A/N: For Camy. Without her, this story would have ceased to be a long time ago.
"Are you sure about this John?" Elizabeth asked hesitantly, leaning forward in her seat to rest her hands on her desk.
John just nodded from where he was sitting, directly across from her. "Absolutely."
He watched as she gave a weary sigh and ran one hand lightly over her face. She was persistent; he'd give her that. "A year in an awfully long time," she said in a quiet voice.
"I know, but that's kind of the point." Then he smiled. "Besides, you'll do fine without me," he added confidently as he moved to stand up. Elizabeth's words made him pause.
"What if there's another wraith attack?" she asked seriously, meeting his gaze.
"You'll be fine," he said as he stood up. "Rodney's here, and then there's the fact that I doubt the wraith will come." When Elizabeth raised her eyebrows he added, "We blew up seventeen hive ships, I don't think they'll be attacking us again any time soon."
"What about the wraith from the other galaxies?" She asked, talking a little faster out of desperation.
John shrugged, his smile still in place. "I'm sure you'll be able to think of something."
Elizabeth sighed and leaned back in her chair. "I'm not going to change your mind am I?" she asked, giving in to the inevitable.
"Nope," he said happily.
"We're all going to miss you John," she said sincerely.
He gave her a sincere smile. "I might miss you guys too, but I need this Elizabeth."
She nodded and gave another sigh.
"Look," he said patiently. "A year's leave from the military is exactly what I need." She nodded again and he continued. "I need time to get to know my kids, to get to know my family. And after that…" he paused for a moment. "We'll see. But before anything else happens, I need to do this."
"All right," Elizabeth said, a small smile creeping it's way onto her face. "Since I'm obviously not going to change your mind…" She stood up and walked around to the side of her desk. She extended her hand and John shook it. "Good luck John."
"Thank you," he said sincerely. Releasing her hand, he motioned toward the doorway. "Now I've got to go finish getting ready." She nodded and he turned around and headed out.
He paused in the doorway and looked over his shoulder. "Goodbye Elizabeth."
He gave her one last smile and then left her office, heading towards Teyla's quarters. He was ending one stage of his life and starting another one, he just never thought that the transition would feel so good. His smile broadened as he remembered that he had actually started the new stage of his life three weeks ago.John paced the small room, nervously. He kept straightening the jacket of his military dress uniform, positive that it was getting wrinkled.
"Well if you'd stop pacing," Rodney said irritably from where he was sitting on a bench. "Then maybe your jacket wouldn't get messed up."
"Shut up Rodney," he said angrily, not bothering to stop his monotonous movements.
"What are you so nervous about anyway?" he asked incredulously.
John sighed. "Look, I'm allowed to be nervous ok, it's one of those times." He glared at Rodney, but kept pacing.
Just then the door to the room opened and Elizabeth stepped through, wearing dress pants and a blouse. "We're ready for you," she said smiling.
He could only nod as his gut tied itself up in knots. This was it.
"Do you have them?" he asked Rodney, turning to look at him expectantly.
He just rolled his eyes at John. "No, I don't," he said sarcastically. Then standing up from his seat on the bench he said, "Of course I do. Do you really think that I'd forget the rings for a wedding?"
John smiled as he remembered his wedding day. He'd been so nervous.
He waited beside Elizabeth, trying not to tap his foot impatiently against the floor. The room was crowded, very crowded. Almost all of the Atlantis personnel were there, as well as most of the Athosians, who had been shuttled in from the mainland. They all had their heads turned toward the back of the room, waiting for the doors to open.
He focused on the doors too, waiting for Teyla to step through. It seemed like he stood there for an eternity, just staring. He barely even registered Rodney standing a few feet behind him, and Elizabeth next to him. He hardly noticed the twins where they were standing beside Carson in the front row.
Then the doors did slide open, and when he saw Teyla, time seemed to stop. He knew it sounded cliché, but it was true. She was always beautiful, but now… she was indescribably perfect.
She was wearing a long dress that he knew she had designed and made. It hugged her torso, and then gracefully flowed out from her hips. It was a pale blue, and the material looked almost like silk. But it wasn't the dress that made her beautiful, it was the radiant smile on her face. John felt his heart surge with warmth knowing that he was the reason for that smile.
As she got closer to him, their eyes locked together and all of his nervousness ebbed away. They had been through hell and back and now it was time for them to be happy, together.
John walked past a group of scientists as he turned headed for the nearest transporter. Most of them smiled at him and said some quick goodbyes. He acknowledged each of them in turn before he stepped into the transporter, a bounce in his step. He quickly touched the screen at the point closest to his and Teyla's quarters. As he felt the weird sensation of traveling in the transporter, his mind drifted back to his wedding.
It had been an odd sort of combination between and Earth style wedding and an Athosian one. He'd been surprised when Elizabeth had offered to marry them, but apparently she had the credentials for it.
"You may kiss the bride," Elizabeth said excitedly.
