Pairings: Lorne/Teyla, John/Radek, Ronon/Amelia, Rodney/Jennifer
Disclaimer: SGA doesn't belong to me.
Author's Notes: smaragdbird asked for Lorne/Teyla domestic with children and John/Radek. Takes place post-series.
Summary: A sense of home and family bring them together, even if 'home' is still a galaxy away.
"Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!" Tagen Elizabeth shouted as she jumped up and down on the bed Evan shared with Teyla. Evan cracked his eye open to see his four-year old daughter scrambling up the mattress to poke him and get him out of bed. The space next to him was empty; clearly, Teyla had already awoken and had thought to let him sleep a bit longer.
"What's up, pumpkin?" Evan yawned, sitting up against the headboard.
"Uncle John's here! and Uncle Radek and Uncle Ronon and, and Aunt Amelia," Tagen exclaimed. "And Torren's helping Unca John make the pancakes because he said momma would burn them. And momma hit Unca John and Uncle John hid behind Uncle Ronon, who just laughed and Uncle Radek said Uncle John's too old to hide behind others and then he said something I didn't understand and Uncle John turned bright red and momma and Auntie Amelia and Uncle Ronon and Uncle Radek all laughed," Tagen continued to report solemnly. She crawled into Evan's lap and he hid his wince as she almost unmanned him. He shifted her so that she sat in a less dangerous spot, though Tagen didn't seem to really notice.
"And then Uncle John asked where you were and momma said you were still in bed, so Uncle Ronon offered to kick you out but momma just looked at him, like she does when Torren's been bad and then Uncle John said I should wake you up because no one should laze around bed, at least not if momma wasn't with you. Daddy?" Tagen paused, taking a big breath.
"What does that mean?" She wrinkled her little nose in confusion.
"Your uncle was making a joke," Evan finally responded. Honestly! He couldn't leave his children with John for anything.
"Oooooh! Is that why momma and Uncle Radek hit Uncle John?" she asked full of innocence.
"Something like that. Come on, sweetheart. Why don't you tell your mommy, uncles and Aunt Amelia that I'll be down in a few minutes," he suggested as he gave her one last hug and put her down.
"Okay!" she chirped and scrambled off the bed and raced out the door.
"Don't run!" he called out, shaking his head at his daughter's antics. He better hurry and get downstairs before one of his guests succeeded in spoiling his kids.
"About time, Lorne," John drawled as he helped his godson flip pancakes. "We would have sent Teyla, but then we were afraid you would never come down and we didn't want to babysit."
"Bite me, sir," Evan responded.
"Teyla'd kill me and I don't want to think what Radek would do," John grinned. "And stop calling me 'sir' - I haven't been your commanding officer for three years."
"Habit," Evan shrugged. Going to the coffee pot, he made himself a cup of coffee. "Anyone else want some?" he asked.
"We're good," Radek replied, gesturing with his own mug.
"Where's Teyla and Ronon?" he asked after realizing his wife was no where to be seen.
"Teyla decided to take Tagen to the store to pick up some supplies for later and Ronon went with," Amelia explained.
"Yes, yes. She didn't want John to corrupt young Tagen more than he has today," Radek teased. John shrugged, not even a little repentant.
"Like any of us watch what we say. Besides, if Teyla really minded, she'd kick my ass from here to Pegasus," he protested.
"I know, I know," Evan placated. "Just... try to watch it. I don't want to have to explain to the kids' teachers - again - something you guys told them."
Radek began to snicker. "That was funny, yes."
"Not so much for me," Evan admitted to much laughter.
"So, Torren what have you been up to?" Amelia asked.
Torren shushed them. "I'm concentrating!" he explained and indignant look on his face so reminiscent of when Teyla attempted to cook that John and Evan had to bite back smiles.
"Sorry, sorry," Amelia apologized. "Those look good. Can't wait for breakfast."
"'s okay," Torren told her and poked John in the stomach. "Need more batter."
