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SGA Fic: Awake for anr - tranquility... best achieved in chaos
SGA Fic: Awake for anr
Title: Awake
Rating: PG
Category: John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir. Apocafic.
Spoilers: If anything, vague ties to Progeny, The Real World, The Return.
Disclaimer: Owned by others. Pay them.
Author's Note: For the incredible anr who asked for apocasmut or hands-in-hair, dancing to no music, and "I love you". I... took liberties. Thank you to eleventh_moment and ceruleantides for saving me time and time again.
Summary: "He cracks a smile, doesn't mean to leave her even though he knows he will."


"Space is only time visible in a different way,
Places we love we can never leave."
-- Ivan V. Laalic, 'Places We Love'


He wakes.

Three days and he thinks he’s finally lost his mind, sits against a cold wall with a gun in his hand. He tightens his grip and wonders if the war came and went without him, wonders if he holds the gun for other reasons entirely.

Atlantis lays broken around him in piles of rock and colored glass, but the dust doesn’t settle like he expects it will. It hangs, drifting slowly like a veil in space. He looks up, past the fallen ceiling to the sky and sees nothing but black.

Elizabeth paces into his field of vision. Guarding, he realizes when he sees the gun.

“Hey.” His voice breaks at the end. There is an acrid flavor to the air tainted by a hint of sea salt that makes his mouth dry and the back of his throat ache. When she turns at the sound of his voice, he manages to wave.

She looks relieved when she kneels in front of him, places a cool hand on his forehead. She is tired and dirty, but three days and she already has her hair tied back and a P-90 slung over her shoulder. Only the haunted look in her eyes gives her away.

It suddenly falls into place, occurs to him why and where he is. “You shouldn’t touch me.”

She ignores him, her hand sliding down to check his pulse. “You’ve told me that before.”

“So you just don’t listen.”

She smiles wryly, but he catches her wrist, pulls back from her touch to make the point.

“I’m losing it,” he says.

She nods. “I know.”

“I think I’ve said that before, too.”

Her mouth thins and she looks at him sternly. “Stay with me this time, John.”

She is so very serious, and he cracks a smile, doesn’t mean to leave her even though he knows he will. “I’ll come back.”

And then he goes.


To the beginning.

He sits across from her in the dim shadows of the mess hall and watches her wait for the end. She doesn’t cry, at least not that he can hear or see. She sits stiffly, so unmoving he wonders if he’ll ever get her to grieve.

She stands abruptly, pushing back from the table and wanting to run. He moves to block her, to hold her steady until she finally throws up or cries, faces what she’s trying so hard to deny.

“No,” she says sharply, her eyes hard and dry. “Don’t do this.”

She presses past him, and he doesn’t try to stop her twice.

He follows her as she treks into a wing of the city, doesn’t bother to keep a bearing because there’s only so far they can go. He lets her walk for three hours, four, until the ocean is flanking their side and she is out of places to run.

He grabs her arm, pulls her hard. “Elizabeth.”

She struggles and he pins her arms to her sides. “Enough. It’s time to stop.”

For a moment she is rigid, metal in his arms, and then her head bows.

“John,” she says, her voice haunted and lost. “Oh god, John.”

Her body slumps and he holds her as she leans into him, wishes he had something of comfort to say.


He wakes, his heart hammering.

“The beginning again,” he says. “Right before the attack.”

Then the headache begins, pressing out from his temples, from behind his eyes. He groans, holds his head in his hands and hopes and waits for the calm.

Peripherally he is aware of Elizabeth in front of him, the rip in her shirt, the dark bruises under her jaw. He can’t remember when it happened. His sense of time is shaky, his memories out of order. He hopes it wasn’t his fault.

When he can finally look up, he realizes she is closer than he thought, the green in her eyes almost black. He glances away, notices that they’re in one of the far wing service rooms.

“Replicators?” he asks.

She shakes her head and leans back to get her gun. “They’re gathered in the east section. For now,” she points out.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine.” She shrugs, but there is something dark in her expression that he doesn’t understand. “By now I would be showing signs.”

“Any flashbacks?”


“Pounding headaches?”

She looks at him sympathetically. “No.”

“I’m jealous,” he says and grins.

He makes it to his feet, takes a few tentative steps around the room until he’s found strength and balance. There are ligature marks on his wrists and he studies them, at a loss.


The hallway around the corner is empty and he looks back at Elizabeth. “We should move again when we get the chance.”

She nods but he can see the stress of three days taking its toll on her. He is fuzzy on all the details with the nanites crawling around in his blood messing everything up, and he can’t remember when she last slept.

Elizabeth sinks to the floor in a crouch, rests for a moment and rubs her eyes. “Think you can hold on for a while?”

“Yeah,” he says. “Maybe it’s over.”

And then he goes.


To the aftermath.

He climbs a stairway that leads to nowhere and finds Elizabeth on her side. His hands are sticky and wet, smeared with blood, but he feels the strong beat play against his fingers.

“Elizabeth,” he says, and she wakes with a start.

