?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
18 April 2011 @ 02:39 am
Not Nothing (1/2)  
Title: Not Nothing
Author: somehowunbroken
Artist: clwilson2006
Fandom: SGA
Characters: John/Cam, Evan/David, John/Evan
Word Count: 10,931
Rating: R/apocafic: lots of death, though it's offscreen.
Notes: Written for the 2011 apocabigbang. I have to thank the lovely clwioson2006 for the wonderful art she's made for this story, as well as the encouragement she provided along the way. Be sure to click on the art to get it full-size. Major thanks, as well, to camshaft22 and calcitrix, who read this through.
Summary: John doesn't think of Atlantis right away, but hen he does, it seems like a good plan.




John has always hated January with a passion because January steals people from him. When he was seven, he’d watched it finally claim his mother after a long battle with illness; when he was fifteen, it had been the news of his cousin Edward, killed when his plane went down over some country they weren’t allowed to know he’d been anywhere near. At nineteen, it had been his grandparents on his mother’s side in a car crash. Twenty-five, his first Air Force buddy. Twenty-seven, the fuckup where he’d lost four of his men. Thirty-six, and he’d been sent to Antarctica for that one. The next five years had been hell in their own way, every damn day, but he’d taken his time to remember in January. It had almost seemed natural, by then. And then there was Atlantis itself, which had crashed down into the San Francisco Bay in January, and it was another death to mark down in the month, another thing the month had taken from him.

Except it’s more than even that this time, the January when he’s forty-seven, because it’s been a year since John’s seen another person, and for once it’s not because he’s avoiding others.

It had been quick, when it had happened, and John’s sort of been cursing the way he’d left the SGC two years back, because there’s this nagging in his head that’s telling him there was something he could have done to help, some way he might have prevented this. In his more rational moments he knows that’s a load of bullshit, but most of the time he’s not that rational. There’s no reason to be rational any more, nobody to berate him into making sense, and John resolutely doesn’t think about Jeannie Miller’s empty house, about how there hadn’t been anything left of the Mountain by the time he’d gotten down there, about the first three safehouses being decimated.

He’s headed for a fourth safehouse in his ninth stolen vehicle since the attack (easier to just hotwire another car than get gas, most places, and it’s one of those things he’d never thought about before the attack) when it occurs to him, the reason he’d left the Air Force in the first place, the reason he hadn’t been there: Atlantis, still sitting in the San Francisco Bay, still floating along, invisible as you please. He changes tracks then, leaving Kadoka and heading west instead of north, aiming for California. He cuts a little north to avoid Colorado – too many memories – and stays a little too far north to avoid Nevada – not enough roads left. Things had gotten kind of bad there at the end. The trip would have been a straight day of driving, at one point. Going this way, it’s a week before John’s sitting on the Golden Gate Bridge, staring out into the Bay.

Atlantis is still there, at least. He figured she would be; they’d powered most of her systems off when John had finally told them where they could stick their plans, so he hasn’t been able to tell for sure. There are boats in the Bay, though, just floating, but there’s nothing in a wide circular area that’s roughly Atlantis-sized.

John smiles the first smile he’s cracked in probably eight months as he walks back to the car and drives his way to the pier.

-0-

He’d left on a Wednesday afternoon. He’d been convinced he’d go by Tuesday, and it was only for Rodney’s sake that he’d hung around for longer than that. “A week at most,” Rodney had promised, tapping at his laptop, thin mouth turned into a permanent frown. “You know they’re only keeping me around because they know you’ll leave if I go. If you go now, I’ll be out on my ass in an hour.”

John hadn’t wanted to stay another week, hadn’t wanted to stay another hour, but Rodney was right, and his work was important, so John had sighed and nodded and headed back to his office, where his new administrative assistant had rather effectively ignored him for another three hours before the young man had risen, stiffly saluted, and left.

Rodney had stopped in around 1300 the next day. “I’m done,” he’d said, and he’d looked like hell. “I stayed at it all night. Let’s go.”

And so they’d walked into General Williams’ office, handed him their papers, and left.

