Summary: Some things need to be done for the best of everyone.
Characters: John Sheppard, Dr. Elizabeth Weir
Parings: None-perhaps a little Shep/Weir if you squint
Author's Notes: Probably the true starting point for this little AU. The first stone so to speak.
There was a speech she needed to make and one she would have to make soon. But the task was proving to be near impossible. Everything she put down on the screen seemed weak and hollow to her and was deleted with in seconds.
“Has anyone ever told you you work too much?”
She glanced up briefly to look at the man causally leaning against her doorway. Elizabeth sent him a wry smile before looking at the mountains on her desk. “Several.” She let out a heavy sigh. “It doesn’t seem to stop them from giving me more work to do.”
“You could always take a break you know,” John told her, strolling into the room before collapsing in the chair. “It’s not beyond your capabilities.”
“And I can just see how much bigger the piles would get. No, I think I’ll just finish this out for right now.”
“Come on, twenty minutes won’t kill you.”
The hint of a smile disappeared as she narrowed her eyes at him. Sometimes he really didn’t know when to stop pushing. “I’m working John.”
“It can’t wait?”
“No,” she snapped, cutting the words off sharper than she probably should have. “It can’t. This isn’t a game, people’s lives depend on me, now more than ever.”
She’d lost it a little, let it slip some. She really couldn’t be doing it. Despite all appearances John was far too perceptive. And there he was, looking at her critically.
“What the hell does that mean?” he asked in that quiet, forceful voice that always seemed to make her give in.
John looked dubiously at the tome that she handed him. There had to be at least 200 pages typed and in ridiculously small, government issue font. There were things he refused to handle on principle and memos’ this large were one of them. He quirked an eyebrow at her and gave the book a thump. “Do you honestly expect me to read all of this?”
Elizabeth reached across the desk with a huff and flipped through the pages at an alarming rate. Her finger stabbed at a paragraph in the page. “Start there.”
“And so, the SGC and the United States government regret to inform you that the ties between the Pegasus Galaxy and Earth must be severed immediately. The following is a list of requirements for this separation. The following sections include the recall of all military and SGC members, the packing regulations for the return trip, the…” He broke off and looked up at her. “Are they fucking kidding?”
Elizabeth’s lips had become one thin, straight line. “Nope. We have orders to use the ZPM one final time to return the full “Earth” inhabitants of Atlantis to Earth and then to destroy the city.”
“We’re not. Or, at least, I’m not. Whoever wishes to comply with “orders” may do so. Other than that, I’m staying. We can disable the gate from dialing Earth, we can stop the Daedelus from returning, but I personally will not be returning.”
John raised an eyebrow, but the expression was more knowing than questioning. “No?”
Elizabeth stood, needing the space to move. She paced the floor for a moment before striding over to the glass windows that made up her office. She looked out over the bustling city below her full of people, her people. She may not have been attached to Atlantis as John seemed to be but there was something about the city that called to her, all the possibilities that still lay ahead.
“I made a commitment to see this through John, and we haven’t.” She turned back to look at him. “This is only the tip of the iceberg and I’m not going backwards because of government orders. They have no idea of what it’s like out here, what our responsibilities are. We have made ties here, commitments, and I fully intend on honoring them. We awoke the wraith early and we owe it to the people of the Pegasus Galaxy to do something about it. We’re making advances that we could have never made at home. There is too much here to do and see and accomplish. No,” she turned back to watch her city. “I will not be returning.”
“So you’re going to tell them where to shove it? Good.”
She felt her lips begin to quirk up once again as she looked over her shoulder at him. “Well, I plan on using nicer words than that in the official message.”
“You would. I’ll tell them where to shove it.”
She turned and walked over, her smile growing. “You’re staying.”
“Like you said, we haven’t done half of what we could. Besides, what’s really waiting for me back on earth besides a half failing military career and a non existent dream bachelor pad? Atlantis was a second chance for me, something I haven’t quite forgotten, and when we’re done, if we ever are, then we can leave.”
“Well, it’s good to know you’re on board.”
He piled his hands behind his head and reclined, watching her with a smile. “Come on, like I’d leave you here to have all the fun.”
“I’m going to need you though, John, seriously. I can’t do this alone.”
“Hey, when haven’t I been around? But you know, I’m not the paperwork kind of guy, so how about we find you an assistant or something for that. And I’m not a public speaker, so we’ll just leave that to you.”
“And what exactly will you be doing?”
“Same old, same old,” he replied with a shrug and an easy smile. His face turned serious for a moment. “We don’t need them, we haven’t for awhile.”
“I know.” She sat back down at her desk and looked at the blank document; it no longer seemed so overwhelming. “It’s just time to make it official.”