A/N - Well, here it is, the final chapter. I'd like to thank once again bailey1ak for being my beta and friend. I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who read and reviewed this story, especially IMBX, DW and SGA-Seven for your constant reviews.
Colonel Sheppard kept the women in the botany lab while he explained what had happened a week ago at Katie Brown's party. He explained about the orb, Kirin and roughly covered the week as it had gone by; he'd left out the four amigos antics… for now.
The women were shocked at what the Colonel told them, they'd remembered the start of party as though it was only a minute ago. The revelations caused gasps of shock and disbelief from the women around the lab.
"He's joking right?" Orla looked incredulously at her lover's face.
"No," Ronon replied snickering at Orla's expression.
Ronon sat down pulling Orla onto his lap, holding her close in one of those bear hugs she loved so much. He threaded his hand through her long hair and clasped the back of her head pulling her to him for a gentle kiss.
"Sheppard called you the four amigos, McKay called you all brats and I nearly put you over my knee," Ronon smirked raising his eyebrow watching the horror fill Orla's face.
"You nearly put me over your knee? What changed your mind?" Orla gasped not sure she wanted know.
"I didn't, you lied to Major Lorne saying I was going to beat you, so he took you away then you stuck your tongue out at me," Ronon chuckled now looking back, remembering how badly he'd wanted to teach the girl a lesson.
Orla blushed with shame as Ronon claimed her mouth once again with his.
"A week? Rodney is it true?" Jennifer gasped looking into Rodney's face waiting for him to tell her it was a joke.
"Afraid not, you were all truly bratty, ermm… you know fifteen-ish," Rodney stumbled over his words.
"Fifteen-ish? Is that even a word? Bratty?" Jennifer hissed not amused at Rodney's analogy of her and her friends.
"No… well… you were fifteen; I don't know anything about teenagers. I'm sorry… but you were all a pain in the ass," McKay quickly stated regretting again his lack of tact. "It makes me appreciate with all my heart the woman you became Jennifer, I've missed you. I love you, you know that don't you?" Rodney was fumbling over his words, in his excitement at getting Jennifer back he said the first things that entered his head not intending to offend just not thinking full stop.
"I know Rodney and yes, I love you too," Jennifer replied leaning in to kiss Rodney firmly on the lips.
Laura turned to Carson her eyes wide in shock, "A week?" she squealed.
"Aye love, a long, long week," Carson smiled kissing the completely nonplussed Laura.
"As much as I want to stay here and do nothing but kiss you, I need to start running the tests you'll all need to be released back to yer quarters. I've missed you in mine more than I can tell yer lass," Beckett started kissing Laura as if she'd disappear any moment.
"Ladies, very shortly you're going to be moved to the infirmary in groups going alphabetically to make it the fairest, until then please be patient," Sheppard pleaded with the worried women.
"Teyla, you okay?" Sheppard quizzed the pretty Athosian.
"I am well John, thank you. Confused a little but well. I do have some questions if you have the time," Teyla confessed hoping the Colonel would spare her a little of his time.
"Okay, what's up," the Colonel replied grabbing a nearby chair sitting along side her.
"Why do I not remember anything that you have talked about?" Teyla quizzed staring into Sheppard's eyes for the truth she knew he would always give to her.
"I'd happily answer that Teyla but I have a feeling everyone wants to know that answer, I'd rather not explain it twenty two times if that's okay?" Sheppard grinned his best puppy dog smile.
"Of course," Teyla simply stated understanding what the Colonel had said.
"Ladies, sorry can I have your attention again, please? Teyla has asked a great question that I'm sure a few of you would like an answer to also. She asked how come she doesn't remember anything about the last week," Sheppard announced hearing cries of "yeah how come."
"The orb was designed as a leisure tool, when it was accidentally set off it altered you all mentally, so you returned to being fifteen while physically you stayed the same. The orb doesn't have lasting affects so you return to normal unaware of any change. We've also been assured that the fifteen year olds you used to be would also remain unaffected, the memory of being on Atlantis erased as you changed back. I need to start sending you to the infirmary," Sheppard continued.
Dr. Beckett was back in his infirmary he'd ordered a full staff to help with the scans, blood work and general examinations of the twenty two girls now back as women.
They'd been told to arrive alphabetically; it was the fairest option unless your name was something like Zelenka.
