Rating: Even the little kiddies can have a go... that is if they understand ‘adult thematic elements’ and ‘fantasy violence’.
Summary: The long term fallout for First Strike
Spoilers: Majorly for 3x20 First Strike and minorly for 3x06 The Real World.
Disclaimer: All your bases belongs to thems over there.
A/N: Beta'd by the loverly alianne, whose suggestions I took. *tackle hugs* As promised on Friday of last week, here's fic. At first it started with the 'against regs' narrative which involved the IOA and SGC and la dee dah and has been done. Then I remembered something somebody
Being told what to do was never a favourite for anybody, especially when that anybody had gotten used to doing the telling. It was an adjustment she had to make. A compromise. That was her specialty after all. She just never thought she’d be the one to concede so drastically.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad. They had lost contact with Earth, so, no chance of being recalled. No board or command to report to. There was no one to tell her that she couldn’t be in Atlantis because of her condition. She knew they would find a way to revoke her job if they did know about it. Her legs were broken, not her ability to lead.
Still, there was a lot of adjustment being made. Before, she had always been the one to govern where she went and how quickly she moved to get there. Now, there was no room to change her mind halfway to her destination and pick a new route just because she enjoyed the view better. Her course was now plotted day in and day out. Elizabeth let go a frustrated sigh. She was the tide of the ocean confined to a pond.
She cursed her body for dictating a large portion of her life. Elizabeth supposed it was payback for being in the right place at the wrong time. It was as if her body was saying it was her own fault for getting caught up in the curiosity of what they were facing instead of keeping command of the situation. It was infuriating.
Then she would be reminded of the people she was on the run with. Teyla was encouraging her body to heal in the Athosian way. Ronon was helping her to keep upper modalities in shape. And Rodney was working on nerve regeneration with Keller. So far they had only begun to scratch the surface of the technology, which meant she had to do things the old fashioned way for now: physical therapy. She was learning to be patient, more patient than usual.
And yet for all her confinement she was still in motion. Lately John had taken to asking her what view she’d like to wake up to and conveniently parked the city at just the right spot so it would be the first thing she saw when her eyes opened. She surmised it was part of distracting her from the long wait.
He made her an astronaut of sorts. Not the kind she had imagined being as a kid, but nonetheless traipsing about space where the only thing separating her from the void was that shield which failed to do exactly that. She couldn’t be cross with an inanimate piece of technology; it was after all keeping her from being blown off her balcony at this moment.
Not a lot of people could say that. She stopped thinking for a moment to take that in.
“Like the view?”
“Yeah.” She smiled up at him as he approached. “Where are we?”
“Middle of ‘don’t’, left of ‘know’. Radek’s coming up with something, trying to plot a Course.” He paused. “That didn’t sound very Picard like did it?”
“No.” She grinned. “Not really.”
“I am the suckiest Captain in this galaxy.”
“Oh, I’m sure there’s a ship out here more lost than we are.”
“Like ‘Voyager’, maybe?”
“Maybe.” She smirked.
They had been watching too much Star Trek lately. But what else was she going to do after all the healing and therapy while recovering? She needed something mindless and entertaining or she’d go bonkers. At least that’s what John told her. She had had enough of aliens.
“Ah,” he returned in kind. “But they made it home.”
At the mention of home her weighing of the pros and cons tipped for the latter.
No, it wasn’t going home she was worried about. It was leaving it.
The realisation of that made him kneel to her level. He waited for her to look at him.
“I’m not taking you back until you’re out of this chair.”
Elizabeth didn’t need to search his eyes for sincerity. She knew he meant it and she found herself grateful once more. He was keeping them lost on purpose.
“It’s not forever. This...” he glanced at her chair with as much disgust as she had for it.
She knew John blamed himself. He thought he should’ve taken off a split second earlier or faster. He thought he should have anticipated the Asurans success to avoid his failure. The truth was there was no blame to pass around. Something or someone would always be their enemy bent on destroying them and if it wasn’t one there would be another in its place. They would always be fighting as long as they dared to live in this world. Elizabeth needed him to understand that.
“This...” she placed a hand purposefully on her chair and one of assurance on his forearm, “isn’t forever.”
Some of his guilt absolved with the gesture and with the hint of a grin he let her feet down and pulled her up.
“Take a walk with me.”
“It’s a short walk,” he encouraged. “You can do short walks.”
He held on to her as she took half a step closer to the rail. And then another. Despite the pain it felt good to be telling her body what to do for a change. She was up and about. Her hands clung to the rails edge keeping her upright. All that time with Ronon was paying off.
John let her stand for a moment giving her back what she had lost.
After a few seconds he braced her back against his chest as he took the rest of her weight in his arms.
“I’ve got you,” he whispered as she relaxed into him.
“I know,” she sighed.