Word count: 1,691
Summary: Fluffy wintery Christmas-y domestic Cam and John. For skypilot_dlm, by way of stargateland's 12 Days of Recs. Happy holidays, dear!
Notes: Thanks to stormylullabye for the beta.
There are good days and there are bad days and then there are days like today, days that just are, without being better or worse than any other days. Ordinary days, Cam supposes, and that’s not such a bad thing, not really.
His job is more paperwork than anything now, and it’s a deference of sorts to his age and rank and past injuries, to a body that’s seen more than its share of bumps and bruises over the years. It’s a pain in his ass, is what it is, to be stuck behind a desk watching as good people – his people, and he’s earned that right – go through the Gate, and they come back or they don’t and it’s not his place to feel badly about that any more, except whoever decided that has clearly never met him. He’s in charge of picking the people who go out on those teams, the one responsible for deciding who works with whom, because you’re good with people, Colonel, Landry had said. Because he’s good with people, he decides who goes to SG-9 and who goes to SG-3, and he wonders if he’d chosen Abrams for this slot instead of Hawkins, would either have survived for longer?
But that’s the bitterness talking, and Cam puts it away because it’s not for here and now. It’s been one of those okay days, really, where they didn’t discover any cool new alien technology but they haven’t been attacked, so it goes down in the plus column anyway. And one of the benefits to the new job is that it keeps regular hours; he’s in at 0900 and he’s out by 1800, because there’s really no need for a paper-pusher in a crisis (even if he sometimes wishes for a crisis to happen while he’s there just so he has a excuse to strap on a thigh holster and hunt down the bad guys).
It’s cold in Colorado in December, and even though Cam’s well enough used to it now – hard not to be, spend six years anywhere and you’ll acclimate – he forgets, so far beneath ground, and it’s quite a shock when he walks out the door and is hit with a pretty decent snowfall. It’s windy, too, and probably not above freezing, so Cam’s glad that he’s got a scarf his Momma made around his neck, and when he shoves his hands deep into the pockets of his coat there’s a pair of thick gloves there, too. Cam grins as he slips them on. They’re a little tight, but that’s because they’re not his.
The heater in Cam’s car is more of a suggestion than a means of keeping warm; there’s a running joke that a candle in a coffee can could heat the space faster than the heater. Cam’s never tried. Instead, he just speeds a little, probably more than he should in this weather – there’s ice in patches, but he’s a careful driver – and he’s home in about ten minutes anyway.
There’s a thin curl of smoke coming from the chimney when Cam parks the car and walks to the front door to stomp the snow from his boots, and when he opens the door there’s an assortment of smells that combine to make his stomach growl. “Hey,” he calls down the hallway as he pulls off his coat.
“Hey,” John’s voice comes from the kitchen. There’s music, too, Cam notices as he pulls off the gloves and unwinds the scarf, some sort of local station playing Christmas music every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. It’s become John’s favorite thing to listen to, for reasons Cam can’t quite discern but figures have to do with him. Cam tugs off his wet boots and walks down the hallway to the kitchen.
John’s in socks and low-slung jeans with one of Cam’s old Academy sweatshirts tossed on, and he’s swaying a little to the music – some rendition of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town that Cam’s never heard before – as he stirs something on the stove. Cam walks up behind him and wraps his arms around John’s waist, pressing a kiss to his neck. “What’s for supper?”
John turns his face to give Cam a quick kiss, a welcome home that Cam’s still not used to. “Ham and potatoes and peas.”
Cam motions to the thick brown goop in the pot that John had just been stirring. “What’s that?”
“Applesauce,” John informs him, giving it another stir before sticking a finger in and sticking a bit of it into his mouth. “Just about right, too.”
It’s been about seven months since Cam came home one night to find John leaning against the door to his apartment. John hadn’t wanted to talk about it then, still doesn’t like to now, but he’d handed in his resignation and walked away. Cam’s gotten bits and pieces of the story since – something had happened, a mission gone pear-shaped in ways John would feel responsible for, and it had apparently been the last grain of rice to tip the scales, because John had just walked away. But they’d talked about it before, when they could steal a few days together, what they’d do After The Air Force, and in every scenario it had been them doing things together, so Cam hadn’t really blinked when John had said he was moving in, as long as Cam was okay with it.
