Aspiring Ardor by Robin
Summary: The first time an alien fell for Elizabeth, John teased her mercilessly.
Categories: Fanfiction Characters: None
Genres: Alternate Universe, Fluff & Slush, Humor, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1813 Read: 2225 Published: December 01, 2017 Updated: December 01, 2017

1. Chapter 1 by Robin

Chapter 1 by Robin
Author's Notes:

Disclaimers: Neither Stargate Atlantis nor any of its characters belongs to me.
Notes: Thanks to Rose Wilde Irish for the beta!
First published April 30, 2016
The first time an alien fell for Elizabeth, John teased her mercilessly.

It wasn't as though alien crushes were an uncommon occurrence. It was basically an Atlantis ritual already. (An SGC ritual, really, extending over to the Atlantis expedition.) Rare was the person who had gone off-world and hadn't gained an admirer. (Or two or three, in John's case.) She supposed it was the exoticism, the idea of the strange and new. And most members of the expedition were young, healthy (physically and psychologically), and intelligent, all very good qualities in a potential mate.

But it was only her second time off-world and first time meeting human-like people (the fog people didn't count, of course), and that was, according to John, a record.

Xrel, the mayor's son, was very nice, quite attractive, rather charismatic, and way too young for her. Plus she had a boyfriend. (Yes! Simon. Think of him.)

"He's what? 24, 25? Ford's age," John said as he trailed behind her.

As if she would ever date someone Ford's age! Wait, no, that was the wrong thought.

"That's not the point," Elizabeth said instead.

"I thought the flowers were sweet." John was not even trying to hide his grin. "And the poem was, uh, unique."


John quoted: "'Dr. Weir, now that you're here, brown curly hair-'"

"John, shut up," she commanded in her most authoritative tone, resisting the urge to cover her burning face.

"But the third stanza was the best part!"

She ignored him and lengthened her stride. Having a military commander who was 30-something going on 12 could be exceedingly irritating sometimes. At least he'd be bored of teasing her by next week. So she hoped.

The third time, John was unusually silent. Based on experience, Elizabeth had been expecting the opposite. However, while she was relieved by his uncharacteristic reticence, she was also worried.

It had been nice to be able to flirt, especially with a witty, handsome man who made no secret that he admired her. She could admit that her pride still stung from her break-up with Simon several months ago, and N'lan's attentions were flattering. There was an instant chemistry between them, and he was kind.

When he held her hand and told her that he enjoyed her company, she returned the sentiment with a genuine smile. He followed up with a kiss that, while unexpected, was nevertheless enjoyable; they only pulled away when they heard someone clearing their throat. Face flushing slightly, Elizabeth saw that it was John, but fortunately he was alone.

Without even a hint of a smirk, John only mildly reminded her that they were set to return to their world in ten minutes, then retreated back to the town square.

She and N'lan soon followed. Before she departed, N'lan said he hoped to see her again, though he was aware that due to her responsibilities, she was unlikely to have free time to visit. It was refreshing to meet someone so understanding and mature; there were no promises made or expected.

As she and John trekked back to the 'gate - his team having gone on ahead of them - she thought that he would tease her, but he said nothing. Surely it wasn't the result of a newly-developed maturity; John still mocked Rodney about his crushes all the time. Maybe John was embarrassed at having caught them?


John, for his part, was not sure why he had been so bothered by a good-looking alien chatting Elizabeth up. Just because it was obvious the guy was hoping to make her Mrs. Good-looking Alien, what did it matter? John should be happy for her. Anyway, it would be hypocritical to disapprove of her developing a romantic interest in someone, not when John himself had had three or so romantic interests in the past few months (even though one was technically over a six-month period that did not exist for anyone else).

He had been discomforted when N'lan and Elizabeth had walked off together toward the gardens, but there were no safety concerns, so he had let it go.

And then he had interrupted their kiss.

Okay, there were about a thousand things he'd rather see than Elizabeth kissing someone el- someone - hell, he'd take seeing McKay and Zelenka making out over this - but her love life wasn't any of his concern. He'd kept his voice as normal as possible, and then turned his back on them to give them some privacy. Thankfully, his teammates had already left after McKay's complaints about indigestion from the town's food; John wasn't sure he'd have been able to handle McKay's whining right then.

On their walk home, Elizabeth kept glancing at him in concern, no doubt having anticipated him poking fun at her, as he normally would have.

It eventually occurred to him that his silence was petulant, but he was certain that any jokes he attempted would fall just as flat as his mood. However, he never wanted to hurt Elizabeth, and he should be a supportive friend, so finally he forced himself to say in a relatively even tone, "No poems this time?"

She looked at him, startled that he'd broken the awkward silence, then smiled shyly. "I'm afraid not, Colonel. No ammunition for you."

John mirrored a smile that didn't reach his eyes, but his sunglasses hid his true expression.

