Author's Note: This is just something that came out of nowhere. Seriously, I opened a blank word doc and then 'boom' hello random story, lol. It's going to be part of an ongoing series, basically the 'stages' and 'progress' of John and Elizabeth's relationship throughout the seasons. This is Post Rising.

First Step

By Steph7085

The party had finally simmered down, everyone finally giving into their bodies demands and turning in for the night. Only a few people were left behind cleaning up the mess; Major John Sheppard and Dr. Elizabeth Weir included. There wasn't much mess, only a few glasses really, but there was no point in leaving it for the next day.

John made a grab for some glasses that were precariously close to falling from Elizabeth's hands and received a grateful smile in return.

"Thanks," she told him, her eyes quickly going over the balcony to double check that everything was cleared away. "It looks like we've got everything. Would you mind helping me carry these down to the galley?"

"Sure," John replied, leading the way through the door that 'swished' open as he neared them. He stopped and blinked slowly. "You know, I don't think I'm ever going to get used to that," he muttered with a shake of his head.

"I'm sure you'll cope," Elizabeth responded in amusement, finally catching up so that they walked side by side.

"It is pretty cool," he conceded with a smirk, glancing at his new boss from the corner of his eye. She was pretty, he noted, and seemed friendly enough, though their was a tension present in her eyes that hadn't been there in Antarctica. "Don't you have people to do this for you…us?"

She glanced at him with a small smile. "Clean up you mean…I was thinking of saving this type of job as punishment," she said seriously, her face completely calm. John almost fell for it, but the twitch in the corner of her mouth was like a splash of cold water. He chuckled and shook his head.

She continued, "Of course we do, but what's the point in leaving it when we are quite capable of cleaning up after ourselves. Do you have a problem with that Major?" She asked teasingly.

"Me? No way, I'm all for the cleaning."

"In that case, I'll tell the staff they can count you in as a volunteer." John's eyebrows rose and his face took on a baffled surprised look.

"Well, I would but my duties as 2IC will probably take up most of my time. I don't think I'm gonna get used to that either…" He trailed off as they arrived at the mess hall and set about cleaning the glasses, finding where they went and putting them away. When they had finished they both grabbed a cup of coffee and sat opposite each other at a table in the mess hall, by mutual agreement.

John stared at the inside of his mug for a few moments before looking up to find Dr. Weir's gaze on him. He couldn't hold her eyes for very long. Elizabeth straightened in her chair and leant forward slightly.

"Major…John," she began, pausing until he met her eyes. "I wouldn't have brought you to Atlantis, or given you your position, if I didn't think you could do it."

John huffed, running his hand through his hair, "And I thought you only wanted me for my gene," he joked. Elizabeth rolled her eyes and smiled softly.

"That too. " She took a sip from her cup. "I won't deny that you wouldn't be here if you didn't have the Ancient gene, but it isn't the gene, or your rank that made me trust you." She smiled at his surprise. "You're a good man Major, your actions today proved that, which is why I wouldn't want anyone else as my 2IC."

John shrugged uncomfortably. "Um…I don't know what to say," he admitted seriously. "I honestly thought I'd screwed things up…again, when we argued…"

"We had a difference of opinion, I'd hardly call that an argument," she told him, idly spinning the mug between her hands before meeting his eyes again. "I don't expect us to agree all of the time, in fact I'd be worried if you agreed with everything I said…I need someone to challenge me, because if I'm honest I'm running blind in this situation, and there are going to be times when my way won't work, as much as I want it to."

"Well, if it helps I think your doing a damn good job so far, disagreement included," he stated with a smirk. "And if it helps I promise I'll do my best to keep my insubordinate half in line."

"See that you do Major," she told him simply, standing up and taking her mug with her. "This is a huge city," she gestured with her free hand and John noticed how her eyes lit up when she mentioned Atlantis. "I certainly wouldn't like to clean it all," she teased with a straight face before she spun around and headed out of the door. John laughed out loud and couldn't keep the smirk from his face.

Today had been a life changing day in more ways than one; a new home far away from where he was used to, new friends, a new job, not to mention life sucking aliens intent on humanities destruction. Normal people would probably want to run away, go back to not knowing what was out in the universe, yet, John couldn't help but feel like this was where he was meant to be.

His eyes strayed to the doors Dr. Weir had just left through…it was going to be interesting that was for sure.