The mission started like any other. Into the Stargate went Sheppard and his team. They arrived on Planet P4X-237 and started to explore. They walked away from the gate into the woods in hopes of possibly finding people to trade with. Sheppard managed to trip over a tree root and fall flat on his face. McKay laughed having gotten a good view of Sheppards fall. Teyla glared at Rodney before going to help the Colonel up.
"Colonel Sheppard are you ok?"
"Yea Im fine I wasn't paying attention and didn't watch where I was walking"
"As a matter of Fact no Rodney I was thinking about maybe using this planet as a Beta site if we don't find any indigenous people"
"huh..... that might be a good idea"
"Thats what i was thinking"
Suddenly Ronon takes off running.
"Ronon?! RONON COME BACK!"
The others follow Ronon as he runs further into the woods. By the time they catch up to him Ronon is crouched down by a river.
"What the hell was that?!"
"I thought I saw something"
"And you couldn't tell us? You just had to... take off running... oh god I think Im having a heart attack"
"You're fine Rodney"
Ronon aims his gun at Rodney.
"Oh god dont shoot me!" He holds his hands up and whimpers.
Rodney moves out of the way quickly.
Ronon continues to aim where Rodney was standing.
"What is that?!?!"
"I dont know. It could be dangerous."
"I dont think he is. Look how small he is"
The young Creature was very Doglike in appearance but he has spikes running down the length of his spine and a long tail. He was a dark brown in color except for the spikes which were dark blue. He walked all all fours had Doglike ears and snout. His paws were Huge for such a young creature meaning he isnt full grown yet. If Sheppard had to guess the wolfdog creature couldnt have been older than 6 months tops and he was thin. He was so skinny it looks like he barely gets enough food not to starve to death. You could count his ribs and every vertebrae in his spine. There was almost no stomach to him. Sheppard was pretty sure he could see what looked like a sheath poking out between his back legs.
"Dont shoot him Ronon"
"Hes not attacking us leave him be"
"How do you know hes male?"
"Its just a guess"
"He looks dangerous"
"Why because he has spikes?"
"Yes and that tail could be used as a whip"
The Dog creature looked like hed grow to roughly the size of a German Shepherd. He was looking at the Team with pleading eyes. Sheppard found himself wanting to help the little guy out more and more with every passing second. He was alone after all and if he was going to attack he would have done so when they didn't notice him.
"Hes not going to hurt us. He would have done it by now"
"I dont like the way hes starring at me"
"Look hes alone. If he wasnt we would have been attacked and hed be long gone. I think hes an orphan."
"Or hes so dangerous that he doesn't need his parents to raise him."
"What? Hes a dog."
"With spikes and a whip tail. For all we know he could also spit poison!"
"Its called Venom McKay. Besides look at him hes adorable. I say we take him with us. He knows these woods better than we do anyway."
"I do not think it is wise to bring stray animals with us Colonel Sheppard."
"I agree with Teyla"
"Come in Guys hes not hurting anyone. Look at him."
"I am looking at him. I think he wants to eat me"
Sheppard crouches down. "Come here bud!"
"Are you crazy!!!!"
The dog creature crawls slowly to Sheppard keeping an eye on Ronons Blaster still aimed at him.
"Put your gun away Ronon your scaring him"
"I dont trust him."
"Ronon put your gun away thats an order!"
Ronon puts the blaster away grudgingly. The dog creature relaxes marginally. Sheppard holds his hand out to the creature.
"Hes going to bite you"
"Shut up McKay"
The creature sniffs sheppards hand tentatively. Sheppard stays still and lets him sniff his hand. McKay watches apprehensively. The creature eventually rubs his head against Sheppards hand. Sheppard takes that as an invitation to pet the creature being careful to only pet his head.
"See hes friendly."
"Oh yea hes real friendly until he tries to eat your face while we are sleeping"
"Hes not going to eat my face. He snuck up on us he was probably following us for a while if he really wanted to attack hes had plenty of opportunities"
McKay opens his mouth to speak then closes it again.
"He needs a name. Any ideas?"
"I dont think we should name him he cant come back to Atlantis with us."
"Dr Weir would not allow him to stay."
"I think she would once she sees how adorable he is. I think we should call him Tom."
"He looks like a Tom"
Tom looks around at the other team members. He pleads the way puppies do making his pupils big and round. He folds his ears back.
"I guess he is kind of cute"
"See. Come on Tom lets go see if we can find a village."
The team heads out with Tom in tow. He walks beside Sheppard. An hour later they came to the edge of a village. Tom stops walking a little apprehensive about entering the village. Sheppard notices and stops.
"Hey Tom its ok. Ill be with you"
Tom looks at Sheppard. He nods his head and heads into the village. Sheppard follows a little confused. Did Tom really just nod in understanding? He cant have right?
The villagers immediately notice Tom and start to panic. Many people start running for safe havens. Most of the village disappears inside within a matter of minutes. A select few take up rocks and start to throw them at Tom. One well aimed rock connects with Toms shoulder. Tom shrieks and runs away from the village as fast as he can. Sheppard and his team try to defend him to no avail.
"What did you do that for?!"
"That Grandel is Dangerous!"
"He is not!"
"The Grandel may seem friendly but they are vicious ruthless creatures that will stop at nothing to kill thier prey"
"Why are you here?"
"We came to meet new people. We are explorers."
"Stay away from the Grandel."
"Ok he's dangerous we will stay away."
The team stayed at the village for a few days. They managed to make new allies and new trade partners. Sheppard couldnt keep his mind off the poor little Grandel they met on the first day. There was no way he was as dangerous as the villagers claimed. Sheppard found it odd that the villagers refused to talk about the Grandel other then to tell them it was Dangerous.
Another thing that bothered Sheppard, why havent they run into more Grandels? Were they extinct or very nearly extinct? Did they come from another planet? It was bothering him. They also havent seen Tom since that first day. Not even when they went to the gate for thier check ins.
The team was on thier way back to the gate when they got attacked. The team got separated. Sheppard was running back towards the gate hoping that the rest of his team had the same idea. He was running while keeping an eye over his shoulder for the group that attacked them.
