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Title: The Ties That Bind
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: NC-17
Author's Notes: The fight scene was inspired by the fight scene from the SG-1 episode Avalon Part 2 between Cameron and the knight.
Sequel/Series: The Soldier and the Scientist
Summary: Riddick teaches Rodney how to use a sword and John freaks.

Rodney's POV:

The force of my opponent's sword striking my own hastily raised one pulls a gasp of pain from my lips, the vibrations jarring my already protesting muscles. My arms went numb some time ago and yet I can't find it in me to call a halt to the torture.

"Rod-ney!" John's angry voice yelling my name across the practice yard takes the choice out of my hands when my tormentor lowers his sword to turn and watch my Mate march angrily toward us.

"John! You're just in time," Riddick calls back, a smile in his voice.

Obviously Riddick never received the memo about not taunting John when he's in this kind of mood.

John growls something in Riddick's ear that I can't hear but whatever it is doesn't faze the taller man at all. In fact, it amuses Riddick, a lot, if the way he throws back his head and howls with laughter is any indication.

"What the hell are you doing?" my Mate snarls once he reaches my side.

"What's it look like?" I snap back, narrowing my eyes as the Bond between us flares white-hot with his anger.

"It looks like you're trying to get yourself dusted," he answers, anger making the tone deeper and rougher than usual.

"He was never in any danger, John," Riddick says soothingly.

John turns on Riddick like he's an attacking Wraith. "You've done enough for one day."

"Seriously, John." I step forward, gaining his attention. "He was just teaching me to block..."

"With a real sword!?" he shouts, spinning back to face me. "Give me that before you cut off your hand," he orders, swiping the sword out of my grasp.

"You really need to chill out, Sheppard," Riddick states, his voice thick with frustration.

With a low growl, John spins back toward Riddick, bringing the sword up in an underhand swing that Riddick blocks with little effort. The sound of metal striking metal seems louder than it was just a few minutes ago.

I back up until I'm stopped by the fence that surrounds the area. While climbing over to stand on the other side, out of harm's way, I notice that several other clan members have wandered over to watch John and Riddick fight.

John's second swing is another underhand one that comes at the end of a full-spin to give it more force. Riddick blocks it just as easily.

John deflects Riddick's first swing, spinning away like he does when sparring with Teyla, and they start to circle each other, both looking for an opening, a chance to draw first blood. The swords twirl in their hands like batons – or Teyla's fighting sticks.

Riddick dances forward and John raises his sword just before it would have connected with his head. The force of the strike is hard enough to send sparks flying from the blades. The next several moves are too fast for me to tell who swung first.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe someone shouldn't call a halt when John kicks Riddick's blade away, spinning him in a circle. He ducks under Riddick's blade when he swings back in his direction before bringing his sword up under Riddick's and flipping it out of his hands.

Riddick drops to his knees, his strange silver eyes alight with laughter despite having just lost.

John presses the tip of his sword against the hollow of Riddick's throat until a drop of blood appears. "I never thought I'd have to say this to you," John growls. "If you ever come near him again, with or without a sword, or if I even smell you anywhere near him, I will kill you."

Despite the fact that the words are spoken softly, it's quiet enough for everyone, Human and Vampire alike, to hear them. I hear several gasps and a muttered, "Well now, that's not something you see every day."

Riddick chuckles, whether at John's words or those of the observer I have no idea. "You can always try, Jean-Luc," he informs my beyond pissed off Mate. "But for some reason, I don't think you'll succeed."

John's head jerks telling me that he's smirking and reminds Riddick in his laziest drawl, "I beg to differ, Richard. Seeing as how I currently have a sword pressed against your neck."

Riddick spreads his hands, conceding defeat. "You won't always be able to beat me," he taunts, earning himself a swift left jab to the nose that knocks him flat on his back.

There are even more startled gasps from the small crowd that has gathered.

"I mean it, Riddick. Stay the hell away from my Mate," John snarls before throwing the sword in his hand down so that it's buried point first in the ground between Riddick's legs.

My jaw is aching from hanging open for the past several minutes. I've never seen John like this. But I have memories from when Constance and Joseph did. I find that I don't like this side of my Mate.

"Might want to close that," says the same voice that spoke earlier as a finger pushes my chin up until my teeth click together. "You been practicing, D'Artagnan?"

John stalks to where we're standing and, grabbing a fistful of my shirt, pulls me forward so he can press his lips against mine in a hard, demanding and possessive kiss that leaves no one watching in doubt as to whom I belong to.

When he leans back he says something to the man to my right in a language I don't know, his voice a deep rumble.

"D'Artagnan?" I ask.

"I told you about that," John reminds me.

"Oh, right." I feel really stupid right now.

John just basically fought for me. And won. And according to the rumbles I'm hearing, it's not something he's ever likely to do again. The beating Riddick part, not the fighting for me.

Through our Bond I can still feel his anger but along with that is a feeling of accomplishment at defeating Riddick. And above it all a very strong need to claim me. Remind me just who my Mate is. As if I could forget. Especially after a kiss like that.

"Uh, John?" I begin to explain that Riddick didn't just decide to try and take my head.

"Not one word, Rodney," John interrupts, climbing over the fence and heading for the manor. "Rodney?" he calls once he realizes that I'm not following.

"You might want to not piss him off," one of the Chosen informs me. "At least not any more than Tony and Riddick already have." This last is said with an exaggerated eye roll at the man who called John 'D'Artagnan'.

Tony just grins like this is an everyday occurrence. "Yes, please do whatever it is you need to, to calm him down. Preferably before Nick sees him."

