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Family Pictures

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John wasn't particularly surprised to see Miko in the infirmary when he strolled in. It seemed like everyone in Atlantis had visited Rodney and the twins since their birth. He was a little surprised that she had a digital camera, and was busily taking pictures. Rodney was wearing a black shirt and trousers rather than a hospital gown, and the medical equipment had been pushed away from the bed, so that the background for the pictures would be only a neutral beige wall. The twins were propped in his arms, their green eyes open but sleepy-looking, and Rodney was smiling broadly.

"John, John. Good, you're here. Come get in the picture."

John obeyed, sitting on the bed by Rodney, snuggling close, and smiling too. It was easy to smile on command with Rodney and the twins because all three were so cute. Miko snapped a few pictures and showed the viewscreen to Rodney, who nodded his approval.

"Okay, good. Close-ups of each of the kids now."

Kathleen was thrust into his arms, and John cuddled her, watching in bemusement as Rodney wiggled out of bed, still wincing a little from having been cut open for the Caesarean, before arranging Alexander on the white cover, cooing at him to make him smile while Miko snapped a truly astonishing number of close-ups.

"Oh, here." Rodney thrust a laptop at John. "Do you think this is okay? Should I say something more? I can't think of anything else I can say."

Taking the laptop, John began reading the text on the screen. Dear Jeannie, it started.

I guess now is the time to tell you the big news I mentioned I would have. I know you assumed it was regarding a scientific breakthrough or prize, but actually I wanted to announce that you are now an aunt. I have two children, twins, Kathleen Sheppard McKay and Alexander Sheppard McKay.

I am raising them with my partner, Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard of the US Air Force. I know, the American military is absurdly homophobic, but John has been granted a special dispensation, so we don't have to worry about him being kicked out or sent to Leavenworth.

Kathleen was born first by a few minutes. She has John's smile, though I'm sure Alexander will have the McKay nose.

"That's a family nose?" John asked.

"Yes, of course. My father and his father both had this nose."

"Scary." John went back to reading. I hope that we will be able to visit in a few months, so that you can meet them and see how adorable they are in person. For now I'm attaching a picture of the four of us.


P.S. John's hair is always like that.

"Hey, the picture hadn't even been taken when you wrote this!"

"Yes, but," Rodney flicked a look at John's hair, deftly switching Alexander for Kathleen, "I knew it would be." Miko started rapidly shooting close-ups of her new subject. "So what do you think? Is there anything else I can say?"

"She's going to assume we had a surrogate mother and that they're only genetically one of ours."

"I can't help that. I can hardly tell her the truth."

"She's really going to wonder what you're doing, having kids in a research station in – where does she think you are?"

"I've implied Afghanistan. Or Antarctica."

"Because they're so similar," John said, which earned him an eye rolling from Rodney and a little glare from Miko. "I didn't realize you wrote your sister."

Rodney shrugged. "I sent her a video message, back when – back when Ford was filming everyone, and I looked her up when we went home after the Wraith attack. She's nice and reasonably intelligent and her children aren't completely irritating. One of them shows signs of having brains and you'll like the other one, he's mad about sports and atrocious movies." Taking the camera from Miko, Rodney clicked through the shots in the camera. "Good, can you send the letter in today's data stream with a picture of the four of us? The third one, that's the best. Download the rest to my laptop."

Miko bobbed obediently. It was astonishing how much she adored Rodney and rather relieving how little Rodney noticed. "And you, Colonel Sheppard? Would you like me to send the picture to anyone? I would be honored if you would provide me with email addresses."

"Me? No, I'm good. Thanks."

"You must have some family," Rodney noted, with his best 'staring through a microscope' look.

John pressed a kiss on the top of Alexander's head, smiled at Kathleen, and met Rodney's eyes. "I do. And you're all here with me."

~ the end ~