We, the Sparky Army, decree 2008 to be the Year of the Spark. We pledge to post a new sparky story or chapter of a sparky story every day from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. Though the Powers the Be have removed Elizabeth Weir from the regular cast of Stargate Atlantis, we feel that she remains an integral part of the show, and that the relationship between her and John Sheppard is too obvious to be ignored. We hope that you, and anyone might happen to read these works, agree.

And if that isn't official enough for you, we don't know what is. Seriously, guys, we're just trying to have some fun--and show TPTB that Sparky is the way to go. So sit back and enjoy the 366 stories coming your way!

Note from Author (Steph7085): The second story for YOTS! Eeeek I'm nervous, lol. Anyway this came into my head when my muse and the plot bunnies teamed up and jumped me. Hope you like it!


Heart's Prayer

By Steph7085


Originality certainly wasn't the Ancients strong suit. The lab, like the many other they had found, was clean, precise, lacking any real personality, and completely and utterly uninteresting; well, at least to John. Small rays of light broke in through the window, lending a view of the ocean that drifted for miles around and giving the room some much needed light, considering his gene hadn't illuminated the room, the only element of surprise.

The rays picked up some broken glass fragments that lay scattered across the floor, creating a trial to the large bench, the main focus point of the room, which was where McKay was huddled, muttering quietly to himself predictably and frantically touching everything within arms reach, as if it would disappear. Zelenka wasn't far behind, in fact he was below, having crawled beneath the bench to get a better look at everything inside. A few muffled curses later, light flashed on, chasing the remaining shadows away.

Behind him, Ronon leant against the door frame. His arms were crossed and boredom coloured his face. He sighed loudly and heaved himself upwards, using his limitless energy to pace the room. Raising his eyebrows in disgust when he caught John's eye. John smirked.

"I can't believe you dragged me here," the Satedan groused, making his way back to his original position, before turning and stalking away again.

"I thought you'd wanna see what came from your discovery," John retorted, barely concealing his amusement. A snort was his only response.

"I'd hardly call this a discovery," McKay cried out, obviously annoyed. "I mean it's no different from any of the other labs we've found!" He huffed childishly when John chose to ignore him.

"Actually Rodney…" Zelenka began, peaking out from under the bench.

"Shut up Zelenka, what would you know?!" McKay huffed, yanking his laptop from the counter and depositing it further away from the group, furiously taking his frustration out on the keyboard. John rolled his eyes and looked away, not willing to deal with the scientists temper or ego.

Impatience was something he had been intimately acquainted with for the past few weeks. He clung onto it, desperately trying to cover up the other emotions fighting for control. He knew it was wrong but he couldn't bring himself to care, it just hurt too much.

It had been difficult. Everyone was adrift, lost without their beacon of hope and the person who put the expedition together. They had Carter, but she didn't fit in, she was just as adrift as they were. Searching for a place that didn't exist because only one person could fill the void. No one could fill the place that was left behind, no one could ever replace what they had lost.

Elizabeth.

Every time he thought or heard the name, a shaft of pain so intense threatened to bring him to his knees. She was his commanding officer, the person who had believed in him when no one else would. She was his friend, his very best friend, and he missed her like crazy, more than he would ever admit to.

"Sheppard," Ronon called out, breaking him from his destructive musings. John sauntered over to his team mate, following his gaze until it landed on the object under scrutiny.

A large, window-less frame was imbedded in the wall. It was metallic and barely stood out against the wall, its colours blending perfectly with the background. The metal weaved together, forming an intricate pattern that made it stand out from the otherwise dull surface and seemed…polished compared to the rest of the room.

Ronon brushed his fingers against the surface, shrugged, then stepped back, just in time to avoid the human missile Rodney became.

"What is it? What have you found? Move! Let me see."

"Calm down McKay, it isn't goin' anywhere," John drawled, casually moving back to join Ronon near the bench.

Zelenka scurried to stand beside McKay, immediately scanning the frame-like object. He pushed his glasses up his nose.

"I do not detect any power readings," he announced in his usual accent. Rodney moved in closer, his face taking on a look of pure concentration as he searched for clues.

"It doesn't have a switch or…wait a minute," he muttered to himself, brushing away some dust with his fingers. "I think…"

McKay broke off suddenly, his whole body freezing as his eyes became distant.

