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The Naming

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"Hey. You awake?"

Rodney looked over at John, who was holding their baby girl in his arms, gradually becoming aware that yes, he was awake again. And that he'd given birth to his and John's twins, including their little girl, a fact which still seemed too weird and wonderful to believe.

"How are you feeling?" John asked.

Rodney had to think for a moment before he finally said, "Loopy. Drugged." He reached out, stroking her cheek with one fingertip. Her face was already appearing less scrunchy, and her skin was the softest thing Rodney had ever touched in his life. "Where's Alexander?"

"Alexander?" John asked, nodding his head toward the crib next to the bed. Rodney craned his head to look at the other sleeping baby, as John shifted their girl into his arms, then picked up Alexander, settling back into the chair. "Bets were running strong that you would go with Luke and Leia."

"Given that they're going to have to deal with an undoubtedly genius level of IQ and growing up in the lost city of Atlantis, my children hardly need the additional burden of goofy names," Rodney sniffed.

"Alexander what?"

"What? Oh, middle name. I thought Sheppard for both of their middle names. I don't like hyphenated last names."

"Alexander Sheppard McKay. I like it. And her?"

"I thought – I thought you might like to name her. Given that you wanted a girl." A little knot of worry clenched Rodney's stomach even as he made the offer because good god, this was the man who'd successfully insisted on renaming the gateships puddle jumpers, his streak of irreverence was as wide as one of his beloved football fields, but Rodney had gotten reluctantly accustomed to puddle jumper, and surely John understood the 'no goofy name' message. But John looked amazed and then dazzled, obviously incredibly pleased, and the knot loosened, because that smile was worth the risk.

"Kathleen," John said quickly, as if he had to get the name out before Rodney changed his mind. "With a K."

But Rodney just nodded, relieved, smiling as he gazed at the tiny baby in his arms. She was so small, so fragile and perfect, but he knew she would grow into a strong woman, beautiful and intelligent. Kathleen would suit her. "Kathleen's a nice name. Kathleen Sheppard McKay."

"And no calling her Kat."

"Cat names are for cats," Rodney agreed with a yawn. "Take her, would you? I'm so drugged, I don't think it would be safe for her to sleep with me."

John switched Alexander to his left, and scooped Kathleen up with his right. Hovering over Rodney, he pressed a brief, urgent kiss on his lips, and whispered, "Thank you," before sitting back down with both of them cradled in his arms. The three were strongly black and white, John with his black hair and his black clothes, the babies with black hair wrapped in white blankets, and yet somehow the image was warm and peaceful, and Rodney drifted into sleep smiling.
~ the end ~