Prompt Buyer beware!
Word Count: 5,714
Summary: They're the good guys. Don't get on their bad side.
Notes: I took some liberties with the prompt after arabel suggested: "biting off more than you can chew" as an approximation of the prompt. With grateful thanks to lilyayl who was extremely helpful in beta! The quotations are from 'Murphy's Laws of War'. Interpret them as you will.
It is a dangerous thing to be needed.
There is no such thing as a convenient foxhole.
Teyla's first judgment call on Lucius Lavin is that he's an asshole who thinks he's a nice guy. His handshake makes her want to reach for an antiseptic wipe, and she suspects that the only reason he did not kiss her hand was because she narrowed her eyes when he hesitated over shaking it.
But the offer he makes her...
"Look, you're a smart little lady. Would it have made a difference to your son if we'd had these drugs out before he died?"
For a moment, she can't see past the blinding pain. Nobody mentions Torran anymore, not even Kanaan on the rare occasions they glimpse each other at family functions, and it is easier that way - easier to forget. But Lavin's waiting for an answer and she knows his eyes are on her face.
"Yes," she says and although her throat is nearly swollen shut in grief, she gets the syllables out, cold and precise. "But it's too late for him."
"True, true. I'm sorry about that. Believe me you don't know how-- But look, it's not too late for some other child - some other parents who are fighting the insurance company over the out payments! The truth is, the other pharmaceuticals are desperate to get hold of this - why do you think Skibe, Cerna and Lode stole it from me in the first place?" He opens the folder and practically shoves it in front of her. "I've set up the people to steal it back - they've got the skill sets and everything."
One look at the file tells her everything she needs to know about the team Lavin has put together. They're thieves, roustabouts, and hackers. She blinks at one of the names. "You are aware that Ronon Dex is not generally considered sane?"
"Sane or not, if he can help me get my formula back, I won't care!"
She closes the file and hands it back to Lavin, then forces her hands to close around her cup of hot tea - bitter to the taste, steeped too long. "So you have your thieves. What do you need with me?"
"Thieves are easy; I can snap my fingers and have a dozen thieves at hand. What I need is one honest man to keep them in line-- Woman. One honest woman."
He leans forward, his hands resting on the small coffee table between them. His expression makes Teyla want to lean back, to increase the space between them. She contemplates how much trouble it would cause to spill her tea on his hands and dismisses that digression - for the moment.
"There's an added bonus to it - other than the money, of course. Skibe, Cerna and Lode have a policy out against theft and damage - one that's held by your former employers, Hive Insurance, to the value of forty million dollars." He pauses and she knows it for effect, but she can't help but be affected. "Ms. Emmagan...what's it worth to you to screw over the company that let your son die?"
She remembers the hospitals, cold and sterile, too busy and too overworked, the heat of Kanaan's fingers gripping hers as the doctors described Torran's condition and what needed to be done for him.
She remembers standing in the boss' office with her fingers so tightly clasped that it felt like her fingertips were melding into her knuckles, doing everything but pleading - and then tossing her pride aside and begging at the end - for all the difference it made.
She remembers how her son died, so small and limp and helpless, with none of the medicines that might have helped him, and the way something in her broke when she held Torran's still form in her arms.
Teyla's memories of the next six months are sketchy. She drank almost steadily for two months after the break-up with Kanaan, then went dry the day Torran would have turned six. She held down various mindless jobs - stupid, routine work she could have done in her sleep and which paid a pittance but covered the bills, and dreamed of killing the chair of Hive Insurance every night.
In the end, Teyla took the job as an insurance saleswoman for a major rival of Hive because she knew the business, knew the loopholes, knew what the poor fools who signed on were getting themselves into. She knew how the system worked; she knew how to work the system for others.
It would never fill the empty ache where a mother's heart once beat.
But it made life bearable.
Lucius Lavin talks about money, as though that's going to be the motivator. It's not.
