Second Verse, Same As The FirstDisclaimer:
I own the idea only. Joss owns Buffy, SyFy owns Stargate. No suing please!Summary:
When one life ends, another begins...Acknowledgement(s):
Thanks to liability, IcemanII, hottmess, Cmiller, nightshadowlife, KWJordan, Morgomir, sistercity, RevDorothyL, kayron, Cailleigh, LightningSkies, carmsfic, AlecMcDowell, eriktheviking, sabriel, & Sol for the reviews!Warning:
Contains slash pairings. Nothing adult, just know there will be man-loving.A/N 1:
Contains mention of a character none of you will have ever seen or heard of before, I don't think. “Falling in the Black” was my first, full length completed Stargate: Atlantis fic set around an AU verse where their was a small contingent of culture people (a bunch of Daniel's, as one person put it) on the original expedition. I mention, briefly, one of those people.A/N 2:
I know I'm gonna get murdered in my sleep for this but, uh, this was essentially meant as the introduction of the largest group of kids. The is the beginning of Hermocrates,
my series for the kids!verse. And yes, I realize I haven't introduced all the kids. I meant to do it this way. The next major fic will be...well, as of right now its called “Second Verse: Legacy” but that could change cause me and titles don't get along. It's gonna be set when the kids are in their teen years—aka, Scooby time! There will probably be a small, one-shot/ficlet collection to explain certain things that happened between the end of Second Verse and the beginning of Legacy. Nothing too major but I know people are gonna be like...what? At certain things in the Legacy fic. :D I can also tell you that two of the kids will have already arrived when I start Legacy so...yeah. Please don't murder me. *puppy eyes*
Banner made by chrysanneWe're not done yet
Not going quietly into the night, not me and my friends
We're not done yet, don't take us too seriously
It's just life we'll win in the end
And we walk on and on and on and we walk on and on
~ Superchick, “Not Done Yet”Epilogue
Jeanie wanted them all to join her in Vancouver but after the kidnapping, John politely refused on behalf of him and his girls. Rodney agreed with John and sent Willow and Vivian with him back to the city until he himself could return. He and Jeanie didn't directly talk about him becoming a father because Rodney was still hurt by what she'd said. He knew he wasn't the kindest guy and he knew he was hard to get along with, but he wasn't David McKay. He could love Willow and Vivian and support them and it hurt that Jeanie thought so little of his parenting skills when both of them knew first hand how not
to be a parent. In fact, it wasn't until the day before he was set to leave that the subject of the girls even came up.
They'd been at the mall, Rodney having promised Madison some new doll she wanted because him and guilt? Meant he spent a lot of money. Rodney was wandering the toy store, scoffing at most of the items, when he came upon the stuffed animals. And there, smack dab in the center of the rather large pile, was a squirrel. It was brown and white and it made him think of Willow and the nickname John seemed to have given her. Thinking of John then made him think of Cordelia and Anya and Vivian. And he realized that while he had seen the large amount of clothes they'd gotten before the kidnapping, he hadn't seen or heard about any toys.
Picking up the stuffed squirrel, he went in search of Jeanie, who was looking at the puzzles with Kaleb. “Jeanie, I need some, well...you're a mom.”
“Yes, for five years now,” Jeanie said wryly and he sighed as Kaleb hid a smile.
“The girls don't have any toys,” he told them bluntly. “I know they got clothes, Cordelia insisted on a fashion walk to show them off, but I didn't see any toys.”
“You want my help in picking out toys for the girls?” she asked and Kaleb looked surprised.
“Yes,” he said after a long pause.
“Who are the girls Uncle Mer?” Madison asked from somewhere around his knees. He bit his lips.
“I...your cousins,” he finally told her. “Willow's three and Vivian's one. They, uh...they just moved in with me.”
“What about John's girls?” Jeanie asked and Rodney swallowed. He wondered how long it was going to take her to mention John and their relationship. He'd never thought it would be so innocuous though.
“None of the kids have toys,” he admitted, eying her. “I kinda...things for all of them, then?”
Jeanie and Kaleb exchanged a look and Rodney was uncomfortable when he realized he'd shared many the same kinds with John over the past two years.
“Mommy, we have to help!” Madison, bless her, broke in. She looked distressed. “My cousins don't have anything to play with!”
