TITLE: Making Up the Past (Part 1)
SUMMARY: "There is a reason why the people of Earth should not drink the wine."
CATEGORY: romance, drama (Ronon/Keller)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, but they're fun to play.
NOTES: Written for the chocfic com February Love-A-Thon at livejournal, but I missed the deadline. This story turned into a monster, and it's actually meant to be a combination of two of the prompts.
This story jumps back and forth in time much like Tabula Rasa. I mention this so you, the reader, won't be confused at the first time jump. I realized that it's especially confusing if you haven't seenThe Seer, or BAMSR of which the first scene is a tag.
You may want to read my previous fic "Save Room" before starting on this one. This story acts independently of the plot of that, but it does do a bit in establishing Ronon and Jennifer's relationship.
"You know, pretty soon, other people are gonna find out too. You're gonna have to tell them."
Dr. Jennifer Keller could understand why Teyla would have reservations about informing her teammates of her recent condition. The missions that John Sheppard's team went on had a tendency to end with them running for their lives to the 'Gate, a hail of bullets/stunner beams/insert-primitive-weapon-here following closely behind. It was likely that she would be relieved of her position on the Colonel's team for her own safety and well-being.
Teyla had assured Jennifer that she would inform her team of her pregnancy in due time, and that until then she would be extra cautious in going on missions. Jennifer had decided to trust her. Teyla was very capable physically, and she did not want to deprive Teyla of the opportunity to be actively involved in the search for her people, the Athosians. It was a small miracle that Teyla had avoided miscarrying the baby after their ordeal on New Athos, the physical punishment Teyla had received at the hands of the Bola Kai.
After two full months had passed by with Teyla still having not informed her teammates, Dr. Keller could not help but worry that she would have no choice but to make her superiors aware of Teyla's condition.
But then Teyla had shown up at the infirmary with Ronon in tow. Jennifer was about to open her mouth to tell Ronon to give them some privacy, when Teyla spoke.
"He knows." She held Jennifer's gaze for a moment and then looked away. "Colonel Sheppard, as well."
Thank God. Jennifer hoped her relief wasn't too evident.
Ronon, who had been standing silently by Teyla's side, now placed his hand gently on her shoulder.
"Oh. Well then, what can I do for you," Dr. Keller inquired. "Have you still been experiencing nausea?"
"A little. However, I was stunned by a wraith weapon on the mission we just arrived from, and I need to know if everything is all right. . . with my child." Teyla's hand came to rest protectively on her abdomen.
Jennifer's eyes widened with realization. "Yes, of course. Let's get you prepped for an ultrasound."
That had been nearly five months ago.
Jen found it odd that her mind would decide to recall that event from all that time ago, as she herself sat as a patient in the infirmary for the first time since she'd been on Atlantis. As her mind cleared from the fog of sleep, the first thing she'd been aware of was the fact that she was on her back. She almost always slept on her stomach, face sunk into the softness of her goose down pillow, one the few amenities she'd allowed herself to bring back to Atlantis after her last trip home to Chippewa Falls.
"Hey, Jen?" A deep, gravely voice soothed. "Nurse, she's waking up."
By now Jen was fully alert. And confused. "Ronon? What happened?" Though, she already had a vague idea. Jennifer had been feeling unusually fatigued all week. As usual, she'd been filing her daily reports. It wasn't late, but she felt incredibly tired, despite making a point to have gotten eight hours of sleep the night before. She finally caved and decided to go fetch a cup of anything with enough caffeine it it to allow her to finish her work. Things got kind of hazy after that.
"You passed out," Ronon was saying. "I found you on the floor of your office." She found herself more unsettled by the intensity of Ronon's worried expression than she was for her current predicament.
Jen's eyes widened. "Really?! This is so embarrassing," she mumbled. Then it dawned on her. "Oh my gosh, am I okay?" She prayed she hadn't caught another strange alien bug that would systematically infect everyone on base, causing erratic behavior in the military officers in particular, and everything to fall into chaos. Again.
"Everything is fine," Dr. Pedersen chimed in. "Your blood tests came back negative for any pathogens." He glanced through the information on her medical chart. After scribbling some notes, he continued, "and since there's been no quarantine lock down, it's safe to say you don't have anything particularly contagious."
"Well, that's good to know," Jennifer commented. Ronon moved aside to allow Dr. Pedersen access to Jen's bedside. He shone a pen light in each of Jennifer's eyes, checking for pupil dilation.
Jennifer found herself less relieved than she expected to find out that she did not, in fact, have an explosive tumor or anything.
