Disclaimer: Not Mine
Author's Notes: Happy Holidays!
Summary: Three times someone lent Teyla their coat and one time she didn't give someone hers.
Teyla followed her mother through the Ring, her head held high and her bantos rods at her side. Today was the day. Today was the first time she got to accompany her mother through the Ring. They were only going to visit some people her mother considered to be very good allies to Athos, though they rarely left their own planet, but someday it would be Teyla's job to maintain these important alliances. And her journey down that path began today.
She stepped through and shivered. She'd worn her warmest clothing, as her mother had told her to, but the air was freezing cold. Snow blanketed the ground, thick and white. She'd never seen so much of it before. On Athos, snow never stayed long enough to create the landscape she saw before her.
"Tagan!" A tall man with a thick red beard came up a path carved in the snow. He was covered in what looked like very warm furs, and Teyla longed for them.
Teyla's mother smiled. "Brata, it is good to see you again." Her mother stepped forward and leaned her forehead against the man's, and placed her hand upon his heart while he did the same to her.
"And who is this?" Brata turned and smiled down at her. Teyla stood taller and tried to stop shivering.
Her mother put her hand upon Teyla's shoulder. "This is my daughter, Teyla. She has had eight summers, and according to the traditions of our people, will be accompanying me from now on."
"Is that so?" Brata knelt down. "I'm pleased to welcome you, young Teyla." He took her hand, putting it upon his chest. He then placed his own upon hers. "Among the Tanosh, this is how we greet our friends."
"I am glad to meet you," Teyla said. She was horrified at the way her teeth chattered through it. That was not the impression she wanted to make!
Her mother laughed and took off her coat, placing it on Teyla's shoulders. She was wearing a second underneath it. "And in the future, I will better instruct her by what I mean when I say 'warm clothing'."
"We'll just have to go to the Hall and get her something warm to drink as she sits by the fire." He turned to Teyla. "Would you like that?"
She nodded. "That would be very nice, thank you."
Brata smiled and turned, leading them down the path to the village. It was strange, but Teyla was pleased to be here, even it was so very cold. She burrowed further into her mother's coat, comforted by the scents of home.
Teyla fell into the water with a splash. She rose to the surface, spluttering. "Halling! What are you doing?"
He grinned at her. "Your back was wide open, my friend!"
She narrowed her eyes at him and reached out, grabbing his foot to pull him in.
He danced back and laughed. "I only came to find you and give you the good news."
"Oh, I can get wet but you can not?" Teyla splashed water towards him that he deftly avoid, and she stood, wringing out her hair.
"Not today! Teyla. Teyla." His eyes were wild and he gripped her shoulders.
She was beginning to get concerned. "Halling?"
"Marna is pregnant, Teyla. I am going to be a father."
Teyla grinned and leaned her forehead against his. "Congratulations!"
"What am I going to do? How will I protect them or guide them in the ways of the Ancestors?"
Teyla laughed. "You will do whatever you have to, and you will do it well. But perhaps you should try to wait to worry until the child has been safely born."
Halling sobered and nodded. "Of course. You must go to Marna, Teyla. Help her bring our child into the world."
"That task is better suited to Charin, but I will do what I can. I am so happy for you, my friend." She shivered lightly in her wet clothes. The day was warm, but the breezes were still chilly. She would have to change.
Halling looked abashed. "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking." He took off his coat and gave it to her. "You must get to Marna as quickly as you can."
Teyla smiled and shook her head, walking back back towards her tent. Marna was probably enjoying a nice cup of tea with Charin, enjoying being away from Halling's hovering. She would give them some time.
But it was chilly, and it was his fault she was wet. She was keeping Halling's coat.
The City of the Ancestors was magnificent. None of the stories she'd heard as a child could do its majesty justice. But the beauty and wonder were dulled by the fact that she was not visiting. Athos was, for the moment, gone. Her people were refugees, here with only the clothes on their backs.
