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Intertwined

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i.

It’s been three days since Elizabeth’s birthday and the revival and loss of her alternate self, and she’s been doing her best to pretend she hasn’t noticed that John has been a little obviously keeping an eye on her and hovering more protectively than he usually does. Sat opposite each other in the window seat of one of the rec rooms, she reads - while he ostensibly writes - a report, both sneaking looks over at the other when they think it won’t be noticed.

“John?”

“Hm?”

“How many words have you written?”

“Seventeen…” he starts to say, only to catch himself and try to transform it into, “…hundred.”

“You’ve written seventeen hundred words?” she queries, watching him closely now.

“Yep.”

Elizabeth waits only one more moment, then lunges across the space between them, meaning to snatch his tablet out of his hands, but finds he lifts it high above his head and she almost falls into his lap.

Narrowing her eyes, she tries to cover her embarrassment by planting a hand against his chest and declaring, “You have not.”

Very pleased with himself, John challenges, “Prove it,” and presses his lips to hers.

They both miss the doors opening and the stunned stare that Teyla sports before it settles into a smile, and that she leaves them well enough alone.

ii.

They usually have better sense and actually manage to reach one of the Jumpers before clothes are abandoned, but John’s shirt is already on the floor and they haven’t even made it all that far past the doors, too distracted to think much about the chances of their being caught.

So, when those doors open, there’s no time to dart behind a Jumper, or do anything to hide the fact that he is half-undressed that won’t make matters look more incriminating than they already are. Especially when Elizabeth is in the process of unzipping his pants.

They manage to get a more appropriate distance between them just as Rodney sets eyes on them, but John has a hand hooked into his loosened belt to hold up his pants and utterly fails in summoning anything to say.

Rodney glances from Elizabeth to John and back again. Twice. “You know what? I don’t remember why I’m here. I don’t remember why I ever thought running a diagnostic was a good idea. I may never run any diagnostics ever again.” He makes a swift exit, muttering under his breath until the doors close behind him and leave them alone in the bay once again.

John’s head tilts and he sighs, admitting, “That could’ve gone…”

Elizabeth swipes his shirt from the floor and shoves it against his chest, concluding, “Better?”

iii.

Rooms and corridors that have been deemed safe, of little interest, and left to run on minimal power have long been their friends, but when Elizabeth swears she can hear footsteps too close to their dark and quiet corner, she tightens her legs around John’s waist and whispers, “Someone’s here…” as he hums a low, possessive sound just below her ear.

He freezes and drops his head down to try and silence himself, taking ragged breaths that are still far too loud, and so tucks his face into the crook of her neck in a further effort to smother any sound. That he shifts his hips as he adjusts his hold on her draws a gasp and the press of nails, which he answers with the sharp touch of his teeth, earning him a soft, keening note that makes it all the more difficult for him to stay still and silent.

The footsteps get louder and carry on past their alcove, revealing one of the anthropologists encouraging a marine to hurry after her. “No-one will look for us here,” she promises as they head further along the corridor, through several sets of doors, and out of sight.

Left alone, Elizabeth threads her fingers into John’s hair and tugs. “You did that on purpose,” she quietly accuses.

His teeth find her neck once more and he murmurs a smug, “So what if I did?”

“You—“

Thoughts of arguing further abruptly evaporate as he starts to move again.

iv.

When the chime for the door to his quarters drifts through the room, John pretends he doesn’t hear it and continues lazily kissing his way across her collarbone, and while Elizabeth would quite like not to be interrupted, what she can find of common sense in the moment prompts her to tell him, “John, the door…”

“Ignore it.”

She hesitates for long enough that he must take her silence for agreement, and by then she really doesn’t want to dissuade him again any more than he wants to acknowledge anyone else.

That the door opens roughly a minute later is something neither of them are expecting. She grabs the sheets to haul them higher up over the both of them, and he curses and eyes the figure in the doorway before demanding, “What the hell, doc?”

Carson blushes deeply and averts his gaze. “You’re late for your check-up and weren’t responding. I only let you out of the infirmary yesterday!”

“I’m not a damn bug anymore!”

Elizabeth covers her face with one hand.

Darting a look across at them and away again, Carson remarks, “When I mentioned resuming physical activity, you know this isn’t quite what I meant…?”

“I swear to god…” John growls.

The good doctor clearly decides it’s best to make a hasty retreat, but not before looking right at her and acknowledging, “Elizabeth,” and nothing more.

v.

In the days after surviving her ordeal with the nanites and being convinced that she had made up Atlantis and everyone that she has grown to care so much about, Elizabeth spends time simply wandering through the city, visiting departments and people and waiting… waiting to wake up in a nightmare. Her steps always carry her back to the balcony, to the ocean and the air, and, inevitably, John.

She joins him at the railings and doesn’t resist when he moves to fold her into his arms.

“You’ve got to stop doing this to yourself,” he says, though not without understanding.

“I know. I just need… time.”

John nods, accepting in his silence, and tightens his embrace the tiniest bit. He closes his eyes, and for a while they are still and quiet, and then he brushes a kiss to her forehead, followed by her cheek, and smiles ever so faintly when she claims a proper kiss.

There’s a slightly awkward cough from the doorway, where Ronon manages to look both as sheepish as he can ever mange and more than a little amused. “Me and Teyla’re gonna go with Beckett to the mainland. Says he’s got some… booster shots… or something to get on with. Unless you need us?”

Having put mere inches between herself and John, Elizabeth shakes her head. “No, go on. Safe trip.”

Ronon nods, yet pauses before he turns to leave. “By the way? Everybody knows. Blame McKay.”

John meets her wry gaze with a rueful one of his own. “Got it.”

She reaches for his hand as Ronon departs, moving back into his arms.

Because everybody knows. Apparently.