Rodney had never looked twice at Ronon in a speculative way. He'd looked once. It was soon after the guy showed up and followed them home, after Rodney dealt with his distractions--radiation, hunger, irritation--and his immediate anxieties about Ford. For one moment during a team-building lunch when John was trying to explain the ridiculous concept of fantasy football, Rodney tuned out and focused on Ronon instead, and simply chewed and stared, taking him in. The bodice-ripper body and intense face, the leather-man gear and knife, the tense, ready way he held himself even during a meal, scrutinizing the room and people's movements with sidelong glances. Rodney could see him making tactical assessments, or whatever it was that military types did.
He was incredibly hot, and that pretty much killed Rodney's interest. He wasn't stupid enough to make a move on someone who was guaranteed to laugh at him; it wasn't even worth it to fantasize. That was a slippery slope. First you did it while jacking off, then a day came when you found your mind going there as you tried to construct a wave packet to isolate non-baryonic particles in forming wormholes, and then you were staring at the person during meetings with a dopey expression and too many witnesses.
So he continued to fantasize about Samantha Carter--still his perfect match, even if the odds of her coming around to his point of view were decreasing with time and distance--and made a point of keeping Ronon at arm's length, which wasn't hard. He had a knack for antagonizing people. He let them think it was an oblivious by-product of personality; when people knew it was deliberate, they weren't as easy to provoke. But it was a talent he'd honed since childhood; pissing people off drove them away, and he liked to be left alone. Most of the time.
Unfortunately, crossing Ronon off his list of possibilities only worked for a while. There was a comfortable period of several months when Ronon ignored him back, aside from the occasional digs they exchanged, and then all of a sudden they were tripping over each other constantly. Rodney was bewildered. They bumped into each other coming around corners, and reached for the salt shaker at the same time. On Birqui some arboreal rodent sent a tree branch crashing down toward Rodney's head and he stumbled back smack into Ronon's own treelike body, and Ronon's hand landed on Rodney's hip, except further in, close enough to his dick to make Rodney yelp. Everyone else assumed it was because of the tree branch, but Ronon watched him afterwards with a predator's unreadable eyes.
After three weeks of this, Rodney went to Ronon's quarters and confronted him.
"Listen, I don't know why it is that you can't keep your hands off me, but it has to stop. I'm not available for--" He waved a hand. "Whatever. This. Anything." He firmed his expression in a challenge, waiting for Ronon to deny that he knew what the hell Rodney was talking about. Because he was ready to bullet-point his evidence.
"Sorry. You smell good."
Caught off guard and flustered, Rodney opened and closed his mouth, possibly more than once. "Oh?" He hesitated, then gave himself a sniff. "That's--since when? You only just recently started feeling me up." He tried to remember if he'd switched soap or shampoo in the past few weeks, then remembered that they only had one standard-issue brand of each on Atlantis, neither of which was particularly enticing.
"I didn't notice until I did."
"Oh, well, *that's* enlightening." Rodney shifted a little and thought about fleeing. "You know, they have these masks in medical supplies--"
Ronon smiled and closed in on him.
Rodney took a step back. "Hey, no, stop that--now, look!" He held up two fingers in a lecturing gesture that he meant as a halt. "You're very attractive--almost scarily attractive, actually--but my heart belongs to another."
"I don't want your heart."
"Right. Of course not." Rodney felt one side of his mouth dragged down by the unhappy recognition of the obvious. "That would be ludicrous." He hoped he didn't sound bitter.
Ronon reached him and ran a thumb up along his neck to his jaw.
"Um," Rodney said. He had no moves in this scenario. He was completely moveless.
"I didn't say not ever. Just not now. Can't promise anything though."
"Oh." Rodney blinked and took an uneven breath. "You smell good too. In case you're wondering."
"Mm," Rodney said, through the haze that was enveloping him. "You shouldn't steal Colonel Sheppard's vocabulary. He'll have none left."
Ronon kissed him, flicking his tongue in right away, opening him up with a few slow thrusts and then filling him. Rodney clutched him back, hips jack-knifing forward to grind against his; it had been far too long since he'd had anything remotely like this. With a woman, over two years. With a man--what, four, five? Whenever and wherever he'd last had convenient access to gay bars for uncomplicated blow-jobs, the kind where you didn't even have to bother to learn someone's name. Fast relief, quick exit.
Rodney realized he was trying to climb the other man, and that Ronon was letting him. He groaned and jerked his hips forward and up again, attention split between this and an amazing flickering thing that Ronon was doing with his thumb along Rodney's jawline that was making him crazy, as if he'd been trapped in a small room in solitary for years and was just being freed. He was breathing, he was starving, he was alive.
He pulled away and yanked at Ronon's belt and pants and dropped to his knees, ignoring the twinge of impact. When he got his mouth around Ronon's dick he didn't want to waste any more time. It was exactly as big and heavy as his imagination had prepared him for, rising to his tongue, pushing into his mouth. He worked it mercilessly, and after a minute of just blissing out he got his own pants open one-handedly and jerked himself. When he gave in to stifled cries, Ronon shuddered, hands tightening; a few minutes later he came, and Rodney finished himself off, and sat back on his heels.
"Oh wow that was good," he said on an exhale of breath, eyes shut.
"Wasn't bad from this end either," Ronon murmured in his bedroom voice. He might have been swaying just a tiny bit, like a giant tree in a strong wind.
Rodney didn't mind the understatement; he recognized it as similar to his own standard of compliments and felt a curl of satisfaction in his stomach that rose to his smile.
"Excellent," he said, still breathless.
"Wanna go again?"
"Definitely. Momentarily." He folded forward to rest his hands on the floor and then pushed himself to his feet. "I was wrong, by the way. This was a good idea. I'm glad you came to me."
Ronon gave him amused regard. "You came to me."
"No need to split hairs," Rodney said dismissively and began taking off his shirt.
Now Ronon's face turned thoughtful. "You said you were wrong."
Rodney froze guiltily, arms halfway out of his sleeves, then made himself relax and continue undressing. "I can make an occasional concession," he admitted. "For a good cause."
"Good cause being sex."
"Is there any better?" Rodney smiled broadly, head tipping up at a happy angle.
Ronon gave him a Mona Lisa smile in return. "Can't think of one."