|Relationship:||John Sheppard/Elizabeth Weir|
|Alternative name(s):||John/Elizabeth, Sheppard/Weir, Sparky|
|Prevalence:||The most common het pairing in the fandom.|
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When John Sheppard unexpectedly becomes the military leader of the Atlantis expedition he assumes a position nearly equal to Elizabeth Weir's as head of the expedition. They form an alliance, work well together and, while the potential for conflict is there, they often, but not always, manage to overcome their differences.
Many fans of the pairing see a lot of UST in the characters' interactions on screen, and while Elizabeth has left behind a relationship on Earth, it is eventually formally ended when the expedition restores contact with Earth. There is no canon relationship impediment to the pairing after that point.
There are several different aspects to the relationship that attract fans. One is the "forbidden nature" aspect, given that Elizabeth is in charge of the expedition and John is her de facto second in command (though he is the chief military officer). Others latch on to the oppositions of their personalities; Elizabeth is a diplomat and has a history of being against the military, while John is a trained soldier who takes lives when necessary. Some people find a lot of subtext in the editing of the show, the way the two of them tend to lean on each other because nobody else quite understands the burden of being in charge. And others are in it merely for the chemistry. As one of the ship manifestos put it:
- "Mostly, they clash over who should be in charge, with him apparently assuming she'll just let him away with anything and her getting pissed off at the way he tries to walk all over her [...] And, yeah, my inner feminist digs that the chick has all the power (in theory) and frequently bitches him out for his transgressions. If you want angsty and messed up, the potential is right there. You want to write hatesex? Then canon is pretty much with you. You want sekrit longings? The lack of canon is pretty much with you."
One of the most popular names for the pairing is "Sparky," coined as a joke by Nos in the sheppard_n_weir yahoo group. It caught on and is used unironically in many places. It is sometimes mistakenly attributed to a Joe Flanigan episode of Cupid, where he refers to Paula Marshall's character as "Sparky" after she admits to playing with batteries as a child.
One of the early fanfic writers for the pairing, who had a significant influence on many later writers, is mylittleredgirl. Her fic can be found at her website, sachi.arrr.net and on LiveJournal. While all of her writing is excellent, a few of her early works have been referenced by a number of other writers in the pairing.
Written in 2004, The First Ten Years (Rated R) spans 10 years of Christmases in the relationship from John's POV (point of view), including events during the first season and then spinning off into an AU.
Ascent was written a year later, in 2005. John and Elizabeth go through an unstable wormhole and get stranded on an alien planet alone. Injured and lacking supplies, the unresolved sexual tension simmers underneath the stressful situation. The ending isn't wholly happy, just quietly hopeful. Also from John's POV.
Knowledge, also from 2005, uses the "aliens make them do it" trope via alien moonshine which propels the couple into bed together. John's POV
Chord Progression is a post-episode story about "Conversion" that is friendship rather than romance. While the pairing has plenty of adult rated stories writers like Little Red also explored the work relationship and the friendship between the characters in ways the show tended to gloss over. John's POV
Little Red still writes the pairing, including a stellar contribution for the 2010 Sparktober, Thou Shalt Not Covet available at her LiveJournal. The story is a first-time one, from Elizabeth's POV, and is rated NC-17.
Communities and Archives
- john_elizabeth (July 2004 - )
- SWfic (active August 2004 - May 2008)
- sheppardandweir (active September 2004 - 2008)
- notjustclosets (active February - June 2008)
- sheppard_liz (active January 2007 - October 2008)
- spark_daily (active June 2007 - July 2009)
- sparklantis (active February 2006 - October 2007)
- swawards (August - October 2008)
- sheppard_n_weir (active July 2004 - 2008)
Festivals and Events
- sparktober (LJ link (September 2010 - )
- swficathon (LJ link) (July 2005 - )
- je_ficathon (LJ link) (July - November 2006)