Her hands come up to her head and she blinks, her eyes finding focus. Around them, Atlantis has lost. She tries to sit up, but his hands are splayed over her stomach keeping her in place, rising and falling as she breathes.

“Hold still.” He checks her over for signs of injury despite her protests, runs his hands gently down her legs, up over ribs and arms until she winces.

“Just a bruise,” she says as he touches her collarbone, and he can already see it forming beneath the paleness of her skin.

She glances past him at the half standing walls and shattered windows, and her breath hitches. He doesn’t look at her, draws soft circles around the discolorations on her neck.

“John.” Her hand comes to rest on his, stilling his movement. “Don’t.”


He wakes to pain.

His leg is fire and he sits up, gasping and sweaty. Elizabeth is there, a needle in one hand, the other pressed against his thigh.

“You weren’t waking up.” She looks apologetic, scared. “Are you okay?”

He nods, terribly awake for the first time in days. He feels the dull pressure of a headache, but no pain. “That was one hell of a shot.”

She can’t quite smile, but her eyes lighten and he places a hand over hers. They are in the infirmary, hidden in a corner behind an overturned bed, and he has no idea how she got him here.

He remembers the nanites and removes his hand from hers, ignores her reaction.

“Replicators?” he asks.

“A few.” She tries to look strong, awake. “They’re staying around the control room for the most part.”

He realizes his gun is back in his hand again, the safety off. He opens it to count the bullets and finds it empty, thinks they’ll make a poor stand if it comes to that now. He hopes he shot replicators, hopes the bullets stuck.

“You should sleep,” he says.

She hesitates. “John-”

“I’m fine for now.” He scoots backward to the wall in example, makes himself comfortable. “Sleep while you can.”

She is still for a moment, indecision playing over her face. He’s been forced to push her into military service the dirty way: quickly, brutally, without training, without choice.

“Elizabeth.” He doesn’t look her way but the tone is enough. She settles beside him, saves an inch of space between them and wraps her arms around her knees. The infirmary is quiet, but he doesn’t let down his guard, listens carefully for danger.

He’s been compromised, but he sure as hell won’t leave her without putting up a damn good fight. He glances over at Elizabeth. Her eyes are closed, her face pale and lined with stress.

“Don’t leave,” she says softly.


The beginning.

She sits half in shadow, a statue, and he can’t see her face.

“Replicators,” she says heavily as if she’s to blame. She is devastated; it reads in the rigidness of her back and shoulders, in the way she doesn’t move, doesn’t breathe, and doesn’t lift her head up to look at him.

The mess hall is too silent, too empty. She stands suddenly, ready to bolt.


He wakes, his body pinning Elizabeth in place against the wall, his arm up at her throat. He takes a stunned step back and the room swims out of focus. The pain in his head threatens to black him out again.

Somehow he’s on his feet, his gun in his hand. He throws it to the side, presses his hands against his temples as Elizabeth approaches.

“John-” She reaches for him and he backs away in alarm.

“Don’t touch me!”

She ignores him and he can see the bruises on her neck, the dark color of her eyes.


The beginning.

“Oh god, John.” Her body crumples against his, hopeless and falling. She doesn’t cry but he feels her shake, cold shudders that reverberate through his arms.

“The Daedalus,” she says into his chest, her breath hot through his shirt. “All those people.”

He reaches up to stroke her head, fingers catching in her hair, settling on the fabric over her shoulder. He has no answer for her.

The attack on the Daedalus came in a rush, screams and static and never a moment of silence. And when it was over, Atlantis was a city without sound, quiet with anguish and fear. They had no ZPM, no connection to Earth, and Elizabeth refused to evacuate with the others to the mainland.

She turns her head and presses her face into his neck, her lips at his throat.

He tenses. “Elizabeth.”

Her body shifts, melts into curves against him as her arms come up around his neck.

He holds her, not sure what to expect, but she doesn’t kiss him. He can feel the tension in her body despite the softness, sees the dark shine in her eyes when she raises her head to look at him, waits for her to change her mind.

And when she does, he drags her closer with the hand on the small of her back. They stand close in darkness, always too intimate and never intimate enough. He can hear her breathing, her breath on his lips, but he knows this is the last thing she needs.

So he takes a step, pulls her with him and dances them slowly at the top of the control room stairs though their footsteps fade into fallen walls and they’ve lost too much to ever recover. She rests her head on his shoulder, too broken to cry.

It starts in his forehead, a sharp, replicator-induced pain that rolls down his spine and turns the world white. And he knows what’s going to happen, suddenly he knows, but he has Elizabeth in his arms and nanites in his blood, and his hands are fists.


He wakes with no idea of where he is or how much time has passed. Memories swarm black in his head, pressing forward, and the last thing he wants to do is fully remember.

Elizabeth rushes to his side, anxiety written all over her face. And this is the Elizabeth he knows, dirty and exhausted and fighting fiercely despite it all.

She tries to smile. “John? Are you-“

He drags her to him, crushes her lips to his, cuts her off before he falls away again. The kiss is bruising and sweet, and when he pulls away he keeps his hands knotted in her vest, keeps her close and makes her look at him.

