Title: All Sales Final

Author: Dr. Dredd

Spoilers: The Gift

Season: Late season 1, between The Gift and Siege I

Rating: Teen

Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis, characters, concept, etc, aren't mine.

Summary: Teyla is doing some soul-searching after waking up in the infirmary.

It had been almost ten hours since Teyla had woken up from the twin stunner blasts that Sergeant Bates was only too happy to administer. Not for the first time, she was reminded of how much she despised the man. The Earth term "asshole" seemed appropriate, even if she was not exactly sure what it meant.

She had awoken with the memory of trying to kill her teammates and closest friends, as well as one of the worst headaches she'd ever experienced. She was still in a considerable amount of discomfort, although she tried not to let it show. She would not give the two brutes standing guard the satisfaction of seeing her even more helpless.

Teyla thought back to the experiment that had landed her here. She'd been lying in this bed with wires stuck to many places on her arms and head, and an intravenous line running into one arm. Kate Heightmeyer, the psychologist, had been running the show.

"I want you to breathe, nice and deeply and try to relax. Doctor Beckett's gonna administer a mild sedative. Now, if this works, we should still be able to communicate with each other. Remember, we can wake you at any time using a very low-grade electrical current. It won't hurt at all. Just say "out" and we'll end it.

The sedative had made her a little sleepy, but not enough for her to be unaware of the indescribable sensation of being taken over by another mind. She shuddered and hoped to the Ancestors that she would never have to experience something like that again.

She could see Carson sitting in his office, reading something on his computer screen. Once again she was filled with guilt. He had been the first she had attacked, but unfortunately not the last. John Sheppard was sure to have a large and painful bruise on his back for many days. If they lived that long.

Since she had woken, Teyla had been subjected to a variety of medical procedures to determine how the Wraith had managed to control her mind. None had been pleasant, and several had been downright painful. Although she had learned a few pieces of intelligence, she couldn't help but think that the price was too high. Part of her regretted learning of her connection to the Wraith telepathic network.

Carson walked into her field of vision, carrying her medical chart. "Are you all right, love?" he asked. "Can I get you anything?" Teyla smiled faintly and shook her head. Always a compassionate man, Carson had been especially solicitous since the experiment, as if he somehow bore responsibility for it.

"I am feeling much better," she said, but at that moment her head throbbed hard enough to make her flinch and hiss in pain. The doctor folded his arms across his chest. "All right," she admitted. "My headache has only marginally improved."

Carson looked apologetic. "I'm sorry. That's probably due in part to the lumbar puncture I had to do. It should die down in a few hours, but you need to keep lying flat on your back."

Teyla decided not to dwell on the subject. "What was the result of your meeting earlier?" She tried to make light of things. "What is to be my fate?"

For the first time, he looked angry. "Bates wanted you under mild sedation and indefinite "medical supervision." As if I would agree to that when it wasn't medically necessary. And I thought Major Sheppard was going to deck him."

Teyla looked relieved and confused at the same time. "Deck? Is that not part of your Earthly dwellings?"

Carson smiled grimly. "It also means "to hit", my dear. Fortunately, sweet reason in the form of Dr. Weir prevailed. If you're feeling okay, you'll be out of here in another twenty-four hours."

Teyla nodded. Suddenly hesitant, she said, "Carson. I am so sorry. I would never knowingly hurt you or any other of my friends."

He pulled up a chair to the side of the bed and sat down. "I know that. Everyone else around here knows it, too. Bates is paranoid, but that's his job. And it's partly our fault, having made you go through it."

"Still, it was me that the Wraith were able to use." Her voice dropped so low that Carson was almost unable to hear it. "I did not ask for this gift."

"All right, hold on! You helped us immensely! Now we know the path of the hive ships and some of their schematics, too."

"True, but I gave more information than I received, such as the location of the alpha site."

"Which we changed," Carson pointed out. "And you said yourself that the Wraith can't initiate contact. Just don't try to reach out again until we figure out how you can shield yourself."

Teyla sighed. "I believe this to be true. But it has not been truly put to the test. Again, I feel this gift extracts too high a price."

"Aye, that may be so. But you can't return it." At Teyla's quizzical look, Carson elaborated. "This is one gift you can't return to the giver or to the store. No refunds, all sales final! You can only try to use it, and not let it use you."

Teyla looked down. Clearly she had not thought of it in those terms before. "How will I accomplish this?"

"There is still so much we don't know. How can you defend yourself? Can you only "hear" Wraith, or are there other minds you can reach? Do you have any offensive ability? You can try to answer these questions. And you won't have to do it by yourself, either. We'll all help you."

"Thank you, Carson." Before she could stop, she found herself yawning widely.

"And that's my cue to leave." He reached over and gripped her hand for a minute. "We'll help you get through this. That I promise." And with that, Carson stood and headed back to his office. Teyla realized that her headache was significantly improved now. She smiled and closed her eyes.