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Say No to Velociraptors

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Two days after the Incident (and this is why John doesn’t like Lorne’s team. All the messed-up things happened wherever they were… Sure, his team isn’t perfect, but he much prefers being shot at to being… mutilated), John finally runs out of MREs and is forced to seek nutrition outside of his quarters.

“I hate this galaxy,” he mutters, zipping his jacket up as far as it would go – which was not far enough – and taking in a series of not-deep breaths before peeking out into the hallway.

“Sheppard,”

Spinning around, John almost loses his balance – and since when had his balance even been an issue – and then he sees Ronon standing in the hall, leaning against the wall with a slightly amused look on his face.

“Shut up,” John says. “Shut up, shut up, I am not talking about this.”

“You’re done hiding, then?”

“Yeah,” John says. “But seriously – seriously, still not talking about this.”

“It’s not that bad,” Ronon replies, gesturing towards himself in a nearby pane of glass.

“Ronon, you seriously need to shut up,” John says. “This is why I put together a team that has Teyla and Rodney on it, you know. Because Teyla would have talked the crazy, crazy people of your fucked up galaxy into being nice and calm, and Rodney would have found a way to reverse this!”

“You should probably take a deep breath,” Ronon says.

“No,” John hisses. “If I take a deep breath, I jiggle.

*

It’s been two weeks since John and Ronon had the unfortunate Incident off-world with Lorne’s team, in which crazy indigenous people had attacked them with Ancient technology and then stolen John’s dick and given him breasts and a vagina instead. Carson, having run every single medical or diagnostic scan available to him, had finally run out of excuses to keep them grounded. Truth be told, John’s just itching to get the hell away from Atlantis, even for a little while. He wants to fly again, wants to be doing something other than paperwork and jogging until he’s drenched with sweat. Jogging was never fun, and now it’s just downright irritating, with sweat dripping everywhere, the shirt bunching up awkwardly instead of just sagging limply when it’s wet.

Rodney, against all odds, still hasn’t actually acknowledged the difference – John might give him credit for being sensitive, but there’s a very real possibility that Rodney actually hasn’t noticed – and Teyla looks about as serene as usual.

The tac vest feels weird, too tight and too loose all at the same time. Walking through the gate, though, that feels right. That always feels right.

*

The mission goes like this:

“Hello,” John says. “We are here to discuss a trade—”

“Blasphemers! Philistines! You allow your women to speak with men as equals!”

“If you don’t shut up, I am going to shoot you,” Ronon says.

Teyla merely tightens her grip on her Bantos Rods.

*

Their next mission is only slightly less of a disaster.

A huge, sweaty, bearded man with the teeth rotting in his mouth leers at John, and then attempts to touch his breast – which is so wrong, and on oh so many levels – that John isn’t even thinking about it when he twists his arm around, breaking the guy’s wrist. Then Rodney starts to yell really loudly while Teyla and Ronon raise their P-90’s threateningly and the whole team backs up towards the ‘gate.

*

It takes a while – and John hates that nobody’s solved his major, major problem yet, because it’s going on three weeks since his body was violated by the presence of female sex organs and he’s sure that in another week or two he’s going to feel even MORE violated – but the team manages to put together a pretty good standard operating procedure for off-world missions: Rodney demands to see the leader, and then in his usual arrogant, demanding voice, he orders the leader to commence negotiating with John and Teyla, while Rodney gets something to eat and Ronon stands around with his gun and leers at women.

It works for them.

*

Ronon appears at John’s door with a heating pad, a small but precious bottle of Advil, and a box of products that John doesn’t ever, ever want to be thinking about.

“I hate this,” John says. He’s curled up on his side, hugging his pillow in an attempt to muffle his moans of pain. “I miss my dick. I liked my dick. My dick and I got along just fine.”

“Sheppard, you have breasts,” Ronon says pointedly. “Breasts. That you can touch whenever you want. Being a chick isn’t that bad.”

“I hate it,” John says miserably. “I am bleeding from something that shouldn’t even be there. Pegasus sucks.”

