A Simple Band by AndromedaMarine

This is written in memory of a friend's father who recently passed.

I saw it lying on the bedside table. It glinted in the bright Atlantis sunlight, sending cascades of shimmering light onto the walls. I was fifteen – the first Atlantis-born child of the Tau'ri. I knew what it was. I had seen it there every day for the past four months. It would keep sitting there, until I finally made a move and took it away, to place in my room, where I could be close to it. I knew that she would immediately know it was gone, so instead I sat on my mother's bed and gazed at the shimmers it cast onto the wall.

It would take more than a year for mom to adjust to life without the owner of that beautiful ring that sat on her bedside table.

When I saw it lying there I was supposed to be getting Jumper lessons from Carson (who Uncle Rodney didn't trust with his life to fly safely), who had the second-strongest gene on Atlantis besides my father and I. But I could still see him waltzing around the room with me. I could still see my father, John Sheppard, alive. That was four months ago, when he actually was alive. I've only been to Earth six times: the first time a nice lady named Janet Frasier wouldn't let me out of the SGC. The second time Mom and Dad convinced them to let me see my parents' Homeworld. Every time after that I've visited Antarctica and Area 51.

When he died it was the last day of 'ninth grade,' which was what they called my level of education on Earth. Uncles Rodney and Carson, Aunt Katie, Teyla, Ronon, Mum and Dad were my teachers. It wasn't like I had to hear it through the grapevine or over the PA system. I was there when they brought him through. Right there, with Mum, I died. Right there, in the gateroom we died, seeing Dad on the stretcher.

The band that I was staring at and mesmerized by was a simple symbol of eternity. The ring of pure gold with no beginning and no end was supposed to symbolize my parents' marriage. I suppose, in a way, the morphing of their lives into one hadn't changed and never will – he will always be in her heart and mine. I reached over and picked up the small object, marveling at its weight despite its small size. I slipped it on one of my fingers – it was way too big for me despite the similarities between my father's and my hands. It sat loosely on my ring finger as I held my hand before my face. I examined the ring, noticing small scratches and notches where it had gotten roughed up off-world. I slipped it off and held it close to my face. There was an engraving inside, something I had never noticed before.

Always Here, Never Gone. J.S.

Written in memory of David Tenneson, who passed June 12th, the last day of school. May God be with his family.