Notes: And... the end. Thanks to those who read this (relatively) short chapter story!


District of Columbia, USA

"You've done a great service to our country," the President said, clapping John on the shoulder and nodding his head to Rodney.

Rodney smiled at the American leader, fiddling with the medal on his chest. John clasped his hand. "Thank you, sir."

The President cleared his throat as he turned back to the gathered crowd. "Ladies and gentlemen. I give you, Alpha Sentinel John Sheppard and Alpha Guide Rodney McKay. May we all give them our thanks."

The crowd cheered loudly. Rodney flicked the bond between him and John. "Levels?" he asked softly.

"I turned hearing down," John replied. "Thanks."

Rodney shuffled closer to his Sentinel. "It's what I do."

John grinned and waved at the people below the stage. Rodney smiled, glad the nightmare of a case was finally over.

Though, in the end, he couldn't really regret it considering it had brought him to John. Maybe it was selfish of him and he will forever mourn those who'd died on the case, but for John… well he was a better person for John, a better Guide and a better agent. Maybe they'd make up for all of it in the future.

They could at least try.

Later, at the White House gala, Rodney turned to see Weir approaching him and John with a wide smile on her face. "Sentinel, Guide," she greeted.

"Weir," Rodney inclined his head. John shifted to put an arm around Rodney's waist.

"I was wondering if you gentlemen had time to sign the registration paperwork," Weir stated. "I brought it with me."

Rodney glanced at his Sentinel and shrugged. "I don't mind." Softer, so that only John would hear him. "Anything to get a break from this dog and pony show."

John laughed and nodded. "Lead the way, Elizabeth."

Weir walked them to a side room off the main ballroom floor. "The President gave me leave to use this temporarily," she explained. "He was surprised to learn you two were not registered."

"We've been busy, as you know," Rodney said.

"Of course," Weir nodded. She separated a stack of papers into two and handed one stack to each of them. "This is just the standard registration forms. I've filled them all out so all you have to do is read over them and sign your names."

Rodney flicked his eyes quickly over the document, making sure he wasn't promising anything he or his Sentinel did not agree with. After a couple minutes, he grabbed a pen and scribbled his signature. Moments later, his Sentinel copied him.

"Fabulous," Weir said. "Now, I just have one more question and you'll be all set to rejoin the party."

"Go ahead," John nodded.

"On the matter of your territory," Weir stated. "Have you decided on San Francisco, or perhaps DC? Or Canada, though I'm sure the President will be a trite upset," she grinned, as if it were a joke.

Rodney felt John put a hand on his shoulder and he pulled back a chuckle.

"Our territory is no single city, Elizabeth," John said.

"Ah, yes, of course," Weir blinked. "Then… the area?"

"The world," Rodney stated, bored already of the discussion.

"The world is ours to protect," John continued.

"You can't be serious," Weir laughed, though it tapered off as Rodney and John both raised eyebrows at her. "The entire planet?"

Rodney nodded. "The entire planet."

..o..

San Francisco, USA

"I don't suppose you've picked up Madison's present?" Rodney asked, swiping off the last bit of shaving cream on his face.

"It's all wrapped and everything," John said, brushing past Rodney as he plopped his toothbrush back in the holder. "Already turning eight," he shook his head.

"I know," Rodney said. "And I missed the first six years of her life."

"Hey," John touched Rodney on the neck. "You're making up for it now and that's what counts. Jeannie and Kaleb understand."

Rodney huffed, but nodded. "Jeannie asked me the other day if I thought Madison was ever going to come online."

"Did you tell her it's not something anyone can control?" John asked, making room as Rodney stepped out of the bathroom and towards the kitchen.

"I did," Rodney said. "Hopefully she'll spend a long time as latent before the Guide gene activates."

"You don't want her hurting," John stated.

Rodney turned his gaze to his Sentinel. "I was online for more than two decades before I met you, John. I don't regret it, because it made me who I am, but I don't want Madison to have to go through that."

"I know," John murmured, pulling Rodney closer.

Rodney went easily, tilting his head up to accept a kiss. John obliged.

There was a knock on the door and Rodney grimaced into John's mouth before pulling back. "Who is it?"

John cocked his head. "Woolsey. He's on the phone with Caldwell."

"They should just get married and be done with it," Rodney muttered as John went to go open the door. He thought personally that the now director of the FBI and assistant director of the CIA were a bit too close to be just friends.

"Director Woolsey," he heard John greet and Rodney sighed, walking into the entrance hallway.

"Sentinel John, Guide Rodney," Woolsey said. "I told you, please call me Richard."

Rodney kept his face blank, but inside he scowled at the idea of using Woolsey's first name. By John's sly grin, he'd caught onto that.

"Would you like something to drink, Richard?" John asked. "Some coffee, maybe, or tea?"

"No, no I was on my way to the airport, actually," Woolsey said. "Steven- ah, Director Caldwell called to tell me that he needed you two to debrief with him. There's a situation in Egypt brewing."

Rodney and John sobered immediately, exchanging a glance. "We'll do what we can," Rodney said.

"I have faith," Woolsey smiled. "And so does the world."

John shrugged, embarrassment in the flush of his cheeks. "Just doing our duty."

"I know," Woolsey said, turning back to return to his car. "Good luck, High Alphas."

Rodney winced at the nickname. "I'll call Jeannie and tell her we might be late to Madison's birthday party."

"I'll start packing," John nodded. He paused, though, and instead of walking toward the bedroom he grasped Rodney's chin and directed it to another kiss.

"What was that for?" Rodney asked, amused as they separated.

"Nothing," John said. "Just thinking how lucky I am to have you."

Rodney smiled and rested his forehead against his Sentinel's briefly. "The feeling is mutual, John." He gave John another soft kiss. "Now, we have a world to save."

John grinned.