Like a lovelorn suitor, the fishing fleet followed the Ice north in summer, courting its fortune of scaled silver where the waters were deepest.

Sometimes the Winter Woman was generous, sometimes she lashed out in stormy anger because she had been exiled from the land.

Like a hunter skinning a seal, a rogue berg peeled the steel hull of the Bright Wing open and it lost both its engines to water damage three days before Sunnight. The rest of the fleet left them behind, drawn northward by the siren song of the gulls that followed the great schools of feasting fish. Dead in the water, they were taking on water as fast as they could pump it out, floating on a sea still and bluer than the sky. The sun dipped to the horizon and rose bright as brass again; twilight flirted with the mauve cliffs of ice on the horizon but true dark never arrived.

Bright Wing's crew worked through the daylight night hip-deep in cold sea water to weld a patch over the tear in its hull, but without engines their ship remained helpless as a beached whale.

The silhouette of another ship on the white southern horizon brought shouts of relief from the crew's throats.

Ludi Tokison on the Little Bear must have got through to the skúvar following the fleet and they must have radioed Hæmírfara. He'd owe Ludi and the radio woman on the processing ship an ale when they made back to harbor. Provided he had any money left after paying for new engines. Maybe, if he was lucky, Makke would be able to repair the ones he had. The Maker seldom asked for much in return for his work. Some folk worried that Makke and his i'iutk partner Jouni wanted little to tie them down, though their friend Onnin had married locally and Tuula and her man had had children since arriving in Kauko Bay. The two i'iutk had no ties to anyone with spiritfolk to draw them home if they wandered. Bright Wing's captain thought that was foolishness, a blind fool could see they were both bound to Onnin and Tuula, but there was talk among the elders that they had a Need and of how to gift them someday soon.

The Hrafny came beside the much larger Bright Wing like a dolphin breeching next to a great whale, riding the surface with eerie stillness, her deck undisturbed by the waves that rocked the larger ship. Her captain scrambled up a rope ladder tossed over the fishing boat's side and came aboard with a salt-white grin. Makke Maker and Tuula the weather witch climbed up behind him.

"Jouni," Bright Wing's captain greeted Hrafny's master and they clasped each other's forearms.

Hrafny might be preternaturally still, but Jouni rode the roll and rise of Bright Wing's deck without concern.

"Kespë," he said. "Heard you needed a lift."

"A lift?" Kespë asked. 

The sea wind flicked Jouni's too long dark hair over his eyes and he flipped it away. Hazel eyes narrowed and his grin fading a little, he said, "A tug back to port."

"Can your boat pull Bright Wing?" The lighthouse keepers' boat sailed in any weather, but Kespë still doubted it could drag a ship as large as Bright Wing as far as Kauko Bay or even Hæmírfara without blowing its engines. "I am glad to see you, Makke. If you could repair an engine, we could — "

Makke waved his hand as he interrupted, a scowl settling on his wide, wind-burned face. "Hah. You'd race after the rest of the fleet and try to make up for lost time. Well, it won't happen. I saw that rip in the hull. Your engines were flooded with sea water. I'm not a magician, you know."

Jouni was grinning again and squinting at the horizon. Tuula sighed and tucked her braids back over her shoulders. "There is a squawl headed this way," she said. "It will arrive tomorrow."

"Don't worry about Hrafny," Jouni added, "we'll have you back in Kauko Bay by then."

"Sea water," Makke muttered. "You know what a mess those engines are going to be?"

Jouni clapped him on the shoulder and left his hand there. "Look on the upside, Rodney, we'll be in Kauko Bay for Sunnight."

"Like I'm about to celebrate axial tilt when I could be, oh, I don't know, building a radar or sonar rig so these idiots don't run into another piece of giant floating ice, forcing me to leave my nice, warm, comfortable bed to come out with you and rescue them."

From down in the Hrafny's wheelhouse, Onnin poked his head out a window and shouted, "Let's do this! You're not the only one who left a warm bed, McKay, and mine had Päuvi in it!"

"You could have stayed at home with Päuvi, Kanaan, Torren and the twins," Tuula said.

"Hah!" Makke exclaimed. He poked Jouni in the ribs, garnering an ow and a wounded look from him. "As if I'd trust him not to end up in the belly of whale or some equally ridiculous venture without me along." He glared at Jouni. "With your sense of direction, you'd probably sail the wrong way across the ocean to the other coast."

