Pairing: Ronon Dex/Jennifer Keller
Blurb: This is the first pairing that really got me involved in fandom as a fic writer. When Jennifer Keller's character was introduced on the show, I was more excited to see the actress, Jewel Staite in a role on my then favorite show. Then, through spoilers, I found out that there would be hints of an official pairing between the resident doctor and the former Runner and... it just made sense.
From what we know of his past, Ronon has been drawn the more subdued, nurturing/healing type. Dr. Keller, however, definitely knows how to put her foot down and not take crap from Ronon. She's the boss in the infirmary and lets him know it, yet he will begrudgingly defer to her expertise in that area.
I'm a fan of stories that play up just how this seemingly unlikely pairing could work. Often times, Jennifer seems out-of-place and overwhelmed by responsibility, and only seems to be truly secure when practicing the craft of medicine.
Excerpt: From the INFIRMARY SCENE in Season 4, Episode 13: "Quarantine"
DEX: I had you wrong.
(Jennifer looks inquiringly at him. He smiles at her.)
DEX: When you first came here, I thought you were weak – that you didn't belong.
KELLER (shaking her head and looking away): It's the story of my life. (She pauses for a while, then continues.) Growing up, I skipped through grades and graduated at fifteen. Got my Bachelor's Degree before I was even old enough to vote. I missed out on a lot of things – any kind of social event, you know, parties and dances. (She smiles ruefully.) I don't ever remember a time in my life where I belonged.
DEX: Yeah, well, blowing up that tank – you really showed yourself.
(She smiles at him.)
KELLER: But it didn't work.
DEX: That's not the point.
. . . . . .
So, Ronon initially assessed Jennifer as being weak and not belonging, but over time, his opinion of her changed and he freely admitted it to her. I could go on, but the point is better made in the wonderfully written stories featured below.
Fic Rec #1: To Fight Aloud Is Very Brave
Why This Must Be Read: I think this was the VERY FIRST Ronon/Keller fic that I read, but it is definitely my ultimate favorite. Jennifer asks Ronon to teach her some self-defense techniques and...it's very hard for me not to type in all caps because I seriously LOVE this story. 1) It's well-written, 2) it basically informed my entire view of this pairing and how it could work, 3) nothing feels rushed and we see both Ronon and Jennifer grow in their relationship and as people over the course of the instruction.
They never set a definite schedule, but somehow they know to meet for an hour each morning on the days Jennifer's on call or Ronon's got a mission, two hours on the days when their schedules leave them both free. He keeps their lessons slow; she learns something new every time they meet, but he teaches her with an incredible patience she hadn't thought he would possess. First with the practice mannequin and then with Ronon himself, he shows her how to find weak spots and ways to get away; how to play it safe and how to fight dirty. How to wind someone or how to crack their kneecap; how to read intent in body language, how to attack by defending, and how to turn someone's strength against them.
"Surprise," he tells her, corner of his eyes crinkling up as he gets her to work through each move faster and faster. "Doesn't matter if the other guy's stronger than you, or faster, or got more weapons—you get to him first, and you make it count, that's useless."
The first time Jennifer succeeds in using Ronon's momentum against him, in flipping him over her shoulder so that he lands with a gentle thud, spread-eagled on the floor, he gapes up at her like he wasn't expecting it; she's pretty sure the look on her face is the exact same. They stare at one another speechlessly for a moment before Jennifer blurts out "Surprise!"
She likes how he laughs.
Fic Rec #2: Stars Fall Down
Why This Must Be Read: Set after the episode "Reunion", Ronon is particularly vulnerable as Dr. Keller summons the courage to approach him on one of the many balconies of Atlantis. This was one of the first Ronon/Keller stories that I read, and one of the first that was written for the pairing at all. I really like Ronon's ruminations on Jennifer. There's a refreshing curiosity to his character here, and it's delightful to see how this plays into his interactions with the young doctor.
The tattoo on his arm itched. He scowled at the brown, sharp points marching up his skin, Tyre's betrayal pounded into his skin. As he watched, Keller's hand folded over his arm. It was small and delicate, fingers for the fine work of healing, but not wide enough to obscure the ink circling his arm.
Fic Rec #3: Tokens of His Appreciation
Link: HERE @ ff.net
Why This Must Be Read: Is it enough of a reason that this story is absolutely hilarious?
They found the unloaded gun in a box of bedpans. Marie brought to her, a look of confusion on her face. Dr. Keller thought it odd, but dismissed it for the moment, not realizing the significance of the find. However, when they found the bantos sticks taped under a cot and that a box of scalpels could suddenly be found in every room, the light dawned. Jennifer tapped her radio, and snapped, "Ronon, please report to the Infirmary. Now."
