Warnings: AU, angst, m-preg
Disclaimer: Not mine, I just want to play with them. No money made, no harm intended. I do this just for fun.
AN: fawkesielady_ed wanted McShep, the more graphic the better. Also m-preg with Rodney pregnant, not wanting the baby, while John wants to keep it. Break up/make up etc. I hope this fits. Merry Christmas, fawkesielady_ed!
A big ‘thank’ you goes to my wonderful beta. You know who you are. THANKS!
This story is set in an Alternate Universe where men can get pregnant as well and same-sex relationships are as common as heterosexual ones. All members of the expedition receive mandatory contraceptive shots that make further protection against pregnancy unnecessary.
John woke to the feeling of a warm mouth wrapped around his cock. This was a really nice way of being woken up. Stretching lazily and grinning like a loon, John lifted his head to watch Rodney go down on him. “Mmmh, good morning,” John said warmly, voice still rough from sleep.
Rodney looked up and gave John’s cock one last lick before releasing if from his mouth with a wet sound. “Oh hey, you’re finally awake. I was afraid I’d have to run this show alone,” Rodney teased and crawled up on the bed, settling his sturdy body over John’s before leaning down to claim John’s lips in a kiss.
“Good morning to you too,” Rodney finally said and nuzzled John’s chin with his nose, nipping at his skin.
John groaned. Rodney’s lips were on him, Rodney’s hard on pressing against John’s own erection, the way Rodney was turning him on with a few well chosen moves, pushing all of his buttons ... it was so damn hot and made John want to just flip them over and fuck Rodney through the mattress. God, he loved that man. Not that he’d actually say that out loud. John had a feeling that Rodney wouldn’t appreciate it if John got all touchy feely on him, acting like a twelve year old with a crush. They didn’t need to say the words, actions spoke louder anyway in John’s point of view. Besides, none of them were exactly great in the talking-about-feelings department.
It didn’t matter. Right then and there? Life was great!
“I know what you’re thinking,” Rodney murmured near John’s ear, sending a shiver down his spine. “Go for it, John. Come on, fuck me,” Rodney said in a low voice, his hips making an undulating movement that once again made John groan as Rodney’s naked body was pressed against him just right.
“Okay, yeah, I can do that,” John agreed, trying to reach around for the lube in the bedside table with a shaking hand.
But Rodney caught John’s wrist, stopping him, and murmured, “You don’t need that. I took care of it already. I’m all slick and open for you, I can’t wait for you to fuck me. Come on. Do it. Now.”
John’s heart missed a beat as he imagined Rodney’s fingers pushing into his own body, stretching himself, getting himself ready for John’s cock. The thought alone made John almost lose control. “Jesus Rodney, warn a guy before you say something like that, would you?” John groaned, doing his best to think unsexy thoughts to actually be able to hold out until he got to the actual fucking.
“You like that, don’t you?” Rodney teased, licking a wet stripe from John’s collarbone to that spot just under John’s ear that always made him arch and groan. “You like thinking about how I slicked myself up for you, my fingers up my own ass. Can you imagine what I looked like, so hot for you I couldn’t wait a moment longer?”
“Rodney!” John protested, sweat breaking up all over his skin, Rodney’s voice and the images he created with his words almost too much to handle. “Stop that or it’ll be over before I even got inside of you.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Rodney mumbled and the next moment Rodney lifted up, reached around and squeezed the base of John’s cock hard, staving off his impending orgasm.
“No. No, you are not going to ruin my fun,” Rodney chided before he slipped his hands a little upwards on John’s cock to position him and then sank slowly down on John, impaling himself.
The sudden, shockingly tight heat made John gasp, as he fought the urge to rock up into Rodney, speeding things up. Rodney felt so good wrapped around his cock like this, sinking down deeper and deeper until he came to rest in John’s lap.
“John,” Rodney panted, looking flushed and so damn sexy John had a hard time catching his breath. Rodney reached down and linked his fingers with John’s, beginning a slow, rocking motion that made John see stars.
“God, Rodney, so damn good,” John murmured. If Rodney kept that up John wasn’t going to last long. But maybe that was Rodney’s intention. He surely did his best to drive John insane with the way he was clenching around him.
“Yeah, gonna come just from riding your cock,” Rodney replied, his voice husky and barely above a whisper. He had closed his eyes, slowly fucking himself on John and it was the most erotic sight John could imagine.
