Unequal Sparring

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A/N: Ronon and Jennifer… a very popular pairing in SGA. I always had the hardest time understanding how a ship could develop from there, and after some initial reluctance, I decided to challenge myself to write a decent R/K one-shot.

Massive Props, Thanks, and general words of praise to Nika Dixon my Beta! She finally explained what people meant by "You repeat the same words too often" and for that alone I'm wishing someone would send her a shampoo basket. Her insights into R/K were invaluable. This story would not be so good without her help.

As far as style, this is pretty much me at my top game. So PLEASE review if you read!

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"Keep your hands up, don't be too afraid."

Jennifer did as she was told, but had to ask. "Don't you mean 'don't be afraid'?"

Ronon feinted towards her and she reacted, swinging the stick in his direction blocking him.

"A little fear is good. Keeps you focused."

Jennifer was glad that no one was around. She was convinced that her martial arts skills looked like some kind of spastic ninja monkey on muscle relaxants. Ronon had been nice enough to stay up and give her some hand to hand training, stemming from the encounter with the Bola Kai on New Athos.

The Gym was uncharacteristically empty, usually it would have at least a pair of marines screaming at each other as they sparred or lifted small cars worth of weight. Now though, the dual moons of the planet shined in, giving an almost ethereal quality to the two partners as they trained.

Jennifer was improving, as far as ease of motion went, but against someone like Ronon it was plainly obvious that he was go­ing incredibly easy on her. Ronon's graceful moves showed a refined and instinctual prowess. The muscles underneath his shirt flexed as he got back into posture

"Alright, I want you to hit me."

She was about to say no, but realising he just wanted to test her, Jennifer sidestepped to the left and swung to hit Ronon's arm; somewhere it wouldn't hurt much in the unlikely event she did connect. The shadows cast by the light of the room above, and the moon from the windows played tricks with her eyes.

He blocked effortlessly, and spinning his stick around hers, it knocked it clear and quickly to the ground. Jennifer raised her arm defending her face as she'd been taught and shirked away. When nothing struck her, she meekly opened both eyes and saw Ronon with a fracture of a smile across his chiselled face, the light cutting across his chocolate skin.

"Good, your head is the most important part of you. Any hit to your head is likely to knock you clean out of the fight."

Jennifer dropped her arms seeing him with his crossed, and went over to pick up the fighting stick, the fingers of her right hand sore from overuse.

"So… I did good?"

Ronon grunted. "You did ok, but you're gonna need more practice."

Jennifer made a frustrated sound, not wanting to be coddled so obviously. "Well are you just gonna play around with me, or are you gonna actually teach me something?"

His smile gave an intimidating effect as he got into a casual fighting stance. "Then try and hit me."

Jennifer was getting frustrated by her relatively slow improvement, so she swore that before her feet left this sparring session, the 3rd of which they'd had, the fighting stick he'd gifted her would have at least tapped Ronon once.

Jennifer swung hard, and tried to feint. The sudden stick flying by her face shattered her perception of the fight.

Delusions aside, she'd be pleased with herself if at least one of his strikes was blocked effectively.

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Ronon had seen and felt many things in his life. He'd seen the look of dying men plead for their family, tasted the misted blood of Wraith on his mouth after a righteous kill, and heard the funniest jokes the Marine contingent of Atlantis could think of. Yet nothing had quite prepared him for suddenly seeing Jennifer's feet be on the same level as his face.

Jennifer landed unceremoniously; biting back both pained cries and embarrassed laughter. She looked up to her trainer and wondered with some amusement whether that counted as failing the class.

Ronon extended his hand out to her on the mat. Jennifer had tried some complicated move involving spinning her stick underneath one leg and what appeared to be a hip kick. It looked suspiciously like something Teyla might do but with the added exception of sweeping her own leg out from under her.

Ronon struggled not to laugh, still slightly shocked from the sight of her squeaky clean sneakers so close to actually striking him. He'd noticed that her socks had smiley faces on them and he wondered if it were part of her typical everyday uniform. To see Jennifer literally knock herself to the ground was by far the last thing Ronon was expecting, and despite her blushed giggles and obvious embarrassment, she gladly accepted his help.

"Doc… no offence… but that was pretty cool."

She elbowed him on the way up, her attack ineffectual "I guess that's what I get for trying to run before I can walk…"

Ronon was holding her close, one arm under Jennifer's arms supporting her, the other rubbing her shoulder where she had landed. He instinctually began to control the tempo of his breathing, feeling her warmed up body pressed close, her muscles quivering in shock.

