Jennifer sat on the ground next to Ronon happily snuggling into the big Satedan who looked at her with concern, worried she still seemed to be trembling. Glancing over at John he tried to silently express his concern. Knowing what Ronon was thinking John and Lorne approached the pair as the colonel said.
"The others are all making their way here, but we probably have thirty minutes to wait. You okay holding off your return to Atlantis?" He asked Jennifer.
"I'm fine." Jennifer said, still shaking. Her trembling causing the men to all exchange looks, which Jennifer picked up on. "Really I'm okay. I just really hate heights."
"Yeah, we kinda guessed that." Lorne stated. Ignoring him Jennifer went on.
"Now I'm back on the ground I'm fine. Or will be fine."
"Well how about you let us fix up your wrists?" John suggested, although from his tone it was obvious it was more of an order.
Not bothering to argue Jennifer held out her still shaking left arm.
"I don't get it." John said as he bandaged one of her wrists as Lorne tried to hold her arm steady.
"Get what?" Jennifer asked.
"Acrophobia and especially you suffering from it. I mean when it comes down to it, it is more a fear of falling right? And the way I see it the reason you'd have that fear is because you don't trust yourself. But you operate on people with millimetric precision so you have to be really self-assured. So for you to suffer from acrophobia makes no sense."
"Thank you Dr Crane. I think the phobia, as in irrational fear, part of the name gives it away." Jennifer shot back.
"Like clowns." Ronon added earning a smirk from Lorne.
"Clowns make sense." John protested. "They're creepy."
"Only to you. Others love them." Jennifer pointed out.
"Yeah well some people fall in love with serial killers." John countered.
"Having a reluctance of heights is a natural evolutionary thing. Several animals suffer from it." Lorne said, surprising John. The look of surprise on John's face was enough for Lorne to add. "Sorry, the doc and I have had this debate a few times."
"I'm glad she's educating you." John replied as he moved onto the next arm. As he applied the last dressing he looked at Jennifer and asked.
"Peachy." Jennifer deadpanned.
"That's the spirit." John smiled.
"I'm seriously thinking assigning myself to lab based work for awhile." Jennifer muttered earning an approving nod from Ronon until John said.
"No can do doc. Rescuing you is the final training for the new teams. If you don't go on missions my teams will be under qualified."
"Seeing I'm such an important part of their training shouldn't I get some perks?"
"You do." Lorne grinned. "Half of them actually follow medical orders. That's pretty impressive." He then heard a noise behind him and turned to see the rest of his team, Teyla and Rodney approach.
"Took you long enough." He greeted his team.
"Sorry Sir, Dr McKay got all excited by a power signature."
"Need I remind you we came out here for discovery purposes?" McKay asked. "Hey Jennifer, you okay? You look terrible."
"Thanks Rodney." Jennifer replied. As McKay looked round ignoring or unaware of the doctor's sarcasm he saw the tower Jennifer had climbed and said. "You have no idea how glad I am I don't have to climb that."
"Actually Rodney there are some Ancient toys up there." John said.
"They could come down." Rodney said, staring at the tower in horror.
"They're kinda of fixed up there." John countered. "There's nothing to worry about the doc has been up."
"No wonder she looks terrible. I'll send Zelenka back."
"Your compassion to your staff never ceases to amaze me." John stated before looking round the group double checking everyone was there. "Okay then, let's go." John ordered as he helped Jennifer to her feet.
"You okay walking?" Ronon asked, concerned she was swaying slightly.
"I could carry you."
"My feet aren't leaving the ground." Jennifer said as she tried to ignore the jelly like feeling in her legs and walk back to the gate.
"Ronon you need to leave." Cole warned as she approached Jennifer in the infirmary. When the Satedan didn't move she added. "I need to make sure she's okay. That is much easier when you're not growling. Go eat and I'll let you see her before bed."
"I'm not staying here tonight." Jennifer said.
