blue flamingos

Oath To Break, Stand Beside Me

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Slash, PG-13

Year/Length: 2009/~5600 words

Pairing: Sora of the Genii/Teyla Emmagan

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: Of all the things that Sora might have expected would happen while she was Atlantis' prisoner, this wasn't high on the list.

Prompt: Sora was stuck in Atlantis for a very long time."

Author's Notes: sg_femslash mini-ficathon round 9 for sabinelagrande

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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I don't understand," Sora said.

Beckett shifted awkwardly, as though he wanted to be anywhere but in her room – her cell – having this conversation. A feeling she could well understand. You're with child," Beckett said.

Sora rolled her eyes. I understand the word. But I can't be pregnant."

Beckett looked even more awkward. Sometimes all it takes is one time without protection..."

I know that," Sora said. This was one of the reasons she hated the Lanteans, their assumption that they were smarter than everyone else, knew more. I've been here for three months, I haven't slept with any men."

Beckett got even more awkward then, and left shortly after with a vague promise to return.

Sora fell back onto the very familiar bed with a groan. Wonderful."

hr

The next time someone knocked on the door, it was the guard who reminded her of Lieutenant Ford, and a blond woman who she didn't recognize at all. She smiled at Sora, which made her unusual before she even spoke.

Hello, Sora," she said, still smiling, her voice warm and gentle. My name's Kate, do you mind if I come in and talk to you?"

Sora looked at her guard, who met her eyes blankly, then back to the woman – Kate. All right," she said. Hardly anyone came to visit her, and if they did, they didn't ask to come in. I'd offer to make you some tea, but I don't have anything."

Kate smiled, though not as if she was amused, nodding to the guard to close the door. That's all right. Why don't we sit down?"

Sora's cell came with a chair, which she let Kate take, sitting on the edge of the bed. Why are you here?"

To talk to you." Kate glanced over at the window, the view of Atlantis that Sora could never get used to. You've been in Atlantis for a while now."

You won't let me leave," Sora pointed out.

Kate didn't flinch the way the others did. I know. But I hope we're taking good care of you."

Apart from keeping me in this room," Sora said. Three months of captivity had been enough to lose the burning anger that had kept her going at first. She wasn't sure yet what was left, what she wanted.

And your guards?" Kate asked, lowering her voice. Are they treating you well?"

Other than keeping me locked in here," Sora said. And they're not very good conversationalists."

I suppose not," Kate said. You know that if there's anything you're worried about, you can tell me. We don't want any harm to come to you."

Sora hesitated, waiting for her to say something else, but nothing seemed forthcoming. I'm your prisoner," she said, in case Kate had forgotten.

Where we come from, we have rules about keeping prisoners. About what we can and can't do to them. People who break those rules are punished."

Sora realized, suddenly, what Kate was talking about, with a lurch of horrible nausea that sent her to her feet, pacing as far from Kate as she could get. You think they're – that the guards are hurting me?" she demanded. Kate just turned to look at her, still calm. This is because of what Dr Beckett said, that he thinks I'm pregnant."

She wanted to close her eyes, look away. Her guards were guards, quiet and distant and not much for talking, but they did, in their way, take care of her, make sure she had food and water, show her how to use the things in the cell that she didn't understand.

They were Kate's people, and now Kate was here, accusing them of raping Sora, of getting her pregnant. Sora couldn't imagine living with that level of mistrust.

I'm sure you feel like you can trust them," Kate said. Maybe even that you can be friends, or that they can help you to escape, but they're in a position of power over you –

I don't want to escape!" Sora shouted, not meaning to say the words until she heard them break across Kate's own smooth words. For the first time, Kate's calm expression cracked, showing worry underneath. Sora couldn't explain to Kate how her people would treat her, if she was to go back to the Genii homeworld, that she wouldn't be welcomed after so long away. It was private, like their other secrets should have been.

I want to stay with Teyla," she said instead.

