Back and Counting
Chapter 36: Back and Counting
Rodney, Dawn, Ronon, and Lorne’s team watched as John paced the floor of the Jumper bay. He’d been doing that for the last fifteen minutes, ever since they had geared up after the briefing. Dawn looked around the compartment as John did another pass in front of the Jumper door. The anxiety went up another notch.
With a sigh Dawn stood. She walked out of the Jumper and positioned herself in John’s path. She studied him as he got closer. His emotions were dark… worried.
John looked up suddenly. “Dawn.”
“John,” she said. “You need to calm down.”
He ran a hand through his hair.
She placed a hand on his shoulder. She pulled his out of control emotions to herself, leaving him with caution and a small dose of fear and his unwavering determination. He looked at her in surprise.
“What did you do?”
She shifted as she tried to smother the anxiety that coursed through her. “A power I rarely use,” she told him, “are you thinking clearly now?”
He frowned, “yeah.”
“Then it is,” she glanced at her watch, “1709 hours, can we get this underway?”
He nodded and walked the rest of the way to the Jumper. Dawn shuffled a little pushing the emotions she took from John to the bottom. Then she joined them on-board.
~Jumper One we’re dialing, ~ Sam announced.
“We’re ready,” John sat down and placed his hands on the control.
~We’ve got a lock, ~ Chuck said.
~Jumper One you have a go, ~ Sam told them.
John maneuvered the Jumper to the door leading to the ‘Gate room. They looked at the ‘Gate through the window. John took one look around. “Let’s go.”
Dawn stood next to Ronon as they past through. She kept her eyes glued to the window. Once they were clear of the ‘Gate Dawn walked forward. Rodney brought up the HUD. “There,” she pointed to a small clearing.
Dawn led Lorne’s team through the compound. She stopped suddenly at a cell. There was a man lying on the bench.
“Kanaan,” she whispered to get his attention.
“Dawn?” Lorne asked.
The man stood. Unlike in the reality she kept seeing, this man was still human.
“Kanaan,” she said again, “we’re looking for Teyla.”
“In the lab,” he told her. Dawn saw it flash before her.
“I got it,” she told the team. She glanced at the man, “Kanaan, we’ll be back.”
He nodded, “save Teyla.”
Dawn gave a curt nod and continued down the hall. When she reached the door she had seen from glimpsing Kanaan she signaled Lorne to wait. They stayed just out of view.
‘Think you can find us without running into anyone?’ she asked Ronon.
‘We’re on our way,’ he reassured her. It wasn’t three minutes later that the boys arrived.
She nodded pointedly at the door. John order Lorne to watch their six.
Dawn activated the door. Without waiting she stunned the hybrid in front of her. The lab was large. She could see Teyla on the table. But she kept searching the shadows.
“Come out Michael,” she called to the corner she could sense him in.
“I am calling the hybrids to me,” he hissed, “you don’t stand a chance.”
Dawn walked forward her stunner pointed at him. “All I have to do is kill you and it won’t matter.”
“I’ll kill them before you ever fire,” he warned.
“To stop you that is an acceptable loss,” she told him.
“You’re human,” Michael stated, “you are not capable of sacrificing others just to kill me.”
Dawn rotated her shoulders before brining her gun down to her side. She holstered her gun. “You’re right,” she said as she walked towards him, “humans can’t justify killing 200,000 people just to destroy the Wraith.” She sped across the room hauling him into the wall where the light could touch them. “Only monsters can.” She let something lose inside her.
“What do you understand of monsters?” Michael hissed. He looked over her head where Ronon was standing with his gun raised and Rodney and John were supporting Teyla. “They are the ones who are the monsters; I’m simply taking their research a step further.”
“They were trying to undo a mistake made by the Ancients. The Wraith exist by accident. Turning them human would mean we wouldn’t have to spend our lives destroying them.”
“It didn’t work!” Michael lashed out. She slammed him against the wall. “They knew it didn’t work and still they did it again!”
“They could have just shot you,” she shifted slightly, “Ronon still wants to. But for some reason they wanted to save you.”
“Save me,” he laughed, “they made it so that I was an outcast. I belonged nowhere.”
“So you went and made yourself a nice little army of hybrids,” she turned her head slightly, “so you wouldn’t be lonely.” She drove him against the wall again, “but you screwed up, you killed to get what you wanted.”
“And you still can’t,” he hissed, “human…”
“I’m not human,” she told him leaning in so that only he would hear her, “I’m a Slayer. I don’t feel remorse for death.” She pulled a knife from her hip.
“I have to,” she stepped away and brought the knife across his throat.
