Chapter 1 - John and Teyla
Most people do not like having to watch the Stargate during the lunch hour. It is dull and everyone else is off stuffing their faces. For once, the technician on duty had something interesting happen to him. The technician watched the power readings with a frown on his face. Something was not right. A mild amount of energy had been diverted from the ZPMs to a dome shaped room a few hundred metres away from the command centre. He tapped away, trying to stop the diversion.
Just as he thought he was making some headway, the system threw him out and a loud voice boomed throughout the whole city, “Hear me all, those who are in Atlantis! I am the one who can tell you your fortunes. Come seek audience with me in the Room of Twilight.”
As everyone hurried to the command centre, the technician gleefully explained what had happened. He pointed out the domed room, which was clearly the Room of Twilight.
“Huh, a fortune teller.” Major Sheppard didn’t sound impressed.
Dr Weir was worried, asking, “Is it at all possible that we have Wraith or Genii in the city?”
Everyone looked around at each other uneasily. This was how John realised that the only person missing was Rodney McKay. He wouldn’t put it past the scientist to pull a stunt like this. As Elizabeth ordered that no one go near the room, Sheppard knew it was an order he would disobey.
He was definitely checking it out.
“Wish me luck, Ford,” John muttered aside to his lieutenant.
Aiden smirked. “Have fun, sir.”
John Sheppard approached the Room of Twilight with a mind to poke fun at whoever had set up the elaborate joke. He didn’t believe it was a Wraith or Genii. Those suckers didn’t know the meaning of the word ‘humour’.
“Alright, grand and magnificent fortune teller!” he shouted, entering the empty domed room. “Have your fun.”
“Hmmm…” said a mystical voice from the walls.
John crossed his arms, nonplussed at not seeing the joker. “Look, if this is some kind of joke, McKay, can you get it over with?”
“I am not this McKay of which you speak, John Sheppard,” answered the voice, sounding a little offended. “I am a psychic Ancient. What is it you wish to know? Who will win the war against the Wraith?”
“Well that’s easy. See, we’re going to kick ass.”
“Or…will Teyla ever share your feelings?”
This got him. Sheppard stopped, the snide remark that had been poised on his lips evaporating. He tried to think of some denial, trying to hide his interest. But it seemed the “psychic” had won this round.
The voice sounded amused. “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll help you out there. Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to tell her how you feel. You will be in one of the south passages.”
“I don’t have to believe you,” John snapped.
“Well, no…but if you still think I’m McKay, annoying I may be but you actually would believe me.”
“So you’re someone I know, huh?”
“Um…what I really meant was…I’m going to have another customer. You won’t get a better chance. You’ll be all alone.”
Putting on a scowl to hide his discomfit, John Sheppard left the room. He was desperately trying to plan what he would say to Teyla. And he only had one day to do it…
John made his way to the mess and sat down at a table where his lieutenant was working through his appetite.
“What did it say?” Ford wanted to know, noting the odd look on the Major’s face.
Sheppard glanced up. “What? Oh. Nothing.”
At this point, Teyla joined them, carrying a tray of fruit that had been shipped from the mainland. She set it down, speaking casually, “There is talk of an Ancient in the city.”
John coughed and looked away.
Aiden raised his eyebrows. “Yeah, supposed to be telling the future. Sheppard went off to it this morning.”
“And what did this Ancient say?” Teyla asked curiously.
She and Ford looked expectantly at the Major. John shifted awkwardly. “We don’t even know if it is an Ancient yet. For all we know, it could be McKay being an ass.”
It was just typical that Rodney should come over as John was saying this. Sensing an approaching conflict, Teyla said quickly, “I am sure that if Rodney was the Ancient, he could not keep the joke for long.”
“If I was that psychic, I wouldn’t tell anyone about their future,” Rodney said firmly, shaking off his offence.
John smirked. “’Cause no one should know too much about their future, right, Doc?”
The physicist cringed but did not challenge him with an argument about Back to the Future.
Ford mused. “I wonder who it is. What did they tell ya Major?”
“It appears that Major Sheppard does not wish to share his experience,” Teyla commented. “I will go myself to this Ancient and report back on what is said.”
Rodney rolled his eyes. “Sure, what a valuable use of your time.”
Teyla entered the room and studied its dome ceiling intently, looking for some sort of space where the mystery “Ancient” could hide. She spoke clearly, “I seek to hear my fortune.”
“Welcome Teyla Emmagan,” the voice greeted. “What is it you want to know?”
“What fortune can you give?”
“You are smarter than the last one who was here…the fortune I can give relates to romantic involvement.”
