Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis. If I did, do you think it would be cancelled?
A/N: I am not a doctor, nor am I a psychologist. Xxxx means change in viewpoint. Please enjoy! (and review )
Sheppard almost skipped back to the infirmary. He never liked staying still for too long, and his daily runs and sparring with Ronon and Teyla weren't cutting it. Now that Kate was on the mend, he needed to go do something. One problem fixed, on to the situation, though this one should go smoothly. He came into the infirmary, where Beckett was poking around one of his storage closets.
"Hey Doc. How's the girl?"
"Colonel. She's doing just peachy. Drawing up a storm, I might add. That Ronon, sharp one ain't he." Beckett's face glowed at the thought of his patient healing up right.
"Bursts here and there. She got off on something a few minutes ago. Now she's settling in for humming. I think it's twinkle twinkle little star." A big grin split across the doctor's face.
"So how's she physically?" John started his sly questioning.
"Doing quite nice. She actually could stay in her own room, but I like to keep her near for observation. Never know when a nasty memory might scare her half to death."
"Would fresh air do her any good?"
"Well, I'd keep her away from the docks. Never know if a wave might come up." Beckett answered; his head back in his work. "Why, do you want to take her around the city?"
"Actually," Sheppard's face got the impish look as he started his loaded question. "We've got this small off-world trip planned, nothing major, a couple of biologists wanting to check the plant life on a planet we've already visited."
"What?" Beckett pulled his head out of his inventorying and smacked it on a shelf. "She barely can talk, and you want to drag her through the stargate and off into who knows what could happen, away from the doctor, and the security of this facility?"
"When you put it like that, it sounds terrible. I just thought, some time with the team, off-world. Where we could have good times. Show her the ropes again."
"She's not a member of your team anymore. Rodney is more than ready to handle his work himself." Beckett argued as he put an ice pack on the growing lump on his head.
"She was a team member went it all went down. I just. I don't know. Make it up to her. Show her that our missions don't always end like that."
Beckett raised his brow in sarcasm, "Always, perhaps not. But a good portion of the time, one or more of ya all have to visit me. You wouldn't happen to be feeling guilty, Colonel?"
"It was on my watch. She's only 24. I'm the one to protect her. I just..." he paused, knowing he was not making any ground with this line of arguing.
"I understand. And perhaps it would do her good. I'll talk to Elizabeth about it. Is Teyla going?"
"I haven't asked yet, but I bet she will."
"Alright. Now get outta here, and let me do my work. I'll get her ready as soon as I get the ok."
Sheppard bolted out, and headed to find Teyla.
Images, words, sounds were coming back to her, but now she didn't feel the overwhelming pressure to sort it all at once. She just scribbled it out on paper. She even started remembering how to write, though messy. She had already written Atlantis, Kate, and the letter J. Papers were scattered everywhere as she started to make some order to it, memories matching on pages. The door slid open to reveal Beckett and Sheppard. She grinned as she realized she had remembered their names. Sheppard had a look of the canary eater, or, she couldn't remember the exact colloquialism.
Before Beckett could open his mouth, Sheppard spit out, "Wanna go off world?" She paused to process the words, and then nodded slowly, glancing at Beckett for approval and reassurance.
"Aye, Lassie. It's up to you."
"Ok." It was her favorite word at the moment. She knew she was slightly childish with her actions, and that bothered her a little.
"Then we have to get you all cleaned up."
A few hours later, scrubbed and cleaned, newly pressed Atlantis style clothes on, she was ready. Led by Teyla, she walked to the nearest transport, and entered it. Since her breakthrough, she had little fear of experiencing new things as long as the ones around her remained calm. They, for the moment, were her judges to what was safe and what was not, her full trust was in them. When the doors opened again, Sheppard and Ronon were waiting there, with McKay in the background yelling and carrying on, though he stopped when he saw her. A couple of other people she didn't recognize where there too, in the large room with a circle with water in the center of it. It looked like a big puddle on its side. She stared at it, trying to figure it out, when McKay dropped a box on his foot. Howls of pain startled her and she backed into Ronon, looking up at him as he smiled and put his hand reassuringly on her shoulder. Sheppard grinned and then looked up at the woman leaning over the balcony, who shouted, "Be careful." Elizabeth Weir. Kate remembered she was strong and had a commanding presence that intimidated her until the woman smiled, seeming as if she was everyone's best friend.
