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Confessions of an Obsessive Fangirl
i.e. fanatic 'Gater and NCIS freak with no life.
Bonds Not Broken 
12th-Jul-2008 12:00 pm
Title: Bonds Not Broken
Type: One-shot
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Genre: Romance/Angst (written for dare_darcy)
Pairings: John/Ronon
POV: John
Spoilers: None
Set: Sometime in Seasons 2-3
Rating: PG-13
Summary: After the two of them are rescued from a cave-in, John is worried about his relationship with Ronon. Thanks to Dare for the beta work on her own request. =P
Disclaimer: Never have and never will own anything from Stargate SG-1 or Atlantis. (Pity, isn't it?) I do own this story, though.

When John returned to consciousness, the first thing he noticed was that the bed was very soft. The second thing he noticed was Elizabeth’s face, since she was sitting next to his bed and watching him.

As he opened his eyes and blinked at her, the worried expression on her face was replaced with a soft, warm smile. “Hey.”

“Hey,” John muttered, his voice cracking slightly. He cleared his throat. “Sorry.”

Elizabeth chuckled, but sobered quickly. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired. Confused.” John thought for a moment, then added, “Comfortable.”

“That’s good,” said Elizabeth, with another gentle smile. “You’re not too badly hurt, but Carson wants to keep you here for a while anyway.”

John nodded slowly. “I’m still confused,” he pointed out. “When did we even get rescued?”

“The Daedalus was only a day or so out. When Rodney and Teyla came back and told us what happened, I asked Colonel Caldwell to stop by and beam you out.”

John frowned. He’d been hoping to avoid Caldwell. “Is he still here?”

“No, he left after dropping you off. He had to get back to Earth.” Elizabeth ran a hand through her hair, looking thoughtful. “He did have a few things to say about the way you were found…”

It was getting harder to breathe in the damp darkness, but lying down made shallow breathing easier to keep up.

Ronon?” he whispered.

A moment passed before the other man responded, his voice breathy, almost weak. “Yeah?”

You sure you’re okay with this?”

If we’re going to die anyway, we might as well die comfortable.” Ronon shifted slightly in what might have been a shrug.

John swallowed hard. “What I said before, I didn’t –”

I know you didn’t mean it.” Ronon sighed. “Shut up, John. It’s not your fault.”

You’re stuck here because of me,” John reminded him. “If you hadn’t come back for me…”

Ronon grunted. “Then you’d still be stuck here, maybe dead, and I’d know I could have done something.”

Ronon…”

Shut up, John,” Ronon said again, his voice a growl. He lifted a hand to punch John’s ear lightly.

John grimaced and rolled over, turning his head on Ronon’s chest to look at the man’s face. “I’m starting to sound like Rodney, aren’t I?”

Ronon chuckled, and John could feel the sound reverberating in his companion’s chest. “Only a little.”

Hit me again if I start whining,” John murmured.

Go to sleep, John.” Ronon sighed as deeply as he probably could manage in his position. “We could both use a rest.”

“John?”

He started slightly and focused his eyes. Elizabeth was watching him with a worried look in her eyes.

“Sorry,” he said, and coughed. “I think I dozed off. You were talking about Caldwell.”

“Yes.”

“What did he say?”

Elizabeth shook her head. “Something about the fact that you were lying with your head on Ronon’s chest must have startled him.” When John opened his mouth to protest, she held up a finger. “Teyla reminded him that cave floors make an uncomfortable pillow. He backed off after I suggested he go down and try it himself, since he seemed disinclined to believe her.”

John sighed and leaned back against his pillow. “Is Ronon all right?”

“He’s fine. He’ll be in here a while longer than you, but he didn’t break any bones.” Elizabeth grinned. “Carson called it a minor miracle.”

“So when he gets out of the infirmary he can get right back to active duty? That’ll make him happy.”

“Yes, it will.” Elizabeth nodded and rose with a small smile. “Why don’t I let you get some more rest? You look as if you could use it.”

 

The next time John woke, it was Teyla sitting by his bedside. She was reading a book and looked fairly calm, so he guessed that Elizabeth had already spoken to her and reassured her that he was all right.

“Morning,” he mumbled, giving her a weak smile.

Teyla glanced up and returned the smile, setting down her book. “It is almost dinnertime,” she replied.

“Whatever.” John leaned up on his elbows, straining to look at the cover of the book. “Whatcha reading?”

“A mystery novel. Elizabeth gave it to me.” Teyla covered the book with a hand, causing John to raise an eyebrow, and then she changed the subject. “I take it you are feeling well?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” John rubbed his head absentmindedly.

“That is good,” said Teyla with a smile. “Carson tells me you are recovering very quickly.”

John nodded and grinned. “Great, maybe I can get out of here in a few days.”

