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"You showed Jeannie the message I recorded," Rodney says, it's not an accusation, just a statement, but John can't tell if he's angry or not.

"Thank you," Rodney surprises him by saying it, pulling him into a even more surprising hug that only last seconds but leaves John with the impressions of Rodney's arms around him all day.

*~*~*~*~*

Eight months later, when Rodney gets a letter from Jeannie via the Daedalus that she's pregnant, John is the first person Rodney tells. John thinks it's nice, it's like somehow he's become an honorary member of the McKay family, even if he's never quite sure why, he didn't think showing Jeannie the message was *that* big a deal, but Rodney obviously did, since he always shares his news from home with John and John is always glad to hear it.

He finds himself sometimes wishing he had a sister, but then he's kind of glad he doesn't, when Rodney invites him home with him, for Christmas, when Jeannie is due to give birth to her baby. He thinks he'd rather spend the holiday with Rodney's family than the imaginary one he's sometimes dreamed off.

Rodney and Jeannie bicker, and Caleb and John bond over how hard it is living with a genius, it occurs to John sometime in the second week they are there, that Caleb thinks Rodney and John are more than just friends and strangely, he doesn't mind it so much.

*~*~*~*~*

Another year flies by, fighting the wraith and more than once, it's been a close call, they'd finally found another ZPM and Rodney is confident they'll soon be able to make their own, when the message comes from Jeannie, Caleb has been killed and she needs her big brother. Rodney doesn't waste a second in grabbing John and rushing to her side.

For a month, John takes care of Madison and Brendan while Rodney takes care of Jeannie and when she manages to get things back on track, she moves with the kids to Colorado, working at Stargate Command. Being a mother still comes first with her, but she can't feed them on fresh air and the SGC is supportive of her family live. She and Rodney get to work as closely together as being in different galaxies will allow and John thinks Rodney is happier than he's ever been.

It occurs to John the first night they get back to Atlantis, that maybe he's the happiest he's ever been too, when Rodney wraps himself around him and they fall asleep Rodney's heart beating against his back.

*~*~*~*~*

It's almost four years later, when John and Rodney make it back to earth for more than few days, since Caleb died. With the ability to make their own ZPM's they can now go back and forward at will.

Jeannie has married again and Rodney's is at least pleased that this time, her husband eats meat. Having Cameron Mitchell as a brother-in-law... sort of... is amusing and John and he bond while Rodney and Jeannie argue over is Brendan is old enough for a chemistry set. Rodney looses, but he is allowed to buy his nephew a bike and that seems to satisfy him.

John proposes to Rodney their last night on Earth and after an alarming few minutes when Rodney was freaking out in spectacular McKay fashion, Rodney says yes. Actually what he says is, "Of course I'll marry you, you idiot, like there was any doubt!" but it's a nice sentiment just the same and they tell Jeannie the next morning before they leave, promising she'll get live video feed of the wedding.

*~*~*~*~*

The next time they make it back, is almost two years later, just after Jeannie has her third child, her first with Cameron, a little boy that Jeannie announces they are calling Rodney John Mitchell. Both men blush brightly and announce they have a little surprise of their own, a bouncing six month old girl, by the name of Caitlin.

"Teyla was our surrogate," John explains and Jeannie coos over her niece, and John and Cameron bond over being new fathers. John warns Cameron that McKay babies get their teeth early and know how to bite.

*~*~*~*~*

When Caitlin is two and both John and Rodney feel they are getting too old for fieldwork, they move back to Earth, in a nice little place near the SGC where they both still work and Rodney and Jeannie get even closer, if it's possible.

They talk all day at work and still can hardly be separated when it's time for bed. They spend days out with the kids and John and Cameron spend many an evening kicking back beers and playing in the pool with the kids while Jeannie and Rodney pour over equations. Sometimes, Rodney even asks John to help, but he kind of likes to let them figure it out alone.

*~*~*~*~*

It's a good life, a happy, normal, or at least what passes for normal most days, comfortable life. They have family barbeques and take the kids to Disney world and the past seems very far away, like maybe Rodney and Jeannie didn't not talk for four years and maybe John and Rodney hadn't almost died at the hands of the Wraith and maybe Cameron hadn't only barely survived the Ori invasion, but that stuff is all yesterdays news and today is a good day to be alive and be them. And John and Rodney watch with pride as their little girl and their nephew receive their PhD's.

Yep, life was good.


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