blue flamingos

Speak of This

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash

Year/Length: 2008/ ~2654 words

Pairing: John/Cam

Spoilers: mild SGA season 4 spoilers

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

Summary: Rodney's seen movies; he knows that part of being a good best friend is threatening your friend's partner with bodily harm if he hurts him

Series: The Return 'verse

Author's Notes: For [info]14valentines Day 4: Reproductive Rights

Beta: by [info]domtheknight

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


"There you are," someone says outside his office, and Cam looks up from his laptop, not even sure the person's talking to him, to find Dr McKay standing in his doorway, glaring at him.

"Here I am," Cam agrees, waving his hand to indicate his office. Which, all right, maybe he doesn't spend much time here, but it's not the last place someone would look for him.

"Well. Good." McKay takes a couple of steps into the room and closes the door, and Cam tries not to groan. The man's John's best friend in two galaxies, so there must be more to him than just irritating super-genius and Sam's nemesis (well, ex-nemesis, since she's been in Atlantis). He just isn't seeing it, whatever it is. "I've got better things to do with my time than hunt all through the mountain for you."

"Were you looking for me for anything important?" Cam asks. "Only I've got a meeting with Landry in a couple hours and –"

"Yes." McKay draws himself up, shoulders back and chin lifted, and gives Cam a look that pretty much screams McKay's intellectual superiority. Okay. "I wanted to warn you."

"Warn me," Cam parrots. It's not impossible that McKay and Lee's experiment is about to destroy them all, but that seems like the kind of thing that would come over the base channel, not to his door in the shape of McKay.

"Yes. John's marines are loyal to him to a frankly disturbing degree. Also, Ronon and Teyla are pretty deadly with the sticks, and I can make your life very miserable when it comes to environmental controls." He fixes Cam with a glare that says Cam should be suitably cowed by this recitation. Cam's certainly willing to be, if only so McKay will leave him alone to finish the report he should have done last week, when he was too busy being held hostage by the duck-worshippers of P7X 416.

"I'll keep that in mind," he says cautiously. This doesn't seem the moment to point out that Ronon, at least, seems to like him well enough, the few times they've met in either galaxy.

"See that you do," McKay says. He looks around like there might be priors hiding in Cam's closet of an office, then drops his voice slightly. "John's my friend, and he's vital to Atlantis. I just want to be clear – you do anything to hurt him and we'll use as much of our precious power as necessary to come back here and make it completely clear to you what you did wrong."

With that, he turns on his heel and marches out, leaving Cam's door open behind himself so Vala can bounce in a few minutes later and plant herself on Cam's desk to say, "What's wrong, Mitchell? You look like you've just seen a grim."

"A ghost," Cam corrects absently, still trying to wrap his head round the idea that he's just been threatened with... something by John's favorite astrophysicist.

"No, a grim." Vala picks up the dead Ancient hand-warmer that Cam's using as a paperweight. "You know: big black dog, signifying your imminent demise. You look like you've seen one. You know, if you have, it might be best if we put off that mission –"

"No," Cam says firmly, taking his paperweight back. "And stop borrowing Teal'c's Harry Potter books."

"Ha!" Vala says, complete with disturbingly close pointing finger. "I knew you were lying when you said you'd never read them," and Cam wonders if Landry will accept, 'SGC staff are all insane,' as an excuse for not having the report ready.

Previous experience, unfortunately, would seem to suggest it's unlikely.


Cam blinks when John opens the door to his temporary quarters. "I didn't think you'd be here," he says.

John's spent eight hours in meetings that Landry refused to let him palm off on Lorne, and he's pretty sure several hundred of his brain cells have been killed off by the experience. It would certainly explain why he's only five seconds into this conversation and it's already stopped making sense. "You knocked," he points out.

Cam shrugs. "Still wasn't expecting you to be here," he says. "I though you'd've fled by now."

John shrugs back slightly. The truth is, he's been wanting out since he stepped through the gate two days ago – half-yearly reviews on Earth are better than the IOA descending on Atlantis, but not by much. The only reason he hasn't left yet is that he was hoping Cam would stop by, but he's not admitting to this. It's been nearly a year since the expedition was thrown out of Atlantis and he fell into Cam's bed, but they haven't managed to get that ease back since.

"You want to?" Cam asks. He leans close and John mirrors him automatically. "You can drive."