Then, Rodney suddenly threw back his head with a breathy moan, body going tense as John felt him clench around him even more. Seeing Rodney like this, feeling his tightness, and the smell of sex heavy in the air, the warm come hitting his chest, all that sent John over the edge right behind Rodney.
Rodney collapsed on top of him, both of them tangling together in a sweaty, sticky mess on the bed and John reveled in the feeling of Rodney’s solid weight on him. It took some time until both of them had caught their breath and at one point Rodney slid off John, snuggling against him while grinning dopily. He looked seriously fucked out.
Life was good. Life was really, really good.
John resisted the urge to tap his fingers onto the table in front of him again. It had earned him an impatient look from Sam already. Beside him, Evan was fidgeting uneasily in his chair and Radek didn’t seem to be very happy about the delay either. Only Rodney was surprisingly undisturbed by Carson’s delay. Sam had called an emergency meeting without giving any detail and John didn’t like it one bit. How was he supposed to take care of the safety of Atlantis if Sam wouldn’t tell him what was going on? On top of it, a strange mood had spread over the base, something John couldn’t quite name. As if everyone was on edge for some reason. Whatever it was, something was definitely off.
Just when John wanted to ask Sam about what was going on and suggest they call Carson again, the man in question came bursting into the conference room.
“Sorry to have kept you waiting, but I needed to see to my patients first,” Carson apologized as he took his seat. He looked pale and disheveled, dark circles under his eyes and his uniform in disarray. In fact, John noticed with worry, he looked exactly the way he always looked when they were in really deep shit and he didn’t know how to keep the expedition members alive.
Something cold and nasty settled in the pit of John’s stomach, making him shiver. Whatever Carson was going to tell them, John had a feeling that he wouldn’t like it. At all.
“It’s alright Carson, we understand that. Why don’t you give us an overview of the situation so we can discuss what actions to take?” Sam said pleasantly, and for a moment John admired her for projecting so much calm and confidence even when they were about to discuss the next catastrophe – whatever that might be.
“Yes, of course, Colonel Carter,” Carson agreed and took a deep breath. On John’s right Rodney yawned, shifting slightly in his seat. It was a minor miracle he hadn’t blown up, yelled in frustration or made any scathing remarks yet. In fact, Rodney was being exceptionally tame, today. It somehow made John suspicious.
“We need to do pregnancy tests on all expedition members,” Carson reported and John blinked, thinking Carson couldn’t have said what John thought he had said. But before anyone could ask any questions or voice any thoughts, Carson went on.
“I have confirmed two pregnancies the day before yesterday, fifteen yesterday and twenty-three today alone. It’s both male and female expedition members, so whatever rendered the mandatory shots useless is not gender specific. Right now I have no idea what caused the contraceptives to stop working but it’s very likely that everyone could have been exposed to the influence and therefore every sexually active person here on Atlantis could potentially be pregnant.”
Shit! John thought.
There was a moment of absolute silence before all hell broke lose.
John suppressed a sigh and kept running his fingers through Rodney’s hair. Rodney was tense enough as it was, and John didn’t need to upset him even more. The situation they were in might not be acutely life-threatening but it was a right mess anyway. After a day of mass-testing for pregnancies and waiting for the results to come back, it was clear that about one third of all expedition members were affected. John wasn’t among them and he wasn’t sure if he should be happy or sad about that.
Sure, with Lorne pregnant it would have been a difficult situation if John had turned out to be knocked up as well, but the thought of having a child with Rodney wasn’t as weird as John had somehow expected it to be. He loved Rodney and somehow a child would have been kind of nice.
Not that John had ever given that topic much thought, lately. A few years back when he had still been married to Nancy John had wanted children. But despite all of their efforts, Nancy hadn’t gotten pregnant and she wouldn’t agree to choose a donor and let John try to carry the child, either. John had had his suspicions when she refused each and all testing as well, but he hadn’t wanted to accuse her of anything. It hadn’t been until years later, after the divorce and the fact that she had gotten pregnant by her new husband at first try that John had learned the truth – that Nancy had made sure she wouldn’t be able to conceive from John. She’d told him she didn’t want to be stuck with a child from a father who might get killed in action, leaving her a widow and single mother. Now she was married to some boring lawyer who has very unlikely to get killed by hostile fire any time soon.