"Sorry, little man," John quickly added more batter to the griddle.
Conversation halted as they heard the front door open and the pitter-patter of small feet as Tagen came down the hall.
"Daddy!" she cried out and wrapped her body around his legs. Evan let his hand drift to her head and patted it.
"How was shopping?" he asked Teyla and Ronon as they came into the kitchen and put away the groceries and other supplies they had purchased.
"Fine," Ronon said. As soon as the last of the supplies had been put away, he grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down next to Amelia. He took a big gulp from his mug and sighed in satisfaction, an action that brought a pout to her face.
"It is nice to see you awake," Teyla teased, joining her husband and daughter.
"Was up late, you know that," Evan protested quietly. She kissed him softly in apology, not that he was particularly offended.
"Done!" Torren announced as he carefully put the last pancake on the serving plate. John turned off the stove and picked his godson off the stool on which he stood. He carried the boy to the already set table and put him in his chair. Radek took the platter of pancakes and brought them to the table before dropping into the chair next to John. He leaned over and kissed his lover, a sight that still sometimes surprised Evan, if only for the ease with which John accepted it. His deer-in-headlights stare when anyone initiated physical contact with him was well-known amongst the Atlantis expedition.
"Come on Tagen. Time for breakfast," Evan said as he reached down to pry his daughter's arms from around his legs.
"No," Tagen pouted. "You're mine."
Teyla laughed as she helped remove their daughter from him. "Do you not want some of Uncle John's pancakes?" she asked. "If you do not hurry, they will all be eaten."
Tagen still took her time but eventually decided the smell and allure of pancakes was more interesting than her father's leg. She let Teyla pick her up and bring her to her booster seat for breakfast.
Someone had already helped Torren fill his plate and he diligently poured syrup over each and every pancake, making sure that they met his very precise standards. Ronon had just piled a big stack on his plate and had covered it with a mixture of butter and syrup. Even with the others already having served themselves, John and Torren had clearly made more than enough for everyone. While Teyla refreshed his coffee, he cut up a couple of pancakes for Tagen to eat.
"Thank you, daddy," she smiled sweetly before going at it. Looking at the amount of syrup on her face, he knew she was going to need another bath before everyone else came.
"How is the ranch?" Teyla asked Ronon and Amelia.
"Going well," Amelia answered since Ronon had just taken a big bite out of his breakfast. "We're actually turning a profit this year."
"That's great!" Evan commented.
"Yes," Amelia agreed, before sharing a look with Ronon and smiling nervously. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it. "We have something to tell you. We wanted to tell you first, before the others get here."
"Amelia's pregnant," Ronon told them bluntly with a happy smile on his face.
She just shook her head. "Sweetie, you didn't need to be so blunt," she scolded though they could tell she didn't really mind.
"Why not? 'S the truth," Ronon countered.
"Congratulations!" Radek interrupted before they could get much further. "This is very good news."
"That's great," Evan agreed. "When are you due?"
"In the spring," Amelia answered.
"We will have to visit and make sure everything is ready for you," Teyla said with one of her quiet and happy smiles.
"Congrats, buddy," John told Ronon. "You're both going to make wonderful parents." A frown flitted across his face quickly before his face went blank, but he didn't explain what concerned him. Evan figured he would in his own time.
"Thanks," Ronon said. Evan didn't think he had ever seen the former Runner so happy. He shared another look with his wife before letting John, Torren and Radek draw him into a conversation.
As he watched his family friends eat their breakfast, the late summer sun filtering through the windows in the breakfast nook, he wished he could freeze this moment and paint it. This was their family though he only shared blood with one of them. Atlantis had formed a bond between them that hadn't broken even when they had all left the SGC after they decided to keep Atlantis on Earth and place their own people on it. He grinned in memory while remembering the afternoon nearly every member of the expedition handed in their resignations. Landry, O'Neill, Woolsey - no one in the SGC or IOA really - had expected it or known what to do.
