John Sheppard and Ronon Dex sat in Sheppard's quarters. John was listening to music and thumbing through a year old Swimsuit Edition of "Sports Illustrated" and Ronon was practicing his quick draw.

The door rang.

"Come in," John called.

The door opened to reveal General Jack O'Neill, who took only one step in and let the door close behind him.

John jumped out of his chair and stood at attention, but not before noticing that Ronon also dropped his arms to his side (weapon still in hand) and stiffened in a posture of military bearing.

"At ease, Colonel," Jack said, his brown eyes surveying the room.

John relaxed but only slightly. Ronon relaxed a bit as well, but kept the sidearm in hand.

"Colonel Sheppard," Jack started. "You disobeyed a direct order by coming here and stole United States Government property to do so."

John wondered why he was hearing this in his room and not at attention in front of a courts martial hearing.

"Ah, yes, sir."

"And I told you I was going to fire you for it." Jack moved closer to John.

"Yes, sir."

Jack was now in front of the younger man. "Well, I'm not. This time."

"Thank you, sir."

"Notice, you will, that I said 'this time'."

"Yes, sir."

"Don't let there be a next time."

"Ah, no sir."

"I don't like this kind of stuff, you know."

"Ah, no sir."

Jack's eyebrows rose. "No, what?"

John thought for a moment. "To tell you the truth, sir. I'm not exactly sure."

Jack studied him then shrugged both physically and facially. "Fair enough. Thank you for doing it. And make sure you let your team know."

John nodded. "Yes, sir." He glanced at Ronon, who was watching with a slightly amused look on his face. "Ah, sir, have you been officially met Ronon? He's a member of my team."

Jack turned and looked up at Ronon. "You're the runner, right?"


"I've heard you're a formidable fighter."

Ronon's look had a distinct feline quality about it. "Yep."

Jack turned back to John. "Talkative fellow."

John sent a pleading look to Ronon, trying to communicate to the larger man that this was his boss.

Jack did not see the look because he'd turned back to Ronon and was looking at his sidearm. "I have also heard that you have a big honkin' gun that you carry around."

Ronon nodded and held it up, sideways to show it without pointing it at anyone.

"Mind showing me?"


General Jack O'Neill whistled. He'd just seen Ronon blast a six-inch diameter hole into a target from 25 feet.


Ronon smiled. John smiled, only slightly nervous by this time.

"Could I?" Jack held a hand out.

Ronon hit a button on the side of the weapon that put it on stun and flipped it in his hand to offer the butt to the general.

Jack took the butt of the weapon and hefted it. Then he took aim at the target.

"Sweet." Jack offered it back. "And it has a kill and a stun setting?"

"Yep." Ronon took the weapon back and, disarming it, holstered it.

"I don't supposed you'd want to give it up for a couple of months so that Carter could try to reverse engineer it."

Ronon glanced at John, who looked apologetic.


Jack smiled, slightly and nodded. "Didn't think so. Maybe McKay can do it on your downtime."


Jack's eyebrows rose. "So there is more to your vocabulary. Nice. Colonel."

"Yes, sir?" John stiffened.

"Good team. Nice gun. Great work."

"Thank you, sir."

Jack raised a hand, index finger pointing at him. "Don't make me have to fire you, okay?"

John nodded. "Yes, sir. We'll do our best."

"Good enough. I have to go talk to Dr. Weir. Carry on."

As John watched O'Neill walk away, he felt his spine relax. Then he turned to face Ronon. "Geesh, Ronon. Could you be a little more, oh, I don't know, cooperative."

Ronon's grin grew wide.