Written for: alizarin
Prompt: Ronon/John - hurt/comfort offworld
Characters/Pairing:Ronon/John; Teyla; Rodney; Carson; nasty natives
Disclaimer: SGA and its characters do not belong to me.
A/N: I have my worries over this one, Alizarin, but I hope you like it. Beta'd (first draft) by ferret_kitty. Thank you! Any mistakes left, be it grammer, characterisation, cheesiness, are all mine.
Summary: Rodney does it to John again, leaving Ronon to race to the rescue...and maybe get some answers from Sheppard as to why he is how he is.
"Well, pardon me for not spotting the sub-text," McKay snarled, so Ronon ignored him. He was complaining, so he was fine, and lumbering along with his arms full of what looked like a shell-encrusted ZPM.
"There will be time later to discuss how things went wrong," Teyla said. She had one hand around Rodney's arm, rushing him along, even as she glanced behind them. They weren't being pursued. The Yan had their agreement, and their price.
"Why are you still following us?" McKay managed to keep moving even as he turned to Ronon. "Go, go get him back. They can have their stupid ZPM if that's what it takes. You too, Teyla."
Ronon saw them to the DHD and, while Teyla dialled, snatched a hold of the front of McKay's vest. "Did you see which way they took him?"
"No, but North, I think," McKay said, raising his voice over the whoosh of the forming wormhole. "Just...get him back, okay? Preferably before Kong arrives."
There wasn't time to ask, and Ronon knew that if the reference was important then McKay would have explained. He nodded to Teyla, and ran back into the forest.
This was the last time he was going to be left standing guard at the gate, Ronon decided, as he closed the distance on the Yan settlement. If Sheppard mistrusted these people so much, then why had he ordered Ronon to remain behind instead of staying with them? There was no point in having a secure exit if you couldn't get to it.
Kell would never have done that; he would have kept Ronon close. But Sheppard wasn’t Kell, and Ronan was still getting used to that.
As he ducked low behind a boulder, Ronon peered through the twilight at the small village. It seemed abandoned. The hint of wood smoke carried to him on a light breeze, so there had been a fire lit among the dwellings recently. What had prompted the sudden departure? Did they fear vengeance from the Lanteans?
From what McKay had babbled at him, the Yan thought that a deal had been reached, and it wasn't until the ZPM was shoved at the scientist that he realised what the agreement actually entailed. Sheppard never returned from the negotiations, and with a scientist to protect against forty men, Teyla couldn't do anything to recover him.
Even in the descending darkness, he could follow their trail. Sheppard hadn't gone easily; Ronon could trace his struggles in the mud, in broken twigs and torn up clumps of grass. A sliver of black material hung from a jutting branch, and he could smell the hint of blood on it. Whatever they'd done to his team leader, he'd make sure they paid - but he had to find Sheppard first.
Beyond the settlement, drawn by hushed tones that carried like thunder in the still night, he found where the Yan had gone to.
The hill rose sharply to his right. There was little purchase in the loose surface, so they had to have used ropes or ladders to get up to the opening. Ronon pressed himself into the darkness as one of them stopped at the edge of their cave. He looked to the North, gesticulating excitedly.
It was almost as good as a map.
Whatever was going to happen now, they knew enough to be well clear of it. Moving in the direction the man had unwittingly indicated, Ronon burned what he’d seem of him into his mind. If the chance for retribution came, he would remember that one and his aid. Perhaps.
Right now, all he could focus on was getting to Sheppard and pulling him out of whatever trouble he’d gotten himself into this time.
Sheppard was against one of the larger trees. His hands were bound above his head, and Ronon could see the darker hue of blood on the ropes where the Colonel had torn himself struggling.
Keeping still and quiet, he was able to see why.
The predator was a metre or so in height at the shoulder. Its body was coated with coarse, tangled hair; he was downwind of the animal, and the smell made him want to gag. It prowled cautiously closer to the Colonel, and Ronon watched Sheppard freeze in place, his eyes wide and fixed on the thing.
