He threw himself through the gate just before the blast from the Wraith cruiser hit. He felt the shockwave's impact add to his velocity. He shot out the Atlantis gate and flew about two feet before hitting the floor hard on his bad shoulder. At least it didn't dislocate this time. He skidded across the slick surface to a stop at the feet of his team. Sheppard gazed down at him, an amused glint in his eye.

"Nice of you to join us, Big Guy."

The pilot reached down to pull Ronon to his feet. Dex took a step forward only to have his injured leg issue a reminder to him. He stumbled a bit and would have fallen if McKay hadn't caught him. Oh, the humiliation.

Teyla smiled at his embarrassment and suggested, "Perhaps we should move since I believe Dr. Weir and Major Lorne will be coming through shortly in the jumper."

The team scooted out of the way and stared at the gate, waiting. After ten long minutes, the jumper appeared, the faces of Lorne and Weir momentarily visible before the auto-pilot sent the ship upward to the bay. Ronon heard Sheppard release a pent-up breath before the pilot turned to his team.

"Let's get to the infirmary."

The Air Force colonel moved to help Ronon.

"Sheppard, I'm fine. I don't need-"

"Stow it, Chewie. We're a team, and you're injured. Now shut up, and lean on me."

The fight left the Satedan. He slung an arm around Sheppard's shoulders and let the man take some of his weight. The smaller man was surprisingly sturdy, easily able to help him hobble down the hall to the medical facilities. Ronon hated going there. It always reminded him of….

He shook the memories away and focused on not falling down. The people they passed in the hall smiled and called out greetings, most of which were variations on "way to not be dead." Sheppard just grinned and thanked them for their concern. Dex didn't quite understand these Earth people, especially this one. The team leader claimed to be lazy and yet fought with a determination that exposed the lie. The man never gave up, and he never left people behind. At least that was the mantra recited by the military personnel Ronon had been helping to train.

Teyla had told him about Sheppard rescuing her after several Marines and Athosians had been culled by the Wraith. Who did that? McKay had told him about the pilot flying a weaponized jumper into the heart of a hive ship. Ronon wasn't sure what a 'kamikaze run' was, but he could imagine. Sheppard was a complicated man. It was one of the reasons the Satedan had pushed him while they were being held. Another phrase Dex didn't recognize was 'order a pizza', but he had found out what he wanted to know. Sheppard might be casual, but he wouldn't let people run roughshod over him. Good. Ronon could respect a man like that even if he didn't understand him.

They reached the infirmary, and medical personnel descended upon them. After an hour of poking, prodding, cleansing and bandaging, the four made their escape only to be summoned to the conference room for a debrief. Atlantis' military commander got them a thirty minute reprieve so they could grab showers and sandwiches.

Ronon stood against the wall, surveying the proceedings. He never had much to add to these meetings. Sheppard summed up the events while McKay babbled about whatever he thought Weir needed to know. Dex couldn't follow much of what the scientist talked about and had been amazed when he discovered that the peculiar little man was a member of Sheppard's team. But after watching him get enough power to the jumper to save their lives, Ronon was beginning to understand why Sheppard kept him around. He observed the two men for a moment.

"Oh, and then once I'd fixed the DHD, Torrell's men caught them and we almost died, again."

"Knock it off, Rodney. The only time you were close to dying is when the DHD stopped working."

"And that's my fault how? I told you it wouldn't hold for long. And I'm the one that got the drone to work for you…."

Dex sighed and looked at Teyla. She returned his gaze with a shrug and a slight upturn of her lips. She was used to them by now. At first, Ronon had thought they hated each other. One was always insulting the other. The Satedan had considered shooting McKay at one particularly nasty comment he had heaved at Sheppard; Dex had been stunned to see the soldier biting back a grin. The man actually enjoyed the astrophysicist company. And as cowardly as McKay could appear, he had not given in to Torrell. Ronon mulled that over a bit. Maybe more to him than met the eye. Perhaps that's what Sheppard could see.

Strange people, these Lanteans. Maybe he would stay. At least for a little while.

The End.