Disclaimer: Not mine. Rating: PG13. ish.
Set: future season of Atlantis (sorta). Spoilers for SG-1/Atlantis through s8/s1.
Pairing: Weir/Sheppard Notes: Liz wanted Lizzeh/Shep sex, but this is something a little different. And RC. She wanted RC, too.

Was listening to The Cardigans. This line started it:
This is the age when my past should be gone - The Cardigans 'Starter'

Unintentional by ALC Punk!

John Sheppard doesn't remember when he first noticed the unconscious gesture. For Dr. Elizabeth Weir, it was almost a simulated mannerism. A slight movement with her hand, her finger twisting absently around the ring she wore on a chain around her neck.

He doesn't remember when she started wearing it, either.

But he doesn't ask, because it's none of his business. And they don't ask about things like that, anyway. They just have sex.

John has to call it sex, because 'making love' is too goofy, and 'fucking' isn't quite right, either. It's not gritty and hard (although it gets there, sometimes), and it isn't soft and sweet, full of whispered sentiments and soul-destroying smiles.

At least he doesn't think his soul is destroyed.

"Simon gave it to me."

He hadn't asked. "Oh."

She's naked and draped artistically across his bed, her fingers playing absently with the small gold ring. "It's... I think it was supposed to be a promise."

"Engagement?"

"Something like that."

He doesn't meet her eyes. "That's nice. Why wear it?"

There's something unintentionally cruel in her soft response, "I needed a tie to my past."

"Ah."

Her hand combs through his hair. "John..."

"Don't say things you don't mean."

The silence is deafening, and he's getting up and moving, grabbing his pants. A part of him notes the autonomic responses. Breathing, heart beating, skin shivering in the cool air (the rooms are always cooler than expected in Atlantis).

He's got his pants on and is at the door when she says, softly, "I never meant to hurt you."

"I know." Then he's out, half-blind with something he refuses to name. This is not happening, not to Shep, the man with the plan. The man who had a girl in every port, and now on every world. The one who has been exclusively (scarily) sleeping with Elizabeth Weir for six months. He ignores the last bit.

He runs into the blonde, knocking them both the ground. She wriggles underneath him and smirks, "What have we here?"

"Er. Sorry." A pause, "Do I know you?"

"Mmm. No. I think not." Her hand is running through his hair, her lips are pursed when she kisses him.

It's a benediction, he thinks. This is wrong. "Erm --"

"Such a beautiful mind." The hand tightens in his hair, and he has time to wonder what's wrong (and know it's wrong, and scream, but the sound doesn't reach his vocal chords) and her hand slides into his head.

The pain is different from the emotional. He can compare the two while he spirals down into darkness.

And he knows that both are wrong.

--

"John?"

Window, and he turns, and blinks. He's standing by a window, Elizabeth Weir looking at him oddly. "There's..." Something wrong. Something very wrong. "Elizabeth, who's Simon?"

The leader of the Atlantis expedition blinks at him, "How do you know about Simon, I've never --"

"Have we had sex?" It's a bald question, and he knows the answer by the way her cheeks color. "I'll take that as a no. Liz, there's something off. I don't think this is real."

"What?" She blinks, "I don't understand."

"There was a blonde --" the words don't make it past his lips, the window shattering at his back. Forming and resolving, and they're suddenly standing in a recreation of the SGC's gate room.

General Hammond gazes at them. "You're most difficult to fool, Major Sheppard."

"You didn't let us go." The words are certain, the disbelief in them making him out to be the fool Elizabeth has nearly called him over the last two (not two, there weren't two years of life, just a simulacrum of existence). "How long?"

"No. We can not."

"Why not?"

Hammond looks at Weir, "I have tried to make your stay as comfortable as possible."

"Screw that!" John is moving before the thought fully connects, and perhaps that's why the punch actually staggers the energy being. "You're killing us!"

"Yes. And I'm sorry, but there's nothing we can do."

"Bullshit."

"Major..."

"Can it, Lizzie." the nickname twists in the air, and he wonders if she remembers now, or if it was all a lie. These -- bastards -- have lied to us before."

"General, whatever you are, why can't you let us go?"

"We were about to, when another member of your species showed up. Or so we thought. She is... different."

"Different? Who?"

"Me." The voice is full of edges and clicks that are felt and not heard.

John stares at her, hears Liz's in-drawn breath. "Colonel Carter?"

"No, Lizzie," the blonde half-smiles, "I'm the upgrade."

"Upgrade?"

"Fifth made me in her image, but I have surpassed the original design. Ironic, don't you think? You came to Pegasus to discover new things, and find the old instead."

"How much of this is reality?"

Hammond nods slowly, "You understand the nature of this place almost better than we would like."

"Yeah. Great. How much?"

"Dr. Weir, yourself, and the human-form replicator, as your kind call her."

"Human-form." Weir tilts her head to the side, "So the Asgard were correct in assuming that you would flee their galaxy in search of another."

"While this little lesson is all great, just let us go and get it over with."

Hammond shakes his head, "If I let you go, she goes free as well."

"And that would be bad?"

"If what the Asgard -- and the SGC -- believe to be true, even one human-form replicator is a bad idea to allow loose." Elizabeth said softly.

"Blah, blah, our press is SO fun, isn't it?"

"Won't Fifth be looking for you?" There is something almost pointed in Elizabeth's question.

"No, I don't believe he will." The smirk says many things.

"Why not?"

"Hey!" Sheppard waves a hand, "Are you missing the point, Lizzie? We're stuck here. Forever. Who CARES if the robotic chick has people coming after her. The point is, that we don't. Or won't. Or... something."

"Yes. I am sorry, but there really is no other way."

The words are a warning, but Sheppard is looking at Elizabeth when they're said, and so he misses the moment when things spiral out of control.

--

He thinks it's a nervous habit, playing with the ring Simon gave her. It's a connection to her past, to a man she probably won't see again.

Major John Sheppard pretends it doesn't bother him.

-f-

ok. So. Technically, Home occurs WAY before Gemini. But. Eh. Deal.