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04 July 2007 @ 08:52 am
Vortex 9/9 (Heightmeyer/Sheppard/Weir) [NC-17]  
All disclaimers and fic information is in the header for part one.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8

Part 9

"Where've you been?" asked John, looking over as Elizabeth closed the door to her bedroom behind her. He was laying on his side, one hand resting on Kate's thigh, his head on her shoulder, but his eyes had been on Elizabeth from the instant the door opened.

"I had something to take care of," said Elizabeth shortly.

"While wearing leather?" asked John. "Jeez, Elizabeth, what'd you do, turn Atlantis into a bondage club?"

Elizabeth smiled tightly at them as Kate studied her silently, shuffling her Tarot deck as she leaned back against the headboard. She was naked from the waist up, the soft cotton sheets draped across her waist. "You're keyed up," she said finally, still studying Elizabeth.

"I told you I had things to take care of," said Elizabeth. "Coven business."

"What kind of business?" asked John. The air was heavy and still in the room.

"I just told you," said Elizabeth, walking across to her closet.

"Not good enough," said John. "If you and I are gonna harass Kate for keeping secrets, you'd better expect the same treatment."

Elizabeth pulled her shirt over her head and tossed it inside the closet. "You don't need to know about it," she said.

"But we want to know about it, Lizzie, dearest," said John, and his smile had a sharp edge to it.

Kate slanted a curious glance at him. "That's not going to encourage her," she murmured.

Elizabeth paused in unlacing her leather pants to give John an icy look. "I don't particularly care about what you want."

"Is that so?" asked John. "That explains why you snuck out on us while we were asleep."

Elizabeth slid her pants down her legs and stepped out of them, shoving them off to the side, before straightening up and crossing her arms. "I had something to do that didn't involve either of you."

Kate flipped over the top card on her deck and then glanced at John again. She held up the Lovers so it faced Elizabeth. "I doubt that," she said.

"Spying on me with magic, Kate?" asked Elizabeth, raising one eyebrow at the card.

"I was worried." Kate slipped the card in the middle of the deck, and started shuffling again.

"Put that down," said Elizabeth, walking over to the bed.

Kate flipped over another card. "You don't get to tell me what to do, no matter what the cards say." Her voice was tight as she held up the Queen of Swords as Elizabeth sat on the edge of the bed. "Where have you been, Elizabeth?"

"Ronon found the Wraith's hive," she said.

"So you went to check it out yourself?" asked John. He pushed himself off Kate's shoulder and leaned back on one arm. "I thought you didn't do that sort of thing any more."

"I made an exception," snapped Elizabeth.

"I don't need special protection," said Kate, flipping over the Hermit. "You seem to believe I'm incapable of taking care of myself."

"They wanted John as well," said Elizabeth. "I won't let the Wraith have either of you."

"So what'd you do?" asked John, his eyes narrowed in suspicion.

"I let the Queen know that you and Kate were part of my territory," said Elizabeth, as Kate flipped over the Ace of Coins.

Kate stared at Elizabeth, her face paling, as John leaned forward. "You did what?" asked John, scowling.

"That was very presumptive of you," said Kate, pulling a square of taupe silk out from the blankets to wrap around the cards, before sliding them under the pillow. "Neither John nor I are your personal property."

"Pretending that you are solves all our problems," said Elizabeth. "It was the best thing to do."

"You made a unilateral decision that affects all of us without talking to us first," said John. "Not to mention that you fucking went into a Wraith hive to do it. Doesn't sound like the best thing to me. What do you think, Kate?"

"I highly doubt Elizabeth cares to hear that," said Kate coolly. "Not when it gets in the way of her plans. Did you know, John, that I told Elizabeth when we first met that I wouldn't be owned by anyone?"

"I think Elizabeth forgot about a few basic principles we've managed to come up with since then," said John. "You ever heard of human rights, Elizabeth?"

"Of course I have," snapped Elizabeth. "I don't think I own you; I think that the pretense will keep the Wraith away from you, and no one will challenge me over it."

