A/N: This is in response to the challenge from Ladygris and theicemenace -Write a one-shot no less than 500 words and no more than 1000 words in length that begins AND ends with the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night." It can be humorous, romantic, suspenseful, or anything in between.

It comes in at exactly 1,000 words before the author's note and disclaimers. No beta on this one, so all mistakes are mine... hopefully none too glaring.

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis or it's wonderful characters.

"It was a dark and stormy night…" She could hear the words even now as she thought about how they'd tell the story, generations from now, about the fate of Atlantis' youngest CMO. Jennifer flicked a glance over her shoulder as she picked up her pace, trying to keep her imagination from running away from her.

She should've headed back to camp with Maria and the rest of her staff, but the chance to visit with the village healer for a while had been too much for her to pass up. Jenn mentally kicked herself, she shouldn't have let time slip away like that. Now here she was hurrying back to camp in the dark, with a storm that was obviously well on the way to overtaking her completely.

Keller understood why the camp was set-up near the gate, rather than in the village just ten minute away down a well worn path from the gate. Sheppard liked the teams to be able to watch the gate around the clock. Knowing who or what was utilizing the gate gave them an advantage and cut down on off-world "problems". It also had the added advantage of keeping Woolsey happy with fewer missed check in times. Jennifer shivered unsure whether it was due to thoughts that flashed through her mind of what the "problems" could be while off-world or from what might be lurking in the scary-shaped bushes along the path she was following.

It'd seemed like such an idyllic walk to and from the village the last three days they'd been here. Flowers and trees… birds singing, it'd been a wonderful way to start and end the days. Now however, those same trees were looming over her, their dark shapes seeming to reach for her as they were bowed by the wind.

Jennifer cast another worried look over her shoulder, not completely wanting to know what was causing the noises she was hearing. She turned back and shrieked with terrified surprise to find a hulking figure in front of her.

"Just me, Doc," Ronon assured her as he flicked on the flashlight he was carrying and cast the beam across his upper body before aiming it down at the ground.

"Why are you sneaking around in the dark," she demanded as she tried to normalize her breathing, so relieved to no longer be alone. Ronon didn't answer, but Jennifer noticed his smirk as her eyes adjusted to the light.

Ronon turned back toward the camp and waited for her to join him for the short, five minute journey that remained. He was relieved to find her unhurt, as well as in good spirits despite her obvious anxiousness over the weather and darkness.

"Coming to check up on me? Make sure I hadn't succumbed to any obscure dangers that only I could stumble upon while off-world?" Jennifer couldn't help but smile as she waited for his reply, but was robbed of his response by the sudden brightness of nearby lightning. Startled she moved closer to Ronon's side, unconsciously reaching for his hand and holding her breath as she waited for the inevitable clap of thunder.

As the boisterous noise subsided, Jennifer pulled her hand out of his clasp and laughed nervously at her actions.

Ronon knew that Jenn's face was most likely flushed, and his guess was confirmed despite the darkness by her averted face. He reached up and gently moved her hair to the side so that he could see her face better in the faint glow from the flashlight. Her eyes finally met his, causing his own breath to hitch ever so slightly, as it had annoyingly begun to do around the Doc with more frequency.

There was another more distant clap of thunder and Jennifer again laughed nervously at the interrupted moment of intimacy. She would've chalked it up to her imagination if he hadn't given her a gentle smile before purposefully taking her hand in his. She gave him a small nod and smile in return as they resumed their journey back to the camp, hand in hand.

Sheppard finished the last of his orders to the teams over the radio before turning back to Lorne, "That's the last of it. Sanchez is holding the gate open. Where's Ronon and the Doc?"

Without taking his eyes off the approaching couple, Lorne nodded his head indicating that the Colonel should turn around and look.

John turned to see what was so captivating about the two that were holding up their departure and found himself lacking in basic communication skills as he tried to verbalize his thoughts, "Are they…?"

"Yep," Evan replied a little stunned himself by the visual image of Ronon and Keller strolling into camp holding hands.

"Do you think…?" Sheppard started again.

"Yep," Lorne replied, sure the Doc's quick removal of her hand from Ronon's was a clear indication the two were finally in the beginning stages of an actual relationship.

Ronon stepped closer to Jennifer, his possessive hand at her back not lost on Sheppard. "Took you long enough," the Colonel barked at Ronon, "almost left without you."

"We're leaving?" Jenn asked confused, her embarrassment forgotten.

"Yeah Doc," John replied. "Chewy here was supposed to hurry you along so we could be gone before the storm hit."

"Let's go then," Ronon scowled at Sheppard before heading for the clearing and the direction of the gate, his hand once again holding Jennifer's protectively.

The Colonel hoisted his equipment while complaining to Major Lorne, "I think I had money on while being doctored in the infirmary."

"Don't feel bad, Sir. I think I had during one of their sparring lessons." Lorne shook his head, joining Sheppard and his quick jog toward the gate.

John looked at Evan one last time before they stepped through the gate, "Do you think anyone had…" he paused looking for the words and found that he was still suffering from the inability to articulate "… it was a dark and stormy night?"