Pairing: Meredith/Ronon, Genderswitch AU where McKay has always been a woman
Summary: Written for the prompt, girl!Meredith/Ronon, seize the moment
The taste still hadn’t left his mouth. Bitterness and dust, like terel weed, like the medicine he had drank as a child: it was the taste of the hive, of the shock of enzyme coursing through his veins. Ronon had woken up every morning for the last two weeks with the taste of it clinging to his tongue, and nothing that he drank or ate could get rid of it entirely.
It was that horrible, inescapable taste that finally drove him to McKay’s door, more than anything else. Or at least that’s what he told himself.
Ronon leaned his forehead against the wall and closed his eyes. It had been a week since Jennifer had released him from the infirmary, and his strength had mostly returned. But he had pushed and pushed today, against the Marines, against Sheppard, against Atlantis’ endless smooth corridors, and his body was more tired than it should have been. He stood in the hall outside of Meredith’s quarters, and the muscles in his legs trembled.
Maybe the exhaustion would make this easier, though. Less like giving in, and more like allowing himself to rest.
He ran his hand over the panel beside the door, and a few seconds later it slid open and Meredith stared up at him, sleep-rumpled and squinting. “What?
” Her face softened from pissed off to mildly annoyed when she saw that it was him. “Ronon. What time is it? What do you want?”
Ronon reached out and touched her shoulder, lightly, the material of her baggy shirt soft beneath his fingers. “I wanted –” He stopped, tried again. “I thought we could – I need –” He had never been the one to ask before.
Meredith’s eyes widened, and then she smiled, crooked and sweet and without a trace of pity. “Yeah, yeah, sure. Come in.”
Ronon breathed relief, in and out, and followed her inside.
The rules of Sheppard’s military were very different from those of Sateda’s, and although Ronon understood the logic behind most of them, he still thought a lot of them were either stupid, or pointless, or both. The one about not sleeping with the people under your command, though, he could see the sense in that. Back home, most of the commanders had seen sex with their subordinates, willing or somewhat less than, as one of the perks of their position. Those relationships had often led to increased loyalty and service among the favoured ones, but Ronon had also seen it unravel into a tangle of jealousy, resentment and abuse.
He’d thought, when they’d promoted him to Specialist and gave him a squad, that he would be the kind of commander who could stay out of his soldiers’ beds, who could avoid those kinds of complications. Yeah. So he’d been stupid, and young, and by the time the next winter rolled around he’d already screwed around with nearly half his squad. Ara first, when she crawled into his bed roll one cold night as they slept on the floor of an empty house on Salc, its inhabitants culled that morning. Ara was shaking and half-crying with a kind of strangled fury that Ronon understood only too well, and when she had kissed him, biting at his lips, all his plans of distance had slid away.
Then once in a back alley on Sateda, after being shoved out of a brothel due to their lack of funds, Tyre had buried his face in Ronon’s shoulder and slid a hand down his pants. They had moved together slowly, languidly, the liri smoke from earlier making every moment stretch out endlessly. Neither of those incidents had ever been repeated, and aside from the occasional uncomfortable moment, nothing seemed to come of them but a release of tension and an increased sense of closeness with his squadmates.
After Nera died during a skirmish with the Irossans, her body twisted and limp beside the rock that had broken both her fall and her neck, Morika had come to him. She had been tense and near-silent with grief, and Ronon had understood that it wasn’t really sex that she wanted from him. They didn’t kiss, not once, but she had stayed afterwards, and allowed him to wrap his arms around her until the dawn light began to creep across the floor and the orwuls were screeching outside.
Shit happens, as Sheppard would say, and so despite all of the many rules the people of Atlantis had about who was allowed to fuck who, Ronon wasn’t very surprised when McKay all but jumped him while they were trapped in Ford’s base of operations.
It had been after dinner, as Ronon followed her through the low tunnel that led back outside, back to the wrecked Wraith dart. He’d been watching her, just like Sheppard had told him to, making sure that Ford’s men didn’t try anything; he’d also been watching her in a different way, staring across the table at the way her lips glistened in the path of her tongue, tracing the generous lines of her hips and thighs with his eyes as she walked in front of him.
Ronon didn’t know much about McKay at that point, and didn’t understand her at all. He knew that she was clever, and that she liked to talk, especially about herself and her own importance. He also knew that although she seemed to be frightened of nearly everything, she had still gone into the pod on the Aurora to save Sheppard, and that made up for a lot, in Ronon’s opinion. So when McKay suddenly grabbed him by the wrist, tugged him through the nearest doorway, and dragged him down by the shoulders so that she could kiss him, Ronon kissed her back with plenty of enthusiasm.
Still. He could feel the enzyme racing through his veins, could feel how close he was to the edge of control, and he didn’t want to hurt McKay, in any way. “McKay,” he had said, pulling back, ignoring her groan of protest. “You sure about this? Sheppard –”
“Do you have any idea how horny I am right now?” she’d hissed at him, cheeks flushed and eyes wild. “Yes, yes, I’m sure, now would you just –” She was already pushing up his shirt, sliding her small nimble hands across his back and sides.
