Chapter 3

A lot of the personnel around Atlantis had been talking about the new woman and if Colonel Sheppard would find a way to bring her to Atlantis. Everyone wanted to know about her because they all knew just how much the man isolated himself from his own needs.

Richard Woolsey wanted no part in the talks and had ordered the control room staff to cease their talking about the rumors – as if that worked. As soon as he went back into his office they were right back to trying to figure out who and what the woman did to make John Sheppard, Captain Kirk of the Pegasus Galaxy, so distracted from his routines.

They had just returned from their mission to M75-432 which was a complete bust in light of their mission. It was more or less a safe scientific area with friendly locals rather than having anything of value and/or tradeable. Rodney wasn’t pleased to say the least. John was just happy that for once, they didn’t get shot at.

Rumors had been going around in the galaxy (according to Teyla’s sources) that the Wraith were extremely pissed and working double time to re-increase their numbers. One of the teams had already encountered a few of the Wraith 2.0 and they had only barely managed to escape them. It was as if they had become smarter and reinvented themselves.

“Can we get another question?” Teyla asked as they were in the armory getting rid of their equipment.

“Nope.” John shook his head, fully aware of the betting pools of Atlantis.

“Fine, I’ll hack into your email account then,” Rodney replied.

“If you do that, Rodney, I will break your hands.”

“You wouldn’t!”

“Watch me.”

“Then just give us more information! Come on Sheppard! We’re dying here!” the man begged. Whenever Meredith Rodney McKay begged, it wasn’t a pretty sight.

“Why?” he smirked. “Because I finally have a thing that I won’t share with you? Teyla kept Kanaan a secret for a long time before she even admitted dating him. I come back from Earth and you just know I met someone.” he shook his head. “Stop asking.”

Rodney scoffed. “Please. We all knew about Kanaan but you because you didn’t want to see it. You finally put two and two together when she told you she was knocked up!”
“Too bad,” he shrugged.

“Well, when are you going back to Earth?” Ronon asked, focusing on Sheppard rather than his girlfriend.

“Whenever Woolsey kicks me off Atlantis again.”

McKay made a face, “So you’re telling us that you’re going to have an email relationship with this chick and not even make an attempt to see her again? You’re an idiot!”

“She knows I’m away a lot,” he started. “Besides, it’s a bit weird to request leave because I want to get to know her better.”

“It’s called personal leave for a reason. You don’t have to give them a reason why you want off. You probably have leave time banked to take the next year off!”

“Probably,” he shrugged. “What? You hate me so much you want me to take the year off?”

Teyla spoke up then for having been silent. “No John, but we see that you need some time for yourself. Get to know this girl. Maybe she might even be good enough to suggest to the SGC to be read into the program so that you don’t have to lie to her. You said she works for NCIS. I spoke to Stackhouse about it and from what I understand she just might have enough clearance to be considered.”

“NCIS? SHE’S A NAVY COP!” McKay ranted. He started going on about one thing after another that had no relation to the topic that Sheppard just tuned him out and turned his attention to Teyla and Ronon.

“And then what, Teyla? Have a long distance relationship?” he shook his head. “I’m already bad at relationships, Ronon’s met my ex-wife, he can confirm that she was bitter.” he continued. “Besides, I’m still trying to think about this myself, maybe she’ll be just a friend, or maybe a bit more.”

Sighing she looked up at him. “How can she be more if you don’t try to work something out so that you can be honest with one another? Will you build your relationship on lies?”

“I haven’t lied to her yet, Teyla. I just said I was out of the country for long periods of time, and disconnected from the internet for short periods. I told her I was a pilot, that I have a job that requires me to save lives and that it’s the best job in the world, all of which aren’t lies.”

“No they aren’t, but when will it become the lie? All you have to do is talk to your General Landry. He seemed open and fair when I met him last year,” she insisted.

“Yeah… whatever,” he said and headed for his quarters.

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“Ziva, Ziva, Ziva…” Tony shook his head as he sat down at his desk. “What’s the name of that friend of yours?”

“Why do you want to know?” she sighed wishing he would just lay off the subject.

“Your last special friend ended up being a serial killer.”

Ziva rolled her eyes at him. “That was an undercover assignment.” Of course, he was likely talking about Michael.

“Okay, fine, then don’t tell me his name. What does he do?” he said, taking a bite from his breakfast burrito.

“If you must know, he is a pilot,” she replied sitting back down at her desk with pride.

“Wow, a pilot huh?” he mocked appreciation. “Joined the mile high club yet?”

She smiled at him wickedly. “I’ve been a long time member Tony. I happen to know that you – are not!”

“Ouch.” McGee laughed.

“Shut it, McMountie.”

“Well Tony, if you must know, I too am a member of the mile high club,” he smiled proudly. “What’s keeping you?”

Tony didn’t have anything to say to that. He just stared wide eyed and open mouthed at the younger agent.

“Close your mouth DiNozzo unless you plan on catching some flies,” Gibbs said as he strolled into the bullpen. “Everyone up in MTAC in 10 minutes,” he ordered as he grabbed his coffee and ran up the stairs to the Director’s office.

“Does he make you happy, Ziva?” McGee asked, unfazed by Gibbs’ order as they still had about 8 minutes before they had to head up to MTAC.

Ziva looked at him, unsure of what to say at first. “He is a good man,” she replied with a smile and appreciative nod.

“Good.” he smiled. “You deserve it.”

Abby ran into the bullpen and hugged Ziva. “I’m so happy for you!” she squeaked. “I love that picture of him that you showed me.”

“What?” Tony said hurt. “You have a picture of him?”

“Yes,” she said. “And you may not see it.”

Abby grinned. “Are we still on for lunch tomorrow, Ziva?”

Ziva nodded. “Yes, as long as nothing comes up. We have to head up to MTAC now so you never know.”

Abby hugged Ziva again. “He’s a hottie.” she whispered in her ear. “And a keeper!” she giggled and skipped her way out of the bullpen.

Tony stared at Ziva with his usual mask on as he slammed his desk drawer shut and headed up the stairs without another word. McGee simply shrugged and followed, winking his support to his friend as he passed.

She sighed not sure of how to deal with Tony. Their relationship was always rocky, especially once Michael came into the picture but they needed to press forward and move on. She was trying to do just that but he couldn’t seem to let go the unshared feelings.

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