Author: kariesue, kickstand75, firedew1, mysra, amycat8733
Disclaimer: Don’t own them, just borrowing them for a bit of fun
Size: ~4,974 (this chapter)
Comments: Team Sheppard travels to Belosia where they discover the origin of the Minotaur. But with everything the Ancients did, the truth is worse than the fiction.
This week: Chapter 15 – A Family's Future by: kariesue
“Well, Dexcian, I have to say that healing water may not have worked as fast on you but it did something. Your wounds are further along in the healing process than would be typical.”
Marinel listened as Dr. Keller spoke to her husband. She too had noticed the wounds looking better than she had expected at this point.
“Then why do I still feel weak and useless?” her husband grumbled, tired of sleeping for so many hours for the past two days. “If I’m healed then why is it difficult to even keep my eyes open?”
“Your wounds may have closed quicker but you still lost quite a bit of blood. We’ve replaced much of it but it will take time for your body to recover from that trauma. You just need to rest.”
Keller looked at Marinel and frowned. “You should get some rest too. You haven’t left his side since he got here.”
“Marinel.” Dexcian held out his hand and she moved closer to take it. “You should not be here if you need rest.”
“It’s where I belong, husband. By your side to make sure you’re well.”
Dexcian looked at her curiously. “Are these healers not doing their job then, like the charlatan when I was first injured by the Beast?”
“No, husband, they are marvelous but I don’t wish to leave your side while you are still unwell.”
Dexcian smiled at her and squeezed her hand. His grip was much stronger now and Marinel’s heart lightened.
“And do these people still care for our children while you’re here?”
Marinel nodded. “They’ve brought Astrea to me for feedings when she is hungry. And Marcus has come to assure himself that we’re both here and well.”
Dexcian glanced away. “He could see I am not well.”
“But he sees that you’re alive and healing. That is the assurance he requires. Not that you be up and teaching him the glorious ways of battle.”
Dexcian closed his eyes, sighed and then opened them again to look at the doctor.
“This healing water you speak of, where did you find it?”
Keller shrugged. “It was on your planet, in the labyrinth under the city. From what I understand it was created by the Ancients, uh, the people you call the Ancestors. I’ve run some tests and analyzed its components. I’m not sure exactly how it works but the experiments I’ve done show that it works much quicker on someone with the Ancient gene.”
Marinel wasn’t sure what she meant and Dexcian also wore confusion on his face. Keller smiled and continued, “This city, Atlantis, was created by the Ancients, the Ancestors, and they made it so most of the technology could only be used by someone of their kind. They created lots of things that worked the same way. Apparently this water is able to blend with the Ancient gene and speed the growth of new cells to an amazing level. It worked on you too, only at a slower pace.”
Dexcian scowled. “You are not of the Ancestors?”
Keller’s eyes widened. “Oh, I’m not, but there are some here who have the gene and are able to use the technology quite easily. Like Colonel Sheppard. He’s extremely strong with the gene. It’s probably why the water worked so quickly with him. Major Lorne said his wounds closed up in minutes. Yours took more than an hour to even start any kind of healing.”
“Colonel Sheppard? But he is dead. I saw him with his blood spilt all around. He couldn’t have survived. The magistrate abandoned him without means to leave the tunnels. Casus informed me he had perished.”
“Well, he almost did,” Keller sighed. “But he had his radio on him and we had sent more troops so they were able to get to him and give him the healing water before it was too late.”
Dexcian closed his eyes, his relief evident. “I am glad. He is a noble and brave man. Has he recovered or is he still weakened like me?”
“He’s not up to par yet though he’d probably get better quicker if I could get him to sleep in his own bed.”
Marinel took pity on her husband’s confused gaze. “He has been holding vigil with Teyla.”
“Teyla? I should have inquired. Did they rescue her from Ducis in time?”
Dexcian glanced from the doctor to Marinel. She shook her head. “The magistrate used some of his sorcery on her. He claimed she would not remember anything.”
