Carson Beckett was by no means afraid of Ronon Dex; the man just made him a bit nervous. Dex was a quiet, solitary man with an intense gaze that made Carson want to squirm under its scrutiny. And that was the problem of late-it seemed that he had become the object of Ronon's intense stare on a more increasing frequency. The big man never said anything or even moved, just stared at Carson as if looking into the very depths of his soul. Not that Carson minded too much. He was finding himself returning the stare more often. It didn't seem to bother Dex when Carson looked back, but Carson was always the first to turn away.
Ronon kept to himself mostly. He was part of the Atlantis team and he and Colonel Sheppard had become friends. He liked the other people here. Teyla was also a friend, understanding him better than any one else. He even liked Dr. McKay-the man really was a genius, but Ronon would never admit it out loud because then there would be no living with the man. Although Sheppard didn't seem to have a problem with him- quite the contrary- Dex knew that they were a couple, as odd as it may seem.
Now that was an interesting situation. Ronon had great respect for Colonel Sheppard as a fighter and commander. The man was all about the job. He commanded with confidence and took his role as leader and protector very seriously. But Ronon had witnessed instances of Sheppard and McKay in Atlantis during down time that clearly showed that while Colonel Sheppard was in command off world, it was definitely Dr. McKay in control on Atlantis. The major had once told him that it felt good to not be in control and when he was alone with Rodney, he didn't have to lead, to command, only to let go and feel.
McKay-Ronon made it a habit to either ignore or annoy him. Sheppard never said anything because he knew how Ronon really felt about McKay. Yes, he may be annoying, but Ronon respected him. McKay had changed quite a bit since Ronon had first met him, hanging upside down in that ridiculous suit, to displaying great courage and bravery. Pair that with the fact that the man had a brilliant intellect. Again he would never admit it to McKay because it was just too much fun baiting the man.
Then there was Dr. Carson Beckett. Ronon was very interested in the doctor. Beckett was handsome and caring and Ronon could be content to listen to his soft Scottish lilt all day. He had never approached the man physically, but he did like to look at him. The problem was that it seemed to make Beckett nervous when he did so. He had noticed that doctor had started to return his gaze at times, but he wasn't sure if the doctor reciprocated his feelings or how to approach him if he did. He thought about asking Sheppard for advice. He knew that the major would be discreet about the situation and also that he would be okay with the fact that Ronan was interested in another man.
Did the man have to stand so close to him? The marine was practically on top of Dr. Beckett. It was beginning to seriously rile Ronon and he snarled to himself in irritation. Beckett didn't even notice that the guy was flirting with him. Was the man obliviously to the look of interest in the marine's eyes? Maybe Beckett was trying to make Ronon jealous. Ronon quickly dismissed that idea, first because the doctor still didn't seem aware that Ronon was interested in him and secondly that was just not Beckett's style. Carson Beckett was anything but duplicitous. He was straightforward and honest. Just one more thing that Ronon found irresistible. Carson Beckett took his role of doctor seriously. He was caring, but firm when it came to what he thought was best for his patients.
The doctor finally excused himself from the mess and headed back towards the infirmary. Ronon quietly followed. When Dr. Beckett noticed Ronon, his face showed some concern. Ronon never came into the infirmary unless necessary. "Is something wrong, lad?"
"No, doc. I'm good." Ronon answered casually as he slowly closed the distance between himself and the doctor.
Beckett involuntarily took a step back as Ronon approached and mentally berated himself for it. What was wrong with him? It was not as if Ronon would do something to hurt him-he was a trusted member of their team now- but, lord, the man could be very intimidating.
Carson ventured to ask, "Is there something I can do for ye then, Ronon?"
"Now there's a question, doc," Ronon answered as he came closer still. "Lately I seem to be in situations where I'm feeling great rage and the need to hurt someone." He gave the doctor a predatory smile.
Ronon watched as the doctor swallowed nervously. "Uh, I'm glad you're comfortable enough to come to me with your problems, but shouldn't ye be talking to Dr. Heightmeyer about those sorts of things?" Carson suggested.
Ronon continued to smile and stare into the doctor's eyes. "I figured I would talk to you since you're the cause."
"Wh-what," Carson stammered, as he stepped back, bumping the lab table behind him.
