The World According to Rover XXI
Always Check the Expiry Date

Orithain and Rina

April 2006

Disclaimers: We only wish they were ours. Sadly, this is as close as weíre going to get.

"John, I love you, but Iím not throwing my back out by sleeping on these things," Rodney muttered, kissing his sleeping lover on the forehead and slipping out of bed, heading for the bathroom where heíd stowed the Ancient artifact earlier that day. Yes, John had been most appreciative of his present of Ďyou with titsí as heíd put it, but enough was enough, and Rodney wanted his dick back and the tits that ate Atlantis gone.

Not looking in the mirrors as he walked in the bathroom, he placed his hand on the device and willed it on. There was the familiar hum accompanied by the yellow glow, and he relaxed, picturing himself in his normal male stateóbut nothing happened.

Frowning, Rodney tried again, and again, each failure spiking his nerves until he raced out of the bathroom to grab Johnís arm, shaking him awake. "Get in here and get me back to normal!" he demanded, already dragging John toward the bathroom.

"Huh? Whaó" John gaped blearily at Rodney as he was hauled into the bathroom, still half asleep. "I thought you were switching back?" he mumbled.

"I was trying to, but apparently youíre the only one who can trigger that, so do it, please, so I can get some sleep."

"That doesnít make any sense," John protested, but Rodneyís glare had him keeping any further comments to himself and reaching for the device. A moment later he was blinking at Rodney. "Uh oh."

"Uh oh?" Rodneyís voice rose an octave. "What do you mean uh oh?"

"I mean itís working fine, but itís not changing you back." John chewed his lip nervously, suddenly wishing they didnít have any weapons in the room. "Um... how old were those condoms?"

"Why are you..." Rodneyís complexion went dead white, and he stared at John. "What are you suggesting, John?"

John gave him a sickly smile as he tried to figure out if he could make it out of the room before Rodney killed him. "Um... I think the device has a built-in failsafe. For, um, pregnancies. And bodies without any place for them to go."

"You think Iím..." The world dissolved into blackness as Rodney fainted.

John lunged to catch him, holding Rodney against his shoulder as he stroked his back soothingly. "Címon, Rodney, wake up. Youíre freaking me out here." He looked down when Rover nudged his leg and offered another sickly smile.

"Itís okay, boy, Rodneyís just, um, a little concerned at the moment. Heíll be fine." John looked down at his still unconscious lover. "I might not be once he wakes up though," he muttered.

Rodney groaned as he woke again. "So, did you fix the machine?" he muttered before freezing at the sound of his own voice, then jumping back away from John. "You! You did this!"

John winced. "Iím pretty sure it took both of us."

"Oh no, this is what I get for being nice and giving you what you wanted for your birthday!" Rodney shrieked, sending Rover squealing for cover in the other room. "There is no way in hell Iím staying like this!"

"Rodney, calm down. Of course youíre not going to stay like this. If the device wonít change you back while youíre pregnant," John winced again at Rodneyís expression when he uttered the word, "then we just have to make you not pregnant. Iím sure Carson can take care of it." John was surprised by how much it hurt to say those words. Heíd never expected this, never sought it, but he suddenly realized that the idea of a child of theirs was... not unpleasant.

"What? You mean... get rid of it?" Rodney looked torn at the thought. "Well, it is just a cell, or maybe two right now, but... itís ours..."

"Rodney, Iíd never make you do something you didnít want to. And this is about as far from a planned pregnancy as possible. Iíll admit that I do kinda like the idea of a baby thatís both of us, but..." John shrugged. "Weíre not exactly the Cleavers, and weíre in life-threatening situations damn near every day. Whichever you decide, Iím with you."

"I think I need to sit down," Rodney mumbled.

"Actually, I think I do too," John admitted, raking a hand through his hair. "You sure have one hell of a way of waking me up."

"As if I planned any of this!" Rodney squawked, dropping to the bed and hiding his face in his hands then shifting when the move proved uncomfortable with his chest.

"I know. I didnít mean that." John sat down next to him and pulled Rodney into a hug. "You sure know how to make a birthday memorable, Rodney."

"Happy birthday, hereís an embryo," Rodney muttered into his hands before relaxing against Johnís chest and ignoring the wholly inappropriate urge to cry.

John swallowed hard. "Uh... sorry?"

"Not your fault, I came up with the idea of giving you me and tits for your birthday. If anything, itís Carsonís fault for peddling faulty prophylactics. Oh, god, weíre going to have to call him, and Radek will never let me hear the end of this!"

John cringed at the thought. "Couldnít we run away from home instead?" He could just imagine the jokes that would be floating around the city.

"I like that idea; we could kidnap Carson so I wouldnít have to give birth without a doctor and bring the device so the second the parasite is out I can go back to normal." Rodney knew he was babbling but didnít know how to stop.

"If we kidnap Carson, Radek will hunt us down and rip you an orifice to birth the baby through."

"He wouldnít hurt a pregnant woman!" Rodney exclaimed before breaking into hysterical tears. "Oh fuck, Iím going to be a pregnant woman for the next nine months! The universe hates me!"

There was nothing John could say to that, so he just drew Rodney closer and stroked his back, offering his support.

"If it had been you, no one would even have noticed anything different," he sniffled, wiping at his eyes with the back of his free hand.

"Excuse me! I donít look like a girl!"

"Well, even as a girl, you look less like one than I do!" Rodney shuddered and finally sat up, looking morosely down at his all too alien feminine body. "I suppose we should call Carson."

John nodded reluctantly. "Whatever you decide, itís only temporary," he reminded Rodney. "And youíre still you, snark and all."

Rodney groaned in response, and Rover scooted closer, patting him on the leg with one closed pincer.

"Itís going to be okay," John said helplessly, patting Rodneyís shoulder.

"Sure, it will be," Rodneyís laugh was touched with a bit of hysteria. "Thereís nothing strange about a man who turned himself into a woman to have sex with his male lover and got pregnant while doing it!"

"Um." John tried, but that set him off, and a moment later he was sprawled on his back on the bed, laughing so hard he was almost crying.

"This isnít funny!" Rodney shrieked, glaring at John, but in a moment his lips started to twitch, and then he collapsed beside him howling with laughter as well.

Rover bumped the bed when, after a bit, the two of them were still laughing, and Rodney sat up enough to pet the cart. "Weíre okay, Rover," he gasped. "Fucked up but okay."

Snickering, John rolled to his side to watch them. "Just another day in Atlantis."

"Oh, just call Carson, will youóand tell him to bring his little black bag!"

John made the call, intentionally being vague about the details in case anyone overheard the conversation. He didnít think Rodney would appreciate all of Atlantis finding out about his condition before he couldnít hide it any longer.

"Thank you," Rodney sighed before slowly getting to his feet and looking around the room. "Weíd better get dressedóoh fuck, Iím going to have to wear that bra again!"

"íFraid so, lover, unless you really want me to follow you around to hold them up all day." John smirked.

"Oh ha ha, very funny, Colonel Fetishist!"

"Now, now, you know Iím only interested in yours."

