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27 June 2005 @ 01:31 pm
Story: Decision and Plans  
Here's the answer to the first challenge over at js_ew_challenge. ^-^

Title: Decisions and Plans
Rating: PG-13/R
Spoilers: Season 2
Summary: John and Elizabeth face their feelings
Any additional pairings: Sam/Jack
Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were there would be lots of Liz/John ^-^

A/N: It developed a mind of its own.

John draped his arm over the back of Elizabeth's chair and poured her another drink. "Drink, Elizabeth." Then after a beat. "I'm sorry."

"Don't, Major. Just... don't." Without looking at John, Elizabeth stood up and went to the railing. Her hands wouldn't stop fumbling with her drink. Just like the wheels in her mind couldn't stop turning.

John watched her and knew without a doubt that her mind wasn't at rest. Too much had happend this evening and suddenly he couldn't stand her silence anymore. A little too forcefully he placed his drink on the table and rose from his seat.

"Elizabeth, please. Don't shut yourself off to me. Talk to me or yell at me if you want. Just do something!" The last part came out as a plea and John knew it. Normaly he wouldn't beg but now he didn't care. All he wanted was Elizabeth to open up to him. "I'm your friend, Elizabeth and I want to help you."

"Stop, John. You have no idea what this was all about. Don't push me! It's... complicated," with a heavy sigh she looked up into the sunset sky.

Before John could stop himself he took a step towards her but Elizabeth lifted a hand and turned to him, a sad smile gracing her face. "Sam was right. We try to quash them so hard but in the end they always break free. Then not only we get hurt but also those we care about. It's like a curse."

John gave her a bewildered look. "What do you mean with them? And what does Sam has to do with Simon's outburst?"

Despite her misery Elizabeth laughed softly. "It's a long story, John. Let's talk about it another time. OK? I'm tired. I'll see you at the base tomorrow. Sleep well, Major."

Glancing one more time back at John, Elizabeth disappeard down stairs of the balcony, got into her car and drove off.

She left a stunned and confused John Sheppard behind. And he didn't like being confused. "We will see, Elizabeth. We will see."
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elizabeth groaned and glared at the sunlight. She didn't feel 'sunny'. The whole night she had tossed and turned but yet hadn't found a solution for her so called 'problem'.

Resigning herself to the fact that the much needed sleep wouldn't come she rose from the bed and went into her kitchen. 'I need a vacation. A planet without a Stargate would be the best.' Lost in the thought of a sunny, peaceful and work-free planet she didn't heard her front door being unlocked.

"Liz? Are you here?" A little startled Elizabeth turned towards the voice and saw Sam appearing in the doorframe. "Oh Liz. I'm so sorry. I know how your feeling right now."

"Yeah, Sam. I know. Looks like we got the same curse. But I'll come around. Somehow." Elizabeth took the milk out of the refrigerator and poured Sam and herself two glasses. "Here, it's all I've got. I forget to buy something."

Sam took her glass and took a closer look at Elizabeth. "Come, sit and talk to me. After all it's kind of my fault. With me it began, this curse."

Elizabeth couldn't help herself and giggled. "When you say it like this, it sounds ridiculous." She dropped into the cushions and closed her eyes. "You know Sam, we could laugh about it if it wasn't so damn complicated."

Sam rose an eybrow. "That bad?"

"Oh yes. That bad! And the worst part is not Simon's outburst. No, no. That I can take. But what bugs me is the fact that he's right and I was just too blind to see it. I wanted to play safe and tried to hide my feelings. But they were sronger."

"Just like mine. We're both stuck between a rock and a hard place. Maybe it is a sign."

Elizabeth snorted. "A sign? Like the burning briar? And what's the meaning?"

Sam took a sip of her milk and watched the busy street outside of Elizabeth's house. "To take the chance. To stop being a coward and go for what we want. Life's too short, especially in our job."

"You've thought about it, haven't you?"

Sam gave a heavy sigh. "I had eight years, Liz. I'm tired of thinking. And I don't want you to make the same mistake."

Elizabeth smiled at Sam's words and grabed her hand. "Thank you for being here for me, Sam."

"That's what friends are for and we both have alot in common. And I mean not only men!"

Elizabeth grinned. "What make you think I thought about that?"

"Everytime I mention John you start grinning as if there's no tomorrow." Sam laughed when she saw Elizabeth blushing.

"I do not."

"Ah, no need to pout, Liz. Your secret is safe with me."

