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…to make it up I do whatever it take
I love you like a fat kid loves cake
You know my style I say anything to make you smile

— 50 Cent, 21 Questions

Rodney loves Ronon like a fat kid loves cake.

Rodney loves John like a geek loves a cheerleader.

Rodney was always a fat kid. He had bad allergies to wasps, moderate allergies to mosquitoes, and dandelions made him sneeze, so his mother made him stay inside. She made him stay quiet because his father was working in his den.

She gave him things to keep quiet: science books; science kits; an account with a scientific supply catalog; and, finally, a late bedtime, so he could stay up with his dad and his dad's math professor friends as they shot the shit and ate his mother's prizewinning poundcake.

The six of them ate about two cakes a week.

Rodney was in grade four when he concluded that his peers were hopelessly backward and not worth talking to.

Rodney was in grade nine when he realized that, however they wasted the potential of their minds, their bodies were quite nice to look at, and potentially very interesting to touch.

Rodney was in grade twelve when Louise Lefebvre dumped an ice cream soda on his head. He had merely suggested she attend the upcoming dance with him, as she had been recently dumped by her boyfriend, the school's best hockey goalie. If he had managed to get her away from her friends, things might have gone a bit better.

His feelings about cheerleaders were not improved by his mother laughing when he explained how he got chocolate stains on the back of his best shirt.

Ronon loves John like meat loves salt.

Ronon loves Rodney like a squad loves munitions.

Ronon cooked with his father as a child. They would grill and they would stew and they would bake for the family or the neighborhood as the occasion called.

It started very simply, on a day when Ronon was three. He ran in the kitchen, away from his sister Keta, who was screeching about something Ronon hadn't meant to break, hadn't realized could break until it was on the floor in pieces, a bracelet or a ring or something like.

He ran right into the table, and the spice boxes flew off. Tinlak, maran, ground plil berries landed next to him, but their lids were secure and he picked them up and handed them to Papa.

But the biggest box of all was upside down, and when he lifted it grey-white rocks were left behind.

"You have to pick those up and dust off the tops," said Papa. "The salt is most important. Can't keep meat without salt."

Corio was munitions for the first militia squad where Ronon was assigned.

Corio could tell anybody anything there was to know about bombs, bullets, or blades. If someone wanted a tool to take apart something ranging in size and complexity from a salad to a scout ship, Corio could provide the means.

Sadly, Corio could not hit anything smaller than a Wraith hive ship with anything more accurate than a nuclear missile. Or read the weather well enough to put on a coat in winter. He'd once gotten lost after Ronon told him to, "Go straight for half a rinto; I'll be in the red building on your left."

Ronon's first assignment, ever, in the militia, was to keep Corio in one piece. He brought Corio to the meal tent, and shooed him towards the bathing hall every so often, and pulled him out of the path of transport vehicles.

But everyone in the squad took care of Corio. Squad leader Vooloo kept Corio out of the clutches of Research & Development sector, which hadn't created anything new or effective since the last culling. The cook served his favorite foods, his assistants maintained his work area and bunk against hygiene inspection, and everybody banded together to make sure Corio made a decent time through the obstacle course.

As a consequence, no one on Sateda was better armed than Eighth Squad. And when Ronon compared the P-90 Sheppard wanted to give him to the gun and sword Corio had special-crafted for him, he thought no human off Sateda was either.

John loves Rodney like a gourmand loves wine.

John loves Ronon like a puddlejumper loves a gate.

When John was nine, he broke his foot and his leg.He was in bed for weeks before he had a walking cast.

He didn't like to read: all the good stories had really big words. He didn't like to draw, or sculpt with clay, and he didn't see much point in action figure wars restricted to the square foot bed tray that was their only potential field of battle.

After two days where John kept ringing the pee bell just to talk, his mom decided a couch was as good as a bed and was in front of the TV besides, and instructed John to ring the bell if it looked like anyone was going to take their clothes off.

Although John had not, heretofore, been the overly conscientious sort, it only took his mom three hours to declare he could watch morning and afternoon cartoons, and PBS in between, and the bell was just the pee bell once more.

