Disclaimer: There is the tiniest amount of script in this from 'Family Ties', absolutely minute… maybe three lines? And the restaurant setting I guess (the general plot of them going to dinner with Carolyn's mother) not much but enough that someone would complain if I didn't say I don't own it! Also references to Atlantis' Sunday though I have changed it (Beckett self-evidently isn't dead due to his presence.)
Author's Notes: Well here it guys (I can't believe I'm doing this lol!); the final chapter.. It's been so fun writing this – certainly a learning experience – its popularity awe-inspiring; my second SG1 fiction and first that wasn't a one shot. Thank you all for sticking with this story and some of you (regular reviewers in particular) actually made me write the bits I didn't want too and check over events I'd perhaps over-looked. I would love to thank you all individually (maybe I will if you review lol!) but I'd inevitably miss somebody out and that wouldn't be fair :P
There seems to be a fair few jumps through time frames, shifting from character to character at different times… nothing different than what has happened before but slightly more noticeable (I think) given that it's all in one chapter. Anyway, thank you and please, read on…
Chapter 73: The Last Summit
The blast doors swished open and the airmen stood down as soon as the wormhole disappeared and SGA-1 was safely down the ramp.
"Colonel Sheppard; it's good to see you son," General Landry greeted over the intercom "Teyla, Ronon… welcome to Earth,"
The trio nodded and smiled up at the control room, though Ronon's pass at a smile was a vague twitch of his furry lips that could easily have been misconceived.
"Why don't you come up to the briefing room," the General posed the order as a suggestion and watched as Sheppard nodded up at him until his attention was caught by somebody else walking into the 'gate room.
Sam greeted Sheppard with a warm handshake and Teyla with a hug that was impossible to tell whether the blonde or the Athosian had initiated. She merely nodded at Ronon who seemed inclined to do neither to accommodate her.
"You said you wanted to talk to her," Carolyn's voice drifted down the phone.
Landry sighed "I know I did Carolyn but… this is a bit sudden,"
"She just got back from Europe," the doctor answered "she's only in town for a couple of days,"
"It's been a long time," he said, he wasn't sure why he was trying to wheedle his way out; he had said he wanted to talk to his ex-wife but he… well to be honest he hadn't genuinely thought that Carolyn would not only call her mother but organise a dinner.
He was silent for a moment and if weren't for the fact that she couldn't hear the dial tone, Carolyn might have thought he'd hung up on her "what time?"
"I made reservations for seven thirty at Bistro Five,"
"I'll be there," he replied, "you, me and your mother right?"
"Uh…" Carolyn was quiet for a minute.
"Carolyn?" he asked, half concerned, half irritated.
"Dad?" she barely gave him chance to answer "look, I want mom to meet him, and you should… outside of work,"
Of course he should but this was Cameron Mitchell, member of SG1. Landry had nothing against the younger man, he was an upstanding, pleasant young man with a quirky sense of humour and an ironic eye on the universe… but he was dating his commanding officer's daughter and that was just… just… "I'll see you later," he hung up and looked through the window to see both Atlantis' and the SGC's premiere teams walking into the briefing room, hands being shaken and greetings being exchanged.
"So Thor's going to contact us when he needs us there," Sam finished the explanation about the Summit with a somewhat vague conclusion.
Vala watched the proceedings with half an eye on her daughter who was wriggling to get out of her mother's arms; glancing at Landry who gave a subtle nod, she put Lexy on the floor, confident that the child would amuse herself down there rather than risking her starting to wail in the middle of the briefing because she was restricted to her mother's lap.
"I am still unsure of what the purpose of this… 'Summit' is," Teyla spoke calmly, her attention entirely focused on the blonde.
"We don't know," Daniel answered and the Athosian's brown eyes were immediately turned on him; her gaze intense but not uncomfortably so.
"We'll find out when we get there," Jack twirled a pencil between his fingers; Sheppard noted that he didn't look the slightest bit out of place, despite the fact he was sporting civilian clothes and the 'visitor' badge he was probably supposed to wear was no where to be seen.
Sheppard jumped when he felt something brush his leg under the table and looked down when he felt a further tug on his bootlace.
"'ello," a round face little infant looked up at him, blue eyes bright and wide in the semi-darkness that existed beneath the briefing room table, he blonde-brown ringlets accentuating her brilliant smile.
"Hello," he replied, smiling down at her then looking up at Daniel and Vala "yours?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
Daniel nodded as Vala went to get to her feet with a soft admonishment of "Lexy,"
"No," he assured the child's mother "I got her," leaning down he picked the baby up beneath her arms, slowly so as not to frighten her because despite her bold interference with his feet, chances were she would not be so confident when a complete strange picked her up "so you're Lexy huh?"
