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Summary: Radek watches Elizabeth sleep.

Categories: Ship Pairings > Weir/Zelenka
Characters: Elizabeth Weir, Radek Zelenka
Genres: Established Relationship
Warnings: None
Chapters: 1 [Table of Contents]
Series: None

Word count: 1159; Completed: Yes
Updated: 30 Nov 2006; Published: 30 Nov 2006

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A/N: Written for reginabellatrix for the Weir/Zelenka Thing-a-Thon. The request was for 'happy fluff' with the three words giddy, connection and worship.

Title comes from Shakira's 'Underneath Your Clothes'.

~

Radek's hand hovers over Elizabeth's skin as she sleeps, soft light filtering in through the window. He has woken like this many times before and still the sight of her next to him takes his breath away.

He remembers the first day he saw Elizabeth Weir, standing in the chair room in the Antarctic outpost, listening intently as Rodney explained something. She'd turned to look at him when he had approached, her hand reaching out to his to welcome him. He remembers thinking how soft her hands were, how her eyes lit up when she'd smiled at him.

"Dr Zelenka, it's a pleasure to have you with us."

So much has happened in the time that's passed since then. So many worlds visited, so many people lost. And each one of them has left their mark on Elizabeth. Some of the marks aren't visible, scars written under the skin in the form of the names of everyone the Atlantis expedition has lost since they first stepped through the Gate. And some Radek can trace with his fingers, like the faint jagged scar on her shoulder that was a gift from the Genii and the small round scar on her stomach that was a legacy of P8X-493.

"We don't leave anyone behind."

He knows how hard she takes each loss, how she can recite the name of every person who will never return from Pegasus. They've lost people to so many reasons - the Wraith, hostile planets, accidents, and misunderstandings - and there's a part of Elizabeth that still blames herself for each and every one. It's a part of Elizabeth that few people get to see, and Radek thanks God every day that he is counted among their number.

"I don't know what I would do without you, Radek."

He'd become so used to sublimating his feelings for Elizabeth that it was almost a shock when it did happen. The night on the mainland for the Athosian Rite of Renewal. Teyla's face looking up to the sky as she and Halling held court over the rituals. The fires burning, sparks dancing up into the darkness as family and friendships were drawn back together.

"I realise this may not be to everyone's way of thinking, but I would like to invite you all to join us for the Renewal."

He'd expected something entirely different to what he'd found. He hadn't thought he'd see people pair up and slipping away two by two; the Athosians first and then, slowly, the Atlanteans joining them. He'd watched as Colonel Sheppard reached out to Rodney, as Carson Beckett reached out to Lieutenant Cadman. Watched as they joined the others slipping away. Watched and then turned, his eyes drawn to where Elizabeth was standing by the fire, red glow casting over her. He'd planned to retire to one of the jumpers, to spend the night there if he couldn't find anyone to fly him back. Had been turning away from the firelight when a hand on his arm had stopped him.

If Radek is honest with himself then he admits that he's never quite known how to take Teyla. She is the leader of her people, strong and proud, and could break him in two with three fingers. He has seen her look regal one minute, and like a lost child the next. So he had never expected it to be Teyla he turned to face that night, gentle smile on her lips as she studied him for long moments, like she was reading words hidden in the lines he knows are on his face.

"It is only natural to seek out others in times like these. When so much death surrounds us we must constantly celebrate life."

There had been other words, careful and considered. There had been Teyla's ringing laughter and assurances. And to this day Radek still doesn't know if it was Teyla's words or the cup in his hand or the fact that the moon was shining overhead, but he didn't leave. Instead, he'd felt his face become warmer from the fire with each step he took; steps that took him in from the edge and over to Elizabeth. She'd looked at him as he'd approached, smile on her lips sliding into confusion and then comprehension as he held out his hand. If someone were to ask him, Radek would tell them that he's not sure how long he held his hand out for. He wouldn't tell them that it was eighteen seconds. Eighteen seconds of his fingers becoming heavier and of thinking that Teyla had never been so monumentally wrong when Elizabeth finally - finally - breathed and placed her hand in his.

"I don't want things to go back to how they were."

"Then they won't."


He only touches her when he sees her eyelids flutter, sees the first indications of waking, and then his fingers press softly against her skin. She's soft and warm from sleep, but she moves into his touch, body curving towards him. It's another minute before her eyes open, before they focus on him and a smile crosses Elizabeth's face.

"Good morning."

He doesn't answer her with words, but with the dip of his head and the press of his lips to hers. She laughs when he pulls back, her hands reaching up to tangle her fingers in his hair and pull him back to her. His forehead rests against hers, the greeting no longer used by just the Athosians, but as a standard on Atlantis. It's 'good morning', 'how are you', and 'I love you' without words. It's 'good morning', 'fine', and 'I love you too' without speech. He loves this woman beside him, totally and without hesitation. He loves the way she moves, the way she laughs, the way her body shudders with pleasure when he's inside her.

When Radek Zelenka agreed to be on the expedition that came to Atlantis, he had thought he'd find science beyond that which he'd ever dreamed of. He had thought he'd find technology and understanding far past any Earth equivalent. When he came to Atlantis he'd thought he'd find many things, but love, a family, wasn't among them. He came to Atlantis looking for the things he'd thought he wanted; and in Elizabeth Weir he found the one thing he really needs.

~