[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: Androcles and the Lion
Author: [livejournal.com profile] isiscolo
Pairing: Beckett/Dex
Rating: R
Recipient: na paisti
Spoilers: through Conversion (with some dialogue verbatim from Conversion)
Summary: Animals have the capacity only to be grateful; humans alone have the capacity to love.

Androcles and the Lion

"Doctor," said a low, rumbling voice from the doorway, and Carson looked up. It was Ronon Dex, the man they'd brought back with them from P3M-736, and his bulk filled the doorway like his voice seemed to fill the room. In his hands he held what looked like a tray from the mess, with a sheet of foil over it.

"What is it? Is your back paining you?" It was an automatic query; as he spoke the words, he knew that Ronon would never admit to being in pain. Besides, only two days earlier Carson had removed the sutures across the place where the Wraith tracking device had been, and the skin had been healthy-looking, with no sign of infection.

"I'm fine. But you left in the middle of your meal."

Carson nodded. "Dr. Simpson had a nasty burn, and I was on call."

"You didn't return to finish."

Good Lord, thought Carson. How was it possible that despite that deep voice, he heard the clear echo of his mother's chiding? "I only sent her off five minutes ago," he said, uncomfortably aware of the guilty note in his own voice. "I must finish putting things away. Bandages, ointment - I can't leave them lying about the infirmary."

"It's all right," said Ronon, stepping into the room and placing the tray he held onto one of the examining tables. As he removed the foil Carson realized that it was his own abandoned tray, with the remnants of the lasagna he hadn't been able to finish before he'd been summoned to attend to Dr. Simpson. "I brought it for you."

Carson's eyebrows lifted in surprise. He hadn't expected anyone to bring him his dinner - least of all Ronon, whom he barely knew. "That was kind of you. Thank you."

"Need any help?" Ronon gestured at the bandages and bottles still lying on the table.

"No, no. I'm nearly finished here. I'll just put things away, shall I, and then I promise you I'll finish my dinner."

"Good," said Ronon, and smiled. In the two weeks Ronon had been in Atlantis, Carson could not remember having seen him smile. It changed his fierce features, softening them, making him look less like a wild, dangerous animal and more like a man. Still, there was no doubt he was a wild and dangerous man. Carson hoped that Colonel Sheppard knew what he was about, inviting Ronon to stay on. But with his home planet devastated by the Wraith, it was certainly the kind thing to have done. Perhaps it would turn out to have been the sensible thing, as well.

"Thank you," Carson said again.

Ronon's face returned to its normal expression: slightly fierce, slightly wary, his dark, intelligent eyes assessing the world as though from behind a mask. Then he nodded, turned, and left the infirmary.

Carson put the gauze and surgical tape in one cabinet, the scissors and tweezers in another, then washed his hands and settled down to his cold meal, thinking about Ronon Dex. Looking back over the past few weeks, he could not pinpoint the exact moment that Ronon's attitude toward him had changed; it had been a slow shift from being greeted at gunpoint on P3M-736 to being brought a tray of lasagna in the infirmary. Certainly it made sense that Ronon would be grateful to him - to all of them - but it seemed out of character for him to be so solicitous.

When Sheppard's team finally made it back from Olesia, it was Rodney, predictably, who went straight to the infirmary, moaning about a possible broken arm that turned out to be nothing more than a few bruises. Carson tracked down Colonel Sheppard when Teyla mentioned that he might have a head injury, and Sheppard, in turn, told him that Ronon had had an arrow through the calf. "Not that he's going to see you about it. The man's made of steel."

"It might get infected," said Carson, frowning.

"I told him that. He couldn't care less."

But when Carson went down to lunch the next day and saw Sheppard and Ronon eating, he stopped at their table. They made an odd pair, he thought: the one so slight and casually slouched against the back of his chair, the other solid and muscular. Despite Ronon's long hair and primitive clothing, he was clearly a soldier - a fighter, anyway, and one you'd want on your side.

Yet around Carson, he always seemed surprisingly gentle. The evening when he'd brought up the dinner tray had apparently marked some sort of beginning; after that, Ronon stopped by the infirmary or Carson's laboratory frequently. Sometimes he brought a message or request from Sheppard, sometimes he brought food, and sometimes he simply stood in the doorway and watched impassively. Nearly always he asked if there was something he could do to help, but of course there was nothing. He never stayed more than a few minutes. And when he left, it was as though the air rushed in to fill the too-large space where he had been.

They both looked up as Carson approached their table. "Hello, Doc," said Sheppard.

