"Anger Management"

Show: Stargate Atlantis

Genre: Missing Scene/General/Romance

Rating: K

Pairing: Sheppard/Teyla

Summary: Missing scene from "Suspicion". After a confrontation with Sergeant Bates, Teyla escapes to where she feels most comfortable, but it turns out that she isn't going to be alone for long. Sheppard/Teyla and a healthy dose of stick-fighting!

Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis is not mine at all…but if you don't mind getting me an early Christmas present, I would definitely love to have it all to myself.

Author's Note: "Conversion" pretty well rocked my socks, and it had plenty of Shep/Teyla stuff to tide me over for the next week…or at least until some more good fanfiction comes out! If you guys haven't seen that episode, beg, borrow, or steal until you can get a copy – it will definitely be well worth your while. So, yeah, don't know why, but I suddenly got an urge to write something for this episode which happened way back in season one with our favorite guy Sergeant Bates – gotta love that suspicious, rude, overbearing jerk! Heehee! Hope you enjoy.


Major John Sheppard clomped down the stairs from the conference room to the lower levels of Atlantis. His pounding, clanging footsteps were enough to tell the world that he was pissed, and the group of technicians working at one of the junctions below scurried out of the way to avoid close contact with him. It was bad enough that Bates was acting this way, but Elizabeth? He knew that in light of the suspicious Wraith attacks on the off-world teams she would be naturally careful about the station's proceedings, but in his mind, the whole situation had gotten completely out of control.

Barely acknowledging Zelenka's cordial greeting as he passed, Sheppard continued on his rampage through the halls. Calling in all of the Athosians to question them one by one smacked of a twenty-first century version of the McCarthey Trials. He had finally lost it when the day's interviews ('interrogations,' he thought blisteringly) had ended, and Bates had turned to Elizabeth. He had to open his mouth as usual and put in his own misinformed, arrogant two cents, and Sheppard had finally gotten fed up. As though John wasn't even in the room, he had once again urged Elizabeth to suspend Teyla's off-world privileges and remove her from the team. Then he went so far as to propose assigning her a security detail to follow her around the base like some sort of babysitter, making sure she didn't get into anything or talk to anyone she wasn't supposed to.

Sheppard had stormed out of the room without even waiting for Weir's response. He didn't care if he got a formal reprimand or a discipline review. What could they slap him with? Insubordination, rudeness? Oh yes, I'm sorry, I completely forgot that I'm supposed to be helping you conduct this little witch hunt that's going on. Whose arms do you want me to hold while you beat them senseless? Yup, as military leader on the station he was most definitely obligated to perform that little civic duty.

As he passed through the sliding doors to the lower gyms, he briefly thought that the Ancients must never have had bad tempers. If they had, he was certain they would have designed the doors differently – it was very gratifying to slam a couple of them while you were on the warpath. A disappointing design flaw, to be sure.

He headed towards the staircase on the far end of the corridor, which would bring him up onto the balcony that ran the length of the station along the ocean. From there, his only plans were to get to his quarters as quickly as possible, shut the door, and break things – good therapy as far as he was concerned, though he was sure that Dr. Heightmeyer might have something else to say about it.

Quickly moving through the corridor, he was about to start up the stairs when he was stopped by soft noises coming from the small work-out room in the left corner. Despite his anger, he couldn't help feeling a certain level of surprise, since he rarely found anyone down here in the middle of the afternoon. Casting a last glance up the stairs, Sheppard decided that it wouldn't hurt to at least take a peek – the stuff in his room that he planned on destroying would wait a few more minutes.

The doors slid open and he stepped quietly inside. The room was bathed in the soft light of the setting Atlantis sun, and several of the exercise mats were stretched over the floor. In the middle of the floor was Teyla, her back to him. She held two short sticks and was weaving and bobbing around an imaginary opponent with a feline grace. She moved on the balls of her bare feet, lightly and without noise, twisting and turning to avoid the blows of the imagined fight. Her skin shone with perspiration, and Sheppard watched her silently, amazed by the glimpses of intense concentration that he caught on her face whenever she swung into his field of vision. Swinging her sticks with precise, measured movements that caused the muscles in her arms to ripple, Teyla launched into a series of blocks and parries, furiously attacking an enemy that Sheppard could almost imagine in his mind's eye.

