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Stargate Atlantis





The first season was the beginning of something new and exciting and scary. It was a spring, of sorts, a time for life to be given to everything new. For them, it was all about tension and denial. The attraction was instant, the chemistry electric; neither had expected to find such a thing on the busy set of a fledging show and both had tried to pretend it didn't exist. They avoided being alone together wherever possible, sticking like glue to the crowded, well-lit areas of the set, always making sure there was someone else present, someone to act as a buffer to the growing impulses that were oh-so-wrong but rapidly gaining in strength.

Small talk in between takes was carefully kept to neutral topics; the weather ("I knew it rained in Vancouver, but this is ridiculous! My hair will never be straight again!", sports ("so, is ice hockey big in LA...?) and their co-stars ("isn't Rachel fantastic? I don't know how she makes those fight scenes look so effortless.")

Torri found herself heading back to LA in complete relief, welcoming the hiatus with open arms. She drove home the long(er) way, taking what she told herself was the scenic route so that she and Sedge could enjoy the freedom of being on the open road with nothing holding them back.

It really had nothing to do with wanting - no, needing - to forget a certain dark-haired actor she'd left behind in Vancouver.

Nothing at all.

Season two was full of frustrated heat, when the denial turned into grudging acceptance and the chemistry increased to the extent that both rapidly became accustomed to receiving knowing looks from their co-stars. The fan reaction to their characters dynamic hadn't helped much in the denial stakes, but then it was show business and the core element to any successful project was the chemistry between the series leads.

They just happened to have a lot of it, both in front of and behind the camera.

It didn't go unnoticed by the writers, and Torri was certain there were more scenes between them this year - scenes that could've been handled by any of the other characters, especially since her hours had had to be changed to accommodate the extra work.

It didn't go unnoticed by the people in their lives off-set, either. It wasn't her imagination that Joe's wife called him more and more between takes, or that she and their children stopped by for more regular visits. Torri covered her guilt - which, really, was stupid; they hadn't *done* anything to feel guilty for - by allowing the kids to play with Sedge while Joe and his wife disappeared into his trailer for "a chat".

If she noticed his hair was a little more ruffled or that there was a smudge of lipstick around his mouth after one of those chats, she chose not to acknowledge it. Nor did she acknowledge the ache in her stomach or the twinge in her chest that seeing the not-entirely-subtle reminders created within her.

(And if he, in some small way, made it up to her by keeping her supplied with water and coffee for the rest of the day, as if apologising for spending perfectly legitimate time with his own wife, then she could ignore the little shivers of pleasure the added attention gave her, too.)

The kiss from the 'The Long Goodbye' was written on the basis of their chemistry and, despite their attempts to get the scene done in one, it took five attempts before Andy, their director for the episode, gave it his approval.

Memories of that kiss fuelled her dreams, keeping her warm months after the summer sun was gone.

Season three was the season where it turned into something real, something physical. Season three was when she truly fell.

There were rumblings on the set that a major character would be written out near the end of the season, and that more cast changes and shuffles were possible. Everyone – cast, crew and powers that be – were surprised when SG-1 was cancelled and it made them all a little more wary about their future on the show.

Nothing, they realised, was forever in the cutthroat world of television.

Losing Paul was a shock, a big one. He was called into a meeting and came out with a sombre expression in his face; they all knew before he opened his mouth that he would be the first of their family to leave.

An impromptu night out was arranged and alcohol flowed freely. Still, she'd never know how they'd become separated from the others, or how she'd ended up with her back pressed against the wall, Joe's hands gripping her hips as his mouth devoured hers.

She could taste the lingering bitterness of his beer on his tongue and moaned when a hand moved and grazed her chest.

The sound brought them back to reality and, panting hard, they parted and stared at one another through wide, wanting eyes.

In silence, they walked back inside and retook their seats. If anyone noticed they'd been gone, they didn't say anything.

Torri left first, and felt his eyes burn into her back as he watched her go.

