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13 January 2008 @ 08:59 pm
Title Help from Unexpected Places
Rating PG
Pairing or Character John, team
Genre ..sci-fi? I guess? Bit of humour, maybe.
Warnings Early season one...if you don't remember those episodes, it might not make much sense.
Disclaimer This is, hopefully, the first in a series called 'Help from Unexpected Places' which will run through the whole series. I don't own anything here, except the basic concept. This winds in and out of actual episodes, borrowing dialogue where necessary.

38 Minutes

Later, when he thought about, John realised he was lucky it had started when it did. The first couple of times his teammates put it down to the medication he was on. And after…

Well, after it didn’t matter so much.

Teyla was sitting by his bed in the infirmary, passing along well wishes from the Athosian children, when John saw a young girl peering around the doorframe. Unusually, she was blonde; he didn’t think he’d seen a blonde Athosian yet.

“Ask her in, Teyla,” he suggested.

“Ask who?” She followed his gaze to the door. “No one is there, John.”

“One of the kids was there. A little blonde girl.”

Teyla eyed him. “There are no blonde girls among the children, John. Are you feeling well?”

“Yeah. I’m…just tired, I guess.”

“Perhaps you should get some rest.”

John smiled, idly wondering how Teyla managed to imply ‘you idiot’ while apparently being totally sincere. “Sounds like a plan,” he agreed. “Wake me if anything good happens.”

“I shall. Sleep well.”

He really was tired. Turned out having the life drained out of you was really draining…who knew? Sighing, he settled down to sleep.

The next time he woke up the girl was sitting cross-legged on the end of his bed, studying him. “You do see me,” she said delightedly. “I thought you did, and then Teyla didn’t so I was sure…”

She slid off the bed, and some part of him noted the weight on the mattress didn’t shift.

“Everything’s going to be different now,” she said wisely, looking up at him.

“What’s going to change? Hey! Who are you?”

Dr Beckett rounded the privacy screen, talking over his shoulder to someone. The girl slid neatly under his arm and vanished. “…soon, all right? Thank you, lass. Major! Are you talking to someone?”

“Just myself, apparently. So what’s the good word, Doc? Can I get out of here or what?”

“Well, I’m a little worried about this new habit of talking to yourself,” Carson said. He kept a straight face for almost two seconds…a personal best…before giving up.

“That’s it. I’m out of here.”

“Aye, you can go,” Carson agreed. “Light duty only! No Gate travel.”

“Aw, Doc..”

“No. Light duty for another three days. Come back to me then. And Major? If you start answering yourself, come see me.”

“Very funny, Doc. Thanks.”


After that John caught fleeting glimpse of her around the city. No one else seemed to see her; after the first couple of times he tried to point her out to people he gave up.

He’d decided he wasn’t imagining her; with all the weird things in his head, he thought if he ever did start imagining things, a little blonde girl in the uniform of the Ancients and—of all things—an Alice band probably wouldn’t be the first thing to appear.

It did startle him slightly when he walked into the conference room to find her sitting on the table, swinging her legs. “Hi!” she said brightly.

“Excuse me? Who are you?”

“Atlantis,” she said, as though it should have been obvious. Then, shrugging, she added, “Well, bits of Atlantis, anyway.”

“What bits?”

She leaned to one side, almost falling off the table. “You know your people can see you, right?”


“And they can’t see me? I thought you’d figured that out by now.”

John took a deep breath, sitting carefully at the table so his face couldn’t be seen. “What parts of Atlantis?”

“Better. We don’t want your friends to think you’re insane.”

“What bits of Atlantis?”

“Memory banks and sensors. Mostly.” She smiled, starting to swing her legs again. “I’m designed to facilitate information gathering and problem solving.”


She nodded brightly. “I’m holographic…more or less. A representation. Like the woman down in the map room.”

“The woman down in the map room is a woman. And you’re…” He gestured vaguely, trying to make it look like a stretch.

“I’m supposed to look sufficiently different from your peers that you can pick me out. The children are in a minority here, and none of them are blonde.”

“Nice choice. Look…”

The door hissed open and he turned, rising as Rodney and Elizabeth came in. Bates was trailing behind them.

From the corner of his eye, he saw the girl rise to her feet, wandering idly across the top of the table until she reached the unoccupied side. Bouncing to ground level, she leaned against the table, arms folded.

“You should listen to Rodney,” she prompted him, and he jerked his attention back.

“…on certain planets that pick up the transmission and then alert the nearest Hive Ship. Those were the planets where we were attacked.”

“Boy, do we owe a few people an apology,” John said pointedly. Bates shifted, but he didn’t answer.

“Teyla had no idea she was giving away your position?” Elizabeth asked. John shifted; the girl was sliding along the table, eyeing Teyla’s locket curiously.

