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Title: On This Winter's Night
Author: ceitie
Recipient: rysler
Pairing: Ronon/John/Teyla/Rodney
Rating: R
Disclaimer: SGA and its characters do not belong to me.
Summary: Ronon hates the cold.

*

It's a freezing cold night, cold enough for the trodden down snow to crunch noisily under his feet with every step. Out here, away from the encampment, it's quiet, and Ronon listens: the crackle of the nearest fire, the soft shush of the trees at the edge of the clearing, the muted footsteps of the other sentries - and occasionally the footsteps of something larger, moving in the darkness.

He pays attention to those footsteps when he hears them, tracks the sound of their movement and stares into the black depths of the forest. He's only caught glimpses so far - shadowy motion or a flash of glowing eyes. The creatures haven't been bold tonight. Three nights ago, something huge and furry and clawed had crept up through the shadows, midpoint between two of the fires that encircled the camp's perimeter. It had torn open the throat of the nearest sentry before it was brought down. Ronon had run out of the tent towards the sound of screams and yells, but it had all happened in seconds, was already done. There was nothing left but bloody meat and mourning.

Ronon's fingers are starting to ache with cold, even though he's wearing two pairs of gloves, his own pair as well as the fancy synthetic ones provided by Atlantis. Rodney had thrust a scarf at him before he'd left the tent to do his sentry shift, sniping about how Ronon couldn't expect his hair to do all the work of keeping him warm. Ronon had rolled his eyes at the time, but he's grateful for it now, even with its itchiness and spilled coffee smell. He's wearing layers of clothing, even has a hat pulled down over his ears, and the cold still seeps in.

He moves closer to the fire, careful not to look directly at it and ruin his night vision. Heat nudges at him, caresses his left side, and he tries not to shiver. Ronon hates the cold. It's the only thing that made him hesitate when Teyla asked them to accompany her to this world to visit her friend. For a very long time, cold meant death - fingers too numb to shoot true, feet potentially losing toes, sleep turned seductive and dangerous. The first time Rodney had explained that he had mostly grown up in a place where it snowed for half the year, Ronon had taken it for McKay's typical exaggeration. Once he knew more about Earth, he understood, at least in the abstract. A large population that was trapped on one world - the need for more space would lead to desperate measures.

Ronon understands necessity. The stargates of the Known Worlds are mostly located in temperate regions, making harsh weather an unusual and unwelcome phenomenon, rather than a part of daily existence - but there are exceptions. If there is something valuable enough, something worth fighting the elements for - in the case of this world, it's a mine, dug into the mountains that tower above the town. Mine work is difficult and dangerous, and they always need more labourers. Teyla's friend Aliya and her family live in the tent city pressed up against the walls of the town, along with hundreds of other refugees from Wraith-ravaged worlds, because the owners of the mine give them work. The bastards don't, however, bother giving anyone outside of the town protection from the vicious predators that roam the surrounding forest.

There's a sound, snow crunching under large paws, and Ronon slowly moves his head until he sees it. It's past the treeline, but still a good distance, just watching. The firelight is reflected in its eyes, a red gleam in the dark. They watch each other, frozen, until the creature takes a step closer and Ronon raises his blaster. He fires off one shot, not really expecting to hit it, and he doesn't. The blast sails past the creature into the trees behind it, but the creature still jumps and screeches. It bares its teeth at Ronon, and then turns and scuttles back into the forest.

Ronon lowers his blaster and lets out a long slow breath, watching the small cloud it forms in the air before him. There is something eerily familiar about this, waiting alone in the dark for things that want to eat him. He shivers, curls his hand more tightly around his blaster.

One of the other sentries calls to him, "All right, over there?"

"Fine," Ronon calls back.

"Good. Your shift's almost done, your replacement should be coming along soon."

Ronon waves back in acknowledgement, glad of the reminder - whatever else is chillingly familiar about this, one thing has changed. He's not alone anymore.

*

There is something about the cold that Ronon likes - the full-body relief that occurs when he finally comes in out of it. He ducks down into their tent, too small for him to stand in, and sinks down cross-legged on the floor, just letting the warmth of the heating stove wash over him.

Teyla and John look over at him from the heaping pile of furs, blankets and sleeping bags that make up their bed. Ronon can't tell because they're half under the covers, but they look naked, and also warm, and very inviting.

"Just in time," John says, breathing too hard. Teyla smiles teasingly at Ronon, and then leans over to lay a series of biting kisses down John's neck.

