blue flamingos

Transference

Fandom: Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash, NC-17

Year/Length: 2010/ ~4112 words

Pairing: Cam/Daniel, Carolyn Lam

Spoilers: Set post-season 10

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

Summary: People with sudden onset telepathy never hear anything they want to; when Cam's comes on while he's having sex with Daniel, it's that times a thousand

Prompt: Telepathy for the 2010 cm-tropefic challenge

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

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"Jack."

Cam, half out of it after what sure felt like hours under Daniel, said, "What?" as clearly as he could manage.

"What?" Daniel asked, going still over him. His skin against Cam's was damp with sweat, and when Cam got his eyes open, he was frowning.

"You said... Jack. You..."

Daniel leaned down, bending at the elbows, smiling wryly at Cam, and kissed him. "Why would I? I think I know who I'm in bed with."

"You..." Cam couldn't remember. He was sure he'd heard it, but Daniel was right. "So prove it."

Daniel kissed him again, still smiling, and Cam closed his eyes, held onto the image. Daniel didn't smile enough. None of them did. Though, honestly, he sort of stopped caring when Daniel started fucking him again, long, slow strokes that felt like they could keep him on edge for hours, forever. "Feels good," he said fuzzily.

"Yeah," Daniel said. "God, you're... you feel so good."

Cam sighed, too hot and happy, listening to Daniel babble in a way he never did when they were in bed together, always silent, restrained.

"I want to make you come like this," Daniel said, and just for a second, Cam saw General O'Neill's face, staring up at him, eyes wide and dark with pleasure, surprise.

"What the -" he said, blinking his eyes open, and Daniel said, "Jack, Jack, so good."

"What?" Cam said again, feeling slow and stupid, a little like he was going crazy.

"What?" Daniel echoed, annoyed like he got when Cam interrupted him in the middle of some exciting discovery, still moving. "Can't we talk later?"

"No, I -" Cam had to stop a moment to gasp for breath and shake, then gather his thoughts again. "No, stop."

"Seriously?" Daniel asked incredulously. Cam felt a wave of disappointment and resignation, like he'd been expecting that – except he had, he'd been the one to say it – and he saw General O'Neill again, frowning, drawing away.

"What are you thinking?" he asked.

"Right now?" Daniel asked. "That you could have held off on whatever the hell this is for five more minutes." And he said, "Jack, but don't-," a flash of O'Neill in his dress uniform, leaning in the doorway of Daniel's lab.

"He looks good like that," Cam said, keeping his voice as conversational as he could, trying not to let anything bleed into it.

The rush of guilt, the sense of being figured out, crashed over him stronger than the disappointment, right before Daniel, sounding totally innocent, said, "I don't know what you're talking about. Are you feeling okay?" Cam didn't say anything – didn't know what to say, didn't want to – and Daniel's frown deepened, worry along with the guilt. He pulled out, knelt over Cam and touched his forehead.

"You're hot."

Cam closed his eyes. O'Neill was still there, but this time it wasn't just an image, it was a tumbling tangle of feelings, respect and friendship and lust and love, so strong it bowled Cam over. And none of it, even with Daniel in his bed, frowning and worried for him, none of it was for him. "You were thinking about General O'Neill."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Daniel said, and he said, "He can't have guessed, he never noticed before, did I say his name, I'm more careful than that."

"He didn't guess," Cam said, his eyes still closed. He didn't dare open them, didn't want to see how Daniel was looking at him while he waited for Daniel to take his hand back. "He didn't notice before, you didn't say anyone's name. Though maybe you should have tried for mine some time."

"Mitchell -" Daniel said, impatient, and Cam had to look up then, even though none of what was in his head was on Daniel's face.

"Don't lie to me," he said. "Don't – it's in your head."

"You're reading my mind?" Daniel demanded. He took his hand away, leaning back to stare at Cam, like he hadn't even noticed what Cam was telling him. "How are you -?"

"You think I know? One minute I'm having the best sex I've had in weeks, the next I'm seeing Jack fucking O'Neill from in your head."

"It's not – we're not sleeping together. We've never slept together."

"He's in your head while we're having sex, Jackson."