Ronon led her toward the giant puddle and Sheppard stood in front of her. "This'll be fun." He grinned, then stepped into the water and disappeared. She froze, unsure of what to make of it. This hadn't come back yet. Ronon coaxed her forward and she gingerly stepped through. In a millisecond she was through with her whole body tingling, but it was a familiar feeling, one she knew she had experienced before. Once everyone was through, it disengaged, and in her mind, several figures popped out. She needed paper. Sliding her pack off her shoulders she found the pad and pencil.
"Not yet. We've gotta make it to camp first." Sheppard said as he started off. She pulled it back up her back, and pursued him, till she was walking in step with him.
"Hi." she said.
"Hey. How's it so far?"
"So, we already set up camp, but you can help cook dinner if you'd like." Sheppard glanced over at her.
"I'd like that." Kate felt slightly hot under the collar and she didn't understand why. The trees blocked out the majority of the light heating the planet. Feeling slightly thirsty, she pulled the bottle out of the side pocket of her pack. Sipping it, she felt the cool water trickle down her throat. Glancing around, she noticed they were taking a very slow pace. McKay was trailing the group, muttering complaints to himself. She eased up, to walk in time with him. He instantly turned redder in the face, and stuttered out a hello.
"Hi." She answered. "You McKay?"
"Yeah, that's me. Dr. McKay. Rodney's my first name. I am the…" he rambled on and on, and her comprehension quit about the third sentence into the conversation. She nodded politely, but kept her eyes on where she was going to put her feet, catching phrases like Atlantis, Earth, and Stargate. Ronon stopped to let them catch up, then he stood between her and the digressing scientist.
"Excuse me. You're interrupting our conversation." Snapped McKay.
"I think she's done." Ronon growled.
"Who made you her protector and guardian?"
"It's ok. Just wanna walk right now." She said, cutting into the argument.
"Oh." McKay conceded, letting her hike off ahead, leaving him to his huffing up the hill.
By the time they got to camp, it was reaching dusk, and she was getting tired. Setting down her pack, Teyla ended up taking it from her and setting it in one of the sleeping places, Kate couldn't remember what they were called. She sat down on the aptly placed log and watched as Sheppard built a fire. She knew she didn't like fire and didn't want to get near it, but that was where Sheppard was cooking dinner and she really did want to help. Inching closer to the flames, she knelt down next to him.
"What do I have to do?" she asked.
"Uh, do you want to hand me that bag over there?" He pointed to the brown pack he had been carrying up this whole time. As she reached out to grab the strap, she noticed the scientists were all unpacking fascinating devices and tweaking them and turning them on. She was torn between seeing what they were doing, and helping John. She handed the bag over to him and watched as he dug around in it for a funny looking tool that he took to the cans. She supposed the food was in that, and was satisfied she was right when he poured the contents into the pan.
"That is how you make campout dinner. Canned chili." He flashed her a grin. She smiled back. As everyone sat down to eat the simple meal, Rodney complained it wasn't enough and ended up pulling out one of his power bars.
"You could always hike back to the 'gate, it's only an hour walk." Sheppard said with a smirk.
"Yeah, and die on the way. I'm not going by myself. Besides, my feet hurt. I'm going to go lie down in the tent." He stormed off as soon as he finished.
"I believe I want to retire as well. It's going to be an early day tomorrow." Teyla stated as she stood.
"Oh, I see. I do the dishes too?" Sheppard grumbled.
Ronon replied, "If you made a better meal, I'd do the dishes."
"Hey, I was only trying to make it easy, we're heading back tomorrow. You can eat better there."
"I'll help."Kate said eagerly.
"You don't know what you're getting into, do you?" John sent her a look.
"It's ok, I want to help. I'm not ready to sleep yet." She said with a slight defensive tone.
"All right." John complied.
