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04 January 2008 @ 11:04 am
Fic: Two Tall Trees (BSG/SGA)  
Title: Two Tall Trees
Author: lizardbeth_j
Rating: PG
Characters: Karl "Helo" Agathon and Ronon Dex
Spoilers: BSG 320, and SGA 402.
Summary: Ronon finds a stranger in the cell with him.

Author's Note: Thanks to lyssie and mamaboolj for looking this one over. This was written for the Kindreds Secret Santa Ficathon, for mrsdrjackson!

And yes, this is GEN. (I know, I know, two hot guys trapped in a jail cell together is a ancient slash cliche, but not this time!)



Ronon woke up, aching everywhere. He pushed himself up to look around, having to shake his head when dizziness almost put him back on the floor.

Traitors. The "peaceful village" had been full of Wraith worshippers. And he'd been hit by a stunner. The rest of the team had been closer to the jumper, so with any luck they got away.

He gave the cell a look. It looked like he was in a human-built place, not a Wraith one, so at least there was probably a little time before the Wraith showed up, for Atlantis to mount a rescue. But he should probably get out on his own.

The cell was large, eight paces by six, and not empty. There was only one guy - obviously not Sheppard or anyone else Ronon knew, sitting in the corner with his hands clasped around his knees.

He was watching Ronon with a weary curiosity. He'd been hit - there was a purple bruise along his jaw and the knuckles of the back of his hand were raw. Not that it didn't mean he was a plant - Ancestors knew the Wraith worshippers could take all kinds of punishment.

But there was something odd about him that made Ronon think the guy really was a prisoner too. He was growing out a beard as expected in a prisoner, but his hair was still very short, cut like some of the Earther Marines. And he was wearing layered tank tops and the fabric looked... stretchy, fitting him skin-tight on a fit upper body. They looked like Earther clothes, not something people wore in Pegasus.

"Who are you?" Ronon demanded.

"Karl C. Agathon, Captain."

Ronon recognized that presentation of name and rank. "You're military? From what service?"

Agathon answered with a small shrug, "Colonial Fleet. What's left of it anyway. And you are?"

"Colonial Fleet" meant nothing to Ronon, but he didn't know all the Earth military designations, or their allies from other planets in the Milky Way, for that matter. He answered. "Ronon Dex. From Sateda." He waited to see if his name or Sateda would mean anything to Agathon, but he just gave a nod of acknowledgment without any recognition at all. So Ronon added, "Been on the run since the Wraith attacked it."

Agathon gave a dry chuckle. "The Colonies fell three years ago. We've been running too." He paused, as though he might say more, but didn't. He leaned back against the wall and shut his eyes.

"How long've you been here?"

"I'm not sure. Seems like frakkin' forever though." Then Agathon reconsidered, and continued in a more thoughtful tone, "Two weeks, maybe. As best I can figure."

Ronon went to give the door a look. It was metal and looked solid, with only one small covered window. He tugged and pushed on both the big door and the small one in the window without any luck. "You try escaping?"

"The only time they've opened the door was to throw you in here. You can see how far I got. The rest of it is solid, as far as I can tell."

Ronon considered that for a moment. "Food?"

"Bread and water through the bars in the door. That's it."

No wonder the guy looked tired if he'd been on two weeks of bread and water. Ronon snarled. "They're just keeping us alive long enough for the Wraith to get here." Traitors. They were the worst sort of people, selling their own kind to the Wraith. He wasn't going to be sorry to kill some as he left.

That got Agathon's attention and he frowned at Ronon. "Wraith? You mentioned them before. What are they?"

"You don't know the Wraith?" At Agathon's expression, Ronon frowned back at him. "So you are an Earther or from their galaxy. How did you get here?"

Agathon didn't answer any of those questions. He was blinking in astonishment and repeated, ""Earther"?" He swallowed hard and traced a symbol on the floor, two-thirds of a triangle with a circle on top. The exact same symbol on every piece of expedition equipment Ronon had ever seen. "Do you know this symbol?" he asked with a sudden intensity that made Ronon wary.