"Yes, it is," Dr. Pedersen agreed, as he noted another thing on Jennifer's chart. "I'm releasing you to your quarters. You're scheduled for work tomorrow, but I'm recommending that you take the day off to get some rest."
Jennifer opened her mouth to protest but the doctor cut her off.
"I've already spoken to Colonel Carter about it, and she's approved my recommendation. That is, if you need any more convincing." The doctor sighed and his tone softened. "Everyone needs a break sometime Jennifer. Even you."
"Ok," Jennifer said softly. "Thanks." She managed a grateful smile. The doctor gave a small nod and walked away.
She really wanted to cry right now. She was the head of medicine on the most important scientific expedition in the history of Earth. . .and she had fainted from exhaustion?! How professional was that?
"Hey. . ." Jen started slightly as she felt a hand stroke her hair. Ronon. He'd been so quiet during her consult with the Doctor, she had forgotten he was there. Well, not really forgotten. Once the Satedan made his presence known, he didn't easily fade from memory. She was always fascinated with how someone of such formidable stature managed to move with such stealth. She had not even seen him move from the corner of the room to where he stood now at her bedside.
It was everything she needed and all that she didn't at once. Even as she savored the comfort of having Ronon near, the warmth of his touch enveloped her, breaking down barriers which, at the moment, she so needed to remain fortified. With the little strength she had remaining, she willed the tears not to fall–not yet. All she had to do was last until she got out of the infirmary. She wouldn't bet she could make it the distance to her quarters.
"Come on," Ronon consoled. With a steadying arm around her waist, he helped Jennifer down from the hospital bed. Then they were in the corridor, away from the infirmary. Ronon might as well have been carrying her for all energy she was putting into the navigation of the journey. As Ronon guided her left at an intersection where Jennifer normally would have turned right, a realization knifed through the fog of fatigue. Ronon wasn't taken her to her quarters.
Eight weeks earlier.
"Ugh. . . I have nothing to wear," Jennifer sighed in defeat as she plopped down on her bed. When preparing to go on a scientific expedition to another galaxy, the thought to pack a party dress had somehow slipped her mind.
Now that she had a moment to take in her surroundings, Jennifer realized she'd really made a mess of her living quarters while rummaging though her, she now realized, rather meager wardrobe. There was either her medical uniform and coordinates or some very casual clothes that ranged from jeans and blouses to tank tops and jersey knit pants that were meant to be for exercise, but only seemed to be worn when she was either sleeping or lounging about the base.
And now she was expected to come up with some type of formal attire to attend a wedding feast of the Ferran prince.
After the successful annihilation of the Replicator threat, Colonel Carter had led the expedition in refocusing their attention on reestablishing diplomatic relations with former allies and seeking out new ones. There had been cursory first contact with the Ferrans several months ago. But then Replicators had attacked Atlantis, forcing the expedition to take the city into space in a desperate attempt to save themselves.
Now, with the threat of the Replicators no longer looming, and the Wraith on the brink of civil war and no longer culling worlds, things were relatively quiet in the Pegasus Galaxy.
However, the gravity of recent events seemed to pale in comparison when a girl couldn't find a decent dress to wear.
With an exasperated sigh, Jennifer flopped backward on her bed, not bothering to shove aside the pile of clothes she had dropped there earlier. She had just begun to relax when door chimed. Seeing as she hardly ever had any visitors to her personal quarter, Jennifer jumped up to greet whoever was at the door.
The door swooshed open, and Jennifer was slightly startled to find Ronon Dex towering over her.
"Ronon? Hi. . ." she greeted.
Ronon had a strange look on his face.
"Are you alright?"
"Uh. . . yeah."
"Ok. . .You haven't torn your stitches again, have you?" Despite Jennifer's frustration with Ronon's resistance to "taking it easy" on his injuries, in the end she found herself enjoying the thoughtful silences that stretched between them whenever she stitched him up. He seemed quite comfortable with her treatment. And, if she allowed herself to consider it, he did seem to prefer that she be the one to treat him whenever he landed in the infirmary. Either that, or he just happened to hurt himself when he knew she would be on duty. But the latter was just too crazy to be true. It was an amusing thought, though.
"Not this time, Doc," Ronon smirked.
"Well, that's slight relief," Jennifer said, as she crossed her arms. "So, what's up?"
Ronon glanced over her head into the disarray that was her room. "You busy?"
Jennifer realized that whatever wanted to say to her, he didn't want to do it out in the hall. Embarrassed, Jennifer looked back into her room as well and winced. "Not really. Come in." She finally moved aside while gesturing for the tall man to move past the threshold. "Sorry about the mess," she apologized as she hurried to scoop up a pile of clothes from her desk chair.
"Looks like a Tazmanian Devil's been through here."
