A virtual chocolate chip cookie to those who figure out the title.
As tempting as it is to follow her when she finally murmurs goodnight and leaves him, John doesn’t. Instead he stays where he is, staring out at the gentle swells, the lights of Atlantis casting shadows on the restless water. It’s getting more difficult with every passing day to think of her as just a team-mate, or even worse—as ‘family’. He’s never had lain awake at night, hard and aching, from thoughts of his ‘family’…but he has with thoughts of her.
But he keeps them to himself, the responsibility he feels for her—and all of Atlantis, really—restrains him. He’s never been one to willingly forego the benefits of being with a beautiful woman and living in another galaxy hasn’t hindered his style. But whether she knows it or not, he always comes home to her. He laughs out loud then, the harsh bark of laughter slicing through the night. God, he’s gone all melodramatic, which isn’t his style at all.
The hallways are quiet when he finally leaves the solitude of the balcony; he takes the long way to his quarters, because it will take him past her door. He turns a corner and his gut immediately tightens.
Lorne stands outside her open door. John can’t see her, but he can just hear the soft murmur of her voice and then Lorne chuckles, his amiable face lighting with a smile. “I’ll take that as fair warning.”
The door slides shut, leaving Lorne standing there and John slowly approaches the other man. The rational part of him realizes he has no reason to be jealous of Lorne, or of any man on Atlantis. Teyla treats them all with the same mixture of friendliness and respect as she treats him, so he has no reason to be envious of her relationship with Lorne. But he is.
“Lorne.” John acknowledges the other man. “You’re out late.” He’s fishing and by the brief look that flashes over Lorne’s face, he knows it as well.
Lorne falls into step with him. “I had some books for Teyla.”
John gives him a blank look. Books for Teyla?
“My sister’s a librarian,” Lorne explains. “I asked her to send some books appropriate for someone at a sixth grade reading level.”
“Ah.” It all comes together. Zelenka’s been tutoring Teyla, the Czech showing remarkable patience and aptitude for teaching English. John feels a mild twinge of guilt for his earlier jealousy. If he’s jealous of anything now, he’s jealous that Lorne thought of getting her books instead of him.
“So, what are sixth graders reading these days?” John asks, trying to remember if he actually ever read a book in the sixth grade.
“Evidently The Black Stallion, The Hobbit and Little Women.”
John snorts. The Black Stallion and The Hobbit he can see Teyla reading, but…“Little Women?”
“Yeah,” Lorne agrees with a grin. “My thoughts exactly.”