Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. No profit is made from this.
AN: This is set after the series ended and starts with the return to Pegasus. It is mainly focused on Jennifer but all the main characters play major roles.
"Hey Rodney." Sheppard greeted entering the physicist's lab, with Teyla and Ronon in tow.
"Hey." McKay replied without looking up from the electronics he was hovering over.
"You are working late." Teyla commented when the conversation failed to keep rolling.
"Work to do and thanks to that idiot I'm having to do it one handed." McKay replied straightening his back.
"You're wearing a sling." Sheppard commented.
"Thank you Colonel Observant. Of course I'm wearing a sling, I have a broken hand."
"Have you actually seen a doctor?"
"Well no, but there's no way it's not broken."
"Rodney," Sheppard started, whilst trying to think of the best way to phrase his thoughts. Looking over to Teyla for help but receiving none he plodded on. "Do you think that perhaps you are over reacting?"
"No." McKay said indignantly.
"It was a handshake." Sheppard pointed out.
"It was a handshake. You can't break your hand from a handshake. I mean he was hardly Schwarzenegger, he was a suit. There is no way he could have broken your hand from shaking hands with him. Not even you are that unlucky."
"Don't know." Ronon commented. "He got shot in the backside by an arrow." His comment causing the physicist to scowl.
"Look Rodney if you really think you broke it you should see a doctor or your girlfriend who happens to be a doctor?"
"Probably not a good idea. I kinda stood her up again last night an-"
"Isn't that the fourth time this week?" Teyla interjected.
"Fifth." McKay conceded. "Don't give me that look I had to get the report done. She'll understand."
"You make it sound like you haven't spoken to her." Sheppard commented.
"Well, technically that's correct. I tried ringing and couldn't get through."
"Don't do your back in with all the grovelling you're going have to do."
"Funny. She'll understand." Rodney repeated.
"If you say so." Sheppard said unconvinced. "We're going to grab something to eat you want to join us?"
"No, need to get this done." McKay said.
"Ok then. Don't forget the meeting tomorrow morning, I hope it will bring good news."
"You think it will finally be confirmation?" McKay asked. Instead of answering straight away Sheppard looked at Teyla and Ronon who were looking expectantly at him.
"Look guys I don't want to build your hopes up, but if the rumours I have heard are true tomorrow we are going to get the go ahead to take the city home."
"When?" Teyla asked.
"From the sound of it soon. Having the city around is causing the IOA a big headache. As soon as the decision is made we'll be on our way."
"What about supplies?" Teyla asked, unable to believe that they could finally be going home.
"It's been fully stocked for weeks." Sheppard explained, noticing Teyla's quirked eyebrow he explained. "I thought it was prudent and Woolsey was onside, after some persuasion."
"What about everyone who has returned to their homes?" Teyla pressed.
"There's a list. As soon as the go ahead is given people on the list are recalled. We estimate, using the Apollo, it will take less than twenty-four hours. So, if we use Zelenka's rapid transport method-"
"I'm sorry, what did you call it?" McKay asked.
"Zelenka's rapid transport method. Don't pull that face, the early bird catches the worm and all that." Sheppard smiled. "Anyway using Zelenka's method we could be back home two or three days after the decision is made, which could be as soon as tomorrow." He explained causing Teyla and Ronon to break out into grins. "Just remember it is not confirmed yet." Sheppard warned before saying. "So food?" When both Teyla and Ronon nodded Sheppard asked. "Sure you won't come and stave off blood sugar problems?"
"You're right, it has been awhile." McKay conceded just as his computer bleeped. Wheeling his chair to the computer desk he used his left hand to pull up the email window. "Told you there's nothing to worry about. Jennifer's just emailed me. I'll meet you down there."
"Ok, I'll save you some chocolate cake." Sheppard replied as he turned to leave, shaking his head when he realised that Ronon had already disappeared through the door. Rodney, however, never heard the comment as he was too engrossed in the email.
I hate myself for doing this, but there is no other way. I want you to know that I care for you and I always will, but I can't do this anymore. I wish I could do this in person, but even with all the technology at our disposal it can't be.
I know this will sound cliched but I need yo to know this is about me not you. I know and have always known how important your work is and I believed that I could live with being number two. For awhile I had convinced myself that being stood up all the time didn't bother me. But I, lets just say that I've had a life changing event one that made me realise that I can't cope with relationships right now, especially the type we have.
I've tried to make contact with you because I needed you, but as is the way with us, the timing was wrong and you were busy. As I was sitting alone, trying to speak to you, I realised I can't go on like this. I wish I could have done this in person, but maybe it is better this way.
