Disclaimer – I own none of the stargate franchise.
Yes ANOTHER work in progress. But I couldn't get it out of my head!!
Please review and tell me what you think.
Glimpse – Chapter One
Teyla entered the gateroom just as her team descended the steps from the control room, Colonel Carter with them. They were talking amongst themselves, probably about the mission ahead.
As always in recent months, her heart ached with the knowledge she was not going with them.
Sam gave Teyla a smile as they drew nearer, but it was the only one she got. Ronon nodded to her, which was as good as a smile, coming from him. Rodney was bemoaning the very large backpack he was carrying, and Teyla doubted he even noticed her presence.
John looked at Teyla, but looked away again immediately, turning to face the stargate as it began to light up, his jaw set.
Teyla sighed and looked back at Sam, who had noticed John's reaction to her and gave her a sympathetic look. Teyla forced a smile, trying not to let it get to her. John had been acting cold towards her for many weeks now, and she was learning to ignore it. Well, to make it seem as though she was ignoring it.
She couldn't deny that it hurt every time he avoided her eyes or gave her a short answer. But she had learnt to hide the pain.
"Good luck," she said, turning her attention back to Ronon and Rodney.
Rodney seemed to finally notice her, but he just rolled his eyes. "I don't think luck will get us there any easier," he said. "Do you know how heavy this bag is? Why can't we take a jumper?"
"There's no where to land, McKay," said John, still staring at the stargate.
Rodney rolled his eyes again, and Teyla smiled at Ronon, who was already looking annoyed. Their destination was a days' hike from the stargate, and if she knew Rodney he was not going to be a pleasant companion on such a journey. It almost made her glad she was not accompanying them. Almost.
The wormhole engaged and Teyla's hand immediately – instinctively – came to rest on her expanding stomach at the sudden noise. She glanced over her shoulder at the newly-formed event horizon, and when she looked back she caught John's eye. He quickly looked away and started to walk towards the stargate.
"We'll be back in a few," he called over his shoulder as he went.
Ronon and Rodney started to follow him, and Sam stepped up next to Teyla. "Stay safe," she called after them. John raised his hand and waved, and then a moment later he and the others were gone.
The wormhole shut down.
"Are you alright, Teyla?" Sam asked, turning to face her.
Teyla smiled at her. "I am fine, Sam," she said. "Though it is always hard to watch them leave without me."
And to have John treat me as though I do not exist.
Sam smiled at her understandingly, and Teyla had a feeling that she had somehow heard what her heart had silently added as well as what she had said.
"Do you want to meet up for lunch later?" Sam asked now as they started to walk towards the steps to the control room.
"Yes, I would like that," Teyla replied with another more genuine smile. "I am going to be working with Dr Zelenka for the next few hours, but after?"
Sam nodded. "Great, just come and get me when you're done," she said. She gave Teyla one last smile before disappearing through the control room and into her office.
Teyla sank down into one of the control room chairs and brought up some of the recent reports made by reconnaissance teams. She was joined by Dr Zelenka a few minutes later and they started to go through them.
Not twenty minutes had gone by when the stargate lit up and a wormhole engaged. The shield came up automatically, and Sam hurried into the control room.
"Receiving an IDC, Ma'am," said Chuck, eyes on the computer in front of him. He looked up at Sam as she approached him. "It's Colonel Sheppard."
Teyla rose awkwardly from her seat, gripping the terminal in front of her to help. She and Sam exchanged glances – if they were back this early, something must have gone wrong. They could be injured, or could have encountered an enemy or something unexpected.
Teyla swallowed hard against the fear rising in her throat.
"Lower the shield," Sam ordered. She started to walk out of the control room, and Teyla hurried after her.
They started to descend the stairs to the gateroom just as the shield was lowered. A few seconds later John stepped through. Teyla and everyone else in the room stared at him.
He was not injured, as far as she could tell. But he was wearing civilian clothes – jeans and a plain white shirt. He had a small black rucksack slung over one shoulder and his hair seemed longer and slightly flatter than when he had left.
And in his arms he held a sleeping child.
The wormhole disengaged behind him. John stood stock-still, staring around the gateroom, confusion etched all over his face.
"Er… okay…" he said quietly, looking around. He looked over at Teyla and his eyes widened as his gaze travelled down her body coming to rest on her stomach. He looked at the child he was holding, and then back at her.
"Aw damn," he said loudly.
Teyla and Sam reached the bottom of the stairs. "John, what's going on?" Sam demanded as they approached John.
John didn't seem to be listening. He kept looking at the child – who still slept soundly – to various people and places in the room, and he was muttering to himself.
"Way to go John, you stupid idiot – you're even wearing the same clothes and you couldn't put two and two together? And god knows what happens now, I definitely wasn't around for this bit…"
Teyla frowned and took a couple more steps forward, heading towards John with some trepidation. Something very strange was going on – he was obviously very agitated and he looked… different. And who was the child?
"Colonel?" Sam said loudly.
John blinked and looked at her properly. "Hi Sam," he said. He glanced at the child one last time before squaring his shoulders and facing her again. "So, this is going to sound totally insane, but here it is – I'm from the future."
Sam blinked at him. "Excuse me?"
"I'm from the future," John repeated. He looked at Teyla, who was staring at him in total confusion, and gave her a small smile. "I – we – were just on our way to the Alpha Site. It was a solar flare."
There was a moment's silence.
"How do you know that?" Asked Sam eventually, ever the scientist. "How can you be sure it was a solar flare that sent you here?"
John shrugged. "Well, I can't really," he said. "Not until I get back and Rodney confirms it. But it's a solar flare that sends us back, so I'm guessing…"
"Who is the child?" Cut in Teyla, noting his use of the word 'us'.
John looked at Teyla in silence for a moment. "Um…" His eyes flicked down to her stomach again and then back up at her face.
Teyla's jaw dropped.
"Wait – that child is Teyla's?" Said Sam, gaping at him.
John looked at Teyla in silence for a moment before answering. "Yeah."
Teyla could feel the eyes of Sam and every other person in the room on her, but she didn't spare any of them a glance. Instead she stared at the child asleep in John's arms.
It was a girl, with her colouring but with long black hair, which half covered her face. She was snuggled against John's neck, her small arms wrapped round his shoulders.
Teyla's heart clenched. She was beautiful.
"Er, I think we'd better take this to the infirmary," said Sam after a few moments.
John nodded. "Sure," he said. He gave Teyla another smile which she almost missed, still staring at the girl. Her daughter. But she did notice, and she returned it gladly. It had been so long since John had smiled at her.
John started to walk towards the exit that led to the infirmary, and Sam nodded to two of the guards on duty to follow him, which they did.
With a significant look at one another, Teyla and Sam followed them as well.
"Okay… thank you Colonel," said Dr Keller, removing the needle from his arm.
"No problem," said John, holding a piece of gauze to the puncture wound as instructed.
Dr Keller handed the phial of blood she had just extracted to a waiting nurse and then looked at the girl, who John had carefully placed on one of the beds. They were in a private room just off of the main infirmary, which had only two beds in it. John was perched on the edge of the girl's bed.
"Can you wait until she's awake?" John asked Dr Keller, noticing her look.
"Of course," Dr Keller said. "But if she doesn't wake up soon we're going to have to –"
"I know," interrupted John. "She's just been travelling a lot the last couple of days, so she's pretty wiped. Let her sleep for now."
Dr Keller smiled and nodded. "Alright," she said. "For now."
She bustled out of the room to supervise the blood tests.
Teyla stood leaning slightly against the other bed, staring at the girl. Her eyelids were fluttering slightly, and Teyla had the feeling that they would not have to wait long for her to awaken. The thought filled her with heady mix of nervousness and excitement.
