Rating: Even the kiddies can read this one.
Summary: There’s a verbal fight and then there’s a conversation.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just playing. Please, don’t sue me.
A/N: Fact: I like, okay REALLY REALLY REALLY like SGA. Mostly due to the Sparky (as evidenced by the fact that I can't pay attention to anything else going on in the show when their on screen cos I'm squeeing internally) but the rest of the show rocks too.
Fiction: I'm a writer for Atlantis and have the ability to write a scene like that in my beloved Hot Zone. OU, sparks! Ba dum ch!
Fact: I pretend in fanfic. This fulfills the N slot in my self-challenge ficathon.
“No,” he flatly stated.
“It’s not your call,” she equally deadpanned.
“How many times do we have to go over this Elizabeth? When it comes to the safety of this expedition and its members, including you,” that emphasis was unnecessary. “I have the final approval.”
“Don’t be unreasonable,” she was struggling to remain composed. “The delegate is allowed only one security member. Atlantis must comply. If I go there with a full team the impression of arrogance and disregard for custom will speak before I can properly introduce myself.”
“Then I’m going with you,” he offered.
“I need you here.”
“Teyla can do it.”
“For a week?”
“She’s done it before and for much longer than a week.”
“And what exactly is she supposed to tell Caldwell when he shows up in three days? ‘Sheppard and Weir stepped out to get some of those tava beans they like so much.’”
“No,” if he was honest with himself he hadn’t really thought this counterpoint out too well.
It had been a while since they had a standoff at this magnitude. If she had to count it was probably close to four years ago he had fought her on the security of the expedition. But if she recalled correctly it was for the same reasons that he was fighting tooth and nail now. She was in danger. She tried not to think of the implications beyond that of a professional interest.
She knew he almost certainly didn’t want to be left to run this city alone even if it was for a short interim. The IOA could find a replacement for her within a month or two. He wouldn’t have to fly solo any longer than that. Elizabeth was unsure when she began to view herself in such a cavalier light. As if she was a bit of machinery to be replaced. Being in this galaxy changed her perspective significantly.
He was still looking at her as if he could burn into her brain that he would be her escort on this week long negotiation. John wasn’t exactly pleading but his eyes were caught somewhere between frustration and fear. That look was the one which confirmed her sense that he buried a lot of things deep. Things he couldn’t afford to share. She understood that. Elizabeth never attempted to pry where others might. When he was ready he’d open up.
“Okay,” he broke their quiet. “I’m sending Ronon.”
“What about Lorne? He’s usually on my security anyway.”
He sighed in response and ran a frustrated hand over his face. “Are you gonna fight me on every tactical detail for this one?”
His expression slid into pleading.
She had already won the significant portion of this argument. Winning the whole thing would betray the give and take nature of their relationship.
“I’ll take Ronon,” she delicately conceded.
John was taken aback by the slight contact she initiated. She was possibly the only person who could talk him into anything if he let her. And like the fool that he could be, it would lead him to the responsibility of her death. It wouldn’t be a new burden to carry. It would just be the one that crushed him.
He knew relief was etched in his face deeper than it should have been when he uttered a thank you.
~ * ~ * ~
On the hike from the gate to their waiting escort the sun was shinning, a light breeze billowed and she immediately missed the smell of the ocean.
Most of the walk was silent. Elizabeth figured Ronon’s wordlessness served to better his senses while off world. Come to think of it, Ronon was never the chatty type. Majority of their earlier conversations were comprised of monosyllabic words.
So when he opened his mouth to speak first, needless to say, she was a little surprised.
“You shouldn’t fight him so hard when it comes to your off world detail.”
It was almost a command.
“You know what it’s like to have the power to save someone,” he continued on as if he didn’t hear her question. “And you know what it’s like to have that power taken away. You’re helpless. Scared. The only feeling worse than that is losing everything that matters.”
He struck a chord and let it ring in her thoughts for a while.
“He might be strong but every man has his weak point. Don’t fight him so hard next time.”
As she stood in her tracks as he continued on. It shouldn’t have astounded her. The Satedan hadn’t revealed any new information. He just painted it in a new light.
After a few steps he realised she was trailing. He turned to her.
“Okay,” was all she could think to say.