Opal (oparu) wrote,
Opal
oparu

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Fic: 2007, for Andy on her birthday (sort of)

Title: "2007"
Author: me!!!
Pairing: John/Elizabeth
Genre: babyfic, smut, AU
Rating: R, M etc...
Summary: Stolen from the SG-1 episode "2010". Elizabeth gets some bad news from Earth and has to make a tough choice. (and then we pr0n)

Note: This is for ankareeda who loves sparky. And babyfic. And smut. And is generally a lovely, beautiful, amazingly well-dressed person.

Note the 2nd: the multi-talented lanna_kitty and my darling wife calleigh_j were of great help writing this.




Elizabeth Weir had nearly a hundred memos cross her desk every day. Chuck was usually responsible for sorting them out by location, Earth and Atlantis, and then by type. Medical memos were usually in the green folder, so the one at the bottom of the pile nearly went without notice. It was already well past twenty-two hundred and she should have given in to the stinging headache between her eyes and gone to bed before Rodney and the other late night scientists could find her.

Something about this one drew her attention. It was a rare occasion that she got anything from the World Health Organization. This looked official, and it wasn't addressed to her. It had originally gone to the President, and he was passing it along. Thinking she recognized the President's handwriting on the bottom of digitally sent and reprinted note, Elizabeth felt her blood turn to ice in her veins.

There was something wrong in the vaccine against the Ori plague. Worldwide fertility had fallen to twenty-five percent, and was still dropping. The WHO and the President were asking everyone in the military to stop taking their birth control and at least try to
conceive. It also outlined a series of sweeping policy changes the nearly eliminated the code against fraternization. It didn't have the level of panic she expected, and in governments, the less panic, the more real danger there was. It was just a quietly concerned note that the rates of conception reported on Earth had fallen mysteriously in the last two months.

Some of the WHO thought it was a fluke. Others thought a wait-and-see approach would be healthier, but Margaret Chan, the assistant director she actually knew personally, was concerned. It had snuck up on all of them. No one really noticed if all of a sudden the number of pregnancies had started to fall. The President's note said the SGC was looking into it.

"We're not there yet, Elizabeth, but we're slipping..." the president's neat script warned at the bottom of the memo. He knew it was serious. He was probably just biding his time before he made an announcement. Her eyes stung. Humanity was suffering. It was probably yet another way for the Ori to beat down their hopes. Some type of mass genocide that would strike quietly and leave the world beaten before it even felt the blow.

The stinging got worse as she realized what the president was worried about. Her headache melted and slid down the bones of her skull until it settled in her sinuses and began to fester. It burned and reminded her how full a heart could be. Just when she thought she couldn't possibly pour anything else into hers, something dissolved into her blood and thickened it. Her chest hurt from the beating as if it had
to trudge through the thick liquid.

The population would crash. Houses, streets, even whole cities would slowly be without people. Entire countries would fall within fifty years. Deserts would eat the land and the trees would slowly take back the sidewalks and boulevards. It would empty up, bit by bit untilsomeday, ten thousand years hence, explorers would land on their dead
civilization and wonder what they had been.

Rereading the memo as she forced her eyes to stay focused and dry, Elizabeth found her fingers clenching around the stylus of her laptop. Her mind was wandering. Her hand hurt from the plastic. She couldn't follow a sentence. For some reason, an insanely desperate desire that went against her better judgement, she wanted John. Elizabeth wanted him to stroll in with that quiet grin he only wore when he wanted to
distract her from her paperwork. The childlike glint in his too-deep hazel eyes that reminded her of the naughty boys in primary school. The boys who always knew where to find worms under rocks and how to tease them out without hurting them.

Schools were going to grow quiet. Rocks would go unturned. She'd never stand in the holographic chamber and watch little faces glow with amazement as the lights of the universe opened up to them. Elizabeth hadn't admitted to herself she'd been waiting for that moment and a thousand like it. Atlantis was a city in waiting. She could feel it
when she walked the halls. Atlantis needed cats and dogs, children and misplaced noise to be a living city. Someday, she always reminded herself as she kept walking in the quiet.

Elizabeth had clung to the stubborn belief that one day all the lights of Atlantis would come on over the ocean. That flying a jumper home would be like flying into New York city and Atlantis would sing with life. Having faith was never a bad thing, unless it stopped one from doing. Expecting something to happen was different than working for it. She'd known Atlantis would thrive. She'd felt it when she'd first stepped from the 'gate.

The stale air of the city had a hint of promise in the salty spray. It was the reclaimed frontier. The home of their parents that needed to have life breathed into it again. Atlantis came on before them when they arrived, lighting their way as it yearned to be touched. Atlantis wanted to be more. It deserved more. This couldn't be it. The youngest people on her expedition were what, twenty-five? Fifty years and most of them would be too arthritic to explore. They didn't even know what all the rooms did. She hadn't even seen the city pulsing with the power of three ZPMs as it cruised through space.

Without humans, Earth would slip back into a land of green and blue. That didn't bother her as much as she thought it should. That didn't make Elizabeth's stomach knot and twist its way up to her throat. It was an empty Atlantis and the thought of herself, aged beyond recognition, watching the water reclaim the stained glass windows as the city sank beneath the sea.

In the darkest corner of her mind, Elizabeth admitted she feared being alone. She'd seen her older self die after a lifetime of loneliness, and now she was doomed to the same fate. She'd watch Caldwell, Rodney, probably Ronon and John go before her. No one would come from Earth to replace them. No fresh faced scientists would be ready to change the world when they walked through. No too young marines would fight over the last piece of cake in the mess.

Instead of feeling old when they saluted her, she'd become old. She was tired and weak and like Atlantis, she was going to die alone.

Was she failing? Was she avoiding something she really wanted because she had a job that needed doing? When had she become afraid to live her life? For that matter, was it only since she'd left Simon that fourteen hour days had become normal again?

Elizabeth swiped at an angry tear with a knuckle and cleared her head. It had been months since she'd been to Earth and everything that been fine then. She'd seen Sedgewick and her mother and the WHO was most concerned about eradicating polio and preventing a reoccurrence of the Ori plague. All her blood work had been normal six months ago, and aside from a few strange markers from her nanite experience, everything in her body was as normal as it could be.

