Title: The Steward and the Shieldmaiden

Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis or Lord of the Rings.

Note: This actually grew out of the fic I was writing for the Rodney/Teyla Thingathon on livejournal. Originally, Teyla and Rodney were on Christmas vacation together and begin talking about elves, but I had to cut it from the story when it didn't fit. A few weeks later I found myself comparing Stargate and Lord of the Rings, and this fic was born. McKeyla and tiny bits of Sheppard/Miko.

The Christmas party in Atlantis was going full swing in the Gateroom. The expedition members were mingling and drinking cider as Christmas music floated through the air. Rodney McKay watched from the control room, leaning on the balcony overhanging the festivities below. After a moment, he felt someone beside him. He looked over as Teyla leaned on the rail next to him. Neither said anything, both turning their attention to the party.

"I do not understand," said Teyla after a few minutes of watching.

Rodney looked at Teyla, wondering what she meant. "Understand what?"

She pointed to where Dr. Zelenka was dressed as a Christmas elf, stripped leggings, bells on his feet, and all. "You call these 'elves', and yet they do not seem to be dressed as elves should."

Rodney blinked confusedly, thinking that Teyla actually knew of a planet inhabited by people called 'elves'. "How should elves be dressed?"

Teyla said, amazingly, "More natural colors. Dark greens and browns for the Nandor, silver for the Sindar, and reds and golds for the Noldor. And, from what I understand, Vanyar would be partial to blues and whites. Bright red and green stripes do not seem to fit. Nor do they wear pointed shoes and hats." She hid a smile as Rodney gave her a blank stare.

Rodney had no idea what she was talking about. "Er, what planet do they live on? You haven't mentioned them before, are they technologically advanced? Are they really called 'elves'? I mean, elves are pretty well known to a lot of people on Earth."

Before Rodney could go on, Teyla stopped him by placing her hand on his arm, still trying not to laugh. "I believe the land they lived in was called 'Ennor'. Also known as 'Middle Earth'."

He stared at Teyla in disbelief. How did Teyla know about Tolkien's elves? Rodney figured that she had borrowed the books from someone, or watched the movie. Another, horrible, thought hit him. "Please don't tell me you're an obsessed Orlando Bloom fan!"

Teyla looked horrified at the thought! "An Orli fangirl! That is almost insulting! While I believe he did a rather good job portraying a character with few lines and little characterization, I am certainly not a fangirl."

"Oh. That's good then." Rodney paused. "So why are you calling the elves 'Nannies'?"

Teyla rolled her eyes. "That is 'Nandor'. Have you not read the Silmarillion?"

Rodney shifted nervously under her questioning stare. "Not exactly. I watched the extended versions of Peter Jackson's movies, and read the Hobbit when I was a kid." Hoping to steer Teyla away from his lack of having read The Lord of the Rings or Tolkien's masterpiece, Rodney hurriedly continued speaking. "You know, while watching the movies I kinda thought the characters were similar to our team."

Teyla, happy to have someone to talk with about her new interest, did not mind the evasion. "Truly? In what way?"

"Well, Sheppard is Aragorn, obviously: the King of the city, savior of the people, and all-around good guy. And, of course, Miko is Arwen to Sheppard's Aragorn, waiting for him to return from his adventures."

That comparison surprised Teyla. "Dr. Kusanagi?"

Rodney nodded and gave her a small smile. "They think they're being discreet, but Miko blushes whenever John comes in the labs, and you've probably noticed that Sheppard gets all dopey-eyed when he looks at the woven bracelet he's been wearing that I just happened to see Miko working on a few weeks ago."

Teyla grinned. "That is interesting. Please, continue."

Rodney shared her grin, finding that he was enjoying talking movie comparisons with Teyla. He silently reminded himself to make her watch Star Wars. "Elizabeth would be the elf lady played by Cate Blanchett…"

"Galadriel, lady of Lothlorien."

"Right. She rules her land wisely, and always seems to know what's going on, no matter how hard Sheppard tries to hide things from her. Ronon is some bizarre mix of Gimli and Legolas."

They both laughed at the mental image of Ronon with pointy ears, tights, and a massive beard. Teyla, agreeing, said, "I can certainly see that. Though I do not believe I could picture Ronon singing the Lay of Nimrodel while dangling his feet in a stream."

Rodney raised an eyebrow. "The book?"

Teyla nodded, and Rodney continued his comparison. "I don't really know who would be the hobbits. I guess Zelenka and Beckett would be good candidates." He smiled at the woman next to him. "You, obviously, are the warrior woman, Éowyn. Though you don't seem that depressed over Sheppard and Miko, so maybe not as much." Rodney's eyes grew serious. "But you're certainly brave, and strong enough to defeat the 'Wraith'. And you're…" Rodney turned bright red as he clamped his mouth shut, embarrassed at what almost slipped past his mouth.

Teyla, though, wouldn't let it drop. She laid her hand on his arm. "I am what?"

Sighing, Rodney stood up from where he leaned on the railing, as did Teyla. "You're…beautiful." Almost instantly, he began babbling to cover his admission. "Then there's me, but Lord of the Rings didn't seem to have any huge genius, though I guess Gandalf comes close, but he was an idiot to tell everything to Christopher Lee in the first movie…"

He stopped talking when Teyla took his hand. She smiled. "You are Faramir."

Rodney furrowed his brow. "The guy who died after trying to take the ring from Frodo?"

"No, that was Boromir. Faramir was Boromir's brother."

Rodney was still confused. "The guy who was sent on a suicide mission and then nearly burned alive by his father?" He muttered softly to himself, "Actually, that seems kind of right."

Teyla ignored the mutterings for the time being. "Yes, though the movies do not do him justice. In Tolkien's work, he was a good-hearted man; a scholar who became a warrior out of necessity. He became Steward of Gondor under Aragorn, a politically lesser position. But without Faramir, there would be no city for Aragorn to rule. Faramir would understand the functioning of the City, and the City loved him as much as it loved Aragorn. Despite his despair over the treatment of his father, Faramir fought the darkness of Mordor, though it nearly overcame him. And then there is the greatest reason that you are like Faramir." Teyla paused, and took Rodney's other hand. "Faramir helped Éowyn overcome the darkness as well. And she realized that she loved him."

Rodney took in a sharp breath, afraid to hope. "Really?"

Teyla stepped closer to him, so that their clasped hands nearly touched both of their chests. "Really."

Rodney smiled as he tilted his head forward towards Teyla. "And, of course, he knew that he loved her as well."

"And they kissed upon the walls of Minas Tirith."

"Would a balcony in Atlantis do?" teased Rodney.

Teyla leaned forward so that their faces nearly touched. "It would."

Time seemed to stop as the two kissed, the whole universe revolving around them. The people below them, in the Gateroom, saw the kiss and burst into applause and happy shouts, but Rodney and Teyla did not take any heed. For the moment, their love was all that mattered.

And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing. – The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien.