See, you didn't believe me when I said I'd have the next chapter up in a couple of days, did you? Well… here it is! Enjoy, and have a great New Year!! Should old acquaintance be forgot and all that jazz!
Chapter Three – Eavesdropping is a good way of getting answers.
I have to say, Teyla's quarters are much nicer than John's. Hers has pretty cloths and candles and incense and ornaments. John's…well… just doesn't. They're very bare. Except I did notice a couple of things.
There's a couple of wooden contraptions by the door. One is a flat rectangle with what I think are wheels… who knows what that's meant to be for. And the other is a completely random shape and has bits of wire on it. It looks like it would be fun to bash against the wall, something I will be sure to try as soon as I am big enough.
There's also a large picture on the wall of a man holding one of said random wooden things. Now, this picture I know about, since John told me what it was as soon as Teyla left.
I was sitting in my carrier seat, and Teyla had handed me over to John and walked out. I barely had time to wonder where she was going before John started to talk.
"So, Tag, welcome to my quarters," he said, giving me a smile. "And don't worry, your Mom will be back soon, so you don't have to put up with me for long."
I was very relieved to hear this. I mean, Teyla had left me alone with other people before, but never John. In fact, never a man.
I hate to be so sceptical about other members of my sex at so young an age, but given the looks of sheer panic and general air of helplessness I detect from every man that comes into contact with me, I can only surmise that in general they are not the people you want to leave a baby with. Not the ones on Atlantis, anyway.
At least John doesn't look scared to be alone with me. That's something anyway.
Now, what was I talking about before I went off on this tangent? Oh yeah – the picture. John turned me towards it and pointed.
"That's called a poster, Tag," he said. "It's of a guy called Johnny Cash, who was a musician. I'll play you some of his music sometime – you'll love it."
After my introduction to Johnny Cash, John showed me the view from his window, which is pretty much the same as Teyla's. He put me down on his sofa and was just starting to look like he didn't know what to do next when Ronon walked in.
"I heard you were babysitting."
"So you've come to lend moral support?"
"Something like that."
So, that is how I found myself to be in the care of John and Ronon. Can't say I'm inspired with confidence, and I'm just about to make myself heard when they start talking, so I keep quiet. The conversation turns out to be pretty interesting.
"He looks like Teyla," says Ronon.
Excellent, I look like a woman. Thanks a lot buddy.
"Yeah he does," agrees John.
Thanks to you too.
"So how's Teyla doing?" Asks Ronon.
"Didn't you just see her?"
"Yeah, but only for a second," says Ronon. "And I haven't seen her a lot lately – you're the one who's been bugging her all the time."
"I haven't been bugging her," says John, looking a little annoyed.
Ronon snorts. "Yeah, whatever," he says. "She was missing for over a month – of course you're bugging her."
Missing? You what now?
"She's fine," says John. "A little quiet and keeping to herself a lot, but that's hardly surprising with what she went through."
"Yeah," says Ronon.
"At least she's got the Athosians here in the city with her," says John.
Ah, the Athosians. They love me. Though I must say that they are largely responsible for most of the terrible clothing I have to endure, so they obviously don't love me that much.
"Most of them," says Ronon darkly. "We still don't –"
"Yeah, I know," says John.
Well good for you, buddy, but I don't, so let the man finish.
"Are you gonna tell her?" Asks Ronon.
John is staring at my foot very intently. "Tell her what?" He says.
"You know what I'm talking about," says Ronon.
John's still staring at my foot, and there's a faint tinge of pink to his cheeks. "I was drunk –"
What the heck is drunk?
"I've seen you drink more than that," says Ronon, not sounding at all placated.
John finally decides my foot really isn't that interesting, and looks up at Ronon. He looks kind of mad. When he speaks again his voice is firm. "I was drunk, I was angry we couldn't go after her, I said some things that were –"
"You said that Teyla was your single biggest regret in life," interrupts Ronon, folding his arms. "And that –"
"I know what I said, Ronon, okay?" Says John, standing up suddenly. "Just drop it. It's too late."
