Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate Atlantis or the characters/places found therein.

Author's note: This is another fic grown from 'Sunday'. In that episode, there is a lot of talk about love and marriage, well, compared to other episodes. Each of these short chapters are inspired by different conversations in 'Sunday'.

Marriage: Ronon

Did you leave somebody behind on Sateda? Wife?
Close enough.

The conversation replayed in Ronon's head as he ran through the city of Atlantis. How had they gotten on that subject anyway? It was hard to remember much about that Sunday, not after the horror and grief of losing Carson Beckett. Yet that one snippet of conversation remained with the Satedan, added to the haunted memories of his old life. His memories of Melena.

They had known each other their entire lives. It was always 'Ronon and Melena', 'Melena and Ronon', the pair terrorizing their neighborhood with their games. As they grew older their friendship slowly turned into blushing affection and then deep love. It had only made sense that they would eventually be halringis. The halringi was similar to traditional marriage, hewringi, but connected husband and wife even closer. The couple, the halrerd, would spend three days and three nights after the marriage ceremony secluded in a tent outside the city, while the sacred incense burned and they consumed only water sprinkled with ferle seeds. During that time they would share themselves completely with the other, body and soul. On the fourth day the halrerd would emerge from the tent, bonded together through both life and death.

Melena's death had broken Ronon's soul. The emptiness he felt was filled only by the primal need to survive and the rage he felt for the Wraith who had destroyed his life. When saved by the Earthlings, Ronon had managed to drag himself from the emptiness and try to live for this new family who had taken him into their home. He doubted he would ever get over the loss of Melena, but Ronon would fight for his life and the lives of his family until the day he was reunited with his beloved in the Land Beyond Death.

The existence of different kinds of marriages comes from Ancient Rome where there were a variety of ways of getting married, some more binding than others.