By Andie O'Neill
Summary: Two died, one went crazy, and another lay in a hospital bed, their faces haunt John Sheppard every day no matter what he does to ignore them.
A/N: This is really, really angsty! But then again, that's kinda the mood I'm in right now, so… yeah… enjoy and review:D I kind of got this from a song by My Chemical Romance called "Ghost of You," but it's only loosely based on it. WARNING! THIS STORY FOLLOWS THE EVENTS OF "FIRST STRIKE," SO THERE ARE SPOILERS! IF YOU DON'T WANNA BE SPOILED LOOK NO FURTHER! AT LEAST, NOT UNTIL YOU SEE THE EPISODE:D
At the end of the world
Or the last thing I see
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? should I?
And all the things that you never ever told me
And all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me
Never coming home
Never coming home
Could I? Should I?
And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me
For all the ghosts that are never gonna catch me
If I fall
If I fall (down)
He loved Atlantis. It was his home. He loved everything about the city he'd been living in for almost four years. He loved waking up to hear the steady hum of the city. He loved the smell of ocean air every morning when he'd wake up. He loved going out his favorite balcony to watch the waves crash against Atlantis. He'd come to feel more at home here than anywhere else in his life. Still, he forgot about such things at times like these. He could hear the steady beat of the heart monitor. The smell of a hospital was all his senses could detect. And the only beautiful thing he was staring at lied in a coma before him. Doctor Elizabeth Weir.
Sheppard watched as Elizabeth's chest would rise and fall, a reminder that not all hope was lost. But her still closed eyes haunted him. He could remember the green eyes that lay behind her eyelids, remembered the many looks she'd give him with those eyes, now covered as she slept. He loved Atlantis, but sometimes he hated the memories he sometimes made in the halls of Atlantis. He hated the memory of watching Colonel Sumner die before him, old and decrepit looking, his eyes showing his wish for death. He hated the memory of watching someone under his command, a friend fall to a drug that was taking over his mind, not even knowing for sure if he was ever going to be saved. He hated the memory of losing another friend, not being able to do a thing to save the man that had healed more than his physical wounds during his stay in Atlantis. But most of all he hated the memory he was making now, watching Elizabeth waste away in a coma with the chance of never waking up.
It haunted him.
It haunted him to walk down hallways he remembered walking down with Ford, talking about football and their many adventures. It haunted him to go to the infirmary and see another take Carson's place. It haunted him when he'd watch someone suffer the Wraith after witnessing Sumner die an agonizing death. And it haunted him to go to the same balcony he'd come to love, knowing Elizabeth wouldn't be there with him.
He could still see their faces sometimes. Some days he'd walk past Aiden Ford's old room, and almost see him open the door and smile, asking him if he wanted to go get the rest of the team to watch a movie. In his dreams he could still see Sumner's hard looks directed at him when he gave his famous cocky smirk. He could still see Carson turning the corner to tell him to get out and leave Elizabeth to her rest. And as he sat beside Elizabeth he kept expecting her to open her eyes and look up at him. But as he sat there he knew she wouldn't be waking up while he waited, it was a foolish dream, a stupid hope, but it didn't stop him from wishing.
He couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't watch the people he cared about suffer, die. John just didn't have the strength for it anymore. He couldn't watch another person lie in that infirmary bed. Long ago he'd learned to live with Sumner's death, even if it did touch him in nightmares now and again. But then he'd lost Ford to an enzyme, lost the Ford he knew. And after that Carson. He'd gotten through it somehow, he usually did. But not this. He couldn't get through this. It was as if death were laughing at him, taking away all he cared about and leaving him alive. Why couldn't it have been him. 'Damn Elizabeth… why did it have to be you?'
Doctor Keller walked slowly from behind the curtain, opening it to look at him. He didn't take his eyes away from Elizabeth. "It's getting rather late, Colonel… perhaps you should get some rest."
"How long before they take her to Earth?"
"They take her tomorrow… there are quite a few Doctors qualified to take care of her. She'll be in good hands," she tried to assure him. It wasn't going to work.
"Then I stay here," he whispered, taking Elizabeth's hand in his.
