After dinner, John headed off to his office, thinking about Aracely being on his team when going off world. He knew shecould handle it, but it was the part about him and her being around each other so much was the problem. The other part, his rational part of his brain, that wondered was how she was with a weapon. His cock twitched at the that one. She handled hisweapon quitewell.
Growling to himself to settle down, he glanced up to see her making her way to his office with Teyla, clearly talking about something that put a smile on her face. God how he missed that. As his friend left Aracely at his door with a wave to John, he motioned to the empty seat across from him. “Have a seat,” he invited with a rough voice.
She sat down, keeping a close eye on him. “Look, Colonel, before we get to business, I think we need to get over the elephant that is clearly around since I arrived,” she said.
John instantly froze in his seat as he looked at her, swallowing hard. “Yes?” he croaked.
Aracely eyed him for a long moment before leaning forward slightly as she thought about her next words. “It has been a long time since we last spoke. We both can be – adults about working together I think. I will admit, when I realised that I would be seeing you again, I was excited and apprehensive. I mean, you broke up with me and made it clear that we were never going to be more than what we were. I accepted it. I wasn’t ready for a heavy commitment myself.”
His face reddened as he listened, knowing that what he had said and done when they split wasn’t the entire truth. It was the right thing then, but when he said he didn’t want more with her, he had been lying to her, and to himself. Should he tell her that now?
“This isn’t the ideal situation for either of us considering our history. I -” she started before he cut her off, unable to remain quiet any longer.
“Ace – it’s not that I don’t want you around like that. It’s just – uncomfortable,” he said. “I was caught by surprise…”
She smiled and nodded. “I got the gist of that when you were quick to drop me off at my room,” she teased lightly, keeping the conversation light.
John ran his hand over the back of his neck uncomfortably. “Yeah. Well, let’s just say that some things weren’t quite forgotten either when I saw you.”
Raising an eyebrow, she eyed him. His red face and body shifting in his seat, she Ohh’d at him. “Sorry – for making you uncomfortable like – that…”
Laughing he shook his head. “No, no. It was um, something that – well a reaction you always … yeah.”
“So, good reaction or bad reaction?” Aracely asked, her voice dropping an octave with her curiosity, her lips pulling back knowingly.
John raised his eyes up to her and leveled his gaze on her. What she wanted to know he would never be able to put into words. His continued feelings for her. His renewed desire for her. And a slight nod indicating her silent question to his need to relieve himself.
“Oooh,” she let out, her eyes dropping to the desktop that hid the part of his body that had already begun to react to her eyes on him. “So what does this mean? For my position on the team, or for you and I?”
There it was. The golden question. What did it mean? What did he want? If he could, he would have taken her right there but like before, he worked in a fishbowl for everyone to see. “I am still not good at relationships Ace,” he said quietly.
“Is that what you want? A relationship?”
Did he? The voice in his head was encouraging it. Maybe this time he would listen. “I don’t know.”
Pursing her lips, she nodded. She was always good at hiding her emotions but he knew that she was disappointed. No matter how difficult he was, she had always been patient and helped him through his shortcomings in that sense.
“I could try,” he said after a minute, his voice barely a whisper. “And if we did, we’d have to keep it between us. Being on the same team and all…”
“John, I’d be on your team part time, only in a medical sense. I think that your fraternization rules wouldn’t apply. If you want to trythis again between us, you are letting your brain get in the way again,” Aracely pointed out. “Just as it did last time.”
He couldn’t help but to laugh and in that his eyes glanced over the computer again. “Well,” he coughed. “We’re heading off world for a standard visit with the Athosians – Teyla’s people. We usually bring Carson or Keller with us but if you’re going to be attached to the team, you’ll get to meet them the day after tomorrow.”
“Sounds like a party,” she nodded, committing herself to looking up the information on the people when she returned to her room.
“So – you look good,” Ace commented, reluctant to leave. “Being out of the countrydoes you good.”
John shrugged. “It’s work. It’s home.”
“Still,” she shared as she stood and looked him over again. “It’s great to see you. I’ll see you around?”
He had bit on his lip, looking away while she stood before looking at her sharply as she started her goodbyes. “Uh, yeah, sure. Um Aracely?”
She had reached the door and turned around. “Yes John?”
“You busy tonight?” he asked, hope and uncertainty in his voice, but relief at the sight of her smile.