An entire month had gone by since Ronon had disappeared. The only sign of him they'd come across had been the couple of stray knives that had fallen off his person when the Wraith dart had beamed him up. The tracks he'd left behind suggested he'd dodged to the side at the last second before abruptly, he'd been ripped from the ground and up, up, up into the dart. The scuffle marks stopped.
Somehow, that he had been taken from them in such a way made it all the more frightening to Elizabeth. It went to show how easy it had been for Ronon and how easy it would be for any of the rest of them, to be taken. Since he'd gone, she had spent every day pacing the control room, her office and sometimes, when Carson forced her to take a break for lunch, the cafeteria, awaiting the return of John's team from their searching.
She prayed for news, any news at all, and at the same time tried not to get her hopes up in the case that she'd be disappointed once more. She'd never felt so powerless.
The sudden loss of Ronon, and his absence as she went about her daily rituals, cut her deep. She was afraid for his safety and afraid for his life, as were the rest of the Atlantis mission who knew him. For her, though, it was more than just comradeship or friendship.
Before Ronon, she had thought she had found true love in Simon. She had changed her opinion on that the moment she set eyes on the wild, dreadlocked man whom had since shown her more of himself to her than anyone else ever had. She had done the same for him and everything had just come so naturally to her; to them. They were connected, kindred.
Elizabeth almost dropped the cup of coffee she had been nursing when she saw the gate come to life from her office window. Setting the mug down on the table as quickly as she could without spilling it, she made her way down past the control room, pausing on the steps to peer at the blue swirls of the wormhole, waiting.
Waiting. She was sick of waiting.
The pounding of her heart against her ribcage was deafening and she barely heard Chuck when he told her, "It's Colonel Sheppard's IDC." His voice was a faint murmuring in the back of her mind.
She took a deep breath to steady herself and mentally lowered her expectations of Ronon actually coming home.
She need not have bothered.
Dirty and bedraggled, Ronon lumbered through the stargate, behind John and immediately before a bickering Teyla and Rodney. Elizabeth watched him silently as he surveyed the gate room and almost tripped over: he'd been injured. The telltale scraps of shirt tied around his leg and the blood staining it made her heart contract.
His eyes locked onto hers after an eternity and time stopped.
Just as quickly, everything sped up and she was rushing down the stairs and Ronon was striding across the room towards her, his arms finding their way around her when they met in the middle.
"You're home," Elizabeth said softly, lips curving up into a smile.
Ronon grinned back and leaned his forehead against hers. "I am."