beatrice_otter: Atlantis--And the sky full of stars (Sky Full of Stars)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Title: A child of Athos
Author: beatrice_otter
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Rating: G
Characters: Teyla
Written for: [personal profile] tielan , to cheer her up
Word Count: 1,204
Summary: These are the stories Teyla tells her son.

Now listen to this tale of our people, for it is wise and true. There was once a child of Athos, a girl, with long dark hair that curled and curled. And in those days the Wraith slept, and waited for people of all planets to grow numerous that they might feed upon them. But the people of Athos rejoiced in their safety, for they knew that there was a time to all things, and this was the time for growth and abundance.

“Hey, how’s it going, little guy?” John said as he took Torren from her. “You’ll be done by dinner?” he asked, looking up at her.

“Yes,” Teyla said, handing him the diaper bag filled with all of Torren’s necessities. “I will be in the gym if you require me.” It was her day to teach hand-to-hand combat; she had a full slate, starting with scientists and a few marines, and finishing with those of her people who are advanced enough in the arts of survival to require a master of her abilities.

John slung the bag over his shoulder. “See you later,” he said. “Torren, you and I are gonna have a fun-filled afternoon with paperwork, since Woolsey’s been on my case. And I’ll tell you all about how the brave New York Giants smashed the dastardly New England Patriots.”

Teyla watched him walk, away, bemused as always at the amount of time and emotion John (and so many Earth people) put into a mere game. Still, a bit of light-hearted irrelevance would not hurt him, and John’s voice would help keep him quiet as he plays with his rattle.

Now, the girl was merely the daughter of the lowest of the people of Athos, a man with a twisted leg who tended the fires while the hunters were in the forests, and cured the hides of the beasts they brought back, and served food when strangers came to trade, that the people of Athos might be thought poor and meek, and thus be underestimated. But the girl herself was strong, and quick, and learned everything her people could teach her. By the time she was six she knew all the plants and animals the people grew or gathered and by the time she was eight she knew how to cook all the foods they ate and by ten she knew all the songs and chants and histories and by twelve she knew the records of all the accounts of all the outlanders with whom the people traded. And so when one of their friends-from-beyond-the-ring offered a place at a school to a child of Athos, as part of their trade, the head woman decreed that the girl should go to learn what she could of outlander knowledge.

“You’re sure you’re not needed at that meeting?” Rodney asked with some desperation as she put Torren in his arms.

“We will be discussing trade negotiations and relations with our allies,” Teyla said. “The last time you were present, you spent ten minutes explaining in great detail why it was a waste of your time and abilities to attend such a discussion.”

“Oh, well, are you sure Torren should be here?” Rodney asked. “I mean, this is a lab—you never know, we could have an explosion, we could have fumes, we could have—”

“Rodney, I have faith in your ability to protect my son,” Teyla said. “There are no experiments planned today; you will be reviewing reports and working on equations. You said so at breakfast.”

“But what if something comes up?” Rodney said. His plaintive whining was belied by the way he hefted Torren into a more secure hold and began to dig for the baby sling in the diaper bag.

“Then there are many people who can take Torren, and I am only a radio call away,” Teyla said. “Thank you, Rodney.”

“Fine, fine, whatever,” Rodney said. “Okay, little man, we’re going to be learning about research into zed pee ems today—can you say that? Zed. That new South African has some interesting equations. Let’s go take a look at his math …”

Teyla smiled as soon as Rodney’s back was towards her. It had taken some time to convince him to fulfill his responsibilities as her friend and teammate, but now his protests were merely matters of form. And while Torren might never study the things Rodney did, there was no harm (and a great deal of good) in setting the foundations early.

Now at the school the girl learned many things, both for the use such knowledge would be and for the sheer joy of the learning. But her favorite class was dance, for it was a great art and her body learned quickly. After some years she had learned all they had to teach, and went to dance on many worlds, always travelling and making new friends for Athos. One day, while she was dancing the story of the Red Bird for a people of nomads, the Ring of the Ancestors opened and a Wraith came through, for even in their time of sleep some remained awake to scout. And the people she danced for fled in fear before it. But the Athosian girl—a woman now, grown strong in body and mind—she did not flee. She took two sticks from the ground, one for each hand, and stood before the Wraith. I will not flee, she said, and began to dance with the sticks.

“Want me to take him?”

Teyla looked up at Ronon, and smiled. “That would be appreciated. Thank you, Ronon.” It was a relief to have at least one person on Atlantis who knew that being close friends with a person gave you responsibilities to their children, to pass on your knowledge that it might not be lost, and to become a guardian if the parent should die.

It took very little time for Torren and his bag to be slung around Ronon’s back and middle in such a way that he could run or fight if he had to. As he strode off, he plucked the rattle from its place and offered it to Torren, moving it around in such a way that the young one had to work to get it. Teyla had been given advertisements for baby toys from Earth that were said to help infants develop their “hand-eye coordination,” but she had seen nothing that might encourage it any more than the traditional toys and games did.

***

Teyla came back to her room, exhausted, after a long mission with no substantial gain.

“You may sleep, if you wish,” Kanan said as she ate. “I can put Torren to bed.”

For a moment, Teyla contemplated his suggestion. And yet he was not a storyteller, and she had been trained in all the sagas and lays. “I thank you,” she said with a smile. “But truly, I wish to see him this evening.”

So after she was finished eating, Kanan handed their son to her and took a seat on a cushion as Teyla settled herself, back straight that she might sing clearly. “Now listen to this tale of our people, for it is wise and true....”

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-01 07:53 pm (UTC)
gaffsie: (Teyla)
From: [personal profile] gaffsie
That was lovely. I'm glad Teyla knows that she can count on her team to take Torren off her hands from time to time.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-02 06:08 am (UTC)
livrelibre: DW barcode (Default)
From: [personal profile] livrelibre
I liked this a lot! There aren't enough Teyla (and Torren) stories out there.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-02 09:40 am (UTC)
tielan: (SGA - Teyla 2)
From: [personal profile] tielan
Love it - from John accepting, to Rodney being anxious, to Ronon asking, to the story that mirrors the basis of Teyla's life-in-Atlantis as we see it!

Fantastic!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-02 07:22 pm (UTC)
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
From: [personal profile] tielan
I didn't actually notice that - so I'm doubly impressed! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-02 08:51 pm (UTC)
logans_girl2001: (Default)
From: [personal profile] logans_girl2001
This spoke to the mother in me and brought tears to my eyes. Very lovely, thank you for sharing.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-29 11:33 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Absolutely lovely. Great to see Athosian legend intermixed with her life and friends.

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