"Of course. It means Earth."

Agathon fell back against the wall, unseeing eyes fixed into the distance. "It's the symbol of the Thirteenth Tribe. It's real. Gods, Earth is real." Then he let out a bark of bitter laughter. "And of course, I have no way to tell the fleet from in here. Damn it."

His reaction seemed a bit strange at first, but then Ronon decided that "Earth" to him was something like the "Ancestors" had been to him.

"My friends know where I am. They'll come and free us," Ronon said. "After that, you can go find your people."

Agathon shook his head and sighed. "It's not that easy. I don't know where I am or how I got here. And I sure as hell don't know how to get back. I think I fell into some sort of wormhole..." he trailed off and gave a little rueful shake of his head. "Frak, I really should've paid more attention in astrophysics."

"I have clever friends who might be able to help with that," Ronon offered. McKay, Carter, and Zelenka could do just about anything technical, he was sure of that. But he also knew Carter wasn't going to like bringing this guy to Atlantis. But there had to be some way to help him.

"So, anyway, these Wraith? I take it they're bad guys?" Agathon asked.

Ronon snorted. "Yeah. They eat people. Humans. Go dormant for a thousand years, to let the food supply get up again, and then wake up and start the cullings through the galaxy."

Agathon regarded him unblinking for a moment, thinking it through, then grunted and leaned back against the wall. "And to think we thought the Cylons were the worst of the enemies out here," he muttered.

"Cylons?"

Agathon paused and explained, obviously leaving a lot out, "Machines that rebelled against us. Some now look like humans, and a few of those left the Cylons for our side. But most of them are still our enemies. They destroyed the Twelve Colonies - billions of people nuked into oblivion. Forty-thousand escaped and are in our rag-tag fleet of survivors."

Ronon listened. It sounded sort of familiar. This guy had lost his planet, same as he'd lost Sateda.

"I was one of the lucky ones," Agathon added after a moment. "I got to keep my ship and my job. I have my wife, and we found our daughter. That's more than most people have."

Ronon's thoughts drifted to Melia and he pushed away from the wall, determined to do something. "You got any weapons on you?"

Agathon gave him an incredulous look. "If I had any weapons on me would I be here?"

Ronon smirked at him, just a little, and put a hand in his hair and pulled out one of the narrow knives he kept in one of his braids. "They never search the hair," he told Agathon, who was staring at him in amazement. Then, he pulled out the other, and snickered as Agathon's jaw dropped.

He offered the handle to Agathon. "Here. Now you'll be ready."

Agathon got to his feet - making Ronon realize that he was the same height, which was a bit odd at first, since he wasn't used to being on eye level with anyone - and he took the knife. "Thanks. Don't suppose you have a gun in there, too?" he asked, mostly joking but a little hopeful as well.

Ronon snorted. "I wish." He did have two cords, useful for strangling people with, and a third tiny blade in the side-seam of his pants, but thought he'd better keep those in reserve.

Agathon examined the knife for a moment, testing the edge -- it wasn't that sharp, since Ronon didn't want it to cut itself free of his hair -- and then slipped it into the back waistband of his pants.

They sank into a patient silence. At first, Ronon was grateful for the break from the continuous chatter of his teammates, but then the quiet started to become oppressive.

Fortunately, before he had to start making his own conversation, there was noise out in the corridor. Agathon got up, as the window in the door rattled.

"Dinner," he said with a wry grimace at Ronon.

The metal window opened and Ronon saw a part of someone's face, suspicious eyes making sure both men were away from the door. Then he disappeared and a wooden cup and half a loaf of bread were set on the window sill. Then the little door shut again.

Ronon raised his brows. "That's it?"

"Yeah. You know what's sad? I've had worse." Agathon ripped the bread in half and tossed it to Ronon. "Here. Your share."

