Category: angst, romance
Summary: you wondered why every time you went off-world something went wrong
Season/Sequel: season 3
Spoilers: Mainly Coup D'Etat (2-17)
Archives: my website, Command Dynamics, Atlantis, Abydos Gate: Fanfiction, others ask please, I never refuse
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: This fic was written for the jeficathon on LJ for Natushka who requested a "Elizabeth goes off-world" fic. I don't think that's what you had in mind but that just popped in my head when I read your request! I had the idea for this fic before Common Ground was aired, so forget that ep, ok?
You have a go !
Crap! This was the only thing you could think of. Crap.
You thought that going off-world to a planet that had been visited a few times already wasn't too dangerous. Looks like you were wrong. Of course, there was always a risk whenever you or any team stepped through the gate, but you foolishly thought that it was less risky if the planet had already been assessed as non-dangerous by a team.
You had gone off-world with Lorne's team to negotiate a treaty with the people of this planet, the Gallins, leaving John in charge of the City. Everything was going well up until the point where a contingent erupted in the room you were in. Genii. You tried to tell them that you had some sort of tacit agreement with Ladon Radim after Beckett's medical team saved some of their people, including his own sister, but you knew it was vain the moment one of the men said a name you weren't sure you'd ever forget: Kolya. So he wasn't dead after all…
Nobody would have suspected a Genii spy to live in this village… So why would you suspect the entire village to work for the Genii? Nothing indicated they were in contact with a more technologically advanced people than them before one of your teams stepped through their gate. After the Genii's treason and the Manarian's one, you asked your teams to be more cautious but even you knew that you couldn't suspect everything you saw. You would be nothing more than paranoid this way.
And there you were: you, Lorne and his team, locked up in a room with two guards at the door and a window small enough to not allow you to escape by that means. They brought you there to wait for Kolya and you just knew things were going to get worse once he got there. You knew he'd want his revenge for the invasion and what happened on the planet with the brotherhood. It had undermined his power among the Genii, and though you were sure that since the coup he should be at the highest position, deep inside you you knew it wouldn't change the fact that you and John would be the first on his list. John… You couldn't help but sigh, glad that for once he stayed behind and let Lorne's team escort you.
"You okay, Ma'am?" the said Major asked you.
"I don't know…"
"You know that if we don't make it for the scheduled contact with the base, Colonel Sheppard will send a team. He'll probably come himself…," he added as an afterthought.
"That's what I'm afraid of, Major."
"I don't understand…"
"You've never met with Kolya, have you?" you asked him, already knowing the answer and when he shook his head you continued. "Kolya was the one who lead the invasion of the base during our first year, and let's just say he has a revenge to take on both me and the Colonel."
"What do you mean, Ma'am?"
"That if he had the opportunity, he'd kill us. He's probably going to use us to draw John here and then…"
"I don't suppose any of you has some hidden weapons?" you asked and they all shook their head negatively in answer. "I thought so."
"Ronon should have come with us. I heard he always has at least a dozen knives hidden on him."
"Yeah, I've read that mission report too."
"So, now we just wait?"
"I guess, Major. We can't do anything by ourselves."
You sat on one of the chais and you saw the rest of the team doing the same. Your thoughts drifted back to that mission report and how, for a few seconds you had thought the team, minus Rodney, was dead. As soon as the sergeant had told you the news, you had retreated to your office, trying to control your feelings, but the gate activation had changed it all; they were alive and well.
It hadn't been the first time you thought him dead, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. This man seemed to have a knack for situations like this. He had always managed to survive against the odds but you knew that one day, he wouldn't be as lucky; if only he could realize that instead of always trying to save the world by himself. You were angry at him for taking all the risks and never thinking about anyone else but his own little self. And you knew, you just knew he was going to lead the team to rescue you from the Genii.
"Ma'am?" Lorne said, and you turned towards him, a questioning look on your face. "Someone's coming," he just stated in answer and now you could hear the footsteps coming this way too, just before they stopped and the door swung open.
"Doctor Weir… What a pleasure to see you again."
"I wish I could say the same, Kolya."
"Is that resentment I hear in your voice?"
You didn't answer but simply held his gaze, showing him that you didn't fear him. But deep inside you, it was different; just seeing this man brought back memories from the invasion and the storm, memories you could never really erase from your mind. His eyes were as cold as they were now, expressing no feelings at all. With a sly smile, he broke the gaze and turned his head slightly towards his men.
"Bring her," he ordered and as soon as it was out, Lorne and his team were between you to protect you from the Genii soldiers.
