Hey guys! Sorry my updates/ new fics have been so sporadic, school has been crazy busy! This just kind of popped into my head, so...enjoy!

Marie

She had always been a fighter. True, her battles were usually conducted with words, but she was stubborn and proud and had always been willing to stand up for herself and others. Her entire life, she had fought for what she believed in. She fought her parents and followed her dream to become a diplomat. She fought each and every person who doubted her abilities. She proved her strength over and over, and truly thought that nothing could make her doubt her own capability. She believed in her ability to fight any battle thrown her way.

Until Atlantis, she hadn't known how many ways of fighting there were.

There were, of course, the usual diplomatic problems. She learned how to subdue angry scientists, make overconfident military leaders obey, and keep up the moral of expedition members despite what appeared to be inevitable doom. She learned how to negotiate in cultures that were- literally- galaxies away from her own. These battles, she had already trained for.

Then there were the physical fights. The mandatory training all Atlantis had to undergo proved fairly easy. Through some (rather painful) lessons with Teyla, she learned the basics of hand to hand combat. Through her encounter with Pheobus, she learned how to take down a team of marines (Lorne hadn't been able to look her in the eye for weeks) and shoot with deadly accuracy (she still cringed whenever she saw Ronon's scar). These fights, she had expected. Through practice and dedication, she could learn to excel in those fights as well.

What she hadn't expected were the ethical battles. Suddenly, she was in a galaxy where she was the ultimate call on decisions. Was it moral to 'borrow' a ZPM from a planet full of children? Could she live with herself if she gave the order that got people under her command killed? At what point was it okay to order the torture of someone? To save a city? What about a team?

The emotional battles were worse. She was the leader, the one in charge. She couldn't show doubt, or fear. She had to be strong, capable, comforting. She found peace in her conversations with John and Teyla. They, too, were leaders. They could understand, could respect her despite her weaknesses. For all that she and Teyla had in common, no one understood her quite the way John did. He could make her laugh when she thought even smiling was beyond her capabilities. She hadn't realized she was falling in love with him until it was too late.

Now, she was fighting herself. Her head and her heart were divided. She had duties, responsibilities. Duties to Atlantis, but what about her responsibility to herself? To John? Would giving in to her own desires harm the city?

In true, time honored fashion, she stepped back and examined the situation logically.

Would acting on her feelings split her focus? Or cause her to protect him more than the city? She didn't think so. She was already in love with him, and had been making decisions that put him into harms way since they arrived. Nothing would change there.

Would her actions cause either of them trouble back on Earth? The IOA wouldn't ever find out, and even if they did she knew she had enough support to force them to back down. John's team had all been dropping not so subtle hints that they would be more than thrilled if something did happen. SGC had turned a blind eye to many relationships in the past, they could be counted on to do it again.

She paused, considering. Logically, there was no reason for her not to act on her feelings. Except...what if he didn't feel the same way? What if it ruined their friendship? What if...something happened to him?

She frowned as she realized the true nature of her reluctance. She hated it when her emotions got out of control, especially her insecurities. Fear was the one battle that she had never managed to entirely win.

She groaned and let her head fall into her hands. She noticed Chuck eyeing her in concern through the walls of her office. She smiled reassuringly at him and straightened. Right. She could handle this. What was the best way to defeat fear again?

"Off-world activation!" Chuck called. "Receiving Colonel Sheppard's IDC."

Elizabeth nodded and headed towards the floor to meet her favorite team.

"We're home!" John caroled, looking quite pleased with himself. He held up a bag stuffed full of various fruits for the botanists to test. "Locals say these are all delicious. See, Lizabeth? I told you we could get food without making a new enemy or trading weapons."

The team rolled their eyes, used to their commanders gloating. Elizabeth merely returned his grin shyly. "Face it head on." She muttered. John looked confused.

"What?"

"The best way to defeat fear is to face it head on." She explained unhelpfully. He regarded her suspiciously.

"Thats...good advice?" He tried, utterly bemused by her strange actions.

Elizabeth nodded, placed a hand on his shoulder to steady herself, leaned up on her tiptoes, and kissed him.

Thanks for reading!