Category: Teyla/Ronon, Sheppard and Weir
Spoilers: Set in season 2, spoilers accordingly. I have made up a LOT of Athosian fanon in here (it will seem familiar to aj and others who have known me since season 1), and I'm sure all of it is disproven in Season 4, which I haven't seen yet, because that's the way of things.
Summary: This seems obvious to her: they're friends, and lovers isn't so far removed from friends, but not everyone sees it that way.
Props to: havocthecat, who looked it over to ensure lack of suck!
Teyla's head thuds back against the wall for the second time in an hour. The first time was combat practice, when Ronon tried something new and quickly got the upper hand. This time hurts less, because her combat partner has his fingers between her thighs, holding her open, and all her nerves are busy demanding that she thrust against his hand more, and harder, and now.
She has been fighting him for months now -- the humans around them call it "sparring," -- and she knows his moves, his reflexes, his center of gravity. She hooks a leg around his thighs, below his hips, and flips him over onto the soft, alien mattress on her bed. Ronon hisses air through his teeth and then holds his breath as she sinks onto his erection. They breathe together once, twice, three times, and then he smirks and starts to move against her.
The smile starts at her toes and works its way upward. She closes her eyes, feels his muscles under her fingers and her thighs and in the hands wrapped around her back. Tension curls through her body like a spring or the sinew of a bow or the trigger of her gun, and she responds by moving faster, up and down, like she's racing the man underneath her to the finish.
Ronon makes a strangled sound when he comes, like he would scream if he hadn't spend so many years learning silence. Teyla knows she'll get a scream out of him eventually.
She doesn't scream either, because release feels less like an explosion and more like a rush of badly needed air, and she always gulps for breath as her body uncoils. The rush of energy drags her for a ride, she loses track of her limbs and her senses, and when she returns to herself, she has shoved Ronon halfway across the bed.
He laughs. She smiles.
She is grateful he joined Atlantis for many reasons -- as a fellow Pegasus native who understands the Wraith, as a sparring partner, as someone else who knows how to sit quietly without talking, as a lover. She thinks, as she stretches the last sparking sensations out of her muscles, that that last one might be her favorite.
"If you don't stop breathing over my shoulder- Teyla, will you give him something to do, please?"
Teyla rolls her eyes at Rodney's evident frustration, an Earth habit she picked up somewhere along the line. "John," she suggests obediently, "Perhaps we should check the perimeter again."
Colonel Sheppard mutters something, but trudges after her. Ronon looks up long enough from sharpening his knife to nod to her, an easy silent exchange of You guard that one, I'll guard this one. She has a lot of respect for Colonel Sheppard's military abilities -- Ronon does, too, though the Satedan has privately groused to her that Sheppard and the others rely too much on their weapons and technology -- but she still understands Ronon's way of looking at their team. John is undoubtedly the one in charge, the final decision-maker, but she's always ready to provide rescue if things fall apart.
She's also the one to provide neutral mediation, when the need arises.
"You know that Doctor McKay is doing his best," she chides John gently as they hike back toward the Stargate to make sure the path is still clear. "None of us would be able to power the alien computer any more quickly."
John tightens and loosens his grip on his P-90 as they walk. "I just wish he wouldn't be quite so... McKay about it all the time."
"Nonetheless, it might be best to antagonize him less."
John kicks some underbrush out of his way. He's in a worse mood than usual for an away mission where nothing has yet gone wrong, beyond technical difficulties in activating the alien technology. He asks, "You've been talking to Doctor Weir, haven't you?"
"Not about Doctor McKay," Teyla replies. She wonders if Elizabeth recently spoke to John about the same thing, and that's why he has been -- as Aiden Ford used to say -- "grouchy." John always gets grouchy, it seems, after their civilian leader reprimands for something. She has known him long enough to know he doesn't react well to criticism. Teyla does her best to encourage him, but from what she has observed, he doesn't deal all that well with praise, either.
They're quiet most of the rest of the trip to the Stargate, which is unusual unless John has something heavy weighing on his mind. He doesn't chatter nearly as much as McKay does, but he likes to comment on things.
