blue flamingos

Lines in the Dark

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash, NC-17

Year/Length: 2007/ ~5730 words

Pairing: John/Cam

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

Summary: John never sees these things coming, even with 8 hours of foreplay; a head injury's a good excuse though, right?

Series: The Shadows 'verse

Author's Notes: [info]inlovewithnight's One Night Stand Challenge

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

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"These things never happened when SG-1 was me, Sheppard and whoever was loitering in the corridors," Mitchell says quietly, for John's and Carter's ears only, the three of them standing with their backs to Jackson, who's dialing the gate while Teal'c covers him.

John looks at Mitchell from the corner of his eye, but Mitchell's watching the tree line with a fixed gaze that says he won't look round, even if he does feel John's eyes on him. His face is completely expressionless, his hands steady on his P-90.

"You wanted us back," Carter points out.

She's not as right as she thinks she is. The first few weeks John and Mitchell were SG-1, that was all Mitchell talked about. Everyone else talked about Mitchell, how he hadn't been expected to be fit for duty yet, or possibly ever; or the Atlantis expedition, which no-one had heard of for months at that point. John had pretty much kept quiet, still missing the ice, still trying to work out how *not* having the gene to make the chair work meant he was qualified to join the SGC.

After a couple of months of going through the gate together with, as Mitchell loves to say, whoever couldn't run fast enough away from them, Mitchell stopped talking about getting the old team back together, and started talking about who they might get to join the team permanently.

No-one ever points out that the original three came back voluntarily; John thinks they only started missing it when Mitchell stopped reminding them. They're contrary like that.

"More fool me," Mitchell says, but the gate wooshes at the same moment, and John thinks no-one hears it but him.

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The thing is, Mitchell's right: these things *have* only started happening since the other three came back. Which isn't to say their missions were cake walks before – John's got stories from the amusing to the grotesque to the plain unbelievable even at the SGC – but those mostly ended with someone being married to the chief's daughter or, once, accidentally traded for naquadah by one of the negotiators they'd brought along.

John thinks Mitchell probably wouldn't have been so pissed about that, which got sorted out without even the threat of gun fire, if it hadn't been him who was accidentally traded. That was probably the moment they decided not to recruit any of the SGC's trained negotiators for their team.

When the new, five-person SG-1 gets into trouble, it ends with three of them in the infirmary, being stitched and scanned and bandaged, because apparently the people of P3X 4NY don't take kindly to visitors and model their interrogation techniques on the Spanish Inquisition.

Since he's one of the three in an infirmary bed, John feels totally justified in cursing Jackson and Carter silently. He's only not including Teal'c because Teal'c actually broke him, Carter and Mitchell out of jail; Jackson wanted to negotiate, so John's decided it's his fault John's currently stuck on his back, and not in the good way.

Not that he'd say this to Jackson: he doesn't know why, but Jackson took a pretty instant dislike to him. John hasn't decided yet if it's mutual.

Carter must have persuaded Dr Lam to let her go, because John comes back from getting his brain scanned in time to watch her hobble out of the infirmary with barely a backward glance. Their jailors were less interested in her than they were in John and Mitchell, so she only had time to get a mildly sprained ankle and a few bruises before Teal'c and Jackson broke them out.

He's got plenty of theories about why things are going worse with the old SG-1 around, some of them more charitable than others, depending on how badly the latest mission has gone. He gets the hero worship everyone at the SGC seems to have for them, because he's read the mission reports, and they really did save the world a few times. His favorite theory is that they're so used to having to do crazy things against the Gou'ald, they haven't adjusted to *not* having to do them yet.

Either that, or they're just trying to get rid of Mitchell, who's officially team leader, and John, who's technically Mitchell's second, even if he usually feels more like a junior lieutenant. Days like this, John feels a certain affection for this theory.

