Teyla strolled down the darkened corridors, contented and full from her late night impromptu snack. So often lately her appetite led her to eat more regularly and with strange cravings that she could do nothing but obey. Tonight she had needed a large bowl of dry Earth crackers smothered in blackberry jam. It had been most satisfying. So now she wandered back to her quarters, surreptitiously licking the remaining jam off her fingers when she was confident no one was looking. She could not help but laugh at herself and the demands pregnancy placed on her. She was well aware that in another month life would be more difficult as she put on even more weight, so she had decided to enjoy what she could right now.
She rounded the last corner towards her quarters to see John standing outside her door, or rather pacing; one hand rubbing the back of his neck. She had seen him staring at her several times over the past days and had understood that he was finding things difficult coming to terms with his new status of impending fatherhood. She felt very sorry for him, but at the same time she could not ignore the selfish part of her that was thoroughly enjoying the fact that he was the child's father. There would be a father around for her son, a man she respected and cared for above all others. Before she had felt so very isolated in carrying her child, now she was no longer alone. Though it was obvious that John was having some difficulty adapting to this new change, she intended to help him as much as she could.
"John?" She called out quietly, not wanting to startle him; she was unsuccessful. He leapt away shocked looking around at her his eyes wide and embarrassed.
"Teyla, hey. I was just….. I was passing and thought….." He stuttered out, obviously nervous and his words drifted off. He frowned and shook his head, running one hand through his hair. He took a deep breath and started again. "I didn't want to disturb you if you were sleeping…"
"I went to the Mess Hall." She informed him as she neared her door and him.
He looked at her with an amused smile. "What was tonight's craving of choice then?"
She smiled as she waved her hand over the door sensor and the doors parted before her. "Crackers with blackberry jam."
"Oooo, nice. I would have joined you for that one." He responded.
She stepped into her room, pausing to wave him into her space. "Come in, John."
He stepped in rather cautiously, his eyes dancing around the room as the doors slid shut behind him. "I don't want to disturb you, you're probably tired."
Teyla pulled the thick blanket from her bed and wrapped it around her shoulders to keep the night's light chill away. "I need to allow time to digest the crackers." She turned and reached out for her desk chair, pulling it out for him to sit down on. He jumped forward, his hands grasping the back of the chair his fingers covering hers as he took over moving the chair. She tried not to smile at him; as if moving such a light object would be difficult for her or any threat to her pregnancy. She took a seat on her bed, pulling her legs up crossing them under her, as she did she noticed John's impressed look.
"Didn't know you could still sit like that." He commented.
"I probably will not be able to for much longer." She replied, pulling out a small packet of crackers from her pocket. John smiled as she offered him one.
"What no jam hidden in another pocket?" He teased as he took the cracker. "You're going to be huge if you keep eating like this."
Teyla didn't take offense, she had thought similar thoughts. "I am supposed to in my condition." She replied, echoing one of Rodney's standard comments regarding her pregnancy.
John smiled, but it was forced. Silence fell between them. John broke the cracker in half, sending crumbs falling to the floor in front of him. She watched him wince and try to sweep the crumbs aside with his boot, before looking up sheepishly at her. She only smiled benignly at him, suddenly filled with such affection for him.
He dropped his gaze to her stomach, but then quickly away to the broken cracker in his hands. She watched slightly amused as he eyes jumped back to her belly and away again. She did not know how to help him with this situation she realised. She watched as his eyes turned back to her belly yet again. Well, perhaps there was one thing she could do.
She held out her empty hand towards him, palm upwards. "Give me your hand, John."
He looked up at her, confused.
She waved her hand towards him beckoning him towards her. "Your hand."
He frowned but extended his hand to hers. His warm larger palm slid over hers, the sensation immediately enlivening and powerful, but she did not want to dwell on that. She pulled gently on his hand, and he leant forward towards her as she turned his hand over and placed it on her belly, as she had done once before.
She could feel the tension in his arm and in his hand under hers, and in the worried expression on his face.
"It is alright, John. He is your son too." She said softly.
That seemed to help, but he still looked up at her with tension in his eyes mixed with an emotion she could not identify. Then the baby kicked, directly under his hand. Both of them looked down and John gasped.
"He's so much stronger." He whispered.
Teyla nodded. "He often reminds me of this fact late at night."
