She was jealous. It was that simple.
It had been staring her in the face for days, hell, months now and she was finally ready to admit the truth, if not to the world, at least to herself. She was jealous.
It wasn't a nice feeling and it wasn't an attractive quality in a person but it was there, simmering just below the surface and if Amelia did not get her hands off of Ronon in the next two seconds she was going to smash her tray across her face. Well, probably not in reality but she'd imagine doing it. The satisfying whack and food flying across the room and maybe there'd even be some blood. Of course, knowing herself, she'd start apologizing immediately and then go into doctor mode and start bandaging Amelia up. But she'd probably like the feeling for a second at least.
"Doctor Keller? Jennifer? May I join you?" The soft serene voice broke through the bloodlust, she was feeling bloodlust?, and Jennifer managed a smile and a nod at Teyla.
What was wrong with her? She had given up all claim on Ronon more than a year ago and she was now feeling jealous? So maybe she'd still had a thing for him even when she was dating Rodney. So maybe her and Rodney had broken up and she was beginning to wonder what if? So maybe the sight of Amelia and Ronon all close and touching was making it hard for her to keep her meal down.
"Jennifer? Are you alright? You seem a little…distracted."
"What? Oh, no, I'm fine, just thinking."
"I can leave, if you wanted some space to-"
"Oh! No! Please, don't leave, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply - you know, it'll be good to have you here to distract me."
"From my thoughts. Bad thoughts. So, how is Torren doing?" Teyla smiled at the mention of her son before launching into a rather detailed description of all of the amazing things he did that day. Jennifer tried to listen, she really did, but it was hard to concentrate on Teyla's excited voice when Amelia appeared to be attempting to climb into Ronon's lap. The fact that he was not stopping her did not go unnoticed either.
"What? Oh, unbelievable, all the things that Torren is doing. You know, I'm terrible company today so I'm just going to go…somewhere. You could join Ronon and Amelia or not, because maybe they want to be alone, not that I would know if they want to be alone or not, I'm just saying that…I'm babbling. Sorry."
Jennifer stood up, prepared to leave the table and the mess hall and, hopefully, the green-eyed monster behind her. She reached for her tray but Teyla's hand stopped hers and a slight tug had her sitting down once more. Jennifer slumped over, banging her head softly on the table once, before looking up into Teyla's calm face.
"I'm completely obvious aren't I?"
"Not as obvious as you think. At least not to the people involved."
"They seem pretty wrapped up in each other, don't they? God I was stupid back then - played it safe and look what I ended up with? Nothing but a bad case of jealousy and now a sore spot on my forehead."
"So maybe you made the wrong choice then but nothing is broken that cannot be mended."
"Oh, I'm pretty sure there are some things that are completely and utterly broken but thanks for the pep talk. I'm just going to go before I go completely nuts. I'll see you later, Teyla."
"Jennifer." She stopped her movements once more at her name, looked at Teyla's cool and confident face and wished once more that she had even an ounce of that security and strength. "Nothing is irreparable, not even the heart."
Jennifer got up once more and headed toward the exit. She was a few steps from the door, almost out of the danger zone, when she decided to take one final glance back at the man she had not chosen. Her steps slowed but she did not stop, instead turning her head back to see him. She froze, her next steps untaken, as her eyes met piercing green ones across the room. He hadn't looked her in the eye, hadn't really noticed her presence, in a long time but here he was looking at her. She felt the familiar heat run through her, felt the air get sucked out of the room at the simple action of their eyes meeting.
'Oh god,' she thought as her cheeks flushed and she hastily turned away. 'Oh god, he saw me staring at him and now thinks I'm some sort of freakish stalker. Good going Jennifer, freak him out completely, that's the way to get a man.' She started walking again, quicker than before, barely avoiding running into the group of Marines who had just entered the mess hall.
It was only in the safety of her quarters that she allowed herself to breathe again. To think. To feel. She was jealous. It was that simple. And now that she knew it, what was she going to do?
Back in the mess hall, Ronon sat, quiet and still as usual, and contemplated what had just happened. He had known she was watching them - years as a Runner and as a Specialist before that had made him highly attuned to his surroundings - and he had wondered why.
Things had never been quite the same between them after she chose Rodney. A part of him still couldn't quite believe she'd chosen McKay and the other, larger, part of him wondered why he had ever thought she would chose him. He was a soldier, a killer, a Runner and everything she was not, everything he prayed she would never be forced to become. It shouldn't have surprised him that she chose McKay and yet, when she finally made her choice, he'd been hurt and confused and, frankly, pissed.
And now she was watching him? He wanted to know why, was hesitant to find out, and so he sat there attempting to convince himself that it was of no interest to him if she stared at him or not. But when their eyes met for the first time in a long time, electricity he had thought was gone ran through him and it was only the cool touch of Amelia's hand which reminded him to stay still and not going running after the little doctor.
So he sat and he waited and he thought. So she was staring at him. So she blushed her pretty - stop that, he shouldn't find it pretty anymore - little blush when he caught her looking at him. So he felt enough electricity running between them to light up Atlantis for a month. So her and McKay had broken up. So Amelia and him were friends and sometime lovers but nothing more. It didn't add up, not really, because for things to make sense she'd have to be interested in him in a more-than-friendly sense and he was not going down that road again. He was not going to set himself up for a fall once more, he was not going to be fooled. So he sat, listened as Amelia chatted about something, and thought some more.
She couldn't be interested, could she? And if she was, what was he going to do about it?