Written for the 12 Days of Christmas challenge, day 12: We were given a micro-story to work with. One of the team saved a higher being in the past, and now is being offered a reward: they can choose one of their friends and have one painful event from their past erased while they dream. It will not erase it in reality, but they will wake feeling better than they ever have. This is what I did with the story. References events from Season 2's “Epiphany”.
John just stared blearily for a moment, then he blurted, “Are you serious?”
Teer smiled from where he was seated on the foot of John's bed. “Yes, John --- I'm very serious. You helped my entire people, and this has been given to reward you.”
“But --- but I.... have to choose?”
“Yes, John. The gift is for only one.”
John sat there, gathering the covers around his waist as his mind spun from one teammate to another --- and the singular moments of pain in their lives.
Rodney --- the rift with his sister that had not fully healed and was still a knife in the man's soul.
Teyla --- a double pain: the rift with her people and the agony when she thought they were gone forever.
Ronon --- the loss of his wife and his world. The betrayal of his best friend.
John himself --- he refused to think about it.
Whose pain was deepest? Who deserved this gift the most?
“I... I can't.... I can't choose,” John breathed. “I can't make light of any of their pain by elevating another's above it. That's not fair and I can't do it!”
Teer's smile grew. “And thus, you have made your choice.” He reached forward and touched John's forehead.
“Wait!” John gasped as he felt himself recline onto the pillows. “What... are you....” His words ended in a sigh as sleep claimed him.
A second being shimmered in behind Teer. “And the choice has been made.”
“Yes,” he said. “And we have much to do.”
John's choice had been impossible, but at the same time almost ridiculously easy. Impossible when he tried to choose an individual for the gift.
Very easy when Teer realised that the person John needed to have the gift had a name and identity of its own.
“You just think nobody's good enough for me --- you're scared of losing me!”
Rodney took a deep breath, and heard himself say softly, “Yeah. You --- you're so smart, we're all we've had --- I'm scared you're throwing us away.”
“Oh, Mer.” Jeannie embraced him. “I'm not throwing anything away. I'm not subtracting --- I'm adding.”
With it shifted to math analogies, they were able to work through it.
And they never lost touch.
When Rodney left for Atlantis, it was with a tearful good-bye and his sister's full support.
Rodney woke and stretched. The first thing he did was write an email to Jeannie, telling her how much he loved her.
In her dream, Teyla and Halling were arguing over the Lanteans' distrust of the Athosians.
This time, in the middle of the argument, Elizabeth, John and Rodney arrived with the news about the locket being a transmitter.
The argument turned into a five-way discussion of the Athosians' future. The decision to relocate to the mainland was an entirely mutual decision.
And in her dream --- since hers was a twofold pain --- she emptied a clip of P-90 bullets into the still-mostly-human form of Michael when the Wraith side of him first began to take control.
So her people remained on the mainland --- safe and undisturbed.
Teyla woke with a happy sigh. Kanaan felt her stir and reached for her.
She settled into his arms with a tender kiss and helped him wake as pleasantly as she had.
In his dream, Sateda still fell. But he escaped through the Ring with his beloved Melena by his side.
It was Melena who gave him strength as the Wraith found it amusing to create a pair of Runners together. They had assumed they would find two quicker than one.
They had assumed very wrong.
It was Melena who found the Lanteans, and they grew to love her much as he did.
Now, Melena was content to work with Carson and Keller in the Infirmary. He was content to be a warrior --- her love made it all easier.
Even Kell's betrayal was somehow easier to bear with her by his side.
Ronon woke with tears coursing down his face, automatically reaching for Melena and finding only the sheets.
Rolling over, he stood up and moved to the bathroom, fingering the tattoo at his neck that had served as their marriage mark.
The pain would never leave --- but for the first time, he found he could remember her with joy.
He raised his eyes to a place behind his reflection. “I will always love you, Melena.”
And he had no doubt she heard him.
In his dream, he and his father were exchanging the sharp words that had led him to leave the house and his family behind.
But this time, when he heard his father tell him his mother would be ashamed, instead of taking it John heard himself growl, “No, Dad. She would be proud. It's not your will for me that I'm choosing --- that's the problem here.”
His father blinked at him, and John went on, “Mom always told me she wanted me to be happy. Dad --- the military is what will make me happy. All I want to do is fly.”
And his father took a deep breath. “Yeah --- you always have,” he admitted softly. “Remember those toy planes you were always after me to buy?”
They laughed together, and his father added, “Your mother was a hell of a woman, John. As wise as she was beautiful. Let me see those papers.”
John entered the military with his father's blessing. His approval gave John the strength to get through Afghanistan and that whole nightmare.
And John carried his family's love with him through the Gate to Atlantis.
John woke with a gasp, looking around his empty room.
What had Teer done? What had just happened here?
What the hell was that dream about?
His door chimed, and he got out of bed and thought it open to reveal Rodney --- bearing fresh coffee.
Minutes later, Teyla, Kanaan and Torren arrived with a full breakfast. Ronon was right behind, with Torren's playpen.
The Team started their day together --- as the family they truly had become.
And watching it all, Teer smiled. Each dream had been about family coming and remaining together.
And now it had happened in reality.
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