Disclaimer: I tore the little tag off my new mattress. I'm not sorry. It made an annoying crackly sound. If I have to go to the Big House over it? I want porn baked into a cake.
Author's Notes: Unbetaed. These things happen.
Summary: Teyla felt she had earned the right. It was time that John realized it, too.
"Very good, John." Teyla encouraged. She swirled her sticks over the backs of her hands in a way that had John both envious and aroused. He shook himself to center his attention on the sticks. Inattention led to having his ass handed to him. And bruises. The eight years he'd been working with Teyla had taught him that if nothing else.
"Now, bring your fight to me." Teyla braced herself, her leg showing provocatively through the slit in her heavy leather skirt.
John swung his own sticks in a tight arc, trying to take advantage of his greater reach. Smaller, slighter, arguably weaker Teyla may be but she had no trouble reading John's intent and countering it. John found himself looking up at her from his back yet again.
"Better." Teyla pressed the bare foot firmly into the exposed throat beneath it. "You held off the attack longer than usual...and your initial thrust was well thought out." She lifted her foot, smiling down at the man still gasping for air. "Shall we take a break?"
John grunted, reaching up to accept her assistance in getting off his back. "You always say I'm doing better and you always end up picking me up off the floor." He straightened up and smiled, "it's giving me a complex."
He smiled when she laughed as he'd intended. She laughed too little lately. Kanaan's death had been a blow to her, even if the relationship had cooled. Torren missed his father and his sadness added to Teyla's own. John had never been able to give comfort and he felt that failing most acutely in the company of the two. "Let's go one more round."
He swung his own sticks around his hands in mimicry of Teyla. He balanced on his toes, flexing his knees as she'd taught him so long ago. "Bring it on, Teyla. Do your worst!"
"I am truly sorry, John." Teyla patted his thigh as they sat, side by side, waiting for Doctor Beckett to finish taping his nose. "But you did say to 'bring it'."
"I did." John's normally nasal voice was comically so now. "It's my own fault. I was distracted."
Teyla tipped her head, looking over at John. "Distracted? When we're stick fighting?" He heard the disapproval all too clearly.
He sighed. "I was looking at your smile. I kind of forgot everything else there for a minute." He awkwardly patted the hand still resting on his thigh. "Totally worth a bloody nose. You don't smile enough."
Carson laughed. "Very gallant of you, Colonel. And I agree, but see if you can find a way of amusing Teyla that doesn't include a trip to the infirmary, okay?" He handed him a baggie filled with cold packs and anti-inflammatories. "You're good to go. Take the pills, Colonel. Use the cold packs."
"Come. I will walk you to your room." Teyla stepped back, allowing John room to stand and gather his bloody workout clothes up. "Would you like me to get the stains out of your shirt?"
John smiled ruefully. "Nah. I'm good. I've had lots of experience in getting blood stains out of my clothes."
"What? My job description practically states that I'll have blood stains at least once a week!" He waved the bloodied shirt between them, "this barely qualifies!"
"I wish that were not true, John." Teyla's smile was gone now, leaving a sad expression in its wake. "I do wish that you would allow me to assist you in some way. I feel responsible as I could tell you were distracted. It pains me to see you in pain."
John turned, leaning against the door to his quarters. "Teyla." He reached over, impulsively running his hand over her cheek. "I'm fine. Really. My nose was already bent...no new damage here."
She reached over and ran her hand down his cheek, mirroring his soft caress. "Your nose is dear to me, John. I do not wish to see it...bent any more than it already is." Lifting herself onto her toes, she placed a chaste kiss on his unresisting mouth.
Eyes locked, she watched as John's beautiful gold-touched eyes widened in surprise. Seeing no censure there she slid her hands around to cup his head, pulling him to her for a more intimate kiss.
"Teyla?" John croaked. He licked his lips. "What..."
"Let me, John. Let me be the one to care for you. Let me ease you. I want that." Inwardly she sighed. He could be so skittish. It was clear that he'd been badly hurt in the past. So hurt that he feared allowing the intimacy she wanted. That she had earned. She pressed her lips against his again, then again when she felt him begin to respond.
"Let me, John." She repeated. "Accept me." She grasped his shoulders and lowered her head, waiting for his response.
John pressed his forehead against hers, hands gripping her shoulders in the traditional Athosian embrace. He wanted what she offered. Wanted it and feared it. His track record with relationships was bad. If he screwed this up and lost Teyla? It was too horrible to consider.
"Teyla," he began, "are you sure? I mean, really sure? 'Cause if this goes bad..."
She closed her lips over his again, silencing his distress with silent reassurances. "Let me, John." She knew that he would not know the traditional words of acceptance. She would have to accept that there would be few times when he would use words to express what he felt. She could feel the fast flutter of his pulse, the heat pooling in his groin. Signals, she thought. Signals of his desire to accept her.
She would work with that.
"Tell me you accept me, John." She took his right hand in her left, drawing it to her heart. "Tell me that I have a place in your tent. Tell me that I have the right to bring you ease. Tell me that is my right and no one elses." Her eyes begged him to understand.
John stared into her eyes. She saw the thoughts racing in his own and feared that he would not be able to accept what she offered him. That he would continue alone, forcing her to do the same by rejecting her.
"Your place is with me, Teyla." Voice cracking, John cleared his throat and continued. "Your home is with me. I don't have a tent...but what I have, where I am, you should be with me. Always." He pressed his fingers gently over her heart. "Just you. Always just you."
With a cry of relief and joy, Teyla threw her arms around John, kissing him soundly.
"Oh, John. I'm so sorry! I hurt your nose." She tilted his head gently, examining the damage done.
He pulled her hands away and held them in his own. "Let's get out of the hall and you can make it up to me."
Teyla smiled, her heart swelling with happiness. "Yes. I think I can do that for you. My John."
The smile he gifted her with would lighten her heart for many years to come.
"I like that. I'm yours." He pressed the lock on his quarters, opening the door and leading her through. "And you're mine."
Yes. She was his. She would make certain before the moons rose in the night sky that he would never forget it.