In eleven years the Depo shot hadn't let her down once. It had seen her through relationships, a fuck buddy, more one night stands than she'd care to admit to, and sex with aliens.

Eleven years.

By the look on Keller's face, Jennifer had expected more of a reaction. By the few feet of space she'd kept between them, she was expecting something a little more violent too.

"What do you want to do?" the doctor asked. Sam stared at her, her hand hovering in front of her stomach. She wanted to panic.

"Think," she said instead, moving her hand back to her side, "I need to think."

"Of course," Jennifer said, taking a few steps forward, "um," she hesitated and Sam braced herself for the inevitable question of the father, "if you need to talk..." her voice trailed off and Sam smiled at the unexpected offer.

"Thank you."

She did need to talk, but there was really only once person to talk to.

"Don't get rid of it." She didn't have a response to that, she hadn't been expecting that to be the first thing he said. The panic she had expected.

"I'm not going to get rid of it McKay," she said, "I don't know what I'm going to do."

"Oh." He mused on that a second, shifting on his feet in front of her, the desk between them, the door of her office locked for the first time since she had arrived on Atlantis. "How long?" he asked.

"Eight weeks." His eyes drifted from hers, the panicked look on his face lessening as he thought back eight weeks. The third time, her quarters. She had done the same when Keller had told her.

It was really just the start of a possible something between them. He still thought she was the hottest woman alive but didn't consider her a goddess any more. She didn't hate him as much and really appreciated the fact he'd bulked up a little. It was something, sex and physics mostly, but creeping into everything had been emotion, and Sam had always cared about Rodney, but usually the annoyance over-ruled that. Now she was used to it, and him, and now she was pregnant and everything was thrown out of place.

"Do you want to get an abortion?" McKay asked, "do you even believe in it?"

"I've never really though about it."

It wasn't entirely a lie, it was just easier than explaining the long nights in college spent debating all those controversial issues while never really applying any of them to herself. She rarely said 'if it was me' back then, rarely did now. Everyone had a mind of their own.

"What do we do?" he asked.

Neither of them had been in this situation, and she didn't want to know about McKay's past sex life, she had always been careful about protection. Almost to the point of obsession, like everything else in her life, and she'd avoided pregnancy scares.

This was no scare though, this was terrifying.

"Think. And sleep on it," she said, trying to keep her voice calm. She had faced death she was not going to let a new life break her,.



He left her office without another word and knew he'd be in her bed tonight.

She woke in her own bed, with the covers wrapped tightly around her and Rodney, his hand resting on her stomach. It had been the first night they'd spent together without having sex and Sam had admit, it had been nice. More than nice, she had slept with Rodney before, post-orgasm, but to crawl into his arms and drift off to sleep slowly, talking in soft murmurs, had been different to almost passing out from pleasure in arms.

She slipped out of his embrace, leaving him asleep in her bed. The decision had already been made she realised. It was just figuring out what to do with a baby, that she'd have trouble with.

It felt like a showdown. She knew Rodney was waiting for her to say yes, or no, to keeping the baby. She already knew how he felt, and knew he would fight her if she said no. She didn't want to fight, didn't and wouldn't, say no.

Saying yes was just as hard as it turned out, because there would still be a fight. Still be someone left disappointed. She'd known that the moment Keller had told her, but it was hard to accept.

"I'll send a message to the IOA today," she said, speaking from her own thoughts and missing the confusion cross Rodney's face, "send them Keller's report too. They'll probably remove me, have the Air Force will recall me."

"You're keeping it?"

"Yes." She went to apologise for drifting off, and not saying so sooner, but he wrapped his arms around her and she was almost thrown back, almost lost her balance. "I didn't think you'd be so happy about it."

"I'm not happy, I'm relieved," he said, "I mean, I am happy, but that was relief, because you're keeping..." She put her hand over his mouth.

"I get it McKay," she said smiling.

"Are you happy?"

"I don't know," she sighed, leaning against her desk, "it's not sunk in yet."

