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TITLE: Progressus
AUTHOR: tielan
SUMMARY: Human beings are growing things - if they're not living and changing, they're just waiting to be put in the ground.
NOTES: It took way longer to write this than it should have. The story didn't decide what it was going to be until I got the title for it. *shakes head*


Teyla's skin is soft under John's fingers as he skims his fingers around her throat, putting the necklace on for her.

In the cool evening, a gentle heat rises off her skin, and John smells forest and leaves, and something that he thinks is what warmed amber should smell like - golden and rich and with the weight of aeons behind it. Her eyes are steady on his as he fastens the clasp, and as he takes his hands away, he sees the measuring look in her eyes before her gaze drops to the silver disc and her finger traces across it.

It's not a bad look. It's better than the ones he's been getting for the last few years: What's wrong with him? Lost it in Afghanistan. Disobeyed orders. It's even better than the ones he got when he walked through the SGC: Who's that? Ancient gene-monkey for the expedition. Weir pulled the strings on O'Neill to have him here. He's a screwup.

From the careful look Teyla Emmagan gives him as he steps back and tries not to look like he was just coming onto her - because he really wasn't, or, at least, didn't intend to - she's reserving judgement on him.

John doesn't mind reserved judgement - he knows what he deserves; it's the snap ones that sting.


Following Carson's instructions to 'take it easy' after the injection of the tracking implant find John in the rec room, watching the latest transmission of Friday Night games from Earth. McKay grumbles about evil empires, but as far as John's concerned, it's thank you, iTunes!

The doors shift open, and he glances up as Teyla enters with a bowl in her arms.

"I brought popcorn," she announces - unnecessarily, since the waft of buttered popcorn preceded her into the room.

"That smells good." John lets her sit down on the couch and take a handful before reaching up in silent request for the bowl. Never get between Teyla and the popcorn.

She hands it over. "I could not find Ronon, but Dr. McKay was in his lab complaining about the implant to any who would listen. Does yours hurt as much as his?"

"McKay's doesn't hurt," John says as Brees passes to his wide receiver mere yards from the line, "he just thinks it does. How's yours?"

Teyla shrugs, and takes another handful of popcorn. "It is annoying like an itch but not unendurable. You?"

It's not an itch for John - at least, not one that he wants to scratch. It's a bit sore and a bit tender, but that's not the point. It's...kind of a reminder. That he's alive, and that someone will always come for him.

He wonders if 'a good kind of pain' really describes it.


John hesitates at the cross-corridor, then heads left instead of turning right towards his quarters. Nobody sees him go and he's relieved. He doesn't want questions. He doesn't want to make explanations.

The door slides back on silence and the dry-dust smell of a room left untenanted. He steps in and it shuts behind him, sealing him into Teyla's empty rooms and intensifying the ache that lives almost constantly under his breastbone these days.

Is it worse because there's no-one to tell? No family to notify. No husband to give the news of failure. Not even the Athosians to sit with and reassure that they're still looking.

There's no sign of her anywhere they look. They've followed the leads Carson left them before he went into stasis. They've asked questions in every marketplace between here and the edge of the galaxy. They've contacted all their allies, looking for the slightest bit of information about any of Michael's bases - including the Wraith, the Genii, and the Travellers.

Nothing, nothing, and nothing.

Michael has vanished without a trace, taking Teyla and her unborn child with him.


He's never quite sure how it happens, but sometime after Kanaan goes to live permanently among the Athosians and before Torren gets old enough to climb out of his playpen and into his mom's bed, John finds himself waking up in Teyla's quarters.

Specifically, in Teyla's bed, sprawled out in his boxer shorts, with her fingers skimming his breastbone in a light caress that sends shivers all over his body. He cracks open an eyelid, and finds her with one hand propping up her head, the other tracing across his skin, a weird kind of fascinated awe in her eyes as she looks at him.

John swallows around the lump in his throat, and takes a good deep breath of Athosian wool, Teyla-scent, and the smell of last night's sex. He holds it for a moment, then exhales.

Her eyes flicker up to his, and she smiles, warm and satisfied and...tender?

"Good morning."

It's been a while since he's done this - woken up next to someone who really mattered.

"Hey," he manages.

Then her mouth slides into his, warm and tangy and welcoming, and John's hands come up to cradle the back of her head and rest on the curve of her hip.

He got to trace those curves last night, darkness allowing him to be bold. He thought it might be different in the morning light. Embarrassing, maybe; a little terrifying, for sure.

Turns out it's as easy as the soar of a 'jumper into blue sky.

- fin -hits counter


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 23rd, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)
Aww, I like this.
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
Glad you do! I love your icon, btw. Don't know that I've ever said that. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)
beautiful...and your progression of John's journey was true to John...It seemed like at the end, being with teyla was where he was always meant to be...
loved it
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I do love writing 'scenes through the series' fics. Best way to show the growth of character and change in mindset. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
I don't ship John/Teyla. I really really love this. Excellent work! Love all the nuances of 'trace', and the moment John knows someone will always come for him, and Teyla tracing on his skin... All of it, love it.
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I love it when people who don't usually ship my pairings tell me that they enjoyed my fic. It's very uncommon and very much appreciated!

Sep. 23rd, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
The last scene and its words are just poetic. Very beautifully written, Tie. I love how you show those missing moments from critical episodes and how you tied it all together in the end.

Love that first paragraph of the last scene....how descripitive and telling in just that one sentence. And I love the comparison in that last sentence, beautiful, and pure John Sheppard.

Thank you.
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
Thanks, Camy! Glad you liked it.
Sep. 23rd, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)
This is just........beautiful I LOVE IT!
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 23rd, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
So nice... Like others I don't normally ship John/Teyla but the progression is nicely done!

Good job!
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Thank you!

It's always a pleasure to hear from people who don't usually ship my pairings - I appreciate it very much!
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2011 10:52 pm (UTC)
I like it. Very satisfying!
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:57 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 24th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)

Like ssagey said John's journey was true to his nature and all roads lead him home...to Teyla.

I'm so happy you are writing more JT, I have always love what you do with them.

Thanks for sharing.
Sep. 25th, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
Thanks for leaving a comment!

I'm trying to write fic again, but I'm finding myself a bit hard up for enthusiasm and the right words. Things should pick up in the next couple of months, though.
Sep. 24th, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
Awesome, just awesome.
Wow. So well written as always. I loved this and it comforted me in a way I didn't know I needed.

I could really feel John's anguish while he was in Teyla's room while she was missing. I really love the way you write these two.

Sep. 25th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: Awesome, just awesome.
You're welcome! I do so enjoy your comments on my fic. :)
Sep. 24th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
Awww...sweet and tender! Lovely, thanks.
Sep. 25th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
You're welcome - thank you!
Sep. 26th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
This is one of my recent favorites from you. :) The pacing works really well. Your writing shines in brisk scenes like these—great movement and tightness in your prose. Lovely.

My favorite lines are these, so John (and so heartbreaking!):
It's been a while since he's done this - woken up next to someone who really mattered.

and the whole "It's not a bad look..." paragraph. Awww, John.

Hehe, I also liked the non-angsty ending. :) Angst, drama, and happy ending is one of my favorite combos, so this hit the spot. Thanks for the satisfying read. ♥ I admire your ability to keep churning out stories. Your persistence inspires me, truly. Sending you all the best wishes! —J
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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