Disclaimer - I do not own SGA or its' characters, nor am I making a profit from this.

Sheppard moved a few steps away from Ronon's bed, activated his radio and said, "Mr. Woolsey, this is Colonel Sheppard, please respond."

"Colonel Sheppard, this is Woolsey."

"Sir, I have first watch over Ronon and Carson is busy tending to patients," Sheppard quickly answered, deliberately vague hoping Woolsey would catch on. The radio pieces were far from secure and the last thing he wanted was for his friend to become gossip.

"How can I be of assistance, Colonel?"

"Carson needs the... health package beamed to the infirmary while the Daedalus is still in orbit."

The pause before Woolsey answered felt the longest of John's life. They probably should've discussed code words and things when he'd gotten Woolsey's permission earlier. "I will inform Colonel Caldwell of his request. Woolsey out."

"Colonel, can you give me a hand moving Ronon into a more comfortable position?" Carson asked.

"Sure, Doc," Sheppard answered, quickly moving to help Beckett.

"Better?" Carson said looking down at Ronon, he watched as the man who'd once been a giant of man could do little more than smile his thanks weakly.

Sheppard's ear piece came to life, "Colonel Sheppard, this is Mr. Woolsey, please respond."

"This is, Sheppard,"

"Be advised your ... package is being moved as we speak," Woolsey cryptically informed the Colonel.

A Bright white light flooded the infirmary dissipating as quickly as it'd arrived revealing the manacled figure of Todd along with an armed Marine escort.

"Sir, your package, the keys," a young Marine, Sheppard instantly recognized as Sergeant Edwards, stepped forward handing over the keys to the manacles holding fast to Todd's wrists.

"Thank you, gentlemen. Before I dismiss you, what you've witnessed within this infirmary is to remain top secret. If I find anyone outside of the people here know about this I'll make sure you spend the rest of your rotation on Atlantis cleaning it using nothing but your own toothbrushes and wash cloths, do I make myself clear?"

"Yes Sir," the Marines answered in unison.

"Dismissed gentlemen," Sheppard ordered, twirling the set of keys anxiously on his fingers as he waited for the men to leave the infirmary.

Todd's voice and comment caught Sheppard off guard momentarily.

"He is close to death ...,"

The Colonel gritted his teeth; slowly he turned to face Todd. Controlling himself he hissed, "You don't get to talk to him, we made a deal but I don't remember it including being BFF's, so shut up."

"Humans ... you're all so emotional," Todd spat back, shaking his head.

"If it stops us from being like the Wraith then that's just fine with me,"

"Careful Sheppard, you don't want to upset me now would you? Besides... the Runner doesn't look like he could withstand us having an in depth debate on emotions," Todd mocked laughing at the angry Colonel.

Un-holstering his gun once again, he chambered a round. "Back," Sheppard ordered raising the gun and pointing it at the Wraith.

"So trusting, Sheppard," Todd replied as he began to slowly step backwards his gaze never leaving Sheppard's face.

"I wouldn't trust you as far as I could throw you and you're a big guy," the Colonel snarked.

Todd smirked; part of him liked the banter he always found himself getting into when he spoke to John Sheppard.

Sheppard moved toward Ronon's bed, saw the confusion in the ex-Runners tired eyes.

"Not ... not like ... this," Ronon muttered frantically.

John was confused for a moment wondering what Ronon was so upset about. It dawned on him, he thinks this is how we'll end it for him, he thought. "Ronon, its' gonna be okay buddy - trust me okay. I won't let Todd hurt you."

Ronon stopped squirming in the bed, he didn't trust Todd but he did Sheppard and Beckett and if John had given him his word then that would be good enough for him. He had an inkling of what Sheppard was trying to do, but it didn't alleviate the panic. He wished he had his blaster but doubted he'd even have the strength to hold it.

The Wraith watched as Sheppard moved to the Satedan's side talking to him, calming him, did he know they'd bargained for his life?

Sheppard stood up felt his grip on his gun tighten and said, "We have a deal, remember."

Todd nodded and held out his manacled hands.

Sheppard tightened his grip on his gun and pointed it once again at Todd, "Doc, I need you to take these keys and unlock Todd's manacles."

"Right, aye," Beckett answered reaching for the keys Sheppard offered. Standing in front of the Wraith, Beckett nervously clasped the manacles in one hand and unlocked them with the other. Releasing the metal bindings, Beckett apprehensively stepped backwards, away from Todd.

Todd in turn stepped forward fully aware of the gun Sheppard had trained on him. Coming to stand beside the Satedan he felt the hard metal of the gun dig into his ribs.

Seeing Ronon's agitated state Carson gently gripped his shoulders, "Its okay, Ronon, you trust Colonel Sheppard don't you?"

Todd leant over the Satedan slightly; he flexed his feeding hand before he brought it down onto Ronon's chest. Closing his eyes the Wraith concentrated.

A grunt emanated from Ronon as he felt the Wraith's feeding hand latch onto his bony sunken chest. Ronon felt panic begin to take over him as he felt the enzyme flow into his system. He didn't trust any Wraith and this wasn't how he wanted to die… not at the hands of a Wraith.

Ronon began to scream in agony, not the roar of the strong giant of a man he once was but the scratchy, crackly cry of an aged voice. His face contorted in pain the only thing keeping the fragile body from shaking and twisting on the bed was the enzyme flowing through Ronon's veins.

