Warnings/Spoilers: Minor reference to The Storm and The Eye
Length: 600 words
Summary: For the mcsheplets Challenge #40: Season 1
"Men are rich only as they give. He who gives great service gets great rewards."- Elbert Hubbard
Elizabeth jumped at the voice, "Are you ok?"
She looked up to see Major John Sheppard standing in the door of her office. She had been sitting with her eyes closed, enjoying the quiet for a moment. She must have dozed off without realizing.
"I'm sorry, you were sleeping," he said gently. "I can come back..."
"No, wait," she answered. She stretched and yawned as she sat up in the chair. "Too much to do to sleep just yet. What did you need?"
He shrugged. "Just an update that we're almost finished bringing everyone back from Manara. It wasn't that important that it couldn't wait," he protested.
"No, really," she replied firmly. "You were right and I did want to know." Her voice softened, "Thank you."
"Not a problem," he said. "Anything I can do?" he offered.
Elizabeth considered but figured at this point they had all earned something. There wasn't anything tangible she could give John to recognize the importance of what he had done during the storm but she could give him this.
She stood and walked to the door and he followed her the few steps to where they could see the activity of the gate room. "Since it seems to be under control, how about if we tell Peter, Radek and Sergent Bates that they're in charge for a bit? I really could use some sleep and I suspect that you and Rodney could use some, also."
John looked back at her, "Rodney's nowhere ready for any sleep, even after I got Carson to look at his arm. He's too wound up at the moment." There was a bare thread of frustration in that complaint.
Elizabeth bit back a grin. "Okay, then. Your job, if you choose to accept it," she did grin at that, "is to get Rodney away from this mess and back to his quarters to at least rest." She waved her hand to encompass the semi-chaos below them.
"And how do you expect me to do that?" John asked cautiously.
"Frankly, I don't care how you do it and if there are things you don't tell me, well, then I won't ask," she replied with what she hoped was the right level of Rodney's don't actually prove to me how stupid you are voice.
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see John pale slightly. "Elizabeth...." It wasn't as much a warning as a plea.
She turned to face John. "Major Sheppard, if Dr. McKay keeps working for any longer, he will drive himself to further exhaustion and will work himself until he's totally non-functional and a detriment to this expedition," she said firmly. "You need to get him out of here and make him rest. Am I clear?" She gave a small smile.
There was a level of hope in John's eyes that was good to see. It hadn't been there for a long time.
"Barring any further emergencies, I don't want to see either of you before lunch tomorrow," she expanded. "Am I clear?"
The smile she got back was real and went to his eyes. He gave her a two-fingered,casual salute and answered, "Crystal." He started to turn and said softly, "Thank you."
"Get out of here before something else happens," she laughed.
She watched him go down the stairs and across the room. She watched him speak to Bates and then to Radek before corralling Rodney. Rodney didn't go without a protest but she could see him surrender to the hand on his shoulder and the soft spoken voice in his ear. Rodney gave a quick glance up at her and mouthed a "Thanks" that she returned with a nod.
As John and Rodney walked out of the gateroom, she tapped her communicator, "Peter? You're in charge for a bit. I need some sleep. And I've sent Major Sheppard and Dr. McKay to get some rest, also. Keep everyone away for a bit, please?"
A steady voice came back over the radio, "Sure, Dr. Weir. Sleep safe."
"Tonight I will, thanks," she answered.