By Enola Jones

Teyla opened her eyes to find her oldest son sitting just outside the doorway. Gently disentangling herself from John and smiling at his sleepy noise of protest, she pulled on her robe and padded to the doorway, intending to put him back to bed.

Instead, she found him awake and staring into the darkness. Surprised, she touched his shoulder. "Rodney?"

He raised huge eyes to her and whispered, "I don't understand it, Mama."

She helped him to his feet and led the way into the main living area. She sat on the couch and pulled the four-year-old into her lap. Running her fingers maternally through his tangled curls, she asked, "What do you not understand, little one?"

"Why we gots to do Valenayn Day."

Teyla smiled. "Valentine's Day," she corrected gently. "And I believe we do it because it means a lot to your father and the others who came from your homeworld."

He shook his head. "But I don't get it1"

"Explain to me, please."

He took a deep breath. "Why do we gots to have a day just to tell people we love them when if we really love them we'll show it to them and tell it to them every single day?"

She stared at him for a long moment, then crushed him close in a tight hug. She dropped a kiss on top of his head and said, "You are a wise child, Rodney Sheppard. Many adults do not understand that concept, and you do."

"It's easy."

"Why is it easy?"

He pulled back and looked at her. "Cause you and Daddy and Uncle Ronon, you show me every single day that you love me. You keep me safe and happy and teach me things! I know -- Before everything got like this --- we were close, too, but now we're a family."

"That is right, Rodney. Now we are a family. And family loves each other."

"Right!" Rodney winced as Torren woke and began to protest. "But the jury's still out on him."

Teyla laughed and hugged him again.


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