Author's Note: I wrote this a while ago, and I really enjoyed it. I was in a very angsty mood, and this is what came out of it :) It can also be found on Atlantica and Wraithbait.
Please review and tell me what you think; your reviews keep me are alive; they are as essential to me as breathing :) I go crazy waiting for the next time I can go on to check my reviews.
Teyla fell brokenly to her knees, weeping uncontrollably. He was dead, Ronon was dead. He'd left because of her and now she'd lost him forever. Nothing anyone could say would comfort her; and nothing would ease her pain. He was gone; and though she heard it and knew it was true, she could never accept it. All of this was her fault. Now she had lost the only person in her life on Atlantis who she had trusted with all her heart; her most desperate secrets. She couldn't talk to anyone this time; and she was certain she would never laugh again.
He didn't know how long he'd laid, his body aching and torn. He didn't even know how long he'd been conscious; and now that he was he had no idea where he was. He didn't even remember his own name.
Slowly, he lifted his aching body from the ground. He had to get to thie stargate. Stargate. That was something he knew. It took you to different places; other worlds. He would go to another world and find Teyla. Teyla. Who was she; and why did he need her? He had many questions and no answers; but he knew with absolute certainty that he needed to find Teyla. Teyla. Teyla...
It had been nearly a month since Ronon's death. By then, his team had recovered to the point that they had resumed their off-world duty. But they had refused to choose someone to fill Ronon's spot on the team. Sheppard and McKay seemed to be dealing with it better then Teyla; she was practically consumed by her grief and her guilt; and they were worried about her.
One day, Sheppard and Elizabeth and McKay were sitting with her at lunch, trying to draw her out; and Sheppard noticed, not for the first time, how pale and thin she looked. Not her normal, healthy figure; she was too thin; like she was sick. He looked at her plate and saw that she'd barely touched what little she'd taken.
"Maybe you should talk to Dr. Heightmeyer," he suggested for about the hundredth time since Ronon had... since they'd lost him.
"What can she tell me that I do not already understand?" she challenged bitterly. No one pressed her. There were a few moments of uncomfortable silence; Elizabeth finally broke it.
"I have a new mission for the three of you, later. Are you up to it?" They nodded, and Teyla stood up.
"I have to go," she said, and fled the mess hall. McKay sighed with something like relief, and Sheppard frowned at him. McKay rolled his eyes.
"What, like it isn't awkward for you to be with her now, too?"
"She's been through a lot lately," Elizabeth defended her friend when John remained silent.
"Yeah, I know, but..." he shrugged helplessly, unable to put his feelings into words.
"She's not herself anymore," McKay supplied. "She used to smile and laugh; it used to make people happy just to be around her. But she hasn't smiled in weeks; and it's hard to be around her now." he'd voiced what all of them had been feeling but reluctant to admit; she just wasn't their Teyla anymore.
"I want the old Teyla back," Sheppard confessed. Elizabeth nodded.
He'd hopped planets for nearly a month now, searching for Teyla. After he'd left that lonely planet where he'd been hurt, he'd found himself in a strange, crowded place where people laughed at him or ran from him; he hadn't stayed there long.
When he dialed out he chose symbols at random, having no idea where to go. He'd found several other worlds, but left them all within a day. Finally he found a village where no one was afraid of him; and a kind old woman called Bena took him in. She was a healer; and she treated his many wounds and gave him new clothes to replace the torn, filthy ones he had. They were strange but comfortable. He stayed with her for several days.
"Where are you from?" she'd asked him, the second day he stayed with her.
"Stargate," he'd answered. He'd come through the stargate; she knew that.
"From what world?"
"Lots," he'd mumbled. He didn't know their names; how could anyone know the names of so many different worlds?
"Who are you looking for?" his eyes grew bright.
"Teyla," he said immediately. That he knew.
"Why are you looking for her?"
"Dunno. But I've gotta find her." Bena nodded but didn't reply, seeming thoughtful.
"Bena," he began suddenly. She was the only person who had taken care of him; maybe she would know what he was almost afraid to ask. "Who am I?"
"Child, I do not know. That is something that only you can answer," he sighed sadly.
"I don't even have a name," he lamented softly. Bena's eyes grew sympathetic.
"Do you think a name makes you who or what you are?"
"It helps," he'd said defensively.
"If that is all that worries you, I will give you a name. Would you like that?" he nodded. She'd always just called him "child" or "little one" (even though he was more than a foot taller then her). He wanted a real name.
Bena thought for a moment, of her son who she had lost so long ago. This man was so like him...
"Your name is Ro," she said finally.
"Ro," he repeated in a hushed voice, rolling the word around on his tongue like he was tasting it. Then he smiled
"I like it," he said slowly.
Bena watched him smiling, as he left to take a walk. He'd probably introduce himself to everyone he met along the way. It was so strange; he was so tall and strong and was so intimidating to look at; but he was really sweet and gentle, with a childlike innocence that his lack of memory offered him. She hoped he would stay.