A/N: A post-Quarantine one-shot written for the Quarantine Day celebration happening on the Gateworld Ronon/Keller thread.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis or its wonderful characters.
Spoilers: Through Season 4 episode Quarantine
Dr. Keller slipped her stethoscope back around her neck before looking back at the Lieutenant in front of her. "It looks like you were lucky and your ribs are just bruised."
"Really, Doc?" Lt. Wellon asked, wincing as he tried to put his shirt back on. "It feels like I'm broken in half."
Jennifer grinned at the picture that created in her head, but schooled her features into a more proper doctor look before answering. "I'm sure it does. Just be glad they aren't broken. I'm going to restrict off-world missions for a week. You'll still be in a small amount of pain even after a week, but I'm sure like most of the military contingent, that you'll be chomping at the bit after just a day or two."
Wellon's nodded his understanding, "Thank you, Ma'am." He gingerly stood up from the gurney he was perched upon and walked stiffly toward the exit.
Keller watched him take several steps before turning back to the station Wellon had just vacated and pulled the sheets from the gurney as she prepared the station for future patients.
"We can take care of this," Jennifer's head nurse, Marie, assured the doctor as she and Sarah approached the area and began helping.
"I don't mind cleaning it up either," Dr. Keller assured her nurses. With no other patients in the infirmary at the moment, it gave Jennifer an excuse to avoid the paper work that was piling up on her desk.
"Do you all have any plans tonight?" Jennifer asked the women idly as she helped Sarah put the new sheets on the gurney.
"Well, I plan to check out the newest military contingent additions. Heard there was going to be a game of pick-up basket ball in the gym later tonight. Figured it'd be the perfect opportunity to stare to my heart's content. You both should come with me." Sarah looked at both Marie and Jennifer to see if either woman was agreeable to her invitation. It'd be much more fun to check out the guys with a friend, than to do it by herself.
"I think I'll pass," Marie replied with a chuckle. "They'll be plenty of opportunities to ogle the new recruits when they come in for stitching once the training and sparring sessions begin."
"What about you, Jenn, are you game?"
"Sorry. Cadman's due here any moment and I've promised popcorn if she brought up some new movies. You both are welcome to join us," Jennifer offered, but both women declined.
"I get first dibs on the movies after you've watched them though," Marie declared, placing a new trash liner in the waste basket and walking with the women toward the nurse's station.
Jennifer took up a position at the station with her back to the door, trying to recite all of the movies she thought Laura was bringing with her. She was getting good at procrastinating and figured at this point the paper work could wait until tomorrow.
"Looks like your date is here," Sarah smirked and nodded toward the door.
Jenn should have guessed it'd be Cadman, but with the amount of grief the girls had been giving her since the city-wide lock down three days ago, she'd braced herself with a deep breath before turning around. She let her breath out and grinned when she realized that her visitor wasn't Ronon.
"Took you long enough," Jennifer teased, "I would've had to resort to actually doing paperwork if you'd taken much longer getting off shift. The Daedalus has been docked now for almost four hours."
"Poor thing," Laura chided with a grin, "you almost had to do your job. How inconsiderate of me."
Jenifer rolled her eyes and looked back at the girls behind the counter, "I may need to start looking for a new best friend."
"Don't you wish," Cadman laughed. "Anything exciting happen while I was away?"
"Just the same old thing," Keller deadpanned. "I think we averted near death and or destruction three times since you were here last."
"Sounds about right," Marie concurred with a grin.
"Don't forget the quarantine," Sarah added.
"That was number two of the three "near death or destructions" I was speaking of," Jennifer casually agreed, hoping it didn't peak Cadman's interest. "Shall we head out?"
"You all had a quarantine?" Laura asked, curious what kind of disease they'd had to deal with. The last one the expedition had gone through had nearly killed them all, with the exception of Teyla and Ronon.
Sarah gave Dr. Keller a quick look that turned mischievous once she realized that the doctor hadn't shared the fun details with Cadman yet. "It was actually a bit boring for most of us, locked in either our rooms or the mess hall. But there were a few… interesting lock-up scenarios that we heard about after."
