In Another World
Chapter 4: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

Unfortunately for me, my dreams weren't always cheerful. Tonight I was reminded of the best and worst time of my life. Most would think it was the storm, or the siege, but it wasn't. Those were just stepping stones. Miniscule events compared to what happen in our third year on Atlantis. What ended up putting me in this position was what I dreamt about tonight. But not just the past few days, the past few weeks, where this all started; when John and several others were taken by the Wraith.

I found myself sitting at my desk, not surprisingly. Closing my laptop, I looked up to see John bounding into my office with two cups of coffee and a smirk. Neither was uncommon. Lately we'd been spending the late night hours talking over coffee in my office. After the work chatter we'd head to the balcony to relax under the starry sky. Tonight, I knew exactly what he was going to say.

"I already said no," I said grabbing the cup from his extended hand, "and I don't see coffee changing my mind."

"Lizbeth, I'm not trying to bribe you with coffee," He said coming around to sit on the edge of my desk, "I brought something better than that."

"Really?" I questioned skeptically, as I felt my eyebrow rise.

"Yep, but you don't get to see it until you agree to let me go on that mission."

"John," I cautioned, "you know I can't-"

"Elizabeth," He cut me off, though not forcefully, "we all know the risks, but isn't it worth it? Three fully charged ZPMs-"

"Are not worth your life," I stopped him, "It's a highly populated Wraith planet, you barely made it out on the recon mission. How do you expect to walk out of there with three ZPMs?"

"Well, I doubt we'd be walking." He attempted to joke, I didn't laugh. "Look, they're not being guarded. The wraith have no purpose for them, they're just there for the…food."

"I'm sorry. No." I said getting up. He gave me a smile, he understood. We dropped the topic and walked to the balcony.

A week later a chocolate bar appeared on my desk with a note from John, 'better than coffee!' it read. He went through the gate a few minutes later, smiling back at me. I didn't see him for three months.

The next images I saw were painful. I was reminded of the rescue mission. Standing impatiently in the control room, I waited for the marine teams' IDC. They should've been back an hour ago. I could believe that he'd talked me into this. I'd never bee able to forgive myself if…the chevrons lit up around the gate, pulling me from my thoughts. "Lower the shield," I said after a technician announced that it was them. Less than a minute later, they came running through carrying some of the wounded. I didn't see John.

Mere seconds later the wormhole disengaged, and I felt myself shatter. I couldn't stop the few tears from falling as the leading marine came up to me shaking his head sadly, "I'm sorry, Ma'am." I cover my face with my hands, unbelieving. I sent the best of the best and they couldn't bring him home. Was he even…could he survive? I left hurrying to the balcony where I knew I could always feel him, his presence, no matter what.

Eventually things returned to normal, well, as normal as it could be without him. I spent more time in my office, though, if that was even possible. Every time I tried to sleep I saw the image of John walking through the gate. And that damned untouchable chocolate bar on my desk.

Then, three months later, the gate activated. It was Lt. Colonel Sheppard's IDC. He walked through the gate like he was returning from a regular mission, except his normal smirk was missing; so was his gear, expectedly. His black shirt and jacket were gone as well. And his regulation pants had turned into shorts.

I was in shock. I tried to keep my composure as I descended the stairs that led to the gate floor. Less than a minute later I was standing directly in front of the man I thought I'd lost for certain this time. I felt the tears build up once again, and I didn't try to hide them. My lip quivered as I tried to think of something intelligent to say, but nothing came to mind. Our eyes locked, allowing everything around us to disappear. We were alone.

And as quick as it came, it the memory was shattered as I awoke. I felt a pang in my heart as his face faded away. I closed my eyes and softly sighed. John, John, John…

a/n: Oh, it's been too long! I'm really sorry, but ever since school started I've only had time for homework. Grrrrr... Finally I caught a break and finished this. I got the title from Stephen King's miniseries on TNT, so that's how long I've had this chapter pretty much done. I didn't have an ending though, so I had to work on that.
Anyway, here it is, finally! Hope you enjoy this and I'm sorry about the wait. Please forgive me. Also, reviews would be great! Thanks!