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 am making no monetary gain from this, it is meant for entertainment purposes only.
Summary: When everything teeters on the point of ultimate loss, everything is found. RononTeyla
Warnings: Character death (I recommend having a box of tissues on hand)
Title: Love and War
Dedication: To the three people who inspire me most: Dia.Dahling, SpaceMonkey0941, and TeylaFan. Thank you, and love you all! -hugs-
Author's note: Inspiration is a fickle thing. This stems from being in a whumpy/angsty/romantic Ronon mood (I'm not sure how that's possible, but I'm sure sugar, caffeine, and fantastic background music had something to do with it). And yay – a Ronon first-person POV! So here's another new fic from me – I hope you enjoy, thanks for reading!
"Love and War"
On a battlefield, everything can change between one breath and the next. A thousand lives are saved and lost in that span of time. It is a moment of breathless anticipation; of heart-tearing loss.
It was the latter for me.
I've fought so many battles now, I've lost count. Some of them I've fought alone. I'm almost sure that amount equals the ones I've fought with members of an army, such as those with the Atlantians.
Such as the one I'm fighting now.
There is nothing like being in the middle of the action, exchanging fire and exterminating those I hate most. They took everything from me once, and I am not willing to let them do the same again. Atlantis is my home, her people mine, and I won't let them take that away from me, too. Not like Sateda. Not like Melena.
No matter how good we are, by how much or how little we outnumber the Wraith in this particular battle, my fellow Atlantian soldiers fall now and then. I know a few of the Marines, more by face than name. I've sparred with a few, taught a few, exercised with a few, jogged with a few. I feel pangs for their losses – how can I not? – but selfishly, I would prefer it to be these whom I do not know as well. It would be worse if it were those close to me: Sheppard. McKay.
I'd known for quite a while I wasn't immortal. My unbelievably good luck couldn't last forever. It was inevitable. But, if given a choice, I'd rather die fighting than as a peaceful old man, with ten kids and even more grandkids. I'm just not that kind of man.
At first, I didn't even realize I was shot. I was so focused on the fight, on the killing, that the hit to my stomach barely registered as a pinprick of pain: more an irritant than a fatal wound.
It wasn't until my legs involuntarily buckled beneath me, and I looked down, I realized what had happened. Blood seeped across my shirt, staining the tan fabric a rusty brown.
Then came the pain, after the fact.
Ancestors. The muscles in my hand relaxed. I watched with numb, detached fascination as my blaster dropped to the ground, bounced, and then lay still just out of reach.
Sounds faded around me. The buzz of darts; the chatter of gunfire; the screams of the injured and dying: it all blurred into one long loud rushing noise in my ears. I couldn't identify individual sounds.
Until. . .
"Ronon." Two gentle hands caught my shoulders and eased me down. My mind, fuzzy now with shock, pain, and disbelief, momentarily groped for a name to match the voice.
Teyla. How could I forget her?
Her face hovered over me: eyes wide, skin pale. For a moment I stared blankly at her, not quite sure what to say. A couple of times she lifted her gun and fired – the enemy was closing in? I couldn't muster enough energy to look.
"Ronon!" She screamed at me now, and I heard the panic in her voice.
I was going to die.
The concept should have frightened me. I wasn't sure if I was too numbed to feel the fear, or simply beyond caring. At this point, it hardly mattered.
"Ronon, stay with me," Teyla ordered. She kept one hand tight on her gun as she dug in her vest and pulled out a gauze pad. It would be ineffectual, I knew: I'd already lost far too much blood.
I focused enough to lift my hand and put it over hers when she pressed the gauze to my stomach. "Teyla," I said hoarsely.
She looked at me, and I saw the first tears well into her brown eyes. She knew. Perhaps she didn't want to accept it, but she knew the truth.
"You'll be okay." I knew I was selfishly trying to reassure myself, not her. "Just watch your back, fight your best, and you'll be okay."
"No." She spoke the word through her teeth, with a deep determination I'd never heard from her before. "You will live!" As if to emphasize her words, she sprayed more bullets into the incoming Wraith.
The edges of my vision were beginning to grey. I didn't have much time left. "Teyla, listen—" I coughed. Neither of us acknowledged the blood that trickled from the corner of my mouth.
"No, no, no, Ronon!" She leaned down so her face was only a few inches from mine. "You listen to me, Ronon Dex. Atlantis cannot win this war without your help. Our team cannot hold together without you." Her voice broke. "I cannot go on without you."
I lifted my hand not smeared with blood to touch her face. I could barely see her now; it took all my strength to stay conscious. Focused. To hold my hand against her warm, tear-streaked cheek. "Teyla. . ." Why is it, when everything teeters on the point of ultimate loss, everything is found? "I'm sorry."
I heard a Marine yell something, but it was far in the background. Teyla let her gun drop from her hand as she reached up to hold my hand with hers. "No, Ronon. Please. . . I love you." She bowed her head against my shoulder, and I felt her begin to shake.
I didn't want to leave her now, especially since I knew she felt the same way. But I couldn't hold on any more, not even for her. "I'm sorry. Teyla. . . My love."
She looked up, angelic despite the blood smeared on her uniform and the tears streaking her cheeks.
I smiled for her, one last time. I knew she'd be okay, she'd survive. One day, somehow, she'd be happy again.
So I let go.