Becoming Connor Davids
Chapter 53 | Epilogue : Never Think
Author's Notes :
- I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's stuck with this story. There are some closing statements on my LJ with the tag 'end note'. It would be really awesome if you went over to check that out, since I don't want to spam the story with all the stuff I want to say.
- So a while back, LTwill over at ff[net] asked for some Connor waking up John action. After the first attempt, I promised to try again. My attempts keep coming out as epic failures, maybe because it's not in Connor's nature, but it is in mine to keep trying… so here it is, I hope this one is a little more to your liking. =)
- Never Think belongs to Robert Pattinson and co. I chose this song as the title because it's been the number one played song throughout the writing of this fic. There are probably close to 1,000 plays (if not more) between my computers and my iPod. And I still have no idea what the song means.
- Edited content available on my listed homepage.
Just. Holy. Shit. This is the end.
One year later…
The day it finally happened was pretty much like most days.
"Ramsey to Davids."
Connor blinked and tapped his radio. "Davids here."
"Hey, Doc, it's that time again."
The linguist glanced down at his watch and froze before springing into action. "Shite, Ben I'm sorry. I'll be there in a moment."
He was a flurry of motion as he closed down his computer, thought the lights off, and grabbed his sidearm before running out the door. He jogged down the corridor and into the transporter. When he made it to the tac room, his team was already there and Jim was holding out his vest with a grin. While Connor slipped it on Eric checked the front while Jim checked the back.
Ben shook his head fondly at the sight. "Get caught up in work again?"
"Yes, sorry." Connor flushed. Usually Atlantis would have reminded him, and now that he thought about it, the lights had flashed… he had just been too engrossed in what he was doing to connect it all. His team all flashed him a smile as they walked together towards the gate.
Eric's eyes narrowed as they approached the stargate, concerned. "Where's your jacket?"
"My jacket?" Connor didn't remember the briefing mentioning needing a jacket.
"Yeah, MALP reported back that it was kinda chilly." Ben put in.
Connor could clearly picture his jacket lying on the back of the couch in his room. "It's…" He trailed off when he saw John jogging towards him with his jacket in hand.
"You left this." He said, holding out the jacket and Connor blushed accepting it from his partner. Their fingers met for a moment.
It was official. The rules had changed. They could have this, John could kiss him goodbye. But they'd talked about it. Because John was such a prominent figure, they would wait a few days-gauge the temperature of the base.
So Connor just said, "Cheers." He really wanted to say, "I'll come back to you, a chuisle."
John swallowed, "No problem. Have fun."
Eric looked up as his door slid open. He peered over the top of his glasses at Rodney who stood nervously in the doorway. He frowned, "Did we have plans?"
"Uh, no." Rodney fidgeted with the bottom of his jacket. "Do you have a lot of homework tonight?"
"I have a few chapters to read and some lab write-ups. Why?"
Rodney stepped further into the room and the door slid closed. "I was wondering what you thought about the new rules."
"You know what I think of the rules." Eric answered, confused. "It's been pretty much all we've talked about for weeks."
"I…" Rodney fidgeted again and Eric licked his lips.
"Rodney." He said gently. "Just say what you want to say."
That seemed permission enough for the astrophysicist. Rodney blurted, "Am I allowed to tell people about us?"
"Um." Eric blinked. "You want to tell people?"
"Of course I want to tell people! Why wouldn't I want to tell people?"
"I don't know." Eric said weakly. "It's private?"
The older man eyed him carefully. "You don't want to tell people?"
Eric wasn't sure if he imagined the twinge of hurt in Rodney's voice or not. "I… Connor and I were going to talk to the guys tomorrow at breakfast, but other than that… there's not really anyone else I want to know. Dr. Z's known for months."
"He uh, sorta caught us kissing in your lab once."
"Huh. He never said anything."
"Yeah, probably not. Still, really? Wow."
"Who else would you want to let know?" Eric asked softly.
