Summary: Events send McKay truly adrift, as he is faced taking on the universe to save the man he loved from the people he spent years trying to protect: Earth. [concludes]
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"I understand, Carter, but someone put that report out there. The head of the Farm Cove Observatory is livid on top of being embarrassed by this phony report...it is phony right?" Jack asked.
"As far as I can tell and from the reports the Daedalus are sending," Carter replied. "If it weren't for the fact that even with a ZPM, the Apollo still couldn't be here, I'd say it was some kind of diversion, but there was no sign of any hyperspace activity or of any ships in the area. We're looking into it."
"Very well, keep me posted. By the way, how is Sheppard holding up under this...trial, they're putting him through?" Jack asked, leaning back in his chair, his office with its fake wall paneling and matching desk, giving the illusion of comfort and privacy. Jack kept his eye on the small ancient device he used to insure that privacy, as it blinked up from his desk drawer.
"Colonel Davis is doing his best, but I'm getting the impression they're stone walling him or trying to tie his hands legally. As for Sheppard, he seems to be holding up. Colonel Marks has increased security around the cell area so I can't risk communication with him and what little time I can spend with Davis, all he says is that Sheppard his holding up," Carter replied.
"I've had to jump a few dozen hoops to keep any sense of legality to what is happening there. But this mockery has made for a few new bedfellows and a lot of unrest in the upper brass. I'm trying to get some Senatorial support to ask for a recall or a vote of no confidence, but this guy has his hands in a lot of cookie jars, if you know what I mean." Jack said.
"I understand, sir. Daniel reported that his conversation with Dr. Lam paid off. Landry's entire family is being threatened by the President...no wonder he's going along with this," Carter said, sounding sympathetic toward the man for a change.
"Son of a bitch, and the poor bastards who are probably watching them, don't have a clue they're being used. Okay, get Dr. Lam to give you all the information on her family, names and locations. I'll see what I can do to get them to some safety. As it is, time is running out. The scuttle butt is that the...President wants the trial over as in yesterday as he wants to use Sheppard's execution to consolidate his power and if that happens..."
"I understand, sir. I'll do my best, but it's really in Colonel Davis' hands," Carter said.
"The man is good at what he does, Carter, especially knowing what crap they're raining down on his head. Back him however you can and keep me posted," Jack said.
"Yes, sir. I'll call you again at our usual time," Carter said. "Take care, sir."
"You too, Carter," Jack said then closed the cell and sighed heavily. He just placed it back into his inner jacket pocket and was reaching for the Ancient device to turn it off when the cell in his pocket rang. Startled, Jack pulled it out wondering what could have happened so fast that Carter had to ring him back so soon. "What's going on, Carter?" Jack asked with concern.
"It's not Carter, General."
Jack took a moment, as he knew that voice. "McKay?"
"Yes, General. And as you can tell by my calling on Carter's private line, I know what's going on. What I don't know is how you can allow them to put Sheppard through this hell?" Rodney asked the anger clear by the sound of his voice.
"I'm not allowing anything, McKay. In fact, I'm trying everything I can to not only put a stop to it, but to stop the ones behind it. And how the hell are you managing a call from another galaxy...you're here with the Apollo, it was you who put out that phony astrological report." Jack said, as it made sense.
"Knew you were a bit smarter than you looked," Rodney said. "We can't talk now, someone about four doors down who is charged with spying on you has lost patience and is heading your way. You need to get outside somewhere private, I'll ring your cell, we'll talk then," McKay said and then hung up.
Jack not being stupid pocketed his cell and turned off the device and put it back into the drawer. The item looked like a Rubik's cube...after Jack pasted the stickers on it, so no one on earth would have a clue it was alien. He opened one of the reports he had already finished just as there was a knock on his door. Being a General had some privileges, but he wondered why his aide had not notified him first. He would have to take a look into that. "Yes," he called out.
The door opened and seeing the aide looking rather nervous, answered Jack's mental question. "Sir, Brigadier General Adams is here to see you," the young Lieutenant said.
"Send him in," Jack said easily. "Are there any more donuts?" Jack asked as the Lieutenant stepped aside as Brigadier General Adams came almost storming into the room, his eyes searching for something.
"No, sir. I can go and get you some?" the Lieutenant said, looking as if he welcomed any reason not to be where he was at the moment.
"No, that's okay. I'll get some later," Jack said, now having his excuse to go out. Once the door closed, Jack met the dark eyes of a man he didn't know outside of his title. "What can I do for you, General Adams?" Jack asked, closing his report and standing up. Jack came around his desk and headed to the coat rack where he kept his outer coat and hat.
"I'm here to see what you're up to, O'Neill," the gruff man said.
"Last time I checked, that was Major General O'Neill," Jack said with a smirk as he placed on his coat and grabbed his hat. "And for what I am 'up to' I'm going to get some coffee and donuts...Krispy Kreams, want to tag along?" Jack asked, a twinkle in his eyes, knowing this man wouldn't join him. He was snow-blind as it were to what was really going on in the Oval office, being played for another dupe. Jack wouldn't hold it against him...too much.
"No, that's what aides are for. Listen, O..., General. The President..." the man began.
"Is in a heap of trouble. I advise you stay clear or the backwash will take you down too," Jack said in all seriousness before opening his office door. "Sure you don't want a donut, they're good?" Jack asked, seeing the man blink at him like an owl, not able to follow Jack's changing topics as he had done. "No...okay, but you don't know what you're missing," Jack said, then smiled and headed out. "I'm going for coffee and donuts, I'll be back in a couple of hours," he said to his aide, and then headed down the hall and around the corner. Jack hurried outside one of the side entrances and knowing a few shortcuts, made his way to one of the nearest parks. The moment he stepped around a small building dedicated to being a public rest room, his cell rang. Jack barely opened it up, when he was blinded by a white flash of light.
Rodney moved the half spherical neon-stone from the control console and looked up to see a slightly stunned Jack O'Neill looking at him, then at his surroundings. He gave the man a moment, but that was it. "What the hell is going on in your barbaric narrow minded ass-backwards of a country?" Rodney demanded.
"Good to see you too, McKay," Jack said, then moved casually from the designated platform in the control room of the Apollo.
"Save the antics for someone who buys the stupid act. You forget I've been around Sheppard long enough to know it by heart and verse," McKay snapped. "Seriously, what is going on?"
"Coffee, donuts?" Jack asked, not showing any signs of answering Rodney's questions.
Rodney signed. Seemed he was going to have to play school boy games. "Fine, this way," Rodney said and led the way down the hall and to the elevator. "How's John?"
"Holding up well, under the circumstance," Jack said. "I was concerned he was going to take it all lying down. Thankfully, those that are trying to push this farce into play made the mistake of attacking you first; seems Sheppard didn't take kindly to that, made him not too friendly," Jack said casually, but his look seemed knowing.
"Nothing happened between us," Rodney snapped, having had this discussion before back in the beginning, as he stepped off the elevator to the floor where the mess hall was. He was sure he'd find coffee, donuts was optional, but the crew onboard getting it ready for whatever was needed, knew better than to not have coffee if Rodney was aboard.
"Nothing," Jack said, a bit of a hum in his voice, indicating he didn't quite believe it. "One man ready and willing to take on the sins of the world so long as none is laid at the feet of his 'friend' while the other quite literally takes on the world for the other, and there is 'nothing' going on."
They had taken two steps into mess hall when Rodney whirls around so fast, it startles O'Neill into taking a step back. Rodney was fuming, he could feel his blood pressure rising and his anger raging in his ears. "You're damn right nothing happened!" Rodney shouted. "And I'll be the first to admit it wasn't from the lack of want. But John put the needs of the city first, it needs him and we agreed...nothing was going to happen and that's a promise we kept. He sacrificed his happiness for this city, for your damn military and this is the thanks he gets? Accused of murdering a woman who was not only his boss but a friend? Then re-accused of killing his commanding officer...called a traitor by the very people he's sworn to protect and die for? Well, let me tell you something, not one of you paper pushing, kowtowing, war mongering, amoebas is worth the ground he walks on much less the air he breathes. He's a good honest man, hell he's the type of man people write books about, sacrificing all for King and Country and all that nonsense," Rodney said, moving nose to nose with O'Neill. "But that's just it," Rodney said, feeling his chest struggle for air and some control from slugging the man in front of him simply for the uniform he wore. "It's not nonsense to him. He believes in honor, he believes in no man left behind. He believes in what he's doing and you've all betrayed him!"
Jack was silent for a moment looking at Rodney as if he'd never seen him before. Rodney felt a bit uncomfortable, but better having let some of his anger out. "Wow," Jack said in a soft voice, that Rodney almost didn't hear. "You really love him, don't you?" Jack said, but his voice held no malice only sincerity.
Rodney swallowed hard. "Yes, yes I do. And when we agreed to not let anything happen, to move on with our lives, I tried...but I couldn't do it." Rodney said, almost feeling broken inside. Then he gathered himself and straightened his back and looked Jack in the eye. "There isn't anything I wouldn't do for John and that includes taking on your stupid government."
"Huh," Jack said, and then moved past Rodney to get some coffee. He poured two cups, offering a cup to Rodney, and took a seat by one of the windows and looked out, then back at his coffee, then back out again. "What in Netu?"
Rodney just smirked for O'Neill had just noticed he was not only on the Apollo but on Atlantis as well. "I want John out of that prison and home where he belongs," Rodney said.
"How in the hell did you get the Apollo..." Jack stopped, and then really looked outside. He then looked back at Rodney, his eyes having gone wide with disbelief. "You're on Earth...you, you brought the city to Earth," Jack said, sounding baffled and surprised.
"Yes, I brought Atlantis here," Rodney said, not only because it would blow O'Neill's mind but it would show that they really shouldn't underestimate him. "I'm not in the mood for games, O'Neill. I know you and Carter are sharing private air space with your phones. I know you're not happy with what is going on and you don't want Sheppard shot any more than I do. Help me get him out?" Rodney asked.
"I'm trying everything I can," Jack replied, looking exhausted.
"Not good enough," Rodney snapped. He then moved forward and snapped his fingers expectantly. "Give me your phone," Rodney said. When Jack pulled out the regular one Rodney just glared at him. "The Carter Special," Rodney said.
Jack hesitated for a minute than pulled it out and handed it over to Rodney. "What are you going to do with it?"
"I'm going to modify it, so when you go see John and you flip open the cell, it will allow me to lock onto his signal...even if they've removed his transponder. There are only two people with the strength of the ATA gene as you both have...and if there are two in a room," Rodney smirked.
"I haven't agreed to help you," Jack said flatly.
"But you will," Rodney said. "Not only because it's the right thing to do, but if you don't I'm flying Atlantis over every major city on this planet," Rodney said, meeting Jack's eyes, so he knew he wasn't bluffing. He'd expose everything to the world; the aliens and the Stargate Program. In fact, he might do it anyway, it was about time the world got its collective heads out of its ass.
"There would be riots, McKay," Jack said, his tone firm and a touch unfriendly.
"Yes, there would be. And when word gets out that the President of the United States knew about aliens coming to Earth and didn't say anything..." Rodney just smirked.
"Innocent people could get hurt or killed," Jack snapped.
"An innocent person is about to get hurt and killed and I only give a damn about that one," Rodney said back just as firm and just as serious, his eyes blazing with anger and determination.
"You wouldn't," Jack said, trying it seemed to call Rodney's bluff.
"Watch me," Rodney said, meeting Jack's gaze. "You want me to take this city out of here quietly then give back John Sheppard. To hell with your President or anyone else. Take the phone into the mountain and get within sight of him and open it. I'll fix it so that if there is an emergency you can contact me, you'll just have to hold down the 9 key and it will signal us."
Jack sat back, taking a sip of his coffee and kept glancing between the city and him. Rodney wondered what he was thinking, but he had to know Rodney wasn't kidding. He'd already charted a course over key locations through the world, starting with the White House, in Washington, DC.
"I want John home safe and sound," he said in a serious but quiet voice.
Jack nodded. "I want him out as well, but I want something in return," Jack said, meeting Rodney's eyes. "John is a good man, and even if he weren't I'd still be fighting for him as what is being done is wrong. My hands and a lot of good folks who are trying to rectify this situation are tied because..."
"You elected a moron, I've noticed that," Rodney snapped.
"No, McKay, he's not a moron, he's a blood thirsty, power hungry man with a lot of power...who is not stupid, which makes him a very dangerous man. A man that will not only take every bit of power he can get his hands on, but doesn't hesitate to threaten innocent people in doing it. He'll drag this planet into a war, hell, several of them, not giving a rat's ass, who lives or dies, so long as he gets what he wants...power and control." Jack said, the anger he had for this man clear in his eyes.
"You think I give a damn about this idiot?" Rodney snapped.
"Yes, yes I do. Because it will be Sheppard today, but who will it be next week? Sheppard's family, even if they are estranged? A missile falls off an F-16, while over Canada, a few hundred civilians killed...oh well, it was an accident, the pilot will be punished, so what if the missile landed on your sister's house!"
"Are you threatening my sister?" Rodney growled.
"No, but it's only a matter of time before that SOB will!" Jack snapped back. "He's threatened the families of over half the men and women on the base, including Landry's. The bastard has a sniper pointing crosshairs at children, for crying out loud!"
Rodney sat back in shock. "It's really that bad?" he asked.
"Yes, McKay, it's gotten that bad. I want...no, I need your help. I'll get Sheppard out, but I want your word, you'll help me out," Jack said.
"You trust me to keep my word?" Rodney asked, surprised again that this man had any faith in him at all, not since he backed Carter and Hammond into sending him to Siberia.
"Yes, McKay I do. I don't doubt that you'll expose the Stargate program to save Sheppard. I don't doubt you'll go to any extreme to do it, seeing you've seceded from Earth to prove your point. But you both wouldn't have sacrificed your relationship and all the years into this expedition if you didn't give a crap about this planet. And Sheppard will care about his country, even if Atlantis will always come first...I too know men like Sheppard, and I know he wouldn't care for anyone who could simply walk away while innocent people were in danger. So, yes, McKay I do trust your word. Do we have a deal?" Jack asked.
Rodney was taken back by the trust in O'Neill's eyes and his face. But the man was like John, a true hero and a good man. He'd gone to the wall for all of them on many occasions, and in truth, he wasn't asking something John wouldn't want to do. Rodney wasn't so keen on Governments per se, but Jeannie and her family could be next, as could anyone's especially if this slime dragged Earth into another war. "Okay, so long as I get Sheppard back safe and sound. If anything, and I mean, any harm comes to him, the deal is off, do I make myself clear?"
"As crystal, McKay," Jack said, a smile twinkling in his eyes. Then he sat back. "The coffee wasn't bad, but I don't see donuts." Jack smirked at him.
Rodney smirked back. He tapped his radio. "Radek, bring me the kit we put together for O'Neill's phone. Also, send a minion over with some fresh donuts...chocolate with the little sprinkles on them for the General while we get his phone ready. He's going to help us get John home," Rodney said as he stood up then tapped his radio off. "They'll be here in a few minutes. Just wait here, it won't take long, and then we'll get you back." Rodney said.
"Sure, anything to do around here?" Jack asked, already looking like a kid with ADHD.
Rodney reached into his pocket and pulled out a game unit and tossed it to O'Neill. "I made it for John, should keep you busy for a while," Rodney smirked.
"Puddlejumper Hud meets Star Wars...sweet," Jack said and was lost in the game in seconds flat.