“Teyla gave me chocolate,” Ronon says, licking his lips in a way that is almost entirely too sexual. “Want a piece? It helps.”

“Um,” John says. “Yeah, I guess.”

*

Chocolate is fucking awesome.

*

It’s been five weeks since being off-world with Lorne’s team – with John’s luck – apparently meant a sex change – and John is getting edgy. It’s been five weeks since he had to start sitting down to pee – and that, in and of itself, is just too wrong for him to think about in length – and that means it’s been five weeks since he had an orgasm, and he really, really needs to jerk off. Except, he can’t, because he doesn’t have a cock.

Technically, he understands the equipment that he’s currently sporting. It’s just that the angle is all wrong and his fingers aren’t long enough and his wrist keeps cramping and then he gets tired and doesn’t get off and then he falls asleep but there’s still no release.

He spends a lot of time in the gym instead, sparring with Teyla.

*

Teyla’s sweating, the low V of her shirt clinging to her breasts. Her breath is still pretty even, which means that John isn’t trying hard enough – but he attacks again, swinging the Bantos rods as fast as he can. He presses his height advantage, as much as he can because he doesn’t have the upper body strength anymore to just wail on her and hope he hits.

Teyla still moves faster than humanly possible, anticipating his every move and blocking every hit with an ease that’s kind of disturbing. They’re more evenly matched, though, because in his female body John is faster too, and more flexible. He is also harder to knock down, now that he’s adjusted to having a lower centre of balance.

He throws himself at her in a wild move, changing the direction of the rod mid-swing – a move that unfortunately reduces the impact of the blow, but it almost works. Teyla blocks it at the last second, barely an inch away from her shoulder.

A glimpse of a smile appears on Teyla’s lips as she pauses; sweat beading on her neck and shoulders, eyes bright. She twirls the rods absently, studying John as if he’s an enigma.

When she attacks, John is prepared but nowhere near proficient enough to ward off her attacks. The flurry of blows is frightening to behold, and he manages to block about half of them and deflect another few. Teyla pulls her blows before they do any damage, but he’s still feeling them enough to want to get her back. The second he sees an opening, John tackles her to the ground, manages to twist her around and pin her to the mat.

“Your skills have greatly improved, Colonel,” Teyla says, smiling.

“Thanks.” He grins back at her. “Although, clearly, you could use a tutorial on wrestling.”

“Do not underestimate, me, Colonel. Clearly, I have allowed you to believe that you have gained the upper hand,” Teyla replies smoothly, before she does something twisty with her hips and somehow John’s the one on his back, with Teyla straddling him and pinning his arms down.

This, of course, is when John has a revelation because he’s a woman, and women don’t have penises, and while that used to disturb him (and he’s definitely not getting used to it) the thing is that without a penis you can’t get an erection - and that means that he can wrestle with Teyla, pin her down to the ground, twisting over her and lying on top of her, her breasts pressing against his chest, her breath warm on his neck as they fight for dominance. He can do all of those things and he doesn’t have to be awkward, doesn’t have to think about his grandma or the wraith, doesn’t have to stop and excuse himself. He rubs up against Teyla and they wrestle for twenty minutes until they’re both exhausted and the wrestling has actually turned into a tickle-fight, and John laughs himself stupid. It’s fun. It’s hot. And Teyla probably has no idea that John wants to lick her all over.

John’s a woman. John’s a lesbian. It’s kind of awesome.

When they finally go to the mess hall to grab something to eat, John grins at Ronon.

*

John may be a lesbian, but he’s never really been a feminist. Or rather, he kind of ignores gender because it doesn’t matter. He had never really been all that concerned with the plight of women in the Pegasus Galaxy, outside of Atlantis.

Now that he’s a woman, it’s pretty obvious that men and women are not treated equally – and having a team suddenly comprised of more women than men is starting to get tedious. Especially when they insist on separating the two, because Rodney is the only one who still has a penis and also, the only one who can’t defend himself for shit.