Rodney whimpered quietly and then a bit louder when Rover returned from a search of his room to hand over the monster bra.

John patted his shoulder. "Itís better than letting them hang. You know how uncomfortable that is."

"Oh my god, theyíre just going to get bigger, arenít they? Theyíre going to suffocate me one night, I know it!"

John almost choked, unsuccessfully trying to hold back his laughter. He hastily ducked out of reach as he snickered, keeping a wary eye on his fuming lover.

"Laugh it up, Hairball, youíre not touching me anytime in the near or far future!" Rodney grabbed a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt, and finally the bra that Rover was waving like a flag, and stormed into the bathroom to dress.

"Aw, come on, donít be like that," John protested, wondering if it was too soon for Rodney to be hormonal but not stupid enough to ask. "You know damn well youíd laugh at anyone else who was getting phobic about a part of their own body. Even if only a temporary part."

Rodneyís answer was to slam around the bathroom, making as much noise as possible.

John sighed, but the chiming at the door made him leave Rodney to himself for the moment to let Carson in.

"John," Carson nodded, noting the colonelís state of undress and the loud noises coming from the bathroom. "What seems to be the problem?"

"For my birthday, Rodney used the device and now it wonít turn him back and we think heís pregnant," John said in a single breath.

Carsonís physicianís aplomb failed him, and he simply stared at John. "Yeíre kidding."

From the bathroom came a disconsolate wail. "Iím going to look like a hippopotamus!"

Carsonís eyes widened further, and he looked toward the closed door. "Yeíre not kidding."

"Do you honestly think Iíd joke about something like that? Heís going to kill me," John sighed unhappily.

"Yeíre both smart men; dinna either of ye remember what I told ye that last time this happened?" As he spoke, Ciora approached the bathroom door and tried to open it to get the patient out, but Rover pushed her back and away.

"Of course we did! Weíre not idiots, Carson. But I guess this is proof that nothing is one hundred percent effective. And you may want to check the expiry dates on your stock or the temperatures or something."

"Or maybe you just have super Ancient-enhanced spermóguaranteed to impregnate hapless females even through latex," Rodney grumbled as he came out of the bathroom, his hair brushed back into a ponytail and his expression a strange combination of worry, annoyance and fear.

"Och, only the two of you..." Carson mumbled to himself before sighing. "All right, the three of us need to sit down and discuss this."

"Discuss what?" Rodney yelped, even as Rover pulled him over to the bed to sit down. "If you canít figure out how it happened, Iím revoking your medical license!"

John gingerly sat down beside Rodney, relaxing slightly when he didnít pull away. "Iím fairly certain Carson knows the mechanics, Rodney. I think maybe he meant discussing our options."

"Oh. Well?"

Carson pulled a chair over and sat down, absently rubbing Ciora when she rolled up to settle beside him, leaving Rover to move beside Rodney. "We could try levonorgestrel, the Ďmorning afterí pill, or I could speak with Dr. Mason regarding a D & C for you; that would likely be all that was necessary at this stage."

"Did I say I wanted to get rid of it?" Rodney asked sharply.

"No, no, ye didnít, Rodney," Carson said soothingly, "but I just assumed that yeíd prefer to get back to normal."

John reached for Rodneyís hand, holding it tightly. He remained silent, trying not to influence Rodneyís decision either way.

"IóI donít know," Rodney finally admitted. "I need to think about it."

Carson nodded, though a glance at John told him what the colonel hoped the decision would be. "Thatís fine, Rodney; ye have time yet. Just let me know one way or the other, will ye?"

Without even realizing it, John tightened his hold on Rodneyís hand. Though heíd never considered having children, and especially not since getting involved with Rodney, he was surprised to realize how much he liked the idea.

Rodney cut a nervous glance in Johnís direction and took a deep breath. "Iíll let you know tomorrow," he promised.

Carson stood again and rested a hand on each of their shoulders. "Whatever you decide, it will be the right thing." Giving each of them a pat, he called Ciora and left.

Once they were alone again, John simply flopped backwards onto the bed, sprawling where heíd been sitting a moment before. "Do you have any idea what you want to do?"

"Honestly, no," Rodney sighed, looking down at his hands miserably. "What about you?"

John rolled his side and put his head in Rodneyís lap. "I... actually kind of like the idea of a baby whoís ours. Which isnít to say that I donít think weíd be the weirdest parents in the history of mankind. Iíd never have tried to have a child, and certainly not by trapping you this way, but now that itís happened... Well."

"You want it." Rodney managed a half smile as he spoke.

"Well, yeah," John admitted. "But not if itís going to make you miserable."

"I donít know," Rodney sighed. "How the hell can we spin this to Caldwell?"

"I donít give a damn!" was Johnís instant reply. "And itís not like he can say anything; this pretty much proves I was having sex with you as a woman." He smiled wryly.

"Not funny, John." Rodney leaned over and looked down at him, his blue eyes troubled. "He could get you sent back to Earth."

"Not gonna happen. There are no regs against sleeping with a female, civilian co-worker. And even if it did, somehow, Iíd resign my commission and join the Athosians."

"Oh yeah, I can see you in leather tilling the fields," Rodney snorted before sighing. "Okay, I want to keep it."

"Oh, thank God!" John sat up and kissed him hard.

"You can explain all this to Elizabeth though!"

"Sheís going to laugh at us again," John predicted gloomily.

"So will Paul, and Radek, and everyone else we know; deal with it."

"As long as youíre not throwing me out or considering slitting or removing any part of me, Iím good."

Rodney snorted. "Are you kidding? Youíre going to be the one getting up in the middle of the night to get me whatever it is Iím craving, so Iím not going to kill or maim youóyet."

"Somehow that Ďyetí doesnít fill me with confidence."

"Thatís because Iím blocking out any thoughts about having to expel this thing from my body."

John swallowed hard. He had a feeling Rodney was going to make sure that he shared all the pains of labor, somehow.

"Honestly, Iím scared shitless," Rodney continued. "I mean, I donít even like children, and weíre going to have one? What if it comes out warped or mutated because this isnít who I normally am?"

John sat up to wrap his arms around Rodney again. "Iím sure the device makes sure everything works right or it wouldnít be able to happen at all. The only warping involved will be from having the two of us as parents."

"Thatís supposed to reassure me?" Rodneyís voice rose several octaves in tone. "Maybe we should rethink this; I donít want to fuck up a kid..."

"Rodney, I was kidding!" John hugged him tightly. "Itís not like anyoneís ever really prepared to be a parent. Weíll figure it out."

"I guess we have some time at least, since Iím all of what, six hours pregnant?"

John chuckled. "Yeah, we have a while to get used to it all." Without thinking, he brought a hand around to rest on Rodneyís flat belly.

Rodney looked down at Johnís hand on his stomach and sighed.

"Oh, sorry." John snatched his hand back when the sigh made him realize what heíd done, and he looked away.

Rodney shook his head, caught Johnís hand and pulled it back into place. "No, itís okay; in fact itís sort of comforting."

