[identity profile] scarlet-gryphon.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_flashfic
Title: Lunatic Calm (the Through Thick and Thin Remix)
Author: [livejournal.com profile] scarlet_gryphon
Word Count: 2570
Rating: PG-13/T
Notes: Set in my "Of Two Minds (Rodney-as-a-Tok'ra)" 'Verse. It's the companion story to Anaesthetic Dreams that I had quite a few requests for (I'm looking at you here, [livejournal.com profile] fish_echo) way back when I first posted it. I hope you enjoy it, and happy holidays to everyone.

Summary: They were going to get her back, no matter the cost.




A/N: Listen to this while reading this, would you kindly?


She woke to rough hands and harsh voices, her confusion absolute in its nature until memory decided to sluggishly return. Once it did, Syresh fought against the grip holding her, sharp vocalizations of her displeasure at her treatment emerging from her throat. It had been years- no, centuries -since she'd endured this kind of careless handling, and once she'd been blended with Narsani, the host she'd had previous to Rodney, she'd made sure that those responsible for said mishandling had been repaid in full.

The person carrying her dumped her unceremoniously into a tank of some sort that was lined with gravel and dirt. It grated against her sensitive skin, and Syresh quickly tried to find something to alleviate the discomfort. A small water dish, barely big enough for her to curl tightly up in, provided the answer. Syresh huddled there miserably, watching the large, slightly blurry shapes of the humans moving beyond the glass of her tank. It was strange, having to use her natural eyes after being used to Rodney's for the past five years. Her four dark red eyes could see a little less sharply than a normal human's, though there was the added benefit of being able to see somewhat into the infrared spectrum.

Eventually, though, she was lifted out of the tank- and this time much more gently, for which she was grateful -and placed into a different one, this one full of water. Obviously, someone had taken note of her aquatic tendencies and had decided that, for now anyways, it was in their best interests to keep her alive. It would do for the time being, though the lack of a mild electric current running through the water would be detrimental as time wore on. After a brief investigative swim around the tank, Syresh let herself sink to the bottom and wrapped herself around a rock that had been placed there, her thoughts drifting as she waited to see what would happen next.



John strode through the halls of Atlantis, beyond angry. He'd passed angry a long time ago on Renasia and had gone out the other side into a sort of deadly calm that was recognizable to any who knew him as his dangerous-as-all-hell mode. He rarely got this angry; the last time he could consciously remember was when Kolya was threatening to kill Elizabeth and Rodney. Now, though- now he just wanted to go back to Renasia and tear the settlement where Syresh was being held apart piece by piece with his bare hands until he found the missing Tok'ra symbiote and could return her to Atlantis, and Rodney, where she belonged.

Ronon and Teyla weren't far behind John, with Ronon carrying the transport container Carson had provided for when they found Syresh. They made their way to the armory to get kitted up and then went to the Jumper bay, John still in the lead. The mood was tense as the Jumper was cleared to go through the stargate, and as soon as the Ancient spacecraft was through the gate, John made a beeline for the Renasian settlement, not bothering to cloak the Jumper as it flew over the rocky terrain. He was going for shock and awe value at the moment, knowing that the Renasians, even though they had the technology to separate symbiote from host, would probably be wary of the jumper and the possible weapons it possessed. Or at least, that's what John hoped.



Syresh was laying listlessly on top of the large rock at the bottom of her tank when a young man dressed in the bright red robes of a scholar hurried into the room she was being held in, looking flustered and out of sorts. His fellow researchers turned to look at him as he came in. The head researcher, a man by the name of Eraan, stepped forwards and guided the younger man over to a chair.

'Taral, what is the matter?' Eraan asked, putting a fatherly hand on one of Taral's shoulders. 'You look as if you are being chased by the Wraith.'

'No, but it is almost as bad. The Lanteans have returned,' Taral said, his voice shaking. 'They are currently with the Good Father Benaava, but I heard them talking about the demon-creature.'

'Are they coming here?' Kira, another of Eraan's assistants, asked, her eyes wide. 'The Good Father has never come down here.'

'Somehow, I suspect that the Lanteans will be most-' Eraan began, but stopped speaking when he heard angry voices echoing in from the stone corridors outside the research caverns. The gathered scholars looked up to see the three grim-faced Lanteans striding towards them, with Good Father Benaava and a few guards following behind them.

