Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis (or any characters, places, things, or ideas therein), nor am I claiming ownership. I am writing this fic for entertainment purposes only, not monetary gain. If I did, however, own Atlantis, Ronon and Teyla would be long and happily married with half a dozen kids and a dog.
Summary: Was it too much to ask for just ten quiet minutes to herself? RononTeyla Next in SAWS 2009.
Warnings: A little violence, slightly humorous thoughts of murder, a teeny kiss. . .
Title: Sleepless in Atlantis
Author's Note: This fic was actually inspired by something that happened to me quite recently. A lot of the things that happened have been changed, of course, but the main emotions are there. This was written for the next entry in SAWS, Spanky-a-Week-Summer, in which there is one fic written/posted per week for the pairing of Ronon/Teyla. For more information or to join, please check my profile, where there's a link to our forum here on the fanfiction website. Thanks so much for reading this fic – I hope you enjoy it! ~fyd
Sleepless in Atlantis
Sleepless in Atlantis
Ah, sweet relief.
Ah, sweet relief.
Teyla Emmagan sank in the comfort of her bed, pressing the side of her face as tightly as it would go against her soft pillow. The day hadn't been the longest in her life, certainly – it had only seemed that way. The fact that suddenly everyone in Atlantis (or so it seemed) was demanding her attention at the same time or one right after the other had dragged across her nerves all day and well into the night. Then her computer had crashed, and she'd had to take it to Rodney to fix it. He'd asked her to stay in case he needed her help (when it would have been perfectly fine for someone else who knew more about computers to stay with him), which left her finally going to bed at 0300. If someone dared radio her before 1030, she was going to kill them.
When at last she did fall asleep, it was deep, dreamless, an utter and blissful state of unconsciousness that ended far too early by a loud chirping sound. Prying open one eye, Teyla lifted her head from her pillow and tried to ascertain where the noise was coming from. When the annoying sound repeated herself, she realized it was her radio, sitting otherwise innocuously on her beside table.
Groaning, she reached out and felt along the table, squinting through sleep-blurred eyes to try to find it. When her fingers finally landed on her headset, it took her three tries to get it placed right over her ear. "This is Teyla," she said. She wanted to ask what time it was, but decided that would sound unprofessional. Instead, she went back to her bedside table and felt around for her watch.
A far too awake-sounding voice answered her. "This is Chuck, in the control room. We're being radioed by the mainland. Would you like me to patch it through to your radio?"
Teyla finally found her watch. She lifted it close to her face, squinting to try to un-blur the numerals enough to read them. Oh-four-thirty. Beautiful – she'd been asleep for less than two hours. "Um—" She'd been so distracted by trying to find her watch, then discern what it said, that she'd almost forgotten the question. "Yes, please. Patch it through to my radio." Perhaps the last part had been a little unnecessary – what else would she have possibly been saying yes to? Come to think of it, she was probably saying it to keep her head straight. It felt like it was stuffed with cotton, covered with cobwebs, and then immersed in deep, deep fog.
Sitting up in her bed to try to stay awake while she talked, Teyla stretched deeply then rubbed her eyes in hopes that would help wake her up some. What she needed was some of the strong Athosian liquor that seemed to have strange effects on her and her sleep patterns when she drank it for the Harvest Festival. But since she had none of it available, she'd probably have to make due with the Earthlings' coffee, which tasted horrible, but did the job well enough.
"Teyla, are you there?"
She snapped straight up, realizing she'd fallen halfway back to sleep while waiting for Chuck to transfer the radio call. "Yes! I am here."
"This is Halling. We have a problem – would it be possible for you to come over to the mainland now?"
That meant not only did she have to get up at this Ancestors'-cursed hour, but she had to drag someone else out of bed to fly her over to the mainland. "What is the matter, Halling? Can you not take care of it yourself?"
"If I could have, I would not have called you!" He sounded rather testy, and far too wide-awake for the hour.
Teyla rubbed her hands down her face, wondering if murder was possible over a radio connection. "Fine. I will be there as soon as I can find someone to fly me over."
