In The Genes

Sarah Thompson is 24 years old, and for most of her life, she's had it rough. From being a young orphan to a teen runaway to a lost baby, she's never known what happiness truly is. But now, with a PhD under her belt and a brand new, off-world job, she's about to see just what life has in store for her. And with a handsome Major Sheppard by her side... she's in for the ride of her life.

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4. Chapter 4

A year later…

Missions had been on and off over the past year, with more successes than failures. The team had gained three new team members that have only just gotten used to the idea of living in an ancient city- besides Caz Murphy, an old friend of John Sheppard’s, who had known what she was getting into from the start. Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex are the other two who have joined the team; at first Ronon seemed to be keeping his distance from me- maybe that was me keeping my distance from him- but anyway we’re kinda friends. Teyla is a strong woman, from the stories I’ve heard from her people she’s someone that reminds me of what my mother would be like if she were still here.

Dr. Weir has tried to keep me from going off world- a lot- she knows I can handle myself but she still thinks that I’m fragile; I may be a girl but I’m nothing like normal girls. I would rather be outside shooting O’Neils shotgun at some targets or inside cleaning some of his guns by dismantling it and reassembling it. I would be wearing cargo pants and a plain t-shirt with hiking boots out in the rain and mud. I’m more of a guy than people think, sure on the outside I look like this pretty little school girl who went to university and spent 3 years of her life knee deep in study just so I could get my PhD and actually make a good future for myself.

“Teyla!” I yelled, running to catch up with her.

“Sarah. Did we have plans today?” Teyla asked, once I was with her.

“No, I just wanted to ask you something.” I said as we continued walking.

“Then ask away.”

“What do you think of John?” I asked with a sigh.

“Major Sheppard is a fine leader and a good man.” Teyla explained, stopping as we made it to the messhall entrance.

“I know that, I mean what do you think of him as a person?” I asked, trying not to sound too desperate. Teyla looked confused and then I realised I am talking to the wrong person.

“Don’t worry Teyla, I’ll ask someone else.” I said, before quickly walking away.

I caught Teyla giving me an odd look in her reflection on the door, but ran faster before she could say anything. With a head full of cloudy, confused thoughts, I hurried, distracted through the halls. I had one destination in mind, one person who- I realised now- should have been my first port of call. Doctor Caz Murphy, engineer & astrophysicist, was also a personal friend of Sheppard’s. Why didn’t I think of Caz first?

I wasn’t watching where I was going, and as a result nearly had a heart attack when I rounded a corner to almost run smack-bang into Ronon’s chest. He steadied me as I stumbled back, off balance.

“Whoa there!” a familiar voice laughed. I looked to the source & felt my face go pale at the sight of John Sheppard. Oh no. Nope, I couldn’t deal-

“You alright, Sarah?” Ronon asked, suspicious. “You look like you’ve seen a Wraith.”

Panicking, I nodded and cleared my throat noisily.

“Yes, yep, I’m fine, yeah. Nothing wrong with me, why does everyone keep asking me that, I mean, I’m a doctor, I’d know if there was-“

“Sarah Thompson, to the infirmary, Sarah Thompson.”

Saved by the intercom, I thought, flashing a bright smile at the baffled Sheppard and Ronon before turning on my heels and sprinting away.

Sheppard’s P.O.V

I watched her run away as though an army were on her tail and shook my head, bemused. Ronon gave me a sidelong look and rolled his eyes; "Women," he huffed, shaking his head. I chuckled back and lead the way into the mess hall...

“Teyla.” I said as Ronon and I entered the mess hall.

“Ronon, Major Sheppard. Do either of you know if Sarah is okay? She was asking me some questions then just ran off.” Teyla spoke.

"Yeah, we've just run into her," I replied, frowning slightly. She did seem a bit weird just now...
Ronon chuckled. "Some more literally than others. She sure looked in a hurry."

“Major Sheppard, could you please come to the control room.” Dr. Weir spoke over the radio.

“I’ll be right there.” I replied, looking at Teyla and Ronon as I answered.

Sarah’s P.O.V

"What's the emergency?" I cried, pushing the doors open. Carson raised his eyebrows at my flustered state as he hurried past, heading for the theatre.

"Cubicle Two; she needs you to draw her eyebrows back on," he said, and closed the door behind him. I started to smile despite the state of my thoughts, knowing there was only one person on Atlantis who had the idiocy and the ability to burn her eyebrows off twice in one week. I pulled back the curtain to see a messy-haired Caz Murphy, who smiled sheepishly.

"McKay started it," she said quickly. I rolled my eyes...

“Sure it was, how did it happen this time?” I asked as I put gloves on.

"McKay-" Caz scowled as though she'd smelled something terrible just by saying his name- "- was going on and on about how brilliant and wonderful he is, that nobody else could use the program he'd installed on his tablets..." she trailed off, almost smiling, before catching herself and frowning again. "... I proved him wrong."

“Sounds like you like it whenever something like this happens between you and McKay.” I said, smirking as I cleaned her face off a bit and then fixed her up; so to speak.

"Shut up," Caz snapped, a little sharper than she must have intended. "Have you snogged John yet?" She added quickly, turning the tables with a shit-stirring grin.

“What?! Caz, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I replied, quickly finishing up.

I flinched at her teasing and saw her sigh, shrugging. "Sorry," She muttered grudgingly, rubbing a set of sooty, still tender fingers over her eyes and giving herself a panda-face. "I'm tired. I'm bored. And McKay is an arse," She sighed, shaking her head again. "And don't deny it, missy. I've seen you staring at him."

