I so promised myself I wouldn't write an Atlantis fic, but this couple are too cute! This idea kept me up all night, so it needed writing!
Moments Like This
John knew if she'd been awake, she'd never have let him hold her, it was too unguarded, too reliant on someone else for her to be comfortable. Since he'd met her, there'd barely been a moment where she relinquished control, be it over Atlantis or her own emotional state, and he knew it was intentional. It had been fascinating to watch how she dealt with situations, the way she managed to direct orders like any good military commander, but with a feminine charm about her that never failed to make opponents underestimate her abilities. He wasn't sure if she'd caught him studying her, but over the months their friendship had progressed, eventually drawing out a softer, friendlier, laughing side to her personality, he'd found the fascination was really an attraction to a woman entirely different from his usual type. More than that, it was a magnetic pull to spend time with her, make her smile and steal touches of her hand or arm.
Evenings like this didn't happen very often, relaxing time to unwind and pretend there wasn't an imminent threat to what had become their home. Usually being allowed the chance to sleep for more than a few hours a night was considered fortunate, so the chance of spending a chilled out evening with Elizabeth was one he couldn't pass up.
"Where are we going?" Had been her semi-amused query as he'd dragged her from her never-ending pile of reports.
"I got popcorn, swiped McKay's stash of chocolate and booked out the media room. I'll even let you choose one of those god-awful chick-flicks for us to watch." John smirked at her, distinctly pleased with himself.
She resisted as they reached her office door, telling him she was already behind on mission reports, but he continued to tug her hand, insisting it was for her own good. When she chose 'Top Gun' from the limited supply of DVDs they had, he'd really tried not to laugh, but couldn't help asking if it was pilots or Tom Cruise she liked about the film.
"I'll incriminate myself whatever I say, won't I?" She retaliated, sharp eyes narrowing in accusation.
That earned her another of his infamous smirks, more than a little thrilled that she knew him well enough to forestall his teasing. Not that she didn't give as good as she got. For a diplomat, Elizabeth Weir knew an awful lot of ways to mock an Air Force Major, especially an innocent one such as himself.
As John set up the player, Elizabeth curled herself around a large cushion on the sofa; already beginning to feel the comfort her body had being crying out for all week, and with it a pleasant pull of sleep. She was loath to admit spending time alone with her best friend was exactly what she needed right now, there was no use feeding the ego of a good-looking man by telling him he was right after all. And with no teams due back until the following afternoon, Rodney safely tucked away on the mainland with the rest of John's team, there was little chance of unwelcome interruptions of an 'urgent' nature.
She watched the well-toned back muscles of her 2IC as he fought with the adapter allowing the DVDs to play on the enormous Atlantian screen, admiring the movement of the casual red and black t-shirt across his broad shoulders. His dark coloured jeans fitted rather nicely too, and despite chiding herself for acting like a schoolgirl, she couldn't help but smile. She'd accepted her attraction to John from day one. He was that sort of man. She knew nearly all the female personnel originating from Earth appreciated his masculine cuteness and quick wit, but she did feel privileged that he had allowed her to get to know him, whilst keeping most at a distance. But she had a suspicion that was probably more to do with her permitting his teasing and letting him get away with it.
So she'd decided an attraction meant nothing – they were friends. Good friends. Craving his company once in while was only due to the loneliness of her job was what she kept telling herself.
John turned and shot her a triumphant grin. "All set." Despite the width of the large sofa-like contraption, he sat himself next to her, as close as he could be without actually pressing his side against hers.
She'd noticed that lately, how they always stood within each other's personal space. At first it seemed only when they were alone together on the balcony, looking out over the city and to the ocean beyond it. They'd brush arms or hips, but never react to the touch, content in the quiet closeness. But now it seemed to have spread. Somehow the briefing room seating plan had changed, John placing himself next to her. Then in the control room she'd find herself standing close to him, feeling some comfort amidst the latest crisis simply due to his proximity.
"Popcorn?" He offered, placing the large bowl on her thigh, so it balanced between them.
She looked at him with a mischievous smile, taking a few kernels in her hand. "And the chocolate, Major?"
"Here's me thinking you were just here to enjoy my company." He replied with feigned hurt, before handing her a precious candy bar that he would never admit he only swiped because he knew they were her favourite.
"I am, but I'll enjoy your company all the more if there's chocolate involved." She explained graciously, diplomatic as ever.
John watched her subtly for a few minutes, noticing the lights from the film illuminate her eyes and dance across her cheeks. He found himself thinking how elegantly beautiful she was, radiating a classy authority that even Sgt. Bates rarely questioned. All of a sudden her perceptive green eyes were on his, and for a second he thought it was because he'd been gazing at her.
"I love this movie." The lilt of contentment in her voice assured him she was unaware of his scrutiny, although that was normal, as she had absolutely no idea how the men around the base appreciated her physical form. He definitely knew he wasn't alone there. Although the few who had mentioned as much to him, John had immediately reprimanded for being disrespectful, out of what he liked to think was protectiveness of his friend, but he wasn't quite sure if jealousy played a minor part too. "Plus you should love it purely because its about planes and mavericks, which you seem to have a brilliant grasp of."
"It's a chick flick, Liz, disguised with planes." He shot back at her, without realising he'd let slip her nickname accidentally.
