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29 June 2007 @ 08:30 am
Vortex 4/9 (Heightmeyer/Sheppard/Weir) [NC-17]  
All disclaimers and fic information is in the header for part one.

Author's Note: Yay! I finally get to the Teyla and Kate friendship stuff!

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Part 4

Kate tugged the dark green sheet up past her bare shoulders and turned over lazily onto her side, pillowing her head on one arm. "I want to sleep for a week," she murmured.

"Not a chance in hell," said John. He grinned down at her. "You've got some explaining to do."

"Oh, you absolutely do, Kate," agreed Elizabeth.

Kate opened her eyes and stared at them both. "I was hoping that somewhere, during all the sex, you'd forgotten."

"What part of 'not a chance in hell' are you having a hard time with?" asked John.

"The part where you let me keep my secrets to myself," said Kate.

Elizabeth chuckled as she leaned on one arm. "John's on one side of you, and I'm on the other. You're not getting out of this bed until you tell us what we want to know."

"I somehow don't feel threatened by either of you," said Kate, rolling over onto her back.

"You owe us an explanation," said John. He hooked his fingers on the hem of the sheet and tugged it down to Kate's waist, then splayed his hand on her stomach. "Fucking Avalon? King Arthur and his knights of the round table? I watched Excalibur as a kid, and now it's real?"

"I read L'Morte d'Arthur in the original French," said Elizabeth. "I had it memorized for a few centuries."

"Oh, sure, one-up me with the fact that you're centuries older than me," said John.

Kate laughed. "You're lucky she likes you," she said, pushing herself up on her elbows. "Do you really think Arthur and his knights wore armor?"

"Nah, not really," said John. "It was right after the Romans withdrew from Britain. What were they wearing back then, maybe splint armor?"

"You know a lot about Arthurian history," said Kate.

"We had a serial killer a few years back who did a lot around Arthurian themes," said John. "Never caught him, but I had a contact who lectured on the whole subject for hours with the least encouragement." He shrugged. "I listened. Just like I'll listen to you."

"Avalon," said Elizabeth softly. "Home of the Lady of the Lake. How is it that it's all real?"

"How is it that vampires are all real?" asked Kate. "The legends are embellishments on history, that's all. Vivienne was the Lady of the Lake. Morgan Le Fay lived on Avalon as well. They were witches, and we keep the history of our own very close."

"So close that no one else knows about it," said Elizabeth. "John and I have to drag it out of you a piece at a time. That gateway alone is amazing."

Kate glanced up at the ceiling, then over at Elizabeth. "A gateway spell isn't difficult," she said.

"You gonna tell us about that crystal?" asked John.

She slowly looked at him, her eyes closed off. "I was hoping you'd forgotten about that."

"You really do look sweet and innocent," said John. "Of course, if you were, today wouldn't have been nearly as much fun."

"Oh, it's been very fun," purred Elizabeth, dragging her nails lightly down John's arm. "Very enlightening too."

"Does anything turn you on more than information you could use to your advantage?" asked John, leaning over Kate and sliding his hand into Elizabeth's hair, pulling her to him for a deep kiss.

A smile passed along Elizabeth's mouth as she leaned back. "Something tells me Kate's going to bat those wide green eyes at us and ask us to keep it to ourselves."

"I'm trusting you both with information I shouldn't," said Kate. She scooted up so she was sitting, her back curved as she leaned against the headboard. "Don't make me regret it."

"See?" Elizabeth chuckled. "Now tell us about the crystal. Where is the crystal? What is it? Where did it come from?"

"The second floor," said John. "That and the gateway were the only things up there."

"Show me," said Elizabeth, looking over at Kate. "I want to see it."

"You want everything, don't you?" asked Kate.

"Everything I can have and more," said Elizabeth. "Don't spoil it for me now."

"It's in the pocket of my jeans," said Kate. She sighed and frowned at the door. "In the other room. One of you is going to have to move to let me get it."

