own nothing, and that sucks. But I do have a vivid imagination, so
that makes up for it.
I wrote this because TeylaFan is awesome and reviews and wanted to read a follow-up to "Open Your Eyes." I'm a nice person, so I wrote it, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. How about you!
A week had passed since Teyla's admittance to the infirmary and John's heartfelt confession. She'd been released two days later, but neither she nor the lieutenant colonel were quick to rush into each other's arms. Quite the contrary; they seemed to move backwards. They avoided each other at all costs, never wanting to be in the same room at the same time, let alone engage in a conversation. Everyone noticed, but they assumed the two were in a fight over the mission that had started the chain of events. They all stayed silent, not wanting the incur the wrath of either person in question, but after a while it became too much to let be.
"What's going on with you and Teyla?" Ronon asked outright at lunch on a Tuesday morning. Rodney looked up from his plate, eyes wide and curious to hear the answer to the question no one else was brave (or suicidal) enough to ask.
John stopped chewing for a moment before he resumed, playing it off, "What do you mean?"
"Are you fighting?"
"So, what's up?" Ronon asked simply.
Rodney interjected, "What he means is, you guys haven't spoken to each other since she got out of the infirmary. You can barely look at each other."
John rolled his eyes, "Why are you two suddenly so interested?"
Ronon lifted his shirt high enough to reveal the bandages that covered his torso, "I can't go anywhere for another week; I need a way to occupy my time. And McKay," he jerked his thumb to the other man, "Well, he's just nosy." Rodney opened his mouth to protest before stopping short, thinking, and then nodding.
Their leader sighed and dropped ran a hand through his messy hair, "Its nothing. Teyla and I are on good terms, so don't worry about it."
"Ronon," John slid away from the table and stood, gathering his tray, "Drop it." Then he walked out of the mess hall, dropping the tray gracelessly onto the cleaning line on his way out, earning him a glare from one of the cafeteria workers. He paid no mind to this, however; he could only think of escaping the room and the ever-growing curiosity of his team members. So things were a little weird with Teyla right now; was that their problem? No. It was his. His and Teyla's. They would work it out on their own.
No, a voice called to him smugly from the back of his mind, You won't. He nodded shortly, surely, insisting that they would. Not at this rate, the voice sighed a cocky little sigh, At this rate, you couldn't "work" your way out of an opened puddle jumper. John let out a sharp, frustrated growl and palmed himself roughly on the side of the head, once, and then a second time, for good measure. The second left him a little pained and a lot dizzy, and he couldn't stop the out-loud berating that followed, "Good job, John; give yourself brain-damage!" He heard a throat clear behind him and he turned to see Teyla staring at him, shy concern on her face, her bottom lip tucked beneath her teeth in an almost alluring way that made him take a small step back. "Oh. Teyla. Hi. I was just, um," he looked around, as if searching for an excuse on the walls as to why he'd been pulling a Jim Carrey in the hallway. When his mind refused to provide a convincing story, he shrugged and said, "Hitting myself in the head."
She tilted her head back slightly, one eyebrow raising, eyes slanting to the side in her trademark confused way, "Why?"
"Well, you know," he made his voice carefree, gesturing around nonchalantly, "I was…pissing myself off and I needed to be taught a lesson." Her forehead wrinkled before she nodded shortly and turned to enter the mess hall, and all John could think of was how he was tired of watching her walk away from him.
Something had to change.
He'd intended to speak to her the evening of the "hallway head injury" incident. He'd planned on talking everything out with her and getting it all in the open and hearing what she had to say on the subject. He'd been looking forward to things returning to how they'd been, and then some. Things never went the way he wanted. Instead, he was laid out in an infirmary bed, various tubes and wires running from his arms and head to chunky machines that whirred and whizzed and beeped incessantly, making sleep damn-near impossible and grouchiness a given. Why had he insisted on going into that building alone, again? Simple. Someone had to, and he sure as hell wasn't going to risk one of his people. When he'd heard the blast and felt the surge of heat and falling debris around him, his first thought had been, "I'll never see any of them again," which quickly transitioned to, "I'll never see Teyla again," which slowly faded to, "I never should have left Antarctica," which quickly shifted back to, "I'll never see Teyla again," and then his consciousness fled and he was left to a cold and unending darkness that surrounded him and tore at his insides. This was what "alone" really was.
When he'd woken in the infirmary just hours before, a day and a half after the explosion, he could only think of getting up, getting out, getting to the Athosian woman he knew was nearby. Carson had stopped him, physically holding him down until a sedative could be administered, and now John was busy watching the hazy blues and bright greens that waved in front of his eyes and tickled his senses. Flurazepam wanted to be his new best friend.
