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26 June 2007 @ 01:48 pm
Vortex 1/9 (Heightmeyer/Sheppard/Weir) [NC-17]  
Title: Vortex
Author: havocthecat
Rating: NC-17
Pairing(s): Elizabeth Weir/John Sheppard/Kate Heightmeyer
Characters: Ronon Dex, Teyla Emmagan, Kate Heightmeyer, Michael Kenmore, Rodney McKay, John Sheppard, Elizabeth Weir, Radek Zelenka

Summary: The Wraith have begun taking action. They didn't realize the consequences would be quite so far-reaching.

Author's Notes: This AU was actually created by medie in the story First Blood. (You should all go and read it. It's quite good.) She let me expand on it. I, ah. Expanded greatly. But she and I spent hours developing this whole world, and the history, and all the relationships (a number of which didn't even make it on screen), and it was good to do. I have a number of people to thank for betareading: medie, thenewhope, calleigh_j, and amitee. There are several other, shorter stories listed in the sga_coven story index.

I will be posting one part a day until the story is all online. This is a finished story, not a WIP.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 1

The smoke wreathed up from the cone of incense Kate had lit before she started the coffee pot percolating. She leaned on the counter, absently shuffling a deck of Tarot cards and letting two plain white candles burn down.

"Quiet tonight," commented Elizabeth.

Kate looked up, frowning slightly. "I put a bell on the door for a reason, you know," she said.

Elizabeth's mouth curved up slightly, and she shook her head, the curls of her hair brushing against her cheeks. "It would be very clumsy of me to brush against it."

"I'm getting an electronic one first thing in the morning," said Kate, smiling wryly. "How are you, Elizabeth?"

Elizabeth glanced at the coffee pot, then back at Kate. "I thought witches drank tea," she said.

Kate chuckled. "Maybe when you first met a witch," she said. "It's been a while since then."

"Mm, I hope you're not implying it's been too long," said Elizabeth, leaning on the counter across from Kate.

"I would never," said Kate seriously, though her eyes sparkled with laughter. "Would you like a cup?"

"That would be lovely, thank you," said Elizabeth. She glanced down at the candles. "Do you mind?"

"Do I mind?" asked Kate. She followed Elizabeth's gaze. "Ah. They're burning for a reason, you know." She turned around, reaching up to open a cupboard and pull down two mugs.

"And that reason would be?" She reached a hand to Kate's deck while Kate poured out coffee.

"Don't touch," warned Kate. "Burning white candles releases positive energy. We need a little bit of that tonight."

Elizabeth's fingertips hovered above Kate's cards. "Is that why you called?"

"Because I wanted a vampire in my shop to add a subtle undercurrent to the aura of calm and well-being I like to project?" asked Kate. She turned back around and set a mug in front of Elizabeth, who wrapped her hands around it. "Cream or sugar?"

"Are you saying something about my aura?" asked Elizabeth. "I take my coffee black. On the rare days that I have coffee, that is."

Kate studied Elizabeth appraisingly. "Your aura's just fine." She scooped two spoonfuls of sugar into her coffee, poured in a dollop of cream, and stirred, the spoon clinking lightly against her coffee mug. "I got a visitor at sunset tonight."

Elizabeth's eyebrow arched at Kate. "A visitor, you say?" she asked. "Your shop normally receives a number of visitors each day."

"How many of them have bone-white hair, gray skin, and say they serve as an emissary for their Queen?" asked Kate. "They're demanding I pay tribute or, and I quote, 'many highly unfortunate and painful accidents may occur.'"

"I see," said Elizabeth, and Kate reached in quickly to rescue her cup before Elizabeth's grip tightened. "The Wraith are demanding tribute in my city."

The cup landed on the counter with a small thunk. "They want blood and magic," said Kate. "By tomorrow night, I'm supposed to be ready to lay my strongest protective spells on their Queen and her entire hive. If I go with them, I don't expect that I'd live to see another night."

"We've been preparing to go to war with them for some time now," said Elizabeth. Her voice was icy. "It seems they've been preparing as well."

"I've called the police," said Kate. Elizabeth frowned at her, and Kate met her eyes levelly. "Relax. How long have I been dealing with the mortal police? I described him as a vaguely goth-looking occultist who was asking about blood and sex magic."

"And what did the police say?" asked Elizabeth.

Kate smiled wryly. "They'll send someone out tomorrow." she said.

"If you say that I'm your backup plan, I'm going to be sorely disappointed," said Elizabeth. Her smile was pulled tight.

"Don't be ridiculous," said Kate. "I don't trust the police to deal with the Wraith. I trust you to deal with them. If I don't call the police, and the Wraith destroy my shop, then I can't make a valid insurance claim."

