Sweet Regret

By Andie O'Neill

Summary: In a moment of weakness John and Elizabeth find themselves in bed together, but when Sheppard and Teyla must rely on each other for more than six years before escaping slavery, Elizabeth must deal with their romantic relationship while trying to keep a secret from Sheppard that could change everything. (Sparky!)

Rating: T

Genre: Romance/Angst (Some humor)

A/N: Again, sparky fic! Rather Angsty sparky fic, but sparky none-the-less. Most of the angst is later in the story. I wanted to wait before I actually wrote this one, but it was too hard to stop myself from sending it off to you guys:D Enjoy!

Chapter One

Worry… it was beginning to become the feeling she hated most, especially on days like this… when all she could do was wait, and hope beyond hope that everything would be okay in the end… as it always had been. She felt helpless as she stared at the Stargate, waiting for news. When Rodney McKay and Ronan Dex had run through the gate, fear and worry in their eyes, she'd known something was terribly wrong. Something always was when it came to Sheppard and his team. They'd all quickly sprung into action, hoping to reach Sheppard and Teyla before they lost the two forever. They'd been shot at, stabbed, fed upon, tortured, drugged, and used in the few years they'd gone through the gate… slavery was a new one.

It was true that the other teams got into almost just as much trouble, but none like Colonel John Sheppard and his team. She was getting tired of hearing the same old story. They were kidnapped, running for their life, trying to save Atlantis; trying to save one of their own… the list goes on and on. She was getting damn sick of it. She was sick of waiting, of hoping… of worrying. She just wanted to be free of that, but she knew as long as she had the job she did, that would never stop. Unfortunately, quitting was not an option. Atlantis and all those in the city needed her just as she needed them. She could never abandon them, no matter how tempting it was to go back to her old life. She'd lost so much when she'd chosen to lead the Atlantis expedition. She'd lost Simon for one, barely ever saw her mother… or her older brother for that matter (not that that was different considering how hard he tried to avoid home on his archeological adventures.)

God she hated this. She needed to know what was going on! She needed to know, whether it was good news or bad. Even if it was just to say she'd never see Sheppard's face again… she needed something! She couldn't take this anymore… how could they expect her to just sit and wait when two of her people could possibly be gone. Just as Elizabeth was about to give the order to send the next team to see what was going on the Stargate activated, each symbol systematically coming to life as the off-world activator finished dialing. Elizabeth looked over at one of the technicians. "Raise the shield."

"No need, its Doctor McKay's identification code."

Elizabeth closed her eyes, praying that Sheppard and Teyla would be with them. Just as she opened her eyes, hers connected with an injured Doctor Rodney McKay. He was limping through the gate looking beyond exhausted. She didn't like what she saw as he looked back at her… pity, anger, pain… it was in his eyes. Next came Ronan as well as the Marines she'd sent with him except three. As she walked down the steps the gate shut off and she knew she wasn't going to like what she was about to hear. "He's gone," Ronan whispered, looking down. "They both are."

Elizabeth felt her heart speed up; her whole body froze for a second as she tried to digest what she'd just heard. "Gone how?" she asked, knowing her voice sounded desperate.

Realizing Ronan couldn't say anymore, Rodney began to explain. "When Sheppard and Teyla were captured we thought we might get some help from a friend in the village we seemed to get along well enough with. Apparently slaves are of more value than anything else. We didn't make it in time. They were taken to a world without a Stargate and when we tried to find out where we were almost killed in the process. Their forces are a lot better than we'd expected… better than even the Genii. There was no way to get the information unless we hacked into their main computer… frankly, you're lucky we made it back at all. They detected us just as soon as we were in… Dawson, Peters, and Levermore were killed when we tried to get out… we were lucky."

Elizabeth looked away, trying to keep her emotions in check. They might have been lucky, but what about Teyla? What about John?

"I'm so sorry Elizabeth… we did everything we could. I wish that had been enough," he told her sincerely.

"Its okay, Rodney… I know you tried as hard as you could."

"There has to be more we can do! We give them everything we've got! Something to get what we need to save Sheppard and Teyla!" Ronan voiced.

"I don't see that doing much good Ronan! What do you want us to do? Send a bomb through? Nerve gas? There are innocent people there! Just because their government decided they needed more slaves doesn't mean that has anything to do with the others."

"Their society revolves around slavery! I wouldn't call them innocent!"

"Hey! Both of you! Stop it! Fighting with each other is not going to get us anywhere! We'll do what we can using what resources we have to find any planets that may not have a Stargate and see what we find."

"That could take weeks! Months even!" Ronan fought.

