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How the Other Half Lives

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It was amazing, she thought, how John's voice could still sound whiny even without being actually audible. "No."

"Come on."

"Absolutely not."

"When am I ever going to get another chance like this?"

"Never, I fervently hope. Not in my body or anyone else's." She just knew he was smirking, disembodied consciousness or not.

"If the situation were reversed, I'd let you," he pouted. How anyone non-corporeal could manage to pout, she didn't know, but if anyone could find a way to do it, it would be John.

"If the situation were reversed, I would never suggest it, and you know it. Actually if the situation were reversed, I bet you'd still be the one suggesting it."

"But wouldn't you be curious?"

Her pause in answering was enough to answer that question.


"Alright, yes, of course I'd be curious but there's a difference between curiosity and..."

"And what?"

Damn him. "Taking advantage of the situation." She just wanted this to be over with as little damage to her – their – dignity as possible.

That got him annoyed. "How is it taking advantage? If I'd taken over while you were asleep that would be different, but I'm asking. Politely."

"And if I refuse?"

"Hey, I already offered to keep my eyes shut while you were in the shower. You're the one who said it didn't matter since I've already seen you naked. A lot," he teased.

"I always suspected you were a gentleman deep down," she grinned.

"Yeah, well, don't let that get around. You'll ruin my reputation."

Elizabeth lapsed into silence.

"That's it, isn't it? You're worried about what people are saying?"

As usual, John could read her frighteningly well, even as nothing more than a voice in her head. "There have always been rumors about us, John. Since we left Earth."

"And that bothers you."

"It's human nature to gossip. I just didn't think we needed more fuel added to the fire." Their current predicament had only made things worse. She could just imagine the stories being floated around about the two of them sharing a body.

"I hate people."

That got her to laugh. Which, she knew, was why he said it. It was comforting to know John's personality was still intact. "I miss you," she sighed.

"Um, Elizabeth? In case you haven't noticed, we're closer right now than we really ever wanted to be."

"I miss being able to see you. The look on your face when you get cranky..." She could definitely have used a hug right now, after the past 2 days.

OK, more than a hug, to be honest.

He sighed. "Touching."

She felt John push for control and yielded to him. Her hand came up and brushed against her face. It didn't feel exactly the same. John's fingers were larger than her own, his skin drier and rougher from calluses. But the tenderness of the gesture was intact.

"I miss you too," he said quietly. It was strange hearing his words in her own voice. "And I *really* miss my body right now."




Her heart started to beat faster for both of them. "Are you sure?"

"You're really going to ask me until I change my mind?" she queried with a mental smirk. "It's as close as we can get right now."




"Is it like that every time?"

"Not every time, no. But usually. Sometimes even better," she added wickedly.


"Look in the drawer, in the nightstand."

"You've been holding out on me."




"How many times in a row can you do this?" he demanded, out of breath.

She thought for a moment. "Personal record was 5."

John paused for a moment, frowning. "Who with?"

"You really want to go there right now?" She grabbed control of her hand back momentarily and John quickly forgot his jealousy and took over again.


A couple of hours later, lying completely spent and soaked in sweat, Elizabeth was able to regain control completely.


"I couldn't have said it better myself."

"I'm starting to think guys have been royally gypped."

She snorted. "We'll see how you feel about that when I start getting cramps."

"Seven times in a row."

"You can pee standing up?"

"Seven. Times. Elizabeth."

"New personal record."

"Hmm. Wonder if we can beat it. I mean, when I get my body back."

"I do love your ambition, Colonel."

"Well, it's easier to focus here, when I'm not, you know, distracted by my own... uh, needs," he finished politely.

"There's that gentlemanly streak again."

"Shh. Our little secret, remember?"

"We really need to shower."

"I won't peek, I promise."

"I'm too tired to move. Plus I don't think my legs will work right now."

"I'm still gonna close my eyes."

She smiled, burrowing into the pillow. She could feel him drifting off. "Good night, John."

"Night, 'Lizabeth."

There was silence in her head for a moment. Then she heard a sigh. "What?"

"I really wish I could hold you right now."

She sighed herself, curling into a ball. "We'll fix it. Rodney will think of something."



"You wouldn't have let Rodney-?"

"John!" She wished dearly she could smack him right now.

"Kidding! Just kidding."

"Go to sleep," she gritted out.

"Yes, ma'am."