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Title: Moving Forward in Reverse
Author: hoktauri
Recipient: heeroluva
Pairing: John Sheppard/Steven Caldwell
Rating: NC-17
Warnings/Contents: Hurt/comfort with some D/s dynamics, complete with safe words. Episode tag for 02x13: Critical Mass.
Word Count: 2647
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, I just have fun times with them.
Summary: After Caldwell is freed of the Goa'uld, he attempts to make amends for something he did under its influence.
Author's Notes: heeroluva, I wish you a merry holiday and hope you enjoy your fic! Thank you for the wonderful prompts you gave me to work with. :)
Author's Notes 2: With this fic, I tip my hat to you, fififolle. You'll know why. ;)


"I owe you an apology, Sheppard," Caldwell said.

"No, sir, you don't," Sheppard replied.

They were alone in the infirmary, Caldwell still restrained in his bed despite the successful removal of the larval Goa'uld from his body. Sheppard was in the bed next to him; the rescue mission he'd just returned from had gone well, but he'd been injured on the way back to the Gate.

It would likely be the only chance Caldwell would get to make amends for his actions under the Goa'uld's influence, and he could already tell that Sheppard was uncomfortable being in the same room as him.

"Yes, I do," Caldwell replied.

"You were under the influence of an alien entity; you can't be held responsible for those actions," Sheppard said. He waited a moment before adding, "Sir."

The words were likely genuine, but Sheppard's voice was flat as he said them. He was doing a good job of following that Goa'uld's orders, that was for damn sure.

"I have seen the way you look at me," Caldwell said. "The Goa'uld likely picked up on that."

"Really not helping, sir."

"I'm saying this now--"

"While you have a captive audience."

"--and then I'm dropping it altogether."


"I never wanted your job."

Sheppard finally turned to look at him.

"The Goa'uld took control of my body after we returned to Earth."

"After we faked the self-destruct?"

"Yes. It wanted control of Atlantis so the Trust would have a foothold in a new galaxy. You'll recall it tried a number of times."

"I recall."

"When it realized Dr. Weir would never allow me to become Atlantis' military commander, it decided to retaliate."

"Why not just kill Weir?" Sheppard asked. "Not that I'm not glad it didn't do that."

"I wondered that myself," Caldwell said, feeling the bile rise in his throat as he added, "I think it had feelings for her."

"What?" Sheppard shot upright. "That is disgusting. I did not need to know that." Sheppard started searching the area around his bed.

"What are you looking for?"

"My bedpan," Sheppard replied. "I need something to ralph in after hearing that."

Caldwell noticed that Sheppard had dropped the 'sir', and wondered if that meant the wall between them was coming down.

More than likely, it meant insubordination.

"For the record, I happen to like the Daedalus," Caldwell said.

Sheppard winced considerably and folded an arm over his chest, settling back on his pillow, bedpan forgotten. "She's a fine ship, sir," he replied.

"And you're doing a good job here."

Sheppard's arm came back down to his side. "Thank you, sir."

"You probably don't hear that enough."

"Yes, because I do my job for the affirmations."

"Just take the compliment and shut the hell up."

"Taking it and shutting up, sir."

Caldwell thought back to the one moment the Goa'uld exerted its full power for personal reasons. It could sense Sheppard's gene, and that made it nervous. Caldwell had felt as much, and couldn't stop the Goa'uld from slamming Sheppard up against a wall and telling him to keep it in his pants. It wasn't exactly the way Caldwell would have warded off an unwanted advance, and he hoped it would make Sheppard suspicious, hoped he would bring charges against him for assault and then he'd be thrown in a military cell for a while. At least then, the Goa'uld wouldn't be able to harm anyone, and if the SGC had Caldwell undergo an exam in the process, they might find the Goa'uld hiding inside him.

That hadn't happened, but strangely, he was glad Sheppard was the one to taze him when the Goa'uld revealed itself. Sheppard hadn't hesitated.

He'd seen Sheppard working it all out, confusion in his eyes becoming shock in the second before Caldwell hit the floor, and he knew an explanation wouldn't be necessary. Still, he was going to apologize. He owed Sheppard that much.

Not least because he actually didn't mind when Sheppard looked at him that way.


Twenty hours later, they were both released from the infirmary, Sheppard itching to get out of there. Caldwell couldn't blame him. He couldn't wait to get a shower himself, and he was glad to bid those restraints goodbye.

Before he headed for the Daedalus, however, he wanted to run one last thing by Sheppard, in hopes of getting them back into a more professional working relationship.

Sheppard had a towel wrapped around his waist when he answered Caldwell's knock, but his hair was dry. He had an arm slung around his torso, holding his hand over the large purple bruise covering most of his right ribcage. Caldwell chided himself for not waiting; he should have cleaned up himself before doing this, but he also didn't want to give the wrong impression. He wasn't there to propose, for fuck's sake.

"Colonel," Sheppard greeted him.

"I'm heading back to the Daedalus," Caldwell said, absently rubbing his wrists where the restraints had chafed his skin. Before Beckett got the Goa'uld out of him, he'd been forced to endure a hard struggle against the cuffs around his wrists and ankles. His socks had provided some protection, but his arms hadn't been so lucky.

He watched Sheppard's expression carefully as he continued. "I wanted to inform you that the next supply run will be late. Instituting rations might be a good idea in the meantime."

Sheppard's eyes drifted to Caldwell's hands. They snapped back up when Caldwell said nothing more.

"Thanks for the heads-up, sir."

Caldwell gestured to his wrists, saying, "I guess the Goa'uld don't have safe words."

Against Caldwell's expectations, Sheppard didn't laugh or even crack a smile. Instead, his jaw tightened in a sort of grimace, and he reached out for one of Caldwell's wrists, running a thumb along the inside where he was marked red. Caldwell was relieved when Sheppard backed into his room, pulling him along, as he remembered they were all but standing in the corridor in full view of anyone who walked by.

"Eagle," Sheppard said as the door shut behind them.

It wasn't the most random thing Caldwell had heard him say, but it was close. "I'm sorry?"

"My safe word," Sheppard replied.

"How patriotic," Caldwell said.

Sheppard pressed his back to the wall by the door, taking Caldwell's right hand and wrapping it around his own wrist. He placed his arm against the wall over his head, and Caldwell quickly got the message, taking Sheppard's other wrist in his free hand and pinning it to the wall as well, causing Sheppard to draw in a sharp breath and shut his eyes.

Then he leaned forward and kissed Sheppard hard.

Sheppard took little coaxing before he parted his lips to him, and Caldwell licked greedily into Sheppard's mouth. The towel got lost in the shuffle as Caldwell pressed his body to Sheppard's, to where he could feel Sheppard's growing erection against his thigh. Caldwell moved his mouth to Sheppard's shoulder, biting down hard enough to mark him without breaking the skin.

"You still have that zip-up with the collar?" Caldwell asked.

"Yeah," Sheppard murmured against Caldwell's cheek. "Just... watch the ribs."

Caldwell paused, eyes scanning Sheppard's body, resting on the bruised ribs. He released one of Sheppard's wrists to run his fingers lightly over the injury, barely ghosting against Sheppard's skin.

"Eagle," he whispered, looking up into Sheppard's eyes.

"We have the same safe word?"

"No," Caldwell said, releasing Sheppard's other wrist before drawing both Sheppard's arms down from the wall where he still held them in place. "I'm using it for you. Because I know you won't."

"Why? What did I do?"

"It's not what you did," Caldwell said. "It's what you want from me. I can't punish you like this."

"In what way can you?"

Caldwell scoffed. "You don't need punishment, Sheppard. You need a shower, and a good night's rest." He bent and picked up the towel, holding it out for Sheppard. "Go."

Sheppard snatched the towel from Caldwell and headed for the bathroom. Left alone, Caldwell started to remove his boots. He wasn't about to head to the Daedalus now, not when Sheppard was acting this way.

When he entered the bathroom, there was already a healthy steam in the air. He shut the door to keep the heat inside and slipped into the shower, where Sheppard was leaning back against the wall with his eyes closed, letting the water hit his uninjured side.

Caldwell picked up the soap and ran it between his hands under the water to start a good lather.

"I don't need a babysitter," Sheppard said, his voice low and gravelly.

"I never said you did," Caldwell said. "Turn around."

Sheppard did, resting his forehead and palms on the tile as Caldwell began to run the soap over his back.

"Talk to me," Caldwell commanded him. "Tell me about the rescue mission."

With a sigh and a shake of his head, Sheppard followed the order. "Parrish was taken. Lorne went crazy over it and attempted a solo rescue. No sanction from Weir."

"Did she order him not to?"

Sheppard peeked at him as he slid the soap down and around his thighs. "Should I even be telling you this?"

Caldwell paused, looking up at Sheppard. "Whatever we discuss doesn't leave this room."

Sheppard watched him a moment before continuing. "Not a direct order, but yeah."

"What happened after that?"

"We went after them," Sheppard said. "Got a ZPM out of a trade first. Lorne had pretty much done all the work for us."

Caldwell worked Sheppard's calves, dragging a small grunt out of him before he moved back to his thighs, over his ass, and then, unsure if it was okay but fairly certain that it was, between Sheppard's legs.

"Mmm," Sheppard moaned softly. "Wasn't sure you'd go there."

"I can stop," Caldwell said, pausing.

"Please don't."

He set down the bar of soap and reached between Sheppard's legs again, working the lather over his balls and around the shaft of his cock. He ran a soap-slicked finger between the cheeks of Sheppard's ass, teasing him a little before leaning in close to lay kisses on Sheppard's shoulders, his neck, and into his hair. Then he grabbed the shampoo bottle and squeezed some into his palm, eliciting a whimper from Sheppard when he removed his hand from his ass.

Working the shampoo into Sheppard's hair with one hand, he took Sheppard's arm in the other and turned him around to face him. They met each other's eyes as Caldwell massaged Sheppard's scalp, but as he increased the intensity of his touch, Sheppard's eyelids fluttered shut.

"What else happened?" Caldwell asked, moving Sheppard under the spray of water to rinse his hair clean.

Sheppard swayed, grabbing Caldwell's hips to steady himself.

"Met up with Lorne and Parrish, laid down cover on the way to the Gate. A few guys followed us and started shooting." He paused, tilting his head back and letting the water run down his face.

"Were either of them injured?"

Sheppard came back up for air, gasping it in. "No," he said. "At least not that I could tell. They seemed pretty happy actually."

"They were being rescued," Caldwell noted.

"They shouldn't need to be rescued."

"That's not something you can always control," Caldwell said firmly. "And you can't afford to wallow in anger at yourself over it either, not when you've got an entire city full of people looking to you to lead them."

"Wow," Sheppard said, the flippant tone returning to his voice. "Didn't know I was gonna get a pep talk this evening."

Caldwell backed Sheppard to the wall once more, placing both hands on the tiles on either side of Sheppard's head. "Just give me one chance, Sheppard, and I'll fuck the insubordination right out of you."

Sheppard gave him a smirk. "I hope so," he said, pausing, waiting for Caldwell to raise an eyebrow at him before adding a very pointed, "Sir."

Smiling a bit at that, Caldwell ran his fingertips over Sheppard's ribs as he did before. "How did this happen?"

Sheppard closed his eyes as Caldwell's hand drifted lower, across his stomach. "Shots were fired, not sure from where. I called for everyone to go to ground. Took a hit on the way. It stuck in my vest, but the force of it slammed me down. I caught a rock to the ribs and passed out shortly after."

"And then you were carried back to the Gate."

"Ronon got me up, dragged my ass back," Sheppard confirmed, opening his eyes again. "You know the rest of it."

"You came to the infirmary-unconscious, I might add," Caldwell said, circling Sheppard's belly button. "I gotta say, Sheppard... you had me worried for a minute."

"Because you don't want my job," Sheppard said.

"Because I don't want you dead," Caldwell replied. He eased his hand beneath Sheppard's cock, cupping his balls as he slid a finger against his perineum. "I want you alive." Whether Sheppard gulped at the admission, or at the touch, or at the sound of Caldwell's voice, it didn't matter as he gave into panting.

"You want me?"

His hand around Sheppard's dick, Caldwell began to pump him slowly, answering the question by claiming a kiss. He could feel Sheppard's pulse pound through his shaft as he came a minute later, nearly falling over from it, forcing Caldwell to catch him on his injured side. Wincing, Sheppard righted himself against the wall, clutching his ribs.

"I'm sorry," Caldwell said. "How bad is it?"

"Not your fault," Sheppard exhaled, panting through the pain. "It wasn't bad enough to kill the mood."

After a moment, his breathing evened out and he used his free hand to hold the back of Caldwell's neck and pull him into another kiss.

"So now you're all clean," Caldwell whispered. "Inside and out."

"You're not," Sheppard said, nodding down at his own come sliding down Caldwell's leg, rinsing away under the spray of water.

"I'd make you wash it off," Caldwell said, picking up the soap bar, "but you're in no shape to be bending over."

"It's a shame," Sheppard said.

Caldwell quickly cleaned himself, watching Sheppard slide a little down the wall as he tried to keep himself on his feet; he was still holding his ribs, trying not to show that he was in any pain. As soon as he'd rinsed and shut off the water, Caldwell grabbed the towel Sheppard brought with him and dried Sheppard all the way from his head to his feet. Then he swiped the same towel briefly over himself and opened the shower door, allowing light to spill into Sheppard's darkened quarters.

"Come on," he said, and he ended up having to help Sheppard out of the stall and into bed, not even bothering with finding him some clothes to sleep in. "I'm hoping like hell you weren't cleared yet."

"No," Sheppard said, admitting, "I wasn't even supposed to leave the infirmary 'til tomorrow."

Caldwell dressed and sat on the bed to pull on his boots.

"You have a ship to return to," Sheppard said, toeing Caldwell's hip.

Pressing his hand to the top of Sheppard's foot, Caldwell stopped the motion. "We don't exactly have optimal conditions for anything significant here, Sheppard."

"That's assuming we both want significant," Sheppard replied.

With a sigh, Caldwell stood and approached the door, saying, "We can think about what we want and come back to it in two months when the Daedalus makes that supply run."

Sheppard sat up a little, gritting through his discomfort as he got himself under his sheets. He still hadn't thought the lights on yet.

"That sounds like a great idea," Sheppard replied.

Caldwell palmed open the door, stepping into the hall.

Before the door slid shut, he heard Sheppard say, "Sir," and he smiled.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 17th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Really really liked this! :)

Dec. 18th, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Awesome! You give really great Caldwell.
Dec. 18th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
Hot damn! This was seriously the pairing that I least expected to get, and I'm super excited to see that you took the challenge! This was wonderful. You managed to make this work for both of them without it being too fluffy and making it really feel like both of them. Thank you so much!
Dec. 18th, 2012 03:07 am (UTC)
sga_newsletter: 17Dec2012
User dossier referenced to your post from sga_newsletter: 17Dec2012 saying: [...] (Lorne/Parrish) [PG] : Moving Forward in Reverse [...]
Dec. 27th, 2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Heh, trust John to be insubordinate while in the shower with a guy who outranks him. Totally in character for him.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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