By Kate Carter

Disclaimer: Yeah…I SO obviously don't own Stargate. Because if I did, all of us Sam/Jack and John/Elizabeth shippers wouldn't have to resort to writing so much fanfiction. And I wouldn't be totally dependant on my parents to support me while I'm at school.

Spoilers: Season 2's "Critical Mass" and Season 3's "The Return Pt. 1"

Ships: None, but there's a hint of Shweir if you look close.

A/N: Written 6 January 2007, 4:30 a.m. My first Atlantis piece!!!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really the best person to lead Atlantis.

I don't have problems with it most of the time, and to be honest, I couldn't imagine doing any other job. I know that if I ever have to go back to Earth permanently, it would break my heart. Atlantis is my home in a way no other place has ever been before.

The problem is, I've been compromised. Oh, not in the way Colonel Caldwell was; I'm pretty sure I'm Goa'uld free. But I made the mistake of getting too involved with the people I work with. They're my family, and there's a reason people are generally discouraged from working with their family; their feelings blind them to what's in the best interest of everyone else.

I felt a loss when Ford left us; and that was when I'd only known him a year. Now that I've had nearly three years to get to know everyone else, the loss would be so much greater.

I realized this recently when the Ancients took back Atlantis. On Earth, we were split up; Teyla and Ronan weren't even in the same galaxy as the rest of us. And I missed them. The six weeks where it seemed that I would never get to go back to Atlantis – to go back home – were, quite honestly, the most miserable six weeks of my life. I fell apart emotionally. I avoided everyone; it just reminded me too much of what I had lost. John was busy going offworld for the SGC, Carson was working in their infirmary, Rodney was at Area 51, and I…I stayed in my apartment, writing down everything I could about Atlantis. And as I wrote, I would try not to start sobbing; I missed it so much.

It wasn't just the city. It was only eating alone if I really wanted to, because there was always someone in the mess hall willing to talk. It was going out on the balcony and talking with John for an hour. It was the rare day off and getting to go to the mainland and lay in the sun, growing sleepy, until Carson came to scold me about using sunblock, or John came to scoop me up and dump me in the water, or Rodney came to whine about how burnt he was getting, and couldn't we please go back to Atlantis now, Elizabeth?!

I missed poker night with some of the other women of Atlantis. I missed being in the middle of something and getting interrupted by the colonel with the tousled hair and huge, good-natured grin. I missed the late nights drinking horrendous coffee in an effort to stay awake. I missed the sight of teams coming back through the gate, and giving me grins and thumbs up if their mission was successful. I didn't miss the ones where that didn't happen.

I love each and every one of them; they're my family. Carson with his Scottish accent and occasional wide-eyed panic about events not related to medicine; Radek and his sniping at Rodney and muttering of Czech curses; Teyla with her calm personality and almost endless supply of patience; Ronan with his good nature and loyalty; Rodney, even with the constant supply of sarcasm and whining; and John…John, for being my best friend, my gallant knight and defender, and just for being himself.

That's why I'm compromised. Because I love my home and my family.