Theme: Five Rooms -- Bedroom
Pairing: Carson Beckett/Laura Cadman
Summary: Carson tells the best stories...
A/N: Future ficlet; set several years into the Atlantis expedition. Thanks to chasingkerouac for not letting me cut huge chunks of it out in my fit of wanton perfectionism, heh.
[ Entire series now cross-posted to beckett_cadman, sga_noticeboard, and my fandom journal, spazzula ]
"Tell me a story, Carson."
I could feel his smile against the back of my neck, and the vibration of his laughter in his chest. "A bit old for bedtime stories, aren't you, love?"
"Nope," I insisted. "Never too old. Besides, I can't sleep, and you tell the best stories."
I was buttering him up, and judging from the soft snort in my ear, he knew it. I tilted my head slightly against my pillow, fixing one wide eye on him over my shoulder.
He chuckled again, and wrapped his arms tighter around my waist. "Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess that lived in a floating city in the middle of the ocean. She was very beautiful, but also very capable, and it was generally accepted by everyone in the city that she could kick just about any of the men’s arses if they looked at her crossways."
"I hope you're talking about me and not Teyla," I said solemnly. "Because I get jealous easily."
"Hush, lass," Carson scolded. "Or don't you want to hear about the princess's adventures exploring the city and the worlds beyond?"
"Adventures are good," I conceded. "As long as she gets the prince in the end, at least."
"Oh, aye," Carson agreed. "Wouldn't have it any other way. After lots of hardships and challenges, of course -- all of which she manages to overcome brilliantly, without so much as breaking a nail."
"Of course," I sniffed smugly. "Bring on the space vampires and evil mad scientists, she can handle it."
Carson chuckled, and pressed a soft kiss to the back of my neck. "Listen to you, so blasé. Quite a far cry from when you first arrived -- I told you you'd get used to it all eventually, didn't I?"
It took me a moment to put my finger on what he meant, and I turned slightly in Carson's arms, surprised. "What?"
"When I first met you, I told you you'd get used to the insanity," Carson clarified. "What, you don’t remember?"
"Of course I remember," I protested. "I just didn't think you would."
"Why wouldn't I?" he asked, puzzled.
"Oh, let's see: because you were patching up half the city after the Wraith siege, and greeting every single new face from the Daedalus. Not to mention you probably hadn't slept at all in a week," I told him wryly.
Carson reached up to brush a stray lock of hair back from my face. "I have an excellent memory for lovely young women with sharp senses of humor," he assured me.
"Just as long as you remember that this one doesn't share well," I chuckled, and settled myself back in his embrace again. "Now, finish my story, please," I commanded as regally as I could manage.
It couldn't have been more than a couple of hours later when I woke with a start, Carson's arm still looped loosely around my ribcage. His breathing was slow and even, but it wasn’t Carson who had jerked me out of a sound sleep.
I blinked, going slightly cross-eyed as I focused on the pair of wide, innocent blue eyes not six inches from my own, peering seriously at me from the edge of the bed.
“Mommy?” the little girl fretted tearfully. “Rupert can’t sleep.”
I sighed, and held out my arms. With Rupert the teddy bear in tow, she scrambled onto the bed, and curled up between me and Carson. He stirred, and lifted his own head to murmur at her sleepily.
“If Rupert asks very nicely, maybe Daddy will tell him a story,” I whispered to her solemnly, and tucked her pale blond head under my chin as I gave Carson a slow, impish wink.
He did tell the best stories, after all.