Characters: Kate Heightmeyer, Elizabeth Weir, Miko Kusanagi, Laura Cadman, Teyla Emmagan
Pairing: implied Elizabeth/Teyla
Prompt: "When it's up to the women to save the day"
Spoilers: "The Return: Parts 1-2"
Summary: Replicators beware! Team Weir to save the day!
Author's Notes: Thanks so much to ariadne83 for the fantastic beta.
“We can do this,” Miko says, reaching across the table to grasp Kate’s forearm. Miko’s fingers are cold, her grip nearly bruising. Her face is colored with the fierce intensity Kate has come to expect from her in moments of grave peril. “We can rescue Atlantis.”
“Open the door, Elizabeth! I know you’re in there.” The heel of Kate’s hand has gone numb and her knuckles are battered from knocking, but she forgets her discomfort when Elizabeth finally opens the door.
Elizabeth, frankly, looks like shit. Her hair is limp and unwashed and she’s thinner than Kate has ever seen her. Elizabeth has always possessed a deceptively fragile dignity, a vulnerability that belies the strength of her will, but now Kate thinks her friend looks weak and defeated.
“Dr. Heightmeyer,” Elizabeth says in the same tone Kate has heard her use with IOA officials—polite, distant, as if she isn’t dressed in a tattered robe that smells like Maker’s Mark and French fries.
Kate wants to shake her, shake some life back into her eyes and into her voice. She is suddenly so very angry with Elizabeth. Denial and avoidance are coping strategies that Kate can understand but not condone. Elizabeth is the leader of the Atlantis expedition; that didn’t change when the Ancients kicked them out of the city. Kate knows she’s being unfair, but leaders like Elizabeth can’t enjoy the luxury of wallowing in self-pity. She wonders if Elizabeth knows how desperately her guidance has been missed.
Kate finds herself making small talk while she struggles with her anger even though she can ill afford to waste the time. “You haven’t returned any of my calls.”
Elizabeth crosses her arms.
“Or Colonel Sheppard’s calls. Or Dr. Beckett’s or General Landry’s.”
“I’ve been very busy,” Elizabeth says.
Kate resists the urge to roll her eyes. “I can see that.” She pushes past Elizabeth and into the dimly lit front room. “I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for this, Elizabeth. I’ll be your therapist another day. I’ll draw you out and listen to your fears and force you to admit you’re depressed and behaving self-destructively and actively distancing yourself from the people who could help you most. But not today. Today I’m just a friend who needs your help.”
Elizabeth closes the door and sits down on the couch in between a pizza box and a pile of Styrofoam take out boxes. Kate can clearly identify the moment that Elizabeth decides to swallow her irritation in favor of pressing for more information. “Is something wrong, Kate?” she says, dropping the cold formality of Kate’s title.
Kate can’t help this one small act of petulance. “If you’d answer your phone you’d know that earlier today, the Replicators invaded Atlantis.”
Elizabeth gasps, the sudden alertness in her eyes gratifying. “General O’Neill and Commissioner Woolsey?”
Kate shrugs. “It doesn’t matter really, Elizabeth, because the Daedalus is on its way with a nuclear payload. If they’re alive now, they won’t be in four days.”
“No.” The word is barely a whisper but Kate can sense Elizabeth’s conviction. “No. I won’t let this happen.” She runs her hands through her hair, her fingers catching on tangles, and pats down the front of her robe as if only just now realizing what she’s wearing. “I’ll make General Landry listen to reason. I’ll. . .
Kate reaches out and takes Elizabeth’s hand in her own. “It’s too late for that. We’ve all tried, believe me. General Landry isn’t General O’Neill. You don’t have any more clout with him than the rest of us do.” Elizabeth draws a ragged breath, a wet and shuddering breath, but before she can weep, Kate squeezes her hand. “Don’t worry. We won’t let them destroy Atlantis. We’re taking back the city.”
“Laura Cadman, Miko Kusanagi, perhaps one or two others.”
“And you’re offering to bring me along for the ride?”
Kate shakes her head. “I’m offering you the Captain’s chair.” They’ll need Elizabeth’s command codes if they actually make it to Atlantis, of course, but even more than that, their tiny group needs her leadership, her strength.
“Where is John?” Elizabeth asks.
“General Landry has him and Dr. McKay under a very polite version of house arrest; I doubt the Colonel takes a piss without an MP knowing about it. They're sitting this one out.”
Elizabeth squares her shoulders and squares her jaw and, inappropriate or not, Kate can feel the glee welling up inside her. Elizabeth says, “Let’s go over the plan, shall we?”
