blue flamingos

Lacertae

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash, NC-17

Year/Length: 2007/ ~4613 words

Pairing: John/Cam

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

Warning: Um, fire-breathing lizards?!

Summary: "Nothing's going to go wrong!" Sheppard exclaims. "Walk in our back garden."

Author's Notes: For [info]alizarin_nyc. Prompt: Adrenalin-fueled sex, close call, guns and knives.

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

hr

"Nothing's going to go wrong!" Sheppard exclaims. "Walk in our back garden." He goes the opposite way to Cam round a tree and ends up half a step behind him. Cam can still hear the howls behind them, too close for comfort.

"I wasn't expecting this either," he points out, ducking a low hanging branch. It looked like a nice forest on their first visit but now he's in it, he's realising that, like most of the forested planets they visit, it's doing its best to trap them like flies in a spider web. "And I'm just as likely to die as you."

"That –" Sheppard stumbles on a loose rock and catches his balance on Cam's arm. "That doesn't really make me feel any better."

"Wasn't really meant to," Cam says, and one of the lizards roars. He really, really hope the sound's being carried by the wind, even though the day's sunny, hot and entirely lacking in even a slight breeze.

Sheppard glances over his shoulder like he's thinking of making a stand. "Not happening," Cam tells him firmly, grabbing Sheppard's vest and dragging him the next few steps along the dirt path.

"They're lizards. How hard can they be to fight off?"

"Considering they breathe fire?" Cam asks. "I'd say fairly and honestly, I'm not that keen on finding out if I'm right." He shoves Sheppard to the left at a fork in the path, fairly sure that's the right direction for the gate, though he got pretty turned round in the village: rows and rows of identical houses surrounded by forest on every side, and it hadn't helped that the first time they came to the planet, they got caught in a massive thunder storm. Which apparently kept the giant fire-breathing lizards away.

Sheppard glares for a second, but keeps moving. Cam's not positive, but he thinks the howls and roars of lizards deprived of their prey might be moving in the opposite direction to them. He just hopes this doesn't mean they've gone after Vala and Teal'c, who went the other way when they split up.

"Wait," he tells Sheppard, and leans against a convenient tree to catch his breath. It's been three or four weeks since they last had to run for their lives and he's obviously out of practise. "Vala? Teal'c? How're you guys doing?"

"We are –" Teal'c starts, but there's a sudden howl from way closer than the last one. Sheppard raises his P90, peering into the trees like a giant red lizard might somehow be hidden in there.

"Hold that thought," Cam tells Teal'c and they're running again, stumbling on loose rocks, ducking low hanging branches, the howls coming closer from every direction but the one they're running in.

Until, suddenly, they're not running.

The forest ends without warning, and Cam's glancing back when it does, so the first thing he knows is Sheppard grabbing his vest before he can run right off the cliff, Wile E Coyote style. "Whoa," he gasps, stumbling back a couple of steps and looking round.

There's maybe six feet of the same orange-red rock the planet's covered with between the edge of the forest and the drop off, stretching as far as Cam can see in both directions. When he edges further out, he can see a wide river running in the gorge created by the cliff they're on and the one opposite.

"So," Sheppard drawls lazily. "Plan B?"

"I came up with Plan A," Cam points out. "Your turn."

"Plan A was to run away from the fire-breathing lizards," Sheppard says.

"And it worked." Cam looks over the edge again. He's got a horrible feeling he knows what Plan B's going to be, the howls and roars coming closer.

Sheppard looks over his shoulder at the drop with a flash of something like glee.

"No," Cam says firmly. "No way."

Sheppard grins, something desperate and crazy in his eyes, and Cam wonders, again, why they couldn't have just waited for Jackson to come back from Atlantis to test the Ancient whatever it is. "You said yourself, bullets don't work on them. So unless you've got some skill you're keeping secret – "

He's cut off by a roar of flame, and a column of smoke spirals up to their left, in the direction of the stargate. "Teal'c? You guys okay?"

