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The Honeymoon

February 5, 2011

Nikki’s page

The Honeymoon, or “Why you should never let John Sheppard book your holidays.” was the story I originally started writing last summer for Kassandra’s birthday. It started off as a cute little story about Evan and Kass enjoying some downtime together, but somehow it evolved into something a lot less fluffy and with bigger teeth!

This story is a sequel to Of Rituals and Red Ribbons by Kassandra so beware of spoilers if you haven’t read that yet.

Thankyou to Jayne, Mirth and Kass for all the beta comments.  Any remaining errors are completely my own.

  Lorne-honeymoon

When Kassandra had left Atlantis to sign a trade agreement with the Goosians, she had never expected to get thrown into prison because the natives were offended that she wasn’t married. Fortunately Evan had rescued her by agreeing to marry her in accordance with Goosian customs. It wasn’t the traditional ceremony they had talked about, but it had certainly been impressive. The whole village had dressed in their best finery, and the village decorated, making the place look beautiful, almost magical, with bright colors everywhere. They’d even given Kass a finely decorated dress, which she had been presented with just before they left. Kassandra’s one regret was that Kenzie hadn’t been there. Compared to the excitement of the wedding, the trade negotiations had seemed to drag on. It didn’t help that she was still tied to Evan by the colorful gold and red wedding ribbons and he kept distracting her by rubbing his thumb against the tender skin of her wrist. By the end of the proceedings, Kass wasn’t entirely sure what quantities of grain and Tava beans she had agreed to trade for what medical supplies and she didn’t really care much. She just wanted to go back through the gate and have some quiet time alone with her new husband.

When Evan and Kassandra finally walked back through the gate with their respective teams, they were surprised to find a big crowd waiting for them in the Gate room. At the front of the crowd were all the department heads along with Ronon, who was carrying Kenzie on his shoulders and Teyla holding Torren. John bounded forward, an excited look on his face.

“Congratulations guys.” he said, grinning at them. “Wow, that’s a lot of presents!”

Mr Woolsey rolled his eyes at John for ignoring protocol.

“Actually this is pretty typical for a Goosian binding ceremony.” Kass replied. “I’m not sure they were so generous with the trade agreement though.”

Woolsey coughed gently, to get Kass and Evan’s attention.

“On behalf of all the people on Atlantis, I’d like to congratulate you on your wedding. I know it won’t be legally binding on Earth, but if you decide to make it official I would be happy to help with the arrangements. Now I believe Colonel Sheppard had something he wanted to say.”

“When I heard about the wedding, I thought we ought to get you some sort of present, but it’s a long way from the nearest Mall, so I thought we could organize you a honeymoon. I’ve reassigned the teams so you’ve both got the next week off.”

“Not to seem ungrateful, but that won’t give us time to get back to Earth.” Evan pointed out. “Unless you’re letting us use the gate?”

“Who needs Earth?” John replied with a smirk. “There are plenty of beautiful, uninhabited planets in Pegasus to visit. We just went through the database until we found one that should be safe from the Wraith.”

“P23- 169.” Rodney added, stepping forward. “It would have been our Alpha site but it only has a space gate. It would take too long to evacuate everyone in the jumpers. Oh and talking about jumpers, it’s lucky you didn’t need yours to get to the Goosian’s village. I’ve been stocking it up with supplies.”

John nudged him in the ribs and nodded pointedly at a disgruntled looking Radek.

“Oh all right, Radek and I stocked the jumper, with help from the marines Sheppard assigned to collect donations from everyone. But it was still my idea.”

Somehow, Evan managed not to laugh out loud.

“But what about Kenzie?” Kass asked, sounding worried.

“Don’t worry, we’re going to look after her.” Rodney told her.

“Yeah, it’ll be fun.” Ronon added

“Please, Mommy?” Kenzie added, squeezing Ronon tightly round the neck. “I’ll be good.”

Kass decided that she probably didn’t want to know what Rodney and Ronon had used to bribe her daughter.

“Don’t worry, I will keep an eye on them and make sure they look after her.” Teyla reassured them.

“Well I guess that’s settled then.” said Evan. “Do we have time for a shower first and a change of clothes?”

“Of course.” agreed Mr Woolsey. “Oh and I would like a short debrief on the trade agreement before you leave.”

