Archive: Um, sure? Tell me where it's going, I guess.
Summary: Teyla is a woman, for better or worse...
Warnings: Girlie problems...
Word Count: 1,794
Disclaimer: Not mine. Making no money. These wonderful characters belong to someone else. I'm just playing with them for my own amusement and satisfaction.
Author's Note: This is actually supposed to be a vague companion/set-up/prologue thingie for a more plot-y story I've got brewing in my head (it's slow to form because it's not like anything I've written before...). But this is...timely...for me.
John thought Teyla might be coming down with something. For one thing, she was sluggish—for her, at least; he’d almost beaten her in sparring a couple times, had come close to disarming her once. And as she closed with him, forcing him back, he saw that she was sweating more than was normal. As soon as he caught his breath he was going to ask if she was okay, but then she fell back a few steps and fainted.
He stared at her for a long moment, shocked into immobility, then snapped into action with a hand already at his ear. “Carson, I need you in the practice room right now,” he said, kneeling at Teyla’s side. He held his hand to her forehead: clammy like the rest of her, but not overwarm. He checked the pulse in her wrist, relieved that it was strong. Next he examined her head to make sure she hadn’t hit it when she fell. There was no immediate swelling but she wasn’t awake to respond to pain.
Completely adrift, John left her head in his lap, watching the pulse fluttering in her neck. A few moments before Carson and the medical team arrived Teyla stirred, her eyes blinking open and staring at John. “Stay still,” he said. He meant for it to come out as an order, but it came out more of a plea, and she nodded, sleepily turning her face into his cradling hand.
Carson came bustling in with a stretcher, which Teyla immediately disclaimed, then winced when she tried to sit up. “Careful there, love,” Carson said, his hands tracing around her head. He found a small knot and decided she should go to the infirmary. “Off we go,” Carson said cheerfully.
John followed, a frown creasing his forehead, listening to Teyla protest that she was really quite fine and she did not need to be in the infirmary. John mused that she’d been hanging around Rodney too much. He did take the time to make discreet calls to Rodney and Ronon, who soon joined him outside the curtains in the infirmary. Rodney came in announcing his worry at the top of his lungs by calling Carson a quack and all the other doctors and nurses butchers.
“Calm down, Rodney,” John said. “It’s not that bad. She just hit her head.”
“When she fainted,” Rodney said. “Fainting is hardly Teyla’s style, now is it?”
“Maybe she was hungry,” John said, narrowing his eyes and watching Rodney flush. They could still hear Teyla protesting that this was really unnecessary and she would be fine to return to her quarters. Carson murmured something and emerged from behind the curtains.
“How is she, doc?” Ronon asked shortly.
Carson smiled at the worried men, but looked slightly discomfited. “She’s fine, lads,” he said. “She—”
“She’s not fine!” Rodney interrupted. “I want to know what tests you ran. Did you give her a CT scan? How much of her blood did you siphon off, you vampire?”
“Rodney!” John shouted.
“Calm down, Rodney,” Carson said, unruffled by Rodney’s insults. “Teyla is just experiencing a bad case of primary dysmenorrhea.” The three men stared at him. “Menstrual cramps,” he clarified, “and everything that goes with them.”
John spoke before he could think about it: “She fainted from cramps?” And he didn’t mean to sound so mocking but he was torn between thinking that Teyla was stronger than that and worrying because she was stronger than that.
Carson winced and looked over his shoulder at several female doctors who were glaring at the knot of men. “I’d advise you to never take that tone when dealing with female problems unless you want her to demonstrate what it feels like,” he said in a low voice. “For some women cramps can be extremely painful and bring on headaches, nausea and fainting spells—as you witnessed. Now,” he added, his tone turning more businesslike. “I gave her something to help with the pain, but I’m relying on you lot to keep an eye on her and don’t let her overwork herself.”
“Right,” Ronon said. “Thanks, doc.”
From then on they were careful not to schedule any off-world trips for the times Teyla would be incapacitated. Looking back on it, John realized that she had kept to her room at regular intervals. There had been a few times when she was unusually quiet or angry during off-world missions, and when he traced her 33-day-cycle back, it explained the anomalies in behavior. Not that he would ever say that out loud.
Unfortunately, the feeling of helplessness increased once the four of them became more than just teammates. For four days every month or so the four of them were despondent. It wasn’t that Teyla set out to make her men miserable, it just happened when their beautiful warrior was laid out in pain and discomfort. Carson did offer her birth control shots that could eliminate her period entirely, but once she heard some of the possible side effects and that it only had that effect on a certain number of patients, she politely declined. She told John later that it was extremely tempting.
