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Title: Home is Where the Heart Is
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis/Stargate SG-1
Pairing: John/Ronon
Rating: NC-17
Author's Notes: This series was started before I saw The Return part 2 and the rest of season 3. It takes a turn from canon after that although there might be mentions of things we learn about the characters.
Sequel/Series: Survival Training
Summary: John's father is sick and Ronon accompanies him back to Earth.


Ronon's POV:

When I return to John's room, I find him curled up on his side at the foot of the bed, fast asleep. Not tired my ass, I think, making him more comfortable by shifting him to lie against the pillows and removing his shoe. I consider removing his clothes, but decide that would be testing just how deeply he's sleeping.

Once done with that, I settle into one of the chairs at the table and slowly make my way through both trays of food. Despite what McKay says about the cooks on Atlantis not being able to use 'real' ingredients, I can't tell a difference.

After finishing eating, I decide to find out if this place has a gym. "Can I help you, sir?" one of the ever present guards asks when I open the door. I've had John's trust for too long to just blindly accept a constant guard. What do they think I'm gonna do? Try and take over the base? Or their planet?

Suppressing a growl of frustration, I close the door and turn to watch John's chest rise and fall with his breathing, wishing he was awake but knowing he needs the rest.

Maybe I should have stayed on Atlantis, I think, settling once again in one of the chairs by the table. At least then I wouldn't now be bored.

Eventually I doze off, waking whenever John rolls over or makes a noise in his sleep.

Even though he does need my help opening doors and carrying his bag, I feel totally useless and I hate feeling that way. You're not useless. You're keeping him company and making sure he stays off that ankle, my practical side reminds me.

Giving a snort at the thought that I can make John Sheppard do anything he doesn't want to, I prop my feet on the chair opposite, cross my arms over my chest and allow myself to fall asleep.

The next morning finds me awake before him, as usual.

After stopping in the locker room to empty my bladder, I head to the mess to grab some food, doing my best to not growl at my 'shadow' every time he makes his presence known. I tell myself it's just because they don't know me over and over on my way back to John's room.

I enter his room in time to see him roll over onto his back and sit up to blink sleepily around the room, propping himself on his hands. "Guess I was tired," he says around a yawn.

"Ya think?" I repeat the phrase he used with Dr. Lam last night, earning myself a glare without any real heat since he's still mostly asleep.

Throwing my most innocent grin over my shoulder at him, I set the overloaded tray on the table. "Hungry?" I ask just as his stomach reminds us he hasn't eaten since early, by Atlantis standards, yesterday. "I'll take that as 'yes'." I chuckle at the blush creeping up his neck.

What I wouldn't give to strip him naked and chase that blush down his torso with my tongue.

"Stop staring at me like that," he orders, the blush deepening.

"Like what?" I blink at him.

His narrowed eyes tell me that he's not buying my innocent act. "Like you want to devour me whole," he replies, licking his lips as if he can taste me on them.

One of my eyebrows makes its way up my forehead. "But I do want to eat you up," I tell him, my voice a deep rough growl.

I mimic his action of licking my lips and watch his Adam's apple bob in his throat as he swallows, hard. "Ronon," he whimpers. "We can't. Not here."

With a sigh of aggravation at the stupid rules of his world, I give in. For now. "I know, Sheppard."

"Once we're in our hotel room. I promise," he says, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and hopping on his good foot the short distance to the table. "Mm smells wonderful," he murmurs, sitting down in the chair opposite me.

"Here," I say, placing a plate full of all his favorites, sausage wrapped in pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs and toast, in front of him.

He moans in pure pleasure as he takes a huge bite of a pancake wrapped sausage, his eyes closing in bliss. The look on his face reminds me too much of how he looks when he climaxes for my comfort, so I turn my attention to my own breakfast.

We eat in silence for several seconds before a loud crunching sound is heard and I hold my breath, waiting for the inevitable outburst. "What the fuck did you put in my food, Dex?" he explodes.

