rushingwind: Elizabeth Overlooking Atlantis (Home)
rushingwind ([personal profile] rushingwind) wrote on October 15th, 2008 at 07:05 am
Fic: Light and Memory (Elizabeth Weir/Jacob Carter)
Title: Light and Memory
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rushingwind
Pairing: Jacob Carter/Semak and Elizabeth Weir (yes, you're reading that correctly)
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst/Romance
Spoilers: S2 of Atlantis, S8 of SG1.
Synopsis: It isn't really his grave, and somehow that makes it easier.

AN: Written for the 2008 Tok'ra Fanfiction Contest, winner of the 2009 Blue Moon Award for Stargate Crossover (SG1/SGA), and 1st place in the 2008 Isis Awards in the Elizabeth Weir/Other category.

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Jacob hated Antarctica.

(“Could be Ne’tu,”) Selmak unhelpfully offered.

No, it wasn’t as bad as hellish Ne’tu, but Jacob preferred to keep things at a fairly level temperature, instead of too hot or cold.

Scratching the itchy cloth covering his head, Jacob sighed deeply. It hadn’t exactly been his plan to go to the Antarctic. The Tok’ra had just needed Doctor Jackson’s linguistic abilities for a few minutes, but he was busy trying to locate Atlantis… in Antarctica. And what did the rest of the Council say? Go see him, surely this “Antarctica” couldn’t be too dreadful.

So far, according to the pilot flying him to the Ancient Outpost, it had been the coldest summer on record for McMurdo in fifty years.

“Guess you’re stuck here, then,” Jacob offered to the pilot apologetically.

He shrugged. “I kind of like it here, actually.”

“You like it here?” Even Selmak, who had quickly taken a disliking to the extreme cold, recoiled.

”Yes, Sir, General. It’s the one continent I’d never been to.”

“Ah, I see.” Jacob cast a curious glance over at the pilot and shook his head silently.

Landing had been the easy part. The wind was unusually calm, the sky right above them clear.

“You should be careful, Sir,” the pilot warned, “NOAA is calling for a blizzard to move into this area overnight.”

A blizzard. Wonderful.

After patiently waiting to get into the underground complex, he found the Outpost in a state of chaos. Nonessential personnel were evacuating while the weather still was acceptable for flying. Finding Doctor Jackson in the midst of this circus was going to be quite a chore.

“All right everyone, listen up!”

The female voice echoed through the icy cavern, bringing a temporary halt to all the chaos. Looking around for the source of the interruption, Jacob spotted a brunette dressed in red, standing on top of a few storage crates.

“We have to prioritize! Ancient Tech can stay here—it’s survived a few million years in the Antarctic, it can survive a blizzard for a few days. All non-essential military and civilian personnel will continue evacuating in their predesignated groups in numeric order. Then the essential staff will follow. All senior officers and officials will be remaining until further notice.” She clapped her hands twice, and pointed at the elevator. “Let’s go!”

Selmak’s interest was piqued. (“Fascinating.”)

“We’ll see,” Jacob grunted, his eyes settling on a group of women struggling with their storage containers. Making his way over to them, he shook his head. “I don’t want to get stuck here.”

(“Wouldn’t be so bad, would it? We’d get to study Ancient technology for a few days.”)

Securing the containers against the wall, Jacob nodded politely at the women as they thanked him. ‘You just want to find out more about Atlantis,’ he accused lightly.

(“Don’t you?”)

Jacob would be a liar if he’d said the Lost City held no sway over his imagination, and even held a bit of excitement (though whether the excitement was his own, or Selmak’s, was unclear).

Completely and utterly stuck for the night (the Prometheus was grounded for repairs, so there was no hope of being beamed out), he found the warmest corner of the Outpost and burrowed in.

It wasn’t that he minded the break, but…Antarctica?





Colonel Everett pulls her to the side, and it makes her angrier than she already is, because the Wraith are nearly at their doorstep and he wants to argue the chain of command with her?

“What is this about?” she demands, arms akimbo.

His expression is softer than before, a little sympathetic, even. “Colonel Carter asked me to give you this. She said you’d understand.”

He holds out his hand, and inside it is a small woven band, threads of a thousand colors. Her heart nearly stops as her eyes settle on one red band, woven on the outside.

