Disclaimer: Not Mine
Gener: Gen, Team
Notes: Written for the Big Damn Table that trollsttroll created for me over on LJ, as such this story is for her.


Prompt: 040 – Sight

She'd always known that as a team, they were closer than most. They spent a great deal of their down time together. They ate most meals together, they trained together, and they made trips to the main land together when they could. And while they socialized with other people in Atlantis, it was plain to see that they had stronger connections to one another than to anyone else. They gossiped with each other – teasing one another about things that had been said or done on missions or in the city. They had a silent kind of communication with one another that Elizabeth could only sit back and marvel over.

But the sight before her was more proof than she really needed.

They had claimed one of the larger living rooms for their own. Each of them had stuff scattered about the room. John had his guitar tucked away in one corner. There was one of Rodney's laptops sitting on a table they had confiscated. Candles that Teyla had brought back from the mainland were scattered about the room on various surfaces. There was even a stack of books Ronon had been reading.

In the center of the room, curled up on the floor, were four interwoven bodies.

It was difficult to pick out whose limbs were whose.

Ronon was sprawled out on his back next to Teyla. He was pressed as close as he could get to Teyla without compromising his ability to get up in a hurry. He was snoring softly, one arm under Teyla's head acting like a pillow.

John was sleeping on his side, facing Teyla, but half way down the woman's body. He had an arm tucked between her thighs, hand curling around to clutch that limb close to his chest. She couldn't see the pilot's face, but Elizabeth could see his wild mess of hair pressed into Teyla's stomach where her t-shirt had ridden up in sleep.

Rodney was spooning behind John, holding the other man as close as he could. Rodney's back was to the door, arm slung protectively around John's waist, legs tangled together. Rodney, who complained constantly about his bad back, was sleeping in a position that was guaranteed to cause more problems on a thin mat on the floor.

When John whimpered softly in his sleep, pulling Teyla's leg closer to him, Rodney pressed his body more firmly against John's back. Teyla's free hand reached down to lie on John's head. And Ronon rolled on to his side tossing a protective arm in the way.

Even in sleep, John's team gathered around to comfort and protect him.

The mission had been a particularly difficult one. Especially for John, who had unknowingly begun a feud over a young woman. It had taken them two days to get him off that planet, but by then the damage had been done. She'd seen it in his eyes, she'd seen it on Rodney's face, she'd read it in Ronon's hovering guardianship, she'd seen it in Teyla's attentiveness.

The story had been horrific when John had told it in a flat and empty voice. She'd wanted to reach across the table to him, but she didn't think he'd accept the comfort. She didn't think she had the right to offer that kind of comfort.

A chain was only as strong as its weakest link.

Elizabeth backed out of the door and let it hiss shut behind her.

If she didn't have the right to comfort him she most certainly didn't have the right to watch him be comforted.