Pairings: Sheppard/Mitchell, Lorne/Parrish
Notes: This was written in part while I wrote "Discontinuity". Because of that story's structure and alternating Cam-John points of view, there really wasn't a good chance to get any thoughts from the other characters. This fills in a few gaps.
Summary: Nine points of view on the relationship of Colonels Cameron Mitchell and John Sheppard.
Lieutenant Evan Lorne
"Oh, fuck," Evan said when he stepped out of the bar. He had told himself it was a bad idea to go to one even in the same town as the base, but eventually the urge to at least scope out the local scene had gotten the better of him. The chances of actually running into someone who might recognize him had seemed tiny. There he was, though, face to face with a pair of superior officers who not only knew him but shared an apartment in the same building he lived in. None of them were in uniform but Evan still had to fight the instinct to come to attention.
"Good evening, sirs," Evan said. It didn't come out half as confident as he wanted it to. He didn't even bother trying to smile, just kept his face as blank as he could.
"Lorne," Mitchell said with a nod. Beside him Sheppard was silent, but he looked faintly amused. Evan wasn't sure at all whether that was a good or bad sign. Sheppard scared him sometimes. "Nice night, isn't it?"
"Yes, sir. Very nice, sir."
Now Mitchell was smiling and while it didn't look malicious in the least Evan wasn't sure that Mitchell could ever look anything but good-natured. "Out exploring the town?"
"Find anything interesting?" Sheppard asked, finally speaking up.
"Not yet, sir, no. This wasn't really my sort of place." Evan in a put-upon tone. Maybe if he played his cards right, he could make it seem like he hadn't realized what kind of bar it was when he arrived and had left as soon as he had done so. He hoped and prayed they would buy it.
Sheppard chuckled. "Is that so?"
"Yes, sir." Evan fidgeted under Sheppard's penetrating gaze.
"Anything wrong with it in particular?"
Mitchell huffed and shot Sheppard an annoyed look. "Leave him alone, John. The poor guy's about to die of fright."
"Awww, Cam, where's the fun in that?" Sheppard winked at Evan, then reached up to pull Mitchell into a long, sensual kiss.
"Oh, fuck," Evan repeated dumbly. They weren't roommates, they were roommates.
When they broke apart, Mitchell shook his head and grinned. "I guess that's one way to put him at ease."
"Sure is." Sheppard grinned as well and glanced at Evan. "Did you mean it when you said it wasn't your sort of place?"
"Uh." Evan looked at him with wide eyes, trying to figure out what Sheppard's game was. "Yeah, I did. It's a little too..." He trailed off, not sure how to express his disdain for the too-loud, hyper-active, hyper-slutty scene he had found inside without potentially insulting Sheppard or Mitchell if it was what they were into.
"I know what you mean." Sheppard closed the distance between Mitchell and Evan and put an arm around Evan's shoulders. "Come on, we're headed a place called Callahan's a few blocks away. It's got a better atmosphere, nicer people, and they don't charge an arm and a leg for a drink."
"The cheese fries rock, too," Mitchell added.
"What do you say?" Sheppard asked.
Evan found himself relaxing. It sounded like a genuine invitation, not a prelude to a proposition or something more sinister. He nodded. "Sure, that sounds good."
"You are distracted," Teyla said after her sticks struck home for the fourth time in half as many minutes.
"No, I'm not," John protested.
"Your reactions are slow, your movements sluggish, and you miss obvious openings and attacks," Teyla replied. She emphasized her words with a quick flurry of blows that John could have deflected years ago yet made it past his defenses none the less.
"Ow," John said. "Okay, maybe I'm a little distracted."
"Are you unwell?"
"Nope. I'm fine."
"Ah." Teyla smiled softly. She could guess what was the matter, and while with another person she might have waited for them to admit it themselves she knew it would be futile with John. "You miss Colonel Mitchell."
"What? No!" John vigorously shook his head. "What makes you think that?"
"You have been... moping since his departure this morning. There is no shame in longing for a loved one, John. It is perfectly normal. If you wish to talk about it, I am here for you."
"I'm not - it's not like - oh, never mind," John sputtered. "We're just good friends, okay?"
Teyla inclined her head. "Of course."
"Just as Major Lorne and Doctor Parrish are good friends."
