It was 3 a.m., and that was probably why she said it.
John paused mid-rant, surprised. That wasn't normally in the Doctor Weir Handbook of Management. "What did you say?"
"Just... shut up! You're arguing this point for no reason."
Actually, that might be true. He had cared about their first point of contention -- trading with the planet-of-the-week with insufficient security -- but now they were in a heated argument about desalination-tank crew schedules or something equally... really really stupid.
He was pretty sure she didn't care about that, either. "So are you."
"You shut up."
A smirk was threatening at the corner of Elizabeth's mouth. "I said it first."
"I thought it first."
She rolled her eyes and huffed, but she was officially grinning. "You're impossible."
It was probably kinda sick that one of his favorite expressions on her was exasperation. "So're you."
She weighed that for a moment. "Takes one to know one, I guess."
"That's why we get along so well."
There it was again, exasperation. Their version of 'getting along' lately had involved lots of bullet-pointed memos on her part with increasing amounts of bold type, and lots of bursting into her office at 3 am on his part to talk about trade laws and crew schedule rotations.
"Go to bed, Colonel. You're not making sense anymore." She waved him off and turned back to her computer.
"I said it first," she muttered.
True. "Do you want me to leave your office, or don't you?"
Her eyes narrowed. "I've got sixteen more reports to revise. You're welcome to stay."
John planted one hip on the corner of her desk. "I give you ten minutes. I can start whistling."
He hadn't realized how long it had been since she'd said his given name like that, like he was a thorn in her side as a person and not as her second-in-command. Three weeks, at least, since they'd spent any nonessential time together.
"Elizabeth, when was the last time you slept?"
He didn't let her come up with an answer. "Unacceptable. If you can't remember-"
"When's the last time you slept?" She didn't even look up as she asked. "I thought so."
"Another reason why you should give in now. I'm not leaving this office until you do." He'd been thinking, lately, that he hardly got to see her. He hadn't really considered a sit-in strike as a solution, but if it worked, who was going to criticize?
"My couch is your couch."
He started whistling.
"Will you please-"
"Hey, rules are rules."
She stood it for about a minute, then raised her head to shoot him a tired glare. "You fight dirty."
"Yes. I do."
"You know there's nothing to prevent me from coming back here after you leave."
"Ah, but that would be childish."
She sighed dramatically and strode past him. She didn't acknowledge that he was following her until he stepped on her heel.
"Are you seriously escorting me back to my quarters?"
"I don't trust you."
She glared. "John, I am perfectly capable of putting myself to bed. And you're starting to annoy me."
That wasn't much of a statement, really, since he'd been annoying her, on and off, for years. "Elizabeth?"
He smiled winningly. "Shut up."