The first few times she was out walking with John Sheppard and he was mostly silent, she didn't think anything of it. She began hunting game when she was old enough to hold a spear, and she's used to silence when walking through the woods. However, she knows Earth humans and knows him better now, so she asks, "Is something concerning you?"
He glances over at her and winces. "This thing..." He shrugs his shoulders, a nervous habit. "You and Ronon. I heard-... In our culture, we don't usually... get together with people we serve with. In the military."
"We are not in your military," she points out, trying not to tease him and failing just a little.
John's cheeks go a bit red and his eyes widen, maybe because she has just confirmed his suspicions that she's having sex with their Satedan recruit. He coughs. "Look, I know it's none of my business... except it kind of is, since you're both on my team, and, you know, we can't let this kind of thing get in the way of... Elizabeth would probably say-"
She thinks she'll never fully understand these people. "We are not in a relationship, John," she reassures him.
He turns even redder. She notices he picks up the pace of their walking speed. "Oh. Well... you know how the rumor mill is."
When they get back to the alien ruins, Ronon asks, "How was your trip?" He tosses her a powerbar.
"Fine," she says, and because she can't resist teasing a little, she looks over at John and adds, "Educational."
Ronon shrugs. "McKay broke the thing."
"McKay!" John says. "What did you do!?"
Ronon shows up at her quarters late at night. She doesn't mind; she's never gotten used to the Atlantis 28-hour day. Some parts of her body still operate on Athos' 15-hour cycle. There's something deeply unnerving about a night that goes on as long as the ones do here. Sleeping that long makes her feel like she's dead, or dying, but that's something she doesn't mention. It's not as though anything would change if she did.
"I'm bored," he tells her.
Teyla opens one eye. "You are free to meditate with me."
Ronon takes a drink from the glass of water on her nightstand. "How did your meeting with Doctor Weir go?"
"It was not a meeting. It was some tea between friends," Teyla says, and abandons meditation, though she remains cross-legged on the bed.
She and Elizabeth talk sometimes, usually about matters immediately at hand, sometimes about vaguer things. Elizabeth is fascinated by what she calls "comparative anthropology," and whenever they're not too busy with pressing dangers -- which is rare on Atlantis -- she asks questions about Athosian culture and traditions.
Teyla has offered, several times, to have her people host Elizabeth for a few days so she can truly experience their culture. Elizabeth always says no right away, citing how much she has to do on the station, but lately, her expression has grown more than a little wistful as she declines.
"Did Colonel Sheppard successfully teach you to play 'football'?"
There's a smile twitching at the edge of Ronon's lips.
Teyla adds another question before he can answer, "Did you injure him?"
"Just his pride," Ronon says. "We'll have to wait 'til he gets another ball before we can play again, though."
Teyla watches him steal more water from her glass, her eyes tracing his throat as he swallows and the few drops of water that escape to run down his chin, and heat begins to rise through her. She was too long without sex before him, she thinks, not counting her trips back to the mainland and the occasional tents and couples she was invited into. She shifts her feet on the bed so one heel is pressed into her crotch and she arches her back, just a little, to let him know what she's thinking.
"You still want to train tonight?" he asks her, already grinning. She knows, before her, he was even longer without comfort, and sex, and any reason to smile like that.
One more time, she tries to make him scream.
Without letting him catch his breath, only gasp for air as she uses her mouth to draw his erection back to hardness, she tries again.
She and Elizabeth talk about lots of things, when they get the chance. Lately, more often than not, the topic has turned to romance, children, family, sex. Teyla isn't sure if Elizabeth brings it up, or if she does.
"Colonel Sheppard tells me that your culture has strict protocols about relationships and the creation of a family that everyone must follow," Teyla says, pouring the second mug of tea.
Elizabeth raises her eyebrows. "He said that? I don't think that's true about Earth -- certainly not our culture. There are lots of paths to a family."
"I must have misunderstood -- but so many of your expedition members are without families. I have heard that there are many circumstances where children are unwelcome." That she knows from Carson Beckett. Teyla had been brought in to try and make sense of a strange conversation in which he'd offered birth control to Niyali, a woman who lost three children before birth. Between that and the time she had questioned Lieutenant Ford about condoms when they'd been helping Carson's medical staff unload a shipment from the Daedalus, Teyla knew just enough to understand that Earth humans really didn't like to talk about these things, and that children were somehow considered to be a liability.