“She said it was a present from her father. She lost it when she was a kid.” John was only half paying attention; even knowing the kid was invisible or intangible or whatever, it made him itch seeing her standing so close to Elizabeth.

“It’s pretty,” the girl said indifferently, backing away. “Especially for a Wraith. No sense of aesthetics, those things.”

“So some Athosian thought this would make a nice little necklace?”

He’d been speaking to her and was surprised when Rodney answered. “What am I, Answer Man? The point is…”

“It wasn’t Teyla,” Elizabeth interrupted him. “Or any other Athosian, for that matter.”

“If that’s the case…” John smiled. “We can use it against ‘em.”

The Wraith looked up when John came into the holding area. “Again…Your kind is persistent. I would have thought you'd given up by now.”

“Aww, hell, I've got all the time in the world. Now you on the other hand…”

The Wraith tried to grab him through the bars; John jerked backwards, and the forcefield flared to life between the bars, blocking the Wraith in.

The girl was standing on the other side of the cell when John recovered, glaring at the prisoner.

“The ancients were pretty good at shields and stuff like that weren't they,” John continued easily. “I give you a week. Maybe two…tops.”

“You waste your time,” the Wraith told him. “I'll provide you with no information.”

“Wonder what hurts more, the gun shot wound or the hunger? Because I'd love to help out but…how did McKay put it?” His voice hardened. “We can't meet your dietary requirements.”

“When I am free you will be the first that I feed upon,” the Wraith promised him.

“Okie dokie…I'm going to go make myself a sandwich.” He turned as if to leave, pausing when the Wraith spoke again.

“Human. You think you've won a victory by my capture but by bringing me here you've only hastened your own doom. It’s only a matter of time before the others of my kind come to rescue me…and when they do…They'll be no where in this world you can hide.”

“Stay positive now,” John warned him, leaving.

The girl was leaning against the wall outside; she fell into step with him, waiting patiently until they reached the transporter. “You shouldn’t keep him here,” she warned him.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that,” he agreed vaguely. “Why can’t anyone else see you?”

“They’re not of the People. Not the way you are.”

“The People?” He could hear the capital P when she said it.

She gestured around them. “The People who lived here.”

“The Ancie—the gene. Is that it? I have the gene and they don’t?”

“A gene,” she repeated slowly. “Yes…yes, your doctor’s been researching that. The gene would explain it.”

John came to a halt; she overshot him, turning back to stare at him quizzically.

“Why,” he said slowly, “can’t anyone see you?”

“Because they’re not in tune with the city the way you are. I’m in your head, John, projected in there. You don’t see or hear anything.”

John thought about that. “Oddly, that’s not the most insane thing I’ve heard today.”

“There are records of it happening before in your own computers. Your SIGI…”

“SG1,” he corrected her.

“…team encountered a being called Urgo. They saw and heard him, but he wasn’t really there.”

“That’s reassuring,” John muttered. “Why didn’t you show up as soon as we got here?”

“The city was locked down. Everything…including me…was turned off when the People left. When your people started powering up they were concentrating on essential systems, and I’m not counted as essential.” She made a face at her own statement.

“Information retrieval? Can’t think why. Especially since no one can see you.”

“Everyone could see me. Your people aren’t People, they can’t see me.”

“Other people have the gene,” he pointed out.

“Not strongly enough. Towards the end of the War there were People who couldn’t see me.” She shrugged, looking back down the corridor. “I’m not made to understand things, just to retrieve information. I can quote you anything you like from the memory banks.”

“Ours or yours?”

“Either.” She grinned. “Dr McKay has some very interesting hidden files in his system. Would you like me to tell you?”

“Please don’t.” John started towards his quarters again.

“Why is Samantha Carter so hot? Is she ill?” The girl trailed behind him.

“Really. Please don’t.”

“How hot do you have to be before you start smoking?”

“Stop now.”

He managed to close the door in her face, but when he turned she was sitting on the edge of his bed. “I’m Atlantis, remember? I’m everywhere.” She grinned.

John sighed. “What are the chances I’m dreaming all this?”

“Slim to none. Tell me, why is…”

“Alice!” he interrupted her.


“You look more like an Alice to me. Look, if McKay’s encrypting stuff it’s probably for a good reason, so leave it alone. And if you don’t mind? I’d really like some privacy.”

“Fair enough,” she agreed easily. “Just in here, or somewhere else as well?”

“In here,” he said warily.

“Good.” She grinned again. “See you in the morning.” Between one heartbeat and the next she was gone.

John grimaced, wiping his eyes. “This is gonna be interesting.”
canon is optional: endangering the galaxyscifislasher on January 13th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Heh, John's in for a lot of headaches I think. :)
Acting my shoe size: merlinwild_force71 on January 13th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
:: Puts on best O'Neill voice :: Ya think!?

