Pairing: Teyla/Jennifer -- sort of.
Rating: PG (absolutely nothing explicit -- or even full ship)
Summary: Tag to 'The Queen', following immediately after the end of the episode.
Becoming a Wraith Queen had changed more than Teyla's face. Or else it had revealed something of what she had always been. She didn't know which option was preferable, but either way, she wasn't the same as she had been before.
Teyla lay, and listened. The low sounds of the infirmary buzzed at a distance, but the corner where she was sequestered was quiet.
She was conscious of the unfamiliar familiarity of her body. How her skin appeared. How her face was smooth. How her hand… She clenched it tightly. Again.
The most disturbing thing, though, was the newly-noticed silence inside her head. It had been there before, must have been, but the absence of the hum inside her mind was louder than any noise she had ever heard. An empty, aching silence, but one which did not persist constantly.
Teyla felt Jennifer’s nearness as a low murmur just before she appeared through the doorway, her face and body projecting tiredness from a long day’s work. “I thought John was with you?” she asked.
“He was, but he left.” It was something which her teammates must know she had noticed, but they didn’t mention their reluctance to spend too much time in her company, now that she had become – something else. They betrayed themselves instead through eyes which slid away from her, and words which failed to quite line up with the emotions of faces, and perhaps they were right. She wasn’t the same person now. Or, rather, she had released a part of her which had always lain dormant, slumbering beneath her skin.
“Well, I’m sure he’s very busy,” Jennifer said, tactfully. “Woolsey’s demanding he catch up with all the reports he apparently never normally has time to write. How about I sit with you a while?”
“I would like that,” Teyla replied, and then added, “As long as you make no jokes. I have heard them all from John and Ronon already.”
Jennifer’s mouth quirked upwards at the corners. “Yes, I can imagine. Don’t worry, you’re safe with me.”
“I know.” She did, strangely enough, feel lulled to comfort now by the other woman’s presence.
“If you need someone to talk to,” Jennifer said quietly, “I’m not trained like Kate was, but I’m always here.”
On first waking to find herself with her appearance of humanity regained, Teyla had been horrified and disturbed to realise how much she missed the humming songs in her head. But now that missing was a part of her, in the way that the cold inside her which never faded entirely, even when no Wraith were near, had been before.
She wondered suddenly whether the feeling would be so cold the next time she encountered them. Or whether it would instead be the humming warmth of forgotten familiarity which flowed inside her, feeding her strength and purpose, sweet honey harvested from the consciousnesses of the hive drones and fed to their Queen – a drug, an intoxication.
And there was, too, a humming she felt from Jennifer nowadays; had since her transformation, although it must have been there before that. Since Jennifer had been infected. A low reverberation, the song of a hive-ship. Almost unnoticeable, and almost irresistible to a Queen.
“I liked being what I was,” Teyla said, surprising herself. She had not intended to talk freely. “I feel I should be ashamed of that, but I am not.”
“I don’t think you should be ashamed,” Jennifer said. “I mean, it’s part of who you are, right down in your DNA. You can’t control that.”
“You are right, I suppose.” She levelled her gaze at Jennifer, and watched as a slight tinge of colour rose in the woman’s cheeks. “There are some things which… cannot be controlled.”
Jennifer didn’t reply, and Teyla felt the low murmuring song intensify, becoming near to that which she had experienced as a Queen; a bright guiding golden path which was pure instinctive purpose and intention and power, drawn from the minds of her hive, binding them to her and her to them with sweet siren song.
The hive had spoken through Jennifer, in her infection. “I will call a Queen to me…”
Jennifer’s eyes were wide and Teyla knew that hers were, too, but she couldn’t, didn’t want to pull away from this bright connection. “Mine,” she whispered, and Jennifer silently bent her head and her soft hair fell against Teyla’s face…
…and it was as if an electric current sparked into her as their skin touched, and Teyla jerked away in a note of discord which shattered them apart.
“I’m sorry,” Jennifer muttered, wretchedly. “I shouldn’t – ”
“I am… it was because of the Wraith.” Teyla couldn’t say that it wasn’t her fault.
“Yeah.” Jennifer began nervously adjusting her uniform jacket. “Um.”
“I would like to sleep now,” Teyla said.
The relief on Jennifer’s face at the excuse to escape was almost painful. “Okay. Yeah. I’ll check up on you later.” But her footsteps slowed as she approached the door, and she hesitated a moment on the threshold. Then she disappeared.
Teyla waited, but she didn’t return. The hum in her head had faded again to silence.
She could still feel the touch of Jennifer’s hair, ghostly against her face. It smelled of honey.