Sheppard had been looking over his shoulder when he ran into something. He bounced backward and turned to look. Sheppards jaw hit the ground. Before him stood the most beautiful woman he has seen in a long while. She had a sword pointed at him. Sheppard held his hands up. She walked up to Sheppard and kicked him in the crotch.
Sheppard fell to his knees with the white hot pain. Damn she had a hell of a kick. He was struggling not to puke. She stood over him and watched him for a minute before lifting the sword over her head. Sheppard looked up at her. He saw what she was doing and knew this was it. She was gonna kill him. Taken out by a woman with a sword after she kicked him in the balls.
He was steeling himself for the blow but it never came. Just as the woman started to swing the sword downward she had been tackled. Sheppard was shocked. Tom had pounced on the woman and was currently attempting to get at her throat. She struggled with him at first due to being caught by surprise. This woman is stronger than she looks. She threw Tom off of her and he flew through the air. Tom landed on his feet and charged her again.
Sheppard was in too much pain to stand yet. He watched as she threw Tom at a tree. He hit hard and yelped. The woman turned her attention back to Sheppard but before she could take a step towards him Tom had tackled her again. Sheppard realized Tom was trying to buy him time to get away. He makes his way to his feet slowly. Tom looks at Sheppard as if he's trying to tell him to leave.
Sheppard starts to turn away when it occurs to him. Tom is risking his life. Sheppard pulls out his gun and aims it at the woman. He cant get a clear shot with the fight that's happening between her and Tom. The woman throws Tom at another tree and he hits his head. Tom is knocked out cold. Sheppard pulls the trigger and kills the woman.
He runs to Tom. Tom looks like he might be dead. Sheppard picks him up and carries him to the gate as fast as he can. Sheppard is relieved to see his teammates waiting for him at the gate. When he gets close enough the others can see that he's carrying Tom.
"Sheppard you cant bring him!"
"Hes hurt and he risked his life for me. Dial the gate!"
McKay starts dialing the gate. "There are no Veterinarians on Atlantis."
"Beckett has worked on wraith before. Hes as quallified as we need."
"Elizabeth wont be happy."
"Rodney Id be dead right now if it wasnt for him send your code and lets go"
The code is sent and the team steps through the gate.
When Sheppard arrived in the Gate room there was a Medical Team running in. McKay had called for a Med team as Sheppard was walking through the Gate. Beckett was there looking over the team to try and figure out who was injured. Sheppard and his team seemed fine. But what was in Sheppards arms??
"Beckett. Tom needs help."
"Aye who is Tom?"
Sheppard brings the Grandel to Beckett. "This is Tom. Hes hurt he risked his life to save mine. Beckett look at him hes young he doesnt deserve to die"
Beckett looks at Tom. "Sheppard aye'm a human doctor aye canae treat him. I dunno anythin aboot him."
"Aye canae promise anythin"
"Aye" Beckett takes Tom and carries him to the Infirmary. Tom is out cold and bleeding from multiple wounds.
Weir meets up with Sheppard and his Team.
"What is that creature?"
"The villagers called it a Grandel"
"Do we know anything about this Grandel?"
"No. They wouldnt say anything about him."
"They called him Dangerous"
"Why do we have a dangerous creature???"
"Hes not Dangerous! Tom saved my life. We got attacked on the way back. This woman who was a lot stronger than she looked by the way got the upper hand she was going to kill me. She had a sword above me i thought this is it im gonna die. And as she was about to kill me Tom came out of nowhere and distracted her long enough for me to kill her."
"I told you he saved my life!"
"You didnt give us details"
"He got hurt my priority was getting him help."
McKay opens his mouth and closes it again.
"Are we sure hes safe?"
"I trust him."
Weir looks at the team then at Sheppard. "Hes your Responsibility and when hes better hes going back to P4X-237"
Sheppard holds up his hand with three fingers up "scouts honor"
"You werent a boy scout!"
"Shut up McKay!"
After their meeting Sheppard goes to the infirmary to check on Tom. Beckett has him on a bed hooked up to a couple IVs.
"Hey Doc. How is he?"
"Hes Extremely malnourished."
"Yea but what about his injuries?"
"He has a concussion and multiple cuts."
"Will he be ok?"
"Aye believe so. Ive started him on fluids because hes also dehydrated."
"Thanks Doc I owe you"
Tom wakes up the next morning in a new and confusing place. He looks around and realizes hes alone. Tom sniffs the air everything smells weird. Where is he? A nurse notices Tom and goes to get Beckett.
"Dr Beckett your patient is awake."
Beckett looks up from the paper in his hand. "Thank you Marie"
Beckett puts his paperwork down and goes to check on Tom.
"Hello Tom my name is Dr Beckett...."
Tom looks at Beckett and panics. He manages to get under the blankets and hides.
"Oh Tom Im not going to hurt you Lad. Im here to help you feel better."
Tom stays under the blankets.
Beckett sighs and gets on the radio. "Colonel Sheppard?"
"Hey Doc is something wrong?"
"No Sheppard i just wanted to let you know Tom is awake"
"Ok im on my way."
Beckett looks at the shaking lump in the blanket. "No need to be afraid laddie Sheppard is on his way"
5 minutes later Sheppard walks into the infirmary with Rodney in tow. "Im telling to Sheppard hes not safe."
"Will you drop it Rodney."
Beckett had been staying with Tom to keep an eye on him and wait for Sheppard. As soon as Tom heard Johns voice his head popped out of the blanket and he looked around. John saw Beckett and made his way over.
"How is he?"
"Terrified. He hid under the blanket as soon as i came to check on him."
"Hey Tom. Its ok Dr Beckett just wants to makes sure you feel better."
"Thats what i told him"
"Tom its ok"
Tom slowly climbs out from under the blankets. Becket starts checking Over Tom. Tom watches Beckett warily.
"I promise he wont hurt you Tom"
Tom glances at Sheppard and relaxes a little.
"Its ok Tom."
Dr weir comes into the infirmary and heads over to Beckett and the others. "How is Tom?"
