The Broken Road

Ronon knew that the new doctor was hiding something. He was determined to find out the whole story. He must gain her trust and to do that he realized he had to trust her. Dr. Keller could not keep herself from staring at the handsome man. But from her past experience she was not going down that broken road ever again!

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10. Chapter 10

As the sun made its way across the sky, Ronon's thoughts drifted like the clouds above him. He still sat underneath the tree in front of the make-shift infirmary thinking about this morning's trek from gate to village. The final leg of their journey had been traveled in silence – he took note that Dr. Keller was very good at ignoring him. He chuckled. The thought of someone his size being ignored by one so tiny; it also made him smile.

Ronon took a deep breath in and shook his head to bring himself back to the present. He continued to watch her through the open doorway. Ronon could tell that Jennifer loved what she did. She loved being a doctor and it showed by her compassion and gentle touch. She was always smiling and reassuring the patients that everything was going to be fine. She gave her full attention to them. She was kind and he felt that he had treated her badly on their way here. It hadn't been his intent. It hadn't started out as such.

He'd meant what he had whispered to her once through the gate. That he wouldn't let anything happen to her and for her to trust him. He rolled his eyes and shook his head. Did he think by just that simple statement – trust me – that she would? What had gotten into him? Why had he said anything to her in the first place? Resting his head back against the tree he knew the reason. It was because he had seen the panic on her face once through the gate. He just wanted to calm her fears. He felt the need to calm her fears.

He knew that he had pissed her off with his brutish behavior but he did not know any other way. He was Ronon Dex - a Satedan Warrior - a Soldier - a Runner. He may not have the tracking device in him any longer, yet he still harbored a small amount of fear and a lot of anger. The fear and anger that were always there nudging him to the edge of insanity. Until she came, he had no anchor; no compass. Of course, there was Atlantis and the people, but at times they were more like a thin fragile thread keeping the dark beast at bay from him. With Jennifer though, the fear and the anger – his dark beast – lay dormant or at least content. He realized that just by being in her presence brought him peace of mind.

Unfortunately, today having her nearly swept away by the river and then the encounter with the snake; the beast awoke. He did not want anything to happen to her and …..

Ronon's wandering mind was abruptly halted by his radio crackling and Sheppard's voice coming in over the ear piece, "Ronon you copy?"

"What Sheppard." he grumbled.

"How's the Doc? No major accidents?"

Once arriving to the village this morning, Ronon had relayed his concerns about the doc and all her mishaps to Sheppard.

"She's still breathing if that's what you're asking."

"Ha Ha very funny"

"She's in her natural environment - a medical setting - so I think she's fine, for now."

"Well, keep a close eye on her. McKay is tracking a power source. We're about 2 or 3 miles from the village. We'll let ya know what we find. Sheppard out."

Ronon stood and stretched. Hooking his left thumb in his gun belt and resting his right hand upon the weapon's grip, he watched as doc soothed a small child.

~~ooo~~

The small child was sitting on his mother's lap with tears running down his face. Jennifer pulled a sucker from her pocket and held it up to the boy. She'd encouraged him to take a lick and once he did the tears dried up and a bright smile crossed his young face. She had given the boy a shot of antibiotics then given his mother instructions with the oral medication. The child had an ear infection which was causing mother and son sleepless nights. For payment the woman gave Jennifer a beautiful scarf and left thanking her over and over again. Jennifer put it with all the other items that she was given for payment – jams and jellies, bread, a bangle or two, cloth and tea. The majority of the populous, however, showed their gratitude with repeated "Thank you"s, and that was enough for her.

She'd been performing clinicals now for 4 hours straight. She had seen children and adults alike - mostly with the same puzzling ailments - a hacking cough, a rash and a low-grade fever. Some patients told her that it was a re-occurring illness. They also told her that their healer had cured them in the past, but wasn't able to this time. Two villagers had died.

Jennifer decided that she would relay the information to the Colonel when he and Rodney returned from their scouting trip. Teyla was somewhere in the village and Ronon, well he had been sitting outside her door sleeping ever since they got to town. Jerk!, she thought.

A woman carried in a little girl no more than 3 or 4 years old into the make shift hospital followed by a man. She presumed it was the woman's husband and the child's father. The woman sat down in the chair holding tight to the child; she seemed frightened.

"So what seems to be the problem?" Jennifer asked the woman.

"The girl has the cough. I was told we do not have to pay." It was the man who spoke.

Jennifer replied slowly looking at him, "That's right."

"Well then give her the cure so we can leave."

"I'll have to examine the child first to know what medicine to treat her with." Jennifer reached out her hand to place on the girl's forehead. The man grabbed Jennifer's wrist and yanking her away from the child, barked out, "Just give us the cure. You said we did not have to pay!"

Jen was about to say something when she heard what sounded like a battery being charged. With her eyes wide and mouth ajar she saw Ronon standing behind the man with one big ass alien gun pointed at the villager's head.

In a low and threatening tone he demanded, "Release her or lose your head." Pushing the barrel of the gun a bit more at the man Ronon continued, "You decide quick or I will."

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