Characters: Ancient!John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagen, Aiden Ford, Sgt. Bates, Halling
Summary: Teyla does not believe in waiting quietly for death to come
Series: drabble #6 of ??? in the Ancient!John 'verse. Part of Locality.
Notes: I've been meaning to write something like this for a while. When my earbuds died halfway through "Rising," this seemed like the perfect oppertunity.
Note Bene: In chronological order, this is the sixth drabble.
An Ancient!John Drabble
"God may or may not exist. But misery is real. It is absolutely reality, and utterly undeniable. And in that reality lies my commitment – the core of my faith. I have to do something about it."
Anne Rice Tale of a Body Thief
Teyla does not believe in waiting quietly for death to come, but that is what she is doing when two figures slink out of the shadows of the Wraith hive. All other options have been taken from her, save how she will act when the Wraith inevitably come for her – and, perhaps, what prayer to send to the Ancestors when the time comes.
So it is with great surprise that she recognizes one of the figures as Lieutenant Ford, who she had presumed escaped the culling of her world. The other, dressed in strange white robes but carrying the same kind of weaponry as the Earth-folk, is unknown to her but gives her a cheeky grin when he sees her looking.
"Hey there, folks," the man says. "Is everybody alright?"
"Colonel Sumner and one of the Athosians have already been taken." Sergeant Bates says before asking, "Who the hell are you?"
The man just shrugs. "People have taken to calling me John of late. How long ago were they taken?"
"Toran was taken many hours ago; Colonel Sumner, only a matter of minutes."
"Then there's still a chance for him, at least. Ford, get on the radio with your men and plan a diversion for twenty minutes from now. Use it as an opportunity to get these folks out of here. I'll go get Sumner and meet you at the jumper."
"But sir," Ford protests, "you're the only one can fly us all out of here!"
"Yeah," the one called John calls back, who's already disappeared back into the shadows, "and I plan on flying us all out of here. In twenty minutes." And then they are alone.
Bates turns back to Ford, pressing himself close to the bars. "Lieutenant," he asks again, "who the hell is that?"
"The Ancient McKay found in the Control Chair. He's agreed to help us out."
"Ancient?" Teyla asks, confused by the term. More than that, though, she wants to know what sort of person could command the respect of the Earth-folk so quickly that not even the men who visited her village yesterday might know of him.
"Er... Yeah, I think Jinto said you guys called them Ancestors?"
Halling exhales deeply. "My son is alive?"
"Yes, he's on Atlantis with the rest of the survivors we could find."
Teyla lets out a long breath as well. It seems the Ancestors have answered all her prayers.
She finds John eating an apple on the balcony outside the Gate Room.
It's this planet's early morning, and almost everyone is still sleeping off the celebration from the night before. Teyla would like to be doing much the same, but she had found her dreams haunted by recent experiences. By the looks of things, John is dealing with the same problem.
"Am I interrupting?" she asks before joining him.
"Nope. Just taking in the view." He turns his head, still leaning against the railing. Sometime between last night and this morning he's managed to acquire one of the Earth-folk's uniforms and, from their fit, she has the sneaking suspicion that he obtained it from Colonel Sumner's belongings. "You're Teyla, right?"
"Yes. And you are John. Or is it Iohannes?"
He sends her a self-deprecating smile before turning back to the sunrise. "Name's Iohannes Ianideus Licinus Pastor, but you're more than welcome to call me John. Everyone else seems to find it easier."
"They tell me you are an Ancestor." She still doesn't quite believe it. John is nothing like she has been taught to believe in, except perhaps in that he is even more selfless than she'd been told.
"They also tell me that you are the last of your kind." This she believes even less. The Ancestors are all-powerful and all-knowing. How could beings so powerful ever fall?
"So it would seem."
"And yet you risked your life to save my people."
"It was the right thing to do."
"Never the less," Teyla informs him, with as much feeling as she can muster, still shaken up as she is from the day before, "I thank you. On all our behalves."
John just shrugs her words off and finishes his apple without looking back once at her. After a moment more, he turns to leave, but not before saying, "I'm sorry."
"For what?" she asks, genuinely bewildered.
"For those I couldn't save."
It's not until much later, when Teyla's learned what the Ancestors really were, that she understands he's not just talking about her village, or that one culling. And while the Ancestors may not be worthy of her devotion, John, at least, is worthy of her respect and friendship, and that is something she would not change even if she could.