John figures it's safe. The rest of the time—all the time, it feels like—he's being watched. Not in a bad way, but ever since Sumner, ever since John stepped up, he's the Guy, the one everyone looks to, and so he's the one they look at when he's in the room, in the hallways, in the gym, in the mess.
But when he's out with Ronon, running, it's just the two of them, too fast, too far to be seen. It's maybe the one time when it's safe, and he's with the one person that it matters, and what the hell, Ronon is out in front of him all the damned time anyway, so John lets himself.
He lets himself look.
He watches the pull of Ronon's ass muscles, yeah, because that's going to be where his eye goes first, always, but more and more he'll get drawn to the flashes of skin showing just at the bottom of Ronon's tank, or the heavy sweep of muscle where his shoulders meet his back, or Ronon's oddly delicate Achilles' tendon, which John can see only on those days he wears the softer shoes and they stay away from the catwalks.
And always, always John watches the way Ronon's head stays alert, even here on Atlantis, sweeping the hallway in front of them. He treats being in front like being on point, and John can relax in his wake and just watch.
Maybe it's wrong. John knows it is, more than a little, since Ronon can't know from up there what he's thinking back here—how his thumbs would fit perfectly in those little divots just above Ronon's waist. And Ronon is so much more than 6'4" of 3-D skin mag, more to John, so this really is wrong, and John should just stop, but when he's running it's maybe the only time out in Atlantis when his attention is free to wander where it really wants to. And that's right to Ronon. Every damned time.
The funny thing, though—here's the funny thing—is this morning Ronon is letting John run up ahead of him. And it's not the bug virus coming back, because John is winded as hell and his legs still feel like he's thirty-seven.
John doesn't know what to make of it. Either Ronon has eyes on the back of his head (not at all impossible) and caught John looking and is making some kind of subtle point, or John doesn't know what. But as he passes Ronon again and takes the stairs up to the catwalk, his feet pounding hollowly on the metal grate, he can feel Ronon's eyes on him. Watching.
And John doesn't mind, nope. Not at all. He just tries not to trip like a big damned idiot.
Seems like the morning run just got a lot more interesting.