Summary: Three years after she left Atlantis, Rodney's daughter returns home. AU sequel to Alisa.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
This is a sort of sequel to Alisa but not the actual sequel. Instead this is an Alternate Universe from the Alternate Universe.
I don't know if that makes sense but hopefully it will once you've started to read.
Richard Woolsey sat near the back of the hall watching the young woman receive her doctorate. Atlantis wasn't leaving Earth for another few days so he'd managed to come here to witness this occasion because no one else would. His eyes followed her as she moved across the stage to receive her PhD at the tender age of twenty-one but she was without a doubt her father's daughter.
"Mr Woolsey," she gasped surprised to see him standing waiting for her after the ceremony, "What are you doing here?"
Woolsey smiled at her, "I have some leave so I thought I'd come by, Alisa. Or should I say Dr Bonner?"
"Alisa is just fine," she replied a little grimly obviously still not happy about not being allowed to use her real name even after almost three years.
"So," he said starting them walking, "What are your plans for this evening?"
Alisa shrugged, "Takeout and a movie."
"Well, if you feel you can put that on hold," Woolsey chuckled, "I thought we could have dinner to celebrate."
"That'd be great," Alisa smiled genuinely.
Woolsey watched Alisa as she studied the menu; he'd been the liaison for the IOA during the first year she'd been on Earth and had grown fond of the teenager who was stuck in a world that wasn't her own, cut off from all she knew and loved.
"I hear you've got a great job," Woolsey said after they'd ordered.
"Yeah," Alisa sighed, "But it's not where I want to be."
Silence sat between them for several minutes as their meal arrived and they started to eat.
"I take it he's still not allowed to come near me," Alisa said suddenly glancing over to her dinner companion.
Woolsey sighed, "They believe it will put you in danger and considering how much knowledge you have..."
Alisa nodded as he left the sentence hanging.
"You do keep in touch via email," Woolsey reminded her seeing fear fill the young woman's eyes at his knowledge.
"How do you know that?" she whispered.
"He told me," Woolsey replied sipping his water, "Don't worry I'm not going to tell on you but he did give me something to give you."
He passed has over a small present with a card and a bright smile unlike he'd ever seen on her face appeared. Opening the present she chuckled as she found a gold pen inscribed with Dr Alisa Bonner/McKay depending on which way she turned it.
"Tell him thank you." Alisa smiled as she looked at the present from the man who was technically her father.
Woolsey waited until Alisa had entered her apartment before he signalled the driver to go. She'd arrived in the city three years ago claiming to be the daughter of Rodney McKay from another universe, a claim that was soon shown to be true both by DNA but also by the attitude and brilliance that matched his. Unfortunately it was soon discovered that she couldn't go back to her own universe and it was decided that she couldn't stay in Atlantis. To say she was angry was an understatement; Woolsey had spent several of the initial meetings he'd had with her being given the silent treatment. It was on her nineteenth birthday when he deliberately scheduled a visit to go over a few issues with the IOA's instructions to her that she'd stopped fighting him. Woolsey made sure he kept in touch with her more than his job entailed giving her someone to talk to – although he had no idea at this point that McKay had started emailing her every few months.
When he was assigned to Atlantis he tried to continue to keep in touch with her, especially as his replacement, Weiner suited his name. As he headed back to the airport to get back to the city of Atlantis he hoped he could find a way to persuade the IOA to allow her to come to Atlantis as one of the science team. Considering the fact she'd just received a PhD by the time she turned twenty-one not to mention her lineage Woolsey believed she'd be an asset, unfortunately the IOA didn't agree with him.
Several months later, Atlantis had returned to the Pegasus galaxy and Woolsey was still trying to find a way for Dr Bonner to be brought to the city as one of the science team and Alisa cried out as she was grabbed the moment she entered her apartment. A hand was slammed across her mouth before a voice came in her ear.
"Stay quiet, Miss McKay," the order came, "If you struggle then this will hurt and you're too valuable to me for there to be marks on you. I'll lose money that way."
She nodded and felt the grip loosen, Alisa took a chance and spun throwing her knee up. As the man cried out doubling over Alisa ran. She could hear him behind her and she fumbled in her pocket trying to get to her panic button wishing she'd worn looser jeans. Finally she got it and pushed the button. White light surrounded her and as it faded she found herself looking at Colonel Caldwell.
"Welcome to the Daedalus," he greeted her with a nod, "Alisa."
Alisa looked up at him as she tried to catch her breath, "Tell them their security sucks."
A sharp knock on his door pulled Richard Woolsey's attention away from the progress reports, looking up he found Rodney McKay computer in hand as usual and several strange devices sticking out of his jacket pocket.
"You wanted to see me," Rodney stated, his demeanour letting Richard know that this was interrupting something important.
"Yes," Woolsey motioned him to sit down waiting until the door closed before speaking again, "I just received this from General O'Neill this morning."
Rodney frowned wondering whether this was good or bad and had a feeling it wasn't going to be good but what greeted him on the piece of paper was something he definitely didn't expect.
"What happened?" Rodney demanded, "How did they find her?"
Woolsey shrugged, "I have no idea. General O'Neill believes she's no longer safe on Earth. He's says that they are able to send her to the Beta site where she will be safe but..."
"But she could also come here," Rodney finished staring at the paper again. He took a deep breath and nodded, "She needs to come here. She's my daughter – technically and I won't let them stick her in hiding again. Besides, I could use someone who has more than half a brain."
Woolsey nodded, "Then Dr Alisa Bonner has just become the newest addition to your team."
