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4000 words

FIC - SGA - My Gift To You

Written for sga_beya communities fourth secret elf exchange.  This was the fifth gift in the exchange. 

Gift Recipient: spiritcoda.

Category: fic
Title: My Gift to You
Author: maddie_amber
Rating: PG
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: The characters, etc, of SGA don't belong to us. For fun, not profit.
Size: 1750
Comments: I set out to use the word "gift" in each of my five presents.  Present one was set in the first season, present two in the second season, and so on.  This final gift takes place post series finale (season five).  I hope I was successful

My Gift to You

Teyla walked slowly accommodating her pace to that of her young son.  Torren had discovered his feet since their arrival on earth and kept her constantly on guard that he might tumble into trouble.  She marveled at his inquisitiveness, and his speed.  Even numerous unplanned landings on his bottom did not deter him.  He would quickly pull himself to his feet and totter off to explore his ever widening world.  For now though, he seemed content to walk along with his mother, his hand in hers, as they strolled the upper balcony, watching the birds that circled outside the cities protective shield.  Teyla knew the city was still invisible to people looking out from the earth city to the ocean, but she doubted they were unnoticed.  Surely some errant ship had accidently bumped against their shield by now, and certainly some curious ship’s captain had wondered why his vessel would not move beyond a certain point.  John assured her that the Coast Guard as he called them was patrolling the perimeter though she wondered what ruse they had concocted to keep the ever questioning news media from broadcasting their concerns

“He needs a puppy,” John had said the day before.  “To take his mind off the birds."

Teyla had protested at first.  Pets were a liability on Athos.  One more life that needed to be protected should the wraith come.  Her father and his father before him, had always discouraged the keeping of pets, yet she had found the Earth soldiers had unusual affinity for small helpless creatures of any sort.  As she thought of John she felt a surge of anxiety.  The last month had been so difficult for him.  It had been difficult for all of those who had been brought to this galaxy unwillingly.  The adjustment from full alert at all times, to security, and safety did not come easily

“Come on, Torren,” she said.  “It is almost time for your dinner.”  She steered him away from the balcony and into the mess area

As with any near death encounter with the Wraith, victory was followed by the wild euphoria that comes with prevailing over seemingly insurmountable odds.  And as always, after the euphoria came mourning, for those lost.  But, instead of returning to SGA1’s task of exploration and contact to counter that sorrow and give it purpose, this time, there was only the realization that she no longer had a purpose.  No longer a leader, not even certain there would be a place for her on this world, for the first time in her adult life she had no responsibility beyond that of caring for her young son

“Relax and enjoy it,” John had told her.  And she tried to do precisely that, filling her day with Torren, making up for all the time she felt she had lost with him, reading about this new world in hopes she might someday be allowed to explore it more fully, and spending as much time as his schedule allowed with John.  For the first time, they had time to explore the potential of a relationship unburdened by command.  Quiet dinners, lazy mornings, passionate nights she hoped would never end.

The first few days on earth had been bliss.  The joy and excitement was evident throughout Atlantis, as various member s of the crew plotted meetings with family and trips to their favorite places.  For a short while, she and the few other natives of Pegasus who had been accidentally or voluntarily transported to the Milky Way galaxy were forgotten.  More than one crewman had gleefully asked her where her first stop was going to be now that they were ‘home’, before catching themselves in mid-question as they realized what they were saying.  The mistake would invariably be followed with flushed faced apologies, though Teyla was genuinely not offended.  She was, however, painfully aware that she was now an alien on earth’s soils and although human, she was also privy to far too much classified information to simply be released on her own.  It would be weeks, maybe months before she was deemed trustworthy and she would always be a security risk.  She had become as great a liability as the city itself.  And in time her fate might well be tied to the fate of the city

She did not complain.  She was safe.  More importantly, Torren was safe.  And he stood a far better chance of being assimilated into this world than she.  He was too young to possess any information that might make him a security issue

They had all begun to settle cautiously into the routines of peacetime.  The tone of the entire city seemed to relax.  Then the IOA arrived with their investigators and the questions began

“Standard debriefing,” John had told her the first time he left their quarters to meet with the panel responsible for determining the fate of Atlantis and her crew.  He had left in the early morning, dressed in a crisp blue dress uniform, straight and tall and more formal than she remembered ever seeing him.  There was a smile on his face as he kissed her and gave Torren a bear hug and a tickle, but she could see the tension at the corners of his eyes.  This debriefing was not to be taken lightly.  Her turn would come in time.  But for now the questions would be directed to Atlantis command personnel

