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Story Notes: This was written as a backstory to a oneshot of mine entitled "The Right Side of the Wrong Bed". It's posted by itself at my FanFiction account, but I will work it into the story here as its own chapter. You can read it first or last!


As Elizabeth Weir entered the conference room, her attention was drawn, not to the team patiently sitting and waiting on her, but the steaming mug of coffee at her seat. She raised an eyebrow as she made her way to the head of the table. "I apologize for my tardiness," she excused herself to Colonel Sheppard's team, taking her seat while her eyes raked over the coffee cup.

On her right, John smirked and nodded as he held his own cup. "No worries. I think we're all allowed one morning to sleep in."

"Yes, but not when I have a briefing at 0800," Elizabeth gently rebuffed, glancing at the team. "So. What's the story on M51-936?"

Rodney spoke first before anyone else had a chance to even breathe. "Well, the Ancient database doesn't give us a whole lot of information, but from what I've been able to ascertain--"

"You mean, from what Teyla told you?" Ronan Dex interrupted him, nodding toward the Athosian woman while glaring at McKay.

Rodney frowned. "Database has zip," he concluded.

Elizabeth smiled graciously at him, then nodded at Teyla. "What do you know of this world?"

She inclined her head uncertainly. "It has been many years since my people were on this planet. Before my generation, in fact. They are farmers and produce a wide variety of crops. They've been remembered as a peaceful people."

“You think that might've changed?" John asked from across the table, rubbing his chin.

Teyla tilted her head uncertainly. "As I have said, Colonel, it has been many years since my people have been in contact with them. It is entirely possible that they have remained the same."

"And there's also a chance that the Wraith have culled them and taken over, and will feed on us the instant we step through the 'Gate!" Rodney emphatically suggested, ever the drama queen. "Which is why we need to send a MALP through before you risk one of us."

Elizabeth nodded in acknowledgement, doing her best to repress a sarcastic chuckle. "While I appreciate your sense of self-preservation, the MALPs are currently inoperable due to an upgrade. For the time being, we’ll operate under the assumption that Teyla is correct and the inhabitants are still peaceable. With all the chaos in this universe, we can't afford to be that cynical."

Rodney opened his mouth to reply but John interrupted. "So we have a go, then?" he asked innocently.

Elizabeth nodded. "You have a go."

Smiling, John smacked his hands against the table as he pushed his chair backwards. "All right, be ready to go in twenty minutes," he directed to his team.

Elizabeth leaned back in her chair, rubbing her hands over her eyes as everyone excepting John left the room.

He stood, stretched his arms, and sighed. "You okay?"

"I'm fine," she replied, gingerly reaching for the cup of coffee still sitting in front of her on the desk. She examined it, then took a sip. "Just not completely awake yet."

John nodded, licking his lips. "Couldn't sleep last night?"

She shook her head, standing up. She still held the warm mug in her hands as she replied, "I was awake until two in the morning. Even the ocean couldn't get me to sleep."

John flinched in sympathy. "Sorry."

Elizabeth shrugged. "The important thing is, I finally got to sleep."

He gave her a tight lipped smile, then started to head for the doors.

"Thank you," she suddenly called out, just as he got to the doorway. When he turned around and his hazel eyes sparkled in confusion at her, she lifted the mug up. "For the coffee," she explained.

He stared at her. "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about." Then he winked and walked out, leaving Elizabeth with a blush that wasn't from the coffee.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"All right, you know the drill. No shooting the first thing that moves."

"You talkin' to me or McKay?" Ronan asked as he pulled his blaster from the holster, ensuring it was set on stun before he dramatically replaced it.

As McKay scowled, Teyla glanced at her own TAC vest, making sure that she had gathered the appropriate equipment. She felt someone nudge her.

John discreetly handed her an extra MRE bar. "He's grouchy today. Couldn't hurt to pack some extra bargaining chips."

She smiled, slipping the foil wrapped bar into a pocket. Rodney had been rather negative during the briefing. From personal experience with the team, there were only two items that would drastically change his attitude: an MRE or a lemon. The citrus fruit, however, was starting to lose its intended effect. "A wise measure," she agreed.

John smiled, then dug the sunglasses out of his vest. "Dial it up!" he yelled to the control room.

As the glyphs began to lock into place, Elizabeth descended down the stairs behind them. "Keep me apprised of any developments. And, if it makes you feel better, we'll make the check-ins on the hour."

"Sounds good to me," John replied with a nod, putting the sunglasses on.

"Yes, very good. We'll make sure to give our radios to the Wraith and they can--"

"McKay!" John snapped at him impatiently. "Don't make me throw you through the 'Gate first!"

Rodney scoffed. "You wouldn't."

Sheppard shrugged. "Maybe not. But he definitely would," he threatened as he pointed sideways at the imposing Satedan.

Ronan grinned. For some reason, it seemed to startle people more than when he was holding a weapon in their direction. Perhaps because a smile from him was rather uncommon.

McKay acquiesced and turned around, facing the Stargate as the wormhole connected and the vortex roared to life.

Elizabeth smiled. "Do try and stay out of trouble, Colonel."

"Me? In trouble? Where would you get that idea?" he responded with a smirk.

"Too many mission reports to recall." Her face turned somber and her green eyes met his. "Be safe."

John gave her a look of equal seriousness. "I intend to."

As the team entered the wormhole, Teyla wondered if they had ever admitted that there was something more to their relationship than colleagues, or even very good friends. She couldn't quite identify it, and she wouldn't go so far as to call it love, but the dynamics between them were not easily concealed. Many people highly respected Elizabeth and John. They couldn't bring themselves to gossip about their supposed relationship.

That didn't prevent them from wondering.

As they stepped out, the sky was blue and the grass was green. It appeared the same as any other that they had encountered in the time that the Expedition had been in the Pegasus Galaxy, including the same nervous tension that they would feel as they stepped through.

Sheppard quickly turned and glanced at Teyla. "Are your spidey senses tingling?" he asked, throwing a sideways glare at McKay.

As the scientist mockingly muttered under his breath, Teyla closed her eyes and concentrated. Her unique gift for sensing the Wraith had been very helpful on missions, even if it didn't detect anything until the last minute. It had deemed her a valuable asset, and though some might want to take advantage of it, she was content knowing that her gift could save lives.

She slowly exhaled and opened her eyes. "I do not sense anything."

John turned his head, smiling sarcastically at McKay. "Satisfied?"

"I suppose," McKay grumbled, raising his weapon in front of him.

A well worn path lead away from the Stargate through a dense forest, but it seemed that the natives had carefully cut down any trees that would impede a traveler. She also noticed wooden stakes in the ground along the path, approximately her height, with a glass covered wick at the top. "This road is well traveled, both day and night," she mentioned, inclining her head to the candle holders.

"Maybe they have a lot of visitors," Ronan suggested dully as they cautiously continued.

Teyla shook her head. "If they were traders, it would be sensible for them to be located near the 'Gate."

"I think they’re the ones doing the traveling," John proposed.

Teyla stopped walking as the team noticed that Sheppard was a few paces behind them. Thy turned around and followed his outstretched arm to the tract of land on the other side of the Stargate.

Tall plants were sprouting in carefully seeded rows. From this distance, Teyla couldn't recognize the plant, but the technique was obvious to everybody. The farming industry was alive and well.

Ronan patted McKay's shoulder. "Guess they're still here."

Rodney yelped in surprise and Teyla smiled at them. "The village shouldn't be too far."

"All right, let's get going. I wanna be home for dinner," John said, leading the team further down the path.

They wound through the forest, eventually coming to an opening with a small hut visible in the distance.

"That the village?" John asked, motioning forward with the muzzle of his gun.

"I would assume so," Teyla replied, eyes glancing around for any sign of the natives.

Three figures came around the corner, holding empty baskets. As they drew closer, the two men glanced furtively at the woman walking with them. Teyla raised an eyebrow at this as the team lowered their weapons.

"Hi," John greeted in his usual, casual manner.

They stared back. The younger man appeared to be around twenty years of age, with tanned skin and fair colored hair hidden under a cap. He nudged the grey headed man standing next to him, but his eyes spoke instead of his lips. His face showed confusion and apprehension. It almost made Teyla turn around and see if they were being followed.

"Do you live around here?" John asked, trying to get them to open up.

"How dare you let the man speak for you," the woman sudden spat, her eyes sending a glare in Teyla's direction. "Are you incapable of doing so yourself?"

Teyla raised her eyebrows in surprise. Apparently, they had some equality issues. "We are not from this world," she quickly replied in defense, moving to stand in front of the men.

She heard the colonel mutter, "What the hell?" and she quickly turned to face him.

"Let me handle this," she hissed at him.

The woman dropped the basket carelessly and paced around the two men standing next to her. "Even if you are not from this world, surely you should still know our customs."

"I confess I do not. My people have not traded here for quite some time," Teyla explained, straightening slightly.

"And you are?" she queried, crossing her arms.

Teyla lifted her head in pride. "I am Teyla Emmagan, daughter of Torren." As she realized that they respected the females more than the men, she thought it tactful to add, “Husband of Tagan."

The red headed woman nodded approvingly. "What world are you from?"

"Athos."

She clapped her hands together as a smile swept her frown away. Out of the corner of her eye, Teyla noticed the befuddled look on John's face.

"Your statement is correct. It has been many years since the people of Athos and Fa'tor have seen each other." She glanced briefly at the team and waved them onwards. “Come along to the village. Prime Minister Tharon will most certainly want to meet with you.”

“Does that include all of us?” John asked innocently, sticking his head to the side and giving the woman a pointed look.

She sighed patiently and chuckled. “Yes, that means all of you. I apologize for my behavior. Many travelers are aware of our matriarchal society. I forget that we are not acquainted with all the peoples of our galaxy. I am Yelira,” she quickly added after a moment. Gesturing to the two men next to her, she told them, “My son, Azari, and my husband, Darrin.”

John nodded at the men, then gestured to the other members of the team. “Colonel Sheppard. Doctor McKay. Ronan Dex. Pleased to meet you.”

Darrin and Azari nodded back, the anxiety disappearing from their faces. “Likewise.”

Teyla sighed in relief as the tension faded. “Which way to the village?”


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