It's early evening when the infirmary staff finally finish with him and Mitchell. Dr Lam glares at them, sitting side by side on an infirmary bed, and John wants to point out that neither of *them* told the people of P3X 4NY that their translation of the Ancient writing on their sacred obelisk wasn't entirely correct.

At least we know Jackson can run away fast, he thinks uncharitably, but his head's killing him, he hasn't been off the ground in over a year and he's entitled to be uncharitable in his own mind.

"All right," Lam says, nodding at Mitchell. "You're free to go. Put something cold on that eye when you get home." Mitchell's had a cold pack on his eye pretty much since they came through the gate, but it hasn't done much for the black eye he's sporting. "Find someone to drive you home."

"I can drive," Mitchell protests, and Lam just looks at him for a minute. She's kind of intimidating, and John's glad it's not him getting the look.

"Can you even see out of that eye?" she asks, keeping the look up until Mitchell grins ruefully and shakes his head. "So get someone to drive you home. You –" She turns to John and doesn't entirely lose the look - "I'm keeping in overnight."

"Why?" John asks, before he remembers that whining at doctors has never in his life actually gotten him anywhere.

"Because you sustained a head injury and if you do have a concussion I'd rather not find out when you pass out in the gate room."

"I live in the Mountain," John points out, which is maybe not great, since he's been there over a year, but he hates house-hunting. He can feel Mitchell's glare anyway, because Mitchell has a nice place not far from the Mountain, and doesn't approve of living on base unless you have to. "Can't you get a nurse to come make sure I'm not dead every couple of hours?"

"I could," Lam agrees, scribbling something on her clipboard. "But this is an infirmary, not a babysitting service, and my staff has better things to do than trail down to your quarters every two hours."

"You could phone me," John says, but he knows he's fighting a losing battle. If he's going to be woken up every couple of hours anyway, he might as well be in the infirmary, where he won't be expecting to get any sleep.

Mitchell shakes his head. "Come on, Sheppard, she doesn't bite." Lam raises her eyebrows at them silently. "OK, maybe she does, a bit." He grins at her, but she doesn't seem particularly charmed, which might make her the only person on the base who *doesn't* fall for Mitchell's southern charm. John included. "How about if I take him with me?"

Though not so much that he doesn't recognize this as a really bad idea. SG-1 might have the loosest command structure of anywhere John's ever served, but he's noticed Mitchell watching him, and he's given up denying how much he kind of likes being tied up with the guy. There's no universe where being alone and bruised in Mitchell's apartment can possibly be a good idea.

Lam looks between the two of them, and apparently John doesn't adequately project *I'll stay, I'll be good, just say no* because she nods before fixing her gaze on Mitchell. "Every two hours," she says. "Bring him back if you're at all worried."

"He can't drive," John mutters, feeling mutinous. He can hardly say he's changed his mind when he was just arguing to be let out. "Plus, you know, I don't think I even lost consciousness. I'm probably fine."

Lam ignores him, which doesn't come as a huge surprise, and Mitchell wanders off to find someone to drive them home while an orderly goes down to John's quarters to get him a change of clothes.

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John's been to Mitchell's before, because Mitchell's a firm believer in the power of movie night for team bonding. It doesn't really seem to be working on them, and John's not at all sure why everyone keeps turning up. Even Jackson comes, though he usually brings a journal with him to read. Mitchell told John once that he counts it a good night if Jackson puts the journal down before the end credits roll, so maybe his idea of team bonding works a little more slowly than John's. Glacially slowly.

"Toss your bag in the guest room," Mitchell offers, waving vaguely at the hallway. "I'm gonna take a quick shower, unless you want..."

John weighs up the virtue of not smelling of antiseptic against the inconvenience of having to wrap the stitches that run from his left shoulder to his wrist, and decides he can handle a bit of inconvenience. "Sure, when you're done."

"Okay." Mitchell looks at him from the other end of the corridor, squinting a little; John assumes things are still blurry with the black eye. He waits for Mitchell to say something, but in the end he just nods, says, "okay," again, and disappears into the other bedroom.

