With the crashed ship acting better than a beacon, it took Ronon scant moments to find the tracks leading away from it. He and Kisri ghosted purposefully through the forest in silence, eyes wide, ears wider, following the tracks of the Wraith they were hunting. They led to the base of a black cliff, specifically, to a hole cut into the face of it. Kisri and Ronon retreated several metres and held a brief council of war.
"We should bring reinforcements," Ronon advised. "That cave looks like it was designed to be a trap."
"The question is…" Kisri's voice trailed off as she turned ideas over in her mind. "I don't know whether we'll be able to contact Kish'Kirin in time," she continued briskly, "and I don't want him to get away while we're trying. I think if we move quickly enough we can reach him before–"
A familiar whine reached her ears, and without needing to be told, Ronon ducked down underneath the cover of a large fern. Kisri followed suit, and they watched as three more darts flew overhead.
There was no doubt about it: they were heading for the cave.
Kisri spent the next few seconds indulging in some highly creative cursing, partly from rage, partly to distract herself from the fact that their meagre concealment meant she was pressed up tightly against Ronon. "That smooths it," she told him finally. "We need to cripple either those darts or the gate. We cannot let them leave the planet."
Ronon nodded, once. "Let's do this, then."
"Ronon," Kisri began.
She shook her head. "Nothing."
"Kisri, we can't go into this if you aren't focused," Ronon chided her.
"Focus yourself!" she replied with spirit.
Ronon grinned. "I am focused. This is what I'm good at."
A surge of misery rose in Kisri's chest, choking her for a moment. She looked away and pulled her gun. "Fine," she said crisply.
"Are you alright?" Ronon asked slowly.
"I'm fine." Her voice was icy. "Let's go."
Kisri paused. "Excuse me?"
"I'm not going in there if you can't keep your mind straight," Ronon announced.
"This is not a negotiation," Kisri began.
"No, it's a fight, and we're going to lose it if you can't get your head in the game," Ronon snapped.
Kisri looked down, looked up, and shook her head. Then she ran.
This solved nothing. There was nowhere to go. He could run faster than her. She was going to break her ankle. It didn't matter; she had to get away.
Strangely enough, Ronon didn't catch up to her. She ran for what seemed like hours before she finally slowed to a stop by the bank of a wide, lazy river. A group of large rocks littered the ground. She sat down, and sank her head into her hands.
The river chuckled past, and she found herself listening for the voices that had been in the water of her planet. There was nothing: just the mindless babble of water on rocks, like crowds of people rushing towards something.
She heard nothing, but suddenly Ronon was crouching beside her, one hand resting on her shoulder. "Kisri?"
She would have liked to say that she stood gracefully, but the truth that is she lunged to her feet like she was about to tackle him. Ronon took a step backwards, but he should have taken two: before she really knew what was going on, Kisri found herself kissing him.
They stood there for eternity. Kisri felt his startled hesitation, felt it pass. His arms wrapped around her and she revelled in the feeling of standing there, in his arms, protected and still.
The river faded. The wind died. His arms tightened, and something hard dug into Kisri's chest, right above her heart.
Kisri stepped back.
"I can't do this anymore," she whispered helplessly.
Ronon stepped forwards, even more confused than he had been before, if that was possible. "Kisri, that–" His voice was slightly rough, but it sent shards of pain through her heart.
"Stop," Kisri announced. Ronon stopped and looked at her carefully, his eyes sharpening with worry.
Kisri looked at him and blinked away a tear.
"Go home, Ronon Dex," she told him.
Kisri pulled the controller from her jacket and began entering a command. The controller protested, telling her that her request was invalid. Kisri thought for a moment, then tapped something else. There was a happy beeping noise, and Ronon froze, his face losing expression, his hands falling limp by his sides.
Kisri reached out and tucked the controller in his belt, looking up at his empty face for the final time. "Go home," she whispered, then turned and began the long trudge back to the cave where the Wraith she was hunting were hidden. Behind her, Ronon turned and began to walk towards the stargate.