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04 May 2012 @ 09:11 pm
Fic: Husbands and Wives (5/5)  
Note: Some people may consider the end of this post not work-safe. It's not all that explicit, but consider yourselves informed.

Previously on stargate_ren:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Not long ago, Kate had gathered in the royal chambers with Laura, Elizabeth, Teyla, and her mother to prepare for her wedding. Kate had been so nervous throughout the morning that she remembered very little of the preparation. Her mother had pronounced her beautiful and then her father had arrived to take her to her husband.

If Elizabeth was nervous, she was not showing it. Her hands were steady as she laced up Laura's gown. The bridesmaids were wearing pale blue gowns similar in style to the queen's, if not quite as ornate. Lady Catherine was at present tending to Kate's hair, while Teyla was laying out Elizabeth's jewels.

Elizabeth herself was as beautiful as Kate had ever seen her, and she was not even fully dressed yet. The underskirt, as deep a blue as the sea, was covered with fine gold embroidery, the kind of workmanship that would be remembered for decades after this day. Her linen blouse also had delicate embroidery at the gathered cuffs and wide neck.

When Elizabeth had finished with Laura, they traded places, and Laura helped the queen into the white and gold surcote. Kate, her own hair fixed, took the brush to Elizabeth's, while Teyla helped with the jewelry. "You are smiling, my lady," Lady Catherine remarked. Elizabeth was indeed beaming happily at everyone and everything.

"Do I not have much to smile about?" Elizabeth asked in reply. "I am a bride, after all."

"Is this where we try to embarrass you about tonight?" Laura asked with her usual sauciness.

"You will not make me blush," Elizabeth replied.

"Oh, I think I could," Laura told her, "but Lord George will be here at any moment and you are still barefooted."

Elizabeth was laughing as she took a seat and Kate knelt before her to help her put on the lace stockings she had been given the night before. When they were on, she stood and stepped into her slippers, just in time for a knock on the door.

Lady Catherine went to answer it, and Elizabeth clutched Kate's hand as well as Laura's. Her cheeks were slightly flushed, and it seemed her nerves were finally showing. Lord George entered the room as Elizabeth embraced Laura, then Teyla, and last of all Kate. When they had drawn away from each other, Kate could but smile at her friend, knowing that nothing she could say was adequate to the occasion.

Finally Elizabeth turned her attention to her guardian. "You look quite dashing, my lord."

"And you are as lovely as ever." He turned to Lady Catherine. "If I remember my daughter's wedding correctly, I believe there is something I must do before I bring the queen to her husband."

"Yes, my lord," Lady Catherine replied. "Kate?"

Kate turned to the table and lifted the lid from the box containing the crown. Lord George retrieved it himself, and Elizabeth bowed her head slightly as he placed it on her. Then he gently took her by the shoulders and kissed her cheeks. "I remember the day you were born," he said quietly. "You were such a pretty baby, and your father was so proud. He would be today as well."

In what seemed to be an effort to stave off tears, Elizabeth looked at her guardian skeptically. "Surely he would not have allowed John within ten miles of me."

Lord George pretended to consider it. "That may be true."

So they were all laughing as they departed the royal chambers, which was as it ought to be. Elizabeth had more than her usual number of guards on this day, with two walking ahead of her and the rest around the group. To Kate's surprise, however, Marcus stayed back and walked alongside her. She took his hand, and they walked side by side all the way to the door of the great hall.

Sarah was somewhat surprised at how Jack had reacted to their daughter's birth. While he'd been anxious about her health and the baby's, he had not been particularly nervous about anything else. After a time, Sarah reminded herself that this was not his first child. He had been a much younger man when Charles was born, but he was confident now.

Or so she would have said until the day of the wedding, when she was standing by the door of their chambers and waiting for him to relinquish Julia to someone else's care. Just before Lady Kate's wedding, Laura had employed a woman to serve as a caretaker for Moira when neither Laura nor Carson could be with her. Mistress Helen was from Athos and had come with Perna's highest praise. She had agreed to look after Julia as well as Moira while Sarah and Jack attended the wedding, but Jack was having trouble letting go.

With a small sigh, Sarah came to his side and laid her hand on his shoulder. "Jack, we are going to be late," she said. "I would imagine that some zealous doorman will refuse to grant us entrance before long."

Jack glared, but then he sighed and handed the baby over to the patient Mistress Helen. "Thank you so much for this," Sarah added to the lady. "We will be back for her after the ceremony."

"Take as much time as you like, my lady," Helen replied. "I can certainly take care of these two little ones for an afternoon."

Sarah took Jack's arm and steered him toward the exit. Once they were out of the room with the door closed behind them, she shook her head. "Honestly, Jack. I would have thought I would have more difficulty leaving her with someone else for a little while."

Jack looked a little embarrassed, but he smiled and patted her hand affectionately.

Jack's rank and his relationship with the queen would have normally placed them in the first row of guests, where Daniel sat with Prince Ronon and the Caldoran princess. But this soon after the birth, Sarah expected she did not have the stamina to stay in the hall as long as they would have to if they were in the crowd down on the floor. Lady Catherine had reserved for them two seats in the gallery, near a secondary entrance which led away from the more public areas of the palace so that they would not have to contend so much with the crowds. This placed them almost directly above Daniel, with a good view of the ceremony.

From here, Sarah was finally able to observe what she had missed in her confinement. She had known for some time that the number of people in attendance would be large, but it was not until she sat in the gallery above them all that she truly understood just how many people had come to the palace in the last few weeks. She couldn't help but wonder where all of them were sleeping.

Jack nudged her with his elbow and gestured down below. "Samantha and her husband," he said, and Sarah saw the pair. They were laughing over something.

"She seems happy," Sarah said.

"I think she is. Much as we all miss her here," he said with a sigh.

Sarah smiled at her husband fondly. "I think I should be glad that you have not had so much time for Daniel and Lord George and Teal'c these last few weeks," she said. "You're maudlin enough over the queen's wedding without their help."

Jack looked dangerously close to sticking his tongue out at her. "I'm not maudlin. I'm contemplative."

Sarah leaned close to him. "She used to be a little girl and you taught her to swim," she said, keeping her voice low. "A wedding is an end as much as it is a beginning. It's all right to be a little sad at weddings, Jack, as long as it's not your own."

That made him laugh, which was the desired effect. He squeezed her hand in silent thanks.

As Elizabeth walked to the great hall, it was impossible not to remember her first wedding, nearly five years ago.  She remembered how the journey through the palace had seemed far too short for the dread building in her heart.  The ceremony itself was a blur, and what came after it had faded to fragments in her memory.  Time had been merciful in that respect.

The wedding party arrived at the last staircase down to the main floor and Elizabeth concentrated on her steps, trusting Kate and Laura to hold her dress up and keep her from tripping.  When she reached the bottom, she drew in a deep breath and pushed the memories away firmly.  This day was not about the past, and she would not allow memories to detract from her happiness.

