- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Alternate Universe
- Challenge Response
The tap on what passed for a door in the Antarctic Outpost made Carson Beckett sigh. He looked up, wondering if Rodney was here to persuade him to sit in the chair again, and smiled when he saw Elizabeth Weir standing in the doorway.
‘Come in, lass. What can I do for you?’
Elizabeth perched herself on a stool on the opposite side of the lab bench and gave him a somewhat hesitant smile.
‘I was hoping you’d be willing to…examine me.’
‘Examine you? Are you not feeling well? You should have come to see me sooner, lass. Come on, lay down on this trolley-thing and make yourself comfortable.’ Carson looked at what passed for an examination couch in distaste. He’d requested a proper medical couch, but it had been refused on the basis that the Outpost was a temporary base. ‘What’s the problem, love? Where does it hurt?’
‘I’m not injured, Dr Beckett,’ Elizabeth told him firmly, remaining on her stool. ‘I…’ She paused, clearly trying to find the right words. ‘I think I might be pregnant,’ she said finally, in a low voice.
‘Pregnant?’ Carson repeated, grinning widely. ‘That’s fantastic news! Congratulations—’ He broke off at the expression on her face. ‘You’re not happy about it?’
‘I’m not sure about it right at this moment. That’s why I’m here. I need you to do a test for me to know one way or another.’
‘Right,’ Carson told her as he thought through his options. ‘I’m not actually equipped with pregnancy tests here in Antarctica, although after the few mission reports I’ve read from the SGC, I think it should be a standard part of a medical kit, in fact, I may suggest that to General O’Neill next time he’s here and—’
‘Dr Beckett! Focus!’ Weir said sharply. ‘Can you or can you not do a pregnancy test? I’m pretty short of options, you realise, with no drug store on the corner.’
‘Of course, lass. I can do a blood test to check your hCR levels.’
‘And that will give me a positive result?’
‘A positive or negative result depending on your status. Can you tell me when you last menstruated?’
Elizabeth flushed. ‘I…around ten weeks ago, I think.’
‘Ten weeks ago? And you didn’t suspect anything before now?’
‘I have been rather busy, Dr Beckett, what with Anubis attacking Earth then setting up for the Expedition.’
‘Aye, I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. Are your menses usually regular?’
‘Yes,’ Weir snapped.
‘And the last time you had unprotected sex?’
Her flush deepened. ‘Isn’t that a rather inappropriate question?’
Carson looked at her in puzzlement. ‘I’m trying to establish a timeline here, lass, to determine how far on you are.’
‘If, indeed, I am pregnant.’
‘Aye. But surely you want to know how far the pregnancy has progressed?’
‘Only as far as it concerns an abortion.’
A muscle twitched on Beckett’s cheek. ‘An abortion?! On what grounds?’
‘On the grounds that I don’t want a baby!’ Weir retorted.
‘Aye, but surely that’s a decision you need to make with your husband?’
Weir gritted her teeth. ‘Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m not married.’
‘Your partner, then.’
The glare he received was sharp enough to cut glass. ‘Dr Beckett. Can you, or can you not carry out a pregnancy test?’
‘Aye, I can do a blood test to check your hCR levels, but unless there’s a problem which affects either your health or that of the bairn, I won’t conduct an abortion for you, and that’s final!’
Weir pressed her lips together and frowned. ‘Very well,’ she said at length, and slipped off her jacket and rolled up her sleeve. ‘Can we get on with it?’
General O’Neill arrived at the Outpost three days later, accompanied by a messy-haired Air Force Major who created chaos by sitting down in the Control Chair and making it light up – after Carson had almost killed him by accidentally launching an Ancient drone. Mollified, after Carson had apologised, Sheppard – the messy-haired Air Force Major – agreed to give him a blood sample to test for the ATA gene and Carson had hurried back to his lab at his first opportunity to both hide from General O’Neill – who might not be quite so forgiving – and to test Sheppard’s blood.
Before long, he was deeply engrossed in his gene research and didn’t hear anything until someone cleared their throat to attract his attention. Looking up, he found Elizabeth Weir in his doorway.
‘Can I help you, Dr Weir?’
She nodded and came further into the room. Her disquiet was evident from the movement of her hands as even the rather clueless Carson had noticed she usually kept them quite still, often folding her arms in a tense situation.
‘We got off on a bad foot the other day, Dr Beckett. The pregnancy has put my hormones all over the place. I wanted to be sure we could still have a good working relationship.’
‘Of course, lassie. I fully understand how stressful pregnancy is.’
