Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Stephen Caldwell, Elizabeth Weir, OCs; more than a little John/Rodney, but most of the focus is on Elizabeth/Caldwell, though Elizabeth/Simon and Caldwell/OFC are both mentioned
Warnings/Spoliers: This kinda takes place between 1975 and part 3 of "Socii" in the Ancient!John 'verse. If you want to get specific, tiny spoilers for SG-1's "Tangent" and "Prometheus," larger ones for "The Lost City" and "New Order," as well as SGA's "Sanctuary," "The Siege," "The Intruder," "Trinity," and "Critical Mass."
Disclaimer: All characters, situations, quotes et al are properties of their respective owners and I am merely using them under Title 17 of the US Code, § 107, aka the Fair Use Doctrine, without intents to infringe upon or defame anyone's legal rights.
Summary: Sometimes it's hard not to be jealous of other people's happiness, even when they're people we care about.
Notes: This started out as a way to explain Caldwell's comment about Elizabeth wanting to clarify something in part 3 of "Socii." Most of that was deleted, along with most the angst that made it's way into the first version this, as it turns out I didn't care for it so much when I actually wrote it, and so it turned out to be much fluffier - or something - than intended.
So, part of the blame for this goes to kazbaby, who's prompt for "Fida" long ago forever coloured me to the idea of Elizabeth is Catholic, despite the fact that one really has nothing to do with the other.
Part of it also goes to squidgiepdx's "Seven Days of Fandom" SGA meme, particularly #7, as it really made me want a this is Elizabeth and/or this is Caldwell fic, and to popkin16 for unwittingly encouraging me.
Most of it, though, I think goes to Snow Patrol's new album, Fallen Empires, which I listened to on repeat almost the entire time I was writing this, in particular "This Isn't Everything You Are."
Oh, and somniati is as close to dreamers as I can figure in Latin, from a quote I once read long ago, about relationships after a long failed one being the triumph of dreams over experience, or something like. Either way, I should be shot for this. Probably.
Retro Beta'd by spaci1701.
An Ancient!John Story
When Steven Caldwell is eighteen he starts at the Air Force Academy. He's known for as long as he can remember that's the path his life would take. It doesn't matter that the war in 'Nam finally ended a month before his first term starts; LeMay and others like him have shown the world the importance of air power. The Air Force is the future, the last best defence they have against the Soviets and the fact that the war in Vietnam is over doesn't change a damn thing. As Caldwell Senior had said when he'd read the Times the day the ceasefire became official, "Don't worry, son; there will be another war soon enough."
When Elizabeth Weir turns nineteen she's nominally a senior at Boston College but is doing a semester abroad at Sapienza, Università di Roma. It's an exciting time to be in Europe, particularly as a political science major. President Regan's speech at the Brandenburg Gate is still resonating on both sides of the Iron Curtain, gaining a steady underground momentum she can feel in the air when she takes the train up to Bonn or Frankfurt. It's only a matter of time, she thinks, before the spark comes and the Germanys are reunited, or the revolutions that started in Poland and Hungry are picked up in the rest of the Eastern Bloc and this long, cold war can finally end.
Steven doesn't believe in peace. It's not that he doesn't admire the idea, but he thinks that anyone who seriously believes that it can be accomplished without standing armies and secret agreements is fooling himself.
(The thirteen colonies would never have divorced themselves from Great Britain if they'd relied on peaceful protest alone. France would still be in the hands of its degenerate Bourbon kings had its people not taken up the sword, the musket and the guillotine. And the entire world would be caught in fascism's iron grip or trampled by communism's relentless march if those who could hadn't fought their advance every step of the way.)
This isn't to say he believes in war either but at least in wars one always knows who one's enemies are. Peace has too many snakes in the grass, too many double-talking politicians looking for power and a quick buck.
He remembers the oaths he took though, and does his best by them, regardless of whomever happens to be in power at any given time. It gives Steven a reputation for being honourable and forthright to a fault and carries him through the ranks faster than average.
Sometimes, however, it leaves him with a sick taste in his mouth and a longing for the simple clarity of war.
Elizabeth thinks half the world's problems would be over in an instant if only the United States would cut back on its military spending. It only encourages the proliferation of weapons elsewhere as old, retired American weapons – and the Russian versions that that country churns out just as fast trying to keep in the race – make their way into the hands of warlords and rebel militias.
