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Where Were You - Chapter 10

Title: Where Were You Chapter 10
Pairing: Rodney/Keller, Ronon/Keller, kind of both, but… well, there can be only one
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to FOX. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time.
Summary: She’d made her decision for a very good reason – at least that was what she’d told herself. But suddenly, she realized that maybe she had been wrong.
Warnings: some fluff, because it was about time ;)

AN: Sorry it took me forever again. Working two jobs I’m just not home often enough to write much – let alone post anything.

Thank you for hanging in there with me nonetheless. And thank you for all the lovely comments I received – sorry I didn’t find the time to reply to all of them. Just be sure that they’re all very much appreciated!

And thank you to my wonderful beta-reader Jen! I don’t know what I’d do without her. Well, okay, I’d write nonetheless, but it would surely be less fun to read. ;)

Now I hope you enjoy this chapter!

“Can I ask you something?” Ronon suddenly whispered, breaking the silence.

“Sure,” Jennifer replied without looking at him, unwilling to give up her rather comfortable position nestled against his chest.

Ronon hesitated for a moment, before asking quietly, “If I hadn’t said I wasn’t interested back then…would you still…have chosen Rodney?”

She raised her head to look into his eyes. “To be honest, I don’t know. I mean, I…I really liked Rodney. I think I really did love him, but…”

“But what?” he softly pressed, when she refused to continue.

She looked down, mumbling, “I don’t know. The entire time we were together, I…somehow always tried to change him, you know? I mean, I tried to change certain…habits he has that I found I didn’t like. That’s not fair, is it?”

He opened his mouth to reply, but unsure of what to say, he reconsidered.

“I mean, if you truly love someone and really want to be with them,” she continued, raising her head again so that she could look at him. “You accept who they are, don’t you?”

Ronon frowned at her, thinking over her words for a moment, before answering. “I don’t know. In a relationship, you also have to be ready to make compromises I guess. People are too different to…always agree with each other.”

She nodded, but didn’t seem to be convinced.

Ronon decided that it was better to change the subject. “I think it’s time we switch on our trackers so that they can find us.”

Jennifer nodded, and retrieved them from the backpack, handing one to Ronon before switching on hers.

“Do you really think they’ll come looking for us?” Jennifer asked hesitantly. Not that she thought their friends would leave them behind, but…they were on a date. So it certainly wasn’t that surprising if they didn’t return home on time.

“John knows me,” Ronon replied with a smirk. “If I promise to get the girl home before midnight, that’s what I do.”

She giggled at that. “You know, I love the way you smirk.” The words escaped her mouth before she could stop them.

Seeing her blush, Ronon reached out to brush her hair out of her face. “And I love the way you blush,” he replied. “You’re beautiful when you do that.”

She blushed again despite herself, but then looked at him and smiled.

“See,” he told her, pulling her closer. “Beautiful,” he murmured, leaning down to kiss her.

Gasping softly, she wrapped her arms around his neck. It was amazing how every kiss they shared felt even better than the one before.

Even though he knew he certainly shouldn’t do it, Ronon let his hands run down her bare back causing her to shiver. Jennifer drew in a shaky breath, but had no intention of stopping wherever this was going.

“Anybody in there?” they heard John’s voice shout from outside, making them jump apart.

“We’re here,” Ronon called, sighing in frustration.

“That was fast,” Jennifer mumbled, wondering what would have happened had they not been interrupted. It seemed to be the story of their relationship.

It took John and his team less than ten minutes to clear the entrance to the cave and get both Ronon and Jennifer out of their prison.

“Mind telling me how you ended up in there?” John asked, eyeing his friends.

“Long story,” Ronon replied.

“Yeah, I figured that much,” John mumbled. “Seems like you had one hell of a first date.”

“We did,” Jennifer confirmed with a smirk before Ronon could say anything more.

“All right, you don’t want to talk about it. I get it,” John said, raising his hands defensively. “Sorry I asked.”

