Since joining Atlantis she'd been unable to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. Which would've been fine back at the SGC, she'd easily gone entire months on only a couple of hours sleep a night when needs be, but things were different on Atlantis. She had the time to sleep - but she couldn't and it had an entirely different effect on her. Not having time to sleep she could deal with, it had become a large part of her life. Here though she could take an afternoon nap if she wanted, goodness knows McKay did.
But Sam couldn't sleep at night, and couldn't sleep in the afternoon.
There were emergencies on Atlantis, plenty of those, and she could cope with saving the city and fending off the Wraith on just a couple of hours sleep. She couldn't cope with meeting or diplomacy or paperwork on a couple of hours sleep. It showed too, General O'Neill had pointed it out to her during their brief communications. He assumed they were working her too hard, she wasn't sure if he'd accept that maybe they weren't working her hard enough. Red eyes, black circles, aching limbs and limp hair that she tried to hide by tying into a plait.
It wasn't just the workload though, it was Atlantis itself. The city hummed, and while it wasn't anything that she could really hear, or bothered anyone else, it kept her awake at night because she could feel it. The vibrations went through the entire city and through her entire body right through to the bone. The mountain could be, at times, so silent, locked in her lab or asleep in her quarters there were times she felt like the silence could make her soul turn in on itself. Which was a terrifying idea, but now, on Atlantis, the humming made her worry that she might just wake up on the other side of the room from the bed being moved by the vibrations. That is, if she could actually get to sleep.
She told Teyla all of this at three in the morning, sitting next to her on the table in the briefing room. Unloading without a pause because she was a little hyper from too little sleep and was missing Daniel. She hadn't even stopped to wonder why the woman had also been up so late or so early but she had noticed the frequent glances at the office that Elizabeth Weir had once inhabited but Sam had now invaded.
"Why are you still up?"
"I could not sleep either." She said, giving Sam the impression she didn't want to say why. Another glance at the office.
"Do you miss her?"
It was obvious who they were talking about, Sam having turned her own head to look at the office. Perhaps it was an oversight to think that, because Teyla was Athosian she couldn't miss Dr Weir like the rest of Atlantis would. It was probably stupid not to realise the two women might've become friend in the past three years, but even Sam Carter could admit to being stupid occasionally. As long as McKay didn't find out.
She turned her attention back to Teyla who was staring at the gate, something else that caused Sam some discomfort. A different gate, different wormholes, a slight change to the journey.
"I miss Dr Weir immensely. She was a good friend to my people."
"And to you?" Sam probed.
Teyla looked at Sam carefully. She had to wonder if how obvious it was, that she missed Elizabeth. She trusted most of the Atlantis expedition but Samantha Carter was new to that, and the fact that she was in charge didn't mean she could trust her like she trusted Elizabeth. It wasn't going to happen as quickly as she wanted.
Of course she missed Elizabeth and she felt like the question was somewhat pointless. She had offered to take care of the woman herself or the Athosian people to take care of her health and well-being on the main land, and for a brief moment she was sure Elizabeth was going to accept the offer, rather than return to Earth. But that was two months ago and while Dr Carter was an effective leader and handled Rodney very well, she wasn't Elizabeth.
She wasn't sure about Sam Carter because she wasn't Elizabeth. Not because she was Sam Carter. Rodney was smitten with the women, John took her lead easily and even Ronon liked her. Teyla didn't like the woman, she was very nice and very pretty, and she was wrong in judging someone by the fact they weren't someone else, she knew that, she couldn't help that.
"And to me," She finally confessed into the silence.
She missed Elizabeth's friendship. Missed the woman's patience and her sense of humor. The wicked little jokes she would slip into their meetings and at lunch. The ideas for practical jokes she had but would never dare play out. Her advice on personal matters, beyond politics and mission tactics. She was a woman smarter than anyone Teyla had ever met and, yes, she missed so much it hurt.
"If I don't start sleeping soon, I'm going to have to start stealing McKay's coffee," Sam muttered, half to herself, the conversation having dwindled away.
"He would notice immediately."
"I could replace it, with gravy," Sam suggested, causing Teyla to laugh softly, "or something else brown, I doubt he'd notice the taste much."
"He does swallow very quickly. Perhaps there are some Athosian techniques that could help you to get to sleep. Tea, or some wine."
"I'll try anything."
"And if that does not work, we can try meditation or massage."
"I like the sound of a massage."
Teyla smiled, dipping her head down. Most people responded best to a massage. Elizabeth went weak at the knees for them.
She made a decision, standing up and offering her hand to Sam. She took it and let Teyla pull her straight. She wasn't going to use any energy if she didn't have to but she didn't realise how strong the other woman was and fell into her. Teyla wrapped an arm around her to steady her and Sam realised how cliché this was, faces inches apart, alone, and feeling some attraction. Sam certainly was, she couldn't say for sure about Teyla but there was visible head titling and Sam couldn't help but lean forward because there was something there but she pulled back, pulled away completely because they could be seen from the control tower and she was far too sleep deprived to be thinking straight, and this was definitely something she really should be considering with a clear head.
"I have some tea in my room," Teyla said, after taking a deep breath, the two untangling from each other. Tea was innocent enough, Sam thought.
"After you." Teyla smiled and that was the last thing she remembered.
She woke up in dusky purple covers, a purple net blocking her view and knew immediately she wasn't in her own room before she could even really open her eyes fully. It smelt different, sweeter and of Athosian tea. She was alone in the bed but not in the room. She struggled out of the covers she was tightly wrapped in and pulled aside the netting. Teyla was sat in a wicker lounge chair covered in purple, reading.
"What are you reading?" She asked, not awake yet, her brain not engaging.
"A book Dr Weir left for me. Pride and Prejudice."
"Oh." She wanted to ask what she though of it now the more awake, but part of her brain knew there were more important questions. "What did you put in that tea?"
"Just sugar." Teyla replied, setting her book aside.
Sugar? She'd passed out hadn't she? It sure as hell felt like she had.
"We were talking and you become sleepy." Sam thought about it. She remembered sitting on the woman's bed. "I did not think it would be beneficial to disturb you, and then have you be unable to sleep when you were in your own quarters, so I left you."
"Oh." Boy she was articulate this morning.
"Was that the wrong thing to do?"
"I haven't slept that well since I got here," Sam said, stretching out and realising she was only partially dressed. In a vest top she didn't own. "Not sure about the undressing me part though."
"No, it's okay, just, where did you sleep?"
"Next to you. I must confess it was the best night's sleep I've had since Elizabeth left."
"Oh." She wasn't sure what Teyla was trying to say.
"I'll leave you to get dressed," Teyla rose from the chair and headed to the door.
"Thanks," Sam smiled. "More tea tonight?"
The other woman smiled, "Of course, hopefully, you will remember more of the evening after tea tonight."
With that she left the quarters and Sam had to wonder exactly what she had done last night that had made her sleep so well she'd lost her memory.