Elizabeth chuckled. "Some of us hire accountants to take care of such things."

"So do I," said Kate. She sipped at her coffee. "But my accountant doesn't come into the store, and I don't have the sheer amount of wealth you have accumulated, Elizabeth. I can't afford to eat the loss if this shop is destroyed."

"You have a point," said Elizabeth, nodding once.

Kate picked up her cards and shuffled them three times, then lay them down in front of Elizabeth. "Cut them."

Elizabeth reached out, red-lacquered nails gleaming in the candlelight, and plucked a stack off the top of the deck, setting it down neatly to the right. "A long reading, or a short one?" she asked.

"Short, I think," said Kate. "We can do a longer reading another night." She shuffled the cards together one last time, then lay three of them down on the taupe silk draped over the counter.

"Anything good?" asked Elizabeth. "Will I marry a powerful man?"

"Again?" asked Kate. "Probably."

"If I find the right one," murmured Elizabeth. "Marriage laws in this country are certainly more relaxed."

"Tell me about it," said Kate. "You know how this works: Three cards, the first is what led to the situation the reading covers, the second is the situation itself, and the third is the future, possibly the resolution. Sometimes the future isn't very clear."

"I've had readings before." Elizabeth wrapped one hand around her coffee mug.

"I have a system," said Kate calmly. "Shh."

"Some people think they know everything," said Elizabeth, a smile playing about her mouth.

"Can you read someone's fate?" asked Kate. "Tell me what the cards mean, then."

"Lesson learned, Madame Heightmeyer," said Elizabeth, chuckling. "I'll be a good girl."

Kate smiled wryly. "I highly doubt that. In the past is the five of pentacles. You've had business dealings gone awry, ones with personal feelings involved as well. Acastus Kolya, maybe? The eastern European vampires think a little too highly of themselves since Stoker. That's led to this current situation. There's a perceived weakness, and this Wraith hive wants to take advantage of that."

"There is no weakness," said Elizabeth flatly.

"I said perceived weakness, not genuine weakness," said Kate. "There's someone stubborn. A man? A stubborn man whose refusal to yield certainly didn't help things."

"Oh, yes," breathed Elizabeth. "He's stubborn indeed."

Kate gave her a curious look, but Elizabeth remained silent, so she shook her head and moved on. "The present card is the Star. Things look, if not precisely good, then hopeful. I expect something to come up which will clarify the situation, but we haven't quite arrived at that point yet."

"Or perhaps we're arriving now." Elizabeth lifted her mug and breathed in the aroma of coffee.

"Perhaps," agreed Kate mildly. "For the future, the eight of wands."

"Is that promising, or disastrous?" asked Elizabeth.

"For you it's promising," said Kate, taking a drink of coffee. "Swift action leading to a balanced outcome. Your territory will grow, but things will come into the open that you won't like to hear. I can't see any farther than that, not right now. Tomorrow night's actions will tell us more."

"I'll send Ronon and Teyla to spend the day," said Elizabeth. "Do you have space for them?"

"I have a basement with some furniture," said Kate. "If they don't mind the extra stock piled around."

"They won't," said Elizabeth. "Or even if they do, they won't complain about it. What about your upstairs space? You have the windows heavily curtained."

"The upstairs space is private," said Kate firmly. "No one has access to that."

"They're very good with lock picks," said Elizabeth. Her eyes danced. "I could ask them to find out what you do up there."

"Mortal locks aren't the only things keeping people out," said Kate. She gathered up her cards, smoothing the edges of the deck, and wrapping it up in the silk cloth. "Let it go, Elizabeth."

"And if I don't want to?" asked Elizabeth, straightening as Kate set the cards in a small wooden box.

"It won't do you any good this time either," said Kate.

"What if I tell you it's the price for your safety?" asked Elizabeth. "Show me your upstairs space."

"Don't be ridiculous," said Kate. "I called you, not Kolya, because you won't force the issue. Kolya's pushed in other areas, and as a consequence, his people aren't welcome in my shop any more."

"I didn't know that," said Elizabeth. "He's overreaching."

"He is," agreed Kate. She gathered up their mugs and set them to the side of her coffee maker. "I'll clean these up later."

"What are your plans for the rest of the night?" asked Elizabeth, tracing idle patterns on the glass counter with her fingers.

"I think I'll close up early," said Kate. "Head home, brew some chamomile tea, and curl up in bed with a book."

Elizabeth laughed. "Sometimes you're so prosaically normal, Kate," she said. "Why don't you ever come and visit my club? You'd always be made welcome."

