Sitting heavily on the couch, she smiled gratefully at her mother as she walked towards her with a glass of water. She took it, and gestured for her to sit beside her.
"You ok?" Susan asked, and Elizabeth could hear her worry in her voice.
"Yeah, I'm perfectly fine. I'm just a bit tired. I had 24 hours of meetings over the past three days, and though I was ready for them..." She trailed off, knowing that her mother understood her.
"At least you can rest for the next few days. How long can you stay?"
"I have to take the plane back in three days. Until then, I'm all yours. And all yours, too," she added, chuckling as Sedge barked her approval.
"How's work going?" she asked, before quickly adding. "I know you can't give me any details, but you can at least tell me if everything's alright."
"Everything's fine, Mom. We have a lot of work, but I'm used to it."
"And how is John?" Susan asked, raising an eyebrow.
"He's fine. He told me to say hi to both you and Sedge."
"It's too bad he couldn't come with you."
"I know, I know." She paused, then clapped her hands together and stood up suddenly, startling Elizabeth. "I thought I could make some of your favourite dishes for dinner. Do you want anything in particular?"
"It's okay, Mom. Don't bother. Actually, let me cook," she added as an afterthought. At her mother's raised eyebrow, she rolled her eyes. "It's not because I lived mostly on take-outs and Simon's cooking that I can't cook."
"I know that. And if you want to, I'll let you cook tomorrow. But for tonight, just rest, or better, take Sedge out," she said, as she watched the dog pace before the front door.
Sending a mock-glare to her mother, she walked towards her dog, and grabbing the leash and her jacket, she opened the door. She followed Sedge outside, calling her to fasten the leash on her collar. Not caring where they would go, she let the dog take the lead.
Elizabeth was glad when they finally arrived at the park, and she unleashed Sedge, before going to sit on a nearby bench, breathing heavily. The dizziness was back. Cursing herself and her body for not being able to go on with little rest as she had been used to since her doctorate, she quickly surveyed the area to be sure that no one she knew was around. If word that she had been seen like this came back to her mother, she knew she would fuss around her for the duration of her stay.
Expecting to see Sedge running as fast as she could around the trees before her, Elizabeth was surprised to see her sitting at her feet. Patting the dog's head in reassurance, she gestured for her to go, but was once more surprised when she just jumped on the bench, and laid down beside her, her head resting on her lap.
"You've been staying with Mom for too long," Elizabeth said with a smile on her face, stroking her. "You're beginning to act just like her." She paused, taking a deep breath. She was feeling better, the dizziness had left, but she wasn't willing to move just yet. "Let's just stay here for a while, and then we'll go home."
Elizabeth rested her back against the bench, and closed her eyes, confident that Sedge would warn her if anyone approached her. She breathed in the late September air, still warm from the last days of summer, but with that bit of cool from the autumn just waiting around the corner. The last time she had been there, on this very same bench, had been the day Richard Woolsey had called her back to Atlantis. It had been the middle of spring, and she just now realised that she had nearly missed the entire summer. It wasn't the first season she had missed, but it meant that she went back home, with her friends, the people she considered her family. If someone had told her that a year ago, she wouldn't have believed them.
The next day, a new wave of dizziness caught her as she was moving about the living-room, intending to give her mother a hand with the cleaning.
Susan noticed her sway on her feet, and caught her elbow to coax her onto the couch. She left her there, and went to grab a glass of water in the kitchen. Handing it to Elizabeth, she watched with concern as she took a sip, and then another before reaching to put the glass on the end table.
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm fine, don't worry. I just felt a bit dizzy, nothing else."
"How long has it been going on?"
"Around three weeks," she admitted, knowing that her mother would pester her until she had an answer. "But it's nothing really. I just haven't rested properly, but I promise you I'll take better care of myself from now on."
"That you'll do. And you'll start by going to see a doctor."
"Mom, I'm ok. I don't need to see a doctor, I need rest."
"What if it's something else?" Susan asked, and Elizabeth could hear the worry in her voice.
"Fine. If that can reassure you, I'll go see a doctor."