Weir nodded again and perched on the edge of a stool. ‘I wanted to discuss my options with you.’
Carson gave her a sharp look but nodded.
‘It’s obvious I can’t lead the Expedition and have a baby.’
As she clearly expected a response, Carson gave a non-committal hum.
‘As you’re aware, I’m further on than I originally thought, at 14 weeks, but there wouldn’t be any problems with performing an abortion at 14 weeks, would there?’
‘No medical reason, no. But what about moral reasons?’ Carson forced down his anger and tried to keep his voice level. ‘Have you discussed this with your partner yet?’
‘That’s really none of your business. If there’ll be no medical complications for me, I’d like you to perform a termination as soon as possible.’ Weir’s voice was devoid of emotion, almost as though she were discussing the price of fish, and it was this cold indifference which angered him most.
‘I told you before, Dr Weir. I’ll not be performing any abortions for you any time soon unless either yourself or that bairn are in danger!’
‘You can’t refuse.’
‘I can and do refuse!’
‘Dr Beckett. You are under contract to me, as leader of the Atlantis Expedition, to obey my commands. I’m ordering you to do this!’
Carson stared at her, completely flummoxed at her attitude. ‘You…you. I don’t even know where to start! The Expedition doesn’t even have a Stargate address yet, and you can’t order anyone to do something against their beliefs and their will.’
‘Are you refusing my orders?’
‘Aye, lassie, I am at that!’
‘Then consider yourself dismissed!
With that, Weir turned on her heel and marched out of the lab, leaving Carson staring after her in a mixture of confusion and disbelief, his jaw hanging open. He had no idea how much time had passed when he was brought from his stupefaction by the voice of Rodney McKay.’
‘—arson? Carson! Can you hear me? I think he must be ill. Carson!’ This last at a shout. ‘Fuck it. I need back-up. Stay here, Sheppard. I’ll fetch General O’Neill.’
Carson caught sight of the back of McKay disappearing through the doorway and shook his head to clear it. He frowned at the stranger in front of him.
‘Who are you?’
The stranger furrowed his brow. ‘I’m Major John Sheppard.’ He paused. ‘ The pilot you almost shot out of the sky?’
‘Shot out of…Yes! You were flying General O’Neill here.’
Sheppard nodded. ‘That’s right. Look, doc. I think you need to sit down. You’re having some sort of episode. Take a seat, and I’ll get you a glass of water.’ He looked around the lab. ‘Errm. Taps? Do you have a tap here.’
‘What? A tap? No, no. Bottles of water. In the fridge.’
‘Fridge?’ Sheppard repeated. ‘Oh, refrigerator.’ He looked around again but was distracted by the arrival of General O’Neill, Daniel Jackson trailing along behind him, and brought himself up sharply to attention.
O’Neill waved a hand. ‘We don’t bother with that stuff here,’ he told Sheppard, his eyes on Beckett. ‘You okay, doc? McKay here thought you were having some sort of fit, though what help I could be if you were…’
Feeling much more like himself, Carson tried to pull himself together. ‘No, I’m fine. Just…shocked. And appalled.’
‘Appalled?’ O’Neill repeated, pulling out a lab stool to sit on. ‘What’s appalled you?’
Lips pressed thin, Carson forced himself to remain as calm as he could. ‘Dr Weir,’ he said tightly. ‘She’s just ordered me to perform an abortion.’
‘An abortion? On who?’
Daniel laid a hand on O’Neill’s shoulder. ‘I think this conversation might be better in private, Jack,’ Carson heard him murmur.
O’Neill looked around the lab. ‘Oh, okay. McKay, Sheppard…what were you doing here anyway?’
‘Huh? Oh. We came to take Carson to lunch,’ McKay replied, his attention still on Beckett.
O’Neill waited for a moment. ‘I don’t think Beckett’s in the mood for lunch, do you? Why don’t you take Sheppard and show him the mess?’
‘But—’ Mckay began and was interrupted by Sheppard who grabbed the front of his orange fleece and tugged.
‘I don’t think we’re needed here, McKay. Come on. Show me the mess hall. I’m ready to eat.’
‘But…’ Mckay repeated as he was dragged out of the lab.
O’Neill could still hear him complaining as Sheppard took him away.
‘So, Dr Beckett.’ He observed Carson. ‘Want to explain your comment?’
Carson ran his hands through his hair. ‘I…I’m not sure I should discuss it with you. Patient confidentiality and all that.’
