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 )
Pre-read by JaimyX and Shastaabby (thank you for the great reviews)
The scene playing out before Sheppard was familiar. Rushing into the infirmary, Ronon carrying Kate. Beckett racing over with all his medical stuff, McKay rambling in the back, Teyla soothing him. Weir striding down the hallway with that look on her face when things just went from bad to worse. Carson was already checking her vitals, she was still alive, barely.
He didn't know what had happened this time though. Nothing was apparent this time; she had disappeared off into the woods and then started screaming. When they found her, she was in a heap on the ground, sweat-soaked and barely breathing. Beckett snapped out orders and then chased out Sheppard and his team. Outside in the halls, he could do nothing. The waiting game was not something he liked playing. He ended up running down the corridor, running from everything, beating out his frustrations on the hard floors until he ended up in the sparring room. Finding a punching bag, he let loose all his anger that had bottled up since the mission first went off the rails. Her face crept into his mind, when she kissed him. She didn't know how bad he wanted to kiss back. Leaning against the wall, he slid down it till he was sitting, knees up in front of him. Ronon walked into the room and stood in front of him.
"You ok?" he asked gruffly.
"I am now." John said back, "How is she?"
"Beckett doesn't know what's wrong, but he said she's stabilized."
"I should go see her."
"Because, that's what leaders do, they're there for their team."
"Then why'd you run?"
"Because I would've probably ended up punching the wall. Why did Michael have to do this to her? To get back at us? What is his real plan?" That thought crept into his mind, it was almost too easy how they got her back.
"What else do we know? Did he ever go back to that lab?" He started spinning a scenario out in his mind, and then stood up. "Something's wrong. I gotta go." Knowing that must've been the most cryptic message he could've given, he ran out of the room and back to the infirmary.
"Colonel, I just put her to bed, you doing ok?"
"Where is she?"
"She's back in her room, what's going on?" Beckett's voice rose with anxiousness. Sheppard just ran off toward to the room and slid open the door. The room was empty save for a mussed up bed. He spun to look at the startled doctor's face. His Scottish accent thickened, "Where'd she go? Where could she have possibly gone without my knowledge?"
"We gotta find her." Sheppard ran from the room, heading to Rodney's lab when the lights went out. "Hello?" he said into his intercom, but all he got back was crackle fuzz. Now sprinting, he raced down the hallway and almost ran into the very man he was looking for.
"What happened?" McKay sputtered.
"I don't know. I was coming to you to find out."
"It's like the generators was taken offline."
"Do you have a way to find Kate?"
"Isn't she with Carson?"
"No, she's gone. I'm going to go find Weir. You get the lights back on."
"Alright, but I should go to the control room, I'll come with you."
"Keep up." With that, Sheppard dashed off toward the nearest transport, but then thought better of it.
"No, you can use it, it's running off the back up, I have certain important things on its own separate lines." McKay shouted as he puffed up.
Stepping in it, he waited for Rodney to get in, and pushed for the control tower. Stepping out, he hurried off to find Weir. Seeing that there was light coming over the top of the balcony, he ran up the stairs three at a time and headed to the control room. She was there, asking everyone for explanations and getting frustrated with the lack of response.
"I think it's Kate." Sheppard said as soon as he entered the room.
"Why would you think that?" Weir asked as her eyes narrowed ever so slightly.
"It was too easy to get her back. I think she's Michael's Trojan horse."
"She isn't in the infirmary?"
"No, gone when I went to check."
"Then find her, we'll work on getting power back online. Zelenka believes the ZPM is unaffected so we still have shields. Before everything went dark, there was a Hive ship on the long range sensors on a course that would head them past us. It would be far enough out that we would be unaffected by it with the cloak up, but if she gets to it…" Weir paused.
"It's not good. Do we have any way of tracking her?" Sheppard asked.
"We do now." McKay yelled out joyously. "Turns out she didn't manually disconnect the Naqahdah generators, but wrote a code into a computer terminal. I wonder how she did that when she couldn't even remember how to talk."
