Pairing: John/Radek John/Ronon Radek/Lorne
Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis 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.
Summary: A series of conversations between Radek Zelenka and John Sheppard over the course of five years, lots of horrible events including Wraith, replicators and Ancient technology and three relationships
'How are you feeling?' John asked while tracing invisible circles on Radek's naked chest.
'Shouldn't I be asking you that?' Radek's head lay on his crossed arms: 'It was you after all who had to out-fly an atomic bomb.'
'Nah, I'm fine. Little bit radiation never killed anyone.'
'Actually it did, on numerous occasions.'
'You know what I mean. No weird shadows anywhere?'
'I'm fine.' Radek sat up a bit while leaning on his elbows to watch John kiss a line down his chest and stomach: 'Dr. Weir sounded very angry.'
'She thinks I don't trust her.'
'I'm not sure yet.' John answered after a while: 'Teyla thinks I overreacted.'
'You did.' Radek said but added: 'But as it saved all our lives I'm glad you did.' He kissed John.
'Maybe you can persuade Ford to be my test subject for improbable statistics.'
'Hey Radek! I was looking for you.' John approached Radek in an empty lab. Every other scientist had already gone to the mess for dinner and John was looking for some distraction after the whole disaster with Ford and the enzyme and his team being test subjects and Ford's stupid, stupid plan.
'If you're looking for dinner company I have to disappoint you, Colonel. I've already eaten.' Radek busily tinkered with a small machine on his desk that looked like a Wraith-Ancient technology hybrid as far as John could tell. He laid a hand on Radek's shoulder and leaned closer:
'I was hoping you could show me some new chess moves.' John said huskily. 'Chess moves' was the perfect if unusual euphemism especially since they sometimes played chess, not just always.
'Ah, yes.' Radek looked up from his machine: 'I wanted to talk about that with you.'
'I've met someone.'
'Someone.' Echoed John.
'Someone serious. I remember that we agreed to call our arrangement off if something like that should happen.'
'Can I ask who it is?' John asked curiously.
'I'm not sure you're allowed to ask.' Radek replied. His answer narrowed down the possibilities significantly: they hadn't gotten that much new American military personnel.
'Can I guess?' John asked.
'I suppose you can.' Radek answered with an ironic smile.
'Yes, John. I'm calling off our arrangement to go out with Carson's girlfriend.' Radek rolled his eyes. John wouldn't point out to him that he was obviously spending too much time with McKay.
'Just making sure. Walker?'
Radek said nothing.
'Hey, it's really Lorne?'
Radek still said nothing.
'I'm taking that as a yes.' John took a step from the table: 'Well, then. Good luck.'
'Thank you, Colonel.'
'So, camping trip with Ronon, huh?' John asked as he helped Radek pack and carry the machines McKay had cleared for Radek to use on the mainland.
'Don't be jealous, he's not my type.'
'I'm pretty sure you're lying. Ronon is everyone's type.'
'So you're not denying the jealous part?' Radek asked amused, nearly giddy. John knew how much Radek had wanted to take this trip until McKay had finally caved in and let him go.
'Like I said: Everyone's type.' He wasn't jealous. Everyone in Atlantis was attracted to Ronon, why should he deny it?
'What?' He asked because Radek looked like he knew more than John.
'Evan may have said a thing or two.'
'Whatever Lorne thinks he knows he's wrong.'
'Relax, John.' Radek handed him another heavy case: 'I'm just saying that you shouldn't dismiss your attraction to Ronon as a shallow thing just because he's handsome.'
'Is that what you told yourself before approaching Lorne?'
'It was the other way around.' Radek told him with a mischievous smile.
'I'm not sure I want to hear the details.' John grinned back.
'Simply said: your Second in Command has a thing for brains.'
'As long as it's not in the literal sense.'
John stretched out on his cot in the SGC. His, Rodney's and Ronon's flight to Edinburgh was in the morning but he couldn't sleep. He was not really sure if he wanted to. Giving up he left his room and went for the mess. He held a certain dislike for the whole place for which he blamed his exile from Atlantis.
The only other person he found was Radek. He was surprised because he would have thought that Radek would be with Lorne but then they probably didn't want to take the risk. Violating the regulations on Atlantis was one thing and another on Earth.
'Hey.' John said as he sat down opposite Radek.
'Hey.' Radek looked up from where he had been staring at the bare table top.
'I take it you can't sleep either.'