And that was how, when he left Vancouver, he'd bought not only a Prius for his sister but six crates of toys, computers, more clothes, a new TV, a Wi, a PS2, several games both educational and stupid, CD's, kids movies plus some animated Avatar show from Nickelodeon that Jeanie insisted on, four bedding sets in different colors, three cribs, several small bookshelves, a couple funny looking chairs Madison insisted the girls would like, his old baby blanket that Jeanie had kept in her attic from when their mother died, a dozen or so catalogs containing more decorations and ideas, and a letter from his niece to Willow and Vivian. It was a really good thing he got paid an awful lot for his input.
Hammond, who was still at the SGC, barely blinked an eye when he saw all the stuff Rodney was bringing (Landry could not say the same). In fact, he'd smiled at the man in an approving manner and if Rodney's chest squeezed tightly it was just because he hadn't eaten in a while.~~~*~~~
“I'm almost afraid to ask, McKay,” Carter said when he and the stuff finally emerged from the gate back to Atlantis. He could just see William and Andrew playing something on Carter's desk upstairs. He turned to her.
“My sister and her family helped me make care packages for the kids,” he told her and her eyebrows raised. “Uh, SG-1's is in that one. The rest is going with me.”
“John already got everything in your quarters moved,” she told him after a pause. “Willow and Vivian have been staying with him. How's Dr. Kavanagh?”
Kavanagh had remained on Earth to recuperate. Rodney had stopped by to see him before his trip home and the man had explained his actions. He'd been the oldest and his mother had died when his youngest sibling was two. With seven kids and only his father, it had fallen to Kavanagh to help around the house. He'd been a good big brother but had been an even better engineer, so his father had insisted he go off to college. But helping raise the kids had remained with him through all his schooling and all his “adventures.” He was arrogant and an ass with adults, yes, but no one could say he wasn't good with kids and that he wouldn't protect them.
Rodney, realizing he and a lot of other people had completely misjudged Kavanagh, had quietly asked him to come back once he felt up to it. The kids liked him and he could find some use of him in the city.
“He's healing,” Rodney told Carter. “He's thinking about coming back to the city permanently.”
“I'll look for his paperwork,” she acknowledged. She motioned for two of the soldiers to help with the boxes and bags. “I'll make sure SG-1 gets these.”
“How, uh, how are they settling in?” Rodney asked uncomfortably. He'd been so busy with Jeanie and then the girls he hadn't really thought about the SG team until now.
“Jack got Hayes to agree to his retirement, finally, mostly because it'll limit his access to red phones,” she smirked slightly. “And Daniel's officially being transferred as head of the culture department.”
“What about Dr. Scott?” he asked, frowning. Dr. Nicole Scott had been in charge of the linguists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and sociologists since the beginning. Rodney wasn't stupid nor was he blind; he knew it would irritate most of the original expedition members if one of their own was just replaced, especially since the woman in question had turned into every military males little sister (her getting kidnapped and/or hurt every time she stepped through the gate may have had something to do with that—a lot of SGC originals claimed she was worse than Jackson).
“She and Daniel have already been talking,” Carter's lips twitched at Rodney's pinched look. “Daniel doesn't want to be department head—he hated it back on Earth because it kept interfering with his own work. Nicole hasn't been particularly happy being head for the same reason. I heard them mention something about sharing the duties.”
“What about Mitchell?” Rodney asked, deciding not to point out that putting the two of them has co-heads was just asking for trouble.
“For now, he's on extended leave,” Carter smiled. “He, John, Hammond, Jack, Paul, and Hayes are trying to figure out how to proceed with the transfer because we know it won't go over well if Mitchell is made head of the military. They're too loyal to John.”
Rodney snorted, mentally thinking that was the understatement of the century. Something caught his eye and he started. “Oh, hey, wait!”
The soldier holding the duffel bag stopped. Rodney opened it up and quickly pulled out the four stuffed animals he'd put in their earlier, including the squirrel. The soldier didn't say anything, simply smiled and hurried after the others with his things. He looked back at Carter, who was studying the animals with a smile. Finally, she met his eyes.
“Go see your daughters, McKay,” she ordered gently. Nodding, he trotted off after the military, leaving her behind studying the crate of cardboard boxes. He got to his new quarters just as John slipped out of his own and into his.
