unadrift: (team)
[personal profile] unadrift
Team! Enemy at the Gate very much lacked team moments. Therefore, here: Tag for Enemy at the Gate – 2700 words of gen, team. Written with one laughing and one crying eye for the Season 5 Tagathon on [livejournal.com profile] sga_episodefic. Beta'd by [livejournal.com profile] tacittype and [livejournal.com profile] naye.

Nothing but the wide open ocean stretched out in front of him, and John liked it that way.

Everyone else was gravitating towards the balconies on the east pier, lured in by the view. Tables and chairs had been brought outside, and they were almost always occupied. Even after a week on Earth, people – Atlantis personnel and the never-ending stream of visitors alike – were still magically drawn out there, just sitting and gazing at San Francisco, as if they had never seen a city from afar before.

For John, the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge just a little swim away from the familiar skyline of Atlantis was too much to take. The view was spectacular, granted, but it was also creeping him out, big time. It was wrong. He couldn't wait to fire up the engines and take Atlantis up again, away--

"There you are."

John turned to see Rodney step out onto the balcony, closely followed by Teyla and Ronon. If Rodney had used a life signs detector to find John, he was surprisingly stealthy about it, because John couldn't spot the device anywhere on him. And if Rodney hadn't used any technical equipment to help with his search, well, that was an achievement in understanding John Sheppard that was almost as impressive as newfound stealth abilities on Rodney's part would be.

"Yep, here I am." John turned back to watching ripples run across the ocean and tried hard to ignore the oil tankers, the freighters of varying sizes, and the occasional sailboat that crossed his field of vision.

"One could almost forget that we are not in the Pegasus galaxy anymore," Teyla said, leaning on the railing to John's left.

Ronon stepped in line between John and Rodney. "It's not that different," he agreed.

Apart from the traffic on the ocean in front of them, and the Golden Gate Bridge behind them, and the fact that they had crossed the void between galaxies to get here. John shook his head. "Trust me, it's different." He turned to Rodney, who wasn't offering an opinion, just staring intently at a spot on the horizon, which was strange enough all in itself. "Hey, Rodney," John said. "Come to think of it, with Atlantis on Earth, why haven't you exploded from the excitement yet?"

"Hm?" Rodney said, startled from his thoughts. "Oh, I had to postpone the scheduled spontaneous combustion until I can find a time slot to fit it in. You wouldn't believe the kind of idiots the IOA has been sending in to 'determine the scientific value of the Ancient equipment' and to 'gain practical experience'," Rodney made the quotation marks in the air, "Practical experience with what? Sinking Atlantis to the bottom of an ocean for good?" he said disdainfully. "I caught a Chinese botanist, a German anthropologist, and a Canadian politician taking turns in the chair, the chair room chair, mind you, wanting to – direct quote – 'see what would happen'. Fortunately, none of them turned out to have the gene, or they might have blown up something of value with the drones. Like, oh, us."

An image of that particular scene was just too easy to conjure, and John grinned. "What about Jeannie?"

Rodney leaned forward over the railing to frown at John around Ronon's broad chest. "What about her?"

"You did call and invite her over, didn't you? Now that we're in the neighborhood." The Rodney from five years ago wouldn't have contacted his sister. It would never have occurred to him that he ought to do so, much less that he might want to see her.

But this Rodney nodded. "Yes, yes. She's going to be here tomorrow. She's been asking about you." Rodney made a waving gesture that included the entire team.

"I am looking forward to seeing her again," Teyla said.

"That's what she said, too. And something about thanking you in person for keeping me alive? Although she's got that the wrong way around, obviously."

"Obviously," Ronon retorted, dead-pan.

"Is she going to bring her family?" Teyla asked. "I would very much like to meet them. You have been speaking a lot about your niece lately."

"Have I?" Rodney looked almost embarrassed.

"Madison sends him pictures," John said conspiratorially. "Rodney prints them out and keeps them in his desk."

