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: Kind of a sequel to "Warrior Love." Ronon ponders Teyla and the feelings he has for her one quiet day offworld.
Warnings: Mentions character death, and there is a kiss
Spoilers: "Runner" "Sateda"
Title: Show Me Love
Special Thanks: To Black Hawk. Thank you for your kind words in your reviews, and thank you for sparking my interest in writing this fic. I hope this was what you were thinking of.
Author's notes: I wrote "Warrior Love" with the intentions of it being a oneshot story with nothing more going on inside, but then Black Hawk wrote in a review that I should write a longer story, delving more into their emotions. I haven't been able to sleep since then, with that idea floating around my head, so I'm finally writing it. As always, this is unbeta'd, so any and all mistakes are mine alone. Please enjoy, and please review!
Show Me Love
She lay among the flowers, her face tipped up to the sky and her eyes closed. There was a look of utter peace on her face, and it suddenly occurred to me that I had seen her like this only once before.
I stood guiltily at the edge of the field, knowing that I was spying on her but unable to help myself. The bright yellow sun from above us glinted off her bronze skin and made a halo around her red-brown hair, bringing to life all my dreams with an accompanying rush of emotion that left me weak in the knees.
Teyla Emmagan had always been a mystery to me, a woman that was as beautiful as the field she was lying in but as fierce and proud as a wild, free animal. She had a spirit that was as untamable as mine, and there was always something lingering in her dark eyes that brought to mind a rarely-heard but beautiful sound of laughter. In some ways I wondered why she had worked so hard to become my friend; in others, it seemed as clear as the ocean by the city of the Ancestors. She was an enigma, an untouchable mirage that always danced just out of reach, and I realized that I was always lunging after her and yet missing her.
Perhaps she was a challenge; I'd always liked tackling challenges and beating them. Teyla was more than that, though; she was a beautiful woman, yes, but she deserved more respect than the title "challenge" gave her. There was just something mysterious about her, something that kept drawing me in, wanting to know her better, like some invisible force.
I froze unconsciously when she shifted, her eyes briefly fluttering open to look around her before slipping closed again. I knew that she probably knew that I was watching her, but I also figured that she figured that if I wanted to join her I would. After all, this world was peaceful and without any threatening locals, or Wraith, and it had only seemed natural to relax and take some time off while Doctor McKay studied some old Ancestral ruins closer to the Stargate.
Teyla had wanted to go investigate the field, and I had offered to go with her, knowing that even though this world looked peaceful, looks could often be deceiving. So Sheppard stayed with McKay, and I followed Teyla to the field. She took a quick look around before lying down in the middle of the field, in the position she was in at the moment, leaving me to watch her with a longing in my heart and a lump in my throat.
It was confusing, the feelings I was having at the moment. Every time I found love I was burned; I'd only ever lost everything I loved to the Wraith. For so long I'd never stopped running, from not only the Wraith, but from my own feelings. I'd never stopped anywhere for very long at all; not only because I wanted to keep everyone safe from the Wraith, but because I feared getting too close to someone; was afraid that I'd fall in love again, just like I was at this very moment.
Ever since coming to Atlantis I'd kept my distance from everyone; I knew that we were fighting an almost impossible war, and that if I dared get too close to anyone again I'd lose them as surely as I had lost my home, and my wife. In truth, even on Atlantis I was running; I was running from my feelings, from my emotions, from Teyla. I was a warrior, a killer, meant to spend my life alone and fighting until my dying breath. But, at the same time, it was nice to have something to fight for other than just to live. . .it was nice to be able to fight to keep Atlantis safe, to keep my new friends safe. . .to keep Teyla safe.
Lately, the more I started feeling something more than friendship towards Teyla, I'd shut myself down and shut her out. I didn't want to get hurt again, and I didn't want her to die. It seemed like everything I touched, everything I came too close to, died, and I didn't want that to happen to Teyla. I didn't want to care too much, to put her at risk, because I knew that if I started to love her, I would hurt her, or get her killed. I knew that I couldn't take losing someone else, that I would break if I did.
I was broken out of my thoughts when Teyla abruptly sat up and twisted her upper body, her gaze landing on me. The slightest hint of a smile curled up her lips, and she wordlessly lifted a hand up towards me, silently inviting me to join her.
I hesitated. I couldn't keep my distance if I kept going to her every time she beckoned, but I couldn't resist, and a few moments later I found myself sitting next to her, expectantly waiting for her to speak, eagerly ready to hang on her every word.
For a long while she never spoke; she merely sat with her arms crossed on her knees and her chin resting on her arms, her dark eyes intently studying the petals of a nearby flower. There was a thoughtful look on her face, and it almost seemed as though she were considering her words before she spoke for fear of saying what she wanted to in the wrong way.
At last she did speak, her voice so soft, so quiet, that it nearly blended in with the rustle of the breeze through the grass and flowers. "Ronon, why do you keep everyone away?"
I stiffened, wondering if I was really that shallow, if she could see straight through me. "I don't," I denied, though I knew that I was lying.
She did, too, because she knew me in a way that no one else did. "Please don't lie to me, Ronon," she whispered. "Every time I try to ask you something, you close off from me, you lock me out. Why?" She sounded hurt, confused, and my heart constricted painfully.