But give people clean water and a way to feed their families and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. And this she believes with all her heart.
Alice Harper is the sister of Captain Robert Harper, who's a department head in Steven's flight at Tyndall.
They meet when she comes to visit Robbie one weekend during her first year at FSU, when she's just eighteen. She's bright and charming, with long blonde hair and legs that never seemed to end – but women like that are a dime a dozen, particularly in Panama City. What makes her special is her joie de vivre, which somehow manages to worm its way into his heart over progressively more frequent weekends that quickly loose the pretence of being about visiting Robbie.
They marry barely a year after that first meeting.
Alice dies less than four years after that while he's in Saudi Arabia as part of Desert Shield. Robbie's wife Sheila finds her, dead in bed from complications from a cerebral aneurysm nobody knew she'd had, after she'd failed to return Sheila's calls for three days in a row.
Her things are all packed up by the time Steven gets back to the States. He ends up giving most of it away, only keeping a few pictures and her wedding ring and even those stay in box in Robbie and Sheila's attic, waiting for the day he can finally look at them again.
Simon Wallis is a doctor with Médecins Sans Frontières when Elizabeth meets him for the first time.
They meet in one of the refugee camps that cropped up after the Rwandan Genocide in Zaire. He's there, obviously, to try to give these people the medical attention they so desperately need. She's there as a junior member of a UN mission to get them the justice they deserve.
Elizabeth remembers little about that first meeting except that he'd been able to make his patients smile when they had so very little to smile about.
They meet for a second time at a coffee shop in Washington DC almost five years later. It's her second semester teaching political science at Georgetown, his fourth month as an attending at the university's teaching hospital. His hair is shorter (thank God) and dusted with grey, but he's just as charming as ever and soon they have a standing coffee date for whenever she's in the country and he's not in surgery.
They've five months of coffee dates before Simon garners the nerve to ask her out.
They've a year-and-a-half of dinner dates before they even talk about moving in together.
They've shared their little brownstone in Annandale for six months when he proposes, and six weeks later she's trying to hail a taxi so she can get to her meeting at the White House when Vice President Kinsey picks her up in his limo instead.
Steven's read onto the Stargate Program a week before the first test flight of the X-301.
He likes to think his reaction – which is one of blank-faced impassivity – is one of the reasons why he makes the short-list of potential officers to command Earth's first interplanetary spaceship, the Prometheus, two years later. That honour eventually goes to William Ronson, who'd been in the class ahead of him at the Academy. But Steven gets the Daedalus, Earth's first intergalactic spaceship, so the bragging rights, he feels, are his in the end.
Simon stays in Annandale when she takes over the SGC. She flies back to DC what weekends she can but it's hard, particularly as the weeks pass by and Colonel O'Neill's team gets more and more desperate to find a way to save him from the mind-altering effects of the Ancient repository he's uploaded into his brain. Reminding them that the Colonel is in stasis – and therefore in no immediate danger – only does more harm than good and Elizabeth fears that if she doesn't watch them very closely, there's no telling what trouble they might get themselves into. He understands, though. Simon always understands, even if he doesn't have the slightest clue what she's doing in Colorado Springs.
Explaining Antarctica is more difficult and, in the end, she tells him she's at a conference in Christchurch regarding the Antarctic Non-Proliferation Treaty instead, which is almost true. Some of the more southern nations are making noise about such a dangerous weapon as the Control Chair remaining in American control after all and part of Elizabeth's job is to mediate between them.
Explaining Atlantis is more difficult still, so she doesn't even try. She sends him a tape instead, to view long after she's already departed, and hopes he can understand.
Robbie's read onto the Stargate Program a month after Steven's named the captain of the Daedalus. Despite Alice's death, they've kept in touch over the years. Less so after Robbie retired, trading his dress blues for a suit and a desk in one of the CIA's foreign offices after a friendly fire incident in Kuwait, but they're still friendly.
The read on comes with a transfer into the reorganized NID and a much larger desk but it's Steven's job that Robbie seems most excited about when he drags him out to dinner the next time he's in DC. "Damn," Robbie says right away, clapping him on the back and pulling him into a quick embrace Steven would've shaken off more quickly if the man hadn't been his late wife's brother. "So that's what you've been doing all these years you've been claiming to be at Nellis?"
