Disclaimer - I do not own SGA or its' characters, nor am I making a profit from this.
A/N - This is the last chapter of my story, I'm sad to see it end but I'm delighted so many of you have enjoyed it.
Thank you to bailey1ak for your friendship and for being my wonderful beta. To Imbx, Pinky and hifield for your constant encouragement while I frantically wrote this and subsequent reviews. Thanks also to Tinky, Tess over at Live Journal, deblease, DW, Wraithfood and highonscifi for your constant reviews, each one is treasured.
Thank you to all of you for reading this and reviewing. I guess this answers my question, "Should I write whumpage?"
Woolsey quickly strode into the infirmary, coming to a halt at the bed occupied by Ronon, "Ronon, it's a pleasure to have you back to your old self again," he remarked, Woolsey was never very comfortable expressing his emotions.
"Thanks," the Satedan gruffly replied.
"Mr. Woolsey," Beckett greeted the expedition leader.
"Ah, Dr. Beckett, and how are our patients doing?"
"Ronon is making a good recovery though I'd like to keep him in overnight. I shall be waking Orla and Lorne shortly and moving them next to Ronon. They'll remain overnight at least just to make sure there's no lingering side effects. It's Colonel Sheppard who's my main concern right now. He's been surviving on adrenalin, morphine shots authorized by myself to alleviate any pain and sheer bloody will power. He seems to be over the concussion but he's still got a lot of cuts, to his face especially. Not to mention he's suffering from exhaustion. I've given him something to help him relax and sleep. He'll be out of it for quite some time."
"It seems you have everything under control, Dr. Beckett. Do you wish me to inform Dr. McKay, Teyla and Lt. Cadman of Ronon's recovery? I'm assuming from their absence here they know nothing about what's happened?" Woolsey replied.
"No they don't, Colonel Sheppard wanted only essential staff. When I've got the infirmary back to normal I'll have Dr. Keller inform the others, but thank you Mr. Woolsey."
"Very well, Doctor. Do you still require the Marine guard outside the infirmary?"
"What Marine guard?" Beckett asked incredulously.
"They apparently arrived with Todd. They said they were keeping anyone not authorized to be in the infirmary away."
"Right, well I think we can do without them now, thank you, Mr. Woolsey,"
"Of course, please keep me apprised of the Colonel's condition," Woolsey replied, turning to face Ronon again, he continued, "Like I said before, Ronon, it's good to have you back," Woolsey smiled, righted his jacket and headed out of the infirmary, the relief the last few days were finally over was written all over his face.
Slowly Beckett managed to get his infirmary back to its usual design, most of the patients he'd sent away to recuperate in their own quarters he allowed to carry on doing so as long as each patient checked in twice a day so their progress could be monitored. Carson had placed the four injured team mates in a more secluded area of the infirmary, away from the busiest daily traffic and away from too many curious glances.
Lorne and Orla had been moved to beds next to Ronon and Sheppard. Although Beckett had managed to persuade Ronon to change into scrubs for the duration of his stay he was unable to keep the man in bed and resting.
"Ronon, you should be in bed resting, your body's had an awful shock," Carson argued despite knowing his arguments would be in vain.
"I'm fine, I'm sitting doing nothing," Ronon his voice still hoarse.
"Can't you wake Orla?" the ex-Runner asked impatiently as he sat leaning on the small scientist's bed her hand engulfed in his large ones.
"That was what I was going to do next, lad," Carson replied as Marie approached holding a tray with two doses of medicine. "Thank you, Marie."
Beckett moved alongside Orla and prepped her for the injection. "You do know this won't work automatically, she's had a lot of drugs in her system recently and it'll take at least a few minutes before she'll begin to come to. Don't worry though, ok?"
Beckett smiled and moved on to Lorne to administer the reversal drug to him.
Ronon sat trying to be patient for Orla to wake. The last few days were finally beginning to take their toll on him, not that he had any intention of admitting so to anyone. So caught up in his own thoughts he almost jumped at the sound of his name being called from behind him. Turning to look behind him he saw Dr. Jennifer Keller, "Hey, Doc," he answered.
"Ronon...," Jennifer repeated.
Realizing she wanted his full attention he turned in his chair just in time to see the small doctor launch herself at him. Ronon tried to pry the young doctor's arms from about his still tender throat when he heard her gentle crying. Instead of trying to free himself from the upset woman he gently patted her shoulder and very hoarsely added, "I'm okay."