"Only if your navigation system failed."

"You mean if you broke it! My designs don't fail — "

Kespë told himself to remember to throw out the traditional fish for the Winter Woman next time the Bright Wing left the harbor and thank his spiritfolk his engineer didn't share her temperament the way Makke Maker did. He was grateful for the quick rescue that meant he and his ship wouldn't need to wait for the fleet to return for a tow home, but he couldn't imagine crewing with any of Hrafny's folk for more than few hours.


They promised Kespë he could stand them all drinks at the Singing Seal the next time they were there, left Bright Wing snugged to the dock where repairs on its hull and engines could begin, docked Hrafny, split up and wandered into Kauko Bay.

Sunnight wasn't the celebration Winterfair was. Summers were for hard work and the midnight sun meant hours more each day. Kauko Bay was busy. Had Hrafny's crew been home on Hæmírfara, they would have been bending their efforts toward all the tasks that had to be done before the Winter Woman brought the Ice back down too.

Instead, they made the most of their break, putting in orders and buying small items they would have waited until the next month to pick up.

"We'll head home after dinner," John decided. Sunnight meant they would have light all the way across the sound. He'd stripped off his oiled leather coat and ratty fisherman's sweater back on the boat and been wandering through town in a light, faded green shirt, the sleeves rolled high on his forearms and the collar open. One tail had pulled loose from his waistband. He tipped his face to the sky and let his eyes close. "Teyla won't want to be away from Welda and Seppe too long."

Beside him, Rodney sniffed, pretending he wasn't struck breathless by the line of John's throat and the sweet curve of his smile for the sun. Besides, he thought Teyla had jumped at the chance to go after the Bright Wing just to get a break from mothering. She missed the excitement of missions as much as John and Ronon did.

"We should get a room at the Three Crows. Hot baths." Big deep baths with hot water were one the inn's best attractions. The lighthouse tower had either the copper tub set in front of the kitchen hearth or the cramped shower pod in the Ancient outpost. Rodney missed the luxury of soaking stretched out and floating in hot water. The inn even had different herb and flower scented soaps and oils. On Earth, Three Crow's owner Malwe Lolledottir would have run a five star hotel. Rodney smiled dreamily. It didn't even hurt to think of Earth.

"Gonna get one for Teyla and Ronon too."

"Why not? You all smell like fish."

John grinned at him and laughed. "Rodney, all of Kauko Bay smells like fish right now."

The canneries and smokehouses were working shift and shift to handle the bounty brought in with the skúvar ships as well as the independent fisherfolk. The town smelled of fish oil, smoke and the sea. The leavings were carted to the compost houses, where fires would burn all winter to break it down; otherwise the garbage froze and was there come spring. Working the compost house was warm, but still punishment for every naughty child in town old enough to heft a shovel. Teyla planned to introduce Torren to that duty once they finished the greenhouse. The mosken in the barn would do their part.

"Their baths are big enough for two," Rodney wheedled and knew he'd won by the pink tip of John's tongue swiping his lower lip. He added, just to cement his argument, "No Torren walking in or hammering on our door."

"All right," John said. "We can go home in the morning."


Aside from the main road leading from the docks to Winterend Hill, the streets were fairly narrow, winding up and down and angling wherever a house or building had come first. John could feel it in his calves after a day of walking around town. He would never admit it but he loved Rodney's hot bathes too.

Business sat next to houses, in front, below, above, or sometimes in them. Trees were too rare so far north to waste timber. Slate shingles were used on the sharp-sloped roofs and walls in most cases — a local quarry made it a cheap choice — or weathered copper sheets hammered into shape. Before it tarnished, the copper shone bright, almost pinkish, where new repairs had been made. The local sealant used everywhere on Ljósver for everything from roofs to boats to tools and furniture had an oily iridescence. It made the rounded slates shine like fish scales.

Sunlight broke it down, so it wasn't uncommon to see light-footed teenagers roped to the chimneys working their way across the roofs with brushes and buckets of it, adding a new coating for the next winter.

They ran across Ronon at Otso's, checking whether the leather dealer wanted any messages relayed to his daughter. John bought Rodney new house-boots lined in fur and extra gloves for winter, since they'd never find his old ones before snowfall, while Ronon kept him distracted. Need Day was coming, so he added a size-larger pair of boots for Torren to the list he slipped Ronon's father-in-law. Otso would see the packages were rowed out and left in Hrafny's small cargo hold.

