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08 January 2009 @ 02:22 am
Fic: Vermicular Confusion (IV of VI)  
Title: Vermicular Confusion (part I | part II | part III)
Rating: PG-13
Universes: Star Trek: The Next Generation/Stargate Atlantis
Notes: Crossover! Crackfic 3rd season TNG, 2nd season SGA. Elizabeth/John, Deanna/Will, Beverly/John-Luc. (well, I'm having fun!)

For the first time in his life, John Sheppard was blissfully happy to be trapped in an alien world. Happy wasn’t even the right statement, he was profoundly giddy. He’d woken up in sickbay, not just any sickbay, THE SICKBAY on the Enterprise-D. He’d been hyposprayed, far more pleasant than any shot Carson or any other Earth doctor had ever given him. He’d been allowed to use the replicator in Ten Forward to replicate absolutely whatever he’d wanted. He was three-quarters of his way through his steak, Black Angus beef rare enough to be almost blue, and nearly smothered with French fries so hot they almost burned his mouth. He had a salad as well, something the computer, which spoke to him, had suggested went well with his meal.

His salad was Andorian, the leaves were purple and the bread that came with it was almost black. John didn’t even really like salad, but this? Well, this was alien, it ws special. It had materialized in front of him. He even had beer. He’d had Athosian beer, Satedan beer, something that passed as a poor subsitute for bad vodka with Genii traders,- one thing the Pegasus galaxy had going against it along with the shockingly high population of bloodthirsty aliens was a serious lack of a serviceable lager.

The Enterprise had beer. Yes, it was replicated, and mysterious non-alcoholic, but at the same time, it was glorious. The Vulcans were logical, and yes, they played three dimensional chess far far better than Rodney. Aliens, not life-sucking kind, played games and argued and ate lunch around him. Despite an undercurrent of concern, three officers, Riker, Troi and Crusher, all well-liked, talented officers were missing. John nearly shared their concern. He felt like he knew them. He’d seen them, he’d watched their adventures especially closely during a rough few years in college, and then while he struggled as a lieutenant.

On Star Trek, insubordination got worked out at the end of the show and the officers slowly came to respect their gruff, yet intelligent and dedicated commander. Perhaps if he’d served for Jean-Luc Picard, just being on his ship was like reading a newspaper and finding an article written by Clark Kent, John would have been a better officer. Maybe Elizabeth would have liked him immediately instead his forcing her to see his good side before she warmed up to him. John didn’t know. He wasn’t sure. He knew he missed her. What really surprised him was how much. Past the giddy notion that he was on the Enterprise, he just wanted to go home, to tease Elizabeth for never seen the show, subject her to a marathon in his quarters followed by a marathon of something else more R-rated…

John pushed aside his synthehol beer and tried to finish his desert. Missing Elizabeth had suddenly made the chocolate cheesecake less than tasty and he pushed that aside as well. Only morosely looking down at his chest and realizing he was wearing a commbadge brightened him up. He’d been given one so he could walk freely around the ship. Pinned on his replicated black t-shirt and fairly tight Starfleet issue, civilian black pants was a commbadge. It was a triangle of silver, bottom line curved upward like Kirk’s ship’s insignia, placed over a circle of gold. It was the symbol of hope and freedom and really nice phaser rifles.

If anyone could get him home, the combined force of McKay, who was a genius, even thought John hated admitting it, Data and Geordi La Forge could not be stopped by anything in the galaxy. Any galaxy really.

Elizabeth had never watched brain surgery. Usually she just sat on the chair nearby and held her breath. This time however, her curiosity demanded that she watch. In spite of her obvious exhaustion, Dr Crusher had begged her to being immediately. Watching Carson press a hot cup of coffee into his fellow doctor’s hands as she collected herself, Elizabeth wondered what could be going through her mind. She held lives in her hands every day but never so literally.

When her cup was empty, Crusher left it on the far table and stood. Tying her long red hair back and sharing a long look with Troi, she watched with dark amusement as Carson’s staff connected Riker to what must have been incredibly odd-looking machines. Perhaps it was the Carson then led her to scrub for surgery. When her hands were clean, the foreign doctor shook off his offer of rubber gloves and instead held up a small instrument, square and black, like a hand-held flashlight. Running a bright purple light over her hands, she offered it to Carson.

The other woman, Deanna, remained at his side. His hand was wrapped in two of hers and there was a fear in her eyes Elizabeth didn’t want to admit she knew. Riker had been stripped of his shirt; a simple white sheet covered his torso but left his shoulders bare. He had been turned on his side and Elizabeth shuddered. At their weakest, humans seemed doomed to

Crusher allowed one of Carson’s nurses to slip the surgical mask over her face and nodded to Carson. “I’m not going to tell you which tools I am using,” she said voice slightly muffled by the mask. “I will tell you what I am doing but I can not explain how.”

