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Author's Chapter Notes: AN: A quick look at John's perspective on the events of 'Pegasus Project', set towards the end of the episode; hope you like it

As he crouched in position a short distance above what he had come to think of as 'his and Elizabeth's balcony'- it was probably a bit excessive to think of it like that, but they were the only two people who used it regularly in Atlantis's normal routine-, John could only watch as Doctor Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran looked out at the ocean before them, the two members of SG-1 reflecting on what had taken place in Atlantis during the day.

"She did what she believed was right, Daniel," Vala said, looking at the formerly-Ascended archaeologist with an attempt at an encouraging smile. "How badly can she be punished for that?

"I don't know," Daniel said, staring contemplatively out at the sea (Evidently, the memory of what he'd experienced during his time among the Ancients still had a significant impact on him, even if he couldn't remember most of the first time and had only partly Ascended on the more recent occasion;

"Maybe she'll just get a slap on the wrist," Vala suggested uncertainly. "Or be forced to write 'I will not interfere in the affairs of humans again' ten thousand times."

"Yeah, I doubt that," Daniel said, his gaze still on the ocean before them.

Looking at him as he stared out at the darkened horizon, Vala sighed and took up position alongside him, staring out at the sea.

"She said you had your answer," the ex-thief pointed out, looking hopefully at him. "We found out the two addresses we came here for. Can you at least… smile about that?"

"I suppose," Daniel said, still staring out in dejection. "But we did find out something else, too."

"What?" Vala asked, raising the question that John was wondering about himself.

"They're not going to help us," Daniel said simply. "We're in this alone."

This was one area where John felt his inadequacy when compared to the original Ancients more keenly than ever; his near-complete ignorance of Ascension and the rules defining it.

He'd learned some of the broader details about the mental state required during his time in the valley, of course, but knowing the basics of what you had to do to reach that point that point didn't mean you understood anything about the rules and restrictions that the Ancients had imposed on themselves after they'd achieved it; Chaya was the only actual Ancient he'd met since he came to the city, and he just hadn't felt right asking her for more information than what she'd told him already after he'd turned down her 'offer'.

He just wished he could feel more optimistic about their chances if the situation had become so serious that Morgan- or Ganos Lal, whatever she preferred to call herself- was willing to risk punishment to give them even the limited information she'd been able to tell them before she'd been banished.

Still, in a way, it had been rather interesting to learn how Merlin- or Moros, whatever he went by- had managed to construct the Sangraal. The idea that he'd managed to retake human form while retaining most of his knowledge and powers was actually kind of fascinating on its own, but that he'd done so to directly defy the others and protect the lower beings...

After what Elizabeth had told him about Moros when he'd first arrived in the city, the idea that the guy had moved on from rejecting her attempts to return to the future to sacrificing life among the Ascended in order to protect everyone else in existence... it was actually kind of encouraging, in a strange way.

For a moment, he thought about jumping down onto the balcony to have a brief talk with Doctor Jackson- given the other man's experience with the Ancients it might have been interesting to get his perspective on some of the things John had learned-, but he quickly pushed that thought aside.

Elizabeth might be willing to accept such 'anomalies' as his Earth-like name and his presence in Atlantis, but Daniel Jackson's scientific insight into the Ancients might prompt him to ask too many questions that John couldn't answer.

His main strength right now was the fact that most of the people who knew about him assumed that he was an Ancient; if they knew just how comparatively limited his knowledge was, or if they knew how he'd really ended up in the city...

He wasn't sure what the result would be, but he didn't want to find out; his status in this city was hanging by an awkward thread at the best of times, and he wouldn't do anything to jeopardise that by making them think he wasn't the Ancient they believed him to be.

Right now, the only thing that he could do to help Earth was help to protect Atlantis from the Wraith while waiting for the SGC to find some kind of new information about wherever Merlin had hidden his weapon...

Still, if nothing else, they'd managed to destroy another Wraith hive during their efforts, while also destroying one of the Ori battleships that the SGC were dealing with back in the Milky Way galaxy; he might not like that he couldn't contribute much to that threat, but if he was able to help fight the Wraith, he could be assured that he was making a difference. He had his area of expertise, and SG-1 had theirs; some day a situation might arise that would require them to work together, but this wasn't that occasion.

Besides, as much as he wished that he'd had a chance to work with SG-1 during their time in Atlantis- they were basically legends, after all-, the rest of him recognised that he almost didn't want things to reach a point where the situation was dangerous enough to force him to make official contact with the SGC's primary team...

Shaking his head to force such thoughts away, he turned around and walked back into the service tunnels, leaving the archaeologist and the thief to their conversation; Elizabeth wasn't likely to show up any time soon, and he didn't have anything he could usefully say to them anyway.

Chapter End Notes: AN 2: Short, I know, but I thought that it would be interesting; trust me, things are going to get much more difficult when Lucius shows up in the next chapter...

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