Title: A Life Uncommon
Special Note: Okay, so this is a future-fic follow-up to my multi-chapter story, "The Journal." This is just meant to be a cute little thing, set about six years in the future, after the war with the Wraith has come to an end.
Music: I had "Life Uncommon" on repeat while writing this. Yes, I am a Jewel fan...well, her first three albums, at least; they remain her best!


"That wasn't supposed to happen," Rodney said, mouth open in shock.

"Really, Rodney?" John replied sarcastically, "You mean the poorly-placed candles under the low-hanging streamers don't usually make those pretty, pretty colours?" When the scientist ducked his head in embarassment, John clapped him on the back with a chuckle, "I'm kidding! Don't worry about it. No one got hurt, the fire is out, the candles have been relocated, and its time to party!"

"Ah, yes," Rodney's voice was its usual tone of unenthusiastic, but he made no attempt to conceal the joy that laced his words, "Party over here."

Evan, who'd been passing them at that moment with a drink in each hand, stopped abruptly and turned, "Don't ever say that again, Rodney; you'll scare the children."


John smirked, then turned his attention to the now-Colonel, "Speaking of which: you double-fisting it tonight, Daddy?"

Evan rolled his eyes, "I wish! That crazy woman has now decided that--until she is able to drink as much mulled wine as she wants again--I'm not allowed to drink either. Smell," he held the cups up to John's noise, "That wonderful fragrance? Grapefruit juice," he grimaced.

John frowned sympathetically, "The things we do for love, right? But, look at it this way: two more months and that baby will be out in the world and--"

"I can drink again," Evan filled in knowingly.

"Oh, hell no," his friend laughed, "Drinking is going to be the last thing on your mind." Rodney and John laughed at this for a few moments before a beautiful woman with a full, round belly cut through the crowd and put a soft hand on Evan's shoulder, smiling at him lovingly. John tilted his head to her, "Missus Lorne." He'd been on a first-name-basis with Itta since they'd met, but she was still a new bride and he knew she liked to hear the new last name in reference to her.

She nodded back to him, "General Sheppard." Likewise, the promotion was still new, and Itta knew he liked to hear it. Then, to her husband she said, "I am going to go find Jennifer and see if she cannot recommend something for this nauseousness."

He turned a worried eye to her, "Do you want me to take you back to our quarters?"

She shook her head, the smile never leaving her face, "And miss the celebration of a lifetime, in which my husband played an instrumental role? Not on your life." She laughed at the proud look that took his face and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly, "I will not be gone long." Evan nodded and pressed a kiss to her lips before bending to place another against the soft fabric that covered her stomach. She said her goodbyes and left the group, taking one of the cups with her, and Evan soon excused himself, as well. Once he'd gone, Rodney caught the eye of Melissa Azure--a field medic--and smiled to her.

John raised an eyebrow, "Rodney, its been two years; when are you going to ask that woman to marry you?"

The scientist never broke eye-contact with the dark-haired doctor, his smile stuck. "Very soon," he muttered absently, before brushing past his friend to join his girlfriend by the buffet. Despite what either of them said, John believed that the real reason the two had gotten together in the first place was because they both had sickeningly large appetites.

"Uncle John!" He turned just in time to catch the young girl that flung herself into his arms. Once he'd hitched her up on his hip, she started in, "You'll never guess what! You know that guy you like? The guy that you gots the picture of and he looks real sad and is in black and white and has a guidder--"


"And's gots the long black coat? You know, Uncle John!" She squealed at him, her high-pitch voice filled with excitement, "You gots his picture in your room!" She grabbed a tuft of his hair and jerked it, the way she always did when she was trying to make a point.

John winced, "Johnny Cash," he told her, prying her hand from his head.

"Yeah! Did you know he's dead?"

John said nothing for a moment, trying to decide how to answer, and he finally told her, "His body may be buried, but his soul will never die, Little 'Li."

Her forehead wrinkled, showing that she didn't understand the response, but it smoothed to show that she accepted it anyway, a broad smile sneaking across her face, "Say it."

"Say what?"

"Say what you say, Uncle John," she pouted slightly, "Sa-a-ay it!"

He smirked and put her down on the floor, then kneeled so that he could look her in the eyes, "As sure as night is dark and day is light, I keep you on my mind both day and night, and happiness I've known proves that its right. Because you're mine..." he trailed off.

