Title: Tainted Survival, part 10
Summary: When she looked up at the name, he wondered what the hell was going on.
Characters: Teyla, John & Michael
Pairing: John-Teyla, Michael-Teyla
Rating: T

"And what is this one?" Michael said as he walked around the woman, sniffing the air as he did so. John tried his best not to lash out at Earth's biggest mistake but when he saw her flinch at his probing hand, John struggled against his captors. Michael laughed and John struggled more, the grip of his captors tightening. "I see you still have your spirit, Colonel Sheppard."

John flinched as Michael came towards him, his hybrid features eerily pale in the bright light. John struggled again, despite the vice like grip and he was rewarded with a punch to the gut. He doubled over and groaned, the pain in his already aching body heightening at the contact. He could hear her voice calling to him, shouting at the others over the sound of blood rushing through his ears but it did no good. His already light head felt airy and empty and the world around him dimmed at the corners.

"What have you done to him?" He could hear Michael ask and he thought for a moment he heard genuine concern in his voice before he felt something sharp against his neck. He managed to look up at Michael, to the arm he held outstretched to John's body and he grunted. "Do not worry, Colonel," Michael said, his voice almost mocking, "this will only take a moment."

His world went dark.

--

Teyla struggled against her captors when she saw his knees buckle and his body sag to the floor. The creature before her – something caught between Wraith and human – hissed in pleasure at the sight of the man crumpled on the floor and Teyla yelled out when he kicked him in the stomach.

It only drew the one named Michael's attention back to her and she blanched momentarily. When he rounded her again, she held her head high, her chin pointed fully into the air. But as his hands traced along the edges of her arms and waist, she shuddered, faltering slightly before drawing herself tall again; she could not show weakness. Not to this creature.

"What is your name?" She stuck her chin out and defiantly did not answer. It only caused him to laugh. "You are not from Atlantis," he said as though curious about her and Teyla frowned at the words. "And yet here you are with those of his kind." A long, cold finer stroked down her cheek and Teyla bit her lip to stop it from trembling. The creature laughed, the sound hollow in the vast room. "They do not appreciate us," Michael said close to her ear and she could not suppress the shudder as his cold breath washed over her neck. "Those of his kind look down upon us." Teyla did not turn to him as he circled her again; she was well versed in the tactics of the Wraith and she would not fall prey to him. As she looked at the blank faces of the men around her she wondered how they had come to be in leagues with this. "Does he know what you are?"

Teyla turned to him then, the question unspoken on her lips. As he circled her, it arose unbidden from her throat and spilled out into the air;

"I am not like you."

He laughed again and stopped in front of her, his pale face inches from hers.

"You are more like me than you know." He quirked a half smile at her and she recoiled, hitting her back against the solid chest of the man behind her. She flinched at the contact, the skin on her back burning against her clothing. "Take them back to their cells," said Michael as he walked away. "I will return."

--

"To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come"

Dreams, shattered images pierced his unconscious. Fragments of people, places events flitted across his mind too quick to grip on to, to fleeting to see.

Elizabeth. "You're in love with her, aren't you?"

The girl, calling his name, the room familiar but forgotten.

Rodney. "You look like hell."

Struggling, he swam through the memories, called to the surface by a gentle touch against his skin. His mind resisted, tumultuous waves crashing over him.

Fear. Unbridled passionate fear. For her, for him, for what they should have been.

"I like, uh, Ferris Wheels and, uh, college football; anything that goes more than two hundred miles per hour."

He gasped awake, his eyes scanning the dingy dark room and instantly he missed the constraints of his unconscious. Missed the warmth of sleep, the bliss of ignorance. Her face peered down at him, curious and cautious, her mouth forming words he couldn't hear. Blood pounded to his arms and legs and he bolted upright, the foggy remnants of dreams fading away.

Michael.

Michael. Michael Kenmore.

But not Michael Kenmore. Just Michael; half human, half Wraith – their creation. For a moment, he'd felt like God, watching his ideas spring to life.

He pounced from the bed to the door, banging fruitlessly against the solid metal, willing his voice to work, to call out to the guards, to demand answers. Who was she? Why was she here? Why was Michael here? Were they all Wraith worshippers? Had he been so very wrong about her?

After long minutes he turned, leaning heavily against the door and opened his eyes. She was watching him, almost afraid, definitely cautious and he eyed her – watched her watch him. Her fingers rose to her face and she pursed her lips.

"Your leader looks through me as though I am not there."

The voice, so familiar, startled him and he wondered briefly if she had spoken. Her quiet face stared back at him curiously, her dark eyes twinkling in the dim light of his room.

Suddenly, he felt like he knew her.

He took a step towards her but stopped.

"I am Teyla Emmagan, daughter of Tagan."

"Teyla?"

When she looked up at the name, he wondered what the hell was going on.

Be all my sins rememer'd.