blue flamingos

Party Time

Fandom: Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1

Category/Rated: Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2008/ ~1358 words

Pairing: Cam/John

Spoilers: None

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

Series: an early meeting between Cam and John from the Return'verse

Author's Notes: Time stamp for [info]tesserae_

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

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The apartment, Cam decided an hour into the party, really wasn't big enough for all the people in it. None of the base apartments were; they were barely bigger than a generously sized shoe box, which meant the bare minimum of furniture, and a lot of people standing up, drinks in hand, the music straining to be heard over all the voices.

Cam leant against the kitchen doorway, half-drunk bottle of water in hand – no alcohol, not with the pain killers Anderson insisted he keep taking – and looked round the crowded living room again, trying to pick out Holland, the guest of honor at his own birthday party, and the man responsible for Cam's presence there in the first place, having talked it up as a way to meet some people on his new posting.

Trouble was, even with the windows open, the apartment was too hot, and the press of all these strangers was starting to freak Cam out in a way it never would have before. Knowing it would wear off with time didn't help him right now, unfortunately.

He took another swallow of water and gave up looking for Holland. Someone had said the guy's girlfriend was in town for the week – he'd probably gone back to his own place with her and no-one had noticed his absence.

Cam squeezed round a group of people he was fairly sure were mechanics and out into the tiny corridor. The other two doors were closed – bathroom and bedroom, he figured – making it fairly clear that whoever the apartment belonged to didn't want people in his bedroom. Maybe he'd make an exception for Cam; he could at least plead extenuating circumstances due to lingering injury and trauma.

Decision made, he slipped into the bedroom, breathing a sigh of relief when the closed door cut off most of the sound of people outside. Without the press of bodies, it was cooler in here; outside the open window, the sun was starting to set, casting the whole room in a pink glow.

A pink glow that showed a neatly made bed, a chest of drawers and a small bedside table holding a standard issue lamp and a heavy-duty looking paperback. Apart from the guitar tucked in one corner, the place could have been waiting for the newest occupant to move in. Whoever owned this place must have put everything away for the party; either that or he was a compulsive neat-freak to rival even Cam's college room-mate.

He went over to the open window, enjoying the breeze on his over-heated skin, and looked out at the road in front, the identical apartment block on the other side. There were no signs of life out there; presumably most people were on duty or in the apartment behind him.

The sound of the door opening made him jump, and he turned quickly. The man pulling the door closed with himself on the same side as Cam looked about his own age, dressed in jeans and a blue t-shirt, dark hair sticking up in every direction. Had to be a pilot – no-one else would get away with hair like that.

He smiled when he saw he had Cam's attention. "Thought I saw someone come in here."

"Sorry," Cam offered, figuring he was meeting the apartment's resident, and about to be kicked back in with the rest of the guests. "Just wanted a few minutes peace and quiet."

"Too many people?" the guy asked, making a sympathetic face. "I don't know how he makes so many friends. Especially when he never sticks around for his own party."

"You noticed too, huh?" Cam risked a smile, since the guy didn't seem bothered at finding him there.

"Yeah." He came over to stand beside Cam, looking down at the empty street, his bare arm brushing Cam's. He told himself firmly that he wasn't feeling the heat of the other man's skin through his own shirt sleeve. "Commandeers my apartment, brings along a bunch of people he knows much better than I do, and then goes off to see his girl."

"People can be so inconsiderate," Cam said, grinning at the mock-wounded tone and actually feeling himself begin to relax for the first time in weeks.

"Tell me about it," he grumbled. "He's coming back over to clean up though."

"That's nice of him," Cam said, pretty sure he was supplying the set-up line.

Sure enough, his companion turned to him, grinning. "Oh, he doesn't know that yet. He's forgotten I have late duty tomorrow, and I know where he lives. Plenty of time to pound on his door till he gets over here. Plus, his girlfriend likes me."

Cam would bet she did – between the looks and the smile and the relaxed line of friendly small-talk, most people probably liked him.

They watched the sun set in silence, Cam trying not to sneak too many quick looks at the guy's profile. He'd promised himself he wasn't going to do this and risk his career... except that he'd really had a spectacularly crappy last couple of months, culminating in being reassigned away from the team he'd been with for over a year.

"So why are you hiding in here?" the guy asked after a while, half-turning to look at Cam. He really was very pretty, as much as that shouldn't apply to a guy. "Instead of out there meeting new people."

"Maybe I already know them all," Cam suggested.

He shook his head. "You don't. I know them all, and I've never seen you before. I'd remember if I had."

"I'm that memorable, huh?" Cam asked, fighting down the flush that wanted to start at the compliment. It was a pretty blatant line, which meant he probably hadn't been as subtle with the looks as he'd meant to be.

"That's one word for it," the guy said. He smiled, weirdly shy, one hand landing on Cam's arm, gently enough that it didn't even hurt the still over-sensitive skin hidden under the material.

"What's another one?" Cam asked, alarmed to hear his own voice come out low and rough. He didn't even know the guy's name, for Pete's sake. That didn't stop him copying his gesture, lightly tugging him round so they were face to face, pressed into the tiny space of the window.

"I'll let you know," he said, and his other hand closed round Cam's shoulder, pulling him closer, so careful that Cam realized he must be aware Cam was still recovering from injuries. He had just time to wonder how he knew that, before the guy's eyes closed, and he pressed his mouth to Cam's, kissing him very, very gently, like he was giving Cam the chance to pull away, or to say no.

He wasn't that stupid, not when every inch of his skin was tingling with the unexpected contact.

Outside, something thumped, and a voice shouted, "Sheppard, where the hell are you?"

The guy – Sheppard, apparently – broke the kiss with a groan, resting his head against Cam's shoulder for a moment. "Sorry," he said, his voice muffled in the material of Cam's shirt. "If I don't go out, they'll come looking for me in here. Place isn't that big."

"Sure," Cam said. "Can't shirk your hosting duties."

"Apparently not." Sheppard took a step back, his expression regretful. "Hide out in here as long as you need," he said. "They can be a bit overwhelming."

"Thanks," Cam said, pulling up a smile.

Sheppard kept looking at him, till the same voice shouted for him again. "Coming," he yelled back with a rueful grin. "See you later, okay?"

"Yeah," Cam agreed. "Later."

Sheppard had disappeared by the time he'd gotten up the nerve to go back out there again. When Cam was finally ordered to report back for active duty, a week later, he heard through the rumor mill that both Sheppard and Holland had been recalled to the States for training.

The next time he saw Sheppard, it was two years later, and Sheppard was married.

Which wasn't exactly what Cam had been hoping for.

Next: Homecoming


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