"I don't know… people?"
"I-I sort of like that it's just us."
"You want to keep it a secret?"
This time Eric did pick up on hurt in Rodney's voice and when he met Rodney's eyes it was reflected there also. He shook his head, "Not a secret, I just… I don't think it's anybody's business. I'm not ashamed of you, Rodney. That's not what this is. I…" And Eric couldn't help it. His mind flashed back to gasping awake in the infirmary after almost drowning. He saw Rodney's worried face and the way Connor's voice shook when he said they had no leads on who had pushed him. Eric whispered, "I'm scared."
Rodney slowly walked over to him and kneeled onto the floor next to his chair. He took Eric's hands in his and asked, "Scared?"
Eric nodded. "I've known I was gay for years, Rodney but I'm not sure… I'm not sure I'm ready to come out to the base. I'm not sure I'm ready to live that life. Someone's already tried to kill me once and I-I just don't think I'm ready to go through that again." They'd never found the person responsible and Eric wasn't sure who took it harder-him, Rodney, Connor, or Ben.
The older man squeezed his hands tightly. "But people know, Eric. All the people in Davids' little support group, my team…"
"People with similar secrets, Rodney and people I trust, people you trust. I…" He turned away from Rodney's piercing blue eyes. Blue eyes full of understanding and love.
"We'll wait then." Rodney said quietly. "We'll wait until you're ready."
"You'd do that for me?" Eric whispered, unsure.
Rodney raised a hand and turned Eric's face back towards him and waited until Eric met his eyes. "There's really nothing I wouldn't do for you, Eric."
"I'm not ashamed of you, Rodney." Eric repeated. "And I'm not ashamed of being gay."
"I know. I know this isn't about that."
Eric cracked a small smile. "Smartest man in two galaxies."
"I'm glad someone recognizes that." Rodney said lightly. He leaned forward until their faces were mere inches apart. "I love you."
"I love you, too."
"John!" Connor said in delight, eyes shining. "It came."
John let the door to their quarters slide shut behind him as he started unbuttoning his shirt. "What came? The new rule book?"
"Well that came, but more importantly…" Connor produced a large white envelope. "This came for you. From MIT."
John stopped unbuttoning his shirt and walked over to retrieve the envelope from his husband's outstretched hand. He opened it slowly while Connor waited impatiently next to him. He slid the papers out and the breath he didn't realize he had been holding left his body. "I… I did it."
"Let me see." Connor said, reaching for the papers. John let him have them. It took his partner only seconds to scan each paper, committing the contents to memory. When he got to the last one, a thicker piece of parchment than the rest, he laughed in delight and pulled John into a tight hug. "I knew you could, John."
"Thank you." John whispered into the younger man's ear. "I never would have done this without you."
"You did all the work, Dr. Sheppard." Connor said with a grin as he pulled back. "I just gave you a little push."
"That's Dr. Sheppard-Davids." John corrected with his own smile. He pointed towards the diploma. "See?"
It was the first time the combination of their last names had been on anything official and Connor traced it with his fingers. "John Sheppard-Davids. I'm so proud of you, John."
John set the papers down on a nearby surface and pulled Connor to him. "Let's celebrate."
"And how should we do that?" The linguist asked coyly.
"I can think of a few ways."
"Oh you can, can you?"
John's hands deftly tugged down Connor's zipper and unbutton his pants. "I can actually think of more than a few."
Connor's face flushed with desire as he let John back him into their bed. "Then we'd better get started."
Connor waved goodbye to Ronon as he stepped into his and John's room. He swiped the back of his hand across his forehead to wipe some sweat off of his face. He had to meet his team for breakfast in an hour and a half. That was an hour and a half he got to spend with John.
The linguist crouched down next to his husband and ran a hand through John's hair, waking him. John's eyes fluttered open and immediately locked onto Connor's. The older man smiled and Connor found himself smiling in response.
"You're all sweaty." John whispered, voice raspy with sleep.