Once they’re all under the mountain, things happen very quickly. Before Kate can catch her breath, she’s watching Elizabeth zat Sergeant Siler and help Miko drag his body free of the jumper’s ramp. Just as Kate is beginning to worry that their timing is horribly, horribly off, Laura breezes into the storage bay carrying a bulky case. “Let’s get this show on the road,” she says. Miko closes the door behind her and brings up the HUD.
“How did you get access to the jumper?” Laura asks.
“I’m Miko the Meek, Miko the Mouse. So quiet, so small, so dutiful.” Miko makes a gagging noise over the DHD. “Dr. Lee never even thought to question what I was doing in his lab.”
Laura grins, this wicked slice of teeth bracketed by the cutest dimples Kate has ever seen. “That’s our girl,” she says.
“Are we ready?” Elizabeth asks. They all nod. “Then dial the Gate, Miko.”
The Gateroom is flooded with soldiers but Kate knows their weapons can have no effect on the jumper. The last thing she hears before the Gate hurls her across galaxies, underneath General Landry’s threats and Colonel Sheppard’s jubilation, is Sam Carter’s softly spoken, “Godspeed.”
“Walk me through it again,” Elizabeth says and Kate knows the request is designed to calm their nerves.
Miko says, “I am rewriting the macro that will allow us to Gate to New Athos. Once we are there, we will join with Ronon, Teyla, and the Athosians to take back Atlantis.”
“And how are we getting past the gate shield again?” Laura asks. “I missed that part of the conversation while I was off stealing weapons.” She pats the case at her side.
“Dr. McKay wrote a backdoor to the shield program. He does not know that I know this, but he keeps his work up on his computer all the time when he leaves his station. Anyone can walk by and see what he’s working on. I am not a snoop,” Miko says, glancing at each of them as if daring them to contradict her. “But I cannot un-see what he has made public knowledge.”
“And we’re glad,” Elizabeth says, clapping Miko on the back. “Without that program, all our efforts would be in vain.”
The wormhole at Midway activates, but Miko closes down the HUD before the SGC can make contact with them. Minutes later, Kate is once again hurtling through space and when she comes to rest, she will be ever so many millions of miles closer to home.
“Elizabeth!” Teyla’s voice is rich, full of laughter and surprise. “What are you doing here?” She touches Elizabeth’s forehead to her own, pulls her close and holds her for far longer than mere friendship dictates. Kate mentally revises her understanding of their relationship; suddenly Elizabeth’s depression makes much more sense to her. “Kate!” Teyla says and greets her as well, albeit more briefly. Laura and Miko are treated to the same.
“What’s wrong?” Ronon says. “Where’s Sheppard?”
“Let’s not beat around the bush,” Elizabeth says. “The Replicators have invaded Atlantis and we intend to take the city back. Colonel Sheppard was unable to make the trip, and there are no reinforcements coming. We have three days before the Daedalus arrives with a nuclear payload. We have work to do.”
When everything is said and done, when the Replicators litter the floors of Atlantis like handfuls of glitter, when General O’Neill and Commissioner Woolsey have been examined for psychological trauma, when Kate has finally bathed and eaten for what seems like the first time in days, her door chimes.
Miko peers up at her from beneath the thick lenses of her glasses. “I cannot bear the suspense,” she says, pushing past Kate and into her quarters. “I thought maybe you would like to have a drink with me while we wait out our fate.”
Kate smiles. “I’d love to.” She pulls down a set of tumblers she appropriated from the mess and fills two of them with the wine Miko brought. Before they can drink, Kate’s door chimes again.
“I brought chocolate,” Laura says and flops down on Kate’s bed. “Carson gave me a whole basket as a peace offering when he realized I’m being reassigned to Atlantis with the rest of the expedition’s military contingent. Well, if I don’t end up behind bars, that is.”
“I can break you out,” Miko says. “Don’t worry.” She pushes her glasses up farther on her nose with one finger and grins at Laura.
“Do you have room for two more?” Elizabeth asks from the still-open doorway.
“Always,” Kate answers, motioning Elizabeth and Teyla inside.
“We didn’t bring anything but news, but that news is good. In light of the success of our mission, the IOA has absolved us all of any criminal wrongdoing. We’re home to stay, ladies.”
Laura whoops and clinks her glass with Miko’s while Kate hurries to fill two more. “To Atlantis,” Kate says and drinks deeply, her friends following suit.
On Kate’s bed, Laura laughs at something Miko has said, the two of them shoving each other good naturedly over the Cadbury. On Kate’s floor, Elizabeth and Teyla hold hands, Elizabeth’s head on Teyla’s shoulder.
“Finally,” Kate thinks. “Home.”