Six weeks after Lorne’s shitty, no-good, terrible bad luck resulted in the Incident currently depriving John of his penis, they end up on a planet where Rodney’s the only one of the team that the villagers will talk to.

“Naturally, these three will stay in the women’s quarters while we proceed with our negotiations,” the head chieftain of PXT-445 says, smiling unctuously at them.

Ronon actually growls, which is strangely hot. John tries not to look at Ronon too much, because the man went from being a six foot four muscular behemoth to a six foot three woman with legs for miles and a tiny, tiny waist. Teyla has always been pretty – gorgeous, even, but Ronon looks like something from a wet dream. He could be in porn.

John doesn’t pay attention to Rodney’s twitchy, flailing, and desperate attempts to keep the team together. He mostly looks at the grass and occasionally flicks his eyes at Ronon, who is nonchalantly holding his blaster and rubbing it in a disgustingly sexy way.

“Naturally, my wife will accompany me wherever I go,” Rodney says, and that’s when John starts to pay attention.

When the hell did Rodney get married? Or, if Rodney’s lying, when did Rodney learn to lie without blushing or stammering or doing something suitably dorky? Right now, he isn’t doing any of those things, just looking at the head chieftain with an imperious expression, his voice confident. “The other two, you understand, are not my legal wives, but they are under my protection.” The emphasis on the last part is almost brutal. John almost wants to commend the guy – he’s bullshitting like a pro, and the blatant threat inherent in his instructions is very, very clear. He must have learned that from Teyla. John tries to figure out which one of them Rodney should claim is his wife, but then Rodney waves Teyla over and the big, burly guard-types come to take Ronon and John to the women’s sections.

He doesn’t miss the look of gratitude that Teyla gives Rodney, or the looks of concern she sends at him as they are led away. He does, however, have no idea what it means because just because he has a vagina now – and he isn’t used to it – doesn’t mean he actually understands the way that women’s minds work.

*

The women are quiet, subdued, and annoyingly boring. John loses interest in pretty much everything they have and pulls out a deck of cards to play solitaire in the corner.

Ronon, surprisingly, likes the silky, complicated garments the women are wearing (like a mix between a toga and a sarong) and lets them giggle around him, draping him in one robe and then another, fussing about the way the fabric falls.

They are all too short on him, because the other women are five-seven, tops, and there’s almost a full foot of missing fabric at the hem. Ronon is shameless, dropping the clothes on the floor and standing there naked while the women pin up his dreads and resume draping more fabric over him.

John watches, over his game of solitaire, because he’s a lesbian and a pervert and Ronon’s hot, dammit.

*

Dinner is late, and the women have to wait until the men are finished eating in order to get their own meal, so John sits with his stomach rumbling and watches them put a mini-dress on Ronon, who is laughing and poking at it. It’s dark, dark purple, with silver embroidery at the hip. Modelled on the woman it actually belongs to, it’s knee-length, but on Ronon it’s barely decent. A silvery belt is found, and cinched around Ronon’s waist.

The women cluster around him, clucking and cooing and occasionally patting at his hair. John, with his short hair and BDUs and deck of cards feels slightly jealous, and then he feels old and ugly, and then he wishes he looked that good in a dress, and then he remembers that he’s not a fucking woman so he stops. So what if Ronon looks good in a dress? Ronon would look good in a garbage bag.

The important thing, John reminds himself, is that Ronon can shoot things. And John can shoot things with just as much accuracy and enthusiasm. And, none of the other women is the military commander of a whole city.

He’s not a fucking woman, and so John refuses to have self-esteem issues. Besides, it doesn’t even matter. Because he’s a lesbian. So there.

*

The mission doesn’t actually end horribly, and John and Ronon make a detailed enough report on the situation in the women’s quarters to convince Elizabeth that their customs are outdated but not abusive or anything.

“Good job,” Elizabeth says, and she smiles proudly at them.

*

Sparring with Rodney is always difficult, because he lies, he steals, and he has a nasty habit of sneaking away to alter the climate controls in the gym. On occasion, he may even find it in himself to ‘accidentally’ lock you in your quarters, or bribe Radek into manufacturing an accident in the labs so he would have to be called away.

