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!

Crashing Down

By Hannah554

Chapter 3

It had been hours since he'd heard her voice, hours since the radio had gone silent and John had never felt so much terror in his life, not even when Kolya's men had tied him to a chair and brought a Wraith in to feed on him. They were making progress, it was slow but at least they were getting there now. They'd lost the sunlight, were stuck relying on the artificial lights that Lorne's team had brought with them, it would be a long time before the sun came back up and hopefully they'd have Elizabeth out by then.

John stood up straight, stretching out the muscles of his back and inwardly wincing at the sound of his spine cracking. His entire body ached from how much effort this was taking but he refused to stop, he had to keep going until this was done. He rubbed the back of his hand across his forehead, wiping away the layer of sweat that had accumulated and leaving behind just the dirt and dust that covered most of him.

Teyla was next to him looking just as tired and filthy as he did but she showed no signs of slowing down either. Not one of the Lantians that had come here looked like they were ready to stop, some of the villagers were still there as well, a few were taking a break nearby though a number had made their way back to the village for the night. Deciding that ten seconds was too much of a break when Elizabeth was still trapped inside the cave he got back to work. He bent down to pick up another rock and tossed it away barely registering the thud as it hit the large rock pile nearby.

There was another large rock blocking his way and he motioned to Ronon and Rodney, both men joining him and Teyla in their effort to move it out of the way. It took more energy than he had left to give, than any of them had left to give to move it, the rock sliding across the ground slowly until it was far enough from the cave entrance to be out of the way. Despite having long since used up all their energy the four of them went back to shifting rocks, the sound of rock after rock being moved or thrown filling the otherwise silent night.

"Hey, I've got something," Rodney shouted, the tired scientist suddenly full of energy at the prospect of getting close to their leader. John almost ran the few steps between himself and Rodney, looking into the gap in the rocks where Rodney was pointing.

If it had been daytime it probably wouldn't have been so easy to see but in the dark it was obvious, a light coming through the rocks that could only be coming from a torch. There was nothing else inside the cave that would give off any light, only Elizabeth's torch and if they could see that then maybe if they moved a few more rocks they'd be able to see her.

As though their strength had been renewed everyone went back to work, moving rocks almost as quickly as when they'd started. They were close, so close that John felt more frustrated than he had in hours that he couldn't get to her, she was just out of reach. At the same time he felt the hope that had been slowly dwindling since this had started return full force.

He was almost there; John pulled the last rock blocking his path out of the way letting it roll to the bottom of the pile as he grabbed his torch and looked inside the cave. He could see where the light from Elizabeth's torch was coming from, could just about make out the shape of a leg sticking out from behind some rocks. He turned back to the rest of the rescue party who were all waiting on him now.

"I'm going in, Carson, you follow me, the rest of you try and clear some more of these rocks so we can get her out with causing more harm," he ordered, there were several nods and 'yes sirs' from the crowd who immediately stared moving again. John looked at the hole and started climbing through it, shimmying his body through the small hole and then falling to the floor once he was through.

His side scraped across a rock but he barely even noticed, he made his way over to Elizabeth dropping down next to her body. Carson was still trying to get through the small hole and John spared a glance at him to make sure he was okay before focusing his attention on Elizabeth. She was pale, paler than he could ever remember seeing her, her chest was rising and falling assuring him she was alive but the movement was so small that she couldn't be getting much air into her lungs. She had a deep cut on her head, one that had obviously been bleeding badly at some point and her leg was pinned by a large rock. There were a few other minor scrapes and bruises but John wasn't a doctor and he couldn't be entirely sure how badly she was injured.

There was a thud from near the entrance and John looked up to see Carson picking himself up from the floor and coming over to them. He knelt down on the other side of Elizabeth, scanning over her fragile body before assessing how badly she was injured. John turned to the entrance again; he could hear the sound of rocks still being moved and Lorne shouting orders.

"Her pulse is weak, she's lost a lot of blood," Carson said and John refocused his attention back on Elizabeth. He reached for her hand which seemed so small and light in his own and he cursed that he hadn't got here faster. Carson was still talking, as much to himself as to John and what little of it made it through to John's head made him utterly terrified.