"Don't bother," said Elizabeth. "I didn't spend all that time convincing you to get into the bathtub for you to touch those filthy rags again." Within two heartbeats, she was back, the black silk wrapped around the crystal fluttering against her skin.

Kate held out her hands, her face carefully blank as she looked at Elizabeth. "Don't touch this again, Elizabeth," she said. "It's important." She unwrapped the silk with one hand, letting the crystal sit in her palm.

"What is it?" asked John.

"It's not a normal crystal," said Elizabeth. "It looks like citrine, but with those black veins--"

"It doesn't have a name," said Kate. She stared down at the crystal, her fingertips gliding across it. Bright orange light flared up quickly, then died down again as she pulled her hand away. "It's a power reservoir. It holds magic."

"Can anyone use it?" asked Elizabeth, glancing between Kate and the crystal.

"Vampires can't," said Kate sternly.

"I don't think I want to," said John, frowning at that. "Not like I'd have a clue where to start from."

"You poor, mortal man," said Elizabeth, laughing. She reached over and swept the back of her fingers along his cheek. "Afraid of magic."

"No! I'm not afraid of magic. Just mortal." John glared over at her. "Jeez, rub it in, why don't you?"

"No one's rubbing anything in," said Kate. She re-wrapped the crystal and slid it underneath her pillow. "It's been a very long couple of days. We should get some sleep."

"I am kinda tired," said John. "Elizabeth's been pretty energetic, though."

"Elizabeth's an undying creature of the night," said Kate. "Undying stamina goes along with that."

"And it goes quite nicely, might I add," said Elizabeth, satisfied. "You two, however, are staying here with me and sleeping the rest of the day away. It's the least you can do after trapping me here for the day while I was waiting for you."

John groaned. "Like feeding you wasn't enough?" he asked.

"Don't forget the sex," said Kate. "How does she think that wasn't enough to make up for trapping her for an entire day in the luxurious upstairs suite of the most exclusive nightclub in Pegasus?"

"I think she's got entitlement issues," said John, grinning at Kate.

"You think so?" asked Kate. "The fact that she's insisting on burning our clothing because it's covered in ancient Arthurian dust gave that away?"

"It's not just the dust, it's that your fashion sense is atrocious, Kate," said Elizabeth. She wrinkled her nose.

"She likes us," said John, smirking. "She just doesn't like our clothing." Kate laughed while Elizabeth crossed her arms and looked faintly indignant.

***

Kate closed her condo's door behind her with a sigh and hung her keys on a hook near the door.

"It took you long enough to call me," said Radek, from where he was sitting in front of the television, laptop perched precariously on his legs. "I was worried sick when I saw nightly news."

"I was stuck someplace without cell phone service," said Kate. "Sorry, Radek. Didn't you lecture me enough over the phone?"

"Not nearly," said Radek, closing his laptop. "You say Wraith, you say that Teyla and Ronon will be there. I meet police officer with very impure thoughts at your store, and then I leave, like you ask, but you do not stay safe. Is very frustrating, especially when police come here and mention I am listed as next of kin."

Kate slipped off her coat and hung it up in the closet. "I should've told you that a long time ago," she said, not quite looking at him as she turned around.

"How many years ago?" asked Radek. "Also, you spent entire day with Elizabeth? With John too?"

"How did you--" started Kate, but at Radek's pointed look, she glanced down at her outfit, a low-cut shell pink shirt and a short beige skirt, matched up with a pair of beige heels. "My outfit. Oh. My clothing from yesterday was ruined."

"Also, Elizabeth insisted," said Radek. "I do not see you in skirts unless you have been around Elizabeth. Two days in a row is more than usual. You do not normally spend this much time with her."

Kate blushed faintly. "This is an unusual situation," she said, coming to sit down on the sofa next to Radek. "The Wraith are behaving oddly. They don't normally demand tribute until they control an area."

"Very unusual." Radek set his laptop off to the other side. "But I was not referring to them. I thought you were lesbian."