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She was expecting Teyla, of course, after what she'd said, and had thought that Kate would come with her. Instead, she came with a woman Sora had never seen before, wearing the same yellow-paneled jacket as Dr Beckett, the one that meant she was part of the medical staff.

My name's Allison," she said, pulling on a pair of gloves and taking a syringe from her pocket. I'm a nurse here. I'd like to draw some blood from you, so we can run some tests. Hopefully, this morning will turn out to be a false positive, or we'll be looking at Atlantis' first ever immaculate conception."

She smiled as she finished speaking, obviously making a joke, but when Sora looked at Teyla, Teyla's expression was one of polite amusement, as though she didn't understand it any better than Sora did. It made Sora feel a little better, amongst this confusing day of being told she was pregnant and accused of having been raped.

I am sure it was an error, as you say," Teyla said, watching Allison finish drawing blood and pack away her things.

Sora nodded, looking away. Of course it had to be a mistake.

The guards were used to Teyla being alone with Sora in her cell, enough that they didn't even ask before closing the door as Allison left, although Sora knew that Sergeant Bates had strong objections to it, trusting neither of them.

Teyla came to sit on the bed next to Sora, and took her hand, as she often did. You should have told me that you were unwell," she said.

I had thought it was the food here," Sora said, though this was not strictly true, when she had eaten the food without concern at the beginning. Or perhaps the effects of being so long a prisoner."

Yes," Teyla said, but the words were absent, as though she wasn't paying attention. Her hand tightened a little on Sora's. You know that you can talk to me – she started.

Sora pulled her hand away, going to her feet and pacing, as she had with Kate. Why must you all keep asking me that?" she demanded. The guards have not even spoken to me, let alone touched me. I have not been intimate with any of the men in this city."

She turned to look at Teyla, sitting on the bed of Sora's cell with her head bent, and felt her anger fade away. She went over, crouched at Teyla's feet and took both of her hands. There has been no-one but you," she said quietly. There will be no-one but you, until you say that you wish it."

It wasn't a declaration, not truthfully, more a putting into words what she knew Teyla to already know, but it was, perhaps, necessary, after those weeks of anger and argument, when she could no more bear to see Teyla in her cell than she could Major Sheppard. She was glad, in a way, for the wearing down of her anger. She would not have wanted to be alone for all this time.

Then it must be a false positive," Teyla said. She turned her hands to hold Sora's, and her face, when she met Sora's eyes, was less troubled than it had been, though not yet carefree.

Yes," Sora said, and raised herself up enough to kiss Teyla, to end the conversation.

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She lay in her bed alone that night, and closed her eyes, and breathed herself to stillness, and placed her hand on her stomach, and tried to feel something. Someone.

She couldn't feel anything, but maybe it was too early. She knew little of such things.

The blood test would tell them. She tried not to think past that, counting her own heartbeats and trying to hear another beneath them.

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Dr Beckett came to visit her again two days later, standing awkwardly in the open doorway. Perhaps we could close this?" he asked the guards. Doctor-patient confidentiality, you know."

It doesn't matter," Sora said, trying not to let her impatience show. Beckett, she thought, was still the most nervous of her, and she no longer felt such an urge to play on that. Perhaps captivity was turning her into the girl she had pretended to be; the girl she had been, before she grew old enough to know her people's secret.

We've run several tests," Beckett said, shifting from one foot to the other. And they all seem to show the same thing – you're pregnant."

Sora forced the shiver that wanted to run through her to be still. She would not show that to Dr Beckett.

Teyla seems convinced that you're telling the truth when you say there've been no men, as are your guards." Beckett looked at her, as though expecting her to suddenly confess to orgies with men who came in through her window at night. So I'd like to take you down to the infirmary, see if we can't get a look at this supposed baby, see how far along you are."