"How're you feeling?" A warped and unattached voice called to him. He couldn't form words yet, the drug still too strong in his system, so he just smiled and let out a little rumble that sounded like a giggle to his ears. The voice chuckled slightly, "Good, then? Aye, you'll be very happy for the rest of the day, then I'm afraid you'll be in pain again, so enjoy it while you can." John was vaguely aware of his hand twitching to the thumbs-up sign and the voice ceased to echo around his ears. Bye-bye, he told the voice from the comfortable confines of his mind, Bye-bye funny-voice-man. Go sleep-sleep behind all the pretty colours. He watched them for a while longer before sleep took him again and the next thing he knew, pain was tearing through his body.
"Augh!" He twisted any way he could, trying to soothe away the burning ache that gripped all of his muscles, and the acid-sting that pooled beneath the bandages on his bare chest and back. His fingers clenched and unclenched and he arched his back and rolled to the side, curling up into a ball and then uncurling to flip over again before Carson finally got to him. "Doc," John managed to force between his gritted teeth, "What's happening to me?"
Two sad blue eyes stared down at him, "You've suffered some severe tendon damage and you've got third-degree burns on about fifteen percent of your torso."
"So give me something."
"I can't," Carson sighed, "The Dalmane is still in your system and if I give you anymore--" his last words were drowned out when another roar of pain ripped its way out of John's chest. He could feel himself losing coherence when another voice rang in his ears, urgent and concerned, "Doctor, what is wrong?" Amidst all of the jerking around, he was able to stop himself long enough to watch Teyla swim into his line of view, and he almost smiled. She was there. He was tortured and in excruciating pain, but she was there, and it made some part of him feel a little better. The doctor turned and began explaining the situation to her while pain took over John's body once more and he writhed on the bed, letting out a low groan. He was barely aware that Teyla had moved forward until she was leaning over him, her hair brushing ever-so-lightly against his shoulder, one hand covering his. She said nothing, she did nothing, she just stood there, offering him her strength; telling him how strong he should be, now. Carson said something into her ear that John couldn't hear and then walked away, leaving the two of them alone. Teyla reached down and swiped her hand across his forehead which, until then, he hadn't realized was covered with sweat, pouring down his temples and into his hair. She stayed with him until he fell asleep again, and then a while longer.
Eight hours later, when John was woken to be wheeled into the operating room for debridement. He'd only been treated for third-degree burns once in his life--after a helicopter crash during a tour in Afghanistan--and the debridement had been the worst thing he'd ever experienced. Rule #1) do not administer any anesthetic to the patient. Rule #2) poke the patient with very pointy, painful objects and make sure said patient "tells you where it hurts." Rule #3) unceremoniously strip the flesh from the patient in drawn-out, unwarned tears. John groaned and growled and whimpered through the entire procedure, but stayed as still as he could; it would all be over soon. Yeah, it would all be over and then he could look forward to the following escharotomy and maybe even a skin-graft or two. Oh, yeah, he was looking forward to that.
What seemed like days later, he was released from the operating room and settled into post-op, the pain in his torso lessened enough for him to think clearly but the tendon damages still making him squirm in discomfort. It was like one giant, permanent cramp in his body. He tried to take his mind off of it, and when Ronon came to visit him a short time later, the lieutenant colonel was quietly singing a ridiculous song of his own fabrication, to the tune of "Henry the Eighth."
"I've got burns over my bo-dy. Burns over my body, body. Hope somebody will come a shoot me, please--come and put me out of my mis-ery."
Ronon stopped at his bedside and looked down at him with a sad smirk, "That bad?"
"Did you come to shoot me?" John wanted to know, eyes wide and almost hopeful, like that of a small child.
The Satedan man shook his head, "Maybe later." He sat down in one of the chairs pushed up against the wall and his face became very serious. "If I'd been there--"
"Ronon," John sighed, closing his eyes, "I'm not feeling too great right now. Could we have this conversation another time? Say, never?"
"I would have gone in with you."
John opened his eyes to roll them, "Well, judging by my current state, that would be a pretty stupid decision, don't you think?" The words came out harsher than he meant them to, but somewhere between the awkwardness with Teyla, the decision to resolve the awkwardness with Teyla, the hindrance in the decision to resolve the awkwardness with Teyla, and the third-degree burns, he seemed to have lost his sense of humour. Ronon looked away and stood, mumbling an apology and a "get well soon" before leaving the room; leaving John to yet another nothingness.
"Are you sure you're ready for this, Colonel?"
John fixed Carson with an impatient stare, "I've been laid out in this stupid bed for two weeks, so, yeah, doc; I'd say I'm ready to leave."
"I don't mean mentally," the doctor continued, "I mean physically; are you up to walking on your own?" But even as he tried to talk the man out of it, Carson was helping him to stand next to his bed, knowing he'd never convince him otherwise.
"I'll be fine, Beckett," John's voice was reassuring, but the slight wince that came when his still-sore muscles contracted to hold his weight was not. Nevertheless, he leaned against the cane Carson had instructed him to use until he was fully healed and shot the entire medical crew a tight-lipped grin before hobbling out of the infirmary. He felt like House, and it almost made him laugh out loud.
