All Good Things….
By: Taya Henderson
"Nervous, sir?" Ford asked, sitting propped up against pillows in the infirmary.
"Nervous? About getting married? No." John shook his head, though he was clearly lying.
John straightened his tie again. He knew he looked sharp in his dress uniform, and Teyla loved him in it, but it didn't calm the butterflies in his stomach at all.
"Well, I'm sure the show'll win an Emmy." Ford joked.
"Funny." John sighed. "You sure you don't want to try and come to the mainland. Doc says you should be fine."
"No sir. I'm grateful enough that you've found me and I'm getting better. But I don't want to have a relapse on that beach and ruin your day. I'll stay here where one of the nurses can pump me full of meds. They're bringing me a big screen to watch it on."
"Yeah. I might have made a slight 'suggestion' to Dr. Beckett." John smiled. "Here I go."
"Good luck sir!" Ford called as John walked out.
Teyla was equally nervous. She was getting the final touches done on her hair and she could barely sit still.
"Come Teyla. You must be patient." Charin admonished.
"I apologize I am nervous, for some reason." Teyla sighed.
"That is done. Stand so me may get you ready." Charin grinned.
Charin pulled out a white piece of fabric that Teyla instantly recognized. It was her mother's joining dress. Made of delicate white fabric and edged with tiny white beads.
"It is beautiful." Teyla sighed, tears in her eyes. "How did you get this? I thought it was destroyed in the culling that took my father."
"It would have been. But a week before that, your father asked me to get a safe box for it, so you may have it when you got married. I did, and it survived the cullings for many years. Your father never told you, so you never knew."
Teyla put the dress on and had Charin lace her up. It was a fitted gown, with completely open sides and a very low cut front, laced up the sides by simply white cords. The bottom was a nicer, white version of her sparring outfit, with beading along the waist and gentle pieces of white fabric hanging loosely off her hips.
"You will be so lovely, my dear." Charin smiled and pulled out several small pouches. "This was to be your wedding gift from your father. And these are from your people, who wish to show their love."
"They did not need to do this." Teyla sighed, opening the packages. Her people had giver her several silver bangle bracelets with a blue stone incrusted in each. "They area beautiful."
"And this belonged to your father's mother." Charin pulled out a necklace made of beautiful blue stones with a small white shell hanging off the end. She gently fastened it around Teyla's neck. "You are ready now."
"Charin, what if I cannot do it?" Teyla asked, worried.
"You have no reason to worry, child. You love this man, he loves you. There is no man or army that can separate you, you are just making it public." Charin assured her as she placed a crown of tiny white flowers on Teyla's head. "Now, go, and be joined, child."
"Thank you, Charin." Teyla bowed her head to the old woman and walked out of the hut.
John and Ronan walked down towards the alter made of two poles with some fabric and garlands strung on them. Weir and Halling waited at the other end as the men took their places. Rodney grinned from the front row and pointed to his shoed feet.
Ronan just rolled his eyes and took his spot as "best man". The Athosians did not wear shoes in their joining ceremonies, so John stood in his full dress uniform with no shoes and Ronan stood next to him in nice pants, and a nice Athosian tunic. John remembered debating on who he would ask to be his best man, or whether he'd just have both of them.
"Rodney…listen, I want to ask you and Ronan to both be my best men, but there's a whole bunch of ceremony that he has to do…so I need to work on either splitting it up-"
Before he could continue, Rodney asked, "Does the best man have to be barefoot?"
"Yes." John nodded.
"Please, make it easier, just pick Ronan. No offense. But…I have a thing about barefoot and sand…" Rodney trailed off.
John smiled at the memory and winked at Rodney, who grinned back.
"You have the rings?" John asked, looking at Ronan.
"Ask me again and you won't be getting married today." Ronan threatened, and then held up the small leather pouch. "Happy?"
"Very." Sheppard nodded and some music began playing.
John straightened up and watched the arch at the end of the aisle. Charin, hiding Teyla from view until she reached the archway at the end of the aisle, carried a large veil. The music changed to the wedding march-Teyla's idea-and Charin dropped the veil. Sheppard's eyes went wide, he was floored.
