He smiled when he saw her. There was no reason for it in particular, he was just smiling because he had seen her.
She was seated behind her desk; her head rested on her hand; and her eyes focussed on her laptop. She had that studious look of concentration that he had come to admit made her look even cuter. In the week and a half since their kiss – since they were imprinted with the consciousnesses of a warring alien pair – he had frequently startled himself with his thoughts about this woman.
He had always known he found her attractive, both physically and mentally; and he valued his friendship with her more than any he had ever had in his past. But since she – no, Phoebus – kissed him he had no control over the thoughts that told him he wanted her to be more than just a friend.
He stepped across the threshold of her office, knocking twice on the doorframe as he passed, and fixing his smile in preparation for when she would look up.
She raised only her eyes, at first, as if to check who it was, and then she sat back in her chair and offered him the smile recent observations had revealed she reserved only for him.
“Anything interesting?” he asked, nodding towards her computer.
“Just catching up on mission reports,” she replied. “Just one more and I’m up to date… Remind me never to have any time off sick again,” she smirked.
“Well, we can get someone else to read the reports for you while you’re ill,” he suggested.
She smiled, but frowned. “I’d still want to read them.”
He laughed a little. “Well then we can at least suspend ’gate activity until you’re back at work.”
She smiled and nodded. “That we can do.”
Once again he was lost in her eyes and he allowed a comfortable silence to encompass them – aside from anything else, it would provide a suitable pause before his change of subject.
After a while her brow creased and her eyes flicked in all directions before she ducked her head – unable to hide the blush on her cheeks.
Seeing her nervousness he decided it would be a good time to break the silence.
“So,” he began, stepping closer to the desk, “I was thinking…”
She looked back up and frowned; her facial expression indicating that she might be suspicious of his tone.
“… and, erm, we never had that talk,” he concluded, fighting to not show any of his own nerves.
Her eyes widened briefly with what looked like panic and then she hid behind the façade of calm that he knew she had perfected years ago.
“No we didn’t,” she said, letting him direct the conversation.
“In fact,” he continued, stepping even closer to the desk, so that his leg now rested against it, “This is the first time you and I have been alone since – ”
Elizabeth nodded. “Yes it is… And I suppose we should be grateful that we haven’t tried to kiss – … kill each other.”
She covered the slip very well, but he still heard it. “I suppose we should,” he said, the mischievous twinkle in his eyes conveying the fact that he knew exactly what she had said.
She narrowed her eyes at him and tried to fight the smirk that was twitching at her lips. “Was there a point to all this, Colonel?”
The use of his rank – showing him that she was feeling out of control of the situation and she was trying to reassert her authority. It was worth a try. But, more than anything, he found it amusing.
“Yes,” he said definitively. “Have dinner with me.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Is that an order?”
“It’s a request,” he smiled. “Do I need to make it an order?”
Her smile widened and she shook her head. “No… Dinner would be nice… I guess we should talk… So, when?”
“Tonight?” he asked, eyes hopeful.
She shot him that smile again. “Okay… What time?”
“Whatever time you decide to call it a night,” he smirked.
She laughed. “You realise that may be a few hours after you call it a night?” she teased.
He shrugged. “I’ll wait… I’ll be on our balcony whenever you’re ready.”
“Our balcony?” she said, eyebrow raised.
He smirked. “You know which one I mean.”
Her smile told him that she did know which one he meant. “So we’re having dinner on the balcony?”
He nodded. “I thought we could have a picnic,” he said, proud of his romantic idea.
“Ah,” she smirked. “Because that worked on the last woman you tried it on?”
His face dropped. He had completely forgotten about Chaya. “I didn’t – ”
She cut him off. “It was a joke, John.”
“Well, we can – ”
“A picnic on the balcony sounds great,” she interrupted him again.
“Are you sure? We could – ”
This time an unscheduled ’gate activation was the cause of his interruption.
Their eyes met, both filled with a sense of foreboding, and they made their way through to the control room.
Less than ten minutes later John was geared up and heading out to provide back up to Major Lorne’s team.
He left through the ’gate with his usual nod towards her and this time it was accompanied by a tap of his watch. A promise that he would be back for dinner.