To Elizabeth's surprise, much of the staff of the palace lined the corridors as she approached the hall.  They bowed or curtsied and offered well wishes as she passed, and she smiled and nodded, touched by the show of affection.  It was a marked difference from the last time she had entered the hall like this, at her coronation, when the hallways had been empty, cleared by the royal guard, who were badly shaken by the attempt to kill her and the death of their captain.

Then as now, though, the great hall and galleries around it were filled to capacity and music played within the room, with the hubbub of voices murmuring underneath it.  The bridal party paused out of sight of the door, waiting until the music changed, signaling the entrance of the bridesmaids.  There was time only for a few whispered words and smiles before it was time.

Laura, Kate and Teyla each embraced her briefly before walking to the door and turning to proceed into the hall.  Watching Teyla vanish from sight, it struck Elizabeth that this was really happening.  After years of speculation, after months of debate and planning, she was about to walk into the great hall and be married to John.

Her mind chose that moment to begin to catalog all the things that could go wrong, from mundane accidents such as someone knocking something over to the ludicrous, such as a surprise Wraith assault, or John changing his mind at the last moment and declaring he would not have her before the entire assembly.

The last one was patently ridiculous, given everything John had endured and sacrificed, but her stomach rolled over at the thought. She clutched the flowers in her hand tightly, feeling dizzy and strange.  But the music had started and Lord George walked forward so she did too, dimly aware of Marcus at her side and the other guards arrayed around her.  The bevy of guards was unpleasant but necessary in such a public space.

Elizabeth attempted to smile as she walked up the aisle but it felt frozen.  She could not identify any faces as she passed through the crowd.  She could seem to think of nothing but the sudden fear squirming in her belly and the racing of her heart.

The journey to the front of the hall seemed interminable as the music soared through the room.  Elizabeth was finally able to focus and saw her friends standing to one side, Master Thor in his simple robes on the dais, and then John, waiting for her.  The rest of the room faded as she drew close enough to see him well.  He was dressed in fine clothes including a doublet that matched her gown, but Elizabeth noted only the expression on his face.  The way he was looking at her, almost in awe, warmed her down to her toes.  Her nervousness vanished as swiftly as it had come and she smiled genuinely at him as she and Lord George reached the altar.  She remembered just in time not to reach for his hand on her own.

The music ended and Master Thor gestured to the audience to be seated.  Lord George bowed.  "Master Thor, as her Majesty's guardian, and in memory of her honored father King Edmund, I bring Queen Elizabeth to be married to this man, Prince John.  Their union has my blessing, and I wish them every joy."

His voice had grown a little gruff as he spoke and though it was not strictly protocol, Elizabeth turned to her guardian and kissed his cheek quickly.  He embraced her once more, then Thor nodded to the groom.  "Prince John?"

John stepped forward and held out his hand, the signal of his acceptance.  Lord George took Elizabeth's hand and placed it in John's, then bowed again and walked away.

Elizabeth could not help but squeeze John's hand tightly for a long moment, drawing reassurance from the warmth and the way he returned the gesture.  He glanced at her, clearly asking a question.  She gave him a helpless shrug and he grinned at her in a way that promised she would be teased about this later.

Fortunately, before either of them could speak and invite Lady Catherine's wrath for breaking protocol, Thor addressed the room. "Friends and honored guests, we have come here today to witness the vows these two will make to each other.  If any person now present knows of any reason that would prevent this union, let him now speak, or henceforth hold his tongue."

There was a perfunctory pause and then Thor turned to face Elizabeth. Teyla stepped forward quickly and took the bouquet from Elizabeth's other hand and then moved back.  Traditionally the groom was asked this question first, but Thor had been uncomfortable with the queen being treated as subordinate.  He had agreed to Elizabeth's other request, though, and so when he spoke, he did not use her rank.  "Elizabeth Weir, do you come here today to be married of your own free will?"

She ignored the murmur in the room and replied steadily, "I do."

"John of Sheppard, do you come here today to be married of your own free will?"

John squeezed her hand again.  "I do."  He had said those words many times today, Elizabeth thought irreverently.

Thor nodded.  "Then face each other and before this assembly, make your vows to each other."

Elizabeth pivoted and joined her other hand with John's.  Again, she went first.  "I take you, John, as my husband, and wholly give myself to you, body, mind and spirit."

John's thumbs stroked the backs of her hands distractingly as he answered in kind, "I take you, Elizabeth, as my wife, and wholly give myself to you, body, mind and spirit."

"Elizabeth and John," Thor continued.  "Before these witnesses, do you promise to love one another as you love yourselves?"

She looked into John's eyes as they answered in unison.  "We do."

"Do you promise to care for each other through good times and bad?"

"We do."

"Do you promise to be faithful to one another for as long as you both shall live?"

Elizabeth noted the slight tightening of John's grip on her hands at the words, but his voice didn't falter as they said again, "We do."

Now came the moment John had been dreading, but he gamely knelt before her.  Elizabeth noted that he went down on both knees, instead of only one as he had done this morning.  Teyla stepped forward and offered Elizabeth the golden crown that had been restored for this purpose. Thor had amended the usual words to the ceremony to account for the lack of flowers.  "Elizabeth, take this crown and with it show that you and John are one, a family of your own from this day forward."

Her hands trembled a little as she lifted the crown and placed it on his head.  Then she nearly laughed at John's expression, which was bordering on sulking.  He seemed to realize it and quickly smoothed his features out, but she could tell he was suppressing a laugh of his own.

She held out her hands and John stood carefully, though the crown had been fitted for him and was unlikely to fall.  Thor then turned to Cameron, who stood behind John.  Elizabeth had barely noticed Cameron, Lord David or Carson until this moment.

"The rings, if you please, your Highness."

John and his cousin exchanged a pair of matching grins as the prince produced the rings expediently and handed them to Thor.  The priest raised his hand.  "Let these rings signify the vows you have made to each other, and bear witness to these vows even if none who are present here today are able to testify to them."

Elizabeth again went first, taking what had been her father's wedding ring and placing it on John's finger.  She lifted his hand and kissed the ring gently as a promise of faithfulness.  John did the same, raising her hand to his lips.  He met her eyes and she thought of the dozens of times he had done so before.  Though the gesture always made her breath catch, this time it symbolized something far more, and she felt a little dizzy.

Thor turned to the side, where Master Hermiod was standing.  He handed Thor a silver cup that bore the crest of Sheppard.  It had been Prince Cameron's gift to them, intended specifically for use at the wedding. "Drink from this, both of you, to signify that you will share both your burdens and your blessings from this day forward."

Elizabeth lifted the cup and carefully took a small sip of the wine, concentrating more on not spilling it on her gown than anything else. John did likewise and handed the cup back to Hermiod.  Then he held out his hands, although that was not part of the ceremony, and Elizabeth placed both her hands in his willingly.

