Generation: New Families by AndromedaMarine
Author's Note: Second installment in the Generation Series; set a few years after "Tell a Story." Told from POV of children introduced in "Not Just Friends."
"Donovan," a thirty-two-year-old Nara Sheppard-Lorne called from the living room in their quarters. "Donovan, we're going to be late. I told John and Hala we'd be there in five minutes!" She tightened the zipper around her neck and shivered as she went to close the balcony door. "Donovan!"
Nara's husband flew out of the bedroom and stopped right in front of her. He smiled sheepishly. "I can't do the bowtie."
Nara rolled her eyes. "Of course you can't. Just watch: in four months you'll be a master at this along with changing diapers, keeping the baby from crying, and being a father." She smiled.
Donovan Lorne gave his wife a smirk. "Second child, Nar. You'd think I know what I'm doing by now."
"Yeah," she said, swatting his hand away from the bowtie. "You'd think." She finished with the sneaky piece of silk and kissed her husband quickly. "We need to hurry up or we'll be late." She pulled her husband away and toward the door, pausing for a moment while the bulkhead swished open. "You and your bowtie," she muttered lovingly. They practically ran to the Jumper Bay, where Nara's brother and sister-in-law were waiting, ready to take them all to the mainland.
"What took you?" Hala asked, noticing the lack of Elizabeth Jennifer Lorne tagging along behind her parents. "Did you wait until the last minute to drop Lizzie off with Ben and Bev?" She swiveled around and smiled at her husband. Nara and Don had a reputation of procrastination, but by no fault of their parents. Blame the kids. Hala caught sight of the perfect bowtie around Donovan's neck. "Ah. You had to do his tie again." She smirked and stood to hug her sister.
John and Donovan shook hands vigorously, although they saw each other on a regular basis this was more formal than most. They'd been invited to an Athosian wedding ceremony and they still had to wait for Torren, Antissa, Mary and Scott. The only couple they pretty much all were related to was Beverly and Benjamin Jackson, and they were babysitting everyone's kids tonight. The last four invitees clambered into the back of the Jumper and Scott closed the hatch.
"Let's go," he said, sitting with his arm around Mary. He looked sort of nervous; this was his first time away from his and Mary's newborn son, Rodney Steven McKay. "You sure Bev and Ben can handle this many kids by themselves?" he asked after the Jumper became airborne, Nara at the controls.
Antissa, the older of the twins, laughed. "They've done this before, Scotty. Don't worry."
"Jack and Angie are handling the city while we're gone," Hala announced, much to Mary's relief. Jack Mitchell and Angela Campbell were the most qualified to run Atlantis in Donovan's and Antissa's absence. They had no intention of attending an Athosian wedding ceremony, and that had been a wonderful fact for Anti and Don. "We won't be gone overnight," she continued, but the Jumper's occupants knew that anyway.
Their conversations slowed to a quiet banter among the three couples. Nara landed the Jumper in less than ten minutes, and the six made their way down the Athosian Roadway to the settlement. They were greeted by the old man Kanaan, whom Torren briefly embraced.
"Such joy to have you with us again," Kanaan said, his voice cracking. "The wedding will begin at sundown." He walked with a cane, but was helped by Mary and Torren. The old man was really Torren's only father, since Teyla and Ronon had ascended many years before. But rarely did they see each other, and this was a wonderful moment when they did. "How have you been?" he asked his son, although in the boy's early years he had done less than be a father. Ronon gladly took that job when he married Teyla.
"I am well," Torren replied, watching the lights of the settlement that drew nearer with each step. "What about you? Is your health fortified?"
Kanaan coughed. "My health will suffice. I do not have many years left in me anyway. I am just glad that I am allowed to see this wedding before I pass."
Torren smiled at his father. "Treia and Saldeia, is it not?"
Kanaan nodded. "They will be good together. And soon I will be able to watch everything from above." He gestured wildly with the hand not adhered to the cane, nearly smacking Mary in the face. "Oh, I am sorry, my dear. I did not mean to frighten you."
"By now that is impossible," Mary responded, a smile that looked exactly like her mother's gracing her face. They walked into the settlement. "Ah. We are here." They were greeted by the rest of the Athosians. The wedding party had yet to appear, but it was a tribal ceremony and the entire settlement participated. No one was left out.
Treia's mother approached Kanaan and the six from Atlantis. "Greetings and welcome, old friends. Sundown is very near; we must take our places for the ceremony." She fell into step beside Nara. "I do believe Jinto and Wex wish for you to sit with them for the ceremony," she said softly.
The six from Atlantis sat with Jinto, Wex, and their respective wives and children. The ceremony was beautiful, not much different from Jinto's and Wex's – both to which Rodney had bore witness, as did Nara and Antissa when they were still young.
After the ceremony there were festivities, and Donovan had to make sure Nara didn't drink any strong Athosian tea. He remembered what'd happened the last time she drank that, and it didn't go well. It was nearly two in the morning before Antissa finally gathered her wits and demanded that they return to the Jumper. Torren embraced Kanaan yet again, and the six said their farewells to the new couple, Jinto, and Wex. Antissa was successfully drunk, and Nara flew home. Rodney would enjoy hearing about the ceremony, as he had been too sick to join them.
Benjamin and Beverly Jackson had put the children under their care to bed far before the parents returned, and left notes outside their quarters informing them such. Donovan and Nara checked on Elizabeth, their daughter, and soon both were fast asleep, curled in each other's arms.
The new families on Atlantis reminded everyone that their lives were not possible without the Explorers. Without Dr. Jackson's determination Atlantis may have very well remained at the bottom of the Lantean ocean for centuries upon centuries, finally ending with the shield failing completely and the city crushed under the pressure of thousands of atmospheres. Atlantis would have been but a memory if not for Stargate Command. Everyone knew that. Everyone respected that. But most of all, Rodney would not forget it.