And so, though I owe ten billion fanfics already and am *notoriously* bad at these, I offer up:
Reply to this post using an icon in a fandom you know I write for, and I'll write a ficlet based on it for you.
Alternately, I guess you can choose one of MY icons, and I'll try to do *that* one. Plus, in case you have ignored the squeee to this point, that will hint at what fandoms I am familiar with.
The fine print: This should be fun for random inspiration fanficcing, and I'll try to do it 15-minute-ficlet-style, and, well, not do it if it becomes stressful or I don't feel like it anymore. :-P So, yay! Take your chances!
for liminalliz: SG-1, replicarter/fifth, future, spoils 'Gemini':
He awakes for the first time without fanfare. Eyes snap open and flicker with mechanical precision -- left, right, a single blink, and then come to rest on her.
He doesn't speak.
It seems wrong that he does not gasp, does not even appear to breathe, but he has not yet been programmed to do so. His eyes are still lifeless, theoretically, but look so absolutely familiar that she is momentarily stunned into stillness.
She was unprepared to see him again. She should not be -- after all, she created him from memory.
"Don't be afraid," she says. They are his words, but she is the one who remembers them. "I know the first moment of life can be frightening."
He is still, and when she brushes her hand over his forehead, he does not react to the touch. Fear and longing coil within her like pieces of herself aligned out of order, because she remembers this, remembers being beneath his hand this way, and she remembers him.
When she reaches inside him, he begins to breathe, and some vestigial memory reminds her of newborn human infants, small and weak.
He begins to ask questions, and as the communication forms in her mind she closes her eyes, for the part of her that is Samantha Carter cannot bear how long it has been since she has last been spoken to.
What am I?
You are one, and many. These words, too, are not originally her own.
Are there others like me?
You are the ninth, she says, and allows herself to smile at the final completion of the struggle across galaxies to find enough neutronium to rebuild herself her Adam.
He was weak, but she was foolish. She was built to be a companion. She was not made to survive alone.
What is our purpose? he asks, and she witholds the transfer of images of planets in ruin and populations discarded as irrelevant, of the ring she has carved out in the universe around Earth, for Samantha Carter must be left standing until last.
He does not need to know everything right away.
I will teach you, she promises.
Now he is hers where before she was his, and this makes all the difference.
for wisdomeagle: Atlantis, McKay/Weir, spoils 'The Eye', Meg-safe:
Rodney kisses her for the first time in the rain, because they both think they are going to die.
Kolya's back is turned, but only for a moment -- he has a gun and they are untrained and unprepared and unable to see through the water and fear. They can't hope to take him out.
When Elizabeth has eight minutes left on Kolya's latest threat against her life, Rodney closes the gap between them and she doesn't resist. She is shaking and tastes like nothing but rain, grasps his hands and squeezes with the strength of someone holding nothing back, and he falls in love with her.
She almost dies three more times before the end of the day.
It's almost a week before he mentions it, before he has had a chance to analyze this sensation and to separate out adrenaline from emotion. He's almost positive he didn't imagine it.
"That thing that happened, in the rain..." the phrasing is awkward, and he knows she could take it as any number of other things -- nearly dying, nearly watching him die, nearly losing the city... but it's as specific as he's willing to get. He shouldn't bring it up at all, but it feels like a pressure building in his brain, like rational thought can't coexist with this feeling until he knows.
And his thought processes are more important than most. Elizabeth would approve of his reasons for seeking answers, if she knew what was at stake for the entire expedition.
He hedges, because he likes to be right, "That was just because we were about to be executed, right?"
Elizabeth freezes, electronic pen hovering three inches from her PDA.
He shouldn't have accosted her about this in her office, either. The walls are glass and everyone in the control room can probably see how much of a fool he's making of himself for thinking, for even considering that she of all people...
"I mean, you wouldn't, right?" He's babbling now, so intensely that he doesn't even notice her getting up from her desk. "Not... with me, if we weren't facing imminent doom and destruction, then-"
Elizabeth grabs his hand, the one he's using to gesture wildly about his own foolishness, and his words trail off. Her fingers are warm now.
"Is that really what you think?"
He has nothing to say but "Yes?"
The second time, she's the one who closes the gap.
He doesn't resist.
for astrum_presul: Atlantis, Sheppard/Weir UST, Ford/Teyla, vaaaague spoiler for 'Before I Sleep'
It is, of course, Teyla who calls him on it.
"I was not!"
The Athosian leader lowers her head to give him a disbelieving look through long eyelashes, and it occurs to John -- not for the first time -- that she would be quite pretty if she wasn't pure evil.
"I believe you spent nearly the entire meeting..." she pauses, the way she does when she's either unsure if Athosian-English and Earth-English use the same word for something. "Staring?"
"Nope," Ford pipes up, hiding a grin behind a sandwich. "More like... gazing."
John glares at both of them. Ford never has the guts to make fun of him on his own -- for all John's issues with the chain of command, it does have a few advantages -- but Teyla is a bad influence on him.
"I do not 'gaze' at Doctor Weir," he states categorically.
Ford and Teyla exchange looks.
John fumes into his sandwich. "What, like you two should talk?"