Right then.

John drops the bag the orderly brought him at the foot of Mitchell's spare bed and sits down, just for a minute. His head's pounding in time with his heartbeat, but he doesn't have any pain killers. He doesn't know where Mitchell keeps his, and he's not going to start going through the guy's kitchen looking for them.

The guest room is cream, the furniture inoffensive darkish wood and it's clear that no-one spends much time in there. Maybe all Mitchell's guests stay in his room, except the stargate program isn't conducive to relationships. An abnormally high number of bad things happen to the partners of people in the program, he's noticed, like they somehow attract bad luck. He hopes he isn't the only one who's picked that up.

The shower goes on in the bathroom, next to the guest room. John listens to the water splashing, then makes himself stop, before he starts imagining anything else. He leans over to remove his shoes, and when he sits up again, he sees stars.

He doesn't remember passing out; remembers one of their interrogators knocking him off the chair, hard enough that he really felt it when he hit the floor, but he doesn't think he missed anything between that and being hauled back up again. Mitchell's got an unhealthy paranoia about head injuries though, and this one left John with a cut on his forehead, so it was kind of hard to lie, with Mitchell's hand on his cheek, tilting his head to get a good look at the cut, so close they could have kissed.

Not that they would have; John learnt discretion a long time ago, and he only breaks the rules when he can't not. It's an attraction, he tells himself most days, it's not some doomed love affair, and neither he nor Mitchell are martyrs to the military codes of conduct. They both knew what they were signing on for, because he thinks Mitchell probably knew he liked men before he joined the Air Force. It wasn't really a decision for John – he did everything to get into the air, that was just one more thing he had to do, and it was worth it.

He hasn't left the ground, except in commercial planes, since he flew General O'Neill back from the outpost in Antarctica. They don't talk about Mitchell's last job. They don't need to. John knows it's corny but that doesn't make it any less true when he thinks that in their souls they're both pilots, and they both had to give up what they loved.

Mitchell thinks the stargate's consolation enough. John tries not to think about it, except for when he's spent the day being interrogated and slapped around, when his head aches and he's tired and he just wants to sleep.

There's a knock at the door, and John didn't hear the shower go off. Mitchell pushes the door open far enough to look in, his hair still wet, dampening the collar of his t-shirt. "Go shower, if you want. There's plastic wrap under the sink for your stitches, and pain killers in the cupboard." He looks at John like he's trying to pick out any other injuries he can help with. "I'm ordering pizza for dinner, haven't had time to go shopping this week."

John makes a face. He knows what that's like. "Thanks."

He's been in Mitchell's bathroom before too, and if he'd been thinking, he'd have remembered the pain killers. He swallows a few more than the recommended dose, and straightens up slowly, trying to avoid the headrush.

The bathroom's already steamed up, though Mitchell can't have been in there more than a few minutes, and the shower cubicle is damp. John gets the water set right and steps under the stream. It hurts for the first few seconds, water on over-sensitive skin, a thousand tiny scrapes, then it feels really good.

He closes his eyes, letting the water beat away some of his aches, and reaches for the soap. Which, like the shower, is already damp, and he opens his eyes again, fast, the images lingering anyway. Fuck. He doesn't need to be thinking this, but he is, Mitchell naked where John's standing now, and it's not like he hasn't seen the guy in the showers before, but only communal showers at the Mountain, not the way he's seeing him now.

"Stop it," John tells himself, under his breath because he's not sure how thick the walls are, how much the running water covers up. His body doesn't listen to him, stirring traitorously when he roughly soaps himself down.

John leans his head against the wet glass for a brief moment. This is going to be a long night.

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Things seem more normal when they're crashed out in front of the TV, watching a basketball game that John's not really following, stuffed with pizza and bottled water, because Mitchell refused to let him have alcohol with pain killers and a possible concussion. It's more like team night, at the end of the evening, when the other three have left and more often than not, John ends up sleeping on Mitchell's sofa and getting ribbed about finding an actual apartment, Sheppard, you've been here twice as long as I have and you never see daylight unless we're off-world.

