ascension thing worked out for you?"

"I had a little help," she replied. There was a heavy silence between them as John finally managed to rip his eyes from her and to look at the ground of the cell as if it was the most interesting thing he'd ever seen.

He was pulled from his reverie when he felt a hand on his forehead and grunted in pain. "Sorry," she said quietly. "Bandage?"

John shook his head; his vest had been one of the first things taken from him. She nodded and pulled at his jacket instead. Before he'd even given it thought he moved so that she could shrug it off. She took the end of a sleeve and gently began working on the wound on his forehead.

Her fingers were warm and he leaned into the touch without thought. She rubbed a thumb over the gash and it felt so right that for a minute he forgot about everything. As realization came back to him he tensed and she pulled back, clearly sensing this. "So, you're just the ascended nurse now?"

She raised an eyebrow at that and some part of his gut wrenched at the familiar action. "Yes, John. I have the knowledge of the universe and my one goal is to come to a jail cell so I can help patch up yet another injury you've managed to get."

"So?" He asked, not quite able to mask the tension in his tone.

"John, it is me," she said quietly. He grunted but said nothing and she sighed and continued, "I'm here because I wanted to offer to help you... to ascend-"

"Gee, that's great," he cut her off, meaning to use sarcasm but sounding far more bitter, "but Earth is at stake right now and that's a little more important than me playing sixty rounds of 'release your burden,' and the Elizabeth I knew would have been more concerned with that too."

He was surprised at how quickly her expression changed, how hurt and angry she looked as her eyes narrowed slightly at him. "You know, no matter how many times you say I'm not Elizabeth, I still am. Now shut up and listen."

John was startled into complying. "It's not really ascension, I just need you to come back with me. We'll allow a sort of... temporary ascension so that you can do that. The others and I would like to intervene with this situation-"

"Isn't that against the rules?" He'd never been good at shutting up.

She huffed, and it felt bizarrely familiar. "I've been working to change those rules with some others. We've almost got them convinced that what's happening to Earth needs to be fixed."

"You mean the fact that it's about to be culled?"

She didn't even bother to respond to the obvious question, "But they need a little more convincing. You need to talk to them."

His brow furrowed. " 'Hi, I'm John Sheppard, we haven't talked in a while. I shoot things.' "

"You can do it," she replied.

"You want me to talk? To save the world? Do you just want it to end?"

"You can, John. And if don't come with me..."

"I'll die."

"Most likely, yes," she replied, her voice low. He saw the concern in her eyes and had to look away.

"Get someone else. Teyla's good with words."

"John." It was the plea in her voice that broke him.

"No! I can't do this, not again." He shook his head, turning away from her despite the painful grunt it caused him to release.

"Please, John," she said, so quietly he barely heard her, "I believe in you... you can do this. I know you don't trust me anymore, and I'm sorry for that, but please just... just this once pretend you can trust me again?"

"I never stopped trusting Elizabeth," he said, every word carefully chosen as he wrapped his arms around his body as if to protect himself from some blow. "I just don't believe you're her."

"Fine," she huffed in annoyance, her hands wrapping around the sides of his face and forcing him to look at her. Her body began to glow and his eyes widened as he realized what she was doing. "You did this with Chaya, right?" He nodded and then slowly Elizabeth began to become a mass of white light again and he closed his eyes as she enveloped him.

Then it was just them. He could see everything she was and she could see all of him. All her strength, her determination and optimism, every single thing that made her Elizabeth Weir. She was Elizabeth. The realization hit him in his gut as strongly as any punch could have.

As she pulled back and resumed her corporeal form he just kept staring at her. "Elizabeth?" He couldn't help it when his voice cracked.

"Hi, John," she smiled.

"Hi, uh, so," he cleared his throat.

"Want to come with me, or should I leave you here?" she asked dryly, her lips quirking up slightly.

"Well, it is kinda cozy," he shrugged. She let out a small laugh as her hand moved to wrap around his wrist.

"Ready?"

"As I'll ever be."

With a flash of light they were both gone from the cell.

*

John blinked and was surprised to find himself in what looked like an old inn. He blinked again. It wasn't very Ancient-y.

"It's not very Ancient-y."

Elizabeth had her back to him but he got the distinct impression that she was rolling her eyes. As he looked down at his body he realized he was wearing an Ancient robe. "Quick change."

"This inn does not exist and you are not actually wearing clothes," a male voice interjected. Elizabeth nodded to the man who was facing them and turned towards John.

