Disclaimer: I don't own "Stargate: Atlantis" and I don't claim to. (If I did, Teyla and Ronon would be happily married with half-a-dozen kids by now ) I'm making no monetary gain from this, it is meant for entertainment purposes only.
Summary: AU oneshot for "The Last Man." Ronon POV. RononTeyla Spoilers for Season 4.
Warnings: Violence, character death
Dedication: To Dia.Dahling and TeylaFan, my sisters, friends, and fellow writers! Thank you so much for encouraging me to write this.
Author's note: I found myself slightly dissatisfied with The Last Man. So I bring you my usual cure – a fic. LOL I hope you enjoy, and thank you for reading!
I found her. All this time searching – an eternity, or so it felt – and at last here she is, lying only a few feet away from me.
But something is horribly wrong. She's too still, too pale. My urge to jump for joy and yell my excitement to the world – enemies still around or not – suddenly disappeared. It crumbled beneath the weight of a sudden cold, empty feeling in my gut.
No no no. My mind refused to accept it. I gave the room a cursory glance; I almost wished Michael waited in the corner to kill me. But he wasn't.
I knelt next to Teyla, blaster dangling limply from my left hand as I reached out to place the shaky fingers of my right against the side of her neck.
Her skin was cold, and instinct told me to shy away. But I didn't. I kept my fingers in place, desperately trying to find her pulse. Trying to find even the barest thread of life that would tell me she wasn't gone. That I wasn't too late. That I hadn't failed her.
Nothing. She really was – again, I wanted to shy away from the word, but I forced myself to think it, to accept the truth – dead.
My remaining teammate, Rodney McKay, stared at me with wide, started eyes. "Is she—?" he whispered.
I pulled my hand away from Teyla's neck and forced myself to relax my jaw. Michael, you are going to pay for this if it's the last thing I do! "She's dead."
Rodney turned to whisper the words to the rest of the Atlantians who had come with us on this useless rescue mission. I took the moment of solitude to brush Teyla's cold, pale cheek, wishing I could see her smile, just one more time. I'd be able to carry on, if only I could.
But I wouldn't.
I carefully shifted so I could put one arm under her shoulders and the other under her knees. I lifted her, startled at how light she felt. I wondered if Michael had starved her to death, since I saw no marks on the parts of her body visible to me. Another, fresh, wave of anger and remorse washed over me.
Her head, limp and motionless against my shoulder, nearly undid me. Even after all this time, she still smelled the same, of flowers and spice. My gut twisted as I realized this would be the last time I'd ever be able to be around her – and the first and last time I'd be able to hold her.
The Marines kept offering to take her, but I kept refusing them. I was unable to keep the note of anger from my tone. Eventually, they left me alone.
Atlantis surrounded me with its usual grace and beauty. But suddenly – it didn't feel like home. I didn't want to be here anymore. There were too many memories, too many emotions, tied to this place.
I left Teyla in the morgue, shrugging off Keller's hand when she tried to offer me sympathy. I didn't want her sympathy. I didn't want anyone's sympathy. I just wanted to leave.
I went straight from the morgue to my quarters. It took me almost an hour to pack my things – I hadn't realized how much Atlantis – Teyla's friendship – had become home until now.
Col. Carter didn't say anything when she saw me come to the Gate room, laden down with my personal items. She just motioned for the technician – Chuck – to dial the Stargate.
That was the day I left Atlantis and never came back.
-Two Months Later-
I pushed my soldiers hard. Perhaps it wasn't entirely fair to them – it wasn't their fault Teyla had been lost – but I felt if I had a good enough army, we could defeat Michael. It wouldn't right the wrongs – wouldn't even come close – but perhaps we could keep the same thing from happening to others in this galaxy.
The hollow ache in my chest became my constant companion as I went about my business. Every day I trained with my soldiers: taught, learned, trained. I slept, ate, and breathed revenge. By keeping busy, focused on my goal, I could ease the hurt, just a little.
Before long I became consumed with my want for revenge. We went on more missions, and I began to take fewer and fewer men with me. I took more risks, trying subtly to self-destruct. I couldn't suicide – that was not a warrior's way – but I could try to coerce my enemy into killing me.
I had to see her smile again. I had to.
But I couldn't give up until I'd gotten some measure of revenge.
I knew, somehow, when my last mission arrived. It was the largest most dangerous one we'd attempted yet, and I went into the Hive knowing I'd never come out. But I was okay with that – after all, wasn't this what I had wanted all along?
It made my revenge all the sweeter to know that the Hive was one of Michael's most inhabited. Not by him, naturally – but a very vast amount of his army inhabited this Hive. In a way I would be able to deal a very great – perhaps the death – blow to Michael.
I met the Wraith Sheppard had named Todd on the Hive. We'd come with a similar purpose, to destroy the Hive. He'd planned a complicated technological execution – but nothing could measure up to a megaton explosion.
Anticipation grew in my gut even as we planted the explosives and drew down to our final showdown. I didn't completely trust Todd – I never would – but something seemed right about going out with him. Two warriors, brought together against a common foe, going out in the Earthlings' proverbial "blaze of glory" achieving their goal.
It sounded right to me. And, in the end, I could maybe see her smile again. I prayed the Ancestors would find me worthy enough to grant me that.
We were cornered now. My team was safely back through the Gate, with orders to continue the fight until every last one of Michael's bloodthirsty army – and Michael himself – was dead.
I shared a savage grin with Todd, a last inside joke, a last and momentary celebration of the victory we'd have today.
I turned away from Todd and bowed my head. I held a mental picture of Teyla at the forefront of my mind, retracing those delicate and loved features one last time.
This one's for you, Teyla. I'm coming.
I pressed the detonation button.
Then. . .
She reached up with slender, gentle hands and cupped my face. She stared at me for a long moment, her eyes wide. Then she tugged me down so she could kiss my cheek, and when she pulled back there were tears in her eyes.
"I have been waiting for you, Ronon," she whispered.
I didn't care where I was, in the vastness of the universe. I was with Teyla again – that's all I wanted. Except. . . I lifted my hands and cupped her face, gaze focused on her lips. "Smile for me, please," I whispered. I'd waited so long to see her smile again. I ached to see it, longed to watch the joy spread across her face and light her eyes.
And then. . . She smiled.