Rodney's grin grew, amused that O'Neill was going to find out quickly that the game was a bit too real if you got hit too often. It was a feature John hated and asked him to remove...oh well, he'd been too busy and O'Neill deserved a little payback for sending him to Siberia.
"I object," Davis said, looking like he was just managing to keep his cool as he stood glaring at the council.
"Overruled," General Thomas said for the thousandth time today.
John reached out and placed a light, quick touch on Davis' arm, indicating that it was alright and to sit down. John knew what was going on, and he admired Davis even more for his tenacity to try and stand up to this mockery of justice. They were legally tying Davis' hands left and right, and when that failed, they were bluntly overruling his objections. The only good part in this play was that it was delaying matters, and John felt with each hour that passed, that somehow Rodney or perhaps the General would come up with a way of ending this farce without him being in front of a firing squad. That bubble burst when Colonel Marks stormed into the room, a deep nasty, smug smirk on his face, for he was free and was bearing bad news, John was sure of it.
"That's enough, this charade is over," Marks announced. He turned to face Davis, but his eyes danced with dark delight as he looked passed the man, and John could see he was looking at him. "I hold here an order of execution, signed by the President of the United States himself. To be carried out, immediately."
John heard all the noise, words of protests, threats, orders, but none of it really penetrated as he sat there numb. It was really happening, he was going to be shot and killed by his own country men as a traitor. Inside he felt small as well as angry that they would do this to him after all he'd sacrificed. He startled when he realized two soldiers had him by an arm and were now walking him toward the exit of the room. He felt like he had rocks in his stomach as he moved forward, unsure what to do or say. He couldn't escape, there was no place to go and he couldn't get out of the mountain without hurting someone. Part of him understood that most of the men and woman here didn't fully understand they were being used, but others just didn't care, they were going to kill him. His mind leaped to Rodney, his one biggest regret. Sure he had lots of regrets, his father and brother, but Rodney was the biggest, having loved the man and pushed him away. Sure they had both agreed, afraid that somehow their forbidden relationship would damn things in Atlantis and cause unwanted trouble. Considering what was about to occur and the bogus charges that lay at his feet, John wished with all his heart he had found the courage to take Rodney into his bed and further into his heart. But again, he hadn't. He let Rodney 'move on' with Katie Brown, almost winding up as best man at their wedding; except Rodney couldn't go through with it. That evening on the pier, sharing a beer, Rodney had simply said, "It wasn't right."
John wondered now as he was dragged back to his cell to strip out of his uniform and dressed in his prison issue, had Rodney meant that he still loved him? John was torn by wishing it was true and not, so Rodney would be able to move on with his life after John was gone...gone. This was happening, and as much as he wanted to fight it, he recalled the innocent lives on the line if he did anything but go along with it. He recalled seeing General Landry's face in the hall, furious and shouting with Marks, until something Marks said made the General go silent and his eyes glowed with promised retribution. John knew it was a reminder that his daughter and family were literally under the gun if he didn't cooperate.
All too soon, John was wearing his orange prison issue; barefooted, as he was marched through the now empty halls to the elevator. He was taken to the 23rd floor, which surprised him; he figured it would be outside, but apparently not. When the doors opened he was surprised to see a large handful of soldiers present, snapping to attention, though they didn't salute. Military prisoners were not allowed to salute or be saluted, but since his guards were either of equal or lesser rank, John felt touched and gave a nod of thanks.
John was led into a room that was barren except for five men with riffles who looked rather pale standing there, and a wooden beam that had been mounted to the wall, where he would be handcuffed to the metal loop protruding from it. John swallowed hard, but retained his calm, for if he were going to die, he'd do it with dignity, robbing anyone of their hopes that he'd beg for his life. He knew they were taping this, Marks said they would and that they would use it, especially toward Atlantis. He wanted them to see him strong, in hopes he could give them some means of strength in this his final moments. Of course, he also was still in partial denial that this was happening, hoping for that Hail Mary any time now.
John was led to the wooden beam and instead of cuffed, his hands were tied behind his back and then tied to the metal ring. One of his guards, said, "Sorry," as he finished and walked away. The second looked rather indifferent as he pulled out a long cloth. "Orders," he said and secured the blindfold over John's eyes.
"I don't want to be blindfolded," John protested. He would look his executioners in their damn eyes.
"Orders," the solider said again before leaving, his footsteps growing fainter.
John could hear his heart beating and felt the sweat pour down his face, this was really happening and if something was going to stop it, it needed to happen now, now, now! He then heard Marks voice, a tinge of joy in it, and it made John want to cringe.
"Stand ready!" Marks ordered. "Oh, how the might have fallen," Marks then said a moment later.
"Stand down!" a voice ordered.
John strained to hear over Marks' protests, and John was sure it was General O'Neill's voice. John couldn't help but smile, until he heard Marks' next order.
"I said stand down!" O'Neill ordered again.
"I have a signed order by the President himself, you have squat! If you interfere I'll have you arrested," Marks shouted back.
"I want this man out of here, NOW!" O'Neill shouted.
John was so intent on hearing what was said, he was startled when he felt something hit him in the chest. Had he not heard the final order? There was no pain, yet things felt funny, off...was this death? Rodney! He thought before there was nothing more.
Rodney's hands danced over the Asgard crystals, the shouts echoing over the intercom, O'Neill's shout penetrating Rodney's brain the loudest as he struggled to use the signal in the General's phone to overcome the jamming signal Carter has installed in the mountain to block the Asgard beam. He thinks he's got it, and begins the initialization when the word "FIRE!" echoes along with the sound of gun fire going off and Rodney is left holding his breath, while his fingers hold all in place and a body suddenly appears on the floor.
"No," Rodney whispers, it's his nightmare all over again, but this time, he knows he's not sleeping. He rushes around the console without hesitation. "No, no, no, please no," pours from Rodney's mouth as he runs and drops to his knees and pulls off the blindfold. His hands inspecting for bullet wounds, while his eyes search for a sign of life, which they find in the blinking eyes of one John Sheppard. "You're alive," he gasped in relief and delight.
"Rodney?" John said, but couldn't say anything else as Rodney is done waiting and kisses John firmly on the lips.
Rodney has longed for this kiss, and upon feeling John's lips with his own, his brain short circuits and all that exists, is John. "You're alive," he whispers in between kisses. Pleased to feel John returning the kiss with equal fever, though it takes Rodney a moment to understand John is also saying something, so he backs off a little. "What?"
"My hands," John pants.
It's then that Rodney notices that John's hands are tied behind his back. It's easily rectified as the rope had been partially cut in the transport. Once John's hands are free, Rodney doesn't waste anymore time, he dives back in to continue their reunion, uncaring if they're on the floor of the Apollo.
There is a bit of disorientation and Rodney does break the kiss again to wonder why and notices it's his room. He mentally notes he owes Radek one...a huge big one with Coffee on top, as it were, then goes back to kissing his soon to be lover.
"Rodney...how..." John tried to ask, but Rodney isn't having any of it.
"You seriously want to talk about this now?" Rodney asked, lifting up from John who is in his bed, finally!
"Am I in heaven?" John asked, looking a bit bewildered and confused.
Rodney can't help but smile down at John. "I'm your version of heaven?"
"Well...yeah," John replied, looking around seeing Rodney's room and back up at Rodney, looking a bit more confused.
"Idiot," Rodney smirked. "You're alive and in my room, the rest can wait, as I'm tired of waiting for what I want, and that's you in my bed, naked. And what is this crap?" Rodney asked, pulling at the orange jumpsuit John was wearing. "It's hideous," Rodney declared.
"It's a prison uniform, they don't let prisoners wear normal uniforms..." John began.
"You're not a prisoner, you're the commander of Atlantis," Rodney snapped, and pulled down the zipper so hard it ripped the fabric. Then he proceeded to rip the damned material off John's body, revealing lean lines and hairy chest, with harden nipples peaking through. A moment later, John lay naked in Rodney's bed, his cock hard and leaking with arousal.
"That was fucking hot," John gasped, and then pulled Rodney down so their mouths were devouring each other once more.
Rodney felt John's hands begin to divest him of his shirt, breaking the kiss for only a short moment, and then it returned with vigor. While John's skilled hands were undoing Rodney's pants, Rodney was toeing off his boots, glad he didn't tie them as tightly as he normally did when out in the field, for soon, he too was naked and he could feel all of John beneath him.
"Tell me this is real," John panted.
"It's real, you're home and I'm never letting you out of my sight again," Rodney growled, before peppering John's face with kisses, and then nipped at his throat. Rodney shifted until their cocks were aligned and John's hands were grabbing his ass and pulling him downward. It didn't take a genius to know John desired friction and Rodney, being one, gave it to him, relishing in John's gasps and moans. "That's it, John, take what you want," Rodney panted.
"Want...want to feel you...please, Rodney," John panted.
"Anything," Rodney vowed, and pressed himself downward hard, letting John have all the friction he wanted. "Feel me, feel how hard you make me," Rodney panted in John' s ear, as he nipped at it. "Come for me, John. I want to feel you come all over my belly and cock," Rodney said, close to doing the same on John.
"Yes, oh Rodney...yes," John said, then his back arched, his head more so, as his body went taunt, and Rodney could feel the spurts of come shooting from John's dick. Seeing John like this was the last element needed and soon Rodney too was coming.
Moments later, Rodney had just enough mind to fall to the side, so not to crush John beneath him. He lay there panting, holding John tightly, and feeling him getting his breath back. "I'd hoped our first time would have lasted longer than that," Rodney said, wanting their first time to be memorable, though making love just after rescuing John from a firing squad, would be something he wouldn't be forgetting anytime soon.
John gave huffed laugh, still trying to catch his breath. "Three years of blue balls will do that to you," he said with a smirk.
He opened his eyes and smiled lovingly up at Rodney, and Rodney thought he'd never seen such a true and tender expression on John's face before. He blinked a bit, for his eyes felt bit watery...damned allergies. "I...was afraid I'd be too late."
"You're here," John said, his hand reaching out and caressed Rodney's face. Rodney leaned into John's touch, basking in its feel. "This is real."
"Yes," Rodney nodded, "It's real. I got you back," he said, then leaned over so he could once more kiss John's lips. Then he settled down with his head on John's chest. "Don't do that again," Rodney scolded.
John chuckled, "I'll try not to make a habit out of it. Though for the record," he said, and then was interrupted by a huge yawn. "Wasn't something I planned." He finished.
"I know," Rodney said quietly, feeling sleep enwrap him for the first time in a long while, having John next to him, allowed him to accept it and closed his eyes ignoring the little voice that said they should clean up first.
"Rodney, how did we get from Earth to Atlantis?" John asked, his words laced with yawns.
"Later," Rodney mumbled, and hugged John a bit tighter, listening to John's breath even out. It would be a few more moments, of Rodney listening to John's heart beat, before he too succumb to sleep...the first peaceful one since this nightmare began.
It took John a few moments to realize he was alive and in all reality truly in Rodney's arms in Rodney's bed. John shifted and opened his eyes and felt the smile widen on his face as he looked at his sleeping lover. Rodney was here and still loved him. Of course here was Atlantis, and Rodney's room and John was having trouble trying to figure out how he got from Earth all the way to the Pegasus galaxy, but he was sure Rodney would explain it soon enough. John thought about just going back to sleep, but the itchiness and tightness of skin around his groin had him recall they did not clean up after their explosive reunion.
Decision made, John slipped out of bed, and didn't think he could smile any wider when Rodney just shifted and snuggled into the pillow, his hand reaching, as if searching for something. John was tempted to take it and kiss it, but he knew cleaning up was probably a better idea so headed to the bathroom. He thought of taking a shower, but hopes of getting sticky again with Rodney, made the choice of just getting a warm cloth to clean them both up easier. He took care of himself, and then rinsed out the cloth and headed back to the bed, where Rodney was restless, seemed he was missing John even in sleep. John was touched. "Hey, buddy," he said softly, placing a gentle hand on Rodney's shoulder and giving him a nudge.
"Mmmrph," Rodney muttered, but opened one eye, then both with a huge smile crossing his face. "John," he said softly, like a prayer or a blessing.
"Brought you a warm cloth to clean up," John offered, then lifted the sheet and with a little help from Rodney, was able to reach the sticky areas and began to clean him up.
"You're okay?" Rodney asked.
John looked up and saw the mixed emotions in Rodney's face and understood the complex question behind the simple words. "I am now," he smiled back. "Though I really want to know how you managed to get us back home so fast," John said.
There was a slight tapping at the door and both John and Rodney froze, more out of habit than concern of danger. Then Teyla's voice rang through. "Rodney, John?" she called out.
"If it's not an emergency," Rodney shouted, indicating he didn't want to be disturbed.
"I brought food and drinks, plus a change of clothes for John. I will leave them outside the door. Let John know we are happy to have him home safe and sound. Major Lorne said he would need to meet with you at 0900, which is in an hour and a half from now." Teyla said.
"Thank you, Teyla, good to be home," John shouted back. "And thanks for the clothes and food."
"You are most welcome," Teyla said, her smile and affection clear in her voice.
"Yeah, thanks. I'll be there," Rodney added, then sat up and tossed the sheet toward John. He then grabbed some boxer shorts from a drawer and placed them on with a T-shirt, it was his Mr. Fantastic shirt, and John mentally agreed with that statement. John then watched him go to the door, and then looked to make sure he was covered by the sheet, before opening it and pulling in the cart that had two trays, a pot of coffee and a duffel bag underneath.
"Oh, coffee, she is a goddess," Rodney said pouring himself some and gulping it down. He then poured a second cup and then one for John and brought it over to him. "Here."
"Sharing coffee, you are in a good mood," John smirked. He saw Rodney's brow arch and his mouth frown, the man was so easy to wind up, but he didn't want to go too far on this their first morning after, as it were.
"I am, you're here, safe and sound. Next time don't be in such a rush and listen when I talk, I could have saved us all from this nightmare," Rodney scolded.
John sipped his coffee; he understood why Rodney was angry. "Sorry. I was just still reeling from Elizabeth and Ronon, I just wanted to get back to Earth, get the damn briefing over with, I never thought..."
"That's part of the problem, you didn't think, you reacted," Rodney said and then sighed heavily. "Though I can't blame you, I wasn't thinking all that much either after what happened on the Asuran planet, but..." he sat down and Rodney looked a million miles away.
John knew Rodney needed a few minutes to gather his thoughts so got up and mentally opened the window so he could enjoy the view...which was missing. "Ah, Rodney, where's the ocean and why is the sky and horizon look so...so...white?" John asked, suddenly fearing he was in heaven, which was kind of weird and scary at the same time, for he couldn't imagine his heaven being filled with a troubled Rodney, unless he was in...
"The shield is covered with snow," Rodney said absently, and then he finished his second cup of coffee and got up and placed the cup down on his desk. "We're on Earth, North Pole area to be exact. The shield is covered with snow as I've altered their harmonics not to produce so much heat to melt it, plus it enhances the hologram of us being part of the artic drift, Zelenka and I created, so even if they catch a clue and figure out we're here, they won't find us," Rodney said with smug satisfaction.
"Earth?" John asked, for that couldn't be right. Sure Atlantis had a second ZPM, but it wouldn't be enough to get them home, would it?
"Yes, Earth," Rodney said, suddenly looking guilty and moving to take a seat by his desk. "Um...there are some things you need to know about," he said.
