Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis or the characters. As of 4/2/07, this has been edited.

Sticks and Snails — XII

Elizabeth was walking with Faith and Rodney back to the Jumper when she heard Teyla's cries for help. Gasping, she ran in the direction of the the calls, stopping to see Teyla, her arms bruised and bloody, leaning over John's still body. There was a small knife sticking out of John's back, and it looked like it had gone in quite far. Running forward, she dropped down by John. Soon, Rodney and Ronon came through into the clearing. Ronon spoke.

"Who did this?"

"T-thain," Teyla said, still crying as she held her right arm in her left. Ronon looked around him.

"Where did he go?" Ronon asked. Teyla just pointed in the direction Thain had run off to. Ronon turned to Elizabeth.

"He can't have gotten far, can I ... "

"Go." She cut him off, handing him her hand gun. He took it, running off into the woods.

"Carson's on his way," Elizabeth said gently to Teyla after she had radioed Carson and stopped some of John's bleeding. Teyla nodded, still gripping John's pale hand tightly. It was amazing to Elizabeth that John could even get pale. During his time goofing off on the mainland, he had gotten a great tan. Elizabeth put her hand on Teyla's arm, only to have her wince loudly and rip it away in reaction.

"Teyla, what happened?"

She didn't answer. Sighing, Elizabeth went back to caring for John the best she could.

Ronon ran through the woods, the wet branches slapping at his face and arms as he ran through them. He could only see a few feet in front of him, the brush was so thick. Wiping water from his eyes, he continued to jump every stump, duck every branch, and weave in and out of every tree. He would catch Thain if it was the last thing he did.

Barely missing a large tree right in front of him, Ronon was forced to slow down. He kept running at a good pace, but not nearly as fast as he would have liked. He knew that, if he didn't go faster, Thain would get away. If he didn't slow down, since he couldn't see anything, he risked hurting himself and not being able to carry on. Deciding to risk it, Ronon sped up again. As he jumped a large puddle, he saw something flash through the rain. A sword. There was a sword glinting in the little sunlight there was. Ronon stopped running, slowly inching forward to where he saw Thain. He was resting his hands on his knees, taking deep breaths. He saw Ronon coming.

"Ahhh!" Grabbing his sword, Thain started attacking Ronon. Grabbing the thing nearest to him, Ronon started fighting back with a large, thin stick. It was slick, and he couldn't hold it well with his fingers. As it slowly slipped from his hands, Ronon watched as Thain forced his sword down with a force that could kill anyone.

"Charge to 200!" Carson yelled, grabbing the paddles with his bloody hands and setting them on John's chest, waiting until the machine had them fully charged and shocked John. No response. "Again! To 300!"

Teyla tried to hold back tears as she watched from the gurney across from John's. The nurse was checking her out, making sure that Thain hadn't actually done anything to her. She was fine, she knew that, but John was dying. His blood littered the floor. Bloody gloves, scrubs and tools also lay on the floor, discarded when no one had time to put them up right. Teyla winced as John's body was shocked again, the force of it making his back arch. Carson shook his head, ready to put the paddles back.

"No!" Teyla said, dissolving into tears, she dropped her head into her hands, her tears falling fast. "Please, don't give up..."

Carson knew that there was little he could do for John, but, deciding to give Teyla some comfort, he pulled the paddles back out.

"Charge to 350," he said, shocking John again. A loud, shrill beeping filled Teyla's ears as she looked up, bright red tear tracks present on her face. The machine John was hooked up to had a small, pulsing line going across it. He had a heartbeat. "He's alive! Get him into surgery!"

Three hours later, Teyla was laying on the gurney. She was dressed in white scrubs and resting peacefully. The nurses had given her something to help her sleep, because she was so nervous, and couldn't sleep without it. Elizabeth, Rodney and Faith were in the waiting room, waiting for information on John, and Ronon as well. He hadn't reported in, and everyone was worried. John had crashed three times as well, having to be shocked many, many times. He was in post-Operation now. It was touch and go from there. He might live, he might not. Carson walked up to Elizabeth.

