Disclaimer – Doesn't belong to me, none of it!
A/N – Okay, this one contains MAJOR SPOILERS for series four and the end of series three. Obviously the events of this fic, since it's set in series four are highly speculative. The title 'Only You' is the name of a beautiful song by Yazoo.
This is a response to Camy's 'Luxury of Touch' challenge on the Sheppard/Teyla Ship Discussion Thread on Gateworld. I hope you like it!
He could barely look at her.
Teyla could endure the distance between them for most of the day, when she was free to pursue her own ways of taking her mind off it. But being forced to sit opposite him for an entire briefing, seeing the way he avoided even glancing in her direction; it hurt more than she thought it possibly could.
Finally – mercifully – the torture ended and Teyla escaped to the locker room. She did not have much time to recover – they had only parted ways to gear up and soon she would be yet again forced into his company.
She had never imagined she would dread seeing John Sheppard.
Teyla tried to steel herself for the mission ahead. She was technically relieved of duty, but this was a mission to a planet they had been trading partners with for some time and knew to be harmless. Besides, the mission was to find the Athosians, and Teyla was loathe to stay in Atlantis while her team went without her.
Well, what had once been her team. Ronon and Rodney now acted rather formally around her, as though afraid she might break at any moment. And John…
Teyla gritted her teeth and tried to ignore the hurt as it welled up again. She knew he would need time to come to terms with what was happening to her. She understood. But still, it hurt her every time she saw him avert his gaze when she entered a room, every time she saw him duck into a room or around a corner to avoid her.
The only way to ease the pain was to ignore it, and so Teyla focused on the mission, on finding her people.
Perhaps this was the planet where they would finally hear something.
Just hours later, Teyla and the team returned to Atlantis no closer to finding the Athosians. They had spoken to every person in the village, but none had heard anything of their fate.
The walk back to the stargate had been excruciating. Rodney had shown his sympathy for Teyla by making odd comments about the planet that she thought were supposed to be jokes. Ronon had shown his sympathy by getting him to stop.
John had said nothing. And he hadn't looked at her.
Teyla had waited in the gate room just long enough for Colonel Carter to tell her she wanted to see the team in an hour before she escaped. She couldn't stand being so close to him, and feeling the distance between them.
Teyla sat on the balcony, gazing out at the ocean. She was sitting on an Ancient bench, tucked away in a corner of the main balcony. It was dinner-time, and she was the only one outside. The sun was setting. Teyla watched the dying light play upon the surface of the water. Sunsets always reminded her of the lake on Athos, which would seem to glow a rosy orange when the sun was setting on it. The oceans of this planet had a similar tendency.
She had never felt more alone. Her people had been missing for over a month, and though she had not been living with them for quite some time she had always been comforted by the knowledge that they were there. That they knew her, and accepted her.
But the thought that made Teyla feel numb was that she would be able to endure the pain of her people's disappearance if only she still had John. From the moment she had met John she had trusted him, as she knew he trusted her. For so long he had been the only member of the Atlantis exhibition who truly accepted her in the city, and though that had now changed his importance in her life had not diminished.
And now he would not even look at her.
Teyla drew her knees up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She rested her forehead against her legs as she began to cry.
Teyla's tears fell silently, and she did not try to stop them. Her mother had always told her that crying was not something to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, Teyla did not cry often.
Her shoulders shook but still she did not cry out. She did not want anyone to hear her and see her.
Teyla did not know for how many minutes she had been crying when she suddenly got the feeling that she was being watched. Her breath hitched in her throat and she looked up. There was no one there.
Teyla looked at the sun. It was much lower in the sky, and Teyla knew that it was almost time for her meeting with Colonel Carter. She gently dabbed her tears away, took a moment to compose herself, and then re-entered the city.
Teyla was the last of the team to arrive in Colonel Carter's office, and the only set left was next to John. She carefully avoided looking at him as she sat down – she did not want to see him not looking at her.
The meeting was about Teyla's absence from upcoming missions, and what the rest of the team wanted to do. Would they need a fourth member?
Teyla did not know why she was at the meeting. In a way she was grateful to Colonel Carter for inviting her, for keeping her involved. But she had had enough of John's coldness for the day, and her time on the balcony had left her feeling wrung-out and weary. Weary of everything.
Colonel Carter tried to draw Teyla into the discussion several times, but Teyla was non-committal in her answers. This was a matter for the rest of the team to discuss.
After half an hour they had got nowhere, and Colonel Carter told them to sleep on it. Sleep sounded like an excellent idea to Teyla.
Ronon and Rodney left the room, and Colonel Carter followed Rodney to the doorway, discussing something with him that Teyla did not even try to understand. John was still seated.
Not daring to look at him, and guessing that he wanted to stay and talk to Colonel Carter about something, Teyla stood up.
She saw a swift movement out of the corner of her eye, and suddenly John caught hold of Teyla's hand in his.
She looked down at him in surprise. He was looking back at her.
He blinked and looked away, but he still held onto her hand. Teyla felt as though every nerve in her body was focused on the feel of his hand around hers.
His grip tightened and he ran his thumb along the back of her hand for a moment. Teyla's eyes drifted close for a split second, and then snapped open again as he gently let go.
John was staring at the floor, his hand gripping the arm of his chair. Teyla did not say anything – trying to control her breathing, she left the office.
Colonel Carter smiled at her as she hurried out, and Teyla barely managed to nod in response. Her heart was beating wildly as she hurried through the control room and into the living area of Atlantis. She did not stop until she reached her quarters.
The doors slid shut behind Teyla and she leaned against them, sliding her back down until she sat on the floor, her knees drawn up to her chest. She let out a shaky breath.
The last light of the setting sun was streaming through her windows, and Teyla saw the blue silk designs on her bed were glowing a rosy orange like the lake on Athos.
Teyla sighed, and looked down at her hand, recalling the feel of John's grip.
She was not alone.
Wonder if you'll understand
It's just the touch of your hand
Behind a closed door
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew