Title: "Getting It Together"
Author: Little Red
Summary: "John Sheppard had spent his entire adult life looking for a woman who would tackle him at three in the afternoon and didn't want any diamond jewelry out of the equation."
Author's Note: This was completely random fic written in response to comment-spam for smishpixie, who said: "But when you have porn, who needs love?" Warnings for skin, mentions of sex, and potential disregard of characterization as we know it.
"But... we have sex! And it's great! Why do we need all that other stuff?"
Funny. John Sheppard had spent his entire adult life on Earth looking for a woman who'd say exactly that to him, who would tackle him at three in the afternoon just because they happened to have a few hours to kill before their next scheduled briefing and who didn't want any diamond jewelry out of the equation. Funny was growing up within a thousand miles of this particular woman, the one just now pulling on her underwear, and he'd had to go to a whole other galaxy to see her naked.
He didn't say any of that out loud. John just shrugged and said, "We don't really need that other stuff."
Elizabeth paused for a moment, considered it, and apparently decided that was an appropriate answer. "Okay. Good." He watched the way her stomach muscles moved and shifted as she looked around her. "I'm missing a sock."
Elizabeth always had cold feet. He'd laughed at her for wearing socks to bed -- he'd never met anyone before who did except in the dead of winter -- but after waking up a few times to icicles attacking random points on his legs in the form of Elizabeth's toes, he was beginning to understand.
He was finding that he really liked knowing these little details about her. He kept track of them, running them over in his mind when it had been too long since they'd been together and he needed -- wanted, not needed -- to remind himself of the connection they had, whatever that was.
He was the one who had brought up the topic of 'something more,' because his grandfather's voice in his head was making him feel a bit guilty for doing what seemed like taking advantage of her or because it really was starting to feel a bit... not wrong, exactly. Not empty, either, because he'd never really had a friend like her, someone he could work with and joke around with and have sex with and still talk to like a real human being when he needed to. She understood him in a way that would freak him out if he wasn't totally sure she was on his side. But more and more he was beginning to feel like they were teetering just on the edge of something wonderful. That they were missing out, somehow, on something he'd never really had or wanted before.
She found her sock at the bottom of his bed. After pulling it on and checking the time to see how close they were to their next meeting, she settled down next to him in bed again.
"It might be kind of nice, though," he said, in a voice that didn't sound quite like his own.
He shrugged. That word did always manage to make it sound rather pointless -- 'dating' was something he did to get into women's pants, and he'd crossed that particular threshold a long time ago. "Or something."
Elizabeth brushed her fingers over his chest. Her eyes were twinkling -- at least he wasn't making her uncomfortable. "What, the goofy love notes and flowers and me staying up all night worrying while you're away?"
"You already stay up all night when I'm away." He worried that she didn't get enough sleep, but he kind of... liked the idea that she didn't sleep well without him around. He especially liked the way she would flop down into his bed, socks and all, the nights after he returned, practically dead to the world already and very nice to hold. It was beginning to feel like just as much of a ritual as their post-mission debriefings.
Elizabeth frowned. "Well, it's my job to worry about you."
Somehow he doubted that his CO in Antarctica lost sleep whenever he was away from the base. "Of course."
Elizabeth pulled away from him to stare up at the ceiling, clasping her hands behind her head. When she was lying in his bed mostly naked like that, he really couldn't help poking a curious finger at one breast.
Her eyes drifted toward him, a touch worried. He pulled his hand away. "I just... I kind of like what we have. Don't you?"
He didn't really mean to ask it. "What do we have, exactly?"
Elizabeth smirked. She liked to tease him whenever he got close to being serious. Strangely enough, that was something his past girlfriends, whenever he'd managed to keep one long enough to call her that, had used to hate about him. "A good working relationship?"
He dropped a kiss on the inside of her arm, covering the weird... feeling in his chest with a memory of just what had put that thin sheen of salt all over her skin. "Do all your good working relationships make you scream out for God like that?"
She snorted. "Oh, yeah. You should hear the sounds I make when I get the latest water reclamation reports."
He didn't like the jealous images his mind conjured up for him -- he knew half the scientists and a good chunk of the military men on this expedition had barely veiled crushes on her. If she got tired of him, she certainly wouldn't lack for other willing participants for spontaneous afternoon sex.