A week later, as the leaves began to shift from green to gold, she herself was called into the office of doom. She felt him watch her then, too, and wasn't at all surprised when she got back to her trailer and found him there.


If he expected her to cry, he was disappointed.

And if she'd expected him to be turn her down, she would have been disappointed, too.

Season four was a short, bittersweet season. As short as winter, and left her feeling just as cold. Her schedule was light for the first week, leaving her bored and frustrated between takes.

Lying down on a bed all day did nothing to relieve the tension coiled up inside her like a snake waiting to strike.

Neither she nor Joe acknowledged the shift in their relationship, the stolen moments they'd shared at the end of the previous season or the moments in between – at conventions, when she'd been in town working on other projects – but they continued, tinged by desperation and want and need.

(They were almost caught, once, but the closed door had discouraged the newly hired assistant from intruding. If it'd been a seasoned cast member, they both knew their secret would've been exposed – there was very little privacy on a set as close as theirs. It didn't bother her, strangely, and she wondered why it didn't seem to trouble Joe.)

Her last day of filming was harder than she'd thought it would be and she'd gratefully cried on the shoulder he offered. She'd let him take her home, back to the small apartment that had become home over the years.

He spent the night holding her, murmuring sweet sentiments in her ear. His hands soothed her skin while his words eased the ache in her chest.

Three days later, back in her LA home, she curled up on her side in a bed that felt so very cold and wondered if the ice around her heart would ever thaw.

The show was announced for season five and several long conversations between her agent and the producers, the network and the producers, the producers and the writers, her agent and herself later, Torri found herself walking back onto the Atlantis set early one morning in April.

Filming hadn't officially started for everyone yet – Rachel's start was delayed due to her maternity leave, and David and Jason had both requested a later back to work start so they could spend some more time with the new additions in their own lives.

Amanda was the first cast member she saw and greeted her with a warm smile and even warmer embrace. "It's so good to see you," the bubbly blond smiled. "We are so going to kick the guy's asses this year!"

Torri laughed and returned the embrace; "it's good to be back."

The season would be full of changes again, a combination of old and new that was both exciting and exhilarating. It was like being given a new lease of life in an old and blessedly familiar way.

Her trailer was both familiar and not. Rationally, she knew it wasn't the same one but the moment she walked through the door, she felt like she'd come home.

That, she reflected later, might have had more to do with the man waiting for her than the trailer itself.



"Welcome back." He took a step towards her, his hands moving as if to reach out for her but stopping just before they did.

They hadn't spoken in four months, the longest they'd gone without seeing one another since their affair had begun. There'd been no conventions to use as an excuse, no filming commitments in LA for him or Vancouver for her.

He was separated, she'd heard through the grapevine. He'd left his wife – or his wife had left him – and he hadn't told her.

"Torri..." He took another half-step forward, on hand reaching out to touch her arm lightly. His eyes were dark and all too revealing. Her breath caught in her throat and she tilted her head to the side, silently urging him to continue. "I missed you."

It wasn't what she'd expected to hear, but it made her smile anyway. Taking pity on him, she stepped into the shelter of his embrace and let her head rest against his shoulder. "I missed you, too."

She supposed later that it had been inevitable, that it shouldn't have surprised her as much as it had.

After all, Spring had always followed Winter and undoubtedly always would.


 Left By:
2007-12-25 10:25:00

Oh, thank you so much! It's nice to see the behind-the-scenes stuff, and to watch a season five start the way I wish it would be! Wouldn't it be wonderful if season five had Amanda and Torri both?

 Left By:
anr (anr)

2007-12-25 19:34:30

Wonderful story. I really like this evolution of their relationship, and the characterisations were lovely. Well done!

 Left By:
2007-12-28 11:42:46

Oh, I love this. The progressions of the seasons paralleling their relationship, and the details paint a vivid picture. Nice work.

 Left By:
dirty diana (torri13)

2007-12-31 14:32:47

Love the thread of Torri's thoughts here, all that emotion is like a punch. But in a good way! I really enjoyed this.