When we last saw John Sheppard and Ronon Dex, they were planning a camping trip to a *ahem* virgin beach....
“She’s in love with him.” Ronon stared out over the turquoise ocean, squinting against the sun’s reflection on the waves.
Sheppard, stretched out on a towel beside him in a pair of swim trunks, sleepily answered, “Who?”
Sheppard sat up slowly. “In love with…?”
Ronon gave him a ‘Don’t be an idiot’ look. “McKay.”
“And you know this… how? She tell you that?” Sheppard removed his sunglasses and gave him a hard stare.
“She told me she was interested in someone else.”
“Wait, someone else? You and the Doc….”
“It was just a physical thing.” Ronon looked down, picking up a handful of sand and letting it trickle through his fingers.
“You mean…? You and Jennifer?” Sheppard made a crude gesture.
“No,” Ronon snarled. “I meant that her attraction to me was just a physical thing.”
Sheppard looked him up and down, eyes growing wide. “And you lost out to Rodney?”
“Yeah. Sorry you can’t really enjoy the joke.”
Sheppard frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“We both lost out.”
Sheppard immediately looked wary. “I’m not interested in Jennifer.”
This time the look Ronon sent Sheppard’s way said, ‘Don’t take me for an idiot.’
Sheppard bit his lip. “Listen.”
“No, listen. Listen.” Sheppard looked a little pale under his fresh layer of tan. “You can’t… you can’t go around saying something like that.”
“Not even to you?” Ronon met Sheppard’s earnest gaze and smiled gently.
Sheppard relaxed infinitesimally. “I’d really rather you didn’t. And you especially can’t say anything to McKay.”
“I wouldn’t. I won’t even tell him about us. You can if you want to.”
Ronon let another fistful of sand trickle away.
“I thought we could console each other. If you wanted to.”
Sheppard’s jaw slowly dropped as his face and neck flushed.
“It would just be a physical thing,” Ronon added gruffly.
Sheppard’s chest swelled. He pointed a shaking finger at Ronon and then at himself. “Me?”
Ronon looked him up and down with genuine appreciation. “You’re not bad. In a scrawny kind of way.”
Sheppard’s expression closed off. “Okay, I get it.” He slid his sunglasses back on and looked out over the ocean. “You’re pulling my leg.”
“I’ll pull anything you want me to,” Ronon offered hastily. “All you have to do is ask.”
Sheppard turned to face him, jaw starting to drop again.
Ronon reached out and carefully removed the sunglasses. “You don’t even have to ask. Just let me.”
There was a long pause, before Sheppard lowered himself down onto the towel and held out a hand.