So I Married A Chair
Story 6 - Coronation
Carson Beckett smiled fondly at his unborn daughter, arms around the waist of the hologram form of his wife, the entity of Atlantis. He sighed. “This isn’t fair, darlin’, only touchin’ you for a few wee hours.”
“There is one thing, Carson…” Nena hesitated. “But it requires a lot of commitment.”
Beckett smiled. “Whatever it is, love, ye can be sure I’ll do it.”
His wife looked uncertain. She was usually very trusting of him and this bothered Carson a little. Nena explained softly, “When the Ancients were here, they had rulers. When they all left, it was handed to me. This makes me the queen of Atlantis. Now when our daughter is born, she will be a princess and be able to disappear into a realm where she can touch me. In order for you to enter, however, you need to be made king of Atlantis.”
There was a short silence in which the doctor processed all of this. He had been thrilled to fall in love and have a wife, but to be king? He kept secrets enough that were entrusted to only Major John Sheppard. But it was for Nena, his Nena.
“Och, Nena…” Beckett managed, trying to sound decisive. “What…wha’ sort of authority do I have?”
He was stalling and they both knew it. Nena replied smoothly, “You would have the some powers as I have. We would have equal ruling power and when, in the future, our existence is known, we will rule the city.”
“Ah, darlin’, I’m not going to live forever like ye…”
“Your life signature forbids death, Carson. Now give me an answer!”
Beckett paused a bit longer. In this pause, his wife turned around to look him in the eyes, searching for her answer. The doctor’s face lit up with a smile. “Then, Nena, I will be ye king.”
Carson sat down in the mess next to John, beaming. The Major raised an eyebrow. “Let me guess…Nena?”
“For once I know something before ye,” Beckett said triumphantly. “You’re goin’ to be the only peasant at my coronation.”
John dropped his fork and stared at his friend. He asked carefully, “Are you telling me you’re going to be a king?”
“Aye – king of Atlantis…nice ring to it.”
“In that case, your majesty,” snorted Sheppard. “Do you want some juice or you prefer coffee?”
Carson smiled at this. “I don’t expect anythin’ from ye, John. It’s jus’ that Nena says there needs to be one witness…preferably some form of Ancient. The coronation is in a day – I'd like ye to be there.”
Just then Rodney came over and sat down, his plate piled high. He glanced at both of the other men. “Did I miss something?”
John choked back a laugh, eyes watering. He tried to bury his attention in his food, completely ignoring McKay. Beckett shook his head, smiling. “Forget it, Rodney.”
“No, I want to know what the joke is,” snapped the scientist.
Ford and Teyla had started conferring with Rodney about the stranger behaviour of the Major and the Scot. John looked up, a seriousness sweeping into his eyes. “It’s a personal joke, Rodney and we’re not paying you out. In fact, I’m paying Carson out.”
“Haha, very funny, see?” Beckett forced a laugh.
The physicist didn’t look satisfied, but he conceded by asking if the doctor was recovered from his Wraith encounter. Carson chuckled. “As easy to get over as a computer virus.”
John kicked him.
John and Carson walked through the corridors, pausing occasionally to look out the windows at the darkening sky. Sheppard was grinning. “So do you think you’re ready for this?”
“No, what do ye think?” Beckett muttered. “I’m going to be able to operate the controls of the city just by thinking. Do ye think I’m ready for that?”
The Major glanced up the corridor and smiled. “I think I’ll leave you two to discuss this. I’ll see you at the coronation tomorrow.”
He took a side corridor and hurried swiftly away. Nena had appeared. She embraced her husband and pulled him into his water view apartments. The window was open and admitting a refreshing breeze.
“I’ve been hearing your anxiety all through the city.” Nena laughed.
Carson sat down with her, holding her hands in his. “I don’t know if I’m ready, love. I get the jitters when it comes to flyin’ the Puddle Jumpers.”
“You were afraid of the chair at first,” his wife reminded him. “You got over that fear. I was there for you. I still am.”
Her touch reminded Beckett why he was doing it. He leant forward and kissed her fully. He looked into her eyes and smiled. “And both times I did it for ye, darlin’.”
