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): I was originally going to upload a very angsty piece today, but then realised I'd be uploading on Valentine's Day and thought that fluff was the way to go. So this is purely mush, slightly more blatent than I would normally be, but not too much. Hope you like it.


Valentine's Day

by SenseOfTime


Elizabeth sighed as she checked her watch. She knew she should probably call it a night; after all, they had spent the last few weeks in heated negotiations between two planets, with a Wraith attack falling right in the middle of them. It had been long and stressful and Elizabeth was sure she still hadn't recovered completely.

She glanced into the control room, it was normally very quiet at this time of night, but at the moment it was all but empty, mainly because she had allowed people to take the night of if they so wished on the basis that it was Valentine's Day back on Earth. Of course Lantea's annual cycle and Earth's were completely different, but where possible they tried to keep on track with Earth's calendar, especially when it came to big holidays and occasions.

Most people had jumped at the chance to have a night off. Those who had partners on Atlantis were making the most of their time together, while the rest seemed to have taken the opportunity to spend time with friends on the base; she had heard people organising small film nights, or games console tournaments, anything that allowed them to just relax and feel like normal human beings for awhile.

With so many plans in motion all over the city Elizabeth had found herself undisturbed for the past few hours and had taken the opportunity to sort out her office. For the most part she kept things in good order, but with the chaos of the last few weeks things had been put in places that they shouldn't have and some files had got mixed together. She had worked tirelessly through her filing cabinets until everything was sorted, ignoring the voice in her head which kept on pointing out that she was working while everyone else was spending time with the people they loved and cared about.

She tried to tell herself that it didn't matter; that she had simply chosen to work rather than relax, simply because it would make her workload over the next few days that much lighter, but the truth of the matter was that no-one had asked her if she wanted to do anything. She was certain that she would have politely declined any offers anyway, but it would have been nice to know that her company was wanted.

She sighed again and sat down on her chair rubbing her eyes to try and wake herself up, attempting to go over what she needed to do tomorrow, but her mind kept on wondering back to the get-togethers that were going on all over the city. It wasn't that she didn't have friends on Atlantis, far from it; John and his team were as close as family, but they were still a team; the four of them together, while she was the leader, the person who gave them orders. There was a difference, and on days like this it got to her; she had no-one who was especially hers on Atlantis, she didn't even have that back on Earth anymore.

Without knowing why, her thoughts drifted to John. If there was one person on the base that she could call her closest friend it would be him, they connected, they understood each other, they supported each other. But John was with his team, as he should be, she thought with a sad smile. But where did that leave her?

She hadn't really thought about the social side of things when she'd accepted the position on Atlantis; she'd been too excited by the prospect of seeing other cultures, and travelling to new planets, and with the vast number of attacks and dangers that Atlantis had faced she'd barely had time to think about relationships, but there were rare moments, like this one, where danger wasn't quite so imminent and something that could almost be described as calmness descended on the city, in times like that her thoughts would get the better of her.

She was lonely, that was the bottom line. There were times when she just wanted someone to be there for her at the end of the day, someone that she could talk to about how she felt, what she thought. She stopped as a realisation dawned on her; John would often fill that place. He would wander on to the balcony to find her after a hard day, or stop by her office under the pretence of dropping off some reports or giving her a message, only to chat about completely mundane things, things that made her smile and helped to take her mind off everything. She smiled to herself; perhaps she did have someone after all, even if it wasn't someone that she could call hers. John had plenty to be getting on with and yet he still took the time to visit her once or twice a day, even managing to have lunch with her every now and then. She could settle for that; she felt comfortable around John, felt more relaxed, was more inclined to smile and laugh and tease. Maybe that was enough; at least she had that. She could cope with being on her own on Valentine's Day if she knew that she wasn't alone when it really mattered.

She stood up and grabbed the last few files that were on her desk, turning around to put them away in her filing cabinets, her mind wandering to the various celebrations around the city.

A gentle tap on the glass of her office made her turn round in surprise; she hadn't heard anyone coming across the bridge. She smiled as she saw John looking at her with an unimpressed expression on his face.

"Why are you working when you gave everyone else the night off?" he asked her.

"Hello John," she smiled. "I just had some work to catch up on."