'I'm not sure if I want to help what the repairs of the corridor tomorrow. I know it has to be done but I would rather never go there again.'
'Ronon says he's not ready for a relationship.' John offered as a distraction. It had hurt when Ronon had said it, still did even in the face of their loss, like the pain from a bullet wound that wouldn't stop to hurt even when your organs were hanging out of your stomach. It wasn't dulled by the greater pain, just added to it until it grew unbearable and John didn't want to be there when it did.
'You asked him?'
'Just in general.'
'He'll come around, some day.'
'Yeah, some day.' John repeated hollowly. At this point some day could have been tomorrow and it still would seem to be an eternity away. Radek stood up:
'I'll go and see if Dr. Lee needs my help with something. Take care of yourself, John.'
'You, too, Radek.'
'I thought you were already cleared for active duty.' John frowned when he saw Radek in an infirmary bed.
'Now that we're not in imminent danger anymore, Dr. Keller has insisted that I had to go back to back.' Radek looked unhappy but so did everyone else. The relief over their safe arrival had soon given away to grief over the loss of Elizabeth.
'You will find her.' Radek said sincerely.
'McKay told you, huh?'
'He did and he's sure that it was the right decision. The replicators will be an efficient weapon against the Wraith.'
'That's what Elizabeth would say.'
'I know.' Radek briefly put his hand over John's: 'we all loved her and we all miss her: Teyla, Ronon, Rodney...'
'Caldwell.' John added if only to see Radek's small grin.
'Yes, he too. You're not alone, John.'
'Hi.' Radek came into the infirmary with a tray: 'Dr. Keller allowed me to bring you food for a faster recovery.'
'Lorne told me you gave him and his men a good run for their money.' John said when he took the tray from Radek.
'He has already apologized to you then.' Actually Lorne had stood in the same spot a few hours earlier and apologized profoundly, reminding John of a schoolboy waiting to be scolded for a prank. It had maybe been the most irrational thing that had happened in the last days.
'It wasn't his fault.'
'I hope you didn't convince him of that. He promised to make it up to me that he had me chased through the entire city.' Radek looked positively smug.
'So, you want me back on active duty so that you and your...' John made a nonspecific gesture with his hand because he had heard steps: 'can screw like bunnies?'
'It's always nice to be appreciated.' John replied dryly.
'I hope McKay isn't making the Hero of the day smoothing out his tampering with the safety protocols.' John practically bounced into the lab where Radek worked intently at his computer.
'I suppose your good mood is not only because I saved the city.' Radek said without looking up.
'I can't be happy because nobody died?' John asked back. Radek gave him a look that clearly said that he was an idiot. Everyone in Atlantis had a look like that except for Lorne who could somehow imply that he thought you were an idiot without looking like he was implying it. It was nice to see that even after what, going out with him for two years now; Lorne still hadn't taught Radek to look like this.
'You got laid, didn't you?'
'Maybe.' Radek rolled his eyes at John's answer.
'I hope Dr. Keller won't be too crushed.' He said off-handily.
'Dr, Keller?' John frowned.
'She just spent hours locked up with Ronon, so something must have happened there that made Ronon realize that he's ready for a relationship and came straight to you after the quarantine had been lifted which is why you're in such a good mood now.' Radek explained in a tone that he usually used when McKay wasn't seeing that he was making a mistake.
'Hey, it's not like I'm in love with Ronon.' John protested.
'Are you not?' Radek asked and closed his laptop: 'Let's go I'm starving.'
'You should get some sleep.' Radek said but still gave John a steaming cup of coffee. John's eyes didn't waver from Ronon down in the observation room, who had finally fallen in an uneasy but deep sleep.
'Nah, I just want to make sure he's okay.'
'Evan told me that...' Radek broke off and John was thankful for it. He didn't need a retell of what happened, how Ronon obeyed a Wraith against his teammates, against John. Sometimes it seemed like the universe had a perverse joy to try and find new ways to turn them against each other: the Wraith enzyme, Thalan, Lucius, Wraith machines, Satedans, illnesses and now a mixture of the Wraith and Wraith worshipping Satedans. Now it was ridiculous to think how convinced he had been a few weeks ago that he and Ronon would die in Michael's lab.
'Dr. Keller is confident that Ronon will be okay.' Radek said softly.
'I hate to say it but I wish Beckett was here. He has more experience with this.'
'It's been a crazy six weeks.' Radek said, and then amended: 'Six weeks and 48.000 years.'