Ronon gestured to the seat at his side. "Will you eat with us?"

Carson shook his head. "I'm taking lunch in my office today. But Colonel Sheppard tells me you took an arrow in the leg."

"It's nothing."

"I'd like to take a look at your wound. There's no telling what might have been on that arrow."

The fork Ronon held - still awkwardly, but at least he had table manners now - delivered its load to Ronon's mouth. He chewed impassively for a moment, then nodded. "I'll come up to the infirmary when I'm done eating."

"Hey!" said Sheppard. "I told you the same thing, and you didn't even listen to me."

Ronon shrugged. "You're not Dr. Beckett."

Sheppard feigned outrage, and Carson shook his head, smiling. "As a doctor I do have a certain authority. At least in medical matters."

"That too," said Ronon, and shoveled another forkful into his mouth.

As it turned out, Ronon's leg was healing perfectly well on its own, but Carson swabbed it with antibiotic anyway and wrapped it in a clean bandage. "Just keep it clean. Whatever you've been doing," he said, waving a hand in the air. "It seems to have worked."

"Thank you."

Carson looked up sharply, but there was no hint of sarcasm in the broad, open face. "I didn't need to do anything. Your leg is healing remarkably well."

"That's not what I meant. I wanted to thank you for all of it," said Ronon. "Everything. I was a Runner for seven years. Now that's over."

"Well," Carson said. Perhaps it was that he was unused to being thanked for what he did, but it made him a bit uncomfortable. "It's my job, after all."

"You heal people because it's your job. But it's your job because you care about people."

"You had a gun pointed at Teyla! It's not as though I had a choice."

Ronon raised an eyebrow. "You always have a choice."

"I suppose," Carson said, putting away the gauze and antibiotic. Although if he was honest with himself he'd have to admit that he'd made his choice when he'd learned what it was to be a Runner. A horrible life, to be a plaything for Wraith hunters. No man deserved that.

"You saved my life." Ronon swung easily to his feet. "I won't forget it."

"Aye, like Androcles and the lion," muttered Carson. At Ronon's confused look, he sighed. "A tale from my planet. A lion - that's a fearsome man-eating beast - got a thorn stuck in his paw that gave him great trouble. Androcles took it out."

"The transmitter in my back."

"Aye. I was thinking of that story when Colonel Sheppard told me I must come to the planet to do the surgery."

"You think of me as a fearsome beast."

Ronon's face was a mask, but Carson was abruptly certain he'd hurt the man's feelings. He chose his words carefully. "When I came through the stargate I knew only that you - only that a man was holding my friends hostage. That to save my friends I had to perform dangerous surgery in the field, on someone who had the power to kill us all. And then there was your hair, of course." Ronon frowned and put a hand to his hair, and Carson hastily added, "It makes you look a little like a lion. They have great manes, like you."

"On Sateda we had a story like that as well," said Ronon. "About a boy who found a Wraith caught in a sticker-tree, and set him free."

"And did the Wraith spare him, then?"

Ronon's eyes narrowed. "It was a Wraith. It fed on him and left the body for his parents to find."

Carson swallowed. "The story on my world ends a bit differently."

"I am not a Wraith," said Ronon, walking to the door. "I'm not a beast, either."

He had offended Ronon, that much was clear. The small and inexplicable kindnesses stopped; there were no more dinner trays brought up to his laboratory, no more offers to clean or carry things. And no more of those strange, sudden smiles.

Even though he'd only seen Ronon for a few moments each day, when he stopped coming his absence seemed to permeate the laboratory almost more than his presence had. Carson would hear a noise in the hallway and look up, expecting Ronon - and it would be one of the nurses, or one of the other doctors, or a lieutenant with a sprained wrist. It bothered him enough that one afternoon he ventured to Ronon's quarters, planning to apologize, but Ronon was off-planet on a mission that day, and Carson never quite got his nerve up to try again.

When Colonel Sheppard brought back news of the Wraith girl who was living without feeding on humans, Carson knew he had to go to that planet. If she could be persuaded to give him a blood sample, it would help his research immeasurably. And he wanted to meet this Dr. Zaddik, who'd developed the drug to allow her to sustain herself on ordinary food.

It wasn't until after he'd convinced Elizabeth that he ought to go to the planet that it occurred to him that he'd be traveling with Ronon. And when they got into the jumper with Sheppard, it was every bit as uncomfortable as he'd feared. Ronon hardly looked at him and spoke not at all, answering even Sheppard's comments with wordless grunts.

