Chapter three

Sam walked into the infirmary mid-morning the next day, looking for an update on the Pegasus galaxy's latest curveball.

"Doc. I saw Dr. Weir in the cafeteria last night. She looked like she was doing well."

"Aye, colonel." Carson shrugged, "A really am quite certain that she wasn't..." his hands waved, looking for a word, "'Changed' in any way. The only medical reason a had to keep her was to make sure she ate," he grinned, "And a rather think Colonel Sheppard had at least an equal chance o' accomplishin' that. If she'd looked worried at facing everyone, a'd have kept her here, but she was a great deal more like herself and looked downright happy at the thought o' getting out and about. And what with the colonel accompanyin' her, a didn't see a security risk. In any case, a had her come in this morning-"

Sam's brows rose, "This morning? Where was she last night..." she slowed by the time she finished the sentence, lips trying to twitch into the same grin she knew her eyes had to be shinning with. She cleared her throat and tried to keep her tone innocent, "Can I assume she was still under guard when she came here?"

Carson kept his face straight, not really comfortable enough with Atlantis' new commander to in any way make light of his friends. "Aye, colonel. A had ta chase him away to run ma tests. Just finished a little while ago."

Sam glanced around automatically, then focused on the doctor when he continued in response to her look. "She's with Heightmeyer now."

Into the silence that descended with that thought, Carson heard familiar footsteps in the hallway behind her, not surprised to see Colonel Sheppard amble in.

Sam turned when the doctor's eyes shifted behind her, again struck at how clearly different this man was from the colonel who'd passed command to her two months ago. And at how quickly he changed from relaxed to on-the-offencive when he saw the empty bed against the wall where he must have left Dr. Weir.

Suddenly standing right in front of her, looking furious and hands fisted, he growled threateningly, "Where is she?" Sam straightened and tensed, eyes narrowing, automatically readying for the attack his stance plainly warned of.

"Colonel!" Carson hurriedly stepped between them, putting a hand on his friend's shoulder, nodding reassuringly when the man turned fiercely worried eyes on him. "Elizabeth's fine. She's with Dr. Heightmeyer. On my word, colonel."

John swallowed tightly, trying to breathe out the fear, eyes very slowly relaxing; looking away as he nodded, putting more distance between him and the other two. He was torn between needing to go find Elizabeth and confirm that nothing was afoot, and realizing that he'd already likely gone too far - knowing that too much depended on his keeping his position. He straightened to parade rest, looking Colonel Carter in the eye, "I apologize, ma'am."

Sam nodded, acknowledging the words, holding him in place with her stare, deciding if he was a danger, regretting that she didn't have a better baseline to read him by. Going by the mental picture of him she'd developed in last two months, her years in the Stargate program would have had her order him into Beckett's care for behaving this way; with guards.

But the doctor's own acceptance of the violent response made her keep her reaction on hold; for now. "At ease, colonel." She watched his continued tension, "I don't intend to let anything happen to her, you know." She was faintly insulted by the fact that he hardly acknowledged her words, putting forth a pretty clear lack of belief. She frowned at him, "Sheppard, I'm not about to hand her over to anyone that would do her any harm, nor would I do *anything* without involving you."

John's jaw clenched, seeing that she expected a response, "Sorry, ma'am. Yes, ma'am." It wasn't that he specifically *didn't trust* Carter. But he didn't have any reason to actually *trust* her. And handing over Elizabeth's continued freedom and safety required a damned *jumperload* of trust.

Sam's lips tightened, but she resigned herself to not getting through to him right now, instead nodding to the door, "Dismissed, colonel." Watching him hurry away, she heard the doctor sigh besides her.

"A'm afraid Colonel Sheppard isn't one ta trust easily colonel. Especially na' over the safety of his people." He looked at her seriously, "And ya have ta admit, there are people in the military as aren't gonna be happy over this."

"I'm well aware of them doctor. Believe it or not, I've even *dealt* with them before. I've had aliens for teammates and friends for 10 years. I'm *well* aware of the dangers. Which is exactly why I'm annoyed. Dr. Weir is one of *my* people now, and I have no intention whatsoever of letting her fall into the wrong hands." She took a deep breath, making herself calm down, "But I realize he's under stress. And you're not the first person to tell me he's not the trusting sort. His record was replete with examples of his response to authority."