The wearing of the special designation jackets was lessened as everyone crossed the divisions and made friends. In fact, they were only worn if aliens were visiting or it was very cold. It was a mild day and the odd thing about it was that Carson Beckett was wearing his yellow medical jacket. His hair was more groomed than usual and he kept rubbing his beard nervously.
Some thought perhaps this madness had spread for Major Sheppard too sported his jacket, the standard grey for military. His hair was slicked back and not one part was out of place. At exactly midday, when all the personnel were off to the mess hall, John and Carson left their respective stations.
They both met up in a domed room that no others knew about. The pod that was usually in the middle was shifted off into the other domed room, leaving the first one bare of anything but windows.
“You still nervous?” John asked.
Beckett shifted. “A wee bit.”
The entity of Atlantis appeared, dressed in a regal white. She was wearing a headband of white gold embedded with small pale jewels. Carson walked to her so that they were both in the centre of the room. John stayed to the sides, resting against the wall and smiling at the scene.
“Do you take upon your shoulders the responsibility of a ruler of the city of Atlantis?” Nena asked, as the ritual required.
Beckett cleared his throat nervously. “Aye, I do.”
“Do you accept the powers of king and of an Ancient?”
And so the questions continued, Carson’s determination growing with each of his strong answers. The entity of Atlantis turned to John and asked if he bore witness to the event and the Major answered positively. At last, Nena placed her hands on Beckett’s head. “I declare you King Carson Beckett of Atlantis, the husband of Queen Nena Beckett of Atlantis.”
White wash spread over the doctor, starting at his head. A similar head hugging crown to Nena’s appeared on his head and white clothes replaced his standard expedition gear. Carson blinked a couple of times, then a smiled spread on his face.
“I guess you’re a computer program now!” Sheppard said gleefully.
Beckett pulled a face. “I’m still human and ye know it, John. Ye can get back to whatever ye were doin’. Nena is teaching me my duties.”
Major Sheppard rolled his eyes and left, chuckling to himself.
“Are you ready to enter the system?” Nena asked her husband.
Carson nodded hesitantly. Both figures shimmered out.
It was just like a replica of the city, but less than a quarter of the size and definitely empty. Beckett followed Nena around, admiring the architecture. The queen explained, “I created this reality to keep me from driving mad. Now I can share it with you and our daughter.”
“Ye goin’ to show me our apartment?” Carson asked.
“You know, Carson, we can touch for an unlimited amount of time here.”
“That’s what I was hinting at, darlin’.”
Nena slid off his new white shirt.
“John! Do you know where Carson is?”
Sheppard turned at Rodney’s voice and grinned widely. “He’s with his bonnie lass so I wouldn’t disturb him if I was you.”
Beckett woke feeling extremely content. He smiled at his sleeping wife, dropping a soft kiss on her forehead. Nena’s eyes fluttered open. She ran her fingers over his beard. “Hello, my king.”
“Hello yeself, my queen,” Carson responded tenderly.
His wife smiled back and kissed him fully on the lips. Beckett glanced at his watch and sighed. “I should get back, darlin’. It’s been three hours.”
“Sorry, Nena.” He grinned. “Duty calls.”
There was a pause. Nena reminded him, “You need to learn to pass from reality to reality. Just…think it.”
“I’m still human aren’t I?”
“Yes. Just as I am still an entity.”
Beckett closed his eyes and concentrated. He tried to ignore the oddly buoyant feeling that swamped him. When he opened his eyes again, he was in the domed room with the pod, wearing his white attire. Another quick thought and he was just as he’d been that morning.
Nena appeared, wearing her whites and crown. She embraced her husband. “I have a surprise for you.”
She stepped back and a bump appeared on her stomach. Carson rested a hand on it, smiling proudly. “It suits ye, love.”
“I love you,” Nena whispered.
“I love ye too, darlin’. I have really got to get going.”
He hesitated. His wife pulled him into one last passionate kiss then vanished. Carson left, feeling great amazement. He was king of Atlantis! He glanced at the ceiling of the hallway and willed the lights off. They did.
This could be a good deal of fun.