“I’m sure Dr Rogers and the rest of Kassandra’s team could take care of that?” Teyla suggested diplomatically.

“Of course.” Woolsey reluctantly agreed. “That would be fine.”

***************************************************

Evan and Kass grabbed the nearest transporter back to their shared quarters and collapsed on the bed in a heap of tangled limbs.

“I’m so tired.” Kass moaned. “Maybe we could crash here and go tomorrow?”

“No way.” Evan insisted. “We need to get out of here now while we still can.”

“Then can I just close my eyes for a few moments?” Kass asked. “You can have the first shower.”

“It would save time if we shared.” Evan suggested, one eyebrow raised.

“Oh. Okay.” agreed Kass with a grin.

Kass and Evan wasted several minutes trying to undress before they realized that they were going to have to take off the ribbons still tied round their wrists. Sadly, Kass cut the red and gold ribbons with a pair of scissors and placed them carefully in her jewelery box.

“I’ll have to get you a proper ring when we go back to Earth.” Evan said, wrapping his arms round her shoulders in a hug.

*******************************************************

They finally arrived in the jumper bay, changed into casual clothes with hair still damp from the shower. John was leaning casually against the side of Kassandra’s jumper, pretending not to watch Ronon playing with a giggling Kenzie. Rodney, was standing by the entrance hatch, bouncing up and down impatiently.

“Finally, what took you so long?” he demanded, earning an eye roll from John.

“You don’t really expect me to answer that do you?” Evan asked with a smirk. Rodney blushed as his mind caught up with his mouth.

Kenzie chose that moment to notice that her Mommy had arrived and threw herself at Kass, wrapping her arms tight around her legs. Evan figured they might need some time together to say goodbye, so he let Rodney drag him round the jumper, showing him where all the extra provisions were stowed. Evan suspected that they probably had enough supplies to last a month. Rodney was showing him the last of the provisions when Kass joined them.

“Kenzie wants to say goodbye to you.” she told Evan. He looked out into the jumper bay to see the small girl standing at the bottom of the ramp, one tiny hand enveloped in Ronon’s huge paw. Smiling, Evan walked back down into the jumper bay and crouched down next to Kenzie so their heads were almost level.

“Bye Kenzie, see you in a couple of days.” he said gently. Much to his surprise she let go of Ronon and wrapped her arms tightly round him in a hug.

“Bye Daddy. Love you.” she said. Evan hugged the small girl he had come to think of as a daughter and hoped nobody would notice the slightly dopey smile on his face.

“Ready?” Kass asked, smiling.

By unspoken agreement, Kass slipped into the pilot’s seat and Evan took shot gun. As a trained pilot, Evan loved flying the jumpers, but he knew he would never share the deep connection with them that Kassandra had.

***************************************************************

Kass took the jumper down to the gate room and waited while Evan dialled the address to planet honeymoon. The wormhole established itself and Kassandra flew through the sky blue event horizon, right into a large block of debris. Red lights flashed in random patterns on the control panel, the ancient equivalent of a proximity alarm. Kass received a silent warning though the mental link she had with the jumper, but not in time to avoid hitting a large hunk of twisted metal.

The jumper shook with the impact and was knocked off course. Through the front window they could see what appeared to be the shattered remains of some sort of space craft.

“Atlantis, we have a problem. Some sort of debris field right in front of the gate. Raising shields now.” she reported. Kass reached out with her mind to engage the shield, but nothing happened.

“Evan, I can’t raise the shields.” she said, trying not to panic.

“I’ll see if I can clear us a path through.” Evan offered, pulling up the weapons control display on the HUD. Reaching out with his mind, he fired a drone at one of the larger blocks, which shattered into fine pieces.

“Thanks flyboy.” Kass said, steering the jumper towards the open space.

Kassandra, report your status,” the gate tech requested politely.

“Shields have failed. Evan’s trying to clear us a path. Well report back once we’re through.”

Understood. Atlantis out.” the gate tech responded, just before the wormhole shut down.

Evan continued to clear a path for them, until the jumper was shaken by an impact against the port engine pod. Kass winced at the sound of debris scrapping along the hull.

