More Than Words – Part Six

– – – –

One Month Later

“In other news, Gerald McCray has been formally named in an investigation by the Department of Justice in a large insider trading ring that has so far netted fifteen high level executives in various technology and research companies around the country. He is the fifth executive from Pan-Tech to be named in the investigation. Pan-Tech made headlines earlier in the month when it’s CEO, Darren Franks, was found dead in his Florida home, the victim of an apparent home invasion. No suspects have been identified in that crime and investigators haven’t been forthcoming on any evidence left at the scene.”

Rodney turned off the television in his office and turned in his chair to look at John. “Well?”

“We have four left. What does your gut tell you?”

“Armand went to ground shortly after the Justice Department picked up the investigation I fed them. I consider him a high level threat. Once we get a location on him, I want him dealt with.”

“Not a problem.” John murmured. “Anyone else?”

“None of the others have the finances or the intelligence to pull off anything I would consider a threat but I’m keeping an eye on them. I have a few friends that will make getting financed for anything difficult for them in the future.”

John walked to stand by the large window that made up the back wall of Rodney’s office and watched Sebastian rough housing in the pool with Matthew and Cameron. “I hate her for not telling me about him. If I’d known… I would’ve come for him when she died and he wouldn’t have ended up in that fucking foster home with that bastard.”

“I know.”

“He’s getting what he needs from Kate Heightmeyer or do we need to find someone who specializes in sexual trauma?” John asked, his voice breaking on the last word. “Because I don’t want him to let this shit eat him from the inside out. He deserves better.”

“They have a good relationship. If she felt she wasn’t reaching him; she would have referred us to someone else by now.”

“Do you think there is anything else lurking?” John rubbed his face. “I know we agreed in the beginning not to pry into his sessions with Heightmeyer, I did that because I wanted him to feel safe telling her anything. Was that a mistake?”

“No, I don’t think so. I think we would be in a very different place if he didn’t trust us all to keep our word. He needs desperately to trust the adults in his life.”

“Like you?” John asked quietly. “Would it have helped you?”

Rodney cleared his throat, caught off guard by the question. John was one of the few people that never really probed into his childhood. They’d had long conversations but always because he began them. “Yeah, it would have helped a lot if I’d had someone I could depend on… someone that would be honest with me and keep me safe. I don’t remember feeling safe as a child—or loved. I really never believed my mother loved me; because surely if she’d loved me she would have defended me. I guess there was too much pain between us for anything more than forgiveness in the end.”

“Is that why you never get pissed off when I…” John waved his hand. “Most men of your position and power would be a little pissed at the high handed way I treat you when I perceive a threat. You’ve never once accused me of treating you like I thought you were weak or defenseless.”

“You don’t think I’m weak or defenseless,” Rodney murmured. “But you’re right; I don’t get pissed when you defend me or seek to protect me. I hesitate to say that I’ve come to expect it but it’s true. I expect you to shelter me, protect me… and I’m sure Kate would have a field day with that little bit of information.”

“Do you think that makes our relationship a little fucked up?”

Rodney laughed. “Well, we’re both pretty fucked up so I’d say it’s okay if we’re fucked up together, too. You’re the only person I’d want to be fucked up with.”

John grinned and shook his head. “Such a romantic.”

“That’s me,” Rodney murmured as he moved to stand with him. He stared out the window for a few seconds and then sighed. “Why do I get the impression that he’s more mature than those two?”

“Because he’s better at prime/not prime than Cameron and Matt combined?” John chuckled when Rodney snorted his agreement. He turned to sit on the window seal and pulled McKay to stand between his legs. “Since Williams hasn’t backed off and Manning is still granting television interviews, I’m left to assume they think they can get some money out of us now that their other source has dried up.”

“If we got all of them,” Rodney said. “I’m not sure that we did.”

“You think the CIA failed to give you a complete list?”

“I think he gave me all he had. He was afraid to do otherwise; but that doesn’t mean there aren’t players that no one is really aware of. The Trust is more than just a technology terrorist cell. They have a foundation that feels old and empowered. I’m still doing research but I’m beginning to wonder if they just weren’t a branch of something bigger and uglier.”

“Like what?”

Rodney frowned and toyed with John’s dog tags for a minute before answering. “Did you know my father is a Mason?”

John shook his head. “No, I had no clue.”

“I always thought they were something of a cult to be honest. There are other fraternal organizations, of course, created for the powerful and the intellectual. Secret societies seem to flourish in times like ours, when secrets equal power and money.”

“Like Skull and Bones.”

Rodney snorted. “No, nothing so moronic as that. I mean real power—the power that makes a man the leader of a world power. The kind of power that manipulates kings and creates powerful political organizations that can’t be reasoned with or bargained with.”

“You think the Trust is something like that?”

“I think the Trust itself were small men playing in a very big game. They called themselves patriots but they are really power hungry isolationists. They might as well be stock piling weapons on a mountain in Kentucky and taunting the FBI with hate mail. That being said there is something insidious and dangerous lurking in their dealings that I can’t put my finger on.”

“Do you think they still have a foot in the SGC?”

“No, if they did they wouldn’t have started this mess with Sebastian and Susan Manning. They would have found away to get access to Sebastian without causing a big public fight.”

– – – –

“I’ve reviewed the questions you’ve submitted for the interview and while I don’t agree with all of them—I haven’t struck any from the conversation.” John leaned back in his chair and regarded Iris March with a small frown. “You were very intuitive and kind when you interviewed Dr. McKay and myself. I trust you’ll do the same with our child. While neither one of us will be on camera this time; we will be monitoring the interview and will stop it if we feel you’ve gone too far or if he becomes upset.”

“I understand, General Sheppard, trust me when I say that I’ll do my best to keep the interview up beat and focused on his present circumstances. Your goal for this interview couldn’t be more clear.” Iris glanced around the office she’d been ushered into once she’d entered the McKay-Sheppard home and nodded. “In here?”

“Actually, out on the deck. He said he didn’t want to be inside for this.”

“That’s great. You have a beautiful property. It will do good to highlight the home Sebastian has with you here.” She stood and walked to the large window. “I’ll do my best to make this interview painless and vivid, General. I, for one, happen to believe that he’s your son and that he belongs with you. I know the public opinions on this issue haven’t been great and he’s so called Aunt has been stirring the conservative pot into a frenzy. We’ll do our best to put that in its proper place.”

“Thank you.” John cleared his throat. “I don’t know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything.” Iris pursed her lips briefly. “You saved my life. You’ve saved the life of every person on this planet and no matter how ungrateful they are – you’ll do it again in the future. We have so many things coming at us at once and I don’t think most of the people out there even get that. I’m pitching a series about the SGC to my producers and I’d like to do profiles on the crew of the Phoenix after you announce the mission roster. I think the people deserve to know who is going to be risking their lives to save us from the Ori and the Wraith.”

John smiled. “I forgive you for almost making me cry.”

She laughed. “Well, I forgive you for making me cry. It was the hardest interview I’ve ever done in my life. I can’t even watch it and it won me an Emmy.” Her mouth thinned to an almost frown. “You know his father contacted me and tried to get me to interview him as a rebuttal.”

“I didn’t know.”

“It happened while you were missing.” Iris shrugged. “I won’t repeat what I said to him, I try not to say those words in every day conversation.”

– – – –

“Tell me about your Dads. You know the stuff no one knows.”

Sebastian laughed. “You mean like how they both like blueberry poptarts for breakfast?”

“Yeah.” Iris smiled. “Stuff like that.”

“Neither are even human before a half a pot of coffee but the General likes to pretend he doesn’t even drink the stuff.” Sebastian swung a foot as he talked. “They both suck at Halo, and if I have to play video golf on the Wii one more time I might go on strike. Everyone in the family is addicted to video golf but me—even Aunt Jeannie plays it.”

“Tell me about your Aunt Jeannie.”

“She’s an engineer. A brilliant one. She designed and is overseeing the construction of the orbital defense platforms the SGC is launching. Two of the four platforms are already in orbit. My cousin, Madison, and I got a tour of the first one last month and it was very cool.”

“Does she live here?”

“No, not in this house but my Dads are building her a house on the property. We have about eighty acres so there is plenty of room and it would be nice if Madi was close by.”

“Your Aunt Jeannie recently got engaged.”

“Yeah, to Dr. Radek Zelenka. He’s a mechanical engineer at the SGC and he’s worked with my Dad, Dr. McKay, for like ten years. They’re very good friends, which is good since he’ll be family soon enough.” Sebastian raised one eyebrow and offered her a small smile. “My Uncle David is engaged to be married, too. Getting married is practically contagious around here.”

“Yes, the New York Times reported his engagement to Dr. Jennifer Keller several weeks ago. How well do you know her?”

“She’s my personal physician and she’s very smart. It’s nice to be around people who understands what it’s like to be really smart at a young age. Dr. Keller was getting ready for medical school when she was my age. I don’t have to pretend to be a stupid little kid around her.”

Iris laughed. “I see and you have in the past?”

“Yeah, it was easier when I was younger to pretend I was normal. Adults didn’t treat me like a freak if they thought I wasn’t any different than any other kid they knew. My mom was great and I miss her a great deal but there were people in her life that never accepted me for what I was. She tried really hard for me but she didn’t have a great support network.”

“And you have that here with your Dads?”

“Yeah, they both expect me to perform at my highest level. I don’t have to pretend to not understand something just so everyone else will be comfortable around me. All of my family accepts me for who I am. My Dads are in a position to really indulge my educational needs and that’s something my mom always struggled to provide for me. I think she would be relieved and thrilled to know that if I tell my Dads I want to study stellar drift over the last fifteen thousand years… that within the week there will be a construction crew on hand building me my own personal telescope for the project.”

“Some might say that makes you spoiled.”

“Yeah, well, and some people might say that I’m being corrupted living with two gay men. Like my Dad, Dr. McKay, would say—I try not to waste time thinking about what idiots may or may not say about me.” He glanced at his Dads who were just off to the left of the camera and found McKay grinning. “I may get more material things than the average kid in this country but if I’m spoiled it’s not because of those things but because they love me and accept me for who I am.”

“And that’s what matters to you?”

“Yes, it’s really the only thing that matters. Granted, it’s great living in this stupidly big house and life is an adventure around here—but I would be just as happy with them if they were every day guys and we lived in a regular house with a postage stamp backyard. This window dressing is great but it’s the people that live here that make this my home.”

“Do you want to talk about the upcoming custody hearing?”

“Not particularly but people expect it, right?”

“Right.”

“I’ve met Dr. Susan Manning once my whole life and that was only recently. She was rude, insulting to my fathers and my mother. I think she wants money. After all, I didn’t notice her coming to my rescue when I spent six months in foster care—yet all these months later when I’ve got billionaire parents—she comes out of nowhere and tries to make a claim on me. It’s ridiculous and she isn’t even a blood relative. My grandmother was married to her father for barely six months—I don’t think that makes much of a familial relationship.”

“And Mark Williams?”

“I’ve seen the DNA results—I know who my father is and even if I hadn’t—my mother told me that my father was John Sheppard and I believe her.”

“And his claims that the results were faked and you’re being kept from him like some kind of government conspiracy?”

