Elizabeth had had this particular conversation with plenty of women over the tenure of her office at Atlantis, people didn’t stop having children because they were in another galaxy after all, but never with a man. That it was Colonel John Sheppard on the other side of her desk threw her more than she cared to admit. He looked exactly the same, barring the large band-aid on his neck.

What did you expect? she thought derisively. That he would grow a large belly overnight?

He opened with a knowing, “You should cut yourself some slack. It’s not like this is an every day kinda situation.”

Elizabeth flushed at having been so transparent and said, “I’m sorry, John, it’s just…no, you’re right. This has never happened before and I’m not entirely sure how to handle it.”

“Well, Beckett’s put me on medical leave regarding missions, so you don’t have to worry about making that decision,” John said sourly. When she opened her mouth to protest, he continued, “No, I know. We have no idea what turn this thing’s gonna take, I get it. And hey. Medical leave’s better than maternity leave, right? Keeps the boys back home guessing?”

Elizabeth sighed and leaned forward as she told him, “John, they have to be told. I will make sure they understand that none of this is your fault, or Ronon’s fault, it just happened.”

“And the gay thing? You think they’re just going to overlook it?” he prompted wryly.

Curious, she asked, “Are you?”

John sat back in his chair and thought about it before shaking his head. “Not that I know of. Probably somewhat bi, but Ronon was…ah…you know. The first guy and whatever.”

“Well there you go,” Elizabeth told him. “Not a problem for your career.”

Snorting, John countered, “Ronon’s moving in, Elizabeth. Half his stuff is sitting on my floor already. And the odds of us not doing it again are staggeringly low.”

She quirked a grin at him. “You don’t make things easy, do you?”

John grinned back at her. “Never have before, why start now?”

Elizabeth sighed and suggested, “All right. Let’s do this. I will delay my report to Earth regarding your…condition…for a couple of months. For all we know, you may not be able to, ah, carry the baby to term. Once we know everything’s okay, I’ll classify the information and send it directly to General O’Neill and he can handle it however he wants. I sincerely doubt that he’ll call for your resignation, John, you’re simply too important to the success of this mission.”

“And my new living arrangements? Because that’ll get around really damn fast,” John pointed out.

“It’s no one’s business why you and Ronon are living together,” she began slowly, “but if word happens to get around that you’ve got some kind of…non-contagious Satedan disease and Ronon’s assisting you…”

John flashed a wry grin her way. “Gotcha. I’ll let Rodney know and then swear him to secrecy.”

Chuckling, she agreed, “That should do it. Especially if Zalenka’s hovering in the background somewhere.”

After a brief pause, John told her, “I appreciate your help with this, Elizabeth, you sure don’t have to be this understanding about it. Hell, I don’t even understand it half the time myself and I’m the…well…mom, I guess.”

Elizabeth smiled at that and said, “I know you’re going to be an excellent parent, John; you and Ronon, both. And while the circumstances are highly unusual, to put it mildly, I’ve always been of the mind that family is vital, no matter how it comes about.”

“Well, thanks anyhow,” John replied, standing.

She watched him leave and then relaxed into her chair with a headshake. Life on Atlantis was never dull, but even by their high standards of unusual, a male pregnancy was pretty damn high on the list.

*  *  *  *

Ronon waited outside Elizabeth’s door, pushing off from the wall when John left the office. The tension on his face eased a bit when he met John’s gaze, though John had no idea what he saw there. Heading towards Rodney’s workshop, he said, “We’re going to tell Rodney that I’ve got a non-contagious Satedan thing and that you’re staying with me to make sure I don’t have any bad, human reactions. Then we’re going to swear him to secrecy.”

Ronon’s eyebrows lifted skeptically as he pointed out, “McKay can’t keep a secret to…oh.”

Chuckling, John nodded and agreed, “Exactly.”

“What about Teyla?” Ronon questioned.

John thought about it and then admitted, “We should tell her the truth. She probably won’t believe us about the disease thing anyhow, right?”

Ronon confirmed, “There is no such disease.”

As it happened, they met up with Teyla leaving the workshop on their approach. Her face lit up as she greeted, “John! It is good to see that you are not badly injured, as I feared. For Ronon to seek medical assistance on your behalf, well, I feared the worst.”

