Title: Family moment
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Summary: Elizabeth took delight watching her daughter
Character/Pairing: Elizabeth Weir
Prompt Number: #53 Delight
Elizabeth sat at her desk, but it was one of those times when she wasn't working. They happened more frequently since Ely's birth, eight months ago.
She had a hard time realising that her daughter was already eight months old. That she had first been put on her chest eight months ago. It wasn't that a lot of things had happened since then, but she felt like her baby wouldn't be a baby anymore pretty soon. She started to babble incomprehensible words two weeks ago, and would probably soon talk. And now, she was trying to stand up on her own.
Elizabeth took delight watching her daughter, as she hung onto the couch, and tried to stand. She watched in delight as her little legs shook under her weight, not quite ready to support her. She watched in delight as her daughter let go of the couch and stood on her own for a few seconds before falling on her butt.
Elizabeth stood up as she recognized the look on her face. And soon enough, Ely was crying as her mother gathered her in her arms, settling on the floor.
"Shh," she tried to soothe her, rubbing her back. "It's ok, baby, I've got you, I've got you." She rocked back and forth, waiting for her daughter's cries to subside. "Mommy's here, baby, don't cry."
She knew she was under the scrutiny of most of the control room, but she didn't care. She was aware, when she made the choice to keep her daughter with her, in her office, that people were going to watch whenever something was happening. It had taken her time to understand that she couldn't do anything about it, but she wouldn't have changed that. She'd rather have Ely here with her, and have people watch them whenever something was happening, than have her somewhere else in the City.
But she also knew that they would probably soon need to set up a day-care, for two other women were expecting, and some would probably be soon. It seemed like her being pregnant sort of changed things, as if they needed her to set the example. The IOA had taken the news better than what she had expected, but after they told her that they had thought of making their settlement in Atlantis something more permanent, she had understood better.
Things might not be peaceful yet in the Pegasus Galaxy, they might still be fighting the Wraith, and now the Asurans, but Earth wasn't a peaceful planet either, and they still have children, even when at war. She guessed that her unexpected pregnancy had sped things up, but they were going towards this anyway. They considered Atlantis their home now, and having children was only part of the process.
"What happened?" John asked, jolting her from her thoughts. He had come to relieve Elizabeth from their daughter, and found them on the floor, with Ely visibly upset about something.
"Our daughter tried to stand up on her own, but the moment she let go of the couch, she fell on her butt."
"Ouch," he only said, sitting on the floor facing Elizabeth.
"Yeah. Want to go with Daddy?" she asked Ely, handing her to her father.
"Hey, sweetie. Don't be so sad," he said, kissing her chubby cheek. "You're just not ready for this, yet."
"I don't want her to be ready," Elizabeth admitted. "I mean, first this, then she'll talk, and then, next thing we'll know, she'll start dating."
"Hey, wow! Slow down there. We still have a good twenty years for that."
"Yeah, right," she mocked his hopeless wish. "But you understand what I mean right?"
"Yeah… Every day that passes, she's less and less a baby. But it has to be this way. We can't keep her like this forever."
"I know," Elizabeth replied with a smile. "But it doesn't mean that I don't want her to grow up, I just… I haven't seen the time go by."
"Me neither," John reassured her, leaning to kiss her.
She cupped his cheeks with her hands, keeping him against her lips for longer than the quick peck he had intended to give her. Resting their forehead against the other's, they shared a look before redirecting their attention towards their daughter. She was trying to free herself from John's arms, and unconsciously, he tightened his hold on her. He was like Elizabeth and hadn't seen the months go by. He could still remember clearly the first night after she came home, and how they both stayed awake, watching her sleeping between them in their bed. Watching Elizabeth nursing her, being the one to change her diaper; if he had thought that disgusting as he saw others do it, doing it to his daughter was different.
And now, here they were, eight months later, trying to keep their baby girl from growing too quickly. They both knew they couldn't, but they both had to accept it.
Ely was squirming more and more in John's arms, and he decided that the best thing he could do for her, not only now but as long as he was able to, is to help her.
"What do you say we try again, Ely?"