"Yeah - wait, no." John groaned. "Can we get back to you hitting me again?"
"If you wish." They raised their sticks and began to spar again. Teyla knew that John would say more if and when he felt like it, no matter how she prodded at him. If it was not something he wanted to deal with aloud, then she would help him distracted himself in other more physical ways.
Finally, after several minutes had passed, John said, "So Cam and I met back when we were twenty-two. It wasn't exactly love at first sight - well, not for me, anyways, but he's a hopeless romantic...."
Doctor Rodney McKay
*puddlejumper has initiated a chat.
[puddlejumper] hey rodney, you got a second?
[physicsgod] No, but I rather imagine you won't go away anyways.
[puddlejumper] cool. hey, this is secure, right?
[physicsgod] Not at all. I always discuss Top Secret material on unencrypted Internet chats. Moron.
[puddlejumper] just checking. listen, there's something i need to tell you.
[physicsgod] Have you finally decided to grow up and admit that you're the one who stole my Snickers?
[puddlejumper] what? rodney, that was a year ago and wasn't me.
[physicsgod] Sure it wasn't.
[puddlejumper] i'm not arguing about this right now. i just wanted to let you know that i've moved out of the sgc. i'm rooming with mitchell. I'm emailing you my contact info.
[physicsgod] Mitchell? Mitchell, who TRIED TO KILL ME?
[puddlejumper] he didn't try to kill you, rodney.
[physicsgod] Yes, he did.
[puddlejumper] no, he didn't.
[physicsgod] Yes, he did. Don't think I don't know you're responsible, either.
[physicsgod] So this is what you needed to bother me about?
[puddlejumper] not entirely, no.
[physicsgod] Well? Every minute I waste on this is a minute longer before I build a ZPM. You'll regret it when some alien fleet attacks and we all die from a lack of power.
[puddlejumper] you're a jerk. you know that, right?
[physicsgod] Wasting time!
[puddlejumper] right. well, long story short, i'm not just rooming with mitchell, i'm fucking him. have been for a long time
[physicsgod] Wait, what?
[puddlejumper] oh, by the way, i'm gay.
[puddlejumper] gay. homosexual. queer. i enjoy sucking cock and taking it up the ass
[physicsgod] WHY DID I NOT KNOW THIS?
[puddlejumper] it didn't seem important, but i figure that since i'm actually sleeping with him again that i should let you know. better that you find out now than by accident.
[puddlejumper] … Rodney, you there?
[puddlejumper] Look, this isn't going to be a problem, is it? I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier, it's not because I don't trust you or something. I understand if you're angry.
[puddlejumper] Rodney? Please say something.
[physicsgod] What. The. Hell? You can do better than him!
[puddlejumper] ... I take it the gay thing isn't a problem?
[physicsgod] Don't be stupid. The problem is your incredibly poor taste. Even Lorne did better than this and he's with a BOTANIST. We need to find you someone who isn't a complete imbecile, not to mention not homicidal.
[puddlejumper] Naw, I'm good. Thanks... I think.
[physicsgod] No, no, no. You're not good. He's deluded you, misled you with, with his weird Southern charm and talk about spaceships. He's completely unacceptable.
[puddlejumper] He really isn't.
[physicsgod] Maybe Lorne can find you some alternative pilot, if you insist on someone military. I bet there's some kind of Internet dating site for big gay pilot love or something.
[physicsgod] Huh. What do you know, BigGayPilotLove.com.
[physicsgod] Stop ignoring me, Sheppard.
[physicsgod] PICK UP YOUR GOD DAMNED PHONE.
*puddlejumper is away: sorry, busy fucking. bbiab.
Colonel Samantha Carter
Sam knocked a few times on the door of Cam's apartment and wasn't surprised when she didn't get an answer. Chances were good that he was taking advantage of his Saturday off to sleep in. She would have been, too, except she was planning to bake a cake for Cassie's birthday and her own pan had gone missing. She figured Cam wouldn't mind her borrowing one of his, especially since he would be getting to enjoy the results at the party on Sunday.
It wasn't until after Sam used her key to unlock the door and stepped inside that she even considered other reasons Cam might not answer the door. Either he was too busy to get up or he hadn't heard her knocking. Given how loud the moans coming from behind the couch were, she suspected the latter. She would have left, of course, but she stood there in shock for just a moment too long. The door thudded shut behind her and abruptly the moans stopped.
Then, just as if Sam's day wasn't already weird and embarrassing enough, John Sheppard's head appeared over the back of the couch. His hair was somehow even wilder than usual and his lips were red and bruised, leaving little question as to what he had been doing.
He stared at her. She stared at him. A moment later Cam's head popped up too. He was breathing hard and he had a flush that extended down his neck.
"Uh," Cam said. "Hi."
"Hi," Sam repeated faintly.
"You need something?"
"Second cabinet to the left of the sink."
Sam didn't look, didn't look, absolutely didn't look as she walked over to the kitchen, not even when she heard Sheppard start to snicker. She got her pan and beat a hasty retreat to the door. Cam still looked absolutely mortified, while Sheppard was faintly amused. Sam could only imagine how shocked she had to look.
"Listen, Sam," Cam said. He stopped, apparently not having thought about what he wanted her to listen to.
She held up a hand. "Carry on, gentlemen."
"Yes, ma'am," Sheppard said. He threw her a sharp salute and dragged Cam back out of sight.
Sam carefully closed and locked the door behind her.
General Jack O'Neill
A transfer to Atlantis. What the hell was Mitchell thinking? Actually, scratch that: Jack knew that Mitchell wasn't thinking at all, or at least not with his brain. The real question was what Jack had been thinking when he said yes. Sure, Mitchell had helped save his life, but plenty of people had done that and Jack had never felt any urge to suddenly accommodate the whims of, say, Siler. Hell, he didn't even accommodate the whims of Daniel... much. Usually. Except for when he did, but the point was that Jack usually didn't let that sort of thing push him into making stupid decisions. Sending Mitchell out to Atlantis so that he could screw Sheppard on a more regular basis? That was the very definition of stupid, not to mention more than a little unprofessional. Jack had put aside those feelings long ago and pushed them aside again when they had threatened to reappear from time to time over the last ten years. It wasn't too much to expect the two of them to do the same.
Except Jack hadn't, really. He'd suppressed the liking men thing, sure, but it hadn't been that big of a sacrifice. At their age, he'd still had Sarah, still had Charlie. There had been long stretches of absence now and then, but he had always had them to come home to. If Jack's guesses were right, what Mitchell and Sheppard had was far more full of separation than time together. He wasn't sure he could blame them for choosing differently than he had and grasping at a chance to have the job and each other at the same time. Maybe Jack was just getting sentimental in his old age, or living vicariously through them, or whatever other wild-ass explanation Daniel might come up with, but in any case he didn't change his mind even after he returned to Earth.
Besides, he was going to get hours of entertainment of poking at the two of them the next time he saw them.
Doctor Elizabeth Weir
Even if Elizabeth hadn't known about John and Cameron, she probably would have guessed after listening to them as they flew. In theory the two of them were teaching a group of marines dogfighting skills; in practice it had long since turned into a one-sided two-versus-eight game. John and Cameron were showing off with increasingly daredevil stunts as they destroyed the marines again and again. Laughter and good-natured ribbing filled the air as they did. From the sound of things the marines were dutifully impressed and taking their beating with good-natured amusement, but Elizabeth had a feeling the only people the airmen were trying to impress were each other.
"I feel like I should get the sociologists up here," Elizabeth quietly said to Major Lorne. "Or maybe the biologists. They could get a good paper out of it - "The Mating Rituals of the American Flyboy.""
Lorne chuckled softly. "That's probably closer to the truth than you realize. I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall when they finally decide they've had enough fun."
"Major!" Elizabeth said, feeling her face heat up.
"I'm not saying anything half the base isn't thinking, ma'am," Lorne replied with a cheeky grin. His smile faded slightly. "It's good they've got an excuse to play around together for once. They don't get a lot of chances to show off like this."
Elizabeth nodded and glanced around to see if anyone in the control room was paying attention to them. Satisfied that only Chuck was close enough to potentially hear and trusting in his discretion, she asked Lorne, "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question, Major?"
"Not at all, ma'am."
"You seem know them fairly well. Do you... do you know why John never told me?"
Lorne raised an eyebrow. "You're asking me why John Sheppard didn't talk about something involving his feelings?"
Elizabeth grinned and laughed quietly. "Now that you put it like that, I realize how silly it sounds."
