Summary: Sheppard answers the door holding a handgun and a tumbler half-full of lemonade, and Cam was going to say something pithy, but he's always believed that the man with the pistol gets to talk first.
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis/Stargate: SG-1
Pairing: Cameron Mitchell/John Sheppard
Original story: Fall Away by raisintorte
Notes: Thank you to my betas!
Fall Away (Instrumental)
Sheppard answers the door holding a handgun and a tumbler half-full of lemonade, and Cam was going to say something pithy, but he's always believed that the man with the pistol gets to talk first. So he just stands there blinking in the sunlight until Sheppard finally lowers the pistol and hands Cam the glass wordlessly. Sheppard turns around and goes back into the cabin, rolling his eyes like it's not worth it to even tell Cam to fuck off.
Cam takes a sip from the glass and stifles a cough: it's not just lemonade, and he considers the wisdom of walking into the cabin of a man who's got his guns and his whiskey out at one in the afternoon, but his other option is hiking back down Sheppard's godforsaken mountain trail and hoping he doesn't trip any of the traps he didn't hit on the way up.
(He doesn't think there are any traps he didn't hit on the way up, because Cameron Mitchell is nothing if not accomplished at walking flat into traps. His right foot is still tingling.)
Since before Sheppard resigned from the Stargate program there'd been murmurs about his probable mental state, how maybe all the Ancient tech in his head had taken its toll, how maybe Sheppard was always just cracked to begin with. The only surprise then, really, is that Sheppard wasn't sitting on the front porch with a shotgun.
Six months after the Ori fell, Sam had slipped Cameron a yellow Post-It with GPS coordinates on it, and she'd mentioned that probably no one would notice if he took a long weekend.
(Nobody had noticed any of the other long weekends Cam had taken, or at the very least nobody had said anything. Galactic heroes get to play hooky once in a while.)
It seems unlikely that Sheppard's planning on clocking him over the head with a shovel and throwing his body in the lake, though, so Cam steps inside the cabin and drops his bag inside the door;
The cabin is unexpectedly cozy, filled with rough-hewn handmade furniture and rag rugs, and there's a quilt thrown over the back of one of the couches. Cam touches it, soft and warm, as he drifts further through the cabin and into the kitchen.
Sheppard's stirring something on the stove; it puts his back to the rest of the room, which makes Cam think that--it makes him think that maybe what he really wants is to sink down into one of Sheppard's kitchen chairs and very gently cradle his head in his hands.
When Sheppard turns around, he raises his eyebrows at Cam and rummages in a drawer for a vegetable peeler to toss to Cam, nodding toward the potatoes sitting on the counter.
Goa'uld, Ori, potato peels: scourges of the universe all, so Cam sets to and manages to not peel any of the skin off of his knuckles in the doing.
Sheppard looks good. Cam will be honest about this: he looks good. Resignation agrees with him, and the only outward difference between the man he met three years ago and the one who's holed up in a cabin away from the world is the scruff on his face and a certain additional amount of plaid.
The potatoes go away. The whiskey comes out, and as Cam tilts his glass in the shaft of sunlight that pierces the dusty air, he's reminded of all of the times that they'd fallen toward each other, alcohol-fuelled or not.
When Atlantis fell, Sheppard landed at the SGC; he stayed just long enough to go on two off-world missions and spell-check his resignation letter. They slept together about six times, mostly after one of them got back from a mission, and they have a lot of experience not talking.
(Cam is not generally given to introspection or reminiscing of this sort, but by now the reports and debriefings and all of the paperwork related to the fall of the Ori have slowed to a trickle, as have other fate-of-the-universe events. While Cam can generally find something to fill his mind when he's at home, here on top of Sheppard's mountain all there seems to be is the sunlight and the clear air, the whiskey and Sheppard himself, and it strikes Cam just how easy it is.)
Sheppard smiles at Cam, slow and predatory, like he can read Cam's mind or maybe is considering going at him with a knife, and Cam sets his glass down because either of those options is best dealt with with empty hands, and for good measure he unfastens his wristwatch and tosses it onto the table, where it lands with a solid thunk.
And neither of them has said a single fucking word, and maybe Sheppard doesn't want him here, and maybe Cam and Sheppard will hide here together from the world, and maybe they'll fuck and Cam will go back to Colorado and they'll still have said nothing, and right now, right now Cam doesn't care.
(It turns out it is sex. Which is a relief, kind of, because Cam isn't really up for a knife fight when all he has is a potato peeler.)
He's weirdly aware of everything the whole time--the way the sunlight fills the kitchen, the cool of the floor, the thoop as one of Sheppard's novelty saltshakers falls off a shelf and into the stew when Cam accidentally kicks the wall; there's a pea that's rolled under the refrigerator and Sheppard kisses him hungrily while he keeps one hand over the scar on Cam's side, the one that means Cam's lucky he didn't puncture a lung, the scar that Cam didn't have last time he saw Sheppard.
There are windchimes outside, low and melodious, and Sheppard tastes good, clean and pure like the mountain air's whisked away the taint of naquadah from his skin.
They stay there in a heap on the floor for a good long while after, long enough that the sunshine shifts orange and the scent of the stew reminds them that the world is still going on around them, and Sheppard snags a pair of boxers and stands up to fish the red ceramic doghouse out of the pot and poke at the potatoes.
Cam skims on the other pair of boxers, grabs his whiskey, and sits back down on the rug, leaning against the refrigerator. He's not sure he trusts himself right now to keep his balance on a chair.
"I'm not going back," Cam says, and he sounds as surprised by the revelation as he is by the sound of his own voice.
Sheppard sits back down next to him, steals his whiskey, and says, "I know."