Pairing: John/Cam, Lorne/Paul Davis
Word count: 1780
Spoilers: Post-Enemy at the Gate
Summary: John and Cam have a bright idea; Lorne and Davis come around a little more slowly
Clarity of Message
“Here you are,” Cam says, swinging himself into Sam’s borrowed office on the doorframe and startling both her and Major Davis, sitting opposite her.
“Nothing gets past you,” Sam says dryly, putting aside the reports on the state of the chair in Antarctica. Cam’s in jeans and leather jacket and looks mostly happy, which means he must have seen Sheppard since the guy saved the world. “You need something?”
Cam jerks his head at the corridor. “Come get dinner with us.”
Davis looks down at his files awkwardly, like he’s hoping they won’t notice he’s there.
“Us who?” Sam asks warily. She hasn’t spent a lot of time around Cam and Sheppard, but it’s been enough to know that she doesn’t want to be alone with the two of them when one of them nearly got himself killed. For senior officers in the air force, they get remarkably touchy-feely and silly when they’re relieved. It’s sweet, but she always feels a little awkward.
“Me and Sheppard,” Cam says, grinning, like he knows what she’s thinking. “And Lorne, they beamed him across with Sheppard and Woolsey. Who has regretfully declined our invitation. Come on, you can’t stay here all night. You too, Davis,” he adds, and Sam catches something in his expression as he looks at Davis, something gleeful and secret.
Davis looks up, surprised. “I have to take some files to General Landry.”
“So take ‘em while I work on persuading this one,” Cam says, shrugging. “Meet you up at security in twenty minutes.”
Davis still looks surprised at being included, but he gives Sam a questioning look, then, when she nods, gathers up his files and goes. Sam waits until his footsteps have faded out, then looks at Cam.
“What?” Cam asks, wide-eyed and innocent.
“Why are you inviting Major Davis to dinner with you, Sheppard and Lorne?” she asks, since it seems more prudent than asking why he and Sheppard aren’t holed up in Cam’s apartment doing things they shouldn’t be thinking about in a military base.
“Because the guy spends all his time at work and needs to get out more?” Cam suggests, but he takes a few steps inside the room.
“And you’re a one man social committee?” Sam asks.
“Fine, we don’t want Lorne to feel like a third wheel, the two of you can balance it out.” Cam says it like he really expects her to buy it, ten years of friendship notwithstanding. Sam just keeps looking at him, until he caves, still grinning, and moves to sit on the other side of the desk, lowering his voice. “They’ll get on well together.”
“Oh God,” Sam groans, dropping her head into her hands. “Please tell me this wasn’t your idea.” Not that she needs to ask; she knows the two of them, this is exactly the sort of ridiculous thing they’d come up with because they were relieved and happy.
“They’re good guys. They both need to relax.”
“You are both insane,” Sam says. “You don’t even know if Davis is gay.” A horrible thought occurs to her. “And, God, if you know through personal experience, please don’t tell me.”
“I don’t,” Cam says, looking a little disturbed. “Anyway, it’s not like we’re making them. We’re just – putting them in the same place.”
“Insane,” Sam says again. “I’m not having anything to do with this.”
Cam shakes his head, wandering away. “You know, it wouldn’t hurt you to get out a little more either,” he says.
The pencil Sam throws after him bounces off the shoulder of his jacket.
“Finally,” Sheppard says when he sees Mitchell stepping out of the elevator. “Did you get lost?”
“That’s you,” Mitchell says, patting his shoulder and tossing a quick wave to the security guard. “Come on, let’s go.”
Sheppard falls into step with him, leaving Evan with Paul Davis, who looks like he’s even less sure what he’s doing with the two of them than Evan is. Not that Evan’s complaining – as much as he doesn’t want to be left in the mountain, or go back to his empty apartment alone, he’s not sure he wants to be out with the two of them alone either.
“You do realize you’re trying to get four full grown men into your mustang,” Sheppard says.
Mitchell looks over his shoulder at Evan and Davis, grinning. “Good thing we’re all friendly then,” he says.
Evan’s not sure what makes him look at Davis, but he does, and sees the same vague sense that he’s missing something on Davis’ face as he feels on his own. It kind of makes him feel better, or at least slightly less weird about being pressed up close to a guy he doesn’t know all that well in the back of Mitchell’s car.
They wind up in the back booth of a half-empty bar, and Sheppard buys the first round with a shrug. “Combat pay to burn.”
Mitchell rolls his eyes. “Yes, because the rest of us are obviously destitute.”
“Fine, you can buy dinner.”
“Walked right into that one,” Mitchell grumbles. “So, Lorne, any plans for your unexpected vacation on Earth?”
