Summary:After the events of Broken Ties John realizes that he can't risk losing Ronon without telling him how he feels
Disclaimer: Stargate and all its characters and works belong to Robert Cooper and Joseph Mallozzi and the individual authors/creators. I do not have any claim on these characters nor do I make any money with this.
A/N:written for slashfest
John couldn’t sleep. Not that it surprised him after what had happened during the last days but it still annoyed him a great deal. In Atlantis it was always a good idea to get as much sleep as possible.
With a groan John rolled out of bed and onto his feet. He was half-tempted to go to the infirmary and watch Ronon sleep – to put his mind at ease that Ronon was here, alive and out of danger, no longer tormented by the withdrawal of the wraith enzyme.
But John decided against it. The vow he had made himself, to tell Ronon what he felt, he didn’t want to do that in the infirmary or in the middle of the night.
Also, he hadn’t yet fully progressed what had happened, how close he had come to lose Ronon…John shook his head. He really didn’t want to go there, not now and preferably not ever.
John laced his boots and began jogging the route he and Ronon usually took, down into the bowls of Atlantis, in one wide circle through it, over catwalks and through abandoned hallways.
Running alone hadn’t felt right since Ronon had begun to come with him. He missed the sound of a second runner, of Ronon’s well known tact, of the feeling of safety he got when Ronon was around – the knowledge that there was someone who would always have his back.
He stopped where he and Ronon stopped when John was out of breath, except for that one time before he had turned into a bug.
Here it was so dark that John could barely make out the blurry shape of his surroundings.
‘Shouldn’t you be in bed?’ Ronon’s voice came so suddenly and unexpectedly out of the darkness that John startled.
‘I could ask you the same thing.’ John retorted: ‘You should be in the infirmary.’
‘I’m fine.’ Ronon stepped out of the shadows into what constituted as light down here in the night. In John’s opinion he still looked like shit but when it came to his health the only opinion that mattered to Ronon was his own.
‘Sure you are.’ John stretched his arms and loosened his shoulders: ‘Why are you here?’
‘Knew you would come here.’
They hadn’t talked. Not for, god was it already a week? A week since he had talked with Ronon, before Tyre and before the Wraith. Seeing Ronon there, obeying the Wraith’s every command, if it hadn’t been a life/death situation, John would have thrown up.
‘Yeah, so, here I am.’ John tried to sound casual but his heart was pounding in his chest when Ronon came nearer until he stood directly in front of John.
‘Why did you bring me back? I’m a Wraithworshipper.’ Ronon sounded disgusted at himself, which made John’s heart clench. This hadn’t been Ronon’s fault.
‘They forced you.’
‘No they didn’t. At this point they didn’t have to.’
‘You weren’t yourself.’
‘I would have killed you.’ Ronon’s hand closed around John’s throat: ‘I still could. You can’t trust me.’
John swallowed hard against around the constriction of his throat and Ronon’s hand.
‘Why?’ Ronon’s hand slipped lower until it rested between John’s neck and shoulder.
‘You’re part of my team.’
Ronon growled in frustration.
‘What are you not telling me, John?’ It was unfair, John thought, that Ronon could use his first name against him like this. Every time Ronon called him John, it made him want to do things completely inappropriate of the situation; like kissing Ronon in the middle of Michael’s lab.
‘You said...’ John cleared his throat: ‘When I lost my mind and didn’t remember you, you said that the things we’ve been through, no disease could wipe that away completely. And I believed you. I still do.’
‘I…’Dammed. This wasn’t how he had planned telling Ronon. And he had clung to that plan. With Teyla it would have been easier. Teyla filled in the words he couldn’t say. Ronon never made things easier for John, at least not these things and certainly not when he was standing so close that John had trouble to remember why breathing was important.
‘I…’ To hell with it all, John thought, then gripped the back of Ronon’s neck and pulled him into a kiss. It was a bit off-centred but as goddamn perfect as he had imagined and he had imagined it for more than three years now.
Ronon crowded him against the railing of the catwalk. It was so easy to submit to Ronon, the movements of his body against John’s. The gentleness in the urgency of the way Ronon kissed him broke John’s heart a bit, because maybe, maybe Ronon, too, had been waiting for this and that meant they had wasted months, possibly a whole year and…
Ronon broke the kiss and only now john noticed that he was out of breath, too. He could feel Ronon’s warm breath against his cheek as Ronon said:
‘Stop thinking.’ Ronon’s low, husky voice sent shivers down John’s spine. He had no possible answer to that.
Ronon touched his face, his thumb under John’s eye, the other hand still resting between John’s neck and shoulder. Ronon kissed him, just a short, gentle kiss. As if to reassure himself that John would still let him to that.
‘You are beautiful.’ Ronon told him although John was pretty sure that he could only see as much of John’s face as John could of Ronon’s. He had to fight not to let his grin spilt his face in two.
‘You still haven’t answered my question.’ Here they were again.
‘I love you.’ It slipped out in the dark, not perfect, not like he planned but it felt natural, like flying a jumper. Ronon’s face shifted into a happy grin, much like the one on John’s face, when they could both hear Jennifer’s voice over John’s radio.
‘Colonel Sheppard, this is Doctor Keller. Have you seen Ronon? He’s not the infirmary.’ She sounded worried, which John appreciated but it was really the wrong moment for her to notice Ronon’s absence.
John gave Ronon a long look before he answered.
‘Yeah, I know where he is.’
‘Could you please bring him back, then?’ She sounded exasperated too: ‘He’s not supposed to be out of bed yet.’
‘Sure. Sheppard out.’ He walked with Ronon to the infirmary. He felt wide awake and very conscious of Ronon’s hand that brushed his won as they walked side by side. Outside the infirmary doors, they stopped.
‘I better go.’ Ronon said, still grinning: ‘See you tomorrow.’
Just before he vanished out of John’s sight, Ronon turned around and said:
‘Hey, John? I love you, too.’
It was, in John’s opinion both the best and the worst way to tell someone goodbye.