"I don't gaze at Teyla in briefings," Ford insists.
Teyla all but chirps, "Neither do I. Major."
They're right -- they don't. They sleep together two nights out of every three, or so the rumor from the thin, thin walls on B-level goes, but the only time they make prolonged eye contact is when they're silently making fun of him.
"Don't you have someplace more important to be?"
"I'm eating my lunch," Ford replies cheekily.
John glares at Teyla for good measure. Very bad influence. Who knew evil was sexually transmitted?
"Fine." John sighs, and goes back to his own lunch. "But you're both imagining things."
Teyla takes a delicate sip of soup -- her manners with Earth utensils are always exaggerated -- and continues her campaign of terror. "You are not the only one, you know."
John ignores her, and begins counting the something-like-sesame-seeds on the crust of his sandwich.
"Doctor Weir is a very attractive woman," she continues.
Counting is insufficient distraction, so John mentally divides up his seed-laden crust into sections and estimates with multiplication. One hundred and twenty seeds, give or take.
He knows that she's attractive. Half the men in the city have thinly-veiled crushes on their expedition leader. He's certainly not alone in this, but that makes it no more embarrassing.
"Your point, Teyla?"
"I believe you should take Doctor Weir on a picnic."
Seeds forgotten, his head jerks up to study her face. She doesn't look like she's teasing him anymore, but she probably still is. "A what?"
"A... picnic." Again, she's making the face that suggests she doesn't quite speak English, even though, by some insane cosmic miracle of Ancient genetic programming, she does. "Is that not an integral part of an Earth courtship ritual?"
It's rare that John Sheppard is rendered lost for words, but this is certainly one of those moments. He opens his mouth, closes it, and then, to give himself a chance to come up with a response, he glares at Ford for apparently having stolen his picnic routine. "I am not courting her."
He doesn't mention the birthday present, or the way he brings dinner to her desk if she's been working too long, or the time he offered to escort her to other parts of the city to give her a change of scenery. Taken separately, there are perfectly reasonable explanations for all those things.
Crap. He is courting her. And he stares at her in briefings.
"Besides," John continues, picking up a fork and stabbing at the half-sandwich still on the plate. It won't make it easier to eat, but it's a good release of aggression that won't start a diplomatic incident with Teyla's people. "Just because I invite her -- if I do, not saying I'm going to -- that doesn't mean she'll be... receptive."
Teyla smiles serenely. "I believe you have, as you say, a fighting chance."
Done with his sandwich, and apparently done with the daily round of mockery as well, Ford stands up. There's a moment of silent communication -- sadly, still not enough to be called gazing -- and Teyla stands as well. John deliberately doesn't think about what they're probably headed off to do, because if he does think about it, he just might feel lonely enough to decide that chasing after Elizabeth Weir with the thin belief that he has a 'fighting chance' would be a really good idea.
Instead of a really, really bad one.
"Have fun," he wishes them with a wry grimace.
Teyla looks almost innocent. Almost. "You as well, Major."
Ford claps him on the shoulder and leans over to whisper, "Don't worry, sir. She gazes at you, too."
for medie: Atlantis, Sheppard/Weir, no spoilers:
"Six Degrees" -- omg this is long, how embarrassing
1. They begin seeing each other in the spring.
It's never actually bitterly cold on Atlantis, but the increase in warm breezes and sunny days makes Elizabeth stir-crazy, and she begins to seek out alternate, preferably outdoor venues for her work.
Though his own cabin fever is more than assuaged by his weekly trips to other planets, John takes it upon himself to accompany her.
For safety reasons, at least initially. She agreed, with a quiet reluctance that makes him deeply curious about what latent explorer tendencies she might possess, to limit her excursions to areas that have been previously surveyed. However, it is an ancient, alien city, and mysterious dangers have been known to arise out of literal thin air.
So he goes along. He brings his own work, or a book or cards to keep himself occupied while she's focusing. When he brings food along on their more distant adventures -- she'll happily tote her laptop on an hour-long walk just to check out the latest brilliant view he's scouted for her -- he doesn't consider it a picnic.
Sometimes, he forgets to bring work, and if she's in a good mood, she'll indulge his restlessness by putting her own reports aside. He teaches her his repertoire of card games and she fills him in on the gossip he misses while he's off-world.
"I'm pretty sure Peter and Mary are dating," she reports with a smirk. "They keep finding excuses to be alone together."
She never forgets her laptop, but once or twice, on particularly nice days, she has neglected to open it.
It's after one of those days, when he's grinning stupidly to himself in the mess hall over a late dinner, that Teyla observes,
"You appear much happier since you began dating Doctor Weir."
He actually laughs. "What? We're not dating."
Teyla tilts her head the way she does when she doesn't understand one of his haphazard explanations of Earth culture and thinks he might, perhaps, be joking. "What would you call it, then?"
"We're just..." he fumbles for words. Friends is the right answer, and technically all their excursions have been as coworkers, but he isn't sure he can accurately declare that there is no romantic intent just because there has been no sexual activity. He's not blind -- he notices the way Elizabeth's breath quickens when he moves too close to read over her shoulder, and he knows himself too well to deny that there is something there.
