Disclaimer: I realize that the pretty people do not belong to me. I am making no money from given you all sugar shock. All else as in other chapters applies as per rating, etc... Warning: This is the most fluffly conclusion ever (grin)
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superflous
John slid Elizabeth's ring back into his pocket, allowing his fingertips to caress the elaborate design one last time before withdrawing his hand.
"Captain Kirk settles down," the colonel whispered under his breath, remembering something that Rodney had said when he saw Elizabeth and John return on the Daedalus.
With a quiet smile, he made his way across the walkway and over to her office. With a loose-limbed, masculine grace, he leaned unnoticed in the doorway and let his attention wander for a moment.
With a pleased sense of contentment, he saw that Elizabeth had once more claimed the space as her own. The walls were again adorned with various mementos from her life back on Earth; her tapestry from Nepal, as well as the tribal masks from Africa and Australia. Various object d'art from the Pegasus galaxy rested over scattered surfaces, all of them gifts from many people, including Teyla, and surprisingly, Ronon. On her desk there was even a new picture that Elizabeth had captured in an unguarded moment, showing John playing with Sedge.
Finally, John allowed his gaze to linger on Elizabeth where she sat at her desk, her laptop open before her as she reviewed the latest mission reports.
"Colonel," she said finally, not looking up from her reports. "Can I help you with something?"
The military commander responded to the question by quietly stepping into the office and settling himself on the edge of Elizabeth's desk, causing her to look up. John smiled innocently at her, prompting the Atlantean leader to raise an eyebrow in response. He only smiled shamelessly in reply and Elizabeth sighed softly before returning her attention back to her reports.
Now given a better view from his perch on the desk edge, John admired the beautiful woman before him. His eyes traveled the path that his hands longed to take; tangling in her long, dark curls, and brushing over her softly freckled cheek, then down along her slender arms, and finally coming to rest at Elizabeth's right hand laying lightly on the gentle swell of her belly.
He watched Elizabeth absently trace a small circle there with her fingers and once more felt the heady mix of emotions that he experienced every time he thought of how she was carrying his child. There was the purely male response of pleasure in the knowledge that Elizabeth was going to have his baby. There was also a small, wild sense of almost terror at the thought that he was going to be a father. And a profound sense of love and joy balanced the whole, almost painful ache of emotion somewhere in his heart, making his pulse thrum with it.
He saw that Elizabeth was now looking at him, and he wondered how long she had been trying to get his attention as he lost himself in his thoughts.
"I asked if there was something that you needed?"
He smiled mischievously in response before hopping down from the desk and walking over to where Elizabeth sat.
"You," he replied playfully.
Again, Elizabeth raised an eyebrow in response. "Just you," he insisted, surprising her with an impulsive kiss before taking her hand and urging her up from the chair. "Come with me."
"John," she protested. "John, I still have reports to review."
The military commander smiled at the comfortable sense of déjà vu that Elizabeth's protest evoked. "And they'll all still be right here for you tomorrow morning," he reasoned as he lead her to the door and let go of her hand for a moment so that he could brush a stray curl of her dark hair back.
"What are you up too?"
"Why do you always think I'm up to something?" John asked in mock offense.
"Experience," Elizabeth responded with a straight face.
John gave her a lop-sided grin in response and took Elizabeth's hand once more so that he could lead her through the door and past the handful of technicians on watch during the still, twilight hour. And if they hid smiles, it was only after the pair were out of sight.
"John," Elizabeth protested more seriously as they made their way out of the Gateroom and into the open corridors of Atlantis. "John," she repeated after several moments and deliberately passing a transporter.
"No transporters," he answered with a quiet protectiveness.
"Carson says that they're perfectly safe, John."
"Mmm," he replied in an attempt at a noncommittal tone, but otherwise making no move to utilize any of the Ancient devices as he walked with Elizabeth in the direction of the Zen-garden.
"The Ancients must have used them. They would have certainly made certain that they were safe."
"Mmm," he responded, rubbing his thumb gently over her hand where he held it.