-0-

There’s a rowboat pulled up onto the pier, and John stands looking t it for a long time before tossing it into the water and lowering his backpack into it. It’s weird, the boat being up on the pier, and in decent shape besides, but it’s apparently not impossible. John’s seen more bizarre things in the past year.

John estimates the distance to where the cloaking field starts at about two miles, picks up the oars, and starts rowing.

-0-

The attack had started on 3 January and had been over less than five days later. Initially, there had been widespread panic, people who had never believed in aliens suddenly realizing how wrong they were, longtime conspiracy theorist raging about how fucking right they’d always been. It had been absolutely clear how much it didn’t matter either way two days after the ships had descended into Earth’s atmosphere, blasting everything in sight indiscriminately. It hadn’t started with the major cities and worked its way down; there had been no demands made. It was like Earth and its inhabitants were simply an inconvenience, and the inhabitants of the ships were just getting rid of something that irritated them.

John had realized what was going on when he flipped on his television on 3 January and saw a news broadcast with footage of a ship over some farmland in the Midwest. Not Goa’uld, not Ori, not Wraith, and John was maybe not in the immediate loop any more but he felt like there were still people in the SGC who would have told him if invasion from some new threat was imminent, so he figured that nobody quite knew what the fuck was going on. He debated for a minute about whether to call O’Neill, whose number he’d kept carefully tucked into his wallet – “just in case,” O’Neill had said – or to head for the hills. Then the screaming had started at the news station, half a minute or so of the sounds of abject horror, and the broadcast had cut off, and John had chosen Option Two. They’d need people to help rebuild. It would be good for someone who had some semblance of a clue to be there when all was said and done.

Eight days later, John had made his way out of the cave he’d been hiding in, and realized that it would be hard to help rebuild when there was nobody else left to assist.

-0-

Rowing is difficult, harder than John remembers it being from his childhood, days spent on the lake with Dave and Dad and, faintly remembered, Mom, pulling and pulling and laughing and splashing. But there had been four of them then, and now there’s just John. He’s not out of shape, not really, but this is the most physical exertion he’s had in a pretty long time, so he has to stop about halfway through and give himself a break, rolling his shoulders to loosen the muscles in his back. He turns his head and studies the not-shape of Atlantis, adjusts his heading, and starts to row again.

-0-

John had pulled out his cell phone and called McKay, because if anyone he’d ever known would have survived this, it would for sure be Rodney McKay. The phone had turned on fine, but John couldn’t raise a single bar of service, no matter how long he tried. He kept it charged and checked every hour or so, but after he broke into what was left of a store and tried to use a landline without success, he turned the phone off. He waited around for a few weeks, hoping that someone would show, but finally he’d set out towards McKay’s sister’s house. He’d be there, if he were anywhere.

It was a long trip; John found out the hard way that taking the back roads would be a better idea than the highways. The attack had taken out a lot of the major roadways, and what was left was strewn with cars and bodies. A lot of the back roads had been ignored, and John wondered if maybe the attack hadn’t been as random as he’d originally thought, because the less-populated places he passed through seemed to be left more or less intact.

John knew that McKay wasn’t at Jeannie’s house as soon as he pulled into her neighborhood. Most of the houses were nothing more than splinters, and John had to get out and walk the last half-mile or so when the road became totally impassable. Jeannie’s house was one of the few that had survived the holocaust, but it was clear as John approached the door that nobody had been there in a while.

“Hey,” he shouted in the door anyway. “McKay! Hey, Jeannie, Caleb. It’s Sheppard.” John paused. “Madison? Maddie, it’s your Uncle Mer’s friend John. Do you remember me?”

There was no answer from inside, but then again, John had known there wouldn’t be. He checked anyway, every room, twice. He’d sighed and picked up a backpack, black with tiny embroidered flowers and birds, and stuffed it with food and water from the kitchen. He doubted Jeannie would mind, if she’d still been around.

He tried not to think about it as he climbed into his car and headed west. He’d head to the Mountain. If anything would still be around, it would be the SGC.

