Disclaimer – I own none of the Stargate franchise.

A/N- So this story's a little weird, because it's told in the second person… hmm. Also, I have a very slight knowledge of the medical procedures mentioned in this story, so please don't focus on them, because they're probably completely wrong! Sorry the title is so lame. Enjoy, anyways, and let me know what you think.

Protect

It was so simple at first.

There was anger. Anger that she hadn't told you, that she'd kept it to herself for two months and let you put her in danger, none the wiser. Anger that she could look you in they eye and make you feel like you were overreacting when you knew you weren't. Anger that she could look you in the eye at all. She wasn't ashamed, didn't realise that her actions had ruined everything. You felt angry at yourself for not realising the truth, and for being angry at all. You were angry for thinking such things about her when you're meant to be her friend, and that you can't just be happy for her.

You used the anger. You used it to co-ordinate the attack on the Replicators, to blow every single one of them you could find to smithereens from the chair on Larrin's ship. You used it to avoid her for over a week, while you tried to get your head round the fact that this was actually happening and wasn't some kind of really unfunny joke.

Eventually, you couldn't be angry anymore. You wanted to, because it was easier to keep avoiding her, but you just couldn't. You were forced to talk to her, to work with her again, and your anger dissipated so quickly it surprised you. You were too worried to be angry with her.

Of course, somewhere in the back of your mind you knew that your worry should make you angry again – it was certainly frustrating – but it didn't. You knew that it was completely useless to try and fight the feeling, so you didn't try.

But yes, frustrating was a word for it.

You don't know how it had happened. When it happened. Why it had happened.

All you know was that, suddenly, you cared.

Okay, so you cared before. There was no way denying it – you didn't want to deny it. You'd always cared for Teyla, she was one of your closest friends. But this… this is different.

You find yourself worrying constantly over whether she is eating enough, resting enough, exercising properly, exercising too much…it doesn't stop. Ever since on the balcony…

It was a turning point for you both. You'd started talking to her properly that day, because of that mission, and when you'd seen her standing alone on the balcony you'd felt you had to go speak to her properly, to show her that you could talk to her outside of missions. That you were over yourself. Mostly.

And she'd seemed so… so sad. So alone. You'd gone out there. She'd told you what had happened with the Wraith queen, and you knew that she now understood that you were right about taking her off the team. She got it, and the relief you felt surprised you a little. You knew she wasn't going to put herself in unnecessary danger anymore.

Then she'd told you what had almost happened to her baby, told you that it was a boy, when she'd put her arms round you and pressed her face into your chest, you'd been filled with the strongest feeling of protectiveness you'd ever experienced. Your head swam with her words – if you had hesitated for even a moment. What if you had hesitated? The mere thought of what could have happened made it hard to breathe.

From then on, you go out of your way to make sure that Teyla is doing everything right. That she's not overdoing things, like you know she does sometimes. You bring her food. You show her all the different baby things she should order from Earth, and offer to pay for all of it. You watch her get bigger and bigger and instead of feeling apprehensive you feel excited, and even more protective.

Your heart almost beat out of your chest when she caught your hand in hers and placed your palm on her stomach. You felt the baby kick against your hand and the protectiveness you felt before was pale in comparison to what you felt then, especially when Teyla seemed to get dizzy a moment later. The thought of climbing the tower had crossed your mind before then but you'd dismissed it as a foolish idea – you're not Spiderman. But one look at Teyla, one kick from the baby, and that's exactly what you did. You just did what you had to do. For them.

You get used to the feeling of protectiveness – you don't question it. You even like it. But then today happens,

It's about a week after the quarantine, and you're eating lunch with Rodney and Ronon. Somehow the topic of Teyla's pregnancy came up; it often does when the three of you are talking.

"I wonder if she'll find out the sex of the baby," Rodney says.

"She already knows," you answer through a mouthful of sandwich. You swallow. "It's a boy."

Rodney and Ronon stare at you across the table. "Really?" Asks Rodney.

"How does she know?" Asks Ronon. "Keller said Teyla didn't want her to do the test to find out…"

"They don't have a special test," Rodney says. "You have a sonogram and the doctor can tell."

"Whatever," says Ronon. "But Teyla didn't want to know."

"I know," you say. "But she just knows. She's known since she took over that queen."

The two of them stare at you again. "And she told you?" Asks Rodney.

