Author's Note: MOST DEPRESSING EPISODE EVER. But still, really good! I didn't think this one was missing anything at all, but, just for the heck of it, I decided to write something anyway. These are just some little fillers; Rodney's story only from Jennifer's point of view. Enjoy!
The Last Man
We lost many that year. It started with John and Teyla… both tragic losses, but to Sam they translated as failures. I think on some level she had given up hope. The only reason she kept going was so we wouldn't lose hope as well. All the people she promised herself she'd bring back were gone, and now we'd lost John too.
Elizabeth became a lost cause after we heard news of John. Carson, too. When the death toll of the Hoffen drug became too large to ignore, I was forced to abandon my efforts. Besides, it wasn't like he had much to come back to anyways. We were too late to save Teyla.
Our commander became distant. When Ronon requested to be allowed to leave, she didn't even put up a fight. I tried to reason with him, but he said that there was nothing left for him here. He could do more this way then he could by staying in Atlantis. Sam must have felt the same way because she told me as much when I came to complain.
Our training sessions stopped. Sam kept to herself mostly, though she never neglected to check up on Rodney and I. I think the way she saw it, we were the last survivors of a lost cause; but survivors none the less, and as long as she was here she was going to make it her responsibility to take care of us.
The IOA was constantly at our throats those days, and our commander was the only thing keeping them at bay. They said that we needed to concentrate all our efforts on defense of the city, and that we should abandon our efforts to save the rest of the galaxy. Of course, Sam would have none of that. The conflict was making us all nervous. I think Sam was perfectly aware that it was only a matter of time before the IOA lost their patience with her and just decided to send in one of their representatives to replace her, but she continued her efforts none the less, and somehow, managed to convince them.
She was given a ship: The Phoenix. It was, well, how do I put it… a piece of crap to say the least. But she made do. For a month, Sam and Rodney spent their every minute aboard the ship trying to make it battle-worthy. During that month, I spent my every minute going from planet to planet, saving whatever lives I could. We weren't given much time to dwell on past events, but the occasional word from Ronon helped to lift my spirits. Sam would give him whatever equipment he requested and return to her work. It became rather lonely, but eventually, their work paid off.
With the Phoenix fully operational, Sam was around even less. In his time, it was Rodney who kept me company. On the rare occasion Sam would drop by between missions, we would inform her of what little progress we had made and in grim spirits, she would take off again.
One day, we were sent word from one of Ronon's men. Ronon had been killed during a mission to one of Michael's research facilities. I was devastated. Truth be told, I'm not sure if the news ever reached Sam. A week later, the ship's crew returned through the Stargate, without a ship, and without a commander.
After Sam's memorial service, Rodney came to speak to me in my room.
I spun around quickly to see who it was, then looked away again as I tried to wipe tears from my face.
"Hey," I replied as cheerily as I could, though only an idiot wouldn't have realized I'd been crying.
Rodney shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, and I felt bad. I knew he was horrible in situations like this, and I made another attempt to pull myself together before turning fully to face him.
"How you doing?" Rodney asked, though he knew the answer already. His tone suggested he wasn't doing too hot either.
I sniffed and busied myself with trying to remove a hangnail. "You know how it is," I replied. "Too many memorial services lately."
There was a stiffness to Rodney's voice and it made me look up at him. He continued.
"After Teyla... I really hoped things were going to get better."
Rodney frowned and advanced a cautious step closer. I could tell he was unsure how to go about comforting me, especially when he was equally suffering. Seeming to have changed his mind, he took interest in his shoes instead.
"I, uh... I'm returning to Earth tomorrow. Someone has to deliver the news to her brother and... stuff..."
I nodded. I didn't even know she had a brother. "Better you then me," I said.
"Yeah. Not exactly looking forward to it."
A short silence stretched between us before I decided it was my turn to be the tough one. "How are you holding up?"
Rodney slowly looked up at me. "Um... not so good actually."
I gave a weak smile and, without thought, closed the distance between us. With my cheek resting on his chest and my arms wrapped tightly around him, I guess Rodney figured it was time to hug me back, and he held me gently.
So Rodney and I were left to take care of each other, and made each other promise we'd keep fighting. That's what the others would have wanted; otherwise their deaths would have been for nothing. But as it turned out, Sam's death would mark the end of Atlantis for me. And for Rodney.
You see, though dim, Sam had been a candle of hope for us. There were times we thought she was the only one who still had any hope. Now with her gone, everything was about to fall apart.
She was replaced by IOA representative, Richard Woolsey, (no surprise there). Changes were put in place the moment he stepped into the city, including the immediate abandonment of the Hoffen drug project. I tried to argue with him, but I knew from the beginning it would be pointless.
So I left. I could think of no other option. Just like Ronon had said, there was nothing left for me here. It turned out Rodney felt the same. We made the return voyage together.
We spent 3 long weeks on the ship together, going over past events and mourning for those we lost. It was the longest three weeks I've ever spent in my life. We'd left because we had no reason to stay, but now we realized that we'd really have nothing for us on Earth either. Not after everything we'd been through. How would we ever be able to just move on?
But we had each other, and that seemed to make it all the better.
We grew close, Rodney and I. Soon, we were more then just friends. After all, we couldn't just walk away from each other. We needed each other if we were ever going to move on.
And so when we got to Earth, we started a life together. It was a simple life, but it took our minds off other things. Eventually, it felt like things were looking up, but I guess we couldn't be so lucky.
Apparently my long-term exposure to the Hoffen drug finally took its toll. There was no cure.
A year ago, I would have felt fortunate to be taken out of this world; but to have this happen now?
I told Rodney I have no regrets… but that isn't necessarily true. I have plenty of regrets. On the Deadolous, we spoke of all the things we could have done differently. Now I wish I had.
I can only hope Rodney will be able to find some joy in life again, but I know that will be impossible. He will spend the rest of his life trying to fix things if he has to. Now, I can only share the same hope that the lives we knew can be restored.
Author's Note: Alright, kind of a depressing way to end it there… Yes. This should be my last one, unless I decide to write one for like, the first 2 episodes of season 5 or something, which I might. Thanks to everyone who read and commented! You were great!