Disclaimer: I do not own The Peacemaker. DreamWorks does, and the film itself was based on an article written by Leslie and Andrew Cockburn (who also co-produced the movie). No profit is made from this writing.
Notes: (A few details of this story have been revised as of 7/4/13. I may or may not do a more thorough revision later.) This one-shot takes place right before and at the beginning of the movie. A little look into what it might have been that this "Roger" guy did to tick her off (judging by her actions of putting the flowers he sent to her in the trash can) and how his actions influenced Julia's comment about making sure her military liaison would be "willing to take orders from a woman."
"I'm going to need a military liaison with intel background and Russian contacts. Oh, and General, make sure he's willing to take orders from a woman."
This echoed in Dr. Julia Kelly's mind, blurring with all her more important thoughts with the task at hand as she continued down the carpeted hall of the White House to prepare for the briefing. Right from the moment she said this, she couldn't help but recall some of the previous evening's events.
Roger had taken her out to dinner, to what previously had been one of her favorite restaurants. But since dating this fellow colleague on and off for the last few months, her tastes had taken a turn, and she found herself wishing for no more dates there, or anywhere else for that matter, with him in general. She'd had little time and interest for a serious romantic life, especially since the switch from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to the White House, but it'd been convenient enough just to go out with Roger now and then, though he seemingly had taken the relationship a bit more seriously than she did. She had thought him decent enough at first, but recently and up until this evening, she was beginning to see his true colors, what he was really about; and she was becoming less tolerant of it every time they were together.
She was usually tired by the time they got to go out and lately she found herself more tired than usual, she realized. He realized it too, but for different reasons (he thought) than she was beginning to. He'd thought that now was his opportunity to broach his plans for the future: he expressed his desire to return to Lawrence Livermore, and felt that she should return with him.
He noted her tiredness and suggested that she'd be better back at LLNL, where things would be more stable (in the last three weeks, she had now been named acting Director of the White House Nuclear Smuggling Group, as their previous leader left for JPL). She knew though, and she was correct in thinking so, that really it was because that since he didn't get to take the helm of the group as he would've liked, he didn't want her to either. His resentment had made its presence known in the last few weeks, whether he meant it to or not.
She already didn't have much of an appetite, now her stomach was just being downright turned. Yet there was this odd sense of anxiousness for the conversation to continue. "Stable," she stated, rather than asked, briefly narrowing her cool blue eyes. She knew where the conversation was headed, and while expected, the notion still irked her.
He confirmed it when he continued. He suggested that perhaps her new overwhelming position might prove to be "disappointing to her expectations" and that her efforts were "needlessly" tiring her when she could still be making just as much "if not more" of herself out of D.C. and be more contented with it. Even if she didn't feel that way, she may be replaced just the same.
In other obvious words, she thought, she wasn't cut out for the job any which way.
"Well I don't feel that way, but it's unfortunate for you that you do. While I am here, I am going to make the most of it." She made sure to put emphasis on "you." She didn't feel unfortunate with the circumstances; just the fact the she'd wasted her free time with a man turned out not to be worth it.
He suggested maybe they should instead discuss this after they finished dinner and to enjoy what was left. She said no more, but thought how ironic he sounded when he didn't even realize it. Poor man.
By this time dinner had been finished and she expressed her wish to skip dessert. She went to the ladies room and when she came out, she found him leaning on the hostess stand, grinning and writing something on a piece of paper. Obviously not paying the bill. She walked up and took one look at it before he had a chance to hide it away. "Shayna" it said, along with a phone number. She glanced at the girl's nametag; and Shayna was her name-o.
The cherry on top.
She patted his shoulder and said, "Goodbye Roger. Good night, and good luck in California." With a curt nod and casual little salute, instead of letting him drive her home, she hailed down a taxi back to her apartment before he had a chance to stop her.
She felt equal parts relief and disgust. Not only did she not need an unsupportive, sore loser of a man, but she had no time for cheaters either.
No. She would not let another man try to undermine her and take complete control this time around. This was her first major break to legitimately show her mettle; anxious to upgrade from the talk of being green and wet behind the ears to a rep of a trusted professional. Not "Nuclear Physicist Barbie" in her pink box with that anecdote on the back letting us know what she's dabbling in this time around, accessories not included (aside from the standard hairbrush), to have a G.I. Joe be picked to push her back in the display aisle. Nor to have some slicked back Ken doll (not the other, real Ken, thank God) try to talk her down and out of a new career challenge simply because he was being a disgruntled worm.
She didn't have time for pettiness. She had the world to help save, and now that was just what she was going to go do. Military liaison or not.
But he would listen. One way or the other.
Further notes: Feedback is appreciated. ;) This was the basic idea I had in mind, but tips for improvement would be nice, especially if you've seen the movie. It's not noted in the movie what it was that this "Roger" was, so I'm only assuming he was also a colleague of Julia's.