Pairing: John and Teyla
Word Count: 3,858
Disclaimer: If I had a million dollars, I'd by the rights to this show and bring it back and do what should have been done.
Author's Notes: Post Season 5. Thank you to my awesome and devoted beta, kariesue, for making this readable and understandable. ;) I really tried to make this a Christmas wish for you, but personally, I'm not in the Christmas mood. :( Just imagine tinsel, lights, and bows and trees all around the city! :)
Summary: Now, standing against the large window of her suite, in a city that once she called home, Teyla marveled at its beauty but also at the turn of events since her last visit.
The first time they met it was strictly for political reasons. She was the leader of her people, the Athosians, and he was part of the military expedition team residing in the city of Atlantis. His people went to see her to negotiate and he was there for security purposes.
She was used to people treating her as a nomad from indigenous people, but John Sheppard was different right from the start. He saw her as an equal and as a woman who should be treated with respect and dignity. And he saw her as a valuable ally to his people. Yet, he was the only one to see it.
It was he who made the first move and at first she resisted. After all, why would this man be any different than any of the others? And yet he was just that.
Like a thief in the night he entered her heart and many a times Teyla wondered if it was a blessing or a curse.
For too long she had dedicated her life to leading her people, to protect and defend them at all cost. Too young, she had lived the life of a daughter only to lose those that she loved the most to culling by the Wraith. Those from Atlantis had finally brought them hope. And had brought her the friendship of John Sheppard.
But even with that friendship she had still felt shunned by her own people over a genetic difference that set her apart from the rest. Lonely, misunderstood and alienated, she had briefly found some comfort and solace in the arms of a childhood friend who also shared her mutated gene. The unique bond with Kanaan had ultimately led her into his bedchamber one night and that night had resulted in the birth of her firstborn.
In her darkest hour, Kanaan had filled an emptiness that none but him was willing to fulfill. This had led her in a new direction, not just with a friend as a new lover but also as a leader and mother. For the briefest time she had been content. Yet she could not deceive her heart. He could not be the one who held it.
From the start she knew Kanaan was not her life-long mate. Frankly, she never believed she would ever find her equal. Destined to lead and not to love was her calling.
And when love came crashing to her door, she had resisted for far too long.
Very early on, she had decided to reside with John's people in the majestic city of the Ancestors, Atlantis. After their first encounter in Athos, he had invited her to stay in the city and be a part of his team in the hopes that she could represent, fight, and speak on behalf of her people and those of the Pegasus Galaxy.
She could still vividly recall the day she accepted his offering, when he greeted her at the Stargate with his wry smile and those piercing, captivating eyes. As their foreheads kissed in the Athosian symbol of respect, she admitted that fate would change her path in the form of this foreign man.
She joined his team as a representative to her people, an ambassador between Atlantis, its people and the rest of the Pegasus Galaxy. In this, she was certain, neither ever planned for her to be called to where she stood today.
For seven years, they’d had a completely platonic relationship and only once and under the influence of a virus, did John ever dare cross that fine line between friendship and something more.
Their lives had been one of much turmoil and war, but also of great joy and fulfillment. Still, there were times when she thought she'd never return to her people when they had their last big battle with the Wraith, leaving the city of Atlantis stranded in the alien waters of the San Francisco Bay just a little under two years ago. Yet, John and the rest of his team never gave up on returning to the Pegasus Galaxy, and after half a year on Earth, the city soon returned to its formal waters. Little did she know that soon thereafter, she’d find a change in her path.
When she accepted the role of representative to the Athosians, giving her a seat in the board of the High Council, less than a year ago, she'd left the city of Atlantis. Her new role would bring her to many different places and give her very little time with those she loved. Torren would be seen to by his father, and she would often find herself alone and in deep thought. It was never her intention to leave those she loved behind. But fate had brought about a new change in her life. It was a life she lived not for herself but one she knew she must execute on behalf of her people, her son and even for him. Yet in the process, she’d lose the one who’d captured her heart and soul and he would never learn the truth of her heart.
Now, standing against the large window of her suite, in a city that once she called home, Teyla marveled at its beauty but also at the turn of events since her last visit.