“That is what we are all hoping.”

“How’s Ronon?” John asked, after a brief but comfortable moment of silence.

Teyla sighed. “He is asleep at the moment. I spoke with him earlier, and he seemed… uneasy.”

“Uneasy?”

She nodded. “He would not talk about your ordeal in the cave. I did not press him… but I am not sure what was bothering him…”

John was pacing around the cave. Ronon watched him with dull eyes.

John,” he said after a while.

What?” said John, his gaze not moving from his feet. He wasn’t sure why he was so intent on his own movements, but it might have had something to do with distraction.

Ronon blew out an audible breath. “Stop it. You’re just making it worse.”

Worse?” said John tensely. He kept moving. “Worse than getting trapped under a rock?”

“’S’not that bad,” Ronon mumbled. “Can’t feel my legs anymore.”

Is that supposed to make me feel better?” John stopped, finally, to give Ronon an anxious look.

Ronon gave a halfhearted chuckle that sounded to John more like a cough. “It means I’m not in pain. I’m not worried, John. Beckett’ll fix me.”

John frowned at him. “We can’t get out. How d’you think they’ll get to us?”

They will. They always do.” Ronon shrugged as best he could with half his body stuck under a rock. “They’ll find a way.”

If they wait too much longer, we’ll be dead!” John snapped, unable to hide his frustration.

John, relax. We’re not dead yet.”

You’re the one stuck under a rock!”John cried out. “How can you be so fucking calm?”

Ronon sighed. “C’mere.”

What?”

Come here, you dummy,” Ronon growled. His smiling expression belied his tone. “You’re tired. You need to rest. No, not over there,” he added, as John started to slide down against the wall of the cave. “Come here.”

John hesitated, but Ronon’s chest looked a lot more comfortable than the floor. At last he sighed and trundled over to where Ronon was still stuck, lowering himself onto the cave floor and lying back until his head was resting on Ronon’s chest.

Better?” Ronon murmured.

Yeah,” John whispered, closing his eyes.

As John emerged from his reverie, he saw that Teyla was staring at him.

“Is something wrong?” she asked when he focused on her. “You looked distressed.”

“Sorry,” said John quickly, flushing ever so slightly. “I just zoned out.”

Teyla frowned. “You were… remembering,” she said after a moment. It wasn’t a question.

John shook his head. “It’s okay. We were rescued. None of that matters anymore.”

There was a moment of silence, and then a sudden smile flitted across Teyla’s face. She stood up. “Colonel Caldwell told us how you were found. I hope you will not spare me all the details of the circumstances.” Grinning, she moved away, leaving John to stare incredulously after her.

 

It was late the next morning that Carson came to check on him. By this point, John was growing rather bored with resting.

Fortunately, Carson handed him a book when he showed up. “Elizabeth thought you might like something to do,” he explained.

John studied the book curiously. “Elizabeth reads sci-fi?”

“Elizabeth reads everything, lad,” said Carson with a laugh. “But actually, Rodney picked that one out.”

“I see.”

Carson leaned carefully against John’s bedside table. The colonel had noticed before this that the doctor tended not to sit with his patients. “How are you feeling?”

John gave a shrug. “Not bad. Kind of bored. I’m more concerned about Ronon.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be. He wasn’t too badly injured, just stuck,” Carson assured him.

“He said he was in pain for a while in the cave…”

Ronon grunted as John continued to push at the rock in vain. “It’s no use,” he said, pain filling his voice. “You’re not gonna move it.”

John let out a heavy breath and stepped back, feeling weak. “Sorry.”

Not your fault,” Ronon muttered.

Yeah, it is,” John replied. He sat down next to the rock where Ronon was trapped and made a face. “Sort of.”

Shut up,” Ronon growled. “You didn’t make me come back for you.”

John sighed, leaning back against the wall. “But would you have come back if we hadn’t –”

Yes,” Ronon interjected before he could finish. “You’ve been my friend since you met me, even if I didn’t know it. That hasn’t changed.”

I guess you’re right,” John admitted. “But I still should’ve gotten out faster.”

Ronon gave another grunt that sounded pained. “Too late to change it now.”

Are you okay?” John shifted to look at his companion, concern in his eyes. “You don’t sound too good.”

I’m stuck under a rock,” Ronon pointed out, his tone bitter.

John winced. “Ouch.”

Sorry.” Looking at Ronon as the man spoke, John thought he could see an actual flush in his cheeks. “It just hurts.”

I guess so, but you normally don’t complain about pain.”

Ronon sighed. “Normally I can keep myself distracted by moving around. This way…” He gestured vaguely at the rock pinning him to the ground from the mid-torso down. “It’s not so easy.”

John realized Carson was speaking, so he pulled his mind back to the present with some effort.

