A/N: Episode Tag for tonight's epi Echoes. Set right before Teyla's big collapse and Ronon's save.


She could handle the nausea, she could handle the headaches; but it was the infernal screaming of the whales that made her weak in the knees and unable to move from her spot worshiping the porcelain throne. Rather, it would be porcelain if not for this being an Ancient outpost. Here, the damn toilet was made of some sort of plastic/metal alloy, but the sentiment remained the same.

It's the first time in several hours that Elizabeth has had time to rest and she greets it like one lover to another. Between running to the infirmary, back to the bio-lab to check with Rodney, explaining her actions to Caldwell again and again, her headache was pounding, her back aching, and her stomach empty of anything she might have eaten or drank in the past year.

She can hear someone at the door not even twenty feet away, but so soon after losing her lunch she's unable to get up to answer. "Come in," she does manage to croak before fully lying on the so-cool floor.

Immediately, the door opened and heavy thundering foots rushed toward her, in no way helping her headache. She knew it was Ronon by the weight behind the steps; no one else matched him in sheer height and mass.

It could also be that she always knew when it was Ronon, by the small tingle in her spine that made her blush and warm in his presence. However, in her current state both sensations were hard to differentiate.

"Dr. Weir, hold on, I'll get you to the infirmary," he said in his deep voice, sliding those long strong arms of his under her legs.

Her head swam and her stomach grumbled as the swift rise from the floor had vertigo clouding her mind. She still found enough of her strength in her to place her hand on his face. "Stop. I'm not going."

He glanced at her face, but kept walking for the door. Finally, she grabbed the corner of the wall as they reached the end of her quarters, preventing him from going further without dropping her. "Put me down. Now, Ronon."

He stood there, anger clear on his face, but unwilling to let her down. "You were on the floor, Dr. Weir."

"I was resting for a moment, obviously in a less than satisfactory place. I'm fine, put me down."

She had some of her strength back, and enough color that he reluctantly agreed. In truth, he hadn't really wanted to check on Dr. Weir, she unsettled him. It might have been that he'd been instinctually, instantly attracted to the quiet strength of her; it might have been that only months ago she'd shot him.

Ronon didn't know why, but he'd never been comfortable around her. It didn't help that she'd also obviously never been comfortable with him. Like opposite magnetic forces, they skirted each other, acting through intermediaries, and avoided each other when alone.

This was the first time they'd been alone since the return to Atlantis, and for many months before that. It would amuse fate that Atlantis was falling around their heads when it happened.

"You need to see Beckett," Ronon said stoically, crossing his arms but refusing to budge from the scant inches away from her. She stared up at her, his height making her neck ache almost as bad as her migraine.

As a small trickle of blood slid from Ronon's nose, Elizabeth grabbed a tissue and wiped it away. "I could say the same to you." She was the one who broke the intimate distance, making her way to collapse into her couch. "I'm tired is all."

Ronon took a seat beside her, holding another tissue to his nose, not letting on that he too had a migraine. "Lay down."

"No time. I have to check on McKay and Beckett. Not to mention Radek is up in control screaming again by now."

"Don't worry about them, take care of yourself," Ronon was being unusually talkative tonight. As a matter of fact, he'd been more talkative all week, and Elizabeth had made sure to note it.

"It's my job to worry about them," she replied, stretching and taking great delight in the small respite from nausea and the cracking of her spine from tension. It wasn't quite enough of a tension release, and she sighed as she struggled to pop that extra stress away.

Ronon chuckled and gently pulled on her arm, gesturing for her to turn away from him. "Let me help," he said with a small smile.

His long fingers slid into niches in her spine, pressing with just enough force to cause a strange yet relaxing popping sensation. Even as his fingers moved higher, to repeat the process, Elizabeth found herself almost going liquid in her bones, slumping forward. Her headache even receded as the tension slid away and she smiled as she enjoyed the simple pleasure of not feeling ill for a few moments.

"Thank you, Ronon," she said quietly as she started to turn to him. His hands on her shoulders prevented her movement, and the silence so pleasing just seconds before turned tempting, and became filled with an entirely different type of tension.

Again, there was a reason they so rarely were alone together.

"I worry about you," his voice was quiet but the words very clear.

"I worry about you, too."

"You worry about everyone."

She smiled because that was true. "Maybe I worry about you a bit more than I should."

"I know I worry about you more than I should."

She wanted to turn, but knew if she did she'd do something she wasn't supposed to.

He wanted to turn her, but knew they'd do something they both weren't supposed to.

Something that involved sweating naked forms and conjugal bliss.

There really wasn't time for that, however.

He stood, releasing her arms and breaking the stillness that had enveloped them for that perfect minute. "Go see Dr. Beckett."

"I will, but you have to do something for me," she replied, standing as well, her strength of will back and her sense of decorum.

Ronon glanced at her, already having been heading for the door. "What?"

"Will you check on Teyla? She was the first one affected, so I'm worried about her."

Ronon nodded. "You were next. Get down to the infirmary."

Even if it was an order, Elizabeth didn't balk. She kinda liked it that he thought he could order her around.

Okay...maybe it was a little exciting, even given the circumstances.