"So what now?"

"Like I said, send a message to the IOA, Keller's report and see what happens."


"Have a meeting with the senior staff, go and see Keller again."

"Can I come with you?" he asked, a nervous hitch in his voice, and she smiled again, "to see Keller?"

"Of course." She found the sudden shyness endearing, the stutter and pulled him towards her for a kiss, "it's the timing that's lousy."

"Maybe we can talk to the IOA into letting us raise the baby on Atlantis," he said, "we'll call it a social experiment."

"I'll try." And she knew she would, because she wanted the baby and the city.

She took him to see Keller first. Because work shouldn't be the first thing she thought about or dealt with, even if it was her entire life and about to be shattered. It still hadn't sunk in yet, she hadn't even suspected being pregnant. Daniel was going to flip out, Vala too.

"We could lie."

"About the baby? I'll start to show eventually."

"No, tell them it was an accident, with one of the machines," he said, " and that you need to stay on Atlantis to be close to the technology that got you pregnant."

"They'll never believe it. I wouldn't believe it."

"Colonel," Keller greeted her with a smile, before giving McKay a more cautious look, "Rodney."

"I'm going to keep the baby," Sam told her.

"We're keeping the baby," Rodney corrected proudly, satisfied with the look on Keller's face.

"Oh, oh that's great. Come and sit down," Sam followed her to the other side of the infirmary and got on one of the beds. Rodney stood a few steps away, wanting to dive in and get involved in...something, but unsure, uncertain. Biology had never been his strongest science. Nor were women and pregnancies.

"When you left yesterday, I started looking through the Ancient database," Keller started, "for technology or information related to pregnancy or children."

"Didn't you do that for Teyla?" Sam asked.

"She wasn't interested, beyond making sure the boy was healthy, she wanted a natural Athosian birth." The blonde doctor was excited. "This is a wonderful opportunity."

"Don't," Sam said, "I won't be able to stay, I'm sure the IOA will send me home."

"Well, until then, let's have a look at the little tyke."

"Isn't it a little early for a scan?" Rodney asked, moving to stand on front of Sam as if to protect her from Keller and a scanner.

"No, eight weeks is about normal. I have to make sure it's not an ectopic pregnancy."

"Oh." He took a step to the side, and let the doctor approach Sam.

"Just lie down," she said. Sam did as she was asked, and waited patiently until Keller had set the Ancient scanner. "Okay." The beam of light passed over Sam's tense body and they turned an waited for an image to come up on the console.

Sam thought briefly that maybe she should be holding McKay's hand but when she turned to look at him, she remembered that, as much as she cared about the man, and maybe even loved him, they weren't the hand holding sort of couple.

When their undeveloped child appeared in the screen, she kinda wished they were because, 'oh'.

"Oh," Rodney found his voice before she could, but didn't have much more to say. "That's ours." He grinned at her, smug and annoying, but so cute to her now. At this moment. She smiled back.

"Is everything okay?" he asked.

"Looks fine," Keller said, she was concentrating on the readings, "every thing's pretty normal, definitely not ectopic."

"Good," Sam breathed.

"I made that," Rodney told her, and she hit him on the arm, "you helped," he added and Keller tried not to laugh at them, "though, if I correctly recall, I made most the effort that night."

"Oookay McKay, more than I wanted to know," the doctor said, grinning.

She hadn't felt this anxious in a long time. Both Jennifer and Rodney had convinced her to wait a little longer before contacting the IOA, and before telling her senior staff.

Four weeks had past and the tension had built up in her as the secret was kept between the three of them, and the baby grew.

She was having a baby.

It still hadn't sunk in. McKay was almost ecstatic about it, and she hadn't been about to convince him of the ramifications of it all. She wasn't going to be able to stay, his fantastical notions of them bringing up a baby on Atlantis were impossible. Rodney McKay didn't do impossible though, and she could understand, she was the same once. But this wasn't theoretical physics, this was a baby, and she was going home.