"About that i have some news. I took a few blood samples from Tom and I got the results back"
"He has human DNA."
"He is part human? How is that possible?"
Sheppard looks at Tom. Tom looked at his paws.
"Can he understand us?"
"Tom? Tom look at me"
Tom looks at Sheppard.
"Tom can you understand me?"
Tom tilts his head sideways.
"Beckett says your part human."
"You can understand me?"
Tom nods again.
"Can you speak?"
Tom shakes his head no.
"Tom can we test your Intelligence?"
Tom tilts his head in confusion.
"I want to know how smart you are."
Tom looks at Rodney blankly. why does he want to know that? I did tell them i cant speak right? Do they expect me to turn human?
"Tom are you ok?"
Tom snaps out of his train of thought and nods.
"Rodney he needs his rest"
"right I know that I was asking him permission to test his intelligence for when he feels up to it"
Tom curls up and yelps.
"what happened are you ok?"
Tom gets up and starts licking his shoulder.
"did you lay down wrong?
Beckett grabs a scanner and scans Tom with it. Tom watches Beckett wearily.
"Oh Dear it appears i missed something."
"what did you miss?"
"his leg is broken."
"How did you miss that?!?!?!"
Beckett glares at Rodney. "I was a little more preoccupied with figuring out how to treat his other symptoms"
"what other symptoms?"
"his concussion and his Malnourishment"
"nothing to worry aboot lad ill set the leg and put a cast on you"
Tom watches as Beckett approaches the bed. Beckett grabs Toms leg which sets him into Panic mode. Tom starts Shrieking. Sheppard pets Toms head.
"Tom, hey Tom, its ok im right here. You can relax your not alone."
"Sheppard Im going to need you to hold him still."
Sheppard carefully wraps Tom into a hug being mindful of the spikes that line Toms back. Tom relaxes in Johns arms. Sheppard hugs Toms head against his Chest.
"im sorry Lad but this is going to hurt. It wont hurt long I promise ye. But it will hurt."
Beckett feels Toms leg for the Break puts his hands above and below it. Sheppard holds Tom close and whispers to Tom how its all going to be ok. Beckett sets the bone quickly theres a loud snap and Tom Shrieks in pain.
"Im sorry Lad but thats it. Theres no more pain. Im just going to put a cast on it so the bone heals properly."
Beckett sets about putting a cast on Tom. Tom watches his suspiciously. With Sheppards help Beckett manages to get a cast on Tom. After the cast is on Tom sits on the bed pouting. He doesnt like the weird thing on his arm.
Tom tries chewing through the cast and Beckett yells at him every time he catches him. Tom pouts and attempts to chew the cast off. Sheppard visits regularly. Tom loves when Sheppard visits Beckett notices Tom seems more alive.
Sheppard loves visiting Tom. The little Grandel is a highlight to his day. Tom is entertaining the way hes so dog like but also not a dog. Sheppard cant help but wonder about the human part of Tom. How human is he? Can he shape shift? There are so many questions.
One day Sheppard doesnt visit. Tom thinks maybe he was busy. So he waits but the next day comes and goes and sheppard still doesnt visit. Tom starts to wonder if he did something wrong. As the days pass without Sheppards return Tom gets more depressed. Beckett notices Toms health starts taking a turn for the worst. He talks with Elizabeth about this. Tom has stopped eating. Beckett thinks he needs to force feed Tom.
Sheppard is missing. As are the rest of his team. Tom has no one to help him. Beckett is starting to think there may be no hope for Tom. He does his best to cheer Tom up. Tom just wont have it. He lays on his bed he doesn't even try to chew on the cast.
Toms health is getting worse. As a last resort Beckett decides to have Lorne start Visiting Tom. It doesn't seem to help. Lorne does his best to cheer Tom up but the little creature doesnt seem to care for anyone else but Sheppard.
"Hey Tom. Its me your pal Evan. How are you feeling today? Still missing John? I know how you feel i miss him too. Dont worry though hes a tough man. We will see him again. He always comes back. Sheppard is funny like that no matter the situation he always seems to find a way back."
Tom glances at Lorne.
Tom looks at him as if to ask where?
"You know him as Sheppard?"
Tom looks away.
"I didn't mean to tease you about him. I just wanted to know what you reacted to"
"Im sorry. Hey would it cheer you up if i told you stories about him?"
Tom closes his eyes.
"Sheppard has been in a lot of crazy situations. He had to save Rodney and Ronon from the wraith once"
Tom doesn't respond.
Beckett looks on from the doorway to his office. Lorne had a good idea but he's afraid Tom doesn't want stories he wants the real thing. Beckett is afraid if John and his team don't get back soon Tom might not make it.
Lorne continues the story and watches Tom for a reaction. Tom remains impassive.
Tom is dying. Beckett is doing everything he can. He may not make it through the night let alone the next few hours. Tom is getting weaker. Lorne is there trying to comfort Tom. Tom seems to have given up. Beckett keeps fighting. Just as All hope is lost for Tom the alarm starts going off. Theres unauthorized gate activity.
"Sheppard and his team are back!"
The call goes through the radio.
"We need a medical Team to the gate room"
Beckett sends a Team. He doesnt want to leave Tom alone. Tom is gone or very nearly so when the team returns with Sheppard on a stretcher.
Sheppard isn't making any sense. Tom hears him and twitches his tail. Lorne noticed. Beckett immediately went to help Sheppard. Tom forgotten for the moment. Beckett took Sheppard straight to surgery. Lorne stayed with Tom.
"Hey bud Sheppards back. He's gonna need your help. Tom can you hear me?"
Lorne pets Toms head. Tom opens his eyes.
"Sheppard is Back. He needs you hes hurt he's going to need you to help him."
Toms tail twitches. Sheppards team walks through the door. They come visit Tom while waiting for news on Sheppard. Lorne explains as best he can about whats happened with Tom.
"Tom" McKay snaps his fingers. "Tom!"
"Rodney. Do not yell at him."
"I want to make sure he isnt dead"
"That doesnt mean you need to yell"
Tom looks at them and sighs.