"I know you seceded from Earth," John said, giving Rodney a smile, showing his overall approval. "I heard it from the guards, though at first I was kind of upset for a moment thinking you played into their hands, but realizing it was the President behind this whole thing," John said, with a shrug.
"I wasn't about to let that bastard Landry just take over and lock you up in a cell and lose the key," Rodney snapped.
John saw how upset this entire thing had Rodney and he couldn't blame him, it upset him too. "Landry is actually a victim like us," John said.
"Are you kidding me?" Rodney snapped. "He said...he said," Rodney tried to gesture the words out, as Rodney's anger and emotion made it hard for him to speak, so John walked up and behind him and leaned in and hugged him.
"The President threatened his whole family if he didn't cooperate. He told me he said some nasty things so the men here would reject his comments, seems it worked," John said.
Rodney turned looking at John over his shoulder, his disbelief clear on his face. "His family?"
"Yes, he told me what was happening and how his hands were tied. I think he wanted to...give me a purpose, that if I had to die, it wouldn't be for nothing. I was unsure at first, but with having been through the dog and pony show they were badly putting me though, I realized it had to be true. Though O'Neill came through with a real lawyer, but they were either browbeating him or legally blocking him from doing his job."
"Sonofabitches!" Rodney snarled. Then reached up and hugged John's arms around him tighter. "I was almost too late," he suddenly said and shook.
"But you weren't and I'm here, I'm safe," John assured him and kissed his temple. "I would like to know why you captured the Apollo and then brought the city here and how?" John asked.
Rodney gave a heavy sigh again, John knew he was keeping something from him, but it would only be a matter of time before the man told him, for he could read Rodney easily like this. "We needed the Asgard technology to beam you up. But without the ZPM, it would have taken 18 days to get here and that wasn't acceptable. Atlantis only took seven days, plus, since we're here, we can just use all the empty space in the empty towers and stock up."
"Stock up?" John asked.
"Yes, stock up. Medicine we can't make out there because we don't have the right ingredients or the right machines. Plants like coffee...did you know that if we work it right, we can be the sole supplier of coffee in the Pegasus galaxy?" Rodney grinned, his eyes looking a bit manic.
"Rodney, are you serious?" John asked with a bit of disbelief.
"Of course I am. I have the botany department working on it. We've already gathered hundreds of various coffee plants, along with grains and vegetables and what not. Plus anything else on the need and want lists I had people create," Rodney explained.
"And where are you going to get all these things?" John asked.
"We pooled all our finances, or should I say I did with their approval and except for the monies folks wanted to keep squirreled away, it turned out to be a lot of cash. I'm sending teams all throughout Europe, Asia, South America, any place that has what we need but the North American continent. It's less likely the SGC will be watching other countries for us to show up in personally. Though eventually we'll have to hit the North American continent, Canada first, then America last, so we can scoop and go." Rodney said.
"Scoop and go?" John asked, feeling he was missing the bigger picture.
"Yes, we can't stay here and we can't expect to get supply shipments like in the past. Plus, we'll need the supplies for all our people...plus the new additions," Rodney muttered at the end.
"New additions?" John asked, not liking how that sound.
"Well, we don't belong to Earth anymore, so why follow their stupid rules. We have folks who have family that just might want to come with us," Rodney said, moving out of John's embrace and turned to face him. "I'm going to ask Jeannie if her and her family want to come. Also, Keller and her father, plus, Zelenka has some family in Europe...you get the picture," Rodney said.
John took a deep breath. Rodney was right, they were on their own now, but just getting up and leaving seem wrong. "I don't know if I can just...leave. Earth...SGC is in trouble," John began.
"Don't worry, I already promised to help O'Neill with this bastard President that almost had you killed, in exchange so he would go to the SGC so we could get around the damn jamming program Carter created. And yes, I could have done it without his help, but it would have taken time, time I obviously didn't have," Rodney said, folding his arms over his chest, looking smug, but feeling vulnerable, as John saw clearly in his eyes.
John nodded and moved around the chair and once more embraced Rodney, arms folded still over his chest and all. "Okay, as long as we help out here first, then the rest sounds good," he said. He then leaned back. "You are going to let me have some say in what happens right?"
"Of course, you idiot, you're the military commander of Atlantis," Rodney said as if John had asked the stupidest question ever in the history of mankind. "Besides, I have no intentions of doing all this myself. Once we're settled we'll make a council or something. I'm sure Teyla will have an idea, I know Elizabeth...did," Rodney said, his eyes growing wide at the mention of her name as if he didn't want to trigger John's thoughts.
"Its okay, Rodney. I'm not angry anymore at her or Ronon. I just...I feel like I failed her," John said.
"If anyone did, it was me. Though I've tried to make up for it, keep her wishes as best I can," Rodney said.
"Wishes?" John asked, for this was the first he heard of anything like that.
"Um...you're not going to like this," Rodney said and then began to explain what Elizabeth did to him back on the Asuran planet and how one of the replicator programs got into his head and tried to manipulate what Elizabeth did to get free of her trap. He then explained how he figured it out and that Zelenka and Keller verified he and the city was nanite free.
John barely made the chair behind him as he sat down. "Fif...fifteen ZPMs ?" he asked, for that was amazing and scary at the same time. It also hurt that he wasn't told, but knowing how Elizabeth foresaw the corruption of the American government and how greedy the IOA would be, he couldn't blame her. He also knew he would have followed orders, trying so hard to be a good solider and commander to his men. But it still hurt not to be trusted with this knowledge. He looked at Rodney hoping for more information, something to make this alright.
"The drawers make it possible to create more of them, it's what's been missing from the city and we never even knew it," Rodney said with great excitement, and then he stopped as if he noticed John and what he might be feeling. "She may have chosen me, and regardless of her words, I know I was her second choice...her only choice, as I was there in the 'Jumper not you. She trusted you, John or she wouldn't have gone to such lengths to keep you here in charge where you belong. Even O'Neill agrees you belong here. But I was there...plus, I didn't even recall it because she blocked it from me until it was needed...how's that for trust?" Rodney said, sounding hurt and a touch angry.
"Doesn't sound like her, yet...it does," John said. Elizabeth was always a bit of an enigma. Not like Rodney with his various conflicts in personality, but she kept people just enough at a distance so she could see the bigger picture and do what needed to be done. Plus, John never knew her back on Earth, and no one who has come to Atlantis for any real amount of time, remains unchanged. "Atlantis was her dream and she like us would do anything for it..." John shook his head. It was a lot to take in. He needed to think on it some more.
John looked up at Rodney who seemed ready to argue and ready to hide all at the same time. He got up and slowly, like approaching a skittish cat, reached Rodney and caressed his face. "What do we do now...partner?" he asked, hoping Rodney got the full implication and meaning of the word.
"Partner...really?" Rodney asked, his eyes full with wonder and hopefulness.
"In every way, if you want?" John asked, swallowing hard, knowing what he was really asking.
"You mean...are you serious?" Rodney asked, his eyes growing even more bigger and full of light.
John could only nod, for his heart was filling with warmth and joy at seeing Rodney so excited and happy at the idea, plus seeing the little glimpse of the child that always came through when presented with something wonderful, exciting and new come across, always delighted John. "Is that a yes?" John asked.
"Yes...yes!" Rodney said and then grabbed John and proceeded to show how he was a genius in the kissing department too. Then he broke the kiss but not the embrace. "As to what we're going to do, we're going to eat, as I'm starved. Then we're going to have great shower sex, then get dress and meet Lorne and the others, so we can figure out what to do about that Jackass in the White House, then we're going to find bigger quarters with a bigger bed and have the minions move our stuff, then we're going to have copious amounts of sex until either my brain is melting from my ears or our dicks fall off," Rodney said, grinning from ear to ear.
John just felt his face go all dorky with smiles, but he couldn't help it. Rodney was just...Mr. Fantastic. "I love how you think," he said, and then proceeded to kiss Rodney quiet, for there has been enough discussion, it was time to put Rodney's plan into action...with a detour from the food, to making love first. The rest would work itself out, later...much later as he was hungry for something else. John dropped the sheet around him and slowly made his way down, trailing kisses on Rodney's neck, while pushing up the shirt so he could lavish the hard pink nipples that had teased him for years. Feeling them get even harder under his tongue made his dick twitch and fill with blood. John grinned when Rodney pulled the shirt off, getting with the program.
"Thought....we...were getting...food, oh John," Rodney moaned as John moved farther downward, placing wet hot kisses on Rodney's belly, jut before hitting his own knees to the floor.
"Hungry," was all John said, mouthing Rodney's now hard cock through the thin material, feeling it fill and swell under his lips. His hands moved to the waistband and started to pull them downward revealing the thick hard dick that seemed to be pointing outward as if begging to be sucked. John was more than willing to accommodate the unspoken request. But then...he'd actually wanted to hear it. "What do you want?" he asked, blowing on the tip of Rodney's cock and seeing a dribble of come pearl out. "I want you to tell me, talk to me," he said, his voice raspy with desire and need.
"Suck me, John," Rodney said, his voice also raspy with passion but firm like it was almost an order and John shivered at hearing it. "I want to see your red swollen lips covering my cock, I want to see you come just from sucking my dick," Rodney panted.
"Fuck," John whispered as his dick was fully hard at the thought, and now he wanted that too.
"Later, for now, suck me," Rodney ordered and put his hand into John's hair, but not forcing John, just nudging with strong intent. "Please, baby, suck my," Rodney said, and John was lost, for only in dreams, sappy though they may be at time, did Rodney call him baby and mean it. It was not a masculine endearment, but it meant that he was Rodney's and though he'd kick his ass ten ways from Sunday if he called him that in public, here and now, it turned him on.
John let Rodney's next nudge push him forward and he opened his mouth and started to suck, first on the tip, then he mouthed the shaft all the way down to Rodney's balls. Then one by one he sucked on them, before starting upward again. He felt Rodney's large hands on his neck and hair, just barely holding back from taking control. John moved his hands up, having already helped Rodney out of his boxers, until both hands had a firm grip on Rodney's sweet ass. "Do it," he said in between sucks. "Fuck my mouth," he said, sounding just as much an order as a need.
Rodney didn't hesitate, he grasped John's head firmly, just managing not to pull his hair too hard, and started to thrust while moving John's head back and forth, fucking deeper and deeper into John's mouth. John moaned around the cock that was filling him and relaxed his throat, letting it slide downward, taking in breathes in-between thrusts. Rodney dick filled not only his throat, but his senses, its taste, its smell, the wet sound of it sliding in and out, sending shivers down his spine. His own cock so hard he felt it would explode without even being touched, just like Rodney wanted...like he wanted. John let his hands do the talking for him, caressing Rodney's ass with the sound of his own moans.
"Fuck, John, your mouth...it's so hot, so fucking perfect. I need to fuck down your throat, come so hard you'll only taste my come for weeks. Oh fuck, you feel so good, so hot, you sexy cock-sucker, you beautiful hot bitch, suck me!" Rodney ordered, his thrust getting suddenly more sporadic, he was going to come soon and John felt he was going to as well.
John just managed a deep breath when he felt Rodney's balls slap his chin and then it was happening, Rodney was shouting as his dick poured out his come down his throat, the taste, smell, sound and feel of it electrifying John, feeding something deep inside him, he never knew existed until this moment. John barely had time to swallow and breath before his own body shook as his cock exploded, shooting his come unto his belly and Rodney's legs. John could only moan his body was strung so tight as his cock pulsed and pulsed out his seed, having loved what had just occurred between them, feeling like an eternity before he could breath again. Then he rested his head against Rodney's belly. "Fuckin' awesome," he said in a sated whisper.
John felt trembling fingers caress his hair. "That was beyond amazing, thank you," Rodney said, also in a whisper.
They both remained unmoving.
"Should clean up," John said, nuzzling his head into Rodney's stomach, realizing how cuddly it was and liking it immensely.
"Yeah, shower..." Rodney said, just managing to move to help John up to his feet. Then he kissed John's mouth, his tongue licking every inch.
John broke the kiss, panting heavily. "The spirit is willing..."
"Yeah, yeah, but the flesh needs a shower, come on hot stuff," Rodney grinned and pulled John toward the bathroom. "We have a meeting at nine."
John sighed, if this had been a story book, they'd end it in bed, living happily ever after there, but this was Atlantis, and even in their story books, duty called.
"Wow, that's quite an inventory you've got there," John said as Rodney was naming off the items they'd already secured as they exited the transporter.
"Colonel!" someone said and when John looked up every soldier in the control room came to attention and saluted him.
John was deeply touched. He saluted back then smiled at the Lieutenant who instigated it. "Thank you, Lt. Manfred."
"It's good to have you back, sir," the Lieutenant said with a huge grin upon his face.
"Good to be back," John said, then looked at Rodney who had his arms wrapped around his chest as if trying for annoyed, but looked more proud than anything else. "We shouldn't keep Lorne waiting...any more than we have," he smirked at Rodney, who had the decency to blush and make John want to kiss him again. But they had a city to run and a corrupt President to deal with. "Come on," John said, and then headed up the control room stairs.
"Welcome back, sir," Chuck said with a huge grin upon his face.
"Thank you," John said, and looked to see everyone, military and civilian was happy to have him home...home, and that was what Atlantis was to him and those here. John knew without a doubt that Rodney had done the right thing, protected their home and brought him back.
Zelenka, followed by Teyla and Ronon saw him from the conference room and exited to come greet him. Dr. Z. shook his hand as if it would fall off if he did it hard enough, while Ronon just pushed his way through and gave him the biggest bear hug ever.
"Hey, we just got him back, don't break him!" Rodney shouted.
"Not going to break him, he's tougher than he looks," Ronon said as he put John down. Then proceeded to slap him on the back and John stumbled forward right into Teyla.
"Welcome home, John," she said, her brown eyes warm and twinkling with affection. She bowed her head and John knew what to do, he matched the pose in the traditional greeting.
"Good to be home," he said softly as he raised his head.
There was a chorus of "welcome back," that filled the control room as the others from the conference room existed and joined them in the control room. Sheppard looked up and spotted Major Lorne grinning like an idiot. When their eyes met, Lorne snapped to attention, like the soldiers did earlier and saluted him with pride in his eyes. "Welcome back, sir."
John gave Lorne a salute as well. "Again, it's great to be back, and I'm fine," he said, seeing Dr. Margaret Biro eyeing him with that 'I need to check you out' glare, all doctors seem to get around him. He then faced Zelenka, Teyla, Ronon and Lorne who moved closer. "I've heard how busy you've been and...well...thank you," he said, not sure how to express what it meant to him for them to come after him like this.
"We not only had a good cause, but a good leader," Teyla said, always knowing what he meant when he couldn't express it. She turned and grinned warmly at Rodney.
"Did you tell him?" Zelenka asked, looking a bit serious.
"Yes, you Czech Yenta, I told him...everything. He knows where we are, how we got here...everything," Rodney stressed, and John knew that he was referring to the nanites. John suppressed a shiver at how he could have lost his lover before they had a chance to be together and was grateful once again for Elizabeth Weir. Elizabeth had not only believed in him, but kept him as commander of Atlantis, and protected them, even after death it seemed.
"Good, good," Zelenka said. "Then we must decide priorities of next few missions for our buyer teams. We still have a few hundred thousand dollars left," Radek said.
"Hundred thousand?" John asked looking at Rodney.
"What? No one here was spending their money, and most of us were smart enough to invest as we weren't exactly spending anything while out there, now were we? Plus, if you know where to go, you can get anything and I mean anything for next to nothing. We pulled our resources, I told you already," Rodney snapped. "We just have to figure out what else to get before we have no choice but to hit the North American continent, especially for some of the medications and machinery to manufacture them."
