More Than Friends by AndromedaMarine

They had been friends for five years – and now when she was injured he wasn't there. Of course, she had been in a coma for two weeks so it was entirely possible that he had stayed by her side during that time.

She had just woken up and it was dark – she could tell it was the infirmary purely by the distinctly clean smell that permeated the room. She shifted to get more comfortable and immediately regretted it when her stomach and head protested. She moaned lightly at the pain and located her arms, which were above the bedspread and very cold.

She coughed and a light flickered on in Carson's office. The loving Scot flew out of the tiny room and was immediately by her side. "Oh, thank God, love. How are you feeling?"

"Tired...pain..." she said, surprised at how soft her voice was. "What happened?"

"You were beaten, love. Thankfully Colonel Sheppard wouldn't give up until you were found."

"John did what? Carson, what happened?"

Carson grasped her hand. "You don't remember?" he said softly.

Slowly she shook her head.

"Three weeks ago you were taken hostage during negotiations with a potential ally. For a few days they successfully blocked the gate. Rodney wrote some brilliant program that shut down theirs and Colonel Sheppard did not sleep until he found you and brought you home. Love, you've been in a coma for two weeks. I swear to God I was beginning to wonder if you were going to wake up." He smiled.

"Carson, where's John?"

"Love, I convinced him to get some sleep. He's been spending all his time in here, with you."

She relaxed, realizing that he did care. "What time is it?"

"Two thirty in the morning. Sleep, love. In the morning I promise the colonel will be here." He squeezed her hand and kissed her temple. "Sleep."

--

John Sheppard woke to a crackle in his ear. It took him a few moments to realize it was his radio. He located his arm and hit the annoying little black machine. "Sheppard," he mumbled half into the pillow.

"Colonel, she's awake."

In less than five seconds John was out of the bed and it took him one minute to get into sweats and a wife-beater. He was barefoot but he didn't care - he flew out of his quarters to the infirmary in less than two minutes. His hair was a complete disaster and any traces of sleep deprivation had disappeared when Carson had said those three words. There was absolutely no one in the Lantean halls during the hour which John soared down the corridor, so he didn't have to worry about embarrassment. He slowed when he reached the infirmary door and walked in hastily.

"Carson, where is she? When did she wake up? Is she alright? Carson, talk to me!" John Sheppard was very impatient.

Beckett emerged from a private room and rushed up to John. "John. She is in there," he said, pointing to the room from which he had just come. "She woke at two-thirty this morning, and she's going to be just fine. It's those wounds I'm worried about."

"Can I...?"

Carson simply nodded.

John clapped Carson on the shoulders and padded into her room. He closed the door and faced her. She was pale; a vision of vulnerability compared to her usually composed and strong self. He took a seat next to her sleeping form and found her hand. John grasped the hand and gently rubbed her skin.

Her eyes fluttered open. "John...?" she whispered.

John began to tear up. "I'm here, 'Lizbeth. I'm here."

--

They sat on the balcony of John's quarters, him leaning against the wall with her back against his chest and his arms around her middle. Her head was resting on his shoulder and she looked like she was about to fall asleep. It was two weeks after she had awoken from the coma.

"Tell me what happened, John," she said quietly, finally able to accept the vile truth.

He cleared his throat. "My team, you and Carson were on a planet called Kimos. We were discussing a treaty when everything went wrong. Rebels attacked the small city and took you hostage. They forced us to another planet that we dialed home from. But when we tried going back there Rodney figured out they somehow blocked it and wrote an ingenious program or something to open the gate. It took us four days to find you. By the time we found you they had beaten you with almost everything imaginable." John's breath hitched and he had unshed tears building up behind his eyes. "I would have killed them all if Ronon hadn't first and if you were more than barely alive. We got you to the Jumper and Carson started fixing you."

Elizabeth was aghast at this revelation and she realized that John was crying. She twisted around – if with difficulty – and put a hand on John's cheek. "I'm okay. I'm okay now."

"But then you weren't. I thought I was going to lose you. It drove me insane those seven days you weren't here and we couldn't find you. Just ask Rodney – he knows I was insane. I thought I was going to lose you."

Elizabeth smiled at John, her own eyes starting to well up. "You won't lose me. If anything, I'll lose you." With that she kissed him and lost herself to the warmth, taste and smell of John – her John. "I love you," she whispered.