“Darn, I think I’ve lost port engines.” Kass swore. The jumper listed to port while Kass struggled to get it back under control. Fortunately they were near the edge of the debris field, so Evan was able to clear a new path through to empty space.

Once they were finally through the debris field Kass cut the power, to stop the damaged engine from sending them back into the debris field.

“Thought this place was supposed to be uninhabited,” Kass muttered, leaning her head on the dashboard.

“Hey, you okay, sweetheart?” Evan asked. He leaned over and placed a comforting hand on her back, rubbing in small soothing circles.

“Yeah, I’m fine. So much for this being a holiday.” Kass sighed. Now that the initial adrenaline rush was over she could feel her exhaustion from the earlier mission catching up with her.

“Let me take over for a while.” Evan offered.

“Okay.” Kass agreed. “Just let me dial Atlantis first, to let them know we’re alright.” She punched the gate coordinates into the DHD, but nothing happened.

“Great, we’ve lost the DHD now. Either we’ve got problems with the dialling mechanism, or

all this debris is blocking the signal.”

“Well I guess that leaves us with two choices, we can either stay here and wait for help or we can find somewhere to land.” Evan suggested.

“Yeah, that’s going to be tough without a port engine pod.” Kass pointed out.

“Guess I’ll just have to make do.” Evan said.

Kass stood up so that Evan could take her seat. He pulled up the HUD and took control of the jumper. The small spaceship immediately lurched to port. Fortunately the inertial dampeners were still working or Kass would have been thrown to the floor.

“Hey you weren’t kidding, this is almost impossible.” he complained.

“I did try to warn you.” Kass said. “Look, turn the engines back off for a minute, I’ve just thought of something. I was watching Nikki work on the jumpers once and she showed me how to reroute power to different systems. I might be able redirect some of the power from our good engine to the damaged pod. We’ll be slower, but at least you’ll be able to steer in a straight line.”

“You sure that’s a good idea?” Evan asked. “We don’t know how damaged the pod is. If it overloads it could cause an explosion.”

“I know.” Kass said in a quiet voice. “But if we don’t we’re going to crash anyway.”

“Okay then. Do what you can.” Evan agreed.

Kass walked to the back of the jumper and pulled out the crystal drawer. She found two crystals with cracks and one which was completely burned out. Kass guessed that the burned out crystal was probably the one controlling the port engine, since the damage inflicted could cause a large power surge. She swapped the damaged crystal out for another, hoping it wasn’t the one for life support.

“Turn the engines back on, Evan.” she shouted out to him.

Evan powered up the jumper. According to the data on the HUD, the port engine was back on line at twenty percent power.

Kass sent a mental command to reroute some of the power and suddenly Evan could feel a shift in the balance of the engines.

“Hey, that’s working.” Evan shouted out to her from the front. “I’ve got control again.”

Kass returned to the front of the jumper and sat down next to Evan.

“Hey good work Kass. You think you can fix any of the other systems?” Evan asked. “With shields back up we could try and return to Atlantis.”

“I’d rather not risk it.” Kass replied. “We’ve got at least two more cracked crystals, which could account for the shields and DHD. I’m not sure I can fix them without taking power from something important like life support. I don’t suppose you know somewhere we could land, before we blow out any more crystals?”

“Actually, I’ve already got somewhere in mind.” Evan told her. “Rodney gave me the coordinates for the site the original team landed on. It’s on the coast of the main continent, near the equator. There should be fresh water and shelter, while we wait for the Daedalus to come and pick us up.”

“Okay, let’s do it.” Kass agreed. “So, any idea what caused that debris field around the gate?”

“Not really. It must have been from something pretty big, though. Maybe a Hive ship?”

“Well let’s hope there weren’t any survivors. I wouldn’t want to run into the Wraith down on the planet. ”

“Any darts that got away could have gone back through the gate, or caught a ride on another ship. I’ll keep an eye out for crash sites though, just in case.”

********************************************************

Evan flew the jumper down through the cloud layer, to bring them out over the main continent of the planet. They passed over snow covered mountains and tree covered foothills, following a winding river that lead to a wide grass covered plain. In front of them some sort of deer or antelope were grazing in vast herds. In the distance Kass could see the strip of pure white sand that marked the coastline. Evan slowed down and hovered over the plain, looking for something.