‘Doesn’t apply here, son. First of all, we’re in a sort of no man’s land here, and secondly, you’re contracted to the US Air Force.’
‘That’s exactly what Dr Weir said!’ Carson spat. ‘Except she said I was under contract to her.’
‘Under contract to…’ O’Neill’s voice trailed off, a deep frown on his face.
‘That’s not how it works, Carson,’ Daniel told him. ‘All the civilians here are under contract to the Air Force, Dr Weir included. That’s who pays their salaries, at least.’
‘Contracts apart, you need to explain what’s upset you so much.’ O’Neill watched Carson for a moment and could see when he’d regained his equilibrium.
Carson sighed. ‘Dr Weir came to me a few days ago and requested a pregnancy test and, if she was pregnant, that I perform an abortion. I confirmed she was pregnant, about 14 weeks into her time, but told her she needed to discuss it all with her partner, and that I wouldn’t perform a termination unless there were a threat to either her or the baby’s health.’ He looked up and met O’Neill’s eyes. ‘It’s a stance I took when I first qualified. My family’s been Catholic for decades, and while I now know exactly what’s out there,’ he waved a hand, ‘my original position hasn’t changed.
‘She came back today to ask me again to terminate her pregnancy. I don’t think she’s informed her partner of the baby yet, and I would have refused in any case. She then ordered me to obey her; said I was under obligation to obey her orders. When I still refused, she fired me.’
‘I’m not sure where to start,’ O’Neill sighed. ‘Danny? Can you help sort through it all?’
Jackson nodded thoughtfully. ‘Firstly, she can’t fire you, Dr Beckett. She can request that you be dismissed from the Expedition, but she’d need a good reason for it, and she’d have to persuade the IOA as they’re the ones who’ve selected the civilians for the Expedition. Secondly, as you’re not military, you can refuse to do something, but it may come back on you unless there’s a good reason for it. No, wait until I’ve finished,’ Daniel cautioned when Carson looked about to speak.
‘As a civilian contractor, you are entitled to refuse to perform a procedure if you have grounds for doing so. It could lead to your dismissal in some instances, but where you, as a medic, have beliefs which could be compromised, you can refuse to perform, for example, a termination of pregnancy. It’s a hot topic in the USA at any time and even if you were obliged to perform one for some reason, the likelihood of you being able to subsequently sue the SGC, or even the Air Force, is extremely high. There’ll be a court somewhere in the States which would back your case.
‘The fact Dr Weir wants a termination and, apparently, hasn’t informed her partner, says more about her than she would probably want. She is entitled to have a termination, but she’d probably have to travel to find one even if we were still in Colorado. She’s entitled to medical treatment on any US base, but she isn’t entitled to elective surgery unless it is as part of a rehabilitation programme. That certainly isn’t the case here, so if she does want to go the route of a termination, she’ll have to return to the US for it, unless she’s prepared to pay for the procedure in New Zealand or Australia. She may even have to pay for her own transport from here for it, although I expect the bill would be picked up by the Air Force as usual.’
There was a short silence whilst Beckett absorbed this information.
‘Thank you, Dr Jackson. You’ve clarified the situation for me, but I still have some decisions to make. I’m not sure I’m prepared to serve under a leader who would order a person to do something which goes against everything they believe in for their own personal reasons.’
O’Neill nodded. ‘That’s your prerogative, of course, but can I ask you what your response would be if the Expedition were actually at Atlantis and out of touch with Earth? Would it be the same?’
Carson didn’t even pause to think. ‘Aye, I’d still refuse, unless there were risks to either the foetus or the mother. Maybe it’s something that should be asked of anyone selected as Chief Medical Officer.’
‘And what about the mental health of the mother?’
Carson thought for a moment. ‘I think that comes under the risks to the mother if she’s so desperate that she’s likely to do either herself or the bairn damage. But Dr Weir hasn’t even discussed it with her fiancé, and he has rights as well!’
‘What’s your stance on contraception, then?’ Jack asked curiously.
‘I have no problems with that. In fact, I’d actively recommend it to anyone.’
‘But you won’t perform an abortion because you’re catholic? Don’t they also prohibit contraception?’
Carson sighed and rubbed his face. ‘It’s not black and white, General O’Neill. I’m a researcher. I research genetics which is itself frowned upon by many in the Catholic Church. They call it playing God. I call it using the gifts God has given me to help the world. Would I perform a termination for a woman who already had ten children and can’t afford to feed the ones she has? Yes, I would. Will I perform a termination for a woman who thinks a baby is inconvenient? No, I won’t.’
