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 (Myriad): Not entirely sure how long this storyline will end up being, but (with apologies to Bite Beccy, who mentioned it in her review of part II) this isn't the end. I have more character-tormenting to do before then (mua ha ha). Anyway, check Jan 1 and Jan 15 if you want to see parts I and II. This one fought me for the better part of a week, and I'm still not thrilled with it, but hopefully it's at least tolerable. Though this one was not as strongly influenced as the others, the original inspiration came from the song "Over and Over" by Three Day's Grace.

Reality (III)
By Myriad (Myriadragon)

"Are you going to tell Colonel Sheppard?"

John froze in the hallway outside Elizabeth—Colonel Carter's office.

Sam exhaled heavily. "I haven't decided yet."

Teyla nodded slowly.

"He has a right to know," Sam said. "As the military commander of Atlantis, he has an obligation to know. But more than that—" She broke off, unsure of how to phrase it.

"Yes," Teyla agreed quietly, letting the matter go unspoken.

"But he also has responsibilities," Sam continued. "God knows he's gone above and beyond the call of duty for Atlantis, and he takes his duties seriously. But when it comes to Doctor Weir—"

"Yes," Teyla said again. "Yet I cannot fault him. If I had even a rumor of Kanaan…" She pressed an absent hand to the swell of her belly.

Sam sighed. "I can't say I wouldn't do the same myself," she admitted, thinking of Jack. She laughed shortly. "I'm sure the IOA would be happy to provide record of all the times I have. But it doesn't change the fact that he's become increasingly obsessive. Every time we get even a hint of Doctor Weir's location, he goes racing off to try to find her."

"And compromises the security of Atlantis."

"Exactly. He knows too much to risk falling into Replicator hands. I shouldn't even be authorizing these missions in the first place." Sam shut her laptop with a decisive snap. Then she sighed again. "But I know what she means to him—what she means to everyone on this base. Most of the civilians have accepted me, and I know the military are glad to have one of their own in charge. Still, I get the feeling they'd all prefer it if Doctor Weir were still in command."

"We are all very fond of you, Samantha," Teyla reassured her. "It is only that…Elizabeth is the only commander Atlantis has known since the Ancients abandoned it. She was more than just a leader, to many. In time, you will find your own place in their hearts."

Sam lifted one corner of her mouth in a half-smile. "I know. I suppose I'm just impatient."

Both women laughed quietly, but quickly sobered. "We have not yet resolved the matter of Colonel Sheppard," Teyla said.

Sam pressed her lips together. "I'm not going to tell him."

Teyla hesitated a moment before nodding her acquiescence. "The decision is yours."

"It's not an easy one. I respect him, I like him, I'm beginning to consider him a friend. And friends don't lie to one another." Sam looked down at her desk. "But he's killing himself with this, and we need him. I don't think Atlantis could stand losing him as well as Doctor Weir."

Teyla reached across the desk and laid a hand on Sam's arm. "I will not tell him."

John beat a hasty retreat as the two women stood, walking quickly to the nearest transporter and brushing a hand over the touch screen without paying attention to where he told it to go.

They don't trust me.

It was insulting. Humiliating. They trusted his intentions, yes, but not his decisions, and that was worse.

Worst of all, he knew they were right.

It galled him to admit it, but they were right. Not to withhold information—friends don't lie to friends—but to doubt him.

The transporter doors opened and he exited, letting his feet carry him where they would, his mind on other things.

He knew, intellectually, rationally, that he couldn't go after her again. He should never have gone after her before. The first time, maybe—but none of the others.

But he remembered her voice, echoing through his head, jolting him from his dreams. Find me.

And then he saw the face of Lieutenant Marshall, killed on his fourth attempt to find her. Ronon, gritting his teeth as Keller did her best to mend the leg that had been shattered on the third. The peasant family on P4N-783—

Every time he forced himself to walk calmly through the 'Gate, when he wanted to run. Every time, his heart pounding in his chest as though it might break through bone and skin and fly to her. Every time, the sickening premonition that he wouldn't find her this time, either.

She was always gone when they arrived—if she had been there at all. No hint, not one trace of her whereabouts. Just Replicators—and death.

He couldn't go again. Though every fiber in him shouted against it, he knew a sixth attempt would be insanity. A sixth—no, a seventh. MJ2-441, that had been the sixth. He couldn't remember anymore.

John stopped and looked around him. His gaze quickly locked on a familiar doorway.

His feet had carried him straight to her room.

"Colonel Carter, we need you in the control room right away!"

Sam ran to the nearest transporter as Chuck's anxious voice called over her radio. The light flashed, sending her up into the control tower, and she strode quickly into the control room. "What's going on?"

"Someone's taken control of the Stargate," Chuck said worriedly, entering yet another useless command on his keyboard.

"Not someone, Colonel Sheppard," Rodney snapped, typing furiously. "He's the only one who knows my password."

"He's using your account?" Sam asked, bending to look over Rodney's shoulder.

"He has to be; it's the only one that could be doing this. I've written several programs that allow my user account direct access to the 'Gate and various other key systems throughout the city. Makes it easier for me to fix things," he muttered.

"And you told him your password?" Sam demanded.

"Well I didn't think he would remember it!" Rodney protested.

"Can you stop it?" Sam said over the end of Rodney's exclamation.

"I'm doing the best that I can, but it'll take me a while to get around all the protections I put on my account."

"Do it fast. Any minute now he'll be—" Sam stopped as the 'Gate lit up and began to lock in chevrons.

"What the hell is he doing?" Rodney asked, staring at the computer screen. "There's nothing on P79-443. It's a backwater agrarian planet."

"Where, according to one of Teyla's contacts, Elizabeth Weir was spotted approximately eight hours ago," Sam said grimly.

"Oh. Oh, crap," Rodney said. "Why did you tell him?"

"I didn't; he must have accessed the file through your account. Can you bring up the iris?"

"I tried that, but I can't get through my firewalls. Never underestimate my paranoia," he said when Sam raised an eyebrow.

She spared a brief second to glare. "Do you know where he is?"

"No—yes," Rodney corrected. "He's opening the floor in the 'Jumper bay." As he spoke, the ceiling of the 'Gate room opened and a 'Jumper descended.

"Can we talk to him?" Sam asked.

Rodney's fingers flew over the keys. He shook his head. "He's not wearing his radio, and he's turned off the 'Jumper's comm."

Sam straightened and shook her head. "It doesn't matter. We wouldn't have been able to stop him." Her eyes closed and she took a deep breath. "I hope it's worth it."

"He's a smart guy, Sam. Not as smart as me, and certainly not where Elizabeth is concerned, but he'll be okay."

"Will he?" Rodney frowned up at her and she smiled ruefully. "I have a certain amount of experience with these situations, Rodney. He'll return to us, whatever happens. But if he doesn't find her…"

"He will," Rodney said. "I mean—he has to."

Sam stared at the lifeless 'Gate and said nothing.