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Best Foot Ford

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This story is No. 8 in the series "The Places She'll Go". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: But this is his old team. Sheppard and Teyla and McKay. And their Slayer, their grinning, bloodstained beauty who never leaves her sword at home. Faith came after him when the others couldn’t, and for that he’s thankful.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Faith-CenteredStrangerFR1311,0130104,27110 Jan 0810 Jan 08Yes
Disclaimer: I own nothing! None at all! Bwhahahaha! Ha.

AN: Just watched "Be All My Sins Remember'd". Has anyone else noticed the Daedalus class ships look remarkably like long-necked turtles?

A deep breath, and he hits the record button. The tiny red eye blinks to affirm this, and Aiden begins to speak.

“Hey guys, its me, obviously.”

An awkward pause, but honesty seems to be the best policy, so…

“I’m not really sure where to start, but… I guess you know I don’t remember much after the Hive. Just blurs – running, when Faith came to get me. I remember waking up, that time, after the fever. I remember it hurt a lot, but things got better.”

He stops, stares for a second or two at his hands lying limp on his knees. Uncomfortable, in revealing that much, even after so many months of speaking his mind to appropriately educated strangers.

But this is his old team. Sheppard and Teyla and McKay. And their Slayer, their grinning, bloodstained beauty who never leaves her sword at home. Faith came after him when the others couldn’t, and for that he’s thankful.

“I’m sending you guys this vid to tell you what happened after I got back to Earth. It’s been rough. I got back here, and – it sounds so stupid, but – you guys weren’t here and for weeks I couldn’t figure out why. Anyway, I gotta say this.

“Faith, thanks. I know you put in a good word for me with the Council. The Nox must really like you guys, ‘cos I spent two months with them, getting my shit together. They wouldn’t heal the problem outta me either. Cold turkey, all the way. I can’t tell ya how difficult it was, and really, I don’t want to.

“I won’t be coming back to Pegasus. The risk of me getting involved with the enzyme so soon after recovering is too big a risk. The doctors said it’d only take one attack and… My body would remember. The enzyme would set off this trigger, in my brain. I’m not really sure how it works but I know the Wraith wouldn’t be able to kill me, not for a while, and that –”

He chokes on the words for a moment. This is so hard to say.

“That if I survived I would be dangerous again.”

A sigh, another breath. He goes on.

“But, things are good here. I’ve been rotating on a few teams. Pretty soon I’m going to be assigned permanently with Lieutenant Hailey on SG-13, under Colonel Dixon.”

Suddenly, he can’t stop grinning.

“Oh, man, I wish you guys could meet Hailey, she’s so hardcore. This girl lives for her science. Me and Grogan spend half our lunch breaks taking food to her labs. And you would not believe how scary she can get. She’s the youngest scientist here but she’s got half her project team under her thumb. Hella-wicked temper too. Kinda reminds me of Dr. McKay. I guess that’s why I think it’s funny when she’s angry and everyone else just runs for the hills.”

He gives a short laugh.

“Colonel Dixon’s cool too. Nothing fazes this guy until someone whips out the big guns and things start exploding. I was on his team a couple of times with my rotations. He doesn’t mind that he’s getting a marine, like some of the team leaders do. As long as I shoot straight and keep up, he’s happy to have me along. He hasn’t had a permanent team in three years, so it’s gonna be new for everyone. I think I’ll like having him as a commander.”

“Our fourth’s the new Slayer here; this little Cantonese chick, Chao-Ahn. She just got her PhD in Political Science, so she’ll be our meet-n-greet. Since she was studying in China, her English still isn’t that great, but me and Jen are helping her with that. You should see her fight. She’s, like, this tiny little girl, itty-bitty hands, but she can throw bad guys into ceilings when she wants too.

“She was in Sunnydale during the collapse, with Faith and the others. Its weird, hearing the story from someone else’s point of view, especially since she didn’t really get what was going on. It’s familiar though, you know? Like when we first got into the City, without a fuckin’ clue.

“I haven’t got much time left; this has to fit in our data burst, so I’ll finish up. Look, I know I put you guys through the ringer, and I’m really sorry. I wish it could’ve been different, and that I could still be part of Team Sheppard. I hope I’ll get to see you guys when you’re next here, but everything that gets you guys back on our blue planet always turns into an emergency.

“What I’m trying to get to is…don’t worry about me, okay? I’m doing great here. I have friends; I’m going to be on a new team. I’m getting my life back. I’ve talked to my grandparents and my cousin. Cover story is I got into the heavy shit in an enemy prison camp, but I’m better now.

“I’m okay. I hope you guys are, too.”

The video ends on a faintly blurred image of Aiden’s face, smiling and reaching to turn the camera off.

In Elizabeth’s office, there is a moment of quiet, each person absorbing this new outcome, this new addition to the chapter of their lives that is Atlantis.

John speaks first from his perch on the desk, sitting shoulder to shoulder with Teyla. Elizabeth is in her desk chair, and Rodney hovers beside her.

“Think he’ll be okay?”

Faith stirs from where she has been standing; next to the armchair where Ronon is slumped, her hip leant against his shoulder. She smiles and moves towards the screen. She doesn’t touch his face, frozen there, but lightly hooks her fingers on the frame. She turns slightly, and they seen her face in profile, still smiling.

“He’s got Dixon and two small angry chicks with knives to look out for him.”

The smile becomes a grin and she faces them fully.

“Trust me; he’s going to be just fine.”

AN2: Review, and I'll love you!

The End

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