The thing about nighttime on Atlantis is that it's no different than daytime. It's supposed to be, but when you (and by "you," Laura alternately means Stargate Command, Homeworld Security, and the IOA, none of whom get what Atlantis is, though Stargate Command comes close) throw a bunch of overachieving geeks and military types bucking for promotion together, you have a 24/7 city that runs off caffeine, sugar, and a non-stop rush of adrenaline.
Half Laura's meals are with Kate, and so she knows how many therapists there ought to be (at least half a dozen), how many there are (one), and how many times Kate and Carson have put in requests for an expanded medical and biological sciences staff (every goddamn quarter, but Rodney keeps prioritizing his requests and Kate will be damned if she's going to use her relationship with Elizabeth to gain some kind of unfair advantage). It's not that Laura is supposed to know about Elizabeth and Kate's secret relationship, but since there's only one expedition shrink (for now, says Kate), and since Kate knows about Laura's secret relationship with Teyla, Laura is the person who gets to listen to Kate complain.
It's a fair trade; Laura bitches all the time, especially when Rodney is being a shit or when Lorne tries to find out where ladies' poker night is going to be held this week. (Once, he tried to say that he and Ronon wanted to go there on date night. Or some bullshit excuse like that, she doesn't even know. Laura didn't even need to smack him upside the head for that one. Ronon did it for her.)
Still, there are times at night when it's quieter than others. Midnight, when the shifts haven't changed and the scientists haven't succumbed to their need for sleep, the halls will echo if you haven't had "be quiet or the Goa'uld or Wraith or whatever boogeyman it is this time will get you" drilled into you by Colonel-now-General O'Neill, Major-now-Colonel Carter, Dr. Run-at-the-Mouth Jackson, and Scary-Calm-Dude Teal'c in your first few weeks of SGC training. (Or that's how Laura got to be so quiet.) It's not like anyone believes the Wraith will get them on Atlantis itself; it's just a habit to move like that anyplace that's not Earth.
The point is that the halls get deserted around midnight, because everyone military is on duty or asleep and the scientists are all workaholics.
Which is why Atlantis' unofficial support group for queers ended up meeting at midnight at least once a week, if not more. Teyla still rolls her eyes at all of them, and thinks that the American military is ridiculous (no one can argue that one, but Lorne tries, bless his regulation happy little heart), and that all the Earth-based prejudices are, as she puts it, "a barrier to true unity in the face of threats from the Wraith and your galaxy's Goa'uld."
Laura would pay good money to see her girlfriend go up against the IOA. Everyone would expect Teyla to hit them, because that's the kind of reputation Teyla developed after going Bantos-rods-to-hand against a couple of badass Wraith, but most of them forget that Teyla's real strength is in making people do what she wants. Why do any of them think Elizabeth and Teyla figured out early on that Teyla needed to be on Colonel Sheppard's team?
Everyone is afraid of what Colonel Sheppard's team will do to get in trouble next. As far as Laura can tell, no one is afraid of what Teyla and Elizabeth are doing behind the scenes. "It is always good to have someone who is loud to cause a distraction," says Teyla, her voice solemn, but her eyes dancing with amusement. Elizabeth smiles, Laura chuckles, and Ronon busts out with this guffaw that says he knows what Teyla's doing and he's backing her up.
Laura loves it when her team gets to steal Ronon for a mission. He's got the best guerilla tactics on Atlantis. For a bunch of people who spent time fighting a war against the Goa'uld, like most of their military here, that's saying something.
Tonight it's just Laura and Teyla. Laura's got her head in Teyla's lap, and her feet are propped up on the wall. They've turned one of the empty bedrooms into their meeting room; the lock code is hard to get unless you're in the know. They don't worry about being found out by anyone not in the know, and Laura hides her stash of Earth candy in here. (She's discovered you can get anything you want, but only if you have an unlimited supply of cheap, corn syrup and fake coloring-laden candy to trade with.) Laura is buddies with Walter back on Earth. Walter, in addition to being one of the computer operators for the Stargate, is General Landry's chief assistant and sends all Atlantis' supply requests on. She owes him big-time.
"You are distracted," says Teyla. She sounds less irritated, more amused.
Laura looks up through her hair, which is in her face, and grins at Teyla. "I didn't want to give you my full attention where we could be interrupted." (She wants to kiss Teyla breathless, and move on from there.)
"I see." Teyla hides a smile, because a leader of her people needs to be serious about ninety, ninety-nine percent of the time. Laura gets her the times she just gets to be Teyla. "Perhaps you and I should return to my quarters, where we need not be interrupted."
Teyla is so beautiful it takes Laura's breath away. She gets to spend her nights with Teyla (and she can see there's going to be sex tonight). She and Teyla sneak out to the Athosian settlement on the mainland as often as they can. Halling wants Teyla to sit in the council of elders more often, and Elizabeth has been making sure Teyla gets breathing space and a pilot (Laura, because she totally switches the schedule on the sly) to fly her any time.
"We shouldn't," says Laura. She sighs, making a big deal of it (she likes melodrama; it's an advantage around here) and then smirks up at Teyla. "But I could let you convince me."
There's no change to Teyla's expression (Laura would pay to learn how to do that), but her fingers wander down to Laura's arm, tracing the curve of muscle at Laura's biceps. "Perhaps I did not think I needed to."
Teyla's smug, but she deserves to be. Laura takes a minute to think about it (not really), then rolls to her feet. "Let's go, then."
On the way out, the door opens and Lorne walks in. He grins when he sees them leaving, hand in hand (until they're out the door, at least). Ronon is fifty feet behind him, trailing along in the hallway because he understands what it's like to be careful. Even if he thinks the U.S. military is dumb.
She gives him a high five (they make sure it's included in Earth Gestures For Aliens 101, which totally should be a real class) as she walks by. It's a good night. Laura thought assignment to Atlantis was going to be an exile. Now she knows it's home.