Disclaimer – recognise it and you can be pretty sure it ain’t mine! Might of borrowed an idea or two from TV show of similar title....
John tried to focus on the Wraith before him. Teyla had gone down hard but Rodney was with her and as long as there were no reinforcements he and Ronon could handle the rest.
Damn it, he cursed himself mentally for jinxing the situation. At the next brief respite he managed to glance around. Nope no reinforcements, Teyla was now sitting up with Rodney’s support and was providing crossfire while Ronon was…
His momentary distraction allowed one of his Wraith to get a nasty blow into his ribs but he recovered enough to send another volley into him. Why wouldn’t these bastards stay down? He risked another look over to the Satedan who had unbelievably holstered his weapon and was now whaling on his opponents. He’d known the other man had been antsy recently, a number of marines had the bruises to show it, but this was a whole new ball game even for the Wraith-hating man.
Finally John managed to overcome the last of the Wraith attacking him. Admittedly there’d been a little help from one of the natives who had emerged from the tree line and thrown a knife, providing sufficient distraction for him to finish it off. He’d decided to let the fact that the blade had only narrowly missed him go and simply nodded his thanks to the woman. He received a broad grin in return before she headed over to where Ronon was pounding on his final opponent.
Realising that she was going get taken down by their currently berserker team mate, John and Rodney tried to call out to stop her but it was too late.
She reached out and grasped his upper arm. Ronon reacted instantly. In one of his trade mark moves he produced a knife from seemingly nowhere and in a flowing motion had turned, grabbing the woman and finishing with the blade at her throat. Rodney had looked away but John was transfixed in his horror. On the plus side it did mean that he saw the final result of the confrontation which left him utterly speechless.
Ronon and the woman were clutched in a tight grip with only a few inches between them, the knife flush against her skin.
“Hi, luv.” She stared into his eyes and smiled. There was barely a moment before Ronon had dropped the knife and enveloped the woman in a huge hug. Finally she pulled back still smiling.
“Well you certainly smell better than last we met.” Ronon broke into laughter which finally snapped the others out of their daze. John joined Rodney in helping Teyla to her feet then they all approached the pair.
“So, are you going to introduce us?”
“Colonel Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagen this is,” He hesitated glancing at the woman.
“Oh, you can call me Lee.” At their questioning looks she added. “It’s been a while and the big guy knows I like to change my name as often as some women change their hair.” She shot them a grin again before turning back to Ronon.
“You been looking after the girls?” The pair ignored the shocked expressions and involuntary gasps from the others. For the first time that John could recall Ronon looked embarrassed.
“I lost Mona.”
“What! Give me Reece.” Wordlessly he handed over his blast weapon. “Aw, she looks so lonesome.” John looked on with respect as the gun was neatly field stripped and examined. “Who have you let play around with my girl?” She glared at John after following Ronon’s glance.
“Hey, I was just curious.” He held his hands up in mock surrender. “Thanks for your assistance earlier.”
“Smooth flyboy but no changing the subject. Touch the lady again and I’ll have to hurt you.”
“Colonel Sheppard used them to save my life.”
“Alright then, well done. Just be more careful.” She gave him a more critical look, nodding her approval before turning her attention to Teyla.
“Come here pet, let me have a look at you.” She swiftly took command of Teyla’s care, ordering the others around without hesitation. John didn’t argue for now as clearly the woman had some medical knowledge and Ronon’s unhesitating trust which, especially where one of his team-mates was concerned, was reassuring.
When she had finally sat back satisfied with Teyla’s condition John decided to find out more. “So you’re a Doctor?”
“Kind of, I know weapons, science, medicine. Saved the big guys life once but it only seemed fair after all he had just saved mine. Course I don’t remember anything before he threw himself at the wolves.”
“That really doesn’t make any sense.” Rodney ignored the hissed calls to keep quiet from the others. “What, she’s jumping about all over the place. And how can she know all those disciplines it would take years to learn and she’s younger than I am.”
John practically held his breath waiting for her response. Frankly the woman worried him a little, there was just something off about her. He was however surprised when she just broke out into laughter which worryingly ended up with her being wracked by coughs.
