Title: Happily Ever After
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis or the old fairy tales used.
Note: I wrote this a few months ago for the sgaflashfic fairytale challenge, but forgot to put it up here until now. Also, I use the original and Disney versions of the fairy tales indiscriminately.
It started out so innocently… "I believe you mean 'Once upon a time'?" Teyla, Sheppard, Ronon, and Rodney all stopped in shock when a lovely woman appeared out of thin air before them.
"Er, what?" asked Sheppard, being quite confused since they had only just stepped foot on the planet and this woman seemed to be trying to correct them on words they hadn't even spoken.
The woman, whose hair glistened like sun on a field of corn and whose eyes held the depths of the ocean, just smiled. "I think one item each will do. Something you find most important…" She blinked and the world swirled into nothingness.
It did not take Teyla long after she woke up to take stock of her situation and realize that it was best to keep a low profile. The strangely beautiful woman had apparently sold her into slavery, as she was the servant of three nasally voiced and highly incomprehensible women. Though she knew she could easily overpower all of them, as one was fairly old and the other two were weak-ankled and cried over a bent pinkie, Teyla could not be certain that they did not have some sort of enforcement device that she could not defend against (the only item the strange woman had left her were her bantos rods). After all, they did seem to keep threatening her with the prospect of some sort of cannon device. (At least that's what she thought 'or we shalt taketh thee ne'er to the ball' meant.)
In fact, Teyla began finding the prospect of this 'ball' more alarming as the days passed, especially after the two younger mistresses locked her into a small room for hours on end with various items of torture – needles and wire and ribbon and so forth – and threatened her with dire retributions of 'ball gowns'. Of course Teyla handled all this with great dignity and managed to escape the torture room with only a few more loads of laundry as punishment.
After a few more days, Teyla began pitying her young mistresses, who seemed to be under the thumb of their harsh mother, and felt a vague sort of sadness when they were forced into 'ball gowns' (she was correct: they were items of torture meant to relieve one of breath – not to mention look completely ridiculous) and escorted to the dreaded 'ball' by their dour mother. Luckily Teyla had been ordered to stay behind, and spent the evening practicing with her bantos rods in the garden, and wishing she had her uniform instead of the fairly impractical rags she woke up in.
A flash of light caused Teyla to whirl around. Within moments she had the intruder pinned against a nearby tree. "Who are you and what do you want?"
The intruder, an older woman with white hair looked at her with wide eyes. "I…I'm your fairy godmother."
Teyla's own eyes narrowed. "My mother is dead and she was not a god. Who are you and why are you here?"
"Er, well, I'm a fairy and…I came to grant you your heart's desire." It sounded more like a question than a statement.
Teyla released the woman. "Then take me to my team, and return to me the possessions that were taken when we came to this world. And then you will lead us to the Stargate."
The 'fairy' looked rather confused. "Would you not rather like to go to the ball? I can change your mice friends into horses…"
"There are no mice here. They were possessed by some sort of entity that caused them to sing and wear miniature clothes. I believed them to be spies of my mistress and so I got rid of them. As for the 'ball', I do not see how threatening me is any indication of the friendship you seem to offer. I desire to see my team now."
Apparently the fairy was not expecting that. "I…um…I do not know where your friends are. I can give you glass slippers?"
Teyla tried not to roll her eyes. Apparently this woman was not a threat, only somewhat senile. "Can you at least provide me with supplies and more practical clothes?"
"I do not suppose you would consider a ball gown…"
The fairy sighed. "Very well." She waved a small stick and a knapsack appeared, appropriately filled with food, a knife, and other needed supplies. Teyla's clothes had not changed much, other than her dress no longer being rags, though her shoes were a bit sturdier and she had a cloak.
Figuring this was the best the 'fairy' was willing to do, Teyla nodded and thanked the woman who quickly disappeared. Now supplied and knowing that her slave owners were likely to be gone for quite some time, Teyla decided to set off and search for her team on her own.
She reached the next town over by mid-afternoon the next day. The market was buzzing with many different people, but none of them had heard or seen her team or anyone like them. Her luck changed, however, when she sat in one of the pubs and listened for any interesting information that might help her. A group of children – no, men the size of children – walked in, sat down near Teyla, and promptly ordered the stiffest drinks available. Being so near them, Teyla could not help but listen to their conversation:
"I thought princesses were supposed to be sweet!" grumbled one of the men.
"Sweet! More like sweet-toothed. She's eating twice her share of food and won't stop complaining that she's still hungry!"
"She's going to eat us out of house and home soon enough."
"And she won't clean the house like she's supposed to. What are allergies anyway?"
"Well at least she usually shuts up when she's working on that magic girdle that nearly killed her."
"To bad it didn't," muttered the smallest of the men.
Despite the pronoun, Teyla had a pretty good idea who this 'princess' was, and politely suggested to the men that they tell her where the princess was being kept. After winning the ensuing brawl, Teyla left behind seven small and battered men and headed off into the forest where they had told her they lived and kept their princess.
Teyla knew she was at the right place when the first thing she heard was a familiar, loud voice. "Do you think I'm an idiot? If the belt that tried to kill me and the decidedly feminine haircomb that killed the shrubbery I threw it in weren't enough of a warning not to accept gifts from strangers, you expect me to eat a strange fruit!? For all I know it could be poisoned. It could be citrus!"
Walking into the clearing with the little cottage house, Teyla was treated to a sight she wouldn't soon forget. Oh, it was quite usual to see Rodney McKay fiercely berating someone for idiocy. It was not even strange that the person he was yelling at was a wizened old woman who seemed to be trying to slink away. No, the part she would always remember was Rodney yelling at a little old lady while waving a broom and wearing a rather stunning blue dress complete with puffed sleeves, an apron lined with lace, and a silver tiara.
Apparently Rodney heard her slight snort as she tried to hold back her laughter and he whirled to face her (The old woman took that moment of inattention to flee). "Teyla! There you are! It's about time you got here, what took you so long? I've been enslaved by seven evil men who forced to cook and clean after them. They wanted me to mend hosiery! Not to mention at least three people have tried to assassinate me. And where are Sheppard and Ronon? Teyla? Are you alright, what…are you laughing?"
Teyla hurriedly schooled her facial features despite the sight of Rodney, wearing a dress and waving his broom like a baton. "I have not yet found either Colonel Sheppard or Ronon. I only just escaped my own prison and have not had time to search for them."
"Ah, well, this will help." To Teyla's amazement, Rodney pulled out the lifesigns detector from the pocket of his apron. "I woke up, in a dress mind you, and the only thing I could find was this. I managed to use some of the naquadah my captors mine to increase its power, so we should be able to find them."
Teyla nodded. "Should we head north then?"
Rodney frowned. "Actually, east might be a better bet. Some guy in a flouncy shirt came by the other day, didn't stay for dinner, smart man, but he did mutter something about a possessed princess stuck in a tower a little east of here. Apparently she shoots fire from her hands and nearly roasted the guy when he tried to rescue her from the evil witch that keeps her captive. They guy also complained that obviously princesses weren't as beautiful as they used to be, before running off but I don't know what that was about."
Teyla gently patted Rodney's shoulder. "East we go, then."
It did not take the two long to find the tower the flouncy-shirted guy mentioned. At the foot of said tower, another wizened old lady (Teyla was beginning to suspect this world was full of evil elderly women intent on torture and murder) was glaring up at the one window with undisguised ire. "You let your hair down right now young lady or you aren't getting anything for dinner!"
She was answered by the whine and red light that Rodney and Teyla recognized well. Whimpering slightly, the old lady scuttled off while muttering dire curses. When she was gone, the two Atlantians stepped under the window. Rodney, since his voice carried farther, shouted up, "Ronon, is that you?"
Above them, a familiar head poked out the window and growled. Of course it was Ronon.
Teyla, who had walked around the small circumference of the tower, frowned. "Ronon, there is no door down here that I can find; how did you get up there?'
"Woke up here."
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Well that's not exactly helpful for us, now, is it? How are we supposed to get up there? Or you get down here for that matter?"
There was a silence, and then a rope fell out of the window. No, not a rope. A braid of very familiar-looking dreadlocks that Rodney stared at like it was made of snakes. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me."
"Climb up," shouted a frustrated Ronon. Teyla went up first, frowning as she heard Ronon grunting. She reached the top of the tower only to find Ronon holding his hair, still connected to his head, with both hands. "Help me pull him up."
Grabbing hold of Ronon's inexplicably long hair, Teyla aided him in pulling Rodney to the top of the tower and through the window. Only then did she get a good look at her Satedan friend. His hair, long before they stepped foot on this world, now fell into pools at his feet. What was more, his leather clothing had been replaced by…Teyla worked hard to stifle a giggle that threatened to escape. Like Rodney, Ronon was now wearing a dress. Only his was the color of the purest gold and sparkled in the sunlight, and it matched the tiara that was hopelessly tangled in his hair.
The difference between Rodney and Ronon, however, was that Ronon had not left his dress well enough alone. Apparently he had torn off the flowing sleeves, which lay discarded on the velvet-covered bed in the room, and he had ripped a long slit into the skirt so that he could better move. Rodney, of course, took one look at his friend and opened his mouth, no doubt to make some sarcastic quip. Before he could, however, Ronon growled. "One word, McKay, and you'll be using that apron as a parachute."
Teyla decided to intervene before either of her teammates could begin an argument. "Ronon, what has happened to your hair?"
Ronon folded his arms and tried to glare at his hair. "I woke up with it like this. And I can't cut it off because I don't have my knives. My gun doesn't work on it."
Rodney had taken the moment to look about the small room. It was easy to see from the horrible clutter that Ronon had not taken well to being shut up in a one-roomed tower with no escape. "No doors here either."
"I hadn't noticed," commented Ronon, his voice dripping with sarcasm. Teyla shook her head. Ronon had been spending too much time with Sheppard.
