Gifted - 3/6
Pairing: John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir
Category: Romance, Humor, Angst
Series/Sequel: Dare all Things
Summary: Is this a normal life?
Warning: Adult Fanfiction, Spoiler for Season 1 and 2
Disclaimer: No one of Stargate: Atlantis belongs to me.
Least of all Major John Sheppard. Damn.
Feedback: Yes, please. Every word opens a new gate.
Released: May 2007
Word Count: 4329
The silence in the infirmary was abruptly disturbed. "Hey Carson!"
Dr. Carson Beckett looked up from his microscope. "What´s up, Major?"
"Nothing in particular. Just coming by," John said brightly.
Slightly surprised, Carson frowned. The Major had never come here without a good reason. Something had to be wrong. "Aye?"
"I just wanted to pay you a visit."
Something was definitely wrong. "If that´s it, stop bothering me. I´m very busy."
"I see." Uncharacteristically nervous, John shuffled his feet. "Well... now that I´m already here there is actually something I need to ask you..."
"Something a man... a doctor will understand."
"What is it, Major? You´re wasting me time."
Just say it. It´s not a problem. Not a problem at all. "I´m in need of some condoms," he murmured.
"In need of what, please?" Carson asked impatiently.
"Condoms!" John blurted rather impulsively and surprised Carson but mostly himself. There. I said it. Can´t take it back now.
Carson smiled benignly. "Condoms?"
"Yes," John snapped. "Do you have some?"
"I´m surprised that you of all people are asking for condoms."
"Why is that a surprise to you?" he replied, offended. "I´m a healthy man with natural needs."
"Are you, lad?" Carson grinned.
John couldn´t believe Carson Beckett was gloating over his embarrassment. "Do you have any or not?"
"Someone is really needy, eh?"
"Carson!" John barked.
"The lucky lady is pushing your buttons pretty good, isn´t she?"
"That´s it. I´ll go and find someone else to ask."
"And who exactly might that be, Major?"
John didn´t move because he didn´t know. Oh, this is fun. I prefer going into battle by far.
"Certainly, I have condoms," Carson said friendly and walked over to a closet. He opened a drawer and rummaged through it.
John let out a sigh. Elizabeth is worth this. This here is for her and me.
"There you go!" Carson put a little box on his palm.
"Thanks." John wasn´t looking at him.
"Don´t spend them all tonight," Carson advised with a smirk. "Our supply is pretty small."
John´s ears felt like they were burning. "Okay." Go. Go now. He turned to the door.
"Oh, Major? It is a woman you´re getting these for, right?"
"Of course, it´s a woman!" John glared at him.
"I hope Teyla is worth the effort."
"It´s not Teyla," John snapped, bewildered. "It´s..." Quickly, he bit his lip. Am I mad? I can´t tell him. I can´t tell anyone. Elizabeth would have me shot.
"It is..." Carson echoed eagerly.
"Nice try." John turned and hurried out.
Carson went back to his work but the extraordinary event kept him distracted for a while. The Major´s elfish ears were crimson red, he thought, utterly amused. That´s something I never saw on him before. He bent over his microscope but couldn´t concentrate. Atlantis´ ranking officer in desperate need of condoms. Somewhere a woman is fervently waiting for him to come around. Carson chuckled. But not Teyla. Well, if it´s not Teyla there is only one other woman I could imagine to be the one. That possibility would be... He chuckled louder.
At the same time but at another place, John delivered as he had promised to Elizabeth and she thanked him graciously. One of their problems ceased to exist and in another matter they just got lucky. Even though their passionate meetings became a ritual in the following months, their social life continued to run pretty normally. If you could call a life in Atlantis normal. The Wraith attacked. Bates was seriously injured. Ford disappeared. Atlantis was almost destroyed and John had to go on a suicide mission in which...but...well...in the end...most things turned out better than it seemed it would at the beginning. During the time John and Elizabeth´s relationship grew stronger while nobody threw them curious glances, nobody stopped talking when they entered a room; apparently nobody was aware of what was going on between them.
