Spoilers: Overall--everything. This chapter? "Rising", "Hide and Seek" and a minor on for "Before I Sleep".
Notes: Many, MANY thanks to jakisbishlygay over at LJ for beta'ing this. She is a gem. The way this is written, the characters names are never actually used. Instead, discriptive names of a sort are given--kinda like Native Americans used to/still do. They should be pretty self-explanitory for now, but my beta has kindly pointed out that as more and more people get named, a key of sorts will probably be needed. If you think so, please do tell me. I'd hate for folk to get confused because I have a name-title kink. *shrugs and smiles*
Oct 1, 2005: This WILL (eventually) be McShep and another pairing. Reading any of this past, say, the third or fourth chapter will tell you the other pairing. Or possibly chatting with me about this fic for more than two seconds. Neither pairing will appear for a good while, though. At least not until second season-ish. Gotta build up, y'know. Ta an' enjoy.
She watched them carefully as they arrive. Through her halls they wander, weapons held at ready. There is no danger for them in her halls, however. Not at this time, that is. She has not the power to open the doors keeping those dangers at bay. She senses that they carry their own power sources and fears what they might unknowingly unlock.
Then He arrives. She was observing the ones before him, which might be why she missed his entrance to her control center. He is A True Child. The others who come with him are so removed from her Children that she can barely Feel them. But he...he she can Feel.
None who follow are as strong to her senses as He, though there is a healer who comes close. This healer somehow Gifts others and makes it possible for her to sense them. Not with the ease she senses these two Children, but they are now more noticeable than they had been before. This makes her glad, for her halls have been silent for far too long.
One of those the Healer would Gift with the blood of her Children gives her enough power to rise from the ocean depths. This isn't the first time the Children have come Home, though it is the first time she's seen the sky since the days her Children flourished. She's careful to make sure the Old One remains safe when the young ones mistakenly cut off the wakening sequence. The Old One held information these young ones would need.
They have given her power and though she is not as alive with power as she was in days past, she is more awake now than before their arrival.
She keeps an eye on the few True Children. Besides the two strongest, there are a small handful of others. They are far weaker than even the Healer, though will still be stronger to sense than those with the Healer's Gift. She notices how the Healer is wary of her and strives to show him how she might aid his healing. He takes this aid with wary enthusiasm and she is glad. He helps to keep her new Children in good health and thus to keep her in good health, for who is she without her Children?
Her Favored Child often goes through the Doorway with three others. They sometimes leave in the small extensions of herself that they have named 'puddle jumpers', and sometimes on foot. More often than not, he and the others return wounded and this pains her. Though she has grown to care for these new Children, she cares for none other higher than her Favorite. She would--and does--grieve for the deaths of the others, but the death of this one, the one she Feels strongest, would devastate her.
As she feared, the life they bring her opens the doors on several dangers hidden in her depths. The first to be released is the Darkness. Thankfully, she was able to foresee this and reveal a protective skin to the first to receive the Healer's Gift. This particular one is close to her True Children, the Healer and her Favorite, and he is chief amongst those who have worked to awaken her. He has given life to much of her systems and even corrected errors that have occurred over the ages.
She was regretful that she locked the protective skin from being removed, especially once she saw the panic it caused him, but it was needed. Also, it was amusing watching him and her Favorite 'play'. It made her very joyful to see her Children at play. It had been far too long since laughter filled her halls. And the small ones! Having younglings running her halls was even better.
She finally cannot ignore that he must eat to live and allows the protective skin to be removed. He surprises the others—though not her, for she could tell he was far braver than others thought--when he replaces the protective skin and goes into the Darkness. He sends it through the Doorway, saving them all. The protective skin has done its purpose and now she was free of one of the more deadly dangers she held. Why her Children had insisted on locking the dangers within her walls, she would never understand. For all that the young ones adored and practically worshiped her Children, the ones they call 'Ancients' could be rather short-sighted.
Summary: What if Atlantis WASN'T just a very smart city. What if she was sentient? How would she react to not only being above water again, but having people living within her walls? This is Stargate: Atlantis through the city's eyes.