"I walk the line!" He nodded and gave her a playful flick on the forehead.

"Ilima," a gruff voice behind them said, "How many times do I have to tell you not to get your uncle started on Johnny Cash?" John turned and glared at Ronon, who smirked back at him.

The little girl frowned, "But I like Johnny Cash, too, Daddy. I like talking to Uncle John about him; its fun."

Ronon rolled his eyes, but not in a mean way, and grinned down at his daughter, "Where's your mother? I thought you were with her."

"Itta needed her." Ilima suddenly put her hands over her stomach and giggled, "My tummy is singing Johnny Cash, too, Daddy."

The Satedan man reached a hand down to her, "Then let's feed the man before he dies all over again!" The little girl nodded in agreement and slipped her hand into his, allowing him to lead her to the buffet table. As the walked away, John called out to Ronon, "That wasn't funny!" To this, the larger man simply looked over his shoulder and stuck out his tongue, a habit he'd picked up after marrying Jennifer, who seemed to do it quite frequently.

Alone again, John went to the drinks area and snapped the top off of a bottle of beer, which had been sent through the gate special for this celebration. Then he started wandering through the crowd, stopping to talk to people along the way. Samantha and her old team (Jack, Daniel, and Teal'c) and her almost-daughter, Cassandra, Radek and his Manarian girlfriend, Richard Woolsey, Carson and Laura (who'd somehow managed to look past the whole McKay kiss), Laten and his sister, and even the Millers, who'd been granted special permission to join the celebration, since Jeannie was one of the reasons they were celebrating in the first place. Once he'd seen all of his friends, he made his way to the top of the gateroom stairs to wait for the people he never gave a second-thought to waiting for.

Then he saw her. Teyla was rounding the corner, coming from the control room, a bundle in each arm, "Sorry we're late."

"Yeah," a young boy stomped around the corner after her, dragging an even younger girl by the hand, "She kept crying."

"I did not!" The girl cried defiantely, stomping on the boy's foot for good measure, "Butthead."

"Elizabeth," John berated, "Don't call your brother names like that when your mother is aro--I mean, ever," he quickly corrected at the look Teyla gave him. She smirked and rolled her eyes at the poor save, then smiled when he leaned down to press a lingering kiss to her lips, to which both of the children made gagging noises. Ignoring them, John put one hand on Teyla's hip and ran it up and down her side appreciatively, "I don't know how you got your figure back so quickly. Not that I was completely against the big belly," he smiled, moving to kiss her again, but she dodged it.

"Oh, no, John Sheppard," she wrinkled her forehead at him, "Do not go getting any ideas; you will not be seeing that big belly again until the little ones can walk. At least."

"Yeah, fine, fine," the general pouted slightly, "Just as long as four isn't the limit. I told you before we even got married that I wanted lots of kids." He brought both of his arms up to lift one of the bundles from her arms, pulling the blanket away from the face of a sleepy, pink infant. "Hello, Ayna Katelyn," then to the one still in her mother's arms, he said, "And hello to you, too, Sia Charrin. How are my beautiful girls today."

"Dad," Tegan piped in an annoyed, demanding voice, "Can you and Mommy have a boy next time? Elizabeth is annoying, and Ayna and Sia poop a lot, and I want a brother," he stomped his foot down, barely missing his sister's toes.

John opened his mouth to respond when the sound of metal hitting glass echoed all around the gateroom. The group at the top of the stairs looked down to see Rodney standing under the arch of the stargate, a glass of champagne in hand. Once everyone had silenced, the scientist cleared his throat, "Ladies and gentlemen--I'm sorry to interrupt, but we've been enjoying ourselves for a good hour now, and I think its about time we heard a speech. Now, normally I would take it upon myself to deliver some intelligent, well-placed words, because--let's face it--that's what I do." He smiled one of those rare, genuine, selfless smiles of his and looked right at John, "But I think its only fair that tonight's speech is delivered by the man that led the way; the man that, without whom, we would not be standing here today, drinking expensive alcohol and eating fancy shrimp," there was a wave of laughter, then Rodney's face grew serious, "Hell, we might not even be around at all." He gestured to his friend, "Ladies and gentlemen, General John Sheppard."

