You Know My Name by AndromedaMarine

"Elizabeth," John said, walking into her office, "I need to talk to you."

"Hello to you too, Colonel," she replied, folding her hands and meeting John's gaze. "So talk."

John shook his head. "Not here. In private, without the glass walls. People can read lips, you know." He crossed his arms expectantly.

Elizabeth sighed. "Alright. Where?"

"South pier."

She inwardly groaned. That was halfway across the city! "Then let's get going. This better not take too long – I have a lot of work to do." Secretly she was grateful for the interruption, since mission reports didn't provide much excitement beyond Rodney's ever-colorful versions.

John didn't have a smile on his face, so she assumed what he had to say was important. He wouldn't have cut time out of his working day if it wasn't. They set off at a hasty pace, led by John. Silence hung heavily between them as they made their way to the transporters. His silence perturbed Elizabeth.

Frustrated with the quiet demeanor she locked the transporter as soon as the door closed, sealing them inside. "What is this, Colonel? You usually talk all the time, and now it's just silence! We need to communicate, Colonel."

John stared at her and simply pressed the destination and walked out of the transporter toward the pier. The hallway was deserted and John could hear Elizabeth's quick footsteps hurrying to catch up with him.

"Colonel Sheppard, please answer me."

They reached the pier and John gestured for Elizabeth to step through, and he closed the door, making them completely alone on the balcony. "You know my name," he said softly, gazing into her brilliant green eyes. "I'm more than a rank; a designation. I'm a person, Elizabeth. I have a name."

"I...I know that," she stuttered, confused at the direction of the conversation.

John shook his head. "No, you don't know. You don't know what it feels like to be called 'Colonel' or just 'Sheppard' all the time. I don't call you 'Dr. Weir' because I know your name, and I intend to use it." He walked away from her, toward the balcony railing. "Other members may call you 'Dr. Weir' simply because they don't want to sound unprofessional. But I've been military commander for over three years, Elizabeth. You know my name."

Elizabeth didn't know what to say. She stood next to him, and crossed her arms against the cold wind. "There are protocols, and people to please," she tried, but earned a harrowing glare from John. "First names are too personal."

"Do you call Rodney 'Dr. McKay'?" he asked very pointedly.

"I...uh..."

"Yes or no?"

"No," she said quietly, her eyes becoming downcast.

"Do you call Radek 'Dr. Zelenka'?"

"No," she repeated.

"What about Ronon, or Teyla? Do you call them Mr. Dex or Ms. Emmagan?"

Elizabeth sighed. "No."

Although his point was made, John continued. "To you, is Carson 'Dr. Beckett'?"

She shook her head, her eyes clouding from the interrogation. "No."

"Exactly. This is a free city, Elizabeth. Atlantis isn't anymore a military base where protocols make all the decisions. We are people, Elizabeth. We have names. I have a name. I'm not Colonel Sheppard to everyone. I'm John Sheppard. You know my name," he repeated. "If first names are too personal, why do you call Rodney, Radek, Ronon, Teyla, and Carson by their first names?" He turned his body to completely face her. "Who is there to please, if you are on first-name basis with much of the expedition? What protocol forbids you from using my first name?" His voice steadily became quieter, until Elizabeth was straining to hear his words.

"I don't know," she said after she searched his eyes for a deeper meaning.

"I think I do," he said softly, coming closer to her. He'd read her nervousness and worry when it came to him.

Elizabeth's eyes glanced from his eyes to his mouth, wondering which to watch. "Colonel..."

His eyes grew hard and his mouth formed a tight line. "You know my name," he said.

"John." From Elizabeth his name sounded elegant; smoothly flowing from her lips. "This...we...I don't know how to act when...you're around. With you it's...difficult, to understand what I'm...feeling." She stepped away from him, not trusting herself that close to his body. "It's not allowed," she whispered shakily when he stepped closer again, his eyes trained on hers.

"Protocols don't apply in Pegasus, Elizabeth," he said in a whisper. "Nothing forbids it." He reached out and placed a hand on her cheek. She leaned into his touch, closing her eyes as she brought her hands up to grasp his wrist, anchoring him in place.

"I want to believe you," she whispered, her body aching to be near his. "But I have a responsibility that I can't abandon..."

"So do I," he replied just as quietly, placing his other hand on her waist, wanting to draw her against him. "But nothing should keep you from having desires, Elizabeth. We all need to feel complete. My heart's only half-full right now – I need the other half."

"John," she pleaded, "I can't...it's too risky; the IOA could find out and remove one or both of us..."

"A risk I'm willing to take," he rebuked, tightening his hold on her waist.

She searched his eyes for a minute. "How long?" she implored. "How long? Why now?"

"Since day one, on a big, icy continent. I was afraid, but I can't wait for a perfect moment. We need this; please don't deny it..."

"I'm not, John. But if this is going to continue, we have to be discreet. No one can know yet. I know your name, John, but I don't know your heart."

Slowly his head descended and their lips met in a heated kiss. "No turning back," he breathed. His hand moved to the small of her back and suddenly they were pulled together.

"I do love you," she replied, resting her forehead on his chest. She'd answered his statement of love for her from a month ago.