Rodney sat in his lab brooding.
He let out a long sigh as he thought back three years when a teenager had appeared in the city from nowhere claiming to be his daughter. A girl from another universe trapped in theirs with a man she thought of as her father who didn't know her at all. In the end, once it had been discovered that there was no way to return her to the world she was from they'd sent her to Earth. Banished from all she knew and loved. Rodney remembered how angry she'd looked as she walked through the Stargate carrying the small bag that carried the few possessions she'd gathered in her short time in their world.
Rodney had thought of her for several weeks, unable to get her out of his mind and finally decided to contact her by email. When he heard nothing for several months Rodney assumed she didn't want anything to do with him but then out of nowhere a reply arrived. They talked every few months via email, she kept him up to date on what she was studying sending essays and projects for him to look over and critique while he told her what he could about Atlantis. From the people they'd lost to the amusing things that happened and other bits of gossip that could have come from anywhere. But despite all the messages they'd exchanged they'd never met up since she'd left Atlantis because the IOA claimed it would put her in danger of being discovered.
He had a picture of her he'd taken from one of the security cameras; she was only eighteen and still hopeful she'd get home so there was smile on her face. As he looked at it Rodney wondered how she looked now, if she resembled her mother even more than she had, a woman he'd dated back in college who he'd been deeply in love with. They'd been inseparable from almost the moment they met and when she lost the baby that would have been Alisa they'd just drifted apart.
Pulled out of his thoughts Rodney looked up to find his current girlfriend, Jennifer standing in the doorway with a slight annoyed frown on her face.
"What's wrong?" Rodney asked.
"We were supposed to meet for lunch," Jennifer reminded him, "Half an hour ago."
"Oh," Rodney shook his head, "Sorry, I was caught up in something."
She rolled her eyes before frowning as he looked back down at the computer again, "Rodney?"
"Are you coming?" frustration filled her voice.
Rodney nodded and moved to her side barely aware as she slipped her arm through his and started to the mess, not paying attention as she talked about her morning.
Not once during the whole lunch did he think to tell her who was coming.
A few days later Rodney stood watching the influx of new personnel waiting to see his daughter. John chuckled as he joined him.
"What are you doing here?" John asked amused, "You hate new recruits day."
Rodney ignored him scanning the sea of faces. He finally saw the one he was waiting for, unfortunately John saw her too.
"Uh hu," Rodney nodded not turning to look at his friend.
"But I thought she was on Earth?" John couldn't keep his eyes off the young woman as she stood with the rest of the new arrivals, "Are you alright with this?"
Rodney finally tore his eyes away from his sort of daughter and turned to his friend, "She's been found on Earth and she's in danger there. This is the best thing for her."
"You weren't exactly welcoming the last time she was here," John reminded his friend, being as delicate as possible as this had been a topic they'd always skirted round.
Rodney sighed, "We've been keeping in contact."
"Really?" John's eyebrow raised but he didn't get a chance to say anything else as Rodney started down the stairs.
Rodney didn't realise how anxious he was to see Alisa until he spotted her in the crowd. Her long brown hair was pulled back from her face in a tight ponytail and she was wearing the uniform marking her as member of the science contingent. As she turned and saw him she stared at him for a few seconds before giving him a tight smile, "Hi."
Rodney's wide smile surprised her, "Hi," he was about to hug her but she stepped back and he realised as well that there was people everywhere.
"How about we talk once you've got yourself settled?" Rodney suggested softly.
Alisa nodded sharply, "Sure. I'll meet you in your lab in an hour," she paused, "You're still in the same lab, right?"
"Okay," Alisa said shortly.
As she left Rodney let out a long sigh, "That went well."
Alisa walked around her room wishing she'd been given her old room back but that would have been too much to hope for. She wanted to unpack but she just couldn't bring herself to. She felt tears filling her eyes and angrily brushed them away, she wouldn't do this. But his greeting had been filled with something that made it seem like he was happy to see her.
She'd seen John standing looking down on her in astonishment and Alisa was relieved that she hadn't run into anyone else yet. She needed to work into this.
"Dr Bonner," a voice called over her radio, she felt as though part of her had been returned when she'd sat it on her ear once more, "Please report to Mr Woolsey's office."
"On my way," she replied quickly, before sighing to herself, "This will be fun."
After she'd fixed her hair again Alisa started through the corridors to the command office, she nervously watched out for anyone who would know her. She wanted to see her fath...Rod...Dr McKay first – and that would be one of the first things they'd have to sort out, what she was going to call him. Luckily everyone she passed was a stranger and she made it to the office door without incident.
"Dr Bonner," Woolsey smiled motioning her to sit down, "Welcome to Atlantis. Or more accurately welcome back."
"It's nice to see you too," Alisa replied softly as she sank into the seat.
"I didn't get much information on what happened, Alisa," Woolsey told her with concern, "Are you okay?"
Alisa nodded, "I kicked my would-be abductor in a very delicate area before I ran like hell. I had my panic button with me so I hit it and I was beamed to the Daedalus. I certainly didn't expect to be allowed back here."
"You have your PhD," Woolsey reminded her with a smile, "And Dr McKay said he'd prefer you were here instead of at the Beta site."
Woolsey nodded looking amused, "He did keep in touch with you, I don't see why this is a surprise."
"Because three years ago he let them make me leave," Alisa whispered, "I thought it would happen again."
Woolsey shook his head, "Well it hasn't. Have you talked to Dr McKay yet?"
"I'm going there next," she replied, "You don't have to worry, I'm not going to cause any trouble here. I've been staying out of trouble for three years."