Teyla spoke of the Lanteans' technology, their medical equipment that was far beyond anything either the Athosians or the Genii had, for all that the Genii had many technological marvels. Sora had never expected to see it. At best, she had hoped that eventually Teyla might convince them to allow her to leave the city, never that she might see other parts of it.

I understand this is all a mite new to you," Beckett said. So I've asked Teyla to be available to be with you, if you'd like."

Sora hesitated, struck by the compassion in his voice. Yes," she said, her own voice coming out small. Yes, please, I would."

They still put a metal ring around her wrist, chained to the wrist of her guard, before they walked her through the city. Sora held her head high and met the gaze of everyone she passed without flinching, still Genii, still proud.

Teyla was waiting when they reached what had to be the infirmary, not so different from what Sora knew, between the bottles and bandages and beds. Teyla's eyes widened when she saw the bracelet on Sora's wrists, and she turned immediately to Beckett and the guard. Surely that is unnecessary," she said. Sora is not a threat to you."

Just a precaution, ma'am," the guard said mildly. He was around a lot, older than Sora's father had been, though she didn't think he was in charge of even her guards.

It's going to have to come off now anyway," Beckett said firmly. This isn't a medical exam that needs an audience. Major Sheppard's orders."

Sora tried not to smirk as the guard removed the bracelet. It was unseemly, though she did manage to catch Teyla's eye and smile. Apparently, Major Sheppard had his uses.

Most of the exam was not unlike what Sora was used to from the doctors on her world, though they had been looking for other things than a baby. It wasn't until Dr Beckett pulled over a machine with a screen on top that she actually listened to his explanation.

You'll be able to see inside me?" she asked when he finished. She wasn't ready for that, for the possibility of a swift and inarguable no.

It won't hurt," Beckett said, missing her point. Women back on Earth get these done regularly, to make sure their babies are coming along all right."

There are many things that are usual on Earth and unheard of in Pegasus," Teyla said smoothly. She moved, took Sora's hand in her own. Sora hadn't realized she was cold, but Teyla's fingers felt hot around hers.

Beckett looked down at their hands for a moment, then back up with an almost blank expression on his face that made Sora want to laugh, not sure if he was trying to pretend he hadn't realized what that meant, or if he truly hadn't. You can stop me if you feel uncomfortable," he said, squirting cool gel onto her stomach.

She heard the echoey thump of the heartbeat she hadn't been able to find, first, and squeezed Teyla's hand harder, trying not to smile and show her pleasure.

Oh," Teyla said quietly, looking at the screen.

Sora couldn't exactly say that it looked like a baby, but there was something, amongst the gray and black, the lines of a poor picture. Something that was making that regular thumping heartbeat sound from the side of the machine, where there had to be speakers of some kind.

Well, now," Beckett said, sounding a little stunned. I'm no expert on babies, but I'd say you're a couple of months along."

A baby," Sora said, stunned, and burst into tears.

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Beckett left very quickly after that, and so Sora found herself, still in a hospital gown, still with gel on her stomach, encircled in Teyla's arms, sobbing like a child herself.

Teyla hushed her, smoothed her hair, rubbed her back. Be calm," she said softly. Be at peace, all will be well."

I'm pregnant," Sora sobbed, unable to stop her humiliating tears, even in the face of her relief that the tests had been right. With a baby that shouldn't exist and – She had to stop, gasp for breath. I don't want my child to be born in a cell," she added, the words clearer now, her tears abating with some of her fear spoken aloud. She wasn't ready yet to speak her other fear, that the Lanteans would take away the child, not when Teyla was becoming one of them.

I will not allow your child to be born to captivity," Teyla said, still holding her, but fierce now. This was Teyla as Sora had fought with her, in Atlantis' darkened corridors, only now Sora was with her, not against her.

They'll never let me go," Sora said, all the things she'd kept hidden spilling out in the protection of Teyla's embrace. They'll keep me forever as an example to anyone else who tries to take their city, and I'll die here."