Actually, sparring with Rodney takes place so infrequently that John can’t actually remember the last time they’d sparred. This time, however, he is prepared. He bribes Radek ahead of time, lies to Rodney about the time they’re supposed to meet, and then ambushes him coming out of his quarters after his mid-afternoon nap.

“Time to spar, McKay,” he says, enjoying the way Rodney’s eyes go wide and bright with panic, the little hamster on a wheel working overtime trying to manufacture an excuse that John will actually believe. When Rodney’s shoulders slump and he shrugs, following John obediently to the gym, looking for all the world as if he was marching towards his death, John decides to take it easy on him.

“So, um,” Rodney says, stretching his arms and legs awkwardly. “How are we doing this?”

“Sticks,” John says, tossing Rodney a pair. “We’ll go over the basics, slow, and then we’ll go through the normal attack and defense rounds. If you’re up to it, we can work on hand-to-hand, too.”

“Right,” Rodney says, holding the rods in a mostly-right but still too tight grip. “Um, okay. Yeah. I mean, yes. I can do that.”

John makes him go through all the stances and positions, although it’s pretty obvious that Teyla got to Rodney pretty recently because he doesn’t screw them up, mostly.

“Huh,” John says. “Not bad, why don’t we skip the preliminaries and just start sparring?”

“Um,” Rodney says.

“I’ll attack, you defend,” John says before Rodney can argue the point. He attacks very, very slowly, so that Rodney can catch his movement and deflect it easily. He moves smoothly into the next attack, still slow, letting Rodney relax.

He speeds up in small increments, keeping the attacks steady and at a pace that Rodney can handle, and he waits until Rodney’s grip on the sticks is easy and relaxed, his body moving without thought, before John attacks in earnest.

“Ow!” Rodney shrieks, holding his hand. “I need those for typing, you know,” He snaps. “Oh my god, that hurts. You could try and hit a little bit more softly.”

“I barely tapped you.” John said. “Come on, Rodney. You can do better than that. You attack me, now.”

“Uh,” Rodney says, and stands awkwardly with his hands at his sides.

“Rodney,” John drops his own sticks. “What’s wrong now? Do you need to pee?”

“No,” he answers automatically, before he shakes himself and changes his mind. “Yes! Yes, I mean. I need to pee. So, I’ll be going... over to the washroom, obviously, where I will then...”

“Pee?” John says suspiciously. “You’re lying. You’re a shitty liar, McKay. What’s going on?”

And that’s when Rodney confesses miserably that he can’t hit a girl.

*

When John finally stops laughing, he sits up and looks at Rodney, who is now glaring at him. “You do remember that I’m not actually a girl, right?” John asks.

“Shut up, you asshole,” Rodney grouches.

“Okay, we’ll do this the easy way,” John says, bouncing to his feet. “Hit me, okay?” He reaches forward and flicks Rodney’s ear, resulting in an outraged howl from the other man. “Hit me!” He darts in and flicks Rodney’s other ear.

Clutching his hands over his ears, Rodney just glares at him and tries to look wounded and indignant.

“Hit me, McKay,” John says, this time slapping Rodney upside the head.

Usually, that’s enough to at least warrant a slap back, but instead Rodney just huddles in on himself like a ball of misery.

John tries a different tactic.

“Radek is smarter than you,” he says. “Oh, and Chaya was a really nice person. And Moby Dick is one of my favourite novels!”

“Shut up!” Rodney hisses. “That’s so, oh my god, so not fair.”

“Creationism makes a lot of sense,” John continues. “And I always plan our missions according to my horoscope, which has always been reliable, as you know, since you got a doctorate in Astrology—”

“You ass!” Rodney chokes, half-laughing, half pissed. “Shut up, those are all lies, scurrilous lies, and I will... uh, do something to get you back!”

“Hockey is not a real sport.” John says pointedly. “Canada’s foreign policies suck. And dogs are superior to cats in every way.”

