We Have A Problem
'What do I do now?' Rodney asked plaintively. He honestly hadn't a clue, the whole situation was a first for him and all Rodney could say was he didn't like it.
The answer, as it was, came from Ronon:- 'You finish your beer and get another.'
"I think he means after that.' Radek pointed out.
'Oh.' Ronon took a swig from his bottle. 'Then it's John's round.'
'Hey, no it's... Oh yeah.' John remembered and had pull on his beer. Rodney smirked, he wasn't the only one that had lost track how many they'd had. Although the way his mind was racing he couldn't tell if the alcohol was effecting him.
One thought just bounced from one side of his vast brain to the other, knocking everything else out like a bowling ball skipping lanes. He had barely gotten out of the infirmary, let alone come to terms with Jennifer's news, when his three friends had ambushed him with a literal crate of beer.
Together, carrying the scientist, they had headed over to the south pier and sat on one of the edges, looking out over the bay. With a shock Rodney realised he hadn't said a thing until now, just drank. 'I didn't think... I never thought I'd ever...' He just trailed off, what could he say.
It was John who came to his rescue. 'Rodney, and I can't believe I'm going to say this, you might do alright.'
'You think so?' He asked
John quickly looked out over the water and brought his beer up. 'Sure. Why not.' Rodney could tell he was lying, John wasn't good at it.
'Rodney, it's a big step but you're a... well not a good man but you're not a bad man either.' Radek tried to help in his usual non helpful way. After humming and trying to say something nice under Ronon's death glare the scientist looked at his own beer and finished by saying; 'This is nice.'
Finally Ronon said something 'There are two things you can do. First is marry her the other is face me in combat.'
'What?' Rodney asked, genuinely shocked.
'Marry her Rodney. You don't have a choice.' Ronon growled.
'Sure I do. I just have to think about one...' The thing was Rodney couldn't think of any other option. He was going to have to marry her, at least ask.
'One question Rodney.' Radek asked. 'Why don't you want to marry her?'
'It's not that I don't want to, I really really do but what do I do? "Oh hey, now that your pregnant I might as well marry you." How's that going to look?'
Rodney was on a roll now. 'You guys remember Katie Brown. I rushed that and look what happened, she had to leave and I really think I hurt her. I can't do that to Jennifer, I'd rather let Ronon beat me up.' He stood up and began pacing. 'You know what's going to happen. It will be alright for another few months then I'll do something stupid and she'll hate me for it, I'll get angry and the next thing you know I'll never see her again!'
John grabbed him 'Snap out of it McKay. You're freaking out!'
'Damn right I'm freaking out and this is just the start. Wait until it sinks in then it's going to be a full on panic attack.' Rodney tried to calm down. 'I never was an athlete, I didn't even have a date for the school dance. I'd kinda given up on the whole meeting someone thing you know. I decided that the legacy I wanted to leave was a scientific one. An achievement that went down in the history books. The great Rodney McKay, world famous scientist. Then this comes out of nowhere and blam! Meredith Rodney McKay you are a dad.'
That got Radek's attention, 'You gave up on having a family for scientific acclaim?'
'No, weren't you listening? I wanted scientific acclaim because I thought I didn't have a chance with women. Try to keep up.' Rodney admitted and then bit his tongue, that wasn't something he wanted to admit to anyone. Least of all himself.
John just looked at him, Rodney got the feeling his friend was re-evaluating him, just great his little sob story had revealed more of himself to pity. Fantastic. 'Rodney, I don't pretend to understand it and I don't want to. For some reason you have an attractive and clever woman in your life and you're so worried about hurting her it's keeping you from doing the right thing.'
Rodney ran that through his mind a few times. 'Yes, that doesn't make any sense what so ever does it.'
As one his three friends smirked and said; 'No. Have a beer.'
It was morning and Jennifer had woken early, her stomach rumbling for breakfast. She hadn't reached the morning sickness stage yet, but it was only a matter of time. Then again feeling how hungry she was right now her child already had their father's appetite.
