Pairings: Jack O'Neill/Elizabeth Weir, Sam/Jack UST
Episode related: "New Order" & "Rising"
Summary: Maybe, with her, it really is as simple it seems.
Author's Note: It was 2004, between "New Order" and "Rising." In those days, we were all making "Pete must die!" t-shirts, trying to remember all the new characters' names, and plotting Elizabeth's list of future conquests. "New Order" inspired me to write porn for the very first time, and 6 years later, I'm finally posting it! Step into the wayback machine and enjoy.
Nothing and no one should really have the ability to surprise him anymore after being dead and frozen and Anciented and un-Anciented (again), but Doctor Elizabeth Weir manages to do so twice in one day.
Jack O'Neill isn't one for sleeping on big decisions, for the most part, so it only takes him a few hours to get back to her. He talks with SG-1. He has lunch with Teal'c. He's surprised by how much he managed to miss the SGC cream pie while frozen and is grateful that Teal'c subtly lets him know that Carter's boyfriend is still in the picture -- not that he was wondering.
When he goes back to Doctor Weir, she's still packing up her things from Hammond's old office.
He says yes.
Weir does her best to look relieved, like she ever thought he might not take the job of helming the SGC, and though she's not much better at putting on expressions than she is at telling jokes, he appreciates the effort.
Doctor Weir all but crawls over the boxes to get to the phone. She seems smaller than she did when she first arrived on the base with his life in her unfairly ill-prepared hands, but not in a bad way. "Let me call the President. How did your team take it?"
Jack honestly expected them to put up at least a token fight. "Can't wait to get rid of me."
The President is in a meeting and, once Weir explains that it isn't a galactic emergency -- although Jack thinks that his being tapped to run the program constitutes at least a minor disaster -- they are told to call back.
Jack is trying to decide who to bother for the rest of the afternoon -- Daniel's face-deep in plans for the new Antarctic site, Teal'c was headed to the gym when he last saw him and Carter actually left the base -- when Weir drops a bomb in the exact same voice she employed to convince him he really wants to be a General.
"I'm not doing anything for the next few hours."
It's been so long since Jack has been around people who say what they want without alien intervention that he's lucky he recognizes her blatant come-on for what it is.
He reaches for a joke and comes up with a bad one. "Is this a requirement for taking the office?" He cringes a bit as it hits the air, because it's not a polite thing to say to a woman even if she did just proposition him out of nowhere.
Weir doesn't look embarrassed. She smiles, green eyes twinkling, and he wonders if he's really that transparent to her or if this is just the way she is. Daniel told him how she went for broke with the Goa'uld. "No."
He says yes.
It might be out of benevolence that Elizabeth Weir doesn't give him a chance for awkward small talk. The door of her on-base quarters is still swinging closed when she touches his face and pulls him toward her.
His body starts with the sensation of someone he doesn't know so close inside his personal space. Her scent is unfamiliar, her lips demanding, and for a brief, absurd moment between arousal and utter confusion he doesn't remember what he's supposed to do.
His pause must have been obvious, because he can feel her pulling back, probably to ask him if he's all right, and that's the very last thing he wants to be asked.
Jack pushes her against the nearest wall, muscle memory kicking in to remind him how this is supposed to go. Man. Woman. Etc. And it feels good, the first thing that has in far too long. This is strange as hell, but even the confusion feels more real than anything else he has felt in what seems like a lifetime.
Brigadier General Jack O'Neill. The Replicators. The Ancients.
There's a flash of something like memory -- dark and empty and cold -- and that's when he really starts to kiss her back.
"Better," Weir says between his lips, like she knows what he's thinking, and he kisses her harder. This isn't the time for conversation -- he wants this fast and hard and breathless, like if they make it so he can't breathe, he won't be able to think. Like he'll forget, just for a minute, everything that's happened since he stuck his head in an Asgard device and lost himself.
She gasps in when he bites her lip -- accidentally -- but doesn't tell him to stop.