“Yeah, okay and aliens really crashed landed in Roswell, Jesus Christ Ascended, the Moon landing was faked, the USS Eldridge really did disappear, and the second shooter on the grassy knoll was a Goa’uld. Seriously?” He sighed. “My mother was a brilliant woman and she would have never wasted her time with a man like Mark Williams. She valued intelligence and a good work ethic. Also, we lived basically fifteen miles from Mr. Williams nearly the entire time my mom was alive and he never once made an appearance. For the record, neither Dr. Manning or Mr. Williams showed up for my mother’s funeral. Which made local headlines because of the accident. There were news crews all over the scene because I was trapped in the car for a couple of hours. Neither of them could have missed the coverage of the accident or of the fact that I was orphaned in that accident.”

“So you think he’s interested in money as well?”

“I don’t know what his game is. I think he believes my Dads will pay him off to go away.”

“You don’t believe in pulling your punches, do you?”

“My Dads said I could say whatever I wanted during this interview and besides I figure you’ll edit anything out that makes anyone important uncomfortable.”

Iris grinned. “Actually, no, I don’t think I could stand to edit you at all. You know, I interviewed your fathers.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen it. I watched it while I was in foster care. You were pretty tough on them.”

“Yeah, I was,” Iris admitted. “Do you want to talk about foster care?”

“Not really. It wasn’t a great time and I got moved around a lot. The system isn’t designed to take care of kids—it’s designed to put kids out of sight so people don’t have to think about them. Every house I was in besides the last one had at least ten kids crammed into them. None of them were great situations and I never felt safe. It was pretty hard to go from being the center of my mom’s world to being one of ten kids shoved into a three bedroom house where I was lucky if no one noticed me during the day.”

“Things were rough, then.”

“Very. The best I could hope for was to be ignored because when I wasn’t ignored by the other kids—I usually went to bed with bruises. I think the foster care system is a lot like prison—kids go in pretty messed up and come out completely messed up. I don’t even want to know what kind of person I would have become if I hadn’t escaped it.”

“Not much has been said about how you were reunited with your father. Would you like to talk about that?”

“The state sold off my mother’s estate and never looked up her will. I guess the original social worker for my case was either corrupt or lazy. I don’t know for sure. I was in a foster care home two hours after I was released from the hospital after the accident. No one believed me when I told them who my father was and I wasn’t given any opportunity to prove it. They figured I was lying because he was so famous.”

“Do you blame them?”

“Absolutely. It isn’t like it would have been difficult to prove or disprove and my mother’s will actually named him as my father and gave him custody. That I was put in the foster care system at all was gross negligence by the state of California. My Dads have given me the option of suing but I declined. I’d rather forget it ever happened.”

“Would you be interested in seeing new laws in place in this country when it comes to the governing of the foster care systems in individual states?”

“I think foster care should be federalized to be honest. Individual states—kids get lost in the system and bad parents move out of state to avoid inspections and follow up visits. If it were federalized they would have a harder time hiding and kids would get the help they need. But that won’t happen because, really, most politicians in this country are far more interested in their own bottom line. They’d rather line their own pockets and do their friends favors than really help people. Our homeless population, poor mental health care, and foster care systems speak to that. When I look at how this country treats the weakest members of society—I’m ashamed.”

“Aren’t you a little young to be worried about such social problems?”

“Well, I can only spend so much time worrying about the defensive capabilities of my Lego castle.” He flushed. “Sorry, that was snide. Dr. Lam said I shouldn’t be snarky during the interview.”

“Caroline Lam, the Chief Medical Officer of the SGC. She’s dating Admiral Sheppard, is that correct?”

“That’s what the tabloids are saying,” Sebastian said dryly. “It would be rude to comment on my Granddad’s personal life when he’s made no personal announcements of his own. Just because he’s the Director of the Home World Security doesn’t mean that his private life should be fodder for everyone’s entertainment.” He grinned. “Still, she’s pretty amazing for someone with access to abnormally large needles so if he is dating her—I’ve surely got the coolest granddad on the planet.”

“Are you worried about the upcoming custody hearing?”

“No, not at all.”

“Why?”

“My Dads promised me everything would be okay and I believe them.”

“That simple?”

“Yeah, that simple. They make promises to the whole planet nearly every day and keep them—so yeah I can take them at their word. Even before I came here, before they even knew I existed I trusted them to do the right thing. There are a lot of people who complain about my Dads being gay, about having me, about being in the positions they are in because they are gay—whatever. Those same people wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for people like my Dads and everyone else at the SGC. You have politicians on Capitol Hill screaming about full disclosure and the World Protection Act and ten years of classified missions—and not a single one of them even stops to think about all the people that sacrificed themselves to keep us safe during those ten years.”

“You find that frustrating?”

“I’m not saying they don’t have the right to complain about what ever petty little thing they want to – but it would be polite to at least acknowledge that they wouldn’t even be here to complain if it weren’t for my Dads, who have both nearly sacrificed their own lives to quite literally save the planet in the past. Two hundred and forty-six men and women have died defending the Stargate and Earth—the media never talks about them. Seventy-six people are going on the Atlantis mission, they are leaving their families and friends behind all in an endeavor to keep the rest of us safe—and there are people protesting at the White House about the expense of the Stargate Program. It’s like they simply don’t get the fact that we’d all be dead inside six months if the Stargate Program was shut down.”

“Some might say that your statement proves you’re exposed to situations and circumstances too advanced for your age.”

“I’ve an IQ of 227, Ms. March. I started worrying about global warming when I was four. My age is… inconsequential. Anyone who watches CNN has been exposed in-depth to the problems we face as a planet. I watched my father be fed on by a Wraith on national television. Every time I closed my eyes for two months I saw that monster in my head. I’m pretty sure half the country had the same problem—you’d have to have a functioning IQ of an apple not to be freaked out and concerned about the Wraith.”

“227.” She swallowed hard. “What does that mean?”

“Depends on the test actually. Most anyone over 200 falls into the category of “unmeasureable genius” and are in the top one percent of the population. People like Dr. Stephen Hawking, Dr. Charles Eppes, and Dr. McKay. Dr. McKay is quite literally the smartest man on the planet. His IQ has been officially measured at 230 and a test when he was an undergrad at North Western put him at 252, but he doesn’t claim that score. Hawking is estimated between 180 and 210. Eppes tested at 220 when he was twelve and has refused testing since. Most assume his is actually much higher. Mozart supposedly averaged in the 160s, Newton around 190, da Vince is estimated to be around 220, and Galileo is suspected to have been in the upper 180s. I’ve had four IQ tests that I actually took seriously. I scored from 227 to 245 but I’ve always discounted the highest of them because it skewed high. The examiner got very excited and as a result I don’t think the final score was valid.”

“So, you’re a genius.”

“Yeah, something like that.” He offered her a sly grin when she laughed. “If the looks and money hold out—I’ll be dangerous when I’m all grown up.”

She blushed. “You’re dangerous already.” Relaxing in her chair, Iris checked her questions list. “Speaking of growing up—what do you want to do? Are you thinking of following in your parents footsteps?”

“I’ve got some time to consider that. I’m fairly certain I’ll have my first PhD before I can even legally vote. That will open up my options considerably. I’d like to build ships which means degrees in Aeronautical Engineering, Astrophysics, and Mechanical Engineering at the very least. I also think considering Biochemical Engineering. Our technology has had a few leaps due to the Stargate program but that doesn’t mean we should content ourselves to with technology we can find. It’s important to keep striving for our own advancements and our own technologies. My Dad’s work on the Phoenix highlights that. While it is a meld of Asgard, Ancient, and even Goa’uld technologies—it is also an immense feat of human engineering. The hyperspace engines on the Phoenix are our first foray into that kind of technology. That’s the kind of work I want to do.”

“So you’re excited about Atlantis coming to Earth?”

“I can’t wait to meet her. It’s hard to imagine a flying city but I’ve seen video footage of her like everyone else. She’s the technological touchstone of an advanced and long gone race—the epitome of their technology. That kind of advancement, it’s stunning. To think the city even survived after being abandoned for ten thousand years. Nothing we’ve built here on Earth could stand that kind of test of time. It says a lot about the Ancients and about what they were able to achieve before they gave up living in favor Ascension.”

“There are several large religious groups on Earth currently seeking Ascension—you believe they are giving up on living?”

“I think Ascension cults are seeking nothing more than organized, ritual suicide. It’s not honorable, noble, or even enlightened as far as I’m concerned. Ascension should be the last act of a vigorous and fulfilling life– not something you seek in your youth. The average age of an Ascension cult member is only thirty. It’s entirely selfish to seek a spiritual death when your mortal body is still healthy.”

“Do you think your mother’s death has colored your view on this subject?”

“Of course, but it doesn’t make my opinion any less valid. In fact, I have to say that if she’d chosen death over life with me I’d pretty irritated. She didn’t choose and it’s something I live with everyday but at least she didn’t leave me on purpose.”

Iris signaled to her camera man and offered Sebastian a smile after she was given a thumbs up. “Okay, we’re going to take a small break and then I have one final question for you. Is that cool?”

“Yep.” Sebastian shot up out of the chair. “Half hour?”

“Yes, that works.” She watched with dark eyes as he darted into the house and then focused on Sheppard and McKay. They both looked like coiled vipers sitting across the deck in a large lounge chair. Sheppard rolled to his feet as she cleared her throat. “He’s not what I expected.”

John laughed. “No? I imagine quite a few people will find him a surprise.”

She waved a hand. “I mean, I knew he was smart because of that Millennium Problem thing but when I watched him on Ellen he just seemed like any other little kid except he was smart enough to win a million dollars and then selfless enough to give it away.” Iris stood and stretched. “I’ve had heads of state who didn’t put me through my paces like that.”

Rodney snorted.

“It’s true,” she protested. “Though not nearly as trying as interviewing the two of you. People ask me all the time how I managed to come out of that interview without a few war wounds.” She grinned when they both laughed. “Regardless, he’s done a great job and I think you’re right—no one is really prepared for what he is when he doesn’t hide his intelligence behind a little kid smirk.” Pausing, she considered her next words carefully and then took a deep breath. “Also, I think anyone who believes he’ll be easily manipulated will be disabused of that notion once they’ve seen him in this interview. I’ve never met a more savvy kid in my life.”

– – – –

Sebastian leaned against the closed refrigerator and emptied half the water bottle in long swallow. “I messed up.”

“Yeah?” Sean raised an eyebrow. “It sounded good to me.”

He shook his head and glanced towards the door as his Dads came in from the deck. They closed the door firmly behind him. “When she asked about Atlantis—I said I couldn’t wait to meet her like she was a person. That was a mistake.”

“Not a big one,” John murmured. “Only those who know Atlantis is sentient will get it. The SGC has always referred to the city as female and as if it were more than a piece of technology. Don’t worry about it.”

“Should we ask her to edit it out?” Sean asked.

“No,” Rodney murmured. “That would just draw attention to it and make her question why we’d want it edited out. I think it’s fine. The people who need to know about Atlantis’ AI already know and those who don’t really can’t do anything about it. It isn’t like the AI can be separated from the city—and the one time the IOA insisted it be tried they nearly blew up the city. She’s too valuable an asset to mess with.”

“They could make you try,” John murmured. “You or Miko.”

