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Title: Special (or read it on AO3)
Author: mific
Pairing: John/Ronon
Rating: PG
Word count: 830
Summary: Sheppard doesn't know what he's done, but Ronon's run long enough.
Notes: Set a little after Duet. No warnings apply.


Ronon's sitting on the bed in the odd-shaped room they gave him. It's too large and there's no wood anywhere, no stone. He's unused to being inside and this place is all metal – there are none of the things he expects in a building – no hearth or rafters, no hinged door with a heavy latch. It's warm, and the air smells of Ancestors' tech. He should be awed, but he just feels trapped. It's alien, though the thought makes him shift nervously. It seems blasphemous.

Ronon stares up at Sheppard, stares down at what he's offering. "It's white…" He can feel himself frowning, trying to cover his confusion.

Sheppard's brows draw up, quizzical. He looks down at the white cloth in his hand "Yeah? I guess it's not real practical, but I figured you don't have much stuff, so maybe you can use it…" He shrugs. He shakes out the cloth, and Ronon sees it's a pure white shirt, made from a thin, soft material. Ronon reaches out and touches it gently. His hand's dark and rough against the delicate weave. He pulls it back again.

Sheppard's looking uncertain. "I can check out if anyone's got some colored tees…maybe something with a logo? Heavy metal? No, you're not gonna get the reference, are you…" His voice trails off and he eyes Ronon doubtfully. "Maybe earth-toned?" Sheppard looks shifty, embarrassed. "I'm more into black, myself, but missions are kinda hard on clothes, so I've only got a couple left or I'd..." He rubs the back of his neck. "Anyway, I won this at poker night last month, so you're welcome…"

Ronon tunes most of that out, staring at the white shirt Sheppard's holding. He wonders if Sheppard understands what he's doing. Probably not. These people who rescued him are a strange mix of knowledge and ignorance.

Very few wear white in Pegasus. Most wear coarse homespun or leather, or sometimes woven cloth in rich colors, if the Wraith have left them unculled long enough to get dyeing and weaving going again. White fabric's hard to make, impossible to keep clean. It's costly, ceremonial. The color of namings, death rites, weddings.

Betrothals. If he takes this gift of white from Sheppard and wears it, he'll be bound.

He only hesitates a moment longer. There's no real choice; he's run long enough.

He reaches out for the shirt, then stands and strips off his coarse jerkin and a couple of concealed knives. Sheppard's a little wide-eyed, his eyes skittering across Ronon's chest, then away, then drawn helplessly back again. He licks his lips.

Ronon's amused, but he doesn't let it show, his face solemn. Maybe Sheppard did know what he was doing, at some level. Ronon pulls the delicate shirt on over his head. It's elastic, stronger than it looks, molding itself to his torso like a second skin. He glances down at himself, the white cloth bright and incongruous against well-worn leather, the dark geometry of the tribal tattoo on his arm. Sheppard's staring at his chest, then he seems to realize what he's doing and flushes, bringing his gaze firmly up to Ronon's face again.

No one here will know what he's done, of course, but Ronon will know. And maybe the Athosian woman, Teyla. He's unsure if they have the same ceremonies on Athos – dressing each other in white garments, the pledging, then the feast. There'll be no feast here, with Sheppard unaware of the rituals, but Ronon can pledge.

He brings his fist up, arm bent, and places it over his heart. Always the fist, not the open palm – he's not a worshipper, not an abomination aping the Wraith. "I, Ronon Dex, of the sickle clan of Sateda, pledge to follow where you lead and to lead where you cannot. I will be the blade to your knife and the string to your bow. This I swear."

Sheppard's at a loss, Ronon sees. He bites his lip, frowning. "Ah, yeah. I…thanks, Ronon. Glad to have you on board." He rubs the back of his head again, awkward. Ronon wonders if they have ceremonies, these people with their outward casualness and subtle hierarchies. Probably. Most places do.

Sheppard quirks a grin. "All that for a t-shirt, huh? What do I get if I give you something really good?"

There's nothing better than white, not for Ronon. Sheppard's innocent, or ignorant, but Ronon's chosen anyway. He smoothes a hand down the soft white cloth, letting it slide over the muscles of his chest and splay on his stomach. Sheppard's eyes follow his hand, riveted. Ronon raises an eyebrow, curling his mouth in a faint smile. "Whatever you want."

He wonders how long it will be before he gives Sheppard something white in return – before Sheppard knows what it means. Seven years have taught him patience. He can wait.

"Oookay," says Sheppard, looking flustered. "What say we go get some dinner, huh?"

Maybe there will be a feast, after all.

- end -


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
Whew. That was...*swallows*... whew.

Okay. Words. I know I know how to use them...ahh, let's see.

HOT. HOT HOT HOT HOT. and COOL. All that cool, crisp white imagery - The tshirt smoothed over Ronon's chest, his dark swarthy skin against the white backdrop of the material.

Sheppard's innocent confusion, but totally inevitable lust. Yowza.

HOTNESS in 800 words. Yes, please, can I have some more?
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:41 am (UTC)
Glad you liked the imagery - thanks!
Dec. 1st, 2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
Very nice! Ronon accepting the gift and hoping that perhaps Sheppard will one day know what he "really" offered. And all those subtle hints that there is already developping something between the two - very lovely!
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:42 am (UTC)
I don't think Ronon'll have to wait all that long, :D. Thank you!
Dec. 1st, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
This was really sweet. I love that Ronon's experienced enough to know not to read too much into John's gesture at the same time as he still makes the choice to interpret it the way he does.
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:43 am (UTC)
Thanks! Ronon's used to going with his gut - luckily in happier circumstances this time.
Dec. 1st, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
Ah! Yes, Ronon can be very patient... but I think it will be something worth waiting for!

Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
I do too - thank you!
Dec. 1st, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
Wow... That was... Wow... Very nice!
Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
Happy that you liked it - thanks!
Dec. 2nd, 2012 01:19 am (UTC)
\o/ AWESOME. oh Ronon, he makes those kind of snap decisions, and they are always the right ones. true heart.

and Shep, he always knows what he's doing on some level. *cough*

Dec. 2nd, 2012 07:45 am (UTC)
They'll get there! Glad you enjoyed it - thanks!
Dec. 2nd, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
Oh, I love this - Ronon's awareness that John probably doesn't know what he's offering, but quietly accepting that offer anyway, just. And the hints of things to come!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:13 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it - thanks!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:15 am (UTC)
He knows what it means, and John'll get there eventually - thanks!
Dec. 3rd, 2012 07:38 am (UTC)
Very nice indeed--and the description in the first paragraph of all the ways in which his room is alien to Ronon sets up the cultural misunderstanding (on Sheppard's part) of the meanings of his gift. Ronon's sophisticated understanding of the intellectual and emotional contexts here and the physical subtexts add layered heat and enjoyment--for him and us.
Dec. 3rd, 2012 11:16 am (UTC)
Yes I had fun with the Pegasus culture aspects of the fic. I'm happy that you liked it - thanks!
Dec. 4th, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
You're very welcome.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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