The cement wall is rough against his hands where he holds it for balance, pinning her against it with his body, and Weir, Elizabeth Weir, Doctor "I'm-in-charge-until- somebody-tells-me-otherwise" Weir is sucking his tongue into her mouth and grabbing his hips to pull him closer. Their kisses are rough, awkward, but it feels somehow right that they should be physically incapable of finding a rhythm. In a moment of thought -- he's not nearly breathless enough yet -- he blames her for being too demanding, too insistent, that it's her fault this isn't going smoothly.
Their teeth knock together, and he realizes with a start that he's the one grabbing her head to hold her still, pressing her against the wall with his hips, forcing his tongue in deeper and longer until they both find it blessedly hard to breathe; demanding, insistent, needy.
She's skinny even through her clothes, lacking the combat muscles of the women -- woman -- he normally hangs around with, but he doesn't want to think of Carter when someone else's long-fingered hands are drawing his t-shirt out of his pants. For a brief moment he stalls, finally realizing they're careening toward something he doesn't usually do casually, and certainly not on what's essentially a coffee break.
He doesn't want to realize it.
Somehow, he's already undoing the buttons of her blouse. She tilts her head up enough for him to get to her throat. Her skin is salty and hot and he can almost feel her pulse against his mouth, fast and strong, real and alive.
He should care that they're on-base. On duty. She's his boss until they manage to get that call through to President Hayes, but she also might be the warmest thing he has ever felt in his life.
God, he was so cold.
Weir's teeth sink down into his neck, yanking him back to the present with contact and body heat, and her wandering hands are moving everywhere except where he most wants them, rubbing, grasping, being closer and more than he's had in too long. He wants that. He wants out of his mind, out of the last few months he plans to file in his large stack of memories labeled "to forget." Her fingers are too-fast-too-good after what felt like a lifetime in cold-empty-darkness, and without thinking, he grabs her wrists and pins them to the wall, giving him a split-second to breathe.
She doesn't try to pull her hands free but stands there, mounted to the wall like a butterfly, and quirks up a delicate eyebrow. "Is this too weird for you?"
It's not coy, it's a question, and it hits him that, even if it should be after the monogamous-turned-serially-celibate way his life has been the past couple of decades, it isn't that weird. The claws of the Ancient deep-freeze are still tickling his spine and she's offering him something simple and tangible and real. He can feel the heat of her thin body against him through their clothes, and suddenly it has been a very, very long time.
"I'll get used to it."
Weir smiles, and he likes that. He thinks he might like her, too, if he gets to know her a little better. He already likes her direct style. He doesn't expect diplomats to be so up-front about anything, certainly not the way she's looking at him, like she's going to eat him alive.
Jack decides, like he's in combat making a life-and-death, no-room-for-hesitation choice: he wants to get closer.
She's a mind-reader, because that very same second, she tears her hands free with a decisive strength that surprises him. "Bed?" She licks her lips, then reconsiders, "Or... what we're calling a bed."
Like with nearly everything she has said to him so far, he suspects she already knows the answer, and really, he'd take her right there if he thought his knees could take it. Even if it doesn't mean anything, even if he already knows the answer (like she knew he'd accept the promotion, leave the field, fly a desk), he's never done this before and asks – "You sure you want to do this here?"
Weir jumped him first, but she seems to appreciate the chivalry. "I'm sure someone will page us if the world blows up."
It's a good answer. She doesn't give him time to talk anymore and he doesn't want to, grabbing and feeling her and drinking her in as she shoves him backward toward the bed. She sheds her outer layers herself when he takes too long with the small buttons of her blouse and then straddles him, and he almost laughs, because fuck, he has missed this. Women. Connection. Feeling alive.
The fabric of her bra is loose enough to let him slip one wandering hand underneath to handle her breast, soft and female and when she moans, her mouth softening against his, the sudden unexpected rush of masculine pride is strong enough that he flips her over and all but shoves her down on the cot.
Her eyes flash up at him, mouth settling into a languid, hungry smile he's definitely never seen on her face before. It has been a long time since he's made a woman feel anything without feeling guilty about it -- longer still since he's made one look like that.
