It took a lot of convincing to get Ford back to Atlantis, and when they finally managed it was under the condition that they were not going to attempt to keep him there against his will. John had finally managed to find his voice, but only barely. He had always hoped that the kid had made it off the Wraith ship, but he had never been able to completely convince himself. And now here was Ford right there before their eyes, and John could only think of how thankful he was that Aiden wasn't attempting to kidnap them again.

Rodney stood as far away from Ford as he could get, clearly remembering the Wraith enzyme he was forced to take. Ronon on the other hand stayed about a foot away from the Lieutenant, for the same reason.

They stepped through the gate and Ford looked around. "Home sweet home," he murmured with a smile.

"Colonel Sheppard," said Sam as she descended the steps to meet them. "Who is this?"

"Colonel Samantha Carter, meet Lieutenant Aiden Ford."

Sam shot him a surprised look.

"Hello Colonel," said Ford. "You weren't here the last time I was."

"No, I wasn't."

"You'll find that a lot of things have changed, Ford," said John. "And not all for the better."

"Where's Dr. Weir?" Aiden asked.

John sighed. "Both Dr's Weir and Beckett are…well they're dead Ford."

Ford looked truly taken aback, showing real emotion. "How?"

John and Sam exchanged a look. "Perhaps we should discuss this later…"

"How!?" he said more forcefully.

"Dr. Beckett was killed in an explosion while saving the lives of many others," said Sam. "And Dr. Weir was taken by the Replicators."

Ford shivered in anger.

"I know this is a lot to take in Lt," said Sam, "but we're going to need you to accompany Ronon and Teyla to the infirmary..."

His head snapped up at that and he gave them a dirty look.

"It'll be fine Ford, I promise," said John and the man nodded. "We'll come find you when you're done and you can tell us what it was you wanted to tell us."

Aiden reluctantly agreed, following the two Pegasus natives out of the gate room and off to the infirmary. As soon as he was gone Sam rounded on John.

"Colonel are you insane?"

"Probably," muttered Rodney.

"Zip it McKay," Sam said. "John do you have any idea how dangerous that man is?"

"Yes I do Colonel," said John sharply. "In fact I think I know how dangerous he is just a little bit more than you do, having been there when he snapped in the first place. But he said he had valuable information and we took every precaution. He doesn't know the gate address so he won't be able to find us."

"Excuse me? You're going to let him go?"

"I promised Colonel, I can't go back on my word."

"The United States Air Force…" Sam started, but John cut her off.

"With all due respect ma'am, Aiden Ford no longer answers to the United States Air Force."

"Well you do Sheppard, I hope you remember that." With one last glance at John and Rodney, Sam turned and walked back up the steps to her office.

"One of these days you're going to make a truly stupid decision," said McKay. "More stupid than previous ones, and if it doesn't kill you you're going to lose your job."

"Are you showing concern for me Rodney?" John asked sarcastically.

"No, I'm thinking about what'll happen to me if you get fired or killed. I like my job," he said. "I don't want to lose it." And with that he walked up the stairs after Sam.

"Thanks for your concern," John called after the scientist. He sighed, maybe McKay was right. In the meantime he figured he should go look in on his current "stupid" decision. Maybe he would learn something useful; he hoped it was something big, he really wanted to rub McKay's face in it.