John grinned. "I was just surprised by how much was left, not that you told me how much we had to start with. But I have some money stashed that I'm sure will help," John said. "Not only from Hazard pay from being in a war zone, but I've invested and...well," he felt bashful for he never mentioned his family...well relatives, he was with his family. "I've got an inheritance I never touched," he said softly. He then shrugged. "It's there if you need it."
"Good, now I can get that espresso machine I wanted for the labs," Rodney smirked, his eyes dancing, so John knew he was being teased. He was about to comment, when Chuck burst into the group and handed over one of the screen only laptops to Rodney, his face pale.
"What's going on?" John asked, his gut wincing as he knew it was trouble.
"Dr. McKay had us wire the military satellites as well as a few secret communication ones, and between Dr. Zelenka and me, we've been instructed to not only dig for dirt on this...person who is behind all this, but keep an ear out for trouble. Seems they not only arrested General O'Neill after your disappearance..."
"Sonofabitch was right," Rodney gasped, sounding shocked and pained.
John wasn't paying attention to Chuck but Rodney, for his tone indicated real trouble. "Rodney?"
"That bastard did it, he...he's...John, we have to stop him," Rodney said, grabbing John by his arms, pleading with his eyes, showing how upset and desperate he was.
"I plan to, but you have to tell me what is going on?" John asked.
"That bastard is sending a strike team into Canada...they're going after Jeannie," Rodney said, his voice a whisper of horror and disbelief. "O'Neill said he might do something like this, though he said a missile, so he wasn't completely right, but..."
"Rodney, focus," John said. "The President is sending a strike team after Jeannie?"
"Yes, sir," Chuck said. "His orders are to kidnap Mrs. Miller and the kid and use her husband as an example to what happens to those who defy him, meaning they're..." Chuck stopped taking looking pale as well.
"How long?" John asked.
"About an hour and forty-five minutes on the outside, sir," Chuck said. "I'll keep track of their movements," he added then moved back to his station.
"Come on," John said then grabbed Rodney and started toward the transporter.
"Where we going?" Rodney asked.
"We need to get to the Apollo, and you need to get Jeannie's home coordinates so we can get them out," John said as they moved, until Rodney stopped in his tracks. "Rodney!"
"Radek, you did leave someone there right?" Rodney asked.
"Yes, Simpson is there along with Eldritch," Radek said.
"See, we don't have to cross the city to get there," Rodney said, looking smug, but his eyes still showed how worried he was.
"Just in case, we should take a team, sir," Lorne suggested.
"I was about to order it, so, good thinking. Gear up, but we're aiming at an extraction not a gun fight," John ordered.
"What if they're not home?" Rodney asked, his brain obviously filling his mind with worst case scenarios.
"How long to get a 'Jumper there?" John asked.
"We are at North Pole, with needing to avoid regular flight traffic, I say 2-3 hours, which is good, ano?" Radek asked.
"Yes...no," John said, and then waived his hand, not realizing it was much like Rodney did. "We gear up, send a team in a 'Jumper as back up if needed. If the Millers are not home, we'll try and get a bead on their location. We may need the 'Jumper for the extraction if we can't for any reason beam out. Chuck, I want constant update reports on any movement regarding the Millers, got it?"
"Yes, sir," Chuck said from his station. "They're going to be heading out from Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, sir."
"Thanks, okay." John paused for just a second, seeing Lorne was already ordering a team to gear up not only for the 'Jumper but to go with them, so that was covered. Chuck was going to be their eyes and ears on the...he couldn't believe he was thinking this, but in essence, the U.S. Military was now their enemy. "Stun weapons only," John ordered. "These guys don't know they're being played for suckers by the asshole who has the audacity to call himself President of the United States. We're not going to hurt them, as we didn't spend the last three years of our lives protecting Earth to stop now. Just remember, they don't know about us or the situation, you will need to be careful and protect yourself, but getting the civilians out first is priority, got it?" he said, knowing his words were traveling over ear mics to everyone listening. He then turned to Teyla, "I know you want to come with us, and you'd be welcome, but I need someone here to keep an eye on thing to get quarters ready for the Millers." John said.
Teyla grinned. "Rodney has already named me his second in administrative matters here in the city, John. And we already have planty of quarters ready for families and idividuals that may join us."
John felt proud, but also a bit punched in the gut. Seemed they had done good without him. He then looked at Rodney who seemed torn between gloating and worry. "Looks like you guys didn't need me," John said, trying for a teasing tone.
"Did you hit your head while in there? Seriously, have you lost the few IQ points I acutally acknowledge you have?" Rodney sputtered.
"Believe me, John, we need you," Teyla said, laying a hand on John's arm. Her eyes said so much, to him. That he was needed not only for himself, but his family needed him and most of all as she glanced at Rodney, it was clearn, Rodney needed him.
"Sorry," John said, not meaning to upset anyone. He wanted to lean over and kiss Rodney, and then realized, he could. No matter what, he wasn't going back to the Air Force, he couldn't for Atlantis could never go back into the hands of those who would let it be used as the man in the White House wanted. He then cupped Rodney's cheek and leaned in and gave him a brief kiss on the lips. "Sorry, I didn't mean it that way."
Seeing Rodney's face take in not only the kiss, but how it was open and sincere in public, made John just want to hug him and kiss him some more. But they had time restraints. "Later," he whispered as a promise to Rodney. "Okay folks, let's get moving."
"I will oversee everything, as usual," Radek said as Teyla moved to get her gear, Ronon having done so already. The rest of the men and woman were already standing around them geared to go. Lorne was holding TAC vests for both McKay and him, so John nodded, grinning as Rodney browbeated Radek for his comment.
Once geared up he nodded to Rodney. "Let's get them."
Rodney tapped his ear mic. "Simpson, tell me you've been paying attention."
"Yes, Dr. McKay. I'm locked on all of you. Dr. Zelenka has provided me with Mrs. Miller's coordinataes already. Stand by."
Rodney bearely had time to glare at Radek for being on top of things while Rodney was lost in a bit of panic and getting geared up, when in a flash they were all in Jeannie Miller's living room.
"Chuck, status?" John asked.
"They are one hour and twenty-two mintues out, sir."
"Good work, keep me posted," John said.
"Jeannie!" Rodney was calling out. "Jeannie, are you home!"
"Mer, is that you?" Jeannie said, her voice indicating she was in the kitchen. She just came through the door, seeing John and his team and she dropped the plate she was drying and the sound of it smashing echoed for a moment. "What the hell, Mer!"
"Jeannie," Rodney said and hurried up to her. "We have to get you and the kid out of here. Is the Kob here?"
"It's Kaleb, which you darn well know, and no, he's not here, he should be on his way home though. What the hell is going on here, Mer?" Jeannie demanded, crossing her arms in a very McKay pose.
"We don't have a long time for explanations, Jeannie. Is Madison here?" John asked, already sending his team via hand signals to secure the place.
"No, she's at a friend's for a sleep over, it's Kaleb and my anniversary tomorrow and we've arranged a couple of nights to ourselves, now what is going on?" Jeannie once more demanded.
"How far away is she and Kaleb, we have to get you all to safety," John said, letting her know by his tone that he was serious. "You're all in danger."
Jeannie glared at Rodney. "Mer, what did you do now?" she accused.
"Hey!" Rodney sputted.
"He saved my life and Atlantis from the hands of a very dangeous man that would use the city to not only plunge us into an intergalactic war, but wouldn't give a damn who paid the price for his power and greed. Now said man has sent a strike team to kidnap you and your family. We can spend more time discussing this or we can get your daughter and husband home, gather some things and get the hell out of here. Which is it?" John said, knowing that the only way to handle a Mckay even if they changed their name to Miller, was head on and bluntly.
"What he said. They want to use you to force me to let them take the city. They had John in front a firing squad for Pete's sake. So, for once, will you can the insults and listen," Rodney snapped.
Jeannie looked between Rodney and John for a long moment before nodding. She pulled her cellphone from her apron and proceeding to use speed dial. John crossed and covered the phone with his hand. "They maybe listening, so don't mention anything about us or the city. Just get them home. Do we need to go get Madison?"
"She's only next door," Jeannie said, her tone tense as the seriousness was obviously making itself known to her.
"Okay," John said, and listened as Jeannie called her husband.
"Kaleb, where are you?" she asked as evenly as she could. "Good, no, no, don't stop, I need you to come home right away, it's...it's important. Ah...yes, it's Madison. She's alright, but...but, please, just hurry home. Okay, see you in a few," Jeannie said, then hung up. "He'll be here in about fifteen minutes, will that be okay?" she asked, trying to look calm, but the shaking in her hands, let John know how upset she was.
"Yes, we still have time. They don't know we know about what is going on, plus, we have a fast means of transportation, again, thanks to Rodney," John said, giving his lover a warm proud smile.
"Mer?" Jeannie asked.
"Oh, um...Asgard beam. I'll go get the kid," Rodney suggested.
"Not dressed like that," John said, indicating Rodney looked ready to go to battle and in truth he was. "Is there anything in particular we should pack for you?" John asked. "We can come back for the rest later," John let her know, for it was true, once the strike team figured out their target was not going to appear and leave, they could get the rest from the house."
"Um, yes, ah..." Jeannie looked like Rodney when thinking.
"Don't worry about it. You go with Jeannie, watch her back, I'll take care of the house," Rodney said, showing he had an idea and John could tell Rodney needed to do something to feel usefull in this situation. "Sounds good. Lorne, keep posted. Ronon," he nodded toward the stairs and saw Ronon go up to keep an eye on McKay. "Teyla, with me. We need to keep to the shadows, as we don't want to alarm anyone," John ordered.
"Yes, John," Teyla said, her dark brown eyes showing she knew how serious this situation was. She moved to the sofa and grabbed a child's sweater and a bear. "Are these important to Madison?" she asked.
"Yes, I was going to take them over in a little bit, Maddy can't sleep without Mr..." her voiced trailed off.
"Mr. who?" John asked, not sure if she heard her right.
Jeannie looked to see Rodney had already gone up the stairs with a couple of John's men and Ronon, then she looked a bit torn between amusement and embarressment. "Maddy calls the bear Mr. Rodney, as Mer gave her the bear the first evening he came for dinner. She says it reminds her of her Uncle and Mer kept telling her to call him Rodney, I guess she thought he meant the bear," she said, and shrugged.
Oh, this was just too good to be true. He had serious teasing material for weeks on this one, if not months. John grinned at Jeannie, "Well, let's get Maddy and reunite her with Mr. Rodney," he smirked. Then hearing Chucks' update that they were getting closer and was sending a scout ahead of them, brought John back to the present danger they were dealing with. "They're sending a lookout ahead, seems they had a man nearby. Teyla, let's go."
It was night here in the suburbs of Calgary, Alberta Canada. John and Teyla kept to the bushes and shadows as they kept and eye on Jeannie who retrieved a crying Madison, for she was far from pleased at having to leave her sleep over.
"Hey, kiddo," John said as he joined Jeannie and Madison, who ducked her head in fear at seeing the two strangers practically step from the shadows. "Look who I have?" John said, having snatched Mr. Rodney from Teyla and now offered it to Madison. "And your Uncle is inside," John offered.
Madison must have said something, but John didn't hear it. But he couldn't help smile when Madison snatched Mr. Rodney from his hands and held it safe between her and her mother as if it was more precious than anything. And probably to a five/six year old it was.
"Yes, your Uncle Mer is inside. We're going to go someplace special and I didn't want you to miss it," Jeannie said, trying to sound calm, but John knew kids could pick up on anything, especially if you were trying to hide it. As they approached the house, John noticed several flashes. "Lorne, what's going on?"
"All's safe here, sir. Dr. McKay is beaming the contents of the rooms to their quarters in Atlantis, said it would be easier and faster."
"Then cover the damn widows, people are going to take notice," John ordered.
"On it, sir." Lorne said.
"Let's hurry," John said, moving his precious cargo forward.
"What is Mer doing?" Jeannie asked, probably hearing part of what Lorne said.
"He's using our beaming technology to move your things," John explained.
"Just how long are we going to be gone?" Jeannie asked, probably thinking it was going to be a few days or something.
"Not sure, plus...well...I'll let Rodney discuss it with you," John said, not wanting to step on Rodney's toes. This was his family after all.
"Tel me now," Jeannie said, indicating that stubborn streak that they didn't have time for was making an apperance.
John sighed. "He's going to ask you to come with us, your whole family. The city is independent now. Besides, until we can get things under control it'll be the only place you'll be safe for awhile."
Jeannie stopped, hugging Madison to her. "John, just...just how bad it is?" Her eyes were big and blue, almost like Rodney's, close enough to feel protective of her, for in away she was his family too.
"The man behind all this is currently residing in the White House, using the office of Commander-in-Chief to order good people to do his dirty work. Jeannie, Rodney was right, had he not come for me, I'd have been...gone," he said, looking at Madison who strangely enough had Rodney's eyes, rather than her mother's. "There are people on their way here now, which is why we're here to get you out. I promise, we'll keep you and your family safe," John vowed.
Jeannie showed the same trust in him that she had before when they talked during the bridge incident and the alternate McKay. John was glad she listened then, for from what Rodney had said, they'd started to patching things up. He just hoped this didn't cause too much of a set back if any.
"What the..." Jeannie said, spotting that her living room was now bare of furniture or any belongings. "Where?"
Rodney came down smirking. "I figured you'd be more comfortable with your things around you and this way nothing would get damaged should the goon squad decided to play rough while you're gone."
"What if I didn't want everything?" Jeannie said, looking angry.
John knew this had nothing to do with the items being moved, but Jeannie directing he fear into anger, something Rodney did too at times. But now wasn't a good time or place to have this occurring. "It's a good idea, Rodney. Jeannie. Go see if there is anything Rodney may have missed that you do want," he said, then with a nod, indicated Teyla to go with her.
"Uncle Mer!" Madison said with glee and John felt his heart melt at the look in Rodney's eyes in response to that warm welcome from his niece. John watched her hold her arms out wanting to be held by Rodney and struggling out of Jeannie's arms to make it happen. Thankfully Rodney didn't have a P-90, which he rarely carried and his handgun was secure with the safety on, in his thigh holster. John watched as Rodney took the young girl in his arms and without thought shifted her to the hip farthest away from the gun and held her tightly, almost melting under the power of her hug. John couldn't help but bask in the tender moment, which was until he heard a car pull into the driveway.
"Tall man, dark curly hair," Sergeant Esposito said from the window, peeking out.
"Kaleb," Jeannie replied and went to the door.
"Chuck, what's the status on the scout?" John asked, wanting to be out of here before anyone got a clue they were around. Of course the missing furniture and belongings from the home might be a good giveaway, but then they did think they only had the Apollo and was probably hunting it down, which was kind of amusing in a strange way, since they were here on Earth, the city parked at the North Pole of all places.
"Just get him inside, we'll explain as we go," John said.
"Go, go where?" Madison asked, and then looked at Rodney. "Did you get me a present?"
"Um...no, but we're going someplace special...it's near the North Pole," Rodney babbled, looking lost under the puppy eyes of his niece.
"Santa's Work shop?" Madison asked excited.
"Mer," Jeannie scolded from the doorway, just before she opened the door to get Kable inside quicker.
"What! That's where the city is," Rodney said.
"City?" Madison asked.
