Disclaimer - I own nothing of the Stargate franchise.
A Really Bad Idea
For the tenth time in the last minute or so, John considered that this hadn't been the best idea he'd ever had. In fact, it might possibly be the worse.
Well, there had been that time when he was five and he had used his Dad's stepladder to attach his backpack to the ceiling fan. With him in it. It had taken eight weeks for his arm to heal.
Still, there had been a reason for that act of youthful folly – John had wanted to fly. This… this was just stupid.
He was crawling through an air vent. An air vent. There was no reason for it. Nothing about the air vent was dangerous or needed to be dealt with. He had no idea where it went, or even if it ever became wide enough for him to turn around.
And yet he was flat on his stomach, using his elbows to drag himself along through the tight metal tube.
John had to put it down to boredom. He was meant to be in bed, but had been way too full of adrenalin after his training session with Teyla to sleep. War and Peace had done little to help him drop off, and so he had started staring around his room for something else to do.
He had noticed the grate covering the air vent. He must have looked at it a thousand times before, but tonight he had happened to think that it was big enough to fit a grown man, and then for some strange reason had decided to test his theory.
All it had taken was chair, and voila – here he was in an air vent. He wasn't particularly proud of his achievement.
The air vent was dark and hot. He was right about it being big enough for a grown man, but that was it. John was definitely not going to be able to turn round – he barely had room to move forward.
This was really stupid. John began to think that maybe he should start sliding back. Or trying to, at least.
John suddenly noticed a dull light at the end of the air vent – another grate! That was good – he would be able to drop into whatever room or corridor it was and walk back to his quarters like a sane person. Glad that his sojourn was almost over, John sped up.
As he got nearer, though, he thought he could hear someone moving around in the room the grate led to. He slowed down, trying to be as quiet as possible. He didn't want to frighten whoever was there. Hopefully they would leave, so he would be able to drop out of the air vent in private, thus preserving a little of his dignity.
John stopped a few inches away from the grate and craned his neck to see into the room below. His jaw dropped.
It was Teyla's quarters. He only had to catch a glimpse of the candles on the table and the throw on the bed to know. He had crawled through an air vent to Teyla's quarters.
There was no way John was going to drop into Teyla's room and explain his stupidity to her, so he placed his hands flat on the bottom of the air vent, about to start pushing himself back.
Then Teyla stepped into view and John froze. She had changed for bed – she was wearing a plain pair of black pants and a black vest top, and her hair was tied up. As John watched, though, Teyla reached up and pulled her hair free, so it fell around her shoulders.
Teyla picked up a hairbrush from the table next to her bed and started to run it through her hair. She was facing slightly towards him, but she (thankfully) wasn't looking at the grate John hid behind.
John knew he had to move. He had to stop watching and start pushing himself back. He felt like a peeping tom – he was a peeping tom.
And it wasn't even as if she was doing anything particularly sensual or even interesting. She was brushing her hair.
But John was enthralled.
He saw sensual Teyla all the time. Hell, he had just spent over an hour with her in the gym. There was nothing more sensual and graceful than Teyla when she was sparring. This was different. This was Teyla doing something completely ordinary, with her guard completely down.
It was the thought of her guard being down that finally snapped John out of his daze. This wasn't fair. He absolutely had to move.
Being as quiet as he possibly could be, John started to push himself back the way he had come.
Going backwards was a lot more difficult than going forwards. He could only really use his hands to push himself back – there was no room for him to wriggle backwards.
It had taken John about three minutes to get to Teyla's quarters through the air vent. It took him ten to get back. Eventually, he was able to slide out feet first and land on the chair below the grate. His front was covered with dust, but apart from that he had managed to escape unscathed.
Someone cleared their throat behind him.
John looked round. Teyla was standing by his door, one eyebrow raised questioningly.
"Good evening, Colonel," she said, as he stared at her wide-eyed.
"Hello Teyla," he replied smoothly, stepping down from the chair with as much decorum as he could muster.
"I just wanted to return your magazine," she said, holding up a copy of National Geographic. "It was very interesting. Thank you."
"You're welcome," John said, taking it off of her.
"Well, good night," she said, turning to go. John breathed a sigh of relief, which was quickly cut off when Teyla turned around again.
"By the way," she said. "I would not go into that air vent again if I were you. I myself barely fit into it, and you were very lucky not to get stuck."
And with a toss of her freshly-brushed hair, Teyla left John's quarters, and a very shocked John.