Ronon almost refused it, so Agathon could have all of it, but looking at the determined posture, decided it wasn't worth arguing about. Sheppard or someone from Atlantis would be on the way soon, he was sure. They'd drag Agathon with them through the gate if they had to.

They ate their bread and shared the water. Agathon put the cup back on the window sill, which seemed silly, until Agathon explained that they'd only get more if he gave the cup back.

Agathon curled up on the floor and took a nap after eating. He didn't look rested when he awoke half an hour later, either.

"You okay?" Ronon asked him.

He shrugged. "As long as we get out of here soon, I'll be fine. Did you think of any plans?"

Ronon shook his head. His only idea was grabbing the arm of the person who put the food in and holding him hostage. And that wasn't too likely to work. "Just wait. They'll be here."

He didn't feel any doubt about it either. They would come.

Waiting sucked though. He started to pace the front of the cell, until Agathon groaned. "Could you quit for a minute? You're making me dizzy."

Ronon chuckled but agreed, sinking down against the wall to rest.

At least another hour of quiet broken by occasional attempts at conversation passed.

And then, it started.

The walls trembled, and Ronon jumped to his feet. Agathon did the same next to him, his head cocked to one side. "Explosion?"

Ronon nodded, and fingered the knife. "My friends. Be ready."

Agathon nodded back, and suddenly was moving more loosely, with a dangerous intent in every muscle as he went to the opposite wall. He had the knife in his hand, but hidden against his leg, as he waited.

There were the thumps and chatter of rapid gunfire down the corridor, sounding faint through the door.

And then, the little window rattled and someone yanked it up. He thought at first the feminine face and light eyes belonged to Cadman, but this woman was no one he knew. Her eyes touched his and swept on, landing on Agathon.

"Helo!" she shouted. "We're here to save your sorry ass!"

Ronon shot a look at Agathon who seemed astonished but recovered quickly. "Kara?" he demanded. "How the frak are you here?"

"Long story, not enough time. I'm blowing the door."

The little window banged closed and when Ronon saw his cell partner turn away and cover his head, Ronon did the same, just in time.

There was a loud bang, and the door rattled hard before someone kicked it open.

Another really tall man wearing a sleeveless shirt and carrying a gun ducked inside. "Helo. He good?" he asked with a nod toward Ronon.

"Yeah, Anders. He's good."

"Okay, then he can come with." He moved back out to watch the corridor.

Ronon was on Agathon's tail as they left the cell. The blonde woman who'd opened the door was in some kind of uniform. She was on the opposite side of the door, watching the other side of the corridor. "Come on," she snapped impatiently. "We can't hold the corridor forever. Let's go."

Without looking she held out the side-arm from the holster strapped to her leg, and Agathon took it from her.

"Can you use a gun?" Anders asked Ronon, holding out a pistol as well.

Ronon took it. "Sure." It was light, compared to his weapon, and probably wouldn’t hurt a Wraith much, but it was better than the knife.

They all started down the corridor. Locals tried to stop them, but these three moved like a well-oiled machine. Like his team, but different - more like he and Teyla, really. They were used to fighting in cramped quarters, it seemed, clearing every door and cross-corridor efficiently and taking down all they saw.

"So, come on, Anders, how'd you guys even find me?" Agathon asked, persistently curious.

Anders looked briefly uncomfortable, glancing away.

"Come on, babe," Kara called, mocking, "tell him."

Anders leaned out to fire around the corner and when he pulled back in, said flatly, "Hera told me. In a dream."

"And then he told Sharon, and Sharon told the Admiral, and then we had to steal a Raptor," Kara said from up front in between gun shots. "We might not be able to get back. Wonder Boy's mystical powers aren't helping. To which I say: what is the frakkin' good of being one of the Final Five if he can't get us home?"

"Says the girl with the Special Destiny," Anders retorted, but he was grinning as he moved up next to Kara, where she was kneeling at the next intersection. She ran out of ammo at precisely the same instant he was offering her a clip. She grabbed it with hardly a glance as if she expected it, shoved it in, and kept firing.

