Characters: John/Ronon, Dave Sheppard
Word Count: 1,449
Summary: Vacations aren't really the best when you're staying with family.
Notes: This is for smaragdbird for the vacationthon exchange. I hope you like it! Thanks to padfootthegrim for looking this over.
“Dave,” John says when the door swings open. “Hey, thanks for letting us crash here. We only have a week of leave, so we shouldn’t be in your hair for too long.” He gestures to his companion. “You remember Ronon.”
“I… do,” Dave replies, looking at Ronon and looking for all the world like he wants to back away with his hands held out. “And you can stay for as long as you want, John. The house belongs to both of us.”
John shrugs. “It’s your house. We both know it.”
“Right,” Dave says after a minute, focusing in on John. “I assumed you wouldn’t want to stay in your old room, so I set up the two rooms at the end of the hall for you.”
“Um,” John says after a moment. “We, ah. Only need one of those.”
Dave doesn’t blink for long enough that John moves from slightly worried to full-out panicking.
“Is that a problem?” he asks slowly, because fuck that, if it is, he and Ronon will just find a hotel or something, it’s only a week-
Dave is shaking his head, though, and he’s moving out of their way and gesturing into the house. “No, not a problem,” he says as John steps inside. “Not even that surprising, now that I think about it.”
“Yeah,” Ronon says from behind John. “We get that a lot.”
“I’m sorry about that,” John apologizes as they finally make their way up the stairs to the room they’re sharing. It’s been a long, awkward night, full of Dave asking questions that neither of them can answer, getting more and more frustrated until Dave’s wife Amanda had put a hand on his arm to calm him down and brightly asked if they’d heard about Aunt Phyllis and her son Edward. John had taken the olive branch gratefully, and he and Ronon had listened, bored to tears, as Amanda ran them through the family updates of the past two years or so.
“You’ve got a big family,” is all Ronon says. “Nice.”
“Not so much.” John sighs. “It just made Hanukkah really awkward, because half of us didn’t know the other half, and most of us hated the ones we did know.”
Ronon blinks at him, and John wants to kick himself. Ronon doesn’t have any family, none at all, and something like disagreements between two uncles four generations ago wouldn’t be a reason for a family to stay divided in Pegasus, anyway. John opens his mouth to apologize again, but Ronon beats him to it.
“Hanukkah,” he says, squinting. “That’s the one with the candles and the presents, right? Or is the one with the boring food?”
“That’s Passover,” John corrects as he smiles. “Hanukkah is the one with the presents.”
“Seems like the presents might make it less awkward.”
John shrugs. “You’d be shocked.”
“He seems nice,” Amanda enthuses when John slumps at the kitchen table at far too early in the morning. Ronon is out running; John had gone out on the route he’d run in high school, but Ronon hadn’t even slowed when they completed the circuit. John had waved and headed back to the house. Ronon can have his extra exercise; John just wants a coffee and a shower, in that order. “Where did you say he was from?”
They hadn’t said anything, and Amanda knows that John recognizes that she’s digging for information. She smiles and shrugs as John lifts an eyebrow. “Can’t blame a girl for trying.”
“He’s a civilian contractor,” John repeats for at least the tenth time this visit. “We met a few years ago, we work together, I can’t tell you more than that.”
Amanda shrugs. “Hey, if he makes you happy, I’m all for it.”
John blinks at her, but she seems overly interested in the coffeemaker. “Um. Thanks.”
Amanda shrugs and keeps pushing buttons, and John decides that maybe he’d rather have a shower first after all.
“We can go riding,” John suggests.
“Nah,” Ronon replies. He’s stretched out across the bed they’re sharing, tossing a miniature football into the air and catching it.
“There’s an aquarium in town.”
Ronon frowns. “What’s an aquarium?”
“They have a bunch of fish in tanks,” John tries to explain. “Colorful ones, rare ones, some sharks. I think they have a few seals over there too. It’s just a big collection of fish to see.”
“Fish,” Ronon repeats. “You just walk around and look at fish in tanks.”
John sighs. “Yeah, it is kind of dumb, when you put it that way.”
Ronon just tosses the football into the air again.
“Stop it,” John hisses, and Ronon pulls away with a frown.
“What?” he asks after a minute, sounding completely mystified. “You don’t want to fuck?”
“My brother is two rooms away,” John says, voice low. “I’d really rather not repeat his sixteenth birthday party.”
Ronon’s eyes light up, amused and entirely too interested. “What happened?”
“Nothing,” John lies, but he can feel the tips of his ears turning red, and Ronon just raises an eyebrow and smirks until John sighs. “I had Melissa Paterson in my room, okay, and we were – you know,” he says lamely. “And Dave needed something, or wanted to tell me something, or just burst in for the hell of it, I don’t know.”
Ronon is outright laughing now. “Your brother caught you fucking your girlfriend,” he says gleefully. “That’ll teach him to knock.”
“Anyway,” John continues, feeling his entire face heat and doing his best to ignore it, “I really don’t want to repeat that experience.”
“I bet he’d knock this time,” Ronon says with a yawn, but he slides down into the bed and tucks in behind John.
Ronon looks about ten minutes away from shooting something just for something to do. “How long are we here?” he demands.
“Three more days,” John tries to soothe. “Our flight is on Friday.”
“Next time Woolsey tells us we have to take a vacation, I’m picking where we go,” Ronon says seriously. “This isn’t fun at all.”
“Hey,” John objects. “Just because we didn’t go to the shooting range-”
“We went to the zoo,” Ronon practically growls. “It was only a little more interesting than that aquarium would have been.”
“I like zoos,” John offers halfheartedly. Ronon rolls his eyes.
“We’re doing dumb things or we’re not doing anything at all,” Ronon says, focusing on John. “You don’t want to fuck while we’re here. I’m supposed to relax, but all I can think about is how bored I am, because we’re staying here and keep doing things that your family thinks are awesome.”
“Huh,” John replies, leaning back on the bed. “That does sound like a pretty bad vacation.”
Ronon just nods.
“So.” Dave clears his throat when they finish dinner. “I thought, uh. It might be nice for you guys to. Um.”
Amanda rolls her eyes and produces an envelope from somewhere. John opens it and glances up at his sister-in-law. “Huh?”
“You hate it here,” Amanda says, holding her hand up when John opens his mouth to protest. “We’re not taking it personally, but you only have two and a half days left on your vacation. I figured you could use some actual relaxation without worrying about us walking in on you.”
“Amanda,” Dave hisses, turning as red as John is sure he’s doing.
“What is it?” Ronon asks, looking at John.
“The next few nights at a hotel in town,” John answers, looking back down into the envelope.
Ronon whoops and lunges out of his chair, hauling Amanda up and spinning her in a circle. She laughs and tugs on Ronon’s hair as he sets her back on the ground. “Go pack,” she says with a smile, and Ronon disappears through the door like he was never there.
“Um,” John says, still staring at the envelope.
“Yeah,” Dave agrees. John looks up and meets his eyes; Dave looks as surprised as John feels. Their gazes hold for a few seconds, and then John sees the corners of Dave’s lips start to twitch. John feels his own respond, and before long they’re both laughing helplessly.
Amanda looks back and forth between them. “You’re both ridiculous,” she sighs, but there’s a smile on her face, too.
“Much better,” Ronon says later that night, lying in their bed. “We should thank your brother.”
“We’ll send a card,” John agrees. “And we’ll get something really nice for Amanda. I’m sure this was her idea.”
“I knew I liked her,” Ronon declares, hooking an arm around John’s waist and pulling him in snugly. “Let’s send her two things.”