When they returned through the Stargate, Jennifer was surprised to see Rodney on the rail of the first floor. Or maybe she wasn’t. He watched them come through, looked at Jennifer for a second, and then turned and walked away.

Sighing, she wondered if he would ever talk to her again. On the other hand, she asked herself if he really had the right to be mad at her. Even though she’d been the one to end the relationship, it had been his obliviousness that had led to their fight in the first place.

“Are you all right?” Ronon murmured next to her.

“Sure,” she assured him, wondering how he always seemed to sense when something was wrong with her. He never failed to notice even the slightest change in her mood or her behavior. He always knew when she wasn’t feeling well, and made every effort to change it.

Much to her delight, but not to her surprise, Ronon insisted on taking her to her room. This time, she didn’t have to convince him to stay overnight.

It was strange having decided to take things in their relationship slowly, while having him stay in her room almost every night. She didn’t even want to know what Atlantis’ latest main topic of gossip was.

The next few days were crazy, made even worse by the fact that she hardly got to see Ronon. Now that their relationship had finally seemed to start to evolve, life was getting in the way. But regardless, Ronon managed to remind her regularly how much he cared about her.

Every day, Jennifer found a flower with her name on it somewhere in Atlantis. Sometimes, right in front of her door. Other times, in the infirmary.

That day wasn’t any different. When she entered her office, she found a red rose on her desk. Smiling, she inhaled the scent before putting the flower into the vase with the others.

What she didn’t know was that someone was watching the scene.

“You know what?” one of the nurses whispered to her colleague. “I really wish someone cared for me that much.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve never seen the doc that happy before,” the other woman replied.

Rodney sighed as he walked, so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he didn’t see Jennifer leaving her office and coming his way until he almost crashed into her.

“Hey,” she greeted.

“Hey,” Rodney mumbled, shifting uncomfortably, before turning and rushing the other way.

“Rodney, wait,” he heard her call after him. Unwillingly, he stopped and slowly turned back towards her. “Is this really how it’s gonna be?” Jennifer asked quietly. “You avoiding me? For how long?”

He didn’t answer. Maybe because for the first time in his life, he really had no idea what to say.

“Do you really want to run the other way whenever we cross paths for the rest of our lives?” she pressed him.

“Maybe,” he replied with a shrug.

Jennifer sighed. “Rodney…” she started, but didn’t get any farther.

“Look, I’m sorry, okay?” he said, interrupting her. “I…I really am.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” she answered automatically. At least not entirely, she thought. “It just…didn’t work out.”

“Yeah, I…” he began, but obviously reconsidered whatever it had been he’d wanted to say. Looking down, he shuffled his foot and silence settled between them for a good minute.

Finally, he looked up again. “I can see that you’re happy. Everyone can see it. And you deserve that. You…deserve a man who can make you happy.”

She looked at him and smiled, not really sure what she could or should have replied with.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be that man,” he added before turning and walking away.

This time she didn’t hold him back, even though she still wondered if he was going to avoid her for the rest of their lives here on Atlantis.

“Hey,” she suddenly heard a deep voice say behind her, making her jump a little. She turned around to smile at Ronon.

“Sorry,” he said with a slight smirk. “Didn’t mean to scare you.”

“You didn’t,” she assured him. “You just surprised me, that’s all.”

“Deep in thought?”

“Yeah, kind of,” she replied quietly.

Ronon frowned. “Something bothering you?”

“No.” She then sighed. “Maybe. I’ll let you know when I find out. So, is there any particular reason you’re here? Any sparring wounds I need to fix?”

“Nope,” he replied with a grin. “I just wanted to see you.”

“Oh?” Jennifer said with surprise, smiling at him a little seductively.

“As crazy as things have been lately, I haven’t had much of a chance.”

“Yeah, I know,” she mumbled with a sigh.

Smiling, Ronon leaned a bit closer. “That’s why I have a little surprise for you.”

“Really?” Jennifer asked, her face lighting up. “What is it?”

“Wouldn’t be a surprise if I told ya,” he replied with a smirk.

She tilted her head. “Just a little hint? Please?”

