Martouf noticed Dave sauntering into the mess hall first, and he looked up with a bright smile. “Colonel. I trust the appointment with Dr. Beckett went well?”
“Peachy.” Dave grinned at all of them before setting his tray down at the end of the table and dropping into a chair. He took a giant swig of his first of two glasses of milk, then pulled one of the small plates towards him and began digging in enthusiastically. “I’m hungry enough to eat a horse.”
John glanced at Dave’s tray, and his eyebrows shot up. “You’re eating cheesecake for lunch?”
“We have cheesecake?” Rodney asked. He looked almost accusingly at John. “When did we get cheesecake?”
“The Athosians have been cultivating herd animals on the mainland,” Martouf explained. “I assume that they are milk-producing.”
“S’not bad,” Dave grunted, shoveling another forkful into his mouth. “Tastes kinda like avocado.” He grabbed the salt shaker from in front of John and liberally shook some on the cake before putting it down again.
“Okay,” John said, his eyes moving from the salt to Dave’s happy eating. “There’s something really wrong with you and Carson’s just too afraid to tell us, right?”
“Nope.” Dave grinned again around a mouthful of cake. “It’s neat. Y’all know how I’ve been kinda cranky lately?”
“If you call trying to spork my eyes out for eating the last peanut-butter Power Bar ‘cranky’,” Rodney said acerbically, “then, yes. We’ve noticed.”
“That was…Somewhat unusual, even for you, sir,” Martouf said.
“I didn’t even know we had sporks in the field kits,” John said.
“They are surprisingly useful instruments,” Martouf said.
“Yeah,” Rodney snapped, “for stuff like sporking my eyes out!”
“Sorry,” Dave muttered. “I had a craving.” He grabbed the salt again, shaking it over his second cheesecake slice.
“Anyway, you’ve noticed how I don’t want coffee no more too, right?”
“Oh yeah,” John said, lifting his own cup to his lips and taking a healthy swallow. “That was scary.”
“And yet, there has been no noticeable change in your behavior,” Martouf noted.
“Except for the sporking thing,” Rodney said.
“I’m not sure I’d really call that a change, though…” John said.
“Yep,” Dave nodded happily, putting nearly half the cheesecake into his mouth at once. He chewed and swallowed, then grinned at his tablemates. “And how I’ve started puking every once in a while and stuff?”
“Oh yeah.” Rodney nodded sourly. “That was hard to miss.”
“Figured you’d notice.” Dave smiled. “Well, the doc gave me a complete work up. MRI and everything.”
“So, what is it? Rabies shots not up to date?” Rodney asked. He took a sip of his own coffee.
“Are you well?” Martouf asked.
“I’m fine.” Dave’s smile spread back into a grin. “In fact, I’m excellent, like usual.” He waited until John was also drinking from his mug. “I’m pregnant.”
Rodney choked. John spit his coffee across the table.
“What?” Rodney gasped when he could breathe again. “You--what?”
“The Colonel said he was pregnant,” Martouf said. His blue eyes were terrifyingly wide. “That does explain a lot, actually.”
“Yep.” Dave leaned back and patted his belly. “Gotta little Dixon in there right now. Doc says I’m two months along.”
“You’re pregnant,” John said. He sounded more stunned than anybody. “You’ve got a little Dixon in there right now.”
“Please, God,” Rodney squeaked, still choking a little. “Tell me you’re joking.”
“No word of a lie.” Dave shook his head emphatically, then smiled hugely. “I’m gonna be a daddy!”
“How did this happen?” Martouf asked, his eyes still enormous.
Dave shrugged, tucking into the last of his cake. “Remember that Ancient chick?--Whatshername. The glowy squid one.”
“Chaya?” John gaped. “You got pregnant from Chaya?”
“I told you she was bad news!” Rodney smacked his palm down on the table, then grimaced when he realized he’d put his hand in a spattering of John’s expectorated coffee. “You should never have gone after her! Why didn’t anyone listen to me?”
“I listened to you!” John said, affronted.
“Oh, please.” Rodney rolled his eyes. “You were drooling after her like a toothless mastiff. You would have gone too, if Dave hadn’t stunned you and thrown you out of the Puddle Jumper.” He turned to Dave. “And we still haven’t been able to change the Jumper’s color back from pink, by the way. I’d really like to know how you did that. Not to mention what happened to all the drones.”