Thor bowed, looking as happy as he was capable of.  "By my authority as the head of the Asgard order and in the presence of these witnesses, with all the blessings of the Asgard and all the people of Atalan, I pronounce you husband and wife."

Music sounded from somewhere and people began to clap but Elizabeth paid no attention.  John framed her face with his hands before he kissed her.  He was not quick about it, deliberately drawing the kiss out and she smiled against his lips at his display.  It was the first time he was able to kiss her in public and clearly he intended to enjoy it.  When he released her he was grinning himself and she rolled her eyes at him despite the audience.  The bells in the tower could be heard ringing over the cheering of the crowd and the music.

Everyone was standing as they turned, her arm linked with her new husband's.  Teyla handed Elizabeth her bouquet back and she drew in a deep breath and let it out.  John covered the hand that lay on his arm with his own, his wedding ring cool against her skin, and as the guards fell into step around them, they walked calmly out of the hall together.

Daniel, unlike Jack and Lord George, had not been in Atlantis when his little cousin was born. He had come three weeks later, and the first time he held Elizabeth, she screamed. Margaret had laughed heartily, and sometimes now when Elizabeth laughed, Daniel thought he heard Margaret's voice instead.

Now, as he watched Elizabeth walk down the aisle with her husband, he wondered what had happened to the intervening twenty years. He had fought in wars, gained a family and lost it, and inherited his mother's title, but seeing Elizabeth married made him feel like he had not accomplished what a man of his age and rank ought to have.

And yet his biggest accomplishment walked before him. Lord George might have been her guardian, but Daniel had invested just as much of himself in her. He had kept his promise to his uncle to teach Elizabeth to rule wisely and compassionately, and a promise to Margaret that her only daughter would never be without family so long as Daniel was alive. As much as it had been a relief to see Elizabeth at her coronation, it was also a joy to see her on her wedding day.

His only real task for the wedding came now that the wedding party itself had left the great hall. As Elizabeth's cousin and the highest ranked nobleman in the land, he was seated with Princess Carolyn, her friend Lady Juliana, and Prince Ronon, and now he escorted them from the hall to the queen's dining room. But Daniel chose a route that went along one of the outer walls, so they could glimpse the celebrations going on outside. Well before they alighted on the parapet, they heard the noise of the crowd below. The residents of the town just outside the palace had gathered, and from the look of it, many had traveled to Atlantis to see this moment.

John and Elizabeth stood near the edge of a parapet overlooking the central square of the city, their attendants not far behind. The new prince waved to the crowd a few times, until Elizabeth elbowed him. Then he turned his attention to her, and she drew him in for a kiss. The throng cheered even louder at that, which prompted John to kiss her again.

Elizabeth rolled her eyes at him, but she leaned into him in the next moment. John wrapped his arm around her and smiled. Daniel had never seen either of them so unabashedly happy, and despite his misgivings about Elizabeth's choice of husband, he had to smile too.

When this appearance to the public was done, John and Elizabeth made their way to the hall, and the two ladies with Daniel joined their husbands. Ronon soon fell in step with Teyla, which would have left Daniel alone. But Kate came to his side and took his arm without a word. He smiled and laid his hand over hers for a moment in thanks.

He did not want to think that he was alone now. Elizabeth was still his family, and now John was as well. Elizabeth had taken another step away from him, though; Lord George would return home to his retirement; Jack had a new wife and a child now. And Daniel remained as he ever was.

He felt no desire to marry again, and he doubted he would unless someone inspired in him the depth of love he had felt for his wife. If that did not come to pass, in time, if everything went well with Elizabeth's marriage, one of her children would likely inherit his title and the estate in Langford. He could probably spend more time in his province now, but truthfully he doubted he would ever be free of the royal court. This place had been his home more than ten years now, and his family was here.

Yes, he concluded, as they arrived at the queen's table, he was content now. The world and the people in it had changed around him, but his lot in life was a good one. He would not complain, and he would not seek change for its own sake.

As they gathered round the table, Elizabeth drew him to sit at her left hand. Unexpectedly, she embraced him. "Elizabeth?" he said lowly.

"Thank you," she whispered. "For everything."

His throat seemed to close over while he embraced her tightly. She was still his dear cousin, and that was something no amount of time could change.

It did not seem quite real to John until he and Elizabeth were standing on the parapet in front of an enormous crowd and she elbowed him to get him to kiss her. The crowd below cheered in delight and John went for a longer kiss the second time. She made a face at him for that, to be sure, but she also let him wrap his arm about her waist, something she had never allowed in a public appearance before this.

Fleetingly, he remembered that morning after the Wraith assault, when he had badly wanted to kiss her and she had pulled away. Never again would they have reason to restrain themselves from a kiss, he thought, and he pressed his lips to her temple as though to prove his point.

A luncheon followed for the wedding party and their closest friends. John wasn't inclined to pay much attention to the meal, as he was all too aware of Elizabeth at his side. She was so near, and yet it would be hours before he would be alone with her. The rest of the day was going to be interminable.

When everyone had eaten, Elizabeth lingered at the table, holding John's hand. On the other side, Cameron set his napkin down and looked to his wife. "Well, Carolyn," he said, "what do you think of weddings here in Atalan?"

"I imagine this one was not representative," she said dryly.

"Neither was yours, I am sure," Elizabeth countered in good humor.

Carolyn smiled. "You are correct. I must say, the one time I was able to see a wedding among commoners, I almost wished mine could be the same."

"You wanted John to officiate?" Cameron asked.

Most of the room burst into laughter at that. Elizabeth looked at John with narrowed eyes. "You never told me that."

"I married Cameron's squire to Mistress Janet's daughter," he said. "I did an excellent job of it if I do say so." The last he said with a smirk, and he leaned in to kiss his wife briefly.

"And Carolyn gave her a white dress, so that Cassie would have something new to wear on her wedding day," Cameron put in, his heart in his eyes as he looked at Carolyn.

"Yes, and Cassie, Valencia, Lady Gairwyn, Mistress Janet, and I spent hours upon hours pulling it to pieces and making it fit her," Carolyn replied. "Had I known I would be giving her that dress, I would have brought an army of seamstresses along with the supplies for the city." She turned thoughtful. "Of course, I might not have had the impulse to give it to her if you hadn't kissed me the previous night."

Someone, probably David Dixon, whistled in appreciation. "Bold," Laura commented.

Cameron shrugged, though he looked embarrassed. "Impulsive."

Carolyn laid her hand over her stomach, a motion that probably didn't have meaning to those in the room who did not know she was carrying a child. "Well," she said slowly, "it was effective."

A few chuckled at that, but Carolyn leaned forward. "Your Majesty, it is terribly impertinent, but I must ask: was your new husband a model of propriety, or was he more like his cousin?"

