- Character Bashing
- Alternate Universe
- Episode Related
John Sheppard was more than happy to release Ronon’s guard the next morning. He had won that battle with Elizabeth. She was was still hesitant to agree to put him on John’s team but John knew that she would have to give in eventually. If Rodney and Ronon bonded not only would there be no way to stop Ronon’s joining the team, but she would be breaking the Atlantis charter as well as Sentinel and Guide law to even attempt it, assuming that’s what both of them wanted.
There was no law that stated both parties in a Sentinel and Guide bond had to work together, though it was common.
Perhaps he was borrowing trouble when there wasn’t any to be had. Elizabeth hadn’t said no to Ronon joining the team, or to him staying on Atlantis, she just seemed to be wary of him, that was all. Of course, John had neglected to tell her he was a Sentinel.
John didn’t believe it was important whether a person was a Sentinel or Guide, whether they were Latent or active, mundane or Sensitive, though he had been in plenty of commands where that sort of distinction had mattered, on both sides of the equation.
He had hoped that Ronon’s skills and knowledge of the Pegasus galaxy and of the Wraith would prove their own worth, and perhaps they would. He just needed to give it a little time. In the interim, he was hoping he could see where Ronon was at, in regards to the Rodney situation.
John found Ronon on one of the balconies, leaning against a pillar, a knife and one hand and a block of what looked like wood in the other. He was hard to tell as Shado was crouched in such a way that John could only see clearly every couple of minutes when Ronon brought his hand up for a better look in the light.
“Uh, hey,” John said as the door slid closed behind him silently, leaving them alone on the balcony.
Ronon grunted but didn’t move his attention away from whatever he was doing with the knife.
“So, I spoke to Teyla,” John said, moving closer. His eyes moved towards the water and then back to Ronon when the man grunted again. “She said you had some questions.”
“You didn’t tell Weir I was a Reyat.” He paused a second and then corrected. “A Sentinel.”
“No,” John admitted. “It wasn’t important that she know.”
Ronon looked up from his carving. His eyes looking at John, gauging his truth. “I will not hide.”
“I’m not saying you should.” John leaned back against the balcony railing. “I’m just saying that whether you’re a Sentinel or not, has no bearing on whether you would be a good fit for my team, which is what Elizabeth really needs to know.”
Ronon just stared at him and John knew that the obvious point would be that whether or not a person had heightened senses and was in control of them was probably something that any leader worth their salt would very much need to know.
“Weir doesn’t approve of Sentinels,” Ronon stated as he returned to his carving, his eyes moving to Shado briefly to get another look at how she’s positioned herself.
John doesn’t say anything at first. He’s reluctant to deny the accusation because he really doesn’t want to start off what could be a good friendship with misinformation or lies. It’s not that Elizabeth has ever been direct about her feelings about Sentinels and Guides. She’s never come out and said she had issues with them or didn’t trust them. And she did go to bat in support of John once they’d made contact with Earth, but John was savvy enough to know that was less about him and more about maintaining her own control.
Elizabeth may not have said anything overt to John in the year they’d been in Pegasus, but Colonel Sumner had said plenty. The missions original military commander had not wanted John on the expedition and when he’d been overruled he’d made a point to sit John down and explain why, so there would be no misunderstanding.
It wasn’t about John’s military record, or even about his Sentinel status, not exactly. It was more the fact his Sentinel status was listed as undetermined, meaning that even though he was online, and had been since he came online in elementary school, no amount of testing could determine an accurate measurement of his rating or gifts. Add to this an unexplained event which had happened shortly after John had come online and ended with him in zone-out for three weeks that no one had been about to explain. It made him a wild card.
Colonel Sumner didn’t like wild cards. However, it was exactly this same factor that made Elizabeth want to keep him in Atlantis. Something she felt was malleable.
Knowing this didn’t make it any easier to explain to Ronon. “She doesn’t disapprove of Sentinels, exactly.”
Shado chuffed as she moved, her gaze showing her disapproval. Ronon’s lips quirked as he continued to carve. “No? What is it exactly?”
“She’s not enamored with a Sentinels…priorities,” John said carefully. “She finds Guides…hard to define.”
Ronon grunted again and brushed some wood shavings aside, eying his carving carefully. His eyes moved towards Shado before moving towards Sheppard. “She can’t control the will of the Ancestors.”
“Um, yeah, don’t repeat that will of the ancestors’ stuff to McKay.” John rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “McKay finds the Ancients…the Ancestors…lack of scientific responsibility…um, troubling.”
Ronon stood up and stretched before wrapping his carving carefully in a square of cloth before turning back toward John. “My Kjarja finds the Ancestors inability to clean up after themselves instead of leaving their highly dangerous toys strewn across the galaxy like some temperamental torvak alarming.” His lips twisted in what John was beginning to recognize as a smile. “And your Dr. Weir doesn’t like things out of her control?”
