Pairing: Jennifer Keller/Ronon Dex
Fic Title: "To Fight Aloud Is Very Brave
Rating/Warning(s): PG, Contains spoilers for Season 4, "Missing."
Why This Must Be Read: I would classify this as the quintessential Dex/Keller fic. It was one of the first fics written for this ship that I found, and it has many of the basic elements that are mirrored in subsequent fics about in the pairing. This fic starts off at a place in canon where I first figured Ronon and Jennifer might have a believable interaction—that first spark of interest—after "Missing" (0407).
There's the initial awkwardness when Jennifer first approaches Ronon to ask him a "favor." The pacing is just right, and nothing seemed rushed about their developing relationship. Their growing closeness is very believable.
So read this fic if you'd like to see this pairing done right. :)
Jennifer doesn't find him where she expects to. Not in the mess with Dr McKay, or in the armoury with the Colonel or the gym with Teyla, but out by himself on one of the piers, sitting on the edge with his trousers rolled up and his feet dangling in the water. A little more out of the way than she'd have thought Ronon would like; but then again, it's not like she knows him that well. What she knows of him she knows from glancing contact: old gossip, occasional group dinners in the mess, hours spent saving the lives of him and his team members in the infirmary. It's not like he talks much.
Ronon doesn't say anything now, either; he looks up when she draws near, but then goes back to looking out at the horizon, at the way the sinking sun is making the water flare up, sodium bright. But he's not giving off any air of hostility, no great desire to be alone, so Jennifer sits down next to him, tucking her feet up against her body so that she doesn't get her shoes wet. Ronon's feet, she notices, are narrow and slim and bare, the bones strangely delicate; there are clusters of tiny orange fish swimming around his ankles, mouthing curiously at his skin.
"Hey, Ronon," she says when she's settled, feeling unaccountably nervous.
"Doc?" He looks at her then, a sideways shot through his lashes that manages to be wary, but still about as flirtatious as anything the Colonel ever manages.
"I have a favour to ask," Jennifer says. "Not anything big!" she hastens to add when Ronon shifts, looking a little uncomfortable, "Not really, but I wouldn't feel right asking Teyla right now, not with.... with everything. And Colonel Sheppard is, well, he's Colonel Sheppard."
Ronon cocks an eyebrow as if to say "And?"
"So I was wondering," she continues, "If you'd teach me how to fight."
That gets his attention. "Thought everyone was trained back at SGC?"
"No," Jennifer says, mouth twisting into something like a smile when she thinks back to what happened on New Athos, to Teyla's fierceness and her own fear and the look on Nabel's face when she shot him. "No, they showed us how to use weapons. I'm pretty sure they didn't teach us how to fight."
"You think there's a difference?" Ronon says, standing up slowly, bare feet leaving a wet trail as he walks back up the low steps to the main part of the pier. Jennifer hurries after him.
"Well, yeah," she says, "Now I think I do."
He shoots her one of his rare grins, no less the brilliant for being unexpected. "Good," he replies, "Least you've got the first lesson down."