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Teyla Emmagan has been head of the Council since the year following her father’s passing. Her Gift, stronger than Kanaan’s own, already helped protect their people for decades before then. From their peoples’ first meeting she has touched her temple to the Lanteans’ and made them her most valued allies. She has led them all onto an untold path of discovery, resistance, ruin and… deliverance.

Kanaan has ever followed her.

In the weeks that have passed since Torren’s birth, her team eyed Kanaan with suspicion until she claimed him as hers. He aims to embrace the City of the Ancestors as his part-time home and hopes to find family in her Tau’ri friends.

Day to day, he does his best not to think of the beast, the half-Wraith-half-man abomination that took him and influenced him and corrupted his very being. It is easier when he goes on hunts with those of his people that were the first to be rescued, when he walks the halls of Atlantis where he can avoid his fellow survivors without overtly separating himself from them. It has become easier after Michael tried once more to take Kanaan’s son and Teyla – Teyla looked upon the creature and let him die. Teyla killed him.

Kanaan is grateful that after everything he has done, ultimately it has not been enough to drive him from her heart.

And yet he has to ask –

Was betraying Michael his own choice?

He sees Todd the Wraith turn toward her and then, after a moment’s hesitation, pretend there was nothing to it, sees himself in the fiend’s reactions.

In his heart of hearts, Kanaan knows that he lost the right to make his own choices by breaking faith with his fellow Athosians, by turning against everything his people are. His subservience is atonement for all the wrongs he has committed.

The things the creature made him do, the thoughts Michael made him think are pushed far, far back into his mind-soul. He is slowly recovering his role on Athos, is slowly finding himself in the City of the Ancestors. Whenever he wakes from a nightmare that is far too close to the once-reality he dreads, Kanaan consoles himself knowing that should he ever revert, Ronon would kill him before he could do his people – his son – any harm.

And yet –

And yet –

Wraith have no concept of love. They have only notions of loyalty, of obedience, of what is, at most, a conditional benevolence.

Teyla is the mother of his child. Her Gift has ever called to his own. She is the spearhead the Athosians have followed further than any before her. Never, now, could he lift a finger to harm her. Any wish she uttered he would go to any length to answer. Most days, the prospect fills his heart with song.

Sometimes, it’s all he can do not to let his mind freeze in terror.