“She has certain beliefs.” John sighed, deciding not to comment on the whole torvak comment since he didn’t even know what that was. He ran a hand through his hair and was startled when he felt the barely-there sensation of Shado brushing against him. He smiled to himself and straightened. “When we came here, we didn’t know what we’d find, or if we’d ever be able to contact Earth again, but the hope was that we’d be able to contact the An-Ancestors.” John paused. “Elizabeth especially, more even than some of the scientists, seemed invested in finding them. And every time we’ve come close to meeting one, or to a method that aids in reaching Ascension in some way…I’m not sure how to describe it exactly, but I see the…avarice in her eyes.”
Shado turned abruptly towards the doors, startling both sentinels who were both focused on one another. Ronon focused his hearing and straightened. His fingers flexed over the cloth-covered carving. John heard the familiar heartbeat and eyed Ronon in concern. He had hoped to move the conversation towards Rodney but it looked like they’d just run out of time.
Rodney then burst through the doors followed by the Polar Bear and stopped suddenly. “Oh, there you are.”
“Were you looking for me?” John asked cautiously. Rodney didn’t usually come looking for him this time of day, and he hadn’t received any radio calls.
Rodney turned to look at his friend and blinked as if he just now noticed him. “Oh, no.” He snapped his fingers several times towards Ronon. “Conan here.” He looked at Ronon but his eyes kept moving around wildly, not settling on any one thing.
John watched Rodney for a minute, his eyes going first from one man to the next, then to the two spirit guides, who were standing near one another but not close enough to touch.
He wasn’t sure if he should stay to supervise or if he should let them sort this out themselves. It wasn’t that he thought anything would happen. He hadn’t known Ronon long, but he knew enough that he wasn’t worried about Ronon doing anything aggressive, and he wasn’t anywhere near feral. Rodney, on the other hand, wasn’t always the easiest person to deal with, under the best of circumstances, and John wasn’t sure if these were anywhere near the best circumstances. On the one hand they weren’t in any danger, but on the other hand, they had a lot of complicated crap between them, between whatever Rodney’s issues had been when he had been tested on Earth, and the fact that Ronon’s people were wiped out.
Maybe John should leave them to handle this on their own after all.
“Are you still here?” Rodney snapped out, almost as if he could hear the direction Johns thoughts had gone.
John seriously hoped that wasn’t some unknown Guide gift because that was one thing that Rodney really didn’t need. “I’m going. But, uh…maybe you should have this…whatever it is, somewhere not so…” He waved his arm to indicate how close it was to the general populated area of the city.
Rodney blinked. Then he looked through the door he had come through and noticed that more than one person was watching the three men and two spirit guides standing out on the balcony. “Yes, yes.”
His hand reached out towards Ronon as if he was going to grab him but stopped just before he would have touched his shoulder, as if almost afraid of the contact, even through the fabric, would have started something he wasn’t ready for.
The polar bear heaved a sigh and disappeared suddenly. Shado chuffed once, her tail wrapping around Rodney’s wrist briefly before she too disappeared.
“I have dinner in my room,” he said into the silence.
Ronon’s lips twitched slightly as if he wanted to smile but wasn’t sure if he should. McKay stepped into the hall in front of him and he followed, only too willingly.
The journey wasn’t far and the few people they passed had given them a wide berth. He wasn’t sure if that was Rodney’s well-deserved reputation, the rumor’s about Ronon or the two Ililsa that were making the path for them.
They finally arrived in a corridor Ronon hadn’t been down but the ambient noise of the city was muted here and it took him to realize there was a subtle energy about the place that was calming, different than a Kjarja’s but relaxing all the same.
Rodney watched Ronon carefully and saw his shoulders shift slightly. He reached out with his Guide sense, as loathe as he was to call it empathy, and left the curiosity and interested in the Satedan. He moved towards a panel and activated the sensors, allowing the door to open.
Ronon entered quietly, his eyes moving across the room’s spacing, eyeing the various projects McKay had strewn across the room. The sentinel took his wrapped carving and set it on a small table Rodney had placed their dinner. “I made this for you.”
Rodney looked startled as Ronon took out the carving. and set it gingerly down on the table.”
Rodney stared at the figure and when to pick it up. The wood was almost soft. The spots almost had a different texture, but the likeness was impressive. “When did you do this?”
“Today. Shado was a good model.” Ronon smiled. “Do you like it?”
“Yes, thank you.” Rodney brushed a finger across the carvings back. He moved away, feeling awkward all of a sudden. “Dinner is just sandwiches, so we don’t have to worry about it getting cold.”
Ronon nodded as he began looking around again, trying to give Rodney some space. He again noticed the calm vibe of the room and didn’t think it was just because of Rodney.
“Sheppard found this section of quarters shortly after we arrived,” Rodney said, trying to get onto safer ground. “I couldn’t access the information in the database about the area until I came online. The information is still extremely restricted. Radek can’t access it. Miko and I are the only ones with any sort of authority in that part of the file server.”
“This part of the city was made for people like us…Sentinels and Guides?” Ronon asked.
“What did you call them on Sateda?” Rodney asked instead on answering.
Ronon turned to look at him. He placed a hand towards his chest. “Reyat.” And moved the other hand towards McKay, placing all five fingers against McKay’s breastbone. “Kjarja.”
McKay covered his hand and traced his features, from his dreads to his dark eyes before placing his other hand along his cheek. “Reyat.”
There was a flash and then everything sort of whited out, for both of them.