O’Neill nodded slowly. ‘Okay, I think I understand. Either way, as Danny said, you’re under no pressure to perform what amounts to elective surgery. I’ll have a word with Dr Weir and make sure she understands where her authority begins and ends, as well as informing her of her options regarding a baby. It’s up to her what she chooses to do with the information. I’ll also be having a conversation with Richard Woolsey who’s just been appointed the US Ambassador to the IOA.’
Carson gave him an inquiring look, but Jack ignored it and simply smiled at the man, grabbed Daniel and nodded to the medic as he left.
‘Well, I didn’t expect that!’ Daniel commented as he followed Jack to… ‘Where are we going?’
‘To the mess. I’m hungry, and I want to make sure McKay and Sheppard don’t spread the news of Weir’s pregnancy.’
‘If it hasn’t spread already,’ Daniel muttered.
Jack tilted his head. ‘I don’t see McKay as a gossip. Don’t know about Sheppard, of course, but he struck me as a pretty quiet chap. Quite the opposite of McKay. I doubt they’ll get on if Sheppard does go with the Expedition.’
‘Do you think he will go?’
‘Don’t know, so can’t say, but I hope he will, despite the black mark on his jacket.’
‘What black mark?’
Jack had the sense to look around and see if they could be overheard. ‘He was court-martialled for disobeying an order to not rescue one of his teammates. They didn’t have enough evidence to discharge him, but they did put a black mark on his file. He was sent down here to serve his time out.’
Daniel grabbed hold of his arm and pulled him back. ‘Wait. He was court-martialled for trying to rescue his teammate? For trying to save his life? How is that even a thing?’
Jack sighed and straightened his uniform jacket from Daniel’s manhandling. ‘He was ordered not to go, Danny.’
‘And what would you have done in a similar situation? How many times have you disobeyed an order from General Hammond? Too many to count, that’s how many!’ Daniel told him in a low voice. ‘You should be ashamed of even thinking Sheppard deserved what he got! You should also launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances of his court-martial!’
‘Do we have to have this conversation here?’ Jack snapped between clenched teeth, smiling and nodding to one of the scientists passing by.
‘Yes. Unless you agree to look into the circumstances of Major Sheppard’s black mark.’
‘Alright! I’ll look into it. Will that satisfy you? Now, can we go and get something to eat?’
Daniel nodded. ‘Okay, but I’ll hold you to that promise.’
‘Fair enough. Now come on. I’m starving.’
They found McKay and Sheppard ensconced in a corner of the mess hall.
‘Mind if we join you?’ Jack asked, plonking his tray on the table and sitting down on a chair without waiting for a reply. ‘No need to get up, Sheppard.’
Sheppard looked a little startled as he settled back into his chair, but McKay eyed O’Neill suspiciously.
“What do you want?’
‘Don’t worry,’ Daniel told him, seating himself next to Jack. ‘He just wants to make sure you don’t spread the news about Dr Weir around.’
‘I don’t gossip,’ McKay told him curtly.
‘And I have no idea who this Dr Weir is,’ Sheppard drawled. ‘Plus, the only folk I’ve met here are around this table.’
‘You met Carson,’ McKay reminded him.
‘I spent a few minutes with him while he was having a panic attack.’
‘Fair point,’ Jack agreed.
‘Haven’t you met Dr Weir yet?’ Daniel asked John.
‘Not that I know of.’
‘She’ll be the leader of the Expedition,’ McKay explained. ‘If and when we find the gate address of Atlantis. And if she goes, I suppose,’ he added.
‘Which we’re not talking about,’ Jack reminded them, a piece of pie balanced precariously on his fork. ‘Do you want to go?’ he asked John after swallowing his pie.
‘I…’ Sheppard looked like a trapped mouse.
‘McKay’s explained about the Expedition, hasn’t he?’
‘He’s explained it, but not why it needs me.’
‘Oh, for goodness sake!’ McKay spluttered. ‘I told you! You have an incredibly strong Ancient gene and a natural ability with Ancient technology.’
‘But that’s not a job description,’ John argued. ‘I can’t spend all my time turning on Ancient doodahs for you.’
McKay looked puzzled. ‘Why not?’
‘McKay!’ John exclaimed. ‘I’m a Major in the US Air Force. My training has taken years and cost God only knows how many millions of dollars. I’m a valuable military asset!’
‘Who is currently flying the equivalent of a taxi on the ass-end of the world! If you’re so valuable, what are you doing down here?’ Rodney demanded.
