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2012 ~ Atlantis

It had been two months since Colonel John Sheppard had left on his mission, and he had never returned. There had been no word or proof that he was dead, but he was considered MIA. All that time, Carson and Marie had cared for Lily holding out hope that Sheppard would return.

Carson sighed as he headed for what had been Elizabeth Sheppard’s office, but was now Colonel Caldwell’s office until the SGC could completely decide on a civilian (if they would still keep one) and military commanding officers for Atlantis. He hadn’t liked the idea that Sheppard was considered MIA, but a thought had come about that had been even more chilling to him. How long until John Sheppard was considered KIA? They had reason to believe that all who had left on the mission had died, but would they pursue that avenue with time?

As he approached, he saw that Caldwell had already seen him coming and was motioning him in. Carson took in a deep breath before entering completely. “Colonel,” he said trying to give the man a small, but his lips just stayed in their horizontal position and worry lines littered his forehead.

“If this is about Lillian Sheppard,” Caldwell started. “I can assure you that she will be taken care of with a suitable family back on Earth.”

Carson’s jaw dropped at the thought of Lily being taken away from Atlantis, “But Sir! That’s not even what I came here to talk about… Lillian is doing just fine here. For her to be taken away from this environment could be very bad for her…and Marie and I dun’no mind taking care of her…”

“Don’t you think that that girl deserves a life where she’s not constantly reminded of her parents’ deaths?” Steven asked going through his paperwork. “It’s been two months. If it’s done now, she probably won’t even have any memories of this place.”

“You mean she won’t have any memories of her parents…that’s wrong, Colonel. And yes, it’s ONLY been two months… Colonel Sheppard could very well return…”

“Not all of us are as hopeful as you, Doctor Beckett.” Steven looked up at the man. Carson Beckett was what he would consider a weak man, but then he was a civilian. “I’ll bring up the matter of you and Marie having full custody of Lillian Sheppard upon the next contact with Earth. Now they’re going to have Doctor Heightmeyer’s opinion on placement, so I wouldn’t be holding your breath.”

Carson nodded, “About Colonel Sheppard,” he prodded. “Is there no way to start looking for him and his team again?”

Caldwell shook his head, “Carson, they’re dead. They’re gone. We need to move on.”

“Sir, I think I know John Sheppard better than you…”

“Without Elizabeth here…I doubt we’ll see Sheppard return.”

Frowning grimly, Carson had to mentally agree. He knew that that was one of the reasons why John could leave Lily so easily. Without Elizabeth and his daughter in safe care, did he really have to worry about coming back to Atlantis alive? “Perhaps if you could just…suggest it?”


2018 ~ Atlantis

“Please,” John pouted and then grinned when he heard a familiar giggling. He turned to see Lily behind him.

Carson’s face lit with a smile, “You two in leagues together?” He shook his head. Lily truly reminded him of Elizabeth. “Okay…I’ll talk with Teyla…perhaps we can have a birthday party on the mainland. But,” he said firmly looking at the two, “I’ll have to discuss this with General Caldwell.” He watched as they both rolled their eyes.

Lily sighed and looked down, brushing some stray brownish-red curls away from her face. She looked back up at the man she had called ‘Dad’ since she could remember. She knew Carson Beckett wasn’t her biological father, but he had always been there for her and so had Marie. “Dad, why doesn’t he like me?” she asked quietly.

Frowning, Carson ran his hand through her curls, “It’s not that he doesn’t like you, lass… I think maybe you just remind us all of your mother and father and that can still hurt.”

John hugged Lily and kissed the side of her head, “Don’t worry, Lily. I still like you,” he told her with a bright smile. Lily was his best friend and practically his sister. They’d grown up together and were there when the other got scared in the dark.

Peeking in, Marie smiled, “Darlings...breakfast’s just about ready. And you two let me know if I can make cupcakes for this birthday party.”

Lily and John giggled together as they hugged each other.

Carson just shook his head, “Everyone’s in on this birthday scheme, are they?” he asked no one in particular as he headed for where Marie was setting up.


2018 ~ Atlantis Mainland

The bright day had made for the perfect outing to the Athosian village to celebrate both Lily and John’s birthdays. Carson, Marie, and Teyla had managed to convince most of the children that were around John and Lily’s age to get away for the party. One of the things that Carson thanked God for was that with time, most of the people both on Atlantis and in conjunction with Atlantis had somewhat settled down by getting married and having children. Even Colonel Caldwell had two children, and Carson had even gotten them both allowed to go to the mainland.

