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!

Note from Author (fyd818): Beware of slight spoilers for "Runner," "Duet," and "Return pt. 2" in this fic. I have had this story in my head for a very long time, and when I got involved in YotS I knew the perfect place to post it. I very much hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading!

"Nightwatch"

fyd818

The day winds down with its usual tranquility. The skeleton crew mans the control room with their usual fresh-faced enthusiasm; a few hard-core workers still burn the midnight oil in the labs; the mess still echoes the whispered conversations of the night owls.

I traverse the halls of my grand city with single-minded purpose. It's well after the time I should be in bed, but my steps don't lead me toward the transporter that will take me directly to the tower designated for personnel quarters. Instead, I quietly move down the halls toward the infirmary.

With nighttime comes a certain stillness, a sense of loneliness that reminds me of the way we found this great city. It is so quiet I can hear the occasional pop in the wall from power conduits; the soft footsteps of another crewman headed to rest or to work; and the low bass hum of the city operating as it has for so many long years. The Ancients built beauty and grace into every line of their grand city-ship. Thousands of years later their descendants still appreciate that carefully-crafted splendor.

Atlantis is home to so many, but in this night calm I selfishly think of her as mine.

I turn the corner; pull up sharply when I realize the hall isn't as unoccupied as I thought it was.

Ronon Dex stops mid-step, one foot still slightly lifted to take the next long stride forward. For a moment his darkly shadowed eyes, sunken with tiredness and strain, glitter maniacally in a look I've seen only once before.

The Satedan's posture subtly relaxes as the glare eases from his eyes. "I'm sorry." His apology is so stiff, I wonder if he still thinks I'm wary of him, even after all his contributions to Atlantis and his team.

"No, it's my fault." I shift slightly, feeling so small next to Ronon's impressive size. "I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."

Ronon's eyes flicker to a point over my head. "It's fine." His eyes dart back to mine and hold there with forced politeness. "Going to the infirmary?"

"Yes." I nod once. I know very little about Ronon – most of what I do know has come from his teammates – but one thing I've learned myself is he's loyal. So in a way it doesn't surprise me that he's out this late, after a mission so grueling.

Ronon nods once, briskly. He shifts his posture, and I know he's gearing up to step around me so he can escape to freedom, and then the solitude of his quarters.

Before he can, though, I reach out and touch his arm, careful of the cuts that mar it. "Thank you, Ronon, for what you did today."

For a very brief moment surprise flickers through his eyes. Then, just as quickly, the bland military mask I recognize so easily from my time spent here settles back on his face. "You're – welcome." He takes the step that positions us side-by-side in the hall; pauses, and gives me a tight smile. "Good night, Dr. Weir."

"Good night, Ronon. I'll see you at the briefing tomorrow."

Another nod, maybe marginally less stiff. Then, just like that, he's gone around the corner. I don't hear him retreat. It unsettles me slightly to know he can move so silently and swiftly.

I shake my head to clear it, and continue on my mission. Of necessity, I'm used to staying behind on Atlantis when everyone else goes out to face the danger. So many have been lost already during this expedition's time in the Pegasus galaxy. I know, inevitably, the future will bring further losses. One day it could be the discomfited warrior I just met; or his gentle fellow native of this incredibly dangerous galaxy; or their abrasive scientist teammate; or someone who has yet to come to this city.

The infirmary is barely lit, another reminder of the nighttime. I don't have to ask which bed he occupies, I've been here on enough occasions to know it's always the same bed: farthest from the door, and closest to Beckett's office, surrounded by all the usual medical accoutrements. He seems to deserve the spot more and more each time.

My eyes adjust to the semi-darkness as I approach the bed. I discern his features, relaxed now in sleep. The cuts across his face and down his arms send a chill up my spine, and I return to my earlier musing:

. . .Or, perhaps, it could be the recklessly brave man in front of me.

Three more steps bring me to his side. Very gently I touch his hand, lax on the green blanket covering him from the waist down.

To my surprise, his eyes flutter and open. "'Lizabeth?" His voice is hoarse, rough, but he recognizes me. That's all that matters.

A smile bursts from within me. Again I'm grateful that such wonderful people are his teammates. "John," I lean close to say very softly. "It's okay, you're safe on Atlantis. Go back to sleep."

His hand shifts and folds around mine. It feels warm, unlike the last time I touched it, when he looked so close to death. I smile again as the weight in my chest lifts slightly.

A shadow of his cocky smile ghosts across his lips, and I'm reassured. I know I'll soon see his real smile again, because his hand is tight on mine. As he falls back into healing slumber, I press a kiss to his temple. "Good night, John."

Then I settle into the chair next to his bed to keep vigil through the night over my greatest protector, my personal hero, my unspoken love: John Sheppard.

-The End-