Spoilers: Based vaguely on the spoilers for season 4.
Disclaimers: I in no way own any part of the Stargate world, if only!! Think of the fun I could have!!!
It's taken a while to get this last part up, I've been distracted by Life and the new season of Robin Hood!
Teyla woke to the bright morning light. She blinked her eyes up from the tanned chest on which her cheek rested and looked up at the sleeping man beside her. He stirred, his strong naked body stretching out alongside hers under the heavy blankets and then looked down at her. Teyla focused on the strong features and darkened eyes, surprised and confused for a moment.
"You looked like you expected someone else." Mathis commented. The details of Mathis' features came into clear focus through her blurry eyes, and the ghost of another man faded from view.
"No, no one else." She replied, trying to ignore the tiny amount of disappointment she felt.
"Are you sure?" Mathis asked delicately.
Teyla pulled the blankets around her some more, creating some distance between their bodies. "Of course."
Mathis rolled onto his side towards her, not allowing her the distance she wanted. He reached over and stroked down her arm soothingly.
"There are times, when I wake and I expect to see her. Even after all these years, I still feel like she is lying beside me in the mornings. Especially now you are here." He lifted his eyes to meet hers.
Teyla felt humbled by his honesty. "That is understandable, Mathis. She meant so much to you and you two were together for a long time."
He nodded, his caress continuing. "I feel sometimes when you look at me, that you see someone else. Was there someone for you on Atlantis?"
"No." She replied automatically, but then considered that Mathis had been so honest, that she could in return. "We were never together that way."
"But, you still cared for him very much?"
"Yes. I do…I did."
Mathis nodded. He leaned over and placed a kiss on her bare shoulder. "We cannot change what has occurred, no matter how much we wish it. Accept what has happened and move forward. You taught me that, Teyla. However, maybe there is nothing wrong with both of us remembering people who were important to us. Nothing wrong with finding new relationships, though they may echo with past ones."
Teyla looked into Mathis' eyes and smiled. Reaching up she brushed a lock of hair away from his forehead.
"You are a good man, Mathis." She leaned towards him, reaching for his lips with her own. And as they moved closer his features blurred until he looked so very much like another.
Teyla woke suddenly, tears in her eyes. She could almost feel the lingering whisper of Mathis' kiss on her lips. She drew in a steadying breath, allowing the old emotions to fade. Gradually the dream and memory began to fade, the echo of a lost man fading once more. The bed around her felt empty and cold, especially after the warm memory of Mathis. She looked around her room, saw that little time had passed since she had last looked at the clock.
It was late and the house was dark, except for the muted sounds and flickering light that spilled up the stairs from the television.
Teyla listened to the distant sound of the movie downstairs, watching the dim light that slid under her bedroom door. John was still downstairs, up much later than normal and she was beginning to suspect he was avoiding going to his bed.
The trip home from the party had been very uncomfortable. Not that they ignored one another, in fact they chatted all the way home, but the words had been hollow idle chat to fill the silence. Words to cover the discomfort, words to hide the embarrassment, yet had they travelled the whole way in complete silence she thought it would have been more comfortable. John worked to be extra polite in her opinion, keeping everything light and superficial. Avoiding any conversation of what had occurred earlier between them.
Sitting up on her bed she sighed, the promise of sleep seemed to have faded with the dream. Over the past couple of months most nights she had been able to crawl into John's bed to sleep. Perhaps that was why he hadn't come up from the lounge yet?
She moved up from the bed, picking up the baby monitor and headed to her door. Pulling it open she looked down the hallway. There was no moonlight tonight, so the darkness appeared even thicker around her. Pale blue light wavered up the stairs from where John watched a movie down in the lounge. At the top of the stairs she paused, looking down them to the open lounge door. Her nerve faltered, so she sat down on the top step hugging the monitor in her lap. She suddenly felt unbelievably lonely.
She did not know what she should do. What had happened between them today, as brief as it had been, had given her hope. Hope that John was prepared to accept both Tagan and the presence of Mathis in their lives. She had been so relieved that he had finally asked about Tagan's father, so happy that the unspoken subject had been addressed. However, it obviously was still an issue with John. And she was confused by how he had reacted earlier at the party. So much had always gone unsaid between them and perhaps before it had not needed to be addressed. But, now things had changed; it was time.
