Rodney prepared for the mission. A science and medical team were going to a planet found by SGA2. The ancient writing on the site said something about 'the fountain of youth'. Everyone was very excited. He wasn't though. Not really. He was too worried. He was thinking about breaking up with Jennifer. He loved her, God knew he loved her. He was just worried that he might love Carson more. They were together before he met Jen. But then Carson was dead, and he did love Jen. He would never want to hurt her. He put her before himself, more than he ever did for anyone else. He knew he loved her. Then why did he find himself wanting to take Carson in his arms and hug away his sorrows?
Could he do it? Break up with her for him? He loved them both. How was he supposed to choose?
"Rodney!" A voice broke into his contemplations. He turned and found Jen standing there, fully kitted out.
"Hey." They kissed.
"You ready to go?"
"Not quite." Jen replied.
"Are you alright?" Rodney asked, the tone of her voice was disturbing.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I just need to talk to you."
"Okay. So, talk." He steeled himself. He was half giddy and half terrified. That sounded like a prelude to dumping.
"I'm... I'm pregnant."
"What?" Rodney did a fine impression of a fish.
"I'm, we're having a baby." Jen replied, smiling.
"A baby? A little boy? Or girl?" This changed everything.
"Yeah. I'm about a month and a half along."
"Wow. Just wow." Rodney leaned forward and claimed her mouth in a searing kiss. Then he frowned. "Are you sure you're okay to go on this mission?"
"Of course. Teyla went through the gate pregnant all the time. I just... I thought you should know."
"I love you." He said spontaneously, and wrapped her in his arms.
"I love you too."
He couldn't leave her. Not now. There was a tiny person inside her who would look to him for guidance. He couldn't abandon his unborn child. standing there, hugging her, he made a decision to be the best father he could be. Much better than his father was, and do whatever he could to make this child happy and healthy.
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"What the-?" Rodney looked at his scanner. The readings were all over the place.
"Rodney?" John asked, hand on his gun. "Is everything alright?"
"Yeah, I just... no. No, no, no." His eyes widened as he took in the repercussions of the readings he was getting. "We need to leave now."
"What? What's wrong?"
"It's a type of radiation. Think of the Shrine we went to when my brain was being eaten. But this is a different type."
"No, not to us." Rodney had been looking around frantically, and he finally saw who he'd been looking for. "JEN!" He yelled. She was right by the alter that was the source of the radiation.
"Rodney, wait!" John called, as McKay ran towards the woman he loved. "I thought you said it couldn't hurt us!"
"It can't." He yelled back. Then he grabbed Jen's shoulders. "We have to get you out of here."
"What?" She asked, confusedly. "What's wrong?"
"There's radiation. Not in amounts that are harmful to any of us, but..."
"It could affect the foetus!" She finished the thought and dropped the sample case she was holding and let Rodney drag her towards the gate.
"Foetus?" John asked their retreating backs.
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7 and a half months later...
"Push, lass. Just one more big one. The head's crowning."
"I HATE YOU! YOU'RE NEVER TOUCHING ME AGAIN! AARRGH!"
"Jen, just breathe, almost there, you're doing fantastic." Rodney looked down at his hand, where Jen was squeezing. He was pretty sure something was broken in it. He looked helplessly at Carson who was acting the midwife. The scot shrugged. Then with a final push a child came squalling into the world.
"It's a girl!" Carson exclaimed. "And she's a beautiful lass!" He snipped the umbilical and wrapped the girl in a blue blanket. He handed her to Rodney while he delivered the placenta.
"She's perfect." Rodney said, staring into forget-me-not blue eyes.
"Have you thought of a name yet?" Carson asked. The happy couple exchanged a look.
"Elizabeth." They said as one.
"And, we were wondering..." Rodney continued alone. "Would you... we hoped you would be her God-father?"
"God father? Me?" Carson asked, looking up from between Jen's legs.
"You'd be perfect." Jennifer smiled. Rodney gently handed her the baby.
"I'd be honoured."
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Four years later...
