Year of Sparky: February 15

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!

A/N: I've been thinking about this story for a while, wondering what Elizabeth's last night on Atlantis before everything get's screwed up would be like, and well… here it goes! It's Elizabeth's POV for a change, just thought I'd shake things up a bit! It may say 2/16/08 on the thing, but I sent it in before twelve! So in my time it should still be 15! Oh well:D

Last Night

By Andie O'Neill

Summary: Elizabeth's last night before the Replicator attack.

I've been on this balcony so many times over the years. It's always beautiful, always peaceful. I love the smell… the salty air that reminds me of trips to the beach with my family when I was little. The sound of waves lapping against the city takes me back to the days we'd spend on my father's fishing boat. My mother hated going, and would usually stay at the camp site while my father and I left to catch fish. I was absolutely terrible at it, but those times on the water talking to my dad were the best times I ever remember having. It's late, but I probably won't sleep anyway. It's been a hard year… on everyone. I feel different… a stranger compared to the person I used to be. I was idealistic once. Right was right and wrong was wrong. After years of stepping over that line I'd drawn, everything changed. The line faded, thought I'm not sure when.

Could it have been the day I ordered teams to their death? The day I became fine with giving orders to kill others? The day I agreed to let another torture someone else because it was zero hour? John tells me I had no choice, but that's the problem. I never have a choice. I've seen innocent people die, all because of choices… because of mistakes. My mistakes. The balcony helps. I can calm myself down and just relax for once. Sometimes I would go to Carson and ask for something, of course, I can't now. Carson's gone. A lot of people are gone… good people. I shouldn't, but I wonder how many more will die. How many more will leave Atlantis for one reason or another? I don't know why, but I have that feeling. Something is about to change… perhaps Atlantis is due for a change. It may be good, maybe it won't be, but it doesn't matter anymore. Whatever happens, Atlantis will be fine… of that I'm sure. I wondered how we'd manage when Ford left… yet then Ronan came and Sheppard's team became stronger. I wondered how we'd manage when Carson died, but I see Doctor Keller, and I know she'll hit her stride. I'm tired… so very tired, but I'm sure I'll be fine. I hope.


I'm not surprised when I see John Sheppard walk through the door and stand behind me. I've watched him come here to check on me so many times, though I have no idea why he does it. I suppose he's just trying to help… my knight in shinning armor? Right.

"It's pretty late… having trouble sleeping?" he asked.

I simply shrug. He knows by now, that I'm not the best when it comes to getting rest. The ocean helps, but in the end, sometimes I just can't do it. "I could ask you the same thing," I shoot back at him.

John just smiles at me, and walks over to stand beside me. He's always by my side. We're so very different, but in many ways he's become my best friend. He keeps me strong, keeps me fighting when I'd normally give up. He's the voice that tells me not to give up hope, to keep trying until there's nothing left, telling me to never quit. I try to listen, it helps… he helps. We may not always agree, but it doesn't matter. We both love Atlantis, and we'd both give our lives to protect it. On that we can both agree. "You okay?" he finally asked.

He worries about me almost as much as I worry about him. It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad. "Remember our first year on Atlantis?"

John laughed. "How could I forget?! We had absolutely no idea what we were doing. Of course, we still have no idea what we're doing. You're hair was so short!"

I can't help but laugh with him. "I think more than my hair has changed, John."

John shrugged. "I like it long… so I guess some things have changed for the better," he teased. "My hair unfortunately hasn't really changed. I was thinking about getting Ronan's dreads, but Rodney says I don't have the cheek bones for it."

I know he's just trying to change my mood. He can tell I'm having one of those days… he usually can. I look down at the water so far away from the balcony I'm standing on. It's dark, but I can still see the waves, an outline in black waters. The stars and moon reflect their own light, but just barely. The night isn't as clear as it usually is. I can feel John's eyes on me… I know he's worried. "Our first year, we spent a lot of time trying to trade with others, hoping to work things out for goods and fresh food. I'd read SG-1's files, and the files of other SG teams… but I never really believed we'd have the same difficulties. Instead we woke up a race bent on destroying us… and another that threatened the SGC for years. Quite a name we're making for ourselves isn't it?"

