Summary: Crak!AU!Generation!X!Verse where Elizabeth and John are in their early twenties.
Disclaimer: Totally mine! Except for the part where it’s not cos people that have more money than me can completely afford it and actually created these characters. To quote Gregory Maguire: Please don’t sue me. :D I’m just playing in that non-profit-sheer-entertainment-cos-I-hav
A/N: Beta'ded by buggy_542. So, uh all of a sudden Sparky got all life flailing and rudderless on me in this resulting attempt at a STRICTLY friendship piece, which is prolly anything but due to the recent revelation that I'm a hopeless romantic. Crap. Oh, and btw envision Holland Taylor (so sassy) as the mum, since this was written before The Real World aired. Canon-schmanon. And, it's taking the 'T' place in my
“Don’t...” he had appalling timing. “Don’t marry him Elizabeth.”
It wasn’t a request or a plea, it was sheer statement of fact. A fact which, up until now, she had been ignoring.
“Do you realise...” She couldn’t even finish her thought before her mother broke through the door.
“Elizabeth!” She was going to start before she registered there was more than one person in the room. “Now is not the time to dawdle. We have over two hundred... John!” Ah, there’s the light bulb moment. “What are you...? How did you... I thought you were in Antarctica, Alaska, Afghanistan...”
“Argentina,” he politely corrected.
“Mom,” Elizabeth interjected, obviously ignored as her mother continued on.
“Well, nice of you to come all this way for my daughter’s wedding.” She emphasized the last two words a little more forcefully. If she knew John Sheppard, and she did, he was up to something. Something she feared would get her daughter into a chaos of trouble.
“She is my best friend,” he stated. “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Nice pun, Elizabeth wryly thought at his mischievous grin. He came all this way to stop her from marrying Graham. Precisely the reason she didn’t tell him until last night, when she was sure he wouldn’t be there to pester her into the wrong decision. She hit a state of comfortable stability, a niceness with Graham. All the things she never had with John. Together she and John were messy, heated, volatile and that was just in friendship.
“Mom,” Elizabeth said full of terseness. “Give us a minute,” she tried to hide her panic behind a smile. “Please?”
“Sure,” she warily decided. “John, I’ll save you a seat next to Myra. She’s missed you an awful lot.”
He cringed inwardly but betrayed none of it to the surface. “Thanks Missus Weir.” He kept a smile plastered on his face until she left the room. “Myra’s here? I thought you stopped talking to her?”
“I did,” Elizabeth, informed with a little less patience than her mother did. “What the hell are you doing here John?”
“I was a little miffed that you didn’t invite me to your wedding to what’s his face, the suit.”
“His name is Graham. And he’s a doctor, not a ‘suit’.”
“He still wears a tie to work.”
Lord, he was exasperating.
“Don’t marry him ‘Lizbeth.”
“Give me one reason I shouldn’t,” she dared.
“You’re not in love with him.”
“That is... not true.”
“Really?” He dared back. “Name one thing he does that drives you absolutely insane.”
“Graham is a very considerate and kind man who takes into contemplation everyone around him hence stopping him from making a stupid decision.”
“So,” he grinned wider. “What you’re saying is he’s boring.”
That was it. She was tired of him pushing her into confronting herself.
“John, I don’t have time to fool around with you. You can’t just show up in my life at the last minute to see if you can turn my world upside down. This isn’t a game and I’m not playing with you.”
In an instant, he morphed from cocky to wounded.
“I’m not playing this time. Don’t marry him.”
His eyes were demanding.
“He’s wrong for you.”
“Says who?” She roared back at him.
“You do,” he pointedly argued. “You know you do. You’re not in love with him. You never were. It was only like that you hoped to turn into love.”
There was the lion’s bane. She hated how he knew her, how she had let him come to know her. She was screwed up if she let herself become so complacent and didn’t even realise it. How did it come to this? How did she become so far removed from her own wants and needs to the point of settling? Elizabeth had no idea where to start. But he did. So, it was only appropriate he broke her line of thought.
“Why did you wait so long to tell me?”
He moved in closer.
“I don’t know,” she began to break. She hated that. “I guess... I knew you’d talk me out of it.”
“Didn’t take much convincing.”
“I was already half way there,” she conceded.
He wrapped her up.
“I can’t John. I promised him and I promised him in love. I can’t do this to him in front of all these people. In front of his parents,” horror washed over her face. “In front of my parents.”
“Then let me do it. Your family doesn’t like me anyway and I don’t even know the other half of all these people here. I have no qualms about making an ass out of myself in front of a few hundred strangers.”
Well now, that would save her from some embarrassment.
“No. I can’t let you do that.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun. I always wanted to know what happened if someone did object to a ‘holy union in the eyes of the Lord.’ I may have to be put into protective custody against your dad though.”
“Sorry, no can do. Secretary of Defence, remember?”
“Right. Well, then I may just have to turn to a life of pirating in the Caribbean.”
That set her off in laughter. “As long as you promise to take me with you.”
Sobering immediately, she worked her way out of his embrace.
“I hate you, you know that?” She smiled at him.
“Most women do. It’s a miracle I still have you.”
There was too much subtext hanging in the air. They had been together once upon a time. Then there was a revelation that they could function better as friends, they had for quite some time. Now, possibly, it was to the point of something beyond friendship again. Although, John didn’t come here to proclaim his undying love for her, it was to save her from herself. Something a friend would do. Hold the line and bring you back from the edge of disaster. Elizabeth was made for more than white picket fences, baked goods and PTA meetings. Only John could realise that in its entirety.
The clock on the wall voiced the hour through its chime.
“Time to go break a few hearts,” she smiled dryly. “And fall flat on my face in shame.”
“I’ll catch you,” he returned in confidence.
She could see herself traipsing around the world with him.
Maybe now was the time to discover what they actually were to each other.