"Yes you are. You're signed off and I'm acting CMO so don't try to pull rank. You are staying here tonight-"
"I don't need to-"
"You took a beating and we need to make sure you don't have a concussion. Secondly your blood pressure is high enough to ensure you're being kept in tonight." Cole argued before turning to the Satedan who had not moved from Jennifer's side. "Ronon you can either leave now and have the chance to come back later or you can be removed by the marines and put in confinement."
"I'll be okay." Jennifer assured Ronon who reluctantly started to leave.
"Oh and Ronon." Cole called. "No sparring, I don't want to see you in here with an injury." Cole then waited for Ronon to disappear before turning to Jennifer and asking.
"So how are you really doing?"
"I'm okay. Just glad to be surrounded by solid walls. And I definitely don't need to stay here tonight."
"If you were the doctor and I were the patient you wouldn't be saying that." Cole argued before smirking and adding. "Besides I'm sure Ronon will survive one night alone."
"Dr Keller?" Woolsey greeted as he stuck his head into Jennifer's curtained area hours later. Noticing she was dressed he raised an eyebrow.
"Mr Woolsey." Jennifer replied looking guilty.
"I take it you're imminent departure is not expected."
"I should warn you there is a nurse on guard duty right outside." Woolsey informed Jennifer causing her to sag dejectedly. "However, I'm sure I could distract her for a couple of minutes if you wanted to slip out."
"You could? You would?"
"Yes and yes. I'm sure there are plenty of places you'd rather be and having spoken to Dr Cole your overnight stay wouldn't be enforced if you weren't the boss. Of course I didn't tell you that."
"Of course." Jennifer smiled.
"Good, well when you hear me coughing that's the sign." Woolsey said before leaving Jennifer alone. As she waited for the sign Jennifer wondered what was causing Woolsey's uncharacteristic behaviour. She questioned if he was feeling lonely or bored. Then the thought hit her that Ronon had put him up to it. A thought she quickly rejected just as she heard the cough. Giving it no more thought she slipped out of the curtained area and scampered to freedom.
"Jennifer?" Ronon asked groggily as he noticed Jennifer standing in his doorway.
"Yeah. Sorry for waking you and bursting in here." Jennifer replied sheepishly.
"Yes, no, not really." Her answer causing Ronon to lift the sheets and shuffle back, to create room for her. The second he did so she scurried to the bed and climbed in.
"You're safe now." He assured her as he wrapped an arm round her.
"I know." Jennifer replied. Not believing her answer Ronon wanted to ask what had caused her to break out of the infirmary, but he knew she'd tell him eventually. So he silently held her until she finally said.
"It's going to sound stupid but I kept thinking I was going to fall off the gurney and that made me dizzy, which made it more likely I'd roll off." As she explained Ronon tightened his grip on her and said.
"I'm not letting you roll anywhere."
"Thank you." She whispered before groaning and asking. "Why am I so pathetic?"
"You're not." Ronon assured her.
"I can't even lie in bed without getting scared of falling." Jennifer pointed out. "I had a full blown panic attack in front of Colonel Sheppard."
"You overcame your fear." Ronon countered.
"No I didn't."
"You got round it then. You made it up the tower and you survived and you made it down. And you escaped from the infirmary."
"Well the last part was thanks to Mr Woolsey."
"Woolsey?" Ronon asked sceptically.
"Yeah, he ran interference for me." Jennifer explained, causing Ronon to wonder if she was or had been hallucinating.
"You sure you shouldn't be in the infirmary?" He asked.
"I'm fine." Jennifer assured him as she rolled to face him. "I just need to not be reminded about heights for awhile and I need to forget abo-" She was cut off by Ronon kissing her. Pulling away he asked.
"Does that help?"
"A little." Jennifer confessed. Her words causing Ronon to kiss her again as he pulled her towards him.
"Better?" He asked after a few seconds.
"Getting there." Jennifer replied breathlessly as the blurry images of her ordeal were replaced by impure thoughts of Ronon.