Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis, any places, things, people, or ideas related to it, nor do I claim to. I am writing this fiction for entertainment purposes only, not for any sort of monetary gain. (Though I would love to own Ronon & Teyla, for if I did, they'd be happily married for a good long while with six kids and a dog. Yes, a dog.)
Summary: Sometimes a sacrifice isn't really a sacrifice at all. RononTeyla, slightly AU episode addition for "The Hive."
Warnings: Very slight violence, kissing, y'know – the usual suspects.
Spoilers: Lost Boys & The Hive
Dedication: To TeylaFan, a little piece of fluff that I really hope makes you feel better. :)
Author's Note: Yes, I know, I'm sorry! I've been an extremely horrible person and have updated nothing but my Twilight fic Remember Yesterday for ages. But I dump all fault in the lap of my beta, Mama Jo, who has been very busy lately and has had nil time to beta, and I hate putting my stuff up without her at least going over it once. (Though I am putting up RY without beta – shh.) So this fic is also kind of an apology for how stinking long it's taking me to update all my fics. Please forgive me? I hope you enjoy this little piece of (hopefully happy) fluff until I can remedy my wrong. Thank you! ~fyd
Teyla Emmagan woke slowly, her mind fuzzy, her mouth a desert of raging thirst. She opened her eyes a mere slit and rolled her head a little to look around, trying to remember what had just happened.
Oh yes. The Wraith had come; Ronon had been stunned; Kanayo had been taken; and then she had been stunned for "talking back." Her memory was a bit fragmented from her enzyme withdrawal, but she was pretty sure she'd gotten that one right.
She drew in a deep breath, hoping to gain some clarity with it. Instead her mind hazed over again, for a different reason. Different memories stirred at the scent she inhaled, a scent that completely washed away all the other, horrible, scents of the Hive in which she and her team were imprisoned.
Her head was resting on Ronon Dex's coat.
Despite the situation, she took an extra moment to lie still, inhaling once more before swinging herself into a sitting position on the bench. Every muscle within her groaned and protested at the movement – she really was a mess. The last she remembered, she'd been lying on the floor after just being stunned. Warmth stirred in her stomach when she realized Ronon must have bunched his coat into a pillow and lifted her onto the bench after he'd woken, before she did.
Ronon lifted his head when he noticed her movement. For a moment his anxious green eyes studied her, as if making sure she was otherwise unharmed. A flash of relief lit his face before he looked away again, toward the cell door. He was avoiding her gaze. "Feel better?"
"Not really." Teyla rubbed her arms, feeling slightly chilly. Yet another side effect of withdrawal, she knew. "You?"
The Satedan shrugged from his position on the floor. "Fine." The dark circles beneath his eyes and the slightly pinched set of his mouth told a different story, however; small signs only she could read. "Don't remember much after the Wraith stunned me. Did they hurt you?" A slight trace of the anxiety was back in his voice, but he still didn't look at her. He seemed to be considering something.
"No. I was merely stunned." Rolling her head to ease the kinks in her neck, she pushed loose hair from her ponytail behind her ears. "You?"
"Same." Ronon shifted up into a crouch, at the same time slipping his hand into his pocket and withdrawing something. He held out his hand, opening his long fingers to reveal a syringe. "I didn't want to show you this until Kanayo was out." He shrugged uncomfortably. "Didn't expect him to die, but. . ." He trailed off, leaving the rest of his unspoken sentence dangling between them. . . .the result was the same, anyway.
Teyla blinked, deciding not to finish his sentence. It was better to leave the sentiment unspoken. "Is that enzyme?"
Ronon nodded, a small, proud grin on his lips. "I picked Ford's pocket while he was distracted. If nothing else, being a Runner helped me fine-tune the art. And if you can pick a Wraith's pocket without them realizing, you can pick anyone's pocket." Reaching out his other hand, he placed the syringe into her hand and folded her fingers around the small vial. "Here. I got it for you."
Unexplainable tears suddenly sprang into her eyes. It is the withdrawal, she told herself. The withdrawal is playing with my emotions. She uncurled her fingers and stared at the little syringe. It wasn't so much the enzyme itself that touched her, it was Ronon's gesture. There was only one dose of the enzyme, but he'd decided to give it to her. Perhaps she was reading far more into it than she should. . .but she'd chalk that up to the withdrawal, too.
"I cannot," she whispered. She tried to hand it back, but Ronon withdrew as far as the cell would allow and put his hands behind his back.
