Ship: Weir/Sheppard

Spoilers: 5x05 Ghost in the Machine

Summary: Ghosts shouldn't be jealous, but she is.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

A/N: So, I watched 'Ghost in the Machine' on re-run last night for the first time and this plot bunny wouldn't leave me alone. It's very stream-of-consciousness, which is a bit of a new style for me. I hope you enjoy it!

Ghosts shouldn't be jealous, but you are.

The second she hears the name 'John' from Teyla's lips, her stomach plummets. Even though she knows there could be only one John,she clarifies: John—for Colonel Sheppard. Without giving anymore away, Teyla confirms her suspicions.

So she asks the real question, afraid of the answer. Teyla's quick denial settles her heart back into a normal rhythm. Despite her absence of nearly a year, that, at least, shows she has not been completely forgotten. John enters a few minutes later and she seeks out the other half of the riddle.

"Amazing news about Teyla." She studies him. She tries to read those eyes she once knew so well. He barely spares her a glance, no emotion readable.

She wants to ask if he wishes the baby was his, but he's already back to questioning her identity. His disbelief stirs contrasting emotions in her; she's torn between This-is-the-John-Sheppard-I-know and Why-doesn't-he-know-me?

There is no goodbye, not really. It's still a show and she cannot give away her cards. The vague implication hangs around that they will see Atlantis again and to be seen to properly say goodbye might arouse suspicion. It is more than that, though, if she is honest; there is too much between her and John to try. He is beginning to believe that she is real, but is still afraid, and what they could never admit in life, must also remain silent in death. She smiles, looking into his eyes once more. They are less closed to her than they were before; she can see the Goodbye and I'm-sorry-it-had-to-end-this-way there.

Be happy—she telegraphs silently—if not with me, if not with Teyla, with someone else, who is equal parts lover, warrior, and leader.

He doesn't see the last part of the message, because she turns away. And don't forget me.

She steps through the gate, into nothingness.

And as everything goes numb, you fall asleep dreaming of John Sheppard.