Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money; I just do it for fun.
Author's Note: Written for my Sparktober Bingo Card, to the prompt 'SGC'.


It was his first day at the SGC, and they expected him to find her office on his own. He had always been at the top of his class in orientation at the Academy, but this facility was more of a labyrinth than a base, really.

He rounded another corner – he had lost count sometime after the twentieth – and bumped into someone else. He had the presence of mind to grab them at the elbows to prevent both their falls. It was only when they both regained their balance that he noticed that he bumped into none other than the person he was looking for, one Doctor Elizabeth Weir.

"Major Sheppard! Nice to see you."

"Doctor Weir. I'm sorry about…," he started, but she interrupted him by holding a hand up.

"It's my own fault. I wasn't looking where I was going. And you can't let go now, I'm not going to fall anymore," she said, and it was only then that he realized that he was still holding onto her elbows. "Everything's fine?"

"I was actually coming to see you. I have just arrived on the base this morning, and I wanted to report for duty."

"My office is actually the other way," she replied, pointing in the direction he was coming from.

"Like I said, I've just arrived."

"Well, then follow me to my office. I think we have a lot to talk about."

Once there – and really he must have walked by this door at least twice – she gestured for him to take a seat on the couch, and offered him a cup of coffee he gladly accepted. She sat on the other end of the couch, and they drank in silence for a couple of minutes, before she asked what he wanted to see her for.

"I hope you're not thinking about changing your mind," she said, and he could see that she was really afraid of that.

"No, no, I don't. I'm looking forward going to Atlantis and working for you. I just wanted to thank you for the job offer, in spite of my record."

"Just let me be clear, Major. I've offered you this job because of your record. I've learned many things since I've first set foot at the SGC, some of them the hard way. One of the most important things I've learned is that you don't leave people behind. Yes, your record isn't spotless, but it's only because you believe in that, too. I can only respect that. You're a valuable asset to this expedition, and I know you'll do a good job."

He didn't know what to say; no one had ever said that to him, and he was really touched that she thought that of him. He could see that she really meant it, and none of his previous commanding officers had ever expressed these kind thoughts about him. They had always said quite the opposite, actually, and to hear someone who barely knew him say that meant a lot to him.

"And I thought you only wanted me for my genes," he joked, but knowing that she could already see beyond the façade.

She smiled at him, and they finished their cup of coffee, with John asking more questions about the lost City of the Ancients. Like anybody else, he had heard about the myth of Atlantis before, but there was a lot he didn't know, and she was happy to provide answers to all of his questions.

He could already see that he was going to love working with her, for her, because she was passionate, something most people in his line of work lacked. He was too, and she didn't seem to mind it, as their conversation veered towards helicopters. He didn't really know how that happened, except that he had been saying he hoped that he would still be able to fly in Pegasus.

All in all, after what seemed like minutes but what had actually been hours, he noticed that it was already past dinner time. He wanted nothing more than to ask her to have dinner with him, in the mess hall, as colleagues, but he knew that it wasn't a good idea. Even though he would report directly to Colonel Summer, she would still be his boss, and he didn't want people to get the wrong idea if they were seen having dinner together.

Taking his leave from her, he walked down the unfamiliar halls of the SGC.

As he entered the quarters that had been assigned for him, he realized that in less than 36 hours, they would leave Earth for another planet, another galaxy, most likely for good. He would finally be able to start over his life, and all this because of one person.

Elizabeth Weir, leader of the expedition, trusted him, and he wasn't going to screw it up. Not this time.