"I stay, Keller," he told her firmly, his eyes staying glued to Elizabeth's pale form.
He heard her sigh softly before she turned, closing the curtain and walked away.
He must have fallen asleep. John groaned, opening his eyes when he felt someone's hand go through his hair. Slowly he raised his head to see the bright green eyes he'd been waiting to see. "Elizabeth?"
Elizabeth blinked. "How'd I get here?" she asked.
"The replicators. There was a beam… remember? Rodney raised the shield a little too late and it hit the control room. You were hurt pretty bad."
Elizabeth groaned. "How bad?"
"You were in a coma," he told her, still stunned to see her awake before him. He couldn't help himself. He'd never actually believed he'd see her wake up. Before she could say another word he pulled her into his arms, holding her tightly.
Elizabeth hesitated, reminding him of the day she'd hugged him after thinking he'd died on his would be suicide mission. He hadn't expected her to hug him. Finally she moved her arms around him, squeezing him back. "It wasn't your fault, John."
John pulled away, looking into her eyes, drinking them in after so long not seeing them. "It's my job to protect you, Elizabeth. I failed you… god… I'm so sorry."
"No John. It wasn't your fault. You can't be expected to protect me every moment of the day. You have a job to do. You didn't do anything wrong. It's want I would have wanted."
"What you would have wanted?" he questioned confused by the phrase.
Elizabeth smiled, moving a hand to his cheek. "We have two enemies against us, enemies that could destroy all that we've sworn to protect. Don't ever let me stand in your way. Atlantis needs you."
"Elizabeth… what the hell are you talking about?"
Her eyes suddenly grew desperate. "Please! Promise me you'll keep going! No matter what! We'll see each other again… just promise me."
He paused, confused and a little afraid by the things she was saying, but he couldn't refuse her. "I promise…."
Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief then, and smiled back at him, a smile he'd missed for far too long. "Take care of yourself out there John."
John frowned before he noticed everything around him start to fade. Suddenly his heart began to pound in his chest as he felt her slip from his grasp. "Elizabeth!" She was being pulled away from him. "No!"
"Goodbye John," she whispered. And then… she was gone.
John's head shot up, breathing hard from the nightmare he'd had. When he looked up he could see Elizabeth still lying unconscious on the bed and a sharp pain shot through his chest. It was just a dream. John's head fell as he tried to fight the tears trying to break through when suddenly he felt her hand twitch. His head shot back up to look at her, but her eyes were still closed. "Elizabeth?"
John almost swore, but suddenly a memory came to his mind, something he hadn't thought about before.
"In a coma, ones sense of hearing is the last thing to go and the first to return. There are many cases where patients were actually able to hear others talking to them in the rooms."
Carson had told him that months ago when nanites had been trying to mess with Elizabeth. And suddenly he knew exactly what he needed to do. "Elizabeth… don't give up. You are going to wake up from all of this. I know you are. I… I don't want to lose you. You're the closest friend I've ever had. I can't lose another friend. We've already lost Carson, I'll be damned if I'm gonna let you die too. Hang in there, Elizabeth. You can't die. I… I'm not sure I could take losing another person I care about. Don't do this to me, Elizabeth. Please… I don't care how long it takes just… come back to me. Whatever you do… come back to me," he whispered to her squeezing her hand.
She didn't open her eyes, not that he expected her to. But he could only hope one day those eyes would open, and he'd see the green underneath. He could only hope that one day; she'd stop haunting his dreams and wake up from her sleep. He knew it was a long shot, but he had to have hope. It was the only thing that would keep him sane while he waited for her. They'd lost enough people…. One day she would return. One day. But until that day, John knew he would always be haunted by the woman he carried in his heart and all the memories of their time together.
She'd return home. One day. And maybe then, the scare forming in his heart would finally heal. He could only hope. And for once… it was enough.
A/N: I know that was pretty sad, but I guess you could say it's kinda my letter to the writers and producers who've made Elizabeth recurring. We've lost enough people already!!!!!!!!! Lol Stop the madness!!!!!!! Anyway… review please:D