Title: Negotiations
Author: Vicky
Category: angst, smut
Summary: Some negotiations are different from those you're used to…
Season/Sequel: season 3
Spoilers: Common Ground (3-07)
Rating: NC-17
Archives: my website, others ask please, I never refuse
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: Well, I totally blame Anuna and her gutter talk post for this one. She gave me a prompt (John and Elizabeth in a cold cell, nobody's hurting them, they'll be traded for something) and I wrote the first part (smut part), and then she wanted more, but my Muse took it and write angst, so what should have been a PWP isn't one anymore.

"Sit down, John," Elizabeth said, as he paced the cell for probably the hundredth time that day. She didn't like being here either, and she didn't think anybody would like it, but she was quickly getting annoyed by John. When he didn't stop and walked before her once more, she snapped. "For fuck's sake, John, sit down!"

He looked at her as if she had grown another head, before doing as said. He knew better than to mess with her when she's in this kind of state, especially if he's the one who put her in this state.

"Sorry," he tried to look sheepish, but she wouldn't buy it, not this time.

"I know that being here is frustrating, in more way than one, but we really don't have a choice."

"I know that! But it's been days, and there's not even a sign of a rescue team! And we still don't know why we're here! And it's cold," he added as an afterthought. Days were fine, but nights were cold, and they had to cuddle together to share their body heat. And he soon wouldn't be able to stand it anymore.

"What do you think will happen to us?"

"I don't know. I guess they don't really want to harm us. They don't seem to want to kill us, we have food three times a day. I guess we could use another blanket, but it's not like we can ask anyone."

"Speaking of that. Here's our meal," Elizabeth pointed to the tray that was being pushed in by an opening at the bottom of the door.

They ate in silence.

When they were done, they put the tray back at the door, and soon enough it was gone. It wasn't the first time they wondered if they were being watched. But they had checked the cell and hadn't found any kind of recording device.

"We should settle for the night," John said as the air around them began to be cooler.

Elizabeth nodded in answer, going to lay on the mattress that was put on the floor in a corner of the cell. John laid down beside her, covering them with the blanket. She turned on her side, and he spooned behind her, draping an arm over her waist.

They lay there in silence, neither feeling much like sleeping, but both trying to convince the other into thinking that they were asleep.

When John woke up the next morning, he barely refrained from groaning. He really didn't understand how it was possible for him to wake up with a hard-on in this cold, though he guessed it had something to do with the woman lying beside him. Closing his eyes, he tried to think about something really disgusting. The moment where Rodney kissed Carson came back to the front of his mind, and the thought was working... right up until the aforementioned woman pressed her ass into his groin.

Elizabeth froze in her stretching movements as she felt John's erection pressed against her ass. Not only hadn't she expected to make contact with him, she had thought he was a bit farther than that, but she hadn't expected to make contact with that.

"Oh, fuck," John let out in a breath.

Biting on her bottom lip, she turned to face him, and his eyes widened at seeing her very awake.

"Elizabeth... I'm sorry, I... I didn't want you to... You know it's..."

Feeling rather bold, she stopped his rambling with a finger on his mouth.

"Is it for me, Colonel?" she asked, mischievously.

She couldn't deny that feeling his erection had awakened some feelings in her. It had been a while for her since she had last been with a man, and even though she knew that it was a regular occurrence for men to have a hard-on on mornings, it didn't help calm down the desire that was building in her.

Taking her finger from his lips, she let her hand trail down his chest, to grab him through his pants. He gasped at the sensation. She couldn't help but smile as his breath became more and more ragged as she stroked him through his pants.


"We both need it now, John," she whispered against his ear. "And even if we don't do it, I'll have to come, one way or another, and so will you." She paused, letting the words sink into him. "So, what do you choose? Do you want to fuck me, or do we both have to use our own hands?"

John choked at this side of her she was showing him. He hadn't expected that from her, and wondered where this was coming from. Was she possessed or something?

"Well, then, your loss," she said, turning away from him.

Knowing that they would both probably regret it in the end, but also knowing that he wanted it, he grabbed her arm and turned her back to face him. Before she could utter a word, he took possession of her lips, his tongue soon begging entrance. She obliged, and he felt her hands pushing his shirt up. They separated only long enough to get rid of both their shirts.

Instead of searching for her lips again, he attacked her neck, biting, nipping and then soothing her delicate skin with his kisses. He could feel her fast heartbeat under his lips, and was proud to be the one to make her react like this.

Pushing the blanket away as it was becoming more of an obstacle than anything, he trailed kisses down her throat. Getting rid of her bra as quickly as possible, he took one nipple in his mouth, while his hand was kneading the other breast.

"Not fair," she managed to say, and before he could even ask what she meant, she curled one leg over his, and pushed him flat on his back.

