"Ronon…? Ronon, wake up!" A voice gently urged him, and following its prompting, he smoothly traversed the slithering veil between dream and reality to see a kind and worried face looming over his. Slightly wrinkled eyes gleamed in relief as the Satedan opened his own. "Oh thank God! I had no idea what had happened, if you had been hit by a blaster or knocked out by a Wraith, or what but I just woke up here…"

"McKay, I have a headache." He said, using all the restraint he possessed not to tell him to just shut up outright.

"Sorry." The Canadian scientist whispered, showing consideration for Ronon's affliction. "Where's John? Teyla? I thought he'd have come for us in the puddle jumper by now." He asked innocently, thinking of multiple ways in which the Jumper would be in no state to come and get them, most involving Wraith Hive ships and fire.

"John…betrayed you. He had no intention of rescuing you, and as soon as I left the Jumper to come and get you, he had no intention of waiting for me and bringing us both back to Atlantis." Ronon spat sourly. Rodney blinked.

"He just left?"

"Yep. Just took the data that was apparently worth your life and went back to save Elizabeth." Rodney said nothing, he couldn't, he was too shocked. John had always come back for him, even when the situation seemed impossible and damn well near suicidal John had never left a man behind, let alone two. The Air Force colonel had been acting very strangely ever since Elizabeth was initially injured during the exile from Lantea, but this was just beyond the pale, and speaking of which, Rodney had just gone very pale indeed. "McKay?" He asked, concerned over the colour of his face, worried he was loosing blood somewhere.

"What's going to happen to us?" He asked, afraid.

"I'm not going back to Atlantis." He said defiantly.

"We don't have an IDC on me, I left it behind in case I couldn't make it back…" He faded away, breath getting heavier and coming close to hyperventilation. "How am I going to get home? I can't do this survival thing! And if Sheppard's not coming back of us…" He almost went into full hyperventilation when he thought of something. "I know! We can 'Gate to a friendly world, and use the IDC we sent them to get home." He said, clicking his fingers and smiling.

"You go, I'm not going back." Ronon said, still in shock and reactionary anger at the betrayal.

"But it could all…"

"I'm not going back. We should try and make it to the Gate."

"I don't have a gun, what if there are Wraith around?" He said, shit scared. Ronon exhaled slowly and pushed his temper away.

"We have to go, you're injured, you're weak from the Wraith feeding from you, and I can't just sit here and do nothing. We'll have to do this stealthily. The less attention we attract, the less chance of getting into a fight with them."

"Oh, but I thought you'd jump at a chance to get into a fight with Wraith?"

"Not at the moment, because it's not just my life on the line here." He said, turning his face towards Rodney as he said it, but not making eye contact.

"Thanks." He said quietly.

After much hobbling on Rodney's part, various rest stops and a lot of walking, they arrived several hours later near the Gate and it was getting dark. Rodney's feet were sore, his legs where aching, but he, for once, said nothing, not only because he knew it would attract unwanted Wraith attention, but because he didn't want to piss Ronon off. Of all the survivor types to be stuck on a Wraith-crawling world with, the Satedan was not at the top of Rondey's list, though he had been bolstered several major places in the fact that he came for the scientist, and no one else did.

"Wait here, keep watch." Ronon whispered very quietly in Rodney's ear, making his scratch it afterwards as the breath tickled him, and he could hear Ronon shimmied up the hill to get a look at the security detail by the Gate, and he kept his eyes peeled.

Ronon slid down the hill to jump up to his feet and look at Rodney with rather wild eyes.

"Oh God, what? How many are there? Five? Ten?!" He whimpered, shitting himself that even Ronon was scared.

"There is no Gate. It's gone. They might have taken it, or destroyed it." He murmured shakily. Rodney didn't even have time to react as they heard rustling, and the grunts of a few Wraith, and Ronon bolted instinctively, heading back towards the cave, Rodney following as best and as fast as he could.

By the time they had retraced their path back to the cave, it was well into the night, and extremely cold. Rodney was almost falling over with weakness and hunger, and he sort of slumped into the cave, Ronon helping to drag him further in. The Satedan went out once more to gather wood for fire, and Rodney used the lighter in his vest to get a small blur of warmth flowing. He hungrily snacked on a ration from his vest and then had his mental breakdown.

"Oh God! What are we going to do? How am I going to survive?! It'll be fine for you, I bet you had to do all this stuff while your were a Runner, but I was never any good at even the scouts and stuff!" He panicked. "Do we wait until they send the Apollo? Will they?"

"I dunno, but there is only one thing to do."

"What could that possibly be?"

"Survive. Live to get off of here."

"To do what?"

"Look McKay." Ronon shifted his weight and turned to face Rodney, wearing his sincere face. Rodney bristled, he could tell Ronon was about to share something rather personal. "When I was Running, I didn't have a reason to live, no overriding purpose or aim. Just survive. Just live through the day to live through the next. Life is a special thing McKay, you have to honour it, by doing right and living with honour. That means living. You'll figure something our, you always do." He said, ending on a note of appreciation for Rodney's logical prowess.


TKCB: This has got to be my most popular story so far :D Glad so many people are enjoying it. Any suggestions/constructive criticisms are welcome and desired!

In response to my reviewers - thank you very much for getting back to me. I see what you mean about the rather radical OOC and somewhat poor consideration on my part. I am in the process of making some changes, and trying to dig myself out of a rather large hole I'm digging for myself, heh... Those changes will take this very AU. I haven't mentioned this before, but this takes place when the team go to the Replicator city to try and take Elizabeth back. They succeed in this universe, but strange things are going to start happening. Hope the changes will be better. Thanks again for your feedback :)