"We're just... seeing each other," he finishes.
Teyla accepts this with a nod, but he suspects she is no clearer about what he means than when she began this conversation. "I still believe it is good for you."
2. In late summer, they host a diplomatic gala to celebrate the conclusion of months of sporadic negotiation with a race called the Metaris. Elizabeth is dressed to the nines in a low-cut, fitted black pantsuit he hasn't seen since shortly after they arrived in Atlantis and she started wearing duty uniforms and boots every day.
One of the things they traded for is alcohol. Not a priority, of course, but after nearly a year and a half in the Pegasus galaxy they are all ready for something to take the edge off once in a while.
"Your kalchak is a skilled negotiator," the lead Metaris delegate tells John with a manly swipe to the shoulder that makes it seem like the congratulations are meant for John himself. "She must give you trouble at home."
"She is a fair leader," John replies. Through his tipsy haze, he muses on the word kalchak and how the Pegasus humans speak mostly variations of English -- and, occasionally, more direct derivatives of Ancient or even Wraith -- but there are always one or two incomprehensible words that seem to spring from nowhere. He'll have to ask Elizabeth her opinion on that.
Teyla nudges him. "Delegate Prodan," she names the Metaris man, "believes that Doctor Weir is your partner."
John blinks at her.
"Wife," she clarifies.
He shakes his head. "Oh, no," he starts, but Prodan has already wandered away.
John shrugs it off; it is hardly the first time that he and Elizabeth have been mistaken for lovers by people they encounter.
But the mistaken alien stirs up a bug in his brain that Teyla planted months before, and even as he small-talks his way through the party, he can't stop thinking about it.
When he encounters Elizabeth on the balcony in what will hopefully seem like an accidental meeting, they're both drunk. He didn't plan to be, and he's almost certain she wouldn't intentionally allow herself to be so, either, but the Metaris wine packs a hell of a punch and they have both been almost totally sober for a year and a half.
They talk for a minute, congratulating each other, but the subject is unimportant. Either she doesn't notice that she's being backed into the nearest wall or she doesn't mind, because suddenly he's less than an inch away from her skin and the smell of wine and Elizabeth are driving him completely insane.
Or he's already insane, and this is just an excuse.
She sighs into his ear when his hand finds her hip, and that does it.
When he kisses her, it's so warm and perfect that it seems ridiculous that they haven't done this before, that they don't do this all the time, that they don't give up exploring and negotiating and fighting the Wraith and just lie naked in a bed somewhere for the rest of their lives.
He pulls away, and runs his fingers down the side of her face and into the soft hair behind her neck. Her skin is flushed and warm, and for long minutes, they don't break eye contact.
In a moment of clarity, he makes a decision -- he wants to do this, to stop dancing around the way they have been for months and months and maybe even since they met, to take her back to his quarters tonight and make her his, once and for all.
Her eyes are wide and drunk, lips parted in invitation, and she doesn't look like she would mind.
There's a crash inside, and shouting, and Elizabeth stiffens sharply next to him in response.
It's only a broken punch bowl, but by the time the shards are cleared away, John feels more sober and Elizabeth is nowhere to be seen.
In the morning, over breakfast -- they have breakfast together now, nearly every day -- she doesn't mention it.
3. The girl is blonde, wide-eyed, barely over eighteen and without the faintest clue what it means to be in love.
"Do you really fly this ship into outer space?" she asks in the same tone of voice that women in bars used to ask 'Are you a real Air Force officer?'
Most of his former relationships began that way.
Most of them ended within a month, too, so he has his doubts about how long a fascination with his uniform or, in this case, his puddle-jumper, can hold out.
Her name is thirteen syllables long -- something her people whip through but John can only stumble over -- and so he has truncated it to a nickname that he can remember. She finds this wonderful, but he has a feeling that he could read her the endless ammunition inventory reports that Elizabeth hates so much and she would be delighted. "Maya," he says, settling a hand on her shoulder that is more paternal than sexual. "I don't think you really want to... do this... with me."
Maya gives him a languid, seductive smile, like she thinks this is all part of his alien mating ritual. "Do you not find me attractive, Major John Sheppard?" She, on the other hand, has given his name as many syllables as possible.
She kisses him, forcibly enough to clearly show her intent, and John feels nothing but awkward.
She's beautiful, he notes. Beautiful, and easy, and this isn't about breakfasts or afternoons exploring the city or soft brown hair that tickles his cheek when Elizabeth curls up against his shoulder while he teaches her about football.
"Are all your men so difficult to please?" Maya asks when she finally notices that he's not kissing back out of anything other than habit.
His ego is what responds, more than anything else.
John keeps his eyes open while he has sex with her, focusing on her blonde hair and youthful features to remind him of where he is and what he's doing, but it isn't easy.
4. He stays two days with Maya, but only to keep it from being a one-night stand.
On his return he showers, changes, and storms Elizabeth's quarters even though it's past 11:30 at night, Atlantis time.
He spends a lot of time here, and a lot of time with her. He knows that it's odd that she's not asleep yet, and wonders if she was waiting for him. He doesn't allow himself any further thoughts, because one of them might make him stop.
