A/N: Thanks to all those still following this tale. Be kind and leave a review. Unbetaed so mistakes are mine.
Chapter 15- Bad News
Teyla felt a chill rush over her at Chuck's words and as she could not fathom what Kanaan wanted and why several of their people were with him. Of course, her mind jumped to the worst case scenario. She and John were about to talk about how to deal with Kanaan and now he was here. The appearance of Kanaan could only threaten their newfound happiness.
"Do you want me to stay here?" John asked, knowing someone had to watch Torren.
Teyla shook her head knowing she was not going to be able to do this alone, a far cry from her usual brave front. This was uncharted territory for all of them and no one knew what this visit held. The only way to face it was to face it together. "Can you tell them I will be there in a few minutes?" she responded to Chuck.
After getting an acknowledgement from the gate tech, Teyla tapped her earpiece, "Ronon, come in."
"Yeah!" A gruff response came over the radio, the words slightly garbled by a full mouth of food.
"I need a favor. Can you please come to my quarters and watch Torren? He is taking a nap and I do not wish to wake him. Something had come up that John and I need to handle."
"Okay, sure." Ronon wiped his mouth with a napkin. "What's going on? You sure you don't need my help?"
"No. It's a personal matter," Teyla explained, but not wanting to divulge too much at this time.
The Satedan shrugged, "Okay. I'll be right there." Ronon wondered when his duties started to include babysitting. He quickly deposited his tray and left the mess hall.
"Thanks for this, Chewy." John clasped his friend's shoulder after he arrived. "I owe you a sparring lesson where you are free to kick my ass."
"You mean more than I normally do?" Ronon raised an eyebrow at the feeling that he was intruding on something. "You trust me with Torren?" It would be the first time he was watching the child alone and it made him nervous. Kids were scarier than the meanest Wraith Queen and he had no idea how to entertain the small child if he woke up.
"Yes. Thank you, Ronon." Teyla offered with a smile.
Ronon watched as his teammates left the room and before the door slid shut, he swore he saw John and Teyla slip their hands into one another. "None of my business." A definite surprise turn of events.
Fighting in battle never scared Teyla as much as this. She felt her greatest fear was about to come true; losing her son. She felt her throat begin to tighten and her dark eyes grow darker. "Why did he choose to come now? He wasn't supposed to come for another week."
"Maybe it's nothing serious." John tried to give reassurance, but he was just as frightened. It was the timing that created the fear. It was as if Kanaan knew what had transpired and he was here to take what he thought was his.
Just before entering the Gateroom John and Teyla separated and moved a foot apart. Their new relationship needed to remain a secret for now. The grim look on Kanaan and the other Athosians' faces made matters worse.
"Kanaan, what is wrong?" Guilt was written over every inch of her face. There would always be a part of her that would always love the man she knew for her whole life. It just was not a romantic love.
"It's Halling. He has been sick for a while and he wishes for you to perform the Ring Ceremony before he departs this world." Losing people to natural causes still was new to the Athosians and it was worse than having them culled.
It was not the news Teyla had expected and it threw her for a loop. Halling never mentioned being sick when she was on New Athos a month ago. "How long does he have?"
"It can be anytime," Kanaan reached out to Teyla to comfort her, but was beat to it by John whose comforting embrace was more than a friend comforting another friend. It was a selfish desire that when Teyla heard of her friend's condition that she would turn to him, one of her own, for support. It was only another step away from her people that Teyla took. He felt with year passing day that Teyla moved further and further away and the only thing keeping her from a complete break was her wish for their son to grow up knowing his heritage.
"We will go back with you," her heart was heavy and on the verge of shattering. The Earth superstition of bad things happening in threes weighed heavily on Teyla's mind. First it was Rodney and now Halling. Who would be number three?
To be continued...
A/n: Next up: Adventures in Babysitting.