"I think he's getting better."
"Hes happy Sheppard is back"
A few hours later Sheppard is finally out of surgery. Tom is anxiously awaiting with the rest of Sheppards team. Tom seems to have more energy than hes had since Sheppards team was pronounced Missing. Lorne has noticed a huge difference in his behavior. Tom is no longer on the brink of Death. Doctor Nate confirmed it. Tom has even had a small meal. He drank half a bowl of broth. Tom seems to be able to stomach the food served on Atlantis which is good since they dont know what his meals would normally consist of.
Sheppard gets wheeled into position in ne bed next to Toms bed. Tom whines upon seeing Sheppard wrapped up in bandages and unconscious. Lorne pets Toms head.
"Its ok Bud hes ok."
"Hes banged up and he has a broken leg. But I removed the shrapnel and closed him up. He should wake up in a couple hours."
"See Tom hes ok."
"Rodney say something to him"
"Like what? Sheppard is alive he's sleeping right now. Is that what you want me to tell him? You know im not good with kids let alone young Grandels"
"Rodney be nice."
"Youre the one who asked me to say something to him."
"It is ok Tom. Colonel Sheppard will be alright he is resting."
"Yeah hes asleep. He missed you while we were gone."
Tom looks at all of them as they speak. He looks at Sheppard as if expecting him to say something next. Sheppard remains asleep.
"I really dont think he's smart enough to understand what we just told him."
"Hes part human Rodney."
"That doesnt mean he's smart enough to understand what we say."
Tom growls at Rodney.
"Oh shut up you."
"I think he understood you Rodney."
Tom suddenly leaps from his bed to Sheppards. Sheppard grunts when Tom lands on him.
"Tom! You canae do that!"
Tom looks at Beckett confused.
"You ripped out your IV lines and you could have hurt Sheppard even worse"
Tom looks at Sheppard and sniffs him. He then lays down. Beckett sighs.
"What am I gonna do with him?"
Tom curls up and sleeps.
"I think you should let him stay who knows what kind of riot he'll cause if you take him away from Sheppard"
"Aye. You may be bloody right."
Sheppard woke up a few hours later. He couldn't breathe. He felt like there was an elephant on his chest. Rodney had stayed by his side to keep him company while the rest of the team was sent away. Tom lay curled up comfortably on Sheppard. When Rodney noticed Sheppard stirring he ran to go fetch Beckett immediately.
Tom looks at Rodney irritated.
"Tom. Laddie your not helping Sheppard."
Tom looks at Sheppard and realizes that hes awake. Tom immediately goes and starts licking Sheppards face.
Tom whines excitedly.
"I missed you too."
"Tom is it ok if i get in there to check on Sheppard."
Tom growls at Beckett when he gets too close for comfort. Beckett backs up.
"Tom. Hey Tom. Its ok. He just wants to make sure i get better."
Tom rubs his head against Sheppard.
"I love you too Tom but you need to let Dr Beckett do his job."
Beckett gets close again. Tom bares his teeth but doesn't make a noise. Beckett starts by checking IV lines. When Tom realizes what Becketts intentions are he relaxes. Beckett relaxes as well and goes about checking on Sheppard. Tom watched Beckett and stays out of his way.
"Good boy Tom."
Tom wags his tail.
"Aye. You have been good. Thank you laddie."
Rodney is working on his laptop and not playing any attention to the others. Tom looks at Rodney. He looks at the laptop and is curious as to why it holds Rodneys attention. What is it? How is it so interesting? Tom tries to sniff the laptop from the bed. He extends himself as far as he can without falling off the bed. Sheppard watches Tom.
"Tom leave him alone he's working."
Tom looks at Sheppard. Working? What does that mean?
"Hes not going to play with you. Besides we dont need you falling off the bed and hurting yourself."
Tom looks down at the floor. Right no falling. Fine you win. Tom curls up against Sheppards side and starts falling asleep again. Sheppard strokes his head and starts falling asleep as well.
When Sheppard awoke the next morning Tom was nowhere to be found. Sheppard looked around the bed and even to Toms old empty bed. But Tom wasnt there. Where could Tom have gone? He didnt leave the infirmary did he? Oh god he could be anywhere! Can he swim? What if he falls into the ocean? Sheppard spots Ronon asleep in the chair Rodney had occupied yesterday.
"Ronon! Where is Tom?"
Ronon wakes up. "What?"
"Where is Tom?"
Ronon looks around. "He was asleep on your lap when i came in a little bit ago."
"Well hes not here now! Where is he?"
Ronon gets ip and starts searching for Tom. He checks the bathroom the other beds. Ronon is about to call Elizabeth over the radio when he sees Dr Nick walking over to Sheppard. Ronon goes back to Sheppard.
"Doc. Tom is gone."
"Hes not gone."
"Where is he?"
"Hes been taken to get some testing done."
"What kind of testing?"
"Elizabeth wanted his intellect tested"
"Dont tell me hes a lab rat?"
"No. Rodney is setting up tests that will test his problem solving skills."
"So hes a lab rat"
"I assure you hes not."
"Where is he i need to see him"
"Sheppard you have to stay on bed rest."
"Im not going to let Rodney run endless tests on him! I need to see him!"
"Sheppard dont make me sedate you."
"Ack what the bloody hell is going on here?"
"Carson they took Tom!"
"Where is Tom?"
"Nick says hes in Rodneys lab"
"Ye can't take Tom and run tests on him! Hes my patient hes not been approved to leave the infirmary!"
"Carson Elizabeth wanted the tests done."
"I dont bloody care! I haven't approved him leaving!"
Carson gets on his Radio and calls Elizabeth. "Elizabeth. Its Carson. You canae take my patient i havent approved him leaving the infirmary."
"Carson, Nick said he was approved."
"Im his primary Doctor not Nick. Tom is not approved to leave the Infirmary."
"Im sorry Carson we will bring hi-" theres a crashing sound in the background and loud Voices.
"Elizabeth what is going on?"
"Tom. Tom stop! Tom!"
"Ronon do you mind...?"
"Im on it." Ronon runs out of the infirmary.
"You and i will have words later Nick!"
Beckett goes about checking on Sheppard. He changes a few bandages. Sheppard is healing nicely.
There was a loud crash just outside the infirmary and Tom comes bolting in. Ronon following behind him. Tom immediately jumps onto Sheppards bed and curls into him shaking.
"Tom. Are you ok?"
Beckett comes back out from his office after having had his long conversation with Nick. He had heard the crash and had seen Tom run by. Beckett heads to Sheppards bed and finds Tom curled into Sheppards side.
"Theres the little lad."
Tom glances at Beckett and buries his face into Sheppard.
"Its ok Tom. You're safe now."
"What did they do to him?"
"It looked like Rodney wanted him to solve a problem to get some sort of reward"
"He wanted to test his problem solving skills? Why is Tom shaking so bad? He's acting like he's traumatized."
"I dont know but he was trying to escape when i got there. Rodney let him out and he ran. I followed him to help him get back here."
"Tom did they hurt you?"
"No it didnt look like anything could hurt him it looked like a maze."
"Tom is it ok if i look you over?"
Tom keeps himself buried into Sheppards side. Beckett comes around and starts examining him. Sheppard comforts Tom as best he can. Beckett touches Toms head and Tom immediately snaps. He bites down on Becketts hand. Beckett yelps in surprise and pain.
"Tom let him go."
Ronon pulls out his blaster and aims at Tom.
Tom holds on. Beckett remains as calm as possible so as not to get Tom to hurt him more. Sheppard notices Ronons gun.
"Ronon put the gun away"
"Hes got Beckett."
"Yes and if you shoot him it could make things worse."
"Ronon hes only holding on its a warning he's telling me i made a mistake and not to do it again."
"Ronon put the gun away. Thats an order."
Ronon puts his blaster away. "Fine"
"Tom let Beckett go. Hes not a threat. You know him. Hes just trying to help."
Tom lets go and puts his ears flat. He looks at Sheppard apologetically.
"Dont give me that look it wasnt me that you bit."
Tom turns to look at Beckett.
"It's alright laddie. I understand I made a mistake. I wont touch you again without asking."
Tom puts his head down. Ronon sits in the chair. Beckett continues his exam being careful not to touch Tom.
"Tom does anything hurt? Do you feel any pain?"
Tom thinks about it. He shakes his head.
"Did you get any cuts that i should be aware of?"
Tom shakes his head.
"Do i have to give you a scan?"
Tom shakes his head. He yawns and glances at Sheppard. Sheppard has fallen asleep again.
"Is it ok if i scan you again anyway?"
Tom nods. Beckett scans Tom checking on the healing of his broken leg. He also checks for any new fractures or breaks but finds none. Toms leg is almost completely healed.
Tom wakes up to Beckett moving around the bed. He watches Beckett annoyed. Beckett doesn't seem to notice. Hes busy with some device that Tom has not seen before. Sheppard watches Toms reactions. Tom is very inquisitive. Hes also very nervous. Beckett finally gets done setting up the Device and turns to Sheppards bed.
"Ah your awake. Are you ready Tom?"
Tom cocks his head to the side.
"Its for your cast."
Tom looks at the cast on his leg. How?
"Are you sensitive to loud noises Tom?"
Tom cocks his head the other way.
"Oi this is gonna be interestin"
"Should I hold him?"
"I want to see his reaction first"
Beckett grabs a ribbon and shoves it down into Toms cast. Tom glares at Beckett in warning.
"Sorry lad I forgot to ask"
Tom watches Beckett. Beckett grabs the drill and shows it to Tom.
"This is a drill Tom. It is gonna get very loud when I turn it on. Im gonna use this to cut off the cast"
Tom sniffs towards the Drill.
"Tom is it ok if i start cutting off yout cast?"
Tom nods. Beckett turns on the drill and it gets loud. Tom yelps. Beckett brings the drill closer and Tom panics. Tom pees himself in fear. Beckett turns off the drill.
Tom looks at Sheppard terrified. Sheppard pulls Tom into a hug.
"Its ok Tom. You are safe. Beckett wont hurt you"
Tom is shaking like a leaf. Beckett sighs.
"What are we gonna do? How do i get the cast off if he's gonna pee himself?"
"I could hold him?"
"Shall we try that?"
"Its worth a shot"
Beckett turns the drill back on. Sheppard holds Tom close to his chest. Tom panics. Tom struggles against Sheppard. Sheppard speaks calming words to him. Tom struggles even harder. Beckett watches before deciding to bring the Drill closer. Tom goes full on panic attack and bites Sheppard on the arm hard enough to Draw blood. Sheppard yelps. Beckett turns the drill off and puts it down.
"Tom! Why did you bite Sheppard?"
"Ow Tom that hurt."
Tom looks at Sheppard apologetically. He didnt mean to bite Sheppard he panicked. The noise was too loud and the drill was scary. He didnt like it. Beckett walked away. Sheppard examines his arm. Tom moves to the end of the bed by Sheppards feet and lays down facing away from Sheppard. He lays his ears flat against his head and looks at his paws.
Beckett returns with some supplies. He gets to work checking the bite. He flushes it out and makes sure it's clean. Beckett then bandages the wound and cleans up some of the supplies. Beckett turns to Tom. Tom is lost in his own mind. He screwed up and now Sheppard is going to send him back to his woods and he will continue to live his life in isolation. Why does he have to ruin everything?
Beckett comes over to Tom and stands in front him. "Tom. Tom? Im going to cut the cast off now. I didnt want to use the scissors but since the drill is too loud for you i have no choice. Is it ok if i cut off the cast? Im going to have to touch you to do it."
Tom doesn't reply. Hes too busy thinking about the future he's going to end up living. On that planet in those woods all by himself. Beckett starts cutting the cast off. Rodney and the team walk in and watch. Ronon keeps his hand on his blaster incase he needs to use it. Beckett finishes cutting off the cast and pulls it off of Tom. Tom doesn't even notice.
"What happened? Did you drug him?"