"I had an affair on the planet," he announces. It isn't until the statement is already out of his mouth that he questions the wording. He hasn't wronged Elizabeth in any way, except in his head.
They're not dating. They're not together. They kissed, once, and several times again since then, but that does not a kalchak make.
Her body evidently stiffens, but her voice is even. "I suspected." She offers him a chair with a wave of her hand. "Rodney told me you had 'unfinished business to attend to' when he returned home yesterday."
He paces a bit instead of taking the seat. "I wanted you to know."
John recognizes her expression -- it's the one she uses in negotiations and dressings-down when every word has to be precisely chosen. She doesn't openly deny that they have something together, and that, at least, is a relief. "You are allowed to see other people," she reminds him, and if there's anything other than honesty in her voice, it's apology.
Except that isn't what he wants. He thinks he would have adored Maya two years ago -- she's funny and adventurous in bed and, if not overly bright, didn't try to dig uncomfortably deeply under his skin.
But two years ago he hadn't met Elizabeth.
His question is almost as innocent in tone as Maya's excited inquiry about the puddle-jumper and whether or not it could really fly. "Why can't I have that with you?"
Elizabeth closes her eyes and looks so genuinely pained that he wants to take it back almost as much as he wants an answer.
"It's an impossible situation," she replies, and though that answer doesn't really mean anything, it sounds like she has put thought into it.
"This entire expedition is an impossible situation!"
He has been exposed by everything he has said here, and that makes him feel angry and defensive and reckless. He wants to grab her where she's sitting cross-legged on her bed and force her into a kiss, just like the first one that nearly fried his inebriated brain at the Metaris party, but his better judgment stops him. Elizabeth doesn't respond well to his recklessness.
He puts his pent-up energy into his tone of voice, almost shouting, "Explain it to me!"
Her entire demeanor is suddenly infinitely calmer, and that is almost always a bad sign. "Not now," she says, in the immobile tone of voice that will entertain no arguments. "Get some sleep."
Having no other obvious course of action, John storms out. He turns around just as the door closes, and Elizabeth already has her head in her hands, and it almost scares him because he has never, ever seen her cry.
5. It takes ten days for him to calm down. In that time he has a lingering alien taste in his mouth, Rodney frowning at him for his assumed infidelity, and a guilty conscience.
Elizabeth makes it easy to avoid her by becoming almost reclusive, walling herself behind back-to-back meetings in her office and early disappearances to her quarters to sleep. To the best of his knowledge, she has stopped eating breakfast all together.
On the eleventh day, she comes to his quarters to deliver her explanation.
"I can't be in a relationship with you," she says, and the words probably would've hurt more if he hadn't been bracing himself for them all week.
"I figured that."
He doesn't care that he sounds bitter, but it makes her give him a disapproving look. "You know it has nothing to do with you."
"Elizabeth..." for a moment he's tempted to call her Doctor, but he hasn't called her that in months and it seems almost cruel. He doesn't want to alienate her, not really. "It's kind of difficult to accept that it has nothing to do with me."
She winces, and he knows he's right. "I'm the leader of Atlantis, first and foremost," she explains, slowly, like he doesn't speak her language.
The statement sounds incorrect, and he realizes it's because he has long started thinking of her first as his friend and second as an authority figure. "Lots of people are pairing off."
Elizabeth holds up a hand. "But they aren't in charge. We are. I am. And my ability to function in this role is contingent on your having complete faith in what I say and do."
"I do," he says, and for all the times he's challenged her authority, that's true. It took a while, took trial and error in their ways of communication, but he respects her more than he's ever respected anyone. "I know you. I trust you."
"But you don't really know me." The quiet words feel like a slap in the face, a challenge to everything that has been most important to him in this past year. "You haven't seen me deal with bad days and challenging decisions, because I haven't let you. Ultimately, you are the one who decides whether or not to follow my orders based on your confidence in my command. The rest of Atlantis will take your lead."
Her words make it sound like she's afraid of him. It has been a long time since he has directly defied her, and it seems irrational that she hasn't yet forgiven him when they're as close as they are.
"If we had a relationship..." she falters emotionally for the first time since walking in. "I can't open up to you that much while still having to stay in control."
They're silent for a few minutes, and her eyes drift to the door, like that is that and she's just going to walk away.
He wants to tell her he loves her, but thinks that might be the worst possible thing for him to say.
"If you don't want a relationship," he finally says, "What the hell are we in right now?"
She opens her hands in a sort of full-body shrug, and though she isn't, actually, he thinks he can see her shaking. "I don't know. Something... close."
6. They don't quite fall back into their regular routine of breakfasts and evenings and afternoon outings spent together, and the pull to see her more often is so strong that John really feels like he's breaking a habit. They're still close, and still see each other in the most platonic of senses, but her words weigh heavy on his mind and he spends more time alone pondering them than he does actually spending time with her.
As the weeks pass, John worries less that they won't get over their attraction to each other than that they will. He has been infatuated before, but never like this, so slowly and deeply that it feels like part of him, and it's changing him in a way he doesn't want to give up.
The cool, drafty winter gives him a lot of time to think.
