AN: Gigantic thanks go to Faith-chan and princessangelwings for their amazing beta-ing! LOL!

Chapter Three

The hour passed quickly and she was thankful that John's condition had not worsened. The medical team, along with Dr. Beckett, had taken the situation into their hands before she knew what was happening. She did manage to give John's hand an encouraging squeeze before a fellow nurse took her to the side to assess her for injuries.

It wasn't until hours later that she got the opportunity to slip in behind some privacy curtains to check on John once they were both settled in the infirmary. Her injuries were very minor, but Dr. Beckett had insisted she stayed overnight in the infirmary for further observation since she had lost consciousness. Even if it was for only a few minutes.

"John," she addressed as she approached the side of his bed. She was pleased to see his color had improved. "How are you holding up?" she asked as she took his hand in hers.

"Pretty good, actually! Beckett's got me on the good stuff!" he informed her with a lopsided smile.

"You look much better," she said, brushing a stray hair from his forehead.

"Paying attention to my good looks are we?" he asked with a mischievous smile.

"You're a bit too rugged for me," she lied teasingly as she smiled down at him.

"Ouch, I'm truly hurt," he teased back with his puppy dog look; but then his face grew serious. "I wanted to thank you for everything you did today," he told her.

"You are quite welcome, and thank you again for getting me out of harms way. Just don't ever pull that stunt again!" she told him, her eyes gleaming with gratitude, and maybe just a hint of something else that she quickly pushed away.

"I couldn't have said it better myself," Dr. Weir interrupted cheerfully as she approached the other side of John's bed.

"Oh! Dr. Weir, I'm sorry, I didn't hear you come in," Karen confessed nervously as she quickly withdrew her hand from John's.

"No need to apologize. I think we all owe you a debt of gratitude for taking such good care of our military leader here," she said with a kind smile as she gave John a mischievous wink.

"Oh, no need, I was just doing my job," she stated nervously with a pause, "I'll… just… leave you two to debrief. I really need to get back to my bed before Dr. Beckett catches me up. It's good to see you're doing well, Colonel," she said with a smile toward both of them before leaving the curtained off area. She turned towards her bed but she hesitated just outside the curtain, her curiosity getting the better of her. John's bed being between the observation light and the privacy curtain, she could clearly see their silhouette. She watched their movements and listened to their conversation with bemusement.

"How are you?" Elizabeth asked, the shadow of her hand taking his.

"I'm good. You?" John asked.

"You scared me," she confessed, her shadowed figure taking a seat on John's bed.

"Sorry about that," he replied. Karen could hear the awkward feeling in his voice.

"I thought we agreed to stop doing this," she reminded.

"Yeah, we did didn't we?" he softly stated. Karen could tell it was more of a statement than a question.

She noted the awkward silence that followed and turned to leave, but a sudden movement of Elizabeth's shadow stopped her. She watched her lean forward and place a short and innocent kiss on John's lips and then pull away, leaving only a few inches between them. Karen was a bit taken back by the display as she continued her observation.

"Does this mean I'm off the hook?" he asked with amusement in his voice. His shadow leaned in to return the kiss, but Elizabeth slightly leaned away.

"That depends," she said.

"On?" he questioned, confusion apparent in his voice.

"Whether or not you pull a stunt like that again," she reprimanded. "You really had me worried this time," she said more softly.

"I wish I could say it will never happen again, but you know I can't promise something like that. It comes with the job," he vindicated, as the shadow of his hand came up to cup her cheek.

"I know…," she sighed, her hand coming up to cover his. Her head lowered to stare at her other hand, joined with his on his lap.

"Hey…," he said softly, releasing his hand from hers to bring it up under her chin. He gently raised her face to be level with his own. "I'm okay. Doc says I'll be as good as new in no time," he reassured her. Karen watched Elizabeth's shadow nod in response before leaning forward to give John another brief kiss on the lips.

"Not that I don't mind this more outgoing side of you, but I think we should keep this particular activity reserved for our quarters," he teased, and Karen could tell he was also trying to come across as serious.

"You said all this sneaking around was bothering you the other night," she reminded, sounding a bit hurt.

"I know I did…, but I'm starting to understand where you were coming from. You are the head of the expedition, and I'm your second in command," he paused, his shadowed hands coming down from her face to hold her at the shoulders. "What made you change your mind?" he asked with curiosity. Karen was a bit confused at this point.

"Almost losing you again made me realize something," she replied softly, the shadow of her hand coming up to rest on his cheek.

"What?" he asked, anticipation in his voice.

"That I don't care what people might think," she said, her shadow leaning in once again to peck a kiss on his lips. "What made you take my side all of a sudden?" she asked with equal curiosity.

"Lets just say a little birdie told me people around hear can see through walls, and apparently these privacy curtains in particular," he explained, his shadowed hand gesturing toward the curtains surrounding them. "I haven't really changed my earlier opinion, but I think we should wait until these roomers tame down before we act on it," he added, the shadow of his hand coming back up to cup her cheek.

"If these roomers are as real as you say," she paused with a sigh, "then I agree. You better get well soon though. I get pretty lonely when you're stuck in here," she said, whispering the last part. Karen almost missed the last bit, but was pleased that she could make it out.

"From what I hear, I'm sure you'll find a way to slip in here tonight," he risked, earning him a playful punch in the shoulder. "Owe…" he winced in pain. Karen was battling the urge to check on him, but thought it best to stay put.

"Oh, god! I'm so sorry, I wasn't thinking!" she frantically apologized, the shadow of her hands resting on both his cheeks to try and comfort him.

"No, it's all right," he assured her once his panting was under control.

"Are you sure?" she asked with concern in her voice, one of her hands going up to brush some hair back off his forehead before returning it to his cheek.

"Yeah, it's a good thing the Doc's got me on the good stuff," he said to try and ease her mind. Karen was laughing at him inside, knowing very well that the initial impact must have hurt like hell on his bruised clavicle. She then heard their conversation turn from personnel to professional, as they began to discuss the events of the day. Elizabeth's shadow moving from the bed to take up residents on a nearby stool.Frustrated, Karen quietly scurried away and then hopped up on her designated infirmary bed.

"That little stinker!" she whispered to herself. She couldn't believe the flyboy had fooled her into believing he had know idea about Dr. Weir's affection for him.

"Is everything all right, lass? You look a bit flushed!" Beckett asked as he approached her bed and interrupted her thoughts.

"Yes! I'm fine, Doctor! Thank you," she stammered. She thought for a moment, then continued. "Is Nurse Nell on duty by any chance? I'd really like to talk to her," she added with a smile.

"Sure, lass, I'll go fetch her for ya." Beckett complied as he patted her on the hand and then turned to leave.

"Let's just see how much the cocky Lt. Colonel enjoys his bed bath from Nell!" she said to herself with a mischievous and satisfied grin.

THE END

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