blue flamingos

Dandelion Clock

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Slash, G

Year/Length: 2009/ ~1000 words

Pairing: John/Ronon

Spoilers: 520 Enemy at the Gate

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: Things change; sometimes you just need a little faith.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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dandelion

Teyla goes on the Daedalus when it returns a couple of weeks after Atlantis comes to Earth, still unsure over whether she's picking up Torren and Kanaan and bringing them to Earth, or waiting for the city to go back. Woolsey spends most of his time locked in meetings with the IOA to which John is not invited, and Rodney asks Keller to go with him to visit Jeannie.

"Have fun," John says. Rodney's too distracted to hear the way John can't quite make it sound sincere, the way he's swallowing the urge to ask if Rodney's coming back. Being military commander, and Rodney's apparent best friend still gives him the right to ask, but Rodney doesn't see it that way.

Once Rodney's gone, John's at a loose end. Even Lorne suggests he goes into San Francisco, takes a break. John's one of a handful of people who haven't left Atlantis since it arrived on Earth, but he can't shake the feeling that something bad will happen if he does.

It's Ronon who finally forces him out, leaning in the doorway to John and Lorne's office and saying, "I'm bored here. Let's go explore."

Lorne looks up from a stack of forms. "God, please. Keep him." He smiles at Ronon, who grins back. John would do a lot for that smile. A trip into San Francisco is nothing.

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Ronon has no problems with the centre of the city, the people and the noise and the crush. It's John who insists on turning off into the first park they come across, twitchy and half breathless with something too close to panic. Ronon walks easily beside him, silent and strong, until John breathes more easily, starts to relax, the park nearly empty in the early evening. After a few yards, Ronon steps a little way off the path, crouches down.

He stands back up with a dandelion head in his hand, brings it to John. John smiles slightly, waiting.

"Dandelion clock," Ronon says, half-asking.

John nods. "It's a kids' game."

Ronon blows at the dandelion, half the seeds floating away. John grins, kind of charmed. "Amelia told me," Ronon says, and John feels his smile freeze, fall away.

Ronon notices, of course. "What?"

John shakes his head. "Blow away the rest of the seeds. It's supposed to tell you the time."

Ronon drops the depleted seed head to catch John's elbow, not tight enough that John couldn't escape, just to hold him, warm on John's skin. He breathes, tries not to just fold into it, months of practice making it almost easy. He needs to be back in the city, back in Pegasus, where he feels more in control, remembers better what he shouldn't want. "Sheppard," Ronon says.

"It's nothing," John says. "Want to get dinner?"

Ronon's hand tightens a little. "Not yet. What about Amelia?" Because of course he's guessed. Ronon knows him way too well.

"You two seem... friendly, lately."

John looks away, watching a squirrel run up a tree, but he can still feel Ronon's eyes on him. "Sure," Ronon says slowly. "We've been sparring together."

"I know," John says. He's not quite ready to pull away, not when he's this close to Ronon in Earth clothes, tall and warm, not quite blending in.

"We're friends," Ronon says firmly, like he's figured something out. John keeps his eyes on the tree, even with the squirrel gone. "John. Look at me."

John looks up helplessly, finds Ronon looking back at him, eyes dark. "I'm not sleeping with her," he says when he catches John's eye. "Neither of us want that."

John can't quite look away again, lets his gaze slide slightly out of focus. This feels close enough to familiar that he can't quite relax yet. It's been a year, but he can still replay in perfect clarity the evening that Rodney stood in John's room and told him that Jennifer Keller had asked him for a drink, and that he couldn't keep sleeping with John if he went with her. It had been such a clear goodbye that John had barely needed to nod, letting Rodney off the hook. He might be over Rodney now, but the memory still hurts.

"Hey," Ronon says. He shakes John's arm till John looks back at him. "I'm not McKay."

John feels his face warm, humiliated. He doesn't need anyone to know how he stupidly believed it meant something when Rodney came to him after he broke things off with Katie Brown.

"John," Ronon says, very softly. His other hand comes up to cup John's cheek, fingers settling into John's hair. John's eyes slide closed, and he tilts his head into Ronon's warm palm. He's glad he can't see his own face, feels off-balance, tired. Uncertain at the prospect of actually getting what he wants, still not quite ready to believe it. "John," Ronon says again.

His hand tightens on John's face, and John tips his head at the pressure. He feels Ronon's breath warm against his cheek, then Ronon's mouth is pressing against his, one careful, soft kiss. Ronon's beard tickles a little, too real to be anything else. All the guys John's kissed before have been clean shaven.

Ronon sucks gently on John's lower lip and leans back slightly. He's close enough that John goes slightly cross-eyed trying to look at him, but he's definitely smiling, and John can't help smiling back. His hands are on Ronon's waist, and he wants to step further into Ronon's space, wrap his arms round him and hold on. "We shouldn't do this here," he says instead.

Neither of them make a move to back away, and John relaxes a little, lets it push him a little closer to Ronon. "We should find a hotel," Ronon says, and John can't help laughing, Earth phrases in Ronon's mouth.

"Yeah," he says. "We should definitely do that."

"Now," Ronon adds. He drags John in for a searing, intense kiss, and John goes with it, relaxing, wanting.


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