Teyla pushed her away, hands tight on Sora's shoulders, and her expression was fierce, almost angry. You will not die here, Sora of the Genii. I will not permit it. As leader of Atlantis' allies, as a member of Atlantis' council, I will not permit this to stand."

Sora raised a hand and wiped her eyes clear of tears, careful not to dislodge Teyla's hands. Do you think you could really be the other parent?" she asked.

Teyla blinked, the only sign of her surprise at the change of topic, and Sora fought not to shrug. She had known Teyla her entire life. If Teyla made a promise like that, fierce and determined, she kept it. Even when she had wanted Teyla dead, Sora had trusted her.

I do not know," Teyla said. But I believe there may be a way to find out."

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I really don't know about this," Beckett said, turning a small, gray cube in his hands.

Dr McKay and Dr Zelenka have both said that it is quite safe," Teyla said. McKay, unlike Beckett, who seemed to have mostly gotten over his nervousness around Sora since her pregnancy, had refused to come to the infirmary. And Sora has given her permission."

Sora nodded, even though Beckett wasn't looking at her.

Aye, but we've never used it on anyone before," Beckett said. Especially not a baby."

Doctor," Teyla said, sounding like she was nearing the end of her patience. Sora couldn't blame her – the discussion had been going on for nearly twenty minutes. If you do not wish to do this, I am sure that there is someone else amongst your staff who would be willing. Perhaps it would be best for us to ask them."

Beckett looked conflicted for a moment, but finally nodded. No, I'm the department head. If anything goes wrong, it should be my responsibility."

That's the spirit," Sora muttered. Teyla shot her a brief disapproving glare, which Sora returned with a wide-eyed innocent look. Beckett didn't appear to have heard her.

This shouldn't hurt," he said, pressing buttons on the little device and still looking worried. Just lie still until it beeps. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds."

He pressed one final button and placed the cube over Sora's belly button. She felt it as a patch of slightly warmer vibration against her skin, more strange than unpleasant, and not even really so very strange.

It's taking a sample of your own DNA, and of your baby's," Beckett explained. He'd already gone through how it worked, but it seemed to make him feel better to do so again. Then it'll run a comparison between the DNA samples on file for everyone in the city, and give us a list of possible other genetic contributors."

I think I already know," Sora said. What she wanted to know was how. Although she and Teyla had been intimate a number of times in Atlantis, it was not like doing so with a man, an exchange of fluid that could precipitate such an event.

The machine beeped, and Beckett lifted it away, pushing another button and looking at the screen. There was a long pause, then he shook it slightly, frowning. I'm sorry, Sora, love, it doesn't look like it's worked."

There is no response?" Teyla asked.

Beckett looked at her, then Sora, then back to Teyla, still frowning. There's one result, but it must be wrong."

Sora had a feeling she knew what it was, an insane urge to giggle building in her throat. Who?" she asked, forcing herself not to look at Teyla.

Beckett looked at the cube again. It's you, my dear," he said, looking up at Teyla.

Sora couldn't keep a straight face any longer, her giggles bursting out of her the same way her earlier tears had. She fought for control, and heard Beckett, sounding thoroughly embarrassed, say, Oh my. Well, that certainly isn't what I was expecting."

hr

After everything, being led back to her cell had been nothing but an anti-climax, even with Teyla walking at her side, frowning at the bracelet holding Sora to the guard.

He had released it at Sora's door, allowing them a moment in private.

Teyla had taken Sora's hands in hers. This will not be forever," she had promised, eyes bright and fierce. Nor even for very much longer. I swear it."

I know," Sora had said, tugging Teyla's hands to bring her closer, close enough to kiss, trying not to think about how that had started all of this.

That had been three days ago, and Sora had seen no-one but her guards in that time. Not until one came into her cell midway through the morning, and told her to get up.

Why?" she asked, standing. There was little else to do.

Dr Weir wants to see you," the guard said. Sora held out her hand to be cuffed, but he shook his head no, and just gestured for her to follow him.