She kissed him, leaving both of them breathless before sitting up, pushing her groin into his. They gasped at the sensation.

"Elizabeth... I won't last long," he warned her. He knew his own limits, and though he'd rather take his time, he also knew that this wouldn't happen this morning.

Without a word, she unbuckled his pants and pushed them off his legs along with his boxers. Standing up, she let him watch as she did the same with hers. She waited as he took in her naked body, doing the same with his. She licked her lips as she saw him standing at attention.

"Come here," John said, holding out his hands for her.

She took them, and knelt over him. Letting go one of his hands, she took him in her hands, and held him still as she sank down onto him.

Their breaths caught in their throat as they were finally joined intimately. She was tight, and though he badly wanted to, he refused to move until he was sure she was ok. When she opened her eyes and smiled at him, he couldn't help his hips thrusting up.

"Oh god," she groaned.

"Yeah, that," he replied.

She put her free hand on his chest to help balance herself as she rose before sinking down again. Letting go of her hand, he helped her with his hands on her hips, thrusting up to meet with her.

It was anything but slow. They'd do slow another time, if there was another time. Right now, they both needed their release.

Soon enough, John felt Elizabeth's inner muscles contracting, and she was coming with a scream. It triggered his own release. Spent, she fell down his chest, burying her face in his neck. Feeling her shiver, he covered them with the blanket, before wrapping his arms around her.

He was opening his mouth to say something, as he heard the door open. Turning his head towards it, he saw one of the guards who had thrown them there days ago on the threshold.

Elizabeth raised her head to meet his eyes, before sliding off of him. He registered the door being closed, but not locked, and understood that they were giving them some privacy.

They both dressed quickly, facing away from each other.

He caught Elizabeth's hand as she walked past him and towards the door, towards the outside. He knew that they needed to talk now; if they didn't, they never would, and that would hang in the air between them. And since she didn't seem to be willing to, he had to take the first step.

"Look, Elizabeth, you said it, we both needed it. I don't regret it, and I certainly don't want to ignore it. It happened, we can't deny it."

"No, we can't," she admitted in a whisper, before continuing in a more assured voice. "But it can't happen ever again. We both have jobs to do, and this has to stay here."

"Fine with me. Friends?" he said, offering his hand for her to shake.

"Friends," she nodded.

She took his hand, and he used it to pull her towards him. Cupping her face with his other hand, he kissed her.

"But don't think it'll keep me from trying."

He pulled away and walked towards the door before she could say anything. She followed him out of the room, and walked beside him as the guard led them towards the exit.

There stood the leader of the people, the same one who had ordered their capture. Elizabeth put a hand on John's arm as she felt him ready to pounce on him; now that they were free, they didn't need to give him another reason to put them back in that cell. She noticed John's team standing a few feet away, the three of them wearing smiles on their face.

"Why?" she just asked the leader, knowing that her look would convey the rest of her question.

"We needed something from you," he just said.

"You negotiated with them?" she turned her shocked gaze towards Rodney, Ronon and Teyla.

"No, we didn't, you did," Rodney answered them.

"But we...," Elizabeth shook her head, before looking towards John. The look on his face did nothing to reassure her.

"You just did this morning," the leader replied, and realization finally sunk in.

"Oh my god..."

They walked back to the Gate in silence. Neither John nor Elizabeth had spoken since they left the village.

As they stepped into Atlantis gateroom, both left for the infirmary, leaving Rodney, Ronon and Teyla in the gateroom. They were seriously starting to wonder if they should have gotten them out of there sooner, but they hadn't suspected that it would end like this. When the leader had first told them of what their local Seer had seen, they had hoped that it would help their friends. But now, if the same situation were presented to them again, they weren't so sure they would make the same choice.

Looking at each other, they left the gateroom for the infirmary, knowing that some explanations would be needed during the briefing, and none of them really looking forward to that.

Elizabeth sat on the infirmary bed, waiting for Carson to come and check up on her. Her thoughts drifted back to this morning, and what had happened between John and her. She didn't want to think about it, but as much as she tried to, she couldn't put them away. She still couldn't believe that she could have been so bold, and have talked to him like that. Her previous boyfriends could say that she sometimes talked that way to them, but John was anything but her boyfriend. She should have just ignored him, ignored the feeling he had awoken in her, but then, how much time would they have spent in this cell? If she had understood them right, they were freed because they had sex. But she still didn't understand why they needed them to do it, and why their friends had let them too.

"Elizabeth?" Carson said, jolting her from her thoughts. "You ok?"


"Did the negotiations go well? Rodney said neither you nor Colonel Sheppard had much time to come check in yourself because it was taking you all your time.

"He said that?"

"Yeah… Is something wrong, Elizabeth?"

"No, no," she said more quickly than she should have, prompting the doctor's curiosity. "Everything's alright. Though, I have something to ask, but it has to stay between us."