“… cut his leg open pretty badly, but he didn’t lose much blood. I’m guessing the rock actually saved him by pressing against the gash to keep it closed.”

“Oh,” said John softly. “So he’ll be all right?”

“Aye, he’s a strong lad. I expect he’ll make a full recovery within a week or two,” Carson replied with a smile.

“That’s good.” John fell silent, again recalling the obvious pain in Ronon’s expression. It had seemed strange, he thought, to see the other man’s face contorting with agony.

Carson watched him for a moment before speaking again. “As for you, I think you’ll be set by tomorrow. Just one more night in here to make sure.”

“Good. Great. I look forward to it,” said John distractedly. He picked up his book. “Anything else?”

“Elizabeth plans to drop by later with Teyla and Rodney to discuss the mission,” Carson told him.

John made a face as the doctor turned away. He wasn’t sure he was ready to talk.

 

John had managed to resign himself to being questioned by the time Elizabeth showed up with his teammates. He shot them a forced sort of smile as the women settled themselves by his bed and Rodney stood awkwardly to the side.

“How are you doing?” Elizabeth asked.

“Okay.” John shrugged. “About ready to get out of the infirmary.”

Elizabeth smiled. “One more night,” she said bracingly. “That’s not so bad, right?”

“’S’long as Carson doesn’t find something else wrong with me between now and then,” said John wryly.

“I am sure you will be fine,” Teyla assured him.

“I guess you know why we’re here,” said Elizabeth when John looked at her expectantly.

“Yeah,” he replied. “You want to talk about the mission.”

“Teyla and Rodney have provided the details of their escape, but I was hoping to hear your take on it, and how you and Ronon were trapped.”

“And after we were trapped?” John wondered.

Elizabeth shook her head. “I don’t need to know every little detail,” she said dryly. “Start from the beginning and go as far as you’re comfortable.”

John pursed his lips. “The beginning? All right.” He shifted, settling into a more upright position. “When we came through the ’Gate, the cave was the first thing we noticed. There weren’t –”

“Wait,” Rodney interrupted. “Elizabeth knows all this, we’ve been through it.”

“Hush, Rodney,” said Teyla sternly. “Let him talk.”

Elizabeth nodded to John. “Go on.”

John cleared his throat, feeling a little uncomfortable now, but he continued. “There weren’t any trees or other plant life, so the cave was really the only thing to look at…”

It’s a rock,” said Rodney. He did not sound excited. “If that’s all there is on this planet, we may as well just go back now and save ourselves the wasted time.”

If that’s all there is on this planet, it’s the one thing we should be sure to check out,” John countered. “Come on.”

They trundled over the bare, packed dirt towards the rock. As they drew near, it was Ronon who saw the opening first.

It’s not a rock,” he said, studying it even from this distance. “It’s a cave.”

A cave in the middle of nothing? That doesn’t make any sense,” Rodney complained.

John shook his head and increased his pace. “If it’s in the middle of nothing and nowhere, it’s probably not a natural cave.”

Someone must have built it for a reason,” Teyla agreed. “Perhaps there are markings on the inside that explain what it was used for.”

Or what it is used for,” Ronon grunted. “Could still be in use.”

When they reached the cave at last, John stepped into the opening and peered around, using the light on his gun. “Looks pretty empty. I don’t see any markings here.”

They could be farther in,” Teyla pointed out. She followed him inside and started towards the back of the cave.

Rodney gulped as Ronon pushed him inside. “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

John exchanged a glance with Ronon before responding. “We can never be sure, Rodney.”

What if the cave is unstable? If it really is man-made –”

There are markings back here,” came Teyla’s voice.

Ronon and John both made for the back of the cave, leaving Rodney’s protests behind. As John approached what he thought was Teyla’s position, he heard a faint rumble. Stopping, he glanced around.

What was that?” Ronon murmured from behind him.

John waited a moment before shaking his head. “Probably nothing,” he said, and moved on.

It wasn’t until he reached a wall that he realized Ronon had not followed him on. Teyla had also vanished.

Teyla?” he called out, but then he stumbled as the floor of the cave shook. “Ronon!”

The sound of running footsteps reached his ears only as he lost his balance and fell to the ground. Before he could look to see who was coming, he blacked out.

“And that’s basically it,” John concluded. “When I woke up a few minutes later, the cave had collapsed all around and Ronon was unconscious and trapped under a big rock… like I told Dr. Leopold,” he added, suddenly realizing that he must have been on the Daedalus during that brief awakening, which he’d thought to be a hallucination of the pretty woman. “What happened to you guys?”

“You must have gone down a different passage, because I never saw or heard you,” Teyla explained. “When I heard the cave rumbling, I ran back out and met Rodney outside. He told me he’d seen Ronon start to come back and then turn around.”

