By Bone

Pairing:  Ronon Dex/John Sheppard

Rating: NC-17

Notes:   This is a little birthday present for hth_the_first and ann_tara. Set post-Epiphany. Sequel to Saturation. Unbeta'ed.

Disclaimers:   MGM owns these boys. Written for pleasure, not profit. For adult readers only, please.


Ronon tries to give Sheppard some space.

He fails.

The others manage it easily, clapping Sheppard on the shoulder, ribbing him good-naturedly about his beard and the woman he fucked. Ronon can still smell her on him. Ronon throws in his own jab, thinking it's a weird way to act when they were all so worried, but it's half-hearted and Teyla scolds him, so he guesses he did it wrong.

The others seem to think that now Sheppard's back, it's all good, it's all fine, and life can go back to normal, and Ronon wonders why he can't be like them. Now that it's over, now that Sheppard's home, he can't stop thinking about what might have happened if things had gone differently.

A day more, and they might have found a wrinkled, gray-bearded man at the end of his life. A week, and Sheppard might have been gone forever.

He follows Sheppard to his quarters, watches as Sheppard touches his things, reacquainting himself. It hits home when Sheppard looks in the mirror, scratching at his beard. Six months he spent out there.

"I don't know how you stand this thing," Sheppard says, catching Ronon's eyes in the mirror.

Ronon shrugs. "It took awhile."

Sheppard nods and wanders into the bathroom.

Ronon can only wait until half the beard is gone before he pulls the razor from Sheppard's hand and drops it into the basin, splashing warm water on both of them. Sheppard splutters, not a protest, exactly, more a question, that Ronon answers with his mouth, tasting shaving cream on his tongue, holding Sheppard's face in his hands, feeling Sheppard's smooth hot skin under one hand and the rough edge of his half-shaved beard with the other.

Ronon backs him up against the wall in the bathroom and reaches down Sheppard's pants, jerking him off quick and hard. Sheppard hardens up for gratifyingly fast and Ronon responds helplessly, rubbing his own hard cock against Sheppard's hip, gasping against Sheppard's neck. He comes in his pants when Sheppard whines high in his throat and lifts his hips harder, forcing his cock into Ronon's tight grip. Ronon's still shaking when Sheppard jack-knifes into him, spurting into his palm seconds later.

Sheppard drops his head back against the wall with a thud, breathing hard. Ronon leans on him, pressing against him, rubbing his face on Sheppard's shoulder. Sheppard puts a hand on the back of his neck.

"I was only gone a couple of hours, remember?" he says.

Ronon grunts. "It felt longer."


Seeing Sheppard looking like himself again -- shaved and in uniform -- helps, but Ronon still can't leave him. He goes with Sheppard to the commissary and watches him eat the Atlantean rations as if they were a feast. He has seconds on mashed potatoes and soaks them with gravy.

"Not much for salt, those folks," he says when Ronon raises an eyebrow at him.

Ronon waits outside the conference room while Sheppard debriefs Weir and McKay. He can't hear anything but the low murmur of Sheppard's voice, and occasional answering murmurs from Weir or McKay, but just knowing he's there is enough for now.

He trails Sheppard through the corridors and stands just behind him as he talks with the guards on duty, getting task details. They're all things Sheppard already knows, nothing he really needs to supervise, but it seems to make him feel better, and the soldiers indulge him.

Sheppard makes his way to the training area with Ronon two steps behind. When they arrive at the door, Sheppard turns to him.

"You're hovering," he says.

"Get used to it," says Ronon.

Sheppard tilts his head and stares at him for a minute, his eyes narrowed, then he lifts one shoulder and says, "Okay."


Ronon follows Sheppard through the afternoon, across the evening, into the night, and eventually straight into his bed.

He gets Sheppard to fuck him. He wants to be Sheppard's nearest memory, wants to ground Sheppard in the here and now. Sheppard's vocally appreciative of his effort, spilling words on his back that rouse Ronon as much as the thick cock filling his ass.

Pure energy might be good, but Ronon thinks what they have is better.

When it's done, Ronon turns over and drags Sheppard against him, thinking maybe he's finally close enough.

Sheppard's drowsy, his body heavy and warm against Ronon's bare side.

Now maybe Ronon can say what needs to be said.

"Next time you go off like that? I'm coming with you," Ronon says.

Sheppard lifts his head and looks at him for a minute before dropping back down onto Ronon's shoulder. "What about Rodney & Teyla?"

"Fuck 'em," Ronon says. "They can look after themselves."

"So can I," Sheppard says. "Look, I know you feel like you're supposed to protect me and all, but it's not always…possible."

Ronon settles Sheppard more firmly against him, curving his arm around Sheppard's back.

"Doesn't mean I can't try," he says.


The end.