Rodney told Ronon about the plan to stay at the inn. Ronon gave John a knowing look over Rodney's head. John shrugged, feeling no shame. Ronon grinned in good humor. He and Päuvi would make up for the lost night once they were back at the lighthouse. John would make sure Torren didn't disturb them.

"Going to check out the skukum?" Ronon asked.

"Maybe." Rodney liked the food at the evening street fairs, but John found himself more and more uncomfortable in the crowds every year. "For a little while."

"Might see you there."

"Okay. Did Teyla mention going anywhere except Mika's?" He didn't remember her saying anything, but he'd been piloting Hrafny and watching for the kayaks the local kids used to dart across the harbor.

"Over to the chemist on Roal Street," Ronon answered. "They've got those chew sticks the twins like."

They stepped outside the door, pausing just under the eave overhang, shaded except for the boots, and Ronon promised to tell Teyla they were all staying at the Three Crows if he saw her or he'd go back to the boat and leave a note for her there. Rodney joined them a moment later, guiltily tucking a waxed paper parcel inside his day pack. John suspected he'd see what it held later.

They parted from Ronon again with an agreement to eat at the inn's dining room together and meandered in that direction, stopping at the bakery Rodney favored and then at the kitemaker's so John could admire the bright winged serpents, snow bears and flying fish and finally give up and buy the sea eagle. Imagining flying it from the Hrafny's deck, he didn't even pretend it was for Torren.

"Really, it should be a raven in that case," Rodney commented. Rodney had seen John's mask slip and the ache show through, but Rodney knew when to pretend he hadn't. He tucked the package with the kite, wrapped in its red string, under his arm and took Rodney's hand.

It wouldn't be flying and he didn't know why he wanted a reminder of what he no longer had, but all the other boats flew kites from their wheelhouses and masts. The fleet made a brilliant show when it sailed. Wives and husbands and partners gave the sailors going out kites as gifts for good luck and crews would climb masts or stand at the prow to fly them. Traditionally, a kite on a long string coming into port signaled a big catch or other good news.

"You can fly it tomorrow when we sail."



Or maybe he'd let Ronon take the wheel and fly the eagle kite with Rodney. Rodney's eyes took on an extra blue shade when they out on the water.

"Let's go check in now, before dinner," John said. He wanted to spend the endless afternoon with Rodney in a quiet room, touching his pale skin, with the window shutters thrown wide and the buttery light tracing them both.

The shortest route to the inn had a steep incline, resulting in narrow terraces in front of the doors of the houses. Each corner was supported by a spirit pole carved from a pine tree stripped of its bark. Mother's family and father's family each provided a pole for a couple building their home. Brilliantly painted spiritfolk, animals, and demons grinned and scowled outward watching from every direction.

Rodney stopped in front on one to catch his breath and scowled back at it. "Looks a little like Landry," he puffed.

John studied the deep blue-painted face snarling at them and decided the thick arching brows and cross-ways mohawk did resemble the SGC general a little. He chuckled and couldn't resist flipping the demon off as they walked away.

"Very mature," Rodney commented.

"Part of my boyish charm," John replied, nudging his shoulder against Rodney's until Rodney growled and snaked his arm around John's waist. The old couple carrying their shopping in net bags only smiled at them as they passed. To hell with you, Landry, John thought. He wouldn't trade Earth and Atlantis, his old life, or flying — not all of them together — for the life he had now. He linked his free arm around Rodney and slid one finger under Rodney's waistband to touch the soft, soft skin hidden there.


Warm and still damp from their soak in the bath, Rodney spread John out on the big bed and caught his breath at all that glory revealed for him and just for him. Knee bent, one hand resting loose and relaxed on his belly, and his other arm stretched upward and tucked under his head, John watched him through half-lidded eyes. He'd shaved the sharp line of his jaw smooth and beads of water still glittered in the dark disorder of his hair. Ink-etched hair drew an arrow down his chest to where his stomach hollowed with each unsteady inhale. John's skin was bare along his sides, pale as ivory, and smooth. Rodney rested his hand along the cage of John's ribs with his fingers nocked between the hollows, matched the curve of John's side, and waited for him to sigh. He let his hand stay there, gentle yet firm, the heat between his palm and John's skin different than the warmth of the sun falling through the double-pane glass onto his shoulder, both too good not to linger and savor.

