A/N: Hey all, I owe you all a huge apology for how long this update has taken. To any of you still reading this, I hope you enjoy it, and I will try to update again much sooner!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my oc.
The Next Day
Atlantis was more than what Evie expected.
Not that she had known exactly what to expect.
She'd seen the work of the Ancestors in Ruins in some of the places she'd found herself since the Wraith destroyed Nahear. They were always curious and stunning and left you in little doubt of their builder's genius. Some were useful; others were not. But none were quite like this.
The first thing she saw as she stepped through the Ancestral Ring other than their greeting party was a wide set of colored glass windows.
Evie glanced at the others, nodding at Doctor Beckett and Teyla. She reached up, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. Her attention swept the room before it came back to the window.
Each geometric shape, no matter its size, was framed in metal and placed in a flow of beautiful symmetry and muted natural tones. At this moment, rays of sunlight slipped their long fingers through the glass, making it more beautiful.
The dark, amber-colored floor, speckled with gold, stretched out to the opposite side of the room. There it came to the set of steps that led to the landing that the window adorned. The stairs forked. To the right were a catwalk and a glassed room. To the left, she could see people sitting at work stations and a balcony that ran the room's length.
Evie had seen colored glass windows before. She had attended many lectures at The Clarion Institute of Medical Disciplines, some even given by her father. Though the patterns weren't so geometric, colored glass windows adorned nearly every hall and room at the institute. The building's central lecture hall's domed ceiling was made almost entirely of colored glass.
If her father were here today, he would be hopeful. Maybe for the first time in many years, just as Jonas was. Jonas who had said "If these people are who they claim to be, they are our best hope." Evie saw that as did she believe Ragnar.
Evie turned her attention back to her companions. She nodded to Teyla and Doctor Beckett again. Arms behind her back, she clasped her left forearm just above the binding on her bruised wrist with her right hand. The heat of her hand warmed the soft, supple brown leather under it. She had left her gauntlet behind, per Ragnar's request, along with her pistol and bow. He said it was a show of good faith. None of them were armed. Evie had her own show of good faith tucked into one of the deep pockets of her coat. The doctor with the pleasant accent had expressed interest in the healing plants and herbs of the galaxy, so Evie had brought him one of her field journals.
Recent events left her feeling vulnerable, as did the destruction of her jacket. The brown leather one she wore was cut much the same, with a wide high collar and buttoned lapels and a hood. It was warmer by far, but the other was gifted to her by her father when she joined the guild.
She turned her attention back to Ragnar just as he spoke, "My sister, Evie."
Her attention shifted to the tall, slender woman with dark hair standing before her.
Arms still folded behind her back, Evie nodded.
"Doctor Elizabeth Weir," the brunette said, offering her hand in the same manner Colonel Sheppard did yesterday, a friendly smile on her lips.
"It's nice to meet you," Elizabeth said as she took her hand. There was no mistaking this particular young woman with long dark braids, even without knowing her name. John had mentioned the scar on her face when he had told Elizabeth about the girl who'd managed to give Ronon a split lip. John had found the idea more than a little amusing.
"Thank you," the girl said, shaking her hand awkwardly.
The sister was the antithesis of the brother in nearly every way. Her hair was dark, his that you could see was a dirty blond, his beard was shades darker. He had piercing blue eyes, and hers were a pale green. She was openly curious, while he had a guarded look about him.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" the other woman said as she dropped Evie's hand. Her gaze traveled past Evie to the window behind them.
Evie nodded, looking over her shoulder. "Yes."
Elizabeth's attention returned to the others. "This is Colonel Caldwell," she began, speaking to everyone again. She indicated the tall bald man to her right. He didn't precisely look mean, but there was something stiff and unyielding in his bearing.
"Doctor Rodney MacKay," she said of the shorter man standing beside him, "he is Atlantis' head scientist, and I believe you all remember Teyla Emmagan and Doctor Beckett."
Ragnar nodded, "This is Jonas, our doctor. And my second-in-command, Jax."
The doctor took both of their hands just as she had Evie's, smiling politely at both.
"Now, If you would all come with me?" Doctor Weir said. She lifted her arm in a gesture toward the steps.
