Author's note: this is one of those "What if" stories

Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Not SGA, not the characters, not even the laptop I wrote this on. I'm poor and unoriginal. Happy? :P

Synopsis: this is one of those "What if" stories. What if the "Michael" experiment had worked? What if Kanaan never was born? What would happen?

Author's note: As you may notice, this story isn't exactly up to par with my others as far as eloquence. That's because my beloved beta fyd818 wasn't involved in the writing process. "Oh no! you guys didn't break up as friends, did you?" You may ask. No, this is her birthday fic. Hope you like it, chick! (yes I would love for you to beta and repost if you like)

Dedication: Of course it's to you, girl! Six (ish) years of friendships, four-five years of co-writing, (heehehehe remember our old stuff? LOL) and two years of beta-ing. It's been a blast! You're an amazing writer. Hope you enjoy, sis!

Rating: T

Spoilers: Hmm. . . . . None, really. I don't think. Nope. None.

What if?

by:

Dia.Dahling

Thud.

Ronon slapped the last block of C4 on the room-sized generator."That's it."

After one last glace to make sure it was secure, he turned ad ran full-speed in the opposite direction. He wasn't getting caught here when that thing blew.

"Yes!" he heard the four others exclaim at once over the radio.

In forty-four minutes and twenty-seven seconds, a boom of victory will sound; a boom that marked the last attack on the Wraith. The last Wraith ship in the universe was about to be destroyed.

"How much longer?" Rodney whined.

Ronon didn't respond for a number of reasons. First, because he was tired from the three miles he'd run so far just to plant it there; second, because he didn't want any wandering Wraith to hear him; third, because he was almost there anyway; and fourth, he didn't like Rodney's tone.

As soon as he entered the Jumper, he shoved Rodney out of his chair. Without another word or grunt, he moved to the rear part of the Jumper.

"Why didn't you respond?" John asked and, by the look in his eyes, he was actually worried.

Ronon settled in to the warm seat behind Teyla. "I didn't want anyone to hear me."

Col. Sheppard activated the Jumper. "How much time we got?"

"Thirty-five minutes." The Jumper eased up and started slowly moving forward. Ronon chuckled at the thought that they'd made it through the bay, down the halls, and into a corridor without being noticed. They kicked butt.

"I can't believe it. After all they've done, after all we've been through; they're finally over." Michael couldn't get the smile off his face.

Teyla turned in her seat. "I would not say that, Mike. We have witnessed first hand their ability to hibernate. We have not seen the last of them."

"Yeah. There are still some occupied Wraith planets, but they no longer have control of the galaxy. Wait! Does that mean that now, we're in charge?" Rodney squeaked from the back.

"We still have enemies, Rodney. But until they surface, that may be true." John contradicted slowly. He was more focused on exiting the labyrinth of the ship than ultimate domination.

Realizing that the best of the conversation was over, Ronon went back into his thoughts. What was he going to do now? He'd joined Stargate Atlantis seven years ago for this very purpose. Could it be true that he'd been so focused on the mission that he hadn't thought of what to do after it was completed?

The more the thought about it, the more he realized that he wasn't planning on living through the end of the Wraith reign of terror.

So, back to his original thought: what was he going to do now? Life on Atlantis was boring, but everyone there was his family. He belonged there.

Teyla leaned forward, helping John with controls. His heart stopped beating when he looked at her. Then, thinking of her sent his heart beating faster than the four mile run had. Why, in all this time, had they never expressed their feelings? There weren't any rules holding them back, just vulnerability; inhibitions.

Thoughts of her kept away appetite. Dreams of her kept away sleep. Whoever said love was a good thing was terribly mistaken. Love was a painful, addictive drug that ruined one's life forever. But he never wanted to give it up.

They were through the Space Gate now and entering the Gate Room. He'd go through debriefing, try to shove food down his throat, pretend to sleep, and head out to the mainland with Teyla in ten hours from now. With Teyla. Those words echoed through his head. He couldn't wait to be alone with her and her people. He loved everything about her in such a deep way that he craved it. Trips like this had him excited for weeks.

But, until then, he had work to do. Meetings to go to, paperwork to fill out.

And so he did. Silently and with Teyla constantly at his side, he worked on the same mundane tasks that had filled the years previous. After their work was completed, he walked her to her quarters and went to his to sit and think until morning.

It was strange. He hadn't eaten or slept right in months- maybe years- but he forgot about all of that when he saw her. She made him happy; no matter what was going on.

As soon as they were alone on the way to the village, Teyla spoke. "You haven't said a word in over nine hours." She would know, too. She was with him every waking moment.

"I guess I was seeing how long it'd take you to notice." He joked, making her smile. "I really do love trips like this." He stopped calling them "missions" long ago. They were just too- fun to be considered work.

She threw him a questioning look. "I know. And why, I will never understand."

Her Athosian clothes flew in the wind, revealing the dagger she carried. She'd never needed it amongst her people, but she always brought it.