"Radek!" exclaimed Kate. "I haven't even had coffee yet, and you're trying to gossip about my love life!"

"Is busier love life than mine," said Radek. "One person in entire world whose mind I cannot read, and she is my dearest friend, but--" He shrugged. "I cannot see you like that. Though if you keep letting Elizabeth dress you, I may be forced to see you as more than best friend. It would worry me. More than I worried all night long. And all day."

"All right, all right, I'm sorry!" exclaimed Kate, grinning wryly. "I won't worry you again."

"Good. I would not want to be worried more. And now, why did you name me next of kin?" asked Radek. "I have never asked, but do you not have family you could list if something happened to you?"

"You are my family, Radek," said Kate, standing up. "I don't have anyone else like you. Besides, would you rather have me name Elizabeth as my next of kin?"

Radek's laugh was short, but amused. "I think that would be biggest disaster of your life," he said. "I am sure she is very nice woman, but she is very grasping."

"I know," said Kate. She flushed. "Sometimes that's nice."

"I do not want to know!" exclaimed Radek, waving one hand at the kitchen. "Go and make your coffee. I will finish upgrading your software. Good?"

"That sounds like a good plan." said Kate.

"And it lets you flee before you embarrass yourself more," said Radek.

"That it does," said Kate.

***

Kate woke to the sound of pounding on the door and stumbled out of her bedroom, through the living room, and yanked open the door, still blinking the sleep out of her eyes. "Teyla?" she asked, smothering a yawn.

"Kate." Teyla held herself very still, but her eyes strayed off to the side briefly. "It is good to see you."

"Is it nighttime already?" asked Kate. "I can't believe I slept the whole day away. Is something wrong? Did Elizabeth send you?"

"Elizabeth did not send me," said Teyla. "I--wished to come and see you for reasons of my own."

"You did?" asked Kate. "Oh. All right. Would you, ah, like some coffee? Tea, maybe?"

"Tea would be lovely," said Teyla. "Thank you."

"I'll set some to brew while I change," said Kate, glancing down at her pajamas. "I'm afraid that I didn't really expect to have company tonight."

"You look fine," said Teyla. "Truthfully, I did not know if I would find you to be amenable to visitors."

"Just a little confused, I guess," said Kate. She stepped aside. "Why don't you come in? I'm afraid my neighbors will be a little perplexed at the sight of you. Radek and I almost never have company."

"Thank you once again," said Teyla, walking into the living room. "Radek seems to be a kind man, though he is very quiet. But I confess to finding it strange that you and he do not entertain visitors. I would imagine that you and he would have many friends."

"Not really," said Kate, shaking her head. "We're both very quiet people. Have a seat. I'll be back in just a few minutes."

***

"My circadian rhythms have definitely flipped to nocturnal," said Kate, walking in ten minutes later with two mugs of tea in her hands. She handed one to Teyla, and then sat on the couch, turned to the side to face her. "I'm going to have one hell of a time going back to a daytime schedule when I get a new location for the shop."

"You will re-open then?" asked Teyla. "I had not been certain."

Kate wrapped her hands around her mug and took a long drink. "I like running the shop. It gives me something to occupy my time."

"Speaking of your shop--" Teyla's hands tightened briefly on her mug, one thumb sweeping along the curve of the ceramic. "And of things that occupy your time, perhaps you will not be offended if I confess I have not thought very highly of you in the past."

"What do you mean?" asked Kate, covering a frown with another sip from her cup.

"It is simply that I had thought you only a reader of cards," said Teyla. "Your shop contains almost no items of genuine occult value on display, and while I saw you in Elizabeth's company on very rare occasions, you did not seem to be--" She smiled awkwardly, looking down at her mug, then up at Kate again. "It seemed to me that Elizabeth's presence overshadowed your own. I had thought that you were like many others whom she has known over the years."

"A source of food, an occasional lover if I'm pretty enough, and Elizabeth is in the right mood, you mean?" asked Kate, smiling wryly. "Teyla, I wanted to give that impression."

