Disclaimer: Well guess what? I won the lotto and bought the rights to Stargate: Atlantis! And I'm lying through my teeth, can you tell? No, I still do not own anything except my Zelenka paper dolls. I made them myself.

Summary: Elizabeth's thoughts after the events of The Eye

Archive: Definitively. No wait. Definitely. Yeah that's it.

Pairing: McWeir friendship sort of

Rating: PG-13

A/N: This is not like my usual stuff, so I'm just warning you. I would call it angst but…it really isn't. And yet it is. It's just…flow of consciousness with a structure. I like oxymorons, how about you?

"Thinking"

It was late, and few people were up and about in the darkened corridors of the ancient city, but Elizabeth found that she just couldn't sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, she kept seeing a raised gun and felt the heat and wind of a bullet rushing past her ear. Her mind wouldn't settle down any either. She kept going over 'what ifs'. What if Kolya hadn't bought the story? What if Sheppard had missed?

What if that young Athosian hadn't given in? What if they hadn't given all the Athosians gate codes? What if she had gone with the rest of them like Sheppard and Bates had wanted, leaving Zelenka to help John and Rodney?

She shook her head to dispel these fruitless thoughts and continued meandering. It was pointless to dwell on them. They were all safe, alive and—if not completely well—on the way to recovery. Easy enough to tell yourself, but to actually feel that way…it was a lot harder. Two men had died, and while they had been trained for that sort of thing…it just wasn't right.

She had never liked the military. She had felt that every situation could be resolved peacefully, if you could just sit down and talk it through. Had sat in on so many meetings between world leaders and drawn up treaties after peace talks. But all her training, all her schooling and experience had come to nothing while Kolya stood there with a gun trained on her, ready to kill her. Words, what she had always depended on, even as a child, had failed her.

And then Rodney had stepped in front of her and done the talking for her. And she had let him. He'd spun some kind of ridiculous tale about them being a package deal, and that they'd need her codes for something, and whether or not Kolya bought it, he had lowered the gun. That episode had shaken her more than she cared to admit. And not because she'd been about to die either-you don't go into territories that had once been at war and not be prepared for the worst—it was because of Rodney.

He was her friend, and she'd been trying to nurture it ever since Antarctica when she'd helped him up after he had slipped on a patch of ice. She enjoyed teasing him, and knew he liked teasing her back. They had a comfortable relationship. And then…and then he had stepped in front of that gun. From that moment, she had suddenly realized that maybe there was more there to it…and had been desperate to push that realization away. To go back to what they had had before.

It had been easy enough to keep from noticing the signals. All she had to do was remember Simon. That should be all it would take this time too, but every time she tried, all she could think was "Simon would never have stepped in front of the gun for me…" Which was totally unfair. Because, really, Rodney could have convinced Kolya without putting himself in danger. It had been a damned stupid thing for him to do, stepping in front of that gun.

He must have realized it too; because he'd immediately begun assuring the Genii that he was just as important—while still making sure she was safe. But he hadn't moved out of the path, hadn't stepped away from her.

She sighed as she stepped out onto a balcony and stared out at the calm sea. Hard to believe that just hours before it had been a raging monster, ready to devour them all. But it hadn't, because Rodney had come through. Just as he'd promised. Her emotions were confused where he was concerned, but she knew she couldn't just push him away. Not totally. But she'd make sure they remained just friends. Because anything else would just get too complicated.

The End

Yes, I know, dear reader, that that was rather confusing. I confused myself in fact, while writing it, but that's how I think Elizabeth would have felt. Confused. So, anyway. I'm not planning on doing anything more with this, so please don't ask.

If you want happy go lucky, go read my other stories. Like…Athosian Ritual. I should write a sequel to that one…with more black leather. Or…maybe that would be…'less'. Muahah.