As Teyla sits in her hotel room and looks over the people Lavin collected, studies the floor plans of Skibe, Cerna and Lode headquarters that Lavin has put together, she reflects that she's doing this for fairness and unfairness - and because selling insurance policies is far from satisfying.
Frankly, she misses the thrill of the chase, the satisfaction of the catch.
Maybe she's not operating on the right side of the law in stealing this formula back, but she tells herself she's doing the right thing - even if her reasons aren't lily-white.
This is revenge, pure and simple - an opportunity to strike back at the company who turned her life into hell.
Never stand when you can sit,
never sit when you can lie down,
never stay awake when you can sleep.
Ronon doesn't know the other two, he only knows they're good at what they do or else Emmagan wouldn't be using them.
"What do you do anyway?" McKay demands. He's your typical geek - a little too soft in the belly, a little too reliant on his brain. Brains are good; Ronon has nothing against using his brains. But sometimes you need a little more handiwork, a little less geekery.
"If I told you, I'd have to kill you."
McKay rolls his eyes as he hands over the earpiece. "Don't break it!"
"Ooh," says the blonde, swinging down from her perch like a kid hanging off the jungle gym in a kids' playground. "I want!"
"'I want'?" What are you? Five years old?"
Ronon's heard of Cadman. He was expecting a guy.
She picks the earpiece out of the box, gives McKay a smirky little grin and Ronon a wink, and swings back up to her perch . That's abdominal muscle control way beyond anything Ronon has.
"Children," Emmagan says through the earpieces, "play nice."
"What? Or mommy will have to come over and spank us?"
Ronon just stares at McKay, and above them, Cadman makes a noise like a snorting sound. "I bet he likes that."
"I do not!"
"Enough." Emmagan barely raises her voice, but the other two subside, although McKay grumbles. Emmagan ignores it. "Are you ready, Laura?"
"Ready to rock and roll!"
"Then fire at will." There's a note of amusement in her voice. It's almost indulgent, and Ronon glances at McKay, wondering if the other guy's heard the same thing. McKay shrugs, a clear, Don't look at me!
A moment later, Cadman bounces down from the perch, balances on her toes like a gymnast about to perform the final lay-off, and runs for the edge with a whoop that no gymnast ever gave.
"Twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag," is McKay's unfettered opinion, either not remembering that Cadman can hear them over the earpiece, or not caring.
With Cadman going in through the office windows, Ronon and McKay are heading down an access shaft. Popping the lock was the work of a moment for Ronon, and disabling the alarm was the work of a moment for McKay, and then they're in the headquarters of one of the biggest pharmaceuticals in the world.
The brief sounds simple enough - but then, they always do: get in, get the drives with the formula on it, wipe the system, wipe the backups. McKay is the geekery, Ronon's the muscle.
Of course, it's not that simple in the end, it never is.
There's a lot of things Ronon doesn't know. There are some things he does. Then there are things he's learning.
He didn't know that Lavin wasn't straight up - but then, none of them realised that. He did know that if you had to pick a side in a fight, it was probably best to pick the one that would leave you on Emmagan's good side - she has a reputation in his field. And as they sit cuffed to the hospital furniture, he learns that Teyla Emmagan has a cool head and ice in her veins, and that Cylons should start running when she has a plan.
She gets them out from under the county cops' noses with a scheme that works like a dream. Cadman throws up like a pro. Geekman hams up the 'undercover cop' business, and only Emmagan's sotto voce, "Get us out of here, Rodney," interrupts his grandstanding.
"When do I ever get to play cop, after all?"
"I'm surprised they let you under the covers at all," Cadman says, already out of her cuffs and jingling them in her hands.
"Okay, firstly, it's 'undercover'," McKay says, as they approach a set of traffic lights, "and secondly, where are we headed? Because we'll want to ditch this ride in, oh, five minutes when they put out the APB on us. Probably less. Plus, I need a snack. My hypoglycaemia is kicking in - I can feel myself getting light-headed."
