blue flamingos

The History of an Alliance

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Slash, PG-13

Year/Length: 2007/ ~1885 words

Pairing: Teyla/Sora

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

Summary: Building an alliance between two peoples takes time...

Author's Notes: A pinch-hit for [info]mdashed for [info]femslash07

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

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Sora is seven when Teyla first meets her, on a trip through the ring with her father. Teyla is ten, just, too old for childhood games, but Sora looks at her, wide-eyed and pleading and Teyla runs after her when her father says she may go.

They catch a rabbit in the woods, the two of them together. When they bring it back to the village, carefully bundled up in Sora's shawl, Darick curls his lip and says, "I suppose you want to keep it as a *pet*."

They look at each other in shared disgust. Boys. "No," Sora says, stroking her fingers over the animal's ears. "We will have it for dinner this evening."

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She is not there the next time Teyla's father takes her with him on a trading visit, nor the time after. The Genii are like the Athosians, training their daughters in skills they need to be leaders, and Sora is receiving the same training as Teyla.

She is eleven and a half the next time they visit, and Sora had her eighth birthday three days ago. She shows Teyla her presents – a necklace made from curled and dried grasses, a new shirt, soft and pale, and a set of bracelets twisted from dyed rope.

"Here," Sora says, slipping a blue bracelet over Teyla's wrist. "So you don't forget me,"

"I would never forget you," Teyla assures her, letting Sora tie the bracelet so it cannot fall off. She would rather forget her friends on Athos than she would forget Sora, who runs through her dreams and makes her beg to visit the Genii again.

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The Genii are reliable, constant friends and Teyla's father begins to send others on visits there. Teyla rubs her fingers over Sora's bracelet until it grows soft and finally crumbles, listening to talk of the Genii visiting Athos and wishing for it to happen. Her father is training her to take his place one day and she goes where he goes.

Finally, finally, when Teyla is fourteen, the ring opens and a Genii delegation step through. Teyla watches her father greet the village leaders, Sora's father, and catches Sora's bright hair at the back of the group. She waves, small enough that no-one will notice, and Sora waves back.

After dinner, while the others are dancing, they sneak away into the woods. Teyla holds Sora's hand so she won't fall in the shadows, until they are far enough away that the fire gives no light. Sora suggests playing Wraith and Teyla agrees, even though they are both too old. When she catches Sora, they fling their arms round each other, nothing like Wraith, and over-balance into the leaves. They lie there for a long time, Sora's hand clutched in hers, not saying anything, until Teyla's father calls them back to the village.

She finds Sora the next day, while their fathers are saying goodbye, and kisses her cheek, then her lips. Sora smiles when they separate, her eye lashes fluttering against her pale skin, and touches her forehead to Teyla's.

"We will see each other again soon," she says before slipping away.

Teyla carries the memory of her touch around like a secret for weeks afterwards.

*
She stops counting their visits after that, until, the day after her seventeenth birthday, her father sends her on a visit to the Genii without him, accompanied by three others from their village, to talk about increasing what the two people trade with each other. Teyla is to take part in the negotiations, which she does, pushing her nerves away behind the calm expression she learned from her father.

The first day goes well, and the Genii offer them rooms for the night. As the only woman in their delegation, Teyla gets a room to herself. She is not surprised when someone knocks lightly at the door once the village is quiet, nor when Sora slips inside and removes her shawl to climb into Teyla's bed in her night shirt.

They have done this before, lain together to kiss and touch each other's hair, the skin outside their clothes, until they are both breathless. Tonight, Teyla's hands drift over the soft material of Sora's night clothes, pushing the loose neck aside to kiss Sora's throat and the freckles on her shoulders. She feels like someone in a dream, like she has had too much ale and will suffer for it in the morning, until Sora's hand slides up between her legs, brushing her own night clothes aside.

"We should not do this," she says, taking a deep breath. Her hand is cupping Sora's breast through her clothing, and she does not remove it.

"Why not?" Sora asks, kissing her again. Teyla cannot think of the answer; instead, she allows her legs to fall a little further apart, allows Sora to slide her fingers where she has not allowed anyone to touch, and reaches her own hand out to slide over Sora's thighs and inside her.

They gasp and shudder together, kissing and kissing until they collapse.

Later that night, they remove each other's clothes and do it again.

Teyla dresses slowly the next morning, letting her fingers trail over bruises on her skin as she smiles.