That had sunk in.

She was twelve weeks pregnant and about to tell her senior staff and already thinking about the need for an extra bag to pack her things in. Rodney was wondering all the while if the Atlanteans's had day care.

"I have an announcement," she started, trying to meet Sheppard's eyes, "I'm pregnant."

Everyone turned to look at Rodney at the far end of the table, who sat back with a smug look that just screamed to them 'yes it's mine'.

"It's Rodney's" she said for good measure, and because Ronon had the same look of confusion on his face he had worn when he first caught them together.

"Congratulations Colonel," Teyla said, Sam smiled and the others stuttered out congratulations as well.

She still couldn't meet Sheppard's eyes.

"I've informed the IOA, Woolsey is on his way to evaluate and assess the situation," she told them, "I expect to be recalled to Earth."

Not going to happen."


"I'm not going back to Earth, you're not going back to Earth."

"Rodney!" she snapped, "we talked about this."

"I know, I'm just saying it."

"Can it McKay," Sheppard said, the combined glares of both him and Sam silenced Rodney, and he sat back in his chair pouting.

"Of course I don't want to go back to Earth and I'm sure raising a child is no safer there but I really...I don't think there is anything I can..." she looked at Rodney, "we can do about it."

"We could lie."

"I am not lying about the baby McKay," she said, "we will accept the IOA's decision. And that's all I have to say, if anyone has anything else to add?" She tried to act calm, professional, and not let her personal relationship with Rodney get in the way of that.

Unfortunately, her personal relationship with Rodney was the reason for the meeting.

When no one said anything, and he went to speak again, she dismissed them all and stalked out of the room, hearing Sheppard and Lorne tell the father of her child what an idiot he was.

She wasn't angry with him, really, actually, the more he insisted that she, they, were staying, the more she felt wanted, loved, and that was only a good thing. But she didn't want his heart broken when she had to go back to Earth. She was angry that she had to go, that there was no other way, she knew she couldn't split command with motherhood though, with a family. Not Atlantis. The city demanded her full attention. A baby would too. Lab projects, she could probably work around a baby, off world missions around an older child, maybe even work on Atlantis around an older child, but not command. She couldn't split her time between an entire city and a baby.

Their child would come first.

Though she wondered if Rodney felt the same.

She worried that Rodney didn't feel the same.

First though, she had go see Sheppard.

He was in his quarters, throwing his football at the wall, catching it as it bounced back at an angle away from him. She watched him catch a few throws before saying anything.

"Busy John?" she asked, smiling, her voice making him jump and almost, almost miss the ball. She walked in and let the door close behind her.

"Colonel, have a seat," he said jumping to her feet and pulling a chair forward. She knew she would have people offering her a seat for the next six months.

"Thanks." She sat, and he stayed on his feet, pacing a little. "I wanted to apologise."

"Apologise?" He sat on the bed opposite her. "For letting McKay get you pregnant." She smirked.

"Sort of," she said, " when I got here, when I started, I made a promise to you, I committed myself to Atlantis, and just over a year in I have to leave," she paused and let him think about that, "actually, it's the second promise I've broken."

"You're not responsible for Elizabeth's death."

"No, but we didn't get her back when I said we would."

"Maybe," he shrugged.

"And I am certainly responsible for this baby."

"Maybe," he repeated, "I'm still going to blame McKay." She smiled at him, leaning forward in her chair towards him.

"That's fine Colonel. I'm going to blame him too," he laughed, "but you can't help you fall in love with," she said.

"No," he sat back and sighed, "no." She reached out and patted his knee before standing up. "I'm sorry John."

"Don't be," he said, she wanted to reach out and hold him for a moment, hug the sadness away from his face, but she didn't quite going on inside the man's head. She was pretty sure he didn't either. "I'll take it out on McKay," he said as she left the room. She laughed all the way to Rodney's lab.

