The rhythm was so perfect that Colonel John Shepard was sure he could fall asleep. The sparring partners spun around each other in a perfect dance. No matter how far away they spun, their sticks always hit in the predictable time, like a metronome.

Teyla Emmagan spun away from the attack and brought her sticks up in an X formation, blocking her sparring partner's attack. But he was quick and withdrew, lunging again. She hardly had time to spin away again and lunge forward with a retaliation of her own. Settling herself, she adjusted her grip and rammed one of her sticks backwards, past her side. Her partner didn't see it coming and it caught him in the side with a dull thwack.

Ronon Dex forced himself not to wince as the end of the stick slammed into his hip. The throbbing ensured he'd have a bruise the next day. Biting back a curse, he twisted his stick, using it to hook Teyla's, trapping it. With a yank, he knocked it away. Once again he was surprised as Teyla's body followed it.

Teyla felt the familiar tug and hid a smirk as she let her body roll with the force of the attack. Keeping a firm grip on their entwined sparring weapons, she used all of her small form to pull the stick from Ronon's grip as she hit the ground and rolled to her feet. Catching it in one hand, she held up her three weapons with a triumphant gleam in her eyes.

"Care to go again?" she asked.

"Always," came the deep reply. Teyla threw him his weapon and assumed a fighting stance. Ronon closed his eyes and took a breath. John shifted, his hand unconsciously going to his blaster.

Teyla brought her sticks down in a swift sweeping motion, designed to render his legs useless. Ronon swept his stick in a reverse arc, knocking Teyla's out of the way. Taking advantage of her unbalance, Ronon feigned to the left and landed a blunt hit to her upper right arm, knocking her even more off balance. With a final pass, he used his weapon to pin her to his chest, arms at her sides.

"Again?" he rumbled. Teyla stiffened as she felt his warm breath on her neck. Somehow she knew it wasn't only the exercise responsible for the pounding of her heart, and it sure as hell wasn't the exercise responsible for the heat climbing up her back where it was pressed against his.

Shifting slightly, she brought one of her sticks up and slammed it into the same spot she had hit earlier. His grip loosened enough for her to drop into a crouch and roll out of the way. Getting to her feet, she brushed a piece of hair out of her eye and shifted her stance.

"Yes," she said when she was ready. Before he had time to prepare she brought her weapons forward and knocked him on the leg, forcing it to buckle. Sweeping his weapon away, she brought his other leg down simultaneously and shoved him back so he was lying flat. Straddling his torso, pinning his arms to his sides with her legs and his legs with one sword, she pressed the other to his neck.

"Again?" she mocked.

"I'm fine here," Ronon said, a smirk on his lips. Realizing what he meant, Teyla resisted the urge to plunge the stick through his neck. Getting off him, she turned around to see their audience had grown to include Dr. Elizabeth Weir and Dr. Carson Beckett. The two were wearing identical 'I-told-you-so' looks while John looked as if he had swallowed something sour.

"Do you need us Dr. Weir?" Teyla asked transferring the sticks to one hand. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ronon get to his feet and retrieve his weapon.

"Actually I just need Colonel Shepard and Dr. Beckett," Elizabeth said briskly, "I'll leave you two to finish," she added as John and Carson followed her out of the room. Teyla felt the heat in her face increase and tried not to cringe.