"If i had I would have used the drill to cut the cast off."
"Why is he so calm?"
"I do not think he is calm. He looks like hes distressed."
"I tried to use the drill the noise was too loud and he panicked. Sheppard tried holding him down and he bit Sheppard."
"He bit Sheppard? John are you ok?"
"Im fine. Although Tom is refusing to look at me. He does look sad though."
"I wonder what he is thinking."
"Hes a dog he doesn't understand his consequences."
"Hes also part human."
"That doesnt mean anything."
"Tom has human DNA."
"Ok. But does he look human to you? I doubt he has a full understanding of what we say."
Tom turns his head away from all of them. I understand you, i just can't talk to you. Tom closes his eyes and falls asleep.
Sheppard wakes up at night to find Tom gone again. He looks around and finds Tom in his own bed. Tom is facing away from Sheppard. He is really regretting biting me. Man he has his emotions like a teenager. Is he a teenager?
Tom stays on his bed all night. Tom is trying to let go. He's preparing for the inevitable.
Teyla is hanging out with both of them. She watched Tom switch beds. She noticed Sheppard look for Tom. She also noticed Tom hes sad. He looks like he's getting ready to leave. He's cutting himself off from them. What happened to him? Who hurt him this badly? He made a mistake he was terrified and he attacked. He was cornered. Does he believe that he will be sent to live on his own? Does he not know that Sheppard wont allow that?
In the morning Teyla convinces Dr Beckett to have someone take Tom for a walk. She wants to talk with Sheppard. A half hour later Lorne comes around and gets Tom. Tom is unsure of what's happening but he follows Lorne anyway. He glances at Sheppard before he leaves. Sheppard wakes up and notices Tom is gone.
"Wheres Tom? Hes not in Rodneys office again is he?"
"No John. Major Lorne took him for a walk."
"A walk where?"
"Just a walk. I wanted to talk to you and i didnt want Tom here."
"You noticed his behavior. He's afraid."
"Afraid of what?"
"That he's going to be sent back home."
"He bit you. I think he was abused."
"They threw rocks at him in the village."
"More than that. I think hes met others before. I think hes been sent back to that planet more then once."
"So your saying he thinks we are going to send him back because he bit me?"
"Look at his behavior since he bit you John."
"Sleeping in his own bed?"
"Where did he sleep before?"
"Curled into my side. Shit. Your right. He's saying goodbye. He's trying to protect his heart."
"He was timid when we met him. How many more times do you think he will try to meet new people if we send him back?"
"Not very many. Eventually i dont think hed even bother. Then he might become the monster the villagers fear."
"You need to show him its ok."
"Yea but how?"
Sheppard waits impatiently for Tom and Lorne to come back. Tom explores everything. He sniffs every nook and cranny he can reach. Lorne keeps trying to convince Tom to head back now but Tom is too busy exploring.
"Tom. Come on bud it's time to go back."
Tom looks at him then keeps pressing forward.
"Tom Beckett wont be happy."
"You haven't seen Beckett when hes angry. Trust me you'll think twice about making him mad again."
Tom looks at Lorne like he doesn't believe him.
"Tom Sheppard misses you."
Tom ignores him.
"I thought you loved Sheppard"
Tom keeps walking.
"Tom. You're gonna get lost."
Tom glances at Lorne who hasn't moved. He keeps going.
"Alright Tom have it your way ill just head to the cafeteria and eat cookies by myself."
Tom stops and turns to look at Lorne. Lorne is walking away pretending to be sad. Tom glances behind him and decides to follow Lorne instead. Lorne leads Tom to the cafeteria. Tom stops before they get to the door. He can hear a lot of people inside. Tom suddenly gets anxious. Lorne looks at him.
"Its ok Tom. Its lunch time there's gonna be a good number of people in here its normal."
Tom hesitates. Lorne can see he's thinking things through.
"Its ok Tom."
Tom whines. He wants cookies but what will the reaction be when the people see him? Will he be attacked? He doesn't want to be attacked. He lays down.
"Tom its ok. Im with you. You want cookies right? They are inside."
Tom whines again. He looks at Lorne with a pleading look in his eyes.
"Tom i wont let anyone hurt you."
Tom slowly gets up and follows Lorne timidly. He tucks his tail between his legs and tries to make himself as small as possible while walking. Maybe people wont notice him.
Tom was wrong. They noticed him. One person screamed. Others turned to look. Lorne stood between Tom and anybody trying to get near him. Tom turned to try to get to the door but realized there were people behind him. He laid down making himself as small as possible. He waited for the attack. None came. Dr Weir happened to walk in. Every person who was looking at Tom went back to their meals.
Tom looked at Dr Weir and stayed down. He knows shes the boss.
"Lorne what is Tom doing out of the infirmary?"
"Dr Beckett thought it would be a good idea to have Tom go for a walk to stretch his legs."
"And you decided to bring him here?"
"No we explored a good part of the city. I brought him here to get cookies and to try to bring him back to the infirmary."
"You werent in a dangerous part of the city were you?"
"No ma'am. We stayed around the occupied area of the city except someone wanted to keep exploring."
Tom pretends he doesn't hear them.
"Good i dont want him to end up back in the infirmary with worse injuries than he had when he left."
"Ton are you behaving?"
Tom looks at her.
"Ill take that as a yes. Enjoy your cookies."
Lorne gets them some cookies and uses the cookies to lead Tom back to the infirmary. Sheppard is taking a nap when they come in. Tom hops up on his bed and looks at Lorne expectantly. Lorne looks at Tom confused. Tom looks at the bag in Lornes hand.
"Oh right. Your cookies. Im gonna give you two now and you can have more later ok?"
Tom wags his tail. Lorne gives him two cookies. Tom scarfs them down. He looks at Lorne when he's finished. Tom Whines.
"No i said no more."
Tom whines and makes himself look adorable.
Tom flattens his ears and makes his eyes wider.
Tom glances at Sheppard and curls up in his bed. Lorne looks at them both. Oh man is it going to be a long day. Im glad I have work to do. Lorne leaves the infirmary to go do his duties.