Wasn't it?

In a rare moment without rational thought, Elizabeth deleted the electronic copy of the memo and stuffed the hard copy into her pocket. In the hands of curious scientists and freak computer accidents, she didn't dare keep anything that delicate anywhere but with her at all times. Shutting off the lights and leaving her computer in her office, she
fled and hoped no one would see her. Sometimes it was hard to smile at everyone she had to pass in the hallways but if she didn't smile, something was wrong. Leaders couldn't lose faith or doubt without casting that shadow over everything else beneath them.

Atlantis was quiet and she had to remind herself it was only sleeping. Atlantis wasn't dying yet. This wasn't permanent. Ronon was the only person she saw, and from his grunt, Elizabeth surmised that she could have burst into her threatening tears in front of him, and it would have barely garnered a raise of his eyebrows. That was really something to like about him.

Her hands were sweating, and her shirt had gotten suffocating. Toying with the zipper of her fleece jacket, she realized she'd just be cold if she took it off. It was the wrong kind of sweat and Elizabeth didn't think she had any right to be this nervous. She'd made it through negotiations with less of a visceral response. Her skin was too damp and the inside of her skull was just getting more crumpled. Did she even know how to ask the question?

Jen was locking up the medicine cabinet and straightened her empty infirmary. Doctor Cole was already behind the desk for the late shift and Elizabeth counted her blessings that Jen was still there. She had the utmost respect for all of her doctors, but Jen was the closest thing she had to Carson. Carson probably would have had her in his office with a cup of tea the moment she had walked in.

Jen's methods were a little different. At first she looked startled, her big eyes always seemed to be a sharp sound away from that. "Doctor Weir?" she asked softly, putting her hand over her heart as she waited for it to calm. "You kinda--"

"I didn't mean to," Elizabeth apologized as she waved her hand apologetically before her fingers had fidget.

"It's okay, really," Jen replied quickly moving towards her office. "I just get a little jumpy at the end of the day. You jumped there too, are you all right? Do you need something? You're not still having dreams about the Replicators?"

"No, no that's fine," Elizabeth assured her as she sat in the gray chair and then stood again. she might not be able to ask if Jen was looking at her. Her hands were fluttery, like anxious birds as she tried to slow her heart. "I, well, I realized you don't get this one a lot, so I suppose I just have to--"

Jen interrupted nervously sharing her boss's unrest. "Elizabeth?"

"Could I-" Elizabeth paused and ran a hand through her dark hair. Some of it stuck to the sweat in her fingers and it took a moment to detangle. "I mean, if I...could I get pregnant?"

"You'd need to have sex," Jen answered simply yawning slightly as if she'd been asked a trivia question. "You're far enough behind on your inhibitor shots that it's a distinct possibility that you could. Let me run a blood test." Unscrewing her water bottle, Jen took a few quick swallows to clear her head as she reached for Elizabeth's arm. "Do you think you--?"

"No, no, I--" Pausing again, Elizabeth's tongue had gotten too big for her mouth. "I think I might want to be." Halting between the words didn't make them any easier to say. As she pulled her fleece jacket off, Jen took her arm and sat her down to draw her blood.

Jen just stared. Her pink lips parted and gaped for a moment and slender fingers flew up to cover her mouth. She shook herself out of it and blond wisps of hair hung over her eyes. Pushing them quickly away she started to draw Elizabeth's blood and that centered her. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Forcing herself to remain still in the chair, Elizabeth wondered if she meant what she'd just said. She didn't rightly know anything about having a baby, or being pregnant, but at the same time, no plague was taking that decision from her. She had to own it. It had to be her choice. The self-assigned loneliness was livable up to this point because it was something she'd made for herself.

"You're thirty-seven," Jen started as she licked her lips. Her voice got stronger when Elizabeth kept her eyes on her. "You're in reasonably good health. Your reproductive system is in good shape."
Calling up Elizabeth's file on her computer, she read it over perfunctorily, and nodded as she continued. "Your blood pressure is good. Endocrine function is healthy." Dropping the vial into a glowing green try and shutting it aside to let the computer function, Jen waited for the results.

Elizabeth could feel her age settle onto her like a lead cloak, digging into her shoulders. "But I'm still thirty-seven?"

"How old do you feel?" Jen asked rhetorically as she checked the initial data on the computer and found another reserve of strength. "Being pregnant is a massive strain on your body. If you felt sixty-five on your bad days, now you'll feel pregnant and sixty-five. You could be on medical leave for a few months, need major surgery or have a child with mental or physical abnormalities."

Her dainty hands caught Elizabeth's when the hers began to shake and Jen managed to smile. "Or you could be fine. One woman got out of bed and made dinner after she'd
given birth to her son. She used to say every pregnancy was a happy time for her. A lot of it's just luck."

Standing up, Jen pointed at the scanner. "If you would," she offered. "This thing saves a lot of time, and you get to keep your clothes on."

Not hearing the little joke, she stared at the ceiling and tried to process. "So I roll the dice?" Elizabeth asked softly letting her cynicism cut into her tone as she watched the green light come on. "Hope for brown eyes and that all the good genes haven't gone bad on the shelf?"

"No, it's not quite--" Jen caught herself and Elizabeth watched her face break. Beneath her obvious confusion, something still glimmered hopeful in the young doctor. "I hope it's okay to say this, but, I really think you'd be a great mom."

The stinging between and behind her eyes exploded as if something hot had attacked the backs of her eyelids. Blinking three times quickly, Elizabeth forced the heat to fade. She was supposed to say something; make some kind of benediction that would keep the smile on Jen's face and show her wisdom.

"Really?" Even that moment of doubt must have sounded authoritarian enough, and Elizabeth watched in awe as Jen's smile grew.

"Well, yes," Jen finished honestly. "Okay," she began with a hand on Elizabeth's shoulder. "Everything seems fine. Your blood work's good and you have remarkable timing."

"Do I?" Elizabeth asked weakly sitting up and slipping off the bed as if she stayed any longer, the scanner would start to burn.