She shook her head, deliberately relaxing her body, mentally putting herself... on second thought, putting *Jack* in his position.

Carson kept quiet as the woman's eyes focused on nothing for a minute, hoping Rodney's infatuation with her was justified; that her reputation had enough truth in it for his friends' to make it out of this mess.

"Umph." Sam finally grunted unhappily. She focused on the doctor, "So the nanites haven't changed at all? No increase or change in behaviour or..."

"Nothin'. Tha simple truth is that, physically, she's fit. A've run every test a can. Unless Kate says differently... a'm only keeping her under medical observation until her weight is back to somethin' normal."

Sam nodded, "Thanks Beckett. For everything." Still mulling over the events, she headed back to her office, hating how much of an outsider she still felt here. After the years with the SGC and Area 51, landing in a job where McKay was the friendliest face... she grimaced.

They'd started getting along a damn sight better than they used to over the weeks, but that didn't say much. Although... She nodded to herself, yeah, maybe she needed to talk to him. Maybe he'd have something useful to say about this.

"Doctor Heightmeyer?"

Kate Heightmeyer smiled at her patient, taping her earpiece, "Yes, colonel?" She saw Dr. Weir's eyes brighten.

"Is... is she there?"

Her voice softened at the man's uncertain tone, replying in a soothing voice, "Yes John, she's right here. Would you like to talk to her?"

"I..." standing in the corridor a few doors from the psychologist's office, John swallowed, "If she wants."

The doctor grinned at Elizabeth, covering the mic as she took the earpiece off and quoting, "'Do you want to talk to him?'"

The woman rolled her eyes, reaching for the communicator without bothering to reply. "John?"

He straightened with a relieved breath as soon as he heard her voice. Hearing the roughness of tears in it, he wished he could help her, all the while knowing this was necessary. "You OK?"

"Yeah." She exchanged a wry look with Dr. Heightmeyer, "I'm sure you know how much fun this is."

She could hear the unhappy memories in his reply, "Yeah. You... You'll get the doc to call me when you're done?"

She smiled softly, unconsciously turning away slightly, her voice quiet, "Of course. I'll be fine John. I'm glad to get this over with sooner rather than later. You know as well as I do that it's necessary for us to be able to go forward."

He smiled sadly, "Yeah. I'll be waiting. Hang on." Think of me; he thought but didn't say.

"I will." I love you; again, not the time. She blinked back new tears, taking a shuddering breath before turning back to the watching counsellor.

Accepting her earpiece back, Kate took the opportunity to go into another set of concerns. "And how do you feel about that?"

Elizabeth smiled wryly, not surprised at the new tack. "I'm seriously pissed at the bastards for putting Atlantis through this. For making me a source of pain for my people. I wish he hadn't had to live through that." Kate didn't comment at the change in pronoun, watching deep but controlled anger. Sadness. But over it, the same peace that had kept her patient calm throughout the interview, and a joy that had risen through with the colonel's call.

Elizabeth looked the doctor in the eye firmly, "What I feel for John has nothing to do with the last two months. This has just convinced us to finally acknowledge what we've felt for a long time. I'm not clinging to him for safety. Nor looking for proof that I'm alive."

Kate smiled; the combination of the woman's old stubbornness and this new willingness to admit to emotional attachment was a sight she'd wished for for three years. "I believe you. What about him? How do you think *he*'s taking this?"

Elizabeth frowned, a little confused, "Shouldn't you be asking John that?"

"I will," Kate watched her expression carefully, "But how you *think* he is... will tell me about *you*."

"Ah," Elizabeth smiled wryly again, sobering as she took her time responding. "I think that.. he had lost hope. Had-" She stopped, biting her lip and looking at her hands, twisting in her lap, knowing what she had to say... but unwilling to say it. Unwilling to put into words the knowledge that they'd worked around for so long. To give voice to anything that could sound like criticism to someone who didn't share the feelings behind it. As minutes passed though, the doctor stayed silent, the air growing thick; demanding that she speak if she wanted this session to continue. To finish.

She closed her eyes, remembering the feeling of strength and optimism she'd woken up with, the safety and pleasure she'd felt with John's bare arms wrapped around her and his quiet breathing on her neck. *That* was why she was here, to try to make sure they always had that; one way or another... She gripped the arms of her chair with careful control, looked the other woman straight in the eye and whispered softly, "He gave up on hope; on his future. And now.. he's planning his future.. around me."