"So, you said that it's a solar flare that sends you back?" Sam asked.
John nodded. "Yeah, two days from now," he said. "I don't remember the exact time, but Zelenka can look it up."
"And when exactly are you from?" Asked Sam.
"Five years from now," replied John. "Though I can't tell you much more than that – causality blah blah blah."
Sam nodded briefly. Ordinarily Teyla would have asked for an explanation, but she was still staring intently at the girl.
"What is her name?" Asked Teyla quietly, still staring at her. When John didn't answer she looked up at him, and saw that he was smiling at her.
"You already know her name," he said. "You named her as soon as you found out you were pregnant."
Teyla's eyes widened. "How do you know that?" She asked him.
John shrugged slightly. "You told me," he said, as though this were painfully obvious.
Teyla had done nothing of the sort. She and John barely spoke of anything anymore, and certainly not of her pregnancy.
John suddenly rolled his eyes. "Oh, of course," he said. "I'm still in my petulant-not-speaking-to-you phase, aren't I?" He grinned sheepishly and Teyla's eyes widened further.
"Don't worry, I get over myself eventually," he said. "Anyway, you will tell me, let's put it that way."
Sam cleared her throat. "So, what is her name?" She repeated.
"Imaria," said Teyla and John simultaneously.
"That's beautiful," said Sam, smiling.
"It was the name of a childhood friend," said Teyla.
At that moment Imaria began to stir, her head moving from side to side, her eyes screwed up tight. Suddenly they flew open, revealing a dark brown gaze that stared up at the ceiling for a couple of seconds before she lifted her head slightly and looked straight at John.
Teyla's hand went straight to her stomach again as she watched her. Her heart rate quickened as she realised she was about to hear her daughter speak for the first time.
"Am I ill?" Imaria said suddenly.
Teyla's first reaction was worry – had the time travel affected her badly? But then she realised that John was smiling at her, shaking his head.
"Nope, you're fine," he said.
Imaria frowned. "Have you been shot again?" She asked, sounding exasperated rather than worried.
John chuckled and shook his head again. "No," he said.
Imaria sat up and looked around the room properly. Her eyes lit up at the sight of Sam and she opened her mouth to say something, but before she could she noticed Teyla. She looked at her bump and her eyes widened.
"Momma?" She asked. Teyla's heart flipped as Imaria turned back to John, looking slightly fearful. "What happened to Momma?"
Teyla took a small step towards her, an almost overwhelming need to comfort her daughter coming over her, but stopped when John started to talk again.
"Mia, do you remember that story I told you?" He asked, placing one hand on her shoulder.
"Remember, about the little girl who goes back in time and meets her Mom back before she was born?" He asked. "Remember how she stays with her Mom, and she tells her everything that's going to happen in the future and it unravels the very fabric of the universe?"
Mia nodded. Teyla and Sam glanced at each other, eyebrows raised.
"Right, well, that's happening right now," said John. "We've gone back in time, Mia. And you see your Momma – that's you growing inside her."
Mia looked back at Teyla, her eyes wide with shock. She looked at the bump again, frowning, as though she were trying to see inside Teyla's womb. Teyla felt Imaria move inside her and wondered if she sensed herself somehow.
Mia looked back at John. "Are we going to unravel the very fabric of the universe?" She asked.
John grinned. "No," he said. "But we do have to be careful about what we say. Don't tell anyone – not even your Momma – about what happens in the future. Okay?"
Mia nodded. "Okay."
"And if I ever tell you to stop talking, you have to, right away," added John.
Mia nodded again. "I won't say anything," she said.
John grinned again. "I know you won't," he said. "You'll be great. I know – I was there."
Mia grinned. "Is there another you?" She asked.
John nodded. "Oh yeah," he said.
"Actually, your other self just went off-world with Ronon and McKay," said Sam. "They won't be back for three days."
