Stars in Space - 5/6


Author: Daniela
Fandom: Stargate:Atlantis
Pairing: John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir
Rating: PG13
Category: Romance, Humor, Angst
Series/Sequel: Dare all Things
Summary: All those moments ... lost in time and space.
Warning: Spoiler for Season 1 - 3
Disclaimer: No one of Stargate:Atlantis belongs to me.
Least of all Lt. John Sheppard. Damn.
Feedback: Yes, please. Every word opens a new gate.
Email: daniforblue@yahoo.de
Released: December 2009
Word Count: 4046
Beta: Isha


"I'm sure you'll both agree that the paperwork on this is going to be a nightmare ... especially that kiss," Caldwell said smugly.

John and Elizabeth stared at him in horror.

"Yes, sir!" John said firmly, shifting in his bed like a kid, who had been caught cheating to be sick.

"Well, try not to kill each other while I'm gone," Caldwell teased further, and walked out of the infirmary.

Elizabeth smiled ruefully at John, and slid down in the bed in embarrassment.

"I think it´s about time, Elizabeth." John put his palm pilot away.

"For what?"

"To tell them the truth about us."

"Why? Because we kissed? Everybody knows we weren´t ourselves."

"People will talk all the same."

"So let them talk."

"I see." He turned his back to her.

"You see what?"

"You like us being a secret."

"That´s not true, John. But... I..."

"Forget it."

Elizabeth wanted to reach out to him. You are wrong. I want the world to know that I love you. I want the whole universe to know. I´m not afraid....

But Carson came in and the chance passed.

*************************************************************


The conference was over. They stayed behind, finally alone.

"You were saying?" John lingered in his chair, perfectly comfortable for now.

"I didn´t say a word." Elizabeth blinked, still amazed by the miracle of his return.

"Before... we had company... you said you were feeling very..." He smirked and raised an eyebrow.

"Well..." On the brink of tears and barely able to continue she cleared her throat. "...if you have to ask how I feel..."

"Sorry." He rushed over to her and whirled her into his arms. "I don't have to ask." He nuzzled his face into the softness of her hair. Her scent made him drunken with happiness. "Simply because I feel the same way."

She surrendered to his tenderness. "Hungry, hmm?" Dear Rodney. Your joke saved me from utter embarrassment today.

"Well... sort of." Delicately, his hands rambled over her back, down to her ass, letting her feel his desire. "I can never taste enough of you."

"Let me feed you." Her lips licked over his mouth, ready to feast.

They ate right on the big shiny table, though, it was a hurried meal.

But later, they enjoyed a good and solid second course in John´s quarters.

***************************************************


The bed was warm and comfy, a safe place, to hide from the Wraith, or anyone.

"It was nice of you defending my honor today," Elizabeth whispered into his ear.

"I can still knock this Woolsey guy in the head?"

"It´s not worth it. I don´t want to lose you because you´re sent to some prison."

"Alright, so ... no head knocking."

"As you said... it's the thought that counts."

"Mmh." He explored the curve of her shoulderblade. "That reminds me... how long will we keep on playing this charade?"

"John, we already discussed this. It wouldn´t help winning Woolsey´s trust by letting him know that we are involved."

"Involved?" He stopped his caress. "I love you." His tone turned fierce and bitter. "And you love me, I thought."

"Never doubt that I love you, please." Elizabeth pulled him back. She needed him to be close every second possible. They didn´t have enough of these moments like right now. "I do and always will... but..."

"...Atlantis comes first..." Sighing, he gave in, not able to be mad at her for long.

"Exactly."

*******************************************************************


"So what is it with you and that Lucius guy?" John trapped her shortly after the unpleasant meeting in the office.

"What do you mean?"

"Is it a joke?" He coughed. "Are you mocking me because I told you so many times I want people to know we are a couple?"

Elizabeth whimpers. "About that... Lucius thinks... you and I are not good for...."

"You told him?!"

"I had too, John. He is my body and soul. I can´t lie to him."

"Will you knock it off?!"

"John! I don´t like the way you are talking to me."

"Don´t you? Well, when it comes to the security of this base, I´ll talk to you as the commanding officer. I won't allow you to put this city in any danger."

"John, are you questioning my authority?"

"I question your sanity, damn it!"