Elizabeth says, "Of course there are times when men and women don't want children. Isn't that true with the Athosians as well? When a woman is too young or unmarried, how do you prevent pregnancy? Or do you promote abstinence before marriage?"
"Children are always welcome. Marriage is not a requirement. If neither parent can care for their children, they are raised with other children in the village." Teyla pauses long enough to think, to try to put things together from Elizabeth's point of view. "If we are to survive, we must have many strong children, or else the Wraith will destroy us."
"Forgive me if this is indelicate... but why don't you have children, then?"
It is indelicate, but Elizabeth is her friend and her equal, in many ways, and Teyla doesn't mind. She remembers Charin's answer to her when she asked in half-desperation about fertility rituals, long before she ever met John Sheppard and brought her people to Atlantis. Charin reminded her that Teyla's mother also conceived late and had only one child, and told her, "Fortune comes when it comes."
Elizabeth nods. "I think I understand."
"What about you?" Teyla asks her. "Will you ever have children?"
Elizabeth takes a sip of her tea and answers in a way that sounds rehearsed, "My first priority is the city."
Sometimes, when the Earth humans, even Elizabeth, talk to her about Athosian things, she gets the sense that they think of her culture as backward and primitive. She hates the truth in that, gets angry at the thought of what her people could have been without the Wraith, but she sees now that there are things that progress has taken away. "Your people are very strange," Teyla tells Elizabeth, hoping her words sound gentle.
She would trade her world's history for Earth's in a second if she had the chance, to bring back the dead taken by the Wraith and give her people a thriving future, but there are some things she would hate for them to lose.
"Yes," Elizabeth agrees, a little sadly. "We are very strange."
The next time they don't even leave the gym, only seal the doors and strip off their clothes and hope that no one questions the locked door. It's what the Earth humans call 0400 -- too late for the "night owls," too early for the "early birds," and perfect timing for Teyla and Ronon.
Sateda's daily rotation is "almost the same" as Atlantis', he told Teyla once, but then said he never liked sleeping regular hours anyway, even before his years as a runner.
She doesn't blame him. She'd give up sleep for this any day.
The room is bright with the surrounding, shadow-free illumination that exists all over the city, and Teyla can see everything. His skin is stretched over scars and muscles, damp with sweat from their long workout before this. There's a bruise forming on his right ribs from when he dropped his guard and she got in a blow, and if she has any say in it at all, it won't be the last place she marks him tonight. His hands are tight around her hips and she lets him hold her in place because she loves the feral look he gets when he believes -- mistakenly -- that he has the upper hand.
They never speak during sex. She knows from watching Earth movies that Earth humans do, confessing feelings or giving directions higher, more, harder, but Teyla can't imagine the point. This is as real and intense as it gets -- skin on skin, sweat mixing with blood where his fist grazed her lip in the fight, sex and strength and need and the nerves inside her wrapping around themselves so tightly that she can barely breathe. Words would only distract her, and distract him, and she doesn't want anything to take away from that look he gets when she wraps her fingers around his erection.
She doesn't want to speak, but some part of her thinks the word mine in a possessive way she doesn't expect -- she's talked to Elizabeth at length about the somewhat fluid nature of Athosian monogamy. Her desire to own him only increases when he covers her fingers with his and directs her hand to pump slowly up and down along the shaft, while his other hand reaches between her legs and pulls her toward him, like he's found a convenient hand-hold to direct her movements with only two fingers.
She moans, though -- that comes easily, and he makes sounds, too, when she fights against the rhythm he sets up for her.
There's something else she wants to try, something she saw in one of those movies, and she bends her mouth to Ronon's neck and bites with her teeth, plays with the skin under her tongue until she gets the right combination of suction and teeth and his hips jerk, the sensation startling him as much as it does her.
He knows her center of gravity, too, and she's on her back before she knows it (in a fight, she would never allow herself to get so distracted) and he bites her breast, sucking a bruise into her the way she did him.
Even his mouth is strong, his hands, his legs pinning her down, the strength of his breath on her skin, and she knows if her fortune comes while they're still doing this, their children will be strong, will kill Wraith, and will live. She arches her back to loosen the hold of his mouth and to press her hips against his chest, her thigh against his erection, to get her point across.
When he pushes into her -- she learned the word fuck from a movie, too, and Aiden had to tell her what it meant -- she grabs his shoulders and holds on for dear life, thrusting back when she can and holding her hips wider when she can't, feeling every little inch of skin against the cool, slippery mat, the rough towel she threw down beneath them, his warm, unyielding skin, how his hands and his body and his dick are just enough too big for her body that she feels equaled. Matched. Owned.
He stops before she comes, and she's almost too breathless to be confused, but he's never done that before.
She counts the seconds while her the water and haze in her eyes thins until she can see him, and right then, when he's looking right into her like he could destroy her so easily but never, ever would... he thrusts once more, pinches his fingers where he's holding between her thighs, and she comes with a sound that almost seems to come from someone else, because she never sounded like that before.
She realizes two things after the energy cools: she didn't push him away when she came, and the sound she heard was his.
She joins John on scientist guard duty on an outermost pier, not because she has to, but because she senses he has been avoiding her. He doesn't seem unhappy to have her along, but he hasn't said much. Grouchy, she identifies, thinking of Ford.
She misses Aiden Ford more than she initially expected to, because he was kind to her, because he was a good man and an able soldier, and because he ran off on his own and she can't even conceive of what it would be like to be so totally alone.
She thinks John can.
"I hate this part," he tells her. "This is probably going to take all day if they find something interesting, and it's meatloaf day."
"This is... a good thing?"
John shrugs. "Elizabeth puts hot sauce on it. Weird, I know, but it's not bad."
"I am certain that someone will save you a plate."
"Unless Ronon gets to it first. He loves that stuff." John frowns and scuffs the toe of his boot against the floor, like he's squishing an imaginary insect. "Speak of the devil..."
Ronon is coming around a far corner of the pier, and it looks as though he's been running for a while.
"You're not supposed to be running on this pier," John calls to him. "It hasn't been secured."
Ronon slows and wipes his hand across his forehead, but looks otherwise no worse for the wear for having run at least the three miles from the control tower. He points to the gun holstered to his waist. "I'm good," he tells John.
John scowls. "Still, it'd make the rest of us feel better."
"There are several explored areas of the city where the others run," Teyla points out in an effort to keep the peace.
"I'll check them out," Ronon answers and speeds up. "See you later."
Even after Ronon rounds the far corner, John doesn't say anything.
"I will speak to him about it, if you would like me to," Teyla offers.
"It's not a big deal," John brushes her off, then corrects, "I'll set him straight. I know he can take care of himself, but it's important that he follow at least some of the rules."
Of all the tones of voice she has heard from John Sheppard, this is a new one. She's not quite sure what it means. "Are you still concerned that he is not adapting to your hierarchy?"
"That was Elizabeth's concern. I don't have a problem with it." He sighs, sounding angrier than the situation warrants. "He's certainly making himself at home here in other ways."
Annoyance begins to rise in her. "Meaning what?"
He glares. "Look, I know you told me nothing's going on between the two of you..."
"I told you," she corrects carefully, "that we were not in a relationship, and you do not need to be concerned."
He looks around, probably to see if any of the scientists can hear them, and then says, "Stop splitting hairs. Whatever's going on... it's not appropriate. It'll cloud your judgment in the field, possibly endangering the rest of your team. I can't believe you didn't tell me."
"You no longer trust us?"
"This isn't about trust! Elizabeth won't approve when she hears about this. We'll probably have to split up the team - is that what you want?"
"My people have loved and fought alongside each other for our entire history, John."
He looks like he swallowed a bug as soon as she says love, even though she probably doesn't mean it the way he thinks she does. "You-?" He takes it back before she has the chance to answer and goes back to rambling like Doctor McKay. Teyla doesn't think John would appreciate the comparison, but she's not feeling particularly kindly toward him at the moment. "It's none of my business. It doesn't matter. The point is, people who serve together can't pursue romantic relationships without endangering themselves, and everyone else. It's a huge problem, whether or not you realize it."