"I don't know when you wanted to do this- get pregnant- I mean," Jen stumbled over her words as she brought the results up on her laptop. "But if you wanted to get started right now--"



"Then she said I was ovulating," Elizabeth groaned as she lifted her head from her hands and left the comfort of the chair in Teyla's room to pace over the the window. "She just kept smiling at me. Gave me some kind of injection to help my chances. I don't know what I was doing or how I even managed to talk to her--"

"Elizabeth," Teyla's voice cut gently through the voices in her head. "Come sit down," she insisted with a tone that reminded Elizabeth of her grandmother. Her hands kept working on the hanging loom next to the bed, and Elizabeth wondered if she'd taught herself the craft recently. "You've had a shock. I have to admit I felt similarly abandoned and angry when my people were taken from me." Astonishingly, even eight months pregnant, Teyla was graceful when she stood and crossed to one of her shelves. "When your head is quiet, what do you want?"

"I-" starting to speak without thinking it through, Elizabeth wondered if she really wanted anything more than to go back to her office and forget the memo had even arrived. "I want someone to tell me it's okay."

"It will be," Teyla murmured as she smiled patiently down at her own swollen belly. "I know I spent much time doubting my ability to raise this child without the man who helped me conceive it, but one night I realized I did him a disservice by not knowing my own worth as a mother. Do you know how you will ask him?"

"Who?" Elizabeth demanded as she stared over at Teyla.

"John," Teyla finished simply and Elizabeth wondered how anything really was that obvious. "Rodney would never respect you as an equal. Ronon is too young to really understand you. Radek is more in love with the idea of you than you. Stephen is too antagonistic towards John. Mike Branton is very sweet--"

"But he's not John?" Elizabeth meant it to be a question but Teyla's slow nod made her realize it was not.

"John is something you've allowed yourself to need," Teyla explained as she returned to the bed and her weaving. Fabric and leather sang through her fingers and across the wood as she worked. "And it is obvious he has feelings for you."

"Obvious?" Elizabeth clarified as she watched Teyla's steady hands. Her own were never that confident. It had taken years of practice to keep them steady while she spoke publicly.

"While you were recovering, John spent nearly every night at your side," Teyla admitted and wondered why she had not explained this earlier. She assumed Rodney would have told Elizabeth and that the gossip would have pushed them towards the inevitable. Apparently, Rodney was more discrete than she gave him credit for. "I have rarely seen him lost and many nights I feared he would never find his way home."

"I don't know if I can hear this," Elizabeth excused herself as she fled the bed and Teyla's unwavering gaze. "Even if I should, I--" Her voice broke finally and she realized further attempts at speech would only result in losing control.

"My people used to say that at the end of the universe, only love would remain because that, above all, is indestructible." Sliding along the bed, Teyla slowly got to her feet and Elizabeth could hear the skin of her bare feet whisper against the floor. "I have lost the man that I love, but I carry his child. I have his love and my own to pass onto eternity."

Turning her from the window, Teyla's hands were stronger than Elizabeth could keep rigid enough to resist. Pulling her arms from her chest, the smaller woman brought Elizabeth's trembling hands to her belly. "As much as I fill my mind with greater thoughts, many nights I am forced to remind myself it is just a baby and I have many long, lonely nights ahead of me." Moving Elizabeth's hands over her skin, Teyla settled them over an the hard eruption of a foot through her flesh. "But it is a gift I would be foolish not to celebrate."

Elizabeth didn't know if she wanted a gift. In fact, just knowing Teyla's child could sense her presence was terrifying enough to tighten the last of the ability to speak out of her throat. when she just stared down, Teyla spoke for her.

"I have three suggestions," she began patiently as she kept Elizabeth from pulling her hands away. "The first, and easiest is always the truth. I believe if you begin, your heart will help you find the way. The second is that you wait until you know more of what is happening on Earth, but I do not believe that Earth is anything more then a catalyst for what you feel."

Impulsively, Elizabeth hugged her. It reminded her that the first time she'd hugged anyone on Atlantis it had been John. Teyla hugged her back fiercely, and held her she fought tears. "What's the third?" she asked Teyla as she clung to her for support.

"You both become intoxicated and hope for the best," Teyla started to laugh and Elizabeth struggled to remember that anything could be funny. Bringing Elizabeth's forehead to hers, Teyla smiled. "I recommend the first one."




Dinner usually meant date. At least, so far it had, in the small collection of experiences with women that composed the life of John Sheppard. Dinner in Elizabeth's quarters was definitely sliding firmly out of friendly and settling into date territory. He held the jug of spiced kiyal cider in his hands and hoped Elizabeth wouldn't mind that
it wasn't quite wine.

He wasn't sure which terrified him more. The idea that it was a date or the sad realization that once again, it wasn't. Could he handle nothing? Again? After a three years of hit and miss and staring at each other like the sun wasn't going to rise if they broke contact. Maybe he was getting to old for that. Maybe John just needed to remind
them both that they weren't getting any younger, and the IOA was just far enough away to stay out of their hair.

Her hair was up. Elizabeth had it all swept up into something that kept it out of the way and made the graceful line of her neck all the more impressive. His hands fumbled slightly with the clay jug as John took in the blue sweater. He should have realized Elizabeth had things that were neither red nor dull, but he was unprepared for the
tissue-thin blue sweater that made her skin look like burnished metal.

Elizabeth's lips were tight, but she nearly glowed in the faint light of her single candle reaching up from a piece of pottery on the floor. "I don't have a table," she explained softly as she crossed her legs and settled onto an Athosian blanket.

"Nether do I," John replied pathetically as he reminded his legs how to sit. He put his hands on his knees and watched as she tugged at the cork on the kiyal. "I can--"

"Thanks," Elizabeth answered immediately grateful to pass it over. She rubbed her hands on her tight black pants and he wondered why he hadn't noticed her legs were so long. "I guess I'm a little nervous."

The cork made a loud pop as it freed itself from the jug. John tried lazily to catch it, but he missed it outright. "Nervous?" he repeated dumbly trying to make sure he'd heard her right. With kiyal in both of their steel cups, John raised his glass to meet hers.

"To making it this far," Elizabeth toasted as she closed her eyes and let the taste take her momentarily away. She'd had a lot of strange beverages, but John was particularly fond of this one. This one tingled hot, like tea left brewing until it had no choice but to form bubbles. Coughing for a moment, she met his eyes and smiled through
her hands.