“Not a chance,” Ronon whispered, steeling a quick kiss from her.

“Is there another restaurant you want to show me?” she pressed him.

Ronon chuckled. It was cute how curious she was – and he loved to tease her about it. “Not quite.”

‘Okay,’ she silently mouthed before trying again. “Are we going to leave the planet?”


“No?” She eyed him suspiciously. “Then what do you have in mind?”

“You’ll see,” he answered with a grin. “I’ll pick you up at seven.” That being said, he pecked her lips again and then passed her to leave.

“You know, I’ve never been a very patient person,” Jennifer called after him, hoping to change his mind and give her at least a bit more information.

But Ronon just turned around while walking and smiled at her. “I know.”

Jennifer sighed as she watched him disappear down the hallway. She hated surprises. No, to be honest, she wasn’t all too sure how she felt about surprises. It had been a long time someone had last tried, and she wasn’t sure anyone had ever done so in a romantic way.

Maybe she would like this surprise after all. So she decided to be a good girl and wait as patiently as possible. She’d had to wait for almost two weeks until they were able to spend an evening on their own after their first date. What were a few more hours?

When she walked back into the infirmary, she noticed the two nurses who had been giggling and talking, go silent when she entered. She decided to ignore it and just walk on, but reconsidered. So she stopped and turned back around to face them.

“Listen,” Jennifer started, trying hard to conceal her annoyance. “I know that Ronon and I leave a lot to gossip about, but I’d really appreciate it if you could keep that outside of work. As a matter of fact, there is nothing to really talk about and…just go back to work, would you?” That being said, she stormed into her office to take a few deep breaths and hopefully calm down. She didn’t like being the one everyone seemed to talk about behind her back.

A soft knock on her door interrupted her thoughts. She turned and was surprised to find Ellen, the younger nurse, standing there. “I just…wanted to say that…you’ve got it all wrong,” she started insecurely. “I mean, yes, we were talking about you, but…only because we’re all so happy for you. We can see how much happier you are since you started dating Ronon and…well, we all understood why you broke up with Rodney. No one thinks any less of you because it didn’t work out. To be honest, we’ve always wondered why you chose Rodney over Ronon.”

“Come again?” Jennifer asked a little puzzled.

“Oh, well, it was pretty obvious that Ronon was into you,” Ellen said, unable to repress a giggle. “He always showed up in here twice as often when you were around. Of course, he did have a sparring wound that needed attending every time, but…we all thought he did that on purpose.”

Jennifer raised an eyebrow at her. Ronon had hurt himself on purpose so that he could come to the infirmary when it was her shift?

“So we were asking ourselves why, knowing that Ronon was interested in you as well, you did chose Rodney, you know?” Ellen finished.

Jennifer opened her mouth to reply, but didn’t know what to say. For such a serious decision, maybe she should have found out for certain if Ronon had in fact been interested in her. Apparently, everyone else had known…

“Rodney’s a good guy, don’t get me wrong,” Ellen quickly added when Jennifer didn’t say anything in return. “And he can be nice, but…he’s just not the relationship kind of guy. I’m not saying he does it on purpose, but sooner or later, he hurts the people close to him.”

Jennifer smiled. “Sounds like you’re talking from experience.” She wondered if that should bother her.

“More or less,” Ellen admitted. “It was only three dates, and it was years ago, but…well, I know that he can be charming if he tries, but thinking of other people first simply isn’t him. What I wanted to say is that we all understand and I think even Rodney understands why it didn’t work out.”

“I hope so,” Jennifer murmured.

For a moment, silence settled between them. Jennifer needed to process what she’d just found out. If Ronon really had been interested in her, why had he said otherwise?

“Well, I’ll go back to work,” Ellen finally said. “I just wanted you to know that we weren’t talking about you because we think you did something wrong, but because we’re all glad to see you happy again.”

Jennifer couldn’t help but smile at that. “Thank you.”

And she was happy. Not only that, but for the first time since she’d broken up with Rodney, she didn’t feel guilty about it.