Teyla and Orla's group headed into the infirmary being chaperoned by Ronon and Sheppard.
"Woolsey wants a debrief in the morning. He suggested this evening so we could get Atlantis back on track first thing but I told him he'd have to tell Ronon… he said morning would be okay," Sheppard laughed at the image in his head of Woolsey's face growing pale at the idea.
Ronon snorted at the Colonel's comment, while watching Orla and Teyla quietly talking to one another.
"Ronon said you named some of us the four amigos?" Orla asked the Colonel watching as his face broke into a smile.
"Yeah, thanks for snitching on me buddy," Sheppard faked a hurt expression.
"Who and what are the four amigos?" Teyla asked Sheppard confused at the analogy.
"It's you, Orla, Jennifer and Laura. It just means four friends that are, in your case… mischievous and prone to trouble," Sheppard tried not to laugh at the expression of horror on the Athosian's face.
"McKay called you brats," Ronon added for good measure, Teyla, he knew wouldn't let Rodney get away with that comment. Not when she found out what it meant.
"What is a brat?" Teyla asked, eyes narrowing feeling she wasn't going to like what she'd hear.
"Spoiled child," Ronon replied, "What? That's what Sheppard told me," Ronon continued looking at the annoyed women in front of him,
"You know you're turning into a tattletale Ronon," Sheppard glared at the ex-Runner who merely shrugged in return unconcerned at Sheppard's comment.
Dr. Beckett walked toward the next group which included Teyla and Orla being part of E-H. Beckett looked at their chaperones not surprised to see them but trying to find a way of saying, we need the room.
"Colonel, any chance you and Ronon might like to grab a cuppa or even a beer while I deal with these ladies, we could really do with just the minimum amount of people in the infirmary tonight, please?" Beckett hoped the men would take the hint.
"Sure Doc, how long you reckon you need us to stay clear," Sheppard hoped Beckett understood Ronon would only stay away so long.
"An hour would be fantastic Colonel, but a minimum of forty-five minutes please. The tests do take time," Beckett explained watching the men nod their understanding.
"See you in a bit, little one," Ronon called out to Orla who smiled up at his handsome face.
"Okay," Orla replied reaching up grabbing at Ronon's shirt pulling him down while standing on her toes to kiss Ronon.
The women joined Dr. Beckett further inside the infirmary on gurneys waiting for their blood to be taken.
Sheppard and Ronon walked away from the infirmary both feeling relieved and exhausted at the same time.
"Feel like a beer? Think we've earned a few," Sheppard asked Ronon nonchalantly.
"Sure," Ronon replied his mind elsewhere, "McKay still with Jennifer?" Ronon asked absently.
"Yeah, last I saw he was. Think Kirin turned in early to give Rodney time with Jennifer. Lorne and his team will take Kirin back to Dalaran tomorrow morning with the orb," Sheppard explained as he palmed the door to his quarters open. Sheppard grabbed the beers from his fridge and turned back to Ronon, "Where to buddy?"
"What about the West Pier? Got good views and not that far from the infirmary," Ronon offered not really caring where they went.
"Cool," Sheppard smiled knowing they'd get peace at the West Pier.
Sheppard handed Ronon a Budweiser as they sat in the cool night air along the West Piers walk ways.
"Thanks," Ronon uttered absorbed in the view of the night sky before them. "You ever think they'd stay fifteen?" he asked quietly.
"Didn't let myself think like that, I'd of gone insane or back to Earth, you?" the Colonel turned to look at the huge man beside him.
"Sometimes, at night. Started sleeping on our balcony in the end," Ronon snorted at his own weakness.
"You did? Good thing Orla's back then, I missed Teyla you know. Got used to her telling me I was being an idiot, you know that look she gives you then tells you to be polite. Heard her voice once or twice, ended up telling myself off. Hate to break it to you big guy, but if anything ever happened to either of them, we're screwed," Sheppard admitted scaring himself with the statement.
"I know. Why don't you do something about you and Teyla?" Ronon quizzed his friend watching the man try to find the words to answer.
"You know this is one of those feelings talks. We don't do these," Sheppard chuckled at Ronon who snorted at his answer.
"What you get looking after teenagers I guess," Ronon broke in to a loud, tired, relieved laugh.
"If you don't tell McKay about this I won't," Sheppard tried to look deadly serious.
