The alphabet is something everyone is familiar with (at least we hope so lol) so why not sparkify it? After all everything needs to be sparked at least once lol. So 26 sparky fics are coming your way with titles from A to Z.
Authors Note (kuroima): So here is finally my story for H, I hope you enjoy it.
H is for Hapaxanthous - flowering only once.
Elizabeth put her pen aside, closed the folder and placed it on top of a pile. She leaned back in her chair and rubbed her face to lose some of the sleepiness. A look at her wristwatch told her it was late, too late. Again. She sighed and sorted the things on her desk. She never actually intended to stay up late but sometimes work asked for it and she lost track of time. And sometimes long nights and coffee seemed more appealing than nightmares. Life in the Pegasus galaxy was rough and she had seen and experienced things she would have never dreamed of. They had left a mark on her and came back in various ways. Nightmares were something every expedition member had to deal with but this was not what was bothering her tonight. No, something else, someone was keeping her awake.
"Elizabeth," she jumped slightly not having noticed that someone had entered her office. She had been too lost in her thoughts looking aimlessly around. Teyla smiled apologetically at her and stepped closer to her desk placing a steaming cup of tea in front of her. She returned a grateful smile while she picked up the cup and Teyla seated herself in one of the chairs opposite her. The warmth of the tea slowly started to spread through her hands further into her body and she carefully took a sip. The smell of the Athosian tea was lulling her in and her sleepiness returned.
"You're up late," Elizabeth stated and took another sip of the tea.
"Yes, Ronon felt fairly restless and as you know neither tea nor meditation is helping him so I sparred with him for a little while."
"I assume he's now neatly tucked up in his bed?" amusement underlined her voice.
"Yes," Teyla answered with equal amusement gracing her lips. "I thought I may come here to you before going to bed myself," she finished.
"No need to check on me I just finished my last report for today," she said and Teyla nodded a faint smile on her lips. They both fell into a silence savoring their teas. Elizabeth knew this was not the reason Teyla came to her at this late hour and that the other woman had something else on her mind to discuss with her. And as if on cue she started to speak again.
"He is behaving quite unusual," she simply said.
"John. I believe something is bothering him but I am sure you are already aware of this," Teyla fixed her eyes on Elizabeth who was looking down at the gate room.
She knew what was wrong with him, why he was either absent or cranky. She was the cause of it just as he was the cause for her sleeplessness. "Yes, I noticed," she turned her eyes back to Teyla who knew that Elizabeth was somehow involved in it but wasn't saying anything. "However I don't know what's bothering him he wouldn't speak to me as well," she lied and Teyla knew it. With her observation skills, which were not only useful in combat and negotiations, she had spotted the discomfort between her two friends.
"I see," she nodded slowly. "Should we let him find a solution by himself?" now it was Elizabeth turn to nod.
"Yes, I think this is the best," she replied and stared back at Teyla neither one of them saying a word. Elizabeth knew that this talk was not just about John anymore.
"All right then I will go to bed," she stood up and took her now empty cup. "A very long night is lying ahead of us."
"Yes, the invitation to the Corlean's celebration. Do you know anything about it? Elder Mor didn't share any information with us," she asked curiously, picked up her own, still half-full cup and shut the lights as they made their way out of her office.
"I only know that the celebration is supposed to last the entire night," Teyla slightly shrugged her shoulders, they wished the night shift a good night and continued their way.
"I just wonder what kind of celebration this is where they're inviting the entire city," she let out a small sigh. "I guess we shouldn't agonize about it too much," she turned her head to Teyla who was walking beside her and nodded in agreement.
"I believe it is a special occurrence to them and an honor for us to be invited," she said and pushed a spot on the screen of the transporter.
"Yes," Elizabeth just said and stepped out of the transporter a moment later. "Good night."
"Good night," she replied and was about to turn away as Elizabeth's voice stopped her.
"Teyla," she waited till she faced her again. "Thank you."
The Athosian's woman eyes softened. "You're welcome," she said and then turned away again, both women's ways parting.
Elizabeth stared after her for a moment and then headed to her quarters. Of course Teyla had picked up the tensed air between her and John and she was grateful that she had offered her help that if Elizabeth needed someone to talk to Teyla would be there. She was looking forward to the next day and the free time she would get but then there was the matter with John. It was bothering her and of course she wanted to solve it if it just wouldn't seem so complicated.
"Dial the gate," Elizabeth nodded at Chuck as she was walking past him towards the stairs down to the gate room. With the sound of the dialing gate in the background she looked around the vast room where a large group of the Lantean citizens gathered. The entire city had been invited by the Corleans and only a skeleton crew would remain in the city and would switch later with another group to be able to take part in the celebration as well. She was among the first group who left.
