esteefee (esteefee) wrote in non_mcsmooch,

John/Ronon story: Flesh and Bone (PG) by esteefee

Author: esteefee
Pairing: John/Ronon
Rating: PG
Words: 1,571
Spoilers: Sateda
Warnings: None, I don't think. Let me know.
Categories: ER, post-series
Summary: Ronon learns to accept help.
A/N: For gaffsie because there really isn't enough Ronon H/C in this world.

Flesh and Bone

by esteefee

Ronon didn't argue when Sheppard insisted on walking him back to his quarters from the infirmary, even though it was embarrassing having to hobble along on those stupid crutches Jennifer had given him.

"Wish we had glider carts here," Ronon muttered. The crutches were just a little too short and rubbed against his ribs below his armpits.

"What're those? Something you had on Sateda?" At least Sheppard wasn't hovering, just lazing along with his loose stride, up ahead and to Ronon's left so Ronon could appreciate the way a sliver of skin peeked out between John's shirt and those ridiculous underthings of his that bunched up above his pants. Ronon had laid claim to that piece of skin with his lips; he wanted to lay a tattoo there, dark and unsubtle. Except it would be in a language too few could read.

"Yeah. They had them in the army hospital so patients could get around. You stand in them and they glide. On two wheels."

"Sounds like a Segway." Sheppard spun and walked backward to smile at him. "I wonder if we can get Woolsey to requisition some for Atlantis."

"That would be cool." Ronon huffed a little against the ache in his thigh where the knife had gone in. Shouldn't have dropped his guard, but they were just kids. Just kids with nothing left to lose, and little understanding that the Lanteans were there to help.

"You gonna make it?" Sheppard's hand landed on his arm, there for a second then gone again. An offer.

"Yeah. M'fine." Ronon picked up the pace again, but he was grateful when they reached the corner of the corridor and the entrance to his quarters. "Thanks for coming with me," Ronon said as he propped himself on one crutch and swept his other hand over the crystal.

The doors opened, and he made his way over to his bed, his only thought to get himself down and his leg elevated. When he turned awkwardly, hopping on one foot with his crutches in one hand, Sheppard was there to take them.

"I'll just put them right here," Sheppard said, leaning them against the wall. He offered a hand, and after a moment Ronon took it to lever himself down onto his bed.

He couldn't quite stop the groan of relief that left his mouth at getting the weight off his bad leg.

"Here, let me—" Sheppard knelt down and put his hands under Ronon's calf, two eyebrows going up in question.

"Yeah, okay," Ronon said reluctantly. He turned, and together they got him settled flat on the bed.

Sheppard stood and put his hands on his hips. "You want a pillow under that?"

Ronon dragged an extra one from under his head in answer, and then lay back and let Sheppard do the work. It made Ronon uncomfortable to be fussed over, but he had to admit it was easier than trying to do it himself, and it didn't seem like Sheppard minded—he almost seemed glad to be able to help. Ronon wasn't sure if that was because John felt guilty, or what.

There was no reason for that. They watched each other's backs, but sometimes shit just happened.

Once his leg was up he was about as comfortable as he was going to get. Ronon closed his eyes and let himself drift a little, hearing John move around the room some more but not curious enough to open his eyes to see what was going on until he felt his head being lifted and the familiar lump of his blaster being slipped beneath his pillow. Then Ronon smiled and opened his eyes.


John smirked down at him. "A guy's best friend."

"Nah." Ronon aimed a slap at John's thigh.

John's smile widened, and he seemed to take it as an invitation, because he sat down in the open space on Ronon's bed and leaned against the wall, his hand resting on Ronon's shoulder, fingers stroking over his collarbone.

"Your leg feeling okay? You need anything for it? I got water here and those pain pills Keller gave me for you."

"No. She already made me take a couple." Ronon wanted to tell him to stop fussing. John was being almost as bad as Melena used to be when Ronon came back wounded.

