1. She snatches the covers back over herself with a huff. "Privacy, John. Don't you have a briefing to prepare for?"
"Carson ordered you in for a physical. I'm just making sure you don't run back to your office before he gets back."
She glares. "I'm sure you have to do that from two feet away."
He shuffles back a few steps. "Sorry."
When his eyes drift back down toward her (now covered) legs, she's sure of it: "You're not sorry." She can't think of a way to get back at him (or get back some of her dignity) until: "When's the last time you had a physical, Colonel?"
He turns a little red, like she suggested something more fun than a retaliatory medical procedure. "You know," he says, "I think I have a briefing to prepare for."
She smirks at his departing back and then tries to forget that warm frisson of interest that went up her spine when she caught him looking. That sort of thing is inappropriate on the best of days, but it's definitely not a good topic for thought when Carson's about to take her pulse.
2. "There," she says, and points. "Do you see that?"
She's been noticing the occasional burst of color on the horizon the past few nights, but she's always been alone. When John came out to ask her a question about scheduling (as a segue into fishing for compliments over what a great job he did on the Sikarus mission), she asked him to watch with her to see if it happened again.
That was at least ten minutes ago, but he hasn't complained about boredom yet. He's probably just as relieved as she is to have a break with no disasters and pleasant, quiet company.
It flashes again, this time pink. "Maybe it's an aurora," she says. "Something seasonal. It's beautiful, isn't it?"
He doesn't answer, and when she looks over, he's watching her instead of the sky.
3. "Are you okay?"
She sees his eyes for just a second over the barrier before he slaps his hand over his face. It's so slapstick that she laughs out loud, because it's not ridiculous enough that the decon showers are so ice cold that she yelped, or that they're covered in alien goop in the first place, but the walls between decon stalls have to be built for people a head shorter than they are. (That, or the Ancients have no sense of personal privacy; after all, none of the crew quarters have locking doors.) She can't not laugh when John is bright red, like he – well, like he looked over the wall and saw her naked.
"I didn't mean to!" he says, still blind through his hand, and she never really thought of embarrassed as a sexy tone of voice until right now. "You're okay, though, right?"
The first time a man has seen her naked in two years and she's covered in bright orange mystery sauce. When she took this assignment, she knew she'd have to do without decent coffee and reality television and Earth conveniences for the duration, but someone really should have warned her that she'd be giving up sex for –
The decontamination solution coming from the shower head is freezing and she's still thinking about things she definitely shouldn't, her body heating up like she and John are in this room for a much different purpose. "You know," she says, and there's a split-second of decision-making over whether she should be responsible or just climb over the dividing wall between them and jump him, never mind that Carson's waiting outside and they're professional colleagues and all of that. "I think I figured out what this orange stuff is for."
4. Even though mind-hopping aliens were to blame for this latest disaster, Elizabeth still expects John to be angry when she goes to the brig to let him out.
After all, she locked him up – not to mention slapping him, and yelling at him, and acting well outside the bounds of decorum that she stays in when she's not otherwise possessed. It's fuzzy now, but she's pretty sure her temporary alien mind-share tried to seduce him over to her cause and only locked him up (and slapped him) when he declined her offer.
"Sorry about that," she says, deactivating the electrical field around his cell. What else can she say?
John looks her up and down. His gaze pauses on her mouth.
"What?" Did she kiss him? She thinks she'd remember that. It would piss her off, too, because then she'd be two for two on alien mind-control resulting in her making out with him, and at some point that's going to raise questions (if not about her relationship with her military counterpart, then about what the hell these Pegasus aliens are really after).
He licks his lips. She doesn't think he means to. "Nothing. Just making sure you're really you."
Does he sound disappointed?
She lets him go without further comment, but checks John's name first when Carson sends her the results of everyone's test for alien presence.
5. She feels Varshan's forearm squeezing air from her throat as she struggles, sees John out of the corner of her eye aiming his weapon toward them, and then feels fire.
Some part of her brain, far detached from her body, tells her it's a good thing the pain knocks the wind out of her, otherwise she'd be screaming – a bad idea when they're in hostile territory, enemy security forces are shooting at her rescue party, and the alien dignitary who was supposed to guarantee her safety at the negotiating table just tried to kill her.
John is crouching over her when she gets enough air to speak. "You're going to be okay," he says, and a glance behind her at Varshan's smoking body tells her that she didn't get the brunt of the blast, not even close.
For a moment, he doesn't move, like he's forgotten everything except her, and that's compelling beyond words when she's hurt and terrified and he just shot someone to save her life.
She grabs his thigh for leverage and tries to pull herself to sitting. "Get me out of here."
He doesn't let go of her until they're back home.
