Another Fic-for-All challenge answered. Set at some future point in the Stargate universe, but no spoilers past the end of Atlantis season 2.

Mentor

Elizabeth felt a little strange being back on Earth after so long in Atlantis. The brick buildings seemed almost alien in comparison to the gleaming spires she now called home. Yes, she finally admitted to herself; Atlantis was home.

But a new government meant that she needed to come back to D.C. and brief the newly elected President on just what they were getting up to in Pegasus, so far away from the prying eyes of the Senate Oversight Committee and any other political hawk. She'd used all of her tricks to keep Atlantis as apolitical as she could, and she didn't want to lose that independence now.

Atlantis was her domain, and she wasn't about to let some Washington drone try and micro manage it from another galaxy.

So here she was, sitting outside the Oval Office, waiting her turn to brief the new President on her little corner of the hydra known as the American Government. The seat was every bit as uncomfortable as she remembered, and she was sure that it was intentional to put anyone waiting off centre before they went inside.

Like being POTUS wasn't enough of a home court advantage!

Time ticked by slowly, each hour feeling like a year. Once, before she'd learned about the Stargate and life on other worlds, she'd been able to sit still almost indefinitely. But too much time spent in life-or-death situations had turned her into an adrenaline junky, and the boredom was begging to get to her. If John had been there, she could have made fun of how uncomfortable he was whenever he was forced to wear his dress uniform.

But he'd managed to arrange it so that his long-overdue piloting evaluation was scheduled for the same time, and as he wasn't strictly needed for the briefing, he talked his way out of attending. Elizabeth felt the not-so-subtly hand of General O'Neill in the mix, but she'd never be able to prove it: the General was every bit as devious as her husband had been before he'd retired to take care of the kids.

The sound of vices and approaching footsteps brought Elizabeth back from her daydreams with a bump, and she managed to stand in time for the door to open. He jaw dropped when she saw the man standing next to the Chief of Staff.

"Mr Giles?" She blinked, "What are you doing here?"

"Elizabeth?" The Englishman blinked, equally surprised, "My lord, I haven't seen you in ages! How are you?"

"All the better for seeing you!" Elizabeth enveloped the older man in a hug, "It has to have been at lest ten years, since you left the British Museum."

"How the time flies." Giles smiled, "And I've told you more than once to call me Rupert."

"It always seemed disrespectful." Elizabeth turned to the Chief of Staff, "Mr Giles was something of a surrogate father to me while I was stuffing at Oxford University. He's the man who got me interested in literature and politics."

"At least now we know who to blame." The Chief of Staff grinned, "I'm sorry to break up this reunion, but the President's time is at a premium at the moment, as you can probably guess. Mr Giles, perhaps you could get a cup of tea and wait for Dr Weir?"

"Well I supose this is one of the few places in America that it might be posibal to get a decent cup of tea." Giles answered with more than a hint of sarcasm, "I shall await the end of you meeting." He nodded to Elizabeth before being led away by an aid.

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Elizabeth went through the briefing on auto-pilot, her mind still trying to work out just why her mentor would be meeting with the President. Although he was part of the almost legendary Old Boys Network in some way, there was no way he could have been there as an agent of the British Government: it just wasn't his style. What ever it was, she was determined to find out. Despite being only half aware of the meeting, she apparently impressed the President enough to be assured the full support of the administration.

That and a buck would buy you a cup of coffee, as the old saying went. Still, it was nice to know she still had her touch, and could work the system as well as ever.

All that remained was to track down her old mentor and get some straight answers from someone who was so apt at thinking sidewise that she's once commented that he had a mind like a corkscrew. She found Giles waiting for her in one of the reception rooms, a solid silver tea service resting on a table between two high backed chairs. If you ignored a few grey hairs and the odd line around his face, he didn't look any different than they days he used to discus the classics with her in his tiny office at the back of the University library where he'd worked.

"Elizabeth." He stood as she approached, "Milk with no sugar, if I remember correctly."

"That would depend upon the tea." Elizabeth smiled as she sat down in the empty seat, "So, what brings you to the White House?"

"Now that would be telling." The old librarian, "Let's just say that, like you, I know more about certain things than the President would ever want to and leave it at that."

"One day I'll get a straight answer out of you."

"Oh I do hope not: it would mean I was loosing my touch. Now where have you been? You dropped off the map some years ago and I've not seen hide or hair of you since."

"Now that would be telling."

"Touché!"

"Actually, I'm glad I ran into you, for whatever reason. I have a small favour to ask."

"Your word is my command."

"I'm getting married the day after tomorrow, and I don't have anyone to give me away. Would you do me the honour?"

"My dear Elizabeth; the honour would be all mine!" Giles smiled, "But who is the brave man who thinks he can tame you?"

"His name is John, and he's a Colonel in the Air Force: we work together."

"Well, it'd be interested in meeting him: we have much to discuss."

"You're not going to go all Ripper on him, are you?" Elizabeth asked hesitantly.

"My dear, why on earth would I want to do a thing like that?" Giles smiled coyly, "Why indeed?"

The End