"Cool." John gently rubbed Rodneyís belly while shifting them so that he was leaning back against the pillows and headboard and Rodney was nestled between his legs, leaning back against him. "I love you," he said softly.

Rodney gave a soft laugh and turned his face so that he was nuzzling Johnís throat. "Iíll remind you of that when I have you running all over in the middle of the night to get me whatever Iím craving."

"As if Rover wouldnít already have whatever you want before I could even make it to the door."

"Well, sometimes heís staying here and youíre getting the food!"

"Hey, Iím perfectly willing. I just draw the line at the two of us racing down the corridors of Atlantis, trying to get to the food first."

Rover shot across the room and back, plainly declaring he would be the winner in such a race, and Rodney chuckled before reaching out to pat him when he settled alongside the bed again. "Yes, Rover, I know youíll take care of me, but you need to let John win sometimes or else he might cry."

John rolled his eyes but managed not to snort. "You mean you might cry if you donít think Iím proving my love sufficiently. Fortunately for all of us, I have no problem with that."

"Well, you can always bear our lovechild, and Iíll be glad to run all over Atlantis getting you whatever you want."

"Thatís okay; I think our Ďlovechildí is happy where it is for now."

"I donít think our lovechild is aware of anything right now."

"Itís going to be fine."

"Easy for you to say, youíre not the one whoís going to be squeezing a watermelon out of a keyhole!"

"Eww, thank you for that lovely image!"

"Any time." Rodney yawned and let his eyes fall shut for a moment.

John leaned his cheek against Rodneyís head and lazily rubbed his belly, taking advantage of the moment of quiet to try to wrap his mind around the thought of them having a baby. Worn out by the eveningís events, Rodney sighed and managed to scoot backwards a tiny bit, snuggling closer, already half asleep. Johnís arms tightened around him, and they both fell gradually fell asleep, holding one another.

Waking up to find Rodney still asleep and still female, John sighed. This was going to be a very long nine months.

"Mmm, morning," Rodney muttered, before wincing at the sound of his own voice. "Fuck, I was kind of hoping this was a really bad dream."

"íFraid not," John said, not stupid enough to admit to similar hopes. "I guess weíre just going to muddle through. At least with our parents we have great examples of what not to do with this kid."

"And this baby is going to have a hell of an extended family, and oh shit, what about missions?"

Not having thought about that yet, John looked startled. "Shit. Well, Carson will tell us at what point youíre restricted to base, but before that... well, we know how dangerous it can be out there. I donít like the idea of having someone else instead of you, but can we put the baby in danger like that?"

"If I had my way, weíd both stay here the whole time; I donít want my baby growing up fatherlessóI mean with one less father!"

John sighed. "Iíll talk to Elizabeth, see about cutting back my missions some for the next few months. Itís only fair if youíre grounded that I cut back too."

"We need to talk to her anyway, and Carson again to tell him weíre keeping it."

"Yeah, I think weíre going to shock a few people."

Rodney laughed sadly. "Try everyone."

"Well, thatís their problem, not ours." John drew him closer. "I hope he or she gets your eyes."

That earned John an odd look. "Why?"

"Because I love your eyes." John ran a thumb over Rodneyís cheek. "Theyíre gorgeous."

Rodney flushed slightly and turned his head to kiss Johnís palm. "Well, I hope he or she doesnít get your hair, or weíll spend our lives brushing it." He grinned at that and kissed Johnís hand again. "But I hope the baby gets your personality."

John briefly contemplated the prospect of life with a child with Rodneyís personality and shuddered. "No offense, Rodney, but so do I! Keeping up with youís my limit. Two of you would be beyond me."

Rodney sniffed and tucked his head under Johnís chin. "And watching it trying to kill itself with dare-devil antics is going to be so wonderful for my health. At least it will be smart and have the gene. I bet Atlantis will love it."

"Letís just hope Atlantis is more of a babysitter than a partner in crime."

Rodney blanched.

"Iím sure it will be," John said hastily. "The Ancients had to have had kids too."

"Are we sure about that? They did live practically forever."

"Yeah, well, practically isnít truly, and they had to reproduce occasionally."

"I really donít want to think about any Ancients reproducing," Rodneyís tone made it certain he was thinking about one certain Ancient.

"Naw, itís of no interest to us," John agreed hastily.

"Good answer, you donít want me getting hormonal already."

"No, that would be bad. But my answer also has the advantage of being the truth. Iím only interested in one child with Ancient genes."

"Another good answer." Rodney turned his head to kiss John, then sighed. "I suppose we should get up and start getting this over with."

"Canít we just hide in here for nine months?" John groaned. He really wasnít looking forward to the joking he knew they were going to face.

"As much as I like that idea, no, we canít, so letís call Elizabeth and Carson; itíll probably be best if heís here to help."

A short time later, after a shower and a call that brought Carson and Elizabeth to their quarters, where Rover brought them all coffee and muffins from the mess hall, John was trying not to laugh as the stunned silence lengthened after their announcement.

"Youíre what?" Elizabeth finally sputtered, wide eyes fixed on Rodney in disbelief.

"Pregnant. Knocked-up. In the family way. Have a bun in the oven. An unwed mother..."

"I think thatís enough, Rodney," Carson broke in when he seemed bent on continuing in that vein.

"Yeah, I think we all get the idea," John agreed. "And youíre not really an unwed mother since I think weíd be considered common law by now."

Rodney rolled his eyes. "Feeling the romance here."

John just looked at him. "I think thatís what got us into this."

Elizabeth choked on the coffee sheíd just sipped.

Carson frowned, looking pained. "Have ye decided if ye want to keep it or not?"

Growing serious, Rodney sighed, not looking at John look at his chest, and nodded. "We do, I do."

"So weíre going to have to cut back on the off-world missions," John said, glancing apologetically at Elizabeth.

"Frankly, John, Iíd be just as happy to see the two of you stay safe in Atlantis for a while. Youíre both incredibly valuable to this expedition."

"Invaluable, in fact," Rodney sniffed disdainfully.

"Yes, Rodney, of course ye are," Carson sighed.

Ignoring the byplay, John watched Elizabeth carefully. "So youíre really all right with this?"

"Well, I canít say that itís not a surprise," Elizabeth said wryly, "but maybe having children here will help bring Atlantis back to life. And chasing after any child you two produce should keep you from having any time to get into any other trouble."

"Now thereís a backhanded compliment if I ever heard one," Rodney grumbled.

"Just smile and nod," John suggested. "We canít win."

"Well, ye canít blame anyone fer this but yerselves," Carson reminded them.

"We used a damn rubber!" John growled, then flushed when Elizabeth made a choking sound.

"Can we please not tell anyone else that?" Rodney groaned.

John nodded wordlessly, wishing heíd told one less person. He covered his face with his hands, only looking up when Rover bumped his leg, concerned. He smiled wryly. "Iím fine. Thanks." He patted the cart, letting his hand rest on top of him.

"Carson?"

"Yes, Rodney."

"Have you told Radek yet?"

Carson bit his lip to keep from smiling at the pathetic tone. "No, I havenae told anyone."