"The atmosphere there is a little too heady for me on most nights," said Kate. "Besides, I don't have anything to wear."

"I have an abundance of clothing," said Elizabeth. She reached across the counter, her arm brushing lightly against Kate's cheek, and held up a lock of blonde hair. "With such fair coloring, I'd put you in pink, or the palest green I can find. Green, I think, to bring out your eyes. You'd stand out in the crowd, then. Everyone wears black to a nightclub."

"I'd rather not stand out," said Kate softly, her eyes locked on Elizabeth.

"There are so few places you can, though," said Elizabeth. In an instant, she was behind the counter, standing in front of Kate. "You're not part of their world. Why do you act like you are?"

"I'm not part of yours either," murmured Kate. "I have my own world, Elizabeth."

"You don't share it, though," breathed Elizabeth. She moved closer, lay her hands on Kate's waist. "That's very selfish of you."

"I share some things." Kate swallowed, and Elizabeth's gaze was drawn to her throat.

"Then share tonight with me," said Elizabeth softly. "That's the price I ask for your protection."

"Not my aid against the Wraith?" asked Kate, her voice dropping to a whisper.

"I'd have had that anyway," said Elizabeth, pressing a soft kiss to Kate's mouth. "You hate them as much as we do."

"That's true," whispered Kate.

Elizabeth's eyes were knowing when Kate's arms twined around her. She leaned forward, bending so that her fangs could slide, ever so softly, into the column of Kate's throat. One swallow, just one tiny mouthful, and she heard Kate's faint moan, felt as Kate shifted closer to her. The bell on the shop's door jangled, and Elizabeth slowly turned, licking traces of blood from her lips as she disentangled herself from Kate's embrace. "Hello, John," she said.

"Elizabeth." John's mouth was twisted into a frown. "Fancy seeing you here." He glanced around the shop. "You're a little out of your usual territory, aren't you?"

"A friend of yours, Elizabeth?" asked Kate. A faint flush marred her cheeks.

"Detective John Sheppard," said Elizabeth pleasantly. "Meet Kate Heightmeyer, the owner of this little shop."

John nodded. "Ms. Heightmeyer."

"Actually, it's Dr. Heightmeyer," said Kate.

Elizabeth glanced at her curiously. "Why, Kate, I never knew. What kind of doctor are you?"

"I was bored, and thought grad school would be an enjoyable way to spend a few years.," said Kate. She smiled at Elizabeth. "So I have a doctorate in psychology, and I'm a licensed therapist."

"So I guess that sign about card-reading and advice isn't all bunk," said John, jerking his head at the window.

"How is it that one of your friends is such a skeptic, Elizabeth?" asked Kate.

"I stopped by because you called a complaint in, Dr. Heightmeyer," said John. "A funky-looking occultist asking about blood and sex magic, remember? Told the guys I'd check it out tonight, instead of waiting for the day shift to come on and blunder around without a clue." He smirked at them. "Though I'm guessing if you know Elizabeth, I don't have to dance around the idea of pseudo-vampiric killers that eat human flesh like I was planning."

"I know what the Wraith are," said Kate, "and what Elizabeth is."

"I can see that," said John, looking pointedly at Kate's throat.

"Would you like some coffee, detective?" asked Kate, meeting his gaze. "I shut the pot down, but it's still warm."

"Your hours say you're here until midnight," said John. "What changed?"

"Kate's going to spend some time being pampered," said Elizabeth.

"And you're going to do the pampering," said John. "Right. So what do the Wraith want with you, Doc?"

"My magic," said Kate.

John snickered. "Yeah, pull the other one."

"She's not joking, John," said Elizabeth. "The local Wraith have a Queen pulling them together."

"She wants me to lay protective spells on her and her hive," said Kate. "I convinced them I needed a full night and day to prepare."

"Okay, that sounds bad," said John. "I think I'll have some of that coffee now. I can tell it's gonna be a long night."

Kate grabbed a cup quickly and poured him a mug. "Black?"

"Do people drink it any other way?" asked John. He moved closer and started leaning on the counter.

"Some of us do," said Kate. She pulled a small green cell phone from her pocket and flipped it open. "I need to call my roommate and tell him I'm going to be out all night."

"Then we'll work out what kind of statement you're going to give," said John. "I hate this part of the job."

Kate leaned her elbows on the counter and looked at him, considering. "You love it, don't you?" she asked. "You're very excited right now."

John smiled tightly. "Elizabeth," he said, his teeth clenched. "Your friend is a little freaky."

"I read people well," said Kate, smiling at him.