"I won't take it back," he said stubbornly. "I got it for you."
She stared at the little syringe, still trying to regain some control over her haphazard emotions. "I-I—"
"Don't make me give it to you forcibly," Ronon said. Though there was a small smile on his lips, there was little mirth in his voice. Teyla wasn't sure if he was kidding or not.
"You have had more than I," she said insistently. She felt horrible for being selfish enough to want it. She shouldn't feel that way, when Ronon was in need, too. "Your withdrawal must be worse than mine."
Ronon's smile widened a little. "You're a strong woman, Teyla, and I admire that, don't get me wrong." His expression suddenly flickered, and he avoided her gaze again. "But you're in pain, and I don't like it," he muttered. "I just can't take it any longer."
Teyla blinked again in surprise. She knew it had to be the enzyme withdrawal speaking for both of them – it was wreaking havoc with their emotions – but she couldn't help but take his comment personally. Once more, the irrational tears welled up in her eyes. Do you think I like seeing you in pain any more? She was tempted to voice the question, but couldn't get her voice to work past the lump in her throat.
Ronon was completely selfless. He'd wanted to give it to her earlier, but hadn't wanted to do it in front of others. He hated receiving any sort of praise, or being hailed as a hero or any such thing. He preferred to stay in the background, only coming to the front when he needed to fight something. Then he faded into the background again, trying to remain as anonymous as possible. It was something she'd always admired in him.
She couldn't dishonor him by not accepting the enzyme, as much as she hated doing so. In some ways it felt like giving in to her own selfishness. "Thank you," she whispered.
He shrugged again without looking at her. "It was nothing," he said self-consciously.
Teyla rolled up her sleeve and clenched her fist, staring at the vein she could see through her skin. There were already several needle marks there from where the enzyme had been injected. Hopefully this would be the last. "I will use this to get us out of here, somehow," she promised as strongly as she could.
This time Ronon lifted his head to smile crookedly at her. "I was kind of counting on that one," he said, his voice light.
She offered him a brief smile in return. Then, drawing in a deep breath, she tested to make sure all the air was out of the vial before she injected the enzyme into her veins. She dropped the syringe, tightening her fist at the same time. She could feel it working almost immediately, surging through her veins to offer her a new, fresh strength. Leaning her head back, she drew in another breath. Everything seemed sharper: what she heard, what she smelled, even what she tasted on the air. It was – wonderful.
Then a light touch landed on her arm, over the injection sight, and she jumped. Her eyes snapped open. She just barely stopped herself from jumping away when she saw Ronon sitting next to her, fingers tracing over where the needles had pierced her skin – only one halfway willingly.
With the new clarity in her sight, she could further see the dark tiredness in his eyes, the lines of pain the withdrawal had etched onto his face, the tenseness of his muscles as he tried to shake away the ripples of agony shuddering through him. Without stopping to think about what she was doing, she drew her arm away from his touch so she could wrap her arms around his shoulders, pull him to herself, and press a quick, hard kiss to his lips.
Ronon seemed surprised for a moment. Then he grabbed her, pulling her back the inch she'd taken away from their lips, and kissed her back, hard and passionate. "Just in case," he muttered, avoiding her gaze again when they'd mutually put some distance between them on the bench.
"Just in case," she whispered. Suddenly she couldn't draw breath. A thousand emotions and feelings were buzzing through her body, and she knew none of them had to do with the enzyme.
"When we get back to Atlantis. . ." He trailed off.
"We will speak of this to no one," Teyla said with surprising calm.
"Yeah," he agreed. His head was hanging, shoulders slumped. He looked – and sounded – very disappointed.
That emotion found a very ready echo inside her chest. "We will blame the enzyme and withdrawal," she whispered.
Ronon looked up at her, something she couldn't quite identify sparking dangerously in his eyes. "But we will always know the truth," he said. It was a big admission, for him.
"We will," Teyla said. Even if they never mentioned it again, even to each other – she would always remember.
Perhaps, someday, they could act upon the small opening Ronon's sacrifice had given them. But, for today, they would be what they had to be: The two Pegasus Galaxy warriors who let nothing get in the way of their ultimate goal. They would rescue the rest of their team together, and then let come what may, Ancestors and each other willing.
Picking up Ronon's coat, she draped it over his shoulders, allowing her fingers to linger a moment longer than necessary. She hoped they would all be willing.