Title: Dreams of Home
Pairing: Team!fic with hints of Ronon/Rodney. I'm fairly sure there'll be a sequel to this which will feature this pairing more explicitly.
Prompt: 242- chiaroscuro - tamingthemuse
Disclaimer: Not mine, despite the occasional daydream.
Summary: Ronon can't quite understand the cultures and customs of the people of Earth.
Comments are loved and appreciated. Whether you love it or you hate it feel free to let me know
The more Ronon thought he understood about Earth and its customs the more he realised he had left to learn. On Sateda life was simple, it had to be. With culling’s a near constant threat and compulsory military service at the age of seventeen you had to become tough or you wouldn’t survive. Boys became men very quickly in Sateda and childhood passed in a blink of an eye.
The people of Earth had grown idle and weak, suckling on the breast of indolence and growing fat and sluggish. They could afford to have hang-ups, they had time for them, and so every action had a complex cultural meaning and was a cause for neurotic obsession. Lying with a member of your own sex, for instance, was something deeply frowned upon; particularly by the American military. Ronon had learned the hard way when he was asked Sheppard whether he was seeing McKay and if not if he was open for courting. Sheppard had choked on his lunch, spraying crumbs all over the table and turning dark red in the face before he finally spluttered out a hasty "no" and explained the concept of ‘homosexuality’ to a bewildered Ronon. He still didn’t really understand what he wasn’t meant to ask or tell about but Sheppard had been so uncomfortable that Ronon had finally had pity on him and pretended he understood the concepts being taught.
The scientists seemed to have less hang-ups but that was because they were the riff-raff; the outcasts and misunderstood geniuses on their world. Well at least that was according to McKay but it stood by what Ronon had observed of the small scientific community on Atlantis. They fit well together, like pieces of a logic puzzle that looked peculiar on their own but created a beautiful whole when combined. There were a few exemptions to this rule, like Kavanaugh for instance, but they were quickly dismissed with, vanquished into the shadows till they either got with the program or left in a huff on the Daedalus. Good riddance, Ronon thought. Atlantis demanded teamwork and cooperation from every member of the expedition. If you couldn’t click with the rest of the pieces then you were a liability and it would be only matter of time before the Wraith got to you. Ronon had witnessed that first had in his years in the army and then as a Runner.
But there were other things that confused Ronon more than he cared to admit. Earth people's fascination with fiction; with watching movies and telling tales of fantasy worlds ravaged by war and disease, of monsters fighting and destroying lands on their own planet. Sateda too had had legends and myths that every boy knew and which teachers made you recite in school. Before Ronon could hold a sword he knew the tale of Turak who took on 1000 Wraith strong with a meagre force of 60 Satedan warriors and lived to tell the tale. But the capacity for storytelling was limited to history, to wars that had happened long before their time and warriors who spilt Wraith blood with vicious might. Planets in the Pegasus Galaxy didn’t have time to indulge in make-believe. If you stayed in dreamland too long you got killed in the real world, simple as that.
Ronon knew that the Atlanteans didn’t understand him. They thought that he was just a barbarian, a savage from a distant world whose couldn’t understand their customs and whose only use was fighting. Sometimes Ronon couldn’t help but feel that they were right about him. So many things that they did were alien to him; their habits seemingly odd, unnecessary and bizarre. He couldn’t understand how these soft scientists and young soldiers who still played games and watched fantasy movies could keep fighting in a war that wasn’t there's and even winning occasionally against the Wraith. But he watched and he listened, because being a Runner had made him adept at being silent and ever watchful. Most of the time he didn’t understand them and their ways, feeling as though he was the contrasting black to their pure white. The sociologists had tried to explain their culture to him, in between constant questions about Sateda, and McKay and Sheppard kept trying to teach him everything they felt he should know about Earth.
Ronon wondered down the narrow hallways of Atlantis, taking in the familiar sounds and smells, his feet following a familiar path. The city had caught him off guard, replacing home for him before he could even notice. Sateda would always be in his heart but Atlantis was everything he had never dared dreamed he would have again. He stopped at his destination, the largest science lab in the city. Though it was night a few bedraggled members of the expedition still flitted around, heads down and mumbling to themselves as they worked. And in the centre of all of them sat Rodney, typing furiously away at his laptop while John peered over his shoulder and Teyla stared in bemusement at them from nearby. It was movie night, in John’s quarters this week, but first they had to go through the familiar routine of dragging Rodney away from his work. John and Teyla smiled at him as he approached and even Rodney managed to mumble out a hasty hello and at that moment Ronon realised the reason he had stayed in Atlantis, the reason the city felt like home. For the first time in seven years Ronon had a Team, friends whom he could rely upon. Placing one hand on Rodney’s shoulder Ronon realised that while he may never truly understand the Atlanteans customs, the Team and thus Atlantis, would always be his home.