"When you say you read people, you mean--"

"I read auras," said Kate. "Now, if you'll excuse me a moment, I have to call Radek." She stepped away, phone held up to her ear.

"Witches?" hissed John.

"Don't tell me you're surprised," murmured Elizabeth.

"She looks pretty normal," said John.

"She does look that way, doesn't she?" asked Elizabeth. "I've got plans to take care of that. You're coming out with us tonight."

"Excuse me?" asked John.

"To the club." Elizabeth eyed him. "You're dressed well enough for it. Though first we have to make a stop. Kate's not nearly so well-attired tonight."

"Are you gonna make my life miserable if I don't do this?" asked John.

Elizabeth smiled. "You know me so well, John."

"I barely know her," whispered John. "What the hell is going on?"

"I want you tonight," murmured Elizabeth, twisting the fabric of John's shirt in her fist. "I want Kate tonight too. Do you understand?"

John nodded. "Got it."

"I'll talk Kate into it," murmured Elizabeth.

***

"Elizabeth, this is entirely too much," said Kate. She smoothed down the light green silk clinging to her skin.

"Yes, Elizabeth, it's too much," echoed John. "So can you please be done now?"

"Nonsense," said Elizabeth. "You're not even wearing make-up."

"I have lip gloss," said Kate. "That's all I need."

"Tonight, you need more," said Elizabeth firmly. "Come here."

Kate sighed. "I can't get out of this, can I?"

"You may as well relax and enjoy it," said John. "You know how she gets when she wants something."

"Tyrannical, dictatorial, and a complete pain until you give in?" asked Kate.

"Don't be ridiculous," said Elizabeth. She opened a large black case to show at least a dozen varieties of make-up. "You both love it."

Kate met John's eyes and sighed. "You do this a lot?"

"She doesn't doll me up the way she's doing with you," said John, slouching further down into his chair.

"I just don't think this shade of brown would bring out your eyes, John," said Elizabeth.

***

The beat of the music thrummed through Kate's body as sat she next to Elizabeth, nursing a glass of red wine. "You keep a surprisingly good wine cellar."

Elizabeth leaned over to whisper in Kate's ear. "I've seen at least three people who look like they want to drag you off to a private room."

"I'd rather not go to a private room," murmured Kate. "Not with them."

"Later, perhaps," said Elizabeth. "Miko looks like she'd like to get to know you better."

"I'm afraid Miko will have to be disappointed," said Kate. She nodded briefly at a dark-haired woman in a pale blue dress.

"I think we all knew she was gonna be," drawled John.

"Dance with me, Kate," said Elizabeth. She stood, took Kate's hand and gently guided her onto the floor.

"I haven't been dancing in more years than I can count," said Kate, glancing around the dance floor.

"This is a slower song, and dances these days are so unstructured," said Elizabeth. "Follow along." She lifted her arms, twined them about Kate's neck, and pulled her closer, swaying gently to the beat of the music.

"Do you pick out the music yourself?" asked Kate. She glanced around.

"Don't worry about that right now," said Elizabeth. She moved closer, their bodies brushing together, and they swayed together for several moments. "Is John staring at us?"

"You don't even need to look at him to know the answer," said Kate. She smiled wryly. "I know what you have planned for the rest of the night."

"Of course you do," murmured Elizabeth. "If you didn't want me to do it, you'd have made a bargain."

"I hate the primping," said Kate. "Two dozen outfits, Elizabeth. I counted."

"John certainly liked watching you try them on," said Elizabeth. "Don't you think?"

"He's a man." Kate leaned in towards Elizabeth as the music slowed. "We both know what they're like."

"Mm." Elizabeth nodded. "Of course we do. They never change, do they?"

"Do we ever?" asked Kate.

"Sometimes," said Elizabeth. "Maybe one night you'll even come here on your own."

Kate laughed. "In that case, I should teach you the signs of when someone's under magical control."

"Is that possible?" asked Elizabeth. A new song started up again, faster this time, the drum line pounding through the club.

"Not for you, it's not," said Kate. She raised her arms, matching Elizabeth's posture, and they started moving together. "I don't do those sorts of things."

"Not even for me?" asked Elizabeth, her mouth quirking into an amused grin.

"Not for anyone," said Kate, frowning.

"I know," said Elizabeth softly. She pulled Kate closer, hands set firmly on Kate's hips, and kissed her softly. "Had enough of the crowds yet?"

"God, yes," said Kate.

"Then let's go into one of the back rooms," whispered Elizabeth. She trailed her fingertips down Kate's arm, took her hand, and tugged slightly. "John will be along soon."

"I just met the man tonight," hissed Kate. "I know what you want to do, but I'm a little bit hesitant about it."

