blue flamingos

Timestamp:Getting To Know You

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis

Category/Rated: Gen, G

Year/Length: 2010/~870 words

Characters: Lorne, Cadman

Spoilers: post-Coup D'Etat

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: A year after Getting To Know You

Series: Dysfunction 'verse.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

hr

"Okay, wait a minute," Laura said, holding up both hands. "A secret passage? Seriously?"

Lorne leaned back in his desk chair until it tilted, and grinned at her. Laura knew she was grinning like an idiot in response, but she didn't care, because he'd been *dead*, she'd seen what was supposed to be his body, and now she was sitting in his office with her feet on his desk and a packet of peanut M&Ms between them, just like normal. "That's the thing you have a problem with? That we escaped through a secret passage?"

"It sounds like something out of an Agatha Christie novel," she grumbled. "Did you have to tap for a hollow wall panel to access it?"

"Actually, there was a code that had to be tapped against a particular panel. One wrong sequence and a trap door would have dropped us into a pit of alligators."

"It really bothers me that I believed you until the alligators," Laura said.

"Kind of bothers me as well, actually," Lorne agreed.

"Did you just call me gullible?"

"I think you called yourself gullible. I just agreed."

"I meant it bothers me that you lie that well," Laura said, though she hadn't, really.

"It didn't bother you when I was using it to convince the cannibals on P3X 696 that I was your husband."

"I'm strangely more lenient when it means I'm not going to be cooked and eaten," Laura said with a shrug, bending herself in half to reach for the candy bag and shake some out, then offer it to Lorne. "Though I think Dr Metcalfe might have believed you for real."

"Really?" Lorne said, almost comically worried.

"Thanks," Laura said, rolling her eyes. Unfortunately, unlike some of the men on base, he didn't start babbling at the implication that she was insulted, just raised one eyebrow – they knew each other far too well for something that easy. Laura shrugged back – he sort of knew about her love life the same way she sort of knew about his, but they kept those conversations out of the office, or uniforms. Plus, she didn't want to tell him that she hadn't managed to send the email she'd promised to send if he was killed, hadn’t been able to take what felt like a final step in accepting that he was really gone.

"Hey," Lorne said quietly, leaning forward.

"What?" Laura asked, even though her smile felt strained, her throat tight.

"Don't start crying," Lorne said. "I'm throwing you out if you do. Sheppard has a rule."

"A rule about me crying in your office?"

"A rule about anyone crying in the military command's offices. Ever since Private Johnson had a nervous breakdown in the middle of a performance review."

"Really?" Laura asked. She remembered hearing that he'd gone back to Earth again, but that really seemed like gossip that would have gotten around the base, or at least to her via Lorne.

"You were being held captive by the people who thought Sergeant Li was a demon," Lorne said helpfully.

"Good riddance to him then," Laura said, then, when Lorne looked at her curiously, "If he can't hold it together through a minor off-world crisis, he'd never have coped if the Wraith showed up."

"I suppose that's one way of looking at it," Lorne agreed, and Laura spread her hands in a gesture of acceptance.

They crunched their way through the last of the M&Ms in comfortable silence, but Lorne was starting to look tired, even though he was doing his best to hide it.

"Come on," Laura said, standing up and balling the candy bag. "Time for good little Air Force majors to be in bed."

"You know, I've never thought you were all that like my mother before..." Lorne said, standing up anyway.

"You'll have to do better than that," Laura said. "Your mom sounds great."

"She is."

"So, pretend I'm her and do as you're told."

"General Landry just felt the urge to tell someone off and has no idea why," Lorne said dryly.

"I get an exemption," Laura said cheerfully. "On the grounds of news of your demise being greatly exaggerated."

Lorne said the last couple of words with her, and grinned. "I bet you've been waiting to say that since I walked through the gate."

Since before, really, or at least hoping, but she wasn't going to start crying in front of Lorne, which was where thoughts of his burned up body always led. She shrugged, then stopped, just in front of the closed door. Lorne was very close when she turned around, obviously not having expected her to stop. He opened his mouth like he was going to ask what was wrong, but she hugged him before he could.

He froze for a moment, then unbent again and returned it, holding her close. "Sorry," he said in her ear.

"Yeah," she said, choking up again. "Don't do that to me again."

"I'll try." He held on for another moment, then let go.

Laura touched the door control, leading them out into the corridor. "Although," she said over her shoulder. "The pictures of you guys in Genii dress almost make it worth it."


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