A lot of PBS was boring, with people talking about stupid art and stupid music and stupid home repairs. But there were animal shows, and history shows, which were a lot like the books with too many words, and best of all, cooking shows.

There was something satisfying in the chopping and the grinding and the boiling, something that soothed John's soul. The best of all was Julia Childs, who ate and drank as she cooked. "A cup for the soup, and a glass for me," she would say, or, "Two teaspoons in the sauce, but let me taste it first to make sure it won't overpower the fish," or, "You want a very, very dry red. Not like this Côte Rôtie slurrrp or this Banyuls slurrrp, but like this Châteauneuf du Pape, perhaps. It's so robust; it really stands up in coq au vin."

Everybody else tasted the wine or the cheese or the sugar syrup diluted, but she had it pure.

John started out flying puddlejumpers like the craft he'd flown before, a really cool helicopter or a totally awesome airplane.

He learned pretty quickly that the jumpers worked better if he treated them like particularly stupid horses.

Not that John did anything strange like talk to them or pet them. But he kept track of fuel consumption in his head, because the Ancients' had neglected to provide a needle for the not-actually-gas tank gauge, and going from atmosphere to vacuum too quickly made the controls react a little oddly, and any time you put the jumper on standby it set up a geosynchronous orbit with the nearest gate.

Ronon woke up alone in bed. He sniffed the pillows on either side of him. "Where's McKay?" he shouted without getting up.

"How did you know I was here? Rodney didn't come home last night." John's voice echoed like he was in the front room; Ronon pictured him naked, reading the same book he'd been reading since Ronon had met him, and smiled.

"Magic," he told John, and got out of bed. John wouldn't believe his very simple explanations about scent and body heat, so Rodney had told him to just tell John it was magic. It seemed to work.

"I'm going to take a shower," he said. He was halfway to the bathroom when John touched his back.

"Want company?" asked John.

Ronon smiled, then turned around. "Let me get McKay and we can have a big party." Ronon plucked yesterday's pants out of the laundry basket and headed for the door.

"Good deal," said John.

Ronon looked back to see John stretching and twisting, the little nameless twitches that wake a body up. He walked back to John and pulled John close, his fingers tracing the bare skin of John's back and his mouth on John's clever little grin. "Make coffee. I'll be fast.

A short walk to one transport and away from another brought Ronon to Rodney's lab. Day shift didn't start for another hour, so Rodney's lone presence in the lab was no surprise.

Ronon walked heavy as he entered the room, but Rodney was entranced by his comp screen and didn't move. Ronon picked up a cold coffee mug with nothing but dregs and waved it by Rodney's nose.

Rodney rubbed his nose, then blinked and looked up. Then he smiled.

Ronon said, "You can come home, get some coffee, have breakfast, take a shower. This'll make more sense if you do."

Rodney started fiddling with the keyboard in a shutdown sequence, but he said, "I don't know about the shower. I'm on the verge of something big, and nobody here will care as long as I take a shower tomorrow."

Ronon rolled his eyes. "Shower's not for them. It's for us."

Rodney's hands stilled. "You and John want to…?"


"Oh," said Rodney, and stood up.

A short walk to a transport and a short walk from one, and the first thing out of Rodney's mouth was, "You want to have sex with me? I think we should do that before we eat."

John said, "Slow down, Rodney. At least have the coffee, or you'll fall down just when things are getting good."

"I don't have anything scheduled for two and a half hours, and he doesn't have anything for two," said Ronon. He dug in the cabinets until he pulled out a box of crackers and a jar of peanutbutter. "You've got time to chew and swallow."

John just laughed and started unbuckling Rodney's belt.

Rodney finished the coffee in about five seconds and said, "No, no, I'm ready to go."

They had a shower and breakfast. They had a nap and paperwork and a class in pain management. They had power maintenance, inspection, and sparring. They had lunch. They had meetings and paperwork and gate travel and sex and fun and friends.

These words are my own
From my heart flow
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you

That's all I got to say,
Can't think of a better way,
And that's all I've got to say,
I love you, is that okay?

— Natasha Bedingfield These Words