Author: Irlanda Anima
Character/Pairing: Elizabeth Weir, Sheppard/Weir
Summary: She couldn't have dreamed him up. Everything else she could believe, but not him
Disclaimer: I don’t own Atlantis or any of the characters and storylines. I am simply using them as a creative outlet and for entertainment purposes.
Author's Notes: Came up with this while re-watching 'The Real World'. It's messed, but then so am I. Hope you enjoy and please comment!!! I love feedback.
Everything was quiet now. The hustle and bustle of the day had stilled, the lights were off and the complex was quiet. She should be in bed, should be asleep, letting her body rest. But she couldn’t. Her mind was still racing with the reality of what had been told to her and her heart – she shuttered, burying herself further into the corner from where she sat on the bed – her heart was twisting painfully in her chest.
It couldn’t be true, what they’d told her. She couldn’t have made the whole thing up. It was all too fantastic, all too real. She could clearly picture the view of the sea from one of Atlantis’s many balconies, could feel the solid texture of the railing beneath her hands and the sounds of the waves breaking gently against the outer-piers.
Elizabeth bit back a sob, squeezing her eyes shut and pulling her legs closer to her chest. She could remember the feeling of his arms around her, his warm breath grazing against her ear as he whispered her name, the feeling of comfort and safety that he gave her and the comforting knowledge of his love. She couldn’t have imagined him. She might be able to believe that she’d imagined Atlantis, imagined the dangers they’d faced and the people she’d worked with: Rodney, Teyla, Ronon, and Carson, but she couldn’t have imagined him.
“John,” she whispered softly, her voice cracking over his name. They’d told her he was a dream too. Something her mind had probably fashioned to compensate for the loss of Simon in her life. She hadn’t wanted to believe them, she still didn’t, but the facts from her computer search were turning over in her head. There was no Lt. Colonel John Sheppard listed with the United States Airforce. The only trace of him she’d been able to find was a death certificate for a Major John Sheppard, killed in action in Afghanistan. There hadn’t even been a photo of him for her to look at.
But he’d been so real. She couldn’t have imagined the love in his hazel eyes when he’d looked at her or the way the skin would crinkle at the corners when he laughed or the smile he wore when he teased her. If her mind had created him as a replacement for Simon, why was his loss shattering her apart inside more then Simon’s? Why had her mind created John at all? Why not just make her believe that Simon was still alive. It didn’t make any sense.
She shivered, drawing the blanket closer. It didn’t matter to her if it made sense or not; she just wanted him back. She could pretend during the day, make the doctors believe that while she was scared and confused, she was dealing with what had happened to her. But at night, when she was left alone, she couldn’t pretend. She missed him, missed his eyes, his hands, missed the way they held her when he comforted her or made love to her. Her whole being was aching with his loss.
Closing her eyes, she tried to allow herself to give in to sleep. Even though she missed his arms holding her, she prayed that in her sleep she’d find him in her dreams. He may just be a figment of her imagination, but her heart begged to differ and if dreams were the only way she could be close to him, then she’d take what she could get.
Lying there silently, she could almost feel him, just out of reach. She concentrated on that feeling, wanting to reach out towards him but somehow knowing that she would be unable too. He was so close her skin ached from its inability to feel him. Her eyes scrunched and she whimpered softly. He had to be real…he just had to be.
Elizabeth, her name came to her in his voice, carrying with it the love he could never show in public…but also fear. Was he afraid? Hold on his voice whispered. Just hold on, sweetheart. I love you.
Those were the last words she heard before she drifted into unconsciousness.
It’s been almost three months now since she’d awaken to discover her world of the last two years and a half, Atlantis and the Wraith, the people she’d known – Rodney, Teyla, Ronon and Carson…him – were nothing more then a dream. She was trying her best to move on, to get on with her life. She’d started the talks again, with Jack O’Neill’s help, and things seemed to be running smoothly. The figure of the man, the one who had haunted her during her stay in the hospital, had disappeared now and for some reason she felt bereft because of it. She knew it was a good thing he was gone, but somehow her heart just didn’t believe it.
