No Excuse

The wind rustles through the harvest, creating a susurrus of drying kernels like a lover's whisper in her ear. It teases the hair around her face, and dances leaves across the tops of the field. Teyla looks at the crop with pleasure. No storms to destroy the grain, sown and grown to fullness, just the warm west wind sifting through the hair she left loose to catch it as the stalks bend and ripple and sway.

"It's a good harvest."

She smiles at John as he leans against a post a few feet away. "What do you know of harvests?"

"Hey, I came from California. We grow a lot of stuff down there." His defensiveness only deepens her smile; she cannot imagine him as a farmer. "Look, Rodney's just called in from Atlantis - apparently there's something he wants me to check out and I thought...you might like to come along for the ride. Just a quick flight." His mouth tugs to one side and he looks as ingenuous as one of the adolescent boys, trying to cozen a friend into something daring. "No acrobatics."

Teyla laughs then. "I will come. But," she adds, "only if you fly your acrobatics." The twirl and spin of the horizon holds neither nausea nor horror for her.

He grins, a flash of delight that is almost boyish. "When you get to Earth, I'll have to take you up for a spin in one of the two-seater fighters. After that, you'll really appreciate the 'jumpers!"

She should mistrust that delight, the mischief that lurks in his soul. But he is not often light-hearted, and she savours his ease as she draws alongside him. "I am sure I will," she answers after a moment.

He makes no answer.

At first, she thinks the touch on her hair is the wind, a gentle, airy caress. Then something crackles by her ear and she starts as she realises John's fingers are on her hair, light as the breeze. He tugs out a dried leaf and twirls it in display. "It got caught," he says by way of explanation.

But she notes he gives no excuse as he tucks a strand of hair behind her ear before the wind tugs it loose again.

- fin -