Carson yelped in fright, heart hammering against his chest at waking from a shake to the shoulder to find Ronon’s face inches from his own. “What the bloody hell is wrong wi’ you?”

“Sheppard needs your help,” Ronon replied, dark eyes worried and sober.

Instantly waking the rest of the way, Carson sat up and climbed out of bed demanding, “Well why did y’no say so to start? What happened? Do I need to get assistance?”

Ronon unexpectedly flushed as he said, “You can’t tell anyone, Sheppard doesn’t want you to.”

“If he’s hurt, I may need…”

“We had sex and my buloa might have caused damage.”

Carson’s jaw dropped at the first part of the sentence, the concept of Sheppard being gay immediately stopping him in his tracks. Shaking off the stunner, he finally repeated, “Buloa?”

Looking distinctly uncomfortable, Ronon explained, “Humans don’t have one. It’s for…procreation…seals us together.”

Not at all picturing what Ronon was trying to describe, Carson rubbed his eyes and said, “Ronon, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Just show me.”

Ronon growled something under his breath before shoving his pants down. He turned and bent at the waist, spreading his legs a bit so his balls hung free. And now that Carson was looking, he discovered a bump between them. Carson frowned and requested, “May I examine you?”

“Yes, just hurry,” Ronon ordered.

Carson went to the medkit that he always kept nearby and took out gloves, putting them on as he returned to Ronon. He carefully separated the testes from the buloa and frowned, the sight reminding him of something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. When it struck, remembering the non-neutered dogs growing up, he suddenly realized what Ronon meant by ‘sealed together.’ Shaking his head, incredulous, Carson yanked off the gloves and rushed over to grab his kit, snapping, “Get dressed! And how big does that thing get?”

Pulling his pants up, Ronon admitted, “I don’t know. It’s never even filled before. I think Sheppard’s Ancient genes triggered it.”

“Bigger than your penis, I presume?”

“Yeah.”

“Mother of God,” Carson muttered, heading for the door. “At least tell me that you prepared him!”

Looking more and more miserable, Ronon shook his head. “Not at all. The ah, matting cycle was on me so I just, ah, mounted him. And, he said after that he hadn’t done it before. With men.”

That was all Carson needed to hear to send him running down the corridor. If Sheppard had been a virgin to penetrative sex and Ronon had just shoved right in and then the buloa expanded on top of that, there was no telling what kind of damage had been done. The man could’ve been bleeding out while he’d blithely been examining Ronon.

Ronon caught him from behind and hauled him to a stop, telling him, “Sheppard doesn’t want anyone to know and they will, if you run!”

Carson shoved at Ronon and snapped, “I don’t give two shites about what he wants! He could be bleeding out so get off me!”

From the horrified expression on Ronon’s face, that obviously hadn’t occurred to him.

Carson ran full out to Sheppard’s quarters, ignoring questions from Rodney and Elizabeth on the way. When he got there, he found a pale, unconscious man in the bed and thought the worst. He touched his comm. button as he rushed to the bed and exclaimed, “Medical emergency at Colonel Sheppard’s quarters!”

The moment he sat, Sheppard’s eyes opened and he yawned, saying, “Thanks for coming, doc. I…just…what the hell?”

Carson followed his horrified gaze to where Rodney, Elizabeth, Teyla, and Ronon all stood clustered together at the door.

Sheppard snapped, “Way to keep it quiet, Dex!”

The fury and embarrassment in the other man’s voice caused Carson to wince and he alleviated the damage as best he could by commanding, “Everybody out. I have a patient to attend.”

As they left, he heard Rodney ask, “But why is Sheppard naked?” and bit back another wince.

Sheppard groaned and pulled the covers over his head. “Please kill me.”

Carson patted his thigh and said, “They’ve gone and didn’t see much. And I doubt Ronon will breathe a word of this to anyone. Not under fear of sleepin’ on the sofa for the near future.”

Jerking the blankets down, Sheppard informed him, “Ronon’s not even getting near my sofa.”

Carson hid a grin. The Colonel sounded like nothing so much as a pissed off wife, though he’d likely be taking his life in his hands did he mention the similarity.

“So something else you should know before you check me out is I’m pretty sure I’m pregnant.”

Carson’s jaw dropped for the second time in ten minutes.

*  *  *  *

All things considered, Beckett took the news with real tact. After a few seconds just gaping at him, the doctor pulled himself together and said, “Aye, well, with your Ancient genes and Ronon’s ah, rather unusual physiology, I suppose it’s a possibility. I gather you didn’t use protection?”

John lifted an eyebrow at him.

