Thirst

Teyla's people called it 'skinswimming' and did not shame to do it in the Athosian midsummer. The Atlanteans call it 'skinnydipping' and are more modest about it.

John neither averts his eyes, nor seems embarrassed to crouch by the edge of the sea as she sleeks through the water. Instead, he smiles. "Have I ever told you about sirens, Teyla?"

She arches a brow at him, amused. "You have not."

He takes his earpiece out, stuffing it in his jacket pocket before shedding the jacket. "Sirens are a Greek myth; women from the sea who lured men to shipwreck themselves from the beauty of their singing." His voice muffles briefly as he tugs his shirt over his head, his dogtags jingling as they join jacket and shirt on the pier.

Teyla should avert her eyes. Backlit by the moonlight, there is a dreamlike quality about them; the hot night, the cool water, the play of light across his bare skin, the silken swish of water across hers. Instead, she draws up to the pier's edge, and responds with a playful tone. "You are in no danger from either me or my singing, John."

His boots are tossed on the pile behind him, and she catches the edge of his glittering smile. "You're sure about that?"

He peels off his trousers, knowing she is watching and admiring him, then dives smoothly into the water with barely a splash and vanishes into the dark waters.

All is silent.

Alarmed by his disappearance, Teyla swims out a little way, only to gasp as her ankle is caught in a warm grasp. Air, light, moon, and city dissolve into cool salt as she is dragged under, but when she kicks out at him, he vanishes into the liquid night.

She breaks the surface, gasping, wary. Her swimming skills are basic, there were few rivers in Athos. John is clearly a better swimmer than she, and he--

--surfaces before her, his hair unruly, even in the water, his smile small and almost shy as he regards her.

Teyla treads water and tells herself that she breathes unevenly because he dunked her. He swims closer, and she retreats; he drifts closer again, and again she retreats. It is as though they are caught in a current, in a tide, swept along in the heat and the moonlight.

"Careful," is all he says as he reaches out over her shoulder, and she turns her head and finds the edge of the pier only a handspan away from her head. Teyla looks back at John and finds his eyes on her face, on her eyes, on her mouth...

He has kissed her before; pure want, nothing more. This kiss is not like that kiss - liquid desire, not fiery need, Teyla's bones are nothing, dissolving in the sea of his mouth and his skin, her senses drowning, sodden with desire.

They thirst and are quenched in each other.

- fin -