As she left Woolsey chuckled to himself, "Then you probably have a lot stored up."
Rodney sat in his lab going over the new roster to work out who would be working where.
"Am I interrupting?"
He looked up at the voice to see Alisa standing in the doorway and quickly jumped off his chair moving to meet her. They stood facing each other both trying to think of what to say.
"You look good," Rodney finally broke the silence, "And you've already got your doctorate. That's impressive."
"I always said I would be taking over your job," Alisa replied softly, "Be careful."
Rodney laughed and to her surprise he moved to her, wrapping his arms around her tightly. Alisa let out a shuddering breath as she wound her arms around his waist and dropped her head onto his shoulder, relieved to be with her father again. Neither saw Jennifer as she appeared at the door to Rodney's lab nor as she snuck away confused.
Alisa finally pulled back and wiped the tears from her cheeks, "Sorry."
"It's nice to know you've missed me," Rodney replied with a shrug, "Or him but he's...I should probably start that sentence again."
Alisa chuckled, "I know the feeling. So, what do I call you?"
Rodney hesitated not sure himself, "What do you want to call me?"
Alisa looked up at him her blue eyes filled with vulnerability as she answered softly, "Dad?"
A smile touched Rodney's lips before he frowned, "Probably not in public since we're trying to keep you hidden, so maybe Rodney then. And if anyone asks how we know each other then we can just say I knew your parents."
"So," Rodney moved back to his seat and motioned her to join him, "I'm going to put you with Radek's team."
"Oh that's great," Alisa sighed in relief, "He knows who I am. Plus he taught me back...you know."
"Yeah. Look, Alisa," Rodney turned to the young woman sitting at his side, "I know I didn't react very well when you first came here. I'm sorry for that and I hope to make it up to you."
Alisa smiled and squeezed his hand, "At the moment I'm just happy to be here."
John couldn't stop worrying about Rodney. When Alisa had originally appeared Rodney had refused at first to even go near her, reminding them that he didn't have any children so had no obligation to this girl. It was only later that John had seen affection for the teenager from Rodney but that was when they'd discovered they couldn't return her to her home, just before she was sent to Earth. As he arrived at Rodney's lab John was surprised to find Alisa sitting there with Rodney. They were deep in conversation; identical expressions on their faces as they gestured to whatever was on the computer screen in front of them and John began wondering what the world was going to be like with two McKay's in the city.
"Is this a private party," John asked as he entered the room, "Or can a non-genius join in?"
Both looked up and Alisa smiled at him, "Hello, John."
"Look at you," John grinned as she moved to him, "You've grown up pretty nicely."
"My daughter," Rodney called out warningly.
John chuckled ignoring him, "What's with your hair?"
Alisa laughed as her hand touched her brown hair, "I'm hiding remember? Though now I'm back here I think I'll let it go back to its normal colour the maintenance is more than I can be bothered with."
"How is this going to work?" John asked.
"I'm one of the team," Alisa shrugged, "And in private he's Dad."
John saw the smile cover Rodney's face at her casual acceptance of him and started thinking that this could either be very entertaining or an absolute nightmare.
Jennifer Keller dropped into her seat for breakfast across from her friend, "Morning, Ali."
"Morning," Lieutenant Alison Golding smiled, "I thought you'd be having breakfast with Rodney."
"He had an early meeting," Jennifer shrugged, "I'll see him for lunch."
Alison frowned as she watched the man in question enter the room with the young woman who she'd seen him with a lot over the past few weeks, "Or you can see him now."
Jennifer turned and Alison saw the annoyed grimace cross her friend's features quickly as she saw her boyfriend laughing with the other woman who was known as 'The Kid' because of how young she looked. She turned back and shrugged, "It must have finished early."
Alison rolled her eyes as she heard the suppressed annoyance, "Then why isn't he coming over here?"
"She probably asked him something," Jennifer shrugged again, "Rodney likes to teach."
"Rodney hates to teach," Alison sighed, "Jennifer, you're going to have to do something about this. She's all over him, I've passed his lab late at night and they're in there."
Jennifer stabbed at the small piece of apple in front of her, "She said he knew her parents."
"I saw her for her medical when she got here," Jennifer replied softly, "I saw them hugging earlier that day so I asked her if she knew him."
"Jen," Alison rolled her eyes, "You need to talk to Rodney and get this sorted out before you turn around to find he's cheated on you."
Jennifer glanced over to where Rodney was sitting with Alisa knowing her friend was right and wishing she wasn't.
Alisa chuckled as Rodney was called to the Gateroom. She tossed him the apple that was sitting on his tray nodding to him that she'd return it with hers. As Rodney left her Alisa finished her breakfast thinking over the past month. It was strange how well they'd adapted to the relationship. Rodney was at first a little hesitant sometimes not sure how to act around her but he happily sat and talked to her after missions, something his counterpart had always done. Alisa knew it meant her father could wind down by talking to her about the technology they'd discovered, used, seen or found falling apart. Alisa had spent three years alone, the few relationships she'd had finished quickly because she couldn't tell them who she was so rediscovering her relationship with her father was a wonderful thing for her.
"Bonner," a sharp voice called as Alisa started towards her lab.
Frowning confused Alisa turned to find one of the marines coming towards her, Alisa chewed her lip as she tried to recall the other woman's name.
"Yeah?" Alisa asked.
"I know what you're doing," the woman said, the name Gold-something was floating around Alisa's brain but she just couldn't get it.
"Why don't you enlighten me?" Alisa couldn't stop the standard McKay sarcasm from filling her question.