John didn't waste a moment's time and he pulled Teyla into a searing kiss, one that elicited cheers from every person present bar the twins. He pulled back and looked into Teyla's eyes; he was glad to notice that his weren't the only ones brimming with tears.
John exited the transporter with a huge smile on his face. The wedding itself had been great, the reception even better, and the wedding night… the best out of all of them.
When he walked into their quarters grinning like an idiot Teyla eyed him suspiciously. "What are you so happy about?" she asked in a curious voice.
He just walked over to her, still wearing that grin. He cupped her face and leaned down to kiss her deeply, loving that he had every reason to do so. She smiled against his lips and wrapped her arms around her neck. But before John could deepen the kiss, they were interrupted by a scream.
"Daddy!" Abrianna shouted as she ran across the room, throwing herself at him full force.
He pulled away from Teyla and reached down just in time to scoop her up before she barreled into his legs. Tagan was walking towards them too, making choking noises. John watched as Teyla just shook her head at his son's antics. He smiled, wondering if she knew how much Tagan reminded him of his childhood self.
He didn't get to give it much more thought though, because Abrianna starting talking in an excited voice. "Are we leaving today?" she asked as she wrapped her small arms around his neck.
John shifted her onto his hip as he answered. "Yes, we are," he said, smiling at her.
"I don't wanna go to Earth," Tagan said grumpily, hopping up to take a seat on the nearby couch. John knew he was only saying that because it was because it was early in the morning and he would rather be sleeping.
"Why not?" Abrianna questioned her brother. "Then we can go on a ferris wheel!"
John laughed and Teyla gave him a pointed look. "And what exactly did you tell her about ferris wheels?"
John shrugged. "I just told her they were fun," he said innocently, smiling at his wife.
"Uh huh," she said as she walked over to the couch and leaned down to pick up one of their duffel bags.
"Why?" John asked. "What do you know about ferris wheels?"
She turned to look at him over her shoulder. "I know that they are dangerous," she said.
John eyebrows shot up in surprise. "They are not dangerous. Who told you that anyway?"
He let out an aggravated sigh as Teyla stood up. "That's a bunch of…" And the next thing he knew Teyla was standing in front of him, with her hand over his mouth.
"No swearing," she said sternly, although he could tell she was struggling to hold back a laugh.
"Right," he muttered against her hand.
She smiled as she pulled it away. "What did Dr. Weir want?" she asked curiously, and it took John a moment to realize what she was talking about.
"Nothing important," he said.
"Well," she said. "I think that we're ready to go. What time does the Daedalus leave?"
John gently set Abrianna down on the ground before he answered. "In three hours." He paused for a moment and stepped closer to Teyla. Bending down he asked her quietly, "Are you sure you're ok to travel?"
She nodded and pulled back slightly to look into his eyes. "I'm fine John," she said, a smile on her face. "Dr. Beckett said that everything would be all right."
"I know," John said, getting a little worried. "But I just want to make sure…"
She placed a comforting hand on his lower arm. "He assured me that traveling in hyperspace would not affect the baby at all."
"Ok," John said reluctantly.
Teyla pulled him into a hug and whispered in his ear, "Everything will be fine."
He nodded against her shoulder before pulling away, unconsciously letting his hand drift across her belly. Then he gave her another sweet smile and bent down to kiss her lightly on the lips.
They made it to the entrance to the landing pad almost fifteen minutes before the ship was set to leave. John was surprised. But what surprised him more was that when they got there, there were people waiting by the doors. Rodney, Ronon, Ford, Beckett, Elizabeth and even Zelenka were there, apparently waiting for them.
As John and the rest of his family got closer, he realized that Elizabeth was holding some sort of box. It was wood carved, and from the looks of it, Athosian made. He paused in front of the group, and Teyla and the twins stopped beside him.
Elizabeth took a step forward and held out the box to him. "This is from all of us," she said. "It's not a goodbye present, because this isn't goodbye."
He nodded and gently took the box from her hands. "Thank you," he said sincerely at the same time that Teyla did.
Elizabeth nodded. "Don't open it until you get on the ship, it's a surprise." She paused for a second and smiled. "I meant what I said John, we're going to miss you, all of you." Then she stepped forward and wrapped him up in a hug, forcing him to set down the bags he was carrying. "Good luck," she whispered in his ear before releasing him.
Then the next thing he knew he was being bombarded by other well-wishers, some hugging him, and others shaking his hand. Out of the corner of his eye he could see that Teyla, and even the twins, were getting the same treatment.
Eventually everyone had said their farewells and it was time for them to get on the Daedalus. John followed Teyla and the twins toward the doors that led to the ship, but he paused in front of the threshold to glance over his shoulder one last time.
He knew that he'd miss them. Atlantis had been his home for a very long time, but now he had a new home, one that was waiting for him on the ship. With one final wave he said goodbye to his old life and stepped through the door to embrace his new one.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me for this story. I hope it was worth it. :)