blue flamingos

Hello, Don't Go

Fandom: SG1/SGA

Category/Rated: Slash/PG13

Year/Length: 2011/5062 words

Pairing: Lorne/Mitchell, background Sheppard/Ronon implied

Spoilers: set post-SGA season 5 and SG1 movies

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

Summary: Lorne's suspicious when he and Sheppard both get Christmas leave on Earth, but he's willing to put his suspicions aside for Christmas with Cam... mostly.

Author's Notes: For rubygirl29 and sga_santa, The title comes from The Beatles "Hello Goodbye," which I misheard the lyrics to, but kept because it fits.

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


"This is a bad idea," Evan said.

Ronon, standing next to him watching the empty gate, shrugged one shoulder. "Maybe."

"Nothing good ever happens when Sheppard and I are out of the city at the same time," Evan persisted. "The very first time, McKay and I got stunned, and Ford got away."

"Found me though."

That was a point for Ronon's side of the argument, Evan supposed.

"Thought you were looking forward to this."

"I am. I just don't want to end up spending my vacation chasing down replicators or evil space squid or something, just because Fate likes to fuck with us when the colonel and I both leave the city."

"Now what sort of attitude is that?" Sheppard asked, sneaking up behind Evan, which shouldn't even be possible in combat boots. "I never realized you were such a pessimist, Major."

"I prefer realist, sir."

Sheppard rolled his eyes and Ronon huffed a short laugh that made Evan smile. Even if he did still think some terrible fate would likely befall them as a result of this - not least because they were using the Midway Station, which hadn't had the best luck the first two times they'd built it.

"Maybe it's not us," Sheppard said, glancing up to the control balcony, apparently hoping that Lt. Green, the missing fourth member of their party, had magically appeared. She hadn't. "Maybe it's just when we take our teams."

Evan was willing to entertain that notion for his own - not that he was never the cause of their troubles, but they seemed to share that role out fairly equally between the four of them - but Sheppard's team's issues overwhelmingly stemmed from either him or McKay.

"Maybe it's McKay," Ronon agreed, one eyebrow quirking up.

Sheppard gave him a long look. "Somehow, I feel like I was insulted, even though I don't know how."

Ronon shrugged innocently, and Green chose that moment to come dashing into the gate-room, so that was the end of that conversation. Which was probably for the best.


Cam was waiting in the gate-room when they stepped through, alongside Colonel Carter and Teal'c. In front of everyone, Evan couldn't do more than shake Cam's hand when he offered it, grin when Cam slapped his shoulder in a gesture that could easily read as friendship - he was staying at Cam's place, after all. Next to them, Carter was saying something to Sheppard about 'my city,' Teal'c and Ronon were chatting, as much as either of them ever chatted, and Green was grinning brightly at Cam as they said hello.

Evan loved Atlantis, more than he'd ever expected to, but that didn't mean he never wondered if he'd made the right decision.

"We should probably get out the way," Cam said, glancing up to where Landry was glaring at them from the observation window.

Sheppard took the hint. "Yeah, we're getting on the road before unicorns from outer space invade."

"I thought you said that was pessimistic, sir."

"Space squid are pessimistic. Unicorns would be -"

"Incredibly disturbing, sir?" Green asked.

Carter made a disturbed face. "That's it, Sheppard: if unicorns invade, I'm beaming you back from wherever you are to deal with them. I captain a ship, I can do that."

"Yes, ma'am. Bring Ronon though, he fought off a unicorn once."

Cam opened his mouth, then closed it again. "I don't wanna know. Come on, Lorne, let's get out of here. Green, you got a ride?"

"Yes, sir." Green was young, and had only come over to Atlantis a few months after the city's trip to Earth, but Cam had known her before, bonded with her when her girlfriend broke it off, which made her one of Cam's kids, the same way his pilots had been, even if she belonged to Lorne and Sheppard now. "Put me down for unicorn wrangling if necessary though - I grew up with horses."

"Noted," Sheppard said, stepping around an airman and guiding Ronon along with a hand to his back. "Safe trip, Lieutenant."

"You too, sir. Colonels, Major. Master Teal'c, Specialist Dex." She nodded to Ronon, then peeled off down one corridor, Sheppard and Ronon taking the opposite one.

"Enjoy your vacation, Cameron Mitchell." Teal'c inclined his head briefly, then shifted to take in Evan as well. "Major Lorne."