“Paperwork?” Evan suggests, looking at Sheppard, who gives him an innocent look in return. “I dunno. Hang out here, hope for a better offer.”
He catches the look that flicks between Sheppard and Mitchell, and really wishes he hadn’t. He glances across at Davis, sat next to him, and they share a slightly awkward look, Davis’ mouth twitching like he wants to laugh. Out of uniform, he’s not bad looking, and his starting smile makes Evan want to smile back.
“How long are you sticking around, Davis?” Sheppard asks.
“Until –“ Davis start, and stops, looking at Sheppard with his mouth slightly open. A second later, Evan gets it too, can’t quite believe it took him this long. Sheppard and Mitchell have always been friendly, but they’ve never been very sociable when they’re together, and only in big groups then.
He really, really wants to bang his head against the table, though he’s not sure whether it’s at his own dim-wittedness or at the thought that he’s being set up by his CO, which is just disturbing on too many levels to really think about.
“Until I get recalled to Washington,” Davis says a little slowly, like he’s thinking much the same thing Evan is. “Probably next week.” He hesitates, turning slightly to look in Evan’s general direction, though not at him. Evan’s not sure in the dim light of the bar, but he thinks Davis might be blushing. “I can – if you’re looking for someone to keep you company while you’re here, I know a few places in town.”
“Better than this place?” Evan asks, shifting slightly to meet Davis’ eyes and smiling, pleased when Davis smiles back.
“Hey,” Mitchell says, mock-offended.
“Much better,” Davis says, smile turning into a warm grin, and Evan decides, right there, that even if it probably means Sheppard will hold it over him every chance he gets, he’s going home with Davis tonight.
Paul’s felt more awkward before than he does at first, Lorne flirting with him, letting himself flirt back, in front of two senior officers, but it gets easier with the addition of alcohol to the evening, and his own realization that Sheppard and Mitchell aren’t just friends. Though that, paradoxically, seems to make Lorne more awkward, his eyes flicking away every time Mitchell and Sheppard touch – and they touch a lot – like he’s not quite sure he should be seeing his CO like that.
Paul kind of likes it. They’re not really subtle, sure, but they’re obviously into each other, happy to be safe and together and able to relax, and he’s honored, in a way, that they trust him with it. A little weirded out that they’ve picked up on his sexuality, picked out someone they think he’d be good with and set it up, but he’s experienced much weirder things in his time, and they generally haven’t come in an attractive, smart, funny package.
He’s still a little surprised when they’re leaving, Mitchell offering them a ride back to the mountain, and Lorne says, “No, go ahead. We’ll get a cab.”
Mitchell and Sheppard look at each other, and Mitchell says, “Do we smell?”
Lorne rolls his eyes. “Yes,” he says solemnly. “Also, I don’t trust your ability to find my place without getting lost.”
“I’ve lived here for four years,” Mitchell points out.
“Thank you,” Lorne says politely, and that shouldn’t be a turn-on, but it kind of is. Or maybe the turn-on is Lorne’s obvious intention to take Paul home with him for the night. Paul doesn’t get a lot of offers that he actually wants to take up; it’s kind of nice. “But I think we’ll get a cab. If that’s okay with you,” he adds to Paul.
Paul wishes for just a second that he was still in uniform; it’d make walking into the SGC in the same clothes he left in a lot less obvious. Although people tend to think of him as too strait-laced to be having any kind of sex, let alone gay sex with a fellow officer, so he’s probably safe. “That’s fine,” he says.
Mitchell and Sheppard shrug at each other, like they never intended for this to happen. “See you tomorrow,” Mitchell says, sly smile to both of them, and heads off, one hand on Sheppard’s back.
“Subtle as a brick,” Lorne says quietly.
“You just invited me over for the night right in front of them,” Paul counters.
Lorne shrugs, grin hovering around the corners of his eyes. “I was worried I might be sending mixed messages.”
“Seemed pretty clear to me.” Paul takes a quick look around – the parking lot’s empty, and they’re far enough away from the door to be mostly in shadow – and decides what the hell. “But there’s no such thing as too much clarity…”
He steps in close to Lorne, one hand on his shoulder, and leans in and kisses him. Lorne makes a startled sound, then wraps his arm round Paul’s waist, pulling him closer, opening his mouth for Paul’s tongue, and yeah, Sheppard and Mitchell might know what they’re doing when it comes to this.
When they step away, Lorne’s eyes are bright, and Paul’s breathing heavily. He really should have waited until they were back at Lorne’s place.
“Cab,” Lorne says, looking around, one hand still on Paul’s wrist. “Right now.”
Paul goes with him as he tugs, and decides that, if he can find five minutes in tomorrow’s schedule, he’s sending Sheppard and Mitchell a fruit basket.