"I think it'll increase your status around Pegasus's Covens to have a detective and a witch on the payroll, even if it's a fake-out." John's face darkened and his voice was a near-growl. "Am I supposed to thank you for making me look like I can't sneeze without asking for your permission? Do you want me to start calling you Mistress Elizabeth in public?"

"It doesn't have to change anything at all," said Elizabeth, raising her chin as she talked.

"But it does. It changes them." Kate had separated her hair into three separate strands, and was pleating them together to lie loosely over one shoulder. "Within one night you've made so much of my work at looking like part of the mortal world become meaningless."

"I notice that when Kate gets seriously pissed off, she shuts down," said John. Rain began to spatter loudly on the roof. "You ever notice that, Elizabeth?"

"I've known Kate longer than you have," said Elizabeth.

"That's not an answer," said John. "You're just showing off, and let me just say I'm a little sick of that too. Come on, try again."

"I've noticed," said Elizabeth, the words dragging out of her.

"Did you think of how we'd react to your actions?" asked Kate, her voice quiet, unbraiding her hair and combing through it with her fingers as wind started to howl outside. "Did you think about us at all?"

"I thought you'd be glad to be safe," said Elizabeth. "I did what was best."

"You did what was best for you," said John. He glanced at the curtained windows, then curiously at Kate and Elizabeth.

"The Wraith tried to take Kate." Elizabeth held John's gaze for a moment, but she let her eyes fall first. "They threatened to take both of you. I can't let that pass without reprisal."

"This relationship isn't about unilateral actions," said Kate. "It doesn't matter that you rule the most powerful Coven in Pegasus, or that I'm a hermit witch, or that John could have either of us arrested. I thought--I had hoped--that you wanted me for more than what I can do."

"Immortal hermit witch," said John. "That still kinda freaks me a little. Except right now I'm too pissed about Elizabeth trying to make our decisions for us."

"You're not the only one who's upset," said Kate calmly, as thunder rolled across the sky.

"Noticed that. Really noticed that." John shrugged at her. "You're not going to threaten to leave again, are you? I'll talk you into staying if I have to."

"You won't--" started Elizabeth firmly.

"Please stop underestimating me, Elizabeth," said Kate, her voice even. "Not my abilities, but my personality. I'm not overwhelmed by you."

"Elizabeth, just suck it up, admit you fucked up, and apologize," said John, his voice filling the room.

"I don't apol--" started Elizabeth.

"This time you need to," snapped John. "I don't care how stuck in a rut over it you are, but if Kate can manage to admit that maybe she likes having people around, then you can admit that sometimes you make mistakes. Then we can figure out how to fix this."

"How can we fix something like this?" asked Kate. She twisted her hair into a loose knot and leaned forward to let it fall down her back. "Elizabeth can't take back her declaration."

"I don't know how," said John, still glaring darkly at Elizabeth. "But I think it starts with an apology."

"I--" Elizabeth's eyes narrowed. "You want me to apologize for trying to keep you safe. Why?"

"You're still not getting it, Elizabeth," snapped John. "You're trying to manipulate us."

"It's not working out very well," said Kate. Thunder rolled across the sky as rain pelted down harder on the roof.

"Why won't you let me do this?" asked Elizabeth. "If it just looks like you're mine--"

"Because I'll never belong to anyone," snarled John. "Because neither will Kate, and she's so goddamn pissed you're trying to, that there's a storm out there that's sure as hell not natural."

Kate glanced curiously at him. "If it looks like I belong to you, then you hope I'll be pressured into working magic on your behalf," she said. "Haven't you learned yet that it won't happen?"

"I'm very good at persuading people to do what I want," said Elizabeth.

"Not as good as you'd like to be," said John roughly. "You don't do that kind of thing to the people you care about, Elizabeth."

"You need to apologize," said Kate. She straightened and lay her hand on John's arm. "And you need to promise never to do that to us again. That will be a start."