Her adorning robes were beautiful, complimenting her figure- and driving him mad. She always wore clothes such as these to visit her people. Maybe that was one of the reasons Ronon enjoyed tagging along.

"I love being here. I love the people, the culture and- the company." He wasn't as nervous to say things like this as he used to be. A few years ago, it would have been strange and awkward. Now, it was rather common.

Teyla just smiled.

"The first issue is under control, but we must stay until evening. The Genii leaders were slowed by a storm." Teyla informed Ronon just an hour after they reached the village.

There was concern in his eyes. The Genii were close allies now that the Wraith were eliminated. Although the two cultures had their differences, they worked together well in farming and such. The thought of discomfort worried Ronon. They were quick to anger. "Should we radio in for a Jumper?"

"That will be unnecessary. They are only a few hours away. In the meantime-" she smiled.

"I'll make the rods"

The sun was beating down on their meadow. The wind blew flowers out of the trees. It wasn't easy terrain, but it was a lot more fun for sparring. With tall grass and low trees, it was easy to find many different strategies to fight. In they gym, Ronon knew her every move. Here, however, he could spar Teyla for years and still be surprised.

Thunder clashed overhead.

Crap. Ronon moved his rods into his right hand. He looked into the sky as it became progressively greyer. "You wanna head back?"

Teyla spun her right rod, a sign that she was ready to fight. "I cannot think of a reason to be fearful of rain. Unless you are afraid to fight-" she smiled.

"You're on" He immediately sprang toward her and swiped.

She moved out of his way, causing him to stumble, and struck his back.

"Agh!" he attacked her arm, but felt the contact of wood blocking his rod.

Clack, clack, clack. Sounded as they took turns; striking and blocking.

Ronon bent, grunted, and hit her legs with inhuman speed.

Rain drizzled

Teyla jumped and came down on his head, but he blocked the attack.

It started to pour.

Ronon snarled and shook his hair free of the leather cord.

Teyla crouched, returning the animalistic behavior.

They were across the ring from each other, soaked.

They both yelled and charged. The air filled with emotions falling off of them.

They met in the middle and Teyla struck first; a hard hit to the chest.

Ronon met it with his right rod and struck her arms with his left.

In the blur of movement and heavy downpour, they each lost their rods. Instead of stopping, however, they continued with fists. She punched, but Ronon blocked the move in time.

As he punched in retaliation, Teyla caught his fist and flung him to the ground. He landed inches away from four Bantos rods.

Lightning clashed as Ronon stood and threw a pair of them to Teyla. The clack of wood filled the meadow again.

Grunt, swipe, move, duck. Grunt, swipe, move, duck. Ronon had fallen into a pattern of movements. A spectator probably couldn't determine what moves were being made; they were just that fast. But Ronon knew by her eyes. He could see every move she was about to make in them. He knew her all too well.

For a brief second, he couldn't see her through the rain. Then, from the brightness of another bolt of lightning, he saw her jumping at him. The rain came down harder now.

Ronon stopped. He was breathing heavily, chest heaving. He stood there amidst the chaos, staring into her eyes as water dripped off his nose. He couldn't stop staring at her. He no longer saw her as he used to.

He'd loved her for years, but this was more. In the nanosecond since he stopped fighting he realized that he couldn't stay away any longer. Not that it was too painful or hard, it was just impossible. She was too nice, too kind; too beautiful.

He was pretty sure that with his guard down, the hit she'd been throwing to his chest got through, but he couldn't feel it. He couldn't feel anything.

Uncontrollably, he dropped his rods and grabbed her shoulders, pressing his lips against her with more force than planned.

Lightning struck in the background.

He ran his fingers through her rain-soaked hair and stopped to cradle her head. His lips slowly moved with hers.

There was a thud in the background as Teyla's rods fell out of her hands.

He could now feel her hands on his face, in his hair. He could feel her lips moving with his. He could feel them pressed up against each other, but it wasn't close enough. He moved his arms to her back and pulled her closer.

He kissed her lips, her cheek, her ear, her neck. He was finally doing what he'd dreamed of for seven years.

They were standing in the same place they'd been coming to for years, but it was so different now. Now they were moving as one, acting as one. It was as if they were supposed to be like this. Like they were made for each other.

Then, in that moment, Ronon realized something. They were.

Lightning struck the nearby tree and a large branch fell. Ronon tried to pull away, but Teyla would not allow it. She tightened her grip on his head and pulled him back. He gave in, drawn back by the feeling of her breath in his ear.

They continued and, after a few seconds, Ronon felt a tree press into his back. Had they moved? He didn't care As long as-

Another branch fell.

No. He placed his arms on her shoulders and pushed as hard as he could. Finally, she cooperated. "We have to go. The storm's getting worse."

She frowned. "They will be looking for us." she finally agreed.

Without another word, he grabbed her hand and they ran back to the village at full speed.

"I can't believe it! The Wraith are defeated!" Michael exclaimed again from the co-pilot seat of the Jumper.

"I know!" John laughed and started drumming on the surface in front of him. An alarm sounded and he decided that it wasn't good idea.