"Well, when you put it that way," John says, and Cam laughs.


John loves Cam's car an unreasonable amount, considering he's the commander of a flying city and a fleet of space ships, but John's always liked cars; he wanted to be a mechanic when he was really young, before he understood enough about flying to want that instead.

Cam's Mustang is the best combination of a smooth ride and serious speed, and it's late enough that the roads are almost empty, enough for John to nudge the speedometer up and up on the straight stretches, both of them grinning in shared love for speed and a nice ride.

He has to slow down eventually, as Cam's directions take them off main roads and onto unlit country lanes. "Should I be worried?" John asks, keeping his eyes on the road. He's not used to controlling a vehicle when something might appear in front of him without warning, or at least not when he won't be able to remove the obstacle by shooting at it.

"Worried?" Cam asks.

"Yeah." John gestures to the car, the darkness, the trees closing in around them. "You lure me out here with your cool ride, then you kill me, chop my body into pieces and bury me in the woods."

"Yeah, that's exactly what I'm planning," Cam says dryly. "I hope I remembered to sharpen my axe. Turn here."

John almost misses the turn, thinking Cam's still joking, and only just makes it when he sees it does exist. They rattle down an uneven path, trees even closer now, which just supports what John's saying about them being in a horror movie.

He's about to say this, when the trees open up, and they're on the edge of a wide field, nothing there but them and the car.

"Stop over there," Cam says quietly, pointing to a fence dividing the parking lot from the field.

The only sound when they get out of the car is the tick of the engine as it cools down. John assumes that Cam is going somewhere with this, but he just leans back against the car, hands in his pockets, looking up at the sky. After a moment, John leans next to him, close enough to press their arms together. He doesn't spend enough time looking at the sky, in either galaxy, for these constellations to look unfamiliar; he could almost be on another planet in Pegasus, and it's weirdly comforting. He actually feels himself relax, for the first time since they got notice that the senior staff was being recalled to Earth for the review.

Cam nudges him. "Better?" he asks.

"Yeah," he admits. He takes a deep breath, one that doesn't taste of recycled air, and shoves away from the car so he can wrap his arms round Cam and kiss him. "Thanks."

"No problem," Cam says easily, holding John loosely against him. John rests his head on Cam's shoulder and they stand together in silence. Maybe they can get the easy relationship back again after all. "Hey," Cam says after a while. "Is there a reason why McKay's threatening to set your marines on me? And Ronon and Teyla?"

"What?" John asks, pulling back slightly to look at Cam's face. He looks honestly curious, no hint of some underlying joke. "Rodney's what?"

Cam smiles slightly, and rubs a hand through John's hair, pressing him close again. "He came by my office earlier, said your marines are very loyal, that Ronon and Teyla are pretty deadly with the sticks, and that he can mess with the environmental controls." He pauses, and runs his hand through John's hair again. "That they'll come back here and make it clear what I did wrong, if I hurt you."

John blinks. Rodney's not said a lot about it since he found out about John and Cam, mostly just the occasional knowing look, and John feels, now, like he's been waiting for something like this, for something to happen as a consequence of finally telling. Of course, just because he was expecting it, doesn't mean Cam was. "I might have let slip that there's something going on between us," he admits.

"I sort of figured," Cam says. "I thought you weren't going to tell them."

Cam doesn't know that John was taken prisoner and beaten up, or that he spent weeks recovering. He doesn't know that John hallucinated being on a beach with Cam when he was waiting to be rescued, or that his team only knows about him and Cam because John couldn't distinguish between fantasy and reality for a while.

John's pretty sure Cam doesn't need to know any of this.

"Changed my mind," he says, not convinced that Cam will let it go that easily. Both of them are pretty paranoid.

"Okay," Cam says idly, still combing through John's hair. It seems too easy, and John realizes Cam's gone tense under him.

"What?" he asks quietly. The problem with not wanting to mention that he got hurt, because Cam worries enough about things he has to know about, is that he can't explain that he didn't mean to tell them, or that he would have asked first.

"I wouldn't," Cam says suddenly, his hand gone still against John's head. John feels him take a breath. "I won't hurt you."

John thinks about every time he's been captured and hurt; about every time he's died, or nearly died, or gone off the grid; all the times Cam doesn't know about, and the few that he does because John can't keep him from reading the mission reports; about all the times *Cam's* been hurt, or missing, about him nearly dying in Antarctica, before they even really knew each other as more than passing acquaintances.