“I’m sorry, Doctor Weir,” he tells her.

With shaking fingers, she reaches out and grasps the band of cloth in her hand, her mind, for the moment, having gone from full speed to a dead stop.

All she can manage to do is stand there, staring at the woven bracelet. Several seconds later, her brain restarts and she shakes her head, trying to lose the sickening feeling in her stomach. Pocketing the band, she nods. “Thank you, Colonel.”

As he walks away, she wonders if he ever got her letter.






Selmak was as excited as a kid in a candy store. Not only did he get the chance to play with Ancient technology, he got one whole uninterrupted night to do so. And for the most part, Jacob was interested too (mildly), but mostly annoyed by the biting cold and the fact that Sam wasn’t there.

In fact, Daniel was about the only person he did know in the makeshift base. No time like the present to make new friends, he supposed.

The first man he formally met was a Czech scientist by the name of Radek Zelenka. Selmak liked him immediately, noting that he was as brilliant as the lead scientist on the project. Jacob. Radek showed him around, helped secure temporary quarters, and even got him a “job” for the night–a development that thrilled Selmak to no end.

A few hours later, Jacob found himself carefully examining the innards of a drone along with a British scientist named Peter Grodin. Peter appeared to be a man of calm disposition, and extremely knowledgeable about Ancient technology. Jacob and Selmak both found themselves learning a lot from his explanations.

Selmak was euphoric, and simply would not shut up with the excited rambling. Selmak’s excitement mingled with Jacob’s mind, the rush making him queasy. He sat down slowly, trying to look casual.

Peter joined him, apparently ready for a break himself. “Are you all right?”

“Hmm? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I’m just having a small disagreement here.”

Confusion clouded Grodin’s features for a few moments before realization dawned. “Oh, with…ah….” He raised his hand and motioned to the back of his head awkwardly.

Jacob smirked. “Selmak.”

He offered the Tok’ra a thermos of steaming liquid. “Yes, Selmak.” He looked apologetic. “Sorry.”

A deep, melodic voice answered. “Think nothing of it.”

Grodin looked surprised for about a half-second before smiling. Jacob inwardly rolled his eyes at the symbiote. ‘You’re imitating Jack now?’

He could feel Selmak’s amusement. (“It seemed an appropriate thing to say.”)

Selmak relinquished control back to Jacob, who then thanked the scientist for the hot cup of…tea? The mystery liquid was good either way, warming him to his very core. He made a note to ask Peter about it later.

For such an important project, it was very quiet in the Outpost, only a few people wandering about. Some had left for a late-night snack, including the lead scientist (it irritated Jacob to no end how one man could complain so much). Nearly all sounds were distant, mere echoes in icy hallways.

“So, have you met Doctor Weir yet?”

Jacob barely looked up. “She’s the leader of the Expedition, right?”

“Yes. She also briefly led the SGC during and after Anubis’ attack.”

He could sense Selmak rousing in interest, his mind pushing forward for a moment. “The woman directing the evacuation earlier?”

Grodin smiled. “That’s Doctor Weir.”

“I’ll have to track her down,” Jacob finished, smiling a bit. ‘Heard she held some of the System Lords hostage.’

(“She's probably busy,”) Selmak remarked.





The stone is cold underneath her fingertips as she stands quietly, searching for something profound to say. Thorns on the yellow rose she grasps cut her skin, blood pooling and trailing down the stem, but she doesn’t notice.

This isn’t actually his grave, she thinks idly, and somehow that makes it easier. There is no body underneath the stone marker, no place that her yellow rose can rest that would be near him.

She’s come too far to cry now, she thinks, but the tears sting the back of her eyes anyway. She hopes…she still hopes he got her letter…

She pauses, shaking her head quickly. No, hope doesn’t matter, not now, not when he’s already gone.






Eventually, it ended up being a case of Weir tracking him down. Busy in the (unsuccessful) reconstruction of a drone, he hadn’t heard her approaching footsteps.

“General Carter?”

He spun around ungracefully, tools in hand and irritation in his eyes. Remembering his manners (or rather, Selmak hammering them into his head), he smiled politely at the brunette standing before him. Pale and light-framed, she was dressed in a giant red coat that was entirely too big.

