Author’s Note: Written for the Beckett ficathon, for featherjean who requested: “Beckett/Teyla friendship, snuggling/hugging.”
It had begun on Hoff. They were preparing to leave, and Major Sheppard had sent her to find Dr. Beckett, which turned out to be more difficult than she had anticipated. After searching most of the medical facility, she was beginning to wonder if he had somehow returned to Atlantis without them when she found him curled up in a dark corner of Perna’s laboratory.
“Doctor? Major Sheppard asked me to find you–we are ready to go.”
He looked up, startled, and she could see that his face was damp, though he hurriedly scrubbed at it as soon as he saw her, guiltily avoiding her gaze. Teyla didn’t know what he thought he saw there, but it must have shamed him for he began to babble a sheepish defense.
“Never understood why it was such a bloody sin for a man to have a good cry if he’s a mind to. After all, it’s not like a few tears can change your anatomy, or your genetic makeup. If you ask me, a man who’s so damned afraid of what crying says about his masculinity isn’t too sure of it to begin with.”
Teyla smiled faintly and took a hesitant step closer, unsure of whether comfort or honesty would be the fairer reply.
The doctor’s blue eyes met hers, and crinkled into a forgiving smile before she had ever spoken a word. “It’s okay, lass. You can say it.”
So, she did, although her tone remained almost apologetic. “I was taught that tears are a weakness, and a warrior must be strong.”
“There you go, then. I’m not a warrior, never claimed to be.” His smile remained gentle and sad, his arms still wrapped tightly around himself. “But if y’ask me, even the strongest person in the world has a right to feel now and again.”
“Such as when he has lost someone dear to him?” she questioned pointedly.
He nodded, blue eyes growing distant and she could tell he was back in the sickroom with Perna as she drew her last breath. “Aye.”
Teyla bowed her head in sympathy. “She was a good woman. Strong and dedicated.”
“Aye, and a bloody fool,” Beckett shot back regretfully. “If only I could’ve gotten through to her–”
“Doctor.” Teyla crouched down beside him, laying a hand gently on his knee. “We all dream of the day when we are free of the Wraith. I cannot say with certainty that my people would not have done the same if we had possessed the same resources.”
He shook his head. “No, Teyla. You’d never let yourselves be so blinded by hope that you disregarded any potential consequences.”
“And yet some would say that is exactly what I have done, by choosing to remain in Atlantis,” she pointed out with an astute gaze.
“It’s not the same,” he insisted stubbornly.
That made her smile, and her hand shifted to gently rub his back. “Very well. It is not the same.”
He leaned into her touch as if craving the comfort it offered, and Teyla awkwardly put both her arms around him. “I don’t know why I came to this bloody place,” he fretted with raw honesty, and she wasn’t sure if the place he meant was Hoff or this galaxy. “Gene or no gene, I’m not cut out for this. I’m a doctor, not a fighter or an explorer, not even a bloody field medic. I’m supposed to be finding cures for cancer or something, not fighting space vampires.”
“I do not know what ‘cancer’ is…” she admitted in a quiet voice. “…but I am glad that you came to Atlantis. I was once told by a very wise friend that a true healer must be able to feel everything his patient suffers, lest he come to care more about the disease than the afflicted. If you did not feel such compassion, only then would you not be ‘cut out for this.’”
His grip on her tightened for a moment in gratitude, then he pulled away and wiped his eyes again with the sleeve of his jacket. “Well. Either way, I suppose there’s no use crying over spilt milk. I’m here now; best make the most of it.”
“It is all we can do,” Teyla agreed with a small smile of her own.
Helping him to his feet, she then watched without comment as he collected himself, finally flashing her a last grateful look. “All right. I’m ready. Just don’t…you won’t tell anyone, will you? I’ve not got any doubts about my manhood, but…”
She couldn’t quite surpress the grin that crept onto her face. “I understand.”
“Good.” He straightened his shoulders and lifted his head with a confidence she wasn’t sure he truly felt. “Oh, and Teyla?”
“If you ever need a place to cry…where no one will tell you it’s wrong…”
“I will find you,” she promised as the two of them started back towards the Stargate, though it wasn’t a promise she ever expected to have to keep. “Thank you, Doctor.”
“And there’s another thing–when we’re off duty, feel free to call me Carson…”