Elizabeth blushed, but her smile was slightly wicked. "The first time we kissed, you mean? I believe the word 'impulsive' is more than adequate."

That time, everyone shouted with laughter while John felt his neck and ears grow hot. He would have protested, but it was true. At least Elizabeth was able to call on royal privilege and refuse to divulge any further details.

Eventually they had to rise from the table, and the newlyweds removed to Elizabeth's receiving room to once again greet the nobility. When they sat down together, John thought ruefully that the only good part about this was that he got to sit through the parade of well-wishers to come.

In fairness, it was not as bad as it could have been. Though John still did not know many of the dignitaries and their greetings and wishes were often repetitive, it was touching to know that so many people wished him and Elizabeth well in their marriage. They also received a great deal of advice, some of which made him want to roll his eyes, but he restrained himself and followed his wife's lead in thanking each one in turn.

Then at last it was time for the banquet. If he could not be alone with Elizabeth, he would at least be able to dance with her often.

All eyes were on them as the herald announced them and they entered the banquet hall. As John led Elizabeth to their seats at the high table, people on all sides bowed and curtseyed. Then they stood hand in hand while Lord George said to the assembly, "All hail Queen Elizabeth and Prince John!"

The crowd repeated it once and again, and John and Elizabeth exchanged smiles. Then, to the delight of the onlookers, he leaned in and kissed his bride. He still longed to be alone with her, but the sweet, blushing smile she gave him when he drew away warmed him anyway.

Daniel smiled in amusement as Jack slipped into his seat a few minutes after the queen and her new husband had arrived. "I trust Sarah is resting comfortably?"

Jack nodded. "The child was fussing and I did not like to leave until she was settled."

Teal'c inclined his head from the other side of the table. "If you tarry every time the child cries, O'Neill, you may never leave, or so my wife has told me."

Jack shot a grumpy look at his old friend while Daniel hid another smile. Then Jack sighed. "Perna and Beckett both say she is recovering as well as can be expected. She seems far more tired than Laura was at this point, though."

Daniel patted his shoulder. "But Sarah is some years older, and I'm told childbearing grows more difficult with time." He pushed away memories of Elizabeth's mother and the toll each successive pregnancy had taken on her. "If Perna says she will heal, I would trust her. She is highly accomplished in her craft."

His words unfortunately drew raised eyebrows from his friends. Before Jack could begin to mock him about the midwife to distract from his own worries, a different distraction appeared at the table and all three men rose immediately. "Samantha!"

In the flurry of activity following her arrival, Daniel and Jack had not had a chance to talk to Sam at length. There had been time only for brief greetings before she had to leave to attend Elizabeth's bridal tea and supper. She introduced Martouf to Teal'c and sat down on Daniel's other side. "I believe Lady Catherine pulled some strings to seat us among friends rather than at the edge of the room," she said with a smile.

"I believe you displaced Woolsey, for which I am eternally grateful," Jack said with a grin.

"Life among the Tok'ra seems to agree with you," Daniel observed after a few minutes spent recapping the wedding ceremony. Martouf and Teal'c were speaking of something, and Sam leaned closer to Daniel.

She smoothed a hand over her stomach. Her condition was not greatly visible yet but those who knew her well could spot it. "So far. It is strange in many respects, and I miss home at times. I was deeply relieved when Martouf was chosen as ambassador, for it will allow us to visit more than we would have managed otherwise."

Jack shook his head. "Some days I still cannot believe that you were willing to settle so far from home, among people whose ways are so foreign." Jack had never been entirely happy about Sam's marriage. Daniel thought sometimes that it was more that Jack missed Sam's ability to understand his paperwork and keep him in order than concern over her safety.

She looked at Jack for a moment in silence. "It shouldn't surprise you, Jack, that I would travel farther and stay away longer than either of you ever managed." She was smiling slightly but there was an undercurrent of warning in her voice. Daniel suspected this was some old argument between them, for Jack looked away, somewhat sheepishly.

Sam glanced toward the queen's table and lowered her voice. "I've not yet heard much of the battle with the Wraith, but this is not the best time to discuss it, I fear."

Daniel nodded. "How long will you be staying?"

"A few weeks. Martouf has diplomatic matters to discuss with the queen, but they will keep until after her wedding is concluded."

Hearing his name, Sam's husband and Teal'c turned their attention to the rest of the table. "I hope your wife will recover, Lord Jonathan, before we depart," said Martouf. "I should like to meet her. Samantha has told me much of her."

"Not to mention that I expect an introduction to young Lady Julia," Sam added merrily. "It is too bad that the birth happened so close to the wedding and Sarah must miss the celebrations."

Teal'c observed with his usual calm demeanor, "Perhaps the queen will throw a party to celebrate the new Tok'ra ambassador before your departure, Lady Samantha. Then Lady Sarah would have the opportunity to dance with her husband."

Jack looked horrified by that idea, and Sam and Daniel both burst out laughing while Teal'c raised an eyebrow at Jack's irritated expression. The servers appeared a moment later and the five of them spent most of the meal exchanging news and gossip as of old.

Given that neither bride nor groom had parents living, the traditional second dance of the wedding feast had to be modified somewhat. Lord George was gratified that Elizabeth insisted on giving him the honor, while her new husband cajoled Lady Catherine to stop fussing with the details and dance with him. The music was a slow tune, and George knew that Elizabeth had ordered it so to keep him from exerting himself too much.

She was glowing with happiness, he observed as they circled the dance floor. He had rarely seen her so contented and free of worries. He wished it could always be so, but at least she had this day to herself.

He embraced her tightly at the end of the song before relinquishing her back to her husband.

George retreated to his table, where he was seated with a number of men, including Lord Henry of Iolan, an old friend. When the Goa'uld had been threatening the northern coasts, Henry had been Iolan's ambassador to Atlantis, and had been an advisor to King Edmund through more than one conflict.

Jacob Carter was also at the table, recounting to Henry the circumstances of his daughter's marriage to Martouf of the Tok'ra. The ceremony differed rather significantly from the Atalanian version. When he had finished the tale, Jacob turned to George. "This is the last of our young people to wed, then, except Lady Teyla."

George sighed. "I hope so. I am not sure I have any strength left for worrying about suitors."

"I met the lost Prince of Sateda when he arrived," Henry observed with a twinkle in his eye.

"How certain are we that he is who he says?" Jacob asked George.

He spread his hands. "The queen is certain, although I suspect the service he rendered the country by delivering the warning, and rescuing her personally, matters more at this point."

"That explains the prominence he has been granted in the court," Jacob said, glancing at the queen's table, where Prince Ronon sat speaking with Carson Beckett, though Beckett seemed to be doing more of the speaking.

"There may be a way to tell. A number of Satedans sought refuge in Iolan after the Wraith destroyed the island," Henry said.

