Author: Raylion
Summary: Elizabeth Weir only has two months left. For John Sheppard, saying Goodbye will be the hardest part. (Small crossover with SG-1, because Jack O'Neill makes an short appearance).
Characters: Elizabeth Weir, John Sheppard; Small appearances from: Carson Beckett, Rodney McKay, Aiden Ford, Teyla Emmagan, Kate Heightmeyer, Radek Zelenka and Generall Jack O'Neill.
Rating: Okay for everyone from twelve up
Category: Sheppard/Weir, Character death
Spoilers: Nope
Season: Somewhere past season 1, contact to Earth is established.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me, everything to MGM. I just needed to hunt the bunnies, so I borrowed the characters…
A/N: Don't know actually where this story comes from.. It just was there, and I wrote it… Maybe I just needed some dealing with loosing someone, and saying goodbye. The italic text means a past happening. I never intended it to be really sad, because I don't think I'm capable of writing something that makes the readers cry anymore, or at least not in English. So it's just sad, plain sad, and nothing more.
A/N #2: This is one of my first stories in English, so don't be too harsh with me. I'v been learning English for five years now, so there are still many things I have to learn. I'm also looking for a beta reader, but so far, I wasn't able to find one. If anyone is interested, please, please contact me!

Feedback: I beg for some fair comments.

- In beloved memory of Friedrich Birkenau, 1922 – March 31st 2005.
We will never forget you grandpa. -

Last Goodbye

It was silent in the infirmary as he entered it. Not even the beeping of a heart monitor could be heard and there was only one patient currently present. He hesitated before looking at her. She was pale and fragile, nothing reminded him about the strong and determine woman that she used to be, anymore. And it frightened him. That a person like Dr. Elizabeth Weir would soon surrender. Defeated by breast cancer.
It seemed surreal to him. They were so far away from home, but yet it wouldn't be some alien illness that would cause her death. No, it would be something so damn ordinary, that it made him almost angry. Only almost, because he had been angry like hell in the beginning, and he just hadn't the power left to be angry anymore. He had given up being angry some time ago. Now there was just this dull ache he felt.
He would loose her. And there was nothing he could do. It had been too late when they had discovered the cancer. Dr. Beckett had only been able to tell her she had rarely two months left. They had wanted – pleaded her – to send her back to Earth, where maybe there could have been found a cure. She had refused, knowing that it was too late. There was no way to help her. And she hadn't wanted to leave Atlantis. Even if it meant her death, the city would always come first. Carson himself had gone to Earth, in a last attempt to find a way to help her. But he had returned with empty hands.

"So you're afraid that some military guy from Earth will take over your city? Is that the reason you don't want to leave?" He was angry, and she could see it clearly.
Shaking her head she replied: "No, John, that's not the reason. There's no way out of this. It's too late. You heard Carson . Not even a Tok'ra could heal me in this state."
He was fuming by now, pacing in front of her desk, unaware, that the whole control room was listening to their argument. "I don't care what he said! I don't even know what a goddamn Tok-thing is!" He stopped pacing, sitting down in the chair in front of her desk, only to look sharply at her. "Look Elizabeth . All I and everyone who cares about you want, is that you go back to Earth and let some people get a look at you, so they can heal you!"
She stared back at him, her eyes reflecting her iron like will. "It's pointless and you know it too. But you can't accept it. And that is what this is all about." Her voice was sharp and yet dangerously calm.
He sprang up again, looking at her with a fire in his eyes, not able to keep his voice from yelling. "Damn right, I can't accept it, and I will never be able accept it. Because I care about you, god damnit!" With that he turned around and stormed out of the office, past the stunned people who tried to pretend that they were working and hadn't heard the argument.
She remained, tears in her eyes. He had made her mask crack.

He sat down in the chair next to her bad, watching her sleeping form as he took her cold hand. He missed her. She was there, but not really anymore. Her presence lingered everywhere in Atlantis. But she lay here, in a room next to the infirmary, waiting for deaths arrival. She had been lucky in a sick sense. Most part of the last month and a half she had been okay. But then her illness had begun to show. Nine days ago it had happened. She had finally broken down, and since then her state had gone from bad to worse. And now it was clearly to see for everyone, that she had only a few days left.
He could remember the day she had told him, that she had cancer…