A quick glance out the corner of my eye tells me he's beyond pissed. I mentally wince before deciding to admit my guilt. "Half a pain pill," I inform him.

He gaps at me. "What!?"

"You're in pain. Figured it would make the trip today more comfortable for you," I answer.

"Son of a bitch!" he exclaims, rising and making his way over to the bed. My brows lower in a frown of confusion. Surely half a pill won't knock him out.

"You have no idea what you just did, do you?" he demands, sitting down and pulling on his boot.

"Obviously not," I reply dryly. It seems to me that he's over reacting.

"I may have a high tolerance for pain, but I have an extremely low tolerance for pain meds. Why d'ya think I refused one yesterday?" When he turns to look at me, I can see how dilated his pupils are. He's going to crash, hard, when the adrenaline leaves his body.

"You said you need to be sober today," I respond.

"Exactly. A whole pill knocks me out for most of the day, half for several hours. Hours we do not currently have."

Damn. "I was just trying to help," I state.

"Well, you didn't," he growls.

"Apparently," I snap back. "Why are you putting on your boot?"

"I can feel the pull of the meds already. I need to take my shower now so I can spend the two hours before we have to leave, sleeping," he answers, slurring the last words.

"Will two hours be enough?" I question, worry making my voice tight.

"No, but it should take the edge off," he mumbles. He's fighting to stay awake long enough to take a shower. Fighting and losing.

"Need help?" I ask, jumping to my feet when he reaches for his crutches.

"Just grab my bag, will ya?" he slurs, shaking his head hard and blinking rapidly.

"Maybe you should sleep now," I start to say, grabbing both our bags.

"No," he talks over me. "Shower, then sleep."

We slowly make our way to the locker room. It's not until we're almost there that I notice none of the guards have followed us. Guess they figure if I'm with John then I'm not a threat.

Luckily there's only one other person in the room when we enter.

John drops heavily onto the bench in front of a row of lockers, swaying slightly. He manages to get his boot off, without falling on his face, before standing and pushing his pants down to his knees.

"Hey, Sheppard," the other occupant calls out, buckling his belt.

"Mitchell," John returns the other man's greeting, pulling his shirt off over his head.

"Who's your friend?" Mitchell asks, approaching us.

"Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell, Specialist Ronon Dex," he manages to make the introductions.

"You okay, Shep?" Mitchell asks when John sways while standing up to finish undressing.

"Just peachy," he replies, grabbing at the row of lockers in front of him. "I said I'm fine!" he yells at me when I jump forward to help him regain his balance. Mitchell and I exchange a 'sure you are' look over his head.

Leaning against the lockers, but pretending not to be, John wraps a towel around his hips then reaches under it to pull down his boxer shorts. He places his hand on the lockers to support his weight and slowly begins hopping toward the showers.

"Dr. Lam said to…" I begin to remind him.

"I know!" he shouts back.

"Touchy, ain't he?" Mitchell mutters once John is out of ear shot.

"He'll be fine once he's seen for himself that his father is okay," I respond telling a half-truth since I'm sure John wouldn't want anyone to know the truth.

"What's wrong with his dad?"

I pause in removing my shirt to think about what John called it. "I believe he said it was…cancer?" I finally reply hesitantly. I had never heard of the disease before.

"That's rough, man. Do they think he'll make it?"

"Asking the wrong person," I tell him, toeing off my boots and removing my pants.

"Riiiight," Mitchell chuckles, then cocks his head, listening to something. "Think he might need your assistance," he says, walking past me and out the door.

It takes me a couple of seconds to realize that I can't hear any water running. Hurrying around the wall that separates the shower area from the dressing area, I find John leaning on both hands under the shower heads.

"Need help?" I ask not wanting to piss him off again.

"Please?" he whimpers. The pitiful sight of a man like him not having enough strength to stand upright combined with the neediness of his plea makes me want to kick my own ass for slipping him that pill.

