A/N: Set at the end of season three. Many thanks to my beta The Wishyles!
Why Atlantis got new uniforms
Dr Weir sat in her office and stared at the computer screen. She had known from the beginning that the Atlantis expedition wouldn't be a walk in the park, but sometimes she had the impression the mission was jinxed. Wraith and Replicators, Genii and Hoffans, and any moment the guy from the SGC PR department would arrive. Yes, this expedition was definitely jinxed.
Someone knocked at the door and, startled, she looked up from the screen. "Come in!"
A middle-aged man entered her office and reached out his hand to shake hers far too enthusiastically. "My name is Davies, Andrew Davies from the SGC."
Dr Weir breathed out deeply before standing. "Welcome to Atlantis. You've already had a look around?"
"Oh yeah. Very impressive. Above all, huge." Meaningless skirmish.
The head of the expedition wordlessly offered Davies a seat.
"Oh, thank you, thank you, that's very kind of you." Toady. "But let's come to the real reason for my visit, Elizabeth – I'm allowed to call you Elizabeth?"
"You can call me Dr Weir." She smiled at the PR guy who lost his train of thought for a short moment.
"Uh, all right, yes. Okay, it's my job to make you – and, by you, I mean everyone in Atlantis – look good." Why? This is a secret mission!
"If I may interrupt for a moment." Dr Weir objected, "Why do we need a PR department in the first place? We are on a secret mission."
Davies seemed to be increasingly unnerved by the interruptions. "Yes. That's true for today, and maybe tomorrow, but someday our activities will be made public. People will want to know why we invested so much money into this project. That's where I come in."
"Doesn't our work speak for itself?" Dr Weir laughed to herself. It was fun to interrupt him.
"For the… the average citizen, no, this is too different. Everything here is highly scientific and complicated; Joe Blow won't understand it." Nor you idiot. "Anyway, a picture speaks for itself."
"Photos, films, what-ever, showing us as we go about our heroic duty for the well-being of mankind." We?
"Okay, you have the freedom of Atlantis to take your photos or films. But right now, I have work to do."
"No, you don't get it. I'm here to make you look good." You are repeating yourself. "And I mean it literally." Pardon? "Your current uniforms, how shall I say it, they just don't cut it." PARDON?
"What's wrong with our uniforms? They are practical, loadable and easy to clean."
"Practical? How boring." We aren't on the catwalk. Idiot. "I've seen pictures of the Wraith. Now, they look cool." Are you completely crazy? "Our uniforms in comparison are colourless and dull."
"Pleeeeease. Appearance isn't everything."
"That's what you say now. But one day people will see pictures and films of Atlantis and what will they think? Wow, those Wraiths look great. Now, do you really want them to think this way about a dangerous alien race?" What??? "But when they see our people, what will they think? They won't think, hey, these are heroes, intrepidly endangering their lives for our well-being. No, their first thought will be, how boring they look." Oh, boy!
"I think you are exaggerating." Dr Weir was seething with rage. What on earth makes this PR idiot think that?
"I'm not exaggerating! We need uniforms which make our people look good." We need people who come up with less nonsense. "More black! It's a timeless and classic colour, and leather will go well with it." Stop, now!
"Mr Davies, that's all very well", Dr Weir stood up to see the PR guy to the door, "but we have a limited budget which I will not waste on new uniforms."
"But it won't effect your budget!"
"Why not? We would have to order a whole new set of uniforms in addition to the cost of the design…"
"But the PR department would bear the costs." Keep talking.
"You have your own budget?"
"Yes. It's for PR purposes only." Hmm.
"And the new uniforms? They would be completely covered by your budget? I don't have to touch our budget?"
"Your budget wouldn't be touched." Ha!
"Hmm, on reflection, I have to say I like your idea more and more." Above all because we get a set of uniforms for free. "I agree to the new uniforms."
Several months later
Colonel Sheppard and Major Lorne take delivery of the uniforms.
"Colonel? Why do we need new uniforms? Don't we have more important things to spend our budget on?"
Sheppard shrugged his shoulders. "Dr Weir ordered them. I suppose we'll never know her motives."
The colonel opened one of the boxes and pulled out a leather jacket. "Wow, cool."