Laura jumped up from her desk the moment Sheppard walked into her office, but he waved off her salute with an irritated motion of his hand. The door slid shut and locked with a little click that made her whole body flip to ‘on’ thinking about the last time he’d locked a door behind him and memories of the unbelievable fuck she’d gotten flipped through her mind in full techicolor. Lovely. Really lovely.
He paced in front of her desk for a full minute, his face tight and his eyes hard. Then he stopped met her gaze and swallowed hard. “I’ve never played by the rules. My career is riddled with plenty of evidence of that. I didn’t want to be the CO on Atlantis – not for the entire first year but I’ve come to value the place I have here. I value it a lot.”
“I can’t afford to be distracted.”
“For the first two years we were here, I pretty much plowed the row with any alien woman who seemed willing. It kept things compartmentalized – separate from here. I could leave them and move on.”
It sounded horrible and lonely, but she kept her mouth shut because she didn’t want him to stop talking.
“You’re distracting the hell out of me.” His eyes darkened. “I can’t afford that, Laura. I can’t. With the city so isolated from Earth, a fucking war that is slowly but surely killing off every man the SGC throws in my direction, I have a bureacrat ensconced in Elizabeth’s office parroting the wants and desires of people that are so fucking far away from here that I barely care that they exist. And what do I think about?”
“I don’t know, John, what do you think about?” She held her ground when he came around the desk and stood beside her.
He turned her with deceptively gentle hands. “I think about what it was like to dance with you and Ronon and Jennifer’s wedding. I think about that moment when I slid into you, so hot and wet. How your hands felt on my back, how you clenched around my cock. God, the memory of you alone is enough to make me come.” His fingers trailed up her arms, across her neck and into her hair. “You fill up my head and we can’t do this.”
“I know.” Her voice broke a little as she said it. “I know.” She shuddered when his mouth settled on hers and moaned when his tongue thrust into her mouth demanding and rough. This was how she liked him best—strong, determined. It was too much suddenly and she pulled free of him and held out one hand when he took tried to follow her. “You and I both know we crossed a big line. It was a mistake, Sir.”
John backed off. It wasn’t easy because her eyes were full of hurt and he’d put that there. He’d put it there because he couldn’t control himself and had’t been strong enough to keep the hell away from her. If it was a mistake… it was a mistake he pretty much wanted to make every day for the rest of his life and that was a stunning realization.
“I don’t even know why I like you.” He glared at her. “You won’t even build me things to blow up.”
“If I could trust you wouldn’t blow yourself up, I might,” she returned evenly.
He flashed quick smile but it didn’t reach his eyes. “For the record, Lt., it was ill-advised and it was amazing but it was not a mistake.”
* * * *
“Okay, that’s everything.” Jennifer closed the last steel case and stepped back as Major Lorne took it. “I’ll meet you at the gate in five minutes, Major.”
“You realize it’s taken pretty much every single ounce of self-control I have not to insist to go with you.” Ronon leaned against the doorway of the supply closet as he spoke. “I threatened Lorne with a long, painful death twice already.”
She laughed. “You’re going to keep on until there won’t be a man on the base willing to go through the gate with me.”
Evan Lorne laughed softly as he handed the crate off to a marine waiting just outside the closet. “If I had to come back through that gate without you, Doc, I’d want him to kill me. I’ll see you at the gate.”
Jennifer waited until he was gone, before speaking to her husband. “It’s a planet we’ve visited before; we need the grain so that we can trade it for the naquadah that the Zorians mine. Checks up and vaccines for their children isn’t a big price to pay.”
He pushed away from the door, walked to her, and gathered her close to his chest. “Remember your duty to me, little one. Maybe we can find an out of the way balcony to dance on tonight.”
“Now that’s a plan.”
* * * *
“Oh. Crap.” Jennifer’s hand tightened on the syringe she’d just used, her gaze locking with Lorne’s. “That’s a…”
“Oh yeah.” Lorne nodded. “That’s a ship landing.” His posture had changed from relaxed/almost bored looking to alert/soldier on a mission so fast she blinked. He moved to the window, his gun no longer at rest on his chest. “Doc, come have a look.”
Jennifer pulled off her gloves, gave the female child on the table in front of her a smile, and hurried to the window. “Oh, no way, not those guys again.”
“What?” Lorne demanded.
“The people that captured you and Teyla?” Lorne frowned and touched his radio. “Wilkes, Darcy – rally on the gate and secure our position. Gilmire, Jakes, and Conrad – prepare to cover me and the package.”
Jennifer frowned at him and turned to look at the child only to find her gone – the back door to the small building wide open. “There is a backdoor and my patient has vacated.”
Lorne nodded and motioned her out. “Let’s go.”
“Am I the package?” She asked as she grabbed her jacket and pulled it on.
“Yes. I’d rather not advertise that we have a doctor in our midst or that we have a woman. Today, Doc, you’re the package.” He stopped when she pulled out a small gun that looked like a snub nose revolver only so not. “What the hell is that?”
“It’s the gun Ronon brought home to me.” She flipped the safety off as she stood. “Let’s go.”
“What does it…” Lorne frowned. “Is it like his?”