Ronon was by her side in a flash, supporting her when they finally subsided and she sank weakly against him. She smirked as she saw Rodney edge further away.
“Don’t worry, it’s nothing contagious.”
“Forgive me for doubting the word of a sick person.” Teyla smacked his arm in an effort to shut Rodney up.
“I like him, he’s blunt and offensive. Reminds me of me.” She sighed and struggled upright. “I was exposed to Treemor gas.”
John heard Teyla’s gasp and was shocked to see Ronon pale. The Satedan gently gathered the woman in his arms, concern etched across his face.
“Hey, take it easy. Let’s face it I shouldn’t even be alive. I’m just lucky I guess.” She sighed and snuggled further into his embrace. “I’ve missed you. No one else ever looks out for me like you do.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.”
“Hey you run that’s what you do. Our paths will always cross. We’ve got too much to do.”
“Care to tell us a little more about yourself?”
“We should take her back to Doctor Becket.” Ronon looked expectantly to Sheppard.
John paused. They knew so little of this woman, protocol said that they need to wait to find out more but recent events had shown that the trust between his team needed to go both ways.
“Don’t worry luv. I’m sure your friends have all kinds of rules and regulations that don’t allow strangers. Anyway the damage is done, there’s no reversing it. Besides there are still plenty more like you out there.”
“More? Satedans?” Rodney once again blurted out the first thing in his head and John was impressed that the woman twigged the meaning, and its effect on Ronon, so quickly.
“Oh luv, I’m so sorry. Is there any one left?”
“The planet is desolate. There are a few scattered survivors but Sateda will never recover.”
“Bastards.” Her cursing about the wraith ran on for several minutes, in several different languages apparently and John couldn’t help but be impressed by some of her inventiveness. He also noted that her rant had made Ronon relax a little after Rodney’s insensitive remark. There were several things in her tirade that he couldn’t follow and he looked to the tall warrior for explanation.
“Lee, aids Runners.” Ronon stated. At the others impressed looks she squirmed embarrassed.
“Don’t have anything better to do plus I have a debt to pay.”
“You don’t owe me anything.” Ronon’s voice was gruff.
“That’s your opinion. Anyway who else is going to help them if not me?”
“I should have rejoined you when I was freed.”
“Now I’m sure somewhere in that thick skull of yours you also feel you have a debt to pay.”
“Maybe.” John was stunned. He couldn’t believe how much they had found out about Ronon in the space of a few minutes.
“You don’t owe us anything you know. We’re glad to have you and you’ll always have a place with us but,” John couldn’t believe that Ronon might be staying out of a sense of guilt.
“Now, don’t you start. It’s his choice, just as I made mine. Besides he obviously feels you have a good chance at fighting the Wraith otherwise I doubt he’d have stuck around for long.” John’s appreciation for the woman hadn’t dimmed and he made his decision.
“Let me contact Atlantis. I think we’d all like to know more about you. If that’s alright?”
“Sure.” She watched as John stepped back before turning and punching Ronon in the arm. “Atlantis. The Atlantis! And you didn’t come find me. I’m hurt.”
“I didn’t know where you were.” He watched as her eyes narrowed. “OK and I didn’t look that hard. We’ve been busy.”
“Is that so?” Ronon swallowed nervously as she turned to Teyla and gave her a knowing wink. “I reckon he’s got a lot of making up to do, don’t you pet.”
“I believe you are right, Lee.”
“How’s the arm holding up, it’s Teyla right?”
“It feels much better since you looked at it. Thank you.”
“I set the break and dulled the pain with a pinched nerve cluster but when it wears off it’ll hurt like a bitch. I hope they get you back to your medicine man soon.” Rodney looked alarmed.
“You pinched her nerve cluster. Is that safe?”
“It’s field medicine, Worrywarts. Most Runners lack the time for medical care, I patch em up and send em on. It ain’t pretty but it keeps them alive.”
“But we’ll be getting her back to Carson straight away.” Rodney protested.
“Well you haven’t made it yet have you.” Rodney looked sheepish. “It’s good you care. No long term harm I promise.” Sheppard returned before Rodney could argue further.
“Dr. Elizabeth Weir, leader of the Atlantis colony bids you welcome.”