“Not so much of a General anymore as I am a Tok’ra Councilman.” He reached for her hand and shook it lightly, smiling more warmly.

“All right. Mr. Carter? Councilman Carter?”

“Jacob will do fine. Unless you’re addressing my better half,” he smirked, tapping the base of his skull twice. “His name is Selmak.”

She smiled. “Nice to finally meet you both. I’m Doctor Elizabeth Weir.”

Selmak took control, nodding solemnly at her. “The pleasure is ours, Doctor Weir.”

She didn’t miss a beat at the change in voice, not so much as batting an eyelash. Squinting his eyes for a better look as she talked with someone nearby, he could see she was incredibly pale…but this was Antarctica, after all, and it was very cold. It was unlikely anyone who’d been here in the last few months had been getting very much sunlight….





His lips on hers are warmer than anything she’s felt in her life, like a fire burning over her icy skin, reawakening her from a long sleep.

It’s odd, but she can tell when Jacob kisses her and when Selmak kisses her. Jacob is a gentleman, respectful and warm, while Selmak is vibrant and passionate with a fire that burns even here, in this coldest of places on Earth.

Jacob’s hands move up the bare skin of her back, hands that bare the marks of so many dangerous missions that have gone wrong. Selmak pushes forward again, and a mouth presses against the hollow of her throat, and that sound he makes is needy and desperate....

She can’t believe she’s doing this, here in Antarctica, where she’s supposed to be working for the betterment of humanity by locating the Lost City. However, the idea of the Lost City seems far away as warm hands grasp her hips, pulling her closer to a body burning with heat and life and passion.

“Do you seduce every woman you meet in secluded outposts?” she asks breathlessly, pulling her shirt over her head and tossing it to the side. She tries to look lighthearted, but he pulls her in for another kiss, fierce and possessive and unlike anything she’s ever felt before.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had a mate,” Selmak manages to tell her between kisses. A slight hitch in his motion, and now it’s Jacob in control.

“Sorry to disappoint you,” he groans, “but I’m no Don Juan. My wife was the last person I’ve shared a bed with, and she died a long time ago.”

Her entire body halts, and she looks at him with wide eyes. “I’m…sorry. I didn’t mean….”

Jacob shakes his head. “Don’t worry about it,” he interrupts, tossing his own shirt to the side. His head droops, and when he looks at her again his eyes glow.

“Now, is this a method of diplomacy you routinely conduct, or is this a special situation?” Selmak asks, his expression devilish.

She laughs, wrapping her arms around him. “I suppose you could say we’re in the midst of intense negotiations.”






Selmak liked Doctor Weir immediately.

“I’ve heard tell in the Tok’ra circles about a woman who took several of the System Lords hostage after Anubis’ recent attack on Earth,” Selmak began. “Were they referring to you?”

She chuckled. “Tales of my heroism are greatly exaggerated.”

He smiled warmly. “The System Lords do not see it that way.”

She was incredibly easy to talk to. Five minutes passed, then ten, then fifteen. Grodin began to stare with a curious smile as the topic turned to interplanetary diplomacy, Jacob’s voice and Selmak’s voice switching off regularly, and it wasn’t until the head scientist returned from his meal and pulled her away for some other task that they stopped talking.

Grodin was grinning like an idiot when Jacob finally turned back around to work on the drones, and it irritated him, but not in the same way as the arrogant scientist did. Nothing else was said, so Jacob didn’t think anything else about it.

Nighttime crept over his first day in Antarctica (though there were only a few hours of daylight this time of year), and save for a few guards and the occasional scientist, everyone had turned in for the night. Had he had any sense, he would have gone to bed too, but instead he found himself at a makeshift bar with his new acquaintances.

Grodin and Zelenka supplied the “fun stuff”, while a bright-eyed military lieutenant named Aiden Ford brought the food. Except it wasn’t so much a bar as it was a row of wooden crates frozen to the ground, and it wasn’t so much alcohol as it was hot chocolate with miniature dehydrated marshmallows (and Grodin’s mystery liquid, now confirmed as tea).

