Apr. 13th, 2008 09:06 pm
Characters: Rodney/Teyla, Ronon, Sheppard, Carter, Halling
Warnings: Nothing really, spoilers for season four casting.
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Beta: mgbutterfly was kind enough to look over this for me.
Summary: Everyone tries to set up Teyla and Rodney. They stubbornly resist until they don't.
Author's Note: Written for sticksandsnark for telesilla. The prompt was: Ronon and/or John acting as yenta.
There are times when Ronon feels like his hands are tied when dealing with his teammates. The four of them are all products of different cultures, even McKay and Sheppard rarely share an exact view point, and trying to talk to them about anything important inevitably deteriorates into a mess of recriminations and shouting.
Last time the group had gotten into one of their irreconcilable discussions it had been over sex. Sex was one subject Sheppard and McKay almost agreed on. Sex just happened and neither of them seemed concerned with the where or how of it. Sheppard had some rules, people he could or couldn't fuck, but McKay didn't even have those.
The Satedans had much stronger views on sexuality. Ronon can't remember seeing a woman naked until his marriage night. It had been strongly discouraged to even think about such carnal things. He and Melena's year long courtship had been carried out with no less than three chaperons at all times.
Ronon was perhaps the most surprised by Teyla. The Athosians had been more heavily culled than most cultures for many years, and that had shaped their views on every aspect of their lives. They were every bit as open about sex as the people of Earth, the difference being that children were always the ultimate goal of any coupling. Starting the next generation was the most important prerogative for them.
And so, when Ronon started to suspected that Teyla and Kanaan had moved their friendship into the bedroom, he had begun planning for her pregnancy immediately. It's not a surprise when she tells him and Sheppard that she's carrying a child. Ronon has already made his peace with it, and he's happy for her.
The only problem is that her mate is gone—and that's just not acceptable.
The first step is, of course, to find someone good enough to be Teyla's mate. Ronon narrows his options down to three men within seconds, because it also has to be someone he trusts enough to allow them to be alone with Teyla. He considers himself, but Teyla deserves someone that will be attentive to her and her child, and Ronon is selfish enough to reserve his own attentiveness for Jennifer. He considers John, but Ronon has seen the way Sheppard watches Lorne in the showers. Ronon has no problem with that, but it's not exactly conducive to his present needs.
That leaves McKay.
Ronon pauses in cleaning his blaster, turning the idea over in his head and trying to see if it fits. McKay is trustworthy, surprisingly tenacious, and loyal to a fault. He'd be a good provider, and Ronon knows how the other man gets when he fixates on things. Teyla and her child would be fussed over to an outrageous degree. They would want for nothing.
Ronon sights along the barrel of the blaster. Teyla has always shown a degree of patience with McKay that few others manage. And, perhaps most importantly, Ronon has seen how children react to McKay. He'd be a good father. Ronon grunts in satisfaction.
Teyla looks up when Ronon drops into the seat across from her. She's picking at her food, and forces a smile for him that doesn't come close to her eyes. Ronon reaches out and snags her roll since she's not showing any sign of eating it, and says around a mouthful of bread, "You need a man."
Teyla blinks, the way her mouth thins slightly the only sign of her displeasure. "I have a man, Ronon." Her voice is mild, but there's a hard edge beneath it, and Ronon realizes that this might be another of those things that they don't see eye to eye on. He presses on regardless.
"Not here. You can't have a baby without a mate." Children need two parents, that's just the way it is. It had been a hard fact for him to understand and accept as a child. When his father had died he hadn't wanted his mother to remarry, but she had gone out and found an acceptable man to help her raise her three children. And Ronon had been grateful when he was old enough to recognize everything his stepfather had provided him growing up.
Teyla leans back in her seat, her stomach only just beginning to swell against her shirt. Her voice is still blandly mellow, "I appreciate your concern, but I assure you that I will have this child whether or not I have found Kanaan by the child's birth." Her expression says that if he continues this line of questioning much longer she's going to be forced to beat him bloody.