John looked up from his hand and smiled, relaxing finally. He flattened his hand further against her bump, his eyes assessing her; questioning and checking what he was doing was okay with her. Teyla only smiled and nodded at him. Their son kicked again and John moved his hand slightly towards the movement, as if sensing through his palm. Teyla watched him with pleasure as he waited for another movement. It did not take long.
"That felt like a foot!" He said in wonderment. "That must feel strange to you." He said his voice soft and reverent.
"He will most likely kick over here now." She indicated the other side of her stomach and sure enough they both saw her t-shirt move. John laughed lightly and swiftly moved his hand to that place. He pulled his chair closer to her bed, so he could sit more comfortably. Together they waited. Teyla felt the waves of movement within her, deeper now.
"He is moving round." She commented and without thinking pulled the bottom of her shirt up enough to expose her swollen belly. After a beat she watched her skin shift as the baby turned. John kept his hand away now, perhaps unwilling to touch her bare skin. Teyla looked up to see him watching her stomach with wide eyes.
"Does it hurt?" He asked. She wasn't entirely sure if he was asking about the kicking, or her enlarged belly. There was an odd undertone to his question; one of deep concern and worry.
"No. It is very enjoyable to feel him grow and move. Though, I will admit when he decides to turn somersaults whilst I am trying to fall asleep it is less enjoyable."
John looked up at her. "It's probably all the late night snacking."
She laughed and dropped her shirt back down, tonight's somersaults apparently over for now. John's gaze dropped as she did and she fancied she saw a look of disappointment pass over his features.
"When I said to you that you could be as involved in his life as much as you wish, I had not considered how you may feel until he is born." She confessed quietly, watching John's expression, looking for insight.
He sat back and began munching on the cracker pieces. "I'm still adjusting. I'm sorry about…you know…staring at you lately." He dropped his focus to breaking up the last piece of cracker into smaller pieces.
"I do not mind. Would you like to come with me to my scan tomorrow?"
He looked up, pleasure evident in his eyes. "Really?"
She smiled at his eagerness. "Of course. As I said; he is your son as well as mine."
John looked back down at her stomach and then back up at her. Their eyes met both smiling, but then something else came into play. A spark of something unspoken and both looked away pretending interest in something else.
Teyla rubbed her hand over her belly once more, delighting in the new change of circumstances once again; her son had a living breathing father. And it was John.
"Will you promise me something?" John suddenly asked.
She looked up enquiringly, to see a very serious look on his face.
"If you need anything; any help or any….snacks in the middle of the night, or help moving around…anything, that you will ask for help."
She understood slightly more then; that he was concerned for her and he wanted to help her. She was moved by the thought. "If I need help I will ask…I will ask you if you are around."
He smiled. "Good. Because I know how you can be." He said teasingly.
She took the bait. "What do you mean?"
"Got to do everything by yourself; be the strong independent woman."
"Are you saying I am not that?"
"I am saying that you are, but in your condition to quote Rodney, there will be things that you may need help with now. You need to think of Junior now." He indicated her stomach with the last piece of his cracker.
"I promise I will ask for help if I require it, John."
He frowned rather doubtfully at her for a minute or so. "Okay." He said eventually. "I worry about you is all." He appeared embarrassed by his quick words.
It was nice to be worried over she realised. To have John thinking about her. "Thank you, John. I will take good care of our son."
Our son. Emotions that she dared not press into danced through her heart. She and John were bound together now in a primitive and powerful way; they would be parents together. Though it was a pleasant thought, Teyla could not help feeling a moment of regret; for he was essentially forced into this new relationship with her. She watched him now as he picked the last crumbs of the cracker from his lap, his eyes returning to her swollen belly again. He was forever bound to her and her son, what would that mean for him? What would it mean for their future? Would he one day wish to return to his home galaxy, perhaps marry a woman from Earth?
Teyla was used to planning and making decisions for her and her people's future, but this situation was different. He had been affected by her and by Michael's actions. Michael had changed the course of John's life as well as her own. She regretted for a moment the freedom that John had lost and she felt oddly responsible.
But she could do nothing to change the destiny that had been thrust upon her and John, and she would not wish away her precious son. If John one day had to leave, or chose to leave, then so be it. For now she would enjoy the new small family that they had become, be it through circumstance rather than choice.