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it takes more than water

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For a change, Ronon didn't mind the endless mission debriefing. It meant that he was off that stinking nest of a hive ship, and that was the only thing that mattered.

He couldn't sit down like he usually tried to do, but he didn't really mind being there. It was good, hearing everyone talk and bitch. Hearing them be alive. People talking without hissing desperate plans and thinking they'd be probably dead in an hour.

Dr. Weir gave him a long look about five minutes into the meeting, when he was still pacing back and forth behind Sheppard and McKay's chairs. But she didn't look disapproving, and she didn't say anything.

Ronon kept pacing around the room, rolling his shoulders, answering whenever someone asked him a question, and he felt maybe halfway calm by the time it was done. Deliberately ignoring everything they'd said about the gassed Wraith who should've been blown into space between galaxies.

He went for the door as soon as Dr. Weir rose out of her chair. Nobody called after him, so he figured it was fine.


Ronon's favorite thing about Atlantis had always been the showers. He could find food on every planet he'd run to, but the chance to get really clean had been so rare, he was sometimes surprised that the Atlantis expedition hadn't barred him just for his smell.

He spent almost an hour washing. Scrubbing his skin half-raw with the loofa-thing that one of the chemists had given him, with the soap that he had just stopped thinking he had to ration.

It wasn't enough. He pulled the main part from two of the ready-meals stacked in his closet, BBQ pork and chicken tetrazzini, ripping the grey packets open and squeezing them cold into his mouth before he got up to go running.

A while back, Sheppard had given him a stack of the soft clothes that most of the expedition used for exercise.


He ran all the way to the west pier before he had to stop and throw up. He jerked the too-tight shirt over his head, wiped his mouth, and hurled it into the sea.

It was better already. Ronon could feel himself sweating out every molecule of that fucking ship, everything he'd touched and inhaled when they had him. The breeze kicked up and he turned into it, salt-sting against his nipples and his stomach where he'd scrubbed extra hard, holding himself there until the breeze died away.


Ronon was almost back to the city core, slowed to a walk with his mind nearly quiet when he heard the voices.

Sound echoed and carried around Atlantis with the water and the multiple angles. You couldn't always be sure what you were hearing, or who, or from how far.

They weren't far, though. He leaned against the rail and looked over, and they were right there. Shoving against each other in an alcove right below him, and Ronon grinned in appreciation of their nerve for a few seconds -- this close, they could be seen from four angles on the catwalks -- before he recognized them, and his eyes jerked around in an automatic sweep of the area.

It was clear, and he braced himself better to look down.

Sheppard was pushing McKay against the rail hard enough to look painful, his hands clamped around the back of McKay's neck, both of them kissing like they were trying to draw blood. McKay's hands were clawing and rubbing against Sheppard's back, his shoulders, against his ass, and the moaning sound was almost definitely coming from McKay.

Ronon pushed the soft pants down and curled a hand around his dick without thinking. This, yeah, this was the last way he could get clean. He pulled himself hard slowly, watching them shove and kiss each other frantically, watching Sheppard start to tug at McKay's trousers.

Getting clothes open always took some time, and Ronon used it to scan the angles again, making sure nobody was watching, jacking himself harder. His hand was tightening on the rail but he was still watching. If anyone showed up, they wouldn't take away what they saw. Ronon would make sure of that.

When he looked down, McKay's head was tipped back and his mouth was open, gasping, and it sent an extra shot to Ronon's balls when he pictured what he could do with that mouth.

Sheppard had both of their cocks in one hand from what Ronon could tell, pulling them together while he kept McKay shoved into the corner of the alcove, his other hand curled around McKay's shoulder. Sheppard was mouthing against the side of McKay's neck and Ronon could see the shine of his spit as Sheppard moved.

He could tell when Sheppard was ready to come, and Ronon checked around for eyes one more time as he twisted his own cock hard, bringing himself right to the edge, and he looked just in time to see Sheppard arching and shuddering against McKay, to see McKay bury his face in Sheppard's neck and hear a cracked moan echoing across the water.

Ronon shot perfectly between the rails, his back bowing and clenching for a few bright seconds before he came back to focus.

Nobody had seen. He tucked himself away while he checked the catwalks one last time, and glanced down at McKay and Sheppard twined into something that he didn't feel like he should keep seeing, that it wouldn't be respectful.

He walked carefully quiet back toward the city, relaxed and finally still from his feet to his muscles to his mind. He couldn't feel the hive ship on his skin anymore.