Even though John was officially putting Ronon through his paces, seeing if he was suitable for the Atlantis Expedition, he knew that he was also being tested - by Ronon. To see if the Atlantis Expedition was worth his time. John had no doubt that Ronon had the physical and martial skills to be an asset to Atlantis. If even a fraction of what Teyla had told him about Runners was true, then Ronon was basically an expert in Wraith detection and destruction. He had fought them off single-handed for seven years. The things he could teach John’s airmen and Marines would be invaluable in the struggle against the Wraith.
Ronon was also the last of his people, from a race of proud warriors. What could Atlantis possibly have to offer to him, besides a safe place to stay, regular meals, and a chance to really put a dent in the Wraith population in the Pegasus galaxy?
Ronon seemed unimpressed by everything they offered - weapons, food, unarmed combat techniques.
John had no idea what made the man tick. They were in the shooting range again, John showing him not only the range of pistols available, but his own marksmanship skills. John and Atlantis were on trial, too, and John wanted to make a good impression. Good thing he’d gotten extra certifications in marksmanship. Steady hands were useful in all manner of situations.
Ronon eyed the Colt 1911 .45 with the pearl handle that John had just demonstrated. Then he accepted it from John.
“On Sateda,” he said, “we have our own tests for accuracy and marksmanship. Just standing and shooting at a still target is child’s play.”
“We have tactical drills,” John offered.
Ronon bared his teeth in something too fierce to be a grin. “Let’s see. You and me, alone.”
Major Lorne looked discomfited by the notion, but John waved him off.
“I got this, Major. Can you go check in with Zelenka? See where they are on the McKay-Cadman situation.”
Major Lorne nodded. “Yes, sir.” He turned and left the shooting gallery, and his Marines followed.
John thought the door closed. “All right. Show me what you got.”
With the arrival of the Daedalus had come much-needed food, supplies, coffee, support troops - and toys. The Marines had brought lots and lots of toys, including a full tac course with moving targets, strobing lights, and other complications and distractions.
John walked Ronon through the objectives in the course - which targets to hit in approximately which order - and then stepped back to watch. Pressed the button. Set it in motion.
Ronon moved like a dream, like a dancer, smoothly from one obstacle to the next, unfazed by light and sound, but alert enough to color and motion to know when a target was about to come sailing across his field of vision. John knew he’d never see better, not from the best Marines on Earth, because for Ronon, this was a way of life. This speed, this alertness was survival.
When Ronon finished - in record time, without a doubt - John pressed the button to shut the system down.
Ronon handed him the pistol and spare magazine. “Let’s see what you’ve got.”
The way he reloaded all the targets and obstacles told John about how good his observational and working memory skills were. John reloaded both the pistol and the spare magazine and moved into position at the starting line.
“Hit it,” he said.
The targets came to life. John didn’t have to think, he just had to be. Step, fire, turn, fire, duck, fire fire fire, back up, fire, turn, fire fire, jump, fire. Like a dance. Like a song.
At the end of it, John came back to himself.
“Pretty good,” Ronon said, which John suspected was high praise from such a laconic man. “On Sateda, we have one more test.”
“Bring it on,” John said.
Ronon stepped up behind him - right behind him, so John could feel the heat of him - and said, “Can you hit the target?”
John gestured to the paper target at the other end of the lane. “That one?”
“Of course I can.”
“Are you sure?” Ronon’s voice in John’s ear was deep, rumbling.
“Yeah.” It was a bit of a distance shot for a pistol - for some other man than John.
Ronon put his hands on John’s waist. “Are you sure?”
For a second, John thought it was some kind of trick, that Ronon was going to yank him off-balance at the last second, so he raised the pistol slowly, cautiously.
And then one of Ronon’s hands slid down, along the front of John’s thigh.
John swallowed hard. It had been a long time since any man had touched him like this. “Yeah,” he said, and voice came out hoarse.
Ronon cupped his hand between John’s legs, stroking, and John shuddered.
“What are you -?”
“Can you hit the target?” Ronon asked. His fingers were sure and strong.
John’s cock was hardening with every touch, and his breath was becoming erratic. He tried to wriggle out of Ronon’s grasp, but Ronon’s hand on his other hip tightened, and John moaned, because it had been so long, he’d forgotten how much being manhandled turned him on.
Ronon’s lips grazed the side of John’s neck in a blaze of heat, and he started, but then Ronon was stroking his hip with one hand, fondling his cock and balls through the fabric of his uniform pants with the other.
“This - this is your big Satedan test?” John panted.
Ronon smiled against John’s skin and popped the first button on John’s fly.
“Why the hell would I have to shoot when someone was - ohhhh.”
Ronon popped the second button on John’s fly, skimmed his fingertips over the damp cotton of John’s boxers. John was rock-hard and leaking, his vision dancing with sparks.
“Can you hit the target?” Ronon whispered, and popped the third button.
John bit his lip hard, didn’t dare make a sound, yes he’d sent Lorne and the Marines out, but anyone could come in at any second, they would see -
Ronon plunged his hand into John’s boxers and wrapped his fingers around John’s aching length, and he started to stroke. “Hit the target, John.”
This was wrong. This was so fucked up. It felt so damn good. John was desperate, wanted to come. He raised the pistol, blinking furiously, but his stance was all off because he was trying to thrust into Ronon’s hand, and fuck, he’d never look at target practice the same way again.
Ronon’s fingers were warm and callused, perfect, circling the shaft and thumbing the head and spreading the slick wetness of precome, and John was flying higher and higher, being dragged toward the edge with each pull. His breath was coming faster and his pulse was pounding in his ears.
“I - I’m going to -”
Ronon’s fingers circled the base of John’s cock, viselike and unforgiving, and he was squeezing John’s balls.
“You don’t come till you hit the target,” Ronon growled, and John lifted the pistol, emptied the magazine between one heartbeat and the next.
“Right on target,” Ronon murmured, and then he loosened his grip.
John came so hard he went blind.
Ronon held him through it, keeping him upright, warm and solid against John’s back while John shuddered and twitched through his orgasm.
When he was finally steady enough to keep his own feet, he blinked to clear his vision. Ronon released him and stepped back. John set the pistol down with shaking hands and fished around in his pockets for some tissue to clean himself up. Then he fastened his pants and turned to Ronon, wide-eyed and a little horrified.
“Ronon, in the Air Force, I’m not supposed to - I’m not allowed to -”
Only Ronon went and fetched the paper target, brought it back for John to inspect. It looked like it had but a single bullet-hole in it.
“You were right,” Ronon said. “You can hit the target.”
John nodded dazedly. “Yeah. Did I - did I pass your test?” It took him a moment to remember what they were even doing in the shooting gallery.
But Ronon smiled and nodded. “Yeah, you did. I’ll stay.”
“Good,” John said, but he wasn’t sure it was.
A week later, when Ronon was manhandling him up against a wall in an unused corridor out by the western pier, fumbling open their pants and grasping both of their hard cocks in one big, warm hand, stroking them together, John still wasn’t sure that Ronon’s staying was a good idea, but if pressed, he’d definitely say it was a fun one.