"Please, you have to understand."

"Elizabeth, I need you to focus."

"But he needs me," she whined with maniac glittering eyes.

"Not as long as I have something to say." He broke away, coughing like hell.

************************************************************************


John stood frozen in the doorway of Elizabeth´s quarters.

She raised an eyebrow at him. "What? I just made soup for you."

"You never cooked for me."

"It was about time then." She poured the soup into the bowls. "How is your cold?"

"Much better."

"I´m very pleased to hear that," she said sincerely.

The soup smelled delicious. But he wasn´t finished teasing her. Not after what he had been through. "So you´re, uh, truly back to normal?"

"I´m fine, John." She tasted the soup.

"No lingering desires? Secret longings for his touch?"

"Not that I know of."

"I meant me. No secret longings for my touch?"

"No." She licked her spoon.

"Pity." He turned around. "Now I have to find me someone..."

"Come here!"

"Yes ma'am."

She wrapped her arms around him. "Would you care for dessert?"

He grinned. "Secret longings after all, huh?"

Elizabeth claimed his lips and showed him the real thing, no magic required. "How´s that for an answer?"

*******************************************************************


Looking like dead she was lying on the bed. But John knew she wasn´t dead. She would never give up that easily as well as he would never give up on her. Carson told him she might hear him so he talked to her, talked much more than he ever had, talked to stay sane despite the fact that he was scared to death. He felt that his friends watched him, deeply concerned, Rodney and Carson even more than Teyla and Ronon, because they knew of their secret relationship. He begged her to keep fighting, not having a clue, if he was getting through to her, but somehow he knew he did, he just knew. It was a knowledge which came from his deepest soul, a knowledge only lovers had.

"They've begun to spread faster," Carson cut the bound John had created with her brutally. "We're losing her."

"Not yet we're not." He ran to the isolation tent and unzipped it, not listening to the warning shouts of his friends. He hurried over to the bed and put both his hands on Elizabeth's arm. His mind shut up to the screams around him. His mind focused on her. His mind screamed at her. Fight! Fight! Stay alive! I can´t live without you. I can´t be at all. His voice was softer. "Don't let them do it. You have to fight ‘em. So fight." Please. Oh God, please. Don´t leave me.

The medical stuff tore him away, forced him out of the tent, leaving her to destiny. Carson shouted at him, worried that John had endangered himself to get infected too. John didn´t mind. If Elizabeth was doomed he wanted to go down the same path.

Death couldn´t be more painful than living without her.

*************************************************************


He got her back. Safe and sound she slept in her quarters. John hesitated to go to her. Did he really get her back? Was she the same Elizabeth, the Elizabeth who loved him and had shared his bed over the years? What if she had forgotten about him? What if she didn´t remember about them? What if she didn´t remember what they mattered to each other? She had behaved very distant a few hours ago when they had met on the balcony. A vulnerable stranger who didn´t appear to be herself. Well, yes, she had cared about him not getting hurt by the nanites. She only had been out for five hours but had told him it had felt much longer. Well, not only to her, to him it felt like they had been separated for weeks, almost a lifetime. Frankly, he couldn´t wait one more second. He had to see her right now, he had to be with her. His Elizabeth. The woman who made love to him, who shared his fears and sorrows, who made him happier than anyone else in the universe.

She awaited him with tears in her eyes, shaking. "Finally. I wasn´t sure about you - about us. I thought maybe it was only a dream, that there was nothing going on between you and me, only my wishful thinking, only my longing... only the nanites giving me false memories...."

He rushed over to her and pulled her into his arms. "No. It is real, our real world..."

"I´m so glad." She sobbed into his shoulder.

"Me too, sweetheart, me too." More than you´ll ever know.

United, they drowned in reality all night.

**************************************************************************


Elizabeth stroked over John´s cheek. "How are you?"

"Fine, concerning I was feed on by a Wraith."

"Oh John." She sniffed. "There was nothing I could have done."

"I know. Don´t cry."

"I can´t help it. I feel like I could have done better. I feel...."

"You could have done nothing. I´m just one man. I´m expendable. Atlantis is...."

"Don´t say that!"

"The security of Atlantis comes first. No discussion."

"You think I don´t know that!" Her voice pitched to a hysterical level.

