Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

Path Not Taken

Notes: Big hugs to dirty_diana and Eleanor K. for the beta and the problematic sentence tinkering, respectively.

John’s not entirely sure when it all started to go wrong, but it was probably the second he’d agreed to spar with Ronon.

It had seemed like a good idea at the time. He’d learned all he could watching Ronon spar with others and out in the field. Besides, Ronon had come just short of calling him chicken. John couldn’t walk away from that. Not and keep face as a leader.

So he had agreed.

Things start innocently enough. He takes off his sweater, Ronon his long leather jacket. A quick warm up and then they’re testing each other’s reactions, feinting left and right, watching for tells, landing the odd blow.

And then Ronon grins at him. He grins back. And the fight begins in earnest.

Suddenly, John is getting his ass kicked, although not quite as handily as most would suspect. John uses the fact that he's faster and more flexible to his advantage and manages to avoid a number of blows. Over the next twenty minutes, he even lands a few hits himself, the last of which knocks Ronon back a step or two.

Unfortunately, Ronon just laughs at him and bounces right back. They close in, grappling for a hold, and John realizes that this was a very, very bad idea. He’s hot and sweaty, surrounded by Ronon’s unmistakably masculine scent, and he’s getting hard. It’s been years since he’s lost control like this and the shock of it is enough for him to lose his concentration. He misses a block, and ends up flat on his back on the mat with Ronon standing over him, smirking down at him.

“Need a hand?” Ronon asks with a cocky grin that sets John’s teeth on edge, offering an arm to him.

“Sure,” John replies, reaching up. He grabs on tightly and uses the arm to pull Ronon off balance as he sweeps his leg under Ronon's, causing the other man to fall right on top of him. John thinks that maybe he didn’t think his plan of attack all the way through, because Ronon is now fully aware of exactly how aroused John is. Ronon gives him a dirty smile and shifts his hips slightly, and John can feel a corresponding hardness pressing against his thigh. Before he can say anything, Ronon kisses him. Hard. With tongue. Lots of tongue.

Groaning, John kisses Ronon back, just long enough to get a taste and then shoves the other man away. “We can't.”

Ronon looks down at him in confusion. “What?”

“We can't. It's…well, it's complicated.”

“How is it complicated? You want me, I want you, no complication,” Ronon replies, rolling his hips in a way that makes John groan, and then bends down and kisses John again. John pushes him away again and tries to worm his way out from under Ronon, to no avail. “Trust me, it's complicated.”

Ronon shifts and sits back on John's lap, and crosses his arms over his chest. “So why don't you explain it to me,” he says in his ‘I’m an alien, not stupid,’ voice.

John sighs. “All right, I will. Now would you just get off me? Anyone could walk by.”

Ronon shifts again and sits beside John on the floor. John sits up and lifts one leg and leans his arm jauntily on it. “It's a cultural thing. In my military it's not considered acceptable for two men to...” John trails off and waves his hand between them.

“To fuck,” Ronon replies, a bemused grin on his face.

“Among other things, yes. Not to mention there’s the fact that I’m your commanding officer.”

Ronon frowns slightly. “Your rules forbid commanders from coupling with their men?” he asks incredulously.


Ronon’s frown deepens. “Your military has some very stupid rules. I assumed that complicated meant that Rodney would not permit you to enjoy the company of others.”

John’s brain stutters and he knows he’s sitting there with his mouth gaping open for a few moments before he sputters out, “R-rodney? You think he and I are…”

Ronon shrugs once again. “You act like mates. I just assumed.”

“We do not,” John says, frowning.

Ronon cocks an eyebrow at him and says, “Whatever you say,” in a tone of voice that tells John he’s being humoured. John gets up and gets his sweater – he’s starting to feel the chill from dried sweat.

“I think you should go see Doctor Beckett about the delusions you’re having. I must have hit you in the head or something,” John says while zipping his sweater.

Ronon just smirks at him and gets up to get his coat and weapon. “So, you won’t mind if I approach him?” Ronon asks while holstering his gun.

“Okay, now I know you’re just screwing with me. You want me to believe that you want to…” John starts waving his hand around again.

“Sure, why not?” Ronon replies, shrugging into his coat, his eyes twinkling with amusement. “I bet he’s wild in bed. All that passion and intensity.”

“But he talks non-stop,” John replies.

“I’m sure I could find other ways to occupy his mouth.” Ronon leers. John flushes.

“He’s good with his hands, likes to touch stuff. He’s pretty solidly built; I wouldn’t have to go easy on him.” Ronon’s leer gets wider.

John zips up his sweater and says in a strangled voice, “Stop, just stop. I so don’t need to think about Rodney and sex.”

Ronon closes the gap between them and leans in and rumbles in John’s ear, “Still rather have you, though.” And then Ronon runs his tongue along the curve of John’s ear. The sensation jolts through John and the erection that had gone away comes back full force. He turns his head and their lips meet. Ronon grabs John’s head and gives him a brutal kiss. John lets himself be lost in the wet heat of Ronon’s mouth for a few moments and then he pulls reluctantly away.

He looks Ronon firmly in the eyes and says, “Ronon, I’m sorry. I can’t. I want to. I really want to, but I can’t. If the wrong people get wind of this, they’ll arrest me and send me back to earth. Away from Atlantis. I won’t let anyone do that.” John is surprised at the vehemence of his own words, and even more surprised to find that his hands have curled into fists.

Ronon looks at John silently for a few moments and then nods. “I understand,” he says and then steps away. “I will see you at the evening meal, Sheppard.”

“Not going to go find Rodney?” John asks with a weak grin.

“Not tonight,” Ronon replies, exiting the training room.

John lingers a few minutes longer thinking about what could have been.