He must have actually winced, because Elizabeth propped herself up on one elbow. "I don't, you know." She must have known what he was thinking.
"But you could," he said. He certainly wasn't about to demand fidelity, not for... whatever this was.
She nodded. "I know. But I don't." She tugged his ear gently -- not to hurt him, just to explore. He'd noticed that about her, too. She liked touching in ways that weren't always entirely sexual, just for contact, like something passed between them wherever skin touched skin. He found he liked being touched that way.
His hand settled on her hip of its own volition. "So what does that make us?"
"Colleagues," she said carefully. That was always first. Necessarily so -- he agreed with her on that count. Whatever happened inside his bedroom or her bedroom or that abandoned storage closet near one of the transporter junctions on the far side of the city couldn't interfere with their duty as the first line of defense against the Wraith.
He could tell she wasn't done, so he prompted, "Colleagues?" He kissed her for good measure. It appeared she could do with a little reminding.
Another kiss. "Good friends."
"Mmmm," she agreed. She pulled her head back and gave him a wicked grin. "And fantastic lovers."
Seriously, what in the hell was he worrying about when he had a woman who said things like that? "Fantastic, eh?"
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow, apparently having decided to let him keep this particular ego trip. "Definitely better than the water reclamation reports." The smirk disappeared, then, and she went quiet, contemplating. He saw her serious all the time at work, so he recognized it... but this was different here, in bed, to have her drop the joking, defensive layer of her personality.
"I'm just... I'm not ready to do anything else," she admitted, frowning. She looked right at him, the way she did when she needed there to be an understanding, the way that could feel like a sucker-punch when he'd done something wrong. It always felt like she could see right through him, but maybe this time she was offering him the chance to see through her. "Can you live with that?"
He could tell she was really asking, but it wasn't really a question. "Yeah. Sure." Wasn't he usually the one with a phobia of commitment? "This is great."
She let out a breath, a bit shaky. He wanted to pull her tight against him, not to smother her, just because he hated seeing Elizabeth nervous. After a moment of debating whether it would be all right, he did tug her back down to bed with him.
Oh, yeah. There was nothing wrong about having a naked Elizabeth Weir in his bed. It was no wonder he was getting used to it. She was comfortable. And she did things with her tongue he'd never even heard of before.
"Well, I'm glad," she said into his shoulder, tempering her statement by gently nipping his skin.
He wiggled his wrist loose to check his watch. They'd need ten minutes for a shower -- well, she always needed fifteen, since she hated arriving anywhere with wet hair ("We don't have to make it that obvious for them, John") -- but that still left twenty minutes. They'd made do with a lot less.
"Ready for more of that fantastic sex?"
She snorted, and he had to laugh at the way that felt against his skin. "See, if we were together, you'd have to be more romantic than that."
He shoved her onto her back, settling one leg between hers and freeing his hands to fool around. "I can be romantic."
"Sure you can. 'You know what'd be really great? We could do it in a puddle-jumper!'"
That had been really great, actually, once he'd learned to keep all body parts well away from the controls lest the ship react erratically to his sex-dizzied thoughts. "I'd bring candles," he argued.
"Candles? Where are you going to find candles?"
He could probably wrangle some from the Athosians. He'd seen the kids making some on the mainland. "Flashlights, then."
She bit his chin and grinned. "Ooooh, very romantic."
He'd run out of witty things to say and caught her lips for real, kissing her until he felt warmth course all the way down his spine. She sighed into his mouth, soft and apparently willing to let him take charge this time, and he took the opportunity to pull back enough to see her.
She'd look great in candlelight.
"We do have to be in a meeting with Zelenka in half an hour," she reminded him, hand trailing up and down his ribs where she knew he was a bit ticklish.
He shifted his body around hers and felt cloth on his calves. "You gonna keep the socks on?" he teased her.
"My feet are cold," she declared, kicking aside the edge of the sheet trapping their legs until she could wrap her feet around his back. "I'd still wear socks to bed if we were dating, you know."
He kissed her again, easily, feeling relaxed and at home, a whole galaxy away from the American soil that had spawned them both.
Elizabeth was right. They didn't need anything more than this.
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