I am so very, very sorry that I have been MIA. Life just kept me so busy that I barely had time to breathe let alone sit down and write. Now that that is said, sadly this is the last chapter; but I'll have more coming soon! Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with Stargate: Atlantis.

Chapter 24

Five Years Later

"Mommy look!" Ethan shouted as he stood from his sandbox and chased after a Monarch butterfly in the backyard of their small house. Olivia looked up from her garden that she was weeding and smiled as she watched him chase the butterfly and try to catch it. The butterfly fluttered near Olivia and Ethan ran over to her, throwing his arms around her neck and hugging her as the butterfly flew over the fence and out of sight. "He flew away!"

"He flew away," Olivia repeated as she kissed the dark brown mass of short curls on top of his head. Ethan had grown into a mini version of Ronon save for the color of his eyes and the shape of his nose, which he got from Olivia, and the fact that he was unlucky enough to have curly hair like his mother. "You want to help me?" she asked when Ethan pulled away from her. He looked at the soil and shook his head as he made a face before he trudged back over to his small sandbox that held his shovel, pail, and Tonka trucks. Olivia smiled sadly as he started to scoop sand into the bucket. She looked away from her son and down at her garden setting to work once more.

It had been almost two years since she left Atlantis with Ethan in tow, and every day she went through a mental battle wondering if she did the right thing. Every day she missed her friends, missed her work, and missed her husband. She missed him most of all, and the pain and anger she saw in his eyes the day she left was forever etched in her mind. He vowed that he would never have anything to do with her from that day forward and he had been true to his word. He hadn't' even attempted to see Ethan when Olivia knew well and good that he had been to Earth at least ten times since she left.

She continued to work for the SGC, but part time only going to the Colorado base when needed, which had become less and less over the last year. So, Olivia took a job as a languages professor at a small college about three hours away from the secret base. Ethan and her lived comfortably in the small two bedroom house she bought and Ethan enjoyed kindergarten and was looking forward to first grade come September. The late June weather was warm, but sometimes Olivia didn't feel the warmth of the sun.

"Why did you drag me along?" Ronon grumbled. He really didn't want to see Olivia. He'd seen enough the last time he came to Earth and he didn't care to see her again.

"Because it's time you get this mess cleaned up. It's been two years, Ronon. It's been a long time, too long if you ask me," John said as he parked in the car in front of the home Olivia and Ethan lived in. "You can't lie to me and tell me that you still don't care about her."

"She left," Ronon snapped as he looked at John, his green eyes blazing. "She took my son and left."

"She didn't stop you from seeing him did she? She sent you e-mails with photos and told you what he accomplished," John said and Ronon growled. "When we've come to Earth, you've watched from a distance; now's your chance to actually hug your son and maybe get your wife back in your arms. Come on," John said as he climbed from the car. Ronon sighed before he ran his hand over his now short hair and got out of the car following John up the walkway. They were halfway to the door when they heard Olivia's voice coming from the side of the house.

"Ethan, hold the fence door for mommy while I get the hose," she said and John and Ronon looked at each other before they turned to the left and went around the house. Olivia's back was to them and John couldn't help but smirk at seeing the mini version of Ronon, short hair and all, standing at the fence holding the tall wooden door open and kicking at the grass at his feet. John looked at Olivia as she stood and pulled the long green garden hose from its housing.

"Olivia?" he asked with his grin still on his face. Olivia paused and turned around only to drop the hose with a soft thud onto the ground at her feet. Ronon couldn't help but stare at her. She looked just like she had the last time he had seen her. Her curly hair pulled back high upon her head, her olive complexion a little darker thanks to the sun, and she was just as beautiful. However, her eyes seemed sad and he pushed away the sudden and strange urge to comfort her.

"John? Ronon?" she breathed before the fence door closing drew their attention to the small boy who walked over to Olivia and took her limp hand in his.

"Mommy, that's daddy," he said in his small voice as his eyes were glued to Ronon.

"Yes, sweetheart, that's daddy," she said and Ethan let go of Olivia's hand and walked around John. Ronon looked down at his son and the boy looked up at him and gave him a smile, which allowed Ronon to see he was still missing his bottom two teeth. They hadn't grown in yet since Olivia sent him photos two months ago.

"Hi," Ethan said and Ronon smiled.

"Hi," he said, his voice just as deep as Olivia remembered it being.

