Author: Leesa Perrie PM
AU. This time it isn't John who gets caught in a time dilation field...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Drama - Rodney M. & Ronon D. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 23,099 - Reviews: 13 - Favs: 22 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-03-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7605332
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Six: Found
The following morning, Rodney had moved outside the hut at Ronon's insistence - ending up on a bed close to the village pool - and was trying to distract himself from the pain by trying to fix the scanner for seemingly the hundredth time.
Ronon suddenly stood, listening intently.
"What? What is it?" Rodney asked, having learned to rely on Ronon's exceptional hearing.
"Voices," Ronon replied gruffly, before taking off.
"Wait," Rodney shouted after him, "It could be my people. Damn him," he muttered, struggling to his feet with the help of the crutches. "Ow, damn it, that hurts," he cursed, wincing and moaning in pain, but he needed to make sure Ronon didn't do something stupid and get himself hurt - or hurt one of his team.
Why couldn't Ronon have waited? It had to be his team. Who else could it be? Well, unless it was the Wraith - Rodney paled at that thought. Muttering sourly to himself, he finally made it to the edge of the village where the sound of voices reached him.
"We mean no harm."
Teyla. That was Teyla. He hurried his steps as best he could, passing the last hut and rounding the corner to see Ronon standing with his gun pointed at Teyla, Sheppard, Radek, Carson and... Elizabeth? What was she doing here?
"We're just trying to find a friend," Elizabeth said calmly. "We'll be happy to leave once we have found him, if that is what you want."
"Stop pointing your gun at my friends," he snapped peevishly as he stepped into view.
"Stop walking on that leg," Ronon growled back, glaring at him, though he didn't lower his gun.
"You told me I needed to move or I'd stiffen up!"
"Not this much movement."
"Rodney," Elizabeth exclaimed, cutting in on their conversation. "It's good to see you. The beard is... new."
"Hi. Yes, well, I wasn't going to risk slitting my throat while shaving with a knife!"
"Would have done it for you," Ronon said.
"No way! I'm not letting anyone that close to me with a knife if I can help it!" Rodney said indignantly, before turning his attention back to Elizabeth. "I assume you have a way out of here."
"Of course," Radek replied, looking at him worriedly - which made Rodney wonder just how bad he looked. Probably as bad as he felt, which was terrible.
"What have you done to yourself, lad?" Carson asked, casting Ronon a nervous glance as he carefully skirted around him to Rodney's side, while pulling the medical kit off his back.
"Carson, thank goodness you're here. One of the local cats mauled me. Who knows what bacteria or diseases it was carrying! I doubt the antiseptic wipes from the medical kit are up to the job - I could be getting gangrene as we talk!"
"A cat?" Sheppard asked, a glint of amusement in his voice.
"A big cat," Rodney snapped at him, awkwardly indicating something two metres long.
"Not that big," Ronon corrected him, finally holstering his gun and holding his hands about a metre wide.
"Whatever. Size doesn't matter when you're unarmed!"
"Shouldn't have run at it unarmed." Ronon shrugged at Rodney's glare.
"Well, highly entertaining as this is, I need to look at that leg," Carson interrupted. "Is there somewhere you can lay down?"
"Back in the village, maybe?" Rodney said sarcastically, pointing behind him.
"Aye, that'd do."
Rodney turned to limp back into the village but Ronon clearly had other ideas - lifting him off his feet and throwing him over his shoulder.
"Put me down," Rodney squawked in embarrassment, feeling humiliated in front of his friends. "I'm perfectly capable of walking!"
"I think I like this guy." Rodney heard Sheppard say behind him.
"He certainly has style," Elizabeth agreed even while sounding concerned.
"Perhaps we take him home," Radek suggested. "Be good to have person who can handle Rodney."
"You know I can hear you, right?" Rodney snapped.
"Yep," Sheppard replied laconically.
Damn them, he thought. Though it was sort of nice, too. He missed the gentle teasing and banter of his colleagues - his friends. Not that he would ever tell them that.
Ronon placed him gently on to the bed set by the pool.
"Do you know where the power source for the field is?" Rodney asked, trying to regain his shattered dignity by taking control of the situation.
"We would not be here if we did not know how to leave," Radek retorted. "I used a probe to find location of power source inside dilation field. Now that we know you are okay, Teyla and I will go to it and begin the power down sequence."
