Inside the Mind of an Air Force Major
by Noelle - naushika@periapsis.net

RATING: PG-13ish

CATEGORGY: Angstyish, dramaish, romanceish

PAIARINGS: Sheppard/Weir, Sheppard/Teyla

WARNINGS: Written for lj user dirtydiana for the lj ficathon community lantisficathon, who said in response to 'what do you want in your story': "I honestly don't care, as long as the fluff or schmoop is kept to a minimum. Go wild." in addition to having the pairing of Sheppard/Weir.

********

"Sometimes I imagine what our kids will look like," John says from his position on the couch. He likes laying on the couch better because it seems more realistic, like what he's seen on tv.

Kate stops scratching words into her writing pad and looks at her patient. "What do they look like?"

"Oh, they look just like her," John says while staring at the ceiling. "Same eyes, same ears, same smile. The girl would have curly hair, too." He toys with the zipper of his jacket while envisioning the faces of his imaginary future children. "The boys will have her flare for leadership."

"You're a leader, too," replies Kate.

"Yeah, but not a very good one," John says, shrugging slightly. He listens to her writing on her pad again. "You sure write a lot, Doc," he comments.

Instead of responding to that, Kate looks up from her pad and asks another question. "Have you ever considered that you might be in a relationship with the wrong woman?"

==

Teyla's in the same place she always is after he gets out from his session with the psychologist. In the gym, with the sparring sticks ready. She's beautiful in the golden hued light coming in through the windows, but John can only look at her for a moment before averting his gaze.

"How did it go?" asks Teyla.

"Fine," John replies, picking up his stick. He moves towards the center of the floor and readies himself. Teyla follows his lead.

John craves the ensuing fight. He concentrates on the actions, moving his arms and legs in a complicated preset pattern. The strikes of the sticks reverberate through his body. He fights his best, but Teyla is still better. She'll always be better. But that's how he likes it. John works off the guilt of the previous hour through his utter defeat at the hands of his lover.

At the end, he's covered in sweat, and his hands are red and raw. But most importantly, he can look Teyla in the eye again.

==

"She's got this scar on her arm," John illustrates on his own arm, pointing to where it is.

"Dr Weir?" Kate asks.

"No, Teyla," he replies. "It's not very noticeable, but it's there."

"Why do you mention it?"

"It's the answer to your question from before," John replies. Off of Kate's questioning look, he explains, "Why I'm in a relationship with Teyla."

"And the scar is the reason?" she asks, making a note. John watches her pen move out of the corner of his eye.

"Teyla's like me," he says simply. "She's a fighter. She's battle worn. I've killed with my bare hands. I've shot more people than I can count. I've watched the life fade out of them. I deserve to be with someone just like me."

"Why?"

"I'd ruin anyone else."

==

"Ready to set out?" Elizabeth asks as she sidles up to John while walking down the corridor.

He gives her a sideways grin. "Of course. I'm always itching for a reason to fly the puddlejumper."

Elizabeth smiles. "I'm sorry I couldn't give you a more interesting reason, such as an exciting space battle, but I'm afraid planet reconnaissance is as good as it gets today."

"That's alright," John replies. "I packed along a turkey sandwich, so I'm set."

Elizabeth laughs before parting ways with him on the stairs.

Six hours later, when John is still on the planet and lying in the mud, her laugh runs through his mind. It's somewhat distracting, but it's better than We're all gonna die, we're all gonna die.

Teyla's lying next to him with a large wound in her leg. He thought he saw bone before Aiden wrapped a field dressing around it. She's only conscious half the time. Rodney and Aiden are unhurt, but they're all out of ammo. They've fought more than two Wraith and won, but these two are tricky. They seem to know the territory, and at one point hid in tree branches and shot at them.

John lifts his head slightly and peers over the embankment. He lost sight of the two Wraith over an hour ago, but training has taught him just because you can't see the enemy doesn't mean they're not there. When he last saw them, they were directly in their path to the stargate.

"When the hell will backup get here?" Rodney grunts between breaths, fidgeting in his positon on the ground.

John rolls his eyes. "Whenever Elizabeth gets worried enough to dial the stargate and radio us. Considering we were scheduled for an eight hour mission, it's a long damn time from now."

Rodney sighs, annoyed.

Elizabeth only waits an hour past their return time to dial the gate and contact them. Ten minutes after that, a puddlejumper full of soldiers comes through the gate. As the new arrivals provide new guns for his team, John opts instead to take on the duty of transporting Teyla. As he pulls her into his arms, she wakes up.

"Put me down," she says, almost slurring her words.

"You're in no condition to walk, Teyla," he replies.

Teyla tries to jump down from his hold, but John grips her tight. "I'm fine!"

"I'm not going to argue with you," he says, and starts walking. His team flanks him and the additonal soldiers lead the way to their puddlejumper.

"You're such a hero," Teyla replies sarcastically before giving up and resting her head against his shoulder. John blames Rodney for her frequent use of sarcasm of late.

John carries her all the way to the puddlejumper. Once they're through the gate and back in Atlantis, the medical personnel carry her off on a stretcher.

Later, after the briefing, John wanders the halls, bored. With Teyla confined to the medical bay, he has little to do. He contemplates chipping away another little bit of War and Peace, and heads back to his quarters to read. He spots Elizabeth walking down a hall on his way there, and nods at her.

"Hey, hero," she greets him, smiling.

==

"They both called me a hero." John sits this time, rather than lays down. He looks at the stained glass window on the far wall behind Kate's head, examining the shapes in the pattern.

"But Teyla was trying to hurt you," Kate replies.