"So?" asked Elizabeth, as they wove through the crowds. "You two get along. He's also a very useful man to know."

"I don't judge my friends based on their usefulness," said Kate, as Elizabeth opened a door and pulled Kate through.

"It's not my only criterion," said Elizabeth. "You could have so much more if you'd just be a little ruthless."

"I don't like ruthlessness," said Kate, closing the door behind her. "It isn't me."

"But you're capable of it when necessary," said Elizabeth. She pushed Kate softly against the wall next to the door, holding her there. "Right now you don't think it's necessary. The Wraith won't play nice the way I do."

"I can take care of myself," said Kate, her eyes wide as she stared at Elizabeth.

"Look at you." Elizabeth shifted to pin Kate's wrists with a one-handed grip. Her other hand covered Kate's heart. "Your heart is beating so fast. I don't remember what that feels like."

"Glad to remind you," murmured Kate.

The door opened, and John stepped in and closed it quickly behind him. "Nice to see you ladies too," he said. "Don't let little ol' me stop you from what you're doing."

Elizabeth chuckled. "I wouldn't dream of it." She cupped her hand around Kate's breast, her thumb sweeping across Kate's nipple. Kate moaned, and Elizabeth leaned closer, sliding against Kate's body, her hand sweeping down. Her fingers traced below the hem of Kate's skirt, then up, pushing aside the green silk panties Kate was wearing. "Not when Kate's so ready for me."

"Just do it," said Kate. Her mouth was open slightly, and her chest was heaving. She was moving against Elizabeth's fingers, her hips rocking forward in short, sharp motions.

"You're so warm," breathed Elizabeth, slowly pushing two fingers into Kate. She gasped and arched from the wall, stopped by the solid press of Elizabeth's body. "Tonight, you're all mine. Tell me you like it."

Kate whimpered, her head thunking back against the wall. "God, Elizabeth, yes," she said, her gaze locked with John's eyes, which had gone dark and intense as he stared at her.

"Kate doesn't like to let go, John," Elizabeth said, turning her head to look at him while she moved her fingers so very slowly inside Kate. "She's too quiet. But she doesn't have to be, not tonight, does she?"

"No," said John, his voice a low growl. "Not tonight."

Elizabeth looked back at Kate, her tongue darting out to trace along Kate's lips. "You always taste sweeter than a mortal," she murmured against Kate's mouth.

Kate's only answer was an incoherent moan as she writhed against the wall, trying to slide against Elizabeth.

Elizabeth smiled, lowering her mouth to Kate's throat, biting and drinking from her just as her palm pressed against Kate's clit. Kate screamed, shuddering against Elizabeth as she came.

Kate slumped against the wall, rubbing her wrists as Elizabeth let them go and pulled away.

"Too hard?" asked Elizabeth.

Kate looked up, smiling wryly. "I didn't mind."

"You never do," said Elizabeth.

"I get the feeling you do this often," said John.

"Not often at all," said Elizabeth.

"That's a shame," said John.

Kate chuckled. "It is what it is," she said.

"And what it is," said Elizabeth, reaching over and tugging John to them, "will last all night."
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Rafiki, the crazy baboon: HP+SGAirony_rocks on June 26th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Oooohh. Always liked this 'verse, and Kate as a witch is just too appropriate for words somehow.
Havoc: coven!katehavocthecat on June 26th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *glees* Don't ask me why it fits so well for her, but it really does.
ladyniko: Weirladyniko on June 26th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
Damn, what a start.....

More soon, please? :)


**fans self**
Havoc: evilcutehavocthecat on June 26th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
Hee! It's not a WIP (I don't post those), so I'll be posting one part a day until it's done. It's almost 33k words, so I figured posting it all at once would be overwhelming.

And thank you! I'm glad you like it so far!
(Deleted comment)
Havoc: coven!katehavocthecat on June 26th, 2007 08:33 pm (UTC)
It's kind of an odd AU. I'll be the first to admit it. But thanks! Glad it's piqued your interest.

Next part will be up tomorrow!
meacoustic on June 26th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
YAAAAY!
Havochavocthecat on June 26th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
*twirls*
angelqueen04: Fangirlangelqueen04 on June 26th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
*squee* You've started! YAY!!!!! :D
Havoc: coven!lizziehavocthecat on June 26th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
Yes, finally! It's done! And yay!
muppetmandamuppetmanda on June 27th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC)
Yay! *does happy dance* Love this fic! Wahoooo!
Havochavocthecat on June 27th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *twirls*

Hey, missed you online last night, thanks to dance class. You gonna be around tonight?