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: Ronon/Teyla. AU; takes place before the TV series. A mysterious warrior arrives on Athos and sweeps Teyla off her feet; but their life together may not turn out to be a fairytale in the end.
Pairings: Ronon/Teyla, a little bit of John/Elizabeth (if you squint) later in the story
Spoilers: "Rising," "Runner" "Sateda"
Title: Enduring Love
Author's notes: This is going to be the first fanfic I post that isn't already complete (and has more than one chapter). I'm kind of nervous going into this, but I hope that this turned out as well on-screen as it did in my head. I've had this idea for a long time now and just got up the nerve to write it (plus, it's been on the backburner forever because of other stuff I've been writing), so I hope this turns out well and that you enjoy it. Also, please review and tell me what you think, and if there's anything you want to see—I've only got the first 3 chapters written, so I'll probably be able to work it in later in the story. As always, this is unbeta'd, so all mistakes are mine alone. Enjoy, and please review!
Ever since she was a little girl, Charin had told her that her prince would come. She had promised that he would be a warrior, the only man in the vast expanse of all the worlds the Athosians had visited, and those they hadn't, worthy of her love, devotion, and hand in marriage. A man that would hate the Wraith as much as she, that would fight side-by-side with her to defeat the scourge and love her unconditionally with every fiber of his being.
Even now, eighteen years old and the leader of her people, Teyla Emmagan was entirely unsure of these words. As of yet she'd met no man worthy of this love, her hand, her devotion. She'd visited planet after planet, always keeping a keen eye out for the one, but she had yet to find him. Even in her wandering dreams, she couldn't find him. She was lost, alone, and wondering if Charin's predictions were nothing more than a fairytale told to her to help her ward off the dreams that came with the Wraith.
Teyla sat, alone and cold, next to the fire she'd built in front of her tent, her hands out to the warmth. It was early morning, far earlier than anyone else arose despite the fact that they were an agrarian culture who grew and harvested tava beans, and she had decided that she needed a few moments by herself to ponder once more Charin's words and just enjoy the cool Athosian morning.
The tea she'd put on to simmer began to boil, and Teyla rescued it from the flames and poured some into a cup, sipping the steamy brew while staring into the dancing flames of her fire. It wasn't often anymore that she allowed herself to fall into fantasies; not since her father died, at the least. After her mother died she'd taken solace in the dreams that Charin stirred up for her, but once her father died and she became the leader of her people, an adult far sooner than she should have been considered one, she'd let fantasies slip by her without taking time to examine them. Adults did not have childish fantasies; particularly not the leader of a tribe. It was best if she concentrated on the tasks that lay ahead of her and her people and not dwell on old stories that would never come true, anyway.
Across the small footpath from her tent, flaps of other tents began to open and her people emerged, ready to greet the new morning. Harvest time had come, and from sunrise to sunset the Athosians were working hard to gather all their beans. Some the Athosians would keep, some would be traded off to other peoples, still others would be brewed into a strong drink that would be drank at the Harvest Festival, a celebration that came every year when all the tava beans were harvested.
Teyla shared her tea gladly with the others that emerged, knowing how long it took to build a fire for oneself and brew the tea. It was something that helped to wake one up, get them ready for the day to come and keep them sustained and awake.
The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon when another of her people, a man named Halling, came running down the path that led from the Ancestral Ring, a look of panic on his face. "The Ring! It has activated!"
Teyla froze for a brief moment, feeling fear wash up inside her and snatch at her throat. The thought that it could be Wraith was entertained in her mind, but she forcibly shook it off. She felt none of the cold, sickening feelings deep inside her that she did when Wraith were around, so she shook off her fear and ran to meet Halling. "Did you see who came through?" she demanded, needing to take control of the situation.
Halling nodded, doubling over to rest his hands on his knees and catch his breath. "Yes. Warriors by the looks of them. They have weapons that could easily kill us all."
Teyla grit her teeth, knowing that this could not bode well for her people. Most who came through the Ring were traders, wanting to do business with the Athosians. They were friends, comrades. The only other people who came through the Stargate were Wraith, and they were not people by any means of the word: they were the enemy.
But for as long as she could remember, no people with weapons had ever come through the Ring. So why now?
Halling's entrance had sent the women and children to cover in tents, and the men were already standing around, ready to defend the settlement. Teyla and Halling joined them, she standing in front of the majority of her people. As leader, she would not run for cover in her tent like the rest of the women, and she would not stand behind the men in combat. Even if she died, she would stand in defense of her people.
It was only a few moments after she settled herself that the first of the warriors appeared, quite obviously her counterpart. In the dim glow of the rising sun and the flickering fires behind her, Teyla could tell nothing more than he was tall, unusually so, actually, and that he was wearing a long tan coat that held a scabbard in the back to sheath a sword. One of the fires popped and flared brightly, and in that brief moment Teyla caught sight of vibrant green eyes, as bright and clear as jade river stones, and they were focused on her.
Behind the green-eyed leader came a battalion of four men, all dressed similarly and each carrying a scabbard and holstered weapons.
Teyla swallowed back her momentary flash of fear and boldly stepped forward. "I am Teyla Emmagan, daughter of Tughan, leader of the Athosians. What is your purpose here?"
Those green eyes locked on hers, and Teyla felt herself freeze, a flutter of something deep and powerful swirl through her stomach as he spoke. "Specialist Ronon Dex, Sateda. We are explorers, come to search for allies against the Wraith."
A weak feeling poured through her, and Teyla's knees almost gave way. "If you are indeed enemies of the Wraith, you are welcome on Athos." She turned away from Specialist Ronon Dex, and immediately her people parted to make way for her. "Please, come this way. We can speak privately in my tent." Teyla strode forward, trusting Dex to follow her. Since her back was to him, she slipped her hand under her heavy coat and ran her fingers over the hilt of her small battle knife, knowing that it may not be enough to protect her, but that it would be a good distraction in case she needed to defend herself.