"Iím not sure if thatís good or bad," John muttered. "It just means weíll have to tell everyone."

"Elizabeth could do it, couldnít you, Elizabeth?"

Her eyebrows shot up. "You want me to make a city-wide announcement?"

"No!" John nearly howled.

"It would probably be easier than explaining a hundred times."

"Iím moving to the mainland," John muttered.

"In your dreams! You think youíre leaving me here like this alone, youíve got another think coming!" Rodney shrieked, making Rover press closer, his pincers raised in a silent threat.

"I meant all three of us! Four." John glanced at Rodneyís stomach as he amended his statement.

"Oh, okay, thatís better." Mollified, Rodney leaned against Johnís side once again.

Carson glanced over at Elizabeth, a Ďcan we leave now, pleaseí expression on his face.

"And I do believe thatís our cue to leave, Carson." Elizabeth stood up, pausing to lay a hand on Rodneyís shoulder briefly. "Congratulations, gentlemen." She smiled quickly, thinking how odd that was, and led Carson out, leaving the two men alone again.

Rodney sighed and reached up to rub the bridge of his nose. "Maybe this isnít such a good idea."

John shrugged slightly, holding him close. "Well, I donít think this is something either of us would ever have chosen, but now that itís happened, would you really want to abort our child?"

"No, but finding a time machine that could take us nine months into the future is looking very good about now!"

"Wouldnít help," John pointed out. "Junior goes where you do for the duration, so youíre just going to have to live with it."

"Fuck," Rodney muttered morosely. "And you know what the worst part is? Iím not going to get to be in you until this is over."

John looked horrified. "What about an artificial womb?"

"I donít want our child raised by a machine!"

Rover ground against the bed, and Rodney reached out to pet him. "Other than you of course, but I donít think you have a womb."

"That is just so wrong," John muttered. "Okay, who do we know well on the Daedalus? We need a strap-on. And weíre going to need formula, since I doubt youíre planning to breastfeed."

"No! I want to get rid of these things as soon as possible, and get other parts back at the same time!" Rodney exclaimed, looking down at his chest in disgust.

John ignored the comments about the chest since he didnít think reminding Rodney that it was his liking for those tits that got them into this was a very good idea. "I want those other parts back almost as much as you do."

"I would hope so!"

"I donít think Iíve ever made any attempt to hide the fact that I love having you fuck me."

"Hmm, no, youíre very vocal about liking that."

John grinned crookedly. "You may get really tired of topping nine months from now."

Rodney snorted at that. "I highly doubt that." He paused then gave a half-laugh. "Well, I guess now we donít have to worry about rubbers."

"No, Iíd say weíre pretty much past that now," John agreed wryly. "So next time we can feel each other."

"The one bright spot in this black hole," Rodney sighed, before catching a glimpse of Johnís expression and managing a bit of a smile. "Other than the idea of our child."

"And that is a really freaky thought." John rubbed Rodneyís belly. "In a cool sort of way."

"Thatís one way of putting it. So, should we go get showered and brave the laughing masses?"

"I could always shoot the first one who laughs in the leg," John offered, standing up and pulling Rodney up beside him.

"That sounds good to me, and then Rover can run them over." The cart clacked his pincers in agreement with that idea.

"Of course, after all that, Elizabeth might throw us all in the brig. In separate cells."

"She wouldnít dare!"

John raised an eyebrow at him. "Wanna bet? Iíd prefer to avoid testing the theory if itís all the same to you." He caught hold of Rodneyís hand and started toward the shower.

"Not arguing that," Rodney sighed, following along and looking down at his chest morosely.

Inside the shower, with the water hotter than John normally put it, he pressed Rodney against the wall and nibbled on the side of one full breast.

"What are you doing?" Rodney grumbled.

"Getting you into a better mood." John grinned up at him, hazel eyes sparkling, and he slid one hand between Rodneyís thighs while dragging his tongue over the tip of one breast.

"I think youíre having fun playing with those damn things."

Another glance upward and John sucked the hardening nipple into his mouth, lightly scraping it with his teeth. The hand between Rodneyís legs cupped him, the heel pressing against his clit while Johnís fingertips lightly stroked the smooth, soft flesh.

Rodney whimpered, then winced at the high-pitched sound. "I hate you," he muttered, panting.

"No, you donít. You love me." John switched to the other breast at the same moment that he slipped two fingers inside Rodney.

"Yes, I do," Rodney gasped, leaning back against the wall and closing his eyes.

"Yes, I know you love me," John agreed, choosing the more complimentary of the two possible interpretations of Rodneyís words. The fingers that had been inside Rodney slid free and pushed between his cheeks, the slick moisture allowing one to slide easily into his ass. Johnís other hand moved between Rodneyís legs and two fingers slipped into the briefly empty core of him.

"Bastard," Rodney gasped, bucking forward against Johnís hand and whimpering when the fingers twisted inside of him. "Just shut up and fuck me."

"Donít mind if I do." John surged upward, taking Rodneyís mouth as he pushed into him.

Moaning, Rodney leaned back against the shower wall, one leg hooking up around Johnís hip, his body tightening down around Johnís cock. John moved closer to the wall and curved his free hand under Rodneyís butt, silently urging him to wrap the other leg around his waist.

"Iím going to make us both fall if I do that," Rodney muttered before nipping Johnís earlobe.

"Trust me." John twisted the finger in Rodneyís ass and thrust into him a little harder.

"Would I be a woman if I didnít?" Rodney gasped, squirming, before he tightened his arms around Johnís shoulders, leaned his weight against the wall, and hooked his other leg around Johnís waist.

Johnís finger slid out of Rodneyís ass so he could curve both palms under him, supporting him securely against the wall as John fucked him. "Love you," John whispered, wishing he could fix this for Rodney.

"I donít have to answer that considering the fact that I turned myself into a woman for you and am nowóoh fuck!--staying one for most of a year."

"Iíll do my best to make it up to you," John promised, rocking in and out of him, wanting to make this last.

"Just keep doing that and itíll be good." Rodney whimpered and arched against Johnís chest, his hands scrabbling on his shoulders as their balance wavered.

"As often as humanly possibly." John pushed Rodney more firmly against the wall, giving him more support, and lowered his head to suckle on a hard nipple.

Rodney convulsed, his whole body quivering as he spasmed around John. "Until Iím as big as a horse."

"Oral sex," John replied succinctly.

"You are the worldís biggest slut."

"I was talking about me doing you!" John sped up his thrusts, groaning with each ripple of Rodneyís body, so different from what he was used to.

"You might lick the baby by mistake." Rodney shivered both with horror at the idea and pleasure as John slid against him.

John glared even as he drove into Rodney. "Iím not planning on going down on you during labor!"

"If you tried it, Iíd kick you!"

"If I tried it, someoneíd better be yelling for Heightmeyer!"

Rodney had to snicker at that, wincing when it came out as a giggle, then giving up and concentrating on the way John felt inside him. John grinned at him, then took Rodneyís mouth as his thrusts sped up until he groaned into Rodneyís mouth and came.

