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beth writing 30 days without

FIC: Fairy Dust and Prayers (1/1)

Title: "Fairy Dust and Prayers"
Author: maddie_amber (known elsewhere in fandom as simply Maddie)
Character: A Weir fic, Teyla, John and McKay appear briefly
Genre:  AU
Pairings: only hints
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Spoilers: none
Season: first since I referred to Sheppard as "Major"
Disclaimer: They aren't mine, I'm just borrowing them.
Summary: Weir escapes into fantasy - or does she?

Author's Note: This was written in 2005. It was my response to a SciFi Buzz weekly writing challenge. That challenge was: Use the opening paragraph provided, and the words "flower petal" and "fairy dust." Write for 22 minutes before stopping to edit.

Fairy Dust and Prayers



Fairy Dust and Prayers

by, maddie_amber


Some evenings, embracing rather than mounting her usual resistance to the insomnia that stalked her, Elizabeth Weir brewed a pot of coffee to take back to her quarters. Fully awake, she would pull out her journal and write ragged, caffeine-sharpened prose about the happenings on Atlantis. Tonight felt different, and the Commander of Atlantis Base, on a whim, decided on to write something less factual. Her mind harkened back to her girlhood when imagination ruled and writing was done just for the fun of it.

Elizabeth stood on the balcony, the gentle sea breezes ruffling her long dark hair, bringing with it the sharp fragrance of salt sea air. A bowl of flower petals balanced in her delicate hands as she leaned out over the balcony. She closed her eyes and said a brief prayer before tipping the bowl and scattering the petals in the wind. It was a libation to the sea gods, to bring good fortune to her companions and to return them safely to the sheltering arms of Atlantis.

‘Bring them all back safely.’ she thought, and though her heart lingered on one in particular, her prayers truly were for them all. Those who had sailed away three long months ago had come to this new world as her soldiers and servants, but who, through deprivation and hardship, had become her companions, and though none were yet her lover, there was one. She did not allow herself to finish the thought, for it was inappropriate, and she was a Lady, as well as the commander of the expedition force that had come through the portal to this place.

They soon discovered that stepping though the ring had been the easy part of their adventure. Since their arrival, they had found the most ordinary tasks a challenge. This wondrous city held so many mysteries, so many tantalizingly familiar objects that had no discernable purpose. Her Grand Wizard McKay had spent hours pouring over the records left by the city’s builders and had concluded that unlocking the city’s secrets meant locating the Jewel of Zed. She really could not see how any jewel could provide light, and heat and hold back the waters, but McKay had admonished her sharply for her lack of faith.

“One does not run a city such as this on fairy dust and prayers.” He had told her in that scolding, impatient voice she had come to expect when he was on the verge of some brilliant observation or discovery. With his usual self confidence, he had assured her that this fabled jewel would solve all their problems

So she had watched as they had sailed away, and now she waited, worried and continued to pretend that her heart did not ride with them miles and miles from their safe haven. She wondered what they would find. She wondered if there was land and life beyond the all encompassing sea in which their fair city floated. And while she wondered, she explored, with her remaining helpers and minor wizards, the vast city which they had claimed. It was so full of wonder, terrifying and yet compelling.

Lost in thought she had forgotten her wandering crew for a brief moment, when a flutter of wings startled her from her reverie. She looked up to see a grey white fleck circling above her. It dipped in flight once more in her direction then soared upward to the loft in the tallest spire of the city.

She wanted with all her being to run as a child would to the top of the spire and read for herself the message that had just arrived. Giving in to the impulse and not caring who might see, she dashed from the balcony towards the transport station. Racing into the tiny cubicle, she stared at the glowing dot which showed where she stood and the one that would bring her closest to her desired destination. She hesitated, as decorum overcame her desire. She was in awe of this mechanism that could so swiftly transport her almost anywhere in this vast city, yet she was also afraid. On the rare occasions that she had actually used it to travel through the city she had half expected to be torn apart, and always waited with held breath until the doors swished open at the other ‘end’ of her journey. This time, she realized that to rush headlong towards the pigeon loft would transmit a message of impatience she had no desire to portray to those around her.