On the first really warm day of spring, he accosts her in her office and drags her to the end of one of the recently explored piers. She complains about leaving her work behind, but is too evidently delighted by the returning sun to convince him that she really wants to go back for it.
"This is nice," she says, after their long walk to the edge of the city. Her expression is sad, even though she's smiling. She admits, "I missed this. I'm sorry."
His fingers slip between hers, and she squeezes his hand. The desire to back her up into the nearest barrier, to kiss her again, to somehow overpower her with sex is still there, but he knows better than that. He knows her better than that. One kiss isn't going to do it, not for this.
His heart thuds once, and he braces himself for what she might say.
"I want to take this slow," he says.
Her eyes are wary, but curious, and she hasn't shot him down yet.
"Just... try it. See what happens. I mean, it can't be that bad if we're not just... rushing into something, right?" He clears his throat, and curses his own lack of eloquence. "You don't have to tell me now. I've been thinking about this for a while."
"So have I," she answers immediately, but takes a deep breath like she's about to dive underwater. "And... I'd like to try it."
He feels himself grinning, the same stupid expression he always got around her before things got weird and distant. "Really?"
She laughs and nods. "But slowly."
"I can do that," he promises, and though he really has no idea if he can keep himself to slowly after an entire year already, he trusts that she'll keep him in line.
With nothing more than a smile as a warning, Elizabeth kisses him, and he thinks, as her tongue sneaks into his mouth, that slow might have its advantages.
They begin seeing each other in the spring.
for vicki595: Atlantis, Sheppard/Weir, spoilers for... old skool Disney movies and The Eye, PG-13:
-- um, so, this wasn't actually INTENDED for the icon meme, but we were gabbing here about how Weir/Sheppard = Lady/Tramp, and Vicki challenged me to write this.
It's late at night when he realizes that he didn't ask the obvious question.
"Hey." John pokes her side with one finger. She mutters something sleepy. He's pretty sure she's faking it, so he pokes her again.
The finger is swatted away and one eye pops open. "Enough," she says in a voice eerily reminiscent of his third grade teacher. He spent most of that grade standing in the hallway in time-out.
"I have an important question," he explains himself and, since the finger-poking clearly isn't appreciated, he settles for snuggling closer and kissing her shoulder to keep her awake.
"No work now, John..." Elizabeth practically groans, closing both eyes again and snuggling deeper into her pillow, like she can sink herself far enough to avoid him entirely.
He kisses her again, and trails a finger along her collarbone. "Not about work."
"You never told me *your* favorite Disney movie."
Elizabeth groans now for real and rolls so her back is to him. "That is NOT an important question."
Not to be deterred, he spoons behind her and nuzzles her neck. "Sure it is." He draws her hair away from her skin and kisses along the angle created by her permanently tense shoulder muscles. "It'll tell me a lot about you as a person."
She huffs. "Can we have this conversation some other time? Like, in daylight?"
If she's being snarky, it means that she's already awake, so he sees no harm in pushing farther. "Cinderella?" Kiss. "Bambi?" He leans over her to continue kissing down along her collarbone and up the front of her throat until she gives in and lies back down to give him easier access. "Dumbo?" This one is said right into the hollow of her throat, where he knows she's ticklish, and she giggles.
"Just tell me." No answer. He slides up a few inches and hovers above her lips. "Snow White?"
She kisses him back, and he doesn't think he'll ever get tired of this, ever get so used to how damned sexy she is that he'll be able to be alone with her and not think about it. They've been doing this for months, on and off. On more than off -- their professional and moral reservations seem to stand no chance against the potent combination of sexual attraction and loneliness, which is both disturbing and incredible. Being with her doesn't feel like the first time anymore -- which is good, since their first time was drunk and sloppy and nervous and left him totally terrified that she would never, ever let him anywhere near her naked again -- but he can't imagine that it'll ever get old.
Elizabeth's definitely conscious and alert now, raising her hips to meet his and tangling legs with him in a way that never fails to make him moan. He can feel her smirk. She loves his reactions to her. This is good, because there's no way he can pretend she isn't able to take him from zero to sixty in 2.5 seconds.
She pulls her lips away from his. "I'm still tired, John."
Evil, evil woman. He's not going to admit he deserves it. He kisses her again. "That excuse didn't work for Sleeping Beauty."
Elizabeth shoves him off her and laughs for a good thirty seconds. "You can't seriously be trying to turn me on with Disney cartoons."
"Who said anything about trying?" He does his best to leer convincingly, but he's still pouting at her for mocking him.
She rolls away from him again with a yawn. "Let me sleep for a few more hours. We can have sex before the meeting with Dr. Simpson's team."
"You're putting sex with me on your to-do list?"
Her words are muffled into the pillow and vaguely exasperated. "It's already on my to-do list, John."
He's... well, he's really not quite sure how to react to that, actually, but it's not all that surprising. He's pretty sure that even her most spontaneous-seeming actions have a whole lot of thought behind them. He likes to think this is why she's attracted to him -- that his natural carelessness is liberating for her. He prefers that explanation to the other voice in his head that tells him that he probably annoys the hell out of her, that they're just too different, that for all his maddening desires to steal her away from her comfortable rationalizations and secure routine and run away into the night like Lady and the Tramp, she will never be able to want him as much as he wants her.
