blue flamingos

End of December: Dysfunction 'verse

Fandom: Stagate:Atlantis/Numb3rs

Category/Rated: Slash/PG

Year/Length: 2011/701 words

Pairing: Lorne/Colby, Cam/John

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

Series: Dysfunction 'verse.

Author's Notes: For niandrajoan and angelofmercy, who wanted Lorne/Colby, Cam/Shep; a happy ending

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

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"What is this?" Sheppard asks, walking into the office Evan shares with Teldy and Hatsford without knocking.

"Sir," Hatsford and Teldy chorus, not even bothering to look up from their computers, getting a distracted nod from Sheppard, who crosses the office to lean on the edge of Evan's desk.

"What is this?" he asks again, offering his tablet, a file pulled up and waiting for an electronic signature.

"My transfer request. Space and Missile Systems has a vacancy for someone with engineering experience at LA AFB, said they'd hold it for me if I could get out there within the month. I need you to sign off on it, before it goes to General Landry."

Hatsford makes a slight choking noise – maybe a laugh, maybe a cough – and Teldy is smiling at her computer screen. Sheppard, on the other hand, is frowning.

"You're supposed to be taking over as military commander of Atlantis," Sheppard says, sounding more confused than anything else. "Your promotion's coming through any day."

"Pretty sure they won't take it back just because I'm going to LA," Evan says mildly.

There's a beat of awkward silence before Hatsford hops to her feet. "Time for a coffee break, too much time staring at a screen. Anne, coffee?"

Teldy sighs, gives Evan a pained look, but stands up and leaves anyway. Sheppard watches them go, then hooks their visitor chair over and drops into it. "I assume there's something more to this, since we've just been given some very ostentatious privacy?"

Evan's relationship with Colby has never exactly been a secret from Sheppard, more a sort of unacknowledged truth, and even less so since don't ask don't tell was repealed, but that doesn't mean he knows how to talk about any of this. Even less so when he's going to have to reference Sheppard's own open-secret relationship.

"He and I had a deal," he starts. "That I'd stay with you until you left, and then I'd go back. And you're leaving, so I'm going back."

Sheppard opens his mouth like he's going to argue, then closes it again. Then says, "It's been six years."

"I told him five, I guess I was pretty close."

"You didn't have to stay because I was here," Sheppard says, sounding close to lost. Like the words make sense, but not the way Evan's putting them together.

"I wanted to," Evan says, which is the easiest part of an explanation that covers how Colby and Sheppard knew each other, briefly, back when Colby was still in the army, before Evan met him. An explanation that covers how Mitchell let Evan take him out and get him very drunk when word came that Sheppard and the others had survived taking back Atlantis from the Replicators, and asked Evan to look out for Sheppard, to try to bring him home alive.

"I thought you wanted the position here."

Evan shrugs. "I do, in some ways. But I guess there's something that's more important. Worth going home for."

The smile that crosses Sheppard's face is wistful, but not completely. There's no mistaking the happiness under it, for all that the last couple of months haven't been totally smooth. Evan's fairly sure Sheppard was half-expecting the IOA to recall him to Earth when he hit the twenty year mark on his Air Force career, and it coincided nicely enough with Mitchell being tapped to join Homeworld Security down in Washington, but none of that would have made much difference to Evan if he'd been in Sheppard's shoes.

All that said, though, Sheppard seems happy with his decision to leave the Air Force, head to Washington to join Mitchell, and figure it out from there.

"You're a smart man, Colonel Lorne," Sheppard says, holding out a hand for his tablet. He hesitates for a second. "Sure about this?"

"Sure about it."

Sheppard adds his signature with a flourish and, from the bleep, hits send on the file. "So," he says, dropping the tablet on the edge of Evan's desk. "Are we flipping a coin to decide between Teldy and Hatsford, or do you have a cunning plan?"

"I always have a cunning plan, sir," Evan says, and grins.


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