Teyla had left and Rodney is back in his chair. Hes busy typing away. Sheppard wakes up from his nap to notice Tom is back. His walk must have been tiring hes asleep. Sheppard considered waking him up but decides against it. He doesn't know if Tom gets angry when hes awoken. Sheppard watches Tom sleep and notes how calm he is. I wonder what he dreams about? Does he dream about home?
Tom wakes with a start. He looks around and calms down. He spots Sheppard and looks away pretending he doesn't see him.
Tom lays his head on his paws.
"Tom. Can i talk to you?"
Tom glances at Sheppard.
"Ok well im gonna talk but it would be nice to know you're listening."
Tom turns toward Sheppard but refuses to look at him.
"Ill take that as a go ahead. Tom im not mad at you. I understand why you bit me. You felt trapped. You were terrified and I didnt read your signs"
Tom glances at him.
"Im not going to abandon you for it. The bite wasn't your fault it was mine. I should have read the signs and let you go."
Tom looks at Sheppard in shock. Is he serious?
"I like you Tom. Im not going to let you leave here without me. Im not talking about the infirmary. Im talking about Atlantis."
Tom is reading the expression on Sheppards face. He's serious. Can i stay? I like you too. This place is amazing. The people arent as mean.
"Do you want to stay?"
"Would you like to share my room?"
"Then its decided your stuck with us."
Tom tilts his head confused.
"Youll get used to the way we speak to."
"Don't forget Colonel not everyone speaks English."
"Thats what I meant he'll get used to the way we speak. All the different languages included."
"Just wanted to be sure."
About a month later Sheppard was finally released from the infirmary. Tom had been out exploring with Lorne a few times a week. Tom had been allowed to leave the infirmary 3 weeks ago but he stayed with Sheppard and no one dared to argue with him. Beckett didn't like it but he allowed Tom to stay.
Elizabeth had met with Sheppard a few times while Tom was exploring with Lorne. Elizabeth and Sheppard argued about Tom staying. Elizabeth had not agreed to let him stay when Sheppard promised Tom he could. Sheppards argument was solid Tom nearly died when Sheppard and his team had been captured. Elizabeth reluctantly agreed but made sure that Sheppard knew Tom was his responsibility.
Tom was blissfully unaware of the tension he caused between Sheppard and Elizabeth. Now that Sheppard was free Tom stayed by his side. Everyone that walked past them kept a distance. Sheppard notices and doesn't say a word. Tom noticed. Sheppard leads Tom to his room. Tom explores the room and sniffs everything.
About a month later is when the really weird stuff started happening. Tom was very slowly welcomed by Atlantis. Some folks were still weary of him but everyone had grown used to him being around especially since he never left Sheppards side. The mentality seemed to be if Sheppard trusts him i guess i can too.
It happened one evening while Sheppard and Tom were hanging out in their room after an uneventful day. Sheppard had gone to take a shower. Tom stayed in the room. Last Sheppard had seen Tom he had jumped onto the bed. Sheppard thought nothing of it. When Sheppard left the bathroom to get clothes he couldn't find Tom. He did however find a young boy.
"H... h... hi"
"Whats your name?"
"How did you get in here Tom?"
"Thats your name"
"I don't understand what you are trying to tell me"
"Wait... your the Grandel? Tom?"
"You can turn human?!?!?!"
"So you understand us"
"Why didnt you change before?"
"React? Have people reacted badly to this?"
Tom nods. "Danger"
"Danger... the village?"
"They throw rocks at you."
"So why change now? Why not just stay as the Grandel?"
"Grandel is name"
"Name? You mean your name is Grandel?"
"Do you want to be called Grandel?"
"Like Tom better"
"So... you can change form... is it only between human and the dog?"
Tom nods. "Only two"
"Ok. Do you mind if i get dressed ill be right out."
Tom nods "ok"
Sheppard grabs his clothes and gets dressed. He brushed his teeth and goes back to out to the room. Tom is still human. He is sitting on the bed quietly.
"Um... hey. Im back."
"Not me. You."
"You have questions"
"Yea. Um... are you going to stay human?"
"Want me to?"
"I dont know how others will react."
"No. Id say shocked. Um confused."
"Maybe don't switch in front of people."
Sheppard kept Toms secret for about a week. Tom followed Sheppard around in the wolf creature form. Tom would turn human when he and Sheppard were alone in their room at night and they would talk. Toms English slowly got better.
"Hey Tom. Can you change your wolf form?"
"What you mean?"
"Like can you change if you have spikes?"
"Dunno haven't tried"
"Maybe you should try it. Or can you change the length of your tail?"
Tom gets up to go to the bathroom. Rodney walks into Sheppards room without knocking.
"Who are you talking to?"
"Oh hey Rodney. I was talking to Tom."
"But i heard two voices Tom cant talk."
"Dont be stupid Rodney its just me and Tom."
"Where is Tom?"
"In the bathroom."
"Why did you lock him in there?!?!" Rodney rushed to open the door. He yanks the door open and catches human Tom washing his hands.
"Why is there a kid?"
"No Tom is a Grandel."
"Grandel was his name but now he goes by Tom."
"You can talk?"
"Sheppard how long have you known???"
"He showed me last week."
"Hes not a lab rat Rodney."
"No i wont let you run tests in him."
"Yes you are Tom"
"....." Rodney opened his mouth to speak and closed it again.
"Tom has spoken no tests"
"Ok... can i at least ask questions?"
"I not talk good but yes"
"Its not an interview Rodney. He has the right to choose not to answer questions."
"I know. Tom you can understand us when you are the dog thing?"
"So you understood everything we said in the infirmary?"
"Oh... im sorry for what I said."
"Can you change your appearance?"
"You want him to show you how he switched from human to dog creature?"
"No i mean can he choose to have a tail in human form or claws or something?"
"Actually thats a good question Tom can you do that?"
Tom shrugs. "Dunno. Can try." Tom concentrates really hard and manages to grow a small tail that goes down to his knees.