“I was in a good mood.” Dave shrugged.
“I was trying to keep Dave safe!” John exclaimed.
Rodney just looked blandly at him.
“Okay,” John said, more quietly. “Maybe it wasn’t entirely to keep Dave safe. But even if I…was a little…attracted…You should talk!” He glowered. “Asking Martouf about which alternate realities you fuck Carter in all the damn time!”
“So I was curious!” Rodney snapped. “It’s not my fault you never fall in love with anyone else!”
“Martouf didn’t say that!” John shouted.
Rodney smiled smugly. “Martouf didn’t know how to break it to you, that’s all. You’re so deep in denial you need a snorkel.”
“I am not! McKay!”
“Your report did not mention having had sex with Chaya,” Martouf said to Dave. He seemed a little hurt.
“Oh, right.” Dave actually looked embarrassed at that. “Well, she called it ‘sharing.’ I didn’t know that was Ancient for ‘funky monkey’.”
“How the hell could you not know you were having sex?” Rodney asked.
“I dunno,” Dave said, annoyed. “It was all glowy and shit.” He peered over at the remains of Rodney’s meal. “You gonna eat that?”
Rodney wordlessly pushed his tray over. Dave put his empty tray on a nearby table and began tucking into Rodney’s food.
“I am not certain that impregnating a human counts as non-interference,” Martouf said. “The other ascended Ancients may well be extremely angry with her.”
Dave looked up suddenly. “Hey--y'don’t think I’m gonna have to fight her for custody, or anything, do ya?” He rubbed the back of his head. “Don’t know how to fight an Ancient. They can go all glowy and shit.”
“Not to mention take out entire Wraith squadrons with their minds,” Rodney added.
“Wait,” John said to Dave. “You mean, you really want to keep the kid?”
Dave’s eyes narrowed. “Of course I wanna keep the kid! It’s my kid! No way some glowy squid chick is getting her hands on Chucky!”
“Chucky?” Rodney asked. “I thought I was Chucky.” And now he was the one who sounded a little hurt.
“Chucky,” Dave affirmed with a stern nod. “Best name ever.”
“What if the child is a girl?” Martouf asked.
“Oh, then she’ll be Charlie, of course,” Dave said.
“--So you can call her Chucky,” John said.
Dave smiled. “Yep.”
Rodney ran his hand over his face. “I don’t want to even think about you having a daughter.”
Martouf looked at Rodney. “And yet, I’m not entirely certain that a boy would be more comforting.”
Rodney gave a reluctant nod. “That’s true.”
“How about the baby sitting?” John said.
Rodney paled. “Oh, wow. I hadn’t thought of that. Oh, crap.”
“Perhaps we can find a willing Athosian family,” Martouf suggested. “One that has not met the Colonel previously…”
“Naw.” Dave took another swig of milk. “I don’t want Chucky raised by strangers. I was figuring I’d just stop going on missions, or something.” He patted his belly again. “Gotta think of the kid first, huh?”
“Whoa,” John said, sounding stunned. “You’re really serious about this.”
“Uh-huh.” Dave nodded soberly. He smiled, but it seemed a little fragile. “I just wanna be a good dad, you know?” He sniffed, wiping at his eyes with the heel of his hand. “Sorry,” he said gruffly. “Hormones.”
“It is understandable,” Martouf said. He got up from his chair and rounded the table, putting his hand on Dave’s shoulder. “I for one would be honored to help you raise this child.” He looked pointedly at John and Rodney, and his eyes glowed for a moment. “As assuredly would Dr. McKay and Major Sheppard.”
John swallowed. “Uh… Yeah. Sure.”
Rodney gulped. “Absolutely.”
“You guys are the best team!” Dave said brokenly. He turned so he could grab Martouf around the waist and started sobbing, his face pressed to Martouf’s belly. Martouf made soothing noises and rubbed Dave’s neck and shoulders.
John and Rodney looked at each other.
“He said he was two months along, right?” Rodney whispered.
“Two hundred and ten days to go,” John whispered back. “Give or take.”
“Right.” Rodney nodded numbly. “Two hundred and ten days. We can handle Two hundred and ten days.”
John glanced at Dave. “I’m, uh, gonna see if there’s any more cheesecake.”
“Good idea.” Rodney nodded again. “Don’t forget the salt.”