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Blurred by Mardahin [PG]
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Summary: Sometime when she wasn't looking, Lindsey Novak's life took a sharp turn to the left...

Updated: 30 Apr 2007; Published: 29 Apr 2007

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Story Notes:
Author's Note: This was supposed to be a drabble for maire_x. D.R.A.B.B.L.E. It's an example of my powers of self-control that it's only 5600 words. I should possibly be taken out and shot.


Sometime when she wasn't watching, Lindsey Novak's life took a sharp turn to the left. This became glaringly obvious when Hermiod informed her that he would finish the diagnostics if she wished to depart. She'd been shocked; the asgard never volunteered for anything resembling physical work.

"Are you feeling all right? Now, I mean, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, because I'm really grateful and all..." She paused and closed her eyes, gathering her thoughts. She took a deep breath, thankfully didn't hiccup (She didn't actually do it that often, but it was embarrassing as hell and Hermiod thought it was 'quite worthy of amusement'), and opened her eyes to find him staring curiously at her. "Why?"

Hermiod blinked at her. "It is 1800. Is that not your customary time of departure to collect Major Lorne's offspring when we are docked?"

She felt her cheeks flush and cursed her fair complexion. "Oh. Um, well, sometimes. I mean, when I can. I mean..." She trailed off.

Hermiod cocked his head to the side. "Are you not one of the juvenile's primary caretakers?"

"What?" She raised her hands, waving them as if to fend off the notion. "No. No. I'm just the major's friend; I help out sometimes, nothing more. Really."

Hermiod narrowed his eyes. "I appear to have been mistaken. When the 'drop-in' facility requested your presence due to Major Lorne's unavailability, I took that to mean you had taken on the official care of the major's offspring."

She started backing toward the main doors. "You know, I think I'm just going to leave now, since you said you'd take on the diagnostic." And leave this topic to die a quick and unpleasant death went unstated, but was very clearly implied.

Hermiod gave the asgard version of a put-upon sigh and turned his back on her, dismissing her. She took the opportunity and ran, putting the entire conversation out of her mind to be dealt with later.

* * *

She didn't think of that particular conversation again until several months later, when an almost-three year old Tom Lorne brought the matter up himself. It was a completely innocent question, and looking back she should have expected it eventually, but at the time it seemed to come out of the blue.

Tom had been seated on the floor, playing with a sliding puzzle (He would slide the pieces around and then giggle at the images he created – Lindsey had learned through trial and error that it would buy her at least 45 minutes of peace to work on reports), when he'd asked "Are you my mama?"

She'd nearly choked on the tea she'd been carefully sipping over her tablet. She set both down carefully on the desk behind the couch and turned to face him. "What?"

Tom set down his puzzle and got up, walking over and crawling into her lap. "Are you my mama? Like Miss M. Suzy's mama."

She had heard him right. Damn. She took a deep breath and hoped she didn't royally fuck up this conversation. This wasn't her place; it was Nick's. She slid her arms around Tom's back and shifted him until he was settled more comfortably against her. "No, I'm not your mama, Tom."

He pulled back, frowning. "But Miss M said a mama is someone who takes care of you. Loves you. You don't love me?" He scrunched up his face, and she knew what was coming. Tom was a surprisingly even tempered child most of the time, but when he cried it was ear-splitting.

She hugged him tightly, hoping to head it off. "Hush. Of course I love you. Sssh."

He sniffled and shifted, sitting up on his knees to wrap his arms around her neck in a chokehold. "Promise?"

She swallowed hard and nodded, hoping to dispel the lump that had suddenly appeared in her throat. "I promise, Tom." She stroked his back lightly, and eventually he relaxed and allowed her to remove his hands from her neck. Once he was settled again, he looked up with a confused expression.

"But who's my mama? Suzy said everyone has a mama."

"Tom, do you remember how your dad says that you're special?"

The boy nodded slowly. "He said I'm a present."

She smiled softly. "Yes, you were. You're special for a lot of reasons, Tom. You don't have a mama like most little boys."

"I don't?"

She shook her head and stroked his hair back from his forehead. "Nope. You have two daddies."

"But I only have one daddy. You're silly."

She adjusted him so that he was looking her in the eye. "No, Tom. You had two daddies. One of them had to go away when you were a baby, so now your daddy takes care of you all by himself."

Tom scrunched his face up again, but this time it was in thought rather than a prelude to tears. "So– I had two daddies, but one went away? Like Karen's daddy?"