John gave Sam a lopsided smile. "When did they leave?" He asked.
"About twenty minutes before you arrived," she answered.
"Twenty minutes – okay…" He looked at the clock on the wall and appeared to be thinking hard. "They'll be back in about ten minutes."
Sam and Teyla looked at each other in surprise. "Why?" They both asked simultaneously.
"Rodney breaks his arm," John answered, rolling his eyes. Seeing the looks of concern from Teyla and Sam he was quick to elaborate.
"It was an accident," he said. "He wasn't looking where he was going and walked into Ronon when he stopped. He fell into a ditch. Anyway, we came straight back to Atlantis and the first thing you told me was that my future self was sitting in the infirmary with Teyla's four-year-old daughter."
"Four-and-three-quarters!" Imaria said indignantly.
John's expression didn't change. "Four-and-three-quarters," he amended. He looked at Imaria. "Sorry."
Imaria smiled and sidled up next to him, so she was also sitting on the edge of the bed, her short legs swinging over the side. John had his hands flat on the mattress either side of him, and Imaria mimicked his posture, placing her hands down in the same way, one of her hands right next to John's.
Teyla watched her every move, her eyes hungrily taking in every detail of her small body. Imaria noticed her watching her and gave her a smile, albeit a little shyly. Teyla's heart felt fit to burst with feeling.
"Well, I'd better tell Dr Keller what to expect," Sam said. She gave Teyla a small smile and hurried out of the room, leaving her alone with John and her daughter.
Imaria watched Sam leave and then turned to John. "Is Sam in charge of Atlantis?" She asked him.
John nodded. "Yeah, and –" He placed a finger over his lips and raised his eyebrows significantly. Imaria nodded.
Teyla pretended she hadn't heard that little exchange and instead tried to think of something to say.
"Why didn't you go on the mission too, Momma?" Imaria asked suddenly.
Teyla met Imaria's eyes and smiled. "I am not going on any missions until after you are born," she said.
Imaria frowned. "Why not?" She asked.
"It's because you're fat," John said. Teyla felt very indignant for a moment before she realised he was talking to Imaria.
"You're a huge baby, and your Momma can hardly walk because you're so heavy. So all she can do is sit around all day waiting for you to be born, and when you are you look like this…"
John puffed out his cheeks and held his arms out wide.
Imaria's jaw dropped. "I do not!" She retorted.
"You do," replied John, looking at her seriously. "Ronon couldn't pick you up…"
"That's not true!" Imaria said, punching John on the arm. John immediately doubled up as if in great pain and Imaria started to laugh.
"Got you!" She cried gleefully.
"Yeah, okay, you got me…" John said weakly. He looked up at Teyla and winked, and she turned away to hide her smile.
She could see Sam out in the main infirmary, talking to Dr Keller, presumably telling her what John had just said. Teyla suddenly felt a flutter of nervousness. John would be back in a few minutes – how would he react to the news that his future self was here, with her daughter? How would he treat Imaria? They were obviously quite close in the future, but right now John was hardly speaking to her because of her pregnancy. What would he say when he saw his future self and Imaria playing together? Teyla found it hard enough to read John these days, and these were very unusual circumstances.
Teyla turned back to John and saw he was now standing, leaning back against the bed that Imaria still sat on.
"Would you do me a favour?" He asked. "Would you mind getting me some other clothes? These are covered in sand."
Teyla frowned, and John rolled his eyes. "Don't ask," he said. Imaria giggled.
Teyla hesitated for a moment, reluctant to lose sight of Imaria for even a moment. She was also a little worried that John – her John – would arrive while she was gone.
But John was looking at her with that imploring look on his face…
"Of course," she replied, smiling slightly. "I will be back in a moment."
"Thanks Teyla," John said, smiling back. Teyla glanced at Imaria, who was also smiling at her. Forcefully wrenching her gaze away, Teyla left the infirmary.