Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis, any characters, places, things, or ideas therein. I do not claim said ownership, this fic is for entertainment purposes only, not profit.

Summary: A birthday celebration gives John a different perspective on Elizabeth. Sparky, an insert into fyd818's "Empire" universe.

Rating: K+

Warning: Dancing. . .

Pairings: John/Elizabeth, slight Ronon/Teyla

Spoilers: For fyd818's fic Empire

Part 1/2

Title: Dancing

Author: Mama Jo

Author's Note: In fyd818's fic "Empire," John's reaction to Elizabeth's participation in the birthday party at Abdullah's restaurant is briefly alluded to from Ronon's POV. She has graciously allowed me to recount that part of the scene from John's and Elizabeth's POVs. Many thanks to her, and as always, I hope you all enjoy! -Mama Jo



Mama Jo

John continued to chuckle quietly to himself after Teyla and Elizabeth had left the table in Lapis's wake. Not only had the look of abject horror on the latter's face as she was towed away been priceless; McKay, already turning three different shades of red and squirming and mumbling while throwing quick, frantic glances around the room, provided another source for hilarity. He wondered if the prissy scientist would pop some kind of blood vessel in his face once the dancing actually began. Be a shame if he did: Probably go all hysterical, and ruin the party. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed Ronon shooting quizzical little glances his way. Sheppard just settled himself a little more comfortably, his grin broadening. Given the way he'd been keeping his eyes mostly on Teyla, the big diver's reactions might also be worth watching.

Drums suddenly throbbed, an insistent, ancient beat. A pipe joined in, its nasal bleating calling up happy memories. One after another, the women paced back into the room, lifted arms gracefully mirroring their hips' rhythmical swaying. Sure enough, McKay immediately started making strangled noises, and quickly covered his face with his hands. Laughing inwardly at his discomposure, John started to raise the mouthpiece of his water-pipe for another puff—

–And abruptly forgot how to breathe. He felt his eyes literally pop.

Elizabeth, in a dark red and silver costume that made her skin gleam like ivory, followed Teyla in the line of dancers. The panic hadn't entirely left her face; John could see traces of it lingering around her eyes, and in the tightly held shape of her mouth. But he also saw the intense, almost fierce look of concentration overlaying it as she watched the other woman, and forced her slender body to copy the unfamiliar moves.

Every other dancer – including Teyla – disappeared as far as he was concerned. He couldn't tear his gaze from Elizabeth, twirling now, her dark curls flying. . .

Elizabeth, slowly relaxing into the rhythms of the dance, with a tiny smile growing on her lips as the movements began to come more naturally. . .

Elizabeth, rosy color glowing in her cheeks, green eyes sparkling when they very briefly met his as she whirled past. . .

The beat of the drums pulsed through John along with his blood. The wailing pipes and thin-sounding strings receded to a distant thrumming. Dex. . . McKay. . . Atlantis. . . They were all forgotten as one startling, unexpected truth wove itself into the very fabric of his heart and mind and spirit:

Elizabeth Weir was the embodiment of everything he'd ever sought, consciously or unconsciously, in a woman. And somehow, whether their expedition succeeded or failed, he had to make sure she remained at the center of his life forever.

To Be Continued