I Will Wait Here by AndromedaMarine

I don't blame him. He would be the last to blame. Tricking the others took the last bit of physical...well, mechanical, strength away from me. Now I cannot help but think. And as my nanite-filled mind works I can feel the others attempting to lash out in anger for what I have done...for my betrayal.

Really, he has freed me. No longer must I continue by the rules of the Replicators. I am empty, alone despite the others, in the vast space he so often explores.

Maybe...and so begins the wondering. Would I still be here, floating, virtually dead and frozen, if my body looked like the me before Asuras? I can't know if he sensed a difference I couldn't see or feel. Certainly Mr. Woolsey's IOA rules will forbid John from ever coming after me...at least under authorization. Yet I can, and must, hope.

I will wait here. I really have no other choice, unless the Replicators come along before he does, but the sentiment means more than the dull passing of time.

I will wait here for him. In line with the John Sheppard I knew in the first years, he will eventually go against Woolsey. I know he will come for me.

Time will pass slowly, as it always does for people with literally nothing to do. Years may pass before John finds the right moment to go against dear old Richard. It may be decades. And perhaps by then our orbit will have decayed, and our nanite bodies lost to the perils of upper atmospheric fire and oblivion. By then it will be the thought that was the hope and incentive to hold on for one more day, one more year.

In the end, I imagine he'll tell me all about their adventures after Asuras, after our last meeting. He'll tell me about his daring suicide missions on which he never manages to kill himself. I'll watch as his face lights up with recollections of the past, and how I imagine Rodney finally gathered the nerve to ask Jennifer out on a date. I can almost feel the soft evening breeze of Atlantis flowing through my hair as I see us wasting another night wishing and wondering about past and future things that never were and will never be. Already I can see his smile starting to fade.

After everything, I suppose, it all comes down to one little revelation that hit me at that critical moment on Asuras, over a year ago. As I felt Oberoth gaining control, I saw the hurt in John's eyes when I told him to go, and when he hesitated it felt like the world came crashing down around my small self. I love him. And maybe, if there's a chance in hell, maybe he loves me too. All that potential down the proverbial drain, or at least sucked into the nearest black hole.

So. I will wait here. I will wait until the nanites fail to work. I will wait here until the other Replicators find us (unless John's completely wiped them out minus me, etcetera). I will wait here until our orbit decays. But above all, I will wait here for him, with the memories of a different life and of little truths that seem too good to be true. Maybe I will wait forever, refusing to accept that the lifetime I hoped for has passed, that he is but a single thread on the tapestry of eternity.

I will close my eyes, and fill my mind with images of his laughing face, of the smile I always felt he reserved just for me. I will remember the good years, when if I felt a little lost, he would lead me onto our balcony, put his hand on mine, and speak in the softest, gentlest voice I've ever heard.

"Your path is my path. We do this together."

I love you, John. I hope you know that.