"She's possibly bleeding internally, it looks like she might have taken a hit to her side, we need to get her back to Atlantis now," Carson stated and John nodded looking to the entrance. The others had already managed to clear some more rocks from the small hole, it would be hard work but they could hopefully get her through without injuring her further.

"Alright, is it safe to move the rocks from her leg?" he questioned and Carson gave him the go ahead, John pulled at the rock and with a little help from Carson they were able to shift it off her leg. John carefully gathered Elizabeth in his arms and moved toward the small hole, Caron ahead of him shouting for help on the other side.

John started to pass Elizabeth through the hole to Ronon, they moved slowly, careful not to jostle Elizabeth as they did so. Once she was through John helped Carson to get out of the cave before following himself. When he hit the floor on the other side Elizabeth was already strapped to a stretcher with Carson and another doctor tending to her injuries as best they could. Teyla was thanking the villager's who had helped with the rescue and promised to send word of Elizabeth back through the gate.

Carson informed him they'd done all they could do here and the team headed back through the gate. John and Lorne carried the stretcher between them and Elizabeth's complete lack of movement made him worry more and more as they got closer to the gate.

Carson had done all he could, now it was just up to Elizabeth to fight her way back to them. Some of the colour had returned to her face, the internal bleeding had been stopped but apparently she'd been pretty close to death when they'd got to her, any longer and she wouldn't have made it. Her pulse was steady, the heart monitor beeping in a regular rhythm that was as much of a reassurance as anything else.

John had barely left her side since the surgery, he'd had a few things to attend to on Atlantis but Radek was still keeping the city in order. The people involved in the rescue had stuck around for a while but after working straight through the night to get to Elizabeth sleep had eventually gotten too demanding. Surprisingly, Rodney had lasted the longest, holding vigil with John until just an hour ago.

Sleep was desperately trying to claim John and at this point he was struggling to eve keep his eyes open but he wasn't leaving until he knew she was okay. Her hand was in his once again and he refused to let go of it as though just holding onto her would stop her from leaving him. He wasn't even aware he'd fallen asleep until a slight movement woke him up. He opened his eyes, his foggy mind taking a moment to recognise his surroundings and realise the movement had been Elizabeth's hand.

He sat up straight, suddenly completely alert as Elizabeth's eyes tried to open. He stood up and told one of the nurses to get Carson then leaned down over Elizabeth, never letting go of her hand.

"Elizabeth," he said quietly "Can you hear me?"

"John," the sound was barely more than a whisper but it gave John such a sense of relief that he almost had to sit back down. She finally opened her eyes and John smiled, his relief probably more than evident and just for that moment he didn't care that he was probably an open book.

"Hey," he greeted her and she returned his smile with a small one of her own. "You had us all pretty worried."

Carson arrived then, slightly out of breath and still a mess from sleep, clearly he'd wasted no time in getting here. He started fussing over her, jokingly scolding her for giving them all a scare but John didn't hear most of it, he was too busy being overjoyed. Once Carson was done, he gave her some painkillers and told John that he would inform the others and that if he didn't go and get some proper sleep soon he'd sedate him.

"You said you had something to tell me," Elizabeth stated and John looked confused for a moment before realisation dawned on him. "You said you had something to tell me when we got back to Atlantis, what was it?"

He briefly contemplated lying, making up something that was only half as important as what had really been going through his mind when he'd said that. The last two days had taught him something important though, he could lose this, lose his chance with her any day and if that happened and he'd never told her the truth it would be the biggest regret of his life.

He opened his mouth but the words that had seemed so clear in his head just wouldn't come out. Elizabeth was laid there, propped up by pillows and waiting for an answer that he couldn't give her, at least not with words. He made a snap decision and leaned down, brushing her lips with his and kissing her lightly. He pulled back, trying to judge her reaction which was confused at first and then... hopeful.

"That's what I wanted to tell you," he said, the gesture more adequate than the words he'd come up with but couldn't voice. Elizabeth's response was cut off by Teyla's arrival; the Athosian had already been on her way back when Carson had radioed her. Elizabeth gave John a smile, all the answer he needed as she talked with Teyla.