Everyone turned and the chorus of clapping and whooping and cheering was defeaning. John blushed slightly and started down the steps, his family by his side. Once they reached the gate, he whispered to the young boy, "Tegan, can I see big-boy hands?" The boy held up his hands to show they were clean, and John nodded and passed the baby on to him. Tegan handled her expertly, tucking her head into his elbow and laying her body across his other arm as the only father he'd ever known took the champagne glass from Rodney and turned to face his fellow expedition members.

He coughed lightly to clear his throat and fiddled with the long-stemmed champagne glass. Everyone seemed to have one now, and out of the corner of his eye he could see someone passing a glass to Teyla. He pressed his lips together in thought before opening his mouth, "I'm flattered." After those two words, he paused again and thought carefully, "I'm flattered that you think I'm responsible for the outcome of this war, but I'm not." He looked out at them in complete seriousness, "I only played a small part in this war. Every single one of you, from the field operatives to the botanists, played a part; you all made a difference. I...I couldn't have done this; not by a long shot. The operations, the viruses, the computer work, the surprise attacks, the dedicated infiltrations--that was all you guys. Trust me, if it had been just me out there, I would have just started shooting until I was out of ammo and they would have killed me right off. I--" He bit his top lip with his bottom row of teeth and shook his head, "We've lost so many friends here," he glanced at his young children, all four bearing names of people who'd been killed, "And last week, you were all instrumental in proving that those lives were not lost in vain." He raised his glass, "So here's to everyone here, and everyone that should be here. I have never been so honoured--so privelaged--as to be in the same room with so many heroes. Cheers."

Everyone in the room repeated the word before sipping at their glasses, and then John chuckled lightly, his demeanor changing entirely, "And I look forward to things getting simple around here. For those of you that will choose to stay in Atlantis, in the new, peaceful Pegasus Galaxy, we are lucky to have you around. For those of you that will choose to return to Earth, and to your families, we will sorely miss you. And," he shrugged, "I guess the only thing left to say is...hey, porter! Hey, porter!" A chorus of groans now swept through the crowd, but John continued, "Please open the door. When they stop the train, I'm gonna get off first, because I can't wait no more. Tell that engineer I said 'thanks a lot,' and I didn't mind the fare. I'm gonna set my feet on Southern soil, and breathe that Southern air." He raised his glass once again before walking to the buffet, where his family had gathered--his whole family. The only family he'd ever need. He smiled and hugged Ilima when she squealed in delight for another Johnny Cash song that she knew. He kissed his wife and his kids. He took a playful shove from Ronon and laughed when Jennifer berated him for it. He put his hand on Itta's wide belly and felt the baby kick. He congratulated Melissa when she showed him her engagement ring. He exchanged quips with Sam and Jack. He teased Jeannie about her still-nervous reaction to Atlantis. He was content.

"...I can't believe you quoted 'Hey Porter' up there," Rodney told him.

John sighed and hung his head, "Way to ruin my moment of bliss, Rodney; way to ruin my moment."


I know! It was the total cheesy, but I had to do it! The call...YOU DIDN'T HEAR THE CALL! It was too sugary-sweet to resist, like Lucky Charms! I just wanted, for once, to do a completely cute, fluffy, angstless fic. Don't judge me! ...Unless its good judgement that says you love me and want to shower me with No-Bake cookies and SciFi memorabilia.
R&R, please! Oh, and here are the lyrics to the song that inspired the fic:

"Life Uncommon"Jewel

Don't worry mother, it'll be alright
And don't worry sister, say your prayers and sleep tight
It'll be fine, lover of mine
It'll be just fine

Lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend you strength to that which you wish to be free from
Fill your lives with love and bravery
And you shall lead a live uncommon

I've heard you anguish
I've heard you hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren't worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains

And lend your voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend your strength to that
Which you wish to be free from
Fill you lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon

There are plenty of people who pray for peace
But if praying were enough, it would have come to be
Let your words enslave no one, and the heavens will hush themselves
To hear our voices ring out clear
With sounds of freedom
Sounds of freedom

Come on you unbelievers, move out of the way
There is a new army coming, and we are armed with faith
To live, we must give
To live

And lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill our lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead...
Lend our voices only to sounds of freedom
No longer lend our strength to that which we wish to be free from
Fill our lives with love and bravery
And we shall lead a life uncommon