When they had landed on the planet's surface, cloaked the jumper, and taken out the cases of medical gear, Sheppard turned to them, frowning. "I need to go up to the village. Are you two going to be all right?"

"Fine," said Ronon.

Carson looked at him; his face was blank, his lips set. Turning back to Sheppard, he said, "I'm sure I'll have no difficulty with Ronon to assist me."

"Really," said Sheppard. It was clear he'd picked up on their mutual discomfort, and he looked from one to the other. After a moment he turned on his radio to call Teyla and let her know that Ronon and Carson were on their way to join her and Rodney in Zaddik's cave. When they finished talking, he stacked the case he had been carrying on top of Ronon's load and headed off, presumably toward the village.

Without a word, Ronon swung the smallest of the cases he was carrying toward Carson, who caught it awkwardly. Then he set off down the path in the opposite direction from the one Sheppard had taken.

Carson followed as rapidly as he could, but even though Ronon was carrying the larger load, the pace was too fast. Each stride of Ronon's long legs took him further away. Finally Carson called out. "Please. Ronon."

Ronon stopped without turning around. The sound of his own labored breathing seemed magnified in Carson's ears as he hurried up to him. "I'm sorry. I can't keep up."

"Tell me when you are rested." He still didn't turn around, and Carson felt a sudden ache in his chest that had nothing to do with his lungs. He put down the cases and reached a hand tentatively to touch Ronon's arm.

"Please. I never intended to insult you."

"You think of me as a beast."

"I know you are not."

"In your story, the man helped the animal who would have killed him. The animal was grateful, and spared him. Am I right?" Ronon whirled then, and as much as Carson wanted to say no, no, you are no animal, the words died in his throat. Ronon had never looked so like a lion, not even that first time. His hair had flown out behind him when he turned, framing his face with an untamed mane, and his eyes were dark and dangerous, irises thin circles around jet-black pupils, transfixing Carson with a steady gaze. "The animal spared him out of gratitude," Ronon spat. As though gratitude was an obscenity.

Finally Carson found his voice. "Men may be grateful, too."

"No," said Ronon. "Gratitude is when someone with power does something for someone with no power. When a man does something for a beast. Between equals, it's different. On Sateda when a man saves the life of another man, a bond is created between them. Not gratitude. Something greater."

"I have never thought of you as anything less than a man." Perhaps as more, he thought but didn't add. Everything about Ronon was somehow larger than ordinary. He was the tallest man in Atlantis; he was stronger than Sergeant Bates, swifter than Teyla. Ronon's thoughts he kept to himself, but Carson had no doubt that a keen intelligence lurked behind those shuttered eyes. To have survived seven years with the Wraith nipping at his heels, he would have to be smart as well as strong.

"When you first saw me you thought of the beast."

"Oh, for goodness' sake," said Carson, exasperated. "It was only an analogy. If I had thought you were a beast I would have left you for the Wraith. Sheppard would have shot you when we approached. You're a man, a fine man, and we value you greatly."

"Do you?" The tiniest bit of emphasis on the "you" brought it down to the personal. Ronon's eyes were very dark, and Carson had the uncomfortable feeling they were looking into him, judging him.

"Aye," he said. "I do."

Ronon did not smile as he turned away, but when he said, "We should continue to the cave," his voice was softer, and when he started walking again his pace was slower. Carson knew he had been forgiven.

Another planet, another cave. Of course they wouldn't have needed to come here had he not taken his experimental retrovirus to Zaddik's cave, thought Carson gloomily, as he zipped his collar all the way up.

"See? Not so stupid," crowed Rodney.

"Oh, shut up," he snapped. Rodney could say anything he liked from his relatively safe position nearer the cave's entrance; he wasn't surrounded by thousands of iratus bugs, all chittering and chirping, held at bay only by sprinklings of saltwater. Carefully Carson walked along the path he'd cleared. Major Lorne called to him, but he barely heard; he was too focused on the goal - the giant egg sac that dangled from the ceiling of the cave like a misshapen stalactite. "I've come this far," he muttered, extending his collecting stick toward the sac.

Then everything seemed to happen at once - Ronon's shout warning him, Ronon's gun firing. Carson hadn't seen the bug drop toward him, but he saw fragments of exoskeleton rain down as the bugs on the floor surged in his direction, their pincers skittering on the rock floor, the buzz of their angry chirping growing louder. Teyla yelled and he ran toward her, toward the sound of her voice and the dim light from the cave entrance and Ronon's reassuring bulk, his gun firing, firing, scattering the bugs, keeping Carson safe.