“I’m still not going to hit you,” Rodney says.

“You look better in a dress than I do,” John smirks, and that’s when Rodney finally hits him.

*

Getting to the infirmary while attempting to tip his head back and simultaneously mop up the streams of blood from his nose is a hassle, even without Rodney following him around like a puppy or a cloud of noxious gases, apologising non-stop.

Carson clucks soothingly and re-sets his nose, for which John will be eternally grateful, if only for the fact that Rodney will finally shut up about paying for a nose job – which John definitely doesn’t need. Carson puts a band-aid on the bridge of his nose and gets him an ice pack for his eye, his ministrations punctuated by Rodney’s litany of “Sorry,” and “I’m really, really sorry,” and “I regret it so much,” and “Radek’s grasp of fluid dynamics is feeble at best ,” and “You accept my apology, right?”

When it finally progresses to the point where Rodney’s lower lip has started to tremble and his eyes are looking suspiciously shiny, John takes matters into his own hands. Sort of. “Carbonyl groups are held together by magic,” he mumbles.

“Okay, fine. You’ve made your point, Colonel,” Rodney says.

“Freud’s theories are correct. Kavanaugh is an intelligent and sensitive individual who deserves your respect and admiration.”

“Really?”

“Okay, maybe not that last one,” John admits.

*

Their next mission goes really well, actually. The natives love them, nobody calls the Wraith, and nobody is tarred or feathered or both. As a matter of fact, the only bad thing about this mission was the fact that the natives wanted help with irrigation – which meant that John and his team were forced to wade hip-deep in grey sludge in order to properly survey the marsh. After that, it was no problem to radio Atlantis and see what supplies they could send over to start diverting the water into the dried-out fields.

However, having to do so while covered in the slimiest mud in the Galaxy, which was also cold and oozing between his toes – definitely not something that John considered fun. Especially as, you know, there was that part where it was mud. And oozing beneath his clothes, doing something really uncomfortable to the backs of his knees.

The look on Teyla’s face is similarly desperate-to-leave, and McKay looks kind of uncomfortable with the situation - but that might be because Ronon, with his traditional impassive expression, just shucked his pants off, standing in the middle of the Hall in his underwear. He’d handed over his pants to the Headmaster’s wife for cleaning – and now he was just standing there, scrubbing some of the mud off of his bare legs. John isn’t really comfortable being pantless in front of the aliens, and from their expressions, Teyla and Rodney agree with him.

By the time they get back to the ‘gate, John’s legs are covered in dried, crusted swamp-goo, and it practically glues his BDUs to his skin. He can’t even feel his toes.

*

Running with Ronon actually is kind of Ronon jogging, while John sprints after him in an attempt to catch up. Usually, this ends with Ronon leaning against a wall, looking smug and stretching, while John collapses on the ground, gasping for air with tears of exertion stinging in his eyes.

That hasn’t actually changed, although their bodies have.

John hates running because there’s a definite jiggle going on there, and even the tight tank top he wears under his clothes isn’t enough to totally stop that. Regardless, he refuses to wear a bra – he’s a dude, after all – so instead he just keeps his arms tight to his torso, occasionally crossing them over his chest to reduce... bouncing.

The end result is that he expends less energy and ends up lasting four minutes longer than he usually does, but that doesn’t really make him feel any better.

They’ve run the full length of Atlantis already, and Ronon looks like he’s gotten warmed up – beads of sweat are forming over his (her?) forehead, and running down his (her?) back. He doesn’t seem to have a problem with bouncing, and John takes a short moment to wish that his own breasts were smaller. Or maybe that he’d had the balls (guts) to bind his chest (wear a bra).

“Not bad, Sheppard,” Ronon says, grinning at him. The grin hasn’t changed, now that Ronon looks (is) female.

“Thanks,” John gasps, proud of the fact that he didn’t wheeze. Well, maybe he’d wheezed a little bit, but it wasn’t noticeable.

*

John pushes his hair out of his eyes – when the hell had it gotten so long, anyways, and then eyes Lorne, who looks as if he’s ready to pounce.

