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Cold – part two

August 1, 2013

Part Two

Sheppard stared at Elizabeth in shock. He felt a chill settle over his body and mentally fought his instinctive reaction to tug his jacket closed and zip it against the imagined cold.

“He did what?”

Elizabeth shook her head sadly and turned her laptop screen far enough toward him that he could read the email for himself. He couldn’t make sense of the words.

“I take it he said nothing to you either?” she asked as he reread the words withdraw from the first contact team effective immediately for the third time, positive he had somehow read it wrong.

“No,” he answered her and slumped back down into his chair to stare at her in confusion.

Elizabeth shook her head sadly and returned her gaze to the computer. “I was planning to reinstate off-world travel at today’s meeting, but John, I honestly don’t know what to do with this. He does raise a good point.”

John opened his mouth to snap out the obvious denial but at Elizabeth’s raised eyebrow he stopped and took a moment to really think it through. Yes, he was still pissed at McKay, could barely stand to be in the same room as him, but not to have McKay on the away team? Every part of his body screamed, ‘No’. Taking a deep breath Sheppard looked Elizabeth in the eye and said calmly, “No, McKay doesn’t get off that easily.”

Elizabeth raised her eyebrow again and John sighed, hearing the unspoken request to explain. “Look, I am as pissed at him as you are, but there is a reason he is on the Team. Teyla, Ronan and I just don’t see the same things he does. Sure, without him we might get a few more treaties signed, we might not get shot at as much, still…”

“John,” Elizabeth began, leaning forward intently, “you know I agree with those points. We have had plenty of these discussions before and always come to the same conclusion. However, it is clear you are still very angry with him, more so than I am I think, and you know I am still angry with him. John, this week you have barely been able to sit still in meetings with him. I can see you biting your tongue, I haven’t seen you speak to him voluntarily at all and those few times you have been forced to talk to him I know you have been unable to look him in the eye. Can you honestly tell me that you trust him in the field at the moment?”

John broke eye contact and stared at the wall behind Elizabeth’s head. “No.” He admitted softly, “Not if we went out today.”

“John, what is behind all this?” Elizabeth watched him closely, “I know he has apologised to you, he apologised to me and as you know we have had a few heated discussions since. This seems to mean more to you. What is going on?”

John stood up suddenly and began to pace the floor behind his chair, unable to sit still under her stare any longer. “How can you just accept his apology Elizabeth? You know he doesn’t mean a word of it. He’s just saying the words he thinks he wants us to hear. We fought FOR him, I fought for him. You agreed to his plan, against your better judgement. He asked me to trust him and he swore he wouldn’t let me down, I,” John broke off realising his body was poised to go into battle, muscles tight, fists clenched, heart thumping rapidly in his chest. John felt a flush rise to his face and he blew out a deep breath, forced his body to stand down and after a moment dropped back into his chair.

“Trying to cut in on Kate’s job?” he asked, the dry smirk aimed more at him than at her.

Elizabeth smiled gently, “clearly our feelings about Rodney are going to affect our judgement at this point in time. Maybe I should approve his request,” she held up her hand quickly as she added, “temporarily. I think we all need a little time to clear out heads here. But, John I suggest you talk to Rodney or Kate if you still can’t speak to him civilly. Something has to give, surely you can see that. You want him on the Team, but you admit you can’t trust him. Either way, it is not safe to send you both out there with this level of mistrust between you.”

John reluctantly nodded his head in agreement.

“Two weeks, I’ll ground him for another two weeks. John, I suggest you talk to someone in the meantime. What about Teyla and Ronan, what are their thoughts?”

“Actually, I think they’re having a few issues at the moment too. I get the feeling something happened during that supply run they went on while we were…” he cut himself off, he just couldn’t mention Doranda again.

Elizabeth rubbed her eyes with both hands tiredly. “Maybe I should ground all of you.” she suggested ignoring the Colonel’s suddenly horrified expression.

“John, you have to get your Team in order. This kind of disharmony can lead to…”

“I know,” John grunted and dragged himself to his feet. Time to fix this, he thought to himself but to Elizabeth he clarified, “Two weeks huh?”

She nodded.

“Okay. Ground the whole Team. I’ll think of something.” Sheppard left Elizabeth’s office with the first inklings of a plan though first, he had so speak with Teyla.

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From → Fan Fiction

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