The thought brought Ronon up short, made him close his eyes and squeeze them shut against the images that wanted to play out. He wouldn't think about her death again. He'd rather think about her face in life. About the funny point of her chin, and the way her eyes always looked a little sad even when she was laughing.

Kind of like John's. It seemed that was just the way his eyes were made.

John had slid down beside him with his legs crossed, his arm overlapping Ronon's and his fingers now playing with Ronon's wrist.

"You can go, Sheppard," Ronon said, irritated for some reason.

John's fingers stilled. "Thought I'd stick around for a while."

"I'm not gonna be much use today."

"That's kind of the point, Ronon. You might need something." John turned his head to look at him.

"I can handle it."

John crossed his arms over his chest, and a moment later he laughed a little, a short, dry chuckle, bitter as hindor leaves. "You have no idea how much I deserve that." He pushed himself to sit on the side of the bed, moving slowly enough that he didn't jostle Ronon's leg into aching again. "I'll get out of your hair then."

"Wait." Ronon caught John's forearm. "What do you mean?"

John didn't respond at first, and Ronon waited, counting the dull pulses of heat in his thigh.

"Just what..." John said, halting between each word, "something she always wanted to do for me, but I could never take from-from Nancy, and it's just funny, that's all, how you—you don't want it from me—"

Ronon had always told Melena that her background in medicine made her too aware of the damage to flesh and bone and nerves—he always pushed away her fluttering care and concern, telling himself it made him feel more conscious of the damage, of his fragility. Maybe he'd been wrong. Maybe in time he could have learned to accept it.

But John was a fighter. He knew exactly how much it hurt.

He wanted to give, and Ronon didn't want to take. And when Ronon would want to give, how would he feel? If John were the one, broken in bone, torn in flesh? Ronon had seen it before too many times already, long before they had this together, and each time it was like the knife the boy had slid through his muscle—a short, sharp flare, followed by more pain than Ronon thought reasonable.

He wouldn't be able to stand it then—if John were to send him away from where he belonged.

"I might need to take a piss later," Ronon said finally, slowly, his hand flexing on John's arm. "It'll be hard to get up."

"Yeah?" John turned his head a little, just enough that Ronon could see the low corner of his eye, the sharp cut of his cheekbone.

"Yeah. Maybe you should stick around." He let go of John's arm, hoping he hadn't messed up too bad.

"I can do that." John looked at his watch. "It's almost fourteen hundred. You're supposed to take two more of these antibiotic pills. And eat something beforehand. I brought bananas in my bag. You like bananas?"

They'd only had fresh ones a couple of times. "Yellow but pale inside. Sweet. Jokes about slipping on the skins."

"Smart guy." John was smiling, even though Ronon couldn't see it. So that was fine. And he stood and helped Ronon sit up to eat the banana and sip some water with the pills, all the while his hands careful and strong and sure and glad. And afterward John slipped into bed and tucked himself beside Ronon, one palm resting on Ronon's ribs.

Ronon turned his head and met John's sad-glad eyes and kissed him, a long, slow kiss. John's lips were soft, but the skin around his mouth had fine stubble that gave Ronon shivers when it caught with his mustache. He slipped his tongue against John's lips, making him open up, and John made a brief, low sound, ended too fast. Warmth rose like a bubble in Ronon's chest, and he wasn't sure if it was the drugs Jennifer made him take or the way John's hand rested so carefully over his heart. All he knew was he thought maybe he had learned something Melena would have been proud of, which was unusual in and of itself because she'd always said he was too damned stubborn for his own good.

Maybe not too stubborn though. Not this time. Because when John pulled away and settled against him, fiddling with his watch to set the timer for Ronon's next round of pills, Ronon didn't say anything about people who fussed too much or how much he hated pills or needing help to get to the head. He just let himself drift to the steady sound of John's breathing and the clicking of John's watch.

It was ticking down the time until Ronon would be healthy again, but he thought he'd never stop needing John beside him.

Behind his eyes, Ronon could see Melena laughing.


Tags: sheppard/dex

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