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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Icy tentacles of fear wrapped around Ronon's heart while guilt shrouded his soul. Crieve's cryptic declaration gave birth to a legion of worries and concerns that ran rampant through his mind. Such as, had he put his sister's life and the life of her unborn child in danger because of his insatiable desire for Jennifer? Sadly enough, it was a desire that had him struggling to retain his self-control. A desire, that more often than not, had him battling jealousy when another showed interest in what he deemed his.

Had he jeopardized everything due to his selfish needs and his wanton weakness for Jennifer? Was it possible that his blinding rage and heated confrontation with Lt. Masterson had taken away precious moments - life saving seconds even - from the family that he had just found? A family that he had believed lost forever. A family that, if the fates decreed it, could very well be taken from him once again. This time forever. Ronon could never forgive himself. Nor would he, if anything happened to his sister because of...

Mentally extinguishing the dreadful thoughts from his mind and ignoring the foreboding feeling of loss, Ronon marched over to his brother-in-law and flung the medical bags, one at a time, up to him. He then snatched the reins of the second horse from Crieve, tossed them over the animal's head and, grabbing a handful of mane, swung himself smoothly up onto the horse's bare back.

The animal was spirited, but Ronon easily kept his balance as he sat upon the great beast. It nickered, side-stepped and tossed its majestic head showing its rider how eager and willing it was to run; to leave and head back towards the village.

But, of course, Ronon was having none of it. Pulling slightly upon the reins to show who was in charge, Ronon leaned down, firmly patted the stallion's sleek neck, and spoke softly to it. When the agitated steed calmed down, Ronon reined the horse over to where Jennifer stood next to the DHD.

Stopping just a few feet from her, Ronon held out his hand so that he could assist her up onto the back of the animal. "Take my hand, Doc, I'll help you up."

Nervously rubbing the palms of her hands up and down her jean-clad hips and biting her bottom lip, Jennifer shook her head, stubbornly refusing Ronon's offer.

The huge black stallion sensed the urgency and impatience of its rider and once again pranced about. And once again Ronon took control, settling the horse down with his commanding voice. "Whoa, boy. Stand." The animal immediately obeyed the order and stood perfectly still.

Turning his attention back towards Jennifer, Ronon noticed that she'd retreated further away from him. Apparently the agitated animal had frightened her. Holding out his hand yet again, Ronon motioned for Jennifer to do as he'd instructed earlier. "We have to go, Jen. Now."

Slowly shaking her head, Jennifer stood with her arms crossed defiantly over her chest, eyeing both rider and mount with caution.

While deciding how to approach the situation, Ronon caught sight of Crieve out of the corner of his eye. The man sidled his mount closer to Ronon and urgently stated under his breath, "Ronon, we have no time for this."

After shooting a deadly sideways glance at Crieve, which simply translated into shut the fuck up, Ronon again turned his attention back to Jennifer.

"Umm...I hate to break it to you Ronon, but I'm not getting on that monstrosity!" Jennifer declared, her voice slightly shaking as she firmly stood her ground.

The huge stallion tossed its head and pawed the ground as if offended by Jennifer's reference towards him. Snorting, the animal shook its head in protest. Ronon crooned to the beast as he firmly patted and stroked its sleek neck, "Easy, boy. Easy now."

"Ronon, I don't believe I've ever told you but I'm deathly afraid of horses. Especially very big ones. Like that one!" she said pointing an accusing finger at the animal in question.

"We have to go, Jennifer." Ronon said ignoring her confession. It was an acknowledgement that he'd already figured out. Ronon had not missed the nervous glance she'd given the horses when Crieve first arrived. However, he hadn't given her apprehension much thought. Why would he? Ronon would never let any harm come to her. But now that little nervous glance had turned into a look of fear covered by a mask of willful refusal to comply. He knew that she warred with her inner-self. Jennifer was caught between her fear of the animal and her need to help his sister. And at the moment, Ronon could see quite clearly that fear was winning.