“Fine,” I sighed, pulling the gloves off. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I mean, I don’t even know how to act around him now. I literally ran into Ronon as I was coming out of the mess hall earlier and- of course- John was with him and I made a complete foal of myself.”

"I wouldn't worry too much," She swung her legs off the side of the bed, turning this into a casual chat while we had the chance. "He'll probably start worrying about you, which can only make it easier to get it through his skull that you luuuuuurve him," She giggled at my glare, drawing out the word to make me blush and throw my gloves at her.

“I hate you.” I smirked, shaking my head at her.

“Sarah. We need you in the control room.” Sheppard spoke over the radio.

“I’ll be right there.” I replied, looking at Caz as I walked out of the room.

I nodded my head at a couple of nurses as I made my way out to one of the transporters closest to the infirmary.

“What is wrong with you, Sarah? You’ve known John for a while now and it shouldn’t be this hard to talk to him. Stop freaking out almost every time he talks to you, it’ll end up giving it away.” I mumbled to myself as I stopped at the transporter doors.

"Sarah! Hold up!" I heard Caz call, sliding to a stop with her hand just managing to stop them shutting. She let out a breath of relief and stepped inside. "You don't look very well," She pointed out casually. I just stood there and said nothing; "Are you freaking out about John?" She asked gently.

I sighed and looked down at my feet.

“Is it that obvious?” I asked quietly. Continuing to look at my shoes as though they were more interesting than the conversation.

Caz petted my shoulder gently. "Don't worry too much. He's a softie at heart- he'll probably just be confused and think he's done something wrong," She explained, laughing a little. "Men. They're dense," She sighed.

I smiled at the thought of having Sheppard think that he’s done something wrong. The transporter doors opened and Caz and I walked out, making little talk as we made our way to the control room.

"Finally," McKay sniped as we entered.

"Did you struggle to find the perfect outfit?" his tone was more mocking than teasing, but the insult still obvious.

Caz sent him a withering glare.

"No, I'm effortlessly gorgeous. Unlike... some," She replied, raking her gaze up and down his body, pulling a tragic face as he sneered and turned away.

"Can you two stop for a minute?" Elizabeth said sharply, nodding to John who was waiting to start the hurriedly called meeting.

I could feel the deadly glare that Caz had now turned on me for humming the 'sitting in a tree' song under my breath. McKay pulled down a scan of a new planet in the Pegasus galaxy.

“What are we looking at here, Rodney?” I asked, looking closely at the scan.

"It's a brand new planet in the system, discovered in a pocket behind a black hole. It's never been found because nobody can get close enough- but, there's a Gate nearby and, well, we're gonna try."

He looked, and sounded, nervous.

“Wait! Are you telling me that we’re going through a black hole to explore a new planet that no one even knows about?” I asked, probably speaking a bit too loudly.

"No, hopefully we can position the Gate to be behind the hole. Two people in a jumper with a hyper-drive might be able to succeed," Elizabeth said, shooting me a comforting look.

"Does this mean I get to play techno god?" Caz asked gleefully.

I rolled my eyes at how eager Caz was to be able to “play” with the jumpers.

“I’m not really sure it’s a good idea to have McKay and Caz working on this together.” I said, earning a look from both McKay and Caz.

“What? Almost every time you two work together one or both of you end up in the infirmary and Beckett and I are always fixing you guys up. I’m sorry but I think it’s a bad idea.”

“It's a horrible idea," Caz agreed instantly, beaming. "But think of it this way. If we're both trying to achieve the same goal, it'll be done twice as fast. I think I could have a jumper upgraded by tomorrow noon," She said casually, not looking at McKay.

"I could have one done by midnight," he boasted instantly.

Hiding a smile, John nodded at Caz. "Start in an hour, and we'll make plans to leave around one tomorrow."

A challenge, seriously? I thought to myself as I shook my head, knowing that at one point they would end up in the infirmary.

“Great.” I silently and sarcastically groaned to myself as the thought of being up most of the night with Beckett, just to make sure they don’t come to the infirmary.

"Don't worry," Caz said sweetly to me. "I won't bite him too hard."

"He might like it," Ronon said abruptly. Making me laugh for the first time that day.

“Nice one, Ronon.” I laughed, playing with the ring on my left middle finger.

Teyla’s eyes followed the movement of my hands, and her brow creased gently.

“That is a lovely piece of jewellery,” she remarked casually. I felt my heart stop for a second or two as I looked down, not having realised I’d been playing with it, and nodded, my lip firmly caught between my teeth as I struggled not to burst into tears.

“I’m sorry, could you excuse me for a moment.” I breathed, running out of the room before anyone could stop me.

I stopped around the corner, leaning against the wall to give myself a moment to gather my thoughts. I always got so emotional when somebody pointed out that ring- if it didn’t mean so much to me, I’d lock it away to prevent the memories from hurting as if they had only happened yesterday.

“Sarah?” I heard John’s voice call out.

Wiping my eyes just in case there was any trace of tears, I stood up straight, sealing away the hurt like I always did.

“Here,” I called back.

“Hey! Is everything alright? Teyla’s thinking she did something wrong.” John asked, leaning up against the wall next to me. I tried to smile, shrugging lightly.

“I’m alright, I guess. Just… brought back some memories, that’s all.” I looked down, scuffing my feet.

“I should go, I’ve got some things to do in the infirmary, I’ll see you tomorrow for the mission.” I informed Sheppard before sprinting away.

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