A/N: I want to thank all of you for your reviews and signing up for author alerts. You have no idea how much I have appreciated all of them. :D As always, I want to give a special thanks to Isobel Kelte for being my faithful beta.

The next day David received the news from Jennifer. "John's fever has broken! He's resting quietly and I think he's turned the corner and is going to make it!" The relief David felt was tempered by a fear that John might relapse, but the other members of his team, did not seem to have the same concern.

"He's fighting to get better now! And when Lt. Colonel John Sheppard fights for something he doesn't give up until he wins. He's stubborn that way, so since he's fighting to recover, we know he will," the team had explained. David wished he could have their optimism, but took strength from their words and the peace that he saw on John's face.

A few days later, he was again alone in the infirmary with John working on his laptop.


David looked up immediately at the soft noise coming from his brother's bed.

"John! You're awake. Here let me get you something to drink. I know Jennifer will want to be here shortly to talk with you." As he said all this he quickly brought a cup of water over to John and placed the straw in his brother's mouth and then pressed the call button for the nurse, so that Keller would know John was awake. John looked at him with questioning eyes; eyes that were finally clear and able to completely focus.

After a few sips John moved his head away from the straw and cleared his throat. "I thought you were just a hallucination or dream brought on by my fever." The sentence caused John to break out into a coughing fit due to his lingering cold, so David gave him some more water.

"Nope, I am here on Atlantis in the flesh," said David with a wide smile. He stepped back from John as Dr. Keller began to examine John, and was at last able to take in what Keller had said for the past couple of days; Lt. Colonel John Sheppard was finally on the mend.


Hours later, John awoke slowly and took in the sounds of the room without opening his eyes. He knew that he had drifted asleep again while Keller was checking on him, and he wished he'd had more time to talk with Dave. John could still hardly believe that Dave was here on Atlantis and wasn't a hallucination.

John thought back to his memories of what had happened since he had been rescued from Bric'ien and realized most of it was a blur…a horrible blur. Most of the time had been filled with pain and unending nightmares. The worst events and memories of his life had combined to become something truly horrific. The worst involved his father and brother. They would remind him of how much he had failed them, and how he did not deserve to live.

John had believed them…until in one of his nightmares his brother suddenly switched from accusing him to telling him he had to continue fighting to live. It had deviated enough from the usual nightmares that he had startled awake. Then to his complete and utter surprise the voice did not disappear.

He had opened his eyes, and saw his brother sitting by his bedside. This was not the David from his dreams in immaculate attire with anger flowing off of him. No, this was David in rumpled clothes with his hair sticking up in a way reminiscent of John's. Also, instead of rage and bitterness, there was worry, and to John's complete bewilderment the worry was directed towards him.

Dave was telling him how much he had to live for and that he didn't want him to die. John couldn't believe it. His brother wanted him to live! When his brother had looked at him and realized he was awake, John had hesitantly asked the question that was burning in his mind; he tried to understand what this Dave was saying compared to what all the other Daves had been shouting at him.

"…You…don't…wish…I had…died?"

Dave's response had been instant and resolute. "NEVER!"

John felt peace flood him again as he thought about how Dave had explained that both he and their father would want John to be alive. His dad had even forgiven him. Not long after they finished speaking, John fell into his first restful sleep since Bric'ien had captured him.

Over time, as he slowly became more aware of his environment, he realized that he had to have imagined or hallucinated his brother. There was no way he would be on Atlantis. Yet, he had awakened to typing on a laptop; not the erratic and rapid typing of Rodney, but a much more controlled and consistent typing. Curious as to whom it was, he had opened his eyes and saw Dave in the flesh. He had been shocked that it had not all been a hallucination, but when he had called out to Dave, Dave had swiftly responded and put to rest all of John's thoughts that he was delirious again. Unfortunately, Keller had wanted to check him out, so John had not had the chance to really talk to Dave then, and he had drifted to sleep before she was done.

However, John felt more awake now, and became aware of sounds coming softly from nearby.

"Has he awoken again?"

"No, he's been sleeping peacefully since you left."

