Never give you up

Author: Vicky



Category: angst, a bit of romance

Summary: He'll never give her up

Season/Sequel: season 4

Spoilers: This Mortal Coil (4-10)

Rating: PG

Archives: my website, 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: Just a short post ep fic. It's a sad one so get a box of tissue before reading it ;) Thanks to Jaclyn for the very quick beta!

You have a go !

He left the labs and just walked down Atlantis hallways, barely noticing those who passed him. Something else, someone else was on his mind, and he couldn't stop thoughts from forming in his head.

He had lost her once again.

True, it wasn't really her, but she was just like her, the same face, the same voice, the same memories; if she hadn't told him, he would have thought it was really her. He did think it was her when she appeared on the video feed. His heart had fill up with relief that she was safe, and that she would come back to Atlantis; things would finally be back to what they'd been. He knew that thought had crossed everyone in the control room. But they hadn't been that lucky. She was just her duplicate.

Seeing her face to face when they finally arrived on the planet had been overwhelming, even though it wasn't really her. For a second, it didn't matter, he had Elizabeth back. He was even amused that she had her own team. At least, with them, he was sure she would be safe, they were them and they would protect her with their life, just like he and his team would do.

But then, reality crashed in.

His Elizabeth was dead. He managed to keep a straight face in front of his team when she had told them, but as soon as they were alone, he couldn't anymore. Seeing that, the other Elizabeth had pulled him into a bear hug, whispering words of comfort and excuses. He crushed her to him, just relishing in the feeling of her body against his; she was so much like his Elizabeth. They had stayed like this for a few minutes, before John pulled away and took her lips in a hungry, possessive kiss. She returned it quite as fiercely, and both were gasping for breath when they broke it. And he finally gave voice to feelings he didn't know he had before she was forced away from him.

"I love you, Elizabeth, I love you," he whispered his forehead resting against hers, not even realising that he wasn't really talking to her. "I'm so sorry I left you behind, I should have stayed, I should have saved you."

"You couldn't, John. And I…, she didn't want you to."

She didn't return the words though, and John was both grateful and frustrated. But he thought that they would have more time.

Instead, less than half an hour later, she was once more ripped away from him. And this time, he had let her go, knowing that she would probably die along with the team. But she had ordered him to, and for him, she was still his commanding officer, and this time, he wouldn't disobey her.

Now, standing on the balcony as the sun set, he wondered if things would have turned out differently if they had brought them back to Atlantis straight away. Of course, he and his counterpart would have probably wanted to bang their head on the walls with two McKays, but if that would have meant to have Elizabeth back in Atlantis, he guessed he could have stood that. Sure the IOA wouldn't have liked that, but he knew they would have the support of the City; Elizabeth was one of them, the team was also part of Atlantis somehow, and John had taught each and everyone of them long ago that they don't leave their people behind.

Deep inside him, he couldn't help that small flicker of hope that Elizabeth and her team had been lied to, and that his Elizabeth was still alive, out there, somewhere. He knew that, though they wouldn't admit it, this feeling was shared with the rest of their people. So for them, for her, for him, he wouldn't stop looking. Not until he had found her, or he had tangible proof that she was dead.

He wouldn't give up. And when, not if, when, he would find her, he would never let her go again. Because Atlantis is where she should be, where she belonged. If he had to give his life for her to come back, he would without even thinking about it. Atlantis needed her more than him.

Now, he just had to find her, some clue about where she was. He just hoped that the device they had brought back would help them in that way. Even if he had to visit every single one of those Replicators ship by himself to find her, he would. And he was pretty sure he would have to; the IOA would never authorise dozens of missions with the only purpose to find her. Not when he knew they consider her a liability since the nanites had been reactivated. Not when he knew that they were only waiting for a reason to fire her, and that even if he hadn't been forced to leave her with the Asurans, it would have been the perfect one.

But he couldn't tell anyone about his plans, not even his team. He wouldn't let them take any risks, not if he could help it. And he wouldn't tell Carter either; she seemed too comfy in Elizabeth's chair for his liking.

No, he would have to find Elizabeth by himself, and whatever it would take, even if he had to ally with the Wraith for that, he would succeed. Because he had made this promise to himself and to her: he would never give her up.