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 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!
Authors Note: I probably should have finished this fic months ago but better late than never. I hope you enjoy it.
The Nessari seemed like nice enough people, John wouldn't have brought Elizabeth through the gate if he'd thought there was a chance they weren't. They were a simple society, farming just enough food to support their population and living happily that way. His team had been greeted with warm welcomes and happy smiles, one of the villagers had even tried to hug Ronon, the Satedan had glared at him until he reconsidered the idea.
Teyla had been her usual diplomatic self and Rodney had been bored and whiny until they found out about the caves to the north. There was Ancient writing covering the walls all the way from the entrance, through the long dark tunnel into the chamber at the end. Rodney had started translating part of the wall, it mentioned a ZPM and the scientist was then on a mission to find it.
John had reported back to Elizabeth who of course had immediately volunteered herself to help with the translations. Leaving Lorne in charge of Atlantis she had come through the gate in less than half an hour, armed with two note pads, one which was already full and would apparently help her with the translation and another for her to make random notes in. She seemed excited, translating walls full of text didn't sound like fun to him but he knew Elizabeth would enjoy it so he didn't comment. Instead he left her to it, requesting that she stay near the entrance where he could see her as he sat outside and read War and Peace, glad he'd asked her to bring it. Rodney's initial assessment had said this would probably take days; he could probably get through a chapter or two in that time.
He wasn't sure how much he liked the idea of staying here for a few days but his team was due for some good down time. Ronon and Teyla could mostly do what they wanted as long as they kept an eye on Rodney who seemed quite happy trying to find his ZPM, he was like a kid on a treasure hunt. Elizabeth was enjoying herself as she did her translation, having idle conversation with John as he sat near the entrance.
"Find anything interesting yet?" John questioned as he book marked his place and walked into the cave. Elizabeth was only a few feet away from where he'd been sitting and she smiled as she turned to him.
"Not yet, I haven't done enough of a translation to be sure but I think this part is a story," she told him, her eyes full of excitement as she continued to explain. "It talks about this man, Andras; I think he was an Ancient. He didn't like the ways of his people, the way they held themselves above others so he left them and came to live here, that's all I've got so far."
"Well, it sounds mildly interesting, let me know when we get to the action part of the story," he stated and Elizabeth's smile widened.
"I'm not sure how much shooting will be involved but I'll let you know," she replied as she turned back to the text inscribed in the stone. "With any luck though he won't have your propensity for getting into trouble."
"Hey, I resent that, I do not get into trouble all that often," he said and Elizabeth looked back at him, raising an eyebrow incredulously. "Rodney does, I just happen to be there."
Elizabeth laughed and went back to her writing, her smile fading slightly as a look of concentration covered her face. John leaned against the wall, watching her work and marvelling at how relaxed she seemed to be, he supposed everyone needed a break from Atlantis sometimes, no matter how much they loved the city.
He glanced behind him, Rodney was still in the back of the cave translating the text there, it was much darker so the scientist would have his flashlight on but at this distance John couldn't make out the light. He wanted to go check on the scientist but at the same time he didn't want to leave Elizabeth on her own. Rodney was further into the cave which he already knew was void of monsters and other entrances, anything that could harm him had to get passed John first but this was the Pegasus Galaxy and it wouldn't be a complete surprise if the wall came alive and attacked him.
"McKay, this is Sheppard, come in," he said as he tapped his radio earpiece, he was momentarily greeted by static until Rodney's voice finally replied.
"What is it?" Rodney questioned, only a slight amount of irritation in his voice at the distraction.
"Just checking in, how's it going, you find your treasure yet?" John asked, he saw Elizabeth smile slightly as she overheard his conversation.
"My trea... oh ha ha very funny," Rodney's reply came "No, not yet, there's a lot of text here, has Elizabeth found anything?"
"Nothing you'd be interested in," John told him and then ended the conversation, he should probably check in with Teyla and Ronon as well, he wasn't even sure where the two of them were anymore, last he'd heard they were heading to the river, that had been an hour ago.
Teyla and Ronon it seemed had decided to join some of the villagers fishing, John had laughed at the mental imagery of Ronon trying to fish, even more so when he discovered how they did it. The two of them had returned, boots in their hands and the legs of their pants rolled up to their knees, splashes of water covering parts of their clothes. The Nessari used spears for fishing, standing quietly in the water, still as statues and waiting patiently for an unsuspecting fish to come too close. Some of the fish would obviously be caught, others would just swim away and some would jump out of the river, splash water all over the attackers in revenge for the attempt on their lives and then swim away mockingly. Apparently the latter had happened repeatedly to Ronon and even Teyla and Elizabeth laughed as Teyla told them about it.