However, the oddest feeling of trust was beginning to seep into her bones, almost as though she instinctually knew that she could trust these warriors from Sateda, especially their leader. She couldn't explain it, she'd never felt it before, but she just knew.
Teyla slipped into her tent, turning to watch as Dex ducked low to enter himself. In the flickering candlelight from behind her, she could better see the warrior since it was lighter and he was closer.
He was unnaturally tall, with dreadlocked hair that fell to his shoulders. His piercing green eyes looked at her from a strongly sculpted face, and a neatly-kept beard ringed his mouth. His tan jacket outlined his broad, muscular shoulders, and the dark shirt underneath did little to hide his well-sculpted chest and abdomen. On the left side of his neck Teyla caught brief sight of a tatoo of some sort, probably a mark of his world's army. His hands were long and somewhat rough, as if he'd worked hard his entire life; the way he held his head and shoulders signified an inherent nobility and strength that Teyla could almost feel.
Teyla swallowed and looked way, unable to hold Dex's intense gaze. "You should know that Athos is a world of farmers and traders," she said, hating the slight quiver in her tone, unbelieving at the power this man seemed to hold over her despite the fact that she had barely just met him and definitely didn't know him. "We fight battles only as necessary."
Specialist Dex was studying her intently, as if trying to look deep within her and read her very heart. "Everyone is at war with the Wraith," he said at last, his voice deep and rough. "It is merely a question of whether or not we choose to fight or cower in fear."
A brief anger flashed deep within her, irrationally clouding her eyes. "Are you suggesting that we do not fight our battles, Specialist Ronon Dex of Sateda?" she asked icily, her hands clenching into fists at her sides. "Because if you think this is true, you are sorely mistaken."
A flicker of surprise and something else unidentifiable flashed through Dex's eyes. "I did not say that. I merely stated that some people do not wish to fight, and I am looking for those who do. My people are trying to make alliances, ones that will hopefully help us to defeat the scourge of the Wraith." He strode forward until he was standing only a breath's distance away, his head tipped down to look her straight in the eye. "You are young, I can tell by looking at you, but I sense within you a nobility and strength of someone twice your age."
Teyla swallowed the fluttering in her throat, hoping when she spoke that her voice wouldnt shake. "You cannot be much older than I," she responded, surprised at her own words. "And yet I sense the same in you."
A small grin turned up the corners of Dexs lips, giving him a whole new look. Instead of the gruff warrior that had followed her into her tent, she saw a young man not much older than herself, one who turned her insides to liquid and forced her knees to try to dump her to the ground. "You speak wisely, Teyla Emmagan, daughter of Tughan, leader of the Athosians," he told her, not condescendingly. His smile grew a little wider. "Perhaps you and your people would make good allies of Sateda."
Teyla swallowed as he stepped back. "What could we do?"
Ronon's eyes had wandered away from her, briefly glancing around her tent as he spoke. "You said your people are farmers and traders, right?" At her nod, he continued. "Armies have to eat. We are not just looking for warriors, we are also looking for good farmers and skilled traders. We are a warrior people, not really traders and definitely not farmers. You, however. . ." He shrugged. "What do you grow?"
"Tava beans." Teyla reached for her unfinished cup of tea, now lukewarm, and held it out to him. "We brew it into teas and other drinks. We also harvest herbs that can be used as medicines for wounds, broken bones, headaches, and even childbirth."
Ronon reached out and took the cup from her, eyeing the tea for a moment before taking a sip. "This is good," he admitted, taking another drink. "Better than anything else I have had." He set the cup down on the table again and looked at her, that smile still playing across his lips and in his eyes. "In return my people will help you fight the Wraith, and rebuild after a culling. We would keep a contingent here, on Athos, to help protect you against cullings. So what do you say, Teyla Emmagan? Allies?"
Teyla hesitated. She knew that she should not be so trusting towards someone she had just met, but there was something about him, something inside her, that was telling her that she could trust him, that he and his people would make good allies for the Athosians. But still. . . "How do I know you will honor your part?"
He stepped forward, holding out his hand towards her, nothing but honesty shining in his eyes. "I give you my word, on the honor of my family and my rank on Sateda."
Teyla reached out a surprisingly steady hand and slipped the small appendage into his, shivering slightly as his long, strong fingers folded around her hand. "Allies," she said, in nothing more than a whisper.
Ronon withdrew his hand and smiled. "Can you spare a little while away from your people?" he questioned.
Teyla blinked, wondering where this had come from and what shed just gotten herself and her people into. "Why?" she questioned suspciously, her hand instinctually slipping under her coat to grab her knife.
Dex stepped back from her, lowering his hand to his side. "I thought you might want to see my world, just to make sure that I am being honest with you." A glint of humor shone in his eyes. "Besides, I think you might like it there. You can even bring along a few of your own protectors, if you so wish, though I promise you that no harm will come to you on my world."
Teyla looked down at her boots, wondering if that was heat she felt creeping up her cheeks. "I cannot leave now. We are in the middle of the harvest season, and it is important that we finish on time." She swallowed hard. "But perhaps if you return in a week, during the Harvest Festival, I might be able to leave then. . ."
Ronon bowed his head slightly. "In a week, then." Without another word, he turned and left the tent, the cold morning breeze blowing into the tent in his absence making her shiver.
Teyla wrapped her arms around herself and wondered if it was wise, what she'd just gotten herself and her people into.
To Be Continued. . .
Edit: Thanks to Nerwen Aldarion for pointing out the misspelling of Teyla's father's name. It's been changed now, and thank you!