AN: Thanks to all of you that have enjoyed this tale. Congrats to everyone that figured out the clues ;) Also, I don't own "Sleeping Beauty" or any of the characters from it. Thanks also to my beta, nacinom for the idea to write the epilogue!
Rodney spent two days deciphering the data from the room. When he finished reading it, he sat back and laughed. He was going to be able to tease Sheppard for ages over this. He looked at his watch, realized it was lunchtime and headed for the mess hall, tablet tucked under his arm. As he entered, he looked for his team. Sure enough, they were already seated and eating, and, even better, Carson, Lorne and Zelenka had joined them. He hurriedly filled his tray, grabbed a seat and started eating, letting the lunchtime chatter wash over him.
Carson, noticing his silence, decided to see why Rodney wasn't regaling them with his latest find. "So, Rodney, did you find out anything about those rooms?"
Rodney swallowed; a mischievous look on his face. "Oh, yes. It was very interesting." He took a few more bites of his lunch.
John waved his hand in a hurry up gesture, part of a honey turkey sandwich adding punctuation. "So, c'mon and spill it already. We know you're dying to tell."
Rodney took his time chewing, knowing every eye was on him. He finally swallowed the last bite, figuring he had held the suspense long enough. Grabbing his tablet, he called up the files. "That room was an experiment by a pair of Ancients, husband and wife scientists named Stefan and Leah. It seems that they were unimpressed with the available crop of potential suitors for their daughter, Aurora, so they built the room to analyze potential mates. Knowing that finding the right person could take a while, they designed the sleeping drug and used it on her on her eighteenth birthday by placing it in the spindle of her spinning wheel. When she inevitably pricked her finger, they placed her on the slab in stasis to await her true love."
Silence descended on the table. Zelenka broke it, wearing a big grin. "So when Colonel pricked his finger, the system kicked in…"
Rodney finished the thought. "And put him in stasis to wait for his true love."
Everyone turned to look at John and Teyla, seated side by side at the end of the table. John was blushing while Teyla looked smug.
Carson decided to save them. "So this is another instance of myth being truth, like the sinking of Atlantis."
Lorne propped his elbow on the table, a smile on his face. "Well, sir, it could have been worse."
John, his blush gone, looked at his second in command with a bit of exasperation. "How so, Major?"
Lorne smirked, the answer coming out in his easy drawl. "She could have been Rapunzel."
The entire table burst out laughing, John snaking a hand up to check his hair. As the laughter died down, John shot the rest of them a glare. "Just remember, if this gets around, I know where to find all of you."
Shortly afterwards, they scattered to return to their duties. John and Teyla walked out together. They were halfway back to Ops when Teyla pulled him into an alcove. "John, are you alright?"
He rubbed the back of his neck then let out a sigh. "Yeah, I'm just not looking forward to the weeks of teasing over this."
She pulled his head down, touching his forehead with her own. "You will survive it." She released him and looked into his hazel eyes. "Do you regret it?"
John shook his head. "Heck, no! I'd endure any amount of teasing to be with you."
Teyla smiled. "I am glad to hear that." Then she pulled his head down once more, but this time for a lingering kiss that brought a wave of heat with it.
When the kiss ended, John looked at the beautiful woman before him, a mischievous sparkle taking up residence in his eyes. "Y'know, I don't have any meetings this afternoon, and neither do you, so let's play hooky."
Teyla returned the look of mischief. "John, we have been working very hard lately, so that is an excellent idea."
They headed to his quarters, went in, locked the door and didn't emerge until much later.
- And life goes on -