"John, this is Janus." Janus nodded to him with a smile.

"John Sheppard, we have heard about you. As I was saying, this inn is not real, it is merely an image we have chosen to project for you. In truth, we are on a higher plane, but because you are only here because of Elizabeth in a state of half-ascension, this is what your mind can best cope with."

The man clearly didn't mean to insult him. John had been around arrogance enough to know when he saw it, but his eyes narrowed slightly anyway. Elizabeth sent him a small look, pleading with him to be good as Janus continued. "As for the clothes... well they are merely part of our corporeal form. In actuality we wear no clothes, these are just what we choose to portray ourselves in."

"So we're naked?" He couldn't help the small smirk on his lips that only expanded when Elizabeth made a quiet, but clearly exasperated sigh by his side.

"Are you sure you chose wisely, Elizabeth?" A female voice somewhere between condescension and amusement asked as another woman stepped forward.

"I am sure Elizabeth chose well." Another woman joined the first.

The first woman looked like she was about to roll her eyes. "John, this is... well, she's gone by many names, but you'd probably know her as Morgan Le Fay," she motioned towards the first woman who nodded at her.

"This is Oma Desala," she added as she motioned to the second woman who nodded at him without looking like she thought he was a moron.

"Shall we wait a night?" Janus asked, "We will allow him time to talk to you and rest."

Elizabeth nodded, her eyes on John and her face unreadable. "Yes, thank you."

"Are you sure we cannot trade out for another human?" Morgan Le Fay asked, and John had no idea if she was joking or not. She, Oma, Janus, and Elizabeth traded looks, and John got the distinct feeling he was missing something.

Oma and Morgan left and Janus smiled warmly at John and then Elizabeth. "Would you like any help?"

"No, Janus, thank you. I can take it from here." Janus nodded and left and Elizabeth nodded forward. He followed her silently until they were in an inn room where she pulled out a chair and motioned for him to sit on the bed.

As he sat he looked at her, and just for a second caught the worry on her face. "So," he drawled as nonchalantly as he could. "What's up? How's life been?"

She smiled at him. "Good." He nodded back in response, not really sure what else to do. He certainly didn't want to figure out what it was he was feeling right now, it was too much and too conflicting and every time he looked at her it all tried to bubble forward. It was taking all he had to push it down. She changed the subject quickly, much to his relief. "Now we need to talk about what's going to happen. It's going be a sort of trial. The four of us have been arguing this point consistently, and we've almost got the agreement of the Ancients that this matter calls for intervening, but they insisted on hearing from someone directly related to the matter who was not ascended."

"And you chose me?" he replied, his brow furrowing skeptically again."To... talk?"

"John," she said his name firmly, "you can do this. They just want your perspective, not a dissertation on the situation."

"The Wraith got Asgard technology after we left Pegasus, they found Earth, they're about to cull Earth. It's pretty simple," John shrugged.

Elizabeth nodded. "And why should we save Earth?"

"What?" he asked incredulously, "Seriously? Because Earth is kind of important." Elizabeth's eyes narrowed at him and he sighed. "And because..." It was like a light bulb went off over his head. "The Ancients left Atlantis in the first place, which is what set off the entire chain of events that brought the Wraith to Earth?"

Elizabeth practically beamed at him. "I knew you could do this."

He found himself somewhere between blushing and smiling smugly at that. "Right," he continued on quickly as he got to his feet. "Now, can we go talk? This is kind of a time issue."

His team was still on Earth with Atlantis. His mission had been a solo one, and a last-ditch attempt to infect the Wraith ships with some computer virus Rodney had uploaded, but he knew it wasn't long before they counted him as lost and tried other things. Or worse, it wasn't long before the Wraith Hive Ships detected coming towards Earth got there and culled it and started hitting up the rest of the Milky Way.

"It's okay," Elizabeth assured him. "Time is passing incredibly slow where we are right now. We could stay here for months and pop back with just a few seconds passing in regular time."

"Oh." He felt his adrenaline draining as he sat back down on the bed. Much against his will, he yawned and felt his jaw pop at the action.

"Go to bed, John."

"I don't wanna," he had intended to just say it, but his voice became a whine followed by another yawn. He hoped the yawn covered it up, but her immediate smirk told him it hadn't.

She shifted and stood and he very nearly panicked at the idea that she was leaving. He really didn't want to think about that. "Read me a bedtime story."