The drain of colour from Sheppard’s cheeks alerted even McKay, who frowned at him and opened his mouth to speak.
‘McKay,’ O’Neill said quietly. ‘Major Sheppard needs to make his own mind up, and he needs the full details of the Expedition and exactly what he’d be doing before he can do that. Ah, ah, ah.’ Jack help up a finger. ‘Full details, okay?’
Folding his arms with a huff, McKay nodded. ‘Fair enough, but I can use him for the rest of today, can’t I?’
‘He’s not some toy for you to play with, you know.’
McKay glared at him.
‘Fine, fine, if the Major doesn’t mind?’ Jack raised his eyebrows in a question.
‘No, sir.’ John shook his head. ‘I don’t mind, but how long will we be here? It’ll be sunset soon, and I need to let my CO know where I am and that I haven’t lost you somewhere.’
‘I’ll take care of that, son. We’ll probably stay overnight now. The sun’s about to set, I think. It sets early in late April. I’ll get Danny, here, to sort out a bunk for you.’
John nodded and began to scramble to his feet as Jack stood. ‘At ease, Sheppard. I don’t bother with that generally. Not unless the President’s on base. Right, Danny?’
‘It’s a struggle for you even then,’ Daniel replied dryly.
Jack gave a bright grin and a wave of his hand, and tugged Daniel after him, raising complaints from his friend which he proceeded to ignore, and leaving Sheppard looking after them in bemusement.
Once out of sight of the Mess Hall Jack released his hold on his partner. ‘Where are we likely to find Weir?’
Busy straightening his sweater, Daniel didn’t answer immediately.
‘You’re a pest of the highest order, Jack O’Neill.’
‘But you love me anyway.’
Daniel found his lips curling up into a fond smile. ‘Yeah,’ he nodded. ‘I do.’
‘Great.’ Jack bounced on his toes. ‘Where can we find Weir?’
‘Don’t start, Danny.’
He sighed. ‘She’ll probably be in her office. It’s where she spends most of her time. Are you going to talk to her? Shall I make myself scarce?’
‘No, I need you with me, as a witness if nothing else.’
‘Are you going to need a witness?’
Jack’s facial expression turned serious. ‘I might. I need to have a serious conversation with her.’
‘What about your conversation with Richard Woolsey?’
‘I’ll have that later.’
‘You know, she might not want to have a talk with you, and she might not want me there either.’
‘That’s tough. You’re the most senior civilian in the Programme, and General Hammond made it part of your job description to intercede between military and civilians in matters of contention.’
‘I’m not sure Dr Weir got the memo about that, Jack.’
‘More fool her, then. I checked before you came down here. That condition applies as much in the Outpost as in the Mountain and was confirmed in the agreement between the nations involved in the treaty which allows us to operate here. If she didn’t read it or didn’t notice, that’s on her. Come on. Let’s get it over with.’
Daniel led his partner down the corridor towards the office space used by Dr Weir and knocked on the door opening. Jack nodded to him and stepped past him to enter the office first.
‘Jack? Can I help you? And Dr Jackson? To what do I owe this…pleasure?’
The hesitation was apparent to Daniel. To Jack as well by the looks of things, he thought to himself.
The two men seated themselves before the desk and Weir leaned back and folded her arms.
‘This looks very serious.’
‘We’ve been talking to Carson Beckett,’ Jack announced, and Daniel closed his eyes and sighed, mentally counting to ten. Way to go, Jack.
A light flush rose on Weir’s cheeks. ‘Oh?’
She’s going to make him say it.
‘He told us you ordered him to perform an abortion.’ Jack paused and watched her reaction. The flush deepened.
‘He had no right to discuss my private affairs with you. That goes against—’
‘Patient confidentiality doesn’t apply to anyone serving under the aegis of the US Armed Forces, and in any case, Antarctica is under an international treaty in which human rights are very unclear,’ Jack explained, speaking over her. ‘Two things, Dr Weir. You can’t force a civilian to do something which goes against all his beliefs, and you have no right of authority over the men and women down here in the Outpost.’
‘I have every authority!’ she snapped. ‘Authority given to me by the IOA and the countries who are signatories of the Antarctic Treaty.’
‘No, you don’t,’ Daniel said quietly and raised his brows at the glare she gave him. ‘You have no authority here that Jack doesn’t give you. All the men and women down here are employed by the SGC. They won’t be under the governance of the IOA until the Atlantis Expedition actually departs, and since we don’t even have a gate address as yet…’ He let his comment fall away and shrugged.