George nodded. "I believe the queen shared that information with him. Lady Teyla commented that she expected him to make for Iolan after the wedding was past."

Jacob raised his eyebrows. "She takes an active interest in his comings and goings, then?"

"She may feel some kinship with him. Her mother's home is not far from Sateda." The other two men merely looked at him for a moment and he shook his head. "All right, I don't quite believe that either."

They all chuckled at that.

"Teyla will make her own decisions, just as her mother and father did, regardless of public opinion," Jacob said.

George nodded. "I remember when she and Tagan returned to court at Elizabeth's invitation, after all those years. I was startled by how much she looked like her mother." He had remembered Teyla as a cheerful little girl, a sharp contrast to the poised young woman who had returned with her father to visit the princess.

"Didn't her mother go against her family's wishes by marrying a foreigner?" Henry inquired.

"Possibly that is a family trait," Jacob said, amused.

"I expect it is too soon to know either way. I gathered the prince will not stay in Atlantis long, and he has no definite idea of when he will return. I do not see Teyla waiting fruitlessly at home, not when her power and influence in court have grown so much over the last year," George pointed out.

"Gentlemen," Henry interjected, "I fear we are treading close to behaving like three old ladies, with nothing better to do than gossip."

George laughed, but Jacob shrugged. "Most politics is some form of gossip in my experience, Henry."

"Then at least let us call it by the more dignified name," Henry replied with a grin.

Being both John's cousin and the highest ranking man in the room, when Cameron approached the newlyweds after their third dance together and requested the honor of the queen's hand, he could not be refused. John scowled at him for interrupting, but Elizabeth laughed as she granted his request. "I am sorry, cousin, but you cannot expect to monopolize your wife's time just now," Cameron told John. "It is a banquet. You cannot keep the same partner for every dance."

John would have argued the point, but Lady Kate appeared to ask the queen if she needed anything. The queen looked at John until he asked Kate to dance with him, and as the music started again, both couples joined the other dancers.

This dance was less romantic than the previous few, which suited Cameron's taste well. "You are light on your feet, Highness," Elizabeth commented.

He smiled. "As are you, my lady, but I must owe any such skill to my sword master and not to a dance master."

She laughed at that. "I imagine most young men are more interested in fighting than in dancing."

"It certainly seems more practical to a boy's mind."

"I imagine a number of girls would think so as well, given the opportunity," she replied dryly.

The dance's complexity increased then, and Cameron focused more on his steps than on his conversation. The queen did not seem to mind. At the end of the dance, she took his arm and they walked toward the edges of the room. Their combined guards gave them a small amount of privacy from the guests. Many eyes were watching them. Cameron was gradually becoming used to this kind of scrutiny in Redwater, but it still took much concentration on his part to ignore the stares and maintain his composure.

His companion was aware of the attention they were receiving. "I think they are as interested in you as they have been in the wedding," the queen said lowly. "I hope you intend to exceed their expectations."

It took Cameron a moment to understand her meaning, but she was speaking of his eventual ascension to the throne in Caldora. "I intend to do the best I can," he replied. "No matter how long my father-in-law's reign lasts, there will be work remaining."

Elizabeth nodded. "It's been eighteen years since the Ori came, yet we are not recovered from them," she said. "We cannot know yet if the Wraith are gone for good, but even if they are, it will take a long time to rebuild."

For a few moments, they walked in silence. John had told him once before that Atalan had lost far more than most Caldorans had ever imagined. The lady beside him had grown up knowing the challenge before her. Cameron could not decide if that was an advantage or not. One thing was clear, though. The queen could certainly be a help to him. "Your Majesty, I wonder if I might have permission to write to you," he said. "My father-in-law speaks most highly of you. I believe there is much I could learn from such correspondence."

"It would be an honor, Cameron," she replied, without pretense. "My marriage to your cousin may do much for the relations between our two countries, but peace and friendship require more than that. We cannot know what the future holds, but it is likely that your reign will coincide with the greater part of mine. It would be in our best interests, I believe, if we understood each other before that day arrives."

Cameron nodded to her. "That is an excellent notion."

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Carolyn approaching them with Stephen Caldwell. The guards allowed them through, and Cameron noted the queen's formal expression did not change much. Carolyn was smiling, though, so he smiled back at her. The queen released his arm, giving him leave to kiss his wife's hand and draw her near. "Allow us to offer our congratulations again, my lady," Cameron said. He would tell Carolyn about his conversation with the queen when they could speak privately. "We wish you and Lord – pardon me, Prince John the very best."

Elizabeth grinned, probably in part at his mistake. Caldwell offered to dance with the queen, which she accepted, and Cameron was left with his wife. While the next dance started, he leaned down to speak lowly in her ear. "I would not say this before my cousin, but you were a more beautiful bride."

Carolyn rolled her eyes at him, though she also smiled. Cameron slipped his arm around her waist and they watched the dancers begin to spin around the room as the ball continued.

Kate excused herself from her conversation with Lord William and Lady Beatrice and made her way to the queen's table.  Elizabeth was sitting and speaking with Lord George and Kate wanted to see if she needed anything. There were, of course, servants scattered all over the room, and if the queen had wanted something, anyone in the room would have seen to it, but old habits were difficult to break.

John was dancing with Teyla, the two of them grinning over something. Laura and her husband were speaking with the Caldoran ambassador, and Daniel appeared to be deep in conversation with Princess Carolyn, whose husband was dancing with Lady Juliana. Kate sought the seat next to Elizabeth, shooting a smile at Marcus where he stood stoically behind the queen's chair.

She was a little disappointed that her husband could not be at her side through this evening, but Marcus had been firm that with so many people present, his duty to the queen had to come first. Elizabeth had resisted for a time, wanting all her friends to be able to enjoy this day with her. But Kate knew Marcus too well and did not to try to dissuade him.

Elizabeth and her guardian were laughing and the queen signaled for more wine to be brought. A waiter appeared almost immediately to refill the elegant glass goblets placed on the table. Teyla's toast to the happy couple earlier had not left a dry eye in the room. Elizabeth sat back in her chair.

"Do you need anything, my lady?" Kate asked, while Lord George's attention was drawn elsewhere.

Elizabeth's lips twitched. "For nightfall to arrive sooner?"

Kate giggled, her cheeks flushing slightly. She remembered that impatience from her own wedding supper. But she teased right back. "You have waited nearly two years, Elizabeth. You can wait two more hours."

Elizabeth sighed theatrically, then sat up straighter as something caught her attention. "Oh dear."


"I believe Prince Ronon has been cornered by Lady Rohesia."

Kate followed Elizabeth's gaze and indeed found Lady Rohesia Hurst fawning over Ronon near the far wall of the room. Even from a distance Ronon's body language was stiff and unhappy.

Kate exchanged a glance with Elizabeth before rising. She took a sip of wine and then grinned. "I suppose it is only fair for one of us to rescue him this time."

