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 who 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: This story assumes "The Return, Pt 2" never happened and the team has had to accept life on Earth. Linnea Sinclair writes what I have affectionately termed "space porn"—science fiction with a heavy element of romance. Mamma Mia! is a musical comprised entirely of ABBA songs—Google the lyrics of the title song to see why it makes sense.
Ring, ring, ring, ri—
Elizabeth suppressed a sigh. "Hi, Amy."
"Hi, yourself. How are you doing?"
"Fine," Elizabeth said automatically, though they both knew it was far from the truth.
"Good, good. Um—listen, I've got a favor to ask you. I've been promoted."
Elizabeth sat up straighter on the couch. "Really? But you're so high up already—the only way they could promote you was to make you—"
"Ambassador," Amy confirmed. "They want me to start on the first."
"But that's only a week from now! What about Jessie and Kate?"
"That's where you come in. The girls are going to live with me, of course, but I'd like them to finish out the school year and I'll need someone to oversee the packers anyway—"
"Oh, no," Elizabeth said. Instincts formed of years of negotiations on Earth and Atlantis—and with Amy—had alarm bells ringing in her head.
"It would only be six weeks!" Amy said quickly. "And the girls love you, you know that."
"What about Tom?" Elizabeth protested. "They're his children too, after all, and I'm sure one of your aides can oversee the packing."
"Tom is in the Philippines," Amy said coolly.
Elizabeth winced. "Business or pleasure?"
"Some of both, I assume, if his latest girlfriend is any indication. Come on, Lizzie, I really need your help."
"Amy, you can't just expect me to pick up and move across the country in a week."
"I would have given you more notice if I had had more notice."
"Consider it an intervention, Lizzie. As far as I can tell you haven't left your apartment, let alone Colorado Springs, in over a year. We miss you. And you can't tell me you don't miss D.C."
"I go grocery shopping every other Saturday," Elizabeth said for the sake of argument, but they both knew she had already given in.
"I really appreciate this, Lizzie."
Elizabeth rolled her eyes, a smile teasing her lips. "You are such a brat."
"Love you, too. I'll call you when I know when I'm getting in."
Shaking her head, Elizabeth dropped the phone back in the cradle. It still amazed her that her cheerful, bubbly younger sister had fared so well in international relations. But the world—not to mention the galaxies—was full of surprises.
Four weeks later…
"I hate these trips."
"Me too, sir," John agreed, tugging at the brim of his dress cap.
"Still," General Landry sighed, "there's not much you can do but obey when the President calls you to Washington."
"Yes, sir." John said, holding the door for the General.
"You have any plans for this evening, Colonel?" Landry asked once they were in the car the President had provided to take them to the White House.
"Doctor Beckett suggested I visit Doctor Weir."
"Really? Hm. How's she doing these days? I know losing Atlantis hit her hard."
"Couldn't say, sir. I haven't seen her since the SGC's Christmas party," John confessed.
"Really?" Landry said again. "Hm."
It was almost ten by the time the two men finished their business at the White House.
"You still want to go see Doctor Weir?" Landry asked as they got in the car again.
John frowned slightly, surprised. "It's a little late, sir."
"Not by Washington standards. Give the driver the address; we can drop you off on our way back to the hotel."
John fished the address Carson had given him out of his pocket and handed it to the driver. "Thank you, sir."
"Hm," Landry replied, smiling slightly.
Elizabeth sighed. It had taken almost an hour of struggle and debate to get the girls in bed. Still, she only had to do the dishes and take out the garbage, and then she could curl up with the latest Linnea Sinclair novel.
She put on music for company—the soundtrack from Mamma Mia!—and heaved the bag out of the kitchen bin. She was bending to tie it when the doorbell rang.
Frowning slightly, she went to answer the door.
She wasn't sure who she had suspected at this hour, but it certainly wasn't Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard in his dress blues.
"J—Colonel." A small corner of her brain took a moment to appreciate the irony of his appearing just as the CD switched to the title track.
"Hi," he said. "I was in the neighborhood. Kind of."
"Well, come in," Elizabeth said, thinking furiously. It was perfectly normal for old colleagues—and friends—to visit each other. Perfectly normal. "I was just—never mind. Can I get you anything?"
"No, I'm—" John began, but stopped when his stomach growled. He grinned sheepishly. "Actually, I kind of missed dinner."
