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Fic: Ghosts Awakened (Dex/Sheppard, PG13)

Title: Ghosts Awakened
Author: kirst_ravensoul
Pairings: John/Ronon
Warnings: Slash, but only mildly at the end. Un-beta-ed so, any mistakes made are mine alone.
Spoilers: Set directly after 'Remnants', so anything up to and including this episode.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: "A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ..."
Disclaimer: I don't own Stargate: Atlantis and am making no money by writing this story.
Written for: bluflamingo

Request: John/Ronon, where Ronon's protecting John (physical or emotional)

*

He couldn't sleep.

Frustrated, John Sheppard wished, not for the first time, that the doors in Atlantis would be more like the doors on Earth. Maybe if he could slam them closed behind him he'd feel better, could release a bit of that tension that had been knotted in his stomach ever since this afternoon.

Disgruntled he made his way towards the gym, hoping that punching the hell out of one of the bags there would help him get tired enough to finally go to sleep. Though, to be honest, it wasn't really his body that was refusing the rest, it was his mind that simply wouldn't slow down. And since by now he had solved every damn Sudoku he had been able to find he'd run out of things to occupy himself with, at least in his own room.

Fact was that he needed to occupy his mind long enough to compartmentalize everything that had been dragged to the surface by the AI. Two years back he would have dragged Rodney out to play their Game with him but sadly, that wasn't an option anymore.

So he ended up at the gym in the middle of the night, made a beeline for the nearest punching bag and started punching the hell out of it.

He was reminded of playing punching ball for Kolya, or an apparition or whatever, just this afternoon but he had expected that. Besides, he didn't even feel that anymore, except for the occasional phantom pain.

It wasn't so much the pysical aspect of this little adventure that kept him from sleep but what Kolya had said. It had hit too close to home. Naturally, seeing as John himself had been in charge of...everything.

Damn, but his head hurt.

"You torture yourself, John."

Not for the first time that day he asked himself, why his mind had chosen Kolya. He was sure Heightmeyer would have had a field day, and so would their new psychologist. But while he had slowly come to trust Kate enough to visit her every now and then, he had so far steered clear of her replacement. He didn't feel comfortable enough to share his thoughts with another soul doc, not after what happened to the old one.

"Just another two you couldn't save."

If only he could get Kolya out of his head. He had talked to Heightmeyer both after Kolya had him captured with Todd and after he had finally managed to kill the man. For him to turn up now, even if it was only a vision, was destroying some carefully put-up walls.

Besides, it wasn't as if he wasn't torturing himself enough on his own. In that the AI had been right. He questioned himself constantly, and, in his mind, rightly so. Sometimes it seemed to him that ever since he showed up in this galaxy, things had taken a turn or two for the worse. But normally he could keep it down enough so that he could at least sleep a little.

"Damn it!" he yelled, punching the bag one last time before leaning against it, closing his eyes. Great. Now his body was freaking exhausted and his mind still wouldn't shut up.

"Feel better now?" The low, rumbling voice made John start and spin around, fists raised, even though his mind supplied him with the face to the voice even before he could get a clear look at the person standing in the door.

He let out his breath explosively and forced his body to relax. "Damn it, Ronon. Don't do that!"

"Sorry," came the reply, though Ronon looked anything but sorry.

"How long've you been standing there?"

"Long enough to know that we'll need a new bag if you keep this up. And that you'll need to see the doc tomorrow."

When John frowned at him Ronon gestured at his hands. Oh. Right. Punching the bag without any kind of protection might not have been the smartest idea but his mind had been too occupied to think of that. And although he couldn't feel anything right now, he could tell that Ronon was right. He'd be feeling that in the morning. Still, he couldn't really bring himself to care.

Again Ronon's voice snapped him out of his thoughts. "Come on. You're done here."

"Excuse me?"

"Crippling yourself won't help. Come on."

"Ronon, look. I know you mean well but I-"

"-don't want to talk about it. So don't." With a few long strides he was at John's side, grabbed him by the shoulders and herded him out of the gym.

The Satedan didn't say where they were going and, truth be told, John didn't press too hard. He trusted Ronon and he was not in the mood to play twenty questions. Besides, Ronon didn't look like he would tell him even if he asked. He'd see son enough.

He wasn't really sure what he expected, but when Ronon finally led him through one of the outer doors, in an area that was little explored, and onto a small, secluded balcony overlooking the water, he was surprised. That had not been on his list.

