Finding Home

Ronon has to decide where his home truly lies - with a blue-eyed doctor or a village claiming to be his people.

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Getting stationed on Atlantis was an out-of-this-world dream come true for Lieutenant Kyle Masterson.

Growing up in a small podunk town located in Harlan County Kentucky, Kyle dreamed about getting out of his fish bowl town and seeing the world. Little did he know that when he joined the military right out of high school, ten years later he would literately be getting the chance to see other worlds!

A couple of days after Ronon left in search of his people, Lt. Masterson had just arrived and was assigned to the med lab research department on Atlantis. He proved himself a valuable asset to the department and on a few occasions he got the opportunity to work side by side with a few of the medical doctors.

On one such occasion he hopelessly fell head-over-heels in love with one Dr. Jennifer Keller. Unfortunately for him, she had made it clear that they were just colleagues when on duty and just friends on their down time.

Being born and bred a southerner, he politely accepted her restrictions. He was a professional when he needed to be and a friend just to talk to at other times with Dr. Keller. However, Kyle planned to slowly whittle his way into her life and remain there permanently.

He didn't tell any of the few friends that he'd made on base about his feelings for the good doctor. And so he never inquired about her personal life. All Kyle could see was her belonging to him.

So one night after nearly three weeks of working together, he had decided to take things a step further and test the waters with Dr. Keller to see how far he could get. He had gone in search of Jennifer and found her alone at the east pier staring off into space.

When she had pleasantly and unexpectedly bumped into him, his reaction was entirely instinctual - grab hold of her and never let her go. When she did the same, a thrill shot right through him.

"Are you alright?"

She looked up at him and he was lost. When she asked him what he was doing here all he could reply was:

"Looking for you, Doc."

At Kyle's reply, Jennifer's grip tightened on his arms as fear shot through her; sending her heart into her throat.

Why?

Why was Kyle looking for her? Was it Ronon? Was he back? Was he hurt? Had the med lab tried to call and in her melancholy stupor she'd missed it somehow? It must be bad if personnel had been dispatched to search for her.

"Doc?"

Jennifer had tuned him out - along with everything else around her. Her mind was traveling at light speed; coming to so many conclusions about Ronon all at once that she lost track of reality.

Concerned, Kyle gently shook her, "Doc?!"

Even though he was wearing his standard issued jacket over his uniform, Kyle could feel Jennifer's fingers digging into his flesh through the fabric.

Doc!" The sound of his stern voice finally penetrated through her frantic mind and her grip lessened.

Jennifer looked up at Kyle as if he'd just suddenly appeared before her.

"Dr. Keller, ya okay?" Kyle's deep southern drawl was tinged with worry and fear. The look on Jennifer's face was pure terror bordering on hysterics. She was beginning to scare the shit out of him. What just happened?

"Is he hurt?" The words rushed out of her mouth so fast that it took Kyle a few seconds to comprehend what she'd asked.

Now Kyle was even more confused. He didn't know who Jennifer was talking about.

Placing his hands upon her shoulders, he bent down slightly so that he was eye level with her, and asked softly, "Who doc? Who do you think is hurt?"

As if she hadn't heard the questions, she rambled on. "Why are you out here looking for me? Something must be wrong. Is there something...anything wrong in the infirmary?"

A tiny spark ignited in her gut, "Did someone come through the gate?" It was possible that Ronon had returned and was taken straight away to the infirmary. She wasn't the doctor on call tonight so there wouldn't be any reason to be summoned.

Nonetheless, hope started to shine deep within her. That tiny spark of love, that she harbored and protected viciously, started to grow a little brighter; but, then was quickly extinguished by Kyle's simple reply.

"Oh! No...no doc," Kyle stated as he rubbed his hands over her bare arms. "Nothin's wrong. Everythin' is right as rain." Believing that Jennifer was being her normal 'Florence Nightingale'-self - always wanting to help others - Kyle missed the sadness in her eyes and the disappointed look on her face before she quickly covered it up with a slight smile.

Jennifer let the stress and worry drain from her along with a breath that she hadn't realized she'd been holding in for what felt like this whole time.

"Sorry if I scared ya." Kyle softly whispered as he reached up and gently cupped her face with one hand while the other settled at her waist. "Truly sorry for scarin' ya."

Straightening to his full height of a little over six feet, the blond haired southerner looked down at Jennifer, "I just come lookin' for ya to see if'n ya'd like to be my date for a late night lunch..." he frowned, "...or an early breakfast sort of thing?" he then smiled at his silly explanation for seeking her out.

Kyle Masterson had a smile that could warm the coldest of hearts and a southern good ol' boy drawl that already had gotten more than a few hot blooded women on base swooning like Scarlet trying to get Rhett's undivided attention. But it seemed the Lieutenant was dedicated to his work. He never dated.