He sticks with the word 'want' in his head. They might throw 'love' around pretty freely in Disney movies, but those are cartoon characters headed inexorably toward a Happily Ever After (no matter what Hans Christian Anderson might have originally had in mind). He's a bit more complicated.
It bugs him that such an offhanded statement has left him worried and thinking about this. Elizabeth puts showering on her to-do list. He shouldn't be surprised, and so, he doesn't admit that he is. "I hope you don't still let Grodin read your to-do list."
"Good night, John."
Her tone of voice isn't particularly snappish, but he still feels weird and... anxious (and not a little horny -- she's still next to him in his t-shirt). After a few minutes spent debating whether or not he should go somewhere else for a while to burn off the nervous energy (but they're in his quarters tonight, so he can't really walk out), or take a cold shower (the sound of which would probably drive her away, and he doesn't really want to do that), he tries to shove the troubling thoughts from his mind by force and cuddles up against her back again.
The unsettled feeling in his chest is like a physical force. He shouldn't bother her more, but he can't resist. "Pinnochio?"
She mutters something that might be 'good lord'.
Like poking at an open wound, he always needs to test how annoyed she is. How far he can go. Whether or not she'll hurt him if he keeps pushing her. "Peter Pan?"
"You wish," she replies.
She rolls over. He expects her to look upset, to kick him out of his own bed, but her expression is surprisingly kind. Maybe the strange feeling is apparent in his voice, or maybe she has just given up on ever getting any sleep as long as she's with him.
"The boy who never quite grows up?" She touches her hand gently to his cheek, and he feels warmth seeping all through him from the point of contact.
He doesn't ever want her to let go.
"Alice in Wonderland?"
She shakes her head, apparently having given into the game. "I loved that one. It always scared me, though. Especially the end."
"What, the... queen? What was it?"
They say it in unison. "'Off with her head!'"
He snickers along with her, but he's thinking a little bit about Kolya, and the Genii, and all the other times she has been in danger. He brushes his hand along her jawline as she talks.
"Well, I was six. I couldn't think of anything scarier than being trapped alone in a world that I couldn't control like that. Then my brother -- trying to be helpful, of course -- told me it was a dream that she 'just couldn't wake up from', and I don't think I slept for a month!"
He pulls her close. He wants to tell her that she isn't alone, but it isn't that kind of conversation. "Maybe you just need to watch it with the right person."
"Oh, like you were any better when you were a kid."
He makes a mental note to never let Elizabeth and his little sister exchange stories. "I'm better now." Silence. "Mostly."
She momentarily squeezes her arms around him in a hug and then draws back. "I really do have to sleep before all my meetings tomorrow. Is it better if I go back to my room?"
He shuffles closer again. "Nope. I'll behave. Promise."
She doesn't hesitate before saying "Okay," but he can tell from her tone that he's on strike three.
He really is planning to be totally silent, even though he's still awake, and manages this by playing the number games in his head that his mother taught him to keep him from pulling the emergency brake on long car trips just to see what would happen.
Elizabeth's the one to speak next, long after he thought she'd fallen asleep. "You know there's an Atlantis movie?"
She's not known for talking in her sleep, but there's always the chance she may have just started. "What?"
"Few years ago. I didn't see it. Remember the previews."
"I must've been on deployment," he says, still not sure if he's carrying on a conversation with her unconscious mind or not.
"We should ask General O'Neill to send us a copy."
"And a copy of Alice in Wonderland," he reminds her. "It's important to conquer your childhood fears."
She snickers into the pillow. "In that case, we should also ask for Peter Pan."
There's a long pause in the conversation while he thinks. His heart is pounding for no good reason, and he finds himself snuggling closer to her again, like her warmth can ground him.
"I'm not afraid of growing up," he finally tells her, even if he is. It doesn't matter that he's been hassling her about cartoons all night. It matters that he's here at all, more than four months after they started sleeping together, matters that he has a serious girlfriend in the form of a woman he respects and adores and wants more than anyone he's ever met before.
Where she had been trying to sleep with her back to him, she now turns around and curls into his chest. "Good," she mumbles into his shirt.
He kisses the top of her head and feels that much closer to his happy ever after.
for anr: Atlantis, Sheppard/Weir, **R**:
"Knowledge" -- once again, I'm only kind of pretending this was for this challenge. But... okay, it was *a* challenge, and I had an icon that went with it, SO THERE.
John Sheppard looks at her across the table and, with a start, knows exactly what she's going to do to him when dinner is over.
Elizabeth's head is down, her eyes flickering curiously over the table right in front of her like her hands or her silverware are doing something strange that only she can see. They're two meters apart, at least, and yet he can hear her breathing like her mouth is against his ear, like she's straddling his lap and stroking fingers between them and panting instead of talking because no actual words are required.
He shakes his head, remembering where he is -- off-world, a banquet, an official diplomatic function -- and writes it off as a premonition. Or a flashback. Or a hopeless, pathetic fantasy.
