We, the Sparky Army, decree 2008 to be the Year of the Spark. We pledge to post a new sparky story or chapter of a sparky story every day from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. Though the Powers That Be have removed Elizabeth Weir from the regular cast of Stargate Atlantis, we feel that she remains an integral part of the show, and that the relationship between her and John Sheppard is too obvious to be ignored. We hope that you, and anyone might happen to read these works, agree.

And if that isn't official enough for you, we don't know what is. Seriously, guys, we're just trying to have some --and show TPTB that Sparky is the way to go. So sit back and enjoy the 366 stories coming your way!

AN (sparkly): Obviously this is not an accurate fic as we can assume Elizabeth's dad was neither alive nor in the military, and that her mom was not dead. SPOILERS up to This Mortal Coil.

Saying Goodbye

By: sparklyshimmer2010

John was walking down a hallway to get to the Daedalus, which had just docked in, when Sam came rushing after him.

"John!"

He turned to see her and stopped moving forwards as he saw the look on her face. It was…nervous?

"Colonel," he greeted, waiting for her to start.

"Uh, I wanted to inform you of a visitor that came aboard the Daedalus."

"Yeah? Who?"

"He's a general. Just got clearance actually, and he wanted to come see the city."

"And they just let him come for a jaunt?" 'They' being the IOA.

"Well see, it's more of a personal visit for him."

John gave her a curious expression. She blew out a breath.

"Dr. Weir was his daughter."

--

John stared at her, a lump suddenly forming painfully in his throat. His eyes dimmed, though that was saying something because ever since Elizabeth had been gone, there had always been a certain depth of darkness that hadn't been there before.

"You have Elizabeth's …father…here." It was stated almost as a question because he didn't want to believe it. If it was true, than it would be uncomfortable for so many reasons.

Sam nodded, looking at him with sympathy.

He hadn't let his feelings loose since that one night a while ago, and he had to fight the urge to now. John merely spun on his feet and continued on, Sam by his side.

"How long have you known he was coming?" he asked, just a bit of an edge to his voice.

Sam winced but he missed it. He knew where he was going, subconsciously. He wasn't focused on the floor or the hallway, he wasn't focused on her. His eyes were far away.

"Actually I just found out a few minutes ago from Colonel Caldwell. Apparently General Weir was a last minute addition and well, to be honest I don't think anyone knew how to mention it."

"Have you told anyone else yet?"

"No, I wanted you to be the first."

He glanced briefly at her now. "Thanks."

"Well I should probably be there to greet everyone, but I see you're heading there and Rodney needs me…"

"I'll greet them, it's alright, you go ahead and correct Rodney on whatever it is he's wrong about."

She sent him a smile, but it fell quickly. "Are you alright John?"

"I will be," was all he said, eyes still sad.

She nodded and left.

--

He looked like her. Looked like her a lot actually. They had the same small smile, the same green eyes that looked out kindly and understandingly. He also had that same air of strength about him that Elizabeth had held as she ran the city.

But even through that strength and the wall around him, he looked a mess. His face was lined, right around the eyes, as if the smile never quite reached. He seemed crushed.

John knew that Elizabeth's mother had passed away, so it had been just her and her dad. Now it was just him.

"Are you Colonel Sheppard?" His voice was raspy, probably from the cigarettes at his poker party's Elizabeth had spoken about once or twice.

"That would be me sir," John responded, hoping his voice didn't sound choked. He held out his hand for the rather tall man to take.

"It's a pleasure to meet you son."

John hid his confusion at the statement. Why would he be glad? Just because he was the second in command here? Because he had known Elizabeth? That wouldn't be pleasant. He had failed to save this man's only daughter; had failed to save his Elizabeth.

"Likewise sir. I'm glad to have the chance to meet Elizabeth's father." Well it was a half-truth. He'd always been intrigued by her family stories. But he was to blame for her death, and he didn't want her father to think that about him.

Or maybe he did. Maybe he wanted someone to actually agree with him, not someone to give out false condolences and pointless assurances.

"I know she was very close to you," John continued.

General Weir eyed him, but John couldn't perceive what the look meant. Unlike with Elizabeth.

"You can probably guess I'm part of the reason she had such an aversion to the military, but regardless of that, yes we were close. I know she was pretty close to you as well," he said softly. "She sent letters, talked about everyone as much as she could. Funny now that I know two of them were aliens."

A hint of a smile came to John's lips.

"But she wrote about you especially."

He chose not to comment, instead clearing his throat, "Would you like a tour sir?"

Ok, that was not at all what he had intended on saying. His pan had been meet everyone, share as little words as possible, and get to his quarters where he could be alone.

But now he felt the need to stay. Maybe it was the fact that with Andrew Weir here he felt closer to Elizabeth. Even though she was dead…

Andrew agreed and they made a quick stop to the control room, as John felt it was most exciting to see. When they got to the gym, Ronon and Teyla were engaged in a sparring match.

"And the two aliens you heard about, our friends Ronon Dex and Teyla Emmagan."

Upon hearing their names, Ronon and Teyla stopped – Teyla mid hit – and looked questioningly at John. John and Andrew stepped in from the doorway.

"Ronon, Teyla, this is General Andrew Weir," John introduced.

Ronon cocked his head ever so slightly at the name while Teyla's eyes narrowed discerningly. Both of their postures became solemn.

"Elizabeth Weir's father," Andrew added.

"It is very nice to meet you," Teyla said with a smile. Ronon bobbed his head. "I was very sad the day she was no longer with us."