Rodney moved his head on John’s lap, startling John out of his gloomy memories. “Almost half of my staff is pregnant,” Rodney said, out of the blue. “Sure, most of the men won’t keep it, but the women are an entirely different matter. It’s going to be hell.”
John stiffened. He hadn’t thought about the fact that not everyone might want to keep the children they found themselves so suddenly pregnant with. Sure, male pregnancies were always riskier than female ones, but it wasn’t as if they weren’t prepared and Carson had assured them that right now the babies seemed to be perfectly normal and healthy – no signs of alien or – god forbid – Iratus bug influence at all. John didn’t know how many of his Marines wanted to keep their children – Lorne at least had made it very clear he was going to have the baby.
“I’m sure we’ll all be fine, Rodney,” John finally said, when the silence between the two of them stretched to almost uncomfortable. “We’ve managed to get through much worse, so far, what’s a few babies compared to Wraith, nanites, Genii bombs, and replicators, huh? You’ll see, soon enough we’ll have worked out a routine and all will go back to normal.”
“Hm,” Rodney commented, unnaturally silent once more. If John were more paranoid, he’d be starting to worry by now, but maybe Rodney was just tired. With a few of his scientists forbidden to work on certain projects now, Rodney’s workload surely had multiplied.
“Oh come on, Rodney. They are just children. As far as we know they will be perfectly human babies – the first ones to be born on Atlantis in ten thousand years. It’s not as if you have to carry one personally,” John teased, even though he had to admit that he had tried to imagine what it would be like if Rodney would be pregnant by him. It was a weird thought, exciting, awing, and quite a bit scary as well, to picture Rodney’s belly swollen with their child. John hadn’t been prepared for the surge of longing that had shot through him at that thought, though. But Rodney wasn’t pregnant, of that John was reasonably certain. Not only would Rodney have told him if he were pregnant, John had also found Rodney knee deep in a simulation that was deemed not safe for pregnant people to be around in the lab just this morning.
It was okay, John supposed. They could still have children when the mass of babies to be born had slowed down and it would be an actual conscious decision on both their parts.
“No, you’re right, I don’t,” Rodney said in a surprisingly cold tone of voice and sat up abruptly, almost giving John a black eye in the process. “Because I’m not gonna keep it either.”
John needed a second to process that information. He felt like Rodney had just kicked him in the gut.
“You’re pregnant, Rodney?” John finally managed to ask around the lump in his throat and the tight feeling that was making his chest ache. “You’re pregnant and you didn’t plan on telling me? You wanted to get rid of it without ever letting me know I could have been a father? Don’t you think this should be my decision, too?”
Rodney pushed himself up from the couch they had been lying on, beginning to pace in front of John in long, angry strides. “No I didn’t plan on telling you because I really don’t think it’s your decision at all. This is my body, I’m the one who’s taking the risks, which as you might know are not insignificant. I’m deathly allergic to all kinds of things, male pregnancies are high risk by nature and we don’t even know yet if that are really human babies or it they are some kind of … evil Wraith spawn. For all we know they could be designed to kill us all – just like those exploding tumors. You can’t seriously expect me to take that risk.” Rodney sounded appalled and positively livid now, but John just felt numb.
Another lover who didn’t want to have his children. Rodney even went so far as to plan to kill their child. Because that was what it was to John – their child. Until Carson proved him wrong John was going to believe that those children were perfectly normal and as healthy as Carson claimed them to be.
“You’re taking risks every day here in Pegasus, Rodney,” John said tonelessly, unable to meet Rodney’s eyes. “And Carson said he’d keep a close eye on their development. You … maybe you shouldn’t decide that just now, you know? Wait a bit. Let Carson make absolutely sure the kids are not dangerous to anyone. It’s not the baby’s fault that the shots didn’t work.”
“No, it’s not, but it’s not mine either. And it’s my body, my decision. You can’t make me keep it, John. You can’t make me and I won’t.” Rodney folded his arms in front of his body in a posture that screamed anger and defense.
John’s heart sank. This was a nightmare. A few hours ago John had been scared for the expedition in general but also had entertained the thoughts of having a child with Rodney. Now his lover, the man John had thought he would be with possibly for the rest of his life, now that man was going to kill their child.
“Rodney, please. I …” John started but Rodney cut him off.