He'd been avoiding her all day, and for someone as loud and, well like Rodney, she had found that quite amazing. While she wasn't above using to internal scanners to try and figure out where he was hiding in the city, she decided to let him have his sulk.

She wasn't surprised to find him in her room waiting for her. She was surprised to find dinner waiting for her too. He smiled at her, standing up and holding a chair out for her.

"Rodney," she took a breath, "thank you."

"I'm sorry."

"So am I," that made her want to kiss him. Apologies weren't his forte, and this was pretty nice, "I just," he paused, "I don't want you to leave, the baby to leave." She hugged him then, kissing him on the cheek, "you know, I love you, I think, I don't know, I've never been in love before, and, and, you're having my baby, my baby..."

"You're in love with me?" she asked, cutting him off.

"Yes, well, I love you, I assume this is what it's like, because it's better than anything I felt for Katie, or Donna Collier, from college."


"Yes, sorry, do you love me?" The hope in his voice was pathetic but Sam didn't mind it.

"Yes, Rodney, for some unknown and incomprehensible reason, I love you." She smiled at him and sat down at the little table, "but you need to face facts,"

"I know," he sighed.

"I'm not asking you to come with me."

"I should though, shouldn't I?"

"But you don't want to."

"No, not exactly, I want to go with you, but I don't want to leave Atlantis, I can't leave Atlantis," he said, clamping his mouth shut.

"It's okay, I understand."

"I still think we should lie, I bet we could get everyone in on it, especially Jen, she wants you to stay too."

"Rodney," she said his name on a sigh.

"Sorry, let's just eat."

She didn't sleep that night, lying in his arms. It wasn't the first time since she'd arrived on Atlantis, that she'd spent the night thinking, and wouldn't be the last before she was forced from her command. Though, Woolsey wasn't really getting rid of her, she wasn't being pushed, she was being guided away because she knew she had to go.

Though at least on Earth she could see more of Mark, of Daniel and Jack, her friends.

Just less of the father of the child.


She gave up around four. Slipping from Rodney's embrace, and dressing quickly, trying not to wake him so she could head out to the control tower, to her office. Part of her wanted to start packing, but she knew she should at least wait until she had seen Woolsey, at least let Rodney try and convince the man that she should stay in the city. With him and Jennifer and John.

John, who was already up and stalking the gate room like a hurt wolf.

"Colonel," he smiled at her as she approached, looking her over and lingering on her stomach. Her body was changing, and she was showing a little, but she didn't think it was overtly obvious yet. At least to John.

"Colonel," she smiled back, feeling her own awkward pained expression, "everything okay?"

"All quiet on deck," she smirked at that.

"And with you?"

"Me, I'm fine," his own awkward smile was twisted and she wanted to say something to make him feel better, but she still wasn't entirely sure what was wrong and she didn't think he was going to tell her.

"Good, good."

"How are you feeling?"

"Fine thank you." The conversation was simple small talk, nothing new between them, they'd spoken more, and had much deeper conversations, but this was painful, stilted and Sam wished she was in bed with Rodney, "I'm expecting Woolsey to tell me he's on his way," she added.

"I better go get a Wraith to feed him too," she laughed, "maybe, he'll let you stay then."

"Maybe," she smiled. He wanted her to stay, which made her feel worse, "I'll go see if I have an email from him."

"Okay," he rocked on the balls of her feet, and she gave him a moment to say something but more, walking back up the stairs when he didn't.

She felt sick but now she was alone with Woolesy, and without Rodney by her side. He'd tried to barge his way into the office, with John and Jennifer behind him, but she'd had to order them to stay outside while she spoke with Woolsey. Now they were stood outside, pacing on the periphery of her vision, Teyla and Ronon leaning on the wall beside them.

She hadn't heard much of what the man had said, expect the IOA was a little disappointed in her. The Air Force not so much, apparently, but it didn't give her much comfort as the words 'back to earth' pulled her back to the room.


"Immediately," he said, voice stern, face still, wrinkles etched into his forehead.

"Who will be replacing me?"