"That is very sweet of her," Teyla said, eyes twinkling. "And of you, too, Rodney."

Rodney made a face like this was exactly what he had been afraid of.

John nodded sincerely. "Sweet, yeah. I especially liked the picture with you and Ronon holding hands in a field of flowers." Turning to Ronon, who seemed faintly scandalized, he added, "You've made quite an impression on the kid."

"Hey," Rodney said, face reddening, "you forgot to mention the picture where you and I are holding hands, and the one where you and Ronon are holding hands, and the one where we're all floating in the sky surrounded by hearts and flowers and rainbows. She's in her hand-holding phase. And in her flower phase. So what? At least she has always drawn surprisingly realistically for her age. It's quite an accomplishment to draw people with torsos right from the beginning, you know. Not to mention the fact that the number of fingers was always--"

"McKay," Ronon said.


John aimed his grin towards his boots, so that Rodney didn't have the chance to take offense.

Ronon didn't sigh, though it seemed to John like it was a close call. "Answer the question."

"Question?" Rodney repeated, frowning. "Oh, yes. Well, Madison and Kaleb can't set foot on Atlantis, obviously, but they're going to stay at a hotel in San Francisco. We can meet them there. You can bring Kanaan and Torren, and Ronon can bring-- you know, your girlfriend--"

"Amelia," Ronon supplied.

"Right, Amelia, and I'm going to bring Jennifer--" Rodney trailed off, not looking at John. "And we can get together, you know, as a group, not as couples or anything, and see what we can do with ourselves in San Francisco," he finished a little too brightly.

"I have been thinking about your question, John," Teyla spoke up into the slightly uncomfortable silence afterwards, and John was pathetically grateful for the distraction.

It wasn't that he didn't want his team to be happy, or that he envied them their partners. John knew that he was better off on his own. Except that this was less true now than it had been five years ago. So maybe he was a little jealous. John took this as a good sign, a sign that he wasn't bound to keep repeating his relationship history forever.

John picked up the question. "About what you want to do while you're on Earth?"

"Yes. I have chosen a few-- tourist attractions, I think you called them?"

"Me too," Ronon said with a grin. "Starting with Indianapolis."

John's surprise lasted only for a moment, but then again, he had kind of expected something along these lines from Ronon.

"Indianapolis?" Rodney burst out. "What the hell for? Oh, wait. You have got to be kidding me. All of Earth is yours to chose from, and you want to go and watch a car race?"

"No." Ronon crossed his arms. "I want to be in the car race."

"Of course you do." Rodney rolled his eyes. "Whatever happened to the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, or the Grand Canyon? This is all your fault," Rodney said accusingly and pointed a finger at John. "He's going to die in a fiery car crash, and it'll be on your conscience."

"They do have ancient buildings and nature in Pegasus, too," John pointed out.

"But no cars," Ronon agreed, and it seemed like the argument was supposed to be settled with that statement.

"I would like to visit the Louvre," Teyla cut in.

John had a sudden flashback to the time when he and Teyla first met. Sand under his feet, dust in the air – he was back in the ruins with her, studying a wall full of pictograms and drawings in what little light their torch provided.

It was as easy to imagine Teyla gazing at the Mona Lisa as it was to picture Ronon behind the wheel of an IndyCar.

"The Louvre is-- a much better choice. Still, art." Rodney made a face. "You two have been spending way too much time on the Internet."

"Where would you take them?" John asked, just to put an end to the discussion. "If you're such a good tourist guide, make a suggestion. We have plenty of time. It's not like we're going anywhere anytime soon," he said, his voice less neutral than he had been aiming for.

Ronon stared at him for a moment. "You think they're going to keep Atlantis here?"

"Surely, they would not consider this as an option," Teyla said, but it did sound more like a question than anything else.

John shrugged. "How should I know? But if it comes to that, I swear to you, I'm going to personally hijack her and fly her out of here, consequences be damned."

