So this is not at all what I usually write, but its been banging around in my head forever, and I finally gave in and wrote it. Needless to say, I have always wondered who told Elizabeth's mother and how she took it, so...here goes. Actually, Elizabeth's family life has always fascinated me. I can imagine her being alot like her mother, they seemed very close during The Real World.
General O'Neill had never seen Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard look as defeated as he did the moment he walked through the 'gate into SGC. Even when his father had died...He shook his head sadly and offered him his hand.
"I'm so sorry, John."
John forced a stiff smile onto his lips, unable to meet his eyes. "Thank you, sir. I'm sorry for your loss as well. I know you and Elizabeth were friends." Despite his best efforts, his voice wavered slightly when he said her name.
Jack acknowledged this with a slight nod. "If there is anything I can do..."
John snapped upright, meeting his gaze for the first time. "Actually, sir, there is. I'm going to need you to grant Mrs. Wier security clearance."
John's eyes burned with an intensity that no one had seen since the news of Elizabeth's death had reached them. "She deserves to know how her daughter died- and more importantly, how she lived. Elizabeth didn't just change lives, General, she changed galaxies. She deserves to have at least one member of her family know the true extent of her lives work."
"I agree, Colonel, but security clearances aren't just handed out..."
John stared at him with a mixture of desperation and stubborn determination. "You can't say its too much, sir. Not for Elizabeth."
Jack nodded slowly. "Okay. I'll make it happen. Is that all?"
John shook his head. "No, sir. I would like to bring her back to Atlantis for the memorial service. To see for herself the people Elizabeth died for."
There was a pause before General O'Neill nodded again. "Very well. I'll see you at the gate then, Colonel."
Elizabeth's childhood home was exactly the type of place John could picture her living in. He smiled sadly as he ran his hand across an indentation in the wooden porch just perfect for curling up and reading in. He was willing to bet money that she had spent hours doing just that. He took a steadying breath and checked over his hated dress blues one last time before raising a shaky hand to ring the doorbell.
His heart wrenched yet again as the door opened to reveal a woman who looked exactly like an older version of Elizabeth. Her face spread automatically into a welcoming smile that faltered as she took in his uniform and saw that Elizabeth wasn't with him.
"Mrs. Wier, I don't know if you remember me, but my name is John Sheppard."
Realization flooded her features, closely followed by despair. She closed her eyes for a long moment. "Elizabeth?" She asked, already knowing the answer.
John bowed his head, praying that his own control would hold. "I'm sorry, Ma'am."
Her lips trembled in an expression that was heartbreakingly familiar to him before she visibly pulled herself together. How many times had he seen Elizabeth go through the same process? He closed his eyes against tears. Now was not the time.
Mrs. Wier's voice was remarkably controlled as she spoke. "Of course I remember you, John. Please, come in."
He followed her into a comfortable living room. Bookshelves lined the airy room, most filled to overflowing, and random piles of books lay scattered around the room. Clearly, Elizabeth's love of reading was inherited.
Elizabeth's mother lowered herself carefully into a chair and motioned for him to do the same. She took another moment to compose herself, and he marveled again at the similarities between her and her daughter. "What can you tell me?"
John suddenly recalled that Elizabeth's father had been killed in the line of duty when Elizabeth was eleven. Her mother knew the intricacies of classified death notifications all too well.
He paused, trying to think of how to begin. Belatedly, he remembered the nondisclosure act tucked into his jacket pocket. He pulled it out. "If you can sign this first, then I can tell you every thing." He assured her.
The look of gratitude in her eyes was almost unbearable. No parent should be grateful to be allowed to hear the details of their child's death. He shook his head sadly as she signed the paper. "I don't really know how to begin." He confessed. "I think I'll have to start at the beginning, if you don't mind."
Mrs. Wier shook her head, for the first time considering how hard this must be for him. Before he could start, she reached out and caught his hand in hers. "Thank you, John. For coming to tell me. I know you meant a lot to Elizabeth." She whispered, unable to hide the pain in her voice.
His control faltered momentarily, and she was stunned at the depth of emotions in his gaze. "Of course. Elizabeth..." He couldn't bring himself to finish, but she understood perfectly. He cleared his throat roughly and tried again. "As you know, for the past three years Elizabeth has been involved with a top secret government assignment. Actually, she was in charge of it. She..."