"Its all we have. I will not outright attack their planet when there could be innocent people being murdered in the meantime. You and I both know Teyla and John wouldn't want that," Elizabeth told him, trying to be strong when all she wanted to do was curl up in her bed and never leave. "I need to contact Earth and let them know what's happened."

Ronan stared back at Elizabeth, still upset before storming off. McKay sighed, glancing over at Elizabeth. "I'm sure their both fine… we'll see them again soon enough."

"Yeah… I know," Elizabeth said, knowing it was a lie. She didn't know, and that was what scared her most. John and Teyla were gone, and she had no idea how they'd find them again… if they ever did. As Elizabeth felt the tears begin to overwhelm her, she walked briskly away from the control room and into the transporter. Her back slammed into the wall as she slid to the floor, closing her eyes tight even as the tears seeped through the cracks. So much had been left hanging when Sheppard had left for his mission, so much to figure out. She hadn't been ready before when her feelings for him had been confronted in the most intimate way, she hadn't been ready to deal with it, and now she would possibly never get the chance to tell him. "Dammit," she swore as memories of their time together passed through her mind.

She could see their many times on the balcony… laughing and sharing, so at peace as they watched the sun set, or gazed up at sparkling stars. She could still remember the looks they'd share when they both knew it might be the last time they saw each other. She remembered allowing him to leave on his suicide mission, only to see him once again. She hadn't been able to control herself as she'd hugged him for all he was worth. She supposed she hadn't actually believed he was alive until she felt him hold her. He remembered the nights they'd sat together and talked about they're day. She'd always felt comfortable around him. Finally the memories flew forward to one of the last moments she'd spent with him.

She could still feel his hands running down her back, stroking her face… holding her close. She still remembered the feeling of finally being with him, knowing him the way other women had, or perhaps not. It had been different with him, she knew that much. Simon had never felt like that. No one had, and she'd known he'd felt the same. She'd seen it in his eyes… surprise, passion, and what had almost looked like love. Unfortunately she'd done what she always did. She'd kept him at a distance, picked her work over everything else… including her happiness. She'd done it with Simon, and now with John.

Elizabeth knocked the back of her head against the wall, trying to rid herself of the images… the thoughts of him. She couldn't do this to herself. She had to move on. She would see him again… he was still alive. He had to be. She had to believe one day they'd be able to see each other once again. She WOULD see Teyla and John again. Elizabeth wiped the tears from her eyes and with determination left the transporter and walked across her office until finally reaching the balcony, her hand on her stomach as she looked out at the darkened sky. Ironic considering how it mimicked her mood. Slowly she removed her jacket and looked over at the mark on her pale skin, right on her forearm. She'd known a bruise would develop the moment she'd slammed her arm into the wall that night…. Finally she closed her eyes, letting the wind flow around her and tried to remember, hoping that this day would be like all the others. Some day soon she'd see him walk through the gate, a soft but weak smile on his face as he looked at her… he'd be home soon. She had to believe that. Elizabeth opened her eyes as the last words John spoke to her entered her mind.

"Push me away all you want, Elizabeth, but one day you're gonna turn around and I won't be there waiting for you. It just doesn't work that way," he'd told her before almost storming out, leaving her alone in her room, silent tears falling down her face.

She never should have let him go. Elizabeth shook her head, pulling her jacket back on as the cold seeped into her very soul. Regret made worry look almost peaceful….

Around Six Years Later

"… I was able to translate some of the ruins, but there's still quite a bit to look at. It could take days," McKay explained, his usual jolly self when it came to anything even remotely connected to the Ancients.

"The locals seemed okay with us checking them out, but they didn't look too excited about it either. Their leader Lartis Sorne seems like a good enough guy. He was willing to let us study it for as long as we liked, but he'd rather us not bring weapons. There also seems to be a festival coming up that involves three nearby planets. It's in honor of the ruins. He told us we were welcome, but we won't be able to do any in depth study on that day considering the decorations and everything. Either way I'd say it's a win, win situation," Lorne added.

"It could prove well to start an alliance with them, Elizabeth. Their far more advanced than even the Genii. Although they hide most of their numbers through underground compartments much as the Genii do their understanding of Wraith technology and accomplishments in space travel make them a valuable ally. Although they are afflicted by the Wraith, they do wish to destroy them just as we do," Doctor William Parker told her. Will, along with Lorne had been chosen to join Sheppard's old team after his and Teyla's kidnapping. They'd become a fine addition since the day they'd been added, even being able to preserve their reputation of getting into trouble more than any other team. Will seemed especially good at it.

"It would be nice to learn a little more about their culture… maybe attending this festival will help things along. Plus… you know, I think one of the archeologists, Doctor Yars has a bit of a crush on me… so I'm all for it." Same old Rodney….