Sora went.

It was strange to walk through Atlantis in the light, without a guard chained to her, without a knife in her hand and the need for revenge burning in her blood. Even the clothes she had been given – gray pants, a green t-shirt – felt newly strange. She did not look entirely like the Lanteans that they passed, but even so, she was not sure that she would not pass for one of them, to those who had never met her. It was a strange feeling, and she wasn't sure whether she wanted to feel it or not.

She expected to be taken to Dr Weir's office, to meet only with her, and perhaps Major Sheppard. Instead, the guard took her to the large room over-looking the gate. It was crowded; in addition to Weir and Sheppard, McKay, Beckett and Lieutenant Ford were there, as were Kate, a dark-skinned, impatient man whom she didn't recognize, and Teyla.

Only Teyla looked at her with a truly welcoming expression, though both Weir and Kate, who Teyla had said was a psychologist, made a good impression of people who were welcoming. Beckett hadn't lost the ease he'd had with her the last time she'd been with him, unlike McKay, who kept looking at her and then away, his body tense, as though he expected her to leap across the table and attack him.

Sora," Weir said, in greeting, then looked to her guard. Thank you, you may wait outside."

The man Sora hadn't met before looked up at that, as though he was about to protest, until a glare from Sheppard stopped him.

Please," Weir said, turning back to Sora. Have a seat."

Sora slid into the only vacant seat at the table, the other chairs pushed back to the wall. She was almost sat beside Teyla, but for the large gap that separated her own seat from those of the others.

I think you know everyone here," Weir said. Except for perhaps Sergeant Bates, our head of security." Sora looked over at him, only to find him staring firmly back at her. Teyla had spoken of him, distrustful of her people and angry at her presence in the city, and Sora already suspected that she would like him no more than Teyla did.

He reminded her of some of her sergeants as a young soldier, when she had still been training and they had drilled her and her friends into perfect models of Genii soldiers. It felt like a life-time ago, longer. Like another life, which it might as well have been; she doubted that she would ever see any of them again.

This meeting has been convened to decide on what should happen to you, now that your circumstances have changed," Weir said. Next to her, McKay scoffed, then ducked his head when Sora turned hers to look at him. So much fear still, under the defiance, despite Teyla's faith in her. Not that she blamed him; she'd seen what Commander Kolya had done to him, likely the worst hurt by far that someone like McKay had ever suffered. It's customary on Earth to invite the person being discussed to present their own case, which is why we've invited you here."

Everyone looked expectantly at Sora, who fought not to duck her head. I am your prisoner," she said. I do not see where my words can change that."

There," McKay said, like he'd been waiting for the chance. Even she agrees with me, she's our prisoner. It's not 'customary' on Earth to let a prisoner out because she's pregnant."

It's not customary to keep a prisoner without trial, either," Kate said blandly.

Both Sheppard and Ford shifted uncomfortably at that. Different rules in war," Sheppard said, not quite sounding as though he was apologizing.

We're not at war with the Genii," Kate said.

I dunno," Ford said, sounding as uncomfortable as he looked. I mean, they did try to invade us. We'd probably consider that an act of war on Earth."

Dr Heightmeyer's right," Weir said. Whatever the Genii did, the fact is, we're not at war with them. We're not friends, but I think both sides understand that this isn't a war. We certainly don't want it to be. That can't be the basis for any decisions about Sora's future."

McKay made another angry noise, and Sheppard said, McKay," in obvious warning.

We can't keep the baby a prisoner," Beckett said. I won't be a party to something like that."

That's not going to happen," Weir said placatingly. Rodney, how far have you and your team got on working out how this happened?"

Surprisingly, the database doesn't have much to say about mysterious parthenogenic pregnancies."

It's not parthenogenesis," Beckett said. He sounded to Sora as though this wasn't the first time he'd said it. That suggests a pregnancy with only one contributor."

Fine," McKay said. What would you call it?"