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They both continue to grow up, to get older, on their own worlds, and Teyla understands, makes sure Sora understands, that they can have no claim to each other. They come from different worlds, in every meaning, and while their people would welcome an alliance between them, they are neither of them prepared to give up the lives they have planned out in exchange for this.

The Genii send a delegation for the ring ceremony when Teyla's father is passing, as do several other of their closest trading partners. Teyla watches the Genii walk through the ring and tells herself she is not disappointed that Sora is not there. She has friends and family amongst the Athosians to be with her; it should not matter that Sora cannot attend, of course she is busy.

When the ring comes to life a few minutes later to allow a single figure to step through, Teyla cannot tell herself that she feels anything other than relief that she was wrong.

Sora touches her forehead to Teyla's, holding her shoulders firmly, and leans there for a long time. Teyla closes her eyes and breathes in her friend's familiar scent, draws on her simple strength.

They finally break the embrace and Sora smiles at her gently, as though she and not Teyla is the oldest. "Did you really think I wouldn't come for you?" she asks.

Teyla shakes her head. "I was unsure. You are very busy with your people..."

"Never too busy for you," Sora says, and leads her back to the village, never leaving her side all day.

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When Dr Weir asks which planets her team might visit, Teyla offers the Genii home world without another thought. She justifies it with the trading opportunities she is sure the Genii will offer them, and tells Dr Weir that she was due to visit the Genii a few days after the Wraith attack and ought to reassure them of the Athosians' relative safety. She does not say that she wishes to see her old friend in such unusual times, that she wishes for Sora's reassuring presence at her side for a few moments.

When Tyrus tells Major Sheppard that Sora is promised to someone, Teyla does not miss the glance Sora sends her way. They have both refused to be promised to anyone, though they never speak of it with each other – Teyla does not wish to know if Sora feels, as she does, that she will not be promised to anyone with whom she does not feel as she does with Sora. If this is the case, it is rather too like the tragic tales in Athosian history, which she has no wish to emulate.

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Major Sheppard asks her, when they return to Atlantis, if she knew anything of the Genii's secrets. "No," she tells him. She feels a fool, that she believed something that was not true, and cannot stop herself thinking over every time she was with the Genii, with Sora, trying to find a clue that there was something she did not know.

"I was never suspicious," she says to Major Sheppard, and she does not think of all those years with a friend who was not a trustworthy friend at all.

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After the storm, while the Lanteans are returning to the city, Teyla goes to the room they are keeping Sora in. Major Sheppard must have said something to the soldiers guarding her, because they stand aside and allow the door to close behind her.

Sora is sitting on the empty bed, her knees drawn up so she can rest her chin on them. Teyla's first instinct, even now, is to sit with her and listen as Sora tells her what is troubling her, though she does not need to ask.

"Why are you here?" Sora asks, not lifting her eyes.

Teyla sits carefully at the edge of the bed, not close enough for Sora to reach her. "I have known you since we were children." It seems less than an answer, but Sora nods. "I do not wish to abandon you. Even now."

"You are one of them." Sora jerks her head at Atlantis, and Teyla tells herself that Sora is hurt and frightened and angry. She does not mean what she is saying.

"That is not true." She waits, but Sora says nothing. " And even if it were, I was not the one to start this. I believe we could have remained as we were, perhaps forged an alliance between Atlantis and the Genii, with time."

"An alliance?" Sora asks, mocking. This is not the girl Teyla grew up with; and yet, maybe there was always something of which she was barely aware. "They would not ally with us and you know it."

Teyla opens her mouth to reply and Sora dives at her. Even now, it is only her second thought that Sora wishes to do her harm, and her first thought is correct, Sora's mouth hard on hers, her hands on Teyla's shoulders, pinning her to the bed.

Teyla hears the words – we cannot do this – in her head, but she cannot force them out between kisses, clutching at Sora's arms. Atlantis is wonderful and she would not exchange her friends or what she does here, but there have been many sacrifices since they stepped through the ring to Athos, and she cannot bear to think of making this sacrifice as well.

Sora bites her lip, hard enough to hurt, and Teyla finally pushes her away. Sora's face is bitter, victorious and sharp. Teyla cannot look at her. "We cannot do this," she says, too late, rising. "We will not do this again."

Sora flings herself back against the wall, defiantly not looking at Teyla. There is nothing more to say but, when she reaches the door, Teyla says, "If you wish, I will escort you through the ring, when you are allowed to leave."

She touches the door open, and does not listen for Sora's reply.


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