"A special city and your Uncle wants to take you there as it's a very magical city," John said, hoping to not disappoint the kid and help Rodney along. He then turned to see Jeannie practically grab Kaleb inside and close the door. "Hold tight everyone," John said, and saw Jeannie literally grab Kaleb who was staring wide eyed with shock at everyone, as Madison grabbed her Uncle and Mr. Rodney close. "Simpson, we're a go, take us home." The rest of the explanations could wait until everyone was safe, then it would be time to figure out what to do about one corrupted and dangerous President.
John and Rodney entered the control room for the Asgard beam, noting that two guards were stationed at the entrance. "Think that's necessary?" Rodney asked him.
"Yes, yes I do," John said, for this man was dangerous and had shown he could be unpredictable and John wasn't taking any chances. If the room in question wasn't so small in general, they would be stationed inside with them and Simpson who would be working the beam. Subtly John reached for his hand gun and relaxed feeling it was secure so no one could grab it from its holster and the safety was on. The men in the halls had stun weapons and John knew they'd stun everyone in this room then let anything or anyone get out of hand, which was exactly why they were there.
John watched Rodney closely, the man was on edge, and John didn't blame him. Between having to settle his sister and family in their quarters and taking the full brunt of her verbal abuse, especially when it wasn't his fault, angered John deeply. He'd already explained what was happening and why he was proud of Rodney, but Jeannie and Kaleb were just refusing to get it and Rodney for a change, was just letting her take it out on him. John had crushed that soon after and said for their own protection until they could be acclimatized to the city, it would be best to remain in their room. He also asked Teyla, to talk with them, for John knew if anyone could reach past their fear and anger, it would be her. John knew Rodney needed his sister to understand his actions at the very least, if not fully support them.
"Are we ready?" he asked wanting to get this over with and hoped it worked or he was unsure what they would do next. Rodney had told him he had a back up plan, but no details, which meant that he felt John wouldn't like it, but if this failed it was going to happen anyway. John had mixed feeling over that, but it was clear that everyone who remained in the city had accepted Rodney as their leader and John may share that spot, but more like before...this was Rodney's city as before it had been Elizabeth's. Over all John was okay with that in many ways, but he couldn't help but worry.
"We're ready, as soon as that jackass is alone, we'll move," Rodney said, moving to stand next to him, Simpson behind the consol, which was behind them, giving her extra protection should it be needed.
"I've got the go," Simpson said.
"Then beam him up," John said.
"You do realize it's not really up," Rodney said to him, looking as he was in one of his technical phases.
John simply smirked, hoping his response would ease Rodney a bit, for Rodney had real issues with this man an if they didn't handle things right, things would go very, very wrong.
Just then there was a white flash and a slightly older man in his late fifties, early sixties, with short black thin hair and wearing a thousand dollar navy suit stood before them looking stunned, before laying his dark brown eyes upon them and his face transformed from shock to anger. "What the hell is going on? Where there hell am I?" he demanded.
"You're on the Apollo, Mr. Dawson, I thought that should be obvious," Rodney said, folding his arms over his chest looking very smug and very angry.
"McKay, I should have known," Dawson said with a sneer in his voice. His eyes then glared toward John. "And you must be Sheppard."
"I must," John said, not feeling like giving this man anymore than was needed.
"You have a hell of a lot of nerve. I demand you send me back and surrender the Apollo at once," Dawson growled.
"We have a lot of nerve?" Rodney said, looking ready to snap.
"Rodney..." John tried to warn, but it was quickly clear no one was listening.
"You are in no place to make demands, you pompous, supercilious, jackass! Did you really think you could get away with what you're doing? You really think no one would find out about the closed door secret meetings, the dirty money laundering, and the level of corruptions, blackmail and threats? Why I have more than enough on you, the so called Vice President, the Speaker of the House, along with dozens of Senators, Congress men and the IOA, NID and so on and so forth. I know of crap cleaner and smarter than you..."
"Why you mealy mouth, arrogant fucking fat faggot, you better watch how you speak to me, or..."
"What, you'll send another strike team to kidnap my sister and kill her husband?" Rodney replied, heated, John literally having to hold him back.
"Enough!" he shouted and was glad he got some peace. "Rodney," he warned again, knowing the man had every right to be angry, but this was not the time or place. Perhaps he should have insisted Teyla come but Rodney had pointed out this man wouldn't listen to an alien, his treatment of Teal'c and Vala clear of that. "Look, Mr. Dawson," John tried.
"That's President Dawson to you, soldier...even if you are a disgrace to the uniform," Dawson snapped.
"Forget the niceties, John. This asshole understands one thing," Rodney said then glared at Dawson with such intensity it that actually made the man flinch a bit. "You have until sunset DC time for you and all your cronies to resign from office. Make up any damn reason you want, I don't care, but if you don't I'll release every scrap of your dealings not only to CNN but every news channel around the world, and in which we both know some countries are seriously going to be pissed with you," Rodney said with a hint of smugness at the end, for John knew it was true. Dawson had been double dealing many countries behind their backs for years, not just now as President.
"Don't you threaten me, McKay, I was dealing with arrogant pricks like you since you were in diapers. If you really had that kind of proof, we wouldn't be talking, this is a bluff and I'm calling it," Dawson snarled.
"We're giving you a chance to go quietly and not tear our Country to pieces with the scandal," John replied, trying to control his own anger.
"Don't talk to me, you fuckin' piece of shit. Scum like you should be eradicated, much less disgracing our military. If I had a gun, I'd shoot you myself." Dawson said, and then glared at Rodney. "And I should have just sent a damn missile and wiped out the bitch and the brat out of existence, but I was going to..."
John barely grabbed Rodney as he took a swing at Dawson. "Rodney!"
"That sonofabitch deserves it!" Rodney fumed.
"Yes, but you punch like shit and would hurt your hand, remember last time?" John said, hoping Rodney recalled the last punch he gave, bone on bone never worked.
"Right, right," Rodney said, his eyes never leaving Dawson, who looked ready for that swing.
"As if that fat faggot could hurt me, he's just as pathetic as you are. Prancing around here like you could be Military Commander of Atlantis. You both were misfit rejects, which Weir had to practically blackmail to keep. I guess she liked watching," Dawson sneered.
John didn't see it coming, as Rodney moved, but this time not to swing, but kick, and he scored one right in the family jewels and Dawson dropped with a howl. "Rodney!"
"What? He had it coming. Besides, I told you this was a big waste of time; the man is a murdering monster, who cares nothing about his 'people' only his power and wealth." Rodney snapped.
"You two snapping each other's heads off is not helping either," John said, then moved to help Dawson up, who, once on his feet, shoved Sheppard back.
"Don't touch me," Dawson said, murder in his eyes.
John gave Rodney a glare of his own, warning him, he was to keep silent this time or else face John's temper. This was proving to be a disaster, not that he hoped for much more, but still. He turned to Dawson. "Look. Bottom line, we do have plenty on you and others to rock America with the scandal. Regardless if you think so or not, everyone on this...ship, and Atlantis, has shed blood, sweat and tears to protect Earth. I care a great deal about America, even if Atlantis is my home, and I for one do not want it torn apart over something like this. As for you, you have a choice. Call our bluff as you say it is, and find our evidence splashed on the headline news. Or you can walk away, of course, you'll never be in politics or any business ever again, but you have enough to retire peacefully. But what happens next is in your hands, Dawson. If you've learned anything about us, about Rodney, you should know he doesn't lie, and if he does, it's badly. So...do you think he's lying?" John asked, hoping to get through to this dangerous, stubborn man.
The man glared at John then Rodney, then back and forth once more. "Fine," is all he said.
"Very well, we'll be listening to the news...sunset your time is 18:17," John said.
"That's 6:17 pm, in case you didn't know," Rodney said, looking angry and smug, which to John was rather hot, but again, not the time or place.
Dawson opened his mouth to respond but John held up his hand. "No more. Good night, Mr. Dawson," John said, then turned and gave Simpson a nod. In a long moment, there was another white flash and Dawson was gone.
"You think he'll do it?" John asked.
Rodney snorted. "Hell no," Rodney said. "Let's see if he noticed the addition in his pocket when you helped him up," Rodney added. Then moved to the console near Simpson and hit a few keys. Dawson's voice echoed over the speaker.
"That filthy fuck is going to pay for what he did," Dawson was ranting. "Get Fritz in here yesterday, tell him to bring the damn football, if he knows what's good for him. Also, send in Crandall, I've got a job for him." The sound of the phone slamming filled the air.
"Those homo freaks are going to pay and pay dearly," Dawson continued ranting.
"Doesn't sound like he's going to step down quietly to me," Rodney said, sounding a bit smug in a 'I told you so' kind of tone.
"How far do you think he'll go?" Simpson asked, startling John and Rodney in recalling she never left the room.
"That's what we're wondering and why we planted the bug on him, so we'll know. I'm guessing pretty far," Rodney replied.
John sighed. "I'm afraid you're right. I thought it was too easy when he finally gave in," John said.
Dawson was picking up the phone again, "Watson, you asked me for a chance to stage a war, well here's your chance. Create a reason so we can destroy Canada."
Rodney's back stiffened more than John's at hearing this.
"No I'm not crazy. Make it seem that all that nice crap was just a ploy, they were working with some second rated power to move on us, whatever it takes. But you better hurry, by six tonight, there is going to be a nasty nuclear fall out in Alberta. Oh, and the man to pin it all on, is Dr. Rodney McKay."
"He wouldn't," Rodney said, his eyes wide as he turned toward John.
"Yes, I'll send all the information on the lunatic fuck as soon as I can," Dawson said. "Fine, fine, I'll be in touch later," he said then hung up.
John felt his fists balled up with anger. "I'm thinking we underestimated just how crazy this asshole really is," he said to Rodney. John then looked at Simpson, "Notify Radek to continue recording all this and keep us updated, we're going to have to meet..."
"Forget it," Rodney said. "I'm not wasting anymore time. That asshole is going to nuke my country and kill hundreds if not millions of innocent people. Beam me to the control room and Colonel Sheppard to the chair room."
"Rodney!" John gasped.
"Time for plan B, John," Rodney said, his eyes asking if John trusted him or not.
John did what he always did in times like this. "Okay. Chair room, but still have Radek record everything and keep Rodney and me appraised."
"Yes, sir," Simpson said and in a flash, John was in the chair room, not sure what was going to happen.
"Okay, Rodney, I'm here, now what?"
"Sit in the chair and start up the star drive, we're moving," Rodney said.
"Rodney..." John said.
"I have no intentions of running, Colonel. In fact, I plan to make an appearance, in person," Rodney said and with that, cut the channel.
"Colonel, I have informed Rodney, but your President has just ordered someone named Crandall to kidnap someone named Marsha Van Buren...does that name mean anything to you?" Radek asked.
John thought about it, and then it hit him. "Air Force Chief of Staff Fritzwillard Van Buren. It's either his wife or daughter, don't know for sure. But that sorry son of a bitch, is going to use her as leverage to get launch codes from the man. Have Lorne track her down and get her to safety and let Rodney know."
"Rodney is listening and knows. Major Lorne is on his way to handle matter," Radek said.
The PA system pinged, causing John to look up at the ceiling out of habit, as he took a seat, mentally connecting to the city and asking her to warm up the stardrive.
"Atlantis, this is McKay. Some of you may have heard, others may have not, but the bottom line is this. The power hungry amoeba who calls himself the American President is going to start a nuclear war with Canada and kill millions of innocent people. I don't know about you, but I know John and I will not stand for this. It's time to act, and act we shall. You have until Sheppard is done warming up the stardrive to secure your stations, then...we're heading to Washington DC. It's time they learned first hand, that we Lanteans don't roll over and won't stand for this. McKay out!"
John couldn't help but feel pride in his heart, hearing his lover's brief but in a way, inspiring little speech. He didn't know what Rodney had in mind, but now was a time to act, and in all things, trust Rodney. He hoped it would not be an another Doranda, for there was more than five-sixths of an uninhabited galaxy at stake. Controlling his fear, John closed his eyes and focused, it was time to get this city airborne.
It was kind of unspoken that if Sheppard wasn't with McKay, then Ronon would be. Teyla had made a good point in the beginning, that with the drastic change and McKay's blunt way of doing things, someone might take offense and try to do him harm. Ronon also knew that if anyone could save Sheppard it would be McKay, for the man was annoyingly and sometime scarily smart, not that Ronon would ever admit to the latter. He also knew as did Teyla, how McKay felt for Sheppard and seen how it had motivated the self-professed and at times true coward into action. Actions that could equal his own death or actions Ronon could clearly see McKay never contemplated. Taking over the city was one of them.
Ronon is aware that in the beginning, because he didn't say much, many thought he was stupid or incapable of understanding things and situations around him. Inside he laughed, for an idiot didn't survive seven years being chased by the Wraith for sport. But then, that was what made Sheppard and McKay different and then team, then family. McKay picked on those he cared about in different ways then he trashed those he didn't think worthy of his time or their existence. Being called caveman, yeti or Chewbacca were McKay terms of endearment and though he either played dumb or glared at McKay, who would sometimes backpedal in his comments, it wasn't because he was truly afraid Ronon would hurt him, he was afraid he'd gone too far and hurt their friendship.
So, when Rodney appeared in the control room without Sheppard, Ronon moved to his side and ignored the "Han's in the chair room, shouldn't you be there too or better yet taking a flea dip," comment from the man and simply said, "Orders." It shut McKay up, well, not really the man kept talking but not to him.
Ronon understood that one of the leaders from Earth was as corrupt as some of the leaders back on his Sateda had been, and was trying to gain hold of the gate on Earth and Atlantis to improve his power base. He knew the Wraith-dung had captured Sheppard and all their efforts so far had been to get him back, which they did, thanks to McKay. He also knew that Sheppard and McKay were going to try and speak with him, give him a chance to do the 'right thing' but Ronon had said, "Can't trust Wraith, regardless of color," but he wasn't sure now if they got it or were just starting to understand what he meant.
"The American President is really going to start a war with Canada, sir?" Chuck asked Rodney who had just requested him to contact Landry via his office phone.
"No, Canada is in no shape to fight the US nor would they. That bastard is going to stage some kind of nuclear disaster and blame me and use it as an excuse to take military action upon Canada," Rodney snapped.
"Radek, get someone else to monitor that asshole, I need you to help me write a program that can track any nuclear activity so we have time to act and I want Miko to work on two types of drone specs I'm sending in her email."
Ronon arched a brow, wondering what McKay was planning. He knew about nukes from the Marines and had seen footage from their shows, but he wasn't clear on how Atlantis could take one out and not affect the people on Earth. He also knew McKay didn't want anyone on Earth to be hurt, though he would protect Atlantis first. It was why McKay was the right man for leading the city. Sheppard would do much of the same, but he'd drop everyone off and take the city into battle and both be lost, where McKay, willing to go far, would keep the city and its people safe knowing the price of his actions would weigh heavy on him. McKay had big shoulders but the team saw how much was already on them and felt that at times, that was why he hunched over more and more these days.
"What kind of specs?" Radek asked, so Ronon knew he didn't have to for most of the people usually asked or said what needed to be.
McKay's fingers were dancing over the laptop he'd confiscated from one of the scientist at lighting speed. Something that always impressed Ronon, though he knew McKay had created a program for them so he could create complex programs or formulas faster and easier, especially when he only had one hand free...again impressive. "One is for disabling the drone so it won't explode on impact, in fact, if used right, it'll act more like a battering ram," McKay said.