They shared as much private time together as possible but it got harder and harder for Elizabeth to be around John without being able to touch him. His flirting with Teyla and any other pretty women didn´t make it easier to hide her feelings. She felt okay with letting him take her every night, showing him her vulnerability, but she never let go of her self control by day. At night she was his and he was hers. At night she pleaded him to do her harder. At night she gave in to him completely. Once she had even cried. By day she stayed the leader of Atlantis. Amazingly, John never complained and seemed fully content with their arrangement as well.
John not only felt satisfied with his life in Atlantis but was downright overwhelmed by the way it had turned out. He was the ranking officer and had a lot of friends. The leader of Atlantis was his lover. Smiling dreamily, he mused about Elizabeth who fit him so perfectly. It was almost scary how they were made for each other. By night they did all the things they couldn´t do by day. Certainly, he didn´t show her how stupidly he had fallen for her. He kept his cool, acted almost too macho, but she wasn´t even angry. By day, she fought him many times, everything turned into a discussion, sometimes in a serious confrontation. By night, she didn´t fight him at all. Everything, he did to her in bed found her approval. Every kiss and touch was welcomed. He seemed never wrong in satisfying her needs. Eventually he noticed she had even stopped wearing the necklace with the golden heart. He knew it had been a gift from her boyfriend Simon and how much it meant to her. The fact she took it off for good could only imply she... John sighed. Well, I don´t know what happened between her and Simon but it´s clearly a positive sign she put his gift away. So...
...their secret affair continued to bloom until... one morning Elizabeth came unglued...
...I´m late. Already five days late. Oh dear God. No please. Not this. Not now. When did this...? We always used protection. It isn´t possible... like a lost sheep, she stood in the middle of her quarters. She started counting back the days and the result wasn´t comforting. One time. He came back from his suicide mission. One weak moment. We weren´t thinking. I wasn´t thinking. She sighed, distressed. Weakness, thy name is John Sheppard. She started walking through her room. I´m stupid enough to have slept with a man without protection. Stupid is not a proper word to describe what I have done considering how old I am. Shuddering, Elizabeth pulled her arms around herself. What options do I have if I´m pregnant? Giving birth? An abortion? Adoption? Giving his baby away? Elizabeth had never considered to have a baby. She had never wanted one. She wasn´t the woman who wanted to be a mother. Her work had been always her priority in life. A military officer had made her lose her focus. Head over heels, she had fallen in love with him and couldn´t imagine a life without him anymore. But a baby...no...not this...not now...
The following night she couldn´t find any sleep at all. Restlessly, she rolled around.
John awoke. "Still not worn out? I never had a woman who is so hard to satisfy."
Slightly amused, she punched him in the ribs.
"Ouch." He pulled her into his arms. "Tell me what´s wrong."
"It´s... nothing in particular. There are just too many things on my mind."
"I´m not ready to talk."
"As you wish," he said lightly but she could hear he was hurt. I can´t tell him. Not yet. I have to be sure first. She snuggled closer to soothe him with her warmth. After a while, she felt he went back to sleep but couldn´t follow him for hours.
In the morning things were tense. They didn´t talk much. They didn´t kiss. John left quickly. The second he was gone, Elizabeth rushed to the infirmary. She burst in like a blood-thirsty Wraith might have.
"What the hell?" Carson startled from his chair.
"I need a pregnancy test," she disclosed forthright before she could change her mind.
He gaped at her.
"Close your mouth, Carson. It´s not unusual for a woman to ask for it, is it?"
"N-no," Carson stammered, "but... you..."
She folded her arms. "But what? Am I not attractive enough to make a man want me?"
"Sure you are. I just didn´t know you are involved with anyone."
"Obviously I am."
"Yes...yes. Well, wait a second, please." He walked over to a closet. He opened a drawer and rummaged through it.
Feeling more than uncomfortable, Elizabeth counted the seconds until Carson gave her a small box.
"There you go!"
"May I ask who the father might be?"
"No, you may not," she replied, irritated. "Don´t you dare to talk to anyone about this. Understood?"
He opened his mouth to assure her of his integrity but she was already on her way out. His duties were forgotten. Amazed, Carson stroked his chin. "Elizabeth...pregnant. I never thought she is the kind of woman who let her feelings control her. Well, I could imagine only one man who is able to...," he considered, amused and curious. "Is it possible that..."
The door opened. McKay strolled in. "Carson."
"Rodney," he replied, startled. His friend was the last person in Atlantis he needed to see right now.
"What are you doing?"
"I´m just thinking."
"Really? About what?"
"Not in this way, lad. Don´t be ridiculous. I was just wondering if Elizabeth is involved with anyone."
"Not that I know of anyone." Rodney´s piercing blue eyes narrowed. "Why is this suddenly in any way important?"
"It isn´t. I was just wondering..."
"Ermh... it´s nothing."
"You know, you can´t keep anything from me, Carson." McKay showed his I´m a genius smile.
"I... I was just thinking, she is an attractive woman as well as smart and brave. It´s a miracle no man has ever even tried."
"Well, if you put it this way, I surely know one man who would like to have her."
"Are you blind? Major John Sheppard."
"He is Colonel now," Carson corrected him teasingly.
"Oh well! Whatever!"
Carson ignored the outburst of his friend because he had a sudden epiphany remembering a couple of catchy events. Their leaders all alone together in one puddle jumper due one stormy night. Their weird behavior since. The major asking for condoms shortly after. Elizabeth asking for a pregnancy test just today. "...Dear God..."
"What is it?" Rodney snapped impatiently.
Carson shook his head. "I can´t tell you."
"Oh, come on. What is this important..."
"Stop bothering me."
"I won´t leave until you tell me..."
"No, no, no. I stay right here."
Carson sighed. "Well then, but you have to promise me..."
"Agreed!" Rodney leaned on him. "Spit it out!"
One day later, John walked into the break room. For the reason he was having a lot of hot love last night, Elizabeth had been utterly compassionate, he felt fantastic. It was early in the morning but McKay and Beckett were already having breakfast. No one else was around.
"Hey!" John cheered. "Great day, isn´t it?"
"I don´t know what´s so great about it?" Rodney complained sourly.
"I just thought..."
"We have different problems every day," Rodney replied angrily.
"What is it? I´ll contact Colonel Caldwell right now."
"Dear God," Beckett poured out, aghast. "Please don´t."
Confused and curious at the same time, John looked at him. "I assume it´s not a military problem then, right?"
"It´s definitely not your concern," Rodney affirmed. "I would appreciate..."
"I always thought we were friends," John said, pouting.
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Yes...yes. But there are things which are none of your business."
"I understand," John murmured.
"No, you don´t," Rodney snarled.
"Rodney," Carson meddled shyly. "I think we can tell him. After all he is one of us."
"That´s right," John declared happily. "We are a team. Buddies, even if I may say so." He pulled himself a chair and sat down. "So? What is it? Something personal I assume, considering your behavior."
"I don´t think..." Rodney started and looked at Carson.
"I always considered you for a man of trust and integrity, Colonel Sheppard," Carson interfered in a low voice.
"Count on it," John whispered back, amused by his secretiveness.
"Well, your assumption was right, it´s a very personal matter we were discussing and I..."
"Oh please," Rodney hurried him. "Just say it if you have to. It´s not as if it´s a world threatening secret."
"Well, no," Carson conceded friendly, "but..."
"Elizabeth is pregnant," Rodney shot out. "She asked Carson for a pregnancy test yesterday."
Dead silence wrapped around the three men. John didn´t comment Rodney´s declaration but only sat frozen on his chair. He seemed to have stopped breathing also.
Rodney nudged him firmly. "Did you understand?"
"Yes," John murmured huskily.
"Considering who the father might be..." Rodney continued without being asked.
"Don´t tell me you of all people know," John interrupted him, irritated.
"I didn´t say that," Rodney defended himself. "I think I might know..."
John smirked. "Go on. I´m all ears."
"The only male in who Elizabeth seemed interested in the last couple of weeks is Colonel Caldwell."
John laughed out loud. "You are kidding, right?"
"Do you know any better?" Rodney glared at him. "Now is the time to share your knowledge with us."
Bewildered, John felt a wave of heat crawling up his neck. For heaven´s sake. I´m blushing. "No. I don´t know more than you. But Caldwell! Come on. That´s never possible. Though, this is only Elizabeth´s business. If she wants to tell us she will. That´s all I´m going to say in this matter." His radio started to crackle. Caldwell was speaking. Thank God. Saved by the bell. He jumped up almost toppling his chair. "I have to go. Caldwell arranged a sudden meeting."
Rodney and Beckett stayed put. They shared a look.
"I never thought he could blush," Carson stated, bemused.
"I told you he is the one," Rodney declared, high-handed.
"What shall we do now?"
"Didn´t you listen to our hero. It´s not our concern. Let´s him handle it. He thinks he so clever, doesn´t he? But he didn´t even notice I tricked him by mentioning Caldwell..."
"I don´t know why we told him anyway. It was solely your idea and I don´t think that Elizabeth..."
"I know what I´m doing. It´s time to startle our happy couple a little bit. They truly believed I didn´t notice what is going on, genius that I am. They deeply offended me."
"Rodney," Carson groaned. "Please."
A wave of shattering feelings rocked John´s world of familiar confidence. Anger floated on top of them. She is pregnant and didn´t tell me. How could she keep it a secret? How could she keep something this important from me? Anger and confusion. Why didn´t she tell me? Doesn´t she trust me? Doesn´t she want me to know? Doesn´t she want the baby? My baby. Outraged, he entered his quarters where he threw his gun on the bed, followed by a little, square box with red ribbons. Doesn´t she know how much I need her to trust me? Doesn´t she know me at all? Doesn´t she want me in her life after all? Is it just sex for her? He ripped the ribbons of the box and opened it. Sorrowful, he looked at the necklace to which a sapphire framed in gold belonged. A miniature stargate. He´d had let it specially made for her. A special gift to show her the sincerity of his feelings. This evening he had planned to give it to her. "Damn!" Upset, he threw the gift-box at the wall. The necklace dropped out and landed on the floor. There it rested like forgotten garbage while he clutched his gun and ran out to meet with Caldwell. The potential father of her child. In the mood to pick up a fight on purpose to make his day even worse, he ran faster.
It was a casual meeting. Everyone was attending. Nothing spectacular at all happened. Elizabeth appeared as calm and confident as usual. John chipped in a funny comment here and there. Rodney talked and talked. By all means a perfectly normal meeting on a perfectly normal day. But appearances were often deceptive. Elizabeth couldn´t keep her hands still and her face was awfully pale. The reason was simple and mysterious at the same time. John hadn´t visited her quarters for many nights. Without any explanation he had started neglecting her. She didn´t understand why. The last time they had made love, it had seemed perfect. Her pride forbade her to ask him what was wrong but something was definitely wrong. He had begun flirting with Teyla more frequently and his conversations with Elizabeth were only about Atlantis and the Wraith. Unexpectedly, they were back to keeping it strictly professional. Yet more strange was John´s provocative behavior towards Caldwell which almost implied he wanted to get arrested or send back to earth for disobeying his superior. Elizabeth didn´t understand any of this. Thoughtfully, she met John´s look for the first time in hours. His eyes were as cold and distant as... she shuddered. Exhaustion and lovesickness made her feel ill to the bone. Finally the meeting was over.