He did his best to simplify the concept of stargates and other galaxies, but he knew it was overwhelming. Elizabeth had been the one to explain most of it to him, and he found himself using her words rather than trying to invent his own phrasing. Once he had covered the basics- stargates, alien life, the Ancients, weapons platforms in Antarctica- he paused and allowed her time to process.
Her brow creased in concentration. "Elizabeth was involved in this...Stargate...program?" She fumbled slightly over the strange phrase.
John nodded. "To be specific, Elizabeth was in charge of an expedition to the Pegasus galaxy." He saw Mrs. Wier mouthing the words 'Pegasus galaxy' in amazement and nodded. "Yeah, that Pegasus galaxy. You see, Elizabeth was a part of the team that discovered the location of the Ancient's last city. That city is Atlantis, where she has been living for the past few years."
He paused and leaned forward intently. "Your daughter was the bravest woman I have ever met. She led a team of scientists and military operatives on what could well have been a one way trip to a city in another galaxy which no one had set foot in for hundreds of thousands of years. Once we arrived, she handled every crisis- and trust me, there were a lot- with grace and compassion. There isn't a single person on that base who wouldn't have given their lives in a millisecond to save her. You should know that."
Mrs. Wier shook her head, tears stinging her eyes. "That sounds like my Elizabeth. I want to know more- everything- but-" Her voice broke off as she lost the battle against her tears. She shook with sobs, and John lost his own battle as a single tear slid down his cheek. For a few moments they sat in shared grief before Mrs. Wier pulled herself together again. "Can- can you tell me about how she- how-"
He shook his head apologetically. "The details wont make sense until you know more, but know that she died defending her city and people."
Her mother nodded to herself. "She always was a fighter."
John smiled sadly as a vision of Elizabeth (well, Pheobus) taking out two marines flashed across his memory. "You have no idea." He pulled himself back to the present with effort. "If you would like, I have permission to bring you to Atlantis for the memorial service. You can see for yourself what she meant to the people there and what a difference she has made to them. It will make more sense to you then, I think."
She nodded instantly. "I would like that." A few more tears escaped, and she shook her head in apology. "I'm sorry, I'm a little bit overwhelmed right now." John nodded and stood.
"I understand. I will be back tomorrow if you can be ready by then." He hesitated, unable to stop the words that tumbled from his throat. "I'm...so sorry I couldn't save her." He choked, trying desperately to swallow the lump in his throat.
Mrs. Wier pulled him into a sudden hug. "From what she has told me about you, I believe that you did everything in your power and probably more." He couldn't respond without losing his control completely, so he simply hugged her back.
He allowed General O'Neill to fill her in on all the other details of the Pegasus Galaxy- the Wraith, the replicators, the Genii, and everything they had done for Earth. She had enough of her daughter's spirit to absorb everything calmly and ask questions about anything she felt she didn't understand.
It was John who ultimately relayed the manner of her death. The nanites, the replicators, being forced to leave her behind. The months of fruitless searching, and then the discovery of what had happened- He somehow managed to make his way through the explanation with out breaking down.
For her part, Mrs. Wier listened with silent tears streaming down her face. When he had come to a halting stop, she nodded firmly. "You did everything you could have, John. She would be proud of you. And if she had to pick the manner of her death, I am sure this would have been it."
Every single military man in the room had to duck their head to conceal their emotions. She was as strong as her daughter, that much was certain.
"Yes, Ma'am." John said softly. General O'Neill cleared his throat and blinked rapidly.
"We are ready to leave whenever you are, Mrs. Wier."
Mrs. Wier was completely blown away by Atlantis- both the city itself and the people. She couldn't believe how comforting it was to be surrounded by people who clearly loved and respected her daughter. She had met several of the Lantean team members before of course- Teyla, Ronon, Rodney. She had summoned a truly sincere smile when she learned that Ronon and Teyla were actually from Pegasus galaxy, a smile that had widened when she heard of how accepting Elizabeth had been of them.
Teyla's presence was an immense comfort to her and she remained close by, always willing to answer a question or to steer people away when the emotions were too much.
Rodney had taken to hovering nearby as well, talking too quickly but sharing stories about her daughter that made her alternately beam with pride and collapse into tears.
John was busier, but found time to give her tours of the city and explain which spots meant the most to Elizabeth and why. He also ate all meals with her and his team, whom she knew where Elizabeth's closest friends.
Even Ronon developed a tendency of showing up unexpectedly with gruff words of praise for her daughter that she learned meant more from him than anyone else.
By the time she was set to return home, she had learned more about her daughter than she had ever expected. She knew each and every Atlantis team member by name, with the exception of one scientist with a long pony tail. She didn't know why, but every time he appeared in the room with her, Ronon would show up and bodily remove him.
She had asked Teyla why, only to be met with an unusually steely glare. Kavanaugh, Teyla had explained, was not fit to breath the same air as the woman who had given birth to Elizabeth. Teyla had then nodded firmly and refused to say anything more about it.
The memorial service had been beautiful, and she had never been to anything so sad. She observed the proceeding with eyes full of tears. She saw people sobbing unashamedly and thought that the community that her daughter had been a part of was truly something awesome. She felt loved and accepted as person after person stood up to speak loving words about her only child. As the service ended, she observed how John was standing stiffly, face stern, and felt a motherly pang of worry- she knew they had been close, he needed to take the time to mourn her.
When it came time for her to leave, she was touched to see all of Atlantis turn up to see her off. She smiled sadly at them all, hoping her gratitude would show. John stood hesitantly by the 'gate and she pulled him into a close embrace. "Thank you for allowing me to see all of this. You have no idea how much it means to me- the comfort I have knowing that my daughter was exactly where she wanted to be." He relaxed fractionally into her embrace but she knew he was holding his emotions in check to remain strong. "She would want you to mourn, John." She scolded, but he shook his head stubbornly. She kissed his forehead gently and released him. "Thank you for taking care of my daughter."
Rodney, looking awkward, sniffed loudly as she hugged him as well. "Elizabeth was my first true friend. She convinced me to come here, you know." He stumbled over the words, and she smiled at him.
"She considered you one of her closest friends, Rodney." He, too, received a kiss on the forehead.
She had to smile slightly as Ronon bent nearly double to hug her. "Take care of John for me, will you?" She requested softly. "When he needs it, send him to me." Ronon nodded seriously.
"Thank you." He received the same and backed out of the way, glaring at anyone who found his uncharacteristic gentleness amusing. (Which, incidentally, was no one- but glaring made him fell less mushy).
Teyla rested her forehead against Mrs. Wier's in the traditional Athosian way before hugging her tightly. "I admire your daughter greatly. She was an excellent friend." Mrs. Wier nodded gratefully.
One last look around at the people her daughter had died for, and Mrs. Wier stepped through the gate to Earth.
Three months later, when John snapped on a mission and tried to hit Rodney across the face, Ronon and Teyla packed his bags and forcefully escorted him through the gate to Earth. Standing in the middle of SGC he found Mrs. Wier waiting expectantly, a stern look on her face.
He nodded timidly as she scolded him for repressing his emotions and whisked him to her car. It only took a few stories about Elizabeth's childhood before he broke down sobbing. She held him close as he explained how much Elizabeth had meant to him, and how hard it was to go on without her.
When he was all cried out, she informed him that he would be talking about all of this with Teyla (and possibly Ronon and Rodney) when he got back to Atlantis. He tried to protest, but the woman who had raised Elizabeth Wier was a force to be reckoned with, and he soon acquiesced.
That trip, John stayed for a week. He took long walks, laughed over old stories, and eventually cried a bit more. He returned to Atlantis with his head held high, looking better than he had since the news had arrived.
And Mrs. Wier? Yes, she had lost her daughter, but she had gained an entire top secret organization to mother. From then on out, she continued her daughters work by hosting a string of the expedition members. Any Lantean on leave made sure to stop in for some good natured teasing and, when necessary, a well needed scolding. Those who found the pressure too intense would find themselves sent to Mrs. Wier's house for some R&R and she usually had them sorted out within a month.
The second time John visited her, it was the one year anniversary of Elizabeth's death, and she was pleased to find his team with him.
The next time Mrs. Wier visited Atlantis, it was to witness the birth of Teyla and Ronon's first child, Elizabeth.
The next time the IOA tried to interfere too much in Atlantis, they received a visit from her and shortly thereafter conceded (somewhat ashamedly) that she was right and of course they wouldn't have really have done that.
General O'Neill joked to General Landry that if the Wraith ever made it to Earth, they would simply direct them towards the Wier home and try and avoid the carnage she would make of them. He was punished with a sharp glance and received no cake for dessert that night.
Okay, so I had no idea how to finish this, but I hope you liked it! Thanks for reading!