She was leaning against the railing on "their" balcony as he joined her. John had discovered this balcony in a rarely visited part of the city, which was actually easily to reach, if you just knew where the right transporters were. He had shared his discovery with Elizabeth soon after he had made it, and since then it had always been "their" balcony.
He studied her position, searching for something that would explain her behaviour today. She looked tired and worn out, and he was sure that she really needed a break. She had acted normal today, but he had seen that her mind had been miles away. And that wasn't normal for her. Something was bothering her, something big and serious.
"Do you really want an answer?" Her question startled him, and for a moment he was confused, but she just continued. "I know you John. I know how you look when you are about to ask a important question that had been bothering you. And I know, that you noticed my strange behaviour today…"
She was right, and it frightened him. This woman knew him probably better than his own mother ever had, and yet he couldn't say he was in a relationship with her. They were friends, best friends, there for each other, trusting each other. But they had never admitted their feelings for each other. Because the city would always come first.
"Yes, I want to know what's wrong with you… Ever since you went to see Carson this morning, you have been acting strange..." The realisation that she could be ill or something suddenly hit him, and he looked at her, pleading her to tell him what was wrong.
She inhaled deep, and faced him, her eyes reflecting the light of the last sunrays. "I have breast cancer. It's too late for a cure. Carson gives me less than two months."
He stared at her, searching her eyes for any sign that this was just a sick joke. But he could read her, he knew that it was not. And it hurt like hell.

Carefully he put a strand of brown hair out of her face, trying to stay awake. He was so goddamn tired. He hadn't slept more than 3 or 4 hours per night for nine days. During the day he needed to be in the control room, running the city, because she couldn't anymore. It was always the same routine for the last nine nights. He would come to the infirmary at 1 or 2 in the night and watch her sleep for some time. Then he would fall asleep for three or four hours, holding her hand, and when he would wake up, he would find her watching him. She would be weaker with every day, but she would smile for him. And that was all he needed, to see her smile, to know they could go on. He would get them breakfast, and they would eat and talk about almost everything. It could be almost normal, if he would be able to ignore how pale she was, how little she ate, and how she seemed more lifeless every morning. He draw his last strength out of this hours spent with her, and at the same moment, it was eating him up from the inside, destroying him. But he would go on, as long as he could wake up the next morning to see her smile.
John Sheppard didn't know that the last morning for her had already come.

"I'm sorry for you." Brigadier General Jack O'Neill stepped next to him on the balcony, as he was watching the midday sun illuminating the ocean. After hearing about Dr. Weirs illness, General O'Neill had turned up at their doorstep, along with Colonel Carter and Dr. Jackson, for some still unexplained reason. 'Just a visit' O'Neill had said, without further explaining. In John's opinion they wanted to know how things were going, maybe even deciding who would be in command of the city, when Elizabeth wouldn't be able to be anymore. He had to admit one thing, the SGC had been quick. It were just 11 days ago, that she had told him about her having cancer, and already General O'Neill and fellows came for a visit.
"We wanted to check on the city." O'Neill confessed, studying the man next to him carefully. Lt. Col John Sheppard looked tired, no question.
"On what? Elizabeth…Dr. Weir", he corrected himself quickly, "is still in charge, she is still well, and as long as she is able to work, you can't relieve her of command!" He glared challenging and furiously at the General, not caring that this man was some ranks higher than himself. Before O'Neill could answer something, a soft voice from the doors caught their attention.
"John, let it be." Elizabeth Weir stepped on the balcony, her eyes immediately connecting to his. "It's only reasonable that they do this, even if you don't like it. The new leader of Atlantis will need time to adjust, and it would be best, if he could be leaded into his new job with me still around."
"If you would just believe, that there is a cure for you, this wouldn't be necessary." He was angry, and she could tell it easily, even if he was hiding his anger. But deeper under the surface, he was hurt and desperate. She closed the distance between them, ignoring General O'Neill, who stepped back a little, to give them some space.
She stood close to him, closer than it would be necessary. Taking his hands, she looked him directly in the eye, calm determination on her face, a hidden warmth in her eyes. He avoided to look at her, but she turned his head so he had to look at her.
"Listen to me. I don't want to get everyone's hopes up, when I can feel, when I know, that there is no way for me to get out of this. I need you to accept that. I want to be sure that Atlantis is in good hands. That's why I'm trusting you John, to take good care of our city." She smiled lightly at him, a reassuring smile, while he tried to grasp the full meaning of her words.
"You want to put me in charge?" He asked, eyes wide with shock. She nodded just, smiling proudly at him. "The president of the United States , and General O'Neill here, as well as some other important people put their trust in you John. And so do I." And with that she squeezed his hand tightly, and he never wanted to let go again.

Something was odd. Something was different. He awoke to find the room lying in darkness and he knew, that something was wrong. Normally he would awake to find the room slightly lightened by the first daylight. But now there was only darkness. His eyes adjusted slowly to the dark and he could see her green eyes looking at him.
"Why are you awake?" He asked quietly, pushing again a strand of hair out of her face, his finger resting on her cheek. She smiled weakly, her hand catching his.
"John.. I want to see the sky…" Her voice was only a weak whisper, but he could still hear her. He searched in her eyes for the meaning of the demand, trying to hide his confusion.
"Why now?"
She smiled, the special smile she had only reserved for him. Even if this one was just a ghost of the smile she used to have. With a weak and quiet voice she spoke the words he had dreaded to hear for so long. "Because I'm dying."