"And that makes you uncomfortable." First her eyes had dropped, and now Kate could see Elizabeth's hands gripping each other in her lap. "Why?"

Back to talking about herself, Elizabeth spoke more calmly, watching her fingers snake around each other again. "I have no job. No home. They could still decide the nanites are dangerous; that *I*'m dangerous. He deserves so much.. and I don't know that I'll even have the chance to try to give it to him. That I won't end up-" she swallowed thickly, "Breaking him. Again. That he won't get himself into *so much* trouble trying to fight people he can't win against. Because of me."

"Elizabeth?" Kate waited for Atlantis' old leader to look up again, not quite crying, but close, "Do you think there's anything you could do; could *ever* have done, to stop him?"

Elizabeth grimaced, answering with resignation, "No."

"Do you think it's your *fault*?"

She rolled her eyes, snapping, "No. I just.." But she couldn't complete the thought. And the anger was helping to clear her thoughts. This was nothing new. The fact that she no longer had power to protect him, that their relationship was more intimate, his happiness that much more her concern; neither of those thing were good enough reasons to feel sorry for herself. She calmed herself determinedly, admitting the worry to herself but refusing to let it guide her, "He's a grown man. He makes his own choice and I have to respect that. And we're stronger together; there *is* hope."

Kate nodded with silent approval, "Alright." She waited a few more beats for Elizabeth to regain her quietly expectant expression and then returned to their interrupted discussion.

Going on a knowledgeable hunch, Elizabeth stepped out of Kate's office and looked down the corridor before she bothered having the woman call John.

And gave him a bitten-lip, shaky smile where he was rising from his seat against the wall in front of her. She moved gratefully into his tight hug when he hurriedly came to her and wrapped himself around her protectively.

She'd had her emotions under a rein, albeit a light one, when she stepped out, but the not-yet-accustomed comfort reached in and pulled more tears from her as her hands fisted in his shirt.

Aware that they were in a public hallway, John shuffled her carefully back into the counsellor's office, grateful the woman gave him an approving nod and left them alone.

He pressed his lips to her temple, refusing to say meaningless nonsense that he knew damned personally didn't help, just holding her and trying to keep how badly it made him hurt deep inside to hear the pain in her quiet sobs. How badly, helplessly, he wanted to *kill* something. Instead kissing what skin he could still reach with her burrowed tightly into his chest, just so that she would know he was there; running his hands over her to keep her warm and connected to him.

He didn't change his hold as she started to calm, feeling the warmth from her shaky breaths on his skin through his now-damp shirt. Feeling her start to relax and just lean on him.

A few more minutes and she raised her head, her hands unlocking their death-grip and sliding up to cup his jaw as she raised herself and kissed him, slow and tender, tasting of tears and peace. Silently reassuring him that all was still right with their private world.

He finally pulled away, looking into her eyes and still finding remnants of pain and fear... but most of all, the solid strength he always associated with Elizabeth. And affection he was just learning to accept.

"I'm OK," Elizabeth smiled, her fingertips lazily playing with the hairs of his sideburns, "Let's go.. home."

Grinning slightly to hear her call his meagre room 'home', John kissed the tip of her nose before pulling back and reaching for a tissue from the doc's desk. Carefully wiping the tears still on her cheeks, he could see the inquisition forming in her eyes, but he refused to get defencive.

"John? What were you doing waiting for me?"

He kept a bland look on his face, "Had a short banto session with Ronon, but then he had to go. Since I'm off duty," he shrugged, "Didn't really have anywhere else to be."

Elizabeth tried and failed to convince herself that she should lecture him. He had a right to be attached; she could remember what it had felt like when he'd come back from certain death. If she'd had a chance, she would have stayed at *his* side. She reached up now and guided his smiling lips to hers for another quick kiss and then stepped back, taking a strengthening breath as he watched with a soft grin and then leading him into the corridors with a slow, tired walk.

A few hours cuddling, resting and catching Elizabeth up on the last of what she'd missed got rid of the painful edge that the morning had brought back to the surface for both of them. They'd stripped down to their underwear with carefully neutral casualness before snuggling under the covers, and Elizabeth had found the most soul-healing spot; laying on top of John, head on his chest, his body heat making the cocoon of blankets toasty warm, and most of all, his heartbeat in her ear. She could close her eyes and be as safe and content as imaginable. The fact that the arms he had around her held her just as over-tightly as she was clinging to him; that they could both feel the uncertainty and risk, was immaterial. For these moments, they were safe. The deeper they could dip into that feeling of security, the stronger they'd be to face any challenges.