“It was a few weapons that he used,” Keller filled in. “Some black cylinder thing that left marks around her middle.”
“If it left marks then it remained on her for some time. That is not good.”
“No,” Keller replied. “And there was some other stun weapon that he apparently used on her several times. No one seemed sure how many times though. She also hit her head pretty hard and has a concussion. She still hasn’t woken up.”
Dexcian looked troubled. “If he used it too much it could take several days before she awakens. Ducis would use that combination when he wanted to obliterate someone’s memories for good. It was usually an opponent. And then he would fill their minds with propaganda while they slept so they were much more in line with his views. Occasionally he would use it on women to make them more pliable to his will. This was what he planned for Teyla, I am sure. She never would have submitted to him. She is far too strong.”
Keller nodded her head. “Teyla’s one of the strongest women I know. I’m sure she’ll come through this okay. She’s got some abnormal brain wave activity though so she’s going through something. It isn’t like anything I’ve seen before.”
“She would need to be very strong to overcome the effects of both devices used together. I have never seen it done.”
Marinel pressed on her husband’s hand. “She will remember. Sheppard has been in there reminding her of their lives. Her heart will feel his love and know who he is. The heart always knows.”
Keller now looked confused but merely smiled. “Make sure you let me know if you need anything.”
Dexcian stared at his wife, his mouth still in a flat line. But she saw the gleam in his eyes. “I have all I need right here. Thank you, doctor.”
Keller left and Marinel faced her husband who still gazed upon her with deep concentration.
“The heart always knows. Where did you come across such wisdom, wife?”
Heat suffused Marinel’s cheeks and she lowered her eyes. Dexcian caressed her cheek with his fingers then lifted her chin. She knew he didn’t like her to be submissive. Still she did not answer. He would be embarrassed at the knowledge that he had taught it to her.
Dexcian’s mouth twisted and his eyes gleamed again. “My heart knew when I first heard you sing.”
Marinel leaned down and pressed her lips to his. He responded in kind but Marinel knew his strength was still lacking.
“I will let you rest, husband.”
Dexcian scowled. “How is it that Sheppard is staying with his wife if he’s injured as I am?”
“I’ve heard Dr. Keller scold him many times but he rests in the bed beside her and I think the doctor admits she cannot control what he does as well as she would like. He is too dedicated to Teyla.”
“So, if Sheppard is resting with his wife, is there a reason that you cannot rest with me?”
Marinel looked around self-consciously. “The door to the room is open, husband. Anyone could walk in.”
“Apparently that doesn’t stop Sheppard from sharing a bed with his wife. You are in need of rest, Marinel, and if you feel your place is beside me, then stay here. But you must rest also. I will make room.”
She thought of his injuries and resisted. “I don’t wish you hurt you.”
Dexcian’s face darkened. “Am I so broken that the pressure of one tiny, beautiful woman would injure me further?”
Marinel searched the area again then nodded. “I’ll stay close to the side. Let me know if you need more space.”
“What I need is for my woman to stop talking and lay beside me,” Dexcian growled softly. He shifted on the bed and lifted the blanket. Marinel slid in next to him and settled in the comfort of his arm, facing him.
“Is that comfortable, husband?”
Dexcian frowned though it held no censure. “It always brings me comfort when I have my wife near me. Do not fret for me. I don’t wish you to fall ill due to being at my side.”
“Yes, Dexcian.” Marinel sighed and absorbed the scent of her mate. It was mixed with the medicinal smell of the infirmary however she could still discern it and her heart increased its tempo as it always did when he was near and touching her.
Her eyes closed and she allowed herself to rest for the first time in two days.
Marinel woke to the sensation of something caressing her throat. It felt lovely. Like home. She roused enough to take note that she was in one of the Lantean rooms where they’d been tending to Dexcian’s wounds. She smiled when she remembered falling asleep in her husband’s arms.