Her annoyance boils over, and she's no longer interested in playing the neutral mediator. "If you no longer want both of us to be on your team, that is your decision, but it seems as though you are the one with the problem."
"It's no big deal," Ronon tells her. "Everyone loses their temper. Sheppard'll get over it."
She joined him on his run, and even though he's a good four miles ahead of her, he still keeps up and keeps up the conversation. She isn't running at her top speed, though, weighed down by her thoughts.
This seems obvious to her: they're friends, and lovers isn't so far removed from friends. If she bears him a child, he will help her raise it well as long as he remains near her people. If she doesn't, they'll remain like this - compatriots - until they go their separate ways.
If her heart stings a little at that thought, it's only because she's running so fast. He is not Athosian, not one of her people, and she doesn't know if he would stay with her. Even among her own people, lifelong bonds without children are rare, and those who are unable to bear children of their own are usually the first to adopt culling orphans.
Elizabeth and the anthropologists seem to think Athosian partnerships are by nature unfaithful from what Teyla has told them, but that isn't true. She thinks it's even more about trust, about true bonding, when one makes the choice every day of their lives to remain with someone when others are available, rather than falling back on a cultural requirement that they never touch another and remain together. She knows from her trading adventures to other worlds long before the Earth humans came to Atlantis that this is unusual, and difficult for outsiders to grasp. She doesn't know if Ronon could.
She doesn't know yet if she wants him to, but she thinks she might. Someday.
"Do you think he could be right?" she asks. "He believes our activities could cause problems for the team." She doesn't think so, but Ronon, and Ronon's background, are different than hers.
"I think these people are crazy sometimes," is Ronon's answer.
It is the answer she was looking for, but she finds it somehow unsatisfying.
When John doesn't invite her to movie night -- possibly just an oversight -- Teyla asks Ronon to accompany her to the mainland.
He asked, "You sure?" like he knows it's unusual for her to return home to her people with someone.
"I told John Sheppard that this changes nothing," she reminds him.
Ronon smirks. "So you did."
She's greeted by adults touching their foreheads to hers, reaffirming her bond with them, and by children wrapping their arms around her legs. The children find Ronon quickly, too, and he's drafted into carrying armloads of them at a time and roaring like an animal in some kind of game. Teyla laughs at the sight like she hasn't laughed in quite a while, and smiles when she feels Halling standing behind her. "I have been concerned for you, being alone in the city."
"You could visit more often. Doctor Weir has spoken often about offering apprenticeships to the older children. Jinto has always wanted to learn about their flying ships."
"You are not alone in Atlantis, are you?"
Teyla looks over at Ronon, who is inexplicably baring his teeth at a small girl, who is making the same expression back at him. "No," she admits. "I am not. But it is good to be home."
It's warm on the mainland, and with the threat of Wraith culling lower here than it was on Athos, everyone remains outside well into the evening. Halling and Tallar light a tall fire, something they rarely risked on their old homeworld, and there is ale and food and the songs Teyla remembers from childhood, before her life changed.
Before then, she probably would never have had the opportunity - or the desire - to open her arms and her bed to an offworlder. She still doesn't sit too close to him as the fire burns, not quite sure how the others will react to her taking in an outsider and taking another step farther away from her traditional role as an Athosian leader.
Ronon gets quiet as the night wears on. Palla, one of the younger children, falls asleep in Teyla's lap, and it isn't long before Ronon tells her he's going for a walk. When he doesn't return, she passes Palla off to someone else and goes looking.
She tracks him to the rocky beach, in a defensible position at the base of a small cliff. She knows she never would have found him if he had wanted to stay hidden. No matter how well she was trained as a hunter, she's no match for his stealth skills.
"I was concerned," she announces her presence. He already knew she was there, of course.
"That little girl reminded me of someone."
She sits next to him, watching the ocean, noting how his eyes never stop flickering back toward the tree line, waiting for hidden dangers.
"When you lost Athos," he says, "You got to take some of it with you."