"Good. I'm going to call Simon and see if he can squeeze you in today."
"Simon?" Elizabeth repeated, surprised. "He's still your doctor?"
"Just because you aren't together anymore that doesn't mean he can't still have me as a patient."
"That's not what I meant, Mom. But... Can't I go see someone else?" she all but whined.
"Who knows how long you'll have to wait to see another doctor. At least, Simon knows that if you want to see him, it must be serious."
Elizabeth had to concede her that; she certainly didn't go see a doctor until absolute necessity, and Simon would remember that. Nodding her approval, she watched as her mother got up from the couch and grabbed the phone, before leaving the room. Though she couldn't make out the words, she heard her talk to who she was assumed was either Simon or a secretary. Sedge jumped on the couch, and settled against her. Elizabeth had to smile at that, though she felt sorry to worry both her mother and her dog, just because she wasn't getting enough rest.
"Well, he'll see you in the late afternoon, after his last patient."
"Now, go and rest in your room for a while, and I'll finish here and prepare lunch."
Elizabeth wanted to argue, but she knew that it would be in vain, as her mother always had the last word. Instead, she just got up and gestured for Sedge to follow her out of the room.
Settling on the bed, she thought about the meetings of the last few days. They had gone well, and even better than she had expected. She had even been surprised when Woolsey started to talk about the Genii. Elizabeth happily provided all the information they needed, and at their request gave her advice about the alliance. The committee had been divided, and hadn't been able to reach a decision, but for the first time since she talked to General Watters, she felt confident.
Grabbing her laptop from the bedside table, she thought about working for a second, but then decided against it, and instead started a new game of solitaire. And maybe later, she could talk her mother into a chess game.
Elizabeth and Susan had been sitting in Simon's office for a few minutes, when the doctor finally came in. He greeted Susan first, before turning towards Elizabeth.
"It's good to see you, Elizabeth. You look great."
"Thank you. It's good to see you too."
"So, what brings you there? Susan told me on the phone that you have been feeling dizzy lately?"
"Yeah. But it's nothing really. I worked a lot these past few weeks, and haven't been getting enough sleep."
"That might be the explanation, indeed. But let's take a sample of your blood, just to be sure. Given the hour, we'll have the results soon," he said, as he was already taking her blood. "Come on, say it, I know you're dying to."
"Vampire," she replied with a smile.
"I'm going to get that to the lab myself," Simon told them, placing a band aid on Elizabeth's arm. "Wait for me here, I'll be right back."
"See?" Elizabeth turned towards her mother the second the doctor left. "Simon thinks it's nothing more than tiredness too."
"He said, it might be that. And we'll soon know if you're right."
"I don't see what else it can be. I'm perfectly fine. My last physicals have come clean of everything."
"Let's hope your usual doctor is right," Simon said, having heard her last line as he was opening the door.
"Doctor Keller might be young, but she's more than competent, otherwise, she wouldn't work there."
"I don't doubt it. But I thought your doctor was a Beckett," he said, remembering having heard of the name when Elizabeth had wanted him to come back with her to Atlantis.
"He was," she replied, her eyes clouded with sadness. "He was... He died two years ago."
"I'm sorry." He paused, not sure that he should say something else on the subject. "So, how long are you staying?"
"I came back for meetings, and I have a few days off until I have to go back."
Silence fell upon the three of them. Susan could see that Elizabeth wasn't that comfortable to be around Simon and she felt some guilt at having talked her into coming to see him. She knew what had happened between them, and while she had been angry at the doctor first, she finally understood his reasons; they had gone for months without a word from Elizabeth, without knowing when she would come back, and it had been a difficult time for all of them. He had waited for her at first, until they received her message where she told him to not wait for her anymore. But he hurt Elizabeth when he didn't tell her about the other woman in his life, and for that, Susan had been angry.
Clearing her throat, she decided that she should start a conversation, because if they were going to wait in silence for the results, it was going to be a long hour.
"If it's not Elizabeth's tiredness that's causing her dizziness, what else can it be?"