"Of course, it will. I'm your doctor, and unless it's something that could threaten Atlantis, it falls under the doctor-patient privilege," he said, taking a sample of her blood.

"Good. I… I need emergency contraception," she whispered loud enough for him to hear. She watched as shock registered on his face, before his doctor's mask came back on.

"Of course, love." He left her for a minute, and came back with a small box. "Here. You take the first one, and then wait twelve hours before taking the second one. And here are some condoms, just in case you'd need them," he added as he noticed she was ready to protest.


"That would explain the look on Colonel Sheppard's face, then," he mused out loud.

"What do you know?" she asked him, quite afraid of what had already transpired of their time on the planet.

"Nothing, lass," he quickly replied, seeing that he had her worried. "I'm just pretty observant, that's all. You seemed pretty stressed out. I'd suggest that after the briefing, you take the rest of the day off and relax."

"I can't…"

"Yes, you can. And if you don't, I'll be sure to make that a medical decision, ok?"

She nodded, and hopped off the bed, the box safely tucked in her pocket. Thanking Carson with a smile, she walked away, unaware of the worried look he had on his face.

"What happened, Rodney?" he asked his next patient. "I'm quite concerned about Elizabeth, and about Colonel Sheppard too. They don't seem like themselves."

"What do you know?"

"Apparently nothing. You'd tell me if it was something serious."

"Yeah, yeah. But don't worry, I'm pretty sure that you'll find out soon enough."

"Just what do you mean by that?" Carson asked, worried.

"Nothing, nothing. And don't worry about them. They're going to be fine, they just need time."

"If you say so…," the doctor replied, not convinced at all by what Rodney said, but he guessed it didn't hurt to wait. At least he hoped so.

Elizabeth arrived last at the debriefing, feeling all eyes set on her as she sat on her chair. She had put her diplomatic face and no one could see what she was thinking, but she couldn't help but think they might suspect that all wasn't fine.

"So, care to explain?" she asked, turning towards the three members of John's team who seemed to know more than them.

"First, you two should know that we didn't mean you any harm, and neither did they," Rodney started. "But they had to accomplish the vision their Seer had just before we came through the Gate."

"Which was…?" John prompted, hoping that it wasn't what he thought.

"We didn't know anything until you were taken," Teyla continued, knowing that somehow, it would be better received if it came from her. "They only told us what was happening because Ronon was threatening to shoot them." She paused; what was going to come next wasn't the easiest thing to say. "Their Seer said that two leaders would come through the circle, two leaders from whom they would need help. See, their people had this… problem."

"What? They didn't know how to make children?" John asked, earning him a glare from Elizabeth, though he could see that she was blushing. He had at least the grace to look sheepish, before turning back to Teyla, who was giving him a sorry look. "You can't be serious…?"

Elizabeth was as surprised as John, but she could see that Teyla wasn't joking; that had been what they traded for. Groaning, she let her facade fall, and put her face in her hands. These were her friends, and they knew what happened, they wouldn't mind her losing it.

"They didn't know how to make children the old fashioned way," Rodney said, a bit amused by that fact. He quickly sobered at the look both John and Elizabeth were giving him. "Anyway… They have this kind of in vitro fertilization, and I bet that Carson would be interested. Not that we would tell him anything, of course," he added.

"The Seer recognized both of you when he saw you, and told the leader. This is why they captured you, and put you in that cell."

"But, Teyla, how could they be so sure that we would…," Elizabeth trailed off, not really wanting to voice what had happened.

"When they told us everything, the Seer told us that it was written and it couldn't happen any other way. They told us that no harm would be done to either you or us, and that we should rest assured that they would be forever grateful of what you were willing to do for them. They didn't prevent us from going to the Gate and contacting Atlantis."

"Why didn't you ask for a rescue team?" John asked, wanting to know why they just left them there.

Rodney turned towards his two other team-mates, wondering if he should just lie, or tell the truth and risk their wrath. They shrugged, and Teyla turned back towards John and Elizabeth; she should be the one to talk.

"We talked and decided that some time alone wouldn't do you any harm. Since John came back from his time with Kolya, you were giving him the cold shoulder, Elizabeth."

"I agree with her," John said. "It was like I had done something wrong."

"No, you didn't…," she tried to speak, but he interrupted her.

"Every time I tried to speak with you, you brushed me off."

"Now's not the time to talk about that," she said before he could go any further. She didn't feel like having this conversation with other people present; she didn't feel like having this conversation at all.

"Fine," he agreed, understanding her discomfort. "But we'll talk later."

"So that's why you did it?" Elizabeth asked, going back to the previous conversation. "Because we weren't talking, you decided to lock us up in a cold cell, and wait until this vision came true? What if it didn't happen like in the vision? How long would you have waited?" She couldn't even begin to understand their reasoning. "And how could no one in Atlantis worry about the fact that neither I nor John contacted them for days?"

