Title: Left Behind – Ch.7
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"So, find anything interesting?" Jennifer said as she slid into the stool next to Marc, glancing at the information on the laptop in front of him on the desk. She hoped Marc wouldn't wonder why she had accompanied him to the lab in the first place. She could have easily radioed him for an update on his progress.
"Yeah, some," he replied and then took a sip from his mug. "Waiting for the analysis to finish running on Seraih's DNA," he explained, setting the mug down next to the laptop. "I need to run more tests and record Seraih's normal, waking brain activity for comparison to the readings that were taken when she was in distress."
Jennifer nodded. "You two haven't been formally introduced, yet, have you?"
"Uh, no, I guess not."
"Well, I have a patient that needs seeing to," Jennifer said, referring to Seraih. "She's in a very fragile state right now. I mean, who wouldn't be? But, I think it'll be better if she gets familiar with before you start picking her brain."
"Yes, I see how that could be a bit awkward," Marc agreed with a smirk that was unexpectedly endearing. "And I'm pretty sure I don't want to invoke the 'wrath of the Satedan' either. He's been pretty protective of her. Don't really blame him," he said as an afterthought.
"Why's that?" Jennifer found herself asking him before she could think better of it.
She didn't miss Marc's eyes as they darted warily from the computer screen to her face and back.
"Well, she's . . ." he cleared his throat as his eyes darted to Jennifer's face once more, "in a really fragile state right now."
She got the feeling that wasn't originally how Marc had planned to finish the sentence, but she let it slide.
The computer beeped, signaling that the preliminary analysis was complete.
They both stared at the results for a few seconds allowing their minds to process what they were seeing.
Marc turned to Jennifer. "Well, does that count as interesting?"
Jennifer blinked. "Try weird," she mumbled.
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He heard her approach with tentative yet graceful footsteps long before the rustling of the curtain signaled her presence. Slowly, Ronon rolled his head in the direction of the sound, opening his eyes to see Teyla standing a few feet away.
"Hey," he greeted, swinging his booted feet down from where they had been propped on the footrest of Seraih's bed. "How's your head," he asked, as she came to stand beside the bed.
Teyla looked distractedly the disheveled sheets, ran her hand over the fabric to smooth down some of the folds. "Better," she gave a wan smile. "Where . . ?"
"In the bathroom with Marie. Girl stuff," he explained.
"Ah. I'm sure it will work to lift her spirits."
Ronon simply nodded. Seraih had been suffered much already. He didn't know anything more he could do to make the pain less.
"How are you?" Teyla's voice broke into his thoughts.
Ronon sighed, leaned forward and rested his elbows against his knees, clasped hands together and cracked his knuckles. Honestly, he felt tired. He turned his face to Teyla, "I'm good."
"There was nothing you could have done. . . for any of them."
Teyla's words sounded right, but they came just short of sinking in. It was assumed one would get used to the loss, after experiencing so much over time.
It never got easier.
He had vowed not to leave the galaxy until every last Wraith was dead. Now, a few years later and closer to the goal than he ever imagined possible, he wondered if it would be enough.
So lost in thought was he that Teyla's cool hand on his forearm nearly startled him. Almost. "You saved her, Ronon," she told him in a low and sure voice.
She was right. Teyla was the only other person who could relate to an existence plagued by loss, even more so now that her people were missing. John knew of loneliness and isolation, but his separation from his family was by choice. McKay's situation was similar. However, Ronon still couldn't understand why Rodney would go years without speaking to his sister—his only family—because she choose to have a family over a life of. . .science? In that case he figure it was just McKay being weird rather than it being an 'Lantean thing.
"She returns," Teyla said.
Ronon turned, following Teyla's gaze. He saw Seraih and Marie coming towards them, and he stood up, not quite sure what to do. Seraih did look better, though. Her hair was damp, but it looked shinier; he could tell it had been washed. But there was a ruddiness to her olive complexion now, not the sickly paleness that had been there before. She looked refreshed. Dressed in a set of white scrubs one could mistake her for one of the 'Lanteans, except the way she looked around in wonder at everything she passed gave away the fact that she wasn't one of them.
"Ronon." Seraih smiled brightly upon seeing the Satedan.
"Hey," Ronon smiled in turn. She did look to be in better spirits.
Seraih turned her gaze to Ronon's left. "Teyla Emmagan," her smile faltered. She furrowed her brow and inclined her head. She sensed something. "What is wrong?"
"Ronon has not told you?"
"He told me of what happened on my world," Seraih said, but he already he saw that her mind was working, trying to find what was lacking. "There is more," she stated, her eyes traveling from Teyla to Ronon in search of confirmation.
Ronon could feel the tension growing, and he glanced at Teyla, seeing the look he knew was on her face.
"Let's get you back in bed," Marie broke in. She had been standing next to Seraih, still supporting her as the conversation took place.
For a moment Seraih looked as though she was about to protest, but then she nodded and maneuvered herself into the bed. Marie helped her pull the covers over Seraih and showed her gave her brief instructions on how to use the bed controls. Ronon barely heard the Head Nurse say something about going to fetch Seraih's breakfast, and then she was off to take care of her other tasks.