You shrug. "Yeah," you say. "So?"

"She didn't tell us," says Ronon.

You panic a little for a moment – what if she'd been keeping it a secret? But then, why would she have told you? And she hadn't said anything about keeping it quiet to you. She wouldn't mind Rodney and Ronon knowing.

You shrug again. "She probably just forgot," you say.

"I'm not surprised she told you," says Rodney suddenly. "Since you've been stalking her."

You roll your eyes – this isn't the first time he and Ronon have made fun of you for 'stalking' Teyla. "Whatever," you say, going back to your food.

"I'm surprised she hasn't beaten you up yet," drawls Ronon, grinning. "I would have."

"I'll remember that when you get pregnant," you say dryly.

"Have you started giving her back massages yet?" Asks Rodney.

You glare at him. "No, Rodney," you say. You leave out the fact that you'd come very close to offering the previous afternoon.

"Have you started singing to the baby yet?" Rodney asks, starting to snigger. You just roll your eyes in answer to that one.

"Have you felt the baby kick?" Asks Ronon.

"Yes."

Rodney and Ronon's reactions are immediate and a little surprising to you – complete and utter shock.

"You have?"

"Seriously?"

You frown a little. "Yeah, he started kicking a week ago," you say. You smile slightly, remembering the first time you'd felt him kick – and the few times after that. The baby seemed to kick a lot when you are around, and Teyla always lets you feel.

You focus on Rodney and Ronon again, and noticed that the two of them are both trying hard not to laugh. You frown again, and they catch each other's eye. As soon as they do, they started to chuckle.

"What?" You ask suspiciously.

Rodney shakes his head. "It's just – when did you become the baby's dad?" He asks, he and Ronon starting to laugh harder.

Your blood runs cold at his words. "Shut up Rodney," you say quietly.

Rodney ignores you. "I mean, what –"

"Shut up!" You jump to your feet, almost shouting the words. There's a sudden hush in the conversation around you, and your team-mates stare up at you in shock. You turn on your heel and march away without another word.

You hadn't realised until now that that is what people are thinking when they see you with Teyla. And that maybe, maybe, there is some truth in it. That's how you're acting right? Like you're the baby's father. You're hanging around Teyla, discussing baby things with her, touching her bump and experiencing all these pregnancy things that usually only the father did.

This isn't good. Not good at all. Because you're not the father. You're absolutely definitely not the father, no matter how protective of the baby you feel. Or how you feel about his mother. You're Uncle John, and that's it.

You wander through the halls of Atlantis, your mind turning over and over, until you come to a conclusion – you were overreacting. Just because Rodney and Ronon think something doesn't mean that they're right. Far from it in fact. Those two are insane.

You care about Teyla. You care about Teyla's baby. So what? You're Teyla's friend, and friends care. You really are overreacting.

Still though, you still feel unsettled and need something to do, and you have nothing planned for the next hour, until your meeting with Captain Kasey's team. Then you have to go the infirmary to have some stitches in your arm removed. Maybe you could get that done now instead.

Mind made up, you walk to the infirmary. Luckily it's not busy, and Dr Keller sets you up with a nurse on one side of the infirmary. Getting stitches removed isn't a big deal – lord knows you've had it done enough times to be used to it. The cut on your forearm had been a nasty one, but the stitches were neat and it was healing nicely. You pull up your sleeve and let the nurse get on with it. She chats away about how well it's healing and how you probably won't have a scar, but you barely listen.

Teyla's just entered the infirmary.

You should feel annoyed that she's turned up in the place you've gone to in order to escape thinking about her, but instead you feel happy to see her. That should annoy you too. Then the worry hits – what is she doing in the infirmary? Is something wrong?

She catches your eye and gives you a wide smile, and you relax. If something were wrong, she wouldn't be smiling like that.

Dr Keller walks over to Teyla, smiling, and gestures to the bed next to the door. It seems that this is a scheduled appointment. Teyla sits down on the bed, saying something to Dr Keller, who starts to move tall screens around Teyla's bed, obscuring her from view.

Your stitches take a couple more minutes, and you keep your eyes on the screens hiding Teyla from you. Dr Keller emerges from in between them and heads down the infirmary, through some doors into another section, but Teyla doesn't come out.

The nurse tells you that she's done, and you nod. You remember your manners and say thank you, and roll down your sleeve. Teyla's still behind the screens, but it's time for you to go.