She spotted Rodney and Radek who were discussing something. They were too far away for her to hear what it was about but certainly about a scientific matter. Ronon stood beside them looking rather grumpy; he was probably bothered by the ever discussing scientists. And then her eyes met John's. Her smile slowly faded and when she couldn't withstand it anymore she looked away. It was ridiculous she knew it but she didn't know what to do. No, she did know what options she had but she was too afraid to decide and take the next step or even go backwards.
A shiver ran down her spine as she remembered what happened some time ago. It had been a regular day, as regular as it could get in Atlantis, and sometime during the night she and John were walking through the hallways. She didn't remember where they went or what exactly they talked about it all seemed blurred in her memories. But she did remember very clearly what happened.
He had suddenly gotten very silent and when she had turned to him he had starred at her with such an intense look she had gotten goose bumps. The warmth of his hands on her back and neck, the scent of him mixed with the scent of another world he had just returned from and his hypnotizing green eyes had paralyzed her. Her heart had skipped several beats and she had been afraid it would stop to work eventually. Common sense was blown out of her mind when his lips touched hers and they lost themselves in a short but passionate kiss.
Afterwards they stared at each other stunned by what happened until reason got them back on their feet and they realized that they now officially had crossed the line. They had quickly left each other both needing the space and time to think about the rather spontaneous action.
She was in a contradiction between her logic and her feelings. She had to resist the urge to cross the gate room, grab him by his collar and press her lips on his. She knew she couldn't do that too many things kept her from doing it.
"Elizabeth," she was in a desperate situation and helpless.
"Elizabeth," she blinked a few times and her eyes met Teyla's dark brown ones.
"I'm sorry, I was just…," she trailed off and Teyla slowly shook her head looking at her sympathetically. She had been totally lost in her own thoughts that she didn't notice that the people already moved through the blue shimmering wormhole. Elizabeth returned a grateful look and the two women headed for the gate.
"Doctor Weir," the older man clad in linen clothes greeted her cheerfully. "Elder Mor," they both bowed their heads respectfully as it was the Corlean's way of greeting someone then he turned to the crowd behind her with a broad smile. "Speaking for all Corlean voices it is a pleasure for me to welcome you. The preparations for the celebration are almost finished and until it begins you can rest in the village we have already prepared some food and drink," the crowd started to move towards the village led by Ronon and Rodney who aimed to get to the food. Elizabeth and the Elder slowly followed them through the grass field.
They first made contact with the Corlean's during their first year in Atlantis and set up a trading arrangement. Over the course of time they not only became a good ally but also friends. They were a simple folk of farmers and hunters and while they had several villages near the gate some of their people were nomads. The Corlean's were respectful and extraordinarily kind and their leader Elder Mor seemed to be the embodied cheerfulness. He was always smiling and Elizabeth found herself in a better mood when he was around. And she wasn't the only one he had this effect on. When the situation asked for it his smile was gone and he turned into the wise and serious leader he was.
"I assume you're still not telling me the exact reason of this celebration?" Elizabeth tried to finally get an answer but Mor just laughed.
"Eager to learn and not giving up until the unknown is revealed that are some good qualities Doctor Weir but I hope you can contain your curiosity and wait for the surprise. I assure you it will be worth the wait," he smiled mysteriously at her and she sighed and lifted her hands in a surrendering gesture.
"All right but I expect something outstanding," she told him playfully.
"It will be better," he just commented and stopped at the edge of the village scanning the scene before them. Most of the Corlean people were busy with the preparations and some of the Lantean people had joined to help them, others were chatting, eating and drinking with each other despite the fact that the celebration hadn't officially started yet. She noticed that Corleans not belonging to this village moved around it and that there were more of them than she remembered ever seeing. They must have all gathered here for today. "What a nice view," Elizabeth nodded and started to laugh as she saw Radek trying to escape from a group of kids who wanted to play with him and were encouraged by Lorne.
Elizabeth first sat down but her mind kept wandering off to John thinking about the reasons why she should and why she couldn't be with him. There were no rules at all but several parties that would have a word against them. Of course she knew which risks a relationship with him would have but denying it would even be worse. She wanted to take the next step but she, who faced Wraith, Genii, nanites and other things, was afraid of possible consequences if it wouldn't work out and of some bureaucratic men and women who were in another galaxy.
But was he even having the same feelings towards her? Yes, he had kissed her but did that mean he was just as tired of pretending not to love her while she was the only thing he could think about? That thought was bothering her but when she thought of the kiss she was sure she wasn't alone with this and yet a tiny spark of doubt remained. She was just thinking and worrying too much about it. The love turned her upside down. She spent the few hours of the afternoon to get her mind off the matter with helping the Corleans and telling the kids stories about the many adventures of the Lantean people.
Later when all gathered around Elder Mor he officially announced the beginning of the celebration and they started it with a toast. The Lanteans and Corleans drank, ate, sang, danced and laughed with all worries and fears forgotten. She wandered around a bit and talked with several people but mostly observed the scene, the drinking competition between Ronon and a Corlean man or how the Corleans tried to teach the rather new Lanteans their dances. It had been quite some time since they all were so carefree and had so much fun and she was glad to see her people like this.
She walked around when she spotted John surrounded by children who were glued to his lips. He told them a story quite vividly using his body to emphasize certain actions. She was too far away to hear him but after watching them a while she found out that he told them the Star Wars story and she had to smile. When he took a sip of his drink his eyes wandered around and he spotted Elizabeth. This time her smile didn't fade away and she didn't look away. He seemed surprised for a moment but then his face lit up and they just stared at each other. His attention was drawn away when the children nudged him wanting him to continue the story. He looked around and called a young Lieutenant to him whose face lost its cheerfulness while John spoke to him. He turned to the kids and then made his way to Elizabeth leaving the Lieutenant, who felt uncomfortable with his new task and the kids expectantly staring at him, behind.
Before she realized it he had reached her and she couldn't run away anymore. She didn't even want to. His expression was serious now and he was the first one to break the ice. "You want to...?"
"Yes," she quickly nodded and a small smile flitted across his face.
They turned their backs to the partying crowd to look for a quieter place but didn't get very far as Mor's voice stopped them. "Doctor Weir, Colonel Sheppard," he tried to find a way through the crowd to them. "I was looking for you, " he said as he had reached them, "the sun will soon go down and it is time that we go," he smiled cheerfully.
The entire crowd had gathered and started to move following Elder Mors lead. They left the village, walked past the edge of the forest and the fields for about half an hour. "We are here," he announced and the people moved to the rather small fire places that apparently were already set up to drop their things. Instead of settling there the Corleans moved on walking further away and the Lanteans followed them without protest but murmurs indicated their confusion. "This is it, we have reached our destination for tonight," he announced again.
Elizabeth looked around and took in the view. The landscape in front of them didn't offer any trees or bushes but an endless field of flowers and as far as she recognized it in the twilight it was the same flower all over the place. "This is it? All this for some flowers?" Rodney asked and earned a slap on the back of his head from John.
Mor smiled. "These, Doctor McKay, are not just some flowers, they are so far the only ones of their kind we have come across on these lands and every few years my people gather to celebrate this occasion. They only blossom every nine years for a night and present their beauty and then they die," he told them.
"This is interesting," Katie Brown who stood next to Rodney said fascinated.
"I've never heard of flowers that only bloom for once in their lifetime. Do we have something similar on Earth?" Elizabeth asked her curiously.
"Yes, we have. Hapaxanth plants grow for one or two years or even for several decades to flower only once in their life and then they die subsequently," she explained and Elizabeth could see the question that lay on her lips she didn't dare to ask.
"Elder Mor, is it possible for us to take a few of these back to Atlantis for our botanists," she indicated with a nod to Katie," to study them?" she questioned.
"Of course," he answered with a smile amused by the never lacking curiosity of the Lanteans.
"Thank you," Katie said gratefully.
"These flowers are much more beautiful than the usual ones. I remember the first time I have seen them," he started to tell. "I had been just a few sun cycles old but I never forgot this stunning view despite the tragic that fell upon us that night," they all listened to him silently. "We were attacked by the Wraith and as you can see there were very few options we had with any shelter the forest and our village might have had to help us being so far away. It had been a dreadful night for us but we still come out here to live to see this," he told them.
"Why?" Rodney asked blatantly. "This is just dangerous and we're served up on a plate for the Wraith here," he looked around nervously and John was about to respond something as Mors understanding look stopped him.
"You are correct, Doctor McKay. This is indeed dangerous but even in our village we're not completely save despite the proximity to the gate. We're risking this because a life lived in fear is not something we strive for and we cherish all the moments filled with happiness," Elizabeth darted her eyes to John for a moment. "It is something I had to learn myself after that night when I was a young boy and questioned this."
Elizabeth wandered closer to the field of flowers as she thought about Mor's words. It wasn't the first time she noticed this mentality in the people of the Pegasus galaxy. Life here was short with the constant threat of the Wraith but the people weren't afraid of risking something. Not the reckless kind of risk but risks that might not end in a good way and you would regret ever doing this step. And the people from Earth? They carefully thought about every step considering all their options and preferably taking the least unpleasant and risk-free one.
