Title: Hemmorhage
Summary: Set post-Kindred. After putting Carson in the stasis chambre, the emotion of it all begins to wear away at two expedition members.
Inspiration: You know me; always listening to music when I'm writing. On repeat today is..."Hemmorhage (In My Hands)," by Fuel.
Lyrics: Memories are just where you laid them /Dragging the waters til the depths give up their dead/What did you expect to find?/Was it something you left behind?/Don't you remember anything I said when I said/
Don't fall away and leave me to myself/Don't fall away and leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands again/And leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands/Love lies bleeding
Oh hold me now I feel contagious/Am I the only place that you've left to go?/She cries her life is like/Some movie in black and white/Dead actors faking lines, over and over and over again she cries
Don't fall away and leave me to myself/Don't fall away and leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands again/And leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands/Love lies bleeding
And I watched you as you turned away/You don't remember, but I do/You never even tried
Don't fall away and leave me to myself/Don't fall away and leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands again/Leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands again/Leave love bleeding in my hands, in my hands again, oh

--

Drinking. It seemed appropriate. It was stereotypical, but there seemed to be something so poetic about getting drunk in remembrance of a Scottish man, and no one had objected when the cups had been filled and the rules had been formed. Unspoken rules to a game that wasn't really a game, but a sort of sweet, reverant masochism for the people that believed they'd let him down. Rule #1) Smile to yourself and shake your head. Rule #2) Raise your voice so that you can be heard over the mindless mumblings of your increasingly intoxicated friends. Rule #3) Tell a story. It doesn't have to be funny or deep or meaningful in any way, as long as its a story about him. Rule #4) Finish with a note of sorrowful nostalgia in your voice and shake your head again. Rule #5) Drink until someone else decides its their turn.

John was up now. He smirked and shook his head, then cleared his throat, "I remember once, right after we arrived in Atlantis, he was fiddling around with some machine in the infirmary and Rodney," he pointed to the scientist, who perked up, "Came in and surprised him. And he must have jumped forward or slipped or something, because a few minutes later, I got a call on my radio saying that I needed to report to the infirmary to help untangle him from about ten-thousand cords." Rodney tilted his head back and laughed, and John continued, laughing as well, "And it was so funny, because his face was all purple and his accent got thicker so I couldn't understand a word he was saying." His voice sombered suddenly and he stared down into his cup, "Took about an hour to get him out." He shook his head again and lifted his drink to his lips, gulping down the rest of the Athosian wine before setting it in the middle of the table to be refilled.

Teyla, who had the wine bottle, leaned forward to fill her friend's cup to the brim, and then sat back and smiled slightly, "Shortly after I came to call Atlantis home, I was walking to my quarters after returning from a mission when I heard the strangest sound. It was much like that of a, um," she tilted her head to the side, "A 'horse winnying,' I believe, is how it could be described. I began searching for the source, and I was finally led to Carson's quarters. His door was opened, and he was reading a book; the sound was him laughing." She shook her head and took a drink from her own cup, sadness apparant in her eyes, along with amusement at the memory.

Out of the large group that had formed (including people that knew nothing of one another), the only two that had not shared anything were Ronon and Jennifer. In fact, neither of them had uttered so much as a word since they sat down. They just drank and listened and stared at nothing as if it were everything. No one seemed to notice; no one seemed aware of the thick cloud of anguish that had gathered around the two souls and crashed together to create a storm of internal chaos. The only ones that noticed were the two in question, and they didn't dare look at each other. They didn't dare let the storm destroy them both.

"I remember," Rodney started, completely drunk and careless in his gesticularity, already having smacked John in the face several times, "Sateda. Wh-when Ronon told you he would kill you if you killed the Wraith, and then Carson just whoosh!" He threw both of his hands in the air, cheeks puffing out and eyes wide, "Hit the Wraith dead-on with a drone. Man, that was so cool."

John laughed, but at the same time said, "I think you've had a little too much," and attempted to pry the metal cup from the scientist's hands.

"No," Rodney jerked away from him, "No, because... Don't you remember? Ronon--we all thought that Ronon was going to strangle him, but then he bear-hugged him! It was insane." He took another long gulp of his drink and settled suddenly, his face turning a pale red from the heavy consumption. "Yeah," he said lowly, "That was pretty cool."

