She came awake slowly, groggily. Her leg hurt. Her hand and arm hurt; her head hurt. Dazed, in pain, she looked around. White, green, red, unfamiliar noises, smells. Where was the forest? Her cave? Where was she?
She was laying on something soft. She moved her hand, felt something. Looking down she saw something stuck in the back of her hand. She cried out softly at the pain when she pulled it out. She went to get up and pain shot through her leg making her whimper. 'Quiet, quiet' she whispered in her head. 'Something will hear you. Quiet is safe.'
She heard noises on the other side of the moving white. She slid off the soft thing. Her weight hit her injured leg and she couldn't stop the cry of pain as she collapsed to the floor trembling as agonizing pain slammed through her body.
Footsteps! Running toward her! She scrambled back, biting her lip, backed into the wall. Frantic to hide, her eyes darted around. Fuzzy, she wiped her eyes. Couldn't focus. What was wrong with her?
Too late to hide. The footsteps were right outside the white. She could see feet. Weapon! She looked around. Her eyes landed on something straight, tall, slender, gray. She grabbed it, pulling it down. It was long, awkward, but better than nothing. Bags were hooked on it. She pulled them off dropping them to the floor.
The white parted, slid back to show people towering over her. Strangers. Her gaze skittered past them as they yelled something over their shoulder. More things like she had been laying on was across from her. Some had more strangers in them. Beds her mind whispered to her.
A stranger moved toward her talking slowly. She swung the cold, hard pole at her. She backed up. Another stranger joined them. The others backed away and the new one stepped forward talking gently, softly. Different sounding. She poked the pole at him with a snarl. Her arm hurt; her leg hurt. Where was she?
He raised his hands, palm out. He stopped moving forward. His eyes flicked down and grew concerned. She was bleeding; she knew she was bleeding. Her leg hurt bad, like fire. He raised one hand to his ear and touched it then talked softly in that odd voice. A voice that said 'trust me'. She knew better than to trust though.
Her pole wavered; he stepped forward; she swung connecting with his leg. He yelped and jumped back. She tried to move, shoving backwards, sliding along the floor. She whimpered with pain and saw his eyes flick to her leg and his face grew grim. He backed away talking softly. She narrowed her eyes thinking. He didn't want her moving around. She looked around panicked. She wanted home.
Then she heard more footsteps. How many strangers were there? Where was she? The two people who came into view weren't strangers. Well, sort of, but not. It was two of the people who had been in her home. One of them was the gift giver.
The other was one of the gift giver's protectors; the tallest. The one who had chased her, the hunter.
Recognition slid over her face; the pole drooped against the floor. The gift giver stepped forward sounding irate. Was he angry at her? No, he was making angry sounds at the strangers. The protector put out a hand to stop him saying something in a deep rumble.
The gift giver frowned and spoke sharply. He turned and spoke to the man with the odd sounding voice then he made a strangled sound. He reached into a pocket and pulled out a gift.
She eyed the gift and then looked up at his face. He stepped forward; her grip tighten on the pole. His eyes narrowed. He pointed at the gift then at the pole and finally at the floor. She did the same. Get rid of the weapon and get the gift.
She had saved his life surely he would repay likewise. Surely, he meant her no harm. He had apparently brought her here. Cautiously, she laid the pole on the floor. Now he was smiling. She smiled back, a slight tentative smile. He reached out, handing her the gift. She leaned forward, snatching it quickly from his hand. Sitting back as soon as it was in her hand, clutching it to her chest.
The protector said something and the gift giver frowned. Her leg hurt; she moaned and placed a hand on it. She felt the sticky blood. The gift giver said something sharply and one of the strangers hurried off and came back with something.
The gift giver stepped forward as if unafraid, as if he knew she wouldn't hurt him. She watched warily as he knelt in front of her. Without warning, he stretched out his hand and something came from the thing in his hand misting her injured leg like mist from the waterfall. Cold! She gasped, twitching back, bumping her head, then the pain began disappearing.
Her leg didn't hurt so much. She gazed at him in wonder and pointed to his hand and her leg. Grinning, he passed the thing over her leg again. She slumped in relief; her vision going in and out in pulses.
He snapped his fingers; she looked at him. He pointed to the protector, to her, then to the bed. She blinked, frightened, pressing back against the wall. He closed his eyes briefly a pained look crossed his face, then he reached into a pocket and brought out another gift. Wait this one was different, flatter with a dark brown wrap, but still… He pointed at her, the protector, the bed, and the gift.
She held out her hand. He started to lay the gift in it then snatched it back a slightly questioning look on his face. She frowned; she looked at the protector and the bed. She pointed to herself, the protector, the bed; he handed her the gift and stood up, backing away.
He watched as she tore open this new gift and tasted the edge. Flavor exploded in her mouth. She gasped and looked at him in awe. He grinned triumphantly and waved the protector forward.
She clutched her gift tightly to her chest. The protector laughed as he limped forward and shook his head as he gently lifted her off the floor and into the bed. He backed off and the gift giver came forward again.
He took her free hand when she looked at him he handed the pain killer to the odd voiced stranger. She nodded; the odd voiced one would kill the pain.
The odd voiced one said something to the gift giver. He looked put upon. She remembered her mother looking that way sometimes. He nodded. Someone handed him two small items. One red and white; one blue. Two ?cups? came into view.
The gift giver snapped his fingers for attention. She looked at him, her eyes heavy. She was very tired now that the pain was gone. He took the red and white thing put it in his mouth and drank from the cup. Expecting obedience he handed her the blue one and took the second cup from the stranger.