"Just got back from my run. I need a shower." He paused. "I was thinking that you could get sweaty too and then we could, um, shower together."
"I could get sweaty too, huh?" John asked teasingly.
"I don't know… sounds like a lot of work."
"I'll do the work." The scientist promised. "You just lay there and look pretty."
John laughed. "So it finally comes out, you really do want me for just my body."
"Well, of course." Connor replied simply.
John laughed again and rolled out of bed. "Give me three minutes." He jogged into their bathroom and shut the door. Connor pulled off his shirt and tossed it into the hamper. He toed off his shoes and tugged off his socks. The linguist pushed down his sweatpants, leaving his boxers on-those John could take off. John came out of the bathroom the same way he went in-naked. Connor blushed as he ran his eyes down his husband's form. John wiggled his eyebrows a little and the younger man looked away. "We're about to have hot, passionate sex and you're blushing because I'm naked?" John asked, pressing his body up to Connor's.
"I, um… yes?" Connor mumbled.
John nipped an ear. "I love your blush."
"That's probably good, since I can't control it." Connor whispered.
His husband chuckled. "I think you're right about that. How long do we have?"
"You're going to be late." John warned as he gently eased Connor down onto the sheets.
"Maybe." The younger man agreed.
"Okay." John breathed. "As long as you know that."
"Oh, I do."
"Good." John said into Connor's skin. He kissed Connor's skin, glistening with sweat, while one hand worked off Connor's boxers.
Connor dug his fingers into John's back, pressing him closer. He wasn't sure when John had had the time to get the lube out, but as they rubbed against each other it was clear that John had gotten some at some point. Then John's mouth was on his and Connor wasn't thinking about when John could have done it. He lost himself in his husband's kisses, feeling his heartbeat increase, his breaths become labored.
John's tongue pushed into his mouth and Connor met it with his own. The older man moaned and pressed closer to him, rubbing skin against skin. It felt wonderful.
Connor let his fingers trail down John's back to his cheeks and rubbed a finger between them. John pushed back at his hands slightly and Connor nipped at John's upper lip in rebuttal. John groaned but obediently stopped pushing. Connor pulled his hand back to swipe his fingers between their body, slicking them with some lube. He returned them to their previous location, just rubbing over John's entrance between his cheeks.
John pulled his mouth away to press his forehead into the pillow by Connor's head. "Connor."
The younger man smiled. "Yes?"
[Edited Content begins here]
John turned his head and licked at Connor's neck. "I want to mark you." He whispered. "Where everyone can see."
"Yes." Connor breathed.
John licked his neck a few more times, wetting the skin and then Connor felt lips gently press against him. John slowly sucked on his skin, pulling it into his mouth and Connor let out a strangled gasp. Moments later, John pulled back and gently lapped at the mark. He turned his head and claimed Connor's lips again while the younger man blindly reached for the lube.
John pressed the bottle into his hand without breaking their kiss and Connor reached around John, pouring some out onto his hand. Connor watched as his eyes were drawn to the mark he made. John reached a finger up to touch it. "That is so hot."
"How very caveman of you." Connor grinned.
John's hazel-green eyes darkened with desire and he bent down again to cover the mark with his mouth for a second time. "I just want everyone to know you're mine." John whispered against his skin, gently nipping at the hickey with his teeth.
"Me too." Connor said into his ear. "Yours."
[End edited content]
"You're so beautiful." Connor whispered. "So perfect, John, my John."
And then there were stars and John-just John. John was everywhere-wrapped around him, whispering in his ear, shaking along with Connor.
They stayed like that for several minutes until Connor, regrettably, slid gently out of John. His husband stayed curled on top of him and Connor ran his hand through John's hair.
"How did most people take the news?" Connor asked softly.
"Pretty well, I think." John answered, pressing a kiss to Connor's neck. "It helped that Carter's been sending out e-mails for a couple weeks explaining the new rules to help ease the transition."