Sheppard watched horrified at the scene before him. He kept thinking over and over, he's not going to kill Ronon, we have an agreement. Despite the knowledge the pact he'd made with Todd being to the Wraith's advantage he couldn't quell the rising fear that Todd just might kill Ronon for the sake of it. He pushed the gun further into Todd's ribs as a reminder of their agreement.

Beckett watched on anxiously, his head moving from his patient to Todd and back again. Panic was threatening to overwhelm the doctor. He wanted to run to Todd and try to pull the feeding hand from his friend's chest. That was when Carson noticed it. The skin which was sagging on the jowls of Ronon's face appeared to tighten ever so slowly. He watched as the bony sunken chest of his friend began to fill out. The deep wrinkles about the Satedan's face started to fill; the grey hue of his skin began to turn into its usual caramel color.

Sheppard released the breath he'd been holding as he saw Ronon begin to alter, he watched as the white thin ropes of his dreadlocks thicken and become peppered with color. Slowly the hair turned back into its usual dark brown, the dreadlocks once again heavy and thick. He shifted his gaze to the Satedan's eyes. They remained closed as Ronon battled against the pain from Todd's feeding hand. As the transformation was almost complete the ex-Runner's eyes flew open and wide as his strong voice returned and he roared in pain. Gone were the watery pale orbs of an old man and in their place, vibrant jade eyes full of emotions staring back at Sheppard.

Todd pulled his hand away from Ronon's chest, gasping for air, staggering back he fell upon the bed next to the Satedan's exhausted. Groaning with hunger he clawed at the blanket under him until all he could do was shake.

Ronon sat fully upright, his exposed chest pockmarked from the feeding hand gently oozing blood. His breathing was rapid as he fought against the last vestiges of pain. As he panted for oxygen, his gaze immediately shot back to Sheppard full of questions.

"Oh my god, it worked," Carson exclaimed as he rushed to check on the young man before him.

"Hey, buddy, welcome back," Sheppard shakily responded as he placed the safety on his gun before holstering it. Turning to look at the Wraith lying on the bed before him he said in a slightly surprised tone, "You kept your word."

"So it would seem,"

"We'll get you back to your ship, I promise."

"The sooner the better," Todd flippantly remarked.

As Beckett began to tend to the wound on Ronon's chest he teasingly asked, "Are you not gonna say anything Ronon?"

"Thanks, Doc," Ronon gruffly replied, his throat tender from its exertion.

"I didn't have anything to do with this lad, it was the all the Colonel's doing,"

Ronon looked at Sheppard; he'd known the idea would've been his. He struggled for the right words to thank him. "Thank you," was all he could muster his emotions hitting him all at once.

Sheppard nodded his reply not one to display emotions, he didn't trust his voice. Coughing away the lump in his throat he activated his ear piece. "Mr. Woolsey, this is Colonel Sheppard, please respond."

"Colonel Sheppard, this is Woolsey, you have an update for me?"

Sheppard could hear the urgency in Woolsey's voice and smiled understanding exactly how the IOA man felt. "Yes Sir. The health package was successful, we need to ensure it gets returned to … restock," Sheppard winced slightly at the tactless metaphor he's used.

"That's wonderful news, Colonel. We will ensure that the package is returned. I shall contact Colonel Caldwell and he can return it directly."

"Thank you, Mr. Woolsey, Sheppard out."

Beckett had cleaned the wounds to Ronon's chest turned and approached Todd. "Can I help?" his question sounding ridiculous even to his own mind.

Todd raised an eyebrow and snorted. "Unless you wish to replace the Runner then no," he chuckled.

"That'd be ex-Runner," Beckett replied sternly his chin jutting as though to force home his words.

"Colonel Sheppard, this is Woolsey, please respond." Sheppard's ear piece crackled.

Activating his radio he replied, "Sheppard here."

"Be advised, Colonel, we are moving our package momentarily."

"Understood, Sheppard out," the Colonel turned to Todd and nodded, "It's time, you'll be beamed directly onboard the Daedalus from there they'll send you to M5-P66Y where your ship is."

Todd nodded wearily in truth he was grateful to be leaving Atlantis. "Do not forget John Sheppard, Atlantis owes me."

"I'll remember ..." was all Sheppard could reply before the Daedalus' transporter beam filled the infirmary. As the bright light vanished the bed Todd had lain upon became empty but rumpled.

"I don't know what you agreed to make this work, Colonel, but I'm glad you did. Now, I believe you said when this was all done you'd be mine? I think it's time we sorted you out now," Carson firmly stated.

"I think you might be right," Sheppard slurred slightly as the adrenalin he'd been running on began to disappear.

"Why don't you take the bed next to Ronon, Colonel?" Beckett asked as he maneuvered the Colonel to the bed beside Ronon. "I'll get you something to help with the stiffness and soreness you'll be feeling,"

"Thanks, Doc," Sheppard mumbled as exhaustion flooded over him.

"You need to rest too, Ronon," Beckett ordered.

"I'm ...,"

"If you're going to tell me your fine, I'll get my biggest bloody needles out, you've been through hell. Give your body time to adjust, son." Beckett barked all the while smiling inwardly.

TBC ... Please review