-----

"And it gives me great pleasure to introduce, the wonderfully brilliant and ingenious, Dr. Rodney McKay!"

McKay's head snapped around, taking in the rows, upon rows of people gathered in the largely, intricate and decorative hall. He stumbled forward when someone nudged him from behind, glaring over his shoulder until applause met his ears. People were standing in front of their seats, looking at him with great admiration. His jaw dropped and he stared at the crowd incuriously, before swallowing self consciously and tugging on his collar.

That was when he noticed. His Atlantis uniform was gone. In its place was a smart shirt and trousers, with black shoes too polished not to be new.

"Rodney, go on!" Someone encouraged from the sidelines. She looked remarkably like Jeannie…wait a minute, that was Jeannie. He nearly called to her but the activity around him demanded attention.

Nervously, his eyes raked over the audience. John, Ronon, Teyla and everyone from Atlantis were clapping and hooting enthusiastically in the front row. Zelenka looked incredibly jealous, but proud and Rodney couldn't help but smile smugly. Now if only he knew what was going on.

He walked towards the podium and had an award shoved into his hands, as the man grabbed hold of his hand and shook it vigorously. McKay fumbled with the award awkwardly and pulled his hand away quickly.

"So how does it feel?" The man asked excitedly, jittering about like he was on a coffee high. His black rimmed spectacles hanging from the edge of his nose.

"I…um…well..," he spluttered, his face turning and interesting shade of red. He hated not understanding things.

The man became highly amused and just grinned. "Don't worry, I understand. It's not everyday you win the Nobel Prize."

The man wandered off, leaving Rodney on his own in the centre of the stage, spluttering like an idiot. Eventually though, reality disappeared from his mind as the realism of his surroundings fogged his mind. The audience's cheers reached new heights, causing his already enormous ego to swell phenomenally. He strutted proudly towards the microphone as his admirer's chanted 'speech' continuously.

He held his hands out, forgetting the award and nearly dropping it on the floor. With a flourish he placed it on the podium, clearing his throat dramatically.

"Thank you, thank you everyone. It's truly an honour to finally have my work recognised and given the praise it has been due for sometime…"

The audience ate up his every word, until he reluctantly ended his speech with an exaggerated bow. He moved off stage, passing through the side curtains and coming face to face with the largest buffet he had ever seen. His mouth watered and he made a dash for it, picking up the biggest cake he could find. He took a generous bite out of the surface and moaned in delight as flavour exploded on his tongue delight - it was his favourite.

When he re-opened his eyes he almost backed up into the wall. All his friends were there, but it was the silent figure, smiling proudly at him from the background that caught his attention.

Suddenly, the Ancient lab reappeared around him.

-----

"Hello," a hand waved in front of his face, "McKay!" Sheppard snapped, concern highlighting his features.

"What?!" Rodney snapped, glaring at John before he frantically, and repeatedly tapped the frame. "What the hell happened? How long have I been gone? Where is…"

He noticed everyone's stupefied looks and narrowed his eyes.

"You haven't been anywhere," Ronon told him gruffly from where he was leaning on the bench, in the exact same position as before. "Unfortunately," he muttered. Rodney spun on the Satedan and was about to let a tirade loose, but John beat him to it.

"McKay," John snapped again, exasperated. "What the hell's going on?"

"Are you telling me that I didn't just disappear? That I have been here the whole time…"

"Yes. Zelenka asked you something, but you completely zoned out on everyone."

"But…but the prize and the…oh typical," he muttered morosely, giving up his attempt to go back. He stared thoughtfully at the frame.

"Wait a minute," he exclaimed, clicking his fingers repeatedly as he looked at John. He pointed at Ronon. "He touched it and nothing happened, but when I touched it I was affected. You touch it," he demanded jabbing a finger at John. He snatched the scanner from Zelenka and pointed it at the frame.

"I think he's lost it," Ronon mused from the background.

"Oh shut up, I haven't lost anything!" He countered before glaring at John impatiently. John raised a questioning eyebrow and McKay huffed angrily.

"Look, when I touched that thing I went somewhere, maybe not physically but mentally I did. I need to get some readings from the device when it's in use…since you're the only other one with the Ancient gene, which is what I'm assuming makes it work, I need you to touch it and see if you see the same thing," he ranted in one breath.

