A/N: Doesn't anyone like these anymore? (pouts) no reviews for two chapters! Well, they were short, I'll admit.

This'll be the last for a while, because I haven't got much inspiration at all for the second half of the season, so I'll just have to wait on that.

She sat.

She was always sitting. She was always waiting. Waiting while her people were out there, fighting, trading, dying…

Waiting to see if they'd come back alive and unhurt.

Too often, they didn't. Too often, they were killed or changed or hurt, and she lost them, and all because she had to sit and wait.

Intellectually she knew there wasn't much she could do if she was out there; she'd just be in the way, a diplomat who only knew how to use a gun because her military advisor had made her learn, but it was still difficult to tell herself that they'd be safer without her.

Survivor's guilt, they called it, only she had 'waiter's guilt'.

And then there were those times when she knew without a doubt that something was wrong – even if she didn't have proof – but she couldn't do anything. If she could she'd go out and dig up rocks or whatever along with everyone else.

That was the price of being the leader.

She got all that authority, the chance to do things right, she got a nice office and quarters and a cushy chair that she never sat in because she was too busy sitting on her hands instead.

She always saw at a distance, received the news second-hand from those who saw what happened… this room was a prime example of that. A prime example of having to sit back in relative safety while her people went out and did what they had to do and got killed.

She was tired of it; she wanted to go out and share the danger with them. Only she couldn't. Because her flagship team was missing again, and she didn't know where they were. All she knew was that something was wrong and she had to wait while more of her people went out to find them.

But at least she'd be here when they got back. In one piece, or two, or a dozen, she'd be there to greet them when they came through. That's what they depended on her for; just to be there when they got back. A constant presence, something that they could rely on just like she relied on the constant patience and peace of this room.

Only, she was damned tired of sitting on her hands…