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow at that, the edge of her lips quirked upwards and he could tell she wanted to smile. "A bedtime story?"

"Yes." He was pouting slightly now, but it made her lips curl into an actual smile so he kept it up. "As in a story at bed time. Usually Teyla reads me one, but she isn't here."

"Ah, so the duty falls to me?" she asked, her smile spread wide across her face. He smiled back and nodded, still slightly pouting at her. She moved to sit at the edge of his bed by his hip and he leaned back and put his head against the pillow, heavy half-lidded eyes still watching her intently.

Her arms leaned over him as she tugged at the sheet and he shifted and laid under it as she made a move to tuck him in. He grinned and she smirked back, her eyes twinkling as she tucked the sheet under him.

"Well, once upon a time there was a Lt. Colonel with very messy hair."

He snorted in amusement at that. "But I bet it made him all the more charming," he grinned.

She smirked back at him, shaking her head lightly. "I imagine he thought so."

"Ouch," he pretended to be hurt, and her smile widened as she shifted to get up and off the bed. Without thinking it through, he reached out and grabbed onto her wrist. She paused and shifted to look at him with a raised eyebrow and a confused look.

He licked his lips, not at all pleased with how slowly his brain was working on connecting with his actions. "Don't go yet?"

He winced slightly at the words. It sounded pathetic. He could feel his entire face heating up as he looked away from her.

The silence seemed to go on forever, until she leaned forward and placed her lips against his cheek before pulling back. Now his face was burning for an entirely different reason. He looked down at her lips, swallowing slightly as he got the entirely stupid impulse to grab the back of her neck and pull her lips to his.

She shifted off the bed and in an instant any lust he'd had was replaced with panic again but instead of leaving she sat back in the seat and rested her chin on the top the chair. "Okay," she said simply and he nodded and watched her, neither saying another thing. Slowly his eyes became heavier as his previous days and weeks caught up with him, and he fell asleep.

He didn't feel the light press of her lips against his in his sleep.

*

When he woke it was in alarm. He'd spent the last week waking up on a Wraith Ship, after all. He decidedly didn't attribute it to all the nightmares he'd had since Elizabeth had first been taken, the ones that had reappeared with a fervor after her last visit to Atlantis. No, that had nothing to do with it.

It took him a good five seconds to realize that the spot just under his arm was warmer than the rest of his body. He shifted his head towards the spot and felt something brush against his face. He blinked and realized it was hair that was curling against his lip now. Another blink made him realize that Elizabeth was half-sitting in the chair and half-sprawled on the bed with him, her head resting just below his shoulder.

Almost involuntarily he inhaled and her scent was all around him. He wondered vaguely if the familiar scent was simulated or if it was something that stayed even when she ascended. He didn't keep the thoughts long because she was right there and the why didn't really seem to matter.

He considered waking her or moving, but neither option was appealing. Instead he turned slightly so that his chin rested against the top of her head and fell back asleep.

*

"John." He woke what felt like seconds later with a gentle push at his shoulder.

"Five minutes," he muttered groggily, even as his eyes opened. Elizabeth was smiling at him, and over her shoulder Morgan was eying him with the same skepticism she had before. He sighed and rolled to his feet and stood.

"Ready?" Elizabeth asked, smiling at him. He took in a deep breath and nodded. Elizabeth nodded to Morgan, who looked at him another moment before turning and leaving.

"She's pleasant," he offered wryly.

"She saved the world from the Ori," Elizabeth replied in light amusement.

"World saving should be done with a smile and sense of humor, that's what I say," John shrugged. She smirked at that and motioned towards the door.

"Ready?"

"Almost," he began, closing his eyes for a minute. He'd been adjusting to the reality the entire time he'd been there, and when he opened his eyes he was back in standard Atlantis uniform. Elizabeth didn't seem the least surprised, just smiled at him. "Okay, now we can go," he nodded, putting on an over-exaggerated smile.

Elizabeth laughed and took a step forward, in the next instant the doorway no longer showed a hallway on the other side but instead showed a brilliant whiteness. He paused but Elizabeth turned to him and smiled, stepping through.

He followed her.

Then there were voices everywhere and figures of white. There was a small circle in the middle of them and Elizabeth, the only person besides him still fully corporeal, took a step into it and he followed. She smiled at him, and he noticed that she was glowing in a very literal sense.