Except it wasn’t, John discovered after a careful month of avoiding major roadways and sleeping longer and longer each night. It was worse that Jeannie’s silent house had been, because the Mountain was just gone, vaporized, left as a crater. There wasn’t a single stitch of anything recognizable, not from the SGC, not from NORAD, not from the rock itself.

It was then that John had started visiting the safehouses. The SGC was made up of the best and brightest from around the entire fucking world - somewhere, someone had to be left, or so he figured.

Safehouse One was in cinders. Safehouse Two was ransacked. Safehouse Three was a crater. Safehouse Four had been there at least, whole and safe, but not a soul was there.

He was glad, in some part of himself, when he decided to head for Atlantis. If nothing else, at least there were food replicators there.

-0-

It takes almost an hour, all told, to get from the pier to the weird spot where nothing seems to be. He can feel the strange crinkling feeling that means he’s made it through the cloak, and when he turns around to look, his breath almost catches in his throat.

She’s perfect, she’s pristine, she wasn’t hit at all in the attack, and John hasn’t had anything to get emotional about in a long time, but he has to clear his throat a few times before he can pick the oars back up and head for one of the docking stations.

He’s got the rowboat tied off and is halfway up the ladder, backpack slung over his shoulder, when a gun swings down and stops inches from his nose. He freezes instantly, and it’s been more than a year since he’s heard a human voice, but he doesn’t recoil in shock, doesn’t react at all when the movement is accompanied by a sharp, “Don’t fucking move.”

“Dammit, Ryan,” another voice snaps from slightly behind the guy pointing a gun at John, and this time John does move because no fucking way-

“There are, what, twenty of us left? Would you not go scaring off any possible-” Evan Lorne stops dead in his tracks as he looks down at John, and there’s a minute of silence before he lets out a choked laugh. “You have got to be shitting me, Sheppard. Where the fuck have you been?”

It’s so out of character, so strange to hear those words passing through Lorne’s lips, but at the same time it pretty much fits the situation. John shrugs, which is harder than he thought it would be while half-hanging from a ladder, and tries to remember what talking is like. “Thought I’d drop in and see if my poster was still here,” he tries to drawl, voice hoarse to his ears. “You’d be shocked at how many Johnny Cash fans there aren’t out there.”

Lorne grins so wide it almost splits his face, and he shoves Gun Guy out of the way and holds a hand down to John. “Welcome home, Sheppard.”

-0-

There are twenty-three people in Atlantis, including John, Lorne, and Gun Guy, whose name is Ryan Fitzgerald. He’s an architect from Baton Rouge, and John would love to hear his story, except for how right now he doesn’t give a good goddamn.

Three of the other faces he recognizes, and he almost trips over himself in his rush to cross the Gate Room, hope twisting ugly in his gut. But while Jeannie Miller looks happy enough to see him, there’s this sad haunted feel to her expression that tells John the answer to his question before he even phrases it.

“Please don’t ask,” are the first words that tumble from her lips as John stops in front of her, Caleb, and Madison. He nods once, and it’s all he has the chance to do before she’s hauling him in and squeezing the breath out of him, choking into his chest in a sound that might be laughter, might be tears.

John finds that he doesn’t care which it is as he hugs her back, because she’s here, she’s real, and he’s not the last person on Earth.

There are things, things that need to be done, questions to ask and inventories to take and a million other things, but John just turns to Lorne and says, “Sleep.”

Lorne doesn’t even bat an eyelash. “Your quarters are ready for you.”

John raises an eyebrow. “Waiting for me?”

Lorne’s half-smiling when he replies. “Figured you’d make it here sooner or later.”

-0-

John sleeps for thirteen straight hours, gets up, showers, and goes back to sleep. When he finally gets out of bed and heads to the mess hall, it’s the next day, possibly even the day after that. Everyone’s in there, so it’s either mealtime or that’s just where they congregate. John’s not sure he wants to know which it is.

“Morning,” Lorne says as he grabs some food and sits down. Lorne’s got a cup of coffee and some sort of breakfast-looking pastry, so John supposes it probably is breakfast.