"You got your hair cut, it's longer in the pictures mommy has," Ethan said and Ronon glanced at Olivia before he looked back at Ethan. "I like it short, it's like mine." Ronon nodded and Ethan put his hands behind his back. "Mommy says that your job keeps you far away, but that you love me a lot. That true?" he asked and Olivia was doing her best to hold back her tears.

"It's true Ethan," Ronon said before he kneeled down and scooped his son into his arms, hugging him tightly. Ethan threw his little arms around Ronon's shoulders and seemingly did his best to hug his dad just as tightly as his dad hugged him. Olivia raised 

a trembling hand to her mouth and turned away as her tears fell. John sighed quietly as he looked at Olivia and slowly made his way over to her.

"Why did you come?" she asked in a barely there whisper.

"Like I told Ronon, it's been two years," John said. "Don't you think it's time the two of you talked?"

"You playing therapist John?' she asked as she wiped at her face.

"No, but the threat in the Pegasus has been eliminated," he said and she looked at him with wide eyes. "The city is running at full capacity and it's more like a research colony than anything else now with some of the scientists bringing their families. Talk to him, Olivia, I can watch Mini Ronon." She smiled at his joke before she wiped her face once more and nodded. She took a deep breath and looked at Ronon and Ethan. Ronon had let go of Ethan but was still kneeling in front of him and talking quietly, a smile on his handsome face and she swore tears in his eyes.

"Ethan," Olivia said and both Ronon and Ethan looked at her. "You remember me telling you about John?" Ethan nodded. "Well, this is John and he's going to play with you while daddy and I talk inside okay?" she asked and Ethan looked at John and then at Ronon. Ronon nodded and Ethan walked over to John and looked up at him.

"You like Tonka trucks?" he asked and John laughed.

"Who doesn't?" John asked and Ethan smiled as he pulled John by the hand into the backyard after John opened the fence. Olivia smiled and slowly returned her attention to Ronon, who was now standing at looking at her with his arms crossed over his chest.

"Let's go inside," she said as she walked around the front of the house pulling her key from her pocket. She unlocked the front door and the two of them went inside. The air conditioning was a stark difference to the heat outside and Olivia shivered slightly. "Do you want something to drink?" she asked and he shook his head. "Are you even going to speak to me?"

"Depends," he said.

"Ronon, don't be childish," she said as she turned away from him to walk into the kitchen only to have him grasp her arm and pull her close to him.

"I'm not being childish," he hissed. He wasn't hurting her, he just surprised her and she gasped quietly. "You're the one who deserted me."

"Did you even try to see him when you came to Earth over the last two years? I know you've come many times, so don't talk to me about desertion," she said heatedly the shock of him grabbing her wearing off. "I've sent you photos and summaries of the last 

two years of our son's life, Ronon, and what have you done? Nothing." His grip tightened, but not enough to hurt her.

"I've seen him," Ronon said. "I've watched you guys in the park and when you've picked him up from school. I've just never made it known, from what I saw the last time I was here, I'm glad I didn't."

"What are you talking about?" she asked with a frown and Ronon's eyes narrowed.

"Two months ago, when I came with Sheppard for a meeting at the SGC, I found you guys in the park. A man was with you Olivia, and you embraced him twice." Olivia's frown only deepened and thought about what he was talking about before she suddenly remembered.

"You mean Robert?" she asked and Ronon let go of her arm. "Robert is Aaron's father. Aaron is Ethan's friend. They've been attached at the hip since preschool and that day you're talking about, Robert was picking Ethan up from the park for the sleep over party he and his wife were having for Aaron's birthday." She couldn't believe that Ronon actually thought she would start seeing someone else. "You really thought I was seeing another man?" Ronon didn't say anything, he simply looked at her and Olivia laughed bitterly. "How can I be seeing another man when I am hopelessly in love with the idiot in front of me?" she asked before she rushed through the living room and up the stairs to her bedroom.

Ronon closed his eyes tightly and let out a growl. After a minute he opened his eyes and charged up the stairs after her, opening the bedroom door without knocking. He found her sitting on the edge of her neatly made bed with her head in her hands as she cried quietly. Ronon walked over to her and stopped as he stood in front of her, not really knowing what to do.

"Do you know how hard it was for me to leave you?' she asked in a whisper as she lowered her hands and looked up at him, her face red and damp from her tears. "Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, Ronon. You see this?" she asked as she held her left hand up to him. He looked at her hand and saw a simple silver band wrapped around her ring finger. "Here, this is how we show that we're married to the world. I bought this the day after I returned to Earth and I've never taken it off." She lowered her hand and stood her dark eyes staring him down.

