Summary: After the day-saving, the paperwork.
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Characters/pairings: Elizabeth Weir, John Sheppard, genfic.
Word count: 970
Warnings: Risk of papercuts.
Author's Notes: For girlsavesboyfic. This was supposed to be Thing Two in a Five Times Elizabeth Weir Saved John Sheppard. I need a time machine or a better grasp of the term deadline. I do plan to finish the rest of it and post for my sparktober bingo card, though!
He’s running late, but that’s what happens when Ronon punches you in the face.
“You need to keep your hands up,” Ronon says, chomping loudly on a pear-shaped fruit that smells distressingly like pine-sol.
John glares, which only makes his head hurt more. “They were up.”
“Will you stop?” He’s been waiting in the infirmary for Carson to clear him for almost two hours, and he’s not sure what bugs him more – the wait, the ringing in his ears, or that no one has told Ronon to quit eating next to the medical equipment. Or that, right now, some pencil-pusher on Earth is making a note in his file about poor leadership due to failure to keep appropriate records.
A sparring session gone wrong with the Pegasus Galaxy’s most wanted Runner is a pretty good excuse for not turning in a personnel evaluation summary, one would think. If only the data-transfer windows, sponsored by a scheduled split-second wormhole activation, happened more than once a month. And if only the report wasn’t already late by at least one window. Last month, he’d been on a puddle-jumper trying to stop a rogue asteroid from Armaggedoning the Nfiti homeworld. Which, when it came right down to it, was probably a better excuse than Ronon challenging him to a fight over breakfast.
Finally, after what feels like a year, Carson comes over. “You’ve got a concussion.”
Ronon says, “I could’ve told you that.”
Carson ignores him. “I’m recommending you be grounded from missions for-”
“- two weeks, then a re-examination, keep icing it, take ibuprofen.” John has heard it all before. “Is that all?”
“You can go now, but report back here tonight for observation. You are aware that the damage from head traumas is cumulative, right?”
“It was an accident.”
“Very well. But you-” Carson points to Ronon, “try to remember the difference between friend and foe. And you should really keep your hands up.”
The ringing goes away by dinnertime, but he still can’t turn his head without feeling like he’s going to fall over, and he’s getting a hell of a shiner on his right eye, so he stays in his quarters rather than go to the mess hall.
The door chime is obnoxiously loud, he decides, though it always seems okay when he his brain hasn’t been knocked around his skull. It doesn’t help that he’s not really in the mood to entertain visitors, particularly since there’s a good chance it’s Teyla coming to give him blocking pointers and a pep talk.
It’s actually Elizabeth, which isn’t much better.
“I’m sorry,” he says, visualizing her reminder email that morning that he thought he’d have plenty of time to get to after a quick fight in the gym. “I hope Lorne got you all his stuff, at least.”
“Two days ago.” She holds out a bowl of something stew-ish. “I actually came to bring you dinner, since I figured you’d be hiding out in here eating your pride.”
She’s kicking him when he’s down, but can’t quite fight back a smirk. She does that to him when she’s in a playful mood. “And Powerbars. Can’t forget those.”
“Not exactly a balanced meal. Carson would never approve.”
He waves her in and takes the bowl. The food has a bit of a muddy color, probably from the purple Nfiti grain mixing with Earth potatoes and carrots, but it smells good. Elizabeth perches herself on the edge of his dresser, so he takes a seat on the bed.
It makes his head hurt a little to think about it, but he asks, “What do you think the IOA will say about the missing report?”
It’s unlike the IOA to say nothing about anything. “Ah, you think I’ll just be quietly demoted, then?”
Elizabeth rolls her eyes. “Don’t worry, they got the report. I wrote it for you.”
That stops him, spoon of stew halfway to his mouth. “You did?” And then, since sure, she knows everyone in the city, but she doesn’t really get involved with the standards and discipline for his people, “How did you know what to say?”
“You always say exactly the same thing,” she points out, one eyebrow cocked. “Everyone’s performing exceptionally, their skills are improving on pace, and they should all get promoted. Which, to be fair to your blanket praise, is probably true for most of them.”
“It’s none of Earth’s business, judging our people from that far away.”
“You do know that Caldwell files his own reports about our military personnel.”
He growls. “He’s barely even met them.”
“Easy,” she warns lightly. “I haven’t seen his reports, but I imagine they’re mostly favorable at this point. Though he’s still not your biggest fan.”
No kidding, John thinks. He always assumes there are quite a few negative comments about his leadership on his military file, and most of the ones from Caldwell are probably worse than failure to keep appropriate records. He wishes Elizabeth didn’t seem to be getting quite so friendly with him. Now, she’s accepting Caldwell’s invitations to lunch when he’s in the galaxy, and John preferred it when Elizabeth was spending most of her time around the Daedalus commander telling him to go to hell.
“For what it’s worth,” Elizabeth says, “I agree with you. Our personnel concerns are our problem, and anything they try to do back home will only complicate matters. We take care of our own.”
He wants to smile at her, but his head hurts. “By forging their reports, occasionally.”
She raises an eyebrow. “One time. Next time, I’m letting the IOA teach you a lesson. You did have two months to write that, you know.”
“Next time,” he promises.
“Apology accepted. Besides,” she indicates his head, “I think you’ve learned enough lessons for one day.”