"There are a lot of causes for dizziness, Susan. It's probably one of the more common symptoms. It can be caused by hypotension, hypertension, the flu, dehydration, an ear infection, and even a caffeine overdose. And it might be just that now that I think about it," he said, looking at Elizabeth who smiled. "The cause may be benign or serious. We won't know until I have at least the first results. Just to be sure, you have no other symptoms?"
"No. None that I can think of," Elizabeth said, trying to remember if something had felt different for the last few weeks. She wasn't feeling too concerned, though; like she said her physicals would have revealed something if it was serious. "Mom has hypertension. Do you think that it might be that?"
"It's possible. In some cases, the hypertension can be hereditary. Let's take your blood pressure now. If it's normal, we'll be able to forget both the hypotension and the hypertension." Taking his stethoscope, he retrieved his manometer, and put it around Elizabeth's arm. "112/64. That's perfectly normal."
"Ok... So, what now?"
"We wait for the results. It shouldn't be long now."
And indeed, a few minutes later, a nurse came in with a sheet of paper. Simon took it and read it in silence, before looking up towards Elizabeth. His face was unreadable, and Elizabeth was getting worried. Susan was wondering too why he didn't say anything, but just look at the paper once more.
"Simon?" Elizabeth finally asked, tired of waiting for him to speak.
"Oh, Elizabeth, that's..." Susan started, before her daughter interrupted her.
"That's not possible. I can't be pregnant. That's just... Simon!" she exclaimed, starting to get slightly angry.
"I know, I know. But a blood test can't be wrong, Elizabeth. You're definitely pregnant."
"Not only it isn't possible, but the last time I had sex was over three months ago! I had all my periods, I didn't have morning sickness or any other symptoms, and look at me! I don't even look pregnant."
"Elizabeth, calm down, it's alright..."
"No, it's not, Mom. You don't understand. I can't be pregnant."
"Why can't you be?"
Surprised by her mother's question, Elizabeth looked towards Simon, who nodded at her in reassurance.
"When Simon and I were together, I caught an infection. It was quite serious, and it made me sterile. I can't have children, Mom."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I just never wanted to worry you about this."
"You should have told me, anyway," Susan replied, taking Elizabeth's hand in hers. "So what happened? If you're sure she's pregnant..."
"I don't know...," Simon answered, shaking his head. He had been surprised by the results too, but they couldn't be wrong.
"I think I do." She waited until she had their attention to continue. "I can't tell you much, but when I was injured, it was serious. I nearly died. I only owed my life to John, and a device he activated to heal me. I guess that without knowing, he healed that part of me too."
"I see. Now, about the fact that you don't look, and don't feel pregnant, I have an explanation. I think you had what we call a denial of pregnancy. From what you knew, you just couldn't be pregnant, so your body just hid all the usual signs. Now that you know, you'll see the changes pretty soon." He paused, waiting for Elizabeth to register what he had just said. "If you want, I can tell you when you're due," he said, calling the program he would need on his computer. At her nod, he continued. "Then I'll need the date of start of your last period."
"What about the conception date?"
"That would work too, if you're sure of it."
"That's the one and only time I had sex in the last three years. So believe me, I'm sure of..." She stopped, suddenly remembering her mother was in the room, and blushed. "June 11th," she just said, looking at her hands.
Susan said nothing, but just smiled as Simon entered the date in the program. She knew she would be able to talk to her daughter more freely once they were home.
"Your due date is March 4th. Now, do you want me to make an appointment with one of the Ob/Gyn I know?"
"No, it's ok. I'm going to wait until I'm back to work."
"Whatever you want. I guess congratulations are in order."
"I guess, yeah..."
Elizabeth was still feeling unsure of what had just happened to her, what she had just learned. She was pregnant, with John's child, after just a night spent with him. And in just a few days, she would have to tell him.
Elizabeth was standing in front of the mirror in her room, trying to see if there was any change on her body yet, when there was a knock on her door.
"Come in, Mom."
