By Enola Jones

As they made final preparations, Ronon spoke up. "I still don't like this."

"I don't either," John sighed. "But we owe it to him to find out what he wants."

"You can't trust him," Ronon snarled.

"I know. But I'm going anyway."

Ronon nodded.

"Take care of the boys," John said.

"Always," Ronon replied. "Just come home alive. Or I'll kill you."

The wormhole engaged and John nodded. Then he moved to Teyla's side and they walked through together.


Todd was waiting for them when they walked onto the world. He bowed formally to Teyla. "My queen."

"I am not," she challenged.

"Oh, but you are," he informed her. "You were not killed. Though I run the hive, you are still my queen."

John stepped in front of her.

Todd chuckled. "Relax, Sheppard. I called you here to bestow a gift upon my queen from her hive upon her soon marriage."

"What gift?" they demanded together.

"Tell me, Sheppard," Todd asked him. "How are you feeling? You are looking very well and still very young."

John's eyes narrowed. "Not that it's any of your business but I feel fine."

Teyla's eyes, however, widened. "I understand," she breathed. "John your gene plus the Iratus DNA plus Todd's Gift of Life...."

"You will age very slowly," Todd said kindly. "And sickness will not find you easily."

John felt his jaw lower. "You're serious."

"Deathly so," Todd nodded. "And the gift for my queen? I wish to make her the same though I can not recreate your gene, Sheppard. But I wish to make it so she shall age very slowly. So illness will not easily find her." He gave a soft, snarling sigh. "However, it will not be pain-free."

John turned to look at Teyla.

Teyla met his eyes. "I sense no deception."

"Right," John said with a sigh. "This is your life, here, Teyla. Your body. I can't tell you what to do."

"I know," she nodded. "Let me think on it for a few moments, Todd."

His head inclined in a respectful bow.

As she moved a ways off to meditate, John met Todd's eyes. "Todd-- your feeding ages people."


"So...if you fed off of Rodney..."

He held up his left hand. "I can not do as you wish, Sheppard. It will not make him an adult. It will only dessicate a child."

John sighed. "Why?"

"Because of the circumstances by which he became a child. If a Wraith had anything to do with it, I could have reversed it."

"But not this," John said flatly. "Thank you for being honest."

"I do not believe in false hope, Sheppard. And I truly am sorry. I know you wished for my aid, and I regret there is none I can give."

John nodded, then both of them turned to see Teyla walking over. "You've decided?" John asked.

"I have," she nodded. She handed John her P-90 and turned to face Todd.

Then she opened her tac vest.


When John and Teyla returned, they were visibly exhausted. Nobody was really surprised when both fell asleep during Carson's examination, and both were admitted for observation until they woke up.

Ronon brought the boys to see their sleeping parents and smiled when Rodney helped Torren climb up beside Teyla before he crawled up beside John.

They'd returned alive and healthy if exhausted. When dealing with the Wraith, Ronon thought, that was a pretty good outcome.


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