stormylullabye (stormylullabye) wrote,


Title: Laughter
Author/Artist: stormylullabye
Recipient: rinkafic
Medium: Fic
Word count/length: 1,072
Rating: PG
Characters/pairing: John/Ronon, some Rodney and Teyla
Summary: John wishes Ronon would laugh more.
Additional notes: Written for the 2011 Ronon thing-a-thon at rononficathon. I managed to include two out of the three prompts pretty well (found and laughter), and the third one (hair) is mentioned if you feel like “Where’s Waldo”-ing it.

Ronon’s laughter isn’t a sound that’s very often heard in the halls of Atlantis, or, well, anywhere. John sometimes thinks about Ronon’s life from before he was a runner, when he was a young man on Sateda, and likes to think he used to laugh more. It sort of hurts to think about though, as it leads John to the inevitable conclusion that Ronon is less happy here than he was on Sateda. It’s not a terribly unlikely conclusion; after all, a person is usually happiest in their home environment, but it still hurts John to think about. If John is being honest with himself, it’s because he wants Ronon to think of Atlantis as his home now, wants Ronon to think of John as home, and wants Ronon to be just as happy on base and with him as he ever was on Sateda. John doesn’t think he’s asking for too much, really.

John usually ends up at the gym when his mind wanders to Ronon, probably because the big guy is almost always in there sparring when he isn’t off-world with the team or sleeping. John likes to just lean in the doorway and watch Ronon fight. Ronon looks comfortable, natural and a little bit happy when he’s sparring, even though his face is intent and threatening. John watches Ronon flow through the session, dodging blows, advancing, ducking, and throwing punches in turn. The moves are so graceful that if John tunes out the sounds of the fight and squints a little, it almost looks like Ronon’s dancing, his weapon just a choreographed extension of himself.

After he’s run through all of the marines who aren’t currently off-world or on duty, Ronon sometimes asks John to fight. John agrees so long as he has the time, because the only way to better appreciate Ronon’s power and grace is to try to match him. John fails every time, but feels like he’s getting closer and closer to achieving the goal. Ronon affirms this belief by lightly rubbing the spot on his arm where John managed to land a blow during a match, then by being out of breath the following week. John smiles at his accomplishment and Ronon huffs a short laugh, then rolls his eyes. John warns Ronon again about picking up the marines’ bad habits with the eye roll, but sincerely hopes Ronon will keep it up if it means he’ll laugh more.

Following the sparring sessions is John’s personal favorite activity: showering. About three months ago, John and Ronon had been called to an off-world situation during a sparring session. To save time, they had run to Ronon’s room since it was closer and showered together. There hadn’t been any touching other than occasional accidental brushes, but it had somehow become a ritual for them. These days, sometimes there’s touching and sometimes not, but the shower always concludes with a light kiss, then as John’s toweling his hair dry, a smile that speaks volumes to him. It’s his favorite smile, because he’s never seen it directed at anyone else. The fact that Ronon has something like that reserved just for John is amazing to him.

The pair then wanders down to the mess hall. Normally Rodney and Teyla are already at the team’s usual table with their trays by the time John and Ronon sit. Eating with his team is John’s second favorite activity. Barring any base-wide emergencies, this is the time of day when John gets to relax and just talk to his team. He and Rodney discuss logic problems most days, Teyla habitually tries to get them all to drink more tea, and Ronon absorbs the information being passed around, occasionally tossing in a story of his own when it fits. This is where John learned most all he knows of Sateda and of Ronon as a child. It’s also where he most often wishes Ronon would laugh more, which is odd considering that it’s the place Ronon’s most at ease, and therefore where he laughs the most.

On nights when the team doesn’t have to worry about going off-world early the next day, they tend to end up in someone’s bedroom after dinner. They have an old Monopoly game and a set of cards, plus movies to watch and stories to exchange. The most recent addition to their collection is a set of kilahs that Ronon spent weeks carving, sanding, and perfecting. They remind John a little bit of Tetris pieces, all in different sizes and shapes. The object of the game, Ronon explains, is to trade pieces following a strict set of trading rules until you have the right ones to build a kilah, sort of a rounded pyramid shape, and win the game. Ronon’s obviously the best at the game, having grown up playing it, and Teyla’s a close second. Rodney and John are mostly hopeless, mainly because they keep forgetting the rules and can’t figure out how to properly strategize yet. Still, it’s a good time, and it makes Ronon happy.

It’s one such night months after the kilahs are first introduced that John realizes it. They’re playing with the wooden pieces, which are now slightly worn – Ronon blames the wood from M4Y-923 for being too soft. John and Rodney have gotten better at the game, so much so that they’re about on the same level as Teyla, although none of them can seem to match Ronon in strategy. Ronon’s telling a story from his childhood again, which he’s been doing more and more frequently lately in these late-night gatherings. He’s gesturing as he tells the story, as animated as John’s ever seen him, talking loudly and laughing about how hopeless Kyra was at kilahs; apparently she was worse than John and Rodney were when they first started, and she never got any better. Everyone’s laughing along as they trade their pieces around trying to find the perfect combination, and John falters. It’s only for a second, not long enough for anyone else to notice the stutter in his movement. He looks around at his team, playing a game from Ronon’s childhood and listening to a story that goes along with it. John thinks that maybe, sometime when he wasn’t looking, Ronon found his new home and settled himself into it, fit himself so perfectly into his new life that John never really thinks about him as a boy on Sateda anymore.
Tags: exchanges, john sheppard, rodney mckay, ronon dex, stargate, teyla emmagan

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