Well, here it is. The end of the road. I've finally finished it, and while I'm very happy I'm also a little sad to see my very first SGA WIP come to an end. Still, I guess it frees up time to work on my other three… :P
Thank you so, so much to everyone who reviewed this story – I've been completely overwhelmed by the nice things that everyone has said, and by the sheer amount of reviews I've received. Please be sure to let me know what you think of the epilogue!
This was going to be a very short follow-up but somehow turned into a beast that took the whole day to write. It's complete and utter fluff. Enjoy!
John wrenched his head to the side, and his daughter's chubby two-year-old fist let go of his hair. She laughed at him delightedly when he turned indignant eyes on her. John bounced her in his arms and she laughed again.
"Hands off the hair," he said sternly, though he was grinning as he said it.
John bounded up the steps from the gateroom and entered the control room, where he found Elizabeth talking to Chuck. They both looked up at him when he walked in.
"Hey, have you guys seen Jasmine and Georgia?" He asked. "Evan had them but I saw him heading to the infirmary with Dr Seaborn and I thought I'd better let him just go…"
"Rodney has them," Elizabeth cut in.
John blinked. "But Rodney's working isn't he?" He asked.
"Yes," said Elizabeth.
"So he has them in his lab?" John asked, horror-struck.
"I think so –"
"Is he crazy?!" John exclaimed. "Jasmine by herself is bad enough, but with Georgia? I'd better get down there before something explodes…"
John hurried out of the room to the sound of Elizabeth and Chuck laughing behind him. He made it to the nearest transporter in record time and stepped inside. He looked down at his daughter and raised his eyebrows.
"So what do you think, Lottie?" He asked. "Should we go and stop Jasmine destroying the city?"
Lottie grinned at him. "'Lantis!" She said happily.
John grinned back as he activated the transporter. "Yes, Atlantis," he said. "Your sister is going to blow it up if we don't get to Uncle Rodney's lab right now."
"Uh-huh," John said, stepping out of the transporter just down the corridor from Rodney's lab.
There were no flames, no smoke and no screams of panic. John took this as a good sign, but that didn't stop him walking as fast as he could to the lab.
The door of the lab slid open and the first thing John saw was his daughter's hand moving towards a large button, above which a red light was blinking. John saw it all as though it was slow motion, and froze.
"Jasmine!" John cried out. "Don't touch that!"
Jasmine jumped a foot in the air and turned to stare at her father, her eyes wide with shock.
John's eyes swept the room – Rodney was sitting at a desk near the back of the lab, working on a laptop. He was also staring at John in shock. Georgia O'Neill was standing next to Jasmine, her big blue eyes – just like her mother's – looking at John like he was crazy.
She looked a lot like her father when she looked at John like that.
John looked back at Jasmine as he walked into the lab. "Do you even know what that button does?" He asked her.
Jasmine looked at the button and then back at John. "It turns on the microwave," she said.
John looked at the button again and for the first time realised that it was, in fact, on the front of a microwave. John blinked and looked back up at Rodney.
"You have a microwave in your lab?" He asked.
Rodney shrugged. "I get hungry," he said.
"Unca Ronee!" Lottie cried out gleefully as soon as she heard Rodney's voice. Rodney rolled his eyes and went back to his work, but John could clearly see his friend trying not to smile.
John looked back at Jasmine and gave her a lopsided grin. "Okay, you can push the button," he said.
Jasmine grinned back and did so. It had been set to ten seconds and the inside lit up, so John could see a mug inside it.
"You're warming up Rodney's coffee?" He guessed.
Jasmine and Georgia nodded. John shook his head.
"Jasmine, have I taught you nothing?" He asked. "Come on, let's go."
"What about my –" The beep of the microwave sounding cut off the rest of Rodney's question, but John knew what he was going to say. He motioned for Jasmine and Georgia to leave the lab, which they did, giggling.
"See you Rodney, thanks," John said, giving him a jaunty wave as he left. Rodney glared at him.
"Dad, is Dr Seaborn okay?" Jasmine asked as they walked towards the transporter.
"Well, I saw Colonel Lorne taking him to the infirmary," John answered. "What happened to him?"