"Battering ram?" one of the soldieries on guard in the control room asked, showing he like everyone else was listening carefully to what was happening.
"Yes, a battering ram," McKay snapped. Ronon saw the glare McKay got in his eyes when no one was on the same mental page as he was; Ronon kind of knew how that felt. He'd say things and sometimes the only one who got it was Teyla, for McKay it was Radek.
"Ah, I see. If they launch missile and it takes an atmospheric approach, we use drone to push off course so it either bounce off atmosphere and go into space or we head it there directly," Radek said as he nodded. "But what is other one?" Radek asked out of the same curiosity everyone was feeling.
McKay kept typing, and then glared at Chuck. "Well?"
"He's not in his office," Chuck responded. "I'll keep trying."
McKay muttered something under his breath that even Ronon couldn't hear. "The drones contain a mineral...T37 the, oh so imaginative Ancients called it," Rodney started to say.
"Yes, yes, I know, it has an extremely rare compound structure," Radek added.
"Then you recall the tests where it showed that in the right combination it could absorb high doses of radiation, Carson..." McKay paused for just a second, before continuing, but Ronon knew the healer's death affected McKay deeply. "Carson was experimenting on tiny samples toward creating a cure or treatment for advanced radiation sickness." Rodney said still typing insanely on his laptop. "If..."
"Sir, General Landry," Chuck said.
Ronon smirked at seeing Rodney roll his eyes and sigh as if the man's call was bothering him, when he initiated it. McKay walked over to Chuck's station and nodded. "Landry," McKay said.
"McKay? How the hell are you calling me on my office phone?" the man demanded.
"I don't have time to go into the history of the creation of the telephone, now shut up and listen. I'll be calling back in about ten minutes, release O'Neill and have him, Sam, Jackson the rest of SG-1 in your office. Your President is a fruitcake and he's trying right now to arrange a war on Canada. No, I'm not crazy, I can prove it. Ten minutes," McKay said, and then nodded for Chuck to disconnect. "Call back in eleven, the man was always slow. Did you get coordinates for his office?"
Chuck nodded. "Yes, sir. I'll send them to Simpson." Ronon noticed the technician was pretty sharp, but then most of them were or they wouldn't have survived as long as they have in Pegasus.
"Rodney, the specs, the second drone," Radek said, his eagerness for McKay's plan clear on his face.
"Yes, yes, if we carefully load up a drone with enough T37 then if we have to destroy the nuke while in low atmosphere, because the first drone missed or they coordinate a low atmosphere launch, then it's possible that the..."
"T37 can absorb enough of the fall out radiation to prevent death and contamination, yes, yes, brilliant I am forced to admit," Radek said, his eyes showing Ronon it wasn't that much of a hardship on the man and a touch of envy were mixed in. Radek was good, but McKay...was McKay.
"Yes it is, but it's a last ditch effort, for I'm not convinced we can load the drone with enough T37, which we'll have to take from other drones to get it, to make a big enough difference in the long run, that's what Miko will be working on as well....okay, I sent it. Get on it and keep me posted on...everything, especially what the lunatic is doing. "
"Ano, ano, I am on it," Radek said and rushed off to tackle his tasks and let Miko know of hers.
Ronon moved with McKay as he rushed toward his office and almost rammed into McKay's back when the man stopped suddenly. He watched McKay do his famous impatient finger snap toward Major Teldy. "My office, now," McKay said then proceeded to the office.
"Your gun set to stun?" McKay said over his shoulder as he gathered a second laptop that was sitting on a chair and placed the one from his arms on the desk. Then McKay started his lighting typing on the new one. "Well?"
"Yes, why?" Ronon asked going to alert for McKay was anticipating danger, question was from where. Ronon hadn't felt anything beyond normal annoyance, frustration and minor anger from those who remained in the city toward McKay.
"In about," he looked at his watch, "five minutes we'll be making a trip to the Mountain. John would kill me if he knew, much less if I went without someone to back me up. If I didn't need Teyla to keep an eye on the idiots here, or need John in the chair, I'd bring you all. But the only one I'm not sure you couldn't take in your sleep is Teal'c and that's only if he's there," McKay said as he continued to type, eyes on the screen before him.
"I can take him," Ronon said, then shifted so he could keep and eye on Teldy who just arrived.
"Sir?" Major Teldy said, giving McKay a salute, which after the take over the soldiers started to do. Word was that though Sheppard was the best CO ever, McKay was their General. The saluting started as a subtle joke, but it had taken not only out of respect but it irritated McKay and the military liked to fluster him just like their Commanding Officer.
"Knock that off, come in here," McKay snapped.
"What can I do for you, Dr. McKay?" Major Teldy asked.
"You have the gene right?" McKay asked, still focusing on his laptop.
"Yes," Major Teldy replied. Ronon knew when McKay stopped typing and looked up to meet the woman in the eye, whatever he was going to say was serious and felt his muscles tense from instinct.
The door to the office closed, increasing Ronon's anxiety and he saw a hint of it on Teldy's face as well. "What I'm about to discuss with you is for this room only, do you both understand?" Rodney said, looking more serious than he had for awhile.
"Yes, sir," Teldy replied, while Ronon nodded.
"I know you heard me talk about the drones, Major. But what I didn't mention is that it's a long shot either will work. The problem with the first one is the drone would have to hit precise locations without exploding upon contact to nudge a 500 megaton missile even if it would be in space...no easy feat. The second is a Hail Mary to save the populace of Earth from the radioactive fall out if the missile explodes in the atmosphere at all. Bottom line, the only way to assure that a missile is kept from returning to Earth it to...capture it." McKay said, swallowing hard and looking a little grey around the edges. "Jumper three still has the shield modifications from when John and Radek saved me. A shuttle can easily match the velocity of a missile..."
"You want to extend the shield around a nuclear missile and what...tow it out to space?" Teldy asked with surprise and shock. Ronon felt the same way, for what he knew of these weapons they were dangerous and designed to explode and kill large areas.
"Yes," McKay said in all seriousness. "And I'm going to need a pilot," McKay added and Ronon knew then and there why this was to be kept private. Sheppard would never let McKay go or he would take the missile on himself. The man had a history with these things he heard.
"Sir..." Teldy started to protest.
"I can't ask anyone else to do it, and it'll be delicate work. John's needed to look after the city and don't take this wrong, Major, but all he could do is pilot the 'Jumper. Someone else has to work the Shield and manipulate it to cup the missile using the shield to change its course without causing it to detonate prematurely...you following me?" McKay asked, looking both Teldy and him in the eye.
"We both know John would try to do it himself and fail...he'll...he'll die and I didn't go through all this hell to let that happen. Lorne will be needed to look after the military, Radek the scientist and..." McKay looked at Ronon. "You and Teyla to look after John if...if we fail," McKay said, moving to lean against the desk the intensity of what he was asking hitting him.
"Sir..." Teldy tried to speak.
"Millions of lives are at stake Major I know you understand that. Hundreds of thousands if a low atmosphere detonation from radiation poisoning, even with the T37, we just don't have that much even if we use all the drones we have, and if it gets into the water or lands on crops..." McKay waved his hand as if the gesture explained the rest of his meaning and for Ronon it did, people would die.
"I was going to say, sir that you can count on me" Teldy said, snapping off a salute of respect.
"Oh...ah, yes, yes, thank you. You'll have to prep the 'Jumper, there isn't much more needed that isn't already there, but I've emailed you a list. Don't let Lorne or Sheppard know or they'll give you a direct order or something to spill and you can't Major, you just can't."
"I understand, sir." Teldy said. She turned to leave then stopped. "Sir, just...what are the odds?" Ronon was wondering too what the chance of success they were looking at. He arched a brow at McKay.
"Ten percent success of nudging the missile off course into space, if the missile breaks atmosphere. If we use the T37 for a low atmosphere...35-42 percent absorption, that leaves the rest to contaminate Earth. Ours...with me...three to ten shot," McKay said.
Teldy grinned, "That good," she said then left not looking so grim.
McKay looked at Ronon as if he didn't get it. "You've pulled off worse odds," Ronon said. Ronon liked when McKay did his fish imitation.
"Sir," Chuck called over the open mic channel, Ronon keeping his on all the time as did Teyla, never knowing when they would be needed. "It's time sir."
"I'm coming, make the call. Have Simpson do a scan for how many are in his office, around his office and have them make a clear spot for me and Ronon to beam over..."
"Beam over, McKay, what the hell are you doing?" Sheppard demanded.
"I'm taking evidence to O'Neill so they can deal with that kook in your White House. Don't worry, Chuck and Simpson will be monitoring me and Ronon will be there, his gun is set to stun...it is set to stun right?" McKay asked him.
Ronon arched a brow, McKay was funny in the strangest of times.
"Right, right. You keep the city heading to Washington DC. Radek is working on a program that should alert us to any missile activity and you can direct the city. Miko is working on drones, I'll fill you in on the rest of the plan once I return. Teyla has the daily stuff in hand. Chuck?"
"Simpson reports six people in the office, spread out. No clear location open, sir."
"Get me Landry," McKay growled. He went back to tapping on his laptop as he moved next to Ronon.
"Go ahead, sir."
"Landry, you have a mob in your office," McKay snapped.
"I brought in General O'Neill and SG-1, minus Mitchell. What is it you want McKay?"
"Mitchell's no loss. Put me on speaker," McKay ordered.
Ronon listened via his own mic and wondered what McKay had planned. He pulled his gun, which was set to stun, just in case.
"Okay, McKay," Landry said.
"McKay," O'Neill said. "How's Sheppard?"
"Fine, unhurt...um...thank you," McKay said. "Have everyone move to the stupid bookshelf in that office will you?"
"Okay," O'Neill said.
"Location available, Doctor McKay," Simpson's voice echoed in the background.
"Now would be good," McKay said.
"We are..." O'Neill said then there was a white flash and he and McKay were looking at a group of slightly stunned faces, only a few not so much. A tall dark skinned man, a warrior by appearance didn't look stunned, but ready for action, though he never moved a muscles...this must the famous Teal'c he'd heard so much about. He wasn't impressed and he kept his gun pointed in his general direction.
"Ease up, Chewie, they're the good guys, or supposed to be," McKay said. Ronon only relaxed a bit, lowing the gun, but didn't put it away. His job was to keep McKay safe and that is what he was going to do by not trusting any of them.
"McKay," a blond woman exclaimed. "How did you get the Apollo here so damn fast?" she demanded.
"Nice to see you too, Sam," McKay smirked. Then Ronon saw him look to an older grey haired man, who was definitely a warrior in his silver years, more so than the fancy uniform behind the desk, and shared a knowing look, of what it was unsure. The Older man shrugged at McKay.
"Didn't tell them," O'Neill said. "Thought it best to keep that ace up my sleeve."
"Tell us what?" The other man, in a fancy uniform demanded.
"Jack, what haven't you told us?" a handsome man with glasses asked. He was built like a warrior but he had scholar all over him.
"McKay, what did you do" the Sam woman accused.
"He got Teal'c and me out of that horrid cell," a lovely dark haired woman said, her accent matched those from a planet Ronon once visited as a kid, but he couldn't recall its name.
"Indeed," Teal'c said, his eyes remaining more on Ronon then McKay. In a physical confrontation, he chose the right opponent, but Ronon knew in the long run who the most dangerous of them all were, the man he was protecting.
"At this point I don't care if they know or not. Your Loony-tune is going to play with nuclear weapons. At this moment he's arranged for your boss'," McKay said as he moved forward and handed his laptop to the silver warrior, "wife to be kidnapped. He has some other loon arranging to blame me for whatever this nut is going to pull," McKay snapped.
"That's insane," the man in glasses said, looking horrified. "He wouldn't..."
"He would. That son of a bitch was going to have Sheppard killed and he sent a fucking strike team after my sister and her family! He's got a PhD in nut job and he going to kill millions of people and I doubt his handlers in the Trust will be able to stop him," Rodney growled, pointing to something on the laptop he'd given the silver haired man.
"The Trust?" the one who by voice must be Landry said.
"Yes, they've been busy since you took care of Kinsey. They've backed everyone on that list I just gave O'Neill and the corruption runs deep into the Senate, Congress and the Supreme Court. The power that runs your so called democratic society or to be precise the bosses of the military...get the picture?" He snapped. Then he looked at O'Neill, "I have Lorne looking to stop the kidnapping of VanBam's wife, but it's not like she has a transmitter, so it's going to be a race. Also, you still call it a football? I mean seriously it's a briefcase, square, not even the same shape or size. Plus, it's in every stupid movie that it's mentioned, you'd think you'd change the name for no other reason than that," McKay rambled.
The man with the glasses was looking over O'Neill's shoulder at the information presented by McKay, the long dark haired woman was eyeing Ronon, trying to use her sexual wiles to distract him, but though lovely, after seven years, he'd learn to control those instincts years ago. "Jack, if we took out all these key seats, it would leave the country in a very unstable and vulnerable state," the man said, his voice soft but intense.
"You can't afford to let them remain either," McKay growled. "This is the tip of the iceberg, I'll give you the rest as it comes up, but you need to decide what you're going to do to stop this madman or I will," McKay snapped.
"That a threat, McKay?" O'Neill asked, his tone easy going, his eyes sharp.
"Yes," Ronon said for him.
"Rodney, if we have all these people arrested, besides taking up years in the court system, it could very well topple the government, the person next in line after the Speaker of the House is...is...crap...thirty-six years old and he got his seat by default for this one term only...you can't..." the man in glasses started.
"I can and I damn well do expect you to do something. Come on, seriously, you'd think there were no other options, let them take over or crumble. Where is that Walter...O'Riley guy..."
Just then the door opened and Ronon pointed his gun at the older man with glasses that was now standing in the doorway looking shocked. "Um...sir..." the man said, holding a folder.
"Ha," McKay smirked. He walked up and grabbed the folder out of the man's hands and checked it, nodding with satisfaction. "You should really have him tested for ESP or something like that," McKay said as he walked away from the man and handed the folder to O'Neill.
"Go," Ronon said to the man, who shared a look with the others in the room.
"It's okay, Walter," O'Neill said, as he took the folder from McKay.
The man retreated and closed the door. Ronon kept ready as he saw O'Neill start to read whatever was in the folder.
"Are you serious?" O'Neill said.
"Why, it wouldn't work?" McKay said. "Besides, if you don't do something and soon, I'll expose the program..."
"You can't do that, McKay," Sam snapped. "No one would believe you..."
"We don't take kindly to threats," Landry snapped.
"Oooh, I think he can, you see that look in his eyes, Muscles," the dark haired woman practically purred, causing McKay to blush. Good thing Ronon knew McKay was the loyal and faithful type and that was to Sheppard. It was about damn time they got together.
"Think Independence Day the movie, Carter," McKay said smugly, then lost the look. "Well, except for the mass destruction and only one, but I'm sure it would get the job done," McKay said, the smug look returning as he folded his arms over his chest.
"Independence Day..." Carter started but it was the scholar who figured it out first.
"You brought the city! Atlantis is here?" the man gasped.
"You couldn't have," Carter said, not believing it was possible.
"I can and I did," McKay said, looking even smugger.
"Can I..." the man in glasses was saying as the blond was demanding to know how.
"People!" Landry shouted. "We have a situation here," he snapped and then glared at McKay. "A serious one."