She had been expecting her. She was actually surprised when her mother talked about a completely different subject during dinner, but she knew she would soon come and find her. Susan had questions that she needed to answer, and some answers were long overdue.
"You know, I feel a bit hurt that you didn't tell me about your sterility."
"I know, and I'm sorry, Mom. It happened just a few weeks before Timmy was born. I didn't want to ruin the mood, and to be honest, I didn't want to talk about it. You know, before that infection, I hadn't really thought about having children. But after..." A tear fell down her cheek, and she wiped it away quickly. "This baby is just a miracle," she added in a breath.
"Well, you have to promise me and that you and John will come back as often as you can so I can see my grandchild. And don't try to deny that this baby is John's. I know you."
"We're not even in a relationship..."
"Do you want to?"
"He wants to."
"But what do you want?"
Elizabeth let out a sigh. She had given it more than a few thoughts during the last few weeks as she and John had grown closer. And she always came to the same conclusion.
"I want that too. But what if it doesn't work?" she voiced the thought that always kept her from going to talk to John. "Now we're not alone anymore, there's this baby too."
"I wouldn't worry about that. Now, what about I take you shopping tomorrow? You'll need maternity clothes, and a few others things. Oh, and you should probably call your brother."
"Do I have to? I'd rather not tell anyone else until I talked to John."
"Ok, then. I'll give him the news once you've left, if you'd rather."
"Thank you, Mom," Elizabeth replied, hugging her. "Would you tell me what to expect from now on?"
"Where would the fun be if I did?" She paused, gave a smile to her daughter, and resumed talking. "But since we won't see each other a lot during the rest of your pregnancy, if at all, let me tell you about the times I was pregnant with you and Mike."
Elizabeth nodded, and sat more comfortably on the bed, her back resting on the headboard as her mother started to talk. Without her really noticing it at first, her hand came to rest on her still flat belly and started to rub it.
She had been back on Atlantis for less than an hour when she found herself before the door to John's quarters. She was feeling nervous as to what was going to happen. Knowing that the longer she was waiting, the harder it would be, she waved her hand before the control panel.
"Hey!" John greeted her as he opened the door. "I thought you'd be back later, otherwise I would have been in the control room."
"It's alright. Can I come in?" she asked, as he hadn't moved from the threshold, yet.
"Of course, yes, please do." He stepped aside to let her enter, and hugged her as soon as the door was closed. "Missed you."
"Missed you too," she said, returning the hug and hoping that he wouldn't feel the small bulge that popped out the morning after she had learned that she was pregnant. "Did anything interesting happen when I wasn't here?"
"Not really," he started, and then paused to think. "Actually, yes, something did happen. McKay has finally found out that we have a video of him with that arrow in his ass," he said with a big grin.
"How did he find out?"
"Zelenka threatened to use it against him. I can't blame him; McKay was getting really annoying since he learned that Carter, who was supposed to come, had to cancel."
"Yes, I saw her at the SGC just before I left. She was looking forward to coming back, but she had been called into DC for a meeting."
"Did anything interesting happen while you were on Earth?" he asked, returning her question, before adding quickly. "And how's your mother?"
"She's fine. She hopes you'll be able to come along next time I'm going to see her."
"I'll try to."
"Something did happen," she said, answering his first question. "Can we sit down?" she asked, gesturing for the bed.
"What is it, Elizabeth? You're getting me worried there," he said, sitting down beside her. "Are you alright?"
"Yes, yes, I'm fine. I'm..." She bit her lower lip, wondering how she could possibly tell him. "I've been feeling dizzy these past few weeks, but I thought it was just because I was tired."
"But it wasn't just that..." John finished for her. "Is it serious?"
"No... Well, I guess in a way, it can be, but..." She paused once more, released a sigh, and decided to finally bite the bullet. "I'm pregnant."
"I'm pregnant," she repeated, though she knew he heard it the first time, and just needed time for it to sink in; she knew she did. "It's yours. My doctor thinks I had a denial of pregnancy, which is why I didn't get all the usual signs." She had felt the need to explain what had happened, as she didn't want him to think that she had been hiding it from him. "John, are you ok?" she asked, when he stayed silent for more than a minute.