Weir uses the opportunity of his momentary distraction to wriggle her legs free and peel off her socks and underwear. She makes sure he's watching and slowly, slowly spreads her legs, like she's daring his brain to short out.
He smirks. Not that he ever wondered, but now he knows: she was never a natural blonde.
Jack must have been staring for longer than he meant to, because she laughs. "I'll wait for you to take your boots off," she hints, settling herself back on her elbows, and it feels sort of right that she's still giving him orders. Her hands drift to the inside of thighs as she watches him, putting herself on display. "Take your time." One of her fingers disappears inside her as he kicks his boots free. "I can just do this," she says, the evil glimmer back in her eyes.
"Stop it," he says, pants and boots kicked aside, and grabs her hand. "My turn."
It's a weird time to think it, but it finally clicks in that he's taking her job.
Weir's skin is pale in the bright artificial light, like she hasn't been outside of the mountain in a month, and maybe she hasn't. He explores her like he's doing recon, finding what he wants from the way she responds, and this is easy, a woman who grabs his hand and says things like right here and yes like this. He holds her to the bed as she starts to squirm on his fingers, one hand pressing into her sharp hipbone so tightly he knows he'll leave marks, and his thoughts echo her words: yes, just like this.
She sighs, and suddenly, she sounds too much like someone else does in very different circumstances, when she's absorbing the first rush of coffee in the morning or getting a crick out of her neck from sleeping on a stack of textbooks next to her computer all night. He grips Weir's skin even harder and for a moment he's thinking of other hands on other hips, but he curls his fingers harder into her body until she makes a sound on the edge of pain and sex that can't be about anything but this.
This might not be what he needs, but he needs something, and this is what he has.
"Look at me," Weir commands, like she knows what he's thinking. She grabs his dick between them, slowly moving up and down until he has to fight not to thrust into her hand and she feels so good underneath him, and he's only got one thing on his mind until she says-
"Wait, shit. Hang on." She's up and off the bed and going for an overflowing suitcase across the room, there either because she's packing or because she never unpacked. "Sorry, didn't exactly plan this."
She emerges with something that looks like a ziplog bag filled with little bottles – makeup or vitamins or anything else for all he knows – and she spends too long a moment digging through it before she extricates something square.
Elizabeth studies the packaging closely for a moment and reports with a smirk that's as close to self-conscious as she has gotten all afternoon, "Still good."
It's crass and he shouldn't ask it and, to be honest, he doesn't really care, but he's naked and horny with a woman he barely knows – a woman who keeps condoms in ziploc for God's sake -- and that somehow means he needs to say something. "Do this often?"
The self-consciousness is gone, but the smirk remains. "Only on special occasions."
It's awkward finding a position on the tiny cot that doesn't leave either of them in danger of falling to the floor, and he doesn't want to be surprised that she isn't more agile, that she hasn't had years of PT tests and grappling training, because she's here, and she's fucking hot, and she wants him, and that's all that matters.
Considering how this started, he's a little surprised that Doctor Weir lets him end up on top. "Fuck me," she says, more an invitation than a command.
He does. Her body's initial resistance surprises him, but she grabs his head for a kiss before he can ask or stop or slow down, and when her hips slam up against his it's so intense, forcing aside the memory of th Ancient dormata, that he actually says "Thank God" into the warm skin of her neck, and it's not something he usually even thinks, anymore.
He stays there, not moving, not wanting to look at her or breathe or think. Something in him's pissed off – that he's doing this, that he needs to do this, that so much has happened lately that's beyond his control and it's getting in the way of him just-
Elizabeth whimpers and shifts her hips. She's tight around him like she wasn't ready, and he wonders unkindly whether this is all her way of "repaying" him – or of passing the torch – but when he looks, he sees no agenda other than the obvious in her green eyes. Maybe, with her, it really is as simple as it seems.
He fucks her until he can't stand it -- and he is fucking her, and he's pretty sure she's doing the same to him. The last thought he has is before he loses control completely, coming so hard after so long-too-cold-too-dark that he can barely breathe, is that this is close enough.