It had been weeks since her last encounter with John and the rest of her friends in Atlantis. She had finally admitted to herself how much she truly missed him in her life, then was forced to make one of the hardest decisions; refusing her heart to follow her mind.
It was late, and tomorrow she'd sit at the table amongst the greatest leaders in all of Pegasus. It was a vital meeting that had taken many years, but finally, now that the Wraith were under control with the help and unification of different worlds, a leader amongst the alliance would be chosen. And she was among their first and favorite candidate. There was no question; the title would be offered to her.
Very early on in her life, her mother had spoken to her of her calling. Tagan, a beautiful and fearless warrior, had chosen to serve her people and marry the one that would best help her to lead them to safe harbor. This too would be passed on from generation to generation. Her mother before her and her mother before her were all destined to lead and live a life of complete submission for the good of their people. They were the chosen ones. That distinguished them and set them apart from the rest. And so from the beginning of time, the Athosians would always be lead by the females in the Emmagan lineage.
Duty was above all.
This was engraved in Teyla's mind since before her birth and tomorrow she would lead not just her people, but fulfill a life-long dream and beyond from the calling of those buried beneath the earth's crust, to seek vengeance, truth, sovereignty and peace once and for all in a world that was filled with darkness and pain. Finally, after all these years, all the deaths and sorrows, there could be hope, truth, and harmony.
And Teyla would have to lead an entire galaxy there and it would start right here, in the city where fate had brought her, and where her many unfulfilled dreams would be cast out into the seas.
When it was first decided that the Alliance would choose a leader, Teyla was surprised that she was the one chosen by the majority of the members. John had been there with her when the leaders voiced their choice. Yet, it would be the people that would ultimately decide whom would best represent them all and of course, she'd have to officially accept the calling.
The fight against the Wraith had certainly taken a turn for the better, but there was still much resistant and different battles had been fought among different places that required the intervention of the Atlantis military. The members of the Alliance would form their own military, eventually, and that would be one of the major tasks that the new leader would uphold. For now, Atlantis had offered to represent the Alliance and protect those in need along with other military parties representing other worlds.
Shortly after the Alliance made clear that their choice was for her to lead, John had sustained a life threatening injury on a mission. When she heard of it, she immediately left her responsibilities and headed straight for Atlantis. To her surprise, John was recovering quite rapidly but it had been one of those moments where everyone thought this could be the last battle for the loyal and faithful officer. Seeing him lying in the infirmary, she could no longer suppress her tears. She did not wish for him to see her and so left before noticing his awakened form staring back at her.
That was a little over a month ago and although the real reason for her presence in Atlantis was to finalize the Alliance's negotiations, the truth of her heart's palpitations was only because she would see John and her friends one last time before she was officially announced as the new leader of the Alliance. It was clear to her that much time would pass before she would see them again.
Since her arrival, she had caught up with some of her friends. Ronon and Rodney greeted her at the gate room, but she had not seen John, yet. Still, Rodney had informed her that he was already walking about the city, against Jennifer's orders of course and well on his way to a full recovery.
In the solace of her quarters, she thought back on all the times that he had come so close to his death. So many nights where she vigilantly sat by his unconscious form not knowing if he would make it, and it brought tears to her eyes to know that after tomorrow, when she'd accept her calling, she would no longer be here for him as she once could be.
She heard the ancestral chimes to her quarters and wondered who could be summoning her at this late hour. She cleared her eyes and settled her nightdress as she moved towards the door. She wondered if one of the members of the Alliance was having second thoughts about this meeting. Or if it was one of the dignitaries from another world wishing to discuss with her once again her position on protecting their world fairly. These were topics that she faced on a daily basis now and one that she certainly could handle. Yet, there were many times when her only wish was to be back on John's team, or most importantly back within her formal quarters, with a young Torren by her side, surrounded with John's music, Ronon's bark, and Rodney's whine. Those were the days that she so longed for. Those were the times that she had been most happy.
There were two marines guarding her quarters outside. Teyla felt no need for such precautions but the Alliance had insisted upon it since there had been some form of retaliation and her life had been threatened. The door chimed once again, and Teyla passed her hands through the sensors to reveal the handsome face of John Sheppard.