"'Scuse me," Ronon said then, pushing back his chair and standing. "I'm tired." He grabbed a bottle from Evan's hand--the one labeled "Vodka"--and started an uneven walk to the door, tilting slightly and swerving from side to side, the alcohol beginning to take its effect. Once he was gone, the game continued until it became too much to take. Too painful. That's when Jennifer, too, stood and took a bottle from the table--Zelenka's Becherovka--then teetered toward the same door Ronon had not-so-long-ago disappeared through. Once outside of the mess hall, Jennifer's foot caught on something and she fell forward, only to be caught by two strong arms. They wrapped around her tightly, securely, and eased her back upward until her feet were flat on the ground and she got her balance back.

"Hell of a save," she slurred, backing out of the arms that encircled her, "'Course, if you hadn't tripped me in the first place..." She paused and wrinkled her forehead, "I forgot what I was going to say."

"Sorry," Ronon told her gruffly. He leaned down and picked up the bottle of alcohol, which was still marking where he'd been sitting on the floor, and took a swig from it before gesturing to the doctor's hand, "You weren't letting go of that for anything, huh?"

She looked down, then held up the bottle and shook it with a little smirk, "Are you kidding? This is primo Cze...Chex...Chik...that-one-country booze!" She stared at him for a moment before elbowing him lightly in the ribs and nodding toward the transporter, "Want to come watch a movie or something?"

"What?" Ronon's face wrinkled with confusion.

She pressed her lips together tightly and then leaned forward, dropping her voice as if it were a big secret, "I don't really want to be alone, but I don't want to hear people talking about..." she trailed off, but they both knew who she meant. Ronon seemed to think on it for a long while before he nodded and gestured for her to lead the way, following close behind.

--

"This'us a very bad idea," Jennifer mumbled as she rocked back and forth from her place on her couch.

Ronon, who was sitting on the floor beneath her, craned his neck to look at her, "Which part?"

She blinked heavily, her face turning a greenish colour, "Both. Partly the decision t'watch Alien, but mostly the vodka-B'cherovka cocktail."

The man chuckled heavily, "Feels funny."

"Funny," Jennifer repeated, a queasy smile growing on her face. Suddenly, she jumped up and ran around the couch and into her bathroom. She threw herself down onto the floor and buried her head in the toilet, heaving and hacking until the entire contents of her stomach (a blueberry poptart and about a gallon of liquor) coated the once-sparkling white porcelain. With that, it seemed like everything else came up, and she found herself sagging against the cool outer-shell of the toilet, tears spilling from her eyes and running over her face without permission. The next thing she knew, Ronon was kneeling beside her, pushing her hair out of her face, pulling her closer, letting her rest her head against his broad chest, rubbing her back, squeezing her so tightly that she could feel his own pain running into hers. When she looked up at him, she saw his eyes were dark and misty, overwhelmed and full of a great sadness. He wouldn't cry; she knew that much. But, then again, he didn't have to.

"Its not fair," she whimpered, leaning against him completely, "Its not fair that we had to lose him twice. Its not fair that I couldn't do anything to help him. Its not fair that I can't remember anything but how much it hurts and everyone else gets to share all these wonderful memories of him. Its not fair that I barely knew him, and I failed him anyways."

Ronon's grip around her tightened, but he said nothing. Maybe he couldn't. Maybe he just wouldn't. But saying he was void of emotion on the subject would have been a lie; he felt it. Instead of voicing it, however, he chose to let silence wash over them. He chose to let Jennifer cry until she couldn't will herself to cry anymore. Then he gently helped her up, let her brush her teeth and blow her nose and wash her face, and led her to her bed. He untied her shoes and took them off, then pulled her blanket over her and tucked it under her chin. He turned off her television and her lights. He stopped when she asked him to, and crawled into bed when she requested so next. He let her curl up against him and bury her head against his chest once more. He held her as tightly as she asked and let her be weak beside him. He stayed until morning, and left when she asked him to.

And then it was done. One night of unspoken solace, and comfort in the arms of a man that knew nothing of her, and wouldn't try to speak to her in a mock-consoling way. They went back to only speaking when there was a medical situation, but--occassionally--the young doctor would feel grief wash over her again and would creep to his room in the dead of the night and ask him for this solace once more, and he would allow it. He figured: if he could not ask her to like him a little more, he could at least ask her to hate herself a little less.

--

A/N:

Writing Ronon/Keller is hard! No wonder I never do it. Never again! You hear me?! As much as I love the Ronon/Keller pairing--NEVER AGAIN! ...R&R, please.