"Doesn't matter, mobilize teams, we need to find Kate now. Arm only with stunners." Sheppard ordered into his comm.
Lorne responded over the radio, "Yes sir."
Weir sent Sheppard a look that conveyed a thought he didn't want to even ponder, but the commander in him knew he needed to. He touched his ear, "And small hand guns as a last resort."
"Copy that sir."
With that taken care of, he headed to the armory to grab a stunner himself. Teyla and Ronon were already there, Ronon had his gun out flicking it to stun. He felt nervousness settle in his stomach as he reached for a LSD.
"McKay. Do you have any idea where she is?"
"She's heading towards the power room. I think she might be trying to knock everything out." Mckay's voice sounded very distant through the comm. With that, the teams headed out. Sheppard motioned for them to go the long way, but he would lead his team the shortest distance there. Teyla and Ronon followed in suit.
Stunner in hand, once they were in the general vicinity, the colonel ordered radio silence, then entered the first passageway towards the ZPM room. He pulled out the LSD and saw one life-sign ahead of them blinking on it. Stealthily heading down the next hallway, the sign disappeared of his screen. He motioned for a halt, and then looked ahead. There was a thin film covering the entrance to the generator room, and it must have been blocking the signal.
"McKay." He whispered into the radio, "Where is she?"
"I, uh…"he paused and Sheppard could hear keys clacking in the background. "I don't know. One minute she's there, the next… gone."
"Big help. There seems to be a film covering the doorway, do you know what that could be?"
A long pause, then, "Crap. That would be… uh, what we've been studying how to mess up the LSD so we could fix any kinks the Wraith would throw up. She must've found it."
"Is it safe to walk through?"
"Yeah, it's like cellophane, nothing more."
"Ok, Sheppard out." He motioned for them to head forward. Stepping up to the entry he brushed down the plastic blocking the door. At that, the LSD started beeping erratically. She was right on top of them. Feeling a body come tackling down on him, knocking the breath out as he hit the ground, he rolled over to see her wrestle with Teyla and shooting her with her own stunner, then ripping it from Teyla's grasp and firing three times on Ronon who crumpled to the floor. Spinning around, she aimed it at Sheppard who barely had made it to a sitting position.
Her eyes were wild, with an almost undomesticated resolution in them, her stance aggressive. "Don't move." She said tersely. "Slid over your stunner."
"Hand gun too." She snapped.
He hesitated as he took it out of the holster.
"Now." She yelled. "And your radio and knife."
He took it out of his ear, and slid the knife from its sheath. She promptly took the earpiece and put it in her ear, then picked up his Beretta and fired on the high window lining the room. It cracked and shattered in pieces, then Kate tossed all the extra weapons she couldn't carry out the hole she had created. A wry thought crossed his mind as she stuck Ronon's gun in her belt. Then she motioned for him to roll over. He faltered for a second and she fired another shot at the floor near him. He pulled back, and she was on top of him in a second pinning him to the floor, the barrel against his temple.
Her breaths were ragged as she sat on top of him, staring him in the eye. He saw no sign of Kate in the frenzied blue eyes, and he knew she really would kill him. Swallowing hard, he nodded slowly. Knowing he could easily overpower her, he knew he had to get the gun away from her. As she got off of him, he rolled slowly to his stomach. He stayed motionless as she pulled cuffs out of her pocket and handcuffed his hands together. Keeping the gun pressed firmly against his head, she reached down and unbuckled his belt, then slid it off. She then quickly tied his feet together and rolled him onto his back. Discomfort was felt from his wrists to his shoulders in the unnatural position they were in.
Leaving him, she deftly immobilized Teyla and Ronon, and then headed off to finish what she started. As soon as she had disappeared, Sheppard wrenched his feet free, and worked on getting his hands in front of him. Prying off his boots with his toes, he slid his wrists down and around in front of him. Looking for a weapon, then only one he could find was a knife hidden in Ronon's clothes. Grabbing it, he ran after her as quietly as he could. Entering the room with the ZPM, he saw her push the sequence to eject it. Knowing he had no time, he stepped out into the open.