In a break in the firefight, Agathon asked, "Sharon's all right?"

"She's holding our ride," Kara explained. "She wanted to come with, of course, but she had to let us in the building. Dee is watching over Hera on Galactica."

Ronon had little idea what they were talking about, but the banter was familiar and he fell into step with them easily.

"Sharon's this way," Anders started down one corridor to the right.

Kara stopped. "No, we came in that way," she pointed the opposite way.

"Sharon's that way," he pointed the way he wanted to go and flashed a wry smile. "Mystical powers."

She rolled her eyes. "Frak, I'm never gonna win against that, am I? I liked you better before you got all omniscient." But she slapped him on the ass as she went by, to take the sting from her words. "Come on, you two, hurry up," she gestured with her gun for Agathon and Ronon to go after Anders.

Ronon glanced back at the small army of guards gathering at the far end. At first he saw only locals with their small arms and drab clothes. But then a tall white figure moved into view, surrounded by shorter, squat creatures with distinctive armor. "Wraith! Move it!"

They ran.

He looked back over his shoulder, realizing the enemy wasn't following them very quickly. Which meant two things: they were running into a dead end, or a trap.

But Anders was leading the way, like he knew exactly where he was going. He slammed through double doors, setting off a loud, high-pitched alarm, and they were outside on some kind of balcony.

The sky was grey and overcast, the air was cold, and Ronon realized they were in some sort of high mountain fortress, because there were snow-covered peaks all around them.

But there appeared to be no way off the balcony, except the way they came. Ronon peered over the stone railing, and found a sheer drop of a thousand feet.

"Brilliant," Kara snapped at Anders, "No Sharon, no Raptor, no way out."

He just shook his head at her in mock disappointment, not bothered. "So little faith. Patience." He looked up at the empty sky. "She's on her way."

"She better hurry," Ronon said. "Wraith are coming, and these little things - " he held up the borrowed gun, "aren't gonna stop them for long."

"They eat people," Agathon added for his friends' benefit.

"Lovely." Kara muttered. "At least Cylons just shoot you."

"And they're good in the sack," Anders added smugly.

Kara snorted, but Helo didn't say anything, just gave a little smile.

"There's the Raptor!" Helo saw it first, and pointed.

Following his finger, Ronon could see a box-like ship spiraling in toward them. And behind it were two Wraith darts.

"Come on, honey, watch out, be careful," Agathon murmured to himself, watching the Raptor approach. "Come on, Sharon."

The Wraith darts followed, gaining on the larger ship, but when the Raptor pulled up and started to drop like a stone right above the balcony, the Darts couldn't follow and had to fly past, over head.

The Raptor then arrested its fall, right in front of the edge of the balcony, with a roar of its engines and backwash of wind. It was a big ship up close, bigger than a Puddlejumper, but with the same wide windows in the cockpit.

A ramp started coming down onto the railing.

"Helo, go," Anders shouted, as he and Kara turned with their larger weapons to fire at the opening doors and cover them.

Helo vaulted up to the railing and ran inside, before the ramp was down all the way. Ronon followed, stopping just inside the opening, and fired his little weapon back above Anders' and Kara's heads at the doors.

Kara came next, and Ronon gave her a hand, pulling her into the Raptor.

"Gotta go!" a female voice shouted from the front.

"SAM!" Kara yelled. "Come on!" She fired furiously at the now-open doors to keep the humans back, but as Ronon knew would happen, the Wraith soldiers came out, and even her higher-caliber gun did little but rock them backwards.

"Frak!" she yelled. "Sharon, GO! SAM!"

As the Wraith soldiers started to fire, the Raptor lifted away from the building. For one horrifying moment, Ronon thought they were leaving Anders behind, but then he saw Kara's plan as Anders jumped on top of the railing and leaped for the ramp. He landed with a thump and tried to scramble up, against the pull of the acceleration.