6. She spends 36 hours in the infirmary. She sleeps on and off, usually waking up because someone is checking her blood pressure or doing something with an I.V., and it's usually Carson or Jennifer or Jake (her favorite nurse, who has a secret collection of Audrey Hepburn movies that he lends her whenever she's confined here).
This time it's John. Her throat's dry, but he's poking at the tubes slowly feeding into her veins, so she has to croak out: "I don't think you're qualified to do that."
He shrugs and sits down in the chair next to her bed. He looks like he's trying to work his way up to saying something – maybe I'm sorry, since her final injury of the mission did come from his weapon even though she was already guaranteed a long infirmary stay before he got to her.
In the end, she can't stay awake long enough to find out. Just before she drops off, his fingers curl around hers.
7. She gasps when he comes around the corner in – she belatedly identifies – blue face-paint.
He waves her off. "I lost a bet. Arrested Development thing. Halloween. Long story."
Her heart's racing, and she barely resists the urge to yell at him, because she'd almost put that out of her mind until right now. He's watching her with open amusement as she tries to react in a way befitting Doctor Weir, intergalactic explorer.
"Trick or treat?" he offers.
She really should yell at him. "Not funny."
8. "Admit it," John teases, in the control tower, in front of everyone. "You were wrong and we were right."
She feels some of that tension she shed during her three-day vacation (if it can be called a vacation when the three men in front of her practically shoved her and Teyla through the Stargate at gunpoint) come rushing back.
"Yes," Teyla says next to her, quite graciously given the smirks on everyone's faces, "it was indeed relaxing."
John turns to Elizabeth next, smug-bastard grin on his face. He's a little too eager, she thinks, to get a confession from her before she's even changed back into her uniform. Elizabeth has been tanning on a beach, not melting away her brain.
"John, what did you break while we were gone?"
9. Jesus, he looks like she just kicked his favorite puppy.
"It's not that I don't appreciate the invitation," she explains, and she can't believe she's having this conversation in the control room. She can't believe John's having this conversation in the control room, unless he's trying to make a point that there's nothing inappropriate about him inviting her to a fertility ceremony of all things. Even if it's plant fertility – new crops and so forth – they've been playing around a line that neither of them are ready to cross. She thought neither of them were ready to cross it. She must be reading too much into it. "I can't drop everything and spend a whole night on New Athos. Especially if you're away from the city too."
His features close up. "Forget I asked," he says through a tight jaw, and turns away.
So much for it being a platonic, appropriate, control-room-safe invitation.
"John," she goes to grab his arm and drag him out to the balcony where they can talk like humans instead of like leaders, and where she can maybe get some idea of what's going on in that convoluted psyche of his. He moves fast when he wants to, though, and he's gone before she can think of a control-room-safe way to stop him.
10. When she gets fed up with his bad mood, it's her turn to shove him through the Stargate for a vacation.
The plan was five uninterrupted days – more than deserved after three years – but the Wraith don't have the courtesy of checking Elizabeth's day planner for convenient times to show up on long-range sensors.
She feels guilty enough about it that she goes to get him in person, and finds him unshaved and not a little hung over.
"This is your idea of a vacation?" She expected to find him in town watching the Zindrizi rodeo that draws such a crowd this time of year. She expected to find him looking happy, at least.
She drags a second beach chair over to sit next to him.
"Clearing my head," he says. "Trying to figure things out."
This is your idea of clearing your head? she wants to ask, but goes with a more neutral, "Any conclusions?"
He smirks and then looks at his hands, squinting against the bright sun. "This place isn't that great without company," he says, then looks at her. "And I hate the Wraith."
His gaze feels like it's burning. She supposes she can be honest here, thirty light-years from their jobs and their people. It's disappointing that they have to travel that far. "I think the same things, you know."
She reaches into the space between them and he takes her hand.
He squeezes her fingers. "Thanks," he tells her, which is more than she expected him to say and less than either of them means.
She relaxes into her chair and closes her eyes. The Wraith can wait ten minutes.
11. The dress turns heads – more because she's so rarely out of uniform than because it's anything special – but she has to look around the party to find the one she's looking for. He's chatting with Teyla, who nods at him to indicate he should turn around.
Elizabeth gets her reward when John does a double-take. "What's this?"
She shrugs. There's a warm breeze from the open wall panels behind her, and the skirt kisses her legs. "A small change. You do always say I need to loosen up."
There's a question in his eyes, but his posture changes into a stance more relaxed and flirty. "If you're quoting me, we must be in trouble."
She notices Teyla backing away, giving them space.
"Well," Elizabeth says, finally letting herself enjoy the way he looks at her, "you're always good for trouble."