Three Ways to Carry a Colonel

Fandom: Stargate:Atlantis

Category/Rated: Gen, T

Year/Length: 2005/ ~1205 words

Pairing: Sheppard, Dex

Spoilers: Conversion

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Summary: This is a friendship fic, missing scenes from the episode where Sheppard becomes a bug. Or whatever.

Author's Notes: Because, seriously, Sheppard and Ronon have just as much chemistry as just about anyone else, yea?

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Piggyback

At least that's the term Sheppard uses after Ronon catches him when he sags to the ground, the blood loss from the wound on his arm apparently affecting him more than he had been willing to admit. Ronon had kneeled in front of him then, his back to Sheppard, and instructed, "Come on, I'll carry you the rest of the way." It was more than Ronon was accustomed to saying in one stretch, and was met with a sort of surprised silence. After a moment the bigger man cranes his head over a shoulder, an eyebrow raised in silent question.

Sheppard blinks, clears his throat, and shifts uncomfortably before asking, "You're gonna give me a piggyback ride?"

Ronon shrugs, and makes an impatient grunting noise in the back of his throat. He feels uncomfortable and exposed in this unfamiliar forest, with the rest of the team already fallen back to the safety of Atlantis. It's only later, after Sheppard gives a dark chuckle, and motions for Ronon to stand, and then hesitantly jumps onto the large man's back, his arms coiling around Ronon's neck as his legs latch around his waist that Ronon considers 'piggyback'. Ronon grunts again, and when he speaks the rumble of his voice makes John's chest vibrate, "That arm looks bad."

"It feels bad."

With that Ronon grunts, and starts off in a long limbed jog, one John is familiar with from their runs together. As he runs, John being lulled into a half-sleep by the rhythmic motion of running, Ronon considers the term 'piggyback'. It doesn't make any sense to him, but then again his own race's name for piggyback, which is haullogging, doesn't make a lot of sense either.

John's head is heavy on his shoulder, the band of his legs around his waist is warm. Ronon wonders if the Lt. Colonel knows the meaning behind piggyback.

After awhile John's breathing evens out, as his blood snakes down Ronon's tunic.

Even longer and the Stargate comes into view, and at the flattering of Ronon's footsteps John jerks out of the half-sleep he had sunk into. After a moment he unwinds his legs from Ronon's waist, and settles back onto the ground, which feels like it dips and sways beneath him. His chest feels cold with the absence of Ronon's warmth. And then his knees give, and he hits the ground to the sound of Ronon calling for a medical team ASAP.

Cradling

Two shots take Sheppard down.

Teyla stares at him for a moment, looking first surprised, then worried, and then fleetingly grateful. She kneels over John's mutating body, her hand hesitating before closing on his shoulder and flipping him onto his back. Sheppard is out cold, Ronon can tell by the slow deep breaths, but Teyla stands and lightly taps his body with her boot twice before raising her eyes to Ronon. “ We should get him to Dr. Beckett." She says it in the same soft serious voice that she always uses, and for some reason that is comforting in the situation.

He grunts his consent, and bends toward the prone form of John Sheppard. The man is heavy and solid in his arms when he scoops him up, and there are sharp jagged things under the man's shirt where there should only be the soft press of skin and muscle. Ronon supposes that is the exoskeleton, and cannot suppress the chill that crawls up his neck. He hates bugs.

Teyla steps up to him, gently grabs Sheppard's arm, which is dangling limply, and places it across the man's chest. It promptly slides off again, and resumes it's lifeless hanging. The rest of John is cradled to Ronon's chest, one of the tall man's arms hooked under Sheppard's shoulders, the other under his knees. John's head is hanging backwards at what Teyla apparently decides is an uncomfortable angle, because she grabs it and gently tilts it forward till the Lt. Colonel's face is buried against Ronon's tunic.

The sharp prickly things are on John's face, too.

As he turns away from her, heading now for Dr. Beckett's medical bay, thoughts of bug mandibles and stingers waft through his mind. He waits until he's sure she can't see him, and then carefully shrugs his shoulder till John's head slides away from his chest, and hangs away from him. He's starting to feel itchy all over, like little spiders are creeping across his skin, and for the briefest of moments Ronon Dex wonders what the hell has possessed him to carry this twisted representation of John Sheppard towards the doctor.

It's then, as his mind searches for a distraction, that he realizes how cold Sheppard is. And it's then, with the little spider legs still crawling around his subconscious, that he sighs, and cradles Sheppard a little closer. It's then that he pauses for a second, and bounces his knees a few times, till the Lt. Colonel's head bounces back into the marginally more comfortable position against his chest.

Its been a long time since he's felt like he had a family, but these last few weeks he's almost felt like he has... And family carries family to help...even if one member of that family is quickly becoming a six foot tall cockroach. He is carrying a giant bug in his arms. It's mouth is so close to his heart that it could probably kill him in seconds, it the stun wore off. He just knows that this is going to be a new nightmare, in a week or two.

Beckett is running towards him, flanked by two members of Caldwell's security force, and when they order him to put the Lt. Colonel on the gurney they have brought with them he is only to happy to obey. Though that doesn't stop him from demanding that he be allowed to carry one end.

Over a Shoulder

He comes out to that cave silently, like a bullet out of an old fashioned gun, fast and terrible. Ronon has been hunting fast and terrible things for a long time, and this time it only takes one shot to drop Sheppard. There is a moment of awkward silence as everyone stands over their leader, and Beckett silently cradles the all-important eggs. And then Ronon moves forward, and sinks into superstition for a moment as he ponders that all bad things come in threes.

John is heavier now than he was what seems like just hours ago. The sharp edges of the exoskeleton dig into Ronon's shoulder and back, but he keeps his mouth shut. There is no one else here that could carry the Lt. Colonel, not now that the hard outer shell has almost completely formed. So he says nothing, not even when one particularly sharp bit digs into his shoulder so hard that he feels like warm burst of blood flowing down his back.

Sheppard is going to owe him for this. Big time.

So the bastard better be alright.

No way is he lugging this man around for a third time just to have Dr. Beckett's miracle cure fail. He plans to make that very clear to the good doctor just as soon as they get an alone moment.

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