Her chest hurts with everything she feels over the fall of her homeworld, the people they lost, and how much of it she loses every day by staying away... but most of the emotion she feels isn't for herself.
There's nothing she can say. It bothers her when the others try, when John or Elizabeth or Carson or Rodney try to apologize for the loss he's suffered, or ask if there's anything they can do. She knows they're trying their best, but still, she wants to protect Ronon from their awkward statements of sympathy for something that even she can't truly understand.
"We do not have to return to the village," she tells him. She can tell Halling about the change of plans, and then return here with blankets.
"No. I just needed a break." The expression on his face, even in the dark, makes her chest hurt even more. "Life goes on. I told that skinny kid I'd teach him how to make a knife in the morning."
"Ritan already knows," Teyla assures him. She touches his arm, needing to feel his warmth. "He merely wants to spend time with you."
Ronon nods, looking at her, but still watching the trees. "That's okay."
The children are asleep when they return, and it is only a few mugs of ale later when Niyali and her longtime mate invite them to share their tent. The animal skins on the dried-grass bed are not the only familiar sensations -- she has been in this bed with Niyali and Tallar before, on other festival evenings -- but this time she is watching Ronon, and that makes everything different. Niyali touches him, and Ronon looks at Teyla while she does, and Teyla has a remarkably Earth-like thought that she wants him only for herself.
She puts the thought out of her mind, because she doesn't know what it means she's becoming.
Their next off-world mission isn't scheduled for another two days, but Teyla thinks it's wise to put things right as soon as possible, so she seeks John out in the mess hall the day after she and Ronon return from the mainland.
He looks a little sheepish when he sees her, but all he says is, "You missed a good movie. Rosemary's Baby. Major Lorne's choice. Apparently he's a horror nut."
Only a few of those statements make sense to her, but she is used to ignoring much of what John says when he's talking about Earth things. When she needs to, she asks Elizabeth or Carson or Kate Heightmeyer for clarification, but usually the things he mentions aren't important.
"I wish to apologize."
He winces. "No, I should. I'm sorry. It's none of my business."
She argues, "If you have concerns as a leader, you must address them."
"It's not that, though." He looks around again to check for eavesdroppers, but there's no one else in the mess hall.
He half-glares at her, sighs and shrugs one after another. "You make it look easy."
She doesn't understand this confusing statement, either, but this one seems important. "What do you mean?"
"I wouldn't even have known if Lieutenant Hartwell hadn't been... well, walking by the gym that night. You were right, Teyla. Your work performance didn't change at all."
"In Athosian society, we consider it a good thing -- necessary, even -- to have strong bonds with those you stand with in combat."
John stirs his coffee until a funnel forms in the clear mug. "I don't think it always works that way. Anyway, I'm sorry I said what I did. Of course I want to keep the team the way it is, and I'll talk to Elizabeth if she has any problems with it. I was just..."
She raises an eyebrow and makes a guess. "Jealous?"
He looks horrified. "No!"
"Not suggesting you have a romantic attachment to me," she clarifies, wondering how many of the things she says confuse him each day. "But that you envy the idea of what you call 'a relationship.'"
The coffee in his mug splashes out and he wipes the side of the mug with his thumb, then gives her a casual shrug. "Not really. Once you've been in one, it sort of loses its appeal."
She has no trouble understanding this backward statement of his. "You could choose to be with someone."
He shifts in his chair, looking awkward. "Trust me, it's never that easy. Not on Earth, anyway."
She stands up. "You are a great distance from Earth."
He smirks like he's indulging her. "But I'm the same person. We all are."
"I am not so sure that you are."
She leaves him to his coffee, and wonders if that last statement doesn't hold true to her, as well.
Ronon is teaching some newer recruits a series of combat moves, and she waits in the doorway. He knows she's there -- he met her eyes the moment she walked in the door without missing a beat in the drill he was running -- but he hasn't acknowledged her beyond that.
Watching him train without having to be on her guard for attack is nice in its own way. His muscles work seamlessly, without the effort she sees in the Earth humans' movements. He was more careless in his control until she began working with him -- he had no reason to hold back when he was fighting the Wraith -- but she can already see the changes in his every move. She likes that visual image of how she's changing him, especially when it feels so much like he's changing her.