"He trapped his hand in a door," Georgia piped up. "We heard it crack!"
Georgia had just turned seven, though she looked about four and had the sense of humour of a certain fifty-something man. And every now and then she came out with things that made it abundantly clear that Bart Simpson had been a large part of her upbringing.
"It was really gross," Jasmine added. John thought that she didn't look particularly disturbed by the memory. Living on Atlantis for seven years had desensitised his daughter to quite a degree.
John couldn't quite decide whether this was a good or a bad thing.
"We can check on him when we get to the infirmary," John told the girls as they reached the transporter. "But I'm sure he'll be fine."
They got to the infirmary a few minutes later, and found Dr Seaborn sitting on a bed near the door, his left hand heavily swollen and being checked over by Dr Kellar. She nodded at them when they entered but quickly went back to concentrating on her patient.
"There, see? He's fine," John said. He started to walk across the infirmary but had to stop after a few steps. Jasmine and Georgia were no longer following him – instead they had stopped and were watching Dr Kellar tend to Dr Seaborn's broken hand with a kind of morbid fascination.
"Jasmine, Georgia, heel!" John said sternly. The girls followed him, looking sheepish.
John rolled his eyes at Lottie, who tried to mimic him and ended up just looking to her right. "Not quite, sweetie," he said with a grin.
They reached a door on the other side of the infirmary – John knocked gently and pushed it open.
There were two beds in the room – Teyla was sitting up in one of them, and smiled widely when John walked in. She was wearing a shapeless white hospital gown and her hair was unbrushed and hanging knotted around her shoulders.
John grinned at her. She looked amazing.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Lottie started squirming in John's arms as soon as she saw Teyla, and John walked across to the bed and deposited the two-year-old next to her mother.
He bent down and placed a kiss on Teyla's forehead. "Hey, how are you feeling?" He asked.
"I am fine," she answered, still smiling. She gathered Lottie up into a hug.
Jasmine and Georgia came in and stood next to Teyla's bed; John grinned at them both and wandered over to the corner nearest to them, where there stood a clear plastic crib.
John looked down at his day-old daughter, who was sleeping peacefully. She already seemed to be a pretty deep sleeper, which would serve her well in the Emmagen-Sheppard household. Her tiny eyelashes flickered slightly as her chest moved up and down. John's stomach fluttered and his throat felt suddenly thick.
It was the fifth time, and it didn't get old. John knew it never would.
John rocked slightly as something about as high as his hip barrelled into his legs. He stood still as if he hadn't noticed for a few seconds, and then suddenly reached down and threw the boy standing next to him over one shoulder.
William squealed and then burst out laughing. John spun round really fast a couple of times and then lowered his son to the ground, knowing in a few seconds he'd have to do the exact same thing again.
Sure enough, Tagan barrelled into his legs a second later. "I wanna go!" He demanded, grinning up at John.
John looked down at him with mild surprise. "Oh, hi Tagiam, fancy seeing you here," he said. He really had no trouble telling Tagan and William (named for their grandfathers) apart, but always called them Tagiam and Willan anyway, just to tease them. The only times he used their names properly was when one or both of them misbehaved.
He liked to pretend that being able to tell the twins apart in those situations was a special power of his.
Tagan laughed. "Daaaaad…" He whined.
John picked him up, but instead of putting him over his shoulder he flipped him over and held him upside down.
"So, anyone hungry?" He asked nonchalantly. Jasmine and Georgia were perched on the edge of Teyla's bed, and laughing. William was crouched on the floor, his face level with his brother's, also laughing.
Lottie was cuddled up next to Teyla and didn't have a clue what was going on. Teyla was grinning widely, but shook her head. "John, put him down," she said.
John blinked at her innocently. "Put who down?" He asked.
John grinned and flipped Tagan back up, and then put him down next to his brother. Tagan staggered around dramatically, pretending to be dizzy. William pulled him into a headlock.
John left them to it. They were five and they were hard to keep up with sometimes. He walked over to the spare bed and sat down on it.
"My Dad told me to give you a message," Georgia said.
John raised his eyebrows. Georgia had arrived on Atlantis that morning, to keep Jasmine sane while she was forced to spend so much time with Tagan and William. She and Jasmine had been best friends since they were babies.
