A/N: Is it just me, or does Ronon always get jipped in the end-of-show whumpage? I mean, the man nearly got choked to death and all we get is 'he's got a bruised laranyx'? Puh-leese. So not gonna fly.
So, this is how it should have ended, IMHO.
"Welcome to the Pegasus Galaxy." Sheppard proffered his hand to Mr. Woolsey and his smile wasn't entirely forced. True, he wasn't ready to admit he liked the man, but this epiphany, that seemed so disturbing for the bureaucrat, meant he was learning. And if he was learning, he just might be able to get on board with the way things in Atlantis needed to be run.
"I'm not sure whether to thank you or not." Woolsey replied, a touch of teasing in his voice.
Sheppard thought a moment and then shrugged, "Me either." Then, he inhaled slowly, his recently restitched up wound protesting, and pushed away the thin sheet covering his legs and swung them over the side.
"Colonel," Woolsey said, alarmed at the movement, "where are you going?"
"A member of my team was nearly choked to death, I'm going to check up on him," Sheppard replied, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. He conveniently ignored his own shortness of breath as he readjusted his scrubs and prepared for the long trip to the other side of the infirmary.
"But didn't Drs. Beckett and Keller say you aren't to be out of bed."
"What happened to throwing the rule book out the window?" John said testily, irritated at his own diminished capacity for movement.
Woolsey sighed and crossed his arms, his face hardening, "I don't believe those were my exact words, Colonel. And I hope you won't make me regret them."
"Don't get your panties in a twist Woolsey, I'm not even leaving the infirmary. I just want to see how Ronon's doing and then I'll get back to sitting and doing nothing like a good little patient."
Woolsey raised an eyebrow at Sheppard's sarcasm, but made no further attempt to stop him, instead opting to return to the Control Tower and oversee the wraith-tech cleanup.
Beckett had once mentioned that the Colonel had an exceptionally high pain-tolerance, and he called on every ounce of that skill now as he trekked across the infirmary toward where Ronon's bed was located.
After the grueling experience, which took twice as long as it should have, in Sheppard's opinion, he was more than a little annoyed to find the Satedan's bed to be empty.
"What the…" Sheppard frowned and almost called out for a nurse, despite the fact that doing so would land him right back in bed, with a tongue lashing from both his doctors, but a noise behind him stopped him.
"Please Mr. Dex, Drs. Keller and Beckett really need to have another look at you before you leave the Infirmary, if you'll just give me a moment I will get them."
John turned to see a half dressed Ronon, striding toward him, trailed by a half terrified nurse. John smirked at the sight, knowing the poor woman would get nowhere with that argument. Ronon had adapted to a lot of things on Atlantis, but needing permission before he checked himself out of the Infirmary wasn't one of them.
Ronon's pace didn't falter as he deftly pulled on his shirt, having retrieved it from wherever he'd found the rest of his clothes, and no doubt the nurse as well. John's smirk faltered a bit when the fabric settled into place, revealing a deep purple and black bruise that encircled his throat. No wonder the poor guy couldn't talk, but, Sheppard noted with amusement, that didn't mean he couldn't communicate. The glare he sent over his shoulder at the small, protesting nurse, spoke volumes.
The nurse was saved from responding when she saw Sheppard, subtly leaning against Ronon's recently vacated bed.
"You've got to be kidding me," he heard her mumble, before continuing authoritatively, "Col. Sheppard, Ronon, please. You both need to return to your beds and either Dr. Keller or Dr. Beckett will clear you for release."
Ronon crossed his arms and stared. Sheppard licked his lips and smiled.
"I'm sorry Nurse," he paused, frantically searching his memory for the pretty nurse's name, "Flemming. I know we're a pain, but I just need a second here to talk to the big guy. Then, I'll go back to bed. Scouts' honor." Sheppard held up his right hand and smiled disarmingly.
The nurse hesitated, her gaze flickering between the stoic Satedan and the charming Colonel. Finally, she seemed to decide Sheppard's deal was the best one she was likely to get and her shoulders slumped a little as she sighed.
"Fine, I'll give you five minutes," then she raised herself up on her toes, barely bringing her stocky frame up to chin-height with Sheppard and she narrowed her eyes menacingly, "If you're still here then I'm going to come back in here with sedatives and an intravenous laxative."
