|Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact|
Altered State IINotes: What can I tell you? It's all llaras' fault. Ask her. Big beta love to Eleanor K. who always makes things just a little bit better.
Carson frowns as he looks at the results on the medical scanner.
“What? What’s wrong? I knew there was something wrong with me. I’ve been feeling tired and weird for weeks. Am I dying?” Rodney speaks so quickly that the words practically run together. Carson ignores his verbal barrage, adjusts a couple of settings, and runs it over Rodney again.
“Bloody hell. This thing must be malfunctioning,” Carson says. “This can’t be right.”
“What do you mean malfunctioning? Radek and I tested it thoroughly. It works just fine,” Rodney replies defensively. He snatches the compact Ancient scanner out of Carson’s hand and runs a quick diagnostic. “It’s fine.” Rodney passes it back. “You must be using it wrong.”
“Well, then, according to this, you’re pregnant,” Carson says acerbically.
“What?” Rodney exclaims. “Gimme that,” Rodney says while snatching the scanner away again. He fiddles with the device, muttering to himself all the while. He scans Carson with it and shows him the readings. “Those are normal, right?”
Rodney frowns, scans himself, frowns some more and then gets very, very pale. “It’s not possible. You put me on the implant. That was supposed to take care of this kind of thing.”
“Rodney, nothing is 100%,” Carson says, putting a sympathetic hand on his arm.
“You and your goddamn voodoo!” Rodney exclaims. He drops the scanner, grabs his shirt and flees the infirmary. He taps his radio on the way out.
“Command, where’s Colonel Sheppard?” he asks in a tight voice.
“Training room, Dr. McKay.”
Rodney changes course abruptly, nearly running into a couple of Marines. He doesn’t apologize and they don’t expect him to – they’re used to Rodney bustling along in his own little world. He arrives at the training room, barges in, ignores everyone else in the room, walks over to where John is leaning against the training dummy and grabs him by the arm and starts walking out.
“Hey!” John exclaims, as he’s pulled off balance. He resists and is actually a little shocked that Rodney continues his forward momentum. “Major, take over. I’ll be back in a minute. Dr. McKay seems to want an urgent word.” Major Lorne nods, a slight smirk twisting his lips. John tries to maintain his dignity, but it’s difficult when he’s literally being dragged from the room.
“Rodney, what the hell?” John asks when the doors whoosh shut behind them. Rodney doesn’t say anything until he’s locked them both in the nearest utility room. John finally pulls his arm free and demands, “What the hell is going on?”
“I’m pregnant,” Rodney says flatly.
John looks at Rodney and says, “I’m sorry, did you just say you’re pregnant? You did not just drag me out of a training session to play a lame practical joke on me.”
“Do I look like I’m kidding?” Rodney says, his voice cracking.
John really looks at Rodney. He’s wide-eyed and pale and shaking just a little. “Rodney…”
“You know how I’ve been feeling like crap lately?” Rodney asks, scrubbing his hands over his hair. “Well, I went to Carson and according to the wonderful Ancient scanner, I’m pregnant.”
“It’s got to be broken,” John replies. “That’s impossible.”
“That’s what I thought, but I checked it. It’s in perfect working condition and it says I’m pregnant.”
“How the FUCK should I know?” Rodney exclaims angrily, waving his hands around. “Two months ago, I was a woman, now I’m pregnant. It’s probably something to do with those damn priestesses. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted them.” Rodney starts pacing in the confined space, which means he goes about three steps in either direction. He stops and looks at John, his eyes wild. “Jesus Christ, John. I’m pregnant,” Rodney says and then starts to wheeze as he slides into a full-blown panic attack.
John moves quickly and puts his arm around Rodney and says, “Breathe, Rodney. C’mon, you can do this, nice, slow easy breaths.” He keeps up the quiet litany, running his hand down Rodney’s back, and after a few minutes, Rodney’s breathing returns to normal. Rodney clutches at John and buries his face against John’s neck. John kisses the side of Rodney’s head and just holds him.