She had not been completely honest with him earlier. Had not told him what had drawn her to Mathis. She wasn't even sure if it would make a difference to John, but she wanted to tell him. It was time to speak what was unsaid between them and she suspected he knew that too. As she stared down the empty stairs she allowed herself to feel the deep fear inside her. By starting this discussion with John, she was risking not only their close friendship, but their home. She could not imagine a better father for Tagan here than John, and he seemed to be falling for the baby. Yet, she would never force that role onto John, especially when her child was from another man. Did he care? Did he even truly want more than friendship?
Too many questions with no answers. Well, it was time to ask those questions.
Teyla padded softly into the lounge. John sat on the sofa in the dark, his slightly sleepy eyes on the TV screen. He noticed her finally and looked round rather cautiously at her.
"Everything okay?" He asked.
Teyla gathered her courage and moved towards him, placing the monitor down on the coffee table and sat down on the sofa. She sat sideways on, so she was facing him along the sofa.
"We need to talk, John."
The lounge was very dark around them, lit only by the movie's light dancing faintly over the room. John pursed his lips, considering her words, but she saw the acceptance. Picking up the remote he muted the TV, slowly leaning forward and put the remote down on the table. He then sat back against the sofa, arms crossed over his belly and turned his body towards her. He nodded slightly, the trepidation clear on his face.
Teyla took a breath, unsure how to start this conversation. She felt nervous, very nervous.
"I think, perhaps… we should… be honest with each other." She wasn't sure of her words. Normally a very articulate person, she found herself at a loss as to how to speak to John now. He nodded his agreement again, but otherwise remained still and silent.
"Our friendship is very important to me, John. We have been through a lot over these past years together and I would hate to ever lose that." Teyla began.
John nodded his agreement again. "It means a lot to me too, Teyla." He offered softly.
She smiled and nodded. Even across the foot and a half between them she could feel his tension increasing further. It was now or never.
"You mean a lot to me, John. But, I do understand if you… if I do not mean as much to you." She stuttered out. "I think perhaps it is time to be honest about this."
"You do mean a lot to me." He offered quietly.
Though the words were good to hear, she still wasn't sure if he meant them the way she wanted him to. That they were speaking about the same level of affection. She was getting warm, the embarrassment rising now and she was glad the light level in the room was so low.
She rubbed her warm forehead, gathering the words in her mind. She leant forward pressing her hand to the textured sofa between them. Tilting her face up towards him, she found she couldn't quite look into his eyes, despite the fact that they were partly obscured by shadow.
"I mean to say… that I feel more than…" She started.
"I know what you mean." He said into her pause.
She looked up at him surprised and hopeful. John looked downwards slightly, then slowly reached out towards her hand where it rested between them. His warm hand slid over the back of hers. The sudden detail of the texture of his skin over hers filled her attention. She lifted her hand slightly from the fabric, allowing him to slip his fingers round her palm.
Emotion moved strongly through Teyla at the simple feeling of him carefully holding her hand in his strong masculine one. He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand. She looked up at his eyes and smiled rather shyly at him, and in return she saw a soft smile cross his features.
She took a breath, knowing more needed to be said.
"Earlier when I told you about Mathis. There was something else that I should have told you about him."
John tightened his hold on her hand.
"Teyla, you don't have to justify yourself to me in any way." He paused, his eyes dropping away from her. "I'm sorry for the way I behaved earlier today. About how I treated Tagan."
She squeezed his fingers in return. "No, John, you do not have to apologise. I know it is…less than ideal for you to accept Tagan…"
John's head snapped round to look back at her fully.
"No, Teyla. I love the little guy, I think he's great." Teyla couldn't help smiling at the honest emotion flowing from John, something that was rather rare in John. He did accept Tagan, and somewhere a deep knot of tension released inside her.
"I just…I felt guilty." He admitted.
"Guilty? Why?" Teyla was shocked to say the least at his confession. John looked away to the coffee table and the baby monitor sitting quietly upon it. He looked tense and nervous again.