Jennifer stopped what she was doing and whirled to face Ronon. She had not expected him to be standing so close behind her. Suddenly her cheeks felt very warm. She quickly recovered her composure while tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. "Colonel Sheppard's been showing you Loony Toons now, too?" She was amazed at how quickly Ronon had picked up Earth's pop-culture references.
"Yeah." A Ronon flashed a brilliant smile. "Good stuff."
He tucked his hands in the pockets of his leather pants and rocked on his heels. "So. . .I wanted to know if you had any plans tonight."
Jennifer felt something twist inside. "Not in particular. I mean, I was looking for something to wear to Prince Gaeven's wedding feast that's in less than two days, but that seems like a lost cause." Jennifer plopped on her bed, as a renewed feeling of defeat creeping upon her.
"Why is that?" Ronon looked concerned. He finally sat down, arranging the desk chair backwards while he faced Jennifer.
"Well, the one time in my life I get invited to go to a big party, and I have nothing to wear that fits the occasion. Times like this I almost wish I'd spent more time reading Teen Vogue than studying."
Ronon nodded. Though he didn't know what Teen Vogue was, he seemed to get the point Jennifer was making. "This really means a lot to you," Ronon stated.
"Yeah. I guess it does," Jennifer affirmed. For the last few moments she had been toying with the fringe of the blanket on her bed, nervously. "I mean, I wouldn't even be going if the Prime Minister hadn't specifically requested I be there." She sighed. "Who would have thought they'd make such a big deal out of me inoculating their "wee babes" and providing them with a few more sophisticated medical supplies?"
She flopped backwards on her bed once more.
Suddenly Ronon was leaning over her. She would never get used to how fast the man moved.
He grabbed her hand, gently tugging, indicating for her to get up. "Can I just sulk for a few minutes?" she pouted, trying to pull her arm out of his grasp.
Ronon responded by plopping down on the bed beside her, the narrow mattress creaking loudly in protest of the added weight. Involuntarily, Jennifer's body slid closer to Ronon from the dent his body made on his side of the bed. Her hands came up to rest against his chest as she steadied herself, the bed still bouncing slightly.
"Well," she giggled, "I'd say my bed is officially broken in."
"Yeah, it's pretty comfy," Ronon agreed. "The company's not bad, either," he added while snaking an arm around Jennifer's waist, pulling her closer still.
Jennifer was out of witty replies at that. All she could think of was how close Ronon was to her now. She could feel his breath blowing lightly against her mouth. She dared to look down at his full lips, which she saw were moving closer to her own. Her lidded eyes fluttered shut.
She smiled as she felt the tip of his nose nuzzle hers, the hair of his goatee tickling her lip. The faint scent of something akin to sandalwood aroused her senses. She barely felt his lips caress the tip of her nose, then her cheek, where he finally planted a soft kiss. It wasn't until she felt his weight lift from beside her that she opened her eyes.
She didn't quite like the smirk that was playing across his lips as he pulled her up from the bed. "Wait. . .what just. . . ?" she stammered.
"Do you already have plans for tonight or what?" Ronon prodded. His hazel-brown eyes searched her brown ones as he waited for her response.
It was starting to unnerve Jennifer how he could regain composure so quickly while she remained a red-faced, flustered mess. "Well. . . I guess. . .no?"
"Cool." He beamed. "And don't worry about what to wear to the party. I think I have a solution."
"Really," Jennifer doubted.
Jennifer wanted to, though she had no idea what Ronon had in mind. She was perplexed as to what exactly this "thing" was between them. She found that she really enjoyed his company, and he wasn't bad on the eyes either. Ronon also had a gentleness about him that belied his rugged appearance.
Her conflicted emotions must have been apparent on her face, because Ronon asked, "You ok?"
"Yeah," Jennifer swallowed. "I just, uhm, need to know something from you," she said, stepping closer to him. It's now or never, she thought. Taking a deep breath for courage, she closed the short distance between them gently grabbed the front of Ronon's shirt, tugging him down to her, as she tipped her toes slightly to meet him. She was happy when he didn't resist, and in an instant her lips pressed against his.
After a few seconds, Jennifer pulled away from the kiss, only to feel Ronon lean forward to capture her mouth once more. She felt his hand come to rest on her hip, pulling her closer to him, and she parted her lips slightly to deepen the kiss, her tongue caressing his lower lip. His resultant growl of pleasure made Jennifer want to squeal in delight at his expression of mutual attraction, however, she reasoned that she should put an end to things before the situation grew too heated. She allowed his tongue to stroke hers once more before finally drawing away from him.
"Wow," Jennifer whispered against his mouth. "I guess you answered my question right."