"What exactly did you see?" John questioned cautiously, not wanting to do this at all.

"Nothing bad, in fact it was very, very, very…"

"Alright, I get it," John interceded before sighing in defeat. He stepped forward and slapped the frame with his hand, looking at it warily.

"See, nothing's happen…" John froze; it felt as if some form of energy was sweeping through his body. Taking over his senses until he couldn't hear, see or feel anything in the lab anymore.

"See!" Rodney exclaimed defensively, glaring at Ronon and Zelenka.

-----

"What the hell?" John muttered, frantically spinning around, his eyes landing on overly white walls in each direction. To his left was a sofa, it was beige and looked incredibly comfortable. A small side table stood to the side it, holding up something that was remarkably familiar.

Strolling towards the sofa, he casually tilted the pot that rested on the table's surface, studying it from all angles. The memory associated with the gift hit him like a tonne of bricks and his breath quickened automatically. It was the Athosian pot that he had given Elizabeth for her birthday. The rush of emotions that hit almost caused him to drop it, luckily his lightening fast reflexes saved it from destruction.

"You never could keep your hands off could you." The highly amused, yet exasperated, voice said from behind him. So familiar, yet so impossible at the same time. Reflectively, his eyes shut and he leaned on the table to steady himself. In his minds eye he could see her, head tilted to the side with a small smile curving her lips.

"John?" She questioned again. Slowly, as if he was afraid she would disappear, he turned, forcing his eyes open so that green met green. His breath caught.

"'Lizabeth…" he breathed, shock colouring his face. He watched as she pursed her lips in amusement, curiosity tinting her brilliant eyes.

"The one and only," she replied lightly, her eyes narrowing in confusion at his reaction. She took a step forward. "Are you alright? You look as if you've seen a ghost." She laughed self consciously, running her hand through her hair.

"You've no idea," John responded, forcing a smile. His eyes were suspiciously bright until he blinked and the glimmer disappeared completely.

"Are you sure you're okay?" She asked again, taking a step forward, bringing him within touching distance. He could feel the warmth coming from her skin and it was almost enough to persuade him that this was real, that she was still hear and everything was alright.

He couldn't speak, he didn't trust his voice, so he settled for a nod. Unfortunately it didn't reassure Elizabeth and she stepped forward again. That was when he caught it, he couldn't help but recognise it. It was sweet, unique and just…Elizabeth. The hint of perfume that was so subtle and mixed in with her natural sent that you had to be close, too close, to smell it.

Reality exploded into nothingness, because nothing was more real, created more feeling then the person in front of him. Instinctively and against his control his arms reached out, gathering her up in a bear hug, almost crushing her to his chest. She responded, albeit warily, curling her arms around him and resting her head on his shoulder.

"God I've missed you," he whispered, burying his nose into her hair. Elizabeth rubbed his back soothingly, pulling away only to look up into his eyes. The pain within them was clearly evident and hers glinted with heartfelt concern. He couldn't resist the urge and kissed her forehead tenderly

She smiled gently, a blush tinting her cheeks. "John, I haven't been anywhere."

At that moment his heart stopped beating, the air rushed from his lungs leaving him light headed. He smiled sadly and pulled away, holding onto her hands until the very last minute.

-----

The Ancient lab came back into focus. John's hand fell lifelessly to his side, his gaze still resting on the frame. He could practically feel Rodney jumping with impatience beside him.

"Well?" The scientist questioned hurriedly, "We know something happened, we detected a power spike."

"You were right," John told him, his gaze unmoving and his voice desolate.

"Well of course I was," Rodney preened. "What did you see?"

John looked down and took a deep breath. He desperately needed to gain control. Luckily for him Ronon noticed and diverted McKay's attention. His keen eyes had picked up something they had all missed. He really didn't want to talk about it.

"What's that?" he asked, gesturing calmly to a small inscription on the top of the frame and giving John time to compose himself. There was a small, golden carving showing three simple words,

"Pectus pectoris votum. It's Ancient," Rodney stated as if it was obvious.

"Well," Ronon groused impatiently.

"Oh," Rodney exclaimed, realising that no one understood what he was talking about. He smiled smugly. "Loosely translated it means something like…" He tapped his chin in thought "…Hearts Prayer."

The End.