Seraih nodded and then sat quiet for a few seconds. Suddenly she turned to Teyla with uncertainty and confusion written plainly on her face. "Why are you afraid of me?"
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Jennifer's sneakers screeched against the tile of the floor as she entered, halting at Seraih's words.
"Uh. . .hi." She said to no one in particular. "Is. . .this a . . .bad time?" Jennifer looked warily among the three Pegasus natives.
"No," Ronon responded finally, giving Jennifer a slight smile.
"Ok," she'd take him at his word. She focused on Seraih, who looked rather conflicted at the moment. "Why do you think that we're afraid of you?"
"Not you. I just . . . I feel that Teyla is, and I do not know why," Seraih said, her eyes conveying the hurt she felt at the thought.
Oh. Could her mental abilities be manifesting themselves now?
"Hey, could you guys, uhm, just pause this conversation for one second?" Jennifer asked. "I'll be right back." Ronon shrugged and Teyla inclined her head, and at that, Jennifer exited.
Two minutes later, she returned. Jennifer walked up to Seraih's bedside and then said in as neutral a voice as she could manage, "I'm going to give you a shot of medicine to help calm you, ok?"
She watched Seraih look from Ronon, who nodded at the young woman and then pulled an alcohol wipe packet from her pocket. Seraih's IV has been removed the night before, so Jennifer swapped her the vein-rich area on her forearm, and then produced a syringe. "It's better if you don't look," Jennifer advised, and Seraih squeezed her eyes shut. "You'll just feel a slight prick, so just relax." Jennifer gave a reassuring smile.
Seraih did so, and Jennifer was distracted for a moment when she saw Ronon slide his fingers around Seraih's hand as it laid on the opposite side of the bed. "This might make you feel a little lethargic," Jennifer advised as she inserted the needle her arm.
"Seraih," Teyla soothed, "It is not fear, exactly," the Athosian sighed. She looked at Jennifer and then Ronon, possibly looking for any indication that she should not continue with the forthcoming explanation. Neither one gave any objection. The doctor in Jennifer urged her to administer a mild sedative as a precaution against Seraih's powers flaring up as they had on Mira during the apparent Wraith attack. Her lack of awareness that she even possessed such abilities gave Jennifer all the more reason to take whatever measure necessary to dampen its effects, if any, that could be harmful to Teyla.
Teyla continued, "It seems that you possess certain abilities that allow you to communicate with Wraith minds."
Seraih's eye's widened. "How is that possible?"
"Well," Jennifer interjected, "Teyla posses the same ability because she has Wraith DNA in her genetic code."
At Seraih's confused look, she explained further. "A long time ago, a Wraith scientist decided to experiment on humans to make the feeding process more . . .efficient. To do that, he experimented on humans, essentially making them part Wraith. However, the side effect was that the humans developed some of the Wraith's telepathic abilities."
Teyla broke in, "The Wraith found out about it, and shut the project down, but some of the test subjects escaped. One of them became my ancestor."
"You believe that I carry this Wraith genetic material as well?"
"Yes, it was the only plausible explanation for your abilities."
"Wait. What do you mean 'was'?" Ronon questioned, crossing his arms over his chest.
"I am not part Wraith, as Teyla?" Seraih didn't miss a beat.
"No, you're not," Jennifer said. That was what Marc's test results had revealed.
It was Teyla's turn to look shocked. "I don't understand. How can she have these abilities and not be part Wraith."
Jennifer shook her head. "We don't know. But you definitely don't have any Wraith DNA."
"So, what does this mean? How did I come to be this way?"
"We don't know," Jennifer admitted. She hated not being able to provide more answers. "I would like to think that it's more than just some random genetic mutation," Jennifer said, thinking of Davos, the Seer, and his ability to see into the future. "It could be that your current physical state could have triggered some dormant genes. . ."
"You mean that I carry a child?"
"Yes, that could be a factor," Jennifer agreed. "I'd like to run some tests." She felt more than saw Ronon shift, and she glanced up to see that his face was a mask. Still, she could tell her words weren't sitting well with him. She focused on talking to Seraih, "It's only if you're willing. I may not find anything," she conceded.
"Very well," Seraih said in a measured tone. She stared at Jennifer for a moment, thinking. "I think there is something you should know."
Seraih sank back into the pillows propped behind her, eyes downcast as she toyed with the hem of the blanket covering her belly.
"She made me promise never to tell anyone, not even Andri," she said softly. "I only found out a few winters ago, when my Aunt fell ill. I suppose she figured it was better that I knew the truth, for whatever reason. . ."
Jen wanted to ask who Andri was, but she knew it wasn't the time.
"What truth?" Ronon urged in an uncharacteristically gentle voice.
"I am . . ." she paused, biting her lip and tucking a few unruly tendrils behind her ear, only to have them spring free once more. "I was not born of Mira."
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A/N: And the plot bunny turns. I was so just going to have Seraih possess Wraith DNA, but then the muse had something more interesting in mind. Nika – I think GLENN has immigrated to the Southern U.S. ;)