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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It was an unusually slow night in the infirmary when Jennifer and Ronon entered the facility. They found only one nurse on duty and absolutely no patients. The young woman was sitting at the small admittance desk. She was basically twiddling her thumbs waiting for something to happen or for anyone to show up.

After briefly talking to her, Jennifer found out that she was waiting for her two co-workers to return from lunch. She had drawn the proverbial short straw and got stuck with keeping watch in the deserted infirmary. She was awaiting their return so that she might then run and get something to eat herself. Seeing an opportunity to gather supplies without having to be questioned, Jennifer gave permission for the young nurse to join them.

"It's okay. Go get something to eat. I'll hold down the fort until you return." Jennifer told her with more exuberance than she felt. She also made a mental note - this was her first lie of the night.

"Are you sure, Dr. Keller?" the young brunette mumbled, as she eyed the man-candy that had followed the doctor into the infirmary. She was hoping he was a soon-to-be patient. If he was, then she was first in line to examine him. Thoroughly.

The man positioned himself near the supply room door and, even though he was just standing with his arms over his massive chest, his whole being emanated power and control. The look he was giving her reminded her of an ancient guardian – foreboding and unwavering. She softly sighed. This guy was by far the most sinfully, the most handsome man she'd ever seen in her life. She was positive that she hadn't seen the good-looking hunk around Atlantis before now. Damn! Where had he been hiding all this time?

"Nurse Simmons, is it?" Jennifer questioned as she smiled and tilted her head to block the other woman's view of Ronon.

The young nurse blushed at being caught ogling the tempting demigod and, turned her attention back to Jennifer and nodded, "Yes, Ma'am. Constance Simmons" she volunteered a little too loudly in hopes that the stranger would take notice.

Jennifer wanted to roll her eyes but instead insisted, "It's okay. Go. Get something to eat. I'll keep an eye on things while you're gone." Jennifer forced her brightest smile as she guided the young nurse past Ronon and towards the infirmary door. Jennifer was surprised that the girl's neck didn't snap off as her eyes stayed glued to Ronon while her body moved past him.

"We have no patients," Jennifer pointed out, "so, no worries there. Go get lunch."

Reluctantly turning her attention back to Jennifer, Nurse Simmons hesitated for a few seconds then said, "I won't be long, Dr. Keller." With one last long look at Ronon, she disappeared out the door and down the hallway to the cafeteria. She was eager to find out if any of her colleagues knew who tall, dark and handsome was and if he was spoken for. Gawd she hoped not!

It wasn't a total lie, Jen told herself after she and Ronon were completely alone. It was just a little fib really. She would be managing the med-lab while staff was at lunch. However, she would be packing. And, when she had everything packed up that she needed for the off-world mission, she would desert her post.

Sighing, Jen made a note to make sure that Nurse Simmons would not be reprimanded for leaving her duty station if it ever came to that. After all, Jennifer told her to leave.

Unlocking and entering the store room, Jennifer started gathering supplies for a breech birth. She garnered that little bit of information from Ronon just prior to entering the infirmary. In typical Ronon fashion and before she could ask what type of medical emergency she should be packing for, he had told her, "A woman is in labor. The babe comes into the world feet first. Pack what you need. Hurry!"

Being proficient in her selection of supplies, it only took several minutes to collect and pack nearly everything in a large duffle bag. Jen quickly zipped it up and, gathering the straps, walked out of the store room. She quickly side-stepped Ronon's attempt to take the heavy load from her and placed it next to the infirmary door. Going back to get more supplies, she completely ignored the infuriating Satedan. Her lips twitched into a phantom grin when she heard a growl coming from him as she walked right past him. Good, she thought, let him be pissed.

Again inside the well-stocked room, Jennifer quickly filled a smaller medical bag with the remainder of the supplies. As she angrily stuffed them into the backpack, she mulled over the second lie of the night. That was the lie where she told herself that Ronon's words hadn't hurt her.

My new home. Not 'our' new home, but 'my' new home he had said.

My new home. It appeared Ronon had found what he had been searching for those weeks away. And, apparently, it didn't include her.

Those three tiny, emotion-crushing words rumbled around in Jennifer's mind and ripped at her heart; shredding it little bit by little bit, until she was sure there would soon be nothing left.

