Characters: John, Teyla
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Summary: John clears his throat, rubs a hand up the back of his neck, and finally remembers the words he had rehearsed, "I think you should read the reports. For what happened after you were taken."
Author's Note: And now, my other issue with the name of Teyla's kid. Ep 5.1
When John gets out of post-op, Ronon and Rodney are both standing by Teyla's bed, cooing at the baby and touching her, like they're reassuring themselves that she's really back. John feels a slow pulse of relief, from the soles of his feet up through his body, because his team is back together, safe and sound.
The nurses park his bed beside Teyla's, and there's a round of greetings and concern and somehow he ends up with Rodney sitting on the side of his bed. The conversation turns to the birth of Teyla's son, and John really didn't need to know how gooey he was when he first came out, but Rodney is on a roll, and John is just mellow enough from the morphine to lean back and watch the other man talk about how Torrin had been sort of gray and slimy when he came screaming into the world.
Ronon and Rodney only leave when Keller comes by to shoo them out, smiling as she does so. It's not until they're at the door that Rodney twists back, bouncing in place and still smiling when he asks, "Oh, have you picked out a name for the little guy yet? Because there's this pool down in the labs and I was just—" Ronon elbow him in the side, "Right. Well. That's not important. Name?"
Teyla smiles at down at her son, smoothing a finger across his forehead, "He is named Torrin John Emmagan."
And John is just looking up, because he's honestly never thought about having a kid named after him, but it's kind of cool and some gloating is definitely in order. The words don't quite make it out of his throat when he looks at Ronon and Rodney. Ronon has gone very still, staring with his head cocked to the side, and Rodney's face goes through so many emotions in seconds that John can't track any of them.
Then Rodney's expression clears, and he smiles in a way that looks absolutely nothing like the smile he had been wearing a moment ago. His voice is oddly tight when he says, "John. Of course. Right. Well, I have to—" he tries to duck past Ronon, but the other man leans into his path.
For a moment John thinks Rodney is going to attempt to shove Ronon aside, but before he can Ronon is rumbling, "Why?"
Teyla looks up, frowning softly in confusion. Then she looks back down at her son, tone distracted when she says, "Torrin was my father. And John, because I want my son to always remember who rescued us from the Wraith."
John really wishes that Ronon had let Rodney leave, because Rodney has gone incredibly pale, his mouth twisting down painfully when he pushes at Ronon's shoulder. This time, Ronon allows him past, still staring at Teyla himself, his expression sharp and tight.
When Ronon finally turns and walks away, it is without so much as a goodbye. Teyla hasn't noticed, still playing with her son, but it sits cold and hard in John's stomach. The happy buzz from the morphine isn't as warm as it had been. The wound in his side is throbbing.
It takes some time for John to manage to get a tablet into the infirmary, because Ronon and Rodney don't come back around, and no one else is so willing to risk Keller's wrath to smuggle him one in. Eventually, John manages to get one through Lorne's team, the morning before he is set to be released.
That's just as well. He spends the morning writing his report for the rescue and the days that came before, leaving nothing out, including the things that he had intended to wash over. There are things that he would rather not remember, from the time he spent in the future, but he includes them anyway. Ronon and Rodney's reports are already in the system, ready and open.
When the time finally comes for John to leave, he finds himself hesitating. Teyla was released previously, no doubt in her rooms now, and John has no reason to think that she hasn't already read the reports on her own.
He finds himself outside the door to her quarters anyway, smiling awkwardly when she opens the door with Torrin in her arms. She looks rumpled, like maybe she was sleeping, and John shoves the tablet forward before she can say a word. She takes it, raises her eyebrows at him, and waits.
John clears his throat, rubs a hand up the back of his neck, and finally remembers the words he had rehearsed, "I think you should read the reports. For what happened after you were taken."
She smiles at him then, eyes crinkling in the corners when she says, "John, I do not need to read to—"
And he hates cutting her off, not least because he's sure she'll kick his ass for it when she's cleared for active duty again. He can't stop himself, "Yeah. You really do. It's, just read them, okay?" And he makes himself turn and walk away, feeling her puzzled gaze on his back all the way down the hall to the transporters.
John is eating dinner, watching the waves roll past, when Teyla finds him again. Torrin is sleeping, held in a sling across her chest, and she sets the tablet done on the table when she slides into her seat. John nods at her, shoving another bite of food into his mouth to stall conversation.
Teyla says, after a moment of staring out at the ocean, "You were not here."
John swallows heavily. She doesn't sound accusatory, just puzzled. He finally shakes his head, stabbing at the food on his plate and frowning in concentration when he answers, confirmation of what she's already learned, "No, I wasn't."
There's another pause, John can see how tightly her hands are clenched on the table, and he drops his fork, wincing at the clatter. He continues, into the silence, "I was missing, just like you." He was sleeping, when his team needed him most, too far away to do a damn thing to help them.
Teyla nods, still not looking at him when she says, "Ronon and Doctor McKay, they were..." she trails off, and then takes a bracing breath, chin tilting up just a little when she says, "Your report was complete about the events in the alternate timeline?"
John pushes his plate away, appetite rapidly dissolving, "Yeah, it was. The only reason we knew where to look for you was because of them. Ronon...died. And Rodney..." John can't talk about what Rodney did, what he had to do. The full weight of twenty-five years, clinging to a thread of hope, trying to save all the people that had been lost, is not something John has been able to fully absorb himself yet, much less vocalize to anyone else.
Teyla's voice is very quiet, "I did not know."
"I know." John doesn't know what else to say, staring down at his food while she stares out across the water. He can still see the flat hurt in Ronon's expression, written so much more obviously across Rodney's features that day in the infirmary. He grits his teeth, words dragging like razors through his throat, "Look, I'm honored about you wanting to name your son after me, I really am, but I don't think I'm comfortable with it."
There is silence, long and heavy, and eventually John makes himself stand, and walk away.
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