"For now, I will remain in charge of the city until someone more permanent is assigned to the city." She wanted to laugh, and if it weren't for the fact that she was going home, that she felt so guilty for getting pregnant, she would've laughed.


"Yes, I am more than qualified."

"If you say so," she snapped, voice soft.

"I do." She smiled and turned to the group standing outside her office, beckoning them inside. Rodney charged in, before the door had fully opened, and they crowded into the room, Ronon standing just outside, poking his head into the door way. She felt claustrophobic, with Rodney and Jennifer on either side of her, John behind her. It wasn't affecting Rodney, as he launched into his prepared speech of reasons she should stay, with Jennifer added bits when he paused to breath. Behind her John was silent.

"I'm afraid the decision goes higher than me and has already been made," Woolesy said.

"Then I'll go to Earth and take my argument to them," she turned around and looked at John, who just shifted to the side and let her slip away from the room.

"Where did you go?" Rodney asked, bursting into her quarters, "I needed you in there to back me up, to convince him to let you stay."

"I tried," she said, sighing and lying back on her bed, arm over her eyes so he couldn't see her trying not to cry.

"He won't listen, I'm going to go to Earth to talk to the IOA myself, and Keller said she'd come with me, back us up."

"That's sweet," she said, her voice breaking, "but there's no point."

"Hey, I can be very convincing when I want to be, I mean, I'm with you, you're having my baby, I convinced Elizabeth to let me do all sorts of insane experiments," he said, smiling, "and don't get me started on the Russians, I mean it was cold, but they let me do whatever I wanted after," he paused, "are you crying?"

"Yes," her voice hitched on the word, and she rolled onto her side. Rodney was crawling onto the bed in the next moment, wrapping her arm around her, "sorry," she whispered.

"What for? Oh crying, that's ridiculous, I cry all the time." He didn't but she didn't correct him. "We can be together, all three of us." She twisted in his embrace to face him on the bed.

"Yes, but not on Atlantis, and not all of the time," she said, "we both need to accept that."

"We've not been together long."

"But you love me?"


"Then it doesn't matter," she smiled and kissed him, tears drying on her face, "I'll be okay on Earth, it's not that far away any more."

"And no Wraith."

"No." He sighed.

"I hate giving up." She laughed.

"You're not giving up Rodney, I am."

"That doesn't make me feel better."

"Does this?" She kissed him, pressing her body against his and pushing him onto his back.

"A little yeah," he grinned and she laughed, straddling him.

"Ready to go?" Jennifer asked, reaching out and resting a hand on her shoulder. Sam nodded, her bags were already on the Daedalus, as well as a couple of Athosian toys tucked into her suitcase.

"No," she said, forcing a smile to her face, "yes," she sighed, "as much as I can be."

"Where's Rodney?"

"He said he'd be here," she looked towards the infirmary door, "if we start without him you'll never hear the end of it."

"No," Jennifer smiled, "I'll look after him for you."

"Thank you, but Rodney will be fine without me."

"Maybe, but what about without the baby?"

"He's stronger than he thinks, than I think," she smiled, "but don't let him worry himself into insomnia, it's bad for the city."

"No problem."

"Did you start yet?!" Rodney yelled from the door, rushing in and up to them.

"No, we waited." He went to Sam's hand and took her hand.

"Good, let's, let's go then." Jennifer smiled at Sam, who was rolling her eyes at Rodney.

"So d'you guys know what you want?" she asked, letting the scanner run over Sam solely, the beam of light concentrating on her stomach and the slight bump that was there.

"A baby?" Rodney said, Jennifer shook her head, and looked at the screen.

"What is it?" Sam asked.

"You can tell, already?"

"I could've told you weeks ago with this scanner."

"Really? But the sexual organs wouldn't have formed?" Rodney said, trying to see the picture of the baby.

"Doesn't matter, the ancient scanners can test the baby's DNA itself. At eight weeks, the resolution can actually see the sex of the baby."

"And at sixteen weeks?" Rodney asked.