Weir is still moving underneath him, grabbing his hand and forcing it between them, and he barely has bones left in his body but he isn't about to let her walk away from this unsatisfied and he's grateful that he makes the right guess and uses the rough skin of his knuckles and she tightens around him so hard it hurts.
She comes with his hand on her clit while he's still buried inside her, dark hair spread like a damp halo on the sterile regulation pillows and makes a sound that's too soft and feminine for him to ever have expected after all of this. Her eyes flutter open, slowly, and she smiles.
The blood takes long, slow minutes to return to his brain, and he waits for the other shoe to fall.
Her hand strokes down his slick chest, pausing to trace over a scar she doesn't ask about. It occurs to him, now, that if he met her under circumstances other than as political enemies on the eve of a global disaster he would probably notice her and find her attractive, even if she isn't categorically his physical type. She was a blonde, at least, when he met her.
Weir sounds more relaxed than when all this started, but otherwise, no different. She says, of all things: "We should probably shower before we video-conference with the President." She smirks. "General."
A shower's probably a good idea. His hair alone, he can imagine, would probably be enough to make Hayes reconsider.
Jack crawls off of her and wonders what, exactly, the etiquette is for this situation. "This was... nice."
It sounds awful, but Doctor Weir seems to know what he means. "Yes, it was."
Teal'c's the first one who notices, or the first one who says anything. They're near the end of the line in the cafeteria the next morning when observant Jaffa eyes settle on the dark bruise above his collar.
"You are injured, O'Neill."
Jack shivers when he thinks of the way Weir's teeth felt against the sensitive skin of his neck. The best he can come up with in the way of reply is, "Huh."
For a second he thinks about asking him not to tell Carter, but shoves the thought aside.
Teal'c sets his tray down on a nearby table in silence. He looks like he wants to say something else, eyes flickering with subtle disapproval, and it's all Jack can do not to bang his own tray down so hard his coffee topples over.
The past four months, four months before his non-death experience in the deep freeze, of not minding what Carter does congeal in his throat and make it hard to swallow. For a minute he doesn't open his mouth at all because he has no idea what he might say if he does.
He finally comes up with something inane enough. "I hope you taped the Cup finals for me."
Teal'c pauses, but is willing to let it go. "Indeed."
It's nothing. It was nothing.
But it's no one's damned business.
Weir is in a phone meeting in another language when he barges into Hammond's office.
She waves him into a chair and continues to talk, taking scattered notes in neat handwriting. His Russian is pretty rusty after fifteen years of having no use for it, but not so rusty that he can't pick out a few words. Antarctica is the same in both languages.
She wraps up the call within a few minutes and faces him with a professional smile. "What can I do for you, General?" She's the only one who has called him that yet. He won't be officially promoted until the next morning.
He's out of practice asking for these things. "How are you?"
She gives him a bemused little smile for his attempt at small talk. "Fine... aren't you due in Washington soon?"
"Plane's this afternoon."
She narrows her eyes at him a little, like she's trying to read his mind. He hasn't given her much of a choice in that because he still doesn't know how to put it, so he thinks it as hard as he can.
Weir rifles through the few papers that are left on her desk, checking her morning meeting schedule, and then visually sweeps the room for security cameras. She doesn't make him ask aloud. "Not here."
In her quarters he goes down on her, tries to suck her dry until she cries out, and she returns the favor. Even as the unsustainable pressure is building up in his body he can feel another part of himself relaxing. He doesn't have to -- can't -- think about anything except not thrusting hard into her mouth to make her let him in deeper. When she's doing this to him, he knows exactly what he's feeling.
When he opens his eyes, legs still trembling, she's looking up at him expectantly to see if he's going to ask her for anything else.
She's in about as submissive a pose as any, kneeling in front of him, lips slick and swollen, naked from the waist down, but he can tell right away that this isn't what it looks like. Her eyes are clear and attentive and he's sure that she will consider any request he might make and come back with an immutable yes or no that leaves her no more compromised than she wants to be.