Jennifer heard the strain in Ronon's voice and released her vice-like grip on him blushing slightly. "I'm sorry, Ronon, just so happy you're okay, welcome back."
Ronon smiled he was still getting used to large displays of emotion some of the people from Earth felt he needed occasionally.
Ronon's attention was immediately brought back to the woman in the bed before him. "Orla," was all he could say as he got up off his chair and wrapped his large arms around her quietly whispering his love over and over to her in Satedan.
"Where've you been? When Todd ... he helped me, I couldn't see you," Orla gushed all at once her relief at finally seeing her lover causing her to ask every question as one.
"Little one, shhh, everything is fine, it's over, everyone's home," he replied knowing he'd have to tell her about his pact with Todd. For now, he just wanted to hold her.
"Umm ... Carson said I can tell the others, I'll just go and do that," Jennifer declared from the foot of Orla's bed, not surprised at being ignored by the couple before her.
"Lorne, how are you, lad?" Beckett asked as he watched the Major begin to surface from his induced sleep.
"Uhhh," was all Lorne could muster in reply.
"Take it easy, everyone is fine and you're safe now,"
"Orla?" the Major's eyes flew open wide with concern.
"She's fine, she's being guarded as we speak by Ronon," Beckett chuckled.
"Never mind, just try to relax. I'll come and check on you again shortly."
As Carson moved away from Lorne's bed the Major turned his head, he visibly relaxed when he saw the sight of Ronon settling himself in next to Orla.
The raised voice of Dr. Rodney McKay filtered through the whole infirmary; he was angry, angry at Carson, Sheppard, Ronon and most of Atlantis it appeared.
Lorne opened his eyes on hearing the commotion coming from the other side of the infirmary. Turning his head he saw Ronon too had noticed but beyond simply raising his head from off the pillow he shared with Orla he didn't seem interested and so the Major closed his eyes and decided to allow it all to wash over him.
Dr. McKay however had other plans for his friends and despite Teyla's repeated warnings to tread carefully that Orla might not yet be aware of what had happened, McKay being McKay and feeling slighted, marched into the section of the infirmary housing his friends and was about to bellow his displeasure when he took in the sight before him. Sheppard and Lorne were asleep and Orla and Ronon staring at him as though his appearance was the strangest thing.
"So, not only do you terrify your friends you ... you ... idiot ...," Rodney yelled at Ronon, his tirade seemingly unstoppable.
"Enough, Rodney," Teyla angrily barked making everyone jump. "I warned you, Rodney, do not try my patience further, not today. Let us simply rejoice at having our friends back," the undertone to Teyla's warning wasn't missed by anyone.
"What's going on?" Orla asked confused as she tried to sit up, wincing as her still bruised chest objected.
"Be careful, little one," Ronon said as he helped Orla to sit upright.
"What's going on? Oh, where do I begin?" Rodney stammered his face flushed, in truth McKay was pleased his friend was back to normal but angry that he'd spent the last hour trying to think of ways to help Orla get through what was going to be a dark time for them all, and all the while Sheppard and Ronon had been planning his recovery.
"McKay, pipe down," Cadman warned coming to stand in front of the physicist her eyes blazing.
"Um ... well, if you put it like that," Rodney huffed.
"I do," Laura quietly added.
"Okay, guys, can someone please tell me what's going on?" Orla inquired.
"Yeah, I'd quite like to know too," Lorne piped up from his bed.
"Evan, I mean, Sir," Cadman cried out as she walked over to the Major and promptly hugged him.
Lorne blushed at the show of affection from Cadman, he muttered, "Thanks, Cadman."
"It is good to see you back safe and sound Evan," Teyla smiled brightly at the Major.
"What she said," muttered McKay.
Laura moved back toward Orla's bed and threw herself onto it; she held her arms out wide and encircled both Orla and Ronon in a huge hug.
"Laura, it's good to see you too," Orla laughed. "Teyla, Rodney, it's good to see you both too. Oh, you too Evan," the scientist continued.
"Yes, it's good to see us all but what the hell Ronon?" McKay groused crossing his arms, Teyla and Laura's earlier warnings seemingly going unheeded.
