I do not own Stargate Atlantis, the dialogue from the show or the characters, they are owned by MGM. Dr. Alexa (Lexi) Carter is my own original character. I have tried to research the medical jargon as much as possible, so if any of it is incorrect, I apologize.

© Jennifer Dreyer, 2009-2010

Chap. 1:


Colonel Samantha Carter is sitting at her desk in the city of Atlantis, trying to get through the unbelievable amount of paperwork that never seems to dissipate. Pushing aside her tablet computer and taking a look at the clock on her desk, she sighs, as she sees that it's 0100 Atlantis Mean time. Rubbing her eyes and standing up, she walks out of her office, through the Control room, which at this moment is blissfully quiet, to the outside balcony. Feeling how chilly it is, she wraps her jacket, tightly around her and leaning up against the railing, looking out at the two moons, she remembers the recent events that led up to the death of Doctor Kate Heightmeyer.

She had only been in charge of the expedition for a little over a month when the situation had occurred. John and the rest of his team had come back from a mission to M3X-387, which to the best of anyone's knowledge had nothing written about it in the Ancient database. While on the planet, John had touched an unknown crystal and had been zapped by it. After receiving a large enough shock to knock him to his feet, he decided that he had had enough of the planet and would have a science team come back to check things out further. When the team got back, Doctor Keller had cleared everyone, although she had run a few extra tests on John, just to make sure the crystal hadn't done any damage. Satisfied that he was okay, she had let Carter know that he was in good health and that there was no need for any concern. Of course after eleven years of working for the SGC, Carter was always a little bit on edge, knowing that at any moment something could go wrong. And of course, something did go wrong. By the end of the whole ordeal, the expedition had lost Doctor Heightmeyer and had almost lost McKay and John.

Unfortunately, she now had to choose a new head psychiatrist for the base. She knew that Atlantis was still reeling from Doctor Heightmeyer's death, as well as the loss of Doctor Weir. So the sooner she picked someone the better and in the back of her mind, she knew that whomever she did chose would have to be approved by the IOA.

The first person she thought of, believe it or not, was her niece. Mark's daughter, Alexa Elizabeth, Lexi for short, had taken after her aunt in the genius department, except that instead of going into astrophysics and the Air Force, she had decided to become a medical doctor, a psychiatrist no less. Unlike her aunt, but just like John and General O'Neill, Lexi had the ancient gene, which had come as a bit of a welcome surprise.

Smiling to herself, she remembers how hard it had been to convince Mark to allow his then twenty two year old daughter to join her at the SGC. But, she and Lexi had gotten very close over the years and finally, after a lot of tandem cajoling, Mark had given his blessing.

Once Lexi arrived at the SGC, she had easily made friends and her ability to separate her work life, from her personal life led to her being well liked and respected among the civilian and military personnel on the base. Therefore, Carter wasn't surprised when Lexi began hanging out with her group of friends, including her teammates on SG-1. She was surprised though that Lexi had no problems transitioning into the life of secrets that came with working for the Stargate program, and in regards to her work, she quickly became the one psychiatrist on base that everyone wanted to talk to.

"Hey."

Coming back to the present and looking over her shoulder, she smiles, "hey back." and looking down at her watch, "John, what're you doing up? I thought Lorne had the watch tonight."

"He does, but I couldn't sleep. So what's got you up so late?"

"Well, I was buried under paperwork and needed a break. So I thought I'd come out and get some air." and turning her head to really look at him, her breath catches in her chest, "are you okay?"

Shrugging, "yeah, I'm good." and without looking at her, "anyways, where were you just then?"

Still watching him with concern, "ah, I was thinking about who I'm gonna get to fill Heightmeyer's position." and not missing the flash of pain crossing his face at the mention of Doctor Heightmeyer, "John, Kate's death wasn't your fault. You can't control everything."

Turning to look at her, a weak smile flitting across his lips, "yeah, I know." and turning to head for the door, "I'm gonna go finish my run and hit the sac. I'll see you tomorrow at the briefing."