Carter added her good wishes, then followed Teal'c back the way they'd come, leaving Cam and Evan momentarily alone. "Ready to get out of here?"

They were going back to Cam's place for the few nights they got to spend on Earth; Evan had been ready to get out of the SGC before they'd even left Atlantis. "Lead the way."


Christmas Eve in Colorado Springs wasn't something Evan really remembered. He'd only spent three years with the SGC before shipping out to Atlantis. Of those, two Christmases had been off-world, and the third he'd spent back in San Francisco with his mom and sister.

He said as much to Cam, driving back to Cam's apartment. It got him an eye-roll. "You think maybe that's why Woolsey bounced you back this time?"

"That's what he said," Evan agreed. "I still think it's a bad idea for me and Sheppard both to be here."

"I think the whole of the SGC knows you think that. Hatsford and Teldy know what they're doing, and they've got Teyla to help them out."

That made Evan feel better, sort of, though it wouldn't help him and Sheppard and Ronon. "I know."

"I'm starting to feel kind of unappreciated," Cam grumbled.

"I just think it's weird that Sheppard and I both got Earth leave."

"Is there anything I can say that will make you let go of that?"

Cam did have kind of a point. "How far are we from your place?"

Cam grinned. "Now that's what I'm talking about."


It was dark, and felt late when Evan stirred, half waking up."Cam?"

The bed dipped, and Evan felt Cam's hand brush through his hair. He didn't quite feel awake enough to open his eyes, just nudged slightly against Cam's hand. "I'm still here," Cam said quietly.

"You're up."

"Yeah. It's nearly eleven."

Evan tried to fumble his sleepy thoughts into order. "Christmas Eve."

"Yeah, Christmas Eve. I'm going to midnight mass." He rubbed his thumb along Evan's hairline. "You'll be okay here?"

"Think so. You want me to come?"

"Only if you want to." Cam didn't go to church all that much, but Evan knew he'd been going more frequently since his crash, and it seemed to make him feel better, more at peace with some of the awful things that happened at the SGC.

"You mind if I don't?" Evan forced his eyes open to see Cam looking down at him, smiling faintly.

"No, I don't mind. You want me to wake you up when I get home?"


"Maybe," Cam echoed, sounding amused. "Like you ever really sleep through anything."

"I do."

"You don't, you just don't remember it when you wake up for real."

It wasn't the first time Cam had said that, and Evan assumed he probably wasn't lying, but it wasn't like he could know for himself. "So you think I'll remember where you've gone?"

Cam shrugged. "You seem fairly awake. I'll leave a note."

"'Kay. Have fun."

Cam laughed quietly. "It's not exactly supposed to be fun, but thanks." He leaned down and kissed Evan. "See you later."

"Hmm," Evan agreed. He didn't even hear the front door close.


When Evan woke up again, the room was filled with the pale gray light of a winter morning, and Cam was curled up behind him. "You didn't wake me up."

Cam laughed, a puff of warm air against the back of Evan's neck. "Not successfully, no. You asked me if the unicorns beat the space squid."

Evan felt his face heat. "You're making that up."

"Okay, I am. Though for the record, I'd bet on the unicorns every time."

Evan rolled over, frowning at Cam's smile. "Really?"

"Sure. They have horns, they could skewer a space squid."

"This is what you think about while you're in church?"

Cam shrugged. "Nah, this is what I think about while I'm waiting for you to wake up, sleepyhead. Come on, we've got presents."

"I didn't bring you anything. I was going to, but then I remembered we'd both be arrested for breaking the Official Secrets Act."

Cam studied Evan from very close. "I suppose I've heard worse excuses," he said thoughtfully.

Evan offered his best winning smile. "I could make it up to you."

Cam's fake-studious look broke as he laughed, pulling Evan closer. "I knew I liked you for a reason."


When Cam's phone rang, Evan groaned. "Leave it."

Cam, pressed close and hard against him, echoed his groan. "Can't. Probably my parents."

"One way to kill the moment," Evan sighed. The phone cut off, then started again. "Your parents have the worst timing."

"My parents think that we'll be up and dressed at eleven in the morning," Cam corrected. "Back soon." He rolled away from Evan, grabbed his jeans and headed out of the room. A moment later, the ringing phone cut off, and Evan heard the mumble of Cam's voice.

