NOTES: In spite of the bad rap that John/Teyla seems to have in the fandom, I rather enjoy them as team-mates, friends, and a romantic couple. I guess I find it intriguing that so many of readers require that one must write a specific ship to be considered 'worth reading', and if one doesn't like said ship, one is unequivocally blackballed. It says a lot about the fans and the fandom, at any rate.

This story, and the four previously posted stories, were for the 'Stages Of Love' challenge on LJ - Five Elements: Air, Earth, Water, Fire, and Spirit. This prompt is 'Spirit'.

Someone To Lean On

He presses his back against the cliff face and hopes that Rodney and Ronon don't take too long to get here.

Even beneath the rocky overhang, they're too exposed. It won't take much for this cliff face to be loosened, and then they won't just be under fire, they'll be trapped in a rockslide.

His leg twinges again, and he tries not to think about the crusted trail of blood that glues his fatigues pants to his skin - a souvenir from someone with a bow, an arrow, and good aim.

Teyla returns from her exploration further along the narrow ledge. "There are shallow caves," she reports. "No sign that they have been inhabited. However, the cave will not be easy to reach and you are injured."

John thinks about this. "I do injured a lot better than I do dead, Teyla. Lead the way." He grimaces as he stands, his sidearm in one hand as the other props himself up against the rock, anchor against the wave of dizziness that hits him like a brick.

A moment later, she's under his arm, propping him up. "We will stay here," she says, leaning him back against the rough edges of the cliff face. "I am not minded to lose you."

In spite of their situation, caught between...well...a rock and a hard place, John finds himself with a stupid grin on his face. Teyla isn't one for sweet talk, either giving or receiving, so John takes what he can get.

All the same, John would like to live a little longer to appreciate this declaration.

"I'm not minded to die in a rockslide," he retorts with a little more spirit than before. "We'll make for the cave."

She eyes him. "It will hurt."

He shrugs. "What's a little pain?"

A little pain turns out to be a lot, but they've already bound it up and that's about as much as they can do. Inside the tenuous shelter of the cave, unstruck by slingshot or arrows, John holds onto her for balance and because he doesn't usually have a valid reason to rest against her in public.

The leg's going to need stitches, and he'll be out of action for a while.

In the meantime, Teyla disengages from his touch and goes to check their position.

But when she comes back, she lets him lean on her.

- fin -