A/N: Lots of thanks to my beta The Wishyles! All remaining mistakes are mine!

The burden of responsibility

Colonel Caldwell sat in the conference room, humming "Sweet Transvestite" from the Rocky Horror Show. He didn't notice Dr Weir watching him amused until finally she caught his attention, "Wouldn't have thought that you'd like the Rocky Horror Show." Caldwell jumped and seemed embarrassed. "Have you ever watched a performance? Theatre or cinema, with rice and everything?" Dr Weir continued.

With a touch of regret Caldwell shook his head, "Somehow I never got round to it. And you?"

Dr Weir pulled a chair to herself and sat down "I once performed the 'Magenta' when I was at university. My parents were piqued when they found out. I thought it was great. – What are you doing here anyway? Are you hiding from your crew?"

The soldier smiled, "More or less. I just wanted some quiet time. This is a 24/7 job."

"Tell me about it. You're asked about every small problem. You would think that the highly professional personnel, hired for an expedition like this, would be able to solve disputes about the allocation of dessert on their own."


"One of 23 emails today. Allegedly the cook wouldn't make enough blue jelly on purpose."

Caldwell replied with an exhausted voice, "If it makes you feel better, I have similar problems with my crew. And cooped up in the Daedalus for weeks isn't exactly helpful. One little thing, and they jump at each other's throat. And who has to arbitrate? Who has to decide which scientist is allowed to use the high-performance computer and at what hour? Who has to decide if it's okay for the 302s to race for training? And it doesn't matter what you do, someone is always upset."

Weir nodded, "Everyone expects you to make the decision, and, of course, when you do, not everyone agrees. But they would be stuck without us. If you say yes to everything, you aren't a good superior. But if you have to say 'no', there's nobody to thank you."

"I understand completely. And I bet you don't always have an easy time. Sheppard…"

Dr Weir interrupted Caldwell immediately, "Sheppard is a good man. I would trust him with my life, without hesitation."

"Your life maybe, but what about your bookkeeping?"

Weir leant back in her chair and sighed, just as Dr McKay entered the conference room without waiting for an answer to his knock. He held a bowl of blue jelly and candied lemon slices, "Elizabeth, the cook is terrorising me! He does it on purpose! This comes close to sabotage! Uh, are you busy?"

The commander of the Daedalus stood up and went to the door, "I'm just heading back to the ship."

"Thank you, Colonel. Do you know, I miss my time at the university."

Caldwell smiled and left with a melodic, "It's just a step to the left and then a step to the right, and then I'm already on the Daedalus."

"Did I miss something?" McKay asked confused.

"No, not really." Weir took the bowl of jelly from the scientist, put a finger in and then licked it with pure delight. "Oh, this is good, this is exactly what I needed. Thanks, Rodney."