Ronon leaned in towards the smaller man and inhaled deeply. Carson shook as a wave of hot desire washed over him. He stared into the deep brown that was Ronon's eyes.
At that moment Ronon stepped away from Carson. A mere second later a marine was brought in for treatment. Carson snapped back and began checking the man's wounds, but faltered slightly when he heard Ronon say, as he left the infirmary, "We'll talk more about my problem later, doc."
"Well what's wrong with having feelings about Ronon. He's not much in the way of manners, but you have to admit, Carson, the man looks like a walking sex god." Rodney said. "And it's about time you found someone. Look at me, John and I are doing great."
"Aye, Rodney, but I'm not looking for someone to beat the crap out of," Carson countered.
"I don't beat the crap out of him and you know it," Rodney retorted with his hands on his hips. "I just give John what he needs. He's a very physical man and sometimes he needs a release."
"Aye, I know, Rodney," Carson chuckled, "tis just a joke"
"Besides John and I really are doing great."
"I just wonder sometimes, Rodney, because on missions Colonel Sheppard just seems so…"
"Obstinate, stubborn, mulish, pig-headed," Rodney cheerfully supplied.
"I was going to say abrupt and wee bit brash, especially with ye."
"That's because he knows in the field I can't do anything about it and he thinks he's getting away with something."
"Ye mean to say, he deliberately provokes ye?"
Rodney smiled. "Usually it's just to annoy me because he knows he can, but sometimes he pushes me because he knows I'll push back later. He thinks I don't know what he's doing, but hello, BRILLIANT"
"And modest too," Carson laughed.
"But really Carson, Ronan, come on, don't tell even try to tell me you haven't thought about it? Ronon can even drive me to distraction when he's sparring- all hot and sweaty and panting and…… wow, I need to go find John." Rodney quickly exited and went to find the major.
As he walked, Rodney thought back to how it all started with him and John. Rodney was studying some things that one of the teams had brought back from some random planet. Some of them seemed to be made by the Ancients. Rodney had spent quite a bit of time studying one particular item. It seemed to be some sort of high tech snare, not meant for an animal though, but a person.
John had come into the lab to ask Rodney some questions about a ZPM and immediately starting messing with stuff. It was John's way- Rodney used to think that Sheppard did it just to annoy him, but he was a very tactile person and he really seemed to get a better understanding of things by playing with them. Rodney turned just as John reached to pick up the snare.
"Don't touch that!!"
But it was too late. The device snapped shut around Sheppard's wrists, locking them together and to the base. "What the hell?" Sheppard yelled.
Rodney glared at him. "How many times have I told you not to touch the stuff we bring back until I have done a proper study on them? With your strong ATA gene, it's too easy for you to set things off."
"Understood, McKay. Now do you know how to get these things off?"
"Uh, off course I do," Rodney smirked, "genius, remember?"
"Then get them off." Sheppard demanded.
Rodney moved around the side of the table and reached towards the device. Sheppard looked at him questionably as Rodney stopped. "McKay, get these off me."
"Not yet, Major Sheppard. I have been trying to get you to listen to my ideas on modifying the P90's…."
Sheppard cut him off abruptly, "Get these off me McKay….NOW!"
Rodney swallowed nervously at John's tone. "Maybe I'll just have someone else unlatch the device." Rodney stated as he began to back out of the room.
"McKay," John gritted out, "for the last time get over here and get these off of me!"
"O-Okay," Rodney uttered. He walked back to the table and started to press symbols on the device. It tightened around John's wrists. "Ow! That's not it, McKay, are you sure you know what you're doing?"
Rodney stepped back as if he had been slapped. He stared John in the face and crossed his arms across his chest. "I know more about Ancient technology than anyone in this city. And I am tired of you questioning my abilities." He stood there with an angry glare on his face. "You think that what I do is easy? Well maybe you should just get yourself out of those, Colonel." Rodney threw his hands in the air as he ranted.
Oh great, John thought, he had insulted McKay and he knew there was no way he was getting the device open, having already tried to "think" the device open. He took a deep breath and put a congenial smile on his face. "I'm sorry Rodney. I know you're a smart guy, so I know you'll be able to get these things off of me."