"How very noble and heroic of you," Rodney said sarcastically. "But it won't be necessary. Of course they'll let us leave. An advanced weapon's platform like Atlantis anywhere on Earth? Can you imagine the political nightmare that would be? I can already see the government officials going for each others' throats. No, everyone is better off with Atlantis far away in the Pegasus galaxy, believe me. The Pegasus galaxy, too, for that matter. That's what I call a win-win situation," Rodney concluded. "It's going to take them a while to reach the decision, but eventually, they will."

John wasn't so sure about that.

"Good to know," Ronon said. It was impossible to tell what exactly he was referring to with this comment, so John took it as a general expression of agreement, possibly with minute traces of gratitude.

They stared out onto the ocean for a while, silent and contemplating.

"Tell me," John finally said, "why does this feel like some kind of ending? Like a-- a victory? It's not just me, is it? This latest mission, the Earth, it all seems-- kind of final."

"No, it's not just you," Rodney said thoughtfully. "Maybe it's because we saved our own planet?" A grin spread across his face. "Oh, this will just never get old. We saved the planet by blowing an alien space ship out of the sky," he sing-songed gleefully. "Well, almost. But still. We saved the Earth."

"It's old hat for SG-1," John reminded him, feeling only a little evil.

"Oh, you just had to say that, didn't you."

"The thing is," John said, ignoring Rodney's glare, "it's not over. Back at home, nothing has changed. We took one Wraith ship out of the equation. Unless there's something you didn't tell me, Rodney?"

"What? No. How should the destruction of one Wraith ship here have any kind of influence on-- Hold on a second. What did you just say?"

John frowned, puzzled. "That we didn't make much of an impact in the Pegasus galaxy by taking out one ship?"

"No, not that," Rodney said.

"Home," Ronon said, his voice unusually deep.

Teyla put a hand on John's arm. "You called the Pegasus galaxy home."

Oh, right. He had. John met Teyla's eyes, and she looked-- moved, kind of happy, and that was as far as John could decipher her expression.

"Er," he said, feeling vaguely embarrassed. "It is."

And then things got even worse, because Teyla leaned in to kiss his cheek, still smiling, and Ronon dropped a heavy hand on John's shoulder, not saying anything. John glanced at Rodney, hoping for a little help, but Rodney was staring at him.

"I never realized just how--" Rodney gestured, obviously not finding the words to voice his conclusions.

John found them for him. "--how alien Earth has become for me?"

"Yes," Rodney said, nodding. "That. I mean, not that I'm--" He cast a nervous glance at Ronon. "Er, I like it in Pegasus. Well, apart from the life-sucking aliens, the civilizations dead set on nuclear warfare, and the Lego robots. Other than that I really, really-- It's just that the Earth is still my home. Always will be. But I guess you could call me, um, a dual citizen, intergalactically speaking? Milky Way and Pegasus?"

"Relax, McKay," Ronon said, patting him on the back so hard the Rodney was propelled forward and grabbed onto the railing for dear life, looking panicked for a moment.

"Oh, you," he breathed out accusingly, and then he shrank back when Ronon reached out for him again, grinning. Rodney was grabbed by the neck and hauled in at the same time that a shove to the shoulder forced John to take a couple of steps backwards, and then Teyla caught Rodney, steadying him, and suddenly they were standing in a circle, close, together, all four of them.

"We understand, Rodney," Teyla said, in that tone that was uniquely hers, the one that managed to transport solemn amusement.

Rodney stared at her as she moved forward slowly to touch her forehead against his.

"If anyone ever asks," Rodney said, a little distantly, with his hands still holding on to Ronon's upper arm and Teyla's shoulder, "this is not a group hug. We're a team of highly skilled professionals under military leadership. We don't do group hugs."

"Definitely not," John agreed whole-heartedly, even though his right hand had somehow moved across Ronon's back to come to rest on Ronon's shoulder, and his left had sort of slipped around Teyla's waist without him noticing.

