Prompt 1 – "Curse"
The disappointment and frustration was written all over Ronon Dex's face and Carson Beckett had to resist the temptation to reach out and touch him on the arm in a gesture of comfort. If it had been anyone else, the Doctor wouldn't have hesitated, but Ronon had only been on Atlantis for a week or so, keeping himself to himself, and Carson still wasn't quite sure how to best deal with the big, taciturn Satedan.
"I'm sorry…" he tried.
Arms folded across his chest, Ronon tilted his head slightly as he looked at Beckett, "You're sure, Doc?"
The Scotsman nodded, "Aye, I am, Big Man. I ran the tests three times just to be sure, but there's no evidence at all of anything that might have soured you for the Wraith..."
Ronon nodded, pursing his lips, taking in the information, wondering where he was going to go from here. There was little left for him now on Atlantis. These people from Earth had rescued him, but they didn't trust him. He was followed everywhere like a convicted felon rather than a "guest".
He had only stayed this long in the hope that the Doctor would find an answer. He had willingly submitted himself to all sorts of medical prodding and poking, in the hope that the Atlantis medics would be able to quantify the curse that had spared him when the rest of his people had been devoured. If they could isolate it, they could use it against the Wraith.
But in yet another unjust twist of destiny, even that possibility had been stolen from him.
Ronon had appreciated the courtesy the Atlantis medical staff had shown him. He was grateful to Beckett for removing the tracking device and for trying to find answers for him. He had even been grateful for Sheppard's clumsy attempts to divert him from his dark moods after they had found Sateda rased to the ground.
These were not his people, though. He was a stranger here: a distrusted outsider, and he no longer had any reason to stay.
"Thanks, Doc," he told Beckett, turning and heading for the door.
The Satedan stopped, turning to look back at the Doctor.
"You've been running for quite a wee while," Beckett reminded him. "Whatever it was that the Wraith didn't like, it's probably out of your system by now, years out of your system. It could have been the food that you'd eaten… or residue from the firearms you were using…"
He took a step towards Ronon, "I know that we didn't find anything this time… but that doesn't mean that we won't find it next time…"
Ronon hesitated. It was tempting… but the walls of Atlantis were already closing in on him. The Satedan nodded acknowledgement of the Doctor's words and then turned away, walking out into the corridor. The protection detail fell in a few steps behind him.
He would go to their mess area, fill his belly, then he would ask for some supplies and get on his way.
Leaning on the balcony rail, the breeze tugging at his hair, Ronon Dex watched the colours of the sunset as they changed and darkened on the far horizon.
John Sheppard's invitation to stay, to become part of his team on Atlantis, had interrupted the plans to leave. It had been a long time since he had worked as part of a unit. He respected both Sheppard and Teyla, but after seven years evading the Wraith alone, it wouldn't be easy adjusting to taking orders and being responsible for more than just himself…
The other side of the coin, however, was having a dry bed to sleep in, food in his belly and someone to watch his back. Those were very appealing prospects.
The Wraith had ripped him from everything he had ever known. Whatever the curse that had thrown him into a solitary life of running, hiding and fighting, events had pushed him into the path of these people from Earth. He had seen them risk their lives to help one of their own… and now he was being offered a place amongst them.
Ronon, you need to trust us.
Maybe, finally, it was time…
Ronon Dex turned, walking back into the city of Atlantis, heading down to find John Sheppard and give him his answer.