Elizabeth frowned. "I think I like ganging up on you with John much better," she said. "Do you have any secrets you're keeping that we can call you on?"

"It's not funny right now, Elizabeth," said Kate, as John looked on.

"I was furious." Elizabeth's fists clenched in the blankets, her knuckles whitening as her voice came out in a low hiss. "How dare they try to take you both from me? How dare you not give me the power I've asked for? This was the perfect chance to keep you safe, and pull your abilities under my direction."

"Of course you took it," said Kate, as lightning flashed, jagged and sharp, casting shadows into Elizabeth's bedroom. She leaned forward, her hand falling off John's arm, but the palm of John's other hand was splayed out on Kate's lower back. "You know how John and I feel. You thought you could use that to make us do your dirty work."

"You caught me," said Elizabeth. She let go of the blankets, slowly uncurling her fingers. "I'm sorry you caught me. I knew it was wrong; I knew you'd be mad, but I did it anyway. I'm sorry you're upset. I'm even sorry I did it."

"So am I," said Kate. "Who aside from the Wraith heard you make that declaration?"

"Teyla," said Elizabeth. "I didn't go in there alone."

"Thank God you weren't stupid about that," muttered John.

"Teyla knows it's patently false," said Kate.

"Does she?" Elizabeth raised one eyebrow coolly at Kate.

"She's the one who figured out we were in Avalon," said John. "I wouldn't put it past Ronon to have figured out there's more to Kate and me than being your little love slaves."

"Frankly, the man isn't stupid," said Kate. "Just quiet."

"He does a good act when he wants, though," said John. "He's gonna find some way around treating you like Elizabeth's magical play toy. So'll Teyla."

"The only people who will see that are my Coven," said Elizabeth. Her lips flickered into a smile before she smoothed her expression. "We left Michael alive, and only wounded the Queen. Word will spread from that."

"Of course it will," said John, grimacing. "Do you ever do anything half-assed?"

"Never," said Elizabeth.

"The first thing we need to make clear, Elizabeth," began Kate, frowning slightly, "is that no matter how imperious and queenly you may feel a need to be, John and I are not to be treated as your personal property."

"I haven't so far," said Elizabeth.

"That was before tonight's scheme," said John. "I'm guessing you were gonna try and push us to go along with it."

"Of course I was," said Elizabeth. "John, you're with the police, and do you hear the thunderstorm outside? If Kate's responsible for that--"

"I am," muttered Kate.

"Do you blame me for wanting that?" asked Elizabeth.

"I never have," said Kate. She shook her head, leaning back as John pulled her against him. "I blame you for acting on it this time."

"You don't mind that I want your power." Elizabeth's voice was dry.

"I know what vampires are like." Kate lay her head on John's shoulder, and he started running his fingers through her hair.

"Not like I didn't have a crash course in that one," added John.

"You two are infuriating," said Elizabeth. "After tonight, if anyone sees me treating the two of you as equals, they'll just think I'm extraordinarily nice to my favorites."

"How many of them will know I'm a witch?" asked Kate.

"As few as possible," said Elizabeth. "Since you refuse to be at my beck and call."

"I'm starting to feel like chopped liver here," said John, his mouth twisting.

"Hardly," said Elizabeth. "Though it is a shame you won't just arrest Kolya an hour before dawn."

"Haven't I already told you no on that one?" asked John. "About a thousand times?"

"At least," said Elizabeth. She shook her head sharply, but the glint of her eyes hinted at amusement.

"So what now?" asked Kate.

"We do damage control," said Elizabeth, as the rain pounding on the roof slowed down. "One night at a time. I'll have to talk to Evan. He's been with me since I started this Coven; I trust him as much as I do Ronon and Teyla."

"I've got to meet this Evan person some time," said Kate.

"I think you and he would get along a little too well," said John. "Elizabeth and I might have to worry."

"All the more reason to meet him," said Kate. She glanced at Elizabeth. "I shouldn't let you two get too comfortable with the fact that I have feelings for you."