"Stop, Kate." He commanded.
She spun around and fired at him. He ducked behind a desk as two bullets came towards him, barely missing him. He saw his opportunity to overpower her as she came walking ever so calmly to where he was hiding. Sneaking forward, using the shadows as his defense, he leapt out and past her to the ZPM where she had left the Teyla's berretta laying, then pivoted and faced her, weapon in hand. It was a standoff, with both parties aiming at each other's head.
"Kate, listen. You don't want to do this." He pleaded, but her glare remained impassive. "Kate." He snapped, hoping it would pull her out of whatever Michael had programmed her to do. She took a step forward, and he felt his finger on the trigger, the metal growing warm under his touch. He didn't want to do this. "Don't" he warned. She took another step closer, closing the gap between them, her hand on the gun trembling ever so slightly. He swallowed hard. Another step, and now they were 9 feet apart. He fired at the floor in front of her, and she hardly flinched. She inched closer, and he saw her finger tighten its grip.
He pulled the trigger.
She arched back from the bullet impacting her, and started firing wildly, bullets ricocheting around the room. He let off another couple rounds and she collapsed on the floor. He leapt forward, kicking the gun out of her hands as Lorne and his team came racing in from the other side. Sheppard ripped the ear piece from her and yelled into it, "Medic, we need a medic in the power room. Now!"
He pressed on the wounds, the wounds he inflicted, and looked at her face. Her eyes were half closed, but fluttered open as he touched her cheek.
"John?" her voice broke as she asked his name.
"Kate. You're going to be ok, you hear me? Ok." Sheppard looked up, "Where is he?" He yelled, then picked her up and carried her out of the room. No time for dressings, he hurried up to the transport and pushed the section of the city he wanted. "Beckett? I'm coming to you."
"John." She repeated. "What happened?"
"You were a ticking time bomb. Michael…" he paused as he saw her face pale even more. The doors opened and he started running to meet the doctors who were rushing out with the gurney.
"I remember." She mumbled, her words getting harder to discern.
He decided to keep her talking as he laid her down on the gurney. "Remember what?"
"How long I wanted to kiss you." Her face got a sort of dreamy look to it right before she slipped unconscious. Beckett apparently didn't hear her, but rushed her into the OR. Sheppard just stood back and watched as she was hurried away. In a daze, he just stood there until the other part of his team raced up, it was then when he snapped out of it.
"We heard what happened." Ronon stated bluntly.
"I didn't…" Sheppard paused and looked down at himself. His dark clothes hid the fact that blood covered everything, but not his hands; they were red with her blood. He wiped them off on the front of him, over and over again. Ronon grabbed him on the shoulder and gently shook him. "You had to."
"Otherwise the Wraith would've been knocking at our front door." Teyla added, and Sheppard nodded his head slowly, recovering his composure. Weir and McKay came out of the transporter and headed over to meet them.
"What happened?" Weir asked, "It seems I'm asking that a lot lately."
"I neutralized the threat." Sheppard responded, without looking her in the eye.
"Yes, I shot her. She's in the OR right now. Beckett's trying to undo the damage I caused." He then caught eye contact with her.
McKay's face blanched and he looked as if he was about to throw up. "I need to go see if everything is working again. The, uh, the, the, the cloak never disengaged so Michael's plan failed. But uh... yeah, I'll be back in a little bit. Keep me updated?" he was still rambling on as he left.
Sheppard sighed, "I need to clean up. I'll be back as soon as I grab a change of clothes." He left his team standing there, feeling like a failure. He had promised to help her, and what did he end up doing? Shot the living hell out of her. Her falling before him was replaying over and over again in his head and he couldn't shake it. He entered his room and peeled off his clothes, throwing them into a heap in the corner of the room. He'd be content with never touching them again. In the bathroom, he turned the water on and stepped into it. It was ice cold, and took his breath away. He thought it to get hot, but it wouldn't, so he stood there in the freezing spray watching as the red ran off his hands and down the drain, then at his face in the mirror. Shaking his head at himself, he continued on with his shower.
