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14 March 2008 @ 03:52 pm
Fic: The Smells Taunt  
Title: The Smell Taunt
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Kate Heightmeyer/Elizabeth Weir
Genre: Femslash, Angst, Hurt/comfort, Relationship
Summary: Written for the 2008 sg_rarepairings fic battle


Kate found her in her office, as per usual. She wasn't really surprised anymore, not since ... "You're burning yourself out Elizabeth," she was stood just inside the doorway, hands clasped in front of her. "You need to rest."

"No, what I need to do is finish these reports" Elizabeth snapped. She hadn't even looked up to acknowledge Kate's presence in the room. It wasn't a typically Elizabeth response and it startled Kate a little. She tried not to let it show but she was sure that it would go unnoticed by Elizabeth who, by now, was completely engrossed in her reports.

"Throwing yourself into work isn't going to help the situation Elizabeth. There was nothing you could do to save them. Making different decisions would not have changed the outcome; it might only have made it worse. You haven't slept more than 8 hours in the past two weeks and anyone can see you're barely functioning." Kate couldn't stand to see her like this.

She had got progressively closer to Elizabeth's desk and it was even more apparent how much this was affecting her, both physically and emotionally. In the three years since the expedition had first arrived on Atlantis Elizabeth had never let herself loose control. Not many knew her well enough to see the signs at their beginning, see that her need to be strong for the others of the expedition was slowly breaking her.

Something she said must have hit home because Elizabeth looked up from the file she had buried herself in, leant back in her chair and scrubbed both over her hands over her face with a sigh that told Kate all she needed to know.

"You haven't eaten today have you?" Elizabeth knew it was most likely a rhetorical question but shook her head anyway. She hadn't really eaten before but now she found it much easier to immerse herself in work, overload her brain with so much information irrelevant to the events of two weeks ago that the memories didn't have a chance to haunt her.

"Come to the commissary with me?" The tone of Kate's voice had changed. Gone was her professionalism, replaced by the shaky concern that let Elizabeth know she'd pushed Kate's sensibilities past the point of decency for a friend, let alone the woman with whom she shared so much more. Ignoring her request now would only bring them both more agony.

"Of course," she flashed Kate a weak smile. "I'm sorry about..." Elizabeth made an odd hand gesture and Kate knew that she meant the curtness of her reply earlier.

Pushing back on the chair and standing for the first time in hours Elizabeth could feel some of the tension leave her body. She was tired beyond any normal standards but somehow Kate’s invitation had given her a small, unexpected surge of energy. Maybe it was time she sorted “this” out. Whatever “this” was.

Kate watched Elizabeth standing there, body and mind totally exhausted, staring straight past her out into the command center.

"Hey," her voice was soft but it still managed to capture Elizabeth's attention. She smiled and it was returned, this time with a little more conviction than the other. Tilting her head and gesturing towards the door Kate spoke again, "Let's go."

Elizabeth replied with a nod and a 'hmmm' after which she started towards the door. Kate fell in step and they made their way to the commissary in silence.

****


There were no hot meals left at this time of night so both Kate and Elizabeth had both settled for a cup of hot tea and a sandwich from the snack table. There was always something left out for those on the night shifts. Those had started 3 hours ago, when Elizabeth hadn't returned after 2 hours Kate had come to collect her and now here they were, at near enough midnight, eating in silence.

Kate had been a few days away from getting Carson to medically relieve Elizabeth of duty; she hadn't wanted it to get that far. She knew Elizabeth wouldn't hold it against her if she did but she wanted to try this her own way one more time. If she could just get Elizabeth to talk about some of it she was sure she'd eventually be able to sleep easier.

"So," Kate took a sip of her tea and relaxed back into the seat. "Is there a reason you've hardly left your office in a week? John tells me he can't even goad you into leaving."

Elizabeth just sat there, staring into her mug as if its contents were the most interesting thing on the planet at that moment. Placing her tea back on the table Kate leant forward; Elizabeth still didn't meet her eyes when Kate placed her hand on hers.

"Elizabeth please, talk to me." Suddenly the tea wasn't so interesting. Kate was almost begging her, that wasn't Kate the psychiatrist speaking that was Kate, her Kate. Her pain was hurting Kate and however selfish she wanted to be right now by just curling up and ignoring everything she couldn't let herself do this to the woman she loved.

"I ..." The blank expression had gone. Kate could now see everything that Elizabeth had been hiding behind her diplomatic facade. She had known she was hurting but now she could actually see it. But she could see more than just that, Elizabeth looked lost and terrified and that just wasn't her.

"I can still smell it. The burning. It's everywhere, all the time, I just can't shake it. It's like it's happening all over again, I can remember it all too clearly and I hate it." Kate gave her had a reassuring squeeze.