"You think I'm smart. Well it's nice to hear you say it out loud, Colonel Sheppard." McKay was pleased with himself. Then he stopped and thought about the situation. An Ancient device manacled Colonel Sheppard and Rodney had originally refused to undo it. The major had actually called him by his first name. That was really not a good sign Rodney thought. Sheppard was going to kill him when he got loose. Think, McKay, think- how do you get out of this?
McKay put a smile on his face. "Now, Colonel Sheppard, I'm going to get those off of you right away," Rodney cajoled. He paused his hands in midair and John pushed his wrists out expectantly. "You're going to kill me as soon as you're free," Rodney half stated, half questioned.
Sheppard looked up at him. There was a strange look on his face, but he said, "Don't worry McKay. I am definitely not going to kill you. Just get these off."
McKay quickly reached around Sheppard and found the release on the device. The bands on the device snapped open and Sheppard rubbed his wrists. He glanced up at Rodney. McKay was completely surprised when Sheppard grabbed him and kissed him, forcing his tongue into Rodney's mouth. Sheppard broke off abruptly and stormed from the room. Rodney stood there open mouthed, wondering what just happened.
Days later Rodney finally cornered Sheppard in the lab. He had seen Sheppard go in and had quickly followed.
"Colonel Sheppard, I want to talk to you."
Sheppard didn't even glance up from whatever he was looking at. "I don't have time right now, McKay."
"Well, make time!" McKay snapped.
Sheppard spun around to face McKay. "What do you want, McKay?"
Rodney was surprised by the tone of Sheppard's voice, but the last few days had been hell for him. They had gone on one short mission to PX-857 and Sheppard had driven Rodney mad. He was more abrasive and rude than usual, insulting Rodney every chance he got. But when they had made contact with one of the villages, it was like Sheppard was his new best friend. Everywhere Rodney went, it seemed that Sheppard was right on top of him. He couldn't stop quickly without the colonel bumping into him. And since their return to Atlantis, Sheppard's behavior towards him had become even stranger. One minute he was the old colonel Rodney knew and loved to hate and the next minute he was like a pod person. And the kiss in the lab was never brought up. Rodney just couldn't take it anymore.
"I want to know what is going on, Colonel?" Rodney started. "Did you contract some sort of alien disease?"
"What do you mean, McKay?" Sheppard answered lightly glancing up through his eyelashes at Rodney.
Rodney started pacing the room. "Well for starters, you kissed me, Colonel Sheppard," Rodney said pointing accusingly at him. "You don't even like me. Then on the planet you were deliberately rude to me."
John opened his mouth to respond, but was cut off by McKay. "I know you're always rude to me, but it was even more than usual. But in the village, it was like you were afraid to let me out of your sight. I felt like I had a Siamese twin." Rodney took a breath and then squared himself, facing Sheppard head on. "What is going on?"
Sheppard took a step menacingly towards McKay, but much to his and McKay's own surprise, McKay did not back down. Sheppard shook his head slightly. Gotta hand it to the man, McKay actually held his ground, but if he was as smart as he thought, he would have been running from the room.
"I kissed you because I wanted to. I was rude to you because I like to see you riled and I stuck to you in the village because you always seem to get into some sort of trouble and I was afraid to let you out of my sight."
"You wanted to kiss me?" Rodney looked confused. "Why?"
Sheppard grabbed McKay by the front of his shirt and pulled him close. McKay visibly paled. "Colonel …." He started, but was cut off by John's mouth on his own. He started to struggle but Sheppard was stronger than he was and never broke off the kiss. In fact, he deepened it. His tongue probed Rodney's mouth and his hands gripped Rodney's shirt tighter. He finally pulled back, leaving Rodney shaken and breathless.
"I want you, McKay."
"To do what?" Rodney whispered dumbfounded.
Sheppard let out a chuckle, "to do my laundry, Rodney." Sheppard rarely called him by his first name, preferring to just bark out "McKay", no doctor in front of it. Rodney's head cleared enough to realize that Sheppard had taken him by the hand and was leading him out of the lab and towards his quarters. Well, this certainly was interesting.
Sheppard, Teyla, McKay, and Beckett made their way into the village. Ronon had stayed back to keep watch by the gate. Sheppard immediately noticed that there were no women visible and the men seemed surprised to see Teyla. Talok, the chief of this village and the man they had made initial contact with, approached them.
"Welcome, Colonel Sheppard. It is good to see you again. I hope we can come to an agreement that benefits both my village and your people."