“What are we looking for?” Kass asked.

“Some sort of abandoned settlement that the original survey team discovered.” Evan replied.

Kass spotted the ruins first, at the edge of the foothills where a minor tributary joined the river. The remains of several buildings were clustered round an open square.

“This is where the original team landed.” Evan explained. “I figured that it would be easier to hide a jumper on a hard surface, than over long grass.”

“We could always place it in hover mode.” Kass suggested.

“No, it’s better to save the power for the cloak.” Evan pointed out. “If we can’t fix the jumper, we might be stuck here until the Daedalus is back in Pegasus. Besides, if we land in the ruins we could make use some of those buildings. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to sleep on the floor of the jumper if we don’t have to.”

“Oh I don’t know.” Kass replied, a thoughtful look on her face. “Just you and me, together in the jumper, with no interruptions. It could be fun?”

“Hold that thought. I’d like to land this jumper before we get distracted. Unless you want to land it?” he offered.

“No, go right ahead.”

Evan brought the jumper down in the centre of the ruins, on a man-made surface of broad square stones. A few plants had established themselves in the gaps between the stones, as nature tried to reclaim the land. The buildings surrounding the square were built out of a reddish brick that Evan had seen before on some of the more developed Pegasus worlds and were clearly not of Ancient construction. He wondered how long ago the people had lived here and whether they had been culled by the Wraith.

“Need some help with the jumper?” Evan asked, once he had landed the jumper.

Kassandra stifled a yawn.

“How about we catch some sleep first. With all the changes in time zones, I feel like I’ve been awake for 24 hours already.”

“I guess you’ve got a point.” Evan agreed, as he started to yawn himself. “We didn’t pick up any life signs in the ruins and the jumper should protect us from wild animals.”

“Why don’t you go and find us some sleeping bags and pillows while I set up a proximity alarm.” Kass suggested.

“Actually I think I can do better than that.” Evan said with a grin. He searched through the storage holds in the jumper until he found what he was looking for and got to work.

After Kass finished setting up the alarms and ran a final sensor sweep for life signs, she turned round to see what Evan was up to and was surprised to see a large, comfy looking inflatable mattress, strewn with blankets and pillows.

“A present from Rodney and the science team.” Evan explained, with one raised eyebrow.

“Well it is our honeymoon.” Kass said with a grin. She quickly discarded her casual shirt, jeans and tennis shoes and crawled under the pile of blankets.

“Well come on, what are you waiting for?” she asked Evan impatiently. He didn’t need to be asked twice.

***********************************************************

In the gate room on Atlantis, John was worried.

“It’s been over an hour, they should have got through that debris field and checked in by now.” he said to Rodney, who was sitting at one of the consoles pretending to be busy working.

“Why don’t you just ask Chuck to dial the gate and check in with them?” Rodney asked.

“I was just about to.” John replied. John realized that he should have thought of that himself, but normally he was the one in trouble, not the one left behind on Atlantis worrying about his friends.

He asked Chuck to dial the gate for Planet Honeymoon, as he was starting to think of it. He tried hailing the jumper on all frequencies, but there was no reply.

“Maybe they’re on the opposite side of the planet and can’t pick up the signal?” Chuck suggested hopefully?.

“I suppose it’s possible,” John acknowledged. “But the gate was in a geostationary orbit, so if they made it to the agreed landing site they should be in communications range the whole time.”

“We could send a mini MALP.” one of the technicians suggested.

“A what?” asked John.

“Like a MALP, but smaller and easier to replace.” Rodney explained. “We designed them for use with space gates, for when we don’t want to send a jumper through.”

“Cool.” said John. “So how long will it take to send one?”

“It should only take a couple of hours to finish assembling one.” Rodney told him.

A couple of hours later, John asked Chuck to dial the gate again and one of the Marines sent the mini MALP through. John stood behind Rodney and watched the laptop screen over his shoulder, trying not to show how worried he was. There was the usual time delay before Rodney picked up a signal from the remote camera mounted on the device.

“Getting a picture through now.” Rodney said, pulling the image up on his laptop. He stared in shock at the floating debris round the gate.

“Oh no,” he said. “That can’t be right. When Kass said debris, I thought she meant small bits of rock.”

John squinted at the image on the screen.