Tom looks at his tail and smiles "guess i can"
Rodney sucks at keeping secrets. Within a day of Rodney finding out about Toms secret rumors had started to spread. Some of them were outrageous. Sheppard shook his head every time he heard a new one.
"His human form has horns on his head like the devil." People murmured as they walked by.
"I hear he still has his tail when he's human." Another group of gossiping people whisper a little loudly.
How many rumors had started? What was Rodney telling people? Sheppard had to find out. Tom was starting to feel rejected. Everyone kept talking about him like he was a freak. He stayed by Sheppards side and avoided eye contact with anyone who wasn't Sheppard. Before Tom and Sheppard could make it to Rodneys lab they get stopped by Ronon and Teyla.
"Is it true?"
"Is what true?"
"That he can turn human?"
"Yes he can. But he looks like a little boy. He doesn't have any extra parts or whatever else people are saying."
"I need to ask Rodney if hes the one spreading the rumors."
"Right. We'll come with you"
Sheppard leads the Team minus Rodney to Rodneys lab.
"What did you do McKay?!"
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"Everyone is talking about Tom!"
"Dont play dumb with me McKay. I kept his secret then you find out and suddenly the whole city knows!"
"I didnt tell anyone!"
"Well somebody did! We were the only two people who knew about it and i sure as hell didnt tell anyone!"
"Ive been in my lab all day. After I left from your room i cane straight back here. I haven't even gone to get my food. I had it dropped off."
"Well then how did everyone find out???"
"I dont know!"
"I know Tom."
"What?" Rodney looks in the direction that Tom is looking. "Oh Zelenka. Hes busy. I don't even think he noticed you guys walk in."
"I noticed. I chose to ignore it."
"Do you know how the rumors started spreading Zelenka?"
"No. But we can check security footage to find out."
"Why didn't i think of that?"
"Because Sheppard was yelling at you and you got defensive."
"Right. Im going to check security footage."
"What are you going to look for?"
"Good question. I dont know... any ideas?"
"No. But check anyway."
"I plan on it."
Sheppard leaves the lab with Tom, Ronon, and Teyla in tow. Sheppard is about to head back to his office when Elizabeth calls him over the radio.
"Sheppard this is Weir. Come in please"
"John could you bring Tom and meet me in the conference room please."
"Whats this about?"
"Ill let you know when you get there"
"Ok give us about 10 minutes."
Sheppard takes Tom back to their room and grabs some shorts and an old shirt.
"Your gonna need these."
Tom looks confused but he follows Sheppard to the conference room. They arrive a few minutes later and see a crowd outside. Sheppard leads Tom inside making sure to close the door behind them. Elizabeth is waiting inside.
"John. It has come to my attention that Tom can become human?"
"Yes he can."
"Is he dangerous?"
"No. Hes like 6."
"He looks like a 6 year old little boy. Theres no way hes dangerous to anyone."
"Im gonna need a demonstration. I want to be sure hes not a danger to this city."
"I understand thats why I grabbed him some clothes before we came here."
"You expected this"
"I knew when the rumors started they would end up coming to your attention. It was only a matter of time. Tom do you mind?"
Tom looks at Sheppard and then at Weir. Change in front of her? Ok. Tom concentrates and turns human.
"Here Tom put this on."
Tom takes the clothes and puts it on. Hes so small he's swimming in the shirt and the shorts wont stay up.
Weir is shocked. Dr Beckett comes in and stops dead in his tracks.
"How old are you Tom?"
Beckett is in awe. Part of him wants to Study Tom and his ability to change form. He wants to see Tom change form. Tom is unique even in this galaxy.
"How long have you known that you can change?"
"Oh. Can you speak other languages?"
"How many do you speak?"
Tom shrugs "lots"
"Can you give an exact number?"
"No. Cant count."
"Oh. Im sorry I thought you could."
"Elizabeth whats the point of this?"
"I want to assess him."
"By asking him math questions?"
"I didn't ask any math questions"
"I want to know his intelligence level."
"You want to know if hes smart enough to destroy the city."
"I can assure you hes not. No offense Tom. He understands what we say but he struggles to speak proper English he's still learning the language."
"I noticed that."
"So what makes you think that he's smart enough to destroy the city? Or that he would even want to?"
"I don't know him"
"So? I know him. Tom and I have our talks. You can trust me. I trust him. Elizabeth hes a child. He's barely potty trained."
Beckett keeps an eye on Tom. He watches for any signs that could cause Tom to react negatively.
"Tom acts like hes been abused all his life. Why would he want to destroy Atlantis if this is the only home hes ever truly known."
"He was abused?"
"When Tom bit me because he panicked when we tried to take the cast off him, Tom distanced himself from me. He was telling himself that was it. He believed that he was being sent home. That he was going back to that planet to live in isolation for the rest of his life. He shut me out to protect his heart."
"Is that why he was acting odd?"
"Yes. Carson he thought that we were going to sentence him to a lifetime of isolation."
"Thats why you fought so hard for him to stay."
"If we had sent him back who knew how long it would take before he would become the monster the villagers saw him as"
"Not long. Liked you. Like here. Was ready give up."
"Tom. Would you mind having regular talks with me? It wont have to be everyday but i would like to get to know you better."
"It's nothing bad. I know you are friends with John. I want to be your friend to."
"Is that ok?"
"Carson is he ok to go on missions?"
"Tom or Sheppard?"
"Good. Tom you are more than welcome to join Sheppard and his team on off world missions"
"Yea i have been working with him on that. I was hoping to have him better trained before word got out that he could change form"
"You are teaching him?"
"Just how to make it in our city. You know basic human kindness and how to be polite."
"Yes. Lots learn."
"I like you Tom. Welcome to Atlantis. I hope you find this city to be home."
"Yes. Home. A place that you can come back to at the end of the day and feel at ease."
"Too many big words. I think you've confused the poor lad."
"Home isnt just a place. Home is a feeling. Its a person you want to be with. A comfortable place to relax."
"You two are dismissed. Tom maybe become the dog animal again before you go out there"
Tom takes the clothes off and concentrates. He turns back into the dog creature. Becketts jaw hits the floor.