"Don't," you said, addressing your own men. "I'll be fine."
"But, Ma'am…," Lorne tried, surprised.
"He won't hurt me, at least not now. Am I wrong, Kolya?"
"No. Now, will you come with me, Doctor?"
Looking one last time towards Lorne and ordering him to not attempt anything, you walked towards the entrance of the room and stopped once you were in front of Kolya. Placing a hand on your elbow, he led you out of the room and behind you, you heard the door close once more, shutting the team away. One of his men tied your hands behind your back, though you didn't know why he was wasting time since you weren't crazy enough to try and escape them.
You followed him out of the building, and into the late afternoon air; the sun was going to set soon and you knew that by then, you should have already been back to Atlantis. You were wondering what the expedition team was doing when you noticed that Kolya was leading you to the Gate. You now knew what he was going to do; he wanted to contact John to make him come here so he could take his revenge on both of you.
Genii soldiers were already by the Gate, in case of an off-world activation you guessed, and when they saw you, one of them started to dial the Gate. The Gate opened with a Kawoosh and Kolya produced a radio.
"Atlantis, this is Kolya. I want to talk to Colonel Sheppard."
"I'm here, Kolya," you heard the above-named answer; he was probably waiting for the return of your team in the Control Room, worried that you didn't show up at the according hour. "What do you want?"
"I'm glad to hear you too, Sheppard."
"Sorry, it's not reciprocal. I repeat, what do you want?"
"I have someone here who wants to talk to you," Kolya replied, turning towards you and holding out the radio for you to talk. "Say hello, to your Colonel," he told you forcefully when you showed no interest in talking.
"Elizabeth?" John was surprised; he obviously wasn't expecting that. "What happened?" he asked you but before you could answer, Kolya had already taken the radio back.
"If you come through the Gate now and alone, I promise I won't hurt her. But if I have to wait…"
"Don't, John!" you shouted which earned you a slap across the face from one of the Genii strong enough to make you fall to the ground. You could feel the metallic taste of the blood in your mouth while you concentrated once more on the conversation which took place in front of you.
"What assures me that you won't hurt her even if I come?"
"If I come, you have to let her go back to Atlantis. It's between you and me, Kolya."
"I don't think you're in any position to make demands. Once the gate closes, you have five minutes to come through or Weir is going to pay for that. And I'll make sure that the Gate is open so you can hear what you did to her."
Kolya ended the transmission before John could answer and the Gate closed, leaving you waiting. You knew he would come, alone like the Genii commander asked, but you hoped that he had a plan. You struggled back to your feet and glared at Kolya when he looks at you with a smile, knowing that this time he would win.
"You know, Doctor, I don't know what I'd like more: that Sheppard comes or that he doesn't, thus leaving you in my hands."
He had a smirk you could classify as evil on his face and you wanted to retort something but the Gate activation prevented you from doing so. You turned towards it in time to watch John coming through the puddle, his hands raised and seeming weapon-less. You sighed, seeing the door close behind him without anyone else having gone through; he had respected Kolya's demand and came alone, which didn't really surprise you. While he was searched for any hidden weapon, your eyes locked and you reassured him with a nod and a slight smile.
After they tied his hands behind his back, you started the walk back towards the village. Kolya was walking ahead of you and two guards were separating you from John; he obviously didn't want you talking to each other for the moment. You were once more led into the building where Lorne's team was waiting for you. You stopped in front of the door and Kolya turned towards you.
"You should take advantage of the night to rest. I promise you, you will need it tomorrow. Open the door," he ordered to one of his men and this one obeyed and you were both pushed in the room before the door closed.
"Sir?" Lorne said, surprised to see him.
"Major," John replied before nodding to the rest of the team. "Could someone free us please?" he ordered more than asked and a second later, Lorne was already freeing you while Lieutenant Tracer was taking care of John. "You ok?"
"Yeah…," you answered in a whisper but you immediately understood that he wouldn't buy it.
"What happened?" John asked, putting a hand or your sore cheek and you realize that there should be a mark. "Elizabeth?" he urged you when you failed to respond.
"One of Kolya's men slapped me, but it's nothing," you finally admitted.
"I'm going to…"
"John…," you interrupted him, "don't, please don't." You turned your head towards his hands which was still on your cheek, noticing that Lorne and his team moved to a far corner of the room to give you some sort of privacy. Seeing this, you stepped away from his touch. "You shouldn't have come," you finally said, reproach in your voice
"It's not like I really had a choice."
