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Elizabeth has already had the "this is insane" conversation with herself. It had involved severe admonishment for unbecoming conduct and a few choice curse words thrown in; all while searching around for her underwear in the dark.

As she turns to glance at the man sleeping beside her, it occurs to Elizabeth that the lecture obviously didn't take. And she never found her panties from the time before. Instead, she'd wound up in bed with John Sheppard yet again. Clearly she needs her head examined.

The bed shifts as John rolls over on his side, throwing his arm around her waist. He manages to trap her in his bed while still asleep and she has to wonder if, like in other instances of bending her to his will, entrapment is a skill that's as natural to him as breathing.

She sighs and taps her fingers on his wrist, thinks, next time we're doing this in my room and then he has to be the one to gather his clothes in the dark.

Elizabeth pauses at that thought. What 'next time'?

Five minutes pass before her body decides to distract her further and she sighs again. Damn. Now I have to pee.

John curls his body more tightly around her, oblivious.

*

"What you mean to say is, this relationship is merely based on sex?"

If Elizabeth hadn't known any better, she would swear Teyla is innocently asking the question with no hidden motives whatsoever. But she does know better. Teyla can be downright evil when she wants to be.

"Yes," Elizabeth answers nonchalantly.

Teyla nods, setting down her mug on the floor beside the bed. To an outsider it would appear as if Elizabeth and Teyla are having tea inside the Athosian's quarters. The tea, however, is liberally dosed with alcohol from Elizabeth's own personal stash, brought out on special occasions (or as Elizabeth likes to call it, "any damn stressful day of the week").

It just so happens that it has been a long day for both women.

"I must ask," Teyla warns, her grin widening when Elizabeth rolls her eyes. "Sex with whom?"

Elizabeth takes a big gulp of the brew, letting the strong beverage roll around her tongue while gathering her thoughts. She could just be honest with her friend; it's not like they haven't shared secrets of this nature before. But something holds her back and so she answers, "I can't tell you."

Genuine surprise covers Teyla's face. "Do you believe I would not approve?" She sounds nearly offended, and Elizabeth bristles at the implication before realizing that's exactly what her answer implies.

"No! Well, maybe..." Elizabeth shakes her head. "No, I just... I'm not ready to tell anyone yet."

She stares down into her own mug in her hand, wishing for more vodka. "I think he'd meet with your approval, I'm just not sure where this relationship stands with me, at least not yet."

"You are confused about your feelings."

"Maybe. I shouldn't be, since it's just sex." Great sex.

Elizabeth finally glances up when Teyla places a comforting hand on hers. "We cannot control how emotions form after giving them free reign, Elizabeth." Giving her hand a gentle pat, Teyla leans back in, the mattress shifting slightly under her weight. "Have you considered speaking with this..."

Knowing an opening when she sees one, Elizabeth narrows her eyes playfully. "I'm still not telling you."

Teyla giggles and lifts both hands as a sign of defeat. "Very well, Elizabeth, you may keep your secrets."

Exhibiting all the maturity she can muster at this point, Elizabeth sticks out her tongue and sets Teyla laughing again.

Elizabeth realizes then, that despite how much they threaten to break open a bottle of alcohol and eschew the trials and tribulations of working with John, Rodney and Ronon, they really don't do this often enough. Simply enjoying each other's company, sharing life and laughter and everything in between; and this time they're perilously close to being drunk.

"Thank you," Elizabeth sighs, communicating so much with just one word, and knowing the feeling is entirely mutual.

Teyla gathers her mug from the floor and takes a small sip. "I will not ask of his identity again, but if someone were to volunteer such information..."

"Teyla!" Elizabeth protests around a wide grin, and Teyla laughs, falling back into the pillows on her bed.

*

The definition of insanity, Elizabeth lectures to herself, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The image to go right alongside that definition is Elizabeth screwing her second in command with enthusiasm, and only questioning the wisdom of that decision after, when she can't summon enough energy to move.

She can no longer deny the pattern as it starts to emerge, and vows to keep her sanity. Not to mention, a little physical distance from John couldn't hurt.

Elizabeth stares at her reflection in the mirror and wonders if she can work from her quarters for the day.

Now that's just taking the coward's way out.

Elizabeth squares her shoulders and smooths the wrinkles from her red shirt. She can be completely professional about this. She's learned how to compartmentalize with the best of them, so why is it such a challenge to push such nagging thoughts about John to the back of her mind?

Nagging, and mostly dirty thoughts, she amends. His mouth crushing against hers, parting her lips in a bruising kiss that she returns with equal intensity. His hands on her waist, unzipping her pants, fingers gentle on her thighs as the material falls to her ankles. The heat of his mouth fading away as he drops to his knees, nimble fingers sliding beneath her underwear, cupping her ass before pulling them down. And then wetness between her legs, chased by his tongue, making her back arch from the wall until she comes with his name on her lips...

