Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Rating: PG, fluff
Summary: Then, at some point, the door chime would sound and Carson would be there.
Thanks to Rinne for the beta
A Comfortable Slow Dance
-----------------------She wasn't sure when it had become routine, habit even, but that's what it was. It wasn't every night, but close enough. Barring an emergency, Elizabeth would have dinner, take a shower and stay up late finishing reports and other paperwork. Then, at some point, the door chime would sound and Carson would be there.
He always smelt of soap, freshly clean, his hair still slightly damp from the shower, but it didn't hide the slight, but ever present smell of disinfectant. He always brought whiskey, single malt, and two glasses, and they would sit on the balcony discussing the day's events and watching the ocean. From their vantage point, they could see and feel Atlantis and her people calmly preparing for sleep, as some lights dimmed and others turned on in the city around them. Elizabeth would rest her head on his shoulder, smelling the whiskey on his warm breath as he would kiss her forehead and wrap his arms around her, pulling her close.
Some nights, when the moon was full, they could see the large sea creatures that were so similar to the whales of Earth as they broke the ocean's surface. They peacefully slap the water with their large flippers, rolling and playing in the waves like very large children. The biologists tell them that all the whales near Atlantis are male and that they probably migrate to find mates later in the year.
Carson and Elizabeth have named the two that come out in the moonlight for them, although they would never share this with anyone. Rodney is the bossy one, always making the most noise and devising new ways to catch fish, with little effort, yet somehow still managing to eat much of the fish his friend catches.
John is the whale that can launch his huge body right out of the water, as if he wishes he could fly. He seems to derive great pleasure from this somewhat reckless act, and his friend slaps him afterward as if to let him know what he thinks of it.
The two whales appear to bicker constantly, slapping and talking to one another and it is soothing to watch them. Carson and Elizabeth discuss the whales, grins lighting up their faces as they make up commentary for them and compare their imaginary oceanic adventures to those of their namesakes'.
Eventually, the whiskey glasses empty of their warming liquid and the evening's chill drives them inside. Carson keys the mp3 player in the corner of the room, letting the music creep out through the small speakers. The sound is tinny, but the slow, slightly melancholy music is pleasant anyway.
He pulls her close and they dance slowly, a gentle shuffle of two warm bodies swaying to the beat. Elizabeth sighs and leans into his shoulder as his thumb rubs soothing circles into her neck, kneading away the tension there.
She sometimes wonders when this became routine, how it possibly became habit; why this man of medicine and science cares for her, loves her. Then she wakes up in the night and his body is molded around her own, a relaxed arm holding her close even in sleep, and his breathing gently sends her back into a peaceful dream, and she really doesn't care when, why or how.
She only knows this is one habit she doesn't want to break.