"Good." Ronon leaned back so he could take in her face, both hands now resting on her slim hips. "You should ask questions like that more often. And you're cute when you blush," he smirked.
That made Jennifer blush even more. The fact that Ronon Dex could find someone as plain as her even the least bit interesting, to say nothing of attractive, made her heart do all kinds of somersaults. "Thanks," was the only reply she could manage.
"So about later tonight. . .," Ronon started.
"Oh, I have a shift at the infirmary later."
Ronon's look of disappointment was irresistibly endearing.
"It's mostly doing paperwork, so I won't be there long, barring any medical emergencies that demand my attention," Jennifer said.
"Why, what did you have in mind?" She was curious.
"Sheppard's having a movie night, showing something called Serenity. You heard of it?"
"Oh my gosh. That's one of my favorite movies!"
"So, you down to go?"
"Uh,yeah. I guess we can grab some dinner after my shift. . . "
"Perfect. I'll come by the infirmary."
"I'll see you then." With that he released her hips from his grasp and let himself out of her quarters. Jennifer was pretty sure she observed an extra spring in his gait.
After the door to her room swooshed closed, Jennifer threw herself upon her bed once more, burying her face in her pillow trying to contain her excitement. Ronon likes me, she mused. Inhaling deeply to calm her racing heart, she could still smell the rustic aroma that was a delightful reminder of the Satedan.
Forty-eight hours later.
When Jennifer awakened that morning, she found it strange that the scent of Ronon's hair had lingered on her pillow for two days after his brief time there. She inhaled deeply and then rolled over in bed, only to have her cheek smack onto something warm, firm, and very shoulder-like.
She immediately jumped back, gasping as her eyes shot open.
Her sudden movement seemed to stir Ronon awake. He looked around, disoriented for a moment before his gaze rested on Jennifer. "Uh. . .hi," he said, his voice even more gravely than usual from sleep.
Jennifer's mind was racing at the speed of light. She now realized she was in her guest quarters on Ferra, but she couldn't remember anything previous to when she had first arrived on the planet for the wedding feast.
She was terrified. And very naked, she noticed.
"Oh my God. . . what did we do?" She sat up and making sure to keep the sheet pulled over her chest.
Ronon sat up as well. Jennifer tried not to stare as his muscular upper-body was revealed. "I guess we. . . ya know. It's kinda fuzzy actually," he admitted, suddenly sheepish.
"Ronon, I can't remember anything." Jennifer tried to keep her emotions under control. It was bad enough she didn't remember going to bed with Ronon at all, but frankly, she could have done worse. And they weren't exactly strangers.
"What do you mean?" Ronon, asked, concern evident in his features.
"I mean nothing. The last thing I remember clearly is arriving at the party. Anything after that up until now. . ." she was having a really hard time looking Ronon in the eye and keeping the tears threatening to fall in check. While focusing her attention on the sheet she and Ronon awkwardly shared, the fresh bandages across the top of his right hand caught her eye.
Something tugged at her memory, but she couldn't grasp it. "What happened to your hand?" She knew he had not received the injury before her lapse in memory.
Ronon looked down at his hand, seeming to notice it for the first time. "I don't know. I think I punched someone," he shrugged.
"Oh my. . .What time is it?" Jennifer asked. She had no idea where her watch was.
Fortunately, Ronon had his timepiece handy. "It's a quarter to 10 a.m."
"We're due back to Atlantis in an hour," Jennifer stated. "So uhm . . . I know it sounds kind of lame, considering," she gestured between them, "but I really need some privacy."
If Ronon was at all offended by her request, he didn't show it. "Right," was all he said, getting up from the bed.
Jennifer averted her eyes, her raising her hand over her brow as a discreet blinder as Ronon slid from under the covers. Being a medical doctor, she had seen the human body in all states of distress. Those were clinical situations, however, and she always found herself slightly embarrassed when confronted with the exposed the male form in everyday life, especially one as beautiful as that possessed by Ronon Dex. She heard some rustling and after a few moments stole a glance in his direction just in time to see his naked backside slide into his dark brown trousers.
She smiled in spite of herself.
A/N: Yay for my second fanfic. This story was brought to you by the wonderful prompts at chocfic, and it's greatly inspired by the wonderful lyrics of British singer/songwriter ADELE. The title is taken from her song "Daydreamer." It's good stuff.
Part 2 of this story will attempt to piece together what actually happened that night on Ferra. I'm thinking of switching to a Ronon-centric POV.
Thanks for reading, and if you leave a comment (please), I'd appreciate if you mentioned what you liked (or disliked, if it's that glaring) about this story so far.