"Ha, you're one to talk. You get that dreamy look everytime we talk about Jack." Elizabeth countered.

"Ok, ok. Time out. We both are smitten with them." Sam shot Liz a sad look. "Oh, Liz. Why is it for us so hard to find happiness?"

"It ain't difficult, Sam. We just made it complicated. We took the safe bet. But hurting Pete and Simon was never part of that plan. Like I said I'm not angry with Simon." Elizabeth sighed.

"You're not?"

"No. My... behaviour wasn't exactly... I don't know. All I know is that he thinks I cheated on him with John the whole time. He means that's the reason why I go offworld and why I'm so distant when I'm here with him."

"Doesn't he know what in the Pegasus galaxy happened? That you all risked your life? And still risking?"

Elizabeth nodded. "He does but since I came back John and I spend more time together. For us it is naturally to be together at work and after work. I told you I like it. A little too much but I'm afraid to take the next step and I'm sure as hell never cheated on Simon!" Now Elizabeth was fuming. She took a deep breath and turned to Sam. "What about you and Pete? How did he take it?"

"I got the same reaction you've got. He didn't want to understand me and he accused me of playing with the hearts of men. And like you I can't be angry." Sam looked down at the carpet.

"That's enough. I sick of this. I mean, everyday people go their seperate ways. Why shoudn't we do the same? I'm going to find my happiness. And nothing is going to stand in my way!"

"Elizabeth!" Sam looked up astonished. "That's a whole new side on you! I like it. Go and get you boy, girl!"

Elizabeth blushed again. "Hey, I'm not doing this alone. You will get you 'General', too. We need to do something... drastic. There should be no way out for them."

"Huh, again a new side. But what is with... Simon?"

Elizabeth walked to her window. "I'll tell him the truth. Maybe he will understand and forgive me."

Suddenly their beepers broke the silence. "The base. We've got to go. Come on, Sam. Let's talk about the 'plan' in the car."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

John was staring into space. Literally. But he wasn't thinking about the stars, no, his mind was on Elizabeth. And the fight between her and... Simon. He couldn't stand that man. Yelled at his Elizabth as if she had done something criminally.

'Wait, my Elizabeth? No, no just Elizabeth.'

As much as he wanted to convince himself of that fact, he knew it was futile. He didn't know when he started thinking of her as his but what he knew was that he couldn't let her go. Never. He needed her and after yesterday he got a feeling
that she felt more for him, too.

"Trying to count all stars, Colonel?" John jumped, turned around and came face to face with a smirking Jack O'Neil.

"Eh, no, sir. I'm just... thinking... I think."

"About what? Yesterday?"

"Yeah and... other things." John looked back to the sky.

"Could this other thing be a Elizabeth?"

John's head whipped so fast around that Jack had to bite back a laugh. 'So, you too.'

"I don't know what you're talking about, General."

"No need to be defensive, Colonel. I know how you're feeling right now and I want to help you." Jack gave John a sympatic look and then he sighed.

"Listen, John. It's not easy, I know. I've been doing this for eight years now and then you and Elizabeth appeared. And I'm seeing myself in you." Jack shook his head. "I'm getting old, John, I'm starting to think about screwing the regs and you should do the same!"

"Woah, Jack. That was a hell of a speech." John began studying the ground closely. "I appriciate you openness, Jack. But I can't let my feelings get in the way of Elizabeth's life. Maybe she feels something for me but then there's still him. You know what I mean. You had the same problem with Pete. How the hell did you survive it?"

Jack smirked. "I trusted Carter. I knew that it was only a matter of time before her feelings would break through. And now that he's out of the way,... even the regs won't keep us away from eachother." Jack's smirk vanished. "Don't you trust Elizabeth?"

"Sure I do!" John's head snapped up.

Jack nodded. "Then there's no problem. Elizabeth isn't stupid. I bet she knows already about your feelings."

John gulped. "She... knows...? Oh my God."

"Hey, no need to die. It can be helpful. The only thing you have to do is to sweep her of her feet." The famous O'Neill-smirk was back.

"Sweep her of her feet, huh? And your lady? What are you going to do about her?"

"Going to get her, like you yours. With charme and my love for her."

Both man grinned like young schoolboys and looked back at the sky.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elizabeth's talk with Simon had been gone off better than she had anticipated. He still was a little hurt and she understood him but it was as if a big burden had been lifted from her shoulders. Now she sat in her room which looked more like a storage closet and thought about John.

