CHAPTER 33

"Told you McKay could fix anything." Ronon commented when the news reached them of the progress he was making.

"He hasn't fixed it yet." Drea teased dryly as she moved down the hall toward the doors leading to a few minutes of freedom out in the sunshine.

"He has the schematics. It's as good as fixed." Ronon's unshakeable faith in his team mate was evident in his tone. "I should go see them; check on things."

"You miss them already." Drea said softly.

"Yeah," Ronon shrugged.

"Why haven't you went to them since they came back?"

"I'm staying here. At least for awhile. See where things lead us."

"So you're separating yourself already?"

"Something like that."

They moved out of the dim hallway and into the bright sunshine. Ronon wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into his embrace. He wanted to go see Sheppard and Teyla, but he didn't want to deal with their doubts about Drea.

She exhaled and relaxed against his solid strength. She wished that his friends and her weren't dividing him so. The tug-of-war on his emotions were evident in his actions.

"We are going to give Olin and Hu gray hair." Drea laughed, trying to lighten the mood. They didn't trust Ronon not to hurt her. To them he was volatile; his emotions divided between his people and her.

"They worry about me."

"Yes, they do."

"You trust me?"

"I trust you because I understand you."

"Do you?"

She twisted away from him and met his gaze. "Yes. I understand that your loyalty is to your family and that your team is your family. I understand quite clearly that you'd kill me if you thought I was endangering them."

Ronon stared at her from hooded eyes. "That's the problem. You give off conflicting signals. Subtle threats slip into the conversations making them nervous. Are you holding back because of me? Would force be used if we weren't together?"

"It's not like that, Ronon!" Drea exclaimed. Why did he always assume deceit on her part?

"Then how is it?" Ronon asked heatedly. "Because half the time that's exactly what it seems like."

"I am not threatening your friends!" Drea snapped.

"You didn't answer the questions."

"I shouldn't have to." She glared at him. "Maybe you should go."

"Maybe I should."

Ronon turned and stalked off. He felt the heat from her glare against his back, but he refused to turn and look back at her. Why did she have to be so frustrating? Couldn't she just answer the questions? No, I would not use force even if we weren't together. How hard was it to say that? Unless, of course, that wasn't the truth.

Drea stared after him, fuming. Why must he always question her motives? Wasn't it bad enough that Hu and Olin were questioning her decisions? It was their suspicions that escalated the situations not her.

Ronon rounded the building and was striding down the broad avenue when he heard the sound that haunted his dreams. He froze for just a second then glanced up and around, searching the sky.

He saw the darts over the city. Turning he ran back around the building. "Drea! Wraith!"

He grabbed her as she began to run toward the pond. "Get inside away from any windows."

"Brion and Neva are at the pond." Drea cried, eyes wide with fear for her siblings.

"The Wraith are over the city. I'll get the kids. Go!" He shoved her toward the residence while clicking his ear piece. "Sheppard!"

"I hear them." Sheppard responded. "Where are you?"

"Behind the residence. Brion and Neva are at the pond. I'm going after them."

"We're headed for the jumper. Ronon…"

"Yeah?"

"Be careful."

"I will."

SGA

Sheppard scanned the HUD aware of Teyla's grim presence behind him and Rodney's muttered updates beside him.

"The darts have been scooping. They all will have people in their buffers."

"I know that, Rodney." Sheppard snarled.

Rodney just nodded. He knew the gruffness was John's way of dealing. Selfishly, he was glad he wasn't the one shooting drones at the darts. Innocents were going to die today and John would feel that much more guilt.

"What was that?" Teyla asked startled, pointing down at the ground.

Rodney and John leaned forward.

"They're on the ground!" John's face tightened. This was not an ordinary 'scoop and run'. They watched as Wraith warriors spread out methodically killing and destroying while darts continued to make runs, scooping up frightened people.

"We need to take out the darts. They get back to the Gate and these people are royally screwed."

"They're looking pretty well screwed as it is, Rodney." John grimaced, but apparently agreed as he took off after the darts.

"You need to hurry because one transmission was just sent. And before you ask, no, I don't know to who."

It wasn't long before the darts were on the ground flaming. With grim satisfaction, the team landed and disembarked, rushing toward the darts and dispatching the Wraith before re-entering the jumper and moving on to the next dart.

"Rodney! The buffers can wait. We need to go." John shouted as he stopped Rodney from climbing into the dart.

Rodney stared a moment before nodding. He followed John and Teyla through the city following the terrorized screams like a homing beacon.