Daylight, John thinks, is highly over-rated, except for the evenings when he thinks he'll go crazy if he doesn't see sky, and ends up going too fast on the bike he bought when he realized he couldn't remember who he left his car with when he shipped out to Afghanistan. It's almost like flying, but not enough like, and he invariably ends up back in the Mountain, too wired to sleep, feeling worse than he did before he went out.

"Sheppard." Mitchell nudges him. "Don't sleep here, you'll feel even worse in the morning than you're going to."

"M'not sleeping," John says firmly, though he may have needed to open his eyes first. It's been a long day, and the headache's receding, but not enough for him to cope with lively basketball players in bright uniforms.

"Do you even know who's playing?" Mitchell doesn't wait for an answer, just nudges him again. "Come on, bed time. Unless you need me to come read you a story?"

John bites down the urge to say something else, and asks, "how about a lullaby?" He's actually heard Mitchell a couple of times, humming in the corridors when they've had a good day, and he's not half-bad. Knows how to carry a tune at least.

"Go to bed," Mitchell says, which isn't exactly no, but John's a little afraid he might say yes in the end, so he brushes his teeth and climbs into bed.

He doesn't normally sleep well in strange places, but it's warm and dark, the TV still murmuring in the other room, and he's asleep almost before he realizes.

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Someone's shaking him awake, and he's completely disoriented for a moment, doesn't even know where the door is, then everything comes clearer and Mitchell's leaning over him, faint smell of mint fresh toothpaste trailing him. "You awake?" he asks.

"Yes, because you just woke me up," John says. His head hurts less now than it did before, but he takes the pain killers Mitchell holds out.

"Not dead?" Mitchell asks. There's not enough light for John to see properly, but he thinks Mitchell's laughing at him, a little.

"Not yet."

Mitchell asks him the date, and the name of the President, then the name of a planet they visited three months ago, which devolves rapidly into an argument over the correct name, cut off only by John yawning.

Mitchell pats his shoulder and moves towards the door. "You're fine," he says. "See you in a couple hours."

"Night," John says, already slipping under.

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He's less disoriented next time, his subconscious apparently expecting Mitchell. "Still not dead," he says, blinking in the dim light coming through the partly open door, and Mitchell laughs.

They go through the date, the President and the names of SG-2, then Mitchell says, "best mission since you joined the SGC?"

John blinks at him, leaning on the bed post with his arms crossed, backlit by the door so John can't see his expression. "That an approved medical question?"

"Sure," Mitchell says. "Check what you've forgotten."

"There isn't one," John says, and wishes he hadn't. It's easy to confess things he shouldn't be, like this, warm and dark.

"OK – worst mission." Mitchell holds up a finger before John can make the obvious protest. "This one doesn't count."

"All right." John thinks for a minute; he's tempted to say they've all been bad, but he knows that isn't true. Most of the cultures they run into are either pre-industrial or out to kill them, some both, but some of them have been fucking cool. "M3S 8GY, the third week we worked together." Mitchell makes a little keep going motion with his hand. "Um, with the giant sentient rabbits, being chased up the trees and waiting for it to get light so they'd go back to their burrows and let us down."

Vampire rabbits, Captain Fellows kept saying, and refused the next three times John asked him to come through the gate as part of SG-1.

Mitchell laughs. "Teal'c's heard of them, you know. Says the people on that planet race them."

John forces his mind not to go there. It's just too weird, even for his day job. "What about you?"

"I'm not the one with the head injury," Mitchell says, but he shifts slightly against the bed post and carries on. "The week you were out with the flu? Land that time forgot."

"Dinosaurs?" John asks, and okay, the day he came back was the day they got captured off world and held in separate cells for three days – maybe it's not completely a merged SG-1 thing – but he still thinks that would have come up at some point.

