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Title: The First Year
By Atri/ Chiara Crawford


RATING: PG

WARNINGS: none

CATEGORY: Introspective

ARCHIVES: ff.net, Command Dynamics

SPOILERS: Season One: Home

SUMMARY: An afternoon on the mainland.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate: Atlantis.
I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
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They walk through the village in silence, simply admiring how far their people have come since that faithful meeting on Atos. Teyla looks around and smiles with pride. The huts are simple dwellings, especially compared to the luxuries of Atlantis, but they are much more than they had before. They speak of settlement, of not having to break up camp and continue wandering in the hope of escaping a culling. Small gardens can be seen almost everywhere and the sweet scent of flowers and fresh bread drifts through the air. Mingling with the Earthborn, her people look happy, content. They move as one with their new friends, working on the fields outside the small settlement, learning from them and helping each other.

A little boy runs up to them, grinning widely, before seeming to remember his manners and bowing low. He hands them a basket of foods; fresh meats, fruits, the fresh bread she had smelt before and a jug of juice. Then he is gone as fast as he came.

They walk some more until they both settle on a hill overlooking the settlement. It is a pleasant day. The sun is shining, the ocean glitters a brilliant blue and Atlantis rises majestically in the distance.

“You have been silent today, my friend,” Teyla speaks softly after some minutes.

“There is a lot I’ve been thinking about.” Elizabeth sighs and leans back against the tree they are sitting under. There is a loss in her eyes that has not been there before. Teyla thinks she knows what has the leader of Atlantis so concerned.

“You are thinking of our time on M5S-224, are you not?” she queries and is answered by the flash of pain in the other’s eyes. The illusion of Earth has shaken all of her friends.

John doesn’t seem that concerned, but she still saw the disquiet in his eyes when they first came back from the experience. He was almost as disturbed to be on Earth as she was, she thinks. Here, in Pegasus, he seems freer somehow, more comfortable. She believes, perhaps, that he likes it better here.

Rodney, too, seems happier here. He is still as passionate as always about his research. There is an air of accomplishment around him. There is no mention of Earth or his family.

Aiden, of course, is more distraught. She knows that he has his grandparents still on Earth and that he misses them, fears that he will never see them again and that they will never know what happened to him. To have his hopes so swiftly swept aside has made him unbearably sad.

And Elizabeth…maybe it had the most effect on her. Teyla looks at the other woman and sees her staring into the distance, her eyes focused unerringly on Atlantis. Her shoulders are slumped slightly forward, but something in her bearing tells of hardened steel and a new determination.

“I can’t hide anything from you, can I?” she smiles in resignation and after a few moments begins to speak again. “I won’t say that it wasn’t hard being on Earth again. I have always been prepared for the possibility of never going back, never seeing the world I was born on again. Still, our experience with this illusion…” she trails off, then sighs, “it made it kind of … finite.”

Teyla nods and thinks she understands. Her friend is letting go and looking towards the future.

“Tell me of Earth. I have seen only a small part of it in the illusion, but it was a fascinating place.”

And Elizabeth does. She describes the world and its beauty, the many people living their daily lives without an ounce of fear of the Wraith, the rich cultures, landscapes and histories reaching far into the past. She also speaks of her parents, the city of Washington D.C., how she decided to become a diplomat, her dog Sedgewick and even a man called Simon, whom she had left behind to go on this expedition.

“Do you regret it? Coming here?”

It is possibly the most important question she has asked so far. Elizabeth stays still, but then she turns and in her eyes Teyla sees peace. When she speaks, the words are sure and strong.

“No.”

And Teyla believes her.

The rest of the afternoon is spent pleasantly. They sample the various foods, talk about the settlement, Atlantis, possible new alliances and the basketball game between the military and the scientists that will take place that evening. When they finally arrive back at Atlantis, Teyla can’t escape the hopeful feeling that has overtaken her. Earth was a marvelous world, so alive, so different; but Atlantis is marvelous, too, she thinks and looks at the people around her.

Atlantis is the future and she likes it; likes it quite a lot.


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