Slow touch, no teasing, made John come apart. Rodney relished the opportunity to watch and take his time. Fast could be fun, because John liked speed, but gentle and deliberate earned him hitching breaths, dark, desperate eyes, and pleas for more.

He waited until John sighed and twisted closer under his hand before sliding his palm up to cup the hollow of John's armpit, then down, stroking his fingers through the silky tangle of underarm hair. John rolled his head to the side to watch what Rodney was doing. His lips were parted and he looked half-drunk with pleasure already. It stirred the desire already heavy and building through Rodney so he pressed the heel of his other hand to base of his erection.

A quick glance showed John's cock already hard and heavy against his belly too.

"Gonna fuck me?" John murmured. "Come on." He lifted his hips with a moan, his knee falling farther open. "Please."

Rodney paused. It usually took longer for John to let go enough to admit everything he wanted. He'd thought he might need to pull out the padded lengths of leather he'd purchased at Otso's. Just pushing John against a wall or holding him down could have him dazed with arousal, but restraining his wrists left John almost helpless with need. He'd beg, though never for long, because Rodney could never say no to him. The leather could wait for another time; John was moving restlessly on the bed already, whispering under his breath and obviously lost to the sensual hunger he kept under tight wraps except with Rodney.

Rodney stroked his hand down John's side to his hip, keeping his touch firm, doing nothing to surprise John. An unexpected touch would make John flinch on occasion, as if he still needed to hide how he responded so easily and eagerly. John's hip fit Rodney's hand and he pressed down when John rocked up immediately.

"Soon," he promised and turned to press a kiss to the crease inside John's bent knee. "I'm going to suck you off first."

"Okay," John sighed and whimpered as Rodney methodically kissed his way down John's inner thigh. John's hand flexed on his belly then it and his other found Rodney's face and caressed it as Rodney took John into his mouth. The weight on his tongue, hot and so vulnerable, made Rodney dizzy with want and love. He sucked gently at the slick head then took John in deeper, working his tongue along the underside, feeling John's fingers tighten in his hair and along his jaw.

A low guttural sound tore from John's throat and he shook but stayed still under Rodney's hand on his hip. Rodney rubbed his hand over John's belly, feeling the muscles jump and tense under the skin, and ignored the ache in his own groin. He wanted John so far gone he couldn't think enough to stay polite, so needy Rodney had to hold him down. Then Rodney would fuck him.

They had all afternoon and all the daylight night to build to that point. Rodney drew back far enough that he could work one hand behind John's balls and rub the pad of his index finger over John's perineum steadily, smiling at the high thin cry that triggered as John tried to push down for more stimulation there. His cock popped out of Rodney's mouth and slapped against his belly drawing another sound of protest from him.

"No, no, no," John babbled, rocking and writhing, no longer able to track which touch he needed more. "That, there, I, I need more."

Rodney swallowed him deep and hollowed his cheeks, sucking then swallowing, taking John right to the edge.

All afternoon, he promised John. And himself.


"Teyla and Ronon are going to be hungry," John croaked. The light through the windows hadn't changed, but it felt like Rodney had drawn him to the peak and held him there for hours. His throat felt raw from the noises Rodney had wrung from him. He'd come with Rodney moving deep inside him, hips canted, wrapped in him, his universe molten and complete. The aftermath left him feeling like his body had been replaced with melted honey. His skin still tingled under the sweat drying on him. With his eyes closed, he imagined he could trace the lines Rodney's hands had mapped over it. He should glow everywhere from it; that much pleasure should leave a shining mark.

"Don't be ridiculous. They'll have ordered dinner and ate without us."

Rodney was stroking the knob at the outside of John's wrist. It made John want to curl into him. He rolled to the side and let himself do it, nuzzling against Rodney's neck, inhaling the mingled scents there. Rodney ran his other hand down John's back; he hummed and licked the notch at the base of Rodney's throat in response, feeling needy and wanton. Rodney was right. Ronon and Teyla could take care of themselves. He licked again, liking the taste of salt and Rodney and the way Rodney trembled in response.

He moved up and rubbed his cheek against Rodney's jaw, relishing the smooth and the rough, molding his body as close to Rodney's as he could. "My turn," he said. He wanted all that skin, wanted to sink into the familiar curves and angles, to make Rodney light up the way Rodney had done to him. He rolled his hips so their cocks brushed together, relishing the sensation and the discovery that Rodney was hard too.