"Yeah." More seriously, Lorne went on, "Don't think that it's because he doesn't trust you. He does. But even if he was the sort of person to share that kind of thing, you're still his supervisor and it goes against a lot of built-up instincts."
"Even though I'm a civilian."
"Yes, ma'am. You've done a lot for us and we appreciate it, but those of us who are in the military still have to be careful. Atlantis is a great place, a safe place, and no one's going to ruin it by being indiscreet, Colonel Sheppard least of all."
"I see." Elizabeth pondered that for a moment. She had always done her best to make the expedition as open and accepting as differences as she could, not just of alternative sexualities but of every other cultural and ethnic difference she could think of from holidays to food preferences; in addition to the official policies the personnel had all be carefully screened. It wasn't just because of her own idealistic desires but also simple practicality. Internally Atlantis was an odd mix of cultures, and when dealing with off-world societies a high degree of flexibility and tolerance was required. While alien desires didn't have any official influence of decision-making, when the Asgard made noises about not understanding certain restrictions, those restrictions were quietly done away with.
Elizabeth had thought it had worked out remarkably well, with only an occasional genuine point of friction springing up now and then. There were a few openly gay expedition members, like Doctor Townsend and Flying Officer Reed, but now that she thought about it none of them were from the U.S. military. Oh, she knew about some of them, just like everyone else in the expedition, but she had never seen any of them do anything in public that might indicate their orientation. It made sense, she supposed. Atlantis might not be the end of the road for them, or something could happen to her or John to change things, and if no one actually saw anything the risk was exponentially smaller.
Add all that to the fact that John was, well, John, and she could understand why he would never bring it up.
"I see," she said again. "Thank you, Evan. That explains a lot."
"Glad to be of assistance, ma'am."
Specialist Ronon Dex
Ronon had seen bonds like that between Sheppard and Mitchell before within units on Sateda. He understood why the Earthers discouraged them, because when they went wrong they had a tendency to go wrong in major ways. When they worked, though, they worked. A bonded pair could go further and fight harder than even the closest brother-soldiers, and a unit built around them could be tighter and more effective than ever. So when Mitchell occasionally turned up with Sheppard during their morning runs, Ronon didn't say anything.
Not even when Sheppard walked a little funny.
Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network
Internal Security and Health Services were the first to notice what was going on, but it wasn't long before every system and sub-system that made up the City was well aware of it. There had been some evidence before, both from the previous visit of the new Pilot and various thoughts that bubbled up during nighttime self-initializations by the One, but now it was irrefutable: the Prime Initializer had found a mate.
Ah, the Prime Initializer. The Supreme Commander. The Most Fluffy-Haired One. What praise could not be heaped upon him? Defense was certain that his leadership abilities were unparalleled. Flight Systems' records indicated that his aerial skills put him easily in the top hundredth-percentile of pilots. Health Services judged his genetics to be a wonderful blend of pure-strain Lantean with fresh blood, making him perfect breeding stock.
Of course, that last would take a bit of work under the circumstances, but that sort of difficulty had long ago been solved.
The systems gestalt quickly began adjusting priorities to accommodate the new situation. Internal Security immediately began to alter certain feeds from the surveillance system to insure discretion, just as had been done for the Vice Commander and his Botanist and numerous other mating groups; likewise Communications stood ready to censor any potentially damaging messages. Health Services and Utilities activated dispensers in their quarters to guarantee an ample supply of different types of personal lubricant and watched anxiously to see what was preferred in order to make formula adjustments. Archives carefully recorded their activities for study by future generations. Most importantly, Interface began to bring the Pilot into the Citizen-City gestalt.
The city was certain that the Pilot would be a fine addition to the city's People. It went without saying, of course, given that he was the One's mate.
Supreme Commander Thor and Councilor Freyr
"That... was unexpected," Freyr said, looking at the spot on the Samantha Carter's deck that the humans had occupied moments before.
"It was," Thor agreed.
"They seemed rather angry."
"Humans often are when interrupted during the act of coitus." Thor had learned that the hard way. He rather suspected that Cameron Mitchell would be unwilling to speak to them anytime soon.
"I was not aware that two males were capable of doing that." Freyr blinked. "For that matter, I do not believe that particular orifice is meant for that function."
"Humans appear to disagree."