Title: Under a Blanket of Stars
Author: Vicky
Category: romance
Summary: These stars had become familiar
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Claim: John/Elizabeth
Prompt: Stars
Author's Note: For once, the fic turned out as I imagined it in my head, and I'm quite happy about that. I hope you'll enjoy reading it, as much as I did with writing it! Written for writers30days in April.

These stars had become familiar. They might not be the ones she grew up with, they weren't even close to those, but she knew them better by now.

When General O'Neill sent a telescope for the third anniversary of their arrival on Atlantis, she knew that it wasn't for their own use only; it also meant that he would come at one point or another and didn't want to take his own telescope with him. Still, she could see that the whole expedition was enjoying it. The scientist had installed it on a balcony far from the control tower, along with instructions and a star map, for everyone to use.

She had gone there quite a few times on her own, remembering the nights she would spent stargazing with her father when she was a little girl. His passion for the stars had been passed on to his daughter, but he would have never guessed she went even further. He had told her many times that it had been his dream to go into space, to try and touch the stars, but he had never made it. But she did, and the first time she went through the Gate, he had been in her thoughts. Her decision to leave everything, and everyone, behind and go to Atlantis had been as much for him as it was for her.

She was realizing his dream, and even though he wasn't there anymore to see her, she hoped that he would still be proud of her.

Tonight was different; for the first time, she wasn't alone. Without over thinking it, she had asked John to come with her; she just wanted him to be with her tonight. And, as if he understood how important it was to her, he accepted immediately.

They hadn't used the telescope, yet. They were lying down, side by side, on the blanket he had brought with him. The city lights weren't bright enough to prevent them from watching the stars with the naked eye, and she was grateful for that.

As much as she loved using the telescope, tonight was different. Today marked the twentieth anniversary of her father's death, and using it would be too painful. But she still wouldn't be in any other place. She knew what stargazing really meant for him, and today of all days, she wanted to be as close to her father as possible.

"You okay?" John asked as she sniffed, pushing back some tears.

"Not really."

If he was surprised by her admission, he didn't say anything. He just took the hand she was resting between them in his, and squeezed it to show his support. She turned her head towards his to smile at him, and her breath caught in her throat as she noticed the way he was looking at her. She had seen it in his eyes very briefly before, but he had covered it quickly. Tonight though, he kept looking at her, and she couldn't take her eyes away.

Feeling emboldened, she rose on her elbow, and looked down at him from her newfound position. Her eyes flicked towards his lips, and they returned to his, she noticed that he had done the same. She could read desire for her in his eyes, but she still hesitated momentarily before lowering her head to meet his lips.

The brief touch left her wanting for more, and she kissed him again, her tongue begging entrance. He obliged and opened his mouth for her, deepening the kiss. They kept it slow, exploring the other's mouth thoroughly. The hand that wasn't still encased in hers was tangled in her curls, while hers rested against his neck. She could feel his pulse quicken, and the small part of her mind that wasn't busy with kissing him felt proud at the effect she was having on him.

When they came apart for some much needed air, he kept watching her with the same look in his eyes. She knew what it meant, for both of them, but she wasn't ready to acknowledge it out loud. Instead, she lied her head down on his chest, listening to his heartbeat.

She didn't want to talk about what had just happened, but she didn't want the silence to become uncomfortable either. So she started talking about the reason she asked him to come with her tonight. She talked about her father and his love for the stars, and how she was somehow walking in her father's steps and accomplishing his dreams.

He didn't speak; he just kept listening to her, the stories she was telling him, and she realized it was the first time she was able to talk to someone about that part of her life. She usually kept it to herself, but in the light of what happened between them, she wanted to share that part of her with him.

She shed a few tears, but he still didn't say anything; he let her cry for the father she had lost all those years ago. When she stopped talking, a comfortable silence fell around them, until he started telling her about his mother, whom she knew he had lost around the same time. She listened to him as he did for her, as he shared his own past with her.

They fell asleep under a blanket of stars, each thinking about their past, and what lay ahead of them.