Disclaimer: I do not own SGA or any of the characters and this is written purely for fun not profit.
A/N: This is set directly after the events of Tracker. As such there is spoiler risk for anything up to and including tracker.
Sheppard, Teyla, McKay and Ronon stood in the gate room waiting to start their mission and waiting for the CMO to arrive. When she finally bustled into the control tower laden with bags she sheepishly looked at Sheppard.
"Sorry I'm late."
"It's ok doc, it makes a change from waiting for McKay." Sheppard smiled back, before nodding to Chuck to dial the gate.
Ronon moved closer to Jennifer and raised an arm to take a bag from her.
"I'm fine." Jennifer said, her voice cold. Ronon backed off, whilst McKay stayed out of the way. Sheppard and Teyla exchanged glances and watched as Ronon disappeared through the event horizon followed by McKay and Jennifer.
Twenty minutes into their trek off-world Sheppard slowed his pace and was glad when Teyla did the same. "Do you have any idea what is going on?" He asked.
"None. But I am worried Jennifer seems very withdrawn." Teyla commented.
"And Rodney has not complained once." Sheppard added.
"Do you think it is to do with the last mission?" Teyla asked.
"I don't know. They all seemed fine afterwards." Sheppard answered. "Keep an eye on the doc." He ordered as they set off to catch up with the three other members of the team, who were walking silently, keeping as much distance as they could between each other.
When they finally reached the village Jennifer entered the small building, which served as a town hall and began to unpack her supplies. Sheppard and Teyla followed her in.
"How do you want to play this doc?" Sheppard asked.
"Play?" Jennifer asked looking up, clearly confused.
"The situation. How many of us do you want to stay with you?" He asked.
"There is no need for anyone to stay. I have visited this village many times before. I will be perfectly safe. Besides it is not as if you are going to a different planet, the ruins are only 4 km away. Anyway I will be cooped up in here the whole time and anyone else would just cramp the situation." Jennifer replied.
Sheppard looked at the CMO carefully, making Jennifer feel the need to argue her case further.
"If the ruins were not here, you would not be here, but I would and probably without anyone else, just like last time and the time before."
"You know Ronon will want to stay an-" Sheppard started, but was quickly cut-off by Jennifer.
"Last I checked Ronon was not in charge. I would really prefer he was not here, he will scare away half my patients." Jennifer argued in a very defensive tone.
"I could stay." Teyla intervened.
"There is no need I will be fine. I have been alone in this village several times before without getting into trouble."
Sheppard opened his mouth to counter, but decided against it. "Ok then, well we will be back in four-five hours and will be in radio contact throughout." Sheppard said as he turned to leave. As he reached the door he said. "And doc, I would consider it a personal favour if you avoided being kidnapped." He was out the door before Jennifer's face had formed the returning scowl.
Outside Teyla asked. "Was that last comment necessary?"
"With her track record?" Sheppard queried, Teyla just quirked an eyebrow in response as she followed Sheppard towards Ronon and McKay.
"Ok, lets go." Sheppard announced as he reached the two men who were maintaining a large distance between them.
"Who's staying with Jennifer?" Ronon asked, noticing that Teyla had accompanied Sheppard over.
"No one." Sheppard replied.
"No one? But shouldn't someone stay, just in case?" McKay said over Ronon's growl.
"She has been to this planet unaccompanied several times before and she was not keen on you staying around." Sheppard said, directing his comment to Ronon. "If I had any doubts about her safety I would stay behind myself, but there is no reason to think she won't be safe. If you can tell me that she doesn't want you around for an unjustified reason let me know and I will reconsider. If not we are moving. Anyway you two managed to let her get kidnapped when you stayed with her last time." He added, resulting in Ronon glaring at his back.
With SGA1 gone Jennifer started to do her follow-ups on the people in the village, relieved to have so much to do that she did not focus on her anger.
After a couple of hours she sighed as her communicator bleeped again.
"How you doing doc?" Sheppard asked, his voice cheery.
"The same as when you asked twenty minutes ago." Jennifer replied not bothering to hide her annoyance. "I would finish my work much quicker without the constant disturbances."
"But doc if I don't radio you I will have to listen to McKay talk about energy fluctuations in rocks." Sheppard answered.
"I am sure you will survive. Now if you will excuse me I have work to do." She signed of more sharply than she had intended and set to work on her next patient. Once again allowing herself to become immersed in her work. She became so immersed that she was surprised to learn, when she finally did take a break, that two hours had passed. She stretched her back and then headed outside to fetch some fresh water. As she walked over to the well she smiled at the villagers she passed.
"Dr Keller, how is your work going? Once again I am unable to express my gratitude for all you have done to help us." The village leader said.
"It is no problem. Besides your people make better patients than my people." She smiled warmly. "The last symptoms of infection have disappeared in all but two people, so it looks like you are out of the woods."
"That is wonderful news. Perhaps you will join me for a drink and some food so that I can thank you for your hard work."
"Your thanks is not needed, but a drink does sound good." Jennifer replied, allowing herself to be guided towards the local tavern. As they walked, the village leader asked.
"Dr Keller, have I or my people done something to offend you?"
"No. Why would you think that?" Jennifer asked concerned.
"I can't help but notice that you are carrying a gun. Something you have not done before." He replied looking at the holster containing her side arm, which was attached to her thigh.
"It is just protocol. I have a tendency of running into trouble." Jennifer shrugged. "If there was any doubt of our trust in you I would have an armed guard."
"Well that is good. I think." He replied as they entered a small garden in front of the tavern. "Please take a seat, whilst I fetch some drinks and food."
Accepting his offer Jennifer sat down at the only available table. She looked round and saw at the table next to hers a group of men she did not recognise as natives of the village. As she waited for the leader to return, she could not help but unintentionally eavesdrop on their conversation. But as she caught wind of their conversation, she started actively listening especially when she heard.
"You are sure?"
"Positive. The runner is here. This will be your best chance."
"Very well. If you are right and we kill him you will be paid in full."
Feeling the colour drain from her face Jennifer quickly stood and walked away from the tavern. When she felt a safe distance away she tapped her earpiece. "Sheppard come in." After a pause she repeated, "Sheppard come in." Shaking her head at the lack of response she tried, "Teyla, Rodney, Ronon, come in." Again to no avail. She tried once more and when she got no response she returned to the tavern and was dismayed to find the table was now unoccupied. As panic began to set in she scanned the area and saw a man she could not place as a local head out of the village. Deciding she had no other choice she followed him.