Disclaimer: I don't own "Stargate: Atlantis." I am in no way trying to make a profit off this story, I am merely writing it and posting for my and other people's enjoyment.
Synopsis: AU This was war. And this time, it was personal. RononTeyla eventually
Pairings: Ronon/Teyla, Teyla/OC
Spoilers: Rising; The Gift; The Siege pt. 3; Runner; Duet; Trinity; Sateda; possible season 4 spoilers
Title: Long Way Back
Special Thanks goes to Mama Jo for the beta, and the title. Thank you thank you thank you!
Author's notes: I have always wanted to do a fic that explores Ronon and Teyla's pasts. And I also wanted to do a fic that involved the Athosians and the Satedans. So I am kind of combining it all in this one fic. I really hope that you enjoy, and thanks for reading!
Long Way Back
A chill wind swept the street. It whistled around corners and pierced straight through Teyla Emmagan's thin coat. She shivered, unconsciously hastening her steps as the hair on the back of her neck rose. In the pale light of the moon, every shadow looked like an enemy waiting to pounce.
Mist swirled around her, softening what in daylight would be very harsh surroundings. Dark veiled the equally black heart of Kvash, the seedy world that no sane man ever dared enter; home to murderers, thieves, fugitives. Weapons and distrust were the only requirements for residence.
Teyla could almost feel the evil seeping through the soles of her boots. She kept a very close eye on her surroundings, one hand never straying far from the hilt of her battle knife. A woman of her slight stature walking alone along these streets at night was begging for trouble – trouble that she would very willingly give whoever dared attack her (and had).
She stopped suddenly in the shadow of a doorway. Light seeped from beneath the door, a thin strip of yellow that illuminated the toes of her scuffed boots. She darted one quick, nervous glance over her shoulder; raised her hand and rapped her knuckles against the wooden door.
The light intensified as the door jerked open; Teyla had to blink a few times to adjust to the brightness. The golden glow silhouetted the tall, broad-shouldered figure still blocking her entrance. Dreadlocks hung loosely over his shoulders and around his face; green eyes glittered as he turned his head to look back into the house. He looked at her again, eyes sweeping her form in one quick professional motion. "Come, quick." A long-fingered hand reached out, snagged her by her shoulder, and dragged her in.
Teyla didn't protest his continued hold on her as he shut the door. She darted a quick look around the room before her – there was no one there.
"Where have you been?" Ronon Dex finally let go of her shoulder. He spoke in a low growl; this coupled with the way he towered over her should have intimidated her.
It didn't. "I got delayed." It was mostly the truth, anyway. She didn't dare mention the fight. "I apologize."
Ronon backed off a little, easily looking over her head towards the curtained-off doorway at the back of the room. Unconsciously lowering his voice, he said: "I was getting ready to come looking for you. When you didn't show up on time, I thought—" He stopped and squinted at her. A little smile curled his lips. "I assume the other guy lost?"
Teyla let out her breath and returned the smile. "Never assume." She finally allowed herself to relax. "Is he here?"
Suddenly Ronon was all business. "Yes. He was early." He placed a gentle hand between her shoulders and guided her towards the curtain.
She took the comment as the attempt at lightheartedness it was meant to be. Ronon pulled the curtain aside, allowing her to proceed him into the room beyond; it was a motion of courtesy Teyla wasn't sure she wanted to accept.
This room was considerably dimmer than the one she'd just exited. Pausing just far enough in to allow Ronon entrance as well, she waited for her eyes to adjust.
When the candlelight finally became enough to see by, Teyla scanned the room to get a handle on her surroundings. A table and three chairs sat in the middle of the small room, just in front of her. Against the left wall stood a bookcase filled with vials of strange-looking liquids, testing equipment, and books. The opposite wall had a rumpled bed shoved against it; the wall straight ahead was empty of any furniture or decoration.
A shadow at the back of the room moved; Teyla instinctively reached for her knife. Ronon, sensing more than seeing her motion, spoke from directly behind her. "Warran, this is Teyla."
She slipped her hand from beneath her coat again. Hopefully Warran hadn't noticed her reaction to his presence.
The shadow materialized into a tall, slender man. His hairline was receding and a long scar extended from the lobe of his right ear to the corner of his lip. Teyla wondered if he were a scientist, a soldier, or both.