It was too close for the stunner; the animal might still be able to attack before it went under, and the weapons fire would draw attention to his presence. Ronon slipped his knife out of its sheath, his gaze running along the creature's side. It was well-muscled, but just there.... If he could get the blade between its ribs, it would be a near instant kill.
Sheppard groaned as the creature reared up and planted a wide paw on either side of his head. The creature’s shoved its muzzle into the Colonel’s face, sniffing him.
Try before you buy, Ronon thought, remembering Sheppard's teasing phrase while watching McKay nibble at the offerings during their last negotiations. The one where McKay hadn’t managed to trade the Colonel for a piece of technology.
With a low snarl, the creature opened its jaws, and Sheppard gave a frightened yell.
Ronon crossed the narrow clearing at a run, and wrapped his arm around the thing's neck. He braced a foot against the tree, and pushed away, hauling the animal backwards.
It twisted in his grip, so the knife skittered along its ribs instead of slipping between them. Ronon let go and scrambled away. The beast howled at him; drool trailed in thick, glistening columns from its upper incisors.
"Run," Sheppard urged, his voice tight.
"No," Ronon said. When would Sheppard learn that Ronon would not abandon him?
He had distance enough from his opponent now, so he drew his gun and fired twice. The sharp flashes of energy were probably visible from the cave where the Yan were hiding, but he had no choice. With the element of surprise gone, he couldn't take the chance on this thing getting past him and to Sheppard.
The beast's lunge carried it forward, sending it crashing into him. Sheppard yelled his name, but it took a moment for Ronon to shove the carcass off him. He got up, aware of a twinge in his side, and crossed to where the Colonel was tied up.
"Did they hurt you?" he demanded, as he used his knife to slice through Sheppard's bonds.
"Other than dragging me through the woods, tying me up and leaving me to get slavered on? Remind me to kill McKay. He'll have me up for auction on Ebay next."
Ronon cut away the last rope, and Sheppard howled as his left arm dropped. Ronon caught him before he toppled to the ground, and moved his hand across Sheppard's shoulder. The Colonel seized beneath his touch, trying to pull away, and Ronon quickly withdrew his hand.
"Dislocated. Them, or you?"
Sheppard leaned his head forward to rest against Ronon's shoulder. "Pick one. Pardon me for not wanting to get eaten alive."
He raised his head at an angry yell in the distance. Ronon pulled Sheppard against him, one arm secure around the colonel's waist. "We need to move."
"Let me guess," Sheppard groaned, his voice thick with pain. "The natives are restless."
Ronon held himself steady as Sheppard used him for balance while he straightened. It was already too late; even if Sheppard could move fast, by the time they got near the gate, the Yan would be down from their hiding place and probably have cut them off.
"Can you walk, or do you need me to carry you?"
"Walk," Sheppard said. He managed a couple of steps, but they were slow and faltering. Ronon turned him around, and hauled the Colonel over his shoulder.
"Sorry," he said, when Sheppard buried his cry in Ronon's coat. They couldn't get back to the gate, but the Colonel needed tending to, and they had to find somewhere to hide until help arrived.
With a grin, Ronon darted into the trees.
Climbing up the hill with Sheppard over his shoulders wasn't easy, but he managed. The Yan had left their rope ladders dangling down the side of the ridge and, once he had laid Sheppard out in the cave, he only had to pull them up to keep their position secure.
It was amusing to watch the Yan gather at the bottom, yelling curses and threats up to him once they realised what had happened. No doubt they would find a way up eventually, but Ronon could pick them off if they did and help from Atlantis couldn't be far away.
Right now, Sheppard was his main concern. He snapped some of the light-sticks carried in the Colonel's vest, and studied him in the fey glow.
Sheppard looked awful. His face was grey, and his eyes looked heavy. He supported his left arm with his right, and when Ronon reached for him, he jerked away.
