melissas_corner: (John/Rodney)
[personal profile] melissas_corner
Title: In This Life
Author: [personal profile] logans_girl2001
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: PG-13
Category: slash
Status: complete
Archive: My website
Feedback: Yes, please.
Disclaimers: I do not own any of the characters.
Author's Notes: I put myself up for auction in the [livejournal.com profile] fandomaid auction for Nepal. [livejournal.com profile] hannahcarrietta bought me. Her prompt is: Rodney finds out he is pregnant in the middle of a crisis. Rodney is captured and lets information leak as he is worried for his unborn child. Everyone is angry with him and no one will listen. Rodney goes back to earth. Fast forward two years John is on Earth to be promoted and he is in the infirmary when a little boy is rushed in having an allergic reaction. Rodney shows up shortly afterwards with a little girl and it all comes out. In this universe some men are born with the ability to get pregnant. This is set after the end of the series when Atlantis has returned to the Pegasus galaxy.
Sequel/Series: none
Summary: Two years after Rodney leaves Atlantis, he and John have a rather tense reunion.
Warnings: none
Spoilers: All aired episodes are fair game.
Beta: I am currently without a beta and accepting applications. If interested, please let me know.

John's POV:

"John, please just listen to me!" Rodney grabs my sleeve as I walk past him on my way out of the conference room after the debrief.

"I don't care what you have to say, Rodney. Because of you we have to find yet another planet to live on! And this time Teyla has to leave her people behind because they don't want to go with us." I roughly pull my sleeve from his grasp. "What I can't understand is what happened? Huh? Kolya had a fucking knife in your arm and you didn't so much as tell him your real first name and this guy merely threatens you with violence and you can't talk fast enough."

A flush creeps up his neck and into his face. "If you'd let me explain." His voice is full of hurt, hurt that I put there, but I can't let it sway me. I have to prepare to fly the city to a new planet.

"Save it, McKay, because I. Do. Not. Care." Spinning on my heel, I march from the room.

"Colonel?" Radek's voice cuts through my angry thoughts.

I key my earwig with a sigh. "Yes, Radek?"

"Could you stop by the chair room so that we may conduct preflight checks?"

"On my way." Instead of heading to my favorite brooding spot, I change course for the chair room.

Two hours later and Radek finally releases me. "We should be good to go once Woolsey gives the okay." Radek pushes his glasses up his nose, never once taking his eyes off the tablet in his hands.

"Great. Let me know when I'm needed."

"Will do, Colonel." He wanders off muttering in Czech.

"Colonel?" This time it's Lorne who interrupts my brooding.

"Yes, Major?"

"I, uh, just heard a rumor about McKay."

"If it's that he spilled our gate address, it's not a rumor."

"It's not that."

"Then what is it?"

"Uh, he, uh, is leaving, Sir."

I stop dead in my tracks. "He's what!?" I can't believe that Rodney would leave Atlantis. Especially since he has always said he felt under appreciated on Earth.

"Yeah. He's already received permission from Woolsey to gate back to Earth before we leave this planet."

"Like hell he will," I mutter, turning and sprinting for Rodney's room.

"…believe you're actually doing this." I get to Rodney's room to find that Carson has beaten me there and is trying to talk him out of it.

"He made it very clear, Carson. He no longer wants me here. So I'm leaving."

"Maybe if ye told him?"


Rodney snorts. "As if. He wouldn't let me explain, Carson. If I was to say something now he'd think I was trying to manipulate him or something and I am not some helpless female."

Carson's sigh is loud and frustrated. "No one would think that ye are, Rodney. Least of all him. He deserves to know."

"After the way he shut me down during and after the debrief, he doesn't deserve to know
shit!"

"Rodney."
The silence stretches for several long seconds and I wonder what's going on inside Rodney's room. "Rodney, he's…"

"I know what he is! Doesn't mean he deserves to know; especially since he refused to listen before."


I know they're talking about me and that makes me kinda want to burst in there and demand to know what it is Rodney doesn't think I deserve to know but something holds me back. The hurt in his voice, maybe? It's a tone I've heard from him numerous time over the past six years we've been together. And it was always because I couldn't acknowledge him due to my being military. But that all changed during our six month stay on Earth last year. DADT was repealed while we were there and I began, slowly, acknowledging what everyone already knew: that Rodney and I were a couple.

I guess my refusal to let him explain why he spilled our secrets has him believing I don't want him anymore. Well, if that's how he feels without making sure, then he can just go back to Earth where SGC golden child Samantha Carter will show him up every day. See if I care!

