Bonding
By Robyn

It was cold that night. That was why she slipped on her slippers before she got up out of her room. Dr. Weir always had trouble sleeping at Atlantis. She guessed it was because she wasn't used to the change in hours. At Atlantis, there were 38 hours per day. Everyone had trouble sleeping normally, but most of them got used to it. Elizabeth didn't, though. When she woke up, she'd usually work a little and then the others would gradually wake up and she'd stay up even longer...it was getting bad. She wasn't sleeping even as much as she did on Earth.

So, up she was, and she was going to head to do some work, but she was even too tired to do that. Suddenly, she felt a rumble in her stomach. 'Okay,' she thought, 'I'll go grab a snack.' So, to the kitchen she was headed. There wasn't a single sign of life in the city at night, and the ocean creaked below them. It was all really creepy when you were suffering insomnia. Not to mention the fact that there weren't any lights at night, for the sake of the ability of sleep. There were manual lights, but they weren't easy to get to, so everyone just left them off.

The kitchen was cold and barren. It looked extra sterile, like a hospital. But there was food, and that was what Elizabeth wanted. She rummaged through a cupboard, finding nothing of value. Just some preservatives and other stuff. She checked another one, finding, again, nothing. The next one, she turned out with a bag of salt and vinegar chips. She searched the refrigerator and found a root beer and some cheese sticks. She had the muchies...she wasn't interested in anything of nutritional value.

Suddenly, a sound behind her made her jump a foot in the air. "Watcha doin'?" She quickly about-faced and saw the danger. It was just McKay. She put her hand on her chest.

"Rodney, don't DO that!" she exclaimed. It was creepy enough without someone making strange noises behind you, and talking in silence. In her haste, she dropped the food she'd been holding before Rodney's appearance. "What are you doing here?" she asked while reaching for the bag of chips.

"Same thing you are, apparently," he said sleepily. He blinked a bit, like he was going to fall asleep on the spot. "Couldn't sleep."

"Oh, you sure look it," Elizabeth said sarcastically.

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Lizbeth, I said I couldn't sleep...I've been up for the past...oh...37 hours. That's one hour of sleep in the past day, which on Earth, would be a couple hours more than a day and a half!" He seemed quite flustered.

"Rodney...try breathing. It helps." She smiled cynically. "Besides, cut down on the caffeine."

Rodney dug in to one of the cupboards that Elizabeth searched through earlier and grabbed a can of peaches. "Didn't see you as the 'chips and soda' kind of person."

Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. "Didn't see you as a peaches kind of guy." Rodney just gave her a look and started to leave with his peaches. "W-wait!" He turned around. "Er..well, I mean...it's um..."

"It's kind of dark at night here, and you'd like someone to talk to?"

She smiled. He always knew what she was thinking. "Yeah, exactly." She didn't know why, but she was ashamed that he knew she was scared. Afterall, it was only natural. Atlantis was certainly strange, and the noises weren't helping. And it was much less comforting without the Athosians. They kept a slight buzz of voices in the city which made it easier to sleep. And she was worried about them. Even if for a short amount of time, she was responsible for them.

"So, where to?" Rodney asked, breaking her out of her daze.

"How about the balcony? There was furniture put out there recently, and it'd be nice to breathe the fresh night air." She smiled at Rodney. She knew that he was a sucker for fresh air, as much as he hated to admit it. They hadn't known each other long, but after a month or two working on the Atlantis project, they'd gotten to know each other pretty well.

Rodney rolled his eyes sarcastically, as if he was being forced to go out there. "Well...if you insist." She'd swear that if he were younger, he'd have stuck his tongue out...heck, if he were just more awake, he probably would have done so.

When they got out there and sat down they looked at each other and smiled. These nights of bonding would be just the first of many that not only those two would experience, but also the rest of the Atlantis crew. No words were needed, though, tonight. Just the sound of each other breathing, munching, slurping and listening to the ocean.