Rodney was beginning to hate aliens with a passion he normally reserved for incompetents who tried to poach his scientific discoveries. Particularly aliens who tied him up, leather straps wrapping his wrists to two poles, and then left him dangling. At least, the poles were of Ancient technology, and if Rodney could have seen in the dark, he would have had the satisfaction of studying them at close range while he waited to be ceremonially disemboweled, or whatever undoubtedly dire fate was planned for him.
He took his umpteenth deep breath, trying not to keep count, because that would only accentuate the length of time he'd been left to wait. His team was here on this benighted planet. He had to trust that they would rescue him. Sheppard was probably smiling winsomely at the headman's pretty daughter right now.
As if on cue, a hand clasped over his mouth, and Rodney relaxed infinitesimally as Sheppard's low drawl hissed in his ear, "Be quiet, okay?"
Rodney nodded, happy to obey. He could be quiet while Sheppard used that large knife he always carried to slice the leather, and then they could sneak off, meet with Teyla and Ronon at some spot Sheppard had selected, escape to the jumper and fly off through the Stargate. True, it would have been nicer if they could take one of these Ancient poles with them, but Rodney had tugged on them enough to accept neither would come out of the ground easily, and he was really ready to get away from the decaying temple behind him.
"Rodney, are you a virgin?" John asked softly in his ear.
Rodney's "What?" was too loud, so they went through a repeat of John's hand over his mouth and another hissed warning to be quiet.
"Are you a virgin?"
"Why the hell are you asking me that?"
"Because when you walked past the poles and they glowed at you, the natives said that means you're a virgin."
The poles, of course, had not glowed at John or Ronon or Teyla. The poles had glowed blue at Rodney, and Rodney had thought that was extremely cool, that he'd activated an Ancient technology when John hadn't. Until the natives had freaked out, tied him up to those same poles, and hustled the others away. "Of course not. How could I be a virgin? I'm a grown man. An adult. I have two Ph.Ds."
"Rodney, we don't have time to deal with lies or embarrassment. We're not sure what they're planning on doing to you, but Teyla doesn't think it's good. Now are you a virgin or not?"
"Oh…Christ." Rodney sagged against one pole, away from John's lean body. "Yes, all right? Sometimes things just don't happen. And that isn't anyone's business but my own."
"The Ancients made it everyone's business."
"Then just get me out of here, and we can forget this ever came up! And it can go back to being no one's business but my own," Rodney hissed at John, intensely aware of the long, lean form standing right behind him. He jerked his wrists against the leather, trying to make John get the clue.
"Look, Ronon tried to fight them when they took our guns. He's tied up and guarded. I don't think I can get him free without killing a lot of them."
"Fine, kill a lot of them then!"
John's hands came to rest on Rodney's torso, sneaking under his vest, feeling incredibly warm through the material of his shirt. "I have a better idea."
"And that would be?"
"We'll get rid of your virginity."
Rodney froze because hell, yeah, that idea sounded great. He'd love to get rid of his virginity, which had to be the single most embarrassing fact in either the Pegasus or Milky Way galaxies. And he'd love to have John, tall, handsome, snarky, intelligent John, be the one to do it. But not tied up on an alien planet, and not out of obligation, a notion that got his vocal cords working again. "That's the most horrible idea I've ever heard in my life. Now would you cut me loose?"
"You gotta trust me, Rodney," John whispered softly in his ear, even as his hands moved down, working to release Rodney's trousers, forcing them down his thighs. The cold night air hit Rodney's exposed dick, which lost all its incipient enthusiasm for John's plan. "I know what I'm doing."
There was more noise of clothes being adjusted, and Rodney realized that John had taken care of his own trousers when John's dick pressed between the cheeks of his ass. "I cannot believe that you're – ahhhh." John had started nibbling on Rodney's ear, making his protestations trail off because Rodney never realized that cartilage could hold so many nerve endings but surely it did, because all of them were tingling. Rodney arched back unconsciously, his head angling to allow John's lips better access, his butt snuggling into John's dick. "This is stupid. This is bad. John, stop this," he babbled.
But John didn't seem to be listening to Rodney's babbling, or perhaps he heard Rodney's body better than his voice. One hand closed around Rodney's dick, warming it, one finger of the other hand slipping into Rodney's ass. The finger was coated with some sort of lubrication, and it didn't really hurt as it stretched the sphincter muscles, but it didn't feel particularly great either.
"John, I don't like – " Rodney's protests ended with a gasp because John hit a spot, oh hell, that must be his prostate, and Rodney discovered that the myth was truth. He'd thought masturbation was a great sensation, but it was dirt compared to John's long finger pressing on that tiny bundle of nerves inside him.
"Good?" John asked. To Rodney's ears, his tone wavered between uncertainty and gloating.
"God, yes, John," Rodney moaned, his ability to think rationally shutting down as his brain went into overload. This was bad, really bad, they'd both end up regretting it, but John's fingers in his ass were creating more pleasure than Rodney had believed could truly exist, and he couldn't argue any more.
Rodney's breathing was labored, his chest strained from the shaking of his body, when he felt John's fingers slide out of his body, and something else press in. God, John's dick, he was finally, actually being fucked by John Sheppard, an experience he'd wanted since he'd seen the unknown flyboy sprawled in the Ancient weapons chair in Antarctica.
John thrust rhythmically into Rodney's body, and the flex of his hips was somehow easy and relaxed but determined, all at the same time, just like John himself. His cock dug deeper and deeper, settling into Rodney's body like it belonged there, which Rodney really wished it did. Wished John thought it did, instead of as some part of a twisted rescue.
John's hands wrapped around Rodney's cock, a sensation even more consuming than the rocking of his hips. His fingers were longer than Rodney's, his hands stronger, the pattern of calluses more pronounced on his gun hand. Rodney's dick felt incredibly warm and alive, sensitized to John's every smooth stroke as he drove Rodney out of his mind.
The night was dark, but the Ancient poles on each side of Rodney began to glow, casting a dim blue light. Rodney yanked on his bindings, the leather digging into his wrists, a tortured voice he could barely recognize as his own begging desperately to be let go. He didn't want to only experience this; he wanted to participate, to touch John's body everywhere, to try to return some of the unbearable pleasure John was giving him.
"Can't, Rodney, can't. Not now," John gritted out, and Rodney's brain couldn't process what he meant, because the only working part of his body were his hips, slamming back into John's, and his mouth, which had opened wide and was emitting loud groaning noises. The Ancient poles seemed to pulse with his moans, the blue light growing more intense and brighter, as Rodney came longer and harder than he ever had in his life.
The bindings and John's hands held him up through the aftershocks, as natives came to stand on the temple steps, undoubtedly alerted by Rodney's cries. Their faces were blue at first, illuminated by the glow from the poles, before the color faded away. The poles once again appeared inert, leaving the natives' faces lit only by their torches. They muttered amongst themselves as John calmly put their clothing back in place, finally slitting the leather strips with his knife. Rodney rubbed at the marks on his wrists and tried not to sway from exhaustion and the release of adrenaline.
"We'll be leaving now," John announced. "We'd like Ronon freed and our gear returned."
The headman stepped forward and bowed down, before nodding to one of the other natives who ran off to obey John's demand. "May the gods bless you and your progeny," the headman said.
"Thanks," John answered. "May they also bless you and yours."
"So McKay's not a virgin anymore?" Ronon asked casually.
John shrugged. "Who the hell knows what the Ancient device was really for? The natives are convinced the problem is solved."
Yes, okay, it had been long past time to lose his virginity, but still…having such a rather shattering experience discussed so negligently irritated Rodney. "The poles undoubtedly identify the level of a person's intelligence, which is why I was the only person to activate them."
Rodney waited for the retort, the snarky comment from John about the poles glowing brighter when they'd combined and what that would mean, but the comment didn't come. Instead, John flew the jumper and everyone sat in silence, looking blankly out the front window. "What are you doing?" Rodney asked sharply, realizing John was veering away from the direction of the gate. "We need to get off this hellacious planet."
"I remember a stream we flew over on the way to the village. I thought you might want to clean up a little before we go through the gate."
"Oh." John's suggestion made Rodney conscious of his state, the remnants of dried whatever-John-had-used-as-lube, sweat, and come inside and on his clothes. "No, I'm not much for natural bathing. Could you – could you dock in the jumper bay?"
"Sure." The puddle jumper changed course under John's capable hands. "I'll debrief Elizabeth if you want to take a shower."
"Thank you." Sidetracking Elizabeth and letting Rodney escape quietly from the bay was the least John could do, Rodney supposed, considering that if John had been willing to kill a few natives, Rodney wouldn't be looking and smelling like he'd rolled out of a cathouse. "What are you going to say?"
"That the natives freaked out and tied you to some poles for reasons that we didn't understand before finally allowing us to leave. That there was some Ancient technology but no ZPMs, and no reason to assume that there was one. Nothing they seemed interested in trading. No reason to return." John looked at Ronon, Teyla, and finally Rodney, sitting behind him. "Right?"
"That sounds like an accurate description to me," Teyla agreed. Ronon just shrugged.
"Right," Rodney said softly. No reason to return, no reason to discuss. One shower and PXF-241 was behind them for good.
The shower was as long and as hot as Rodney could bear, as if water could wash away the memory of what he knew he couldn't have again. He stepped into his bedroom, a towel slung around his waist, wiping down his hair with another, and gave a loud, "Agh!" and jerked back, his heart racing, before he realized the figure sitting in his desk chair was John. "What are you doing here?" he asked, wrapping the towel in his hands around his chest. Not that it mattered – John's cock has been in his ass, did he really even care if he saw Rodney's naked chest?
"I thought we should talk. I didn't mean to startle you."
"Because yes, of course, I'm so accustomed to people making themselves at home in my bedroom," Rodney snarked. "And no, I don't want to talk. I don't see that we have anything to talk about."
"You had sex for the first time. That's kinda big deal."
"Which happily means I'm no longer the oldest living virgin in the Pegasus or Milky Way Galaxies. Which is particularly good since the next oldest is undoubtedly all of sixteen. And that's all it means." Rodney kept his face a mask of impatience. He wasn't going to appear pathetic in front of John by revealing how much he wished it meant more and had happened in better circumstances.
"I think you should see Carson."
"And see, I don't. Because you were gentle, thank you for that at least, and I'm not hurt, and I'm not going to get pregnant. So seeing Carson would be as pointless as this conversation. And don't you dare bring up Heightmeyer."
Rodney rubbed them. "A little bruised but the skin wasn't broken. Not anything worth bothering Carson. Which you know it isn't, if I don't want to see Carson."
John sighed in impatience, apparently not liking Rodney's attitude. "I want you to know that I’m clean."
"Considering the rather extensive medical exam we all suffered before being allowed through the Stargate, it never occurred to me to worry. Now do you have anything intelligent to say?"
"No. I guess not." John stood, shifting. "Look, I am sorry it was against your wishes. It seemed the quickest way out of the situation. But it's not the way a first time should be."
"At this point in my life, I'm sure my first time would have been humiliating or embarrassing in some fashion." Rodney waved one hand, dismissing the entire experience. "So let's just forget all this, okay? I intend to."
John nodded, as if he would obey that instruction, though his expression was still unhappy as he left. When the door snicked shut, Rodney slid down the wall, collapsing to sit on the floor, burying his head in his hands.
Despite what he'd told John, he knew he'd never forget what happened between them on PXF-241. Never.