It's Emmagan who talks McKay out of fainting or taking the wrong turn as they make their way to a car for Cadman to boost, although she can't keep him from talking. Ronon's willing to bet there isn't anything on Earth that can shut the man up.
"Whoa," says Cadman as they walk through the lofty apartment. She bounds over to the window to stare out at the view. "Nice digs, McKay!"
"Yeah, well, I won't get to enjoy it for a while." McKay plumps himself down in the chair before the computer and starts munching stale chips from the bag sitting open on the desk. "Four first-class tickets to Anywhere-But-Here coming up!"
Ronon checks out the exits, notes that there's a big ledge right outside the window, and that the fire exit is an easy leap away. When he turns back, he catches the amused lift of Emmagan's eyebrow and shrugs. He likes knowing his options out.
He likes knowing who his enemies are.
And his knuckles have Lavin's name inscribed upon them. Whatever McKay is setting up, Ronon's not going to be gone long - only long enough to work his way back to this city so he can get back at Lavin.
"Huh, this is interesting. Lavin's speaking the truth about there being a fire at his labs. But look at what Skibe, Cerna and Lode have put out by way of news..."
Stockholder meetings, share prices, market sectors, and business games. Ronon never learned financials and stocks, shares, and bonds tend to confuse him. He knows how the market works at a general level, he doesn't care how it works down in the nitty-gritty - he leaves that for people like McKay, or Emmagan.
As they watch and piece together how they were played, Ronon thinks that just beating Lavin up won't be halfway enough. But it'll be better than nothing at all.
Except that Emmagan doesn't intend to let Lavin win.
"You want us to run endgame?" Ronon asks, just to be sure he's got this right. Revenge is a very powerful motivator.
"At this moment, he is self-satisfied. He believes he has won, that he has his opponent's formula, that he has disposed of us. He believes himself untouchable."
"Ripe for a fall," says Cadman. "And I want to be paid, thank you very much."
Ronon thinks being paid comes secondary to staying alive and out of jail, but he's not going to say that in front of the blonde. She's small and sharp, but so's a razor blade, and you can cut a man's throat with one of those.
Plus, he can't say he's not in agreement. Being paid would be nice.
And, judging by the look on Emmagan's face, she has a plan. Lavin doesn't stand a chance.
In the world Ronon works in, Chuck Norris doesn't check beneath his bed at night in case Teyla Emmagan is lurking there.
There's a hard grin on his face as he throws his hand into the game.
If at first you don't succeed...call in an airstrike.
"You really used to be a pilot?"
John lets the smile flicker across his lips as he looks down into big green eyes and pouty red lips. "On a top secret project. I could tell you all about it, but then I'd have to kill you."
She giggles, and John drains his beer and wishes he hadn't let Dave talk him into this garden party. Schmoozing with the political set might be a good way for Sheppard Industries to do business, but it's boring as hell.
Even if there is opportunity in every handshake. These people have not just money, but rare collectibles.
John has a fondness for rare collectibles.
Behind his shades, his eyes wander across the party, marking out individuals it might be worth his while to talk to - not for the money but for the challenge. And then he sees her, leaning against a low wall over by the fountain, just out of the rainbow spray the breeze is dusting up.
The cut of her navy pantsuit does her no favours in a spring party full of young fluffy things in bright fluffy dresses. But the next thing he knows, John's excused himself from the clingy socialite trying to add the black sheep of the Sheppard clan to her list of lovers and is halfway to the fountain.
He snags a couple of glasses of champagne from a passing server on the way - she'd be a champagne lady, he imagines. A smile plays about her lips as he offers her one and settles beside her, his hip not quite brushing hers. "Should I hold my wrists out for the cuffs?"
"Only if you want to make a scene."
John thinks of the scene they could make with a pair of cuffs and the grass-green lawn and hurriedly swallows a mouthful of French champagne before he spits it everywhere.
"What's her bank balance?"