"I know you think getting in with McKay is the way to get ahead around here," the woman continued, "But he's with Jennifer so stop what you're doing now."
Anger filled Alisa, she was never one to let bullies get the best of her so as the woman started back she called out, "Lieutenant," Alisa snapped, moving to the other woman when she turned back, "What I do is my business, who I talk to is my business and as cannon fodder you need to learn to keep your mouth shut around the people who will more than likely save your life several times over."
Alisa kept her gaze even as the other woman stepped towards her angrily, a threat in every movement.
"Alisa, is everything alright?" Ronon's voice made Alisa sigh inwardly in relief as the marine jumped back.
"It's fine, Ronon," Alisa told him keeping her voice as cool and even as before, "I'm just heading to the lab."
Alisa started away again not seeing or hearing Ronon warn the woman away from her but the moment she was around the corner and out of sight she stopped drawing in a shaky breath.
"You okay?" Ronon appeared and towered over her looking concerned.
Alisa shook her head, "Not really. Thanks for coming to my rescue; I really seem to have a death wish don't I?"
"Golding is very protective of Jennifer," Ronon noted, "And quite hot-tempered."
"Golding, that's her name," Alisa sighed as he told her the name she couldn't remember before she frowned, "I don't think he's told Keller who I am. That's worrying."
Ronon shrugged and as they started to walk Alisa rolled her eyes at him, "You're a lot of help."
Rodney entered his lab surprised to find Alisa sitting there tapping a pen on the top of the bench.
"I thought you had a project?" Rodney frowned.
"We need to talk first," Alisa replied darkly before dropping the pen and standing to face him, "Why haven't you told Keller who I am?"
"Dammit, Dad," Alisa cried angrily, "I just had her friend telling me to stay away from you, which by the way is quite creepy, all because you haven't told her who I am."
"This is my business, Alisa," Rodney reminded her annoyed.
Alisa's gaze didn't waver, "But it's about me. You said you're happy having me as your daughter but you've not told the person you're supposedly in love with."
"And stop calling me that," she cried annoyed making Rodney grimace confused.
"It's your name," Rodney reminded her.
She sighed, "But you...he...you, this could drive a person crazy. You only ever call me Alisa when you're mad at me."
Rodney frowned, "What do I call you then?"
Rodney tilted his head thoughtfully, "I used to call your mother Lis," he mused softly, turning back he saw her amused smile and laughed, "I get it...Lissa."
Alisa beamed at him and they sat in silence for a moment before she remembered why she'd originally come here.
"So, are you going to tell Keller?"
Alisa sat on her own eating lunch wondering what the hell was going on. She'd thought being back on Atlantis would be the best thing ever because she'd be with her family and get to be with people who she could get along with.
That hadn't happened because her father still hadn't told his girlfriend who Alisa was. Keller's friend Golding had somehow managed to get almost all the scientists and a good part of the military to give Alisa the silent treatment as an intruder trying to hurt their 'good friend' Dr Keller. In fact the only people who really talked to her were her father and his team, Lorne, Chuck, Woolsey, Radek and Amelia Banks, but Ronon was sort of almost dating her so had shared this piece of information with her so that she would make sure Alisa was informed if anything happened to Rodney on missions.
But she was used to being alone so she could handle it.
Alisa sat in the lab grateful it was empty other than her at the moment. With her father and his team off-world and due to be so for the next few days, she'd taken to working later at night when it was more than likely no one would be there. The device in front of her had been found by one of the other teams a few weeks before and Radek had asked her to do a preliminary report on it. She'd noticed even if Radek hadn't the looks she'd received at being given the assignment when she'd only been in the city a short time.
A noise at the door made her look up and Alisa grimaced to find Alison Golding there.
"What the hell do you want?" she sighed annoyed, "I'm busy and I've no time for your posturing."
"You don't take a hint, do you?" Golding said as she walked over to the lab bench, "There are people who've worked hard to get where they are then you appear one day and all of a sudden you're given tasks most don't get until they've been here years. So tell me again how innocent you are?"
Alisa shook her head, "You know I don't like bullies. Especially ones who kid themselves on they're treating someone else like dirt for a greater good. You just don't like me and it has nothing to do with Keller or the other scientists."
Golding laughed, "You think that."
"I know that," Alisa retorted, her temper getting the better of her, "I'm doing my job and the reason I got this assignment is because I'm brilliant. I'm twenty-one. Put that tiny military mind of yours to some good and work out just how quickly I got through college."
Golding grabbed Alisa's arm as she turned away.
"Lieutenant," a sharp voice made both women spin.
"Laura?"Alisa gasped softly as she saw who was standing in the doorway of the lab.
"Captain," Golding instantly jumped to attention.
"Get out of here," Laura Cadman ordered sharply, anger in her eyes.
With one final angry glance at Alisa, Golding left the lab. Alisa let out a long sigh and dropped onto her seat dropping her head into her hands.
"Are you okay?" Laura asked concerned.
Alisa shook her head, "I really want to go home. I just," she pushed her hands through her once again blonde hair, "I just want my life back." She took several deep breaths and focussed herself again before looking up at the woman watching her worriedly. "Thanks for getting rid of her," Alisa smiled softly, "Though isn't it kinda late to be wandering around the labs?"
Laura laughed, "I was looking for Rodney. I was hoping to surprise him; it won't be as much fun if someone else tells him I'm here."
Alisa chuckled pleased to see her best friend again after all this time, even if this version of Laura had never met her before.
"He's off-world," Alisa told her, "Sorry."