Dexcian’s hand now moved to where her tunic had been opened when Astrea had been brought in … when was it? The light had changed and was now casting shadows in different locations around the room. She’d spent the last few days here while her husband slept and had taken note of each rotation. The shadows now told her it was morning.
“Husband, are you feeling well?” she threw over her shoulder to the solid man at her back. She hated to move as it might dislodge the hand that was causing shivers to course through her.
His hand closed over her breast and squeezed tenderly. “I am feeling quite well, wife. Did you rest also?”
“Mmm,” Marinel purred and arched against Dexcian’s chest, hoping it would not pain him. She did so love the feel of him pressed against her. His hand kneaded her sensitive skin and desire sliced deep into her core. When his fingers pinched her nipple she bit her lip to stifle her cry.
Dexcian chuckled in her ear. “I suppose we should keep the noises lower while we are here. It wouldn’t do for the doctor to come in and see where my hands have wandered.”
Marinel wanted to argue and say his hands should remove themselves but her husband was alive and she needed to feel his touch and his life. And the sheet covered most of them. “I will try harder to contain my sounds.”
Dexcian’s lips touched her cheek and she shivered. “I like the sounds you typically make when I touch you.”
Dexcian’s other hand slipped under her pulling her skirt up with it. His fingers danced along her thigh and she closed her eyes at the enjoyment she received. He brushed his hand along her protective curls and played on her mound, rubbing and teasing but not approaching where she truly wanted him.
A figure walked past the room and Marinel startled. “Should we be doing this? What if someone enters?”
“They checked on me just before you awoke. I know their schedule. They won’t return for a while. I have time.”
Her nipple tightened in response to her husband’s ministrations both at her breast and the juncture of her thighs.
“But you are still injured.”
Dexcian’s gruff voice tickled her ear. “I notice you do not pull away.”
Marinel moved her legs to allow his hand further exploration. Her head fell back against her husband’s chest. “I cannot,” she confessed weakly.
“Good. I’m glad to be alive, dear wife. I’d like to show you how much. I may not be capable of showing you in one way, but I can still feel pleasure in my fingertips and give my wife satisfaction.”
Marinel remained quiet and allowed Dexcian to stroke her body, her heart beating loudly in her chest. Colors swirled in her mind and desire flared to life. This was one time she wouldn’t try and persuade him otherwise. The pleasure was too intense. She wanted to celebrate his life too.
Dexcian shifted and Marinel was pushed onto her back. Her husband leaned over her, resting close, his hand that had been at her breast had replaced the one at her core. It took up the rhythm and slid between her folds. She spread her legs and lifted one knee so Dexcian could reach deeper. He thrust one finger inside then pulled it back out. She whimpered with need.
“What do you wish of me, my Marinel?”
“Please, I wish for more. More of you.”
“More of this?” His hand caressed her mound again then slid inside once more.
“Or more of this?” He lowered his head and sucked at her nipple where his hand had earlier been.
“Yes,” she whispered ferociously. “Yes.”
“My, we are greedy today, aren’t we? Good thing I’m in a generous mood.”
He continued to stroke inside her as his mouth worshipped her breast. “Now I see why Astrea suckles so voraciously. Your nourishment is like the fruit of the Ancestors. Do you feel this way when she feeds?”
“No, husband,” Marinel got out with a strangled voice. “What you are doing is nothing like our daughter.”
She could feel Dexcian smile. “Yes, I suppose it isn’t. Still I am envious of the time she gets with your body.”
Marinel could not speak. Dexcian’s fingers were tormenting her and his lips made the agony more profound. She would break apart soon or go insane with need. Her hips twisted to receive more of her husband’s gentle strokes. A groan escaped and she clasped her lips together to hide any further sounds.
Dexcian licked her nipple and twirled his tongue over it then laughed. “Perhaps I should do something to keep the sound of your passion inside. Should I stop?”
Marinel whimpered and shook her head wildly. “No, please Dexcian, do not stop.”
She was beyond caring if anyone heard or saw. She needed the sweet release that had been introduced to her by her husband. Her hands grasped for his head and held it close. He pulled away and Marinel’s eyes opened wide. She needed him.
“Perhaps if I kept your mouth busy you could enjoy this more.” His fingers continued playing their games but his lips closed over hers and he thrust his tongue inside. His tongue, mimicking the movements of his fingers, pushed her over the edge. Her hands circled his neck and she arched her back as he swallowed her cry of intense delight. Her body shattered as he held her close and soothed her on her descent back to the confines of this strange room.
She gazed up and Dexcian’s eyes held such love, tears welled and slid over her cheeks.
“Was it not enjoyable then?” His lips twisted in a wry smile and she knew he was teasing.
She closed her eyes and quelled her laughter. She loved this side of her husband yet it didn’t make an appearance very often. Could it perhaps be brought out more in a place like Atlantis where Dexcian was not obliged to hurt and kill people in the name of the magistrate? Perhaps while he seemed in a decent mood, she should bring the subject up.
“Dexcian, what are your thoughts for our future now that the magistrate is no longer in power?”
“Our future is together, wife. Always. I do not wish to be parted from you or our children and I wish to truly be a fit father for them.”
“And where did you wish to raise them?”
Dexcian scowled and she wondered if she had angered him. But he adjusted to his back and pulled her along to rest on his chest, his arm along her waist. He kissed her hair and sighed.
“What do you wish for, Marinel?”
What did she wish? “I wish to be with you.”
“Enough of the slave talk, woman. You know I want only honesty from you. In this place,” he waved his hand around the room, “there is no punishment for a woman speaking her mind. They are respected and honored as equals. Speak your mind.”
Marinel took a deep breath then released it. “I wish to be in a place where I need not be subservient to any man or anyone. I wish to watch our daughter grow and be safe and eventually loved by someone as good as her father.”
“Don’t make me a hero, Marinel. I am not. I have spilled too much blood for anyone to worship me. Especially our daughter.”
Marinel moved so she could look Dexcian in the eye. “You are a good man, husband. You could have treated me like a slave and kept me for only as long as I was useful, but you did not. You allowed me free reign of your household and honored me by claiming me as your wife. You have given me two beautiful children whom are my world. As are you.”
Dexcian frowned. “Even with the magistrate gone I fear our world will not change much. His followers will take his place unless better men rise up and take control.”
Marinel snuggled back down against him. “Then what is your wish?”
Dexcian’s gaze was far away and Marinel wondered what he was thinking. He did not always share his thoughts.
“As I lay dying after the Beast attacked, I had this strange dream. It was here in this city but many years from now. Astrea was grown and held a place of respect and honor here as a scientists. It was a proud moment to see her successful and equal. Equal to any man around her. That is what I wish. And for Marcus to not grow to be like his father. Forced to fight and think that battle is glorious when it is not. It is simply a coward’s way of making all follow his rule and ridding the world of all who disagree.”
Dexcian’s chest rose and fell with his heavy breathing. Marinel reveled in the fact he was alive to do so.
“But I also feel I have an obligation to our people to make things better. We rid them of one beast but there will be more.”
Marinel wondered exactly who he meant by beast. The creature? Or the magistrate? And truly, which had been the more evil?
“We do not need to make any decisions today, husband. It will take you a bit longer to heal and I would love to explore this grand city once you feel up to accompanying me. I only saw a small amount when I first arrived, but what I did see was marvelous. It is more than you can ever imagine.”
Dexcian’s arms tightened around her and she felt his body relax. What would it be like to live in this wonderous city where you did not live in fear of your fellow man? Where the lives of both men and women were of equal value? Her mind whirred feverishly at the thought.
“Relax, Marinel and get some more rest. I would like to visit with my children today and I will need you to keep them from injuring me further. As my very wise wife just said, we do not need to make any decisions this moment. We have time.”
And Marinel truly believed they did.
John buckled his belt then strapped his holster to his thigh. He needed to hurry before Keller started her shift. Lorne had been accommodating in bringing his uniform and gear into Teyla’s room. He couldn’t waste the good effort on his 2IC’s part by getting caught.
It had been three days since they’d left Belosia and he had promised Quintus that he’d check back in to see how things were and to let the man know about Dexcian. He probably should check with Dexcian as to what message he wanted conveyed, if any at all. After what he’d seen on that planet, John couldn’t blame him if he just wrote the place off.
But first he had to say goodbye to Teyla. He sat on the edge of her bed and stroked her cheek. She sighed softly and John held his breath. Was she coming to? Finally waking up after being subjected to Ducis’ weapons? God, he hoped so. Of course it would happen while he was off-world. Murphy sure did hate him.
He leaned down and whispered in her ear. “I have to leave for a little while, Teyla. I’ll be back though and I’d really love it if you happened to open your eyes when I did. And I need you to remember me. Remember us and what we feel for each other. You’ll do that, right?”
The response was the same as it had been for the past three days. Nothing. The doc had said her vitals were almost back to normal and the recent scans showed her brain activity was settling down too. So why hadn’t she woken up? Was her head injury worse than they thought? Had the combination of both devices scrambled her brains so much she couldn’t? John clenched his fists and gritted his teeth to keep from smashing everything around him.
He reached up and pushed a tendril of hair off her forehead then kissed her perfect lips. What he wouldn’t do for her to respond as she had last week while they’d been playing house for the sake of Ducis. But no response was coming so John let his lips trail over her cheek and whispered to her again.
“I’ll be back soon, Teyla. I love you. Remember, I love you.”
John turned from the bed and moved through the door. He quickly glanced through the infirmary and seeing no sign of Keller slipped into Dexcian’s room. When he saw Marinel sitting in a rocking chair near the corner, nursing her daughter, he started to retreat.
“Sheppard. It is good to see you alive and well.”
John realized the warrior was sitting up in bed and a small boy sat with him. He gave a polite nod to Marinel and then stepped toward the bed.
“How you doing? Looks like better than when they brought you in.”
“Yes, I have improved greatly due to both your fine medical personnel and this healing water your people created.”
“My people?” John smirked. “Well, not really my people but …”
“But you carry their blood and genetics, do you not? Dr. Keller said you are the strongest of their kind.”
John shrugged. “Well, I guess if you look at it that way, sure, my people.” He wasn’t about to get into a history lesson of the Ancient’s travelling back and forth between galaxies.
John looked at the boy watching the man in the bed with rapt attention. “And who is this little guy?”
“This is my son, Marcus. He has come to visit while his sister is fed. Your generous soldiers have been caring for both my children while my wife has felt compelled to watch me sleep.”
John glanced at Marinel and nodded. “I get it. She just wants to make sure you’re okay.”
“Has Teyla woken yet? I heard of the horrors she received by Ducis. I am sorry. I wish I could have stopped it but my main goal was to rid our world of the beast.”
John’s jaw tightened again. “No, she hasn’t. Doc says she’s getting better though so I’m hoping soon. And I get that you did what you had to do. It was more than was expected and it helped us immensely. We appreciate it. And what you were willing to sacrifice to help us.”
John gazed again at the boy as Dexcian ruffled his hair. Would he and Teyla be given a chance to have children? Would she even remember him once she did wake up? He needed to stop dwelling on that.
“Um, I promised your friend, Quintus, that I would check back with him in three days. He was quite worried about you and your wife and family. I wanted to let him know how you were.”
Dexcian’s eyes grew dark and his hand pulled his son closer. He took a deep breath in and then looked up.
“What should I tell him? I’ll say anything you want. If you want him to know you’ll be back soon, fine. But if you want to simply disappear, then I’d be happy to tell him that you didn’t recover from your injuries. He asked that we take care of your family if that happened. He didn’t think they’d fair very well if they went back without you.”
Dexcian snorted. “No, they will not go back unless I do.” Dexcian looked over to his wife and they exchanged glances. Nothing was verbalized but John knew much had been said.
“Marinel and I have not made our final decision regarding where we will raise our family. I would like to learn about your marvelous city and perhaps discuss what options we might have instead of returning to our home.”
“Well, you have lots of options and we’d be glad to let you know what they are. We’ve got friends on quite a few planets that would be happy to take you in and welcome you. And we could probably find a place for you here as well.”
“Thank you, Sheppard. Your generosity is appreciated, for myself and my family.”
“But the question is still, what do you want me to tell Quintus?”
Dexcian was silent for a moment then answered, “Tell Quintus that he is a good man and I am counting on him to right the wrongs of Belosia. Let him know I have survived but, like last time I was attacked by the beast, it will take me some time to return to my former self.”
Dexcian glanced at Marinel and she almost rolled her eyes. John wasn’t sure what that was about but they knew. And that’s all that mattered.
“Sure, anything else?”
“Just assure him my family and I are safe and well cared for so he need only worry about uniting the Belosians and working toward a world unlike what we had. And thank him for his faith and loyalty to me.”
John nodded. “Will do. I’ll let you know what he says. Hopefully now that Ducis is gone it won’t be quite so bad.”
Dexcian didn’t reply just gazed at his wife and children with something akin to satisfaction. John was glad they could do something to help this family.
John held out his hand and Dexcian grasped it firmly. “Good luck, Sheppard. With your journey and with Teyla.”
“Thanks.” John left the room and slipped past the bay where Ronon was arguing with a tech who wanted to draw blood.
John cringed, not only at the volume but at Ronon calling his name. He was trying to slip away. He’d be lucky now if the whole medical wing hadn’t been alerted.
“Chewie,” He responded calmly, “Keep your voice down. There are sick people in here. And stop giving these people a hard time. You had a major head trauma. You’re lucky you can still talk.”
“Where are you going and how did you get permission to leave here? Your face is pale as a Wraith.”
“I’m just going on a quick trip back to Minoa to chat with Quintus like I promised. Then I’ll be back here resting like a good little boy.”
Ronon scowled then his face softened. “Teyla awake yet?”
John looked away. “No, not yet. Soon, I’m sure. Maybe when I get back, huh?”
“I heard what that bastard did to her. You need to make her remember. Don’t let her forget.”
John swallowed the lump in his throat. “That’s my plan, Pal. I’ve been chatting with her for days. I hope she’s listening.”
“If you’re gonna get out of here then you better hurry. I just heard Keller’s voice and I know she won’t think you’re ready to leave either.”
John whipped around quick and ducked to the side as Keller walked past the door. Luckily she hadn’t looked in yet. She would soon and he needed to be out of here.
“Thanks, Pal. Now let this tech take your blood and get some rest so you can finally get back to work. We don’t need slackers around here.”
Ronon growled and started to get out of bed. John slipped out one door as Keller came in from the back way. “Ronon, you know you aren’t allowed out of bed yet.”
John made his way past startled medics and nurses but he put on his most pathetic face and said, “Keep an eye on Teyla for me okay? I’ve got to debrief with Carter. It’s been three days and the SGC is gonna have a hissy fit if they don’t get their report soon.”
That got him through and he radioed Lorne to meet him at the gate with an away team. He’d make this visit brief. If there was any sign at all of trouble, they’d hightail it back fast. Atlantis had the go ahead to send another unit if they hadn’t come back or radioed in an hour. Hopefully his conversation with Quintus would be short and sweet.
As he approached the gate room and gave the order to dial the gate, he knew that here in Atlantis was where he needed to be. It was where Teyla was.