Be Who You Are by AndromedaMarine

It was the middle of the Atlantean night and John Sheppard was standing on the balcony of sanctity. It was the night after Colonel Sumner has been culled and shot. He was hardly enjoying their first week and it was taking most of his air force training to keep his emotions in check.

The major hadn't been hit with the realization of the responsibility he now carried. He leaned against the ancient railings and sighed deeply, closing his eyes; he tried to force the lump in his throat to retreat. He vaguely heard the swish of the door but didn't acknowledge it.

"Major?" Elizabeth's voice was more professional than concerned, but even she felt something missing. "What are you doing out here?"

John breathed out but took a while to answer. "Contemplating what happened earlier. I couldn't sleep and for some reason I feel as though I don't belong here." His head dropped.

Elizabeth crossed her arms and stood next to her second in command. "You wouldn't be here if I didn't think you belonged," she pointed out. "You have the strongest natural gene on the city, Major, and don't forget it. Believe me when I say that you belong here."

John looked at the leader and blinked. "In that case I'm trying to be someone I'm not." He stood up and stretched, his eyes showing the sleep he needed. He started to leave, but Elizabeth placed a hand on his arm. For a moment he simply looked at it, and then he met her eyes.

"Maybe you're trying to be who you are. Don't let something you couldn't stop keep you from what you're supposed to be. If you keep this mindset, you won't be who you should. And I'm pretty sure General O'Neill wouldn't like it if you came through that Stargate at the SGC tomorrow morning. Trust me, Major, you belong." She didn't remove her hand from his arm and he continued to stare into her green eyes, perhaps entranced by their beauty.

"I think if I'm going to be here for a while you should start calling me John." He rested his hand on hers and smiled. "I'll think about what you said...maybe I do belong. But I still don't know if this is me or if I'm still in a dream."

"Sleep on it. Goodnight, John."

"Goodnight, Elizabeth." Needless to say John believed every word she said and now he knew he belonged on Atlantis.

So began the romance between the two leaders.