Ronon disappeared to find firewood and John led her away from the camp to get water.
"You see, we don't want to use up our drinking water, so we'll get some of this and boil it to kill all the germs or whatever is in it, then clean the dishes." He explained as he carried the bucket down to the creek side. As it got darker, the stars shown clearly in the night sky. She looked up in awe of the beauty when her foot caught on a root and she stumbled, falling down the path. John dropped the bucket and helped her up. She started laughing as soon as she was back on her feet.
"It's not that funny. Are you alright?" he sat her down, kneeling in front of her to check her over for scrapes and cuts.
"I'm fine." She said once she caught her breath, "I just feel silly, tripping like that." She looked into his face as the shadows of his light caught his rugged features. A feeling came over her, and she leaned forward to touch his lips with hers. Kissing him ever so slightly, John pulled away as she realized what she was doing. He rubbed the back of his neck as she sat back. Silence hung between them.
"I'm sorry." She whispered. "I don't know…"
He broke in, "I am. I mean, you're a great girl, but…"
She stopped him with a raise of her hand, feeling more lucid then she had in days. "Don't worry. It was a sudden impulse, won't do it again." She answered his hesitating comments.
Sheppard became distant, but then he started, "I don't know if you'll understand me, but certainly try." His tone of voice was starting to scare her. "You are a pretty, intelligent young woman. You've had some hardship in your life, but overcome a lot of it. Now you are dealing with this loss of memory, but your courage in overcoming it is inspiring. You don't give up. And I don't ever want you to. But right now," he paused. "Right now you are very vulnerable, and experiencing everything for the first time. I don't want any man to take advantage of it, not even myself."
She sat there, realizing the meaning he had with those words and felt her cheeks heat up. "I uh, I understand, and I'm sorry."
"Let's get some water, shall we?" he changed the subject and held out his hand to help her up.
She followed him the rest of the way, but remained silent the rest of the way there and back. Distracted by her inward thoughts, she barely remembered what he was telling her to do with the water, but once he was done with the dishes, she slipped away to her tent. Contemplation wasn't something she had liked to do lately, but now she knew enough about the language, enough about herself, she felt she was almost right again. It would take a long time to get back to where she was, but she had begun to have some confidence about herself again. The whole episode with Sheppard made her feel foolish and naïve, like three steps backwards up the mountain she had been climbing for so long.
Slipping out of her tent, knowing everyone else was asleep; she put her shoes on and left. Strolling in the dark, her eyes adjusting to the lack of light, she breathed in the crisp night air. Running through what she remembered, she knew about earth, about Atlantis, the Ancients. The details of her job still escaped her, but the wall blocking the memories had all but corroded. A rustle in the bushes caught her attention. She headed over to it, and peered through the leaves. It was a small fowl, sitting on a nest of eggs. She didn't know the species, but did think it reminded her of a sparrow. It was small, its head tilted up at her but it didn't seem afraid. Studying how it moved and reacted to the settling sounds of the forest fascinated her.
A sound behind her spun her around. Something was standing in the shadows, with a light source. She headed slowly toward it, keeping behind trees and protection. The light started to get brighter and brighter but it didn't seem to move. Pain exploded in her head and she crumpled to the ground, unable to see. The brightness was blinding her. She couldn't tell where she was anymore, if she was alone. Waves of nausea hit as the pain intensified even more. Moans escaped her mouth, and they became steadily shriller. Voices surrounded her, familiar ones. She let out a loud cry of pain as big strong arms surrounded her, carrying her away.
"Can you hear me?" A voice said, but it was so faint, so far away. She couldn't summon the strength to answer. Every footstep the person carrying her took sent shockwaves rolling through her body, and she let out a whimper every time his foot hit the ground. Her hands that were gripping her head so tight were slowly easing their hold as complete exhaustion took over and she went completely limp.
Urgency filled the voices, and the man started moving even faster. She felt someone shake her to get her to wake, but she was slipping away and she knew it, welcomed it. It was less painful that way. The last thought she had was the kiss in the dark.
Thank you for reading. More will be posted tomorrow :)