"Well, that would be because…" Rodney mumbled the last part.

"Say again?" John prompted, wanting to know too.

"You were in a time bubble."


"While days have gone by for you, it only lasted a few hours for us. We just stayed overnight, as planned. There was no need for us to contact Atlantis, so we didn't."

"And you intended to tell us that when?"

The three had the grace to look sheepish. They hadn't intended to hurt their friends in any way; they really wanted to help them. But maybe it wasn't their place to do so, maybe they should have just waited for them to go back to what they were before everything happened.

Before any of them could say anything, Elizabeth got up from her seat, and dismissed them with a wave of her hand.

"Go after her," Teyla told John, who was as surprised as the rest of them by that reaction. "I still think you two need to talk. I, we," she corrected herself, "are not sorry about what we have done. What Atlantis needs is the both of you working hand in hand, and you know that as much as we do. Go find her, you know where she is."

John just nodded before standing up and leaving the room. His team-mates were right; they did need to talk, need to work things out between them, if they wanted to continue working together. He should have done something about it before, he knew that, but he had foolishly thought that it would resolve itself with time. He had been wrong, and while he didn't approve of the way his friends tried to help them, he could understand the thought behind it.

As he stepped onto the balcony, he saw her near the railing; without saying a word, he joined her, waiting for her to acknowledge him. By the way she stood, he could see that she was tense, and while usually he would have tried to make her relax, today it was different; he knew that he was partially responsible for her state.

"What do you want?" she finally said after a few minutes of silence.

"We need to talk."

"Not now, John."

"Yes, now, Elizabeth. I don't want this to hang between us anymore." He paused, waiting for her to protest again, but she didn't. He let out a sigh of relief. "You're not responsible for what happened to me. Kolya is."

"I let him…"

"I told you to not negotiate with him," he interrupted her. "We don't negotiate with terrorists, or have you forgotten?"

"Seeing you… dying, and not being able to help you… I don't want to feel that way anymore," she admitted in a whisper. "I didn't want you to die, and yet I couldn't do anything to stop Kolya. I could only watch."

Her voice broke with those last words, and John did the only thing he could. He gathered her in his arms, hoping she wouldn't reject him. And she didn't; her arms wrapped themselves around his waist, and she buried her face in his chest. She wouldn't cry, they both knew that, but she needed the comfort he provided her.

"I'm ok, now."

"But, what if…?"

He interrupted her before she could finish voicing some of her worst thoughts.

"No buts or what ifs. Just think about the present, don't think about what could have been." He paused, before continuing, knowing that he should say the words. "I don't blame you for what happened, Elizabeth, so don't blame yourself. And one day soon, I promise you I'll kill that bastard for what he has done to us these past two years."

She had never believed in using violence, but against a man like this, she knew that it was the only solution. She would never be reassured as long as Kolya was out there, somewhere. She knew that he wanted his revenge on them, and if they didn't kill him first, God only knew what would happen. She nodded against his chest before pulling away from him.

He released her, knowing that it was just a moment of weakness, and it would stay between them.

She didn't like showing her weakness in front of her people, but she knew that John wouldn't judge her. Though, now was no time for that. Now, they had other things to think about.

"About this morning…," she started. She didn't want to think about it, but John was right when he said that they should leave things hanging between them. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that, shouldn't have teased you. It was inappropriate and…" She was interrupted by John putting a finger on her lips.

"It's ok, Elizabeth. Like we already stated, we both needed it. But there's one thing I want to change. To be honest, I'm not fine with it never happening again."

"John… We…"

"We can do it. We can do our jobs and have this," he gestured between them with his hand. "I don't want it to be a one time thing."

She looked down; she understood what he meant. She couldn't deny that there was something between them, something she couldn't define yet, but that didn't mean she was ready to accept it or do something about it. But when she let her mind wander to what happened just a few hours ago, she couldn't help but hope that it would happen again. Not only because it had been months since the last time she had sex, but it had also been with the man she had fantasized about quite a few times over the last two years. Did she want that to happen again? She did, but she also knew that she had to set a rule; she couldn't let herself go, not even with John.

"Ok," she said, raising her eyes to meet his.


"It'll happen again. But just one thing. It's just sex, no strings attached, nothing more. If you agree with this then, my room twenty hundred hours, tonight," she concluded turning her back to him. She left the balcony, leaving him alone to muse about what happened.

He hadn't really expected her to accept, but he had to try. And now, even as she had given him her answer, he had a hard time to believe that she did accept. Of course, she had to add that they wouldn't date, but he wasn't giving up on that.

"I'll change your mind, Elizabeth," he said to the closed door.

He would woo her, seduce her, and she would be the one to change her own rule. Because John Sheppard wasn't ready to give up without a good fight.