Suddenly Helo was there, and he and Ronon were able to use their longer reach to grab Anders' hand and haul him aboard.

Kara punched the ramp lift, and very soon they were all ensconced in a close cabin as the ramp sealed shut..

"Everyone hold tight," Sharon called backward. "We're getting out of here."

The ship stood on its end as she pulled it into a climb out of the atmosphere. When they leveled off and could move again, the group went forward and Ronon had his first view of his last rescuer. She was attractive, but he wasn't fooled -- just the look in her dark eyes warned him not to underestimate her or make her an enemy.

"We're jumping..." she announced tersely, watching her board as well as the growing bulk of a Hive ship, then pushed a lever, "Now."

And the window flashed with light and they were safe.

"Thanks. That was some good flying," Ronon told her, now that she could spare the attention.

Her lips tightened in a brief smile. "I learned from the best."

Kara plopped herself in the co-pilot's seat. "Thank you very much."

"From Kat." Sharon took her eyes from the board to look up behind her seat where Agathon put his hands on her shoulders. "You look awful," she said with concern.

"Nothing that being rescued doesn't cure immediately," he reassured her and bent to kiss her cheek. "I'm glad to see you."

She turned her head to kiss his lips and laid one hand over his and squeezed. "Always," she murmured.

Ronon watched them, and was reminded of him and Melia all those years ago.

Suddenly there was a loud thump in the back and Ronon turned, to see Anders had fallen heavily onto the bench seat, with one hand trying to support his weight. His blue eyes met Ronon's for a moment, looking wide and shocked, before they rolled back and he fell over on his side.

There was a deep and raw wound the size of two hands on his middle back, where his shirt and flesh had been burned away by the Wraith weapon.

"Anders!" Agathon shoved Ronon aside on his way, and Ronon thought Kara must have teleported, because she was suddenly kneeling next to Anders without getting up from the co-pilot's chair.

Agathon pulled a metal box from under the seat and opened it. It was some sort of medical kit. He pulled out some pads to lay over the wound and a hypodermic which he plunged in the back of the Anders' thigh.

"This is bad," Agathon muttered.

Sharon called, "What happened?"

"They hit Anders," Agathon answered. "What the frak did they use?"

"Wraith stunner," Ronon answered.

"This is no stun," Kara snapped.

"No. They shot to kill. But Wraith normally stun the humans so they can keep them to eat later."

Kara and Agathon exchanged a glance. "Do you think they knew?" she asked, holding the big pads over the wound, as Agathon cut the back of the shirt away.

He shrugged for answer "We need to get him home. Or some place with doctors," he said, looking at Ronon. "You're the local. Where can we go to find help?"

Ronon hesitated, looking from Agathon to Kara, who was watching him with a look that suggested he better have an answer, or she'd beat it out of him. And he looked down at Anders, unconscious and slipping into shock, and he knew he didn't have any choice. He'd deal with the consequences later.

"Yeah, I do. I bet they can figure out how to get you home."

"Where are we going?" Agathon asked.

"Atlantis. It has doctors, and scientists, and - " he paused and looked at them, and couldn't resist smiling, knowing how important it was to them. "People from Earth."

Kara's head snapped around to stare at him. "You're from Earth?"

"Not me. But yeah. Earth."

It took a little while, but finally the Raptor jumped into Atlantis space, well within the range of their sensors.

Agathon gave him the comm. "Here's the wireless."

Ronon took it and cleared his throat. "Atlantis, this is Ronon Dex. I'm with some friends, who rescued me from Garradia. We have a man down who needs the doc right away."

There was a pause, and then he heard Carter's voice, sounding a bit resigned and maybe irritated, "This is Colonel Carter. You are cleared to the north landing platform."

Sharon said, "This is Lieutenant Athena of the Battlestar Galactica. Thank you, Atlantis. We're very eager to meet you."

The Raptor started down into the atmosphere, and very soon the city came into view. Ronon had the satisfaction of hearing his ship-mates draw in a breath of amazement.

