‘Revenge is beneath me… Who am I kidding? Where’s my can of whoop-ass?’
~ Me, just now.
Ronon shouldn’t have done it.
I mean, he really shouldn’t have done it.
I could deal with the bitchy remarks, with the snide comments, the glaring, all of that I could ignore or get over.
I’d been on Atlantis for eight months now and you’d think he’d grow tired eventually, but just when things started calming down, I would have another idea that would help the Wraith and there go the comments again.
I understood that his past was horrible. What the Wraith had done to him was horrible, no question, but he wasn't the only one who'd been hunted.
I gave him far too much leeway, I knew that, but I kept reminding myself that they were just words and looks. What had been done to us wasn’t something you just got over.
Difference was, he was still running years after the Wraith had stopped hunting him. Difference was, he had killed the Wraith responsible.
I gave him far more leeway than he deserved. But even I have a limit.
And I just hit it tonight when he tried to publicly humiliate me.
I don’t like being in the spotlight. When I’ve done something particularly brilliant and want people to take notice and praise me, I have no problem making myself the center of attention.
Two completely different things, I assure you.
Karaoke night was, for some ungodly reason, an Atlantis tradition. I had managed to keep myself out of it and away from the mess hall every other time, but my family was visiting and wanted to go, so I couldn’t excuse myself.
This particular night was a challenge karaoke night where one person’s name would be picked randomly, they would sing, then challenge a friend or someone else to sing next.
Not unlike the bucket challenge that had been so popular years ago on social media.
Everything was going just fine. Perfectly even, because my family was having fun. My mother had sung first (having volunteered herself) then challenged Colonel Caldwell who had challenged Mr. Woolsey and so on.
Things were winding down when Teyla, having finished a lullaby she sang to her son, challenged Ronon.
He has a good voice. The song he chose was some tongue-in-cheek Pegasus Galaxy ditty. From what I could gather it was along the lines of the old sea shanties sailors used to sing on Earth.
In any case, it had people laughing and clapping at the clever lines, the tune and the fact that it was tradition to sing different lines in different voices.
The problem began when he finished and sat back down.
Everyone waited while he took a drink and looked around for his pick. His eyes landed on me and I knew what was coming.
Sure enough, he challenged me next.
Maybe it was in retaliation for the new Hive ship I had helped design. I had just unveiled it to Commander Guide and the Queens, who had been quite excited as far as Wraith get about such things, earlier that day.
Maybe it was a culmination of the ideas I had come up with to help the Wraith. Maybe it was the fact that I genuinely liked them, and he couldn’t stand that. Wraith worshipers were one thing but liking them without that relationship was another thing entirely.
Didn’t really matter.
Everyone’s eyes were on me now. I was pretty sure they thought I couldn’t actually sing since I’d stayed away every other night and there was some stupid rumor that had gone around recently.
I could see Mr. Woolsey shift as if about to speak at the same time Shephard leaned forward to say something to Ronon.
I finished taking the sip of water I’d been in the process of enjoying and stood up.
The room froze for a split second as they watched me shrug and walk up to the stage.
The Wraith were in attendance tonight.
It was their first time at a karaoke night, and no one had had the guts to challenge one of them. Though there had been a very tense moment when Shepard had finished his rendition of ‘Oh, Holy Night’ (my God the man had a fantastic voice!) when he had looked straight at Commander Guide.
Guide, to his credit, had merely raised an eye ridge and waited.
Shephard had decided not to challenge the Wraith. Which was a pity because they could sing and it was hauntingly beautiful at times and straight up delicious at others.
Not that many people knew that about them though. It had only been by accident that I had discovered it myself and poor Bonewhite had seemed mortified that I had heard him. Apparently, he was tone deaf.
I couldn’t tell, and told him such, which prompted him to take me to none other than Guide himself and request the High Commander of the Wraith Alliance sing for me. To prove how tone deaf he himself was compared to his beloved Commander.
So here I was in front of Wraith, my family, almost all off-duty Atlantis personal and most of the Daedalus crew.
I held up a finger, to let them know I needed a second, as I scrolled through my phone for what I was looking for.
If Ronon thought he was going to win this round he had another thing coming. Everyone else had sung to music, their choices picked from a long list on the data pad in front of me on a table.
I was about to sing acapella in front of close to a thousand people.
I found the perfect song and handed my phone down to a tech so she could put the words on the screen for everyone to see.
I may not be a professional singer, but my mother had taught me quite well thank you very much. Having sung for years in the church and through college, she was quite accomplished in that regard and had a list of people asking for her to sing at their weddings, proms, etc…
I’m not a professional singer, but damned if I can’t sing when I want to.
‘Ricochet’ by Starset is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, and I knew it by heart.
I take a few deep breaths as the tech does her thing, then I open my mouth and sing.
Five minutes and ten seconds later I step off the stage to a standing ovation. Pretty sure some of it was due to shock that I could sing, and the rest was due to standing up for myself. Something people didn't realize I did quite often with people, especially Ronon. They just weren't privy to those moments.
I walk past where Guide and his family are sitting and receive a toothy grin of delight from my favorite Wraith. The mirth in his eyes makes this so much sweeter.
I sit back down at the table with my family, who clap me on the back and hug me in congratulations, before looking over at Ronon.
He stares at me for a solid minute while the room waits, then raises his glass in salute.
He’ll think twice before he challenges me again.
He’ll still challenge me, but he’ll think twice first.
I let a little grin settle on my face and leave it there the rest of the week.