"But you are more than that," said Teyla. "Far more powerful than Charin ever was. She has told me tales of her youth, and while she cast some few small spells, and read the future in tea leaves, she said that her powers were slight. She believed that truly powerful witches were a thing of the far past."

"And there I was last night, overturning your preconceptions," said Kate. She shrugged. "I don't know what to say, Teyla. How did that make you feel?"

"To travel so far, without need for caution against the perils of sunlight, is amazing," said Teyla. "I wonder that you have not set up a network of gateways across the world for Elizabeth."

"I don't work for Elizabeth," said Kate. "I won't use my magic to make her more powerful."

"That likely displeases her greatly," said Teyla, one side of her mouth quirking into a half-smile.

"Like you wouldn't believe," said Kate, settling against the sofa. "I wouldn't say we've gotten in fights over it, but--"

"But Elizabeth has never hesitated at making her displeasure known," said Teyla. "I am fortunate that I do not raise her ire often."

"Does Ronon?" asked Kate.

"Frequently," confessed Teyla, her eyes gleaming.

"I can only begin to imagine," said Kate. "You poor woman."

Teyla chuckled. "I have had to develop a great deal of patience."

"You and he work well together, though," said Kate. She smiled, glancing down at her mug. "Have you known Ronon long?"

"Two hundred years or so," said Teyla. "He has not developed a significant amount of patience in any of that time." She paused and studied Kate. "I have seen witches who keep company with vampires, and other than Charin, they have all been content to exist as pets of a coven, in exchange for a base of support for their power."

"That's not power," said Kate. "Not real power."

"I must say, I did not believe that I would ever hear such a thing from you." said Teyla. She smiled widely at Kate. "I would like to consider you a friend."

Kate blinked, her mouth slightly open. "A friend?" she asked. "I--don't have a problem with that."

"You seem surprised," said Teyla. "Why?"

"I don't have very many friends," said Kate. "I live a quiet life."

"Even one who lives a quiet life need not live a solitary one," said Teyla. "You have Radek, and Elizabeth and John. Perhaps you can find room within your life for my friendship as well."

"It's not that," said Kate. "It's just been a while. I don't think I know what to do with so many friends."

"To begin with," said Teyla, smirking at Kate. "You should not act so surprised."

Kate chuckled. "That's a very good point."

***

The knocking on the door wasn't stopping, and Kate sighed, setting the box of tissues down on the sofa. "Hold on!" she called, standing up and walking over to the front door, tugging it open.

John was standing there, one arm resting on the door frame as he waited for Kate. "Hey," he said, smiling. "I thought I'd head over and let you know there's some more paperwork--" He frowned. "What's wrong?"

Kate pushed her hair back out of her face and shrugged. "Long story."

"I've got time," said John, pushing himself upright and shoving his hands in his pockets as he stepped inside. "The paperwork will still be there later. So what's up, Kate?"

"You don't want to let me just say 'long story' and let it drop?" asked Kate, letting the door swing shut. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure," said John. He jerked his head at the sofa. "Come on, sit down. We'll talk."

She chuckled softly. "You're asking for it," said Kate, moving to sit down.

"Believe me, I know," said John, folding himself down onto the couch next to Kate and slinging an arm over her shoulders. "So what's up? Delayed reaction to the Wraith going after you?"

Kate leaned her head on John's shoulder and sighed. "I have friends."

"Yeah," said John slowly. "Most people do."

"Two days ago I had Radek," said Kate. "I saw Elizabeth maybe twice a year, she'd insult my fashion sense, give me a makeover, we'd have sex, and I'd stumble back in here at dawn, where Radek would tell me my outfit was too scandalous and flatter my ego at the same time."

"So twice in two days is about your normal Elizabeth quota for an entire year?" asked John.

"You could put it that way," said Kate, laughing. "Or you could say it's my socialization quota for an entire year. Radek and I don't go out much."

