Spoilers for SGA's No Man's Land and SG-1's The Pegasus Project (via Gateworld) – well, just the idea of Cameron being in Atlantis anyway.

Meeting the Locals

"So, do you get to go the mainland much?"

He doesn't miss the start of a grimace on her face before she quickly gathers her composure. "As often as I can. I have been needed in Atlantis as of late, and it has been a considerable length of time since my last visit."

"Right. I guess it was all hands on deck during the incident with Michael and his queen. Can't have been much fun for you being here, thinking that your team mates were dead. I know what it's like to lose track of one of them, but I've never had the pleasure of misplacing all three."

Teyla smiles at his choice of words, wondering if he knows how difficult it would be to 'misplace' a man of Ronon's size. "When Dr. Weir was recalled to Earth, I was placed in charge of the city. We were still trying to recover the data lost as a result of the Wraith worm, as well as determining the fate of the Daedalus and the Orion. There was no time to grieve for the friends that I had thought I had lost."

She continues to prod at the food on her plate with a fork, and Cameron tends to his own lunch as he mulls over her discomfort at his questioning of her people. It is several minutes before he raises his head once more to the sound of her voice.

"Many of my people often travel to Atlantis to use the Stargate and continue our contact with trading partners on different worlds, and they bring news of the mainland when they can. Their...our...way of life is very much as it was on Athos, we have much to offer that other cultures will appreciate. In addition, Dr. Weir has been kind enough to provide gifts from Earth for negotiations with certain worlds."

Cameron can't resist a smirk as he recalls one particular mission report that he had read the previous year. "Not C4, I hope?"

She laughs for the first time and he yearns to hear the sound again. "No, not C4. The Daedalus has brought back many seeds that are native to Earth that we have successfully cultivated on the mainland. The variety in crops that we have is an attraction for many of our trading partners."

He finds himself fascinated by the way that she relaxes as she talks of her people and the way of life that was once hers. She tells him of their first encounter with the expedition and of their subsequent relocation to Atlantis. He wonders why he feels a tinge of jealousy at the affection that she displays as she recalls the then Major Sheppard's involvement in their rescue.

Their conversation ends when Sam and Daniel approach the table, arguing over the legitimacy of their latest clue to the whereabouts of Merlin's weapon. They pause briefly to acknowledge their companions, and Teyla takes the opportunity to gather her tray and take her leave. She can't resist one last glance at Cameron as she reaches the door of the mess hall, and he smiles to himself before getting to his feet.

He races to catch up with her as she heads to her quarters, meaning to tap her shoulder lightly to get her attention. She stops and turns to him, a welcoming smile on her face, and he finds his fingers reluctant to leave the warmth of her skin.

"Look, if you're going to the mainland any time soon, I'd really like to tag along if that's okay. Sam and Daniel are still hyperventilating over all the Ancient tech you have here, and Teal'c seems to have found his soul mate in Ronon, so I'm at a bit of a loose end. And it seems a shame to have come all this way and not meet any natives to the galaxy."

One corner of her mouth lifts as his hand finally falls from her shoulder. "You have met me. Am I not enough of a 'native'?"

He laughs as his feet unconsciously shuffle closer to her. "Believe me, the trip was worth it just to meet you." He has to avert his gaze as she raises an eyebrow in question. Clearing his throat, he risks a glance at her face and is rewarded with a smile of encouragement.

"It's just that I've heard so much about you, it's nice to put a face to the name and..." His voice trails away as he realises that she sees through the act.

"I have scheduled a visit within the next three days, depending on the availability of a pilot for the Jumper. I am sure that there will be room for one more if you are still interested then."

As she turns to continue on her way, she fails to hide a smile as she hears him mutter to himself, "Oh yeah, I'll still be interested."