Nobody spoke much on the long walk back to the gate. Two of the marines had died, and they'd failed to retrieve any eggs, which meant that Sheppard was likely to die as well. Even Rodney was silent. After the grenade had exploded, Ronon had stared into the cave for a moment, then strode past the rest of them to take the lead. Carson quashed the urge to speak with him; there would be time enough for talk later, after they'd returned to Atlantis and given their grim news to Elizabeth.

But there wasn't really time, as it turned out, because Sheppard's condition had worsened, and that occupied everybody's attention - especially Carson's and Ronon's. It wasn't until after Carson had begun reversing Sheppard's conversion with the stem-cell treatment from the iratus bug eggs that Sheppard himself had managed to retrieve that things settled down again.

Ronon spent a lot of time in the infirmary, watching over Sheppard's convalescence, but so did Teyla and Rodney. Colonel Sheppard was lucky, thought Carson, that his friends rallied around him so; not for the first time, he envied the closeness of the offworld teams, their easy familiarity with each other. Of course this was the result of the many hazards they'd faced together, which Carson envied not in the least. The journey to the iratus bugs' nest was one he'd just as soon forget.

When they'd been in the cave, Ronon had shot the bug that was about to land on him. Maybe Ronon's saving his life canceled out his saving Ronon's life by removing the Wraith transmitter. Carson wondered what would happen between them when things in Atlantis returned to normal.

Speak of the devil and his horns would appear, as the saying went; he looked up from his desk where he was entering notes on Sheppard's condition, and there was Ronon, gripping the door frame as though he were holding it up. Ronon jerked his shaggy head in the direction of the curtained-off room where Sheppard lay. "Can I?"

"Go ahead. He should be awake."

Carson finished updating his files, listening with half an ear to the quiet conversation going on behind the curtain. He couldn't make out words, just the rumble of Ronon's voice and Sheppard's rasping counterpoint; Sheppard's throat was still blue and scaly, still affected by the retrovirus. It would be a few weeks yet before the changes it had wrought disappeared completely.

After ten minutes or so, Ronon emerged. "He looks terrible."

"The changes that remain from the retrovirus are mostly on the surface. Inside he's fully human."

Ronon's eyes met his. "You see that better than most people. I was wrong to say you didn't."

Ah. They were not talking about Sheppard, were they. "You saved my life in the cave," Carson said, unable to hold back a shudder at the memory of thousands of iratus bugs advancing toward him. "Thank you for that."

"You were in danger."

"The less I think about that, the better," he said firmly. Ronon raised an eyebrow and smiled, just a little; it sent a strange, sweet warmth through Carson, reminding him how much he'd missed it. At least he still rated the smile, even if Ronon's visits and kindnesses were now meant for Colonel Sheppard rather than for himself. "I suppose we're even now," he found himself saying.

The smile disappeared. "Is that what you think this is about?"

Carson sighed and shook his head. "To be honest, I have no clue what any of this is about."

"I think you do," said Ronon, and leaned over the desk. Gently he cupped Carson's chin in his big hand, stroking a thumb along the line of his jaw. For one wild moment, Carson thought that Ronon might kiss him, there in the infirmary with the door open and the medical assistant in the room beyond; then the hand dropped and Ronon stepped back, turned, and strode through the door.

Afterward Carson couldn't concentrate on anything. He drew blood from Sheppard's arm and put it in the centrifuge automatically, then stared at the readout without seeing the numbers; he took a culture from the refrigerator and started toward his laboratory table, then stood stock-still in the middle of the room, remembering the feel of Ronon's callused thumb on his chin, remembering the way Ronon's breath had gusted across his cheek when he'd bent to touch him. Thank God Dr. Biro was on call today, or Sergeant Milosevich might have been sent off with codeine or vitamin C when he came begging for more ibuprofen.

He was so distracted that he nearly missed dinner, running down to the mess just barely before it closed. There were only a few other latecomers there, nobody he knew well, so he sat with his stew and bread at a table by himself, trying to talk himself out of what he already knew he was going to do - or maybe talk himself into it. At this point, he supposed it didn't matter.

On impulse he went into the kitchen when he was finished and got a second slice of cake, which he wrapped loosely in a napkin. It was something like carrot cake, moist and brown with flecks of orange and a cool, creamy icing, and he was pretty sure it tasted good even though he couldn't really remember eating his own piece.

At Ronon's door he hesitated for a moment, then knocked.


The door slid open. Inside the room was lit only with the pale light of a nearly full moon, streaming through the window. Most of the people in Atlantis decorated their quarters with things brought from Earth, draping improvised curtains to shut out the alien sky; Ronon had had nothing but his clothing and his grisly necklace of Wraith trophies, and his quarters were as stark as a hospital room. Carson wondered which seemed more alien to Ronon: the city that had long been a legend to his people, or its current inhabitants, who came from a place far beyond anything he'd ever known.

Ronon was stretching, shirtless, with one foot on the windowsill and his torso bent across his leg. Moonlight played over his bare skin, rippling and gleaming as he straightened and turned toward Carson.

Carson felt a bit foolish, but he held out the slice of cake. "I thought you might like some."

Ronon accepted the cake as though it were a religious offering, with a grave expression that matched Carson's own. "Share it with me." He slid down to the floor, leaning back against the wall, and Carson settled himself beside him. "No fork?"

"I didn't think to -"

"It's fine." He broke a small piece from the cake's pointed corner and brought it to his mouth. "It's good. Take some."

"I - it's for you," said Carson. He watched, transfixed, as Ronon tore off another bite. A few crumbs clung to his beard, barely visible in the low light; when Ronon's tongue stole out to lick frosting from his fingers Carson could not keep from licking his own lips.

"It's good to be able to eat whenever I want. Food like this," Ronon said, taking another piece and dropping it into Carson's hand, "in company with others. The Wraith destroyed any village that gave me shelter."

"Aye," said Carson heavily. It wasn't that long ago that they'd tried to destroy Atlantis as well; he hoped the city remained the shelter Ronon craved, at least for a while longer.

Aware of Ronon's eyes on him, he brought the piece of cake to his mouth. He had barely noticed its flavor while sitting alone in the brightly lit mess hall, but here in the moonlight it was as though all his other senses were compensating for the darkness. His tongue noticed not just the hints of nut and spice in the cake, but also its moist texture, the smooth icing that melted sweetly in his mouth. Next to him Ronon's unclothed torso radiated enough heat that he could feel it through his uniform jacket; the only sounds were the quiet lapping noises of Ronon licking frosting from his fingers.

Carson swallowed the last bit of his piece of cake. The nervousness he'd felt earlier came back in full force. Maybe he had misunderstood. Maybe he should not have come. He shifted uncomfortably on the floor, thinking about getting to his feet; he would say something meaningless to Ronon, and then he would flee to the safety of his own room. He turned his head toward Ronon, to say something, anything. Dark eyes met his; in their depths he saw an intensity of feeling, and he knew he had not misunderstood.

He wasn't sure what he had intended to say, but what came out was: "How did you know?"

"I watch people," said Ronon. "I watch you."

Good God, thought Carson. It was his most closely guarded secret. Atlantis was partly a military base, after all, and although the force was nominally multinational, it was in reality dominated by the American military, who took a dim view of what they considered deviant behavior.

His thoughts must have shown on his face, because Ronon put a gentle hand on his leg and shook his head. "Most people aren't that observant. They don't have to be. I see how Lieutenant Cadman looks at you, and how you look at her. Not the same."

"No," he said. It wasn't the same, and he wondered whether Laura would notice before he was forced to tell her.

In the dim light Ronon's face was an abstract set of light and dark planes. Carson was more aware of the spicy scent of carrot cake and the almost-tickle of a beard very near to his cheek than he was of seeing Ronon close the small distance between their faces. He felt the warm press of lips, decisive but not overpowering: holding back, assessing, observing. He imagined he knew what Ronon was waiting for, so he gave it to him, leaning in, covering the large hand on his thigh with his own, and he was right, because Ronon made a low growl deep in his throat and pulled him closer.

Ronon's mouth was as big as the rest of him, and he kissed the way he ate his food, with impatience and single-minded intensity, as though he wanted to cram everything in at once. After a moment he twisted and Carson found himself tumbling on top of him, lying stretched full-length as if on a bed. Not bad for a mattress, if a bit hard, he thought wryly; hard pectoral muscles gently rising and falling with Ronon's breathing, hard quadriceps under Carson's thighs, and yes, hardness between them as well. He was rapidly becoming hard himself, his erection pressing against Ronon's firm stomach, and when the big hands on his shoulders moved down to his hips and pulled, he moaned into Ronon's mouth.

Warm lips and the soft brush of a beard slid across his cheek. "If you don't want me," murmured a voice in his ear, "tell me now."

