Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis, and I don't claim to. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, I am making no monetary gain.
Summary: He didn't come here very often. Others did, he knew, seeking peace, or comfort, or both; and maybe even finding them. Not him. Whenever he needed those things, he went to the balcony off the control room – what he thought of as his and Elizabeth's balcony – to find them. JohnElizabeth
Pairing: JohnElizabeth (or Sparky, if you prefer)
Spoilers: Rising; Siege pts. 1, 2, & 3; Lost Boys; The Hive
Timeline: Sometime post Lost Boys & The Hive, still pre- Journey to Forever
Title: In Memoriam
Author: Mama Jo
Author's Note: Again, this was originally written for Year of the Spark, thanks to Sparky Army for allowing me to re-post it under my own penname. Thank you for reading, hope you enjoy! -Mama Jo
He didn't come here very often. Others did, he knew, seeking peace, or comfort, or both; and maybe even finding them. Not him. Whenever he needed those things, he went to the balcony off the control room – what he thought of as his and Elizabeth's balcony – to find them. But on this day, at this time – it seemed the right thing to do.
He paused just inside the door of the room at the base of the control tower; the room that very soon after the expedition's arrival in Atlantis had been set aside as an interfaith chapel. At the moment it was empty except for sunbeams coming through the tall, narrow stained glass windows on the righthand wall, empty as he'd hoped it would be. He'd chosen his time well. Drawing a deep breath, he turned to the left and slowly took the dozen or so steps needed to get to what had drawn him to this place:
The Memorial Wall, where all the expedition's dead were listed.
"Colonel Marshall Sumner, USMC," the first small metal plaque read, sunlight gleaming on the American flag enameled underneath. Swallowing hard, he made himself read each succeeding plaque. Instead of military designations, some names – like Peter Grodin's – had the degrees they'd earned after them. The accompanying flags on the plaques identified what country that person had called home: the United States, Great Britain, Russia, along with so many others.
He came to his reason for coming to this place: the most recent name to be added to the Wall. Even expecting to see it, it still hit him like a fist in the gut. Although he'd finally agreed to its being added to the others, he didn't want to accept that it belonged there. Half unconsciously, he jammed his hands into his pockets, reacting to a fierce inward urge to pry the plaque free from its place. All that young enthusiasm and passion, however misguided it might have become. . . How could it really be gone forever?
Lost in memories, he didn't hear the quiet footsteps approaching until they stopped just behind his right shoulder. Anger, misdirected and unjustified but real, surged from his belly into his throat, keeping him from acknowledging her presence until he'd wrestled it down. Even then, he didn't look around at her. He only said her name in a voice absolutely flat from the effort it took to control it: "Elizabeth."
"John." Quiet as always, that voice, but in it he heard a clear echo of his own pain. "My offer still stands."
For the first time, standing here with her in this place, it occurred to him that she might need an opportunity for closure (oh, how he hated that word!) just as much as the people he would soon be seeing on Earth. He hesitated, feeling all the old loner instincts welling up into the void left by his waning anger.
And that was when the second insight hit: It wasn't just being on the balcony, per se, that brought him peace and comfort. It was being there with this woman that brought ease to his troubled spirit. She was the source of the strength and solace he so badly needed.
John turned part of the way around. Looking down at her, he sensed some long-held inner tension begin to loosen. Maybe he didn't have to do this alone. "It would be awfully short notice," he said cautiously past the tightness of his throat. "—Wouldn't it?"
"Teyla and Lorne can handle it. That's why they're our 2ICs." Elizabeth looked past him briefly, at the Wall, before returning her gaze to him. "I'll meet you in the Gateroom in ten minutes." With that, and a slight tilt of her head, she was swiftly gone.
John glanced at the Memorial Wall a final time before turning fully away and following her out of the chapel. Behind him, unseen, the light shifted as the sun rose higher in the sky; slowly slipped lower and lower on the opposite wall, leaving in shadow the last plaque and its engraved name:
Lieutenant Aiden Ford, USMC