It was a day like any other when it happened, when Elizabeth realised her friendship with John had become something more.
The City and her inhabitants were safely settled on the new planet and the nanites keeping Elizabeth alive had been programmed to shut themselves off when she was fully healed. The IOA had considered removing her from her position when they learned of what had happened, but she’d defended herself and eventually a compromise had been reached. She was allowed to stay, but was required to share command with someone the IOA deemed suitable. Thankfully, that someone was Colonel Samantha Carter, who now oversaw the military faction of the expedition and with whom Elizabeth had developed an unlikely friendship.
Elizabeth was in her office when it all began, reading over yet another report from the science team. She could tell by now who the reports were written by, or in this case, who it wasn’t. Rodney had developed a habit of double spacing his reports, and while that didn’t make them any easier to understand, it did make them easier to read. Zelenka still had a habit of lapsing into Czech, and Miko’s were usually quite matter-of-fact.
She looked up from her tablet as the door slid open, revealing John hovering in the doorway.
“John! I thought you were supposed to be sparring with Ronon this morning.” John shrugged and came further into the room. “I got in a lucky shot; Ronon’s keeping Keller company in the infirmary.” His face didn’t change at all but she could still hear the smirk in his voice. She shook her head and looked down at the report (she realised this was one of Parrish’s) that needed her signature, not noticing John moving around the desk to stand beside her.
“The effects of interplanetary chemicals on xenobiological processes. That sounds… interesting.” John’s voice was far closer than she’d expected and she jumped, shooting him a displeased look when a smile started to appear on his face.
“Well, it was either this, or tracing who re-uploaded Spore.” She teased, suspecting he may have been the one behind that. John shifted away from her slightly; she took that as an admission of guilt and made to comment when he leaned over her shoulder to poke at the tablet on the desk. She batted his hand away before he could touch it, grinning in response to the confused look he gave her. He reached out again and she caught his wrist. “If you do that, I’ll lose my place and have to start all over again.”
Apparently John had the mental age of a small child today – he actually pouted for a second before losing interest.
That was out of character for him. “John, is everything alright?”
“Everything’s fine.” He replied. Elizabeth spun her chair to face him and realised she was still holding onto his wrist. She could feel his pulse, rapid and bounding under her fingers.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
He didn’t say anything that time, instead choosing to lean towards her, his intention clear in his eyes. They were just inches apart when they were interrupted by Rodney’s voice over John’s radio.
John straightened up with a huff, tapping his radio to see what Rodney wanted.
“What is it, McKay?” He sounded distinctly irritated.
“Seriously?” The irritation became annoyance as she heard Rodney’s voice grow indignant.
“Okay, okay, I’ll come help. It’s only a game, McKay.” He shook his head and clicked the radio off.
“Spore problems.” He explained at her questioning look. “Something about being killed by an Epic. I’ll see you later?”
He stopped in the doorway and looked back at her. “Yeah?”
Elizabeth got as far as “I was wondering if-” before she lost her nerve. “Never mind. Go save Rodney from the Epic.”
He gave her a mock salute. “Yes ma’am.”
Elizabeth didn’t see much of him the following day, but when she walked into her office the next morning, there was a cup of steaming coffee and a bar of chocolate on her desk. She allowed this to continue for a few days until she decided to try and catch her mystery coffee-deliverer in the act.
She woke up an hour or so earlier than normal and made her way to her office, greeting Chuck with a cheerful ‘good morning’ and laughing to herself at the slightly puzzled response she received.
She settled into her chair, picked up her tablet and began a game of solitaire to pass the time. About 15 minutes later there was movement in her peripheral vision – someone had come into the Gateroom and was now talking to Chuck. The two of them looked in her direction and she gave both men an amused look through the glass.
It was John. She should have known, really. She stood up from her chair as he came into her office. He seemed slightly embarrassed at being caught but set the coffee mug and the chocolate on her desk anyway and then stood there, not meeting her eyes. He looked like he was waiting for her to reprimand him about it.
“Thank you,” she said instead, her heart warming at the momentary look of surprise on his face. “What brought this on?”
“Nothing really.” He smiled at her then, really smiled, and Elizabeth felt the warmth in her chest spread throughout her body. “Just thought your days could use a little sweetening.”
She laughed and leaned against her desk. “Well, thank you.” She set her tablet aside and reached for the bar of chocolate, pleasantly surprised that he remembered such a trivial thing like what kind of chocolate she preferred (milk, not dark, with orange or strawberry flavouring). She opened it and broke a chunk off, popping a piece in her mouth before offering him some.
He took it from her and perched himself on the desk beside her, much as he had done a few days ago. Her mind chose that moment to recall the fact he’d nearly kissed her that day and she felt her cheeks flush red.
“Elizabeth?” His voice was concerned and right there beside her. She shook her head and looked at him, feeling her nerve return as she looked into those lovely hazel eyes, and she knew that if she didn’t do this now, she probably never would. It was the perfect opportunity – there were very few people around this time of the morning, which meant there was only a remote chance of someone walking in on them and interruptions by radio were unlikely given the time.
There were two ways she could do this; either just to lean towards him, or to physically pull him into it. She was considering which way when a hand cupped her cheek and distracted her from her thoughts.
John was watching her with a fond, almost affectionate smile as his thumb brushed back and forth over her skin. She returned the smile, nerves making her hand shake as she reached out to touch him. Her hand landed on his cheek, her thumb just under his ear. She pulled gently, leaning forwards and meeting him halfway in a kiss so tender she almost melted.
They’d have to be careful, very careful, as the IOA were no doubt still looking for reasons to relieve her of command. But, she thought as John murmured her name against her lips and kissed her again, the hand on her cheek moving to tangle itself in her hair, he was definitely worth the risk.