'Colonel Sheppard, please stop. You cannot go in there,' Benaava was saying, trying to look as imperious as he could in the bright yellow robes of the High Priesthood.

John wasn't listening to Benaava, but instead went straight over to the tank containing Syresh, Teyla and Ronon a few steps behind him. He took one glance at Syresh's near-immobile form and then turned on the spot, his eyes narrowed in a sharp glare that focused on Benaava.

'What have you done to-' John began, but Benaava cut him off.

'You have no right to be here, Colonel. We have done you a favor in ridding your Doctor McKay of his burden, and you should be thankful that we have not demanded recompense, as would be our right,' Benaava said sternly, tucking his hands into his broad sleeves. 'Now, please, return to your home and we will forget this ever happened. Perhaps we can even still come to a trade agreement between our two peoples.'

Ronon looked like he was about to hit Benaava, but Teyla placed a hand on his arm and gave him a quelling look before stepping forwards. She bowed slightly in respect and then spoke, her voice carefully measured and pitched to project a feeling of calm and goodwill all around.

'Please, Good Father, we meant no harm, as I am sure you did not in your... assistance,' she said. 'However, the creature you call demon was in fact bred to be part of a healing remedy used to treat certain diseases of the blood on Doctor McKay's homeworld. We apologize for not telling you sooner, but we were not given a chance to speak with you on this matter. Doctor McKay's health is vital to the continued success of his people, and indeed, to the well-being of many other worlds. Were he not to have the remedy continued, he would die within a matter of days. Please, allow us to return with the creature to our home and to restore it to its rightful place so that Doctor McKay may be well again.'

All in the room watched with bated breath as Benaava considered what Teyla had said, though both Ronon and John seemed like they still wanted to forget about the niceties of negotiation and steal Syresh right out from under the Renasians' noses. After what felt like forever, Benaava nodded in acquiescence.

'My apologies, Teyla Emmagen of Athos. I was hasty in my actions,' he said, returning Teyla's bow with a shallow one of his own. His fellow Renasians had to stifle gasps of surprise; the Good Father never admitted when he was wrong, let alone apologized for something. It was all part and parcel of his office: he shouldered the spiritual burdens of his people, offering up sacrifices and pleas for atonement to Renas, and in return, was absolved of all wrong-doings that might occur within his lifetime, past or present.

'Thank you, Good Father,' Teyla replied with a small smile. 'We came prepared with a vessel to transport the creature safely back home. Ronon?'

Ronon, who had already removed the transport container- which resembled an oversized poster tube that was made of clear acrylic, and which had a small electrical element in one end that produced the needed electricity for Syresh -from the carry strap he'd slung over one shoulder, lifted the lid off of the tank and then set it aside, carefully setting the transport container down at his feet.

'Here, let me,' John said, stepping up beside Ronon and rolling up his sleeves. 'We're going to need someone to fill that thing with water.' He caught Ronon's look of why can't you do that and then hurried to expand his comment with a low-voiced, 'Look, she'll probably recognize me a little better than you. No offense meant, or anything; it's just that she's known me longer.'

Ronon shrugged and then turned to see the research team watching him and John. He scanned their faces, trying to figure out who among them might be the leader, and then pointed unerringly at Eraan.

'You,' Ronon said, privately amused when Eraan let out a small squeak of surprise at being addressed so abruptly. 'Where can I get some water to fill this up?'

'There is a freshwater spring nearby, but we have rerouted it some to provide a steady source of clean water to this cavern,' Eraan managed, unconsciously straightening his robes in his nervousness. 'We have a deep washbasin over here.'

He guided Ronon over to it while Teyla watched John carefully extract Syresh from her tank. Teyla had never seen Syresh's true form; she was far too used to seeing Rodney standing there, his posture much more relaxed and flowing and his voice a different timbre being the only indications that two souls shared one body. Syresh's natural body reminded Teyla of a merav, a snake-like creature found on many of the planets in the Pegasus Galaxy. The merav didn't have the small fins that Syresh did, but still, there was a strong resemblance. The Tok'ra's skin was a light lavender color, with darker shades of blue-gray forming faint bands all along her length.

