NOTES: Written for the chocfic Characters-of-Colour Love-A-Thon to the prompt "Stargate Atlantis, John/Teyla, introduction to April Fools Day with a twist"

Eurydice Passing

Teyla knew all about April Fools Day.

The first time it fell after she'd met the Lanteans, the Earth date had been in the midst of the siege. However, the next year, it had fallen only a little while after the disastrous attempt to ally with the Wraith, and many people in the city had gotten more fully into the spirit of the celebration.

"You know, I actually feel good about getting out of the city today," Rodney said with something approaching cheerfulness as they came out on New Athos.

"Is that a first?" Ronon asked, then dodged away as Rodney glared.

"Well, considering that last year I hardly got any work done due to all those error messages that kept popping up on my computer..."

This time, Rodney's wrathful eye alighted on John, who shrugged. "Don't look at me. Cadman was on her own for that one."

Teyla hid a smile. Strictly speaking, Laura had not been entirely on her own regarding that idea. She had consulted Teyla some weeks before and between the two of them, had come up with a prank that would suitably frustrate Rodney.

"At least I am able to safely promise John that he will receive no formal offers of marriage this year," she said with a sideways smile at John.

He looked uncomfortable for a moment, having brought the note to her upon receiving it. The fact that Dr. Hewston had been with her at the time had not been Teyla's fault - and John's alleged 'eligibility' to the very male and very homosexual Karahan leader had spread through the city. "Just one of the many reasons I decided we could take a break with the Athosians for this fire-feast."

"Escaping the city," Ronon smirked.

"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day," retorted John. "As you ought to know."

"Didn't see any fighting," said Ronon with a grin in Teyla's direction. "Just running away."

Teyla waited for the inevitable outburst. John had his pride, after all, and Ronon usually pricked it, unintentionaly. But all John said was, "That's running towards in this case. Because I've heard good things about this feast thing. Eat, drink, and be merry and all that. I'm looking forward to it."

And as he shot a brief grin in her direction, Teyla could not quite resist smiling back.

-oOo-

Teyla was looking forward to her bed.

She had eaten and laughed, applauded and drank, argued and consoled and advised until she was weary. Her people were in good health and settled in their new home. They had taken her all through the camp, shown her the paths through the woods and the hunting blind. The adolescents had tried to coax her off the jumping rock to the deep depths below, and then tried to cajole her team-mates into taking the plunge when she proved adamant that she would not risk her neck at such heights.

By the end of the afternoon, her friends had been happy and relaxed, with an ease to them that she had not seen in a long time. It warmed her heart to see their smiles, to watch John co-ordinate a game of the football he loved among the Athosian children and youths, to see Ronon mantle beneath the attentions of the young women and moderate the young men's envy and interest, to observe Rodney explaining the physics of the tensions in the rope bridge to Kanan.

It had been good to see them relax - the friends she loved among the people she loved.

As she paused outside her tent, Teyla listened to the distant sounds of laughter by those who remained up latest, and the perimeter poles piping their whistling tune to the gentle flow of the wind, and smiled to herself.

There was a brazier burning inside the tent, a warm glow throwing shadows across the carpet and furniture. This was a guest-tent, but Teyla noticed the subtle touches that someone had added for her - the meditation candles by the carpet, her favourite type lounging cushion, and the carefully woven blankets thrown over the man in the bed.

Teyla paused, staring at the shadowy form, wondering if she'd drunk a little too much ruus wine. But, no, the outflung arm and sleeping profile didn't change when she drifted one hand over his bare shoulder and felt the familiar warmth and determined protection that radiated as though from his very bones.

John Sheppard, lying beneat her quilts in nothing more than his skin.

In spite of her best efforts at restraint, Teyla curled her fingers over his shoulder, slid them down his arm and sighed.

Since her conversation with Dr. Hewston on the fateful day of her friend's death, Teyla had considered her friendship with John Sheppard carefully. It was the way of her people for the man to make the first move of interest, and although John's ways were not the same, Teyla was still hesitant about showing overt interest.

In Atlantis, at least, there were other men who showed interest to varying degrees; Teyla liked many of them, but had not felt sure enough of herself with them to reciprocate. And there was always John, always a friend, always there.

The situation was perfect, she admitted. Among her people, during a feast of her customs, offering himself in a way that she could reject without an uncomfortable confrontation between them, allowing them a space away from the responsibilities that met them in Atlantis.

And yet...

Teyla brushed the back of her fingers against John's jaw and sighed.

The situation was perfect, but it was not John. She could not imagine him offering himself this way - that was not like him. In all likelihood, it was probably a prank by Ronon. He had been making unsubtle hints of late - since the Lanteans returned from Earth to set up the expedition once more.

It was, she felt, within his sense of mischief to get John a little tipsy before rolling him into Teyla's bed for her to find. She would take him to task for it tomorrow.

And she could not sleep here tonight.

Oh, Teyla had little doubt she could climb in beside John, warm her skin against his, run her hands along his flanks, and he would receive her willingly enough. Her cheeks flushed in the night and her loins ached. Still she felt that to take advantage of his senses like that would be unforgivable - in her lexicon, if not in his also.

If he had offered this, truly, she would have taken it - taken him - without hesitation.

He had not, and so she would not.

Still, Teyla couldn't quite resist the desire to bend down and brush her lips across his jaw, rough prickle and soft musk, before she tore herself away and stood outside the tent in the night that was suddenly cold against her warm cheeks.

Then she turned away. She would sleep in the tent originally intended for John; he would not be using it tonight.

-oOo-

John sat on the edge of Teyla's bed in the grey Athos morning and rubbed his hands across his face, grimacing at the scrape of his morning beard against his palms.

In a few moments, he'd put on his clothes and walk out into a world where he was Teyla Emmagan's friend and nothing more.

He sat in the empty tent for just a little longer.

- fin -