Laura shrugged, "Never mind. I should probably get some sleep, so should you."
"We can meet for breakfast," Laura continued stopping any protest, "Tell me any gossip you know."
Alisa couldn't stop the smile that touched her lips and she nodded, "Okay."
Early the next morning Laura Cadman walked through the corridors of Atlantis heading to meet the young scientist she'd met last night. She'd overheard most of the conversation that had happened surprised that she really was as young as she looked. Laura had been amazed by how well she'd held her own against Golding, who Laura was going to keep an eye on, so Laura only interrupted once it was about to become physical.
It had only occurred to her when she got to her own room that she didn't actually know the other woman's name but despite that there was something about her that Laura couldn't place and she was now determined to find out what it was.
"Morning," she greeted her new friend as she took a seat, "I don't know your name."
Laura rolled her eyes at the grin she received, "Funny."
Alisa chuckled, "You can call me Lissa if you want."
"Okay, Lissa," Laura smiled, amazed at the brilliant smile that passed across the other woman's face, "So, what was all that about last night?"
Alisa shrugged innocently, "What?"
"You know what," Laura frowned at her.
Alisa sighed, "Golding doesn't like me and takes no pains in hiding it."
"Any reason she doesn't like you?" Laura asked.
"She seems to have some idea that I'm trying to come between Rodney and her best friend, Jennifer," Alisa supplied.
Laura chuckled, "Are you?"
"Rodney knew my father and he's sort of keeping a promise to him to keep an eye on me," Alisa told Laura, "Golding just doesn't like me and she's using this as an excuse."
"Lissa, you should have told someone," Laura said concerned.
"I've dealt with bullies before," Alisa told the other woman, "And they've never got the better of me. It won't happen here either. I should get to work."
Laura watched Alisa leave and grimaced, "Lissa," she called catching up with her, "Hey, I'll walk with you."
Alisa was trying hard not to just turn and hug Laura; she was trying so hard not to let the other woman see how incredibly happy she was to see her. Laura had been her closest friend, sometimes even a surrogate mother after she'd been stuck Rodney's head for a few days and Alisa had missed her so much.
As they walked through the corridors to the labs they talked generally when all of a sudden a voice came over Alisa's radio.
"Get to the infirmary," Amelia said quickly.
"What?" Laura asked as Alisa stalled.
Alisa turned to her, "I think Rodney's been hurt," she whispered before she spun and started to run.
Laura took off after her and together they skidded to a halt just inside finding John, Teyla and Ronon standing. John turned and caught Alisa's arm.
"He's okay, kid," John told her before he turned to Laura, "Welcome back, Captain Cadman."
Laura nodded back as Alisa asked what had happened.
"He fell," John explained to them, "The ground was unstable and he fell into a mine shaft. The doc is checking him out but he was okay when we brought him back."
Alisa nodded trying not to let the others see how much she was shaking inside.
Rodney opened his eyes smiling as Alisa arrived at his bed.
"Hey," he greeted her, his voice slightly slurred from the painkillers, "You okay?"
"I'm fine," Alisa replied motioning to his arm wrapped in a sling, "Better than you. I can't stay long, since your girlfriend is only giving us each a few minutes."
"I will tell her," Rodney told her, he reached out with his good hand and took hers, "It's just something I have to work up to. I've kept you a secret for a long time – it's a big thing to drop on her."
Alisa sighed but nodded, "Okay, Dad. I better go before I get kicked out. I'll see you once you're released."
Rodney squeezed her hand tightly, "Love you, Lissa," he murmured as his eyes closed.
Alisa stood frozen for several moments, she glanced around making sure no one was able to see before she kissed his forehead, "I love you too, Dad."
Slipping away Alisa didn't see Laura standing nearby unable to hear a word but was staring in astonishment at what she saw.
Rodney sat trying to work with only one hand. His right arm was strapped to his chest so he didn't aggravate his dislocated shoulder and it was driving him crazy.
"Come in?" he called a little confused at who would be visiting at this time of night, even more amazed at who was standing in his doorway, "Cadman?"
"Hey," she grinned at him, "Miss me?"
Laura laughed and followed him in as he walked back inside, "How're you feeling?"
"Like someone hit my arm with a baseball bat for a few hours," he replied as he sat down, "So what brings you back to Atlantis? I thought I'd got rid of you for good."
Laura shrugged, "I was promoted and there was an opening for a team leader. I put in for it and here I am."
"Captain Cadman now," she beamed at him taking the soda he offered her.
Rodney chuckled, "And they're letting you lead a team off-world? I'm going to spend weeks pulling you out of trouble."
Laura shrugged before she took a sip of the soda building up to the actual reason she was here.
"I met Alisa," Laura said watching as Rodney froze, "Nice kid."
"Yeah," Rodney agreed carefully.
Laura sighed and decided just to say what she'd come to say, "She's your daughter, isn't she?"
Rodney stared at her, "How do you...why would you...who told...?"
"No one told me," Laura replied, "I saw her talking to you in the infirmary and I don't know how I didn't see it instantly."
Rodney sighed, "No one is supposed to know."
"Why?" Laura demanded, "Are you ashamed you got someone knocked up twenty odd years ago?"
Rodney glared at her, "I love my daughter. You have no idea how special she is, Cadman but she's..."
Rodney sighed, "What I'm about to tell you is something you cannot repeat."
Laura nodded solemnly, "I promise."
"Okay," Rodney took a deep breath, "Three years ago Alisa arrived through a Quantum Mirror..."
Laura stared at Rodney, "She's...wow."