Without saying a word to her, he stood up from the bed, and left his room.
Elizabeth was stunned by his reaction; she hadn't expected that. She knew he would be surprised, but she didn't think he would walk out on her without a word. She suddenly felt out of place being in John's quarters while he wasn't there. Rising quickly to her feet, she left the room too, walking quickly towards the uninhabited parts of the City.
Sitting down on the floor in one of the corridors, she drew her knees up to her chest, and rested her forehead against them. She couldn't help thinking about what had just happened, and what it meant. While one part of her tried to reason that John had just been surprised, and that she should have waited for him in his quarters, a second part kept telling her that it just showed that despite what he had told her, John had never really wanted a relationship with her and had got what he wanted when she slept with him. And for the moment, despite thinking that she might be overreacting, the latter was winning.
She didn't know how long she had been sitting there, when she heard footsteps coming her way. She didn't have time to stand up before they turned the corner and spotted her. Elizabeth let out an audible sigh when she realized that it was Rodney.
"Elizabeth? You ok?" he asked.
"Yeah. What are you doing here?"
"I saw a life sign on this part of the City, and given the hour, I wanted to check it out," he explained, sitting beside her. "What are you doing here?"
"I just needed to get away for a while."
"You just came back today, and you already want to get away from us?" he replied, teasing her.
Letting out a chuckle, she realized once more how much Rodney had changed since she had first met him. The Rodney she first met wouldn't have cared that much about others, and probably wouldn't have tried to make her feel better. Resting her head against his shoulder, she closed her eyes. Since she had come back, she had spent more time with John, and she now felt like she had been neglecting her other friends somehow.
"You know, when I was sent back to Earth, your book helped me a lot. So, thank you."
"You don't have to thank me."
"I mean it, Rodney. Your book about me really touched me. I didn't know you were thinking like that about me."
"I do. You're a great leader, Elizabeth, and I wish that one day the IOA will understand that you're the only leader that Atlantis needs."
"Maybe you should send them your book."
"Maybe," he joked along with her.
She hugged him sideways. It was a bit awkward, but she needed it. As he let her go, his right hand brushed against her belly, and his eyes widened.
"Yeah, I know. I'm pregnant," she just told him.
"Wow, that's... Wow! Congratulations, Elizabeth!" he replied, hugging her once more. "Does Sheppard know?" he asked, and felt her tense in his arms. "What did he do?"
"Nothing. And that's the problem, I guess. I told him that I was pregnant and he said nothing, and did nothing else but leave his own quarters." She paused and felt Rodney's arms tighten around her. "I didn't even know I was pregnant until a few days ago..."
"I'm going to talk to Sheppard...," he started, already standing up but Elizabeth held him back.
"Don't. I think he needs time, and I need time, too. Can we just stay here for a little while?"
"Of course," he answered, letting her settle back against him. "Tell me, how far along are you?"
"A little more than three months. I'm due on March 4th. You're actually the first to know about it, besides my Mom."
"I'm feeling honoured by that."
"You should," she replied, looking up at him from where her head was still resting on his shoulder.
"Oh! Can I test you for the ATA gene?"
"I don't have the gene," she reminded him, wondering how he could have forgotten that.
"I know you don't. But this baby is Sheppard's, and Sheppard has a strong gene. I'd just like to know if he passed the gene onto the baby."
"You won't be using my baby for your experiment," she warned him in a sharp voice.
"I won't, I won't," he promised her. "I just want to see if you can use the gene while you're expecting this baby."
"Do you think that's possible?" she asked, and he nodded in answer. "Ok, then. We'll do it," she agreed, settling back against him.
"Promise me one thing, though," Rodney said, after a few moments of silence.
"What is it?"
"Don't name this baby Meredith."
"I promise," she said, chuckling.
"Oh, and don't make me babysit. I'll do whatever you want, as long as I don't have to babysit."
Elizabeth couldn't help but laugh this time. Rodney's aversion to children was well-known amongst Atlantis' inhabitants. Everyone knew that there was only one child that he could stand: his niece, Madison.