That simple declaration also dealt an agonizing blow to Jennifer's soul. It felt as if all her hopes and dreams had been wounded and left to slowly die; to eventually become extinct. All her possibilities at happiness had been taken from her with those three simple words. She resigned herself to the fact that there was never going to be a future with Ronon.

She blinked back the hot tears that sprang up at that thought. Focus Jen…Just focus. You're needed. You can break down later. When he's not around. When you're alone.

She sniffled and somehow kept the tears at bay. Her pride would not let him see her cry. She would let the tears fall after their trip.

When she would come back alone, she would go to her living quarters alone and there she would cry all alone. Jennifer once more rapidly blinked back tears.

Later.

Cry later.

Waiting for Jen to gather all the supplies, Ronon leaned back against the wall and stared up at the ceiling.

My new home.

As he replayed those words in his head, Ronon closed his eyes. With each word echoing in his mind, he wearily hit his head back against the wall.

Bam. Bam. Bam.

My. New. Home.

What the hell had made him say that? The words had just slipped out of his fool mouth before he could stop them. Maybe a small part of him wanted to hurt her as she'd hurt him by being with Masterson, he thought as he angrily pushed away from the wall. He didn't really know. What he did know was that with one little heat-of-the-moment statement, he had succeeded at cutting her to the quick.

Good job dumbass!

Ronon knew that Jen was trying to keep secret the pain and hurt she was experiencing. However, the woman was doing a terrible job at it. He didn't miss the occasional sniffle coming from the other room. He would bet a month's wages that her lake-blue eyes shimmered with unshed tears. Unshed tears that he was the sole cause of.

To top it all off, she was pissed at him.

Ronon figured that out several moments ago. Jennifer had come out of the storage room carrying a bag nearly as big as she was and twice as heavy from the looks of it. As she walked past him, he tried to help her, but the stubborn woman moved from his reach to deposit the load near the infirmary door. Yup, pissed, he thought. She became very independent when she was mad.

A low rumbling growl escaped him as he had watched her walk back into the store room. With her back stiff and her gaze focused straight ahead, Jennifer had paid him no mind. At that moment Ronon had the urge to punch a hole in the wall. He was so frustrated. He could handle pissed. He could fix hurt. He couldn't, however, tolerate being ignored – even though he was a master at it himself.

With his arms folded over his chest, Ronon stood just outside the supply closet. His dark head tilted slightly towards the doorway. He listened intently as Jennifer rushed around gathering the remaining items needed to aid Alianna.

She finally exited the room carrying a backpack slung over her shoulder. Passing Ronon without a glance, she headed for the bag near the exit. But before she could even get to it Ronon was there and grabbed the oversized duffle. He heatedly stared at her; challenging her to try and take the bag from him.

Maddening woman!

Egotistical alien!

They stood as such for a few moments; staring each other down. He had noticed that her eyes and the tip of her pert little nose were slightly red. He tightened his grip on the bag. He was the cause. Ronon would have won the bet. Unshed tears glistened making her blue eyes a deep rich indigo color. They matched the deep blue of the Gondorian Sea and they were just as turbulent.

Ronon finally turned and headed for the transporter. He couldn't stand looking at her knowing that he'd put that pained expression upon her beautiful face. Without looking back he knew she followed by the loud sniffle he heard not too far behind him.

Both stood in awkward silence as they waited for the doors to the transporter to open.

Ronon needed to tell her everything. He needed to tell her about the ba'ni, about his people and the new world that they'd found. He needed to tell her how much she meant to him; how much he loved her. To tell her that she was his home.

Ronon needed to tell her everything so that the hurt he caused could be forgiven. He turned to face her and was about to tell her how sorry he was when the transporter doors swooshed open and there stood Lt. Masterson.

The dark beast snarled. A rival male was near what belonged to him. That was unacceptable. He barely held tight to the beast's chain. Hell Ronon scarcely held himself in check, but somehow he managed. That was up until the moment Masterson left the transporter and stepped between Ronon and Jennifer.

With Dr. Keller at his back, Kyle's attention was fully on Ronon. He began backing up; maneuvering her away from the rather large menacing stranger.

The beast within roared at the silent challenge made; a confrontation that had Ronon seeing red. In the warrior's mind, he had just been challenged for what rightfully belonged to him. Ronon instantly let loose his grip on both the bag and his self-control.

Unfortunately, in his gallant effort to protect Jennifer, Lt. Kyle Masterson had just signed his own immediate death warrant with an extremely irate Satedan as the executioner.

 
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