Title:: Nothing Like A Few Convulsions To Make A Man Commit
Summary:: "If you kill me, you're killing him." There was a pause as the consciousness invaded his thoughts again, stealing away feelings and knowledge and anything he thought he could use, "He cares for you more than you know."
Characters:: John, Teyla, Elizabeth
Episode Tag:: The Long Goodbye
Disclaimer:: Sadly, I own nothing.
It had been bad enough, standing over Ronon, holding a gun to his already injured form and not being able to do anything to stop it. All he could do was scream--scream and curse and threaten within his own mind, words echoing all around him so endlessly that they were almost mocking him--until the consciousness that overwhelmed his finally consented and walked away, leaving the man to gasp in a slowly growing pool of blood but no less alive. John had thought that nothing could ever top that feeling--nothing could be as painful as helplessness at his own hand--until he woke to bound hands and a smug voice behind a camera. The consciousness that overwhelmed him--Thalen, he was called--spoke for him, and John could feel him drawing from his mind, taking on his mannerisms.
"Teyla," Thalen told the Athosian woman who stood over him, stunner aimed at the centre of his chest, "Its me."
No, John told her in a stern voice, Don't believe him, Teyla; don't fall for his tricks. As he suspected she would, the woman squatted down beside him and give him a look of disbelief that still somehow managed to remain lighthearted, "Do not waste your breath trying to convince me you are John Sheppard," she tilted her head slightly, "I do not believe you." If he could have, John would have smiled then, Good girl.
Thalen twitched and John could feel it; what was left behind of the man knew he was almost out of time, and he was grasping for straws, "Don't you see what they're doing?" He tried, "They're pitting us against each other. You know me!" Yes, John told the intruder with an almost smugness, She does know me, and she's never going to buy your act. In the next instant, a familiar voice surrounded them, and John instantly recognized it as Elizabeth's.
"Oh, please. You call that acting?"
"Phebus!" John could feel Thalen prickle now, both with an undying rage and a new fear, his mind frantically racing for a possible escape but finding none. The binds were too tight, and Teyla was too heavily armed. He knew this could very well be his end, but he held on to a sort of childish glee with the knowledge that he would be taking John down with him.
Elizabeth's voice was full of unsung laughter, victory in her grasp, "There's that look of defeat I love."
Thalen jerked at this, his presence growing and shifting and burning with stubborn resistance in John's mind. After all these years--everything he'd been through--he wasn't going to let her win. He couldn't. And he couldn't let her know he was aware of his unpromising situation. "Wrong again," he corrected, "Still hatred."
He could almost hear her smile, "I guess I'm satisfied with this. Teyla?"
John watched with worried eyes as the woman stood and walked toward the camera, her stunner never leaving its marked spot on the man's chest. She looked up into the lens, "Yes?"
"Kill him." The two words circled around John's mind before finally sinking in and he struggled against Thalen's dominance, pushing, twisting, fighting with all the mental strength he had but to no avail. How dare she? How dare she put Teyla in this position? John had hopes that the Athosian would simply refuse and fight, until Phebus informed them of her plan to suffocate over half of the expedition. John sighed and told the consciousness, All over for us now, buddy, to which Thalen replied within his mind, She won't do it; she won't kill you. John didn't say anything to this; he knew Teyla. He knew the kind heart that beat beyond that radiant smile she gave to the world, he knew the weaknesses that gave power and drive to her innumerable strengths, and he knew that she would do anything to save the lives of others, even if it meant taking life from someone else. Now, as he stared at her, barely listening to the interchange between her, Phebus, and Thalen, he couldn't help but admire her; the way she stood so tall, even when she was being ripped apart. She was the heart of his team, and she was the strongest, wisest person he'd ever known. As the gun shook from her trembling hand, John knew that she would do what needed to be done in order to ensure the safety of others, and he was content with the fact that, if he was going to die, it would be at the hands of someone he knew really cared for his life. He only wished he could speak to her, to have the chance to tell her everything he'd ever avoided talking about.
"Phebus," Teyla's voice wavered with desperation, "Your people are long dead. Who lost or won a war so many years ago does not matter."
Weir's voice almost growled back at her, "It matters to me."
When Teyla turned to look at him, John could feel his heart twisting and falling and breaking and every other sappy cliché he'd ever heard in a country song. She looked so defeated; so unsure. Either way this played out, she would be hurting somehow and his guilt began to take him over. Then Thalen spoke, his voice clear and confident, "If you kill me, you're killing him." There was a pause as the consciousness invaded his thoughts again, stealing away feelings and knowledge and anything he thought he could use, "He cares for you more than you know." That only sufficed to bring an apparent layer of moisture to the woman's eyes, filling them to the brim. She turned back to the camera and whispered, "Please, do not make me do this."
"You don't have to," Thalen insisted, but John had no protest to offer. In his mind, he was closing his eyes and telling the Athosian, Do it. You have to. Do it to stop the hurting. He blocked out the next string of conversation, attempting to clear his mind and find peace with himself, hoping that maybe--if he succeeded in this--he could reach out to her, somehow; tell her that it was all right, and he'd forgive her. The next thing that registered in his mind was Thalen's last defense, "Sheppard doesn't think you'll do it," and then the sound of a P-90 being cocked.
"Forgive me, John," her voice whispered, small and helpless. Were it that he was able to speak, he would tell her that he already had, and then he would tell her good-bye. He braced himself for the impact of the bullet, but it never came. The next thing he knew, he was sprawled out on the floor, back arching in an uncomfortable way, a shooting pain ripping through his skull as the world went black. He waited for a white light, or whatever was supposed to happen upon death, but it never came. Then he twitched. It was small, but he could feel it; he could feel his pinky raise and a slow hope began tracing through his body. Carefully, testing, he willed his eyelids to raise and they did, and he turned his head to look at Teyla, who was studying him curiously. "Teyla?"
