A/N: This story really has no plot, but it wouldn't leave me alone. I had to write it. Seriously, it tied me down and threatened my family if I didn't write it.
Disclaimer: I wouldn't be writing fanfiction if I owned them, would I?
It was cold. The planet, that is. The snow was hard and a miserable gray color; completely opposite of the fresh, sparkling snow that made children think of Christmastime and snow days, giving testament to all the years it has seen and collected on it's once white and pristine flakes. Despite all those years of graying and scorekeeping, the snow showed no signs of relinquishing in the near future. The sky mirrored the snow in color, stuck in a perpetual dusk with neither night nor day on the horizon. Doctor Mckay had explained that the stargate must have been placed far from the equator, something he had found intriguing, but held absolutely no interest for the other members of the SGA-1 team. And especially not now.
It hadn't been long before the team had run into the natives, who turned out to be quite a cruel people, bent on learning anything they could from their off-world guests, by any means possible, and then planned on submitting them to their cannibalistic ways. The team had thought they'd made it through the 'gate safe, and most of them had. Teyla, however, had been captured without any of them having noticed until they were back in Atlantis.
Elizabeth ran down to meet them; anxious to know why they were back two days too soon, when she noticed her lead team was one-under. "Where's Teyla?"
The three men turned their heads towards the now inactive 'gate, apparently fully expecting the Athosian to be there.
"Dammit!" Ronon clenched his fists at the sudden revelation. "We have to go back!" He said to both John and Elizabeth.
Doctor Weir opened her mouth to answer, but John beat her to it, "We have to restock on ammo and get another team geared up first. We're not going back there alone and unarmed." His voice managed to keep his worry for Teyla known, as well as his authority in the situation. Quite the voice of reason.
"You saw what they did to the Genii soldiers! They'll do anything to get information! They could be torturing her right now and-"
"They tortured the Genii?" Elizabeth interrupted, her question directed at Col. Sheppard.
He looked gravely at her, "A few were whipped to death, and some froze to death in open cells. The rest seemed to have died of starvation."
Ronon gave a mirthless hiccup-type of laugh, "There are worse ways to torture a woman-"
"Alright!" John looked hard at Ronon, not wanting to think of Teyla in that situation, "That's enough! The more we stand here arguing, the longer it will take to get back there and stop that from happening!" He turned to Elizabeth, "Brief SGA-4 and tell them to gear up. We're leaving in 15 minutes whether they're ready or not." He stalked off to weapons and ammunition storage.
Ronon was pacing in the 'gateroom, having done nothing else in the past 15 minutes except taken a leak. Rodney was standing near by, chewing on a power bar and looking slightly afraid of Ronon's restless behavior, when Col. Sheppard came in, followed by SGA-4.
John turned and looked up into the control room, wasting no time. "Dial her up!"
The technician complied, and within 30 seconds both teams were on the other side of the gate.
The area around the gate was barren now, quite different from when they left. Sheppard gave instructions to SGA-4 to circle around from the right. Him, Rodney, and Ronon circled around the left.
It had been a few minutes since the teams split up. SGA-4 should be nearing the town soon, as Sheppard's team had just come upon the first set of individual cells. They weren't like you would expect a prison to be. Instead of one building with cells inside of it, all of the cells were individual cells built in a row, and the top of the cement walls gave way to just bars, which held up the concrete ceiling. The team had assumed that this was to let in as much cold as possible. The ones who wouldn't speak were left to freeze to death.
Col. Sheppard, Ronon, and Rodney crouched low behind a snow bank, planning on how to take out the guards and search the cells for Teyla. He began giving the directions. He'd flank right, Ronon left, and Rodney would stay right there (to which he received no objections).