Ronon grins at them, and starts stripping.

It's wonderful to leave the winter night behind, abandoning the sharp bite of cold and the smells of leather and wool and wood-smoke with the clothes he leaves strewn on the ground. He trades them for warm skin and soft blankets and Teyla laughing when he tips her over on her back, crawls on top of her to bury his face between her breasts, licking the sweat that's trickling down past her nipple. John is pressed up against his side, snaking his arm around them both to tug them closer.

Ronon feels a finger poking his ribs and turns his head to see Rodney, mostly buried under a huge fur throw, glaring sleepily at him with the one eye that was visible.

"Are we keeping you up?" Ronon asks. He catches Rodney's poking hand in his and laughs when Rodney yelps.

"Argh, you're freezing! Get under the blankets, you oaf," Rodney says.

There's a brief struggle when Ronon tries to steal Rodney's fur throw, while John tosses more blankets on top of all of them and tells Rodney to pipe down, he's going to wake the whole camp. Teyla just shakes her head and sneakily distracts Ronon and then Rodney with kisses. Ronon grabs John and drags him down into the kissing pile, just in case he was feeling left out.

Rodney's complaints are reduced to moans beneath Teyla's ministrations; John is a heavy heat on top of Ronon, kissing him hungrily and pushing a thigh between his legs, and Ronon is warm, warm all the way through.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
hoktauri
Dec. 19th, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
Mmm, how lovely and *warm*. ^_^
em_kellesvig
Dec. 19th, 2012 09:32 pm (UTC)
*shivers cold and warm and ngggggh!*
schneefink
Dec. 20th, 2012 12:29 am (UTC)
Lovely story! I like "Known Worlds" as Pegasus-name for Pegasus, I can't remember if I've seen it before. Nice setting.
kisahawklin
Dec. 20th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
Oh, this is just gorgeous Ronon POV. I love the description of the cold and Ronon's thoughts as he does his sentry duty, and then the OT4 at the end, it's like the unexpected treat at the bottom of a Christmas stocking. Lovely story, thank you so much.
ladysorka
Dec. 20th, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely. The cold of the world itself being compared to the metaphorical cold of Ronon's years alone, and then the warmth of the tent combined with the love and heat of the OT4, just. I really loved this.
rysler
Dec. 22nd, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
Rodney had thrust a scarf at him before he'd left the tent to do his sentry shift, sniping about how Ronon couldn't expect his hair to do all the work of keeping him warm. Ronon had rolled his eyes at the time, but he's grateful for it now, even with its itchiness and spilled coffee smell.

Loved this in particular. Love the characterizations. Ronon and the familiar ghosts around him.

A large population that was trapped on one world - the need for more space would lead to desperate measures.

:: laughs::

And yet, poetic.

Mine work is difficult and dangerous, and they always need more labourers. Teyla's friend Aliya and her family live in the tent city pressed up against the walls of the town, along with hundreds of other refugees from Wraith-ravaged worlds, because the owners of the mine give them work. The bastards don't, however, bother giving anyone outside of the town protection from the vicious predators that roam the surrounding forest.

I love this world you've created. Practical and realistic, so it draws me in. Makes me think it could be real, so Atlantian.

I ask for off-world because of results like THIS.

Ronon can't tell because they're half under the covers, but they look naked, and also warm, and very inviting.

Excellent picture. :D

John tosses more blankets on top of all of them and tells Rodney to pipe down, he's going to wake the whole camp.

Heee, typical.

and Ronon is warm, warm all the way through.

winnnnn.

This story is the perfect balance of dark, evocative, sweet, sexy, gentle. It's like you KNOW me. Damn.

Thank you!!

When I find out who you are, I am going to read EVERYTHING.



silver_cyanne
Dec. 22nd, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, lovely.
ozsaur
Dec. 23rd, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Wonderful descriptions! I could picture the fires, and the snow, and the landscape. Love the hints of life going on in the background, the world building. The OT4 at the end was a lovely bonus!
taste_is_sweet
Dec. 23rd, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
Niiice. And warm. ;->
starbuckssue
Dec. 23rd, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
A lovely warm and snug story.
runpunkrun
Dec. 30th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Great atmosphere -- all the cold, and then the warmth of the tent and Ronon's team.
danceswithgary
Jan. 1st, 2013 11:35 pm (UTC)
So wonderfully warm! :-)
sexycazzy
Jan. 5th, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
Nice! :)
aqualegia
Jan. 6th, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
Very nice! Snuggling under blankets is always good.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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