Teyla was surveying the village and feeling less and less comfortable by the second. She had seen only men so far and by the way some of them were acting, she had an idea as to this village's way of life. She quickly made her way to Sheppard's side. She leaned in and spoke quietly, "Have Dr. McKay move behind you. Instruct him not to speak." At Sheppard's questioning look she continued, "we may have a problem here. It would be wise to call Ronon. We must also get Dr. Beckett out of this village as soon as possible." Sheppard nodded. He trusted Teyla's instincts. He started to tell Rodney to step back as Talok came to stand in front of them.
Meanwhile, Dr. Beckett had walked into the middle of the village carrying medical supplies and was quickly surrounded by several men. They took the supplies from him, but none moved away.
Talok took both John's shoulders in his hands and squeezed them reassuringly. "We thank you for your gift," he said motioning towards where Beckett stood with the medical supplies.
Sheppard smiled. "You're welcome to it," he said lightly.
Talok returned the smile. "He will make a good addition to the village," Talok stated, his gaze returning to the circle of men around Dr. Beckett. Sheppard could see that Beckett was trying to politely extricate himself from the men, but they seemed to be purposely blocking him.
"Excuse me," Sheppard said. "The medical supplies are a gift, not our doctor."
Talok's smile fell. "We have no interest in your woman," he stated looking towards Teyla, "and this one…" he walked up to Rodney, gripped his arms, and leaned in and sniffed him, "is obviously yours. He has your scent all over him."
Rodney looked incredulously at Sheppard. "Did he just smell me?"
Talok continued, "You wish to trade with us, you come to my village, you bring an unmarked man, and then tell me he is not for us."
"Colonel Sheppard, what is going on? These men won't let me pass." Beckett's voice came from the center of the circle. And it sounded a little panicked.
"It's okay, doc. We're just clearing up a small misunderstanding." Sheppard answered.
Beckett sighed. What this misunderstanding was, he didn't know. What he did know was that these men were making him very nervous. They pressed in on him, not allowing him to pass out of the circle they had made around him. To make matters worse, a very large man had pushed through the other men and was now standing uncomfortably close. And then the man touched him. He ran his fingers roughly through Beckett's hair and leaned in to smell him. Beckett jumped and batted the man's hand away. Pain shot through his jaw as the man hit him.
Teyla saw the man strike Dr. Beckett and saw Beckett hit the ground. She raised her weapon towards the men and shouted, "Step away from him!"
Several weapons were immediately aimed at her. Sheppard quietly tapped his radio, "Ronon, we have a problem here. Come in, but stay out of sight til we know exactly what is going on here."
"On my way."
Ronon thought, "What did McKay do now?" as he kept to the trees, quietly moving, keeping hidden but close enough to see and hear what was going on. A quick glance showed several men with their weapons aimed at Teyla. Sheppard stood with his hands at his side, McKay just behind him. To anyone else it would look like Sheppard was unconcerned with what was going on, but Ronon knew that Sheppard was trying to control the situation. He followed Sheppard's gaze to the same group of men that Teyla had her weapon aimed at. What he saw made his blood boil.
Carson Beckett was on the ground, surrounded by several men. Ronon could see a bruise forming on his cheek. A large man grabbed Carson roughly by the shirt and hauled him up. "I claim this man,' he shouted, "does anyone challenge me for him?" The other men backed away.
Carson tried to pull away, but was stopped short when the man painfully twisted his arm behind his back. He winced as pain shot up through his shoulder, but kept from crying out. Ronon knew in that instant that Sheppard was trying very hard to maintain the calm he was projecting. The coonel had a soft spot for the Scot. He was always very protective of the civilians that accompanied the military on off-world missions and even more so because he and the doctor were friends, but Carson being Rodney's best friend put him into a new category since Sheppard had taken up with Rodney. If Beckett were to be hurt, Colonel Sheppard, as commander would feel the guilt over not protecting him. He would feel it doubly, however, because of the pain that it would cause Rodney.
"Get your hands off him," Ronon growled low and menacingly as he stepped from the trees and into the open.
The man looked Ronan up and down. "You want him?" At Ronon's nod, he continued "You'll have to fight me for him."
A cheer arose among the men. They quieted when Talok raised his hands. "Sheppard and his people will be our guest at the feast this evening. His warrior and Cronok will fight for the right to claim the unmarked male. Take him to the charog hut."
