As Elizabeth lay in bed watching the sun rise over the ocean she couldn't help but think some couples have words they use to convey just how much they mean to one another without having to actually say it. A bit like a secret handshake but more significant and reserved for those that we don't honestly believe we can live without.
Some couples have 'always' and others have 'okay' but for John and Elizabeth theirs was 'hey' even before they even realised what it truly meant.
The first time was when Kolya was using her as a human shield and John had shot him in the shoulder, thus separating them and saving her life. She used to have nightmares about that day but she hasn't in years. She was cold and terrified and slow on processing the fact that he had shot at her but not aiming at her. Her mind was a blank and she could only watch him as he raced over.
"Hey you ok?" He asked tenderly obviously aware that she wasn't all together and checking to make sure the bullet had grazed her.
"No." She answered honestly because that was all her brain kept screaming at her.
He clasped her hand in his and spoke with confidence but urgency. "You will be come on."
She trusted his words and she knew from that day he would never let her down again, not when it counted.
The second time was when he transported into the Gate room during the siege of Atlantis. She had believed him dead and even though she heard his voice on the radio it was another thing to se him in person.
She reacted the only way she knew how, to embrace him. To feel him safe and sound in her arms, to truly solidify the fact he was alive and she didn't allow him to die. She realised it was an awkward move, they were friends and colleagues but they had never done such a casual act before. Thinking back she knew that was when everything changed, ever so subtly but a move in the right direction.
"Hey you're alive, I truly thought -" She pulled away from him albeit reluctantly and she noticed that he too was just as unsure of her just what exactly had happened.
"Yeah I thought the same about you just a second ago." His eyes conveyed words neither of them had been ready to acknowledge, feelings only just beginning to blossom.
After that they practically gave up rank and only used their first names except when in official capacity. They knew the IOA back on Earth would never approve of such a relaxed command structure. But they made it work and Atlantis began to feel like home more than Earth ever had.
The third time was when John had been mutating into a bug. He had confined himself to his room and put guards outside his door for everyone's sake. She had fully trusted him, had faith that he would remain in control, never hurt her.
"Hey you alright?" She asked as she entered his quarters and the doors hissed closed behind her. She knew it was a stupid question but she couldn't allow him to suffer alone. She felt useless and so she was just trying to reach out to him, be there for him because she had grown fond of him and didn't want to lose him.
The fourth time he sought her out. He was once again human and was seeking everyone out to apologise for his earlier actions. He came to stand beside her on their balcony being careful not to get too close to her.
"Hey so I owe you an apology." He started awkwardly and scratched his head in a familiar nervous gesture.
"No you don't. You warned me of what you were capable of and I didn't listen." She had been gazing up at the stars thankful that the day's events had been solved with a happy ending. She turned her green eyes and locked with his hazel ones.
"That doesn't override the fact that I hurt you and I'm sorry." His voice was firm but gentle, showing his refusal to accept anything less.
"Apology accepted, though next time I'll take your advice to heart." She said light heartily trying to brighten the mood. He looked so uncomfortable and unsure of himself that she wanted to help him forget. "Its movie night and I happen to know it's a comedy. Join me?"
The fifth time they said it in unison, having both woke up in the infirmary after having been hijacked by Thelen and Phoebus.
"Hey." Their voices echoed amongst the many beeping machines and they smiled at each other. Everything was back to normal until Caldwell walked in and mentioned them kissing and putting it in the report.
She remembers John busily distracting himself on his tablet while she slumped down the bed hoping the floor would open up ad swallow her whole.
From there on they mention it all the day, a daily routine for them. Starting out as a simple greeting but they seem to use it and then no other dialogue follows. Just a small smile that he gives her and she happily returns.
She remembers it clearly when he seeks her out and reassures that she has returned to the real world after being on slaughtered by nanites. "Hey still up huh?"
"I wasn't ready to go back to sleep just yet." An understatement if she ever heard one but she was glad that he understood and made to leave her be. She followed after him and he happily stayed up with her while they watched a movie she never got round to see because she fell asleep on his shoulder.
The last time she remembers him saying it is when she regains consciousness in the infirmary. Her eyes are wide with shock and fear as she removes the bandages from her head and sits up in the isolation room.
"Hey you're going to be alright Elizabeth." His voice is concerned and he's frowning but he honestly believes they will get through this just like everything else.
She wants to smile at him but she can't. She knows in her gut that this is the last time they will have a moment alone for a few years.
Plunged in darkness for so long she can't clearly recall the events that led her back to being in Atlantis. But she opens her eyes and she feels different, more human again, more like her old self once more. His is the first face she sees and he gently places a hand in hers and greets her.
"Hey, welcome home." She's so happy that she lets the tear escape the corner of her eye.
A few months after her rescue and the dynamics are all different. She's no longer in charge and sort of in limbo until the IOA can decide what should happen to her. Keller has given her a clean bill of health and she's nanite free which is music to her ears. She helps out doing whatever she can but she feels useless and a bit of a dead weight because she's not contributing they way she used to.
John has been ever closer to here, always around whenever he's not on a mission. He's always seeking her out and seems reluctant to part from her even to retire to his quarters.
"Hey you don't have to watch me like a hawk you know." She teases one night while they're admiring the stars on their balcony.
"I know but I can't risk you - " He trails off and she tears her gaze away from the shining stars to take in his expression.
He appears conflicted about something and she hates it when he battles his inner turmoil. She's never blamed him for what happened to her, told him on several occasions but he just never hears her.
"Hey it's not your fault." She states and gives his hand a squeeze.
He intertwines their fingers and grips hers, not letting her go. She looks up at him in wonder and in a flash he his mere inches away from her. His breath mingling with hers , her heart hammering violently in her chest.
He kisses her and it's beautiful and passionate and she feels as though her body is alight. He goes to pull away but she wraps her free arm around his neck and seizes his lips for more. When breathing becomes an issue they separate if only barely.
"Hey, so what was that for?" She asks him because even though she enjoyed it immensely she doesn't know what it means.
It's been a few years since their first kiss but her heart flutters when she recalls on the ones that follow it and the things he did to her that she never thought a man could make her feel.
The sun finally breaks the horizon signalling a new day in Atlantis and she feels the his body snuggle closer to hers, an arm draped over her waist.
"Hey." He mumbles sleepily and tugs at her to join him.
"Hey." She says back as she lets out a yawn and spins round to face him and wriggle her way back under the covers.
A/N: So I recently read The Fault In Our Stars and couldn't help but notice when they say 'okay' that John and Elizabeth always used 'hey' to see if the other was alright. Or it could simply be my imagination but I went with it and so this random piece was made. Don't worry I am still working on Neria, I'm just trying to get it right so hopefully you'll like it.