That left Elizabeth laughing and even Marcus grinned at her as Kate threaded through the revelers. As she approached, she noted that Ronon was fidgeting so badly it seemed possible he was simply going to bolt out of the room. Hastening her steps, she placed a gentle hand on Lady Rohesia's shoulder. "Forgive my interruption, my lady, but the prince has promised me a dance that he has yet to deliver."

Ronon blinked at her stupidly for nearly a minute before he understood. Lady Rohesia lamented the loss of his company and wagged her fan at him, saying she hoped he would do her the same honor later. Fortunately, Ronon's rank meant he could ignore requests from anyone in the room save Elizabeth or Princess Carolyn with impunity.

The next song was a simple folk tune that Kate recognized from Laura's wedding. As she and Ronon joined the dancers, Kate spotted Laura and Carson already whirling about the floor giddily. Ronon put his arm about her waist and as they waited to catch the time, he squeezed her hand briefly. "Thank you," he blurted out, with obvious relief in his voice.

Kate chuckled. "The queen and I agreed that this was a good way to repay the debt we owe to you."

Ronon's eyebrows went up, but before he could say anything Kate seized the cue and they began the dance. The steps were not complicated, but they were very fast and there was little breath left over for talking. Despite his years in exile, the prince was a graceful dancer and a strong partner and Kate enjoyed the motion and the music immensely. She wondered in the back of her mind whether such a display of prowess on the dance floor might not make Ronon more of a target, but that, she supposed with an inner smile, was something Teyla could help better than her.

The music ended and as the dancers applauded, Kate felt a touch on her back. Thankfully, it was not some other lady of the court intent on Ronon, but Marcus. His hand rested on the small of her back possessively, but he smiled at Kate and bowed respectfully to Ronon. "Your Highness, the prince and the queen sent me to invite you to join them for a spell at their table."

Ronon hurried off so quickly Kate would have been insulted if she had not known better. A glance at Elizabeth's table indeed showed that John was seated next to Elizabeth on one side, with Daniel and Cameron sitting near on her other. Stackhouse and Ford were behind them. Kate had a strong suspicion her friend was intentionally sitting out the set to allow Marcus a brief period of freedom, but she was not about to question the opportunity.

Marcus bowed to her with a sly expression. "My lady, if I may request the honor of the next dance?"

Kate curtsied to him playfully. "You may, sir."

Marcus took her hand and drew her close as the next dance began.

Laura slipped into the empty seat next to Elizabeth while Kate danced with Marcus. "How much cajoling did it take to get the captain to leave your side?" Laura asked of the queen.

"I did not have to give a direct order, but you may imagine anything up to that," Elizabeth replied. "I think he is enjoying himself anyway."

Indeed, Kate was laughing at something while Marcus smiled. It was refreshing to see them both so happy when normally neither of them was disposed to displays of emotion.

Prince Ronon joined them at the table and Elizabeth nodded to him, but he was quickly joined in conversation by John and his cousin, so the queen was free to lean over to Laura and continue. "What do you imagine they are saying?"

Laura smiled mischievously as they watched Kate and Marcus spinning around the floor. "Your dancing is much improved, husband," she said for Kate.

"I have been practicing. I may find dancing generally distasteful, but I would do anything to avoid your disapprobation."

"Disapprobation?" Laura repeated, laughing. Elizabeth had always had a penchant for such long words. Laura could not quite envision Marcus saying such a thing. "I think it is Master Grodin's censure you fear more," she continued.

"I thought he would rap my knuckles for my performance two days ago."

Laura's laughter increased to the point that she could not answer right away. When she did, the music was coming to an end and she was wiping her eyes. "You have more than compensated for any deficiencies, Captain."

"Then I will steal a kiss."

Marcus did indeed kiss his wife chastely, which set Elizabeth and Laura both into a fit of giggles. It continued despite the notice of everyone immediately nearby, and even despite the return of the couple they were laughing at. Marcus took up his usual post, but Kate seemed to know, whether through instinct or the acquaintance of more than ten years, that she had just been the object of their humor. She ignored their giggling and took the empty chair on Laura's other side. "Whatever the joke was, I hope it was a good one," she remarked dryly.

"Oh, it was," Elizabeth replied, composing herself somewhat. "But I think I may owe some of its worth to the lateness of the hour. It has been a long day."

"It is not as though any of us will be getting much sleep tonight," Laura pointed out.

Even after all these years it was still Kate who blushed and objected. "Laura."

"There will be no business to attend in the morning, no reason for any of us to stir from our beds early," she said calmly. "I intend to enjoy my husband's company tonight as much as I can." There was a good chance that Moira would not sleep well, but she would not let that dampen her spirits.

Elizabeth's gaze traveled across the length of the hall, to the windows facing west. Laura looked too and saw that the midsummer sun had finally set. "Is it time to retire, my lady?" Kate asked quietly.

This time, Elizabeth did blush, but her voice was steady as she said, "Yes, I believe it is."

Together they rose from the table. That caught Prince John's attention, and he met Elizabeth's gaze for a long moment. Laura had witnessed this many times before, but the silent communication seemed much more intense now than at any time previously. Then Elizabeth turned away, and Kate and Laura fell in place behind her as they and Elizabeth's guards followed them out.

Once they had crossed to the more private areas of the palace, Laura and Kate both caught up to Elizabeth. Laura took Elizabeth's arm and said, "How long, Kate, do you think we have before the prince follows us?"

"Not long at all," Kate replied, grinning. Elizabeth blushed again, but they all laughed together as they hurried up to her bedchamber.

The party continued even after the bride and groom left, though many of the high profile guests like the Prince and Princess of Caldora quietly departed the room soon after. Lord George and most of the older guests were beginning to slip away as well. Teyla was pleasantly tired and growing weary of the noise and heat in the ballroom, but she spotted Ronon lurking near the wall. Her feet were moving before she really thought about it.

Despite spending a good portion of the evening in her company, he did not seem unhappy to see her. Teyla stepped up beside him and surveyed the remaining revelers. "Have you enjoyed the feast, your Highness?"

He shot her a baleful look for the formality but nodded. "Yes." After a pause he added, "I did not attend many weddings when I was younger, but I think the Satedan ceremony was similar."

"Clearly your dancing skills were deeply ingrained," Teyla said lightly, not wanting him to brood too much.

Ronon snorted. "I suppose I should be grateful to the dance teacher, though forgetting would have provided me a better excuse."

She laughed at that, though she also began to yawn. The last several days had been long and stressful, but she was not entirely ready to retire yet. In truth, she was reluctant to give up Ronon's company either, but he did not need to know that. She glanced outside. The day had been somewhat overcast, but it was not raining. "I think I would like to walk for a bit, down to the shore where it will be quieter. Would you care to join me?"