You walk over to the door, and try not to slow down as you walk past the screens hiding Teyla from view, but your feet don't obey you. You can't help dragging your feet, hoping that she will appear from behind the screens.

Then you hear it. A low, steady drumming sound. Your heart jumps into your throat and you stop completely. You're now in front of the break in the screens that Dr Keller had just emerged through, and she's left a bit of a gap. You're unable to stop yourself from taking a step closer and peering through.

Teyla is lying on the bed, propped up against several pillows. She's still wearing her own clothes – a set of those amazing flowing maternity clothes she's taken to wearing lately – but her top is pulled up, exposing her round belly to view. One of her hands is holding a thing that looks like a stethoscope against her stomach, and her other hand is just resting on her other side. She is smiling.

You stand completely still, just looking at her, listening to that steady thump, faster than you thought it would be – not that you'd ever consciously thought about it.

Teyla's smile widens and you begin to feel uncomfortable, like you're intruding on something private. Which you are. You start to take a step back, but at that moment Teyla raises her head and sees you.

"John?"

She sounds a little surprised, but not angry. And she's still smiling, which you take as a good sign. You step through the screens and stop just on the other side.

"Hey, I was just…" Your voice trails off hopelessly, because the thumping sound is filling your head again. "Is that his heartbeat?"

Teyla's smile becomes a fully-fledged grin. "Yes."

"Wow." A stupid thing to say, but you can't think of anything else. You're listening to the baby's heartbeat, and you notice that your own heartbeat has sped up to almost match his.

"I know," says Teyla. "Dr Keller is going to use a machine that will allow me to see him."

You nod. "Yeah, a sonogram," you say.

"It is a technology far beyond my people, but she says they are common on Earth," says Teyla.

"Yeah they are, really common," you say. "I guess they're pretty cool, when you think about it. I mean, I've never seen one, obviously, but in TV and movies they seem pretty… cool."

Well that was lame. You've never really thought about sonograms before – why would you have? But now that you think about it from Teyla's point of view, you realise that it is just that – cool.

"I am still not sure about the procedure itself…" Says Teyla, her smile slipping for the first time.

You take a small step towards her, needing to reassure her. "It's really easy. And harmless." You say sincerely.

Teyla nods silently, and gives you a small smile. Her eyes flick down to your sleeve. "How is your arm?" She asks.

"It's fine," you tell her truthfully. "There probably won't even be a scar."

"Good," says Teyla, and you know she means it. You know she really does care, and you can't think of anything else to say. You realise you should probably make an exit, before Dr Keller comes back.

Too late.

The doctor steps through the curtains behind you and you quickly take a few steps towards Teyla, so she doesn't walk into you.

"Sorry about that Teyla – oh, hello Colonel." Dr Keller looks surprised to see you.

"Hey Doc," you say in what you hope is a casual voice. "Sorry." You look down at Teyla – you're now standing level with her exposed stomach, and force yourself to look only at her face. "Er, well, I'll see you later Teyla. Enjoy." You give her a small smile and turn to leave.

"Would you like to stay and see him?"

You freeze at the sound of Teyla's voice. Does she really want you to stay, or is she just being polite? You turn around slowly and stare at her intently, trying to find the answer. You do, almost immediately – she doesn't want you to go. She's nervous about what's about to happen, and she doesn't want you to leave.

You realise in a rush that there's nothing you want more right now than to stay and see the sonogram, even if she hadn't asked you. You know that you should leave, right now, because it isn't right for you to feel things like that and want things you can't have.

You also know that there's no way you could leave now.

"Okay."

You take a step closer to Teyla's bed as she gives you a wide, relieved smile, and you look away, back at Dr Keller. She is looking back at you, a look you can't quite read on her face, but she looks away as soon as you catch her eye. You feel the back of your neck heat up a little, because you know what she's thinking. The sound of Ronon and Rodney's laughter floats through your head again, and you push it to one side as Keller removes the stethoscope thingy from Teyla. The sudden silence is almost deafening, and you hate the feeling of disappointment that hits you at the loss of the sound of his heartbeat. You look down at Teyla and see the same disappointment on her face.

There is a small monitor set up on a trolley at the end of the bed, and Keller turns it round so that you and Teyla can see it. She stands on the other side of Teyla's bed, and holds a bottle in her hand.