"It is beginning!" a voice called and she was pulled out of her thoughts, blinked and saw that the sunset was over and the moon had risen. The chatting of the people's voices died and only the cracking of the wood in the fires some distance behind them was heard. They waited a few more minutes and Elizabeth noticed how impatient she got. Then the first few flowers started to blossom, it was a very slow process but more and more started to open after some time. Her eyes scanned the vast field and she spotted a flower that already completely opened and presented its beauty. Mor didn't exaggerate at all when he told them that it was a stunning and beautiful view. It was a few nights before full moon so the light gave them a good view of the flowers, they were knee high and had several blossoms with large petals tinged in light blue and violet colors. She looked at the people who were just as amazed as her and spellbound by the view. She had to smile about the effect that just some flowers had on them.
Several hours passed and some of the people returned to the fireplaces to continue their partying were they stopped before and some stayed at the edge of the field to enjoy the view. Elizabeth sat alone some distance away from the others to enjoy this all by herself. It was now late into the night and all flowers had opened and the view was stunningly amazing. Wherever she looked these flowers seemed to cover any space and it looked like a sea of flowers, also water gathered on some petals that reflected the moonlight and so they shimmered. She was stunned by this gorgeous picture the nature created and was glad that they were able to see this.
A life lived in fear is not something we strive for and we cherish all the moments filled with happiness...
Mor's words still occupied her mind and yet again she thought about her and John's situation and back a few hours ago were they might have solved it. His words gave her the confidence to follow its lead and take the risk. She was yearning for it, to spend her time with him as lovers. But she was still too afraid to jump off that cliff and the voice of reason constantly nagged at her which she tried to suppress.
She looked up surprised as someone put a heavy blanket around her and sat down close beside her. It was John and her heart instantly beat faster. Till now she hadn't noticed how chilly the night became and she cuddled herself into the warm animal coat. "Thank you," she said and he gave her just a quick nod and they stared silently at the flowers in front of them for a while.
"I never apologized for that...attack on you," he suddenly started and she frowned but then understood.
"Don't, John," she looked at him but he kept his eyes on the ground nervously playing with the grass. "I don't regret it," he stopped and stared at his hands. "Whenever, I'll never regret it," he looked at her with wide eyes and promptly leaned in to kiss her. It took her off-guard but she quickly responded to the kiss and their lips and tongues entangled in a lovers dance.
"Bloody hell they're finally doing it!" Carson suddenly said a big grin on his face as he spotted John and Elizabeth in an intimate embrace. The others sitting with him in the small circle turned their heads into the direction he was looking and started to grin.
"Someone better bring the kids away from here before they start making out," Rodney said and earned a slap on the back of his head from Ronon. "Ouch!"
Teyla looked at him dispraisingly and he shrugged. "He deserved it."
"Don't get me wrong I'm ..uh glad that they finally came to the realization and all but they really don't have to do this in public."
"Ronon," Teyla warned him as he was about to slap him again but lowered his hand.
"There goes our most lucrative bet in the city," Lorne said with a sigh but couldn't hide his grin.
"Don't be sad about it Major the other bets about them will now gain a lot of attention. The secret marriage, the baby, the when will the SGC and IOA find it out and my personal favorite the who will win: Atlantis versus SGC and IOA bet," Laura told him and they all started to laugh. Teyla turned around for one last time to the leaders in the distance and smiled. Finally.
When John and Elizabeth parted they needed some time to catch their breaths but John instantly got a lopsided, smug grin and she smiled softly back.
"This is crazy," she said and their expressions turned serious again and he settled next to her.
"It's risky," what about the IOA? Would they just let them be? Would they let them stay in Atlantis? Would it work out? What if he would die one day they were at war after all?
"I always liked challenges."
"It's-," she started but he cut her off.
"'Lizabeth, stop thinking," he cupped her face with his hands and looked her intensely into the eyes. "I know what's bothering you but just forget it all it's not worth thinking about it. Just forget it," she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against his.
"The entire night I had to think of Mor's words," she told him and a slight nod from him told her he had done the same. "This is not going to be easy. We have to work and fight for this."
"I'm very confident that we'll win," he said and she sensed his slight humorous voice.
"Why?" she opened her eyes to see him grinning.
"You haven't heard yet? I always win," she laughed and gave him a quick peck on the lips. They seated themselves next to each other again and put the coat around them. She laid her head onto his shoulder and he put his arm around her and they enjoyed the rest of the night and the natural spectacle.