“Morning,” he returns, concentrating on his bowl of dry cereal and mug of steaming coffee. It smells like what he imagines God would smell like, salvation in a cup, and he downs it like he’ll die if he doesn’t. “Jesus, I missed coffee.”

“So I noticed,” Lorne drawls, and he rolls his eyes as John grabs his cup and downs that one, too. “Save some for the rest of us.”

“Haven’t had any in eight months,” John growls, holding the cup to his chest. “Fuck off.”

Lorne laughs, and the sound is a little startling, like something that shouldn’t be so loud in case someone hears it. Maybe it’s just that he hasn’t heard laughter in a while.

“So,” Lorne says, and John knows that tone. It’s his let’s-get-down-to-business tone, the one that pretty much means John’s not going to want to know what he’s going to say next. “Atlantis is broken.”

Got it in one, John thinks, and wishes he hadn’t been right. “Broken how? She looks fine.” He glares at Lorne. “What did you do to my City?”

“You did it,” Lorne says challengingly, and John blinks and leans a little away from Lorne, from his bitterness and hostility and other things that John isn’t sure he deserves. Lorne notices and smiles, or tries to, but the mirth from a moment before is gone. “Sorry. I should probably explain.”

“Appreciated,” John says, and Lorne shakes his head, and John notices for the first time how old the other man looks, like it’s been ten years since John saw him last, not two.

“You left,” Lorne says. “And I don’t know if it’s something you did consciously, or subconsciously, or something the City herself did in response to you going, but nobody’s been able to get into the control systems since the second you walked out of the Stargate Program.”

John blinks, because what the fuck, but Lorne’s staring over his shoulder now, not focusing on John at all. “Main systems, secondary systems, star drive, weapons, shield, we had fucking nothing, Sheppard. Radek finally gave up and said that we only had the cloak because that’s what was on when you left, and he had no idea what or how or anything.” He pauses, and his eyes slide back to John’s. “She doesn’t – when I listen, when I reach out for her, she isn’t there. Or, she is, but it’s like – knocking on a door and knowing the person on the other side is going to ignore you no matter what.”

John just looks at him, bewildered, because Atlantis feels fine to him, feels like she always did, but then maybe that’s the point. If Lorne’s right and it’s something he did, well, maybe he’s the only one who can.

“Let’s go,” he says to Lorne, who stands and follows him; for all he’s different, for all there’s no military code to adhere to any more, he’d spent too many years as John’s second in command to not follow, John thinks. Habit might be the only thing keeping Lorne from strangling John, now that he thinks about it, though it might also be that he’s person twenty-three that they can be sure exists on the planet.

“Got a datapad around here?” John asks, and he’s not sure what he’s expecting the answer to be, but it’s not for Lorne to stiffen and suck in a lungful of air. John stops and turns to face the other man.

“We don’t – go in there,” Lorne says, and he makes a vague waving motion that could be referring to anything. “The – we stick to the living quarters and the mess and sometimes the control room. We don’t go into – the labs.”

“Why?” John asks slowly, and Lorne doesn’t say anything.

“Because of me,” a voice says from behind John, and then Jeannie Miller walks into his line of sight, leading a sleepy-looking Madison by the hand. “I asked them not to.”

There’s a question in the air that John feels like he shouldn’t even have to ask, and as the seconds tick by he starts weighing it in his head. Jeannie’s smart, as smart as McKay is-was-whatever, and she’ll have figured out before saying anything that John will want more details, so the fact that she hasn’t provided them on her own is a little worrisome. It’s got that bad-news vibe to it again, and John sighs as he opens his mouth and repeats himself. “Why?”

“Because my brother died for whatever it is that he left in this place,” she replies, and he can see her curl her hand protectively around Madison’s. “And I’m not about to lose anything in there, John, not a single damn thing, not before I figure it out.”

There’s a lot to process there, and John’s not sure how up to that particular task he’s feeling right now. “I just need a datapad, Jeannie,” he says as gently as he can manage. “Doesn’t have to be one of Rodney’s. Any will do. I know what I’m doing with one.”