"Of course I want you," he said, surprising himself by saying it aloud, surprising himself by realizing the truth of the words even as he spoke them, by the shiver of desire that jolted through him when Ronon's hands tightened on his hips. "Anyone would want you."

"I'm not interested in just anyone," Ronon growled.

And that was the astonishing thing about it, thought Carson. He shook his head, not trusting himself to ask, but perhaps Ronon saw the question in his face.

"You care about everyone. Caring is a luxury." Gently, a hand slid up his body to caress his face. "Like good food eaten slowly." Strong fingers tilted his chin down for another kiss; this one was softer and more measured, as though Ronon knew now that he'd be welcome to kiss him again and again, that he didn't have to grab everything quickly for fear that it might be taken away in the next moment.

When they rose from the floor it was only to remove their clothes, and when they tangled on the bed, it was slow and sweet. Only the corded veins standing out on Ronon's arched neck betrayed his tension; seeing him tremble, Carson reached down to stroke him, to give him release, but his hand was stilled by Ronon's larger one.

"Slowly," said Ronon through gritted teeth. "Animals fuck fast. We don't have to." Carson complied, gentling his touch, letting Ronon set a languid pace that seemed at odds with his fierce intensity in everything else. The impatience had disappeared; now it was all big warm hands on Carson's body and soft hair brushing his skin, slow kisses and light strokes slowly becoming deeper, faster, more urgent, sensation building on sensation until he felt the thin edge of control slide out of his grasp.

"Please," gasped Carson. Blindly he thrust into Ronon's hand, seeking just a little more pressure, a little more friction; thick fingers curled just that much harder around him and that was it, that was all he needed, and he buried his face in Ronon's sweat-slick neck as he came. When his own pulse stopped pounding in his ears he realized Ronon was shaking, trembling with the effort of keeping still, and he tightened his arms around him and whispered against his neck, "Let it go." Ronon muttered something incoherent and pulled Carson closer. "Yes, yes, let go, come for me," Carson murmured, stroking his chest, and Ronon shuddered one more time and spilled between them.

For several moments there was only the sound of their breathing. Then Carson shifted his weight, preparing to get up, but Ronon shook his head and did not move his arms from where they encircled him. "Stay."

"We've made a bit of a mess."

Ronon released him with obvious reluctance. "I'll get something to clean up. But stay."

"All right." When Ronon rose, he rolled into the warm indentation left behind. The scent of their bodies, sweat and sex, rose mingled from the mattress, and it seemed somehow oddly comforting as he breathed it in. Even after Ronon returned with a wet cloth and mopped them both up, he could sense it still, subtle but unmistakable. "I'll stay for a while."

"For the night."

"I shouldn't be seen -"

"Nobody will mind. They'll be pleased you have someone." Ronon grinned, his teeth very white in the moonlight. "Cadman won't like it, but I'm stronger than she is."

Carson snorted softly at the thought of Ronon and Laura fighting over him. "I suppose if anybody objects, you'll knock some sense into them."

"You know how I am. I protect what's important to me." The image of the lion came again, unbidden. Protecting his pride, his territory. Perhaps it showed on his face, because Ronon shook his head slightly and slid down beside him. "So do you."

"It's not the same thing at all," began Carson, but Ronon stilled his mouth with a brief touch of a finger to his lips.

"Shh. It's the same. Something we have in common." He turned and slid an arm around Carson, nuzzling into his side, and dropped a kiss on his neck. "It's what makes us human."

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Date: 2005-12-20 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-dredd.livejournal.com
Good one! I must admit that I wasn't sure what to think of the Carson/Ronon pairing at first. This not only made it believable, but also added a nice bit of depth to Ronon.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:32 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much. The pairing really caught my imagination

Date: 2005-12-20 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fluffyllama.livejournal.com
Wow, another pairing that's new to me, and such a difficult one to pull off. I especially love the use of the story from the title, and Ronon's reaction to it :)

Date: 2006-01-02 08:33 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (gildy)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks so much - and you know I was totally yaying at your rec post you made! I have no clue where Ronon's version of the story came from, but it just seemed obvious to me!

Date: 2005-12-20 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diluvian.livejournal.com
*Lovely* Beckett voice. Wonderful culture gaps.

*Very* nice.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:33 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hufflepuff beckett)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much!


Date: 2005-12-20 02:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
What a wonderful Christmas pressie! I just love my story. Really. I'm speechless... or wordless rather, as this is not a verbal medium. There were so many parts to this I loved, I can't list them.

Lovely job with a pairing that isn't as familiar or straightforward (can you use that word when referring to slash?). Beautifully written.