Teyla merely smiled when she moved back to give Rodney a little more space. "If you say so," she said and pointedly put an arm around him. Ronon ruffled Rodney's hair.

"Hey," Rodney complained. "I am neither five years old, nor am I your kid brother."

"That's easy to forget sometimes," Ronon said.

Rodney squinted at him. "I can't decide whether this is supposed to be an insult or a compliment. I'm leaning towards 'insult', though."

"I suggest you take it as the compliment that it was no doubt intended to be," Teyla advised, sounding not quite chastisising.

John looked at them, each in turn, and laughed out loud.

Because this was them. This was the way they were supposed to be. Don't ever change, he wanted to tell them, except that he was laughing too hard to form the words, and anyway, this wasn't the kind of thing John Sheppard could ever say.

Teyla pulled John in a little tighter, a smile on her lips, and Ronon was laughing right there with him, his body shaking.

Rodney was looking at them, puzzled. "What's so funny?"

Ronon replied, "Nothing," the same time that Teyla said, "Everything," and that just set John off all over again.

But Rodney was still frowning, so John moved his hand from Teyla's waist up to her shoulder and took a hold of Rodney's wrist, gripping tightly, willing him to see.

This was them. They were here, still alive, close, literally close, and it felt-- fine. Great.

But that wasn't even the amazing thing about it. John felt connected in a way he hadn't felt before. This, his team-- This was something that he was part of, a part that was no more or less important than any of the others. This was new, and old, and it had grown on him, fast, when he hadn't been paying attention.

He could pinpoint the moment when Rodney got it, when he started to shake his head, a crooked grin on his face.

"You are so weird," Rodney said, kind of fondly, to all of them. He twisted his hand in John's grip and took hold of John's wrist in turn.

Ronon raised an eyebrow at Rodney. "And you aren't?"

"We all are," Teyla said, cocking her head playfully, and added, "by Earth standards."

John smiled.

He had no idea if this really was what family was supposed to be all about, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

- end -

The One Who Walks In (tag for 5x19)

Date: 2009-02-15 07:23 pm (UTC)
tarlanx: (McKay - Happy 2 by Belinghoff79)
From: [personal profile] tarlanx
Such a lovely team moment :-)

Date: 2009-02-20 05:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-02-15 07:24 pm (UTC)
ext_24067: (SGA - Team)
From: [identity profile] wihluta.livejournal.com
*hugs them all*

Date: 2009-02-20 05:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-02-15 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michelel72.livejournal.com
Awww, team! And John knowing where home is. ::smish::

Date: 2009-02-20 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2009-02-15 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rusty-armour.livejournal.com
This is absolutely delightful! I wish "Enemy at the Gate" had ended this way because it would have been perfect! :-)

Date: 2009-02-20 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm happy you think so! :-)

Date: 2009-02-15 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kristen999.livejournal.com
Wonderful! Love how John thinks of Pegasus as home and how that notion hits Rodney. Also thanks for acknowledging ETAG's end scene, seems everyone had someone except John, but that's not really the truth we all know :D

Oh, Ronon. You want to play in the big race! Teehee!

Date: 2009-02-20 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm really happy you enjoyed it!

Date: 2009-02-15 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluflamingo.livejournal.com
Oh, this is perfect. I love the team all together, and how much they care for each other, and that Pegasus is home.

Date: 2009-02-20 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Yes, team! :-) I would have wanted something like this in the episode. *sigh*

Date: 2009-02-15 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meekosan.livejournal.com
I love it. Well done! Maybe you can continue the series?? Kinda like a fictional Season 6?? Yes??

Date: 2009-02-20 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you! Hm, about continuing the series-- I think someone already did that. I remember reading about it on the sga_noticeboard...

Date: 2009-02-15 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trystings.livejournal.com
Oh John. *ruffles his hair*

Lovely team fic.

