I don't own Stargate Atlantis or any of its characters. MGM does as far as I know.
Thanks goes to DaniWilder for giving this a once over. And thank you for reading.
"Excuse me, Radek," Teyla said with her customary politeness as she walked up to the Czech scientist's desk. She placed her hands on the desk and gave him a charming smile. "Would you be able to tell me where Rodney is?"
Radek looked up from his work and sighed as he sadly shook his head. "I would assume he is with Jennifer."
Teyla slowly shook her head and sighed as well. "He is not with her." She glanced around Rodney's domain with a small frown upon her lips. "I thought perhaps he would be here."
"I haven't seen him," replied Radek as he leaned back in his chair, "and I have been here all day. Have you tried the radio?"
Teyla gave Radek a gentle smile that said that she wasn't a simpleton and nodded. "I assumed that he would be here immersed in his work as he usually does when he is unable to help with something."
Radek shook his head and then pushed his glasses up into their proper place on his nose. "How is Jennifer?"
Teyla gave Radek a brave a smile that she hoped would convey to him a confidence she didn't feel. "She is fighting courageously," she assured him.
"And there has been no word from Colonel Sheppard?" he asked.
"No," Teyla responded with another shake of her head. The word seemed to echo in the room, though she knew that in reality there was no echo to be heard. They remained in an awkward silence until Teyla smiled at Radek and said, "I must go. If you see Rodney…"
Radek was already nodding his head. "I will tell him you are looking for him."
Teyla nodded her thanks and went in search of her team mate…her friend. She tried the adjoining labs, then his quarters, then Jennifer's room and then the control room. She decided to check the Infirmary again before searching the balconies that he occasionally frequented, and as she walked along the corridor she thought about Rodney.
He was not taking Jennifer's current situation well, not that she would fare any better had she found herself in his position. The poison that Jennifer had been given was very nasty indeed, instantly inducing a coma that she would never come out of unless she received the proper medicine as soon as possible, a medicine that John, Ronon and Major Lorne were trying to procure even as she walked the corridors. The fact that Jennifer was an unintentional victim of the poison did nothing the ease the anger and pain Rodney was feeling, and the fact that he hadn't been present with her when it had happened only added fuel to the fire that was consuming him.
Teyla stopped at one of the many intersections and thought the situation through. Sandy, Jennifer's most trusted nurse and friend, had promised to call her if Rodney reappeared at the Infirmary, and Sandy was true to her word without fail.
"Can I help you, ma'am?" asked a young voice from behind her.
She turned around and came face to face with one of John's new soldiers- Jenkins, according to the name printed on the right side of his uniform. She gave the young man a quick appraisal and guessed him to be very young indeed. She gave him a gentle smile and said, "I am looking for Dr. McKay. Have you seen him?"
The young man's head bobbed comically up and down. "Yes, ma'am…he just went into the chapel down the hall. He, well, he…"
Teyla waited for Jenkins to continue, but he didn't say anything else and simply shrugged his shoulders somewhat anxiously. "He what?" she prodded gently and with a supportive smile.
"Well, ma'am," the young man said as he nervously ran his hand through his short brown hair, "he seemed to be lost in thought, I guess. I nearly ran into him and he didn't even seem to notice."
Teyla nodded. "He is very worried about Dr. Keller," she responded honestly. Rodney and Jennifer's relationship was not a secret amongst the city's inhabitants. In fact it was quite the opposite, with those who found it hard to believe making wagers on virtually each and every facet of their relationship, while those who really knew them both celebrated their happiness at every opportunity.
"Yes, ma'am," replied the soldier. He glanced at his watch and then did a quick double take of the object. "Holy moley!" He looked up to Teyla, his blue eyes wide with fear. "I'm supposed to meet Mr. Woolsey in two minutes on the East Pier!"
Teyla stood aside and gave the soldier an appreciative nod. "Thank you for your help."
