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Ronon found the coin on a mission to some planet with no signs of civilization whatsoever. It was dull even in the midday sun, but it stood out to Ronon's eye, years of looking out for anything that didn’t quite fit still giving him the ability to spot even the tiniest of objects that shouldn't have been where they were.

It was a Satedan coin, roughened by wind, soothed by water nearly to a point of facelessness, shapelessness. There was enough left that when Ronon palmed it, he knew exactly what it was, how much of the sticky-sweet substance that his sister used to like to spread over all her morning foods it would have bought. He could see Melina's fingers counting out her pleasure change, long and precise, sticking these coins to the side for the sake of her own adventures.

He put the coin in his pocket and continued to protect his team from the seeming nothing that this planet had to offer.


John found it by accident as well, sliding his hands into Ronon's pockets from behind, intent on other sorts of mischief. He pulled the coin out and frowned at it, momentarily distracted by its unexpected presence.

Ronon stole it back from him. "That's mine." He set it on the nearest surface. He could get back to it when John wasn't here.

But John had drawn back and was looking at Ronon a little the way he did when he thought maybe they should talk about something. The problem was, John was bad at asking the questions that mattered and Ronon could be even worse at answering them, so sometimes they just stared at each other for long periods of time until John gave up and went back to his original plan, which was invariably to have sex.

Amazingly, that wasn't what happened here.

John said, "I wasn't planning on stealing it."

Ronon looked away. Yeah, John didn't go around stealing from him.

"I just wanted to know what it was. You don't carry things in your pockets."

"It's a coin."

"Yeah," John said.

"Satedan. A Satedan coin. Found it on the last mission."

John frowned. "On the Nothing Planet?"

Ronon shrugged.

"Odd," John said.

Ronon didn't have anything to say to that, so he just stayed silent.

"Would you trust me with it? For a day? I'll bring it back."

"What are you--"

John just shook his head. "That's where you have to trust me."

In general, Ronon did.


John brought the coin back with a tiny hole drilled into the middle of it, and Ronon frowned. John said, "No, wait. I got this idea from a movie."

Ronon had now seen a fair number of Earth movies. This explanation was not reassuring to him.

John made Ronon sit and, with a combination of water and time, work the bottom end of one of his front dreads free. Then John threaded the loose hair through the hole in the coin, wrapped the hair around and back in until the coin was rather tightly bound to the end of the dread.

Ronon looked over into the mirror at this new addendum to his locks. "Huh."

John fingered the bauble before tugging a little more insistently on the dread to which it was now attached. Ronon arose to the summons.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile