Summary: Kavanagh and Ronon deal with the fallout of the events of Critical Mass.
Spoilers: Critical Mass
Word count: 1914
Disclaimer: Not mine. If they were, anyone who hurt Kavanagh would pay with blood!
Notes: Written for eviljr in the sga_secondary ficathon. Prompt: Kavanagh/Ronon fluff. Thanks to larianelensar for the beta.
Dr. Kavanagh sat on his desk in the otherwise empty lab with his laptop open in front of him as he attempted to focus on the fractural analysis of the potentially volatile substance Major Lorne’s team found on their last mission. He hadn’t made any progress since he sat down and it was late enough that everyone else had gone home. Yet he stayed with dogged determination. He wasn’t leaving until he’d made up for all the time that Weir caused him to lose today with her ‘questioning’.
He knows they don’t think much of him, not any of them. Lorne, when he first got here, at least made an effort. But it turned out that he was just a military grunt like the rest of them; too caught up in his own image to risk going against the flock. But he will not just give up and go back to Earth. That had failed spectacularly the first couple of times he’d tried. And he won’t let them see him weak or hurt. Nope, he was going to do the job that he was here to do.
The punching bag in the makeshift gym was being flung around wildly in all directions at Ronon’s hands. Sheppard had told him to have someone else there, to support it when he trained but considering his mood he can’t promise he’d refrain from causing serious injury to whomever was on the other side.
Determined to shake all thoughts from his head, he went back to attacking the bag with all his force. He landed one punch after another, the bag moving so rapidly it was barely more than a blur of activity, yet every single one of his attacks landed precisely on target. He kept going, harder and faster until the bag suddenly fell from it’s chain and dropped to the floor. He rolled out of the way just in time to avoid being flattened. Both he and the training aide came to rest against the wall.
His muscles were actually tired enough to be painful, something that hadn’t happened since he found his new home. Sweat dripped from his forehead down to his eyes and caused his tight t-shirt to stick to his back. His breathing was irregular and laboured and he let his head fall back against the smooth, cool wall.
He didn’t understand why he was feeling like this. He had always known that sometimes bad things need to be done for the greater good. He had done more than one such thing in the past. Especially under orders. Except this wasn’t an order. He’d volunteered. He was protecting the City of the Ancients. Except he wasn’t. Somewhere, deep inside, he’d known the man was innocent. He couldn’t explain why or how. But he’d learnt to trust his instincts so he’d known. But still he volunteered to hurt him. He couldn’t understand why.
It had been a week since ‘the incident’ and things were beginning to go back to normal. At least as normal as life on Atlantis for it’s most unpopular inhabitant got. It was back to long days in the lab and lonely meals. The only time anyone talked to him was when it was absolutely unavoidable. He included Heightmeyer in that category. She’d approached him a few days ago and perkily stated a time for him to turn up at her office. Something in her tone made it clear it was best to comply.
He was late, his tiny act of protest, but obviously she had expected that since her door still had the generic ‘do not disturb’ sign, which apparently transcended galaxies, displayed. He settled against the railing opposite her door and waited for it to open. Five minutes, he decided. If she wasn’t done by then, that was her problem. He hadn’t finished the thought when he noticed movement inside. Someone was standing up. Ethically he knew he shouldn’t intrude but he was a scientist, curious by nature and his eyes were drawn inside.
He was shocked to see that it was none other than that barbarian who wanted to flay him alive or some other equally wondrous thing. That was the last person he’d expected to need therapy, at least not the type that didn’t require heavy-duty weaponry. As the door opened, he quickly averted his gaze. The last thing he needed was for the beast-man to catch him gaping. But even more surprising than him actually being there was that he stopped just outside the door and acknowledged him.
“Wow, you can string two words together. Am I supposed to be impressed?” He responded snidely. He knew he should be afraid to talk to the man like that, but he wasn’t. He couldn’t understand why. Maybe it was the place.
Ronon mumbled something about orders and then walked away, his eyes never leaving Kavanagh’s. He didn’t get a chance to ponder that, as Heightmeyer appeared at the doorway, cheerful as ever.
“Come in Doctor.” She ordered and he followed her in with one last glance at the retreating form.
A few days later, he got caught up in work, not an uncommon occurrence and didn’t realise how late it had gotten until his stomach started growling, demanding attention. He glanced down at the time display on his laptop and sighed. Better get something to eat. He’d already overtaken McKay’s reputation for fainting, he didn’t want to make things worse.
One of the good things about eating so late, he mused, sitting in the mess hall with his just-this-side-of-stale Athosian wheat bread and stew made with some kind of meat, was the lack of other people. He was still eating by himself, that had always been his default but this way there weren’t tables full of people talking and laughing and generally not even noticing his presence.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t see Ronon walking across the hall toward him. He doesn’t hear the giant man until he was pulling out the chair opposite his and helping himself to a seat. He didn’t say anything. Just sat down and started on his meal.
Kavanagh looked up at him dumbfounded, staring for a moment. The barbarian glanced at him momentarily and then went back to eating without saying anything.
He coughed to clear his throat, getting ready to say something, maybe ask him what the hell he thought he was doing. But he couldn’t think of anything appropriate and asking him for a reason would imply that he was capable of applying logic to his decisions. So instead he didn’t say anything, and they both ate in silence.
Kavanagh finished first and glimpsed the other man from the corner of his eye. He wasn’t sure what the correct thing to do now would be. The whole thing felt completely surreal. Still ignoring his unwanted companion, he picked up the tray with the remnants of his dinner, disposed of it and left. Ronon barely even seemed to notice.
Over the next few weeks he stuck to the same pattern, working slightly later than was usual even for a member of the science staff and then going for a late dinner. He continued to tell himself it was because he preferred the quiet and had nothing to do with the fact that Ronon seemed to be following the same pattern. He would always walk in only moments after he’d arrived and take a seat. The paranoid part of him thought maybe he was being followed, but despite all his efforts he could never find any evidence for it. Then they’d eat, almost always in complete silence.
Until one night Ronon walked in with a large bandage across one side of his chest and nothing else covering his top half. Kavanagh had to work hard to stop himself from staring. It didn’t help that his mind started providing much more pleasurable scenarios in which he could view the man’s powerfully built physique. He hadn’t had sex in a long, long while. That’s all it was. He could never be interested in the big reprobate he told himself, not at all surprised that he believed it. He’d gotten good at making excuses in his own head.
“What happened?” He muttered, not looking up from his plateful of aubergine like vegetables in a spicy sauce.
“Trouble off world.” Ronon replied in a clipped tone, making it clear he did not want to talk about it. Kavanagh shrugged and went back to his meal.
A few days after that, the trouble with the Ancient technology that turned every inanimate object within a seven-metre radius into a viscous bronze liquid began. He and Simpson worked non-stop on trying to reverse its effects or at least switch the damn thing off. They finally managed it at 0400 hours on their third day of attempting it.
Utterly worn out but pretty pleased with himself he inched back to his quarters. Once there he kicked off his shoes, shrugged off his jacket and fell onto the bed, not even having enough energy to crawl underneath the covers.
Just as he was drifting off, he was awakened by a chime at the door. He ignored it. If it was important they would have comm’ed, anything else could wait. But the door opened anyway and Ronon walked in with two trays balanced in his hands.
“You haven’t been eating properly.” He chided.
It was true, he’d been living off coffee and power bars since the problem started so he hadn’t been to the mess hall recently. He hadn’t expected the alien to notice that though.
“It’s late. I’m tired.” He said tersely, not even lifting his head from the bed. He hoped that would get rid of him.
Instead Ronon moved closer to him, holding out a bowl of something that actually smelled pretty good.
“Eat something,” he ordered and then perched on the edge of the bed. He helped Kavanagh sit up, propped him back against the wall and spoon fed him, without waiting for an answer.
Kavanagh didn’t have the energy to argue so he opened his mouth and swallowed obediently a few times.
“Why are you doing this?” He asked suddenly and it was a testament to his state of exhaustion that it had taken him so long to realise how entirely bizarre this whole situation was.
Ronon eyed him for a moment, as if weighing something up and then shrugged. “I like you.” He stated matter-of-factly. His fingers, surprisingly gentle, pushed back a strand of hair that had come loose from its tight binding and was falling across his eye.
Kavanagh paused for a minute, a little taken back. He stopped to think about it. “Yeah I like you too.”
Ronon grinned, one of those rare toothy grins but he still made Kavanagh finish most of the soup. When he was satisfied, he helped him take off the outer layer of his clothes, until he was more comfortable in just his undershirt and boxers. Then, lifting him easily, he tucked him under the covers. He softly kissed his cheek, just a gentle press of dry lips. “Ok now sleep.” He muttered as he got into the small bed too and spooned up behind him.
Kavanagh didn’t need any more encouragement as he easily drifted off for a second time, comfortable, content, and happy for the first time in as far back as he could remember.