Lexy put her hands on her head and smiled bashfully at him, her hands moving in static gestures across her face and make happy noises when she found that the man holding her still had his attention focused on her.
"I'm John," he introduced himself, and not find it the slightest bit embarrassing to be holding a conversation with a ten month old baby "and this is Teyla," he pointed at the woman sat next to him who smiled fondly at her "and that," he pointed to the seat next to Teyla "that's Ronon,"
"Kay!" Lexy exclaimed after a moment "'kay! 'Kay!" she twisted around in her captor's arms until she spotted the person she was after who was sat on Sheppard's left "'kay!" she reached for him, straining in Sheppard's arms as she attempted to squirm free.
Mckay let out a theatrical sigh but put his pen down and with a very put-upon look on his face took the child from his friend's embrace, surprising both said friend and his two other team mates.
"'Kay!" Lexy cried out, clapping her tiny hands on either side of his face, causing him to give her a very indignant look "lub 'Kay!"
"Yes, yes," he said "can you be quiet for a few minutes until we finish this briefing?"
Lexy gave him a look that if she were old enough to choose her facial expressions appropriately would be aptly described as contemptuous, Mckay returned her expression with an equally petulant one but the smile that was flitting across his lips was not entirely hidden as Sheppard caught sight of it and smirked. Mckay just glared at him.
"Cameron Mitchell," Cam stuck his hand out trying to ignore the hammering in his ears because this wasn't the first time he'd met a girlfriend's parents, nor the first time he'd been out for dinner with them; it didn't get much more nerve-wracking than dating a woman whose father had the power to order his immediate dismissal so why was this time so different?
Kim took the proffered hand with a smile that was very much similar to her daughter's.
"Colonel," Carolyn added, watching the exchange between her mother and boyfriend with a vaguely nervous smile playing with her lips.
Kim pulled an appreciative face "Kim Lam," she added, then with a wink; "nothing fancy to add though,"
"Please to you meet you ma'am,"
"Kim, please," the woman insisted, gesturing for them to all take seats, once they had she continued "is your father going to be here?"
Carolyn's face fell a little but she fought to maintain her expression "he'll be here,"
Her mother nodded, then after a moment's silence, she turned to Cam "so military huh?"
Cam nodded "yes ma-" he corrected himself "Kim,"
Looking as if she was about to start thoroughly enjoying interrogating the duo Kim continued, smiling almost wickedly; "so how did you two meet?"
Sheppard took a seat in the commissary opposite Mckay's position as he casually scoffed a muffin whilst simultaneously skimming over his notes on something.
"You and the tyke seem to get along," he half-teased.
"Hmm," Mckay looked up "huh? Oh yes, of course,"
"I wouldn't have thought… well you know…"
Mckay raised an eyebrow at him "should I be offended Colonel?"
Sheppard rolled his eyes "you know what I mean,"
"She's an irritating little brat," he swallowed the last of the muffin, sighing "but she's cute… I think she knows that,"
Sheppard laughed; only Mckay could think that a ten month old baby could be conspiring against him; plausibly it could be a compliment to the infant if he was assuming she had the intelligence to do so. A moment later the Colonel grew somber; "uh… Mckay?"
"Yes?" his impatience was evident but why Sheppard wasn't sure because it was twenty-hundred hours and nothing could possibly be going on that was so dire it needed to be done within the next ten minutes.
Figuring it would be easier just to come out and say it because he'd promised Elizabeth that he would Sheppard took a break and said; "there was an accident on Atlantis. A lot of people got injured… Teyla included,"
"She seems fine," Mckay pointed out, his concern evident.
Sheppard pulled a face "it could have been worse… she needed stitches,"
Mckay nodded, making a mental note of it.
"Uh…" he ran a hand down his face to give himself a moment to think of how to tactically put it, failing he just went straight ahead and said it; Mckay was direct enough himself, and fancy words weren't going to change the facts; "Kavanaugh got killed,"
Mckay raised his eyebrows, he didn't look dreadfully upset but that was understandable given the astrophysicist's well known dislike for the man but his eyes had darkened somewhat, as he nodded and looked back at his plate. He wasn't going to pretend he was terribly upset by the man's demise, he was an arrogant prick who deserved much worse than people gave him but that still didn't mean he deserved to die.
Sheppard continued "look, Elizabeth asked me to tell you because he essentially worked for you and-"
Almost physically shaking himself out of it Mckay looked up "how much damage has Zelenka done whilst I've been gone?"