Ronon knows every military maneuver ever performed by Sateda's great generals, and the strategic retreat is a perfectly legitimate option. Ronon smiles and pushes over his chocolate pudding. Teyla frowns at him for another second before relaxing and reaching for the pudding cup.
Ronon is perfectly capable of executing his plan without her initial blessing. She'll thank him in the end.
Turns out McKay isn't as amiable to the idea as Ronon had hoped. Ronon leaves the labs knowing he lost the argument and not exactly sure how it happened. His plan had been streamlined and logical, two characteristics that McKay usually appreciated, but McKay had still shot him down with nothing but scorn and horror.
Ronon thinks things would have gone better if McKay had been aware of Teyla's pregnancy before Ronon informed him that he would make an excellent father to the child. Though Ronon admits that it probably wouldn't have derailed the rant about Teyla's capability to take care of herself and her child.
In any case, the discussion had ended with Ronon's expulsion from the lab, McKay's voice echoing after him, "—hope Teyla never finds out about this!"
Ronon, thwarted on two fronts, realizes that this is something he's going to have to take care of on his own. As smart as the rest of his teammates are, none of them are very good at taking care of themselves when anything really important comes up.
Jennifer doesn't look askance when Ronon spends the majority of the next week hanging around in the infirmary. Ronon figures she's probably used to it by now. He still hasn't been able to bring himself to say more than a handful of words to her, but he likes watching her, likes her nervous energy and quick words. He's been stopping by the infirmary for weeks, and so while he now has a reason for it, no one realizes his intentions have changed.
Ronon only manages to use the computers in bits and snatches. He's not sure about all the rules for the infirmary, but he learned early on that they didn't approve of you looking at other people's medical files. It takes him almost a week to memorize all Teyla's appointments for the next six months. After he has that information, it's just a manner of manipulating McKay into being in the right place at the right time.
Teyla's first checkup is two days after Ronon finally finishes his recon, and he spends the entire morning looking all over the base for McKay. Ronon thoroughly searches the labs, the mess hall, the Jumper bays, and still finds no sign of McKay.
Ronon gives up as he runs out of time and decides that this time he'll have to accompany Teyla to the appointment. He sprints all the way to the infirmary, wondering where the hell McKay has gotten off to. He's starting to think that he's going to be thwarted every step of the way.
By the time Ronon makes it to the infirmary he's thought up a dozen ways to make McKay's life miserable. Teyla's voice interrupts his nearly homicidal thoughts, "This is...a lot of information." Ronon can hear her shuffling papers around and comes around the last corner only to find something that freezes him in his tracks.
McKay shifts, his hands tucked into his pockets. He's staring at Teyla's feet when he says, "Yes, well. There are a lot of things going on right now. In, um, there," McKay gestures at Teyla's stomach before immediately shoving his hands back into his pockets.
Teyla opens her mouth, closes it again and folds up the pages in her hands. Rodney apparently takes her silence as a request for further explanation, because he continues, "I just thought you'd want to know. I made a list of vitamins you should take. And activities you shouldn't be doing anymore. Not that you have to do it immediately. But you know how time flies."
Ronon startles in surprise when Teyla's expression breaks into a soft smile. She says, "Doctor Keller has already provided me with much of the same information, Rodney."
McKay starts nodding as soon as she starts speaking, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, "Right. Yes. Well. I just thought. I mean. A second opinion never hurt anyone, and I have my doubts about the extent of the research anyone else would have put into this so I just thought I'd give you this, too."
Teyla opens her mouth, still smiling, but before she can speak Jennifer steps out of the infirmary. Jennifer looks puzzled, hands behind her back as she stares at first McKay and then Teyla. Jennifer says, "You ready for your appointment, Teyla?"
Teyla nods and McKay starts to take a step back. Before he manages to complete the movement Teyla reaches out, closing her hand around his wrist and tugging gently. She says, "Perhaps you would like to accompany me? After all, a second opinion never hurt anyone."