"You took Ethan away from me, Olivia. Do you know how much that killed me?" he asked not afraid of her in the least.

"I tried to get you to understand why I left. Things were getting worse in Atlantis and you know it was. Our lives were in danger every day when Atlantis' new location was discovered. I had to do what was best for Ethan. I had to keep our son safe, Ronon. I know that you wouldn't have let anything happen to him, but I couldn't take that chance, not with our son's life."

"I know why you left. I just don't understand how you could after everything we've been through together." She shook her head and ran her hands over her hair that was pulled back into a bun before she sighed.

"You'd be amazed at to the lengths a mother would go to protect her child, Ronon. Sacrificing one of the very few things in my life that has ever made sense was what I had to do to protect Ethan." Ronon lowered his hands from across his chest. "For the last two years I have woken up reaching out to the empty side of my bed and waking up from dreams that would make even you blush."

"Why haven't you said anything to me?" he asked quietly. "In all the e-mails over the last two years, why didn't you say anything?"

"You vowed to have nothing to do with me," she said turning away from him. "I didn't want to reach out only to get bit." She walked over to the window and Ronon sighed once more as he watched her rest her hands on the window sill. The tears started to form again in her eyes as she looked out at Ethan chasing John around the backyard. "I still love you, Ronon," she said gently. "I always have and I know I always will, even if you don't love me anymore."

She was startled when she felt his hands on her waist and he roughly turned her around to look up at him. Olivia gasped quietly when he raised his right hand to her face and gently ran his thumb along her jaw line. Chills went down her spine at his touch and Ronon felt the long desired tingle that the softness of her skin always sent through him. He shook his head as her dark eyes looked up at him.

"I do love you, Olivia, and you're the idiot for thinking that I don't," he said before he leaned down and captured her lips in a blistering kiss. She whimpered against his lips as she gripped the sides of his shirt. Olivia melted against him as he pulled her flush to him and their lips battled heatedly. Ronon bent over slightly, never breaking their kiss, and swiftly picked Olivia up but the back of her thighs, wrapping her legs around him.

She was thinner than he would have liked, thinner than when she left Atlantis, and he could easily lift her without a struggle. They continued to kiss, Olivia with her hands on the back of Ronon's head, playing with his short hair while Ronon carried her over to her bed. He laid her down and gently laid on top of her moving his kiss from her lips down her jaw and neck.

Olivia's eyes rolled back as she tilted her head so he had better access to her neck and she moaned quietly. Her senses were in overdrive and she was enjoying every touch, every kiss, and every nip from the man that hovered above her. Ronon pulled at her clothes freeing her of her shirt and then her bra. Olivia sighed as his rough hands raked over her body and his lips followed sending shockwaves through her. It wasn't long before they were entangled in each other and reuniting in more ways than one.

"So, you like school?" John asked Ethan as the little boy piled sand into his bucket and John sat on the grass just outside the sandbox.

"Yeah," Ethan said as he continued to pour sand in his bucket. John nodded and looked towards the house. It had been over an hour since Ronon and Olivia went inside to talk and he hadn't heard any yelling or screaming like he had been expecting. In truth it had been expecting Ronon to come storming out of the house after five minutes, but obviously he hadn't.

John looked to Ethan again and was about to ask another question when he heard the patio door slide open. He looked back at the house and raised an eyebrow as a glowing Olivia and smiling Ronon emerge from the house hand in hand, and John realized that maybe more than talking happened between the pair. He couldn't help but smirk as he stood and wiped the dirt from the back of his jeans as they walked over to him.

"Daddy! Mommy!" Ethan exclaimed before he stood and charged over to them. Olivia laughed and Ronon picked Ethan up keeping hold of Olivia's hand.

"So, are we on good terms again?" John asked.

"We're on great terms," Olivia said squeezing Ronon's hand and John laughed quietly as he nodded. "So, is my old home in need of a decent anthropologist and linguist?" she asked coyly and John's smile grew.

"That we are," John said making her smile. "but before we go through all that paperwork, you got anything to eat? I'm starving." Olivia laughed quietly before she nodded.

"Yeah, inside," she said and John patted her shoulder before he walked into the house. Olivia looked at Ronon and Ethan, who laid his head on his father's shoulder, and Ronon grinned before he kissed her forehead. For the first time in two years Olivia felt whole and Olivia, with her family in tow, was going home.