"Thank you, Teyla." Halling hesitated. "And could you also bring some of the Marines, too? It is a rather – large – problem."
"Why?" Teyla demanded. "What is the problem?"
"It will be far easier to show you than tell you. Please, just come with some Marines – and hurry." Halling cut the connection before Teyla could ask him any further questions.
Collapsing back against her pillow, Teyla stared cross-eyed up at her ceiling and resisted the urge to scream. All she wanted was six – or maybe eight – uninterrupted hours of sleep. Instead, she got less than two, and an apparent crisis on the mainland on top of that.
The Ancestors were displeased with her. That was the only possible explanation for this.
Grumbling the whole way, Teyla dragged herself out of bed and into some clothes. She prayed they were on right-side-out and front-side-front, because she couldn't seem to clear the sleep out of her eyes enough to see straight enough to tell herself. Now it was seeming like a bad idea to have gone ahead and drunk her nighttime tea, which relaxed her and made her sleepy. She should have called herself sleepy enough and dealt with it.
She ran her fingers through her hair as she left her quarters. There was no way she'd been in bed long enough for it to have been messed up, anyway. Reaching up, she clicked on her radio as she walked. "Colonel Sheppard?"
There was a long silence on the other end, so long she almost called him again. But finally she heard a rough, almost unrecognizable voice respond. "Teyla, is that you? It's four-thirty in the morning."
"A little after, actually," she said, trying desperately to sound wide-awake and put-together. "I need you to get a group of Marines together and fly us to the mainland, please. Halling just radioed me – apparently there's some sort of emergency."
Sheppard sounded slightly more awake when he replied this time. "What kind of emergency? Wraith?"
That had been her first thought, too, but she'd immediately dismissed it. The Wraith would not have gone straight to the mainland when Atlantis was sitting right there. Besides, an alert would have gone out through the city if a ship had been spotted in the area, and the only other way to the mainland was by Stargate, which means the Wraith would have had to travel through the city first. "No. Halling would not say what the problem was. He only requested we hurry, and that I bring some Marines with me." She paused next to a door a few hundred yards and a corner away from her own, waffling over the idea that had just sprung into her head. Was it fair to drag even more people into this?
"Okay. I'll meet you in the Jumper bay in five – no, wait, better make it eight – minutes with some Marines." There was a loud rustling sound, then John's voice again. "Want me to get Chewie, too?"
Teyla shook her head drowsily, though she knew her team leader could not see. "No. I am getting Ronon now – I am closer than you."
"Gotcha. See ya in eight."
She didn't bother to reply, wanting to save as much of her little energy as she could for when she reached the mainland. Leaning against the wall next to the door, Teyla pressed the button on the control panel to ring the door chime.
The door slid open surprisingly quickly. Though there was some signs of tiredness around his green eyes, Ronon Dex looked shockingly awake considering the hour. "Teyla? You okay?" His eyebrows lowered over his eyes, showing his immediate concern.
Holding her hand over her mouth to hide a yawn, she was tempted to snap "Do I look okay to you?" at him, but immediately felt badly for the thought. "I am fine. Halling just radioed – there is a problem on the mainland. He requested I bring some Marines, so I thought you should come, too. Colonel Sheppard is gathering some Marines. He said he would meet us in the Jumper bay in eight minutes."
Ronon's eyes suddenly brightened, as if the idea of danger made all thoughts of sleep vanish immediately from his mind. "Sure thing," he said. "I'll be there in five." Without another word he disappeared back into his quarters, the doors firmly sliding shut behind him.
It wasn't until that moment that Teyla realized he'd been standing there shirtless in front of her the whole time. She half-jogged to the Jumper bay to try to wake herself up, her cheeks flaming hot with embarrassment that should have done the trick itself.
Yes, the Ancestors had definitely placed a curse upon her.
A sharp jolt yanked Teyla back to wakefulness. She turned red again when she realized she'd fallen asleep in one of the two rear seats, having done so less than a minute after she'd sat down.