“No, John. That topic is not up for discussion. I’m not keeping it and you won’t make me change my mind with your talk of how it’s not the baby’s fault that the contraceptives didn’t work. You know, I’m really surprised you’d say that. It’s so very pro-life for someone running around killing people for a living.”
John knew that this was just Rodney in defense mode, that he most probably didn’t even know just what kind of pain he had just inflicted on John, but he couldn’t help his reaction, either. It hurt. God it hurt to hear Rodney say those words. As if John was nothing more than a cold hearted killer who didn’t give a damn, didn’t have a conscience, didn’t wake screaming from nightmares of the things he’d had to do. John couldn’t take it. He felt brittle as glass, like he’d shatter any moment now, shatter into tiny little pieces that could never be put together right.
“That what you think of me?” John asked, throat tight and burning. “That’s what I am to you? A killer?” John barely got the words out they hurt so much. Then, suddenly the anger came.
“Get out. Get out and don’t bother to come back,” John said with as much control as he could muster. It wouldn’t do for Rodney to know how much he had just hurt John. It wouldn’t do for John to lose control over his emotions. Taking a deep breath, John put up all the protective walls he had worked so hard on losing around Rodney. He just couldn’t afford to let Rodney close right now. “Go.”
“John, I … no. John. John, I didn’t mean it like that,” Rodney said, his blue eyes huge in his suddenly very pale face. But John didn’t want to listen to him any more. All he wanted to do was curl up and lick his wounds in peace.
“I said get out or I’ll throw you out myself. Your choice. Just get out of my sight,” John pressed out through clenched teeth.
As John watched Rodney’s shoulders hunched and he turned around, leaving without putting up any more fuss. It was strange and something about it was definitely wrong but John was too hurt and upset at the moment to figure out what it was. Rodney left the room silently without looking back and John almost felt sorry for him for a moment. Then John remembered that Rodney was going to kill their child and what little compassion he had felt for Rodney by seeing him so defeated vanished as quickly as it had come.
As he let himself sink onto his bed, John felt truly lonely for the first time in years.
With most of the gate teams on down time due to changes in personnel and due to health issues, John didn’t need to see – or talk to – Rodney for over a week. Rodney made it easy for John, he hid in his lab or elsewhere and avoided John. John didn’t know if he did that out of anger or guilt about the planned abortion, or anything else really. He didn’t particularly care, anyway. Not having to interact with Rodney was perfectly alright with John. It hurt to just think about Rodney, and seeing him would have been torture.
John couldn’t believe that he’d gone from being happy in a stable relationship to breaking up and not speaking to the man he loved in the matter of half a day. All because said man was going to kill their child. It was all so surreal. If it hadn’t been so tragic and hurt so much, John would have laughed about it. It was a damn soap opera style event the Pegasus galaxy was so fond of throwing at them It so wasn’t funny, though. Not funny at all.
So it was probably a good thing that John was practically drowning in paperwork, both the forms that said the Marine in question would need paternity or maternity leave soon, and the other ones. The ones that spoke of a short personal downtime but that John knew meant recovery time after the abortion. It made John feel sick to the stomach to get those. Not because he didn’t think that the men and women in question weren’t allowed to make those decisions for themselves, but because it reminded John of Rodney and the fact, that he hadn’t even asked John’s opinion, hadn’t even planned of telling John about the pregnancy at all. Rodney had wanted to have an abortion without ever having told John that he was pregnant to begin with. John didn’t know how he was supposed to live with that kind of betrayal of trust on Rodney’s side.
And that it was – by now had been? – John’s child was certain.
Carson had confirmed that yes, the partners of the pregnant expedition members were indeed the fathers of the children and not – which could definitely have been the cause with so much Ancient tech around – any random passer by or even clones of the carrying persons. No, the children were simply the product of a sexual act between two consenting partners. Nothing more, nothing less. What exactly had caused the contraceptives to stop working was still a mystery, though.
John sighed and made his way over to Sam’s office, she had asked to meet him to discuss the suggestions the IOA and SGC had made. There were nurseries to be set up, childcare to be organized, new personnel to be settled in and other things to be considered. It was all in all a Herculean act to get it all sorted out. Carson had put Rodney on medical leave and since Sam had backed him up on it, Rodney had had no other choice but comply. Which left Radek temporary head of the science department. The poor man had not only to take care of the changes in duty roster and project planning, he also had to deal with a moody Evan, who was suffering from morning sickness.