"Not exactly," Mitchell says. "More like holograms, but really real. Hirons got carried fifty feet by a pterodactyl."

Well, that explained why Hirons started refusing to come with them.

Mitchell taps the bed post and pushes away from it. "Go back to sleep."

"Yeah. Night," John says again. He dreams of giant rabbits being carried off by pterodactyls.

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The next time Mitchell wakes him up, he sits on the edge of the dresser and John pulls himself up to rest against the head of the bed. He's glad he's done so when Mitchell asks him whether he misses flying, not feeling quite so vulnerable.

"Yeah," he says. He can't imagine having this conversation in daylight, and thinks this might be why Mitchell's further away this time. "The gate's not... Yeah. I miss it."

"You could go over to Peterson," Mitchell offers, but John shakes his head.

"Not exactly flavor of the month with the Air Force right now."

Mitchell tilts his head in what might be agreement. It's easy for him, golden boy of the SGC and the USAF, and he volunteered to give it up. John knows it's not really that simple, but it's another thing he doesn't always feel that charitable about.

"Ask about the 302 program," Mitchell suggests. "I heard they were looking to start training up some more pilots."

John's never even seen a 302, except on tape or in pictures. He's not sure where the squad's based, even, but Carter and Mitchell talk about them sometimes, alien technology and zero-gravity flight.

"Think about it," Mitchell says, standing up again. "I'll recommend you if you decide to do it."

"Yeah," John says. There's talk of sending the Daedalus out in search of the Atlantis mission sometime in the next year, when it's finally ready, and he knows there are 302's on her. "Maybe. Thanks."

"No problem," Mitchell says and closes the door behind himself.

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He struggles to drag himself out of sleep this time, caught in a dream that's already fading, and when he finally opens his eyes, Mitchell's sitting on the edge of the bed, still shaking him, close enough that John can see his worried expression.

He removes his hand when John opens his eyes, but stays where he is. "You okay?"

"Fine." John rubs his eyes, trying to clear his head. He has no idea what time it is, but he thinks the sky's maybe a bit lighter than it was last time. "Dreaming. Sorry."

Mitchell waves it away and hands over a glass of water and more pills. "How's your head?"

"Better. Okay." He sits up to take the pain killers anyway, and gets a good look at Mitchell. "You look like crap."

"Thanks, Sheppard," Mitchell says, but he's laughing. "It's not exactly restful getting up every two hours to check on you, you know."

John manfully doesn't point out that he offered, or that Mitchell's still in the jeans and t-shirt he wore all evening. "Well, thanks for making sure I'm not dead, I guess."

"You're welcome." Mitchell looks at him for a long moment, then shrugs and nudges John's legs with his elbow. "Shift over, I need to lie down for a minute."

John's already moving before it occurs to him that Mitchell has a perfectly good bed of his own to go lie down in if he chooses, and by then, Mitchell's stretched out next to him, his head by John's thigh and it's too late to object. "You want a blanket?" he asks, trying for casual and not quite hitting it.

"I'm good," Mitchell says absently. He's got his eyes closed. "I'll go in a minute, just get dizzy sitting up too long." John can't think of anything to say to that. Even in the dim light, he can see Mitchell's eye has swollen further since he went to bed. He looks tired and defenseless and John wants to tuck him up in bed, like he's not perfectly capable of putting himself to bed. Mitchell's hair's getting kind of long lately, making John's fingers itch to smooth it back from his forehead. He folds his hands neatly in his lap instead.

"Oh, hey." Mitchell cracks his good eye open far enough to peer at John. "You still know the date?"

"Yep." John turns the page in his internal diary and realizes its now Friday. Still got to go in then, unless Lam's signed them off. He thinks she'd probably have mentioned that, and a few bruises won't, unfortunately, stop him doing his paperwork.

"Good." Mitchell closes his eyes again. "What do you miss about the Air Force?"