She sighed, placing down the book she’d been writing in and turned to watch Sedgewick as he rolled around in the lawn before her. She’d taken to writing down what she could remember of Atlantis. Dr. Fletcher believed it would help her come to terms with her experience. And while it had helped put most of it behind her, there was still one aspect of her supposed ‘dream world’ that she hadn’t written down.
She rubbed a hand against her forehead, trying to clear her thoughts. She’d learned early on what thoughts of him cost her. She couldn’t even allow herself to think his name anymore. If she did, she experienced one of her meltdowns, unable to do anything other then cry. When she thought of him, it set her back in her recovery because there was still a very large part of her that couldn’t believe, couldn’t accept that he hadn’t been real.
So she just didn’t think about him. She pushed him back into the corner of her mind, not wanting to forget him, but unable to remember him.
Sedge was before her all of a sudden, poking his noise against the hand that lay in her lap. She looked down at the retriever and smiled, raising her hand to rub his head.
“I’m just being crazy again,” she commented, more to herself then for her dog’s benefit.
Not crazy. Just…a little misguided.
Elizabeth shut her eyes against the voice, her hand moving from Sedge to cover her eyes as she curled up in her chair. There it was again. She didn’t know what the voice meant or where it was coming from, but it was always there, running like a mantra in her head, using a voice she knew oh so intimately and yet tried to deny.
“Go away,” she pleaded softly, not being able to stand it. She couldn’t think of him, she wouldn’t.
“No!” She shouted, shooting upright from her chair and moving back into the house. Sedge whined after her.
Elizabeth sighed softly in her sleep, feeling peace for the first time since all of this began. He was here with her, his arms around her, holding her close.
She hadn’t said anything, but then again neither had he. He just stroked a hand over the bare skin of her abdominal where her shirt had ridden up, kissing the back of her neck tenderly.
“John,” she breathed softly, his name falling from her lips without any conscious effort.
He grinned against her neck. “Thought you’d forgotten about me,” his breath tickled her skin.
Her brow furled. “Never,” she spoke with conviction. “I’d never forget you.”
He sighed against her, sounding sad. “I wish that were true.”
She tried to turn to look at him, but his arm restricted her. “John-”
“You’ve given up,” he continued softly, the tone of his voice causing her to pause. “You’re letting them win.”
“Letting who win?”
He didn’t reply and she knew he wouldn’t. One of his hands came up and brushed the hair from her face. She raised one of hers to grasp it, their fingers entwining.
“I’m not giving up on you,” his voice was stern now, strong. “I’m not letting you go.”
She’d woken up to the sound of those words echoing around her room.
She was back now in the hospital, sitting against the far wall of her little room. They said she’d had a relapse, but she didn’t believe them, finding it harder and harder to focus on the words they spoke. The feeling of wrongness that she’d been ignoring since waking here was pulsing through her every vein and she couldn’t ignore it any longer.
Atlantis was real; she just knew it. She knew it because he was real. John was real. She almost cried with relief at the peacefulness that knowledge brought. He was real and he wasn’t giving up on her. He’d been here with her through every step she’d taken, every struggle she’d faced. She just wished she could reach out to him, have him hold her in the safety of his arms and keep her hidden and tucked away from whatever it was that was doing this to her. But she didn’t know how.
It tore her apart inside to know he was real and being unable to reach him, unable to see him. She could feel him; felt him like the air she breathed. Her skin tingled with his nearness, as it always had. That spark of want and need that was always there between them, but only acknowledged when they were alone, when it was safe to lose themselves in the other.
God, how her body longed for his. Three months she had suffered without him, having him near but not and it was slowly driving her mad. This world she’d somehow found herself in, being closed off from Atlantis and everyone she knew, that wasn’t the torture. No the torture was being locked away from him. The torture was making her believe he’d been a figment of her imagination, that the completeness and love she’d felt with him was an illusion.
Elizabeth… his voice floated around her and she raised her head from the cradle of her arms, looking around widely for him.
“John?” She called out, but she couldn’t see him. God, why couldn’t she see him?
She buried her head again and cried.