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Chapter 23

As the needle sunk deep into Teyla's flesh, her face cringed in pain and she held back the urge to scream by biting down hard on her lip. John yelled out in anger and struggled with all his might against the barbarian hands of the creature holding him.

The creature made a gnarling sound and kneed the Colonel hard in the back silencing John as he slightly wobbled in pain. Michael extracted the needle and let it fall to the floor as he placed a pale hand on Teyla's belly and patted it against her skin. "There now, child. We will be a family soon."

Teyla's eyes rolled back into her head as her face dropped sluggishly to one side as the pain overcame her.

"WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER??!!" John shrieked wildly.

"Nothing to be afraid of Colonel," Michael said as he walked away from the now slumbering Teyla towards John and his devoted minion. "She will be fine….for now."

As Michael approached, John's eyes darted back and forth between him and the bulging stomach of Teyla's silent body. A renewed sense of anger and desperation filled him at the thought of losing the woman he had fought so hard not to love and the child that was created from their passionate expressions.

Michael stood only a foot from John and his warped face watched the pain dance upon Colonel Sheppard's features like a sadistic puppeteer. "I see I was correct then in believing you were the father. Your affection for her is obvious to say the least, but I cannot help but wonder, now after my test, if the child should look more like you…..or me?"

He said the last part with such a wicked smile that John angrily spat in his face without even thinking about it. Michael let the saliva drip for a moment before carelessly wiping it away with his hand.

"Can I ask you something Michael?" John spoke softly.

Michael leaned just a bit closer and said, "Of course Colonel. Whatever you wish…"

John face was twisted in fury. "You're still part human, right?"

Michael looked confused and said nothing for a moment. "Yes Colonel, but I-"

John cut him off. "GOOD."

And he lashed out hard with his thick heavy boot and struck Michael directly between his legs.

Michael immediately gasped a shallow winded sound and doubled over giving John the momentum and distraction he needed to twist violently from the surprised creature behind him and wrap his shaking hands around its black slimy neck and snap it roughly as its yellow eyes widened briefly before it slumped down onto the hard floor.

John ran towards Teyla and began hastily undoing the straps binding her. She moaned quietly but her eyes did not flutter open. When he had finished untying them all, he picked up her slender form with both hands and held her body tightly to him, wrapping her limp arm around his neck.

Turning, he noticed Michael was gone and only the dead corpse of the creature lie on the floor by the empty doorway. Caring only about getting Teyla back to Atlantis, he hurriedly left the building and carried her body across the yard without any interruption heading back towards the clearing.

The marines were still there, tending as much medical attention as they could to Ronon's still inert body.

"Sir!" the dark haired marine spoke loudly. "A spacecraft took off just before you emerged from the building, sir! We were unable to shoot it down in time!"

John didn't care. He instructed them to carry Ronon and follow him as he made his way to the Stargate.

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Ronon's legs took months to heal but with the new found information that he and Jennifer could be together without having to live in secrecy, he didn't seem to mind sitting around the infirmary as much as he thought he would.

John sat by Teyla's bedside until she awoke three days after they returned. Her eyes fluttered open and the first sight they took in was John's smiling face.

"John?"

"Hey."

"Where are we?"

"Home."

"Michael?"

"I don't know. He got away again."

"The baby?"

"Dr. Keller said there's nothing to worry about. Everything is normal so whatever it was that Michael did, it didn't seem to work."

Teyla's face almost broke into sobs of relief but she kept speaking as she reached out and touched his stubbly face.

"I am sorry I did not tell you John. I did not want you to suffer anymore than you had to and since we could not be……"

"They made exceptions for you and Ronon. You can be with whoever you want now.'

Her smile widened and then quickly faded as she spoke.

"When I told you that I did not love you John—"

"Teyla, it doesn't matter now."

"Of course it matters. It was wrong of me to lie to you that way. And even still, even though I spoke those horrible words you came for me."

"I will always find you, Teyla."

They stared into each other's eyes and he placed his hand gently on her stomach and they rested there together, happy, come what may.

THE END