"We are, Colonel Mitchell. The lizards appear to be uninterested in the two of us."

"Great," Cam sighs, then taps his radio back on. Next to him, Sheppard's raised his P90 and is scanning the tree line. "They like us, and we've kind of run out of path. There's a river, I'm not sure where it goes, but we'll meet you back at the gate."

"Understood, Colonel Mitchell."

"If you don't hear from us in the hour, go through the gate," Cam adds. From the corner of his eye, he sees Sheppard nod in approval.

"Try not to drown," Vala offers brightly in his ear, right before Cam cuts the connection.

"You think this is going to work?" he asks Sheppard.

Sheppard shrugs. "I think –" There's a crash in the undergrowth far too close to where they are, and they both fire blindly into the trees, resulting in an angry, pained squeal. "I think I'd rather take my chances in the water than with the fire breathing lizards," Sheppard says, dropping his P90 and pulling off his tac vest. Cam takes a moment to think of all the kit he's got in there, and how pissed Landry will be at them for leaving it behind, then pulls his own vest off, shoving what he can into his pockets.

"Ready?" Sheppard asks, raising his voice over the sound of giant lizards smashing through the trees – and honestly, how did this become their lives?

"No," Cam says, and jumps.

He drops too fast for more than a fleeting wish for a parachute, and hits the water hard, momentum sending him hurtling towards the rocky river bed, a blur of red-orange through the clear water before he gets his limbs moving and strokes for the light.

He breaks the surface gasping for breath and shivering – the water's ice cold and they're dressed for a mid-summer stroll – but not dead, not swallowed by fire-breathing lizards, which is, he supposes, treading water, something to be grateful for.

"Fuck, that's cold," Sheppard exclaims, a couple of feet upstream of Cam, and grinning like a maniac. Cam's never doubting the Atlantis marines' stories about their CO again. He follows Sheppard's gaze up the cliff, which looks a lot higher from where they are, the lizards clinging to the edge and watching them, already starting to get smaller as the current sweeps them down stream. It's not too fast and the river doesn't seem to be carrying too much debris, so Cam's happy to drift.

"You think they'll come after us?" Sheppard asks.

Cam looks back at the lizards again; they haven't moved. "Maybe they don't like the water. Not sure I want to get out where they can see us though."

"Me either." Sheppard takes a few strokes, catching up to Cam. "There's a bend up ahead, maybe there's a beach on the other side."

There's a gentle slope of rock up to the cliffs running alongside the river as it carries them along, but it'll do if it continues. They can worry about getting back to the gate when they're not on an unscheduled swim.

And that's when Cam realizes the sound he's hearing isn't the non-existent wind running through the canyon. "Out!" he says, shoving Sheppard towards the far shore. "Out, now."

"What the –" Sheppard asks, then realization crosses his face and he starts swimming for the shore.

They're coming up faster on the bend now, the current getting stronger, pulling them downstream, and the river's too wide. Cam pushes himself harder, but he's not a swimmer, never has been, and his boots are dragging him down. Sheppard's fractionally closer to the shore, still not close enough, and the current sweeps them round the bend in the river.

The world spins crazily as they're both sucked into the rapids, tossed violently downstream in a haze of water and bubbles.

Cam goes under, fights his way back to the surface, and casts desperately around for Sheppard, doesn't see him before he's pulled under again, fighting to hold his breath and not swallow any of the river. He gets his head above the water again, gulping down as much air as he can before he's swallowed by the water again.

Something solid hits him and he grabs onto it, dragging it with him. It's Sheppard, thank God, gasping for breath and clutching at Cam's shoulder as hard as Cam's holding onto his wrist. They both go under again, turned upside down by the current, and kick for the surface, still holding on.

This time, Cam gets in a quick look at the cliffs and thinks the current's maybe taking them in that direction. "That way," he shouts above the rush of the water and sees Sheppard nod.