"Can you even walk? That was a hell of a hit."

Jennifer turned to spit acid, but seeing the genuine look of concern on his face, smiled instead "Well… let's see… Ow!" She stepped out, and promptly jumped back into his arms upon feeling pain in her leg, preferring the aid he offered to toughing it out.

Ronon held her up from under her arms, supporting Jennifer like a wounded comrade. He fought his biology, concentrating on Jennifer's wound, and not the smell of flowers in her hair, or the quick pulse he felt on Jennifer's back through his forearm.

"Ow… I think I might have twisted my ankle."

Ronon growled softly, a common form of communication for him. Jennifer swallowed to keep from growling back, surprised by her own gut reaction. Ronon held her close to his heaving chest, the strong arms warm from the constant motion they'd been in. He looked deeply into Jennifer's eyes and it seemed to penetrate her very soul, his every breath like rose petals streaking by Jennifer's face.

"Ice."

Jennifer made an irritated sound, realizing how silly her fantasy had been, and pushed away from him. She felt a bit light headed and shook it out of her head "Thanks, 2 PhDs and I still learn something new everyday." Sitting down on the bench it took some pained effort to take her shoe off.

Ronon had silently moved away and now came back with the first aid kit designated for the sparring room. He opened it and pulled out an icepack. Jennifer held her hand out to take it but he instead sat on the bench with her and popped it himself, placing her foot squarely in his lap. "Here, this'll get you on your feet in a few minutes."

Ronon placed the icepack gingerly against Jennifer's foot, careful not to hurt her. He didn't hesitate at all and completely dismissed any argument she may have had. She bit her lip at the cold that suddenly permeated through her ankle, and the surprising warmth and gentleness of Ronon's fingers as they caressed her skin.

"Ahhh… Ronon… You sure you know what you're doing?"

Ronon nodded as he began to squeeze her ankle, massaging the wounded muscle. Jennifer resisted moaning but sighed as the motions he made sent shivers up her leg to somewhere she hadn't expected. Ronon's keen hearing heard her sigh, forcing him to concentrate even further.

Ronon smiled faintly as he worked. "Yeah, I've pulled enough muscles to know what works best. Trust me; we're not done for tonight."

Jennifer smiled, the image in her head uplifting. The silence of the moonlit room made her think of Prince Charming awakening his beautiful princess; she smirked at the thought of said Prince waking his love with a foot massage rather than a kiss. Jennifer gasped, her fantasy abruptly shattered as his hands moved to the bottom of her foot, massaging the nerve endings along it. The motion felt so good; he'd definitely done this before. Jennifer needed to regain control before she screamed something that might be regretted.

"Uhhh that's… that's good Ronon… I… I think I'm okay now.

Truth be told, despite loving his surprisingly sensual touch, she didn't want a soul on the base to see them like this. Lord knew there were enough rumours floating around already. Jennifer didn't want to end up like Sheppard, having the entire female division of the geology department begging for puddle jumper rides to any remote and uninhabited world with a loose rock or two. Usually those worlds were several hours away from the spacegate. Lorne had done little better, creating quite the scandal on Valentine's Day by hoarding an entire shipment of chocolate, then putting up a mailbox outside his quarters.

Jennifer feared of what people might say of her, and the unequalled propensity she had for getting into awkward situations. Just a few days earlier, in an attempt to avoid said embarrassing positions, she had tried to let a Marine down gently by saying he was a tad too old for her. It hadn't worked nearly as well as originally hoped, having to spend most of that night picking glass out of his skull from the drunken brawl he'd started in the pantry.

He wasn't the only marine to ask her out, but most of those ended up disastrously, her being unable to hold a conversation with their jock personas. They'd mentioned football, and Jennifer talked about spinal injuries. Another talked about flying, and she explained the adrenal system. It always ended the same, an invitation for coffee or a movie with obvious intentions. None of them cared to know her; all they wanted was to get into Jennifer's relatively youthful pants. One of the biggest fears floating through that genius mind of Jennifer's was that Sheppard or Lorne might one day ask her out, the obvious gossip shit storm that would ensue would cake her entire reputation with the smelly brown paste.

Ronon acquiesced and let her take the icepack; he could see the hesitation in Jennifer's movements and growled involuntarily. Ronon put the first aid kit away and leaned on the wall to next to Jennifer.

"Alright, we're almost done. Just one more thing."