Putting his hands on her waist, he stood her up between him and Elizabeth. Waving her arms as if she was worried she could fall again, Ely gurgled quite happy to see the world from a different height. John could understand the feeling; he remembered his first time piloting a helicopter: being so high in the sky was like finding a new freedom. He knew that Elizabeth had felt the same the first time she had piloted a jumper, he remembered having watched her in delight as she had found out about her new, but temporary, ability. She had confessed once to him that she regretted that the gene therapy hadn't worked on her, but during her pregnancy, everything changed. Ely was carrying the gene and Elizabeth had access to the Ancient technology. One of the first things she had asked him to do was piloting a jumper.
"What are you thinking about John Sheppard?" Elizabeth's voice jolted him from his thoughts. She had a smile on her face as she looked at their daughter, holding her arms out for her to take.
"I just remembered the first time you piloted a jumper. You were so happy, and I was glad that I was partly responsible for the look on your face. Do you miss it? Being able to activate Ancient technology, that is."
"I do. But I'd rather have Ely there. Do you think that she would like to pilot one, one day?"
"With both her parents liking it, I don't see why she wouldn't. You know what I liked about that first time too?" She narrowed her eyes at him, but he continued nonetheless. "That it was another first time for us too," he said, waggling his eyebrows.
"Thank god McKay had been able to write an autopilot program," Elizabeth added, with a naughty smile.
"Yeah, that," John replied, leaning to kiss her. "Think we could do it again? I've been told the boss isn't too difficult to convince."
"Oh really? Then, maybe you should try."
This time, she was the one to lean to kiss him, but Ely's hand ending on her mouth stopped her in the way. They both laughed at their daughter's unconscious move to prevent them from kissing. It wasn't the first time something like that happened, far from it. They both remembered how many times Ely cried just as they were trying to have a moment for themselves.
"Think it's her way to tell us she doesn't want a baby brother or sister?"
"I hope not," Elizabeth replied, and though laughter could still be heard in John's voice, her answer was on a more serious tone. That left John wondering what she meant before she continued. "Not that she has a real say in this, and I guess she's too late protesting."
"Elizabeth…?" He was afraid he hadn't understood her well, but when she started to smile, his own lips stretched into a wide smile. "Really?"
"Yes," she nodded. "I've suspected it for a few days. I went to see Carson before coming in and he confirmed it to me."
"We're going to have another baby." Sitting Ely between them, he cupped Elizabeth's head with a hand and kissed her thoroughly; that others could see them didn't matter to him right now. "We're going to have another baby. Are you ok with that?"
"Yeah. I hadn't expected it to be so soon after Ely's birth, but I'm definitely more than ok with it. And I'll be able to pilot a jumper again…"
"I knew you were just using my body for that," John joked. He put a hand on Elizabeth's stomach, right where their baby was, and her hand covered his. Delight could be seen in their eyes to any outsiders, and both were pretty sure than anybody could guess what they were discussing. "Do you think it's a boy or a girl?"
"I don't know. I don't understand how some women can guess the sex of their baby without mistaking. Do you want to know?"
"No. Let's keep it a secret like we did for Ely. It's much more fun this way. Why didn't you tell me earlier that you thought you were pregnant? And how far along are you?"
"Just three weeks. I wanted to be sure at first. I didn't want to see you disappointed if I was mistaken. But I would have told you anyway," she reassured him, knowing that he was worried that she might have kept it from him. "Well, why don't you take Ely with you? I need to go back to work."
"Come on, why don't you take the rest of the day off and spend it with us?" he all but whined, because grown-up military men didn't whine.
"I'd like to, believe me, but I have to finish reading those reports." She wanted nothing more than do as John said, but being the leader of the expedition didn't mean that she could take days off as she wanted. "You know what? Give me two hours, and then I'm off for the day."
"Good. Then, we'll go picnic on the Mainland, and yes you can pilot the jumper," he added before she could ask.
They got up from the floor, Ely in John's arms, and she kissed them before going back to sit at her desk, as they left her to her work.
Not for the first time, she was glad she was now listening to her body.