The large man holding Carson let go and two of the other men came forward. They each took Carson by an arm and pushed him towards a hut. "Colonel Sheppard.." Carson started nervously.
Sheppard turned to Beckett. "Don't worry Doc, it'll be all right."
Carson felt less than reassured. He knew that Colonel Sheppard would not let anything happen to him, but he didn't like the idea of being separated from the rest of the team.
Carson paced the hut. He had only been in there for a few hours, but he was growing restless. He could hear the noises coming from outside the hut and it sounded as though the feast was underway. Carson turned when he heard someone enter the hut. He quickly paled when he recognized the man coming through the door as Cronok, the man who had hit him earlier.
The man weaved a bit as he approached him and Carson could tell that he had been drinking. Cronok advanced and Carson stepped back. "I can not wait to claim you," he stated.
"I'm not to be claimed by anyone," Carson dared to answer.
Cronok moved quickly and had Carson pinned to the wall, his large forearm pushing into his neck. Carson struggled to breathe.
"You're hurting me," Carson choked out.
Cronok's pressed further and tears sprang to Carson's eyes. "Be a good boy then and don't make me hurt you."
He lightened the pressure but kept his arm against Carson's throat. With his other hand, he undid Carson's pants, reached in and began to roughly fondle him. Carson squeaked a protest and began struggling anew, but stopped when Cronok began choking him again. He leaned in and nipped Carson along the throat. He was terrified, wondering if this man would rape him here and now? Carson was flooded with relief when he heard Teyla's voice outside the hut.
"I would like to see Dr. Beckett, please."
Carson heard the guard answer, "You must leave your weapons here."
Cronok released him. Carson quickly rebuttoned his pants. He didn't want Teyla to know what had happened. Cronok strode from the hut as Teyla entered. Teyla's eyes followed him out and she turned to Dr. Beckett.
"How are you, Dr. Beckett?" she asked, eying him suspiciously.
"I'm fine, lass." Carson answered. But Teyla noticed that he could not meet her eyes.
"Do you understand what is happening?" Teyla asked Carson.
"Well, lass, I know that those bloody men won't let me out of this hut. I don't understand why Ronon is fighting that man."
"The dominant men of this village claim other men for their own," she explained. "That man from earlier has made a claim on you. Ronon has challenged him."
"Oh good Lord," Carson sighed. "And if Ronon doesna win, what happens then?"
"I have no doubt that Ronan will be victorious, so you have no cause to worry, Dr. Beckett." Teyla paused and looked uneasy. "You do know that Ronon would never hurt you?"
"Aye, lass, I know that, but what are ye getting at?"
"When Ronon wins, he will be expected to behave in a certain manner. What he does after the challenge will only be to protect you. Please remember that." She gave Carson's shoulder a reassuring squeeze and left the hut.
Ronon was ready to kill by the time of the challenge came. His rage grew every time he thought of Carson, his Carson, on the ground surrounded by men leering at him. And when the large man dared to touch him, Ronon could have killed him at that moment. Ronon's only real thought had been to make sure that Carson was safe. He knew of societies like this one, had seen a few during his days as a runner. They had never given him any trouble because they immediately recognized that Ronon was a dominant male. He knew what the villagers expected him to do after the challenge and although he had thought many times about Carson under him, naked and wanting, he did not want it come about this way.
Ronon and Cronok stepped into a clearing in the center of the village. Ronon taunted the large man, questioning his dominance and his right to have any male. Cronok charged him, as Ronon had hoped. He quickly sidestepped the man and delivered a blow rendering him unconscious.
Ronon stalked towards Carson. He pulled him roughly to him and bit down on his throat, marking Carson as his own. Then he licked the bite lightly and began to nuzzle the doctor's neck. He abruptly stopped and pulled back. "He touched you?" Ronon looked at Carson accusingly. Carson turned red and dropped his eyes. Ronon raised his chin with a finger until Carson met his gaze. "He did touch you," Ronon stated softly. Carson gave a nearly imperceptible nod and Ronon let out a roar.
He stormed over to where Cronok lay prone on the ground. He reached down, grasped the man's head and gave a quick twist, breaking his neck. He let the body fall back to the ground. Sheppard's hand smoothly lowered to his weapon, sure he would have to use it to fight their way out of the village. But as Ronon returned to the group, Talok stepped forward.