'Sam's right. He's drop dead gorgeous.' She sighed and tried to read the report that layed before her. But the concentration she desperatly needed wouldn't come. Only images of John and thoughts about the 'plan' were swirling in her head.

Suddenly the phone started to ring and startled Elizabeth. 'Damn, what now?'

"Weir here. What..."

"LIZ, he's coming. I just saw him turn into the corridor to your lab. Start phase one NOW!"

"W...what? Who's...?NO, not John! And phase one?"

"You know. The sweater-thing. Go, he's nearly there." Then there was only the dialing tone.

Elizabeth looked perplexed at the phone. 'Now? John?'

"Oh my God. Phase one, John, sweater! Ok, Elizabeth. Stay calm, breathe deeply. Ahhh, he's coming." And there went the famous Weir-calmness.

Elizabeth run to her closet and looked over her shoulder. 'Ok, this should work. Now the sweater.'
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

John whistled. His mood had been better since his talk with Jack. 'Poor Jack. Sam and her technobabble.' Softly laughing he shook his head. As he rounded the corner to Liz' lab he focused his thoughts on his favourite subject. 'Maybe fate decided that we did enough to deserve at least some happiness.'

But in the next moment his mind went blank. Totally blank. Because it needed the space to save an image so that John would never forget it.

A Elizabeth, who's bare back was presented to John. And what a nice back she had. 'Indeed very nice.'

Elizabeth had to bite her lip, so nervous she was. 'Ok, no turning back now.' As if she was startled she whirled to John, the sweater pressed to her front.

"Major! What are you doing here? Can I help you?" She received no answer. "Major? Major, are you ok?" Elizabeth took a step closer to John.

"Uh uh." John's brain was still occupied with progressing the image of Elizabeth in nothing but the sweater she held to her front. And said brain had another problem. The image was fine but how would she feel in reality?

As if his arm had a mind of its own it started to lift and his finger reached out to Elizabeth bare skin.

"MAJOR!"

"Woah." Startled from Elizabeth's indignant outburst John literally jumped back and fell promptly over the chair.

"Mpfh. Ouch." He rubbed his head. 'Nice going, John. Now she thinks your a pervert.' 'Well, aren't you?' said another voice. He winced inwardly.

Elizabeth clasped a hand over her mouth, moved nearer to John and leaned over him. "Oh my God! I'm so sorry! Are you ok, Major? Nothing hurt?"

"Only my fragile ego." She heard John mutter. "And my pride." Still rubbing his head he looked up and came face to face with Elizabeth's chest. This time he was pepared but he still had this itch in his fingers...

"Major. I think it would be better to stand up and let me take a look at your head." Elizabeth gently grasped John's arm with one hand and helped him standing up. "Are you feeling dizzy, nausea or anything else?" While asking him she led him to a small table. "Here sit." She stepped between his legs and began examine his head with her free hand.

'Stay calm, Elizabeth. This may not have been planned but you have to take the chance. Don't mess up now.' Repeating her mantra she started to feel more secure and relaxed. She smirked. Thank God that John wasn't able to see it. 'Time to have fun.'

If John had seen her smirk he may have taken flight. But his mind was far from the idea of escape. In fact his body liked the idea of Elizabeth between his legs very much. And the feeling of her hand, gently stroking through his hair. Before his eyes flashed a vision of Elizabeth kneeling btween his legs and he almost moaned. Now he felt dizzy.

Elizabeth let her hand travel a little further down John's neck and sudenly it was too much for him.

He pushed himself up but the dizziness he felt was too much for his 'active' mind and body. He began to fall forward. Elizabeth, who had shriked at John's sudden movement, was barely able to catch him. The only problem was:
She had used both hands and John's hands had found their way around Elizabeth's waist, his head buried in her hair.

"Uvned awloicn saschmeyhäd agäst."

"Uh, Ma..John? What did you say?" Although she should rather freak out, Elizabeth felt calm. After all this was kind of funny.

"I said, I need a wall so I can bash my head against it."

"Oh."

"Oh? Is that all you have say? No 'Major let me go instantly' or something like that."

"Well, I would say it but..."

"What?" And then he felt it. Soft, smooth and very naked. Elizabeth's skin. He let go of her as if his hands were on fire and stumbled for the second time back. This time he stayed upright but his eyes did not.

"Uh, damn" And John fled.

"O well, that was... interesting." Elizabeth picked the fallen sweater up and put it on. 'Next stop: Sam.'
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"So not thinking about a naked Elizabeth. So not. So not. Oh damn." John sighed and banged his head against the wall in the corridor.