They'd been silent for a few minutes since John had finished updating her and Elizabeth was starting to feel well enough for the itch to 'do something' to make its appearance at the back of her mind. "Do you think Colonel Carter would okay my helping with some translating?" her voice was soft in the quiet room, almost idle as the fingers of one hand lazily played with the coarse hair next to her face, feeling one of John's hands unconsciously mirror the movement in her hair.. or was she mirroring him?

"Probably," John tried to think objectively of his latest superior, finding his mental picture of her... faint. And twisted with the feelings of loss, anger and despair that had been his constant companions during their acquaintance. "She seems to be a lot less rule-bound than most military officers. How about we get some lunch and then I can talk to her." It wasn't until he finished speaking that he stiffened, realizing he'd blithely set himself up to have to let her out of his sight... So soon. Too soon. But then, it always *would* be.

Rather than let himself get worked up, he lifted her chin so he could reach her lips for a kiss that briefly threatened to get out of control. He only caught himself when her hands slid into his hair, completely distracting him. His lips slipped, barely thinking enough to mouth the skin under his now sloppy touch. Not even thinking enough to yet have the thought that he needed to build up some immunity to her petting...

Elizabeth just grinned, wondering when they were going to find their way to lovemaking; content to take care of John for now.

"It's like someone breathed new life into him."

Elizabeth had to lean close to hear Rodney's uncharacteristically low voice as John teased Ronon about impending fatherhood while Teyla looked on with a very approving smile; the five of them sitting at a table in the half-full cafeteria.

"Paws off, McKay."

She choked on her swallow of milk at John's very sudden change of victims, then slapped his shoulder for the implication, even as she tried to get her breath back, ignoring Teyla's laughter-hiding cough and Ronon's wicked grin.

Rodney just snorted with practised indifference, rolling his eyes as he went back to wolfing his food. At least until his nemesis got up to get another desert; then he leaned back in with a hesitant smile, "Thank you. He hasn't jabbed fun at me like that in two months," he grimaced at the memory of his too-silent, too-serious friend, for once allowing the affection he felt for John to show. He gave her a confiding look, "Actually, don't tell him, but... I kinda missed it..."

She grinned affectionately at him, "I wouldn't dream of it Rodney. It's our little secret."

"Colonel Sheppard, Ronon Dex, Dr. McKay; to the control room."

The call went up before they even got around to leaving their table. John looked up in annoyance, grumbling under his breath as he turned to Elizabeth, "So much for time off," nodding silently for her to come with him as he got up. Elizabeth shook her head, accepting again that he had no intention of leaving her alone one second earlier than he had to.

"*Why* am I staying behind?"

John looked at Elizabeth, standing next to Colonel Carter next to the jumper as he intercepted McKay at the door to the jumper bay, "Damn it, Rodney! I need someone I trust to watch over her."

Rodney's eyes widened in understanding, "You expect me to protect her from the military?"

"I don't think anyone can actually keep her safe Rodney, not even me. But I need to know someone's here to try."

The scientist nodded, getting a warm feeling from knowing Sheppard trusted him, "Okay. Of course. I'll.. do everything I can."

John put a hand on his shoulder, nodding gratefully, "Thanks, Rodney. Thank you."

Walking to Elizabeth, he restrained himself from doing more than squeezing her shoulder with a tight smile, feeling her hand cover his, seeing her return the smile reassuringly.

Sam watched McKay head back to the control room, resigned to the situation. Turning to the colonel, she caught his eye over Weir's shoulder, nonetheless trying again, "I *will* watch over her, colonel."

For once he looked like he almost believed her, then nodded and went into the jumper.

As the hatch closed up, John strapped himself in, looking back at Ronon and the marines already sitting ready. "Alright, lets get on with this, shall we?" He knew his voice was abrupt and grumpy. Listening to the mumbles of agreement and making himself go through his mental preflight, he stopped and concentrated hard on Atlantis, something he rarely did, sending Elizabeth's image and trying to convey the concept of keeping her safe, not letting anyone take her *away* from the city, terminally unsure of what use this was but needing to take every precaution.