Elizabeth raised an eyebrow. "You?"
"General Landry and I were waiting to meet with the President, and his secretary ran out of Danishes," he explained.
"Ah. Well, all we really have are leftovers, but if you like meatloaf…" Elizabeth trailed off, leading him to the kitchen.
"Did you make it?"
"It's not hard," she said defensively, bristling slightly at the surprise in his voice.
"I just never pictured you making meatloaf," John said. "It's not really your thing."
Elizabeth sighed, then shrugged as she pulled the meatloaf out of the fridge. "I'm managing."
"I guess. What are you doing here, anyway?" John asked as she put the meatloaf in the microwave.
"Babysitting. Housesitting. Being a good sister. My sister was made the US Ambassador to Thailand. But she wants my nieces to finish the school year, so…"
"I see," John said, stepping carefully around the open bag Elizabeth had left on the floor.
"Oh! Sorry, I was taking out the garbage," Elizabeth said, flushing slightly. She hurried to the bag and bent to tie it. "I'll just—"
"I can do it," John said, hefting it before she could. "You are feeding me, after all. Cans are in the garage, right?"
"Um. Yes. But you don't have to—" Elizabeth sighed as he disappeared. The microwave beeped and she busied herself with fixing a plate.
The CD transitioned to "Dancing Queen" as John returned. "Is this ABBA?"
Elizabeth reached for the 'off' button on the stereo but he nudged her hand away. "Leave it. I'm trying to picture you with a tambourine."
She gave him one of her Doctor Weir looks, the one she had often given him and Rodney back on Atlantis. When you're done being juvenile, I have important things to do, it said. "Your dinner is there," she informed him, pointing. He went to get the plate and she took advantage of his turned back to stop the CD.
"So how are things at the SGC?" Elizabeth asked, leading him to the living room to avoid the dirty dishes waiting by the sink.
"Intense," John said. "We can stop the priors now, but we have no way to defend against the Orii ships. And Doctor Jackson—" He paused suddenly.
"What?" Elizabeth said, frowning at the look of guilt on his face.
"I just remembered, um—I don't know if you have clearance anymore."
"Oh," she said softly.
"Yeah." John took a bite to fill the silence. "Hey, this is good."
"Thank you," Elizabeth said automatically.
John looked up from his plate at the voice. "Um, hi."
"Jessie, this is Colonel Sheppard. He's a friend of mine from—from Colorado Springs."
"Oh," Jessie said again. "Aunt Lizzie, I think there's a monster under my bed."
"Honey, I scared him away before you went to sleep, remember?"
"I think he came back."
"He came back," Elizabeth sighed. She smiled apologetically at John. "Do you mind if I—"
"No, no, go. Scare away the monsters. She's good at that," he said to Jessie.
"If I remember correctly, scaring away the monsters was your job," Elizabeth said, but she took Jessie's hand and lead her upstairs.
By the time she had scared the monsters out from under both girls' beds and out of both of their closets, John had finished his meal and was standing by the door.
"I should probably go," he said as she came down the stairs. "It's late, and I'm sure you have a lot to do."
Elizabeth nodded, uncertain of what to say. "It was good to see you again," she offered. It came out almost like a question.
"Yeah. Yeah, it was." John turned to open the door, then turned back. "There's been talk at the SGC of hiring someone to be our official liaison to the Ancients on Atlantis. They don't like Woolsey much, and—anyway, your name has come up."
"Oh," Elizabeth said quietly.
"So once you're back in Colorado—I mean, I know you do a lot of advising by email, but we could use you at the SGC."
"Well, I'd have to—" Elizabeth laughed shortly. "You know I'd do anything to be back on Atlantis."
"Yeah." He raised a hand, almost as if to touch her cheek, then stuffed it in his pocket. "I should go."
"Goodbye," Elizabeth called as he all but ran out the door. Her mind churned, trying to process the idea that she might be back on Atlantis, or even just at the SGC—and the strange tension just before John left, and why had he left so quickly, anyway? It wasn't as if—
Ring, ring, ri—
"Hi yourself. How are you doing?"
"Fine," Elizabeth said automatically. She smiled suddenly. "Better than fine."
"Oh yeah? What's up?"
"I'm not sure yet," Elizabeth said, crossing to the window to watch John walk away down the street. "But I think it's something good."