Date: 2009-02-20 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Glad you enjoyed! \o/
(Plus: Extra *wave* :)

Date: 2009-02-15 09:16 pm (UTC)
shadadukal: (SW : Leia fierce)
From: [personal profile] shadadukal
Perfect, just perfect, simply perfect.

Thank you!

Date: 2009-02-20 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm really happy you liked it!

Date: 2009-02-16 02:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tzzzz.livejournal.com
Yay team!

Date: 2009-02-20 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Yay, team, indeed! *g*

Date: 2009-02-16 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d_odyssey.livejournal.com
Yay Team!! Poor John, that he ended up alone in canon bothered me, still does, so this really is a poignant, comforting fic that celebrates the team - all together, all happy, there for each other. Yes! Also, love that John thinks of Pegasus as home and that it means so much to Ronon and Teyla. Thank you!

Date: 2009-02-21 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I really missed team love in the episode. (Actually in the entire S5, btw.) Me missing something in an episode usually resutls in fic. *g* I'm happy you liked this!

Date: 2009-02-16 06:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cathalin.livejournal.com
Oh, this was wonderful. A very plausible Team moment, and I could totally picture them all there, saying and and doing these things.:)

Date: 2009-02-21 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you so much!

Date: 2009-02-16 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marilla-pm67.livejournal.com
Whoah, this was just .... well perfect.

You described a missed moment in the episode so perfectly, I can picture them.

Date: 2009-02-21 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm really happy you enjoyed this!

Date: 2009-02-16 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kriadydragon.livejournal.com
Yay! Team love times a thousand! Very excellent, the kind of tag that should have been in the show:D

Date: 2009-02-21 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Yes, we should have seen something like this, more team moments. I'm happy you enjoyed this one! *g*

The Sum Of Its Parts by deltacephei

Date: 2009-02-21 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sgafan33.livejournal.com
What a great ending! That's the way it should have gone, with the core four. I think the thing that irked me the most on the show was that Amelia was there on the balcony. Nothing against her, but to me she comes after Radek, Lorne, and yes, Chuck.

Thanks for writing.

bitty beta: our galaxy, the Milky Way, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_way) is spelled with 2 words.

Re: The Sum Of Its Parts by deltacephei

Date: 2009-02-21 11:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you! (Also for pointing out the mistake. Fixed it!)

Date: 2009-02-22 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saltyd.livejournal.com
Oh well done! I'm so glad this show will live on in fanfics. We fans were so owed an onscreen ending like this!

Date: 2009-02-24 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Thank you!

We fans were so owed an onscreen ending like this
I know! I wanted to see something like this, too. *sigh*

Date: 2009-02-24 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonladyk.livejournal.com
That was great. I loved the bit about John calling Pegasus home, because as pop-culture-boy as he is, he really has gone native.


Date: 2009-02-24 03:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
I'm really happy you enjoyed this! :-) Thank you!

Date: 2009-03-06 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taste-is-sweet.livejournal.com
Phew! I just spent three hours, I think, reading all of these. I loved them. I'm sorry I'm too tired to leave you comments on every single one, but what a triumph this is--twenty stories that made the bad episodes good and the good episodes fantastic. Thank you so much.

Date: 2009-03-15 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
Belatedly: \o/
Thank you so, so much!
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed!(Really, almost 60k words-- I must have been crazy. But it looks like it hasn't been for nothing... *g* Okay, so I had a lot of fun writing these, too.)

Date: 2009-07-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nakedbee.livejournal.com
Hi! I been devouring the Season 5 DVD's this past week (how exciting!) and finally catching up with the rest of fandom. I can't remember now, but I somehow found your episode tags and have been reading along with them after every episode. What a joy!

Like the commenter above, I found that I looked forward to your story after a bad episode, because I knew you would be able to say just the right thing to fix it. And I really looked forward to your story after a good episode, because I knew you'd be able to run with it and make it even better. Thank you so much for rising to the challenge! I really loved your stories!
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