A/N: This one-shot is takes place a few months after Quarantine. Just a random moment of ordinary in an extraordinary galaxy. The story has not been beta'd, but hopefully there aren't any glaring mistakes that I missed after all of the edits.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis or its wonderful characters.
Spoilers: Through Season 5 episode Search and Rescue
Jennifer half ran, half jogged down the corridor, racing for the transporter. She was late and couldn't help berating herself as she hurried. It had to be Teyla that was waiting on her too. Although Jenn felt the two of them had become closer friends, there were still times when she felt like she didn't measure up. Her time with the Athosian trying to stay one step ahead of the Bola Kia almost a year ago would pop up and taunt her, making her question whether she was equipped to be here in the Pegasus galaxy when she was feeling low.
This had been her opportunity to do something she was good at, to impress Teyla and she was already screwing it up by being late. Once she stepped into the transporter she pressed the screen for the level of the gym and started tapping her foot anxious to get moving again. The doors slid open within a second and she resumed her quick walk-run toward her destination.
Babysitting was the one thing that she had lots of experience with. She'd done her fair share of babysitting growing up. She'd been good at it and always had parents giving her name and number to their friends. She was comfortable with babies and smaller children. They didn't know that she was odd or different. It went beyond their notice that she was always the youngest in each of her grades by 2 to 3 years. Babysitting had also given her large amounts of time to study once the children were snug in their beds for the night.
It was silly to want to impress Teyla with her ability to care for Torren and now she was proving that an impossible task as well. She rounded the last corner and stopped abruptly when she encountered not Teyla, but Ronon holding the baby and attempting some type of pacing-while-bouncing trek back and forth across the corridor near the entrance to the gym.
Jennifer was glad Teyla's sparring lesson hadn't been held up by her tardiness. She stood at the corner and watched for just one more second. Ronon looked good holding a baby. His strength and size had a protective quality that was a bit mesmerizing, but the baby's fussiness soon had Dr. Keller moving again.
"Sorry I was late, Ronon," she said hurriedly while reaching for Torren. "I hope I didn't keep you from anything."
"No problem," Ronon assured her reluctantly giving up the child. Holding a child was such a novel experience, one he'd never sought out before and had had little thought of doing for most of his life – until Torren. The tiny, perfect little person fueled him with a renewed resolve in their fight against the Wraith. His hope was that Teyla's son would not live with the same fear of cullings as much of the galaxy currently did.
"He seems a little fussy," Jenn noted, bouncing up and down lightly as she swayed back and forth.
"Teyla said that he'd just eaten. Might get fussy before he goes to sleep…" Ronon trailed off as he watched the young doctor slide two fingers across the infant's forehead, tracing his right eyebrow with each stroke. The baby's eyelids closed with each pass and the fussing lessened quickly. "She said if you wanted to lay him in his bed, you could take him back to her room."
"And miss out on getting to hold him for the rest of the hour? I don't think so," she replied with a quiet laugh. "I might walk him around the corner though so I can sit down.
By the time they sat down, Ronon noted that Torren was already asleep. "You're pretty good at… that," he faltered, gesturing toward the infant.
"I've had a bit of practice," Jenn replied, a bit of a blush creeping into her cheeks. She'd expected Ronon to take off once she'd relieved him of the baby. Not that she was complaining.
Jennifer saw the bit of confusion on the warrior's face. Guessing at his thoughts she quickly clarified things. "I used to do a lot of babysitting when I was young. Just always seemed to have a knack when it came to kids." Jenn shrugged before looking back down at the sleeping baby. He looked so sweet and perfect… she could hold him for hours and not tire of it.
"Are they always this good for you," Ronon asked, noting the adoring look she was giving Torren. It was hard not to be captivated by the sleeping baby… or the woman holding him.
"Hardly," Jennifer laughed looking back up at the Satedan, "little boys are always the worst too. There was this one little boy named Mark that I used to watch. He liked to sneak out of his bed at night."
That didn't sound so bad to Ronon, he hated bedtime as a child as well and remembered finding many excuses to leave his own bed. "Maybe he wasn't tired."
"They never think they are. And it wouldn't have been so bad if he just snuck out of bed, but he typically hid somewhere else in the house. It was terribly embarrassing to try to explain to the parents when they get home, why I was looking in their closet and under their bed."
"Did you ever find him?" Ronon was curious where the boy had hidden.
"In the bathtub in his parent's room one time, behind some coats in the front closet... I think he even emptied out his toy box and hid in there one of the times." Jennifer trailed off lost in the memories for just a moment, before looking up at Ronon with a smirk. "I had the last laugh though because after those first three or four times he snuck out of his room I just camped outside his door with my books and assignments whenever I was asked to babysit him at night."