An hour later, Ronon finds me hitting golf balls off the balcony I modified for just that purpose. "Are you seriously going to let him leave?"

I tee up and shrug. "He just assumed that because I didn't want to hear any excuses that I was done with him. It's his loss for not making sure before asking for a transfer."

"You're an idiot, you know that?" Ronon grabs the driver out of my hand during my backswing. "You know he has issues. Issues that you just reinforced by not going to him."

"Hey!" I try to grab the driver back but Ronon just uses it to push me against the wall.

"He thought he had finally found his place and someone to love him for him, not for the size of his brain, and you're just gonna let him leave?"

I swipe at the driver shaft and manage to grab a hold of it. With a swift tug I get it away from him. "First off, I never said I didn't want him. I just refused to listen to his excuse for putting us all in danger. And second,-" I use the driver head to push Ronon back. "-he could have come to me at anytime to confirm if it was over or not. The fact that he didn't tells me he doesn’t love me as much as he proclaimed."

"He has his reasons, I'm sure."

"Do you know what they are?" Ronon sighs and stares out at the ocean. "Just as I thought." I push him back some more and tee up again. "Now if you'll excuse me…"

"You should still try to stop him. He's family."

I ignore his last statement because the words are like a knife to my heart. Family. Something I never thought I'd have after the way things were left between Dave and me. But I found one here in Atlantis and Rodney is most definitely a part of it. But then I remember that he took my refusal to listen to another self-serving excuse for putting hundreds of people in danger as my saying we're through and I harden my heart against the hurt of losing him.

Nearly two hours later, Teyla finds me eating a late lunch in the mess. She sits down across from me with Torren strapped to her hip. "He's leaving in about twenty minutes, John."

I don't even have to ask who she means. With a shrug I finish chewing my bite. "He made his decision without consulting us, Teyla. I say let him go."

"But, John." Her face says it all. She's trying to not mother hen me but it's difficult when she's got such a large maternal side. "I thought you loved him."

"And I thought he loved me." Another shrug. "Guess we were both wrong." I pick up my tray and stand. "If you and Ronon want him to stay so badly, you talk to him. And while you're at it, why don't you do what you should have done during the debrief and ask what his self-serving excuse is this time. I'm sure it's fascinating." With a tiny tickle for Torren, I leave the mess after bussing my tray.

Twenty minutes later finds me taking a 'short-cut' that's not really a short-cut, through operations so I can watch Rodney walk out of my life.

"Oh, good, Colonel. You're here to talk him into staying," Chuck says what I'm sure everyone in the city is thinking.

"Oh, uh, no. I'm just passing through." I point to the bridge on the other side of Woolsey's office and slowly make my way there.

"I really wish you'd reconsider, Rodney." Woolsey is trying to do the impossible.

"I have nothing to stay for." Hearing him say that is like a punch to the gut.

"What about your work?"

"What about it? I can do it just as well at Stargate Command."

"And if they send you back to Area 51?"


Rodney's snort expresses his opinion of that. "They won't. I already made sure of it." He glances at his watch. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I really have to go." Holding one finger in the air, he twirls it like I do and says, "Dial it up, Chuck."

Teyla, with Torren still strapped to her hip, and Ronon enter the gate room while the gate is still dialing. "Rodney, please don't do this," Teyla says, stepping up to Rodney and placing one hand on his arm.

"I'm not wanted here, anymore, Teyla. He made that very clear."

"Did he actually say that?"
I guess she talked to Ronon after she left me.

"He didn't have to, Teyla. I know him, okay? He sees what I did as the ultimate betrayal so in his eyes, I'm no longer worthy."

"Oh, Rodney."
Teyla steps closer and hugs him as best as she can with Torren on her hip. When she pulls back, they do the Athosian forehead touch and then Ronon grabs him in a big hug and lifts him off his feet.

"Yes, yes. Okay. Thank you!" Rodney grouses and smoothes down his jacket when Ronon sets him back on his feet. I can't really tell from where I'm standing but it looks like his hand pauses on his abdomen. "I'll miss all three of you," he says, leaning down to kiss Torren's cheek.

"G'bye, Unca Roddy." Torren does that cute backwards finger wave thing that little kids do.

"Bye, little one." Rodney rubs his hand over Torren's curls.

The wormhole balloons out and settles into the rippling surface of the event horizon and Rodney takes one last look around, whispers a final good-bye to the city and, pushing a cart loaded down with cases, steps through the gate.

Watching the man I envisioned a future with step into the event horizon of the wormhole is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. And the one thing I truly regret. But there is no going back now. Rodney made his choice and I will abide by it.