Daniel just looked at him for a long moment, and Cam couldn't read him at all, not even his mind, like Daniel wasn't even thinking anything. "We need to take you back to the SGC," Daniel said finally.

Cam shook his head. "Not with you."

"Look, Mitchell, I can..."

"Explain?" Cam asked, and it was there, in Daniel's head, half-formed explanations and worries about Cam, what was happening to him, and O'Neill, lingering at the back, whose car, had Cam been drinking, drunk too much to drive, and Cam wanted to put his hands over his ears, block it all out. No wonder Daniel talked so fast. "How about explaining what we were doing when I realized I was hearing what you were thinking? I'd really rather not."

"I don't think we'll have a problem thinking of a reason we were together."

"At three in the morning?" Cam asked, pushing Daniel aside so he could get up, trying not to shiver when the rush of words and feelings got worse. Back to Daniel, he said, "Then how about, right now, I can hear you thinking about another guy, and I don't want to?"

Daniel, to his less than great surprise, was gone when he got out of the shower.

hr

He was braced for the same surge of thoughts that he'd gotten from Daniel when he passed the security checkpoint at the mountain, or as he wound his way down the corridors, but there was nothing. So much nothing that, by the time he got to the infirmary, he would have thought it had all been his imagination, if not for the memory of Daniel's feelings, Daniel's guilt.

Carolyn was in the on-call office, bent over a file, but she looked up when Cam tapped on the door. "Cameron. I thought you'd left."

"I did. Um." It wasn't like Carolyn hadn't heard weirder things. "I think I'm developing telepathy."

She blinked at him once, then stood up, took his arm and guided him over to a bed. "Okay. Why do you think that?"

Cam waited for her thoughts to start coming through, but there was still nothing. That made things more awkward. "I could hear what Jackson was thinking. Just him, though, so far."

Carolyn hmm'ed, admirably unruffled. "Nothing showed up on your post-mission exam, but I'll do another blood draw, run some extra tests. And we'll do a brain scan as well."

Cam remembered Khalek. "You think I'm, what, starting to ascend?"

"I doubt it, but if you feel yourself starting to turn into a glowing ball of light, let me know," she said dryly.

"Do you have a cure for that?"

"Not yet." She pulled on a pair of gloves and gestured for his left arm. "But it's possible you've been exposed to something that's triggered that area of your brain to activate." She wiped antiseptic in the crook of his elbow and Cam looked away. "You said you were reading Dr Jackson's mind?"

"Images, thoughts, feelings," Cam confirmed.

"But nothing from me?" He shook his head and she hmm'ed again, withdrawing the needle and taking his hand to apply pressure. "Sit there while I get the equipment set up."

Cam closed his eyes, and tried to hear what anyone else was thinking. All he got was Daniel, the bond he felt with O'Neill.

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"This is interesting," Carolyn said, followed immediately by, "Don't move," because she had a preternatural sense of when a patient was about to do something they shouldn't. Cam made an inquisitive sound instead, lying very still while the scanner whirred around him. "There's definitely activity in the area of your brain connected to telepathy, that wasn't there on any previous scans."

The scanner clicked off, and she asked, "You're sure you're not picking up anything from me?" Cam shook his head. "Okay. Tell me about the mission you just got back from."

Cam shrugged, sitting up. "Nothing to tell. We poked around a ruined temple, we didn't find anything, we didn't see anyone. Even Jackson -"

"Dr Jackson?" Carolyn prompted.

"He didn't find anything interesting," Cam said, forcing himself to keep looking at her, even when she frowned.

"When you discovered you were hearing his thoughts..."

Cam shook his head. "Not going there."

Carolyn sighed. "You know you're protected by medical confidentiality. And that I wouldn't say anything, even if you weren't."

He did – he knew about her girlfriend, she knew about him and Daniel, had known he was bisexual long before he and Daniel had fallen into bed together after Cam and Teal'c had tangled with the Lucian Alliance. Didn't mean he wanted to go into the details of his sex life with the woman he went to church with whenever they could. "We were... touching. It wasn't a gradual thing."

"You think the touching might have sparked it with Dr Jackson? Maybe we should -"

Cam held up both hands. "Don't finish that thought. And, no offense, but I don't exactly want to expand this to anyone else." One revelation was enough for the night.