Jeannie just looks at him, and he can tell from the tilt of her chin that she’s considering. Finally, she nods, and when she turns to the transporter John doesn’t follow her.

Lorne whistles as the transporter’s doors slide shut. “Nice.”

“Huh?” John turns to look at Lorne, who’s looking at him more like he used to, like he’s got a healthy respect and admiration and John thinks he might like sarcastic smartass Lorne better.

“Nobody’s been able to get anything out of there,” Lorne replies, jerking his chin after Jeannie. “Not a datapad, not a scrap of paper, not a staple remover, nothing.”

John can understand holding on to the nothing you have left just because even nothing can be something. He thinks of the backpack he’d refuse to leave behind if it meant dying with it, of what’s inside it, and doesn’t reply.

-0-

The thing about Evan Lorne is, John doesn’t know anything about him. He knows Lorne’s public history – did a four-year undergrad in three, Master’s degree in a year, top of his class in everything from the mundane to the highly specific, breezed through officer’s training – but beyond that, the man’s a complete mystery. There had been a sister and some nephews at some point, and his mother had been some sort of artist, and John knows there’s a painting hanging in the room that had been Carson’s that nobody talked about but everyone recognized.

Lorne’s competent, cool under pressure, a good head to have around in an emergency, and John feels like he maybe should know something else about the man. They’d served together for four years in the most fucked-up war he’d ever heard of – an old argument, rehashed in his mind, the Ori are worse than the Wraith, no they’re notdon’t do that to yourself, John, not here, not now – and John can literally list the things he knows about the man following him down the corridors of Atlantis in less than a minute.

“How’d you survive?” he asks, and yeah, that’s not how he should have started his search for information about Lorne, but Lorne’s got four years of expecting John to do off-the-wall shit and far more than that of dealing with other commanding officers. He doesn’t even bat an eye.

“Got lucky,” he says shortly. “I wasn’t anywhere near the first few blast sites. I hid for a while, figured this would be the place to get to, made my way across the country.”

John wracks his brain. “I thought you lived nearby. California.”

Lorne stiffens again, and John can hear the don’t go there laced into Lorne’s words. “I wasn’t home when it happened.”

“Ah,” John says, and they fall silent again.

Luckily, they’re about three steps away from the chair room, so it doesn’t really have time to get awkward. John takes the datapad from Lorne as they approach the chair, and he leans down to pry a few of the panels loose from the floor. He hooks the datapad up like he’s done it a thousand times, like he did it yesterday, and almost smiles when the datapad bursts to life. The readouts and phrases are familiar to him, like a language he used to love to speak. John finds the report he’s looking for and glances up to catch Lorne watching him, an odd little look on his face.

“What?”

Lorne shakes his head. “Didn’t realize you’d learned how to do all that.”

“Know how to fix your own chopper,” John advises, quoting his flight instructor, a man dead long before he’d ever heard of the Wraith. “I’m no McKay, but I think I can manage this.”

John works in silence for a few more minutes, opening this program and that, before he nods at the chair. “Picture where we are in the solar system,” he says absently, and ignores Lorne’s surprised chuckle as he sits in the chair.

It looks like it should work, to the outside observer The chair lights for Lorne, slides back, even does a spin or two, but nothing else happens. The celestial map that John had asked for doesn’t appear, and after a few minutes, Lorne sits back up.

“I see the problem,” John tells him, fingers flicking through the reports on the datapad. “The main power conduits – but that shouldn’t be happening, not if – and there’s a failsafe on that, anyway. I made McKay build it in case-”

The datapad leaves John’s hands, and he looks up to see Lorne frowning at the screen. He looks through the data displayed there, and after a few moments, looks up at John. “So the City itself is generating power, but it’s not getting where it needs to go?” he says slowly, and John has to give him credit, because that’s the bottom line.

