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Pariah - Fic

Title: Not Infallible, Still Heroic
Rating: G
Genre: gen
Character(s): Ronon, Sheppard, McKay
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Well. I own the DVDs. And I miss them on Fridays.
Notes: unbeta'd, totally stream of consciousness, just wondering what Ronon was thinking after getting out of the infirmary after Broken Ties. As always, if you spot something egregious, let me know, I'll fix it.
Summary: He’d surrendered to the power of the Wraith, like his friends before him. He didn’t know how to come back from that.


He woke to a voice droning on and on and to a dull ache in his guts. Hunger, he remembered. He hadn't felt it in so long, he'd almost forgotten.

"Sheppard?" he muttered.

"Ah, you're awake!" and it was McKay's voice.

He rolled his eyes.

"How do you feel?" McKay asked, and he seemed anxious, worried, even.

"Like hitting something."

"Uh, that might be good. Who? Or, um, What do you feel like hitting?"

"You, if you don't loosen these restraints and get me something to eat."

"He's back!" McKay shouted and was off and running.

Ronon watched him go for a moment then laid his head back down against the pillows, wondering where he'd been. He must have fallen asleep again, because the next time he opened his eyes, Sheppard was sitting next to his bed with a meal tray on the table next to him.

"Hey," he said, voice hoarse and gruff from what, he couldn't remember.

"Hey, buddy," Sheppard replied, his voice quiet, and his tone casual—almost too casual. Ronon knew something was wrong.

"How long was I out?"

Sheppard rubbed his chin, then set his hands on his hips, and gave a quick smile. "A week. Doc says you're going to be fine, though. The enzyme's all out of your system." He took a breath. "She wanted to keep you here another couple of days for observation, but I don't think that's what you want," he said, almost like a question.

"No."

"So I told her we'd—you know me, McKay, Teyla—we'd look after you." He said, like Ronon would protest.

"Okay." If it meant getting out of the bed and back on his feet, Ronon was willing to have an armed guard with him. Team was better, though, so he was okay with that.

"You sure?"

Ronon pinned him with a stare.

"Okay, well, then. I'll just have Keller sign you out of here, and we'll get you to your quarters."

It was late enough that the halls were clear, and Ronon was glad. He really didn't want people seeing him in the white scrubs, frail and pale as he was. He wanted his clothes, and Sheppard had offered, but he wanted out of the infirmary more. Appearances could be misleading, and if anyone did see him and get the wrong idea, he'd be more than happy to readjust their perception when he was dressed and ready. Which, given how exhausted he was just from the walk to his quarters, was going to be a while. That made him growl in frustration.

"I know," Sheppard said, slapping him on the back. "But you'll be back to form in no time." He gently pushed Ronon into his quarters. "I'm sure you want to be alone, so I'll, ah, I'll leave you to it," he said, and left.

Ronon watched the door shut behind him and let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. Sheppard had been tense, tentative. Even Keller had been a bit short with him. Ronon rubbed a hand over his face and sat down. It was a long way to the floor, and his body ached in places that hadn't ached in so long he'd forgotten he had them, but he sat and draped his arms over his knees.

Meditation was never his thing, and Teyla had hit him enough times as punishment for never quite mastering it, but he gave it a shot. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, blowing it out so slowly he thought his lungs would burst from the need for another breath. He did it again, then again, and then a third time.

Home, he thought. For years, nearly ten now, he'd thought of Sateda and her people as home, but in nearly losing Atlantis, he found he had another one.

His eyes burned behind his lids, and he knew there was no weakness in these tears. He let them come.

Those he'd known as family were gone, scatted to the many moons and stars this galaxy had to offer. There were no more Satedans, just drifters and traders and mercenaries, eking out their survival in a galaxy where the odds were stacked against them. That the ones closest to him had betrayed everything that Sateda stood for proved to him that Sateda, was well and truly gone—destroyed not by the Wraith, but by distance and separation.

His chest ached with a sob, and he let it out.

The only thing, the only place, he had left was Atlantis. And he realized, with a burst of the clarity that Teyla always hoped he'd achieve, that he'd almost given it up. No, that he had given it up. He'd surrendered to the power of the Wraith, like his friends before him.

He didn't know how to come back from that.

He opened his eyes and swiped at the tears he'd let roll down his cheeks. Looking around his quarters again, he saw the life he had not paid attention to. His pallet covered with furs and blankets from the worlds he'd never thought to visit as a runner, his floor and walls decorated with skins and tapestries he'd had no use or room for as a runner, the weapons he'd collected from markets he couldn't have visited as a runner. This was his life now, he realized, and somehow, without his knowledge he'd built himself a home, carved out friendships and place that he could call his.

And now, with simple words of an oath uttered to the wrong person—thing, he corrected—he could stand to lose it all. Why would they let a betrayer stay with them?

He stripped out of the scrubs, leaving them in a pile in the floor, and put on his own clothes. It took him longer than he'd have liked because he kept getting light headed, but he soldiered on until he was fully dressed. He found his knives laid out neatly, as though someone thought he'd be looking for them when he got well. H tucked them into their normal hidden places—up the cuff of his sleeve, in his dreds, the small of his back, the shaft of his boot. Their weight was comfortable and familiar. He started to feel normal again.

He took another deep breath, eyes closed. Then the chime on his door sounded.

"Come in," he called out, his voice still rough.

When the door opened, McKay stood there, wringing his hands, and stuttering something about eating. "McKay! Spit it out."