He finally took a deep breath and harshly choked down the panic that she would be gone when he came back. That this would all somehow have been a dream. "Atlantis, dialling the gate." He started punching in the address.

"Roger that, colonel. Good luck."

His lips twisted, wishing it was a different voice, "Thanks, colonel."

In the control room, Sam watched Dr. Weir as the jumper manoeuvred through the 'gate. Looking for... something... Finding only controlled concern under a confident mask, seeing her automatically checking people and readouts as the 'gate shut down and everyone went back to their regular work.

"Do you want to have this job back?"

Elizabeth looked up in surprise at the blunt, unexpected question.

"Having me and McKay here is redundant as far as technological knowledge goes; for that matter it's worse because we clash so much. I'm amazed at how you and Sheppard seemed to keep him in line without killing him all these years. And Zelenka's capacity to deal with both his genius and his tantrums is nothing short of saintly. Not something I could ever copy. Even before I learned to put myself forward to work with the military." She grinned unrepentantly, "But as much as you guys have done wonders with him, I still can't stand to work with him. And Sheppard is more than capable of running the military here. So I'm not *needed* as either scientist *or* soldier."

Thinking especially of the colonel's behaviour the last few days, she added, "Your diplomacy and ability to get the best out of those men on the other hand, *are* needed."

Elizabeth was silent, trying to read if the other woman was serious or if this was another test. "Do you really think the military would ever trust me again, after being a prisoner of the replicators?" She might not *wholly* share John's unreasoning worry of being taken away by men in black at any moment, especially not on Atlantis, but she did have a good idea of the amount of distrust she would face the next time she spoke to anyone from Earth; and men in HAZMAT suits weren't a complete impossibility.

"...Heightmeyer made it clear they were using you as a mental punching bag out of revenge." Sam was silent. "Those damned machines always *were* quick to pick up the worst of human traits." She shrugged. "I finally managed to get a life on Earth, after all these years. I'm willing to fight to get it back. It's not as though I'm abandoning my post; you are far more appropriate to the job. The idiots just have to have that pounded into them."

Elizabeth grinned, the uncharacteristic words showing the influence of a playful, brown-eyed general in that 'life'. "Speaking of a life..."

Sam snorted, "I wouldn't worry, there aren't actually any rules for your case. If for no other reason than because this is all but a war zone, social customs from the Milky Way shouldn't really have a place here, don't you think? The two of you have documentedly had severe disagreements before and still ran the city. He had the balls to leave you behind when it was necessary. He *did* his job. And you are *both* the best people for these positions. Anyway, where you sleep is your own affair, no pun intended; what isn't expressly forbidden is *allowed*. I say if they wanted you celibate, they should have hired a nun. Or spelled it out in the contract." The steely look in the colonel's eyes didn't bode well for anyone planning to interfere with the easily misjudged blond. Elizabeth wondered if she'd get to watch the showdown... Or get a recording for John!

"Atlantis, this is Sheppard, permission to come through."

"IDC recognized, ma'am."

Sam nodded at the young man manning the console, "Shield down. You are cleared, colonel."

John continued to fight off the terror that had been growing with every minute away from Atlantis.

The actual rescue had been simple, which meant too much time had been spent doing nothing but thinking, whether waiting for the right moment to act or flying to and fro. All in all more than enough time for his mind to come up with a flood of scenarios; all ending with arriving on Atlantis to find Elizabeth *not there*. Dead, gone or never having returned. He'd kept his head, even kept his concentration, but his stomach was a frozen coil of dread as he guided the jumper through the horizon.

"Welcome back, colonel. Mission successful?" Colonel Carter's voice was calm and cheerful, putting paid to at least some of the fears. But it didn't actually set him at ease and his voice was tense, "Sure. Easy. Everybody safe and sound, nothing but a few scratches." It took stubborn will to keep from asking for Elizabeth, refusing to reopen the debate about trusting the colonel with her safety.

Sam's eyebrow rose at the stiff answer and silence; guessing easily enough what was going through the man's mind. "Report to the infirmary so Carson can agree with your diagnosis. Unless there's something we need to know, debrief can wait 'till morning."

"Nothing to declare colonel. We'll be there at 0800." As he landed the jumper and heard someone open the hatch, he was mumbling under his breath, trying to be as quiet as he could, "Come on come on come on. Just a few more things. They're just bad dreams, she was real. Everything's fine." His fingers flew over the controls, shutting everything down, strict discipline keeping him from reaching for his earpiece and getting McKay to tell him where she was right *now*.