"A boy! It's a boy!" Carson exclaimed, cutting the umbilical.
"A son? I have a son?" Rodney asked.
"Daddy, he's all wrinkly and gross." A little girl pouted.
"Wait till he's cleaned off, Izzie-bit. I bet he's every bit as cute as you were." Rodney smiled.
"A baby boy." Jennifer whispered, and the child was handed to her. "Hello, John Radek."
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Five years after that...
"Daddy, I really don't feel well."
"What's up, Izzie-bit?"
"I'm tired. And I had a nose bleed when I was down in the labs."
"What? Why didn't your Uncle Radek call me about that?"
"It wasn't a big deal, but it wouldn't stop for ages."
"Hmm. Come on. Let's go see your Mother, brother and Uncle Carson in the Medical Labs."
"Well, you're a wee bit anaemic." Carson frowned looking at some results.
"That means that you don't have as many red blood cells as you should." John Radek, all of five, explained in a serious voice.
"Why?" She asked.
"Well, Izz, it could be anything. Maybe you just haven't been eating enough red meat."
"Yeah. But, it's unusual in a child your age." Carson frowned.
"More tests?" Jennifer asked.
"Is that really necessary?" Rodney asked. He was sitting beside Elizabeth on the gurney, and had felt her shrink into his side at the mention of more tests, and her hand clapped over the needle site.
"It would make me feel better." Jennifer frowned at her daughter.
"It won't make me feel better." Izzie frowned back. "It was just a stupid nose bleed. If I get any more symptoms, then tests, sure. But I really don't want to, and it seems a bit silly." Carson and Jennifer exchanged a long look.
"Okay. That sounds reasonable." Jen said.
"But you come straight to the infirmary at the slightest hint of anything out of the ordinary." Carson warned.
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A few days after that...
Izzie and J.R. were running around in some of the still unused corridors. They were playing Tag. Torren was watching from nearby, and he'd joined in earlier when they were playing Hide and Go Seek. Teyla's son was 12 and acted like a mini-Ronon much to the grown-ups amusement. He was good with the younger kids.
"Torren!" John Radek yelled suddenly. Torren ran over to see what was wrong, and found Elizabeth collapsed on the ground. "She was running, and then she just fell over."
"Did she hit her head?"
"No, I don't think so. It was more like she fainted." J.R. frowned. "She was poorly the other day. Her nose was bleeding, and she's anaemic. But Uncle Carson gave her iron pills. That should have made her better, and I saw her take them this morning."
"Carson? It's Torren. Izzie McKay just collapsed." Torren said into his radio. "Send help to sector b12."
"I ran some tests." Carson said. Jennifer and Rodney were sitting opposite him in his office. "I'm pretty sure she has Leukaemia."
"Leukaemia?" Rodney asked.
"Pretty sure?" Jen asked. "Shouldn't you be one hundred per cent?"
"Well, there's something a little off with the test results. It's not a recognisable form of Leukaemia. It's something new. It reminds me of some of the illnesses in children of the Genii." Carson frowned. He'd spent a year amongst the genii after the peace treaty had come through, treating them for various radiation related illnesses.
"You're saying she was exposed to radiation? When? How?" Rodney asked, looking to his wife.
"Not just radiation. A very unusual type of radiation, to create this brand new form of cancer."
"Oh, God." Jennifer suddenly paled. "The mission. When I was pregnant. We thought everything was fine, because nothing showed up right away. But..."
"Oh, yes. The mission to the fountain of youth." Carson mused. "That would do it."
"So, what's the treatment?" Rodney asked.
"Well, I think you should take her to Earth, have an oncologist examine her. They'd be better able to suggest the right treatment."
"But she's going to be okay right?" Rodney asked desperately. Carson looked down and fiddled with the file in front of him. He was having difficulty maintaining his 'doctor' persona. His emotions were getting the better of him. He swallowed heavily.
"I just don't know."
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TO BE CONTINUED....
Summary: What if Rodney and his children travel back in time to series one? A story of a father's love for his children, a decision of the heart, new bad guys and cancer.