"The smells come first. It's like they're there to taunt you, remind you of everything you did wrong and then you get flashes of images. Just one or two at first, then they increase until it's playing out in front of you all over again and you're totally powerless. You can't stop it so you just have to watch."

Kate felt her had pull away sharply. Then both of Elizabeth's hands were covering her face, her breathing heavy and erratic. Concerned, Kate got out of her seat and walked over to Elizabeth. She must have heard Kate move because she swiveled on her chair to face her. Kneeling in front of her Kate place a hand on Elizabeth's thigh and started the slow, soothing motion she' used before.

"It's not your fault Elizabeth. It was a sudden and unpredictable attack. Under the circumstances you did everything possible, it was just unfortunate those Marines didn't make it. They knew there was a chance this would happen when they signed on and they accepted it. They died defending their leader, you should be proud of them."

She knew Kate was right. Ultimately Kate was always right but it didn't mean the memories wouldn't haunt her anymore. She blinked, trying to dispel the build up of tears from her eyes.

"Come on, the tea's cold and it's late." Kate smiled and made her way to her feet. Elizabeth sat there whilst Kate returned the cups to the kitchen and placed their rubbish in the trash. When she returned Kate held out a hand which Elizabeth gladly accepted. Their fingers twined together they made their way towards the living quarters.

****


"You know I talked Carson into giving me an extra week before he removed you from command and medically sedated you. I really didn't think it'd take this long Elizabeth, don't you trust me?"

"No, it's not that. Of course I trust you. I wouldn't be with you if I didn't, you know that. It's just ... I just ..." Elizabeth walked to the window over-looking the city.

"You wanted to do it yourself. You can't do that forever Elizabeth. We all need someone to fight through life with, to hold us when times get difficult. To help us." Kate stood beside her and took Elizabeth's hand in her own. "You have friends that want to help you. Rodney, John, Carson, Teyla they all care about you. Hate seeing you like this. That goes double for me. Just let us help every once in a while. You're not alone in any of this."

"I'm just so used to it I suppose. It's hard for me." She sighed and turned to face Kate. "I'll try harder I promise." Elizabeth leaned in and kisses Kate on the cheek, a small smile gracing her lips.

"Look," she said tucking a small curl of Elizabeth's hair back behind her ear. "Just promise me that if this ever happens again you won't go so long without talking to someone. Doesn't have to be me just ... Someone. Okay?"

Elizabeth nodded and moved closer to her. Kate's arms automatically slid around Elizabeth's waist, one hand moving up to rest between her shoulder blades. She was surprised when Elizabeth clung to her so tightly but was comforted by the fact that she could feel her muscles relax under her hands. She felt a head rest on her shoulder and the warmth of Elizabeth's breath on her neck.

"Hey," Kate pressed a kiss into Elizabeth's hair. "You should get some rest." Elizabeth hummed into her shoulder and nodded a little before reluctantly moving away. She set about preparing for bed, knowing full well that Kate would stay until she'd finished.

When she returned from the bathroom Kate was staring out at the city and Elizabeth wondered if it had the same calming effect on Kate as it did on herself. Judging by her posture it probably did and Elizabeth smiled at the thought.

Kate walked over to where Elizabeth was stood at the foot of the bed and took both her hands into her own.

"You promise me you'll sleep." Elizabeth nodded. "And that you'll take tomorrow off." At that Elizabeth raised a questioning eyebrow. "Look you need some time to recuperate. If you just jump straight back in you're going to end up right back where you started."

"Why are you always so right about everything?" Kate shrugged and leant in to kiss her. Elizabeth's lips were soft and warm against her own and she tasted like toothpaste, Kate's hand moved to tangle in Elizabeth's hair as the kiss continued to grow deeper.

When they broke apart Elizabeth rested her forehead on Kate's and gave a contented sigh. A few moments passed before Kate decided it was time to leave. She removed her hand from Elizabeth's curls and released her other hand from her grip.

"Goodnight Elizabeth. Sleep well." With that Kate made her way towards the door only to be stopped by Elizabeth's hand on her forearm.

"Kate, wait ... I think I'd sleep better if you were here with me."

Kate nodded. "Okay"
 
 
Current Location: home
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Wake - Linkin Park
 
 
 
Havoc: lizzie/katehavocthecat on March 14th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Okay, those two are really adorable. I love that you still have them with conflicts, even though they're clearly a couple. And neither one gives in too easily to the other. Yay!
Sammi: Elizabeth: At Worklittle_whispers on March 14th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)
Not every relationship is perfectly happy, right. They'd just be boring without conflict and it makes the angstyness flow a little more freely :D
Falcon Horus: FalconHorusfalcon_horus on March 14th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
*goes happy dance* Kate is always right. Do not underestimate the power of the woman who puts the 'FUN' in dysfunctional. *grin*

Missa likes very much.
Sammilittle_whispers on March 14th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Haha yeah

Glad you liked it *bg*