"Like I'm going to object."

Rodney smiled at him, the quick way he breathed in and out in response to John's teasing whole body caress giving away that his calm was all fake.

He held his hand to John's face so tenderly John ached. "My Jo."

John ducked and kissed Rodney's cheekbone and the orbit of his brow, then down to the corner of his mouth that slid down when he was tired or unhappy, showing him wordlessly how much he liked it when Rodney called him that. It wasn't less real, it was more: it was them, here, in this sweet, good place. Makke, he thought, Jouni belonged Makke and Makke belonged to Jouni and...

"Jouni loves Makke," John whispered against Rodney's lips.

He felt Rodney smile against his mouth. "Yes, yes, he does. Makke does."

John felt foolish and free and playful because he'd said it at last. "Promise."

"Promise. RM plus JS forever," Rodney said. "We'll carve it in a heart on a tree and doodle it in the harbor master's logbook."

John jerked against him, laughing and helpless with sudden joy. "What, no shouting it from the roof tops?"

"I'll make a stencil and use the Light to reflect it off the clouds like the Bat Signal, how about that?"

John pictured it and the bewilderment of everyone out in the fishing fleet along with the way Teyla and Ronon would roll their eyes. It set him off again, laughing, as he thought of the perfect punctuation.

"With a little infinity symbol."

Rodney snorted with laughter too before he cupped the back of John's head and met his eyes.

"Without end, amen."


A thin cry like a sea bird floated to them as they rowed out to the Hrafny. It carried over the creak and shush of the oars and the slap of the water against the boat's hull.

"Is that in the wheelhouse?" Rodney asked.

"Sounds like it," Ronon said.

"Cat?" John speculated.

Another wail interrupted the stillness of the morning.

"That is not a cat," Teyla declared.

John and Ronon put their shoulders and backs into the strokes and Teyla stood to scramble topside first. Once she'd spoken, they all recognized the plaintive cry of an unhappy baby. They'd muffled Torren's unhappy wails too often before they reached Ljósver and if they'd forgotten, the new babies had refreshed all their memories.

Rodney followed Teyla on board, leaving John and Ronon to load the packages they'd brought with them and secure the dingy. He followed Teyla across the top deck to the wheelhouse, zigzagging around some of the crates and a few barrels that had been delivered and tied down on deck during the day before. The harbor master's seal over the wheelhouse hatch was secure. Rodney exchanged a look with Teyla. Whatever had been left inside had been delivered with Eija's approval.

Teyla sliced the wax seal open and opened the hatch.

The cries began again, louder than before.

"It's a baby," Rodney blurted out.

"Yes, Rodney," Teyla replied impatiently. "I've seen one before."

"But, but — " He gestured to the beautiful cradle holding the baby, a safety net laced over it in the fashion the fishing fleet people used to safeguard themselves from falling out of their bunks in rough seas.

Ronon and John crowded into the wheelhouse behind him, forcing Rodney a step forward toward the cradle and baby. A carved chest and boxes of supplies, including several crates of canned gansh milk, were arranged next to it, along with his correspondence from the College of the Learned in Kerena and a box of John's books. The child hadn't been left off on their boat mistakenly.

"Holy shit," John breathed behind him, one hand resting at the small of Rodney's back. Ronon grunted.

Teyla began examining the goods left with the baby and the baby watched her through the loose weave of the net. Rodney sidled forward, pushed by John, still flummoxed by why anyone would leave a baby with them. He bent over the cradle in the hope some explanation would present itself. The baby had a green knit cap embroidered with white-and-pink and white-and-orange flowers on her head. The cap was beautiful, careful work that obviously hadn't belonged to any previous child. He unlaced the netting. Maybe there was a letter or something in the cradle.

John hovered behind him, peering over Rodney's shoulder, so close his warmth seeped into Rodney's back.

Ronon bypassed them all and began going through the start up check list. When Rodney had re-engineered the wrecked jumper they'd found to power and stabilize Hrafny, he'd made sure all the controls would respond to Ronon, Teyla and Kanaan as well as himself and John.

"She has not been here more than an hour," Teyla said. Rodney wondered how she could tell the baby was a girl, but refrained from asking. The answer would likely make him feel foolish for missing something utterly obvious that everyone else had seen.