“It shouldn’t be happening,” John tells him, taking the datapad back and pulling up a diagram of the power grid in the City. “See, here and here, those are both intact.” He taps at two of the area on the grid, which glow blue. “And there’s a workaround in place on top of that.” John frowns at the datapad. “There’s no reason for the power failure.”

“What about that?” Lorne asks, pointing to a section between one blue part and another. It’s grayed out, and Lorne’s right, it should be the same healthy blue as the rest of it.

John shakes his head. “It’s broken, yeah, but the workaround should take care of that.”

Lorne takes the datapad again, and John feels like he’s in a weird sort of tug-of-war, back and forth with it. Lorne nods at the chair, just as John had done to him before.

“Humor me,” he says when John raises an eyebrow at him. “Can’t hurt, right?”

“Sure,” John responds, rolling his eyes and sitting. The chair slides back, just like it’s always done, but there’s something wrong, something off in the systems. John closes his eyes and thinks at Atlantis, asking for more information.

Screens flicker up behind his eyelids, Atlantis throwing error after error at him so quickly it’s dizzying, and somewhere John can hear someone yelling, but the words don’t make sense when he’s down here. He grabs a message at random and follows the program down to the source: a small - well, something; to his mind, it looks like someone wedged Silly Putty around a wire, and he knows without knowing how that it shouldn’t be there. John scrubs at it with his mind and the thing loosens, detaches, floats away, disintegrates before his eyes. The error message he’d grabbed disappears as well, and then it’s back to the top, message after message flicking through his mind. There are hundreds, thousands of them, and John can feel his body suddenly, heavy and sore, and he forces his eyes open.

“Jesus Christ, Sheppard,” Lorne says, voice much closer and more frantic than it had been when John first sat, and then John turns to the other side and leans over and vomits.

Lorne doesn’t say anything else, just helps John up from the chair and wraps an arm around his waist when he falters and sags against the chair. He walks John to the transporter and hesitates when they climb in, and when he jabs at the map, he doesn’t touch the area where John’s quarters are. Instead, they emerge in a bright hallway that John doesn’t recognize. Lorne helps him down to the end, and the door opens into a big room with a huge window that looks out onto the bay. It’s nice, or it would be if there was anything to look at.

Lorne helps him to the bathroom and silently pulls a toothbrush from beneath the sink, and after John brushes his teeth and rinses his mouth out, he feels a lot better.

“Thanks,” he says, and Lorne sort of smiles.

“No problem,” he says, and the tone is meant to be flippant but John can tell that something is still seriously off.

“What?”

“You were screaming,” Lorne tells him, and John blinks. His throat is a little raw, sure, but he’d figured it was from being sick. “Twenty minutes, Sheppard, and all you did was scream and twitch and moan like you were being tortured.” He blinks. “Were you? Is something wrong in the control diagnostics?”

“No,” John tells him, and he’s pretty sure it’s even the truth. “I figured out what’s going on, though.”

Lorne’s expression is pretty evenly tied between interested and stubbornly concerned. “Are we going to blow up in the next few hours?”

John thinks about the error messages, about tiny bits of something wrapped around pieces of Atlantis, about power looping in endless circles. “I doubt it.”

“Good,” Lorne replies, and he walks out of the bathroom. John follows but stops after a second, because Lorne’s striping out of his shirt, and John can suddenly see broad planes of muscle and a thick, twisted scar that hadn’t been there when John had last seen him in the locker rooms.

“Um,” John says, and he can pretty much feel Lorne rolling his eyes before he turns around.

“Out of that,” he commands, glaring at John’s shirt like it’s offending him. Which it probably is, John realizes, since he’d been sick in it and it probably smells like sweat and vomit and other things that John suddenly doesn’t want to be wearing, so he shucks the shirt on the floor. But then he’s half-naked in Lorne’s quarters, and he’s not sure why he didn’t just go back to his own in the first place, but then Lorne’s right in front of him and grabbing him by the arm and shoving him towards the bed and John hits it and curls up instinctively and then he’s asleep.