'So warm. She was so warm and just Elizabeth. This time I'm really screwed.' He closed his eyes, dropped down on the floor and layed his crossed arms on his bent knees. 'She's so perfect. And beautiful and sexy and wait...!' His head snapped up. 'Was that...? Oh my God, she had a tatoo! Looked like a name or was it an image? Oh damn, I won't come out of this alive.' And his head met the wall again.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Sam, where are you? Sam! It worked! Hey, wh...? Oh my God!" Elizabeth stopped abruptly and was only able to stare at the scene before her. "Eh, General O'Neill, Colonel Carter, I...I'll come back later. Yes later. That's good. Later." She whirled around and grinned. 'Sooo caught in the act.'

Sam and Jack had jumped apart when they heard Elizabeth's 'Oh my God'. Jack looked sheepish at the ground and found his boots very fascinating. Sam wanted to go after Elizabeth but Jack's voice stopped her.

"Sam? No more hiding, ok? I want them all to know that I love you. Screw the regs with me, please?"

She turned her head ans gave him his dizzeling smile. "Yes, Jack. No more hiding. You know, it feels good to be able to say I love you. And I do it, General."

"Getting kinky, Colonel?" He smirked and took two large steps to her. "I like it, Sam. And I like you. But I get the feeling you and Elizabeth are planning something. Has it to do with yesterday and John?"

"You know me so well." Sam grinned. "And yes, it has but it's just for their own good. They're are like us and I don't want them to make the same mistakes, Jack."

"My own little matchmaker." Jack laughed. "Carter, you're the best, mine best." And gave her a mind blowing kiss.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elizabeth was still giggling. The looks on their faces was priceless. 'So cute.'

"Liz, hey,wait for me." Sam jogged to Elizabeth who stood at an intersections.

"Finished?" Elizabeth wasn't able to conceal the light laughter in her voice. If looks could kill she would have been six feet under.

Sam glared. "This is not funny. It's so embarrassing." She burrowed her head in her hands.

"Hey, Sam. It's ok. I'm happy for you. When did you...?"

Sam muttered something in her hands.

"What?"

"This morning. In the locker room. I was coming from the shower and he came in and just stared." Sam got a dreamy look. "And then he swept me of my feet."

"Huh, lucky girl. At least he did something. John just... fled."

Sam cringed. "Ouch, what happened?"

"I did everything like we planned. But suddenly he fell, I thought I could benefit from it. But then he stood up and I kind of lost my sweater." Elizabeth looked anywhere but at Sam.

"You lost... you lost your sweater?" Sam asked atonished.

"Well, it wasn't my fault." Elizabeth defended herself.

"No, no that's not what I mean. It's... just so funny." And Sam broke in a fit of giggle.

Now it was Elizabeth who glared. "Haha, yeah, very funny. Sam, what now? I don't think John will ever get close to me again."

"Oh, Liz. Believe me, we will find a way to get you two together. We need something... he shouldn't be able to flee..." She stared for a moment into space. "Yeah, that... could work. Jack could help, too... Yes, if he makes it an order..."

Elizabeth looked curiously at Sam. "What do you mean?"

"Listen, Elizabeth, I will speak with Jack. Tomorrow is Friday and he could make it a BBQ-Evening. That would mean that John has to come. If he refuses, Jack can order him."

"Order him?" Elizabeth echoed. "John will never speak to me again, Sam, if he is ordered."

"You forget Jack. He can be very persuasive." Sam said with a knowing smile. "Elizabeth, trust me and Jack. He won't know what hit him."
__________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Colonel? Tomorrow, 1900, my house."

"Sir?" John swallowed hard. "Your house?" His voice had gotten a little higher.

Jack surpressed a grin. "Yes, John. It is the monthly BBQ-Evening."

"BBQ?" John narrowed his eyes. "She will be there, too, won't she? Does this has, by any chance, to do with what happened earlier?"

"I don't know what you're talking about." Jack feigned innocene. "And if you mean Elizabeth then yes, sure she will be there."

But John wasn't fooled by Jack's innocent face. He pointed an accusing finger at Jack. "You know exactly what I mean, Jack. Don't play dumb with me!"

"Listen, John. Either you come and get you girl or you hide and then you will never again have a chance with Elizabeth!" Jack turned around. "Oh and by the way. I could make it an order, Colonel."
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Are you really sure that he will come?" Elizabeth played with the glass in her hand.

