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untitled drabble #10

Title: untilted drabble #10
Rating: PG
Words:  782
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.

#10

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.

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  • 12 comments
Yes! This is something that needed to be said to Elizabeth from time to time because honestly... it had to be said. She and the SGC forget far too often (and conveniently) that they talk crap to death.

I don't know how this doesn't work for your main story of Socii but I honestly think it needs to fit into your canon somehow. Also, great use of Rodney here as an outside POV to the conversation in the office.
I consider everything in the drabbles to be story cannon... it just wasn't working where it was in the main narative of "Socii".

And I'm a *big* fan of the overheard conversation, whether in my own stuff or someone else's. IDK why.

It's just this last chappie is killing me. Ancients, Terrans, goa'uld, and Asgard? I think I've bitten off more than I can chew. I'm still trying, but RL is insane and I have to work 6pm-1am tonight and 8am-1pm tomorrow, then go hiking with dad... and I'm hoping I'll be able to get something coherant on paper after that...
Yes! And who does Elizabeth think she's kidding? Of course John gets to decide these things; Atlantis is his city. Sometimes I think they tend to forget that they don't have absolute rights to Atlantis.

I also like how you don't demonise any of the characters; you can show us their flaws but not in a heavy-handed way.
thanks. sometimes I worry I'm too heavy-handed with Elizabeth... but, yeah, for all Atlantis is being run by Terrans it is Iohannes'... and that creates tension...

IDK. I might opt to put this back in the last part of "Socii", I might not.
No, I think you give Elizabeth a fair shake. She can lose sight of things and in this AU, where Iohannes is an Ancient already there instead of being John she met in Antarctica, I think there's room to say that she might deal with things a tad differently than canon Elizabeth. Also, she tends to forget because, as you've pointed out, Iohannes goes out of his way to embody the 'John Sheppard' persona.
I think Elizabeth forgot that it's really John that lets them stay there; the city is loyal to John so completely that if he wanted to, he could probably convince the entire city to shut down, except for the gate and DHD (to send the Terran's home).

John had a valid point, too - they would have forced the Asgard to trade them for it, when there's no time for that, when it's not as though the Asgard haven't helped them before; they deserve a chance to save themselves.

Elizabeth is a character I'm not terribly fond of, and it's mostly because of reasons like this - she's so frustrating at times. Kavanaugh had a good point when he told her in Critical Mass that Elizabeth leads with her emotions, not logic.
Well, part of that is John's fault - he tries and succeeds a little too well at pretending to be just another Terran. But, yeah, Elizabeth does forget that Atlantis is only their's by loan, or proxy, or whatever - but, again, that's because most the time John's more than happy to pretend that most of the time. So it's really both their faults.

More than that, though, it's been a tense week for all of them. They're worn out, strung out, and starting to grate on each other's nerves... and, depending on how work on "Socii" goes, I might just stick this back in there to show that...

But I tend to relate Elizabeth a lot to Janeway from VOY. They both had their faults, primarily in the emotion-vs-logic department, but Janeway at least was willing to risk herself and others to get done what needed to. I think, with 27 deaths in both alternate universes and rewritten timelines, she holds the ST record for most deaths...

But I do have plans for Elizabeth, to mellow her out some. I'm thinking I might do another story in her POV sometime soon...
Oh, that's a good point. "Elizabeth does forget that Atlantis is only their's by loan, or proxy, or whatever " - and this was probably a startling reminder of that fact. Not unlike a slap in the face, I suppose.

Mm, emotions run high, people are going to be a little more prickly and quick to anger.

I...have not seen VOY. I'm not really suited for leading, I think, so it's easy for me to criticize Elizabeth and her choices, the way she handles things, etc.

It's always interesting to read outside POV fics :)
If you watch any ST, I don't recommend VOY. But I rewatched the entire series last year just because I could (this is the reason I watch a lot of SyFy, actually). DS9's my fav, but only after you hit the Dominon War era...

Anyway, Yeah, emotional high + stress = fighting. But I've... God, 412 words for part 3 done and 1860 for another story finished... and as soon as I get some sleep, I'll work some more on it tomorrow.
If I watch any Star Trek, it'll probably be TOS, even though I know the show is kind of ridiculous. But it's the one I'm most familiar with. I..know exactly nothing about DS9...

I hope your writing is going better! Have you tried Write or Die, or 750words or something?
When I do, I invariably end up unable to spell something vitatlly important to whatever I'm working on, and so I spend 10 minutes trying to make it something spell check can recongize and loose my whole train of thought.

But I am almost done with the one-shot that's taken over my life - 7715 words now, and I think it's only going to be 1 or 2K more. and then I can get back to "Socii."

TOS is largely riddiculous, yes, but the good episodes are amazing. "Where no man has gone before" is possibly one of the best ST episodes ever written, and I'm unconsionably fond of "Balance of Terror."
  • 12 comments