"Pretty much," is all he dares say in public.
(Later, when they're back at Robbie's place and Sheila's in bed and they're both on the wrong side of a six pack, Robbie says, "Alice would've loved this," and Steven can't say anything at all.)
Elizabeth doesn't realize she's not thought about her fiancé once since coming to Atlantis until she's wandering the city late one night, taking a meandering route to the mess for some tea she hopes will help her sleep, when she stumbles across John and Rodney in a hallway apparently doing the same.
She's about to call out to them when she notices how close they're standing – something which isn't readily apparent as the sconces in this section seem to be dead and what little lighting there is coming from Lantea's sole moon. Major Sheppard is standing with his back to the wall, his expression too backlit for Elizabeth to make out. Rodney's facing him, one of his fingers almost poking the Major in the chest as he accuses him of something, his voice rising in pitch so she can just make out the tail-end of his complaint, "...what Chaya was from the moment you saw that space lightening, didn't you?"
John mutters something Elizabeth doesn't hear.
"Well, maybe not her specifically, but you knew there was an Ascended Ancient somewhere on the planet."
His answering, "I suspected," was soft and quiet and maybe – just maybe – a little ashamed. It probably says something terrible about her but Elizabeth can't leave after hearing those words in that tone, just ducks further behind the corner, where she can't be seen, and listens harder.
"Then why didn't you tell us?" Rodney asks, his frustration mounting. "You just let us go on thinking it was some sort of Ancient weapon that caused it. Did you think we wouldn't let you try to find her or something? 'Cause, news flash, we're kinda obsessed with your people. I'm fairly certain Doctor Corrigan would give his left arm for you just to talk to him. It's not like we would've said no."
At first Elizabeth isn't sure if the Major's speechless or just can't get a word in edgewise. But then he spits out, "Because I wanted to be wrong!" with such vehemence that she knows it was neither. John has a way of packing all his feelings, all his words, tightly inside; compressing things down into a ball so small that, when it's finally too much, everything comes bursting out in one uncontrolled, passionate burst. She's seen it directed her way a couple times and knows how frightening it can be.
"In case you haven't gotten it by now, I'm kinda not like most of the rest of my race. All this help – all this interference – I've given you lot? It would be considered a crime by my people. If any of them actually bothered to pay attention to this plane of existence any more I'd probably have been punished for raising the city to the ocean's surface, regardless of the fact that doing so saved the lives of every member of your Expedition... I'd probably have been forced to Ascend then chained to this planet like Chaya is to Proculus – only, by that point, there would've been nothing left on Lantea to watch over but the flagisalli and tu ceve if you think I hung around the last ten thousand years to be forced to sit back and do nothing while the Wraith destroy everything we created in this galaxy."
Aghast, "If that was ever a possibility, why the hell did you land the jumper in the first place?"
"'Cause," John says more calmly, his tone shifting to that haphazard one he uses when he's trying to pretend something doesn't matter when it really, truly does, "she interfered when she shot down those darts for us. I thought she might've been one of the reasonable ones – someone like Father or Forcul or myself – who realized that it's our responsibility to do something about this mess we created. I didn't think she'd be a schismatica though."
"She lets the people of Proculus worship her as a god. We only had one law higher than never interfere and that was that we are men, not gods, and should not let ourselves be regarded as such. It's sick of her to do that to those people. The others are right to punish her that way."
"You flirted with her."
"Only to get information out of her."
"You flirted with her," he repeats, sounding more irked than genuinely irritated.
There's a beat, then a bark of a laugh before John, voice positively brimming with affection, says, "You're an idiot."
When Elizabeth dares to peak around the corner a minute or two later Major Sheppard has one hand at the back of Rodney's neck, the other fisted in his shirt and is kissing her head scientist like he's no intention of ever letting go. Yanking herself back around the corner, Elizabeth heads back to her quarters as quietly and as quickly as she can manage after this, feeling faintly flush for intruding as much as she had.
(Once she's safely back in her quarters, though, one of her hands drifts up to her lips as if remembering some long ago kiss and Elizabeth wonders if she'll ever have anything like what John and Rodney inexplicably seem to have found. And then she remembers Simon's waiting for her back on Earth and feels guiltier still.)