He might not be able to hurt this woman. The possibility is overwhelming.
She cleans up first, and when he emerges from the bathroom she's fully dressed and fixing her make-up.
"Coffee before your flight?" Apparently having decided that she looks presentable, Weir snaps her compact mirror closed and watches him fasten his belt. "I have some questions about the SGC's past dealings with the Russians that you might be able to shed some light on."
He checks his watch. He has plenty of time before his transport to the airfield leaves from the surface, and that's going to be his only consideration in whether or not to accept her invitation. He doesn't let himself mentally go over Carter's routine to figure out whether she'll be near the cafeteria, because it doesn't matter what she'll think if she sees them together. She isn't involved.
"Daniel's probably a better person to talk to about the Russians. He pays more attention to that kind of stuff."
Weir takes that in with a nod. "We don't have to talk about that, then."
This isn't that hard. "Okay."
He tells Daniel the night after Elizabeth leaves for Antarctica. Daniel's the only one of his (now former) teammates who finds the time to help him make his house livable again after a month away, and he has always had the annoying ability to get personal information out of him where no one else can.
It's possible Daniel has gotten even more nervy while Jack was on ice, because it takes him about five seconds of making faces over his beer bottle before he comes up with something to say. Even then, it isn't that good. "As in, Doctor Weir?"
He rolls his eyes. "Yes, Daniel."
"Huh." Daniel squints the way he does when faced with a particularly complicated translation. "I wouldn't have thought you'd be her type."
He's loving this, especially since Daniel has a point. "What, you don't think I can be attractive to a smart, professional woman?"
"I'm not trying to insult you or anything, Jack, but... you know she's a university professor, right?"
The poor guy looks so utterly befuddled by the situation that he takes pity on him. "Relax, Daniel. It's not about that." He isn't comfortable saying that it's just sex, even if it is, so he says, "We're friends."
"I don't do that with my friends," Daniel points out.
Jack doesn't either. Not until now. "You're not me."
"No kidding." Daniel all but snorts his beer. "Hey, did Teal'c give you those hockey tapes you wanted? I wasn't sure if I was supposed to bring them over."
It feels normal, and Jack tells himself that's a good thing.
It takes Carter almost exactly two weeks to figure it out.
SG-1 is in the briefing room for a video-conference to the new Antarctic site and he can tell she knows. Her face is perfectly neutral as she exchanges the occasional necessary word with the electronic image of Dr. Weir projected onto the briefing screen. When not being specifically addressed herself, Carter's eyes are glued to the papers in front of her like she expects them to burst into flame.
Jack notices Teal'c giving her a concerned once-over out of the corner of his eye, but all Jack can think is that even he managed to be more subtle than this.
"Have you managed to make any headway on accessing the Ancient database with the command chair?" Daniel does most of the talking on their end. His bags are probably already packed for Antarctica and waiting by the door.
Jack's pretty sure Daniel's the one who told Carter. Of course, for all he knows, the whole base could be talking about it and he just hasn't gotten wind of the rumor. He's only been in the hot seat for two weeks, but people have adjusted quickly. He gets his coffee brought to him now rather than loitering in the cafeteria and misses most of the gossip.
"We've started work with the chair but have nothing interesting to report yet," Weir is shaking her head. "The temporary agreement says that a representative from every nation involved in the land dispute has to be present whenever any new technology is examined, and it's making it difficult to get any real work done. We have, however, discovered another chamber with some physical artifacts and engravings in the walls."
"Really?" Daniel looks like he could crawl right through the conference screen if given the chance to try.
The transmission of the conversation has a delay of almost half a second thanks to some problem on the other end, and that gives Jack a chance to look back and see Weir's smile form as the archaologist's eager reaction appears on her computer monitor. "I've emailed you some digital images." She turns to Jack. "We could really use his help, General."
"I thought you were going to wait on bringing in more people until the infrastructure was set up, Doctor."
"It's mostly in place already. We had to set up an elevator shaft right away without the ring transporter on the tel'tac. We're all pretty much camping in the outpost at this point, but the dome should be up and ready for General Hammond's inspection by the end of the month. Yours too, sir, if you've given any more thought to my request."
He can feel Carter flinch and doesn't let himself look at her. He wants to know what Daniel said and why, but he's not going to ask. He doesn't have a problem with this. He slept with Elizabeth Weir. He knows what she looks like naked, knows what her skin and her sweat tastes like, has made her do the not-screaming thing she does when she comes. None of that has to change how he works with her.
Contrary to popular belief, personal contact doesn't automatically mean the end of the world.
In all truth, he barely knows Elizabeth, but he feels like he does well enough to be sure that, when she asks him to visit the outpost, this isn't at all what she's thinking about. Or, if it's in the back of her mind the way it is in his, it's only as a fringe benefit.
"I don't have my Ancient superpowers anymore," he reminds her projected image. "You really think I'll have any better luck running that chair than anyone else?"
"We're only in the first phases of hands-on research, but you're still a good lead. However, at the moment, I am more interested in Dr. Jackson."
Daniel coughs, and Jack would smirk at the joke if he didn't think it would be somehow cruel to Carter. It shouldn't be, maybe, but he isn't out to hurt her. That's not why he's doing this, if he even has a reason.
Like he even had to ask. "He's all yours, Doctor. McMurdo station will contact you with his ETA once he's on the way."
Weir smiles again. She looks a little out of place wrapped in cold-weather gear with her face and hair naked of cosmetics and styling products, but he doubts he has ever seen her completely comfortable, not even while she was here. As strange as it is for him to be in charge of the SGC, he has at least seen it in operation before. She did pretty well as a fish out of water.
"Well, then, Daniel, I'll see you soon," Elizabeth says, beaming with excitement. "General, Teal'c, Colonel Carter, I will speak with you in a week."
The screen goes to static. The tech who set it up left for the duration of the meeting, so Carter fills in fussing with the projector.
Daniel all but bounces up from the table. "You sure you don't want to come, Jack? You know how important the technology in that outpost is to Earth's defense."
"I think I've had enough of that place for a while."
Daniel gathers his scattered notes but stops before turning to go. "Want me to tell her anything for you?"
Jack shoots him a glare and so does Teal'c, but Daniel doesn't seem to get it. The sound of static from the projector sounds louder than it did, irritating and oppressive in the suddenly small room. He hears what sounds like Carter smacking it and has to look at her. "No. It's fine, Daniel."
Daniel says, "Oh."
Carter silences the malfunctioning projector and stands up a little too straight. Jack can feel Teal'c's gaze on him and wants to say something to her to break the tension, but he sees poorly disguised emotion in her eyes and something cruel in him snaps.
She's been going home to another man for months now and he hasn't said a single thing. She doesn't have the right to look at him like he's betraying her.
They owe each other something, of course, but not this and not anymore. She doesn't get to have an opinion.
She swallows obviously. Her eyes look like they might consume her entire face as she darts glances at Teal'c and Daniel before turning to him again. She manages a small smile, face full of what looks like determination. She looks sick. "I'm happy for you, sir."
He could tell her that there's nothing she has to be 'happy' about, that it doesn't mean anything with Elizabeth, but he doesn't. He shouldn't have to explain this. He shouldn't want to explain it.
Even as he does it, he knows he's being an ass, but he doesn't even answer her.
"I'll get you on the next transport out, Daniel. Get packed."
He retreats to General Hammond's office, sticks his head in the nearest report, and doesn't let himself feel guilty.
It's been three months and Elizabeth is back on base, bringing with her more bustle and anticipation than he has seen in years and scientists six deep everywhere he turns.
It isn't the first thing they do, but three days after she arrives they run into each other over coffee in the cafeteria at two in the morning.
The General's quarters -- her old quarters -- are his now and she seems to respect that by letting him take the lead. It's different this time. He gets her completely naked, bra and all, and strokes the biopsy scars over one breast with his thumb. She notices his scars, too, and when she licks at some of the fresher ones acquired in his last few years of stargate travel he thinks of how she is the first woman outside of a medical capacity who has ever acknowledged them. He knows these marks used to horrify Sara; he'd find her crying on the porch of their old house after he returned from long, brutal deployments. Still, she tended him with neosporin and a brave face by day and her body by night, putting him back together.