Many thanks,

Date: 2005-12-20 05:09 am (UTC)
amalthia: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amalthia
this was wonderful! I never would have imagined Ronon/Carson if I hadn't read this story. :) thanks so much for sharing.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:33 pm (UTC)

Date: 2005-12-20 06:45 am (UTC)
ext_841: (sga)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
oh wow, i really, really loved that! and you even managed to make me believe in gay!carson :D but it was ronon who really was perfect here, his observational skills, his slowly trying to get accustomed to atlantis and not running any more. i love the way he falls for carson, b/c he cares! and i like the way the two tales and their interpretations thread throughout the story, slowing down the already slow dance between the two.

thank you!

Date: 2006-01-02 08:34 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (Default)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Haha, see, I can get you to read anything, can't I? :-)

And as I say in my meta post about this story, this one taught me a lot about Ronon, about how he could be.

Date: 2005-12-20 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] filenotch.livejournal.com
This was excellent. The pacing is right, the voices are spot on, and you made a non-obvious pairing seem plausible. Your recipient is very lucky.

Date: 2005-12-20 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, I am. Very lucky indeed.

na paisti

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-02 08:35 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2005-12-21 02:51 am (UTC)
ext_1332: (good day (atlantis ))
From: [identity profile] sherrold.livejournal.com
Cool timing -- I was watching the beginning of the Tower today, and as Ronon relieved Carson of his heavy box, I thought, "huh, you know, Ronon should be grateful to Carson -- I bet if there were more Carson fans, we'd see some Carson/Ronon", and then poof, here's the story!

And a wonderful one it is, too; I love the idea that Ronon has been alone long enough to worry if he's still human (we only take personally the slights we secretly fear are true), and how you returned to that theme again and again. Very nice indeed.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:37 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (rita)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Oh, thanks so much! You know, I saw your comment before I saw The Tower, and then I couldn't wait to see it. It's funny how that scene echoes the more uncomfortable scene in Instinct - but shows the characters so much more at ease with each other.

And yes, that's exactly the theme of this story - Ronon's protectiveness of his humanity, because that's all he has left.


From: [identity profile] sherrold.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-04 04:55 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Eek!

From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-04 05:05 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2005-12-21 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] perian.livejournal.com
This was wonderful!

Date: 2006-01-02 08:37 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2005-12-21 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cranberryink.livejournal.com
Oh, I really liked this. What a fun pairing choice--I think it's the only Carson/Dex story I've ever read. Ronon doesn't get enough play in this fandom!

Date: 2005-12-24 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mice1900.livejournal.com
I wrote a Carson/Rodney/Ronon this summer called "My Brother's Keeper" that's over on my website. Not strictly Carson/Ronon, but hey. You might like it.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] cranberryink.livejournal.com - Date: 2005-12-24 06:30 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] mice1900.livejournal.com - Date: 2005-12-25 03:45 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-02 08:38 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2005-12-21 12:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hth-the-first.livejournal.com
Beautiful! I like how Carson is both kind of intimidated by Ronon, and also able to correct him and tell him to shut up. They're both still very new to each other, but you can see the trust and intimacy beginning to form. Just lovely.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:39 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (wings)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much! I'm a real fan of slow-build stories, and of course I end up writing them because if I can't convince myself of the relationship, how can I convince anyone else?

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] hth-the-first.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-03 04:23 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-03 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] hth-the-first.livejournal.com - Date: 2006-01-04 03:17 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] meredevachon - Date: 2006-01-05 04:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2005-12-22 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cetpar.livejournal.com
This was wonderful. I have to echo comments above, in that Ronon/Carson is not a pairing that I would ever have thought of, but you made the pairing work. I like Carson's slow realization of what is going on. I also really enjoyed the way you portrayed Ronon's courtship--slow and gentle, almost tentative. In every other Ronon story I've read, he seems to be portrayed as being very aggressive while initiating a relationship. I like this different view. Thanks!

Date: 2006-01-02 08:42 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thank you for your comments. It's not a pairing I ever would have thought of either - but being assigned it made me look at the characters and their interactions in canon with new eyes. I see Ronon as being gentle in his interactions with Carson because he's hanging on to his core humanity. He feels he needs to prove himself militarily to Sheppard, so he's strong and rough; but he has to prove himself as a man to Carson.