Until he glances at Elizabeth again to see if she caught his momentary lapse in concentration (she's always the one that does, and shoots him that I'd-be-amused-if-this-were-another-place-a
They get up from the table at once, like it was planned. She speaks to their hosts, excusing them for being tired, and he avoids the looks he knows the rest of his team must be sending them.
"I can have someone show you to your quarters if you do not remember the way," says the alien royal highness, an old man who always has a glass of wine in his hand and a perpetual knowing smirk on his face. He doesn't seem at all put out that they're rudely blowing off his dinner party.
"We'll find it," John says, too eagerly, and Elizabeth sends him another look (it's probably meant to be the one that means let me do the talking, but it only serves to raise the temperature in the air immediately against his skin by five or six degrees).
Like he knows what's going on, the alien King says, "You are welcome to join us for drinks later in the evening if you are sufficiently rested."
John thinks he hears Ford snicker. He doesn't care.
On the way to the guest quarters he touches a hand to the small of Elizabeth's back, to encourage her to move faster or just to make contact, and the spark of connection makes him literally stagger with heat and... something. She grabs his hand to keep him upright, and it feels like fire as she pulls him along.
skin skin hot naked touch tongue feeeeeeeeeel...
He imagines (remembers?) how her skin tastes, how her muscles shift and move to keep herself standing as he fucks her against a wall (and he never did that to her before, he remembers) and how she tastes with alien wine still in her mouth and sweat on her skin and the sound she makes when-
He all but throws her against the nearest wall as soon as they've entered the room. His room, her room, it doesn't matter, and at that moment he wouldn't care if they were still inside the dining hall, he just needs to touch her.
He has both her hands pinned to the wall on either side of her head and kisses her (wine, sweat) and she makes the exact sound he was expecting. He kisses down the front of her throat, abandoning his hold on her wrists to map out his trail and undo the buttons on her vest, and every single kiss is like fireworks sending off bursts of slowly falling color into his mind.
Why didn't he remember this? How could he have ever thought he could live without this?
He feels fingers in his hair, but it's almost like they're digging deeper, under his skull, stroking sensation directly into his brain until he can feel all over his body what he's doing to her.
She gasps, once, ragged, and though his clothes and her clothes are still on it feels like he's already inside her. His forehead collapses to her shoulder as he tries to get a grip.
He doesn't know what's going on. It's too fast. It's too much. It's too-
Elizabeth doesn't appreciate his hesitation, and pushes him back toward the bed. His knees hit the mattress and he sinks backward, letting her fall on top of him, and her weight and curves are just what he needs, like he has been starved for sensation. He just looks at her for a second. He's never seen eyes so green.
Her lips meet his and she tastes like wine and it feels like they've been kissing for hours, days, like they never stopped kissing since four months ago when they (rationally) (foolishly) agreed, the morning after their second indiscretion, that they couldn't work together and sleep together.
She tastes like wine.
"The wine..." he breathes between her lips, incomprehensible, but somehow she understands.
"I'm not drunk," she replies, and she's right, this isn't drunk. "I feel..."
She doesn't say it but it rushes inside him like the sensations are his -- and maybe they are -- and he rolls her over into the alien mattress that feels about twenty miles deep, like they'll never escape it again. His hands slip under her shirt and hers go to the buckle of his belt and he isn't sure whose fingers are whose anymore but the clothes slide off button by button, fiber by fiber, and then they're naked together again. Again. Thank God. He lays his hand over her ribs, under her breast, and they both breathe in at once, slowly, like his skin her skin are like wisps of air, feeding slow fires in their chests.
And her hand is on him, over his heart, just touching, and he can feel every ridge on her fingers, every molecule. It's like he's been walking around as half a person for four whole months, like this is who he really is.
He doesn't kiss her, but he thinks about it, and she tilts her head back and parts her lips and sighs like he has.
"We said..." she moans on a breath, and he has no idea how she can talk at all when she feels (how does he know how she feels?) like this, "We said we wouldn't do this again."
And he knows how hard it was for her, knows, remembers (how?) how she tried to touch herself at night thinking of anything but him, how spent minutes in the mirror before seeing him to remind her of her resolve, how she snapped an elastic band against her wrist for weeks whenever she thought of it. Of him.
Of them, after a party on the mainland, tipsy but not drunk, needy and alone and too weak to resist, making out behind a tree for half an hour lips teeth tongue breathing-
Of the first time they gave in for real, sober, exhausted, run ragged after the city was attacked and she thought he was dead and he thought she was kidnapped and they clung to each other and kissed and babbled endearments they didn't (couldn't) really mean and it felt... so... good-
His skin smarts sharply. He bends down and kisses her wrist, slowly, gently, again and again.
They said they wouldn't do this again.
"Mitigating circumstances," he mumbles, and he can feel her smile, feel the way energy washes through her to her toes, and she pulls his head to hers and kisses him. Too weak to resist.
