doylefan22 (doylefan22) wrote,

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SGA Fic: The Meaning Of Intimacy

Four in a set of five for the stagesoflove challenge. Beta read with crazy speed by fififolle

Title: The Meaning of Intimacy
Pairing: Sheppard/OC
Rating: M
Spoilers: None
Theme: Five Stages Of Love - Intimacy

Summary: Intimacy has many faces.

Rodney considered John a friend even though sometimes it was hard work.

Their major problem seemed to be that neither of them were particular comfortable with talking about their feelings. This was a definite hurdle when one of the building blocks of a friendship was letting the other person know what was going on with you. Sharing private things. Telling them stuff.

But Rodney honestly preferred when, most of the time, people didn’t know private things about him and John seemed to be the same way too.

Although he supposed, in a funny way, that did mean they had something in common after all.

Things had been quite different in his friendship with Carson. The Scotsman had been open and not afraid to show his feelings to an extent that had often made Rodney uncomfortable. But it’d been good for him, he realised. It’d forced him into being more open and, despite being so ill at ease with it, it’d often made him feel better about things. It wasn’t good to bottle stuff up. Since Carson’s death he’d probably regressed quite a lot in that manner. Although, he reasoned, if the best friend you ever had ups and dies on you, that was bound to make you a bit hesitant about ever opening up again.

It was this reticence to get involved that made him only occasionally bring up the Sheppard’s relationship with Dr Jones. From what he could gather, they’d been dating for a fair few months. He was pretty certain that they were sleeping together; he’d accidentally walked in on them kissing once and he didn’t think you kissed someone like that if you weren’t having sex with them. Besides, he’d noticed on more than one occasion John walking around with the chirpiness and inanely pleased grin of a guy who’d gotten laid, which Rodney always rolled his eyes at and tried to ignore.

Honestly, he didn’t see any reason to ask about the relationship. It came up in conversation from time to time and John seemed happy with the way things were going. What else was there to say? He didn’t really want all the intimate details.

Besides, it was clear that John didn’t feel the need to discuss it at length either. He didn’t exactly keep it a secret but he didn’t broadcast it. Rodney respected that and so only ever mentioned it in passing. Mainly to berate John for using running off to meet his girlfriend as an excuse anytime he was losing at chess.

Rodney tried his best to ignore it when he saw them interacting, not wanting either of them to be embarrassed. To be honest, he found it kind of embarrassing himself too. He didn’t want to intrude on anyone’s private moment and he certainly didn’t want to see anything that might mean he could never look either of them in the eye ever again. He still very distinctly remembered one of the few off world missions she’d been on with them. He’d had the room in the tavern next to Evie’s and wasn’t surprised to hear her door opening in the middle of the night and then a male voice. Rodney had slept with his head under the pillow for the rest of the night, desperate not to hear anything.

But there was another reason he tried to ignore their relationship though, one he would never openly admit to.

He was jealous.

Not of John dating her. She was a nice looking woman but he had no designs on her. Not that he would turn her down if she...anyway...No, it was more the fact that it was too sharp a reminder of things he didn’t want to face.

Truth was, it was their intimacy that bothered him. They weren’t the type of couple into big gestures and, if you didn’t know either of them well, to see them in public together you’d have to seriously doubt that they were in a relationship at all. They obviously got on and there was chemistry there, but they could just as easily be only friends. It was only when you spent enough time around them that it became clear after a while that there was more to it.

It was in the way that John would subconsciously place his hand on the small of her back if they were all stood there talking, one finger sometimes slipping under her tee shirt to lightly circle bare skin. Or the way that they’d sit a little too close next to each other on a couch, totally at ease with bodies touching. Or the way he’d smile at her as though sharing a private thought that no one else was privy to. Or the way she’d squeeze his hand, lingering slightly, when she told him she had to get back to work.

All the things that they probably thought no one else noticed but which Rodney did, probably because he was so desperate not to see them.

Sheppard was teaching her how to play golf. Or at least how to hit balls off one of the balconies since the lack of a proper golf course was still a bit of an obstacle there. Apparently she’d declared it a game for jaded businessmen and people with nothing better to do which he’d taken offence at and had been determined to show her otherwise. It was against Rodney’s better judgement to join them when invited, warning bells ringing out in his head. But today, for some reason he decided to ignore those inner warnings though. Turned out to be just the mistake he thought it would be.

It wasn’t like they were being overtly coupley but they still seemed to grate on every sensitive nerve. By the time John was standing behind her, trying to correct her swing, his body so close to hers that Rodney felt like snapping ‘will you two just get a room!’, he made his excuses to leave.

He was happy for John. Really. But truth was that they had an intimacy that Rodney had never managed with Katie; easy and unfussy. Something that seemed quite natural to them. He’d often blamed his own awkwardness for the fact that he and Katie had never achieved that, but maybe they just weren’t meant to be.

It wasn’t exactly a pleasant thought.

Either way, to see John and Evie together was just a constant reminder of all he didn’t have. All he might never have.