It took a lot of time to get used to Mike. But, after training him for two years, John had been the one to fight for his right on a team. After all, he was the foremost Wraith expert on Atlantis and the most accredited for their recent victories. Now, they were best friends. John was happy to make trips like this with him.

"I always thought it would come down to the wire. We would be on the edge of death, wondering how much it would hurt. Then, just as people were kissing their sweet lives behind, I would make some great discovery to save the day, the planet, and the universe." Rodney said from his old seat. His speech gave the impression that it was much thought out.

"The universe? Isn't that a little-" Michael searched for the right word.

John punched a button. "Melodramatic?"

"Yeah" Michael nodded.

"No, Mike, it isn't. Just think about it. If they Wraith had Atlantis, they would be able to reach earth. They'd get in a ship and hibernate. Then, in a few hundred years, they'd have a feast on our great great great grandkids." He arched his back while talking as if it made him more important.

"He's obviously thought about this." Mike said to John.

John chuckled. "Except the fact that none of live on earth or have kids to reproduce."

"Still-" Rodney said from the back of the Jumper.

John stretched in his seat, looking at the screen. "Hey, it looks like we're coming in. Hang on."

Later that day-

Flowers. Big, smelly, pink flowers. Ronon stood, surrounded by them. He was on the Mainland, his favorite place in the galaxy. More importantly, though was where he was on the mainland. It was a small meadow. The grass was worn, a tree was missing a branch, and the bark was chipped off trees in places.

He chuckled. This was the very place that he'd kissed Teyla not so long ago. And now, with flowers everywhere, it was even more beautiful. Teyla better get here soon.

He began to pace. It was so lonely here without her.

Sure, it'd only been two months since they admitted their feelings, but that didn't matter. It was strange how a kiss didn't really change anything. Before that moment, Ronon didn't realize that they'd really been dating all those years. Kissing didn't make them any closer, it just felt right. They didn't need kisses to grow together. They knew each other's lives better than their own.

Ronon's stomach fluttered at the thought of seeing her. This was the most happy excited he'd been in- well, ever.

Music started in the distance. The Athosians in front of him stood.

At her cue, a figure garbed in white turned the corner.

It was a good thing he'd just taken a breath, because he froze. His lungs ceased to work and he didn't know if he could ever breathe again. She continued her walk and his heart stopped.

In perfect beat with the music, Teyla walked toward him. The flowers in her hands matched the ones surrounding him and contrasted her dress perfectly.

There was no rain, no breeze, and perfect heat and humidity. The day was perfect and birds were chirping. No one could ask for a beautiful day. But, as for right now, Ronon had no idea. All he could focus on was his bride-to-be.

He smiled so wide his face hurt, but he couldn't stop. She was so graceful, so wonderful, so- gorgeous in every sense of the word. He didn't know what he'd done to deserve her, but he was grateful. This perfect woman was about to be his.

They would finally get to be together. They would finally do what they'd been wanting to for years. They would finally become one.

She was almost there, almost next to him.

Then, at the thought of the pure perfection about to unfold, a tear slid down Ronon's cheek. This was real.

Ronon lifted his knee to create an armrest for Teyla, sitting between his legs. As he did, sand squished under his foot. Orange light bounced off her skin, turning it gold.

"I cannot believe it took us so long." Teyla finally said without turning her gaze from the waves.

Ronon pondered that thought for a minute before responding. "I honestly don't remember why we did. I guess I was just always afraid that you were too perfect. That there couldn't be anyone like you." He paused and chuckled. "Boy was I stupid."

The wind blew past them, sending Teyla's hair into Ronon's face, but he didn't mind. It smelled good.

It'd been almost a year since their marriage that they'd lived there on the Mainland. It'd been almost a generation since Teyla was free to spend time with her people free from stress.

So, although their hearts were in Atlantis, they decided to live here. It wasn't as if they were alienated. They still saw old friends at least once or twice a week. They were truly family and family bonds couldn't just be erased.

It was strange to have a normal life, but Ronon liked it a lot more than he thought he would. He hunted and worked with his hands. He was a great hero of the Athosians; and not just because he was married to the leader. But, most importantly, he got to spend every day with Teyla.

She shifted in his legs. With a hand on her stomach, she turned to him. "I love you" she said softly. Her head kept moving closer to his.

"I love you too" Her lips were now on his, moving softly, but passionately.

She sat on his laps and held his face between her small, feminine hands. With them so close, Ronon felt something else. He immediately pulled back and gazed at her stomach; at their son. "And I love you, too." His lips left a soft kiss on her stomach for their unborn child.

She moved back to between his legs and he began stroking her hair.

The tide was barely touching their feet. It was relaxing and luxurious.

"Are you sad that you cannot fight?" Teyla asked softly, as if to herself.

Ronon paused with a hand tangled in her hair. "I've never wanted anything but to be here with you, like this, forever."

The sun began to set, turning the water around them orange. But they stayed there. The moment was just too perfect to interrupt.

As they sat there in each other's arms, Ronon realized something.

He truly had his happy ever after.