What are friends for?
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir
Category: Romance, Humor
Summary: Friends can make a difference
Warning: Spoiler for Season 1 and 2
Disclaimer: No one of Stargate: Atlantis belongs to me.
Least of all Major John Sheppard. Damn.
Feedback: Yes, please. Every word opens a new gate.
Released: August 2006
Beta: Isha, Lisa
Word Count: 1.409
After being off world for a week, on an unpleasant planet through an unsuccessful mission, the team was desperate to get home to Atlantis, if only to take a nice hot shower. Unfortunately, they had to wait for a few hours longer because the Stargate was having some problems. Everybody was tense and moody, especially their leader, Lieutenant Colonel Sheppard. No one dared to talk to him anymore because he was so irritable. No one but Teyla, who decided she was ready to put her friend to the test. It was about time to make him realize the obvious cause for his bad humor.
"You miss her awfully, don´t you?"
"Who?" he grumbled, displeased.
"Sure," he replied calmly. "I miss her just as much as I miss everyone from home."
"No, Colonel. I mean you miss her in particular."
He lowered his eyes and checked the safety of his weapon. "What gave you that idea?"
"The way you look at her, smile at her, care for her, the way she makes you furious..."
"It´s not what you think. I just..." he argued and stopped talking, unable to find the proper words to explain his feelings.
"Do you ever intend to tell her?"
"There is nothing to tell," he denied stubbornly. "We are just friends and..."
"I understand. You don´t love her then?" she confronted him boldly.
"What?!" His head jerked up in surprise and he faced her finally. He almost dropped his gun. "Who talks about love? It´s not love. It´s just..." Once again he couldn´t find the proper words. A crush? A fling? A desperate need for company? "... not right," he concluded lamely. "She is the leader of Atlantis. It wouldn´t be wise to get..." His face became hot. This is ridiculous. Stop it now! "...to get involved."
Teyla presented her familiar soft smile. "Who says this is only your decision? What about her?"
"What about her?" he asked, perplexed.
"Well, she is madly in love with you and..."
"She is not!" he blurted out. Startled, he looked around to check if anyone of the team had heard him but nobody seemed to be bothered by his stupid outburst. Ronon was resting, his eyes were closed. Well, after what he had pulled off on this mission, John thought grimly, it´s no surprise he´s exhausted. McKay was poking at the small fire they had made to keep warm. Finally silent, if only for a minute.
"She is," Teyla insisted kindly. "Ask anyone you want. McKay, Beckett, Dr. Zelenka..."
John gaped at her.
"...everyone knows but you."
There was dead silence as they stared at each other.
"Elizabeth loves me," John said finally, completely bewildered.
He didn´t reply. His mind was racing. Elizabeth loves me. Me! How did this happen? I´m never the man...
"So, what is your plan?"
"How will you handle the new information?"
"I don´t know," he answered quietly. It was the truth. He didn´t.
"Teyla," he growled warningly.
"Fine." Teyla shrugged. "It´s your decision." She walked away and let him be alone with his thoughts.
John sighed unhappily. Oh yes, he did miss Elizabeth. He missed her awfully. It pained him physically not to be with her. I have to do something. It´s about time. If she really loves me then...
A few hours later, Elizabeth was the first one to welcome them home as they stepped through the gate. The team excused themselves quickly, even Rodney didn´t speak a whole sentence, to go to their quarters. Only John lingered behind.
Brightly, Elizabeth beamed at him. "It´s good to have you back safe and sound."
"Ermh...yes, it´s good to be back." Nervously, John licked his lips. He barely could look at her.
"What´s wrong? Did something happen?"
"I´m just tired. Let´s talk later. Say, at dinner." Woah! That was fast. You´re quite the man with the plan, John.
She blinked a few times in surprise. "Well...yes, John. If you´d like to."
"I do." He gave a slight smile. "Is seven o´clock okay for me to come by and get you?"
"And where are we going, Colonel?" she asked, visibly excited.
"Well, I thought I could cook something and we´ll eat in my quarters."
"Oh." One simple soft sound. Her green eyes widened.
"Do you mind?"
"No. Not at all. I just didn´t know you can cook."
"I learned very early to take care of myself."
"I see." For a moment, she hesitated, as if she wanted to say something else, but she didn´t. Instead, she stayed put and kneaded her hands, apparently unable to move away. The tension between them grew. John couldn´t help it but keeping as motionless as she does. The seconds ticked by. Some of the people rushing by stopped and stared at them. One woman giggled. Elizabeth and John didn´t notice. Their eyes seemed locked for an eternity. Without words they told each other everything they needed to know.
Carson Beckett broke the tension at last. "Colonel! I ordered the whole team to get some sleep. Why are you still here?"
They jerked back to reality. "I - I have to...," John stuttered, oddly flustered.
"Right. See you at seven. Go and get some rest. You look beat," Elizabeth said hastily and hurried to her office, not minding the people who had gathered on the stairs.
He watched her leaving just for the joy of seeing her. "I am, sweetheart. I truly am," he murmured thoughtfully. It´s time to make a move. It's better for the both of us.
"What did you say?" Carson asked, astonished.
"Ah...nothing important. I believe I´m already delirious from the lack of sleep. Excuse me." John surprised himself by finding the strength to run off to escape Carson´s further questions and the very curious looks of everyone.
Five minutes past seven Elizabeth sat in John´s quarters at a small table. It was decorated nicely with candles, a few red blossoms and the prepared meal.
"It smells delicious, "Elizabeth started the conversation politely.
"Thank you. It´s nothing fancy. Just dig in."
She smiled and took the first bite. "Do you ever regret coming to Atlantis?" she asked then.
"A few times," he joked dryly. "When meeting the Wraith Queen for example."
"I get your point."
"Do you want to know how I made up my mind to come here anyway?" he spluttered before he could change his mind.
"I flipped a coin."
"No, you don´t. The coin voted against going to Atlantis." He paused for a moment and grinned fondly. "But I came here anyway."
"Why?" she asked, truly puzzled.
"Because of you," he said with all his heart and got up quickly to move around the table.
Elizabeth put her fork down and looked up to him. "That´s a joke, right?"
"No." John bowed down and kissed her lightly on the lips.
"John," she whispered, charmed.
"For you, Elizabeth. Don´t you think we should move our friendship to the next level?"
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down. "It´s about time. We thought you´d never ask."
His jaw dropped. "Who is we?"
She laughed out loud. "This look suits you very well."
"Elizabeth..." He was completely baffled.
"Who do you think asked Teyla to give you a push in the right direction in the first place?"
"You did not."
"Certainly I did. After all, I´m the leader of Atlantis."
"I..." John couldn´t believe what he was hearing.
She silenced him with a kiss. When he was able to breathe again he had forgotten what he had wanted to say.
"But frankly the whole thing was McKay´s idea," she continued with sparkling eyes. "He complained there was just no living with you anymore. Something had to be done..."
"That is...," he started to rant but was cut off.
This time she had to kiss him for a very, very long time to make him forget. Finally, she snuggled into his arms, satisfied. "Radek even disabled the Gate for a few hours to-"
"He did, did he?" Gently, he freed himself from her embrace. "I´m sorry, Elizabeth, I have to leave you alone for a few minutes to kill all of my friends." He rushed out.
Amused, Elizabeth leaned back in her chair, simply waiting for his return. Knowing John´s temper it wouldn´t take long. It was good she hadn´t told him about Ronon´s part in the whole plan.