Teyla’s cramps usually hit her two days before the bleeding, and cramps the day before were usually bad enough to land her in bed with a heating pad. Rodney would check up on her periodically over the day and depending on the severity of the cramps and associated symptoms, get his head bitten off for asking how she was and if she needed anything. Rodney would then pester Carson who would snap that there was nothing he could do and Teyla had already taken the recommended painkillers. Ronon would usually stay with her in their room, or run errands for her if she wished to be alone.
John would sit in his office doing paperwork and feeling useless. Then one day he was out of paperwork and bored and fretting, so he decided to go online and search for remedies for cramps. He found a lot of bullshit about some teas which were supposedly good for easing cramps, but then he found the blog of a woman who had the same bad periods that Teyla had and didn’t hesitate to tell the world about them in detail that made him wince. Still, she did say that when her boyfriend massaged over her uterus it helped ease the pain.
Feeling a little stupid that none of them had ever tried it before, John headed home for the day.
When John entered their quarters he found the room lights off and Teyla lying stretched out flat on their bed, eyes closed and a heating pad sitting low on her abdomen. A few candles were scattered around, giving enough light to see by and creating a warm atmosphere in the room.
John went to the bed, sat at the edge and awkwardly kissed her forehead. “Hey,” he said, keeping his voice very low. He knew the cramps sometimes brought on splitting migraines and he figured today was one of those times. Her hand was damp as it groped for his, but she smiled very slightly at the sound of his voice. “Stupid to ask how you are, isn’t it?” he whispered, squeezing her hand rhythmically.
Teyla chuckled tiredly. “Yes, John,” she said. Ronon stepped in from the bathroom with a wet washcloth in his hands. He moved towards the bed and placed the washcloth over Teyla’s eyes and she sighed. Ronon squeezed John’s shoulder in greeting before settling on her other side.
“Teyla, I want to try something,” John said after several long minutes of him bolstering his courage.
“John,” she sighed, her hand going to the washcloth as she began to sit up.
“No, no, it’s okay, I promise,” he said, pressing gently on her shoulder. “Just… trust me, okay?”
Teyla hesitated. A moment later she sucked in a breath and rocked onto her side in a fetal position, knocking the washcloth and heating pad to the bed. Her arms crossed in front of her abdomen and she breathed deeply through her nose, her fingers turning white as she gripped her own arms. Ronon’s face twisted in sympathetic pain, and John felt another wave of helplessness.
John waited until it seemed the worst had passed and pressed into Teyla’s knees until she let her legs stretch out again, maneuvering her onto her back. “Where is the pain the worst?” he asked. Teyla, not shy, placed her palm just above where John knew her pubic hair started. She said in a creaky voice, “My whole lower abdomen aches.” John hated the way she said that: resigned and stoic and he didn’t want her resigned to being in pain.
John straddled her thighs and placed the heels of both hands where Teyla dictated, pressing gently but firmly down. Then he slid his hands slowly upward, pressing out towards her hipbones as well. He also massaged in little circles, using his fingers for more specialized attention when he got a good reaction. After a few strokes Teyla whimpered but didn’t pull away.
Ronon shifted until he could pull Teyla upwards so she half-lay against his ribs, one of his beefy arms acting as head and neck support. His hands covered her head with extreme gentleness, his fingers working small circles around her temples. After several moments she sighed and the tightness around her mouth eased.
When the outer door opened twenty minutes later, Rodney entered much quieter than usual. It was good he arrived when he did because John’s hands were starting to ache, but when he slowed his ministrations Teyla moaned in protest. “Come here, Rodney,” he said. “Hold on for one second, Teyla, okay?” She nodded and let them shift her around.
When she was settled on her side, John directed Rodney to lie behind her, and placed Ronon in front where his strength could prop her up. He guided Rodney’s strong hand around her waist to massage her front, and Ronon’s to press into her lower back. John set himself off to the side and worked his fingers and wrists to ease his own aches. After a few moments of the dual massage Teyla melted into the mattress, tears leaking from her eyes. Ronon’s eyes widened in panic when he saw them and he said, “John?”
“I am all right,” Teyla said before John could answer. “It is relief.” She pulled Ronon’s forehead to hers, closing her eyes. Rodney makes some grumbling noises about feeling left out, and Teyla laughed, quick but genuine before twisting around to do the same with Rodney.
Her eyes, much clearer than they had been, met John’s and she smiled. “Thank you,” she said to all three of them.