After a few moments, his breathing settled. Ronon watched as he closed his eyes, and leaned his head gingerly back against the cave wall.
"It's always me," he muttered. "I guess you want to put it back into place."
Ronon nodded, and then stopped when he realised Sheppard couldn't see it. "It'll hurt less. Trust me."
The thought of the pain he was about to inflict on Sheppard made him angry – at the Yan, at McKay, at himself most of all for letting himself be left behind and leaving Sheppard open to attack. He suddenly wanted to climb back down there, and kill as many of the Yan as he could.
Sheppard opened his eyes, and showed Ronon a forced grin. "Okay. Do I get something to bite-agh!"
Ronon grabbed his arm, and push-pulled, felling the shoulder click back into place. Sheppard collapsed forward, moaning, into Ronon's arms, and the Satedan held him there. He stroked the back of Sheppard's neck, mumbling quiet assurances.
Sheppard’s skin felt hot beneath his fingers, and he could feel the tremble running through the Colonel’s body. He’d imagined holding Sheppard like this, when he realised he was different from Kell – when he realised Sheppard was a man he could follow – but he’d wanted Sheppard to be shivering from pleasure, not pain.
Holding back a sigh of irritation, Ronon knew he still needed to check Sheppard's wrists and clean them up if he could from whatever supplies Sheppard had in his vest. But putting a sling on his arm came first. He'd be able to do that, now he had relocated Sheppard's shoulder.
"Thanks for coming after me," Sheppard said, once Ronon had leaned him back against the wall and started to work. He kept an ear out for the Yan as he did. Two of them had managed to get a minor foothold in the embankment, but tumbled back down before Ronon had the chance to shoot them off. They'd retreated to the village, but they would be back. Hopefully, a jumper and reinforcements would have arrived from the city by then. If not, Ronon would work out what to do next. Right now, he wanted to finish taking care of Sheppard's injuries.
He managed to dig a couple of dressings out of Sheppard's vest, which he used to cover the raw flesh of his wrists. There were no other bandages, so he’d settled for emptying Sheppard's pockets of anything else of use, and bracing his arm inside the tactical vest. He got the Colonel to dry swallow two painkillers, and then settled down next to him to wait.
"You'd have done the same," he said, finally. The Tylenol was kicking in fast, helped along by Sheppard’s exhaustion, because the Colonel slumped against him.
Ronon bit down on his anger. He'd asked Teyla about this, even McKay, once. Why did Sheppard value the lives of everyone above his own? What was it that made him feel he had any less right to live, to be able to rely on others, to be rescued when the situation demanded it? On Sateda, each soldier was able to count on his comrades and his leaders - or so he'd thought until Kell's betrayal. Yet while Sheppard made sure everyone could count on him, he didn't seem to expect the same in return.
"I don't understand that," Ronon said finally. "You'll risk your life for us, but you expect us to leave you behind. It won't happen. I won't do that."
A quiet snore was his response. Sheppard's head lolled against Ronon's shoulder, prompting the Satedan to ease out from under him. He lowered Sheppard down to the ground long enough to take off his coat. Then he moved Sheppard until the Colonel's head was in his lap, and draped the long coat over him.
With his stunner in his right hand, Ronon pressed his left to Sheppard's shoulder and stared out of the cave mouth into the night.
The rescue crew timed their arrival perfectly, lowering the jumper down in stealth mode, just as the Yan were using slingshots to lob small heated rocks into the cave. The projectiles gave off a thick, pungent stench that was enough to drag Sheppard from sleep. As he sat up, coughing, and Ronon kicked as many of them as he could back down the hill, the whine of the jumper's engines signalled its approach.
When it materialised above the Yan, they broke and fled. Lorne was flying and he managed to hold the craft steady so that the ramp touched the cave entrance. Ronon carried Sheppard across, the colonel still too out of it to protest much. Beckett was with them, and Ronon kept back while the doctor worked, Teyla assisted, and McKay ranted about backward planets and how Sheppard shouldn't let being worth a ZPM go to his head. It was almost drained, anyway.