“What is that?” he asked Rodney.

“I’m not sure, but it looks like pieces of a Wraith Hive.” Rodney replied. “It could have had a run in with a rival Hive.”

“That’s not good.” John said. “Even if they made it through the debris safely, there could still be Wraith on the planet. We need to send a rescue team.”

“Are you kidding, Colonel Suicide Run?” Rodney exclaimed. “Whatever happened to Kass and Lorne will probably happen to any other jumper we send through. We need to send the Daedalus.”

“It’ll take more than a week to get there, Rodney. What if one of them was hurt?”

Rodney’s face took on a stricken expression.

“Look, we have an advantage over Kass and Evan because we know what to expect. I could probably clear our way through the worst of the debris with the drones.” John pointed out.

“I suppose I could modify the shields on Jumper One, to improve their effectiveness?” Rodney suggested.

“Good. I’ll go and talk to Woolsey, get him to clear the mission.” John said, rushing off to the expedition leader’s office.

****************************************

Kassandra woke up at dawn, snuggled up to Evan with her head on his chest and one arm thrown across his waist. Evan’s arm was wrapped possessively round her.

“Hey, sleepyhead, wake up.” she said, reaching up to place a tender kiss on his lips. She carefully untangled herself and got up, wrapping a soft Athosian style blanket round her to keep out the early morning chill.

Evan woke up slowly, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He caught sight of Kass rummaging in the storage cabinets for breakfast.

“Hey, honey, sleep well?” he asked, smiling up at her.

“Sure did. We should do this more often.” she replied. “Any idea where Rodney put the food?”

“Try on your left.” Evan suggested.

Kass followed his suggestion and found the food supplies.

“Well, we’ve got MREs, power bars, chocolate bars, crisps and all manner of junk food. You can tell Rodney packed the food.”

“Well, from what I remember of the mission report, we should be able to find plenty of fresh food on the planet. I don’t suppose Rodney packed any fruit cups?”

Kassandra passed him a fruit cup and a peanut butter power bar, before grabbing a chocolate pudding and a blueberry muffin for herself.

“So, how much do you know about this planet?” Kass asked, between mouthfuls of pudding.

“Just what I read in the mission reports. The anthropologists don’t know why the people here left, but they don’t think it was a culling, or not a complete one anyway. Whoever lived here took all their stuff with them when they left. The scientists didn’t pursue it any further, since there wasn’t any technology here we could use and the planet was rejected as a possible Alpha site because it only has a space gate.”

“You know, we have the Daedalus now, we could just move the gate down to the surface.” Kass pointed out.

“Yes, but it would still need a DHD.” Evan reminded her.

“Oh, I hadn’t thought of that.” Kass admitted.

“I wonder where the people went?” Kass said thoughtfully. “Unless they had their own spacecraft, like the Travelers, they had to go somewhere else on the planet.”

“We didn’t pick up any life signs when we scanned the planet.” Evan pointed out.

“We were looking for humans, though, or Wraith. What if they were something else, like the Hebridians or the Unas?” Kass asked.

“In that case wouldn’t the Ancients have known they were here and mentioned it in the database?”

Evan suggested.

“I guess.” Kass replied. She stood up and threw her trash in the jumper’s recycling box. “So, do you want to help me with the jumper repairs?”

“No problem.” Evan replied with a smile.

By lunchtime, Kass had come to the conclusion she probably wouldn’t be able to fix the jumper, so she tried bringing communications online. Unfortunately they were too far away to dial the gate. Kass suspected that at this distance the debris field was interfering with communications, which meant that someone would actually have to come through the gate to contact them. Since it didn’t seem likely that Mr Woolsey would authorize a rescue by jumper, Kass and Evan resigned themselves to waiting for the Daedalus.

After a short break for a lunch of MRE’s, Kass suggested they investigate their new home, to look for a source of fresh food. They didn’t know for sure how long they would need the supplies in the jumper to last. Evan suggested they start by checking out the ruins. There were a couple of buildings that appeared to be structurally sound and waterproof, but Evan had to admit that the jumper was a more pleasant place to spend the night. They wandered down to the river, where Kass used a small portable kit to test the water quality. The water appeared to be safe to drink, although Evan suggested they should probably boil it anyway, just in case. The ruins had been built right on the edge of a tropical forest, so there were a number of trees that bore fruit. Evan and Kass picked a few of each kind to take back to the jumper, so that they could look up which ones were edible.