"Okay," Rodney breathed as he eased first one foot down to the floor and then the other, "sex this way without a rubber is pretty good."

"Yeah, not bad at all," John agreed, leaned his forehead against Rodneyís. "Weíll muddle through for the next few months."

"John." There was no reply, so Rodney tried again. "John." This time the word was accompanied by a poke in the side. "John, wake up."

"Whaó" A moment later Johnís eyes shot open, and he sat bolt upright. "Whatís wrong?"

"Iím hungry. I want those purple berries Stackhouseís team brought back." Rodney rolled to his back and rubbed his swollen stomach. "And once I can get up, I have to pee."

John gaped at him. "You want..." He shut his mouth and his eyes and reminded himself that he loved Rodney and heíd promised to be supportive in this very weird situation. "Iíll go get you some berries. Iím sure Rover will be happy to help you to the bathroom." He scrubbed a hand over his face and through his hair, making it stand even more on end, and stood up to fumble for some sweats.

"I think I can go to the bathroom by myself," Rodney huffed, slowly rolling out of bed and groaning as he rubbed his back. "Rover can go with you and bring back some milk as well."

"Yes, Rodney." John had learned that short answers were best in situations like this, so he shoved his bare feet into his sneakers and headed for the mess, praying fervently that there some berries left. The one time heíd brought back a substitute for Rodneyís request was not to be repeated, and he really didnít want to have to go through the stargate to get berries at this hour.

He glanced down at Rover, whoíd followed on his heels, without so much as a momentís hesitation, and smiled wryly. "Got you cowed too, huh?"

The cart shuddered and pressed against Johnís leg, plainly seeking safety in numbers.

"Weíre more than halfway there; he canít actually drive us crazy in three months." John took another few steps. "I hope." He looked down at Rover. "Iím telling you now, if theyíre out of berries, Iím not going back without them. You and I could pick enough to satisfy him pretty quickly, and Iím perfectly willing to shoot someone to open the gate for us."

Rover scooted away to rub against the wall, making a grating noise in agreement before extending both his arms and making a clacking noise with his pincers.

"You know, heís just one man. Either of us could take him. So why are we the ones cowed?" John sighed, stepping into the transporter with Rover, then out into the mess hall a moment later.

The cart somehow managed to convey a Ďyouíve got to be kiddingí sound before rolling over to the drink station and collecting several containers of milk, then returning to Johnís side.

"True," John agreed wryly while rummaging through the storage area. He crowed with success and held up a large bowl of the berries. "Now I just need something to put some in because Iím not bringing him this many or weíll all be up all night."

Rover pressed against Johnís leg in agreement before scooting over to a shelf and finding a small bowl for him.

"I do not believe this!" John groaned, brandishing a note at Rover. "He has to have milk and berries right away... but in the few minutes it took to get them, he decides to go to the lab! And weíre supposed to bring his snack to him. What am I, Meals on Wheels?!" he grumbled.

Rover patted Johnís leg with a closed pincer and slowly wheeled around, heading for the door, his housing rubbing against the wall in a much put-upon sigh.

A short walk and transporter ride later, John was glaring at Rodney in his lab. "Do you have any idea what time it is?"

"Hmm?" Rodney looked up from his datapad, pausing to move a sensor to another crystal before continuing. "Really late? Really early? I know youíre annoyed, but I had a rush of energy and needed to do something with it."

John sighed, shoving a hand through already messy hair. "Rodney, youíre pregnant. You need to get your sleep, not start wandering around in the middle of the night." He put the berries down on the bench next to Rodney and waited.

"I do sleep; remember those naps I end up taking in the afternoon because the guppy makes me tired?" Rodney looked down at the berries and smiled when Rover set the milk next to them. "And thank you, both of you."

John came up behind him and slid his arms around Rodney, lightly resting his clasped hands on the swell of Rodneyís belly. His chin on Rodneyís shoulder, John sighed again. "I just wish youíd take better care of yourself."

"I am taking care of myself!" Rodney protested. "Iím taking every vitamin Carson tells me to; I only have one cup of coffee a day; and Iím staying away from any new tech until Radek checks it out. Iíd say I was being a damn saint!"

"Well, when you put it that way... I guess you are, at that. It just feels like you should be resting more or something. I think weíll have to put it down to first-time-father jitters. I have this insane urge to wrap you up and stick you somewhere safe. And yes, I know exactly what youíd think of that, no need to deafen me," John added hastily.

Rodney sighed and leaned back against Johnís chest. "And I suppose if we were in the reversed positions, Iíd be doing the same thing to you."

"Youíd probably wrap me in swaddling. Or at least try," John amended, chuckling. "But you know weíre going to get some odd looks if weíre still here when the day starts. For one thing, Iím only wearing sweats in case you havenít noticed."

"Well, is it my fault that you didnít put on a shirt?"

While Rodney was talking, Rover reached into a storage bin and pulled out a t-shirt, handing it over to John with a flourish.

"I was trying to get him back to bed," John told Rover with a sigh.

"Fine, fine, Iíll finish this in the morning," Rodney sighed, saving his file and closing it down before disconnecting the power crystals from the leads then standing and stretching. "But you can rub my back when we go back to bed."

"Oh damn, itís a tough job but somebodyís got to do it." John slid an arm around Rodney and patted Rover to let him he was grateful for the shirt despite his words.

The cart brightened at the attention and gathered up the berries and milk, tugging at Rodneyís loose pants to make sure he was coming as well.

"Two mother hens," Rodney grumbled even as he slid his arm around Johnís waist as well and rubbed Roverís sensor array, "itís enough to drive a man insane."

"Rodney, Iím pretty sure we were all crazy before we stepped through the stargate for the first time. Well, okay, not Rover. Heís probably the only sane one here."

Rover scooted ahead and whirled in a quick circle at that comment, making Rodney laugh. "True. And if we werenít, it happened not long after we got here." He leaned against Johnís side and yawned as they headed out of the lab.

"Iím going to ignore any possible correlation between that timeframe and us getting together."

"As am I, itís much safer that way."

Rover rubbed back and forth against a wall, and John eyed him. "You realize Roverís snickering at us, right?"

"My only comment to that is that he chose us, so what does that say about him?"

Rover rolled toward Rodney, clacking his pincer menacingly while John laughed at them both.

"No threatening the pregnant woman!" Rodney yelped, backing up until he hit the wall. Rover rolled the rest of the way up to him and rubbed against his leg.

"As if there was ever any danger that Roveríd do anything to hurt you," John scoffed.

"Well, he could have been possessed by evil Ancient nanobots or something," Rodney grumbled even as he was petting the cart fondly.

"Thatís it," John said, steering Rodney toward the transporter, "bed for you. Youíre getting giddy, which is way too much for me to deal with at this hour."

"I am not giddy! I never get giddy!" Rodneyís protests started out in one place and ended in another and continued all the way to their room.

"Yes, dear. Whatever you say, dear." John gave him a toothy smile while nudging him toward the bed.

"Oh, shut up and get me those berries; you hustled me out of the lab so fast, I never got to eat any of them."