"Okay Teyla, I'm going to put some of this gel onto your stomach," she says. "It might be a little cold."

Teyla glances up at you, and then nods at Keller. The doctor sits down on a stool next to the bed and squirts some bluey-green gel onto Teyla's stomach. You fight the sudden, juvenile desire to laugh at the sound the bottle makes, and feel all of three years old. You compose yourself quickly, though the amused feeling doesn't leave you. You realise after a moment that it's not amusement – you're excited. You're excited about seeing this sonogram, about seeing the baby on that monitor right in front of you.

You give a small sigh but know it's worthless to try and fight the feeling. Instead you concentrate on Keller as she picks up a strange device that looks like a barcode reader. It's attached by a long cord to the monitor. She places it on Teyla's stomach and pushes a button.

And then, suddenly, there he is. On the screen right in front of you. The picture is fuzzy, and nothing more than squiggly blue and grey lines, but it's unmistakable – it's a baby. You can see his head and his hands and his arms without being told where to look for them.

Your throat feels tight as you stare at the screen, unable to tear your eyes away. You feel Teyla's fingers on yours and you squeeze them tightly. Your fingers thread together and your grip on her hand tightens. She holds your hand just as firmly, and you continue to stare at the screen.

Dr Keller is talking, and you force your attention to her, though you're still watching the screen. "Okay… so that's his head, and that's an arm and a hand, I'll just move over… and there're his legs… and his feet…"

You watch the picture change as Keller moves the sonogram thing over Teyla's stomach, taking in every detail you can. He looks so… like a baby – ready to be born already. You can't believe it will be another three months before he's born.

"And you're right Teyla – he is a boy," says Keller.

You look away from the screen for the first time, down at Teyla, and see that she's looking back at you. She smiles, a huge, bright, beautiful smile that you can't help returning, and she pulls your hand closer to her side. You take a step closer to the bed, still smiling.

"I'll just… I need to get some tissues to –" Keller waved her hand vaguely at Teyla's stomach and then ducked out of the cubicle.

You watch her go, suddenly remembering what is actually going on. You're watching a sonogram with Teyla, of her baby by another man, which she specifically asked you to stay for and you're holding her hand and smiling down at her like a complete dope. No wonder she left.

You look down at Teyla again and see that she's staring at the monitor. The image is frozen – a picture of the baby's head and arms. You look as well, and against your better judgment you keep holding Teyla's hand.

"This… I…" Teyla's voice was quiet and unsure. You completely forget yourself and sit down on the edge of her bed, pulling her hand onto your lap.

"I know," you say. "Amazing, right?"

Teyla smiles up at you again. "Yes," she says. "He is beautiful."

"Yeah."

Teyla sighs and leans into your side, her head dropping onto your arm. You sit silently, just looking at the screen, only able to think about how comfortable and right it feels to sit there with her, studying the picture of the baby. Her baby. His baby. Their baby.

You have to get out of there. That protective instinct is kicking in again, but this time it's on your own behalf.

Slowly, you let go of Teyla's hand and start to pull away. Her head comes up and she looks up at you with questioning eyes as you stand up. You want to run away from that look, but you stand your ground, and manage a smile.

"I've gotta go," you say. "I've got a meeting."

It's not for another half hour, but she doesn't need to know that.

Teyla nods, and the flash of disappointment on her face is so brief you think you might have imagined it. "Of course," she says. "Thank you for staying."

You nod. "No problem," you say. "I mean, it was… no problem."

You give her a nod and make a swift exit, before you can say something else really stupid. You catch sight of Keller heading back towards you and you give her a brief nod before striding out of the infirmary. You walk through corridors, not really paying attention, and end up at your quarters. You let yourself in and throw yourself onto your bed. You stare up at the ceiling, and curse under your breath.

Damn it. Damn it damn it damn it.

You pound your fists onto the mattress either side of you and sit up again, swinging your legs round and sitting on the edge of the bed. You rake your hands through your hair and then let your elbows rest on your knees, your hands still in place on the back of your head.

You'd been fine until today. Fine. Everything had been okay – not brilliant, but you'd been dealing. Now… now you were thinking. Really thinking.

Damn Rodney. Damn Ronon. Damn sonogram. Damn EVERYTHING.

They were wrong of course – you haven't become the baby's father. But until just now, you hadn't realised just how much you want to be.

Damn.

The End.