What had I done to her? Had I, in my want to keep her safe, done the exact opposite?
I swallowed hard and avoided her gaze, wondering what I could possibly say. I could do what my natural instinct was telling me to do, and deny everything, but I knew that Teyla would see straight through my lie and call me on it. There was no point in even trying to lie to her.
I leaned back and mirrored the position that Teyla had been in earlier. "I'm a terrible person to like, Teyla," I told her truthfully. "I don't want you to get hurt by getting too close to me, because everyone who does dies."
Teyla thoughtfully considered my words for a long moment, silently staring out over the field towards the woods that lined it. "You can't run forever," she whispered at last, turning to look at me with a pained look in her eyes. "No matter how hard you work, how long you run, you have to stop eventually."
I turned my gaze away from her and closed my eyes, painfully remember those words from another woman who I had loved, from what seemed like a completely different lifetime. It almost seemed as if those words were a ghost from my past coming back to haunt me in my present, telling me that trying to fight this love was a hopeless battle.
I was a warrior, and so was Teyla. But the fact was that we were both sitting here, in the middle of a beautiful clearing filled with colors, seeing this world in black and white. There was a bigger picture out there, one that made me realize that Teyla, and Melena, had been right. I had been running all this time, trying to escape my feelings, my emotions, the love I had now for Teyla, and I was beginning to become exhausted. I couldn't run anymore; not because I didn't want to, but because I was becoming emotionally tired.
Teyla had a kind heart, one that reached out to everyone that she felt was hurting so she could try to help. I was hurting, and very confused, and she was reaching out to me, trying to make me feel better, trying to take away some of my pain. I appreciated it in a way that I could never be able to tell her, but I didn't want her to get hurt because of me.
I sat up again and reached out my hand, laying it on her shoulder. She turned and looked at me with surprise in her eyes, expectancy written across her face. The wind caught her hair and ruffled it around her face, and I moved my hand from her shoulder to brush the hair from her face. "Teyla?" My voice was hoarse, and I hoped I didn't sound as nervous as I felt.
She didn't say a word, she just raised one eyebrow in apprehension and inquiry.
I pulled my hand back from her face and turned to gaze towards the woods, unable to look her in the eye as I said what I needed. "Everyone I love dies. Every time I dare get too close, to care too much, they die. My world died, my wife died, entire worlds were destroyed because I stayed. . .I'm cursed, Teyla. Everything I love, everything I touch, is doomed to die." I curled my hands into fists, trying not to allow my armor to crack. If I did, I knew I might finally release all my tears and never be able to stop. "I don't want the same thing to happen to you." I had come to care for Teyla Emmagan more than I ever thought I could care for a woman again, and that fact terrified me.
Teyla closed her eyes, and I saw a single tear trickle down her cheek. "Ronon. . ." She stopped, seeming to be struggling with her emotions and her words, trying to come up with the right thing to say to me. But now, after all this time, I didn't know if there was a right thing to say. "I'm sorry. I never knew, I never thought. . ." Teyla pulled her knees to her chest in a surprisingly vulnerable position and stared at me out of misty brown eyes. "Please don't spend your life alone, Ronon. It's time to stop running."
I fiercely ran a hand over my eyes. "Teyla. . ." I stopped and shook my head. "I don't know how," I finally whispered, my voice broken and anguished.
She scrambled to her knees and reached out, awkwardly wrapping her arms around my shoulders and pulling me to her shoulder, her arms gentle and hand caring as she lay a hand against my hair. She began to whisper something that sounded foreign at first, and then I realized that it was a poem, spoken in the tongue of the Ancestors. I remembered Melena singing it a few times, mostly when she thought she was alone.
All I could do was bury my face in her neck and close my eyes, listening to her gentle, quiet voice, an angel's voice, whisper the words of the poem to me, occasionally speaking, occasionally singing. She clung to me as tightly as I knew I was clinging to her, and the feel of her arms around me were so comforting, so somehow familiar, that I could feel myself releasing all my anxieties and slowly feeling myself mentally slowing down, learning how to come to a stop and finally quit running from my emotions, from my feelings. . .from Teyla.
Finally I pulled away from her and cupped her face in my hands as the last words of the poem died away from her lips. She looked at me with wide, expectant, and somewhat wet eyes, obviously reading my intentions and accepting them.
I leaned forward and pressed my lips to Teyla's softly, using my thumbs to press away her tears as I did so. I could still feel her shaking from silent sobs, and I pulled my lips from hers so I could wrap her in my arms and return Teyla's comforting embrace.
She buried her face in my chest, her arms snaking around my shoulders as she did. "Please, don't ever leave," she begged me, her voice soft.
I closed my eyes and rested my forehead against her hair, knowing somewhere deep inside me that this woman was my equal, that I could easily find myself spending the rest of my years with her. "I promise, I won't," I whispered, despite the fact that I knew that I shouldn't promise her that, because I couldn't guarantee her that I wouldn't. We were fighting a war, and many people died in war every day.
But now I had something to fight for, something to live for. I could always come back home, back to Teyla, no matter what.
We were both warriors, but we couldn't fight love.