John still envied Radek. At least he had a partner, one who had chosen to take on the responsibility of a child and wasn’t going to kill their offspring because he was a fucking coward. John hadn’t asked any questions when Rodney had been put on medical leave, he hadn’t been particularly interested in knowing how long exactly it would take to get Rodney ready for surgery. Not that it didn’t matter much, Rodney was in no condition to lead the science department, neither physically nor emotionally. But sometimes John wondered if Rodney had had the abortion yet.
Swallowing hard, John resolutely pushed that thought away. Mulling over it day and night didn’t change anything at all anyway.
Just when John had reached Sam’s office, in the gate room beneath him the gate sprang to life. Curious as to what was going on – John hadn’t been aware that there were any gate teams going out today, and he had been the one to make the duty roster – John peered over the rail. It wasn’t a gate team ready to head out, but Rodney who was standing in front of the settling event horizon, though. He had a laptop bag slung over his shoulder and a scientist John had forgotten the name of was carrying one of Rodney’s suitcases.
Something in John’s stomach clenched. During his time on John’s gate team, Rodney had always managed to carry all of his stuff himself. He had usually even insisted on it, not wanting for anyone else to touch his precious belongings. That another person was now carrying his bag for him could only mean one thing: Rodney had had the surgery and was still not completely recovered. He most likely wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavy for a while. So much for wondering if …
“Where is he going?” John asked over his shoulder, addressing Sam, who had been studying him curiously. John had been aware of her eyes on him for a while now. Ever since she had learned about his and Rodney’s breakup, she seemed to have taken to monitoring him. Maybe she viewed it as her task to keep John from actually breaking.
As if on cue, Sam’s face softened and she said gently, “Rodney requested some private time on Earth. He’ll be gone for a couple of weeks. I only approved of it this morning. I’m sorry, John. I didn’t know he hadn’t told you.”
“No, he didn’t. We … we haven’t talked much lately,” John replied, throat suddenly tight. It made sense though that Rodney would go, take some time off from all the stress, all the knowing eyes and the rumors. Their relationship had been no secret, but the fact that Rodney was expecting hadn’t been common knowledge until he had gone on medical leave.
John knew that another one of the reasons why Rodney had left most probably had been his strained relationship with John. They hadn’t talked, had actively avoided each other, and if John was honest, he doubted he would ever be able to completely forgive Rodney his decision of not carrying their child to term. Maybe it was irrational, maybe it was selfish, but John would have loved to have a son or daughter with Rodney. Making them a family.
That thought still hurt more than John wanted to admit, knowing it would never come true now.
Luckily for John, Radek chose that moment to come bustling towards them. His hair was sticking up at impossible angles and he was muttering under his breath about almost explosions and pregnant partners with cravings.
At his last comment, John’s heart missed a beat. He just couldn’t seem to escape the happily pregnant couples – not that that was any surprise with so many of the expedition members expecting.
Still, it was something that reminded John painfully that it was something he would never get to have. Some days it felt like a never ending nightmare to John. It was ridiculous, how losing something he previously hadn’t been even aware he wanted could hurt so damn much.
John would never get to take care of Rodney the way Radek did for Evan. He would never be sent out in the middle of the night to get some weird combination of foods because Rodney had a craving. He wouldn’t rub sore feet or an aching back. He wouldn’t get a chance to watch their child grow inside of Rodney, the way the other couples did, carrying around and comparing ultrasound pictures. He’d never get to argue with Rodney about names, or wonder if they’d have a son or a daughter.
Rodney had taken that dream away from John.
A hand on his arm brought John out of his maudlin thoughts. “John, Radek, I think we should begin,” Sam said and went back into her office.
John followed her wordlessly.
John lay in bed, unable to go to sleep even though he was dead tired. Somehow, no matter how hard they worked or how fast they organized things, they always seemed to be slightly behind schedule. It was just so damn much to get in order.
The personnel that they had been sent to step in for the pregnant Marines and scientists had settled in nicely, childcare was organized, new rooms for the soon-to-be-bigger families had been found, allocated and furnished appropriately, the expedition members who chose to leave to deliver their children on Earth and stay Earthbound would be leaving soon.