By mid afternoon the weather was getting hot enough to be uncomfortable so Evan suggested they returned to the jumper for a nap and waited until it was cooler to continue the exploration.

********************************************************

Mr Woolsey had been reluctant to authorize a search and rescue mission that might result in the loss of a second jumper, but John had finally talked him round after Rodney had explained his proposed shield modifications. With both Evan and Kassandra missing, John was the obvious choice to pilot the jumper, so the mission was assigned to his team. After the meeting, the various members of Kassandra and Evan’s gate teams had all requested to join the mission, but John wanted to save space for an emergency medical team.

When John arrived in the jumper bay, Rodney was already geared up and arguing with a tired looking Radek, holding a half eaten power bar in one hand. Radek had been up all night working on the modifications to the shields on Jumper One. John grinned to himself at the memory of Radek kicking Rodney out of the jumper bay to get some sleep, after pointing out that Evan and Kass were his friends too and he wanted to help. Ronon was the last to arrive after he dropped off Kenzie with Teyla. The Athosian had felt it was her duty to keep her promise to Kassandra to look after the little girl.

John was pleasantly surprised to realize that Carson was leading the small medical team waiting in the jumper.

“Hey, Carson, glad to have you on board.” he greeted his old friend. “I didn’t think you were back till after lunch.”

“Well lad, the last planet I visited is a few hours ahead, so it is after lunch for me. After Katie here told me about poor Kass and Evan, I convinced Jennifer to let me take her place.”

After a final check of the shields, Rodney finally admitted that Radek’s work was “adequate” which John interpreted as “excellent” in Rodney speak. With a sigh of relief, Radek headed off to get some sleep, while Rodney settled next to John in the co-pilot’s seat. John checked to make sure everyone was on-board and closed the access hatch before running the standard pre-flight checks. Finally, he was ready to fly the jumper down to the gate room and wait while Amelia dialed the gate.

As soon as John passed through the gate, he raised the modified shields and checked for a clear pathway through the debris field. The telemetry Rodney had collected with the mini MALP had suggested that Kassandra’s jumper may have cleared a pathway they could follow. John noticed that the blocks of debris had started to move closer together, but there was still a noticeable pathway through the field.

“Hey, Rodney, could you try and clear some of these blocks out of my way?” he asked.

“You do realize I’m really bad at this, right?” Rodney moaned, as he started shooting.

“You don’t have to get them all, Rodney.” John pointed out. “Just enough to save the power drain on the shield.”

“I knew that. Just concentrate on steering in a straight line.”

“Actually we need to turn to port here.” John pointed out.

“Oh no, that’s not good, is it?” Rodney worried. “Something must have happened to knock them off course.”

“Or maybe they just spotted a short cut.” John tried to reassure his friend, although he secretly suspected the scientist was correct.

*******************************************************

Evan was woken up by a cool evening breeze brushing over his bare shoulders. He reached out for Kass, but all he found were rumpled up blankets and pillows. Looking up, he spotted her sitting on the ramp looking out over the ruins. She was already dressed and was sipping a cup of coffee. He wrapped an Athosian blanket round his shoulders and walked over to sit by her.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” he asked, wrapping an arm around her waist.

“I was just thinking about Kenzie. I miss her.” she said, wistfully.

“Hey, honey, it’ll be okay.” Evan tried to comfort her. “Look at it this way, we were going to be here for a week anyway and it probably won’t be much longer than that before we get rescued.”

“Yes, but we can’t dial Atlantis to make sure she’s alright.”

“The guys will look after her just fine. They know Teyla will hit them with her bantos sticks if they mess up.” They both laughed at the mental images Evan’s comment conjured up.

“Thanks Evan.” Kass said. She leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. Evan kissed her back, passionately. They made out for a while, until Evan’s stomach started rumbling and Kass couldn’t help laughing.

“Come on let’s get something to eat,” she suggested with a grin.

