Title: Always Take Advice From Angels
Summary: Listening to Teyla? It's a good thing. Really.
Timeline: Season two, a bit after Ronon joins the team.
Note: Ages and ages ago, I started this challenge to write John and Teyla stories for an alphabet challenge. It bugs me that I've only written, oh, three or four stories so far, so I'm attempting to finish. This will be X for xenophobia.
The thing about Teyla was, she never said, "I told you so."
Not in those exact words, anyway.
His shoulder was on fire. John couldn't see the flames, but he could feel them, wondered if they were inside, in his blood. Wondered if the arrow had been poisoned, if it was burning him alive from the inside out.
He shifted against the side of the cave and bit back a whimper. At least, he thought, McKay had finally quit complaining about his headache and proclaiming that he probably had brain damage. His teammate had apparently tripped and cracked his head on a tree, but Teyla said he'd never lost consciousness, so John figured his burning-like-a-son-of-a-bitch shoulder trumped Rodney's bump on the head.
He'd like to think that it was his death glare that had made Rodney shut up, but he knew it was probably Teyla's low "Rodney, quiet," that did it. She had motioned to the mouth of the cave, as though they could be attacked at any moment. After what had happened, John thought it unlikely their attackers would return, but he'd be damned if he'd tell Rodney that.
Teyla had removed the arrow – and damn if it didn't hurt even more now – and cleaned and bandaged his wound before disappearing. Ronon, he was told, was scouting the path to the Gate to make sure they were clear to return to Atlantis.
Atlantis. John thought longingly of the city, air-conditioned comfort, icy cold showers, refreshing ocean breezes, soft beds. And drugs.
Carson would hook him up.
Pain-numbing, coma-inducing drugs would be good. Mind-erasing drugs to make him forget how this predicament was his own fault would be even better.
"The P'myn do not like strangers," Teyla said.
"Well, we won't be strangers for long," John said, aiming his most charming smile at her. "C'mon, Teyla, have you even met them?"
"My people stopped attempting contact two generations ago," she admitted. "We have not visited their world in my lifetime."
"Never heard of 'em," the Satedan said.
"Maybe they'd love to have visitors now," John said. "Maybe they've been dying for some company all this time."
She looked uncertain.
Rodney jumped in. "This world got a giant gold star in the Ancients' Database of Awesome Hidden Toys. Frankly, it's probably just another backward village in the middle of nowhere, but we should check it out."
Teyla sighed. "If you wish."
"I think I'm dying," John ground out as sweat started dripping down his face, into his eyes.
"You are not dying," Teyla said calmly, and he wondered when she'd come back. He was having some trouble concentrating, and that was probably not a good sign.
"Dying," he repeated. "I'm in the sauna from hell. Burning."
Teyla sighed. "Yes, I know. Chew on these."
She offered him a handful of small green leaves. When he just glared at them, she pushed a few into his mouth. "They are tamal leaves. They will help with the pain."
Helping the pain sounded good, so he slowly started chewing. The taste wasn't bad — a little bitter, but a bit minty as well. The pain, however, was just as bad. In fact …
"I can't feel my hand," he mumbled. The rest of his arm, and the damn shoulder, were still burning, but it was like his hand wasn't even there.
Teyla nodded and pointed to the leaves. "Ronon believes you have been poisoned with the cenda root, and I agree."
"Oh, God," Rodney moaned. "He's dying of poison, and I probably have brain damage. I hate this planet!"
This time, Teyla had only to raise an eyebrow to shut him up.
"John, you are not dying; cenda root is used to incapacitate, not kill. The pain is so intense that your enemy can not fight back, and as it spreads, the extremities become numb."
"Intense, yeah, I hear ya," he grunted. "So, how long does this fun usually last?"
"That long, huh?" Great, just perfect.
Ronon stuck his head in the cave. "Path to the Gate's clear," he said. "Guess you scared 'em away, Teyla."
Despite the pain, John managed a small grin. The bright side of writhing in agony on a forest floor on a crappy planet he never should have gone to in the first place, was getting rescued by Teyla-as-Angel-of-Death.
If he closed his eyes, he could picture her again, almost flying through the air over his body, hefty branch in each hand, spinning like a top around the clearing and bashing the crap out of the guys who'd shot him. He didn't think she'd killed any of them, but he couldn't say for sure. After a brief realization that she had been going really, really easy on him in their sparring sessions, the pain from his wound had knocked him out.
And speaking of pain …
"Think you're gonna have to carry me," John muttered, then passed out again.
"Goin' easy on me," he said sleepily.
He thought about opening his eyes, but they seemed heavy. "Was dreaming about you," he said. "You saved me. Angel of Death."
He heard a low laugh and forced his eyes open.
He was in the infirmary, and his Angel was sitting next to his bed.
"How are you feeling?" she asked, smiling.
"I feel …" He thought about it. "I feel OK. Strange."
She nodded. "You are on strong pain medications. Carson is attempting to keep you comfortable while the poison runs its course."
He tried to nod, but his head felt oddly heavy.
"I will let you get back to sleep," Teyla said. "I only wanted to make sure you were well."
"Good. M'good," he said.
She started to speak, then closed her mouth and stood up. At the door, she turned back, and even in his drugged state he thought, here we go. She had that look — the one that said she wanted to laugh at him but was too polite.
"I will put it in my report for Elizabeth," she said, "but I do not think the P'myn wish to make any new friends."
No, she never said "I told you so," but you knew it all the same.