He was irrationally relieved when they saw the stargate. Once they were back in Atlantis, he'd get over... whatever feeling this was. However, as he stepped through the 'gate, he vowed that the next time Elizabeth visited this planet, Major Lorne's team would be the escort.

Time number five.

John's jaw twitched, but Elizabeth was a big girl, she could take care of herself. That didn't keep him from wanting to snap at Taur to back the hell off. The guy was an asshole, as sleazy as Lucius Lavin (who was unfortunately the fourth time).

Elizabeth didn't need him to protect her, John told himself. Of course, he still wanted to help. But he was not overprotective, no matter what Elizabeth said. (Okay, maybe he was a little bit sometimes.)

Elizabeth had been politely cool to Taur throughout the day, but judging from the set look on her face, that politeness was fast diminishing now that the two were talking alone; no doubt she'd dealt with dirtbags like him before back on Earth. John couldn't quite contain his smile as Taur's lecherous grin faded more with each passing second. On the other hand, Ronon, standing next to John, had no problems openly displaying his enjoyment at the scene before them. Finally, Taur, looking pale, turned and scurried away, metaphorical tail between his legs.

Reassured, John eased his hand off his gun. After all, bloodshed would have upset Elizabeth.

Noticing John and Ronon, Elizabeth approached them, raising her eyebrows at their matching smirks. "You two were watching?"

"Yup," Ronon said without a hint of remorse. "You scared him good." Admiration was evident in his voice.

Elizabeth smiled. "Thank you, Ronon." It wasn't often that Ronon gave compliments.

"What did you say to him?" John couldn't help but ask.

Coyly, Elizabeth said, "Wouldn't you like to know."

John gave her a small pout, but he knew it wouldn't work on her. "Fine, keep your secrets," he relented. "It's time for us to head back. Ronon, can you find Teyla and McKay?"

Understanding the unspoken message, Ronon nodded and left them alone.

Elizabeth cocked her head to the side, studying John. "You were worried, weren't you?"

John could have lied, but it would have been pointless; on the other hand, the truth was embarrassing, so he said instead, "The guy was a creep."

She rolled her eyes. "I'm aware of that. I told you I could handle him."

He shrugged with a forced nonchalance that he was sure she could see through. "As your military commander, he's lucky I didn't shoot him." At her droll look, he added, "And as your boyfriend, I gave you space."

Her smile was soft. "Thank you, John," she said, taking his hand and squeezing it affectionately. "I know how hard it was for you."

He looked down at their joined fingers. Agreeing to keep their romantic relationship a secret was rational and prudent (a word John rarely ever used or even thought about), but it was also frustrating beyond belief, especially when he was forced to hold back on jerks propositioning his girlfriend. Maybe...

"I could still deck him," John suggested hopefully, "as your platonic best friend."

Elizabeth gave him a deadpan look.

He sighed dramatically. "Right."

"I appreciate the sentiment," Elizabeth said with a small smirk, one that was unfair because it was sort of enabling him while also simultaneously warning him.

Before he could kiss that smirk off her lips, she slipped her hand away and stepped back. Murmuring "later" to him, she smiled over his shoulder to Teyla, who was heading towards them. "Let's go home."

Elizabeth ignored John as she pressed a kiss to the cheek of her most recent alien admirer.

"Thank you for the flowers," Elizabeth said sincerely.

Her eight-year-old admirer blushed red and then ran off. She looked up to see John mock-pouting at her.

"You never kiss me when I bring you flowers," he complained.

"Stealing them from the botanists' lab doesn't count, John," she countered, smiling as she stood, holding the makeshift bouquet against her chest.

"The last time I picked flowers for you, it almost caused an interplanetary war," John reminded her.

Tilting her head, she remembered how she had negotiated for two days to gain his freedom. The lovely blossoms in the open valley had been, unknown to the Lanteans, protected property of the royal family. Wistfully, Elizabeth sighed, "But they were so pretty."

Affecting hurt, John frowned, "Should you be this mean to your husband?"

"I'm sorry," Elizabeth laughed, giving him a small peck on the mouth.

Before she could escape, John quickly recaptured her lips, holding her in a longer kiss.

When he finally pulled back, he smiled at her flushed face. "He was number eight, by the way."

Recovering, Elizabeth asked in amusement, "You're counting children now?"

She had long ago lost track of how many supposed alien would-be suitors she had, but John was still keeping a tally. Rodney said it was because John didn't want to be outdone by her, Ronon said it was John being jealous/protective, and Teyla wisely kept her opinion to herself.

"It's the young ones you have to look out for," John said with a straight face, though humor shone in his eyes. "He could become a ladykiller in ten years."

"I don't think you have anything to worry about," Elizabeth said, smiling. She linked her left hand with his, letting his fingers brush against her ring. "You're definitely my favorite crush in two galaxies."
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