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: Myriad here, posting for Jack. Those of you who have been following YotS from the beginning may notice that she's not one of our regular authors, but she has agreed to throw in a story from time to time. We're certainly glad for her contribution, and we hope you enjoy it!

Friends and Grief
By JackO'NeillIsTheMan

Disclaimer: I don't own them; if I did Liz would never ever have even been suspected of dying.

He stood looking out over the unfamiliar ocean, up into the sky, imagining that if he looked hard enough he could see across the galaxy and to the place where she was. He couldn't believe her Replicator copy. He wouldn't.

A memory washed over him; her whispered voice, telling him he was the one who had pulled her through, that last time the Replicators had tried to take her over. She had fought them then and she would be fighting now. She had needed him then and that had been when she was safe in the infirmary—now she was trapped, captured by the Replicators and almost surely being tortured. His eyes snapped shut in pain and despair.

The quiet swish of the door interrupted his thoughts.

"Hey." Rodney stepped out on the balcony behind him.

"What now, Rodney?" John didn't even turn to look at him.

"I don't accept it either, but even if she is still alive we have no idea where to start looking nor do we have any kind of plan."

"I know that!" His palms slammed down onto the railing in front of him and he whipped his head around to glare. "I don't care. I would know if she was…" his voice quieted as he turned back away, "…gone."

"Yeah… I, um, could even see- well, you know." Rodney stuttered.

"What the hell are you talking about McKay?"

"Argh. You guys had this- thing. There was always, uh, tension, I guess, between you."

John laughed derisively. "Great. You know what? I have no idea what you are talking about."

"Damn it, John, she's gone." Rodney's voice cracked slightly, before getting strong once again. "Just admit it."

"I have nothing to admit, she's my friend if there is any way to get her back I will find it." John's voice was cold now.

"Fine!" Rodney threw up his hands in exasperation. "Just keep deluding yourself and wallowing in your self-pity alone!" Muttering under his breath he started to turn to go, "I try to be a good friend…"

John's eyes closed. Her image was seared onto his eyelids; the Replicator copy of her that had shown up out of the blue had made sure of that. If only it had really been her….

"I was her friend, her colleague, but it wasn't anything more. Even if maybe I wanted it to be. It couldn't be, not after I was the one who left her behind."

"Oh! Of course you would think that! You, the one who always has to be responsible for everything! 'We don't leave people behind!' Well, guess what? She asked, no, told, us to go! It's nobody's fault!" Rodney stopped and took a deep breath before continuing, softer, "Except maybe mine. I was the one who reactivated her nanites after all. If it wasn't for me she would never have gone on that mission at all."

"You may have disobeyed a direct order when you did that, but if you hadn't maybe there wouldn't have even been a mission. Either way, her capture wasn't your fault. I should have been there to keep her in the Jumper."

Rodney interrupted sarcastically, "Do you really think that would have helped? If you had been there and she tried to run out, what would you have done? Shoot her?"

"Of course not! But I could have done something!"

"You, uh, could have, um, kissed her." Rodney smirked at him. "Like that time you two got possessed by Pheobus and Thalen. That was something to see, I gotta say."

John rolled his eyes, "Try being the one it happened to. That was the only semi-fun part of that day, running around the city trying to kill her before she killed me? Not so much. Besides, that wasn't us, it was really weird."

"Doesn't matter. You two didn't stop grinning stupidly at each other for days, well, when you weren't trying to avoid each other out of embarrassment." He chuckled, "Even Caldwell thought it was funny."

"Oh, shut up McKay." But there was a small smile on his face that hadn't been there before. "Those were some pretty good times, back before the Replicators got so freaking annoying."

"Yeah, when we just had the Wraith to deal with our lives were so much easier weren't they?" Rodney humorously mused, then sighed. "We better get some sleep, there's a lot to do tomorrow."

"I'm not tired. I'll be in later."

Rodney sighed, but he knew when to give in. "Alright, just don't stay out here too long. It gets pretty cold at night on this new planet." He spun around and slipped back inside, throwing one last parting remark over his shoulder, awkward, "She did love you. Whatever else, don't doubt that."

As the door swished closed behind his friend, John stepped to the far corner of the balcony and slid down to sit against the wall. Remembering those good times was bittersweet and confusing. He felt happy thinking about them at first, but then that feeling dissolved into an even worse hopelessness when the thought she may never be coming back pierced through him once again. He buried his face in his hands and let himself cry for the woman who had snuck so deep into his heart and taken over so much of it he wasn't sure if he would ever get any of it back.

The End