Chap. 24:


John watches her walk out of the Isolation room and with another sigh he rubs his hands over his face as he feels the exhaustion starting to pull at him, again.

It would be so easy to just lie down and sleep for the next three days and letting his eyes close for just a second, wake up John! You can't sleep. You have to get to Teyla, now. and forcing his eyes open, he gets up and starts pacing, as the feeling of being trapped like a caged tiger, overrides the exhaustion he is feeling. However, a couple of minutes later, he stops short as he hears the doors open, revealing Carter.

As she walks into the room he starts to pace again and looking at her, "we don't have time for this."

Coming to a stop a few feet from him and watching him pace, "John, there are procedures we have to follow. You know that."

Stopping and looking at her, "I am not a clone. Is that what you're worried about?" he asks her, resuming his pacing.

"No, your medical came back clean, telomeres and all. But there are other things we need to discuss. I mean, you have to admit, this is a pretty wild story, even for this place."

Again he stops to look at her, waving his arms in her direction, "but that's my whole point. How could I make this up?"

They look up, as McKay's voice comes over the radio from the Control room, "Sam. Believe it or not, I found it. It was in the sensor log. It's a solar flare capable of interfering with the wormhole from M4S-587 at exactly the moment that Lorne says he dialed."

Looking at John and speaking over the radio, "well, why didn't the Gate's fail safe prevent the wormhole from locking?"

Shifting uncomfortably, "umm, well, we've had a number of glitches since we, uh, last updated the operating system."

Looking up at the ceiling, annoyance written across his face, "oh, that's what you call a "glitch," huh?" John asks.

Looking at Chuck and still speaking over his radio, "yes, well, you should know that, uh, I'll be giving Zelenka a stern talking to." McKay answers.

Fixing Carter with a pleading look and placing his hands on his hips, "can we go now?"

Nodding at him, she follows him out of the doors. As they come to a stop outside the transporter, the doors open to reveal Lexi standing there, Tylenol and a bottle of water in hand.

"I see everything's a go then?" she asks, as she hands him the Tylenol and the water and the three of them get back into the transporter.

"Yeah." John says, as he taps the screen to take them to the locker room and downs the Tylenol.

They get out of the transporter and walk into the locker room to see Lorne, his men and a team of marines gearing up. Lorne nods to John, as he walks over to his locker. Lexi and Carter wait outside, until the all clear is called and Lorne, his men, and the marines, walk out.

"Major, be careful."

"We will be Colonel." Lorne says, as he walks to the transporter with the group.

"Evan, good luck." Lexi says, as she watches him step into the transporter.

He smiles and nods at her as the doors shut.

Carter and Lexi walk in and head right over to where John is pulling on his TAC vest and hooking his P-90 to it.

"John, you sure you're up for this?" Carter asks.

Glaring at her as he straps his side arm around his leg, "it's Teyla, Sam. I'm not sitting this one out."

Knowing that look, as she has often had it and turning to leave, "all right. But, be careful." and as she walks out the door, "bring her home. I'll be in the Control room."

He watches her retreating figure and looking over at Lexi, "hey you, you okay?"

She walks up to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and running her fingers through the hair on the back of his neck, she looks him in the eye, "keep your promise." she says and she kisses him hard and as she pulls away, "be safe, I love you."

He leans closer and kissing her on the forehead, "I'll try and I love you too."

They walk up to the Gate room and Lexi continues on to the Control room to watch from the top of the stairs with Carter. They watch as McKay and Ronon walk up to stand next to John, McKay saying something to him and then John shouts, "let's go!" and they head through the Gate.

As the Gate shuts down, Lexi looks over at Carter, "Sam."

"Lexi, it'll be fine." she says, putting her arm around Lexi's shoulders and hugging.

Lexi rests her head on Carter's shoulder, "you're right. Gotta be positive. Feel like sparring?"

Laughing, "yeah, why not?"

xxxx

After coming through the Gate, the teams advance to the building where the future Lorne, McKay and Ronon found Teyla. Lorne and his team, accompanied by McKay, split up from John, Ronon and two marines and head down a separate corridor.

John, Ronon and the two marines advance further into the building. They come to a stop and John motions for the two marines to patrol on their own, while he and Ronon continue on the route they are traveling. A few corridors down, Lorne, his team and McKay find a door and they open it.

McKay is just about to step into the room, when his radio crackles to life and he hears John ask, "Rodney, you got anything?"

Walking into the room followed by Lorne and the others, "hold on." and as he gets further into the room he sees a Wraith device hooked up to a TV screen, "yeah. Yeah, I've got some kind of a data terminal. Let me see if I can power it up and hack in."

As McKay gets to work, John and Ronon reach the room where Teyla's body was found in the future and as John looks at it, "this is it. This is where they found her."

"How do you know?" Ronon asks.

"Cause he described it to me."

Growling, Ronon races to the doorway aiming his blaster into the room. John joins him and they walk in, Ronon raising and lowering his blaster, John slowly following and looking down at the spot where Teyla's body was in the future. Ronon walks over to a table on his right, "hey." he says, as he picks up a horrible looking knife and showing it to John, "look at this."