"When we left Atlantis that first time and left you back in Pegasus, I missed you, Teyla. I missed you a lot more than I thought I would. And when we went back, I was…upset…to discover you and Mathis…" he waved his other hand in the air. Teyla nodded her understanding, freeing him from having to finish the sentence. "Yes, well, I was upset. But, I understood, Teyla. I did. But…when we learnt that Tagan's Dad had died…" John looked down, licked his lips nervously. "I felt…kind of relieved. I don't like myself for that, I really don't. But, I was…glad that you were…no longer attached to him. And I have been feeling…kind of guilty about that. That I get to have you and Tagan, here with me."
He fell into silence, his eyes flickered up to meet hers, nervous. She squeezed his hand again gently and some of his tension lessened. She didn't think she had ever heard John so forward in describing his emotions before.
"I understand, John." She reassured him.
He looked away slightly, and she could see him reaching to be casual again.
"I just wanted you to know why I acted the way I did today…and this past year."
"I too have felt guilty, John. Guilty that I should have been with my people when the Wraith attacked. Maybe I could have helped in some way…"
John's grip on her hand tightened considerably. "Teyla, you saw what they did to that planet. Nothing survived. It was bombarded from orbit. You would have died along with your people, and Tagan would never have been born."
She nodded, knew he was right, but it still did not chase away the thought that she may have been able to make a difference had she been there. Maybe she could have warned her people of the Wraith's approach.
"I know. We need to 'accept what has happened and move forward'." She quoted Mathis' words, echoed so recently in her own dreams.
"Do you miss him?" John asked quietly.
"Mathis and I shared many good months together. He will always have a special place in my heart…but, no I do not miss him. I did miss you though, when I was with him." The words flowed out of her mouth without thought.
She saw John's eyebrows lift high towards his hairline.
"You did?" He asked, his voice deeper than normal.
Teyla guessed she had been completely honest up to this point, she may as well tell him everything. She could feel her cheeks flush bright and hot.
"He…he reminded me of you."
Even through the dark shadows she could see the happy slightly smug smile creep over his face. He tilted his head slightly and the light from the TV made his eyes sparkle briefly.
"He did?" He asked, she could hear the sparkle in his voice now. She could barely stop herself from rolling her eyes.
"And, Mathis knew that." She added hastily.
She saw more surprise in John's expression.
"He knew that my heart really belonged to another, as his heart would always truly belong to his long lost wife." Teyla admitted, still feeling immensely shy, an unusual emotion for her.
John stroked his thumb over her hand again and she looked up into his eyes once more. A smile appeared on his lips again, and his gaze was soft and heavy upon her.
"I'm assuming that the 'other' is me." He said his tone teasing. "Unless there are more men in your life I should know about, Miss Emmagan?"
She laughed with him, the tension releasing. "There is only one man in my life…little Tagan." She teased in return.
He rolled his eyes in mock annoyance, but his hold on her hand remained tight. "Always second choice! Now there's no way I'm gonna win against him! He's got that whole cute look down."
"I think you two may have more in common that you think." Teyla laughed.
She saw the surprise in John's eyes at her banter, and the pleasure. "I'll have you know I am not 'cute', I am manly and handsome."
"Right, yes of course. My mistake." She offered.
He nodded approvingly. "Good, just you remember that." John uttered as he began to pull gently on her hand, encouraging her towards him. She followed willingly and shuffled forward on the sofa towards him, settling herself up close to him, her body only inches away from his. With the light from the television set further behind her now she could clearly see his face, see the darkening of his eyes as he gazed at her. See the gentle smile on his lips as she neared him.
They looked at each other then, taking the time to enjoy being able to study each other up close. Teyla drew in a slow breath, his now familiar warm scent filled her senses. She looked up to see his eyes focused down on her throat, and she could almost feel the caress of his eyes over her skin. She drew in a quick breath, almost a gasp and his eyes jumped up to hers. His eyes somehow darkened even further, till all the colour around them was swamped. All hint of amusement and teasing was gone from between them. The intensity between them that had occurred earlier today was nothing compared to the fullness of the moment now.
His touch was sudden against her cheek, the back of his fingers sliding across her skin. She leaned into the touch, her eyes drifting closed. Then in the darkness she felt his lips brush against hers. The barest of touches, but she followed his retreating lips with her own, brushing her lower lip across his. His tiny sound of pleasure vibrated through his chest against the back of her hand, the hand he held still tightly in his, tucked up between their bodies.