A pregnancy with two female DNA contributors," Beckett said calmly.

Whatever we're calling it," Sheppard said, Have you figured it out?"

No," McKay said impatiently. Why not ask Dr Dictionary here? Weird pregnancies are his area, not mine."

Ancient technology is your area though," Bates put in. Unless I'm mistaken."

Your mistake is in assuming that this was somehow caused by Ancient technology, when neither of them have the gene, and she was in a room without any Ancient tech more advanced than a shower, but points for figuring out my job role. It's only been, what, the better part of a year?"

Rodney," Weir said, the exact same tone as Sheppard had used. It seemed to work a little better from her. Can I take this discussion, fascinating as it is, to mean that no-one is any closer to figuring out how this happened?" When neither McKay nor Beckett answered, she sighed and went on. Regardless, that's tangential at best to the issue at hand, that of what should happen to Sora."

I don't see why her being pregnant changes things," McKay said. She tried to stab Teyla, or have we all forgotten that in our delight at the prospect of tiny Genii feet?"

She didn't though," Ford put in quietly. He snuck a quick glance at Sora, almost sympathetic, and she remembered again how much she'd liked him when he'd come to her world, his innocence and joy in his explosives. And we can't keep her locked up forever."

Ford's right," Sheppard said. We don't have the man power to keep her cell guarded 24-7 indefinitely."

I don't believe this," McKay exclaimed. She tried to take over the city. Her crazy commanding officer stabbed me, threatened to shoot Elizabeth and tried to take Atlantis by force."

You can't hold Sora responsible for what Kolya did," Kate said. I know you went through a traumatic experience, Rodney, but we can't allow that to color our decisions now."

Yes, clearly it's my 'traumatic experience' that makes me think an elite soldier who tried to take over our city shouldn't be wandering around the same city as a free man."

Person," Weir said. And that's not what we're trying to imply, Rodney."

McKay took a breath as though to continue arguing, but he was cut off by Teyla coming to her feet, everyone turning to look at her. Sora, turning with them, found herself looking directly into Teyla's eyes, halfway to drowning in the faith she saw there, faith she hadn't even had to earn back after what she'd done, had instead been given freely.

I will stand for Sora," Teyla said, ritual words that Sora suspected would be lost on the Lanteans. As a long, old friend, and as the co-parent of her child. Our futures are bound now, by blood. I will stand for her, in faith of her character."

There was a long silence, and Sora blinked, a little too fast, trying to keep her tears at bay. Her people had almost certainly declared her no longer welcome on their world, yet here was Teyla, displaced from her own home, offering it up in trade for Sora's freedom.

So, er," Sheppard said finally, looking uncomfortable. What does that mean, exactly?"

Teyla looked confused for a moment, turning to look at him. It is a statement of my faith in Sora's character, and her continued trustworthiness. I suppose similar to your concept of bail."

And if she breaks it?" Sheppard pressed.

If you accept, and she was to break faith, you would have the right to banish both of us. If you did not, I would take myself and Sora from the city of Atlantis, and never return."

Teyla," Sora said quietly.

Teyla didn't look away from Sheppard. It is my choice," she said. My faith to place in whoever I choose."

Looking around the confused faces, Sora knew that they didn't really understand. It didn't matter. It didn't even matter what they decided; she knew what Teyla had pledged. A faith, a trust, so great that Sora could never hope to repay it, not even if she became a model citizen of Atlantis.

Sheppard and Weir looked at each other, as though they were having an entire conversation without speaking. McKay seemed to think he could hear it regardless, throwing himself back in his chair in obvious disgust.

Finally, Weir turned to look at Teyla, took in her still standing, and stood as well. After a moment, so did Sheppard. Are there specific words I should use?" Weir asked.

You should state your side of the pledge," Teyla explained. What you expect from Sora, or from me."