She nodded. Karen was another of the city's new generation, although her Athosian father had been killed on a hunting trip almost a year ago. "Yes, exactly like Karen's father, sweetie."

That seemed to satisfy him. "Okay." He cocked his head, something occurring to him. "If you're not my mama, who are you?"

She hugged him tight. "I'm Lindsey, sweetie; just like I'll always be. That won't ever change." She kissed his forehead. He returned the hug fiercely, and they sat there for a while before she noticed that his eyes had closed. With practiced ease, she moved him so that he was resting on her hip and stood, walking to the main bedroom (If his grip was any indication, Tom wasn't going to be letting go without a fuss. A little sleep wouldn't hurt him, and frankly Nick's bed was more comfortable. He wasn't scheduled to be back and de-briefed until 2200; she'd be up well before that). She was asleep by the time her head hit the pillow.

When she woke up, it was dark outside the window – That meant it was after 2130, which was far later than she'd intended to sleep. She rose carefully (Tom was still apparently down for the count; she hoped he slept straight through at this point), and made her way to the living room, planning to resume her work revising the wiring schematics for the secondary hyperdrive control console. Instead, she found Nick slouched on the couch poking at her tablet.

"Hey."

He looked up, startled. "Hey." He sat up straighter, and set the tablet down before running a hand through his hair. "I, uh, didn't want to wake you. You two looked so peaceful."

She giggled, and tried to hide it with her hand. "Yeah, even he sleeps sometimes." She sobered up, remembering the discussion earlier. Nick noticed and frowned.

"Something wrong?"

She shook her head. "No. Nothing to worry about. We had a little confusion earlier; there's a new woman in the drop-in and she confused him. We straightened it out." She hiccupped, and his eyebrows slid up inquisitively. "Seriously, it was nothing. Just, you know, kid stuff." She hiccupped again, but was close enough to the couch to press a hand on his shoulder, indicating he stay where he was instead of getting the obligatory glass of water (It wasn't like water helped anyway, and he damn well knew it). "Don't bother, it's just pre-flight jitters. You know how I get." She picked up her tablet and slid it under her arm.

He frowned and she knew he wasn't buying it, but he settled back down anyway. "If you're sure..."

"I'm sure. Listen, I'm going to head back to the ship, we've got an early departure in the morning - 0600."

"That's tomorrow?" He looked surprised, and she could see him trying to convert Lantean dates to their Earth equivalents in vain. "I thought it was another two days away."

"Nope. They bumped us up a day, and you must have lost a day somewhere in there. You know that happens when you're off-world."

He nodded, and this time he did get up. It looked like it hurt, and she realized belatedly that she hadn't asked about the mission. "Are you all right?"

He looked confused for a moment before comprehension set in. "Oh, yeah. Like you said, nothing to worry about. Just some bumps and bruises." He stepped closer and pulled her into a hug. "You take care out there; come back safe. We'll be waiting for you." He brushed a kiss on her cheek, and was striding away to the bedroom before she had a chance to process what had happened.

She wandered back to the Daedalus in a daze; while the hug had become something of a tradition over time, the kiss was new. She smiled in passing to Captain Kleinman and Sgt. Daniels as she passed them in the halls, and collapsed into bed once she reached her quarters.

It wasn't until the next morning when they were lifting off that she realized she hadn't said a proper good-bye to Tom. That evening she typed him a quick Email; it would be late, but better late than never. Right as she finished, the alarm klaxons went off and there wasn't time to think for a very, very long time.

* * *

The trip to Earth was one long work-shift for Lindsey Novak, which she considered patently unfair. It wasn't like she'd spent her tour in Atlantis making daisy chains; she didn't really deserve to transfer back to the Daedalus and find three of the primary engineering consoles in shambles. She understood exactly why Caldwell had been so anxious to get her back; apparently St. John just wasn't cut out for peaceful relations with Hermiod, and had decided to rewire half the consoles in protest. In theory, it meant that they were lucky the hyperdrive was still working. In practice, it meant she was pulling thirty-hour shifts with six hours of sleep between them for the duration of the voyage to Earth. She hoped St. John enjoyed his time working with McKay. She hoped he enjoyed it in stereo, at maximum volume.

The one benefit to the hectic work schedule was that it meant she didn't have a chance to dwell on the life she'd grown accustomed to in Atlantis. It was amazing how quickly one could settle into a routine; she needed to remember that her time there was only temporary, no matter how much she enjoyed it. Recent events with the Daedalus only made that depressingly clear – She took a six month leave-of-absence to do research in Atlantis and the engine room went to Hell. Hermiod was still giving her annoyed looks when they arrived in orbit around Earth, and she was just as happy to take Colonel Caldwell up on his suggestion that she burn some of her accrued Earth-Leave.

Abusing her position only slightly (There had to some benefit to putting up with Hermiod on a daily basis, even if he wasn't all that bad most of the time), she convinced Hermiod to send her directly to Westover AFB as opposed to routing through the SGC. According to the regs, she could beam down to Earth via any US military installation; all that mattered was that she materialized somewhere a gag order could be effectively issued.

Hypothetically she should have reported to the SGC first, if nothing else so she needed to bring her peers up to speed on the research she'd been doing in Atlantis. However, she also knew that SGC had enough on its plate that it would take them a few days to even notice that she hadn't shown up; by then, she'd be ready to head out anyway. They knew how to contact her if there was an emergency; that was good enough for her. Right now all she wanted was a chance to sleep for a day and a half without seeing schematics on the backs of her eyelids.

* * *

The initial meeting with her parents bordered on surreal; it was amazing how much some things didn't change. Lindsey had come face to face with life-sucking vampires, designed weaponry for replicators, and spent close to five years apprenticing to an alien; her mother hadn't even started going gray. The house was still exactly the same as it had been when they'd moved into it just before her twelfth birthday, down to the horrific rose-patterned wallpaper in the bathroom (She had the sudden realization in the moments after her shower that she hadn't seen wallpaper in three years. She hadn't missed it).

Once the pleasantries were over, she'd begged off from dinner due to exhaustion and collapsed onto her old bed. She woke up freezing three hours later (January in Massachusetts was nothing to sneeze at), and managed to kick her shoes off and crawl under the hand-made quilt before sinking back into blissful unconsciousness.

This, she'd missed; the freedom to catch up on sleep and not have to wonder if someone would blow up your current experiment if you didn't make it to the lab by Beta Shift. Or, more importantly, the freedom to sleep deeply - In her line of work, she couldn't risk sleeping through a call from Hermiod; never mind that Tom could cause absolute havoc if left unsupervised for even half an hour.

When her mother knocked the next morning, she was halfway into her boots and muttering apologies for being late before she realized where she was. Her mother just looked amused. "I just thought you might like to know that Jane's coming over for brunch in an hour and bringing the brood."

Lindsey nodded sleepily, and her mother had the good sense to step out of the way as she made her way to the bathroom. One shower and two cups of mediocre coffee later (It wasn't that it was bad, not exactly. It was just that the botanists in Atlantis had managed to crossbreed cocoa and coffee back in the third year of the expedition while attempting to adapt coffee to the soil on the mainland. The stuff had flourished and become the drink of choice in the city – It had almost twice the caffeine of normal coffee, and was less bitter), she felt human enough to contemplate facing her sister.

* * *

The second morning of her leave, her cell phone rang. She had debated not answering (She'd figured on at least another day before SGC got too upset), but common sense won out and she picked up just before it would have clicked over to voicemail. "Novak."

It was a desk sergeant from the SGC; surprise, surprise. "Dr. Lindsey Novak?"

"Speaking."

"This is Sergeant Collins at the SGC. You are being recalled as of 0900 tomorrow morning, the Daedalus departs at 1200 MST."

She swallowed hard; they'd only be shipping out that fast for one of two reasons. She hoped it wasn't Atlantis, but the Wraith had been almost too quiet lately. "I understand. Can you... Can you elaborate on the situation?"

"One moment, please." Classical music replaced the man's voice, and she sat down on the bed, pulling her knees up to her chest and settling against the wall to wait. She heard noise at the bedroom door, and looked up to see her mother standing there with a concerned look on her face. Lindsey waved her away, but before she could say anything the sergeant returned. "Dr. Novak?"

"Yes?"

"I'm to inform you that you're being deployed to Atlantis Base for recon purposes. Condition Yellow." She breathed a sigh of relief; there wasn't an attack. Condition Yellow indicated a loss of communication without indication of attack. It wasn't good, but it was far better than the alternative.

"Thank you, Sergeant. Could you make arrangements for pick-up from Westover Air Force Base?"

"Noted. Good day, Doctor." There was a click, and the call ended. She set the phone down, staring at the far wall but not seeing it. There was only one reason a Condition Yellow situation would have been declared – Atlantis wasn't answering their gate because they were pissed. That led to IOA embargoes, which meant no contact with Earth and no supplies. She closed her eyes and let her head rest on her knees; God, she hoped they knew what they were doing.