It was strange to see all those Marines and scientists with ever-growing bellies. All of them had gotten pregnant within a timeframe of about three weeks, so all of them were due almost at the same time. It would be a hell of a task to stay on top of the chaos that was bound to happen. John had never felt more exhausted than he did just now, the sight of every rounded belly, every happily pregnant expedition member seemed to mock John with what he had lost.
‘A couple of weeks’ had turned into over five months now and John began to wonder if Rodney would ever come back or if someone was just going to pack up the rest of his things and ship them back to Earth for him. Maybe one day Sam would just announce that Radek had been made CSO permanently and Rodney had opted to stay on Earth.
For most of the time, John tried to not think about it, though, and keeping busy with all the things he’d had to do lately had been easy. But not at night. At night, when things calmed down and the tension of the day slowly bled out of John, he couldn’t keep his thoughts away from Rodney.
Rodney, who had aborted their child because he had been terrified of the possible problems this unexpected pregnancy could have brought. Like the slim chance that the children wouldn’t have been human. He wouldn’t have had to worry. The babies were just that, babies. Nothing more, nothing less. And by now – to everyone’s relief – the reason for the failure of the contraceptive shots had been found as well.
It had all been the fault of a plant. A simple, pretty nondescript plant the mess staff had used to season a few new dishes with. It had been Teyla who had mentioned that this particular plant was the main ingredient in a fertility brew one of the Athosian’s trading partners used.
Turned out the plant was really very potent.
John sighed again and got up out of bed. He wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway, he might as well go to the gym and work out a bit. He needed something to do, something to quiet down his thoughts that kept going in circles in his head. So John dressed and left his quarters, heading for the area of Atlantis where the training rooms were located.
Just as John had almost reached the gym, his radio clicked. John frowned. He was off duty and usually would only be bothered if there was a catastrophe in the making. Which, judging by the quiet corridors he had walked through, was pretty unlikely. Most of Atlantis was fast asleep. John tapped his earpiece muttering “Sheppard,” prepared to deal with whatever was the matter now, instead of having a workout after all.
There was silence on the other end for a second before someone cleared their throat and the next moment Rodney’s voice said, “Colonel, McKay here. Could you come to my quarters for a moment? There is something I need to discuss with you.”
John’s heart missed a beat. He’d expected Sam or Radek or maybe one of his Marines, but not this. Not Rodney. He wasn’t even supposed to be there. When had he gotten back to Atlantis? And how? John had’t known about it, hadn’t been informed, and that sucked big time. How was he supposed to keep the city safe if Sam constantly didn’t tell him all the facts?
God, Rodney was back. He as really back on Atlantis. He was here. After more than five months on Earth. And he wanted to see John. Now, in the middle of the night. It was … hard to take in. John really needed a moment to wrap his head around the sudden change in situation.
Completely taken aback by Rodney’s request to see him, John didn’t reply until the slightly insecure, questioning voice came over the radio again. “Colonel?”
“I’m on my way,” John replied, clicking the connection shut. He didn’t know what Rodney wanted to talk about, didn’t know what had made Rodney decide to want to talk to him at all, after over five months of silence between them. Maybe he wanted to say goodbye, having decided to leave Atlantis for good. Maybe he wanted to apologize for having that abortion. Maybe it was something entirely different at all. John had no clue, but he intended to find out.
When John reached Rodney’s quarters a few minutes later, the door opened for him before John could even ring the door-chime. Slowly John stepped into the room. It was dim, almost dark in Rodney’s quarters and Rodney, who was standing with his back to John didn’t even turn around to face him. It was all very weird.
Resisting the urge to bring up the lights some more so he could at least see Rodney properly, John took two more steps into the room, asking, “Rodney?” John still couldn’t believe that Rodney was really back.
“Hello Colonel,” Rodney said, his voice tight and somehow breathless with something John couldn’t quite name.
The lights came up a bit more as Rodney slowly turned around and John’s heart missed a beat at the sight of Rodney. A very pregnant Rodney.
“What the hell?” John cursed and then winced at the pained look that appeared on Rodney’s face. He looked as if John had slapped him.
“Yeah, about that …” Rodney began, folding his arms awkwardly over his protruding belly.