Beckett sat at his desk 7 hours later, exhausted in every form possible, his head in his hands. He stared at the light in front of him, lost in thought. A single beep had him glancing at the monitor to his right. All her vitals were on there in detail telling him what her blood pressure, brainwaves, everything, was. He had done all he could to save her, but now only time could tell which way she would go.
Dr. Weir entered the room, her concern evident with the way she was clasping and unclasping her hands, fatigue weighing her face down.
"So how is she?" she asked.
"She lost massive amounts of blood with extensive internal bleeding. She lost consciousness before surgery even started, and now we're waiting to see if she'll even come out of the coma she slipped into about 3 hours into the surgery. How many times did Colonel Sheppard say he shot her?"
"3." She answered with a puzzled expression on her face.
"Well, we removed 4 bullets." He stated bluntly.
"Did she shoot herself?"
"I don't know how, but it appears she did."
"How did Michael…"
"Use her? I don't rightly know, but I believe it was severe hypnosis and brainwashing. Must've been what reset her mind, though all the information was right there. Even when you delete files on a computer, you can still recover them if you know how."
"Now you're sounding like McKay."
"Oh, Dear Lord, please don't say that." He said with the first smile of the day. "How's the colonel?" his expression turning serious again.
"He's coping. He nearly lost earlier; I'd never seen him so upset especially in front of his team."
"She let a revelation out to him right before we took her away."
"She was in love with him." The words hung between them. Weir didn't seem to know what to say back.
The door slid open to reveal the very man they were talking about enter, his eyes concerned and worried. "How is she, Doc?"
"The same as when you asked me thirty minutes ago. She's been out of surgery nearly an hour, not enough time to…" he was interrupted by the monitor's sudden erratic beeping. Beckett ran from his seat, closely followed by Sheppard and Weir. A couple nurses on staff magically appeared to help them. The erratic beeps got replaced with the steady tone.
"Quick, get the defibrillator. Charge to 200." Beckett ordered, giving her manual CPR. One nurse went running for the crash cart, while the other one was pulling out the breathing tube and had a manual breather strapped to her face, giving her the precious oxygen to keep her alive. Once charged, Carson ripped back her hospital gown in order to start her heart back to life.
"Clear." Her whole body arched under the shock of the electric current, but the steady sound told it wasn't working.
In the corner paced a quickly paling Sheppard, but Beckett had to tune him out. Concentrate on saving the patient.
"Charge to 300." He directed. Listening for the machine to recharge. "Clear." Everybody stepped back. Her body thrashed back as the defibrillator sent electricity coursing through her. Still no response.
"Again. Clear." He paddled her again, no response, not even a blip. "Get them out of here." He yelled, "Again!" One of the nurses ushered them out, as he tried once more to save her, but still no response.
"Doctor." One of the nurses touched his arm as he went to try again. He paused to look at the pleading face of the woman and then at Kate.
"One more time. Clear." He prayed this time it would work, but as he glanced up at the monitor, time slowed as he realized he was fighting a battle that had already ended. "Turn it off." He instructed the nurse then glanced at his watch. "Time of death, 6:45am."
The nurses started removing the tubes and equipment as Beckett exited the room. He looked down, hating every moment of this. He was a healer and he had failed to heal. Doctors aren't ever equipped to tell the anxious ones waiting for the news on a dearly loved one. In this case, being a friend of everyone involved made it that much more difficult.
Sheppard already figured it out, before Beckett could say anything.
"Damn it!" He yelled, swinging his fist at the desk. Wood crunched as the Colonel's bones did, and Weir's hand went up to her mouth and for the first time since this whole expedition started Beckett thought she was going to cry.
"I'm sorry." He whispered. "We tried everything we could."
Weir sank down into the chair as Sheppard stormed out of the room, clearly intent on doing something drastic. Beckett chased out after him, but Teyla stopped him, a tear slipping down her cheek. "Ronon's got him. Don't worry."
Beckett turned and went in to comfort Weir.
Thank you for reading. The ending will be posted tomorrow... *sniff*