Ronon went to the left of the cells and took out the nearest guard with a silent neck-snap. He drew his blaster and crept up to the corner, his back to the wall, ready to take out the guard in front of the door and any that posed an immediate threat. He turned to fire his weapon, and knew instantly that he had miscalculated. Somebody had done something, but the darkness clouding his vision and his mind prevented him of learning what it was. He knew he should try to fire, to fight back, but he could no longer feel his gun in his hands. All he could feel was the cold snow beneath his fingers. Then beneath his face. Then nothing.
Ronon shifted uncomfortably. His neck was stiff and his whole body was sore from violently shivering. Without opening his eyes, he tried to assess the situation. His weapons and heavy clothes had been taken away, leaving only his thin sleeveless shirt and pants. He was no longer lying in snow, but on cold, unforgiving concrete. Blood was caked and frozen on the left side of his head.
He heard someone shifting next to him. "Ronon?" The voice was hoarse, like ice had solidified on the voice box, and familiar, like Teyla.
He sat himself up onto his knees and looked at her. Whatever pain he thought he'd been in, he knew hers must be four times as bad. She sat across from him, her back up against the wall and her legs drawn in close. She had her arms bent and her fists tucked under her chin. He had never seen her looking so tiny as she did now in her desperate attempt to keep her heat in. Her heavy jacket had been taken too, leaving her with only a purple top that didn't even cover her entire torso, and her pants. Her eyes were heavy and dark, and her fingernails and lips were an ugly purple color. She was shivering only slightly, as if her body had lost the will to shake itself enough to keep it warm; either that or it simply knew that it would all be in vain in the end.
He crawled closer to her. "Teyla, are you alright? How long have you been in here?" He spoke in fragments, broken by his shaking.
She looked at him and drew a shaky, empty breath. "The entire time."
He regarded her warily, "So they haven't done anything else, have they? You know, like..." He let his eyes say what his words did not.
She smiled humorlessly at him, "I have not been touched in such a way. They have been preoccupied with something. I have not even been questioned very much." She took another shallow breath. "Where are Col. Sheppard and Dr. McKay?"
The whereabouts of the rest of the team hadn't even occurred to Ronon before then. "I don't know. I was with them before..." he motioned to the cement around them, and the snow on the floor where it had fallen through the high openings in the walls, "this. How long have I been in here, anyway?" It was extremely difficult to maintain any sense of time in this place, as the sky never changed.
Teyla looked at though she was having trouble functioning properly. She had trouble breathing, like the air she inhaled was too cold for her stiff lungs to bear. And as he asked his question, he could see her trying to articulate an answer, the same struggle in her eyes as in her lungs. The air was frozen, and her thoughts were freezing. She pinched her eyes shut in concentration, "I... heard fighting sometime ago. Yelling. That is when you were brought in." a breath " I do not know how long ago it was. I feel as though time does not exist here," a weakening voice "It too has been frozen." She tipped her head back against the wall. Ronon thought she had passed out.
"Teyla?" He crawled closer to her and felt for a pulse.
"I am fine" she said when she felt his fingers on her neck. Her voice came out in a thin wisp, like icy fog.
Ronon drew back. "Have you tried to get out of here?"
She took a moment to answer, "The door cannot be opened from the inside."
He stood up slowly, painfully, and went to inspect the door. She was right. It could only be opened from the outside. He looked at the openings in the walls. They were far too high for him to reach, and even if he could reach them, there would still be no hope of escaping that way.
He settled himself back next to Teyla, whose eyes were still closed. "They'll come and get us," he said without preamble, "They won't give up on finding us."
"Unless they too have been captured." The words were slow. She wasn't shaking anymore.
"Teyla, we need to use our body heat or you're going to die." There was slight urgency in his voice.
She nodded without moving. He moved in closer to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders and his other arm around her front. She leaned into him and tucked her head into the crook of his neck. He buried his face into her hair. Both reaped what heat they could from the other.
Ronon woke suddenly; why he couldn't say. He was lying down now, his arms around Teyla, who lay in front of him. He felt now like she must've felt when he woke the first time in the cell. His lungs were heavy and breathing hurt as if there were a knife lodged in his ribs. His head swam with incoherent, unconnected thought, but one thing remained clear: the need for heat.