"Why before Nick sees him?" I ask, walking backwards so I can look at Tony while we're talking.

"Because Nick's been under a lot of stress for quite some time and I'm fairly certain that John wouldn't want to add to it," Tony answers me. "Now, go." He makes shooing motions with his hands. "My suggestion is to let him fuck your brains out."

If I was still Human, I'm sure my face would be bright red from embarrassment at his words.

I turn and jog a bit to catch up with my Mate, frowning at the anger I can still feel sizzling through our Bond.

With Tony's words spurring me on, I try to calm John down by slowly pushing all the love I feel toward his end of the link. He shakes his head hard, glaring at me over his shoulder. The feel of him shaking me off is like a physical blow.

I stumble to a stop, staring at him open mouthed in amazement. I never thought he'd refuse to let me help soothe his emotions.

Luckily we make it upstairs to our room without seeing anyone.

"Strip," he orders once we're behind our locked door.

"John…" I feel the need to try again to explain that Nick asked Riddick to show me how to use a sword.

"Not one fucking word, Rodney," he speaks over me. His tone is one he's never used with me. "I believe I told you to strip. Unless you want those clothes ripped from your body," he says, glancing at me over his shoulder, one eyebrow raised, continuing toward the wall opposite the door.

Considering he bought me the clothes I'm wearing, I can't seem to get them off fast enough.

Once I'm standing in the middle of the room wearing nothing but his spare dog tags, I realize he didn't even watch me strip. My heart falls, causing my self-doubt to rise to the fore. Not once since we first started having sex has he not watched me remove my clothes. The fact that he didn't watch this time makes me think he's regretting Bonding with me.

"Lie down on the bed, on your back, and grab the railing," he says, startling me and showing that while he may not have actually watched me undress, he was aware of me peeling the clothes from my body.

Climbing onto the bed, I keep one eye on where he's standing all stiff, staring at the wall. As I settle into the position he requested – requested my ass! – I hear a small metal click. I turn my head in time to see him opening a hidden drawer.

He turns toward the bed holding a beautifully carved wooden box. It's obviously an antique and is slightly longer than John's hand and just as deep.

"So very beautiful and all mine," he purrs, running the fingers of his right hand up the inside of my right thigh causing my dick to swell even more. "Do you trust me, Rodney?" he asks, placing the box down on the bedside table.

Speech is beyond me, as is usually the case when he gets all dominant in the bedroom, so I just nod my head.

He gives me the patented John Sheppard smirk, the one that has alien priestesses and princesses tripping all over themselves to gain his attention, and opens the box. I lift my head to try and see what's inside.

"Lie still, Rodney," he tells me, eyes narrowing on my face until I drop my head back down onto my pillow.

Out of the corner of my eye I see him take out something that looks like leather armbands.

He climbs onto the bed, still fully clothed, and straddles my hips. My eyes drift closed and a soft moan escapes me when I feel the rough denim of his jeans brush against my naked flesh.

John leans down to suck my tongue into his mouth, effectively distracting me from him placing the armbands around my wrists. I have just a moment to be thankful they're lined with soft fur before I hear a click telling me he's just cuffed me to the bed.

"What the fuck?" I yell, pulling on the cuffs but finding myself well and truly bound.

"I believe I told you to not talk," John states, slipping a ball gag in my mouth when I open it to protest. "I really didn't want to have to gag you, but since you can't seem to follow one little order…"

He knows how much I love to touch him and I know how much he loves the little noises I make when he fucks me. Tying me to the bed and gagging me are definite punishments. Although I can't figure out why he's so pissed. I need to know how to protect myself, don't I?

Since he's only left me my eyes to communicate with, I use them to their full effect. I open them as wide as they'll go and let them go slightly moist, just hinting at tears that are in no danger of falling. A trick I'm sure Constance often used to get her way.

But my Mate knows me too well. He snickers while reaching into the box for something else. I tense when I see the strip of silk he's running through his fingers. Shaking my head, I plead with my eyes for him to not do this. He knows I have this thing about the dark. We've had several arguments over the fact I need some light while sleeping and he prefers it to be completely dark.

"I thought you said you trust me," he says, a note of hurt slipping into his tone. "Were you just saying that?"

God, how can he possibly think that? I close my eyes and force my body to go slack in my Bonds, telling him the best I can that I trust him with my life.

John gets what I'm trying to say, if the kiss he places on each eyelid before he ties the silk around my head is any indication.

John then trails his fangs down my jaw, the tendons of my neck and across my collarbone. I don't even attempt to suppress the shiver that courses through my body.

"I love how you respond to me," he murmurs, nuzzling the back of my left ear. "I want you to listen to the Bond. It will tell you everything you need to know."

I can't keep from tensing when he rolls off the bed and is no longer touching me. A muffled whimper of distress escapes before I can stop it.

"Shhh, Rodney," John croons. "Just remember what I said."

Listen to the Bond… My body starts to shake in anticipation. I now know that binding, blinding and gagging me is not meant as a punishment. He's trying to teach me something. Something that he hopes will bring us closer together.

I've never really thought about our Bond before today. At least not beyond the fact that it tells me what his mood is and if he's hurt or not. It has always been there, in the back of my mind; like a voice that I can barely hear.

Then there's a new sensation… A soothing feeling as if someone is rubbing my back or stroking my hair. It takes me a minute but I finally figure out what it is. It is what John feels for me, what he sees when he looks at me. He's sending all his love and affection through the Bond, just like I tried to do earlier.

I've never been good at remaining still; used to drive my teachers crazy. I struggle to do as John requested and let our Bond guide me.
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