"Lucky us," said John, wrapping his arm around Kate and squeezing. "So what else?"

"The two of you are naked," said Elizabeth.

"You're not far off naked yourself," said John. His eyes dropped, skimming over Elizabeth's bare breasts, down to the satin panties barely covering her hips.

"Do you two ever stop thinking about sex?" asked Kate.

"Says the woman who seduced me while Elizabeth was gone," said John.

"I know," said Kate, her mouth curving up slightly.

"You didn't wait for me?" asked Elizabeth.

"We figured you'd be back," said John dryly.

"I can't seem to stay away from either of you," said Elizabeth. Her eyes narrowed for an instant. "No matter how infuriatingly independent you are."

"I can't seem to leave either," said Kate.

"Good," said John firmly. "You know, my boss keeps asking me why I haven't found a normal woman to settle down with. He keeps asking if I'm ever going to stop working the night shift."

"Daytime is overrated," said Elizabeth.

"Oh?" Kate chuckled. "I'm still fond of it."

"You're so old-fashioned you're probably still growing your own herbs," said Elizabeth.

"I like gardening," said Kate.

"She's not that old-fashioned," said John, glancing at Elizabeth. "I don't think any medieval woman would be naked in a bed with you and me."

"I am a medieval woman." Kate's fingertips traced the folds and creases of the sheet covering her. "So is Elizabeth."

"I could be older than that," said Elizabeth.

"But you're not." Kate shrugged. "Why bother pretending? You're older than ninety percent of the vampires out there."

"And just how do you know that?" asked Elizabeth. She frowned at Kate as she leaned forward. "Hiding more abilities from us?"

"Not hiding," said Kate softly. "Not tonight."

"You're a constant puzzle," murmured Elizabeth. "What will I do when I've figured you out completely?"

"Be very bored with me," said Kate.

"Hardly." Elizabeth bit her bottom lip, worried it between her teeth as she watched John and Kate. "I won't be bored with either of you."

"Coming from you, that's practically a romantic declaration," said John.

"Not just practically." Elizabeth tugged the sheet down, past Kate's waist, then tugged it over her, and let it fall to the floor. "If you don't know what I mean--"

"We know what you mean," said John, reaching forward to take Elizabeth's hand. "Are our lives supremely fucked up?"

"No," said Kate. "They're not that at all."

***

"It was unusually high-handed of Elizabeth," said Teyla. "One of the reasons Ronon and I have chosen to remain with the Atlantis Coven--with Elizabeth--is her respect for our self-determination."

"I guess she lost her temper," said Kate, setting a mug of steaming black tea down on the table in front of Teyla. "Part of that was caused by me. I've been keeping things from Elizabeth for centuries."

Teyla's eyes just barely widened. "I was under the impression you had met Elizabeth only a decade ago. It has been longer?"

Kate shoved the sleeves of her pink sweater up as she slid into her seat. "I'm very good at letting people see just an ordinary woman," she said, sipping at her tea. "Which I mostly am."

"Except for the fact that you are a powerful witch," said Teyla sternly.

"It's not the entirety of who I am," protested Kate.

"It is a larger part, I think, than you wish anyone to believe," said Teyla. She inhaled the scent of the tea, tendrils of steam rising past her face. "Perhaps you even do not admit it to yourself."

Kate made a face at her. "Remind me again why I thought having friends was a good idea?"

Teyla laughed. "Because without Radek and I, you would take yourself far too seriously."

"You may well be right," said Kate. "So why do you stay with Elizabeth? You and Ronon, you're powerful enough to found your own Covens."

"I met Elizabeth when she first traveled through the Caribbean, several centuries ago," said Teyla. "I chose to entrust my Coven to Halling's care, and travel with Elizabeth. I believe her continuing struggle against the Wraith is important."

Kate leaned forward, resting her elbows on the table. "You left your own Coven?" she asked.

"Halling keeps it well in trust for the night I return," said Teyla. "We speak often, especially with the technology available to us now."

"Isn't it nice?" asked Kate, grinning. "No more sending a messenger and waiting a year. Or more."