Time moves on, as it does, and before I know it two years have passed and I'm up for my full bird. This is a day that Rodney and I had talked about at length; how I'd be the first openly gay man to be promoted to Colonel in the US Air Force. It is a day I had always planned to celebrate with him at my side. He should be the one placing the pins on my shoulders but instead he's off who knows where, doing who knows what and I have to force myself to not care; and to not expect to see him while I'm Earth side.

"Teyla and I could accompany you, if you want." Ronon has been leaning in the doorway of my room watching me pack for about ten minutes now.

"And I told you that I'll be fine without you. Torren is still battling that cold and I know Carson will insist he stay here and you know that means that Teyla won't want to leave him. So, we'll just leave it this way. It's fine."

His snort is a near perfect imitation of Rodney's. "Keep telling yourself that and maybe you'll believe it."

I sigh and toss down the shirt in my hands because he's right: I want them there. Hell, I just want someone that I call family there. Sitting down heavily on the bed, I rub at my face with my hands. "I know. I'm still trying, man. It's hard."

"You should try to talk to him while you're there. Maybe now you'll be willing to listen."

"Maybe." I chew my bottom lip. If I can get Rodney to remain in the same room with me long enough I just might be able to fix this and bring him home where he belongs. But that's a big if.

Eventually Ronon grows bored with watching me pack so he wanders off, leaving my door empty until Teyla stops by with Torren in tow. He's getting so big and very independent. At three years of age he refuses to be carried when he's perfectly capable of running everywhere.

"Unca John!" Torren comes running into my room and tries to climb up on my bed.

"Whoa there, buddy." I manage to grab him before he tumbles backwards off the bed.

"Torren John!" Uh-oh. First and middle names. Teyla doesn't lose her patience very often, not even with such a head strong toddler. "Oh, John. Thank you." She tucks the gift wrapped package she's carrying under one arm and reaches for her son.

"Think Carson will let him travel so you can come with?"

She chuckles and says, "Doubtful. But even if he did I would not accompany you. You should not hide from him."

I don't even try to pretend to not know who she's talking about. "I get it. Don't like it but you're right."

She smiles at me and manages to keep a hold of a wiggling Torren without any problems. "If you do see him, please give him this." She hands me the gift.

I turn it over in my hands and try to not think about the last birthday (his and mine) we spent together. "If I see him." I set the present on top of the folded clothes in my bag. "Sure you don't wanna come? Torren's big enough to really enjoy Earth now."

"John, stop hiding from him. Talk to him and let him explain."

"Do you know why?"

"I do but it is not for me to say." She does the Athosian forehead thing with me and Torren grabs my sleeve. After I do a brief forehead touch with him, Teyla pats my arm and exits my room.

Zipping my bag closed, I shoulder the strap and make my way to the gate room. With a twirl of my hand, I tell Chuck to dial Earth while walking across the floor.

"Colonel." Woolsey jogs down the stairs and comes to a halt in front of me. "You'd think they would do your promotion ceremony here so we can all celebrate with you."

"Well, since O'Neill is attending, they felt that the trip here and him staying a day or two would be too long for him to be away from DC."

"I see." He looks around. "Couldn't talk your team into accompanying you, I see."

The whoosh of the wormhole engaging has me turning to watch it settle. "No. But that's okay. I only had Elizabeth when I was last promoted. I can deal with it."

He nods. "I trust you've given Major Lorne all the necessary instructions."

"I have. And I plan on returning with news of his promotion. Man's been a Major nearly as long as I was."

"Very good. Safe journey." And with that he's off, back up the stairs.

Squaring my shoulders, I take a deep breath and step into the event horizon and into the gate room of Stargate Command.

"Welcome home, Colonel," Walter greets me.

"I just left my home, Sergeant."

"Right, or course. Sorry; habit."

Before I get to the bottom of the ramp, an unassuming man in a SGC civilian uniform comes scampering toward me. "Colonel Sheppard?"

"Yeah?" I eye this man who, even though he's not actually wearing one, is so obviously a suit. In my experience being greeted by a suit can only mean one thing and it's never good.

"Brian Milton." He holds out his hand for me to shake. "I've been assigned as your assistant during your stay."

I've never had an assistant before, unless you count Lorne. "Nice to meet you."

"So, according to your schedule you should be in the infirmary for…"

"My post gate travel check-up. I know the routine."

"Oh, yes, of course you do." He chuckles and adjusts his glasses. "After your exam I'll take you to your quarters."

