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Doughnuts and Tea
By Kweevil


It was quiet. It was nice and quiet for once, and Elizabeth Weir didn't even have to feel as though she wasn't doing something, because she was. Or she had.

She had negotiated with a small nation-state with an unpronounceable name, on a planet with another unpronounceable name, for seeds which looked, tasted and smelled like chocolate-covered coffee beans–although the leader of the nation-state told her that only disgusting, depraved bean addicts would grind them into a powder to brew for drinking–and in return for almost nothing, which was a relief, since they actually had almost nothing to trade for something as unimportant as coffee.

She could hear Rodney McKay, in her head, berating her for regarding coffee as unimportant, but she didn't really care. The beans were just something thrown in as an afterthought; the people of this planet had been hosting the Atlanteans in their various capitals for two weeks or so, and they had firmed up plans for some of Unpronounceable's agricultural specialists from various nations to work with their botanists on the crop yield problem, in return for helping Unpronounceable get its hydroponics industry off the ground.

And then there were the high-tech gadgets that were different from their own high-tech gadgets, but clearly derived from Ancient technology, and that made McKay and even Sheppard salivate–and, she strongly suspected, do a couple of trades of their own personal belongings on the side, after the official exchanges were over.

As long as no weapons go missing, Weir thought contentedly, I couldn't care less. They'd gotten more than they expected, besides working out an alliance with a planet where no one seemed inclined to kill them, kidnap them, or even expect Ford to become the fourth husband of the head of state (which had happened twice, on two different planets, what were the odds of that?), and Weir was happy. She couldn't stop her thoughts from racing–-this was how it was these days, she had too much data to process and not enough time, never enough time-–but she was happy.

And alone, which was also rare these days. She had been shown to a suite which seemed to be the local equivalent of the Lincoln Bedroom, complete with curtained four-poster bed and fireplace, and a console which controlled the room's less visible accoutrements. The first button she'd pushed made what looked like a small, high-definition TV screen (except for the fact that it was very far from actually being solid) hum into existence between her head and the fireplace–-and when she moved, it moved with her, which she found unnerving at first, until she found the channel selector.

After a few experiments, Weir finally got the alien television to display something other than alien sporting events, or possibly game shows; instead, the screen glowed with soothing patterns and messages in the Unpronounceable alphabet, and soft music played in the background.

She settled back onto the squashily soft couch in the outer room and put her feet up on the ottoman in front of her. She didn't care if it was the Unpronounceable version of the Weather Channel, or an alien toothpaste commercial; it was better than--Wait a minute. The picture changed, and she realized she had been watching the credits of--A soap opera. Even here. Good grief.

And not just a soap opera, either, Weir realized after a few minutes. It's Dawson's Creek all over again. Not that she ever watched that stuff, but it was pretty obvious: there was the cute, naive boy; his two best friends, male and female; his unattainable love interest; the problem child; and all the others who found themselves in his orbit. The unattainable love interest was male, which was interesting, but other than that, it was pretty much the same, right down to the clothes and music, both of which she would bet caused Unpronounceable parents serious grief.

She found herself becoming involved with the story; some of the cultural referents escaped her, but the gist was that the main character, whose name sounded kind of like "Algernon," wanted his unattainable love interest to notice him, so he shaved his head and painted it in an elaborate pattern...or maybe that was a tattoo? Weir wasn't sure.

While she was trying to puzzle it out, there was a light tap on the door. She turned off the television and walked to the door—she had locked it when she came in, because the mission had gone too well for her to trust that untoward things would continue not to happen—but she wasn't really surprised to see Teyla there when she opened it, holding two mugs of something fragrant and steaming.

"Doctor Weir. Am I disturbing you?"

"No, not at all. Come in."

"You complained earlier of having pain. I have prepared a tea for you. I think you will find it soothing."

"Those negotiations gave me a headache. I know we got everything we wanted in the end, but we all worked hard for it. I'm surprised you're not falling down by now."

"I confess, I am tired," Teyla said. "There are times when I feel that combat is preferable to prolonged smiling."