Rodney nodded. “When the cave-in stopped, we tried to find you, but everything was blocked. We decided to go back to the Stargate to get help.”

At that moment, Carson appeared at the base of John’s bed. “Ronon’s awake, lad. He wants to see you.”

 

The first thing John noticed as he stepped around the curtain was the bandage around Ronon’s middle. His friend was sitting up and looking fairly alert.

“Carson says it’s just a precaution,” said Ronon, evidently aware of John’s gaze.

John felt himself flushing. “How are you feeling?” he asked, wincing as his voice cracked.

“I’m okay.” Ronon shifted and grinned faintly. “It’s nice to be able to move again.”

“You’re not in any pain?” John couldn’t keep the anxiety out of his voice.

Ronon shook his head. “Only a little. I wouldn’t let him give me pain meds this time around. Wanted to stay awake.”

John glanced back at where Carson was standing and watching them, then looked back at Ronon. “About before…”

They were scheduled to go on a mission that afternoon, but somehow John found himself in the gym with Ronon just after breakfast.

Try not to break me, okay?” he suggested to the bigger man.

Ronon grinned. “You’re no fun when you’re broken. I’ll be careful.”

John watched him nervously, flushing and twirling one of his sticks in his hand. “Are we sparring, or what?” he asked finally. Ronon had yet to pick up a pair of sticks, and there was an odd expression on the man’s face.

Depends what you mean by sparring,” Ronon replied, still staring at John, who was flushing more deeply by the second.

What?” This was disconcerting. John would never have thought of himself as gay, but he’d always found Ronon attractive nonetheless. Being stared at like that just wasn’t helping.

He found out a moment later that staring was only the beginning, when Ronon moved forward and grabbed his shoulders, pinning him against the wall. The sticks fell out of John’s hands and clattered to the floor as Ronon’s lips met his.

The larger man only kissed him for a few seconds before pulling away. “It also,” he said breathlessly, “depends on you.”

What, you want me to consent? I consent,” said John distractedly, too shocked – and aroused – by Ronon’s sudden advances to think logically.

Ronon grinned and moved to kiss him again, but he pulled away again almost as quickly as before. “This isn’t a good place.”

John hesitated. “Your quarters are closer than mine,” he said.

There was a brief pause, and then Ronon leaned in for a nuzzle before releasing his grip on John’s shoulders. “I thought it’d be harder to do this,” he commented. “You aren’t even putting up a fight.”

Why, do you want me to?”

Ronon thought about this for a moment, absentmindedly rubbing his hand along John’s back, which caused the colonel to shiver in anticipation. “I’ll think about it,” said the larger man at last. “Come on.” He steered John towards the door.

“What about it?” said Ronon.

John bit his lip and looked down with a sort of shrug. “I guess I was just… wondering.”

Ronon’s eyes rose briefly to look over John’s shoulder before settling again on John’s face. Silently, he held out a hand.

Glancing back at Carson again, John saw that the doctor had turned his back on them. Did he suspect something? It didn’t matter, John decided, as he met Ronon’s gaze and then took his hand, moving to sit on the bed.

“What were you wondering?” Ronon murmured.

John swallowed, but was unable to look away from Ronon’s face. “Well… in the cave… nothing happened.”

Ronon shrugged. “Sometimes nothing has to happen. Doesn’t change what I did, or what I want.”

“What you want?” John wasn’t sure he’d heard right. Then Ronon leaned forward and they were kissing again, albeit rather more gently than the first time.

It took them both a long moment to pull away. At last, John had to breathe, so he removed his lips from Ronon’s. The other man stayed where he was, so that their noses were touching in a sort of nuzzle.

“This is what I want,” Ronon whispered.

John closed his eyes. “I think I can do that,” he said softly.

Ronon’s fingers touched his face, but then they were pushing him away. A glance at Carson told him why: the doctor was looking at them again.

“Come visit,” Ronon said as John stood up.

John looked back and tried a smile. Ronon wasn’t just talking about while he was in the infirmary. “I will,” he promised.

It wasn’t until he started to move away that he realized he had yet to release Ronon’s hand. He took a step back and gave the other man a really honest smile before finally letting go and leaving, feeling Ronon’s own smile on his back as he went.

Comments 
23rd-Jul-2008 02:57 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed this. Thank you. I don't get to read too many Ronon/Shep fics worse luck. I think they go well together
23rd-Jul-2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Oh, I adore John/Ronon. It's my favorite slash pairing. xD
20th-Aug-2008 02:59 am (UTC)
Enjoy the history very much xD
Thank you for sharing
Oh, I adore John/Ronon. It's my favorite slash pairing
=^-^=
20th-Aug-2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
Nice story. I'm glad it had a happy ending.
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