Smiling, "sleep tight, John."

Stopping at the door, looking over his shoulder, "night, Sam."

Watching him leave, it hits her that he probably won't be getting a good nights sleep, and with the amount of things I've got on my plate right now, I'm not gonna get any sleep either.

However, as she walks back into the Control room, the fatigue that has been pulling at her since she had walked onto the balcony finally convinces her that the paperwork and her choice for Heightmeyer's replacement can wait until morning.

xxxx

The following morning at 0830, Carter is sitting in the conference room drinking a large cup of coffee and reading over a report from the botany department. Glancing at her watch and seeing that she still has about half an hour until everyone is due to show up, she leans back in her chair and rubs her eyes. Stretching out her neck and shoulders, she realizes that she had gotten five hours of sleep the previous night, which is more than she has been able to get since arriving on Atlantis.

Snap out of it Sam, she admonishes herself and deciding that she might as well do something useful while she waits for everyone to show up, she proceeds to type up her recommendation to the IOA, to have Lexi brought to Atlantis.

About ten minutes later, Ronon and Teyla show up, chatting about the trip that they are going to be making to New Athos the following day. Teyla wishes her a good morning and the two of them take up seats on her right hand side and continue talking. A few minutes later, McKay and Keller show up. Keller has her eyes glued to her tablet and McKay is muttering something about, "these people are so damn primitive. Why are we going there anyway?" As he and Keller sit down, she finishes her recommendation and joins in on the conversation.

"Colonel Carter, I would like to take the medical supplies to New Athos tomorrow and Ronon has said that he would like to accompany me."

"That's fine, Teyla" and looking at Keller, "I don't see that being a problem, do you Dr. Keller?"

"No problem at all Teyla. Everything is all set and will be waiting for you."

The conversation takes up the last ten minutes and as it comes and goes, with no sign of John, the group quiets down and starts looking towards the door, as if expecting him to saunter through it at any moment. When he doesn't show up after twenty minutes, Carter taps the radio in her ear, sharing looks of concern with everyone in the conference room.

"Colonel Sheppard, this is Colonel Carter, come in please."

She waits a couple of minutes and just as she is about to call him again, his voice comes over the radio.

"Sheppard here. I'll be there in five."

The radio link closed, Carter smiles slightly at everyone in the room, as the memory of how bad he had looked the previous night, pops up in her minds eye, "well, I guess we'll wait until he gets here."

Five minutes later, John walks through the door and slumps down in the chair next to her. Quickly glancing at him, he grimaces back at her and looking at everyone else, the meeting gets under way and within an hour it is over.

As everyone is filing out of the room, she notices that she isn't the only one hanging back. John is still sitting in his chair next to her, trying to rub the fatigue that he is obviously feeling out of his neck and shoulders. During the meeting he had been quiet, up until the point where he volunteered to take the supplies to the research base. However, just by looking at him now she can tell that if he doesn't get a full nights sleep, he won't be in any shape for anything, let alone flying.

"John, maybe you should take the rest of the day off and get some sleep."

"Are you making that an order Colonel, or a suggestion?" he asks, swiveling in his chair so that he can look at her straight on.

"I'll make it an order if I have to, Colonel. But, I'd rather you take it as a suggestion. You look like you've been hit by a truck. And if you even want me to think about allowing you to fly the resupply mission, it'd be a good idea if you listen to me."

Staring at her, I am really beat, but. Idiot! You're dead on your feet and if you need proof of that, you slept through you're alarm. and not missing the fact that she is watching him closely, "you know what Sam, I think I will take it as a suggestion."

Smiling at him, "good. I'm glad."

Getting up and returning her smile, "I think I might even go see if Keller can give me something to help knock me out."

Also getting up and walking with him out of the conference room, "that sounds like a great idea. Sleep tight."

Reaching the stairs down to the Gate room, walking down them, "thanks Sam."