"This is John Sheppard," she announced, her voice booming, "of the Tau'ri who are fighting for Earth."

She took a step back after announcing him, and he expected her to become pure whiteness like everyone else. She didn't. Instead, she remained behind him, looking as he had always known her, minus the white glow.

"Hi," John offered awkwardly to the room.

"John Sheppard." Another voice boomed into the room, one he didn't recognize. "Do you accept to speak on behalf of your people?"

He licked his lips as he turned his head back to Elizabeth. Her eyes burned into his and he understood that she trusted him completely with this. He had no idea why. "Yes," he said instead, moving his attention away from her.

"Then tell us why you think we should intervene in this matter."

He remembered his discussion with Elizabeth and didn't hesitate, "When we came upon Atlantis, we had to deal with a lot. We were in over our heads. It was only because the Ancients- which, I assume, is mostly you guys." He looked around helplessly, finding it hard to connect to a room of white blobs. "-left the City and the problems that we were left to pick up. It is for this same reason that Atlantis had to chase after a Wraith Ship to save Earth and wound up in the San Francisco Bay. It's for this reason that the Asgard were eventually overtaken by the Wraith and that the Wraith outfitted their ships with technology far outweighing ours. It's why Earth is about to be culled and why I almost died on a Wraith ship trying to input it with a virus."

There was nothing but silence and his tongue jutted out across his lips nervously. "And we could use the help. You know, just a little pick-me-up to stop the end of the world."

There was a long pause.

"Very well."

In the next second he found himself back in the inn, alone. He looked around in a panic until Morgan appeared in front of him with her usual glare. He didn't miss the fact that she looked slightly nervous.

"They wished to speak to Elizabeth," she explained.

"What? Why?"

"To deliberate over the matter further."

John ran a hand through his hair in annoyance. "You guys do that a lot."

"Not all of us prefer to jump into a situation with little to no knowledge and hope it works out," she said. He wasn't sure if she was annoyed or amused. Then she smiled slightly and his guess leaned more towards amused. "You spoke well."

"Maybe this half-ascension can help a flyboy like me with words." He shrugged noncommittally.

"I thought she just had a soft spot for you," Morgan continued, clearly not thrown in the slightest. "But I suppose if she does, it's placed for a good reason."

John found that oddly unsettling. Instead of thinking about it he changed the subject. "So, I hear you beat the Ori."

"Yes," she replied.

"She also kept me from an eternity fighting Anubis," another voice said as Oma joined them.

Morgan rolled her eyes, clearly not interested in listing her merits. In that moment John liked her just a little more. Oma exchanged a look with Morgan and then disappeared again.

Morgan pursed her lips, "I must join the others. We will join you again when we have more information."

Then she was gone, and John was left alone again.

*

"We cannot simply wipe the Wraith off the face of the Universe. It is not our way."

"No," Elizabeth agreed, "but-"

"It was not us who left Atlantis for your team," another voice interjected before she had the chance to speak.

She understood immediately and lowered her head slightly. In a second Janus was corporeal and beside her, and she wondered why she chose to remain corporeal like this. It had been for John at first but now she just didn't want to revert. Janus opened his mouth but she shot him a look and he nodded, let her dominate the situation.

"No," she agreed, "that was me."

"We cannot intervene in our current state. It is not our way," the voice repeated.

"So let me descend with the knowledge. Let me fix this if it's my mistake," she said.

"Elizabeth-" Janus exclaimed beside her, remaining corporeal. She knew Oma and Morgan were in the room and could feel rather than hear their disapproval of what she was doing.

"That knowledge in a human body could kill you."

The only reason they were talking like this was because they were still in the semi-ascension for John's benefit, but Elizabeth suddenly felt more aware and in her element like this than she had in any fully ascended debate. The revelation was startling.

"Yes, it could," she replied simply.

"You would risk that?"

"Yes."

"There is no guarantee of ascension again for you."

"I know."

"Very well."

She felt Janus' protesting hand on her elbow but shrugged him off.

*

John waited for what felt like an eternity. He was getting ready to see if could make a gameboy materialize in the same way he'd changed his clothes when the others appeared in front of him. His eyes locked to Elizabeth wearily.

"We're going to get the Wraith."

He let out a very heavy sigh and all he felt was instant relief. It took him another few seconds to realize how heavy her face looked and how the others all looked worried.

"Elizabeth?"

She looked down, not meeting his eyes. "She agreed to descend to do it," Janus informed him, his eyes locked on Elizabeth.

