Title: Strong Enough
Summary: "Teyla had never felt as strong as she did now."
Spoilers: Through "Lost Boys"
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. I'm just playing with them for a sec.
Note: Thanks to Mike for beta reading this.
Teyla's first memory was of her mother.
Beauty in darkness and pain, warm hands pressing Teyla into Charin's strong arms. "Be strong, Teyla. Be strong. Do not look back."
As Teyla, three or four at the oldest, was carried away, she tried to obey, burying her face in Charin's neck. But she could not resist looking back. She saw her mother, limping, falling behind. She watched as her mother was erased in a flash of bright white light.
Be strong, Teyla, her mom said. Be strong.
So she was.
She was strong through darkness and pain, exhaustion and panic, hunger and cold and loss. Through moving from place to place. Through growing up without a mother. When their people were taken by the Wraith, she did not show her tears to anyone, not Charin, not even her father.
When she learned that the cold, sick feeling inside her was really a touch of the Wraith, her father told her it was a gift. She turned it into a tool to protect her people from the Wraith. And every time she felt the Wraith ripping her apart from the inside out, their icy touch burning like fire, she pushed back the pain. The pain was nothing if it meant she could protect her people.
Even Teyla's gift was not enough to save her father. She could not be everywhere at once; she could not save every person. But knowing she could not save her father brought a wave of pain so strong she thought she would drown in it, break under the force.
But she did not break. She was strong.
In all her days, though, Teyla had never felt as strong as she did now.
The drug that was forced upon her coursed through her system, and the fact that she no longer worried about its effects would have frightened her only twenty-four hours before. The fact that her strength came from the Wraith would have horrified her.
Now, she felt that it was only just that the Wraith could finally be defeated by using their own strength against them.
Her strength, now.
She paced the small room, wondering if Ronan was around, if he was having trouble sleeping as she was. She felt that she should always be moving, always be training, always be ready. They would soon begin the attack on the Wraith, and she wanted to be prepared.
"Teyla, you okay?"
She froze at Colonel Sheppard's voice. She turned to see him standing in the doorway, rubbing a hand through his unruly hair.
He looked tired.
He looked beautiful.
Earlier in the day, she had seen him talking with Aiden, and she had wanted to punch him. To drive her fist into his face, his middle, to show him what she was becoming. To show him her strength. To remind him of his part in this.
To make him take the blame. Or the credit. She changed her mind about which was appropriate every time she took a breath.
Now her urge was a different one. She wanted to drag him to the floor, rip through clothing to reach warm bare skin. To lick, bite, scratch. To devour and be devoured in return.
"I am fine," she answered, trying to keep her expression and voice as even as possible. "Just ... nervous energy."
Something passed over his face. Concern, or perhaps guilt. But he just nodded and disappeared without another word.
Teyla sighed and resumed her pacing. She had many urges boiling under her skin, but for now she was still strong enough to resist.