She didn't bother looking up when she felt the bed dip beside her and her mother's hand rested on her shoulder. "Want to tell me what's wrong?"

For a brief moment, she wished that she could. It was a short moment; Lindsey was a pragmatist at heart. "Change of plans; I'm deploying tomorrow morning at 0900."

Her mother sighed. "You can't talk them into another couple of days? Jane's kids barely remember you. Your father and I miss you."

Lindsey shifted, causing her mother's hand to slide off her back. She stood, crossing the room to study the small stuffed bear on top of the bureau. "I have obligations, mom; there are people who depend on me." She traced the bear's features lightly with her index finger. "If I don't go now, it might be a while before I have another chance; I can't take that risk." Her eyes widened as the change in timetable fully registered.

"Wait, I'm leaving tomorrow. I have shopping lists to fill. Oh, and I promised Tom I'd bring him something this trip." She turned to her mother, still listing off things to do, and paused mid-sentence. "Um, can I borrow the car?"

* * *

The next morning, Lindsey's parents dropped her off at Westover with a minimum of fuss. Oh, her mother glared at anyone she saw in uniform, but it was a reserve base so there were few targets. Less than an hour later, she was back at work in the engine room of the Daedalus, and had concluded that she'd never been so glad to be verbally abused by a three-foot-tall naked alien. At least he didn't ask pointed questions about grandchildren (Granted, he was still acting under the assumption that she had legally adopted Tom Lorne, but at least he didn't see the need to discuss it).

Hermiod was able to fill in a few of the gaps in the SGC's curt explanation, but not many. They were being incredibly tight-lipped about the reason behind the early departure; Lindsey wasn't the only one who'd been pulled from leave. What was surprising, was that they had a full compliment of scientists along for the ride – mostly new transfers with a few veterans mixed in.

That new-comer population translated into a headache for Lindsey – As Chief Engineer, she was responsible for supervising not only the engines but the cram-school education of all incoming engineers (As per Dr. McKay). She ended up teaching almost half of the classes being administered, as well as perusing the lesson plans her subordinates were using. It was a disaster in the making, to the point where she broke down and begged Hermiod to disable the communications system to her room during the ship's night-cycle.

One would think, with all of this, that she would have been far too tired to grow anxious about the potential developments in Atlantis (She ended up busy enough at times that she suspected Hermiod of causing intentional programming glitches, but she couldn't believe he'd risk damage to his precious engines for the sake of her sanity). Unfortunately, one of Lindsey's unique skills was the ability to read code and worry at the same time.

The last night-cycle before their arrival in the city, Lindsey couldn't sleep. She ran a diagnostic on every console in engineering, welded three projects she'd been keeping on the back-burner, and generally made a nuisance of herself until Hermiod threw her out and told her to rest. She finally fell asleep halfway through a schematic review, and woke up to the sound of the ten-minute approach warning; she made it to engineering just in time for the landing.

"Why didn't you call me earlier? I should have been down here; I needed to prep the system for endo-atmospheric operation."

Hermiod had blinked at her innocently. "You required rest. I am capable of initiating landing."

"Well, yes, I didn't mean to imply. Of course you know how to..." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I'm just going to take my tablet over here and run the warm-down diagnostics."

Hermiod nodded. "I shall inform you when I require your assistance."

She settled against the wall and plugged one of the protruding cables into the tablet, pulling up the various computer functions. Suppressing a yawn, she leaned her head back against the wall for a moment while the program booted up. It really was a very comfortable wall.

"Lindsey? Lindsey?!" She woke with a start, and bolted to her feet. "I'm here; I'm here. What's wrong?" She looked around for a crisis, expecting to see flames or sparks or something. Instead, she saw a small figure come running towards her, and she finished waking up enough to realize that the voice sounded awfully young. "Tom?"

She had just enough time to brace herself before the three-year-old missile wrapped itself around her legs tight enough to bruises. Concerned, she shifted and crouched beside him. "Tom? Sweetie, what's wrong? How did you get in here?"

Instead of answering, he threw his arms around her neck. She returned the hug cautiously and looked around, relieved when she spotted Nick standing next to Hermiod. She stood slowly, adjusting Tom so that he rested on her hip, and crossed to them. "Hey." She cleared her throat. "What's wrong?"

Nick shrugged. "Nothing out of the ordinary. Tom wanted to come down to meet you, and the colonel said it was ok."

