Claim: Elizabeth Weir
Prompt: 024: Family
Disclaimer: Labyrinth is the property of Henson and co, while SGA is property of a whole bunch of other people, MGM being one of them. Basically, this is just written as a way for me to have fun, no intentions of making a profit, or making any kind of money off them.
Spoilers: If you haven't ever seen Labyrinth (shame on you!) then, it kinda spoils it. As for SGA, I'd say up to and including Intruder to be on the safe side.
Summary: She grew up in that house, in more ways than one.
A/N: This is more a fusion than a crossover, with Lizzie being a grown up version of another character. However, I hope you still enjoy it. Written for (well edited for anyway) crossovers100.
Elizabeth stared up at the house of her childhood, older memories crowding out recent. She had grown up in that house, in more ways than one.
The sky was gray, casting an eerie shadow over the two-story Victorian style house. She gave an involuntary shudder as she walked up the porch steps to the front door; it had been nearly fifteen years since she’d stepped foot in the place, and still it had the power to unnerve her.
However, she had grown quite a bit in those years; she was no longer an ungainly youth, unsure of her place in the world. And her father had died. She deserved to be here as much as they did.
Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she knocked rapidly on the door and waited. The woman who opened it was definitely showing signs of her age; however, Karen still had the same elegant arrogance that had marked her in her youth.
“I’m surprised you decided to show up. I know how important your…work…is.”
Elizabeth fought to keep her fists from curling into fists at the snide words, reminding herself that she had dealt with people—and aliens—worse than her stepmother. She was a diplomat, and she could handle two days without going at the woman’s throat. Even if her words had struck a nerve.
Had she not already been on Earth for a debriefing, she wouldn’t have been able to come to her father’s funeral.
“How’s Toby?” she asked to distract herself from doing something rash.
“You never send letters, never call, never visit, and now you want to know how your brother is doing?” Karen apparently didn’t want to let it go.
Then again, Elizabeth thought wryly, she never had. “I’ve never missed even one of his birthdays,” she replied. Until recently, came the guilty thought, but she quickly repressed it. She had sent him a letter explaining that she might not get a chance to correspond with him for a while because of extreme security measures for the job she had.
The older woman’s mouth twisted into a grimace, but she left it without further comment, motioning her stepdaughter into the house.
Nostalgia washed over Elizabeth as she walked past her stepmother; nothing seemed to have really changed about the place. The same paintings lined the walls, the same carpet—maybe a little newer—covered the floors. And the staircase that she had stomped up in a snit as a teenager was still the most prominent feature.
Permitting herself a small smile, she ran her hands along the wood of the banner as she passed it.
That had all changed after a dream she’d had one night. A strange, almost realistic dream.
She had once believed she would become a famous actress like her mother, or, failing that, write widely acclaimed fantasy literature and plays. Then, on a fantastical journey through her mind, she had discovered that her true strengths lay elsewhere, in helping people to solve their differences through peaceful communication. After that dream, she had become more serious in her studies, had joined several debate teams, and had been a Junior Ambassador.
Only, as much as she'd tried to change her life for the better, her efforts had gone unappreciated at home. Where before there had been complaints that she was going nowhere with her life, and would end up broken-hearted and out on the streets, Karen had begun complaining that she was spending too much time for school functions and not enough with the family. The woman had even accused her of using school as away to hide from what really mattered, and that if she loved her brother and father as much as she said she did, she'd quit with the extracurricular and spend more time at home.
No matter how diplomatic Sarah Williams tried to be, Karen always shot her down, no matter how illogical the subject she brought up. And Robert, her father, had never been any help. He had let Linda, his first wife go without a fight, and he let Karen take over their lives without blinking. So, Sarah Williams had, at the age of eighteen, got a court order to have her name changed to Elizabeth Weir and had moved out, going to a college as far away from her stepmother as she could get.
Elizabeth grinned, glad for a distraction from her thoughts of the past, and looked up at her nineteen year old brother. Unlike Karen and her father, Toby had respected her wishes to be called by a different name. He was the only person in the universe who could get away with calling her Lizzie without facing her dire wrath.
"Hey there kiddo!"
Toby bounded down the stairs with all the energy of a puppy whose owner had just come home from work and practically knocked her over as he grabbed her in a bear hug, lifting her off the ground.
"You've grown," Elizabeth grunted, "and you can put me down now."
"Sorry," Toby said, grinning impishly and not sounding sorry at all as he set her carefully back on the ground and looped an arm around her shoulders.
