03- SGA/SG1, John Sheppard/ & Cameron Mitchell- Welcome to Atlantis.
“Welcome to Atlantis,” John grins as the light form the Asgard beaming technology fades. “City of the Ancestors, blah blah blah.”
“Nice,” Cam says, squinting up to the ceiling of the Gate room. It’s impressively high and surprisingly beautiful; the Ancient architecture is built for aesthetics as well as functionality, and it beats the Gate room in the SGC by leaps and bounds. “Very nice.”
“I try,” John says, and it’s fake-modest at best, but Cam’s read the reports, knows exactly what this City means to John. “C’mon, let me show you around.”
They do the normal tour, around the mess hall and the infirmary and the science labs, but it feels like John’s rushing him through everything, like there’s an end goal he’s got in mind that he just can’t wait to get to. Cam figures it’s probably his quarters, and he’s not at all against that idea. It’s been a long seven months since he’d last seen John.
“And this is the Jumper bay,” John says excitedly when they climb to the top of the stairs in the back of the control room. Not his quarters, then, but Cam can hardly be upset about that, because he’s heard about what these little ships can do. They’re squat, kind of ugly, and they look like probably the least aerodynamic things Cam’s ever seen (and he’d once reserved that spot for ha’tak, so that’s saying something), but he suddenly can’t wait to fly one.
“We cleared for a flight?” Cam asks, walking up to one of the little ships and laying his hand on it. He umps when the rear hatch opens almost automatically.
“Being the military commander of this place has its perks,” John tells him cheerily, heading past him and sitting in the pilot’s seat. “I clear the flight schedule.”
The Jumper is pretty exhilarating. It’s weird to be moving so fast without pulling any G’s, but it’s the kind of weird that Cam accepts immediately and kind of loves, the kind that opens up so many opportunities and possibilities that his mind spins. They’re somewhere over the incomprehensibly large mainland when John grins at him. “Want to try?”
“Thought you’d never ask,” Cam replies, settling his hands over the copilot’s controls. He sends a look at John. “Do I really just-”
John shrugs. “What do you want it to do?”
Cam smiles and considers going down, getting a closer look at the forest on the continent below, but before he can convey it to John, the little craft is descending. He has a moment to wonder at it before he experimentally thinks their heading a few degrees to the left. The Jumper adjusts accordingly, and Cam laughs aloud.
“That is impressive,” he says admiringly. “I can see why these are your favorite things to fly.”
“Ships that read your mind,” John says, satisfied as he leans back in his chair. “Can you imagine what Garrettson would have given for a chance at one of these?”
“He would have sold a kidney,” Cam agrees, calling up the HUD and studying the readout. “Stosi probably would have beaten him to it, though.”
They spend a while floating over the mainland and parts of the ocean, talking about old combat buddies and family and generally catching up, and it’s nearly suppertime with Cam finally points the Jumper back towards Atlantis.
“That was amazing,” he tells John as they walk out of the Jumper bay and retrieve his bag. “Thanks for taking me up.”
John smiles and bumps their shoulders together as they walk to the nearest transporter and make their way to Cam’s quarters. “Welcome home.”
12- SG1/SGA, Cameron Mitchell & /John Sheppard- Watching TV
Cam is a channel surfer.
It’s one of those things that John hadn’t expected when they’d met. Cam’s the solid, sturdy type; he was raised on a farm, went straight into the Academy after high school, and had never looked back, rather than mucking his way to his station like John has somehow managed to do. He seems like the kind of guy who would find something and then hide the remote and get invested in the goings-on.
Cam hates commercials, so no matter what they’re watching, he’ll switch the channel when they break. It results in them almost never getting to see a full show, which kind of drives John crazy, but it’s one of those little things that he puts up with in their relationship, like ho Cam doesn’t say anything about John’s habit of squeezing the toothpaste tube from the middle or insisting they take their shoes off in the entryway to the apartment they share when John’s in town.
It’s late November, and John’s Earthside for almost three weeks, shuttled between this meeting and that hearing and the next. He’s worn out, days of meetings on top of months of fighting the Wraith without rest, so he leans into Cam’s solid warmth and dozes, letting the words and the light from the screen lull him away.
He wakes and frowns when Cam turns the television off. “S’wrong?” he garbles, and Cam looks down at him fondly.
