"Revelation" by Bone

Title: Revelation

Author: Bone

Author's E-mail: thisisbone@aol.com

Author's URL: http://www.mrks.org/~bone/

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Date: September 18, 2005

Series: Revelation

Rating: NC-17

Archive: Ask first.

Pairing: Ronon Dex/John Sheppard

Notes: Oh, hell, let's call it the Revelation series. Sequel to Protection (and its Epilogue), Distraction and Eight Days. Set after 2.08 "Conversion." Thanks go to crysothemis and destina for the beta. [Not-so-sekrit message to seperis: Hey, Rodney had his turn, now it's Ronon's.]

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Ronon stays with Sheppard through the shedding.

He talks to Sheppard until he's hoarse, teaches him everything he's ever learned about taking pain and boxing it, pushing it down, shoving it away.

When it's too much for Sheppard, Ronon hovers over him, his face so close to Sheppard's he can see himself reflected in Sheppard's dilated, Wraithed pupils, and makes Sheppard look at him. Ride the pain, Ronon tells him. If he can't get on top of it, he has to let it take him until it's done.

He finds places he can touchSheppard's hair, under his jaw, a newly revealed smooth stretch of forearm. He tells Sheppard to focus on those places and imagine Ronon's hands drawing out the pain.

Beckett brings a jar of salve that makes a very satisfying mess of goop and pottery shards when Sheppard hurls it at the far wall.

Rodney comes and goes, takes over the talking for awhile, giving Ronon's sore throat a rest. Teyla brings them food. Somehow, she knows just what to say, and even better, knows when to leave.

Sheppard's eyes change as the sun's coming up on the fourth day. He blinks rapidly, eyes watering, and hunches over his knees, gasping. Ronon finds a place on his back to touch, strokes him through it.

On the fifth night Sheppard tells him he wants to be alone.

Ronon knows better, thinks the worst is yet to come; braces himself.

Hours later, the Wraithskin finally starts to die. It's gross. It stinks. It decays in chunks that Sheppard has to scrape off, leaving behind reddened and vulnerable skin, open sores with ragged edges.

It makes Ronon's stomach turn, and considering he has, in his time, eaten animals raw, fur and all, that's saying something.

Somewhere in the middle of the worst of it, while Sheppard tears strips of skin off his neck and shoulder and underarm and Ronon reconsiders just what it means to be brave, Beckett tries to give Sheppard something for the pain. Both Ronon and Sheppard growl at him until he retreats.

"Let me help," Ronon offers, when Sheppard's contorted, trying to get to a spot on his back that Ronon knows from bitter experience will remain hopelessly beyond his reach.

"No way," Sheppard says, scrabbling harder.

"Let me help," Ronon says again, reaching for his hands.

"Back off, Ronon," Sheppard says sharply, his face hard, but he's bleeding now, his half-turned hands uncoordinated, rough. "I don't want you to—"

"It's okay," Ronon says, and holds him down easily, listens to Sheppard swear loudly and creatively while Ronon starts to work on his back.

Sheppard winds down eventually. He braces himself awkwardly on the bed, breathing hard. His flinches guide Ronon's hands.

"How do you know you won't get infected?" Sheppard asks testily after a few minutes.

"Beckett said so. Besides, I think I might be immune," Ronon says, coaxing up another corner and tugging off a long strip. "I've been covered in Wraith blood. Guts. I wore a scalp one whole winter."

Sheppard shudders. "Went a little crazy, huh?"

Ronon snorts. "Guess so. Stayed warm, though. And I never turned."

"But it's the virus that's infectious," Sheppard says. "Not the Wraith."

Ronon shrugs and keeps working. "I'll be careful."

Sheppard groans when Ronon scratches lightly at the now exposed skin on his shoulderblades. It doesn't sound anything like pain, so Ronon scratches with one hand while he peels with the other, concentrating on the good while he continues with the bad.

It's dead, Ronon reminds himself as he pulls off long ugly strips of dead gray skin. It's not him.

Once Sheppard's back is clean, Ronon turns his attention to Sheppard's buttocks, then around and between his thighs. Sheppard covers his eyes with his arm when Ronon lifts his cock, uses his thumbnail to gently, gently peel him down to his own skin. Ronon's gratified when Sheppard's cock twitches and swells in his hand while he works, and he blows on it in acknowledgement.