“I think I need to sit down,” Rodney murmurs. So they sit down onto the floor and lean back against the wall. John puts his arm around Rodney, takes a deep breath, and says as calmly as he can, considering the fact that he's freaking out on the inside, “We’ll figure something out.”
They sit quietly for a while and then John says, “I really ought to…” and makes a gesture towards the door.
Rodney scrubs at his face and sighs loudly. “Yeah, me, too. I need to get back to the lab.”
They get up and John squeezes Rodney’s shoulder. “I’ll come by later tonight.”
Rodney nods and says, “Okay.” And then they go their separate ways.
John shows up around 7:00 pm. “Hey,” he says weakly as he comes into Rodney’s room.
“Hey,” Rodney replies just as weakly.
John crosses the room and sits next to Rodney on his bed. “So.”
“Yeah,” Rodney replies quietly and rests his head on John’s shoulder.
“Pregnant. Just when you think the Pegasus Galaxy is done fucking with you, wham,” John says, shifting to put his arm around Rodney.
“Can’t it be someone else’s turn to be fucked with? I really don’t know if I can do this,” Rodney says abruptly, in a quiet voice.
John tightens his arm around Rodney and says, “You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.”
Rodney goes very still for a moment and then pulls away to look at John. John looks calmly back at him.
“Did you ever want to have children?” Rodney asks.
“It crossed my mind a couple of times,” John replies and then shrugs. “But it wasn’t something I gave a lot of thought to, especially not after coming here.”
“I hate kids,” Rodney says. “Never wanted them, hate being around them; I just don’t get the appeal.”
“It’s your decision, Rodney,” John states almost flatly.
Rodney searches John’s face for a moment. He reaches out and brushes his fingers over John’s cheek. “No, it’s not. It’s ours. And I really need to know if you want this.”
Rodney’s eyes are wide and full of indecision – something John’s never seen before and it frightens him. He tentatively puts his hand on Rodney’s stomach – it feels no different than it did the day before, and yet, somehow knowing that there is a baby inside him makes all the difference in the universe. John stutters out a quiet, “Yes.” Because he finds that he does want this baby, absurd and impossible as it is.
Rodney puts his hand over John’s and kisses him softly on the lips. John wraps his arms around Rodney and holds him close. Rodney mutters, “We are so fucked,” into John’s neck.
“Oh, yeah,” John replies, and they both start to laugh.
As word gets around and Rodney starts to show, rumours start to fly, and Zelenka and Lorne start taking bets. Everyone knows that Rodney spent six months as a woman, but no one knew he’d had a lover. And the identity of that lover is one of the best-kept secrets in Atlantis until the day, somewhere in the middle of his second trimester, when Rodney comes into the training room, walks up to John, grabs him by the hand and places it on his stomach.
“Rodney, wha….Oh. Oh, wow. That is so cool,” John says, with an awed expression on his face, shifting closer to Rodney so that he can get both hands on his stomach so that he can feel the baby move.
“You should feel it from in here,” Rodney says, placing his hands over John’s. He looks at John, his eyes full of wonder. John is about to lean in and kiss Rodney when he hears a throat being cleared. He turns to look at the small, forgotten group of Marines and Major Lorne standing on the other side of the room.
“Congratulations, Sir,” Major Lorne says, grinning widely, the usual glint of wry amusement in his eye.
“Uh, thanks,” John says, looking a bit sheepish. And then the baby kicks again and he forgets all about the audience again as Rodney rearranges his hands.
One of the things Rodney hates the most about pregnancy is all of the extra sleep he needs. He’s not nearly as productive as he used to be and is utterly unable to go more than eight hours without a nap. Carson thinks it’s got something to do with the fact that his body isn’t actually designed to support a baby and merely suggests that he stop bitching about it and just take a damn nap in the afternoon. On the plus side, Rodney manages to bully John into napping with him.