Evan was seriously tempted to stay in bed - mornings off were non-existent in Atlantis - but once Cam was up, getting him back into bed was pretty much impossible, and they were supposed to be making dinner at some point.

On the other hand, if Cam's parents calling at a less than ideal moment was the worst that happened, they were probably doing pretty well.

He took a shower, dug clean clothes out of his duffel and made a pot of coffee. Cam was still on the phone, probably being passed between all his collected family members. He smiled when Evan offered a mug of coffee, covering the phone to kiss Evan. Okay?

Evan nodded, and went to find his cell.

"Evan," his mom said as she picked up. "I wasn't expecting a call."

Evan rolled his eyes, flopping back into the middle of Cam's bed. "I told you I was going to be in the US this year."

"With your young man."

"Yeah, with Cam." Evan wished Cam was listening in - his mom's innuendo always made Cam blush, but Evan had grown up with it, was impervious to it. "He says hi."

"That's nice, dear. Are you enjoying yourselves?"

Okay, make that mostly impervious. "Yeah, Mom, thanks. And you?"

"Yes, thank you, dear." Evan waited for her to start telling him about spending the day with Zoe and her two children, or how her communal house had decided to have a vegetarian meal limited to purple foods, like two years ago. Instead, she asked, "Did you have a good trip home?"

"Long flight," Evan lied. "How's Zoe?"

"She sends her love. Your nephews thank you for their gifts."

Evan hadn't had their thanks passed on to him in years, not since they were old enough to babble at him. "Any chance of speaking to them?"

There was a tiny pause. "They're helping your sister in the kitchen. Why don't I ask them to call you after dinner?"

"Um, sure." Evan stared up at the ceiling, frowning. "Is everything all right?"

"Of course, dear. You are calling at dinner-time."

"Right," Evan said, still feeling edgy and unsure. "Do you - are you sure it's okay that I didn't come back for Christmas?"

"Of course," his mom said again, fast and surprised. "We discussed this already. We only saw you a few months ago."

"Had enough of me?" Evan asked, swallowing down his worry.

"Yes, dear," his mom said dryly. "I have to go. We'll talk again later?"

"Yeah. Love you."

"I love you too, dear. Take care."

When Evan wandered back into the den, Cam glanced over his shoulder and said, "Gotta go," hanging up before whoever he'd been speaking to could possibly have said anything in response. He must have caught Evan's frown, because he held the phone up like it could explain itself. "Cousin Bertha, I was just waiting for an excuse to escape."

Evan was pretty sure Cam had been laughing before he'd hung up, but it wasn't like Cam never found his strange older cousin funny. Space squid jokes aside, he didn't want their vacation ruined by him getting it into his head that everyone was acting strangely because of some kind of... something.

Yeah, he needed to spend less time with Sheppard. It was clearly driving him completely round the bend.

"I'm fairly sure I was promised dinner when I got invited here for the holidays," he said instead.

"Pizza do you?" Cam asked, laughing at the look on Evan's face. "Nah, come on. You can make breakfast while I get the oven on."

Between cooking, presents, Cam's collection of Christmas themed candles, and a stream of phone calls from friends and family on Earth - most of them Cam's - it felt like a real Christmas, even though both of them were used to real Christmas involving a lot more people.

Of course, because the universe liked to mess with them whichever galaxy they were in, that didn't last.


Evan woke up to the sound of something tapping against the wall - no, a wall, not the bedroom wall. Hazy with sleep, he thought it was Cam, who wasn't lying next to him any more. Except the tapping was erratic, more like scratching than tapping, and there weren't any lights on. Cam didn't like to walk around without a light, holdover from his crash when bumping into anything was painful.

The scratching was getting louder, he was pretty sure. He reached for the lamp, then drew his hand back, considering. Either Cam was out there looking for it, or whatever it was had taken Cam. Neither scenario was likely to be improved by turning on a light.

Evan slid carefully from the covers, glad he'd bothered to put on pajamas before they finally went to sleep. Not that he wouldn't rescue Cam buck naked, but only if he really had to.

He drew the bedroom door carefully open, his eyes adjusted to the dark enough to see that there was nothing there, just the scratching. It sounded like it was coming from the front door, then from the kitchen, then back to the front door, then the bathroom. Something in the walls? No, Cam would have figured it out already and turned on the light.