After the evening meal, Evan suggested they see if they could catch some fish to stretch out their supplies of MREs. The main river appeared to be too wide and fast moving for fishing, so Evan suggested they follow the smaller tributary up stream to look for a suitable spot. The smaller river followed the tree line for half a mile before turning sharply into a small canyon. The sides of the canyon were overgrown with bushes and small trees, but the river was low enough that they could walk along the gravel at the edge of the water. They had been walking for roughly half an hour when the canyon opened up in front of them and the river widened into a deep pool. Kass gasped as she noticed a waterfall at the far end of the pool.

“Wow, Evan, this looks like something from a movie.” she said.

“Well it is our honeymoon, I guess we deserve our own personal tropical paradise.” Evan joked.

“Do you think it’s safe to swim?” Kass asked hopefully.

“I don’t know. There could be all sorts of alien creatures in there.” Evan warned.

“You sound like Rodney.” Kass giggled. “The water’s pretty clear, I think if there was something in there we’d be able to see it. Besides, I could do with a real bath, the jumper’s hygiene facilities just aren’t the same.”

Kass quickly stripped off her clothes and placed them in a neat pile, along with all her field equipment including her radio. She waded into the deep pool, stepping carefully over the slippery rocks at the water’s edge. After a moment’s hesitation Evan followed her. He left their life signs detector on top of the pile of clothes and equipment, so neither of them noticed when a third blip appeared on the screen.

*******************************************************

Once John was sure they were clear of the debris field, he asked Rodney to dial Atlantis so they could check in and let everyone know they were safe.

“Atlantis this is Colonel Sheppard, we’re safely past the debris field.”

Colonel, is there any sign of Kassandra and Major Lorne?” Woolsey asked from the control room.

“We haven’t had time to look yet. I’ll report back if we find anything. Sheppard out.”

John didn’t have any luck trying to hail Kass and Evan over the radio. He hoped it was just because they had lost communications systems and not because they were injured or worse. He asked Rodney to set up a search pattern to scan for life signs, or the signals produced by the subcutaneous transmitters that all Atlantis staff were fitted with. They agreed to start with the area surrounding the ruins from the first mission, in case Kass and Evan had managed to reach their intended landing site.

Rodney couldn’t find any trace of Kassandra’s jumper, but John pointed out that they would probably have cloaked it if they weren’t expecting rescue. On the first pass over the site there were no visible life signs either, but the second time they flew past they had better luck.

“Sheppard, I’ve picked up two life signs leaving the ruins in the direction of the river. Looks like they’re going for a swim.” Rodney said with a grin.

“We sure it’s them?” John asked.

“Yes, we’ve got a match for their subcutaneous transmitters.” Rodney confirmed.

“OK, let’s wait for them at the ruins then. They might want a bit of privacy, as it’s their honeymoon and all.” John smirked.

“Oh no!” Rodney exclaimed. “That can’t be right. I’m picking up another signal moving towards them and it’s reading as non human.”

“Wraith?” asked Ronon from his seat behind John.

“Possibly,” Rodney replied, sounding uncertain. “It’s a shame Teyla isn’t here, she would have been able to tell for sure.”

“How can you tell it’s not human?” asked one of the nurses from the medical team.

“The jumper can distinguish life signs by size and body temperature.” Rodney explained. “Otherwise we’d be picking up signals for every large mammal on the planet. This signal is closer to Wraith than human, although it’s running at a lower body temperature than I’d expect.”

“Maybe it’s hungry.” Ronon stated. John remembered the Super Wraith from their first year in Atlantis with a shudder. It wasn’t a comforting thought.

*******************************************************

Kassandra felt a shiver down her spine that had nothing to do with the cool evening breeze on her wet skin.

“Something up, honey?” Evan asked, pulling her into a hug.

“I’m not sure.” Kass replied, thoughtfully. “I just have this gut feeling, like something bad’s going to happen.”

“You want to go back?” Evan asked. “It is starting to get a bit chilly.”

They started wading back to the side of the pool where they had left their clothes and packs. Evan climbed out first and with predictable chivalry, turned and offered his hand to help Kass out of the pool. The water wasn’t deep at the edge of the pool, but the rocks were slippery with moss which made getting out awkward. Kassandra took his hand with a smile, although she was sure she would have been fine getting out on her own.

With Evan’s back turned, he didn’t notice the tall pale figure approaching from the entrance to the canyon. However Kassandra spotted the stranger as she stepped out of the pool.