When he does, John just flips him, easy as pie, a move Teyla taught him two years earlier.

Lorne gasps, winded, and then pulls himself off the mat. “Jesus,” he says, admiringly.

“Okay to go again?” John asks, smirking. He knows he’s being cocky, but kicking Lorne’s ass is kind of a privilege he’s earned by sparring with Ronon, and Teyla, and fighting Wraith every third mission.

“Um.” Lorne looks kind of reluctant. “We’re kind of getting an audience, sir.”

John glances around, and yeah, there are a couple of marines who are stretching and looking over, and one or two weightlifting – “It’s not a big deal.” He says, shrugging. “Unless you’re afraid they’re gonna see you get your ass handed to you.”

“You may have the body of a woman, but you’re still taller than me,” Lorne replies pointedly. “It’s not like they’d think less of me.”

“Ha,” John says. “Like they care. “

The next time Lorne attacks, it takes almost ten seconds before John has him pinned to the mat.

“Holy mother of God,” Lorne says, this time sounding impressed. “You’re a hell of a lot faster than you were... um. Before. Sir.” The look on his face is kind of horrified, and John assumes it’s because he totally referred to the time when John hadn’t been a woman.

It’s been almost two months, and John suddenly remembers what happens at the two-month mark. “Oh, god,” he says.

“Sorry, sir,” Lorne says, wild-eyed. “I didn’t mean it. Sir. Forget I mentioned it.”

John wants to forget it, except in less than a week, that once-monthly time of pain and agony will once more descend upon him – and why the hell hasn’t someone fixed the problem, yet? They should be figuring out a way to stop it – because – the alternative –

John shudders, trying to block out the memories. How do women live their entire lives knowing that they would be systematically tortured by their own bodies every month? How do they go through years – decades – trying to deal with that?

“I’m going to kick your ass,” he tells Lorne, mostly to see the way his 21C’s eyes get really, really wide. Also, because violence seems like a really, really good idea.

*

The thirty-eighth time John pins Lorne to the mat (which is also the sixth time he’s done it in five moves or less), Lorne gets a hard-on. John knows this because he was sitting on top of Lorne, at the time, and the Major had kind of stiffened up (right before he’d stiffened up) and John had scrambled off of him about as fast as he could, letting Lorne roll over onto his side and make humiliated noises.

“Um,” John says, standing very, very far away from his 21C.

“Sorry,” Lorne mutters, looking somewhere over John’s shoulder.

“Right,” John says, backing away. Finding his black t-shirt, he slips it on over his tank top. “I should, uh...”

“Right,” Lorne agrees, his ears still bright red. “And I should... be, at the thing, where... there are... things for me to do.”

“Of course!” John agrees enthusiastically. “Because you have like, two months of paperwork to catch up on.”

Lorne freezes, halfway to the door. He finally makes eye contact. “You haven’t done paperwork in two months?” he asks.

“Well, that’s what you’re here to help me with,” John says magnanimously.

Maybe Lorne glares at John for the rest of the day, sending hateful looks at his back when he leaves for dinner, but at least he doesn’t look like he’s going to try and explain his... reaction... when John had pinned him. Because John definitely doesn’t want to talk about it.

*

The next mission involves the Wraith, blowing up a Wraith battle cruiser, making a temporary alliance with a group of Genii terrorists, and Ronon carrying Teyla through the gate, unconscious. John remembers none of this, because he’d been stunned and then hit his head on the way down, so he mostly had to save everyone and make decisions when he had a headache, partial amnesia, and a severe concussion. Rodney had apparently carried him through the Stargate. If John hadn’t demanded the security footage, he probably wouldn’t have believed that last part was true.

*

The mission after that involves a society that, in a strange, bizarre, and otherwise wonderful twist, idolizes women. John, Teyla and Ronon sit on comfortable padded thrones on a shaded dais overlooking the river, as nameless manservants fan them and bring them wine and snacks. McKay spends most of his time investigating a promising-looking energy signature, and he gets no snacks or wine.

