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Fic meta

Do you know what I'm doing right now? I'm procrastinating procrastinating. That's right. I should be going to work. There's plenty of things I could be doing there. But I'm justifying it because I have an extra hour of prep time this morning so I don't need to do my prep before school. So I opened Word. Except Word gnashed its teeth at me so I yelped and ran over to lj.

I don't like -- let me start over -- I usually keep myself from doing any kind of fic meta because it tends to spoil the urge to write the actual story. It's like the muse goes, 'well you've already talked about it in words so no reason for me to hang around.' But I think as long as I don't get into too many specifics I'll be okay. I'll just consider this one great big idea-bounce.

So my fic is an AU, and the premise is that Teyla has an older brother and he, not she, is the leader of the Athosians. Why do this, you ask, when one of the kick-ass things about Teyla is that she's a leader? Or, eh, was? Well, it was something I read ages ago, someone's thoughts on J/T. And it was that if they were going to hook up, it would have been easiest for it to be right away, because after they'd known each other a certain amount of time it would be a lot more awkward. Well, the person I'm thinking of put it better than that. My paraphrase sucks. But you get the idea.

That notion started skipping around in my head. I definitely felt that because of the chemistry John and Teyla had when they met, it certainly could have happened. It's not like Sam and Jack where their meeting was some version of deflated hero-worship mixed with angry feminism. Teyla seemed to like John because he was friendly and respectful, at least compared to Sumner, and he certainly ingratiated himself with the Athosians when he led the mission to rescue Sumner, Halling, Teyla, et al. (Side thought: would he have gone after the Wraith if no Earth folks had been abducted, only Athosians? I'd like to think so. But would Lizzie have okayed it?) John seemed to like Teyla because... well, the fact that she's hot comes to mind, but I also think she made him feel welcome despite himself, and she trusted him.

The roadblock I saw to them 'hooking up' early in the series had a lot to do with her responsibilities, though. We know John is pretty much a loner. We know he's weird about physical contact and feels like he screwed up being a husband (that was weird to type) and always seems surprised when a woman shows interest in him. Since we don't yet know a lot about John's past (gotta wait for Outcast), it was going to be hard to plausibly AU that out of him, if it could even be done. Which led to leaving his character largely alone and fiddling with Teyla's. Not that we know a whole hell of a lot about her background, either, but I felt safer doing it.

But still a little nervous, however. When you write a mid-series AU, you're building on dozens of episodes of getting to know the character. But AUing it from the pilot is something I don't believe I've done before. The idea with giving Teyla a brother to whom she was 2IC to was to take some of the burden of command off her shoulders and tweak her personality accordingly. In early SGA as we know it, I don't see Teyla making the first move, either, because she had to worry about her people, and probably how it would be seen by her people if she was shacking up with one of the Earth folks (I don't like calling them Lanteans. The Lanteans were Ancients.) and how it would look to the other Earth people. As it was she had Halling reminding her, hey, these aren't the Ancestors. Now, I'm an older sister, so I don't have experience being a younger sister, but I see a Teyla with a big protective - maybe even overprotective - older brother who's a consummate leader leading to a slightly less controlled and maybe even slightly rebellious Teyla. In any case, that worked a lot better for my premise.

I guess the thing that makes me cautious is making sure that it still is Teyla, that the change is only slight but that it's enough to justify the AU.

I don't think any of that really made sense but what the hell.
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I think this a really interesting idea. If she were 2IC to an older brother, she'd still feel a great deal of responsibility for her people, but wouldn't necessarily feel like she was obligated to sacrifice her own wants/desires for them (especially if her brother shares her Wraith-sensing gift). And that's a little enough change for her to at least consider a more personal relationship with one of the Earthers. Slightly rebellious, more impulsive Teyla -- that sounds all kinds of good.

I can imagine her brother tasking her with being an ambassador for the Athosians, along with being a guide for the expedition, but to watch out for that Sheppard guy.
Glad it sounds good to someone else. Sometimes I get into the middle of a plot and I forget where I was going in the first place. ;)

And you're actually thinking along the same lines as me. Teyla is much more personable than her brother, so she is a much better choice for those cultures the Athosians trade with who are a bit more prickly. Brother is uber-protective and yeah, that Sheppard guy looks like bad news ;)