Ki (somehowunbroken) wrote,
Ki
somehowunbroken

what is left at the end of the day

Title: what is left at the end of the day
Author: somehowunbroken
Beta: shinysylver
Fandom: SGA/SG1
Characters: John/Cam
Word Count: 1,117
Rating: R
Notes: For apocalypse_kree 2011. My prompt: John/Cam. They didn't think they'd ever see this many people dead.
Summary: Some choices are easy to live with. Some aren't.


They sit together, after.

Cam notices the way John’s hands shake as he looks around them. He feels sick himself; there’s a lot of blood, a lot of bodies, and a lot of faces that they’d both known, both trusted.

Everyone here is dead but the two of them.

Cam squeezes his eyes shut and tries not to think about it – how excited Jackson had been when he’d found the box, how he’d insisted on bringing it back home, how Cam had just rolled his eyes and let him.

Jackson had been one of the first to change; he’d picked up a sidearm and walked into the mess and started shooting. Vala had followed after and grabbed his arm, and he’d turned and just-

“Don’t.” John’s voice cracks into Cam’s reverie, making him jerk his head up, startled. “Don’t go over it. Don’t wonder what you could have done differently.”

Damn John for knowing him so well, anyway. “John, if I had-”

John makes a harsh sound that’s probably meant to be a laugh. “Whatever you did, it’s done, and look at it this way: you and I made it out. Who knows what would have happened if we had done something differently?”

Someone else might have made it out instead, Cam thinks but doesn’t say. There’s no need to. John hears it anyway, if his scowl is any indication.

“Please don’t,” John says, looking down at his hands. They’re still shaking, clasped tightly in his lap. Cam wonders if they’ll ever stop. John had inhaled a pretty large lungful of whatever it was that Lieutenant Arkins had been spraying, and given the way he’d barely stopped to let Lam give him some sort of antitoxin, Cam’s betting that there will be lasting side effects.

“I can’t help but think that we should have been able to do more,” Cam says quietly, forcing himself to stare down at his own hands. They’re stained with gunpowder and grease and blood, and he’s not sure where any of it came from, or from whom. “Maybe if we’d gotten here a little earlier-”

“Christ,” John swears, and it doesn’t sound angry, not really. It sounds more defeated than anything. “Really, Cam? You want to do this here? Now?” John flings one of his hands out to indicate the rest of the room. “We are surrounded by the bodies of people we worked with, people we have trusted to have our back for the past eight years of our lives. We’ve been through hell. We’ve had to kill our friends, Cam.” John’s hand is shaking more and more as he speaks, and Cam doesn’t think it’s all due to that stuff he inhaled. “I had to put a bullet in my best friend’s chest today,” John shouts, “and you want to talk about this when I can still see his body from here?”

Cam lets the words hang for a minute before John slumps back down against the wall. “Christ,” he says again, and now it’s not just his hands that are shaking.

Cam sighs, but he doesn’t know what to say, not really. He wishes desperately that he could ask Sam, but the last he’d seen, she’d been chasing one of the infected into an elevator, trying to keep the disease from spreading.

He doesn’t have much hope that she’d been able to do it.

“I’m sorry,” he starts to say, but John shakes his head as soon as Cam opens his mouth.

“Sorry,” John says, and there’s a note of sheer exhaustion in his voice like Cam’s never heard, not through the bad days on Atlantis, not when Elizabeth was killed there, not when John’s brother Dave had died in a car accident last year. It sounds hauntingly close to John giving up, and Cam wants to shake him out of it, but he’s afraid to touch John right now.

“I have seen some hellish things in my life,” John continues in that same tired, defeated voice, “but I’ve never seen so many people dead, Cam.”

That does it, snaps Cam out of whatever funk he’s in, and he scoots over until he’s pressed against John’s side. “Come here,” he says, tugging John in. It doesn’t take much convincing for John to slump into Cam’s body, for him to turn his face slightly until it’s pressing into Cam’s chest, so his ear is right over Cam’s heart.

“We’re going to have to go up there,” John mumbles into Cam’s shirt.

“Yeah,” Cam agrees.

“They got out. It’s probably spreading like crazy.”

“Probably.” There’s not much use in denying it; John needs comfort, not lies. “We’ll make it, John.”

John laughs, a hollow, twisted sound. “Don’t promise me that, Cam.”

They sit in silence, two men clinging to each other as much as they can, and Cam can tell that John’s trying not to think about what’s next just as much as he is. It’s impossible and they both know it, but still, it’s nice to close your eyes for a little while and pretend.

John shifts eventually, visibly reining himself in as he shakes his head. He stands slowly, using the wall for support much more heavily than Cam would like to see. He looks down at Cam when he’s upright. “We should blow the self-destruct before we leave.” Just in case we missed some, he doesn’t have to add. Cam just nods and stands with him.

“Ten minutes,” Cam warns when they’re looking down at the computer, entering their security codes. “John, if we’re not a few miles away by then-”

“We will be,” John says calmly, his thumb hovering over the enter key. He tosses a confident smile in Cam’s direction, and this is John the commander, John the leader, not John who had been mourning almost everyone he’s ever really cared about in Cam’s arms not fifteen minutes before. “We’ll use the service elevator to get to Level Two, and we can use the stairs from there.” He jerks his chin at where Cam has stopped typing. “We can snatch the keys for something a little more durable than your bike and be out of here by the time it all goes to hell.”

Cam takes a breath and punches in the rest of his code. He glances at John and nods; they both press enter and the klaxons start going off around them. John tosses off a smile and tears towards the door, Cam right on his heels.

Ten minutes later, they’re in a Humvee, driving wildly away from the deserted Mountain on a road that’s usually full at this time of day. It’s ominously silent.

They don’t look back when they hear the explosion.
Tags: john/cam, rating: r, stargate
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  • 16 comments

  • Last of the days of crackiness!

    The last three... wow. Favorite shot of John's hair winning I know, I know, it's a promo pic. But still. That HAIR. Favorite time the floor…

  • 22 through 25

    Favorite time Radek went off in Czech I forget what episode it is - early on, that's all I remember - where the translation of the Czech is "I…

  • Several das of SGA squee, and 'Loa Aloha' related H50 squee

    Favorite time John probably wished he were drunk Gonna go with Doranda again. There's no way that way easy for anyone involved. Favorite person…