At your side

Author: Vicky



Category: angst, romance

Summary: she had to fight this…

Season/Sequel: season 3

Spoilers: The Real World (3-06), and a minor one for The Misbegotten

Rating: K

Archives: my website, Command Dynamics, Atlantica, Abydos Gate, others ask please, I never refuse

Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.

Author's Note: I had the idea of this fic after having watched the preview for The Real World. Once again, thanks to my wonderful beta, Jaclyn. This one is for you

You have a go !

Sitting there in the dark and nearly empty infirmary, you watched her. She seemed to be only asleep but you knew it wasn't the case. You watched as she was fighting whatever was messing with her head.

Earlier you told her to fight this and you meant it. She had to because you couldn't imagine Atlantis surviving without her. With her in the infirmary, the entire expedition's morale seemed to have gone down. It was during these moments that everybody realized that she was more than a mere leader; she was the City's soul, the one they all relied on, including you. But that, you knew it already, you'd known it for a long time. That was why you defended her against Woolsey's accusation, that was why you always caught her eyes whenever you went on a mission, that was how you realized that you couldn't afford to lose her, no more than this entire expedition.

Seeing her like this now, your heart wrung; for once you couldn't help her, you couldn't do anything for her, and it was probably the one time she needed you the most. So you did the only thing you could think of to make her feel you were there. You took one of her hands in both of yours and pressed a gentle kiss on her knuckles. You were alone, nobody could see you, but you simply rested your chin on your joined hands, silently praying that she would soon wake up.

You were tired but you couldn't make up your mind to go to sleep, to leave her. Carson would probably give you an earful the next morning, but you didn't really care. You knew his nurses watched you from the other side of the room, but they stayed silent, never acknowledging your presence.

"I don't know if you can hear me but listen to me," you whispered, almost surprised to hear your voice, but then you continued. "You have to fight this, 'Lizbeth. We can't do it without you, I can't do it without you. Hell, I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you, thanks to you. I'd still probably be in Antarctica if you weren't there. You know I really liked it there, I hadn't lied to General O'Neill about that, but I'm glad I came here. This is where I belong. This is where you belong, Elizabeth. You have to come back to us, we are waiting for you. Open your eyes, Elizabeth, open them for me."

You stopped talking, a knot in your throat preventing you from saying another word. You swallowed hard, trying to make it go away, but found out you couldn't. Anyway, even if you wanted to talk to her more, you couldn't find the words to express what you were feeling. You had never felt so useless to help her; when Kolya told you she was dead, you at least could vent your feelings by killing the Genii. But now there was nothing you could do. Maybe you could go to the gym and tire yourself out, but you knew it wouldn't help in the end.

What you wouldn't give to be in this bed in her place; what you wouldn't give to see her open her eyes, to see her smile, to hear her voice. Like you told Teyla, she was part of your strange family, but for a long time, you didn't really know who she was exactly in this family. She was so much more than just a sister to you; she knew you like nobody else, maybe because she was the only one you allowed to be that close to you in your whole life. Slowly, you came to realize she was the most important member of your newly found family and you hoped you could tell her one day.

You didn't notice the change at first but then you felt a slight pressure on your hands, her fingers trying to close around yours. You sat up straighter, moving closer to her head.

"'Lizbeth?" you murmured.

You saw her eyes flutter and you turned towards the nurses, telling them to call Beckett.

"Can you hear me? Open your eyes, you can do it. 'Lizbeth?" you urged and you once more felt her fingers closing around yours, while her eyes opened slightly. "Here, it's okay, you're in the infirmary," you said moving one of your hands to brush her hair from her face.

"Atlantis?" she asked in a croaked voice.

"Yeah, you're home."

"Thank you," she whispered looking at you, gratefulness in her eyes.

"Thank you," you whispered back and you knew she was confused at to what you thanked her for.

Behind you, you heard Beckett coming into the infirmary. You moved away from her, letting go of her hand, reassuring her that you'd stay there, waiting for the doctor to allow you to come back by her side.

Soon, Carson finished his examination, but for you it felt like hours had gone by. He nodded at you and you sat back down on the chair, resuming your watch over your friend who had now awoken. She gave you a small smile and urged you to take her hand like you did before. She closed her eyes, ready to fall asleep and you knew she just needed to feel that you were there.

"Always, 'Lizbeth, always," you whispered one last time before closing your own eyes, sleep coming to claim you too.