She reached the end of the isle and took a deep breath, standing in front of him.
"You look beautiful." John whispered, smiling at her and taking her hands.
"In this joining, the pair has chosen to recite their own promises." Halling announced, calling everyone to attention.
"Teyla, you may begin." Weir nodded.
"Since the day I met you, it has only served to confuse me. Much of the time, I do not have any idea what you are talking about. However, you never run out of patience in explaining things to me, in fact, you enjoy it. I do not know why the ancestors have blessed me so, but I have found in you not only a husband, but also a best friend and confidant, with whom I can share joys and fears without cause for worry. It is because of you my spirit is complete, and I can only ever thank you and love you each and every day." Teyla smiled. "I swear on the blood of my father and on the blood of my heart that I will stand beside you and behind you in all that you do and I will never forsake you for another. You are my one, my only, from this day forward and forever."
"Colonel Sheppard." Halling prompted. "You may begin."
"I came to Atlantis because I had nothing on earth. I had nothing to live for. The moment I saw you, you took my breath away and I knew everything had changed. I never thought I'd find my soul in a place so far from home, but I have. You are my other half, my sun, moon, and stars, my best friend. I…I don't know what I did to deserve you, the truth is, I don't. I can tell you now that I'll never be the perfect husband, but I'm going to try. I'll stand beside you and do everything and anything I can to make this work. I swear on the blood of my heart and soul that I will stand at your side and behind you in all that you do and I will never forsake you for another. You are my one, my only, from this day forward and forever."
"To signify their union, the couple has chosen to exchange rings." Weir said and Ronan handed the rings to John.
John placed the ring on Teyla's finger and then kissed her hand gently. She took the other ring, slid it onto his finger, and smiled at him.
"Now, we join these too in the sight of those present and the ancestors who guide us." Halling motioned to Ronan. "If you will join heads."
Ronan took a white cord and tied it around the couple's wrist, loosely binding them together.
"In the eyes of the ancestors, this binding is blessed. In the eyes of our people, this bonding is blessed. We accept Colonel Sheppard into our people as a brother and member of our village. May these two and all their descendents be welcome among the Athosian people. With your joining, may your souls be complete."
"I now pronounce you man and wife." Weir smiled gently at the couple and turned to Halling.
"You are now joined. May the ancestors bless the union with many years and many children." Halling bowed.
"You may kiss the bride." Weir said and Teyla and John shared a gentle kiss.
The wedding was followed by a large party, with many of the Atlanteans and Athosians consuming large quantities of beer. Teyla and John accepted congratulations, shared their first dance, and danced for several hours. No one noticed Rodney, Carson, Weir, and over a dozen other people sneak off well before the party was over. Eventually, it was time for the newlyweds to go. They boarded the jumper (alone) and flew off towards Atlantis.
John and Teyla walked out of the landed jumper and noticed a trail of rose petals on the floor.
"What do you think?" John asked.
"There is a sign." Teyla pointed to a piece of paper with a rose attached to it.
"Follow the roses." John read, handing the rose to Teyla. "I'm gonna assume it's for us."
They followed the roses and it led them to a part of the city that was currently being renovated for more quarters. John looked around as the roses stopped in front of a pair of doors.
"What is this?" John looked curiously at the door and pulled off a card that had been taped onto the door. "Congratulations John and Teyla, welcome home."
"Home? This is not our quarters." Teyla opened the door to reveal a large apartment with all of their things in it. A note was taped to a nice coffee table. "What does this one say?"
John took the note and read it. "Basically, they moved us in here as a wedding present and we can rearrange things if we don't like it."
"This is so much larger than our last…" Teyla trailed off as she opened the bedroom door. "John."
The room was well decorated and covered in rose petals and candles, casting a very romantic light on the room. John grinned as he walked in and closed the door behind him.
Outside in the hall, Dr. Weir and Dr. McKay walked past to see if the newlyweds had found their surprise. They laughed when they saw a sign on the door where the card had been. It was written in the Colonel's handwriting with a large black marker and said, "DO NOT DISTURB ON PAIN OF DEATH".