It's exhausting, pushing through the current, trying to keep Sheppard in sight when they separate, and he's so tempted to just let the current take him; the only thing that keeps him going is the shoreline coming closer, the slight lessening of the current's pull and then, as suddenly as it took them, the current releases them, tossing them onto the rocky beach so they can pull themselves above the water line and collapse.

Cam lies there, feeling Sheppard's leg against his own, and closes his eyes, concentrating on breathing. Everything aches, but he doesn't think he's got any serious injuries. He takes a deep breath and ends up coughing up faintly salty water, fighting not to throw up.

When he finally stops coughing, he drops his head back down onto his folded arms and looks at Sheppard, who's turned half onto his side, facing Cam, his eyes closed. "Sheppard? Hey, Sheppard, you dead?"

"Fire breathing lizards," Sheppard says hoarsely, without opening his eyes. "And nearly drowning trying to escape. This shit always happens when I come to your galaxy."

"And your galaxy has life-sucking space vampires, so suck it up," Cam tells him. He pushes himself up to his hands and knees, shuffles over to check Sheppard for obvious injuries until he's pushed weakly away. They're both shivering from the cold water, and Sheppard's got a gash on his forehead that's slowly oozing blood, but it could be worse, and their clothes are already beginning to dry under the sun. He finally remembers to check for the lizards, but there's no sign of them.

"Okay," He says in his best team leader voice, sitting down close to Sheppard's thigh, where he's curled slightly into himself, showing no sign of planning to move. "So, we'll contact Teal'c and Vala, get them to figure out how we're getting out of here. Unless you want to try climbing?" Sheppard groans, which Cam takes as a no. "Then we find somewhere to wait, get rescued, home in time for dinner."

Cam's not so optimistic about that last part – he knows the SGC has boats they can bring through the gate, but he can't see them speeding up river to find them, even assuming the river lets out somewhere they can get the boats in. He taps his radio on. "Teal'c?"

"Colonel Mitchell. Are you well?"

"Been better," he says, making Sheppard snort. "Turns out there's a set of rapids down river of our last position, and we're a little – stuck here."

There's a pause, then Teal'c says, "We have your transmitters on our tracker," and Cam remembers the prototype portable trackers Dr Lee shoved at him and Teal'c before they came out. His is in his tac vest at the top of the cliff. "I do not believe we will be able to reach you by river."

Cam looks back at the raging torrent. "Me either."

"There is a bridge near your position. We may be able to lift you and Colonel Sheppard out using ropes."

"Sounds like a plan," Cam agrees. Kind of a humiliating plan, but he doesn't fancy scaling this cliff without at least a harness. "You want to get some help? We're due a check-in in ten minutes."

"I will," Teal'c agrees in the overly solemn tone Cam knows means he's being laughed at. "You should find somewhere warm to wait."

"We'll try," Cam agrees. "Let me know how it's going."

He cuts the connection, then turns back to Sheppard, who's pulled himself to his feet and is leaning one hand on the cliff face as he looks up. "There are steps," he says, pointing further down the cliff. "And I think – isn't that a building?"

Cam looks where he's pointing; there's something there and that's enough to give him the burst of energy to get up and moving. "At least it'll keep us out of sight of any more lizards," he says, and they start up the rough-hewn steps.

The building is more of a hut than a house, a single room built of red rocks, with a bed, a table, a fireplace, a cupboard and a couple of chairs. It doesn't look abandoned, but the door sticks when Cam pushes it open, and everything's covered in a fine layer of dust.

"Well, this is – cozy," Sheppard offers with a grin.

"Yeah." Cam pokes around the room, resisting the urge to wipe the dust off the surfaces – even the bed is neatly made with a comforter and blankets. Village hermit's house, maybe, and Cam really hopes he wasn't a victim of the lizards. "Though you'd think there'd be a way up the cliff if someone lived here."

"And yet there's not." Sheppard wipes absently at the blood still trickling down his temple, then rubs his hand on his damp BDUs, apparently not bothered that he's bleeding.

