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 author: This was actually the first thing I wrote for YotS, and I'm finally getting round to posting it. Hope you like it!
John resisted the urge to lean against the wall of the gateroom as he kept watch, knowing that if he did he would be tempted to close his eyes and go to sleep; he was certain that having the Military Commander fall asleep whilst on the night watch would not give the best impression of the capabilities of the military faction of Atlantis.
Instead he decided to pace across the room, finishing off the cold cup of coffee that had been in his hand for the past hour. He put it down on the floor making a mental note to tidy it up later, before checking his watch; there were still a few hours to go before the earliest of Atlantis' risers would be up and about. He sighed; night shifts weren't the most interesting things to be assigned to, and when they were it was usually because the city was in mortal danger; something that he didn't want to have to deal with right now.
He paced back to the other side and was about to turn again when he caught sight of someone pressed against the wall in the corridor leading into the gateroom. He turned back and frowned as he saw Elizabeth glancing, very cautiously, at the 'gate, her posture tense. He walked towards her.
"Elizabeth?" he asked in confusion, but instead of replying she turned tail and ran down the corridor. John stood there, too stunned to react for a moment, before jumping back into action. "Lieutenant," he called, "I'll be back shortly." The young man on the other side of the room nodded, straightening up his stance, obviously deciding that being left in charge was too important to slouch through.
John headed into the corridor at a jog, but, hearing Elizabeth's light footsteps rushing towards the nearest transporter, he picked up his pace and caught up in time to see her go through the door and hit a destination point on the far side of the city; a destination that made no sense whatsoever; that area had only recently been excavated and there was nothing down there of interest, none of the labs had been opened up and the rooms on that level were severely damaged by flooding.
He ran forward as the doors slid shut, but wasn't quick enough to stop the transporter, he waited a few seconds and then followed her route, finding himself stepping out into a dully lit hall, which didn't smell too fresh.
"Elizabeth?" he called, seeing no sign of her. He turned in a full circle and instinctively raised his P90; something was not right and he was beginning to worry. Her face had been full of fear when she'd stepped into the transporter and she had been breathing heavily. "Elizabeth?" he called again in a raised whisper.
"John!" He turned around in a flash at the hissed call, to see Elizabeth peering at him from a room entrance, the door half closed, obviously damaged by the water that had flooded this section nearly a year ago, after the infamous storm. Elizabeth was beckoning him into the room, whilst casting fearful glances down the corridor. John moved forward and, unsure of what was going on, pointed his P90 down the corridor in case Elizabeth could in fact see something that he couldn't; stranger things had happened.
"Elizabeth; what the hell is going on?" he whispered as she walked into the room, running her hands through her hair before making an obvious attempt to calm herself, taking some deep breaths and closing her eyes for several seconds. It was only then that John noticed she was barefoot, he shook his head in confusion; she was still fully dressed, so why was she wondering round without shoes on?
"The gate's cut off, but Rodney's working on a diversion," she told him, seriously. John looked at her for several seconds, trying to work out if she was being serious or if this was some elaborate set up; but everything he knew about Elizabeth told him that she wasn't going to amuse herself in the early hours of the morning by pretending to be completely deluded.
"What are you talking about?" he asked. She headed back to the door and peered down the corridor once again.
"Ronon and Teyla are waiting in the farmhouse and I've sent Lorne to fetch Sedge."
"Sedge?" he asked her, but the name rang a bell; wasn't that the name of her dog back on Earth? John let go of his P90 at that and walked towards her.
"Look, Elizabeth; you're on Atlantis, nothing's wrong, you're completely safe, but I think you need to go and see Carson."