Wary, but trusting, she took the blue thing and put it in her mouth. Smiling, he handed her the cup. She drank, swallowing the tiny blue thing. He patted her hand.
Soon she felt the world slipping from her; her eyes wouldn't stay open. Her eyes flew to his face. He smiled, swiped her hair from her face, held her hand. Her eyes drooped. Sleep came.
Loud noises; sounds of panic, hurrying. She pried her eyes open. Strangers rushed past her, words flying between them as they pushed a moving bed quickly past her. The gift-giver's protectors followed looking grim and enraged. Had something happened to the gift giver?
She shifted, tried to sit. Pain slammed into her from her leg. She moaned; a beep sounded. Coolness rushed up her arm, startled she looked down. The thing was in her hand again. She reached for it, but the coolness spread followed by numbness then darkness.
Low murmurs. She fought to wake up. Eyes slowly opened into slits. The odd voiced one was talking to the female protector. The female smiled. Sat next to her bed, watching her. Carefully, the protector leaned forward taking her hand gently, speaking softly, calmly. She blinked at her drowsily.
Words, she began to remember words. Her mother and father had spoke to her. People before the lonely world had spoke to her. "Safe," the protector said. That word she remembered. Cave was 'safe'; high trees were 'safe'; deep water near the falls were 'safe'. "Safe," she whispered. She slept again, not seeing the startled look on the protector's face.
Voices, words. She blinked. Fighting against sleep and darkness she pulled herself into wakefulness and light. Pale green and soft under her, over her. Remembering pain and cold numbness she shifted carefully, slowly. People came into view: the gift giver and all three protectors, the odd voiced pain-soother, a woman.
The gift giver saw she was awake, began talking to her rapidly. She tried hard to understand the words. 'awake', 'better', 'stay'. The gift-giver looked exhausted. What had happened?
The strange woman placed a hand on his arm saying something gently, amused. The gift giver looked frustrated, sighed. He came around to her side so it was easier for her to look at him. He placed his hand his chest. "Rodney." He pointed to the others. "Ronon, Teyla, John, Carson, Elizabeth" then he pointed at her.
They waited patiently while she blinked and tried to process the words. Confused she looked at each and then back to the gift giver. Again he pointed and said the same words then pointed at her.
Names her mind said to her. He's giving names. She had a name. Ma and Pa had called her…. Memories came back of childhood, of home, of ma and pa talking and laughing. Ma calling her in, back into the cave, back to safety.
"Reanna." She said, her voice raspy and low.
They all looked surprised, pleased. The gift giver, Rodney, grinned like she had done something extremely difficult and done it well. He pointed at her, "Reanna?"
She nodded. The female protector, Teyla, looked justified. A movement to her left. Her attention jerked that way, tense, alert. Another stranger put something down and slid it in her direction. She looked quickly to the gift…Rodney. He patted her hand. "Food; eat"
She looked back at what was now half in front of her. Sniffed. It smelled good; hot. She spied a fork, spoon. Similar to hers in the cave, but different. Hesitantly, she picked up the fork and speared what might be meat. She brought it to her mouth, tasted it with her tongue, then a small nibble. Flavors filled her mouth and she took the bite and chewed enthusiastically. Hungry, she realized she was very hungry. Slow her mother would scold. She bit her lip and took her time even though she wanted to gobble the food down.
Everyone looked pleased, happy. Rodney patted her arm. "…come back later….rest." Everyone left her alone with the tray of food. She started drifting off before she finished even half the meal. Her head tilted back against the pillow, the fork clacked against the tray.
The next time she woke up it was dim. Night? The tray of food was gone, but the moveable shelf was still next to her within reach and on it was a cup and a sealed container of something blue. She reached for the shelf and tugged it closer, grabbing the cup she drank cool water. "Mmmm." Her throat felt better now. She picked up the sealed container, turning it around, studying it.
A quiet, gentle voice across the way said something questioningly. She looked over; a man sat next to another bed that had someone in it. He stood up cautiously and walked over to her stopping on the other side of the moveable shelf. He smiled and his eyes crinkled at the corners.
Her hand clenched on the container and she glared at him. Hers. He smiled and held out his hand. "….open….you." She looked down at the container and then back at him. He mimed opening and giving it back to her. Warily she held it out. He leaned forward placing one hand over hers instead of taking the container. She trembled at his touch. Slowly, he grabbed the top of the container and pulled it back toward him. The container opened. He stepped back with the clear lid and handed her the spoon.
She dipped the spoon in, tasted the contents with her tongue. Fruity, cool, sweet. She smiled her thanks and began eating. He kept watching her. She pointed to herself. "Reanna."
He smiled, a sweet smile, her belly fluttered. "Evan."
"Eee..van" she repeated slowly drawing out the two syllables, smiling. He picked up her cup and looked in it. Empty. "Water?" He asked quietly.
She licked her lips. He got up and wandered off coming back a few minutes later with water. Cool, sweet water. She drank greedily, sighing as her thirst slaked. "Water."
Finished with the food and water her eyes drooped. "Goodnight, Reanna." He patted her lower leg tenderly and moved back over to his seat. Her eyes fluttered shut.
She kept her eyes shut as she came awake. She remembered now. The big cat attacking, her leaping at it, the claw swiping, ripping her leg open. Waking in the strange place full of strangers and strange noises. Gifts of food and words.
That's what she was doing now; listening to the words of the strangers. She still didn't understand most of them, but slowly she was remembering words.