"It takes some getting used too," John offered as he passed her napkin across. The coughing had shaken some of the nervousness out of her face and he liked it better that way. He liked her eyes to glow. He liked her to laugh. Hell, he liked her to be present, and he'd accept whatever mood she was in if it meant she was there. That was probably something he should be talking to the replacement-for-Kate who wasn't
nearly as pretty about.

"I like it," Elizabeth argued as she took another sip and manage to only wince a little this time. "It's--"

"Kinda strong!" John warned too late as she dumped back the cup and closed her eyes as she smacked her lips.

"Might need that," she murmured as she traced the wet edge of the cup and stared at him.

"Planning on asking me some hard questions?" John wondered almost seriously as he tried to decide if he was underdressed in his black turtleneck. It was too warm in her quarters for his fleece jacket, and he missed having the zipper to fidget with.

"I heard you lost your father," Elizabeth offered gently as she passed the covered clay dish towards him. "I've been meaning to say, something better than this, but--"

"You were in a coma," John excused as he pressed her napkin into her hand. "I talked to you about it. Guessed what you were going to say." Running his hand through his hair helped him think. "Helped me a lot actually," he finished as he looked for cutlery. There wasn't any apparent.

"It's Athosian," Elizabeth answered as she smiled again, this time exposing her brilliantly white teeth. "Teyla's been using her leave to write down as many things of her culture as possible. Recipes, stories, folk tales, even dress patterns; she's been adding them to the database. She helped me make this."

"I didn't know you cooked," John teased as he watched her reach over and lift the clay lid from his food. Steam and the rich tomatoey smell of bitter spice and meat escaped from the plate.

"I can be directed," Elizabeth explained opening a basket of bread and lifting a piece out. Passing it towards him, she tore it and used it to dab at her stew.

Grinning impishly, John followed her lead and smirked as he got to lick his fingers. He loved the less strict ways of most of the Pegasus galaxy. All that cutlery was definitely too much to wash sometimes. "Simon used to cook?" he asked softly only looking up when it took her a long moment to answer.

"He cooked all the time," she answered as she covered her mouth and chewed. "It helped him unwind."

"How did you unwind?" John wondered as he tore off more bread and handed it across to her before getting some for himself. He remembered her hands, the softness of her skin as they brushed together.

"I don't," Elizabeth deadpanned as she grinned around her fingers. "I walked the dog," she explained more truthfully as her cup clanked against the clay jug of kiyal. "Finding a route was the first thing Sedge and I did when we moved to a new place."

"But that's gone now, isn't it?" John cut through her eventually parry and towards what he thought was the heart of the problem. There was a memo. some piece of communication from Earth that had kept her distracted all day. This dinner, however impromptu was part of that and if there was something Elizabeth needed to say it was going to be better if she got it out before she was intoxicated.

"Sometimes I just walk," she admitted softly staring down at the bread. That moment got too long, and when she looked up she just stared at him. He'd been eyed up a few times in his life. Nancy had the disconcerting way of looking at him like a prized bull before she dragged him upstairs.

"Can't get a dog?" he asked as he licked his thumb clean and relaxed back into his cushion. He was balancing better than he thought on the floor and he liked being this close. He could see her thinking, see the way her feet twitched when she was nervous.

"Sedge is not 'a' dog," she corrected him and scraped a piece of bread around the inside edge of her dish. "She's my dog."

Smirking as he watched her methodically work her way inward towards the reddish brown stew in the middle of her dish, John wiped his fingers on his pant leg and winked at her. "You do actually eat sometimes, don't you?"

"When I have to," she teased back as she pulled her fingers from her mouth and laughed. "This is actually nice, I usually eat--"

"In your office," John finished for her. "I've watched you sometimes, from the 'gate. Even had a couple sandwiches on the stairs."

"Seriously?"

"No," John shook his head and dodged a flying napkin. "I just thought you might like to think that."

"It is nice to think," Elizabeth replied with a softening of her eyes John wasn't used to seeing. He'd seen her attempt not to cry before and even once, in the dark on the balcony, actually seen her weep. "Suppose we all like to know our presence matters. That we'll be remembered and mean something to someone when we're gone."

"Planning on going somewhere?" John asked as lightly as he dared. Things that could have come from Earth and made Elizabeth upset enough to allow him into the inner sanctum of her quarters were few and far between. When she left the question, John took a sip of the bubbling kiyal for fortification and asked the first thing that came into his mind. "Is your mom all right?"

"Yes?" Elizabeth's eyebrows were confused as she answered and John breathed a sigh of relief it wasn't that. He hadn't been close to his dad, but losing him had sent him for a loop mentally he didn't want to see her go through. He would never have to admit how many nights he'd fallen asleep in the infirmary, next to her bed, talking about his father until her blankets claimed him. "She's fine."

"Oh," he rubbed his hand through his hair and sighed quickly in relief. "And you? You're okay? No bad news...?"

Again her face was confused, when her eyebrows relaxed John saw none of the firmly buried terror he'd associate with a bad medical diagnosis. Finally giving up, he replaced the cover on his now empty dish and dumped his hands into his lap. Looking at her, he waited patiently for her to speak.

"Rodney said I had this, didn't he?" she demanded sadly as she pulled a folded and refolded piece of paper out of her pocket. It was getting dog eared and worn in a way that nothing Elizabeth touched should really be so abused. "Did he read it?"

"Nah," John shook his head and reached out a hand for the paper. "He just knew you had something he hadn't read yet and he needed to know what it was."

"Before you read this-" she held it back and stared at him. The fear was gone from her eyebrows. Her eyes were bright but entirely focused on him. "I need to ask you first."

"Ask me what?" he wondered reflexively.

"Get me pregnant."

Spiced wine burned his nose, ran up behind his eyeballs and shot fire through his ears. "I'm sorry?" he stammered as he put his cup away before he could do any more damage. John used his sleeve when his napkin was too far away. Rubbing his lips on it didn't give him anything more useful to say. He felt tears appear in the corners of his eyes and sighed.

"Please?" she finished as if afraid she hadn't been polite enough and it was the form rather than the nature of the question that was troubling him.