'Actually I was only there for 800 years and twelve days.' John shuddered when he thought about what the McKay AI had told him: Teyla dead, Ronon dead and the galaxy in Michael's hands...even this was better than that.
'I was surprised that Lorne was on active duty already.' Especially for a man who had broken his leg only six weeks ago and had been infected with a Wraithship virus.
'You were walking around on a Hiveship, planting bombs while having our inner organs hanging out.' Radek reminded him: 'I hope you have already explained to Woolsey that the term 'Enforced Medical Leave' means on Atlantis: Most likely disregarded recommendation'.'
'I'm sure he'll catch up on that himself sooner or later.'
Down in the observation room Rodney had come in, sat down next to Ronon and began to talk.
'Still so convinced that you're not in love with him?' Radek asked before he left the room.
'No.' Whispered John against the glass.
'Hi, doc, how was your festival?' John asked when he entered the lab.
'Apart from being attacked by a horde of tiger-bird hybrids?' Radek asked with an ironic undertone in his tired voice.
'Apart from that.' John leaned against the desk with his hip.
'I've heard I missed out on an encounter with an alien life form.'
'That wasn't so exciting.' John would rather not think about Kolya anytime soon: 'Except for the part where it impersonated you and was nice to Rodney.'
'He should have caught the clue right then.' Muttered Radek.
'You said he was brilliant.' John added gleefully: 'But if it helps you he was really pissed off when he discovered that he had been fooled by the aliens, too.' John noticed something and grabbed Radek's arm: 'Hey, that's new.' He pointed at the small silver bracelet around Radek's right wrist.
'Did Lorne give you that?'
'It was a gift from the Belkans.'
'Did he at least go down on one knee?'
'He gave me a good luck's charm bracelet not an engagement ring.' Radek reminded him.
'On your anniversary?' John guessed.
'No, on our anniversary Evan was on Earth visiting his sister and I was with you in the exploding gate room. In fact this galaxy seems to like to let horrible things happen on our anniversary: the year before we were fighting against the replicators and two years ago I was on Earth in the Czech Republic and Evan was somewhere in the Milky Way as his leave got cancelled because of an internal crisis on some backwater planet.'
'That sucks.' John replied sympathetically: 'But at least he gave you a bracelet.'
'Just how much are you going to obsess over this?' Radek asked exasperatedly.
'Not that much.' John defended himself: 'What did Rodney say?'
'He made a sarcastic remark about my belief in superstitions.'
'No snide comment about Lorne?'
'Rodney doesn't know that I'm seeing someone.' That surprised John.
'Rodney has the talent to open his mouth at inappropriate occasions and Evan can't take that chance so I didn't tell him. Did you tell him about your relationship with Ronon?'
'Touché.' He trusted Rodney with his life but it was as Radek had said, hell he had only approached Radek back then because he had thought that neither of them would ever again set a foot on Earth.
'So, made any plans for your unforeseen vacation on Earth?' John and Radek stood at the railing and watched San Francisco Bay.
'Vacation for you maybe', Radek snorted: 'Me and Rodney, we have a lot of work to do until the city is up and running again to fly back to Pegasus.'
'I'm pretty sure Woolsey is going to give you a few days off after you managed to save Earth from the Wraith. Meet the family and all that stuff.' John grinned at Radek's groan.
'Evan said something to you, didn't he?'
'Not really, but he may have said something to Ronon who may have told me something.' John slapped Radek's shoulder: 'Don't worry been there, done that.'
Radek's look at him contained a level of annoyance that usually only Rodney had ever succeed to reach and maybe Chuck when he had accidentally knocked his coffee over the dialling console.
'With the difference that Evan's sister has expectations whereas your family was already disillusioned with you.'
'You'll be fine.' John reassured: 'You faced Wraith, replicators, Asgard and dozens of other threats and nearly died a couple times, how bad can it be?'
'Don't jinx it.'
'Hey,' Lorne and Ronon came through the doors: 'Colonel.' Lorne added respectfully:
'Do you mind if I kidnap Zelenka here? I need help with a Jumper.'
'Thinking about a ride over the city' John joked.
'That would be against regulations, sir.' Lorne managed to look indignant while at the same time giving of a vibe of 'nice idea'.
'Have fun.' John said before Radek left with Lorne.
'So, Chewie,' John turned to Ronon, remembering Lorne's brilliant smile when he had looked at Radek:
'Want to see Earth?'