"I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that it's a boy."

"A boy," Sam said, sitting up. Jennifer turned the screen to let them see.

"Wow, that. Is. Amazing." He looked at Sam, and frowned at the tears in her eyes, "Sam what's wrong?"

"It is amazing," she sobbed lightly.

"But that's a good thing, right?" he said, "Right?" he asked Jennifer. She nodded, smiling at Sam and squeezing the woman's hand. "Then why are you crying?"

"It's the pregnancy hormones Rodney," Jennifer said.

"Oh," he paused, thinking, "oh." He pulled her into a hug.

"Guess you two need to start thinking about names."

"I already have a table made out."

"A table?" Sam asked, with a laugh, wiping her tears away.

"Of names, separated into what I like, what I think will get our child beaten up at school but like anyway, names I like but don't think you will," he said, pausing to think, "left field names..."

"Left field names?" Sam asked.

"Like Corinthian."

"No," Sam said, "but send a copy..."

"There's already a copy on your laptop," he said, interrupting her, before turning to Jennifer, "can you send a copy of that to my laptop?"

"The scan?"

"Yes please, I need a new wallpaper."

"Okay, sure, I can do that."

"Thanks," he grinned at Sam, "Lunch? Talking about babies makes me hungry."

"Lunch is good." She accepted his help off the bed and tried not to cry at the fact that this was going to be their last lunch together.

He had probably passed by Rodney's lab to see of he was there or with her, before coming to her quarters. That had been her first thought. Her second was to question why. He opened his mouth to speak but hesitated, she could see him struggling on his words, his thoughts and she waited for him to get himself together enough.

"I'm going to miss you," he said finally, smiling.

"I'm going to miss you too John," she said, "and this city."

"Oh, I would miss the city too," he said, shifting and looking for a side to lean on. She took a step back and let him get comfortable in her doorway, "I can understand why Rodney is staying."

"You need him more than I do. Or at least more than Earth does."

"Yeah." He didn't sound too sure. "I am going to miss you."

"I know."

"I don't think you do," he said, he stood up straight again and kissed her on the cheek, "come back and see us soon."

"I will," she said, "Rodney will want to show his son how important he is to the city."

"Son?" Sam nodded. "Don't let McKay call him Rodney Junior, please."

"There is no chance of that." He laughed.

"Good," he smiled again, that sad smile that he'd worn permanently between the days Elizabeth was missing and when they had discovered her death. He was staring at her with that intensity that had frightened her, that had almost convinced her that at any moment he would go running through the gate to get Elizabeth back. Except now it was aimed at her, and then he was kissing her, soft, but a little desperate, his hands in her hair.

"John," she sighed, pushing him back gently, eyes closed.

"Sorry," he moved into the hallway, and she opened her eyes to see he had his closed too, when he opened them, she took a breath, "you can't help who you fall in love with."

"No," she reached out and pulled him into a hug. When they separated he walked down the hallway, and Sam went back inside to sleep. Or cry. She couldn't be sure which would come first.

Or why she wanted to cry.

"Don't go."


"Don't go," he tried to keep up with her, as she walked through the Daedalus, to her little quarters, "quit the Air Force, and stay with me. Maybe the IOA will hire you as a civilian scientist like me."

"They would, but I'm still pregnant."

"Then, just quit and stay."

"I can't Rodney, I don't want to." She stopped suddenly. "I'll be back, and you'll be on Earth, with us, soon," she said, smiling.

"I know, but I want you both here with me, and Keller."

"You finally trust her as a doctor."

"Maybe, as your doctor at least." She laughed.

"I'll be fine, Dr Lam is a great Doctor," she kissed him and he wrapped his arms around her.

"Marry me."


"Marry me?" he repeated, "I mean, I could come back now, we could get married."

"I don't want to get married Rodney," she said, "at least, not in the next few days."


"Let's just have the baby, okay?"

"Okay," he sighed, "but you still love me."

"Yes, I love you."