He wished them the best. He smiled when John seemed happy about it.

And he tried to ignore it as much as he could.


Ronon paused in the doorway to the training room a large grin on his face.

Of course Sheppard was way too busy kissing her to notice that the other man was standing there.

He wasn’t surprised. It’d been a while but he still remembered that intense ‘when I’m with you there’s nothing else’ feeling of first being with a woman who you really clicked with. It was a possessive sense of belonging that would make itself known whenever you were alone together to the exclusion of everything else.

Sheppard may be good at hiding all but his superficial feelings but he was still a man and obviously incapable of ignoring a desire like that.

When his hand slid down to her backside to pull her closer Ronon decided, with a chuckle, that he’d better say something before this became too embarrassing for them.

“I can come back later if you’re busy.”

They broke apart like a couple of teenagers caught out by her dad and Ronon’s amused grin only widened. Sheppard looked certainly uncomfortable and Ronon was sure that she was blushing.

“Sorry,” Sheppard mumbled, obviously feeling the need to say something, “Didn’t hear you come in.”


Another self-conscious silence.

“Why don’t I leave you two to beat each other up with sticks, hmm?” Evie said with cheerful awkwardness, still seeming a bit embarrassed as she hurried passed Ronon and out of the room.

He shook his head in amusement as he tossed Sheppard a towel.

“I’m two minutes late and you find something else to do.”

Sheppard gave him a dry look.

“Yeah, okay,” he said in acceptance at being caught out. “Let’s just let it go now.”

Ronon shook his head as he experimentally twirled the fighting stick in one hand, his muscles honing in to the weight and balance of it. “Don’t know why you’re so embarrassed,” he pointed out, “I wouldn’t say she’s anything to be ashamed about.”

“No,” Sheppard hurriedly defended, frowning at the idea he might give that impression, “Of course not. I just...I wanna keep things private, that’s all.”

Ronon could understand that, more than Sheppard probably realised.

No one back home had ever known that he was due to be married. It had happened in a hurry and they’d honestly not felt the need to tell anyone else. They’d been together some time but he’d not even contemplated marriage before they knew the Wraith were coming. Then it was promised almost in desperation, an act of defiance in a way; a message that whatever else the Wraith took from them, they couldn’t take this. It should have happened that final afternoon, before she was due to escape with the others, before the explosion...

He’d not told the men in his battalion, afraid they’d see it as weakness. ‘And what did it matter?’ he’d thought at the time. He was going to be dead soon anyway, right? It was a secret he’d quite happily have taken to his grave.

“Yeah, I get that,” he said easily, not really looking at Sheppard as he spoke, not wanting it to seem like an interrogation. “But friends are supposed to talk from time to time though.”

He knew he was guilty enough of ignoring that fact in the past. But if he was going to try and do something about it, it only seemed fair that Sheppard did the same.

Sheppard looked at him, contemplating that for a moment before nodding in understanding, perhaps knowing what he was hinting at. He had admitted to Ronon long ago that the two of them were dating, but he’d been utterly silent on the matter ever since. Maybe it was time to start sharing a little.

“So, what do you wanna know?” he asked, busying himself with putting his towel just where he wanted it and then ensuring his bootlaces were done up. Attempting to make himself seem nonchalant but only coming off as slightly edgy.

“Do you love her?”

Sheppard laughed incredulously at the sheer audacity of the question, blunt and uncompromising, going straight to the heart of the matter.

“Well I...I haven’t really thought about it,” he settled on, trying hard not to sound too evasive.

Ronon gave him a disbelieving look.

“And as many a wise philosopher once said,” Sheppard pointed out, sounding like it was almost a get out clause, “‘what is love?’”

“It’s when you want to know everything about her,” Ronon said without hesitation and with total conviction, “Every inch of her, every expression, every noise she makes, what makes her laugh and what makes her cry. When you want to understand it all and don’t want anyone else to know. When you want her to be yours.”

There was a slight pause.

“Well aren’t you just a poetic soul at heart?”

Sheppard’s words were teasing on the surface but Ronon could see from the look on the other man’s face how that had hit home. But Ronon said nothing. Instead he attacked without warning, catching Sheppard off guard and making him fall on his backside.

“One nil to me,” he announced with a grin.


John awoke peacefully, turning his head slightly to look at the clock. It was only just seven AM and he was still on down time. He didn’t have to get up for hours yet.

Of course that didn’t mean he had to use the time to sleep.

He grinned at the woman lying next to him, body pressed to his side, warm skin flush with his. His fingers drew gentle patterns on her hip as he contemplated the best way of waking her up.

And then he paused, a frown alighting his face instead. Frozen by the sight of her hand lying across his chest, rising and falling slowly as he breathed, fingertips curled around the edge of his dog tags.

The image made his stomach clench.

It was an odd symbol of intimacy, but it was one all the same.

