Author's Note: I'm back! This fic has been on hiatus for a long time, and I've missed working on it. My focus has been switching lately, but this particular fic has been nagging at the back of my head and begging me to finish it; and so I give it to you. This is the last chapter. I'm not sure if I'll do a prologue or not; that depends on what you all want and where the Muse leads me. But it has been a lovely ride, and thank you so much for bearing with me and this story; I hope you've liked it. God bless (:
Huge thanks to Alydia Rackham, Jodz92, RFPegasus, jtjaforever, Grannanatlanta, Robert1000, madwhiskey, neptune60, Terri, Wendy Jackson, SGAFirenity, Mechia132, and Starscape91 for reviewing! :D You guys are amazing, and a true blessing to a lonely writer ;)
~jewel of athos
John spent the next few days exploring Tutus, looking for a way out and avoiding Teyla. He couldn't accept the risk that she had taken for him, and he couldn't talk to her about it. Things seemed almost too clear in Tutus, and he didn't know how to deal with the reality that was so blatantly laid out before him.
He loved Teyla. He'd already been sure of that, but now-because of what she had done-he knew that Teyla loved him back. And in once instant that made him both happy and terrified. He'd spent so long wanting to know, and Teyla had just displayed to him tenfold his answer. And it had almost killed her.
John didn't want her to love him if that meant she would get hurt because of it. He would rather have to live with the knowledge that she hated him than the knowledge that she'd been hurt - he refused to think the word died - for him. And he wasn't sure how to deal with the fact that she would die for him.
So he avoided her, only seeing her from a distance when she wasn't aware of him, and never speaking to her. He wondered how long he would be able to go on like that; could he avoid her however long they were in Tutus?
By the fourth day, it was killing him.
For the first time in far too long, he sought Teyla out.
He found her in a quiet little stand of trees, sitting cross-legged on the ground in a relaxed meditation pose. Between her position and the bright rays of sunlight that filtered through the trees, she looked almost like a wood spirit, born of this strange world that she'd taken him to.
He stopped a few yards away, feeling that any close would be violating her privacy, somehow. He didn't want to disturb her, but it hurt too much to be away from her. Seating himself gingerly on the ground, he draped his arms over his knees and settled for watching her, memorizing her every feature while she was still enough for him to do so.
A pang of guilt shot through him when he looked more closely at her face. She was pale and drawn, even more so than she had been the day that they'd come here. Dark circles looked like bruises around her eyes, and two tiny lines of pain were etched into her forehead. John bit back a curse. Had he done this to her?
He sat there for a long time, feeling his guilt start to weigh heavier and heavier. How could he have done this to her?
"How long were you planning on sitting there?" Teyla asked suddenly, her voice soft. She did not open her eyes or move.
John blinked in surprise. He hadn't realized that she'd been aware of him.
"As long as it took," he managed. "How long have you known...?"
"I heard you come," she said.
"Yeah, I wanted to see you." He saw her eyelids twitch, as if they wanted to open.
"Why?" she asked carefully. Guarded.
"I've missed you," he faltered. "And I wanted to...apologize. I was dumb and insensitive and..." He broke off with a sigh, running a hand through his messy hair. "And avoiding you has been killing me."
"Have you accepted Tutus?" she questioned, her voice still neutral. John frowned and looked away, though he knew that her eyes were still closed and she couldn't see his face.
"No, I haven't,' he admitted. "I can't accept the fact that you brought be here for what could end up being years for us, or that you fought that thing when you should have let me die. You almost killed yourself for me, and I can't deal with that." He fisted his hands in the grass, tearing out huge clumps. "Why did you do that?" Her eyes opened, and her head tilted a fraction to the right.
"You would have done the same."
"Teyla, this is different-"
"Is it?" She raised a challenging eyebrow, demanding the truth. John made an agitated noise in his throat.
"I can't live knowing that you might die for me."
"John, I would die without you. I had no other choice."
"But so many things could have happened to you..."
"Yes. But they didn't happen, John. We are both here, and we are both alive. We are safe." She reached out a hand to him-it was the first gesture that she had made since he'd come to her-and he took it. "I am alive, John. You do not have to worry for me."
"But I still do." Teyla smiled.
"I know. And if you did not, then you would not love me. But you can have peace here, in Tutus. Nothing can hurt us here. Trust me."
"I do," he whispered.
"Good. Because I believe I had a vision about us that you should know..."
A/N: So there you go. I think that I like it this way, but tell me what you think. Thank you all again SO MUCH for reading and reviewing, and dealing with my erratic updates. Until next time! (: