In Which Ronon Journals

by Helen W.

During 'Brain Storm'...

Well, here I go.

Woolsey gave me this thing for reports. I thought it was just an ordinary voice recorder, but it turns out that if I plug it into a computer and click a few icons then what's on it gets written out as English, which I can save or print out or whatever. Pretty neat.

So I thought I'd, uh, start keeping a journal again. I think it'll help me sort some stuff out.

So let me start with what I've been doing the past couple of days.

The short version is, John and I went camping on the mainland, and nobody got hurt, and nobody was kidnapped. Teyla says that we should declare a feast day in honor of this feat, pass the celebration down to our children and their children and grandchildren.

Yup, she said "Our children," like there's a future for us. And I wanted to say - okay, no, never mind, I'm getting ahead of myself here.

Camping. John. Mainland.

Okay, it was John's idea. The team is out of commission for a few weeks so that McKay can spend some personal time on Earth. A bunch of other people are gone too, since they'll be able to fit in two weeks there, then catch the Daedalus back here. Um, Jennifer Keller, and Slivery, and a half Lorne's basketball team so we'll have to give them some guys, or play half-court for a while.

So, anyway, John gets us a jumper, and off we go. Like we do all the time, but this is special - this is camping.

I don't know where we went exactly. I've spent zero time worrying about the landmasses, except for near where the Athosians have settled. Damn depressing place, their settlement - we threw it together to hold them while they were being treated, and now they're free to go anywhere, but they can't figure out where they want to go, so they've stayed put. Some are pushing to go back to where they were living when Michael took them, because the land was high quality and they'd have their own gate again, plus they wouldn't be rebuilding from scratch. But others say that planet's cursed, or holds too many bad memories. Some just don't have the heart to rebuild again; and where they're living, there's shelter and fishing and at least right now there's stuff in the forest they can eat. Plus what they get from the expedition, which they've always tried to minimize before but now its like they don't even give a damn, they're just wondering how they'll be kicked in the heads next.

So, anyway, I know their bit of the coast pretty well, but John didn't head anywhere near there. He said he'd found this part of the shore where the waves are pretty impressive, and had been waiting for the weather there to get warmer and clear up some before checking it out for surfing.

Soon as we landed, John grabbed his surfboard - that thing in his quarters I always thought was for ritual animal slaughter - and ran straight into the ocean. I won't try to describe what he did with the board out there - looked pretty silly, and I don't think that's what he was going for. But he was loving life, so I stayed ashore and let him play. He offered me a go, of course, but while I know I could haul his ass out of the water if I needed to, I'm not sure he could do the same for me. I'm just saying.

After a while, he came up and sat and we watched the waves. And I realized, if I was going to tell him, that then was as good a time as any.

"I've been thinking about Dr. Beckett, what he's been doing," I said, "And I was thinking of hooking up with him for a while. It's dangerous for him traveling by himself."

It took John a long time to respond, then he asked, "You mean, until McKay gets back?"

"Don't know," I said.

"And you really think you won't do more harm than good?" he comes back with.

"Gee, thanks, Sheppard," I said.

"It's just, you attract attention."

"I'd cut my hair, if I had to," I said. Then I tried to explain, in terms John might understand. "When you want a fight, I get you a fight. But Dr. Beckett's trying to heal people… I can do that. I can learn to do that." I said that because that's what's at the bottom of this, or one of the things. I can't fight forever. But I don't know anything else. It would take me years to be of real use on Atlantis, or on a ship, doing anything except being the muscle. And I'm no farmer, no offense to those that are, nor a shopkeeper, nor a trader.

But I notice things about people, you know? Dr. Beckett's equipment isn't that hard to understand, and I think I could get good at noticing the things the equipment doesn't tell you, that a sick person doesn't think is important enough, or proper, to bother a doctor with. Plus, I know a bit of field medicine already.

I don't know. And I don't even know if I'm going to do it. Maybe I'd just play bodyguard now and then. I don't know. I just don't.

John was quiet again for a while, then said, "You know, the one good thing - the one thing I have absolutely no regrets about - that we've done in this galaxy, is saving you."

I swallowed. "We've killed a hell of a lot of Wraith," I said.

"There's this joke that rattles around my head," said John. "It goes, 'They told me if I voted for Goldwater, we'd get bogged down in a land war in Asia. So I voted for Goldwater.'" He shrugged, and I was afraid he'd do a McKay and launch into an explanation of Earth politics, but instead he said, "What I mean is, we kill the Wraith to save lives. But the more we do, the more people die."

He stopped a second, then said, "I think McKay feels the same way. He's tired, Ronon. I don't think he can do this much longer. And I think, maybe, he's looking for a way out. And maybe that's why…" He stopped. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's not on the Daedalus when it gets back here."

"We'd go haul…" I started, then changed tactics. "Teyla's not giving up."

"No, she's not," John said. "I think - she's sacrificed too much. And I'm not stopping until she does, or until I'm dead. I never thought we wouldn't be able to count on you."

And, damn, but John was lousy at this; my little cousins could manipulate better. Still, he's pissed me off, so I say, "Regrets, Shep? I thought you just said…"

"No, no regrets," he said, then the next thing I know, we're fooling around, right there on the beach. And I'm not going to get into the details, but let's just say I don't know which of us was less experienced.

And I don't think it helped any that I'm not who he wants to be doing it with.

Afterwards, I told him as much. "Just talk to him, John," I said. "What's the worst that could happen?"

I thought sex would chill him out a little more, but he didn't say anything for a long time. Then, he came up with, "I don't want to lose him completely, I guess."

Which I guess makes sense, if you think like John.

"I can't even be mad at him for wanting a normal life," he said.

"Coupling and having kids is for farmers and shopkeepers," I told him.

"And Teyla," he said. "Do you know whether she and Kanaan are, like, a COUPLE? Or are they just together for the kid?"

"Don't know," I said. "You want to ask her?" And he threw a pebble at me.

So that's pretty much how things stand. I don't know what I want to do, and I guess there's really no need for me to rush things, though I am going to let Carson know I'm available. None of us know what Teyla's really thinking. And nobody knows which way Rodney's going to jump, or how far.

And John… Well, he'll do anything for the team, it seams, except be honest with us. Ancestors, I hope this all makes more sense when I print this out and read it.

THE END

All feedback welcomed, here or to helenw at murphnet dot org.