Teyla and John headed for the door.
"Colonel?" Elizabeth called him nervously.
"Yes?" He barely turned around.
"Can I talk to you for a second?"
"Now? I´m very busy. Colonel Caldwell..."
"Fine." She put it off. "Go. It can wait."
He rushed out. The door closed behind him. She was alone.
Elizabeth slumped into her seat and tried to hold back a few stupid tears. It didn´t work. Damn you, John Sheppard.
The door opened. Rodney came back. "Can you imagine that I have forgotten my laptop..." Seeing her cry made him stop at once. "Hey! What´s going on? What happened?"
"It´s nothing," she sniffed helplessly. "I got something in my eye..." Why am I acting this childish? This is Rodney - my friend.
"Come on. Tell me what is bothering you." He sat down next to her.
"I can´t..." She wiped her face. "It´s not important anyway...this is my problem - my problem alone..."
"Why do you always think you have to deal with everything alone?"
"Rodney... please," she sobbed. Oh God! Is this little girl´s voice mine? Pull yourself together.
"What did the superhero do to you?" he scolded, irritated.
Her crying stopped in a blink. "What did you say?"
"Don´t tell me there is another human being who is able to make you cry."
"I... don´t know what you...?"
"Elizabeth! Stop denying the obvious."
"It´s... obvious," she echoed flatly.
"Yes, it is. So - what did he do?" Clumsily, Rodney patted her back.
"He did... nothing." She laughed bitterly. "That´s the whole point."
"I see. Doesn´t he want the baby?"
Her eyes became as big as saucers. "What baby? There is no baby. Why do you..."
"But I thought..."
"That I´m pregnant? I´m not pregnant. Who told you that?"
"Oh," Rodney sighed, distressed. "That explains a lot."
"That explains what?" she blurted, confused.
"Well, it´s possible Colonel Sheppard might think you are pregnant."
"Why on earth should he..."
"It´s my fault. I told him about you taking a pregnancy test two weeks ago."
"Why... did... you..." she stammered, bewildered. "That´s really none of your... Oh my God... that´s why..."
"That´s why what?"
She nibbled on her lip. "That´s why he doesn´t visit my quarters anymore."
"Ah. That´s why you´re upset."
Her cheeks reddened. "Yes."
Once again, he patted her back. "Don´t be embarrassed. I´ve known for a long time you were involved."
"Does anybody else know?"
"I always thought Carson was trustworthy. I will..."
"Don´t be too hard to him. I made him talk."
"Only to make you and Sheppard taking the next step. I´m tired of your little games to hide the truth."
"Well...that´s...hmm...but..." Perplexed, she forgot about her anger and came to the conclusion that Rodney was right about one thing. Even she wasn´t ready to get her whole private life into the open she had to confront at least one human being about the truth. "I have to talk to him."
"Now? He is in a meeting with Colonel Caldwell."
"I don´t care. In my book, he´s the ranking officer in Atlantis. If I need to talk to him, I talk to him."
Rodney grinned. "May I come with you to be of your assistance?"
Five minutes later, Elizabeth burst into a military meeting. "Lieutenant Colonel, I have to talk to you."
Everyone stared at her, baffled. Colonel Caldwell opened his mouth to speak but John beat him by the second. "Has this to be now?"
"Absolutely. It concerns personal matters," she confessed frankly.
"Oh." His expression was priceless. Everybody else kept staring at her.
John cleared his throat. "Colonel...erhm...do I have your permission to...erhm...leave?"
"Very well," Caldwell permitted, a twinkle in his blue eyes. "But be back immediately."
The looks of many people followed their departure.
They didn´t go far. John stopped right outside in the hallway. "What is it?"
"Not here. Let´s go to my quarters..." Elizabeth seized his arm.
