Title: Reason to Celebrate
Rating: PG
Pairing: John/Rodney/Ronon/Teyla
Prompt: Zombie apocalypse
Word count: 948

It was sunny and stifling hot, probably one of the last truly hot days left in the summer, and Teyla shifted uncomfortably on the van’s roof. The metal no longer felt as if it were burning her thighs, but it still made for an unpleasant seat. She took another sip of lukewarm water from the bottle lying next to her, holding the water in her mouth for a few moments before swallowing. Aside from a few birds calls and the buzzing of insects, the clearing outside the house was incredibly still. She could hear Rodney inside the car, tapping his fingers against wheel and huffing.

“They’re taking too long,” he said.

“You always say that,” Teyla said, and by always she meant for the last five weeks, since they had met. Movement out of the corner of her eye made her head snap around, but it was only a small brown rabbit bounding across the road and disappearing into the tangle of bushes.

“What if –”

“They are fine, Rodney.” She couldn’t let Rodney get started with ‘what ifs’. That path led to madness, and she didn’t think that Ronon and John would be very pleased if she wasted a bullet shooting their driver.

Rodney huffed again, and Teyla suppressed the urge to slide down off the roof and climb into the van, crawl over the seats until she could press a kiss onto his frowning mouth, lick her way in slowly and see if he tasted like water.

She offered, “We’re close enough to hear, if anything were to happen.”

“Unless they get taken by surprise.”

Teyla knocked her heels lightly against the side of the van and ignored his last remark. Not very mature, Charin’s voice whispered wryly in her mind, but sometimes one had to sacrifice maturity in the face of Rodney’s Rodneyness.

She shifted again and stretched out her legs. Her running shoes were battered and filthy, although the purple laces that Ronon had given her were still defiantly bright. She should have asked him to check the house for sneakers in her size.

She caught sight of movement again, at the western end of the road, and felt a now familiar rush of terror. A small boy was limping towards them, and even from this distance she could see that his trailing leg was a bloody mess. She grabbed the binoculars around her neck, and stared through them. It was important to be sure.

It only took a quick glimpse. Teyla snatched up her water bottle and her gun and jumped down to the ground. She scrambled into the van, closed the door as quietly as she could, and said, “One, coming from the west. Start the car,” into Rodney’s frightened, resigned face.

She dropped the water bottle on the floor, and opened the window once the van growled to life. Rodney was already on the walkie-talkie as she crawled halfway out the window, and pulled herself into a sitting position on its edge. The boy was still making his way towards them, step after step after step, staring ahead with only one eye. She didn’t categorize all the tiny ways in which he would have resembled Torren, if his body wasn’t half decomposed. Torren was safe in Victoria; she believed that with every heartbeat, every breath.

Rodney was saying, “I don’t care, I don’t care, hurry up – If there’s one, there’s always more we can’t see – move your fucking asses already!“

Teyla scanned the area and tightened her grip on her gun. It was hot from the sun and smelled like oil and plastic and safety. She had grown very fond of it over the last two weeks.

The front door of the house flew open just as Teyla spotted seven, no, eight rotting bodies shambling through the dense forest to their left, heading their way.

“Rodney, in the forest –”

“I see them,” Rodney snapped, and then yelled at Ronon and John, already running flat out up the driveway but laden down with their scavengings, “Come on, come on, before we get swarmed!”

Teyla breathed through her nose, steady, calm. John yanked open the van’s back doors, and he and Ronon were piling into the back and slamming the doors behind them. Rodney hit the gas a good three seconds before John called breathlessly, “Okay, we’re in, go!” and Teyla held on to the side of the window as the van surged forward onto the road.

She didn’t get back inside until the house was far down the road, and Rodney’s fingers were no longer white-knuckled around the wheel.

John leaned over from the back, grinning, as she slid back down onto her seat, placing the gun carefully at her side.

“We hit the jackpot, big time,” he said, practically wriggling like a child, and Teyla had to grin back at him.

“Yeah,” Ronon said, from somewhere in the back. “They had a ton of camping gear.”

Rodney perked up a little, losing some of the tension in his shoulders. “Water purifiers?”

“Uh-huh,” John said. “And even better –” He held up a small box, waving it around. “Condoms.”

Teyla laughed and spun in her seat. She caught at John’s shoulders and kissed him, wrapping her hand in his hair to pull him closer when he jumped in surprise. She heard Ronon laugh, and then John was kissing her back, nipping at her lips and tugging her farther over the back of the seat to get a better angle.

Ronon said, “Eyes on the road, McKay. Oh, and we got cake, too. Found it in a freezer.”

“Tonight is going to be awesome,” Rodney said fervently, and Teyla had to agree.
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