Author's Note: Based after '38 minutes' and part of a small series of episode editions I'm doing...'The Steps in John and Elizabeth's relationship'. The first one was posted for October 31st, but this can be read seperately. Enjoy.

Second Step

By Steph7085

It had been a hard day, hell, it had been a nightmare. First having to run for his life to try and escape the Wraith, then getting a damn bug latch onto his neck that tried to do the same thing the Wraith wanted to do in the first place: suck the life out of him. He'd been told he was irresistible before, but he just assumed it was to women, never in his life had he expected to attract life sucking creatures the way he obviously did. Or, maybe it was just trouble, like Doctor Weir said.

He was now stuck in another nightmare which was far worse than anything he had experienced so far in this galaxy; he was stuck in the infirmary and had been threatened with Rodney if he didn't comply with Carson's orders of rest. Carson had chosen needles, but Dr Weir had a much more sadistic mindset than he had first thought…she was an evil, but incredibly smart, evil woman, and unfortunately for him she seemed to know him very well.

Earlier, his team plus Elizabeth had come to visit. It was the first time the realisation that they were his family had struck. He felt closer to his team than anyone else; Teyla was like the sister he'd never had, Carson and McKay the brothers that were there for the purpose of making his life hell - ok, so that was more McKay than Carson - and Ford was…well Ford, the kid brother.

That just left Doctor Weir.

It was funny really, in his head he called her Elizabeth most of the time. She was his saviour, the person who brought him back to life from the abyss that was Antarctica. He admired her, but it was more than that. Elizabeth was everything he wasn't. She was filled with optimism and hope, she had such a great belief in people, a trust, that was sometimes naïve but most times awe inspiring.

When everything had calmed down after their first day in Atlantis, after they were all safe and far away from any Wraith, and when the party was over he had swore to himself that he would protect her, keep her spirit, and everything her, safe and sound from anything that would try and hurt her. He had almost lost that chance.

"A penny for your thoughts," a familiar voice said from his left. As if his thoughts had called her, Doctor Weir stood there holding a tray of food in her hands.

"They're worth a lot more than that," John countered with a tired smile. It had been an exhausting day after all

"Oh well, will a turkey sandwich, chocolate cake and juice do?" She asked, moving forward and placing the tray on a side table next to John's bed.

"It's a start," John told her , sitting up and taking a sip of juice. "So…what brings you back here, anyone would think you miss my company," he joked cheekily causing her to smile softly. She gestured to the chair next to him and he nodded, watching as she took the seat.

"You said you were hungry," she offered with a shrug, "and I just wanted to check up on my chief trouble maker."

"Hmm mmm, can't sleep?" John asked knowingly, meeting her eyes even as he reached for his sandwich. He took a quick bite before he continued. "Thanks for this by the way…my favourite."

Elizabeth smiled properly then, "I can't tell," she joked sarcastically before a frown marred her features. Her eyes met his and John could see the exhaustion, both emotional and physical, that shone from their depths, even though she tried to hide it. "You almost died today," she said neutrally, almost in a whisper.

"But I didn't," John reassured, "I'm just lucky that way."

"Mmm…a lucky trouble magnet, you must be one of a kind, "she murmured, smiling. John huffed out a laugh.

"Yeah well, as long as I'm not a bug magnet I'm fine," John joked. Elizabeth's face fell, paled and she looked to the floor, her hands twisting anxiously. John longed to retrieve the lighter mood the had before but unfortunately, this had to be dealt with. "First time you've seen it first hand?"

Elizabeth shook her head. Surprising him slightly. "No," she explained, "but it's the first time I saw someone die because of my orders."

"But I didn't die," John said simply, his mouth upturning when she met his eyes again. She shook her head, this time at herself.

"I know, I know but…" she shrugged and trailed off, shifting in her seat. After a few moments of silence she eyed him curiously.

"What?" he asked.

"I'm just wondering…"

"Go on," John probed, his face curious.

"What were you really going to say?"

John's draw dropped slightly and he swallowed nervously, covering with a laugh. Denying it was out of the question, after all she had already caught him out, and for some reason she struck him as the 'lie-detector' type, especially when it came to him. She was looking at him , eyes filled with trust and respect, and her eyebrow was raised curiously with a hidden dare for him to lie. He remembered the sadistic streak he'd just discovered, her compassion and generosity and realised if their was one person in this city, hell, on Earth even, that he could trust it would probably be her.

He cleared his throat nervously and told her what she wanted to know.


A/N 2 - I'm leaving what he said open for your imaginations, lol. I know, it's sort of evil, but I'm sure you can all imagine what it was. You're all Sparks and I'm sure you've all thought about it before :)