“This may take a couple days,” he said.  “Nothing to worry about.”  His assurances did not fall on deaf ears, but she knew how intractable and overbearing the IOA had been through all the years of overseeing the Stargate program.  And her concerns were not ill founded.  When John finally returned that evening he said very little.  The topics they discussed were considered classified and she understood this, but very little happened in the last five years, classified or not, that she had not been part of.  Still, she knew not to press him for details.  He would talk in his own time, but the tension around his eyes remained.

And as the days drew on, tension was overshadowed by dark circles of exhaustion.  Days became a week, then two.  Debriefing, became interrogation, became inquisition as the IOA questioned every decision he had made in the past five years.  Command decisions that has, at the time, been the best, most logical option, were now looked on with skepticism and in some cases scorn.  Atlantis’ commanders had always backed John when the IOA intruded on the internal affairs of the city, but Woolsey was facing his own inquisition

All she could do was hold him until the tension eased, and she felt him relax in her arms, only to know that the next day, it would all start again.  They would share a quiet meal and John would play with Torren until the toddler had giggled himself into yawns.  Then after a warm bath, John would read to him, or make up stories until they both drifted off to sleep.  Teyla watched their interaction a smile of contentment on her face and wondered why John had ever questioned his own ability to parent a young child.  Past difficulties with your own parent did not mean an inability to do better

This evening had been no different than the twelve that had preceded it since the IOA had intruded into their lives again.  Gently, she lifted Torren from John’s arms careful not to wake either of them.  The days of questioning had taken their toll.  The uncertainty of both their futures weighed heavily on them.  But for this moment, they were content.  She snuggled her son into his bed, kissing him on the top of the head before dimming the lights

Returning to the common room she eased herself on to the couch next to John.  He shifted to accommodate her, opened his eyes and smiled sleepily at her

“It’s over,” he said quietly.

Teyla’s heart lurched.  “What?” she asked tentatively.

“Woolsey backed me up.  So did Samantha Carter.  Until they decide what to do with Atlantis, I’m still her military commander.”  He drew her more closely to him.  “And, you, Ronon and the other Pegasus personnel, are allowed to stay here in Atlantis.  This will be your home for now, and hopefully, it won’t become a prison.  I’m pushing hard to have you all assimilated into Earth somehow.  Or,” John hesitated a moment, “if you want.  We’ll return you to the Pegasus galaxy as soon as the Hammond is ready for the trip.&rdquo

Teyla felt him tense.

“I know we left Kanaan behind.  He’s Torren’s father. &ldquo

John left the rest of the comment unspoken.  He was asking if she wanted to return to Kanaan.  Teyla lifted herself on to one elbow so that she could look him directly in the eye.  “Kanaan and I have been friends since childhood.  We have always understood that our relationship was fleeting.  We did not plan to conceive a child, but he was a gift we accepted.  And while I love Kanaan, and always will, he is not the one who has won my heart.”

Teyla watched the light of hope in John’s eyes.  “But Torren should be with his father too.”

Teyla laughed.  “Do not pretend that you have not heard him call you ‘Da’.  Kanaan would be a wonderful father but the time is not right for him.  He is a leader and did not feel that he was ready.  Torren too has made his choice.”

“You are also a leader.”

Teyla nodded.  “I will always be a leader.  For now, I can be content to be a mother.  Torren will soon be grown.  And…”  She slipped from John’s embrace and crossed the room to retrieve a small tissue wrapped package from the draw of the desk where she had placed it two weeks ago

John sat up and watched as she approached and sat beside him.  On her last visit to the mainland, Dr. Keller had made a small purchase for her.  She held it now, wrapped in tissue.  Teyla held the tiny package in her hands.  “I have a gift for you,” she said softly as she placed it in John’s hands

John hesitated a moment then gently tore the wrapping.  At first he looked confused, and then a truly joyous smile split his features.  “Are you saying?”

“Yes,” Teyla said with a laugh as he swept her into his arms and kissed her fiercely

Inside the tiny bundle lay a pair of baby booties, tied with a soft pink bow.  Torren would soon have a little sister.

<The end>