“Neither Miko or I would be successful – and I couldn’t condone the destruction of a fully functional, sentient artificial intelligence. She’s just as valuable as the city itself.” Rodney watched Sebastian finish off the water. “You’re doing well. She’s ready to continue if you are.”

Sebastian nodded. “Alright.”

He followed his fathers back out onto the deck and slid back into the chair in front of Iris March. She offered him her trademark, all shiny white smile and after a few seconds he watched her sort of ‘switch on’ her television personality. It was kind of disconcerting to watch her go from a normal woman to a bizarrely intense Barbara Walters clone.

“One final question, Sebastian, can you see a circumstance where you would live separately from your fathers and be happy?”

“No.”

“Not one?”

“No, not one and I’ve got a fairly good imagination. I went six months without my family and I’m not prepared to endure that again. I shouldn’t have to. I’ve already lost one parent; it wouldn’t be fair to take my Dads from me just because some misinformed, poorly educated woman has a problem with who they chose to love and marry.”

– – – –

John dropped back on the bed. “For the record, I think we need to do the DNA tests again because he is yours. Jesus, did he channel your attitude or is that just a gift of ‘unmeasureable genius’?”

Rodney chuckled. “Something like that. It’s good to see that his ego is healthy; he’s certainly suffered enough in the past year to put a healthy dent in him.” He pulled of his tie and tossed it on top of his jacket. “Why did we have to dress up for his interview when we weren’t even on camera?”

“Because we both know she caught us on camera several times during the tour of his rooms and stuff. You’re a scientist—you’re supposed to wear suits and stuff.”

“Whatever, you just like seeing me in this get up.”

“There is that,” John admitted with a grin. “I don’t suppose I could talk you into a uniform just for fun?”

“And I thought I had dog tag fever,” Rodney murmured with a sigh. “We meet with a judge in two weeks and that only gives us seven days after the interview airs. Do you think it’ll turn public opinion in our favor?”

“There are plenty of stupid people out there that aren’t going to change their minds—in fact they might see his intelligence and potential as a reason to ‘save’ him from us. But there are others who are going to see him for what he is—a kid who has already lost enough and doesn’t need to lose more.” John sat up and shrugged out of his own jacket. “But the lawyers have already said that the law is on our side. We’ve proven to the state of California that he is my biological child and Karen’s will was very specific about custody of Sebastian. Her ex-step-sister didn’t even warrant a single mention in the entire thing.”

“Yeah.”

– – – –

Jack O’Neill dropped the remote on the bed and shared a glance with his wife who had Jacob at her breast. It had never once crossed his mind that his brilliant and very active wife would chose to breast feed. Granted because there were two of them, they supplemented with formula which was cool because it enabled him to feed them as well. Meredith was asleep on his chest, her little body pliable and relaxed against him.

“I don’t want that for Jacob and Meredith,” Sam murmured. “But I don’t know we can avoid it.”

Jack sighed and nodded. He wondered if now was the time for him to tell her that there were people in Washington who wanted him to run for President. He’d been doing his damnedest to push them Patrick Sheppard’s way first because he figured that would give them a good sixteen years of control between the two of them. Long enough for Sebastian Sheppard to grow up. Long enough to secure the future of Atlantis and the SGC. To gather the world’s resources and prepare them for whatever else the Universe might want to throw at them.

The interview with Iris March had been startling and he was more than a little disturbed by it. “You think they’ll be smart like him?”

“Have you encountered a gene carrier that wasn’t profoundly talented in one way or another?” Sam asked. “I mean, even the ones that respond to the treatment are physically or mentally superior to just about everyone else they encounter. John’s gifts, like yours, are in leadership and charisma. Matthew Sheppard is one of the most gifted pilots anyone has ever seen. We’ve yet to put his ass down in a craft that he can’t fly. Did you see what he did with that Death Glider that Teal’c brought home last month?”

“Yeah.” Jack chuckled. “He had quite a few people beside themselves with envy over that—including his own brother. John loves to fly—is a gifted pilot but his baby brother puts us all to shame. That kid should have been born with wings.”

“So, yeah, I think they’ll stand out—they’ll make their mark on the program in one way or another.” She rubbed Jacob’s back as she spoke. “I just don’t want them to be constantly under threat, Jack. How do we fix that?”

“I think Sheppard and McKay are doing all they can to make it clear that children are not fair game. Anyone who doesn’t understand will learn their lesson the hard way.” Jack cleared his throat. “I won’t let anyone hurt them, Sam. I want you to believe that. We’ll leave Earth first.”

Sam’s mouth dropped open briefly and then she nodded. “There is something… Sheppard and McKay have a plan for that don’t they?”

“Yes and we’re on the list for evacuation if it comes to it. Anything that would be a threat to Sebastian would eventually be a threat to Jacob and Meredith.” Jack took a deep breath. “We’ve done a discreet head count of those who would go with us—currently we would fill the Phoenix to capacity. The plan will be reworked once Atlantis is here.”

“We aren’t going to land her, are we?”

“That will depend on her. Atlantis will make the determination as to whether or not she will land on the surface. By the time anyone realizes that she’s not just some piece of technology but a living, sentient city—it’ll be too late for anyone to do anything about it,” Jack explained.

“The IOA managed to keep that secret; did you ever wonder why the individual members didn’t share that information with their leaders?”

“Because it would have made it clear how little control we actually have over the most advanced piece of technology we know to exist.” Jack patted Meredith when she stirred against him. He nodded towards the television where he’d paused the interview of Sebastian Sheppard. “Do you think he’s okay? I mean, life hasn’t been good to that kid.”

“I think he’s in the best place he could be to be happy,” Sam murmured. “We can’t take back all the horrible things that happened to him—but we can protect him from further harm the best we can, Jack. That’s all anyone can do. He’s a brilliant child and one day he will be a brilliant man—a man shaped by two of the bravest and best people we know.”

– – – –

Two Weeks Later

“Your Honor, my client contends that neither Dr. McKay or General Sheppard are proper role models for her sister’s son and that his potential and his money will be squandered in their care.”

Rodney pulled out his Blackberry as he listened to the lawyer continue to make it clear that their amoral and decadent life style would only lead to ruin and then cleared his throat when the lawyer stopped speaking. “Our current net worth is 9.8 billion dollars. Sebastian’s trust fund has tripled, due to proper investments, since his legal adoption. I fail to see how we could possibly be squandering money. I should point out that even if John were to lose physical custody of his son—Karen Reilly’s will was specific about who would administer and control his trust fund until he reached the age of eighteen.” His own lawyer tried to shush him once and earned himself a death glare as a result. “Also, I can’t see how a woman who has had no less than five sexual affairs in the past three years can even attempt to sit in judgment of our relationship. At least we understand what it means to be faithful.”

John bit back a laugh and the judge cleared his throat.

“Dr. McKay!”

“I apologize, your Honor, if I spoke out of turn,” Rodney murmured not bothering to look contrite.

“Very well,” the Judge muttered dryly. “Mr. Colm, as it was made clear before this hearing—General Sheppard’s homosexual relationship is not grounds for removing his parental rights. Dr. Manning is not a blood relation and has had no role in the child’s life up to this point. In speaking in private with Sebastian, it is clear to me that he happy and well adjusted to his life with General Sheppard and Dr. McKay. I’ve reviewed the reports from both psychologists who interviewed the child and the social worker assigned to the case. There is, at this point, no reason to go to trial.”

“They intend to abandon him within the next six months!” Susan Manning tried to stand up from her chair but her lawyer clamped one hand down on her arm and she reconnected with her chair. “What kind of parents does that make them?”

“General Sheppard?”

“My job is not without risk and the mission to Atlantis, while vital to the security of this planet, is a very dangerous one. We’ve made arrangements and contingencies for Sebastian in case we are unable to return for him. His future and his physical security is assured. My father and my brother David will be remaining on Earth. They are our first and second choices for custody of Sebastian in the event of our deaths. He won’t be subjected to the foster care system again.”

“Do you believe that is enough, sir?” The judge asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No parent can promise to live forever, Your Honor. I did promise, however, that I would do everything in my power to keep the Wraith from culling Earth. I made that promise to him and everyone else on this planet. He understands duty.”

“So do I, General.” The judge met John’s gaze solidly. “The court is satisfied with John Sebastian Sheppard, Jr.’s current custodial arrangements.” He focused on Susan Manning. “The child has suffered a great deal in the last year and does not need to face such circumstances again in the future. Further legal action on your part won’t be met with tolerance by this court, Dr. Manning. Furthermore, I was asked to inform you that he personally declined any contact with you in the future. He finds you disagreeable and your intolerance towards his parent’s relationship makes him very uncomfortable. He went so far as to say that the one and only visit he suffered with you felt abusive.”

“He is my sister’s child!”

“Ex-step-sister,” Rodney retorted and then held up a hand in apology when the judge offered him a practiced glare.

“Dr. Karen Reilly’s will was very clear on the custody of her child. Even if John Sheppard wasn’t his biological father, I would be disinclined to deny her wishes concerning her son.” The judge relaxed back in his chair. “Now, I’ve agreed to this private meeting rather than a formal hearing due to the sensitive nature of General Sheppard and Dr. McKay’s work situations. The Pentagon let me know that the President expressed his deep concern about this matter and how it is negatively impacting their work. You can imagine I was encouraged to see this matter closed today.”

“I won’t be bullied and I’m entitled…”

“You aren’t entitled to a damn thing!” John snapped and stood abruptly. “Jesus, lady, you didn’t even bother to attend her funeral and you can’t tell me you didn’t know she was dead because I’ll never believe that.”

“General Sheppard, please sit.” The judge pointed at the chair. “I realize this situation is stressful but I believe it is in everyone’s best interest if we try to maintain a civil conversation.” He waited until John was seated. “I won’t be bullied either, Dr. Manning, and if I believed for a second that Sebastian would be better off in your care nothing on this planet would stop me from doing my own duty. As it stands, he wants nothing to do with you and you aren’t entitled to anything where he is concerned. As it stands there is no reason whatsoever to go to trial. Period. Your complaint is dismissed.”

– – – –

Ian Wilkes leaned back against the wall and let his hand rest almost casually on his P-90. The small hallway where they were stationed was cut off from the public and from the press that had gathered around the front of the building hoping to get a shot at Sheppard or McKay coming out of the private custody hearing. Sebastian had been briefly in chambers with the judge by himself and then he’d come out as everyone else was called in.

“It’ll be fine.”

Sebastian looked up from his eBook reader and then gave an abrupt nod. “I know. They won’t let her take me—no matter what the judge might say. I’m not worried.”

“No?” Jimmy questioned from his place in the chair beside him. “Because you look a little nervous.”

“The judge asked some pretty messed up questions,” Sebastian admitted. “And it’s not very cool knowing that Dr. Manning only wants me so she’ll been in a position of power over my Dads. Power and money.”

“Makes the world go round,” Ian muttered.

“Not cool though,” Sebastian responded. “There is so much out there people should be worrying about instead of petty power games. I don’t get it.”

“Good, you’re better off if you don’t.” Jimmy stood up and walked down to the end of the hall and then gave Ian a brief nod before he turned the corner to finish doing his sweep of the area.

“So,” Sebastian offered the Air Force offer a grin. “Are you hooking up with him? ‘Cause it looks like you are.”

“We’re just friends.”