“We’re drugged,” Ronon said, but he pulled her closer anyway, hardening at the feel of her soft breasts pressed up against his chest.
McKay snorted and shoved a hand down between them to unfasten her pants. “As if I would need to be on drugs to want to have sex with you.” She hesitated then, and stopped moving altogether, looking up at him uncertainly. “But if you – if it’s just the drugs for you, then – I mean, I can just, uh, go –”
Ronon kissed her, licking into her mouth and tilting her head up with a careful hand, and McKay leaned in against him, plastering herself along his body and sliding her hand back to grab his ass. “Don’t be dumb,” he said when they came up for air, and McKay had actually blushed.
They’d ended up on the floor, McKay on top of him, sinking down on to him slowly, her thighs spread wide on either side of him. Ronon set his hands on her hips, rubbed small circles on the soft skin beneath her hipbones. He threw back his head and gasped when she started to move, sliding up and down on his cock, hot and tight. He forced his eyes open and watched her, the flush spreading across her chest, the way her mouth kept falling open around wordless noises.
McKay raised her head, shaking wisps of hair out of her eyes, and saw him looking at her. Holding his gaze, she lifted one hand from the ground and brought it to where they were joined, touching herself slowly, deliberately. When her eyes slammed close and she jerked her hips hard, tightening around him, Ronon thrust up again and again, panting and watching McKay fall apart until he went tumbling after her.
Afterwards, McKay had collapsed on top of him and buried her nose in his neck. Ronon had stroked her hair and enjoyed the absence of the sexual frustration that had left him tense and irritable for the last week, driven by the enzyme and worsened by their captivity.
After a few minutes, McKay had mumbled into his neck, “Well, I probably should get back to work.” She hadn’t sounded particularly eager about the idea.
“Or you could take a break. Just for a little longer,” Ronon had said, and reached for his jacket to drag on top of them.
McKay had wriggled in closer, surprisingly cuddlesome for such a prickly woman, and said, “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.”
Once inside Meredith’s quarters, Ronon stood awkwardly in the middle of the floor until Meredith sighed with equal impatience and fondness and led him by the arm towards her bed.
“Come on, lie down. You look like you’re about to keel over,” she said, sitting down near the head of bed, curling her legs up after her. Meredith’s bare feet were narrow and callused at the heel, and she didn’t colour her toenails like Jennifer or Captain Greenberg. Ronon dropped down onto the bed and stretched out beside her, grateful that Meredith had taken the trouble to acquire a larger bed for her new quarters.
“I wasn’t about to keel over,” Ronon said, partly out of pride but mostly to make McKay roll her eyes at him.
“Of course not. You’re far too manly to do anything as undignified as collapsing from exhaustion,” she said, staring down at him as though he were a troublesome piece of machinery.
Ronon opened his mouth to tease that he thought that she liked his manliness, but instead blurted out, “What I said to you. When I was – in the infirmary. It was awful, and it wasn’t true, and –” Meredith tried to talk over him, but he forced himself to finish, “ – and I’m sorry.”
Meredith swatted him on the arm, hard. “I thought we went over this! I was standing right there next to Sheppard when he gave that horribly awkward speech about how no one is responsible for anything they do or say while under the influence of the enzyme, or alien technology, or possession of some kind. It’s actually one of the first official rules that the SGC put in place, right after –”
“Meredith,” Ronon said. “I just wanted you to know that I didn’t mean it.” And it was easier to apologize for the filth that spewed from his mouth when he was tied to that bed than to try to find the words to ask forgiveness for his betrayal. For his weakness. For the way he nearly got them all killed.
you didn’t mean it,” Meredith said, and let her hand rest warm on his arm. “I happen to be an expert on the subject of ‘saying incredibly bitchy things while delirious with enzyme withdrawal’, remember?”
Ronon grimaced and moved closer to her, resting his head on her thigh. “Yeah. I’m just – really sorry.” The bitterness was heavy in his mouth again, and he closed his eyes.
Meredith sighed. “Then I accept your stupid, unnecessary apology, okay?” She touched his face lightly, running her fingertips over his forehead and rubbing his temples. The sensation made some of the tension slide out of Ronon’s shoulders, and he brought his arm up to wrap around Meredith’s waist.
If Meredith McKay had been Satedan, Ronon would have been comfortable in the knowledge that their coupling in Ford’s base had been casual and friendly, with no obligations implied for either party. McKay hadn’t tied a string around his wrist, or suggested getting a tattoo to commemorate the occasion, or, in the more old-fashioned way of the seaward towns, spoken the formal words of the binding invitation.