"He's alive. The knife hit his lung, and did a lot of damage. He also lost a lot of blood, and we couldn't give him too many transfusions because of his blood type, but Teyla did give some. Not nearly enough, but, with what we got from Earth two weeks ago, it just might be enough. He is weak, and if his lung doesn't heal right, he will have major problems." Carsom smiled weakly, walking off to see how John was doing. Collapsing back in her seat, Elizabeth took the restless Faith from Rodney and sighed, saying a quick prayer for John.

Quickly rolling out of the way of the sword, the shard blade hit only his arm. He had a nice, long, deep gash on his forearm. Standing up, Ronon took one of his many knives from his hair and threw it at Thain. It hit him right in the chest. The knife was small, and though it did damage, it wasn't nearly enough to stop him. Ronon grabbed a large log, throwing it at Thain. Stumbling to his feet, he ran to try and find his gun. He must have dropped it while running...

Finally, he found a large knife. It was sitting in a stump, looking like it had been placed there on purpose. Not caring where it came from, Ronon grabbed it and hid, waiting for Thain to find him.
Not a minute later, Thain showed up.

He was holding the sword, making patterns in the blood that Ronon had left on it. Smiling, Ronon jumped out from behind the tree, plunging the knife in Thain's old wound, making him scream out in pain. Dropping to the ground, Thain grabbed the knife with shaking fingers, pulling it out of his shoulder. Throwing the kinfe aside, he stood on shaky feet. Ronon promptly tripped him, pushing a knee into Thain's back and tying his hands together.

The storm had gotten worse, and Ronon knew there was no going back. Throwing Thain over his shoulder, careful to jar his wound, he started walking, soon finding a small cave and climbing in. Free from the rain, Ronon threw his head back and sighed, watching Thain struggle on the ground, trying to get out of his bonds. His cut was bleeding very badly. Sighing, and not wanting to but having to, Ronon bandaged up Thain's arm.

Teyla woke to coughing. Lifting herself up onto her elbows, she looked around the infirmary. Smiling when she saw John, she tried to get out of the bed. As soon as her feet hit the floor, she fell down. One of the nurses ran over, helping her up and back onto the bed.

"You should not get up just yet. We gave you a muscle relaxer to help you sleep, so you don't quite have your land legs back," the nurse said gently. Teyla nodded, turning on her side and watching John as he slept. He had a tube in his mouth, and as he coughed, it got worse because of the tube limiting his activity. Carson walked over, giving John medication through his IV. He then turned to Teyla.

"Hello, Lass. How are you doing?"

"I'm fine. How's John?" Teyla asked, laying on her back and staring up at the ceiling.

"He's fine for now. He made it through the night, and he's breathing with the help of the tube, so if nothing takes a turn for the worse, he should be fine. Shame, though. Nearly dying when you are seventeen." Carson smiled, placing his hand on Teyla's arm and giving it a squeeze before walking off. Laying her head back on the pillow, Teyla slowly drifted into sleep.

"What do you want?" Teyla asked, wishing she had her sticks. If she did, she would at least stand a chance against the large man standing over her.

"You." He kissed her, forcing her mouth open. Teyla tried to scream, but nothing would come out. Thain pulled back, placing his hand over her mouth so she couldn't scream. Tears were falling from her eyes now as she struggled against him. John, help me! She thought desperately, though she knew John couldn't hear her. Help!

Thain laughed, tightening his grip on her as she almost succeeded on getting free. He was holding to tight, that there was no circulation getting to her fingers. Thain forced himself on her again, but this time, she managed to use her foot to kick him. Right where it hurts. As he let go, groaning, she rolled under his arm and grabbed the knife, plunging it in Thain's shoulder and running out. Ten feet from the tent, she ran straight into the arms of John. She struggled against him for a minute, not realizing who it was.