"Elizabeth, the whole point was not to work, why didn't you come and find us?" She looked at him in surprise; they'd wanted her there?

"I thought you'd want to spend time with your team. I didn't want to interrupt."

"I see plenty of my team the rest of the time. You on the other hand are never out of this damn office," he told her, his eyebrows raised .

"Nobody invited me," she said to him gently, no accusation in her voice, just explanation.

"That's because Rodney's an idiot; he told us you were spending the evening at the girls' film night, said he'd heard someone say something about it."

"I'm afraid not," she said shaking her head.

"Well that's why I didn't say anything; didn't want you to feel bad that you couldn't come. I finished up with my team and then saw one of the nurses and asked if you were there and she said no, so I came to find you."

"Well never mind," she shrugged, closing the filing cabinet. "It's just one evening."

"Come on Elizabeth, aren't you a bit upset?" She didn't reply; the truth was that she was upset; she'd missed the opportunity to just relax and be sociable, able to be herself without the weight of her expedition leader status pressing down on her. "It's Valentine's Day after all;" John continued, "you're meant to spend it with friends and family. You know, the people you…you…"

"Care about?" she supplied.

"Exactly."

"I appreciate you coming and letting me know I was invited," she smiled at him, "but don't worry about it, I've been fine here this evening."

"Well, the evening isn't over just yet," he smiled. "Got time for a coffee, or I s'pose a hot chocolate before you go to bed?" he asked. She smiled up at him, unable to hold back a half laugh at his puppy dog expression.

"I think I can spare a few minutes," she nodded, the tension and depression of her earlier thoughts leaving her in an instant.

The mess hall was mostly deserted when they got there. A few couples, who had obviously spent the evening together, were still talking quietly at different tables, the dull lighting adding to the calm atmosphere. Elizabeth walked with John to the drinks machine and selected a hot chocolate for herself before John followed suit. They took up their seats at a table on the far side of the hall, away from any of the other people. Elizabeth smiled at the small vase of fake flowers that sat on the table; somebody had obviously decided to try and enhance the romantic atmosphere.

"So did you have a good night with your team?" Elizabeth asked. John shrugged.

"Oh, you know, played some games, Ronon and Rodney argued a bit, but it was nice; even managed to introduce Teyla and Ronon to Johnny Cash," he finished with a nod of his head.

"Very impressive," Elizabeth smiled. "Did they like him?"

"Hard to say. I don't really think they get him."

"Sounds like a good evening."

She took a sip of her drink, wrapping both hands around the cup to warm them up; Atlantis did tend to get cooler at night.

"How about you; did you have a romantic night with all your files?" he asked with a playful smirk.

"I don't know if you could really call it romantic, but my files are all in order."

"That's such a crappy Valentine's evening, Elizabeth, you do realise that right?"

"Not the best one I've ever had," she agreed, with a small smile.

"So what has been the best one?"

"My best Valentine's Day?" she asked. He nodded and sat back with his hot chocolate. She considered the question; she and Simon hadn't really celebrated it, deciding that it was more of a commercial money spinner than a meaningful day, but she'd secretly always wanted to set it apart. She thought back further, and smiled.

"Ah, you've got one?" John asked, seeing her expression change.

"You'll laugh," she told him.

"Try me."

"Well in high school I was asked out on a date for Valentine's Day by…" she stopped and frowned, she couldn't remember his name, "…Tom someone," she eventually smiled.

"Obviously a memorable occasion," John smirked. She ignored him.

"He took me to the movies and paid for my popcorn, of course. But then we got thrown out-"

"You got thrown out of the movies?" John asked in surprise.

"It wasn't my fault; he threw some popcorn and the person went and reported him. I was terrified at the time."

"That doesn't sound like a great Valentine's Day, Elizabeth."

"Well that part of it wasn't, but then we went walking for hours, just chatting, and then he kissed me goodnight," she added with a smile.

"That's your best Valentine's Day?" he asked, clearly unconvinced.

"It was my first kiss," she explained.

"Ah, I see," John nodded. "Tom someone, stole your heart," he teased.

"Well what's yours then?" she asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

"Hard to say; I've had some great Valentine's Days but they always turned out bad in the end."