Unfortunately, McKay was from a distant and extremely bizarre world whose customs Ronon was only beginning to grasp, and Ronon had had no idea whether McKay would continue to behave normally towards him or if Sheppard and Dr. Weir were going to turn up at his door one day and demand that he fulfill his duties and father McKay’s children. Or something. This was why his cousins had always warned him about sleeping with people from outside the Known Worlds.
In the end, he had gone to Sheppard and asked, “Where you’re from, if you have sex with a woman and it was good, but you don’t really want to make any agreements with her, how are you supposed to behave?”
Sheppard had blinked and rubbed his forehead. “This isn’t a hypothetical situation, is it.”
Sheppard made a lot of pained faces and drawled more than usual, but eventually Ronon came away with the idea that while sending McKay some flowers would be polite, if she was acting as if the whole thing never happened, it was probably best to follow her lead. Besides, McKay was always sneezing around flowering plants. So the next night, Ronon nabbed an extra serving of butterscotch pudding and passed it across the table to McKay. She smiled brightly at him around her spoon, and Ronon grinned back. They were good.
Two years later, Teyla was Michael’s captive, Sheppard had walked through an open gate and disappeared, and things were very, very bad. Ronon knew for a fact that Meredith hadn’t left her lab in two days, because he had been striding in to check for any signs of progress every couple of hours for exactly that long. Finally, Carter had authorized another mission to continue the search for both Teyla and Sheppard, and Ronon had bared his teeth and packed extra knives.
When he came back, hours later, seething with frustration over another mission that turned up absolutely nothing, McKay was in the gate room waiting. He watched her close her eyes and turn away, watched her walk out without a word, and he swallowed. They were both failing, failing Teyla and John, failing each other, and he couldn’t stand it.
But when he had reached his quarters, Meredith had been there. She sat on his bed, her hands clasped in front of her, and stared at him with wide, shadowed eyes. Melena had waited for him like that sometimes, near the end, when the hospital wards were crowded with the dying and there was nothing to be done.
“I can’t find them,” Meredith said. Her voice was leaden.
“You will,” Ronon said, because she had to, they
had to. There were no other options.
Meredith didn’t reply, but the lines around her mouth deepened. They stared at each other in silence, and Ronon tried to push down the hollow feeling that was rising through him. It was better to be angry, to rage against Michael and whatever had taken Sheppard from them.
“Come here, please,” she said, at last. “Will you – I can’t think anymore – ”
Ronon thought for a moment of Jennifer, of her soft eyes and wry smile. But he hadn’t spoken with Jennifer for some time, not about anything important. She had watched him warily ever since Teyla had been kidnapped, careful not to come too close to his fury.
So he went to Meredith and took her hands in his, rubbed warmth into them. “It’s okay,” he told her, and kissed her, peeled her uniform shirt over her head. He kissed her neck, and her collarbone, her pale skin, salty with dried sweat, and said, “We’ll find them, McKay.”
Meredith unknotted his pants strings, and tugged them down over his hips. She said, “Nothing fits together,” and, “How could he just vanish like that when we fucking need him,” and, “God, what he’s doing to her, what he could be doing to her, and to the baby, Jesus
, Ronon –”
He pulled her down onto the bed, gently, and they touched for a long time, Ronon’s hands moving restlessly over her body. Meredith had more scars now. Neither of them had the energy for anything strenuous, so Ronon sucked and caressed her breasts, moved his hand between her legs, sliding his fingers inside once he could feel her wetness. She was loud when she came, her voice hoarse with talking, and not crying.
Meredith wrapped her hand around his cock as soon as she had caught her breath, and shoved at him until he rolled onto his back. She followed, lying close so that he could feel her thighs and belly and nipples rubbing against him. Her hand moved quick and sure, as skilful as she was at anything that required dexterity and attention to detail, and Ronon came with a yell when she bit his shoulder, sucking at the mark as he thrashed and jerked.
She had rolled away from him when he was done, but didn’t get up from the bed. Ronon still felt hollowed out, and he stared at the ceiling for a long time, waiting for McKay to fall asleep. When her breathing turned steady and whistling, he climbed out of the bed and got cleaned up. He dressed quickly and walked out onto the balcony, staring out into the sky.
She had left by the time that he returned inside, and Ronon had lain down in his empty bed. Sleep didn’t come for a very long time.
Ronon felt himself beginning to doze off as Meredith’s fingers grazed across his face and smoothed his hair. He did manage to mumble, “I thought we were going to –” when she moved his head from her thigh to the pillow, and slid down to lie beside him.
She kissed him, slow and thorough, until all Ronon could taste was mint and Meredith and a hint of coffee. When he blinked at her sleepily as she pulled back, she snorted and dropped her head onto his shoulder, reaching down with one hand to yank the blankets over them.
“I’ll still be here in the morning, okay?” Meredith said, and pulled at his arm until he wrapped it around her.
Ronon echoed, “In the morning,” and then smiled into Meredith’s hair. Yeah, he liked the sound of that.