"Nothing, I'm still in it," John says, wondering if maybe he should have been monitoring *Mitchell* for concussion. "Remember just talking about flying?"

Mitchell opens his eyes to glare at him. "What do you miss about being attached to a regular Air Force squadron?" he asks, speaking slowly like John's the one coming out with bizarre questions in the middle of the night.

"Flying," John says automatically. "Not being captured because we dropped by to say hi. Knowing my day wasn't going to include giant animals or aliens. Not knowing there were people whose days *did* include that." There's other stuff as well, but he'd miss that even if he wasn't part of the SGC, and he's not that deep into the weird confessional mood Mitchell's working on.

"Yeah." Mitchell sighs. "But not..." He trails off into silence, and closes his eyes, turning his head a little so John can't really see his expression. He doesn't need to: it's like all the air's gone out of the room, Mitchell's sudden sadness crawling over John's skin, and he doesn't know what to say.

He leans down and kisses Mitchell. It's an awkward angle, John's body having to fold in ways it really doesn't like, and he catches Mitchell's mouth off center, but Mitchell's eyes open and he brings one hand up to cup John's jaw so he can kiss back.

John's body protests after too few moments, and he pulls back a little, not quite far enough for Mitchell to drop his hand. "You, er –" he starts, and has to clear his throat. "You want to get in bed?"

Mitchell blinks at him, then nods and gets up. He takes his jeans off before sliding under the covers, and there's an awkward moment when they lie there, not touching, barely looking at each other. This is what John gets for doing without deciding to do – in that moment, it seemed inevitable, but it's much harder to make a conscious move.

Finally, Mitchell grins at him, still tired, still bruised, and kisses John, slow and careful, his hand back on John's jaw. John tastes blood from Mitchell's split lip, and touches his tongue to it, licking it carefully away. They spent the morning bleeding all over each other, it's a little late to be worrying about blood-borne diseases, and that's not really what he wants to be thinking about while he's kissing Mitchell.

His hand's resting on Mitchell's hip, so he slides it higher, under Mitchell's t-shirt and over the bumps of his spine. Mitchell arches back into the contact and breaks the kiss to bite his way along John's jaw, mouth at his collar bone through his t-shirt.

It's easy to turn his mind off, to lose himself in touch and slow, rough kisses, in a bubble of pre-dawn light and exhaustion, so it seems like forever and no time at all before they're both half naked and hard. Mitchell's hand rubs over John's cock, making him gasp, and Mitchell pulls back to look at him.

"What do you want?"

John hates being asked that, much prefers for things to just flow, but Mitchell's obviously asking out of genuine concern, not a desire to hear John say the words, and it's touching, in a warped sort of way. He wants Mitchell to fuck him till they're both screaming, but he's got a pretty good idea of his own limits when he's injured and it's not going to happen.

"Like this?" Mitchell asks, stroking John's cock again. John pushes into the contact without meaning to, and Mitchell grins at him again, smug. "Or do you want me to blow you?"

"Fuck," John gasps, because listening to Mitchell, who's always so polite and so clean, say stuff like that is almost as much of a turn on as what he's doing.

"I don't think so," Mitchell says, tightening his grip on John's cock and jerking him off slowly. "My grandma always said sleep was healing, but I'm not sure it's that healing."

"Not what I want to talk about in bed," John says, and Mitchell laughs.

It's a nice sound.

"What do you want to talk about?" Mitchell asks. He runs his thumb over the head of John's cock, and John thrusts up into his hand again. This is going to be over embarrassingly fast. "Next week's mission?" A twist of his wrist as he slides his hand down. "Football scores?" He rubs his free hand over John's nipple. "What you'd do if we weren't both bruised?" He brushes his knuckle against John's balls, and John groans. "The weather?"

"Fuck you," John hisses, and comes, sharp and sudden and over too fast. Mitchell keeps stroking him, getting slower and slower, until John pushes his hand away.

