- Shady -
The ironic twists of Elizabeth’s life path hit her at the strangest times, like when she’s tromping through a bayou, dressed entirely in leather, on her way to sell explosives to an arms dealer.
Not just entirely in leather, but entirely in lace-up leather that shows inches of bare skin between the panels and doesn’t let her wear a bra. 20-year-old Elizabeth Weir would not approve – Co-President of the Brown University chapter of Feminist Action Now! and madly infatuated with a long-haired vegan Philosophy major whose entire wardrobe was made out of hemp. 20-year-old Elizabeth would have an absolute fit.
Elizabeth Weir from three years ago would be none too pleased with her either. (That would be 38-year-old Elizabeth Weir – negotiator of disarmament treaties and staunch gun control advocate and completely unaware that she’s about to have a perspective-shattering meeting with the President of the United States.) That inner voice is harder to silence, but the truth is that Earth weapons technology has already fallen into Pegasus black-market circulation after two years of missions gone wrong, the ever-duplicitous Genii, and the occasional theft. The Wraith computer module they’ll get in trade for a minimal amount of C-4 is worth a few more blemishes on Elizabeth’s moral purity.
And her dignity. John told her, “Teyla says you’ll have to dress like an Athosian to keep our cover,” like it was no big deal; from the way he turned bright red when he first saw her outfit, Elizabeth suspects Teyla didn’t share her entire plan with him ahead of time.
Teyla didn’t share the entire plan with her either, but she didn’t need to, because sweetening a negotiation with a revealing neckline and a bit of charm isn’t an alien concept. Elizabeth’s main concern is that she’s too pale to pull off being Athosian, but Teyla told her that’s to her benefit.
“Arat’Amar has a renowned preference for exotic women,” Teyla explained. Elizabeth marvelled over how the pallor of spending all day in front of a computer monitor and never going outside makes her ‘exotic’ among subsistence cultures. John got even redder.
So, Elizabeth can deal with all of that, especially since they really need the intel from the Wraith device, and Teyla will be with her, and John and Ronon will be nearby with guns in case things go sideways (Elizabeth’s opposition to guns has waned significantly since coming to this galaxy). Her biggest problem at the moment is the long distance from the Stargate to the rather disreputable trade settlement, because she’s hot and sweaty and her hair is sticking to her face, and she’s very aware of her partly-exposed back and the eyeballs drilling into her from behind.
“John, stop staring at me.” She slaps a mosquito-like bug on her arm.
Ahead, Ronon snickers.
“I’m guarding you,” John says.
“Don’t we usually take jumpers if we have to travel this far?” She knows she’s whining, but she feels entitled, since he’s been staring at her ass for a mile and a half.
“Nowhere to land. Wasn’t it just last week you said you wished you got out more?”
She can hear him checking her out, just from his voice. She slaps another bug and then wipes sweat from her face. “John, stop–”
“Not staring. Guarding. Watch out for that tree.”
She rolls her eyes and steps over the fallen log. Truth be told, when they were gearing up in Atlantis and she was less hot and gross, she enjoyed the way John kept sneaking looks at her and even encouraged it by bending over her animal-hide pack at a few well-timed moments. She tries not to flirt with him too much, because it’s not fair to either of them when they really can’t, but it’s not like she’s going to be dressed like this forever.
But she’s annoyed at the scratchy branches that have fallen over the road and the bugs and the heat, and she’d rather he not enjoy himself too much.
“Up there,” Ronon says, spotting the settlement well before Elizabeth can see it.
“Are you ready?” Teyla asks.
She doesn’t feel nearly as sexy or charming as she did two miles ago, but she squares her shoulders. “Ready.” She turns back to John to get his confirmation before they split up.
He smirks at her, then clears his throat. “I doubt there’s a shady arms dealer alive who could resist you.”