"Good." I hand him my bag because he seems to expect it. "If you'll put this in my room for me. Do not unpack it. I can do that myself."

"Yes, of course, Colonel." With a nod, he shoulders my bag and continues on down the hall.

I turn and enter the infirmary and am reminded that I am not on Atlantis which has a wave of homesickness washing over me.

"Colonel!" Dr. Lam greets me. "Right on time."

I smile at the pretty doctor and hop up on the bed she's patting.

She has barely begun my exam when a young woman comes rushing in carrying a boy of about two years of age. "Carolyn, help! His father's going to kill me!"

"Kill is a strong word. Make living difficult for the foreseeable future is more like it." I frown at a description that could apply to only one person: Rodney McKay.

As if on cue, he comes bustling into the room. "Tigran!" He shoulders his way closer to the child on the bed, presenting me with the back of a curly black haired child strapped to his back. "What the hell happened?" He rounds on the young woman who must be the boy's caretaker.

"I don't know! I only turned my back for a minute." I can't tell if she's more afraid of the boy dying or of Rodney's anger.

Then what's been said so far registers. The child has been identified as Rodney's son. But he's nearly two so Rodney must have adopted him. But I can't figure out why he would when he claims to hate children (even though they love him). And then the child on Rodney's back turns to look at me and I find myself staring at my own face only with obviously female features and Rodney's bright blue eyes.

"She looks like me." I didn't mean to say it out loud but it just comes out in my shock and surprise.

"What?" Rodney turns and winces. "Sona, love, please don't pull Papa's hair." Sona whines around the two fingers in her mouth. "And don't whine. I don't mind you holding my hair, just let go when I turn my head. Okay?" He reaches back and squeezes one of her feet and she gives a shy giggle.

"McKay." I use the voice that used to have him instantly obeying.

"What? Oh, right. Um, she doesn't?" He shrugs.

"McKay!" I punch the mattress at my hip.

"Can we please not do this while my son is fighting for his life?" He spins around without waiting for my response. "Has he been given his shot yet?"

The woman who brought the boy - Tigran - in flinches and shakes her head. "It's gone missing."

"Missing!? How-how-how in the hell can my son's EpiPen go missing? You keep it locked up, right?" She nods. "So, I'll ask again: how. Did. It. Go. Missing!?" The little girl - Sona - on his back tugs his hair and whimpers. "Sorry, baby." He coos, turning his head as far as he can and making kissing noises at her. "Well, Natalia?"

Natalia seems to shrink in on herself and it makes me smile to see he didn't lose his bark when he became a father. "I don't know." Her voice is so very small.

"You don't know." He sighs and turns, already having dismissed her from his mind. "You're an idiot. And so very fired."

"You can't do that, Rodney." Lam had calmly given Tigran a shot in his thigh while Rodney yelled at Natalia and is now hooking him up to monitoring equipment.

"Of course I can. Because of her incompetence my son almost died."

The tiny body on the bed gives a feeble cough and raises his hand with his fingers spread and taps his thumb against his forehead several times. Rodney instantly calms some, sits on the bed and takes one tiny ankle in his hand. "Papa's here. Can you open your eyes for me?"

Tigran whimpers and makes the motion again. This time Rodney grabs his hand and strokes the boy's face. "Papa's here, Tigran. Please open your eyes. I know it hurts and is very scary but Dr. Lam is making you all better. C'mon, open 'em for Papa."

Tigran's lashes flutter and then slowly rise. He pouts up at Rodney and begins to cry softly. Rodney gathers him close, cooing and rocking him gently. "It's gonna be fine. Papa's here." Rodney kisses the blond curls and strokes his back.

"He'll be fine, Rodney." Lam touches Rodney's shoulder. "But I want to keep him overnight just to make sure."

Rodney nods. "Natalia, tell me what happened."

"I really don't know, Dr. McKay. Tigran and two other boys were playing with their cars when I had to help another child use the potty. When I returned he was convulsing."

"How did he get ahold of the food he's allergic to? It's supposed to be banned in your room."

"And it is! I check bags before they're allowed in the door." I can't see the expression Rodney levels on her but judging by how she pales it must be his patent-pending 'you're going to kill someone some day with your stupidity' look. "They may have gotten it off the snack cart that was passing by."

"But he knows what not to eat."

Natalia shrugs. "I can only guess that the other boys dared him."

"I see. And where do you think they would have gotten that idea from? They're only three or four."

Natalia shrugs again. "Tigran is the youngest in the class, with the exception of Sona. It's possible they wanted him to 'prove' his allergy."