"I know she was good friends with you Miss Emmagan. And you Ronon, well she did mention you often. I could tell she liked you."

Ronon smiled, looking somewhat amused, and shrugged. "We didn't talk much, but she's the reason I'm here. She was a good woman."

"Thank you," Andrew said kindly.

"Are you here to - …." Teyla left the sentence open.

"I'm here on a visit. I just can't believe my daughter ran such an amazing place like this, with the military no less, and I knew nothing about it."

"Well I hope you have a good stay, General."

Andrew and John left, but not before John caught – and ignored – the worried look Teyla sent him.

--

When they went to visit the labs, they found Rodney, Sam, and Zelenka all arguing over a string of unintelligible numbers.

"And this is where we have our resident geeks holed up – well Colonel Carter isn't a geek she's just smart. But these are the smartest people in in the galaxy who save our asses."

"Yeah and don't you forget it Sheppard. It's always us scientists, not all you gung ho soldiers."

"Hey!"

"Oh come on Sam, you know you don't count."

Sam rolled her eyes. "If I don't count in the scientists or soldiers areas, then where do I count?"

She typed something up and heard Radek grumble something in Czech.

They were just starting to argue again so John cleared his throat.

Rodney looked up, annoyance written on his features. "Yes, What?" he snapped. Well at least he hadn't called him Kirk, as he had taken to doing again lately. He didn't want Andrew to think of him like that.

"This," John gestured to Andrew, "is our guest, General Weir."

Rodney's eyes widened. "Oh right, you're Elizabeth's…" he faltered before finishing. "Father."

"Yes I am Doctor." They shook hands.

"Er, how are you? How do you like the place?"

"I'm Ok, could be better. And this place is incredible."

"Hmm that it is." He looked at the small men next to him."Radek what are you doing?" he pushed Radek away from the computer.

"Guess they haven't made out and gotten over it yet," mutter John, something he had told then to do a while back.

Andrew chuckled and looked on at the three, entertained. He had heard about them many times. He was glad he could see them as they were to his daughter. Except for John. He still seemed not quite himself.

They walked out and Andrew made a decision. "Can we talk privately, Colonel?"

John grimaced but said, "I'll show you one of the balconies so we can get some fresh air. Lorne showed me the one with the perfect view of the city."

"Sounds good."

They made their way through transporters, hallways, and automatically opening doors, before stepping out to a slight breeze and salty air. So maybe not exactly fresh.

John still felt amazed at the sight, coming out on to a balcony. The balcony, any one really, had always been 'theirs'. Their spot. To talk, or just to be there with each other.

And Andrew seemed impressed too. They both just waited there for a few moments looking out. Andrew let out a soft, "Wow."

And with that one word, John was brought back to four years ago, to his and Elizabeth's first time on the balcony. They had had that tense conversation, and his chest hurt now to think about the talk that was coming today. In both moments he had stood with a Weir, both wondering at the display. Instead of starting like he had last time though, he let Andrew.

"I've gotten a lot of nice words on my daughter. I can't tell you how proud I feel. But I couldn't wait to meet the good friends she had, all the way out here."

"I – I wanted to come personally to tell you. But at first she was just MIA. I refused to believe she was dead. When we found out she had been killed…I didn't think I could handle it. I just shut the boxes and shipped them off."

Tears were welling up in his eyes now, burning and blurring is vision.

"I don't blame you son." John's head shot over to him. "I know what happened, and I know what guilt looks like. It's eating you up inside pretty hard. But it wasn't your fault. If there's one thing I know about my daughter, it's that she could make her decisions, and once they were mad, they were made. And even if either of us did blame you, you have to know you'd be forgiven."

John blinked at his words and for the first time, he felt the guilt start to slip away. For the first time he wasn't focused on how he could have changed things. All that was left was the feeling of her loss. Which still hurt like hell.

"Thank you sir."

Andrew nodded and they were quiet before John broke the silence. "I miss her. A lot."

"Yeah me too." Andrew sighed heavily. "I don't think either of us is dealing with it well. That's why I came here. Once I learned about Atlantis, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some closure on my little Liz."

John's lips curved up. Liz?

John had had hope, but those months ago when they were told by the other them that she was dead, he had been devastated, unable to let go.

"She saved us all. I never said goodbye."

"John," he said, surprising him with his first name, "did you love my daughter?"

John practically stopped breathing. What? Damn.

Andrew only let the sudden shock of his question get to him for a moment.

"I can tell you care about her, more so than the others do. And I know she cared about you, a lot more than she thought she let on. Probably more than Simon. When we talked that time she was back in the US, back on Earth more like, she sounded homesick. I didn't understand that until now. But she said at least you were there. Now see, I'm her father, and I want to know: did you love my daughter?"

"…Not 'did' sir. Do. I still love her."

"Of course." He smiled at the younger flyboy.

"I never told her," John said quietly. "It wouldn't have been appropriate, but now I wish she'd known."

"She knows." John nodded gratefully. "And she'd want you to be happy."

"I can't forget her sir."

"No, she wouldn't want that. But you can continue like you used to, make her memory happy. Keep on fighting. For her."

Now John knew why Elizabeth had been so smart. He didn't respond, but Andrew knew he'd gotten through.

And as she had done three years ago, spreading the ashes from that ceramic Athosian jar, the two men who unconditionally loved Elizabeth Weir, finally said goodbye.

They stood there for a while, remembering. John's eyes once again lit up as he smiled when the warm sun glinted off a small round object in Andrew's hands.