The baby screwed up her dark eyes, pursed her mouth, and loosed a whale-sized wail. Rodney hadn't had much experience with Torren as a newborn, but Seppe and Welda spent nearly as much time in their uncles' arms as their parents'. He scooped the baby up and began humming. It worked on the twins, it worked on the baby, and sans scooping, it worked on John when he had nightmares, so Rodney settled into a comforting tune.

"How can you tell?" John asked.

Ronon sniffed loudly. "Clean diaper."

"Jordan's river is deep and wide, alleluia, I've got a home on the other side," Rodney sang under his breath, "alleluia. — What's she doing here, though? — row the boat ashore, alleluia."

The baby squirmed an arm loose and waved it at John. He let her grab his finger and made dork faces at her. "Michael Row the Boat Ashore?" he whispered at Rodney in amusement. Rodney glared at him. John had the entire Johnny Cash songbook memorized and sometimes serenaded the mosken to Folsom Prison Blues, but Rodney thought that wasn't quite the thing to sing for a baby. Besides, it was the only thing he could think of other than The Elements Song.

Teyla plucked a carved medallion on a leather thong out of the cradle and held it up, swinging, for everyone to see.

"She's a Need gift."

"A what?"

"People can't just give away babies!" John protested in time with Rodney's exclamation.

The baby hiccupped a cry in Rodney's ear, not liking their suddenly raised voices. Rodney rubbed her back and went back to singing. "Sister help to trim the sails, alleluia, sister help to trim the sails, alleluia." The baby quieted immediately and Teyla gave him an approving smile that made Rodney blush.

"Have neither of you paid any attention to the ways of these people?" Teyla scolded John softly. "Among the nomadic hunters, when the group becomes too large to support more children and the hunting is not good, men and women will pair together, as i'iutk, like you and Rodney — "

"Like me and Rodney?" John echoed.

"As partners," Teyla continued smoothly, "not sacrifices."

John shifted to mold his chest to Rodney's back and hooked his chin onto Rodney's shoulder, all without making the baby let go of his finger. "Okay, but i'iutk aren't going to have babies... Oh. They're giving us a baby?"

"No, they're giving you and Rodney to the baby," Teyla corrected. "She's been born to a clan with too many children already and needs one that can care for her. They've honored you and Rodney by choosing you."

"Oh," John breathed, the warm gust against the side of Rodney's neck making him shiver.

Rodney eyed Teyla and the way Ronon's shoulders were shaking, and tucked away the suspicion that Teyla had twisted that explanation just a little to persuade John, who always had a hard time with even the smallest gifts, but no trouble at all when he thought he was needed.

"So that's it?" Rodney asked. "We go out to tow a fishing boat to port and come back with the mail and a baby?"

Teyla raised an elegant eyebrow and gestured to the goods stacked around the cradle.

Rodney hmphed into the pretty cap on the baby's head. His and John's baby, he thought, the idea already settling into his mind the way a new discovery sometimes did, its truth as obvious as a blue sky, once realized.

"Guess so," Ronon said. "Everything checks out, John. Ready to go?"

John wiggled his finger for the baby. If Rodney turned his head, he knew he'd see that John was entranced by the delicate, pudgy fingers and thumb clutching his finger and the contrast between his rough tan and her copper, almost transparent skin.

"Teyla, you're sure?" John asked.

"I am sure," she replied gently.

John sighed against Rodney's ear. "Yeah. Let's go, Ronon." He straightened. "Hey, Teyla, you want to fly the kite?"

"You bought a kite?"

"Yeah, it's in that stuff we brought over on the dingy. We put it all inside the cargo bay hatch."

Teyla tipped her head in thought, then nodded. "It is good to follow tradition."

"Hey, wait," Rodney said. "What if we — what if we hadn't wanted her? Wouldn't take her? What would happen?"

She graced him and John with that serene smile again and didn't answer, slipping out the wheelhouse door instead.

"I guess everyone in Kauko Bay has our number," John murmured.

"You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Teyla hadn't been in — in cahoots with whoever did this," Rodney replied.

John chuckled. "All while twirling their Snidely Whiplash mustaches."

Ronon had the HUDs up and everything was green. He glanced over his shoulder at them. "Someone needs to cast off."

"Guess that's me." John kissed Rodney's cheek and backed away. "Be right back."