"Teyla, it's just me. Shh, what is it Teyla?" John asked softly, holding Teyla as she collapsed in his arms, crying.

"I-I thought h-he was going to r-rape me..." She stuttered out, her tears coming faster.

"Who?" John asked, although he had a pretty good idea who.

"T-thain." Just then, the man in question came limping out of the tent, removing the knife from his shoulder and throwing it. John saw it right in time, quickly turning around to protect Teyla from the knife. It slammed right into his back, making him fall to the ground. Teyla dropped beside him. He was bleeding, bad.

"Help!" She called, crying. Taking John's hand, she held it. He was still conscious, but not for long.

"I l-love you ... " he whispered.

And then he passed out.

"Help!" Teyla called again, tears streaming down her face as she gripped John's hand tightly. "Help..."

Teyla bolted up in bed, breathing heavily. She'd had the same nightmare again. She was dreaming of when John was dying in her lap, his blood everywhere. Looking over, she saw John again. This time, the tube was removed. Carson had had to remove it because John had a bad cough, and coughing with something down your throat is not good. He still had an oxygen mask, though. Teyla stood, carefully this time, and walked over, sitting in the chair beside his bed.

"Hello, John," she said, not expecting an answer. He turned his head to the side, cracking his eyes open the smallest bit.

"Are you an angel?" he asked, closing his eyes against the pain he was still feeling.

"No, John. It is just me."

"Oh, so it is an angel."

Teyla laughed, smiling. She had John back and everyone was going to be OK.

"Charge to 150!" Carson shouted. John and Teyla watched from the other end of the room. It had been three days, and the harsh storms had kept Ronon and Thain out of reach. Thain had died on the way up. Carson was trying to bring him back now. As much as he hated the man, he was a doctor, and he couldn't let Thain just die. "I've got a pulse."

Soon, Thain was taken into protective care, under twenty-four hour guard. John was going to be released in a week, and the wedding had been bumped up until John could walk again. Carson had said that John was lucky he could even stand. The knife had hit him in the back, raising his chances of being paralyzed. But he was fine, Ronon and Thain were fine, and Teyla was fine.

"Does anyone object to this joining?" The priest asked. Both John and Teyla were hoping against hope that no one would. "No one? Then, Teyla and John, please cut your palms and be joined."

John took the knife from the priest, gripping the jeweled hand and pressing the blade into his palm. It sliced through the skin. Wincing, he handed the knife to Teyla. She looked up at him, uncertain. He nodded, assuring her with his eyes it would be OK. Pressing the blade to her palm, Teyla took a deep breath before cutting through her skin. She winced, a few tears coming to her eyes as the cut went a little deeper than she would have liked. John reached his un-cut hand up, using the pad of his thumb to wipe away her tears. Then, they pressed their palms together, the blood running down their arms.

"You are now one, never to be pulled apart. Many blessings from the ancestors to you, and may you bring forth healthy off-spring." The priest bowed as the crowd cheered. Pulling their hands apart, John pulled a handkerchief from his pocket, gently taking Teyla's hand and wrapping it up. The blood seeped through quickly. His cut wasn't as bad.

"Let's go see Carson," he suggested, taking Teyla's hand. They walked down to where their friends were waiting. Deres ran up to John, screeching and hugging him. The kid was hyper today. John's bad. He'd given him candy.

"Hey, guys." John ruffled Deres's hair, lifting the kid into his arms. Hours later, as Teyla and John entered their tent, John turned to Teyla, smiling.

"You know, I've been thinking about what the priest said about off-spring."

Teyla laughed, smiling brightly.

One Year Later



"I like that!" John said, looking down in his arms where his baby girl lay. She looked exactly like Teyla, but she had his blue eyes. She was beautiful. "Katrina Lilith Sheppard."

Teyla just smiled, watching her husband play with their daughter. John stuck his tongue out at her, making the baby girl laugh. He kissed her on the head, smiling at Teyla.

"Now, about a brother for Katrina..."


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