"Here." A Styrofoam cup, lid tightly on, appeared beneath her nose. A strong smell wafted from the small opening for her lips. "It's coffee. I was gonna give it to you while we were taking off, but. . ."
Teyla took the cup from Ronon, managing to dredge up a halfway happy smile for him. "Thank you," she said. He shrugged self-deprecatingly as she forced herself to gulp down the thick, lukewarm liquid. She was surprised to taste a lot of cream and sugar in it, along with a hint of Athosian spice, the only way she could stand to drink it. This time the smile she aimed in Ronon's direction was completely sincere and warm.
Another abrupt bucking motion of the Jumper almost splashed the hot liquid onto her jacket and reminded her of the one that had woken her. "What was that?" she asked.
"Storm," Sheppard reported shortly from the pilot's seat. His face was scrunched up in concentration as he flew the little ship through the buffeting winds. "We'll be to the mainland shortly."
Gulping down another sip of coffee, Teyla felt her eyebrows arch. Maybe the storm was what Halling had been calling her about? But why would that be the case? It was not like there was another hurricane on its way. They would have been able to read that with Atlantis's high-tech sensors. Perhaps it was something caused by the storm?
At last she decided to just wait the few more minutes it took before they reached the settlement to ask the questions.
Ronon was out of his seat next to her before the Jumper finally touched down safely. Teyla set down her mostly-empty cup and followed, feeling the first stirrings of anxiety in her stomach. She couldn't see much out the window because of the darkness, but she could tell by the looks on the Marines' faces that they felt just as unsettled as she by this situation.
Sheppard pressed the button on the Jumper's control panel to lower the ramp, then joined them in the back. The moment the huge back door started to move, a gust of wind-swept rain battered them in the faces. Thunder roared, adding to the general cacophony as intermittent brilliant flashes of lightning brightened the area in shades of black-and-white. It almost did feel like the beginnings of the hurricane they'd had a few years back.
Halling was waiting, his shoulder-length hair plastered to his forehead and cheeks. "I am glad to see you arrived safely!" he shouted over the noise. "Follow me, please, quickly!"
If Halling, of all people, hadn't taken time for greeting, the matter must have been grave. Teyla steeled herself and hurried after the man, who was carrying one of the flashlights the Atlantians had dispersed among the tribe to light the way. The wind caught her, trying to buffet her off track. She pulled her jacket a little tighter around herself, feeling her hair drip down into her eyes as more stinging drops of rain battered every bit of bare skin they could find. It felt like little hail pellets bouncing off her body.
She almost lost her footing when a particularly strong gust tore through the trees to their left and hit her side-on. Two strong hands grabbed her shoulders and righted her, squeezing briefly before letting go. Teyla turned a little to smile up at Ronon, whose long hair seemed to be protecting most of his face from the rain.
Halling stopped abruptly at the outer edge of the village, pointing ahead of him. Teyla stepped past him, her eyes going wide when she saw what was waiting for her. At least half the tents had some sort of damage; the wide center lane between the two rows of tents looked more like a muddy creek; and above them the storm looked like it wasn't even thinking about slacking off.
Teyla glanced back to the others of her team, seeing the same idea dawning in John and Ronon's eyes that had occurred to her. Sheppard took off for the Jumper again, slogging through the mud like he didn't even realize it was there.
Thank goodness for Rodney McKay and his sometimes brilliant breakthroughs. While the scientist wouldn't like being dragged out of bed, his research on expanding a Jumper's shield range would help to save Teyla's people from disaster this night.
Until Sheppard and McKay got back, Teyla, Ronon, and the Marines headed out to help as much of the village as they could.
Teyla stayed slumped in her seat as the rear ramp of the Jumper once more lowered to the ground, this time in the warm, dry comfort of Atlantis's Jumper bay. Rodney was chattering on about how brilliant he was, what a hero he was, the big Thermos in his hands undoubtedly drained of the coffee that was keeping him so chipper. After the storm had finally moved past, even he had jumped in to try to finish helping put the village back to rights. They'd managed most of it under the Jumper's shield, but it was a long, tedious job.