Getting dressed she caught herself smiling, it was the sort of serene content smile she'd seen pregnant women with before. As if her good mood was just bubbling out of her. Everything wasn't right with the world. Just right enough.
Throwing her jacket over her shoulders Jennifer was ready for her breakfast date. The plan was to meet Rodney outside his quarters at the usual time, about an hour after he was supposed to wake up and head to the commissary together.
Passing the handful of other people awake heading the other way to the transporter Jennifer just kept smiling. It was funny how just about everyone noticed her grin and gave her a friendly "Good morning doctor." back. If she was paranoid Jennifer would have thought someone had been talking behind her back but Teyla and the others wouldn't do that. Nodding to them she waited outside Rodney's door for a full minute before knocking.
She knocked again and the still wasn't an answer A thousand worries came to her, was he really Okay after last night? Had he ran off? Was he hurt somewhere, calling for her?
No that was stupid, he had his headset. Maybe something had came up, Zelenka might have called him for help with something and he just got bogged down in work. Sighing she felt her stomach rumble loudly. Food first, then find him seemed the best idea.
He wasn't in the commissary, grabbing a banana and a cup of coffee Jennifer was thinking of eating both on the go when someone waved her over. Pushing through the crowd she already knew it wasn't Rodney, but someone who might know where he was. 'Jennifer, join me?'
She smiled 'Morning Carson, have you seen Rodney?' she asked the other senior doctor as she sat down. Dr Beckett was technically only "attached" to the Atlantis Expedition. Which meant, as he was a consultant, she was still the head of the medical staff. Mr Woolsey seemed to enjoy putting everyone in roles that confused everyone else with red tape and paper work.
Still Carson had authority over research and field work, leaving Jennifer the standard medical practice and the occasional fun part of re-coding Wraith DNA. Sometimes she was really jealous of her predecessors clone. Other times she was just confused by it all.
'No, sorry love I haven't. Why, is something the matter?'
Jennifer laughed. 'No, well not really. Colonel Shepherd, Ronon and Zelenka grabbed him as soon as I let him out of the infirmary.'
'The infirmary, what happened.' Carson asked.
It was then she realised he didn't know. 'Urm... I think Rodney will want to tell you. He's fine though.'
Carson nodded over her shoulder 'Aye, speak of the devil. How's it going.'
Jennifer was happy to see him but he looked more than a little distracted, Half smiling and staring at her. He hadn't even noticed Carson, let alone heard him.
A few quick jerks of her head and Rodney got the message. 'Oh morning Carson. You alright?'
The Scotsman hid a smile, all be it badly. 'Not too bad, all recovered after landing the City.'
'Yeah, nice job. We're still finding bits to fix.' He snapped back, there was no one else like him after all
'Rodney!' Carson protested and Jennifer mock punched her lover's arm.
He turned back to her and after a flash of pure terror in his eyes Rodney knelt next to her. 'Jennifer,' he began and her heart skipped. He wouldn't, not here in front of all these people. 'This was so much easier when I was rehearsing last night. There's so much I want to say, but I'll just make a mess of it. I'm no prize, I know that better than most and when it comes down to it I know I'm not a good man.
'But I try, I really do. I want to be a man that... that can be a father. That can be a friend and more than that to you.'
Still knelt there he continued. 'I haven't a ring or anything. Just me and for all that's worth will you have me?'
Jennifer was speechless, she had expected something like that but not this soon. She had subtle hints and everything. After a moment of jaw flapping she felt a great smile blossoming across her face. 'Is that your idea of a proposal?' she teased.
Laughing lightly Rodney brushed a tear from her face. She didn't even know she was crying. 'Only if you say yes.' he said, reminding her of their old joke.
If she was honest she hadn't noticed how the whole room was quiet. Everyone, to a man was waiting to see her answer. Not wanting to disappoint them she leaned in and kissed Rodney soundly before hugging him. 'Don't be so silly, of course I will.'
The whole commissary exploded in whoops and cheers, Carson went as as far as applauding them and all Rodney could do was match her smile. 'Thanks, can I ask a favour?'