Their lips met again, fully this time. Teyla lost her focus quickly into the dance of lips against one another. He was warm and solid against her. She reached out with her free hand and stroked up over his shoulder. Under the soft t-shirt she felt the movement of muscle as he reached towards her in return. His warm hand gliding around her side and up her back. The hand that held hers released, leaving her hand free to press against his toned chest. His now freed hand caressed up her throat to cup her cheek and jaw. His lips became heavier against hers, his tongue begging entrance. The kiss deepened and Teyla lost all coherent thought.
Then from the table came sudden muffled sounds, Tagan grizzling through the baby monitor. The sound broke through all the haze that had engulfed them both. Lips pulled apart. Teyla gathered her awareness and turned to the baby monitor on the table beside them. The sounds of a grizzling baby brought sudden focus, the equivalent of cold water splashed across her face. Tagan. She looked back round at John, to see him look back from the monitor. He hadn't pulled back, his body still leant against hers, his hands still in her hair.
"Always second choice." He uttered, but there was an amused smile on his lips. His eyes were sparkling and she couldn't help smiling along with him.
The grizzling went on, and Teyla knew that crying would soon follow. She couldn't believe her son's timing today.
"I am sorry." She uttered, reluctant to move away.
"Don't be sorry." John replied, he ran his hand through her hair before he leant in and placed a quick soft kiss against her lips. He pulled back then, but his eyes were still dark and the smile on his face. "Tagan needs his mum. Nothing wrong with that."
John helped her rise to her somewhat unstable legs.
"He needs a feed, I hadn't realised how late it was." Teyla uttered as she picked up the monitor.
John turned off the TV, plunging them into almost blackness, but he wrapped his arm around her helping to guide her as they headed up the stairs.
Once up the stairs, Teyla moved to the nursery, walking in and picked up the now hysterical baby. She whispered soothing words to her son, calming him somewhat. Most nights she sat in the rocking chair and fed him directly. As she moved to the chair she noticed John standing in the doorway.
"Do you want to bring him in with us?" He asked softly.
She couldn't help the massive smile that spread over her face at his invitation. She didn't need to ask where he meant, instead followed John to his bedroom and settled down in the big comfortable bed with John and her son.
Teyla looked at the tiny sleeping face of her son where he lay fast sleep on John's chest. She smiled at Tagan, watching his tiny breaths puffing out his cheeks. She felt the love and joy as she always did at watching such a precious gift. Her gift from Mathis; a man she had cared very much for. He had known and understood that her love had been reserved for another, as his had been. Yet, together they had found some peace and had created a beautiful son. And finally she felt at peace with that fact.
She reached out and stroked a tiny lock of baby hair away from his forehead. As she did her hand briefly touched John's as he stroked his larger hand down Tagan's little back. Teyla looked up from where she was tucked up against John's side. John looked up from Tagan and smiled at her. It was a new smile, one she had not seen from him before tonight. It was an open affectionate smile, with an intensity to it that made her warm. But, there was an edge of tiredness to his gaze now. It was very late.
"Let's put him back down to sleep now." She told him, as she skilfully picked Tagan up off his very comfortable John-mattress and carried him back out to the nursery. She settled him down happily into his crib, kissed his forehead once more and returned to the bedroom with the monitor.
John hadn't moved. He was dozing his hand resting against his chest where Tagan had lain. As she climbed back into the bed he woke, turning towards her as she crawled over to his side. His arms came up and around her eagerly as she settled back into her spot against him. He pulled her closer than before, moulding her against his strong body. He pressed an open kiss to her forehead and nuzzled into her hair, finding a comfortable spot for his chin to rest against her.
Teyla laid quietly, listening to his breathing and stroked her hand over his warm chest.
"I love you, John." She whispered.
He pulled his chin away from her and she looked up at him. His eyes were dark and intense as he looked at her.
"I love you too, Teyla." He whispered back. He leant down and kissed her mouth. "I always have." He added.
Then he settled back against the pillow, and she tucked up tightly against him. Then he began to stroke her back gently, as he had so often over the last couple of months. So once again she settled down to sleep beside John Sheppard, his touch soothing her. But, this time it felt different. This time it felt like she was home.