Alcohol was not allowed within a mile of the compound. Obviously, since the outpost housed enough power to incinerate Anubis’ fleet, the last thing anyone needed was a drunk scientist playing with the Ancient explosives.

After a very long while of talking and laughing about everything imaginable, Jacob and Selmak both found themselves making good friends with all three men. He mused to himself that he never used to be very sociable, but Selmak, having spent many years of his life in female hosts, made him more talkative.

It was an ungodly hour of the night when they finally finished, but Jacob wasn’t sleepy. Deciding to go fetch a book of Daniel’s he set off across the compound. This late at night the only people he saw anywhere was the light military detail on duty.

Doctor Weir was already there, Daniel’s book in hand, studying the text before her intently.

“It’s a little late, isn’t it?” he asked in a light voice.

She lifted her eyes slowly, dark smudges underneath, and he had to remind himself that just because he wasn’t affected as drastically by the cold didn’t mean anyone else wasn’t.

“Is it? I hadn’t even noticed.” She set the notebook down and rubbed her eyes before motioning to the seat beside her.

He sat down slowly, staring at the open notebook in fascination. It was virtually a galactic Rosetta Stone, with phrases written first in Ancient, then Goa’uld, and then in English. He could read the last two, but his Ancient was shaky, to say the least.

“Learning to speak Ancient?” he asked, trying to make conversation.

“Learning to read it,” she corrected. “I already knew Latin, so it was just a matter of adapting it to the proper Ancient root words. The alphabet though….” She paused to chuckle. “Connecting sounds with these symbols is more difficult.”

Selmak was interested, Jacob not so much, but for some reason he wanted to keep talking with her anyway. “And the Goa’uld?”

“Hmm? Oh, that.” She chuckled. “I’ll get around to learning it eventually. These are all Doctor Jackson’s notes, so there are more than a few languages in here.” She closed the notebook and turned to face him, an apologetic smile on her face.

“I’m sorry about the bad timing of the storm. With any luck the helicopters from McMurdo will be here to evacuate us in the morning.”

He shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. It’s not as if you could control the weather.” He chuckled. “Selmak is thrilled to be here, actually.”

“But not you?”

He gave her a half-grin. “I like snow and ice, but…Antarctica? There’s less than four hours of daylight and its way below zero.” He crossed his arms. “Personally? I prefer Florida.”

She laughed briefly, her face lighting up. “Point taken.”

They kept talking and before either quite realized it, two more hours had gone by. They talked as if old friends, and afterwards, Jacob realized he hadn’t talked with anyone so candidly or easily in years.





“You could come with us…with me.”

Her voice sounds more desperate that she means it to, but she really doesn’t care. She wants to convince him to join the expedition, to go to the Pegasus Galaxy with her, no matter how vain her pleading may be. She has to ask one more time, has to beg him just once more.

He visibly hesitates before answering. “It’s not that I don’t want to.”

She closes her eyes, trying to block the disappointment that wells up inside her. “Your character would never be slighted in Atlantis.”

He smiles wanly. “I know.”

As much as she doesn’t want to, she understands. “Things to do?”

“The Replicators are taking our attention right now,” he explains. “Now that I can moderately read Ancient, suddenly the Council wants me to stick around. And we’ve been having some success using Ancient tech against the Replicators lately, so….”

“I understand,” she says, trying to smile brightly. “You’ve got your battles, and I’ve got mine.” She taps her foot playfully for a moment, a smirk growing on her face. “When I get back I expect you to take me out on that date you promised.”

He laughs, a joyful noise echoing through the SGC’s corridors. “Yes, ma’am.” He leans over and kisses her temple. “Now, on with you. Go discover new worlds, better humanity, all that mess.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” she replies, trying to remain cheerful and succeeding for the most part.

“We will miss you,” Selmak tells her, smiling warmly at her.

She pauses before shutting her door. “I’ll send you letters,” she tells him with a grin.






The next morning he had expected to find a full-scale evacuation underway, but instead found people scurrying about, moving things deeper into the alcoves of the compound.

“McMurdo isn’t sending helicopters for hours,” Zelenka explained. “We’re moving all supplies to the Chair Room.”

Jacob grabbed the box the Czech was struggling with and began to help. He understood that the late arrival meant there would barely be enough time to get their people out, much less their supplies.

(“Such primitive technology,”) Selmak joked.

‘Why don’t you hush already?’

When he emerged on the surface, the sun had crept slightly above the horizon (and probably as high as it was going to get). The sky was dark with clouds and the wind was beginning to pick up, and Jacob knew that if McMurdo didn’t send someone soon then they were definitely going to have to burrow in and wait the blizzard out.

He grabbed a case that normally required multiple people to carry (he had to explain to Ford that because of Selmak he was a bit stronger than normal), and headed back down the elevator. On his way back up again he met Doctor Weir in the elevator, who was discussing insulation with the Canadian scientist (she calls him Rodney, but Jacob still didn’t know his last name). She was refusing to leave until everyone else was out, and Grodin and Rodney also insisted that they’d catch the last helicopter out with her.

When they surfaced again to get the last of the supplies, a helicopter was landing nearby. Jacob noted to himself that it’s good that McMurdo was early, because so was the storm. There wasn’t any snow yet, but he knew it couldn’t be long.

While moving supplies below in the Outpost, he learned a second helicopter had arrived and shipped out four more people. Just as it looked like they just might make it out before the storm hit, snow began to fall and the wind picked up. After several minutes, the visibility began to drop, and then they all knew there would be no getting out for a few days.

After the last of the supplies were safely stored, they all sat around in the chair room, chatting while Doctor McKay attempted to fix a power surge in the lighting system. Daniel was oblivious to the world, of course, scribbling Ancient text from the side of the wall into his notebook. Grodin was peddling his mystery tea again, and Zelenka and Ford were arguing about prime numbers. McKay eventually returned, complaining loudly about something Jacob didn’t even pretend to understand, while Doctor Weir politely excused herself and went off looking for a book.

She didn’t return for a long time, and while no one seemed to notice, it worried Jacob. He quietly slipped away from the group, stalking the halls of the compound until he found her in a side room, staring blankly at the wall. She looked lost in thought, a million miles away from that room.

“Jacob,” she greeted upon realizing he was there. “Is everything all right?”

“Yes, everything’s fine.” He was suddenly flailing for an excuse. “Uh, Selmak just wanted to know if you were all right.”

The symbiote stirred in curiosity. (“I was worried?”)

‘Err. Sorry.’

To tell the truth, Jacob had no idea why he’d just blamed Selmak, but the symbiote began to chuckle inside his head, apparently privy to some fact or realization that he wasn’t sharing.

In the meantime, Elizabeth’s expression had warmed considerably. “Well, that’s very kind of him.” Her eyes trailed to the bare tabletop, fingertips ghosting over the surface in circles. “I’m just tired, I’m sorry. I’m not going to be good conversation at the moment.”

Selmak pressed forward. “Would you like us to walk you to your room?”

Her head snapped in his direction quickly, surprise etched on her features.

“Isn’t that an Earth custom? Don’t the men walk the women to their rooms?”

Jacob flailed inwardly. ‘Are you playing dumb, Selmak? That’s not how it works!’

(“Shush.”)


“Occasionally, they do,” Elizabeth finally said, a smile slowly growing on her face.





Colorado Springs is so much warmer than Antarctica, but his hands are still hot on her skin as they stare up at the stars. There’s an odd cord wound around his hand, and she lets her fingers travel over the soft cloth curiously.

“What’s this?” she finally asks.

He smiles, pulling the band free of his wrist and placing it in the palm of her hand. “It’s a Memory Band. The Tok’ra braid a new strand of cloth in the band for every good memory in each host they inhabit. It’s sort of a way to remember the good times, if you will.”

“That’s lovely,” she muses, studying the vibrant cloth in her hand. There’s an amazing variety of colors, woven by expert hands in a beautiful pattern.

“You see the red strand there?” he points, grasping her hand and trailing her fingertip along a cord of red material.

She nods breathlessly, his warm body pressing against hers in all the right ways.

“That’s for you,” Selmak coos softly in her ear.

She stares at him incredulously. “Really?”

Jacob’s eyes trail off, and he frowns. “I…I’ve never been very good at saying these kind of things.”

She places a hand on his cheek, directing his vision back to her. “I speak six languages, and these kinds of things can’t easily be said in any of them.”