"This is a really beautiful view." Teyla sat down on the table, admiring the sight of the city and the ocean from so high up. The table was set up in a room in one of the towers, one wall of the room being just glass, giving view of the ancient city. The expedition team had guessed that the room was originally intended as dinner hall for formal dinners, because it was a lot more comfortable and nicer than the mess hall. The others sat down around the round table as well. Aiden chose the seat next to Teyla, next to him Carson sat down, followed by Rodney, Kate and Radek, and finally John next to Elizabeth.
"It's really nice here." Agreed Kate, looking at Elizabeth and trying to figure out, why the expedition leader had invited them all for a nice dinner. Something strange had been going on with her for the last days, and that wasn't only the sudden open closeness she seemed to share with John Sheppard. Even if that had irritated a lot of people. He was always by her side and from Rodney she knew, that he had cancelled all off world missions and send his team out with someone else. Kate had rarely seen the two leaders apart in the last days. But there was something else going on, and she had the feeling it was serious. And she wasn't the only one with that feeling. She looked at Rodney next to her, who was fiddling with his fork that lay already on the table. All in all everything in the room was ready and set up, the only thing missing was the food, but she knew it would arrive soon.
The dinner was delicious, and surprisingly for everyone it had been cooked by Elizabeth and John. After the dessert, Elizabeth cleared her throat and everyone went silent. Radek caught sight of her hand gripping Johns under the table.
"You all know, that I.. we had a reason to invite you to this dinner.. And it's no good unfortunately. To make it short: I have breast cancer, and maximum 7 weeks left." Silence reigned, as Rodney, Teyla, Aiden, Radek and Kate looked shocked at her. Even Rodney was left speechless. No one had expected this.

Her eyes pleaded him to fulfil something that was probably her last wish. And he felt like his heart would explode. But he had to stay strong, had to fulfil her wish, then maybe she would be alive for another morning. She weighted almost nothing as he picked her and the blanket up, after shutting off and disconnecting the heart monitor. Instantly she curled up against his chest, as he carried her away from the room, not knowing, that it would be the last time for her to see this room.
They arrived at their balcony only a short time later, without meeting someone. It was a mild, but still warm enough night. He sat down, leaning against the wall next to the door, while she leaned against him, covered by the blanket. Her body felt cold, and he embraced her from behind, just to be close to her and warm her up. Her head rested on his shoulder as she looked up in the night sky, taking in the fresh air. Her hands rested on his arms, and he could hear her breathing.
"This is final." She said, quietly as before and turned her head to look him in the eyes.
"Really?" There was still hope in his eyes, and she knew, he was still hoping for a wonder.
She nodded her head lightly, sighing. "Yes. But when I die this night, then I die happy. In your arms." She smiled, a relieved and true smile. In her eyes he could see release, thankfulness and a deep warmth.
And suddenly he accepted it, that this was their last night together. It hit him like a thunderstorm and the dull pain in his chest turned in a breaking pain. He wanted to cry, wanted to scream at the world. But he stayed focused, not wanting to waste the last hours of their being together.
"I love you." She blunted suddenly out, finally releasing the last thing on her mind. They had nothing to loose, and only now she allowed herself to let her feelings come first.
"I love you too." He replied, on the inside near to cry out because of the ordinary of this confession. They looked at each other, emotions in their eyes reflecting so much, but one thing the strongest: Love. And both were way past being scared of that. Finally their lips met in a mind numbing kiss, different than the ones they had shared before. In the others had laid passion, desperation, pain and frustration, as well as long hidden feelings. But this one was different. She didn't taste sweet, instead a little bit sour and like some medicaments. Her lips weren't very warm, instead chilling. Their tongues didn't duel, it was just a plain and simple kiss. But it was true. And that was all that counted. They had never allowed themselves to act on their feelings until recently, and then it had been about still being alive, and being together, about forgetting the goodbye that was to come. Now it was there, and so were they both. Just there. And together. And that was all that mattered.
She pulled slowly back, leaning her head against his shoulder and looked at the stars.
"Sleep John…" She said finally, squeezing his hand to reassure him. Finally, after some hesitant seconds he nodded and closed his eyes, taking in everything of their moment, until giving in the temptation of sleep. One last word drifted through the air. "Goodbye.."
She smiled one last time, before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep for the last time.

The first rays of sun found him awaking with her still form in his arms, and he knew, that she was gone. A single tear rolled down his cheek, soon followed by some more.