“Look at how well they get along,” Teyla commented as she watched the children play. A smile plastered across her face. She had settled down as well, mainly she lived on the mainland, but every now and then she would make special trips to Atlantis or off-world to provide expertise on a mission. But she felt her place was with her people and her son. She had been married for almost twelve years and though she felt old with the passing of time, she felt young again watching her son run around with the children of her friends.

Ronon smirked, “Just wait until you suggest training the children all. Then see how well they get along.” Settling down was never something Ronon Dex had seen himself doing, but he ended up that way. Though, he regularly left on missions, which he supposed was his way of not completely settling down. He and Teyla had a happy life on the mainland with their son, which Ronon had insisted on naming him as closely as he could to his own name. They had settled on Rowan, and the boy was just as independent and strong as both of his parents.

“Where are the cupcakes?!” Caitlin asked excitedly. Her long brown hair was swept up and back into a high ponytail. She was a year older than Lily and John, but acted far older. She watched as her twin, Sean, lurked around trying to find the hidden sweets as well. They were only a couple minutes apart, Caitlin being the older of the two. They lived mostly on Earth, but every now and then were given the golden opportunity of spending quality time with their father as he made the long (or how it seemed to them) journey from Earth to Atlantis and back. This was one of those times.

Marie laughed, “They’re hidden! You kids need to eat something solid before you have sweets like that…”

Carson sat on a rock as he watched the bunch play. It brought tears to his eyes thinking that Elizabeth and John Sheppard would never see their daughter grow up as he was seeing her and his son grow up. How beautiful she was turning every day. How she and John were best friends with Rowan and Aubrey McKay. He knew that they had all been friends, so why not their children as well?

The next generation.

He just hoped that what he saw now was how things would be. The children of members of the Atlantis Expedition, the Daedalus crew, and the Odyssey crew. They were his hope for a better future. Though, he just hoped that he could ensure that they would all be there for that future. His eyes fell on Lily. He was the one he needed to save.

Lily still had the virus that her mother had passed onto her when she was just a fetus. But unlike Elizabeth, Carson had been able to keep Lily well longer. But there still wasn’t a cure. All he had been doing was extending her life and making her comfortable. He watched as she dodged around the boys trying to make it to the tree in their game, the smile on her face made his heart ache. What if she was lost as well? How could he and Marie even deal with that? They had practically been her parents…it would be like losing a child… And what would that do to the children?

Most of the casualties that Atlantis had sustained had been those of unattached men and women. Though their loss had been felt, but not as deeply as when John Sheppard had been lost with his team.

“Everyone to the jumper!!!”

The scream broke Carson out of his reverie, and he saw the person who had let out the cry. It was Rodney. He squinted trying to figure out what his friend was shouting about. Looking up at the sky, he saw that there wasn’t a dark cloud in the sky. What else could the man be going on about? It was a beautiful day.

He waved everyone in the direction that they had parked the jumper. “The Wraith are on their way!” he shouted

That sent everyone into gear. Marie immediately rounded up all of the children and quickly moved them towards the jumper. “Teyla! What about Rowan?” Marie asked.

Teyla nodded, “Please! Take as many of the children with you as you can!” she said trying to calm her people and get them together in an orderly fashion.

This was not the first time they had dealt with the Wraith coming to ‘check-up’ on them, and they all knew the drill, but when the children were on the mainland it made everyone a little on edge. Teyla made sure that all of the youngest went back to Atlantis first with Rodney, Carson, and Marie. More jumpers would be coming for the rest of the Athosians and transporting them to Atlantis until the threat of the Wraith was gone.


2018 ~ Atlantis

“Hold the door!” Carson yelled. He turned and tried to move all of the children and his medical staff farther into the medical bay. Marie had stayed with him also, trying to keep the children calm. They moved everyone to the farthest part of the medical bay that could be secured. But Carson knew ultimately it was no use. Lily was in serious pain, and with the Wraith knocking literally at their door there was nothing he could do pinned in the area they were in. He also knew that since the Wraith had gotten as far as they could that they had had to have killed all the security and personnel that had been placed between the medical bay and every other section in order to get to them. His attention turned back towards his wife as he heard her whispering a prayer.

“Dad…” Lily whispered looking up at him. She was in pain and everything seemed fuzzy, but it hardly matched the fear she was feeling inside and from everyone she was crammed in with. She felt his arms wrapping around her and his lips pressed to her forehead as he softly sang one of his songs that he had once told her that his mother used to sing to him when he was a child.

The door was broken down in a loud banging and then crashing. It was shortly followed by screams that broke the sounds of soft crying, praying, and the song.

A Wraith sucking the life out of her dad was the last thing that Lily Sheppard saw before her world went stark black.



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