"This is going to sound--" John broke off and realized nothing could quite live up to the sound of whatever she had to ask. "Why? Why now?" He had to look down before he looked up. "Why me? I'm not-"

"It has to be you," she explained with the kind of certainty only insanity had. Maybe she had gone insane, or was temporarily possessed by an alien.

"Have you been off-world?" He wondered as he started to tic off the weird things that had happened to him. "In a lab? Touching things?"

Elizabeth's fingers caught his chin. Rarely, if ever, she initiated physical contact. This time it was electric, even through his confusion. Her voice was calm and her eyes were still. "I need you to believe I'm me right now," she begged firmly. "Even if you don't." Her other hand pressed the warm, worn paper into his hand, and John wondered how long it had been since he really had to deal with actual paper. It was rare that anything got printed at all.

"Look, Elizabeth," he started to protest as he stared at it. "I don't understand. This isn't like you--"

"When you read it, it will sound calm," she started to explain as she left the cushion and abandoned him on the floor. "It'll sound like nothing is wrong and it's a statistical anomaly that will work itself out." Elizabeth turned her back to him and found her strength in the window. "It's the little things that matter in politics. The wording of a thought; the choice of 'then' instead of 'therefore'. They've asked me to wait until the next communique, but by then they'll be asking me to make a public announcement. Then the policy changes will be implemented, abortion laws will be overturned. Martial law, massive diverting of food and resources. Testing, studies, focus groups--"

"Focus groups always make me think of the apocalypse," John agreed as he stood and studied the way the thin blue seater clung to her back. "So this is from?"

"World Health," she answered her reflection instead of him. "I'm sorry," Elizabeth paused and forced herself to turn back to him. "I thought about doing this more professionally."

"Asking me to get you pregnant over your desk is probably some kind of sexual harassment," he teased enough to get part of a smile. Reaching for her arm, he realized the fabric was Athosian. He had Teyla to thank for the glimpse of cleavage he was getting. Maybe she was more romantic than she admitted.

"I wanted to tell you here," Elizabeth shook her head and suddenly she was having trouble looking at him again. "I wanted to ask you here, over dinner, because I-"

John let her pace as he retreated to her bed and sat down. Elizabeth's couch was covered with two computers and a few stray objects that she'd be researching in her spare time. The bed was neatly made, but he suspected that was because she'd had him over to her quarters. John couldn't help thinking it was usually a mess she pulled together just before she went to sleep. He pulled himself up on it and leaned back as he watched her pace.

"I didn't want to do it another way," Elizabeth finished as she turned her face back to him.

John patted the bed next to him and twitched his head towards the space at his side. "What do you think that means?" he asked as he stuffed the paper unread into his pocket. She liked notes. The elderly Elizabeth had one for them when she died and his Elizabeth had folded and unfolded this one to the point that he was afraid he might not even be able to read it. He had never really told her how much he'd learned about her that long night in the infirmary back then.

"If this is just another heroic responsibility you're inflicting on yourself, you could have just asked me to donate in the infirmary and we could have kept this professional." Elizabeth's face was struggling and he knew he was chipping at her. He reached over, invading her space enough to touch the soft, cabled hem of her sweater. "This is a good color."

"Teyla," she credited as she put her hands nervously on her knees. Fidgeting with the fabric couldn't be helping her think, but he knew what it was like to need something to hang on to.

"Do you really want have a baby?" John asked softly taking his hand back and watching her face struggle. Sighing as he leaned closer, he decided to just be honest . "All I know is there's some kind of problem on Earth, and it's really got you shaken up. Which I have to admit is a lot disconcerting because I'm used to you being solid."

Her hand reached halfway to him and he stopped short. John stared at her fingers and the stories in her skin. She was patient with Rodney. She was careful and practical when they talked to foreign leaders he would have left to their own grim fates. Elizabeth spoke five languages, could nearly read Ancient, and she made Woolsey nervous. There were a great many things he admired in her.

At the same time, her hands were worn and the veins stood out blue beneath faintly freckled skin. She didn't sleep, she forgot to eat and she was a workaholic. She'd pushed herself to the point she'd passed out when the whales came. He'd felt her weight against his chest and known the beat of her heart against his. John knew her vulnerabilities. He'd seen fear scream naked in her eyes when Kolya's arm was around her neck.

Now her eyes were quiet, waiting, thinking about something she wasn't quite ready to share. "It's bad, John," Elizabeth began as he gave in and closed his hand over hers. "I don't think they even know how rough it's going to be yet."

"Probably think someone like McKay is going to work it out," he agreed as he tightened his grip and her cool hand. "Why me?"

The question startled her, and he felt her hand twitch under his. Surprisingly, her other hand covered his and she held on. "I trust you," Elizabeth answered simply surprising him when she didn't pull away. In fact, something in her rigid posture reminded him of Nancy and the way she sat when she really just wanted to be held.

His arm went around her shoulders so quickly she couldn't protest. Elizabeth leaned in towards him, and as soon as the awkward moment passed, they were lying down on the bed together. Her head stayed on his arm for a moment, then she looked up at him, meeting his eyes for permission before she moved over to lie against his chest. Her head landed on it, right beneath his chin. It was really the only way to fit comfortably in the small bed.

"Go around suggesting every man you trust should get you pregnant?" he asked lightly hovering his hand over her shoulder until he realized it was probably okay to touch her back. She sighed and some of the rigidity faded from her muscles. Draping herself tighter around him, Elizabeth shivered for a moment.

"I--" Elizabeth began slowly, speaking more to his shirt than him. "I was serious."

"Are you aware that at the end of a pregnancy there's a human who needs to be fed and played with and sent to university and day care and the dentist--"

"Stop," she demanded as she got to her feet. Her hand hit his chest hard as she left the bed and John knew he'd gone too far. Her shoulders were instantly tight again and the softening of her eyes that made her look like she was about to laugh was gone. "Look, if you're going to--" One of her hands rose and he was afraid she was going to kick him from her quarters.

"You scared me," he offered as a peace offering without giving up her bed. It was probably still too bold of him to stay there, but he liked the smell of lavender in the sheets and the way a candle,Teyla had definitely given her still hadn't been lit by the head of the bed. There was a romantic in Elizabeth Weir. Someone who really could have a baby for the good of the city. "I'm not ready to be a sperm donor."