“Hey, you're back,” he greeted him, eyebrows raising at the animals in his arms. The soldiers who'd brought it all up were gone.
“Where are the girls?”
“Cadman's got them for a movie night cause apparently, I'm too much of a guy,” he said, rolling his eyes as he poked around the boxes. “What's all this?”
“I picked it all up for the kids,” he said. “I got bedding, for all four of them.”
John's eyes gleamed a little. “What say you and I put up a surprise for our girls?” he asked and Rodney nodded his agreement. “What color bedding did you get?”
Rodney smiled slightly. “Green, blue, pink, and yellow,” he answered. “I was going to get white but Jeanie told me not to.”
“That actually really works,” John said. “Half of Willow's things she got are green and Cordelia is so very much a little pink princess its scary.”
They didn't talk much as they set up the four bedrooms. Anya ended up with the blue bedding and Rodney put the yellow bedding aside until Vivian would be old enough to use it. At some point, Lorne and Ronon showed up, the latter holding Cassie (Tara and Kendra were with Cadman too). Between the four men, the cribs were put up and deposited in the appropriate rooms (which brought in Mitchell, Graham, and Molly), the clothes had been put away, the bookshelves assembled and then filled (having an English teacher as a brother-in-law turned out to be a good thing when it came to choosing literature for the girls), and the posters he and Madison had chosen put on the walls (images of Earth and the Sol system constellations from Rodney, the Disney princesses from Madison).
Just as they were finishing up making the beds in Rodney's quarters for the girls, Teyla showed up from with small chests. Rodney wasn't sure how she'd found out what they were doing but Teyla had that steely glint in her eye which meant she'd be mighty pissed if they didn't take the gifts.
“We can use them for the toys,” John murmured and Rodney nodded. He was starting to get nervous. It hadn't seem like so much when he'd packed it up but...the girls rooms now looked more lived in than his ever had. What if they didn't like it?
“Rodney?” He turned and found Teyla holding the squirrel up. “What do you want to do with this?”
Silently he walked over and took the stuffed animal from her. Gently he placed it on Willow's made bed and then picked up the kitten he'd chosen for Vivian and put it in the crib. John had the monkey for Anya and the classic teddy bear for Cordelia and from the look on his face, Lorne was already thinking of how he could get stuffed animals for Tara and Cassie. Rodney didn't know what Ronon or Teyla thought of the toys but to their credit, they didn't say anything.
“Those boxes are for the kids,” he said quietly, motioning to the cardboard boxes in the corner. “Carter has Graham and Molly's, Mitchell.”
Lorne looked at him, stock still for a moment, before going over with Ronon to pick up the boxes marked with their daughters names. Graham, who'd been pretty quiet through it all, grinned and took off out the door, Mitchell chasing him with Molly.~~~*~~~
Rodney hadn't called and told the girls he was back so when they and Cadman stepped into John's living room, he heard a high pitched squeal and then found himself being hugged from all sides, with Willow on his lap.
“Daddy, you came back! How's Aunt Jeanie? Is she okay? What about Madison and Uncle Kaleb and did the robots inside her get deactivated or just reprogrammed and--”
The redheads babble was cut off by Cordelia, who reached around Rodney to smack her on the back of the head. “Shut up, geek,” she and Anya chorused. “And let him speak.”
“Cordelia, Anya,” John said warningly and the brunette heaved a great sigh.
“Fine,” she huffed. “Shut up, Willow,
and let him speak.”
“Girls,” John said when Willow opened her mouth to talk again. “Go check out your rooms please.”
“But Daddy!” Anya exclaimed. “Rodney just got back!”
“Speaking of which, what are we supposed to call him?” Cordelia asked, frowning. “Considering...well, you know.”
She glanced at the corner where Cadman was sitting, watching everything with amusement. Rodney scowled at her. “You're still here?”
“Yup!” she replied cheerfully and made no attempt to leave. “I want to see how you figure this out.”
Rodney and John stared at her as the girls giggled. She couldn't possibly be saying what he thought she was saying. Cadman gave them looks. “Besides the fact I shared a body with Rodney at one point--”
“You shared a body?!”
“--You two are the worst kept secret in the history of the expedition,” she continued as if Willow hadn't spoken. “Seriously, sir, everyone knows about you two by the time they're three weeks in. You guys are not as stealthy as you like to think you are.”
“Are you talking about something you shouldn't be talking to me about?”
