Forever Young
by Bil!

Season: One.
Spoilers: None.
Summary: In his eyes, they will never grow old.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: I have a feeling that part of the reason I didn't post this a long time ago (aside from the fact that it's so short it's barely a story) is that it was based on someone else's fic. I have no idea if that is true but if it is, tell me and I'll take this down. No plagiarism is intended (aside from the obvious character filching).

In his eyes, she will never grow old.

"John? How are you today?"

He doesn't open his eyes because he doesn't want to see what he knows he will see, but he smiles. "'Lo, Elizabeth."

He can feel her presence as she enters the room, picture her face with bright, enthusiastic eyes and tangles of dark hair. She will never grow old, never turn wrinkled and grey. She will always be that bright, sparkling woman who smiles at him.

He reaches out his hand and feels her take it, smiling at the touch of her skin as she sits beside him.

"Major Sheppard!" Several pairs of boots tromp into the room.

John grins. "'Sup, Ford?"

"You'll never guess what we found this morning!"

"The Playboy mansion," he says immediately. Elizabeth squeezes his hand so that he yelps and she and Teyla laugh.

"It's a gym," Rodney says bluntly.

"McKay!" Ford whines.

"What? He wasn't going to guess!"

"We'll never know now, will we?"

"He wouldn't have!"

John smiles into the darkness.

"It's more than just a gym," Ford enthuses, deciding to ignore McKay. "It's got a swimming pool and hot tubs and everything."

"Sounds great," John says. "You'll have to show me round."

"Tomorrow," Elizabeth says.

"Aw, Mom..."

She laughs and pats his hand. "Tomorrow."

He doesn't mind, happy to sit here and listen to Ford and McKay bickering like children while Teyla tries to mediate – until it turns into a three-way argument, because she is young despite her wisdom. He is content to sit here with Elizabeth's hand in his and her presence beside him as the voices of his team wash over them.

John pictures them all in his mind's eye, keeping them safe in his mind, their faces carefully caught in the camera of his brain. He wants to keep them this way forever, young and unscarred, bright and bold. Sometimes he thinks that if he can only remember them correctly, every detail of them, then they will be safe. Sometimes he almost feels that just so long as he remembers them without making a mistake he can protect them as if he was really with them when they leave the city.

To John they will be forever young and unlined. In his eyes they will never grow old.

He opens his eyes to the darkness that has been his sight since a Wraith weapon exploded in his face.

To John, they are forever perfect.