"You can't!" Rodney exclaimed. "Ronon has a tracking device in his neck; he's a Runner."
"I have heard of Runners, but I thought they were myths," Teyla said, looking at Ronon with compassion.
"Runners?" Elizabeth asked.
"Yes, the Wraith hunt them, though I do not know why."
"Does it matter why?" Rodney asked irritably. "Look, I can block the signal if you give me a working scanner - mine is toast."
"I need to look at that leg," Carson said, kneeling next to Rodney.
"Yes, yes, I want you to look at it, but let me block the signal first!"
"There's no rush, McKay," Sheppard said. "Not like time is moving fast outside."
"Radek and Teyla can be making their way to the power source while Carson checks you over," Elizabeth suggested.
"Yes, it will take us some time to get there," Radek added. "The colonel has a scanner you can use. We will let you know once we are there and ready to disengage ZPM, if that is what is powering the field as we suspect."
"Fine," Rodney agreed reluctantly, not looking forward to Carson's ministrations.
Teyla and Radek left, and Ronon watched closely as Carson prepared a syringe.
"Let's give you something to take the edge off before I start poking around," Carson said, giving Rodney an injection. "It shouldn't make you drowsy so you can still block the tracker signal. Now, let's look at that leg."
Rodney gritted his teeth, before cursing softly as Carson unwrapped the bandages and started prodding and cleaning the wound.
"It's deep," Carson said. "Looks like there might be tendon damage, as well as an infection starting. I need to get you back home."
"Tendon damage? Oh crap, that's bad, isn't it?"
"Not necessarily," Carson reassured him. "There's a good chance of a full recovery, so long as we get you back as soon as possible - and you do as you're told."
"I always do as I'm told when my health is at stake."
Carson finished checking the wound and wrapped it in new, clean bandages.
"He's got some scratches on his back," Ronon said.
"Right, let's take a look at them too."
Rodney grimaced as Carson removed his jacket and checked them out.
"Okay, not too bad. I'll need to keep an eye on them in case of infection, but they should heal fine otherwise."
"Can I get on with blocking the signal now?" Rodney asked petulantly.
Rodney worked on the scanner for several minutes, aware of a low conversation occurring between Carson, Elizabeth and Sheppard, but not able to hear what was being said. He suspected they were discussing his return to Atlantis, which wouldn't be happening until he had finished what he was doing.
"Ah ha, got it!" Rodney crowed. "The signal's jammed. Are Radek and Teyla ready yet?"
"They're still a few minutes out," Sheppard replied.
"Oh. Okay. Are we walking out of here or is there a jumper waiting to collect us? Oh, and what about the Wraith? They were hunting Ronon, that's why they were here. Probably wanted to know why the signal had stopped."
"We have three jumpers, all cloaked. A dart came through while we were on our way here, but Lorne took it out - hopefully before it could signal anywhere. He's waiting to pick us up as soon as the dilation field is down," Sheppard explained. "I'll contact Sergeant Gibson in the second jumper to pick up Radek and Teyla - they'll move to clear ground if the power source is under cover."
"They probably won't send another dart right away," Elizabeth said. "And it'll have been minutes at most for people outside the field."
"So we should be fine." Rodney nodded. "It shouldn't be too long before we're back on Atlantis."
"Rodney," Sheppard gave him a pointed look and then glanced at Ronon.
"Ronon figured out I was lying, so what was the point in continuing to do so?" Rodney defended himself. "There's a reason I leave the whole 'Atlantis was destroyed' speech to others. Besides, Ronon's okay. You can trust him."
"You're sure?" Sheppard asked dubiously.
"Yes, as sure as I can be. Look, he could have left me to fend for myself, could have killed me if he'd wanted to, but he didn't. I wouldn't have survived this long without his help. And believe me, he hates the Wraith - more than any of us!"
"They culled my world," Ronon stated flatly. "Then made me a Runner, hunted me. I hunted them back."
"He should come back with us. Carson can remove the tracking device and then he'll be free to do what he wishes. If he wants to stay, then I vote that he's allowed to. Believe me, he'd be an asset. He's spent years hunting the Wraith that hunt him - it's impressive that he's survived that long."
Elizabeth halted Rodney's words. "He can come back, as long as you're absolutely certain that scanner is blocking the signal."