Cam sighs and digs in his pockets for the first aid kit in its plastic case. "Sit down."

"It's a graze," Sheppard objects, wiping it again.

"Sit down," Cam repeats with a glare that's half his mom when he was a teenager and half years of leading teams of airmen. It works and Sheppard drops to the floor with a glare, leaning back against the cupboard.

Cam unfastens his thigh holster, leaving his gun in easy reach, and kneels in front of Sheppard, his thighs bracketing the other man's drawn up legs.

"You think maybe you're just not meant to find out what that thing does?" Sheppard asks, watching him unpack a gauze pad and roll of tape. Cam hands the tape over for Sheppard to tear into strips, which he does, the faint tremor in his hands only visible because they're so close; adrenalin crash.

"Third time lucky," he says. "Jackson would've been pissed if we'd figured it out without him anyway." Though he thinks it's only fair: Sam's borrowed Jackson and his Ancient skills to translate some texts on Atlantis, he's borrowed Sheppard and his Ancient gene to activate the mysterious device they found on their first visit to M3G 851.

"I'm just saying – thunder storm, fire-breathing lizards, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something."

Cam puts the gauze pad in Sheppard's hand and places it over the cut, which doesn't look too deep, covering it with his own hand until he's sure Sheppard's going to hold it there. Sheppard's fingers are still cold, but he catches Cam's eye with a half-smile. Cam lets go and peels the first strip of tape from where Sheppard's stuck them on his knee. "Hey, we defeated a dragon. SG1 isn't deterred by a couple of fire-breathing lizards." Though that doesn't get any less stupid the more he says it.

"Whatever you say." Sheppard reaches up as Cam fixes the last piece of tape in place and catches his wrist. "I'm just here to turn things on," he adds, and leans forward to kiss Cam, hard, wrapping one hand round the back of Cam's neck, holding him there.

It's not exactly a shock, both of them buzzing from the waning adrenalin rush, but the angle's awkward, his chest pressed against Sheppard's knees, and he pulls back slightly.

Sheppard immediately lets go, looking like he'd be moving away if he wasn't already pressed against the wall.

"No, just –" He pushes at Sheppard's leg until Sheppard gets the idea, coming up to his knees and resting both hands on Cam's shoulder. "Yeah, better," Cam says. Sheppard's hair's starting to stick up as it dries, making him look younger, except his gaze is dark with want, and Cam reaches for him, kisses him again, licking at lips still cool from the water until Sheppard's mouth opens for his and then the kiss is all sharp breaths and the slick slide of Sheppard's tongue against his own.

Sheppard's shirt is still clinging to him in damp patches, making it easy to find a nipple and rub until Sheppard gasps, getting hard where they're pressed together. Sheppard retaliates with a hand on the inside of his thigh, tracing up the seam of his pants; Cam drags his mouth away from Sheppard's to lick a line up the side of his neck and bite at his earlobe.

"Yeah?" Sheppard asks, clearly a challenge, but Cam doesn't have time to answer before Sheppard's wrestling off his shirt, shoving him to the floor and climbing over him to scrape his teeth along Cam's collar bone and down across his chest. Cam lets his head drop back – rug, he notes distantly – and gets his hands on Sheppard's ass, pressing their cocks together. Even through layers of damp clothing, it's like an electric current running along every nerve. It's been way too long since he did this: I-can't-believe-we're-not-dead euphoria and post-flight adrenalin, and he'd forgotten how good it feels.

Sheppard's alternating between biting and licking at Cam's left nipple, his fingers pressing rhythmically into Cam's ribs in a way he can't possibly have known Cam likes. Cam gets his own hands on Sheppard's biceps, bracing his body against the floor for a second, then rolls them so he's on top, just right to reach between them and open Sheppard's pants, grope his hard cock through wet boxers. Sheppard groans, blowing warm air on Cam's tight nipples, then surges up to kiss him again, less forceful and controlled, a little sloppy, and Cam kisses back, trying to taste his own skin on Sheppard's tongue.