“Nice invite. I’m just a guest right?” She glanced at Ronon who simply nodded. The look in his eyes let her know that if it came to it he’d fight to free her. “Sorry, little paranoid in recent years. Couple of bad experiences. I’d love to come see the City of Atlantis.”
“Excellent. Any one remember where we parked the jumper?”
It had taken all of Ronon’s persuasion to keep Lee from touring the entire city right from the start. They had all attended the infirmary for the post mission exam and for Teyla to get her arm looked at. Carson had persuaded Lee to allow him to take a blood test and almost convinced her to return later for further tests. Lee had invited him to hear her story provided that his superiors approved.
Finally the whole group gathered in the briefing room.
“If it’s alright with you Lee we’ll have a short mission debrief then if you wouldn’t mind sharing your story. We’re all intrigued to find out more about one of Ronon’s friends.”
“That’s fine with me Dr. Weir.”
Lee took the opportunity to study the others as they gave their report. She found her self nodding in approval at their obvious censorship about some issues, after all it just wasn’t safe trusting strangers these days. She shook herself with a start when she realised that they were now waiting on her.
“Sorry. So unlike most storytellers I know exactly where to begin.” She reached over and gave Ronon’s arm a squeeze.
“The first thing I remember is being tortured by the Wraith. I came to in a clearing, bound and surrounded by five Wraith. I do recall a discussion about me tasting funny and I have the scars to show that they at least tried to feed from me.” Lee didn’t miss Sheppard’s shudder. “There was pain obviously, threats etc, you know the usual, and then this gorgeous saintly hulk of a man burst in on their little torture party and laid them to waste.” The pair shared knowing grins. “He nearly left me there seeing as one of the buggers had made a run for it, heading for cover or to regroup. Fortunately my knight in shining armour here decided to free me. The pair of us managed to find shelter at which point I discovered he’d been wounded due to the fact the great oaf landed right on top of me when he collapsed.” She took a deep breath.
“I don’t remember anything about me from before, who I am, where I’m from, nothing. But I do seem to know a lot more than I should. I wasn’t thinking, I just fixed him up with whatever we had to hand. It was crude but he’s still here to prove I did something right. I managed to rig a trap before pretty much passing out next to him.”
“I came to at the sound of a Wraith screaming in pain. He had a tree branch right through the eye.” Ronon had a note of pride in his voice.
“I think the whole aim thing was more luck than judgement luv. Don’t want you folks to get the wrong idea about me.” She looked around at the Atlanteans.
“Well so far I can assure you luck or not, I’m pretty impressed.” John managed to add something to break the silence.
“Thanks cutie.” Sheppard looked momentarily uncomfortable.
“So what happened next?” The other members of the Atlantis expedition barely suppressed their grins at Rodney’s impatience to hear the rest of the story.
“We obviously couldn’t hang around, big guy had to Run. So I tagged along behind him, he wasn’t happy but as long as I kept up he didn’t argue too much.” Rodney snorted. “Seriously there was lots of glaring and attempts to ditch me but after a few days he just gave in to my winning personality. Well that and the fact I’d managed to save his ass twice more without know how I knew what to do.” She looked at the faces around her. “You wouldn’t believe how frustrating it is.”
“Frustration is a staple part of our lives.”
“No wonder you fit in so well then, Ro.” She saw his jaw clench slightly and turned immediately to the others. “That’s my name for him, anyone else wants to use it they’ll have to come through me.” She produced a knife out of nowhere and laid it on the table before her. There were several moment of silence.
“I see you learnt more than a few tricks from Ronon too.” Sheppard met her gaze.
“Who said I learnt it from him.” Lee deadpanned. There was a long pause before she burst into laughter at the looks on their faces.
“Man you guys are easy. Sorry, tact doesn’t appear to be one of my strong points.”
“You and McKay should get on fine then.” Sheppard grinned at Rodney.
“So after a few months we realised that it was obviously easier to hunt two than one. Despite all my mysterious knowledge I was unable to remove the device from Ro’s back, nice job by the way Doc, and we figured the best way I could be of help was to provide a refuge for him to come to periodically. Obviously if he kept returning to the same planet I’d be discovered so we set up dead drops where I could leave messages for where I was staying at the time. Worked out quite well and slowly other Runners came to hear about me. It got a bit hairy at times, the promise of being set free was almost enough for some to betray me but in the end they knew well enough not to trust the Wraith. So that’s pretty much it, they find me, I do what I can to help - feed em, patch them up and so on.”
