A "Reunion" tag
Disclaimer:SGA belongs to MGM/Paramount and a bunch of others. No copyright infringement intended with the use of these characters.
Spoilers: major spoilers for season 4 episode "Reunion"
A/N: I wanted a reason for how they ended "Reunion" and this is my answer to the "why."
I've never written a story like this before but I really needed to see what happened from both characters' perspectives. I hope it works for you.
Thanks to NT for being the ever patient beta and being able to take my tangled words and figure out what I'm trying to say!!
"You took my painting."
Startled, McKay looked up from his jell-o. "What?" He stared as Ronon dropped a full tray of food and snacks down across from him and slowly lowered himself into the seat across from him.
"You. Took. My. Painting."
Crap. Rodney blinked. What was he supposed to respond to that?
Ronon glowered at him.
"I gave it back," he defended. He stabbed his spoon into the blue goo, glancing down at the loud 'schloop'ing sound it made. He really did not want to have this conversation here…or at all for that matter.
"Teyla gave it back," Ronon continued gruffly.
"Well, I asked her to."
"I never said you could take it."
The accusation in Ronon's tone flipped a switch in Rodney. Instead of feeling self conscious and embarrassed, anger flared within. He tossed the barely touched jell-o cup down onto his tray, ignoring the blue globs that splashed over the edge.
"You got the damn thing back. What more do you want?" He stood, shoving his tray and sending it smacking soundly into Ronon's, forcing the Satedan to scramble to keep two trays worth of food from landing in his lap as he watched McKay stormed out of the room.
McKay jabbed the transporter's screen and closed his eyes as he waited, trying to rein in his emotions. He heard the doors open again once he'd been transported to the site outside his lab and knew he needed to move. There were projects that needed his attention and reports he needed to catch up on. Instead, he leaned back against the side of the transporter, suddenly at a loss for enough energy to even move. His mind took over, flashing him back to the wraith cell. To the horrifically tight grip on his arm as he was dragged away from Sheppard and Teyla. Teyla's voice echoed in his memory. "Stay strong." Ha. Since when was he ever the strong one? He covered his face with his hands as he felt himself tremble. He hadn't known what was happening to John or Teyla or Ronon.
God, he was so screwed up. He was exhausted from going from fear, to joy, to anger and back again. It was like he'd lost the ability to grab onto just one emotion or feeling and simply focus. Instead, it jumbled all together in a confusing mass. How could a person feel everything at one time? He knew he should feel relief. He should feel joy. They had survived again. Ronon was back. The Satedan was staying and every part of Rodney rejoiced that Ronon was going to stick around…but at the same time…McKay was livid.
The only reason Ronon was staying was because his so-called friends had turned out to be Wraith worshipers. Ronon had chosen to go. He would have left Atlantis…he would have left the team. He would have left… Rodney tried to understand the conflict Ronon must have felt. Feeling like he had to choose between his people and Atlantis, his second home. But the selfish part of him couldn't understand.
The selfish part was just so very very tired of losing friends.
"What the hell is your problem, McKay?"
Rodney yelped and flinched into the corner, cowering instinctively before he realized it was Ronon standing there and blocking any escape. "Don't do that!" Rodney put his hand flat against his chest, willing his racing heart to calm. He frowned at Dex. How had Ronon known where he was going or even gotten to the lab so fast without using a transporter? The man was frightening.
"I asked you a question." Ronon was seething. His hulking body made the transporter feel like it was shrinking in on McKay.
"Get out of my way." Rodney started forward, but Ronon shot a hand out and pinned him back against the wall with a solid but obviously restrained shove.
"I asked you a question," he repeated.
McKay matched Ronon's scowl. "I don't have a problem. Get out of my way."
Ronon crossed his arms in front of him like a sentry. "No."
"Ronon." McKay rubbed a hand wearily over his face. "I don't have time for this."
"Make time." Ronon was not budging.
Rodney took a slow breath and mirrored Ronon's posture, trying to hide trembling hands from the sharp eyed former runner.
"Why'd you take my painting?" Ronon's voice was demanding.
"Oh, for pete's sake." McKay threw his arms up in frustration. "Will you let it go? I gave the damn thing back."
"I never said you could take it." Ronon's voice stayed low and even in sharp contrast to McKay's.
"Do we really have to have this exact conversation again? Are you actually trying to be this stupid?"
Ronon stepped into the transporter, towering over Rodney.
"My god, you really are a Neanderthal aren't you?" Rondey was shouting now, his words and tone turning into defensive weapons. "Yes, yes. I took your ugly painting without your damn permission. Are you happy now?" He jabbed a finger into Ronon's chest, ignoring the resulting growl. "But you sure as hell weren't planning on coming back anyway so I figured it didn't matter. You don't get to be all pissed off about it." He stepped forward.
"You." He jabbed Ronon again. "Weren't. Coming. Back." His anger seeped out of him, his last word nothing more than a whisper. Pain stabbed through him. First it was Ford and then Carson and Oh God, Elizabeth and…Rodney closed his eyes. He couldn't take anymore. He hadn't even learned how to be part of a family until coming to Atlantis. Now it felt like John, Teyla and Ronon…they were all he had left and Ronon…he had chosen to walk away.
The transporter was silent save for their breathing for a long moment.
"McKay." Something in Ronon changed. His voice softened, his posture relaxed. His shoulders slumped under his own burdens. One hand came up as if to rest on Rodney's shoulder but lingered in mid air between them a moment before Ronon dropped it back to his side.
Meeting the Satedan's gaze, Rodney could instantly see Ronon's struggle, his pain and his confusion. He'd been betrayed by those he'd thought were still his family and he'd lost them. McKay gaped at the realization. They were struggling over the same thing. He could see it now in Dex. They were both so tired of losing their friends. Their family.
God, sometimes he really was just a selfish bastard. "Look." Rodney cleared his throat, trying to recover and sound normal. "I- I'm sorry I took your painting without asking if it was okay with you first." He looked down at the floor and then up to meet Ronon's gaze again. "It won't happen again."
Ronon nodded, his hand coming up and this time landing on McKay's shoulder. "No." He squeezed lightly, not looking away. "It won't."
It should have felt like a threat but as Ronon stepped out of the transporter so that Rodney was now free to leave—McKay recognized the promise in the words and found himself smiling as he started down the hall.
"McKay?" Ronon's questioning tone turned him around again.
"Why did you want the painting?" The accusations were gone, replaced with genuine curiosity.
Rodney shrugged, feeling a bit like an idiot and embarrassed to share the truth.
"It was yours." He admitted honestly before hurrying away.