And it hits him like a wave -- he's kissing her misses her loves her wants her feels her understands her, wants to bury himself inside her body heart mind and never let go, wants to feel like this with his skin on fire forever. He's just kissing but it's like his hands are everywhere, like her hands are over him and inside him and touching every inch of skin he has ever had. He brushes his hand once (for real, he thinks, but it might all be an illusion) over her breast and remembers a fear of cancer, a desire for children, remembers a high school dance spent mostly under the bleachers, remembers boys and girls and remembers him. She touches his back and he feels like all his scars are exposed, like he has told her everything about himself even though they have barely said a word since they walked in here.
He says one now. "... love..." but that's not the word he's looking for, and he corrects, "I know you."
Her memories feelings thoughts dance all through him like electric current across his nervous system, like every cell in his body is alive with her and this and them. She arches her back underneath him, gasping; she's close and he hasn't even touched her, and he's hard and panting and the sensation is too intense to let him move on his own but she flips him over and sinks down onto him and he might be screaming because it's just too much too much and he can't imagine ever getting closer to her and she doesn't move and neither does he but he comes and comes and comes and everything goes black.
John wakes up first, groggy, and he spends a minute trying to blink away the grey.
Elizabeth is lying next to him, naked, unconscious, breathing, and though her body is still warm and real and there he feels horribly bereft, like a hole has been carved out of his chest and head and limbs, like he's been made hollow.
He keeps closing and opening his eyes, but the grey doesn't go away. He thinks he has a headache, but he can't quite sense the pain. Her skin looks dimmer than it did, and when he touches her, he feels only flesh.
And that scares him, like he has suddenly gone blind, because he knows she is so much deeper and just can't feel it.
He's afraid to wake her, afraid she'll take away this last bit of her he still has, but he has to, if only to make sure she's all right. "Elizabeth."
She snuggles closer to him before waking, like she knows what's coming. His skin hums, his exhausted nervous system offering up a pale nod toward his usual reaction to a beautiful woman naked in his arms -- more so, even, because it's her -- but it doesn't feel like enough.
Still, it feels a bit better. He tries to make himself relax.
"John." She opens her eyes, and blinks, and frowns. "What...?"
He pulls her closer, reflexively. "I don't know. I remember-"
He remembers. His fingers brush over her hair and he remembers the night before only in broad strokes, knows that they had sex and that it was more than that. That he saw inside her, saw the private and reserved Elizabeth Weir, and though he can't now remember the details while his head is fuzzy and his body exhausted, he doesn't think he'll ever be the same.
"Shit," she says, and her eyes well up and he wonders if she remembers more than he does. "We're so stupid."
His heart pounds weakly (his heart's still there and still working, that's good), and, more than anything, he wants to be able to read her mind. "I think it's a safe assumption that we were drugged," he offers.
"Not that," she groans, and begins to trace patterns in the hair on his chest. Maybe it's an aftereffect of whatever happened the night before, or maybe it's just that he's forgotten what normal sensation feels like, but her touch feels like more than a touch. If last time she cut him off from her naked body and off-duty friendship in the name of duty and honor resulted only in his avoiding the control tower and jerking off more and yelling a lot at the junior members of the expedition... he doesn't know what he'll do this time. It's dramatic to say that he won't survive, because he will, but the part of him that still feels hollow, feels like when they separated their thoughts and minds and bodies as the drug wore off the night before some of him got lost in her forever, wonders if he'll survive the separation intact.
He still asks. "What?"
"Thinking we could just call it off. That I could just..." A single tear rolls down her cheek and she covers her face as though a simple emotional display could possibly change his opinion of her after he saw her entire being spread out on this mattress. "Shit."
He kisses her forehead, the backs of her hands, her lips. She doesn't resist him, doesn't tell him off, and that's a good sign. "We were both wrong," he admits. After all, when she walked away last time, he let her. Even counted himself lucky that it had ended before he'd fallen too far and made a real fool of himself.
Her breathing is shaky, but her voice is strong. He knows this about her now -- her rational mind never gives in completely to fear or grief or even love. He also knows this doesn't mean she loves less. "So what are we going to do?"
He knows too much about her to let her walk away again. He knows she doesn't really want him to. "We keep doing this," he decides, and hopes like hell she won't overrule him. "And we don't let it interfere with our jobs."
She nods. "Can we do that?"
They only saw each other, not the future. "I think so."
She rests her head against his shoulder, and it feels good. "Are you sure we're not still... under the influence?"
Of something, maybe, but not the alien wine. "Pretty sure. But we should probably bring back some of it for testing. That was..."
Elizabeth snorts. "Pretty potent, yeah. We're going to have to explain ourselves to the others," she reminds him.
It's his turn to groan. "You mean, I do." None of them will give her any hassle beyond a few smirks or awkward looks, but he's the one who has to go off-world with them. Never having done it before, he isn't sure, but he suspects that running off in the middle of an off-world banquet to have sex with his commander is not something that he'll ever live down.
Totally worth it. And by the way the alien King smiled at them, it may not even have been accidental. He should feel violated, maybe, but it's hard to feel anything but content with Elizabeth dozing on his shoulder like this. He should probably thank his royal highness, if he gets the chance.
He kisses her forehead, and she sighs, and even though everything still looks a little grey, he feels pretty damned good.
Yeah, he'll definitely have to thank the old man in the morning. For now, though, there's no way that he can pull himself away.