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Because it is the only thing to say, the only way to ask wihout asking, John says, "You like fighting."

John has his back against the headboard of his bed, his legs long and crossed in front of him. Ronon is stretched over the bed, hale and whole as Atlantis herself. Another one they've walked away from. John used to think that was enough.

Ronon is stretched over the bed, and he hasn't yet taken one weapon off of him, not even the odd throwing-star-type thing he hides in his hair that John accidentally once cut himself on. John wonders if simply walking away is overrated.

Ronon's head find its way to John's leg, which is curiously tender of him and John thinks, "You tasted my food," even though he didn't, ever, that was all in John's head. But everything else between them in the vision--the silent communication, Ronon's dogged determination to see them out--was real, true, experience grafted onto imagination. He doesn't think that moment was an exception.

Ronon finally murmurs, "Not without anyone at my side."

John risks driving his fingers into Ronon's hair, sharp objects and all. Because he can't promise not to get separated, has already failed on that score, he says, "I will always come."

Ronon, who once nearly walked through a time dilation field of unknown origin for John says, "It was just what I saw. What they made me see."

In his vision, John left Ronon alone. Watched him step through the event horizon, and stayed with Atlantis. John questions whether that should have been the point where he knew, where he understood. Ronon would never have gone.

Then again, Rodney didn't figure it out either. The thought leaves John feeling just a little bit smug.

John murmurs, "Bastards."

Ronon curves a hand over John's kneecap, yawns and says, "We are home."

He falls asleep there, still in full gear.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile