Disclaimer: I don't own "Stargate: Atlantis." I am in no way trying to make a profit off this story, I am merely writing it and posting for my and other people's enjoyment.
Synopsis: Christmas for Atlantis's leaders, on the balcony. . . Incredibly fluffy, includes mistletoe. JohnElizabeth
Warnings: Kissin' under the mistletoe. -grin- And lots, and lots, of fluff.
Pairings: John/Elizabeth, mentions Ronon/Teyla
Spoilers: None that I can think of right offhand. . .
Timeline: No particular season – but in this fic the season 3 episodes Sunday and First Strike and the vast majority of season 4 doesn't (and won't) happen – so a little AU, I guess.
Title: A (Slightly) Cliché Christmas
Author's notes: Random fluffy John/Elizabeth fic, because I miss these two terribly and love their general cuteness – and their balcony scenes. I hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading! Merry Christmas!
A (Slightly) Cliché Christmas
Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard decided to take his cue from his just-departed teammates, Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan. He headed across the room and paused next to Atlantis's strong, beautiful leader, Elizabeth Weir, and leaned down to whisper in her ear. "Come with me for a minute?"
Elizabeth looked up at him with surprised green eyes but willingly allowed him to take her hand and lead her from the room. They took the back exit through the kitchen, since John wasn't quite ready to kiss Elizabeth in front of the entire population of Atlantis.
They walked silently down the mostly deserted halls, content just to walk with each other. It was something John liked about Elizabeth – she never felt the need to fill silences, comfortable or otherwise, with unnecessary chit-chat.
If the skeleton crew manning Atlantis's control room found anything unusual about John and Elizabeth wandering through to the balcony this late in the evening on Christmas Eve, they wisely kept their mouths shut about it. Sheppard did feel a few curious gazes on them as they made their way over to the exit onto the balcony, but was happy that no one seemed too terribly suspicious.
The rumor mill would be busy by tomorrow. He didn't really care at the moment, though – let 'em talk.
The moment the ocean breeze touched them, Elizabeth moved across the balcony to lean against the railing and gaze out over the now-familiar and comforting vista of the city below them. John followed at a slightly more sedate pace, ignoring the golden lights of Atlantis to gaze at the way the clear moonlight from above haloed Elizabeth's dark hair and glowed in her clear green eyes.
John finally tore his eyes away from her and gazed out over the city with her. He sighed, just a little, and leaned over to nudge her shoulder with his. "Beautiful, isn't it?"
There was a smile in her voice when Elizabeth responded. "It never ceases to amaze me. There are so many on Earth who are celebrating Christmas Eve right now, going about their normal routines. And they have no idea that there are other worlds out there, that in the Pegasus galaxy friends, family, acquaintances, are spending their Christmas Eves in a beautiful city that they cannot imagine. They are so secure in their routines – and here we are, home in Atlantis, finding out new things every day." She turned her head to face him at last. "I don't think I could ever leave this." She motioned with her hand at the view below them.
John turned his head, surprised to find Elizabeth's face that close to him. He hesitated a moment, swallowing hard to make sure his voice wouldn't shake when he spoke. "I know how you feel. Atlantis is home, and Earth is. . . Well, I shouldn't speak that way, she is the planet I called home for so long, but. . ."
"Atlantis is home. That sums it up well enough." Elizabeth smiled again, seeming to break their eye contact with a little difficulty. "And this Christmas Eve – or any other – there is no place I'd rather be than here."
John felt happy to know that Elizabeth liked it here. He'd always wondered what she hid behind her diplomat's mask, if maybe it was a longing for Earth – if the planet that she'd come from was more of a home than the city she'd agreed to lead. It was nice to find out that she considered Atlantis as much home as he: And, nicer yet, to discover that she had no intentions of leaving any time soon.
Atlantis without Elizabeth would just seem – barren, he thought. He truly hoped he'd never have to know what that felt like.
For a while they were content to stand shoulder-to-shoulder, leaning against the railing in utter lassitude. There were no emergencies to rush off to, nothing important for them to tend to. It was Christmas Eve, they were home, and they were happy to bask in the glow of friendship on their balcony, watching the water and the star-filled horizon.
At last Elizabeth straightened and turned to face him. Surprised, John followed suit, wondering what was wrong. She looked so serious. . .
"I know that we're in another galaxy, and that we're still stubbornly clinging to a few Earth traditions, and that gift-giving perhaps isn't as normal here as it would be on Earth, but. . ." She reached into her pocket and withdrew an envelope. She stared at it for a long moment, then held it out to him. "Here. Merry Christmas."
John blinked. "Elizabeth, you—"
Elizabeth held up a hand firmly. "Don't say you shouldn't have. I wanted to. Besides, I know you probably miss this, being in another galaxy and all." She waved the envelope a little.
John sighed and gave in. He took the envelope from her with a smile and glanced at the front, happy to see his name on something that wasn't an Air Force reprimand or a report headed to Earth. It surprised him that he should feel that way, but it really was nice.
He looked up to smile at Elizabeth again, allowing his eyes to convey assurance to ease the nervous look on her face. John opened the flap and peered inside, curious to see two small rectangular pieces of paper waiting for him.
"What?" He looked up at Elizabeth, gaze questioning.
This time it was her turn to smile reassuringly. "Go on. Look closer."
John pulled out the papers and flipped them over, eyes popping wide when he saw what they were. "Elizabeth—" He nearly choked. "Y-You got me football tickets. . .?" He couldn't believe it. He hadn't been to a football game since he was a little boy. And now he was holding two tickets to one as an adult. And, judging by the little letter and number on it, they were front row seats to a Superbowl game!
Elizabeth ducked her head and turned her eyes away from his shocked gaze. "I can exchange them for another time, if you don't like them. . ."
John reached out and grasped her shoulders, gently forcing her to look at him. "Elizabeth, Elizabeth, these are front row tickets to a Superbowl game. . ."
A shy smile lit her eyes and curled her lips. "Yes. I got two, so you could take whomever you wanted with you."
John let out another choked sound and dragged an astonished Elizabeth into a powerful hug that lifted her off her feet. "'Lizabeth, how did you know? This is – this is – oh wow, this is such a perfect present! Thank you, thank you! How can I ever thank you enough?"
Elizabeth laughed, sounding slightly embarrassed and out-of-breath. "Well, you could let me breathe. . ."
"Oh. Sorry." He set her back on her feet and backed off a little, but still held her by her shoulders. "Elizabeth! Two tickets! Come with me. I know you're gonna be on Earth at that time, same as me, and I know you'd enjoy football more live instead of prerecorded on DVD, and. . ."
Elizabeth held up a hand. "John, you don't have to—"
"I want to!" John insisted. "Elizabeth, come on! Please?" He turned the full force of his kicked-puppy look on her, knowing she could never resist when he did that.
She stared at him for a long moment, then caved. "Okay, fine. Thank you."
John grinned and hugged her again, this time with a little more care not to cut off her oxygen supply. "Thank you, 'Lizabeth."
"You're very welcome. Thank you for inviting me."
John carefully tucked the tickets back in their envelope and put them in his pocket, smoothly withdrawing the little velvet-covered box he'd been carrying around for almost three months. "Here. Merry Christmas."
Elizabeth looked up at him in surprise. "John, you—"
He narrowed his eyes with mock anger. "Oh, come on, are we really going to go through that again?" He joked to try to cover up his nervousness. She never wore much jewelry, and he'd considered not giving her this – would she even like it?
"John – okay." Elizabeth took the blue case from him and ran her fingers over the cover. "If what's inside is anything like the box, I love it already."
I hope you do, Elizabeth. . . John unconsciously held his breath: waiting, hoping, watching.
Elizabeth held the box securely in her left hand and lifted the cover with her right. As soon as her eyes rested on what was inside, her breath rushed out in a breathless: "Oh, John. . ." Her right hand moved from the cover, brushing the necklace nestled against the black velvet.
John breathed again. "You like it?"
Tears swam in her green eyes when she looked up again. "John, this is beautiful."
He didn't have to look to remember it. The moment he'd seen it in the store window, he'd known it was the perfect gift for Elizabeth. "Merry Christmas, 'Lizabeth."
Elizabeth stared at the necklace for another moment, then held out the case toward him. "Put it on me?" she said, sounding shy.
John smiled and took it from her, freeing the silver chain from the slits in the velvet holder. He tucked the case back in his pocket temporarily as Elizabeth turned and lifted her dark hair out of the way.
He undid the small catch and reached over her head to place the charm in front of her. Then he redid the latch in the back and stepped away, watching anxiously as she turned.
The silver chain formed two parallel glittering lines down to the small charm hanging on the end, right above the V the neck of her ubiquitous red shirt made. The small Pegasus's legs were extended in a gallop, its head thrown up and mane flying. Its wings were extended for takeoff, stretching upwards to catch the air and push it away from land. The body, mane, tail, and wings of the horse were made from glittering rubies, Elizabeth's favorite stone, and was enclosed in a delicate silver web that made the scarlet stones even more noticeable.
It looked just like he'd imagined it would on her.
Elizabeth smiled, her hand lifting to touch the charm. "John, thank you so much."
He ducked his head shyly. "I know it's a little cliché – it being a Pegasus and us being in the Pegasus galaxy and all, but I saw it and I just—" He was cut off by Elizabeth grasping his shoulders and standing on tiptoe to press a kiss to his cheek. "I just – uh—" He lost track of what he was saying and stuttered into flustered silence as she lowered back to her regular height and smiled brightly at him.
"Thank you, John. It's the perfect gift – the best I think I have ever received."
That made every rational thought in his mind disappear. "Really?"
The contented peace in her eyes warmed him. "Yes. This is a wonderful Christmas."
John's watch chirped. He looked down, surprised to see all zeroes lining the face. He looked back up to smile at Elizabeth. "Merry Christmas, Elizabeth Weir."
She caught his meaningful look and smiled back. "Merry Christmas, John Sheppard."
John glanced over his shoulder at the technicians in the control room that were studiously ignoring them. Then, deciding that he didn't care anyway, he leaned forward and planted a firm, happy kiss on Elizabeth's lips.
She looked startled, then a slow sparkle started in her eyes. "John, but there's no mistletoe!" She pointed upwards without looking, smiling at him all the while.
John grinned back and leaned in for another kiss. "Eh, who needs mistletoe, anyway? Love's good enough for me."
Elizabeth laughed against his lips as she surrendered to his warm hug and loving kiss as, on the warm ocean breeze, the cry of "Merry Christmas!" floated to them from the open doors of the control room.
It was, indeed, a very merry Christmas.
Okay, so I know everyone's a little OOC and that was really sappy and fluffy, but I hope you liked this little Sparky Christmas fluff anyway. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! I hope you have a safe and Merry Christmas!