June tumbles in behind a storm, the angry skies and high winds of May sweeping the world clear in welcome, polishing up the gravel of the driveway, coaxing the corn to lift a little higher, inviting the wildflowers to bloom a more raucous mix of purple, pink, and green. It sets a pattern – the flash of lightning and the din of thunder, then warm sun and light winds, color bolting left and right across the earth – and John feels gladness like a lessening of gravity, a bright, new place that lives inside his bones. He can trust in June that the onions will stay put, and there'll be too much lettuce, and the deer'll be trying to eat whatever they can; that down at the Harrisons' place they can pick enough strawberries to see them through a week and satisfy Finn's need to eat every berry that he sees. In June the world's sweet, and the windows are open, and Merrie can walk to the barn on her own, and it seems only right, John thinks after leaving the kids at daycare and camp, that he play hooky for a day, enjoy everything the world's keen on dropping in his lap.
The drive back from town is pleasant, quiet save for the click of pavement beneath the truck's wheels. John savors the peace, the everyday glory of a sun-drenched morning, turns the truck into the driveway and is barely at a stop before Rodney's hurtling out of the house.
"We're married," Rodney says, and he's all but vibrating with . . . something. John approaches slow.
"Knew that, buddy." He eyes Rodney warily. "You okay?"
"No, no, you don't get it, we're married," Rodney says, wringing his hands, grinning wildly. "Married! The two of us! Really!"
John takes the stairs of the porch as slowly as he can, frantically trying to think what could bring on this sort of fit, what Rodney ate for breakfast, what he said he did the last time he was in Colorado, where a bug might have bitten him that John didn't see during all his leisurely explorations last night.
"DOMA!" Rodney says forcefully, clasping John by the shoulders when he gets close enough, shaking him as best he can. "Remember? Today? The decision?"
For a split second John thinks DOMA might be a word from Atlantis, a new sort of alien, an intergalactic parasite, an emergency code, an acronym for Rodney forgetting to eat and surviving on coffee for 37 hours at a time. Then something clicks – the workings of his brain catch up and whir into life. "DOMA?" he says.
"DOMA," Rodney repeats. "They struck it down. We're married."
John isn't sure his mind should go straight to taxes, or the happy possibility that he can sponsor Rodney for residency should the Stargate program up and quit, but it's all he can do, think of estate penalties and Social Security and the guy at H&R Block who'll be wading through their mortgage payments and daycare costs and submitting everything to the government on behalf of a new kind of family. "Well, holy shit," he says at last.
"I mean, holy fucking shit."
"We're married," John says, and Rodney flat out laughs at him, moves his hands to cup John's face, kisses him so happily that John can't help but grin. It doesn't help with the way his mind's spinning recklessly, but if it has to spin, better it does it while he has his hands on Rodney's ass.
"I wrote some checks," Rodney says when they break apart. "You know those bastards are going to try and stop it happening anywhere else, you know they'll . . ."
"Checks are good," John says, touching his forehead to Rodney's, breathing in deep.
"There are probably new email lists we should be on, and . . ."
"Email lists," John murmurs. "Check."
"And I don't know what else to do, exactly, because they only just announced the decision and no one's moving quickly enough and I can't think of things right now which is probably why people aren't moving quickly themselves, they're slow thinkers, thinkers like me, and you, probably you."
"Probably me," John says and pulls Rodney into a hug so that he can stand there in his third-best jeans and a frayed black t-shirt, on a soft June morning, his arms full of the man he loves, and let out a sigh of relief.