Length: 550 words
Pairing: John & Rodney
Now on my Dreamwidth page: all three stories in reading order and with edits on the rough spots that were bothering me... so please read that version!
Sequel to Tomorrow, which is a sequel to Where the Heart Is. Best to start there.
I wasn't going to write any more in this 'verse, but two commenters suggested it, and I think this provides some closure.
There was a quiet knock and Kisi's voice. "Grandmother? Are you awake?" Teyla opened her eyes and smiled to greet her youngest grandchild.
"I am awake." She shifted in her chair, reaching a hand out to Kisi as she came near. "You've been offworld, I hear. Your father said you would be back today."
"Yes, I took my team to the market on Hmerin to trade. We had one of the light ships." Kisi pulled a chair close to Teyla's, so that their knees nearly met. "You know we can't activate the light drive near a planet with minerals like Hmerin's," she said awkwardly. "We had to get well outside the system before we could return."
"Did you have any difficulty?" Teyla asked with concern. Kisi was well and whole, but she seemed troubled, unusually so for her. Laughter was her true nature.
"Not exactly. We are all safe. But we found something on sensors, in the region of Hmerin." She hesitated. "I want to tell you about this, Grandmother, but I'm afraid it will give you sorrow."
Teyla frowned. "That is kind of you, and I realize I am a great-grandmother now, but I do not need to be protected."
Kisi blushed a little. "I'm sorry. Well. We found a space gate that had been damaged somehow, burnt out, and debris from a Wraith dart drifting in orbit. Brisnat said if a ship was exploding at the moment it passed through the Ring, it could cause the damage we saw." She paused for a moment. "We scanned the planet and found a Lantean ship, a puddlejumper."
John and Rodney. Teyla knew it immediately. But they could not be alive; it had been more than fifty years. No, if they were, Kisi would not have come to her this way, so worried and so earnest. "Tell me," she said, willing her voice steady.
"There was a small dwelling place in the mountains, a day or two walk from the jumper. I found a book with Earth writing. That's how I knew it must be them, the friends you lost long ago. John Sheppard, the one whose name Father has--"
"...and Rodney McKay, who stood by me at the moment of Torren's birth." Teyla finished the words she had used a hundred times, a thousand, to tell her children and grandchildren about two loved ones who were far away, lost among the stars. She reached out for Kisi as a terrible thought struck her. "We have had the light ships since you were a child. If we had found them sooner..."
"I think it was already too late by then," Kisi said softly, winding her hands around Teyla's. "The bodies - they were dust. They must have died a very long time ago. But they lay together, and nothing in the room was disturbed." She looked up at Teyla anxiously. "They died peacefully, Grandmother. I'm sure of it."
Teyla thought of John and Rodney, alone together for years. They would have faced such a challenge with bravery, and persistence, and humor. They would have cared for each other faithfully.
"Yes," she said to Kisi, and if her heart ached, if was for her own loss as well as theirs. "I am sure as well."