The only thing that eased her mind was that the people from Earth were new to the City as well. It was not theirs, for all that they had claimed it. They were refugees too, of a sort, also unable to return to their home. They simply had more supplies. It put them on more equal footing, though Teyla didn't believe they agreed.
Teyla needed to make a decision, about what she and her people were going to do. They had many allies on many worlds. They did not need to stay in the City if they did not wish to. But the City of the Ancestors, and the people of Earth, had many things that could greatly benefit the people of Athos. Not least of which was simply hope in the face of the Wraith. They had all had too many losses to the Wraith to count - to think that there could be fewer in the future was amazing.
She poked idly at the food the people of Earth had provided and stared out at the sea. The food was somehow both too sweet and too salty, but she did not wish to offend by refusing their kindness. They did not have to feed to her or her people. Many worlds would have turned them away without a second thought.
"May I join you?" Elizabeth gestured with a tray to the chair across from her.
Teyla smiled politely. "Of course. Your food is very... good."
Elizabeth laughed. "You don't have to lie about it. These are the field rations to hold us over until we either find trade partners or get the greenhouses going. They're designed to be portable and resist spoilage, not taste good."
Teyla's smile relaxed into something more genuine. "I must confess, that is something of a relief."
"I promise, the food will get better eventually." Elizabeth frowned at her own meal tray. "Hopefully."
"I look forward to it." Teyla scratched at her arm absently and then reached for her tea. It was very bad tea.
"Is everything all right?" Elizabeth gestured at Teyla's arm with her cup.
"I confess, I'm feeling slightly dirty. I have no changes of clothing and nowhere to wash what I am wearing, which feels oddly tainted after my time with the Wraith." Teyla was hoping the people of Earth had found a washing room.
Elizabeth set down her cup and blinked at her. "I can't believe I didn't think of that. If there's one thing we have, it's a surplus of uniforms, particularly uniform jackets. You and your people are welcome to borrow them until you've washed your own, or even to keep parts of them if you wish."
Teyla breathed a sigh of relief. "That would be most welcome, thank you."
Elizabeth smiled. "If there's anything else you or your people need, please don't hesitate to ask. We'll do what we can."
Teyla nodded and thanked her again, going back to her bad tea. The people of Earth were very sure of themselves, but she thought that this alliance was starting off very well.
"I really do not know how you manage to get yourselves into these situations." Teyla stared at John and Rodney in disbelief. Ronon was desperately trying not to laugh.
"There were these little kids and. You know what? I'm not even going to tell you." John crossed his arms over his naked chest. It was very pale and very hairy.
"Now they'll just make up something even worse." Rodney's undergarments were incredibly bizarre, and seemed to be covered in small round circles with mouths and hands but no eyes, and proclaimed 'Don't Panic'.
"How could it possibly be more embarrassing than what actually happened, McKay?" John glared at Rodney.
"I bet I could come with something." Ronon grinned at them. "Wouldn't be too hard."
Rodney pointed at Ronon while looking at John. "See?"
Teyla sighed. "Do you know where your clothes are?"
"I think the kids have them?" John shrugged. "I'm just glad they left the guns."
"One of you give me your coat." Rodney rubbed his arms as if trying to get warmth into them.
"It's only 60 out. Where's your Canadian spirit, McKay?" John asked.
"First off, it's 16. And secondly...."
Teyla cut him off. Better to stop them before they really got started. "I do not believe my jacket would fit you, Rodney."
He eyed her. "I could try just draping it over my shoulders?"
Ronon snorted. "Yeah, no."
"Do you have a shawl or something?"
"A shawl," John said. "Why would Teyla have a shawl?"
"I don't know! She could have a shawl!" Rodney made a face. "Ronon, give me your jacket."
Ronon laughed. "I don't think so."
"Come on! I'm cold!"
Teyla shook her head and pulled an emergency blanket out of one of her vest pockets, tossing it to Rodney. It was going to have to do. "I'm going to go find the children."
She would give her friends the clothes off her back if she could, but sometimes they were just too much.