"You don't talk to a lot of people with your shop?" asked John.

"It's not that significant an interpersonal contact," said Kate. "But now, I've seen Elizabeth twice in two days, and you--"

"Hey, that's not a bad thing," said John.

"It's not," said Kate quietly. "But Teyla stopped by earlier, and we talked. I've never talked to her before. I think Ronon might have said good-bye to me yesterday, which is practically a declaration of friendship from him."

"He said good-bye?" asked John. "That's an epic from Ronon. I think he likes me. We occasionally go out hunting Wraith together. Not much talking; lots of fighting."

"Some kind of male bonding," said Kate dryly. "The thing is, I've always cultivated an innocuous appearance."

"Noticed that," commented John. "Teyla seemed pretty shocked. Sounds like she knew a witch who couldn't do the things you do."

"Most of them can't," said Kate. "I don't want to deal with people asking me to work magic for them. Magic isn't a substitute for genuine effort, but so many people--the ones who believe in it--think it is."

John frowned and dropped a kiss the top of her head. "So, not to derail this whole 'people actually like me and it's weirding me out' thing you've got going on, since it's important and all, but who set the Wraith on you, then?"

"I don't know," said Kate. "I guess I just assumed they came to me since I run an occult store."

"Seems awfully coincidental, though," said John. "Any other witches in town that are cozy with the Wraith?"

"I hadn't thought of it that way," said Kate.

"That's why it's a good thing you're dating a detective," said John.

Kate glanced up at him. "Are we dating?"

John grinned. "Close enough, anyway, especially considering I have plans to lure you back into your bedroom later for a seduction."

"Oh," said Kate. "That's unexpected too."

"The seduction?" asked John doubtfully. "Because after the past couple days--"

"Radek thought I was a lesbian until he met you," said Kate.

"That would be a tragic loss to the male half of the human race," said John, his palm lightly skimming down her arm. "Or to me, anyway. So you're freaking out about having a couple more people in your life who know who you are and what you can do?"

"I am," said Kate. She shifted so she was looking up at John. "I don't know what I'm going to do about it."

"Don't ask me," said John. "I eat carry-out in front of the TV most nights."

"See, I knew there was a reason I liked you," said Kate, shaking her head with a wry smile.

"Aside from my stunning good looks?" asked John.

"Oh, I haven't ignored those," said Kate.

"I'd be a little worried if you had," said John. "So, think you're ready to be distracted for a while?"

Kate opened her mouth, her eyes sparkling, only to shut it with a rueful look at John as Radek unlocked the door and walked in.

"I leave while Teyla is discussing serious issues, and you bring boyfriend over for visit while I am buying ice cream?" asked Radek, his forehead wrinkling as he frowned. "I would leave again, and give you privacy, but ice cream will melt if I do."

"Well, now, we can't have that, can we?" asked Kate, ducking out from under John's arm. "What flavors did you get?"

"You presume I got more than one?" asked Radek, setting his bags down on the counter. "Why would you do that?"

"Because you always do," said Kate, coming over to lean on the counter. "And so do I."

"Oh, yes, this is true," said Radek, smiling at her. "Chocolate chip cookie dough and double chocolate fudge. Also whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and maraschino cherries. We have bananas already."

Kate started lifting packages out of the bag. "Radek, I love you. John, do you want a banana split?"

"Sure, you love him for bringing you ice cream," said John, pushing himself up. "But what do I get?"

"I would appreciate if you stop picturing what you want to get," said Radek, wincing. "Library is closed, and internet cafe is too crowded right now. I will have ice cream, take headache medication, and go to sleep."

"Don't be ridiculous, Radek," said Kate. She glanced over at John, who shrugged. "We're all going to have ice cream, and then John and I will leave. We have some other things we could be doing anyway."

"How do you live with a roommate that can read your mind?" asked John. "That's gotta be tough."