Ronon let him talk. It was his way of dealing, and Sheppard had passed out completely, while Carson and Teyla straightened him out on one of the benches. He sat and watched, gritting his teeth against the ache building inside of him. Would Lorne fire one of the jumper’s missiles at the Yan? Probably not. These Lanteans were not taken with the idea of vengeance. Even if they were, it would not be the same as satisfying the searing wrath he felt in person. He wanted to be face to face with the Yan when he made them pay for what they had done. Tried to do, he reminded himself. Sheppard was hurt, but he’d live.
He would live.
He waited with them outside the infirmary. Weir came down to join them, and waited until Carson came out to say Sheppard was fine, but would be staying over, and yes, Rodney could see him – if he kept it brief!
Ronon let the others surround the Colonel first, allowing themselves to be reassured that he was well. Teyla ended up dragging McKay out, with Lorne's help. Weir squeezed Sheppard's hand and said good night, then left. Ronon moved closer, and waited until the Colonel beckoned him to the bed.
"You did good," Sheppard said. "Sorry for zoning out on you."
Ronon shrugged. "You were hurt. We got home. Weir won't let me go back to the settlement."
Sheppard grimaced. "You don't always have to hit back, you know. Hey, I'm the one who got tied up for the dragon. Sometimes it's enough to just get away."
Carson appeared before he could reply, and chased him out, promising he could talk to Sheppard as much as he wanted when the Colonel was released in the morning.
Ronon ran for almost two hours before he toppled into bed.
He knew Sheppard would try to get out of the infirmary early - middle of the night early. He was almost at the transporter when Ronon fell into step behind him, and frowned an apology when Sheppard spun around with a gasp.
"I just got out of there, and you're already trying to send me back. Haven't we talked about you sneaking up on me?"
"Wasn't sneaking," Ronon said, and followed Sheppard inside the transporter and then into his room.
"I know this is the first place he'll look, but with any luck he won't find out I'm gone until morning."
Ronon stared at him; Sheppard wasn't an idiot. Neither was Beckett.
"Yeah, okay, so he'll probably be here any minute. You wanted something?"
Yes, he did, but he suddenly had no idea how to ask. If it had been before…. If he had been back on Sateda – there was a way these things were done, and it was a lot simpler than the way the Lanteans did them here. He wondered how they ever got rid of their tension, or procreated while they were still young enough to do it.
But neither of those things was what he wanted from Sheppard. He wished he knew if Sheppard wanted anything from him.
Ronon watched him ditch the sling, and slowly move his arm backwards and forwards. He knew it was coming but Sheppard did it too suddenly for him to intervene; he tried to rotate his arm completely, then he was bent over and panting like they'd run for miles.
"Okay, not too smart," he said, as Ronon grabbed his waist and steered him to the bed.
"No," he agreed, and stood over him, arms folded.
Sheppard straightened gradually, and peered up at him. "You gonna lecture me?"
No, Ronon thought; he wasn’t going to lecture. But if he didn’t do something, he was going to go mad.
He dropped to his knees, slipping between Sheppard’s sprawled legs.
“Ronon?” Sheppard stared at him. He licked his lips nervously. Ronon rested his hands on Sheppard’s thighs as he moved closer.
“Let me,” he said, and kissed him.
Sheppard’s mouth opened, the start of a protest swallowed up by Ronon as he slipped his tongue inside. Every inch of Sheppard was tight enough to snap, and he started to lean back, away and out of Ronon’s reach. But Ronon was so close, now; he slid his arms around Sheppard’s back, pulling him in, holding him still so he could lose himself in a moment he knew now would never come again.
When Sheppard hugged him back, one hand going to cup his neck and the other fisting in his shirt, Ronon was almost shocked enough to break the kiss. But he had to eventually; Sheppard was panting against him, and his left hand fell away.