I need. Actually I have no idea what need, I just know that I have to get away and have a clean break. Not from you, from everything.
I'm not sure if I will ever see you again. I've tendered my resignation and I'm planning on going away for awhile, possibly a very long while, I really don't know where I'll be or how long for, it's just something I have to do.
I hate myself for hurting you and in time I hope you can forgive me. Until then stay safe.
Take care of yourself and I really hope you can find someone who can make you happy.
I'll miss you.
Rodney read the email several times unable to believe what he was reading. He then sat for a few minutes dumbfounded before picking up a phone and dialling Jennifer. He held on as the number rang out.
Two days later Jennifer walked into the lonely, empty house, exhausted. She couldn't remember the last time she slept, but every time she tried the gut wrenching emptiness took hold of her. It was why she knew she had to get away. Kicking off her shoes she began to climb the stairs desperate to get out of her suit. She made it half way up the stairs when she heard a noise coming from the lounge. Her heart, which was already racing, sped up further. She knew there should be no one here. She knew she should get out of the house and phone for help. However, part of her never wanted to make contact with the SGC again and the other just didn't care. Turning she made her way downstairs and into the lounge where she encountered two air force personal and a stranger in a suit.
"Dr Keller." One of the air force personal said. "You are to come with us. You have been recalled. Atlantis is to make it's way back to the Pegasus galaxy tomorrow. We will escort you back to the city where you will resume your position as CMO."
"I've resigned." Jennifer said.
"Actually you've merely tendered your resignation. It has not been accepted." The suited man clarified. "You are still CMO of Atlantis and you will be returning to Pegasus tomorrow."
"I can't. I have somewhere else I have to be."
"Dr Keller. I am well aware of your situation." The suited man said before turning to the air force personal. "Please wait outside. I need to talk to the doctor alone." He then waited until they had left the house before continuing. "I should perhaps explain that I am a representative of the IOA and I know the terms and conditions of your contract probably better than you do. Currently no matter how good a reason you have to resign and not return to Pegasus we still have final say and we will take you by force if necessary."
"If you were going to take me by force there was no need for you to come."
"True." The man smiled. "I am here to make you an offer. If you accept the offer your resignation will be accepted immediately."
"My superiors are keen to change things at Atlantis. We had been planning on working to a different time scale. However, recent events have forced us to reassess. You see my superiors believe it would be in the best interest of Earth to change the senior personal at Atlantis. But to do that they will need further evidence. Evidence provided by one of the senior staff for example." He paused as he opened his briefcase. "I have taken the liberty of writing your statement for you. All you need do is sign it and you are free." He said passing her a thick file. When she did not reach out to take it he added. "You should really read it before passing judgement." Causing Jennifer to reluctantly take the file. "I should point out there is a statement regarding seven senior members of the expedition. However, our intention is not to use all of them. Indeed two of them work for us, but had we omitted them it would have been obvious who they were. So you see even if you do go back you won't know who you can trust." He explained, almost sneering. By the time she reached the end of the first paragraph she looked up and said.
"You can't seriously expect me to sign this."
"I can and I do. We both know how important your appointment is to you. An appointment you won't be able to keep unless you agree. We also both know how isolated you will be if you do go back. You have very few friends and they are more loyal to Dr McKay than you. After they here that you dumped him by email do you think they will want to spend anytime with you? You will be stranded in Pegasus in a city where you will be treated like a leper. Is that what you want?"
"I won't betray them."
"I admire your loyalty, but remember you will neve be able to take this back. If you don't agree you will live with the regret, sorrow and shame forever."
"Fine." Jennifer replied resolutely.
"Very well. But Dr Keller, when you sit alone in your quarters every night with no one to speak to you may change your mind. Because of the, how shall I put it? Trauma that you are going through, my superiors are prepared to give you a second chance. So when you realise that you have made a mistake and that you made the biggest sacrifice of your life to protect people who prove not to be your friends, the offer will still be open. I'll still be your only escape from Pegasus. So if you do change your mind you can reach me at this email address. Send an email with the subject heading 'change of state' and I will deal with the rest." He said handing her a card. "Now shall we?"
"Don't I get to pack?"
"I have already taken care of it." He smiled again. "You will come with us and be transferred to Atlantis at the last minute, just to ensure you really are on it when it departs."
A/N: Any feedback, positive or negative, will be gratefully received. I will try to get chapter two up as soon as possible, but it may not be until next weekend.