Stepping out of the chamber, she turned slowly away and walked back to the balcony. A runner would soon find her and bring her the news. And she was not wrong. Within minutes she heard a soft step behind her and the almost inaudibly creak of leather.

Elizabeth turned to find the head of her personal guard standing at attention in the doorway. Teyla’s face betrayed nothing, but the stiffness of her stance told Elizabeth that something was amiss. Her heart began to beat faster and a cold, hard feeling of dread knotted her stomach.

“Yes?”

“There is a message from the exploration team.”

“Tell me,” Elizabeth battled to keep her voice level, squashing the anxiety that threatened to turn it shrill.

The exotic beauty of the soldier’s face, melted for an instant, and the woman behind the soldier was clearly present. “The team has encountered ‘others’. They lured our people into a trap, and when the trap was sprung...six were dead and a dozen wounded.”

Teyla hesitated as the words hit their mark.

“Who?” The word was barely a whisper. But no question was truly needed. Teyla understood her fear. Elizabeth suspected she shared it.

“The message was too brief. No names were given.” Teyla answered.

“Alert the physicians and minor healers. Tell them they will be needed.”

X X X

Hours later she stood in the flickering evening torchlight as the survey vessel docked. Dodging the frantic activity as sailors tied off the ship, she could see small signs of an enemy encounter; shards of wood where a pristine hull had been, broken slivers still dangling from the sides, tears in the great sails.

Then she saw McKay. She stood, schooling her features into an emotionless mask, hiding the anxiety she felt. He would report directly to her.  And he did, bowing slightly from the waste. On his cheek she could see the bloody streak of a recent wound.  “We have injured that need attention.”

“The physicians are waiting. How many?”

“Six dead, many wounded.” McKay wavered, and she reached out to steady him.

“Are you hurt?” She asked with genuine concern.

Rodney shook his head. “No. Just weak. I haven’t eaten.”

Elizabeth paused

“The commander is among the wounded.” McKay said flatly, anticipating her question.

As he spoke a litter bearing a blanket covered figure was being lowered to the deck. She stepped to the side of the stretcher, alarmed by the pallor of the man’s face. A bandage was wrapped around his chest and blood was seeping through the once white clothes. Gently she laid a hand on his, alarmed by the coldness of is fingers. “Commander,” she said softly. ”John?”

His eyes fluttered briefly, and then opened struggling to focus on her face. “Enemy.” He said his voice cracking. He struggled to sit up, an air of urgency in his voice and manner. “My fault.” A tremor of pain passed through him, as he slowly lay back on the litter. The anguish in his voice making her shudder in sympathy.

“Take him to the physicians immediately!” she commanded. “Becket is waiting. Go now!”

She wanted to follow as the litter was born away, but she knew it was her responsibility to attend to matters here. There were other wounded and dead, but her heart traveled with only one.

X X X

Sighing, Weir paused. It seemed she couldn’t escape her responsibilities even when she made a concerted effort to do so. She set out to write fantasy, and ended up writing an all too real reality.

The distant blare of alarms finally penetrated her intense concentration. She reached for the comm unit on the table next to the bed, thumbing the receiver on as she did.

“Yes, Ma’am,” answered the technician on duty. “We have an unscheduled off world activation.”

“Identity?” she asked crisply, trying not to bark the question like an order.

“Coming through now. Its Major Sheppard’s team, ma’am. They’re coming in hot.”

“Injured?” She asked even as she wrote one last addendum to her journal and slipped on her shoes.

“Major Sheppard...and Teyla.”

“I’m on my way. Alert the infirmary.”

“Already done.”

The last hurried line in her journal was a note scrawled in almost illegible handwriting as she hastily rose from her chair. “Have we awoken such a vile monster, that this galaxy will never again know a ‘happily ever after'?”

end

 

 

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