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Title: The First Year
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford



CATEGORY: introspection, drama

ARCHIVES: ff.net, Command Dynamics

SPOILERS: Season One: Hot Zone

SUMMARY: A measure of trust.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis.
I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).

She is once more on her favorite balcony, staring up at the heavens and seeing the magnificence of the carpet of stars above her. It does not give her the usual solace she gains by doing so. She sighs heavily, feeling the burden of leadership like she has not for months. The stars shine brightly. There are no constellations she knows, but, of course, there wouldn’t be. For the first time as she looks upon them she wonders what life would be like, if she hadn’t gone on this crazy one-way expedition. She would probably be teaching in D.C., perhaps be married to Simon. That boring, domestic life seems, just for a moment, desirable to her. There would be no wondering if her next decision would cost one of her people their life or if she was doing the right thing. Why would she ponder upon that now? She knows, of course. She has not felt so lonely since their initial arrival on Atlantis, before the unspoken agreement was reached between her and John. Now, with his actions today… she wonders if the betrayal she feels is normal. His actions saved the day, probably all of the people on Atlantis, but still…

His familiar footsteps come nearer, but she does not turn to greet him even as he stops to lean on the railing. There is silence between them for a long time.

“You are angry with me,” he finally states and his voice is calm and understanding and instantly something inside her snaps, wanting to spit and scream and pound against him. But she is too much of a diplomat to give in to her urges, her finely honed control over herself too sophisticated to allow herself such misconduct. So instead of screaming at him, she only nods silently.

“You have every right to be,” he continues and she thinks that he must know how furious she truly is. “I’m a pilot, a soldier. It’s not my nature to sit still and wait for a situation to resolve itself, not if I think I can help.”

“Today your actions weren’t detrimental to us, but John,” she finally turns to him, her face serious and her eyes seeking his, “it could have turned out worse, a lot worse. Sometimes, waiting is better than taking action, especially if you don’t know all the facts.”

“And sometimes you have to act before it is too late.”

They fall into silence, staring at each other. Somehow, she thinks, they were never as honest with each other as they are now.

“I trust you,” he says quietly and his words are deep and meaningful and leave much unspoken.

“Then trust me enough to make the right decision. For all of us.” She knows what she asks of him. She suspects that it is much more than anybody ever asked of him.

“I do,” he finally answers and she sees the truth in his eyes. “Just…just trust me in return, too.”

“I do.” And she truly does. His lips twitch upwards and, suddenly, there is a smile in his eyes. Unconsciously, she leans forward – or perhaps he does – and she can feel his breath on her lips, like a whisper of things yet to come. His eyes shine and the smell of pine oil drifts to her nose. She does not feel lonely anymore. In the end, when she feels his soft lips cover hers, it seems like an inevitability. Her hands find his hair and she pushes him closer and closer still.

They do not say anything when they part or when she leans against his chest; both of them watching the foreign stars cover the night sky. But his grip on her is steadfast and her body relaxed. They stay on the balcony until dawn.

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