He warily gave her the same up-and-down that she gave him. "Pleasure." Warran moved across the room to the table. "Both, sit."
A man of few words. Teyla waved Ronon away when he started to pull out her chair and firmly sat down. Remembering the vials in the bookcase, she decided not to accept anything to eat or drink.
That thought occurred just in time. Warran reached for the carafe of water sitting in the center of the table. "Water?"
Both Ronon and Teyla immediately declined. Their host didn't seem offended; he just shrugged his shoulders and sat down in the last chair. "I take it you both are here for the piece of information I let slip that I had?"
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ronon's hand move to the grip of his blaster. "How much?"
Warran looked at Ronon, then Teyla, a long appraisal. He turned back to the Satedan and locked eyes with him. "What do you have?"
Teyla curled her fingers around the hilt of her knife again. Sometimes she wondered why she kept following Ronon into these crazy, dangerous situations. She expected one of three things to explode soon – Ronon, Warran, or the vials of liquid.
She looked from Ronon to Warran, waiting for one or the other to blink. She saw beyond Warran's leg that his own hand gripped a weapon.
Oh no. She slid a glance at Ronon; saw he knew. A tiny smile twitched his lips, and his fingers flexed on his weapon.
Beads of sweat were beginning to form on Warran's forehead. One glistening drop trickled down the side of his face and over his scar; his eye twitched but didn't blink. His hand tightened on his weapon.
Warran jumped and cowered. A vial on the bookcase shattered, dripping fluorescent blue liquid down the wooden shelves to the floor.
Ronon slipped his blaster back into its holster and leaned forward a little. "That enough?" He hadn't blinked through the entire process.
Warran was still shaking. "P-Plenty." He was looking at Ronon with a new respect that had not been present when Teyla first saw him. "The man you're looking for is named Larson. Larson Gathos. He lives on a world called Belsa. Word is that he's organizing some big uprising against the Wraith. All manner of men brave or stupid enough to support the cause are flocking there. It's supposed to be a big secret, but fortunately for you I know the right people."
Ronon and Teyla exchanged glances, then stood as one. "Thank you," Teyla said to Warran. Ronon just grunted some insincere-sounding word that might have been "yeah."
Warran was still staring at Ronon with wide, frightened eyes. "Any time," he said. He did not sound like he meant it.
Teyla went through the curtain first and held it as Ronon backed out. His eyes remained focused on Warran, and his hand on his gun, until Teyla dropped the curtain.
"That was—" she struggled for the right word as they left via the front door.
"Fun?" Ronon shrugged at her look. "We got the information we came for." He inched a little closer and darted a dangerous look – complete with slightly bared teeth – at a man who was shuffling by a little too slowly. The scoundrel scurried on his way, trying to act like he hadn't been eyeing Teyla. "I must admit, it will be nice to leave this world. I think we're pressing our luck a little." He pulled his weapon free of its holster, spun it a few times, and then dropped it back into place.
"I am sure Warran would agree." She kept a close eye on the shadows, expecting assassins. "He will not be pleased that we got our information for free. He gave me the impression of the type who will willingly send an assassin after the fact."
Ronon looked down at her. "Are you sorry you came with me?" His voice was soft, eyes concerned.
Teyla thought a moment of all that she had left behind. There were responsibilities, her friends, the guarantee of a warm bath and comfortable bed every night – well, nearly every night. With Ronon, it was one unpredictable adventure after another. Already she had bathed in a cold stream and slept under the stars so many times she'd lost count.
But she knew without a single doubt she would not trade this exciting journey for anything.
She smiled up at her tall companion with warmth and sincerity. "No, I am not." Hesitantly, she reached out a hand and linked her fingers with his. "There is nowhere else in this galaxy I would rather be."
Ronon's large hand engulfed her smaller one with warmth and security. He smiled; his face and eyes lit up, giving him an entirely different look. She had not seen him smile, especially like that, in far too long. "Thank you, Teyla. For – for everything."
She lowered her head slightly, embarrassed. "We are in this together."
Ronon let go of her hand so he could wrap his arm around her shoulders. With his free hand, he dialed the portal that would take them back to the planet where they had set up a temporary home. "Yes, we are."
They stepped through the Stargate, their journey just having begun.
-To Be Continued-
I hope that you enjoyed this chapter, and the next should be up soon!