Pairing: Lorne/Zelenka, Lorne/Chuck, Sheppard/Zelenka, Lorne/Parrish, Sheppard/Chuck
Disclaimer:Stargate Atlantis and all its character's and places belong to MGM. Also, I have no intend to make any money with this. This fic is purely for fun.
Author's Notes: Warning for multiple character deaths in alternate realities and undiluted schmoop on top of that. Also I tried to fit in as many pairings as possible, but I'm sorry for killing off most of them as well
Summary: A look behind the curtain of those realities that were crossed in Daedalus Variations. They were real people living in those galaxies, people with friends and families.
People with their own stories.
There is a world in which Colonel Sobel and not Colonel Caldwell is in command of the Daedalus. In this world Rodney discovers a possibility to explore alternate realities in form of a drive that they build into the Daedalus.
It is an idea born out of desperation.
They are losing the war against the replicators.
It was Radek's idea initially. After all if there were countless different realities then there had to be one where they had beaten the replicators. That is also why he's on board. Rodney is needed to keep the city defendable against the Asurans but Radek knows as much about the drive as Rodney does and he's less abrasive than Rodney and more likely to get them the help they need.
If they ever find it.
"Be careful out there," Evan says in the privacy of his bedroom, his fingers carding through Radek's hair, making it stick up in a thousand different directions.
"I'm not prone to run into trouble." Radek reminds him.
"Still, alternate realities...there's probably a world where we ride on space whales. Or fight Klingons." Radek rolls his eyes and kisses him.
Evan buries his face into the crook of Radek's neck.
"I don't like the idea of you running out there alone." Colonel Sobel rejected his plea to join the mission as well. She had led Lorne's first mission for SGC and he has left a less then favourable memory and next to Sheppard he's the best pilot Atlantis has. He's not going anywhere, even if Sobel would have changed her mind.
"I want to stay here." Radek says it as if he means right there with Evan at his side.
"I know," Evan presses a kiss to Radek's neck. "Just promise me not to elope with any of my alternate selves, okay?"
"Not even when they're younger?" Radek asks with a sly smile.
"Especially not if they're younger. I don't think my ego could take that." Evan chuckles.
"Fine," Radek says, "I promise."
When they escape the Daedalus, far, far away from home and without any hope of returning, Radek sits on the shore of the same mainland where Evan tried to teach him how to swim and hopes that Evan won't forget him.
He tries not to forget him either but then the Kirsan fever breaks out and it becomes too hard to remember his own name. But the last thing he sees before he dies is the telltale silver shimmer of the Daedalus' reality drive on the sky and he thinks Evan-
In another reality the Gris swept into the Pegasus galaxy, leaving nothing but scorched earth in their wake and forcing Wraith and humans into an uneasy pact. The Daedalus was destroyed along most Hive and all Asuran ships that had been the Gris' allies in the last offensive against the Gris. After that it became every man for himself.
In this reality Major Evan Lorne doesn't lead an off-world team instead he flies a F302 which have proven to be more successful against Gris ships than the Jumpers.
In this reality, like in most realities where he is on Atlantis, Chuck commands the Gate room and the stargate, watches the long and short distance sensors and, in this reality, guides the attacks against the Gris. He is the voice the pilots have in their ear, telling them about battle formations and possible targets and warns them against traps. He is their lifeline back home.
What he doesn't tell them, except one, is that it's not just him. Atlantis whispers to him, telling him to bring her children back home and how to do it.
He only tells Evan after Evan confided in him that he sometimes thinks the city is alive.
In this reality Chuck doesn't even flinch when he hears Evan scream and knows, just knows without even looking on any screen that it's too late. He doesn't miss a beat, steady hands and voice, and warns Captain Walker against the two Gris fighters approaching from the right and informs Colonel Sheppard that he has an attack opportunity if he turns 25 degrees to the right.
Later, after the Daedalus turned up for whatever reason since it's destroyed and everything, and the Gris are, for now, gone, Chuck walks back to his and Evan's quarter-
And breaks down. He doesn't even make it past the door before his knees give in. There's a stick-it note with a message underneath that Evan left this morning:
Pancakes for dinner
Save me some from McKay
When the Daedalus turns up unexpectedly and without either responding to radio or a life sign on board, John tells his team to get ready and meet him in the Jumper room.
"You and Lorne can enjoy having the city for yourselves. Just don't paint it pink or something while we're not looking." John winks at Radek.
"We thought green might be more appropriate because it's Elizabeth's favourite colour." Radek replied dryly.
"That's more like it," John grins, "Stop looking so worried, it's just a trip to the Daedalus."
"Which turned up when it should be halfway between Pegasus and Milky Way, dead, empty and cold."
"Ah, Radek, where's your sense of adventure?"
"It was too big to pass through the stargate so I left it on Earth." Radek's tone resembles Rodney's when someone asks him for a miracle.
"You're spending too much time with Rodney."
"Not Rodney, Lorne."
"Always the quiet ones. " John pretends to be scandalised only to make Radek smile, if only a little. "Come on, Radek. I've done worse things than exploring dead, empty spaces."
"The last time you investigated a place that shouldn't have been dead, empty and cold you ended up being chased by 2 meter tall Wraith bugs."
John sighs and wraps his arms around Radek's waist.
"Hey, smile for me and tell me everything will be okay."
"That should be my line."
"Radek-" John says impatiently but Radek already kisses him and it's hard to argue with that.
When he dies, hundreds of realities away from Radek, John remembers that Radek never smiled and never said that everything would be okay.
He was right.
And then there is this reality: Where they see Colonel Sobel's last message and help out another reality against the Gris. Where Rodney thinks like John and brings them home.
This the reality where John's eyes stray to Chuck every time he comes back through the gate, where kisses him when no one's watching and marries him as soon as DADT is repelled.
In this reality where Lorne's and Parrish's legs tangle on the bed and they laugh over the comic Evan draws about a reality where people ride space whales and instead of Wraith they fight space sharks over the right to eat the most space tuna.
It's a good reality.