"Although the last few sounded suspiciously like the writings of someone else I know."
"Did they now?"
"Uh-huh." John answered with a small nod.
"But not the first few?"
"Did you write those as well?" John asked with a touch of surprise.
"Daniel and I wrote them all and Cam proofed them for us."
"So us grunts could understand it as well as you geeks?" His husband asked without heat.
Connor rubbed a gentle hand down John's back. "Something like that."
"Should you be hopping into the shower?"
Yes, but Connor wasn't going to admit that, not when John was warm and plaint and lying on top of him. "I can be late."
"Weren't you going to tell them about us?"
"Yeah, and Eric is going to talk to them as well."
"And you're having lunch with Lorne's group?" John asked, interested.
"Yes, sorry." Connor apologized. "I promised I would tell them when I was able. You don't mind do you?"
John kissed his cheek. "Definitely not." He shifted a little so his body rested more on the bed then on Connor, but kept a tight grip on the younger man. "I changed my medical forms yesterday, and my will."
Connor rested a hand on John's cheek and smiled softly. "I love you, John."
John returned the smile. "I know."
Eric nervously pushed around the hash browns on his plate. Connor was late, although honestly everyone at the table had been expecting it. The linguist was often late to breakfast as it was clear he was not an early riser, although from the smirks on everyone's face when Connor finally entered the food hub, and from the blush on the other man's face, Eric knew that sleeping in was not the reason the scientist was tardy today.
Connor quietly placed his tray down next to Eric's as he took a seat. He was across from Ben and Eric was across from Jim. They were at a relatively private table, no one was within earshot.
When Connor reached for his mug, Eric saw the glint of metal on his ring finger. It wasn't that Eric hadn't seen the ring before, of course he had, it was just that he was pretty sure he'd never seen it in the food hub or anywhere else public. When Eric turned to look at the linguist, his gaze immediately caught onto the bright red mark on Connor's neck, high above his jacket collar. His eyes widened and he coughed. Connor looked at him quizzically but before Eric could say anything, Jim beat him to the punch.
"Looks like someone had a good night." He grinned, gesturing with his fork to the hickey on Connor's neck.
The blush on Connor's face went all the way down his neck. "I, um…" He blinked and then in a way that sounded completely like John Sheppard he said, "Well, it was more of a good night and a really good morning."
Ben choked on the coffee he was drinking and Jim stared for a moment before he burst out laughing. Eric hid a smile and reached for his water.
"Jesus, Doc." Ben got out. "Warn a guy."
Connor nodded and went back to his breakfast. They all ate in companionable silence for a few minutes while Eric tried to work out what to say. He wasn't sure why he was so nervous; Ben and Connor already knew about Rodney, which left Jim who probably already knew, at the very least, that he was gay. Both Ben and Jim knew that Connor was with a man, just not who.
It took Eric a minute to realize that neither Ben nor Jim were eating, instead their eyes were trained on the ring glistening on Connor's finger. The linguist, for his part, was busy cutting up some ham and didn't notice them.
Ben glanced at Eric and then back at the ring as if to say, You knew he was married or engaged and didn't tell me? Eric shrugged in a way that hoped he conveyed it wasn't his story to tell. After a few more seconds it became apparent that Jim was about to burst so Eric gently elbowed Connor and the linguist looked up.
That seemed to be all the permission the two men needed as Jim reached over and grabbed Connor's hand for a closer inspection of the ring-it was pretty cool-and Ben leaned over towards Jim to see it better.
"I, um…" Connor bit his lip nervously and his eyes darted over to look at Eric who offered a hopefully encouraging smile. "John and I were bonded in an Athosian ceremony about a year and a half ago."
"A year and a half?"
Connor nodded at the two questions as Jim let his hand go. "Bonding is like… marriage. We're hoping to get married on Earth when it becomes permissible. John and I have been together for over two years."