Doctor Weir fell into step beside Ragnar, arms behind her back. The others followed suit, heading for the steps that led to the window. Evie turned her attention to their doctor. "Doctor Beckett," she said, pulling the journal from her pocket, she fell into step beside him.
"Yes," he said, in that pleasant way of his.
"I brought this for you," she said, handing him the medium-sized leather-bound journal in her hand. She went on as he opened the book, "I have others." He had been interested in seeing these yesterday. "This one has a bit of everything," she said, looking down at the page he had opened. She generally always kept a journal with her, so she could write down the planets and such where she found specimens. She leaned closer. "This is the Peddler's Caps; we use it to treat rapid heartbeat and other heart defects; it strengthens the cardiovascular muscles."
"You drew these?" he asked.
Evie looked up from the page and met his blue eyes. "Yes."
"They are really very good, " he said, looking down again. "This is fascinating, " he began next, "we have an identical genus of the plant on Earth, called Fox Glove. We use it to treat arrhythmias and other forms of heart disease as well."
"I would be happy to help you translate it if you wish," she offered just as they stepped into another room.
"That would be lovely, thank you," he said, smiling at her.
Evie smiled in return, curious over why he would use a word like lovely at such a time. A long oval-shaped table sat in the middle of the space. On each end of the table, a pitcher of water sat on a tray, cups stacked upside down beside them.
Doctor Weir lifted her arm. "Please," she said, gesturing to the seats on the side of the table closest to them. "Take a seat."
Evie looked about as she made her way to a seat, for the first time really noticing the Satedans absence.
"I think there is much to be gained from us working together," Colonel John Sheppard said.
Evie shifted in her chair, her attention moving to Ragnar.
Doctor Weir, sat across the table from her and Ragnar. She had a pleasant smile, but she also had a sharpness in her hazel green gaze that demanded respect. Evie had no idea she was every bit as clever as her brother.
At the moment, they were discussing their teams working together. They had been talking for some time already.
"I agree," Ragnar said with a nod. His powder blue eyes danced with a light that, to some, would be unnerving. Colonel Sheppard didn't seem to notice.
The older balding man, with a dark blue sweater and glasses on, they called Colonel Caldwell sat beside Doctor Weir. He spoke, "Colonel Sheppard, said you have a list of planets with known Wraith outposts?" The man asked.
He commanded a battle-ready ship called the Daedalus. They said it was in orbit around the planet as they spoke. Most of the only war capable ships Evie had ever seen were those of the Wraith. The Travelers had ships and some battle-ready, but they had very little interest in doing more than staying alive. In fact, Luke was once a Traveler. He would typically be here with them as would Siri. The latter being the only of Nahear's original governing council left, but they were preparing the people to break camp tomorrow. Siri had been their Officer of Education.
"Yes," her brother offered, turning his attention toward Jax. "Jax has them."
"Could we see them?" The colonel asked, a hint of annoyance in his voice.
"I'm sure he would be happy to write them down for you."
The colonel looked even more annoyed; he opened his mouth as if to speak, but before he could, Doctor Weir spoke: "That will be fine." she said, her voice calm.
Evie watched the other woman closely for a moment. The edge of her lips lifted a fraction upward.
Yesterday, the Satedan had been obviously annoyed when Ragnar only mentioned the intel on Wraith bases and activity. He had never said he was a Satedan, Evie only assumed. The tattoo on his neck meant he was most likely one of the few surviving ones. The military forces of Sateda had traditionally always had such marks. Her world had traded frequently with Sateda before the Wraith destroyed it. Almost a year later, the Wraith had come for them as well. Evie couldn't imagine what it would be like going through what she had gone through and not having Ragnar. While she felt for what he had been through, she had no like for the man himself.
Still, for some reason, him not being here made her antsy. Evie reached up, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear, then ran her hand down one thick braid and pulled it over her shoulder. She unconsciously played with the long end that hung to the bottom of her rib cage, as she did on occasion.
Doctor Rodney McKay had already shown he thought he was the superior intellect in the room. They brought little in the way of technologies that were of interest to the man aside from her gauntlet. He had expressed interest in studying it, but it was most apparent he would prefer to be elsewhere. He had a philodoxical nature, Evie was afraid.
