A/N: Didn't really like what happened after Tracker in respect to Ronon/Jennifer, so this story is just a little fluff, while I ignore what happened after that episode, as I think we all should. Thank you to Nika for the quick beta turn around.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis or it's wonderful characters.
Spoilers: Through Season 5 - Tracker.
1 – Just Take a Deep Breath
Jennifer's heart felt like it was beating in her throat. She was having trouble breathing and her mind felt clogged yet empty at the same time. She continued running until she reached her room, where she was safe. After locking her door for good measure she laid on her back across her bed, throwing her arm across her closed eyes.
She would probably relive what she heard over and over for days on end. She could hear Rodney's voice, "Ok, here's the thing: I've been thinking and, uh, I need to know your intentions."
Then Ronon had answered; first no, making her heart cry out, then yes, causing it to soar.
It's not like she intended to overhear what she did, she'd been heading for the gym. It was her and Ronon's scheduled sparring time. She hadn't been sure they were still on and hadn't even been sure he would be there. But she'd headed there anyway to make sure she wasn't leaving the big guy hanging.
Their mission today to M33-985 had not gone off well; she'd been kidnapped and then helped her kidnapper/runner and the young girl with him who'd been injured. There had even been Wraith. For the betting pools on Atlantis she was sure it was a very successful mission. Oh yeah… she'd also been hit with a stunner, several times in fact. So, for those betting individuals it'd been a literal jackpot, she really needed to get in on the "What will Keller encounter on her mission this time pool."
She thought that Ronon would expect her to be busy in the infirmary with Celise or exhausted, but then she'd gotten near the doorway to the gym and overheard a conversation never meant for her ears.
She could hear Rodney's next question just as clear as when she'd been standing just outside the gym. "I mean, are you interested in her in a… romantic fashion?" Then the Satedan responded making her heart plummet again before swelling with hope as he changed his answers once more.
Now that she rehashed the conversation in her head Ronon's answers were not… exuding confidence. He flip-flopped quite a bit with no then yes, followed again by no then yes. Jennifer rolled onto her side and closed her eyes trying to forget it all. She needed sleep, maybe it would all seem clearer in the morning.
Jennifer slept very restlessly and finally gave up at about four in the morning. She tied her tennis shoes that she had kicked off the night before and decided to try to clear her mind with an early morning run, but it was not helping.
Now that she was out running she could do nothing but remember the conversation that she overheard and all of her doubts that followed.
Was Ronon just messing with Rodney?
Was it a competitive thing?
Are his intentions serious, or just the at-this-moment kind of intentions?
When she finally stopped and looked around she found herself out on the pier overlooking the water. The sound of the water lapping against the city set a rhythm for her churning thoughts.
Could they actually have a relationship?
Would she lose him as a friend if they tried and failed?
What would people think?
Would he regret it once he found what she was like, all of her faults, her obvious fears, their many apparent differences?
I'm not his type… so why me?
That last question was probably the one that scared her the most. He was this fierce warrior type, while she was the clumsy, studious type. What would ever attract someone like him to her?
For her everything about Ronon was an attraction. The fierce warrior had the biggest heart. She could see it the moment she met the man. When he walked into the infirmary the staff would run for cover, too nervous to treat him, yet she could see through his bluster. It was always satisfying to stand her ground with him, to go toe to toe with his surly, silent brooding. She always smirked at the looks the staff gave her at first trying to figure out how she was able to stand the scary man. Later they just shook their heads and pointed him in her direction, glad they no longer had to act busy since he would only let her treat him.
The Marines would say relentlessly, but she thought it was patiently, he trained the men going offworld to defend and fight, giving them the best chance to make it back alive. He was always ready to defend and protect the members of the expedition, even those he didn't understand or found annoying, those he thought had no business being in this galaxy were protected, many times resulting in his own injury.
Then there was his team… his family. Colonel Sheppard… who he respected and loved like a best friend and older brother rolled into one. He'd follow Sheppard into a fire without asking why, or more precisely, a hive ship with only his blaster, Sheppard for backup and a nod from the Colonel. Teyla…she was the sister who kept him honest with himself, and helped him reign in his temper. They seemed to share a bond that didn't always need words; sometimes it was just a look. Rodney… the annoying, know-it-all little brother, who rarely got to see the concern or care Ronon held for him, both too busy trying to outdo the other.
Focusing on her surroundings for a moment she realized that it was no longer dark out. In fact, the sun was high and beginning to warm her skin. She would need to hurry to make it back with enough time to shower before her shift. She took one last moment to close her eyes and soak up a moment of the sound of the waves, smell of salt in the air and the warmth of the sun, for that one moment her mind held nothing. In the next moment her thoughts were running as she did the same back to her room.
With her mind stewing on what she overheard mixed with all of her fears and the many doubts, she contemplated doing nothing. She could just forget the conversation between the soldier and the scientist existed. If either were interested in her, they would make it known to her and she could deal with it then.
But Jennifer had never been good at pretending. That's why she sucked big time at girl's poker night. She knew both men would know something was wrong, they just wouldn't know what. She had always shied away from being the bold, brave one, but with her feet pounding the ground as she ran the rest of the way to her room she resolved to face this head on, to find the courage and take control, it could change her life.