Carson nodded quickly and took a place next to Riker’s left ear. Reading the calm, professional concern on his face, Elizabeth was surprised when she found his envy. She supposed that was fair enough, after all, barehanded surgery was crude under most conditions.

When Crusher caught his questioning look, she shrugged. “I can’t be precise enough with your gloves on,” she explained. She lifted something, longer and thinner than the hand-cleaning tool, and held the rounded tip to Riker’s skull. To Elizabeth’s surprise, Riker’s dark brown hair started to fall away. There was no sound, just the soft continuous beeping of the heart monitor. Carson had offered to sedate Riker but Dr Crusher had something else.

Her device, a rectangle covered with blinking lights, sat on the bed next to Riker. Elizabeth wasn’t sure what it was but Dr Crusher kept checking it with her eyes. When Riker’s hair was gone from his head, Dr Crusher let Carson sweep it away. Running the purple sterilizing light over the bare white skin of his head, Dr Crusher paused before lifting what had to be a scalpel from her kit.

A laser arced out from the tip, slicing through skin and muscle in a neat thin line down the occipital bone. The wound didn’t bleed. Elizabeth watched in absurd fascination as Dr Crusher peeled the skin back from the bone. Watching the bone appear white and shining beneath the bright red flesh, she felt her stomach twist. Even from the distance, Elizabeth almost thought she could smell blood. She knew it was impossible but she could feel the metallic taste creep into the back of her throat.

When Dr Crusher removed the circle of bone from the back of Riker’s head, Elizabeth nearly couldn’t look. Turning her eyes to Troi’s face, she watched her nearly black eyes remain fixed on his hand wrapped in her own. Her breathing was steady and as Elizabeth kept watching, Troi’s gaze never moved. Riker’s chest moved slowly and Elizabeth could trace the muscles of his chest beneath the edge of the sheet. Underneath his skin and the fine covering of brown hair, his heart beat for the woman holding his hand.

Shaking her head, Elizabeth knew she was being foolish. A heart was just an organ, a busy muscle stuck with a constant duty. It was sentimental of her to imagine Riker’s heart beating for his wife. Maybe she was sentimental, she realized. Sighing, Elizabeth admitted she felt off. John was missing and everything was off. He wasn’t here to remind her that technology wasn’t magic. Hell, he probably would have understood Radek’s obsession with the Enterprise.

She hadn’t had the time to look over much of his findings, technical babble and scientific speculation had to take a backseat. Somehow during this mess two Wraith ships had discovered Atlantis still existed, or at the very least seemed to be headed in their direction to sort out the wreckage. For the moment, that knowledge belonged to her, Radek and Chuck alone, but she couldn’t keep t that way.

Riker might live just long enough to be destroyed by the Wraith. If, when, she corrected herself, John’s team returned they could sort out the wreckage. Dropping her head into her hands, Elizabeth realized that watching brain surgery really wasn’t so bad after all. The glistening grey and white beneath Dr Crusher’s amazing laser scalpel really was quite fascinating compared to impending doom at the hands of life-sucking aliens.

Biting her lip as she observed the steam from a cauterized bleed rise from Riker’s exposed brain, Elizabeth forced herself to let the stress out of her shoulders. She really did miss John.

“They use vacuum energy based batteries,” Geordi explained as he stood from the floor and turned his visor on the exposed power conduit in the strange ship spread out on the floor of cargo bay two. “I can’t really tell you how the technology works, right now I just know that it does,” he paused grinning slightly. “Forgive me, sir, but it’s really terribly fascinating. They have somehow figured out how to extract energy from a compact region of subspace. The one in this ship is tiny, like a warp core in one of our shuttles.”

Geordi directed the captain’s attention to what looked like an orange and yellow crystal, barely bigger than a commbadge. “A bigger one of these, “ he said turning it over in his hand. “If it existed, would definitely be enough to power a whole starbase.”

Jean-Luc whistled slightly and smiled as he watched Geordi set the crystal back down. “A whole society powered on subspace batteries,” he mused and reached for the crystal.

“That’s not even the best part, sir,” Geordi continued and leaned closer. “Every part of this ship is more than fifty thousand years old.”

Distracted by the slight weight of the power source in his hand, Jean-Luc nearly dropped the crystal when he heard what his chief engineer had discovered. “Fifty thousand?”