Sighing raggedly, Elizabeth gathers her things to leave. It's hard enough facing John in meetings when he sends her subtle leering glances on her best day, but to do it after she's worked herself into a horny frenzy is going to be torture.

She curses them both, and vows to put an end to this madness.

*

She hasn't told anyone except Teyla, but John Sheppard is not the first lover she's taken since arriving in Atlantis.

Elizabeth tries not to think about it much, as it symbolizes a short period of her life of which she's not exactly proud. What she doesn't like to admit most of all is that it had nothing to do with her final breakup with Simon.

She'd been lonely and frustrated, and when one of the cute biologists smiled in an intentionally disarming way, she smiled back.

They'd had sex in her bed, with the lights off. She'd ridden him hard, forcing his release before hers, and she came quietly with the aid of his fingers.

Elizabeth had pretended to be asleep when he called her name as he dressed before dawn. He never smiled at her in that way again, and it was just as well. He hadn't been what she'd really wanted.

She still hasn't told anyone, not even Teyla, that she lets John fuck her in her bed with the lights on, enjoying how they play across his skin with each thrust. Or that she loves it best when he teases her orgasm from her slowly, rocking inside her deeply until she moans his name, her voice husky with the effort. And then he murmurs in her ear, "Nobody else makes you this wet for them, do they?" as he starts to fuck her in earnest, and she realizes she's never been so possessive of such a moment in her life.

They belong only to themselves. But these moments - with John inside her like a full ache, telling her, showing her, how much he wants her and that he can't get enough; that this entire mess of emotion is mutual - they share and possess equally.

*

They both retreat after one intense display too many. It's only supposed to be about sex.

They are both so very, very wrong.

*

John tries to reconnect, because they just can't seem to stay away from each other. She takes a step back when he moves in to kiss her on the balcony; shakes her head in genuine regret. "No, John," she says, couching her rejection in soft words.

"Not this again," he groans, agitation lining his voice. He kisses her hard, backs her up against the railing and crushes her breasts against his chest.

She lets him for a while before self-preservation takes over and she pushes him away, breaking the kiss with a wet smack. "No," she repeats again, and forces herself to watch as he storms away.

*

In the darkness of her quarters, as Elizabeth shoves her hand underneath her panties and slides a finger inside her already wet sex, she cautiously acknowledges to herself that John means more to her than she's willing to admit. An admission she's perfectly willing to keep to herself. Still, it doesn't stop her from fantasizing that it's his fingers getting her off instead.

*

As the saying goes in the Pegasus Galaxy, the Colonel slept with a native.

Elizabeth's face remains blank throughout the briefing as the details are given. There's nothing particularly unique about the situation, nor of the responses of John's team. Rodney's acerbic tone masks the tiniest admiration he feels for Sheppard; Ronon manages to be vaguely amused and bored at the same time; and Teyla explains her role in the negotiations patiently, though her eyes skim Elizabeth's face with an expression the expedition leader doesn't much care to read into at the moment.

Teyla has always been more observant than given credit for; of course she suspects something.

Elizabeth would deal with that later.

It's John's retelling of the events that surprises her most. The arrogance is still there, but it's almost as if he's taunting her this time, trying to get a reaction. Is she supposed to be jealous? Can he read her face as easily as Teyla seems to, and actually sees that she is in fact jealous when she has no reason to be?

John isn't explicit with the details, and Elizabeth hopes he's not saving it for his formal report. The relaxed tone of his voice, the way he stares directly at her as he recounts what happened, hurts in that completely unexpected way like it always does when she's managed to bury herself in denial.

Nevertheless, she presents an outward facade of detached professionalism, refusing to show John how his actions affect her.

Afterwards, she calls him a bastard in every language she knows in her head as she walks back to her office.

*

Three weeks.

She shouldn't have said to hell with her resolve, give in like this, after keeping her distance for three weeks.

Then he whispers, "I've been thinking about this for weeks, Elizabeth," warmly against her neck and her remaining hesitancy falls away.

It has been three weeks, after all.

But before she can go any further, she has to know. Pulling back from his mouth on her skin, she takes a shallow breath. "What do you want from me, John?"

"What?"

"What do you want from me?" she enunciates slowly. His expression is so bewildered at the question that she wants to laugh.

He grabs her by the hips, bringing her body in contact with him, his arousal hard against her. "What do you think?" he says with a smirk, and God help her she finds it sexy.

"John," she protests weakly as he pulls her closer, his mouth now an inch from hers, his breath warm on her skin. She digs deep, really deep, for resolve and takes a step back. "I'm serious. We have to talk about this." John licks his lips and nods, but his hands remain loose on her hips.