They'd called it a day shortly after that, Ronon and Teyla had checked in with Atlantis before sundown and everyone had settled into the inn they were staying at. They were all given separate rooms, all identical and equal in their smallness, there was barely enough room to walk between the bed, the wardrobe and the window. On the plus side they did have their own very tiny bathrooms so he supposed he couldn't complain too much.
"So how long are these translations going to take?" Ronon questioned as they all sat downstairs in the inn, some of the other patrons were watching them curiously, it seemed they didn't get too many visitors through the gate here, only the Wraith.
"I'm not sure," Elizabeth replied as she took a drink of her water. "A few days at least, we didn't get a whole lot done today but now that I'm back into the swing of it I should be able to make much more progress."
"You can always go fishing again," John laughed only to be glared at by Ronon who didn't find it as amusing as the rest of the group did.
"I didn't even want to do it in the first place, Teyla made me," he said, sounding very close to a moan as Teyla laughed at the miserable expression on his face.
"I did not make you, I merely said you should try," Teyla replied, standing from the table with her usual grace, despite how tired she looked. "I think I will get some sleep now."
"I think we all should, it'll be a long day tomorrow," Elizabeth stated, the rest of the group standing and abandoning the remainder of their drinks. John walked Elizabeth to her door, for some reason he really didn't like to let her out of his sight when they were off world, his need to protect her so much a part of him now that he did it without even thinking about it.
"Today's been a good day," Elizabeth said as they came to a stop outside her room.
"It was nice to see you relax," he told her and Elizabeth narrowed her eyes at him in a half serious glare. "
"I do relax," she stated knowing as well as he did that those instances were few and far between, they were type of events that people joked about happening once in a blue moon, possibly when pigs fly, John had told her so on more than one occasion.
"Reading reports does not count," he joked and she smiled as she opened her door.
"Goodnight John," she said her green eyes on his.
"Goodnight Elizabeth," he replied and with that she was gone, John sighed and walked the few meters between her door and his, obviously he'd made sure he'd be in the room closest to hers.
They'd gotten started early that day, Ronon and Teyla were in the back of the cave with Rodney, Elizabeth was once again working on her translations at the entrance while John sat close by to keep an eye one her. They'd been at it for hours already, they'd left the village when the sun was barely up and it was going on lunch time now, John had no doubt that Rodney would come out of the cave in search of food before long. As if on cue the scientist emerged from the cave, coming to a stop near Elizabeth with Teyla and a very bored looking Ronon right behind him.
"McKay wants food," Ronon said as Rodney got side tracked by Elizabeth's translations, it didn't take him long to realise it was more about history than science and he refocused on his quest for food.
"Alright we'll head back to the village," John stated, it was only a twenty minute walk to the small town, they'd only lose an hour at the most and if it meant that they could have a proper meal rather than rations and whatever it was the inn keeper had packed for them then it was an hour he'd happily lose.
Teyla, Ronon and Rodney left the cave and John was only mildly surprised that Rodney didn't complain about the extra walking he was going to have to do. He looked at Elizabeth who still had her back to him, she was knelt on the floor facing the wall and scribbling something in her note pad.
"Elizabeth?" he questioned and she hummed an acknowledgement as she finished whatever she was writing.
"I just want to finish this part of the text, it should only take a few more minutes," she told him and John nodded turning to look at the others who were waiting near the trees.
"You guys go ahead, we'll be right behind you," he said and the three of them disappeared into the trees. John looked back at Elizabeth who had once again focused on what she was translating and he decided just to gather their gear together while he was waiting for her. He stepped just outside the cave picking up War and Peace and shoving it into his backpack. One of Elizabeth's notepads was on the floor nearby so he grabbed that as well, slipping it more carefully into the bag with his book.
The ground shook then, it was so subtle he wondered for a moment if he'd imagined it but then he did it again and his doubt quickly faded. He waited for a few seconds but nothing happened, there was no sense taking chances though, if it was nothing then the cave would still be here after lunch.
"Elizabeth, let's go," he shouted as he finished putting their things into the bag.
"Just a minute," she called back and John shook his head to himself, he had a bad feeling, his instincts were practically screaming at him to get Elizabeth out of the cave and head back to the village.
"You can finish when we get back now let's go," he shouted again as he stood up and turned toward the cave, the words coming out more like an order despite her being his superior.
Elizabeth turned to look at him about to reply when the ground started shaking again. John lost his balance the shaking becoming strong enough to knock him to the ground. He heard rumbling, a separate noise to that of the ground shaking and he looked up in time to see part of the cave coming down. He looked at Elizabeth, his panic reflected on her face and then she disappeared, covered by a wall of rock and dust.