"Would you like to come in? I was watching television--or at least what they call television here."

"Television? Ah yes. Like the football competitions Major Sheppard favors."

"Well, this was more of a soap opera." They sat down at opposite ends of the couch, and Weir took a sip of the tea. "This is really good tea. Is it from this planet?"

"It is a dried herb I carry with me. On Athos, we called it amantilla. It is used to ease pain and for relaxation." She took a sip of her tea. "What is a 'soap opera,' Dr. Weir?"

"On earth, people who produce and sell things, like soap, have to try to persuade others to buy them. And when we developed mass communications devices, these advertisers"--—she emphasized the word as though she were teaching a class—"found that if they sponsored dramatic programs, people would enjoy them and remember the product they were selling." She thought for a moment. "And opera is a drama where the dialogue is sung instead of spoken."

Weir was beginning to feel relaxed; whether it was from the tea or from the surroundings, she couldn't say. "'Opera' also has come to mean any elaborate dramatic performance," she added, in the spirit of complete disclosure.

She flicked the viewscreen back on. It obligingly enlarged itself so both women could view it, and hovered in front of the couch. Algernon sat under a tree with his friends—heads together, clearly plotting—while the object of his affections obliviously tinkered with some kind of small wheeled object not fifty feet away.

"And this," Teyla gestured toward the images on the screen, "induces your people to trade for goods?"

Weir hesitated for a moment. "In a manner of speaking, yes. The advertisers believe that if you like their programs, you'll buy the products they sell. For instance, the boy with the—"she looked more closely at what he was working on—"scooter there...on Earth, companies that made scooters might believe that people who watched this program would like to buy them."

"Ah, I see. A desire to emulate those whom one admires. I understand that," she cast her eyes downward and shifted a little on the couch, "but what is a 'scooter'?"

"You see the boy kneeling on the ground there, next to the machine? He's working on a scooter. If it's like the ones on Earth, it runs on an electric motor--or possibly foot power, although he probably wouldn't be caught dead with one of those if he's a typical teenager."

"Adolescent boys are the same everywhere, I think. They wish to be perceived as men. They indulge in those pursuits that they feel will prove their...virility?"

"You are so right. And not just adolescent boys, either." Weir rolled her eyes, thinking of Sheppard and McKay trading away everything they had brought, including their belt buckles, for a chance to get their hands on some alien technological toys. "If it crawls, rolls, or flies, they're going to find a way to make it go faster. And the one who goes the fastest has the biggest..." She stopped, blushing. It was a bad habit to get into, letting out everything she was thinking. What was she thinking, anyway? This tea is good, that's what I'm thinking. "This tea is good," she said aloud.

"I am glad you are enjoying it, Dr. Weir." She settled more comfortably against the back of the couch. "What you were saying before—it is also true of Athosian girls. I myself once crossed a dangerously flooding stream to appear fearless before my age-mates."

"Well, I did that kind of thing once, too," Elizabeth said, curling her feet up under her. This couch was really comfortable. And the tea was really, really good. She thought idly about getting a sample for Carson to analyze when they got back, but the thought drifted away as she watched Teyla snuggle into the couch.

"You must have been a formidable girl."

"No, just average, I think. We weren't encouraged to be 'formidable,' anyway." She closed her eyes for a minute, remembering. "We were definitely not encouraged to become scientists...or diplomats. And you always had to hide it from the boys, if you were smarter or better at anything than they were. I remember thinking, just once I would like to do something that no one else had ever done before."

"Yes!" Teyla leaned a little toward Elizabeth. "I too felt...constrained...in this way. My father always told me I would be a leader, but the boys of the village"— her voice turned bitter-—"they did not like it when I ran faster, fought with more skill."

"Hey, you know what?" Elizabeth said, sliding closer to Teyla so she could pat her on the shoulder. "You know what?" she said again. "Screw 'em. You're the leader of the Athosians; I'm commander of the Atlantis expedition. They have to do what we say now." My God, I'm channeling John Sheppard.