That's not what's happening here. Elizabeth doesn't love him. His old injuries don't cut into her for every horrible thing he has endured, and that makes it easier for him to show them to her. He doesn't feel like he's being reassembled as she maps his scar tissue with her fingers and tongue, but he feels noticed, and it's nice.
For a long time, he thought Carter might someday be able to fix him.
He rolls Elizabeth over to her side in the sheets -- they made it between the sheets this time -- and kisses her. One hand finds her hair and the other slips between her legs, and she feels soft all over.
She sighs, and for a minute he closes his eyes and lets himself pretend that she's someone else. It's easy to fall into because he doesn't really know what the other woman feels like or sounds like, has never even kissed her like this before.
He wants to hold on to that fantasy, but he can't. It feels dirty. He can't do this to her -- to either of them -- and maybe the fact that he even wants to is a signal that he's not as together about all of this as he has been congratulating himself for. He hates that right now Carter is in the arms of another man, maybe even doing this, but it's a selfish, awful emotion and one he doesn't want to have.
Elizabeth wraps one long leg around his back, inviting him closer, and the nips she makes along his jawline with sharp teeth shoot right through him. He clings to the distraction, grateful, and tries to feel more and think less.
She senses something in him and pulls back. "Are you okay?"
She's really asking, but he isn't ready to give her the answer. He opens his eyes to dark hair and green eyes and makes himself see only her as she moves him to his back, straddles his hips and hovers over him, giving him one last chance to push her away.
When she sinks down onto him her head falls back so she's looking at the ceiling and his whole body shudders. He wants to close his eyes again but makes himself stare at her even as his vision goes foggy with all the nerves that fire when her internal muscles contract and release, settling in around him. God, he needs this.
She looks back at him only after they first find a rhythm and then start to lose it again. She's on top and in control. He's only assisting, one hand on her hip and fingers between her legs, but whatever he's doing has her moaning in a way that makes his whole body hum and shake. When she looks at his face and brushes a haphazard hand over his sweaty hair there's something wistful in her expression that makes him think she's got someone else in mind, too.
They build up to it slowly and he ends up on top before it's all over. She's beautiful when she comes, though nothing like Sara or Laira and probably nothing like Carter. When he gives in to her body around him and comes too, he bites her shoulder and doesn't care about the mark he's going to leave on her pale skin. It'll probably last her all the way into the Pegasus galaxy next week.
She doesn't push him off and he lies on her, crushing her into the mattress a lot longer than sexual etiquette would dictate. He has to get off eventually to take care of the condom, but when he returns from the bathroom she's exactly where he left her. He hesitates, because this isn't what this is, but it's late at night and it's his bed so he crawls back in beside her, draping a leg between hers and maneuvering an arm under her head. It's been a long time since he has physically been this close with someone, but even if it isn't real, he doesn't feel up to shutting it down and pushing it away.
He never returned her question, never asked if she's okay, but she tells him. "I'm leaving someone behind."
He knows she doesn't mean him. He never saw a ring, but something in her voice makes him guess, "A husband?"
She shakes her head no. "He lives with me. Lived," she corrects with a roll of her eyes. She shuffles a little and he adjusts his arm under her head when she moves to look at him. "We've been together for a long time."
He suspects it's more than just that, but then, he knows what it's like. He doesn't call Sara before going on long and dangerous missions, doesn't really call her at all, but it took a few years for that to feel normal. After ten years together, she stayed the most important person in his life long after the state of Colorado cut the ties between them.
"I don't feel right about just disappearing."
There's an official cover story, of course. There are too many people going on this mission for them to all just vanish into the night with nothing to give their families. "Tell him about the diplomatic mission."
She closes her eyes. "I've barely spoken to him since leaving for Antarctica. And he... he knows me. I don't know if I can call him up and lie. It might be better if I just... don't show up at Christmas."