“Yeah, except it has a few more options and it’s small.” She squared her shoulders. “I’m ready when you are.”
He held up one hand, obviously listening to his men. “There are six Bola Kai in the village and they don’t know how many are on the ship that they landed in the middle of the village.”
“I vote we kill all of them and take their ship.”
Lorne flashed her a grin. “He’s a very good influence on you, Doc, but there is no way in hell I’m engaging in battle with you on the ground here if I can avoid it.”
“So you could take them, protect this village, and all that if I wasn’t here.” She pinned him with a glare. “I’ll hide. I can hide. I’m good at that. I managed to out run and hide from Ronon for five hours in the dark without a flashlight and I wanted to get caught.”
Lorne laughed out right, remembering the night of their mating ceremony well enough. “Not unless we have no choice. The gate is secure and everyone is in position.”
* * * *
Ronon stepped through the gate, the air around the gate still smelled of the Earth guns and already had the odor of the dead. Ten Bola Kai bodies lay to the left in a haphazard pile, and Major Evan Lorne was fighting off a field medic.
Evan tried to push off the ground but Ronon stilled him with one hand as he squatted. “Easy man, looks like someone put a sword in your chest.”
“Yeah.” Lorne nodded. “One of those bastards did… their leader it seemed. She shot him with that little gun you gave her. She shot him—blew a fucking hole in his chest the size of my fist.”
“Where is she?”
Evan’s face darkened with anger. “I don’t know and this bastard won’t let me go look.” He shoved at the medic, who sat back on his heels. “Fuck.” He tried to get up.
“No.” Ronon pushed him back again. “You’re killing yourself trying to find her would just piss her off. I’ll go find what’s mine.”
It took him ten minutes to get to the village and find out five women, ten children, and Jennifer had been taken into a large building at the back of the village and there were four to six Bola Kai with weapons in there with them. The leader of the village was trying to negoiate their release but it was going no where fast.
By the time he’d finished studying he building, Sheppard had arrived.
“Two doors, six windows, roof entry is possible. They have sixteen hostages including Jennifer but the only weapons fire I’ve noted is from our weapons or Jennifer’s. They are likely armed with swords, knives, etc.”
“And probably Jennifer’s weapon.”
“It won’t work for anyone but her and me. It’s genetically coded. It’s designed to blow up if someone else tries to use it.”
“How big of an explosion?”
“Single hand loss, maybe some body burns.” Ronon responded, his gaze never leaving the door he intended to go through in a few minutes. “The leader of the village wants to try to meet their demands.”
“Sure, if they want bodies back.” He looked at Sheppard then. “And by the time they decide what they’ll give up it’ll be over.” He flinched at the female scream that suddenly erupted out of the building. “John.”
John took the use of his name for the warning it was and started to organize his men, ignoring the two men from the village who tried to talk to him until after he’d finished giving instructions and then he rounded on them. “How many fucking times have the Bola Kai been to your village in the past six months? Did you tell them we were coming? Don’t even try to tell me you are trading with them.”
“Colonel Sheppard, I swear to you….”
“Don’t bother.” John glanced towards Ronon whose gaze was fixed on the building. “Just stay the hell out of our way.” Another scream, this time there was no doubt it was Jennifer and Ronon moved. “Go! Go!” John shouted.
* * * *
Jennifer struggled under the man who was tearing at her clothes, his fingers like steel digging into her flesh. “Get off me!” She shoved her elbow in his face and he reeled long enough for her to flip them over – she grabbed the first thing she could get her hands on and started bashing him in the face with it. “Son of a bitch!” The fourth time she lifted the piece of firewood, one hand grabbed her arm and jerked her clean off the man.
She screamed and started to swing until she realized it was Ronon. Ronon didn’t even look her way—he aimed his gun and fired it at the man she’d been fighting with then leveled it at the two men that were advancing towards them and killed them, too. The piece of firewood fell from her hand as the second body hit the floor. She barely recognized the sounds of more gunfire as he pulled her close to him with one hand. His gaze scanning the room for someone else to kill.
“She alright?” John demanded.
Ronon thread his fingers into her hair and tilted her face up so he could see her eyes. “Yes.”
John touched his radio. “The package is secure; transport Lorne through the gate. I want this village searched for more of these bastards while I have a talk with the leader. Once we’re secure- tell Rodney and Radek I’ve got a present for them—their very own slightly used Bola Kai raiding space ship.”
Jennifer separated herself from Ronon went to the body of the one of the men he’d shot and rolled him over. A quick search later, she pulled her gun from his belt and checked it. “I tried to talk him into using it – just to see if he liked it.” She looked toward John who was staring. “The leader of this village—he greeted the leader of these men like he knew them and then pointed out where Lorne and I were.”
John’s eyes hardened. “How did Lorne get a sword put through his chest?”
“He put himself between me and the man with the sword.” Jennifer swallowed hard. “He took that sword in the back for me. I killed…” She took a deep breath. “I killed the man who did it but several of them got to me and overpowered me before I could… how is Evan?”
“His men got him back to the gate but refused to go back to the city without you.”
“I need to go.”