"Is this the point where I have to remind you of the obvious, John? 'Women have been doing this for centuries…"
"No transporters," John interrupted gently as they continued to walk the hushed and mostly empty corridors.
The Atlantean leader accepted his protectiveness finally with a quiet sigh and kept her hand in his as they walked.
"You're not going to tell me are you?" She asked eventually.
"What you're up to."
"Trust me," he reassured her.
"I do. I have, since the moment we met," Elizabeth answered sincerely, meeting his summer green eyes with her own ocean hued ones. "Even if you are a pain in the ass sometimes," she added with a teasing grin.
He gave her a smirk in response that caused Elizabeth to laugh lightly. "There's a certain stubborn doctor I know that could have the same said of her," he quipped back, grinning shamelessly.
Elizabeth's expression caused John to laugh himself before lightly kissing her on the nose as they reached the garden door.
"John," she started to say, only to be gently interrupted by her military commander placing a finger to her lips.
"Trust me," he repeated and shrugged out of his black leather jacket. He slipped it carefully around her shoulders and lead Elizabeth into the soft chill of the Atlantean garden.
"Li'tasi," Elizabeth said with a small surprised laugh, looking around the tiny dancing blue lights that hovered above several small silver and green leafed bushes that had been planted around the open garden.
"Dr. Parrish has been doing studies on the local plant-life. He found these bushes, growing all along the shorelines on the mainland. They attract the li'tasi. It's where they like to live out their life cycle. He assures me that they're okay, and Dr. Tapping checked out the li'tasi," John said as Elizabeth walked over to one of the plants. She held out her hand, and a dozen of the tiny glowing creatures came to dance around her fingers.
"Dr. Tapping says that they also seem to like the…" John started to explain before Elizabeth stopped him with a soft laugh.
He gave a half embarrassed smile and shrugged his hands into his pockets. The warm jade ring was still in his left pocket and he fingered it neverously. "I guess I just… well I knew that you…" he tripped over the words.
Elizabeth gave him the smile that she kept only for him before stepping further into the heart of the garden. John followed quietly, content to watch the Atlantean leader return to more than just the paperwork and danger of Atlantis. Silently, he thanked Simon Wallace as he watched Elizabeth brush her fingertips along the leaves of one of the li'tasi bushes.
Suddenly, a bright, surprised laugh startled the li'tasi hovering near her.
"She moved," Elizabeth explained when she saw John's expression. "Here," she invited him over with a small wave of her free hand, placing her other against the gentle swell of her belly.
The colonel joined her, and let Elizabeth guide his hand, placing it lightly on her belly before laying both of hers on top of it.
"There," she murmured and John felt a feather light flutter against his palm.
"That's the baby?" He asked, his own voice dropping to a half whisper.
Elizabeth's smile was radiant.
"That's our baby," John murmured in wonder, feeling a savage kick of emotion send his pulse racing; a thousand and one fears; a thousand and one joys. Even in his wildest dreams, he could never have imagined that this was where he would be when he agreed to join the Atlantis expedition.
"Elizabeth," he began to say then. "Lizabeth, I… that is… I think… I mean, I wanted to know… I wanted to ask…" He stumbled through the words.
She gave him a bemused look as John took a deep breath.
"The only poetry I really know is you," he began again softly. "The only song I can hear is my heartbeat when I'm with you," he murmured. "The only profound thing I can say is your name. I…" he paused, reaching into his pocket to take out the ring that he had carried almost constantly since he had gotten it for Elizabeth months ago.
Elizabeth looked to the elaborate, beautiful jade ring that John held in his fingers.
"Oh God, I'm so bad at this."
Elizabeth smiled and kissed him. He returned the kiss passionately, kissing her until they were both breathless.
"Not so bad," she whispered with a smile in her voice.
John slipped the ring onto Elizabeth's finger, feeling something akin to the initial feeling of flight in combat; a dizzying sense of euphoria mixed with an adrenalin fueled rush of heavy tension.
"We can't escape gravity," he murmured in a deep voice.
"But we can fall together," she assured him, pulling him back for another kiss as the li'tasi danced around them in the twilight like stars…
Fin if only because I have inflicted enough sugar shock on you all (grin)