Complete adherence to all rules of the city," Weir started, so quickly that Sora thought she must have been composing this already. Maybe Weir, at least, had always intended for her to be freed. No contact whatsoever with any Genii, or ally of the Genii. No unaccompanied visits to other worlds. No movement outside of the approved areas of the city without prior agreement from two members of the command team. Subject to review after six months, twelve months, and yearly thereafter for ten years, then renegotiated."

Teyla nodded. I accept your pledge in return for my own. In my name, Teyla Emmagan."

Sora looked away, startled to hear Teyla's name, where usually it would be 'in the name of the Athosian people.'

I – accept your pledge in return for our own," Weir said, not quite making the words a question. In my name, Elizabeth Weir, and for Atlantis."

So be it," Teyla said.

So much for command decisions," McKay grumbled, Bates nodding. Ford smiled over at Sora, as did Beckett, and Sora returned their smiles, and didn't mention, as Teyla hadn't, that Weir had just tied the oath to herself, as Teyla had done, and that it would be considered broken were Weir ever to leave or die.

It wouldn't matter, anyway. The oath was for the Lanteans; Sora's oath was tied to Teyla, and that would never break.

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Epilogue:

Afterwards, Sora didn't remember much of labor. Perhaps it was because, as Dr Beckett had assured her later, it was a relatively easy labor, over swiftly, for those kinds of things, and thus not memorable. Perhaps it was because Teyla sat beside her, held her hand through it, and she remembered Teyla far better.

She rather preferred to think that it was because all of those memories were half-lost when Dr Beckett placed her daughter – her and Teyla's daughter – in her arms, smiling down at all three of them.

She's a perfectly healthy baby girl," he said, his voice warm. Sora smiled back at him, sparing a bare glance from her daughter – their daughter – her tiny, bronze-skinned face, her perfect little fingers, her closed eyes above the blanket that Nestra, their daughter's guardian-mother, had knitted for them, then wrapped her in once Beckett had allowed her to.

She's beautiful," Sora said quietly.

Of course," Ford said, from the corner he'd shared with Nestra throughout the birth. He'd been stunned and pleased when Sora and Teyla had asked him to stand as their daughter's guardian-father, and taken to his duties with an enthusiasm that Teyla confessed to finding sweet. It wasn't exactly right for Ford to be the other guardian-parent – it should have been someone from Sora's people, but that was impossible, and Ford treated her without any of the suspicion that so many of the others did, until he had become something like a friend. Sora liked that he trusted in Teyla's trust so much. She's got beautiful parents."

To say nothing of fierce warriors," Nestra said, faintly reproving.

Teyla laughed, pressed close enough for Sora to feel it, and touched one finger to their daughter's sleeping face.

Their daughter. Even with seven months to adjust to the idea, Sora found that she had not, in the face of their daughter in the flesh. She wondered what they'd tell her about where she came from, when she was old enough to ask, after neither McKay nor Beckett had managed to find any explanation. Perhaps she truly was a gift from the Ancestors.

I hope it will be many years before she needs to learn of such things," Teyla said.

Ford laughed. I bet she'll be kicking Sheppard's ass before she learns to read."

Perhaps," Teyla said, the laugh still in her voice. Sora leaned a little more against her, sleepy, but not wanting to sleep, to miss any of their daughter's first hours in the world.

Beckett, still hovering, asked, Have you chosen a name for this little one?"

Sora looked at Teyla, who nodded. Fasia Tagan," she said. For my mother, and Teyla's."

And a last name?" Beckett asked.

Sora looked at Teyla again, and couldn't contain her laugh. At Beckett's confused frown, she said, We're working on it."

The Genii do not use last names," Teyla explained.

You could just say 'of Atlantis'," Ford offered.

Fasia Tagan of Atlantis," Nestra said, as though she was tasting the names. It may fit. Your pasts and your future, in one."

Sora cradled the warm body of their daughter closer to her, and leaned into Teyla's embrace, closing her eyes. I like the sound of that," she said.


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