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More of the Stars and Sea

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The room was a perfect square, with walls of a pleasant blue three-quarters of the way up, and lovely stained glass the rest of the way. Its purpose was still unknown, sadly, as it was also completely and utterly empty. The only thing Radek and Teyla had deduced was that something in the walls blocked all transmissions.

Unfortunately, the room also had a door that had decided that opening and closing once was more than enough.

Teyla frowned at the recalcitrant door. "It does seem that we are stuck."

"Indeed." Radek leaned back against the wall. "But Dr. Weir knows we are here, so it is likely they will come find us in a few hours."

"Hardly more than an inconvenience," Teyla said, sitting down opposite him.

"Certainly, Atlantis has tried harder to kill us than this."

Teyla smiled at him. "I don't think Atlantis is actively against us."

"Not Col. Sheppard, no, but sometimes we--that is, the science team--feel that the city is fighting us." Radek absently patted the floor beside him, apparently not even noticing what he was doing.

"But you love the city."

Eyes widening, he looked at her. "Is it that obvious?"

"Not to everyone, perhaps." Teyla smiled at him.

Radek flushed slightly and they both stared around the room. The very very empty room.

Teyla leaned her head against the wall and sighed quietly. She had, in fact, intended to have a relaxing dinner in her quarters, perhaps do some stretching to relieve the tension she had been feeling in her neck.

In no way had she intended to spend the evening in this room with Dr. Zelenka. She suspected he also had not had such plans.

It was amusing to note just how easy it was to read Dr. Zelenka's feelings--when she looked over at him, the hunched curve of his back and slump in his shoulders said "dejected and depressed."

"Tell me about yourself," Teyla said, rather to her own surprise. It was not very Athosian a phrase, but she thought Dr. Zelenka might appreciate it.

Zelenka's head shot up. "Excuse me?"

She shrugged. "I thought...well, we may be here quite a while, and it occurs to me that we know little of each other and where we come from. Perhaps this is a chance to remedy that."

"Ah. Yes. Certainly. But I have no idea what you know."

"Well...Rodney mentions your work often. He is most complimentary."

Radek blinked. "You mean he says I am not a complete idiot."

"Exactly. As you know, for Rodney, that is a high compliment."

"I suppose." He propped his chin on a fist. "But I am weary of receiving such compliments."

"I understand." Teyla felt like she should defend her teammate, but... "He can be difficult at times."

"There is nothing I can do about Rodney." Radek shrugged eloquently. "Let us make a deal. I will tell you of my life if you tell me of yours."

Teyla smiled. "Gladly."

"Do you miss living with your people?"

Teyla considered the question. "Sometimes. At festivals and solemn days of mourning. But at other times, I realize that I've been given opportunities my people could only dream of in times past--to truly strike back at the Wraith."

He nodded. "Yes, I miss my home and the familiar thing. Like--"

"The food," Teyla said at the same time as him.

Radek chuckled. "That's a universal, I believe. No matter where we are, we yearn for the food of our childhood."

"But we would not return, even if we could."


They were silent and Teyla recalled the last time she'd had tarka root stew.

"It can be lonely, even in a city full of people," Teyla said eventually. "Especially when they only see your skills, not you."


"Perhaps when we are released, we could have dinner sometime, and talk more. About anything except work."

"I would like that very much," Radek said with a smile.

Teyla smiled back, deciding that perhaps this imprisonment had borne unexpected fruit.