Jax sat to her right, his arms folded over his chest. Ragnar sat on her left. Jonas sat beside him, his grey head tilted slightly, fingers steepled before him as he listened. Jonas had been with Evie and Ragnar since the day the Wraith culled Nahear. He worked with their father. The council had sent Jonas offworld with some of the children they had been able to move from the hospital. Evie had continued to train with Jonas, and the children remained with them. And they were the most significant reason Ragnar took on the mantle of leader.
When Evie returned to camp yesterday covered in newly forming bruises and revealed her tale, Ragnar was angry then curious. Jax was angry. Jax had a way of taking on the role of protector, even though Evie didn't feel she needed one. And he wouldn't be naysaid; he had stayed close to her when they returned to Cambria yesterday.
Her brother had been acting strange since they returned from their initial meeting with Colonel John Sheppard yesterday. Colonel Sheppard had extended the invitation to Atlantis to meet the woman in charge of the expedition.
Right now, Ragnar was what occupied Evie's attention. He was quieter than usual yesterday, and there was a peculiar light in his eyes. The first was a feat hard to achieve; Ragnar was often rather taciturn and far more self-contained than others. He was a born tactician and was possessed of a rational, observant nature and generally at least a step ahead of most. Evie had learned long ago to be wary of her brother's sidelong looks. From what she had seen of Doctor Elizabeth Weir in the short time they'd been in the Ancients city, the woman was a match for her brother. A fact which Evie knew her brother found entertaining.
At this moment, however, Evie had the strangest feeling the person he was a step ahead of wasn't their new allies, but she herself.
Still, she wasn't sure how and that made the feeling even more unnerving.
She also knew better than to spend too much time thinking about it. Ragnar would only reveal what he planned when it suited him.
Evie glanced down at the wrap covering her wrist; the fresh minty smell of starflower and other healing herbs clung to her. Despite his apparent curiosity about these people, he had been less than pleased when he found her binding her wrist yesterday. She had seen right then, that her brother wasn't going to let her go her own way for some time if he could stop it. He sometimes forgot that she was an adult and had free will. She also knew his worry - and need to know where she was - was born of a promise made to their father as the world crumbled around them. Her stomach twisted painfully, and she shoved the memory away.
Movement in the open panel they'd all entered through caught her eye, and Evie looked over just as he stepped into the room. Her spine stiffened, as she watched him approach Colonel Sheppard. The other man looked over his shoulder, the Satedan squatted down, and they shared a few sentences. Instead of finding a seat, he stood and leaned his impressive frame against the wall, in a relaxed manner. He folded his bare arms over his broad chest and tucked his chin in as he listened contently. The ease in his way vexed her further.
It was just as Evie expected; varying degrees of ugly bruises dotted her torso and upper body. Her shins had several as well. It almost hurt to breathe, and her ribs ached from his rough handling as well. She didn't believe he had broken any, at least. Amara had helped Evie bind them with bandages soaked in the same salve covering her wrist. They picked this moment to throb, making Evie even angrier. There was a scab on his lip, but the mark on his jaw had vanished already. His hazel gaze shifted to her. Evie lifted her chin and set her jaw before she looked away dismissively.
Ronon studied the brunette. You didn't have to be able to read minds to see the contempt in her green eyes, not that he could blame her. The bruise on his jawline was already fading, but he didn't bruise easily. She wasn't so lucky; a dark one marred her cheek along the back on her jawline. He also did not doubt if he unwrapped the binding on her wrist. The one he could see peeking out from her coat sleeve; he'd find dark lines that resembled the width and length of his fingers. She'd fought him hard and with some skill. If she didn't have any training, he might not have had to hurt her, but he had had little choice. Ronon had tried to engage her yesterday when she and the others came back, but she had wanted none of it. Judging from her cold demeanor, she wanted none of it today either.
The tall, leanly muscled man with close-cropped dark-hair sitting beside her had been with her when she returned yesterday as well. He had hovered close to her side, in a proprietary manner. If her body language hadn't been entirely neutral, Ronon would have assumed they were a couple. Ronon didn't spare him a glance at the moment, though he knew the other man was looking at him.
She shifted in her chair, fidgeting with the end of the braid hanging over her shoulder. Ronon watched for a moment more, wondering again how she had gotten the knife scar that started just above her right eyebrow and slashed downward across her cheek before he returned his attention to the others.