Jennifer didn't miss the flick of Sarah's eyebrows as she was telling Cadman this bit of information, raising the Lieutenant's interest in what she'd missed. "Maybe we should get going," the young doctor tried to persuade during the pause in Sarah's retelling. "Don't want to run out of time to watch the movies."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Laura agreed absently, while waving Jennifer off. "Who got locked up with who?" the Marine asked Sarah, already guessing the word "interesting" was code for some juicy gossip.
Jennifer looked at Marie, hoping for some help. Sarah might not realize how bad it was going to be for Jenn once Laura found out about her, Ronon and a secured room, but Marie had been on Atlantis longer and knew how tenacious the Lieutenant could be. All the young doctor got from Marie was a look that conveyed about an ounce of apology, but the rest was pure delight. Drat these women and their match-making ways. Maybe their work load was too light if they had time to meddle in their boss's personal life.
Jennifer could tell that Sarah was relating the couples that were locked up together in such an order as to reveal who Ronon was locked up with last.
"…oh, and Dr. Keller was stitching up Ronon when the doors slammed shut," Sarah finished.
With an almost evil grin, Cadman turned to her best friend. "So you were locked in a room with the Satedan warrior and this is the first I've heard of it?"
Jennifer rolled her eyes and glared at Laura, "You just got here, remember. Besides, there isn't anything interesting to tell."
"Oh, I doubt that," Laura countered. Her expression suddenly changed to one of concern, "You're right though, it is time that we headed to your room to watch some movies."
Keller knew that the movies were code for the grilling she'd be receiving once her best friend got her alone. "Are you both sure you don't want to join us for movie night?" Jenn asked Sarah and Marie, rolling her eyes in resignation.
Sarah and Marie's gaze flitted to Laura for a moment, but all the soldier had to do was narrow her eyes a fraction and both nurses quickly turned Jenn's offer down.
"I have boys to ogle in the gym," Sarah reminded Jennifer.
"Think I might join you," Marie added with a laugh.
"Shall we?" Cadman asked Keller, gesturing toward the infirmary entrance with her arm.
"Might as well," Jenn said with resignation. It was going to be a long night. She planned on insisting on a romantic comedy once they finally got around to the movie tonight. She was sure by then she'd have earned it.
"Seriously," Laura asked, looking at Jennifer completely dumbfounded. "You're locked in the infirmary, just the two of you for hours and nothing interesting happened."
"I told you we tried to break out by igniting an oxygen tank, right?" Jenn asked, closing the microwave door and setting the timer for the second sack of popcorn she'd placed inside. "I thought as an explosives expert you'd find that part particularly interesting… maybe ask for a few more details."
"It is. In fact I'm not sure whether I should be proud of you or if I should lecture you on the safety aspects and risks of what you two attempted." Cadman glared at Keller once she'd turned back around before continuing with a bit of disbelief. "I'm just a bit disappointed that you didn't take advantage of the situation. You've had a crush on that man since he walked into the infirmary looking like something only Sheppard could drag in."
Jennifer blushed, "Must you make me regret confiding in you every chance you get."
"There is nothing wrong with crushing on that guy. Over half of the female expedition members agree with you on that observation."
"It's not just that he's…" Jennifer struggled for the right word.
"Sexy as sin?" Laura helped out with a grin.
The doctor rolled her eyes, "It's not just his looks. There is just something about how he holds himself. The solitude mixed with the loyalty and determination…" Jenn grew silent for a moment, thinking of the confidences they'd shared in the infirmary during the lock-down. "It just pulls at me."
"And yet you wasted hours of his undivided attention…" Cadman let her rant die when she saw Jennifer's eyes go wide and her face pale. The doctor promptly turned around, completely absorbed in watching the popcorn bag expand with each second that counted down on the timer.
Cadman peered over her shoulder to see who'd entered the kitchenette and lounge room for this wing of the crew's quarters. "Hey there big guy," Laura said with a laugh she didn't even try to disguise, turning around to face him. "What're you up to tonight?"
Laura watched his gaze flick from herself to Jenn's back, before looking back at her.
"Thought Sheppard might be making popcorn," he added, shrugging his shoulders.
