Waiting in the hall with the others proved more difficult than Ronon would have believed. Most people didn’t think he had a big imagination, but he did. It had helped him stay a step ahead of the Wraith and other hunters for years. Now it turned on him, making him picture all kinds of things wrong with Sheppard and the baby he knew in his heart lay within the human.

Ronon, what’s going on?”

Turning towards Elizabeth, he said, “Out of respect for Sheppard, I can’t tell you.”

Her brow furrowed in worry and she countered, “If he’s in trouble…”

“Beckett will call for help if he needs it,” Ronon said.

And then the other medical personnel showed up a few seconds later and he had to stand in front of the door and explain that everything was fine and Beckett had overreacted. They decided to wait and see rather than believe him, so there were even more people in the corridor when Beckett opened the door.

Giving the medical personnel a surprised look, Beckett told them, “Sorry everyone, false alarm. Colonel Sheppard’s fine. And I thought I told the lot of you to leave?”

“The room,” Rodney pointed out.

Beckett rolled his eyes and clarified, “Well now you can just go back to whatever it was you were doing before. Colonel Sheppard will be fine and his medical condition is none of your business. No offense, Elizabeth.”

She smiled at him, though still looked troubled, and replied, “None taken. All right, everyone, you heard Dr. Beckett. Move along.”

Beckett prompted, “Ronon, if you will?”

Ronon hurried inside and then slowed down, not sure how Sheppard would react to him in the cold light of day. He felt ashamed of how roughly he’d treated the other man the night before, especially with the knowledge that Sheppard hadn’t had sex like that with anyone else. He could have been seriously injured and Ronon refused to take refuge in the convenient excuse of his hormones being out of control. If a warrior lost control, people died.

He waited until John sighed and petted the bed as he said, “Fine. Come here.”

Flooded with relief, Ronon climbed onto the bed. He gently shifted John so that he could support the other man’s weight and then put his arms around John’s waist to rest his hands lightly on the still-flat stomach. It wouldn’t be long before John showed a little pouch there and the fierceness with which he wanted that surprised Ronon.

“That wasn’t what I meant, but sure. Why not?” John muttered.

Beckett asked about the cycle and pregnancy. Sighing, Ronon thought briefly back to school and explained what he knew of the process, which was sadly lacking. At the end of the short conversation, Ronon rubbed circles over John’s belly. He got a yawn as the other grew a bit heavier in his arms. Knowing that he’d made his lover more comfortable made him smile.

Beckett smiled as well, announcing his departure and plans for how to deal with Sheppard’s career.

John sounded unhappy but resigned as he answered, “Thanks, Beckett. I appreciate your help on all this.”

Beckett picked up his medkit and assured, “Ach, it’s no problem. 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.”

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. The move surprised Ronon, and shamed him a little, causing him to kiss the side of John’s head and murmur, “I’m sorry, Sheppard.”

Yawning again, John hugged Ronon’s arm a bit tighter to his chest as he answered, “I’m not. But you’ll really be sorry if you move. I’m very comfy right now.”

Chuckling, Ronon felt John become heavy with a true sleep and returned to caressing the belly where his child grew. It was a miracle so profound that he understood, really understood in his gut, why parents fought so hard to save their children. He’d thought he’d known why before, but now…

Ronon shifted just faintly so he could pull the pillow beneath him into a more comfortable position. He might as well get some sleep while he could since he doubted that rest would be plentiful from then on out.

*  *  *  *

Sheppard slept for a few hours before waking with a groaned, “Oww. Man, that hurts.”

Ronon said, “I’ll start the tub,” carefully shifting out from behind the other man.

“You’re going to have to carry me again,” Sheppard told him, looking like he’d eaten something sour. “I don’t think I can move.”

Brushing his hand over Sheppard’s hair, Ronon replied, “You don’t have to. Let me, Sheppard.”

“I think you can call me John now,” the other man pointed out with a wry grin.

Ronon nodded and headed to the bathroom, started the hot water and then wondering if there were any topical muscle aids. Teyla would have proper salts, but he couldn’t ask her for any yet. Hot water would have to do for the time being.

“There’s Epsom salts under the sink,” Sheppard called out.

Crouching down, Ronon opened the cabinet under the sink and found a few different boxes of cleansers and the container in question. He stood and called back, “What does it do?”

“It’s a muscle thing. Just pour some in the tub!”

Ronon shrugged and dumped in half the box before setting it aside and returning to the bedroom. He carefully picked John up into his arms, cradling the other man against his chest, and walked back to the bathroom. He set John on his feet, keeping an arm around his waist, and stopped the water.

“This is going to suck,” Sheppard muttered, lifting a foot and hissing even before setting it into the water. Gah! Yes, yes that sucks.”

It took a long time to get the injured man prone in the hot water, lowering him onto his knees first and then helping him move onto his backside. The groan as Sheppard sank into the water was one of relief instead of pain and Ronon relaxed somewhat. “Better?”

Sheppard sighed and closed his eyes. “I will be shortly.”