"Cadman, you can't tell anyone about this because I'm trying to protect her," Rodney reminded the woman in front of him.
"Of course I won't," Laura assured him, "Who does know though?"
"Radek, Sheppard, Teyla, Ronon," Rodney listed, "Lorne, Chuck, Woolsey and I'm pretty sure Amelia knows too."
"There's a name missing from that list, Rodney," Laura noted.
He frowned at her, "It's not the easiest of subjects to bring up – oh by the way three years ago I got an eighteen year old daughter who they wouldn't let stay here with me because they thought it would be too dangerous for her to be here. How do I do that?"
Laura watched him as he paced jumping as he turned on her.
"I'm asking your advice here, Cadman," Rodney snapped.
"All I know," Laura said as she stood to face him, "If she does love you then she'll understand. Just don't leave it too long, I think Alisa's getting grief because of it."
Rodney sighed, "I will," he smiled suddenly; "It's not too bad to have you back, Cadman."
Laura laughed and impulsively hugged him, "That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me."
Laura left Rodney's room and decided to go and talk to Alisa. From the moment Laura had met Alisa there was something so familiar about the younger woman that made Laura want to protect her. Now at least she understood why.
Her experience inside Rodney's mind had left her feeling exceedingly protective of Rodney, even if she wanted to kill him most of the time and somehow subconsciously that feeling had transferred to Alisa.
"Hey, Laura," Alisa greeted her as she entered the small lab where Alisa was sitting tapping away on a laptop, "You do know it's late."
"I needed to talk to you," Laura said, she pulled a seat over so they were face to face, "I just visited Rodney."
"Was he surprised to see you?"
Laura chuckled, "A little."
"So, what do you want to talk about?" Alisa asked, as she started rummaging around her drawer for some chocolate.
Laura took a deep breath, "How about the fact you're Rodney's daughter?"
Alisa froze; panic covered her face as she turned to Laura, "How?"
"Lissa, when I saw you guys together it slapped me in the face," Laura laughed, she reached out and caught Alisa's hand, "He told me everything."
Alisa took in a shuddering breath as she fought the tears that were filling her eyes, "He doesn't know everything. He doesn't know how close I was to you."
Laura looked at her in surprise.
Alisa winced embarrassed, "Sorry."
"Tell me," Laura pushed.
"After you were stuck in Dad's head," Alisa started smiling slightly at the memory, "I used to have breakfast with you every morning and very soon I found I could tell you anything. You were my best friend. Practically a mother sometimes..." she winced, "Sorry."
"No," Laura smiled amazed by how much affection she felt for this girl she'd only known a day so far, "Perhaps we can start again."
A brilliant smile covered Alisa's face, "I'd like that."
"Are you insane?"
Woolsey frowned at Alisa as she walked into his office without any warning.
"You're seriously sending me off-world?" Alisa demanded.
"It's an Ancient base that has had groups of scientist going there for almost a year," Woolsey explained, "You've been added to the rotation as a member of the science team. The same as anyone else."
"You don't understand," Alisa grimaced, "Every time I went through the Gate to another planet, things went wrong."
Woolsey frowned at her, "Superstition is not going to get you out of this. You're going. Dr McKay is waiting for you. Go."
Alisa opened her mouth to protest again but at the look in Woolsey's eyes she shut it again and sighed. At least if she was with her father and his team there was more chance things would be okay.
Alisa stood waiting with Ronon as the remainder of the team arrived. The research base they were heading to had been found the year before and Rodney had several teams rotating through there every few months. His decision to put Alisa on the rotation had come when during one of their chats she'd mentioned one of the experiments she'd done while Radek's assistant before she'd come to this Universe that was perfect for some of the work being done in the base.
"Ready for this?" John asked as he joined her.
"No," Alisa replied sharply, "Me and off-world, not a good combination."
"Really?" John chuckled.
"The first time I left the city I ended falling into an abandoned mine shaft and nearly broke my arm," Alisa replied darkly, "In all the forest I stepped on the one bit that was unstable. What are the odds?"
John shrugged, not saying a word as the rest of the team finally arrived. Laura moved to Alisa's side, as she'd promised they'd started their friendship again on an even footing and in the past few days had become a familiar sight at lunchtime talking animatedly about anything and everything.
Finally the remainder of the scientists arrived, followed a few minutes later by Rodney and Jennifer.
"Please tell me he's told her," Alisa murmured to Laura who patted her shoulder.
"Right," Rodney said making everyone turn to him, "Let's go. Chuck, dial us up."
As the Gate technician started the dialling sequence Alisa glanced quickly at Dr Keller to see if there was any indication Rodney had revealed the secret to his girlfriend but there wasn't anything.
The Gate opening pulled her attention back to reality and the mission she was about to go on.
The landscape in front of them reminded Alisa of pictures she'd seen of the Grand Canyon except this was a strange sickly green colour.
Rodney instantly turned to the right when he exited the wormhole not bothering to make sure the others were with him as he talked with Sheppard, bargaining over how long they could be here for.
"Does anyone else feel that this place looks like the morning after?" Laura asked, shuddering at she focussed on the yellow sand.
Alisa chuckled, "Not something I know anything about."
Laura stopped and stared at her, "You've never been drunk?"
"Oh please," Alisa rolled her eyes, "Alcohol destroys brain cells and although I definitely have more than most, I will more than likely need all them to one day save the Universe."
Laura stared at her friend before rolling her eyes, "You keep making me wonder how no-one actually notices whose kid you are."
Alisa laughed and they started walking again, jogging to catch up with the rest of the team.