Jennifer looked up as she flexed her foot around a bit, physically much better, but dreading his words. "Are you serious? What torture do you have planned for me now?"

Ronon smirked and held his hand out to her. "Midnight snack, you should always eat something after exercising."

Somewhere in the deep and excessive library that was Jennifer's mind, she realised he was right. Muscles did the most repairing within an hour of exercising and needed all the nutrients they could. The fact that it was Ronon asking her though instantly derailed Jennifer's academic train of thought; she took his hand and pulled herself up. "Uh okay… are you asking me to join you?"

Ronon smirked and helped her balance out. "No I'm telling you we need to eat. And I'd rather eat with you than not with you."

Jennifer felt her cheeks heat up, and her head nodding without question. She grabbed the towel and wiped the sweat off her brow, noticing that not all of it came from working out.

Ronon had always been different, his passion for combat both disturbing and arousing at the same time. He definitely had the best body of anyone on the base, all that constant cardio from sparring and weight training with the marines made him into a kind of Adonis-like god.

Jennifer had sort of gotten to know him during the Quarantine mishap, and in the cabin fever of the moment, she'd almost kissed him. The incident boiled holes in her mind as neither of them really did anything after that except have a meal or sparring session together. Jennifer was worried that Ronon either wasn't ready for anything more, or he had simply lost interest in anything beyond the platonic.

Jennifer limped almost imperceptibly, but was thankful that even though Ronon could probably see it, he didn't mention it. He waited for her by the door, a large baby-blue towel wrapped around his elegant well formed shoulders.

Jennifer tried to push that thought out of her mind, and took a deep breath. She passed him and considered faking injury and demanding to be carried, if only to feel his strong embrace again.

"Think unsexy thoughts… think unsexy thoughts… think unsexy thoughts…"

The worst part of the whole walk with him to the mess hall was that her quarters weren't far off. Jennifer resisted the urge to just invite Ronon in for coffee and see what he'd do. She simply smiled and stayed silent every time he turned to look at her with those big beautiful eyes of his.

Ronon was having some of the same thoughts, although with more concern than lust, if only a little.

Ronon didn't know what the etiquette was for Earth when it came to women. The only real example he had of Earth women and relationships was Rodney and Katie… which while particularly amusing, had ended with incredible gauche. There were plenty of women who'd come swooning to him as well, including the rather attractive Dr Esposito who was so embarrassed to have her feelings muttered by Rodney during his brief forced evolution, that she ended up forgoing any kind of pursuit of him.

Jennifer was different from the others though. It was obvious he intimidated the women, and for that matter, most of the men on the base. Most attempted to find common ground with him usually by asking for sparring sessions, despite not having any real need for it. As strange as it sounded, the fact that they were trying to mimic him made them less attractive, and much more common.

Jennifer had never done the same, instead being completely happy with who she was, only taking sparring lessons for her personal protection. Ronon felt he could talk to Jennifer more honestly, not instantly getting gratification and hero-worship. As he watched her move ahead of him, the primal Neanderthal within that Dr McKay commented on so frequently pushed against his super-ego, attempting to break Ronon's control.

It had been a long time since he'd been with a woman, least of all in any intimate form. Ronon abandoned any concept of romance when the Wraith had turned him into a runner, only recently beginning to think that things might be changing. He'd begun to think of Atlantis as a home, and not just a base of operations.

Sheppard had mercilessly teased him about it, telling him to loosen up and have some 'fun'. Ronon was cautious though, having rarely if ever seen Sheppard having that same 'fun'. He couldn't tell whether or not it was because John never did, or he was just that stealthy in his movements. Ronon could have sworn there was some weird threesome thing going with Sheppard, Teyla, and Weir when he first showed up, but things had since changed.

Now he was wondering what things between him and Jennifer would culminate in. Sheppard had told him to be careful, but not apathetic, strange words from the spiky haired man. Ronon turned again, and looked to the bouncy blonde, her shy smile strangely arousing.

He controlled his bodies urge to shiver, and entered the transporter. In the dark primal recesses of his mind, a weak hope of accident to trap them together again screamed despite his vocal silence.

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"Ronon, how long have you been on Atlantis?"

Ronon stretched his neck, stiff from not working out to his usual level. He thought about the question a minute. "Uhh… a little over 2 years. Why d'you ask?"

The mess hall was quiet; a solemn feeling hung in the air as the two sparring partners ate and chatted quietly. The night cooking staff were mostly relaxing; another 4 hours remained for the night shift's version of lunch.