"Ronon, I am not getting on that thing." Jennifer looked towards the hills where the faint path leading from the gate trailed off into the distance. "How far is it to your sister's?" Looking back up at Ronon she suggested, "I'll be more than happy to walk."

"It is too far to walk when time is against us."

"I'll jog then." she informed him.

"It is over ten miles." Ronon countered. He didn't know why he was arguing with her; she was getting on the horse one way or another.

She shrugged her shoulders, "I'll jog fast."

Sighing loudly, Ronon stared at Jennifer. Trying to keep his growing agitation out of his voice Ronon insisted as he stroked the horse's neck, "Look, he's quite calm and is a gentle mount. There is nothing to fear."

Hearing her unlady-like snort, Ronon knew he was getting no where trying to reason with the woman. He didn't want to force her to get on the horse like he forced her to enter the Crimson Gate, but he had no choice. So, swinging his leg up and over the animal's neck, Ronon slid from its back. The horse was well trained and stood where it's master had ordered it to stay. With head held high, ears pointed towards the couple and a soft whinny, the horse watched as Ronon walked over to Jennifer.

Standing slightly behind Jennifer, Ronon spoke softly as not to spook the horse, or the woman for that matter, "See. He will not hurt you. I promise." Ronon laid his hand upon Jen's shoulder. Partly to gain her trust and in part to keep her where she stood. "Trust me Jennifer."

Before she could reply Ronon made a twittering sound with his mouth that startled Jennifer but had the horse slowly walking up to them. If Ronon hadn't been standing behind her with his hand upon her shoulder, Jennifer would have backed up further. As it was, she now stood between the four-legged Goliath and Ronon.

"Nice." she laughed nervously, "But I am still not getting on…ooohhhhh!"

Ronon could not waste any more time. He simply placed both his hands on either side of her hips and easily deposited her onto the animal.

"Ronon? Oh no, no! Ronon!" she whimpered as she sat petrified, straddling the back of the powerful beast with her hands fisted in its mane.

The horse turned its great head to see what sort of creature was perched upon its back. Sensing Jennifer's fear, the stallion's muscles twitched and shivered. Over one thousand pounds of well-honed power pawed the ground. The horse was becoming uneasy and was ready to rid itself of the nervous woman upon its back when Ronon's deep, commanding voice had the animal obeying.

"Whoa. Be still now. Stand easy."

With the animal standing completely still again, Ronon could see that Jen was about to take the opportunity to throw her leg over the horse's neck and dismount. Before that could happen, however, Ronon grabbed the reins and fisted a handful of the silky black mane and swung up behind her. Putting his arm about her waist, he held her securely to him so she couldn't go anywhere.

Even with Ronon's commanding presence, Jennifer's anxiety was still making the animal skittish. The woman sat rim-rod straight before him. He could feel her heart pounding, hear her rapid breathing and feel her body tense. She was on the verge of hyperventilating. Ronon leaned his head close to Jennifer's ear and softly whispered, "Shhhhh. Easy." He spoke to her as he had done the spirited horse just moments ago; crooning to it to quiet it down. "Relax doc. Breath, Cor'amare." His heart's love. "Trust me."

The smooth gentleness of his voice seemed to calm her for he could feel her relax against him and her breathing slowed.

With one arm tight around her waist as before and the other holding the reins, Ronon gave the horse his head and the stallion took off like a bullet. Jennifer let out a squeal and held onto both Ronon and the horse for dear life.

The Satedan looked to his right and saw Crieve easily keeping pace with them. He also saw the worry in the man's ice-blue eyes that mirrored his own thoughts. For a split second Ronon felt the pain of loss when everything had been taken from him all those many years ago. And as the stallion flew across the terrain, Ronon hoped and prayed to the gods that he was not too late. He hoped and prayed that Jennifer could save his sister and the baby because to feel such agonizing loss again would be like adding another jagged rip to his already tattered soul.

But this time it wouldn't be the Wraith's fault, but his own.

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