Epilogue – 1 Year Later

Standing on the balcony Elizabeth let the sea breeze wash over her and breathed deeply. Opening her eyes she saw a view that was once again familiar to her. Looking back at her office and the inside of the gateroom, she saw the same. It had been weird, very weird to come back here, to see everyone again. Teyla had taken charge in her absence and under hers and the remaining team's guidance, they had gathered forces and retaken the city. There had been deaths and Teyla had prepared messages for each family during the clean up and resettlement of Atlantis. She wouldn't tell Elizabeth details, but the woman could well imagine how the teams would have found the remaining personnel who'd been trapped with the Sen. She shook her head, and forced back the tears.

John stepped silently onto the balcony and took a moment to observe the woman at the railing. Her hair was still just below her shoulder blades; she'd trimmed it but kept it long. It reminded her of what had happened and was a physical symbol of the change she had undergone, everyone had undergone. Much had changed now and the Atlantis colony was a lot closer, more family like. During meal times the mess was full with people spending quality time together, and movie and game nights were common. Even Elizabeth never missed one; work could wait she'd discovered. There were much more important things, like love and friends. As a result she'd altered the rules that governed their lives, those of fraternisation. I will not be the cause of someone's heartbreak. Those had been her words, to him and the whole party gathered in the gateroom a month after returning home. John was finally at ease again, going out on regular missions, having normal arguments with Rodney, and still attracting trouble like flies. The ordeal with the Sen now seemed a lifetime away, like a myth slowly fading into mist.

Elizabeth sensed his presence as soon as he walked through the doors, but knew she need not turn and acknowledge him; he knew she knew he was there. He came up behind her and she felt him gather her hair together and plait it how she'd always worn it as a child. When she flipped it over her shoulder to examine she saw the pink ribbon that was holding it together, she smiled gently and turned back to sea.

"Dinner with me later?" They hadn't discussed what had happened on the planet, and Elizabeth didn't think they would. It was the past and it wasn't important anymore. What was important was the journey they were embarking on. She blushed and answered him.

"Yes."

I will run for shelter

endless summer lift the curse

it feels like nothing matters

in our private universe