"Get out." He points at the door. "I mean it. I don't want you exposing my children to your level of stupid anymore."

Natalia's lower lip quivers but she holds her head high when she marches from the room.

With a sigh, Rodney kisses his son again before laying him back down. When Tigran protests, Rodney shushes him. "You see that man there?" Tigran nods without moving his eyes from Rodney's face despite Rodney pointing at me. "He's an old friend whom I haven't seen in a few years. I'm gonna step out into the hall and speak to him. Dr. Lam will stay with you. Okay?" Tigran's lower lip pushes out even further and tears well up in his eyes but he lets go of Rodney. "Good boy." Rodney brushes the hair off Tigran's face and kisses his forehead. "Be right back."

When Rodney stands up I follow suit and exit the room behind him. Pulling the door closed behind us, he turns to face me. "Now, what?" He's standing stiffly and I'm reminded of the Rodney McKay I first met in Antarctica.

"The little girl strapped to your back who is obviously your daughter looks like me."

"No, she doesn't."

I take a step closer and he backs up a step before catching himself. "I know what I looked like as a child, McKay. So please explain to me why your daughter looks like me!" Sona whimpers again and tries to climb out of the wrap Rodney has her in.

"Easy, love." Rodney grabs her feet and holds on until she stops struggling. "I'll thank you to not yell around my daughter."

"Then answer my question."

He takes and releases a deep breath. "Because she's yours."

"And the boy?" He refuses to respond and I grit my teeth. "Did you know when you left?"

He glances at the door. "Could we please discuss this when my son isn't lying in the infirmary?"

"Tomorrow morning." I get in his face. "And I want the truth."

"So you're willing to listen now? Two years later? Wow." He crosses his arms over his chest. "You got some nerve." Sona glares at me as well as she can around the two fingers in her mouth. And damned if I'm not completely charmed with this child of mine who is one hundred percent Rodney.

"I have some nerve!? You didn't tell me you were pregnant. Hell, you didn't even tell me you could get pregnant."

"Later, John. Okay?" He frowns at me as if he's just now actually looked at my face. "You look tired. Maybe you should get some sleep."

"As you well know it was late afternoon when I left Atlantis and it's mid morning here. If I go to bed now it'll just f- um, mess with my sleep schedule." Rodney's mouth dips down on the left as he smiles a little at my near slip.

"True. But a nap won't hurt."

I rub one hand along the back of my neck. "Yeah, maybe."

Lam sticks her head out the door. "Rodney? He's asking for you."

"Okay." He turns back to me. "I hafta…" He throws his thumb at the door.

"Yeah." I nod. "Breakfast?"

"Breakfast." He turns and enters the room. Just before the door closes I hear him saying, "Papa's here. It's gonna be fine." My heart clenches as I realize I could very well have lost my son (I have no doubt that Rodney's children are twins) without even knowing he exists.

Milton comes walking up the hall toward me. "All done, Colonel?"

"Um, no." I can't stop looking at the closed door and wanting to be on the other side of it with my family. "The McKay boy had an allergic reaction. I'll come back later."

"Tigran? Oh, no. Is he alright?" When he turns to walk back the way he came, I fall into step with him. "The whole base loves both him and his sister. They're like the mascots. Of course the same can be said of all the children."

"When did SGC get a daycare?"

"When Colonel Carter had a baby last year. Before that Dr. McKay just kept his kids in a playpen in his lab."

"I'm surprised Landry allowed him to do that."

"It was one of his deal breakers when he came back from Atlantis. Oh, hey-" He spins to face me. "-you must have known him on Atlantis."

"You could say that." I force him to start walking again by stepping around him.

"Do you know who the other father is? I bet he was just as smart as McKay." Milton sounds like he has a crush on the father of my children. "And handsome with how cute those kids are." He opens a door on our right. "Well, here you are."

"Awesome. I'm gonna catch some shut eye. Wake me in an hour and a half."

"Very good, Sir."

I close the door behind me and fall backward onto the bed. I don't remember ever being this tired, not even during the height of the Wraith attacks. I have every intention of removing my boots and getting comfortable in the bed but my body, obviously, has other ideas because the next thing I know Milton is shaking me awake.

I head back to the infirmary and feel disappointed that Rodney and his little family have been moved to a private area. Lam makes quick work of my exam and proclaims me the picture of perfect health before sending me on my way. With nothing else to do, I make my way to the gun range and spend the next several hours shooting at paper targets. Eventually the Munitions Specialist shoos me away and I spend the night tossing and turning. I've just about figured out what happened two years ago but I need to hear it from Rodney's mouth.

