Dear Readers,

Okay, here's the second part, from John's POV. Sorry for the angst! But I had to write something on this scene. At least this one has somewhat of a happier ending.

Best Regards from a Bookworm (and SAVE SGA fanatic),

Miss Pookamonga ;-P

Part II

One last look.

One final glance, one final smile before she walked into darkness, nothing, a void. One last time to give him peace, reassurance, before it all spiraled downward.

One last time to speak without words.

She didn't look like her, sound like her, or even smell like her. But it was her nonetheless, and he could sense that with a fierce definitiveness. From the outset, he had always had the tiniest flicker of a doubt, but some part of him had latched onto the truth of her words the minute he had seen the first of them upon that computer screen. Maybe he was too desperate. Maybe he was more broken from having lost her than he was yet willing to admit, and maybe that was why he truly believed that the stranger standing before him was really her.

But it was. He knew it was. He just knew.

He didn't know how or why he had this knowledge, this determined belief in the validity of her identity. True, she had saved his life. But it was more than that, much more than that. There was something inherent in that displaced consciousness that made it a part of her, that convinced him that she could be no one else inside that temporary cage of a body.

And there was peace.

Complete and utter peace.

He didn't understand it. Nor had he ever really understood how she had oftentimes made the decision to accept things as they were. He was a fighter, a fighter to the bitter end, and at first he had come to see her resignation as a sign of defeat, of weakness. But it had come to his realization eventually that she had often been more resilient in strife than he would ever be, because he knew he would always struggle against the antagonist even if that only made things worse. He knew that she had always been wiser than he was, that she had had better discernment and better patience. He had come to respect that in her. But he still didn't completely comprehend it, especially now.

She turned and locked her eyes with his. Well, they weren't her eyes. But they seemed to be hers for just a split second, and then it struck him.

She was giving everything up for a lie. She was letting them betray her, entrap her, imprison her in coldness and deceit. But she loved them just the same because it was her. All was forgiven, no matter how undeserving and cruel they were. And that was exactly the way she had always been.

His face hardened as her gaze penetrated his. It wasn't fair, what they were doing to her, and that she knew precisely that she was walking to her doom. It wasn't fair that she of all people, who trusted them beyond all measure, loved them beyond all measure, was once again falling on the wrong side of the line.

It wasn't fair that she still loved him, even though he was allowing them to do this to her.

He was the guilty one. But as he looked into her eyes, something seemed to pass between them that for a moment froze every despairing feeling within him until there was nothing left but her and her soul, connecting with his. And for that one moment, he knew that it was all right somehow. Or that it would be.

And then her eyes tore away from his, and the connection was lost.

He kept his face tight, staring intently at the empty spot where she had been standing seconds before. Gone. Gone again, and this time she had been so close.

But he at least had her one last look. One last look that he would treasure forever in the depths of his heart, one last look that would resonate through every part of his being until the day when he knew he would meet her again.