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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Planet: NRI-4
8 hours later

Ronon quietly sat in the far corner of the town's bustling tavern with his chair leaned back close to the wall – balancing it on two legs. A tankard of cheap ale sat on the table in front of him. His elbows rested on the arms of the wooden chair, his fingers laced together. The tan leather duster, that he occasionally wore, lay across his lap. The coat concealed his gun; which, at the moment, was snug in its holster. The backpack he brought along lay on the floor next to him.

He was waiting for one particular individual to enter the establishment. The gypsy merchant himself. The one that Major Phillips bought the silver band from. The one who had declared that the piece had been hand crafted by a Satedan artisan. Several planets back Ronon had found out that the man's name was Crieve. This Crieve was known to sell unique pieces of jewelry besides the average run-of-the-mill cheap trinkets as so many others sold.

Ronon was exhausted. Ever since he'd left Atlantis, he had been gate hopping from one planet to another – traveling from one town to the next. He was following every lead he could uncover about the merchant, his possible knowledge of Satedan survivors and a fucking non-existent planet. The town he was in now was Ronon's last stop. If he did not find any answers here, then he would shoot the proverbial wild goose he'd been chasing, then head back to Atlantis and into the arms of one beautiful blue-eyed doctor.

Ronon had paid the barkeep, rather well, for him to occupy the corner spot indefinitely. The tavern owner was thrilled for the extra under-the-table income, but he had been cautious of the big man. The barkeep had the notion that big warrior type men like Ronon brought along big trouble too. However, greed eventually won out over caution and the barkeep agreed to the deal. After all money was money, who cared how one came about it. So for the past two hours since arriving on NRI-4, Ronon had been watching through hooded eyes as the bar's clientele came and went.

Along with purchasing the seat at the table, Ronon also paid the barkeep handsomely for information about Crieve. Luckily the Fates were shining down upon him or the universe was in sync with him, either way, Ronon was hopeful that he'd caught a break in the search. According to the tavern owner, the merchant was due back sometime today. It seems that an order had been placed by a wealthy citizen for an expensive one-of-a-kind necklace that Crieve was delivering. Ronon was informed that after a big sale like this one, Crieve normally visited the tavern to celebrate his good fortune.

The barkeep described Crieve as being nearly the same height and build like Ronon but with long brown stringy hair and wintery-blue eyes that could pierce right through you. He sported a scar, barely an inch in length, on his left cheek. He dressed like one of the Kultara tribes. The Kultara were rather like nomads; they were a people that rarely stayed in one spot too long. They wore dull brown hooded robes cinched at the waist with a red sash. Crieve was all about peace. He hated to fight or so the rumors went.

With his attention focused on the entrance of the tavern, Ronon vaguely noticed one of the tavern wenches coming up to his table. The same one that had visited his table for the third time in the past hour. She probably came to see, once again, if he needed a refill. Ronon frowned because along with paying for the spot, he had also paid not to be disturbed. He was guessing the tavern wench hadn't gotten that particular memo yet or else loved playing with disaster.

The woman stood off to the side of him. Ronon quickly glanced at her. She wore a very low cut white blouse, which left nothing to the imagination, and a scarlet red thigh high slit skirt. Turning his attention back to the door, Ronon gruffly asked, "Do you know of this merchant – Crieve?"

She smiled at him. "Maybe." was her coy reply. She sat her pitcher of ale down next to his tankard and ran a finger along the table as her hips swayed suggestively.

"What do you know?" he asked. Ronon was in no mood to be playing games.

"What do you have to offer for such information?" she asked as her eyes looked him up and down nearly devouring him.

Ronon reached into the side pocket of his vest and pulled out a few coins, tossing them onto the table.

"That's a good start," she said while ignoring the money, "But that's not what I had in mind." Taking a step closer to him, the woman trailed her finger starting from his knee to mid-thigh. Her finger skimmed the leather coat and continued its journey up Ronon's arm. "With someone as handsome as yourself, we could work something out. Yes?" When she got half way to his shoulder, Ronon's hand shot out and seized hold her wrist. It was done so fast the woman gasped – not from pain but shock. Ronon finally turned his attention to the woman. His cold gaze spoke volumes such as I'm not in the fuckin' mood. He simply said, "Leave." Ronon surmised that the wench didn't have any information that would help. She just wanted to get laid.

With the glare that he gave her, she knew that he meant business and so with a frown she swiftly scooped up the coins and left Ronon alone. This one was dangerous, she thought as she left, too bad he was so serious.

As Ronon watched her storm off, two men came up to his right. "We hear you're looking for Crieve." a pudgy middle aged fellow said.

Ronon did not say anything but just looked them over. The one closest to him, and that had asked the question, was heavy set, short and bald. His companion was of a thin build with lean hawkish features. Both were a scruffy looking pair. Both posed no threat to Ronon.

When Ronon made no comment the pudgy man continued, "Well, we might be looking for him too is the reason I'm asking ya see."

"What for?" asked Ronon

"Oh let's just say he owes us." The taller man said.

"Yeah," the bald man added, "He's got something we want back!"

The thin man pulled over a chair from another table - making himself at home. He informed Ronon, "So we're just going to wait here with you – if that's okay, hmmm?" It was more or less a statement rather than a question.

Before the man could sit down Ronon declared in a soft but deadly tone, "I suggest that you find somewhere else to sit and wait. I'm not up for company at the moment." he warned the two imbeciles.

Ronon was tired and in a foul mood as it was; he did not need any more aggravation especially from the likes of these two.

"Oh well that's not very friendly of you! Is it Pelay." the chubby one, who was still standing to the side of Ronon, said pulling a knife from his waist.

Pelay snickered and said, "No it isn't!" and started to sit down in the chair he had settled next to Ronon's table.

Ronon uncovered his gun without taking his eyes off of the two. Placing his hand upon the butt of the weapon Ronon said, "Who wants to be the first to die?"

Both of their faces went from cocky to stone-cold sober at Ronon's deadly question. The two misfits were debating whether they could take on the giant with the big gun, but what little common sense they had between the two of them won out.

"Com'n E'dru." Pelay said pushing the chair away from him. He grabbed his bald companion's shirt sleeve, "we'll wait by the bar. It's more friendly over there!" The scrawny man left Ronon be.

E'dru sheathed his knife and just stared at Ronon then sneered, "Next time." He turned and joined his friend.

Ronon decided that he'd had enough sitting around waiting for this Crieve to show. He thought his best bet would be to canvas the market for information. So Ronon donned his coat and grabbed his backpack from underneath the table. As he slung it over his shoulder, he noticed the tavern wench from before trying to sneak out the back door of the tavern unnoticed. His instincts had him following her.

The tavern girl kept to the shadows of the building and disappeared down an ally. Ronon was close behind. When he looked around the corner, he saw the woman talking to a man dressed in a brown robe with a red sash. Crieve!"

Facing the couple, Ronon stood blocking the exit of the alleyway. "You certainly are a hard man to find, Crieve." he declared.

From behind Ronon another voice seconded his statement, "Yes you are. Now where is our merchandise?"

Swiftly turning around Ronon saw Pelay and E'dru with swords drawn; ready to do battle. Well, today just got a little more exciting.

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