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Title: Evolution of Terms
Author: Purpleyin

Rating: K
Spoilers: Up to S2 'Instinct'
Summary: Everything has changed, and he must adapt, somehow. It's just not always easy to slip from running to sticking around. Ronon/Teyla.

A/N: Now betaread by Sheppardster. Hope it's okay, it's my first fic for them, written rather on the spur of the moment after seeing the clip from Instinct again in a music vid.

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Her blood on his fingers. Ellia had hurt her.

He wants to see red, like the blood that feels slick to the touch, flowing too freely from the wound on her head. He should follow and fight.

He's not that smart really and he knows it. But it's perfectly acceptable; he was raised as a warrior, fighting is how he deals with things. But now, he is... concerned. His responses are clouded by his feelings over this turn of events. He's ordered to stay with her and he doesn't even want to consider disobeying Sheppard; he wants to be here.

Usually he's the first in for the chase, ready to battle anything in defence of his unit. His native army, Sheppard's team; it barely makes a different. He follows orders and he prides himself in carrying them out well.

It's only when she wakes and mentions it, that he considers things aren't that simple anymore. It's more complicated now; he runs off after Sheppard, feeling foolish at letting him go it alone. He obeys her, and it might as well be an order. At the same time he follows out her sentiment to disobey Sheppard for his own good and yet he doesn't question her instruction. He knows he wants to be back there with Teyla, even though that in itself is foolish – to be attached, to be attached to someone you barely know and who is on your command. To let feelings get in the way of what is needed is disgraceful, or rather he had always been led to believe it was, that it was not allowed under any circumstances. It was a high enough taboo to be dishonourably discharged, banished from the city states.

But now he has choices, to obey blindly or to do what is best for his team. To do as he was taught, to follow arbitrary rules imposed on him by an order that is all but extinct, or to take the path that pleases him. It's almost foreign to him; it's been so long since he could do anything that went past being an order or necessary for survival.

Still, he's running into battle, obeying the one objective that he is sure not to break – to defend those on his team. So for now he likes to keep things simple, the time for thinking is over. He may be changing, he's learning a different way to go about things, but he isn't going to forget what he needs to keep everyone alive. Some lessons are worth paying attention to. He'll deal with his feelings, his motives, later. In this moment there is only him, his unit and the enemy.

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