"Negligible." He shrugs as he taps the rim of his glass against hers with a gleaming ting. "Her father's collection of Japanese figurines, though, is considered priceless."
Telling Teyla Emmagan what he's planning could be considered stupid; John looks at it as one way of upping the stakes. Even if she's not in the game anymore; she'll still give a good chase. And maybe this time, he'll allow himself to be caught and see what she does.
He might even insist on the cuffs.
"Are you growing bored of being wealthy?"
"Just of being a Sheppard."
The dusky bow of her mouth tightens briefly, as though she just stifled a twitch of amusement. "We all have our crosses to bear."
He studies her over his shoulder. She's grown older since he last saw her, like life's been rough with her. "Should I ask how you got in here? Or who you're chasing? I haven't stolen anything lately."
This time, the glossy curves of her lips part in a laugh, and her lashes flick up. "But I have."
And she tosses down the rest of her champagne, hands back the glass with the age-old smile of Eve, and walks off into the garden.
John sips at his own glass, and figures this is one apple he's simply gonna have to bite.
Strip joints aren't John's thing. The girls all look tired, like they'd rather be elsewhere. And he's never had to pay women - or men, if it comes to that - for sex. Charm, money, a listening ear, and a little flirting worked well enough through his twenties and into his thirties.
Obviously Lucius Lavin never bothered with charm school.
"I think this is manifestly unfair," McKay grumps in John's ear, not quite as sotto voce as he probably should be.
"He knows your face, Rodney." Teyla's voice is cool and practical.
"Yeah, but there's no reason we couldn't have worked from inside... You could have gone topless."
John's brain stutters to a halt. The vision of Teyla Emmagan in a thong and a pair of high heels is not something he needs on his brain right now.
"Oh man," says Cadman, somewhere in the maze of air ducts running through Lavin Pharmaceuticals' headquarters. "You did not just say that, McKay!"
"Funeral on Thursday?" Dex offers, somewhere in...well, John doesn't know where Dex is; Teyla didn't reveal that part of her plan.
"Wednesday," says Cadman with relish. "Closed-casket."
There's a pause, during which nothing comes from either Teyla or McKay. Then Teyla's voice comes over the earpiece, calm and unruffled. "You have a go, John."
John wants to ask exactly what she said - or did - to McKay during those few silent seconds, but he knows better than to try to winkle it out of her. McKay might be an easier mark...although maybe not if she threatened him with...whatever it is you threaten a guy like McKay with.
He takes a deep breath and flags down the prettiest waitress and tips her to introduce him to Lavin.
"Come here, sweetheart, and make Lucius a happy man!"
John smirks on the outside, but thinks that this guy deserves exactly what's in the plan. The girl's expression is one of bored distaste as she gives Lavin a lap-dance and her eyes say she'd rather be anywhere but here. The guy even gropes her, quite openly, and slaps her on the butt when she walks off.
"Prime beef, that one," Lavin chuckles as the girl stalks off, having been tipped a measly Lincoln for the lapdance. "So what's brought you to my table - other than that lovely set of knockers?"
"Little bit of this, little bit of that. Business, mostly."
It's an old yarn that John's spinning - one part greed, one part exploitation, one part opportunity. He's done this before - both properly in his father's business and...improperly, in ways his family doesn't know about at all.
Another man might resent a woman giving him his cues when he can read his lines well enough. John rather likes Teyla's voice in his ear, the note of sweetly vicious exultation as Lavin takes a nibble of the bait and swallows the whole hook.
John isn't much of a fisherman in the wet and wild, but when it comes to a con, he knows how to land his fish.
C4 can make a dull day fun.
Laura did not wash out of the marines.
After two weeks of boot camp, she decided on an alternative career path - one that didn't involve people ordering her about. And the first thing she did was boost the boot camp commander's fancy SUV.
It was being resold almost before he reported it to the cops.