As she continued to circle and combat her imaginary foe, moving with even more speed, ferocity, and accuracy than before, Sheppard started to get the itching feeling that he was intruding upon something very private. He couldn't exactly explain it, but it was as if he knew that he didn't really belong there and that watching her was wrong on some level. Still, he found that he couldn't pull himself away. Finally giving himself a mental shake, he figured he should slip out the door again and leave her to battling her own demons – he doubted that she'd even noticed him come in.

Suddenly, just when he was about to turn and leave, Teyla let out a primal yell, hurling her sticks against the far wall where they clattered to the floor. Sheppard stood frozen in place as he watched her stand in the middle of the room, fists curled at her sides and quivering slightly. He could hear her heavy panting echo through the gym, and he saw her finally crumple, sliding to the floor and pulling her knees to her chest. She buried her head in her arms, her breathing still ragged and uneven.

He wasn't quite sure what made him take a step forward, but it wasn't as though he could even think about leaving now; the sound of the door would give him away, and leaving her like that just didn't seem honest or right somehow. Cautiously he took a step toward her, and the minute sound of his motion instantly alerted her to his presence. She swung around and jumped to her feet with a grace and rapidity that both amazed and startled him. Her fists automatically went up in a defensive stance, and she squared her shoulders with an immediate battle readiness. He was in awe.

"Colonel Sheppard. I did not realize you were here," she said apologetically, her hands instantly lowering. "It is not wise to approach an Athosian from behind without announcing yourself."

Sheppard gave her a grin. "Well, I'll try to remember that." She barely reacted and continued to stare at him apathetically. If anything, the furrows in her brow only deepened, and he took a concerned step closer to her. "Hey…are you okay?"

"I am fine." As he stepped in closer, he could see unshed tears glittering brightly in her eyes. He stared at her, feeling the worry plainly begin to etch onto his face; something was definitely not right. Noticing his gaze, she dropped her eyes, blinking rapidly to erase traces of the tears. He saw that she didn't lift a hand to wipe at them, as though doing so would somehow admit defeat to whatever she was feeling.

An uncomfortable silence stood between them until Sheppard finally said, "You know you can trust me, right?"

Her eyes shot up toward his and carefully studied his face. "Yes. I believe that I can."

"Good. Then you know that I'm not the one who thinks…well, you know with the…um…what I mean is –"

"That I have given information to the Wraith?" She practically spit the words at him, and he could sense the frustration and anger that was contained in them.

"Look, I know it hasn't been easy for you, but you have to understand that our policies –"

"Force you to turn away your allies? Spread distrust and apprehension?" She thrust her chin up at him defiantly and crossed her arms. "We have done nothing but help you and yet you treat my people as though we are the enemy. It is the Wraith that you need to be concerned about – not the Athosians!"

"I know that!" Sheppard said, a bit more harshly than he would have liked. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Look, can we sit down or something? I'm feeling too antsy just standing here."

She silently glared at him for a moment before turning and sitting on the edge of the window seat, staring out at the gym. He took the seat next to her and took a moment to collect his thoughts. "What I'm trying to say is that I believe you. I know that some people have been giving you a hard time, but the sooner that all of these investigations are done with, the sooner everything will be back to normal. You're just going to have to hang in there until we sort this out."

"That may not be possible, Major." She continued to avoid making eye-contact as he glanced at her confusedly. At his silent questions she sighed. "I will be leaving for the mainland with the rest of my people as soon as this matter has been settled."

"What? When did this happen?" He demanded. "I know that this has been hard on all of you, but that's no reason to—"

"I did not take this decision lightly!" She shot back, glaring at him in a ferocious manner that for him was equally terrifying and heart-wrenching. "After such distrust, I do not know if I will be welcomed back to your team."

"You know I believe you," he said softly.

"Yes. But most do not. Sergeant Bates told me that it would be in the best interest for everyone if we went our separate ways after the investigation."

Sheppard immediately went on alert. "When did this happen?" he asked suspiciously.