Rodney's stomach was in concert with Rodney's mind to drive him insane. The memory of the pleasure he'd known on PXF-241 haunted his thoughts at inopportune moments, which meant about every 10 minutes, leaving him yearning and restless for more, while his stomach swung from one extreme to another, queasy to starving. He'd never experienced a time when he'd had to force himself to eat to stave off a hypoglycemic reaction, but that bizarre event had occurred several times over the last two months.
Happily, today was a starving day, and their new chef, courtesy of the Daedelus, had obliged with a full cooked meal prepared with mystery meat and mystery vegetables, either from the Athosians or traded from another planet, and yummy looking bread. Rodney didn't know and didn't care where the food came from, because everything smelled divine as he loaded his plate and stepped away from the food counter to find a table.
The fellow in the line before him had stopped in place, causing Rodney to almost bump into him. "Excuse me?" he said automatically, meaning 'get your butt out of my way.' He didn't recognize the fellow, who must be one of the new guys from the Daedelus, but he recognized that he was a Corporal, appreciating once again that military insignia made remembering names unnecessary. He hated wasting his memory on trivialities.
"You should excuse yourself," the Corporal said, "eating like that."
The obvious disdain threw Rodney. Being all alone in a hostile galaxy had made the members of the Atlantis expedition depend on each other, and Rodney had gotten accustomed to no more than an occasional eye roll when one of the grunts found him objectionable. "Eating like what?" he asked, knowing this stranger with the intense dark eyes thought he'd done something wrong, but not sure what.
"Eating like a pig, man. You're putting on weight. You endanger your team. And when you endanger your team, you endanger all of us."
The accusation made Rodney blazingly angry. This newbie had no apparent respect for the sacrifices he'd made for Atlantis, the number of times he'd saved the city. "You self-righteous pig – "
John's calm, firm voice, saying, "Corporal," cut through Rodney's tantrum. "If you're not hungry enough to sit down and eat, maybe you need a little exercise." John took the Corporal's plate from him. "Ronon, would you mind pacing him on a run around Atlantis? The long way."
"Sure," said Ronon. He started toward the door, stopping to give the Corporal a look.
"Now," John said, and the Corporal obeyed with a nasty last glare at Rodney. John grasped Rodney's elbow, guiding him toward a table at the back of the room.
"What the hell was his problem?" Rodney snapped, livid, even more irritated to realize the guy wouldn't have said anything if he'd known John was close. "Who the hell does he think he is?"
John shrugged, taking a bite from the plate he'd confiscated. "Marines can be a tough bunch."
"He had no right to make that comment. I have more valuable things to do with my life than push-ups."
"That was unpleasant," Teyla said, sitting down by them with her own plate.
"We're still having some settling pains with the new people," John replied, as if the scene had not been all that important.
"He insulted me!"
"You are gaining weight."
Rodney gaped at John, appalled at the sheer disloyalty of his comment. "I am not gaining weight. I've barely been eating lately."
"He is right, Rodney," Teyla inserted calmly. "You are gaining weight."
Rodney looked back and forth at John and Teyla as they dug into their food, not aware how devastating their agreement had been to Rodney's pride. "Fine," he said tightly. "I won't gain any weight tonight as I'm no longer hungry." He pushed away from the table.
Teyla seemed to recognize his distress, as she reached for his arm, saying, "Rodney, please, I did not – "
John caught his other arm. "Rodney, if you're really not eating, then something's wrong. You should see Carson."
"Carson's your answer to everything, isn't it? And the only thing wrong is that I mistakenly thought you were my friends." Rodney jerked away from them and stalked out.
Though Rodney was determined not to follow John's suggestion, somehow he found himself storming toward the infirmary, slamming in and demanding a complete physical to explain his mysterious weight gain. He'd show John and that Corporal. Carson clearly doubted Rodney's assertion, though he wasn't vocal about it, and Rodney was almost certain that Carson was doing the tests initially only to humor him. Carson probably figured Rodney was lying about not eating or being a hypochondriac again, but he was obligated to go through the motions to shut him up and get him out of his infirmary.
Then Carson frowned and looked perplexed, and did more tests, and then redid some of his original ones, and then he pulled out weird bits of Ancient technology that Rodney wasn't even sure Carson knew what they actually did, but Carson used them, despite his normal nervousness about his ATA gene. Carson made them glow and waved them over Rodney, making weird Scottish noises under his breath. Finally, when Rodney was about to get completely freaked, convinced he was dying of a horrible new disease known only in the Pegasus Galaxy, Carson told him to get dressed and come to his office.
Rodney was still pulling on his shirt, his shoes untied, when he sat down opposite Carson. "Tell me, I can handle it," he said bravely, thinking that perhaps Carson would tell John of Rodney's steadiness in hearing the bitter news, after Rodney had died a lingering and painful death.
"Rodney, I dinna quite know how to say this…" Carson took a deep breath, and now Rodney really was starting to get scared, and not merely running through heroic fantasies in his head, "have you had sex lately? Say, within the last two months? In any unusual circumstances?"
"What kind of a question is that?" Rodney demanded, horror starting to dawn because yes, he had sex once within the last two months, and if being tied up on temple steps and surrounded by blue glowing Ancient technology counted, the circumstances had definitely been unusual.
Apparently finding the nerve to get this over quickly, Carson announced, "Rodney, you're pregnant."
Rodney laughed, and then he stopped laughing, because Carson looked worried and sincere and not at all like he was joking. "I'm what?"
"You're pregnant. I know this is difficult to accept but the test results clearly show that your body's been changed inside. You have all the anatomy necessary to have a baby, and you're pregnant."
"What were the unusual circumstances, Rodney? When you had sex?"
"Oh god." Staring at Carson's earnest face, still trying to make sense of his words, Rodney talked about PXF-241, and having sex by the Ancient poles. He didn't explain the whole embarrassing reason why. There were some things even his doctor didn't need to know.
"And the man? The father? Who was he?"
"Does it matter?"
"If I'm to make sure of the genetic health of the child, then yes, I need to know."
Rodney struggled, not wanting to say anything that might cause problems for John, who was irritating as hell but still his friend and who would be in serious trouble for having sex with a man, but Carson was his doctor, and he was sworn to confidentiality. Besides, if it wasn't John, it was Ronon or a native, and he really couldn't handle whatever Carson might say about combining DNA from two different galaxies. "Colonel Sheppard. But you can't tell anyone."
Carson nodded, apparently unsurprised. "That's good at least. If we're going to be dealing with something this unusual, at least I've got full medical histories on the two of you."
"Are we?" Rodney asked quickly. "Going to be dealing with something this unusual? Will it…last?"
"As far as I can tell, when the Ancient technology changed you, it did a damn fine job of it. You should be able to carry to full term. The birth'll have to be a Caesarean though."
"The birth." Rodney placed his hands on the little rounding of his belly, still not quite believing Carson's words that a new life was growing within him. He'd always thought that he should have children, that his brilliance should be carried into the next generation. Being the pregnant parent had never been part of that plan.
"Perhaps you should talk this over with Colonel Sheppard."
"No! I don't want John to know." And in that sense, could this get any worse? Sure, as a donor of genetic material, John was a great choice; tall, athletic, good-looking, and way more intelligent than he let most people realize. But as someone who'd only had sex with Rodney out of duty? Who'd apologized for the event, rather than taking Rodney into his arms and declaring his undying love? And now to have to tell him that he'd knocked up Rodney, like they were stupid high school students?
"He's going to have to know eventually, Rodney. Everyone in Atlantis is going to know."
"Yes, but…not yet." No, not yet. Rodney needed time to process this information, to absorb it before he had to handle anyone else's reactions and all the possible repercussions to his personal life and his relationship with John.
Carson gave a sympathetic smile and slid a disc across the desk. "I know you don't like medicine, but I've put all the information I've compiled here. I'm sure you'll have more questions once you've had a chance to accept the news."
Rodney touched the disc lightly, as if it held dangerous information. "Not the child's sex."
"I thought you'd want to know?"
"I want to know if it's healthy. That's all."
Carson took the disc back, popping it into his laptop, his fingers typing quickly as he obviously redacted some information. He popped the disc out and slid it back. "Look, Rodney, why don't you think about this a bit. Come back tomorrow so I can give you some prenatal vitamins and we can talk about your diet and exercise."
Diet? Exercise? Not even born yet, and the child was already messing up his life.
So Wonder Stud had gotten him knocked up, a thought that was oddly perfect and completely wrong. Of all the people in the Pegasus Galaxy, of course Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard would be the one to impregnate a man. And of course, he, Doctor Rodney McKay, would be the man who would have to deal with the repercussions, for at least the next 18 years. More like 25-27 years really, considering that the child would undoubtedly share Rodney's brilliance and need some level of support through achieving his first Ph.D.
Rodney's feet wandered as aimlessly as his thoughts after leaving Carson's office, not sure where he wanted to go, and feeling that erratic rambling seemed an appropriate response to having his entire life spun through a kaleidoscope. He knew he didn't want to go back to the lab and talk to his fellow scientists. He certainly didn't want to go to the mess or the control room or any place he might meet John.
Finally, he found himself heading to the observation tower, which seemed like a good destination, so he quickened his pace a bit, almost running by the time he slammed out the doors to the balcony that offered the most spectacular view in Atlantis. He stopped suddenly because a dark-haired lean figure was standing by the railing, and he wondered if he could still escape, before it registered that the figure wasn't quite lean enough, and the hair was too curly and not disheveled enough. The fellow glanced back to see who had invaded his solitude, and Rodney recognized Sergeant Bates. "Sergeant," he said, abruptly.
"Doctor," Bates responded, pushing himself away from the railing, clearly intending to leave.
"Don't let me – "
"No, that's okay. I need to get back to duty."
Rodney gave a smile that probably looked more like a grimace and didn't protest, taking the Sergeant's place at the railing. He looked down and around, at the city spread out beneath him, at the ocean that lasted forever, and contemplated the irony of his situation. Sure, he'd always thought his genes should be perpetuated, but frankly, he didn't like kids. They were inquisitive and annoying and had the tendency to cry and get upset for the most ridiculous reasons. The vague plan for his progeny had always involved some beautiful obliging woman who would actually bear the little monsters, and handle the tedious years until they began speaking coherently and their natural brilliance revealed itself.
The vague plan never called for him to be a single parent in a distant galaxy.
Should he go home? He contemplated the notion for a moment. There were certainly benefits. He could hop a ride on the Daedelus's next trip, find a job at a think tank where he wouldn't be around a lot of people, hire a nanny, and settle by his sister. She had kids and undoubtedly knew many helpful things about raising them. But then he discarded the idea. He couldn't vanish from sight for the next 7 months. Bad enough to be a pregnant man in Atlantis; even worse to find himself on the cover of a tabloid magazine thanks to a jealous colleague.
Besides, Carson would insist that he be treated at the SGC, and with the trips of the Daedelus back and forth, the news would filter eventually to everyone on Atlantis, who weren't as smart as him, but they certainly weren't totally stupid. They'd realize that he'd left because of the baby.
So…stay here, on Atlantis, and deal with it. He'd dealt with the Wraith and the Genii and brain-exploding nanobots, how bad could one small child be? After all, it would be his child, a child created by Ancient technology, and it would be the first child born in Atlantis in over 10,000 years. It was bound to be a special child.
The wind blew crisply, bringing the strong scent of seawater, making him shiver. He'd been cold on the night he'd gotten pregnant, except where John touched him, John's hot breath on his skin, John's warm hands wrapped around his dick, making every single one of Rodney's nerves sizzle.
How was John going to react? Did John even want a child? He seemed to like them, spending time with the Athosian kids whenever he visited the mainland, but he'd never reminisced about his childhood or discussed plans for the future that included a family. Would John be happy or freaked out or furious? Freaked, Rodney guessed.