Letting out a small nervous laugh, Jennifer reached up, placed her hand over his and after several seconds of finally getting her heart rate to a slower pace, she gently removed his hands from her cheek and waist. Where his hands had been warmth had seeped in. Jennifer shivered from the night chill.

"You're freezin'." Lt. Masterson stated as he proceeded to remove his jacket.

Before Jennifer could object, she was snug in the over-sized garment. The inside was warm from his body heat. She hadn't realized how cold she had been apparently.

Jennifer stepped back from the man and looked up into the most startling blue eyes. They were a mixture of blue, green and golden hues that reminded her of turquoise gems sprinkled with flicks of gold.

"Thank you."

"So yes to lunch? Breakfast?", he asked ending in a laugh.

"A...No," Jennifer said as she tucked a wayward strand of hair that annoyingly kept blowing in her face, "not tonight." She looked up at him and politely smiled, "I'm not really hungry. Thank you anyway." she added.

"Doc ya gotta eat," tilting his head slightly to one side he playfully continued, "on a regular basis ya know."

"Yes, I've been told that on a number of occasions." From Teyla, Shepperd, Loren, Rodney and anyone else who liked to throw their two cents worth into the mix.

"Well, if ya won't keep me company for supper, then at least let me walk ya to your quarters."

"You don't have to do that." shaking her head as she nervously pulled the jacket tightly around her. She was becoming extremely cold all of a sudden, as if there were a chill in the air. A frigid chill. A chill that slowly crawled up her spine. Trying to focus on what Kyle was saying, Jennifer tried to keep her teeth from chattering.

"Now I kinda have to insist on that Doc. 'Cause ya see, if my momma were to find out that I let a woman walk home alone….well," He shook his head slowly in mock seriousness; a grim look on his face. "I'd never hear the end of it."

"This is Atlantis, Lieutenant, and we're in another galaxy no less, I don't think you have to worry about your mother finding out." Jennifer said without showing too much discomfort to the cold.

He chuckled a bit and with a lop-sided grin confessed, "Doc, ya apparently don't know my momma. That woman has better radar than any Class-1A battle cruiser and would know if I did not do my gentlemanly duties. It's the principle of the matter, ya see." Kyle turned and offered the crook of his arm to her and a warm friendly smile. "Besides as ya said, this bein' another galaxy and all, I would never forgive myself if any harm were to come to ya."

"Like?" Standing with her arms folded across her chest and his jacket nearly swallowing her whole, Jennifer challenged his argument.

"Oh I don't know." Kyle's brows knitted together in thought. "Some rabid, demented creature might find its way here to base and could possibly be lurking in the shadows. Or…" seeing that she was unconvinced of any danger, "some sort of sea creature may of slithered from the depths of the ocean here and without your knowin' is slowly…slinking…up…behind you." The last few words were spoken in a cautionary whisper as he glanced behind her.

Kyle said and acted in such a way that Jennifer actually looked behind her, and then felt like a fool for doing so. Turning back around she saw the hint of merriment on his face.

The corners of Jennifer's lips started to twitch into a small smile, then she giggled and hooked her hand within his arm. They made their way back to the main building and her quarters.

Passing through the entrance into the corridor, the feeling of icy fingers traveling up her spine to rest over her shoulders had her shivering despite the warm jacket. Concerned, Kyle wrapped his arm around Jennifer's shoulders. She was rather uncomfortable with the gesture, but his warmth seemed to chase away a bit of the chill.

Once the two were well out of sight, a shadowy being slowly emerged from behind one of the huge pylons. Unbeknownst to the couple, the rabid and demented creature that they joked about earlier had been watching and listening as they talked, laughed, and held each other close.

Ronon's keen hearing heard most of the conversation between the two and he was not laughing at all. He was filled with a boiling rage that he barely contained. It had taken all the strength Ronon had not to make himself known and rip the throat right out of the intruder; this strange male that seemed to think he could possess what belonged to Ronon.

The dark beast inside was furious and pulled at the restraints holding him back. It snarled and bared its teeth at the interloper; wanting desperately to tear the male to shreds.

For a second, Ronon had thought of letting the beast have its way the moment the male laid a hand on Jennifer - his other, but thought better of it. Stealth was to Ronon's advantage.

First things first: Ronon had to get Jennifer and travel back to New Satedan as quickly as possible to save his sister.

Afterward, there would be time enough for a reckoning between Ronon and this male who blatantly thought Jennifer could be his.

Ronon was sure that his finely honed ten inch Satedan blade would easily remove that misconception; along with the fucker's beating heart.

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***Would love to hear back from my readers. What do you think of the story so far?

It's almost coming to an end, but I do believe that there just might be another adventure lurking around in my unpredictable imagination - somewhere.

I have to have enough incentive to uncover it though.

What say you?!

Another story after this one or not?***

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