Smiling, she presses her lips against his.






While Elizabeth was resting, Jacob found himself working with Daniel on Ancient transcriptions on the walls.

“I’ve seen you talking with Elizabeth,” Daniel mentioned nonchalantly. “Interesting lady. I referenced some of her work when I drew up our first treaty with the Tok’ra.”

“Yeah.”

Jacob watched Daniel peer at him curiously out of the corner of his eye. “She was a professor at Georgetown, you know.”

“Really?” Jacob didn’t look up from his work.

“She negotiated with some of the harshest dictators in the world, and not to mention the Goa’uld.”

“Yeah, she seems pretty tough.”

Daniel went back to writing. “She speaks five languages, soon to be six once she gets Ancient –.”

“Yes? And?” He finally stopped and looked over at Daniel expectantly.

He looked amused. “And nothing. Just thought you might like to know.”

Selmak was laughing, and Jacob was beginning to feel like everyone was in on the joke except for him.

The next day came and the blizzard still raged outside. He was eating breakfast with Daniel when Elizabeth appeared, asking to join them. She sat quietly, and about a minute later Daniel excused himself with some goofy errand he suddenly had to run, leaving the two of them alone. It was quiet for a long time before Doctor Weir tried to start a conversation.

“So Daniel tells me you’re trying to learn Ancient?”

“Trying is the key word. I’m not really getting anywhere.”

She smiled, and he could see the amusement in her eyes. “Daniel and I are working on some translations later today. You’re welcome to join us.”

Jacob had always hated linguistics, but for some reason her offer was inviting. “Sure.”

Selmak is oddly happy. He hadn’t been content in many years and though he didn’t know why his symbiote was feeling better, he thankful for it.

She was silent again for a long while, and it’s clear from the look on her face that she wanted to say something. Finally she met his eyes and smiled bravely.

“Jacob, Selmak, have the two of you considered what we’re doing here? What Atlantis could mean for all of us?” She paused briefly to lick her lips. “This expedition would benefit greatly with someone of your expertise along.”

Oh boy, he knew why she was such a good diplomat because all he wanted to do is tell her ‘yes’. “Doctor Weir—.”

“Elizabeth.” She smiled at him, and the way her eyes shine with conviction draws him in.

Dear god, it takes his breath away.

Finally, he was able to nod and keep his voice somewhat steady. “All right, Elizabeth. It’s not that I don’t want to go.”

“But you have duties with the Tok’ra,” she finished.

“Yeah.” He suddenly wished he didn’t. Selmak surprisingly doesn’t comment.

Elizabeth’s smile became diplomatic. “Just so you know, both the president and the IOA have expressed their support for your inclusion on the expedition.”

“Unfortunately, the Tok’ra probably won’t see it the same way,” he added disdainfully.

Her look of confusion told him that she didn’t know the details. Selmak pushed forward, suddenly eager to share it with her.

“It is a tedious story,” he tells her.

She closed her eyes briefly, and when she opened them a soft, genuine expression greeted him.

“I have time,” she offered.





She clasps and unclasps her hands agitatedly, the camera before her still recording her every move. Lieutenant Ford has given her privacy, though he’ll have to look over the footage in order to edit it later on.

She doesn’t know what to say. The Wraith are bearing down on Atlantis, and all she can think about is a cold Outpost in Antarctica, a place where she’d felt warmer than she’d felt in years.

“Jacob, Selmak,” she begins, but trails off. Nothing seems important now, nothing seems relevant.

“If this is the last you ever hear from me, I want you to know that I’m not sorry for coming here. You were right, Atlantis is the most amazing place I’ve ever seen. But you… you are the most amazing person…people…I’ve ever known.”

She pauses again, staring off to the side. She knows she has to continue because this may be the last thing she can ever say to them, to Jacob and Selmak.

“If I do see you again, I’m going to harass you both until you join this program,” she laughs, but it’s mixed with sadness, her eyes stinging.

“I love you both very much,” she finally says, staring into the camera. “Don’t ever doubt that.”

She presses the button and the recorder beeps, cutting off. She sits down and sips on a cup of coffee, her mind lost in thought.

She hopes he gets her letter.
 
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