"You're –" Cam starts when they break the kiss, and has to clear his throat against the breathless rasp of his voice. "You're a little over-dressed."

"I'm a little trapped," Sheppard says, but he reaches for Cam's pants, fumbling at the buttons and making Cam arch into the contact, suddenly desperate for it.

It's a struggle, damp pants and underwear still clinging in all the wrong places. Sheppard gives up when he's got Cam's pants round his knees, shoving him onto his back again and pushing his hips down, his cock sliding between Cam's thighs and over his balls.

"Fuck," he gasps, tightening his grip on the back of Sheppard's thighs without entirely intending to.

"Not exactly," Sheppard says, and Cam's ear piece beeps.

"Colonel Mitchell," Teal'c's voice says.

Cam groans. As much as he doesn't want to spend the night here, this would be the most ill-timed rescue ever. "Yeah," he says, trying not to sound too breathless.

"Vala and I have been assured by the villagers that the bridge may be safely crossed after dark, when the lizards return to their nests. They have also offered the use of several rope ladders."

"That's great," Cam says, then has to bite off a moan as Sheppard wraps a hand round his cock and starts jerking him off slowly, watching his own hand. It's incredibly fucking hot.

"Are you in any danger?" Teal'c asks, implacable as ever.

"We're good. Thanks." Cam glares at Sheppard, but not very hard. "Let us know when you're on your way."

"We will."

"You guys okay?" Cam adds. Sheppard chooses that moment to thrust down again and Cam shudders.

"We are well. We will remain in the village until nightfall."

"Great. See you then."

"Indeed," Teal'c intones and Cam's sure that he knows exactly what they're doing.

"Shame the nice villagers didn't come out when we were being chased by fire-breathing lizards," Sheppard comments idly as Cam cuts the connection, stroking Cam's cock a little faster, matching the rhythm of his thrusts, showing more coordination than Cam would have expected. He can already feel the tension of orgasm building at the base of his spine, though, and he doesn't really care where Sheppard's sudden excessive coordination has come from.

"Maybe they were hiding from the lizards," he grinds out, getting a hand up to drag Sheppard into another kiss. "Can we maybe wonder about it later?"

"Sure," Sheppard agrees and slides his tongue into Cam's mouth again, thrusts twice more and comes with a low groan, over Cam's balls and the insides of his thighs, his hand still moving on Cam's cock, tighter and faster, orgasm coiling up his spine and exploding, strong enough to make him shake.

Sheppard strokes the length of his cock once more, then rests his hand lightly on Cam's stomach, lifting himself up and over to lie half on Cam, half on the rug, still breathing heavily.

Cam drifts, slowly coming down. He tries to keep his eyes open, but they slide closed again, every part of his body exhausted from their close call and the release of tension, and he goes under between one breath and the next.

hr

He wakes up instantly, feeling for whatever pulled him out of sleep. Someone – Sheppard – has cleaned him up and tossed one of the blankets over him, left his 9mm by his side, but his pants are still round his knees, and sleeping on the floor has done nothing for the aches their swim left him with. He pushes himself up onto his elbows with an involuntary groan and looks round the empty room; before panic can truly kick in, he spots Sheppard outside the open door, his back to the hut, intent on something Cam can't see.

"Morning," he says when Cam puts his clothes back together and steps out. The sun's low on the horizon, but his watch shows he was asleep for less than an hour.

"Very funny." Cam sits next to Sheppard and watches him run an oiled cloth over the barrel of his 9mm. "You've been spending too much time with the Marines."

Sheppard smiles fractionally. "Not that I doubt your ability to knock someone out with your weapon, but my aim's better when I can shoot mine."

"Uh-huh." The stone's warm through Cam's shirt when he leans back and it's easy to forget, just for a second, that they're in the middle of an off-world mission. "How's your head?"