"What's so funny?" Torren asked and bringing Evan's attention back to the table.
"Just thinking about something. Nothing important," he told his adopted son.
Torren looked skeptical, as only a six year old could until he decided his breakfast was far more important than whatever the adults thought.
"So, uh... we need to have an 'adults only' conversation at some point today," John mentioned. He looked uncomfortable and Radek gave his hand a squeeze of support.
"Sure. After lunch? The kids usually nap then," Evan suggested.
"Sounds good." It left Evan wondering just what John had to say to them that the kids couldn't hear.
"Daddy!" Tagen announced. "I'm done!"
"Sweetie, what do we say?" Evan asked.
"May I be excused?" she asked, pronouncing each word carefully.
"Hold on a sec," he said and stood up, grabbing her as went. "We have to wash your face before you're allowed to play with your toys."
"But daddy!" she whined before simply pouting at his resolved face.
"When we're all done here, Tagen, we'll take you and your brother outside and play, okay?" Amelia suggested. It met with her approval and she nodded regally.
"Football?" Torren asked with an interested look on his face.
"Sure, buddy!" John enthused while Radek just shook his head with mock disappointment.
"Bah! What you call 'football' is nothing like what we play," he sighed.
As the table degraded into a discussion on which sport was better, Evan took Tagen to wash her face and hands, a smile on his face at the familiar sound of bantering. He loved when family came to visit, even if spoiled his kids outrageously.
Evan watched as the others ran around the backyard with his kids. He handed another clean plate to Teyla.
"What do you think John wants to speak about?" he asked his wife, knowing that she might have more insight into him than he did. He could still recall the frisson of fear the Colonel had instilled in him when he first started dating Teyla. He had promised himself then and there that he would never get on Sheppard's bad side - he had a feeling no one would ever find his body if he did.
It took a moment for Teyla to answer and he forced himself to remain patient. "Perhaps Rodney or Jennifer contacted him," she suggested. "It has been some time since Rodney has talked to any of us."
"But why wouldn't he want to mention that in front of the kids? They know about Rodney and Jennifer, even if Torren's the only one to remember them."
"If Rodney has contacted John it would not be to trade niceties," Teyla's measured tones insisted. "You know how he has acted since... since we left Atlantis."
He pulled her into his arms, soapy hands and all, and just hugged her. She rested her head against his shoulder and let him offer what comfort he could. Of all the senior staff, only four had not handed in their resignations: Woolsey, which was to be expected given his position within the IOA; Carson, mostly because he was legally dead on Earth and could never return to his beloved mum or Scotland and instead had opted to be permanently assigned to the Alpha site; Keller, who had found working for the SGC on Earth far more preferable than in Pegasus; and McKay. As near as anyone could tell, he had remained with the SGC partly because of Keller and partly because he didn't want to teach in academia. Or maybe the SGC had made it impossible for him to do so. Evan didn't really know, just knew that his decision to remain with the SGC had caused a rift between him and the rest of his team.
"Long time to hold a grudge," Evan commented.
"He cannot talk about his work with anyone because they no longer have the clearance," she pointed out. "I do not think he took kindly to the news of John and Radek, especially once he learned their relationship was one of longstanding."
"So he's hurt?"
"Perhaps. Rodney always believed he had a special bond with Colonel Sheppard," Teyla revealed. Evan found it adorable how she sometimes called Sheppard by his former title, in spite of their close relationship. "He thought they told each other everything. He was most upset to discover that John had started a relationship with Radek and did not even hint to him of it."
"He couldn't exactly talk about it, could he? If he did and it got back to the wrong people..." Evan's voice trailed off, not really wanting to think about the policies of the U.S. military, mostly because some of them still tended to confuse Teyla, who did not understand all the nuances of Earth culture. Hell, half the time he had difficulty explaining why some things were acceptable and others were not, just knowing it was because that was what he had learned whilst growing up.