"You're one sick fuck," Sheppard says, his face still covered.

"Uh-huh," Ronon murmurs. He yanks off a strip behind Sheppard's balls that makes him howl, his back bowing off the bed. His arm falls away from his face and he grabs at the bed, twisting the sheet.

"Be careful down there," Sheppard says, glaring at him.

Ronon hides a smile. "Yes, sir."

When he's done, Sheppard makes him wash his hands in hydrogen peroxide. He watches Ronon scrub at his hands, watches while he dries off and returns to his familiar place beside Sheppard's bed.

He's looking at Ronon like he needs more answers than Ronon has to give. Ronon holds steady for him, lets him look. It's not that complicated: Ronon will do whatever Sheppard needs, and if that includes scraping dead Wraithskin off his balls in the middle of the night, well…so be it.

Sheppard sleeps eventually, the sheet tucked up around his neck to protect his raw skin.

Ronon dozes, his internal radar still honed to Sheppard's slightest move. He wakes fully when Sheppard stirs, twists his neck and sighs.

"How is it?" Ronon asks, his voice reduced to a rough rasp.

Sheppard opens his eyes and looks at Ronon. He brings his hands out from under the sheets. They look painful, tender and skinned, but they're wholly human.

Sheppard grins. "Look, Ma. Hands."

Ronon doesn't get it, but he grins back.

Sheppard ducks his head.

"Hey, I'm sorry I called you—"

"A cock-sucking Neanderthal?" Ronon says.

"Yeah," Sheppard says.

"You're human," Ronon says with a shrug.

"Thank God," Sheppard says under his breath.

Ronon sees an echo of remembered pain on Sheppard's face, and he leans forward, distracts him.

"I know what cock-sucking is, it's not exactly an insult, but what's a Neanderthal?" he asks.

Sheppard gives him a lop-sided smile.


Ten long days later, when Beckett releases Sheppard from the infirmary, when all that's left of the Wraith in Sheppard is a patch of blue at the spot where she tried to feed, Ronon takes Sheppard to his quarters and strips him, lays him down and maps his body first with his hands, then his nose, and finally with his mouth, earning his cock-sucking label.


He's still licking the taste of Sheppard from his mouth, considering jerking off right there with his face still between Sheppard's legs, when Sheppard drags him up, does his own licking, holds Ronon's head in his hands, sweeping his tongue in Ronon's mouth in exactly the rhythm Ronon sucked him.

Ronon's pumping his hips hard against Sheppard's belly, dragging his desperate cock along Sheppard's impossibly soft new skin, seconds from splattering them both, when Sheppard flinches, gasping a low hurt sound into his mouth.

It takes every ounce of control Ronon's got, but he stops, lifts himself off Sheppard, drops to the floor beside the bed and leans his back against it.

"Sorry," he says, grabbing his cock hard and gritting his teeth against the wave of pleasure even that brings.

"Where'd you go?" Sheppard whines, one hand tangling in Ronon's hair, tugging on him.

Ronon's light-headed, all the blood in use somewhere far from his head. "I hurt you," he says.

"So? Get back here," Sheppard says, and of course, Ronon goes.

Sheppard arranges him where he wants him, between his thighs, with Ronon's cock lined up in the groove of Sheppard's hip.

"Do it," Sheppard says.

Ronon does, but carefully this time, bracing his weight on his hands, rubbing the head of his cock in circles on Sheppard's smooth, smooth skin, watching the contrast between his dark red cock and Sheppard's lighter skin, watching as that skin gets slick with his juices, watching Sheppard start to lift to him, rolling his hips in Ronon's rhythm.

Ronon's arms start to shake and Sheppard puts his hands on Ronon's ribs, helps hold him up.

Ronon groans at the touch, at the strength of Sheppard's hands taking his weight. He lets himself thrust a little harder, drops down enough to get the length of his cock wedged between his stomach and Sheppard's hip, then stays there, rubbing in short, tight circles until he comes, jerking again and again in the wet, until Sheppard slides his hands around Ronon's back and pulls him down on top of him.

"You okay?" Ronon asks, rubbing his nose behind Sheppard's ear.

Sheppard nods.