Rover scooted forward, offering the bowl heíd carried back to the room along with the milk.

"Thank you, Rover," Rodney said, taking the bowl and nibbling on a berry before patting the cart again and leaning back against the pillows with a happy sigh. John settled beside him and pulled Rodney between his legs so he was leaning back against Johnís chest.

"Much better," he said contentedly.

"Or it would be ifóowóthe guppy stopped kicking me," Rodney grumbled, though he didnít sound too upset about that or about their position.

His chin on Rodneyís shoulder, John smiled down at the mound of belly. He placed a hand over the visible ripple of their childís kicking and started rubbing gently.

Rodney looked down and watched Johnís hand jump as his stomach moved. "I can already tell the guppy is going to take after you."

"Yeah, definitely football, not hockey," John chuckled.

"I am not raising a jock!"

"And whatís wrong with a brainy jock?" John wanted to know.

"And what sport are they going to play here on Atlantis? Kick the Wraith?"

"Hey, that has potential." John chuckled and fended off the elbow jabbing back at his ribs. "Seriously, weíre going to have to start developing schools and activities for kids. Ours wonít be the only one born in Atlantis, and not everyoneís going to want to go back to Earth. Weíre going to start having permanent colonists here."

"Which is why we staked out that island, remember?" Rodney yawned before leaning to the side to set the bowl and glass on the bedside table. "And weíll let Elizabeth worry about that; Iím busy gestating."

John snorted. "As if you wonít be the first one demanding superior educators for our child."

"Well, of course I will. The guppyís going to be brilliant and have the gene; he or she will make it seem like Atlantis hates you with the way it will react to him or her."

"Rodney, the idea of a child with the entire cityís help in outsmarting his parents is not comforting."

"Rover will help us keep track of him or her."

"Which weíre going to need, but Iím hoping the city is programmed not to help children against parents." John continued rubbing Rodneyís belly as he pondered. "You realize that a cart is probably going to show up the moment the babyís born, donít you?"

Rodney groaned, making Rover scoot over to the bed and press up against it. "How can a cart understand what a baby wants?"

"Do you really want to bet that it wonít find a way?"

"Wonderful," Rodney sighed, closing his eyes and turning his head to nuzzle Johnís neck. "We get not only a baby, but a new cart as well."

Rover grated against the side of the bed, and John leaned down to pat him. "The new cart will be the babyís, Rover. You know weíd never cheat on you."

"And you know the new one wouldnít be anywhere as smart as you," Rodney yawned.

"Of course. Thereís only one Rover." John kissed Rodneyís cheek, his hand still resting on Rover.

The cart shimmied in pleasure and settled next to the bed as the lights in the room dimmed. "Only one," Rodney agreed. "Now hush, Iím going back to sleep."

John kissed him again, closing his own eyes as well.

"Ow," Rodney muttered as he leaned back from the piece of equipment heíd been working on and rubbed his back.

"That looks very uncomfortable," Radek observed.

"Everyone applaud Dr. Zelenkaís powers of observation."

"Pregnancy hormones do not improve your nature."

"Having a ten pound watermelon strapped to my bladder doesnít do much for it either."

"We can only pray the child will have the colonelís nature."

Rodney turned enough to glare at Radek. "And just what do you mean by that?"

"I mean that the colonel is charming and you are anything but."

"John thinks Iím charming." Rodneyís lower lip pushed out in a pout as he spoke.

"Heís in love with you. None of us are." Radek eyed the lip warily.

"I would hope not; the last thing I want is a horde of love-struck people chasing after me."

"And it would really suck if I had to start shooting people to get them away from Rodney," John drawled as he came in just in time to hear that exchange.

"Plus all that violence wouldnít be good for the baby."

"I think Iím going to be sick." Radek rolled his eyes.

"Why?" Rodney demanded, still rubbing at his back.

"You two are entirely nauseating."

"Oh, go jump Carson or something," John said.

"We are not!" Rodney exclaimed, sniffling and blinking furiously.

"No, weíre not," John agreed, glaring at Radek, who retreated quickly from the hormonally-inspired emotional outburst. He pulled Rodney against him, fingers gently kneading Rodneyís back, relieving the ache.

"I hate this," Rodney muttered, leaning against John with a small sigh as he wiped at his eyes.

"Itís almost over. Just a little longer."

"Itís damn humiliating is what it is; Iím leaking like a faucet anytime someone looks at me."

"Soon youíll be back to terrorizing all of Atlantis," John soothed, rubbing his back comfortingly.

"Youíre damn right!" Rodney winced and shifted in his seat. "I think theyíre beginning not to fear me."

"Oh, I doubt that," John snorted. "And youíll have the pleasure cowing them all over again to grind them down even lower."

Rodney had to smile at that, though the expression turned to a grimace. "All my hard work has gone out the window, and the new people are hopeless."

"Iím sure youíll whip them into shape. Youíre Rodney McKay, after all."

"Right now I donít feel much like anything except brood mare McKay."

There wasnít much John could say in response to that, so he simply hugged Rodney.

"Well, that and aching back McKay," Rodney tried to joke before grimacing again.

"Um, Rodney... How long has your back been aching?"

Rodney shrugged. "Most of the day on and off, but then Iíve been sitting hunched over in here; why?"

John eyed him warily. "Have you considered that you might be in labor?"

"What?!" Rodney shrieked.

"That is what usually happens nine months after conception." John looked around, almost amused when he realized everyone else had fled the lab.

"No, no, no, no, I have two more weeks, Carson promised!"

"Rodney, no child in the history of the universe has ever been born exactly on the due date."

Rodney looked down at his stomach, wide-eyed. "Iím not ready yet; weíre not ready yet! We donít have anything put together yet, and the Daedalus hasnít brought the things we requested, and, and, oh fuck, that hurt."

"I think we need to get you to the infirmary." John urged Rodney to his feet, Rover moving anxiously around them.

"Well, itís not like the guppyís going to fall out right this second!" Rodney snapped, letting John and Rover herd him out the door, then glaring at the small crowd outside. "What?!" he exclaimed. "Havenít you ever seen anyone in labor before?!"

"Not someone whoís usually male," Radek retorted. "Carson is waiting for you in the infirmary."

"Oh thank God," John breathed.

"Dr. Selah better be there as well!" Rodney yelped. "Carsonís not an obstetrician!"

"Dr. Selah is there too," Radek said hastily. "They both thought you would be more comfortable with a friend present, but Iím sure Carson will leave if you donít want him there."

"No, no, that..." Rodney paused and grimaced, "thatís fine."

"Could we actually go there?" John demanded, looking and sounding frantic.

"What are you so worried about," Rodney grumbled as the crowd started trailing them down the corridor, "you arenít the one ready to pop like a grape."

"Itís my duty as a first-time father to have a nervous breakdown, and you know how Iím all about duty."

"Excuse me, like Iím in any better shape here!" As John and Rodney argued, Rover slowed and got behind them, nudging them both forward.

John glanced down and chuckled. "I think weíre not the only nervous ones."