He wished for his side-arm, in his locker at the SGC. He knew Cam kept a gun in the house, but it was locked away, and Evan wasn't sure he knew the combination. Life signs detector would have been good, while he was at it.

He crept forward, sticking to the walls and trying not to imagine replicators lurking above him, their long legs scratching across the walls, the way they'd gone after Cam and Carter on the Odyssey a couple of years ago.

He was concentrating so hard on making it across the room that the noise behind him was a sudden shock. He grabbed for the nearest weapon, not even sure what it was in the dark, already turning, raising it - and something caught his wrist, trapped him.

Evan swung his free arm, trying to wrestle free, but whatever it was caught that wrist as well, shoved him back against the wall and pinned him there. He couldn't see what it was - too dark, nothing but shadow - and it hissed at him, angry. He heard more scratching, coming closer, whatever it was, it was coming for him, and he was trapped, pinned in place by the thing's weight, and where was Cam, where -

"Stop struggling," the thing hissed, getting too close.

Evan surged forward, trying to knock it off balance long enough to get away, but it predicted him, used his forward momentum to flip him down onto the floor, straddling him before he could do anything, pinning his arms to the floor. Evan kicked, twisted, tried to bite, tried to roll, but it seemed to know what he was going to do before he even did it, always one step ahead of him to pin him over and over and over, hissing at him: "Be still, be calm, stop moving, stop struggling, Evan -"


That stuck, somewhere in his jangled thoughts, stilled him for a beat. The thing noticed, said, "Evan, it's me, Evan, stop struggling, Evan, Evan, Evan..."

It wasn't hissing, it was talking. It wasn't trying to trap him, it was trying to hold him, keep him safe.

And it wasn't an it. It was Cam.

"What happened?" he gasped.

Cam's eyes were wide and worried above him, and he didn't let go of Evan's wrists, even when Evan let every muscle go limp, too exhausted to do anything else. "You tell me," he said softly.

"There was - something in the apartment." Except Evan realised what it had been in the same moment as he looked around for it. "I was sleepwalking."

"Yeah." Cam let go of his wrists and pulled him upright, one arm around Evan's shoulders. "You didn't know who I was."

"I thought you'd been taken. That it had taken you." Evan shivered, cold and scared for a moment, even though Cam was right there.

"It didn't. Nothing's going to take me away." Cam pulled him closer, and Evan heard the unspoken from you at the end.


They slept in the next day, spent it in the apartment, because Evan still hadn't quite managed to shake the lingering fear of his nightmare and Cam was nothing if not willing to indulge him. The day after, though, Cam refused to take no for an answer when Evan tried to argue against getting up.

"Get up, shower." He tugged the covers off Evan again and kept hold of them. "Now, or no coffee for you."

"You're a cruel man," Evan grumbled. It didn't help that Cam was standing there in just a towel, damp and appealing. "What's so important?"

"Shower, then I might tell you."

"I hate you," Evan said over his shoulder, heading into the bathroom.

"Don't forget to shave," Cam called after him.

When he got out of the shower, Cam was wearing the pants from his dress uniform and a white undershirt. He looked good, he always did, but Evan couldn't stop the instinctive flash of discomfort. He pretty much only wore his dress blues for funerals these days. "What's going on?"

"Nothing bad," Cam promised. "We just have to go out to Peterson real quick."


"There's a general from Homeworld visiting, he wants to meet some of the SGC teams, and we're the only ones around." Cam made a sympathetic face. "I know it sucks, but Landry asked me. Apparently the guy controls some budget that's got a big underspend that he's considering spending on us."

"And for this I have to get out of bed and go out in the cold on my vacation?" Evan dropped his towel and reached for a clean pair of underwear. "I think my spare uniform is at the SGC."

There was a rustle of a clothing bag. "Nah, left it here last time."

"Really?" Evan couldn't remember that. Could, in fact, vividly remember hanging it in his locker before they flew the city back to Atlantis.

When he turned around, Cam looked vaguely guilty. "Okay, no, I picked it up a couple of days before you got here, so you'd be slightly less annoyed about this whole thing."

It was a nice gesture, even if getting Evan *out* of this whole thing would have been a nicer one. "Thanks."

"Just for that, you get eggs with your coffee."