You sighed at his answer and turned to go sit on a chair not far from the rest of your team, John taking a seat by your side. They took that as a sign and came closer, sitting either on chairs or on the table. You stayed a few minutes in silence, considering the situation, before Lorne finally spoke.
"Do you have a plan, sir?"
"Not really. I just had time to inform Rodney of the situation before I had to leave. Hopefully, the Daedalus isn't far from here. According to McKay's calculations, they should enter Pegasus galaxy tomorrow."
"Er.., gentlemen? Not that I mind you trying to find a solution, but don't you think that the Genii might have some sort of a spying system in this room?"
"There could be," John admitted, "but we don't really have a plan so…"
You couldn't help but roll your eyes at his comment. But now that you were thinking about it, you had to admit that John might be right, not that you would tell him of course. And even if you'd exposed your plan, the Genii couldn't do anything against a ship like the Daedalus; at least as far as you knew.
"Still," you started, and the men turned towards you, "I still think it was a stupid idea for you to come."
"Elizabeth…," John tried to say but you interrupted him; he had to listen and understand your point of view, even if he didn't want to.
"I left you in charge of the City for the time I was off-world, and I expected you not to leave Atlantis. You should have stayed there and thought of a plan to get the team and myself out of here, not come and been a prisoner too!" you finished, nearly at the shouting stage. You knew that by now, the five men understood that you were angry at John. From the corner of your eyes, you could see Lorne exchanging glances with the rest of his team, visibly amused by the earful you were giving their military commander. "Is there something funny you want to share with us?" you asked, turning towards them and they immediately straightened.
"No, Ma'am, sorry Ma'am," Lorne answered in his best subordinate voice. Satisfied, you turned once more towards your second.
"Listen, Elizabeth," he spoke before you had time to utter another word, "I don't think I have done something wrong. He was going to hurt you, do only God knows what to you just to have me come here."
"He's still going to use me against you, like he already did during the invasion."
"Maybe…," he admitted. "But, also maybe he'll take his entire wrath out on me and leave you and the team unharmed. I had to do this. And this time, if I have the possibility to pull the trigger, I'll pull it. I won't let him go." You could hear his determination in his voice and see it in his eyes; he was probably blaming himself for having let him go the last time he had him at gunpoint.
"Fine… But I hope that the Daedalus will be here soon."
They all knew what you meant. Once the Daedalus arrived, Hermiod could lock on the transmitter you had in your watches and beam you all out of there. But you weren't going to say that part out loud; the Genii let you keep your watches, not thinking that it could help you escape and you wouldn't risk it.
"Ma'am, if I may suggest," Lorne started, unsure but he continued when you turned your head towards him, "we should get some rest. There's nothing more we can do but wait." You knew he was right and that was why you nodded at him.
"Maybe we should. Thanks for the advice, Marcus."
He nodded back at you before standing up, followed by the rest of his team and John. You raised an eyebrow, surprised; you thought they wanted to rest. Seeing the look on your face, John, now sat on the floor against the wall, explained to you:
"Believe me, you would be more comfortable sleeping on the floor than on these chairs."
You eyed the chair and immediately understood what he meant; they were wooden chairs and you'd probably have cramps in the morning if you slept there. So you went to sit on the floor between John and Marcus, closer to the first than to the latter.
"Should we keep watch this night, sir?" the Major asked and John shook his head in answer.
"No. I don't think they'll come to us during the night, and even if they did, we'd hear them. And we'll need our rest for tomorrow."
You agreed with John and told them so and you watched Lorne and his team settle as comfortably as they could and close their eyes. You were doing the same when you heard John's voice, barely louder than a whisper.
"I thought I already answered that one a little while earlier," you answered, not surprised at all because you knew he hadn't been fooled by your attitude earlier.
"Elizabeth…," he sighed, locking his eyes on your own and you understood he was really concerned.
"I'm a bit shaken by all this, I guess."
"It's understandable. You should try and get some sleep."
"Ok, but you should too."
"I will, don't worry. Now, sleep."
You nodded silently and tried to find a comfortable enough position before closing your eyes. At first, you weren't sure you could sleep, but now the exhaustion from the day seemed to take its toll. Slowly, you felt sleep coming to claim you and before you realised it, your head rolled on its side and leaned on something strong and soft at the same time: John's shoulder. Even in your half-asleep state you knew you should move but deep inside you didn't want to. You were finally succumbing completely to sleep when you felt him move your head from his shoulder to his lap, putting you into a more comfortable position.