"I don't trust them."

"You don't trust anyone," Rodney replied, making both Will and Elizabeth smile.

"Is there any particular reason for you're distrust, Ronan?" Will asked seriously. Elizabeth couldn't help but notice the bond between Ronan and Will, something she'd only seen since John had been in command. Elizabeth had been relieved when she'd first seen it. Although Will was a Doctor, he'd been in the military for years to earn his way through college, and that training had kicked in quite a bit, earning Ronan's respect from the start. He'd been a good addition, with Lorne at the helm, now a Colonel thanks to some convincing on his behalf. Elizabeth was good at getting what she wanted.

"I just feel it… something isn't right about them."

"Oh, well in that case…" Rodney muttered.

"Shut up, Rodney," said Will, rolling his eyes. "Wouldn't want to get the killing machine angry now would we?"

Ronan smiled at that.

"Colonel Lorne, I want you're team attending that festival… if anything seems out of place, anything at all, you know what to do. In the meantime lets see whether their ally material or not. You leave in two days at 0800hrs."

"Yes Ma'am."

The others nodded their agreement before standing along with Elizabeth. "Dismissed."

Rodney, Ronan, and Lorne quickly left, leaving Will Parker and Elizabeth in the conference room alone. "If Ronan's right we'll have to be extra careful… and you know how right he usually is about these things."

"Yes well, as I recall you've been right about quite a bit yourself… so I'd say it's a toss-up," Elizabeth replied with a smile.

The fellow Doctor just smiled back. "That's because I usually agree with Ronan," he told her before giving her a wink and walking away. "Your place or mine this time?"

"Yours, you cook better," she answered without hesitation.

"Tell Emily to wear something nice," he shouted back before leaving the room with a wave. "See you then!"

Elizabeth almost laughed, shaking her head before she grabbed her laptop and headed back to her office to finish all the wonderful paper work ahead of her. It had been a long time since Sheppard had been taken that Elizabeth could find her self laughing… or even smiling again, but she supposed it was true that time truly did heal wounds… even if there were still scares left behind. Then again… scares were a lot better to deal with in compression to open wounds. She'd learned to accept she might never see John again, that he may not even be alive by now. It had been hard to move on, and for a time she'd closed herself off from anyone she knew would want to help support her. She hadn't felt she deserved it after how things had been left between her and John. Then one little surprise had come her way to change everything…. "Mommy?"

"Sorry Elizabeth, when I saw everyone leaving I figured the meeting had ended… she really wanted to see you," Carson explained.

"It's fine Carson." Elizabeth got up from her desk and picked up the green eyed child before her. "Hey jelly bean! Did you have fun playing nurse with Carson?"

"Yeah! Major Rogers even let me listen to his heart!" she told Elizabeth excitedly.

"That's great sweet heart! Now why don't you and I go get a snack? I could use a little break!"

"Yes! I want cake!" she immediately told the Doctor, as she was eased back to the ground.

"How about you, Carson? You in?"

"Perhaps another time. I should really be getting' back to the infirmary. I'll see you later Emily dearest!"

"By Carson!" Emily said, giving the Scottish Doctor a hug.

"See you later, Carson," Elizabeth said with a wave as she took her daughter's hand and walked out of the office. It had been difficult to get the President as well as many others to agree to her staying on Atlantis as their leader despite Emily, but thankfully she'd had friends to back her up… all of Atlantis on one hand, as well as General O'Neill and Woolsey back home… not to mention the added support from Colonel Caldwell. It had been a long fight, but a truly worthwhile one. Elizabeth couldn't think of a better place to raise the daughter she'd never planned on having… especially with all those willing to help her raise the little one. Not to mention the village settled on the mainland that'd all been happy to help. It took 'a whole village to raise a child' to a whole other level. "So… chocolate cake, my dear? And what would you like to do after that?"

Emily paused, thinking hard before her eyes light up. "Golf!" she answered, looking entirely too adorable. She already had everyone she met wrapped around her little finger… and that included Kavanagh!

"You spend WAY too much time with Rodney McKay, child," Elizabeth muttered, shaking her head.

The tomboy just frowned, sighing. "Football?"

Elizabeth stopped in the middle of the hallway, her eyes looking down suspiciously at the little girl beside her. "Rodney McKay… Will Parker… I'll have to put them on my list of bad association. You really need to spend more time with women… like Laura Cadmen for example…" Elizabeth told her before once again heading toward the Mess.

"Hey! She likes football too!"

Elizabeth sighed. She was just like her father….

To Be Continued….

A/N: Hmmm I wonder who Emily's father could be? What a mystery:insert sarcasm here: lol :D Review if you want more!