"What?" His brow furrowed. Elizabeth was going to be back on Earth? She was going to be human? She was going to be back? The thought was an overwhelming one he hadn't allowed himself to consider but then he saw the worried looks and the way Elizabeth still wasn't looking at him. "What's going on?"

"As a human the information will most likely kill her and in the very least cause her great pain," Morgan said.

"No." They all looked at him, even Elizabeth's head jerked up in surprise, "You can't do that."

"I have to, John."

"No! I will not watch you sacrifice yourself again." His emotion was raw and he had lost the ability to taper it off or hide it behind sarcasm. She watched him with wide eyes, then her head turned back and he realized that she and the other three were communicating somehow. Whether it was through telepathy or other ancient-ascended powers of doom he didn't know and didn't care. She nodded and closed her eyes for a moment and then the other three were gone.

She turned back to look at him. "John, this is how it has to play out. We're going to descend together and I can get the technological information to Rodney."

His jaw clenched as his teeth grinded together. He wasn't sure he was supposed to be able to be angry here, but he was furious. She couldn't be serious. He'd already watched her die twice he certainly wasn't going to do it another time.

She wasn't going to do it another time.

"Let me do it."

"Doesn't work like that."

"Well, it should, damn it!" She was startled by his yell, but he plowed on. "I can't believe this is the answer they come up with. What, they won't strip you of your information, how nice of them! Who cares that means you're going to die!?" He turned away from her, couldn't look at her, couldn't deal with this. Not now, not like this.

He felt her hand on his shoulder like a fire against his skin. He swallowed and turned towards her and she looked so vulnerable it only made him feel more conflicted. "John, I need you to be behind me in this." She paused and he watched in horror as she managed to look even more vulnerable. "No one is going to trust me back on Earth. I need you behind me so that this can work quickly. Trust me?"

She didn't add that she wouldn't have much time, but he was aware of the implication. Then her eyes met his and it was like someone had dumped cold water on him. She looked so uncertain about this, so uncertain about asking him to just back her and trust her. It was something that, had it been just three years ago, he would have given her without blinking an eye. He bit into his bottom lip lightly.

He hadn't really wrapped his head around this yet. He found most things worked best the less they were thought of, the less emotion he put into things the better. But she was here, right in front of him, and she was asking him to trust her. Even if it meant her death.

Again.

"Elizabeth." Her name was a silent plea.

"John," she pled right back.

He lowered his head and nodded. "Okay. Let's save the world."

John startled as her arms wrapped around him in a fierce hug. He froze, but she only squeezed him tighter and he sighed, closing his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her and felt as her face nudged against his chest. In the next second everything was so bright he couldn't see. He felt Elizabeth pull back from him and fumbled forward in confusion. Then the light was gone and he blinked to resettle his vision as he realized they were in his room on Atlantis.

The next thing he realized was that they were naked. She had her arm carefully covering her breasts and her other hand blocking just between her legs. He stared dumbly. "Clothes, John?"

"Uhhhh," he dragged out the word then pointed to the dresser and managed to turn around. He heard what he thought was her chuckling.

He heard shuffling. "I'll be in the bathroom."

It was only then that he realized he was naked, and had been the entire time he'd been staring at her. Shit. He quickly changed into his standard uniform and called out to Elizabeth who opened the door and came out dressed in his clothing, which hung awkwardly off of her. He kept staring.

She smiled weakly. "When do you-"

"Sheppard!?" Rodney screamed from the other side of the door.

John smiled wryly, "think they'll notice the stray life signs? About now."

The door flew open as John's team flew into the room armed, all looking in shock at their two leaders- one who they had seen walk through the gate to her death and the other they had assumed the worst of on the Wraith Ship.

"Hey," John grinned. "It's time to save the world... again."

*

John had thought it was a perfectly climatic yet pithy way to explain the situation. It was met with the anticlimactic resolution of him and Elizabeth being dragged to the infirmary and an hour later after being poke and prodded Keller gave them the go ahead, confirming they were who they said they were and not alien entities or alternate reality versions.

"What is going on?" Woolsey demanded as they sat in a conference room. All eyes were on Elizabeth, though John was looking at her for an entirely different reason. Her face was already pale, her features tight. She shot him a weak smile, no doubt knowing exactly where his train of thought was.