"Deal, so, Teyla?" Ronon looked up from his prone position, legs dangling off the end of Pier.
"It's up to Teyla, her people expect her to chose an Athosian… some guy named Kanaan, I can't ask her to drop her traditions and people's expectations for me," Sheppard had wanted to really ask his friend if he thought she would.
"Does she know you… you know, like her," Ronon was now starting to get uncomfortable dealing with another man's emotions.
"Yeah, rest is up to her I guess. Let's change the conversation before one of us turns into Oprah," Sheppard pleaded with a chuckle.
Beckett had radioed Sheppard and Ronon that Teyla and Orla were due to be released in a few minutes, their scans, blood work and exams all clear. The two men entered the infirmary looking for the women in question. They easily found Teyla and Orla who'd just been released and had started to head out of the infirmary.
"So, what you wanna do?" Sheppard asked Teyla slightly flustered a feeling Sheppard didn't like but seemed to be experiencing more and more around the Athosian.
"To be honest John, I would like a bath and to sleep, you do not mind do you? Teyla searched Sheppard's face for any sign of disappointment.
"Honestly? A little disappointed but glad too, Ronon and I have had little sleep this week. We're about ready to drop truth be known," the Colonel answered truthfully. "Come on, I'll walk you back to your quarters," Sheppard replied indicating with his head for Teyla to come with him. "I'll see you guys tomorrow, Orla take care of the big guy it's been a rough week," Sheppard chortled as he headed out the infirmary certain Teyla would be behind him.
"Good night Orla, Ronon. I will see you tomorrow," Teyla beamed at her friends bowing her head gesturing good night.
"Good night Colonel, Teyla," Orla replied quickly smiling at her friends.
"Night Sheppard, Teyla," Ronon added watching his friends leave, he turned back to Orla grinning. "Come on, let's go, want you to myself," Ronon grabbed Orla's hand and set off to their quarters dragging a laughing Orla behind him.
As Ronon made to palm their quarters open Orla asked, "Before you open the door, how bad is it?"
"What?" Ronon feigned innocence knowing full well Orla wanted to know how bad he'd managed to mess up their quarters in a week.
"How bad?" Orla looked at Ronon knowing he understood her fully.
"Compared to what?" Ronon chuckled as Orla buried her head in his chest moaning.
"Just pick me up and leave me on the bed… if it's safe," Orla signed wearily not wanting to think of the mess waiting for her, Ronon didn't understand the concept of picking up dirty clothes. How he'd survived on his own for so long as a Runner Orla couldn't understand.
Ronon picked up Orla, she automatically wrapped her arms around his neck, her legs about his waist and buried her head in the crook of his neck on hearing him palm the door open. Ronon stepped inside and palmed the door shut pulling the middle crystal out locking the door and placing it on a table nearby. He walked over to their bed and gently placed Orla onto the furs.
Orla looked about their quarters from the furs on their bed, the place was immaculate. A few of her things were missing but she'd been told they'd been left in the temporary accommodation blocks. Orla was shocked the place was clean and tidy, there seemed to be more pictures about their quarters of her and Ronon than normal but otherwise it was perfect.
"It's perfect!" Orla beamed at Ronon who broke into a smile in return.
"Couldn't sleep most nights, kept it tidy… something to do, thought you'd get mad if it looked bad," Ronon quietly admitted coming to sit by Orla.
"Thank you," was all Orla could say as she reached for Ronon.
"Think you still owe me that early night, little one," Ronon growled his arousal obvious.
"I love you Ronon," Orla giggled breathlessly pouncing on the Satedan.
"Love you more," Ronon gruffly purred at the woman in his arms.
McKay was in his lab re-checking all was in order; he wanted to start late tomorrow, spend some time with Jennifer. He just needed to make sure nothing could drag him back. Zelenka had been informed on pain of death was he to drag Rodney away from Jennifer. Rodney left the lab putting aside all thoughts of science behind him so he could concentrate on Jennifer.
Rodney eventually entered the infirmary looking about for the blonde woman who seemed to mainly occupy his thoughts these days. He instantly recognized the woman of his dreams, "Jennifer?" Rodney called out as he approached the woman sitting on the gurney.
Jennifer turned at the call of her name to see Rodney; she smiled jumping off the gurney to move toward McKay. "Hey you," Jennifer grinned pleased to see he'd come for her.
