I wasn't expecting to write anything else until after my current fic was finished, but this plot bunny was just bouncing off the walls, begging to be written. It starts at the beginning of season 2 and so far it's ongoing, a series of introspective ficlets. Mostly it's just the ramblings of my inner mind, using a certain room within Atlantis as a way to vent my ideas through the characters. Fun, huh? So apologies beforehand if it's confusing.

General spoilers for season 2. No pairings.

Yanno the drill. I don't own stuff. Similarities between this and any other fic are coincidental.


Silence.

That's all he heard now; the only thing echoing in the air of the quarters, aside from the rustle of his clothes, the thud of the cartons' lids as he closed them, locked them, not to be opened until they'd reached Earth. And even then, he didn't know what would happen to them; whether they'd be taken and locked away, in a farce of non-existence, or if they'd be opened with grieving hands, their contents removed and displayed for the memories they held.

It wasn't fair.

When is life ever fair?

Never. But it didn't matter. It still wasn't fair.

The final container closed with a thud, the locks snapping into place, the box lifted with a grunt and stacked on top of the others. He stepped back to review them, the meagre possessions, now hidden away.

Is that what always happens in death? He wondered. Is that what would happen if he died? Have his belongings packed away, carted around until they found his next of kin, their memories contained and exclusive to a select few? His room cleaned until no evidence of his existence remained, his things on display until it was decided that nup, other things were more important; after all, that happened a while ago, we should be over it by now? People speaking about him in past tense, no longer alive and no longer important, history and time passing him by, nothing more than a tiny pebble on the riverbed? Just another name, another person lost to the ultimate end everyone knows could be waiting just around the corner?

Is that what life was all about? To struggle and hope and love, only to be wiped from existence as though you were never there, one day alive and the next simply gone? How much point was there to life if you never made a difference, made no changes, was simply a footnote in the grand scheme of things?

None, that's how much. No point, no remains, simply silence.

With a sigh he removed his glasses, scrubbing at his black-ringed eyes, and stared blankly, tiredly, around at the bare walls, the neatly made bed. It looked like they'd just arrived, and the room was unclaimed. Like no one had been there at all.

It wasn't fair. It's wasn't fair that someone could strive for so long and hard, only to have the universe forget they'd ever lived.

Replacing his glasses, his vision suddenly captured something he'd missed before: the tiniest of tears marring the smooth grey blanket, settled just behind the thread looping over the hem. The fibre was ragged, pulled, as though it had been long ignored. For a moment he stared, uncertain, before his gaze swept over the hard lines of the room with new eyes.

There; a stain on the wall, where he'd used adhesive to put up a framed picture or certificate. And again – the slightest of chips in the glass of that cabinet. A scratch on the crimson floor, where his chair had slid out from the desk. A pencil mark on the tabletop.

The more he looked, the more he saw evidence that someone had, indeed, lived there. More than that – he could see the actions which had created those marks, those remnants of someone's life. And suddenly the room didn't seem so empty; didn't seem so silent. Because he could still see him, even if it were only in his mind's eye.

Radek Zelenka smiled and picked up the crates, leaning back under their weight as he cast one last, critical eye over the room. There wasn't much left, but what remained would remember.

There didn't need to be words for there to be sound.