House of Cards – Chapter Three

Chapter Three


“You’re not concentrating.” Ronon tapped his wife’s ass with one of the bantos fighting rods he had in hand and circled her. They were several feet off the back porch, and Teal’c was sitting on the stairs watching. “Keep your eyes closed.”

“It’s not like…” Jennifer sighed. “It’s not like in the gym.”

“My disserve to you, actually.” Ronon moved around her again, he grazed her side with one of the rods and she jerked. “We’re going to have to expand on our training locations when we go home, little one.”

She grimaced at him. “Being outside is really over rated. I hate the woods. I hate trees. I really hate dirt. Everything smells too much and there is too much noise.”

He used the tip of one of the rods to brush over her heart. “You’re biggest problem is disorientation, Jennifer. When you get upset—your focus narrows and when that happens you cut your options in half. You don’t want to go there, again, do you?”

“You know I don’t,” she snapped. Her fingers tightened around the fighting rods she held. “Fear breeds desperation.”

“That’s right. Push it down and out of the way.” He moved around her in silence then, watching her body and her face as she sucked in a breath and then released it. “In a fight, you’re not going to have time for this. You won’t have time to settle your mind. You won’t have time for anything and hesitation kills. Hesitation will kill you.”

Then he swung, the soft swoosh of wind was all the warning she got but she responded bringing up her own stick and fending him off without opening her eyes and countered with her left hand, landing a particularly hard blow to his side and when he retreated she followed.

Jack O’Neill tightened his hands around the coffee cup he held and watched the exercise from the porch his mouth pulled into a tight line. “Is that necessary?”

“I can’t risk her in the field if she can’t defend herself. You and I both know that.” John watched Jennifer move around the clearing, holding on her own with a man twice her size with her eyes closed. “He’s not going to hurt her or allow her to be hurt with this but the sparring, the lessons, the truth are necessary.”

“Hesitation kills,” Jennifer repeated when she was prompted. “Indecision has no place in battle.”

“That’s right.” Ronon nodded in approval when her head jerked and she immediately centered on him. “Better, little one, much better. Open your eyes and tell me the rest.”

Jennifer opened her eyes, her gaze focused on her husband. She met his next volley without much effort and countered. They moved across the clearing, exchanging blows and blocks with the rods as she spoke. “I’m more vulnerable than any man I’ll ever fight with or against. Agility, speed, balance and good decisions are my only weapons against strength. A man will make war on me in ways that he never will another man. Never let an opponent keep me on the ground, if I can crawl I can stand up. On my feet I’m a fighter, on my back or my knees I’m a victim.” She took a deep breath, dodged a blow and countered and blood surfaced on his arm. “Anger, self-pity, fear, grief, guilt are weaknesses I can not afford to indulge in; they make me weak and weakness kills.”

“So what do you do?” Ronon demanded, one of his rods grazed her side.

“I get up if I’m pushed down. I fight. I defend myself. I kill. I don’t hesitate. I don’t get angry. I remain calm. I do not have fear. I run when I can because there is no shame in it. I survive. I come home.” She stopped when he did, her gaze wary and then smiled when he nodded. “Thank God, I’m starving.”

He laughed, reached out and grabbed a fist full of her shirt and yanked her to him. “Very good, little one.” He brushed a kiss over her mouth and then her forehead. “Go eat. We’ve a long day.”

She handed off the rods and slid past Teal’c on the stairs. “Good morning, Jack.”

“Morning, Button.” Jack’s gaze traveled over her damp face and took in the pride in her eyes. “I think you could kick my ass with those rods.”

She grinned. “Maybe. I swing a mean steel pipe as well.”

John laughed. “You sure do, Doc.” He looked back into the yard to find Teal’c in Jennifer’s place. “Thank God, I was really not in the mood to work out with him. Running with Cam this morning nearly killed me.”

Jennifer walked to the railing. “Twenty minutes. I’ll get the kit for the stitches I owe you in that arm.”

“Understood.” Ronon called out as he slipped past the older Jaffa and landed a blow that made him smile. It wasn’t often he got one past the man. “Go eat!”

“You train your mate like a warrior,” Teal’c commented as soon as Jennifer went into the house.

“Wouldn’t you?” Ronon asked, blocking one blow and then he hissed loudly when Teal’c connected with the same spot Jennifer had gotten earlier in the morning.

“I would,” Teal’c conceded. “It speaks to your trust in her.”

“It’d kill me if she didn’t come home.”

* * * *

Jennifer dropped the small medical kit on the kitchen table and then reached for the orange juice. “Wow. Who cooked?”

“Vala and Daniel.” Laura pushed her fork into the stake of pancakes in front of her. “This is as good as sex.”

“You need to get laid more.” Vala slid into her seat and raised one eyebrow. “Or perhaps just ordered about?”

Laura laughed out loud. “I’m seriously going to regret ever telling you that, right?”

“Probably more with every passing day. She never forgets a single thing that gets said to her,” Daniel Jackson said as he put a plate of bacon and sausage on the table. “Real meat happen often on Atlantis these days?”

Laura stabbed at a piece of sausage with her fork. “Well, it’s not always recognizable but there is thing we catch on the main land that tastes a lot like pork if you close your eyes.”

“And take a deep breath,” John muttered as he slid onto the bench beside her.

“And think about pig,” Jennifer finished with a laugh. “But it won’t kill us and normally that’s all it takes.”