"I don't think she was trying to hurt me. Just annoyed she didn't get her way," John shrugs. "She's tough. She would have walked the whole way back. I couldn't let her. I need her."

"You need her?" Kate asks.

"Her skills are essential out there," he says.

"Is that all?"

John only looks at her, confused.

==

John slowly draws back a lock of hair that had fallen across Teyla's face.

"John," she speaks quietly, half-asleep. "Have you ever..." she trails off.

"Have I ever what?" he replies just as quietly.

Teyla opens her eyes and looks at him. "Have you ever considered the possibility of children?"

It takes a long moment for John to recover enough to answer coherently. "Not for a long time," he says.

Teyla looks at him and doesn't reply. Their eyes are locked, and John's ears burn with the irrational thought that she's reading his mind and seeing his fantasies of having children with Elizabeth rather than her.

==

"That happened three weeks ago?" Kate asks.

"Yeah," replies John. "I didn't bring it up before because... Well, I don't really know why."

"Maybe because there's something you don't want to admit to yourself?"

"What?" John asks.

"What do you think it could be, John?"

John shrugs and tries to bury himself further into the couch.

"You have no idea what it could be?" Kate asks, leaning forward in her chair towards him.

"I don't think it's working out with me and Teyla," he says slowly, thinking each word over. Kate nods, encouraging him. "She wants a family. A litter of little warrior kids, strong enough to fight the Wraith."

"And you don't," says Kate.

"Not here. Not on Atlantis. Cut off from everything," John rubs his hands over his face. "I don't want my kids to have to fight anything. The threat of the Wraith always looming? What the hell kind of way is that to raise a kid?"

==

Teyla pretends to understand his reasonings. It's noble of her, and as John has always known, she's strong enough to take anything. She only asks him to reconsider once.

He collects his few personal items that he has in her quarters while she's out.

He runs into Elizabeth while walking the hall back to his quarters. "Oh, John, I wanted to talk to you," Elizabeth says.

"Sure, what about?" replies John.

Elizabeth eyes the contents of his arms before replying. She glances at the direction he came from. "Are you okay?" she asks, inferring events.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he replies, moving to start towards his quarters again. Elizabeth follows. "I think I always knew it would never work between us."

Elizabeth looks concerned. They arrive at his door, and John turns around to smile at her. "Don't worry Elizabeth. I'll be fine."

Elizabeth nods. "Are you two going to be okay to keep working together?"

"Work and personal life were always separate," he says. Off of her dubious look, he rolls his eyes. "Don't worry!"

"It's my job to worry," she replies. "Do you need any help?" she nods her head at the box in arms.

"No, this is it," he responds. They reach his quarters, and Elizabeth follows him in. She walks slowly around his room as he sets the box on his bed. Finding a Polaroid photo on a shelf, she picks it up and smiles at it.

"I didn't know anyone kept this picture," she turns and waves it at John.

"Our first drunken party ever? How could I not. There's all kinds of good blackmailing stuff in that one little picture," he smirks. "Rodney dancing badly, our fearless leader knocking back one too many," he says, enjoying the embarrassed look that crosses Elizabeth's face.

"That stuff was more potent than I thought," she defends herself. Placing the photo back on the shelf, she turns and starts to slowly head back to the door. "If you ever need to talk, John, I'm always around."

"I know," he says. They smile at each other.

==

John fidgets in the chair. Kate just watches him. He taps on the arm of the chair with his fingers, and nods his head to some invisible beat.

"I feel like I'm twelve years old again," he says finally. "Having a crush on the most popular girl in school."

"But is that all you feel for Dr Weir? A crush?" Kate asks.

"No," John admits, but doesn't elaborate. "The other day Rodney discovered a new system in the Atlantis computers that lets us detect any life signs on the entire planet. I ran to Elizabeth's office so I could tell her first."

Kate looks at him.

"See? Twelve."

"What do you plan to do?" she asks.

"About what?"

"About your feelings for Dr Weir."

"I thought I'd just ignore them," John says confidently. Off of Kate's look, he sighs. "Okay, obviously I can't do that forever. But I can't pursue a relationship with Elizabeth."

"You can't, or you won't?" Kate asks.

"She's my boss!" John says, giving a short laugh. "She's the one who gives me the orders."

"You give Teyla orders, and you had a relationship with her," she replies.

John coughs and fidgets more in his seat. "That was different."

"Why?"

He thinks a minute before answering. "I don't know."

==

It's another two months before John works up the courage to do anything. He's piloting a puddlejumper, with Elizabeth in the passenger seat. After she revealed to him that it was always a childhood dream to see Earth from space, like an astronaut, he insisted she come with him on a trip. He takes her up to orbit Lantea, and instead of looking at the planet, John watches Elizabeth's face as she takes in the view.

"It's beautiful," she says.

"Yeah," John agrees, never taking his eyes off her. "Can I ask you something?"

Elizabeth turns to look at him, concerned by his sudden serious tone. "Of course."

"Can I kiss you?" he asks.

Elizabeth, momentarily shocked, opens her mouth, but no sound comes out. John takes the opportunity to put the jumper into autopilot, get out of his seat, and cross over to hers. She stands up when he gets to her chair. She gives no indication that she'll recover enough to say anything, so John reaches up to her face with his hands and strokes her cheeks with his thumbs before leaning in to kiss her.

Her lips are warm, and she tastes faintly of toothpaste and coffee. After a moment he breaks the kiss off, and leans back. Her eyes blink open, and she stares at him, still looking confused, but not unhappy. He keeps his hands on her face. Her cheeks feel nice and warm under his touch.

"What was that for?" she finally asks.

"Because I wanted to," he responds, smiling at her.

***

Fin. Feedback?

back