He looked relieved and offered her his arm. Teyla knew the court gossips were probably noticing them leaving the room arm-in-arm but she put it out of mind. They walked down the hallways, ending up near the entrance to the castle where they had fought the Wraith not long ago. The area had been cleaned and tended so that few traces of the battle remained, though Teyla knew she would never forget that night.

They headed for the shore, where the memories were less pressing. The night was pleasantly cool after the party, and there was no fog to block the view of the harbor. Also it was blissfully quiet, with only the low sound of the ocean and the lapping of the small waves at their feet. The slim moon was peeking out from behind clouds, and Teyla could just make out the distant lights of Athos far across the water.

They stood in silence for some time. Teyla reflected that she rarely felt comfortable with silence with many people outside of Athos. In court she was too worried about what they might say next. Ronon, she suspected, would never be very talkative, even in the future.

Eventually the clock tolled the hour and Teyla shook herself slightly. It was getting rather late and as pleasant as this was, if she lingered out here with Ronon for much longer, ugly rumors might start in court before dawn. He glanced at her and she gathered her thoughts. "Do you know how long you will stay now that the wedding is done?"

"A few more days. I promised the crew a week's time on shore." He looked at her uncertainly. "Is the invitation to visit Athos still open?"

She put a hand on his arm. "Always," she promised.

He covered her hand with his own. Teyla was used to keeping her hands mostly out of sight, as they were scarred and worn by hard labor, a great contrast to the soft skin of most of the ladies of the court. Ronon's hands were in worse shape, but his fingers were long and his hand covered hers in warmth. "I brought something with me. I intended to ask the queen's people to keep it, but I think I would rather know it was in your hands while I am away."

Teyla nodded, somewhat mystified, until he explained. "While I was in Sateda, I managed to find a few small things which the Wraith had not destroyed or taken. I would have them somewhere safe, so that I know they will not be lost again."

Her throat tightened for a moment. It was hardly the type of romantic gesture from a song or story, but she was deeply moved that Ronon would entrust the only pieces of his old life to her for safekeeping. "I would be honored."

She met his eyes, which was a mistake, since he leaned down and kissed her. He was gentle and cautious, as he had been the other night on the balcony, a great contrast to what she remembered, but she thrilled down to her toes anyway. It took all her strength to limit herself to one kiss and quietly suggest they should be heading back.

When they separated for the night, he raised her hand to his lips in the polite fashion, the first time he had done so. She was startled by the way the gesture left a fluttering sensation in her belly she had never felt before. She had new sympathy for Elizabeth's dazed reaction whenever John did the same thing. Ronon seemed to guess her feelings but said nothing, merely smiled and bade her good night.

Teyla went to her own chambers, flustered but content. She did not know precisely what the future would bring, with the Wraith defeated and her life no longer dominated by worrying about her people's safety. Her role in court would change in ways she could not predict. But as she prepared for bed, she thought of Ronon and for the first time in many years, she allowed herself to feel hopeful, not for Atalan or for her people, but for herself.

John departed the feast a few minutes after Elizabeth, not wanting to remain and give his cousin and friends the opportunity to tease him more. The hallways were mostly empty, though it was disconcerting when the servants he passed stopped to curtsey or bow to him. Finally John reached the rooms adjacent to Elizabeth's, closing the door on his two guards.

His valet was waiting for him. The young man had been assigned to assist John when he returned to Atlantis last year as the Marquis of Sheppard, a guest in the queen's court rather than a lowly knight. John had retained him largely because the man seemed to know when to be silent, as now.

John changed out of the finery of his wedding clothes, which the valet laid aside carefully. Elizabeth had warned him they would have to sit for a portrait in the coming days. John could think of little in the world more boring than that, but it was another unavoidable consequence of marrying a queen.

The servant bowed and left and John was faced with the door that led to Elizabeth's chamber. He could hear the murmur of female voices, suggesting that Kate and Laura were still there. He lingered for a few minutes, allowing his body to relax after the heat and noise of the ballroom. Finally he approached the door, then hesitated. Regardless of what privileges he had as the queen's consort, barging in unannounced probably wasn't a wise idea, especially tonight. He elected to knock and wait for Elizabeth's quiet, "Come in, John," before entering.

Laura and Kate were finishing straightening the room. They both curtsied to him, saying, "Your Highness." John was too distracted by the sight of Elizabeth to remember to be discomfited by his new title. He paid little attention as they left the room grinning.

His wife was wearing a thin dressing gown of pure white, and her hair was loose over her shoulders. She had looked beautiful in her wedding gown, but this was, well, something slightly different.

She smiled at him, but he could see she was nervous. Wordlessly he embraced her, framing her face with his hands and kissing her slowly, as he'd been longing to all evening. Soon Elizabeth had her arms around his neck and her body was pliant against his. John couldn't resist running his hands over her back. Usually when he touched her it was through multiple layers of clothing, aside from that one dangerous encounter before the Wraith attack. Now, knowing only the thin fabric was between his fingers and her skin made the hunger he'd been nursing for all these months flare up uncontrollably and he kissed her frantically.

Elizabeth drew away, breathing deeply, and giggling when he nuzzled her neck. "John?"


She reached for his left hand with her own, looking down at their wedding rings. "You realize what this means?"

He raised his eyebrows. "That we're married?"

She laughed and shook her head. "Nothing happened."


"The world didn't end. No disasters arose to stop the wedding."

He thought about that for a moment, noticing the tension that had been haunting him for weeks was finally gone. He sighed, wrapping his arms around Elizabeth's waist. "That is a relief, Elizabeth."

She put her arms around his neck again but paused, looking thoughtful. "Well, nothing has happened yet."

He glared and she shot him a mischievous look. Then she yelped as he lifted her into his arms unexpectedly. He carried her to the bed. "In that case, we should probably not waste any more time, my lady."

Elizabeth laughed, drawing him into a kiss and pulling him down to the bed with her. John returned it enthusiastically, and they did not stop kissing for a very long time.

She pushed at his shoulders, though, until he pulled away. "You are severely overdressed, my lord," she observed with a wicked smile, tugging his tunic up. John let her help him undress, though the process was slowed by Elizabeth's hands wandering over his body as she saw him for the first time. His ears began to burn with the way she looked at him so intently, so he reached for the belt of her dressing gown.

Elizabeth tensed slightly, probably an instinctive reaction after so many months of restraint, but John brushed his lips against hers. "Let me see you," he begged lowly and she relaxed, allowing him to open the gown and push it off her shoulders.

For long seconds he was transfixed by the sight of her, unable to do anything but stare, until he noticed she looked uneasy at the silence. Could she possibly think he would reject her for some reason? Now? Instinct took over and he kissed her fervently, murmuring against her lips how beautiful she was, how much he wanted her. Once he began talking, he couldn't quite stop, endearments slipping from him as his hands and his mouth began to explore her body thoroughly. Soon Elizabeth's fingers were buried in his hair and she was arching against him, kissing him wildly. John clung desperately to his own self-control, determined to avoid causing her pain as much as possible.