Finally done, he jumped out of his seat, hand on the wall to swing his body over as he got up running. The by now empty jumper let him fly through unobstructed, his undue haste unseen. But reaching the hatch he froze for a second with a hand on the frame.

Elizabeth smiled at Ronon, walking up to the jumper as he disembarked, nodding to the marines and the discouraged scientists they were herding. Standing silently by as she heard John finishing up. Finally seeing him appear at the entrance and freeze, staring at her in almost shock. She frowned, seeing the signs of strain on his face, about to ask him what was wrong when he pushed himself away from the frame and covered the distance between them in a few steps, wrapping his arms tightly around her.

She held onto him, worried at his behaviour since she'd heard the call where he'd told Carter everything was fine. "John?"

He nodded, still gripping her tight, "I'm OK, I'm sorry. I just..." He took a deep breath, finally easing his grip, keeping his hands on her shoulders. He smiled, "I'd blame it on an overactive imagination, except every scenario I imagined was entirely possible by Pegasus standards."

Realizing what he was talking about, she stepped up to him, resting her forehead on his, not quite willing to kiss him in public, hearing workers on the platform around them. "I'm OK. You're going to have to start trusting people with my safety, you know."

He nodded, "I know. I'll work on it." He straightened, "You coming with me to the infirmary?"

"Yes."

Before he moved away he noticed the mic shadow on her jaw and his brows rose in surprise, "Hey, Carter gave you a communicator?"

"Ummhumm," she tried to dismiss his curiosity by making light of it, dragging him toward the doors.

By the time the doctor was done, it was way past supper time, so they stopped and got sandwiches to eat in private. John frowned as he realized Elizabeth had just taken a wrong turn, "Hey, where are we going?"

She looked back, tilting her head with a mysterious smile, "Don't you trust me?"

He blinked, frowning in confusion until he just shrugged, "Of course." He'd hoped to be out of his grimy clothe soon, but on the other hand, he *did* trust Elizabeth, and she had to be aware that he needed a wash, so...

A few more turns and she stopped in front of her old quarters and turned to him with a serious look. "John, about staying on Atlantis-"

He started shaking his head before she said another word, "Elizabeth, the only reason I stayed here was to look for you. Otherwise this place was just a bad reminder. I already told you, I'm not needed here. We can go back to Earth, just as soon as they-"

She stepped close to him, laying a finger across his lips to silence him. "I'm cleared. And these are my... our quarters." She frowned worriedly, still not positive she should have assumed that much, "I hope you don't mind I-"

Hands full with their food, he resorted to bending his head and *kissing* her quiet. Lifting his head and grinning, "You can stay?"

She laughed gently, opening the door with a wave, "Colonel Carter says that as far as she's concerned, I'm back in charge." She grinned at his wide-eyed look, waiting for the door to close before saying, "Did you ever hear rumours about her and General O'Neill?"

John blinked at the change in topic, reeling from the sudden relief that she was safe. At least as safe as Atlantis was. And he didn't have to leave, could continue in the job that he fit so well, continue to protect her. Shaking his head to get a grip as he dropped their supper on the nearby corner table, he answered slowly, "Yeah, I've caught a rumour or three. It always sounded like old news and no one really seemed to care after all this time."

Elizabeth nodded, "Well, I'd say they're true, at least now. And she's none too happy with being stuck out here. Says she's going to fight to make sure I get in." She grinned, "And if I know Jack O'Neill, it'll be a short battle. I don't imagine *he*'s been any too pleased with this latest sacrifice they've had to make. And they both get downright sneaky and mean when annoyed." By now they were both grinning madly. Carter and O'Neill might have been a rumour, but the general's temper was documented fact.

John started laughing, lifting her by the waist and spinning her, ending with a kiss, remembering their first kiss and grinning even more, thinking that this was one tradition he intended to continue at any excuse.

"So my clothes are around here somewhere?" He could see the door to the bathroom and was definitely looking forward to a shower and change before eating. And then sleep. With Elizabeth. In *their* bed. In *their* city.

AN: Well, that pretty much it. the next chapter will be a series of vignettes more t han anything. I hope you enjoyed! and thanks charlie_blue that ma'am i s just so wrong to my ears.. I keep trying to forget it...!