Hope for Them Yet

Disclaimer: These characters are lovely, but not mine; this story is for fun, not profit.

A/N: This story started as a very brief response to the March Challenge on sga_beya. The names for some of the short chapters are taken from the challenge. Many Thanks to those who have left comments, here and on LJ! It is wonderful – and much needed! – encouragement to keep writing!

Chapter 6: Life

Since the moment he'd walked in the door and kissed her lightly as though he did exactly the same thing every day, Teyla had sensed the shift in him. He had not hidden his longing from her as their eyes met, and the air had felt charged the entire evening. It was stronger at every touch: their fingers brushing when they passed dishes at the table, her hand on his arm as she walked past him.

She had not hidden her longing from him either, and she could see the confidence that settled on him more completely as the evening wore on. His eyes had held a seductive promise across the table that made her shiver with anticipation, even as they laughed together with Torren. How different this night was, and how right it felt! She thought of the times past when she had sought comfort in his arms, or sought to comfort him, and she remembered his awkwardness. There was no awkwardness tonight as he came into her arms and took her into his, only the blessed relief of being exactly where they belonged.

He lifted his head from hers and she could feel the shaky breath as he drew it in.

"Teyla– sweet, beautiful Teyla–" he murmured.

"John." she replied, managing to make the word a caress and an assertion of possession all at once. She leaned her head back to look up into his face and saw confirmation there.

"Ah, Teyla, I've waited so long – too, too long," he whispered. "I've wanted you as…as far back as I can remember."

"I am here now. Do not regret the past. I will not. I too have longed for this moment, but these years have not been wasted." She glanced to the curtained alcove where her son slept and then turned back to face him. "And always, John, always you have been a faithful friend to me as well as a courageous leader. I will not regret a moment. But neither do I wish to waste the time that we have now. Every day, every hour is precious to me, more precious knowing that my heart has found its home in you."

John waited patiently as she spoke. Her words warmed him. But really, he just wanted her to stop talking – for a little while at least. "Are you finished talking now?" he asked.

At her nod he grinned lopsidedly, "Thank the ancestors," he muttered as his leaned over to claim her lips with his own. One hand cradled her face while the other was open on the small of her back, stretching to touch as much of her as he could, and pressing her to him.

John felt a brief resurgence of awkwardness when she took his hand and led him to her bed, her eyes making her intentions clear. "What about Torren?" he asked, though he hated to raise any objection.

"Torren will be fine. He sleeps soundly, and he hopes you will be here when he awakens." She smiled. "He knows you belong with us too."

At that he crushed her to him again. "He's right. And, Teyla, you know that I love TJ, don't you? I know he comes first, and I'm good with that..." He stopped, realizing that he had not said the words. "Teyla, Teyla…I – I love you."

"I know, but thank you." she replied with her biggest smile. "And I love you, John."

~oOo~

Much later, Torren awoke in his bed, rubbed his eyes, and remembered the evening before. He padded out to the main room and over to the larger bed near the far wall. Light from the windows behind it allowed him to see that Uncle John was sleeping there. He smiled a sleepy smile and stood on tiptoe to reach his face close to John's, giving him a light kiss on the top of his head. He walked about the room and found John's discarded headset where he'd left it on the table. He gave the bed a measuring gaze, shrugged his little shoulders, and pulling a spare cover from the foot of the bed he tucked himself into a corner of the sofa. He didn't want to miss being there when his friend woke up.

~oOo~

As John slowly awakened he smiled with satisfaction. The woman he loved was there by his side. He was sure they would make a life together, and he knew that every day would be brighter with Teyla beside him. His smile widened as he thought about the night before, and he reached out a hand to brush her hair from her face.

"Yes, but he's sleeping!"

Hearing the loud stage whisper from the other side of the room, John began to take in more of his surroundings. He noted that the room was bathed in light from the window, and then he saw Torren across the room, holding a radio awkwardly to his ear, the boom sitting at an odd angle.

"Ok, Uncle Ronon! I'll tell him!"

John groaned. He took a quick inventory and realized that he was both naked and busted. He'd meant to get up and dress before morning, but each time he'd woken during the night, dressing was the furthest thing from his mind. Even without that added information he knew that Ronon would enjoy teasing him – especially after the weak denial he'd given at lunch. Was that really only yesterday?

He touched Teyla gently under the covers, not wanting to alert Torren that he was awake, and she smiled even before opening her eyes – the same smile that John had worn himself a moment ago, and it returned to his lips as he watched her. He laid a fingertip gently against her lips and when she opened her eyes he pointed towards Torren. Her smile only grew wider as she turned to see her son, now playing quietly.

"Good morning, Torren!"

"Mama! Uncle John is still here. Can we play today?"

"Perhaps. You will have to ask him that yourself. But we have a mission today, so you will have to wait until this evening."

Torren pouted, but only for a moment. "Will you come back?" he asked John, who had by this time opened his eyes fully and waved to the boy.

"Sure," John answered. "Maybe we'll get Mom to eat with us in the mess tonight, what do you think? And TJ, is that my radio?"

TJ looked a little guilty but brought the radio over to John willingly enough.

"Uncle Ronon wanted you. He said you were late for your run but I told him you were sleeping." Torren said, adding helpfully, "he didn't sound mad; he was laughing."

"Torren," Teyla interrupted smoothly, "will you please go and wash for breakfast?" As he scampered off she reached for the robe that was draped over a chair next to the bed. "I'll keep him busy while you dress," she told John with a smile and a quick kiss. "And don't worry. Torren is happy that you are here." He dressed hastily as he heard Teyla answering Torren's questions from the other room, realizing he had only 30 minutes to get back to his own quarters and clean up for his early meeting with Lorne. And yes, he'd missed his run with Ronon. At least he'd gotten some exercise.

~oOo~

When the ad hoc team returned from their mission late that day, Rodney came to meet Sheppard as he was heading back to his quarters. He had come to lobby for some solid time in the lab for several scientists who were often assigned to off-world teams. After he'd exhausted that subject he turned his attention to their conversation at lunch the day before.

"Jennifer told me I should have kept my mouth shut, but really, it's better for you to be able to set the record straight and move on, right?"

"Right, Rodney. Um, about that, uh, setting the record straight…" John ran a hand through his already-elevated hair.

"What? I was right! Jennifer was right! You did it, didn't you? Well. It's about time." Hiding his smile until his back was turned, Rodney left John gaping after him in the hallway.

Then John turned and allowed the door to his quarters to slide open. Yes, he thought with a grin, yes it is.

The End