Elizabeth shook her head in mock bemusment as she stepped backwards to take a better look at him. He had lost all of the baby fat that had kept him looking babyish through high school, and with his blond hair, blue eyes, the sharp angles of his face gave him an aristocratic appearance, without the arrogance his mother portrayed.
There was also a profound sadness and wisdom in his eyes that made him look far older than he was.
"Definitely not my little brother anymore."
"Yeah, but I'll always be your baby brother."
"Even when I show your girlfriends those pictures I have?"
It was a ritual with them, one usually conducted in writing, ever since he'd turned sixteen and had become an inch taller than she was, a familiar comfort when you don't know what to say to someone you've known all their lives. Elizabeth picked up her bag, put her arm around his waist, and with his arm still around her shoulder, they made their way upstairs.
"Dad was always proud of you," Toby said as they reached the top, "he's got all those old drama trophies you had before you decided to become a diplomat, and he's got all your awards for that stuff too."
Before Elizabeth could think of anything to respond with, he pulled away from her and turned her to face him. "Look, I know you never got along well with Mom, and that you were for whatever reason angry with Dad for marrying her, but don't you think it's time to forgive? He loved her."
"I got over that when I was fifteen, Tobes," Elizabeth protested with a frown, "And I tried my best to get along with her."
"Trying to logically argue your way into getting what you want is not trying to get along, Lizzie," Toby admonished, "Dad died thinking it was his fault you hated us, didn't want to be around us."
Elizabeth felt as though she had been slapped and then hit with a Wraith stunner; she could only stare open-mouthed at her brother, numbed throughout. After a few seconds, she regained her voice. "I never hated any of you, Toby. How could you say something like that?"
"I know Lizzie," Toby said, his expression apologetic, "You treated me like any kid brother would wish to be treated by his big sister. But you never could accept anything Mom said at face value; you always argued a point with her, never gave her a chance. And you never talked to Dad about anything. Never even sent him a single letter."
"He never listened to me..." Elizabeth hugged herself, feeling colder than she had in ages as guilt wracked her.
"I'm not telling you this to make you feel guilty," Toby said gently, "I'm telling you because...because you never know which moment will be your last. While you never sent Dad anything, he never attempted to communicate with you either. He could easily have set up a meeting with you, and I know you would have gone. Instead, he went around feeling sorry for himself because he thought his daughter hated him." Toby stopped and looked at her, his eyes begging her to understand.
With an insight gained from experience, Elizabeth finally realized Toby wasn't talking about her; he was talking about himself. "What's wrong, kiddo?"
"I...I know how much you hate the military," Toby began, "but I've been accepted to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. No, that's a lie. I've been going there for a year. I wasn't ever going to tell you, then, Dad got sick and he told me what he thought about you, and then he died and you were out of communication and...and...I just don't want you to hate me, but I don't want to lie to you either."
"Oh Toby," Elizabeth hugged him tightly as she spoke, "I could never hate you. If it weren't for you, well, I wouldn't be where I am today."
The boy allowed himself to be hugged for a moment longer, before pulling away. "Wasn't that because you wished me away?"
"Yeah well, if you hadn't been born for me to wish away..."
"Hah, you wish."
"Yes, at one point I did wish that, but didn't really want it. Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered... I fought my way to get you back."
Toby rolled his eyes, but was grinning all the same. "Hey, why don't you go get freshened up in your room. Mom's going to want to go to the funeral home as soon as possible, and then we're inviting other members of the family over for dinner before the funeral tomorrow."
Elizabeth nodded, giving him one last hug before walking off to her room.
Once there, she walked to the big window and stared out at the old oak that still stood beside the house, but didn't really see it, too busy with her thoughts as she was. Toby was right; you never know when your last moment might be. A lesson she'd learned during the year they'd been stranded in the Pegasus galaxy.
After the funeral, when she went back to the SGC, she'd recommend that Simon Wallis join the Atlantis expedition. He definitely had the minimum requirments, and was a damn good doctor besides. She had asked for nothing personal, until the debate about Lt. Colonel John Sheppard, so she hoped she could ask that Simon join, if he was qualified enough.
And she was going to get Toby security clearance, so she could at least let him know more than that she was doing fine.
Smiling, she turned from the window and put her bag on the bed.
She never noticed the white barn owl that took off from the branch of the tree outside, spreading its wings and flying off towards the sunset, before disappearing as if it had never been there in the first place.
Yup, I actually continued that little fic idea I had. I might do more with this, since I've got to do 100 fics, but as of right now, I got nothing.