He was late to the meeting this morning because Sheppard had sent him to find Solan. Ronon's long time friend had said he would see what he could find out about their new allies when they initially talked to him about them. Solan was offworld when Ronon got there, so he had waited through the night. Sheppard wanted Ronon to see if Solan had gained any more intel on them. A couple of months had passed since Ronon had last talked to his friend. Rumors said they had a network of bases on destroyed planets, and they moved around a lot. There were many of them, but they weren't all warriors and fighters. The brother was or had been Nahearen military. After the fall of their homeworld, Ragnar took on the role of leader and protector. Solan had said nothing about the sister, but still, something compelled Ronon to ask, "the sister?"
His friend had known nothing specific about her.
"Now," Doctor Weir began, pulling Ronon's thoughts back to the present. She pushed her chair back. "Doctor Becket would be happy to give Jonas and your sister a tour of the infirmary and the botany lab."
Ronon slid into Carson's chair after the other man. Sheppard wanted him here while they discussed their teams working together.
Ragnar's gaze lingered on his sister's dark head, and narrow shoulders as she, and Jonas followed the man away. He had expected she would be curious about their medical facilities and practices. It actually made him feel better about his decision. He wasn't one to dwell on the past or things he couldn't change, but in another time and place, she would have been a surgeon by now. Here she could continue to learn and study if she chose.
"It is traditional amongst my people to have an emissary live among our allies," Ragnar began, turning his attention back to the others still present at the table. He paused and held Doctor Weir's gaze. "Someone educated and usually from a respected family, to act as a liaison between our peoples and share knowledge."
Hands clasped together on the table. Elizabeth nodded as she said, "we as well." Though they didn't necessarily do that here at Atlantis a lot, "What did you have in mind?"
"I do not have a traditional emissary, but my sister was my father's apprentice and formally educated," Ragnar began. "She studied medicine before the Wraith culled our planet and some since. We can do without her, but not without Jonas. As you already know, she has much knowledge of the medicinal herbs and plants of this galaxy; your Doctor expressed interest in."
Elizabeth nodded again. She wasn't opposed to the suggestion. Carson had been emphatic about how useful this information could be, and Elizabeth realized that herself. Rodney would also like to study her weapon.
"In addition to the supplies we have already spoken of, I believe the medical knowledge she could learn from your own people would be invaluable." And it would. Ragnar would have seen that even if Jonas hadn't pointed as much out, yesterday. Having access to the knowledge of the ancestor was another thing to be considered.
John met her gaze briefly. "How does your sister feel about this idea?" Sheppard asked before Elizabeth spoke.
The sister fought Ronon like she was fighting for her very life, or so Sheppard had said. Despite the sheer difference in their physical sizes, the girl had gotten in a few good blows of her own. One needed only to see Ronon's split lip to see that.
"She will be fine." He said with all the confidence of a man whose orders people followed.
Something told Elizabeth, the young woman in question might not be happy with this outcome. Elizabeth also suspected that they had gotten where they were and fought the Wraith so successfully because they all followed his orders.
Later that night
Evie sat her bowl of stew down on the timeworn table and wiped her hands together and leaned back in her chair. "They have this jiggly blue stuff doctor Beckett called jello." The last word came out more like a question.
"Blue?" Amara questioned.
The camp was still bustling with in preparation for their move tomorrow. That was something Evie hadn't even started yet. Not that she had much to move. She told Doctor Beckett she would send her journals and the books to Atlantis, and once they settled, she would help translate them.
Evie nodded, "yes."
Amara remained quiet for a moment. The firelight from the cooking fire played on her bright red curls, making the color dance. "And you eat it?" She asked incredulously, her brow puckering further in disbelief.
"That's what they told me," Evie said to her sister-in-law, lifting one eyebrow.
Amara looked over at Ragnar. He said nothing, merely shrugged distractedly. Again, Evie noticed that something was off with him. She had seen it yesterday, but she had been more certain since she returned from her tour. Evie ignored the tightening in her stomach, the one that told her he was about to do something she wasn't going to like. And judging by Jax, uncharacteristic absence tonight, he knew what he brother planned. Ragnar looked up, meeting her gaze.
"Did you try it? Amara asked skeptically, pulling Evie's attention back to her.
"No. I tried a food called pizza."
Thanks for reading!
Sorry, there wasn't so much Ronon in this chapter, I will make up for it!