"Hi. It's only me," he said.
"Only you," she mocked as she smiled a little.
After her departure from the team and Atlantis, John was the one that had taken it upon himself to see her as much as possible. Due to her status and her new responsibilities, it was almost impossible for her to meet him in Atlantis, but he hadn’t let that stop him from seeing her. Many a times, she found him with Ronon and Rodney in the middle of a square or waiting for her in what was her living quarters wherever she was meeting across the different worlds in the Pegasus Galaxy. Yet, the fight and his own responsibilities in Atlantis separated them more than they both cared to admit. Now that Rodney was married to Jennifer and Ronon was officially seeing Amelia, their off-world time was spent with their other significant one. It was not unusual for John to meet her without his companions, leaving them to spend time together, just the two of them.
The last time she had seen him, he had still been recovering but had happily smiled and chatted with her from his infirmary bed. Now, he stood right in front of her, tired and so thin, and it brought about a feeling of both relief and distress to her unsettled soul.
"You expecting someone else?" He asked in a mocking expression.
She stood at the door entrance, not realizing that they were having a conversation where others could hear. "No, only that you are a few months late."
"Not my fault." He stepped right up to her personal space and leaned down so close that she could feel the waft of his breath. "Are we going to argue about this in the middle of the hallway or are you going to let me in?"
Throughout the years and even more so after her departure, they both learned and treasured their time together, so it was no surprise now that John was so forthcoming and not so much the closed John that she had met for the first time over seven years ago.
She stepped aside to let him come through and the doors to her quarters instantly shut after he walked into her room. Caught by surprise, he brought her close to him, feeling his body against hers, his face brushing against her cheek, his lips calling hers to his, "I can't do this anymore." He murmured desperately in her ears.
Drawing back, she placed a finger to his lips and then her own lips replaced it. For a time their kiss was soft, lingering, then it went deep.
Catching their breaths, they breathed in between kisses and Teyla's mind began to reason. "What is it that troubles you, John?" She asked with faint amusement. "Is Ronon not serving you well as your second?"
She felts his arms tighten around her waist as he drew her closer to him. "Ronon is doing just fine." He kissed her forehead and then moved down to the tip of her nose. "And you are trying to change the subject. This is what I want."
"As opposed to the past seven years when you could have had me, now you want me when you rightfully know that it is impossible?"
His face frowned and she knew this would be a delicate subject. "Do you really want to have that conversation because if I remember correctly, you were in another relationship, not to mention Torren." He loosened his hold on her and she took that opportunity to step back.
"This is not a conversation worth discussing at all. There can be nothing between you and I. Tomorrow I will accept my new responsibility as the High Councilor of the Pegasus Alliance. I am no longer available for anything or anyone else."
Everything inside of her wanted to run into his arms. The moment he released her she wanted to cry and scream for him to never let her go. But that was not possible. This was a decision that had been brought upon her long before John Sheppard ever entered her life. Perhaps, if he had come forth before, before all of this. Now--now, it was simply too late.
He drew her near him and stared openly in her eyes. His eyes, so pure, so full of desire and so much more. "Tell me this is not what you want, and I'll let it go."
She breathed in deeply and stared into his eyes. There were only a few times that Teyla hid something from John. Once was when she hid Ronon's actions back on Belkan and then when she hid the truth of her feelings when he came to apologize for his actions during that bug-induced kiss. And then of course, her relationship with Kanaan and her pregnancy. Thinking back, she realized that all of these were done to protect him, or in fear of losing him. How could she deny to herself that to want him was as much a reality to her as her heart’s palpitations that involuntarily sustained her life.
She could not control either, nor could she live without them.
That's what John meant to her.
"It is complicated."
"That's not good enough." Pausing, John said more firmly, "Your political affairs can't dictate the fate of our relationship. I won't let it."
All at once Teyla felt drained and she couldn't think beyond John's arms wrapped around her, fully in control of her, sustaining her as he’d always done. "I am uncertain of anything at the moment, John."