"My deepest apologies. Cronok should not have touched him before the challenge. Your warrior has his retribution.
Ronon walked back to where Carson stood with Sheppard, McKay, and Teyla. He grabbed Carson and pushed him towards a group of younger men. "Take him and bathe him. I want that bastard's stench off of him."
Carson let the young men lead him from the group. There was no point in struggling. He knew this had to play out for the team to get out of this village without further incidence. He was not happy about it however. He had been hit, molested, and now was to be bathed by a group of strangers. He had no idea what would happen when Ronon came for him.
"OUT!! Both of ye!!" Carson shouted as the two young men tried to undress him. "I can bloody well bath myself."
The men reluctantly left the hut. Carson undressed and began washing himself, wanting the smell of Cronok off him as much as Ronon did. Things like this were exactly why Carson disliked going off-world. It was usually Rodney who attracted trouble and Sheppard always had his hands full protecting him. Carson wondered how he had lucked out on this trip. He knew that the team was in a tight spot and everyone had to tread lightly if they hoped to get out of this village without any further complications. Carson laughed softly. Ronon killing a man of the village with his bare hands definitely qualified as a complication, but Carson was hard pressed to feel remorse. Normally he was all about healing and preserving life, but even as he felt the pure shock of watching Ronon snapped the man's neck bare-handed, he had also felt great relief.
Carson continued to wash himself and winced as he gingerly touched the bite mark on his neck. It had caught Carson completely off guard, Ronon's teeth breaking his skin, and it actually hurt quite a bit, but Teyla's earlier words came to mind-that Ronon would not hurt him and that his actions were meant to protect him. But who would protect him from Ronon?
Carson waited nervously for Ronon to come. He wasn't sure what was to happen when he did and couldn't decide which was worse- waiting for Ronon to come or him actually being there. Ronon finally entered the hut and Carson's mouth went dry. The Satedan was bare-chested and lord, was he magnificent.
"Hey, doc," Ronon began lightly. He turned Carson's head to the side gently with his hand and examined the bite. "You okay?"
"Aye, lad, I'm fine," Carson breathed out.
"I'm going to make sure you stay that way." Ronon stated. He wanted nothing more than to grab the doctor and take him right there, but he could not. The villagers were expecting him to claim Beckett and Ronon knew that he must put his scent all over the doctor before they joined the feast. He would not, however, use this situation to force himself upon Carson.
Ronon slowly approached Carson. "I need to put my scent on you, doc." He reached out and started to remove the shirt that Carson was wearing. Ronon pressed his large body against the smaller man, the sweat rubbing onto Carson's skin. It was a start, but Ronon knew it would not be enough to convince these men. He leaned down and kissed Carson's lips gently. He then trailed kisses slowly down his neck, ending at the mark on Carson's neck. This he flicked his tongue over, sending a jolt of pain and pleasure through Carson's body.
Carson didn't know what to do when Ronon started kissing him, so he just stood there and let him. By the time Ronon's tongue had made it to his neck, Carson was shaking with need. He wanted Ronon to take him, didn't care that there was a village full of people outside speculating that it was already happening. Carson felt near relief when Ronon undid his pants and gently pushed them to the ground. Then he felt Ronon's bare skin on his and it was sheer pleasure.
Ronon could feel the tension building in his groin as he slid Carson's pants and then his own down. The doctor's skin was flushed and hot to the touch and he could hear Beckett breathing shallowly as he touched him. God, how he wanted this man. But again, he thought he would not, could not take advantage of the situation. He wanted everything to be right when he finally took Carson as his own. He continued to kiss Carson, one hand on the back of his neck, while he took himself in the other hand and began to stroke.
Carson barley noticed that Ronon was pleasuring himself. He only felt the heat building inside him as Ronon's tongue explored his mouth. Ronon pulled back and was breathing heavily. He gripped Carson closer to his body and continued to stroke himself. "I need to scent you," Ronon's ragged breathing punctuating every word. Ronon stroked himself one last time and came with a grunt, his seed spurting between his body and Carson's. "They will believe that I have claimed you now," Ronon stated as he stepped away from Carson. He took a blanket from the cot and used to wipe/smear his cum all over Carson. "Get dressed, doc, we have a feast to join."