Jennifer shrugged, and taking another sip of her milkshake sighed. "I've only been here about a year and a half… just thinking about this place."

"Really, how?"

Jennifer didn't want to say that she was thinking of this place as home, and that the one thing missing that would complete it was someone she could share her feelings with. "Well… just thinking about some of the people who've been here from the beginning… like Dr McKay or Colonel Sheppard."

"Oh? You're thinking about them?"

She scoffed, getting a bit irritated at Ronon's apparent implication. "In a platonic sense if you must know… I mean they both sorta consider this place home wouldn't you say?"

Ronon caught on to her train of thought, and smiled slyly. "So… you're asking me if I think of this place as home?"

Jennifer blushed and looked away. "Well… I guess. Just curious." She fiddled with her hands and spun her straw around her fingers like a baton.

Ronon growled softly, and leaned in. "It's been a long time since I considered any place… home." He kept his voice low, and serious.

She leaned in as well, always happy to hear him speak his mind. Jennifer felt they could talk about more than just small talk, only needing the time and privacy. "I can only imagine… fighting the wraith for so many years… I guess you never really had time to…" Jennifer caught herself, she was about to say 'get close to anyone' but thought better of it. "…stay anywhere for too long…"

Jennifer tried not to sound so dimwitted, and felt the distinct taste of her foot lodged between her teeth. But despite Ronon obviously catching her, he rode the train of thought she was on.

"No… you don't have the luxury of friends when the Wraith are after you…Thanks though."

Jennifer furrowed her brow. "Uh... ok, not that I want to negate that… but why?"

"You said 'fighting' the Wraith… not 'running'. Not many people can tell the difference without experiencing it."

Jennifer cleared her throat and shifted in her seat, suddenly feeling very warm. She hadn't considered that he'd take such an innocuous comment so well. Ronon started chuckling and muttered. "It's okay Doc, I'm not gonna bite… hard."

Jennifer snickered and covered her mouth to hide her shy laughter. This was the most forward Ronon had ever been and she felt the irresistible urge should see how far he'd be willing to go. "Well… since you obviously know what I'm talking about, is there anyone here you'd consider… a friend?"

This time it was Ronon who shifted uneasily, the last thing he expected was a frontal assault. Diversionary tactics and lateral counter-attack was the standard retaliation. He had seen something peculiar the week before… "I'm sure there's plenty who'd love to be my… friend… but if I recall, didn't Captain Walker have lunch with you the other day?"

Jennifer recalled the incident vividly; a flying burrito is not something you easily forget. She coughed to cover her gasp, and was thankful Ronon didn't just burst out into laughter. "Uhh… well… yeah, he uhh… lets just say he's not the kind of… friend I'd want."

Ronon raised an eyebrow, something he'd picked up from Weir. "So what kind of friend would you want?"

Jennifer giggled, completely fazed by his sudden words. "Oh god… this is… come on… we are so not having this conversation!"

He furrowed his brow in confusion. "But we are. You're talking about it right now and so am I, that's a conversation right?"

Jennifer couldn't tell whether it was honest confusion, or he was manipulating her, but she still laughed. Ronon's smile hinted he knew exactly what he was doing.

"I love it when you laugh, brightens up the whole room." Ronon's big beautiful eyes were unflinching as he stared at her.

Now she really blushed, her control finally cracked and Jennifer smacked his hand like it was a fly she was swatting. Jennifer worriedly looked around and seeing no one except the odd cooking staff member, giggled madly and tried to apologize.

"Oh god… this is… I'm sorry Ronon! You're… embarrassing me…"

Ronon grunted, and flipped his hand around to take hers. "How? I'm just telling you what I like about you."

His blunt response made her heart flutter. Was he finally 'making a move'? Jennifer had to find out, even if only to clear things between them. "Ronon… what kind of… well I mean… since you mention it… is there like… ummm other things… you know… that you like… about me I mean?"

Finally she got the response she wanted, the dilated pupils, the faster pulsing veins on his neck, and the deeper than normal breathing as his chest moved up and down.

"Well… I like the way your hands move when you're operating on someone." Ronon's voice was soft, and very sincere.

Jennifer's breath caught in her throat and she nearly doubled over. "Uhh… ok… can you… explain that?"

Ronon snickered, her reaction genuinely amusing him. "I don't ever see you move like that anywhere else, you're so sure of yourself when you operate or examine someone. If you had the same in the sparring room you could probably knock one of my dreads loose."