"I'm fine, but if you're concerned I'll go and see him when we get back to Atlantis, for now we just need to concentrate on getting control of the 'gate." She turned back to the door and John slowly reached over to grasp her shoulders and turned her to face him. Her eyes, though looking at him, seemed to be slightly glazed, almost as if she was looking through him; they kept on trying to focus on his face and never quite managed it. Realisation hit him in an instant and he stifled the urge to laugh; she was asleep. He stepped back and looked at her again; she must have been exhausted if she had fallen asleep in her clothes; he'd been trying to make sure that she got plenty of sleep over the past few months, but he had suspected that she simply continued with her work in her quarters after she left her office. He shook his head in concern; somehow he was going to have to convince her that getting enough rest was more important than a few bits of paperwork here and there.
"Elizabeth; you're asleep," he said slowly. He moved to shake her shoulder, but then decided against it; weren't you supposed to simply lead a sleepwalker back to their room without waking them? She shook her head and edged out into the corridor.
"I'm not," she whispered. "I've studied the texts in the structures nearby and they say that these people can be hostile, but that they have a fear of water; Rodney's going to divert the waterfall." This time John did laugh.
"Rodney's diverting the waterfall?" he asked sceptically; even for Rodney that seemed a little optimistic.
"Yes, but we need to find some heavy stones for him."
"Okay," John said slowly. "Look, I think we should head back to your room; Rodney said that this part of the city wasn't safe."
"We need to find John as well," she continued as if she hadn't heard him. "I'm worried about him."
"I'm John, Elizabeth; you just called me over," John told her feeling slightly frustrated.
"This way," she signalled, pointing further into the flood damaged part of the city.
"No," John told her gently, "I think it's this way."
"John went this way."
"No, he didn't; he's this way," he pointed back to the transporter, deciding that, for now, becoming a part of her dream would be the best way of getting her back to her room. She glanced towards the transporter, confused as to which way she should go, but eventually she nodded and headed back. John followed her quickly and tapped the transporter destination nearest to her quarters. As soon as they had stepped into the corridor, she gave a yell of shock and rushed forward, crouching on the floor and gently looking in horror at the empty space.
"John," she whispered. He stepped forward to reassure her, before realising that the name had been addressed to the floor that she was crouching over.
"What is it?" he asked her.
"He's badly hurt; we need to get him to the 'gate now. I thought he was back on Earth," she admitted sadly, "I thought he was safe." John frowned at the words; she was dreaming that he was injured? He knew that she worried about him and his team when they were off world, but this was different, the terror and grief on her face expressed so much more emotion than Elizabeth usually showed in every day life.
"Elizabeth, look, you've made a mistake; I'm here, look at me," he said gently. She remained staring at the floor. "Doctor Weir," he tried again, deciding that her title might make more of an impact. This time she did look round at him, and he saw recognition flit across her face.
"John!" she said in surprise, and before he knew it she had thrown her arms around him and was pulling him tightly towards her, evidently relieved. John hugged her back gently, unsure of whether the sudden movement would wake her up, but when she stood up and offered him a hand her eyes still seemed dull and unfocused. He took her hand and she pulled him up, before looking around, her actions a few seconds before seemingly forgotten.
"Can you hear the water; I think Rodney's done it," she said, heading down the corridor in the opposite direction to her quarters.
"Elizabeth!" John called, racing after her. She stopped suddenly and John nearly ran into her.
"I forgot Sedge," she said quickly.
"She's this way," John tried. Elizabeth looked at him expectantly and he realised that she had actually listened to him this time. He took off, heading towards her quarters, hoping that no one came out of their room to see the Military Commander and Expedition Leader chasing around the corridors of Atlantis. He turned back and saw that she was following him, her eyes looking around everywhere as she tried to search for her absent dog. John got to her quarters and palmed open the door; stepping to one side to allow Elizabeth to follow him in. She kept to the walls when she came in and looked around suspiciously.
"Where is she?"
"There," John said, pointing at the bed. Elizabeth moved forward, seemingly convinced by John's lie, and sat down on the bed. But just as John was breathing a sigh of relief she suddenly put her head in her hands.
"The IOA are going to fire me."
