TITLE: Unity

AUTHOR: Little Red

RATING: PG-13 for skin.

CATEGORY: Sheppard/Weir. Fluff.

SUMMARY: John likes the way she shivers when he touches her.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm doing a lot of these random ficlets lately. Thank God there are always handy Star Trek episodes to name them after. This story's a lot less creepy than that episode, though.


John likes the way she shivers when he touches her.

Elizabeth is completely focused on the document in front of her -- a proposed ammendment to their treaty with the Agetherians to allow a prorated barter system depending on their local weather conditions during the growing season and a long list of other concerns from both sides. It's the sort of detail work only Elizabeth could love.

She must have stripped off the t-shirt she usually wears to bed sometime after he fell asleep. He can't see much from where he's lying beyond the pale expanse of her back, curved slightly forward in concentration over the electronic notepad in front of her, but it's a nice view. He brushes his hand across her bare skin again and a noticeable ripple runs up the muscles along her spine, even as she finishes tapping in a sentence. It doesn't even break her concentration.

He's not used to having this sort of pull on a woman's body. He's certainly capable of capturing and holding female attention when the situation requires it, but the way she seems to sense and react to him before she even completely realizes that he has entered the room is something new. She changes when he touches her, subtly, maybe in a way that someone else wouldn't even notice.

He's not used to a lot of things with her.

"Did the light wake you?" she asks, glancing over her shoulder at him just long enough to make sure that he really is awake enough for her to be concerned.

He shakes his head though she's not looking his way anymore. She sighs and adjusts her seated posture. Her head tilts side-to-side to work out a crick in her neck, but her eyes stay fixed on the words ahead of her.

"How much longer do you have?"

She doesn't answer right away, and when she does, it's an indefinite "I don't know," which means it could take hours.

"It's late," he whines. Not because of the light -- the light doesn't bother him and he's used to the tap-tap-tap of her small keypad. In the larger scheme of things he's worried that she doesn't get enough sleep, that she doesn't take good enough care of herself while she's busy taking good care of everyone else in Atlantis, but right now he wants her to lie down next to him because she's half-naked and smells nice and looks warm.

He makes the tired effort to lift one hand and trail it along her arm. Now that she's consciously aware of him and his potential ulterior motives, she doesn't visibly react to the contact.

"John..." It's her warning voice, but it's at the lowest setting and she tempers it with a benevolent smile that is completely unswayed. Damn. She doesn't explain herself or give an excuse -- she doesn't have to. These are her quarters and he's asleep in her bed uninvited, although they don't really need invitations anymore.

He doesn't want to start a fight about this -- he never wants to fight in bed. She figured that out uncannily early on and has occasionally exploited that soft spot of his for evil, but he kind of likes that she knows him so well. That's something new, too, which is funny because he's never been very good at keeping things hidden if anyone takes the time to look for them.

"Good night," he mumbles into the pillow and tucks his hands under his head to keep away from her tempting skin.

She dims the lights by half and continues to type. If he concentrates, he can separate her scent in the bedding from the laundry solution they use, and he drifts in and out of sleep with the effort.

He wakes again to her warm hand adjusting the sheet over his back. He doesn't open his eyes as the hand drifts across the muslces of his back and his arm, reacquainting her with his body as she settles in next to him for what's left of the night. Something soothing seems to emanate from the points of contact, washing all through him until he feels more relaxed than he did while actually asleep. He doesn't think he means to move, but finds himself rolling from his stomach to his side and pulling her flush against him until they're snuggled up like spoons in a drawer.

Someone hums out a sigh -- he thinks it's her, but is too tired to tell -- and his arm finds its way across her body to settle under her breasts. The rise and fall of her chest against him is hypnotic and he always ends up matching her breath for breath.

Even so, she somehow knows he's awake. "This is nice," she says, sounding mostly asleep herself.

"Hmm."

It is. He certainly sleeps more alone in his own bed, but he thinks that he sleeps better here.

"Thanks for keeping me company."

He isn't sure when sleeping next to her while she works like an insomniac became company, but it isn't strange that it is. He wants to say something about that because it feels important enough to acknowledge, but he's tired and can't quite make words.

He slows down his breathing and waits for her to follow suit before relaxing into the dark room and the bed and her body. He hugs her closer and she shivers, the gentle, unconscious shiver that is his and his alone.

This time, when he falls asleep, he takes her with him.

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