John lies curled up against Rodney’s back, one hand curved protectively over his ever-expanding stomach. Rodney insists on being nude for these naps and John finds that he doesn’t mind all that much as the heat from Rodney’s body seeps into him. John kisses the nape of Rodney’s neck, inhaling the slightly musky scent of Rodney’s skin. He strokes his hand over Rodney’s belly. Rodney murmurs softly, only half asleep.
A deep, warm wave of affection and want flows through John, and he tightens his arm around Rodney, whispering his name thickly.
“John?” Rodney questions softly.
John shifts his hips slightly, rubbing his erection against Rodney’s ass.
“Oh, John. Yes, please,” Rodney says, arching back. They haven’t done this – penetrative sex – since Rodney’s transformation back into a man. They really haven’t been able to get past frottage and hand jobs, barring John’s one disastrous attempt at a blow job that ended with him fleeing to the bathroom.
“What do I…” John starts to say, and he can feel his face flushing with embarrassment.
“There’s some lubricant in the drawer,” Rodney says quietly.
John kisses Rodney’s shoulder and twists so that he can reach into the drawer. He pulls out a tiny red tube and looks at it. “Strawberry Delight?” he asks, choking on laughter as he settles back around Rodney.
“Hey! It’s not like I can go down to the military run supply room and ask for a big bottle of Astroglide, now can I?” Rodney points out, somewhat heatedly.
John snickers into his neck. “No, I suppose not.” He runs his hand over Rodney’s side. “So…,” John says, turning serious again.
Following Rodney’s quiet instructions, John breaks the seal on the small tube, infusing the room with the scent of fake strawberries, and squeezes some onto his fingers. Rodney shifts his leg slightly, giving John greater access. Leaning his forehead against Rodney’s shoulder, John slides his fingers down the crack of Rodney’s ass until he finds his opening. He circles it slowly and Rodney sighs in pleasure.
John takes his time, partly out of nervousness and partly out of curiosity, and by the time he’s sliding two fingers into Rodney, he’s hard again and Rodney is whining with impatience. Rodney shifts his hips backward and then gasps sharply. John goes still.
“Oh my God, you moron! Don’t stop. That was my prostate,” Rodney exclaims, rolling his hips.
John can’t help but laugh. “You know, you really shouldn’t call the man with two fingers up your ass a moron,” John says and then presses forward, trying to find the little protrusion that his fingers had bumped along earlier. He knows he’s found it when Rodney moans loudly. His cock jumps at the sound, and suddenly, going slow isn’t quite so appealing.
“Are you? Can I?” John asks, a little breathlessly, completely unable to finish the question.
“Oh, Christ, it’s about time,” Rodney says. “Yes, yes. God. Put your cock in me.”
John moans softly. He loves it when Rodney talks dirty. He fumbles for the tube and slicks himself up. Steadying himself on Rodney’s hip, John pushes into Rodney slowly. It’s completely different than when Rodney was a woman – even with the lubricant it’s less slick, tighter, harder – but every bit as wonderful as Rodney’s body accepts him. He whimpers a little at the pressure all around his cock and Rodney moans. John slides his hand around to Rodney’s stomach and rolls his hips slowly.
“Yes,” Rodney hisses and starts to rock back against John. He entwines his fingers with John’s and slides them slowly down to his erection. John wraps his hand around Rodney’s cock and Rodney keeps his hand curled over John’s and together they jerk him off as John fucks him slowly.
John gasps and moans against Rodney’s neck and shoulder, saying his name over and over again as his cock moves deeper and deeper into Rodney. Rodney shudders and then his whole body jerks suddenly and John’s hand fills with Rodney’s come. Rodney’s body stutters and tightens around his cock and John inhales sharply at the tight spike of pleasure that jolts through him, unable to do anything but thrust forward into the tight clench of Rodney’s ass as orgasm overwhelms him.
He rests his sweaty forehead against the back of Rodney’s neck and tries to get his heart rate and breathing back under control. Rodney squirms and John shifts so that Rodney can turn around in his arms – it’s a fairly ungraceful process and John can’t help but smile.