"Fine. Just like it was before." Sheppard pushes the cloth back into his tiny kit and slides the clip back into the gun, spinning it round one finger.

"Show off," Cam says, laughing when Sheppard quirks an eyebrow at him. "Hope that's not the best you can do with that thing." Which sounds a lot less innocent out loud than it did in his head.

"There's a firing range at the Mountain," Sheppard offers. "You want to find out?"

"Absolutely," Cam agrees. He actually figures they'll be pretty evenly matched, but practice with Teal'c is essentially a demonstration of what he'll never be able to do and now Sam's in Atlantis he misses having someone on his level to shoot with. "If you manage to escape the conference room again before you go back."

"Don't remind me," Sheppard says. "This is probably the only time I'll get out of the Mountain."

Cam's got every sympathy – he gets pulled into enough meetings as it is, and the prospect of a week of nothing but is a little soul destroying. Also, he's not sure Sheppard, with a galaxy of Wraith, is especially interested in the SGC's fight against the Ori. Hauling him and his XO to Earth for briefings on that seems like the kind of IOA politicking that Sam's interim appointment was supposed to avert.

On the other hand, they wouldn't have been able to steal Sheppard for what was meant to be just the morning otherwise and, as unsuccessful missions go, he's had worse. Although he would have expected that the first time he slept with someone from Earth off-world, it would have been with one of his actual team.

"Hey." Sheppard pokes his side. "You want to try Teal'c again? I could stand to get out of here."

"Right," Cam says, and taps his radio on.

hr

The 'rescue' involves dropping rope ladders down for the two of them to climb up – according to the villagers, the man who lived in the hut used the river, since the lizards avoid the water. The experience is made more interesting by it being dark at that point, but the planet has a shorter cycle than Earth, so it's only early evening when they step back through the gate.

Landry's waiting for them.

"Colonel Sheppard," he says with the weirdly flat smile Cam's got very used to.

"Sir." Sheppard stops in front of him and Cam hovers, spots Major Lorne by the door. He raises an eyebrow at Lorne, who grins back. Not serious trouble then.

"We missed you at this afternoon's briefing."

"Sorry about that, sir." Sheppard glances across at Cam, who looks firmly at Landry. "We ran into a few problems."

"Problems," Landry says, then shakes his head when Sheppard starts to reply. He probably heard all about it during Teal'c's check in. "You can tell me in the debriefing. Did you at least manage to get the thing turned on?"

"Not exactly, sir," Sheppard says, and Cam bites his lip so hard he'll feel the teeth marks later, trying not to laugh.

hr

They don't make it to the firing range: Landry keeps Sheppard tied up in meetings for most of the rest of the week, and Cam ends up on the rescue team for SG-2 when they run into some hostile natives of their own, a job that takes two days but ends without serious injury to them or the natives.

He finds Sheppard and Lorne in the mess hall half an hour before they're due to go back through the gate, both of them faintly twitchy with anticipation. "Enjoy your trip to Earth?" he asks, sitting next to Sheppard with his coffee – he's been tagged to attend a biology briefing and he suspects he's going to need it. Especially since they're positing a theory about the lizards being attracted to Sheppard's ATA gene that they're sure to want to rehash again with him there.

"Oh yeah. If the Ori make it to Atlantis, we're all set," Sheppard says dryly. "Assuming the Wraith, the Genii or the Asurans don't wipe us out first, but apparently that's a lesser concern."

Lorne mostly hides his grin behind his coffee cup.

"Nothing like looking on the bright side," Cam offers.

"I'll try." They all drink their coffees in silence for a minute, then Sheppard says casually, "So, Atlantis has a practise range these days."

Cam knows this, from his brief visit to Pegasus. "Rain check on that then?"

Sheppard nods. "Talk Landry into sending you guys out there. We'll show you what Pegasus has to offer."

Lorne clears his throat not-that-subtly, but Cam ignores him. "Looking forward to it."


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