Sheppard's eyebrows nearly touched his hairline, but he merely nodded and decided to take her word for it.
When she was gone, he turned back to Ronon, who was now rummaging around looking for his boots.
"Hey, Ronon, c'mon big guy why do we have to do this every time? Can't you just stay in bed and let the doc have a look at you?"
Ronon stood straight and turned a knowing look on Sheppard. He bit his lip and smiled sheepishly, realizing the hypocrisy in that statement.
"Alright, so maybe I'm not a 'lead by example' kind of guy, but you were nearly choked to death. I mean, don't you think you ought a take it easy?"
Finding his shoes shoved under his bed, Ronon sat down and quickly pushed them on, Sheppard's words clearly having no effect.
"Buddy, c'mon. You know what happens when you leave the infirmary before you've been properly checked out. Keller gets mad, she yells at me and then I get mad, I've got to yell at you and we end up back in the infirmary anyway. Why can't we just skip all that and not leave in the first place?"
The Satedan was now finished with his shoes and stood, now looking for something else entirely it seemed.
A light bulb went on and Sheppard snapped his fingers, in a disturbingly McKay-like fashion.
"I know where your knives are."
That got his attention. Ronon's head snapped up so fast the weight of his dreads probably gave him whiplash. Sheppard suppressed a grin and continued smoothly, "and I'll tell you where, if you'll just wait ten minutes and let Dr. Keller give you the all-clear."
Ronon's gaze darkened considerably and Sheppard fought not to squirm under the glare.
"Look, all I'm asking is that you sit there for a couple minutes," Sheppard noticed the way his voice had taken on a bargaining tone, as if warding off an argument, even though the other man had not said a word, "Let her take your blood pressure and do her little annoying flashlight thing and you can be on your merry way. With your knives." He raised his eyebrows and waited, hoping to see agreement pass over the Satedan's face.
Unfortunately, he never got the chance.
"Colonel Sheppard!" The voice was high-pitched but commanding. John winced. Turning slowly he met the hands-on-hips, so not happy face of Jennifer Keller, "what are you doing out of bed? And Ronon, what are you doing out of your scrubs?! I swear it's like running a pediatric ward up here!"
Jennifer was like a whirlwind. In seconds she'd guided Sheppard, with a less-than-gentle grip, to a nearby bed and was reading him the riot act for getting up in the first place. Over her shoulder he could see Nurse Flemming smiling smugly as she noted something on a chart. He glared at her, almost preferring the sedative/laxative cocktail she'd threatened him with, than the verbal undressing he was now enduring at the hands of surprisingly the feisty, young Dr. Keller.
"And you," John thought he saw the Satedan wince when Keller turned around, directing her attention back on him, "you're going to march yourself right back into that bathroom and change back into your scrubs. I should keep you off active duty for another week just to teach you a lesson."
Ronon titled his head and stubbornly refused to move. Jennifer's eyes narrowed. John almost felt the need to warn his friend, but then, Ronon could handle himself…usually. Admittedly, Jennifer wasn't a wraith, but she could be pretty damn scary when she wanted to be.
"And if you argue, I will. You'll spend the next month making yourself comfortable on base babysitting Rodney's boys out on the South Peir while they scurry around playing with all their new Ancient toys."
One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi's passed before Ronon's shoulders relaxed and slumped slightly. He stood, all but brushing past Keller on his way to change his clothes.
Keller watched him go and then let out a breath, shaking her head as she smiled weakly. Sheppard raised his eyebrows, and repositioned himself slightly so that he was leaning on his elbow.
"Wow, Doc, I didn't know you had it in you. I think you had Chewie shaking in his boots there for a minute."
Keller finished arranging some of the utensils Ronon had scattered in his search for his knives and straightened. She smiled fully as she reached for his chart, jerking a thumb at herself.
"Almost turned into a Wraith Hive ship, had an alien presence try to take over my brain," she shrugged, "how is he scary after that?"
Sheppard glanced toward the bathroom where Ronon was now stalking back toward them, dressed in white scrubs, carrying his clothes and boots and looking positively…pouty.
He smiled, "You know what Doc, I think you're right." Then, when Ronon had rejoined them and begrudgingly made himself comfortable on the bed, John laid his head back on his pillow and closed his eyes.
"Just relax, big guy. The Doc's got it all under control."
So this is my virgin fanfic, I hope you enjoyed!