The first time Steven meets Doctor Weir he's fairly certain the only reason she doesn't kiss him for getting rid of the Wraith hive and returning Major Sheppard to them is that they've just learned that another twelve hive ships and their escorts are on their way to Atlantis.
The second time he's fairly certain that it's only her years of practice as a diplomat that keep her from slapping him.
(Were it the proper forum for such things Steven might've pointed out that, regardless of the fact that an alien cannot be in charge of an American military garrison, Sheppard isn't field officer material. Field officers have to be distant, separate from the men they command so that, when the time comes, he or she can make the right calls. And everything, from the fact that he stayed on Atlantis against orders on up, proves that John Sheppard cares too much. But it's not, and Doctor Weir just favours him with a look so hard it could cut diamonds.)
The third time doesn't really count as a meeting. It's eighteen long days of traversing the space between galaxies, filled only by the occasional backhanded questioning of his motives and an attempt by a semi-sentient Wraith computer virus to take over his ship. When it's all over he can see how Colonel Sheppard has managed to win the respect and adoration of so many – and how Doctor Weir has managed to earn his.
The first real conversation Elizabeth remembers having with Colonel Caldwell happens in the late hours of a Lantean night two days before the Daedalus is due to make its fourth trip across the void. He's wearing that ridiculous blue sweater and an expression that could almost be considered agreeable when he walks into her office, settling into a chair before she's even invited him to sit. "You're working late," he says.
Surprised, she turns her tablet towards him, showing him the fifth round of solitaire she's played that evening. "No, not really."
"Yeah," he snorts, "We keep trying to remove that from the terminals on the Daedalus but somehow the crew keeps finding a way of putting it back."
Elizabeth grins at the Colonel, cheekily telling him not to trying getting between a genius and a computer game before she remembers she'd decided to be angry at him for a while longer over the whole trying to take over as military commander of Atlantis business. Schooling her face into a more sombre expression she asks, "So what is you need, Colonel?"
"I just came from a very interesting conversation with Staff Sergeant Eisen."
"Is that so?"
"He may have insinuated that Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard and Doctor McKay are engaged in some sort of homosexual relationship."
She can feel the blood drain from her face. "Colonel, I-" she begins.
Caldwell, disconcertingly, flashes her another small smile. "Don't worry, Doctor. I could care less what the Lieutenant Colonel gets up to in his off-duty time. I'm just here to tell you that, while this time the Sergeant was able to bring me nothing more than rumours, I am duty-bound to report a violation of the Uniform Code to my superiors if incontrovertible proof is presented to me."
"I assure you," she says, letting out a long breath, "General O'Neill is aware of the situation."
"I am aware of that. Unfortunately, should it ever become an issue, he may not be in a position to do much about it."
"He is in charge of the Department of Homeworld Security, Colonel."
"But General Landry, as Sheppard's direct superior, has the final say in situations such as these and unfortunately he's not quite so understanding a man as General O'Neill."
Disbelievingly, "John's an Ancient. I believe he used the term annoyingly archaic to describe the military's views on such things."
"He's also an officer in the United States Air Force and bound by our codes of conduct."
"That's completely ridiculous, Steven."
"And I agree, Elizabeth," he says, looking her squarely in the eye. "But, as I said, I can only do so much. He's the one who chose to accept commission knowing our annoyingly archaic rules. If he wants to break them, fine. All I ask is that he be a little more circumspect about it."
Unable to help herself, Elizabeth drops her gaze, staring at her abandoned solitaire game for a full three seconds before meeting his gaze again. "I'll talk to him."
"Thank you." Then, gesturing at her tablet, continues, "You got chess on there?"
"You know," she says, already pulling up the game, "as a matter of fact, I do."
The Colonel grins at her, and ends up wining two out of three rounds.
Steven's not quite sure how it happens but he winds up with a standing invitation from Doctor Weir to play chess whenever he's in the galaxy. He doesn't think anything of it. They're both limited by their positions and ranks as to who they're able to socialize with and, when one's three million light years from home, any new diversion is a welcome one. And yes, while he might find Elizabeth's company more diverting than most, that's really all there is to it.
He's heading back to his guest quarters after one such session when he comes across Colonel Sheppard, who's standing in the middle of an otherwise deserted hallway, either engaged in highly animated conversation with the city or experiencing some sort of psychotic break with reality – though, honestly, Steven's still not certain that they're not one and the same thing.