The energy signature turns out to be a malfunctioning inter-dimensional bridge on the brink of collapsing and opening a rift in the space-time continuum.

By the time McKay fixes it, John is relaxed from his back rub and has already negotiated a trade deal with the matriarch. It’s a good day, all told.

*

Sparring with Ronon is a lot like getting your ass kicked. Of course, where Teyla will kick your ass in slow motion so you’ll know just how much you suck compared to her, Ronon doesn’t pull punches or bother slowing down, so it’s kind of like getting your ass kicked when the other person has an unnatural advantage of speed, height, or strength. Or, in Ronon’s case, all of the above.

John really, really doesn’t have a chance, although he fights kind of dirty and pulls out tricks he learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, occasionally even something one of the other marines had picked up from the Jaffa. He tries pretty much every wrestling move he’s ever seen; all of his ticks fail kind of miserably.

Half the time, he just uses sparring with Ronon as an excuse to get out his excess frustration and anger – after all, it isn’t like he stands any chance of actually hurting the guy.

And, as a woman, John has a lot of anger. He narrows his eyes slightly, tracking Ronon’s movements. It’s pretty difficult to tell Ronon would attack, but his new body isn’t quite the same as the old one, so he has a few tells that he hasn’t learned to mask, yet.

Seeing the minute shift in stance, John throws himself to the side, grabbing onto Ronon’s arm and twisting it downwards, snapping a leg out to try and unbalance him. It must have caught him off guard, because Ronon goes down, hard, and that isn’t really what John had expected at all, except Ronon just rolls with it, lands properly and yanks John down too, pinning him.

“Ow,” John suddenly understands how Lorne feels. Right down to the inappropriate sexual attraction, except Ronon obviously can’t tell.

Ronon grins down at him, kind of filthily. “Wanna go again?”

For a second, John imagines that Ronon is talking about sex – except, whoa, that’s really not a good idea, because now he’s seeing Ronon panting and sweaty and his concentration is going to be totally shot to shit, now.

“Yeah,” John rasps. “Again.”

The next couple of minutes are a haze, mostly ‘cause John can’t be bothered to actually try, because Ronon is touching him all over, pinning him down (god, that’s hot) and is sweaty and gasping, a little bit, and clearly enjoying himself.

“You okay?” Ronon asks. “We can stop, if you’re too tired.”

John isn’t tired at all, he’s just distracted because he wants to take off Ronon’s shirt and maybe touch his back or his breasts, and then lick over his pulse point and nibble on his collarbone. And there should be kissing involved, too, kissing and groping and moaning – John absolutely loves moaning – and after that, they could take of their pants.

However, he can’t say any of this out loud. “No, I’m fine; I’m just... uh, distracted.” And maybe his voice is a little bit breathier than it has a right to be, but at least Ronon isn’t looking at him funny.

“Stop being distracted,” Ronon says, as if it were just that easy.

“Right,” John says, and they get back to sparring.

*

John has moment of complete, utter insanity, because he’d gotten Ronon half-pinned to the mat, and Ronon’s kind of wiggling around in this amazing, really not-that-sexual but totally hot kind of way, and John should probably have thought this through before, but he doesn’t. Instead, he leans down, kind of presses his lips to Ronon’s, tilts his head and just goes for it, lips and tongue and teeth, and it takes him about half a second to notice that Ronon had stopped wiggling.

He pulls back, kind of worried, and that’s when he realizes that he must have gone completely batshit insane, he’s got to be hallucinating or dreaming or something, because there’s just no fucking way he had almost pinned Ronon, and there’s REALLY no way he’d kissed Ronon, not on the mat in the sparring room, not where marines could walk in and see their CO making out with a teammate.

Except, he might not have been all that insane, because sure, Ronon has him pinned down in the next three moves (he counted) but afterwards, Ronon doesn’t taunt him or make fun of him or demand an explanation. Instead Ronon stares at him for half a second as if he’s had an epiphany, and then he leans in and kisses John, and its abso-fucking-lutely perfect.