"Oh yeah? What's that?" John asked.
Georgia looked confused as she spoke. "He said 'four down, two to go'," she told them.
John snorted and looked at Teyla, trying not to laugh. She raised her eyebrows at him before turning to look at Georgia again.
"You can tell your father that he can give birth to the next two," she said.
Georgia looked even more confused and John started to laugh.
Tagan and William appeared next to Teyla's bed and both started talking at once.
"We have a name for the baby –"
"– were watching Lord of the Rings –"
"– can we call her Isildur –?"
"No! That's a boy's name! We should call her Arwen –"
"That's a stupid name!"
John shook his head and looked away, just as Jasmine looked over her shoulder and grinned at him. He grinned back and tilted his head, beckoning her over. Jasmine slid off the bed, walked over to where he was sitting, and clambered up onto his lap.
John wrapped an arm round her middle and pushed her long black hair back behind her ear. He kissed her temple and hugged her tightly.
"So, what do you think we should call her?" He asked her quietly.
Jasmine leaned back and looked at him, her eyes narrowed thoughtfully. It was the exact same look that Teyla got when she was thinking about something. Jasmine looked more and more like her every day.
"Well…" she said thoughtfully. "I was reading a book last week –"
John remembered. It was in French. Jasmine was already fluent in five languages, and one of them was Ancient.
His plan to keep her from becoming an egg-head hadn't really worked, but at least she liked football.
"There was a girl called Amelia," finished Jasmine.
John raised his eyebrows. "Amelia?"
Jasmine shrugged. "I think it's pretty," she said.
John smiled at her. "I think it's pretty too," he said. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, and she hugged him back.
John rested his cheek against the top of Jasmine's head and looked over at the rest of his family. Tagan and William were still talking, and William was now holding onto Teyla's hand and bouncing up and down.
Teyla was still smiling, but in a slightly strained way.
"Daddy?" Said Jasmine.
John didn't move. "Yeah?"
"I think you should go rescue Mommy now."
John grinned and sat up straight. He kissed Jasmine on the cheek and she jumped off his lap, smiling.
John jogged round to the other side of the bed and snuck up behind Tagan and William. Before they even knew he was there he had one under each arm and was heading towards the exit.
"I'll be right back – I'm just going to lock these two in the brig," John called over his shoulder.
Tagan and William both started protesting, loudly, and John quickly put them down and clamped a hand over each mouth, crouching down in front of them.
"Okay, I won't lock you up if you both stop bugging Mommy," John said. Tagan and William glanced at each other and then nodded in unison.
"I'm serious," John said. "If you wake up the baby it's the brig for both of you."
They nodded again and John let go, eyeing them suspiciously. They both looked at him, twin pictures of complete – and silent – innocence.
"Okay then," John said, standing up. He looked back round – Georgia had her hand clamped to her mouth to stop herself from laughing too loudly and Jasmine was using the pillow from the spare bed for the same reason.
Teyla had one arm wrapped around Lottie, and her head to one side as she smiled at him. John returned the smile and walked back over to her bed.
Georgia jumped up as he came closer and went to join Jasmine. John could hear Tagan and William whispering behind him but he didn't look round to see what they were up to now – he only had eyes for Teyla.
When he reached the bed John perched carefully on the side. He stretched out one leg next to Teyla's, keeping on foot on the floor to steady himself, and placed one arm round her shoulders.
He kissed her lightly on the lips. Teyla nuzzled into his neck when he pulled back, and John tightened his arm.
"Thank you, John," she said.
John kissed her again, on her forehead. "You're welcome," he said. He glanced over at the newest member of their family. "Jasmine wants to call her Amelia."
John felt Teyla smile against his neck. "I like that."
"So do I."
"Jasmine, Tagan, William, Charlotte and Amelia…" Teyla said. She was sounding very sleepy.
"I'll take them to get food in a minute," said John.
"In a minute," Teyla said.
John smiled. "The quiet won't last, you know," he said.
Teyla laughed slightly. "I know," she said. "But still… in a minute…"
John sighed and closed his eyes, his chin resting on top of her head.
In fact, the quiet lasted all of ten seconds. But John wouldn't have it any other way.