Like most soldiers he knew, habit meant that he never took the things off. They didn’t exactly have the best associations in the world, but it was something every military person lived with. Over the years they’d become a weirdly integral part of who he was and something almost private. A constant symbol of his own mortality and of how precarious life could be. Seeing them pressed against her fingers was both reassuring and slightly scary.

It was a reminder that he didn’t want; that they faced more than their fair share of dangers out there. He didn’t like to think that one day they may be all she had left of him.

Yet at the same time the sight comforted him, a sign of his trust in her that he allowed her to get just that close.

On instinct he moved his hand up and rested it over hers.

She stirred with a slow intake of breath and the smile returned to his face. He shifted his body, moving to lie over her, the coolness of his dog tags pressed between their skin.

He ignored them, not wanting to go there again, and instead concentrated on kissing her.


John Sheppard, she had come to realise, was a study in contrasts. On the outside he was easy going, laid back and friendly, the sort of person who it was easy to consider a friend. But, if they really paused to think about it, most people would realise that they didn’t actually know him that well after all. They would begin to realise that he didn’t talk much about himself; that they didn’t know where he was from, his likes and dislikes, what he felt about things... No, he was very good at giving people a perception of friendship without ever giving himself away.

Why he’d let her get so close was still a bit of a mystery to Evie, but she was certain that he had let her in more than most. She knew things about him that many others never would. There was an odd sense of power in that but it was tempered by something more protective. That he trusted her so much to let her see him at his most vulnerable and open was something she respected.

When she slipped into the shower with him, he didn’t seem at all surprised. He probably knew that he’d woken her up when he’d got out of bed and maybe he’d even been expecting her to follow him. Or hoping, she thought with a smile.

“Scrub your back?” she offered in response to his raised eyebrow.

She took his grin as a ‘yes’.

Considering the dangers of his career, his body remained remarkably unblemished. He had scars, but they were mostly small ones, almost hidden over different parts of his body. According to him, she’d found them all now. She’d once asked him what each one was and he’d told her without hesitation; shrapnel, gashes, knives, crashes, falls, bullets. She lightly fingered them now, as her fingers chased shower foam over his back, seeking them out again, some barely visible on tanned skin. She remembered each one; his right shoulder, three ribs from the bottom on the left hand side, just above one of his kidneys, the back of his right thigh, diagonally right from his hip bone...

She stood behind him running her fingernails lightly over his skin, following the flow of the water and contemplating how odd it was to know someone so well. Her hands trailed down well remembered lines, almost mapping him out, teasing the compact muscle. She knew he was a lot stronger than he looked. She felt it when he held her, when he lay on top of her and in the movement of his hips. It was primitive but it made her feel secure with him.

As she pressed herself closer to his back, still fascinated by the intimacy, she felt every one of those muscles tense in sudden anticipation. Almost experimentally her hands ran over the front of his thighs and he seemed to become even more taught. She was almost invoking his well honed fight or flight response as he awaited her next move. He always did take a little time to relax.

One of her hands came to rest on the flat of his stomach and she felt the strong clench and sudden tension there when the other wrapped around him without warning or further teasing, the water allowing her to easily stroke up and down. He took a sharp intake of breath, steeling himself against the sudden rush of pleasure.

The tightness in his body seemed to slowly dissipate as he hardened beneath her touch, as though he was relaxing into it and surrendering. She could almost feel him letting go and the odd vulnerability in that.

He mumbled something obscene when she lightly scraped a fingernail over his tip. She could just about see him bite his lip as her thumb pressed more firmly against a particularly sensitive spot on his underside. Her strokes became a little more experimental, testing his reactions to different areas and different movements. She could tell when she found something he particularly liked from the ragged longing of his groans and the way one of the muscles in his shoulder seemed to involuntarily jump in response.

Pressed so close to his back she could feel his heart racing and hear the rumble in his chest as he moaned.

Without looking at his face, she could tell that he was rapidly losing conscious control. She could hear it in his breathing and feel it in the small, instinctive buck of his hips.

His low sounds of pleasure made her shudder. She wondered if he had any idea what those noises did to her. Or how, if she heard anything like them in the timbre of his voice at any time, she blushed very slightly, erotic memories surfacing.

Her free hand caressed his backside and, when she dug her nails in just a little, he twitched in her other hand, skimming along the fine line between pleasure and pain.

He leaned forward, using the opposite wall of the shower for support, legs trembling a little as he took a deep breath to try and steady himself. Broad palms pressed against the tiles and she could see the bunching of the muscles in his arms as his fingers tried to grip helplessly at the smooth wall. She pressed tender kisses against his back and she was sure she could hear him quietly murmur her name.

She didn’t need to see the look of intense pleasure on his face when he came to know it was there as she felt the familiar shudder of his body and heard a deep moan of pleasure.

She really was amazed at just how well she’d come to know him but didn’t have time to contemplate it before he’d spun round and had her pinned against the wall, kissing her hard, naked desire still burning in his eyes.

It seemed, she realised as his hand trailed down her body, he knew her pretty intimately too. And that certainly wasn’t a bad thing.
Tags: fic, sga
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