Maybe by AndromedaMarine
Maybe there was a universe where he did get to tell her how he felt before she died. If Rodney's theory was right, maybe out there, somewhere, he was married to Elizabeth. Maybe Elizabeth never died in some other universe. Maybe his universe wasn't the correct one to be in. Maybe his had been flawed, and just maybe he didn't belong there. Maybe he was just in a dream – yes, that had to be it – he was really just in a dream, living the horror of such loss as a figment of his imagination. Maybe she wasn't gone.
When John heard that Elizabeth was never going to come back a look of pure shock was plastered on his face and his gut froze over. He didn't speak to anyone and instead of go about his work he headed directly to his room and sat on the edge of the bed, willing the tears that never came. The infinite list of 'what ifs' scrolled through his mind, beginning with 'what if I had told her sooner?'. He saw the pain and utter realization when she told him to leave her. What if he had said it right then? Would it have changed anything? She would have died at least knowing the truth about his feelings.
Maybe it was all an elaborate prank on his mind. Maybe he was just dreaming. Maybe it was a hallucination caused by who knows what Evan slipped in his drink last night. What if this wasn't what was going on?
"Go," she said forcefully, her eyes and expression conveying the emotion her voice didn't. "I can't hold them off forever."
"Elizabeth – I"
She shook her head. "No, John. Just go." For a moment her speech wavered, and all John wanted to do was reach out and hold her until infinity imploded.
I love you. That's what he was going to say, but the leader wouldn't let him. I love you. Three words he'd never gotten to speak, never would, and would always regret not saying.
"I love you," he said to the room. His head fell and the sobs came. His body wracked with each cry, his voice calling out the name he loved.
"Colonel Sheppard?" He heard her voice, and he felt the hand that rested on his back. It felt finitely real – definitely real. Maybe she was really there and the source that had confirmed her death was mistaken. "John?" She began to shake him. "John, wake up." Noises from the commissary reached his ears and he blinked his eyes into focus.
'Maybe' had become a reality, and then he remembered that he'd saved her.
He turned to face the beautiful woman that wasn't dead. "I love you," he said, and kissed her.