I walk into the mess at 0700 and make my way through the line before finding a table off in a corner; won't do to have the whole room listening in on our conversation. Rodney comes in about ten minutes later with Sona still strapped to his back. Makes me wonder if there's a reason he doesn't let her walk and then I realize that due to her age she may not be walking yet. He gets a tray that seems to be filled with more food for the little girl than for him before heading my way.

"Sheppard." His voice is hesitant when he greets me. "Here, love." He removes Sona from her wrap and sits with her in his lap. The second his butt touches the seat of the chair, she begins eating the food on the tray.

"Do you not feed her, McKay?" I eye the way the child's shoveling food into her mouth like it's her last meal.

"She may have picked up a habit or two from me." He shrugs.

I snort a laugh. "You don't say."

"Sarcasm not needed, Colonel. Oh, hey-" He snaps his fingers and Sona looks up expectantly. "-congrats on the promotion. Drink your milk." He sets the cup in her hands. She gulps it down in two big gulps, leaving me blinking.

She holds the cup out and makes a sign with her free hand which brings the sign Tigran made in the infirmary to mind. "Do they not talk? I mean, I know they're not deaf but I've yet to hear one of them speak."

"Tigran talks more than Sona. He just doesn't after an attack. I read all the books and found this one that said children know what they're feeling and what they need they just don't have the vocabulary to express it and that's what causes the tantrums that are common in toddlers. It suggested teaching them sign language. I've discovered it keeps the melt downs to a minimum."

"Huh. So the sign Tigran did…" I mimic it.

"Father. And the one she just did means more." With a wave of his hand he has a mess hall worker at the table refilling Sona's cup.

"What's Tigran allergic to?"

"Peanuts." Rodney sounds so sad.

"At least it isn't chocolate or coffee."

"True."

"Is Sona autistic?"

"Nope. Just slow to talk. She used to babble like other babies until Tigran started putting words together. I think she decided he talks enough for the both of them. Plus she can get her point across just as well with sign."

"Can she walk?"

He blinks at me. "Your children are perfectly healthy, John. Sona just doesn't want to use her voice and I prefer to not take forever and a day to get from one place to another."

"But she can?"

"Yes she can. She started walking at nine months but she's a very slow walker; especially when I'm in a hurry."

"Why wasn't she in class with her brother? Or was she and you took the time to get her before coming to the infirmary?"

"Sona was having a 'must be with Papa' day so she was with me."

"Is this something you needed or something she needed?"

"About once a week she insists on being with me." Sona is finished with her meal and has begun playing with the leftovers. Rodney absent mindedly moves the tray out of her reach. "I think she's just too smart for the class she's in, even though it's an older class, but the teachers won't move her up again until she starts talking and is fully potty trained." His tone tells me exactly what he thinks of that rule.

"They have those rules for a reason, Rodney."

He presses his lips together and the left corner dips down. "I knew you'd be like that. Our daughter's a genius and you want to hold her back." I'm so caught up in his rant that I almost miss him calling Sona our daughter.

"Not at all. Sona is undoubtedly smart. She's your daughter, Rodney, but that rule is there to protect her. The older classes have a greater child to teacher ratio. If she's only communicating with sign and still wearing pull-ups she won't get the attention she needs."

"I'm thinking of hiring someone to teach her. And maybe Tigran now that that incompetent witch let those stupid boys poison our son."

"You know for sure that's what happened?"

"Yes, Tigran told me this morning. I have a meeting with their parents and Landry at 10."

"Rodney, how old are these boys?"

"Three. What does that have to do with anything?"

"You don't think three is too young to know right from wrong?"

His eyes narrow on my face. "You are not my children's parent. Stop telling me what to do."

I sigh. Great, he's got his hackles up. "I'm not. I'm just trying to make sure you don't go into Landry's office and accuse those boys of trying to kill Tigran when that is most likely not what happened."

He releases a breath. "Okay. I'll hear them out; which is more than you did."

I close my eyes at the hurt in his. "I know and I'm sorry. I was just so very angry."

"You ready to listen now?"

"Yes."

He nods and kisses Sona's head. "Remember how nauseous I was?" I nod. "Carson insisted on running a pregnancy test."

"Wait." I halt his speech with one hand upraised, palm out. "I didn't even know you could get pregnant."

"Yeah, neither did I. See only my father was a carrier. His father could get pregnant but my father could not. I have all the right plumbing just no extra opening."

"And so, how?" I prompt when he stops talking.