"I don´t want to." He shook her hand off like an annoying bug.
"Tell me here and now," he ordered coldly.
"Fine," she whispered, devastated. "I´m not pregnant. The test was negative. That´s why I didn´t tell you. Considering the result I thought it was irrelevant." Her voice had become as cold as his. "I see I was wrong." Holding back her tears, she fled the unbearable look in his eyes.
He didn´t call her back and made it even worse.
Night had come. Depressed, Elizabeth strolled into her quarters. Her lonely quarters. It was quite possible she would be alone for a very long time. The thought frightened her deeply. John had made clear he was furious with her. His coldness had been a significant sign. Only because of a stupid misunderstanding. She was angry at Rodney and Carson. She was angry at John. But mostly she was angry at herself. Why haven´t I told him? Didn´t I trust him to make the right choice in any case? Without turning on the lights, she slipped under the covers of her bed, overwhelmed by sadness.
"It´s about time," a voice murmured sleepily. "You work way too much."
Elizabeth jumped. "For heaven´s sake, John Sheppard. Of all the nerve..."
He grabbed her by the arms and pulled her close. "Don´t say you haven´t expected me."
"I haven´t," she gasped. "I thought..."
He stopped further complaints by drowning her in kisses, lots and lots of kisses. She just surrendered to his endearments. Oh, how much I´ve missed him. His kisses. His touch. His scent. Her throat became tight. Unshed tears choked her.
John gave her free. "What´s the matter, sweetheart? Did I hurt you?"
"No." Abashed, she buried her face against his chest. "It´s just... I missed you so much and I thought you don´t want me anymore."
Gently he stroked her hair. "That´s completely silly. I was angry, yes, and disappointed. Mostly because of the fact that everyone seemed to know but me."
"There was nothing to know."
"Rodney McKay said otherwise." He kissed her on the forehead. "He - of all people."
"It wasn´t my fault. I never told him."
"I know this now." He nestled on the buttons of her shirt.
"I simply asked Rodney and he confessed everything. He and Carson started the whole Elizabeth is pregnant story to tease me to make a move."
They snuggled closer and shared a tender kiss.
"But tell me; in the case you would had been pregnant..."
"Certainly I would have told you," she finished his question.
"But why? As far as I heard Colonel Caldwell is the number one candidate for the paternity," he joked dryly.
She burst out laughing. "I barely know that man."
"Rodney said otherwise."
"He played you for a fool. He knows for sure we are together."
"Are we? Together I mean. You never said so." He was finished with unbuttoning her shirt. Casually, he slid it off her body.
Half-naked, she felt utterly defenseless. "Dont´t change the subject."
"I´m not." He smirked. "I missed you too." He caressed her shoulderblade. "So very much."
"Never do that again. Treating me like this."
"I´ll try," he said, sweetening the half-hearted promise by touching her breasts.
She moaned in delight and leaned into his touch.
John chuckled, surprised. "Am I already forgiven? Just like that?"
"I don´t deserve you." His fingers followed the curve of her belly button. "Were you unhappy that the test was negative?"
"No. Are you?"
"I think to have a child in this place at this dangerous time wouldn´t be good."
"So you are not sad?"
"No. Since the day you´ve returned from certain death I feel truly gifted. What else is there to wish for?"
"I didn´t know you care that much for me," he whispered, touched.
"Did you think I´d hop into bed with every Truth or Dare challenger?" she teased softly, while she nibbled on his ear.
"That´s hard to know, is it?" he replied, repressing a laugh. "We never jumped into bed that night."
She thumped him. "My point exactly. I let you take me in a puddle jumper. Are you seriously in doubt that I care about you?"
"Well, do you?"
She swallowed loudly. Now is the time. Just say it. It´s easy. "I love you, John Sheppard."
The gift of her surprising confession turned him completely still, overpowered by three words only.
In another place, a sapphire was gleaming hopefully in the scanty light of night.