McKay bristled at that tone that he wasn't taking things serious, for Ronon recognized that look on his face. "Serious? Serious? I've done nothing but taken this attack on my city, my people as serious! Are you getting it that, that half-witted power hungry amoeba sent a strike team...military personnel into Canada with orders to kidnap my sister, her kid and kill...murder her husband in hopes to sway me to hand over Atlantis. I assure you, Landry I take that very, very personal! If it wasn't for the fact that John told me your own family was threatened I'd wonder if you realize how dangerous this asshole is," McKay growled. Then he looked at O'Neill. "You either take him down or as I said I will..."
"Rodney!" Radek's voice came over the radio. "Dawson has just shot General in office...he use silencer and he has launch codes! He was talking to man named Watson just before, I barely heard...he told Dawson to send a missile inside the U.S. to guarantee a physical strike toward your country."
"He what?" Rodney shouted in horror. "Beam his ass to a cell or something!" Rodney shouted.
"What is going on?" O'Neill and Landry said like twins.
"Your Nut-job just killed your Air Force Chief of Staff! He's ordered a nuclear launch here in the U.S." McKay said. "Radek did you get him? Did you stop him?" he asked.
Ronon felt the silence as thick as Wraith webbing as they waited.
"Horrid man is in cell, but Rodney..." Radek said.
"How many and where?" Rodney asked his face pale with the thought. "How many nukes did that crazy bastard get launched?"
Ronon saw O'Neill pull out a small communications device while Landry picked up a red phone, not waiting to hear the results. It was probably the smartest thing they did so far, in Ronon's opinion. They should have taken the evidence McKay provided and taken the people and arrested them and forgotten the trial...they didn't bother with one for Sheppard if what he overheard was right; at least not a real one, and take them out to be shot.
"One," Radek said. "He ordered one to target...Virginia?" Radek said.
"What part of Virginia?" Sheppard asked, obviously listening.
"Looks like Richmond area," Radek said. "But why? It's hardly the most populated area, if he wanted to cause mass damage and blame McKay and Canada for it, surely he'd have chosen a more...proper target? Washington DC to start...even here..."
"Rodney!" Several people said as one, even a few over the radio in his ear.
"Me..." Sheppard said, his voice sounded tight, tense. "I have...relatives there."
"Okay, if that alone doesn't prove he's a candidate for the rubber room, nothing does. He chose a personal target to start a war. That's it, no time to play," McKay snapped. "You fix your damn mess, I'll try to take care of this. Simpson!"
"McKay what are you..." Carter started to say, then there was that white light again and he and McKay were in the control room.
"Are the drones ready?" McKay asked as he started walking toward the transporter.
"Only one to not explode, Miko and team still working on others, we thought..." Radek said.
"We don't have time for thought, this is a lunatic we're dealing with," McKay said as he tapped his radio so he could continue with the conversation as he entered the transporter, Ronon went with him.
"Is it going to break atmosphere?" McKay asked, and then headed out of the transporter heading to the 'Jumper bay.
"Yes, but briefly, there may not be time..." Radek said.
"Make time. Give what information you have to Sheppard. John you're going to have to control the drone and as I explained before, use it to push the missile off course," McKay orders, picking up his speed.
"I got that, but what happens if I can't do it?" John said. "I did the math Rodney, I know that the T37 won't stop the threat of radiation poisoning happening if it hits the atmosphere," John said.
"That's why you're going to take Atlantis up. With its current shield it can easily take the radiation that would hit it and any secondary impact from fragments. It should cut down the exposure by another thirty-five to forty percent."
"Rodney, perhaps I should..." John began.
McKay froze outside the 'Jumper bay doors. "You are not, repeat NOT allowed to sacrifice this city or yourself, do you hear me?" McKay demanded. "I'm working on other options, but you have to give me that time, do you understand? Sheppard...John, do you understand?" his voice sounded pleadingly. "Give me a chance," Rodney asked softly.
"Okay," John said. "I...I promise."
"Good, now stop wasting my time and focus. Miko, I know you're listening, you know what your deadline is, be ready," McKay said as he entered the bay and Ronon saw Major Teldy standing by the 'Jumper and indicated with a nod she was ready to go.
"Keep me posted," McKay said then tapped his radio off. "We need to hurry," he said and moved passed her into the ship.
"Bring him back," Ronon said, knowing the woman understood every meaning behind the simple words.
"I will," Teldy promised and then hurried into the 'Jumper and soon Ronon was left by himself as the 'Jumper took off through the roof exit. Sheppard was going to kill him for letting McKay do this, but it was the right thing to do. At least this way the people on Earth and in Atlantis stood a chance...he prayed.
John focused on lifting the city upward, while keeping the location of the missile and all the air traffic he would have to avoid in mind. It was overwhelming at times, but once he had the city passed any air traffic that might have been, he noticed a 'Jumper was missing from the city. In fact it was approaching the missile on an intercept course.
"Radek who's in the 'Jumper?"
"'Jumper? What...oh...who, what...one moment, Colonel," Radek said.
"Lorne," John said, knowing mentally he could direct his communication to the man's radio. "What is your status?"
"We're on the way back. We stopped the kidnapping and left the one behind it on the step of the local police. Mrs. Van Buren is alright. Unfortunately we heard about her husband. We didn't tell her, just left her with her mother."
"The bastard launched a nuke and one of our 'Jumpers is heading toward it, intercept it," John ordered wondering what idiot was behind it, and he was afraid it was probably a genius idiot.
"Sir, I have communication with the 'Jumper," Chuck informed him.
"Whoever the hell is flying that shuttle, turn it around now, that's an order." John demanded.
"I don't take orders from you, Sheppard. Besides, this is the back up plan should you miss, so don't you dare miss," Rodney said over the radio.
"What the hell can you do in a 'Jumper? If I'm not allowed to kill myself that goes double for you" John snapped.
"I'm not trying to kill myself, you harebrained hyena, I'm trying to keep that thing from going off while on Earth, got it," Rodney said. "'Jumper three has the shield, if I need too, I'm going to use it to force the missile out into space. It will have to be far enough so the navigation system won't be able relock on its target."
"Rodney, we can..." John said.
"What? Hope one of the idiots in the White House locate the self-destruct code for the thing with the President missing? The time it would take for them to get their head out of their asses it would be far too late. The drone is a small chance to start with, this has a better chance of succeeding, but I'm going to let you try the drone first, as I.... I understand the risks, Colonel."
"You can't do it by yourself," John snapped back.
"He's not, sir," Teldy said. "And please don't order me to return, for we both know McKay knows best in these matters. Plus it was you who said to listen, so I am. Besides, he gave me three in ten odds; I'd take them any day as I know you would too, sir." She replied.
"McKay..." John said, wanting to explain how much he loved and needed him. Explain how he couldn't lose him, not like this, not now that they just got together.
"I'm keeping a lock on them, sir," Simpson said, showing that the conversation wasn't very private, but it gave John some relief.
"Don't you dare pull us out until I say or you'll wish you were sitting in that rocket," McKay snapped.
"Don't worry, I know what to do," Simpson said firmly.
"Colonel, missile is breaching atmosphere," Radek said.
"I have sent images of the rocket as we know of it where you want to target," Miko said, her softer voice penetrating John's thoughts. "The rocket will break into stages in a moment, you wish the second stage before it releases the warhead which is part of the third stage and final stage, which will head back to Earth."
"Okay, I got it," John said, mentally taking note that the city, 'Jumper and the rocket were out of Earth's atmosphere, but still near orbit which could still prove dangerous if the missile exploded as it didn't go far out, just enough that the stages that broke off would burn up in the atmosphere or float out to space. John closed his eyes and fired the special drone Miko had created and followed it with his mind. He slowed it down as much as he could, the goal not to hit hard but soft. The changes that Miko made showed in the feeling and handling of the drone. He knew it was both Miko and Rodney who made it possible for him to slow it down, and the thought of Rodney out there made John determined to get it right. He wanted to slow it down even further but soon the second stage would separate and he'd miss his window of opportunity.
"Yes," John heard Rodney's voice say as John used the drone to tap the second stage of the rocket farther outward into space, but then all too soon the second stage broke up as was designed and released the slim silver rocket of death. He hoped it would be enough.
"Final stage is released," Rodney said. "Get us closer," he ordered, meaning Teldy. John wished it was him there with his lover, but he knew he was needed in the chair as controlling the drone had been difficult even with the enhancements. "Crap, I knew it."
"Knew what? What's going on?" John demanded.
"It wasn't pushed far enough, its navigation system has relocked onto target, it's going to fire up its secondary engine to correct course...we can't let it," McKay said. "Close as you can," McKay said.
"I love you, but shut up I need to concentrate here," McKay snapped.
John did shut up and closed his eyes and used Atlantis' systems to track and monitor the 'Jumper. Teldy was getting it really close, John knew he could do better, but again he wasn't there, damn it. Then John noticed the shield extend and encompass the rocket so close there wasn't enough room for it to make any real impact. Then slowly as the rocket fired it's engines, the 'Jumper started dragging it away from Earth, gradually picking up speed. John was determined not to be too far away so the Asgard beam would reach if needed.
"Colonel, do you still want me to intercept the 'Jumper?" Lorne asked.
"No, return to the city," John said, and continued to watch the rocket being dragged back away from earth, but John could tell the rocket was giving the 'Jumper a hard time.
"Rodney," Radek said, the tone of a warning filling his voice.
"Yes, yes, now shut up," McKay said and John was sure he shut his radio off.
"What's wrong?" John asked, trying to focus on keeping the city close but not too close.
"Rocket engines will burn for only so long, and then it will explode, if the resistance the shield is creating does not trigger it sooner," Radek explained. "I will keep close eye, yes and let Simpson know if we need to act."
"Good, don't let anything happen to him...them," John said, kicking himself for forgetting even for a second that Major Teldy was up there with Rodney. And the woman will be lucky if she's not made an airman when she gets back, not that John would have done any different but it was the principle of the thing...perhaps.
"Doctor Zelenka, there must be some radiation leaking, something is interfering with the signal," Simpson suddenly said.
"The shield is causing a lot of pressure on the rocket, the casing was made by the lowest government bidder, are you surprised it's going to leak in this situation?" Rodney snapped, showing he didn't turn off his radio after all.
"How long," Teldy asked.
"Just a little bit farther, we can't afford for it to get back to Earth," Rodney said. "Now turn us, I want that thing pointed in the wrong direction, with the time it takes to try and turn itself, it should run out of fuel and then explode and it'll be too far to cause any damage. John get the city back, it can take a lot but not a direct impact explosion."
"What about you?" John demanded.
"Don't plan to hang around, sir," Teldy said.
"John..." Rodney said, his voice full of expression so much like his eyes, John thought. He knew Rodney wanted him safe and their home safe, it's why he made John take the chair...bastard.
"Okay, but...you better get back here safe," he said, then mentally pulled back, the city responding quickly to his commands.
"Just a little more...come on Teldy this isn't rocket science, that's what I'm here for, just turn it," Rodney snapped.
"It's fighting me, McKay," Teldy said, the tension clear in her voice.
"Little, more...little more...now!" Rodney snapped.
The last thing John saw or mentally saw before the huge bright light from the nuclear missile was the 'Jumper racing away at full speed.
John beamed down into the Mountain with Teyla and Ronon. He stared at General Landry, trying to keep calm and listen to what they wanted to talk about. Radek was still searching for the Jumper, but the radiation wasn't helping and John had to land the city back at the North Pole so it limited the area they could search. Once he was done here was going to take the city back out there and look, for he couldn't accept that Rodney was gone, he just couldn't be.
"General," John said, only then recalling he wasn't in the American military anymore and wouldn't be as he made his choice to be with Rodney.
"O'Neill asked me to contact you and ask for you to come," Landry said, his expression showing he didn't know why. "I just...I'm glad you're okay, son," Hank said.
"Thank you, sir. I appreciate all you did for me. I understand the situation you were in, sir." John said, feeling he could offer some forgiveness where it was needed.
Just then O'Neill flashed in, which meant the Daedalus was in the area. "Sheppard, good to see you," the man grinned. "My Vice President should be down shortly..."
"Vice President?" Sheppard asked.
"Ah yes, well, after Dawson launched a nuclear missile and killed the Air Force Chief of Staff, it was clear we needed to act. McKay of all people showed us a legal loop hole. It's temporary of course, but with so many Senators and Congress folk out of action, we're going to need some time to recoup."
Another flash and Jackson was there along with McKay! "Rodney!" John said, forgetting about everyone and rushed to him and grabbed him in his arms and kissed him. "Don't you ever..." he kissed him again. "Ever," kissed him once more, "Do that again," he scolded.
Rodney's eyes softened with love, but his voice was snappish. "Oh, it's okay for you to do it, but not me."
John grinned ear to ear. "No it's not,' John said then kissed him quiet. It was the clearing of several throats, that made John recall they were not alone. John felt his face heat up and saw Rodney's blush...damn he was hot.
"Gentlemen, if you wouldn't mind," Landry said, sounding disapproving, but there was no looks of disgust in his face. "Let's keep private lives just that, shall we?"
John smirked warmly, but didn't' release McKay from his hold, just let go enough so one arm was around his waist. "Right," John said.
"Now would be a good time, Jack," Daniel said. "With things so shook up and the temporary...and it better be temporary, Jack, martial law and you're in charge, we should pass the equal rights bill."
"Danny, the only reason I took over is because the only other person who could regardless of time in grade was murdered. Speaking of which, where is Dawson?"
"In the cell we used for the Wraith," John said. "Afraid he had a gun and tried to shoot his way out so he got a ricochet in the leg."
"Pity it wasn't his head," Rodney said. "What?" he said seeing all the looks. "He's an ass who tried to kill my family and was going to launch a nuke at his own country men, it would be better if he were dead then there'd be less chance that lunatic will get free via your corrupt court system," Rodney snapped.
"You do know your country isn't perfect either, right?" O'Neill asked.
Rodney looked smug. "But Canada didn't bow down to that idiot along with a few others. So, perhaps not perfect, but we got one up on you in this situation."
"Gentleman," Landry said. "If you don't mind." He then turned to Jack and gave the first real smiles John had seen in a long time. "Mr. President."
"Stuff it, Hank," O'Neill said, but he was smiling too. "Okay, basically, thank you. It's going to take some time to get things in order here and the Ori threat hanging over our heads isn't going to help. What I want to know is, is there any way..."
"No," McKay said quickly. "We're willing to help, but we're not crawling back or getting back into some political bed with you or the IOA. No, we're independent now. You want something from us, you ask, just like you would any allied nation. Then when Ambassador Emmagan wishes she'll meet with you, then we'll see," Rodney said firmly.
"I am honored, Rodney," Teyla said with a slight bow of respect
"Colonel Sheppard," Landry said. "Surely you can see..."
"Sorry, General, but my FiancÚ is in charge, not me," John said with a proud smile upon his face. He loved the looks on everyone else's face.
"Congratulations," Daniel said, and John thought he saw a bit of envy in his eyes, and he knew the man wasn't interested in his Rodney, at least damn well better not be. Then he saw the wishful look he gave O'Neill and then realized why Jackson wanted to push the equal right bill that had been pushed down, that would allow gays to not only serve openly and proudly but marry. He mentally wished him luck. "Thank you."
"Bout time," Ronon said with a smirk.
"I agree, it is time you two stopped sacrificing your own happiness to be one as you should have been all along," Teyla said.
"Yes, um...well, we'll just have to find someone to officiate, but we'll work that out later," Rodney said, his face blushing so pretty John wanted to kiss him again, but refrained.
