Author URL: http://goddess47.livejournal.com/
Date: May 28, 2007
Archive: Area 52, anyone else, ask
Summary: They made the aliens do it. Really. Wait – not *that* -- get your mind out of the gutter. Geez… just read the story.
Author's Note: Thanks again to Fenchurch for the beta... I wasn't going to post this just yet but she begged so prettily.
"Elizabeth," Lieutenant Colonels don't whine, "we were scheduled for downtime. Three days, remember?"
"I'm sorry, John," Elizabeth Weir said, "there's no one else to send and the Cumea high council specifically asked for someone from Atlantis to attend the ceremony." She didn't look sorry enough in John Sheppard's book. He had plans.
"You know I'm bad at ceremonies," John tried again. "Can't Lorne go?"
"You know Major Lorne is on medical down time," Weir said firmly. "There's no one else, so just get your team together and go. The ceremony is tonight and you need to get going."
"You owe me for this one," John warned her.
"Fair enough," Weir agreed. "I'll make sure you get some extended downtime the next time." She grinned at him, "Now go."
"Yes, mom," John sighed.
John called Rodney, Teyla and Ronon before they had a chance to get away. Well, he knew Rodney wasn't going anyplace, but Teyla and Ronon had plans to go to the mainland for a couple of days. "Weir's got us going to some ceremony on Cumea. Atlantis needs to be represented and we're it. Sorry," he explained to them.
"You've got to be kidding," Rodney snorted. "Although," he looked calculating, "what kind of ceremony and will there be food?"
"Rodney, focus," John replied. "She didn't know anything, although Cumea was at least friendly so this should be pretty benign." John sighed.
John had worked hard to get downtime for these specific dates and now it was blown all to hell. It was his and Rodney's, well, anniversary was too formal a word for it, but they had been together for a year now and he had wanted to do something special. He had some special food set up and a special gift for Rodney hidden away... God, he was such a girl... He tucked Rodney's present in his vest pocket in case there was an opportunity to give it to him. Hopefully Rodney would appreciate the timing even if it wouldn't be the setting John would have liked.
Emerging from the Gate, they were met by a delegation from the High Council. Teyla did the greeting from Atlantis with the Cumeans and the Lanteans were shown to the rooms that would be theirs for the two days of the ceremony.
As Teyla came in to Rodney's room, John asked, "Did you find out what this actually is by any chance?"
"Not entirely, but it seems to be a celebration of life, so it is a happy time," she said. "The first part of the ceremony is this evening at dusk and there will be a banquet after." She shrugged. There were worse things they could be doing.
"Swell," John grumped.
"Hey! It's my job to be grumpy," Rodney interjected. "You don't do it as well as I do." He flopped back on the extra large bed and put in, "Decent beds, anyways."
The sight of Rodney sprawled on his back on the bed made John groan to himself. He wanted nothing more to have a door they could lock so he and Rodney could have some private time... uninterrupted. They didn't get enough of that. He looked around. Why did Rodney get a nice room and he had a closet? He'd have to check into that. He and Rodney didn't generally stay together away from Atlantis on friendly worlds, although there were too few of those. Staying together unless it was for security purposes was too tempting. John sighed to himself. This wasn't fair.
"Hopefully, the food will be worth it," Rodney put in.
The four hung out in Rodney's room waiting for the ceremony. As it started to get to the late afternoon, a guide was sent to escort them to the ceremony. They were given what John would have called box seats. They had a space that was slightly away from the center of the action, and screened at the back so that they weren't standing in the open.
Somehow, John found himself in the back of the box, next to Rodney with Teyla and Ronon in the front. Since he didn't care terribly much about whatever was going to happen, he didn't complain that he couldn't see since Ronon ended up in front of him. At least Rodney could see over Teyla.
As they watched, a young man moved to the center of the audience and Garith, a member of the High Council, joined him. They looked past the Lanteans who became aware of a procession coming down the aisle. Oh god, a wedding, John moaned to himself. It made him feel even worse about his ruined plans.
As the rest of the audience stood, so did the Lanteans. The bride was led to the center of the audience and after suitable blessings and what looked like a small dance, the bride and groom joined hands and spoke what John had to assume were equivalent to vows.
