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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9. Chapter 9

Ronon sat leaning back against a large shade tree. Everyone that passed by thought he was asleep with his arms crossed over his chest, long legs stretched out before him and his eyes shut. But anyone that knew the Satedan also knew he was far from napping. He was watching Jennifer through hooded eyes. The spot under the tree gave him the perfect vantage point to see who came and went from the temporary medical facility that the village had set up for her. His instinct to protect her and keep her safe was stronger than ever because he had come to the conclusion that the good Dr. Keller attracted trouble like a magnet.

The first realization came after leaving the gate and following the path for about a mile. The team had come upon a swollen river along with its washed out bridge.

"Rodney!" Sheppard exclaimed looking at the raging river in front of him.

"What? How was I suppose to know that the bridge got washed out? Hmmm?!"

"Find us a way around this Rodney, please." Teyla asked so diplomatically.

"Yeah. Yeah." Waving his hand next to his head, "Just hang on. Give me a second." Recalculating the scanner Rodney stated , "If we travel up river about two miles, there should be a place to cross." Rodney sounded dejected - two miles! "Sheppard why didn't we just take a jumper. We could be there by now!" Rodney said in a whining tone.

Sheppard surveyed his surroundings and told Rodney, "I informed you that the gate was too close in proximity of trees and that it would be impossible to bring a shuttle through. You didn't have to come along you know." he said while ignoring the scientist.

"I know but one never knows what great discovery I could find and then I could become even more famous!"

Sheppard frowned, "When did you first become famous?"

Rodney huffed and followed the Colonel who had started walking along the riverbank, "I'll have you know I've saved not just one but two galaxies…remember that time..."

Jennifer leaned over to Teyla and inquired, "Is Rodney always this…." she was trying to pick out the best word possible without sounding mean.

"Conceited? Arrogant? Self-Centered?" Teyla replied smiling.

"All of them?" she sheepishly answered.

Without batting an eye Teyla said, "Yes he is always like this. But you will get used to him. He rather grows on you after awhile."

Teyla trailed after the two men shaking her head and her smile growing wider listening to them bicker.

Jennifer watched the three leave then turned to Ronon. He was examining the rope bridge that was being tossed about by the swift current of the river. Only one guide rope kept the primitive bridge from being carried down stream. Ronon had a strange look upon his face. She was about to ask him what he was thinking when the ground beneath her gave way. She had been standing too close to the washed out bank. Jennifer would have surely been swept down river if not for Ronon's quick actions. He had grabbed hold of the rucksack she carried and hauled her to safety.

With his heart nearly pounding out of his chest, he turned her around to face him. He seized her by the shoulders and ground out with much more force than he had intended, "You need to be more careful and watch where you're going dammit!"

He had said it possibly with a little more emotion than he should had but she had nearly given him a fuckin' heart attack! One minute she was standing right in front of him and the next she was nearly snatched away by the rapidly moving river.

The butterflies from earlier when he'd whispered to trust him were all but dead now. Jennifer should had known it was too good to be true. Handsome faces hid ugliness inside - always! She glared at him her voice rising, "Oh like I did that on purpose?" She shrugged off his hold, turned and stormed off after the rest of the team. Ronon followed keeping an eye on her.

The second insight to her trouble-prone-self was during the two mile hike from the bridge to the shallow crossing upstream. Jennifer had stumbled several times half way along their route there; nearly falling flat on her face two of those times. Finally realizing it was due to the pack she carried, Ronon stripped her of the rucksack – the damn thing was so heavy for her small frame it was throwing her off balance. Ignoring her protests, he carried the load himself along with the bag he already was hauling around for her. He could see in her face that she was not happy.

The third incident of trouble came as they successfully crossed a shallow part of the river and were walking through the forest. Sheppard gave the call to take 10 and rest. Ronon shucked off the load he had been carrying and stood a few feet opposite Jennifer who happened to be leaning against a tree with her eyes shut. She was ignoring him and enjoying the tree's cool shade when he saw something else enjoying the shade right along with her.

A well camouflaged snake - a good six feet if not more in length - was hanging from a branch just above and to the right of her. It seemed content being where it was until the good doctor started to fan herself with her hand. The movement seemed to either peek the serpent's curiosity or had agitated it – either way it was slithering to get a better view or bite. Ronon slowly unsheathed his knife from behind his back. Flipping the weapon so he held it by the blade he threw it right when the snake reared back to strike. Ronon embedded the blade cleanly through the snake's head and into the wood. He literally nailed the serpent to the tree.

Jennifer opened her eyes and turned her head to see his knife still vibrating mere inches from her head. She had stared at the snake then turned to look at Ronon. Once again she nearly stopped his heart. He gave her a look that conveyed to watch what she was doing and where she was going!

What did the woman do but push herself from the tree and in a sarcastic tone said, "Nice throw Rambo!" and walked off to stand with Teyla and McKay.

Hearing Sheppard laugh Ronon turned his attention to him. Sheepishly John shrugged and said, "Gotta admit that was kinda funny!"

"Who the fuck is Rambo!" Ronon demanded to know.

"Don't worry about it Big Guy. You'd like him."

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