The shoulder-patting was nice, though. It felt good to touch another warm body, not to hold herself so aloof--what was she thinking? Hurriedly, she scooted back to her corner of the couch.

But she was too relaxed to be upset, too happy to be with someone who got it to stay curled up in her corner for long. "There was one thing, though," she said reminiscently, leaning back toward Teyla, "that I could do better than anybody. Any of the boys. It used to drive them crazy."

Teyla laughed and moved a little closer to Elizabeth, a broad smile lighting up her face, "Tell me! I would like to know what you were like as a youth."

"You've seen cars, right? On some of the videos?" Teyla nodded. "Well, I had an older brother. And he taught me to drive his car when I was ten. And I loved it. The best part was learning how to go really, really fast without getting hurt. And how to do things that looked scary, but really weren't, if you did them right."

Teyla's eyes sparkled in excitement. "What kinds of 'scary' things did you do?"

"Well," Elizabeth said, turning to sit facing Teyla, "I used to be able to spin my car so fast that"-— she tried to think of something from Teyla's frame of reference to compare it with, then pictured a Wraith dart and decided to skip it-—"well, really fast, anyway. Halfway around, so I was facing back the way I came, or all the way around in a complete circle, without losing control. And I wouldn't show anyone else how to do it, either," she ended with a firm nod.

"Yes! I have seen this maneuver! Lieutenant Ford showed me something called 'America's Greatest Police Chases'. A felon attempted to elude capture by driving at a great speed. He turned the vehicle very violently and it spun in a circle." She smiled, remembering. "Aiden called it a 'doughnut' and then proceeded to explain about a baked confection popular in Dr. McKay's native land."

"If that had been me, I wouldn't have been caught," Elizabeth said. "You don't go all the way around. You get up to speed, slip the transmission out of gear, and then turn the wheel while you pull up the emergency brake. Then you steer out of the turn and drive off in the opposite direction—or do the whole thing again if you want to get the boys hopping mad. They never knew what I was going to do next, and it used to drive them crazy."

Teyla laughed, her hand brushing Elizabeth's arm. "It is like Major Sheppard when I first demonstrated my abilities in close combat." Absently, she ran her fingers lightly down the inside of Elizabeth's forearm.

Elizabeth bit her lip and closed her eyes at Teyla's touch. Get a grip, Elizabeth! "And yet you-—you've been very generous about sharing your skills with us." She succeeded in keeping the tremor out of her voice.

"Your people have given mine so much, Dr. Weir," Teyla's expression grew almost somber, and she squeezed Elizabeth's hand in emphasis. "I cannot--" she slid her hands up to Elizabeth's head and gently pressed their foreheads together.

She knew this was only the Athosian equivalent of a friendly hug, but that didn't stop the increase in her pulse. Teyla released her slowly, but didn't move away. It felt so good to touch, so warm, and the tea seemed to make everything slow and soft, like moving through honey. It wouldn't hurt to pull Teyla a little closer, would it?

"You can call me Elizabeth, you know, Teyla," she said, softly. "We're not working now, and anyway," she winked, "we girls should stick together." Okay, that made no sense, she thought. But it didn't seem important compared to how it felt to have Teyla's warm body snuggling against hers.

"And Ford is right," she said, feeling somehow as though she should be non-threatening. "I remember it seemed like there was a doughnut shop on every street corner in Toronto. If we ever get back, you should get Rodney to take you there...or maybe," she looked down at Teyla diffidently, "maybe we could go?"

"Dr.—Elizabeth, there is something I feel I should tell you about amantilla."

"What's that?" Weir said a little hazily. She was fascinated by Teyla's hair. It looked coarse, but it felt fine and soft against her neck. She reached out a finger to touch it. "Nothing bad, I hope."

"It is not dangerous." Teyla moved her head, rubbing it against Elizabeth's hand, "But some people find that it helps them behave with more-—freedom-—than is usual."

The small fraction of Elizabeth's brain that remained completely lucid made her say, "Well, that explains that." The rest of her mind was completely occupied in discovering just how soft Teyla's hair really was, and how she purred when Elizabeth stroked it. "I was wondering."