"Such as?"

I took a girl out for a meal once and she got food poisoning, and then another year me and my date got our wallet and purse stolen walking back from a dance-"

"You dance?" Elizabeth asked, surprise thrumming through her.

"Not after that experience," he grinned.

"Another year the girl's dog died while we were out at the movies. And then my last proper Valentine's Day I proposed to my ex-wife, and the ex obviously shows that that didn't work out great," he finished. Elizabeth hid her surprise at the last comment; John rarely talked about his personal life; she had only known about his ex-wife because of his file.

"Simon and I never really celebrated Valentine's Day," she said after a moment, deciding that if John wanted to reveal something of his inner self she was going to join in.

"We didn't after that year; it becomes kinda clichéd I guess," he said quietly.

"I suppose," she sighed, "but that's a shame." They fell silent for a few moments, each drinking their hot chocolates, lost in thought, but a minute later John leant forward.

"You know what; I think this makes a good Valentine's Day," he said, nodding at the room.

"A communal mess hall and hot chocolate in cardboard cups?" she asked him, unconvinced.

"Nah, I mean spontaneity. Unplanned. Something that hasn't had weeks of preparation behind it."

"Something natural, you mean?"

"Precisely."

"Well I can't argue; this has been lovely," she put her empty cup down on the table and looked up at him, "thank you John."

"No problem," he murmured, "but next year just come and find us."

"Surely that's planning it though," she teased.

"Well some planning's alright," he shrugged. "I don't want you spending Valentine's Day on your own, never again okay. In fact I'll make you a deal."

"Sounds ominous," she said, narrowing her eyes.

"Every year we're on Atlantis we make sure we do something."

"You and me?" she asked him in surprise, ignoring the butterflies that suddenly erupted in her stomach.

"You, me, the other's if they're around," he nodded. He looked at her, a half daring, half affectionate expression on his face; he really did mean it.

"You've got yourself a deal," she nodded. He grinned at her and placed his own empty cup on the table, holding out a hand for her to shake, which she did, feeling him squeezing it gently, holding on for a second or two longer than she would have expected.

They left the hall after that, heading for their separate quarters, both walking the same way. They got to Elizabeth's door first and she opened it, turning round in the doorway to look at him.

"Thanks for coming and finding me," she smiled at him.

"Thanks for coming without argument, I thought you'd take more convincing," he grinned.

"Good company and a hot drink; why would I say no?" she teased.

"I'll remind you of that the next time I'm trying to get you to leave your office for a while."

There were a few seconds of silence, before Elizabeth smiled once again.

"Good night, John," she said softly.

"Night, Elizabeth," he replied. She made to go into her room, but stopped when he spoke again. She turned back.

"One more thing," he said gently. He brought his hand out from behind his back, a tiny red flower held between his fingers. Elizabeth smiled as she recognised it as one of the flowers from the vase in the mess hall.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Elizabeth," he smiled, holding the flower out to her.

"I thought you didn't like clichés," she teased as she took it from him.

"I don't, but your first Valentine's Day with someone has to be full of them." She laughed at the comment and his boyish grin.

"Thank you," she nodded, holding the flower delicately.

"You're welcome," he replied. "And in the interest of keeping with the clichés…" He took her other hand and brought it lightly up to his lips, kissing it softly. She stared at him, too stunned to say anything; since when did John Sheppard openly demonstrate his affection for anybody? Her expression brought another smile to his face and he stepped back, evidently pleased with the reaction.

"Night 'Lizabeth," he said again, before turning round and heading down the corridor. Elizabeth backed into her room, still in shock from John's actions, but slowly a smile began to spread across her face. She sat down on her bed and stared at the flower, before carefully laying it down on her bedside table. She quickly got changed for bed and lay down, and couldn't help another smile from creeping across her face as she thought back to the last half hour or so; it had been such a simple gesture on John's part and yet it had meant so much. She reached over to her lamp and switched it off.

"What's been your favourite Valentine's Day?" she whispered to herself, repeating John's question from earlier. She didn't reply, but her fingers lightly reached over and grasped the flower, picking it up and placing it on her pillow. She stared at it for several seconds in the darkness and then closed her eyes, a smile still on her face as she fell asleep.