McKay stilled, and let his arms fall to his sides. "Fine. I was, uh, well. You left your tray in the infirmary, and you said you'd hit me if I didn't get you something to eat, so I thought you'd like to go down to the mess," he said and pointed over his shoulder. "Seeing as you're out of the infirmary, and probably still starving. I mean, I know I'd be."

Ronon stared down the hallway. Three scientists walked up, arguing about something until one of them caught his eye. She smiled at him and gave a little wave, and the others looked up and smiled, too, as they walked past his quarters.

"Ronon?" McKay asked, "I can...if you don't want to go, I can leave you alone."

"I could eat," Ronon assured him, and started out his door, giving McKay a friendly shove out of the way.

"You could?" he asked, then caught himself. "You could, of course. Well, all right then." He hurried to catch up to Ronon, and he didn't shut up the entire way to the mess.

When they walked in, no one stopped eating or talking to turn and stare at them. No one even noticed their arrival except Sheppard and Teyla, who were already seated at their regular table. Zelenka was exiting the mess and stopped McKay.

"Rodney, the simulations for the jumper hyperdrive modifications are complete," he said, holding up a tablet.

"Okay. I'll be on it later, Radek. Dinner now," McKay said, pointing at the line.

Zelenka looked up from his computer screen, taking a moment to absorb his surroundings. He caught Ronon's eye and smiled. "Oh, yes. Well. When you're done then?"

"Absolutely," McKay replied, already moving away.

"Enjoy your meal, Rodney," Zelenka said, finishing with, "And you, Ronon. It is...good to have you back," he said, smile still in place.

Ronon thought for a moment, then smiled back. "It's good to be back."

Nodding, Zelenka tentatively patted Ronon's arm, then headed out of the mess.

Ronon smiled to himself, and followed McKay through the line and to the table to sit with his team.


End.

They wouldn't be heroes if they were infallible, in fact they wouldn't be heroes if they weren't miserable wretched dogs, the pariahs of the earth...

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
esteefee
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:31 am (UTC)
oh, oh, there could never be enough Broken Ties codas, but this one: this one squeezed me hard, this one wrung me up and hurt me so right. So perfect that Ronon feels no shame in the right kind of tears, and that he understands what truly, finally destroyed Sateda, and I hurt for him so badly. But the ending healed me, thank you so much. Thank you!! *squishes him*
altyronsmaker
Jul. 8th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
After Broken Ties, we don't really hear anything else about Sateda, either from the Lanteans or, more importantly, from Ronon. I just wondered how he got to that place where he could finally let it go and be...Lantean. This is what came of that.

Thank you so much for the lovely comment! I like the fics that break you a little bit then put you back together again. I never thought I'd be able to do that kind of story justice, so I"m so glad this story worked in that way for you.

saphirablue
Jul. 8th, 2011 07:50 am (UTC)
That is an awesome Broken Ties coda!

I love that you wrote it in Ronon's POV.

And the Teamness! ♥ ♥

Thank you!
altyronsmaker
Jul. 8th, 2011 08:00 am (UTC)
It's the team that is his new family, and they had to be the ones to bring back to Atlantis, let him know that he's got a new home.

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad you liked it! :D
wneleh
Jul. 8th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
I really, really like this! I have a huge soft spot for stories which show how characters keep (more or less) sane and functional, with a little help from their friends.
altyronsmaker
Jul. 9th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! I like getting into Ronon's head a bit, and with his 'surrender' to the Wraith, you just know he had to suffer some major fallout, emotionally and mentally, from that. But of course, there's team to help him through it. :)

thanks for reading and commenting! :)
goddess47
Jul. 8th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
I like that it was Rodney that came to get him for dinner... that speaks more to Team than anything else could have.

Nicely done!
altyronsmaker
Jul. 9th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC)
sheppard leads him home, Teyla makes sure home is ready and comfortable, and Rodney's all about the food! hahah! but yes. There's not much that Ronon and Rodney can bond about, but Atlantis, the team and food will always bring them together.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it! :D
trystings
Jul. 8th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
I love it. Ronon, Sheppard, McKay, Teyla, they each react in a way that's very characteristic to them. Great coda.
altyronsmaker
Jul. 9th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
so glad you liked it.

I think it owuld take the team being 'normal' for Ronon to get what the people of the expedition pretty much already get: Doesn't matter where you come from, Atlantis is home.

Thanks for reading and for the lovely comment. :)
ceitie
Jul. 9th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
Hugs for everybody in this story, but especially Ronon.
altyronsmaker
Jul. 9th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
Oh. I know, right! He hurt my heart a little with this. Thanks so much for reading and commenting :).

trillingstar
Jul. 9th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
*sniffles* Okay, I'm all teary now. I really liked this, how Sheppard's there to walk him home, that Ronon has a cathartic cry and then redresses, the weight of his knives comforting. A wonderful, caring Team vibe throughout and bonus Radek at the end! Lovely story.
ongiara
Jul. 9th, 2011 09:41 am (UTC)
Really loved how you snuck into Ronon's head and shed some light onto his inner struggles. Spot on characterization all around. Great work!
michelel72
Jul. 10th, 2011 06:02 am (UTC)
This is the perfect coda. I love the way the team is tentative but very much there for him, and that what really matters to everyone else is simply that he came back.
ozsaur
Jul. 11th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
My heart just hurts for Ronon. His understanding of what really destroyed Sateda made me sad. But you showed that the healing has already started. Wonderful!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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