Carolyn nodded. "I want to see what comes up on the blood tests, and get a team back to take more scans on that planet, in the morning. I'm assuming you haven't slept yet, so I'm going to keep you here for what's left of the night. All right?"

Cam had learned years ago not to argue. "Yes, ma'am."

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He was lacing his boots, ready to go with Carolyn to talk to Landry, when he heard a familiar voice. "Daniel's here."

Carolyn looked over to the door, then back to Cam. "You can hear him?"

"Yeah, um -" He was thinking about the airman he'd passed coming into the base, thinking about Cam, wondering if he was better, thinking about – Oh. Of course he'd called O'Neill.

"That doesn't look good," Carolyn said.

"Not really," Cam agreed, focusing on her in time to watch surprise bloom over her face. "You didn't say that out loud?"

She shook her head. "Well, at least that gives us more data to work with."

"Great," Cam said sourly.

"Is it the same with me as with Dr Jackson?" Carolyn asked, shuffling her files together and falling into step with him.

Cam concentrated. "Can I -" He held out a hand, and she nodded, stopped so he could rest his hand on her arm. "No. Just surface level thoughts."

"It sounds like it's linked to exposure," Carolyn said. "You were in the infirmary near me all night, and spent the evening with Dr Jackson... You're still not picking up anyone else?"

Cam shook his head. That was reassuring, in a way – at least it meant he wasn't likely to start hearing the thoughts of every random passerby. On the other hand, it probably meant Teal'c's and Vala's thoughts were next, possibly followed by General Landry. At least Sam was on Atlantis; he didn't think he could handle science speak direct from the source, without her Colonel Science-Illiterate filters in place.

"That's good news," Carolyn said, obviously going for reassuring, especially when she smiled. And you won't have to leave and live in a cabin in the woods.

Cam's smile felt way too forced, but he immediately thought of O'Neill's cabin, of O'Neill and Daniel, and Daniel's thoughts, which he'd tuned out while paying attention to Carolyn, were back in his head all over again. "Lucky me."

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Landry sent SG-1 and a science team back to the planet to do more extensive scans, and try to figure out why only Cam had been affected. He also ganged up, with Carolyn, on Cam, who wound up stuck on base writing his mission report. It was pretty hard to concentrate, between Carolyn's muffled medical thoughts, Colonel Davis in the office next door, the two marines on security patrol, and a woman he thought must be a sociologist, and maybe in the office above him.

By mid-afternoon, his head was pounding and he was so tense he was shaking. Carolyn, when she walked into his office, took one look at him and said, "You need to go home."

Cam shook his head, and for a moment, the blur of voices splintered, kaleidoscoping in his head in a way that made the world tilt alarmingly. "More people there. It'll get worse."

"Staying here won't make it any better."

Cam dug through all the voices to focus on her; she looked tired, and obviously hadn't been to sleep yet. "It's not that bad. Did you need something?"

Carolyn frowned, unflattering thoughts about how he looked right now coming through loud and clear, but came in and sat down. "We got the results back on the blood tests – I'm not seeing anything in your blood chemistry to indicate what's causing this."

Cam nodded. "More tests?"

"Not until SG-1 come back and I have something more to work on." She hesitated. Side effects, unknown cause, potential drug interaction.

"I can tough it out," Cam promised, though the idea of some kind of drug sounded like heaven, even if all it did was dial down his headache.

She shook her head, resigned, but left him to it.

He had the door closed and his head down on his desk, his hands over his ears even though it didn't do a damn thing to stop the voices, when Daniel's thoughts blasted through everything else, whiting out his mind for one glorious moment. Cam felt hope and worry and a flicker of disappointment, Vala, shut up, surely one day she'll run out of double entendres, MacKenzie's back, wonder if anyone's contacted Sam.

Hope was good. Cam could work with hope.

He pushed himself carefully upright, moving slow so as not to jar his still aching head. He would have been fine, except that was the same moment all the other voices rushed in over Daniel's. The world tilted sideways, he grabbed for the edge of his desk, and then everything went away.

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He woke up to someone knitting socks at the end of the world, someone counting down the minutes to the next shot of morphine, someone reading a medical file, background murmur of Davis and the security patrol and the sociologist, someone humming the Hallelujah Chorus and going back to the beginning before they got to the end.

