Title: Unwrapped Gifts
Author: Ky (Venom_69)
Summary: It's their first Christmas away from home.
My site. Anywhere else, sure, just let me know where so I can come visit.
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, never will.
Promise to put them back in the state I found them. Song’s not mine either.
Author’s notes: Fic 4/5 of the
“Official Lisa Yaeger Christmas Challenge 2005.” For Aardie, who sent me this song over a year ago and told me
I would love it. I did. We truly are the lucky ones, sweetheart.
Copyright © to Venom, 2005
could I ever get over you,
When I'd give my life for yours?
I know, we are
We are the lucky ones
vividly remembers being a little girl, the excitement of Christmas and Santa wrapping around her in a blanket of familiarity
throughout the entire month of December.
She remembers how impossible it was to get to sleep on the 24th, just knowing
that in the morning there would be presents to give and receive, family that would come over for lunch and dinner. Family
feuds were pushed aside in favor of celebrating a merry time together. There would be carols, tinsel, a tree. It was a time
that, growing up, she always associated with happiness.
This year, however, the mere thought of Christmas brings painfully
nostalgic tears to her eyes. There is no tree, no tinsel, no carols to be gleefully sung around a Grand Piano with Father
playing. She doesn't think that it's in Santa's contract to travel to another Galaxy.
Unconsciously, she has found
herself spending more and more time with the Athosian members of her little colony.
They don't know the significance
of December 1st. They don't know that on that day, a tree is meant to be lovingly decorative with family. They don't know
about the Advent calendar that is meant to be opened daily, a little piece of chocolate inside waiting to be eaten with the
knowledge that you are now one day closer.
They don't know that on December 13th, the 12 days of Christmas have begun
and they don't know the words to the appropriate carol.
Christmas Eve doesn't mean anything to them, so she spends
that evening with Teyla, discussing how the Athosians and Humans are adapting with being housemates. She distracts herself
with the trials and tribulations of the city and then lies to herself that it’s what any good leader would do.
finds it odd that in all of Teyla's cultural comparisons with John, that Christmas hasn't come up yet - and she suspects that
it has - but Elizabeth is grateful for the ignorance that the other woman supplies. Not thinking about it, not talking about
it and not looking at her friends faces' and seeing their own memories is a welcome reprieve for her.
No one has officially
mentioned anything about the festive holiday, at least not to her. For their first Christmas in Atlantis, Elizabeth thinks
it appropriate that they don't celebrate it and she finds herself relieved that they left Earth when they did - it gave them
almost a year to prepare.
She is not prepared.
There is a desperate feeling of loss that has been slowly swelling
within her since the end of November.
Her dreams are filled with images of her Mother in the kitchen, tenderly preparing
a meal fit for kings, her Father chopping wood in the backyard for the fire. Her brother's faces dance behind closed eyelids
as she remembers their traditional snowball fights.
She wants Christmas, damnit, and she curses the adventurer within
her that brought her to this place.
Sighing into her pillow, she makes no attempt to move out from the cocoon of warmth
her blankets create. It is Christmas morning now, on Earth, and she finds herself wishing for the smell of a hot breakfast
to be wafting through the halls. She waits for the sounds of happiness and laughter to drift through to her sleepy, but excited,
None of the noises or scents come, as she expected, so Elizabeth makes the effort to roll out of bed.
still dark outside but a few rays of the morning sunrise shine through her windows. There isn't enough to see anything clearly,
but she makes no move to switch on another light. She knows the layout of her room well enough to go about her morning routine
She regrets that decision just a few moments later when her foot connects with something that she can’t
identify. Something that she definitely doesn't recall leaving on the floor the previous night.
Curiosity - and wariness
- coursing through her veins, she switches on the small lamp beside her bed.
On the floor, at her bare feet, lies a
Traditional red, with white trimming, it's exactly like what she remembers her childhood ones looked
like. Though this one has leather stitching. Uneven leather stitching at that, her mind silently adds.
she bends down to pick the item up with only a small pang! of nostalgia.
For a moment, she is struck by the
lightness of it and she thinks that there is nothing in there. But as she looks inside, Elizabeth can see a piece of paper,
neatly folded in half down the middle.
Trembling hands remove the paper and the stocking is placed carefully on her
bed. Part of her wants to savor this moment, this feeling of gratitude that someone else remembered and cared about what today
signifies and how much it means to her. The other, slightly larger, part of her just wants to cry.
Neither win the
internal battle, so she opens the fold with trepidation.
It doesn't actually occur to her that she is wandering the halls of Atlantis in pajamas pants and a tank top until
she has almost reached her destination - which she knows the location of without being told - but she can't bring herself
to turn back and rectify it.
There's a knot of disbelief in her lower belly that anyone - he! - would do this
The corridor that he lives in is empty and she is strangely grateful that she wont be seen entering his room
at five in the morning.
His door is propped open and there is a smell distinctly akin to bacon wafting towards her.
It makes her mouth water and her heart skip a beat.
When Elizabeth enters - and she admits to standing still in the
hall for a few moments to calm her rapidly racing pulse - he is standing by the window, watching the low light as she had
with a cup of coffee in his hand. She moved the doorstop and it shuts silently behind her.
Someone has set up a small
table for two on his floor and it is covered with plates of food. Eggs - though not from a chicken, she knows - the bacon-like
meat, salad-y type stuff, toast. There is even orange juice, what may or may not be real champagne and coffee.
elements rest under the plates, keeping everything warm and she wonders how long it's been set up.
"You like it, I
gather?" The question surprises her, she didn't know that he had sensed her presence yet.
