by RoseWildeIrish

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We found this story at* Command Dynamics, a fanfiction archive for Stargate Atlantis fanfics focusing on Major John Sheppard and Dr. Elizabeth Weir. Fanfics of all genres, types, and ratings are welcome.

John grit his teeth and sighed. It was getting ridiculous.

Every time he tried to grab just a moment alone with Elizabeth, Dr. Zelenka was there.

Sometimes he was nattering excitedly with her, sometimes just hovering and killing the mood (and his nerve). But more often than not, nowadays, Zelenka was part of the equation.


He was going to have to drop the nonchalance, he knew it. Screw casual conversation and accidental meetings, he was going to have to grab the bull by the horns and just get in there.

Ask Elizabeth to join him for dinner, maybe.

Yes...yes, he liked this plan. It had potential. And if he worked it into conversation about Atlantis, she could maybe construe it as a working meal. He could work his charm during the meal, and insure that they really spoke very little about that particular four letter word. When she looked back on the meal, she’d realize how entertaining he was, maybe seek him out more at meals. And other times. If he was lucky.

Oh, damn, he had it bad, didn’t he?

He gathered the shreds of his courage, wondered if he couldn’t simply face the Wraith single-handedly instead, and, squaring his shoulders, marched into the command center.

To spy Elizabeth laughing at something Zelenka had just said, his hands gesturing wildly.

Dammit. The man was stealing his routine!

Momentum had carried him too far into the room to turn tail and run, despite his nerve having done exactly that. Too many eyes were on him, acknowledging him. And now those eyes included Elizabeth’s.

"Major," she greeted warmly.

"Doctor," he replied, making it vaguely teasing. He nodded to Zelenka and had that nod returned in kind—stiff, slightly formal, and a little wary.

He cleared his throat. "I was wondering if you’d be free to discuss defense strategies a bit later," he said, and cringed inwardly. He’d been so much more suave in his head. But there, he didn’t have an audience.

"Certainly. What time is good for you?"

Here goes, he thought, throat tight and palms sweating. It felt exactly like high school. "How about joining me for dinner?"

The look on her face was equal parts surprise and regret. "I’d love to...but I’ve already promised Radek I’d join him for dinner to discuss power options. Would you care to join us?"

Zelenka, that bastard, managed to look both faintly smug and alarmed. John’s eyes narrowed unconsciously and the other man gulped. "No, no, I think that much work discussion would be bad on the digestion," he said with a smile. And I wouldn’t have the nerve to drop the work talk with an audience, he thought. Of course, if he did join them, neither would Zelenka...

"Another time, then?" It could be wistful thinking, but he could swear Elizabeth sounded vaguely disappointed.

He nodded. They stared at each other for a moment, and then Elizabeth cleared her throat. "Actually, we could meet after dinner if you like. Radek might have information that could help with defense."

He couldn’t stop the smile from threatening to break into a full-fledged grin. Meeting her after dinner would insure the dinner was brief and mostly shop talk. Of course, of a necessity so would his conversation with her, but he’d take what he could get.

"Sounds like a plan," he said, happily, and enjoyed the look of discomfiture on Zelenka’s face. He nodded to Elizabeth and then to Zelenka, meeting the man’s gaze directly and not without a little bit of challenge.

Game on, he thought. This was one fight he was determined to win.

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