The sudden turn around threw John off guard and it was several seconds before he moved towards the bed, hovering near it as Elizabeth, to his horror, started to cry. In the year and a half that he had worked with her he had never seen her cry; he had seen her stressed and tense, had seen her trying to keep a hold of herself and everything else as the city went through one trial or another, but he had never seen her lose composure. Now, though, in her dream state, things like keeping up a front didn't occur to her; why should they? Uncertainly he went and sat beside her.
"They're not going to fire you," he told her gently.
"They're just waiting for me to do something wrong, my every move is watched. How can I make the decisions? How do I know if I'm making the right one?"
"Elizabeth, don't question yourself; you're the best Expedition Leader that Atlantis could hope to have; they'd be crazy to fire you."
"You sound like John," she said, looking up at him, a weak smile on her face.
"Well I'd hope so," he replied with a grin. She smiled back, but tears still fell down her face. Hesitantly John put an arm around her shoulder. The Elizabeth Weir that he saw every day would never have allowed herself to accept that comfort with anything more than a grateful nod, but this Elizabeth Weir, with all her defences and all her fears laid bare for him to see, quickly leant into his shoulder, laying her head back against him. He held her gently and her breathing gradually became more even, her tears drying. She remained very still for several seconds and John realised that her sleep walking session had finished; he glanced down at her to see that her eyes were closed and that she was breathing deeply. He stayed still for several seconds unwilling to let her go in case it disturbed her and for some other reason that he dared not consider too closely. After a few minutes however he very softly laid her down on the bed until her head was on the pillow, and then slowly pulled the covers over her, before stepping back.
He stood and looked at her for a number of seconds, suddenly feeling like an intruder; he had seen something in Elizabeth, a fear and a despair that she kept hidden, but that was evidently deeply rooted inside of her, and he knew that she would never want anyone, even him, to see it. Something kept him in the room for several more minutes as he stared at her, unwilling to leave her alone, but finally, feeling reassured by her deep breathing and the calm expression on her face, he silently left her quarters and went back to the gateroom.
"At ease soldier," he muttered as the young lieutenant spotted him and saluted; the new recruits tended to take awhile to relax into the more laid back approach to military rank that Atlantis had.
The rest of the shift passed quickly and John found himself going back over the conversations he had had with Elizabeth while she had been asleep, trying to remember all he had heard, while at the same time making a promise to himself never to mention it to anyone else, not even Elizabeth.
She appeared as his shift was ending, just as the sun was climbing above the horizon; all traces of the fears she had expressed from the night before had left her and she smiled at him as she walked into the gateroom, looking strong and certain of herself.
"Morning Elizabeth," he smiled back, "sleep well?"
"Yes thank you," she nodded, but John saw the flash of sadness that passed across her eyes, before she caught herself and it disappeared. "I trust your shift was uneventful," she said, heading towards the steps up to the control room. John walked with her, nodding as the morning guards appeared to take over in the gateroom.
"The city's still here and the Wraith aren't, so I think it was a successful night," he said with a half grin. She smiled back and began to walk up the steps.
"That's good to hear." She stopped at the top of the steps and turned to face him. "Now; I think you've earned yourself some time to rest and relax, so I'll see you at your briefing after lunch."
"No argument from me; I'll be thinking of you working hard while I'm fast asleep." She smiled at him and turned to go to her office and John was about to head up the steps in the control room, when on impulse he turned back.
"Elizabeth," he called. She turned and he took a step towards her. "Just wanted to say…" he paused and shuffled uncomfortable on his feet, "…I just wanted to say…that you're doing a great job." He said the words quietly, suddenly embarrassed by them, but Elizabeth looked at him and nodded, a vast mixture of emotions passing across her face before she smiled at him.
"Thank you John," she told him, sincerity echoing in her tone, "I appreciate that."
He nodded and made his way up the stairs, glancing back once to see her in her office, a smile on her face as she began her work. He nodded to himself, contentment filling him as he saw her there, before heading back to his own quarters to sleep.