Rodney didn’t know how he felt watching as Dawn stood over the dying Michael. The young woman tilted her head, an unreadable expression across her face. Michael’s mouth was moving as though he were saying something. Dawn mouthed something before putting her hands on Michael’s head and pulling it off. The sound of bones cracking made him cringe. Seeing Dawn standing staring at the hybrid’s head, her hands covered in the deep red of Michael’s blood, made him gag.
Teyla could barely stand. Rodney refocused on her, it was easier that way. “We should get going,” he said, breaking the silence.
“No,” Dawn’s voice sounded different as she let Michael’s head roll from her hands. She walked to the sink casually turning it on. She stared intently at the blood as it swirled down the drain. “There are Athosians here. Some are hybrids, they need to be treated.” She turned off the sink putting her knife in its holster. “They need to know they’re safe.” She walked out of the room.
“Rodney,” John ordered, “you and Henderson take Teyla to the Jumper. We’ll be there in a few.”
“Okay,” he watched as Ronon and John ran out.
He and Henderson waited in the Jumper. They had little else to do. It was roughly fifteen minutes later when they saw the team headed for them, a group of hybrids and Athosians in tow.
Dawn ran into the Jumper grabbed his tablet and an extra memory card. She went running back out. She stopped in front of John then continued back in the direction of the lab. The team got onboard. The Athosians remained in the clearing. “Dial Atlantis,” John ordered.
“What about Dawn?” Henderson asked.
“I’m back,” she called from the rear of the Jumper a detonator in one hand. She flipped the switch. As the facility was destroyed Dawn handed him the tablet, “Carson and Jennifer are going to need this to help these people.”
Rodney dialed the ‘Gate as John started to fly.
Once they were back in the Jumper bay Dawn walked forward to John and grabbed his shoulder. She shook her head as she let go, “your emotions, now you can deal with them.”
Jennifer walked into the Jumper a gurney right behind her. Ronon placed Teyla on it. Rodney and Lorne’s team disembarked. John sat a moment trying to readjust to the idea that they had Teyla back. After a moment he stood and turned to the back compartment. He paused.
There was Ronon and Dawn embracing. The young woman didn’t seem too intimidating being hugged by the large Satedan. She seemed strong but vulnerable; completely different from the warrior who tore the head from her enemy. It was a hug, something so simple… but there was something more to it. He suddenly felt as though he’d walked in on a private moment between the couple. He wanted to get to the infirmary, to see Teyla. That would require trying to get around them. He was stuck.
Dawn pulled back to look at Ronon. She must have seen him out of the corner of her eye, because she turned to face John. She then moved out of his way and smiled, “go.” He didn’t need telling twice as he jogged out of the Jumper.
Dawn shivered as she got out of the shower. Her skin still crawled, and her stomach wasn’t sitting well. She knew what she had done, she was aware that it was needed. The fact that the Slayer had been so dominate in her personality was irritating. She pulled on a pair of pajamas. She glanced at the door when it opened.
“Hi,” she said.
“Hi,” Lexi replied.
Dawn looked at her, “have you gone to see Teyla?”
“Me neither,” she ran a hand through her hair, “how about we go together?”
Dawn nodded and followed her out.
“You aren’t wearing any shoes,” Lexi said with a frown.
Dawn laughed slightly, “I’m told that a lot.”
Lexi grinned, “everybody should be able to walk around their home without shoes.”
When they made it to the infirmary Dawn paused at the door. Jennifer was the closest. “How is Teyla?”
Jennifer smiled at her, “she’s got some heavy sedatives that need to clear her system but she’ll be fine.”
“Are the boys in with her?” Dawn asked.
Jennifer grinned, “of course. And the information you got from the lab will help us reverse the hybrids.”
Lexi frowned as they started towards the isolation room. “The boys?”
“Rodney, John, Ronon,” she explained.
“But they’re all older than you,” she reasoned.
Dawn stopped at the isolation room door, “age has nothing to do with why I call them boys. It’s just another nickname, like when John calls everybody, kids or children.”
The door opened and they entered to see Carson walking out. He smiled at both of them as he moved past.
Dawn smiled as she moved to Teyla’s bed. “How are you feeling?”
“A little tired,” the Athosian replied, “but glad to be back among friends.”
“It’s nice to have you back,” Rodney assured her.
“Yes, way too boring without you around,” Dawn agreed.
“That is not what I was told,” Teyla looked at Lexi.
“Well you know us,” John commented, “we had to wait for Dawn’s mystical alignment.”
Dawn shrugged, “yeah well the second moon wasn’t lining up.”
Teyla laughed as the door opened again. “Okay,” Carson said, “five minutes is up. She’ll be out in a few days. Right now she needs rest.”