"Lean on me," I say softly, coming up behind him and turning on the nearest faucet. "How warm do you like it?"

"Mostly warm," he mumbles. He's losing the fight even faster now.

"Wanna wash your hair?"

"No," he says, his head lolling on my shoulder.

I take the wash cloth and soap and lather every square inch of skin I can reach, except for his groin. Taking his hand, I place the cloth in it and let him wash there himself. Once he's done I rinse us as well as I can before turning off the water and moving back to grab a towel to dry us off with.

With him leaning heavily on me, we somehow manage to make our way back to the bench where we left our clothes without falling down. I help him sit down and begin to help him get dressed. "I think I can manage on my own from here, thanks," he tells me.

"You sure?" I question, he's swaying ever so slightly and has his eyes closed.

"Yeah. I'll holler if I need any help," he replies around a yawn.

"Shep, I'm real sorry," I apologize.

He opens one eye and looks at me blearily. "Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Don't do it again," he orders weakly, closing his eye again and slipping his feet into his boxers.

Taking his response as forgiveness, I start to pull on my own clothes while keeping a close eye on him.

He does just fine until he stands up to pull his boxers and pants up over his hips. I manage to catch him just before he would have hit the floor.

"Whoa," I say, shifting my grip so he can finish fastening his pants.

"Thanks," he whispers, sitting down again and reaching for his shirt.

When I finish dressing, I pick up his sock and stoop down in front of him to help some more.

"Ronon," he calls, his voice relaying just how hard he's fighting to stay awake.

"Yeah?" I respond, looking up.

When our gazes lock, he slowly reaches out and cups my cheeks. "Thank you," he breathes against my lips before pressing a chaste kiss to them. It takes all my willpower to not deepen it and eventually he pulls back.

"Don't mention it," I tell him just as softly.

Breaking eye contact, I help him on with his boot. Once the laces are as tight as he wants them, I take the loose ends in my hands and loop them before tying them together.

"That's how my mom used to tie my shoes," he says, his voice breaking on the word, 'mom'.

I glance up in time to see a single tear roll down his cheek. "Sheppard," I start to say but get interrupted by the door opening.

"Oh! Sorry. Didn't know anyone was in here," a pretty woman with short cropped blonde hair exclaims.

"Not a problem, Colonel," John reassures her, getting unsteadily to his feet. "We were just leaving."

"Cam told me about your father," she says, sympathy heavy in her tone. "I'm sorry."

"Thanks," John replies, glaring at me.

"Didn't know it was a secret," I defend myself. He just shakes his head slowly and begins to make his way out of the room.

"Colonel Samantha Carter," the woman introduces herself to me, sticking out her hand when I go to pass her on my way out the door.

"Specialist Ronon Dex," I respond, giving her hand a brief squeeze.

"Enjoy your stay," she offers with a smile.

"Thanks," I reply before moving to catch up with John. "So that's Sam Carter," I muse.

"Huh?" he questions, slewing his head around.

"McKay's crush," I chuckle. While she is quite good looking, I'd be hard pressed to pick her over John. How McKay had the nerve to continue to harp about how good looking and whatnot she is while fucking John is beyond me.

"Hm, yeah," he responds with a slight smile.

"Not sure what he sees in her," I comment.

"Probably trying to make people think he's totally straight," he shrugs. "He took a lot of shit growing up because of how smart he is. If people knew he was bi…"

"I don't understand why it's such a big deal," I state. "Love is love. Who cares if the person you love is the same gender?"

"I happen to agree but I'm not going there," he says, stopping in front of the door to his room.

"Okay." I open the door.

He enters the room and all but collapses face first on the bed. "God I feel like I could sleep for a week," he mumbles, his voice muffled by the pillow he has his face smashed into.

"When do you need to be awake?" I ask, removing his boot so that he'll be more comfortable.

"Coupla hours," he responds, then starts to snore softly.
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