The door to John's quarters slid open just as he'd pushed Teyla up against it; Atlantis doors were tricky that way. They stumbled into his room; hips pressed together, John's grip on her waist tight and possessive, his palm on her cheek gentle yet firm. The desperation in his touch didn't stem from physical desire, but rather the lingering feeling of abandonment that had been his closest companion for the last six months, stuck in the time-dilation field.
"Missed you," he breathed out between kisses, trying to touch all of her face at once with his lips. "Missed you," he repeated, trailing his nose down her cheek. It was about the twentieth time he's said it.
On the journey back home, he'd made light of his time away from Atlantis, telling them all he'd learned of harvesting crops and meditation. He'd tried to curtail his frustration with, and anger at the team; he knew it had only been a few hours for them and that they'd worked solidly to rescue him, but that didn't change the fact that he'd waited for six months.
It was only later in the briefing room, after the team had all patted him on the shoulder and told him to get some rest that he'd inhaled deeply and looked around contemplatively, reacquainting himself with the architecture of Atlantis. His eyes had fallen on Teyla as she lingered by the door, looking uncharacteristically shy and the relief and happiness he felt at finally being home had him shaking.
"I do not know if you wish for my company. You need merely say if you require some time for…introspection. I will not be hurt if you want to be alone." It was the fact that she wouldn't catch his eye that unsettled him, rather than her words.
His laugh was one of sheer disbelief. "Alone? I've spent the last six months alone. I mean, I've lived in Antarctica…that's a really cold, desolate unpopulated continent on Earth, but that was nothing in comparison to this. Guess it just goes to show what having people to miss can do to a man, eh?"
She still wouldn't catch his eye, and when she stepped back as he tried to touch her cheek, he felt a weight settle in his stomach.
"I am a practical person, John. I understand."
"When one lives under the shadow of the Wraith for as long as I and my people have, one learns how to deal with moving on. I understand that you became close with Teer. Even if for me, it has only been a few hours since…this morning."
When John thought of 'this morning', he thought of grinding grain for bread, but he tried to cast his mind back to the morning of the mission, the morning's afternoon he was currently experiencing now that he was free of the time-dilation field and back home. He studied Teyla as she studied the pockets of his vest…his vest. She'd tightened the straps of his flak jacket and, in a rare moment of playfulness had tickled his side for a second, making him double up. Teyla had passion, both for sex and for life, strength, intelligence and even sarcasm on strange days, but she was rarely physically playful. She was far from unkind, and had a way with children, yet with adults the weight of leadership was ever-present. It had seemed so domestic, indicative of a comfort between them and so carefree in the world of the Wraith that it had struck a chord and, quite frankly, he was surprised it had slipped his mind, six months or no.
"You tickled me."
A small smile graced her lips and she finally raised her eyes to look at him. "You remember." The relief in her voice was palpable.
"Teyla. Teer…Teer and I, we never…I kissed her. Once."
Teyla nodded. "I respect your honesty John, but it is not necessary. You need not explain yourself to me."
"Look, I didn't think I was ever going to see you again, so I kissed her but…yeah, I need to explain myself to you, because we're…well. Look at it this way, if there was ever a person to explain something like this to, it'd be you." He ran his hand though his hair. She looked down again; overly sentimental words made them uncomfortable, but the intention was received and understood all the same.
He stepped forward again and was relieved that she didn't retreat. It was then that he all but crushed her to him. "Missed you." That was how they ended up stumbling into his room.
Teyla awoke to the sound of guitars strumming a steady tune beneath a deep voice.
"Sorry, didn't mean to wake you." John, sitting in a chair beside the bed picked up the funny white device he called an iPod and drew a circle on the screen with his thumb. "Nobody messed with the Pod. All is well."
Teyla sat up, gathering the sheets around her. "Johnny Cash."
"Yes, but for the cigar you need to name the tune."
She sighed mock-exasperatedly. "You are barely returned and already you are testing me. If I was to ask you which of the Athosian gatherings is held in honour of the Ancients, would you be able to name it?"
John simply stared at her, waiting. Teyla relented, smiling. "I suppose it has been a while since you have had a lesson, although technically you have had more than ample time to memorize them. It is…Folsom Prison Blues."
"Score one for the lady in the blue sheets." He cast his gaze around his room. "It's nice to see all my stuff again. Started to retune the guitar strings this morning, before I realized they'd be fine."
"You have been busy." She reached over to touch his chin, which was now smooth and flesh coloured.
"The beard is gone. I'm going to have to look into taking a razor with me on missions."
Teyla smiled, licking her lips which were dry and somewhat raw. "The beard was…somewhat unpleasant."
John laughed and crawled back into bed, next to her. "I missed you." He put his hand on the small of her back, before running his fingers up the length of her spine until he reached her neck.
"So you have said, John. I also found your disappearance trying."
John looked at her quizzically, his fingers threading though her hair. "You said I was only gone for a few hours."
Teyla nodded slowly. "Yes, but knowing that you were alone, aging at a rate we were unsure of was very…upsetting. I thought many times of crossing the barrier simply to be with you whilst Rodney worked on a solution."
"I'm glad you didn't."
"I know. That is why I stayed. It was unusual though. Normally I am focused on the solution to a problem. I am willing to sacrifice myself for the lives of my people and friends, but that is usually to defend them from the Wraith, to preserve life. The impulse to act simply for comfort, to want to be with someone just to be with them was…well, it was not practical. Although, it is not a feeling I dislike."
"Oh, well you know what we call that?" As soon as the words escaped his mouth, he looked bashful. They both knew what the feeling was, but words meant awkwardness and John didn't want to ruin the moment, not when it didn't need to be verbalized anyway.
Teyla tilted her head to the side; she understood. "One day, you will have to take me to this Folsom Prison."
John laughed. "Oh, you just wait till I get you to Earth! I'll take you to Folsom Prison and Abbey Road, Penny Lane, New York City…that's the Frank Sinatra we were listening to…a while ago. Not to mention all the Ferris wheels."
"I wish also to see this dock that Ottis Redding sings of and the dry levée that Don McLean mentions."
John let out a bark of laughter. "Teyla, they're, well…yeah, ok, I'll take you to Don McLean's dry levée."
Sensing she was being mocked, she poked him in the arm. "The name of the gathering held in the Ancients' honour?"
John swallowed and, deciding that distraction was the only alternative, leant forward and kissed her.