His fluttering made her raise her eyebrows and look at him for an instant before sheepishly looking away. Her arms were locked over her chest and he knew he should be getting up and apologizing as he left her alone. He wanted to stay. Mysterious and dire circumstances on Earth didn't matter. The weight of Elizabeth's head on his chest was still etched into his nerves and he wanted to hang on to that.

His tongue was too clumsy for his mouth and his hands were damp with sweat against her blankets as he sat up. "I would like to be a dad," John finished as he dragged himself to his feet. His boots were by the door and his socks were thin enough that he could feel the chill in the metal. "I've never, you know, but I love kids."

Her shoulders twitched like shy fish beneath her sweater. Elizabeth's hair shone in the candle light and he was distracted by long line of her neck. She started to move her head but ended up still with her hand firmly pressed over her mouth.

"Kids are so weird and optimistic. When they look at you right, you feel like you can fly anywhere and they'll be right there with you," John started to explained as earnestly as he could. One of his hands mimicked an airplane and when she turned her head, he was completely certain he looked like an idiot. "I just-" he paused licking his lips wasn't making it easier. Staring at her eyes was just making his heart beat in an arrhythmic mess. "I want the whole thing. I want to feel someone kick, get woken up in the middle of the night, watch someone breastfeed--"

An eyebrow arched up over her gleaming left eye and he knew he wasn't saying it right.

"Not like that," John tried to save himself was he waved the hand that was still being an airplane for emphasis. "I think the idea of it is beautiful," he salvaged as he pulled the airplane back and stuffed it in his pocket. "I need to know someone else gets it. That they know even when he's covered in pudding he's the best baby ever, and that she makes you wish you were deaf but she has the best smile when she doesn't have colic."




"I'm not good at being in with someone," Elizabeth started slowly, feeling the words become more bitter as she continued. "I don't swoon. I come home late. I don't call--"

"I'll know where you are," John offered as he stayed where he was. He was further into her room than she was and with her choices being the door and him, Elizabeth couldn't help feeling claustrophobic. For the second time in an incredibly long day, the world was ending. She should be writing. Looking at case studies, researching, but--

He'd known exactly how to make an airplane with his hand. John was a nudge away from the noises that inevitably went with it and he was still looking at her. He wasn't burying his eyes in a book whenever she brought it up, or deciding he needed to start dinner at three in the afternoon because she wanted to talk about having a baby.

John was waiting. Patiently, maddeningly, staring through her as he waited. Maybe she shouldn't have trusted him. Maybe Teyla's third suggestion that it was possible just to drink with him and hope in their intoxicated fumbling something went right. Teyla hadn't been serious as she'd lazily stretched her back and rested her hands on the round, golden ball of her belly. She'd been giggling and Elizabeth had been too nervous to answer.

Lying to him was wrong and she'd felt that even through two glasses of wine.

"Elizabeth," John ventured, ready to save her again if she needed it. "It's okay if you want more than just a couple quick fucks until we turn a stick blue."

Gulping quickly, she wondered if that crude description was really what she was asking. The world was running out of babies and it was her responsibility to have one because she still could. That thought pounded in her head to the point that it drowned out everything else. "It's safer that way, isn't it?" she mused aloud forcing herself to keep her eyes on his face. His eyes were patient, still waiting for her, but his lips were hungry.

"No clumsy, stupid emotions getting in the way?" it sounded awful when she said it, but John nodded slowly.

"We couldn't do it," he insisted as his hands emerged from his pockets. Looking at his trousers was a dangerous game and Elizabeth could barely believe she was doing it. "Even if you think you could. There's something here, between you and me, that's scaring you more than that note."

"We can't just--" Sighing as she closed her eyes, Elizabeth remembered her mother laughing. She felt the sunshine on her face as she played in the garden. Her father stroked her head and she was safe. Children came from love and love was something she had become too tired to remember.

"I, well, I'll give you all of it," John laid down the ultimatum before she opened her eyes again. "If you want the whole thing, me, I guess I'm yours."

Elizabeth could feel the air abandon the room in a rush when she couldn't find the words to answer. She was ruining the closest relationship she'd had with anyone who wasn't her dog in the last three years. Biting her lip, she took a step towards him. "I need you to know that this isn't as insane as I sounded. I think I would have asked you last year, or the year before. Without- what's going on- I might have asked you next year, or the year after, or waited until it was just another thing I never really got around to doing."

He nodded and John held his place between her and the bed.

Taking another step, she put herself close enough to smell him. Beyond the wine and the traces of dinner on his breath, there was John and the combination of soap and ocean his day left in his hair. "Would you let me kiss you?" she wondered boldly surprising herself as she took another step without waiting. Elizabeth leaned up slightly, waiting for him.

When his chin dropped to nod, she closed the space between their lips and started to taste John. He was warming, surprised by the way her tongue wanted to know him so quickly. He retreated a step, but the second step back stopped them just next to the bed.

He sat down and for a moment Elizabeth stood, her hands on his shoulders as he stared up at her. He was solid, warm and a bright spot in the harsh reality her world was threatening to become. His hands waited on her hips, both waiting for her and daring her to do anything but keep kissing him. "Do you want to know what it says?" she asked curiously.

Shaking his head, John pulled her a little closer. "Maybe I trust you too," he teased half-seriously as he parted his legs and reached for her sweater. Slipping down to the bed next to him, Elizabeth let one of her legs stay haphazardly over one of his.

The grin splitting his face made her giggle as his hand closed over her knee. The combination of proximity and nerves made her heart race. He hadn't really seen this side of her, Elizabeth started to realize as the grin just grew deeper. There were more laugh lines around his eyes than gray hairs in his stubble but she couldn't help wondering if he felt young enough.

"Have you always made airplanes?" she asked as she wandered her fingers down to the turtleneck tucked into his trousers.

Letting her pull it free, John nodded and seemed to accept that the invisible line had been crossed. "I like 'em," he shrugged and cupped her cheek. "We could wait," John started as he ran his thumb thoughtfully across her cheek. "Have a second date, make sure we're ready to deal with the paperwork--"

"Do you think you'll feel differently if you go home, we sleep alone and eat dinner in your room tomorrow?" she asked lightly pressing her lips into the skin at the base of his thumb.