“You’re all just soft.” Ronon touched her hair as he walked by. “Wanting your food to taste good and be cooked.”

She laughed. “Hey, come back here… you need stitches and food.”

“Teal’c and I ate before you got up and I’ve a shower on my mind.”

She snagged her last piece of bacon and the medical kit. “I can get behind a shower.”

Sam slid into her empty seat and pushed aside the empty plate. “I’d have thought that they’d be past the honeymoon phase by now.” The rest of the table laughed as Jennifer and Ronon disappeared without a word.

“I can’t tell you how many dark places and rooms on Atlantis that I’ve caught them coming out of breathless, flushed, bright eyed, and amused with themselves,” John muttered.

* * * *

Jennifer clipped the thread on the stitches, tied off her neat row of three stitches, and surveyed the small wound. “Good thing you married a doctor.”

He laughed and rubbed her thighs with both hands. “Too bad the bathroom counters on Atlantis aren’t at this height. It’s kind of perfect.”

She leaned back on the counter and grinned. “Yeah. It is. Too bad we don’t have time. You know John’s going to be in rare form today.”

“Yeah.” Ronon leaned in and kissed her. “You did well this morning.” He kissed her again. “I think if we got in the shower together we could have time for something really quick and really hot.”

“Yes.” She nodded, agreeing with a little moan. “Really quick, really hot and really hard.”

* * * *

Laura pulled on her boot and shot the bathroom door a glance. “It’s sort of hard not resenting them.”

“I know,” John muttered from the doorway. “I booked us a suite in a hotel in DC so I guess we can expect more of that.” He tilted his head. “Did you know about Sam and the General?”

“Not until last night but I think Jennifer’s known for a while. At least since Sam was at Atlantis, maybe longer considering her relationship with General O’Neill.” Laura reached over and grabbed her weapons harness. She slid it across her shoulders with practiced ease. “The General got us a private plane to DC right?”

John shook his head. “I took care of that myself this morning. I’d rather use as few government channels as possible for the time being. Going to DC is enough of a risk but my contact in the FBI wants to meet in person and I don’t blame her.”

“Her?” Laura raised an eyebrow. “Should I be jealous?”

“Of a woman I’ve seen twice in ten years and have never even kissed? No.” He walked into the room, shutting the door with his foot as he did. “Look, you and I…”

“John.” Laura frowned at him. “This really isn’t a good time for that discussion is it?”

“Probably not.” He helped her stand from the bed. “But here it is—us having this discussion in the middle of Jack O’Neill’s house no less. I don’t know what’s between us and I was serious when I told you I was prepared to work for it—to work for whatever is between us. It’s a distraction for us both and may end up breaking us both into a couple of million pieces but every time I look at you my world gets a little brighter, a little bigger… and I’ve never known anything like that before.”

She pursed her lips, her fingers tangled with his. “Wow, you suck wide.” She cleared her throat. “How could you say something to me like that?”

He laughed. “Laura.” John rubbed one calloused thumb over her mouth. “I don’t want to pressure you, I don’t want you to think that I’m taking what ever this is between us for granted. To that end, the suite in DC has three bedrooms.”

She leaned in and kissed his mouth. “Call them back—get two bedrooms and in room Jacuzzi and a big screen TV.”

John pulled her close and covered her mouth with his and let the rest of the world bleed away. It was easy to get lost her mouth, her taste, the fit of her body against his… slim, strong, and female despite the conditioning the Marines and a war forced on her. A clearing throat had them breaking a part as if a shot had rung out.

“Sorry, kids,” Jack murmured. “But time is short.”

“Yes, Sir.”

* * * *

John cleared the three rooms the his team had used, grabbed a hairbrush that was obviously Jennifer’s and then walked down the stairs. He tossed the brush to Ronon who dropped it into a bag he was carrying towards the SUV. “I’ll leave the vehicle parked at the airport.”

“Keep the keys, you’ll need it when you come back.” Jack shoved his hands into pockets. “You’ve got the secure cell phone?”

“Yes, sir.” John shot him a look. “And the laptop. We’ll keep you as informed as much as possible. Sam set up an encryption program for us so email exchanges should be basically secure.”

“I trust you’ll be your wordy self.” Jack watched Ronon secure their bags in the back of the SUV and then check both of the doors for the women. “He’s cagey. Does he ever turn it off?”

“Nope. He sleeps with a gun in his hand off-world but she’s settled him a little. He’s still a militant son of a bitch, aggressive, and quick tempered but more and more he’s likely to think of her before he goes head long into a stupid situation. Most people take note of the changes in her – but the real changes are in him. He might have tapped into her ability to defend herself, and gave her self-confidence that she lacked – something so rare in a woman of her looks by the way. But she gave him peace.” John checked his watch. “Thanks for breakfast, Sir.”

“We’ll be around when you need us and I’ll monitor Trust activity for anything related to you or Atlantis.”

“We’ll probably need clean up once we find what we’re looking for and it’s likely to be very messy.”

“Oh, I would expect nothing else,” Jack smirked. “Let me know if you need any help on the ‘making the mess’ part.”



Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.

One Comment:

  1. hey you have to finish this series is officialy my fave ronon and keller fic i cant belive how good you are at writing them just one thing though could you possibly email me and explain how keller knows gen oneil i never really understood but please continue writing I think your FAB!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!

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