The freak storm had lost most of its momentum over the mainland, then finished fizzling out over the ocean. Unfortunately the damage was done, and it would be a while before New Athos was back to its normal self. But Teyla knew her peoples' strength, knew that they would all pull together to help each other through. She wished she could have stayed the night, but the day was (unfortunately) far from over, and duties on Atlantis called.
Teyla just wanted to hurt – preferably, kill – something. Someone. Anyone who got between her and her nice, warm, soft, comfortable bed.
Dragging her eyes open again, Teyla focused on the large hand inches from her face. She was sure she'd never been that close to Ronon's hand before, and she was almost startled to see the patterns of scars that criss-crossed his skin. She knew there was a story behind each and every one of them, but wondered at the same time if she'd ever hear even one tale.
Once more, she had to drag her mind back to the question asked. "Yes." It took great focus for her to remember how to lift her hand so Ronon could grasp it and haul her up out of her chair. She planted her feet and bent her knees slightly to keep herself from swaying. Everything looked like it had a haze around it – and it was barely 1500 hours. She still had a very long day ahead of her. How could Ronon be so energetic, when he'd surely had almost as little sleep as she?
It didn't matter, she told herself. She was Athosian, a warrior, a leader, a strong, determined woman through-and-through. She would make it through this day if it killed her – which, she mused regretfully, it just might.
The Athosian and the Satedan walked silently to her quarters, where Ronon left her with a quick smile and a promise to see her later. Teyla entered her quarters, where she sent a longing glance at her bed, but by brute force of will she bypassed it and went straight to her shower. She would need one anyway, even if she were taking a nap. If not, she'd get mud all over her bedsheets.
Teyla cranked the temperature to hot and stepped under the spray, her muscles protesting the sudden jolt at first, but then relaxing and allowing the sore stiffness that was already setting in to ease away. Her eyelids got heavy again, dragging down, pulling her body with them. . .
. . .She came back to complete awareness when the water hit her in the face, just keeping her from landing on the floor. Shaking her head briskly, she reached forward and switched the water to as cold as she could stand it, giving her just the shock she needed to wake her up, at least for the moment.
There was just enough time left for her to towel-dry her hair as best she could and dress in loose pants and a top, then grab her gear bag. She took off for the gym, knowing Ronon and a bunch of Atlantis's new recruits were waiting on her for the class she and Dex jointly taught.
Teyla made it to the gym with a minute and a half to spare, but was still the last one there. She felt her face flush when everyone stared at her with curious eyes – all but Ronon, who was standing off to the side spinning a rod in each hand and looking vaguely worried. She slinked off to join him, using her arms to shield her face as she pulled her mostly-dry hair back off her face. "I apologize for being late," she said softly to him.
Ronon shrugged. "You're not late," he said. "You're only late if we start without you."
"I like that analogy." For the first time all day she was feeling pretty awake, thanks to her cold shower and the jog all the way from her quarters to the gym. She did some quick, gentle warm-up sparring with Ronon, then called the class to order. It had been pretty unnecessary, since everyone had already been watching the two of them spar. Teyla had spotted more than one open mouth, for even when she and Ronon were warming up, they were really going at each other.
Of all the classes she'd taught with Ronon, the current one was the easiest. All the newbies, as Sheppard called them, were eager to learn. They reminded Teyla a little of wide-eyed children, anxious to assimilate any new information people were willing to teach them, and then use that information to please their teachers. To her immense relief, everything went smoothly and quickly.
Questions numbered few, allowing the class to dismiss five minutes early. Teyla waved off the last student with a smile, then set her back against the wall and slid down it. The swirling colors on the pattern on the walls and floor were beginning to look like they were in motion, and she felt like she was moving in slow motion through molasses.
She opened her eyes to see Ronon hovering above her, unintentionally looming, one hand out toward her as the other rested just over the earpiece for his radio. "I'm fine," she said, but her words sounded slurred even to herself. "I'm just a little. . ." She lifted her finger, knowing there was supposed to be another word after that last one, but she couldn't seem to be able to get it to come to mind.
