Disclaimer: I don't own "Stargate: Atlantis." I am in no way trying to make a profit off this story, I am merely writing it and posting for my and other people's enjoyment.
Synopsis: Teyla/Ronon. Teyla's thoughts one evening during that six-week block of missing time during "Return, Pt. 2"
Warnings: A kiss
Spoilers: "Runner," "Duet," "Sateda," "Return pt. 1," possible ones for "Return pt. 2"
Title: Summer's Breath
Dedication: To my best friends. Thank you for your encouragement and love.
Special thanks to: Nerwen Aldarion; Jive Bunny; and Guess Who, my first three reviewers ever. Thank you for your kind words and support; and to all those people who read but did not review. Thank you.
Author's notes: Was once more thinking about those six weeks during "Return pt. 1," and decided to finally bite the bullet and write a fic about it. This isn't beta'd, so all mistakes are mine alone. Please, enjoy and review.
I stood at the edge of the woods, silently watching him. I knew that he knew I was there, but still I didn't step forward, knowing that if he wanted me to come to him he would turn and ask me to come.
It had now officially been three weeks since the Atlantis expedition had returned to Earth, and I found myself briefly wondering how they were doing, and what would be happening right now if we were still in the city of the Ancestors. I suppose it would do me no good to wonder, but wonder still I did. I missed that life in some ways; returning to a life of tava bean farming from the excitement of battling the Wraith and meeting new cultures and people was somewhat. . .mundane in comparison.
I blinked at Ronon Dex's speaking of my name, drawn from my thoughts to turn my attention to him. "Yes?"
He turned his upper body slightly to look at me, his intense green eyes meeting mine across the distance between us. "Do you miss the city of the Ancestors, sometimes?"
I hesitated, wondering if the man could read my mind. It almost seemed as though he could; that was what I had just been thinking about, and now it seemed he had known. "Sometimes, yes I do. But I miss the people that inhabited it more." I stepped forward to stand next to him, following his gaze out over the lush green pastureland that lay before us.
Ronon was silent for a moment, as though considering my words. "I do too," he finally admitted, his voice quiet. "Sometimes I find myself wondering what it would be like if the Ancestors hadn't returned to the city."
I bit my lip somewhat guiltily. I had a feeling I knew where this conversation was heading, and I didn't want it to go there. I had a terrible knot in the pit of my stomach that was telling me that Ronon was going to say what I didn't want to hear; he was going to tell me that the life of a tava bean farmer, the life of an Athosian, was not good enough for him. He was going to tell me that he wanted to leave, to go off and fight the Wraith once more as the single, lonely warrior I had met when we first encountered each other.
I didn't want him to go. It wasn't just because he was a good worker; it was because of his way of looking at things, his interest so different, so new; his way with my people's children, the way he could make them smile, and laugh, and play; and more than that, it was the ability he had to make me forget that there were Wraith out there, that we had been uprooted from yet another home and been dropped here. Ronon Dex had helped me see my life in an entirely new perspective, and I was beginning to like what I saw.
Ever since coming to this planet he had been working during the day, taking time out in the afternoons to play with the children for a little while; and when night fell he would come to my tent and spend time with me. We would eat our meal and talk for a long while, speaking of everything from our mutual friends from the somewhat strange Earth to what part of our new land we should till and seed next. I had witnessed many a sunset with him since coming to this planet, and now, with a pang, I realized that I didn't want that to end.
I didn't want him to leave me, because I had come to care for him in a far different manner than that I did a mere friend.
I shook myself out of my thoughts and managed a somewhat wan smile. "As do I," I admitted softly in answer to Ronon's comment. "But, in some ways, these past three weeks have been some of the best of my life."
Ronon looked at me sharply, surprise glinting in his jade eyes. "In what way?" he asked.
I bit my lip, knowing I had just made a mistake. "It is nice to be with my people again," I said vaguely, hoping that those words would satiate his sudden curiosity.
For a brief moment I saw something like disappointment in his eyes, but then it was gone almost as soon as it was there. "I suppose it would be," he said, his shoulders stiffening slightly and a veil of indifference dropping over his face.
I winced internally, knowing I had just said the wrong thing to him. "I am sorry," I whispered. "I did not mean to. . ."
Ronon held up a hand silently, stopping me in the middle of my sentence. He stared at me for a long moment, his eyes gazing deep into mine as if he was trying to read what was written on my heart, and then he turned his gaze away. "I get the feeling your people are happy to have you back leading them," he finally said, his voice as veiled as his expression.