John opened his eyes and saw Dave and Keller conversing at the foot of his bed. Keller noticed that he was awake first and stepped forward, beginning to do "doctor stuff" as she asked, "How are you feeling?"

Taking stock of his condition, he replied, "Not too bad, though I'm guessing you still have me on some pretty nice painkillers."

"I do," she replied as she continued to take his vitals, "but you are doing really well!" When she was done, she glanced between Dave and John and said, "I'm sure you both have a lot to talk about, so I will leave you to it. But John, you really need to rest, so I'm counting on both of you to make sure this conversation doesn't take too long." They both nodded and she looked at John as if trying to ascertain the truthfulness of his response.

Sighing, she glanced at Dave. "I'm counting on you to make sure he doesn't overdo it."

"Hey!" John protested, while Dave laughed and said, "I'll make sure, though it may be difficult."

She laughed back. "It always is."

As she left the room, John stifled the desire to stick his tongue out at her, knowing that would just be juvenile. Turning his attention away from her, John looked up at Dave and smiled slightly. "So, how did you get to my city?"

"Well…" and John and Dave found themselves talking like they did when they were younger when the most difficult obstacle they faced was keeping their rooms clean…

It was the first day that John had been allowed to sit up for an extended amount of time, though Dr. Keller continually reminded him he needed to take it slow and easy since his cold was not fully gone. Ronon, Teyla, Rodney, and even Jennifer were all in the room with John and David, celebrating.

They had been joking about Rodney's enormous ego when Rodney made a surprising comment: "Actually, my ego isn't inflated; in fact, I believe my ego is rather deflated." Everyone stared at Rodney in shock, waiting for him to give a sign that he was joking; sadly they waited in vain.

John gave Rodney an incredulous look. "Are you serious? You think your ego isn't as large as it should be?"

"Well, yeah."

Teyla and Ronon exchanged amused glances at the idea the most egotistical man they knew actually thought he should be more egotistical.

David mentally wondered how John came to be friends with the man, which reminded him of a question he had been meaning to ask Ronon.

"Hey, Ronon, I never did find out what happened when you met John."

"He stunned me and tied me up is what happened!" John said, trying to look stern and offended even as a smile peeked out. John continued, "In fact, it wasn't even the last time he did it!" Turning to Ronon, he said, "What is it with you and stunning me, anyways?!"

Ronon laughed. "Well, it's always seemed like the thing to do at the time, but remember you shot me once too-and that wasn't with a stunner."

"You shot me too!" Rodney piped up, looking towards John.

"Well, so far I haven't blown up any solar systems," drawled John with a pointed look at McKay.

"Hey, it was one time!"

Afraid they would go on forever, Teyla said, "Can we tell David the story now?"

And so with the rest of the team's help, Ronon related how he had been a Runner and had captured Teyla and John. He shared how in the end, Dr. Carson Beckett had removed the tracking chip and they took him back to Atlantis.

"I hadn't planned on staying here long, even after I saw the destruction of Sateda, but Sheppard convinced me to stay."

John shrugged and then coughed a bit. "I wanted to keep that gun of yours on our side; it's too nice of a weapon to not have it with a member of Atlantis, and I knew you wouldn't let me have it, so I was left with only one alternative..."

Teyla, always the diplomat, smiled and added, "Besides, together we are stronger…like the Fantastic Four".

John broke down laughing until he started coughing. When he finally caught his breath he said, "McKay showed you the movies, didn't he?"

"Yes, but he said that I should remember that Batman and Robin are the best superhero team."

"McKay, you know that's not true!" John said with a laugh as he remembered their debate before they left on the mission.

"It so is! Though I will give you that as a team we resemble the Fantastic Four more, and since we are a great team, they have risen from my original estimation."

At David's bewildered look, John sought to explain the whole back-story and soon everyone was laughing and telling more stories to David of life in the Pegasus galaxy.


Just an epilog to go…

A/N: Please, please, please review and let me know what you think!

2A/N: The line Rodney says, "Actually, my ego isn't inflated; in fact, I believe my ego is rather deflated," was actually said by my brother. He was joking…I think…