And someone was laughing. Actually, more like giggling maniacally, but who was keeping track?
Ronon slowly came down onto his knees, forehead wrinkled, his hand still stretched out toward her. Only now it was palm-out, as if he were trying to diffuse a dangerous situation with a crazy person.
Then Teyla realized she was the one laughing – er, giggling maniacally.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Ronon asked. This time his eyebrows raised almost to his hairline.
Teyla hiccupped, wiping tears away from her eyes. Her vision was blurred with moisture and tiredness. "I am so tired," she said. Suddenly all her hilarity drained away, leaving her feeling like she was about to collapse. At that point, death would have been preferable to attempting to keep functioning – especially functioning normally – feeling like she did. She hiccupped again, and this time two tears trailed down from the corners of her eyes. She'd never felt so tired in her entire life. And sore – her muscles were so deeply sore from all she'd done in the village, topped off by a very vigorous class teaching Marines, who were plenty vigorous on their own. Their idea of low-contact sparring left bruises the size of grapefruits. Sighing deeply, Teyla allowed her head to sink back against the wall, thumping it softly as her eyes finally closed.
Ah, sweet relief.
Ronon quietly shifted next to her, and suddenly she was moving. She put up a token resistance until she realized what he was doing. One arm went around her shoulder, the other her waist, as he gently eased her against him, her head on his shoulder. Until that moment she hadn't realized how cold she was. Sighing again, Teyla allowed herself to melt against him, sagging bonelessly into the warm, comfortable, comforting, warm. . .
The doors opened again. Even though she had no energy left, Teyla attempted to tense and push away from Ronon, opening her scratchy eyes at the same time.
"Hush," Ronon warned. His arms tightened around her, forcing her to stay in place. She felt him look up and away from her. "Sheppard." There was the slightest trace of menace in his tone.
Teyla was momentarily distracted by the way his deep voice rumbled in his chest when he said that. . .
"Uh – Ronon. Teyla. Uh – am I – uh – interrupting something? Um – important?" Sheppard sounded like he was facing down a thousand Wraith with nothing but a butter knife in his hand.
"Yes," Ronon said frankly, a very soft growl in his throat.
"Right," John said. Teyla could hear his footsteps slowly retreating backwards, then the soft whoosh of the doors opening at his approach. "I – um – I'm just going to—"
Teyla tensed again when she heard John stop walking. Then, quietly, a "Yes?" from his direction.
"You say one thing about this to anyone, and you will seriously regret it the next time we spar." Ronon's voice was deceptively smooth, uninflected, but Teyla could just imagine the look on his face.
"My lips are sealed. And – just to let you know what a really nice, awesome guy I really am deep inside – I'm going to make sure no one comes into the gym until further notice. I'm going now." The next sound was quick footsteps retreating at a near-run, then the door sliding shut.
Smiling drowsily, Teyla found herself oddly touched by Ronon's gesture. And John's, even though he'd been blackmailed into it. "Thank you," she said, though it sounded more like "wan to."
Ronon laughed, and Teyla was once more caught up in the lovely rumbling sounds in his chest. "You're welcome." A soft touch to the top of her head made a warm flush spread up her neck and through her cheeks – it originated in her chest, exactly from her heart. He kissed me!
Teyla giggle/sigh/hiccupped. She really was yeah-close to losing her mind to exhaustion. She'd heard of this happening before. . . But she couldn't remember if the victims recovered after sleep or not. Or did they wind up in eternal sleep? She couldn't remember. For that matter, she really didn't care anymore.
Chuckling again, this time much softer, Ronon rested his head against hers. Suddenly she realized that he had been tired, too, he'd just been much better at hiding it. "Sleep well, Teyla. I'll make sure no one wakes you up." The tone of his voice sent a series of images spinning dizzily through her mind, all of them things she knew Ronon could do to keep that promise if someone did wander in.
She fell asleep still smiling, the warm body around her lulling her into deep, restful, wonderful, blissful sleep.
And when she dreamed, it was of Ronon.