"Are you awake, Colonel Mitchell?"

Cam opened his eyes, fixed them on Teal'c, who was sitting by his bed, watching him. Even looking at him, Cam didn't pick up anything at all. "Can I..?" he asked, already reaching out. Teal'c read his intention, or maybe knew something already, because he held out his right hand for Cam's, and clasped his forearm, like the Sodan had done.

Everything in Cam's head went quiet, like closing the window against street noise. He shivered, couldn't help it, clinging tight to Teal'c.

"You are well," Teal'c said. Cam heard it in his head, like an echo. Teal'c was stilling his own thoughts, matching them to his words.

"That some Jaffa trick?"

"Indeed," Teal'c said, inclining his head. Cam thought he felt a trickle of amusement with it, but that might just have been knowing Teal'c that well. "I will summon Dr Lam, if you are ready to speak with her."

Cam concentrated, trying to pick her out, and realized she was the one thinking about – dreaming about – knitting socks at the end of the world. More than he'd needed to know about his doctor. "She's sleeping."

"She asked to be woken when you did," Teal'c assured him. "She has a pager, if you would prefer that I remain with you."

"That obvious, huh?" Cam asked, fighting not to flush. He tried again, heard Vala trying to make a decision about something – probably online shopping, again – but couldn't hear Daniel. "I'm okay."

Teal'c looked at him for a long moment, then leaned over to pick up a pager on the nightstand without saying anything. A moment later, Carolyn in Cam's head jerked awake, and he forced himself to focus just on Teal'c, on the calm silence in his head.

Carolyn's mind was like Vala's, more distinct amongst the jumble of voices he was hearing, but still faint, easier to push aside by focusing on Teal'c. "She got good news?" he asked.

Teal'c inclined his head slightly. "I believe so."

She did: Cam's telepathy had apparently been triggered by something he'd touched in the temple, a gray panel that he didn't remember at all, even when Carolyn showed him a picture the science team had brought back.

"Dr Jackson's working on translating all the text that goes with it right now," Carolyn said. "The science team is hoping there might be a way to make it reverse what it did to you."

"Turn the telepathy off?"

"Something like that," Carolyn agreed, smiling. "Until then, I'd like to start you on an injection, a dopamine inhibitor that should work to dull the effects."

"Isn't that what we were threatening Khalek with?" Cam asked, alarmed. "That you said would leave him a drooling vegetable if we used it?"

Carolyn gave him a very patient look. "I thought we'd probably start you on a lower dose," she said dryly. "I'm pretty sure the GMC would disapprove of me rendering you into a vegetative state."

"Particularly as they would not know the reason behind it," Teal'c put in.

"Thanks," Cam grumbled. He couldn't help smiling though, warmed by their teasing and their concern.

Teal'c left while Carolyn was preparing the injection. "For the sake of scientific rigor," he said, sounding like he was quoting Sam.

"Right," Cam said, bracing himself for the rush of voices that he knew was coming. "Thanks."

Teal'c inclined his head again, nodded to Carolyn, and left.

"So," Cam said, when he was sure Teal'c was gone and that Major Eckland, who'd been counting down to his morphine drip earlier, was asleep. "Did they happen to mention why I got more from Jackson than anyone else?"

"Dr Jackson seemed to think it might have something to do with him being the first person whose thoughts you read," Carolyn said carefully, her eyes on the syringe. "A stronger bond."

A stronger bond. That was nicely ironic. "Great."

"It'll fade," Carolyn said. "The injections will dull the part of your brain that the device activated, until you shouldn't be hearing anything at all."

"I can't hear him now," Cam said, not sure what he was asking.

Carolyn touched his wrist, and Cam read it in her thoughts before she answered, that Daniel had taken the translation back to his apartment to work on, instead of staying where Cam could read his thoughts.

Cam added the rest for himself: where Cam could hear something else that he didn't want to.

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Despite the best efforts of the linguists and the scientists, including Sam from Atlantis, complete with commentary from McKay, no-one could figure out how to make the panel turn Cam's brain off again.