Rodney went through in his head over and over what he was going to say to Jennifer when he revealed his secret. He'd decided to do it away from Atlantis so there was nothing for her to throw at him when he revealed what he'd been keeping from her for so long.
Bringing Alisa along was not just about getting her to work on a few new projects; it was so they could hopefully get to know one another outside the city.
"Okay, people," Rodney called as they entered the small base, "Those of you moving out, go now so you don't get in the road. Everyone else, find where you're meant to be and get settled in. I want work started in an hour."
As the science team headed to dump their stuff Rodney grabbed Alisa by the shoulder as she headed past him, "I want to talk to you for a second."
"Sure," Alisa shrugged, following him to the small office taking a seat as he shut the door.
"I need to know the specifics of the experiment you worked on with Radek," Rodney told her, "I know I should have done this earlier..."
"You've been busy," Alisa smiled slightly, "Well it wasn't actually an experiment, it was a sample from a moon that was brought back. You guys deemed it worthless so Radek decided to see how creative I was. I was to design a few experiments using it. Purely by luck I discovered that when melted and hardened it resembled the crystals that were used to power the city."
"Really?" Rodney leaned forward interested, "What happened with it?"
Alisa shrugged, "No idea. We were sent back to Earth a few days later and then I ended up here."
Rodney sighed, "Never mind. Thanks, Lissa that at least gives me something."
"No problem, Dad," Alisa smiled at him, "Hopefully I can work on it more. I'll recreate the experiment here and see if maybe I can get the same result."
"Lissa," Rodney called her back before she opened the door, "I'm going to tell Jennifer later today. I'm hoping, once she gets over the shock, that you spend some time with her."
Alisa hesitated, she wasn't a huge fan of her father's girlfriend but then again she didn't want to distance herself from him so after a while she nodded before leaving the office.
Three hours later Rodney was about to ask Jennifer to go for a walk when alarms sounded throughout the base.
"What happened?" Rodney demanded, running over to blaring console.
"I don't know," Dr Eccles said confused, "I was following the directions left by Dr Woodward."
Rodney grimaced and pushed the man away from the console, he started typing trying to stop whatever was happening.
"Cadman," Rodney yelled over to Laura, "This might be more your specialty, come with me."
Confused Laura followed Rodney as he ran through the small science base motioning everyone to move out of his way, Laura just a few steps behind. As they reached the sub-level Laura let out a low whistle.
"Self-destruct system?" she asked.
Rodney turned to her, "You're the expert, explosives gal."
"Now you give me credit," she threw back as she scanned the device in front of her, "Rodney, can you hack in and find out what it's supposed to do while I try and disarm it?"
"Already doing that," he threw back.
They both stopped in shock as Alisa's voice echoed through the room, "Stop whatever you're doing."
"Lissa?" Laura asked seeing Rodney's confusion at the use of the nickname.
They spun as the door behind them slammed shut and the sound of air rushing out surrounded them
Alisa grimaced as her father and friend went racing out of the room, she moved over to the console that appeared to start this problem as everyone watched the door Rodney and Laura had just ran through. The console at her side caught her attention and Alisa moved to it, sighing in annoyance. Accessing the controls she discovered what was going on and hit her radio.
"Stop whatever you're doing," she cried, finding several pairs of eyes on her.
At Laura's question Alisa pushed her hand through her hair, "It's not a self-destruct sequence, it's a trap."
"Trap?" her father asked at the same time as John who'd moved to her side.
"The two systems activated should never be activated at the same time," Alisa explained, "When both were, the supposed self-destruct was activated."
"I hate to interrupt," Rodney told her, "But can you do something about the fact we're about to suffocate?"
"You won't actually suffocate," Alisa replied as she worked, "This was only meant to trap intruders. You'll just end up unconscious for a while."
"Lissa, do you want to put your faith in a ten thousand year old system?" Rodney retorted.
"Good point," Alisa muttered, her fingers flying over the controls.
Silence filled the room for the next few minutes though Alisa could hear one of the other 'more experienced' scientists suggest to John that he should take over. Alisa didn't quite hear John's reply but thankfully no one interrupted her as she worked.
"Uh oh," Alisa suddenly cried.
"What?" Laura, Rodney and John demanded.
"There's a slight problem," Alisa replied, she glanced at John, "Gas is seeping into the chamber."
"Then hurry," John told her.
"Alisa, transfer the controls to me," Rodney ordered.
"It's easier if I finish," Alisa replied.
"Alisa," Rodney growled warningly.
"Dad, I can do this," Alisa snapped back aware suddenly of everyone behind her especially Jennifer.
"What did you just say?" Jennifer demanded in a breathy shocked voice.
Alisa turned to her, "Later, once I've saved their lives."
"John," Alisa cut Jennifer off again without looking back, "Either shut her up or get her out of here."
Alisa ignored the soft murmur behind her as everyone started to wonder how they hadn't worked the relationship out themselves.
"Lissa?" Rodney called, "The air's getting very thin down here."
"I'm almost there," Alisa assured him as her fingers flew across the controls, "Okay, the door should be opening now."
"Not yet," Rodney replied faintly.
"Dammit," Alisa snapped and she started working again, "What about now?"
Nothing answered her for several seconds before her father replied, he was taking deep gasping breaths.
Alisa smiled and leaned back in her chair, crisis averted. She glanced round and saw Jennifer staring at her, well one crisis at least.
Rodney watched Jennifer as she checked Laura out after she'd finished his check. She'd not said a word other than to confirm he was fine before she left him sitting.