"McKay thought he had a right to know because I was with his second," Sheppard's voice explained, startling Evan by his nearness. He hadn't heard anyone re-enter the house, but then John could be quiet when needed. "He felt that he could have kept it secret and helped us out." Turning his head to look at his former commander, he saw that Sheppard had taken his typical stance of leaning against a wall, arms loosely crossed and a sardonic smile on his face. "Who knows? Maybe he could have, but I wasn't about to risk Atlantis on that. Radek and I didn't tell anyone."
"It is not your fault," Teyla soothed, turning in Evan's arms so that she could see his face. "Rodney chose to keep himself away after the IOA announced their decision to keep Atlantis here."
"I know," John sighed. "Doesn't make it easy."
There really wasn't anything more to say to that. Evan felt a bit awkward, listening to his wife and Sheppard discuss their teammate, a man that he didn't particularly care for, though he knew that Teyla and her teammates held a certain fondness for him. He didn't like the man's arrogance or the way he had hurt Teyla when he had decided to ignore his old team once they chose to leave the SGC. He got that the astrophysicist couldn't exactly share what he did at the SGC now that they had left, but it didn't mean he had to completely cut them out of his life.
"Was that what you wanted to talk to us about?" Evan asked as he hugged Teyla to him.
Sheppard shook his head. "Nah. Something else. But look," his eyes flicking around the kitchen, "this isn't something little ears should hear so..."
"Very well," Teyla said. "Tagen and Torren have their nap time around one."
"Sounds good." John gave a pained smile "I'll, uh... I'll let you two get on with... you know," he continued, fluttering his hands towards them before heading back outdoors.
Evan rested his chin on Teyla's head, wondering what he had to tell them. "You okay, babe?" he asked.
"Of course," Teyla responded, quirking her lips into a smile and giving him a kiss on his cheek. "Come, the dishes shall not wash themselves."
"Yeah, yeah," Evan groused. He spun Teyla out from his embrace and dodged the towel she snapped at him with a laugh before returning to the sink and the dishes.
It took a bit longer than normal to put the kids down for their afternoon naps, but Evan chalked it up to having their "aunt" and "uncles" around. He rather dreaded putting them to sleep tonight, after the rest of the former Atlantis personnel came for their annual barbecue. Hopefully some of the former Marines would tire them out for him.
"What'd you need to tell us?" Ronon asked, as blunt as ever, Amelia perched on his lap.
"Radek and I - we both got a call. From the SGC," John told them. Radek shrugged gave them a bashful smile.
"They want us back. To the extent that they're willing to look the other way about me and John," the scientist continued the explanation. "Said they need us back too much to care about the details in our personal life."
"We both said no. They weren't very happy with that," John drawled. "So they had McKay give us a call. After he berated both Radek and me for giving up such a 'great' opportunity, he, well..." John scrubbed a hand through his hair and looked to Radek. The Czech patted him on the shoulder and took over.
"Rodney was serious. He said the SGC and IOA made a mistake and wanted to make up for it."
"They sending us back to Pegasus?" Ronon asked. His hand rested protectively over Amelia's pregnant stomach, but other than that there was no outward display of what he might be feeling.
"No," John answered. He looked bitter for a moment. "They still don't think going back is worth it. Never mind that most of us would volunteer to return in a heartbeat. Or that we basically kidnapped three of its citizens." A nod of acknowledgement to the Pegasus natives in the house.
"What do they want us for then, Colonel?" Evan asked. Teyla had yet to say anything but he could tell by the stiff way in which she held herself that she was distressed by the news.
For once, John did not berate him for calling him by his former title. "They wouldn't tell us much, just that the SGC needed veteran scientists and gate team members. Didn't seem to matter than none of us have been in the field for three years or more."
"They want us as cannon fodder?" Amelia asked.
"Maybe. I don't know," John admitted. "It's just... they tried to guilt us into agreeing to meet with them. Didn't take very kindly to me or Radek saying no. I..." John looked embarrassed and once again, Radek took over for him.