On the bright side, Carolyn's daily injections worked, or at least well enough that he only heard one person, and even then, it was muffled, so that he could almost ignore it, if he concentrated.

Which meant that, the evening before Cam was supposed to go back on regular duty, he was making his way as slowly as he could up the stairs to Daniel's apartment, to have the conversation he figured they'd both been expecting since the whole thing started.

Daniel was standing in the open doorway when Cam finally turned onto the landing. In socks, jeans and a dark t-shirt, he would have looked completely familiar, except for his frown. "Hi," he said, stepping back slightly. "You want to come in?"

Cam didn't, really, but he wanted to have the conversation in the hallway even less. "Sure."

Normally, he'd have followed Daniel straight into the kitchen, either to put the beer in the fridge, or to loiter in the doorway while Daniel made coffee. No more of that kind of normal though; Daniel hesitated halfway to the couch, then asked, "Can I get you anything?"

Cam shook his head, not sure what to do with his hands. Clearly this was some kind of karmic retribution for how all his previous break-ups had been low-key, mutual and amicable. "We're going to be back out there in a couple of days," he said, figuring closing his eyes and leaping had worked well enough for him in the past. "I need to be sure it's not going to – that you'll be okay."

Daniel gave him a look of almost exaggerated surprise. "Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"

Right. Because nothing ever phased Dr Daniel Jackson. "Good, then," Cam said, already turning away, forcing a smile as he avoided meeting Daniel's eyes. "Then I'll see you bright and early -"

"Mitchell," Daniel said, grabbing for Cam's arm. Cam gasped, caught in the rush of Daniel's thoughts for a second before he pulled away. "What..?"

"Don't touch me," Cam said, pulling in a sharp breath. "I can't – I can still *hear* you, you have to stop."

"Okay," Daniel said, holding up his hands and taking a step back. "Look, for what it's worth, I'm not sleeping with Jack. I've never slept with him."

"I know," Cam said. He should leave, but suddenly he wanted to hear, wanted Daniel to make sense of the last couple of years for him. "But you want to."

"It's not uncommon to have... fantasies... about another person," Daniel said, slipping into his lecturing voice. "It doesn't -"

"If you say that it doesn't have to mean anything, I'll probably punch you," Cam warned him. He felt something from Daniel, and suppressed it, focusing on the pattern of the rug until it faded. "You love him. You're in love with him. If he didn't – if he wasn't a general, you would have..."

"Yes," Daniel said, ruthlessly honest like Cam wished he'd been in the beginning. "He's the best friend I ever had, and he's always been there for me, through everything that happened since I joined SG-1."

"You told him about us," Cam said, not sure whether he knew from Daniel's head or just from knowing Daniel.

"Yes," Daniel said again. "You can trust him."

"You can trust him," Cam corrected. If Daniel could do ruthlessly honest, so could he. "I don't even know if I can trust you right now."

He felt Daniel jerk like Cam had made good on his promise to hit him, and tried not to feel bad about it. "You shouldn't have done that," he said. "This is – I'm the only one who gets to choose whether to risk my career or not. I don't want to have to worry that he'll retire and decide he wants his turn now, and use what you've told him to get it."

"Jack wouldn't do that."

Cam swallowed down the angry retort in his throat. They had to work together, which meant he had to be a professional about this, as much as he wanted to be an angry lover. "I think I should probably go," he said, turning again.

Daniel didn't try to stop him this time.

Not that it mattered. Cam stopped himself at the door, his back to Daniel. "Just – tell me why you said yes to me in the first place."

There was a pause so long that Cam thought maybe Daniel hadn't even heard him. Then he felt Daniel move, close enough for Cam to read the answer in his thoughts before Daniel said it, so soft. "You were crying. You were drunk and sad and Colonel Emerson was dead, and I wanted to make you feel better."

Cam closed his eyes, remembering. Drinking with Daniel at the SGC, handing Daniel his car keys. Coming back to himself outside his apartment to Daniel asking if Cam wanted him to come up, realizing that he was crying, silently, and hadn't even noticed.

He thought it was probably the closest he'd ever come to feeling like Daniel loved him, two years ago, way too late. "I wish you'd said no," he said.

Daniel didn't say anything, but Cam read the answer loud and clear anyway: So do I.


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