He blinked in surprise. "Elizabeth..." He had never seen her like this.

"I can´t do this again. Leaving you to torture... not even for Atlantis... not for anything..." She shook him. "Did you hear me? I won´t let this happen again."

"Don´t do this to yourself." He seized her hands, keeping them still, keeping her from losing control. "Don´t."

"I won´t do it again." Her voice had dropped to a harsh whisper.

Still, he noticed her utter pain and sorrow. She was dead serious. "I know." He held her tight. "I believe you."

**************************************************************


After Carson´s funeral they were lying on her bed. The lights were as dull as their voices.

"Where have you been before - before... before it happened?" Elizabeth choked out.

"I shared a beer with Ronon." John had the feeling this had happened a lifetime ago.

"Did you have a good time?"

"I´m not sure. We talked about dating and marriage. He thought I have a thing for Teyla. I said no and he asked me if there is anyone else."

"What did you tell him?"

"What do you think? I lied that there is no one. I always lie when it comes to us."

"John, you have to. Just today I figured once more how much I need to focus."

"Is that why you kissed that Branton?"

"He kissed me," she flustered. How does he know? How does he know everything? "It meant nothing."

"I just think if you see no problem in kissing a stranger in public... why not me?"

"John! We had this discussion hundreds of times. I´m too tired and too sad... to go into this right now."

"Why were you going on a date with that Branton anyway?"

"I was trying to get out of it, but he was insistent."

"So?"

"I couldn´t say I have a boyfriend, could I?"

"Why not?"

"Okay, next time I´ll be asked out on a date, I say I´m promised to a soldier on his tour."

"There is a next time?" he joked, slightly irritated.

"I didn´t mean it like that."

"I know." He put his arms around her.

His warmth made her feel better - if just for a little.

"That´s what I wanted to do at the funeral. I longed to comfort you but I wasn´t allowed to. It tore me apart, Elizabeth."

"We will tell them."

"When?"

"Soon."

"As if I didn´t hear that one before." Gently he put a few kisses on her neck. "What about giving the lonely soldier a kiss right now?"

With Carson´s death and all she wasn´t really in the mood. "Do I have to?"

"Yes, because I want to be the last man you have ever kissed."

"Oh - right - in that case...."

*********************************************************************


Elizabeth was sitting beside John as he piloted the puddle jumper towards the ocean floor.

"Well, still glad you came?" John asked Elizabeth with a touch of sarcasm. It had been a long, eventless journey. Several Atlantis crewmembers were yawning in boredom.

"Oh, sorry. I was preoccupied thinking about the geothermal drilling platform," Elizabeth startled from her thoughts. Am I the only one who is enjoying this trip? She bathed in being close to John, being a part of this mission and able to be close to him for hours. I´m with him. What´s there not to like?

"Shouldn’t take us much longer. We just passed the thermal layer and I’m getting some readings a couple of hundred feet ahead." He smiled charmingly. I feel the need to kiss you. How is this possible? After all this time we are together?

"If we did manage to find an alternate and potentially limitless power supply, that would make even this insufferably long search seem worthwhile." Why does he look at me that way? Is there something on my face?

Just a small kiss on your cheek. It would be fun to explain such an endearment to everyone around. John turned his attention away from her. "OK, kids, we’re here." Maybe next time.

The team groaned in relief.

He is so dashing. How can I not thinking of smooching him right now? Elizabeth smiled at John. Maybe later.

*********************************************************************



The Jumper had backed into the platform’s docking port. John, Teyla, Ronon and Elizabeth were ready to search the facility.

"Well, we have a lot of exploring to do," Elizabeth said lightly.

"We?" John marveled, surprised.

"Until Rodney delivers the preliminary status report, I’m all yours. Put me to work, Colonel." She liked to tease him like that. She liked to know that he wouldn´t wait too long to take her up on her teasing. She liked to feel all woman.

"Alright, let’s make up some time. Break into teams. Ronon, you’re with Teyla. Elizabeth, you’re with me -- or I’m with you, however you wanna put it." There! Keep it up that way and I´ll spill it all. John walked into the tunnel.

Elizabeth followed him. "Ee-ther way ... or eye-ther way." This mission is turning out to get better and better.

Ronon handed Teyla a pistol and they headed off, too, but into a different tunnel.