“Sorry,” Ronon said. He was, but not for kissing Sheppard. For not being able to wait, maybe.
“And you’re apologizing because?” Sheppard slumped back on the bed. His lips were slick and red, and a deep tinge was making its way across his skin. “Jesus, you pick your moments.”
“I don’t think Beckett would have liked us doing that in the infirmary,” Ronon said. Sheppard glared at him.
“Not exactly what I meant.”
“I know.” Ronon climbed onto the bed, and linked his fingers with Sheppard’s. “It’s too soon. We can wait, but I had to know if it anything was going to happen to be worth waiting for.”
Sheppard sat up a little stiffly, and wriggled until he was lying on the pillows. “We’re not waiting. You come in here, and you do that, and you think I’m gonna just let you take a raincheck on the rest of it? Nuh-uh. Get up here.”
Ronon went, and Sheppard used his good hand to pull him down. This time, Sheppard licked at his mouth and Ronon let him in, while his hands worked on easing Sheppard’s shirt up enough to expose some bare skin.
He broke off, ignoring Sheppard’s complaints, and tongued his way down the Colonel’s torso until he reached his pants.
“Ronon,” Sheppard breathed. “What are you….”
Ronon undid his BDUs and encouraged Sheppard to lift his hips enough to tug them and his boxers down and out of the way.
“I don’t think I’m up for everything, yet,” Sheppard protested.
“I know,” Ronon said, and took Sheppard into his mouth.
The Colonel cursed, and Ronon could feel him holding back, fighting the urge to thrust into his mouth. He put a hand on Sheppard’s hips, holding him steady, and worked his way down the shaft. Sheppard tasted all pent up, on edge, just like he always seemed to be, no matter where they were or what they were doing.
Sheppard reached down, and wrapped a hand in Ronon’s hair, not quite pushing him to go harder, but not pulling him off either. That was good enough for him, and he stroked a finger across Sheppard’s balls, and circling his entrance.
He sat back, letting Sheppard’s cock plop out of his mouth, to see the Colonel’s face. There was a hint of nervousness there, but Sheppard’s eyes were wide black discs and Ronon knew he wanted this.
“Okay,” Sheppard said finally.
Ronon put two of his fingers in his mouth, and licked them. He ran one along the edge of Sheppard’s hole, felt it tense, and waited. Sheppard exhaled noisily, and nodded, and Ronon slid the tip of one finger inside.
It was hot and tight, and he could feel Sheppard’s resistance, but he persevered, and pushed in a little further until the Colonel relaxed around him. He moved his finger forward until the knuckles of his hand were brushing Sheppard’s ass, then withdrew and pushed in again, this time with two fingers.
Sheppard hissed, and bucked, and Ronon was glad he didn’t still have Sheppard’s cock in his mouth. He felt around, finding that tight nub, and started to stroke it. Sheppard groaned and almost felt apart before him; Ronon slid his mouth back around Sheppard’s dick, and worked it with his tongue, alternating the movements with those of his fingers rubbing over Sheppard’s prostrate. He wanted to do more. He wanted to flip Sheppard over, and push into him, hard and fast, to claim Sheppard as he had done to Ronon and not even realised it.
But that was for another time, when Sheppard’s pleasure wasn’t tinged with pain. He felt Sheppard seize beneath him, and then his tongue was tingling as Sheppard came into his mouth and turned limp.
Ronon crawled up the bed to lie next to him, and Sheppard turned to tuck as much of himself as he could against his side. Ronon slid an arm around his shoulders, pulling him in closer, feeling Sheppard go loose against him.
“I should,” Sheppard said, raising his arm stiffly and motioning towards Ronon’s own dick, now stretching the fabric of his pants.
“Later,” Ronon said. “When you’re better. Sleep, now.”
Sheppard nodded against him, and Ronon listened to his breathing level out, and wondered how long it would be before someone from the infirmary came looking for him.