Word Count: 1,084
Notes: For rubygirl29, my recipient in this year's satedan_grabass</lj> exchange. I hope you like it, dear :) Thanks to race_the_ace for looking this through for me.
“So,” John says. They’re sitting in his room, Johnny Cash coming from the speakers, beers in hand. “What’s new?”
“Eh,” Ronon replies, taking a swig of beer and penciling something into the Sudoku book he’d had sent on the last Daedalus run. He’s technically a civilian contractor, so he technically draws a salary back on Earth; John has only ever seen it used for things like the Sudoku book or replacing John’s beer or something of the like. “You?”
“Eh,” John says back, sipping his own beer and looking back at the journal article he’s reading. It’s the latest edition of Advances in Applied Mathematics, and there’s a piece on the decrease value theorem and permutation statistics that seems really interesting.
This has sort of become their thing, this lazy kind of hanging out off the clock. Not that there’s much “off the clock” to be had, but when they’re not on a mission and John’s not up to his ears in paperwork and Ronon isn’t beating the crap out of the new Marines and calling it practice, they’re more often than not sitting in John’s quarters, just not doing much of anything.
They sit together in an easy sort of silence, Cash filling the empty spaces in the room with mournful notes about women and the blues. Ronon erases something so hard that he tears a hole in the page; John loses himself in the finer details of the theorem. It’s a while before either of them speaks, but surprisingly, it’s Ronon who breaks the silence.
“How’s your brother?” It’s not a totally off-the-wall question; he’s acutely interested in John’s relationship with Dave, and John is aware on some level that Ronon doesn’t understand why sometimes family doesn’t get along with family like he and Dave don’t get along. It’s not like family squabbles are uncommon in Pegasus, but as far as John has seen, disputes like the one between himself and his brother just don’t happen. It’s not hard to see why, either, given the Wraith.
“Good,” John responds, thinking of the little details he’s tried to gather from the infrequent emails they exchange. “His kids are getting big.”
“They do that if you feed them,” Ronon says with a grin, and John grins back.
“You seeing anyone?” John asks next. There’s a list of questions they usually go through; the answers never really change, and that’s part of the beauty of it.
“Nah,” Ronon answers, just as John had expected him to. But then he adds, “Been thinking about asking someone, though.”
John almost drops his journal off the bed. The usual thought that follows Ronon’s denial is that he’s not ready, still pining after Melena, and John’s sort of gotten used to the fact. It’s made things a little easier for John, truth be told, because it’s easy to hide your feelings for someone when you know they won’t – can’t – be reciprocated. To find out that Ronon has made his peace with what happened – well, it’s not like John can be upset about that, but it means that his carefully-constructed lies to himself aren’t going to hold up any more.
“Oh,” John finally says. “That’s – that’s great, buddy. I’m happy for you.” He settles the journal across his stomach. “You made your move yet?”
“Not yet,” Ronon tells him. “I’m not sure he’d be interested if I did.”
They’ve had this talk, too – about liking women, liking men, and how both of them are pretty open to either – so it’s not necessarily a shock that Ronon’s interested in a guy. Hell, it might even make more sense that it’s a guy than a woman, once John thinks about it – less painful memories that way, maybe.
“I’m pretty sure he would,” John supplies. “C’mon, who doesn’t want a guy like you? Funny, smart, loyal, able to kick everyone else’s ass…”
Ronon grins. “He’s all of those things too, though. He’s also pretty hot, and I know there are a ton of people interested in him, men and women.”
“Well,” John says thoughtfully, “first things first. Do you know for a fact that he’s into guys?”
“He is,” Ronon confirms. “He knows I’m into guys, too.”
Part of John wonders why he’s helping Ronon with his guy problems when there’s a big part of him that’s already mourning for the lost chance between them. It’s not like Ronon’s moving in with this guy already; hell, he hasn’t even asked the guy out. There’s still a chance in there somewhere.
“Huh,” John replies. “Well, I’d say the best bet would be for you to just make your move.” He can feel his palms sweat a little and wipes them absently on his pants as he sits up and swings his legs over the side of the bed so he’s facing Ronon. “Just keep in mind, though, that it isn’t – it doesn’t-”
John gives up, leans over, and kisses Ronon square on the lips.
“Just-” John tries as he pulls away. He can feel his face flush as he stands, already backing towards the door. He pauses as he swipes his hand over the crystals, hearing the door open behind him. “Something to think about,” he finishes weakly before tearing down the hallway.
It occurs to John a few minutes later that his strategic retreat maneuver is hampered by the fact that he just left Ronon in his room, so he can’t hole up there to berate himself for his utter lack of self-control. “Stupid,” he mutters to himself as he finds his favorite balcony and steps outside. “Not smart, John, not smart at all.”
“Not really,” Ronon agrees from the other side of the balcony, and John freezes mid-step. Of course Ronon would know where John would be headed before John had known it himself.
“Also,” Ronon adds, taking a few steps towards John, “sometimes when I’m telling you stuff, you don’t really hear what I’m saying.”
“Um,” John says eloquently. “Okay, you’ve lost me.”
Ronon grins at him again, the smile that splits his face, and he grabs John by the arm.
“Idiot,” he says affectionately, and as John’s frowning and opening his mouth to respond, Ronon leans his head down and kisses John.
“Me,” John murmurs stupidly when Ronon pulls back. “You were talking about me.”
“Like I said,” Ronon tells him with a smirk, “sometimes you just don’t hear.”
“I’m hearing you now,” John replies, and this time when their lips meet, they’re both on the same page.