Thoughts of John led him to wonder if the Ancient device would have worked if John didn't have such a strong Ancient gene. Or if Rodney hadn't had the gene therapy. Impossible to tell, really, without going back to PXF-241 and taking apart those poles, and Rodney didn't intend to set foot on that planet ever again.
He needed to focus on making plans. Larger living quarters, and a crib. Those things that hung from the ceiling. Little clothes. A pacifier, definitely a pacifier. The Ancients must have had similar items. He'd start discreetly searching unused living quarters in the morning. People expected him to explore the city regularly. At least he wouldn't have to explain his actions, so he could start getting prepared while delaying public awareness of his condition.
He'd need more than just physical objects. Formula and – oh god, no – was he going to develop breasts? Did he really need to find some way to surreptitiously order formula, or had the Ancient poles taken care of that too? Carson would have mentioned mammary glands, wouldn't he?
Rodney felt the disc in his pocket, the disc Carson had given him with all the medical data. Maybe he'd better go do some reading first. He took off, walking swiftly, heading to his room and his laptop. At least he could tell Carson he was already working on getting exercise.
The thing about munchies pre-Daedelus was that options were severely limited. Powerbar or MRE? MRE or Powerbar? Fortunately, Rodney liked both, so chose primarily based on whichever was closest to hand.
The baby, unfortunately, didn't seem to like either Powerbars or MREs, and wanted Rodney to eat something…different. Rodney sighed, rummaging through the kitchen, stocked with all kinds of convenience foods that the new chef had thought the people in Atlantis would enjoy having available. Chips, crisps, pretzels, chocolate, pickles…food in tins, food in wrappers, food in bite-sizes. Nothing appealed.
In despair, Rodney began rifling through the refrigerator. Maybe something – ugh – fresh would satisfy the craving. He was sniffing at a piece of fruit that the Athosians had harvested when John's voice spoke behind him. "I thought you weren't overeating."
Rodney flinched, fumbled with the fruit in his hand, almost dropping it, and steadied himself again. "Because, oh yes, fruit is so bad for me," he bitched, turning around. The Colonel leaned in the kitchen doorway, dressed in black t-shirt and trousers, hair looking even more adorably mussed than normal, like he'd gotten out of bed and not combed it. Rodney ignored the twinge of appreciation he felt at the sight and went to the sink, rinsing the fruit. "Did you need something, Colonel?"
"I want to know what's going on."
Rodney bit into the fruit and yes, it was exactly what he wanted. What the baby wanted. Firm, crunchy, and sweet. "I'm having a healthy midnight snack, that's what's going on."
"You've been detached since PXF-241, and now you're actively avoiding me."
"Avoiding you?" Rodney made himself laugh. "Believe it or not, Colonel, some of us have more important things to do than hang around with people whose greatest love is blowing things up and whose greatest concern is when the Daedelus will arrive to replenish his hair gel."
"What are you doing, wandering around Atlantis so much?"
Christ, had the man been watching him? "I'm the head of the science team in a city that we're researching. Maybe I'm, oh I don't know, wild guess, researching?"
"I want to know what's wrong."
"Nothing is wrong."
"I can talk to Carson."
"No, you can't." Rodney glared at John, angry at his pushiness. He was doing his best not to impose on John, trying to delay creating problems for his career, god only knows how Caldwell would react to this news, couldn't the man appreciate that fact and back the hell off? "There is nothing wrong with me. And even if there were, Carson wouldn't tell you anything. I'm the head of the science team, not a part of the military contingent. You have no authority over me. None."
Rodney figured he must have come across pretty hard, because John got tight-lipped and looked pissed, but curse his stubbornness, he wasn't mad enough to stalk off. "I thought we were friends, Rodney. Friends. Is this because of the sex?"
"Believe it or not, Colonel, I had no great attachment to my virginity and no problem with losing it, other than your presumptiveness. I'm not nursing a secret grudge at you because of it. It may stun you to learn, but I'm important. And I have important things to do." With that, Rodney pushed past John and fled. The munchies had already made him feel queasy, and arguing with John was causing his stomach to roil. Throwing up would definitely not ease John's suspicions.
Though nothing could force Carson to tell Rodney's secrets, neither could anything stop John from trying to learn them through manipulation and charm, as Rodney discovered at his next doctor's appointment. "He's worried about you," Carson scolded, waving one of the Ancient devices over Rodney. "You should tell him the truth."
"Not yet," Rodney said stubbornly. "You didn't tell him anything, did you?"
"Of course not!" Carson said, offended. "I don't break my patient's confidentiality." Carson studied the results on the scanner. "Still dinna want to know anything about the baby?"
"Only that it's healthy. Nothing else, no." And he didn't. He was planning and preparing, but he wasn't ready yet to visualize the baby, to start wondering if his little boy would have John's dark hair and smirk, or his little girl would share John's sweet smile. He tried to convince himself that the child would resemble him, but he knew this notion was likely to be delusional. Considering his luck so far, the child would take completely after John, and Rodney would be saddled forever with the reminder of his one encounter of exquisite forced passion.
"Everything's fine. You're in good health and the baby is progressing normally. You can get dressed."
Sitting up, Rodney snagged his shirt off the chair and began pulling it on. "I wanted to talk to you about formula."
Carson nodded. "I’m ahead of you on that one. I put in a request for the Daedelus to bring back some maternity supplies. I'll send most of them to my Athosian patients, but I'll keep enough for you.
"Oh, good. Thank you. I've got a lot of the things I need, I think. I've been finding them in the city."
"What are you going to do, use a 10,000 year old pram?"
"I like the idea." Rodney shrugged, almost embarrassed, not sure how to explain the connection he felt with the child conceived through the use of Ancient technology being born in Atlantis. "But I don't even really know all I need. Could you – ?"
"Aye, I'll make you a list."
"And you might put little explanatory notes. You know, just in case."
Carson smiled. "I'll do that," he promised. Rodney felt a strange gratitude that the doctor had handled everything so calmly, as if they were dealing with a normal birth, not a medical miracle.
Sometimes Rodney surprised himself with his own focus over the next few weeks, how he concentrated on preparations, on following Carson's instructions, at not showing any weakness that would trigger John's alarm. But then he hadn't achieved two Ph.D.s merely through his own natural brilliance, but with study and dedication. If he was going to be saddled with a little monster, he was going to be ready for it. Most of the time he even managed to convince himself that it would be a brilliant biddable adorable child and he'd make a fabulous parent.
But then the unexpected occurred, a minor thing in the normal course of events, almost mundane by the standards of the Pegasus Galaxy. And Rodney found himself scared, very scared, and not for himself. It had been a long time since he'd scared for anyone else. He remembered when he used to feel scared for his sister, vulnerable but defiant Jeannie, tears welling in her blue eyes that she refused to cry as their parents raged, and then he blocked that memory. Like him, Jeannie had survived their childhood, and they had both grown up fine. He needed to focus on his child, his child who would be fine, just fine, beautiful and healthy and intelligent.
Dimly, he heard Sheppard talking on his earpiece. "Yes, Atlantis, we'll need medical assistance in the gateroom. Ronon's ankle is sprained, possibly broken. The rest of us are good."
Carson's worried voice broke into the communication. "A stretcher is on the way, Colonel. You said everyone else is fine?"
"I was punched. In the gut." Rodney heard his own voice breaking into the comm link, small and scared. Not for himself.
"I've got two stretchers on the way then. Rodney, don't try to walk, okay? I want to examine you before you move."
The mantra from Rodney's mind spoke out loud. "It's going to be okay. Nothing's wrong."
"Of course, Rodney," Carson answered in his best soothe-the-patient voice, and Rodney clung to the reassurance. "I just want to check."
The connection broke and Rodney glanced at John in the next seat. John looked back at him, clearly baffled. Ronon spoke before John could, his normal rumbling voice torn between irritation and curiosity. "Is he more concerned about your gut than my leg?"
Rodney looked away from John's eyes, because the bafflement was fading, replaced by an inquisitive glitter that said he knew something was afoot and he wanted to know what it was. "Carson's a medical doctor," Rodney bluffed. "Medicine is practically voodoo. Who knows how a medical doctor thinks?" But his arms stayed cradled around his belly, and he feared John would recognize his babbling as deception.
"Right. Voodoo. A punch to the belly more important as a broken ankle. Sounds like proper triage to me. Just like on M*A*S*H."
"Just fly the damn ship, why don't you?" Rodney risked a quick peek at John, hoping he hadn't sounded too hysterical. But the Colonel was preoccupied by his instruments, landing the puddle jumper on the gateroom floor.
Carson rushed into the jumper as soon as it touched down, checking quickly on Ronon's wound, before directing his assistant to handle it, and slipping into the space between the front seats to check on Rodney. But John stayed in the pilot seat, watching, and Rodney kept his hands over his belly, not letting Carson lift his shirt. Rodney glared at John, Carson gave both John and Rodney frustrated looks, and John raised his eyebrows with a mock 'what can I do, Ronon's stretcher is in the way' innocence.
Carson stopped trying to raise Rodney's shirt for a visual exam, and waved his instruments over the material. What he saw must have reassured him, because he smiled at Rodney, who couldn't stop himself from visibly sagging in relief. No reason to be scared, none.
"I'm tired of the excuses and the lies." John sounded irritated. "I want to know why Rodney's in the infirmary over one punch."
"I don't have to explain my medical decisions to you, Colonel."
"Carson." The battle outside the curtains around his bed stopped as Carson opened them enough to look in.
"Carson…tell them. Tell John and Elizabeth."
"Are you sure?"
"Aren't you the one who's been badgering me to do it? Of course I'm sure."
"Rodney." Elizabeth touched his shoulder, her eyes soft with concern. "We don't want to invade your privacy, but if there's something wrong, we want to help."
"Nothing's wrong, Elizabeth. In fact, it's a medical miracle. Not a modern one though. An Ancient one. I'm – " Rodney faltered, his eyes switching from Elizabeth to John before they settled on the blanket covering him. "I'm pregnant."
"Pardon me?" Elizabeth said in shock while John stayed silent.
"He's pregnant, Elizabeth. It's true. The baby was created by the intervention of Ancient technology. It's quite fascinating, really, how the female anatomy has been so neatly fitted into – well," Carson's explanation stuttered off. "The important thing is that Rodney's healthy and the baby's healthy."
John spoke for the first time. "PXF-241."
Rodney nodded, his gaze still on his knees.
"PXF-241?" Elizabeth asked.
"Conception occurred on that mission," Rodney said, as John turned around and walked out. Just walked out of the infirmary, like his part in the conversation was done. Rodney stared after him.
A line of confusion crossed Elizabeth's brow before clearing suddenly. "Is John…?"
"The child is mine, Elizabeth. Mine and only mine."
Elizabeth nodded, but her expression said she didn't completely believe it. "Well, I guess we'll need to create an official birth certificate form. If you've intending to remain in Atlantis?"
"Yes, definitely," Rodney said quickly. He couldn't understand John's reaction, he didn't know how he'd handle being a single parent, but he did know he couldn't give up his life's work.
Rodney turned to face John in confusion. He knew this confrontation was coming as soon as John had walked in up as Carson was releasing him from medical. Having the Colonel quietly follow at his heels all the way from the infirmary to his quarters had been a bit disconcerting, and Rodney hadn't even tried to shut the door in his face, well aware that John's natural control of Ancient technology far surpassed his own induced ability. But he'd rather expected some sort of accusation as John's opening gambit. 'Like…what the hell are you doing, having my child without telling me?' But 'Show me'? "Show you what?"