"Near as we can guess my rectum and birth canal share a wall and it becomes like cheese cloth during ovulation. I didn't even know I ovulated so there was no way for me to know I could get pregnant."

"So in the five years prior we just lucked out?"

"Pretty much."

"How old are they?"

"Nineteen months."

"So you were four months pregnant when you left?"

"No, three. Gestation with twins is less than with just one."

"Why didn't you tell me before we stepped through the gate?"

"I was afraid you'd make me stay behind."

"Damn straight, I would have. Same as when Teyla was pregnant."

"Exactly. I didn't want that. You needed me on that mission."

I sit back in my chair and scrub my face. "So you talked to protect our babies."

"Yes. Although at the time I didn't know there were two of them."

"Just because I refused to listen to your reason didn't mean I wanted you to leave."

"I know that now. But at the time I was hormonal and not thinking clearly. And then I convinced myself that the three of us were better off without you."

"That explains why you didn't tell me once you were here."

"No one on Atlantis with the exception of Carson and Teyla know."

"Will today be another 'must be with Papa' day for Sona?"

"And Tigran. I'm going to get him from the infirmary after my meeting."

"May I attend? I mean, I am their other father, after all."

"Your name isn't on their birth certificates."

"We'll fix that while I'm here. I'll even start paying child support. Even if you come back with me. Will you come back? So I can be in their lives?"

"I'll think about it." He looks at his watch. "I'm trying to potty train her and we should probably…" He jerks his chin in the direction of the door.

"Yeah, go ahead. I'll meet you in Landry's office at 10."

He smiles and wraps Sona back up on his back before busing his tray and leaving the mess.

I feel like I should call my brother and tell him about his niece and nephew so I track down Milton and have him direct me to a secure phone line. The conversation with Dave goes better than I could have hoped for due to the fact that I hadn't yet come out to my family. But Dave surprised me by being supportive and even inviting us to spend some time with him and his family during my leave. By the time we hung up I was wishing my father were still alive to meet his two newest grandchildren.

The meeting with Landry and the other parents goes as well as I expected it to. They questioned my presence at first but when Rodney admitted he ran away rather than tell me, and that I only found out because of their sons daring Tigran to eat a handful of peanuts, they grudgingly accepted it and then went on the defensive for their children.

It quickly becomes clear that even though they are some of the best in their fields (otherwise they wouldn't work for SGC) they're the type of parents that think rules only hurt their child's creativity. And that the word no will stunt their emotional growth.

Both sets of parents try and blame Rodney for the incident saying that by forbidding peanuts it just makes the children want them even more. And they'll 'rebel' by eating them. I shut that down right quick by reminding them they've forbidden the teacher from using a red pen to mark wrong answers on their older child's papers. Plus, Tigran has heard all his life how peanuts can kill him so he would not willingly eat them; that he only did it because he wanted to be included so he accepted the dare.

Rodney wants the boys banned from the daycare but I manage to get him to agree to them not attending for the rest of the week, not that Tigran will be attending either (Rodney has already decided to keep both children home) and will be in a different class when they return.

The issue of the peanut ban is a very hot one with one set of the other parents because their son loves peanut butter. They go on and on about how it's not fair to the other children in Tigran's class to insist they not bring any peanut related foods in their bags. Landry says that most elementary school have similar bans so unless they plan to home school, they'll be facing it when he begins kindergarten. That shuts them up right quick. And has Rodney thinking. It's a look I've sorely missed.

When the meeting is over I pull Rodney aside. "Can I formally meet them?"

"Yes, but don't get upset if they don't take to you right away. This all has them way off schedule."

I nod and fall into step with him when he heads toward the infirmary. "So, what were you thinking so hard about back there?"

"Hm?" he hums, glancing at me. "Oh, I think I'll have them homeschooled. That way we avoid their allergies and bullies."

"Their allergies? What's Sona allergic to?"

"Stupid people." We share a laugh.

"At least she comes by it naturally," I say, wiping tears from my eyes.

"Yeah." Rodney opens a door on his left.

"Papa!" Tigran shouts before two tiny bodies come flying at Rodney's head.

"Here, now! What have I said about jumping on me?" He catches them like he's been doing it for years and sets them back down on one of the beds.

"Not to do it." Tigran's obviously the spokesman for the two of them because she just points at him and nods.

"Exactly." Rodney sits down on the other bed and motions for me to sit down next to him. "Tigran, Sona, I want you to meet John Sheppard. He's your other father."

They frown at us and Sona's fingers end up in her mouth again. "Where's he been?" When Rodney explained about the sign language I didn't expect Tigran to be so vocal.