He is a good choice, she recognizes, whether or not she bears him children. She thinks she will, eventually. As Charin predicts, she may conceive late, like her mother. Perhaps it's the Earth influence of everyone around her that this doesn't bother her the way it would have on Athos. She is serving her people in a very different way than her father and those before him, but she is protecting their future. She's certain of that.
Ronon finishes the training session without injuring any of his students, which surprises her in spite of the control he has learned.
"What's up?" he asks her.
She gives him a smile, but expects it looks bemused. "Did you learn that phrase from Colonel Sheppard?"
"Probably." He doesn't seem concerned about adopting Earth mannerisms -- at least, not until it dulls his combat strengths. "Is everything okay?"
"Come with me," she instructs.
He grins like he knows what's coming, and though that wasn't only what she came here for, she can feel want rising up inside her. She didn't used to feel this way, before Atlantis, before him, when sex was for comfort and connection instead of for passion.
It's passion that leads her to pull him down to the floor of his bedroom, needing the hard feeling of the ground holding her against him, even if it's ancient metal and not rich Athosian earth. There are a lot of things on Atlantis she thought she'd never get used to -- she doubted, once, that people could ever live entirely surrounded by water, and so separated from trees and animals -- but this is proving to be an easier shift than most.
She hisses out a sigh that's almost words when he moves inside her, stretching her between pleasure and pain, and she grips his shoulders with her fingers. She finds bruises there, sometimes, and grins at the thought that Carson must find them, too, in post-mission check-ups.
He pulls out too soon and holds her down to the floor with one large hand on her chest, maybe waiting to see if she'll fight back.
She would, but she wants to see what he's going to do, now that he's suddenly holding back instead of rushing to the climax like the Wraith are hot on their trail.
Instead, he touches her, burying three fingers inside her until she thrusts against him to make him move. When he does, it's hard and fast, the way she expects, but there's something different in the way he's watching her, like he's waiting for something more than just for her to come.
Which she does, but not until he adds a fourth finger and does something unreal with his thumb, because he has learned her body as well as she has learned his. Orgasm slams into her with a strange force that makes her want to climb out of her skin, and something about the way he's watching her, the way she's coming alone and with only his fingers inside her, makes it drag on until she's halfway to sitting and gasping down air, like he was holding her underwater.
He looks smug, and impressed, but she doesn't let him admire the view for long.
He goes down without a fight, lying back and letting her repay the favor, using her fingers to bring him off and watching every thrust and tightened hand reach the expression on his face, watching how his lips tighten when she circles a finger around his balls, watching how he screws his eyes closed when it's too much.
When he comes, he looks helpless. She didn't expect that.
Either he doesn't know he looks that way, or isn't bothered that she saw, because he just puts his arms behind his head, like his floor is the most comfortable place in the city to rest.
She wipes her hands clean on a towel, but doesn't bother getting dressed.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" Ronon asks.
"I spoke with Colonel Sheppard," she says. "We can remain on the team."
"They would've been stupid otherwise."
"I think he is getting used to the idea."
Ronon nods. "You told him it isn't a big deal."
Another Earth saying, she notes. Ronon adopts them more easily than she does.
Still, even if she used that phrase, she's not sure she would have used it to describe this, not the way this thing is growing and changing and making her think in ways she never expected to.
"I did not say that exactly. I do not believe they would understand."
"Yeah," Ronon agrees. "I didn't expect this."
He says things like that and means more, she knows. She can imagine that when he was a runner, he never expected any of this -- never imagined he'd be with the same woman two nights in a row, let alone months with her, and with a team, and in a city like this one.
She smiles. "I hope you are not disappointed."
He runs a thumb down her thigh, shakes his head 'no,' and smirks. "You?"
Something nervous is in her chest, but she speaks over it. "I am curious to see where this will take us," she admits.
"I wouldn't have stayed here without you," he tells her.
She knew that already, but it's different to hear him say it. "I am glad you did."
She's far away from Athos, and all she expected to be, but right then, it doesn't bother her at all.