“Evan, look out! There’s a Wraith.” she exclaimed, letting go of her husband’s hand.

Evan turned in time to see that the Wraith was only a few meters away and approaching fast.

“Stay where you are, Kass.” Evan ordered, wanting to keep his wife safe. He looked around for a weapon, quickly spotting the pistol in his thigh holster stacked neatly on top of his clothes nearby. Kass watched with horror from the edge of the pool, wondering if there was anything she could do to help, as Evan grabbed the weapon and started firing at the Wraith, not wasting any time getting dressed. He didn’t have time to think about what he looked like, not if he was going to stop the Wraith before it was too late. He emptied the whole clip into the body of the Wraith but it wasn’t enough to stop it. Like a terminator, it just kept on coming. Evan reached for his spare clip before he realized he didn’t have one. Cursing himself for getting lax, he threw the weapon at the Wraith, hitting it on the head. With one last glance at Kass and hoping she would forgive him, Evan ran around the edge of the pool, towards the waterfall. His plan was to draw the Wraith away from his wife, giving her a chance to escape. He fervently hoped that Kass would take that chance and not risk her own life to try and save him in turn, for Evan realized that any chance of his own escape was slim at best, but if he could just draw the Wraith away, distract it, then maybe, just maybe, he could find a sharp rock or something as a weapon, or even lose it in the woods somewhere, giving him a chance to circle back to the weapons on the jumper. But if the worst happened, then Evan knew he would sacrifice everything to keep Kass safe.

The Wraith watched Evan with a grin as it realized he was trapped. It limped after him, revealing that the gun had done some damage after all. Kass took advantage of the distraction to crawl out of the pool, but instead of escaping as Evan had intended, she looked round for something she could use as a weapon. She spotted a large branch about the length and weight of one of Teyla’s bantos sticks. Kass grabbed the stick and ran after the injured Wraith. Without pausing to think, she swung her improvised weapon and whacked the Wraith on the back of the head. The creature turned much faster than she had expected and reached out towards her chest. Kass tried to knock its arm away with her branch, but she lost her balance and fell backwards onto the rough ground.

“Kass!” Evan screamed, as he watched the Wraith placed its hand over Kassandra’s heart and spread it’s fingers.

He grabbed a large rock and threw it, but the Wraith wasn’t going to be distracted from its prey now.

Just when Evan thought it was too late, Ronon appeared at the head of the canyon and fired his gun. The Wraith fell forward, landing to one side of Kassandra, with one arm stretched out across her chest. She pushed it out of the way with a grimace and stood up, wincing at a sharp stabbing pain in her left ankle. Evan ran towards her and wrapped her in his arms.

“Don’t ever do that again, you scared me to death.” Evan told Kass, as he hugged her tightly.

“Fine, but the same goes for you.” she replied with a smile.

Of course that was when John entered the clearing, gun raised with Rodney right behind. They were surprised to see Kass and Evan, completely unaware that they were still undressed, hugging next to the body of a dead Wraith while Ronon watched with a grin on his face.

“Hey, you two, why don’t you get a room!” John said with a smirk.

“Oops!” Kass said and they all started to laugh.

*****************************************************

A couple of hours later Evan and Kass were fully dressed and back in the safety of Jumper one, where Carson was fussing over Kassandra’s ankle. They had agreed to return back to Atlantis with John, just in case there were any more Wraith in hibernation on the planet. Kass was annoyed that they would have to leave her jumper behind, but Rodney had promised they could come back and fix it once the Daedalus returned to Atlantis.

“Sorry how things turned out Major,” John apologized to Evan. “I was so sure we’d found the perfect place for a honeymoon.”

“It’s not your fault, Sir.” Evan told him. “I’m just glad you got here in time.”

“Actually, the credit for that should go to Ronon.” John pointed out.

“Thanks, big guy.” Evan said. Ronon shrugged his shoulders and grunted, which Evan interpreted as “You’re welcome.”

“You know, there are plenty more planets in Pegasus, I’m sure we could find one where you could enjoy the rest of your holidays.” Rodney suggested, hopefully.

Evan looked across at Kass, who shook her head.

“Thanks for the offer,” he replied. “But we’d both rather go back home.”

The End

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