“Nothing good on,” he says quietly, pulling a blanket that John doesn’t remember grabbing up higher around his chest. “Go back to sleep.”
“’Kay,” John mumbles, turning his head more fully into Cam’s chest and going back to sleep, letting the sound of Cam’s heartbeat under his ear pull him under instead.
He wakes to the sound of Cam snoring lightly in his ear; he has no idea hat time it is, but there’s no light anywhere in the apartment, and the streetlight outside the living room window has been burned out for months. John takes a moment to study Cam’s face, to take in the new lines between his eyes and gray hair at his temples, before leaning forward and kissing Cam awake.
“Time is it?” Cam asks sleepily, rubbing his cheek against John’s.
“No idea,” John replies. “We should move this to the bed, though, or we’re both going to regret it in the morning.”
“I don’t regret anything,” Cam says, slinging an arm around John’s waist and dragging him back down. “Not now, not ever.”
“Okay,” John smiles into Cam’s chest. That sounds good enough to him.
15- SG1/SGA, Cameron Mitchell/John Sheppard, Judgment Night
“It’s time,” a voice says in the hall, and Cam can hear the keys rattle in the door of the cell next to his.
“John,” he calls out, listening as the door creaks open and the solid sound of wood hitting flesh meets his ears. There’s a grunt and the guard laughs. “John, don’t say anything, don’t give them anything-”
The guard stops in front of Cam’s cell door. “Say goodbye to your friend,” he sneers, spitting through the bars in the cell door. “He will soon meet his fate, and you will not be long after.”
“John,” Cam says desperately, and then John’s face is shoved against the bars. He’s dirty and his lip is split, but other than that he just looks angry as hell.
“Cam,” he says evenly, struggling as the guard tries to pull him away. “I managed to convince myself we’d get to retire and spend our golden years in some cabin in Montana, too. I’m sorry that isn’t going to happen.”
“I love you,” Cam says helplessly, and John smiles with his eyes as the guard drags him down the hall. He tries not to think about anything at all, not about the way that the Antiri had acted when John and Cam had been found wandering in the forest, not about the accusations they can’t understand or defend against, and certainly not about the way they’re probably killing John right now, a clean slit deep across his throat.
Of course he’s thinking about it, though, and his eyes are swimming when the door to his cell creaks open. Cam doesn’t even lift his head as the guard approaches, doesn’t try to fight as his hands and unlocked.
But then the guard grabs his face and kisses him, and Cam has to look, because the only person who kisses him like that is-
“Let’s get out of here,” John whispers against his lips, and Cam chokes and holds John fiercely for a moment and nods, and then they run out into the night.
04- SG1/SGA, Cameron Mitchell/John Sheppard, Winter
“It’s cold,” John announces when Cam gets back inside the cabin, as if Cam hadn’t noticed that fact. It’s fourteen below and they’re relying on a woodstove, but Cam’s got country winters in his blood. John, though, John spent most of his childhood winters in a place that only sometimes got snow, and most of his adult winters deployed in the hottest, sandiest places known to man. He’s not used to anything like that.
It is, of course, a little ridiculous, because John insisted on dragging the sofa as close to the woodstove as Cam would allow and piling all of the blankets and coats that the could find on top of it, and the result is that John’s head is sticking out of a massive laundry pile. Cam grins as he shakes the snow from his hair.
“It’s colder outside,” Cam offers as he peels himself out of his layers. “Reckon there’s thirty, thirty-five inches of snow out there.”
“Why are we somewhere where that’s even possible?” John wonders from his cocoon. “Why did I let you talk me into this?”
“To be fair, this is a freak snowstorm,” Cam says patiently. They’ve had this conversation before, and Cam’s sure they’ll have it again before they get out of here. “I wasn’t expecting it to snow like this, John.”
“I know,” he sighs, and there’s movement under the blanket. A moment later, John’s peeling back a few of the layers. “Come warm me up.”
“I’ve been outside,” Cam points out, but he dives beneath the covers anyway, spooning John into the back of the sofa. John smiles at him as Cam tangles their legs together. Cam leans the last few inches in and brushes their lips together. “I’m sorry our trip got ruined.”
“I don’t know,” John says thoughtfully, clearly fighting a smile. “I can think of worse ways to spend a week than tucked under the covers with you.”
“Smooth,” Cam groans, but John’s laughing and he’s kissing Cam and he seems pretty happy, after, all, so Cam lets it go.