“Oh yeah?” Sebastian raised an eyebrow. “How come you look at him like McKay looks at the General when he thinks no one is paying attention to him. You know… besotted.

Ian scowled at him. “Are you reading romance novels? You know that stuff will rot your big brain, Junior.”

Sebastian laughed. “Oh come on, you’d have to blind not to miss it and I’m not blind.” He straightened up as Jimmy came back around the corner.

“Any reporters break through the line?” Ian asked, shooting Sebastian a pointed look.

“Nah, the building security is doing a good job of maintaining the perimeter we requested.” Jimmy claimed a spot of wall a few feet down from Ian and frowned at the two of them. “What are you two talking about?”

“Nothing,” Ian responded immediately and then both soldiers straightened away from the wall as the door opened and everyone but the judge spilled out. Ian moved to stand between Sebastian and Manning without hesitation.

“This isn’t over,” she snapped, her glare fixed on Sheppard and McKay.

“It’d better be,” John responded. “Take a look around, Dr. Manning, I think you’ll find that you’re short on rich and powerful benefactors. Whoever is left won’t be there for long and you might want to ask yourself why.”

She flushed. “Are you threatening me, General Sheppard?”

“No. A threat would be me telling you that if you ever come near my son again I’ll kill you. That would be a threat.” He watched the color drain out of her face. “Martinson, signal for transport and make sure our exit is still secure. Wilkes, on McKay’s six.”

– – – –

John slid up onto a bar stool beside Mark Williams and signaled the bartender. He waited until a glass of bourbon slid into place in front of him before speaking.

“You won’t get paid now.”

Williams snorted. “Seems like there are a few people still left around to pay me to make a mess or alternately not to make a mess.”

“You think I’ll pay you to go away?”

“I think you’re little fag husband will.”

John tossed back the bourbon and then set the glass aside. “There isn’t a circumstance on Earth where I would request or allow McKay to pay you off. You’re going to announce that we’ve had a private meeting and DNA tests were done that proved without a doubt that you are not his biological father. If you don’t, I’m going to kill you.”

“You think you can get away with it?”

“I know I can.” John slid off the stool and tossed a twenty on the bar. “In fact, it wouldn’t take much at all for me to get you labeled a threat to national security. Blackmailing a man of my position… that’s a stupid situation for a man to get himself in.”

“He should have been mine. She should have been mine and I would have… Karen wouldn’t even give me the time of day after you left.”

“That had nothing to do with me and everything to do with you. Karen never had any use for men who were going nowhere fast.” John stared at the man that really could have almost passed for one of his brothers. The resemblance was startling. “Go away, Williams, and leave my son alone. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Manning—whatever you thought you were going to get, it’s not going to happen now. And frankly there isn’t enough money or power on this planet for you to risk keeping me as an enemy.” He leaned in, held the other man’s gaze with little effort. “Your life has no value to me and I won’t hesitate ending it. Remember that.”

– – – –

“Done?” Rodney asked neutrally as John pulled off his watch and dropped it into a large bowl on their dresser. His headset, Blackberry, and various objects from his pockets followed.

“I think so. I don’t want to kill the man, contrary to what anyone might believe killing isn’t something I enjoy,” John rubbed both hands over his face. “But, I won’t tolerate his interference. Sebastian doesn’t deserve it and frankly I saved the whole fucking planet so I don’t deserve it either.”

Rodney sighed. “No, and not just because you saved the planet.” He sat down on a bench pressed up against the end of their bed and toed off his shoes. “Cambridge wants to schedule the presentation. They’ve been on the phone with Sean all day about it. The interview with him went over very well with a lot of people and the public is fascinated by him.”

“That’s horrible,” John admitted roughly. “He’ll never have any kind of normal life, Mer.”

“He never was going to have much of a normal life, John. Not ever. People like us… like me… we don’t get normal. In fact, what we usually get is so far from normal that insanity is our only escape from it. It’s hardly any wonder some of the most brilliant people in our history were insane by their forties. He has good coping skills and is fairly good at self-analysis… but in different circumstances he could have shattered under the weight of his potential.”

“Like you? Could you shatter under yours?”

“Oddly enough I think my father is the reason I didn’t.” Rodney shrugged when John glared at him. “Just surviving him was all the training I needed for life. I learned to hide, to lie, and to manipulate at his knee. I knew early on what buttons to push to make him so furious he couldn’t breathe and how to derail him without uttering a single word. I’m not saying we had any sort of equal relationship but by the time I was ten years old I knew he was a mentally ill man and I took advantage of that often. Playing on his fears and his hatreds became almost second nature to me, to this day I don’t know why he didn’t kill me before I reached adulthood. I really don’t.”

John grimaced and tried to push the image of Scott McKay out of his head. He didn’t need to think about Rodney’s father right now. “How far are we on charging a ZPM?

“I could do it tomorrow,” Rodney admitted. “At least, we pretty sure we could do it tomorrow. I won’t know for certain until I actually do it. But the proof work is ready, the charging station is built and ready to be installed. It’s missing the control crystal that I have here.” He motioned towards their wall safe. “We’re ready to go when you and Jack are, John.”

“We’re going to schedule a trip to the lab. One where you’re going to submit a report that you want to test the charging station. In reality we’re going to charge all seven of the depleted ZPMs we have.”

“In secret?”

“The President is aware of the plan. Skeleton crew on the Phoenix. Radek and Sam only for the science team.” John sat down on the bench beside him and took a deep breath. “Put Cambridge off. Tell them that we don’t want him exposed to the public eye that way and that it’ll have to be later, after the press have calmed down a lot. They can publish the proof if they want but no public presentation.”

“He’ll be disappointed,” Rodney murmured. “It’s a huge accomplishment, John. He deserves the recognition of it.”

“He can complain about me in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech,” John muttered in return. He nudged McKay. “You can, too.”

Rodney laughed. “I’m not going to win this year.”

“I think you will and I’m not the only one who thinks so. You’ve changed our world, Mer, and it’s about time people recognize that.” John cleared his throat. “How about the planetary shield?”

“China is protesting the launch of the shield. They say it is an attempt on behalf of the United States government to control the world. That we’ll be using the shield to extort power from them.”

“The decision?”

“They can’t stop us and we can’t afford to leave portions of the planet unprotected. If we give the Wraith a single square inch of Earth—the battle will be on the ground before we even know what hit us and the civilian causalities will be in the millions. The UN approved the launch of the shield without China’s approval and have promised to defend it as a ‘world resource’ as part of the World Protection Pact.” Rodney waved a hand in disgust. “The only good part of the whole thing is that I’ve put the shield in between the planet and the orbital platforms. I told everyone that it was the only way the platforms could be effective. If they are inside the shield, their power will be reduced.”

“You can configure the shield to accept the platforms.”

“I’d rather not configure the shield to accept any sort of weapons fire if I can avoid it.” Rodney curled his toes into the carpet under his feet and glanced towards the door. “Locked?”

John chuckled. “Trying to get fresh with me, Dr. McKay?”

“Yes. Absolutely. We’re still newlyweds, you know. We should have sex a couple of times a day.”

“Let me check on Sebastian and security.” He stood and then leaned down. “You, get naked and wait for me.”

“You have the best plans,” Rodney confided against John’s mouth as he leaned down further and took a quick kiss.

– – – –

John checked with Declan first, as he encountered the man as he was heading towards Sean’s apartment. “Everything good?”

“We’re clear for the night, sir. Six men on station and four off-duty in the guard house. We cleared out two reporters on the front gate this afternoon but no one has been back.” Declan leaned against the wall by Sean’s door and rubbed the back of his head. “Anything I need to worry about?”

“Nah, I think I scared the hell out of anyone who might have had the interest in coming this way. That being said—I’ll take care of the bodies if you have to put anyone down.”

Declan nodded. “They’ll have to come through me to get near your son, John and it’s been a while since I’ve come across someone who could kick my ass.” He paused. “Present company excluded.”

John laughed. “I have an unfair advantage.” He looked toward Sebastian’s door. “I’m going to check in on him. Our door will be locked for a few hours so if he gets up; keep an eye on him.”

“Yeah, no problem.” Declan clicked his radio and gave a few abbreviated instructions that John didn’t bother to try to keep up with. The men on the property had a verbal short hand that was a mixture of communication styles that emerged when you had staff that crossed all four branches of the armed forces.

“The Secretary of Defense accused me of having a private army.”

Declan snorted. “At the most we might be categorized as a strike force. Granted with our cross section of skill sets—we’re pretty bad ass.”

John chuckled, thinking of the fifteen men they currently had on staff for security. Everyone of them could be vicious bastards when circumstances called for it. “Yeah, you are. Tell Sean that McKay will be up at the ass crack of dawn so he shouldn’t bother getting up until Sebastian does. We’ll probably be in the mountain for breakfast.”

“Yeah, no problem. I might have to tie him down to keep him in one place for that much time.”

John just laughed. “Over-share,” he called over his shoulder as he walked to Sebastian’s door.

He found Sebastian in his bathroom brushing his teeth more thoroughly than most adults he knew. Rodney had a few quirks—behavioral tics that John had noticed early on so seeing the behavior in his own child wasn’t entirely alarming. John figured he would have to worry when Rodney started buying hand sanitizer by the metric ton.

“Hey.”

Sebastian waved with one hand as he swished mouth wash around.

“Mer and I are going to the mountain very early in the morning for a few meetings. You’re staying home with Sean.”

Sebastian frowned but nodded as he rinsed his mouth with a cup of water. “Yeah, okay, that sucks though. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked Dr. Moore into giving me some time on the Asgard telescope.”

“McKay could get that for you.”

“Yeah, I know but when he bullies others into doing things for me…” Sebastian trailed off. “I get better results if they think it’s their idea and not something they are doing to appease or deflect him. Besides, it’s important that I foster my own relationships with people who will essentially be my peers within the next ten years. Right now I’m a cute little kid they indulge—but I fully expect to have my first doctorate by the time I’m seventeen. I’ve been exchanging emails with the Dean of the academics program at Fountain Valley and we’ve designed my course work over the next few years including most of the credit work I’ll need for my BS in engineering.”

John was silent as they left the bathroom and Sebastian crawled into his bed with a less than gracious shove at Zuri was sprawled on half of the queen sized mattress. The husky snorted in her sleep and rolled away from the middle of the bed. “I can put her out?”

“Nah, it’s cool and she gets her feelings hurt if I put her outside with the others.” Sebastian rubbed his head in an offhand way that John knew was a hint that he was over tired.

“Long day?”

“Not really, but I did an extra work out with Teyla so grandpa could watch. He wanted to know what she was teaching me and it was yoga today. You’d never think that stretching and staying in one position for so long would be so tiring.”

John sat down on the edge of the bed and arranged his covers. “What did your granddad think?”

“I don’t think he considers meditation and yoga much of a physical activity but he kept his opinions to himself. I mean, the man did get Ian to go out and get my little kid sized boxing gloves. It’s pretty obvious where he’d prefer I focus my physical energy.”

“That reminds me, Major Rayne, a transfer from the Royal Air Force has a son about your age. I thought maybe you might like to meet him.”

“Like a play date?” Sebastian asked amused. “I’m not five, Dad.”

John laughed softly. “No, not exactly a play date. But he is new around here and school doesn’t start for a few months for either of you. His parents are divorced and I figured you might like someone your own age to hang out with this summer.”