John grabbed her foot, rubbing the inside of the arch enough to make her gasp before he bent it up and around his back. "No," he answered simply. One of his hands landed on either side of her on the bed. "Maybe a little more sexually frustrated..." He trailed off with a wink. "You?"

"I don't want to sleep alone," Elizabeth replied with a sigh so heavy she saw him share her relief. He leaned down, staring at her before he kissed her forehead. "Is that all right?"

"Yeah," John murmured as he stopped with his head against hers. "I think it's kind of human."

Laughing as she slipped up towards her pillows, Elizabeth reached for his turtleneck. Putting Atlantis out of her mind for the moment, she got her first glimpse of his chest when it wasn't waiting for a massive electric shock. John was thinner than she expected, trim without being chiseled. There were a few gray hairs on his chest and when he caught her smiling at them he stopped inching the blue sweater up her belly and winked.

"Think they make me look smarter?" he wondered playfully as he flipped her sweater up to her breasts and stopped. Staring longingly at the tiny curve of her belly, he raised an eyebrow and leaned down to kiss her chin. "You're aware you'll be saying goodbye to your stomach being like this pretty much ever again?"

Closing her eyes as she tried not to deal with the stinging that thought created, Elizabeth nodded and buried a hand in his soft hair. It played with her fingers, finding new ways to stick out from his head when her hand had moved on. "I don't wear a lot of bikinis," she offered as she lifted her shoulders and helped him pull the thin blue sweater up and over her head. "I think I'll be okay."

"Maybe you should wear more bikinis," he pouted as he started reaching for the claps on her bra. "These are nice," John continued thoughtfully as he rested his left hand on one of her breasts. "Both of them."

"Is there going to be a running commentary?" Elizabeth teased sarcastically as she let him pull the simple white bra free from her shoulders. His hands were softer than she expected and he took more care than most of her first time lovers. This was an exploration, a journey into the unknown, and John seemed to want to remember it.

"I guess I'm just used to having to report to you," John jibed as his hands covered her breasts and embraced the feeling of skin against skin. "I could get used to you, like this."

"I thought I was saying goodbye to the way things are?" Elizabeth retorted and lifted her leg to touch his thigh. "My stomach?"

"I meant naked," John teased wrinkling his nose and dropping his mouth to the flat skin over her collarbone. "I don't think I'll care if your stomach is flat," he supposed thoughtfully moving his hand aside so he could run his tongue across her right breast. He paused lazily and blew across her wet nipple. "You'll be beautiful."

"Really?" she asked innocently letting it slip from her lips. Beautiful was a word she saved for other women, for Teyla and her mother, people who were graceful without effort.

"Yes," John finished simply licking a slow line on her stomach as he let her reach up to his trousers. Her fingers fumbled at first but he nudged her towards the hidden button on the inside of his SGC issue dress trousers. "Wore the good ones for you," he teased as he slipped out of them.

When his hands were warming her hips as her trousers slid free, Elizabeth stopped him, catching a hand in his hair as she paused. "Will you leave when we're done?"

"Wasn't planning on it," John answered teasing her trousers up from underneath her. "This is a serious thing, Elizabeth."

"Hopefully not all the time," she sat up to toss one of her socks off the bed. John flopped on his side next to her and helped free her foot from the other. "I've been told I should laugh more."

Something wicked flashed in his eyes, and his hands were suddenly, mercilessly at her sides, tickling. Gasping as her muscles tightened, Elizabeth tried to fight him off, but helpless giggles overtook her instead. His shoulders pushed her down, leaving her defenseless until her hands finally slapped him away. Struggling for breath as she glared at him, Elizabeth wrapped her arms around his neck and held on until she caught her breath.

"Don't," she begged as he started kissing her neck.

"Laugh more," John suggested as he ran his hand down towards her panties. "Kids are funny."

"Funny the way teasing Rodney is funny?" she quipped with one eyebrow raised. "Or actually funny?"

Two fingers slipped under the elastic and Elizabeth felt him brush against her stomach through the thin fabric of his boxers. "Actually funny, like you are in the morning, before coffee," he teased as he lowered his hip between her legs. Just grinding his body against hers made her moan and she bit her lip and hoped he didn't mind. "It's okay," he assured her again, this time following the sentiment with a slow kiss. His tongue was less forward than she had been as it broke into her mouth.

He would have seemed too tentative if he wasn't crushing her breast with his hand. Those fingers crawled towards her back, flipping her on her side as he found his way around the curve of her hip with the other. His thumb slid down the front, rubbing close to her clit as he bent her knee up across his hip. It only seemed fair to reach down for him, grabbing him free from his boxers.

John's eyes widened and suddenly his tongue was everywhere in her mouth. They were fighting desperately to be something more than individuals. Something more than alone in the vast and changing world. Elizabeth's hands left him and tore her panties off her ankles, pulling him closer against her, she led his thumb to her clit and groaned into his ear when he hit it.

Rolling her over firmly on top of him, John pulled her down and ran his teeth across the soft flesh beneath her breast. He was hot against her palm, and her fingers nearly trembled in anticipation. Guiding his head up from her chest, she crouched over him, balancing on his thighs as she waited. "I need you to look at me," Elizabeth begged as she locked her eyes with his.

Staring up at her in surprise, John nodded slowly. His lips were curled thoughtfully in slow concentration. His left hand caught the back of her head and held her. The first moment of him within her was painful. She wasn't ready. It had been too long and for a moment she was afraid it was too quick. Stealing her breath from his mouth was right though, and John's fingers moved slowly against her clit.

"Okay?" he panted as his lips ran over her chin. He moved his hips slightly and she shuddered over him.

"I haven't wanted to do this--" she hissed as her body started to loosen as he touched her. His fingers were slow and gentle and he licked them before bringing them back down. Elizabeth kissed him again, grinding his hand between her hips and his body. When she moved, her fingers started to tingle. Rolling upwards, she kept one hand on his chest as she got a better angle. As she'd requested, his eyes stayed on her. They were deepening, darkening as he grew more comfortable inside.