"Who is with whom, huh?" Elizabeth teased further, smiling fondly. "Still pushing my buttons, Colonel?"

"Who is pushing whose buttons here, Dr. Weir?" John joined her game.

"Don´t forget who gives the orders." She giggled.

"I´m ranking military officer here." He stopped in his tracks and pinched her.

"Yes, Colonel," she breathed, aflamed.

He kissed her impulsively.

She sighed in bliss, kissing him back with all her heart, grabbing on to him like a wildcat. The kiss turned very serious, for minutes they forgot about their duties, smooching and clutching, until they were in desperate need for breath.

"This place improves the kissing," John confessed, dazzled.

"Are you saying you didn´t like us kissing otherwise?"

"No. Not at all. I love kissing you. It´s just different down here. I guess it´s the effect of the pressure."

"Well, Colonel, what about a second shot?"

"Yes, ma'am." This kiss turned even more serious. They melted into each other, exploring thoroughly, almost floating away.

"That was awesome," she granted, gasping, feeling a little dizzy.

"You know, I have my moments." He grinned, satisfied. "Unfortunately we have to get back to business."

"Unfortunately, you are right," she echoed his regret. They hurried into the darkness to continue the real exploring.

Two seconds later, Teyla and Ronon looked around the corner. A peculiar smile played around the corners of her mouth. "Finally we caught them red-handed."

Ronon growled. "I don´t understand why they´re hiding it. Nobody would complain. They suit each other perfectly."

Teyla shrugged. "I think it is a chain of command matter."

"My ass!" Ronon snarled.

*******************************************************



Ronon went over to one of the bunks. In the bunk next to him, Teyla had already closed her eyes. Elizabeth and John kept lingering around.

Rodney came in. "Look, the Wraith’s gone -- we’ve got a ton of research to do."

"Yes, we do." Elizabeth followed Rodney out of the room, throwing a rueful smile back at John.

"Well, I for one intend to spend the next little while resting." John lay down on one bunk. Ronon growled in sympathy.

A soft pressure on his lips woke John up again. It was Elizabeth. John felt like he had not slept at all.

"What are you doing? Don´t you think this is a little too bold considering you want to keep us a secret."

"I felt the need after the threat of dying. We are alone anyway."

Yawning, John sat up. "Where is everyone?"

"Lunch."

"Good idea."

Elizabeth held him off. "Not so fast, Colonel."

"One more kissing session under the sea it is, huh?"

"Seize the opportunity as long as it l-"

*****************************************************************


Only an hour to go until Rodney would try to submerge the city of Atlantis to save it from the Replicators. John and Elizabeth made use of the time to meet in his quarters.

"I´m sorry for making the wrong decision," he confessed as soon as they were alone.

"What´s done it´s done."

"I know you think I should have listened to you, not to Colonel Ellis. I can’t help but think that we’re somehow responsible for this."

"It´s okay, John. I´m just glad you came back alive. That´s all I´ve asked for."

"There wasn´t any danger. You have to stop to worry all the time."

"I know." Rascally, she messed with his hair.

"Ellis said I should be the one running Atlantis and not you."

"Did he? What was your answer?"

"Then I’d be The Man, and who would I have to rage against?"

She burst into chuckles. "I love you, John Sheppard."

"Uh... okay... considering I expected rather anger than love... after what I... this is... "

She unzipped his pants.

"uh... Elizabeth... I don´t think this is the moment..."

"...you have one hour to be The Man..."

"I won´t last that long if you keep doing this...."

**********************************************************


"I need a medical team to the Control Room, stat! Multiple injuries!" Rodney screamed over the radio.

"Elizabeth!" John leaped out of the Chair and raced off. What happened? Who is injured? What have I done wrong? He barely noticed the many people screaming in pain, when he reached the control room. He just needed to see that she was alright. Medics were treating a couple of injured people who were covered in cuts from the broken glass. Dr. Keller who was helping to lift a stretcher containing Elizabeth’s unconscious body onto a gurney caught his eye at once. No! This can´t be! Elizabeth’s head was bound with a large bandage, she was wearing a neck brace, had an oxygen mask over her face and was covered with a blanket. "Keller, what happened?" he exclaimed, fighting a panic attack.