She watches him head down the stairs and it takes her mind a second to realize that he probably won't go to see Keller and with that thought, she radios the doctor.

"Dr. Keller this is Colonel Carter, come in please."

"Yes, Colonel, what can I do for you?"

"Colonel Sheppard should be on his way down to you. If he doesn't show, I'd like you to go check on him and report back to me."

"Does this have anything to do with how he looked at the briefing?"

"Yeah. I think a good nights sleep would do him some good. To be quite honest, I don't think he's been sleeping well, since Kate died."

"Well, Colonel, welcome to the wonderful world of John Sheppard. He most likely won't come to see me, as he hates to take anything more powerful than Tylenol or Motrin. But yes, if he doesn't show up within the next few minutes, I'll go check on him. He won't be happy about it, but well that's Sheppard for you."

"Thanks Jennifer. I just want to make sure he's fit for duty. Carter out." and turning off her radio, she goes on about the rest of her duties, confident that Keller will let her know if John decided not to see her.

xxxx

John left the control tower, heading for his quarters. Even though he had told Carter that he would see Keller, he really didn't mean it. He wouldn't admit it to himself, but the fact that Carter said that she would make it an order, had actually felt really good.

He smiles to himself, remembering how Elizabeth had shown the same type of concern and annoyance towards him. But thinking about Elizabeth, dredges up all of the painful images that he thought he had come to terms with and by the time he reaches his quarters, all he wants to do is get into bed and curl up into a ball.

Swiping his way into them and heading over to the dresser, he strips down to his t-shirt and boxers and after mentally dimming the lights he climbs into the bed. Closing his eyes, he is just about to drift off into an uneasy sleep, when the door chime goes off.

Sitting up, "hang on a sec." he shouts, as he rubs his hands over his face and through his hair. Swinging his legs over the side of the bed and standing up, he walks over to the desk chair and pulls on the pair of sweats that he had thrown over it the night before, after his run.

The door chimes again and sighing, "I'll be right there." he shouts again, as he heads over to it. Reaching it, he swipes the control panel, not surprised to see Keller standing in front of him with a bemused expression on her face.

"Ah Colonel. I'm sorry, did I wake you?"

"No. I wasn't sleeping yet." and leaning against the doorframe, to keep himself standing, "what brings you by?"

"Um, Colonel Carter radioed and mentioned that you might come down to see me and when you didn't show up, I got worried."

Crossing his arms across his chest and shrugging, "I meant to. But I figured I'd just hit the sac instead."

Scanning her eyes over him, "John, I know you hate taking stuff, but you look horrible. Would you please let me give you something?"

Smirking, "is that your professional medical opinion, or are you just trying to be nice?"

Rolling her eyes and sighing, "that's my medical opinion, as well as, you are a friend of mine and look like hell warmed over and should sleep a month straight, opinion."

Accepting the pill bottle she is holding out to him, "so what? Do I take these and then just sleep?"

"Yes and being that you have more than eight hours to sleep, I would suggest taking them now. They take effect pretty quickly."

"And they won't knock me out for more than a day?" he asks, concern lacing his voice.

"Well, they really are only effective for at most ten hours, so you won't sleep longer than that. However, if you do sleep longer, it's only because your body needs it." and grinning at him, "but if it helps, I'll come by and throw a bucket of cold water over you tomorrow morning, just to make sure."

Chuckling, he thanks her for the pills and as the doors slide shut, he heads over to the mini fridge. Grabbing a water bottle and downing the pills, sleep, this should be really great. Lying down, he is out cold within five minutes, sleeping straight through till the following morning.

xxxx

"Colonel Carter this is Dr. Keller."

"I'm here doctor. What's up?"

"Colonel, I wanted to let you know that I just checked on Colonel Sheppard. He's gonna be just fine."

"Thanks, Jennifer. That's great news." and as the radio link closes, Carter smiles to herself, knowing that she did the right thing.