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Second Verse, Same As The First

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Hermocrates". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: When one life ends, another begins...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > GeneralJadedFR151024,4962418783,16320 Feb 1018 Mar 10Yes

Chapter One

Author: Jaded
Story: Second Verse, Same As The First
Disclaimer: 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 AlecMcDowell, dreameralways, & neverwillmini for the reviews!
Warning: Contains slash pairings. Nothing adult, just know there will be man-loving.

Illustration

We'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”

They should have known something would go wrong. You couldn't get most of SG-1 and half of Team Shep together without something exploding or the group getting into some sort of trouble.

The visit by Jack O'Neill, Cam Mitchell, Daniel Jackson, and Vala Mal Doran had been a complete surprise to everyone but Caldwell, who'd transported them. They'd come to visit Carter, using an excuse about some Ancient device they'd found on Earth that, as far as Rodney and Carter had been able to determine when they saw it, was a toaster.

Carter and SG-1 had been hanging out when the city had been contacted by a woman who needed to speak with Ronon desperately. She was from Sateda but Ronon hadn't known her. Team Shep had ended up split; Teyla and Stackhouse' team had accompanied the dreadlocked man and John and Rodney were to be joined on their own mission with Lorne's marine team. Rodney was positive that whatever Lorne's team had found could be important. He couldn't say why, just that it could be.

Then John had jokingly invited SG-1 and O'Neill had accepted, to everyone's surprise.

“So...what is it?”

John rather thought O'Neill should get a medal for how long he held that question back—fifteen minutes.

“I'm not sure, sir,” Carter said and John wondered at how easily his CO fell back into formation with her old CO. “It could be--”

“No, no, no, I already said it's not,” Rodney broke in, waving a hand as if to emphasis this point. “The capsule's are too big.”

“Too big for what?”

“ZedPM's,” Rodney answered distractedly. “Carter, beautiful but oh so wrong, seems to be of the opinion that this could be a manufacturing unit for ZedPM's.”

“It could be?” O'Neill perked up but John didn't even bother; if Rodney said it wasn't, he figured it probably wasn't.

“I'm sorry, Sam, but I have to agree with Rodney,” Jackson broke in from where he was standing by another console. “Nothing I've translated so far would indicate the capsules were for anything but organic matter.”

John didn't need to see his teammates face to know there was a smug smirk on it.

“Organic matter?” Vala asked and John looked at her out of the corner of his eye. She was edging away from one of the capsule's warily. “You mean, like, human?”

“Or Ancient,” Jackson agreed. Everyone stared at the frosted glass of the capsules and John just knew all of them were wondering what could be created inside.

“Okay, last time we encountered something like this...” Mitchell began and didn't finish. From the look on Carter, Jackson, Vala, and O'Neill's faces, he didn't need to finish for them to understand.

“We don't want to know, do we?” Lorne asked John under his breath; the major was standing in between Mitchell and John, looking slightly uncomfortable. His team was guarding the gate and perimeter of the outpost so he was the odd man out, in a way.

“I really don't think we do,” John agreed in a tone almost as low as Lorne's.

“I think...” Jackson began and then trailed off, poking at something on his tablet. “Rodney, did you catch that?”

“Yeah, yeah, I did, Sam?”

The colonel nodded and the three began conferring again about some energy spike they'd just registered.

“Well, I'm not entirely surprised,” Rodney said to something John had missed. “I mean, look at who's with us!”

“True,” Jackson said wryly, causing Carter to snicker.

“Want to share the joke?” O'Neill asked pointedly.

“Daniel just pointed out the outpost could be reacting to the natural gene in your three, sir,” Carter answered, motioning to the general, Lorne, and John with a smile. “Not to mention the manufactured gene in Rodney and Daniel.”

“Phenomenal cosmic gene, itty bitty standing space,” Mitchell said, voice wry. John coughed to cover his laugh when he saw the dirty look O'Neill sent his friend.

“I think I'm just gonna go outside, in that case,” Vala said breaking the group's amusement. “Maybe keep those amusingly dimwitted soldiers company--”

“Vala.”

John's lips twitched at how the woman's name was said in stereo. Even O'Neill had given her a look that told her not to even try.

“Oh, oh, oh no, no, no, no, no,” Rodney suddenly started panicking. Next to him, Carter's eyes went wide and John snapped his gun up as he went on the defensive. “We need to leave, like, now--”

Before they could even process Rodney's words let alone start heading out, a white light burst from the pillar in the center of the room, encasing all eight of them. John gasped as the sensations, not dissimilar to an extremely powerful climax, coursed through him. When the light receded, John was on his knees next to Lorne, who was on his back and staring at the ceiling in a daze.

“What...the hell,” Vala whimpered from where she was leaning against Jackson.

“Ditto,” Mitchell groaned, staggering to his feet. Lorne, John, and O'Neill remained where they were. If what had happened to him had happened to them, he didn't blame them.

“Uh...”

John knew then and there everyone must have had a phantom orgasm because he recognized the dazed sound in Rodney's voice—he'd heard it many times after a night of amazing sex.

“Uh oh.”

John snapped his attention to Carter, who was pulling herself up by the console and staring at something behind it. John staggerered to his feet and over to her, followed by O'Neill, Mitchell, and Lorne.

“Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?”

John was glad someone had asked that because really, he could NOT be seeing what he thought he was seeing.

Sixteen of the capsules were now filled with what appeared to be white light.

~~~*~~~

They had babies.

Correction, John thought to himself with faint panic, they had children.

The white light in four of the capsules had been growing steadily for close to three hours before they realized what they were watching. The light had slowly formed what could only be fetuses. A quick, panicked call to the city and Keller was there along with three of her nurses.

Keller was positive the capsules were incubation pods. The four babies were growing quickly, way way too quickly. An hour seemed to be a month of gestation. The white light in the other pods remained there, not growing, not changing. John wasn't sure he wanted to know why that was.

Rodney was freaking out because once they explained (in excruciating and embarrassing detail) what had happened to Keller, she had said it was very very possible the children were theirs.

Eyes sliding from his boyfriend to Vala, he noted she was freaking out even worse than Rodney was. Not that he could blame her, considering what had happened the last time she became a mom without her consent.

John knew he should be freaking out a LOT more than he was but, for now, he was too stunned. He'd flip later, he knew, but not know. Not surrounded by so many people. Quick glances at O'Neill, Lorne, and Mitchell and he knew he wasn't the only one who'd be panicking in private once whatever was going to happen, happened.

The nine hour mark came and gone and the pods didn't open. Keller, who'd been expecting it, couldn't seem to decide whether to be disappointed or intrigued. The boys (and it was fairly obvious they were boys) were still growing. Carter and O'Neill had had to go back to the city, mostly to make sure everything was okay for Caldwell to remain in charge until they figured this all out.

“Here,” John watched as Mitchell handed Lorne a sandwich brought back with the off-world supplies. The man accepted it, still in a daze. “You okay?”

“I might have a kid.”

Mitchell was silent a moment before he finally nodded firmly. “Yeah, that about sums it up.”

John turned to Rodney when the man flopped down next to him. “What are we going to do?” Rodney asked in a low tone. John, tired, just shrugged.

“No idea,” he answered honestly. Voice so quiet he could barely hear it himself, he added, “I never, you know, expected to have kids. Ever.”

“If they're ours, they're not leaving the city,” Rodney declared and his voice was loud enough that O'Neill looked over at them.

“Earth will--” he started and then stopped when Rodney glared at him.

“They are ancient-created children from at least one of us,” he spat out. “I don't trust ANY of Earth's governments enough to take them back there.”

O'Neill stared at him a moment before the words seemed to register and he paled. Looking around, John saw he and the general weren't the only ones who hadn't considered this before.

“They are NOT leaving Atlantis,” Jackson declared suddenly. He turned to O'Neill and Mitchell with a stubborn look. “I'm transferring if one of them is mine.”

“Ditto,” Mitchell muttered. O'Neill made a face but didn't say anything.

~~~*~~~

Roughly twelve hours after the white wave washed over them, more of the filled capsules started growing. It took only three hours for Keller to announce they had another six kids on their hands.

Like the four boys before them, the six pods of new children remained stubbornly closed when it hit the ninth hour. Two hours later, however, three more pods began growing.

“It's simple mathematics,” Rodney was saying when John came back inside after getting some air. “Eight of us, sixteen pods.”

“Two kids a piece,” Carter said, looking and sounding faint. “Rodney's right, that's too much of a coincidence, especially when you consider the Ancients worked primarily in base eight math.”

“Well, either way,” Keller broke in smoothly before Rodney could speak. “If the pattern continues, the next batch will start growing about two hours after this last batch reach their first...birth-hour.”

“How do you figure that?” O”Neill asked, frowning. Keller motioned to the pods where four little boys could be seen as if sleeping.

“They're about two,” she said, as if they needed to be told. She pointed at the second batch, which contained two boys and four girls. “They're about a year. They were...conceived, for lack of a better term, about two hours after the boys would have reached their first birthday if this had been months rather than hours.”

“One hour for a month,” Carter nodded. Her eyes flickered to Jackson and Vala, who were sitting on the floor in the corner, speaking quietly. Jackson had a comforting arm wrapped around the woman's shoulders and John could just see faint tear tracks on her cheeks.

Keller's prediction turned out to be accurate, not that anyone was terribly surprised. All three of the remaining pods began growing. As the four oldest boys turned four, Keller inspected the children.

“Eight boys, eight girls,” she finally told them. “I have no idea when or even if they will be released. It's possible there's a release mechanism but so far, Rodney and I haven't been able to find one.”

“A boy and girl for each of us?” Mitchell asked, looking uncertain. Keller shrugged.

“If they had all grown at the same rate, I'd say maybe,” she answered. “But this aging thing...I have no idea.”

“Hey, uh, Keller?”

The doctor looked up at where Lorne was staring. The lights surrounding the four oldest boys pods were slowing down. Keller looked at her watch and then glanced at Rodney.

“57 hours,” he answered her unspoken question and she tilted her head. He swallowed. “Four, three, two, and one years old.”

Keller nodded and then turned to inspect the second batch, which was doing the same thing. Slowly, the lights on the pods of all sixteen children slowed and then finally, stopped. There was a strange hissing sound and the pods tops retracted to reveal the children inside.
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