Author’s Note: Elizabeth’s list of men she’s not attracted to is strictly for the purpose of this story. I ‘ship her equally with several of the men on that list. Thanks to Jo for the beta!
She blames Top Gun.
The cocky flyboy with the flyaway dark hair…she doesn’t know if John Sheppard consciously modeled himself on the 80s movie icon–probably not considering the Air Force is most definitely not the Navy–but the parallels are there and for her they’re particularly difficult to miss since Top Gun has long been a guilty pleasure. She’s watched it more times than the former anti-military lobbyist in her cares to admit, and as far as Elizabeth is concerned, that means the movie is entirely to blame for the fact that she has such a hard time saying no to a certain Lieutenant Colonel. She was conditioned fairly early in life to have a weak spot for the maverick, as was every other young woman going to the movies in 1986.
Of course, she lost what little interest she had in Tom Cruise somewhere between Eyes Wide Shut and Mission Impossible 2, but Maverick (with a capital M) is another matter entirely. Maverick is an icon; Maverick is eternal. And thanks to the ATA gene, she has a Maverick all her own.
Half the time she finds herself wondering how Kelly McGillis resisted the temptation to slap that smug but charming smile off her flyboy’s face. The other half of the time…well, she can’t quite picture John roaring through the halls of Atlantis and up to her quarters on a motorbike, but she sure wouldn’t mind re-enacting the rest of that scene. It’s a fantasy that not only runs counter to everything she wants to appear as to the team she leads, but that has a nasty habit of popping up and distracting her at the most inconvenient times–like in briefings when John’s hair is being even more uncooperative than usual. Or if for some reason he’s wearing his old flight jacket instead of his base uniform, or even just a pair of sunglasses.
Mentally undressing her second in command while Rodney’s trying to explain some new gadget that they discovered is not exactly the mark of a calm, collected leader in full control of both herself and the situation. Not to mention it’s completely out of character for her as well. Elizabeth Weir doesn’t turn into a flustered schoolgirl every time a subordinate walks into the room. Elizabeth Weir doesn’t get distracted by sexual fantasies in the middle of a briefing instead of paying attention, particularly not when she’s just recently split up with her boyfriend of several years. And she certainly isn’t attracted to military men–Stephen Caldwell, Hank Landry, Jack O’Neill and Cameron Mitchell do absolutely nothing for her, despite being attractive in their own right.
John Sheppard himself is as much a menace as he is an invaluable resource and ally, and when he’s at his most Maverick-like? The thoughts she entertains about him are far from romantic. So there’s really no other logical explanation for why he remains her closest friend, her secret fantasy, and her weakness.
It has to be the movie.