And yes, John was staring at Rodney's midsection, the slight paunch that was now more baby-created than a symptom of Rodney's general preference for a sedentary lifestyle. With John's head bent and his wild hair falling over his forehead, Rodney couldn't see the expression in his eyes. "I'm not taking off my clothes for you."
"Please, Rodney. Show me."
The quiet plea undid Rodney's defenses. He'd never assumed that John would even want to have a baby, much less display this driving need to see the merest evidence of its existence. He grasped the hem of his shirt, pulling it up and over his head, looking down at himself, feeling John's eyes on him, the skin that was beginning to look stretched. "Happy now?"
John took a step forward and another one, sinking to his knees in front of Rodney, resting his head on Rodney's belly. Hesitantly, Rodney dropped his shirt on the floor and placed his hands on John, one in his hair, one on John's shoulder.
"Baby," John said softly.
"Baby," Rodney agreed.
"Boy or girl?"
"I won't let Carson tell me."
"Girl," John said, surprising Rodney. "I hope she's a little girl." His fingers worked at Rodney's belt buckle and the fly of his pants, loosening them enough to reveal the last rounded section of Rodney's belly. And then he touched Rodney's belly, spreading his hands wide, pressing soft kisses to Rodney's skin.
"John…are you happy about this?" Rodney didn’t try to hide the disbelief in his voice.
"I never thought I'd be a father."
"I can't be your choice as the – person – to have your baby."
John didn't speak for a while, continuing his devotion of kisses and touches. "You're smart and good-looking and healthy."
Good-looking? Rodney tucked that adjective away to be cherished later. "And arrogant and selfish."
John tilted his head back enough that Rodney could see his grin. "I can see you demanding only the best for her. You'll make a great parent." His face sobered as he added, "I hope I will be too."
Then John returned to the kissing and touching, and Rodney shifted uneasily, because his initial mental 'this is a weird reaction from John' was fading into acceptance that the Colonel simply was the most unpredictable person he'd ever met. Unfortunately, a physical 'wow this is nice' reaction was taking over, and if he didn't get rid of John soon, his dick would start bopping John on the chin, demanding its share of the attention. "I need to visit my lab now, so if you could – ah – " get off your knees and the hell away from me before I embarrass both of us, please.
Shaking his head in negation, John started unlacing Rodney's shoes. "Carson said you should rest."
"Fine, I'll rest then. You can go back to your duties. I am capable of putting myself to bed," Rodney said frantically, his voice rising, because John had finished with his shoes and had started back on his trousers, unzipping the zipper the rest of the way. There was no way John could miss Rodney's dick, half-hard and swinging from the gap in his boxers, but he didn't react, just tugging the boxers off his hips, coaxing Rodney to step out of them and the rest of his clothes. Rodney found himself walked to the bed, the covers and sheets lifted back, and John guiding him to lie down. Expecting John to put the covers back over him, Rodney was shocked when John kicked off his shoes and laid down too, curling between Rodney's legs, his mouth capturing Rodney's dick.
After the ease and experience he'd shown on PXF-241 in performing anal sex, Rodney had wondered if John was bi or gay, or just had really adventurous girlfriends, but – oh my fucking god. There was nothing like good hard evidence to support the theory that John had played with men before and this was it, because no, no way was this blowjob done by a novice. This was heat and passion and skill, lots of skill, John's mouth and teeth and tongue coaxing Rodney into full hardness, not that a whole lot of coaxing was needed, and then keeping him on the edge for a good long excruciatingly pleasurable time as he twisted and writhed and pleaded, his hands buried in John's hair. When John finally couldn't stop him from coming any longer, the release was hard and long, the orgasm shaking Rodney's entire body, his hips arching off the bed, trying to shove his dick deeper into John's throat. John didn't flinch but swallowed and licked, cleaning Rodney until every last drop was gone.
Half-dazed with delight, Rodney couldn't decide whether to say 'Thank you' or 'What the hell was that about?'
"I always heard that orgasms were good for pregnant women. Relaxes the muscles." John's head was resting on Rodney's belly again. "Did that help?"
"Oh. Yeah. Yeah. That helped a lot." Rodney had never heard that bit of trivia, and guessed that it was a fallacious old wives' tale, but hey…was he responsible for John's medical education?
"Good." John gave another kiss to Rodney's belly and stood, and this time he did tuck the covers around him. He slipped on his shoes and lowered the lights. "Rest. I'll check on you later."
Walking back from lunch to the lab, Rodney saw his dresser leaving his room, carried by two husky Marines. "Hey!" was the best he could manage in his astonishment.
Lorne stepped out of his room, smiling, holding a box of Rodney's toiletries in his hands. "Hi Doc. Congratulations."
"Congratulations? Where is my dresser going? What are you doing with my things?"
"The Colonel requested that we move your and his things. He found sweet quarters for you two, a little three bedroom place with a sitting room, close to the transporter nearest to your lab and the infirmary."
Rodney was sure his jaw had dropped open. He hadn't anticipated that John would simply take charge of Rodney's life, though perhaps he should have, given John's military training, and tendency to, well, take charge in any and all dire circumstances, unless restrained by Elizabeth.
"Congratulations on the baby, of course," Lorne said, still smiling, and nodding with his head toward Rodney's stomach. "Everyone's really happy for you and the Colonel."
Another Marine stepped out of his room. "I think we've gotten everything, sir. Hey," and he stepped next to Rodney, right into Rodney's personal space, and before Rodney could sidle away, placed his palm on Rodney's stomach, and said happily, "hi, little Johnny."
"Little Johnny?" Rodney yelped, regretting for the first time that he only knew military insignia and not most of the new Marines' names, because this one would definitely go on report.
"Here," Lorne thrust the box at the unknown Marine, perhaps sensing that Rodney was about to take serious umbrage, "take this to their new quarters and then have everyone meet me at the Colonel's."
"Yes, sir," the Marine said, giving a last pat to Rodney's belly before taking the box and leaving.
"Perhaps you should talk to the Colonel. I believe he's with Doctor Weir."
Rodney didn't bother to answer, storming off toward the control room. A three bedroom place? Telling all the Marines? Though John had always been a bit unpredictable, completely insane was a new modus operandi for him.
John was where Lorne predicted, intent in his conversation with Elizabeth when Rodney barged into her office. "What do you think you're doing?"
"Well hello to you too, Rodney." John appeared his normal relaxed self. Elizabeth seemed a bit startled, saying only, "Rodney?"
"A three bedroom place? Telling everyone I'm going to give birth to little Johnny? Are you trying to destroy your career?"
John smirked. "Little Johnny?"
"Oh laugh it up, Colonel. Yes, it's easy for you, you're not the one whose belly is being fondled by strangers."
"Hey, I want a girl. If they've come up with little Johnny, they've done it by themselves."
As if sensing Rodney was about to blow, Elizabeth inserted quickly, "Rodney, John's career is not going to be ruined by the fact that an accident occurred with Ancient technology. It's hardly a don't ask don't tell situation."
"An accident?! An accident?!"
"Rodney," John said softly, the lowered tone slicing through Rodney's budding hysteria. "An accident is a valid description of what happened. Unless you want to explain the other thing?"
"The other thing? How exactly did conception occur on PXF-241?" Elizabeth asked, her eyebrows raising, while Rodney stared in horror. To explain it all would necessitate explaining why they'd been having sex, which would bring up the whole 'Rodney was a virgin' thing, which definitely no, Rodney did not want brought up.
"Yes," Rodney said tightly. "An accident with Ancient technology. That's all it was. Of course, Colonel, I'm gratified to realize that you won't be in trouble for an accident. And why are we now living together and why will that not get you in trouble?"
John shrugged. "It's a high-risk pregnancy. It's only logical to have someone close by you. And given that I'm biologically responsible as a result of the accident, I should be the one. Our complement of people is a little bigger now, but we still don't have extra personnel for caretaking in Atlantis."
"Carson never said it was a high-risk pregnancy."
"You're a man. It's a high-risk pregnancy." John hesitated, then glanced over at Elizabeth. "I think Rodney and I should talk. If we're finished?"
"Actually, I need to check on some things in the control room. Why don't you two stay here? You'll be guaranteed your privacy." Elizabeth smiled and gave Rodney a hug as she left. Rodney turned to stare at Elizabeth as she walked out, as Elizabeth generally wasn't a hugger, did the thought of a baby make everyone act abnormally? But at least she hadn't patted his belly, so he figured he could deal.
Turning back to John, he asked, "And what do we need to talk about?" His gut clenched, because he knew that look on John's face, a mixture of hesitancy and determination. Whatever John was going to say, Rodney wasn't going to like.
John stood, taking Rodney's hands and coaxing him to sit in one of the guest chairs. He knelt in front of him. "I've been thinking a lot about what's happened. About your condition."
"Yes, I could tell that," Rodney sniped at John. "I noticed that when I saw my dresser leaving my room."
"I don't know what plans you've made, but I want to be included in them. I want to help support you, and I want to help raise the child, as much as you need me. But I want you to drop off the team."
"What?" Rodney stared down at John, trying to process both the unnerving yet exciting thought of John as a willing co-parent and the appalling request for Rodney to leave the team, deciding to tackle the worst item first. "I'm not going to be sidelined like I'm contagious or ill because I'm pregnant. That's seriously medieval."
"Rodney…" The expression on John's face was very intent, very direct. "There are reasons why the military doesn't allow fraternization, and some of those reasons are very good ones."
"We're a little past the point of fraternization, and I’m not military."
"No, but you're pregnant. With my baby. You got punched on that last mission, punched in your gut. It made me mad because you're a member of my team, but it didn't make me lose my focus. Because I know you've had worst and handled it."
Rodney could see where this was heading, and he didn't like the destination at all. "That doesn't happen very often," he said desperately, trying to derail John's track.
"No, not very often, but often enough. And the next time it happens, I won't be thinking of just a member of my team. I'll be thinking of you and the baby. If you stay on the team, sooner or later, something will go wrong, and I'll be forced into a decision, whether to do what's best for the rest of my team or for Atlantis or for my baby."
"Oh god." Rodney glanced away, his eyes gazing unseeingly at one of the statues on Elizabeth's desk, trying not to believe John's dire prediction, but easily seeing how such circumstances could arise in a galaxy of unknown aliens and life-sucking Wraith. "What if I joined another team?"
"Then you'd put someone else into the same position, only it would be his commander's baby he'd have to worry about, not his own."
Rodney didn't speak, his voice too tight. Missions had never been in his plan when he traveled to Atlantis. He wanted the chance to study the Ancient technology, and perhaps even to meet them. But visiting other planets had become a vital part of his daily life, no matter how much he grumbled about too many ignorant civilizations and fresh air. To have to give up the team, to stay trapped on Atlantis…
"Rodney…" John's hand rested on his knee briefly. "Think about it, Rodney. It's your decision. I can't force you off."
He couldn't, of course. Rodney was head of the science team and John couldn't force him to do anything. "Elizabeth won't agree with this. She'll want me to stay on the team."
"No, she won't. Because this isn't about your rights as a pregnant person. This is about never knowing when we'll encounter the Wraith and the potential for combat. If you make me go to Elizabeth, she'll agree with me."
Rodney feared that John was correct, that Elizabeth would accept John's concerns, and do what was best for Atlantis. For a second, Rodney hated John for his thoughtfulness, for forcing Rodney to make the right decision without involving Elizabeth. "If you went to planets where they were civilized and there were scientists to talk to…"
"If the initial recon goes well and we could benefit from your knowledge…that would be a different thing."
Not that that was ever likely to happen. How many planets had been nice pleasant places with an interesting culture and advanced science and no one trying to kill them? Not very many, unfortunately. "Radek's not on a team. I think he'd do well. As a temporary replacement."
