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 that 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 the author (SenseOfTime): Once again another very subtle approach to John and Elizabeth's relationship, with the rest if the team thrown in there for good measure. I'm also trying my hand at humour, so see what you think and please review!


Parenting

By SenseOfTime


"I appreciate the loyalty McKay, nice to know I can count on you," Ronon told him fiercely as he sat down, clutching his injured arm.

"How was I supposed to know they'd go for you?"

"Because they said they would!" Ronon snapped.

"Will the two of you knock it off," John said, glancing at them briefly, before turning to try and direct the jumper through the fog that had enshrouded the entire northern hemisphere of this planet since their arrival. "Rodney can you get the jumper's navigation system working?"

"No, look I told you; whatever this fog is it's completely messed with the sensors; I'm trying to find a way around it, but-"

"Get on with it then, and while you're at it, upload our inbound flight path onto a tablet for Elizabeth."

"But-"

"Now Rodney!" Rodney muttered something under his breath which John ignored, instead turning to Elizabeth who was sitting in the co-pilot's seat. "As soon as Rodney's given you the flight I'll need you to navigate. Just follow our original path backwards. How are your map reading skills?"

"We'll see, won't we," she said grimly. A few minutes later Rodney had uploaded the information and passed it to Elizabeth. John quickly forced the jumper up into the air.

"You need to head north for about thirty kilometres," Elizabeth told him quickly.

"That'd be great if I knew which way north was," he responded, biting down his frustration.

"Sorry," she muttered, "Okay, you need to head thirty degrees to the left from this point."

"Better," John nodded as he turned the jumper slightly and headed forward. From behind he heard Ronon grimacing as Teyla saw to his wound.

"Oh, come on, you're just trying to make me feel guilty," Rodney complained. "I've seen you with much worse injuries and you barely blink."

"The villagers told us that the knife was laced with a fire serum, Rodney," Teyla told him, her tone hard.

"What the hell is fire serum?" Rodney asked.

"It is taken from a rare plant, only found on a few planets; when put in a wound it vastly increases the sensation of pain."

"Well why didn't you tell me that?" Rodney asked incredulously.

"She did," Ronon snarled; "you were too busy insulting them to hear her."

"Right, all of you pack it in; me and Elizabeth are trying to concentrate and you're not helping," John told them firmly.

"Why didn't you tell me again?" Rodney asked a few seconds later, his voice a fierce whisper.

"You were not listening," Teyla told him. "But the pain Ronon is in is excruciating, the least you could do is offer your apologies."

"I'm not apologising; I didn't attack him with the knife," Rodney told her. John fought the urge to shout at him again. "I was just trying to make them see that their way of living wasn't particularly hygienic."

"They told you to shut up, or they'd take it out on us," Ronon glared at him, before doubling over and clutching desperately at his arm. "You couldn't keep your mouth shut for five minutes?"

"I didn't think they'd do it," Rodney exclaimed incredulously. John was about to speak up, but Elizabeth beat him to it; she turned round, her eyes narrowed.

"Right now we have to concentrate on finding our way back to the 'gate," she told them firmly, "and if apologising will help to stop you arguing and let you concentrate on getting the sensors up and working once again, then I suggest you do it, Rodney."

John looked back briefly as silence fell on the jumper; Rodney was looking sheepishly at Elizabeth, while Ronon and Teyla watched him.

"Fine, I'm sorry," Rodney eventually muttered.

"I don't accept your apology," Ronon murmured.

"What? What was the point in making a fuss about it then?"

"Right that's it!" John said, turning round and leaving the jumper on autopilot. "You heard what Elizabeth said; there are more important things to worry about. Rodney, if being in here is that distracting you can go and sit in the back of the jumper to work."

"I don't-" but he stopped as Elizabeth fixed him with a look. She glanced back at John, waiting for him to continue and Rodney reluctantly picked up his laptop and headed into the back compartment.

"Teyla, have you dealt with this fire serum before?"

"Once or twice; it is very rare."

"Do what you can for Ronon, as soon as we get back to Atlantis I'll send for a medical team." Teyla nodded and grabbed a med-kit from the back compartment. "Ronon, buddy, hang in there, ok; we'll be back on Atlantis soon." Ronon nodded, evidently fighting back pain. With that said John turned back round and looked over at Elizabeth.

"Nicely handled," she smiled at him, before giving him a slight course alteration; he steered the jumper in the right direction.

"Same to you," he replied. "Honestly, it's like we're looking after kids sometimes." She raised an eyebrow at him. "It's exactly what me and my brother were like whenever we went out with Mum and Dad," he shrugged.

"Mum and Dad?" she asked him, looking uncertainly at him.

"Sure; think about it; we bring them all out for a nice little off world trip; Rodney gets us kicked out and then they all argue on the way back home," he said with a dry smile.

"I see you're point, but you're calling the whole of your team children?"

"Maybe not Teyla, and Ronon has to be provoked into it, but McKay…he's earned that label."

"He's not that bad," Elizabeth smiled, but as she spoke the scientist came up behind looking flustered and annoyed.

"Are we there yet?" he asked in frustration.

John looked over at Elizabeth with a smug grin.

"You were saying?"

"Because it's going to take me a bit more time to fix these sensors and chances are I'll need to have a proper look at…." Rodney began, but he tailed off frowning, "were you saying something about me?"

"No Rodney," Elizabeth told him hurriedly, "and if my directions are correct we should be there in about fifteen minutes."

"So, for now you can go and sit quietly in the back."

"I'm going to come back into the front compartment if that's alright with you?" he asked hesitantly. John bit his lip to stop the laugh that rose up in his throat at Rodney asking for his permission.

"As long as you promise to play nice," he replied eventually. McKay gave him a withering look.

"I mean it Rodney, or I'm going to stop being a guinea-pig for all of your Ancient research."

"Fine; I won't even speak," he muttered, before turning to Elizabeth shyly. "Sorry for earlier," he mumbled, before going and sitting back down. Elizabeth turned to John, an expression of shock on her face. John had to agree; since when did Rodney apologise, but he ignored his surprise and looked at her with a grin.

"Our little guy's growing up," he said, mock pride in his voice. Elizabeth rolled her eyes at him and he took that as appreciation of his comedy.

Half an hour later, after getting lost and eventually finding their way back when Rodney did in fact manage to fix the sensors, they emerged in Atlantis' gateroom. John called for a medical team to be standing by in the jumper bay as they slowly ascended into it. He brought the jumper gently down onto the floor and shut it off. It didn't take long for the medical team to arrive and see to Ronon, with Rodney defending his actions on the planet and Teyla attempting to act as peacemaker between him and Ronon as they all headed for the infirmary.

"Home Sweet Home," John murmured turning to Elizabeth.

"Home Sweet Home," she nodded in agreement, holding his gaze for several seconds, before getting up and heading out into the city.