11- SG1/SGA, Cameron Mitchell/John Sheppard, commitments
They don’t have traditional wedding vows, but this is really only sort of a wedding, so it fits perfectly.
The Air Force is finally okay with this – with them, with two male officers being openly together, and when John had come through the Gate for meetings a week after the repeal had been made official, Cam had been waiting in the Gate room with a smile and a ring.
John had had a leather bracelet in his pocket; Cam hadn’t asked about it at the time, but Ronon seems to zero in on it the next time they’re in the same room, and he says something in Satedan and claps Cam on the back, so Cam gets the point of it anyway.
The ceremony had been Vala’s idea. She’d been looking at wedding magazines for months (“Don’t get ideas,” Jackson had warned her, but Cam noticed how he didn’t exactly take them away) and when she’d sat down across from them in the mess hall and started talking about flowers and suits and tablecloths, he and John had looked at each other, shrugged, and told her to keep it tame.
Which is, of course, how they end up barefoot on a beach in Hawaii, wearing loose khakis and button-down shirts and the God’s-honest happiest smile that Cam’s ever felt on his face. They’d managed to fudge enough records for Teyla to officiate, and their teams and several members of Cam’s family and John’s brother Dave are there, sitting in folding chairs that are somehow not sinking awkwardly into the sand as John and Cam stand side-by-side.
Teyla recites some words from a ceremony that sounds vaguely like what Cam’s used to hearing, even if the phrasing is slightly different. Finally, though, she turns to Cam and smiles. “What is your promise to John?”
“I promise to be there for whatever you need,” he answers simply, squeezing John’s hand.
Teyla smiles and turns to John. “And what is your promise to Cameron?”
“I promise to be more careful,” John says quietly. “To think twice before suggesting the suicidal mission.”
Cam turns and looks at him, a little stunned. They’d talked about what they’d say, had agreed on the words that Cam had just finished uttering. This, though, it’s a deviation from the norm. “I promise to never ask you to change,” he says, looking straight into John’s eyes.
John smiles and shrugs. “I promise to listen to what you aren’t saying as much as what you are.”
It’s like every argument they’ve ever had is resolving itself, here and now; Cam’s begged, pleaded with John about this, and John’s gone into the silent, stony façade that he puts on when he doesn’t want to talk about it any more. John eventually comes around and says he’ll try, and Cam believes the lie until the next report comes out of Atlantis.
“John,” Cam says, bewildered, because he’d been pretty sure he couldn’t possibly be more in love with John, but here he is, almost bursting with it. “I promise to love you with everything I’ve got.”
John’s still smiling as he replies. “I promise to be there for whatever you need,” he says quietly, and Cam pulls John in and kisses him wildly, not caring that this isn’t how it’s supposed to go, because actually, it is.
03- SGA/SG1, John Sheppard/Cameron Mitchell, unexpected but appreciated
Cam almost doesn’t notice the box on his desk when he gets into the SGC. He really only sees it when he’s moving a stack of files around; he almost upsets the pile by setting it on top of the box. He manages a pretty stealthy move that swipes the box out of the way of the falling pile with one hand while grabbing for the files with the other, and just manages to save everything.
There’s no note, no signature, but when Cam opens the box and sees the small rock nestled inside, there’s no doubt as to whom it’s from.
He sends John a blank email in the next databurst – no subject, no message, but John will understand anyway.
05- SGA/SG1, John Sheppard / Cameron Mitchell, War.
“Why do we do this?”
Cam’s not expecting the question; he’s not expecting John to say anything, not really. John’s back for a week, on Earth for meetings and questions and a promotion ceremony that’s not his own, and they collapsed into bed about an hour ago, too physically exhausted to do anything but too mentally keyed up to sleep. Cam curls his arm a little more tightly around John’s waist when the question really hits him.
“I’ve been pretty happy,” he says cautiously. “I thought you were, too.”
“No,” John says hastily, breaking out of Cam’s embrace and turning to face him. “God, Cam, no, I didn’t mean-” He takes a deep breath and leans in, resting his head on Cam’s shoulder. “Not this this. That this.” The words are accompanied by vague handwaving, not really indicative of anything, but it all clicks for Cam anyway.
“Don’t scare me like that,” he chides gently, brushing a kiss against John’s temple. “I really thought you were about to leave me for a minute there.”