"Thank you, Rodney. I'll talk to him."
Rodney nodded and left, desperately needing to escape, leaving John still kneeling on the floor of Elizabeth's office, looking as unhappy as Rodney felt.
Unfortunately, after leaving Elizabeth's office, Rodney ran immediately into Radek and Miko, who had clearly been searching for him. Radek was babbling in Czech, a habit Rodney thought Radek had about broken, and Miko in Japanese, something she'd never done before. It took a few minutes of confusion but yes, of course, they'd heard the news from one of the soldiers, and wanted to know everything, particularly what the Ancient technology had looked like and every gory detail of the supposed 'accident.'
Rodney had thought that John would have the worst of the news becoming public, what with the repercussions to his career and the military's general aversion to homosexuality. He'd never quite anticipated that he'd have the most problematic fallout, dealing with knowledge thirsty colleagues.
Not even close to being born and the child was already causing him problems.
He glowered at John that night in the mess, as he complained about how much harder he had it than John.
John grinned, seemingly not at all repentant. "So did you finally shut them up with your devastating sarcasm?"
"I tried," Rodney admitted, which only made him glower more at John. "I couldn't. I finally distracted them by showing what I'd found for the baby's quarters. Funny, I never realized Miko could be so excited by a baby first-aid kit and bathing supplies."
"What you found for the baby's quarters? That's what you've been scouring the city for?"
"Babies need… things." Rodney waved airily. "Radek and Miko are going to set up its room and order anything we can't find here. Radek has children and Miko helped raise her younger sister. Carson's working on it too."
"Cool." John nodded his agreement of Rodney's delegation. "You're taking this all better than I thought."
"No, I'm not. I've had more time to internalize my horror. Why aren't you horrified?"
John grinned again. "Unlike you, I like kids."
Rodney stabbed at tonight's mystery meat, which fortunately tasted like chicken. Perhaps it was. "Yes, but I can't be the person you'd pick to be a co-parent."
"Didn't we go through this once already?"
Remembering what had happened after the last time he'd raised this subject, Rodney blushed. John, curse him, looked completely comfortable, not at all disturbed by the memory of fondling Rodney's belly and giving him a blowjob. John's easy acceptance made Rodney go on the attack, feeling he needed to establish parameters before John took over the child's rearing as he had their living arrangements. "A good education is the most important thing for a child to have."
"Certainly. Along with plenty of playtime. We wouldn't want her overeducated and socially unskilled."
Rodney glared at what he took to be a description of himself, but pressed on. "I'm not going to inflict some hokey religion on my child."
"Considering I haven't been to a church for 20 years other than to attend weddings and funerals, I don't think I'm going to start thumping the Bible at her. Though I think it would be good to introduce her to different religions, both those here and at home."
"As an educational exercise. And my child won't be forced to follow in a predetermined pattern. It's not going into the military."
"Getting a little ahead of things, aren't you?" John shrugged. "I agree. Children shouldn't live for their parents. I have no desire to see her in the military, unless she really wants to. I'd like to encourage her to explore and find a career she likes."
"Children need regular meals and naps and bedtimes and discipline."
"Considering your fondness for MREs and working until the early hours of the morning, I think I'll handle her meals and sleep habits. And discipline is important, but not too strict."
And oh yes, he was a genius, but why had he not foreseen this outcome, this fantastic benefit of involving John? John liked kids. John was responsible. John was used to living a fairly regimented life. John not only was supremely capable of taking care of all the messy domestic details, he talked like he wanted to do so. This was fabulous. "This might work," was all he said.
"Of course it will. Our values aren't that dissimilar. Though you've neglected to mention the most important item."
"I have?" Rodney frowned, wondering what John was thinking of, though quite sure he was leaving out all sorts of important items. He hadn't planned on being the point man on this project. "What?"
"Love, Rodney. She needs to know she's loved."
"Oh." Rodney stared at John, whose return gaze was steady, sincere. "She will. She definitely will."
The Marines continued with the 'little Johnny' comments and belly pats, to Rodney's irritation. Why they automatically dubbed John the father, the sperm donor, when Rodney had sperm too, and even Carson hadn't figured out how the egg had been created, was maddening. Rodney started making 'little Rodney' comments in return, but everyone blithely ignored that suggestion. The overall happy reception to the news at least reassured Rodney that none of the Marines were going to beat him up for endangering their Commander's masculinity or some such weird homophobic nonsense.
The lingering possibility of a bad response was why he flinched and backed away when he opened the door to their quarters and found the Corporal who first badgered him about his eating standing there. "Colonel Sheppard's not here," he said pointedly.
"I came to see you," the Corporal responded, and looked nervous before launching into an obviously planned speech about his childhood. The words were carefully chosen, but even Rodney, who had been raised in a middle-class household and attended good schools, could recognize the description of a poor Latino family whose mother had worked in a sweatshop. Hector, which turned out to be his name, had grown up surrounded by sewing, and was drafted into helping as soon as he could hold a needle, first as a way of keeping him busy, and later, when he understood the family's circumstances better, so that he could contribute until he was able to find a better paying job.
Rodney nodded understandingly, trying to figure out why Hector was sharing a past that he obviously found uncomfortable to discuss with a man he hadn't appeared to like. And then Hector launched into a discussion of gussets and bias tape and elastic and plackets, which Rodney didn't comprehend at all. His eyes were glazing over and he finally waved his hands, interrupting, "I'm sorry, why are you telling me this?"
"I'm offering to alter your clothes. So they fit."
"Oh. Why didn't you say so?" Hector was indeed right; the strain on the fabric of his clothes was reaching a dangerous level. Happily, Rodney retrieved several pairs of pants and shirts and handed them over. If he had to live with being viewed as the Colonel's woman, then he was damned well going to take advantage of any perks associated with the position.
Nighttimes were the worst part of being pregnant, when Rodney needed to sleep, wanted to sleep, and every muscle around his hips and groin ached from the unnatural strain on his body. Rodney shifted and groaned, trying to get comfortable, when the door opened. In the light from the other room, Rodney could see John standing in the doorway, wearing a t-shirt and boxer shirts.
"Rodney? Are you okay? You're making a lot of noise."
"My muscles ache. And don't you dare tell me to walk more. I've already heard that from Carson and I have been."
"I know," John said sympathetically. "I've taken a lot of walks with you, remember?" John came closer, sitting on the side of the bed, one hand coming to lie on Rodney's belly, drifting down to rest on the blanket over Rodney's penis, which responded instantly, hardening eagerly, creating an entirely different kind of pain in Rodney's body. "You want me to help?"
"I – " Rodney wanted to say no, wanted to tell John to go away, but his lips wouldn't form the words as John was already carefully tucking the blankets so that the majority of Rodney's body stayed warmly covered, freeing only his groin. John knelt by the side of the bed, his lips unerringly meeting Rodney's cock as it rose out of the slit in his boxers.
Sighing, Rodney stroked John's hair and surrendered. This was the sixth time John had gone down on him, not that he was so pathetic as to count and memorialize each one. Each time was better than the last, not because John was getting more skilled, because Christ, John had done this really well from the very first time, but because John seemed to be learning what Rodney liked best, and because Rodney was relaxing into the pleasure without being weirded out.
And pleasure it was, John's lips so soft, his mouth so warm, his tongue so agile, the little occasional nips from his white teeth adding an extra thrill of excitement. John liked to make it last, as if enjoyed doing it as much as Rodney enjoyed receiving. With sensual gentleness, he kissed and sucked and licked, making Rodney feel cherished and treasured, as well as incredibly aroused.
When Rodney came, the pleasure rippling through his body from head to toe, releasing all the tension in his muscles, John maintained his devotion with soothing licking and gentle touches through Rodney's orgasm and the quivering aftershocks, until Rodney's breath had evened out again.
Feeling grateful and desperate to know John's body as well as John had learned his, Rodney sat up, pressing a kiss on John's lips, reaching toward John's boxers.
"Rodney. Rodney!" John jerked his head away from Rodney's lips, grabbed his hands and held them away from his groin. "Look, I just to want to help you, okay? I don't expect reciprocation."
Which meant, Rodney was sure, some variation of 'I don't want to really have sex with you,' or 'I don't find you that physically attractive.' And really, why should he? Just because John was able to have an erection on PXF-241 didn't mean he'd ever had the hots for Rodney. He'd probably gotten hard because of the aspect of danger, not out of lust for Rodney's manly figure. "Of course, Colonel. Forgive me for trying to impose myself on you."
"It's not that you're imposing on me or anything. I just – " John sighed with frustration. "It's important to me that you can relax. That you can sleep."
"Yes," Rodney said softly. "My health. The baby's health. That's the important thing."
"So can you sleep now?"
"Yes, Colonel. Thank you." Rodney lay quietly after John left. He didn't move, but he didn't sleep, not for a long time.
Lying on his back on the couch, Rodney raised his legs, taking a good long study of his feet as they became visible past the swell of his belly. Several weeks ago, when he could no longer comfortably reach his feet to tie his shoes, he'd resorted to wearing his slippers all the time. But now his nails were getting long. Could he break down and ask John to trim them? Not that John would mind. John would do it willingly and agreeably, just as he had everything else that Rodney asked him to do or that he perceived Rodney needed done for him.
It was depressing, really, that as Rodney's pregnancy advanced, John's normal snarkiness had faded, replaced by this incredibly polite, helpful paragon of perfection. No matter how uncomfortable Rodney became, how much he whined, complained, and fretted about feeling uncomfortable, John never got angry or grumpy. He went on missions, he took care of Atlantis's defenses, he took care of Rodney.
Sometimes Rodney wondered if John thought he needed to be perfect, or else Rodney would cut him out of being with the baby. The whole experience made Rodney wonder more about John's family life, how his parents had behaved, and whether John had been a pawn between them.
Not that Rodney would ever get any insight from John. Attempts to bring up their respective pasts had been met with an absolute – though polite, of course, always fucking polite – stone wall.
The door pinged, interrupting his musings, and Rodney dropped his feet to the arm of the couch, letting them disappear from his sight. "Come in," he called, starting the consuming process of hefting himself upright.
"Wow," said a stunned voice from the doorway, and Rodney looked up to see Sam Carter, dressed in a casual blue uniform, a duffel bag over her shoulder. "I'd heard the news, but – wow. You're quite a sight to see, Dr. McKay," she grinned.
"Sam!" The sight of her gave him an impetus to push himself up faster. She dropped her duffel bag and made it from the door quicker than he stood, giving him a big hug while he was still steadying himself. They sat back down together on the couch, her gaze still drawn to his belly. Rodney sighed and raised his shirt. "Yes, yes, go ahead. Everyone else does."
Sam laid her palm gently on his belly, spreading her fingers, feeling the stretched skin. The baby kicked and she gave a little gasp.
"It does that a lot lately. Carson says it's a good sign. So what are you doing here?"
"I came in on the Daedelus. Colonel Caldwell offered to let you know, but I wanted it to be a surprise."
"Not quite as much a surprise as mine," Rodney said smugly, for once more satisfied than flustered at someone's absorption in his pregnancy.
"I had heard the news. It's astonishing to actually see you though."
"So I did figure out how you came to be here. You skipped explaining why."
"I wanted to study what you've learned about Ancient technology. The war against the Orii hasn't been going well. I hope that something in Atlantis, some weapon the Ancients might have used against the Wraith, could help us."
"I've kept up on you reports. The Orii sound pretty bad."
"So do the Wraith."
Rodney waved his hands. "What's a little life sucking? At least it's not dealing with fake gods."