"I appreciate it greatly," said Teyla. "Besides, when Elizabeth and I met, we discovered that we were, at heart, the sisters neither of us had been born with. I could not let one so dear to my heart leave on her journey without exploring the bond of our emotions."

"That's a very noble sentiment," said Kate blandly.

Teyla smirked. "Elizabeth's inevitable conflicts also afford me the opportunity to hone my fighting abilities," she added. "I do have my own reasons, though."

"Ah," said Kate, chuckling. "I'm sure that helps."

"A great deal," said Teyla, breaking into laughter.

"So what about Ronon?" asked Kate. "He could start his own Coven. He's powerful enough, and certainly independent enough as well."

"I believe Ronon still mourns the death of his wife," said Teyla. "After Elizabeth turned him, he spent seventy years on his own." Teyla's fingers were gliding along the glazed surface of her mug. "No one knows his reasons for choosing to return. Not even Elizabeth."

"He's rather mysterious," said Kate.

"Incredibly so," said Teyla. "And yet, John, Evan, Elizabeth, and I would place our lives in his hands without hesitation."

"He seems like a good person to have on your side," commented Kate.

"He is a good friend," said Teyla. "What will you do now? The threat the Wraith pose is neutralized, but I do not believe it is gone forever. Michael will not leave Pegasus. Not while I am here, and while he is here, the Queen will attempt to rebuild."

"I don't know." Kate twisted her mug in her hands. "Stay in Pegasus, I think, and see what develops. This whole thing with John and Elizabeth is new to me, not to mention that I don't want to abandon my shop."

"The fact that both Charin and I would be disappointed were you to leave did influence you, I hope," said Teyla. "Then there is Radek, and John's friend. What is his name? The occultist."

"Rodney," said Kate. "I just signed a contract today for my shop's new location. There was an old storefront up for sale."

"That is wonderful!" exclaimed Teyla. "However, please tell me it will be located in a more strategically advantageous location."

Kate blushed faintly. "I was looking at three sites," she said. "I got a call from Ronon last night telling me which was the most defensible."

"And you took his advice, I presume," said Teyla.

"It would have been stupid not to," said Kate.

"It will be good to have another friend nearby," said Teyla. "Elizabeth, as well, is happier with both you and John."

"She'd better not get that possessive again," said Kate, sighing.

"She will," said Teyla. "As you will be secretive and John will be--well, he will be John."

"Oh, God," said Kate, letting herself lean back in her seat and slouching. "I'm doomed. What are we going to do?"

"Somehow, we will muddle through," said Teyla. She reached out and gently covered Kate's hand with hers.

***

Epilogue

The airport bustled around Linnea, mortals hustling through, their children screaming. She walked slowly, carrying one small bag, listening to the jangling of the slot machines and the coffee vendors crying out orders. She paused and walked inside a shop, pretending to study a shirt in bright pink, with 'Las Vegas' painted on in bright, glaring gold, and a palm tree silhouetted in the background.

A blond man stood next to the doorway, calling out impatiently. "Caitlin! We have a flight arriving very shortly. As you're the one who insisted that we travel in this fashion, sister, why don't you show some decorum for once and not flirt with the bookkeeper?"

"Niam!" Caitlin leaned on the counter, her arms crossed over her gray shirt. She turned her head to glare disdainfully at Niam, then smiled back at the salesman, ignoring her brother once again.

Something about him-- Linnea stepped closer, bending forward and inspecting the price tag in order to disguise her study of Niam. She smiled slowly, then straightened and turned to him. He held power. She had knowledge. "I've heard that the Fair Folk will make bargains," she murmured quietly. "And they are quite interested in vengeance."

"My lady," said Niam, holding his arm out to her. "I find myself very curious. Your kind and mine don't get along very well at all."

"You and I have the power to change that," said Linnea, her smile coming more easily now.

"We shall see," said Niam.

--end--
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Tricia: leathertriciabyrne1978 on July 4th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
Well, I absolutely LOVED it!

But I still say you're evil.

:-)

So, when's the next story?
Havoc: john/lizzie/teylahavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Of course I'm evil. But it's such fun! And the next story is...uh, whenever I get to it.
Triciatriciabyrne1978 on July 5th, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
Okay.... I guess I can live with that....
Havochavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
Given how many AUs and fics I have going, that's probably a good idea.
Triciatriciabyrne1978 on July 5th, 2007 12:31 am (UTC)
Heehee!

I can completely understand that.
angelqueen04: Lizzie (Bitch)angelqueen04 on July 4th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
*grins* So Linnea is up to more evilness and now she's wanting Niam to help. Should be interesting. ;D

Great ending! Way to have John and Kate get Elizabeth to admit that she badly fucked up. ;D Love this fic! :)
Havoc: goth girls kissinghavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:19 am (UTC)
Linnea is up to much more evilness! And Niam is helping. Sort of. Given that the witches and the Fair Folk have a long and serious history of hating each other, it should get interesting.

Hee! Thank you! I love Elizabeth, but she really couldn't be perfect. It's less fun that way.
Oh snarky one!dangerusliasons on July 4th, 2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
I want you to write more of this AU! Please. Don't make me start begging because I will. :)
Havoc: hathor w/goa'uldhavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
Hee! We're trying to plot out the next one now!
graveyard_cat on July 4th, 2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
calleigh_j pointed me to this series yesterday and I love it! Seriously, Elizabeth as a vampire? Who could say no to that? And you really did great to fit everybody else into the story. And the ZedPM :P Though I hope Carson will be in a possible sequel - because seriously, you can't leave us hanging there!

Also I loved that you brought Linnea back. She's still one of my favourite vilains of the Gateverse :)

This was seriously hot - and I hope there will be more in that AU!


PS: Check this out! Made by speckleberry
Havochavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I did try to work Carson in, but the story was just getting to be too long and meandering as it was.

Linnea is so great. She's amazingly evil.

There will be more, but I'm not sure when. I have a lot of fic to get through!

Ooh, also, that's a gorgeous pic. Thanks for linking me!
Rafiki, the crazy baboon: btvs_grlsirony_rocks on July 4th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC)
Interesting las convo between John, Kate and Lizzie. I liked that they maintained their independence even under Vampire!Lizzie, who seems to have some... issues. Frakked up characters are the best.

Great story! Lots of smut and character development and plot and lovely AU bits.

Loved it!
Havochavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)
Frakked up characters are the most fun, and they all have so many issues. I love that! And thank you; I'm glad that last convo worked. I had such a hard time with that.

I'm so glad you liked it! I've been hoping you'd like it!
Falcon Horus: Goddessfalcon_horus on July 4th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
Happy happy joy joy... *bounce*

Want to see more, please! This verse is sooooo cool, please keep playing in it.
Havoc: coven!katehavocthecat on July 5th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
Eventually I will!
Falcon Horus: Breathtakingfalcon_horus on July 5th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
YAY!!!
celievampcelievamp on July 6th, 2007 12:13 am (UTC)
well that was a fantastic way to spend an evening. I really enjoyed the story, the characterisations and settings were pitch perfect. Hope to see more stories in this universe.
muppetmandamuppetmanda on July 6th, 2007 02:04 am (UTC)
This? rocks. hard. great fic, loved every bit of it. Poor Lizzie. When John and Kate team up they are pretty hard to fight. Then again... who'd want to? *veg* Excellent job!
Sammi: freakylittle_whispers on July 7th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
yay for you! loved it soo much i could not even try to drescribe it! it has everything and i found myself lost in the AU *jumps with joy* :D
Havochavocthecat on July 7th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad that it works for you as an AU and that you enjoyed it so much!
Sammi: freakylittle_whispers on July 7th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
well i've kinda knpwn about it for ages cuz i read it on wrathbait. didn't realise u had lj or that u'd posted chapters after 5. i saw it and was like "yay" :D