Title: "Lady and the Tramp"
Author: Little Red
Category: Sheppard/Weir established relationship
Spoilers: The Eye, old-skool Disney movies.
Summary: Growing up is hard to do.
Author's Note: Yet another icon meme ficlet! Sort of. This one was for Vicki, because we'd been talking about how Weir/Sheppard were somehow equivalent to Lady/Tramp, and... yes, well, it went on from there, and she 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 burying her head 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 weakly.
"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 body 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. He knows 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 and chirps, "I'm still tired, John."
Evil, evil woman. He's not going to admit he deserves it. He kisses her again and raises a seductive eyebrow. "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 it's hard to pull off when 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.
Elizabeth's the one to speak next, long after he thought she'd fallen asleep. "You know that Disney made 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.
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