"Good, just checking, because I know, people can change their minds, and pregnancy can mess with your head, with the hormones and so on and, oh god, what if the baby doesn't love me, I mean, even if you do love me, there is no certainty that the baby will feel the same..." she put a hand on his mouth.

"I love you, the baby loves you, neither of us are going to change our minds."

"Even if someone better looking comes along?"

"Even then." He beamed at her, kissed her again, then her stomach.

"So you have everything?"

"Yes, I think so."

"We can go have another look."

"I don't think Caldwell is going to let you delay him anymore Rodney," she smiled, "we will be fine."

"We," he said grinning.

"I like saying it." She did and it was helping her get used to the fact that she was having a baby, Rodney's baby, because even if she was heartbroken that she was leaving, she really needed to concentrate on other things. Like sorting out a nursery room, baby clothes and a whole new routine to her life. Facing her friends.

Cam and Jack were never going to let her hear the end of this. The baby had better be really, really cute.

She hoped it had Rodney's eyes then.

"What?" he asked.

"I was just thinking, about what the baby would look like."

"You, I hope."

"Me too," she said, smiling, "me too."

"I'd better go," he said, looking like he wanted to cry. Or kill himself.

"Yeah," she took his hand.

"Or Caldwell will beam me off by force."

"I'm surprised he didn't do that yesterday." He laughed.

"I will be on Earth, a month before you're due," he said, "two months."

"I'll see you then," she said, kissing him one last time. "Love you."

"Love you both." She let go of his hand, pulled him in for one last hug and then they parted.

"Don't you dare sabotage this ship McKay," she called down the corridor after him.

"I can't believe they made us wait at the new midway station, I didn't need quarantining, I needed to be here, yesterday," his voice jumped as he ran through the grey SGC corridors from the elevator.

"What's done is done Rodney, we're here now," Jennifer said, running after him.

"I needed to be here yesterday!" Rodney repeated.

"I know, you've said all this, you told everyone on Midway this. Twice. An hour." They came to a stop at the infirmary and when Rodney didn't immediately burst through the door, Jennifer nudged him. "Go on, they're waiting."

"What if she doesn't want to see me?" he asked.

"She sent you a message demanding you get your ass here the second her waters broke."

"What if she'd changed her mind. What if there is something wrong with the baby and she blames me?"

"I doubt she blames you, she's waiting for you Rodney, just get in there," she said, pushing him hard enough to open the door a little. He turned to look and the door flew open, Cam Mitchell smiled at him and pulled him through the door into the infirmary.

"He's here!" the man yelled, pulling Rodney through the infirmary.

"Is Sam okay?"

"She's just fine McKay," he said, "baby too, see for yourself." There was a small group huddle around a bed, and parted when they approached. Sam was sat in the bed, baby in her arms, smiling at him. Not that he could see anything but the baby.

"We should let you..." Cam started.

"Yeah," Daniel pulled Vala from the bed, and SG-1 filed out of the room and joined Jennifer in the hallway.

"Hey," Sam said quietly.

"Hi." He looked up at her.

"You're late," she said, grinning.

"I did try and tell the General I didn't need quarantining," he said, "is he okay?"

"He's fine, perfect," she said, holding him up a little. Rodney took a few steps towards her.

"Good," he smiled, "I missed you."

"I missed you too."

"Sheppard and the others send their regards. Jennifer came with me."

"Rodney," she said, "will you come and kiss me and hold your son please?"

"Oh, yes, yes, right." He quickly stood by her side, leaning down to kiss her for a moment, getting lost in her for the moment. When he pulled away he looked down at the baby that was a product of getting lost in Sam Carter like he could, so easily like he did, "hey," he said to the baby, wiggling a finger over his face. "He's cute."

"I know."

"How are you?"

"Tired, but okay," she said, "labour is a bitch."

"Sorry I missed it." She laughed.

"You are not."

"No, but still, it's the thought that counts."

"If you say so Rodney."