"You won't have to babysit if you don't want to. Don't worry."
"Though I wouldn't let John know that you'd do anything as long as you don't babysit, if I were you. He'd use it against you."
After having spent a long moment in the empty hallway, Rodney and Elizabeth walked back towards the residential area of the City. As they rounded one last corner, they spotted John waiting in front of Elizabeth's quarters. He turned and saw them too, but didn't move.
"Do you want me to talk to him?" Rodney asked, ready to tell his friend to leave if Elizabeth needed him too.
"No, it's ok. I can handle this. Thank you for lending me an ear when I needed it."
He left, but not without squeezing her hand one last time, and giving John a look first.
As she watched him, she was finally able to put a word to what he represented to her. He was more than just a friend; he was like a brother to her, and he had proved it by being there for her. He had sought her out, even if he didn't know that she needed someone, just like a brother would do. She knew that if she were to tell Mike that, he wouldn't understand at first how someone she didn't know five years before could be like another brother to her.
Pushing these thoughts out of her mind for the moment, she turned back to look towards John who still hadn't moved from his spot by her door. His gaze locked on hers as she made her way towards him, and opened her door. She entered her quarters first, without a word, and he followed her in.
"I think we... I need to talk about earlier." He paused, licking his lips, then continued. "I wasn't expecting this."
"Me neither, John."
"I can't do this...," he started, and Elizabeth interrupted him.
"I see," she said sharply. "It's ok. Look, I haven't told you because I wanted anything from you, but because I'll very soon not be able to hide it anymore. I can take care of this baby by myself," she paused, taking a deep breath to keep the tears at bay. "I understand that you've got what you wanted from me and don't want to deal with the consequences. Leave now, I need to be alone," she said, going to stand in front of the large windows.
"I said: get out," she repeated on a harder tone.
The tears were threatening to fall, but she let them roll freely on her cheeks only after she heard the door close behind him. Placing her hands protectively on her belly, she looked down.
"It's just you and me, now, baby. But we're going to make this work. We have to."
The next morning found John wandering in the hallways. He hadn't slept the night before; he kept thinking about Elizabeth, and the baby she was carrying.
His feet brought him before Rodney's lab, and he entered, knowing that the scientist would probably be alone. He wanted to know what he and Elizabeth had been talking about the previous day, but he was sure that the scientist wouldn't tell him.
"If you hurt her, Sheppard...," Rodney left the threat open, but John knew that he was serious. Rodney waited for a comeback from John, but when he didn't, he sighed, and looked up at him. "What did you do?"
"I told her that I couldn't do it."
"What? Have a baby with her? Well, news flash, it's already in the making."
"You don't understand, McKay."
"Well, why don't you try to explain it to me, then?"
"I didn't really have a good role model growing up."
"You think I did?" Rodney snorted. "God, Sheppard. Elizabeth loves you and you love her, so I don't see why you couldn't do it. And don't you think that maybe this child is your chance to not repeat your father's mistakes? I'm sure Elizabeth told you all this," he started, but then he saw John's face. "You didn't tell her."
"She didn't let me..."
"You should have made her listen. But no, you have given up. Go see her now. She's in the infirmary. Go."
"The infirmary? Is she...?"
"She just wanted to see Keller to inform her."
John nodded, and turned to leave. But as he made it to the door, McKay's voice stopped him.
"I was serious earlier, Sheppard. You better not hurt her. I love her, not the same way you do, but..."
"I know. And I knew you were serious."
He left the lab, and walked towards the closest transporter.
As he entered the infirmary, he spotted Keller disappearing behind a curtain. Not seeing anyone else around, he guessed that if Elizabeth was still there, she should be behind that curtain, and he followed Keller's steps. He heard Elizabeth's voice coming from behind the curtain, and was ready to let them know he was there, when he heard a sound that he couldn't identify at first. As he listened, he finally recognized it, and his breath caught in his throat. He listened as Keller and Elizabeth started to talk, but as he heard footsteps coming, he quickly left.