Jenkins gave her a crisp salute and scurried off down the hall, leaving an amused Teyla alone in the hallway. In all her years among the people of Earth, she had never been saluted before. She shook her head amusedly and then turned towards the direction which Jenkins had indicated.
She'd never been to the chapel, nor had she known John or Rodney to visit it before. She slowly walked towards the door at the end of the corridor and searched her memory. She'd heard a few people speak of visiting the chapel to pray or to give thanks after particularly trying times for the city. She still did not understand the religious rites and beliefs of the people of Earth, nor had she ever been exposed to a group of people from one place who believed in so many different things. Her people, for example, worshipped the Ancestors exclusively and had done so throughout their collective history.
She approached the door and tried to remember if Rodney had ever said anything about his religion, or if he practiced any religious rites. She couldn't recall him ever speaking of religion at all, except when giving a reproachful dismissal of some of the religious practices and beliefs they had encountered in their travels.
Teyla summoned her resolve and opened the door. When it had slid fully open, she stepped inside and waited for her eyes to adjust to the lower light of the chapel. There were different sections in the large room, to accommodate those of different religions, she supposed. She scanned the room and found only one person within the room: Rodney.
She silently made her way to where he was seated, a few rows back from what she believed the Earth people called a cross that was resting on a small table. He didn't acknowledge her presence, though she had been around Rodney enough to know that he knew she was there. She took the seat to his right and followed his gaze, pinpointed as it was on the cross before them. After a few moments, her left hand reached over and covered his, which had been laying motionless beside its brother upon his lap.
She was encouraged when his hand turned underneath hers so that they were palm to palm, and then his fingers curled around her hers. She turned her head so that she could see him.
"I didn't know where else to go," he finally whispered after what seemed to be a long time to her. "They wouldn't let me go to get the cure, and seeing her like that," he stopped and closed his eyes, "with the wires and tubes and machines... "
Teyla gave his hand a gentle squeeze, and she was rewarded with an attempted smile. It didn't amount to much, but it was a good sign.
Suddenly he straightened in his chair and looked around the room. "I don't know why I came here," he said, almost as though he'd just realized exactly where he was. "I mean I don't believe in God, haven't for a long time." His hand tightened around hers. "I don't know if I ever did. I'm not really sure what Jennifer believes. She has a, ah," he motioned to his throat with his free hand as he tried to retrieve the correct word from his internal dictionary, "necklace, with a pendant…a cross, but she doesn't wear it so I don't know…we've never talked about it…"
He was starting lose what control he had left, Teyla realized, and she knew she would have to act quickly to keep him focused on what mattered. She strengthened her grip on his hand to equal his and he turned to look at her. "It doesn't matter why you came here, Rodney."
Rodney opened his mouth, but it closed again a moment later without uttering a sound.
Teyla turned to look upon the cross once more. "It is a matter of faith, Rodney."
"How can I have faith in something I don't believe exists?" he whispered softly.
Teyla looked at him in wonder- she'd never heard Rodney sound so unsure of something; she'd never heard him ask her a question with such seriousness in his voice.
"Perhaps you need to look for something else to place your faith in," she said after a moment, "or someone. It has been obvious to me since our first meeting that you have faith in your intelligence and your ability to solve very difficult problems." She paused for a moment as though she were thinking it over. "You have faith in Colonel Sheppard, do you not?"
For a second, the Rodney she knew and loved as a valued friend appeared on his face, showing at first disbelief that she would dare suggest such a ridiculous idea, and then begrudging acceptance that what she'd said was true. She nearly smiled when he looked away as if he were trying to hide what his face was betraying.
"Then you must have faith that he will do what he can and what he must to get what is needed for Jennifer," she said, her own faith in John giving her voice steadiness and strength. She gave him a sly look and stated, "We both know you believe in Carson and his abilities. He will not rest until Jennifer is well. And what of Jennifer, Rodney?" When he turned to her and gave her a puzzled look she said with a raised eyebrow, "You know her better than anyone on Atlantis, and you have seen her at her best and at her worst. She loves you and you love her." Teyla increased the pressure of her grip to emphasize her question. "Do you not believe that she is strong enough to fight to stay alive? Do you not have faith in her?"