But it didn't really matter. The mission was a success, her headache was gone, and she had an armful of warm, pliant Teyla, who was at this moment trying to pull her down into a kiss.

Teyla slid her hand up Elizabeth's neck, burying her fingers in the short hair. She pressed her lips softly and questioningly against Elizabeth's cheek.

Oh, this was nice. Nice and warm and soft, and kissing, she hadn't kissed anyone since they came to Atlantis, and after that there would be touching if she had anything to say about it, and she didn't care if it was the tea or not, she wanted this. She turned her head and pressed her lips to Teyla's, slowly, gently.

Teyla sighed into Elizabeth's kiss, leaning closer and stroking her thumb down the side of Elizabeth's long neck. Elizabeth inhaled sharply—oh yes, touching was good.

She wrapped her arms around Teyla and pulled her close, arching her back and rubbing against her as she deepened the kiss. A small sound escaped from deep in Teyla's throat, and she pressed her breasts against Elizabeth's, her hands roaming across Elizabeth's back.

Without breaking the kiss, Elizabeth leaned back, pulling Teyla down on top of her. She felt the warm weight of Teyla's body against hers—lips, breasts, belly, thighs-—and wanted more. Sliding her hands down to Teyla's ass, she pressed up against her.

Teyla pushed back against Elizabeth's hands, brushing her lips down over Elizabeth's jaw and fixing on the hollow at the base of her throat. She licked tentatively and then whispered, "I have wanted this for a very long time, Elizabeth."

Weir surprised herself by saying, "I have too." She arched up under Teyla's body, trying to pull them as close together as she could. Too many clothes in the way, she thought wildly, how do you get rid of clothes in a hurry? You ask. "Teyla, let me..." She slid her hands up under Teyla's abbreviated top as she said the words, pushing the fabric away as she went.

Teyla quickly unlaced the front closure of her top and it fell away from her shoulders. She took Elizabeth's hand and placed it over her breast, moving it in slow circles while her nipple hardened against Elizabeth's skin.

The feeling of Teyla's nipple against her palm sent a frisson of arousal through Elizabeth. The languid warmth was gone now; in its place was a feeling of urgency. She lifted her hand from Teyla's breast and wriggled out of her own uniform top and bra. Skin to skin, that was more like it. And Teyla's breasts pressed against her own felt even better than they did pressed against her hand.

Teyla gasped as she felt Elizabeth's hands press up the back of her thighs and under her skirt. She undulated back against her and worked her lips up toward Elizabeth's ear. "Should we not move to the bed, Elizabeth?"

Oh God yes now, Elizabeth thought, as Teyla slid off her and pulled her to her feet in one fluid move. She put one arm around Teyla's waist, pulled her close, and kissed her thoroughly once again. "Yes. Please."

The bedroom was warm and dark, with only a few tiny lights to guide them to the bed, although Elizabeth was sure she had left the bedside lamp on earlier. Score another technological advance for the Unpronounceables, she thought wryly. Mood lighting that reacts to your mood.

Then she forgot all about technology, and diplomacy, and the fact that she was about to have sex, for the first time in a very long time, with a woman—and not just any woman, but the leader of the people of another planet—and pulled Teyla down on top of her.

The morning light was different, somehow, although the planet was the same distance from its sun as Earth was from Sol. Elizabeth realized that she was comparing it to sunlight on Atlantis, and smiled down at Teyla, who lay curled against her, blinking sleepily.

Teyla tilted her head back a little to look at Elizabeth, her voice soft and dreamy as she continued the conversation that had started the night before. "What did you wish for yourself when you were young? What kind of life did you crave?"

Elizabeth took a long moment to reply. "I wanted to go someplace new. I wanted to do things that the boys at home couldn't even dream of...I wanted to do a lot more than just doughnuts in the Safeway parking lot."

"It would seem," Teyla murmured, smiling into her shoulder, "that your wish has been fulfilled."

The End

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