Evan was still in mildly grumpy mode as they drove through the mostly empty base parking lot, and so he nearly missed the familiar bright blue car tucked away in the corner. He twisted back in his seat, trying to read the license plate.

"What?" Cam asked.

Evan turned back - the car was hidden behind a minivan. "I'm sure that's Laura's car."

"Doubt it." Cam reversed into a space in one attempt. "Come on, don't want to be late."

"I don't want to be here at all." It was nice, kind of, being able to complain; when he was working, he mostly kept it to sharing despairing looks with Sheppard or Ronon.

Cam patted his shoulder and handed over a pair of gloves. "That's why I love you best."

"Best of who?" Evan demanded, glaring at him.

"Well, let's see, there's you, Jackson, that nice young librarian who just started at the mountain, the guy who runs the coffee shop on the corner..."

"As long as I beat out Jackson," Evan said philosophically.

"Always. This way."

Evan hadn't ever spent much time at Peterson, but identifying a building as an admin block wasn't exactly a challenge. "There'd better not be a powerpoint presentation."

"There's not," Cam promised, grinning. "After you."

The building was about ten degrees warmer inside than the outside had been, which was a point in its favor. Evan was half-turned to say this to Cam when he heard female laughter. Familiar female laughter.

"I thought you said Laura wasn't here."

Cam shrugged, gleeful and totally unrepentant. "I lied."

There was no way Cam would look like that if it was anything bad, but... "What's going on?"

Cam turned him back towards the main hall with his hands on Evan's shoulders. "Come on. All will become clear."

"Did you lie about the general from Homeworld too?"

"Only if I've been demoted and no-one bothered to mention it to me, Major."

Evan stepped through the door, Cam still pushing him slightly, with one hand on his shoulder, and found himself face to face with General O'Neill, in his class A's. "Sir."

Laura laughed, coming over to give him a swift hug. She was wearing a navy blue trouser suit, easily the smartest he'd seen her since she left the marines. "You should see your face. I can't believe Mitchell didn't spill everything."

"I've had some practice," Cam said dryly.

He still had his hand on Evan's shoulder, and Evan leaned back into it a tiny fraction, grateful for the support. Because Laura and O'Neill weren't the only unexpected sights: Sheppard and Ronon were there, Sheppard in his dress uniform and Ronon in his Satedan formal wear; and so were his mom, Zoe, and her kids. "What's going on?"

O'Neill looked over his shoulder to frown at Sheppard. "I thought you said he was quick on the uptake, Sheppard."

"He is, sir," Sheppard said, sounding genuinely affronted, even though O'Neill had clearly been kidding. "You okay there, Lorne?"

"Sort of, sir," Evan said, figuring formal couldn't hurt. This seemed like - but it couldn't be. Even if he'd been eligible for promotion for a year, they couldn't be...

"Officer Cadman's right, dear - you do look a little shell-shocked."

"Thanks, Mom."

"Sheppard," O'Neill said firmly, and Sheppard rolled his eyes and walked over to Evan, palming a small box from O'Neill as he passed.

"You know what's in here?" he asked. Evan nodded, uncertain, and Sheppard echoed the gesture more firmly. "We've got nearly three times the number of military that we had when the mission first started. More missions, more people, more chances for us to piss someone off or cause trouble. I'm going to take a more active role in mission planning, which means less of a role in base safety. We need someone to take on that side. I can't think of anyone else I'd trust with it."

"I... don't know what to say. Sir." Though he was kind of impressed at Sheppard's ability to make Atlantis sound like any other mission on Earth.

"Not for much longer," Sheppard said, grinning. "Come on, let's get this show on the road."

The actual ceremony was mostly a blur - later, Evan would remember O'Neill talking about the qualities required in an air force officer, and Sheppard pinning the silver oak leaves to his uniform; Laura and Ronon sitting together, Cam leaning over the back of his chair to say something quietly to Zoe; how he felt simultaneously like he'd wake up any minute and like he was a hundred and ten per cent present.

The feeling didn't fade until he was sitting in a restaurant next to Cam, surrounded by his friends and family (and O'Neill), listening to Ronon, of all people, tell the story of his and Evan's teams' encounter with a (edited for non-SGC hearing) race of people who wanted to make the two of them their kings. Laura was giggling helplessly against his shoulder, Sheppard was trying to interrupt, and Zoe was trying to cover the kids' ears, declaring that they were too young, there was no way this story was rated PG.