She hadn't clocked it either or she'd decided to let him off because she doesn't retaliate. Instead she shifted about a bit, trying to find a more comfortable spot, eventually letting her shoulder touch his as she curled her long legs underneath her and stayed put.
"What I wouldn't give for a pizza right now." John confided with an exaggerated sigh, relishing the bright, albeit tired smile from his companion.
"I don't think they'll do intergalactic delivery, do you?"
"I take it you have something better to miss than a very large pepperoni pizza, Doctor?"
His expression changed to one of surprise. "A dog, huh?"
She narrowed her eyes at him again, trying to interpret the comment. "Yes, his name is Sedge."
"Always figured you for a cat person."
"Why?" Her intelligent eyes flashed to him in a challenge, a slight note of unease in her voice.
"Not in a bad way. Just- "
"Had me down as a loner with a house full of cats. Thank you, John." She finished for him, a bemused half-smile curling her lips as he realised she was teasing him.
He grinned at her, subtly grasping an ice cube from his glass of water. "Yep a house full of twenty cats and the neighbourhood kids are all scared of you." With astounding swiftness, John managed to get the freezing cold ice cube into the back of her top before she even noticed his hands had moved.
Her shriek could probably have been heard three corridors away, and John couldn't contain his laughter under a poorly constructed veil of innocence for more than a millisecond. "John!" Amidst stripping her uniform jacket, the cube dropped to the floor, leaving Major Sheppard with an unforeseen benefit to his practical joke, Elizabeth Weir in a dark red tank top, cut fairly low and revealing pink bra straps.
His outright leering grin is cut short as he realised she was coming at him with the offending icicle, clearly on a mission of payback. The playful tussle ended with Elizabeth pinned to the seat of the sofa, gasping for breath from laughing so much. It hit him then that the connection between them was stronger and more intimate than most of the actual relationships he'd ever had with girlfriends his entire life.
"You're making me miss the movie, John." She tried to say between giggles, trying to free her arms from where he held them firmly above her head.
"I think it might be safer for me if you watch from there. You'll start throwing popcorn at me or something."
"Don't make out I started this, Major. As usual that was down to you."
She made a good point, besides which the sensible part of his brain was screaming at him that this was becoming beyond flirtatious and he was liable to do something stupid if he continued to keep her trapped underneath him. "Okay, you're the diplomat, you can be trusted with a truce, right?"
The playful innocence of her semi-straight face made him laugh, amazed at how mischievous she was being tonight. Maybe there was something in the chocolate.
The next time John's attention was drawn away from the movie, it was due to a slight pressure on his shoulder. To his surprise he found a sleeping Elizabeth awkwardly resting her head against his arm, her neck and shoulders twisted uncomfortably. Between emergencies and nightmares, he knew how little sleep she'd been getting the last few weeks, but he was stunned at how nice it felt with her against him. Without much thought he moved his left arm out from between them and placed it around her shoulders, turning her body towards his side gently and easing her head into a more comfortable position against his chest.
Seemly undisturbed, he wondered when she last slept. As much as he admired her unique ability to be upbeat after three days without sleep, he had a protective streak a mile long when it came to Elizabeth Weir. They'd all had nightmares, and who could blame them with a threat like the Wraith to deal with everyday, but he found himself studying her through briefings most mornings, trying to assess how much – or how little – sleep she'd gotten. It had been one of those briefings that he'd noticed she'd lost weight too. And feeling her body pressed against him now without the bulky SGC jacket, he could feel how slender she'd become. He made a mental note to drag her down to the mess hall with him at meal times, rather than accepting her usual excuse of 'I'll get something later'.
Dr Beckett wandered in a little while later, asking what was on before his eyes betrayed his surprise at finding the two leaders of Atlantis in a somewhat intimate position.
"Is Dr Weir feeling alright?" Carson asked, concern lacing his words.
"Just overworked and too little sleep," John replied, glancing down at the pretty curls of her head to assure himself their voices weren't disturbing her.
The doctor sat half-watching the rest of the film whilst chatting in hushed tones to John, before retiring to bed as the credits rolled on-screen. Elizabeth hadn't moved, continuing to sleep peacefully against her 2IC. This left John with the unfortunate choice of waking her or getting her back to her quarters himself. Just about managing to extricate himself from his female companion without incident, he supported her shoulders and scooped his other arm under her knees. In her sleep she seemingly sought out his heartbeat again, shifting so her head was against his chest.
It worried him for the second time that night how light she was, but the thought was lost when the scent of oranges met his nose, guessing it must be her shampoo or something. He'd never admit it, but he associated a coconut smell with her hair, due to the rare times he'd been close enough to identify it. He remembered the time he'd hugged her shaking body after the Genii had finally been driven out of Atlantis and the shield raised. Remembering how she'd let her guard down long enough to let him hug her tightly, needing the reassurance she was really alive and safe.
He managed to enter her memorised door code into the keypad on the third try, struggling not to jostle her awake. The door slid open silently and he set her down on her bed, stealing a few moments to watch her, mesmerised by the relaxed curves of her face and the gentle curls of her unruly hair. Catching himself, he gave in to the temptation to press a light kiss to her forehead before turning to leave.
He was at the door when he heard her turn over, sighing "John" contently in her sleep.
I'm thinking I'll write some more scenarios as they come to me, but if anyone has one they'd like to see I can give it a go :D