Comfort

Missing Scene for between Intruder and Runner

I told him to go on without me.

But, I didn't think he'd do it.

Simon.

Part of her understood why he did it…why he went on, found someone else…continued living. But, the rest of her hated it. How could he do this? How could he replace her?

Elizabeth's hand traced over the framed picture of Simon. Unmarked, the frame was in perfect condition. Despite everything she'd gone through in the last year, it was unscathed. How many times had she stared at that image? Used as an anchor? Remembered what she was fighting for?

With reverence, Elizabeth returned the picture to its place on her desk and stood. She crossed her arms and stared out the window at the inactive Stargate.

Simon.

He'd been pained…upset and heartbroken to have done what he'd done.

I've met someone.

Met someone? Elizabeth closed her eyes, momentarily consumed with anger. How could he meet someone else? Go on like she was dead?

Not wait for her.

Pulling in a deep breath, Elizabeth's anger dissolved. How could he not go on? She'd been gone for almost a year, isolated and out of reach, a galaxy away. How could she expect Simon to wait for her? To put his life on hold on the off chance he may ever see her again? She'd just picked up and left. Of course, the top secret status of the expedition prevented her from telling him what was going on, or where she was going, but that didn't matter. She'd left. She'd been a galaxy away by the time Simon knew anything, or even heard her goodbye. What else did she expect?

Elizabeth pursed her lips and swallowed hard. In his place, would she have waited?

No.

She dropped her head. That admission didn't make it any easier. She couldn't blame him…couldn't be mad at him…couldn't hate him for what he'd done, and that made it so much harder. Elizabeth's vision blurred an instant before she closed her eyes. Anger would've made it easier. It would've given her something to latch onto…something to fault. She swiped a quick hand over her face as she heard footsteps enter her office.

"Elizabeth, there's no indication of Ford but…"

She heard Sheppard's voice trail off, yet she didn't turn. Elizabeth didn't trust her voice, her expression…or herself.

"I'm sorry…am I interrupting?"

Without turning, Elizabeth pulled in a deep breath. "No." She closed her eyes against the shake in her voice. Damn. She continued to face away from the Colonel, but Elizabeth could feel his presence, and knew he'd not left her alone. Forcing the waver from her voice, Elizabeth cleared her throat. "Can this wait?" She continued to stare out the window, forcing control to her surging emotions as she heard Sheppard's footsteps approach. She listened, unmoving, as he set his data pad on her desk.

"What's wrong?"

She closed her eyes. Damn, his intuition. "Nothing." She listened to his footsteps as he approached her. She could feel him right behind her, but still she didn't turn.

"Elizabeth, tell me what's wrong."

John's voice was soft, questioning…caring. Elizabeth sighed. "I need to be alone, John." She wiped her nose quickly. "Please."

"Okay."

She could hear his footsteps retreating and something within her shouted for him to stay, to help her…to listen. Elizabeth tried to turn the feelings away, but couldn't. She needed someone to listen to her, to understand…to support her. For the better part of the last year, she'd been strong, always leading, making the decisions…not breaking. But, this time she couldn't do it. She needed someone to help her. She'd loved Simon, more than anyone else in her life. She'd been ready to marry him, to be with him…to grow old and die with him. Deprived of that, for the first time in her life, Elizabeth felt frail, insecure…and lost. "Simon met someone," the barely whispered words tumbled from her mouth before she realized it…and stopped Sheppard in his tracks. She turned, no longer hiding her reddened eyes from a gaze that already knew she'd been crying. Elizabeth saw no pity on John's face, only understanding mixed with sorrow.

"I'm sorry, Elizabeth."

She clung to the tattered edges of her control as he crossed the room and stood before her. John's expression softened even more as he watched her fight to control her emotions…and lose. She swallowed hard, unable to breathe around the lump that filled her throat as John reached out and squeezed her shoulder gently.

"It's okay."

His whispered voice shattered the last of her control. Desperate to keep her tear filled eyes from his gaze, Elizabeth bowed her head, her vision once more blurring. She felt his other hand grab her other shoulder and pull her to him. She should've resisted, should've pulled away, should've kept a professional distance…but she couldn't. All she wanted was to be held, to be reassured…to be told it was okay. She wrapped her arms around John's strong back and pressed her face into his chest, her sobs coming freely.

In the month since they'd left Earth to return to Atlantis, she'd been strong. Burying her feelings and keeping a professional face, Elizabeth had been proud that no one had seen anything had been bothering her. But the feel of Sheppard's strong arms around her, and reassuring words that he whispered over her sobs, shattered that control. Elizabeth was exposed, her vulnerabilities and pain bared, but, as hot tears spilled from her eyes, only to disappear into John's shirt, she didn't care. Her heart was broken…and she couldn't keep it inside any longer.

She wasn't sure how long she stood there before something resembling control returned to her. Elizabeth pulled away, her gaze still averted from Sheppard's face. "I'll be okay," she whispered. John's hands never left her shoulders as she heard him sigh deeply.

"I don't doubt that for a second."

Slowly, she looked up and into the understanding eyes of John Sheppard. She felt the gloom lift from her heart as he graced her with one of his disarming half smiles.

"You'll be just fine." His gaze lingered on her for another moment, before he turned, grabbed his data pad, and slowly left her office.

Elizabeth watched him go, her strength and control rapidly returning. Understanding, confidence and reassurance had echoed in his expression and no words were needed. His confidence in her strengthened her confidence in herself. Elizabeth dashed a quick hand over her face and drew in a deep, cleansing breath. "Yes, I will," she whispered. She turned back to her desk, and the stack of reports patiently waiting for her. She sighed again, this time in resignation, before settling into her chair and grabbing the topmost report.

Author's notes:

Ever since I watched Intruder for the first time, I knew I had to write something about Elizabeth and the fall out from her break up with Simon.

It's not intended as a Shweir Shipper story. These are two, close friends, who have faced death together. There is a platonic intimacy that can go with that…and I think Sheppard and Weir have it. Just my take and I have nothing against Shipping :D

SGAFan