"Still love me?" he asked.


"Just checking."

"Why do you keep asking?" He looked at the baby in her arms, and considered asking to hold him, then changed his mind.

"Because I saw Sheppard kiss you."

"Oh," she stared at the baby.

"You didn't say anything."

"I didn't think you'd be too happy about it and, well, I didn't want to fight when I was pregnant."

"I don't want to fight about it, I just, you don't love Sheppard do you? Or have any feelings for him, cause I don't think I can compete with John."

"No, I love you Rodney, just you. John has feelings for me, it's a one way thing, I promise."

"Okay," he smiled, "I love you."

"Things okay with you and John."

"Fine. I'm great at repressing things." She laughed.

"Okay." She lifted the baby up and handed him to Rodney, who took him with a look of shock, and panic.

"We never decided on a name," he said, rocking the baby, he'd gotten better with children since Madison had come into his life. And this was his baby, his son.

"No Rodney Jr."

"I wouldn't wish my name on anyone," he said, "and no Michael, Steve or Todd."

"How about Jason?"

"Our son is not a surfer,"

"Then why put it on the list?"


"He's not a purple dinosaur either."


"Do you hate our son?" They both laughed, and he kissed the boy on the head.


"Oh, I like that," Rodney said, looking up at her, "it wasn't on my list."

"I know."

"So Ian?"

"Yeah, Ian, Ian Carter-McKay," she said with a smile, then a yawn.

"You're tired."

"Ten hours of labour, then seven hours of Vala will do that to you," she said.

"I'll let you get some sleep," he said, but she reached out and grabbed his arm.

"No, I'm okay." He was still rocking the baby back and forth, "how long are you staying for?"

"Couple of weeks, a month?" He shrugged. "It's up to you."

"Forever?" she asked, annoyed at the hope in her own voice.

"I can't Sam, Atlantis..."

"Atlantis needs you," she said, nodding in understanding, blaming the tears on fatigue and hormones.

"Atlantis gets under your skin," he said, cradling the baby close to his chest.

"Doesn't it just..." she sighed.

"I'll stay at least until the next Wraith attack," he said, making her smile.

"Knock, knock." Sam looked around Rodney to see Jennifer standing a few feet away, smiling.

"Jen," Sam smiled and the young woman took a few steps closer to the bed.

"Hey Sam, how you doing?"

"I'm tired, but okay."

"Good, and the little man?"

"Rodney's okay too," Sam said, making both women laugh.

"Oh ha ha," he handed the baby to Jennifer to took him with more ease than he had expected, smiling at him, "Jennifer this is Ian."

"Ian wasn't in any of your tables." Sam chuckled.

"No," McKay frowned, "you don't like it?"

"I love it," she smiled, "he's gorgeous."

"Yeah," Sam yawned again.

"How about we take Ian and show him off a little more, and you get some sleep Sam?" Jennifer said.

"Sounds good to me," she said. Jennifer smiled, and elbowed Rodney who jumped back into the room, having been staring at his son. He leaned over and kissed Sam.

"Love you Sam," he said, and she mumbled something back, already letting sleep come, that he chose to interpret as 'love you too'. She smiled, looking at the empty cot by her bed, when they were gone. Atlantis had gotten under her skin, that was obvious, but so had Rodney, a long time ago, and she finally had a family of her own, but it wasn't perfect. How could anything she did be perfect, or even normal. She wasn't going back to Atlantis any time soon, but maybe that was for the best, considering how John felt, and that Rodney knew. She could only hope, that Ian got under Rodney's skin, like Atlantis had, and that he wouldn't be able to leave the boy like he felt he couldn't leave Atlantis.

She closed her eyes, heard her son cry and Rodney say 'let me' and smiled. She could sleep, for a little while, and hope for a little longer for a normal life that she dreamed of from time to time but it was just another thing she needed to accept in life. She wasn't going back to Atlantis, she was a mother, and her life would never be normal.

Acceptance, though, was harder than wormhole physics.