“You know,” said Rodney, “this is not exactly the way I pictured my life turning out.”
“Hmm,” said John.
It was early evening, with the glow of New Lantea’s sun a riot of pink and gold on the horizon. Rodney was sprawled on the couch in their quarters, only half-watching the marathon of original Star Trek episodes, with John curled up against his side. Six-year-old Zoe lay between them, her legs in Rodney’s lap and one arm across John’s very round middle.
He still wasn’t used to John being female again, even after six months of pregnancy and the three months before that. But John seemed more comfortable with the change this time, probably because he’d specifically chosen it – he’d kissed Rodney, hard, before he’d pressed his hand to the device, grinning as he’d said, “I want to have another baby.”
“So what, then?” John asked, now, tilting his head up to look at him, a teasing smile tugging at his slightly-fuller lips. “If you didn’t expect this, what did you expect?”
“Fame and money, of course,” he said, mostly just to make John smile. “I expected different things at different times, I guess. I started with the classic – a well-paying job as a scientist, a beautiful and adoring wife, two-point-five perfect children, a house in the suburbs and a flashy car.”
“Yeah, I can see it,” John drawled, his voice now a slightly higher register but still with the familiar tone of amused sarcasm.
“By the time I finished grad school and started working for the US government,” Rodney continued, “I’d figured out that cohabitating with other people was just not my forte, and that I didn’t like kids, anyway—”
John snorted, probably because of the way Rodney had his hand resting on Zoe’s back, rising up and down as she breathed, thumb moving gently over the star-print fabric of her pajamas.
Rodney ignored him. “—that I’d be much happier on my own, focusing all my attention on my work, not limiting myself to just one beautiful and adoring woman.”
“And there were dozens of those, were there?” asked John, still smiling.
“You’d be surprised how many groupies there are for the real sciences,” said Rodney, as though he’d never told his husband about every person he’d so much as had inappropriate thoughts about, before they’d met.
“Sounds like fun,” said John. “What made you change your mind?”
“Well, the stargate, for one,” Rodney said. “Then, I met this annoying, cocky, stupidly brilliant flyboy, who insisted on dragging me to alien planets and into danger.”
“And you love it,” said John.
“I love you,” Rodney countered, seriously. “I hadn’t known to expect you, John, because I never thought I would be so lucky. You’re my best friend, and the mother of my children—”
“You still owe me one for teaching Zoe to call me Mom,” John muttered.
“—and I know I’m hard to live with, but you’re still here, and that’s just…”
He broke off as John twisted to kiss him, hard.
“I will always be here,” John promised, when they broke for air. “You know what they say, Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. I kinda like the way our life happened.”
“Yeah,” Rodney agreed, kissing him again, gently. “Me, too.”