blue flamingos

End of December: Hold On, Here We Go

Fandom: Stargate:Atlantis

Category/Rated: Gen/PG

Year/Length: 2011/697 words

Pairing: Teyla/Kanaan

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

Author's Notes: For scrollgirl, who wanted Teyla, Kanaan and Torren celebrating an Athosian winter festival, sharing it with the rest of Atlantis, and John/Cam in one of my established AUs (in this case, Hold On, Here We Go verse

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

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The silence in the circle was absolute, the darkness such that Teyla could only pick out a handful of faces nearest to her. At her side, Kanaan held Torren tightly on his knee, Torren curled against him, finally still as the hour moved to the turning of the year. On her other side, Elizabeth sat equally as still, the unlit candle lying on her knee, waiting to be lit. To her side, Teyla could just make out Colonel Caldwell, who was looking around the circle as though checking on the other marines and officers present for the festival.

At Kanaan's side, Teyla heard someone move slightly, and ducked her head to hide her smile, certain it was Ronon. After all his years of Running, he seemed to find sitting still a challenge in anything less than life or death situations. Though perhaps it did not help that he had said the Satedans celebrated the turning of the year with wild parties, quite opposite to the Athosian way.

Teyla felt the wind rise, a cool draft on the back of her neck that stirred the trees above, the movement barely visible in the moonless night. She fancied, for a moment, that she could feel the old year sliding away past them, taking with it their trials, their failures and hurts, and leaving only the successes, the new friendships and families they had created in that time. She knew it to be only a childish fancy, but in that moment, it hardly seemed to matter. She felt a great peace fall over her, warm and soft as her oldest blanket.

The chime of the hour bell was so gentle that Teyla did not even start, only rose back to full awareness as though from a deep and restful sleep.

Kanaan handed her a lighter, offering a smile as he shook Torren carefully into wakefulness. On the other side of the circle, the flare of a second lighter illuminated Halling's face, then Jinto's as Halling turned to light his candle.

Teyla lit Kanaan's candle, then cupped his hand to help him light Torren's. When she turned to Elizabeth, her friend was already offering her own candle to be lit, which Teyla did, leaning in for a moment to touch her forehead to Elizabeth's. "May the Ancestors bless us all in the year to come," Teyla said quietly.

"May they bless us," Elizabeth echoed, as she had done the first time Teyla invited the residents of Atlantis to share the ritual with her own people.

Around the circle, candles were flickering into flame, revealing anew the faces of Teyla's friends and family, her comrades in the fight against the Wraith. Major Lorne was holding his candle to Aiden's, saying something that made both of them smile before Aiden turned to light Jennifer's candle from his. Rodney held his candle very carefully for Ronon to light, his face in the flame far more solemn than Teyla had expected from his many complaints about being asked to participate in the ritual. On the far side of the circle, John and Cameron sat close together, their candles already burning. They both looked peaceful, though John was also watching with a curiosity that spoke clearly to this being his first time at the turning ceremony, having only come to Atlantis a few months ago, with the 302 fighters.

Teyla looked around, picking out more of the pilots – Jiao Zhang and Megan Somers together as always, Major Holland, who was only on Atlantis because the Daedalus had arrived in the galaxy two days before.

She saw Kanaan's sister; Lieutenant Cadman, who Rodney despised but who was always eager to babysit Torren; Pernia, a young Athosian woman who recently joined Major Lorne's team; Amelia Banks, who traded krav maga lessons with Teyla for bantos fighting.

Conversations were starting up, people turning to neighbours, the bright lights of the candle flames blurring together to create a circle of light, welcoming the new year, holding back the darkness for one more night. Teyla breathed deeply, committing the image to memory, to be drawn out in times of hardship or strife. Her friends, her comrades, her people. Her family.


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