When he wakes the sun is shining through the window, low in the sky, just starting to set. John stretches and shifts, and then he freezes, because someone behind him shifts too and buries their head in his shoulder and mumbles against his bare back. It takes a few seconds of intense concentration to bring back the day, the chair, Lorne, and this is so not how John expected his evening to begin.

John tries to shift away, to give them both a little space, but Lorne’s got an arm wrapped around his waist and he’s every bit as strong as John remembers him being, even in sleep. He tightens his hold as John moves away; there’s a long, slow breath against John’s back, and then Lorne pulls his arm back and John rolls a foot or so away before turning over to face the other man.

Lorne’s eyes are open, still a little fuzzy with sleep, but they’re wide and honest and full of some sort of emotion that John isn’t expecting, loss and pain and something broken beyond repair, something shattered. “Sorry,” he mutters, and he’s already waking up and it’s getting awkward. John thinks about his own baggage, his own grief and hurt and broken places, and before he can talk himself out of it he leans back across the space he’d just put between them and takes Lorne’s face in his hands and kisses him. When he pulls back, he can still see the shadows in Lorne’s eyes, but there’s something else there, too.

“Lorne-” John says, but he’s cut off before he can say anything, which might be a blessing. He’s not sure what he’s trying to say.

“Evan,” Lorne says, and John just looks at him. “If we’re going to – if this is going to happen, please.”

“John,” John replies, and it’s asking and permission all at once, and they both surge forward at the same time, tongues battling and vying for control until Evan growls and wraps his legs up with John and moves, and then he’s laying on John, pressing down into him and threading fingers into his hair and running a hand down his chest. John breaks their mouths apart to gasp as Evan scratches a nail across his nipple, and Evan moves his hand there again and again until John’s aching.

John settles one hand across Evan’s back and cradles his head with the other, and he rolls them so he’s on top. Their mouths meet again and again, hot and hurried, until John pulls back and kneels above Evan, sliding his hands down the other man’s chest until he finds the waistband of Evan’s pants. He doesn’t hesitate as he unbuckles them and slides his body down, and then he’s leaning forward and taking Evan into his mouth, sucking and stroking and moving his head as Evan trembles and pulls in breath after breath, and then John’s swallowing as Evan’s body jerks with his release. There are a few moments of near-silence as Evan closes his eyes and collects himself, and then he’s tugging John up and rolling them and sliding down himself, and then there’s hot wet suction, and John lets out a breath he’s been holding for fourteen months and then it’s like nothing matters for a moment because he’s flying again, sky and space and stars and the black emptiness where it’s so easy to lose himself.

Evan’s head is on his stomach when John opens his eyes, facing away. John moves his hand to comb through Evan’s hair, and the smaller man twitches.

“I’m pretty fucked up,” Evan says hoarsely, and John knows it’s not because of what they were doing.

“I sucked at this before everything went to hell,” John counters, still moving his fingers, letting the surprisingly soft locks move through his hand like water.

“I lost my partner in the attack.”

It’s honest and blunt and something John could have put together himself, but he appreciates the honesty, and has to swallow past the lump in his throat as he chokes out his own response. “Cam Mitchell. Thirteen years. Died in the first strike.”

“David Parrish,” Evan returns. “We were on vacation, visiting his folks. I just – I went to the store, and when I got back, there was nothing.”

There’s a lot more silence after that, John’s fingers stroking through Evan’s hair, Evan breathing softly against john’s stomach. Finally, after the sun is set and the room’s ambient lighting comes up to just above pitch black, Evan crawls up to curl into John, one arm around John’s waist and his head crooked into John’s shoulder.

“We don’t have to,” John says softly, because one of them needs to say it.

“I need to,” Evan tells him, and John’s not used to such brutal honesty, not any more. He’s forgotten how sharp it can be.

“Then I’m not going anywhere,” John tells him, and Evan nods once into John’s shoulder and tightens his fingers briefly against John’s side and then they’re sleeping again.


Part Two
 
 
Merrovpadfootthegrim on April 23rd, 2011 02:21 pm (UTC)
!!!!! Loving this so far- on to part two. Just wanted to say OH JOHN AND EVAN *cries*
:D