Sighing, Teyla pulled out her knife from the supplies. "There is another way out."
Luckily the knife worked on Ronon's hair, and soon the three were shimmying down the long braid and making their way through the woods. With no clue as to where Sheppard might be, the three decided to make their way north where Teyla had heard in the market that there was yet another kingdom. After two days of walking and scrounging for food (the fairy's supplies did not last forever), the trio found themselves stopped by a large wall of thorns.
Rodney sighed. "This is probably the right place."
Teyla eyed the wall. One of the thorny branches whipped out at Ronon who darted out of the way in time. "You are sure?"
The scientist waved the lifesigns detector at her. "Well, of course I'm not entirely sure, but there are lifesigns beyond this thing. And where else would Sheppard be? We're already caught in some warped Disney movie, of course Sheppard would be stuck behind the wall of thorns that we can't go through without suffering a horribly painful death."
A whine sounded and the thorn wall was hit by a blast from Ronon's gun. The thorny vines withered and writhed away, leaving a clear hole. Ronon grinned. "After you."
The three walked through the courtyard of the great castle, trying not to step on the people who were all apparently suffering from the sleeping sickness Colonel Carter had told Teyla about the other day. "Where do you think Sheppard is?" Teyla asked no one in particular.
"The highest room of the tallest tower." Teyla and Rodney both turned and looked at Ronon who just shrugged. "Jennifer and I were watching Shrek the other night. She likes Donkey."
Rodney blinked. "OK, that's more than I wanted to know. Right," he pointed to the castle. "there's the tallest tower, let's go get Sheppard and get back to Atlantis before those small woodland animals start following me around like zombies again." Teyla shuddered. The possessed mice had been bad enough, but the things that had taken to following Rodney were on their way to replacing the Wraith as her least favorite creatures in the galaxy.
Finding Sheppard was relatively straightforward (even with the random dragon that Ronon and Teyla easily took out using his gun, her bantos rods, and a mandolin snatched from the sleeping court bard). Tallest tower? Check. Highest room? Check. One sleeping Lieutenant Colonel curled up on a bed wearing a pink gown embroidered with roses and a crown of electrum settled somewhat lop-sidedly on his head, and hugging a GDO like it was a teddy bear? Double check.
Teyla was about to go shake the sleeping Sheppard when Ronon bounded past her with a mischievous grin on his face. "Let me!" The Satedan began poking at Sheppard, tweaking his nose and pulling on his ear, only to be slapped away by a sleepy Colonel who just turned and began snoring softly. Rodney joined Ronon by Sheppard's bedside. "Interesting. Hey, we should find some warm water to put his hands in…"
With an exasperated sigh, Teyla pushed her two childish teammates aside. "John Sheppard, I am tired, hungry, and have spent the past few days working as a slave and being followed by singing woodland creatures. Therefore, you will wake up right this instant or I will let Ronon shave your head and Rodney recalibrate the jumpers so that they only respond to his gene."
In exactly 1.2 seconds Sheppard shot up in bed, eyes wide and arms moving to cover his head. "No, hair!"
There was a long moment of silence as Sheppard took in his surroundings. Medieval castle, spinning wheel…Ronon and Rodney in dresses. Teyla saw exactly where his mind was going, and decided to head off the inevitable. "John, you will not say a word to Ronon and Rodney until after you look in the mirror , and even then I would greatly suggest you keep any and all comments to yourself." Realizing the implications of the statement, Sheppard wisely said nothing. Of course, it could be because he was too busy sucking on his finger which had been bleeding slightly (about as much as a rather large paper-cut, but still it hurt). Teyla nodded her approval. "Now that we are all together, I suggest we find the Stargate and return to Atlantis. We are long overdue."
Knowing it would be best not to argue with Teyla when she was in her 'I am going to be polite because in a moment I am going to snap and kill you all' mood, the three men decided their best options was to ask/threaten/confuse the newly awakened residents of the castle into giving them directions to the Stargate. They had also intended to remain quiet on the three day journey there, but that was before they comprehended that they would be arriving in Atlantis wearing dresses and tiaras (Rodney refused to let them throw the crowns away – apparently they were alloyed with a new form of naquadah that he wanted to study). So Teyla was forced to patiently endure Ronon sulking about his lost knives, while Rodney and Sheppard bickered back and forth about who had the worst time on the planet (enslavement to evil miners and attempted assassination by fruit versus a finger that moved on it's own accord to be impaled on a large needle).
Therefore, when the strangely beautiful woman from their arrival on the planet appeared again, no one was really surprised when the woman ended up on the wrong end of a pair of Athosian bantos rods. The ordeal finally at its end, Teyla allowed herself to smile as they walked through the 'gate back to Atlantis. After all, her teammates were all safe, if slightly traumatized, and she would have a front-row seat to see the reaction to her companions' unusual attire. It was, indeed, a happily ever after…for now.
I think I wrote this because I couldn't get the image of the three guys in ball gowns out of my mind. I considered writing the reaction of the residents of Atlantis, but found my imagination to be better than my words.