Yeah, this should be fun. Think I could break him? :: Grins ::

Nice icon.
canon is optional: warningscifislasher on January 13th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you. ♥ I don't know though. John's a tricky one, you'll need to work hard to break that guy. :)
Acting my shoe sizewild_force71 on January 13th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
I think I could do it.
canon is optionalscifislasher on January 13th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Go for it then. :)
*andrea: rally monkeystarandrea on January 14th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I like this! ♥ I love how you make it canon; I have a deep respect for stories that somehow manage to work with and around exactly what we see on screen ::grin:: I like lots of other things, too, but the ones that stick with me the most are: Alice calling the Ancients "the People," John calling her "Alice," and her deciding that the best way to get to John is through Rodney ::amused::

Also, him saying, “Oddly, that’s not the most insane thing I’ve heard today.” And her accepting his request for privacy with no attitude whatsoever--she says she's just for information retrieval, after all, as demonstrated also by her actual response to his question, "What are the chances I'm dreaming this?" ::giggle:: I like how matter of fact and occasionally un-person-like she is!
Acting my shoe size: Wonderswild_force71 on January 14th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
I love writing what was happening behind camera, or just off-screen, I've done it a few times now and I really enjoy it.

I thought about what Alice should call them...she'd hardly call them Ancients or Ancestors...and People was all I could come up with. John does have a habit of randomly naming things, and I thought Alice was fairly appropriate. What with the little blonde girl in a headband, and all, and also it sounds sort of like Atlantis. And Rodney...well, he's just easy to pick on, is all. :)

Yes, I was actually thinking this morning...she's not going to get pissed off at him, she's less human than DECA and KERI. She's just a program.

I'm so glad you read! I was actually saying to Kiri (scifislasher ) that if you didn't see it I was going to point it out...I don't know many people who read SGA, and I respect your opinion a lot.

Wow, long. Sorry.
*andrea: beach heartstarandrea on January 18th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
::claps:: I'm so glad you wrote! (The second one too--I just came back from that one, which is what reminded me of this! Your mastery of behind-the-scenes-on-camera rewriting continues!)

That's what I like about "People," is that we only identify ourselves with respect to "others." If there are no others, then we're all just "people." It seems very appropriate that the Ancients would consider themselves to be the one true people, while everyone else was ::handwaving:: alien, or animal, or whatever.

(Alice works not only as a perfect name, but also as an easy-to-read version of "Atlantis," which I think is part of the appeal for me ♥)

My love!

PS: Am sorry you're stuck in PR :( but I'm delighted to be seeing more of Alice ♥
linzidaylinziday on January 14th, 2008 03:24 am (UTC)
Great story! Love Alice/Atlantis. Inventive character and her voice is great! (“Dr McKay has some very interesting hidden files in his system. Would you like me to tell you?”) *g*

Will there be more?
Acting my shoe size: Heroeswild_force71 on January 14th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
Re: lol
There will be more; I'm planning on going through the whole series, not episode-by-episode but picking out certain episodes and rewriting them to include her. For instance, the next episode should be Childhood's End but because they were off Atlantis for most of that, there's no point...the next one I'm planning on doing is The Storm and The Eye. Which should be fun, actually; lots of John running around on his own, easy to insert another character...
Coffee-Chan: :) (Jim)kikos_ai on January 14th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Hee. Very cute. I love the Alice/John interaction. Good job.
Acting my shoe size: stalkerswild_force71 on January 14th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! Great icon, BTW. Very apt. :D
When it is darkest, men see the stars.: John 3witchofthedogs on January 17th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
This is remarkable... So amazingly remarkable.

I'm in love with her and with him and with you.

Thank you!
Acting my shoe size: Heroeswild_force71 on January 17th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! ::Blushes:: I've been thinking about this for a while, playing with the idea, you know? I'm glad everyone seems to like it, or at least not hate it.
I love that icon. I need a good Atlantis one for these fics..any recommends for comms where I could pick one up?
When it is darkest, men see the stars.: John 4witchofthedogs on January 17th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
In a fit of pique last spring, I killed all my icons (and most of my journal)... I'm just now rebuilding... I think I got these from atlantis_icons. There are some really good icon makers in that one...

And, yes, the story is unique and quite good... And I tend to be a bit picky about what I'll read in this fandom (I'm not a Rodney/John person and I love Sheppard based stories, so unless I want to wade through porn or whump, there's a limited universe out there)... and these? I love the idea of John and the little girl...*g*
Acting my shoe sizewild_force71 on January 17th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll check them out.

This whole thing actually came from an image of John walking into the conference room and seeing Alice sitting on the table, swinging her legs. I used that image in Suspicion, and it didn't come up in Storm or Eye, but I'm pretty sure it'll come up again... :: Grins ::

And every story will be totally John-based, since no one else can see her...Jack, when he turns up, and I'm toying with having Lorne see her as well. But that's all.