Disclaimer: It's Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper's sandbox, I'm simply destroying the sandcastles

August 2011

Title: Hope to Hopeless

Author: Jade-Max

Characters: Teyla Emmagan, Michael

Genre: Angst, Character Death

Season / Episode Tag: Stargate Atlantis, Season 4; The Last Man

Summary: Alternate Timeline Teyla Emmagan waits for a John Sheppard to rescue her from Michael, unaware that he's gone missing through a wormhole and can no longer help her.

Notes: Inspired by My Last Breath by Evanescence

Hope to Hopeless

Holding my last breath

Safe inside myself

Are all my thoughts of you?

Sweet raptured life

It ends here tonight

-My Last Breath by Evanescence

Teyla Emmagan placed one hand low on her belly, biting back a gasp as another contraction hit, closing her eyes against the pain as she struggled to prevent nature from taking its course. She'd gone into labor several hours ago and her water had broken not minutes before. Her baby was on the way and she was still Michael's captive; her time, she knew, was running out.

Not yet, my son, she silently implored, sweat beading her brow as she forced herself to exhale slowly, staring at the floor of her cell. Not yet. Wait; they will come for us. He will come for us. They simply need more time!

The baby in her womb weighed heavy against her pelvis and pushed against her cervix, demanding to be let out of his nine month prison. She was fighting a losing battle against her body's natural inclination and she knew it.

"It is time."

Teyla's head snapped up at the calm declaration, finding the speaker immediately where he stood beyond the Wraith bars of her cell. "Michael," his name hissed between her teeth, fear and pain mingling with determination. "You cannot have my son!"

"Ah Teyla," he smiled, the bars withdrawing as he stepped into her cell. "Today is a glorious day for us both. You will become a mother and I... I will have the key I need to complete my research."

"I would rather him die unborn than turn my baby over to you, Michael."

"Now that," he told her softly, approaching her as two of his hybrids stepped into the cell behind him, Kanaan one of them, "is something I cannot allow."

Teyla sent the father of her child one last, desperate plea even as she knew it would do no good. "Kanaan, please do not let him do this!"

Michael tsked, drawing closer, and she pushed painfully to her feet, cradling her belly between her hands as she took an unsteady step away from him. Anything to prolong the time she had; anything to give her team the time they needed to find her. They would find her; John would never leave her in Michael's hands. He would come; she simply had to be there, to be alive, when he did.

"Sedating you for the delivery would be unwise and not in the best interest of the child," Michael told her evenly, taking another step as she moved beyond his reach yet again. "But I will do so if you do not cooperate."

Teyla slapped his hands away as he came close enough to reach him, swinging with one even as she made to move past him. Her training, while rusty after being in a cell with little or no use these last months, was effective. Her fingers found pressure points on his arm, numbing his fingers. Darting past him in a rare moment where adrenaline fueled her actions, she made for the hybrids.

Two steps shy of them she crumbled, going down with a cry as another, more powerful contraction hit her. Curling to protect her child despite her threat to Michael, she clutched her belly. Hands touched her and she struggled weakly against them, but her body's strengths had turned to birthing her baby.

The two hybrids lifted her in concert and she struggled against their hold, her gaze going to the only ally she'd seen since Carson had tried to save her; Kanaan.

"Kanaan, please."

There wasn't even a flicker of recognition as she was carried from the cell and into the hallway. Another contraction hit her and she tasted blood, the hallway swimming about her as her senses refused to accept defeat.

Her fingers, clutching the hybrids for support, even now sought the most painful and debilitating crevices in which to plunge. Something, anything, that would free her and allow her freedom. Freedom, she knew, that would be fleeting in her condition, but would gain her time.

Precious time.

Her ears strained to catch the familiar sound of P90 fire or Ronon's gun beyond the shuffling feet of the hybrids and Michael's instructions. Or, even more precious, the sound of his voice calling her name, letting her know her time in this prison was at an end.

Her nose searched beyond the smell of sweat and blood for the familiar acrid smoke of C-4 explosions - or perhaps the old spice of Rodney's cologne.

Her eyes, half closed in pain, still searched the corridors they traversed, looking for places to hide; looking for the ambush site that would bring her deliverance. Things that would herald her rescue; her release. Things that would mean her son's future with her. Things that would mean their safety.

But nothing happened.

No explosions; no gun fire; no voice calling her name.

Michael's hybrids carried her from the cruiser, across an open expanse of an industrial wasteland and into a warehouse where she was placed on a strange looking table. Instruments of all kinds were lined up in neat rows on the surrounding surfaces, but Teyla saw none of it. Her contractions now came with alarming frequency even as she silently begged the baby for more time.

Please, little one. I wish to know you, to hold you; but not now!

Her son paid no heed and she cried out as agony ripped through her lower back. Rolling with it, she tried to use it as a way to slide off the table even if there was no way she could catch herself. She was in no condition to facilitate her own escape, but if John and Rodney and Ronon had not come to her rescue by now, there was little chance they would before her baby was born. Needing help, she'd done the only thing she could and tried to stall for time.

But time had run out.

