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Author's Chapter Notes: Hopefully this isn't too confusing!!! I hope that not using months doesn't cause any confusion! Let me know!

Atlantis ~ 2012

The bright light invading from the window woke John from his state of deep sleep. He hadn’t remembered sleeping so solidly in some time. It was nice to get a solid block of sleep, even with the nightmare that accompanied it. Pulling himself up into a sitting position, he dropped his legs over the side of the bed and wearily looked around the bedroom. Bringing his hand up to his face, he rubbed it vigorously, trying to shake the sleep from his rough, unshaven face. John sighed and thought about how hard life was at the moment. He’d get up in a few minutes and start showering, shaving, and getting changed. Although, he had told Carson he’d pick up Lily for breakfast, he had no intention of doing so. He knew Lily would just be fine with Carson, Marie and their son.

Twenty minutes later, he was clean and dressed. Presentable enough to see his wife and he hoped able to take her home. It wasn’t the good feeling he thought it would be. He had dreamed that she would be coming home cured, but that was only a dream now. Carson had tried everything and nothing worked, it had only delayed Elizabeth’s death. But what about him? How would he live without her? Elizabeth had been the one who had gotten him wrapped up in the Atlantis Expedition. She had brought him into a life that had made his worth something…worth living. He didn’t see living worth anything without her.

He sighed when he saw one of the pictures that he hadn’t knocked down the night before. It had been taken right after Lily’s birth. In the image, Elizabeth was in bed with a bright smile on her face, her hair messily pulled back, and Lily bundled up in a pink blanket in her arms. Lily had been their miracle then. Carson hadn’t thought that Elizabeth would make it through the pregnancy, that it would only make things worse. But Elizabeth had been able to hold on for the pregnancy, the birth, and two years now…

Lily would be fine, he immediately thought. Carson and Marie had taken such good care of her. John Beckett, their son, was only a couple months older than Lily, and they seemed like the best of friends. Who better to take care of her?

Making his way to the infirmary, he stopped by the cafeteria and picked up a bit of breakfast, enough for him and Elizabeth if she felt up to eating. John just wanted to be there when she was released and he wanted to take her home as soon as he could. Of course, Carson would be there, and John was sure that the doctor would know that he hadn’t kept his promise to see Lily. But could he really blame him? He was losing Elizabeth, but Lily would still be there…

“Ah, there ya are.”

John cringed and came to a halt wondering if the Scot doctor would just leave him alone without harassing him. The last thing he wanted was to be reamed by Carson Beckett about his techniques as a father. “Yes, I’m here. I was just taking some breakfast to Elizabeth. She should eat something…” He turned to face the other man, even though he’d rather just walk on by.

Carson’s forehead was wrinkled with worry. “Ya did’nt even come by and see Lil’ay this mornin’… The poor lass done think you forgotten about her…” He knew that John’s main concern was Elizabeth, but was he seeing what he was doing to his daughter? Yes, Lillian Sheppard was only two years old, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t affected by his absence. She cried a lot for him and her mother. Carson just hoped with Elizabeth’s release that Lily would spend more time with her family than the Becketts.


“No, now,” Carson said forcefully.

John glared at the other man, “No…now I’m going to go see my wife. I’ll see Lily tomorrow. She doesn’t even remember… I want to spend time with Elizabeth while we still can.”

“And what about Lil’ay? Don’tcha think that she would want to have some memory of her mother? Don’tcha think Elizabeth would want to spend time with her? I know that Elizabeth misses Lil’ay, but now’s the time for you to bring your whole family together and spend time together,” Carson urged.

“She’s dying, Carson…” John practically whispered. “How can I take care of Lily without her?” He wasn’t sure how he would be able to take care of himself without Elizabeth. She gave him so much support, that he wasn’t sure how he’d manage without it. Let alone how could he raise a toddler? And a girl at that? “Lily needs Elizabeth just as much as I do… How can I just let her go? Lily…Lily will still be here…”

Carson sighed, “Aye, but what happens when Lil’ay starts to grow up and appear more and more like Elizabeth? What then?”

John didn’t say anything, but just pushed past the doctor.

Letting the colonel get away wasn’t something Carson was going to let happen just yet. He grabbed his arm and added, “Lil’ay has been infected with the virus as well, John. She needs ya as much as Elizabeth does…” he said quietly and sadly. It wasn’t news he had wanted to deliver that way, but John needed to know.


Atlantis – 2012

“I dun know how to explain to her that her mother isn’t coming back and that her father has gone off on some damned suicide mission,” Carson explained to his wife. It had been two months since Elizabeth Sheppard had passed and though Lily got to spend some time with her mother before she passed, it had been brief and Carson doubted she’d ever remember it. And soon after, Colonel Sheppard had gone off on some mission and was currently declared MIA.

Marie gave him a small and patted his hand gently, “Carson, this is John Sheppard we’re talking about here. How many times has he been declared MIA only to have him emerge unharmed later? He just needs time to cool off… We should just be thankful that no one’s tried to take Lily away…” That had been Marie’s immediate thought when Steven Caldwell had informed them that the SGC had declared Sheppard MIA. But luckily, Lily had just remained in their safe care. She didn’t mind, she loved having a second child around, but wished that John Sheppard would return and be able to take care of his daughter.

Carson nodded, “Aye… But she wakes up crying for Elizabeth…”

Nodding, Marie knew that this was a problem. “I try to keep photos of Elizabeth. Steven even allowed me access to their quarters so I could collect some pictures along with the rest of Lily’s things so that I could make her a book. But I agree…it’s hard to get a two year old to understand anything, let alone death…” She sighed, “I told her that her mother’s with the angels now… In time, she’ll realize exactly what that means. We just have to get through this hard time.”

“We’ll be here though for her…even when John returns,” he said returning her smile. “I’m sure it’ll take some time for John to get used to raising a daughter… We’ll be here to tell her things about her mother. She’ll want to know and it’ll ease the grief.”


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