Laura watched his gaze flick back over to Jennifer again, lingering for an extra moment before he turned and took a step toward the door, obviously leaving now that he'd checked the room. She turned to see that Jenn hadn't turned around since Ronon had entered the room and she found that a bit interesting as well.
"Ronon?" Laura called out, capturing his attention. "Do you want to eat popcorn and watch a movie with us?" She tried not to laugh when she felt Jennifer turn around abruptly.
"Uh," the Satedan began, his gaze on Jennifer. "Sure," he conceded after a moment.
"Great," Laura said, gesturing for the door and not daring to look back at her friend. She'd catch hell later for sure, but there was just something about the way Ronon's gaze lingered on Jennifer a few times that made her wonder if maybe something had changed during that lock-down. Something that she was sure Jennifer would ignore if given the chance.
Ronon was usually a very decisive man, but he'd doubted his decision to join the girls for a movie several times as he trailed behind them to Dr. Keller's room. When Lt. Cadman had invited him he'd only hesitated for a moment. He really hadn't had anything going on at the moment and he didn't feel energetic enough to find someone to spar with. He also couldn't deny that spending time with the doc would've been hard to turn down.
He'd thought about their conversations during the quarantine endlessly. He'd been pretty sure they'd been on the verge of kissing as well. Although, he grew less confident in that assessment as time passed.
He watched Jennifer glare at Cadman one last time before they entered the room. He started searching his mind for an excuse to leave, but as he entered the room he found that he wanted to at least see what the doctor's room was like. As his gaze swung around the room he eventually landed on Jennifer's face and her shy smile drove the thought of leaving from his mind.
He noted that Laura had already taken a seat in the only chair, leaving the small couch for Jennifer and himself. He sat down and kicked his feet up on the coffee table, settling in to enjoy the movie as well as sitting close to Keller, he only hoped that spending this time with her would help him read her a little better.
"What're we watching?" He asked, breaking the silence.
"You pick, Jenn." Cadman pointed on top of the DVD player where there was a stack of movies.
Jennifer flipped through the movies quickly. She had no idea what any of the movies were about, but none of them screamed "romantic comedy". She wasn't sure romantic comedy was really what Ronon thought he was signing up for anyway when he agreed to watch a movie with them.
"How about the new Bourne movie?" She held up the movie showing the harried actor on the front holding a gun. It kind of gave the impression that it was an action movie, and from what she remembered of the Bourne movies, there was a lot of chasing and fighting.
After getting the movie started Jennifer grabbed one of the bags of popcorn and sat down next to Ronon. She wasn't quite touching him, but it still felt a bit too close, especially with Laura in the room, glancing at them every few seconds.
Jennifer felt a light brush against her cheek and her concentration on the movie was broken. Before she could turn her head a piece of popcorn hit her face and her gaze swung to Laura's quickly. Her friend was holding her index finger to her lips in the universal sign of keep quiet and Jenn followed Cadman's gaze to the sleeping form of Ronon.
She'd spent so much time watching the movie, holding herself a bit stiffly, trying not to touch him or look at him. She'd wanted to appear unfazed by his nearness, rather than rattled like she was. She hated not knowing what he was thinking. Did what happened in the infirmary a few nights ago mean anything to him or was it really not that big a deal?
She was a bit exasperated to find out that he'd probably been asleep the whole time, oblivious to her inner struggles or witness to her portrayed indifference. Even in sleep, she noticed, he was still just as fierce looking, breathtakingly good looking too.
Jenn caught movement out of the corner of her eye and she reluctantly turned her head to look back at a standing Laura. When the Marine gave Keller a small wave goodbye and began to walk stealthily toward the door Jennifer's mouth fell open.
Laura was clearly laughing at her silently as she held her finger up to her lips again, cautioning Jenn to be quiet. She pointed at the movie that was still playing before triggering the door to slide open and making her exit.
Jennifer looked back at the sleeping man beside her, then back at the screen with the movie playing. Did she wake him up or finish the movie and hope he woke up before it was over? Jenn wasn't sure what to do, but she was positive she was going to kill Cadman in the morning. Or maybe even later tonight, depending on how this played out. She might still have time this evening to pay her best friend a visit.