Alisa wandered over to her father's side, "Hey."
"Hey," he replied, sliding off the bed and starting them walking, "I'm very proud of you."
"Even though I blurted out the big secret?" Alisa asked nervously.
Rodney sighed, reaching the small office he was using he dropped into his chair, "Even then. Grab a seat."
Alisa closed the door and sat across from him waiting.
"I was going to tell her this afternoon," Rodney sighed, "I was working all morning on what to say to her."
"I am really sorry, Dad," Alisa told him, "I was so busy, my mouth was on automatic and..."
"It's just," he paused with a fond smile, "Your mom, the version I knew anyway was just like that too. If she was busy she wouldn't think before talking, it usually made me laugh."
Alisa sniffed slightly; the unexpected comparison to her mother had thrown her. Rodney watched her wondering if she was okay.
"Do you know where she is?" Alisa asked suddenly.
Rodney shook his head, "After the accident where we lost the baby...you, she sort of drifted away from me. I came home one day to find she was gone. To be honest I was so angry at her for disappearing I never looked."
"I shouldn't have brought it up," Alisa apologised.
Before Rodney was able to say anything else the door opened and Jennifer stood there.
"I'll give you two a minute," Alisa said uncomfortably before sliding round the other woman and going to find Laura.
Jennifer took the seat Alisa had vacated staring at Rodney.
"I was going to tell you," Rodney said before she could say anything.
Jennifer let out a harsh laugh, "When? And why keep it such a secret. You have a daughter, Rodney. It's not like I didn't know you dated before we started seeing each other."
"It's not that simple," Rodney replied with a sigh.
Jennifer pushed her hand through her hair as she started to pace, "Then explain it. Because you've been keeping a huge secret from me and I don't understand why."
Rodney dropped his head, "You might want to sit down for this." He waited until she sank into the chair across from him before he started talking again, "About three years ago I was scanning energy signatures within the city and I noticed an anomaly. Lorne went to investigate and he found a girl unconscious from a Wraith blaster and a Wraith coming at them. They took her to the infirmary and when she woke up she claimed she was my daughter. Back when I was in college I was engaged and my fiancée fell pregnant. She was in a car accident and lost the baby so you can imagine I wasn't happy," he paused for a few moments remembering his reaction to the news, "Finally I spoke to her and Alisa was the image of the woman she claimed to be her mother. It didn't take us long to work out that she'd come through a Quantum Mirror."
"So why didn't you send her home?" Jennifer asked, a hard edge on her voice.
"Because she didn't belong there," Rodney replied, "You see unlike the other Quantum Mirror we've encountered this one didn't transport the person to another Universe it created a clone within that Universe – thus solving the entropic cascade failure problem."
"So Alisa is a clone?" Jennifer gasped.
"Yes. The Mirror was supposed to return her to her own Universe and the original version of Alisa would receive the knowledge of her clone. Except, as usual, it didn't work like that. Alisa was stuck here with people and a father who didn't know her. They decided that it was too dangerous for her to remain on Atlantis," Rodney continued, "So she was packed off back to Earth where they let her go to college on the condition that she never spoke about the Stargate or tried to contact anyone regarding it. But we kept in touch via email anyway."
"So why is she here now?"
"Someone found her," Rodney sighed, "And the only choice the IOA had was to bring her into the SGC. She was either going to come here or go to the beta site."
Jennifer sat taking in everything, "Why didn't you tell me straight away?"
"Because I didn't know how," Rodney told her, "This was something that I've kept hidden for a long time, only a few people knew about this. I wanted to tell you but I could never quite work out how. When I told Cadman she..." he trailed off as she stood a look of horror covering her face, "What?"
"You told Captain Cadman before you told me?" Jennifer snapped.
"She guessed," Rodney said knowing how weak it sounded.
Without another word Jennifer left Rodney alone.
Later that night Alisa and Laura arrived at the office Rodney had been using, no one had seen him since earlier that afternoon since his talk with Dr Keller.
"Can we come in?" Alisa asked, she held up a plate, "We brought food."
Rodney nodded and motioned them in, surprised as John followed them in. The other three sat around the room silently as Rodney ate his sandwich.
"Can I ask what happened?" Alisa ventured once her father finished eating.
Rodney sighed, "I think we broke up."
The rest of them made comforting noises but no one could really think of anything to say. Finally Alisa spoke up.
"You know the secret is now out in the city," Alisa noted, "Considering everybody heard me call you Dad."
"So?" John asked.
"Can I go by my real name again?" Alisa demanded, "As much as I loved my mother being known as Bonner never sat well. Especially considering how it turned out the last time I had to use it."
"What happened the last time?" John and Laura asked in unison.
"I'd rather not go into it," Alisa waved them away grimacing, she sighed as they continued to stare at her, "Fine, let's just say the word brat was used to describe me by a lot of people."
Rodney smiled slightly, "I'll talk to Woolsey. Can you all go, I have work to do."
John and Laura both nodded slightly at him before leaving, Alisa stood for a few moments. Rodney looked up at her questioningly.
"Is this my fault?" Alisa asked softly, "I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan of your girlfriend, even if she was better than the wet dishrag you used to date, I don't want to be the reason you're unhappy."
Rodney moved to her, "No, it's not your fault. It's mine. I didn't tell her about you, I told Cadman before I told Jennifer. It's my fault, Lissa."
Alisa moved and hugged him tightly before she left him alone again. Rodney sat down again, despite breaking up with Jennifer he felt good. He wasn't alone, he had his daughter and she made life interesting enough for now.