'Can you help me up, I think I've pulled something in my leg.'
A month later
Jeannie Miller was a brilliant scientist, her husband always joked that she could even program a VCR with her eye's closed. Even though there were few things she liked better than baking with her little girl.
Right now Maddie was literally up to her armpits in cake mix and covered in flour. It was her father, Jeannie's husband's, birthday and while he was out working Jeannie wanted to make sure everything was ready for the party tomorrow.
It was then the phone rang, brushing her hands on the ingredient covered apron she picked it up. 'Hello?'
'Hi Jeannie, it's me.' Meredith sounded apologetic already and she'd only just picked up the phone.
'Mer, you're back home?' She asked. On the other end her brother hummed and grunted. Now she knew something was wrong. 'What is it?'
'I should have called you earlier, but things are a bit crazy over here. We're in San Francisco.' He said evasively.
Jennie frowned. 'So you're on holiday in...' It took her a second to put San Francisco together with the fireball in the sky almost two months ago. 'Oh, you're not on holiday. You're...'
'Yes. I've got some news for you. How would Madison like a friend to play with, in a couple of years.'
Jeannie blinked. Her brother was never one for cryptic but he couldn't have meant what she thought he'd said. 'Mer, she's got lots of friends. Are you talking about a cousin?'
'That would be, yeah . Look I'm not really....'
Jeannie was glad he couldn't see her face. Any minute now she was going to explode in laughter 'Not really good at this.' she finished for him. 'Not ready for it. In trouble?'
'You could say that.' Mer grumbled.
'Just checking, this isn't a freaky Pegasus thing is it?'
'No!' Mer shouted indignantly. 'It's not some freaky anything. It's a kid, perfectly normal.'
'Except it's yours Mer. That could never be normal' She couldn't keep from laughing, but there was something else. 'Sorry, here's a point, how? I mean I thought you and Katie broke up?'
'We did, I messed that up badly Jeannie.' Mer said soberly. 'I won't do it again.' He was deadly serious. Jeannie had never heard him so serious, even that one time the school bully had pulled her pigtails and he had tried to stand up to them. He'd come home crying and bruised that day.
For all his faults her brother could occasionally do something incredibly brave. 'Who's the mother Mer?'
He didn't answer for a moment and then there was the sound of another phone being picked up. 'Hi there.' a half familiar voice said.
'Jennifer? Doctor Keller?' Jeannie asked.
'Yes to both, we weren't actually planning on it and now we've got all these plans we have to make and neither of us know what we're doing, we're not ready.' The Atlantis Doctor babbled down the phone.
'Hold on' Jeannie interrupted the woman's babbling. 'You, but you're, well don't take this the wrong way but you're smart, attractive and I would have said way out of my brothers league.'
'What's that supposed to mean?' the two of them said at once. It was almost adorable if it wasn't so defensive.
'Sorry Mer but I'm your sister and there are times I can only just about stand you. What would a doctor of all people see in my brother?'
'Now come on!'
'I guess over the years he's worked here he's shown a different side of his character.' Dr Keller said, defending him. 'I guess if he had called earlier you might have had the chance to find that out.'
'I was busy fixing the single most important thing on this base. I've not been sleeping and I'm really not cut out for this.' Mer took a deep breath.
'Look Jeannie we both need you and what's-his-name here.'
It was kind of sweet the pair of them were way over their heads and they called the one person they knew with a stable marriage. Why did it have to be her. 'Look I can't just drop everything. It's Caleb's birthday and I've got all that to deal with. I can come down in two days. You can keep it together for that long.'
Her soon to be sister-in-law laughed lightly. 'It's not us we're worried about.'
Mer chuckled himself. 'John said we we're giving the whole base the creeps. He thinks we should be at each others necks shouting, but neither of us can think of a reason why. '
Jeannie knew what he was going to say and it was truly terrifying. 'We might not be ready but we can take care of it, together.' her bother said deadly serious. It was worse than she thought, Mer really was in love.
Jennie was certain somewhere out there the devil had just bought a pair of ice skates
End Chapter Three