"How're you feeling, sir?" Chuck asked him as he passed through the control room.
"Good enough," he told the young technician before thanking him for his concern and continuing through to the hall that led to the exhibition quarters. It had been long enough. Teyla hadn't come to see him too often during his recovery--a couple times to make sure he was okay--and even when she did visit, things were back to the same stiff awkwardness that had been there before he'd been injured. He needed to fix this, once and for all.
He also needed to talk to someone about changing the sound of the door chimes, because those series of beeps reminded him too much of the machines in the infirmary, to which he'd been so long connected.
There was no response. John waved his hand in front of the control panel and, when it opened, found that Teyla was not inside. Quickly thinking of all the places she would normally be, he began searching the city. It took him almost two hours to find her, leaning against the railing of one of the balconies, eyes trailing over the water. "Teyla," he said as he approached, not wanting to startle her with his sudden presence.
She turned slightly, "John? You have been released from the infirmary?"
"Looks like," he joked, "Why? Not happy to see me?"
"Oh, no, its not that," she looked back at the water. "I was just unaware that you were scheduled to be released today. Carson did not tell me."
"In all fairness to him, he didn't really know." At the horrified look he received, he backtracked and corrected himself, "He approved my release, but at my request; I had to get out of there."
She nodded absently and he could see her tense, "And how are you feeling?"
"Sunlight and flowers and soft summer showers," he told her with no amusement to his voice. He sighed and leaned against his cane, "Listen, Teyla--"
She straightened up suddenly, "I am sorry, John, but I am very tired and I think I am going to retire for the night." He watched her turn and walk away without waiting for his response, and he all-at-once remembered just how much he hated watching her walk away from him. So he followed. He caught up to her and insisted on walking her to her room, which she obviously wasn't thrilled about but was too polite to refuse. When they got there, she said goodnight and stepped through her door, letting it slide shut behind her.
Immediately, John's jaw clenched and he made up his mind, swiping his hand over the door and reopening it right as it fully closed. Teyla turned to look at him, eyes wide with surprise. "I hate this," he told her plainly.
"Oh, yes," he said sarcastically, "Out of all the things that have gone wrong lately, your door is what really irks me. No, Teyla," he gestured between them, "This. This funky…whatever it is that's come between us."
She stayed perfectly still for a moment before grinning nervously, "I am sure I do not know what you mean."
He felt his heart sink a little. He knew she was lying, but the fact that she was doing so led him to think that maybe she didn't return his feelings; maybe she was avoiding him because she didn't want to have to reject him. "Well," he said slowly, "I guess I'm the ass, then." He turned and started to leave when an overwhelming adrenaline rush coursed through his body, causing him to turn again and take the five-or-so steps that separated them. He leaned down slightly to make up for the height deficit and pressed his lips against hers, hard and quick, before pulling away.
It had been a short kiss, but he found himself breathing deeply anyway. Teyla was staring at him with those wide brown eyes that made him even more nervous than he'd been before, and he'd started to take a step backward when her head tilted up and she pressed her own lips against his in the same rough, rushed way he had. Then he got it. This was the antee-up, and now it was to him to raise.
His free hand snaked around her waist and he pulled her to him, ignoring the pain that shot through his body when he held her to his cloth-covered burns. The pain was insignificant; it didn't belong to this moment. He looked Teyla in the eyes briefly, as if to ask if this was all right, and she nodded shortly to him. He felt his heart begin to thump double-time and he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers again, this time soft and slow, taking his time to memorize her own lips; the shape, the texture, the skill. She dissolved into the kiss like sugar into hot coffee and John decided that this was what they were built for; kissing each other.
A hot urgency took over and he held her more tightly, his lips more insistent on hers. His tongue snuck out and urged her mouth open, coaxing a low moan from the back of her throat. His turn came next, when her hands trailed lightly over his stomach, wary of his wounds, and over his chest and up to his hair, where she buried them and dragged her nails over the base of his cranium. He took two steps forward, forcing her to step with him until her back was pressed against the north wall of her room and he groaned into her mouth, dropping his cane and using his now-free hand to slide down her side, feeling every curve of her body as he kissed her. She arched against him, a whimper escaping her throat as John's lips left hers to press harsh, desperate kisses against her throat and jaw line. One of his hands slipped beneath the hemline of her shirt and was drawing lazy circles over the flesh of her stomach, and he growled against her throat; it was primal and full of long-held wanting.
"John," Teyla said against his hair, her voice squeaky and strained, "Are you--should you be doing this? You are still injured."
He stopped dead, pulling back to look at her face, his own serious and stern, "I was going too fast for you; I'm sorry."
"No, no," she insisted quickly, "I just thought that, with your burns--"
"They aren't bothering me."
"Teyla," he interrupted again, his voice shaking slightly. He leaned in so that they could see fully into each other's eyes and he repeated the familiar words so sincerely, "I don't think you understand just how much I need you with me."
Bu-bu-bu-BU! TADA! What did you think? R&R, please!