So softly he didn't notice at first, John felt something near his hand. He glanced down and found Rodney's hand brush against his. Rodney's head didn't turn, seemingly focused on the event in front of them, but Rodney's hand turned and grasped John's softly, fingers intertwined. John moved his arm slightly to be able to comfortably return Rodney's grasp. John lost track of the ceremony, thinking only of the touch at his hand and the comfort of it. John thought back to the last time he was at a wedding and while the majority of the words escaped him, the phrase "love, honor and cherish" whispered through his head. I do.
John became aware that the crowd was humming approval and peered around Ronon to see that the bride and groom were participating in some heavy duty kissing. John let loose a small sigh, wishing he could kiss Rodney like that. Well, John would like to do a lot more, but he'd settle for kissing. Holding hands wasn't nearly enough.
The wedding party moved away from the center of the audience, which also dispersed, and Teyla turned toward John and Rodney, When John would have let go, Rodney only held his hand more firmly. "From what I understand, this ceremony is over," she said with a slight smile.
"Hold on a minute," Rodney said. "Something we have to do first."
"Rod-ney?" John drawled. "What is going on?" John peered closely at Rodney, who was looking decidedly smug. John looked around -- Teyla and Ronon had similar grins. "What?" he demanded.
Not letting loose of John's hand, Rodney led John to the center of the arena where the wedding party had just stood. Garith waited for them.
John stopped. "Rodney?"
Rodney stopped with him. He turned and took John's other hand and said, "Well, the last time we were here, I asked Garith to let me know if there would be a wedding about now. And," Rodney looked so earnest and hopeful, "Garith said he'd do it, if we wanted, well, if you'd agree..." Rodney took a deep breath. "Marry me?"
John couldn't breathe for a minute, he was stunned. Rodney? Marry Rodney? His mind went blank.
"John?" Rodney asked, a thread of uncertainty in his voice.
A couple of John's brain cells engaged and John realized he hadn't answered. "Rodney," he said softly, leaning forward to brush a kiss across Rodney's lips, "yes."
The uncertainty disappeared from Rodney's face and was replaced by a smile that John knew he'd have to put on Rodney's face more often. There was love and tenderness that was just for him. John didn't know what he had done right in his life to get this amazing man to love him, but he wasn't going to let him go.
"Come on, then," Rodney said, dragging John to the front.
"Teyla is so not my maid of honor," John muttered. He heard Teyla laugh gently in the background.
"Witnesses," Rodney said. "How's that then?" He paused. "And family."
Family. That felt so good, and right. As they stood in front of Garith, John remembered. "Wait," he said, digging into his vest. He dug out the package he had put there in hope of quiet time. This was better. "Okay, go ahead."
The words were different, but the meaning was the same. John promised to love Rodney for the rest of his life just as Rodney promised to love him. Luckily, Garith didn't make them do whatever that dance thing had been. At the end, John unwrapped the package and watched Rodney's eyes go wide when he slipped the gold band on Rodney's finger. "It was to be an anniversary gift. This is better."
Rodney drew John in and kissed him. When they broke, Ronon and Teyla waded in and hugged them both.
"Good," Teyla told them, grinning. "And Elizabeth says you're to take a couple of extra days."
John rolled his eyes. "I am so going to kill her when we get back," he moaned. He thought that through and asked, "Anyone on Atlantis that doesn't know?"
Ronon pretended to think about it for a moment and said, "Nope." He smiled broadly.
Teyla added, "Everyone wanted to be here, but things they do not know about they cannot talk about." While John and Rodney's relationship was no secret in Atlantis, they still did have to be faintly discreet. Teyla and Ronon did not pretend to fully understand Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell but they understood the need to be circumspect.
Rodney had the grace to blush. "These poor kids were supposed to get married last week, but I talked to Garith and he talked them into waiting," Rodney explained. "It's our anniversary..."
"God, Rodney," John breathed putting his arms around the man he loved. "I thought I had plans. I... I don't know what to say..." He felt Rodney's arms tighten around him. "Thank you."
"Come. We must make an appearance at the banquet," Teyla brought them back to awareness.
Being a double wedding, the Cumeans went all out. John found that he and Rodney were as much the center of attention as the other bride and groom. Ronon and Teyla helped keep the focus on the other bride and groom, much to John's relief.
Back in Rodney's – their – room, John put his arms around Rodney and just held on. He breathed in the scent of his – husband, whoa, that would take some getting used to – and laughed softly. "You made them do it for me," John said.
"You're worth it," Rodney smiled. He leaned in for a kiss.