Lashing out at the hybrids and Michael as they came near her, Teyla fought with all that was left in her even as the analytical tactician within her knew it was a losing battle. Without aid, she couldn't hope to win. But even without aid, she wasn't going to meekly accept her fate. Her life and that of her child were at stake.

"Get away from me!"

Kanaan was flung backwards and to the side as her foot caught him squarely in the chest, straight into Michael. The force of it sent them careening into one of the terminals and overturning one of the nearby platforms, instruments crashing to the ground. An arm bar dropped the other hybrid as Teyla collapsed to the floor.

"Stop her!"

Michael's enraged shout as he struggled to be free of Kanaan spurred her to action. Crawling, for there was no way she could stand, Teyla scrambled for one of the wicked looking instruments. Resembling a cleaver she'd seen the Lantean chef use in their kitchen, it was longer and more curved, she didn't hesitate.

It swung wide, taking the head off the prone hybrid who'd dropped beside the table and was starting to right itself.

"Teyla!"

Michael's mental touch was demanding, insistent, but she who'd resisted Queen's had no trouble resisting his mental commands. A long, thin piece of metal lay nearby as she clutched the blade, palming it as she dragged herself across the floor. The agony of each movement, hindered by her body's natural instincts, as she made for the door.

Time. I must give him time!

But time, she knew, even as she thought it, was up. Her team wasn't coming for her, John wasn't going to be able to save her. She would die and her baby would become Michael's pawn. That thought, the idea of her son being used in such a fashion, gave her the strength to push through the pain.

Michael's hybrids caught her near the door as Michael regained his feet, Kanaan's prone form unmoving among the instruments. Even as he stepped towards her, the long blade slashed left and right, taking down the hybrids who'd once been her people. Tears swam in her eyes, her jaw set, the contraction that ripped through her form as she turned the blade on herself, rolling to meet Michael's gaze as she placed the cleaver against her swollen abdomen.

Her unexpected move brought him to an abrupt halt.

"Just what do you think you are doing, Teyla?"

"If it is what I must to do save him from you," she informed him tightly. "I will gladly end both our lives!"

He said nothing as his gaze remained on hers, and - a fraction of a moment later - her breath hissed through her teeth as her body convulsed, trying to expel her baby.

Michael struck before she could recover, sending the cleaver-like blade flying to the far corner of the room. Her wrists were then pinned, more hybrids entering the room to take over the hold, keeping her immobile as Michael moved away.

There, on the floor, her body writhing of its own accord, her baby, her son, made his entrance into the world.

And it was Michael who aided her. Michael who caught him, his touch tender if clinical; Michael who wrapped him in clean linens with a smile of welcome, wiping his face to draw breath; Michael who cut the cord tethering mother to son.

Michael who turned a deaf ear to her pleas to hold him.

It was also Michael who pressed the tip of a a syringe to her thigh before her body recovered from the stress; Michael who straightened her clothing as her son was lifted away. "If you were not so strong minded, Teyla, you'd have made a perfect hybrid consort."

Michael's regret was lost in her cry.

"Michael. Please..." The drug was mercifully swift, a tribute to the respect and caring she'd once shown him; of the high esteem in which he held her. As he washed her son, the feeling began to safe from her toes... her feet... her legs... Knowing her time was short, feeling her body cooling even as her mental faculties began to slow, Teyla was beyond pride. "Let me hold him; let me... hold my son."

The Wraith who wasn't a Wraith didn't appear to hear her as he spoke to her son, telling him in a soft, almost prideful voice of the plans and dreams he would fulfill; of those he already had.

Darkness closed in as Teyla felt her lungs begin to seize, her breathing become labored, darkness edging her vision as tears slid down her cheeks. And, irrationally, she felt guilty. Guilty for not having the strength to escape Michael; guilty for being unable to protect her son from Michael; guilty for not being able to give John the time he needed to find and rescue her.

Michael disappeared from her sight, taking her son and leaving the room even as the breath rattled painfully in her lungs, her heart slowing as the drug began to shut down her vital organs. Her limbs twitched, her motor control gone, and her head turned near sightless eyes towards the doorway as her heart cried out in silence.

For her son and the fate awaiting him; for the fact she'd never held him and he would never know just how much his mother loved him. He would never feel her embrace or her lips upon his cheek; he would never know what good people he'd come to be a part of; Athosian and Lantean. He would never bear the name she'd chosen for him.

For Ronon and Rodney and the pain they would feel when they arrived too late to save her; for not having taken the chance to tell each of them what they meant to her before it was too late.

For John Sheppard; for he would take her death hard. She knew he would come; she'd simply taken it for granted that he would arrive in time to save her. He would blame himself for it; push himself to breaking in an attempt to earn a forgiveness she would never be able to explain had been granted from the first.

It was her last thought before slipping away, her lifeless body left where it had fallen, sightless eyes staring after Michael and her son. Sightless eyes that would reflect, but not see, Ronon and Rodney come through the same portal barely two hours later; sightless eyes that would never register the glaring absence of the man she'd been so certain would come for her.

What she could not, and would not, ever know, was that John Sheppard - while looking for her - had stepped through a wormhole and disappeared several hundreds of thousands of years into the future... and could save no one, let alone himself.

fin