Teyla watched and waited as Rodney faced forward again. She did not worry for an instant that he would not come to realize what she'd said was true; she did not worry that he would not find that he did indeed have faith in the woman he loved.
She had faith in John, Ronon and Major Lorne…any one of those men would gladly give his life to save Jennifer's; and she had faith in Jennifer's strength of will and spirit, she'd seen the younger woman's courage herself on more than one occasion. More than all of that right now, however, she had faith that Rodney McKay would be able to look into himself and find the faith she knew resided within him.
After several silent moments the tension eased out of Rodney's shoulders and his hand slackened around hers. He turned to her and gave her a weak smile that didn't quite reach his eyes, but it was a smile nonetheless. "You always know just what to say, don't you?"
"It is a gift that not all share, I'm afraid," she said, attempting to bring some levity to their conversation. Rodney hesitated for a moment and then his snort of laughter made her genuinely smile. She was just about to suggest that they head back to the Infirmary when Chuck's voice filtered into the room via the city's intercom.
'Dr. McKay, please contact the control room immediately.'
Rodney touched his comm. and reactivated the unit. "This is McKay."
Teyla watched as Rodney released her hand and quickly shot to his feet. After another moment of listening he stepped back, pushing the chairs out of alignment and out of his way, then motioned for her to get up. "They're back!" he exclaimed, and she jumped up out of the chair and followed Rodney out of the chapel and into the brightly lit hallway.
They ran through the corridors of Atlantis towards the Infirmary without breaking their strides, sending personnel scurrying out of their way lest they be trampled by a stampeding Canadian or Athosian. When they finally flew through the entrance to the Infirmary, Rodney rushed past the waiting John, Ronon and Lorne and hurried to Jennifer's bedside farther inside.
Teyla moved to stand next to John, and when she asked with her eyes what was happening, he shrugged his shoulders and tried not to look worried.
After a few moments, Sheppard said, "We got the antidote and got back as soon as we could. Carson isn't sure."
Teyla peered into the inner section of the Infirmary where she could see Rodney leaning down over Jennifer's bed. She couldn't see Jennifer herself, her view of her friend being obscured by the backs of Carson and Sandy who were hovering over their patient and monitoring her condition.
She waited along with John, Ronon and Lorne, her faith in Jennifer and Carson sustaining her even as her mind warned her that the longer nothing changed the worse the odds became for Jennifer.
"Come on," John whispered beside her.
Teyla was about to tell John to be patient, but the thought fled her mind when Rodney suddenly stood up straight and looked towards them. He searched across the expanse of the Infirmary with his eyes, and when they finally found hers her friend smiled and gave her a single, resolute nod.
She smiled back at him and felt relief and happiness flood her body. She turned and embraced the closest person to her, which happened to be John. She looked up as she and John hugged and her eyes connected with Ronon's. She smiled her appreciation at him, which he returned with a happy grin of his own. Her eyes then flitted over to Evan to convey her thanks to him as well, but she found the Major's attention riveted to something behind her. She assumed he was looking at Rodney and or Jennifer, but it was a moment later that she realized she'd been mistaken, right about the time that Sandy walked up to him.
Teyla released John as Evan and Sandy faced each other, neither seemingly knowing what to do or what to say. Finally Evan's eyes softened and he drew the nurse into a tender hug.
"I really wasn't sure she was going to pull through this one," said John in her ear, drawing her attention away from Evan and Sandy.
She turned and followed John's gaze farther into the Infirmary. Rodney was seated next to Jennifer's bed, and he was leaned forward talking to her with the silliest grin on his face.
Teyla drew her arms up and hugged herself. "I did," she said, and when she looked at John she could see the doubt in his eyes. She smiled and explained by saying, "I had faith."