Eventually his own desire was too strong, and he met Elizabeth's gaze as their bodies were joined for the first time. Her green eyes were dark and wide and amazingly clear in the light of the small fire. He could see so much in her expression – always they had been able to communicate so many things without speaking. For a long moment, they remained still, looking at one another. Then Elizabeth traced his jaw with light fingertips and stretched up to kiss him, murmuring his name.

Carefully he began to move, Elizabeth slowly matching him as the need began to build between them. He held himself back for as long as he could stand out of deference for Elizabeth, until her nails dug into his shoulders and he grunted in surprise.

"I am not made of glass, John," she reminded him, her voice low and rough with desire but still causing a shiver to go down his spine.

He could only nod, kiss her sloppily and push both Elizabeth and himself toward the peak, until their voices mingled in shared pleasure. John slowly settled with his face pressed against her shoulder and his arms protecting her from taking all of his weight, wondering if she could feel the way he was shaking. He had wanted her for so long, dreamed of her for so many nights, he almost could not believe this was real.

He had no sense of how much time passed, aware of the small tremors in Elizabeth's body, the soft sounds of her breathing and her fingers trailing through his hair. He rubbed his face against her skin absently, smiling when the motion made Elizabeth shift underneath him. He kissed his way along her neck back to her lips, enjoying the prospect of learning every place on her body he could touch and caress to provoke that reaction.

For now, his tired body insisted on resting, though. John collapsed onto the mattress beside her, pleased when Elizabeth fit her body against his. She intertwined their fingers and John absently brought her hand to his lips.

"So," he said, craning his neck to look at her. "I trust that did not count as a disaster?"

Elizabeth giggled, her cheeks turning a lovely shake of pink. John foresaw himself provoking that blush as often as he could manage for the next few months too. "No, John, it did not," she told him, resting her head on his chest. His fingers tangled in her hair and he felt more contented than he ever had in his life.

He was not a man who spent a great deal of time pondering the vagaries of the world, but he could not help but think of the roads that had led him here. Little more than a whim to see the ocean and the great city of Atlantis had drawn him over the mountains. And, he smiled to himself, an impartial curiosity to see the fabled beauty of Princess Elizabeth of Atalan. He hadn't expected to fall in love or find a home, but here he was, her husband and consort.

However, the queen was not about to let him off that easily. She sighed happily and then observed, "Of course, the night is hardly over."

He could feel Elizabeth's lips curving in a teasing smile against his skin. John tugged her up so that she was hovering above him, then let his hands begin to wander as she smirked. "No, my lady, it is only just beginning," he told her. Elizabeth leaned down to kiss him even as she laughed.

gravity.not.included: sgagrav_ity on May 5th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)

Oh, I think my favourite scene was the chatting between George, Hayes and Jacob. And everything Dixon does, obviously, as apparently he is my hero.


Is...is it over? Or is there one more?
Melyannamelyanna on May 5th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
One more fic. Once we finish editing. ;)
the_scary_kitty: City on the edge of forever...the_scary_kitty on May 5th, 2012 03:50 am (UTC)
And... absolutely nothing bad happened at all. I knew it! LOL!

Anyway... SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! THEY'RE FINALLY MARRIED!!!!! *fialis* While that wedding night scene may not have been very explicit, it still left me swooning after the years of anticipation! Quiet, sweet, and utterly romantic. Love it. *fans self* Speaking of anticipation, Teyla and Ronon have got me curling my toes. :D

I really enjoyed all the little cross-section of the court scenes before and during the feast. They make me a little sad, as everyone's stories are now being wrapped up pretty neatly, but it's satisfying too. Though with everything that's been covered in this and the last couple of stories, I wonder what the final story in the series will entail. Should I be afraid, or should I put some champagne on ice to chill? *smirks*
Fafers' Journal: Britta Shirly Squeefaith_king on May 5th, 2012 05:20 am (UTC)
Everything was wonderful. I have to say, though, out of everything I think I might have fangirled the most at Original SG-1 all being at the same table. ;-)

(and also privately assume that Jonas was one of the musicians) ;-)

Daniel's "I am alone but not alone" scene made me a bit weepy.

Loved the last conclusion in Teyla's scene.

Little more than a whim to see the ocean and the great city of Atlantis had drawn him over the mountains.

*happy sigh* And we've been through so much since then!

Bravo, ladies. Bravo.
rebakathy: Torri is Love!rebakathy on May 5th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
There are very few stories out there that give you such a feeling of warmth and contentment upon reading them. This series has definitely qualified for that. I look forward to the next story, but will be sad to see the journey ending. As always....amazing!
Mary: SGA Con J/T hugglespheniox_girl on May 5th, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)

I'm just so happy to finally see this wedding I can't even process! But it's sad at the same time because that means this story as a whole is almost over :-(
Vicky: [Atlantis] Sparky - Flirtvickysg1 on May 5th, 2012 08:46 am (UTC)
I LOVE THIS! It's so awesome! I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was reading the fic. The wedding was really beautiful, and I love that John just couldn't resist kissing her for longer than he was supposed too. And I just can see the moment on the balcony, and how beautiful it was.

I love Henry, George and Jacob gossiping but deciding to call it anything but that! *giggles* But yeah, they were gossiping!

And the wedding night. Definitely not work safe, but damn, it was hot! I think that from now on, Kate and Laura and whoever is attending John will have some difficulties getting them out of bed! :P
angelqueen04: sg ren - aq axisangelqueen04 on May 5th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)

This was so amazing! Heh, after stringing the readers -- and the characters ;D -- along with such an amazing story and romance, the conclusion was sheer brilliance! My hat is off to you both for weaving it so well! :)

Heh, loved the kiss on the balcony. I was having flashbacks to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and all the other couples who kissed on the balcony at Buckingham Palace. ;)

Little more than a whim to see the ocean and the great city of Atlantis had drawn him over the mountains. And, he smiled to himself, an impartial curiosity to see the fabled beauty of Princess Elizabeth of Atalan.

Teehee! Pretty oceans and pretty cities and pretty princesses FTW! They bring together DESTINY! ;D

Such a lovely ending to the story! Of course, you say that there is one more story to be had, which makes me incredibly nervous. Because I'm sure you both intend to go out with a bang. Just what kind of bang, I don't know, but I fear I shall be a little twitchy in the coming weeks. ;D

Again, amazing job! :)
mathgirl24: sparky-the-lookmathgirl24 on May 5th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
Yay!! I smiled my whole way through this story. Wonderfully done, writers!
(Anonymous) on May 6th, 2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
have to de-lurk for a moment and say brava to the creators of this wonderful series

amazing, vivid, compelling work from start to finish

can't wait to see what the last story is -- future-fic? baby-fic? the mind reels

thanks, all, what a terrific ride this was!