Word Count: 755
Rating: PG, maybe PG-13, depending on how much pain bothers you.
Summary/Notes: Written for an sga_kinkmeme fill. Original prompt: "John/Ronon, tattooing."
John exhaled into the pillow he was gripping tightly for support. He lay on his bed, face down and shirtless, Ronon kneeling over him. Ronon rubbed the muscles in John’s lower back, trying to soothe him back into a relaxed state. John moaned at the pressure and let himself sag back into his mattress. The pain in the skin over his right shoulderblade had faded mostly to a dull throbbing.
“You alright?” Ronon asked quietly.
“Yeah, I’m good, keep going,” John replied, hating that he was showing anyone, even his lover, any sign of weakness. Ronon leaned over John’s back, carefully ghosting over the skin, and kissed the other man’s neck. John felt him straighten back up, and the tip of the needle returned to his back. He renewed his grip on the pillow and took a breath in.
Ronon hit the end of the needle with a small hammer, pounding the ink into John’s skin. The mark John was getting was a small one; one similar to the one on Ronon’s neck. However, John thought, it still hurt like hell. He’d been lying on the bed, his lover carefully marking him, for about an hour. If they’d had modern tattooing equipment… but John hadn’t, couldn’t have, insulted Ronon by asking.
Ronon finished the line he was working on. “Only one more left,” he noted.
“Oh, good. Let’s finish this thing,” John replied. They’d been taking short breaks in between sections of the mark, but being so close to the end, John just wanted to be done. John’s body vibrated a little as Ronon laughed on top of him, but John soon felt the sharp sting of the needle again.
Ten minutes later, Ronon again leaned down and kissed John’s neck. “It’s done. Do you want to see it?”
“Yeah, sure,” John replied, flexing his fingers. They were stiff from being curled in the pillow, but John was glad to note that he hadn’t made a sound through the process. Ronon got up off the bed and helped pull John up after him. John walked into his bathroom and held a hand mirror in front of him, tilting it side to side until he got a good view of his back in the mirror on the wall. “It’s bleeding.”
“Only a little. Here.” Ronon took a tissue from the box and wiped it gently across John’s back, taking the blood away with it. John winced a little at the pressure, but recovered quickly.
“What’s it mean again?” John asked. Ronon had already explained this to him after drawing the symbol out on paper, but somehow John thought it would mean more seeing it explained on his skin.
“This part,” Ronon began, pointing to the curved line in the middle, “means leader or commander. On the right side is your name in Satedan, and on the left side is mine. These dots on the top are how long we’ve been in rank. Five, one for each Satedan year.” Ronon traced his finger across the mark as he explained each part.
“What about that thing in the middle? I don’t remember that.”
“I added that one,” Ronon admitted, letting his finger come to rest on the shape in the center of the mark. “It’s the symbol for love.” Ronon let his hand drop.
“Oh,” John replied. He brought the mirror closer to his face, hoping to get a closer look at the tattoo adorning his back. “I like it,” he declared a minute later.
Ronon wiped the tissue across John’s back again, as it was still bleeding a little bit. “That should stop soon, and I already got the cream from the infirmary that you need to put on it. Beckett says twice a day for about a month, and no direct sunlight.”
“Ronon,” John interrupted. “I know, I was there too.”
“Yeah,” Ronon replied.
“Thanks,” John said suddenly.
“Thanks. For the tat… mark. I know Satedan stuff is hard for you to, uh, share. You know, sometimes, I guess. So thanks.” John looked down at the floor.
Ronon took a step forward and grabbed the other man into a hug, carefully avoiding the spot with the mark on it. “Not with you. I’d share all of Sateda with you.” John pulled back, wincing slightly as the skin on his back stretched, and tipped his head up.
“I love you too,” he replied, before leaning forward and covering Ronon’s mouth with his own, intending to show the other man exactly how much he meant by that.