TITLE: Back Home - Prologue
SUMMARY: A sequel to "Making Up the Past"
CATEGORY: romance, drama (Ronon/Keller)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, but they're fun to play.
NOTES: This isn't going to make any sense unless you read "Making Up the Past". Then, check out "Blush" for a prelude to this scene. This will be here when you get back. : ) Or, you can just jump right into this story, and then go back and read the rest at your leisure. And I guess there's a spoiler for McKay & Mrs. Miller at the end.
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And now I've got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to. . .
"The Story" by Brandi Carlile
"What was your mother's name?"
Ronon smirked as he remembered their conversation from the early hours of this morning.
Memories of long dark hair, a petite frame, with strong arms flashed before his closed eyelids.
"Ayleni. Ayleni Nesrin."
"AY-leh-nee Nez-rhen," Jennifer repeated. "Beautiful name. She was really pretty, wasn't she?"
"Yeah." He shifted next to her and turned to look down into Jennifer's curious brown eyes. "She was the most beautiful."
It was late in the afternoon. In the morning, Ronon had attended the scheduled debriefing from yesterday evening's mission. Jennifer had gone in to work her shift the infirmary that morning, but had left early because she was experiencing more nausea. They had eaten lunch together and then retired to his room (bigger bed) for an afternoon nap. He figured she wasn't really all that tired after all. Still, he was happy to spend time with her.
"So. . ." she said after swallowing another bite of a salted cracker. She had said they helped quell her 'morning sickness.' "Her last name wasn't 'Dex'?"
"No. I have her family name, too. Dex was my father's."
"Oh really? So your name is Ronon Nesrin Dex?"
"Huh." She looked thoughtful for a moment. Her fingers had been toying with the wrinkles in his shirt, smoothing and pulling them up, and he quite enjoyed the sensation.
She paused her actions and looked back up at him. "So, no middle name?"
"It's a name your parents give you apart from your last name, or family name, as you call it, to further distinguish you from others. It helps because on Earth a lot of people have the same first and last name. Do you have one of those?"
"Yeah. It's Jae."
"Jay?" It sounded strange to him coming from her lips. He liked the way her mouth quirked as her brow creased as she thought about it. "Ronon Jae Nesrin Dex."
"Yeah. That's me," he sighed, stroking her hair.
"So what's it mean? Your name, I mean."
He sat up a bit more as he considered her question. No one on Atlantis had ever asked him such things. He figured they never needed to. It wasn't important. But it seemed important to Jennifer in this moment and he liked that.
"Uhm. . . Ronon means "song of joy".
"Yeah. Why?" He was intrigued by the disbelief in her voice.
She squirmed a little against him, looking away for a moment then back up at him. He didn't understand why her cheeks got that familiar pink tint, but he liked it all the same.
"Nothing. It's just. . . Well, I thought it'd mean 'strong and powerful' or something like that, because. . .well, you are."
He smiled at her. "Yeah, well, my father would have liked that. He wasn't around when I was born to say different, though. But I guess my mother compromised on my 'middle name'."
"Why? What does it mean?"
"Jae means 'guardian, protector.'"
He caught the twinkle in her eye as she smirked in approval. "I guess your mom knew something about who you would turn out to be."
"I guess she did." He leaned down and pressed a tender kiss to her lips. He pulled away, taking the salty taste of her crackers with him.
"Mhm." He licked the taste from his lips. "Can I have one of those?"
Jennifer pulled back the waxy paper that covered her stack of crackers and offered them to him. Ronon took about half of them.
"Hey!" She squealed. She reached to take some of the crackers back, but he turned away from her as he popped two in his mouth, flashing a mischievous smile.
Jennifer leaned back onto his bed in defeat. "Next time, I'm so throwing up on you."
He rolled his eyes at her and leaned back next to her, nudging his shoulder against hers. "I look forward to it," he said, finishing off another cracker.
"So. . ." he started, draping a long arm around her shoulders. "What's your middle name?"
At that Ronon looked down at her. She didn't meet his gaze, though, and she was suddenly very interested in the some invisible spot on his bedsheets.
"Your middle name is Jennifer?"
"Mhmm." He caught her eyes as they darted briefly to his face.
"What's your first name then?"
"It's uh. . ." she bit her lip. "You really want to know?"
"I wouldn't have asked if I didn't."
She looked up at him now with nothing but deadly seriousness in her eyes. "Promise me this never leaves this room."
Ronon failed to see what was so terrible about the name. "Why don't you like it?"
"Because it's just so old, and. . . just. . . ugh. I was named after my grandmother. I'm just really glad my parents gave me a decent middle name, thank God." She let out a breath, laying back against the pillows.
"Ok, so what's it mean?"
Jennifer tilted her head toward him, but not her eyes. "You really don't want to know."
Ronon sighed in frustration and glared at her.
He didn't mean for her to flinch, but she was being so difficult and he didn't understand why.
"It means . . . 'chaste'," Jennifer sighed.
"Chaste? Like . . . pure?"
"Yeah. Virginal, more specifically," she explained.
"Oh." He got it now. He watched as Jennifer tucked her hair behind both ears and then crossed her arms over her chest. He realized how hard this all must be for her, with not only dealing with her current physical condition, but the circumstances that had led up to it. Still, he hated it when she drew away from him in this way of hers.
"Hey," he said.
He waited for her to look up at him before he continued. "Ya know what McKay's first name is?"
He smiled slightly when he saw her brow crinkle in confusion. "It's not Rodney?"
"Nope," Ronon smirked.
He was happy to see a smile tug the corners of her lips. "What? What is it?"
A waited a beat and then said it. "Meredith."
"Yeah," Ronon confirmed. "It's a girl's name, right?"
"Oh yeah," Jennifer giggled. "Oh my goodness. That's. . . pretty bad."
"Make sure to tease him about it."
"Oh, I will. The next time he comes in the infirmary with some fabricated symptom, for sure." She was laughing now, and Ronon relished the sound.
He was not expecting her to kiss him, deeply. Instinctively, his hands went to her body, his right hand cupped her jaw, long fingers circling around to the back of her neck. His other hand remembered the bit of skin on her hip left exposed where her shirt had ridden up. Still, Jennifer managed to keep both her hands pressed to his chest, preventing him from pulling her any closer to him. Though Ronon respected her subtle signal that she desired not to go any further than kissing, it was all he could to keep his brain floating just above the surface of this moment, not getting swallowed down in the depths of his desire for her.
And then she was pulled away, suddenly shy and breathless. He noticed that the pink flush common to her cheeks now resided in her lips.
"So. . . uhm. . ." Ronon cleared his throat and found more resolve to ask what had been in the back of his mind since that morning. "When do I get to meet your father?"
In an instant the color was gone from Jennifer's face.
A/N: I think someone's been talking to someone about Earth customs. . .
Thanks so much for all y'all's reviews on "Blush". As always, comments are expected and appreciated (I'm looking at you, person who faves the story and adds it to your Story Alert but then fails to leave a review.) LOL. Seriously though, thanks for reading. : )