Back in the other room, McKay has his hands literally full of Wraith tech, when over his radio he hears John, "McKay, we've got something."

Still focusing on the wraith tech, "What is it?"

"Some twisted version of a maternity ward." and looking at something that is the Wraith equivalent of an incubator, "I think we're too early, though. But he's gonna bring her here to have the baby."

Standing up a little, "hold on. I'm in." McKay says, and pulling his hands out of the console and looking at the TV screen as information appears on it, "whoa! Jackpot!"

"What've you got?" John asks over the radio.

McKay excitedly reads the information on the screen, "I've got everything! I've got Gate addresses, I've got sub-space communication codes. I've even got his research into the hybrids!" and turning around with a smile at Lorne, "he's history!"

As he finishes speaking, he turns back to the screen and he sees it go black for a moment and then a single symbol appears. He quickly realizes that something is wrong, "no-no. No-no-no-no-no. What happened?" he asks as he watches the symbols and sees that they are a countdown.

Seeing the countdown and pointing at the screen, "what's that?" Lorne asks.

"Oh no." McKay says.

Hearing the worry in McKay's voice, "doc?"

McKay turns to him, fear plastered across his face, "it's a countdown!"

Meanwhile, John and Ronon look up at the sound of an explosion and from the other room, Lorne screams into is radio, "Colonel, it's a booby trap!" and feeling the building shake, "we've gotta get out of here now!"

Lorne runs to the door, McKay following, only to be stopped short by part of the ceiling crashing down and blocking their way. In the room where John and Ronon are, a large support falls from the ceiling and nearly hits them. As they race out of the room they get stuck as more ceiling falls around them. Meanwhile, McKay, Lorne and his team are stuck as well, as the debris starts raining down on them. They're all stuck and in bad shape, as the building comes down completely around them, in fire and ruble.

xxxx

Back on Atlantis, Lexi and Carter spar and after they shower in the locker room, they head to the mess to have a bite to eat. They walk into the large room to find Keller sitting with Doctor Engle, having an animated conversation. They carry their trays over to them and take a seat.

"So Jamie, how're things going?" Lexi asks through bites of food.

"They're going well. I was just telling Jennifer about an interesting plant that we found on M1G-098. It looks like it might have some excellent healing abilities."

Sitting back in her chair and taking a sip of her coffee, "yes, they do seem rather impressive." and looking at Carter across the table, "Sam, I was hoping to bring a large quantity back to test."

"Sure, you and Jamie can head off world in a couple of days to get some and bring it back. Radio me tomorrow and I'll put it on the off world schedule."

"Thank you Colonel. I'll be sure to do that." Doctor Engle says and looking at Lexi, "Lexi I was wondering, if I could talk to you?"

Finishing off her tea, "sure, you wanna talk now?"

Smiling and getting up from the table, "that would be great."

Getting up too, "Sam, Jen I'll see you later." she says and falling into step with Doctor Engle, they head for her office, chatting about nothing in particular. Carter and Keller each finish their own meals and head for their respective offices.

Reaching her office, Lexi and Doctor Engle take up seats in the arm chairs and after a brief moments pause, as they get comfortable, Lexi smiles, "so what did you wanna talk about?"

Feeling a little awkward and offering up a small smile of her own, "um. Well. I don't really know where to start."

"Jamie, does this have anything to do with Evan?"

Looking at her, shock spreading across her features, "Ho...how did you know?" and looking down at her twisting hands, "um, yeah. I just wanted to know, well you know, if you and he were, um..."

Scooting to the edge of her chair, "Jamie, look at me," and waiting until she does so, "we are just friends. Evan and I love each other..."

"You love each other?" she asks, a mix of anger and disappointment evident on her face.

"Please let me finish. Yes we love each other, but as nothing more than best friends. He's like a brother to me, nothing more."

Relief spreading across her face, "nothing more?"

Smiling, "Jamie," and making a point to show her the ring on her left finger, "you see this? Colonel Sheppard gave it to me. Didn't you know that we're seeing each other?"

Sheepishly smiling, "yeah. I knew. It's just that Evan always talks about you. It's always Lexi this and Lexi that."

"Oh..."

"Yes. Oh. I really like him and if he still has feelings for you, well then..."

Placing a hand on hers, "I promise you Jamie. I am in love with the Colonel and from what I've seen, Evan is in love with you. I shouldn't really be telling you this, but seeing as he never talks to me, as anything other than a friend, it's okay. He's always talking about you, when we're together." she says, watching the tension ease from Doctor Engle as she tells her this and gently squeezing her hand, "so are we good?"

"Yes." and standing up to leave, "thank you Lexi. I guess I just get nervous when he's off world."

Laughing and walking with her out of the office, as she wants a coffee before coming back to her office to do some research, "tell me about it. At least, he's not always getting into trouble."

Laughing as well, "that is true. The Colonel and his team do always seem to find trouble when they go off world. I just hope that they're all okay this time out."

Stopping to swipe the transporter doors open, "me too." Lexi says.

Although as they get into the transporter, the feeling of dread that she hasn't been able to shake since John, Lorne and the rest of the team stepped through the Gate, flares again and she hopes with all her heart that it is just a feeling.