"We had a disagreement before I could tell him about you and I was just angry enough that I left Atlantis without telling him and chose to keep you a secret until now."

Sona's tiny hands move in a near blur and I have to wonder just how many of the signs are actual words and how many are made up by the child. And I can tell I'm going to have to learn sign language in order to communicate with my daughter.

Rodney touches my leg to get my attention. "Sona asks if you're happy to know about them."

I don't even have to think. "Yes, I am. Very happy. I didn't think I'd ever have children so you two are a very pleasant surprise."

More hand motions by Sona, translated by Rodney. "You like surprises?"

"Very much. Especially when they're as cute as you and your brother." My answer makes them both giggle.

This time Tigran's the one making the signs. "What should we call you?"

"Um, John for now if you're not comfortable with Daddy." They both make the sign for father then lift their hands over their heads with their fingers spread and pointing up. I turn to Rodney. "What's that mean?"

He's grinning so big he can hardly talk. "Daddy."

"Really?"

"Well, there isn't an actual sign for Daddy so they combined the sign for father with the one for your name."

"Um, what?"

"People get sign language nicknames. Sona's is the finger sign for S against your mouth. Tigran's is the letter T twisted next to your head for his curly hair. Yours is father and making a sign for your hair." He does the sign.

"But Sona also has curly hair."

"Yes but she also sucks her fingers and doesn't talk."

"I saw Tigran only do the sign for father yesterday."

"Because I was their only father yesterday. They'll give me a nickname soon enough, I'm sure."

The four of us sit there for a long moment just looking at each other and I have to fight the urge to lean into Rodney like I used to. Then, with a grunt, Sona jumps down from the bed and toddles over to me where she slaps my knees and holds her arms up in the universal sign for 'up, please'. I left her, marveling at how light she is and sit her in my lap. She instantly turns to sit on her knees on my thighs.

Patting the center of my chest she says, "Daddy."

"That's just great. The first time she speaks in nearly a year and it's your name." Rodney may be saying words that on the surface sound like a rant but he's tone is anything but. Plus he's grinning from ear to ear.

Sona pats me again. "Papa, home."

"We'll go home soon, love." Rodney reaches for her and she pulls back while frowning at him.

"No!" Another, harder, pat to my chest. "Home!"

"You want Daddy to come home with us?" She nods so hard her curls bounce around her beautiful face. "Daddy lives somewhere else, sweetie. I told you about how I met him in Atlantis." She nods, her lower lip beginning to quiver. "Well, that's where he lives and he has to go back."

The pat this time is more of a slap and pulls a grunt from me. "No!" She screams. "Daddy home!"

"Sona." Rodney has obviously reached the limit our daughter has allotted him to reason with her because she puts her hands over her ears and screams 'no' at the top of her lungs.

I pull her tiny hands down. "Sona, listen to Daddy. Papa and I need to discuss this, okay?" Tears drip down her face and her lip continues to quiver but she stops screaming. "We will do what we think is best for both you and Tigran." When I say his name I look at him and find him curled on his side, fast asleep. I guess he's used to his sister's tantrums. I turn to Rodney. "I asked you last night. Have you thought about it?"

"I must admit I miss Atlantis. And Teyla is dying to meet our children."

"Is that a yes?"

He sighs and looks at Tigran asleep on the other bed. "That's a yes."

I can't stop the smile that crosses my face nor can I resist kissing that mobile mouth of his for another second. Leaning over I press my lips to his only to have him deepen it. Sona giggles and claps her hands waking Tigran up. "Papa?" he says around a yawn.

"Daddy home!" Sona shouts, bouncing in my lap.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-09 03:12 am (UTC)
goddess47: Emu! (Default)
From: [personal profile] goddess47
Awwww.....

Poor boyz, not having a chance to straighten their problems out and both too stupid to cave in to the other...

I love when they have kids together!

Nice!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-07-10 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] popkin16
Ooo, what an absolutely intriguing fic idea! I could see Rodney making the hasty decision to leave Atlantis when John is angry and refusing to listen. I'm glad Rodney's at least willing to discuss moving back to Atlantis, and I'm hopeful that they will agree to move there. Imagine John and Rodney's children being led around by Torren :D I'm also glad that John accepts his children so fast, and already cares about them so much. And twins! Ahhh, I love that they have one of each.

I really like that Sona communicates by sign language - I've had vague ideas of writing a fic where Rodney adopts a Pegasus native child and teaching him sign language - and I love the nickname they gave John XD Very appropriate.

What a good fic!

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