Title: Family Ties
Disclaimers: Atlantis belongs to MGM Studios, Sci-Fi Channel, and other people who aren't me.
Note: This is a sequel to the fic, "Silence". I hope you enjoy it. :o)
John had one last stop to make before he headed back to the SGC. He wanted to save this for last just in case things didn't work out. However, if they did, then the visit with Ford's family could be pushed to the back of his mind for now.
He had made certain to contact his sister before he left earlier that day. He was becoming a little nervous about this reunion. Would her husband like him? Would her children? How much had she changed?
John was about to find out.
The minute he stepped out of the car and saw her running towards him, a huge smile on her face, the butterflies in his stomach eased and they hugged as they had never hugged before. He took a deep breathe and whispered, "It's so good to see you again, Jill."
"You too, John!" she replied, pulling away to look at her baby brother. Tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. "I've missed you so much!"
"Me too, but I've been wondering..."
"How did I know you'd be calling me?" At John's nod, she continued. "I dreamt you awhile ago. You told me you were far away, but you wanted to see me again. I believed it was really true. That one day you would find me."
He smiled. "It was true, Jill!"
"Mommy!" Jillian laughed as her son ran up to her and grabbed her hand. He looked up at the man next to her in wonder. "Is that Uncle John?" he asked.
John knelt down on one knee and held out his hand. Little John immediately shook it. "Hi! Nice to meet you!"
"Nice to meet you too, John."
"Why don't we bring John inside so he can meet your sister and Daddy."
Little John jumped up and down in excitement. "Let's go!" he exclaimed, pulling his uncle with him.
John laughed. "Right with you."
This felt so right. He was with his family. It had been so long since he even knew what the felt like. True, everyone on Atlantis was a sort of surrogate family, but nothing could beat the real thing.
And if he currently loved being an uncle now, he felt it so much stronger the minute he saw his 8 year old niece. She was adorable and looked just like Jillian did at that age. Bright blue eyes and curly red hair.
"Kayla, this is your uncle, John."
She wrapped her arms around his waist. Kayla pulled him down to her level. "Thanks for coming to see us!" she said so only he could hear. "Mommy's never been so happy!"
For the next hour or so, John reveled in being an uncle. Kayla and little John showed him everything they could think of. Kayla even presented him with a hand drawn picture. "This is me and you," she had told him.
"Thanks, Kayla. I'll frame it and hang it in my room."
She beamed and danced around the room. She almost tripped, but was saved by someone who had just come into the house. "Hi, Daddy!" Kayla exclaimed. "Did you meet Uncle John yet?"
"No, I didn't, sweetheart," he replied.
John held out his hand. "Nice to meet you, Dave. Jillian's told me a lot about you."
"Nice to meet you, John," Dave said with a smile. "I hate to cut this short, but Kayla has ballet practice and if she doesn't hurry, she'll be late."
"Will we see you again soon?" Kayla asked him.
He shook his head. "I'll be gone for a long while, Kayla. I can send you emails if you'd like."
"Yes! Yes! Mommy has my address. I can't log on without her."
"Coming, Daddy! Bye, Uncle John!"
He laughed, and then turned to look at his sister. She was reading a book to little John, who was about to fall asleep. "Just let me put him in his bed and we can talk."
John nodded and had a seat as Jillian put his nephew to sleep. He still couldn't believe all this was happening. He never thought he'd be grateful for that Wraith grenade that had nearly caused him his hearing.
"Would you like something to drink?" she asked as she came back into the living room.
"No thanks. I have to leave in about a half hour, but I wanted to--"
Jillian held up her hand. "Wait, John. I want to know."
"What happened with you and Dad after I left?"
John gulped. He had never revealed anything about that. "I-- Okay..."
"Jillian, wait! Don't go!" John cried. "You can't leave me here!"
"You'll be fine, John, I promise. I have to go."
"Can't you just take me with you? Please!"
She shook her head. "I can't, honey. I don't have enough money and I don't think Dad would be very pleased if I did."
John hung his head in defeat as he watched her get into the cab. He remembered that he had to get back inside because if his Father woke up from his drunken stupor with no dinner ready, all hell would break lose.
No, Michael Sheppard never hit his son, but the verbal abuse was just as bad. John knew when he grew up, he was going to join the Army, or the Navy. No... he was going to join the Air Force. He would fly up in the sky so he could be closer to his Mother. So he could feel like the wind around him were her arms keeping him safe and guiding him through life.
Jillian wiped away her tears and rushed to her brother's side, holding him tight. "I feel so horrible about this! I should have taken you with me! I should have tried harder to help you both! Please forgive me, John, please!"
"I do, Jillian," he replied, kissing her cheek. "It's in the past. We can't change what happened, but we can learn from it and know that something good came out of it."
"What do you mean?"
"I did what I had set out to do, Jillian. To feel closer to Mom."
"She would be so proud of you."
After receiving well wishes, gifts, pictures, and videos of birthdays, John headed out to the SGC where they would zip to the Alpha site and head back to Atlantis on the Daedelus. He was so lost in thought that he didn't see a rather large man looming in front of him.
John shook his head and took the hand that was offered to him. "Teal'c."
"MajorSheppard. Are you injured?"
"No, I'm fine, thanks. Sorry about that, I must have been daydreaming."
"It is quite all right. I trust you had a restful leave."
John nodded. "Yeah, I did."
"That is good to hear. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must prepare for departure." With that, Teal'c nodded and headed to the locker room.
"Are you all right?" she asked. "You seem a little out of sorts."
"I ran into Teal'c. Literally."
She smiled. "Did you hurt him?"
"I thought so."
The pair walked in silence towards the Gateroom. Elizabeth wasn't sure what to say and John just couldn't figure out how to start the conversation. He didn't want to tell her when everyone else was around.
"Elizabeth," he said, stopping suddenly.
"I met my sister today."
Her smile grew wider and she gave him a hug. "John, that's wonderful."
He immediately began pulling out picture after picture. "This is Kayla. She's 8. And this is John. He's 2."
"John. He looks just like you. Jillian still hasn't forgiven herself, has she?"
"No. I don't think she ever will. I told her I'm where I need to be. That I'm content, but I don't think she's buying into that. She thinks there's something more for me. Something that only could have come from her staying. I can't possibly think of what that is, though."
"Well, I can't tell if you are content myself, but if you so, then let it be for now. You'll have more time to contemplate it on the way back to Atlantis."
"Let's go then, Dr. Weir."