Rating: Parentally Guided
Spoilers: Supposes for Season 4
Summary: What my lil mind defiantly says happens in S4. *las*
Disclaimer: Don't own it, except on DVD. Don't profit from it, except in the expansion of imagination... and all your X-Mens is belongs to Stan the Man.
A/N: Beta'd by the beautiful alianne and mostly inspired by speckleberry's comm spark_daily to write at least once a day.
John was constantly available, despite his remaining duty as second in command. She didn’t see a difference in his behaviour. He had been that way before she had been removed and placed on his team.
He sought her out in an effort outweighing his usual habit when she did have an office. Elizabeth supposed it was because she had more time to notice.
He waited for her subtle agreement on major decisions either on base or off world. There was nothing unusual about that. John always consulted his team. But he wouldn’t make a move unless she was confident in his decision. She wasn’t in charge yet he would still await her approval.
In defiance of her protests he went to great lengths to have her taught in field combat, hand to hand and ordinance tactics. He left nothing to chance, though technically she was the civilian negotiator on his team. She wondered if Rodney ever got the same informal training. She made it a point to ask.
John found time for meals whenever they returned from missions. Sometimes they broke bread just because. She told herself it was a part of normal team interaction. Besides, someone would always join them eventually.
He lingered at her door when he walked her back from the infirmary or cafeteria. She caught him staring at her once or twice in a briefing. She hoped no one caught her turnabout. His hands remained upon her a fraction longer than they should have in a sparring session. She hoped he couldn’t sense her reaction to it. She wrote it off as his concern about her recovery and progress. She had been able to strike a balance of control since the Asuran beam activated the dormant virus within her and he did have to ensure everyone in his team was fit for duty.
Maybe she was reading more into things than she should. Or maybe she was reasoning those things into a comfortable place of acceptance.
She had been Doctor Weir for so long, it was new to be Elizabeth. To be integrated into the way Atlantis lived instead of running it was new and liberating. As Elizabeth her guards were down, her precautions unmeasured. Her doubts and fears expressed. Her word was considered, but never taken as final orders.
Doctor Weir had known these people for years but perhaps Elizabeth was getting to know who they were behind their titles. The John Sheppard that followed Lieutenant Colonel. It was a deeper continuance of their already established friendship.
Was it becoming something more? Was it timing? Circumstance? A combination of both? Or maybe it was those damned nanites attempting to make her see things that didn’t really exist.
Whatever it was, did she dare to begin a hope?
Restlessness dwelled in him naturally. Compelled him into motion constantly. Being forced into stillness nearly constricted his breathing.
He twitched. She consciously moved away.
He fought against the need to reach out and grab her. He stepped towards her drawing close the distance between them. She didn’t back away.
“John, don’t,” she begged.
He couldn’t comprehend her hesitation. He’d touched her while infected before. Hell, he broke quarantine to do so. It didn’t take then. Why would the nanites suddenly develop an interest in his bloodstream now? He had a theory that they were repelled by his possession of the ATA gene.
“They can’t get to me.” In a different situation his words would have sounded cocksure.
Elizabeth took in a sharp breath calculating the risk. The apprehension in her face unnerved him.
“I’ll be alright,” he guaranteed. He couldn’t allay her doubts but he did need to get them out of this passageway before they were detected by more replicators.
She was able to scramble their exact location. Her newfound ‘powers’ came in handy as much as his gene did. Single thought affecting significant technology. Slowly but surely his team was turning into the X-Men.
“Elizabeth,” he made certain she saw his confidence. “I’ll be okay.”
The pain shooting down her leg caused her to wince. She nodded her consent. Quickly, he slung her arm over his shoulders and commanded her to lean upon him.
“When you can’t crawl,” he stated.
She closed the small gap between his cheek and her lips.
It should have stunned him but all he could do was grin at her silent thanks.
“She’s dying Rodney!”
“I know that,” he shot back with the same vehemence. “You think I don’t know that?!”
“Okay, step back,” Carter intervened. “Breathe.”
Ronon grabbed Sheppard by the shoulder lightly but was shrugged off. John was too tightly wound. Shaken and wordless he left.
She meant everything to this place and she was being taken away.
She ran this city. She was made for this. She kept its peace. Held them together while barely holding on to herself. She gave Atlantis life through marrying strength and intelligence.
“Hey,” came softly from behind him.
He turned around startled. She was huddled on the floor, away from the gaping window. Away from harsh lights.
“Hey,” he was soul-weary.
John slunk down the railing until his knees were pulled up.
“You shouldn’t yell at him,” she said, her voice still quiet.
A groan accompanied the hand he ran down his face. “Heard that?”
“Yeah.” Her manner was calm.
“I don’t know what to do,” he confessed openly, honestly.
He folded his arms over his knees. His head dropped to rest upon them. He was a man defeated.
Silently Elizabeth reached for him. Her fingertips were light against his forearm. Her touch was solid when she slipped her hand into his, twining their fingers together.
“This,” she merely said.