Pairing:John Sheppard/Ronon Dex
Prompt:613 John Sheppard/Ronon Dex, a culture thing
Summary: Richard Woolsey found the tendency of various Earth born members of the Atlantis expedition to take their leave on a planet in the Pegasus galaxy very puzzling.
Richard Woolsey was not an expert on the cultures of the Pegasus galaxy, not by far. He had read the mission reports of the past four years, of course, but after a year of commanding Atlantis himself he knew that mission reports only ever scratched the surface of what was going on in the galaxy, the city and among the crew.
There was for example the puzzling habit of various expedition members to take their leave on a Pegasus planet instead of Earth. Teyla, Ronon and the other twenty-three non-Earthly expedition members he could understand, they simply went home but numerous Earth-born members did the same thing.
Sergeant Stackhouse for one was in so far understandable that he had no family left on Earth and used his leave to visit the Athosians and Halling who had been a member of Stackhouse’s off-world team. Woolsey supposed that they were still friends, much like Sheppard and Ronon, who was another member of Atlantis that usually spent his leave in Pegasus. McKay and Keller went to Earth and Sheppard took Ronon surfing on the mainland.
And now this:
Teyla had been very surprised when John had told her that Ronon was going to take him to the Milaapa. She had of course known that John and Ronon had become close over the last years but she had had no idea how close.
On Athos they had a similar festival to get the blessing of the Ancestors to the couples that had stayed together a year and a day. She thought about Kanaan and Torren and told herself maybe next year.
Teyla guessed that congratulations were in order and made a mental note to remember to buy a gift when she was on Fedoria tomorrow with Evan’s team.
Apparently there was a Satedan festival in existence that was only celebrated every five years, which was why Ronon hadn’t dragged him to Belkan the four years before.
The best part so far had been requesting leave for him and Ronon and just when John knew that Woolsey would give him the obligatory ‘Aliens visiting Earth’ speech, despite the fact that Ronon had been on Earth numerous times already, he mentioned the detail that he and Ronon planned to spent their leave on a planet in Pegasus.
Woolsey’s absolutely stunned and speechless expression had been priceless.
John just hoped that Ronon didn’t forget to mention any embarrassing rituals that were connected to this festival, because that would be just like Ronon. John swore that either Satedans were a rather odd culture or Ronon simply liked making ‘Satedan Rituals’ up to humiliate John purely for the fun of it.
Ronon had been very vague about the festival but until now there had been nothing but meting Solen, Solen’s family and a few other people Ronon knew from Sateda. It was more like meeting your partner’s friends and family which was oddly fitting as Ronon had already met Dave and Nancy and every other friend John has was on Atlantis and mostly Ronon’s friend too.
‘So we just eat and drink, that’s it?’ John asked Ronon during the festive dinner, just to be sure: ‘No one legged duels with swords or something like that?’
‘We can do that if you want.’ Ronon deadpanned.
‘Nah, thanks. Woolsey might ask weird questions why I’ve lost a leg during my leave.’ John ate some of the blue and orange berries that smelled like oranges but tasted weirdly like blueberries and bananas.
‘I thought there would be more of your people here.
‘It’s a special festival.’
John took another look around and noticed that there were only couples around, no children, no older people.
‘This isn’t some Satedan marriage festival, right?’
‘No.’ Ronon’s look told John that Ronon hadn’t told him everything but as this festival was obviously important to Ronon John supposed he could endure even a Satedan marriage ritual.
Slowly each of the other couples began to rise from their places and left the dinner hall.
Ronon stood up too and helped John up. When they trailed after the other couples John noticed than Ronon hadn’t let go of his hand. It felt…nice, weird and unfamiliar but definitely nice.
They walked out to a wide grass-covered plain that seemed to stretch endlessly into the horizon not unlike the sea that surrounded Atlantis. Everyone stood in pairs and stared up at the clear, moonless sky, which reminded John of an UFO convention but when Ronon said: ‘Look’ and John watched in awe as falling stars began to streak the sky he lost that feeling. He stared skywards with everyone else and felt Ronon’s hand tighten around his and squeezed back.
Ronon leaned down to kiss him but stopped only a few inches from John’s face as if he waited for John to something, to give him permission to continue. John was at loss here, on foreign territory at the edge of a minefield that he wanted to avoid – when he really wanted to cross it.
John reached a decision and pulled his freehand up to tangle it in Ronon’s hair and close the remaining distance between them. It must have been the right thing to say because Ronon’s free arms wrapped itself around John’s waist and his hand splayed its fingers wide against John’s back.
‘I love you.’ John said when they parted because he couldn’t not. He had been trying to find the right moment for the past year, ever since Ronon told him that he was ready, but none seemed to present itself and now it had just slipped out in the dark, ungraceful and unplanned.
‘I know.’ Ronon said and left John there, flabbergasted.
He caught up with him a few minutes later between the first houses of Belkan’s biggest town where they would be staying for the duration of their leave.
‘Admit it.’ John said when he fell into step with Ronon, seemingly recovered from the shock of saying his feelings out loud: ‘This was some kind of Satedan marriage ritual.’
Ronon didn’t answer but his grin told John all he really needed to know.