Eric watched as both men went through the list of members of the US military with the first name of John. It was a very short list. And the list got even shorter when age was taken into consideration. He saw the moment Ben got it and a second later, Jim's eyes widened.
"John Sheppard?" Ben asked in shock. "You're married to Colonel Sheppard?"
"Um… well really it's John Sheppard-Davids now…" Connor joked lightly. His voice trailed off at the gaping stares of his teammates. "Yes."
"Holy Jesus." Ben swore. "Now that I didn't see coming."
"Colonel Sheppard's gay?" Jim asked, still in shock.
Connor bit his lip. "John's more like… bisexual." He hesitated. "I… are you okay with that?"
Jim and Ben both nodded absently, obviously still processing the idea that their commanding officer was sleeping with their scientist. Eric wondered how long it would be before they connected John to the hickey on Connor's neck. He stifled a laugh.
Eric cleared his throat and then swallowed nervously when Ben and Jim turned to look at him. "I guess this is a good time as any to tell Jim that I'm dating Rodney McKay."
Ben laughed and Connor gently touched his knee against Eric's in a comforting manner. Jim's mouth dropped open and he closed it before turning to Ben. "Please don't tell me you've been sleeping with Jackson this whole time."
Ben laughed again and shook his head. "If I'm right, I think there's a medical doctor out there who might be a little pissed if I were to do that."
"Box." Connor confirmed.
"I'm still single." Ben confirmed. "And while I have no problems either of these two kids," he jerked a thumb towards Connor and Eric. Connor glared because he was older than Ben and Eric glared because he wasn't a kid. "I think I'll stick with the ladies."
Eric shared a look with Connor that was full of mirth, a secret smile passed between them before he looked back at his friends. "You know, Connor is somewhat of a successful match maker. I'm sure he can hook you guys up."
Jim raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"
The linguist took a sip of his tea and looked over the top of his mug at Jim. "John says I've meddled in enough love lives."
"But John can't deny that you've had some successful meddles." Eric pointed out.
"For the most part." The linguist appraised Smith. "I'll see what I can do."
Jim grinned. "Great." He paused. "And congratulations, both of you."
"Thank you." Connor murmured and Eric echoed the sentiment.
Eric quietly cleared his throat and everyone at the table turned to look at him. "Um, I'd rather keep this between us for now, if you could." There were confused looks but everyone nodded. "Thank you."
"No problem, kid." Ben said. He turned to Connor. "What about you?"
The linguist shook his head. "John and I are keeping quiet for the first few days to see how the base reacts to others, but after that… I think he has some kind of grand plan to harass me before missions or something."
Jim smirked. "He wants to send you off with a kiss."
"Something like that." Connor agreed sheepishly. "Um, you should probably be aware that he's my medical proxy-just in case something happens off-world."
"Rodney's mine." Eric offered. "I'm not sure he knows it though."
"And with any luck he'll never find out." Ben said.
"Yeah." Eric responded. "With any luck."
Jim leaned across the table, breakfast forgotten. "So c'mon you two, cough it up. How did you end up with two of the most high up guys in the city?"
Eric looked at Connor and gestured for him to go first.
"Well, it all started really with some jumper training…"
It was an unexpectedly clear night on New Lantea. There had been rain the past few days, but tonight the stars shone brightly and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Connor was out on the north pier, his feet hung over the edge and he had a thick blanket wrapped around him. There was a soft pillow underneath his head as he stared up at the various constellations. The waves provided a soothing soundtrack to the night, crashing up against the city.
Connor didn't turn his head when he heard quiet footsteps approaching him.
"Room for one more?" John asked softly from above him.
Connor nodded and lifted the corner of his blanket for his husband to slide under. John did so and the sides of their body pressed together, their fingers twined, and John's head landed gently next to Connor's on the pillow.
"Where's your B-52?" John asked softly.
Connor pulled their joint hands out from under the blanket and pointed up towards a cluster of stars on the right. "Over there."
"And the Milky Way?"