McKay blinks several times in rapid succession, his fingers curling up against his palm. Ronon stares back and forth between the two of them, holding his breath, and then Rodney shrugs. "Um. Sure. Yes. I probably should. I mean. Right. Let's go then."
Ronon is still grinning when the three of them disappear into the infirmary.
Jennifer is working blind with Teyla's pregnancy. She wasn't trained extensively in any kind of natal care, and with Teyla's unique body chemistry no one can really know exactly what to expect. They're making up her care as they go along, and so when Rodney McKay just inserts himself into their check-ups Jennifer allows it. What's one more piece of weirdness in the mess, really?
Besides, she's really rather impressed by McKay's response to the whole thing. Jennifer can't quite figure out when they got together, Teyla had still seemed pretty hung up on Kanaan when they'd first found out the Athosians were missing, but McKay has stepped up to the plate without any kind of hesitation at all, regardless of the fact that it's not his child.
In fact, Jennifer could do with a little more hesitation from him. It's not that the information he brings to the check-ups is wrong, it's just that there's so much of it. McKay has somehow managed to read books on pregnancy that not even Jennifer has heard of. And he's bound and determined to discuss each subject to death, or to his satisfaction. Jennifer is pretty sure that death would come first in that match up.
Still, she can't bring herself to kick him out. There's something about the way that he watches Teyla when her expression brightens with joy watching her child on the ultra-sound that makes the badgering worth it. And she's never seen anything quite like the way they looked at each other the first time Jennifer had reached out and put Rodney's hand on Teyla's stomach.
John Sheppard might not be the most observant man in the world about some things, but he pays attention to the important things. Mostly. His team is definitely one of the important things, and he's paying special attention to them anyway, since Teyla decided to have a kid, so he's pretty sure he notices fairly early on when she and Rodney start acting a little on the weird side. Weirder side.
The pair are sitting across the lunch table from John, having a discussion that John is doing his level best to ignore. There are lots of papers spread out on the table in front of them, lots of tiny black text with pictures of body parts that John really doesn't need to see while eating, scattered around. Pregnancy is a wonderful thing. John just doesn't need the visual aids while trying to keep his lunch down.
Rodney is not making things easier on John's stomach, saying, "Have you thought about a water birth?" with such a serious expression that John can't convince himself this is all some kind of joke. He still can't quite wrap his mind around the fact that those words just came out of Rodney McKay's mouth.
Teyla is staring down at the papers on the table, absently shoveling her food down at the same time. Her voice is distracted, "I have told you how I wish to have the birth, Rodney. My people have had their children thus for many years."
Rodney makes a pained face, opening his mouth to no doubt go into a spiel full of information that John doesn't want to hear. Rodney cuts himself off when Ronon drops down into his seat, stealing one of the rolls off of Rodney's tray as he does. Rodney frowns, snaps, "Hey!" and tries to snag it back with no chance for success. Rodney's voice is waspish, "I was eating that."
Ronon shrugs, shoving half of the roll into his mouth and saying around the bread, "You have enough. I thought Teyla was the one eating for two." John isn't sure where Ronon is picking up the Earth pregnancy expressions from, but he sees nothing good coming from it. John opens his mouth to quickly point out that in no way is Teyla eating too much food, but she cuts him off.
There's always been a temper lurking below Teyla's calm exterior, it's just that she usually keeps it under lock and key. She hasn't been trying as hard to control it lately, and for a second John swears he sees it shine through in her eyes, in the bite of her voice, "Ronon!"
Ronon is a braver man than John, swallows his mouthful and says, "What?" with an innocent look. Teyla just stares at him, her head cocked to the side and her lips pressed together in displeasure. After a moment Ronon heaves a put upon sigh and pushes out of his chair. Ronon throws another roll across from the food line. Teyla snatches it out of the air, deposits it on Rodney's plate, and resumes her meal as though she didn't just make Ronon go get Rodney more food.
John stares, dumbstruck. He is, in fact, still staring when Rodney and Teyla finish their food and exit the mess, still talking about the exact manner that Teyla's little bundle of joy is going to come screaming into the world. John doesn't stir until Ronon nudges his shoulder and points at his macaroni and cheese, rumbles, "Gonna eat that?"
John might not be as strong as Ronon, but pilots have to have lightning fast reflexes. The spoon catches Ronon across the back of his knuckles and John pulls his tray to the side, and says, "Yes, yes I am." Ronon makes a disgruntled sound, but keeps his hands to himself.
There are all kinds of thoughts tumbling through John's head. He eats slowly to let them come together and settle as they will. Rodney has been...not himself, since the break up with Katie. As far as John can tell the termination of the relationship had been about as boring as everything that had come before, but Rodney was, apparently, upset. John had his suspicions that his foul mood had more to do with Jeannie than Katie.
Still, a pouting McKay was the last thing the city needed. And John really didn't think he'd survive another painfully stilted scientist courtship without going crazy and locking them in a room together with alien sex pollen. He was willing to admit that probably wouldn't look very good in a report.
But Teyla would be good for Rodney. She seemed not to mind him too much, or had at least learned how to deal with his neurosis over the last few years. She was hardly an idiot, and she was completely gorgeous. John was also fairly sure that there was no way in hell their relationship could be as dull as Katie and Rodney's had been.
John decides, over the last bite of macaroni, that he's just had the best idea ever.
Rodney does not agree.
John finds him in the labs, which is probably a mistake, because John almost drops the delicate Ancient thing he'd been playing with when Rodney whirls on him, scowling and confused. Rodney snags the device out of John's hands before he can shatter it to a thousand pieces, snapping, "What did you just say?"
John shifts. This is not exactly how this conversation went in his brain. He clears his throat, "Teyla. I was just thinking about how, you know, pretty she is. Glowy. Pregnancy makes women glow. I'm sure you noticed. You should tell her. Later. Tonight. You could bring her some dinner and tell her."
"That she was 'glowy'?" Rodney's voice is dripping scorn. "Are you ill? Contagious?" Rodney takes a big step back, apparently on the off chance that John is carrying some pathogen that Rodney hasn't already been exposed to. John responds with an impatient look that Rodney ignores to cross his arms. Rodney continues, "Look, I think you're a little late if this is your attempt to convince me you're straight. You stare at Lorne's ass all the time."
John manages to choke on his own spit, not sure if Rodney is laughing at him or not. By the time he manages to breathe normally Rodney looks perfectly serious, but John doesn't trust the expression. He whines, "I do not."
Rodney just gives him a look, and John decides that really, this is more trouble than it's worth. He should have known better than to try to make Rodney see the simple perfection of John's idea.
Teyla is meditating when John finds her, sitting with her legs folded and her eyes closed, expression peaceful and content. Interrupting Teyla's meditation time is never a wise idea, so John paces to kill time. He's in the middle of his two hundred and eleventh loop—contemplating skipping to break up the monotony—when Teyla says, "John? Is there something you require?"
"No." Because it's not really something he requires so much as something Rodney probably does. Even if he doesn't know it yet. Teyla gives him a look, pushing herself to her feet and looking only slightly awkward doing so, even encumbered by her growing stomach. "So how'd the meditation go?"
"John." Her tone is affectionately exasperated, and John takes a moment to remind himself that she knows him, that he doesn't have to pretend to be any good at small talk with her.
Then he clears his throat and cuts to the chase, "Rodney broke up with Katie." Teyla is drinking from her water bottle and she doesn't do anything like spit out a mouthful or choke. Just keeps drinking, calmly, and John feels compelled to go on, "The other day, I mean. I think he's pretty torn up about it. Lonely."
Teyla blinks at him, "He had not mentioned it to me."
