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): This was actually inspired by a bad day I had – but mine didn't turn out as well as Elizabeth's (mostly because John wasn't there to cheer me up, lol). Thank you so much for reading this, and I hope you enjoy!
"Elizabeth's Good Bad Day"
The sounds of the Stargate dialing beat an accompaniment to the throbbing in my head. I glanced out of the corner of my eye to make sure no one was looking before I reached a hand up to rub my forehead.
The Stargate activated with a kawoosh. It knocked me over the edge from simple headache to full-blown migraine.
I groaned softly. Being the leader of Atlantis, I couldn't just put everything aside to cater to my pain. Everyone in the city depended on me to lead them, so I had to muscle through the pain and keep going.
Perhaps, though, as soon as AR-1 left, I would go to Carson and get some pain pills. . .
Below me, in the Gateroom, Lt. Col. John Sheppard waved jauntily. "Later, 'Lizabeth!" he called.
I quickly acted like I was brushing my hair behind my ear before waving back. "Be careful, John!"
He gave me a crooked grin before following his three teammates through the Gate.
"I'll be right back," I told Chuck, the Gate technician on duty. "Yes, ma'am." His brisk reply followed my moderated pace down the Gateroom steps and to the closest transporter that would take me to the infirmary.
"Dr. Weir! Dr. Weir!"
I paused and turned as Radek Zelenka's voice called from behind me. With an inaudible sigh, I managed to dredge a small smile from deep inside me. "Is something wrong, Radek?" I questioned as the Czech caught up to me.
Radek pushed his glasses up his nose and hefted his data pad. "I was wondering if you could help in science lab? I know you're not a scientist – but chaos is everywhere, everyone is having bad days, and no one can agree on anything. I know you're a diplomat, so I was wondering if you could offer some diplomacy. . ." He trailed off and stared at me with wide, pleading eyes.
How could I refuse him? "All right. Lead the way." As Radek scampered off, I tossed a longing glance over my shoulder. Oh, for those pain pills. . .
I had expected some low-voiced bickering – perhaps a couple of raised voices – when I entered the lab. What I hadn't expected was Radek's "chaos" description to be spot-on.
"I was using that scanner!"
"No, you put it down! Thus, you weren't using it! So I am now using it, because what I'm doing is so much more important than what you're doing!"
I felt the pain in my head ratchet up another notch. Suddenly, the entire scientific core of the Atlantis Expedition – the greatest Hail Mary in the history of mankind – has turned into a room full of squabbling three-year-olds! No wonder Rodney had been so anxious to leave. A great number of arguments – some in other languages – was something he hated to deal with.
Too bad he wasn't here now to handle the mess in "his" lab. I knew he could clear it up very quickly – granted, he'd leave more than a few angry people in his wake, but I could deal with that problem. Later.
Unfortunately, this couldn't wait until Rodney got back from his team's latest mission. I had to take care of it now.
"May I please have everyone's attention?" I called.
Everyone ignored me except to raise their voices to be heard over me.
Radek shot me a nervous glance, his data pad hugged close to his chest as if he were afraid someone would try to snatch it away if he didn't.
I knew this would hurt. Screaming with a migraine wasn't the smartest thing in the world to do. But having the science team blow up Atlantis in an argument also was far from smart. "Everyone, quiet!" I screamed.
Silence fell so quickly it sounded like someone had flipped a switch. Over thirty pairs of wide, curious eyes turned to me. Even Radek stared at me, as if he couldn't quite believe I was capable of such a high-pitched tone.
Now the loudest sound in the room was the throbbing in my head.
I drew in a deep, calming breath. "Everyone, please. I know you usually go to Dr. McKay about these matters of disagreement, but he's not here now, obviously." Which is why Radek came to me. Lovely way of stating the obvious, Elizabeth. "There must be more than one piece of equipment that will accomplish the same purposes. If not, aren't there substitutes?"
A few murmurs whispered through the room, followed by rustling as scientists began to look around for other items to suit their needs.
It isn't that easy. I crossed my arms and fought the urge to close my eyes. "I understand that some of you might be having bad days. And I know we are all under a lot of stress after the most recent attempts on Atlantis by the Replicators. But fighting amongst ourselves won't solve our problems."
Immediately everyone turned to apologize and shake hands and offer equipment. I couldn't believe my sudden good fortune.
Radek stepped closer and smiled shyly. "Thank you, Dr. Weir."
I smiled. "You're welcome, Radek. If there are any more problems, just radio me."
I resumed my trek for the infirmary. For a moment I was sorely tempted to turn off my radio, at least until I got the pills from Carson, but I knew that would be careless.
So I left it on and prayed nothing would keep me from the infirmary.
The infirmary was quiet when I entered. Two nurses stood by the medicine chest in the corner, talking and laughing in low voices. Another was changing the sheets on one of the beds.
I turned aside from the main body of the infirmary to the small cubbyhole Carson called his office. My Scottish friend sat at his desk working on his laptop. The speakers were softly emitting bagpipe music: sounds only a Scot could possibly find gentle or soothing. At the moment, it felt like the bagpipe players were marching in formation in my head.
"Carson," I said softly.
Beckett jumped a little and turned to face me. "Aye, Elizabeth!" A warm smile curled his lips. "Forgive me, I didn't see ye standin' there. Is somethin' wrong, or is this just a social visit?" Humor sparkled in his blue eyes.
I managed another wan smile. "I wish I were here as a friend, Carson. But I'm afraid I'm here as a patient."