Rodney glanced around at most of his veteran staff and sighed. "I never would have guessed that. And there is no way all of you can fit in the transporter, so go find something to do!" The last was shouted as he tried to lengthen his stride.

"You know weíre not going to get rid of them," John sighed. "Theyíll just get in the next transporter. Unless..." He got a wicked expression as they stepped into the transporter, only Radek daring to join them.

"What are you planning on doing, John?" Rodney asked, trying to glower at Radek but unable to.

"Letting the city know how unhappy it would make me to have that horde follow us."

Rodney had to laugh at that, and then at Rover and Reza bumping into each other as they jockeyed for position.

Radek dodged the carts, hastily ducking behind Rodney, where it was safe. "I can see that it can be useful to be loved by the city."

"And youíd better remember that too!"

"And you remember that you need me," Radek retorted.

"To laugh at me?"

"To keep the city afloat during the months that the baby keeps you awake all night."

Rodney groaned and pushed out of the transporter in the hall near the infirmary. "Not helping here!"

Radek snickered while making a mental note to lock the device away where Rodney couldnít get at it.

John groaned as he followed Rodney, glaring over his shoulder at the Czech. "Stop egging him on!"

Rover hung back enough to smack into Radekís shins before scooting up ahead to be next to Rodney again.

"Good cart," John praised, watching as Rover dodged Rezaís attempt to retaliate. "Hey, watch it! No knocking over the pregnant man!"

"Aye," Carson commented, "Rover, Reza, if ye canna behave, yeíll both have to stay out here." As he spoke, he moved to Rodneyís other side, one hand going to his wrist to take his pulse as he let the small parade into the infirmary.

"This is just false labor, right, Carson?" Rodney pleaded. "Itís not time yet; Iím not ready."

"I think itís more to the point whether Theresa or Eric is ready," John pointed out.

"And if you give us a few moments, weíll find out if thatís the fact or not once Dr. Selah examines you," Carson soothed while Ciora herded the other carts over to the side of the lab.

"This isnít happening," Rodney moaned.

"Look on the bright side," John suggested. "You wonít be pregnant any more and can change back."

"If itíll let me change back at all."

"Donít fret, Rodney; Iím sure once ye have yer wee one, yeíll be able to change back to yerself."

John moved behind Rodney and hugged him. "Itíll be fine, youíll see."

Rodney gave a weak smile before following Carson back to where Dr. Selah was waiting.

"Okay, this is much scarier than I thought it would be," John muttered, sinking onto a bed and clutching the edge. Radek walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder, trying to offer his support.

Carson returned after a moment and patted Johnís hand. "Rodneyís fine, lad."

John slumped with relief. "And in labor?"

"Aye, I believe so; Aliyah will let us know how far along he is when theyíre done."

"I think his screaming and swearing will probably do that," John said wryly. "Rodneyís not a big fan of suffering in silence."

"He knows what silence is?" Radek marveled.

"I meant what stage heís in," Carson said wryly. "And I wouldnae repeat either of those comments around him."

"I wouldnít dream of it." John shuddered at the thought. "Iíd like to live to see the kidís first birthday."

"Ow! Be careful down there!" Rodney howled from the examination room.

"Oh Lord. Iíd better get in there before he decides I abandoned him." John squared his shoulders and headed for the battleground.

"Weíll be here for ye, lad," Carson called, chuckling at Johnís expression and the tentative way Rover crept after him.

"He has them both totally cowed." Radek shook his head and laughed, though he made sure to be too quiet for Rodney to hear.

"Col. Sheppard, Dr. McKay, if things proceed the way they seem to be, you should be parents before the eveningís out."

"That soon?" Rodney croaked, his eyes wide. "But how..."

"You said your back had been aching most of the day; I believe youíve been in back labor the majority of that time as right now youíre dilated five centimeters and eighty percent effaced."

John winced at the description, thinking that it was far more than heíd ever wanted to know about human reproduction. "And baby makes four," he murmured, reaching for Rodneyís hand.

Rodney smiled tightly, and his fingers tightened on Johnís as his stomach muscles clenched. "Oh fuck."

"I think thatís what got us into this," John said, trying to joke even as he wished desperately that he could take Rodneyís pain away.

"It might be best if you got up and walked," Dr. Selah advised.

"Is it safe to do that?"

"Rover and I are both here if you need to grab onto something," John said.

"I have to get up?" Rodney whined.

"Itís supposed to make you feel better."

Dr. Selah chuckled at Rodneyís mutinous expression. "It will make things go faster, Dr. McKay, and keep your mind occupied as well."

"And you expect me to walk around in this?" Rodney waved at his hospital gown.

"Would saying that Iíd enjoy the view get me hit?" John teased.

"YES!"

Rover raised his pincer and plucked at the fabric of the gown, plainly offering to protect Rodneyís dignity.

John bit his lip to hold back the laughter at the mental image that evoked. "Itís not like anyone else can see you, and we all know Iíve seen it before."

"If we walk around, anyone else can see me! I need a robe."

"Iíll get you one," Dr. Selah said quickly, ducking out of the room while trying not to laugh.

"And since the nice doctorís getting you a robe, that means youíre going to walk when she gets back, right?"

Rodney glowered at John and sighed when Rover started prodding him up. "Well, help me up at least!"

John offered his hands to pull Rodney to his feet. "As if you had to ask."

"Well, I did, didnít I?" Rodney grunted as he stood and rubbed at his back.

"Turn around." John waited till Rodney did as he was told and started kneading his back, working some of the tension out.

"Mmm," Rodney sighed, leaning forward and resting his hands on the bed while Rover scooted forward to hold his gown closed. "Just donít get any ideas back there."

"The only idea Iím getting is that I love you and weíre both going to love our baby."

Rodney laughed quietly as he straightened up and leaned back into Johnís embrace making Rover scoot to the side to get out of the way. "Good answer."

"Rodney, Iíve got yer robe," Carson called.

"I suppose Iím going to have to let go so you can get it on," John grumbled.

"That would help." Rodney squeezed Johnís hands then let go to take the robe from Carson. "Whereís Dr. Selah?"

Carson glanced over at Radek, trying not to smile. "Sheíll be back a bit later."

Radek smiled back, his eyes sparkling as he watched Rodney. "I must say, Rodney, youíre blooming." Behind Rodney, John rolled his eyes, knowing Radek was just trying to get the other scientist going.

"Two words for you, Zelenka," Rodney growled as John and Rover helped him into his robe, "diaper duty."

"Iím only an uncle. Thatís daddy duty."

"Dinna be looking at me!" Carson exclaimed, backing away.

"Cowards!" Rodneyís voice cracked as another contraction hit him.

"Ha, we donít need them," John said, his arm tightening around Rodneyís back as he tried to support him through the pain. "The three of us can handle one baby."

Rover clacked his pincers in agreement and tried to push Carson and Radek away, which resulted in Reza and Ciora coming into the room as well to protect them.

"Guys, you need to keep Reza and Ciora back right now," John growled after one of them ran over his foot. "Todayís special circumstances. Any other time they can all fight it out amongst themselves, but Iíd like to be conscious for my childís birth!"