Cadman, for her part, just gave her CO an innocent look. “I have no idea what you're talking about sir. Everyone knows you and Rodney are the head of military and scientists and therefore have to conduct yourselves in a close manner to maintain the order and conduct of the city's inhabitants.”
Rodney and John stared at her incredulously. That was the worst cover he'd ever heard for what he and John were doing. The girls, who were still draped over Rodney's body, giggled and he hoped to God they didn't understand the reference Cadman had made but suspected, based on some of their comments, that they did.
“Besides, sir, Article 7, Paragraph 5 of the Atlantis Expedition Guidelines and Bylaws clearly states that while serving in the city, neither military nor civilians can or will be held accountable to the military statute of Don't Ask, Don't Tell as it impinges on the rights of the international community,” she recited. She smirked at them. “Weir was incredibly sneaky getting that one in there—no one realized she'd put it in until after it'd already been approved and signed.”
John and Rodney looked at each other, stunned. The room was silent for a few minutes before Willow began giggling. Everyone looked at her and she smirked. “You two never read the Guidelines and Bylaws, did you?”
Cadman threw them an exasperated look when they both shook their heads. “That explains why you've been failing to hide it,” she remarked. “Seriously though, neither one of you realized half the military are dating?”
“The men to women ratio--” Rodney started and then cut himself off as what she meant hit home. “Really?” he squeaked.
John looked just as surprised and Cadman rolled her eyes. “More than half the city are gay or bi,” she told them bluntly. “They chose Atlantis because, hello, its awesome but also cause they can't be discharged for being who they are.”
“Girls,” John said and then cleared his throat because, yeah, he sqeaked. “There are surprises in your bedrooms.”
Rodney nearly fell over when all three girls jumped off him and sped to Cordelia and Anya's room. Cadman gave them an amused look as the girls squeals could be heard. “I'll take them again tomorrow night so you two can talk,” she told them and John nodded slowly. “By the way, have you figured out what you're going to do about their schooling?”
“Not yet,” Rodney answered as the girls dashed out of the bedroom and out the door. Cadman, who was by it, watched them go before turning back to them, which Rodney took to meant they'd headed to his place to check out Willow and Vivian's rooms. “I want to get them started soon though.”
“They're three!” John pointed out with a frown. Rodney glared at him.
“They're special John,” he reminded him. “We get them started now they'll graduate before they hit puberty which means they can have Masters by the time they hit eighteen.”
“No, actually, they won't graduate,” John said. “Because Atlantis doesn't have an actual school. They'll have to get GED's.”
That stopped Rodney from what he was about to say. John was right. Crap.
“You and the other parents can discuss it later,” Cadman told them. “In the meantime, I've gotten a list of volunteers from pretty much every department for when you want to start their schooling.”
“Wait, what?” John and Rodney asked at the same time. She rolled her eyes.
“Unless the SGC gives in and brings in an actual teacher, you're gonna have them be home-schooled, essentially,” she pointed out. “Dr. Parish and Dr. Brown both approached me about teaching them botany, Kavanagh and Zelenka said they can teach physics, engineering, or math. Stackhouse offered to do Phys. Ed, Keller offered biology, Dr. Scott offered English and foreign languages...”
She trailed off as Rodney and John stared at her dumbfounded. “Most of the city likes kids,” she shrugged. “And we just got seventeen of them. They're excited.”
“The Athosians,” John murmured and Rodney and Cadman looked at him. He focused on them. “Elizabeth, Teyla, and I talked once about the possibility of creating a school for the Athosian kids. We didn't think we could get a teacher though so nothing ever came of it.”
“We'll talk to Sam,” Rodney decided, not wanting to think about the missing natives nor their old head. They both nodded. “We have the volunteers, we'd just need the supplies and space.”
“Space won't be a problem,” John pointed out with a smile. “But Rodney's right, we'll talk to Carter.”
“Hey, Rodney, colonel,” Cadman said suddenly, straightening. “Shouldn't the girls be back by now?” The three adults looked at each other and the two men went over to Rodney's place as Cadman could keep an eye on Vivian. The apartment was silent but for the sounds of ocean coming through the open window. Going to Willow's room, he and John found the three girls curled up on the bed, looking like they'd fallen asleep talking.
In Willow's arms was the stuffed squirrel.