Pairing/Charecter(s): Ancient!John, Rodney, Elizabeth Weir; background John/Rodney
Warnings/Spoliers: this drabble takes place, chronologically, after part 2 of "Socii" in the Ancient!John 'verse; spoilers for everything up to "Trinity" in SGA and S9 of SG1
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: It's like mommy and daddy are fighting, except no one thinks of John and Elizabeth that way.
Notes: "Socii" is kicking me, but here's another bit that has gotten cut, but I worked too hard on to delete.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"Have you so little faith in your own people? Yes, there is weakness. There is frailty. But there is courage also, and honour to be found in Men. But you will not see that. You are afraid! All your life, you have hidden in the shadows. Scared of who you are, of what you are."
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Elizabeth's not the kind of person who generally shouts when she's angry. She's usually the quiet type, radiating an intense energy of disapproval and disavowal that's usually somehow worse than the harshest dressing down. Which wasn't to say there aren't exceptions – why, just last week she'd been yelling at him for the whole Doranda incident – but they were few and far between, and usually relegated to situations that could have meant death for those involved.
Which is probably why there are so many people hovering in the Control Room, all trying not to look like they're only there to listen in to the shouting match going on behind the Conference Room's closed doors.
"...something like this?" Elizabeth shouts, and Rodney can just imagine her pushing herself out of whatever seat she'd taken at the table, hands resting in fists on the wood as she finally stops trying to hide her acrimony.
He can just as easily imagine that John's been standing the entire time, staring at her a little too intensely while Elizabeth speaks her part. Then, voice like steel, "They needed help."
"That's not the point."
"Then what, Elizabeta, is?"
"The point is, Colonel, that you cannot just invite the Asgard to Atlantis without telling anyone."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because," Elizabeth says, her voice going icy, "you don't get to make those kind of decisions."
There's practically a draft as everyone in the Control Room sucks in their breaths at John's, "Somebody has to."
"Yes. It's the SGC's job, not yours."
"And let it be talked to death in some underground office? This is the survival of the Asgard race we're talking about here, not some petty trade agreement."
"I'm sure they would've-"
But the thing is, stubbornness is endemic to Atlantis. They're all too ornery for their own good – John with his need to protect Atlantis and her inhabitants, Elizabeth with her own particular brand of inflexible morality, and Rodney himself with, well, a very large list of his own – and it causes clashes like this, when they do happen, to be so much worse than they need to be.
"No," John interrupts, and Rodney can just imagine the expression on Elizabeth's face (which, though it's only imagined, is almost enough to make him cringe, even sitting as he is on the Gate Room steps, waiting for it all to be over), "they wouldn't've. They would've milked the situation for all the concessions they could get – as if the Asgard haven't given you more tech than you lot were ready for anyway. And, by then, it wouldn't have mattered because it would've been too little, too late."
"John-" Elizabeth tries again, her voice softer now, and Rodney has to wonder if he's the only one outside the Conference Room who hears it at all.
But John doesn't let her continue. "'Cause that's what this is all about, isn't it? The fact that you lot seem to think Atlantis is your secret weapon, like it will save you from all the enemies you've made for yourselves. The Goa'uld, the Wraith, the Ori. But it doesn't work that way. Technology doesn't make you invincible – it just gives you more ways to screw yourselves over."
There's a scramble after this, as the doors to the Conference Room tilt open and everyone tries to look like they weren't hanging on every word that they'd been able to hear. Not that it matters in the end. John just stomps off, ducking through a door that had looked and acted like a perfectly normal wall for the last eighteen months without even appearing to notice anyone else was around to see him. Which probably meant he'd seen every single one of them and couldn't stand to face any of them at the moment, not even Rodney.
The Control Room's silent for a long time, enough so that Rodney's footsteps almost seem to echo as he hauls himself to his feet and into the half-emptied Conference Room. If John doesn't want to deal with him right now, fine, but first thing's first-
"It's not you," he tells Elizabeth, waiting until he's standing almost beside her. He can be oblivious sometimes, but even he knows how much worse Elizabeth would feel if she knew all the eavesdroppers had overheard this too. "That he has a problem with, I mean."
"I know," she says softly, and Rodney leaves before he has to pretend not to see her like this, all quiet and broken and half of herself for the second time that day.