Ronon knelt outside the tub for a second and then stood.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Looking down at the other man, Ronon answered, “Nowhere?”

“Damn skippy. Get one of the spongy things under the sink and then get back here,” Sheppard ordered with a lazy grin.

Ronon grinned back and went to find the ‘spongy thing’ in question. He knelt back by the tub and dunked it in the water then ran it over Sheppard’s chest, which got a hum of appreciation. Ronon smirked a little and maintained a steady movement over his body, drawing the hot water up and onto Sheppard’s lightly furred chest with the sponge. He reached down and ran the soft sponge over the soft disk and got a chuckle in return.

“Isn’t that what got us in this mess?” Sheppard asked.

Ronon looked at him and replied, “It’s not like you can get pregnant twice.”

He pushed the sponge between the lean thighs and rubbed it against Sheppard’s balls, provoking a moan of more than just relief. Tossing the sponge down the end of the tub, Ronon replaced it with his hand. Taking Sheppard’s dick in a loose hold, he asked, “How do you like it?”

Sheppard said breathlessly, “Light and loose to start, just like that.”

Ronon stroked him, watching his face avidly as Sheppard seemed to go boneless all of a sudden, licking his lips. Slowly tightening his grip, Ronon kept an even up and down rhythm. When Sheppard’s breathing quickened, he added a twisting motion and asked, “Good?”

“God, yeah,” Sheppard agreed, thrusting up into the hold. “More like that.”

It was an easy order to obey, learning what his lover liked. Reaching his other hand between Sheppard’s legs and took his balls in hand. “What do you like? Squeeze them? Roll them?”

Shuddering, Sheppard gasped, “Whatever, it’s all good, Ronon.”

Ronon grinned again, liking that he could reduce the other man to gasping with pleasure so fast. It was probably because of his weakened state that Sheppard groaned and came only minutes later, come splattering over Ronon’s hand and into the water. Ronon rinsed his hand in the water and then picked up the sponge again, cleaning off what had landed on his lover’s abs.

Looking utterly relaxed, Sheppard heaved a sigh and then slid a little further into the water. “Don’t suppose you could refresh the water?”

Ronon chuckled and hit the drain button and then started a new stream of hot water.

*  *  *  *

They were in a closed exam room in the infirmary an hour after the bath. No one had been camped outside John’s door, which meant either they’d taken Beckett’s dismissal to heart or, more likely, Elizabeth had reinforced it with her own. And they hadn’t met anyone on the way down to the infirmary, which he took as a good sign. If McKay had shown up, he’d likely have wound up with Ronon’s fist in his face.

Ronon hovered as Beckett took John’s vitals and then more blood samples than seemed wise. Frowning, he asked, “Isn’t that too much blood?”

“We’re going to scan him for everything,” Beckett answered. “Not to worry, no one’s in danger. I’m going to do an ultrasound just to see what your insides look like. Don’t expect to see even the hint of a fetus.”

John corrected, “Baby.”

Beckett smiled and agreed, “Of course, the baby. Now then, this’ll be a wee bit cold.”

Hissing, John complained, “A wee bit?”

Smoothly connecting the scanner thing to John’s stomach, Beckett replied, “Just a touch. And would you look at that now?”

Ronon glanced at the monitor, but couldn’t make anything out. “Look at what?”

Beckett touched a button and the screen went still for a moment. Four more times and the doctor finally explained, “Something’s definitely going on in there. Here, let me bring the images up on the computer to blow them up.”

John took the cloth from Beckett and cleaned himself off before pulling his shirt down and accepting Ronon’s help off the exam bed. They followed the smaller man to the computer against the wall where he sat down and brought up the pictures of before, making one area bigger.

Finger trailing over the screen, Beckett said, “See here? It looks like a tiny little sack is already formed right against the gallbladder. Just as well, since I’d hate to have worried about impaired function in your liver or kidneys. Worst comes to worst, we remove the gallbladder with the baby when it’s time. Now then, this is where things get tricky.”

Ronon straightened, putting a hand on John’s shoulder as he met the doctor’s sober blue eyes.

“Women are built to expand. Men are not. Well, not like that at any rate. I’m going to be keeping a verra close eye on your insides, Colonel, to make sure they don’t shift too far out of place or become crushed by the baby.”

“What happens if those things happen?” John asked.

Beckett hesitated and then said, “We’ll have to remove the baby and put him or her in an incubator and hope for the best. I’m hopeful it won’t happen until your far enough along for the baby to survive there.”

Folding his arms over his chest, John told them both, tone stubborn, “This baby is the priority. You save him, not me, Beckett. Am I understood?”

An uncomfortable expression surfaced on the doctor’s face for just a moment before he soothed, “Nothing we need to worry about now, Colonel. Likely not anything to worry about at all. I just needed to let you know about the possibility.”

From the way Beckett looked back at the screen with its unreadable image, Ronon made a note to ask McKay what the procedure was for human births. Did they save the mother or the child if both were in danger? He pulled John against him, arm going over his lover’s shoulder and holding him protectively.

If they had to leave Atlantis to make sure his family survived, they would.