Landry readjusted his tie for what must have been the hundredth time since leaving his house; he smoothed out a crease in the dark civilian suit - just a shade off his military blues – self consciously and rebuked himself mentally for being so concerned about his appearance.
"You're late," Carolyn says shortly, sipping at a glass of white wine and looking at him over the brim.
"I'm sorry," he said, and the tone of his voice said he meant it.
"Hello Hank," Kim greeted softly.
Landry looked at his ex-wife, gazing appreciatively at her "Hello Kim,"
"We have a lot to talk about,"
"Just got off the phone with Thor," Jack announced ironically "they're ready when we are,"
Several members of the group in front of him nodded.
"O'Neill," Teal'c intoned "I am unsure of the reasoning behind your accompanying us on this mission,"
Jack grinned at him "special request from Thor," he said before frowning "where's Daniel and Vala?" the former USAF General asked, noting their absence.
"Nick got released from the infirmary this morning," Sam informed him "they're just dropping Lexy off with him; Daniel said they'd meet us in the 'gate room."
Jack nodded "okay then,"
It felt strange to be standing at the bottom of the 'gate ramp, surrounded by nine other people, rather than the usual four, completely unarmed because Thor had assured them that weapons would be 'unnecessary and removed upon their entrance'. Cam shifted his arms, unsure of what to do with them before settling on putting them in his pockets.
They should surely have something with them, a zat, a P-90, something. But Thor had been both clear and adamant. Realistically, should anything happen three of the most powerful races in the galaxy were going to be there, ships in orbit of whatever planet or location they had decided upon holding this mysterious and determinately ambiguous 'Last Summit' in.
"All set?" Cam asked as Daniel and Vala entered the 'gate room, the blast doors swishing shut behind them.
"Yep," Vala nodded, turning on her heel to face the 'gate as the Kawoosh burst out and the wormhole formed.
"Godspeed," Landry spoke across the intercom, and Jack casually saluted him before gesturing for the others to move first; the grating rattled and clanked as they walked up the ramp, the familiar sucking noise echoed through the room as each person stepped through the wormhole.
The wormhole collapsed as soon as all ten of them were through, wherever they were it was poorly lit and eerie shadows were cast across the floor and walls, Vala shivered and promptly jumped as a flash of light filled the room and they were all beamed into yet another location. This time far better furbished, actual lights and much more sophisticated than the cave they had first arrived in.
"Woah," Jack said, momentarily dizzied "warn a guy would you?" he said, noticing Thor sat in a regal looking chair at one end of the table.
Thor inclined his head "greetings General O'Neill," he said, big black eyes focusing first on Jack then shifting to the others "greetings," he repeated although in a much more generic context.
Daniel smiled and raised a hand in response; looking down the vast table Thor was sat at. He noted the presence of a man and a woman adorned in the usual attire of the Tok'ra, he recognized neither, and as was Tok'ra tradition, neither seemed overtly pleased to see them. The nymph like features of the Nox were obvious; the ethereal beauty of the woman that sat straight in her chair, inclining her head in welcome, her smile wasn't really a smile, but more the pleasant expression usually sported by her race. Another Nox, a man was sat on her right; he looked less welcoming but not nearly as standoff-ish as the Tok'ra did.
The inferiority of humans was more than obvious with the fact there were ten of them, and far less of any other race present or perhaps this demonstrated an advantage in that more opinions could be expressed in the defense of their own race?
"The Furlings are yet to arrive," the male Tok'ra announced, then to the people from Earth specifically; "you may assume your seats,"
"We may begin without them," the female Nox's voice was soft and lilting, her eyes bright as she watched the men and women from Earth fondly.
As if on cue, the room once more filled with a blinding light, and when it cleared Jack found his gaze was immediately drawn to the far end of the table, his eyes widening as they found the new presence there. The Furlings had arrived.
Author's Notes: I really hope my personal dislike of Kavanaugh didn't affect the characters too badly. I tried to make it sad but not too sad and I hope it worked and my apologies if it didn't.
This fiction started off as a random little idea that wouldn't go away after having seen less than six episodes that featured Vala, I was hesitant about starting it because whilst I watched SG1 as a kid when it first aired over here, I hadn't seen it in so long and what I had seen had been so little. I found it again over the summer of 2006 and it was like starting all over again but with a bizarre sense of deja-vu at times so I was unsure as to whether or not I would be able to pull off a unique fiction, in a new fandom with characters I had never worked with before.
And on a note that I'm sure you are all waiting for (I'm being a little presumptuous there...) there will be a sequel; Et Qui Sait (And Who Knows) which is already well into the planning stages and that will be up as soon as I can start it. Thanks again, and don't forget to review (no flames!) :)