"Elizabeth, please. Stop worrying."

"Yes, and stop pacing. My floor isn't made from stone." Sam whacked Jack on the arm.

"Jack! This is serious."

"Sorry, Sammie." He had the decency to look sheepish. "But she's right, Elizabeth. He isn't the kind of man who draw in his horns."

Both woman looked surprised.

"What? Oh come on. You know I'm not that stupid." Sam and Elizabeth began to giggle. "Hey, no giggling." Finally the girls had mercy and Sam took his hand. "We know, Jack. It's just fun to see you when you forget your role of the dumb-one!" She gave him a peck on his cheek. "For this we needed your cleverness."

"Thank you, Ma'am!" Jack saluted and went out in the garden.

Sam turned to Elizabeth. "He will come, Liz, he will."
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

John stood in front of Jack's door and didn't know what to do. Part of him wanted to find the most distant planet and hide there forever. But the other part of him, the one that yearned for Elizabeth in every way possible wanted to go in, sweep her of her feet and never let her go. He sighed and knocked.

"Hey, John. Come in. We're outside." Jack led him through the house and in the garden where all the others were sitting.

"Hi, John."

"ColonelSheppard."

"Hallo, John."

"Sam, Teal'c, Daniel." John colored a little and looked nervous around. "Where's...?"

"She's in the kitchen. And John?"

"Yes?"

"Don't mess up this time. That's an order."

John looked visibly relieved and nodded to Jack. "Thanks Jack."

"We will keep our fingers crossed, John."

"You need some tips on how to say 'I'm sorry'?" John laughed. "No, thanks, Daniel. I think I'll manage on my own."

"I wish you luck, ColonelSheppard." Teal'c bowed. "I appriciate your help, guys." He plucked up courage and went on his way to the kitchen.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elizabeth was nervous. Very nervous. No need to deny it. She knew that today could bring either John and her together or tear them apart forever. 'I hope for the former.'

"Elizabeth."

She took a deep breath and turned around. "Hallo, John." She said softly. And then they just looked at eachother for several heartbeats.

The evening sun was shining through the window and filled the kitchen with a soft glow. John felt his heart reaching out to her. 'She's so beautiful.' 'He has no idea much he means to me.' Elizabeth thought.

"Elizabeth..."

"John..."

They spoke at the same time. Elizabeth smiled. "Speak you first." Seeing her smile gave John new confidence. "I... this is... hard for me. No, no, let me talk." He went to the counter and leaned against it. He didn't raised his eyes but Elizabeth felt how difficult it was for him to articulate his feelings. John runned one hand through his hair.

"I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I... I didn't mean to make things complicate. I am happy, more than happy, when we are together. When we were offworld I... I felt like nothing could tear us apart." He stared out into the sunset. "You are the most amazing woman I ever met, Liz. And when I heard about you and Simon I was... jealous. I used excuses to be together with you. Around you I was free and didn't felt like a Colonel."

Finally he lifted his head and looked her straight in the eyes. "You made me feel like a man. As if I was the only man in the world. And then yesterday... I know I shouldn't be happy about your break-up with Simon but I am. And when I saw you today... I want you to be mine, Elizabeth. And me to be yours."

Elizabeth was stunned and overwhelmed with joy. 'He wants to be mine.'

"Maybe you don't feel the same but I want you to know one thing, Liz: As long as I live, I will love and cherish you, If you let me." John held his breath as he looked into her eyes. 'Don't say you don't love me, please.' He tought desperatly.

'Oh John.' Elizabeth knew what her answer would be. With a full-blown smile she walked towards him until she as a mere breath away. "For someone with the Ancent gene you can be really stupid sometimes." And then she kiss him that made them both tingle all over.

When they came up, Elizabeth caressed his cheek. "Of cource I let you. I love you more than everything, John. I took the safe bet with Simon. But not anymore. Now I want you. Forever." She gave him a one last kiss, full of her love for him and went out to the rest of the group.

John stood there and needed some time to process what just happened. "Hey Sheppard, you're coming?" Still a little dazed he walked to the table.

Jack and Sam wore grins that were definitly smug and Daniel and Teal'c smiled. "Just be careful, John. These woman know how to keep their man. Ouch." Sam pinched him playfully. And then they revived the conversations.

John dropped into a seat. "You love me. Oh man." Elizabeth smiled and sat down on his lab. "Yes, John, I do. With my heart." And she drapped her arm around his neck and poured him a drink. "To our new found love."
 
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