Her staff looked at her warily, as Jennifer rarely got irritated, and the expression on her face was not boding well for the Satedan. There was a short crackle of static, and then his deep voice said, "On my way, Doc." He was smirking, she just knew he was smirking.
Fic Rec #4: Prior Claim
Why This Must Be Read: Every pairing needs a good fake make-out fic, right?
Oviron gave Ronon a brief look, then turned back to her. "I would be glad to partner you."
It wasn't that he wasn't nice. It was just that he was a complete stranger. Jennifer took the needle she'd prepped, swabbed his arm with alcohol and gave him the jab while her mind churned ideas about.
It came up blank. No options. She cottonballed the wound and pressed his fingers over it - only to be caught by his other hand and held. "Please?"
"I, uh..." She shot a desperate look at Ronon, whose brows were drawn together. "I'm already partnered," she said. "With Ronon here."
Oviron's hand fell away as she prayed Ronon would fall in with her lie. Better the devil you knew.
Thick eyebrows sprang up, but he just grinned. "Sorry," he said roughly. "Prior claim."
Fic Rec #5: On the Periphery
Link: HERE @ ff.net
Why This Must Be Read: Just read it. :)
After a moment's pause to collect herself she descended the gateroom steps, medical kit in hand. The four members of the A-team looked thinner, a little ragged around the edges and were clearly exhausted. And Sheppard and McKay were sporting untidy beards. Apart from that Jennifer could spot no discernible medical conditions that needed immediate treatment. They would have to undergo full physical examinations later at Colonel Carter's instructions, but for now it seemed she was not needed. Not needed - the words weighed heavily on her.
'Hey doc,' she looked up in surprise at Ronon's quiet greeting and saw that the Satedan smiled slightly down at her. More with his eyes than anything else.
Fic Rec #6: Flounder and Flourish
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13; nudity, brief, barely-there sexual arousal
Why This Must Be Read: This story stemmed from a prompt I left on sg_onesweetlove : I can't swim. The result is an absolutely delightful and slyly humorous story in which Ronon teachers Jennifer how to swim. Sort of.
Jen looked over her shoulder to where the party was going on, and then back to Ronon. ‘While your offer is... tempting, I can’t. I don’t even have any swimmers on me.’
‘Y’know... bathers? Things you where while swimming?’
Ronon looked blankly down at her and for one frightening moment, Jen thought he was going to suggest that she swim in the nude. ‘Not a problem,’ he finally said. ‘You can swim in your underwear.’
‘What? I- no.’
‘Why not? You people seem obsessed with keeping too many clothes on.’
A flicker of fear crossed Jen’s face. ‘Are you wearing underwear?’ she asked in a hushed voice.
Ronon waggled his eyebrows, and, with a grin on his face, turned and headed away from the party. Jen watched him for a few seconds, her question mulling over in her mind. Ronon was daring her to follow him, she knew that. Besides, she had to. What if he got hurt? There were some of her nurses at the festival that had been granted leave, and they could take anyone who may get hurt while she was gone. If Ronon was injured and she hadn’t been there... well, it was unethical.
Fic Rec #7: A Lucky Shot
Why This Must Be Read: I love tag fics that are so well written and plausible that your mind fully accepts them as head!canon. You imagine that this is what happened between the characters when the cameras stopped rolling.
"A Lucky Shot" takes place during the episode "Doppleganger" as a way of explaining the events that lead to Ronon showing up in Atlantis' infirmary in the wee hours of the morning, Col. Sheppard in tow, to have the new Dr. treat the nasty gash that Sheppard inflicted upon Ronon's brow.
Fic Rec #8: Lullaby
Link: HERE @ ff.net
Why This Must Be Read: The first chapter is perfect on it's own, but the author decided to continue and came up with an amazing narrative the highlights Jennifer's strength of character as well as Ronon's trust and support for her.
Fic Rec #9: Unspoken
Link: HERE @ ff.net
Why This Must Be Read: I just reread this, and it basically induced what could only accurately be described as a keyboard!smash response from me. Another tag fic, set after "The Seed" in Season 5, the story is wonderfully pensive, yet sensual.
The air around them seemed to change, pressed down on her like a lover's touch. She straightened abruptly and twitched the blanket back in place. Her mouth was dry, and she swallowed with difficulty.
"I need to check your throat."
Ronon's eyes remained locked on her as she leaned forward once more to examine the circlet of dark bruises on his neck. He breathed slowly, a whisper of warmth caressing her cheek. The slightest movement and his beard brushed the edge of her jaw.
Jennifer froze, images of that ephemeral moment during quarantine when she'd almost kissed him, flashing before her eyes. If she turned her head just a fraction, her mouth would meet his.
Fic Rec #10: Whispers of Love
Why This Must Be Read: A bit of somewhat-established relationship fic with Jennifer being anxious and uncertain about the extent of Ronon's feeling for her and her being to chicken to just flat out ask him.