Disclaimer: I don't own them. Oops, sorry, that was kind of harsh. Maybe I should have broken that to you more gently. Sorry if your universe just exploded.

Title: A Harvest Dance

Author: ChaosCarter

Character/Pairing: Ronon, Teyla, Ronon/Teyla, plus some more people that I made up.

Rating: T (or PG-13, if you like)… just because I don't want people yelling at me.

Timeline: Well, it would certainly help if you had seen Runner. I don't think there are any particular spoilers… set sometime during Season 3 when life is good and nobody's trying to blow up Atlantis.

Note: Well, I'm back. This story started out as a one-shot, and then it just wouldn't shut up. So now it's looking like five or six chapters, methinks. This one goes out to Diabla and Sugarplum (modern art forever!), because they rock my world. Special thanks to Maria, who picked the title, and Shah, who told me how real people fight. Maria and Shah also rock my world.

Also, much love goes out to Rach (rach0486) for her oh-so-amazing beta work. Without her I would sound really stupid.

Chapter One

"Ow! That hurts!" he hissed loudly, hand coming up reflexively to guard the back of his neck.

Teyla only laughed as she twisted her hand expertly through his hair. "You should not complain so much."

Ronon winced in pain (mostly for show), but he knew she was right. After all, she was doing him a favor.

He had been more than reluctant to give up his dreadlocks. He'd had them since secondary school, and by now they were just as much a part of his reflection as his face, his eyes. They'd been through a lot together, he'd argued fiercely. It wasn't fair.

In the end, it wasn't like Ronon purposefully betrayed them – he truly didn't have a choice. He, Teyla, and a handful of marines had been delegated to the mainland to assist in the year's harvest. Nearly a week in the moist ocean air had taken its toll on many things – patience, muscle integrity, and, unfortunately, his hair. Long, sweaty days in the sun-baked fields hardly helped. By the fourth day Ronon's head had become a veritable bush. He endured the good-natured teasing of the other men with patience, even indulging in a self-deprecating chuckle once or twice. But when the third youngling burst into tears upon seeing him, he conceded that something had to be done.

He winced again as Teyla pulled another strand of hair into the tiny braid. What had to be several hundred like it already covered the left side of his head. What Ronon had hoped could be completed before he left for the fields had become a day-long odyssey. A small crowd of children had gathered, watching wide-eyed and no doubt committing every Satedan curse word that escaped him to memory. There had even been a vote over the color of his hairties; Ronon had lobbied for black almost desperately as a group of teenage girls produced scraps of purple ribbon from their pockets. Sure, red or green he could see, but purple was definitely not happening. When he attempted escape and Teyla had to drag him back, laughing, to his seat, she finally gave in. Seeing Ronon with purple hair, while an amusing concept, was hardly worth explaining the need for a search party to the village men.

A sharp pain at the base of his neck jerked Ronon back to reality. He frowned, hissing slightly as Teyla tied off the braid with black cord and moved on to another.

She laughed again. "All this fuss from a grown man who survived nearly a decade at the hands of the Wraith."

Ronon scowled. "Yeah, well, they never pulled my hair."

By the time Teyla finished with the last of his braids, the sun had all but disappeared over the ocean. The children had long since abandoned him, running to meet their fathers as the men came in from the fields.

The walk back to Arden's house was nearly silent. Ronon had stayed with Teyla and her friend for his first night on the mainland; however, a seemingly unending flow of questions pertaining to the nature of his and Teyla's relationship had prompted him to accept another offer of shelter.

Ronon stopped a few hundred feet short of the entryway, turning to face Teyla. "Hey, thanks for…" he twirled a finger in the general direction of his hair. He had already pulled it back into a low ponytail, Teyla noticed, sparing only a few of the front braids. Some things never changed.

"It was no trouble," she smiled quietly. "I rather enjoyed it, actually. I have not had the chance to braid hair since my younger cousins were old enough to do it themselves. I have to admit, however, that they were not nearly so belligerent."

Ronon took the dig with grace, chuckling quietly. The night air was warm, the stars bright. He could just make out the lights of Atlantis on the horizon. His eyes scanned the ocean and the sky, finally resting on Teyla.

Her face was upturned, eyes watching the stars calmly. He was captivated by the wash of moonlight on her cheeks, her hair. Without thinking he reached out, moving the loosely tied strands of hair over her left ear.

Teyla started slightly, her eyes darting to meet his. He struggled to find words. "So… is it my turn tomorrow?"

"I do not understand." Her voice, tinted with confusion, was noticeably shaky.

Ronon dropped his hand quickly. "Tomorrow I get to do your hair. It's only fair."

She raised an eyebrow. "I was unaware that you knew how to do hair, Ronon." As he opened his mouth to speak, she anticipated the next words and cut him off. "You are not putting dreadlocks in my hair."

Ronon tried his best to look hurt. "Well, fine then. But I do get to do something to you, especially after what you put me through today."

Ronon's heart skipped a beat at the shy smile she gave him. God, did she even know what she did to him?

"And what exactly did you have in mind?"

Ronon paused for a moment, pretending to think. "Oh, I don't know." He grinned deviously, opening the door. He turned to wink at her over his shoulder as she walked away. "I'm sure I'll think of something."

- end chapter one -

Hope y'all liked it. Chapter two should be along shortly. And what is the nefarious Ronon planning?… Oh, wait, you actually thought I was going to tell you? That's funny. Tough luck – y'all will just have to tune in and see! Reviews are love.