Rodney was looking at an Ancient artefact one of the teams had found in the ruins of a Temple, when John entered his lab.
"What are you doing here? I thought you agreed to go talk to Elizabeth?"
"I did. I went to the infirmary, and she was still with Keller." He paused, releasing the breath he didn't know he had been holding, and sat down. "I think I heard the baby's heartbeat. It was strong, and fast-paced, and... This is real."
"Do you know what you want to do, now?"
"Great. Well, now that you're here, could you try making this work?" McKay asked, handing the artefact over to John.
"I thought I had to go talk to Elizabeth."
"Yes, you have to, but first, make this work. I have no idea what this is, so it's time to find out."
"Do you really think it's safe?" John asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Since when are you concerned?"
"Since I'm going to be somebody's dad," John retorted, without really thinking about it. "Wow! I'm really going to be a dad."
"Yes, you are," Rodney replied, a small smile on his lips.
"And if I were you, I'd be concerned too," he continued, getting back to their previous conversation. "I think Elizabeth would be pretty upset if something happened to me."
"Yeah, maybe. Now, that you've expressed your concerns, would you mind turning this on?"
John rolled his eyes at his friend, but did as he was asked. When nothing exploded, he decided that he was safe for the time being.
Elizabeth was sitting on her bed, reading one of the books she had brought back from Earth, when the door chimed.
As she went to open the door, she realized that with the t-shirt she had changed into, she was showing, but that she didn't really care. But after the door had opened, and she found herself facing John, who had spotted her belly and was looking intently at it, she started feeling a bit self-conscious.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, visibly jolting him from his thoughts.
"I... Can I talk you?" he asked, licking his lips.
She didn't answer but just stepped aside to let him in. He entered the room, and turned around to face her. Her face was unreadable, as if she was hiding it behind a mask. He understood that he hurt her the day before by his reaction, but he hoped that he hadn't messed it up completely.
"You didn't let me explain yesterday why I told you that I couldn't do this."
"I don't need you to explain...," she interrupted him.
"No, listen to me. I didn't have the perfect childhood. Oh, it's not that I didn't get whatever I asked for, it was quite the contrary. But my father was always working, his job was his first priority and my mom, brother and I came second. If not third sometimes. I don't know how to be a father, Elizabeth, and I certainly don't want to make the same mistakes mine did. But McKay told me that I could give this baby what I didn't get. And I realised that by walking away from you and the baby, our baby, I would do the same thing my father had done."
"What are you saying, John?"
"I came to find you earlier," he continued, ignoring her question for the moment. "McKay told me you were in the infirmary to talk to Keller, and I went there. You were still with her, and... I heard a sound. This was the baby's heart, right?" he asked, already sure that it was, and Elizabeth nodded, tears in her eyes. "That made it real. Listening to the heartbeat made it all real, and I can't walk away from this. I want to do this. I want to be the father of this child."
"You already are," she replied, as a tear made its way down her cheek. "Are you sure?" she still felt the need to ask.
"Yeah. But there's another thing I want you to know." He paused, and waited for her to look at him before continuing. "I didn't get what I want from you. I didn't just want to sleep with you, and I thought I had made myself very clear."
"You did. I guess that I just overreacted. Can we blame the hormones?" she asked, with a smile.
"We can for this time. But don't think you can always use them as an excuse."
Walking to her, he gathered her in his arms, and she held on as if he was her lifeline. She felt him burying his face in the side of her neck, and placing a few kisses there. She smiled, and then moved her head, when she realised that there was one more thing that she had to tell him.
"Why did you move?" he complained.
"I want to be with you," she said, ignoring his question.
"You're with me, right now," he replied, not really understanding what she meant.
"No, not like that. I want to give us a try, John. I'm not saying this because of the baby," she continued, knowing that he might think that. "I've thought about it, and I'm ready for this, now."
Without saying another word, he lowered his head to hers, and kissed her. Breaking the kiss, he tightened his arms around her, and her head found its way back on his shoulder.
"You know, it's weird. I can feel that your stomach is bigger."