Jennifer's lips quivered, she didn't know whether to be honoured he'd noticed, or insulted about her fighting skills. Jennifer stayed silent a moment and then realized with a stunned expression. "Hey! I was asking about you… how'd we end up talking about me?"

Ronon's eyes went narrow, his defences instinctively going up. "You're asking me? I'm the strong silent type."

Jennifer chortled, keeping the laugh contained within her throat. He'd obviously been spending too much time with Sheppard and the quick witted Colonel was rubbing off on Ronon.

"You do seem like it, but ummm… I dunno… I always see you as like a big cuddly teddy bear."

Ronon again shifted uneasily, completely and thoroughly disarmed by her comment. Ronon's vocal cords disconnected from the higher portion of his brain. "Uhh… guh… Is that… uhh…really how you see me?"

Jennifer nodded, completely oblivious to how she was tearing Ronon's self imposed image apart. "Well to give a little back of what I've gotten, I like that I can feel safe around you."

Ronon continued to shift uncomfortably; he wasn't sure whether or not she was complimenting him, or subtly insulting his manliness.

"You aren't… scared of me?"

Jennifer sat up straight, the confusion on her face evident. "What?! No! Why would I be?"

Ronon furrowed his brow, and tried to comprehend what was happening. "Uhh…Because I'm big… I beat up marines and Wraith for a living… and I've got a big sword?"

Jennifer tittered and covered her mouth, unsure of whether or not he'd gotten his double entendre. "Oh god… uhh well umm… I'm sure… you uhh… do… but… I don't… well I'm trying to say…"

At that moment, a sudden ruckus interrupted her. Dr McKay and Colonel Sheppard stormed in clearly affected by caffeine and gods knew what else.

Rodney was incensed, his hands flailing about. "You so cheated! It's the only logical explanation!"

Sheppard on the other hand was relatively calm, his thumbs hooked into his BDU's. "Rodney, it's a military game, I'm almost 20 years military. Do the math."

They stood in front of the serving area, and waited for the night crew to attend to them. Sheppard leaned against the railing seeing his friend and the good doctor together, made a knowing smile in their direction. Jennifer instantly felt very uncomfortable and began to clear the table, smilingly meekly in Ronon's direction. "I'm uhh… I'm gonna go to bed now."

Ronon felt their conversation wasn't finished, but Sheppard's hardly noticeable wink as he continued to argue with Rodney who now filled a tray with various items told him exfiltration was a priority. "Yeah…uhh me too… I'll…I'll walk you home."

Ronon and Jennifer got up quietly, trying to attract the least attention possible. Rodney and Sheppard continued their childish argument even as they began to exit the mess hall.

"Rodney, you lost, plain and simple. That's two hundred you owe me so far."

Rodney turned to face his friend, "I'll be reviewing the tapes from my lab you…" he noticed Ronon and Jennifer leaving the room together. "you… Neanderthal!"

Sheppard played off Rodney's obvious distraction and with a sly smile and chuckle replied. "Please, I'm so a Cro-Magnon."

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"God I'm such a klutz… he probably thinks I run sideways or something…"

Jennifer had muttered it under her breath, seeing Ronon gracefully slide out of the way of an oncoming pedestrian. She on the other hand had engaged in a hesitant direction war, eventually letting the frustrated technician by. He had heard it clearly from a few feet away and turned to her. "No I don't."

Jennifer gasped and covered her mouth again, a frequent move for the night. "Oh… you… uhh… you heard me…?"

Ronon's nod and reassuring smile gave her a warm tingly feeling. "Yeah, and you're not a klutz. Just need practice."

Jennifer figured she'd been caught already, so a status report was only fair. "So…At fighting, do you think I might be getting any better? I know I have two left feet but…"

They weren't that far off from Jennifer's quarters now, and both slowed, wanting to continue chatting.

"Well… yeah, I mean… you're learning, and that's what counts."

Jennifer smiled cheerfully, elated that he thought so. Her voice squeaked as bounced up and down happily. "Oh you have no idea how happy I am to hear that! I thought you'd say something like…" She got into a stoic and burly posture. "Strike your enemies, not yourself"

Ronon chortled and fought the comedy of the mental image. "Are you kidding? You almost hit me with that move!"

Jennifer bit back her laughter, but seeing the genuine look of satisfaction Ronon gave in her direction, she couldn't help but start laughing.