Rodney could tell that she wasn't happy about having a stranger come back to Atlantis by the look on her face, but was glad she was willing to allow it.
"It is," he said confidently.
"Fine. Carson, can you see if you can remove the tracker?"
"Aye, if I can, I will. That's no life for a person. And with the equipment on Atlantis, I'll be able to see if it's near anything vital and make a better judgment on best how to remove it."
With that decided, they waited for Radek and Teyla to reach the power source. Ronon spent the time collecting their belongings with Sheppard's help. Rodney could see them talking and wondered what they were talking about.
Radek radioed when he was in place and Rodney made sure Ronon was close to the jammer. It actually had a range of several metres, but Rodney wasn't about to take any chances.
The sky shimmered and turned black, followed by a noise like thunder as the field collapsed, wind whipping at them as the elements within the dome adjusted to that outside.
Shortly after the tempest had settled, a jumper decloaked in a nearby clearing. Ronon picked Rodney up, despite his protests, and followed the others onboard, setting Rodney carefully down on the floor. Rodney found himself drifting, not sure if it was the relief of finally going home or if Carson had sneaked another injection of something into him, and not really caring.
The cold of a wormhole flashed over him, and then the jumper was landing in the jumper bay on Atlantis.
A stretcher was waiting for Rodney, who was once again manhandled onto it by Ronon - though this time he couldn't find the energy to complain. He was fairly certain Carson had slipped him something. A thought entered his slightly befuddled mind.
"Sheppard, you need the scanner. Keep close to Ronon," he said, aware of a hand taking the scanner from him.
"Aye, Colonel, you'll need to come with us. Doctor Shareen is going to find out where the tracker device is while I amputate Rodney's leg."
"What?" Rodney squawked, suddenly more alert before realising that Carson was joking. "Ha, ha, very funny. Mock me, why don't you?"
"Good to have you home." Elizabeth smiled. "Keep me apprised, Carson," she said, taking the stairs that led her up to the control room and her office.
Carson, Ronon and Sheppard followed Rodney down to the infirmary. Once there, Rodney watched Sheppard and Ronon being led away by one of the nurses and then gave his attention to Carson, who was talking to him.
"I'm going to repair the tendons in your leg and tidy up the damaged tissue," Carson said, injecting something into his arm. "Now, count slowly backwards from ten."
"Ten, nine, eight..." That was as far as he got before he slipped away.
Slowly the world came back into focus, though Rodney's head still felt woolly and his mouth was dry. Looking to his left he saw Sheppard slouching in the chair to him, feet resting annoyingly on his bed.
"Shouldn't you be with Ronon?"
Sheppard pointed to Rodney's right. "He's over there. Carson's keeping him sedated for a while because the tracker was close to his spine and he doesn't want him doing himself any damage."
"Radek's got it. He's deactivated it, but wanted to study it."
"Hmm, I think I'd be more suited to checking it out..."
"Sure, but you're going to be laid up here for a while. I'll ask Radek to drop by when you're feeling more awake."
"Fine." Rodney scowled at the thought of Radek getting a look at the tracker before him. "What's going to happen to Ronon? I didn't tell him, but I have a feeling that Sateda - that's his homeworld - might not have survived the culling. They fought back and they had a level of technology I can't see the Wraith allowing to survive."
"When Ronon's up to it, we'll dial Sateda and see if there's anyone there. If not, well, there are places he could go."
"What if he wants to stay? We should give him that choice, I'm sure he must know more about the Wraith and hunting them than we do..."
"I think we can convince Elizabeth to risk it, between us. I talked to him in the village, while collecting your stuff together. Seems okay to me, if a little rough round the edges."
"You'd be a little rough round the edges if you'd had to live like that for years."
"I know. Besides, not like he's the only person here who has that problem - though what your excuse is I don't know!"
"Oh very funny."
"I thought so," Sheppard said, grinning and getting up. "Get some sleep, Rodney."
Rodney huffed, watching Sheppard leave, and then looked over to Ronon's bed. He looked kind of... vulnerable in his sleep. Young too.
He couldn't explain it, but he felt like they were, maybe, friends? He didn't have many people he thought of as friends, and he found himself hoping that Ronon would hang around.
Still tired from the effects of the anaesthetic, Rodney closed his eyes and dreamed of a village populated by Wookies.