"John used his family connections to make sure we stay safe," he explained. "For those of us in IOA-member countries, we must be careful, yes? They could threaten our families, our jobs. John took action to make sure they couldn't." No one asked what he had done, knowing that he wouldn't answer, even if pressed.
"Thank you," Teyla spoke for the first time. Evan reached over and squeezed her shoulder in reassurance. The fact that she, Ronon and Torren had not been born on Earth had initially caused problems when they had all decided to leave the SGC. Rodney had helped them get enough information to successfully negotiate their emergence into civilian life. (Blackmail was such a dirty word, Evan reflected, but that was exactly what they had done.) One of his last actions before he had taken to ignoring them.
"The thing is, I think McKay was trying to warn us," John said. "He, well, he acted all blustery, like he used to. But he also... he definitely seemed to be warning us away. That it wouldn't be in our interest to join up again. That whatever hornet's nest the SGC stirred this time is not something we want to be involved with."
Teyla looked thoughtful. "Do you think he is in danger?"
"No, no," Radek insisted.
"McKay would get out of there if he was. He knows enough to disappear if things go bad."
"We just thought you should know, in case the IOA or SGC contacts you," John finished.
"Not much we can do," Amelia commented. "They haven't and if they do? Well, I'm not going back, not after how they treated us."
"We have the ranch and that's enough for us," Ronon added.
"I am quite content," Teyla simply said.
"Me too," Evan put in his two cents.
"Okay," John smiled. "Glad that's out of the way."
"We tell others when they come," Radek said. "SGC lost many capable soldiers and scientists when they shut the expedition down."
Evan shrugged. "Their own fault." He didn't particularly feel sorry for them. Some might argue that he owed them loyalty, that he had sworn an oath to protect the United States from her enemies and unlike most American citizen, he actually knew what was out there and how often the Earth had come close to destruction. It didn't particularly bother him. He had washed his hands free of the SGC when they had decided Atlantis needed to remain on Earth and it wasn't worth returning to Pegasus. When they had tried to lock up Teyla, Torren and Ronon, simply because they hadn't been born on Earth. He had grown tired of the SGC arrogant belief in its superiority to the rest of the galaxy's denizens - something he was not alone in.
"We should finish setting up," Teyla suggested. "The others should start arriving soon."
"It'll be good to see them," Amelia said. "It's been too long."
"Only a year," Ronon corrected.
"Seems longer," she replied.
"Thanks for the warning, Shep," Evan said, clasping the other man's shoulder. "It's appreciated. I'll keep an eye on Torren and Tagen, just in case."
"Let me know if they try anything. They'll wish they hadn't," John assured him. He looked positively scary in that moment and Evan truly didn't want to know what he would do if the SGC or IOA decided to go back on their word and harm his kids. Some things he was better off not knowing.
The backyard was full of Atlantis personnel. Evan watched as John, Ronon and some of the former Marines played a game of touch football, taking care to ensure Torren didn't get injured. Amelia and Teyla demonstrated some of the basic moves of bantos stick fighting to Tagen and some of the other kids, a comical sight as the toddlers attempted to mimic the moves. Radek was in the midst of an animated debate with a very pregnant Dr. Simpson and Dr. Kusanagi. Conversation and laughter echoed in the yard and Evan smiled, happy to see so many members of his extended Atlantis 'family.' He couldn't imagine a better life.
"Daddy! Daddy! Come watch!" Tagen shouted. Her tongue slipped between her lips in concentration, she slowly and carefully went through the basic kata for bantos. Teyla looked on with pride as she didn't make one mistake. The small group that had surrounded the kids clapped their congratulations. Evan gave his daughter a hug when she had finished, something she took as her due before squirming to be let down and running after the other kids to play tag.
"She's just like you," he told Teyla.
"Nothing wrong with that," she replied, a wicked grin on her face. Evan quirked his lips and gave her a kiss.
"Never said there was."
Life might not be perfect, but it was damned close and he wasn't letting anyone spoil it.