Date: 2005-12-22 04:18 am (UTC)
meredevachon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] meredevachon
"Courtship" that's the word. Ronon's courting Carson. It's just beautiful.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:42 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (rita)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2005-12-22 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queen-of-goat.livejournal.com
This is a really wonderful story, you made Ronon/Carson work incredibly well.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:43 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much!

Date: 2005-12-22 07:48 am (UTC)
zoerayne: (sga)
From: [personal profile] zoerayne
Such a beautiful story, from the characterization to the slow build of the relationship.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:43 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (wings)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
If it's a beautiful story, it's partly due to you. Thanks so much for your suggestions.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] zoerayne - Date: 2006-01-03 02:17 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2005-12-22 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] casspeach.livejournal.com
Oh wow. This was just wonderful. Lovely Carson voice, but what really kept getting me right in the gut was Ronon, and the way he must have clung to the shreds of his humanity for all those years while the Wraith hunted him like an animal.

Really, I am just so impressed with your characterisation of him here. He's recognisably the character from the show but with much deeper hidden layers and scars from his experiences, and just wow.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:45 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (gildy)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much. This was my first real attempt at sounding out Ronon. His character as I see him was shaped in the space between canon and the request I was writing to, and it made me like and appreciate him much more as a character. I'm glad it worked for you!

Date: 2005-12-22 11:38 pm (UTC)
ext_1637: (ronon name by peacerose)
From: [identity profile] wickedwords.livejournal.com
I really liked this. I thought you had a great voice for both of their characters, and the slow build-up was *great*, especially as this is a rare pairing. Nicely done.

Date: 2006-01-02 08:46 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks so much! And I'm flattered that you both liked it, and figured out it was me. :-)

Date: 2005-12-23 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeddy83.livejournal.com
Great story. I never would have considered putting these two together, but this really worked for me.

Date: 2006-01-03 12:49 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (squid etching)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
I wouldn't have considered it either! But I'm glad I was asked to.

Date: 2005-12-26 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margueritem.livejournal.com
Oooh, I'm so glad I was feeling adventurous today. I quite enjoyed the story and the pairing. :)

Date: 2006-01-03 12:49 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (wings)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thank you! See, being adventurous gets rewards.

Date: 2005-12-26 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] workerb.livejournal.com
Lovely take on an unusual pairing and it works well. I love the quiet stealthiness of Ronon here. He's not a man of many words but he conveyed a lot that Beckett was able to pick eventually. Well done!

Date: 2006-01-03 12:51 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thanks very much. I really enjoyed getting the chance to figure out Ronon a little more.

Date: 2005-12-27 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhiannon-jehane.livejournal.com
It never would have occurred to me to pair up Carson and Ronon, but you made me absolutely love the idea of them together -- I really enjoyed this!

Date: 2006-01-03 12:52 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (rita)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
It wouldn't have occurred to me either! I'm glad I was assigned such an interesting pairing - it made developing the story fun.

Date: 2005-12-29 09:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vegetariansushi.livejournal.com
Oh, I loved this. The way that Carson's perception shifts, and Ronon's fears about his own humanity, play out perfectly. I wasn't sure how the pairing would work, but you made it seem almost obvious. really, really well done.

Date: 2006-01-03 12:53 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (squid etching)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Thank you! I was working from canon as much as I could, because there are so few interactions between them depicted.

Date: 2006-01-01 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fred-god-of.livejournal.com
I was just thinking how lovely it would be if someone wrote Ronon/Carson and here this is and it's wondeful and reads like eating chocolate cake with frosting and whipped cream.

Date: 2006-01-03 12:53 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hufflepuff beckett)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Hee, thanks! I am hoping there will be more stories with this pairing eventually.

Date: 2006-01-03 12:55 am (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (Default)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Just in case anyone is reading this posted version - I won't see your comment if you post it to the main story, but I will if you post it as a reply to this comment. Also, you may be interested in my story notes (http://www.livejournal.com/users/isiscolo/258331.html).

Date: 2006-01-03 06:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sprat.livejournal.com
Heh - I just posted a comment here, and saw this when the page refreshed. It's below if you'd like to read it! :)

Date: 2006-01-03 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sprat.livejournal.com
Oh, wow. This is lovely. I liked the slowly building trust between them, and the way Carson keeps so much from himself, and how patiently Ronon waits for him to get it. I loved seeing Ronon's defense of his own dignity, too--that adds so much depth to the character.

Date: 2006-01-03 05:17 pm (UTC)
ext_1611: Isis statue (hands)
From: [identity profile] isiscolo.livejournal.com
Glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to explore these characters and imagine how they might interact, based on their few scenes in canon.
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