Carson stood there staring at Ronon as he pulled his pants up and turned his back to him. What had happened? He knew Ronon was trying to protect him, but he would have sworn that he had wanted him. Carson began to flush in embarrassment as he realized that Ronon didn't think of him that way. He just did what he needed to do to keep him safe. He quickly pulled up his pants; his desire squashed, and put his shirt back on.
He nearly flinched when he felt Ronon's hand on his shoulder. "C'mon doc. We've got a feast to join. Make sure you don't make eye contact with the men out there and stay by my side," Ronon instructed.
They left the hut and made their way towards where Sheppard was sitting with Talok. Rodney sat dutifully at Sheppard's side and kept his eyes downcast. Ronon smiled to himself. It must be killing McKay not to talk, but he must have realized the danger in doing so and instead just sat listening to John talk with Talok. John seemed to better understand how things were now and though he appeared to pay little attention to Rodney, he kept a hand on his thigh in a possessive gesture. Teyla was nowhere in sight.
As Ronon and Carson approached the group of men, Ronon put a hand on Carson's neck. Talok rose to greet them, gripped Carson by the shoulders, and sniffed him. A smile formed on his lips and he was obviously satisfied that Carson was now a claimed male. Ronon quickly guided Carson to a seat between himself and Rodney. He figured that Carson could use a little support after tonight's ordeal.
John and Ronon talked, cajoled, and drank with the men of the village. Rodney and Carson sat quietly by their sides just trying to be invisible. The protective hand on Carson's shoulder did nothing to make him feel better. If anything, he felt miserable. How could he be so stupid, he wondered for the twentieth time tonight. Carson was sure now that he had misunderstood what Ronon had said in the infirmary and had sorely misread him in the charog hut. Thank the lord, it was dark and the fires only cast a soft light and no one could see the humiliation burning on his face.
The feasting had lasted long into the night. By the time John had taken Rodney by the hand and headed towards the hut that Talok had given them for the night, Rodney was weaving on his feet with fatigue. John carefully led him to the entrance and Carson looked on in envy as John gently kissed him and brushed a hand down his cheek before going inside.
Carson could feel Ronon's gaze burning into the back of his head. Ronon grabbed Carson by arm and pulled him up. "Let's go, doc," he growled. He walked so quickly that Carson nearly had to run to keep up. What had he done now? He had sat quietly like he was supposed to, so why did Ronon seem so angry with him?
Once inside the hut, Ronon pushed him towards the cot. "Go to sleep," he commanded. Then he grabbed a blanket and stretched out on the floor. Carson was truly miserable. Ronon would rather sleep on the floor than share a bed with him. Carson turned towards the wall, curled up and tried to figure out how he had made such a huge mistake and what he had done to make Ronon so mad.
Ronon lay quietly on the floor and listened to Carson's breathe, his breaths first coming very heavy and then finally slowing and growing even as he fell to sleep. When he knew Carson was in a deep sleep, he rose from the floor to stand and stare at the resting man. Ronon had felt a pang of jealousy as he watched Sheppard and McKay together earlier. Then he had noticed Carson watching them also and it made him angry that it could not be that way for he and Carson.
He continued to study Carson's face and could see the bruise on one side, which just served to infuriate him all over again. He could also see the mark on Carson's neck. He was sorry that he had had to do that, but under the circumstances he was left with little choice. There were too many men to safely fight their way out of the village and leaving Carson to one of these men was never an option. He hoped that Carson could forgive him for it and understand why it had to be done. And he hoped that, in time, his feelings for the doctor might be returned.
"Carson," Rodney repeated a third time. "Hell-ooooo."
"Sorry, Rodney," Carson said shaking his head. "Did ye need something?"
"I think you need a hearing aid. I called your name three times. What is with you lately?" Rodney snarked.
Carson rubbed the back of his neck. "Just tired. I've been working quite a bit lately."
Rodney eyed his friend suspiciously. Carson had been working a lot lately, even more than usual. He had stopped meeting Rodney for lunch. Not that Rodney really had time for lunch with his workload, but Carson had stopped hounding him about meeting for lunch. And that was very unusual. Rodney started to keep a better eye on Carson and had noticed that he stopped going to the mess hall at all for lunch. He had taken to eating in his office in the infirmary. A few questions here and there had revealed that the doctor barely left the infirmary now and when he did it was only to go to his quarters. Rodney was worried. He had mentioned it to John and also the fact that Carson's behavior had changed soon after they had returned from the mission to Talok's village. John casually mentioned that Ronan's was a bit off since then also and Rodney, being the genius that he was, put two and two together. Whatever was bothering Carson had to do with that mission and what had happened between him and Ronon. Trouble was that Rodney didn't know what happened. He was determined to find out.