You didn't know what time it was, but when you woke up, there was a hand in your hair, moving slightly, and an arm wrapped around your waist. You were curled up on your side, and when the sleep fog in your mind finally dissipated, you remembered that you had slept with your head on John's lap and that it was probably his hands on your body.
Rising slowly from your lying position, you came nearly face to face with him before moving backwards.
"I'm sorry for…," you managed to utter before he held his hand up to interrupt you.
"Hey, it's ok. You needed rest and what can I say if I'm comfortable?" he said with a cheeky grin.
You slapped his arm for that before turning towards the others; they were all looking at you and Lorne was not the only one to sport a small smile on his face. You sighed before settling against the wall, your knees drawn up towards your chest. You should probably have been worried about what they had witnessed, but you knew that unless they were ordered, they wouldn't talk about what occurred in this room. You have complete trust in them for that.
"They're coming," Major Lorne said standing up followed by the others, and you could hear footsteps stopping just outside of the room before the door was opened. Kolya entered the room, followed by a dozen of his men.
"I hope you slept well, because you're going to need it. Bring them outside," he ordered his men before leaving the room.
Your hands were once more tied behind your back before you were pushed towards the door. You walked down the corridor, John and Marcus flanked by your side while Lieutenants Tracer and Moore and Captain Hawkins were on your six. Despite them knowing they couldn't do anything, they were still trying to shield you, to protect you from the Genii.
It seemed like Kolya had noticed that too since the second you were in front of him, he asked his men to separate you from them. They were forced to kneel on the ground while you faced him, holding his gaze. You were now in the clearing of the Gate and you couldn't help but wonder once more where the Daedalus was. But before you could think further about that, Kolya's voice startled you out of your thoughts:
"Now, what should I do, Colonel? Should I start with Doctor Weir or…"
"NO!" John cried forcefully, "it's me you want so leave her, leave them."
"I could do that, but what fun would it be then?" he asked, walking towards you and putting his hand under your chin before slapping you. "I'd suggest you and your men stay calm," he said after your men struggled against their captors, "otherwise, I would be forced to hurt Weir more than I planned to."
"What do you want from us, Kolya?"
"Right now, revenge. I may ask for more later. But now, I want you to suffer, to see the one you care about suffer because of you."
The Genii commander turned back towards you and slapped you once more, strong enough to make you fall on the ground. The Genii soldiers picked you up quickly and made you kneel on the floor. Kolya put his hand in your hair, and pulled at it so you faced him.
"I hate hurting women, but you left me no choice, Sheppard. I always wondered why you took that shot back then on Atlantis, while you knew you could hit her instead of me. Answer me, Sheppard, why did you shoot?"
"Because I had to," he replied in a controlled voice but you could see the fire burning in his eyes. "And I would do it again, though this time, I won't miss."
"You didn't miss, my shoulder still remembers it."
"I was aiming at your head," John said but you knew it was a lie; he wouldn't have taken that risk, your head was way too close to Kolya's for that. Though his face remained impassive, you could see in his eyes that Kolya was destabilized by these words; he actually believed what John said.
"Too bad, you missed then, otherwise I wouldn't be able to do that," he said as he once more slapped you in the face, but with more force than before. You spit some blood on the floor, reassuring the others with a look before you took the next blow. You fell on the floor but Kolya indicated his men to leave you there. You were as ready as you could be to take his boot in your stomach when you saw white light engulfing you. You sighed in relief, feeling the cold floor of the Daedalus beneath you.
Soon, Caldwell ordered men to free John and Lorne's team while he did the same with you, being much closer. You saw John immediately standing up from his kneeling position once he was free and turning towards Caldwell. A med team was taking care of you, and you focused on the two soldiers.
"I need a gun and then beam me back down there."
"No, John," you said, pushing the doctor's hand out of your face. "No."
"I won't let him go," he repeated his words from the day before.
"They probably already left," you replied, trying to make him see some sense. You walked towards him until just mere inches separated you. "Next time, Colonel, is that understood?" you asked, using his rank and your best commanding voice.
"Yes, Ma'am." He turned and went to stand by the window. The Daedalus was already on its way to Atlantis, so there wasn't much to see but you knew he did it to stay alone. You let the medics treat the wounds Kolya inflicted you on the face, then joined John at the window. "You ok?" he asked you in a whisper.
"I will be. John…"
"I know, I know," he interrupted you before entwining his fingers with your own. You knew you should probably let go, but right now you didn't care. You were just beaten by one of the worst people in this galaxy and you needed the comfort this simple hand holding brought you.
Deep inside you, you still wondered why things had always seemed to go wrong every time you went off-world.