A/N: A new story was the last thing I expected to start, but thanks to brainstorming w/ Shadows-of-Realm for Life in the Milky Way this story was born and my mind would not let me push it aside. So any blame for this should be directed toward him. Thanks to him for the beta.
Long Way Home by K.A.T.
Chapter 1- Bad Beginnings
It was not supposed to happen here of all places or tonight of all times. It was supposed to be one night of escaping the craziness before being thrown back head first into the insanity. It was their wedding night. The happiest night of their lives so far. The groom looked down at it bride, his body firmly resting on top of hers. "The night is young," he lowered his head to meet the woman's swollen lips. Two newlyweds were lost in their own world of bliss, only to have it violently ripped apart.
Strong hands ripped the groom from his bride's embrace. "Leave her alone. Don't hurt her," he begged as he watched the terrified woman scramble to cover her bare skin. He struggled to get free and protect his love, but the hands only dug deeper into the pale skin of his shoulders. He felt the bruises already begin to form.
The woman was scared into silence, tears streaming down her face. The two masked men paid no attention to her as they tossed a sack over her husband's head and bound his limbs together. As fast as they came in, they were gone.
The bride was left alone and crying on her wedding night. She scrambled to put clothes on, but she shook too much to get past one foot inside her pants. Panic and fear took over and the woman fell to the ground, dazed at how quickly everything had changed. One second she was about start a third round of love making with her new husband and in a blink of an eye he was pulled away. She had thought the masked thugs were there to hurt her. An amorous couple with their guard down was an easy target. They did not even pay any attention to her. They knew what they wanted and claimed their target.
After an hour she picked herself off the ground and slowly redressed. It was a dumb idea to spend their wedding night on a secluded part of New Athos, but there was something very romantic about it. Life had been good for too long and they had known it was only a matter of time before something shattered the blissful calm.
Time moved slowly as her feet ran toward the settlement at breakneck speed. "He's gone!" After giving the message the bride collapsed.
When the woman came to she saw the familiar surroundings of the infirmary.
"Hey there. You're finally awake," John reached out to keep the woman from sitting up.
"Did you find him?" The bride's eyes darted around for any sign of her husband, but they did not find what they were looking for. Her heart raced and her whole body shook. The newlywed fought the urge to vomit. "I know your answer." Tears once again filled her eyes.
"We will find him. We are not going to give up. His subcutaneous transmitter has been disabled," John reassured the frightened woman.
"I know," she said numbly and focused on a blank spot on the wall.
The days passed with no information and the little bit that came in were all dead ends. Soon a month came and went. Hope dimmed with each passing day and by the middle of the second month the official search was called off.
It was only by chance in the fourth month during a routine exploration mission that John and his teamed stumbled upon him, huddled in a ditch. At first he was unrecognizable; skin blackened with dirt, hair bushy and unkempt, beard covering most of his face and the most shocking; he was nothing more than skin and bones. It wasn't until he opened his eyes that the team realized he was not some scared native, but one of them that they never thought they would see again.
"Rodney, is that really you?" Teyla asked softly. She saw a flash of recognition in his eyes, but the frail man backed away from his friends.
"Come on, buddy. Let's get you home. That wife of yours has been worried sick," John reached out for Rodney's hand and jumped back when then man let put a blood curling scream that lasted until the man was spent of energy and passed out.
Ronon nodded wordlessly as he went to pick up the unconscious man, ignoring the putrid smell emanating from him. "Let's get him home."
To be continued…
a/n: Future chapters will be longer than this. Hope you enjoyed this and don't forget to leave a review.