"I never knew talking about the weather got you hot," Mitchell says, and just for that, John shoves him over onto his back and covers Mitchell's cock with his mouth. It's worth it just for how fast it reduces Mitchell to wordless groans, and John's never going to say blowing Cam Mitchell is a hardship.

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He comes awake, sudden and sharp, and it's most of the way to light, even through the closed curtains. One of them must have moved, because he's on his back and Mitchell, still asleep, has an arm round his waist, his head against John's shoulder.

John rests his arm across Mitchell's back, curling his fingers round his waist, and just looks. Just for a few minutes, just until his body's recovered from whatever shocked him awake. He already knows this is going to be a one time only thing, even if neither of them have said it - they work too closely together for it to be anything else - but he can still look.

Mitchell snores, he thinks. He snores, and he's still wearing his socks, in bed, after they had sex, after they both came twice and had to find the pillows on the floor when they were almost too blissed-out to move. He's everything John's not to the Air Force, people's hero and the guy who got SG-1 back.

He stayed up all night to wake John up every two hours, just in case, and talked about things John won't even think about when it's light, never mind say. He's a good kisser and attentive in bed, and John wishes they could have done more, gone on longer, instead of what they did, barely awake enough to remember it.

He doesn't regret it happening, and he doesn't regret that it won't happen again, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he files it away with all the other things he wishes were different.

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Someone's shaking him awake, again, and he pushes at the hands until they stop. "If I recite all the presidents in order, will you leave me alone to sleep?" he says, and then his memory catches up and he wishes he'd kept his mouth shut.

"Sorry, not gonna happen," Mitchell's voice says, sounding amused, and also sounding like he isn't lying next to John any longer. That's enough to get John to open his eyes.

Mitchell looks... like someone who got slapped around off-world, spent the night getting up every two hours, and then got pretty well laid not long before he had to get up. John wants to kiss him, drag him back into bed and wake him up in the best way. He tells his body it's not going to happen.

His body, it seems, practices selective deafness.

"What's going on?" he asks. It's maybe seven or eight in the morning, and Mitchell's dressed, different clothes from yesterday.

"Landry just called. They've got a visitor at the SGC, looking for Jackson to translate a tablet she's found that's supposed to lead to treasure."

"What?" John asks. His headache's come back overnight, just enough to be annoying, not enough to really hurt, and he's definitely not firing on all cylinders yet. "Why do they need us?"

Mitchell grins wryly. "Jackson's met her before, and it didn't go so well. And she says she's been trying to dial in from different planets for weeks and not been able to get a lock, so Carter's panicking."

John looks at him and decides he really doesn't want to know. "Okay. Have I got time for a shower?"

"I think I speak for both of us when I say, trust me, if you hadn't, we'd make time," Mitchell says, and John's suddenly very aware that Mitchell came all over him last night – twice - and they passed out before they got round to cleaning up.

He pushes himself up on his elbows so he won't have to look at Mitchell, who's already standing up. "Great, thanks."

"Sure." Mitchell waves over his shoulder at the door. "I'll make some coffee, let Landry know we'll be in soon."

John waits till the door closes behind him before he starts looking for his clothes.

hr

It's somewhere between awkward and not in the cab to the Mountain, where Mitchell's car and John's bike still are; John feels like he's waiting for Mitchell to say something, to make it clear that this was a one time thing, can't happen again, Don't Ask, Don't Tell and chain of command, until he realizes Mitchell isn't going to bother because he knows John's already thought of all this.

Once they get to the Mountain they get pretty quickly drawn into Vala mal Doran's ridiculous search for treasure, gate problems that turn out to be mostly an excuse for trying to sell the tablet to the highest bidder before coming to them, King Arthur and consciousness transferal machines, and by the time things slow down enough for John to worry about their working relationship being affected, it's too late to bother.

Things don't change that much in the end, and, if John sometimes overlays what he knows now over Mitchell in the Mountain, or at a bar after a really bad day – no-one needs to know about it but him.

 

Next: Spaces in the Light


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