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Author's Chapter Notes: Hopefully, this will be easier to follow with the years used. I didn’t want it to be too confusing, but some time jumping is necessary in this story before it stays in the same year.

2012 ~ Atlantis

The beeping of the monitor in the medical bay just made the reality of the situation sink in deeper. Carson had tried everything to extend life, but now it was just spiraling downhill. There was nothing more to be done, but to provide comfort. The doctor hadn’t even thought it possible to extend his patient’s life for this long, but when one fights for life, it seems like miracles are a little more likely to happen. He just wished that a miracle could have been strong enough to extend the life to a normal life expectancy. This was one of the downfalls of being a medical doctor, when there was no longer anything to be done, and all that was left was to watch a friend die and others close to that friend suffer.

Walking over to the medical bed, he put his hand on the shoulder of the man who had been sitting in an uncomfortable plastic chair for almost the whole day now. He was asleep, but so was the patient.

“Why don’t you go home and sleep in your own bed?” he offered quietly when the man stirred at his touch. “I’ll call you when she wakes. I promise.”

John Sheppard had been at his wife’s bedside ever since she had grown too ill to leave the infirmary. He’d only leave when forced, and then even then it wasn’t for very long. He had to admit to himself that he could use the personal time. A thick sheet of stubble had grown in and been neglected, and he was sore all over. He could definitely use a hot shower and a good night’s sleep in his own bed.

“You said that maybe she could go home,” he said quietly, looking over to Carson for an answer. John didn’t like the fact that the only reason that Carson would be releasing Elizabeth now would be because there was nothing else he could do for her medically, but keep her comfortable.

“Tomorrow,” Carson promised. “Go home. I’m sure that Marie is still up, so you can pick up Lily if you like.” Lily Sheppard had been affected the most in the current situation, or at least that’s how Carson saw it. Lily was only two, but saw more of his wife than she did of her own parents…and with Elizabeth so close to the end, Carson just wanted Lily to have some memories of her mother.

Rubbing his face a bit, John sighed, “Lily…Lily’s probably fast asleep. I-I’ll get her tomorrow morning…I’ll take her to breakfast,” he said sleepily, even though he knew that he’d be in the infirmary by Elizabeth’s side instead. Lily wasn’t his priority right now. He didn’t want to loose Elizabeth, but it didn’t seem like he had a choice. His choice had been made. Pushing himself to his feet, he walked out of the medical bay and headed straight to his quarters.

His quarters were filled with memories…memories that John didn’t want to face. Every picture frame he passed, he slammed down, not caring if he cracked the glass. Those happy times were gone. His world was slowly crumbling and there was no way he could save it. He was so used to defying the odds, from saving Atlantis when all seemed lost, to the several times everyone thought he was dead and he came through it all. But he couldn’t save it now.

Letting his tired, weary body fall heavily onto the bed. He reached for Elizabeth’s pillow, pulling it to his nose, so breathe in her scent. He had purposely made sure the bedding hadn’t been washed since she had been kept in the medical bay. It was the only way he could fall asleep.


Karelius ~ 2010

“C’mon!” Sheppard shouted and waved the Atlantis team towards where he had parked the jumper. They had gone to Karelius to discuss trade with the natives; that was until the Wraith showed up. The Karelions had failed to tell them when they had first arrived that the Wraith had been harvesting from their planet on a pretty routine basis since their awakening.

He looked back to see that his wife was trailing at the back of the group and that the ships were gaining. “Elizabeth! Move it!” he yelled. Having her on a mission made his nerves fray. He was always more on edge and more cautious. Once it seemed like she had caught up with the others’ pace, he started to turn and head once again towards the jumper. He wanted to get it started so they could leave right away once they were all in.

Ronon, Teyla, and McKay all hurried into the jumper. Teyla was about to tell Sheppard that they needed to go when she noticed they were missing someone. “Colonel. Doctor Weir is missing,” she said looking around.

“She was just behind me!” McKay said panicked. He was about to yell for Elizabeth when he saw a Wraith within view of the cloaked puddle jumper. Instead, his mouth just hung open.

“No one move,” John whispered as they all focused on the Wraith’s movements. It seemed like everything stood still…until a scream rang through cut through the air.

He immediately knew it was Elizabeth, and it felt like his heart stopped. Immediately, he pulled his gun up and headed out of the jumper firing at the Wraith in sight and went in the direction of his wife’s scream. He could hear the footfalls behind him and figured that the others or at least Ronon and Teyla were following to assist.

John’s heart felt cold as he came upon Elizabeth lying lifeless on the ground with a Wraith looming nearby. Pulling back on the trigger, he shot at the Wraith until he was out of bullets. He barely registered McKay’s comment about the Wraith being dead already. He approached her slowly at first, and then ran the few feet and dropped to her side, immediately feeling for a pulse. There was one; faint, but it was there,

“Hold on Elizabeth,” he whispered before scooping her up, knowing that they needed to get her back to Atlantis. He looked her over for wounds, for injuries, for any sign of what had happened to her. Usually the Wraith tried to suck the life out of you literally. That’s when it hit him; if the Wraith had fed off of her, her physical appearance should look different. But she didn’t look aged, like others who had been affected by the Wraith.


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