"With me?" John grunted as he rolled his fingers slowly over her clit.

The noise she made instead of speaking had words in it, but Elizabeth was certain it was incoherent. John's hand left her breast and pulled her head down to crush her lips against his. Rocking his hips beneath her, he pushed in a little further and wrung more of that gasping sound from her throat.

"No, with you was-" she bit her lip and lowered herself back down to his face. "Sex with you seemed like a good idea," Elizabeth panted out before she kissed him again. "Too good of an idea--"

The twitch of his lip was a sign of his amusement, and his fingers left her clit. both of his hands slipped into her hair, freeing it from the updo and letting it free down onto her neck. It tickled her skin and Elizabeth watched him smile. "Beautiful," he murmured. His right hand crept down her back, cupping her butt before he slipped it back to her clit.

Slowly, he started to make her want to move against him. When she moved her hips in an anxious circle, he thrust up into her. "Are you- am I?" her words were muffled as she tried to speak with her mouth against his. "Should I be?"

"Shhhh--" John insisted as he made his point with a hard jab against her clit. "You're fine."

"But, are you?" she continued anyway struggling to hold on to her breath long enough to make sure she was doing it right.

"Elizabeth," John put his left hand over her mouth and brought his right up from her clit to grab her breast firmly. As he toyed with the nipple, he smirked. His voice was strained and even the tiny movements of his hips made her head swim. "I think having sex with you is going to be amazing but I need you to stop talking to do it."

His thumb traced her breast and he toyed with a curl of her hair in the other hand. "Okay?" he finished patiently holding back what had to be a difficult level of arousal. John put his finger over her lips when she tried to speak. "Yes, it's okay," he answered for her. "We're kissing now."

True to his word, he followed his finger with his lips and Elizabeth surprised herself when she started rocking with him. The pain faded into a slow burn. A kind of heat that threatened to ruin her senses. John's eyes were still on hers and he was listening to her breathing. He bit her lip when her fingers dug into the small of his back.

Following her as she leaned up, he nibbled at her breast in retaliation before they slipped back into rhythm. Sweat caught on the hair on his chest and her hands slid over damp skin when she rolled up. Her hair was gathering sweat as well, and parts of it stuck to her neck.

Catching her at the hips, John changed the angle she rested at, tilting her pelvis back and giving himself the better angle. Her head started to pulse along with his hips. He must have felt her shift in his palms because once she started to grind her clit into him, John's fingers returned to it. His two fingers were merciless this time, and the strange, inevitable tightness filled her. Moaning to the metal walls of her quarters, she wondered belatedly what the sound-proofing was like.

Rodney would just have to get over it, Elizabeth decided when the idea of holding anything back seemed insane. John was staring through her and the more he looked, the more he seemed to instinctually know where his hands needed to be. How much it drove her crazy when he sucked her neck and the way her nipples begged to be touched just harder than they should be.

Grabbing her chin with his left hand John held her face to him as she writhed against him. Elizabeth could feel the build in the back of her head and the tingling sensation in her lips. The slow, quiet orgasm was sneaking up on her, but at the same time John's hands were doing something else. Even as his eyes were losing the ability to focus, his mind was behind his hands.

It was hot and her skin was too hot. No matter how quickly John moved within her, it wasn't fast enough. Her hips and everything between them were screaming, twisting, pounding into his hands. John's teeth were set firmly in his lip and all the willpower he had was locked into waiting for her.

Her quiet orgasm hit the back of her head like a rush of hot water, and Elizabeth dropped her forehead into the side of his neck, panting and waiting for him to let go. John didn't. In fact, he urged her on, forcing her to move with him, move through it and fight.

Her eyes wouldn't focus. Her throat wasn't listening to her. Elizabeth's breath was lost and her heart was racing. Her wandering eyes snapped open as he pulled her head down. His fingers went abruptly still and harsh against her still circling body. It broke, she shattered into his dark eyes. He peered right through into her soul as she came. This one came in waves, crashing through her nerves and leaving her a shaking mess on his chest.

She barely felt him spill into her. For a moment the chill touch of fear cut through blissfully fading orgasm. Elizabeth realized she could be pregnant. in that moment, John's DNA was on a desperate quest for her own and it could end with a baby.

"What if that was it?" she wondered breathless into his neck.

John lifted his head and brought his chin down on the top of her head as she got comfortable against him. "We should keep trying, in case it's not," John goaded as she slapped at his face. Kissing the offending hand, he laughed in a low tone. "You okay?"

Her head was still disconnected, floating somewhere and ignore commands. "No," she admitted as she traced slow patterns on his chest with one finger.

"Want to try this again sometime?" he teased as he kissed her forehead.

Laughing as she held him a little tighter, Elizabeth hoped he could feel her nod. "Are you staying the night?"

Lifting her feet and his head enough to fight with the covers, John pulled them around them both and sighed contently as he finally lay back on her pillow. "Yes," he answered easily as he got comfortable. "I'm kind of a morning person," John warned as he tossed a hand towards the lights by the bed.

"I'm not," Elizabeth groaned and lifted herself up on one elbow.

"Maybe tomorrow, you will be," John winked lewdly and kept his eyes on hers. "It's going to be okay you know. McKay, Carter, the SGC, whatever it is, they can fix it."

"Maybe not this," she admitted with a sigh that nearly took the warmth out of her heart.

His response was to pull her up and make her kiss him. As the parted, john snuck back for another kiss, this time making a sound like a toy plane coming in to land. Giggling through his lips, Elizabeth pushed him back. "What was that?" she demanded as she watched him grin wickedly.

"Practice."
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  • fic: Light My Way Home | M | Once Upon a Time | Emma Swan/Regina Mills

    Fastest long fic I've ever written. Way fun. Light My Way Home (118276 words) by Oparu Chapters: 16/16 Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV), The…

  • oh wise and mighty flist...

    do I want to call my fic "Cold Grey Dawn" or "Winter's Grey Dawn" or "Grey Winter's Dawn" ? (I'd make a poll, but they don't work cross platform…

  • oh travel...

    Flight from China was nice. I must highly recommend Finnair. Good food, nice planes, very polite, lovely staff, lots of coffee and tea... Helsinki…