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Title: There was still smoke in the sky.
Author: lilyfarfalla 
Words: 548
Pairing: Gen, with hints John/Rodney offscreen
Summary: …she refuses to be mesmerized by the death march of Wraith.
A/N: I was thinking this was Siege-land, but I couldn’t find the scene with John and Rodney watching the Wraith attack the shield in my DVDs (was that scene not at the end of season 1? Did I hallucinate it entirely??), so this is more an AU wraith attack than anything, I guess.  (Also, no idea if this works.  Yeahhh.)


The orange and red flashes against the shield are beautiful. Elizabeth can acknowledge that in the back of her mind, but she refuses to be mesmerized by the death march of Wraith tearing down their only defense.

Inside the control room, Radek is giving her an estimate of how long the shields will hold given the current rate of crashed darts per minute (five hours), if the darts ease off (eight to thirty hours, but not with enough power to withstand an attack from a full carrier), and if the darts accelerate their kamikaze runs (two to three hours, max.) Elizabeth carries the numbers in her head, laying the three clocks next to one another as she once kept time zones mapped out across the globe.

The shimmer of wormhole through the Stargate reflects off Radek’s glasses as he glances down to consult his notes, and Elizabeth wants to dive into that pool of water, wanted to grab hold of the spires of this city and rise up above the Wraith and tell them you cannot have this, this will not be yours.

John and Rodney are on the balcony just outside, staring up at the sky, at this hideously wrong fireworks display. Their faces are glowing in the unnatural light, and Elizabeth catches a glimpse of a memory—the way the windows of the city reflected the eerie blue of being hundreds of meters underwater onto their skin in those first few moments in the city.

In a minute, they will come inside and sit around a table with her and together they will form a plan that has little to no chance of working.  Rodney will wave his hands around while his brain speeds in circles around them all, and John will lean back in his chair and clench his hands into fists under the table as he resolves to do what must be done.

Elizabeth will use them both; she will accept their self-sacrifices. And she will pull in all of the others: Teyla, who could have been a friend in another time and place, Ford, who is far too young to be so close to command, and Radek and Halling and all the rest who will give too much of themselves to save. 

But briefly, Elizabeth wishes she could turn a lock in the door, or let time unspool so John and Rodney could stand on the balcony for hours or years, slowly letting their hands drift together until they find each other. In time they might, she thinks, but the Wraith have taken that time from her and she will be ruthless in taking it from all those around her so that Atlantis might live.

The clocks in her head are running down, precious seconds slipping away, and in a minute Elizabeth will radio her team to meet in conference room. But first she will turn her back away from windows of her city and breathe in the cool grey-blue of the control room. She will put her hands on millennia-old architecture and make a promise to protect this place and the people in it. She has died once for them both and will do it again, knowing that it is to this place and these people that she will return. Elizabeth breathes.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
esteefee
Jun. 25th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
wow. just WOW. so powerful. yes, to all of it, to the Elizabeth I see here, yes.

you cannot have this, this will not be yours

yes.

\o/ and yay!!!!! we both picked powerful women under the shield for our image of orange!1!!11 we are the coolest co-mos ever!!!!!!!!

*smishes you like whoa*

(it's at the beginning of Siege II isn't it?? I have no idea)
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
\o/!!! Yes, I posted mine, and saw the description for yours and seriously, we're like brain fraternal twins!

I'm so glad you like! (We'll have to rewatch that episode...or maybe just that scene, I don't know why I couldn't find it!)
stella_pegasi
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:11 am (UTC)
"...you cannot have this, this will not be yours."

Amazing line...great story...very powerful.

I will echo esteefee, you are great co-mods, and darn good story tellers!
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! We are having a ton of fun, both seeing all of the awesome stories (yay for you too!) and in having a reason to open a word doc every week.
mific
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC)
Love this - great Elizabeth voice. Her regret, and her ruthlessness. Beautiful.
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I love the idea of Elizabeth and her internal monologue, so much.
juniperphoenix
Jun. 25th, 2011 11:36 am (UTC)
Oh, this is great! I can really feel the strength of Elizabeth's resolve. I love laying the three clocks next to one another as she once kept time zones mapped out across the globe.
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
I love your icon!! And thank you so much, both for the comment and for picking out that line. I liked it but I wasn't sure if it made sense, so yay!
hoktauri
Jun. 25th, 2011 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oh. My. God. Very beautiful writing, great character voice. I really felt like I was in her head and her heart. The line evryone's quoting, "you cannot have this"...I knew in that moment I was going to be rendered speechless and flailing.

Of course, the clocks-how brilliant. What an epic visual.

And also the line, "the Wraith have taken that time from her and she will be ruthless in taking it from all those around her so that Atlantis might live". This is such a true Elizabeth Weir moment here, doing What Must Be Done.

In short, thank you for this amazing fic!!!
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
This is SUCH a wonderful comment, thank you so so much. I'm so glad it felt so true to Elizabeth and, just yes! Thank you!
hoktauri
Jun. 25th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
(Also, pretty sure it was The Seige part III, first ep of season 2. But whatever cuz this is awesome either way.)
scarlettandblue
Jun. 25th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
This is such a powerful moment.
and you have captured it pitch perfect.
wonderful.
lilyfarfalla
Jun. 25th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
michelel72
Jul. 1st, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
This is a great Elizabeth moment.
lilyfarfalla
Jul. 1st, 2011 06:06 am (UTC)
Yay, thank you so much!
schneefink
Sep. 6th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
Wonderful capture of a moment of Elizabeth, with great imagery.
lilyfarfalla
Sep. 6th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
non_island
Jan. 5th, 2012 06:44 am (UTC)
This is stunning and gorgeous. I love Elizabeth and I love finding fic that shows her resolve and her passion and her strength and how dangerous these things allow her to be.

(Found this through your Snowflake challenge self-recs--thank you so much for linking it.)
lilyfarfalla
Jan. 7th, 2012 03:09 am (UTC)
Oh wow, thank you so much for comment, and for such a wonderful comment! That is EXACTLY what I was going for with Elizabeth. Yay for the Snowflake Challenge!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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