|rachel500||09:16 pm - Safety|
Warnings: Tag for 'The Daedalus Variations', so spoilers up to and including that episode
Prompt: Teyla contemplates motherhood.
Summary: Teyla wonders if she's doing the right thing. After all, the galaxy is a dangerous place, and one day she might not come home.
Author's Notes: Word count: ~750
Kanaan had to leave to visit Halling on New Athos, and she felt guiltily glad of that. She wanted Torren to herself, just for a little while.
He was happy this evening, gurgling contentedly as she lifted him from his cot and hugged his warm weight close against her body, his head on her shoulder as she paced slowly around the room, rocking him gently. She smiled as he reached out with a small fist and grabbed for her hair, remembering only too well why she had chosen to cut it short. “No,” she chided him gently, “We are leaving hair alone now, remember? You have already made Doctor Keller tie hers up whenever she sees you.”
He gurgled again, and this time she laughed. “You should be more respectful towards your mother.”
Thinking of her mother brought forth the usual tug of sadness – a gentle sort of sadness now, the sort you acknowledged without letting it fill you with grief. On Athos, it was very rare for a child to grow to adulthood without losing their parents to a cull.
“But you are different,” she murmured, pressing her lips against the downy hair on the top of Torren’s head. “You will grow up safe, here with me. I will always keep you safe, I swear.”
But could she, though? That was the question – the question which had made her so desperately need to see her son as soon as they had arrived, finally, back on Atlantis. She crossed to the bed and lay down on it, Torren on top of her, squirming slightly until he found a new comfortable position. “Do you trust me?” she whispered softly, to the small being curled on her, so young, so new and fragile, so barely alive. “Do you trust me to look after you?”
And she wondered…
What had it been like, for that other Teyla, dying slowly on that other Daedalus, so far from her home? Did she, too, have a son, who would now grow up never knowing his mother? Or had something else happened to her – maybe Kanaan had died early in that timeline, or maybe the Wraith queen who had tried to kill her child inside her had succeeded? She shuddered at the thought and the memory, and blinked away a prickling of tears beneath her eyelids.
Torren had managed to wriggle his way onto her stomach, where he lay curled. Teyla kept her hands on him, gently, but firmly enough to stop him from rolling off her. She remembered that she had lain like that, her hands over the small growing life which would become him, on Atlantis and in Michael’s cell, wondering if she would be a good mother, wondering if she could protect her child. And then she had been rescued, and he had been born, and somehow in the flurry of actually being a mother, she had mostly forgotten her dread for his fate. That morning, the uppermost concern regarding him had been that Rodney would drop him again.
Or fail to stop him from jumping, of course.
She had gone through these thoughts before, without coming to any conclusion which could satisfy her. After all, this was the reason it had taken her so long to decide that she was ready to go on missions with the team again. She had felt the responsibilities of motherhood on her, and been afraid that she would fail in her duty; that one day she would not come back. But she had allowed herself to be persuaded, in spite of her misgivings.
It isn’t too late to change my mind.
Unless, of course, there was another way…
She sat up, lifting Torren into her arms again. He grumbled in protest at his comfortable position vanishing. “Shall I promise you this, instead?” she asked him, softly. “I will keep on going out into the galaxy, and I will make the galaxy safe for you, for when you are older.”
Torren made a noise which seemed to signify agreement. And although nothing had really changed, her heart felt lighter than it had for a long while. “Now,” she informed him, “We are going for a walk. And we are going to thank Rodney for bringing me back to you today. And this time, he is not going to drop you.”
Torren giggled, and she found herself laughing too. “I hope,” she added.