Carson looked worried as he jumped to his feet. "What's wrong?" he asked briskly.
I stepped back and gently pushed his raising penlight away. "Please don't shine that in my eyes. I have a migraine, and I'm here for a quick pain pill – just enough to take the edge off. I can't afford to take the time to let it wear off on its own, or fall asleep at my desk because I took Excedrin."
Beckett hummed for a moment. "This way, lass. We should have somethin' that'll fix ye up right quick." He led me to the back of the infirmary, where the strong painkillers were kept in a locked case to which only Carson carried the key. A quick turn of his wrist and a tug of the handle opened the case. He reached in, ran his fingers along the shelves looking for the right bottle. . .
. . .And froze.
I felt a horrible sense of foreboding strike me in the chest. "Carson?" I asked weakly.
Slowly he turned to face me. "Aye." He shook his head. "I'm afraid we're out of the Fioricets. The SGC messed up my last order, and we didn't get enough. . . But the Daedalus is supposed to arrive in less than three hours, if ye can hold out that long. Or, I can give ye somethin' else. . ." He trailed off, already knowing my answer.
Three hours. I closed my eyes, drew in a deep breath, and firmly told myself I could make it for three hours. "Thank you, Carson, no. I'll wait until the Daedalus lands with our next round of supplies."
Beckett nodded sympathetically and gently patted my arm. "Very well, Elizabeth. I'll let ye know the moment I find the Fioricets in the supplies. I'll make it my top priority."
I let out my breath. "Thank you, Carson." I squeezed his hand on the way past and headed back for my office.
It was going to be a long three hours.
Almost three-and-a-half hours later Carson radioed me to say the supplies for the infirmary had been the first to come off the Daedalus, and he was in the midst of searching for the pills. I let out my breath and clung to the assurance that relief was on the way.
After two early returns of Gate teams, another minor disagreement in the science lab, and a newbie's mistaking a floating piece of space debris as an incoming Dart, I was more than ready for that pain pill.
A knock at my doorway drew my attention in that direction. Chuck offered me an apologetic glance and spoke in a very soft voice. "Ma'am? AR-1 just finished up their post-mission checkups and want to know if the briefing is today or tomorrow."
I shuddered inwardly at the thought of trying to struggle through a meeting with the pain in my head. Particularly if Rodney was still in such a snarky mood. "Tell them it will be first thing tomorrow morning," I replied.
"Yes ma'am." Chuck nodded briskly and returned to his station.
I sent a furtive glance in the direction of the control room. No one was paying any attention to me. I crossed my arms on my desk and lay my head down. Only for a moment. . .
"'Lizabeth?" A gentle hand rested on my shoulder. "'Lizabeth, wake up."
I sighed. "I'm awake, John."
"I brought you something."
I steeled myself against the inevitable light that would strike my eyes and lifted my head.
Before me on my desk sat two trays, one of which held a dosing cup with two pills in it.
My promised pain pills.
Tears filled my eyes. "Oh, John. . ."
He straightened and tucked his hands in his pockets. One corner of his lips quirked upwards. "Carson told me you have a migraine, and he was going to radio you to say he found the pills in the supplies. But I told him I'd bring them to you with some tea and dinner."
I swallowed back the sudden lump in my throat. "Oh, John. . ." I said again. I stared at the tray, and those miraculous little blue pills.
John pulled one of the chairs around the desk to sit next to me. "Go on, take it." He picked up the clear little plastic cup, then my hand, and placed the former in the latter. "You look awful."
I reached for my tea, took a sip of the warm liquid, then eagerly tossed back the pills.
John watched with concerned eyes, his fork halfway to his mouth. "You going to be okay now?"
I sighed and reached for my own fork. "Yes. Thank you."
We ate in silence for a while in the dimmed light of my office. I'd lessened the brightness earlier, when I finally returned to my office after the disappointing news that Carson was out of pain pills.
When we finished our meal, John reached into his pocket and withdrew something small. He picked up my hand, tucked the object into it, then withdrew a little. "I found this off-world today, and it reminded me of you," he said softly.
I uncurled my fingers and stared at the small stone replica of the Stargate I held in my hand. Each little chevron marker was painstakingly painted a brilliant blue, and the stand on which the four-inch model rested was carved out of a beautiful, shiny red stone.
"John!" I said softly. "This is. . ."
He smiled shyly, and I saw the slightest hint of a blush creep up his neck. For some reason, I found it endearing. "You like it?"
I stared at it again. "John, this is perfect!"
John's smile widened into a grin. "Good. I had to trade one of McKay's precious power bars for it."
I laughed for the first time all day. I wasn't sure if it was the gift, or the pill, but suddenly my head felt much, much better. I leaned over and quickly pecked John's cheek with a kiss, just because I felt like it. I looked away from his startled but pleased gaze and felt a blush stain my cheeks. The pill is making me silly, I told myself. "I'm sorry," I apologized. "But thank you for—"
John cut me off by kissing my warm cheek. "Thanks, 'Lizabeth." He quickly stood, returned his chair to its former position, gathered the trays, and was to the door almost before I realized he'd moved. He hesitated, turned, and looked at me with big hazel eyes. "So. . . Lunch tomorrow?"
A smile curled my lips. "Sounds good, John." Sounds very, very good.
He grinned and took off, a bounce in his step.
I smiled down at the tiny Stargate in my hand and decided today hadn't been such a bad day, after all.