Title: Waking Dreams
Author: Mer
Genre: General
Warnings: Character death, non-graphic violence
Season/Spoilers: season 1, vaguely season 2, but no spoilers, really
Summary: Elizabeth Weir's reflections on the fall of Atlantis (character death, angst, friendshippy)
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. I'm just borrowing them for a bit.

AN: This one's a solo effort by Mer, who is now addicted to fic'ing thanks to Firegate :P Thanks a ton to Hah who beta'd and came up with the title :D And Em for her ideas too ;)

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Waking Dreams

By Mer

In her darkest hours, when Elizabeth had imagined the city of Atlantis falling, it had always been to the Wraith - not to other humans who should have been allies against a common enemy. She had seen enough of humans killing each other back on Earth; was this destined to be their fate on every planet, in every galaxy?

They had come one quiet night; one hundred and twenty Genii soldiers stormed the gate, killing everyone in their path. We never did find out how they'd acquired the IDC code; it didn't matter now. "Bring me Major Sheppard" were the first words Kolya had spoken.

They'd brought him into the control room with his hands cuffed behind his back, lip bloodied and swollen. No chance for heroics this time. He grinned at Kolya and reminded him of the score last time they'd gone up against each other. Kolya gave him the score this time and John spat in his face. That was the John Sheppard she wanted to remember, defiant to the end.

She and a handful of survivors managed to set the self-destruct before making their escape; the Genii had no interest in Earth, but in their unskilled hands Atlantis would surely fall to the Wraith soon. They took a Jumper to the closest inhabitable planet where they'd survived for nine days until the Daedalus picked up their signal and brought them home.

Home. Was this home? Or was Atlantis? It didn't matter. Home was her team; Rodney, Carson, Teyla, Aiden, even Ronon had become like part of their family. John. She tried to avoid his name because the images it brought back were too painful. Instead, she tried to remember his infectious smile, the way his eyes lit up when they discovered a shiny new gadget, or the way one little smirk could convince her of practically anything.

Sometimes it all felt like a dream; being whisked away to another galaxy, doing and seeing things she could never have imagined, then being unceremoniously deposited back here on Earth, still forbidden to talk about their highly classified mission. It was almost as if the last two years had never happened. But the images, they were too real. Bodies of dozens of soldiers who had fallen defending that place they'd grown to call home. John Sheppard, chest bloodied and full of Genii bullets, executed right before her eyes for Kolya's petty revenge.

So many had given their lives for the science, the technology, the medicinal knowledge they'd brought back that was already saving countless lives. Maybe one day it would help save the planet from the new enemies Earth had gained in the expedition's absence. She flipped on the news and wondered if this world was even worth saving. Had she always been this cynical?

Maybe Atlantis had been real and this place was just a dream. Elizabeth turned off the tv, closed her eyes, and hoped to wake up.

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