Sebastian frowned and then looked away. “You know, that doesn’t work out often.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, kids my age normally think I’m a freak, Dad. It isn’t like they have any sort of frame of reference when it comes to someone like me. I can’t imagine being the only child of a high profile billionaire gay couple is going to make any of that easier. Even when I was just a brain trust—kids my own age were kind of hard to take. I had a few friends, but even the ones that stuck around after I went to foster care have fallen off the grid except for email. Their parents think it’s dangerous to be around me because of the press coverage and… well it is. It is dangerous to be around me and I’d hate to see some other kid get hurt because they got caught in a situation that…” Sebastian sighed. “What’s his name?”

“Devlin. His mother is Irish and his father has been in the RAF for about fifteen years. He’ll be eleven in a few weeks and they have him enrolled in one of the area private schools for the fall. He’s a bright kid, heavily involved in sports when he was in Great Britain. He tried out and made that little league hockey team you were interested in earlier in the year.”

Sebastian nodded. “Dad mentioned a girl that will be going to Fountain Valley with me… Rachel Davis.”

“Yeah, her Dad is going to be taking a position at the Air Force Academy in the fall. I understand they are house shopping right now. You want to meet her?”

“If she’s game. I wouldn’t want her forced into it—not Devlin either. I mean, I don’t want you pulling rank to get me friends.”

John laughed. “I’ll do my best not to be that kind of asshole and it was Major Rayne’s idea. The Major doesn’t have the gene but Devlin does. I’ll probably be taking him for a trip up in a Puddle Jumper later in the week if things don’t get hectic.”

“Can I go?”

“Yeah.” John brushed a lock of hair off Sebastian’s forehead and sighed. “I just would really like you to have some normal stuff in your life.”

“I know.”

– – – –

John flipped the lock on their door, a dead bolt, with a twist of his wrist and pulled off his t-shirt as he started towards the bed. He hadn’t honestly thought his spouse would be naked and waiting for him so he was very pleasantly surprised to find that McKay had followed his instructions. “Jesus.”

“Not even close,” Rodney murmured as he stroked his cock with one hand. “But you aren’t the first to make that mistake.”

John chuckled as he shoved off his shoes, and then shucked pants and boxers in one maneuver. He stopped briefly to rid himself of his socks and then crawled onto the bed without saying anything. His lips brushed over one of McKay’s knees as the scientist spread his legs and canted his hips just a little at John’s advance.

“Hey you,” John murmured and pressed a kiss against Rodney’s inner left thigh. “We absolutely do not get enough naked lostness time.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Rodney returned and pushed his fingers idly through John’s hair as John flicked his tongue over the head of McKay’s cock. “Fuck.”

“Oh, I’m going to,” John promised. “I’m going to stretch your pretty ass and fuck you through this mattress.”

McKay chuckled and after a moment slid one of his hands under a pillow and came back with a tube of lube. “I love a man with a plan.” He dropped the lube on the bed beside them and shuddered when John took his cock deep into his mouth. “I love your mouth. I love your hands. I love your cock.”

“I’m very amazing and lovable,” John conceded.

John slicked up two fingers and huffed out a little breath of amusement as Rodney lifted his hips off the mattress and met his questing fingers eagerly. They’d long gotten past being coy about what they wanted and needed from one another. McKay’s body yielded to the familiar penetration and in under a minute he was adding a third finger, twisting and plunging them into his lover’s body with skill and experience. Every time he hit his prostate, Rodney gave him a breathy groan.

“In me,” Rodney demanded. “In me, right now.”

John wiped his fingers on the sheets beneath them and then used both hands to grip McKay’s hips. He positioned his lover just as he wanted him and then slid in deep with one thrust. “Like this?”

“Yes, just like that.” Rodney arched up off the mattress and rocked on John’s cock with abandon. “Fuck me. Fuck me.”

John shuddered and after a few precious seconds started to thrust deep and hard into his spouse. McKay clung and demanded more with each heavy penetrating stroke until they were straining against one another, fingers sliding on sweat slicked skin for purchase, for more friction. John slid one hand between them, wrapped his fingers around Rodney’s cock and started to jack his cock with long, firm strokes.

John thrust deep and held himself there as McKay started to shudder and jerk against him. “That’s it, Mer. Come for me.” He jerked the cock in his hand quickly, wringing an orgasm out of his lover with relief because his body was giving him all kinds of warnings that he wasn’t far behind.

“I love you,” Rodney murmured, breathless as he relaxed under John.

John started to move again, his thrusts deep, penetrating and abrupt as he lost what little control he had left and came hard. “Ah, fuck, Mer.” He buried his face against the side of Rodney’s neck and shuddered through his climax.

They both let the silence take them for a long time and then John shifted, rolled to his side and pulled his scientist close. “We’ll be okay, right?”

“Yeah.” Rodney nodded. “We’ll be fine. I’ll charge ZPMs, we’ll retrieve Atlantis, we’ll defeat the Wraith and anyone else who bothers to come our way. Our son… children… will be safe.”

“Children.” John chuckled. “I can’t wait.” He sighed. “We should stay in counseling with Heightmeyer—obviously we’re going to need help not fucking up our kids any more than necessary for survival.”

“Agreed.”

“I love you, too,” John murmured as he pressed a kiss against McKay’s forehead. “Sometimes I feel so much for you that I don’t have the words to explain it…I can’t imagine my world without you. I’d never want to imagine my world without you.”

“You don’t have to,” Rodney whispered. “I’ll never leave you, John. Not ever.”

John relaxed and he nodded in the darkness. When the smartest man in the galaxy makes you a promise it’s something you can depend on.

The End

Keira Marcos

In my spare time I write fan fiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on Facebook. It’s not the usual kind of hobby for a “domestic engineer” in her 30’s but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people’s expectations.

194 Comments:

  1. I haven’t read the story yet but wanted to say yes!!! *runs off to read*

  2. I checked the site at 5pm – only those other seriously delighted readers of yours have any idea just how thrilled I was.

    Loved Ian’s graduation. The interviews were great – the first was lots of fun, and the second seemed right and necessary to close the circle? triangle?

    As a one time foster parent I think the perceptions and issues expressed within your work with the various systems is depressingly accurate. I really like your idea of nationalizing the system.

  3. keira, it was wonderful, it’s really an amazing AU i’m very happy to read this part.
    Poor sebastian, i hope he can grow up in peace.

    Bravo to you and thanks a lot.

  4. Wow, I am speachess.

    Thank you so much for writting this series.

  5. Another great chapter – far too short though! Can’t wait to read what’s up next!

  6. Fabulous as usual! The perfect balance of conflict and happy ending. I love how you weave in threads that you resolve each time while still leaving some unresolved to give the feeling that the story does go on. It gives a nice depth of investment in the outcome to the reader. Your stories always leave me wanting to read more. Thank you for writing them.

  7. It’s now 2:45am in the morning here in the UK. But, I just couldn’t stop reading.

    I just love the whole universe you have built in this series and I totally adore Sebastian.

    So, glad you decided to continue with this 🙂 🙂

  8. *sigh*

    I think this is the best one yet! Truly engrossing and intense.

    I loved the character development with Sebastian; the custody fight was something that certainly would happen with a child like that-even if there were no Trust. The sinister plots against the ATA children is a chilling thought.

    As usual, the romantic subplots were believable and enjoyable.

    Thank you so much for the time you put in to writing your stories, and for your willingness to share them with us. It’s always hard to wait for the next installment, but it is also invariably worth the wait.

  9. Phew! Not that I had any doubt that someone who wasn’t even a blood relation was going to steal him away from his loving dads and hey a belated birthday party is in order 🙂

  10. It keeps getting bigger, more detailed, and still you keep everyone in it equally. I want Sheppard/O’Neill in the White House! I want to know about the giant conspiracy (you’re the one who brought up the Masons). And Atlantis… she is *love* for them all.

    Weddings! Children! War! Politics!

    AWESOME!

  11. I can’t say enough! I love the scenes where Sebastian shows that he’s Rodney’s son. I love how similar they are.

    I can’t wait for Atlantis to finally return to Earth. I bet that she ends up having a very special relationship with Sebastian.

    *cheers* *jumps in excitement* *sighs with contentment after reading More than Words*

  12. Happy, happy, happy, happy!!!!! Thanks for the chapter! can’t wait to read the final chapter! Question? Are you still taking some time off? Thanks Kat

  13. Wonderful story. I love this AU. Thanks.

  14. If I could afford to pay you to do nothing but write stories all day long, I totally would. I loved this new installment, and even though the series is drawing to an end, I can’t wait to read the next part.

  15. Fantastic! I just had to read it right away. It keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait until the next installment but just thinking that this lovely story will come to an end makes me sad. …and yet I can’t wait to find out how it will end!

    Another great job!

  16. Okay first let me jump for joy and express my glee for all around.
    Second, I would just like to thank you for the positive way that you protray the U.S. Military. As the proud sister of both an Air Force and an Army 2nd Lt.I really think that you do an excellent job of making the military a positive influance on your stories. Please keep up the excelent work!

  17. EEEEEEeeeeeeeeeee…… ::noises only dolpihns can hear::

    I’m falling asleep in my keyboard and I have to get up early in the morning yet I’ve stayed to read every word because I wasn’t going to miss any of this….. (and I’ll be back to re-read again!)

    I love your Sebastian…. a wise old soul in a kid’s body. He’s a great character and I love what you’ve done with him.

    And…. and I could go on forever in fan-girl glee…. Just, thank you, thank you for a wonderful story!

  18. I seriously love this story and it is breaking my heart that you’re finishing it soon. I love how large the whole family is and how perfectly dysfunctional they are. I think it’ll be interesting to see Sebastian interacting with kids his year, especially if they can more or less keep up. I like how you mentioned the engagement so that we know what’s going on with those couples. I think the best part of all was the contigency plan. It went a long way of showing just how much the SGC doesn’t belong to any government so much as it belongs to the men and women who are a part of it. And seriously, I can’t wait to meet Atlantis.
    On a purely personal note, may I take a moment to beg for a little more Matt and Cameron interactions? They’re just so cute together. If not, how about a scene with John yelling at his soldiers in the gym, there’s something special about that.

  19. I love this series and was very happy to see more. Thank you for writing and sharing your wonderful world!

  20. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    *adores*

    *blithers*

    OMG. OMG.

    You are so totally made of win.

    Seriously. You’re completely awesome.

    *sighs*

    I think I’m going to have to read it again before I can make any sense, but damn!

    I don’t even know where to begin!

    Patrick in the White House? Hell, O’Neill in the White House? I’d vote for either of them in a heart beat! Sebastian learning to understand the consequences of his genius… and damn, is he Rodney’s kid or what? I could almost *hear* Ellen saying the words you wrote for her!

    Oh, geeeeeeeeez, what else? Everything else! There isn’t a paragraph that doesn’t make my heart beat faster. I swear, I was having palipitations as I positively *inhaled* this latest chapter.

    My other half gave me an incredulous look and wondered if I was clapping as I was reading… which I probably was, like the proper little fangirl I am. I was squealing and sighing and applauding and sniffling and doing freaking chairspins of glee!

    Okay.