Evan risked it, leaning slightly into Cam. "I'm glad you're here."

Cam nudged his shoulder. "Always."


Cam would be coming to the SGC to see Lorne and the others off, but they always said goodbye properly at his apartment. It was part of the fiction they were still mostly maintaining, while the politicians made up their minds whether allowing them to acknowledge what everyone important already knew would be the end of military life as everyone knew it, or just fine.

"Looking forward to going back?" Cam asked, watching Evan relace his boots.

"Some parts."

"Like the part where you're a lieutenant colonel now?"

"Like that part," Evan agreed. He wasn't sure it had quite sunk in, even with Laura and Ronon using it every time they spoke to him, at least until everyone scattered to go back to where they were supposed to be. He figured that would come once he was back in the city - probably with a whole lot of extra paperwork."And the part where it won't be my responsibility to rescue Sheppard every time he gets into trouble."

Cam grinned. "Don't tell me you don't love running in and saving the day."

"That part, sure. It's all the times we have to negotiate for the day." According to the pile of restructure plans Sheppard had gifted him - and how, exactly, had Sheppard managed all that without Evan noticing? - Anne Teldy was going to be Sheppard's second for mission planning, and Evan was inheriting Eve Hatsford for city security. It would be a little weird, since they'd all been equal rank when he left, but one of the nice things about Atlantis' close knit community was how rank lines tended to get blurred with time. He didn't think the three of them would be the exceptions.

"Yeah, yeah." Cam pulled him to his feet and adjusted his scarf for him. "Big damn hero."

"You're one to talk."

Cam's smile wavered, then fell away. "Just be careful, okay?"

"I'm always careful," Evan lied. "Anyway, I'll be spending more time in the city, fewer spear wielding natives to come after me."

"More Ancient experiments to try to kill you. I read the mission reports."

Evan knew that; he had the worried emails after the Kirsan fever outbreak and Sheppard's crystal doppelganger as proof. "I will if you do. You're the one still out in the field."

"Despite my advancing years?" Cam cracked.

"Sure." Despite the on-going effects of his crash injuries, but neither of them mentioned those unless they had to. "I'll be fine."

Cam's smile was doubtful, but he pulled Evan close. Evan went with it, soaking up how Cam felt against him, ready for months, maybe a year, of going without it.

"I'll miss you," Cam said softly. "I miss you."

"You too." Evan turned his head slightly, breathing in Cam's aftershave. "It won't be like this forever. Even with the promotion. I'll come home when Sheppard does."

It was a long-standing agreement - Sheppard was a good friend to both of them, and Evan didn't feel right leaving him in Atlantis, even though Sheppard had Ronon and his team to look out for him. That said, he knew he wouldn't spend the rest of his life, or even his career, in another galaxy. Sheppard had maybe five more years before the IOA or the Air Force pulled him; Evan figured he and Cam could wait that long.

"You think I could bribe him into coming back to Earth early?"

"Probably not, unless you can think of an easy way to get Ronon here too. But I could have a word with the guy in charge of city security, persuade him to get SG1 out for a visit."

"It's all about who you know." Cam pulled back slightly, leaned down to kiss Evan, sweet and slow. "Time to go."


Evan hated this part, always had, and it had never gotten any easier. They'd also never gotten any better at it, had never figured out the magical thing to say. He let his head drop against Cam's shoulder and closed his eyes. A few months. Maybe not even a year, since the gate bridge finally seemed both stable and secure.

"You're gonna be late."

"I know."

Cam let him stand there for a long moment, then pushed him gently away. "Come on, Lieutenant Colonel. You have to set a good example now."

Cam's smile didn't quite reach his eyes, but Evan was pretty sure his didn't either. "I thought not having to set a good example was a privilege that came with the promotion."

"Sheppard's an exception."

"Now he tells me."

And maybe it wasn't the big gesture that should come with saying goodbye to go off and be in different galaxies, maybe it wasn't the perfect turn of phrase, but neither of those things had ever been part of their relationship. Friendly, affectionate teasing had been since before they started sleeping together, and Evan figured there were much worse ways to say goodbye.

Even if he didn't want to: the army weren't the only ones that preached selfless service. He could wait five years, to help save the galaxy.

"Come on," Cam said, taking his hand. "Be over before we know it."

"Yeah," Evan said, and held on. Just a little longer.

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