Summary: As she heard her doorbell chime, she knew that her plans might be compromised
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: The ninth story in the Sedge's adventures in Atlantis series. But it can also be read as a standalone. I had hoped to have it written sooner, but with uni and other things, it had been longer than I expected. And it also has nothing to do with what I intended to do at first. Hopefully, the next part won't take as long. The title is shamelessly snagged from Glee's original song 'Christmas Eve with You' (with a change, obviously). Written for the Sparky Advent Calendar!
Christmas had come and gone in the Lost City of the Ancients. New Year's Eve had crept up on its inhabitants. No party has been planned by the senior staff, but Elizabeth knew that most of those who weren't on duty tonight would be gathering in the mess hall. John and Elizabeth had been invited to join, but had declined, knowing they would be freer to celebrate if their bosses weren't around.
She didn't know how John planned to spend the evening, with Teyla and Ronon on the mainland for a few days, and Rodney at his sister's on Earth, but for her part, she was looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for once. She was already settled on her bed, Sedge lying at her feet, and a book in her hands. A book that, she hoped, would take her far away from Atlantis and the Pegasus Galaxy.
But as she heard her doorbell chime, she knew that her plans might be compromised. Getting up from the bed, she sighed, hoping that whoever her visitor was, it wouldn't take long. The only thing she knew for sure was that it couldn't be an emergency; they would have radioed her if it was.
She opened her door to find John on the other side. He was holding a heavily loaded tray in his hands, and before she could ask what he was doing there, he handed it over to her, and disappeared. Rolling her eyes at him, even though he couldn't see her, she left the door open and went to set the tray on her thankfully cleared desk. Sedge, having smelled food, jumped off the bed, and sat expectantly beside her owner.
"What is up with him, now, eh Sedge?"
Her dog tilted her head, as if she was wondering the same thing, but Elizabeth knew that she was just waiting her share of the food.
She couldn't ask him what he had planned when he came back, because as soon as he dropped what he was holding on her bed, he was off again. She went to check what he brought, and raised her eyebrow when she saw it was a laptop and a projector, though she wasn't surprised when he came back one last time holding a fold-up projection screen. She palmed the door closed, and turned to him in askance.
"I thought we could have a nice movie night," he just said as a way of explanation. "We can still have a nice evening even though we don't participate in the festivities."
"I was having a nice evening," she countered.
"Reading a book?"
"It's a great book."
"That you've read before," he interpreted her words correctly. "Come on, Elizabeth, just humour me. Let me set everything up and we'll watch something."
"What do you have in mind?"
"That's for me to know, and you to find out," he replied, and she couldn't help but roll her eyes good-naturedly at him.
"And what's all this?" she asked again, gesturing to the tray sitting on her desk.
"Well, it's not movie night if we don't have snacks."
She took a closer look at the tray, and noticed that there was popcorn, different types of candy and of course chocolate.
"You've thought about everything, I see."
"I even though about Sedge," he said, retrieving the bag of dog treats he had in his pocket and handing it to Elizabeth.
"You're spoiling my dog."
"As if you don't."
"I'll have you know that... it's much more difficult to do so, here than it was back on Earth," she had to admit.
They shared a smile, before he returned to his work of setting everything up. Seeing where the projection screen was, she guessed that the only place they could sit on was her bed. She brought the tray over, and set some cushions against the headboard, before sitting down.
"You're all settled, I see," John said, as he turned around when he was finished.
"Just waiting for you."
As she saw him raising an eyebrow in surprise, she realised how it sounded, and blushed. She guessed it could have been worse: she could have said it in a room full of people.
"Well, you'll just have to wait a minute longer. I still have to go get one last thing."
She was thankful that it gave her some time to recover.
Somehow, she wasn't surprised when she saw him returning with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. She got up and took the glasses from him, as he opened the bottle.
"Compliments of General O'Neill," he said, as he poured them each a drink.
"To a year that was full of discoveries."
He returned the toast, and they took a sip before he invited her to sit on the bed. She obliged, and watched as he started the movie before turning off the lights in her room. Curious as to see what he had picked, she concentrated on the screen before her, and didn't look when she felt the other side of the bed dip when he sat down.
"Pride and Prejudice?"
"Should I be worried that you recognized it within the very first second of seeing that woman embroidering?"
She didn't answer. Instead, she turned her head towards him for a second, and narrowed her eyes at him.
As the title appeared on screen, she couldn't help but wonder what prompted him to choose to watch this with her, tonight. She didn't peg him as someone who would watch this genre on his own volition. But as always, he surprised her.
Those thoughts were soon forgotten as the first scene started, and she focused on the characters and the story on screen.
It was well past 2am when the last episode ended, but she was far from feeling tired.
Sometime during the night, her head had come to rest against his shoulder, without her really noticing. But now that it was over, and that her mind was brought back to the present time, she felt self conscious and sat back to her original position.
"Why did you want to watch this?" she asked, unable to stop her curiosity for a second longer.
"I remember you talking about it once."
She was surprised by his answer; she did remember mentioning it a couple of years back, but it was just a comment in passing, and she would have never thought he would remember it.
"Thank you, John."
"Just a question, though. Did I imagine it, or were you actually speaking along with the characters at some points?"
"I may have watched it more times than I care to admit," she replied, fighting the urge to stick her tongue out at him; after all, they were adults.
"You know, we were so caught up in the story, that we missed Midnight by a couple of hours. Happy New Year, Elizabeth," he said softly, and kissed her cheek.
"Happy New Year, John."
She kissed him on the cheek in return, and they smiled at each other.
"Well, I should probably go," he said, before getting up from the bed. "It's late enough, and you must be tired."
"Still, it's late. Just give me a few minutes to gather everything."
She watched him undo the work he did a few hours before, unhooking the laptop from the projector, and closing the projection screen. He left her alone, presumably to put everything either back where he found them, or most probably in his quarters.
When he came back, she was waiting for him by her desk, two glasses full of champagne in her hands.
"It would have been a shame to let it go to waste," she said, handing him one of the glasses.
"I'm sorry if I have disrupted any of your plans for this evening."
"I can always read this book at a later time. I liked spending New Year's Eve with you, John."
"Me too. Maybe next year, we could do it on Earth?"
"If nothing prevents it, I'd like that," she replied, just as Sedge barked from her spot on the bed. "And I think Sedge would like it very much too," she added, giggling.
She was feeling a little light-headed, something she attributed to the champagne in her hand, and when John stepped closer, she didn't immediately notice it. It was only when she had to raise her head to keep looking at his face that she realised how close they were standing to each other.
She noticed his eyes flitting from her eyes to her lips, and her look drifted to his lips, before she looked back up into his eyes. His face inched closer to hers, until she could feel his breath on her skin. Her eyes closed in anticipation to what was to come. Their noses bumped, and she parted her lips slightly, waiting for his touch.
Sedge's bark made them jump away from each other, and she opened her eyes. The moment was gone.
She refused to meet his eyes, and from the corner of her eyes, she saw that he was doing his best to look at anything but her. She opened her mouth to say something, anything, but he beat her to it.
He put his glass down on her desk, and turned away from her. He was almost at the door when she finally found her voice.
"Wait, John!" she said, and he stopped, his hand poised over the sensor, but didn't turn around. "Are we ok?"
"Yeah, we are," he answered in a whisper, before opening the door.
"Goodnight, John," she called, just as the door was closing behind him.
Left alone, she walked to her bed, and lied down beside Sedge, an arm around her dog.
"Happy New Year, Sedge."
A/N: Ok, don't hate Sedge. I have plans for John/Elizabeth, and it didn't include a New Year's kiss, at least not in the latest version of this plan.