Pairing: Michael/Teyla (if you turn your head just so)
Spoilers: Michael (2x18), Misbegotten (3x02)
Summary: The name clung to him like a human whelp might cling to its mother's breast.
Notes: Written for the SGA Secondary Character Ficathon on LJ
They told him that he had lost his memories. They had been careful to stress that with time his memories might return, but that the brain was a mysterious thing and he might never get them back. They told him that his team was dead, killed by the Wraith. They told him that they had rescued him off a Hive and brought him back home to recover.They told him that he had lost his memories. They had been careful to stress that with time his memories return, but that the brain was a mysterious thing and he might never get them back. They told him that his team was dead, killed by the Wraith. They told him that they had rescued him off a Hive and brought him back home to recover.
They gave him a name, an identity among them. They gave him a place in their walls, but they never really welcomed him. They gave him bits and pieces of a history, but never explained beyond the small details. They gave him hints at past relationships, but never seemed to follow through with it. It was a maddening game that they refused to provide the rules for.
Colonel Sheppard made small efforts as did Dr. McKay. Dr. Beckett seemed so filled with guilt and determination that he was forced to wonder if the rest of his team had only died because the Doctor hadn't been there. Dr. Weir was ever elusive, too busy keeping the city afloat to offer little more than her sympathies.
Teyla and Ronon were different
Teyla seemed to offer him genuine concern and friendship. And he had felt drawn to her. Something had called to him and he had wondered if they had only been friends. He had hoped, vainly, that it meant his memories were returning. He'd hoped that the ever present blankness would lift, just a little, to give him some insight to the alluring woman. They had made him hope.
Ronon's reaction had only served to reinforce his beliefs. Teyla and he were somehow connected, bound to one another. Ronon had been set aside for a Terran human and the Sedetan's pride could not tolerate the rub.
He had not been interested in recovering his memories about a family he had left behind. If he had left them then they could not have been that important. Or else why would he have agreed to leave without them? It had been some deeply ingrained belief that one simply did not leave a member of one's familial group behind without a fight, unless they were of no particular value.
He did not want to know about his past. People kept their distance around him. They watched him closely with weariness in their eyes. He didn't want to know about the man who could set so many people on edge simply by walking into the room. It made him wonder if losing his memories hadn't been a blessing shrouded in a curse. As far as he could feel, it would not be the first time such a thing had occurred to him.
His honest curiosity and ready smile put a number at ease. And those who grew more tense made him apprehensive about what might be revealed. He questioned himself, demanding answers from a stubbornly blank mind if he could remember hurting these people. Or frightening them in some way. But he couldn't catch even the faintest whiff of a memory, no matter how hard he dug.
He had learned through sessions with Teyla that violence was something his body remembered. It was burned into his muscles, drilled deeply into his bones. He did not have to think, simply act, allowing his body to move him where he needed to be without his mind interfering. It was almost peaceful to fall into rhythms that felt so familiar, even though he couldn't remember ever having learned to fight. But it also made him worry.
Worry that he might be a monster.
He might have asked had it not been for Teyla's gently smile and silent understanding. He took comfort in her certainty and drew strength from her comfort. She was his only like to sanity in an increasingly insane game of cat and mouse with his memories. He had heard a scientist use the phrase, and when he hadn't understood what appeared to be a simple Earth phrase, he'd looked it up in the data base.
He had poured over the database, filled with a strange sense of curiosity about the place he had come from but could not remember. He read books and poetry. He watched movies and listened to every kind of music he could get his hands on. Nothing struck him with any kind of familiarity. It was all so alien to him.
And when he had found the security feeds of his supposed recovery, his memories had begun to return when he began to refuse the daily 'treatments'. Those video feeds showed him the truth.
Michael Kenmore was a lie.
He was the monster that he had feared, at least to a human reckoning.
But they, they were the bigger monsters.
They had taken him from his Hive. Stolen him from his home, from what they might call his family. They had taken him and used him, experimented upon him against his will. And they had no remorse for their actions. They weren't sorry for having ripped his identity from him and then force feeding him a lie.
He had thought that reverting to his proper self would erase the feelings of betrayal that had stung so deeply. He had thought that returning to his Hive would be the end, would remove the foul taint of violation from his mind and tongue. He had hoped that he might shed the false identity of Michael Kenmore just as he shed the human appearance.
But Michael Kenmore – the lie – was just as stubborn and persistent as the humans were. The name clung to him like a human whelp might cling to its mother's breast.
As a Wraith he became less and more. He lost many of the human trappings, but the human identity of Michael was carved into his flesh just as surely as the genetics that made him Wraith.
He was both feared and shunned by the Hive. Given entrance, but never accepted. And he wondered now, twice betrayed which he would prefer. He belonged in neither world. The human's couldn't trust him and the Wraith would not trust him.
It was odd, he finally decided. That home was neither a Hive nor a human city, and he couldn't decide which he should choose.
When his Hive had turned about and went for Atlantis, he felt something strange filling him. A thrill that tingled through his body and set his sluggish heart to racing. It was anticipation – not for a battle or feeding, but of returning… home.
Atlantis was not home. He did not belong in the city of the Ancestors. He was a descendant from one of their flawed creations. He was no more welcomed by the City than he would be welcomed in the middle of human village, no more welcome than he was among his own kind.
Twice betrayed by the humans (and home was a woman who wept without tears). Once betrayed by his Hive (and home was a woman with the saddest smile). Soon to be betrayed by his own kind (and home was a woman who held more dignity at the moment of her greatest defeat than any Wraith Queen held during her greatest victory). One more time to be victimized by the humans (and home was a woman who was his greatest strength, and would soon be his greatest weakness).
She was a home he would forever long for, but never have. Because when they reached Atlantis, he was going to disappear behind the human mask. His memories and revelations would be lost under the tied of the retroviruses.
But this time it would be by choice, and not a violation.