He turned to Teyla who looked, if possible, worse than before. He knew she was alive by the slight plume of breath above her nose, but it came less often than he would've liked. There was ice crusting her eyelids shut and forming in her hair. He brushed it from her eyes, causing them to flutter slightly. She blinked and looked up at him.
"Teyla," his voice was now hoarse and dead, "We need a way to heat you up. To heat us up."
She blinked. He understood it to mean that she didn't have a plan, or the energy to think of one.
His head fell onto her chest. There was nothing he could do. Their bodies just weren't producing enough heat. There was no way to get more heat, or to build a fire. If only they had food. It might give their bodies the energy to create more heat. But there was none, and the thought made Ronon feel as though he was giving up, and that infuriated him. If only he could create more body heat. And then a thought struck him.
He pulled his head up and looked Teyla in the eye. "Teyla, I think I know how to make us warm again, at least for a bit. But, I need your permission."
Her look told him she understood it all. The question and the possible repercussions, but the look was not one of objection. It was all he needed. His frozen fingers began fumbling with the button on his pants.
They were back. Ronon was standing in front of the glass wall that separated the corridor from the infirmary. He had several thick blankets wrapped around him, and a cup of hot coffee in his hands. Teyla was on the other side of the glass, unconscious, but alive. He knew it was so; the steady heartbeat of her monitor, which he could hear slightly through the glass, reassured him of that fact. He himself had refused an examination by the doctor, but knew that Weir would make him have one eventually.
Ronon gulped his coffee and it burned his throat, but he didn't mind. He relished it; such radical heat after such prolonged cold. He knew that he and Teyla were lucky to be alive. And honestly, in his heart of hearts, he was surprised Teyla hadn't died. It had taken much longer for Sheppard and his men to find them than anyone had anticipated. Apparently, there were many more cells than they originally thought, and it took some time killing all the guards and then finding the right cell. By the time they had been found, Ronon hurt to move and Teyla was unconscious. Her heart even stopped once when they first brought them back. The fact they were alive at all was quite interesting to Rodney as well.
He came to stand next to Ronon, the only two in the hallway. He made no notice of the doctor.
"See, according to my calculations," he began, without prelude, "she should be dead, and you should be dying. With how long you both were there and how cold it was on that planet, there is no conceivable way that her body would produce sufficient heat to keep her alive for that long."
Ronon raised an eyebrow at him.
"Not that I'm not glad you two are okay and what have you," he rushed, "It's just an intriguing situation is all."
Ronon burned his throat with the coffee again, focusing his weary mind on the steady beat of the heart monitor.
Rodney shifted next to him. "So... how are you alive? How did you two stay warm?"
Ronon went to take another drink of coffee, his mind fixing on each beat of the heart monitor, and he smiled. Rodney was right. Alone, neither of them would have kept warm long enough to live. But together, they created heat; enough to melt the ice from their insides. Both he and Teyla felt it. He felt it when he slipped her pants past her hips for her. Her heart beat warm blood in that moment from pure anticipation. He felt it when her legs wrapped around his waist, holding him close inside of her. Her heart beat hot blood into her fingers and toes, and swirled and settled there. He felt it when her fingers dug into his back as she tried to grab on to something that would keep her grounded in this world. Blood like lava flooded her brain then, as another, stronger heartbeat stressed her veins. He felt it when his name escaped her lips in a strangled, breathless scream, and her back arched as her head hit the floor. Fire exploded within her then, heating her fingers, head, core, heart. She hugged him close to her then, not letting him go. But too soon, the cold had come back...
"Ronon?" Rodney's voice broke through the reverie, more out of curiosity than concern.
Ronon smiled at the sound of Teyla's heart, still beating heat into her. "Body heat." He grunted, and then stalked off to his quarters, leaving a confused Dr. Mckay behind him.