|I Might And You Might (But Neither Of Us Do, Though, And Neither Of Us Will)
When they come back to pick up Daniel and Vala but before they leave for the Milky Way, Sheppard takes him up into atmo in one of the 'gate ships - puddlejumpers, Sheppard calls them, and Cam feels like that's almost marginalizing the event horizon. Sheppard's not really ... well, it's been clear to Cameron from the first time he met Sheppard that Sheppard's first loyalty is to Atlantis, the city, even before the Air Force or the Stargate Program. They float around the planet, the city too tiny to see in the middle of an ocean broader than Cameron's familiar Atlantic.
Sheppard's quiet, one hand on the controls in a parody of concentration, but Cameron knows that Sheppard does most of his flying with his brain these days, and damn if Sam didn't about cry when Sheppard drawled out the details of his bonds with the damn 'gate ships.
Cam doesn't have the gene, never did and never will no matter the gene therapy available, because he couldn't stand the idea of anybody messing with his self like that. And SGC had a 'gate ship and Cam's even sat co-pilot in the thing, but he never wanted to fly one, never wanted the gene to get behind the controls of a puddlejumper and make it soar, not until he sat next to Sheppard, who piloted a 'jumper like he been born into it.
Which, if Cam thinks about it, Sheppard maybe had been - he had the gene.
Sheppard flew the 'jumper with more grace than the best fighter pilots Cameron had ever seen.
He can't stand silence, though, even with a damn artist working beside him, so he says, "So, how's a base command working out for you?"
Sheppard casts his eyes toward Cam and smirks, one corner of his mouth and one eyebrow quirking up. He pulls the 'jumper up into hover over the great green mass of the mainland and says, "Ah, it's all right. How's command of SG-1 working out for you?" Without looking at Cam, without any kind of inflection, just an unfamiliar drawl that Cameron, despite a career (and, well, a lifetime) spent on bases in tiny Southern towns, can't place.
Cam tastes the lie at the back of his throat, It's just fine, thanks for asking, couldn't be better, and hears his grandmother's voice in the back of his head, It's never nice to tell a lie, Cameron, and says, "It could be better, if you want to know the truth."
Sheppard's twisted around in the pilot's seat, one foot propped up on the console and he's watching Cameron with something like interest, his face is written all over with amusement. Sheppard's the kind of officer that Cameron's always hated, because Cameron got where he is, command of goddamned SG-1, by working his ass off and playing by every single rule, and he knows how Sheppard ended up in Antarctica and on the Atlantis roster and in charge of the whole damn thing, and none of those involved playing by the rules.
Sheppard's another Jack O'Neill Special, actually, and that makes Cameron angry, for some reason, like he was the only one General O'Neill ever did a favor for - except that the thing is, he kind of likes Sheppard. He liked the way he kept McKay in line - Cameron's seen General O'Neill and Jackson together, and it's the same thing with McKay and Sheppard, and no matter how he tries, Cam can't hit that note with Jackson, not hit it right at least. Cam likes the way John flies the puddlejumpers, like they're thoroughbred racehorses instead of noodle-shaped space transports, like flying is more important than anything else in the world including military command.
Cameron might not understand John Sheppard, but he likes him, for some completely inexplicable reason.
"The first year's rough," Sheppard says, startling Cam. "I guess it gets easier, sort of."
"Sort of?" Cameron says. "What the hell does easier, sort of, mean?"
Sheppard shrugs, lazy roll of his shoulders, and maybe Cam's imagining things but he thinks the tips of Sheppard's ears flush a little red. Sheppard unzips his jacket and shrugs it off, back over the pilot's seat, and leans in toward Cam. "Still a lot of bad shit out there, still a lot of crap decisions you got to make, but at least some of them, maybe you've made them before." Sheppard pauses and then says, quieter, "Maybe you make them right the second time around."
"SG-1's a different crappy decision every time," Cam says. "Is that why we're up here?"
"Why what?" Sheppard says.
"To have manly yet emotionally touching conversations about our military careers," Cameron says. "Out of the hearing of all the scientists and the nosy Marine with the red hair who kept trying to grab my ass."
"Cadman's harmless," Sheppard says. "Hell of an explosives expert, though. No, I just thought ... Jackson said you didn't get to fly much anymore, and you can't pilot this, but I thought you might like to get ... off the ground for a while."
It's a weirdly sweet thing for Sheppard to have done, and Cameron would been a little freaked out by it, but underneath Sheppard's laconic exterior, there's something really genuine about the guy, and the longer Cameron sits up here with him, floating quietly across the sky, the more he actually does like the guy. "Thanks," Cameron says. "It's been rough."
"Yeah, Jackson said," Sheppard says. "Not much fazes that guy, does it?"
"He's died a couple of times," Cameron says, and slumps down in his chair, trying to uncurl the Supergate-Orii-Priors-deathdeathdeath out of his spine, even if it's just for a minute. "You die a couple of times, not much gets to you. He's good to have around. Voice of reason."
"Rodney's almost died a couple of times," Sheppard says. "He just gets more worked up."
"To each his own scientist, I guess," Cam says.
"Yeah," Sheppard says. He's quiet again, then, staring out over the ocean again, and Cameron's trying to think of something to say to fill the silence, but how 'bout those Red Sox seems a little flat, when Sheppard turns and grabs Cameron's dog tags and kisses him.
Cam says, "Mmmph," and flails a hand out to grab at Sheppard's shoulder and shove him off, because what the hell, but then Sheppard runs his tongue along Cam's bottom lip and Cam's mouth falls open, just a little, of its own volition, and Sheppard can really kiss.
And it's been a damn long time since Cam's been kissed by anybody who wasn't a relative, or Vala, and neither of those count at all.
Sheppard pulls back, fingers still wrapped in the chain on Cam's tags, and Cam says, "Okay, what?"
Sheppard shrugs again, and with his jacket off Cameron can see the graceful muscle motion underneath his t-shirt and it isn't that Cam spends a lot of time thinking about good-looking guys, hasn't in years, not since he decided he wanted to fly, but it's hard to not notice that Sheppard's really a pretty sort of guy. "Jackson," Sheppard says.
"Goddamn Daniel all the hell," Cameron says. "Or a big restaurant in the sky, or wherever it is that ex-Ascended beings go when they're complete assholes. We can't do this. Regs."
"Pegasus Galaxy," Sheppard says. "New rules, Mitchell." He looks completely unfazed by Cameron's freak out, or by the thought of kissing a guy. Sheppard's got a lot up his sleeves beside lemons, Cam's figuring out.
"I don't do this," Cam says desperately, trying to ignore the fact that his dick is hard as a rock in his pants, and Sheppard's still leaning in close to him, smelling like gun oil and sweat and something sweet underneath it all.
Sheppard lets go of Cam's tags and slides back into the pilot's seat, reaching out for the controls, and says, "That's fine, Mitchell. Want another spin around the planet, or you ready to get back to Earth?"
"Wait," Cameron says, and Sheppard turns his face toward Cam, hands still on the control panel in the dashboard, and Cameron slides a hand along Sheppard's jaw and pulls him close and kisses him.
Sheppard makes a pleased noise against Cameron's mouth, hands coming off the controls and skimming along Cameron's hips, fingers on one hand twisting in the belt loops on Cam's BDUs. "Yeah," he says, low and sexy, against Cameron's mouth, and tugs the zipper on Cam's jacket down, tugging at Cam's t-shirt when his fingers get to the bottom of the zip. Sheppard's fingers are cool against Cameron's skin, and Sheppard kisses like he flies, all clean lines and grace.
Sheppard slides out of his chair and onto the floor, on his knees in front of Cameron's chair, and he has to stretch to reach Cameron's mouth, which is stupidly, stupidly sexy, all at the same time that one of his hands is sliding up Cameron's chest to brush across a nipple and his other hand is unbuttoning Cameron's pants. Part of Cam's brain is screaming about what a bad, bad idea this is, but Sheppard's career military, too, and he's got Cam's pants open and Cam's dick in his hand and the part of Cameron's brain that's about to short out from lust and desire is overruling everything else.
Sheppard makes another happy noise against Cam's kiss and then pulls away, settling down onto the floor and swallowing Cam's cock like he's been waiting for this. Cam has to grab the arm rest on his chair with one hand, the other hand sliding out to grab at Sheppard's hair, to keep his hips from thrusting up into Sheppard's mouth. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph," Cam says, and Sheppard looks up and meets Cam's gaze, and then he does something completely obscene with his tongue and Cam's brain shorts out the rest of the way.
Sheppard sucks dick like a professional, no two ways about it. Cam hangs on for what can't be more than two or three minutes before he feels his whole body tightening up, getting ready to come, and he tugs on Sheppard's hair, because he can't get his mouth connected to his brain to say, I'm going to come, but Sheppard shakes him off and sucks Cam's cock all the way down to the back of his throat and swallows when Cam comes so hard he sees stars.
"Christ, Sheppard," Cam says, when his brain reconnects to his mouth and he looks down at the floor of the 'jumper where Sheppard's sprawled out, red mouth and legs apart and dick showing heavy through his own pants.
"I think you can call me John," Sheppard says, lazy and amused.
Cameron drags himself up out of the chair and pulls Sheppard off the floor and pins him up against the dashboard of the 'jumper. Sheppard's hands go down to the edge of the control panel, clutching hard enough that his knuckles are white, and Cameron gets that Sheppard - John, the man just sucked Cam's dick, he deserves a first name - thinks he's going to get punched. Cam kisses him instead, one hand curved around Sheppard's jaw, and undoes the buttons on John's pants with the other hand.
John sucks in a breath when Cam closes his fist around John's dick, and it's been years since Cameron had anybody's dick in his hand other than his own, but he guesses it's like riding a bicycle - some things you don't forget. He jerks John hard, sliding his thumb through the come collecting at the tip of John's cock and slicking it down the length of dick in his hand, and John keeps his hands on the dashboard like he's afraid to touch Cam but he thrusts into Cam's hand like he can't help himself.
He kisses fiercely through the whole thing, too, panting against Cameron's mouth and when John comes, he pulls his mouth away from Cam's and presses it against Cam's throat, right over his pulse point, and shudders, coming all over Cam's hand without a single sound.
John slumps against Cameron's chest afterwards, and Cam wipes his hand along John's t-shirt, because he's sticky but also because John, for all his weird authority issues and laconic drawl and completely uncommunicative facial expressions, actually did something really nice for Cameron right there, and he wants to touch John while he still can, before they go back to Atlantis and Earth and real lives.
As real as their lives get at SGC, anyway.
Cam runs his hand over John's stomach, wiping off all the come, and then up John's side, and John leans into him like an overgrown cat, face still pressed against Cam's neck. Cam lets his stay there, his fingers running over John's ribs, and when John starts to shift underneath him, Cameron backs off and lets him move, reaching down to shove his dick back into his pants when John does the same.
John looks down at his t-shirt and says, "Geez, Mitchell," before shrugging back into his jacket and zipping it up to cover the smears, but it's an amused, sated sort of voice, and Cameron buttons up his pants and sinks, feeling kind of boneless and definitely more relaxed when they'd left the city, back into the co-pilot's seat.
John sits down and fiddles with the controls until the readouts and charts spring up in front of him, and then he reaches over and fiddles with the controls on the co-pilot's side of things, until there are displays that Cameron can recognize in front of him. "You can't fly it," John says, sounding sheepish and sort of dorky, "but you can at least see what's going on."
"Thanks," Cameron says, and John dips his head and smiles out from underneath the hair falling in his eyes, and Cameron thinks, best near-death mission ever, before he smiles back.
They're quiet all the way back to the city, no real need to say anything between them, and McKay tears up to John when they step out of the 'jumper into the docking bay and says, "Well?"
John says, "Geez, Rodney, you're really nosy," but Cameron sees the way that John leans in toward McKay, recognizes it, and realizes he's been given some kind of gift, though for the life of him he can't figure out why.
"Have a safe trip back, Mitchell," John says, and he meets Cam's eyes when he smiles at him, before he saunters out of the bay behind McKay, a smug little cat's smile on his face. When they start boarding the Odyssey to leave, the next day, Sheppard's standing on a balcony above the pier where they docked, and he looks down and gives Cam that same cat's smile and a lazy salute, one of the sloppiest salutes Cameron's ever seen.
Cam returns it, and smiles his own smug little smile to himself, and thinks, Bunch of weirdos in the Pegasus Galaxy, but he doesn't really mean it at all.
author's notes: for ResMin, who found me a bigger copy of this picture and wanted camshaft/shep "up against a wall. against anything really." beta by queen r. title and summary from two modest mouse songs, "might" and "space travel is boring" respectively.