    *pause to breathe*

    *Squeeeee!*

    *makes flappy hands*

    Oh, hell. I’m going to go read it again. Maybe I’ll be more coherent after the next reading, because there’s so much wonderful in this that I want to acknowledge and enthuse and fangirl over.

    *deep breath*

    *sighs*

    You’re *amazing*.

  21. Thank you immensely–an absolutely brilliant read that made an otherwise deeply sucky day not half bad. I loved how Sebastian manipulates his PR, from Ellen to Iris to the judge. Also the trip into Ian Wilkes POV, how he’s all reticent about his medals and then blown away when his chosen family attends his grad when we all know they wouldn’t have missed it for anything short of catastrophic invasion. You have the gift of portraying characters in all their insecure, talented and adorable humanity, and I hope to hell you’ll keep on doing it for a good long time to come. I’ll be reading. Avidly.

  22. you rock

  23. OMG!! this was fantastic! i was so happy to see you updated!

  24. I loved this, Sabastian is such a real person.

    You have to wonder just how many other genius kids are trying to contact him through his website.

    They might find some of them in situations similar to McKay as a child others just wanting someone like them to talk to. The bit about a lot of them going insane was chilling and I can’t help thinking John is the type of person who would want to do something about that.

    John is in his own way also a typical genius child, his attempts to downplay is intelligence to fit in is the other reaction of a kid to being Genius in John it was probbaly agrovated by being miltary brat and the constant moves fitting in was a vital survival skill when starting a new school so often.

    McKay went the nova route going out of his way to show his genius bombing the tests out all over the place with see me I’m here atitude that got him noticed and probably protected from his father in the end but John went the other way.

    The total opposite normal route John used to survive us in many ways a way of potential but then in John’s defense he had a fairly normal homelife except for being a Military brat until he came out as gay.

    In John and Rodney you have the two extreme reactions of kid genius to the world around them one conforms to fit in and downplays their intelligence (Sabastian tried that as well for a time) the other shines and almost burn themselves out like a supernova.

    Add in the ATA to that just makes it more complicated, Atlantis could very well be a safe haven for them in the long run.

    Shaz

  25. A lovely new entry into this fascinating world. I have stayed up WAY past my bedtime to read it immediately.
    I like how you brought a nasty touch of reality to the legal case. I also appreciated that, as hip and smart as Sebastian is, he is also sometimes a scared little boy.
    I SO enjoy this version of the SGA universe – thank you for sharing it!

  26. OMG!!! 🙂 That was truly awesome, I think it’s my favorite story in the series so far! You had me laughing out loud with some of the snarky comments. 😀 I love the witty dialogue between the characters and the plot was great too.

    Thank you so much for another great story that I know I’ll enjoy reading over and over again! You rock!

  27. I love this series, I must have read it a half dozen times.The dialog flows so well between the characters. Its like watching a movie, I can see the porch where the interview was, the looks on peoples faces and a lot of other details. You just describe everything so well. And boy does this drag some emotions out of me. anger, joy, satisfaction, its like riding an emotional rollercoaster. I cant say enough good things about this story. Thanks

  28. Wonderful read. I really like the relationship between them. Especially the way the both Rodney and John seem to care for Sebastian. And it may seem trivial but I like that Rodney has the higher IQ than Sebastian because I think he needs that as a way to ground him, show him that there is someone smarter. It also gives him someone to look up to intellectually.

    Looking forward to the next installment should you write it.

  29. Wonderful! Your writing always leaves me wanting more… reaching out grabby greedy hands… Keep up the great work – you have a true gift for writing stories that keep the reader completely involved.

  30. wow,
    so happy it was there, I checked your site daily from the moment you made the anouncement.

    And you should know you just took two hours of my studying, if I fail its your fault but its kinda bad that I really dont care, because this is so good

    So Thank you!!!!

  31. You’ve made my day – even if I had to take half a day off, ‘cos it was impossible to go to work before I finished this chapter. It’s a great story.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Irina

  32. Words can not express how much i love this fic and just love this series. Can’t wait for atlantis to come to earth. This is one of the only fics in the sga verse that ive reread like 6 times already.

  33. yeay … I’m really really happy right now. it is simply wonderful, don’t let anyone tell you any differently. It was really nice to see the chance for more kid friends for Sebastian even though he’ll outsmart them in every way. I can’t wait for the final installment of the series. Thanks

  34. This time? I took freaking *notes*!

    Because really… it’s all so good! But there’s some extraordinary-spectacular-fantabulous-wonderfulness happening here.

    The last chapter is going to kill me. I know it. Everything keeps *building*, all the subplots, all the pairings… there’s an enormous sense of *momentum*.

    *sighs happily*

    Okay, okay… back to this chapter. Ian’s graduation? My lil fangirl heart went pitter pat. Seriously. I was all puffed up and proud, as if I’d hatched the boy myself. And he’s still got a thing for Jimmy! (And better still, Jimmy still has a thing for him! I want that man to outgrow his rampant hormones and grow *up* enough to deal with monogamy, ’cause Ian is so worth it. *Ahem* Yes, well, they’re both young. They can wait. *sighs*)

    Jake Holland? Yeah, that made me squeal and make flappy hands and positively wriggle with glee… We’re talking one of those patented Golden Retriever whole body wags.

    McKay wants a planet for his birthday.

    *gives you a goofy grin*

    I agree with John. I’m sure Rodney deserves it. Really, I do!

    I *loved* Sebastian’s interview with Iris March – a smart kid taking the masks off. Although seriously, somebody should investigate genetic drift… I freaking love the way he flips people out with his Mini-McKay tendencies.

    Ya gotta love those big brains.

    The whole situation makes me freaking *wibble*.

    Now I know you referenced Sentient!Atlantis earlier in the tale, but damn, I’m with Sebastian here. I can’t wait to meet her!

    The fact that there’s a plan to evacuate the kids makes me feel quite martial… or momma-bear-rabid. Particularly with your hints about making John *work* for the promised happy ending.

    And again, my heart is just racing with excitement after reading this chapter.

    It’s not just your characters who are geniuses. Just sayin’.

    *sighs*

    Well, then. I know you have a start on ‘Ring of Fire’. And that you have ‘The Arrival’ simmering away too. And let us not forget the other tales you’ve teased us about, dropping intriguing little hints….

    Damn, you’re good.

    And now I’ll go back to haunting your website and waiting (stubbornly, if not patiently) for the next bit of Keira!fic to appear.

  35. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this next installment. I like how you have Sebastian show how mature and intelligent his is but still show that he is still a child with a child’s fears.

  36. This was just made of wow. Thanks for this.

  37. This is my first day off after working for 9 days, and when I turned on my computer this morning and saw the update, it totally made my day. I like this one as much as the other ones and I really look forward to the last part. Of course I look forward to any and all updates you do, so that it not really any surprise.

    I hope Sebastian can make some friends his age and that Ian and Jimmy finally get together.

    So in short, keep up the good work and good luck with all the writing.

  38. oh my… there just aren’t enough words or even the right words to express how good this is!

    Brava! Brava! Bravissimo!

    I really have to go back and reread it now – it’s just soooooo damned good!

  39. Wow. I just have to say that I bought two books that I have been waiting all for like a year to read and as soon as I saw you updated, they took a backseat to this story. Words could not do this story justice. Just wow.

  40. Just wanted to ask if you would have a problem with me putting the series on my Kindle? That way I can read them anytime without having to drag my laptop around.

    • Yeah- that would be cool. I know some readers put them on their Sony ebook reader or whatever. When I finish the series– I’m going to make a full PDF and probably a Mobipocket file to go in my Yahoo group.

      • I’ve been updating a version of it for my PDA – iSilo format – even have the pics you posted for reference for the Sheppards et al *G*

        this way I can read it at anytime – and I’ve not killed any forests printing out a copy *G*

        if you’re ever interested I can easily send you a copy of the file (it’s pretty darned compact compared to the standard html format)

      • *perk*

        Yay! I love Ebooks.

        *slinks off to hang out with the rest of the geriatric perverts*

  41. I love this series. I stumbled upon it few weeks ago and I totally fell in love with the fics. I’ve read your newest story two-times already.

    Your characterization of McKay and others is spot on. Your description of John Sheppard is a bit darker than I’m used to but it fits to the story. I like how you portrait the Sheppard clan and relationships between its various members. Especially the issues which aren’t resolved (f.e. between Admiral Sheppard and General Sheppard or Sebastian’s struggles with his abuse in the foster-care). It shows us that nobody is perfect.

    I love McShep and other pairings. I wonder when you are going to hook up Ian and Jimmy. (I’m sucker for happy endings.) The twist that ATA carriers are drawn to hook up is brilliant. The mention of various Ancient machines used in artificial conception, pregnancy and birth brings lots of options for later stories… Well, I would like to see McKay’s child sometime soon.

    I like your style of writing – a fine blend of danger, plotting, drama and romance. I’m curious how you are going to deal with NID-TRUST situation. Especially since Maybourne is the head of NID…

    I’m looking forward to see how the entire Atlantis situation is going to be resolved. If the city will land on the surface (somewhere in the Pacific I think) or she’ll stay in the orbit. And who will be second in command of SGC (I don’t think General Sheppard will be up to this task because you mentioned he’ll head Atlantis).

    Your idea of making next President of Admiral Sheppard or General O’Neill is intriguing but I can’t see it. In my opinion both of them have too much work in front of them in the SGC.

    I want to ask you if you could include the time period at least in the introduction of each part of the series because I have a bit of hard time keeping the time line straight.

    I’m looking forward to see last instalment of this series and maybe war with Ori and Wraith in following stories.

    Keep up the good work. Cheers. 😉

  42. I’ve read the chapter now and it was great fun! I adore Sebastian and love how much he’s like McKay. Terrific plotline: sad, scary, joyous, interesting. Can’t wait for the next one but I so wish it weren’t the last. Thank you for a wonderful story!

  43. This entire series is like comfort food for me. I read it when I need something comforting and sweet. The love between them is so present, very striking. Can’t wait for the next installment and your other stories.

    Sometimes, I just want to read about my favorite characters kicking ass and taking names, and you certainly deliver every time.

    Thanks!