Their hands shifted over a bit. "There."
"It still seems so small." John commented, tucking their hands back under the blanket. "Space. It's… it seems so unaffected. Like nothing changes the universe."
"But the universe changes us."
"Exactly." John paused. "Except that Rodney would say the universe is constantly expanding, so it's constantly changing."
"We just can't really see it."
"I don't think change is one of those things you can see while it's happening."
"That's what hindsight is for." Connor said quietly.
"Remember when we first did this?"
"Yeah." Connor answered fondly. "I was so nervous. I had no idea what I was doing."
John laughed softly. "If it helps-neither did I."
"I'm glad we tried anyways."
"Yeah." John paused. "You've changed so much since then."
"As in I've changed or I've changed things, people?"
"I think it's a little of both." John answered softly. "You're still the same basic person, but different-and not a bad different, a good one. It's more than just you changing your name, not being alone anymore, having friends and a lover. It's like you grew into yourself. And… you changed me. You became my partner, my husband, my life. I had this huge hole in my heart and you stepped up to fill it. You fit so perfectly."
"When I'm with you... I feel like I'm who I'm supposed to be." Connor admitted softly. "It doesn't matter that I'm-I'm shy and quiet and whatever. I… When I was younger my mom used to worry about me a lot. She thought I spent too much time alone, too much time in my studies. But my da always said that I would grow into it, that we're not born the person we're supposed to become, 'become who you are' and all that. I feel like, since I've met you, I've become the person I was meant to be, the person I am. The name change is just a physical representation of that. I've spent my whole life becoming Connor Davids. But after meeting you, John… I realized that I've actually spent my whole life becoming Connor Sheppard-Davids. You were the part of me that was missing and now that you're here, I have all the pieces."
"I love you, Connor Sheppard-Davids." John said fiercely.
Connor turned his head on their shard pillow and kissed John's jaw. "I love you too, John Sheppard-Davids."
John turned his head and smiled at Connor. "Is there where I say 'til death do us part'?"
"No." Connor said with small smile. "This is where you say 'and they lived happily ever after'."
John reached a hand out to cup Connor's cheek. "And they lived happily ever after."
Just once more, there are some closing statements over at my LJ in regards to this story. Thank you again to all my wonderful readers, especially to those of you who have reviewed. You guys are awesome and amazing.
I've never been one to beg for reviews, but like all authors I like to hear from my readers. In April alone I had over 19,000 people visit just Becoming Connor Davids (discounting LJ stats with at least 70% of those people being unique readers [not the same reader over and over]). 19,000 people read Becoming Connor Davids and 14 people left a review (plus 13 on LJ) which equals less than .001% of readers reviewing.. I've never appreciated when authors beg for reviews but like one of my favorite authors writes on the bottom of her chapters, "It takes me two weeks to write a chapter, it takes you two minutes to review."
From my stats I can tell that I have a lot of regular readers, they've stuck with the story, and not to brag or anything but I update regularly and I've finished a long fic, which in this fandom and pretty much all others is somewhat of a rarity (still waiting for that Marriage Stone update).
Ideally I would love everyone who's read this to leave a review *begin laughing now*, but I know that won't happen. More realistically I'm hoping for just a few more reviews. Just sort of something so that I know that the pretty numbers that show up on stat counters aren't all fake.
There's one more thing I want to say and in my opinion it's really important, so please just bear with me for a few more seconds. If you or someone you know is being abused, please seek help. Find someone, talk to someone. Just know that there are people out there who can help you and who want to help you. I hope I haven't romanticized the notion of abuse. That's the last thing I ever want to do. I'm very aware that there are several Erics in the world. It honestly breaks my heart that abuse happens. Abuse is a very serious issue and it's not just physical or sexual, it can be psychological too. Please, seek help if you or someone you know is being affected by it. My LJ has a list of websites and numbers of places where help can be found throughout the world. Please take advantage of them, if needed.
Once again, thank you. It has been an honor.