"I think so," Sheppard says, bending his head into Ronon's shoulder, giving Ronon better access. "I think I'm just fine."

Ronon shifts to his side, taking his weight off Sheppard, but Sheppard won't let him up. He hooks his arm around Ronon's neck and keeps him close. Ronon relaxes against him, continuing to run his hands over the new skin on Sheppard's chest, neck and shoulder.

He can't stop touching him.


"You remember that day you outran me up in the rafters?" Ronon asks as they're dressing, several sweaty hours later.

"God, you really are a sore loser, aren't you?" Sheppard says as he pulls on a pair of wrinkled civilian pants and zips them.

"That's not—" Ronon starts to say, but Sheppard cuts him off.

"Look, I'm sorry I beat you, but you got to shoot me. I'd say we're even," he says, buttoning a blue shirt over his chest.

"Twice," Ronon feels compelled to point out.


"I shot you twice," Ronon says, pulling his vest over his head, dropping his neck cords in place.

Sheppard scowls at him. "Right. So you owe me one."

"What I'm trying to say is, that was the beginning, wasn't it? You were starting to turn?" Ronon asks.

"I think so. That was weird, no question," Sheppard says. "That and the Teyla thing."

Ronon stares at him. "What Teyla thing?"

Sheppard's suddenly engrossed with a button on his shirt. His cheeks look pinker than the new skin can account for.

"What did you do?" Ronon asks, stepping closer, watching in fascination as red color sweeps up the open collar of Sheppard's shirt, across his face and all the way to the tips of his ears.

It doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

"No way," Ronon says, impressed and aghast in equal measure. "And you lived to tell the tale?"

"I haven't told it much," Sheppard says, meeting his eyes briefly, grimacing at whatever he sees on Ronon's face. "Like, ever."

"So how far. What did—" Ronon's pretty much speechless. Taking on Teyla. That's like cornering a moorcat in its den. A hungry one. With cubs.

"A kiss," Sheppard says, strangling a little on the words. "That's all."

"What did she do?" Ronon asks, touching his finger to the top of Sheppard's ear to see if it could possibly be as hot as it looks. It's not.

"Told me to go see Beckett," Sheppard says, a smile playing at his mouth.

"You're lucky she didn't have your nuts for lunch," Ronon says.

"Tell me about it. I wasn't…myself," Sheppard says.

"Have you talked to her about it?" Ronon asks.

"No," Sheppard says abruptly.

"You owe her an apology," Ronon says.

"I know," says Sheppard, color draining from his face as quickly as it filled, leaving him looking pale and more than a little worried.

"Is it something you intend to do again?" Ronon asks.

"What, apologize? Probably…"

"No. Kiss her," Ronon says, exasperated.

Sheppard seems to think about it. "Oh. Um. No."

"Good," Ronon says, bending to Sheppard's neck, nudging the shirt out of the way so he can get to all that soft pink new skin again.

"Good?" Sheppard whuffs a breath against Ronon's ear

Ronon bites his throat lightly. "You heard me."

"Come with me?" Sheppard asks, wheedling a little.

"I'd rather peel dead skin off your ass," Ronon says.

"I take it that's a 'no'?" Sheppard asks, pushing Ronon back.

Ronon laughs and walks him as far as the training room, then leaves him to it.

If there's one thing he learned in his seven solitary years, it's self-preservation.


Ronon flounders a little while Sheppard's recovering.

Sheppard may be out of the infirmary, but he's still grounded. No flying. No off-world missions. No team, basically, until Sheppard gets clearance. Ronon's not used to downtime, can't really figure out what to do with himself.

It's easier for the others. Rodney's got his lab. Teyla's got her people. All Ronon's got is…Sheppard.

There's only so much fucking Sheppard's new skin can handle.

("It's the goddamn friction," Sheppard moaned regretfully as a recently healed spot split again mid-fuck, mixing blood with semen and sweat.)

Sheppard's not up for training, either, or running, or anything, as far as Ronon can tell, except sitting around in his bare feet and wrinkly civilian clothes, complaining about being bored.

So Ronon finds himself eating a lot and sleeping a lot, wandering the halls. Rodney forbids him from ever entering a lab again after an unfortunate incident with a shiny thing that stopped shining once it got dropped, and after a few days, Teyla begs him to find someone else to spar with, but after that guy broke his foot while backing away from him, nobody else will take him on.