“I’m fine,” he promised, returning her hug. “Though we do have some news.”

She stepped back with a concerned frown. “Are you not all right?”

“We had sex after the party and my buloa activated. Sheppard’s pregnant,” Ronon stated bluntly.

Teyla’s mouth dropped, her eyes opening in apparent shock and John elbowed him hard. “You don’t just blurt stuff like that out! Geeze! You’re like a bull in a China shop!”

Rubbing his side, Ronon muttered, “Sorry.”

Teyla’s shock turned to happiness as she exclaimed, “That’s wonderful! I am so pleased for you both!” and then hugged John again, turning on Ronon after with an equal enthusiasm.

John motioned for her to quiet down and told her, “We’re keeping it under the radar until I begin to show. It’s seriously against regs. Actually, I don’t think there are any regs for this. Anyhow, don’t tell anyone. It’ll be you, Beckett, and Weir who know, outside of us.”

“What about Rodney?” Teyla asked. “He’ll be so hurt that you excluded him.”

Shrugging, John said, “If Rodney knew how to keep his mouth shut, he’d be included.”

Teyla sighed a little. “I think you are doing him a disservice by withholding your trust in this, but it is your decision. I will not tell anyone, not even Rodney.”

“Thank you,” Ronon rumbled.

John echoed, “Yes, thank you. We’re off to tell Rodney that I’ve been infected with something Satedan so Ronon’s staying with me for a couple of months in case there’s a problem or reaction or whatever.”

Her eyebrows lifted. “This is the excuse you’ve come up with?”

John nodded and said, “We figure with Elizabeth and Beckett in on it, that should do the trick.”

“Rodney will not believe…”

“What won’t Rodney believe?”

They all looked over at the door where Rodney stood, looking expectant. John exchanged a quick glance with Ronon and then answered, “That I ah, I actually caught something from Ronon. It’s not contagious or dangerous, so don’t look like that!”

Rodney had stepped back at the announcement and then scowled. “Then what is it? And how’d you get it?”

Something he hadn’t thought to have an answer for.

Ronon said, “Someone explained to me about ‘mistletoe’ and I tried it out on Sheppard.”

Rodney’s jaw dropped. “You kissed Sheppard?”

Shrugging, Ronon replied, “Yeah. So?”

Only Ronon could be so blasé about kissing another guy in a place where that’s seriously frowned on, John thought, stemming the urge to laugh at Rodney’s incredulous expression.

Ronon continued, “One of our children’s diseases, Beckett said it’s something like your mono…mono…

“Mononucleosis,” John supplied, stunned that Ronon even knew about it. When had he done research like that? More importantly, why had he? John’s gaze narrowed at the bigger man as he made a mental note to ask about it later.

“…was transmitted during the kiss,” Ronon finished. “So I’m staying with Sheppard to make sure he doesn’t have any adverse reactions.”

Rodney frowned. “Why doesn’t he just stay in the infirmary?”

Ronon glanced at John and a grin ghosted over his face as he answered, “Because it’s my fault he’s in the condition he is.”

John rolled his eyes. “Anyhow. Don’t you tell a soul, Rodney. No one. Got it? Don’t really need people knowing I got kissed under the mistletoe like some sixteen year old girl.”

Rodney grinned and promised, “Of course not. I wouldn’t tell a soul.”

Mission accomplished, John said, “Good. I’m going back to bed. Beckett took me off any off-world missions for the near future so enjoy your downtime.”

John accepted Ronon’s arm around his waist, glad for the support as his body abruptly decided that it had had more than enough moving around for the day. A wave of exhaustion hit without warning and he barely made it inside his quarters before sagging against his lover. Ronon picked him up, as he’d known the other man would, and carried him to the bed, setting him down gently. As much as it irked him to accept that kind of treatment, he was too tired to make a fuss about it either, especially since it got him to where he wanted to be faster than he could’ve managed.

Ronon stretched out behind him, spooning up and surrounding him with long arms and legs. Nuzzling against the back of John’s neck, he murmured, “Are you hungry yet?”

“Yet?” John repeated, suspicious.

Ronon answered simply, “Our women eat a lot when they’re pregnant.”

John made a face, but answered through a yawn, “No, just really tired.”

“Then sleep, John. The world can wait.”

Warm and content and comfortable, John drifted into sleep.