"If you're not going to be a part of Earth, then what are you going to do?" Daniel asked. "What about supplies?"
"Daniel, they're on Earth. I have no doubt McKay took care of that. You did make sure to take along enough fruit loops, breakfast of champions?" Jack asked, his eyes twinkling.
"That's Wheaties you dork," McKay snapped.
"That's President Dork, to you McKay," O'Neill replied with a huge grin on his face.
"As for our plans, we're going to take those who want to come with us and head back to Pegasus, and then we're going to restart kicking Wraith butts while trying to move mankind into the next level of evolution." Rodney said, looking rather superior and smug.
"We started something there, sir. We plan on finishing it. But we're not going to forget Earth or its people. I hope we'll be able to work things out to keep peace and have open trade," John said.
"Me too. I'm sure between Ms. Emmagen and Vice President Jackson, we'll get there," O'Neill said smiling warmly at Daniel.
"Won't be easy, country is in turmoil and in a state of Martial law. It'll be awhile before we'll even be in a place to negotiate. Then there is the Ori..." Daniel sighed.
"Perhaps to start things off, we could ask Atlantis to help us out against the Ori," Landry said. "Not sure what you'd want in return?"
"Those who returned to be released and allowed to either return to the program or whatever choice they want," McKay said firmly.
"They've already been released," Jack said. "I don't have a problem with them returning back to the SGC. Is that all you want?"
"I have a list; I'll send it to you. Its supplies we were not able to get because of all this nonsense with the nuclear missile," McKay said.
"Okay, send it along, we'll see what we can do. Will it be enough?" Jack asked.
"We already said we'd help," John smiled letting them know they were paying for something they already had, so long as they didn't try to pull something on them again.
"Oh um..." Rodney looked a bit shy, guilty, John wasn't sure which. "We have a couple of ZED-PMs for Earth as well."
"You have ZPMs? How?" Daniel asked. "Good thing Sam's not here, she'd hit the roof wondering where you got them," Daniel said.
"It's a long story," John said, not wanting Rodney to explain at this time about Elizabeth's sacrifice for the drawers or that they had more. Perhaps later if things worked out. Atlantis needed all the advantages it could get. "Enough to say we have a few extra and are willing to share."
"But let me make this clear, anyone trying to use or abuse them, I'll take them back and don't think I can't," McKay snapped. "They are not meant for the highest bidder, but to help protect this planet. Which brings me to my next point, my sister may want to return to this crazy place. I expect you to make sure she remains safe."
"I think we can do that, McKay" O'Neill said.
There was a knock on the door and Landry called the person in. It was Walter, looking at Ronon with care. "Mr. President, the Secret Service is requesting that you stop vanishing on them and to let them know where you are going. They are also requesting to know when you plan to return to the White House. Apparently there is a ruckus involving a few Senators, Congress men and a few other politicians and they would like your input on the matter?"
"Tell them to lock them in a room with some food and drink and I'll deal with them latter," Jack smirked.
"Jack..." Daniel said.
"What, I'll deal with it. Beside, you'll have your hands full with trying to explain how a nuclear missile was launched to the people and the rest of our allies who are frantic," Jack said, only a small smile on his face.
"Very well, sir," Walter said and left.
"If you all don't mind, I'm ready to go home," Rodney said, looking at John with love and a bit of impatience.
"I think we should be going. He gets cranky if he doesn't get his nap," John grinned.
"Ha, ha, funny, coming from someone who looks like they got glue stuck in their hair. I have a million things to do before we leave. Plus, I have to make sure the coffee green houses are secure."
"You're taking coffee plants?" Daniel asked with delighted surprise.
"Yes, we're going to hook the Pegasus galaxy and as the only supplier I'm thinking twenty-five dollars a cup," Rodney grinned.
"You know they don't use money, McKay," O'Neill said.
"Don't burst my bubble," Rodney snapped. "If I want to have dreams of being a coffee Baron I will. Can we go now?"
"Sure," John said, trying to contain his laughter. "Mr. President, Mr. Vice-President, General," John said.
"I look forward to meeting with you soon," Teyla said to Daniel.
"Oh and um...thanks, for you know," Rodney said, gesturing toward John.
"I'm glad I was able to help," Jack said sincerely.
"We'll be around for awhile, you have your phone, call or use the radio," McKay said, and then looked at John.
"Dr. McKay," Landry said getting his attention. "I am sorry for what I said. I'm glad you know of the circumstance and that Colonel Sheppard is safe. I also want to thank you for what you did for Earth...but from reports, I wonder, how did you get clear?"
Rodney glared as if he had hoped that subject wouldn't have been raised. "Daedalus was near by, so we hitched a ride with them. Lost the 'Jumper. Teldy is helping the Secret Service out in the White House. Reminds me, we'll have to pick her up soon."
"Lost the 'Jumper?" John asked, his anger not at losing the ship, but recalling he almost lost his lover.
"If we hit the docking area at the speed we were going, we'd have crashed, so we beamed over and then Daedalus hit hyperspace for a short jump. We came back and stopped at the White House as O'Neill was informed by Caldwell and asked us to beam down." Rodney explained.
"We'll talk about this later...after your nap," John said, most of the anger leaving his voice. Rodney looked tired and he'd been under so much pressure for a while now. If there was anyway to relieve some of it, he would. They were in this together now.
"That wasn't funny the first time..." Rodney growled.
"I'll join you," John smiled, letting the heat he felt for his lover fill his eyes.
"I think that's our cue, Spacemonkey," O'Neill said, then reached out and took Daniel by the hand, shocking everyone including Daniel. "Caldwell if you do the honors," Jack said, already having reached into his pocket and had his cell open.
"With pleasure, Mr. President," Caldwell said, his voice emitting from open phone. In a flash they were gone.
"General Landry," Teyla said with a nod of respect.
"Pleasure Ms. Emmagen, Mr. Dex," Landry said. "Now would you please take these two home?"
"Home," Rodney grinned at John.
"Home," John said, then tapped his radio. "Radek, Rodney and Teldy are safe. I have Rodney with me. Contact Teldy, she's at the White House see when she wants to return."
"That is great news!" Radek said and the cheer from behind him was so loud it echoed over the radio. "And you Colonel?"
"For us...we're coming home." John said, feeling the love and happiness of having his family with him. Thanks to Rodney and he was going home. The last thing he heard before he felt the white light of the Asgard beam take him and his family away, was Landry...asking when the Apollo would be returned. He grinned, for he was sure Rodney wasn't ready to give it back anytime soon.
Six Months Later...
It was surreal, as the city was lit up as the sun began to set and the twilight sky beamed in colors through the large glass window that dominated the back wall at the top of the stairs. It made for the perfect location to hold the ceremony; each banner was wrapped in white pollen free flowers, guaranteed by botany not to cause Rodney to sneeze or wheeze. Someone found plush red material and secured it to the steps, giving them a royal feel, as Rodney and John ascended them, hand in hand to stand before Teyla, who would perform the ceremony not only as Leader of the Athosians but second civilian in command of the city after Rodney himself. She was lovely in white and peach robes that made her appear ethereal, but she paled next to John, who was beyond dashing and beautiful in his dress uniform. It may have been originally Air Force, but it didn't take much persuasion from Rodney to get John to wear it for their wedding, also, to adopt the basic style for their own military.
It has been six months since the fiasco with the deranged President and the Trust almost cost him everything. But now, his city was whole again and John was not only with him, but about to become his husband. He just wished there were a few others there to share it with him. Though he didn't have to choose between Carson and Radek to be his best man, he kind of wished...he did.
Soon he and John were standing at the last stair by the top, where Teyla stood and began the ceremony. She promised to shorten it after her initial explanation of what the Athosian/Earth wedding would look and sound like. Rodney was glad for he wanted to kiss John, hold him and just be with him this night. He knew they had a lot of work ahead of them, building a community from their tiny colony, fighting the Wraith and making a future together. Staring at John, looking back at him, almost as nervous, but so much affection and love shining out of his eyes, Rodney found he couldn't wait to get started.
"I do!" Rodney blurted out. Then blinked when he saw John grin wide and look at Teyla with a 'don't mind him, I don't' kind of look.
"We have not quite reached that part, Rodney," Teyla quietly assured him, while a few echoes of laughter filled the hall.
"Then perhaps we should," Rodney replied, feeling embarrassed for interrupting their wedding.
"I do, too," John then said, squeezing his hand, letting him know, John was with him all the way.
"Very well. If there is no one who objects? "Teyla asked, as was tradition for Earth weddings.
"Better not," Rodney mumbled.
"Wouldn't matter," John whispered, reaching out and tilting Rodney's chin until they were eye to eye, letting him know by the look in John's face, nothing anyone said mattered but him and Rodney felt his face beam with happiness.
"Then with the power invested in my by my people and the people of Atlantis I now pronounce you married. Congratulations, you may now kiss and seal your union," Teyla said warmly.
John and Rodney kissed, the cheers filling the background. The kiss would have lingered longer, but Ronon punched John in the shoulder. "Food's waiting."
Rodney glared at the big Neanderthal, but Ronon only smiled wider. "Heard they made the wedding cake chocolate mocha."
"They made the cake with chocolate and coffee?" Rodney asked, feeling hungry already. John laughter was the only thing that made him stop from rushing down the step to get a slice. "Oh um..."
"Come," John said and headed down the stairs with Rodney.
Rodney wasn't too keen on the flower petals that were being tossed on them, but it was better than uncooked rice he supposed and it was an Athosian tradition. Rodney hoped they understood there would be no fertility here, being both him and John were male. Then shivered, this was Pegasus; he shouldn't test fate that way. He made a mental note to be sure they were normal petals...after the reception.
Rodney and John made their way through the hordes of people who wanted to congratulate them, including Rodney's sister; Madison being in the wedding party, even if it was to hold the ring for there was no flower girl role...as seen by all the petals being used at the end. But they were there, and she'd forgiven them. He was also thrilled they had decided to stay and start a school. It's only a matter of time before there's children, and they're going to need a good education, science, math and literature. Jeannie had said to him and she'd been right. There were children among those who decided to join them. Radek's sister and brothers had a good dozen between them, not to mention Miko's family and others. Sadly, no one from John's family came, but somehow having heard that John saved them, help make some peace between John and his family...it was a start.
"Congratulation," Daniel said warmly, shaking both their hands.
"Thank you for coming, Mr. Vice President," John said easily, a smirk to show he was teasing as well.
"Please, enough. I have my hands full, with Jack, the Join Chiefs and the world ambassadors. I came here to be plain and simple, Daniel." Jackson said, looking a bit worn but in good spirits and health.
"Okay, Plain, where's Simple?" Rodney asked.
Daniel chuckled. "Jack's coming, we just barely made it, and so once the ceremony was done he rushed to put your wedding gift with the others. Sam, Telc' and Vala are also here. Mitchell couldn't make it, Landry has him busy. Jack made time so he could attend." Daniel explained.
"How's he holding up?" John asked, looking serious suddenly. Though they had gone back to Pegasus, they kept close tabs on Earth and knew from the day Jack took office he'd had a fight on his hands to keep control and keep Earth safe. The job of President has taken a great toll on others who took up the burden and those were in 'normal' times. Jack was already pushing sixty and though in damn good shape, was taking up a heavy burden indeed.
"You know, surprisingly well," Daniel said, his eyes showing his concern for Jack, but that he spoke the truth. "He's always been smart, I just forget how much at times."
"I know how that feels," Rodney said, sparing a glance at his husband.
"Hey!" John protested, and then grinned. He then looked back at Daniel. "Things evening out?"
"It's still an uphill battle, but he's been amazing. He's started doing weekly chats, letting the people know what's going on. It's been rough with the change in government and the exposure of the program...no real way to avoid it as the Trust was going to try and blackmail us with it as a threat. This way it's out in the open. Of course there is a ton of information, but Jack's got a good head on his shoulders and I'd say we're making good progress. We're hoping in a year to fully abolish Martial Law and reinstall Elections. I'm just afraid Jack might get nominated," Daniel grinned.
"Absolutely not!" Jack said as he walked up to Daniel and placed a hand on his shoulder. He then reached out and shook John and Rodney's hand. "Congratulations. Got you something I think you both could use. As for being President much longer...heck no! I promised Danny that I'd get things settled, get the equal rights act fully passed, and then we're retiring to my cabin."
"You two?" John asked, smirking widely.
"About time," Rodney said.
"I agree," Daniel said, looking like a man in love toward O'Neill who had the same expression on his face. "Just a matter of time."
"Stop waiting," Rodney snapped, getting both their attention. "I waited and I almost lost John. I've read your reports, how much longer do you have to keep almost losing each other before you two get it right. Get married, be together and damn the rest of the Universe if they don't like it!"
"You know, the man has a point," Jack said, cupping Daniel's face. "I'm tired of waiting."
"But, Jack..." Daniel slightly protested.
"Don't you want to?" Jack asked, almost looking hurt.
"Of course I do? But you're the President and in the public eye..." Daniel started.
"Rodney's right, stop waiting," John said, offering his own advice. "Besides, if the President can't marry who he wants then who can?"
"Come on, Danny, let's get this shindig on the road, we'll discuss it later," Jack said, his eyes promising a very persuasive discussion.
"Come on, food's getting cold," Ronon shouted.
John and Rodney made their way to the rest of the reception where there was a large amount of food. Once more things blurred for Rodney as he and John ate and speeches were made, then it slowed down as it was time for their first dance as a couple together. They swayed together, the rest of the world forgotten, just them. Rodney heard John's heartbeat over the music, felt his breath upon his cheek, and his hands upon his back, and felt happy, safe and loved. He knew things wouldn't remain perfect, that there would be more bad times, but there would be more good times. He also knew that so long as he was willing to go to any length to keep John and his family safe, they would work out in the end.
High above on the second largest tower, facing the grand hall where a wedding took place, two figures stood watching...
"Thank you," Elizabeth said, turning slightly to face Carson, who was beaming with pride down below.
"Ack, not like I did much," Carson said.
"You saved me and let me save Rodney, who in turned saved Atlantis and Earth, I'd say that was more than much," Elizabeth replied, the wind fluttering her and Carson's white robes.
"I helped you ascend, that was well within the rules as you've been working toward it for some time. As for saving Rodney, that was a bit touch and go, I thought when you posed as your own memory he'd figure it out for sure, but you did good. Though it was wrong of ye to do that to him in the first place," Carson scolded.
"You said before and I agreed with you. It's why I had to save him," Elizabeth said. "I admit I didn't think of Rodney when I entered his head, just Atlantis. I forgot what made the city special wasn't the city itself, but the people who live in it."
"Aye, but it looks like they didn't," Carson said, nodding down toward the window that allowed them to see Rodney and John swaying as one. "I'm glad they finally stopped being so pig headed. They needed each other and we both know they're going to need each other more in time. I just wish I could be there for them." Carson said, looking sad.
"Well..." Elizabeth said. "There just might be a way. After all, if I'm allowed to fix my mistakes...I say we could lead them to another to fix things, don't you?"
Carson thought about it, and then smiled. "Aye, Michael...there's a dickens that needs taking down not to mention the poor bastard he's toying with. Aye, I think that's a grand ideal. But remember...careful. We don't want to end up naked somewhere without a clue to ourselves, do we?"
"As John would say, we'll call that Plan C," Elizabeth beamed.
"And as Rodney would say, we're doomed!" Carson grinned.
The two figures faded into light and vanished into the night, appearing as stars in the distance, which would always watch over Atlantis and most importantly her people.