“About that?” John asked incredulously, trying to find his equilibrium. What the fuck was going on? How could Rodney still be pregnant? He’d said he wouldn’t keep the baby. He’d left. He’d left Atlantis and hid on Earth and now he was back, highly pregnant and wanting to talk to John in the middle of the night.
“‘About that’ you say? Rodney, would you care to explain what’s going on here? You said you’d have an abortion. You said you didn’t want to take the risk. We fucking broke up over this. And then, one day you vanish to Earth without a word of warning only to come back highly pregnant. What do you want? What kind of sick game are you playing?” John knew he most probably shouldn’t be yelling at Rodney like that but he couldn’t help himself.
First the whole talk about having an abortion and now Rodney was back and he was still pregnant. Why hadn’t he said something? Why hadn’t he talked to John? Rodney had known John wanted the baby, must have known John would have wanted to be part of the pregnancy, watch the child grow, be there for the check-ups, see the ultrasound pictures, do stuff people who were expecting did. Like setting up the nursery. Shopping for toys. Maybe get model planes to hang up in the baby’s room. Feel their child move under his hands.
John had wanted this child and even though Rodney hadn’t terminated the pregnancy, now he had cheated John of the opportunity to experience the pregnancy along with Rodney. So while John was relieved that Rodney hadn’t killed their child, John also felt upset about the time he had lost. Time he could have spent getting used to the idea of becoming a daddy. Time he could have spent mending the rift between himself and Rodney again.
John glared at Rodney who was still standing in the middle of the room, looking somehow lost.
“I think I deserve that,” Rodney said tonelessly and swallowed audibly. “I know I shouldn’t have vanished on you like that but I needed time to think. Away from you. Away from all these people who thought they knew how I felt or how I was supposed to feel. I couldn’t take it any more.” Rodney’s voice grew stronger, more confident now and John’s anger rose.
“And once you had decided to keep the baby you couldn’t let me know? Send me a message? Anything?” John asked, hands balled into tight fists at his side as to not touch Rodney.
“No, I couldn’t. It’s … it’s complicated,” Rodney finished and it sounded lame to John’s ears.
“Oh, right, complicated,” John said sarcastically and rubbed his hands over his eyes angrily. It was all such a mess. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, John then finally asked, “Why are you back, Rodney? Why am I here? What the hell do you want from me? Alimony? Is it that? Or have you decided that you can’t stay away from Atlantis any longer? Just tell me.”
The pained look on Rodney’s face was back, but Rodney raised his chin, a stubborn tilt John knew only too well. He was bracing himself for a fight.
“If you must know, I came here to pack. I’m going back to Earth permanently. Sam told me that Dr. Pilgrim fits nicely with your team and Radek has everything under control in the labs. You don’t need me here any more. You’ll be getting lots of new personnel still, now that the IOA and SGC approved of Atlantis becoming a colony.” Rodney babbled, his tone somehow hollow.
John didn’t know what to say to that, what to think. Had Rodney called him so he could tell John that he was still pregnant, only to take the baby away again immediately? That was pretty cruel, even for Rodney’s standards.
“So you’re leaving again,” John said bitterly. “How did you get here in the first place?”
“The Deadalus arrived early and beamed me down,” Rodney replied and turning away now and reaching for a briefcase that stood a few feet away. He bent down awkwardly and then fished some papers out, clutching them to his chest for a moment. “And yes, I am leaving again. As I said, you don’t need me any more.”
“That’s bullshit, Rodney, and you know it,” John hissed angrily. “You belong here. Atlantis is your home.”
Rodney shook his head sadly, hands tightening on the stack of papers he was holding. “No, I really don’t. You’re only saying that so I will stay and you can see your child grow up. But,” he swallowed hard and avoided John’s eyes, “you don’t have to worry about that. I’m not gonna take her with me. I … I talked to Carson and he said that she’s mature enough that I can have a c-section safely. I’ve had a rough pregnancy anyway. It’ll be good to get her out. Will be easier on my back. And the gestation diabetes I developed. No more nosebleeds, no more heartburn, instead as much coffee as I can get. It’ll be great,” Rodney’s voice broke and John’s heart missed a beat.
“What do you mean you won’t take her with you, Rodney?” John whispered. He had an awful suspicion but didn’t dare voice it.