“So?” Rodney asks, running his fingers through John’s chest hair.
John leans in and kisses him – soft and slow and sweet – and then says, “Wow.”
Rodney grins smugly at him and John can’t help himself, he kisses him again.
“Does that mean we can do it again sometime?” Rodney asks, looking hopeful.
“Yes, Rodney,” John replies, while stroking his fingers along Rodney’s jaw. “But I reserve the right to have one last heterosexual freak out at some point in the future, okay?”
“Sounds fair,” Rodney says, leaning in to kiss John again, but yawns hugely instead. Rodney tries to settle against John’s side, but eventually gives up and turns back onto his side. John settles in behind him once again, and they both slip slowly into sleep
Initially, pregnancy mellows Rodney out significantly, and John jokes about keeping Rodney barefoot and pregnant just for the peace and quiet. But by the middle of the third trimester the mellow hormones seem to have worn off, and Rodney spends most of his time complaining about his various aches and pains and his need to piss every five minutes because “John’s little brat” insists on using his bladder as a trampoline.
They’re in bed one lazy afternoon, Rodney curled up on his side, while John rubs slow circles on his lower back trying to help with the backache Rodney’s had all day when Rodney gasps very loudly and clutches his distended stomach.
“Rodney?” John asks, his hand stopping.
Rodney curls into a ball and starts whimpering. He stops a few minutes later, frowning. “That fucking hurt. Ow,” he says. And then his eyes widen and he curls back into a tight ball, arms curled over his rippling belly.
“Shit,” John says, sitting up. He fumbles for his earpiece. “Carson, medical emergency. I think Rodney just went into labour. We’ll be there in five.” John hops out of the bed and starts throwing on clothes. He helps Rodney into a t-shirt and a pair of sweatpants and they make their very unsteady way to the infirmary.
“Just for the record,” Rodney says to John as he’s helped onto one of the beds, “I hate you.”
“Now, is that any way to talk to the father of your child?” John asks as he grabs a chair and sits next to Rodney’s bed.
“Fuck you,” Rodney replies, gasping in pain.
Ignoring Rodney’s words and Carson, who is examining Rodney, John takes Rodney’s hand and squeezes it gently. Rodney squeezes back much harder when another contraction hits.
John winces and turns to Carson. “So?”
“Aye. It’s time. I’m going to go prep the operating room. I’ll be back in about ten minutes for the patient,” he says, getting up. He closes the curtains around them, giving them a knowing smile.
“Not exactly subtle, is he?” John asks, eyeballing the curtain.
“He won the pool, so it’s not like it’s a huge leap to figure we might still be...” Rodney says a little breathlessly, waving his hand around. “Owww FUCK!” There’s a long pause while Rodney rides through the pain. “I really, really, really hate you right now.”
“That’s too bad,” John says nonchalantly,” because I was thinking that I kind of loved you.”
Rodney’s jaw drops and he stares at John. “Did you just…? You just…. I, me, too,” Rodney blurts out. John leans over and kisses him soundly. And then Carson clears his throat at the curtains before entering, giving John just enough time to sit back down.
Several hours and a C-section later, Rodney is holding a sleeping baby in his arms, looking shell-shocked and exhausted. John sits on the side of the bed, arm around Rodney, and looking fondly down at the both of them. Their daughter has the most ridiculously messy shock of black hair that had Rodney rolling his eyes the second he saw her.
“Have you picked a name?” Carson asks.
“Isabelle Catherine McKay-Sheppard,” John says. It had taken them months to come up with a compromise. Months of Rodney suggesting famous scientists and John suggesting super-heroes in retaliation, until they both finally agreed on using family names – Isabelle after Rodney’s great-grandmother, and Catherine after John’s favourite aunt.
“It’s lovely,” he replies, smiling at them. “And so is she.”
“You’re kidding me, right?” Rodney asks incredulously. “She’s all red and wrinkly. She smells funny, too.”
John and Carson stare at him, glance at each other and burst out laughing. No matter how much things change, some things always remain the same.