"Carissima," Sheppard says, back still to Steven, "you know I didn't mean it that way. All I meant was, if you want to redecorate this tower so badly, you should tell someone with the ability to do something about it. Like Elizabeta. She has the ability to requisition paint from Terra-
"Well, I dunno, email her about it." Arms falling to his side in exasperation, "What do you meanit'snot the same? Yes, I know she doesn't have the gene but what difference does that make when you're-
"Fine, email Carson then. I don't care, just stop telling me about it. You make noise about my mental health all the time; consider this vital to-
"No, don't do that," Sheppard says, hands going to both his ears, as if a loud noise has suddenly pierced the otherwise silent hall. "You'll wake up Rodney if- fine, Moreducus if you keep this up and you know how hard he's been working on Project Arcturus. Thank you," he sighs as he lowers his arms. "You don't have to be such a futatrix about things."
The conversation appearing over, "Lady troubles?" Steven asks a minute or so later, as it seems the thing to do after witnessing a conversation such as that.
The Ancient doesn't even startle, just turns around with a lopsided smile and says, "Something like that," as if such things happened to him every day. Which, quite possibly, they might.
"Dare I ask?"
Openly smirking now, "She wants to repaint all the hallways in this tower jonquil. I don't even know what jonquil is, let alone how she knows, but that's what she wants. And don't even get me started on her ideas for the south-east pier."
"I think it's yellow."
"Jonquil. I think it's a shade of yellow."
"Huh," one the Lieutenant Colonel's eyebrows climbs halfway up his forehead. "I wonder what that means – usually she goes for a blue or green."
"Atlantis redecorates herself often then?"
"What? No. She just likes to make plans. Well," he shrugs, "most the time they're only plans, anyway."
"That's... strange," Steven admits-
-which earns him a sharp, braying laugh. "Yeah. Story of my life."
"If," he broaches, truly curious now, "dealing with Atlantis' AI is so difficult, why did you...?"
"Get the nanoids implanted?" At Steven's nod, Sheppard continues, "Terrans aren't the only people to have ever done stupid things for the ones they love, Colonel," reaching out to brush his fingers briefly along the nearest wall. The sconce above noticeably brightens at the contact. "It's one of the things I like best about your lot."
"There are some people back on Earth who'd see that as one of our biggest weaknesses."
"Maybe, but isn't that true of everything worth fighting for?"
"Don't let Doctor Jackson hear you saying things like that. "You'll never escape his clutches if he thinks you have the meaning of life tucked up inside your head."
Sheppard doesn't say anything for a long moment, just gives a self-depreciating sort of chuckle that goes on longer than is really appropriate. "Maybe I do," he replies at long last. "Then again, maybe I don't. All I know is, if I've managed to learn anything about life at all, it's that I should fear overzealous scientists. Especially social scientists."
"But aren't-?" Steven begins, surprised enough by Sheppard's unusual openness that he actually forgets for a moment that he's not allowed to ask that question.
The Lieutenant Colonel appears to forget he's doesn't have to answer the question either, just flashes him a quick smile and tells him, "You've never seen Rodney before he's had his coffee."
Steven doesn't even want to think about that. Any of it. He likes to think of himself as an open-minded guy but there are just some things he'd prefer not to know the details of.
"So," Sheppard continues meaningfully, appearing not to notice the uncomfortable silence that's fallen, "while we're on the subject... Elizabeta."
"Look, I know I don't have a leg to stand on here, as she's not one of the thousands of nieces or nephews Father's Terran dalliances seem to have gifted me with, but Elizabeta is more than just my praefecta. She's my friend. And if you hurt her," he warns, looking Steven straight in the eye, "they will never find the pieces. Understand?"
"You heard me."
"Listen, I don't know what you think is going on between Doctor Weir and myself, Lieutenant Colonel, but whatever it is, it's certainly not that."
Sheppard shrugs off his rebuke, which would've had an Academy-trained officer shaking reflexively in his boots by tone of voice alone, not even breaking eye contact when he continues, "Maybe not now. Maybe not for a long time. But I've seen the two of you together and I'd rather not see her heart broken a second time. So just keep that in mind before you start anything you don't want to finish."