John cooks, which had surprised Cam, because there’s nothing in John’s life history to suggest that he’d ever had the chance to acquire the skill, but Cam comes home to a home-cooked meal pretty much every night, and there are always leftovers to take into the Mountain. It’s good food, too, things like his Momma would make, hearty stews and big chunks of cornbread and warm country fare that makes Cam wonder if John hasn’t been in touch with Momma, after all.
(Momma’s always loved John. Cam and Cole tease him about it, about him being Momma’s favorite son, and it makes John grin and blush a little, because they might be joking but Cam’s sure that Momma dotes on John a little more because she can see that his own family never did.)
John sticks his finger back in the applesauce and holds it up for Cam to taste. John’s right, it’s just about perfect, the apples and cinnamon and nutmeg and maybe a hint of ginger, nice and spicy but not too sweet, and the taste of John’s skin beneath it all. It’s home, right there, and Cam tightens his arms around John’s waist before stepping back to grab the plates and put them on the table.
They talk about their days after John serves the food. Cam talks about Jackson and Vala and the run-in SG-11 had with the blue monkeys; John tells him about the neighbor kid’s offer to shovel the driveway and sidewalks for them.
“I told him to come by in the morning,” John says, grinning when Cam glares. “One, you shouldn’t be shoveling; two, I hate shoveling; three, the kid could use the money; and four, you don’t have to go in tomorrow.”
Cam blinks. “It’s a Thursday.”
“Snow day,” John tells him. “Landry called while you were on the way home.”
Snow day. Huh. There are certainly a few benefits to the desk job, Cam thinks again.
“I left twenty bucks in the mailbox so we can sleep in,” John adds, and okay, Cam can live with that.
Dishes are easy when it’s just the two of them, so it’s not long before they’ve got mugs of coffee in the living room. John’s a channel surfer, and Cam doesn’t mind surrendering the remote when John arranges himself between Cam’s legs. John finally settles on some cheesy Christmas movie that’s playing on the Hallmark channel. The volume’s too low to actually hear, but there are kids decorating a Christmas tree while a couple watches on, so Cam figures that’s what it is.
“What are we doing for Christmas?” John asks, wrapping both hands around his mug and leaning back into Cam’s chest. Cam wraps his free arm around John’s waist and settles his partner between his legs.
“Momma wants us to go back to Auburn,” Cam says. He’s sure John knows that. He wouldn’t be surprised if John had known that before he’d known it himself.
“Are we going?” John sips at his coffee while Cam tries to figure out what, exactly, he’s asking.
“Do you want to?” Cam finally responds.
John just shrugs. “Family’s family,” he says, as if that’s his answer. “I wouldn’t mind seeing them. Anson’s got to be getting huge by now.”
“Yeah,” Cam replies, “You actually want to go?”
John sets his mug on the coffee table and leans back again, pulling the afghan from the back of the couch and tossing it mostly over their legs. It’s a play for time, Cam knows, so he lets John fiddle with the blanket until John’s made up his mind. “Yeah.”
Cam had been pretty sure he’d have to bribe John into going home with him for the holiday. “Really?”
“They’re family,” John says, like he’s trying to explain something he’s not quite sure how to phrase. “They’re your family, and you’re my family. That’s what the holiday is all about, right?”
“Yeah,” Cam replies, a little surprised at the way something in his chest is twisting at John’s description of family. “John-”
“Shh,” John chides, turning his face and kissing Cam’s cheek. He grabs for his own coffee mug again and takes a sip from it, and they sit and watch the kids on the television open gifts and run around in the snow until it fades into another movie, and John falls asleep before that one’s half over, tucked into Cam. Cam sets their mugs on the edge of the coffee table and shifts so neither of them will wake up with anything aching too badly and drops off not long after, and when he dreams, there’s snow and family and a Christmas tree and John.
It might count as one of the good days after all.