She knelt down next to him, narrowing her eyes at him, as if afraid to hope, "Is that really you?"
He wanted to laugh, but it didn't seem like the appropriate time. She couldn't believe that he was John Sheppard--hell, he couldn't even fully believe that he was John Sheppard. "You're never gonna to believe me, so," he let his head roll to the side, "I'm not even gonna try."
He heard her take in a breath, as if to say something, but then came that familiar, malicious voice, "Stand away from him and up against the wall."
Before he could move, he heard Teyla's cautious voice answer, "He…is unconscious." Taking the cue, John let his eyes slip shut and he soon felt Teyla transferring the stunner from her hands to his. He tucked the gun against his stomach, unable to ignore the wonderful sensation that raced through his body when her hands touched his, and he made a mental note to find more excuses to touch those same gentle hands. Then she was gone from him, and he could hear Elizabeth moving closer, "Unconscious or not, I want to see his face." Two more steps, he willed her with his mind, Tell me exactly where you are. When the two steps came, he jackknifed upward and aimed the stunner at the woman, shooting without hesitation. He watched as Elizabeth sank to the floor and felt a stinging pain in his wrist as Teyla kicked the gun from his hands. He looked up at her, watching her stare back at him with those warm brown eyes, and he had never before been so grateful to be alive.
Two days after the incident, John and Elizabeth were released from the infirmary, given a clean bill of health from Carson, and they couldn't wait to get away from each other. Recent events had made them both appreciate their friendship, yes, but the awkwardness that hung in the air between them was almost unbearable, and a silent agreement was stricken that they would spend a little while apart, until it was comfortable again. Elizabeth immediately went for her office, dead-set on immersing herself in paperwork until everyone forgot about Phebus, and John had only one thing on his mind; finding Teyla.
She'd come to see him once in the infirmary, and she'd seemed very distant and sad. He wanted to know why; he had a good idea, but he wanted to hear how she said it. He wanted to be there for her, and to comfort her. As he walked toward her quarters, he marveled at Impending Death's ability to make everything seem dire and crystal-clear. He stopped at her door and waved his hand over the panel that sent a series of beeping chimes through her room, and the door slid open a moment later.
Her eyes found his, tired but obviously surprised, "John?"
"In the flesh," he thought for a moment, "And the mind. I promise." She smirked a little and then moved to the side to let him in. He walked to the centre of the room and waited for her to sit on her bed before drawing one of her chairs close and sitting in it. He studied her carefully, "You okay?"
She gave him a tight-lipped grin and nodded shortly, "I am fine."
"You are lying," he countered, jokingly mocking her regal speech. Then his voice softened and he leaned forward, "Really, what's wrong?"
Her forced-smile fell and she looked away, her eyes glued to the foot of her bed. After several beats, she swallowed and said quietly, "I would have killed you, John; I almost did. And I cannot imagine what kind of person I truly am if I am willing to murder a good fr--"
"178," he interrupted.
She stopped and looked up at him, confused, "I'm sorry?"
"That's how many people would have died if you hadn't pointed that gun at me." His voice became stern and final, "You would have done what you had to in order to save the lives of 178 other people. I would have thought less of you if you hadn't been ready to shoot." He reached across and sandwiched one of her hands between his, just as he'd promised himself he would, and gave her a reassuring smile, "So stop thinking about it."
She returned his smile. Slowly, at first, but then it spread across her face in the way he'd grown to know and admire so much. "How are you so understanding?"
He laughed a little and shook his head, "I'm not half as understand as you are." His voice became serious, "You're more amazing than you know." When she caught his eyes again, startled by the sudden tone of his words, she audibly gasped at the strength of his expression. He was staring at her with an adoration and a desire that nearly tore him apart from the inside, out; no one had ever looked at her that way before. John could feel her tense, but then slowly relax under his gaze. Slowly--very slowly, giving her time to pull away from him--he took one of his hands away from hers and tucked it against the side of her face, tangling his fingers through the smooth curtain of light-brown hair. Drawing her toward him and moving forward at the same time, his lips brushed lightly against hers somewhere in the middle.
John's mind quickly overloaded. He was kissing her; kissing Teyla, who was quite possibly the only woman he'd ever wanted so badly. He shivered when he felt her free hand slide up over his stomach and stop just above his heart, moving her own lips against his in a way that told him she didn't object to this. Encouraged, John used his foot to draw his chair closer to the bed--so that their bodies were only inches apart--and he pulled his other hand from hers and let it rest on her hip, molding his lips more insistently against hers. She let out a small, happy moan when his tongue traced over her lips--which she opened almost instantly--and began pressing against hers, her taste and scent and touch filling his senses to the breaking point. His thumb found its way under the bottom of her shirt and began rubbing gently circles over the smooth skin of her stomach, and he felt her tremble under his touch. Things were escalating fast.
Too fast. He knew he wouldn't be able to stop it if it kept on the way it was. Very slowly, pressing numerous soft kisses against her lips in the process, he pulled away from her, resting his forehead against hers as they both gulped in some much needed air. When she'd had her fill, she started in for him again, only to have him pull away. John almost laughed when a soft whimper escaped her throat and he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
"There were some things I wanted to talk to you about," he told her, smiling a smile that people rarely got to see. He saved it for her.
A/N:: My first real SGA fan fiction, so don't forget to R&R, please!