Ronon grinned, although he'd have liked to have known where the boy would've hidden next if given the chance.
Teyla exited the gym and waved goodnight to Lieutenant Shaw. The lesson had been a good one and Shaw was a quick learner. When Teyla didn't see Jennifer or Torren she figured they might have headed back to her room. Torren was worn out and she knew he would have fallen to sleep quickly. The tricky part seemed to be getting the child to stay asleep. He just preferred to be held. Dr. Keller had told her that babies could be fussy that way.
When the Athosian rounded the corner to the transporter, she noticed Jennifer and Ronon sitting on a bench a few feet away. They were shoulder to shoulder and engrossed in conversation, neither noticing her. She couldn't help but notice Ronon's relaxed and engaged posture, seemingly captivated by the young doctor.
She'd observed a change in his manner concerning the doctor since the city-wide lockdown a couple of months ago, but she couldn't quite figure out what the change was exactly. The two didn't spend a lot of time around each other, but there was a marked difference in the Warrior whenever Jennifer was around.
Teyla pondered the couple for a moment longer and after coming to a decision, she walked toward them and made her presence known. "I'm glad to see that he was good for you."
Jennifer's head whipped up and she sat up straighter, embarrassed that she hadn't noticed Teyla until she was standing right in front of her. "He was a complete angel," she agreed, struggling just a bit to stand without jostling the baby. For a brief moment she was completely aware of Ronon's hand on her back, steadying her as he rose too and she quickly checked to see if Teyla had noticed.
"I am glad you think so because I was wondering if you could watch him again tomorrow? Same time?"
"Of course. I'd love to, Teyla."
"Great. I have another lesson tomorrow night."
Jennifer offered Torren to Teyla before taking a step back. "I'm sorry I was late tonight. I'll try my hardest to get out of the infirmary on time tomorrow night."
"It was no problem. I would have waited for you, but Ronon was just coming out of the shooting range and had walked with me to the gym. I knew you would be along any moment."
"I'll be in the shooting range tomorrow night as well. I can always watch him until Dr. Keller gets here again."
"That would be lovely," Teyla agreed with a smile at her team mate.
Ronon tipped his head slightly at Teyla's pleased tone, "I could even just watch him the whole time tomorrow if that would be helpful." He turned to look at Jennifer, wondering if that'd be better for her, especially after her shift in the infirmary.
"Oh no you don't," Jennifer protested. She put her hands on her hips to exaggerate her protest, trying not to smirk. "You don't get to steal my time with Torren. Teyla asked me to watch him."
Teyla couldn't help but smile at the young woman's teasing manner. "I will see you both tomorrow. I should try to get him to bed. Not always a successful endeavor."
"Goodnight, Teyla. See you tomorrow night." Jennifer couldn't help but emphasize the last bit with a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"Night," Ronon said with a nod.
Teyla turned and left the two, taking the transporter to the crew quarter's level of the tower.
"I'll just watch him until you arrive tomorrow night," Ronon assured Jenn.
"You know I was just teasing you," Jennifer clarified with a smile.
Ronon smiled back and nodded his head.
"We could always watch him together again," Jenn offered, trying hard not to allow the awkwardness of offering show.
"I'd like that," Ronon accepted, his smile growing bigger.
"Okay… well thanks again for being here while I was late."
Ronon looked away for a moment, trying to think of a way to prolong the evening. He'd enjoyed the last hour. He hadn't been this comfortable around Dr. Keller since the time they'd spent together in the lock-down. He was reluctant to let it end. "Can I walk you back to your quarters?"
"I'd like that," Jennifer smiled shyly, using his words from just a moment ago.
Teyla stopped at John's quarters on the way to her own. It only took a moment for him to open his door.
"Did you want to come in?" He looked a bit surprised to see her, but quickly smiled.
"No, that is quite alright. I just wanted to ask you for a favor."
"Anything," Sheppard readily agreed, wondering what it could be.
"I need someone to spar with tomorrow at 9pm."
"Sure." John leaned against his doorframe for a moment looking sideways at his team mate. "Are you supposed to be sparring? I don't want the Doc mad at me."
"It will have to be a very easy sparring session. More like a lesson to be precise." Teyla agreed, glad he was available on such short notice.
"Okay. Well count me in," John said as he straightened, instinctively knowing that Teyla was done. "Goodnight, Teyla." He looked down at his sleeping namesake, "Night Torren John," he whispered.
"Goodnight John." Teyla turned and walked to her room. A smile on her lips, confident that with a bit more time spent together, Ronon and Jennifer might see what she saw tonight… hope.
A/N2: This was written for the Intentions 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).