Teyla shook her head, smiling. Rodney was right – it was a waste of time. She had often approached those who claimed to have foresight and their incompetence at predicting her partners was laughable.
“Don’t be so hasty,” the voice cautioned. “I know all.”
Teyla turned to go, but the door shut of its own accord. She raised her eyebrows. Perhaps an Ancient really was around somewhere. She asked, “Well, then, will you try to tell my romantic fortune?”
“A..Ah, very well, Teyla Emmagan. Soon the one you like will admit his feelings for you.”
Teyla frowned for a moment. She didn’t think she liked anyone…did she? An image of John Sheppard sprang to her mind. She chuckled. “There is no chance of that. His affections are reserved for Dr Weir.”
“Are you blind? He likes you. Alright…tomorrow when you two are alone in a south corridor of the city, he will tell you about his feelings.”
“If this is true..." Teyla looked thoughtful. “Then you truly are an Ancient.”
“I look forward to seeing you again, Teyla Emmagan.”
The door zipped open and the Athosian leader left, not daring to hope that the voice’s words were true.
The sky was darkening when Teyla returned to the mess hall. Word of her visit had spread and soon everyone clustered around her table. John Sheppard made sure he could hear what she said while keeping a reasonable distance away if her words got dangerous.
“Did they tell you when we’re going to get more ice cream?” Rodney asked sarcastically.
Everyone shushed him, expectantly waiting. Teyla immediately sympathised with John. She really didn’t want to embarrass the Major, who she could see trying to look like he wasn’t listening. She spoke quietly, noting with amusement how everyone leaned in closer to listen.
“I believe that it is an Ancient,” she told them. “It says that it specialises in romantic fortune.”
Sheppard choked on his food and quickly left the table. No one noticed his odd action, clearly intent on Teyla’s report. Ford asked eagerly, “So what did it tell you?”
“Oh, please,” Rodney said mordantly, getting up and leaving himself. “I’m the only one around here who can identity an Ancient.”
Teyla kept the blush from her face, merely saying, “It was for my ears only. Anyone who wishes to seek their own fortune may go there themselves.”
Clearly, no one was brave enough to attempt it. Who wants to be plucked for information on their love life anyway?
The next day arrived in a brilliant blaze of sun. John Sheppard woke with it, humming with nerves. He pulled on his favourite black jumper and walked haltingly to the command centre. On the way, he met Dr Beckett, who was smiling at some personal joke.
“Good morning, John,” he greeted. “Heard about ye going to the ‘Ancient’ yesterday.”
Sheppard scowled. “Didn’t everyone?”
He was saved any further prying when they reached the command centre. Teyla was already there, conferring with Elizabeth in a low voice. Upon their arrival, Dr Weir opened her stance and said, “What appears to be an Ancient infirmary has been discovered on the south side of the city. You might want to take a look at it, Carson.”
“Aye, I will,” the doctor nodded, “in a few minutes.”
John cleared his throat. “Er…Dr Weir…Teyla and I can go on ahead. We won’t touch anything.”
Elizabeth gave them the go and soon it was just John and Teyla trekking off to a south corridor. As they walked, Sheppard become more and more nervous and the Athosian leader kept glancing at him expectantly.
“We’re almost there,” John said tersely.
He cut his brisk pace, slowing to an uncertain dawdle. Teyla too slowed, trying not to look apprehensive. She asked carefully, “What is it, Major?”
Real intelligent, Sheppard! John thought angrily.
“Well…Teyla…maybe you should call me John,” he winced at his failure to come straight out with it.
He couldn’t let this opportunity slide. Who knew when he’d next get it? The psychic seemed to hint at this being a one shot. Teyla lifted her eyebrows. “Alright…John. Is there anything else?”
It was almost like she knew. John shifted his feet awkwardly. He tried again, voice almost cracking, “Well…uh…I really admire you…not just as a member of my team but…oh screw this. Teyla, do you want to have dinner with me some time?”
“I’d love to,” Teyla answered, smiling. “For the record, M…John, I also ‘really admire you’.”
John Sheppard grinned back.
“Cool,” he said.
He was relieved that he’d taken the chance. Teyla was pleased and also awed of the Ancient psychic. Its words had been true.
At that moment, Carson Beckett appeared at the end of the corridor, telling them to get a move on. When he’d swept past them, John lightly kissed Teyla on the cheek then followed.
“Check it out.” Ford nudged Rodney. “Teyla and Sheppard are sitting by the window.”
McKay sighed and looked. His eyes bugged out of his head. John and Teyla were sitting by themselves and had silly smiles on their faces.
Rodney groaned. “Oh no…”
But he was getting curious. The supposed Ancient had somehow managed to convince them to get together. There was a chance…