One month later:

Ronon collapsed into his bed, feeling like he'd gone ten rounds with a Wraith, to use Sheppard's term. He'd have to ask some day what a round was and why ten of them was considered grueling. Sheppard used the phrase to mean "beat up" and that's how Ronon felt. They had all gotten knocked around when the Wraith Hive ship crashed into the ocean and sank like a stone. Major Kersey had gotten them out only moments before the great ship sucked everything within its grasp down into the depths with it.

Dr. Keller, still recovering herself, had only let him out of her grasp an hour ago with the promise that he'd go home and rest. Ronon had promised just to get out of there, but he didn't need encouragement to rest. He was tired.

He'd been dozing for a couple of hours when his doorbell chime rang and he bolted out of his bed with a leap and a surge of adrenaline. A quick glance at the clock confirmed his suspicion. It was late. There must be some emergency.

He threw his shirt over his shoulders, snatched for his gun belt and was strapping it on over his sleep pants when he swiped the release and opened the door to his room.

"What's the problem? Where's the trouble?" he growled at the visitor before stopping to look and see who it was.


Ronon held himself back from lunging down the hall and finally realized that it was Shepard standing there, dressed in night clothes with an added pullover sweat jacket. Sheppard pulled a face and Ronon finally realized that there was no urgency in his stance. He had his hands in his pockets and stood in a wide slouch.

"No emergency?" Ronon said at last, pausing in the act of finishing his buckle.

"I was just, uh, I wanted to make sure you were doing alright. See if you needed anything?"

Sheppard was blushing a deeper red the longer he stood there and he suddenly turned as if to leave, looking like he was about to bolt.

"But I should let you rest. Sorry I woke you."


Sheppard had already taken a step before Ronon got his brain to catch up. He also took a step, eager for John to stay. Where did Sheppard go when the memories got too thick?

"I was just lying around. Want to go get something to eat?" Ronon asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.

"Sure." John looked at him sidewise. "You going to bring your gun to the dining room?"

Ronon looked down, finished fastening the buckle.

"Can't be too careful," he said and John guffawed. Ronon swiped the control bar and his door shushed closed. Sheppard turned down the hall and they walked in unhurried companionship through the quiet and empty city.

No words required.

A/N: Thanks to everyone for the kind notes along the way. On a side note, Sheppard has had a little chat with me. He's gotten a little, hm, testy about my treatment of him in this episode and I admit I was a little hard on him. In my defense, it was just too darn tempting to kill him off so often when it was so easy to keep him alive at the same time. I've apologized, and I think he'll appear in future stories, but he wants something really actiony to do. I'll have to think on it.