He glares at Ronon, who looks back at him calmly.
"Okay," he replies after a moment.
John walks away, out of my line of sight, and I hear him moving things around in the middle of the room. Ronon watches him silently, his arms still folded, his eyes narrowed.
Man, I really want to pull his hair.
Instead I think over what I just heard. This goes a long way to answering some of questions. Something happened to Teyla, and the reason John kept checking on her was because she'd been gone for a while. And, apparently, because he… what? Had feelings for her?
I'm not sure what I feel about that. I'm not sure if he's good enough for her. I don't think I've met anyone so far who is.
John appears next to me again and picks up my carry chair, only to put me back down again two seconds later in the middle of the floor. He unbuckles me and takes me out of my chair, and lays me on my playmat. I realise that that was what he'd been setting up when I couldn't see him.
John picks up one of my toys and waves it in front of me. If I could roll my eyes I would.
"What you gonna do with him now?" Asks Ronon from the other side of the room.
John shrugs. "Dunno," he says. "What do babies do?"
I can't say I have absolute faith in their ability to look after me properly.
Ronon comes and stands next to John, and looks down at me. The hair is just hanging there, crazy all over the place… soon. Soon.
"So… Tagan John, huh?" He says. I can hear the mock-casualness of his tone, but John seems pretty oblivious as he continues to look at me.
"She named him after you."
Bah. Don't remind me.
John smiles sheepishly. "I know," he says. "I couldn't believe it. I guess it's because I stayed with her when she was… what?"
Even John the Oblivious doesn't miss the look Ronon gives him. Ronon quirks an eyebrow.
"You really think Teyla named her baby after you because you stayed with her while she was in labour?"
Probably not – I was there too and I didn't get a say in it.
John shrugs. "Well we're good friends," he says.
Ronon rolls his eyes. "So are me and Teyla. And Rodney and Teyla. You don't see her calling him Tagan John Ronon Rodney Emmagen, do you?"
John snorts. "Because that would border on child abuse," he replies.
Amen to that.
Ronon doesn't think it's funny. "John –"
"What's your point, Ronon?" Says John, turning to face Ronon.
Ronon looks him right in the eye. "She named her son after you," he said. "It's a big deal."
John frowns. "Only if you make it a big deal."
Ronon looks a little surprised. "So you don't think it's –"
John shakes his head. "I'm… flattered… obviously," he says, his voice softening. "I mean, it's not every day someone names their kid after you. But it doesn't mean anything. It's not a big deal."
Ooh he's got some cheek. I have to go around with his boring-ass name for the rest of my life and he doesn't even see what an honour it is? He is sooo not good enough for Teyla.
Ronon raises an eyebrow, looking unconvinced. "If you say so."
John folds his arms. "I do."
Ronon folds his arms as well. "Okay."
There's no telling how long this could go on for. I start to whimper, kicking my legs and glaring at the two of them threateningly. It has the desired affect – the two of them drop their arms and turn back to me, looking slightly panicked.
"You made him cry," says Ronon to John.
John glares at him. "I did not make him cry," he says. "If anyone did it was you."
No need to fight guys – it was a tie.
He leans over me and places a hand on my chest. "Hey, what's up big guy?" He says.
"I'm all good," says Ronon.
Hee hee. Not bad.
John straightens up and glares at Ronon again. "I was talking to – oh go away," he says, noticing Ronon's smirk.
Ronon frowns. "I'm babysitting," he says.
"I got it," says John.
Ronon smirks again. "You want time alone with John Junior?" He nods and cuts off what was sure to have been an angry retort from John. "Okay, see you later."
And off he goes. John Junior – he is so gonna pay for that.
"Bye," says John, watching him leave. He sits down on the floor next to me and raises an eyebrow at me.
"Ronon's a little crazy," he says. "It's the weight of all that hair."
If weight of hair is proportionate to sanity, I guess that explains why I'm the sanest person around.