"We've made mistakes, but we've also helped people-"

"And what of the people who've been culled because of all the Wraith we awoke? What about the Taranans? I'm sure their very thankful for all our help!" I know it's been weeks since the news of what happened to the Taranans, but I just can't get over it. It is after all, our fault. Michael used them for his experiments. And we gave them right to him.

"That wasn't our fault, Elizabeth," John fought.

I don't agree. He likes to think positive, but he has no ground this time around. "Then explain it to me, because I'd say it's pretty clear how Michael got the information. They got it from our database, John! Ours! We gave the Taranans right into Michael's hand! We actually thought we could be allies with the Wraith and look where it got us… look where it go the Taranans!" Maybe it's wrong for a leader to second guess herself but I can't help it. I can see the truth, and I know it was our fault.

John falls silent and I know he's trying to find something to say. He saw the bodies, Taranans killed because of Michael. "We didn't know, Elizabeth."

"Tell that to the Taranans," I whisper. I'm angry now. Angry at myself, angry at what happened… I don't even know anymore. I can't figure out how to move forward, how to get over something so horrific. They were good people, they never deserved their fate.

"Yes, we've made mistakes. And yes, people have died because of us. We're responsible. We'll also be responsible for stopping those people… the ones killing and using our mistakes to suit their needs. The Wraith, the Replicators, and Michael. We will stop them, Elizabeth. But Atlantis needs its leader if we are to keep fighting," John told her.

I have to smile. He's good at speeches, when he needs to be. "Atlantis doesn't need me, John."

"You're wrong," he tried to fight. He stares at me, his eyes hard.

I can feel a change coming, different from that day I walked into Atlantis, but just as strong. I don't know the future, but I do know what I feel. I trust my instincts, and all of them are telling me to get ready. I don't know when it's going to come, and I don't know from where, but it will come… it always does. "Atlantis needs me? Or you need me?" I have to ask. We've been good friends for years. I lean on him, and when he needs to, he leans on me. It's been that way from the beginning. But there were times… times when I wondered why it felt wrong. Maybe I just wanted more, or maybe it didn't feel right, because it wasn't right. Either way, I feel like taking the chance.

"What?" He's confused.

I suppose I would be too. I look away once more. I know he'll see right through me unless I turn away. "You heard me John."

There's tension in the air, I can feel it. Everything's quiet, and I'm sure I could hear a pin drop if it were to happen. Even the sounds of the waves seem to have quieted down. Finally he speaks. "A little of both."

It's a whisper, but it's enough. I turn back once more to look at him, and see the honesty in his eyes. In fairy tales the prince kisses the princess and everything turns out well for them both. The real world isn't quite as kind. I don't date those under my command, as John knows. As much as I'd like to, I can't kiss him and tell him we should start something… that we should be together. Neither can he. Still, somehow his words are enough… enough to tell me I'm not alone. He feels something, just as I do. It's not a confession of undying love, and it may never be, but on our favorite balcony under the stars, it might as well be. I smile back up at him and nod my understanding. He smiles too. At that moment we say more than words ever could. I suppose I finally understand Romeo and Juliet. The worst love is the kind you cannot act upon. Still, that doesn't mean that will always be the case, so I decide to do something foolish… not for the first time, and probably not for the last. "Atlantis needs you too, John."

He knows where this is going. "Atlantis, or you?" he shoots back.

"Both," I assure him before turning back to the ocean. He knows, knows I feel the same. I lean against the balcony rail, not surprised when John does the same. I don't know the future, but whatever happens… I do know one thing. My life will change, but I won't be afraid. I accept fate, whether good or bad. And maybe one day… fate will be kind enough to give me my fairy tale… even if there are a few dragons along the way. It's getting late, but I don't care. It's a calm and peaceful night, and I plan on enjoying it.

The End