Title: Romancing the Stone
Author: Cyclone
Rating: PG13
Summary: She was toying with him. And also laughing at him. Right to his face, too. It was kinda hot.
Notes: So this is it – my first Stargate: Atlantis fic. Of course it's shippy – and of course, it's Sheppard/Weir. They're just so adorable that I couldn't resist. Many thanks to my wonderful beta Shane for her help in fine-tuning this story. Thanks also go to Mary for allaying my fears regarding my characterisations. And finally, to Traci for getting me hooked on Sheppard/Weir in the first place.
Disclaimer: If they were mine, they would have christened the puddle jumpers already. Numerous times, in an endless variety of positions. ;)

XxX

John saw the crude stone figure on her desk and frowned. It was new. While he was away someone had given her something - something that she either appreciated enough to put on display, or appreciated the sentiment that lay behind it enough to appease the person who had given it to her.

He decided then and there that he hated it. It was ugly. And tacky. He could probably reach over and knock it to the floor, effectively shattering its mocking existence into pieces. He could do that and Elizabeth wouldn't even think twice. After all, he was a walking disaster most of the time. There were hundreds of things in Atlantis that he wasn't allowed to touch without supervision. Hell, there were whole rooms that he wasn't even allowed to enter. She wouldn't suspect a thing. He'd made up his mind to do just that when she looked up from her work and caught him in mid-crime. He couldn't help the guilty look that flashed across his face as his hand froze in the air, leaving no doubt as to what he was reaching for.

"This is new," he said lamely as he picked up the offending trinket and pretended an examination of interest.

She smiled and held out her hand, and he had no other option than to pass it to her. "Yes, one of the Athosians gave it to me while you were off world. It's pretty, don't you think?"

"Pretty ugly," he scowled. And tacky. He couldn't forget the tackiness. If he were to give her something it wouldn't be some ugly, tacky figurine that was probably mass produced in Taiwan. Or whatever the Athosian equivalent was.

"John!"

"Did I just say that out loud?"

Her eyes twinkled with amusement and she placed the figurine to the left of her laptop, which conveniently happened to be just out of his reach. "Well, I like it. It was very thoughtful of Pierrick to give it to me."

Pierrick. John relaxed a little into the chair and stretched out his legs. He had nothing to worry about there. The man was newly married and completely in love with his wife. Not that he had been worried in the first place. It didn't affect him one way or the other if men wanted to give Elizabeth ugly, tacky gifts. "What's it supposed to be anyway?"

"Not a what, a who," she explained, her eyes still dancing.

He looked at the ugly figurine again and grimaced. "That thing actually represents someone?"

"Yes, it does." She smiled again – she seemed to be doing an inordinate amount of that for a conversation which wasn't really that amusing – and he wondered what exactly it was that he was missing.

"Who?"

Her smile turned secretive and he couldn't help but think that she was laughing at him. "I'm sorry?"

"Who does it represent?" he pressed. "An Athosian God? Some other deity of the Pegasus Galaxy? Papa Smurf?"

"Yes, John, I find it very conducive to the piles of reports I have to get through every day to have Papa Smurf watching over me."

"So if it's not Papa Smurf, then who is it?"

"Now where would the fun be if I told you that?"

Was she toying with him? She didn't do that. He was the one who toyed with her. Someone had changed the rules while he was off world and forgotten to pass along the memo. "Elizabeth," he almost whined. His curiosity was piqued now and he had to know.

"Yes, Major?" she asked innocently.

Oh yeah. Definitely toying with him. And also laughing at him. Right to his face, too. It was kinda hot. "You're not going to tell me, are you?"

Her fingers reached out and caressed what he assumed was the figurine's face. "I thought we already established that."

"I'll find out eventually, you know," he threatened with what he hoped was sufficient sternness to make her realise her life would be a lot easier if he didn't have to do things the hard way.

Unfortunately, she didn't buy it. Unfortunately, she already knew that he was all bark and no bite where she was concerned. "Probably," she shrugged.

"So why not tell me now and save me the effort?"

"As I said before, where would the fun be in that?"

"This is how it's gonna be?"

She nodded. "This is how it's gonna be."

"Okay then," he said, pulling himself up. "Just as long as it doesn't represent McKay. That would really creep me out. On so many levels," he added, cringing in mock horror.

Her laughter followed him as he exited her office and he decided that he quite liked Elizabeth laughing at him. He liked it a lot. He'd figure out who the figurine represented and if it was anyone that threatened the easy status quo that he and the good doctor had developed then he'd string him up by any protruding appendages, but in the meantime . . . he grinned in anticipation and practically bounced to his quarters. In the meantime, she could continue laughing at him.

tbc