Sam laughed. "You'd rather have your life sucked out of you than bow down to a false god?"
Rodney shuddered. "Religion has never been my forte."
"Says the man about to give birth. A religion could be based on this."
"The religion of Rodney. I like it."
Sam giggled again. "I'd forgotten how funny you could be."
"When I wasn't being a jerk?" Rodney tried not to cringe when he thought of his previous awkward attempts to romance Sam.
"You were a little jerky. Just a little."
Was that how John would describe him, just a little jerky? Had he come across as still so awkward, in his one fumbling attempt to reciprocate John's touch? Fighting down the temptation to wallow in melancholy, Rodney said briskly, "So, you traveled to another galaxy to find new weapons. You never give up, do you?"
"Neither do you."
"I – " Rodney felt his mouth quiver. He had given up; he'd given up with John, resigning himself to John's careful handling, accepting the subtle boundaries rather than rock the boat.
"Rodney?" Sam asked, looking alarmed. "Are you okay?"
"Christ, Sam, I'm stuck here. Stuck on Atlantis. I can't go on missions. I can't even walk anymore. I waddle."
"Hey." She rubbed his belly gently. "You'll have this baby soon, and then you can get back to missions. I never realized you enjoyed them so much."
"I did. I didn't expect to." Then somehow, the confession tumbled out. "I enjoyed being with John as much as I enjoyed the missions."
Sam frowned, confused. "I thought you were living with him now? You must see him a lot."
"If you call this living."
"Does he hurt you?" The question was sharp, like he was an abused spouse, and Rodney felt even worse then when he'd started this confession. He'd admitted to liking John more than he should, certainly more than he should to a member of the military, and now he was giving Sam a bad opinion of him.
"No, he doesn't hurt me. John would never do anything to upset me or disturb the baby. John takes care of me. Everything I want."
"You say that like it's a bad thing."
"It's an unnatural thing! He won't even – "
"He does everything for me, everything, and he won't let me do anything for him. He won't even let me give him a blowjob!"
"Do you want to?" Her tone was so gentle, so understanding, that it almost hurt, and Rodney could see the awareness in her eyes, that she'd made the right connections. Sam was always an intelligent woman.
"Oh god, yes," Rodney answered, embarrassed and aware he was on the verge of tears. Perhaps Sam sensed how very close he was to the breaking point, because she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, tugging him to her. Rodney let his head rest on her slim shoulder, breathing harshly to stop himself from crying, and accepted the comfort she offered. The feel of her body and the strength of her arms didn't awaken any response in Rodney's body, making him aware that the attraction he'd once felt for her was gone, replaced by friendship. And right now what he needed more than anything was a friend, someone to listen.
"What the hell is going on here?"
Rodney pushed himself out of Sam's arms as if scalded, ungainly lunging to his feet. John stood in the doorway, still in his full uniform, only missing his weapons. He looked tired and sweaty and handsome and…pissed. Really, really pissed. "John. You're back," Rodney said stupidly, straightening his shirt, which he realized was still bunched up to reveal his rounded belly.
Sam stood too, and snapped a salute at John. "Colonel Sheppard. I'm Colonel Samantha Carter."
John seemed stunned, and Rodney realized that they'd never met. She'd been working at Area 51 when they'd come from Antarctica and departed to Pegasus. "Colonel Carter," John said, stiffly, returning her salute. "I didn't know you were here."
"I came in on the Daedelus today."
"Welcome to Atlantis. And now excuse me, I need to shower. Rodney, Colonel." And John headed directly for the other door that led into his quarters, leaving Rodney gaping after him, confused by his apparent anger and stiff posture.
"Huh?" Rodney glanced at Sam, who was smiling, as if she found something vastly entertaining.
"You said you never gave him a blowjob?"
Rodney buried his face in his hands. "Oh god, I can't believe I said that. You have to promise not to tell anyone."
"Don't worry. Your secrets are safe with me." She caught his hands, pulling them away from his face. "Rodney, trust me on this. Go give him one now."
"He won't let me."
"Take off your clothes, get in the shower with him, and give him one. He's not going to stop you."
"I've never done one. I never loved a man before John." Oh god, could he sound any more pathetic? But John did them so well and Rodney knew he would be incompetent in comparison.
"Rodney." Sam squeezed his hands. "Trust me. You can't do this wrong." She turned him around, pointed him at the door, and gave a gentle push. "Go."
So Rodney went, walking into John's room, and crossing into the bathroom on the other side. John was still half-dressed, wearing his trousers, leaning his hips on the bathroom sink and staring at his feet. His expression, when he looked up at Rodney, was hard. "John?"
"I don't ever want to come home to a scene like that again."
"A scene? What scene?"
"You were embracing her."
"She's an old friend. She was giving me a hug. It was hardly an embrace."
Rodney's disagreement seemed to make John even more furious. He grabbed Rodney by the shoulders and pulled him close. "Let me say this again, since you don't seem to be getting it. You're living with me and carrying my child. I never want to walk in on you hugging or embracing another person again, okay? Particularly not her."
"She's a friend."
John's fingers tightened on Rodney's shoulders, then relaxed when Rodney winced. "Don't fight me on this, Rodney."
"What do you care anyway? I'm just a brood mare for your child. Make sure I eat right for the baby's sake, make me exercise for the baby's sake, give me a blowjob so my muscles relax, for the baby's sake. Everything is for the baby. You don't give a shit about me, so why do you care who hugs me? A hug won't hurt the baby!" He was screaming by the time he finished, and the tears of frustration hovered again at the corner of his eyes, but he blinked fiercely to make them go away.
"Is that what you think? That I don't care for you?"
"What am I supposed to think? You won't even let me touch you. It drives me insane, the way you avoid even having my hands on you. I want – I want someone who wants me. Someone who wants me to touch him."
"Oh god, Rodney…" John's face was relaxing, the hardness of his mouth softening into a familiar smile, his eyes glowing with…hunger? John's hands slid down the length of Rodney's arms to his hands, taking them and putting them on John's chest. "Rodney, you can touch me anywhere you like. Any time you like."
John's hands were making one of Rodney's hands flatten on his chest, play in the soft dark hair, while he guided the other down to his crotch, spreading over the bulge. "Oh god, yes. Anything you want. I wanted you long before you ever got pregnant."
"I did. I do. It's been killing me, only having your dick in my mouth, but I didn't think I should ask for more."
"But I tried to give you more."
"I thought you felt obligated." John brushed the side of his head against Rodney's. "And I felt – I felt so guilty."
"You said no on PXF-241, Rodney. You said no. And I took you anyway, because it was the expedient thing to do, the fastest way out of the situation, and I wanted you. You begged me to let you go but I wouldn't stop. And then I got you pregnant, and I forced you off missions, because I couldn't handle it. I couldn't handle the thought of our baby being hurt, the baby I forced on you. Christ, Rodney, you don't even like kids. I don't know how you haven't hated me this whole time."
Shaking his head in wonder and disbelief, Rodney untangled his hands from John's, wrapped his arms around John's shoulders, and kissed him, a long, hard, messy, passionate kiss, the kind of kiss he'd been yearning to give John for months. "You wanted me?"
"For a long time." John nodded urgently, and Rodney couldn't doubt his tone or the honesty in his eyes.
Laughter bubbled in his chest. "First off, I begged you to let me go, because I wanted to touch you, you idiot. And second, this child," he touched his belly, "this child will be both of us, and I figure that'll make her special."
"Truly. I love you, John. I have for a long time." They kissed again, sharing their hearts with the touch of their lips, and Rodney started to sink to his knees, but John grabbed him by the waist, keeping him upright. "You said anything I wanted," Rodney protested darkly.
"Yes definitely, but not here. The floor will be hard on your knees."
And Rodney couldn't argue with that declaration, because John was kissing him again while walking him backwards into the bedroom and stripping his clothes off, displaying his skill at multi-tasking. Rodney lay down on the bed as John hovered by the side, still dressed in his baggy black trousers.
"I was going to shower. I got pretty sweaty on the mission," John said, hesitation in his voice.
"Don’t you dare walk away." Rodney curled his fingers into the front of John's trousers. "You said I could have anything I wanted, and I want you now."
John grinned and ducked his head almost shyly before removing his trousers, letting them drop to the floor, giving Rodney only a few seconds to admire long muscled legs and his cock, arching away from his body and hardening rapidly.
Then John crawled on the bed, curling his legs by the headboard, bringing his hips and that perfect cock close to Rodney's mouth.
Close up, the experience was a little daunting, John's cock already stiff from anticipation and leaking a little at the tip, the muscles of John's legs tense with need. Rodney remembered Sam's words that he couldn't do this wrong, and decided to trust that she had more knowledge in this one instance than he did. So he focused on what John did that Rodney liked best, a combination of little kisses and long slow licks, using his hands sometimes, and trying to take the whole thing in his mouth once, but quickly deciding that was going to require far more practice to do easily.
So he redoubled his efforts with the kissing and the licking, periodically giving a quick peek to check on John's expression. John was propped on one elbow so he could watch Rodney suck his cock. His mouth was open and panting, his eyes staring at Rodney rather like he was viewing the second coming of Christ, or more likely, a new and extremely cool spaceship that he was going to be the first one to fly, an expression which Rodney found incredibly satisfying and exciting.
Rodney could tell when John was getting close, his balls feeling tight to Rodney's fingers, his cock even stiffer, and started on the mental debate of whether he could manage to swallow the first time or should chicken out on even trying, so this could end with a sexy flourish, not with him gagging and spitting. But John took the decision from him, rolling his hips flat on the bed, pulling his cock away from Rodney's lips, and gave himself a few hard strokes, his come fountaining up and dripping back to cover his hand.
"Christ, Rodney. That was amazing. Amazing." John twisted his body, swinging around to lie by Rodney, his hand reaching down to capture Rodney's cock. "I want to ride you."
Rodney just groaned in answer. John was stroking him hard, and the idea of John riding him, that tight trim ass replacing his fist…Rodney's breath was coming quicker, rapid shallow pants, and then he could barely breathe at all as his body shook with spasms, his come exploding out of him as his eyes rolled back in his head.
John's grip softened, coaxing Rodney through the aftershocks. "I forget how little experience you have," he purred, like that was a very good thing, something special and not the slightest bit humiliating. "I'm going to enjoy teaching you. I want to find out what turns you on, what makes you hot. Do you even know what you like?"
"You. You make me hot."
To all appearances, Rodney was deep in thought, focused on deciphering the piece of Ancient technology in his hands. Only Rodney knew his mind was on a continual loop of pleasant memories, replaying every kiss, every caress, every little gasp that John had made during the great sex in the afternoon, and again, the even more fabulous sex when they'd retired to bed immediately after a very nice dinner with Sam, Ronon and Teyla. John seemed determined to make up for all the time they'd wasted, an ambition with which Rodney heartily agreed, because John's tight little ass squeezing Rodney's cock while he rode him, his hands braced on Rodney's chest, fingers playing with Rodney's nipples, the dog tags swinging in the air, had been just as hot as Rodney had dreamed, a reality Rodney wanted to repeat frequently.
Zelenka's sudden call made Rodney jerk and almost drop the device. "What?"
"Rodney, I think you should go to the workout room."
Bemused, Rodney looked down at his stomach. "Not really my priority now, thank you very much for frightening me out of my wits for no particularly good reason."
"Rodney, I really think you should go to the workout room."
The intensity in Radek's voice and eyes had Rodney hefting himself off the lab stool, and waddling toward the door. "John?" he asked.
"And the new one. The pretty blond."
