Disclaimer:- Don't own anything, so please don't sue me.
A/N:- Sequel to Have You Never Wondered Why? There are a few references to that story, so bits might not make sense if you haven't read it first.
Finally the Infirmary was quiet and Jennifer Keller breathed a sigh of relief. For the past fourteen and a half hours she and her team had been dealing with the aftermath of Major Preston's disasterous mission to MX-258. The team, who had been escorting a small group of archaeologists while they examined the local ruins, had been attacked by a band of vicious savages.
They'd lost one scientist, a Dr Simon Phelps, dragged away and slaughtered almost before they could react. The only saving grace of the whole thing was that the ruins were relatively close to the Stargate and the Major, even with a broken arm and an axe blade embedded in his side, had managed to get the rest of the frightened scientists and his bloodied and battered team back to Atlantis.
Now though Jennifer was both hungry and exhausted. Knowing that she really needed to eat, she gave the Infirmary one last check and made sure her staff knew to contact her if any problems arose, before dragging herself along the corridors in the direction of the Mess Hall. Coming to the junction that would determine her eventual destination she stopped.
Left for food. Right for sleep.
Realising it might not look too good if she fell asleep in her dinner or breakfast – or whatever meal was being served since she had completely lost track of the time – her choice was obvious. Food would just have to wait. Moving on autopilot she turned right and carried on walking, finally reaching the door to her quarters. Activating the door controls she stumbled inside – straight into Ronon's arms.
"Hey Doc. You took your time getting here, I've been waiting ages for you". He steadied her as he spoke.
"Umm Ronon... not that I'm not glad to see you and everything, but what are you doing here?" Jennifer was confused – she'd been sure that Ronon should have been off world, and she told him so.
"Got put back a day, so I came here instead",
"To take care of you, of course".
"Ronon, that's sweet of you... but I'm a big girl now..."
"You're right about that" he interrupted, grinning at her.
"And I can take care of myself" she finished, with a weary laugh.
"Yeah it really looks like it, Doc", came the slightly sarcastic reply. "When did you eat last, or sleep, or even take a coffee break".
Jennifer tried to defend herself. "You know what it's been like today, if you were here. I haven't had time to..." she pleaded, before he interrupted her again.
"Exactly. You need someone to make you do all the things that you should do but don't, because you've been too busy. Especially now, with a baby on the way. I wouldn't be much good if I didn't look after you, now would I?"
Jennifer looked down at the floor guiltily, knowing full well that Ronon was correct. She really DID need to take more care now – it was just so difficult sometimes with all the demands that she faced on a daily basis, as well as all the research projects that she had going on. Being CMO meant that she should be able to delegate but how could she choose which things to give up total control over?
'Maybe' she thought 'things will look better tomorrow'. Looking back up to Ronon's worried face, she came to the conclusion that it just wasn't worth arguing with him – he would take care of her anyway whatever she said and really, what was so bad about that? It would certainly be a new experience for Jennifer – up until now, only her Dad had ever truly cared about her welfare.
"Fine. I give in. You can take care of me all you want... starting tomorrow. I need sleep before I collapse on you". As if to emphasize her words she sagged against him, her legs suddenly feeling like jelly.
Without further ado Ronon scooped her up, carried her to the bed and made himself comfortable, leaning against the headboard with Jennifer curled up on his lap.
"This is nice" she murmured, eyes closed and her cheek resting on his chest "can I go to sleep now?"
"Soon Jennifer. Food first though" he ordered "or you're gonna get sick".
"Haven't got the energy to go get anything".
"Just as well I brought something with me then, isn't it?" Ronon whispered in her ear, sending shivers down her spine.
"Don't want to move, comfy here". Her voice was sleepy.
"Don't have to move far Jennifer".
Ronon reached over to the tray on her bedside table and unwrapped the turkey sandwich that he'd collected from the Mess Hall earlier for her, along with a few pieces of fruit and a plate of cookies.
"Here. Eat" he said, pulling her into a sitting position.
Jennifer shook her head but did as she was told, the food – minus a few cookies that Ronon swiped – disappearing quickly.
"Thank you". Her murmured thanks were almost too quiet for Ronon to hear. "I'm sorry that I've been so grouchy these past couple of days, it just seems like every time I think I'm making progress with one thing or another something goes wrong and I'm back to square one".
Jennifer felt Ronon's arms tighten around her as he nuzzled her hair, before gently stroking her still flat belly.
"I'll always look after both of you, however 'grouchy' you might be" he whispered in her ear.
"Love you". Jennifer's sleepy words made him smile as she leant back against him, eyes closed.
Her body relaxed completely as she gave in to her exhaustion, allowing Ronon to easily slide down the bed with her, keeping her partially on top. While the idea of sleeping beside someone again was still new to him, he found that he craved the physical contact he had with Jennifer – never wanting to let her go. And yet, every morning that they were both on Atlantis, he had to do exactly that – as either he or she crept back to their own quarters before the City truly awoke.
Just one more thing he needed to talk to her about he thought, as he lay there watching her. Their relationship was still not common knowledge – the team that had discovered the Pegasus on MX 106 had kept quiet about Jennifer's pregnancy. Only three other people knew the secret – Col. Carter because Jennifer had informed her when they returned, Radek Zelenka because Rodney just had to tell someone and Corporal Stephen Broad, Jennifer's reluctant tattooist.
Ronon smiled as he remembered the look on the Corporal's face when he and Jennifer had turned up at his door the morning after they got back. It was a toss up which emotion was most prevalent – belligerence or fear, but Jennifer's smile soon had him calm again. Symmetry, Ronon explained to the pair of them, was an important part of Satedan bonding culture. So now Jennifer sported a tattoo of the Rod of Asclepius on the opposite side of her neck to Ronon's family mark, Ronon had the same three on his nape as Jennifer and Corporal Broad had two more happy customers.
Unfortunately the prinia that Ronon had collected on the Pegasus' planet was still in the leather pouch that also sat on Jennifer's bedside table. Dr Khan, the bald middle aged geology expert that Ronon had planned to ask for help in fashioning the bonding rings, was currently on the Daedalus and still eight days away from Atlantis.
Jennifer stirred and snuggled even closer to Ronon's side, throwing an arm over his stomach as he stroked her hair.
"You staying?" she asked sleepily.
"Where else would I go?" He spoke softly against her ear, causing her to smile.
"Good... so sleep, before somebody..." Her voice tailed off.
Ronon grinned – she was asleep again. Deciding that tomorrow would be soon enough to talk to her, he closed his eyes and allowed himself the luxury of a peaceful sleep.