"Apparently the beam grazed the tower and blew out the ..."

"Is she gonna be OK?" It´s not that bad. She will beat this. She is tough.

"I don’t know yet. She took quite a fall and her pupils are sluggish. I’m gonna have to get her under a scanner. I’ll know more in a bit." She followed the medic as he wheeled Elizabeth out of the room.

John´s heart was on fire. She is seriously injured. Jesus! Why is this happening to us? Why now? What am I going to do? What if... No! Don´t even think that. He forced himself to focus on the people who needed help. He forced himself to stay calm. He knew that was what she wanted. She needed him to take control. She needed him to be the leader. The man... who has no one left to rage against...

******************************************************************


John was standing just inside the door of Elizabeth´s office, looking into the room. Her office seems strange without her sitting at the desk. Empty. Abandoned. Inexistant even.

Rodney joined him. "Any word on how she’s doing?"

"She’s still in the O.R. No real news yet." Don´t bother me. Don´t make me think of her injured. Don´t.

Awkwardly, Rodney patted his arm. "I´m so sorry, Colonel. This must be hard for you."

"Yeah." He took a deep breath. "But I know she needs me to focus on the city."

"Right." Rodney shuffled nervously around. "But I know how much you... and her... ermh..."

"Rodney, please, I can´t do this right now. I..." He closed his eyes in agony. "It´s my fault."

"That´s nonsense... John." Rodney seized him by the shoulders.

"No. It´s not. I´m..."

Rodney tried to hug him. The one man who was famous for being incapable to be close to anyone was trying to comfort him - somehow.

"...responsible." John pushed him back. He wouldn´t allow himself to be weak if even for a moment.

"I... I´m sorry," Rodney stammered, blushing.

"No. I´m sorry. For everything." John walked away.

*********************************************************************



Jennifer came out of the O.R. "Colonel?"

John looked at her in dread for a moment, then reluctantly walked over to her. She put her hand on his shoulder and steered him away from everyone else in the room. They walked over to some computer screens showing the O.R. where medics were treating a post-operative Elizabeth. One was wrapping a large bandage around her head.

"Is she OK?" Dumb question. Can´t you can see that she is not? Just look at her.

"She’s alive, but she’s in bad shape. She’s got six broken ribs, one of which punctured her lung. Amazingly, she doesn’t have any spinal damage ... but her head got knocked around pretty good. She’s suffering from cerebral oedema, which may have caused substantial brain damage."

"What does all that mean?" Only a few hours ago we made love. Only a few hours ago I held her in my arms, her virulent body....

"Well, it’s too early to know for sure but, if she survives -- and I gotta stress the ´if´ ... she’ll never be the same Elizabeth again."

John stared at the computer screens. Never the same Elizabeth again? What does that mean? Only an empty vessel? Just a face with no mind at all? Not my brave smart passionate Elizabeth? Not the woman I love more than anyone else?

"I’m sorry."

John continued to stare at the computer screens. If I stop listening... if I just stop believing all of this... maybe... maybe....

"I’ve gotta get some things and get back in there. We’re under-staffed. Most of our team’s on the Apollo." Jennifer walked away.

John fought not to cry. Too late. I lost her. Too late to make a life for us. She left me alone. He felt as beaten as Elizabeth looked. "It should have been me... not you... never you... why didn´t you stay away from this stupid window? Why didn´t you...?" No, it´s my fault. I did this. If I wouldn´t have gone on this mission... if we wouldn´t have attacked the Replicators... if... if...why wasn´t I with her when it happened? Why wasn´t I able to protect her? Why didn´t I tell Keller what she really means to me? Why didn´t I tell she´s my love? Why for god´s sake? I´m the man. I should have... could have... oh god....I´m as much to blame as she is.... Tears sprang to his eyes. Anguished, he wiped them away. He had no time for personal feelings. Atlantis was in danger and with Elizabeth incapable to lead he had the command. He was responsible for the safety of these people. It would be wrong to focus on her. It would be wrong to waste time by mourning her. He had to save everyone. He had to pull himself together. He had to be the man even he was broken.

"Elizabeth... I´m sorry...forgive me..."

He moved on and left her behind. He abandoned her like a coward. And nobody would ever know. Nobody but him.

The stars went black.

John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir Fanfiction