The doctor turned back toward the movie, but she was a little lost in the plot at this point. Not that she could concentrate anyway, she kept stealing long glances toward the sleeping warrior beside her.
About twenty minutes ticked by and Jennifer's attention was eventually captured by a particularly intense chase scene. A shift in the couch cushions next to her brought a startled, but stifled yelp to her lips.
"Jennifer," Ronon called softly, hoping to reassure.
"It's okay," Jenn quickly reassured him. After a deeper, calming breath she continued, "I thought you were still sleeping." She dipped her head a bit, sure she must be blushing in embarrassment.
"Sorry. I don't sit idle well."
Jennifer could tell he was genuinely worried about causing such unease. "You've been on back to back missions," she offered.
"Yeah, but usually McKay can't shut up during a movie. Hard to fall asleep with him and Sheppard arguing." Ronon gave a shrug.
"I don't want to keep you if you're…" Jenn began, but Ronon interrupted.
Jennifer watched him bring his feet off of the coffee table before scrunching further into the corner cushions and turn his head toward the screen, seeming to get absorbed quickly in the movie.
Taking a cue from him she relaxed her shoulders and brought her legs up onto the coffee table, settling back for the remainder of the movie. There had to be less than an hour left on it.
"What happened to Cadman?" Ronon was a bit amazed that he'd slept through her departure, kind of unnerved him a little that he'd not woke up when she left.
"She had something she had to go do." Jenn clenched her jaw for a moment, wondering what kind of revenge she could heap on Laura later.
Their attention was captured for a few minutes by another intense few scenes on the screen, but it didn't seem to hold Ronon's attention for long.
"Are you working until dinner tomorrow night?"
Keller had been working the day shift lately and tried not to be flattered with the fact that Ronon seemed to have noticed. "Yes, for the rest of the month."
"Can I come by after your shift tomorrow and walk you to dinner?" Ronon looked back at the screen after asking the question. Not because he was following along with the movie, but because he didn't want to put too much importance on her answer or its importance to him.
"Yes," Jennifer responded without much hesitation. She blushed slightly and looked at the screen herself. She expelled her held breath, trying to remind herself it was just a walk to dinner… possibly eating in the cafeteria… with his team.
"For the rest of the month?" Ronon added, figuring he might as well ask for what he really wanted… her free time. He looked over at her, hoping that she understood what he was having difficulty relaying.
"Yes." Jennifer concentrated on not holding her breath while she forced herself to make eye contact. She thought she understood what he was asking, but she was afraid to guess wrong. A simple yes answer felt like a safe one.
"Then watch more of your movies after?"
"Yes," Jennifer answered, unable to keep the smile from her face at her short Ronon-type answers to each of his requests.
There was only a small smile on his face, but she could see the happiness in his eyes and it warmed her. With a blush she looked back at the movie, for a moment marveling that the credits hadn't rolled yet, but very glad it wasn't over yet.
"Okay." Ronon reiterated, before resettling himself about half the distance closer to Jennifer. It was a movement such as this that had brought them closer in the infirmary. He turned back toward the movie and waited to see what her response would be to his physical question. It felt like an eternity, but a few moments later he felt Jennifer slip closer to his side, her head coming to rest against his shoulder.
He waited a few more moments before nudging her head with his shoulder. Once she'd lifted her head slightly he lifted his arm in invitation, cocking one eyebrow in challenge.
With a small smirk, Jennifer slid her head against his chest and snuggled against his side, a contented sigh escaping her lips once she was settled. She closed her eyes, not because she was tired, but because she wished to savor the rise and fall of his chest beneath her cheek.
Ronon tightened his arm about her shoulders, pulling her in just a bit closer and let out his own contented sigh.
A/N2: This was written for the Quarantine Day celebration today over on the Gateworld Forum for Ronon Dex/Jennifer Keller Appreciation/Ship/Discussion (Doctor & Wild Man). Come on over and help celebrate our favorite couple now or anytime.
Hope you enjoyed the story!
www dot gateworld dot net and choose forum, then SGA Characters and Relationships, then Ronon Dex/Jennifer Keller Appreciation/Ship/Discussion (Doctor & Wild Man).