"Wow. That's...nice. Come here often?" John could not help but ask when he stepped out and was hit by a fine spray of saltwater.

"Sometimes. It's quiet here."

"So I see."

And that was all the talking they did for a while. It didn't bother John, quite the contrary. Suddenly he was glad that the Satedan had dragged him out of the gym. The smell and sound of the ocean was soothing and Ronon's presence had something...calming.

And so he suddenly found himself starting to talk.

"I saw Kolya today."

Out of the corner of his eye he saw Ronon turn to him with a slight frown on his face but he didn't press on, for which John was grateful. Keeping his eyes firmly on the horizon he continued. "When I was...under the influence of that AI this afternoon. It was not...."

"You started questioning yourself. Again," Ronon said when John didn't go on.

"Am I really that obvious?"

Ronon shrugged, his eyes never leaving John. "I know how you think. Sheppard, don't doubt yourself. You're doing everything you can. More. You're giving too much already."

But John shook his head. "I'm not giving enough," he said, voice barely above a whisper. He was silent for a while, trying to get himself under control, but when he finally spoke again his voice was hoarse. "When I ...when Sumner died and they put me, of all people, in charge, I promised myself that I would do everything I could to keep my people safe. And look how that turned out. Ford, Carson, Elizabeth...who's to say who will be next?" John felt himself shaking and for a moment he had to close his eyes.

"Those weren't your fault." There was a hand on his shoulder, big and warm and for a moment John tensed almost painfully. "You can't give up now, John. We need you. We can't fight this fight without you."

John shook his head, self-loathing making him clench his fists so hard it hurt. "Without me you wouldn't have to fight it."

"Yes, we would. Not now, not we ourselves. But eventually the Wraith would have woken. And I'd rather have them awake while you're around to fight them with me." And it was spoken so gently that John's breath caught in his throat and finally he turned to look at his friend. The world seemed to have imploded, leaving just the two of them standing on a balcony at the edge of nowhere. "Ronon -"

But Ronon had cupped his face in one hand leaned down to capture John's lips with his own before John could go on. There was a moment of uncomprehending shock, disbelief that he should be worthy of this, from a man who had lost everything to the Wraith, before Ronon's hands pulled him closer, holding him securely against his bulk.

And the tension in John's body released so abruptly that it would have brought him to his knees, had it not been for those arms around him and his own hands having found their way tangled into Ronon's hair.

There was a moment of perfect stillness, where nothing mattered and nothing registered but the feel of Ronon's lips moving over John's own, of their tongues touching, before the kiss ended and the world quietly started to rebuild itself.

Neither of them made to move away from the other. Instead Ronon touched his forehead to John's in the simple Athosian gesture that conveyed so much better what they couldn't say out loud.

It didn't go further than that. Ronon seemed to understand that John wasn't ready for more, that anything further would send him into an emotional overload he wouldn't be able to handle right now.

And it was enough. Enough to drive unwelcome thoughts far from John's mind and steady him in the here and now, enough to finally rebuild himself.

FIN, and Merry Christmas to bluflamingo!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
bluflamingo
Dec. 23rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you, this is just the kind of thing I was thinking of with the prompt - just the right amount of angst, and then just the right amount of comfort and reassurance at the end. I love Ronon as the steady, comforting presence, and that he gives John enough calm to be able to talk about what happened.

It didn't go further than that. Ronon seemed to understand that John wasn't ready for more, that anything further would send him into an emotional overload he wouldn't be able to handle right now.

I really like this - it feels much more realistic, and like the two of them, instead of them ending up sleeping together, that there's only so much intense emotion one moment can take, even if some of it would be good.

Thank you so much for writing this for me, I really enjoyed it.
tzzzz
Dec. 25th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
This was great. I really liked this sense of team and what it says about Sheppard.
joran
Dec. 26th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, man, this was lovely. Like flamingo said, just the right amount of angst and comfort.

I went looking for Ronon/Sheppard, and this was totally satisfying.
skinscript
Dec. 28th, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)
My favourite characteristic of Ronon's is that he is so totally *stable*. Tempermental, sure, but he has this fantastic gravitas that none of the other characters have, and I really liked how he shared it here with John.
gaffsie
Dec. 31st, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Lovely. Ronon is such a sweet and stable person at heart, despite the hell he's been through and it's nice to get to see more of that side of him.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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