wildcat88 (wildcat88) wrote,

Fic: Until Under a Better Sky

Title:  Until Under a Better Sky
Category:  Gen
Rating:  G
Characters:  Ronon, Rodney, Sam
Word Count: ~1200
SpoilersThe Last Man
A/N:  Missing scene from The Last Man
Summary:  Sometimes you have to follow your own path.

Ronon pushed past Lorne and Keller, stalking angrily from the conference room. He could hear Carter calling after him but ignored her as he slapped at the transporter controls. He had always preferred doing instead of talking, but he had endured staff meetings mostly because Sheppard had wanted his opinion. No one wanted to hear what he had to say these days.
He had been a soldier, had respected and obeyed his superiors even when he thought they were wrong, and he couldn’t fault Col. Carter for doing the same. She had pushed hard for additional resources to fight Michael and his hybrids but only received a half-finished ship for her efforts. It wouldn’t be enough. They needed to attack not just defend, to hit the heart of Michael’s operation. The IOA wasn’t willing to keep sending young men and women to die in a different galaxy. Somehow they had conveniently forgotten where Michael had come from.
Heading to the gym, he ran through a series of forms to warm up then grabbed a fighting stick, hearing Teyla’s laugh, seeing Sheppard’s smirk. He had thought of Atlantis as home for a while, but now that they were gone it felt cold, filled with strangers. Good people but not his people, not anymore. He sliced, parried, and blocked, feeling the lightness of John’s empty casket, smelling the smoke of Teyla’s funeral pyre.  After an hour, he was panting, soaked in sweat, and clear on what to do. Bowing to the ghosts around him, he tidied up and headed to the gateroom.
The colonel was a flurry of activity as she searched her office, shouting questions to the techs manning the control room. She whirled in surprise when he knocked.
“Ronon. Hi.” She brushed a lock of hair behind her ears as she stood. “I’m glad you came by.”
“I want to leave Atlantis.”
“Can we at least talk about it first?”
“Why? Your leaders aren’t interested in helping the people of this galaxy.”
Sam sat down heavily. “If it was up to me-”
“But it’s not,” he reminded her. “I can do something, make a difference. I’ve been training people since I got here, and I want to continue. I want to recruit volunteers for a strike force. We can coordinate attacks and share intel.”
She smiled sadly at him. “I guess we’ve come full circle, haven’t we?””
“Are you going to try to stop me from leaving this time?”
“No,” she said unhesitatingly. “You’re right. You can do a lot of good out there.” 
“I could do more with some C-4 and a few P-90s.”
“I bet you could,” she chuckled. “When you’re ready, let me know. I’ll give you anything we can spare.” Standing, Carter walked around the desk and extended her hand. “Good luck to you. It’s been an honor having you here.”
Ronon shook her hand the way Sheppard had shown him. “Thank you, Colonel.”
Making his way down to the labs, he could hear McKay ranting two corridors away. He wasn’t sure exactly when he had started to think of Rodney as a friend, but years of missions had shown him a side of McKay that he had never expected to find, and he counted the man a member of his family.
“…seen the schematics? They didn’t even finish the damn thing! Who the hell thought it was a good idea to send that pile of crap to a war zone? Just once I’d like for them to actually complete something before-”
“McKay,” Ronon called.
“What! Oh, it’s you.” He sighed heavily as he turned back to his computer. “Can whatever it is you need wait for like a month while I-”
“I’m leaving Atlantis, Rodney.”
McKay’s head shot up as his hands stilled, pain flashing across his face. “What? Now? Why?”
Ronon thought of all the things he could say and went with the simplest. “I need to fight.”
Rodney stared at him for a long moment. “Sheppard’s not dead, you know.”
“But he isn’t coming back.”
The sadness that had been swirling around McKay thickened, and the waning light in his eyes dimmed a little more. “It’s not the same without them, is it?”
“Where will you go?”
“Thought I’d start on New Athos. Find some people to fight with me.”
“Good idea,” McKay said. “Halling will probably be your first recruit.”
“You could come.”
Rodney blinked slowly, a small smile tugging at his lips, and Ronon thought he might actually be considering it. Then McKay glanced at his computer and at Zelenka. “I can’t. Not now. Sam needs me to get her ship ready.” He sighed. “I can do more here to fight Michael. Thanks though.”
Stepping around the worktable, McKay held out his hand like Carter had. The opportunity for Ronon to say goodbye to Sheppard and Teyla had been stolen from him; he wouldn’t miss this one. 
He pulled Rodney into a bear hug. “You’re a good man, McKay.”
Rodney stiffened at first then surprised Ronon by returning the hug. “You too, Big Guy,” he whispered.
With a final pat on the shoulder and a wave at Radek, Ronon walked away. He roamed the halls once more – the rafters where he used to jog with Sheppard, the gym where Teyla taught him to meditate, the rec room where they’d spent so many team nights watching movies. He thought about what might have been as he peeked into the infirmary where Keller was frantically sorting medical supplies and what might still be as he wandered down to the stasis chamber.
“’Bye, Doc. I hope somebody someday finds a way to help you.”
Returning to his quarters, he packed the belongings he deemed necessary – a change of clothes, extra energy cells for his blaster, a whetting stone, and his long coat. After a second, he added the filmy shirt Teyla had given him on his last birthday and the ridiculous hat Sheppard had insisted he needed. Impractical items, but he couldn’t leave them behind. Glancing around a final time, he grinned as a memory surfaced. He picked up his bag and the item that sparked the recollection and headed out.
After stopping to drop it off, he made his way to the gateroom. Chuck wished him well and dialed the address he requested. Ronon strode quickly down the steps and through the gate, not looking back.
Rodney staggered to his quarters, too tired and too depressed to even eat. He was now officially alone again, and it hurt more than he’d ever imagined. He tossed his jacket on his desk and turned on the shower, hoping it would rinse away the loss and regret of the past few months, knowing it wouldn’t. He slumped in a chair to kick off his shoes when he noticed the hideous painting propped up on his bed – three warriors on a desert landscape brandishing weapons beneath a blood red sky.
Standing suddenly, McKay pulled all of his diplomas from the wall and hung it in their place. Pretending the wetness on his face was from the shower he hadn’t yet taken, he sat back down and stared at the three warriors long into the night.

Tags: fanfic, sga
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