“Don’t say it,” she warns him.

“You already know.”

She shakes her head. “John-”

“I love you.”

Her eyes close and she sighs.

“Sorry,” he says, lightly touches her neck. “Now run.”

He’s so very sorry, but he doesn’t get to stick around to say it again.


The aftermath.

He blacks out, consciousness falling away as he abruptly steps back from Elizabeth and heads with determination down the stairs. He needs without knowing why, needs to get somewhere to do something, refuses to stop until it’s complete.

There is no sound, not exactly, but he hears Elizabeth behind him. She reaches for him, her hand catching his arm, and his name echoes in his head without words.

He spins, his gun aimed at her heart, trigger hitting the safety again and again as her eyes grow dark with fear and realization.

“Damn it, John,” she says, her voice tight with emotion.

She goes for his gun and he backs her hard into a wall. His hand is on her throat as she ejects the mag, clears the chamber, and bullets scatter like marbles. Blood pools warm between his fingers, drips down the rocks from the cut on the back of her head.

He stands so close, his body pressed against hers until she stops struggling. Her mouth moves, two words that he reads on her lips. “Fight it.”

When he lets her go, she falls, slides down to a pile at his feet. He leaves her and never turns around.

At the bottom of the staircase he wins temporarily, pulls his mind back, stands alone with his gun and no idea of time. A headache beats behind his eyes and memories turn vague, slip and fade. His hands are bloodied. “What the hell?”

There is no answer and he realizes Elizabeth is missing. He turns, looks for her, panic rising in his chest. On a hunch, he climbs the staircase and finds her curled on her side.

Blood smears red on her neck when his fingertips slip on her skin, when the pulse of her heartbeat makes his hands shake in relief.


He wakes.

Five days and he knows he’s lost his mind, sits on a balcony overlooking the sea. The sky is cloud covered and the ocean grey, but he looks down and down until Atlantis ends and broken glass glitters beneath his feet.

Elizabeth sits beside him, the P-90 resting in her lap. She looks tired and sad and he knows he hasn’t made things any easier. She leans into him with a quiet sigh.

“You shouldn’t touch me,” he says, looks out to where the ocean stills and meets the horizon.

He can feel her nod in the warm pressure against his shoulder, in the curls of hair that brush his neck. Her fingers rest over the top of his hand.

“You’ve told me that before.”



13 whispers :: tell me a secret
anr From: anr Date: December 23rd, 2006 04:05 am (UTC) (Link)
I have... no words. Seriously fantastic stuff, hon. I think it's actually blown my brain, because I'm all agape. I love the darkness, and the uncertainty, and the way the story gradually unfolds in jagged pieces. You broke him, and strengthened her, and it works so damn well I'm in awe.


Thank you so, so much. I promise to leave better feedback when my brain's working again. :)
kathgrr From: kathgrr Date: December 23rd, 2006 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
oh... wow. That was... wow... I think you broke my brain. That was just ... intense. I loved it. It was dark yet charged with a sense of tenderness and I would even say sweet sense of emotion. brilliantly executed.
natushka From: natushka Date: December 23rd, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
*brain explosion*

Seriously. you kill me with your doom!fics. but i heart it anyways
muldy From: muldy Date: December 23rd, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

*hugs you*

That was amazing Jen, absolutely-fucking-amazing!
sgangel From: sgangel Date: December 23rd, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! OMG! That was an amazing fic! So sad and dark. Bravo!
sunny_serenity From: sunny_serenity Date: December 23rd, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
So THAT'S what it's like to be in love with a schizophrenic. Loved the POV and how you kept it all together and cohesive in it's fractured state of mind. Awesomesauce.http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=46
ankareeda From: ankareeda Date: December 24th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, amazing fic. Awesome work.
agentcat47 From: agentcat47 Date: December 24th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
So damn awesome. Sorry I don't have anything interesting or clever to say about this that you wrote. I really don't like apocolyptic fics because they make me sort of depressed. My life is too bad already. But anyway, I really loved it. I hope that at the end, we see, maybe the Replicators are gone and John and Elizabeth are alone in the city. Oooh and maybe they are alone and they use puddle jumpers and find a ZPM and go back to Earth totally okay. There's a happy ending somewhere! Thanks for writing and posting that. :)
aoihikari From: aoihikari Date: December 24th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC) (Link)
dear god jen! you kick-ass in writing these doom!fics. I am so in love with this one. so much emotion! guh! it's awesome. you're awesome! XD!!!

*huggles and loves*

merry christmas! XD!!!
mirafemina From: mirafemina Date: December 24th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. This is amazing. Love the confusion and jumbled memories. Totally heart-wrenching, but in the best possible way.

tater_mae From: tater_mae Date: December 24th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok... You know how i love you ALL THE TIME???

yeah... is it possible to love you an infinite more times than that????

*guhs and dies*

the end.
elvinborn From: elvinborn Date: December 25th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

that was ..I don't know the words for it... fantastic. really amazingly written. angsty painful poetic ...
fading_ripples From: fading_ripples Date: January 10th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww. ::is speechless::
13 whispers :: tell me a secret