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Author's Chapter Notes: Elizabeth has insomnia.

Title: The First Year
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford



CATEGORY: Introspective

PAIRING: hints of Sparky

ARCHIVES: ff.net, Command Dynamics

SPOILERS: Season One: 38 minutes

SUMMARY: Elizabeth has insomnia.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis.
I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).

The halls are silent in this hour of the night. The only sounds she hears are her loud footsteps in the empty corridors. Try as she might, she cannot sleep, no matter that she is dead tired. Dead…She has almost lost him again. And though that possibility is not new – there have been incidents before, some more dangerous than this one -, it is the first time she has been present. There has been no certainty that he would survive, no reassurance by him sitting in front of her, laughing off the danger and regaling her with tales of his adventures. It has terrified her more than she cares to admit and, in the deepest parts of her heart, she knows that it was not only the fear of having to lead their people alone that had filled her being at that time, but something that went so much deeper.

She turns a corner and enters the infirmary, nodding quietly at the bored looking night nurse. What might she think of seeing her leader come here at such an odd hour? There are already rumors circulating the city about them, she knows. Some of them are true, but most are a product of her people’s vivid imaginations. Still, she is not prepared to contemplate what her feelings mean. She knows they are as deep as the Lantean ocean, but they are as mysterious as it as well.

She stops at the hospital bed, her eyes gliding over her partner, her fellow leader. His breathing is even, constant, so different from just hours before. The dark, unruly hair sticks up in every direction, making him look decidedly cute. Silently, she lowers herself into the seat beside him, her shoulders relaxing for the first time this day. Seeing him alive has lifted a heavy weight from her. She still does not know why she has come here, fully aware that such a thing could be misconstrued as something it is not. She and John have begun to build a close friendship that will only strengthen them. That friendship is blossoming, though not yet in full bloom, but she can already not outrun the realization that she cares for John Sheppard…a lot.

He shifts slightly, interrupting her train of thought. She stills, not wanting to wake him, but it is already too late. His brown eyes, heavy with sleep but somehow alert, slowly open, his gaze settling on her. For just a moment, long gone before she can truly analyze it, but not nearly fast enough that she will not recognize it for what it is, an emotion blazes in his eyes. His gaze is heated, something deep and powerful and utterly beautiful crossing his face, before it closes up again, once more only displaying what he wants her to see.

She does not speak a word, not daring to challenge him now with her newly gained knowledge. Somehow, she knows that if she does, he will not answer and their newly found friendship will suffer for it. Today, she has tried to ask him what he wanted to tell her. She has a feeling that it was something significant and though he had deflected her question with some drivel about taking care of each other, she has seen the answer in his eyes.

Now, their gazes locked and some of their barriers down, there is no need for words. It is too soon for them – the separation from Simon was too raw and she believes that John has his own demons to fight – and both of them need a steady, unbendable friendship first before everything else. Perhaps, with time, this `everything else` will be possible for them but, for now, she simply smiles at him openly and leans back. She sees his eyes close and lets her own eyelids fall shut, his constant, living breathing lulling her into a peaceful sleep.

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