Fortunately, the transporters were reasonably close to the lab and the workout room, so Rodney was only mildly huffing by the time he waddled up the room and pushed his way through the people thronging in the doorway. Sam and John were inside, both with sticks, and based on the amount of sweat drenching their clothes, they'd been going at this for a while, fast quick moves, attack and counter attack, parry and thrust, until Sam was knocked onto her back, rolling and coming up into a crouch. "Another point to me," John taunted.
Sam's grin was sparkly and John's was smirky, and they were both completely insane, Rodney decided, waddling into the middle of the room and standing between them. "What are you two doing?"
"I was teaching Sam how to use the Athosian sticks," John said casually, straightening and walking over the bench to pick up a water bottle and take a sip.
Sam retreated to the other side of the room, also drinking and wiping the sweat off her face. "Your Colonel's not a bad fighter."
"Not bad? I'm wiping the floor with you." There were catcalls from the crowd in the doorway and the people sitting around the walls.
"6 to 2… that's pretty lame considering this is the first day I've ever held these. You've been practicing for what? A year?" That generated more catcalls and Rodney dimly heard bets being made in the crowd.
John gave a mock bow. "Pardon me for going easy on you. I'll stop now."
"John, what are you two doing?" Rodney hissed.
"Getting to know each other. Now if you don't mind." And John took a gentle firm hold of Rodney's shoulders and guided him toward the doorway. What was it with Colonels pushing him around? "You're in the way."
Rodney dug his feet in and refused to be pushed out of the room. He didn't have John's strength, but he had greater mass. "I don't like this, John. I don't want you two hurting each other."
"Don't worry, we won't." And then in the front of a collection of scientists, soldiers, and some of the Daedelus crew, he gave Rodney a lazy kiss, which generated yet more catcalls, did these people ever get tired of making that noise? And used Rodney's distraction to push him the last few feet out the door, as Rodney gasped in both passion and concern for John's career. John blithely returned to the middle of the room to meet Carter's slashing attack with an upward swing of his sticks.
Rodney watched for a few minutes, but both of them seemed completely absorbed in the battle, so he finally left, deciding that the first and second loves of his life could beat each other up quite adequately well without his observation.
At least someone in Atlantis seemed to have more important things to do than head to the workout room and ogle the newest battle of the sexes, because he found Elizabeth in her office, busily working on reports. Hesitating in the door, he waited until she noticed him and smiled. "Rodney. How are you?"
"I'm fine." He came in and eased himself into a chair.
"I was going to come by the lab later and congratulate you." To his surprise, Elizabeth got out of her chair and crossed the room to lean over and give him a hug. "I'm very happy for you and John."
"Thanks. Thank you. Umm…what are you happy for us about?" The baby was rather old news for new congratulations.
Elizabeth's mouth opened, shut, and opened again. "John came by this morning to say that you two were a couple now." She looked at him, and he must have been appeared dazed, because she added, "Isn't that right?"
"Yes. Oh, yes. I just didn't realize John was going to talk to you about it."
"We've worked out arrangements in case the military situation becomes problematic."
"And those arrangements are?"
Elizabeth was giving him another one of those looks, like 'shouldn't your boyfriend have told you this?' but answered. "John will resign his commission and I'll hire him as a civilian pilot. I've got the budget and he's certainly got the expertise. Atlantis can't afford to lose him. But I'm hopeful it won't come to that, considering the uniqueness of this situation."
"Oh. That's yes, great. Elizabeth…why aren't you surprised? That John and I are together?"
"I’ve never seen John so happy and focused as he has been since the news of the baby."
"Really?" He hadn't seemed happy and focused to Rodney, but rather overly polite. Determined yes, determined to do the right thing. Had he been that oblivious, or had John been that good at hiding his feelings? Either way, Elizabeth was supporting them, John's career would work out, they'd stay in Atlantis, and Rodney thought he'd forgive John for taking charge without talking to him again.
Rodney hugged Sam's slim body close, feeling her lean figure press against him, her body curving to fit the large bump of his advanced pregnancy. How odd to think that in his fantasies, his strong body had conformed to her rounded shape, not vice versa. He gave one last, tight squeeze, and she uttered a shaky, "Whoa!" as he lifted her off her feet, so the top of her body was almost resting on his belly. On his and John's child.
Smiling, she stepped back and out of his arms. "I expect pictures, Rodney."
"As soon as it's born, Sam. Have a good trip back."
She nodded and looked at John, giving him a crisp salute. "Take care of him, sir."
John saluted back. "I'll be taking care of both of them, Colonel." His words seemed quite pleasant, and Rodney wondered if he was delusional to imagine a tone of jealousy or warning underneath them.
Sam gave no sign that she heard anything wrong. She shook hands with Elizabeth and smiled in good-bye to the other members of the Atlantis expedition in the gateroom, before walking to the floor in front of the gate, stopping to stand by Caldwell. The Colonel tapped his earpiece, announcing, "We're ready, Hermiod." With a flash, the two disappeared, returning to the Daedelus and the trip home to Earth.
"Well," Rodney said briskly, rubbing his hands a little, "that was fun but now I am incredibly behind in my work. I'll be in the lab."
"I've got some new Marines to put through their paces," John said to Elizabeth, following Rodney out of the gateroom and into the corridor. His hand came to rest on the small of Rodney's back as they walked, its presence warming Rodney even as he worried. Everything had changed during Sam's visit, John's politely restrained companionship and care replaced by bouts of extremely hot, lusty sex. Really, really good, amazing sex, the best sex that Rodney had even known. Which wasn't particularly surprising, since Rodney hadn't had sex with anyone except John, no matter how much he'd drooled over beautiful blondes like Sam.
John's jealousy of Rodney's friendship with Sam had been the catalyst that altered their relationship and forced John to reveal the feelings he'd been hiding. Would her departure change everything again?
Rodney woke from his rambling thoughts to realize that John's hand was guiding him into the corridor that led to their quarters, rather than to his lab. "I need to work," Rodney protested, but his feet kept moving in the direction John urged.
Rather than answering him, John clicked on his earpiece. "Hey, Lorne. Yeah, can you run the new Marines around the city? Yeah, contact me on Channel D if an emergency comes up."
"We don't have a Channel D," Rodney noted, mostly to avoid asking John what he had planned.
"It's a code, Rodney. Lorne likes old spy stuff."
"Yes, I could determine that it had to be." Rodney gave a little sigh of exasperation, because impatience seemed the safest response. "What does it mean?"
"It means we're about to be involved in activities that we don't want interrupted." John waggled his brows and leered as he guided Rodney through the door into their quarters. Somehow John managed to look both incredibly sexy and goofy with his bad Groucho Marx impersonation.
"What does Lorne do that he doesn't want interrupted?"
John held up one hand, two fingers crossed together. "Soldier's honor, I swore not to tell." And then to stop Rodney asking questions, or maybe because it was the next item on his agenda anyway, John stepped right next to Rodney, facing him, wrapped his arms around Rodney and began kissing him. John's body was lean like Sam's, but taller and less curvy, not as soft, and felt so much better, so very right curling around Rodney's belly.
His kisses were meltingly hot and Rodney surrendered, relaxing in John's arms, winding his own arms around John's waist, even as his dick started to go hard.
John's fingers slipped between their bodies to brush on the sliver of Rodney's skin revealed where his shirt draped loosely over his belly, making Rodney shiver at the sensation. "You need to get Hector to add some material so you can tuck this in."
"He's already working on my other shirts."
"Good." John pulled the shirt up and off, over Rodney's head, gazing down at Rodney's bare chest and belly with the mixture of fondness and lust that had become his common expression when they were together.
Then his lips were sucking on Rodney's nipples, hot and moist, taking turns on each one, and as Rodney threaded his fingers through John's hair, he decided maybe he didn't have to worry about the hot bouts of amazing sex ending.
"Is Carson sure about the whole mammary gland thing?"
"Huh?" Rodney asked incoherently, because his thought processes tended to be short-circuited when John touched him.
"You're not going to be able to nurse our child?"
"No. Oh, no, definitely not. I'm not changed that much." Rodney shuddered with relief as well as pleasure.
"I think you'd look hot nursing our baby."
That was such a mind-boggling, appalling thought that Rodney wondered if John was being truly honest or overcompensating. "I'm sure the child won't mind missing chest hair with its milk, and you are a seriously disturbed individual."
"Her milk," John corrected. "And it's such nice soft chest chair," he added, his fingers twirling in the soft curls. "I'm sure she wouldn't have minded. Or we could have shaved you."
"Not going to happen," Rodney said firmly.
"Just a thought." John sank to his knees, and while Rodney's nipples missed John's touch, his belly was ecstatic to be on the receiving end of John's lips and tongue. "Your skin is soft too. Oh!" He grinned, laughing and looking up at Rodney with wonder in his hazel eyes. "She kicked again. She's got a good solid kick."
"Maybe she'll be a football player. Soccer, that is." Rodney settled his hands in John's hair, so full and soft.
The baby kicked again, and John pressed a kiss on the spot. "Not long now, baby. Not long." He undid Rodney's belt and fly, pushing his pants down, lifting up each of Rodney's feet so he could remove his shoes and socks.
"I was supposed to be working in the lab."
"Expectant mothers need their rest."
"I am not a mother and somehow I don't think resting is on your mind."
John grinned as he stroked Rodney's dick, coaxing it to full erection. "I was thinking of you on your back, actually. A nice restful position."
Rodney laughed, shaking his head at John, amused at his playfulness. No, he definitely hadn't needed to worry about Sam's leaving. John was as randy and happy as he'd been every day since his big confession, an attitude Rodney was thrilled to encourage.
As quickly and smoothly as Rodney had found himself naked, next he found himself in the promised position, on his back, a naked and eager John climbing on top, straddling his thighs. "Prep me?" John waved the lube at Rodney.
Happy to keep this very satisfying course of action on track, Rodney grabbed the lube from John and slicked his fingers. John braced his forearms on the bed, one of each side of Rodney's head, his body shifted forward to give Rodney convenient access.
John's ass was tight, and Rodney prepped him slow and easy, because this experience was still so new and wonderful, and he wanted to enjoy every second. As if he shared Rodney's feelings, equally enjoying the sensation of being stretched, John's eyes fluttered shut and his expression was blissful. John's lips ghosted over Rodney's face, his breath unsteady and hot on Rodney's skin. Rodney pushed a second finger in, reaching deeper, and John's eyes snapped open as he exhaled sharply.
"Ha! Found it," Rodney said smugly.
"God, yes. God, Rodney, fuck me." John tried to slide his hips back, to impale himself on Rodney's dick, but Rodney held his hand steady in place, stopping him.
"You're killing me, Rodney."
"Not until you're ready," he said squeezing a third finger into John's tight opening, scissoring his fingers apart to stretch the muscle.
"I'm ready, Rodney. Really, really, ready," John chanted, and his desperation made Rodney's cock ache.
"Yes, I think you are." Pulling his fingers out of John's ass, Rodney wrapped his hands around John's firm thighs. "Prep me."
John grabbed for the discarded lube, squeezing some onto his hand and reaching between their bodies to grasp Rodney's dick. The feel of John's hand rubbing the slick lube over him was almost unbearably good. Cursing himself for taking so long to get John ready, Rodney bit his lip, the pain helping him to hold on because he didn't want to waste this by coming in John's hand.
Then John was positioning Rodney's cock, holding it firmly as he began to impale himself. John's face was so beautiful, his hazel eyes wide and unfocused, mouth open and panting. His hands gripped Rodney's shoulders, using Rodney's solidness to anchor himself, to push back until Rodney's cock was completely buried in him.
"God, so good Rodney, so good."