*

John’s trying not to stare – okay, he isn’t trying not to stare so much as he’s desperately hiding while attempting not to make eye contact – but seriously, it’s a huge, gigantic, disturbingly tall lizard-y thing, with tougher-than-leather skin, and bullets (from a P-90, no less!) are bouncing off of it. One manages to sink in a little ways into the thing’s stomach, but the lizard thing barely notices.

Just a flesh wound, John thinks hysterically.

It isn’t very smart, but it’s big, and has some seriously sharp-looking teeth. Teyla’s busy, off attempting to deal with her own dinosaur-thing, so John really, really doesn’t expect her to come save him.

Not, of course, that he needs saving.

It’s just that he’s kind of gotten used to people saving him – or at least helping him save the day – or at least, you know, being there for him to save. Now, he’s alone, so he doesn’t need to do anything stupidly heroic in order to save anyone else – and that means he only has to save himself. Unfortunately, his track record for saving himself from certain or uncertain doom is kind of sketchy – generally speaking, once he’s gotten himself into a spot like this, the Daedalus shows up to beam him away from the nuclear explosion.

Here, stranded on some backwater planet version of Jurassic Park (seriously, he thinks he saw a pterodactyl earlier) John isn’t actually sure that he could, in fact, save himself.

The gigantic head lowers itself, a mouthful of long, blood-stained teeth hovering two feet away, close enough that John can smell the rancid stench of it’s breath, can feel the warmth of each puff of air exiting the dinosaur-thing’s lungs.

Oh shit, John thinks, eloquently. If he had ever been the type of guy (girl) to scream for help, pass out (swoon) or have a nervous breakdown (hysterics), this probably would have been an ideal time to do so.

Instead, he carefully, very, very carefully, points the muzzle of his P-90 into the gaping maw of the giant monster in front of him.

Die, motherfucker! John thinks gleefully as he squeezes the trigger.

-

The shots, while effectively killing the lizard-y-thing – upon much, much closer inspection, it is very much like a velociraptor – actually may have been a bad idea, as John is now pinned beneath a tonne of gross-smelling dirty dinosaur corpse, and the P-90 isn’t really the quietest weapon in the universe.

And now there are more of them.

John can see them, shifting the equally large trees in the forest as they advance. Soon, they’d see their fallen comrade, and probably try to eat it – John isn’t really upset about that, although considering the part where he’s pinned between the thing’s neck and the ground, it’s only a matter of time until they get to him.

He’s so, so screwed.

One of the things is getting closer – the warmth from its breath puffs over him, and John smells the rancid carrion smell that the damn velociraptors seem to exude – and then right when it sees him –

BOOM.

The damn thing’s head disappears.

And then there are bright red, wet-sounding chucks flying all over the small clearing, one of which smacks John in the face. There’s another, slightly muffled boom, and then another.

One last, solitary boom, and then everything is really, really quiet for a minute.

BOOM.

The most recent boom is a lot closer, sounding from somewhere behind the head of the giant lizard currently pinning John to the ground, and apparently the boom was actually the sound of the damn thing’s head exploding – exploding in a flash of heat and, hey, that’s Ronon’s gun, isn’t it?

John stares up into Ronon’s grinning face.

“Nice job, Sheppard,” he says. “You managed to get them all in one place. Good strategy, using yourself as bait.”

So totally not what I was doing , John thinks, but Ronon’s blasting the rest of the way through the thing’s neck, and then John gets to flail about and get covered in even more gore. By the time he’s finally free, John is covered in sticky, disgusting-smelling dinosaur blood, and Teyla and Rodney are both kind of convinced that John had used himself as bait intentionally. It does sound more heroic that way – even if it really had been Ronon who saved the day.

*

“Uh, yeah,” John says to Ronon, when they’re on the way back to the gate. “Thanks for saving my ass, and all.”

Ronon quirks an eyebrow at him, a tiny half-smile playing around his lips. The look he gives to John is just as predatory as the Velociraptor’s had been. “You’re welcome.”

*

 

Fin.