Dawn glanced back to see John still standing next to Teyla’s bed. When the rest of them were out she grabbed Carson’s sleeve. Quietly she said, “give him a minute.”
Carson nodded a small knowing smile on his face.
It would be a week before everything with Teyla was cleared up. It was a long week of explanations. At the end of that time Sam returned to Earth for some type evaluation.
Dawn leaned against the door of the gym watching Ronon and Teyla spar on one part of the gym while Rodney and Lexi sparred on the other side. She wasn’t surprised to see John come through the door. He stopped next to her.
“Whatcha doing?” he asked.
“Watching,” she replied.
She smiled slowly, “family.”
John’s eyes snapped to her, a single eyebrow rose.
“What else do you call the people you’d give anything for?” she asked. “That you love no matter what they do? That you won’t let anyone touch?” she let her eyes look over those who were sparring.
“You never struck me as the sentimental type,” John replied.
She snorted, “You know me better than that.”
He smiled, “Yeah.” John looked at her, “you know there is something that doesn’t make sense.”
“Only one?” she quipped.
“The prediction,” he said, “everything about it came true, helped us find Teyla. Except the last part, ‘keep an eye on the pixie.’”
Dawn nodded. “Have you told Teyla?”
“John,” she looked at him. She could tell he hadn’t. She lowered her voice, “what if I told you I had meant for you to keep an eye on me?”
John frowned, “why?”
She smiled, “watch.” She waited a moment watching Teyla and Ronon spar. When they moved away from each other she took off at a run. Without pausing she launched at Ronon knocking him to the floor. She sat on his stomach, her knees on either side of him, pinning his hands to his sides. All movement had stopped.
“Dawn?” Teyla asked.
Dawn never took her eyes off of Ronon, “Sorry Teyla. Just give me a moment.”
Dawn kept her hands planted on Ronon’s shoulders as he tried to move. She gently pulled one of his dreads before leaning down and giving him a kiss. She pulled back smiling down at him. Then she shifted so that she could stand, letting Ronon go. But, as she went to stand, Ronon wrapped an arm around her waist.
“What was that for?” he asked.
She shrugged innocently, “wanted a kiss.”
Dawn smiled. “And I’m very impatient.”
He simply looked at her.
“Let me up,” she groused trying to use her arms which were trapped between their chests.
“Can’t you two play nice?” Rodney asked. “There is a child in the room.”
Lexi scoffed, “I lived with Spike and Faith for the last two years. This is tamer than anything they say.”
Dawn wiggled her upper body but couldn’t seem to get her arms loose. She glanced around the room, “A little help people?”
John walked forward, “I don’t think so. You’re the one who attacked him.”
“Next time I’m just going to be straightforward,” she retorted, kicking a leg out to knock him over, “monkey see, monkey do.”
“Oof!” John landed on his back.
Teyla was trying to hide a smile.
Dawn looked back at her husband, “what do you want?”
He raised an eyebrow to her.
“Fine,” she sighed, “I was meddling.”
Ronon grinned and kissed her once before letting go of her waist. Dawn hopped to her feet and gave him a hand up.
“Meddling?” Rodney asked.
“Well at least this time it didn’t end up with Lorne being held by the collar,” Dawn grinned.
“That was meddling?” John groaned, “I’d hate to see if you weren’t trying to help!”
“Hey!” she gave him a push with her foot.
“Don’t kick me,” John griped.
“Don’t be such a pain,” she stuck her tongue out at him.
Teyla could no longer hold it in. She laughed at them. The Athosian’s laughter was contagious. Dawn started to laugh, then Rodney. John laughed when a red-faced Dawn sat down holding her ribs. Ronon wore a large smile.
Lexi shook her head at them all. She looked up where she saw Jennifer and Major Lorne watching them. She gave a small wave before walking out of the gym.
Lorne looked at Jennifer, “what do you think has got them all worked up?”
She shrugged in return, “all being together again. And none of them injured…”
“For the moment,” he joked.
“Maybe that’s the key to Pegasus,” she said thoughtfully, “living each moment… because you can.” She looked down at the team, “making all of it count…”
- The End -
So this is the end of “Keys to Pegasus.” I have started on the next of the ‘Keys to Pegasus’ series called “Key Continuum” I have the first two chapters started.
I’m so proud of this story… mostly because I started and finished it, something I didn’t do often in the past. So Lexi’s destiny which everybody is so interested in will not appear until the third story of the K2P series.
I would like to thank you for reading, for keeping me going with your reviews, and I hope that you liked it well enough to continue onto the next story. I appreciate everything.