Rating: PG, I stake my dead cat’s life on it.
Summary: Lizzie OFF WORLD! It’s Sparky I promise and there’s a little bit of Spanky too cos Pebbles and BammBamm are just to hot to ignore.
Disclaimer: Just because I’m employed now doesn’t mean that I can afford to ever own these people. I’m saving up to buy a better car cos mine is crap with the steering going and rust consummation and the entities that own these folk prolly all drive Mercedes and Bentley’s so there’s really no need to take legal action. Please don’t sue me. Sincerely yours, a silly fangirl. =D
A/N: Thanks to buggy_542 for the beta. Some spoilers for Conversion.
Although the atmosphere was light, concern weighed upon his mind. He didn’t like that there was no reason for him to be on edge. But then again he didn’t like a lot of things. Sitting through Rodney’s boring lectures, the Wraith, the Genii, that damn bug that mutated him into whatever it was that he became. He didn’t like that it gave him the capability to hurt her. He hated the urge it had created in him to harm.
“She’ll be okay you know,” the gruffness of Ronon’s voice was unmistakable as he sidled up to John’s right.
“Yeah, I know,” he sounded unconvinced even to his own ears.
“Here.” Ronon handed him a cup of the native morning brew.
They had been in negotiations with this planet’s residents for a week now. Every morning in Atlantis, they would dial the address and not leave this planet until sunset. It was exhausting. The people here were friendly enough and there hadn’t been any kind of unsettling feelings that usually accompanied off world excursions. Nor were there any indications that anything could go wrong at any second. The only difference this time was that John had been left out of the negotiation process. There, another thing he didn’t like.
It wasn’t a chauvinistic ego type thing, he just liked being kept in the loop. After all, he was the military commander and had a right to be let in on certain things. A new negotiation with potential allies was one of them. Most of all he didn’t like the fact that he couldn’t be near her. At least when he was he could gauge whether or not the process was going well. He could tell if she was getting tired, frustrated or worried. Being locked out like this was torture. Ronon could sense his inner dialogue. He too had been uneasy initially. However, through the week he had been able to find some compromise with this new situation.
“Just because it’s a matriarchal society doesn’t mean that they don’t value their men. They still need them... for stuff.” He added the last part hesitantly.
“‘Stuff’,” the taller man replied. “I’m trying to use Earth phrases. You know they keep their men around for the hunting, heavy lifting... making babies.”
“It’s not that. I am all for the women being in charge of the administrative stuff and the men staying home with the kids. I just...”
“Like being kept in the loop,” Ronon concluded.
“You like these Earth phrases, huh?”
“Teyla thought it would be a good idea if I tried to make myself more approachable to the rest of Atlantis. Apparently I scare a lot of people.”
John had to smile at that. There had been rumours around base of the two of them getting together.
“I tell you that all the time,” John responded.
“Yeah, but you can’t punish me the way she does.”
“I can kick your ass. It just takes a little longer than I’d like.”
“That’s not the kind of punishment I’m talking about.”
“Oh,” was all John could say. He’d consider that rumour confirmed. “Liz too,” he added.
“Liz? No one calls Doctor Weir that.”
“In public,” was John’s retort.
“Right,” Ronon chuckled. “It’s not all bad here. This is the first time I’m not really all that jumpy about being off world.”
“Must be the family atmosphere,” John mused.
“Yeah,” Ronon said somewhat nostalgically.
For the rest of the day many of the children that they had previously made contact with occupied their time with questions and requests for more stories. When the youngsters had tired of the new strangers anecdotes, some broke off to return to chores or play. Some had been able to recruit Ronon into a game similar to football. John meanwhile, kept watch over the negotiation tent holding the occasional conversation with some of the locals passing by.
As the day was waning, John felt relief as the women emerged from the tent with smiles on their faces. Both he and Ronon had begun to prepare to leave as Elizabeth, Teyla and Cadman approached with the resident matriarch.
“You look happy,” he directed his statement to her smiling eyes.
“Good,” Elizabeth stated with a smirk.
“We have come to an agreement.” Teyla announced.
Finally, John thought.
“Our gracious hosts would like us to stay for a celebration feast,” said Doctor Weir.
“They will also provide lodging as it is an all night ceremony,” Teyla added.
“You will, of course,” amended the matriarch. “Be able to spend the night with your respective companions and your Lieutenant Cadman will lodge with our young women in their commune.”
With raised brows John requested, “Uh, Doctor Weir. Can I talk to you, for a minute?”
“Certainly Colonel,” she professionally responded. “Excuse us for a few minutes please. Ronon, Lieutenant Cadman please contact Atlantis and inform them of our situation.”
“Yes ma’am,” Cadman dutifully responded. Immediately they were off to the gate as Teyla left to assist with the festival preparations.
When he was sure no one was in earshot of them John started.
“Liz, what are we doing? The sun is setting it’s time to go home.” Okay, so maybe that was the wrong way to start the conversation, but he was tired and cranky and all he wanted to do was go home, take a shower, spend some time with his woman and fall asleep to the sound of Elizabeth’s breathing.
“Colonel,” she struck back. “As a courtesy to our new found alliance it may be wise to not insult a centuries old custom because we are weary and cantankerous.”
She knew him too well.
“I know,” she continued a little softer. “You don’t like being caught off guard with something like this, but these are good people. We can trust them. I trust them.”
He knew she was trying to ease his nerves. Protection was his forte and it was a hard priority to reassign in unfamiliar territory.
“It’s just, I feel useless hanging around a tent all day not knowing what’s going on. I’m standing around doing nothing. Now I have to spend the whole night doing the same thing.”
“John, you did more than stand around a tent all day. We could hear you and Ronon mingling with the rest of the Baccarians. We have earned their trust not just by negotiation alone but also by testimony of our actions. You and Ronon have done more than you know. I understand this is a little different from what you’re used to, but we don’t have to fight. Not this time.”
“You heard us?”
“Children are the best judge of character. They know sincerity when they see it. Fathers understand fidelity, devotion and your never ending hovering kind of proved that point to them.”
That was somewhat embarrassing. Still, his curiosity as to what she and her negotiation contingent had demonstrated to the leaders of this community got the best of him.
“And what good did all your intergalactic negotiating establish in that tent for a whole week?”
“That chicks rule and boys drool.”