John makes a sound that’s probably supposed to be a laugh. “This is the only thing that keeps me sane for that,” he says, and there’s no handwaving this time, but Cam still gets it.
“These are our wars,” Cam says eventually. “You don’t like yours and I don’t like mine, but we’re both of us pretty set into fighting them.”
“I’m tired of it,” John says quietly. “It doesn’t feel like my war any more, Cam. I’m fighting because it’s what I do, but I don’t get the satisfaction from it that I used to. Winning used to be more than just – surviving, and it isn’t any more.” He shrugs.
“Retire,” Cam says softly into John’s hair. “Come home.” He knows it isn’t what John wants, isn’t the answer he’s looking for, so Cam’s a little surprised what John sighs into his shirt.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” he says quietly, and they lay in silence for a while, both of them contemplating what that might mean.
“I would if you did,” Cam finally says. It’s not an offer, not his way of tempting John one way or the other. It’s simple fact: if John leaves, Cam will, too. It’s always been their plan, insomuch as they had plans: retire together, find a place where they can just be, live happily ever after, or something.
“I’ve been thinking about that, too,” John says, and there’s a grin in his voice this time. “It’s one of the bigger draws of the whole plan, to be honest.”
Cam laughs, too, kissing John on the forehead again. “Wouldn’t say no to seeing you every day.”
“Good,” John says, pulling out of Cam’s embrace and rolling out of bed. He pads out of the room, and Cam can hear him rooting around in the kitchen. He comes back in a few minutes later and tosses a manila envelope across the bed before climbing back in.
Cam pulls himself up to lean against the headboard and automatically adjusts his arms so John can lean against his chest. He pulls the papers out of the envelope and raises an eyebrow at his partner as he leafs through them. “Thinking about it?”
“Pretty seriously,” John admits, taking his retirement forms from Cam’s hands and looking through them. He pulls some of the forms from the back and looks up at Cam hesitantly. “We’ve always said – you don’t have to,” he says hesitantly, and Cam knows what the forms are before he takes them back from John.
“I’ll fill them out tomorrow,” he says as he takes John’s and puts them away as well. John’s smiling at him, they’re smiling together, and everything feels damn near perfect as Cam leans in to kiss John properly.
07- SG1/SGA, Sheppard/Vala, "I'll wear that dress if you wear the tie and baby we'll dance through the night..."
“Come on,” she laughs, and John can only smile as she tugs him forward by his tie. “Dance with me, darling. It’ll be fun.”
“I’m not sure this counts as one of the approved activities for tonight, Vala,” he laughs, not resisting at all as she leads him to the dance floor. His hands settle low on her hips as she links her hands behind his neck. “Pretty sure we’re just here to make nice with the brass.”
“Dancing is nice,” she pouts, but there’s a twinkle in her eye that just makes John smile harder. “Dancing can be very nice.”
“Yeah, that kind of dancing is definitely not on the list for tonight,” John informs her, starting to sway to the music. “Mitchell will kill me if we offend some general’s sensibilities.”
“Don’t you worry about Cameron,” Vala tells him with a dramatic eye-roll. “He’s not nearly as nice and pure as you paint him to be, you know. I know things about him that would convince you of quite the opposite.”
“Oh, do tell,” John says, spinning Vala in a wide circle and catching her again. He’s got his own fair share of dirt on Cam; they’ve been friends for long enough for that to be true on both ends, but more can never hurt.
“We were off… well, we were on a mission,” she starts, and they spend the evening laughing and swapping stories about their teams and, yes, dancing, until it’s finally time to go.
“That was lovely,” Vala sighs wistfully as John helps her into a cab. She scoots across the seat and John climbs in next to her. “I don’t get out of… off base nearly enough.”
“I’ll take you dancing again,” John hears himself promising before he can think about it, but he had a good time tonight, and the smile that Vala gives him is brilliant. “When I’m… in town.”
“I’ll circle the date on my calendar,” she says cheerily, and it’s the kind of statement that should sound flippant and throwaway, but John has the feeling that she actually will charm someone into finding out his schedule.
“I’ll shine my shoes,” he promises. “And bring my suit home.”
Vala laughs and leans in to squeeze his arm. “Leave the suit and bring those nice tight jeans,” she says suggestively, and John grins back at her and says, “Sounds like a plan.”