"Move for me, John. Please."
John obeyed Rodney's entreaty, his strong legs squeezing on the sides of Rodney's thighs as he raised himself and slammed back down, driving Rodney into him, deep and hard. John's dick bobbed up and down with the motion of his body and Rodney grabbed it, no longer afraid to touch, knowing John would love it. He masturbated John fiercely, setting a demanding pace.
John took the not-very-subtle hint, splaying his fingers out over Rodney's chest for the best leverage, his hips catching the rhythm of Rodney's hand, fast and a little frantic. John's thumbs rubbed on Rodney's nipples to the same vigorous beat. The circle of sensation, the intense squeezing and releasing and rubbing, undid Rodney. Almost unconsciously, he placed his feet flat on the bed for the power to thrust his bulk up as John shoved down. Groaning loudly, he emptied himself into John, feeling as if he was giving John his heart and soul with his come, while John's dick sprayed over his belly, marking him.
John's muscles shook as he climbed off Rodney's thighs and curled around him. Rodney sympathized with the shakiness, feeling rather shattered by the powerful orgasm, relieved that his pregnancy gave him the excuse to not move.
"It's too bad she'll be an only child," John said sleepily, his head resting on Rodney's chest as his big hands stroked Rodney's belly, rubbing his semen into his skin. "It would be nice to have two."
The semen-rubbing thing was hot in a nasty sort of way, Rodney decided. If it dried too badly, he'd make John wash him off. "This is the only one I'm having. If you'd like another child, we can go back to PXF-241, and you can be the one tied up."
"Hmmm. That's a good idea."
John propped himself on one elbow, looking down at Rodney. "Can you imagine me pregnant?"
Rodney stared at John's body, long and lean, imagining that perfect abdomen swelling, getter bigger, skin tight, the imprint of kicking feet or punching fists…"Are you serious?"
"Would you like it if I was?"
Rodney swallowed. He did like it, the thought that John was apparently quite willing to be pregnant with Rodney's baby. "Can you imagine the likelihood of the natives cooperating and the odds of Ancient technology working perfectly twice in a row and…let's get through this one first before we start planning a larger family, okay?"
"Okay." John put his head back down on Rodney's chest, getting comfortable again. "We should think about it though, having more than one. You never know, you might be having twins. Wouldn't that be nice?"
"One is good," Rodney said heartily, even as he thought about Jeannie, about taking the baby back to Earth to see her. What would it have been like to grow up alone, without someone else to deflect his parents' anger?
John made a sleepy noise in his throat. "You should nap now. Expectant mothers need more rest."
"We covered this already. I am not a mother," Rodney said crossly, but John's fingers were lightly caressing his belly again. He shelved the absurd notion of John having a child. With all of Atlantis as doting aunts and uncles, their child would grow up very much loved. Rodney's relaxed under the gentle massage, his breath slowing as he dozed off.
Rodney caressed the cradle, hand carved from a tree on the mainland, admiring the workmanship, at a loss for what to say. No one had ever made anything quite so nice for him, even if it wasn't for him, but for his and John's child. "Thank you," he said finally, and smiled at Ronon, who smiled back as much as he ever did.
"I started carving when I was a runner. It was one of the few things I could do when I was hiding out in forests."
Rodney nodded, touching the blankets Teyla had added to the crib. Not sappy blue or pink, but vibrant multi-colored blankets, hand woven from a plant grown on the mainland, and softer than cotton to the touch. But then his glance caught the awkward look on Carson's face. "What? What's wrong?"
"Rodney, you said you dinna want to know anything. You've said that repeatedly."
"I want to know anything that impacts whether or not I need a cradle!" Rodney felt John's arms circle his belly from behind him, warm and reassuring.
"Oh, you'll need a cradle. You'll definitely need a cradle. It's a very lovely cradle. Quite the prettiest one I've ever seen."
"Carson," John said firmly.
Carson sighed. "The thing is…you're going to need two of them."
"Twins?" Rodney asked weakly.
"Twins!" Teyla smiled. "You are much blessed."
"Twins," Carson admitted.
"Two boys?" Ronon asked.
Carson's eyes twitched between him and Rodney, and Rodney finally sighed. "Fine. Tell him. Tell all of us. And then I want a cut of whatever bets have been placed, because I know they have been."
"One of both. You're going to have a boy and a girl."
John's voice was honey-rich and satisfied in Rodney's ear. "I knew we'd have a girl."
"And a boy too," Rodney pointed out. "And if you want him to know all those boy things, you'd better plan on teaching him. There's no way I'm showing him how to throw a football."
John nibbled on Rodney's ear. "I'll even teach him hockey."
"And the girl too," Rodney added. "I'm not having any of that gender biased teaching for our children. If you teach him football and hockey, you have to teach her too."
"I can do that."
Teyla and Ronon were smiling at their bickering, as if they found them funny, an expression that was all too common in Atlantis these days. "I'll go get the other cradle," Ronon said.
"I will help him," Teyla offered.
"I'll leave you two to discuss the news," Carson offered, and started to follow the others.
"Wait a second – the other cradle? And why did you drop by at this very moment?"
Carson's eyes shifted between John and Rodney. "I dinna know about the other cradle and John asked me to be here." He scampered out as Rodney turned to face John, outraged.
"You set that up!"
"Rodney, haven't you paid attention to all that kicking?"
"Of course I have. It's very distracting. Not too terribly painful fortunately." The distraction of the baby – babies – playing bongo drums in his body was nothing compared to the sexiness of naked John curled around him, smiling as he rested his hand on Rodney's belly and felt his child move.
"It was obvious that it was more than one baby. We needed to start being prepared."
Ronon and Teyla arrived back, maneuvering a matching cradle into the room. Still in shock, Rodney sat down as the other three arranged the cradles side by side.
"What if you'd been wrong? What if we didn't need the other cradle?"
Ronon shrugged. "John warned me he wasn't certain."
"Several of my people are pregnant," Teyla said. "It would not have gone to waste."
"Oh god, two. I'm going to have two."
With the merest touch of repentance, John offered, "Twins run in my family."
"Twins run in his family. Oh god. Now he tells me."
"Perhaps we should leave you two to discuss this further."
John gave a nod to Teyla's suggestion, and the other two left.
"No, wait. Wait. That's bad science," Rodney said weakly. "As much as medicine is science."
"What is?" John said, straddling Rodney's lap, and giving him a kiss that involved lots of tongue and almost completely fried the last few of Rodney's brain cells that were functioning.
Rodney tugged at John's hair, pulling his head away. "Fraternal twinning tendencies pass from mother to daughter, not from mother to son. And if you're taking credit because twins run in your family, that means you're the egg donor."
John gave one of his wiseass smirks. "I'll tell that to the Marines. I'm sure they'll start using 'little Rodney' now." His hands coasted over Rodney's belly, his expression softening. "I just know what twins feel like, and those are twins."
Then John started kissing him again, and Rodney decided that he could figure out how to cope with two of the little monsters later.
The lovely thing about needing a Caesarean was knowing the exact day. No waiting for contractions to hit painfully and messy water to break. Just wake up one morning with John's arms cuddled around him and know that this was the day they would finally become parents.
He felt John's lips pressing lazy kisses on his neck and grumbled, "I wish I could have coffee."
"You will. In a few hours." John clasped Rodney's erection, stroking lazily, and he felt John's dick press into the cheeks of his ass. "I can't believe you're jacking me off on the morning I'm going to give birth," Rodney groaned, feeling rather decadent, but snuggling back into John as his hips thrust slowly, his dick sliding in the crevice of Rodney's soft, firm flesh.
"I have to appreciate this last time," John said, nibbling on Rodney's ear. "Last time to make love to you pregnant."
"Oh. Will that be bad? When I'm back to me?"
John laughed in his ear, warm breath dancing on Rodney's skin. "Nothing with you is bad, Rodney." John's hips thrust more forcefully, and his grip tightened, stroking harder.
Rodney couldn't speak again, let just let himself enjoy the sensations of John's muscular body moving against his, his lips and hands bringing pleasure as they caressed and kissed and fondled, leisurely pulling forth a long, luxurious orgasm from within Rodney's body.
John let Rodney rest in the afterglow for a time, then helped him out of bed, into the shower, and finally into clothes. Rodney wandered into the nursery as John was showering. He'd planned to use Ancient things, but somehow, like so many other plans he'd made during this pregnancy, that had gotten derailed. He touched the two hand-carved cribs, the hand woven blankets, the little clothes sewed by Hector, the mobiles of the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies created by Radek and Miko, the mural of bright colorful fish leaping over ocean waves Elizabeth had painted on the wall.
"Hey." John came up behind him, and Rodney waited for his arms to circle his belly, but John stood next to him, draping his arm over Rodney's shoulders. "You ready?"
"Our friends did all this for us." He placed his hands on his belly. "For them."
"They're good people. We're going to have to watch them, or they'll spoil the kids rotten."
"This is completely insane, you realize. Raising kids while fighting the Wraith."
"We could go home after the birth," John offered.
Home? Earth? Canada, Colorado, Siberia, Antarctica…all the different places he'd lived, but Rodney had to acknowledge that no group of people had ever been as important to him as those on Atlantis. He'd never known anyone who would rally around him and support him and put up with him like everyone had over the last few months. "This is home."
John turned him so they faced each other, cupped Rodney's face in his hands, and gave him a slow, cherishing kiss. "Then let's go have these kids and introduce them to everyone."
Panic seized Rodney at the thought that the moment was almost here. "John, what if I'm a bad parent? What if I yell at them and make them cry? Why didn't I stop this when it started? I don't like kids." He heard his own voice, lamenting and plaintive, and waited for John to be irritated and impatient.
John's hands gripped and massaged Rodney's shoulders. "You probably will at some point. I probably will too. Neither of us had the best role models. But we'll do our best and we've got each other to keep us on track. We'll be okay."
Rodney leaned forward, giving John's lips a light kiss, hoping he understood the appreciation he felt at John's steadfast support.
They took the transporter and walked the rest of the way to the infirmary, where Carson and his team waited for them, already scrubbed.
"We'd begun to think you might have changed your mind," Carson said cheerfully, as nurses gathered around Rodney and helped prepare him. John went off to scrub, returning in a hospital gown with a cap hiding his messy hair as Carson draped a sheet to hide Rodney's view.
"Sure you don't want to watch this?" John teased.
Rodney shuddered. "Watch myself be cut open? I'm positive. Are you sure I just shouldn't be knocked out?"
"Not necessary," Carson said cheerfully. "And it'll help you recover quicker, so you can start enjoying your wee bairns."
"Oh goody," Rodney said weakly, keeping his gaze focused on John, on the hazel eyes brimming with love and anticipation, the sweet smile of anticipation on his face, until he heard Carson say, "And here's the first one, your wee girl."
She made a cry and oh god, they had a girl, a thought almost too wonderful and petrifying to believe.
And then Carson was announcing a boy as the nurse put the girl in John's arms. She was red, her face scrunchy with a shock of black hair on her head, and Rodney couldn't tell which was more beautiful, her or John's smile as he held her and played with her tiny hands.
"And here you go," Carson said from the other side, and placed the boy in his arms. He was red and scrunchy and dark-haired too, and Rodney had always thought it absurd when people claimed their babies looked like family members, because as far as he had ever observed, all babies looked alike, but he could almost see the tip of his own nose in the boy's face.
Then John was leaning over him, shifting their little girl to lie on his chest by the boy, and giving him an emotional kiss. And they were no longer merely a brilliant scientist and a cocky flyboy, or team members on humanity's most daring expedition, or two men who loved each other. They were a family.
~ the end ~