"Don't fall over the edge," Rodney told him, "I'm not ready to be a single mother," prompting a hoot of laughter from Ronon. "Laugh it up, jackass, and see who's sleeping with the mosken when I turn off the heat in your and Päuvi's room."

"Don't care. We'll keep each other warm," Ronon replied.

"That's not what she'll say."

"Come over here."

Rodney skirted around the crates, chestnut-slated wood from the east, the dairy's mark branded onto the sides and top, and up to the peculiar marriage of crystals and brass, shining wood and blue-green Ancient alloys that made up the controls. The heavy glass shipped all the way from Kerena had a faint ripple, as if the heat of the glass furnace had been captured in it. John was at the side, giving them a thumbs up, and Teyla was at the prow, deftly arranging the strings to the sea eagle kite balanced at her feet, ready to fly. Ronon engaged the drive pod Rodney had used to replace Hrafny's original engine, feathering the power to the screw and deftly reversed them from the dock. The inertial dampers kept the deck steady under their feet.

Teyla played out string and tossed the kite into the air as Hrafny turned and picked up speed. It caught in the breeze and soared over the boat as they left the harbor and started across the sound.

He turned the baby in his arms and swore she watched in fascination too as Teyla and John tipped their faces up and laughed, while the wind whipping their hair as it lifted the kite into the sky.


They let the kite fly until the predicted squawl turned the horizon gray and the wind threatened to tear the strings from their hands. John helped Teyla reel it in and pack it away. Rain spattered quicksilver across the windows as they worked. Until both of them were back inside, Rodney kept a nervous eye on them.

John and Teyla brought the wild air of the storm into the wheelhouse with them. Rain glittered on Teyla's hair and John's eyelashes and they were both laughing and rubbing their arms.

Beside him, Ronon subtly relaxed too, and the baby made a happy gurgle.

"She missed me," John declared.

"She probably has gas."

John found one of the towels they kept in place for that purpose and toweled off his head. Teyla followed suit.

"So what are we going to name her?" John peered at Teyla with the towel still on his head. "Or does she have a name?"

"I would not know," Teyla stated. "She is your and Rodney's daughter."

John finished with the towel and hung it on a brass rail Kanaan and Ronon had installed after Rodney finished rewiring the wheelhouse controls. He cocked an eyebrow at Rodney. "So?"

"Nima," Ronon suggested.

Rodney frowned, trying the name silently. That wasn't bad. One of the founders of the College of the Learned had been a Nima. Nima Karstedottir. His daughter would no doubt be far more brilliant, but it sounded nice and with it she should fit in when she arrived there. They certainly weren't going to name her for his mother or John's; an Earth name would mark her as different and he knew how that could pain someone even into adulthood.

"Nima," John said. "Nima Emmagan?"

Rodney nodded.

Teyla looked pleased.

He and John had stopped using their surnames even before they arrived on Ljósver. They were too well known throughout the galaxy, and with Atlantis possibly hunting them, they hadn't wanted to be remembered anywhere. They used Emmagan when they needed another name, since Teyla had inherited her surname from her grandmother, who wasn't Athosian, and it was a common matrinomic in Pegasus.

It worked for all of them.

It would work for Nima too.

Welcome to the family, Rodney thought, amused and vaguely amazed he wasn't panicking, as John crossed the crowded deck to his side. He freed one hand and let John take it, squeezing back gently.

Ronon corrected their course and then pointed through the window as the brilliant beam from the lighthouse swept across the rain- thrashed waves and lit the inside of the wheelhouse briefly.


Nima began fussing uncomfortably, making Rodney suspect she was hungry, but feeding would need to wait until they were docked and he could warm a bottle on the stove in the kitchen. He tucked her closer to him with one arm and began singing again.

"Michael row the boat ashore... "

Next to him, John leaned close and sang with him.




  • Summary: On Ljósver, Need gifts may be small in the beginning, but grow.
  • Fandom: SGA
  • Rating: mature
  • Warnings: none
  • Author Notes: Green Sea 'verse
  • Date: 12.29.10
  • Length: 6057 words
  • Genre: m/m
  • Category: AU, established relationship
  • Cast: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex, Kanaan, Torren Emmagan, OCs.
  • Betas: sian1359
  • Disclaimer: Not for profit. Transformative work written for private entertainment.

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