He settled back, glad to be here with his new friends, and more, glad to be home.

the end, at least for now...
 
 
 
the_jackalopethe_jackalope on January 4th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Which is totally the noise I'm making right now, except in my head because my coworkers don't need to hear that.

LOVE LOVE LOVE.
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
thanks! :)
mrsdrjackson: *glee*mrsdrjackson on January 4th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
So. much. awesome.
lizardbeth: Jason -- gleelizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)
You were inspirational, what can I say? :)
(no subject) - mrsdrjackson on January 5th, 2008 04:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mrsdrjackson on January 5th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Havochavocthecat on January 4th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, this story is wonderful! Helo! Has actual screen (er, you know what I mean...) time! As does Ronon! Plus Anders and Sharon get to be friends! There's never enough of that on the show, not ever, and there's the whole possibility of the BSG people finding Earth via Atlantis, which I'll never stop loving as a fic concept.

If you write more in this universe, I'd gleefully read it. Thanks for sharing your fic!
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D

Atlantis is the perfect gateway for BSG, isn't it? So many connections work so well (and the pesky Ancients just HAD to be Lords of Kobol...)

Pesky crossover bunnies! Keller really, really wants to examine Cylons now...
My way of staying sane: Sharon Smilemamaboolj on January 4th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
So much wonderful fun, great banter, and perfect imagery. I love this. And this reminds me that I have another fic to post...
lizardbeth: Helo - Anderslizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC)
thanks!

GO POST!
Telstelscha on January 4th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
lovely :)
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
weissmanweissman on January 4th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC)
Holy you know what

Damm that was awesome, all my favorate characters, including the two that changed by life (Sharon and Helo), how could it be any better. I hope you write more and you should definetly post at Kindreds

Hooah!

Bob
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Thanks!

It is at Kindreds, if not in the fic forum yet, since this was my prezzie to MDJ.
cortexiphan juice box: [bsg] kobol canadahollywoodgrrl on January 4th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
Intriguing tale! But what really got me was the title. That...is brilliant.
lizardbeth: Tahmoh - Truccolizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Thank you! It was almost THREE tall trees, given Anders' presence too, but I thought that might be going overboard... :)
Sophie: OTPsophiedb on January 4th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
You can't end it there!!!!!1! :p
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
oh, never fear, the bunny is still biting me!
Thanks!

nycorsonnycorson on January 4th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Please tell me you are continuing this.. please... chocolate?
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
mmm... chocolate...

My giftee is having her birthday soon and has asked for more, so you are probably in luck! :)
(thanks!)
mymatedave: Cylon Overlordsmymatedave on January 4th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
Very cool lighthearted new fic, especially with Ander's magic secretcylon powers and Kara 'special destiny' Thrace.
lizardbeth: Agathonslizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you! It was a nice change to do a non-angsty fic this time!
Rhi: Kara and Helovipersweb on January 4th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
Lovely fic. I hope you do give more!
lizardbeth: Agathonslizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm as eager as anyone to see what happens when they get to Atlantis...
tassosss: SGA teamtassosss on January 4th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
Ohohohoh! This is so good! Please tell me your continuing this! Ronon! and Helo! and the motly crew stealing a Raptor! Excellently written and just fun to read.
lizardbeth: Jason -- gleelizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC)
I didn't intend for more, but it was fun to write, so yes, more on the way.

Thank you!
shara50: sgashara50 on January 5th, 2008 01:07 am (UTC)
Very cool, I would love to see more in this universe!!
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
thank you! And you're in luck - the muse apparently is revelling in this new playground!
Navisnavisx on January 5th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
What the hell! Don't stop there! That's just cruel and unusual.

Good story with nice pacing :)
lizardbeth: Helo - Anderslizardbeth_j on January 5th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
mmm... reader torture, my favorite...

Thank you!
S.cissasghost on January 5th, 2008 05:06 am (UTC)
I love this so very much - I hope you'll continue!
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on January 7th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)