John is not really sure why his brilliant plan is not working. It had all played out so well in his head. "Really? Well, he probably doesn't want to burden you with it. Maybe you should ask him about it." Teyla just stares at him for another long moment. "He might need a hug." John is pretty sure that even Rodney would be able to do something with a hug. Surely that's all it would take?
Teyla finally shakes her head, gathering up her mat and water bottle and stepping around him. She says, "I am sure that Rodney is fine." John resumes pacing.
John has nothing against championing lost causes, and he fully intends to pursue this one, if only because he's a good friend and Rodney obviously needs a hand. It's just that between one crises and the next his matchmaking attempts get pushed to the side, and then completely out of his mind. Besides, Rodney seems to have completely forgotten about the whole Katie thing.
John doesn't really think anything of it when he passes Rodney and Teyla coming out of the transporter, Rodney with a huge bowl of popcorn in his arms, Teyla turning a DVD over and over and saying, "You are sure that this does not burst from his chest?"
They're past John, moving down the hall towards the crew quarters before he can hear Rodney's answer. John shrugs, and steps in the transporter to go find some chow of his own.
Sam had been, well, surprised was putting it mildly, when Rodney McKay had stormed into her office to demand assistance in planning a baby shower. He'd babbled for nearly five minutes about the various other women he'd considered asking—and how, yes, he was aware that it was hardly something that had to be done by a woman—and why Teyla should have one the following Friday. Then he'd left a list of needed supplies on her desk and marched back out, leaving her feeling as though she'd been plowed over by a tornado.
Sam could have refused, except Rodney was already gone, and besides, Teyla looked like she was going to pop any day. Besides, it didn't take a genius to see that the other woman was still a little wary of her. Sam figured that if nothing else the party would help ease any final tensions between them. So Sam set it up.
Somehow, she hadn't actually planned on McKay showing up. But there he was nonetheless, hovering around the edges and keeping the presents organized and pausing every now and then to watch Teyla open something. Sam slides up to him as Teyla examines a pair of tiny booties with a puzzled expression. It's always best to cut to the chase with Rodney, so Sam settles on, "Didn't expect to see you here."
"What? Oh." Rodney looks sideways, then up to the ceiling, before settling on staring at the far wall. "Well. I heard there was going to be cake."
Sam nods, watching him fidget with his empty plate and fork, "Does she know you planned this?"
Rodney jerks his head around to look at Sam so quickly she winces. He says, voice tight and careful, "You planned it. Not me." His grip on his fork has gone white knuckled, blue plastic bending in his grip. Sam feels a stab of empathy for him. It must show on her face because he looks away, his cheeks staining red. "I know what happens when she finds Kanaan, okay? Even I'm not that stupid." He laughs, without humor.
Sam feels like an ass. Even the fact that she's caught Teyla looking at Rodney every bit as frequently as he's looked at her doesn't make Sam feel better. She says, "Look, I'm sure that it's—"
Rodney shakes his head, takes a step back, mouth thinning out in unhappiness. He says, "I have to go," and leaves with a quick look back in the doorway, his sad eyes lingering on Teyla sitting in the middle of her baby's presents for just a moment before he's out the door. Sam sighs heavily, and throws her half eaten piece of cake away.
By the time the Atlanteans rescue the Athosians, almost half of their number are as good as dead. They do what they can for those that Michael changed, but before their doctors can find a way to reverse the process that made them something other than human, the hybrids start dying.
Teyla attempts to explain, that the hybrids had been fundamentally unstable and that their genetic code couldn't hold up in the long term. Halling and the other surviving villagers nod, because they understand the deeper truth under her words. Some things are not meant to exist, are unnatural enough that the universe removes them.
The survivors accept, and move on, rebuild their village and try their best to return to their old life. Teyla returns to check on them more frequently now. Halling watches her move through the village, stopping to talk to and hug all those that she missed for so many months. He watches Doctor McKay follow her, the man distracted by the child he's carrying while Kanaan's mother greets her people.
Halling has been unsure of Teyla's relationship with Doctor McKay since they were rescued. They are obviously close, but Teyla has made no formal statement of her intentions towards the man. She trusts her child to his care, but has not named him Kanaan's guardian. Halling heaves a sigh, and resolves to have a word with her about it later.
Halling intends to speak with Teyla first, but when the opportunity presents itself to speak with Doctor McKay first he does not let it pass by. The man is still holding Kanaan, supporting the baby with one arm and doing something with one of the devices of the Ancestor's with his free hand. Halling has to clear his throat three times before Doctor McKay looks up. Doctor McKay frowns at him, "Yes, what?"
Halling stifles a smile, wondering at the other man's constant impatience, says, "Greetings," and gets a slightly more polite greeting mumbled back. Halling motions to Kanaan, sleeping with one fist mostly inside his mouth, and asks, "Where is Teyla?"
"What? Oh. She had to go look at some kind of tree up on the side of the mountain. Fruit, I think."
Halling nods. They had found a mariosa tree nearly two weeks ago, and a few of the village women had been waiting for its sweet fruit to ripen since then. He wonders if Teyla is gathering a piece of the fruit, or merely visiting the tree out of curiosity. It's so rare to find one in bloom.
McKay seems content to leave the conversation there, mumbling under his breath and squinting at the device in his hand. When Kanaan shifts, burbling, McKay bounces him absently, and the child settles. Halling smiles, "Children are a blessing."
McKay looks up at him, impatience clear in the line of his mouth, "You and I have different definitions of 'blessing'. I tend to exclude anything that throws up on me." Halling makes an effort to stop himself from laughing when the other man says it while cuddling a child. McKay rolls his eyes.
"I hear that the second child is easier."
McKay chokes, apparently on his own spit, dropping his scanner and holding onto Kanaan more tightly as he bends over and violently coughs. Halling startles, because this was not the response he expected, and pounds on the shorter man's back until the worst of the coughing passes. McKay twists his head to the side to glare up at him, wheezes out, "What?"
Halling isn't sure that it's a good idea to continue this conversation. He doesn't believe that Teyla would approve if he gave the other man a heart attack. But McKay is staring at him expectantly, so Halling makes himself continue, "Surely you and Teyla will have another child?"
McKay straightens with a nearly audible snap, his expression closing off. Kanaan makes a small noise of distress and McKay forces himself to relax. When he speaks his voice is flat, "We will not surely be doing anything. I have to go now. Back to Atlantis. Right now. Tell Teyla for me, will you?" McKay stomps off, shoulders held so tense that Halling winces in sympathy.
Apparently, Teyla needs more of a nudge than he'd been anticipating.
Teyla doesn't return to the village until nearly sunset, laughing with the group that had accompanied her to the mariosa tree. It has been an impossibly long time since Halling saw her so happy, and for a long moment he just watches and smiles. Teyla had been as a younger sister to him, and it warms him to see her managing to steal some joy from the sadness the universe has dealt her.
She looks puzzled when she approaches Halling, looking around the village, asking, "Where is Rodney?"
Halling suppresses the smile that threatens, "He had to return to the city of the Ancestors. He took Kanaan along." Teyla frowns, a line of worry creasing her brow, and Halling continues, "I believe his abrupt departure was my fault, for speaking on matters that I did not fully understand."
Teyla's frown deepens, she starts to step around Halling in the direction of the Ring of the Ancestors and Halling catches her arm. She looks up at him askance, not trying to pull away from his hold, and he sighs. Meddling is never encouraged, but sometimes it is necessary, and Teyla is headstrong enough to require a nudge in the right direction every now and again.
Halling has been fidgeting with the length of rope he retrieved from his home since McKay left, and he offers it to Teyla now. Her eyes go wide and Halling keeps his voice low, "You should have captured him long ago. He would be a fine addition to the village and give you many wise, strong children."
The Rite of Binding is never used for its original purpose anymore, it has been many generations since they went through the Ring of the Ancestors for the purpose of stealing a mate from another world. Now they use it only when seeking marriage rights with off-worlders, tradition and law dictating the necessity of hunting the perspective mate through the forest and bringing them back bound to the village.
Teyla pulls against his hold, refusing to take the finely braided rope that Halling offers. She says, her voice tightly controlled, "You misunderstand."
Halling lets her go. There is no arguing with Teyla once she has made up her mind. He merely says, as she starts towards the Ring of the Ancestors, "I do not believe I do." She ignores him, hurrying back to the world that he knows she thinks of as home now. Halling sighs, cursing her stubbornness.
Later, in their hut, Jinto is nearly vibrating with excitement. Halling laughs, watching his son bounce in place, eyes bright with some secret he's barely managing to contain. Jinto manages to wait until Halling has hung up his coat before finally blurting, "Teyla picked a mariosa!"
Teyla finds Rodney in her quarters. He is there very often now, watching Kanaan for her when she is busy, making sure that she is doing well. He has his back to the door when she enters, the top of Kanaan's head visible over his shoulder as Rodney bounces her son.
Teyla leans in the doorway, watching with a swell of warmth in her chest. Rodney is saying, no change in his tone as concession to the fact that he's talking to a baby, "—then you have affine geometry, much broader, general scope than Euclidean geometry. I don't know that you're ready for projective geometry yet, what do you think?" Rodney pauses, "Where is your mother, anyway?"
The rugs that Teyla has collected muffle her footsteps when she crosses to them. She waits until she's a step behind Rodney to speak, "I am right here."
Rodney startles badly, jerking towards her with wide eyes. He shifts his hold on Kanaan, who is sleeping, one tiny dark hand fisted in Rodney's shirt, mouth shiny with drool. For a moment they just watch each other, and then Rodney clears his throat, "Well, good. I've already lost valuable hours of lab time, so I'll just be going then."
He means it, she knows. He'll rush off to the labs and work for hours before stopping by in the morning to watch Kanaan for her while she goes to work out with Ronon. They'll eat breakfast together and Rodney will rub a hand over Kanaan's soft hair before disappearing back to the labs. He'll stop by later to give her a few more hours of free time, before leaving for the night all over again.
There are a dozen reasons she should stop him. Everyone has seemed intent on telling her those reasons over the last year, the nine months of her pregnancy, the three since Kanaan's birth. Ronon and John, Jennifer and Sam, her own people, they all have seen fit to tell her over and over all the reasons she should change what she has with this man.
Teyla reaches out and rests her hand on Rodney's arm. He gives her a confused look, and Teyla decides that all of their dozens of reasons can go to hell. When she takes the final step that brings her into Rodney's space, when she gets her hand around the back of his neck and pulls his mouth down to hers, she does it only because she wants to. That's reason enough.
Rodney makes a surprised sound, muffled against her lips, and starts to lean back. Teyla tightens her hold on him, kisses him until he relents and kisses back, and only then allows him to slide away. He doesn't go far, their foreheads pressed together, Kanaan cradled between them.
Rodney's emotions all play across his face. He never learned to hide them, and Teyla thinks that he doesn't try very hard, really. There's confusion and nerves, worry and somewhere under all of that what she thinks might be happiness. He clears his throat, "I'm probably no good at this. I don't—I've never done anything like this before."
Teyla smiles, dropping her eyes to Kanaan, "I have not either, Rodney."
"Right. Right, of course. I just didn't—parents are kind of a mystery to me. How they work, I mean. I probably won't do it right." She stares up at him, wondering if he truly does not realize how much time he spends with her child, if he does not see the way Kanaan smiles and laughs whenever Rodney steps into a room, waving his fat little fists and drooling all over himself in happiness.
She shakes her head, because she knows Rodney well enough by now to know that if he hasn't realized how much of a parent he already is, nothing she can say will change his mind. Instead she says, "We will learn together," and leans in to kiss him again.
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