  44. You are so, so awesome!!! Seeing the update this morning made my day 🙂 Can’t wait to read the next part – though I will be sad to see the series end 🙁

  45. Hi… First I’d like to praise you for your great work… I’ve been an avid follower of your fics but it seems I haven’t even left a review before so I’m doing it now…(In my defense I don’t have anything to say before except to gosh on how great your fics are, which I think you already know)… I really think you made a good verse and you write so well(you even made me lurk into ‘The Sentinel’ fandom after I read ‘The Awakening’-question: would you follow that? or is it a finished work?)… I love how you wrote John as a super badass and protective of his family… now I see John that way I can’t ever read fics wherein he’s portrayed otherwise… I love how McKay is so accepting of John’s nature and how he love to be protected yet could still do protecting of his own… I love Sebastian and how super smart and snarky he was. I especially love how even though he’s John biological son, he acts more like McKay… Oh And I loved Ian’s graduation and how his ‘real’ family is present there… I also love how John lost his bet with Cameron…and the parts when Jennifer and Cameron both called the Admiral ‘Dad’… I love the Ellen and Iris march interview… okay in short I loved it all but what is there not to love?(well besides Dr. Susan Manning)…

    Anyways I read from before posts your taking a break so I know it will be awhile till the next update so questions(feel free to give non-answers)… In the last part when Rodney said children did he meant to include children to come(in future) or the claimed children(like Ian) they have now?… And don’t get me wrong I’m not hurrying or anything but I’m really excited about those 3 AU you mentioned, have you written those yet? Or did you plan to finish posting the whole WMHB series before starting one of those? I’m sorry if that questions offended you or anything(from that post you said…you know)… I can’t help it… I don’t want to offend you… You are one of few I been hoping to continue to share McSheppy goodness… there’s a serious decline of long good McShep fic…I hope for the BigBang to fix that but it’s not like BigBang focused on McShep… So there I hope you continue to work your greatness… and thank you(and I’m not only saying that so I could benefit from your shared McSheppy goodness… just partly)… ^_^

    • I want to finish these series up before I start anything new and no I’m not remotely offended by your questions. I really should have just posted some of those horrible comments so you guys would know why I got so upset but needless to say that they were beyond rude and frankly horrible. Some of them were homophobic, others attacked me personally for writing gay romantic fiction, and still others told me I shouldn’t bother to post at all. THere were about five different people in total over the past few months who have made comments like this– repeatedly. I have them set to filter directly into my spam folder but that is neither here nor there.

      • It may just be me but I would think if your homophobic you would know not to read gay fanfiction in the first place. Then again maybe it’s just me lol.

        • I agree, I equate this with people who want to censor books. This story is just wonderful and we should all love as well as John and Rodney do. You have created a wonderful family, some blood, others by choice.
          Anyone who cannot see this is a lost cause and I am sorry you have been bothered by them. You writing is a gift.

      • I am completely in love with this entire story. I am waiting impatiently for the next installment while at the same time dreading the thought of it ending. I’ll be checking out the Sentinel series next.

        I’m appalled to hear that you’ve received negative comments — including homophobic remarks. I think it’s brave and kind of you to share your imagination with all of us happy readers. I’m glad to see the moronic actions of a few haven’t discouraged you too much.

        Thank you for sharing.

        • I have to admit that I think it’s F*cked that someone would send a review like that. I know when I was a wee little teeny bopper I wrote gay fanfiction for the likes of Harry Potter and all that, and I got some seriously rude reviews for it. And I can freely admit that I am a really crap writer, but I didn’t understand why someone that was Homophobic would read a story where the preview/summary had the likes of “Slash! Gay! Yaoi! BoyxBoy Love!” writen all over it.

          And to say that you shouldn’t even post? That is just completely rude and unnecessary, because the whole point of the Internet I think is to have freedom of speech. If they don’t like it, they shouldn’t read it.

          I think you are a Brilliant writer,and that you should ignore anyone that tells you different. If you like to write, then write.

          Rosie.

      • “There were about five different people… who have made comments like this – repeatedly.”

        Now, THAT I just don’t get. I’ve occasionally sent ONE critical review to a writer, e.g.: when someone posted a BAD story, mis-labeled as “gen”, but actually containing lots of implicit Sam&Jack ‘shippy-crap. (Imagine Stephenie Meyers writing ‘shippy-fic, but without professional editing to fix lousy spelling and grammar so bad a third-grader would’ve been ashamed of it… well… Ick. Just… Ick. If you have two characters in a non-canonical relationship, you CANNOT call it “gen” instead of Het or Slash just ’cause you don’t actually write about ’em fucking!)

        But if something’s so BAD I’d want to send a negative review (as opposed to “I LOVE your stories but PLEASE let me fix your grammar” or “This was great, but in the historical timeline of your AU this thing you reference wasn’t invented yet”), I usually stop reading. I damn sure don’t return to that person’s site again and again, just so I can send nasty-grams if they’re STILL doing the same things I hated first time ’round!

        Except for situations like channeling my Inner McKay by snarking at plagiarists, or the above-mentioned deceptive labeling, I can’t recall the last time I sent feedback for something I didn’t LOVE. I send lots of nit-picky feedback (especially if I’ve confirmed that an author actually wants to know about typos and misspellings which need fixes), but for me to spend time sending feedback means I think it’s not just worth reading, but worth commenting instead of just going on to the next fun thing to read.

  46. Here be much glee! *g* Fantastic update, can’t wait to see more 🙂 I’m really rooting for Ian and Jimmy, too! :p

  47. awesome thank you thank you great story cannot wait for the next story

  48. OK, I read this straight through, stayed up well past my bedtime. But is was so worth it. Yes to use the term, your stories are made of awesome!!

    Now the long wait until you finish the next part. But it will be well worth the wait.

  49. Oh my! That was great! Wonderful new edition to your universe. I love the depth of your story telling. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  50. Incredible! An amazing addition to this verse. I love the surprises and angst that you come up with. The Trust throwing in the wretched Dr. Manning and loser Mark Williams, trying to impugn Karen’s character in front of her son – so evil and quite maddening. Love how real Sebastian’s reactions are, his steadfast love and belief in his parents, John and Rodney, yet the toll it takes on him with all the pressure and stress. Just broke my heart him crying on John’s lap. Enjoyed how you showed the stress and protectiveness of on John and Rodney, too.

    Love how you portray his intelligence, yet how John and Rodney are trying to keep him grounded. Excellent talk Rodney had with Sebastian, relating his personal experiences and regrets. The support system is wonderful, with even the Marines and scientists there for the boy. You did a great job of including the other characters so that we could see what was happening with the extended family.

    Happy to see Sebastian incorporating elements of all three parents and doesn’t consider Rodney any less of a real father. Enjoyed his talks with the social workers and Kate in particular. Glad to see a happy ending, with the Judge throwing out the request. Was very happy when John, Rodney and Sebastian beamed in to see Ian’s graduation and Sebastian running up to him. Adore that family feeling. Now if Jimmy would just get his head together.

    Wonderful ending, glad to see John and Rodney returning to honeymoon mode. Can’t tell you how much I love this verse. I treasure reading every word and hate to think of it ending as just hearing of a new chapter makes me happy. Am glad to hear there will be another chapter. Love, love, love this verse. Incredible writing and character development and storyline. Thank you so much for giving us another great and long chapter. Adore this. Thank you very, very much!!!

  51. When I got to ‘The End’ I thought for a second it was the end of the entire series and I nearly freaked. Then I saw that there was only one story to go and I nearly freaked…

    I hope the next one is War-and-Peace-novel-length 😉

    This was wonderful as always, and if it interests you the whole series (to date) comes to 1349 pages on my Sony eReader.

    Thank you for continuing to write!

  52. WIN!
    You win at life seriously. Hands down the BEST Stargate AU I have ever read. The drama is perfectly balanced, so you never get the bogged down feeling of “omg it’s just too much to angst.” I’ve actually quit reading stories for just that reason.
    Their voices are so “real” in your writing that it’s hard to remember that your tale is not canon. There deep love for one another, be it John/McKay for each other or the love of their family, is so gut wrenching, because it rings as being real.
    Thank you for another beautiful addition to this world we’ve been privileged to enjoy. I look forward the final chapter.
    Congratulations.
    Lola

  53. Thank you Keira, it was great reading as we have all come to expect from your talented hand. Now for that last chapter…I just wish this tale could go on forever.

    Your take on OC is part of the great fun in this series. And even though John and Rodney are different, they still are in character with canon. You are some good writer, my dear, and I am glad I found you.

    the witch sends her best…

  54. Wow this is another powerful story in this AU. I love all the people you have and they are really a great family

  55. Well, I’ve read this through twice now. Another excellent installment in this universe. I’m really intrigued with the idea of Atlantis and Sebastian’s first meeting.

    Thank you for the time and energy you put into crafting such a wonderful story.

    Kelly

  56. YES!!!!! I was so excited to see an update to this wonderful story. I can’t wait for the next chapter even though it is the last.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…You have got to get Ian and Jimmy together in the final chapter.

    Thanks for sharing your world.

    Mindi

  57. OMG that was so so satisfying. *happy sigh*

    I love the whole family is slowly expanding and getting tighter at the same time. And so much love for Sebastian.

    Can’t wait til the next part! <3

    Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  58. un_covermyeyes

    Oh, thank you for this newest story in the series! I was going to space out my reading of it over the weekend, but I just kept clicking ahead for the next part. Now I’m at the end, I’ll just have to read it over again for the weekend. As always, I love the way you write John and Rodney, and really all the characters!

  59. wow! Just finished at 3:14 AM
    I liked this story because it has a few of my fav (SGC coming out, McShep family), will keep an eye out for sequels… mmmm that’s all from me
    congrats!

  60. libsechumanist

    Just found the update and will get to reading – thanks – I’m sure I’ll enjoy it!

  61. I’ve read about 400 or so SGA stories, not to mention 1000s in the other dozen or so fandoms I follow. I guiltily admit I rarely leave feedback. But this series you’ve written is one of the few that I can genuinely ‘picture’ in my mind, as though it were a real TV episodic production. There are about 10-15 novel length stories that I regularly reread, and this one has been added to that list. Thanks for writing (and not letting idiotic homophobes) prevent you from completing your vision of the story! Kenitra.

  62. another wonderful part!
    thank you SO much for sharing.

    this is truly one of my favorite stories. in fact, whenever i read something, um, not so great, i always cleanse my palate with this! 🙂
    i honestly don’t know how many times ive re-read this, but i do know ive loved it each and every time.
    thank you.

  63. I’ve just finished re-reading this series from the beginning and was once again thoroughly engaged by the world you’ve built. Fabulous job with this latest part and can’t wait for the next!

  64. wonderful as usual!!! can’t wait for the next part!! great job.

  65. I just found that you had posted this part of your What Might Have Been series late tonight. I had planned to save it and read it after catching some sleep. Wrong! I started skimming it as I was saving it and ended up reading the whole thing none stop. A terrific addition to think wonderful series. Thoroughly enjoyed haveing Ian return to the fold. Loved Rodney’s threats to the CIA chief, John’s to take his whole family to safety, and the whole family’s determination to protect Sebastian. Loved the interviews with Ellen and Iris and the way you dealt with that barracuda, Manning. Sebatian is such an interesting and very endearing original character. I adore him! Please, olease don’t stop writing this series. I have to see what you planned for them.

  66. Very happy to see another part to the series. terrific as usual. I’m going to hate to see it end. Looking forward to the next installment(only cause I can’t get enough)

  67. Thank you so much for this latest installment. I read it in one sitting at one in the morning! This story just blew me away. I loved how you showed the repercussions of decisions made in earlier stories, such as getting Corey out of solitary, and Sebastian realising that revenge doesn’t always make you feel better. All the characters were real human beings, and not just cardboard cutouts. Once again, thank you for sharing your serious talent with us.

  68. I know I have already reviewed this and think you are amazing but I would just like to add something else. I love Ian and Jimmy. That’s all.

  69. wooooo!!! This is fantastic. I really really love this series and usually check your website every few days!!! i cant wait for the next one!!!