I swallowed hard, inwardly berating myself. After all the time I'd spent slowly breaking down the walls he'd built around himself, I had just rebuilt those very same walls myself in the span of a few seconds. "Perhaps they are," I agreed noncommittally. "But I believe that they would rather have remained on the mainland of Atlantica. They had just settled in and were beginning to make lives for themselves when the Ancestors returned and uprooted them again."
Ronon nodded, his gaze still on the horizon. "It's hard," he said. "Hard to adjust to being somewhere else after finally making a home for yourself."
I had a feeling he meant coming to Atlantis and settling in there after his seven years of running from the Wraith, and then, like my people, being yanked away to come here, away from everything even remotely familiar. I understood because I felt that way, too. "It is," I said softly. "They have had to move often. Even for a nomadic people like my own, it is hard."
Ronon turned his gaze from the horizon to me, the last rays of the setting suns turning his green eyes into liquid fire that burned into me like a hot brand. "Teyla, answer me one thing, please."
There was something in his voice that made the knot in my stomach tighten even more, nearly choking me. "What?" I asked on a quiet breath, wondering if it was now that he was going to ask if he could leave us—leave me—and go back to continue his life as a warrior.
Ronon stepped closer to me, his large, rough hands coming up to cup my face as he continued staring deep into my eyes. "Teyla, you must answer me honestly."
I nodded slightly, unable to breathe past the sudden constriction in my throat.
Ronon leaned down so his lips were only a few inches from mine, his loose dreadlocks framing his face and lightly tickling my cheek. "Teyla Emmagan, do you love me?"
My knees nearly went out from under me, and I gasped slightly, hands automatically going up to clutch Ronon's upper arms. "What?" I asked, not sure if I'd heard him right.
There was a desperation in Ronon's eyes that nearly tore my heart in two. "Teyla, I'm asking you, do you love me? Do you want me to stay here?"
I could feel tears welling up in my eyes, knowing that he was asking in his own way if I was okay with him leaving to continue his fight. "Ronon. . ." I hesitated, knowing I had to phrase what I had to say just right or risk losing him forever. ". . .Ronon, the fight is important to you. . .I know that you are not enjoying your life here, that you would rather be out fighting. . ."
Ronon placed a finger over my lips, silencing me immediately. "That is not what I'm asking. I need to know, Teyla, please. . .do you love me?"
I closed my eyes, feeling two tears trickle out from under my eyelids and down over Ronon's fingers. "Yes," I whispered softly. "Yes, I do. And no, I do not wish you to leave. I never want you to leave me."
I was suddenly engulfed in Ronon's arms, and I buried my face in his strong chest, allowing my tears to fall. Never had I expected this; never had I thought he would ask me a question such as that one, but everything inside me was relieved that he did.
Ronon pulled my face from his chest and sealed his lips over mine, his kiss as soft and gentle as a summer's breath. I could taste a slight saltiness on his lips and knew immediately that he, too, had been crying; perhaps not at that moment, but at least within the past few. The fingers he had against my cheek trembled slightly, and I could almost hear the inner cries of his heart as clearly as I did those of my own.
Ronon was a warrior, a man who knew nothing more than fighting to win. But within the past few weeks he'd changed; he'd remained on my world with me, doing the things I did, trading in his weapons for the tools of farming. I had just begun to see a difference in him when this happened, and now. . .
Now, I knew. I knew that Ronon was going to stay, that his wild, untamable heart had finally settled, had finally found a place to rest, at least for a little while. I did not know what tomorrow held, nor the days that would follow that, but I did know for certain sure that Ronon Dex would be there to explore them with me and make them that much brighter.
Ronon pulled his lips away from mine at last, his eyes fluttering open at the same moment as mine. In their fathomless green depths I read love, hope, excitement, trepidation. . .the exact same emotions that I knew were mirrored back in my own eyes.
I knew that life with this man would be as difficult and unpredictable as the weather on this planet that we'd started to call home, but for some odd reason I wasn't concerned about that in the least.
I knew, without a doubt, that Ronon would stay now, that he had found the home he'd longed for those seven long years when he was a runner, and I was both honored and humbled that he'd found that life with me, here and now.
As Ronon pulled me to him again and lowered his head to kiss me once more, I closed my eyes and threw a silent prayer to the red-gold skies above us.
Please, never take this man away. . .
And, on the whisper of a summer's breath of breeze, I could almost hear the assurances that Ronon would be a part of my life forevermore, no matter what.