She particularly liked the touch of putting back all the little personal things that had been in the car by breaking and entering his house - including the car baby chair, which went on the floor in the middle of the baby's room, and the spare change in the cupholder, which was left on his dining room table - along with the condoms in the bottom of the glovebox compartment that hadn't yet reached their use-by date.
As a general rule, Laura prefers working alone. It's not that she doesn't get other people; she just doesn't do other people. In fact, listening to McKay grousing in her ear reminds her of exactly why she doesn't do other people. The man is a first-grade grouser.
On the other hand, it's a nice change to know that, if something goes wrong, someone has her back, andsomeone else will come in to deal with the sitch.
Like she comes in to deal with the sitch when the slimeball walks in and Sheppard's not ready for him.
"Yo, momma?" Laura tilts her head and listens to her voice echoing in the stairwell.
"You have thirty seconds to get John down to the lobby before we are in trouble."
And that's her brief.
God, she loves working with someone who doesn't feel the need to micromanage her. Give her a goal and she'll find a way there. Tell her how to do her job and she's off the job. The problem she's found in her career is that men want to manage a pretty young woman - and if they're hands-off in the management department, then it's only because they want to be hands-on in the sex department.
Laura's pretty sure that's not going to be an issue working for Teyla Emmagan.
She leans out the door of the fire escape with the spare harness. Laura's first law: being crazy prepared is inconvenient, but so is wrecking the set-up. "Sheppard! Put this on."
He's not bad for an old guy. At least he's game. McKay would have whimpered like a puppy deprived of his mommy. Sheppard smells real nice and he's got eyes that aren't quite green and a smile that's all about lazy mornings in bed. Laura can see why Teyla's keeping him at arm's length; the man's a menace.
"Air Force Colonel, huh?"
He glances up at her as she snaps him onto the line. "In another life."
"Right. Did this 'other life' colonel ever go parajumping?"
"Maybe a couple times. He prefers flying, not falling."
Laura snaps herself on and grins. "Well, you know, flying is just falling - with style!"
So maybe she doesn't need to wrap her legs around him on the way down, but damn if he's not all nice and warm and snuggly. And cute when he's all flustered at the bottom.
"Too bad he's too old for you," sneers McKay.
"But not too sexy for me."
Dex guffaws. And there's a sound like a cough from Teyla, which probably means she's biting back a smile.
"Lucius," says Sheppard in their ears, probably a little louder than he needs to, "good to see you again."
She likes the sound of whetstone against knife - the sharp grating noise that rings through the room, even over McKay's movie. The undisguised threat of metal against metal sings out through the room.
"Do you have to do that?" McKay demands as the kitchen drawer opens again and Dex takes out yet another knife. "My knives are perfectly fine, thank you!"
"They're blunt. What are you doing?"
Laura cranes her neck from the comfort of her chair - a round, wicker couch with a padded cushion, situated in a corner and from where she has full view of the rest of the room. Dex is in the kitchen, rummaging through mostly-empty cupboards and taking it upon himself to sharpen McKay's chopping block collection with the steel. Sheppard and McKay are sitting on the lounge watching TV, and Teyla's at the desk doing...something. Laura's not game to ask.
"What are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm watching TV and answering my newsgroups!"
"And arguing that Samuel L Jackson is the best black actor ever," Sheppard adds.
"Come on! You can't possibly think that there's anyone else!" McKay scoffs. "I mean, Ezekiel 25:17? Snakes on a motherfucking plane? Die Hard With A Vengeance? He was Mace Windu, for God's sake!"
"And how badly did those movies suck?"
"It wasn't because of Samuel L. Jackson," says McKay, as though that ends the matter. "Anyway, what has Denzel Washington done lately?"
"Sidney Poitier." Teyla doesn't look up from the desk where she's been busy typing, and occasionally clicking buttons on the screen - most likely sending email.
Laura can almost hear McKay's conversational wheels screeching to a halt; can hear the whirr as he backs up. "What?"