He's losing his edge. He can feel ithis reflexes slipping, senses dulling. He's taken to sleeping on one of the balconies, just for the change it offers, different air, different light. He's not sure how he can feel so confined in the middle of an enormous city floating on a vast ocean, but somehow…he does.

Sheppard interrupts his training, strolling in all untucked and loose one afternoon while Ronon's futilely trying to best himself with sticks.

He looks better than ever. Boredom suits him.

Ronon glares at him.

"What bug crawled up your butt?" Sheppard asks, leaning against the wall, bending a knee to prop one foot on the wall behind him. He's not wearing socks.

"That's not funny," Ronon says, flashing the sticks close enough that Sheppard, if he were smart, would flinch.

Sheppard just lifts one corner of his mouth in an almost smile.

"Oh, come on. It's kind of funny," he says. "What's with you?"

"I'm going crazy here. There's nothing to do," Ronon says, putting away the sticks, wiping sweat from his face with a towel.

"I hear you," Sheppard says.

"If we don't get back on mission soon, I'm going to be worthless. It's already started," Ronon says. "I missed the bull's-eye six times this morning."

Sheppard lifts an eyebrow at him. "That's not how I remember it."

"I'm serious," Ronon grumbles. "I need to be in top condition."

Sheppard tilts his head, looks him up and down with such heated focus that Ronon's groin tightens in automatic response.

"We have to be ready," Ronon says, steeling himself not to just grab Sheppard and rip off his Earth clothes, belaying the future in favor of a getting-laid present.


He sees Sheppard register the plural, sees his face lighten.

"For what?" Sheppard asks. "Aren't we always ready? Isn't that kind of the point?"

"We weren't ready for Ellia," Ronon counters. "You weren't ready for your friend Ford. What if there are more like them? The only reason we could contain you is we saw you coming."

"You did contain me," Sheppard says, but the humor's left his face.

"We got lucky," Ronon says, pressing his point while Sheppard's paying attention. "We might not get that lucky again."

"And we were the reason it happened to Ellia in the first place," Sheppard reminds him.

Ronon walks over to him, looms a little bit. He wants Sheppard to hear him.

"All the more reason to stay ready," Ronon says. "Those scientists, they're smart, but they don't always think."

Sheppard tries to pull away when Ronon touches his arm, the one with the scar, turns his arm to cover it.

Ronon won't let him. He rubs his thumb deliberately over the raised surface, the last remaining remnant of his worst fears brought to life.

"Scars show your honor," he says.

He hears Sheppard swallow. "Even this one?"

"Especially this one," Ronon says. "You faced her down."

"She beat me," Sheppard says. "She could have killed me without breaking a nail."

Ronon wraps his hand loosely around Sheppard's arm. "She'd have killed them all if you hadn't stopped her."

"We," Sheppard reminds him, and Ronon nods at the tribute.

Sheppard's quiet, looking down at Ronon's hand on his arm, then he says, "You'd have killed me, right? You'd have known the right time."

Ronon stiffens. After a minute, he says, "Yeah."

"I asked Elizabeth to do it," Sheppard says, still looking down, very matter-of-fact, but he's stiff, too. "She wouldn't."

Ronon waits.

"So. Thanks," Sheppard says, his voice not quite right.

"For saying I'd kill you?" Ronon asks, sliding his hand across Sheppard's chest, feeling his heart beat hard and fast under his palm.

Sheppard blows out a breath. "Yeah. And, you know, for not killing me."

Ronon nods, doesn't trust his voice.

"And for not…leaving," Sheppard says, his voice thick, raising his hand to the back of Ronon's neck, holding on tight. "I know how much you hate the Wraith. You could have bailed, but you didn't."

Ronon moves against him, molding to him, so he can feel Sheppard against him the whole length of his body.

"You were you," Ronon says into Sheppard's shoulder.

Sheppard uses the hand on Ronon's neck to guide his head up, look him in the eye.

"What?" Sheppard asks, looking confused.

"Underneath, you were still you," Ronon says.

He tries to think if there's any other way he can say what he means.

Then Sheppard's mouth is on his, sudden and hot, and he doesn't have to say anything after all.

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