At his words Rodney looked up, eyes huge and moist in his pale face. He took the few steps towards John, handing him the stack of papers slowly. “These are for you. I had my lawyer draw them up. Once you’ve signed them, you’re getting full custody of her and I’ll be staying out of her life. All I ask for is that you make sure she gets a good education and that … you know … take good care of her.”
John stared at the papers in disbelief. Rodney couldn’t be serious. “You want to give her up? Rodney, that’s insane. You don’t mean that. You can’t just let … Carson cut her out of you and then hand her over like a piece of furniture. Rodney, she is your daughter, too. You can’t just give her away,” John said, his hands that were holding the papers were shaking now.
“I’m … I’m not just giving her away. I’m giving her to you. She’s your daughter. You wanted her. Now you get to have her. You’ll do fine. With all the stuff you have set up and arranged here, you won’t have a problem raising her,” Rodney said, still looking at the floor rather than meeting John’s eyes.
“Rodney,” John said angrily and walked over to him, stepping right into Rodney’s space. “I don’t believe a word you said. Look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t want her. Look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t love her.”
Rodney looked up as John had demanded. His eyes were red rimmed but he wasn’t crying as he said in a trembling voice, “I don’t want her. And … and I don’t … I don’t love her either.” At the last words the tears that had been pooling in Rodney’s eyes spilt over and ran over his cheeks.
“God, dammit, Rodney, what the hell is wrong with you?” John asked, torn between anger and desperation, his heart constricting painfully at he miserable look of Rodney. Acting on impulse, John wrapped Rodney into his arms carefully, the hard curve of Rodney’s belly was foreign to him, but Rodney’s scent was just the same as he remembered.
“I can’t keep her. I’m going to be such a bad father, I just know it. I’m totally useless when it comes to family things. I know Dr. Kutcher, my new shrink, she says it’s the pregnancy hormones, that everyone has those feelings but I don’t believe her. And I know that you … that you wouldn’t want me in your daughter’s life either. I don’t blame you, I mean, how could you? I wanted to kill her. What father wants to kill his own child? I wanted to have an abortion,” Rodney whispered miserably, face pressed against John’s chest, hands clutching at John’s arms.
“But you didn’t have the abortion, Rodney, and that’s what counts. And what was that about me not wanting you in her life? You love her, Rodney, don’t bother denying it, I can see it in your face. Why the hell would you think I would want to take your child away from you? What have I done that you would think such a thing of me?” John asked, watching Rodney intently.
“You don’t want me gone?” Rodney asked, sounding perplexed. “You’d let me be part of her life?”
“Oh for fuck’s sake, Rodney, of course I don’t want you gone. I never wanted you to leave in the first place. I was just angry that you wanted to have an abortion. I did want a kid with you,” John said, exasperated at how dense Rodney was acting. “I think you should believe your doctor and accept that your hormones are playing tricks on you. Listen, why don’t you go to bed, it’s in the middle of the night. We can talk about this some more tomorrow, aright?” John asked, letting go of Rodney.
Rodney’s gaze was huge and blue and he looked completely confused. Maybe John’s plan of leaving Rodney alone to get some thinking done alone in his quarters wasn’t working so well after all. “You expect me to sleep? How can you even think I will be able to get a minute of rest? I’ve been wide awake when I tracked you down walking around Atlantis, what makes you think I will be sleeping any better now?” Rodney said and John had to suppress a grin. Some of the old Rodney was coming through. Thank god, John had started to be seriously worried.
“Alright, how about we go to the mess hall and get something to eat then? You could tell me what you’ve been up to in the last few months, working at the SGC. And I could tell you about all the things that have changed around here. We could … you know … get to know each other again. It’s been over five months.” John said warmly. He had no idea whatsoever where he took the strength from to do what he was just doing. But somehow forgiving Rodney, reconnecting with Rodney was so much easier that John had ever imagined.
Rodney looked at John again, surprise and gratitude written all over his face and John could read the same amazement he felt himself on Rodney’s features.
Could it really be that easy? John didn’t know, but he was going to damn well give it a try.
“I’d like that,” Rodney finally said and grinned at John. “Maybe we can discuss names for her tomorrow. Not much time now until she’ll be here and we need to find something suitable. No experiments. I know what it feels like to have a name you hate. Oh and we need to …”
John grinned, steering Rodney out of the door as he listened to him chatter away.
Maybe, just maybe all was not lost yet. It looked like John would get that family he had dreamed of after all.