"Sidney Poitier," she says without looking away from the screen. "Best black actor."
"Well, yes but-"
"First black actor to win an Academy Award." Sheppard picks up the thread cheerfully. "Spearhead for non-typical roles for black men in movies. Directors refused to work with him; white actors wouldn't be seen with him... Doesn't have the biggest body of work, but he paved the way for others."
"You're just saying that because you're losing! And this isn't about landmark black actors, this is about the best!"
Laura watches McKay twist his neck to look at her. "What?"
"Why're you arguing about actors? Will it make any difference to what happens tomorrow?"
"No." Then he frowns. "Not everything has to be about tomorrow you know!"
"No," Laura agrees, "but you don't have to be nervous about it."
"I'm not nervous about it!"
Laura thinks that if he wasn't nervous about it, he wouldn't be arguing something meaningless and pointless with Sheppard, who's taking the pause in conversation to tempt Teyla with popcorn. Then again, Dex is nervous, too - that's what the knife-sharpening is about. "You can keep telling yourself that, McKay. But Teyla's got it under control."
And with a sunny smile in Teyla's direction, Laura begins reading up on the tensile strengths of the featured carbon-fibre ropes.
Always make sure someone has a can opener.
It's all very well to say Emmagan's got everything under control, but there are variables they just can't account for.
And Rodney likes worrying. It gives him the reassuring feeling that if a problem came up, he's in the mindset to deal with it: problem, solution-brain in 'go' mode, solution procured, day saved. Of course, he knows it's an entirely fictional supposition that he could do anything about it - because, let's face it, if you want something hacked or technologically navigated then he's your man, and, given his childhood experiments in physics (before he realized he could make a shitload more money in hack-- Er...programming), he could probably blow up a sun if he had sufficient power and something to convert zero point energy - but it makes him feel better about the situation.
"But it doesn't help," Cadman says, her fingers toying with something in her pocket. After several days of working with her, Rodney's afraid to ask what she's playing with.
"Stresses you out," Dex rumbles, sprawled on one of the lounges in the Marriott lobby, a copy of GQ propped up in front of him. "Makes you less effective." Privately, Rodney wonders if the man can even read - he looks like a barbarian with that hair, and those rippling shoulder and arm muscles. God only knows what the real patrons of this hotel are thinking as they look at them.
"And you could definitely do with less stressing."
"Look, I'm stressed because someone tried to kill me only a few days ago!" Rodney hisses from behind his copy of TIME magazine.
"Doesn't that bother you?"
Dex shrugs. "Someone's always trying to kill me."
"That's probably because you killed their father, prepare to die!"
"As compared to striking down with great vengeance and furious anger those who steal the balances of their fellow man's bank accounts, and you shall know my name is the Lord when I send my lawyers upon thee?" Cadman's expression is one of malicious glee, and people begin to stare at them as Dex starts laughing. She quirks her brows at Dex, then arches them at Rodney as he struggles to find a suitable retort, then finds himself wondering whether her brows are dyed since they're darker than her hair. He always wonders that about blondes - it's a carpet and drapes thing.
Teyla appears behind Dex's chair, with a freaky suddenness - as though she just stepped out of thin air. Given that this is Teyla Emmagan, she probably did.
"Time to move our show out the gate."
Rodney doesn't hide his grin as Teyla reads the number on the check and breaks off in the middle of her congratulations to the team.
Even Rodney was hard-pressed to believe the take at first.
Damn, but he's good!
This was the job of a lifetime; revenge and opportunity all rolled into one. Any one of them could retire on this and sail pretty for the next fifty years assuming they didn't blow it all on beer and hookers next week - which Rodney thinks is a possibility in Dex's case. Even Sheppard looks pleased, and his family have a net value in the gazillions.
"So...what's next?" Cadman's nearly bouncing on her toes, her eyes on Teyla's face.