She blushed. "Oh. Um, thanks. I, um. You didn't have to do that. I mean, I'm glad to see you. I've missed you." She hiccupped, and heard Hermiod mutter under his breath. "But, I mean..." She adjusted Tom, who had finally relaxed against her shoulder, while she considered her options. "Listen, I have a couple diagnostics to run before I can sign off. Maybe I could meet you in the mess later?"

Nick nodded, but when she tried to hand off the dead weight toddler, the boy refused to let go. He clenched his fists in her coverall and shook his head violently. "No no no. You'll go 'way again. Like Karen's Daddy." The last was mumbled into her neck, but she understood him all the same; suddenly his reactions made more sense.

She hugged him tightly. "Oh, sweetie, I'm not going anywhere. I promise."

It was Hermiod who broke the ensuing awkward silence. "Depart. The diagnostics you refer to were completed some time ago. Your continued presence is...unnecessary, at the present time."

Before she could respond, Nick was sliding an arm around her shoulder and guiding her out the door. "You heard the alien. You're off duty. Come on; someone's already up past his bedtime, and he knows it."

Lindsey considered arguing. She gave it serious thought, even. But by the time she'd decided that it might be a good idea, she was not only in the hallway outside the mess – She could smell the food. That was just fighting dirty when she hadn't had a meal made of fresh ingredients in almost two weeks (Normally they had at least decent food on the Daedalus on Atlantis runs. However, due to their expedited departure food stores had fallen by the wayside in favor of speed. It had been a long three weeks).

* * *

Later that evening, after Tom had finally fallen asleep (He was still clutching her coverall; he hadn't been willing to release his grip for anything short of a trip to the bathroom), she looked up and found Nick watching her with an odd look in his eyes.

"We need to talk."

* * *

Lindsey Novak rose slowly, carefully disentangled herself from the sleeping child, and followed Nick Lorne into the living room. She found him already in the process of brewing a pot of Athosian Night Tea, and took her accustomed position on the couch to wait for him to finish. It was a ritual of sorts, borrowed from the Athosians who had become as much a part of 'Atlantean Society' as the expedition members were. The tea was supposed to calm the mind, allowing rational thought and discussion. In this particular instance, Lindsey was reasonably sure Nick was just buying himself some time. Not that she was complaining; she wasn't exactly eager to discuss any of the topics that came to mind with the phrase "We need to talk" (Although he hadn't looked angry earlier, so much as thoughtful. It was a small blessing, but she'd take it).

She was brought out of her musings by an earthenware mug being waved in front of her face. She accepted it gratefully, and took a cautious sip before setting it on what passed for a coffee table. He pulled the desk chair over and straddled it backwards, crossing his arms over the backrest and resting his chin on them a moment before speaking. "There are a couple of things I think we need to discuss."

She shifted uncomfortably under his gaze; she really didn't want to have this discussion. "Listen, I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have told him without talking to you, but I really thought it was the right thing to do." She hiccupped, and closed her eyes; this was not the time for this. She took a quick sip of tea, and avoided looking at his reaction. "He was really upset, and my mom always taught me that honesty is the best thing with kids – even when they're little. I know we never talked about it; I didn't want to bring it up. But it was your place, not mine, so... I'm sorry."

"Wait, what?" That got her attention; he wore a puzzled expression. She reviewed her apology – It seemed straight forward enough. She was about to clarify when he spoke, using a tone she had only ever heard him use in the field. "What, exactly, are you apologizing for?"

She hiccupped again and gave into the urge to glare at him for making her bring up the whole incident. She felt bad enough about it as it was. "What do you think? Telling Tom about David. That's what this is about, isn't it? I said I'm sorry, what more do you want? Yes, I should have told you before I left, but I didn't have a chance. It was a rough trip back to Earth, and everything just blurred together after a while."

He looked shaken, and she felt bad. David had always been one of those topics they didn't talk about, not really. She was never sure if Nick had moved on or not, and she'd been scared to push too hard and have him shut her out; he was her closest friend, and Atlantis was a small community. She knew he didn't date, but that came from having a young child; Tom was his world, and she could respect that.

He reached forward and picked up his own mug, taking a long sip of tea before speaking. "If this had been a normal week, I'd be mad as Hell about that. It's not that I don't trust your judgment with Tom; you're one of the people I trust with him unquestionably. But he's been a mess since you left, and it would have helped a lot to have some idea why he was convinced you weren't coming back" It occurred to her that Nick looked as tired as she felt, and she wondered what exactly had happened while she was gone.