"You okay? Ready to go?" McKay was eager to have the woman all to himself.
"I'm fine and yep, ready to go," Jennifer beamed happy to see Rodney. "Where to?" Jennifer continued as they left the infirmary.
"My quarters, I… have some err… a surprise for you," Rodney blushed as he nervously ushered Jennifer into the transporter.
Rodney palmed his quarters opened and turned to Jennifer, "Can you give me a minute, please?" he pleaded hoping Jennifer would understand eventually.
"Okay, I'll wait here," Jennifer tried not to sound a little disappointed, what could he need to do that couldn't have been done while she was in the infirmary.
A minute later Rodney palmed the door open beckoning Jennifer into his quarters, all around were candles lit giving the room a warm sensuous glow. In the middle of the room was a small table enough for two with a single rose on one plate.
"Rodney this is… it's beautiful," Jennifer was almost speechless at the effort Rodney had gone to, the normally brusque, workaholic, sarcastic man had been replaced with a slightly nervous man eager to show Jennifer he'd missed her.
Rodney's door chimed, "Ah, right on time," McKay quickly moved to the door, opened it and closed it once more not before producing dinner to Jennifer. "A little late but I know your love of Pepperoni Pizza so had one made for you especially," Rodney smiled as he watched Jennifer's face light up at the sight.
Laura Cadman sat patiently in Carson's office waiting for the Doctor to finish with the women's check ups. Laura must have fallen asleep, the next thing she knew she was being woken gently by Carson. "Laura, love, time to go," Carson smiled as Laura came to slowly smiling and stretching at the Scotsman.
"We can go now?" Laura asked wearily.
"Aye, lass. We can," Beckett took Laura's hands and pulled her into his arms; they both leaned into one another and kissed gently at first, passion finally requiring more.
"Think we better go love," Carson grinned breathing heavily as Laura simply nodded her reply. The couple left the infirmary and headed toward the crew quarters.
"You're staying the night with me Laura, that's not a request either," Beckett whispered into his lover's ear as the transporter took them away.
The following morning Mr. Woolsey called for a debriefing with Sheppard, McKay, Lorne, Ronon, Beckett, Dr. Jacobs and Kirin. After nearly forty minutes of discussion and promises by Dr. Beckett and Kirin that all was normal, the women had suffered no ill affect though re-calling the women back to work today was maybe presumptuous. A day watching their behavior was something Beckett and Jacobs had insisted upon.
It had been agreed the women could go back to their original quarters and resume a normal personal life.
Mr. Woolsey sanctioned Major Lorne to take Kirin and the orb back to Dalaran but wanted the Major to return with his team as soon as they could. Atlantis needed to begin being an expedition once more.
The meeting eventually broke up and those wanting to say goodbye to Kirin followed the man down to the gate room, Major Lorne called together a team to escort Kirin back which normally would've included Lieutenant Laura Cadman and one scientist. As Laura had been altered she'd been replaced by Corporal Jenkins, going off world as an acknowledgement for all his efforts guarding the women. Dr. Zelenka joined the group, it was supposed to be Orla's turn but again as she'd been amongst the altered women he'd been volunteered by McKay.
After many good byes and a promise from Colonel Sheppard they'd keep in touch, Major Lorne's team and Kirin walked through the Stargate's wormhole back to Dalaran.
Some three hours later the team all found themselves inside the Citadel, a small contingent waiting for their arrival.
Dr. Zelenka took the orb from the large rucksack he'd worn during their hike back to the Citadel. As Zelenka lifted the orb free of it's confines he carefully handed it to Kirin smiling at the man as he did so.
"Gentlemen of the Citadel, may I present you with the Orb of Childhood," Kirin lifted the orb high for the all to see and approached the council to a deafening applause. Kirin handed it to the short fat man Sheppard had encountered earlier.
"Kirin Tor, you have done Dalaran proud this day, we must celebrate," the fat man exclaimed as his sweaty hands lost their grip on the orb, trying frantically to re-capture the orb before it hit the large wooden table the fat man stood next to.
It hit the table with a loud thud. Kirin managed to spot the markings for "Man" just before a humming could be heard.
Upon hearing the humming noise Kirin uttered the words he'd learned from his friend Dr. McKay, "Oh crap!"
A/N 2 - I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I did writing it. I'm at present writing a new story which I hope you'll all want to read.