She made a soft creeling noise as John held her ever-so-gently, the sound of which sent shivers down Teyla's spine. It was a plaintive sound that spoke of great loss and sadness, and was one that Teyla never wanted to hear again. Soon Ronon came over, bearing the filled transport container, and John carefully put Syresh into the container. Syresh didn't fight him at all, but merely accepted the change of locales with a soft hiss before Ronon put the lid on. He activated the container, which started to hum softly as it produced the tiny amount of electricity needed to keep Syresh comfortable, and then slung it over his shoulder once more, carefully shifting the now-heavy weight to a more comfortable position.

The return flight home was far more relaxed than the previous flight, though there was still a sense of urgency in the air. Once they got back to Atlantis, John radioed Carson to tell him that they had retrieved Syresh from the Renasians, and then the team made their way to the infirmary. Night had fallen since they had left Atlantis, but Carson had yet to go to bed. Carson was waiting for them in the infirmary, his face lighting up when he saw Syresh safely ensconced in the transport container Ronon was carrying.

After having Ronon set the container down on an exam table, Carson carefully removed Syresh from her confinement and scanned her with a hand-held medical scanner, a slight frown passing across his face at the readout.

'Everything okay?' John asked. Carson looked up from the scanner and then sighed softly, running a hand briefly through his hair before nodding.

'Yes, though she's not as healthy as I'd like her to be. Still, that should be rectified once she's blended again with Rodney,' he said, and then picked up Syresh, idly allowing her to wrap her tail around one of his wrists as he carried her over to Rodney's bed. 'Would one of you open his mouth for me? I'm afraid I've got my hands full.'

Carson glanced down at Syresh and chuckled softly, an amused smile forming on his face. Teyla did as Carson asked, gently tipping Rodney's head back and opening his mouth, careful not to disturb him from his sedative-induced slumber. Carson set Syresh onto Rodney's chest and then stepped back, motioning for Teyla to do the same. They watched as Syresh raised her head, looked around her briefly, and then made a beeline for Rodney's open mouth. John glanced away with a momentary wince when Syresh entered Rodney's mouth, but turned back in time to see Carson gently closing Rodney's mouth once Syresh had fully entered the astrophysicist's body.

'That's it?' Ronon asked. Carson nodded after taking a look at the readouts on the medical monitor nearby.

'We'll know more when they wake up, but all signs point to the blending being a successful one, which I'm grateful for. Now, then, you three-' and here Carson looked at Teyla, Ronon, and John sternly, '-are not to come here until at least after breakfast. Rodney and Syresh need all the rest they can get, and I don't want anyone bothering them until then. Got it?'

None of Rodney's teammates looked like they wanted to leave the infirmary, but Carson was firm with them and shooed them out, trying to keep an appropriately stern look on his face. Once they were out of sight, though, Carson let himself relax and allowed himself a fond smile and shake of the head at the strong bond that the members of SGA-1 shared with one another. He performed one last check on Rodney and Syresh, who seemed to be doing well- Rodney was still asleep, while Syresh's brainwaves showed that she was busy at work healing Rodney -and then handed the reins over to the highly capable night shift crew, following his own advice and heading to bed.



Carson wasn't surprised to see John, Ronon, and Teyla come to the infirmary the next morning with a tray laden with all of Rodney and Syresh's favorite breakfast foods. He finished up with the discharge paperwork for said head scientist and then watched as the now-complete once more flagship gate team joked and laughed with one another, Ronon and John stealing some of Rodney's breakfast while Teyla looked on, pretending she hadn't seen them do it when Rodney complained about it. Carson noticed that all three of them- Teyla, Ronon, and John -were touching Rodney as much as possible, though every bit of contact was as natural as breathing to them. There were the soft shoulder-brushes from John, who had sat down next to Rodney on the bed; the occasional mild elbow-nudge from Ronon on Rodney's other side; and the gentle wrist clasps from Teyla when Rodney started to make the extravagant hand gestures he was so well known for as he and Syresh spoke, often shifting control of his body between them mid-sentence with only the briefest of head dips and eye closings necessary.

It was the team's way of reassuring themselves that Rodney and Syresh were whole and well again, and Carson knew better than to disturb them at a time like this. They needed this precious downtime together, and he wasn't about to begrudge them that, not now, and especially not after all they'd been through together. After all, the stronger the bond, the stronger the team, and the stronger the team, the greater chance Atlantis itself survived to fight and celebrate another day.
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Stargate Atlantis Flashfiction

April 2017

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