He swallows, and Elizabeth can almost see his mind working to come up with the needed words to explain himself. "I just like having you near me," he begins, voice low, vibrating on her skin. "Like this," he says, and brings them in close proximity once again, "or sitting across from you in some boring meeting. Hell, just being near you..." he trails off, then shrugs sheepishly. "I'm not explaining myself very well, am I?"

Elizabeth chuckles, lowers her voice to match his. "I like being with you too. I think that's fairly obvious."

"Oh, it is, but a guy likes to hear it every now and then."

"I'll keep that in mind," she says, brushing his lips with a soft kiss. John groans and jerks her against him, parting her lips in a hard kiss and immediately slipping his tongue in her mouth. They've spent long minutes doing just this during the rare occasions they had time to linger. Elizabeth deepens the kiss, her hand catching the back of his t-shirt in a tight grasp, pulling at the material when he playfully darts his tongue in her mouth.

John breaks the kiss to suck in some much needed air. He murmurs nonsensically as he nips kisses down her throat, and even though she can barely make out the words the sentiment is there. "Shh," she interjects quietly, running her fingers through his hair, massaging his scalp with soothing strokes. She understands his need to fill the silence, to occupy the space left by the distance between them. They've switched places for the time being, and now it is she who uses her words sparingly.

They undress as if they have all the time in the world. His palms run gently down her side and slide around to her lower back. He presses his lips to her shoulder and licks a soft trail down to her breast, circling her nipple with his tongue with agonizing slowness. Elizabeth pushes into the caress, sighing when John finally takes her nipple into his mouth, flicking his tongue back and forth until she's wet and humming in approval.

Elizabeth reaches between them, skims her fingers along the length of his cock standing erect and warm against her belly. She keeps her touch gentle, exploring his shape and thinks about how her body stretches to accommodate when he's deep inside her. She only strokes him a few times before he grabs her hand and holds it against him.

She feels him shaking his head minutely as he nuzzles his nose against her cheek. "I need to be inside you, Elizabeth. Now," he says fiercely, and she only nods in agreement.

Lacing their fingers together, she leads him to her bed and he follows her down as she reclines on the sheets. John lowers into the cradle of her thighs, kissing her as she guides his cock to her entrance. The first thrust is achingly slow, and Elizabeth lifts her legs to wrap higher around his waist so that he sinks deeper, dragging moans from them both.

As he starts a measured rhythm, John is everywhere at once. His breath is warm on her ear as he traces her earlobe with his tongue, whispering hotly, "God, you feel good."

Elizabeth slides her hand down the arm near her head and wraps her fingers around his wrist. They rock into each other, fast and then slow, until she shifts her body up, leaning one hand behind her for leverage and loops her other arm around his neck. She presses wet kisses to his jaw, the stubble tickling her swollen lips. She meets each of his thrusts with her own, digging the heel of her foot into the bed to drive him that much deeper as he glides easily into her wetness.

"Oh, don't stop," she moans as they move together, her voice trembling from the exertion, his sweat dropping between her breasts join her own perspiration misting her skin.

John pauses mid-stroke and cups the back of her neck, his finger tangling in her damp hair. "Look at me," he demands softly, and when she meets his gaze he moves again, penetrating her deep as he breathes, "I never had sex with her."

It takes Elizabeth a moment to register his words. "You want to talk about this now?" she asks incredulously, her breath hitching on the last word when he grinds his hips.

John's voice is thick, as if he's holding on to the tiniest bit of control. "Do you believe me?" She tightens reflexively around him, half laughing and half moaning when he pushes further inside her. "Do you?" he says, lowering his head until she can feel the words against her mouth.

Elizabeth delves her tongue into his mouth, kissing him wetly in response. She pulls away, says breathlessly, "Yes, yes I believe you. Now for God's sake, stop talking."

He gives her a wicked grin, and before the request, "fuck me," leaves her mouth completely he's doing just that; grabbing her ass in a tight grip as he pumps in and out, and she does everything she can to keep up, dragging her nails across his sweat-slicked back, sucking on his neck hard enough to leave a bruise.

She keens loudly just as she comes, arching into him as the orgasm floods her from the inside out. When he reaches his release a few moments later, he tightens his embrace hard enough to steal her breath, his voice rumbling against her sensitive skin as he says her name. He murmurs it again and she smiles.

Just before she becomes uncomfortably warm from their combined body heat, John eases out of her and rolls onto his back, the only sounds their labored breathing as the sweat cools on their skin.

They drift to sleep afterwards, with Elizabeth waking up an hour later to find John's hand cupping her breast as he snores lightly beside her. She wonders if this is a case of history repeating itself, if she and John are only capable of making the best mistakes.

Elizabeth glances at John out the corner of her eye and decides that even if this relationship blows up spectacularly in their faces, it's a decision she can live with. She's looking forward to repeating the last few hours with him again.

*