He thinks it's a promise that's impossible to keep, because the truth is that one day their luck is going to run out, and he doesn't want to be the one left behind when it does.

"I know," he says quietly.


Rodney's never going to admit this to anyone else – he needs plausible deniability when he's ignoring them – but he always knows when someone walks into his lab, and he can always tell when it's John, Ronon or Teyla.

Of course, it's easier this time, since Ronon and Teyla are still in Atlantis.

He gives it a couple of minutes, focusing on his laptop and waiting for John to say something, then looks up. "Yes? Do you want something, or did you just come here to stand around and look pretty?"

"I can do both," John says easily, but he pushes away from the doorframe and comes inside. "How's it going?"

"Better than you'd expect, considering Landry keeps dragging me away to tell him what he could find out for himself if he bothered to read my reports." Rodney saves his work, just in case. "I don't know why they make the science team bother writing them if no-one's going to read them."

"Maybe he's too busy running stargate operations," John suggests.

"Oh please," Rodney says. "You're busy running the Atlantis military, you still find time to read the reports."

"Aw, Rodney, I think that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me," John drawls. Rodney ignores him, and John shifts slightly, leaning one hip against Rodney's lab bench. Rodney looks up at him, a little surprised to find John not meeting his eyes.

"What?" he asks.

John rubs his thumb across the edge of the lab bench, and says, "Cam says you went to see him."

"Yes," Rodney says, biting down on the urge to explain why. He doesn't need to justify himself to John.

"Yeah, he didn't know I'd told you guys," John says dryly. He looks up long enough to give Rodney a quick smile, then shrugs. "Doesn't matter."

"Sorry," Rodney says anyway. It does explain why Mitchell seemed kind of lost in the conversation.

John rubs his hand across the bench again, and Rodney feels a weird urge to reach out for him, not entirely sure why. If Mitchell's gotten pissed with John for outing them while he was in too much pain to even know where he was...

"So, I need you to promise me something," John says abruptly. He glances back at the open door and takes a step closer to Rodney, who leans in automatically. "If something – if I don't –"

"John," Rodney says, cutting him off. He hates thinking about something bad happening to John, to any of his team, and John's talking about one day not coming back.

"I need you to make sure someone tells him," John says quickly. "So he doesn't hear through the data-burst, or a report."

"Leaving aside the fact that I'll probably be meeting an unpleasant end right along with you..." Rodney starts, and John finally looks up to say, "Rodney. Please."

It's not that John never says please, because he does. It's that he never says it in that voice, like what he's asking for is hurting him. The last time Rodney heard that voice, they were standing in an office at the SGC and John was saying, I can't and I'm sorry. Rodney thinks he might have slightly – slightly – underestimated exactly how strongly John feels for Mitchell.

"Please," John says again, and Rodney can't stand to hear John sounding like that when no-one's life is on the line.

"All right," he says. "If I can."

"Thank you," John says. He touches Rodney's forearm quickly, and his hand is trembling.


Rodney's thinking about asking Sam if she wants to go for dinner – just as friends, he's not stupid – when there's a knock at the door to his room in the mountain.

Mitchell's on the other side, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and smiling. "Dr McKay."

"Colonel Mitchell. Can I help you with something?"


Rodney waits for him to add something. "Well, then, thanks ever so much for dropping by, and don't let me keep you –"

"John's stuck in a meeting with the IOA," Mitchell says. "And I figured you don't know too many people here, so – so we should go for a drink. Or something."

"A drink," Rodney repeats. "Wait. A drink, or a *drink*?"

Mitchell's eyes flick upwards for a second. "Just a drink," he says. "You threatened me with John's marines, remember?"

It's weird, to hear someone outside of a handful of people on Atlantis call John by his first name. Even he hardly does it. It's an odd thing to use to make the decision, but there's something in the way Mitchell says it, a level of affection that kind of makes up for Mitchell being a dick when he was on Atlantis. Between that and the way John looks when he mentions Mitchell, Rodney thinks he might just have to accept the olive branch being offered.

Only because he doesn't have anything else to do with his evening, though.

"Okay," he says cautiously. "But no lemon slices anywhere near the drinks. Not even your drink."

Mitchell laughs. "Sure, Doctor, whatever you say," he says, and holds the door for Rodney to lead the way.

Next: Not So Over

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