‘Like it or not, Dr Weir, them’s the rules,’ Jack told her with just the hint of a smirk. ‘You can’t hire or fire anyone. Certainly not because you disagree with them, otherwise I’d’ve fired Danny here years ago.’
Daniel poked him sharply in the ribs, satisfied with the grunt of pain it elicited. There was nothing subtle in the smirk he gave Jack.
The look he got back promised retribution at a later time, but for the moment, Jack turned his attention back to Elizabeth Weir.
‘If you want to terminate your pregnancy, Dr Weir, you’ll have to return to the US for it unless you’d prefer to have it done in Australia. Either way, it won’t be done here. I uphold every women’s right to bodily autonomy, but I also uphold the right of a medic to refuse to perform an abortion for anything other than a medical emergency.’
Jack got to his feet, but before he could say anything further, Weir spoke in a low, angry tone.
‘This isn’t over, General. I’ll be speaking to the IOA, and we’ll see who has the authority here, and I’ll make sure Carson Beckett is dismissed from the Outpost and the Expedition.’
Daniel took a good look at her as he stood up. The set of Weir’s face glowed with malevolence and retribution, and he gave a shiver, following Jack out from the room without saying anything further.
‘That went well,’ Jack commented as they made their way back to his office. ‘If she thinks the IOA will back her, she’s in for a surprise.’
Daniel glanced at him, eyebrows raised in question.
‘I happen to know that the IOA reps from Canada, Britain and France hold very conservative views on things like abortion. This might not go as well as she thinks.’
Daniel waited until they were in the room Jack used as an office when he was at the Outpost. ‘She frightened me, Jack. The look on her face….I wouldn’t like to cross her.’
Jack frowned at him. ‘I thought the pair of you got on okay when she took over from General Hammond?’
‘Meh. Sort of? She made no friends by not allowing us to contact the Asgard, and her behaviour with the System Lords was downright appalling.’
‘I don’t think I heard about that.’
‘Really? Although, it was rather manic after we got you and Sam back, and then with your promo—’
‘Danny! Focus! What happened with the System Lords?’
‘They wanted our support in their battle with Ba’al as he’s taken control of all Anubis’ territories.’
‘Weir eventually offered our help in return for Ba’al’s territory. And I’m not entirely sure she was bluffing.’
‘Jesus, Danny! You didn’t think to tell me this before?’
‘It just never came up.’ Daniel shrugged. ‘She also said we might have to revive you to use the Ancient chair again. I did point out that without the Asgard you…’ He took a deep breath. ‘You might die.’
Jack watched him carefully, face devoid of emotion.
‘She didn’t seem to care. Thankfully, it never came to that, and the Asgard had retrieved you by that point in any case. But…I didn’t know that at the time.’
Suddenly he was in Jack’s arms with Jack’s lips pressing a kiss to his cheek.
‘Doesn’t matter, Danny. I’m here now, and that’s all that matters.’ He pulled away slightly, and Daniel could see the age lines on his face that weren’t really noticeable unless you were very close, and that Jack’s hair was all grey now. ‘At least now, though, you know how I feel every time you die.’
The words weren’t coming, possibly for the first time, so instead, Daniel buried his face in Jack’s shoulder and just hung on tightly.
Daniel hitched his backpack and gripped the bar of the trolley firmly. Trust Jack to find an unconventional way to signal their departure. The cart in front of him began to move, and he tugged his bar to start the self-propelling system. McKay had worked wonders in being able to move the enormous amount of goods they needed through the Stargate once he was free of Weir’s restrictions on what he could research. Of course, the number of goods they were taking to Atlantis had also increased once Weir had been relieved of command. It was frightening how much equipment she wasn’t intending to take.
Almost before he realised, he was through the event horizon and taking his first steps into the city of the Gatebuilders. Lights were coming on all around him, and Major – no, Colonel Sheppard was already working with McKay to bring systems online.
‘Danny! Stop daydreaming and move to the side!’ Jack bellowed at him, and he realised he was holding up the traffic through the Gate.
He was really here. In the city he’d spent so much time researching. The city which was waking up all around him and welcoming her children home. ‘I’m glad to be here as well, Atlantis,’ he whispered and felt a warm glow engulf him in response.
Jack grinned at him from his place on an upper balcony and gave a little wave. Before them lay many adventures, and days, weeks, and months of discovery. What mattered most to Daniel, however, was that he and Jack were together, and they, along with Sheppard and McKay, and Carson Beckett, would form the governing body of the Ancient city.
‘But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep,’ he quoted quietly and headed up to join his partner.