She doesn't know what to
say, tears choke her, so she doesn't say anything at all. Walking towards him, she stops for a beat to look at his smiling
face. Rising up a little more than she is used to, Elizabeth kisses his cheek and she pretends that her lips didn't linger
longer than strictly necessary.
"I'll take that as a yes, then."
"Yes, I do. Very much."
He nods to the table. "I'm sorry we couldn't find a table big enough for chairs, so I borrowed some pillows." His boyish grin
is enough of an apology without verbal conformation.
She falls as gracefully as possible to her knees, resting on one
of the large pillows provided. "I think it's lovely."
A cup of coffee is placed in front of her, followed by a large
glass of juice and a plate full of delicious looking food. "Good."
Elizabeth picks up a piece of what she is going
to call Bacon and as soon as the soft meat touches her tongue she has to stop herself from moaning aloud.
This is exactly
what she needed. "When did you set this up?"
"Last night. I cooked the food this morning, though."
did you get up, John?"
"About four-ish." She suspects that the 'ish' depicts a time closer to three.
incredible. Thank you."
"Did you make the stocking yourself?"
"Yeah. Sorry about the stitching."
They eat in silence for a while, each savoring the taste of the food. Elizabeth thinks that this breakfast
is pretty close to what she would have had on Earth with her family, or with Simon. But she doesn't let her thoughts linger
there for too long.
Thinking about Simon, lately, seems to bring her back to thinking about how she feels around John,
which makes her think about being unfaithful to Simon and it's just too confusing and far to complicated for her to contemplate.
up drenched in sweat with a disturbing ache between her legs has become common practice for her now. She's not sure why -
she's certainly never been so driven by a hormonal reaction before - but something about John Sheppard seems to stir a primal
kind of feeling within her. But if she tries to analyze it, Simon's face comes unbidden into her mind and suddenly she's come
full circle again and her temples start to hurt.
"Is it OK?"
"It's wonderful." She's not sure if she's talking
about the food anymore, but she finds herself not caring.
"Merry Christmas, Elizabeth."
She sighs, insanely
pleased to hear the words. "Merry Christmas, John."
They return to their food and their silence and Elizabeth smiles
as she looks at the centerpiece on the table. It’s a cutting off one of the tress – from the mainland, she thinks
– and he has put anything bright and shiney on there that he can find. Including his dog tags. He’s even made
an attempt at making bon-bon’s for them to pop. She wonders if there’s stupid little party hats in there too.
The thoughtfulness behind this whole breakfast strikes her suddenly and she finds a familiar knot forming
in her belly again. There is a large part of her that wants nothing more than to lean across and kiss him simply to see what
would happen, where it would lead.
But she reminds herself that she came out here with a goal in mind and that goal
wasn’t to screw her Second.
“Stop thinking and enjoy the food, ‘Liz.”
She hates being
called that. Hates Beth more, but the shortening of her name in any form drives her mad. She likes the sound of it from him
and that alone tells her that she is in way over her head.
When asked, later, about how it happened, Elizabeth
plans to plead temporary insanity and deny any and all knowledge. She knows that all of the food was consumed, she knows that
she had two platefuls. She knows that it was champagne but she only had half a glass with her juice. She knows that
there was a purple hat in her bon-bon and she knows that she wore it for a good three minutes before it, and the rest of her
clothes, were lost in a rush of heat.
She doesn’t know how she ended up naked with John Sheppard – equally
naked – cradled between her thighs and poised to enter her. She doesn’t know how she got this aroused and
she doesn’t know why she feels like she’s on the verge of an orgasm already.
John thrusts forward a little
and Elizabeth decides that she doesn’t care about any of it.
He is hot and heavy and real. He is exactly
what she needed and as her muscles stretch to accommodate him, she draws in a sharp breath of satisfaction and finds herself
praying for a deity she’s not even sure that she believes in.
When he is fully inside of her, he stops moving.
She is confused, at first, her other lovers have never just stopped before. But his head comes back from her shoulder
and he makes eye contact with her and suddenly she understands. She understands a lot of things right at this moment, looking
into his brown eyes.
Most important of all, she can see – and feel – what she means to him. It’s
a powerful feeling and she can’t stop the moan from being drawn from her throat.
He will not fuck her, she knows.
He is not having sex with her. He is going to make love to her and she finds that prospect alone a little scary. It’s
too much, she suddenly thinks, but he is inside of her, pulsing gently, and all she can do is dig her nails into his back
and helplessly let him take the lead.
His movements are slow, controlled, methodical. His eyes never leave hers and
she is hyper-aware of everything around her. The pillows under her back, the table against her leg, the slight breeze that
comes through his open window, every inch of him as he slides into her only to pull out again at the same maddening pace.
His lightly spread chest-hairs rub against her nipples with each thrust.
Pressure builds low in her belly and she pushes
her hips back against his. It’s all happening so fast, she thinks, but she can’t even pretend to be surprised.
breasts are heavy, they feel swollen and uncomfortable and her clit is tingling as he rubs against it ever so slightly.
is a need that swells within her until she has only one thought and it drives her towards completion.
dissipates in one timeless motion and Elizabeth doesn’t recognize the sounds she makes but she hears him echo them and
she feels a rush of hot fluid explode within her, a mixture of them both.
When her ears stop ringing, she can hear
their heavy breathing and it swirls throughout the otherwise silent room. John’s head falls forward to kiss her lightly
before moving to rest in the crook of her shoulder again. In a rush of tenderness, she grips his back and pulls him closer.
Christmas indeed, Elizabeth thinks.