Steven blinks at this. By the time his eyes reopen, Sheppard's already halfway down the hall, whistling a jaunty tune before disappearing around a corner, and he can do nothing more than chalk the whole conversation up to sleep deprivation and Pegasus' own particular brand of insanity.
Elizabeth doesn't think of her broken engagement much, but she does think of it more often now than she did while things were still happy and whole between herself and Simon.
She chalks it up to biology, to the fact that she's thirty-five and unattached while everyone around her appears to be pairing off now that the Wraith threat isn't quite so imminent, and refuses to give it more thought than that.
It certainly doesn't have anything to do with a certain commander of the Daedalus, whom she finds herself seeking out excuses to speak to throughout the day. Or the way he has of making her smile despite herself, even (especially) when he's being particularly infuriating. Or the fact that she'd almost forgotten what her own laugh sounded like until he started finding ways to remind her.
Nothing at all.
Robbie's been telling him to get himself back out there since Kosovo, which Steven's mostly ignored for the simple fact that he finds it an odd position for his late wife's brother to take. Sheila's been on his case for almost as long, albeit with slightly more success but, apart from one or two highly unsuccessful blind dates, Steven mostly considers himself married to the job.
Perhaps, if one really wants to extend the metaphor, he's married to the Daedalus these days, yet for all the pleasure he takes in commanding his vessel, he just doesn't feel that sort of connection to it. Maybe he just hasn't held the command long enough, but – to stretch it still further – if he's wed to the Daedalus, their marriage is a very unfulfilling one indeed. Steven simply feels none of the emotional connection to it that Sheppard does to Atlantis or even what most naval captains he's met do to their ships.
Maybe that's why, after their inexplicable conversation, Steven actually starts thinking about what it was Sheppard had said. Which itself is probably the reason he accepts Miss Emmagen's invitation to the Lantean mainland, to celebrate the conclusion of the Athosian's planting season with the rest of the city's senior staff, a few days later. That and the ruus wine is probably why he offers to walk Doctor Weir back to her quarters after Sheppard's flown them back to Atlantis, seemingly unaffected by what quantities of the beverage he imbibed.
He has no idea, though, what possesses her to invite him inside for more chess. It's probably the ruus wine as well but, at the time, it doesn't seem important, especially as they're both sober enough to actually play a decent game.
He's too drunk, however, to remember quite how they get on the subject of their college years.
He tells her about the Academy in the mid-'70s, when the military was still dealing with it's defeat in Vietnam by all but refusing to admit the war had ever happened; she tells him about the semester she spent at an Italian university at the tail-end of the Cold War, when she still believed the way to solve the world's problems was to dissolve the all the world's armies.
"Well," Elizabeth muses, propping an elbow on the corner of the chess board they never reset, "for one thing, I've learned that the big picture's a lot bigger than just one planet and, for another, that there are some things in the universe worth fighting for."
"All wars are worth fighting, for the people involved."
"That sounds like something John would say."
"That one, Elizabeth," Steven assures her, "was all mine."
"Well then," she says, leaning forward just a little as she favours him with a coquettish smile, "I stand corrected."
"You two are pretty close, aren't you?" It's probably the exact wrong thing to ask, with her cheeks flush from drink and eyes shining with a mirth he's rarely seen, but he does anyway. Knowing exactly what to say is her gift – a diplomat's gift – not his.
Elizabeth, though, doesn't seem to think it strange. She just tilts her head down, addressing her first few words to the table, before raising her eyes back up again. "We've been through a lot together, yes."
"It's obvious he cares for you a great deal."
"Not as much as he cares for Rodney," she says, jerking back and clapping a hand to her mouth as soon as she realizes exactly what she said. When she trusts herself to speak again, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that the way it sounded. I must have had more to drink than I thought."
Steven can feel the corner of his mouth twitching, and tries not to let too much of his amusement show as he says, "I think I know what you meant."
"Sometimes it's hard not to be jealous of other people's happiness, even when they're people we care about."
The light returns to her eyes. It's not the same – less blithe, more mysterious, but every bit as bright – "Another one of yours?"
"Yes," he says, "though I'm sure someone said something like it once." And then he leans across the table and kisses her.
It's probably the exact wrong thing to do but she deepens the kiss, so he must be wrong.
It's not that easy.
Things never are, especially not where the Pegasus galaxy is concerned.
But it's a start.