About four months later John was sitting across from Teyla in the mess hall eating an early dinner. They were on the balcony, enjoying the late afternoon breeze and sunshine. Every once in a while he held a scrap up for his fire-lizard, Neah, who delicately took each and every bite with her gold claws. She was draped across his shoulders, a prehensile tail wrapped around his upper arm. Still growing, she wasn't one to refuse any food, even though she'd had her own meal an hour before. Somehow a rat-like rodent had gotten into the lower levels of the city, and she, along with the two bronzes, were more than happy to help clear it out.
Ronon's bronze, which he named Jaws, had hatched right in his hands not even five minutes after the egg started moving. The poor Satedan had just stood there frozen as the small creature pushed through the hard shell, and stood on his hand, creeling in hunger. All was chaos after that. Teyla's had hatched next. Fortunately, they had been able to get some raw beast from the kitchen by the time Neah's egg hatched.
Sebell and Menolly were hovering over all three of them, Jaxom standing off to the side laughing his head off, and Ruth had craned his neck to get a better look at the small hatchlings. John recalled the feel of Neah's soft hide as he cradled her in his arm and fed her piece by piece, sitting smack dab in the middle of the gateroom, surrounded by envious and curious people. The raw hunger pouring into his mind eased, and finally disappeared to be replaced by feelings of contentment and warmth.
Rodney and Radek, followed by Fandarel returned at that point. All were frankly amazed, and Rodney even put out a finger rub the top of Neah's small head. He said something about naming one of them Sam. John rolled his eyes at that one and Carter told the three teammates to take themselves off and take care of their new friends, while she led the delegation from Pern into one of the conference rooms. Lorne signaled a detail of marines to clean up the shell shards and bloody plates littering the floor.
Since then, a fruitful relationship between Pern and Atlantis had sprung into being. A team of scientist led by Zelenka returned to finish downloading information from the Aivas, while Rodney led a small team on a survey of the outlying Oort Cloud. Sam managed to wrangle herself into that one, and John flew the jumper. They made a stop at the ship still in orbit, the Yokohama, on their way back.
Teyla's voice brought him back to the present. "John, did you notice that Neah is a lot more…golden, today?"
He shot a glance at his shoulder adornment. She looked the same to him, and he shrugged. "Looks the same." He glanced at Teyla's shoulder. Her bronze, Jack, was sitting upright, his tail wound loosely around her neck. He seemed to be peering intently at Neah. "So does yours."
Suddenly Ronon came barreling into the mess hall. "All right, you stupid creature, I'm here," he growled. He came up to John and Teyla, a frown on his face directed at the bronze held in his hands. The creature stared into his eyes intently. "Hunh, he stopped." He put his bronze on the table then pulled out a chair, turned it around and sat down.
"What was he doing?" Teyla asked. She peered at Jaws, frowning slightly as Jack joined him on the table and they both watched the golden body still draped bonelessly across John's shoulders.
"He was making weird sounds, and telling me he was hungry. I just fed the bottomless pit two hours ago." Ronon flung back a wayward lock of hair with an exasperated huff.
Suddenly Neah was upright and unexpectedly launched herself off her perch, drawing blood. John clapped a hand to his neck. "Ouch!"
She soared up into the clear blue sky, the two bronzes following less than a second later.
"What was that all about?"
Ronon shook his head and shrugged. "Don't ask me." His eye slid from John's to rest on a figure just entering the mess hall. Dr. Keller noticed them and waved, making her way over.
Ronon rose quickly, and taking her arm led her off. Lorne walked up at that moment, and Teyla smiled at the major. John was shocked by the heat he saw in her eyes, directed a Lorne no less. She rose and asked Evan to accompany her somewhere.
As for John, he paid little attention to the fact that he'd been deserted. He was sweating, and his breathing and heart rate ratcheted up. In the back of his mind he felt Neah's exhortations and taunting of the bronzes trying to catch her. A desire for strenuous activity impelled him to his feet and out the door. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the first person he ran into was…
A/N - Thank you for all the reviews and alerts. I'm glad you all enjoyed reading it, I had a lot of fun writing it. If you haven't already, I highly reccomend Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider's of Pern series. She's a great writer, and has created a wonderful world.
As for the end - you can put whoever you want the person John ran into! ;-)