“Teyla confirmed it, sir,” Geordi finished with a shrug. “She told me technology was not her strong suit, she’s with Guinan, hearing about life in our galaxy. Apparently the one called McKay is their, well, their version of me. As soon as he’s awake—“

Jean-Luc waved him off with a small smile. “I suppose I’ll be hard pressed to find a better guide to our galaxy than Guinan,” he replied with surprising cheer. It was still difficult to keep his spirits up with part of his crew missing. He tried to ignore the voice that insisted it was actually the Beverly part of his crew he was most worried about. Will and Deanna were certainly just as important to the ship. The part he had to deal with was what was important to him.

“Carry on, Mr. La Forge,” he ordered with a smile as he left. “Good work.”

Data was on the bridge, so buried in his work that he barely acknowledged the presence of his captain. Jean-Luc peered over his shoulder at the astrological charts on the science station. “Wormholes Mr. Data?” he asked in surprise.

“Yes, sir,” Data replied without hesitation. “According to Lt. Colonel Sheppard, artificial wormholes are their primary mode of deep space transportation. They were in one of these wormholes before they arrived in our universe.”

Jean-Luc turned and leaned against the station with one hand as he looked closer. “You’re certain they are not from our universe?” he wondered in amazement.

“Yes, sir,” Data answered without removing his eyes from his reading. The words flew by, but most of the pictures were things Jean-Luc could recognize in passing. “Their quantum signatures are just off of our own. They have vastly different technology unlike anything in Federation records, Even though Sheppard claims to, and appears to be from a Earth, it is not the Earth with which you or I are familiar.”

The information on Data’s screen stopped so Jean-Luc could see what he was studying. “I have been functioning on the theory that returning our guests to their universe will return Commander Riker’s team to our universe,” he offered as he indicated a passage of wormhole physics. “Their artificial wormholes function outside of normal space-time, much like our own warp drive, somehow-” If Data had been human he would have shrugged, “-The shuttlecraft Montreal and their ‘puddlejumper’-“

Jean-Luc felt himself smile involuntarily at the name.

“-switched places,” Data finished turning his head towards his captain. “It is an incredibly intriguing phenomenon of quantum physics that has never been explored before. Aside for one, obscure cultural reference in twenty-first century ‘pop’ culture, this situation is entirely without precedence in the universe.”

“Twenty-first century?” Jean-Luc repeated with a raised eyebrow.

Data’s white fingers flew over his science station and his display changed to a strange logo bearing the words ‘Wormhole Xtreme’. “It is a ‘television’ show concerning a highly irregular account of the adventures of a pseudo-military organization with very questionable science behind it. Some references even comment on it as a ‘pulp fantasy’ and a ‘cult phenomenon’.”

Chuckingly dryly, Picard read over the notes around the show. “It’s a commercialized version of the lives of our guests?” he asked with grin.

“Actually it is what is called a ‘sequel’ that seems most similar to our guests,” Data corrected, bringing up a new logo which was in a teal color instead of the silver of the first bearing the words ‘Wormhole Xtreme: Pegasus’. “All of the characters seem to be loosely based on the people Sheppard described as his crew. Complete with a fictional version of the creatures he calls the ‘Wraith’”

A twenty-first century actor in a bright green latex suit with vaguely vampiric looking features leered at them from the screen.

“You believe we must have had contact with them before?” Jean-Luc asked as he tried not to chuckle again at the look on the fictious creature’s face. The creatures Colonel Sheppard had described were anything but amusing. An entire species that lived on literally consuming the life-force of other races was too horrible to imagine.

“I believe that is the most logical explanation,” Data answered with a quick nod. “At some point, members of Lt. Colonel Sheppard’s universe must have intersected with our own and planted the idea for a fictional story.”

“That’s fascinating,” Jean-Luc agreed as he made a note to look into how that could have occurred at another date. “Any thoughts on how to get them home?”

“I hope our food is acceptable,” the voice behind her began apologetically. “Our supplies are fairly limited at the moment.”

Deanna reached out with her mind and felt the now-familiar knot of controlled concern she associated with Dr Weir. “Beverly reminded me it had been nearly a day since I had eaten,” she answered sheepishly as she turned around. “All of this tastes wonderful.”

Dr Weir indicated the space across from her at the metal table. “Mind if I join you?” she asked politely.

“Not at all,” Deanna replied waving her hand at the chair and feeling the relief in the other woman’s mind. There was a shyness deep beneath the surface that she found highly endearing. Yawning before she could speak, she started to laugh softly. Dr Weir seemed too concerned to join her but she did smile. “Forgive me.”

“Not necessary,” Dr Weir assured her with a rush of warmth. “You’ve certainly had a rough first day in the city.”

