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[personal profile] unadrift
This is it, Number 20 of my Tagathon entries! One fic for each S5 episode of SGA: Done!
58037 words in total. 58037 words. That's, like, bigbang size. Holy crap.

Here is a masterlist for all twenty stories on my LJ fic list, or you can browse them using the links at the bottom of each story, starting at the beginning or at the end.

Now, for the last time, this tag for The Queen was written for the Season 5 Tagathon on [livejournal.com profile] sga_episodefic. It's 1000 words of PG-13 rated, gen, Teyla-centric angst.
Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] trystings for the fabulous short-notice beta!

Teyla stepped down the ramp of the jumper into the familiarity of Atlantis and felt like she could breathe for the first time in a week. Kanaan was waiting for her. Her Wraith appearance did not frighten him anymore, not the way it had in the beginning. The disguise had never disturbed Kanaan the way it deeply terrified Teyla herself. It was a nightmare come to life. It stole her breath whenever she caught a glimpse of her own reflection.

But Teyla was home now. Safe. She smiled, and Kanaan smiled back, rocking Torren lightly.

"Teyla," he said, and everything from You are alive and I missed you and I am proud of you was wrapped up in the word.

Teyla did not lean in to touch their foreheads together, not while wearing a face that was so clearly not her own. "It is good to be back," she said.

"Torren has missed you." Kanaan held Torren out to her.

"I missed him, too," she said and took their sleeping son.

Torren stirred in Teyla's arms. Before he even opened his eyes, his face crumpled into a deep frown. He drew a breath and screamed. His terrified wail sent an icy shiver down Teyla's spine.

"Shh." She rocked and tried to soothe him, but to no avail. His eyes were open now – wide open, staring up at her face.

"I must go to the infirmary now. Take him." She pushed Torren into Kanaan's hands. Kanaan did not protest.

Torren's desperate wails followed her down the corridor, until the transporter doors had closed behind her. She stood rigidly, facing the wall, her breathing quick and shallow. She did not want to believe what she had just witnessed.

A week ago Jennifer had assured Teyla that the changes would be purely superficial, that Teyla would only look different as a result. She trusted Jennifer, but she did not trust Todd. Todd must have done something. He must have manipulated Jennifer to do it. The procedure had changed more than just Teyla's appearance, it had made her enough of a Wraith to frighten Torren to the bone.

Teyla wasn't surprised. She had felt it, almost from the beginning: The rage burning underneath, white hot, without focus. The desire for power. The hunger. The hunger had been worst. Rationally, she had still been as horrified as ever by the idea of taking a human life, but that hadn't diminished the underlying urge to feed one bit.

These ideas, these feelings – Teyla had despised them, had managed to convince herself that they weren't hers, that they were echoes from the hive mind, worming through her defences. It had chipped away at her, straight through her rational thought and calm, scratching at the core of her being like nails over a chalkboard, leaving marks. And in the end, revenge had tasted far too sweet.

The memory was bitter now, as bitter as the bile that was rising in her throat. It served as a catalyst, a means to convert her paralyzing terror into something she could work with: anger.

Teyla realized that the transporter had not moved yet. She picked a destination. Then, clenching her fists at her sides, she strode out of the transporter and down the corridor.

She found Jennifer in her office, reading a file at her desk. Jennifer looked up and tensed, just for a moment, before she recognized Teyla.

"Change me back," Teyla demanded, blinking away hot tears from her eyes. "Everything. I want every bit of--" She was so furious she couldn't even speak. "I want it gone."

"Teyla?" Jennifer approached her, an expression of worry on her face. "Is there a problem? Of course, I can start with the procedure right away. But you seem--"

"Everything," Teyla insisted. "I want everything back to the way it was before."

Jennifer studied her for a moment, then laid a hand on her arm. "Sit down," she said. "Please."

It was the 'please' that made Teyla comply, and it was the genuine concern in Jennifer's voice that made her tell Jennifer everything – about her state of mind on the mission, the self-disgust eating at her, her conclusions. And, finally, about Torren.

"I double-checked every step of Todd's treatment," Jennifer said reassuringly. "The manipulation only went skin deep. A few days from now, there won't be a trace of it left."

"How can you be certain? What I felt, what I did-- It was nothing like me."

"What do you feel now?"

Teyla thought about it, listened to herself. "Fear," she said. And nothing else-- Nothing else that wasn't supposed to be hers.

Jennifer watched the realization hit. "I think your conclusion was right," she emphasized. "I think it was the close proximity to so many Wraith that influenced your thoughts. As you said, the telepathic link can be strong."

"But that does not explain Torren's reaction to me." And this was what had Teyla worried the most.

"Small children are very sensitive towards their parents' emotional state. He probably sensed your distress and was frightened by it."

Teyla wanted to believe this, wanted to let herself be reassured, but it wasn't that easy.

"Come on," Jennifer said and stood. "Let's get started. The sooner you get your own face back, the better."

Teyla was not going to argue with her. She changed into the gown she was handed and laid down on a hospital bed, motionless, with a hollow kind of calm weighing on her.

When Jennifer touched her arm lightly, Teyla jumped, startled. "We're going to put you under now," Jennifer said. "Relax. Everything is going to be all right."

Teyla nodded. But it wasn't until much later – when she was back in her own skin, with Torren smiling up at her, kicking his feet out at nothing – that she started to believe it.

- end -

Tell Me What You See (tag for 5x07) // Not Quite Fair Play (tag for 5x09)

Date: 2009-02-22 03:11 am (UTC)
naye: the going merry go on blue waters with the words "follow your dreams" (atlantis - teyla <3)
From: [personal profile] naye
You, my friend, are awesome! \o/

And this fic was great. The dichotomy of sweet family moments and the horror of Wraith works really well. I loved Teyla in this - loved how you explored something that canon left totally untouched, and came up with such an intriguing glimpse of how it must have been for Teyla. Fantastic job.

Date: 2009-02-23 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unadrift.livejournal.com
how you explored something that canon left totally untouched
You know me: totally frustrated with the way that everything was always back to normal in the beginning of the next episode, no matter how terrible the ordeal they'd been through. And frustrated that the really interesting things were never properly explored. Oh, show. *sigh*
Oh, and :) Thank you!
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