"I get many headaches," said Radek, rummaging through a drawer. He pulled out a metal ice cream scoop and grinned at it, looking satisfied. "Kate does not give me headaches. Is very important quality when rooming with someone. Also, we wanted to own condo and not deal with landlords. Kate goes to condo association meetings when necessary. Real estate gives more headaches than even over-amorous boyfriends."

"Here we go with the boyfriend thing again," murmured Kate, pulling three bowls down from the cupboard.

"I heard that," said John, pointing over at Kate. "Where's a knife? I'll slice up these bananas."

"You are very lucky, John, that I do not tell what I hear in other people's heads," said Radek, ripping the top off the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. He waved the cardboard lid at John. "Or else I would tell Kate that, and you would never get any peace."

"Right," said John, peeling a banana. "Peace. Because I have so much of that in my life as it is."

"You know Elizabeth. Very well," said Kate, handing him a knife, hilt-first. "It doesn't sound like you want that much peace in your life."

John chuckled as he started to slice the bananas lengthwise. "You know how to handle a knife? Kate, this could be love."

"Well, now you've done it," murmured Radek.

"Done what?" asked John, knife frozen mid-slice. "Radek? Kate? Now I've done what?"

Kate was staring down at the can of chocolate sauce she'd just picked up. "Nothing," she said, looking up at John with a bright, slightly fixed smile on her face. "You haven't done anything. Why don't we have our ice cream?"
Tags:
 
 
 
bond girl & original porn terrorist: dude is my hair supposed to do thatsaltroseortopaz on June 29th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
*reads obsessively*
Havoc: claire omgsqueehavocthecat on June 29th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
Hee! *glees*
angelqueen04: Heightmeyer (Quickie)angelqueen04 on June 29th, 2007 02:26 pm (UTC)
Hee! I love how Kate and Elizabeth seemed to have a yearly pattern to their encounters. Then in comes one gorgeously adorable detective and throws the entire thing through the loop. :D Well, him and the Wraith, but who wants to count them. They're not as pretty as John.

Loving this muchly, Havoc! :D
Havoc: kate talkinghavocthecat on June 30th, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, John does tend to throw things for a loop. Isn't that a shame? If John were real, we'd write a thank-you note to him for that. *giggling*

I'm so glad you like it! Thank you! *twirls*
Falcon Horus: Goddessfalcon_horus on June 29th, 2007 07:02 pm (UTC)
"Well, now you've done it," murmured Radek.
"Done what?" asked John, knife frozen mid-slice. "Radek? Kate? Now I've done what?"


*echoing John's question*

Done what?
Havoc: romancehavocthecat on June 30th, 2007 12:29 am (UTC)
He said the word "love" to Kate. She's already freaking out; that didn't help.
ladyniko: Atlanits Musketeersladyniko on June 29th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
"Well, now you've done it," murmured Radek.

"Done what?" asked John, knife frozen mid-slice. "Radek? Kate? Now I've done what?"


Hrmmm..... Yes, I'd like to know what apparently sore spot poor John hit on unknowingly here. Or, is it the "L word" that has poor Kate rather turned about?

Hrmmmm...... inquiring minds want to know!

Can't wait to see the next bit of this. :)
Havoc: kate & teylahavocthecat on June 30th, 2007 12:28 am (UTC)
It's definitely the love comment that has poor Kate rather turned about. Hee!
ladyniko: Weirladyniko on June 30th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Awwww... poor Kate. She just had to go and get involved w/ the city's Queen Vamp and then, for said Queen to introduce her to a certain shaggy haired detective... :)

I am eagerly awaiting the next bit of this!
Havoc: lizzie satedahavocthecat on June 30th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
Hee! Oh, it's just such an AWFUL fate for her. Poor Kate!

Thank you! Next bit will be up tomorrow morning!
Oh snarky one!dangerusliasons on June 30th, 2007 05:50 am (UTC)
guh, dies

Please send more.
Havoc: lizzie/john voyeurismhavocthecat on June 30th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
Hee, thank you! Part five just got posted, actually. Whew, only three to go after today!