Teyla seems to shake herself out of her shock, and looks around, her expression going blank with that careful neutrality that holds nothing of the honed focus Rodney first encountered while he was executing a bank theft in Switzerland. "One time only," she says.
"No encores." Dex tucks his check away.
Laura sighs. "Well, it was a pleasure doing business. I won't be seeing you!"
Sheppard glances around the circle. "I've already forgotten your names." His gaze rests on Teyla a moment.
Then Teyla steps forward, slipping between Dex and Rodney and walking off like someone trying to outrun her demons while trying not to look like she's trying to outrun her demons.
Dex is the next to move, then Sheppard, then Cadman.
Rodney hesitates a moment, but the others are leaving, and so should he. It's probably for the best.
Only...he's never had quite this much fun on a job before. He works alone and he likes it that way...but he thinks he could like working with this crowd. And they were good. Damn, but they were good! That's gotta be worth something, right? Right?
Maybe it's stupid to ask again and be knocked back, but his mom used to tell him not to knock it until he'd tried it - which, on consideration, was either a very bad or very apt comparison since the next thing he'd tried after that piece of advice was Aunty Greta's lemon meringue pie and that had resulted in his throat swelling shut and a trip to the hospital that lasted a week.
Surely it won't be worth the hassle of dealing with these people and the issues they almost certainly have, because everyone knows Teyla's story and for all her calm on top, there were moments in the last few days when the mask dropped and it was bad.
Sheppard's obviously got problems if he's stealing for a living while his family...okay, steal for a living, but lawfully, which is okay in this country. Dex beats people up for a living, so, yeah, there's a lifetime's worth of sessions with the psychiatrist right there, and anyone as perky as Cadman has to have big, huge issues.
Rodney's not sure what switches in him, but his walk takes a looping swerve through the park until he's on an intercept course with Teyla.
There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the rules.
Teyla isn't sure what happens now.
She shivers a little in the wind and exhales, letting the cold seep through her. It was nice to play with others for a while - nice to be back on the chase, catching the baddies. Kanaan resented her dedication to the job, but it wasn't just a job, it was her life.
Then Torran came along, and she found something else to be her life.
And then life - and Hive Insurance - took Torran away from her.
There's a footfall behind her. "You know," Rodney says in a tone of voice that's probably supposed to be ingenuous and fails utterly, "that was probably more fun than I've ever had on a job. I mean, stealing is so easy I could do it in my sleep. But this...this was a challenge - and actually enjoyable."
It was. But she would never say that to a thief.
"One time only, Rodney."
"I'm good at what I do," says Laura, bouncing up alongside, bright and bubbly and cheerful beyond measure. "Which is just one thing. But you - you know how to be good at a lot of things. Or you know people who are good at other things. And that's, like, the best thing, to have other people who know the things that you don't."
Which is the most convoluted sentence she's ever heard from Laura.
It changes nothing.
"I thought we would not be seeing each other again."
"Know what I think?" Ronon looms above her. He should be physically intimidating, but she finds his height oddly comforting.
"Perhaps I do not care."
"I think you need the chase. You need us. And we need you."
"We are not having this discussion!"
Her phone rings, and when she answers it, John's voice comes with the odd resonance that means she's hearing him both over the phone and with her ears. "Oh, I think we are."
Teyla knows they have her hemmed in.
It strikes her that they all met each other less than a week ago, and they already work as a team. The thought is amusing - and yet also somewhat terrifying. Yesterday, they were thieves. Today, they are a team. Tomorrow...
"You pick the jobs," John says as he peels himself off the trunk of a nearby tree and snaps his phone shut. "You run the game."
"I am no thief," Teyla says, exasperated by his terminology - as though she is one of them. "I catch bad guys."
"So we'll catch bad guys. Corporations, businessmen, rich and unscrupulous - there's no shortage of them around." John smiles, just a little, the hazel eyed devil before her with the deep blue sea of Cadman, Ronon, and Rodney behind her. "You up for it?"
It is a dangerous thing to be needed.