“No. Right. Of course not,” Beckett continued. “All right then, turn over you and we’ll get this started.”

Sighing in anticipation of pain, John carefully and slowly rolled over while Beckett opened his kit and pulled on gloves. Groaning at the throbbing deep in his body, John buried his face in the pillow and waited.

A few seconds later, gentle fingers opened him and Beckett said, “Not a lot a blood, though there is some. Might not be as bad as we expected. This is probably going to hurt a bit, but I’ll go slow.”

John snorted and turned his head to say, “Someone probably should.”

“Aye, and not that you need a lecture at this point, but what were you thinking to have anal sex without any preparation?” Beckett questioned sternly.

Rolling his eyes, John answered, “I can safely say that there was no thought involved, Doc,” and put his face back into the pillow. Just in time, because he tensed and hissed in pain when Beckett’s fingers opened him for real, probing and examining him. The gloved fingers were lubed, though, and much smaller than Ronon, so it didn’t hurt nearly as much.

Finally, Beckett withdrew and said, “I found a couple of shallow tears, but all in all you were very lucky. Next time, be sure and use plenty of lubricant as well as doing some stretching.”

Heat spread over John’s face and he nodded, but didn’t respond. The next ten minutes were excruciating more for the humiliation of getting stitches in his ass than the actual pain factor. And then Beckett gave him a suppository, just to add to the experience.

When it was over, Beckett told him, “Okay, you can roll over now.”

John did so and asked, “What about the pregnancy?”

“Ah, yes, well…” Beckett looked momentarily stymied before admitting, “I’ve no idea. Did Ronon say anything about how to proceed?”

Testy, John replied, “I wasn’t really in the mood to listen to him.”

“Well, I’ll go get him and we’ll have a good long talk about the whole situation.”

John pulled the covers up more and folded his arms over his chest. “He comes near me again and I’ll cut it off.”

For some reason, that made Beckett’s lips twitch as though he was trying not to smile. The other man cleared his throat and moved hastily towards the door where he called in Ronon and said something to whoever was still waiting. Ronon looked for all the world like he was expecting John to beat his new puppy to death.

And how a six foot plus Satedan warrior manages that, he thought in exasperation, I’ll never know.

Heaving a sigh, John petted the bed and gave in with, “Fine. Come here.”

Ronon’s face lit up and he climbed on the bed, moving John extra carefully so that he could support John’s weight. His arms went around John’s waist to rest on his stomach.

“That wasn’t what I meant, but sure. Why not?” John muttered. There was a distinctly amused expression on Beckett’s face that made John want to hit someone.

As if sensing that, Beckett cleared his throat and said, “Ronon. Now, tell us about this ‘cycle’ of yours that you mentioned. And how does interspecies pregnancy work? Especially between two males.”

Ronon sighed and answered, “I don’t know all the details, I didn’t go into medicine. What I remember from school is that Satedan males can mate with compatible species in circumstances when our women aren’t available. Since you claim that we’re all really humans evolved on different planets, it makes sense that Sheppard and I would be compatible. I haven’t…been with a Satedan woman in a long time. I think being around Sheppard so much triggered my buloa and the need to mate.”

“And you know nothing of the actual, physical process?” Beckett pressed.

Ronon shook his head, one of his hands rubbing soothing circles over John’s abs. He had to admit that it felt great and he yawned.

Beckett smiled at that and said, “That’s my cue to let you rest. I’ll talk privately with Elizabeth and let her know what’s going on. No, don’t worry, Colonel, I’m going to stress that this was purely involuntary on your part. It was all the fault of hormones and Ancient genes and bad timing. I don’t know how the military will view this or what will happen to your career, but once that little one starts showing, you won’t be able to hide anything anyhow. You might as well go on the offensive.”

John grimaced, but had to concede the strategy as an effective one. “Thanks, Beckett. I appreciate your help on all this.”

“Ach, it’s no problem,” Beckett dismissed picking up his medkit. “I want you to sleep now, take a hot soak when you wake, eat hearty and then come see me. We’ll need to document everything and put you through a whole manner of tests.”

Having anticipated that, John nodded and repeated, “Thanks again, Beckett.”

Once the door closed behind the doctor, John slid his arm under one of Ronon’s and laced their fingers together, closing his eyes.

Ronon’s lips pressed against the side of John’s head and he murmured, “I’m sorry, Sheppard.”

Closing his eyes, John yawned again and hugged the arm to him as he answered simply, “I’m not. But you’ll really be sorry if you move. I’m very comfy right now.”

A warm chuckle graced the air and John let himself drift into sleep.