"Oh god… well… I did almost hit you didn't I?"

Ronon felt his pulse rise as she grabbed his arm, Jennifer held him by his wrist and forearm; her smell was intoxicating, threatening to break the control he'd imposed upon himself.

"You're better than you think Jen, you just need to loosen up and relax."

Jennifer felt the goose bumps caress the curvature of her spine, leading down to the tips of her toes that squirmed in the smiley faced socks she wore. Ronon's almost imperceptible reaction made Jennifer wonder exactly what might happen tonight.

"Uhh … how do you think… ummm… I might be able to… do that?"

They were right outside her quarters now, Jennifer spun and faced him, awaiting his answer.

Ronon shifted his weight on the balls of both feet, uncomfortable with the way Jennifer had worded her question. "Well… there's a few exercises you could do… work on some… core muscles… stretching can help too."

Jennifer smirked, realising what he was thinking. "I'd uh… I mean… do you think you could…?"

Ronon bucked up his courage, He'd faced Wraith in hand to hand combat and lived to tell the tale, attained victory in a 5 on 1 melee with the best Marines Earth could offer, and made men tremble at just the mention of the name Ronon. He was NOT going to be defeated, even by the beautiful Dr Jennifer Keller without a fight. "…teach you some?"

Jennifer smiled shyly, the only way she could keep from quivering and running into her quarters to spend the night in the shower. Ronon was thinking the same thing, only in her quarters and not his. Somehow, Jennifer's vocals chords remained operational. "Aaahh yeah… I uhh… I'd really…like that." Her breathing had increased, the fantasy in Jennifer's head going a mile a minute.

Ronon could sense her sudden tension, which only exacerbated his own. 'Retreat and regroup', that was the conventional tactic now. "So uhh… when'd you say you'd have time to try that?"

Jennifer wanted to say 'Right now Mr. Studly McMuffin' but instead swallowed awkwardly. "Uhhh well… my foot still kinda hurts… maybe… next sparring session?"

Ronon was feeling the heat stirring inside him; the inner Neanderthal had succeeded in his quest for fire. He managed to keep from sighing in relief and just leaned forward to give Jennifer an encouraging squeeze of her shoulder. "Sure thing, I think you'll do well once we untie all those knots in your muscles."

Jennifer's inner muscles tensed, unsure whether he knew even what a double entendre was. She instead decided to act and leaned towards Ronon, hugging him tightly. Jennifer could feel the pulse of Ronon's heart through his chest, beating fast and hard. The smell of raw hide leather and dried sweat was oddly arousing.

Ronon was much worse off, he could feel the heat and awkward tension through her arms as they wrapped around him. Jennifer's hair smelled like some sweet unknown flower, the kind he could just lose himself in. Ronon could even taste the sweat drying off her skin, a very odd sensation, but as he wrapped his arms around her, one he thoroughly enjoyed.

They were both quiet, neither wanting to be the first to let go. It was getting awkward now and Ronon, who inside his mind was beginning to pound his Neanderthal self into the ground like a post, leaned down and whispered. "Uhh… what do you say we… uhh... let go together on 3?"

As soon as the air stopped coming from Ronon's mouth, Jennifer responded quickly. "Yeah! Yeah… I uh… yeah."

Ronon took the last few moments of soothing pleasure from holding her close, and began his count. "1" He could feel Jennifer squeeze him marginally tighter, her breathing slowed. "2" his own throat swallowed, Ronon's only outward indication that he was reluctant to let her go. "3" Neither let go; wanting to have one more second so close to each other.

Finally, they broke their embrace, both breathing a little harder than normal. Jennifer absentmindedly opened her door and backpedalled in. "I'll… I'll see you tomorrow… Ronon."

Ronon licked his dry mouth, and nodded. "Tomorrow… Jennifer."

The door finally closed between them, and each blew a massive sigh of relief. Jennifer leaned against the door with a hand on her chest, feeling the heart she never knew existed pounding against her ribcage. Jennifer pulled off her sweat shirt and wondered how cold the shower could get, and whether it was enough to get some sleep.

Ronon had moved closer to the door, hearing her lean on it. He couldn't help but imagine what would have happened if Jennifer hadn't hurt her foot earlier. Pushing the thought aside, Ronon figured he'd stop by the mess hall again before going to his quarters; his usual post-workout tepid bath would serve more purpose as ice water, this time doing more than just recovery. His daydreams would have to become night dreams, as Ronon waited for the next sparring session.

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