He turned back to Woolsey, not pleased that Elizabeth wasn't speaking up. It was a testament to how much pain she was in. "Well," he began, "I was dying on a Wraith ship when Rodney's virus didn't work-"

"Hey! The virus was programmed just fine!"

"Yeah, that's why it didn't work and I was captured!"

"Just because you're not competent enough to-"

"Enough!" Woolsey pinched his nose. "That's not exactly what I was asking about."

"Right, well after that I was visited by Elizabeth who ascended after... you know..." he waved his hand uncomfortably.

"We know." It was Teyla who nodded politely to him.

He let out a grateful sigh and continued. "We spoke with some ascended people and they agreed to help us by sending Elizabeth back with the information. Now, if you don't mind, she really needs to talk to McKay so she can tell him how to beat the Wraith that are looming overhead."

"What? Really?" McKay's eyebrows shot up into his hairline.

She smiled weakly at him, speaking for the first time. "Yes, Rodney. We have to hurry."

All eyes moved to Woolsey, who let out a heavy sigh as he kept looking at Elizabeth. Slowly he nodded. "Do it."

In the next second John's hand was on Elizabeth's elbow as he gently guided her forward to Rodney's lab, letting the others catch up with them. "Thank you," she murmured quietly and from the crack in her voice he knew she was already in pain.

"Elizabeth!" The voice that followed them was Teyla's. She took in a deep breath and turned, a wide smile on her face.

"Teyla," she said quietly. In the next second Teyla moved forward and wrapped her arms around Elizabeth, who let out a sigh and held onto her in return. As they parted Teyla pressed their foreheads together.

"It is good to have you back."

John opened his mouth to warn her, to tell her what would happen, but Elizabeth spoke before he could. "Yes, thank you. Now I-"

"Have a lot of work to do and can't be bothered by a tearful Hallmark reunion," Rodney cut in as he pushed past them. "Come on."

Elizabeth's smile widened at that as she followed him, leaving John and Teyla in the hallway. John's tongue jutted out across his lips as he watched them go, as if not having Elizabeth in his line of sight would mean she was gone forever.

"How are you feeling?" Teyla asked, and he knew that he must be a ridiculously open book, especially to her.

"Peachy," he replied.

"If you wish to talk..." Teyla left the sentence open and he nodded absentmindedly as Elizabeth turned the corner into Rodney's lab and moved out of his vision. He had the immediate reaction of wanting to run after her.

"I'm fine," he muttered, not really paying attention to Teyla.

"Oh," Teyla said quietly, clearly dealing with her own feelings on the situation before she quickly turned to him. "John..." there was just a little too much pity and knowledge in the tone she took, and he was suddenly very angry about everything. About the injustice of Elizabeth being back and pretending she was okay when she was just going to die- again.

"No," he said sharply, quickly turning away from her. As soon he was out of sight he decided to punish the wall with a sharp blow.

*

"Rodney," Elizabeth scolded for the twentieth time as he went off on another tangent.

"But this is... really cool!" He argued with a wide grin.

She rolled her eyes and looked at the information she'd put into his computer. It was technical specifications on how to build a device that would send out a wave of pulse energy that would disable the Wraith Ships, rendering them harmless and easy to destroy. She had also put in a fail safe that would render the weapon useless after the initial threat was gone, but Rodney wouldn't be able to find it in the coding.

It was more than a little disconcerting to be smarter than Rodney McKay.

She felt a rush of nausea overtake her and grimaced in pain, her hand moving to clutch against her stomach as if it could somehow hold back the pain. Luckily, Rodney didn't notice- he was too busy making a list of the parts they would need for the device and running over the programming while yelling at Zelenka over the radio.

"Rodney," she cut in, keeping her voice firm, "do you need me for anything else, or...?"

"No, no, not right now," Rodney waved her off. "We'll need your help in putting it together at the later stages, though." She nodded her agreement and turned to leave.

"Oh, uh, and," Rodney added as he looked at her and shifted uncomfortably. "Welcome back, Elizabeth. We, uh, you know... missed you."

She smiled warmly at that, ignoring the pang of guilt that rose with it. "Thank you, Rodney. Radio me if you need me."

He nodded and was quickly back and working on the device, yelling at Zelenka again. She smiled at the familiarity of it all and quietly slinked out of the room, ignoring that it had suddenly started to spin.

She made it down a few hallways before she felt completely lightheaded. Before she knew what had happened she collapsed against the floor.

Part Two
 
 
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