He rubs a hand over her bare arm. It doesn't seem strange to need this post-coital contact while talking about another man, though maybe it should. "The President owes you a favor."
"To what?" Her fingers drift up to trace his hairline. "Throw national security away for a live-in lover?"
"You've got a pretty big chip to cash in," he reminds her. The more he gets to know her as someone other than a faceless pawn brought in to oust General Hammond, the more he realizes how unfair it was of Hayes to shanghai her into the SGC four months ago without warning and only a crash course in alien politics. "The President's an open-minded kind of guy." He doesn't add that national security has been thrown aside in the past year for much less.
She sighs. "It might be harder for him to know. If he assumes I ran off to France with some guy... he won't have to imagine me in every apocalyptic science-fiction movie he sees on TV."
"You should tell him something," Jack encourages. "Even if it's just the party line. It might be harder on him, but it'll be easier on you out there."
Elizabeth nods and is quiet for a moment, fingertips gently scratching small lines on his chest, making his skin prickle. "She missed you while you were gone."
He swallows. Gone is one way of putting it. He has no defenses between him and Elizabeth now, no clothes or distance to fall back on. He doesn't have any idea what his expression looks like, but she doesn't seem shocked by whatever it is. "Yeah."
Of course Carter missed him. They're closer than family. Still friends, still colleagues. They have faced death together, have died together, if nothing else. Maybe it seemed like something else sometimes, maybe it seemed that way at his house before he lost his head to the Ancients again, but he's not sure how much hope he has left. He's not sure what that futile hope might do to his friendship with her, the way things are going.
"You know it's more than that," Elizabeth chastises gently.
He does. Carter wouldn't have been so weird after finding out whatever she thought she found out about him and Weir if it isn't more complicated than that. He doesn't know if he wants to have the power to hurt her, especially when that seems to be the only power he has. "Still doesn't mean it's a good thing."
She makes no promises. "Maybe not."
Jack buries his head in the crook between her neck and her shoulder and reminds himself that he can't get too attached to the comfort and convenience of this when she's a week away from leaving this galaxy, perhaps for good.
He's been alone too long to really sleep with another person in his bed, worried he'll elbow her if he rolls over or reflexively attack her if she touches him while he's dreaming the wrong thing, so he spends what's left of the night awake, watching her and the ceiling and trying not to think.
It's probably only because she is always leaving that this works. He wants to be, but he isn't this simple.
He wakes her before the alarm goes off with two fingers up inside her and spends half an hour pretending that he is.
Carter isn't in the control room when the Atlantis expedition is set to embark.
He's sure she has a reason, sure she came up with an excuse to be in the ZPM room or the power transfer junction or something else that she no doubt told him while he was too busy putting out a million small fires to listen.
When Elizabeth bustles through for the millionth time with another armful of miniature disasters, Jack can't help but think that's the real reason Carter isn't at her usual post.
"You nervous?" he asks, sidling up to Elizabeth as she finishes a handoff of orders to some of her new subordinates.
"Excited, terrified, disbelieving..." she touches his arm as she runs down her list. "And nervous," she admits.
He has unconsciously walked her out of the control room and into the hall where there's fewer people to interrupt. He knew she was leaving, this was all mostly because she was leaving, but it seems important to say goodbye. "You shouldn't be nervous," he kids her. "Just heading off into another galaxy is all. No big deal."
The anxiety melts from her features with a grin. "Be home by dinner."
"I'll keep it in the oven for you."
That's all they have time for, because McKay and some other guy whose name Jack never learned are talking over each other louder and louder until one of them literally grabs Elizabeth by the arm and pulls her back to the control room.
When they're ready, she gives a speech and then gives the order to dial.
When he gives her the order to go, he calls her 'Doctor,' and that seems just as right as anything else he's called her over the past week when she hasn't been back to her own guest quarters.
"Doctor Weir, you have a go."
She smiles, almost misty, and he wishes for a moment that she would stay, but only for a moment.
"Thank you, sir."
With that, she's gone.