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John steps through the gate and scans the room. Even though he hasn’t slept for three days and is chilled to the bone from incessant rain, sleet, and snow; he still managed to develop a newly formed opinion that he never, ever, wanted to see sand again; no matter where it is and no matter what it is next to. He continues to scan up and down the gate room; he needs to make sure everything is safe and secure. He glances up to Elizabeth’s office; dark. Clearly, no one’s waiting for him.

“De-briefing at ten hundred, Colonel Sheppard.”

John nods and waves to Chuck. He looks to his team members; they all look exhausted, cold, and thoroughly peeved. Peeved with the planet, the weather, the cold snapping winds, the sandstorms, and most importantly, peeved because they didn’t find the elusive energy signal the MALP continually teased them with. Rodney, altogether exhausted and dirty, starts to agitate with the thoughts of next steps and planning what his true mission is now that this off-world mission is officially, as he declared it before walking through the gate, a total bust. Protocols need to be followed, regardless of the discomfort or the agitated mental state of the team, and the driving need to know why they didn’t find any DHD source would have to wait a few more hours.

He grimaces slightly as he unloads his weapons and slings his knapsack under his arm. His muscles ache and he’s sure his knees are royally screwed from the number of falls he endured from the adventure on planet purgatory. He winces as he steps down from the stargate landing area; sand and streams of mud definitely have taken their toll on his knees. He heads off with Teyla, Rodney, and Ronon to secure the weapons and check in with Dr. Keller.

They make their way to the infirmary where they are summarily poked, prodded, and told to pee in cup. John silently endures the medical procedures; Keller falls silent as she realizes the team isn’t relaxed and definitely not feeling positive about the outcome of the mission. She finally nods and tells them all to go take a hot shower and get some sleep.

There is a sense of relief getting the all-clear from Dr. Keller. For John, it means he can separate himself from his team and think. Rodney waves good-bye and takes off like a rabbit. John hears him swearing as he races down the hallway. John pities Zelinka and the rest of Rodney’s team. John makes a mental note to avoid the science lab for the next day or two; he really doesn’t want or need to see the science team come to near blows, or real blows for that matter, as they “resolve this little item”. Everyone on the science team, John knows from experience, is going to be as agitated as Rodney and he also knows what words Rodney uses to fuel the fire when something wrong has happened. His logic is simple: something has failed and the failure is technical; the technical failure reflects poorly on them; and, more importantly, it reflects poorly on Rodney. Silence will descend from there and come hell or high water, Rodney will find the answer and god help if it’s any person on his team who’s at fault.

Saying good night to Teyla and Ronon, John wants nothing more than a hot shower and his bed; a clean warm blanket; peace and quiet; no one snoring or snorting in their sleep. He glances at his watch; figuring the meeting at ten hundred will give him enough time to get cleaned up, get some sleep, and to think with a clearer head. He confirms to himself that he will talk to Elizabeth, but later, when he’s in a better mood and when he has had the chance to get rid of all the sand that is currently sticking to him. He could feel it caked on everywhere; his hair, eyes, mouth, armpits, and well everywhere.

Reaching his quarters, John ignores the light switch; stands in the dark and peels off his caked-on, mud splattered clothing. Nearly naked, his begins to feel less constrained and feels he can almost breathe again. Socks off and naked, he steps into the shower, letting the water fall over him and lets it wash away the last three days. He deliberately avoids thinking; not even two words and he commands himself to be quiet. “Tomorrow,” he repeats to himself. “Right now, you need to get dry, put on a clean pair of boxers and hit the sack.” John flops on his bed and with the heaviest of sighs drifts off to sleep.

“John,” a voice murmurs.

The voice is warm and soothing; it comforts me. I breathe in and recognize her scent. “I don’t want to do this right now,” I plead. “Lizabeth, I’m tired, I still don’t know what I want to say. I’m not ready to do this.”

“Do what?” she asks, slipping into bed beside me. “I just want to make sure you’re okay.” She nuzzles closer to me, resting her hand on my stomach. “You smell good,” she says. Gently, she starts to kiss my chest, small delicate kisses that barely touch my skin. Her fingers begin to gently stroke my stomach, circling around and around.

I press her closer. “Sleep, can’t we just sleep?”

“Yes,” she says holding me close. I can hear her breathing slow; her hair tickles me him as I match her breathing. We’re breathing the same: slowly and deeply. I stroke her hair in rhythm to our breathing and my hand intertwines with hers.

I’m watching her, I know I am dreaming. She has a beautiful smile; I want to be a part of what she was dreaming as she laughs. Not the laugh itself but the way her eyes twinkle in sheer delight as she arcs her eyebrow. Her eyes reverberate in sheer joy and in life itself; I can hear myself moan and shake my head. It thrills me to watch her, to listen to her breathing, to know she is here with me. My body tingles and responds to her. Her hips slowly swivel against me; there is a growing heat in my groin; my cock starts to throb as I release it from my shorts. She continues to press and bury her head against me, kissing and licking me, my nipple, and the ragged scar under my collar bone.

She murmurs something and I know I am lost; the sensation in my cock grows, I can feel it pulsating. Soon, I know I will want to be inside her; I bring her fingers up to my mouth and start to kiss each fingertip. My tongue lightly tastes the palm of her hand, her wrist, and I circle around one of her scars near her forearm. When there is time, we will have to explore all the scars, hear their stories, and feel the triumph of surviving.

I turn on my side, my cock pressed against her thigh; her uniform is rough and provides necessary friction, but it is cold. I move to explore her mouth with my tongue, I can feel her lips against mine; they are soft and exquisite. I slide her pants off, her flesh is pressed against me warm and radiating heat. My stomach flip-flops and my cock is almost ready and pulses strongly as I imagine what it would be like to be insider her. I flip on top of her and guide my cock to her opening; she arcs her hips and wraps her legs around my waist. I am almost in her, there is resistance as I enter her; she is tight, but wet. I slide in her and exhale from the exhilaration of feeling her; the warmth; the fit of my cock insider her. I rest my elbows against her, but she moves my arms up and my weight is fully against her. I bury my mouth into her neck and suck gently. I move inside her; gently thrusting and the tingling sensations build; I look at her, her eyes closed as she rocks gently back and forth with me. I feel connected to her; I feel her muscles contracting against my cock. I press harder and faster in her; my breathing is more erratic, more laboured; sweat builds on my ass. The friction builds and I gasp as I arc and feel the shockwave move through me. I buckle under the sensations and fall back onto my bed; my cock slips out still half-hard. She gasps; my cock subsides.

“John.” The voice persists.

I bolt out of bed, reaching for my P90, realizing too late I’m in my quarters; there are no weapons within easy reach. I look at her, confused. “How long have you been here?” I ask.

She points to the bottle of Athosian wine. “Not long, I helped myself to a glass.” Her eyebrow arcs and she smiles mischievously, “I didn’t have the heart to wake you. John, but I think we should talk.”

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