"Try waking up the morning after you learnt you were pregnant, to find that it just popped out during the night," she joked, before sobering up. "Oh god, I'm going to be fat!"
"No, you won't. You'll just look pregnant."
"You say that now, but just wait a few months..." She paused and took a step back from him. "Come here," she said, taking his hand, and leading him to her bed. She wrapped her arms around him, as she sat on his lap at his request. "There's something you should know."
"Is there something wrong with you or the baby?" he started to get worried.
"No, no, nothing like that. We're both fine. Remember when you saved my life using that Ancient device?" she asked, though she knew that neither of them could forget that moment. "You did more than that. More than we thought you did. When I was with Simon, I got an infection that left me sterile. You didn't only save my life, you fixed that part of me too. This is why I didn't know I was pregnant, why my body didn't show the signs. I was sure I could never be pregnant."
She could see that John was at a loss for words, and she kissed him, wanting him to understand what he had done for her that day.
"So... have you thought about names for the little one?" he asked, putting his hand on her belly, wishing to feel it move already.
"Yeah. If it's a girl, I'd like to call her Mila. Its origin is Spanish and it means miracle. And well, this baby is sort of a miracle."
"Mila," he repeated, letting it roll on his tongue. "I like it. We're definitely calling our daughter that, be it this baby, or the next one."
"The next one?" she squeaked.
"Oh yeah! I want loads of babies with you."
"Do you realise that at my age, the chances of getting pregnant get slimmer and slimmer every day, and that it's a real miracle that I did fall pregnant after only one night with you?" she said, and he just grinned in answer. "Your ego is going to get bigger than Rodney's. I should have never said that," she groaned.
"Do you seriously think that anyone can beat Rodney and his ego?" he asked, and as she thought about it, she knew he was right. "We have to find a way to thank him, by the way."
"Yeah. Do you have anything in mind, yet?"
"No, but I'll find something. So do you have any cravings yet? You'll have to limit yourself to our supplies though. I'm not sure General Watters would let me go back to Earth in the middle of the night because you want something we don't have here," he said, making her laugh.
"God, Sheppard! How can I be in love with a crazy man like you?"
"You love me," he repeated, his grin getting bigger.
"Yes. Yes, I do."
"Good. Same here," he said, capturing her lips in another kiss.
"Mom wants you to come next time I go and visit her," she told him between two kisses.
"We're kissing, and you think about your Mom? I thought I was better than this," he pouted.
"Oh, you are. Anyway, she wants you to come."
"I'll be there. So, I take it she knows."
"Yeah, and I didn't even have to tell her. She guessed right away that this baby was yours. She bought us some books too, including one for you," she continued, standing up, and going to retrieve the stack of books that was sitting on her desk.
"What to expect when you're expecting, What to expect when your wife is expecting, Baby names," he read the titles of the first three books, but stopped as he saw the title of the fourth one. "Tell me that's not what I think it is," he begged Elizabeth.
"I can't. It really is the Kama Sutra."
"You're embarrassed now, but just think about how I was feeling when we were at the book store and she put this book in my hands," she said, and he winced, sympathetically. "She told me that we'll need it since it explains the positions you can do while you're pregnant. I told her that I really didn't want to know how she knew that."
"You and me both, you and me both. Did you buy anything else?" he asked, changing the subject.
"Some maternity clothes, and those cute baby shoes," she said, taking the box from where it was resting on her bedside table, and handing them to him. "So, what now?"
"Now, I'm going to take you to a real date."
"Don't you think we're past that stage?"
"No," he replied with a smile.
"Well, ok then. But too bad for you that I don't kiss on the first date," she teased him. "Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get ready," she said, turning him towards the door.
John chuckled, but didn't leave right away. Instead, he watched her enter the bathroom, and wondered for a second if she would be angry at him if he followed her there. Deciding not to try his luck, he finally left her quarters, and walked towards his quarters. He would get ready too, and then he'd try asking the botanists if he could have some flowers.
Life was going to change for good very soon, and he believed that it would be for the better too.