Pairings: Sheppard/Mitchell, Lorne/Parrish
Notes: This is an answer to the prompts "dress uniforms" and "Cam in Atlantis". It's already spawned gigantic plot bunny and several sequels are in progress. Some, more accurately, have already arrived; see the end of the last post. Cam's extended family was borrowed in part from clanmitchell.
Parts: One Two Three Four Five Six
Summary: John Sheppard and Cameron Mitchell were never more than friends - but eleven years after the last time he saw John in person, Cam still wished that hadn't been the case. One little nudge couldn't possibly hurt anything....
Cameron really hoped the giant hole in the side of the ship wouldn't fuck up the timeline again.
He and Henry had cleaned up what they could, of course, dumping the bodies and most of the alien technology into the water after Cameron had personally made sure each and every prim'ta was dead and where it should be. The rest of the crew were keeping their heads low and had been fed a cover story about German saboteurs and secret missions, which would hopefully keep them from talking too much. The damned hole was still there, though, and there was nothing Cameron could do about it, any more than he could get the cargo ship he'd stolen to get to Earth back to its rightful owner. It was times like this that Cameron really wished Sam was still there to tell him just how likely it was that the universe was going to implode because of it all.
Then again, maybe it was better for his state of mind not to know.
There was nothing else for it either way, which left Cameron with one last thing to do before he disappeared himself.
"You even have any plans?" Henry asked. He stood a few feet away from Cameron, arms crossed and a worried expression on his face.
"As much as I ever have," Cameron replied as he finished fixing the dialing device to the gate. "'Course, most people wouldn't exactly call them plans, but it's something."
"You could come home with me, stay a while, take a rest before you decide what your next step should be. You know you're welcome." Henry cracked a small smile. "My wife bakes a mean pie, if that'll persuade you."
"That she does, sir," Cameron said with a chuckle. He looked at Henry for a long moment and saw in his weather-worn and earnest face the temptations of home and family. He had been there once before, while he was worming his way onto the crew of the Achilles, and it had been almost overwhelming then. Cameron knew that if he went back again he might never leave. For a second he considered giving in and saying yes, but he knew it was too much to risk. He had already allowed himself a small indulgence as a reward to himself and to the him-that-would-be; he was happy with that.
"The answer's still that same, though," Cameron said. "I can't stay here any longer. Wish I could, but you can't always get what you want."
"If you say so," Henry said with a sigh.
"I do. There is something you can do for me, though. There's a few things in my sea bag, some letters and a journal. I'd like you to keep them safe and put 'em in the dead letter drop for Everett's oldest boy. I've left some instructions on when to deliver them. I'm sure you can take care of it." Cameron grinned. "If not, your wife sure as hell can."
"Everett's a bit young to be having a son, you know," Henry pointed out.
"Give him time," Cam said, his grin getting wider. Dad was still just a baby; Momma wasn't even born yet. "There's money, too. It's not much, but it's yours. If you won't use it yourself, get the kids something nice for Christmas for me."
"I'll take care of it all."
"You mind if I ask you a question?"
Cameron shrugged and nodded. "Shoot," he said as he bent down to pick up the staff weapon laying on the deck.
"How do you know so much about my family?"
"I can't answer that, sir, although you might be able to guess," Cameron said. "I can tell you this, though: there's gonna be some rough times ahead, but the family's gonna pull through, and you're never gonna have reason not to be proud of them."
Henry didn't look entirely happy with his reply, but nodded none the less. "That's more than most men can say, I suppose."
"That it is." Cameron touched a few keys on the dialing device and the gate began to spin up. "You may want to stand back, sir."
The gate's chevrons locked into position and the familiar blue vortex shot out before setting down. Cameron couldn't help but run his hand through the rippling surface of the event horizon before detaching the dialer and stepping up onto a crate he had positioned in front of the gate. He looked back at Henry.
"Thanks for everything, sir."
"You're welcome. Take care of yourself, son."
"You too, sir."
Cameron stepped through the wormhole and felt the achingly familiar instant of freezing cold. The beta site was exactly as it was supposed to be: nothing but the DHD and trees, with no sign a person had set foot in the area in years. If all else failed, he could live there for a while without worrying about the time line and be long gone by the time the first SG team arrived. He prayed it wouldn't come to that, but after this long he was used to being a bit lonely.
He walked over to the DHD and punched in the first of a handful of painstakingly-memorized addresses. The gate engaged and a minute later he was on a new planet once more. He found himself in clearing surrounded by forest not unlike the one he had just left. He glanced around then began carefully laying out anything that might be considered a weapon: the staff, two zats, a couple of knives and a hatchet liberated from the Achilles. Then he lay down next to them to wait.
"Listen, I don't know if you're even there," Cameron said after an hour or so of silence. "But I'm feeling a bit hungry, so I'm going to take a look around to see if there's anything to eat. I hope you don't mind."
"There is no need for that," a woman said behind him. "You can share a meal with me."
Cameron looked over his shoulder to find a woman standing there. She was of middling height and build, and her hair was streaked with red and had leaves woven into it. He stood and offer her his hand.
"Cameron Mitchell, ma'am."
"Lya," she replied, shaking his hand gently. "You don't belong now."
He ducked his head. "No, I don't. I was hoping you could help me out."
"We can not send you back where you belong. That time no long exists within your own potential futures."
"I figured that'd be the case," he said quietly. "I just need somewhere out of the way to live, where I can't change things for the worse. This was the only place I could think of where I could do that, besides maybe Keb."
Lya smiled at him. "You are welcome here, Cameron Mitchell. The Nox are friends to all, especially those in need."
Relief flooded through his body, washing away a tension he'd had for so long he had barely noticed it any more. He had done his duty, now he could finally get some rest. "Thank you."