Her eyes widened as she realized what he was saying. "I never meant... Oh, God. I told him about David the night before I left; I didn't realize... I can't believe I didn't think of that. Oh, Nick, I'm so sorry."

He shrugged. "At this point, done is done. I ended up transferring off my team for a stretch since he refused to stay at the drop-in overnight; which I completely blame on you, by the way. Now you're here, he's finally calmed down, and I'm not going to sweat the details right now." He took another sip of tea, and then set his mug down. "That leads to what I did want to talk to you about."

She nodded, shifting to sit Indian-style.

"I'm assuming you heard what's going on during the trip back?"

She shook her head. "All I know is that it was a Condition Yellow motivated launch. I assumed that the IOA forced the issue of the ZPM, but I wasn't sure. They wouldn't tell us anything more specific."

He sighed. "You're right about the IOA, at least in part. There was some kind of an accident in Antarctica and they blew their ZPM; Rodney threw a fit. Apparently they were trying something with a new genetic manipulation technique or something; I didn't get the details, and I honestly don't care. The point is, they told us to hand over our one fully charged ZPM so that they can blow that one up too. Dr. Weir said no, Colonel Sheppard backed her up, and Dr. McKay added an emphatic 'Hell No.'"

Lindsey winced; she knew where this was going. "I take it they didn't like that answer?"

He let out a surprised chuckle, and she smiled at the sound. He had a soothing laugh, and she loved it; it made everything seem like things would turn out right, somehow. After a moment he sobered again, but she was reassured. "They said if we didn't send the ZPM back with the Daedalus, they would cut us off – No supplies, no new personnel, and no contact with our families."

She blinked. She'd expected that, but still... "How can they justify that?"

He shrugged. "People go MIA in the program all the time, and it's not like anyone knows we're out here. Most of us don't have much family back on Earth; they didn't start sending people with close ties out here until a couple years ago, and they stopped again when the ATA side effects started to come out."

She shook her head in disbelief. "What are they going to do, shut down the base? They can't move you home – Almost half the expedition members are ATA positive at this point; that's a death sentence!"

"I know. And Dr. Beckett doesn't know what a move like that would do to Tom, either. Recall isn't an option, and the IOA knows it. They'll write us off, that's the threat. Dr. Weir thinks they're bluffing, that they wouldn't leave us out here more than a couple years without support."

"What do you think?"

"I don't know. Earth politics are messy, especially since the program went international. The expedition's made their decision, though. There was a city-wide vote the day before you arrived. We're staying, and we're not sending the ZPM." He stood and moved to the couch, sitting beside her. "There's a good chance they're going to reassign the Daedalus."

She nodded; she'd been expecting that. Before she could explain that she'd considered her options, he was speaking again. "Lindsey, I'll be honest with you – It'll break Tom's heart if you leave for good; you already know that." His voice was quiet; softer than she was used to. "What you don't know, is that it might break mine as well."

She stared at him as her mind raced to adjust variables, assumptions, and theories. He took her silence badly, and started back-pedaling. "Listen, I don't want to pressure you into making a decision you're not – "

Having reached a new satisfactory conclusion, she shut him up the easy way. She kissed him.

* * *
6 Months Later

Lindsey Novak's wedding was not what she would have imagined, had she been the kind of child to dream of her wedding day. The fact that it happened at all would have classified as a miracle in her mother's book (At age twenty-seven, Lindsey was officially written off by her mother as a potential source of grandchildren. This was accompanied by much weeping and flailing at the family reunion. Lindsey, who at the time had been debating between a 60 hr/week at JPL and a 70 hr/week with the SGC, had just been relieved to have one less thing to deal with).

The wedding itself was conducted in Dr. Weir's office in roughly five minutes; it was interrupted five times by their collective radios. Sgt. Campbell, the gate technician, and Lt. Cadman, who happened to be hanging around the gate room, were drafted to witness the proceedings. There had originally been talk of an actual ceremony; after the second badly-timed crisis (The first time, Lindsey swore that McKay blew out the desalinization tanks on purpose. However, no one could have predicted the innocent looking piece of technology that encapsulated two of the physicists and one of the chemists in that smelly gelatinous substance), they decided to take the hint and went with a civil ceremony.

Of course, fifteen minutes after Dr. Weir signed the last form with a flourish the power in the residential wing blew out for no apparent reason. Really? It was just another day in Atlantis.

~ Finis ~