"Sooo," Rodney started, "any developments with you and a certain barbarian?"
Carson looked at Rodney, his face pinched. "Leave it be, Rodney."
"I knew it!" Rodney shouted as he pointed at Carson. "Something did happen. What did he do to you, Carson? You've been acting funny since we got back from that planet. What happened?"
Carson sighed. "Rodney, I'm fine. Just leave it," Carson glanced at Rodney, "please."
But it was not to be; Rodney had geared up for a full-blown rant. "What did he do to you? I know he's a caveman, but I thought….." Rodney spun on his heel. "Did he hurt you?" he whispered.
"Not physically," Carson answered. "My pride could use some major damage control." At Rodney's questioning look, Carson continued. "He, uh, he wasnnae interested in me that way, Rodney. He did his job and kept me safe, tis all."
But Rodney was back to pacing and ranting. "That guy on the planet sniffed you," he yelled, pointing at Carson. "He did, he did and he seemed convinced you were a claimed male or whatever. How?" But before Carson could answer Rodney had come to his own conclusions. "He forced you!! To keep you safe, my ass. I'll kill that savage myself!" And with that Rodney was out the door.
It took Carson a moment to process what had just happened. Rodney thought Ronon had forced himself on him and now Rodney was going after Ronon. He quickly tapped his radio. "Colonel Sheppard, we have a wee problem…."
Ronon was in the gym, kicking the snot out a punching bag. No one wanted to spar with him anymore. Not that he could blame them. The team and Carson had returned from their mission without further incidence. But upon returning Carson started to avoid Ronon's gaze, then he just started to avoid Ronon all together. He stopped coming to the mess hall. If they happened to be in the same room, he found a reason to leave. If he saw Ronon in the corridor, he found an excuse to go the other way. Ronon had taken to purposely getting injured just so he could go to the infirmary, but after the first few awkward visits, Beckett stopped treating him. He was always busy with another patient and Dr. Biro usually treated Ronon. Definitely a sign that the doc was angry or upset, if he was sending the pathologist to deal with him. The problem was that Ronon didn't know what to do or how to fix the problem, so he had started to take his frustrations out on his sparring partners. If the doctor wouldn't see him, then he was going to see all the Marines that Ronon demolished.
Ronon had just finished his workout when McKay came into the gym. "Hey, McKay" he grunted. He was surprised when the first blow came. He definitely didn't expect Rodney McKay of all people to attack him and quickly recovered, avoiding McKay's next attempt with the Athosian fighting stick. McKay swung again. Ronon dodged the strike and quickly disarmed McKay, knocking him to the mat and pinning him there. "What's your problem, McKay? Got a death wish?" Ronon questioned.
"Just yours and Carson's my problem," McKay spat out as he struggled. Ronon's eyes narrowed.
"He says he's fine, but I know he's anything but. What did you do to him?"
Ronon ran a hand over his face as he got off McKay. At that moment Sheppard came running into the room. He looked at Rodney on the floor and then to Ronon.
"What did he say I did to him?" Ronon asked quietly.
Ronon made his way quietly into the infirmary. Carson was working at a lab table, peering intently into a microscope. He raised his head and rubbed his eyes. Then he stood and rolled his shoulders, trying to work out kinks from having sat so long. The man needs to learn to take a break, Ronon thought.
Carson was startled and bumped the lab table as he spun around to face Ronon. He gave a weak smile. "Ronon, anything wrong?" he asked feebly. He glanced around the room and realized that Ronon had positioned himself between him and the door.
"I'm good, doc." Ronon answered. Then he fixed his gaze on the doctor and waited.
Carson just stood there staring back at Ronon. He could tell by the look on the Satedan's face that he expected him to say something, but Carson couldn't think of what exactly he should say.
"I thought I was the Runner," Ronon finally said, his voice low. At Carson's questioning look, he continued, "You've been avoiding me since we got back from the planet."