“Well, thank you for sharing your story with us Lee. I know you’re anxious for a tour of the city with Ronon.” Lee grinned at the subtle dismissal and stood.
“Love to, come on Pet. I want to see everything!”
Elizabeth waited until the pair had left before turning to the others in the room.
“That’s quite a story.”
“We’ve heard weirder.” John added with a shrug.
“Where!” Rodney scoffed.
“Still,” Sheppard silenced Rodney with a pointed stare. “She could be useful. She must have some pretty impressive contacts out there to survive this long. The Wraith must know about her and she’s avoided them this long.”
“Her knowledge does seem to be quite extensive from the short time I spent with her. Both in practical terms, she did a great job of patching Teyla up, and there were a number of pieces of Ancient equipment which she understood the function of surprisingly quickly.” Carson added.
“Does she have the gene?” Elizabeth looked in askance at the Doctor.
“I’ve obviously not had the chance to check her DNA yet but I’ve seen no evidence of her being able to activate anything, Colonel?”
“Nope. Lots of insightful comments in the jumper, couple of things we hadn’t thought to try. I suppose she could have ‘known’ and just been polite, playing on an ignorance factor.” Sheppard paused. “Ronon trusts her, which says a lot.”
“Indeed. Well ladies and gentlemen I think we should take this opportunity to get to know her better. We can always use more allies out here.” With a nod of dismissal Elizabeth headed out.
“So you happy here Ro?” They’d concluded the tour at the top of one of the towers. There was no denying the view was spectacular.
“They’re good people. Good fighters.”
“Not what I asked, luv.” Ronon shifted slightly.
“I could make a home here, one day, when the Wraith are gone.”
“Could be a long wait; just make sure you don’t miss the chance of life. Vengeance is well and good but it comes with a high price.”
“I could say the same about you.”
“That you could.” She smiled softly looking out over the wondrous city. “You know I can’t stay right?” Lee finally turned to look at him.
“I’m doing good out there, kicking the buggers when they’re down, often just after you and your crew pass through I suspect. I’d heard rumours of the Atlantean team but never guessed you’d be right here too.”
Ronon simply allowed a rumble of agreement.
“Maybe with your lovely Doc’s help we could free them all.”
“Ah, how I’ve missed you monosyllabic ways.”
“You talk enough for both of us.”
“Fair point.” Lee sighed. “Well I suppose we’d better head back so I can play guinea pig for Worrywarts.” She chuckled at Ronon’s scowl. “Hey you never know maybe I’ll out think him, take him down a peg or too.”
At Ronon’s feral grin she laughed out loud. “Let’s go.”
Lee had spent a week in the city and had loved every minute of it from the physical sparring with Ronon and Teyla to the mental rounds with McKay.
The time spent with Sheppard had been productive. They’d set up a series of contacts and dead drops and she was hopeful that with Carson’s help many more Runner’s could be freed. He’d also provided her with some medication to alleviate her own symptoms, something she would always be grateful for.
“You need me, all you have to ask.” Ronon spoke gruffly as he wrapped her in a bear hug.
“That goes both ways, luv. Take care of our girl.” She patted his holster with a wink.
“McKay, don’t you go breaking that pretty head of yours. Teyla, anytime you need a break from all this testosterone you come give me a call. Carson, I’ll be seeing you soon I hope.” Lee stepped over to Sheppard.
“Cutie, I’ll never forget our nights together.” Lee grabbed his head and kissed him with such abandon several people found themselves shifting awkwardly.
“Thanks for the memories.” She gave a final wave before stepping through the gate.
Sheppard cleared his throat, wincing at the look he was receiving from Ronon.
“Movies, that’s it I swear.” Ignoring McKay’s muffled Kirk comment he backed away from the glowering Satedan. “I’m gonna kill her.”
A/N I'm hoping finishing this off, will free up the muse or inspire it for a bit more SGA-red ;0)