“It is very beautiful,” she offered as she covered her mouth and yawned again. “It must be an incredible thing to wake up to that sunrise every morning.”

Dr Weir’s smile was genuine but her exhausted thoughts suggested the sunrise wasn’t something she made time for very often. “How is your husband?”

Deanna felt the stab of guilt for the continued lie. The humans of Atlantis had proved to be quite welcoming and mostly content with their constant explanation that they were not allowed to explain any of their technology or even where they were from. Something in the word ‘husband’ had trigged a nearly buried emotion in Dr Weir’s mind. She couldn’t probe too deeply without being invited, especially with someone who had no knowledge of her abilities.

“He’s recovering,” she replied with a naked smile of relief. “He’s very strong and Beverly is very very good at what she does.”

“I’ve never-“ Dr Weir began with a tiny smile of her own. It faded into a curious stare as she poked at her pasta with a fork. “You really can’t tell me, can you?”

Deanna sighed and squared her shoulders. “It is complicated,” she replied simply. “There are many things I can discuss but our technology is not one of them.”

“Fair enough,” Dr Weir nodded and silently drank her tea for a long moment. “Could you tell me how you met your husband?”

Deanna put down her spoon and stared at the bright blue dish of something called ‘jello’ she’d been given as a desert. Beverly hadn’t tried it. She’d been so exhausted after Will’s surgery that she’d eaten her pasta mechanically and gone to bed as soon as she was satisfied she was not going to wake up ill from malnutrition.

“It’s good,” Dr Weir assured her as she reached for her bread on the edge of her tray. “Rodney thinks it’s the best thing we have.”

“He will find his way home,” Deanna assured the pang of fear she felt in the other woman. “And yes, I can tell you about Will.” Pausing as she tried to figure out how to explain her people without given too much away, she decided that disclosing her abilities might be constructive. Taking a spoonful of the ‘jello’ before she started, she grinned at the strange but pleasant flavor before she began.

“It’s not chocolate,” Dr Weir mused ruefully as she daubed her bread in the red sauce on her plate.

“No,” Deanna agreed as she felt herself warming up to the other woman. “But it’s not bad. I may look human, but I’m not. My father is human but my mother is from another planet called Betazed. Betazoids are a telepathic species. They can sense the emotions and thoughts of others and communicate through their minds.”

Dr Weir swallowed and raised her eyebrows. “You must have a very honest society,” she said diplomatically.

“Extremely,” Deanna agreed as she felt her respect for her dinner companion grow. “I’m only half-Betazoid, so my abilities are limited.” That brought the sense of relief she had expected.

“You have no idea how jealous I am of the way your hair curls?” Dr Weir teased jovially. It was an effort to hide her sudden nervousness but she seemed to have nothing she wanted to bury.

“No,” she answered amenably. “Will was assigned to my planet without knowing what he was getting into. We were both very young at the time and actual met at the wedding of my best friend.”

Dr Weir’s gentle smile was infectious and even somewhat impish. “That’s terribly romantic,” she teased.

“Weddings on Betazed are conducted in the nude-“ she began to explain as Dr Weir nearly choked on her tea. “The first time I saw Will he was engaged in a very detailed line of thought concerning what he would like to do with my naked body—“
xfairy1013: Dolph_kissxfairy1013 on January 8th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
You read Imzadi? :)
Opal: a/r stripesoparu on January 9th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
of course! i loved that book. Imzadi 2 was fantastic as well :)
xfairy1013: Liz_colorxfairy1013 on January 9th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
Those books gave a new meaning to the word "shippiness" :P
thelionessrulesthelionessrules on January 9th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
I'm really enjoying the interaction between the characters of the two shows. Nice crossover!
Opal: eternityoparu on January 17th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
thanks very much! I'm glad you're enjoying it.
chiarahhue: Liz smirkchiarahhue on January 11th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
lol - nice ending there - way to keep us hanging on...

Great fic crossover! I love how you're weaving the two worlds together while keeping the characters true. Well done - looking forward to the next chapters!
Opal: forbidden loveoparu on January 17th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
thanks very much! I'm having tons of fun with it. :) I'm half tempted to make it it's own little universe that I play in occasionally. *looks around sneakily*
Andy: yellow_heartankareeda on January 12th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
He knew he missed her. What really surprised him was how much. Past the giddy notion that he was on the Enterprise, he just wanted to go home, to tease Elizabeth for never seen the show, subject her to a marathon in his quarters followed by a marathon of something else more R-rated…

Wheeee, they're so cute! I can't wait for more...
Opal: j/e babyoparu on January 17th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
gotta love sparky, right? ;)