"McKay ...," Ronon growled.
Taking the hint Rodney ceased his complaining. "So, what about sleeping beauty over there?" McKay pointed at the unconscious Sheppard.
"Beckett gave him something to help him sleep and relax, said he'll be like that for a while," Ronon explained.
"Ladies and ... gentleman, it's time you allowed my patients to rest," Carson pronounced as he came to stand next to McKay.
"Huh, I bet you were involved too," McKay snorted.
"In what, Rodney?"Carson sighed heavily.
"Oh just Conan's remarkably youthful appearance,"
"RODNEY!!" Teyla, Laura and Carson bellowed in Unison.
"Ronon, what's going on?" Orla demanded.
"I think you and I need to talk," Ronon admitted glaring at the physicist.
For the following day and half Dr. Beckett kept Sheppard mildly sedated. He wanted the Colonel to allow his body the time to recover and Sheppard was never the easiest of patients believing he was always better than he truly was.
Ronon sat at the foot of Sheppard's bed waiting for his friend to waken. He'd lifted his long legs onto the end of the bed and crossed his feet, settling himself in for the wait. Relaxing the big Satedan began to doze.
"You comfy, Chewie?" Sheppard croaked his throat parched.
Ronon was instantly awake; he looked at his friend and grunted before he smiled ever so slightly. Shifting his legs Ronon stood up and dragged his chair so he could sit facing the military man. "Sheppard," he greeted the Colonel.
Ronon watched as Sheppard smacked his lips together, his friends thirst obvious. The ex-Runner reached for the nearby water jug and poured some water into a beaker, he handed the cup over to Sheppard saying, "Beckett said sip it only."
"Thanks," the Colonel gruffly answered.
Ronon sat back down and waited for Sheppard to pay him attention once more.
Sheppard wanted to drink deeply from the cup but understood why Beckett had said he was only allowed to sip the water. He'd ignored Beckett's advice about the water once and had paid dearly for it. It was a lesson he'd never forgotten.
"Let me get Beckett," Ronon said rising to his feet.
Sheppard nodded, he could use some of those good drugs Beckett kept, his face felt as bad as he knew it probably looked. At least the swelling over his eye was beginning to go and he could now see light though distinguishing what was in the light was still a ways off yet.
"Colonel Sheppard, good to see you awake," Carson smiled as he approached the Colonel.
"Let's take some vitals and then you'll be wanting some more pain medication,"
Vitals taken and pain medication given Beckett left to allow the two men to talk.
"How you really feeling?" Ronon asked bluntly.
"Like hell but if you ever tell Beckett that I'll ...,"
"I'll think of something," Sheppard chuckled.
"How's Orla? She okay?"
"She's fine. Mad as hell at me but she's okay," Ronon admitted, not wanting to remember the look on her face as he explained what had happened. He couldn't keep that kind of information from her and it was best coming from him but it didn't stop the tears and look of horror on her face as he told her as gently as he could.
"She loves you, give her time," Sheppard replied.
"I know. I owe you my life, Sheppard, thank you. I don't know how ...,"
"We're a team, Ronon and you've saved my ass plenty, besides made a deal with Todd that I'm sure even you'll like."
"You made a deal!"
"You didn't think Todd gave you back your years out of the goodness of his heart, did you?"
"I didn't know what to think to be honest," Ronon whispered, "I ... trusted you and hoped it was enough."
Sheppard nodded, groaned as he did his body objecting to being moved,
"What ... what did you ... promise?" Ronon asked, dreading the reply.
"That we'd help Todd to kill rival Hive factions,"
"Kill other Wraith? Doesn't sound so bad."
"Wait until Woolsey finds out what I agreed too," Sheppard half heartedly joked.
"He's been pacing a lot," Ronon smiled, "I mean it Sheppard I owe you..." Ronon held up his hand silencing Sheppard. "Let me finish. You didn't stop me finding Orla and you could've shot me or Todd to stop him feeding but you didn't, then you got him to give me back the years. I will never forget what you did, I owe you."
"If you owe me you can quit going on about it, can't stand all those talks about feelings. Think I'm gonna get me some sleep now, buddy." Sheppard yawned, the drugs beginning to take effect.
"Good idea. Could do with a nap myself," Ronon replied as he settled himself back into place at the foot of his friend's bed.
The End. Please review.