"Then, let me be certain for the both of us." His voice more gentle than before. "I just wish I hadn't waited so long to do this."
A softness settled between them, faintly pensive.
Reaching up to touch his face, Teyla gladly accepted her resignation. "I have wanted you, John Sheppard." As their lips touched once again, she whispered her last words before yielding to her body's calling, "more than you know."
Teyla could see when John absorbed her words. He pulled her to him, closer than before and his lips almost crashed into hers.
“Teyla,” he whispered harshly, his voice rough and filled with desire. “I need you near me, to keep me sane and whole. You know that, don’t you?”
“I am aware, John,” Teyla sobbed, her heart pumping furiously in her chest as his mouth descended from her lips across her cheek and to her neck and throat. “You have stormed your way into my heart and left me with no defenses against you.”
Teyla’s heart continued to race as two bodies became one, two hearts joined in body, mind and spirit.
Clothes flew and skin grew slick as waves of passion peaked and then crashed along the shore. Lips, hands, limbs, met and intertwined in a dance and rhythm older than time itself.
But the music was the sweet music of two loving hearts, frantically trying to cling to what both knew should have always been. Two souls, so close yet too far apart, had finally found their way in whispered words of love and commitment to one another. As lips clung, hopelessness became hope, desperation became determination, wanting became fulfillment and separation became togetherness. But most of all, walls were broken down and entrance given for emotions and feelings to be displayed in the open for the one they trusted above all else.
Afterwards, as she lay beside him, spent and satiated, they discussed the larger implications of this moment.
"There is much to discuss, John. You and I have many responsibilities now. A long distance relationship will simply not endure."
"Why not?” He pulled her closer and kissed her tenderly, breaking the last walls of her resolve. “I need you in my life, Teyla." John confessed desolately.
Teyla touched his face. Softly she said, "I know." She kissed him back and added, "As I need you in mine."
She could see his eyes filled with desire and devotion, calling to her once again into the depths of passion, but their relationship was to work, she had to clear it all in front of him. Teyla never doubted of John’s love for her, but she also knew firsthand of his protective and possessive nature.
"There is more to speak." She looked deeply into his eyes. "The first time you kissed me, I was surprised and unprepared to respond to your actions."
Teyla watched his lips smile ruefully, "I knew you were lying."
"This is not so different. A few weeks ago, I thought I had lost you forever; never to see you again. And when I saw you, I had to touch you, to feel you, to know that you were still alive."
"Teyla, my feelings for you have always been there," he quickly confessed.
But he didn't understand.
For an instant, her eyes closed. "That was a long time ago, John. And we were both two different people."
When he began to protest, Teyla placed a finger to his lips. "Then, I could accept it." She paused seeming reluctant to continue. "I will accept the role as leader of the Alliance and you will continue to be the Military Commander of Atlantis. The Alliance will not always accept nor side with Atlantis or Earth. In my role, it is my duty to see what is best for the Pegasus Galaxy. There will be many times when we will not wish to seek out Atlantis’s shelter or defense. Our roles have changed and our paths may differ quite often. Can you accept that?"
She felt him move back from her a bit, clearly deep in thought, and for a second, she thought she’d lose what she had just found.
"I can't change who I am or where I come from, Teyla. Nor can I undo the past.” He paused and moved closer to her, his breath kissing her lips, “But I'm not going to give on our future, either. I'm tired of putting us aside for others. This is what I want. I want you and Torren permanently in my life."
Torren. John loved the little boy as his own since before he was even born.
The changes would be drastic, but the rewards would be so great. Could it work?
"Change," Teyla noted, "Sometimes, it is hard to live with."
"It's also not always a bad thing." John grinned as his lips descended to hers again.
The look in his eyes gave Teyla hope. She knew that look; it was determination. It made her heart still to know that she was so cherished by John, that he would set it all aside just to be with her. Because together they were stronger and could overcome any obstacle. Until this second, when her heart beat in rhythm with this lover of hers, she had not truly believed that they could. But now, now there was hope.
She felt his lips on hers and a sudden promise loomed in the air. "We do not have to figure it out all tonight. Let us just enjoy this for what it is."
And then they made love again in the shadows of the night.