"Aye, lasses, letís go," Carson said, gently shooing the two carts out of the room.

"Can we walk now, or is something else going to happen?"

"Donít ask that! Donít ever ask that," John almost whimpered, looking around warily. "Letís just start walking."

"I want drugs and I want them now!"

Everyone winced away from the shrill volume of that shriek, though John couldnít go far since Rodney had a death grip on his hand. He threw a pleading look at Carson and Dr. Selah.

"Iíve already told you that itís too late to give you anything, Dr. McKay," Dr. Selah explained patiently. "Youíre just going to have to make it without them."

"It would cause more problems than good if we gave them to ye now," Carson said gently.

"Why didnít youóoh shit, another onnneee..."

"Oh God." John looked like he was the one who needed the drugs, but no one thought it would be a good idea to point that out.

"Youíre doing fine," Dr. Selah commented from her position at the end of the bed after the contraction ended.

"If this is fine, Iíd hate to see terrible!"

John just held his hand tightly. "Just think about the beautiful baby weíre going to have."

"Iím trying to!" Rodney managed a smile at John and one at Rover, who was crowded in beside him.

"Excellent, you can push when the next contraction comes."

John shot a terrified look at Rodney. "Oh my God, weíre going to be parents."

"Gee, really? I thought I was giving birth to a bowling ball!"

"Weíre going to be parents now. Oh my God." It was fortunate that John was sitting down since it felt like his knees turned to water.

Rodney opened his mouth to answer, but another contraction hit him, and all his attention was on following Dr. Selahís directions and how much the whole fucking thing hurt.

John bit back a yelp as Rodneyís grip threatened to crush his hand. He placed his other hand over Rodneyís, his eyes intent on the pained blue gaze, and he silently mouthed, "I love you."

After the next few contractions, Rodney hissed, "I love you, but Iím going to kill you when this is over!" as he collapsed back onto the bed.

"Not here please," Dr. Selah murmured. "And the next one should have the head out."

"After seeing this, I may let you," John muttered.

Rodneyís answer was lost in another round of panting that changed to a high-pitched howl as the obstetrician urged him to push, then the whole scene shattered, and he found himself lying in bed listening to Johnís asking what was wrong.

"YouóI," he gasped, shuddering when he realized he was still a woman and bolting for the bathroom.

Baffled and still half asleep, John sat up in bed and stared after Rodney. "What the hell?"

"Yes! It worked!" Rodney shouted in relief, bending down to hug Rover when the cart rolled in to see what was wrong with him.

John followed them in and looked at Rodney as if he was insane. "What, the device? Of course it did. Kavanagh didnít get anywhere near it this time."

Rodney collapsed on the floor, laughing almost hysterically. "It was a dream; it had to be a dream." Opening his eyes, he saw Johnís expression and tried to explain. "I dreamt I got pregnant, and the device wouldnít change me back, and I went through the whole damn pregnancy including the labor!"

"In a couple of hours?" Seeing Rodneyís expression, John hastily continued, "That sounds awful. But it was just a dream, and youíre back to your normal self now. Come back to bed, and Iíll be happy to help you prove it."

"It was awful!" Rodney paused. "But sort of good too, not counting my body being split open by a guppy the size of British Colombia."

John blinked, mentally reeling as he tried to take that in. "That comment is disturbing in so many ways that I canít begin to describe them all."

Rodney glowered. "Oh shut up, you wanted it too and damnit! Now Iíll never know if we had a boy or a girl and if a cart did show up the moment Eric or Theresa was born."

"Eric? Theresa? Cart?" John ran a hand through his hair. "Come back to bed, Rodney. Youíre giving me a headache."

"I think I liked you better when you were rubbing my back and feeding my cravings."

"Iím more than happy to rub your back and fulfill any cravings you may have." John hugged him close. "Just try to keep in mind that I didnít share this dream of yours, so I have no idea what youíre talking about, aside from the obvious."

"It was just very, very real," Rodney sighed, leaning into Johnís embrace and resting his head on his shoulder. "Not that Iím not profoundly happy that it was a dream."

"Iím still stuck on you actually going through a whole pregnancy."

"Why? Donít you think I have the fortitude to do that?"

"Rodney, Iím sure you have the fortitude to do anything you put your mind to. I just wouldnít have thought youíd be willing to spend nine months as a woman."

Rodney flushed and he shrugged slightly. "It was our baby."

There was a moment of silence before John pressed a kiss to Rodneyís cheek. "I love you."

"Which is part of why I was willing to do itówell, that and any child of ours would have to be exceptionally smart."

John turned Rodney to face him. "Do you want us to have a kid?"

"Now? No." Rodney paused. "But maybe, some day, if it doesnít mean one of us being a woman for most of a year and we arenít on the verge of dying once a week, then... maybe."

"Using a surrogate mother if there isnít some Ancient gestation technology for same sex parents?" John thought about it. "You know, I wouldnít mind that at all."

"I repeat, after our almost daily brushes with death stop happening."

John nodded. Then he hesitated for a moment before suggesting, "Maybe we should, I dunno, put some on ice? Just in case... I wouldnít want to have a baby without you, but you are something out of the ordinary in the brains department. You should pass that on."

"Yes, a galaxy full of tiny little McKays is just what the universe needs," Rodney snorted. "But storing some might not be a bad idea; after all, itís your gene Atlantis loves."

Not about to get into an argument over which of them had the more important genes, John simply nodded. "We can talk to Carson tomorrow. If the city has stasis chambers, Iím pretty sure it must have the means of freezing and storing sperm."

"So do we get a magazine and a little cup to store everything?" Rodney asked dryly, the dream slowly fading enough that he didnít expect to see breasts and belly when he looked down.

John made a face. "I think Iíll just bring you along with me. Much more inspirational than a magazine."

"We could give our samples together; that would save time as well."

John nodded. "Yeah, good idea. Then we know itís done, and we donít have to think about it again till weíre ready."

"In the morning," Rodney said firmly. "Right now I have nine months of pregnancy to sleep off!"

"What happened to fucking me?" John pouted.

"Fucking you? Iím exhausted!"

"I distinctly recall you saying that you planned to fuck me before this night was over."

"That was before I got pregnant and very nearly gave birth!"

"Great, you get pregnant, and I donít get any."

"Hey, traumatized person here!"

"Birthday boy here!" John retorted.

"And you had a pretty damn good present!"

"Yeah, I did," John said, kissing him again before getting to his feet and offering Rodney a hand up. "So in case I forgot to say it earlier, thank you."

"The fact that I was not a pregnant woman for nine months makes it easier to say youíre welcome," Rodney answered, smiling slightly as he rubbed at the small of his back. "And can we go back to bed now?"

"Sounds great to me." John slid an arm around Rodney and led him toward the bed, both stumbling slightly with weariness.

"And I promise Iíll fuck you in the morning, okay?"

"One of my favorite ways to wake up." John got them both into bed, tangled together as usual, and he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

END

  since 02-03-07

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