Teyla fiddled with the pair of sticks that were beside her on the window seat. "He came to my quarters this afternoon. He told me that he and Dr. Weir were close to completing the investigation, and that the lack of cooperation on my part demonstrated that it would be best for me not to continue serving on Atlantis."

"That son of a bitch," Sheppard breathed. He was suddenly thankful that Bates wasn't around – he wasn't sure if he would have been able to stop himself from decking the jerk. He glanced back over at Teyla and was shocked to see tears forming at the corners of her eyes again. She was caught in the middle of this, and it was clearly tearing her apart. On one side, she was dealing with containing the concern and outrage of her people and on the other she was the center-point of an ugly, looming cloud of suspicion, hatred, and betrayal. She was alone.

"Hey," he said softly, gently squeezing her elbow as he did so. "We're going to figure this one out. Bates doesn't speak for all of us, and there are plenty of people here who want you to stick around. He's just doing his job…even though he can be pretty insensitive about it. Don't worry about him."

Teyla looked up at him suddenly, eyes shining brightly. Sheppard was almost frightened by the intensity of her stare. "Why do you trust me?"

He was caught flat-footed. He had been having a hard enough time trying to protect her during the investigations during the past week without having to directly answer this question. It wasn't that he had anything to hide as far as his feelings for her went – it was just the fact that he didn't fully understand them himself that was so damn frustrating. He knew there were rumors going around about why he was so confident in Teyla, some of them crude and some of them ridiculous, about why he had an overwhelming trust in her that was seemingly baseless. There wasn't any reason that he could see – just blind, without a doubt faith.

"I don't know," he finally admitted. "I guess I just…do you remember the first time we met? What I was feeling…it wasn't a coherent thought, more like an instinct. But I remember knowing that I could trust you. It didn't make any sense to me, but I still couldn't help feeling as though I knew you from somewhere…like we'd already met a long time ago. See, on Earth, trust and respect have to be earned as a relationship grows…but with you it was different. I just…knew."

He was suddenly inexplicably self-conscious and embarrassed. Teyla was gazing at him with the frank, piercing look that he had come to know so well. For some reason he always felt as though she was studying him so closely that she could look right through him so that none of him was ever truly secret. She finally rewarded him with a warm smile that reassured him slightly.

"I understand. And I believe it is enough for me that…I have you." She edged closer to him and put her hands on his shoulders, bowing her head in the traditional Athosian sign of loyalty and bonding. He dipped his head to touch hers in return, feeling far less awkward and unsure than the first time this had happened. Again, that frustrating feeling of not being able to understand a part of himself returned – this felt so right, but he had no idea why that was.

When they pulled apart, he saw that her eyes had cleared, and she was as calm and peaceful as he had ever seen her. Sheppard couldn't help but smile at the sight. "Feeling better?"

She sighed. "I will. It will just take some time." She rose from the window seat and went to fetch the two sticks she had hurled at the wall earlier.

"How long have you been stick-fighting?"

"Since I was a young child. My father insisted I start earlier than anyone else in the village."

"You're pretty good with them." Teyla smiled graciously. Sheppard stood, awkwardly stuffing his hands in his pockets and clearing his throat. "I know I'm not the best of company, but do you think you'd consider offering lessons?"

The corner of her mouth twitched, and he saw her eyebrows arch in surprise. "You would like me to teach you? Do you not possess more efficient weapons?"

"Well, yeah. But when I was a kid, I always wanted to be a kung-fu master." He flung his arms out jokingly in an exaggerated karate stance, and Teyla eyed him thoughtfully. Suddenly, so quickly that the movement was a blur, she shot out one of the sticks and rapped him smartly on the forearm.

"What was THAT for?" he yelped.

"That was your first lesson, Major Sheppard," she said, handing him one of the sticks she

did so.

"What would that be? Don't make fun of the teacher?" he asked, rubbing at the welt on his arm.

With only the shadow of a teasing smile, Teyla answered, "Exactly." He gave her a grin as she turned and took up the first stance.


Yeah, another random little tidbit out of the way. Drop me a pretty little review – I eat them for breakfast with chocolate milk, so the more the merrier! Hope you liked.