  70. This is the best story i have ever read. That includes all the crossovers, different pairings, anything. This story has me checking your site everyday just to see whats going on. Can’t wait to read more

  71. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for this wonderful story in this great saga you are writing. It was a long story and than again it was to damn short!!!!!!!!!!!!, as I was reading, there it was, The End. Still, it was great reading, thanks so much. Are you absolutly sure, positively sure that you can get all you want to tell in the next story. Don’t you think that it will take at least two more stories to tell the entire tale of going to Atlantis and then coming back, and the landing or not landing, and Sebastian and Atlantis meeting. Just a big, fat, wishful hope for more stories. Although too, I can hardly wait for the stories you have hinted at that you are plotting. You really are the best, a big, big, thanks.

  72. This is an amazing series Keira I love reading it over and over because you make them seem so real.

    One Question though .. I know you are busy with other series but would you consider branching out in this and writing some of the stories like how Caroline and Patrick got together.

    *Gives a pleading look* Pllllleeeeeeaaaassssseee!!!

  73. I love you just so you understand that this rocks and I love the whole John offering to kill just about everyone. This is just wonderful…just one question honey…WHERE IS QUARK? I love all of this and can’t wait for more this is just a great series.

  74. As usual, your story was emotionally intense and riveting and very satisfying. This is a really neat series. You do a fantastic job with the Stargate characters (a *very* interesting look at their AU selves) as well as an awesome job of creating a large cast of original characters and getting us to love–or hate–them! Interesting thoughts on the properties of the ATA gene, on being–and educating–a genius/”special” child, and on foster care. Making us think while you entertain us–very sneaky of you! ;-D

  75. libsechumanist

    Another wonderful portion of this series – I so love the kick-butt Rodney and the protectiveness of the Sheppard Clan towards each other. Also, smart dialogue coming out of the mouth of a kid is so refreshing. Thanks very much for working on this so hard – its a true favorite of mine and it is appreciated.

  76. This was just awesome story. This series is one of my all time favorites. I also love the fact that you weave some serious issues into the stories. I just had one question did Patrick Shepard ever get the ata therapy.

  77. No words. Seriously no words.

    Thank you so much for your wonderful stories, I wait for them with bated breath and the never disappoint!

    I’m seriously going to have to start this one from the beginning and revel in all the incredibly detailed storylines… Amazing.

    The fight for Sebastian was well done and I loved the bit for UNICEF. I collect for them every year and it made me whimper a little. Check out PlayPumps (Sebastian would totally get behind the).

    I don’t know how much more of this series you’re planning on writing, but I am looking forward to every word.

    P.S
    I hoped you liked the song, it was so strikingly fitting, I knew I had to share.

  78. This was amazing – this series just keeps getting better and better! Thank you for continuing to write, I’ve enjoyed all your work immensely.

  79. I so stayed up past the time I should have been in bed reading this. I’d finish a part and think…just one more. Then I’ll stop. So didn’t happen. And I love that. You’re stories are captivating. The world is vivid as are the characters. When I read it, I’m there in that world, sympathizing with them. It’s amazing. Thnk you so much for the hard work you put into your writing.

  80. Amazing, just amazing. This series just keeps getting better and I am so glad that you have shared this with all of us!!!

    Can’t wait for more!

  81. Wow! Totally loved it. There is going to be another installment, right? Can’t wait for that!

  82. Wow…I read the whole series in one go, it took me three days, but totally worth it. You know I’m a hardcore fanfiction fan :), but I’ve never was a slash fan until I came across McShep writings. I read a lot of AUs, but your story is so bloody unique and outstanding, that I fell in love with it. If I didn’t know that this is a fanfic, I could totally belive that this is an original story. I hope you write original stories, ’cause you are a very talented writer. And one thought about homosexuality: I like to think that people didn’t fall in love with genders, but people. Personality, mind, soul. Oh, and I can’t wait for more!! :))

  83. Yay! Some more of my favorite Stargate Atlantis AU series – and it was awesome! Loved this, as everyone said, this story just gets better and better. Thanks so much for writing and sharing. 🙂

  84. Wow! Thank you so very much for continuing this series. Your stories always cheer up my day. I don’t usually like McShep fiction, but your stories and character development made me fall in love with their relationship. I cannot wait for more. If you are ever in need of a beta reader, feel free to contact me.

    Again, thank you so very much for sharing all the perfectly lovely things birthed from your imagination.

  85. I never thought I would ever find a story that I like as well as I like your “The Awakening” but this comes under the same heading – absolutely wonderful. I just hope that I don’t end up reading it as often, 7 times at last count. Thanks again for all the hard work. Looking forward to more.
    Barb

  86. Okay, I’ll come clean- I read this within days of it being posted. Then re-read…and re-read.

    Love.This. Series.

    This portrayal of Sheppard and McKay is WAY better than canon…especially most of season 5.
    You are great at plot and pacing as well, giving us twists that have us readers biting our nails :):)

    Don’t understand the hostile posts- but other brilliant SGA writers such as Xanthe have had them too. I’m started to wonder if it isnt by jealous, lesser talents? As a writer myself, I am VERY jealous of your ability. As a reader, I’m downright gleeful and don’t want you to run out of inspiration any time soon. Please let WMHB stretch to another, ooo 30 chapters!

    I send you well wishes, and virtual hugs.

    Yinka

  87. Thank you for these lastest parts. Hope you will write a lot more of them. Its a wonderfull story, romantic too. Please update soon and i would love to see Jimmy and Ian together

    kisses

    lizzie

  88. This story keeps getting better and better. Great work!
    julie

  89. I really enjoyed this latest story in the series. I quite liked the ‘mundane’ problems that John and Rodney had to struggle with. Courts, families, custody, judges, etc. It was very real and grounding. Of course, I love that they crushed the NID quite soundly and protected Sebastian.

    And you’ve got SO many characters, all wanting ‘time’, that I’ve actually missed John & Rodney focus in some of the series 🙂 So, glad to see more of them – and hot sex too. They do need more ‘naked lostness time’ Poor Dears. So much going on, so many demands on their lives…

    I would love to see a ‘honeymoon’ story – with tons and tons of sex 🙂 Because I’m curious about the mental effect of the rings. There didn’t seem to be too much different on them in this story – but you could be saving that for the next.

  90. words really cannot express just how pleased I was to find a continuation of this gobsmackingly good series.
    The plot, the IC-ness, the original characters…just so rich and vital and satisfying.
    thank you!
    (but, um, there will be more…right?*g*)

  91. Sarah Livingston

    I stumbled back across this and found lots more chapters. Fantastic, such fun to read. Keep it up, please.

  92. *sighs happily*

    I just went and read the whole thing all over again.

    Brilliant. Seriously.

    You are totally made of win.

  93. Ok, so I just spent a few days and have read nothing but this series. I even haven’t read your newest Sentinel update so that I could focus on reading it. I even read it on my cell phone during breaks at work. Please update this series soon, and keep the updates on the Sentinel coming. You are probably my favorite Atlantis author out right now, and I have read a lot of fic in the last seven years.

  94. Just reread all of the stories

    The comment about the clone of Jack O’Neill having a tak=lk with Thor and coming out looking totally differnt and twenty-three mad me realise I am not to sure of the timeline how long has it been since mini-me was created did Thor add a few years when he changed his looks or had it been eight years since he was created aas he had been fifteen physical years then

    You know my mind had the totally way out idea that Mini-me is at the mountain in his new identity I even have a wacked out Idea about who you could nor even might be making him if you go that route.(I won’t write it hear in case you are doing that)

    The phycological effects of being a clone were never really gone into on the show that i know. The loss of identity as even though you have all the memories and emotions you know you aren’t that person because that person is infront of you living that life must be heart breaking in a way and you would have to be an incredibly strong person to not only survive it but make your own life.

    I can see mini-me giving himself a few rules as he creates himself an identity things like claiming only the personal things that he personally experieced since his creation. Thinga like Jack O’Neill fell in love got married and had a son Charle and then fell in love with Samabtha Carter he himself has never been in love etc etc. At the same time he is created from Jack O’Neil so Jack is family sort of father/brother/twin so his babies are family as well so of he is at the mountain I can see him keeping a real eagle eye on the safety of his baby/siblings

    Shaz

    • I’d like to see more of Mini!Jack, too… I *hated* the glib, thoughtless way TPTB tossed off the ending of that episode. Someone with Jack O’Neill’s entire mind and memories is going to trot obediently off to High School, and chase after children younger than Cassie? F*ckin’ HELL he will: no matter whether you see him as het, bi, or OTP’d with Daniel Jackson, NO ONE can make a case for Jack being a pedophile!

      Being a longtime Jack/Daniel fan myself (though perfectly able to see D/V…), I wouldn’t mind seeing Mini!Jack in a happy, stable “three-way” with Daniel and Vala (since D/V’s already established in this AU).

      ‘Course, at this point there are so many characters I’m loving that they really all need “spin-off” stories. I’d like to see Ian and Jimmy *finally* get on the same page. I’d like to see more of Daniel (’cause he’s my all-time favorite character in the “canonical” Stargate story-‘verse, and because Keira writes “snarky” so well I’d love to see Daniel and Vala in a massive Snark-fest followed by hot make-up sex ). I’d like to see more of Radek and Jeanie, and more of the various kids. I still want to see more of Quark, the Probably(?)-Not-A-Furling ginormous genius moggy… though I loved the little Quark story recently posted which brought me back to re-read EVERYTHING here… So MUCH to love! *purrrrr*

  95. This is the third time I have read this series, and I love it all the more everytime.

    I just finished reading it again and here in Australia it is 2.36am in the morning and I should really be getting some sleep for work, but I couldn’t resist. This verse is captivating and a must read for any SGA fans.

    I don’t know if you ever write any original fiction, but if you haven’t I think you could be a best-seller in any genre. I say go for it.

    Rosie.

  96. I finally finished the series, and it was completely amazing.

    I especially fell in love with your secondary characters.

    I can’t wait to read more in this universe.

  97. I luv these stories!!! I think I’ve read this series like 4 times already! 🙂 I saw in the WIP section that there is a next part and I can’t wait!!! Not only are they well written but I keep getting sucked into the story line!

    P.S. Sebastian kicks ASS!!!

  98. So I just reread this whole series from begining to end and wow. It just keeps getting better and better.

    I find that I enjoy the interactions between John, Rodney and all supporting cast becuase the whole thing is so full of life. When I read it, it doesn’t come across as a static world, more of a snapshot of someplace that might have been. And that is very cool.

    I like how the OC’s are also not one dimensional cardboard cut outs as well. They are people in their own rights, with histories, feelings and futures and it rocks. No one in here feels like a placeholder or like a MarySue and that is nice.

    So thank you for the wonderful reading pleasure you just gave me. And thank you for what you *will* be writing in the future. It can only get better.

    ~L

  99. So, i have spent the last two days holed up in my bedroom, sitting in my “reading” chair with my laptop in hand, an endless supply of Pepsi, sweets, kleenex for the so happy i cried/so sad i cried moments, an expressed warning to my roommates to not disturb me unless someone was dying and my siamese cat Yoshi as a reading companion… and let me tell you i couldn’t be happier to be sleep deprived with more caffine running through my veins than blood and annoyed roommates. I LOVE THIS SERIES!!! It is perfect and so satisfying to read. I can’t wait for the next part of this series and eagerly await it being posted!

    The only bad part is that i know you are getting towards the end of this series and soon i won’t have anymore to read… well, i am off to take a look at you other works!!

  100. *sighs happily*

    My life is far too complicated these days… so I’ve just read the whole series again.

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