Thanks as always to my beta, Jan.
Warning: Spoilers for the season 1 episode 'Letters from Pegasus'.
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It is late in the lost city of the Ancients. Elizabeth Weir, leader of the Earth expedition, sits in her quarters with her head in her hands taking long, deep breaths.
It has been a long day, and each one that follows it promises only to get more difficult. The Wraith are on their way and the city remains undefended. Morale is dropping, and she has just spent the whole day recording messages to the families of those who have laid their lives on the line for the mission and its members.
She lifts her head slowly as the door to her quarters open, and smiles at the new arrival.
"How was your day?" she asked, trying with all her remaining energy to keep cheerful in the face of overwhelming fatigue.
"I do not understand your people," Teyla replied, removing her jacket and sitting down on the end of the bed to unlace her boots. "Particularly the military."
"Why? What's happened?"
"They do not understand that it is not just about survival! If we are ever to win against the Wraith then we must work together. After today, I am sceptical that that is even possible."
Even as she finished her sentence, Teyla could see the arguments warring behind Elizabeth's tired eyes. Should the diplomat forget her own plans and talk through whatever had Teyla so obviously upset, as was her natural reaction, or complete the task she set for herself earlier this evening and get some much needed sleep?
"You are tired," Teyla said gently, knowing that she was stating the obvious but knowing also that for her partner's sake Elizabeth would gladly lay aside her own needs and talk this issue out. "This will wait until tomorrow." She smiled. "What is that human phrase? It will look better in the morning?" Despite her tiredness Elizabeth couldn't help a wry smile.
"Oh I doubt it, but okay. I'm far too tired to argue." Teyla was just about to tidy her boots away when she noticed the camera and tripod set up in the corner of the room.
"Elizabeth? Did you have something planned tonight that you forgot to tell me about?"
Teyla's raised eyebrow and cheeky expression made Elizabeth laugh out loud.
"No, oh nothing like that! No, I've just got one more message to record for the transmission; a personal message." Teyla nodded slowly noticing Elizabeth's mood becoming increasingly more sombre.
"To Simon?" she asked quietly.
"Yes," her partner replied. "I'm not looking forward to it, I must admit."
"Do you wish me to leave?" the Athosian leader asked somewhat shyly, not wanting to intrude on a private moment between Elizabeth and the man she had spend several years of her life with.
"God no," Elizabeth exclaimed. "Please, I need you to be here. It's going to be difficult enough to record this message - harder than the others, I think - without having to go through it alone." Teyla had never before heard the doctor's voice so melancholic as at that moment.
"Then of course I shall stay," she replied.
"Not a day goes by when I don't think of you Simon," Elizabeth said into the camera. Teyla was captivated by her lover's voice, not really hearing her words. She knew without a doubt that if she were Simon her heart would be breaking. No matter what their fate was to be in the city of the Ancients, Teyla knew that she would rather spend these few exciting months with this woman than an eternity without her. Her attention returned to the recording when she heard that beautiful voice catch:
"And putting your life on hold for me, so don't. Take care of yourself and know that wherever you are my heart is looking after you." Elizabeth took a deep breath, knowing that the next words from her mouth would be the final nail in the coffin of a relationship that would never be possible now.
The tape stopped. Lifting her head from the viewer Elizabeth looked up at the woman who held her heart. Teyla removed the tape and laid it reverentially on the bedside table, tears shining in her brown eyes, before handing her lover a much-needed drink.
"To our future," Elizabeth said, struggling through her exhaustion to hold her glass up in salute, "whatever it may hold."
Teyla just smiled and reached out for her.