Disclaimer: It's what I want for Christmas, but I doubt I'll get it.
Author's Notes: 1,264 words. Thanks to calcitrix and clwilson2006 for beta help :)
Summary: 'Evan wakes up in familiar surroundings, but they're not the ones he was expecting.'
Evan wakes up in familiar surroundings, but they're not the ones he was expecting. He blinks a few times, trying to reconcile the white curtains and metal bedframes of the infirmary on Atlantis with the soft blue comforter and taupe walls, and it's not until Cam walks in the door to his own bedroom and breaks into a wide smile that Evan stops trying.
"Hey," Cam says quietly, reaching over and taking something from Evan's forehead. A washcloth, he realizes; it's soon replaced with a cool one that feels like heaven against his scorching skin. "How're you feeling?"
"I-" Evan licks his lips and tries again. "Why?" One hand weakly gestures to the bedroom around him.
Cam lifts a cup to his lips, sticking the straw into his mouth. "Go to sleep," he says gently. "I'll explain it later."
Evan closes his eyes obediently and slips away again.
"Major Lorne, we've got an issue down here."
Evan sighs and clicks his radio on. "Not surprised, Janes, not even a little bit. What's your location?"
Janes' voice is a little panicky when he responds. "About a klick west-southwest of your location, sir. Near the Well."
Evan signals to Volsky, who nods and starts dialing back to the SGC. The wormhole engages and Evan hears Volsky speaking as he clicks his radio back on. "We're on our way," he reports. He scans the treeline as Volsky nods at the Gate, as if Chuck can actually see him.
"Understood," Volsky says, and the wormhole disengages. He turns to Evan. "They're sending SG-7 through," he reports. "We're to go on ahead. They'll radio when they get here."
Evan nods and sets off to find the rest of his team.
When Evan wakes again, it's dark except for the light spilling into the room from the hallway. Cam is curled up behind him, one arm wrapped carefully around his waist, his forehead pressed between Evan's shoulderblades. He wakes instantly when Evan shifts.
"Sorry," Evan tries, pleased to find that his voice is working a little better now.
"Hey, no," Cam replies. "Don't worry about it. Feeling any better?"
Evan considers the question but doesn't know what he's supposed to be comparing it to; he has hazy memories of waking before, of Cam and a cool washcloth, but it's easier to think about Janes and Volsky and Corrigan, the social scientist who'd been studying the natives of P3R-019. It's easier to recall Janes' face when he'd arrived in the clearing beside the Well, easier to see Corrigan on the ground-
Evan moans and squeezes his eyes shut, suddenly nauseous. Cam's out of bed and around to the other side in a flash, holding the garbage can out. Evan retches into it, stomach heaving, and by the time he's done and Cam's settling him back into the bed, Evan's eyes are slipping shut again.
"What happened?" Evan barks as he rounds the corner and stops short. Janes is pale, crouching beside Corrigan, who's sprawled on the ground. He's not moving.
"He fell into the Well," Janes says shakily. The Well, Evan knows, is some sort of sacred pond to the people on this planet, for reasons that had Corrigan practically dancing in his seat. He hasn't been offworld much - not on Atlantis, not now that they're stuck back on Earth - and Evan knows that he should have stayed with the scientist, but-
"He is ill," Kyril, the village elder, tells Evan gravely. "He has fallen into the Well, and it has found his spirit unworthy."
Oh, nice, Evan thinks, looking at Corrigan's soaked, still form. Evan can just make out the man's chest moving, ever so slightly, so he turns to Kyril. "What happens now?"
Kyril regards him. "He will die," he says simply, as if the answer were obvious. "Unless-"
"What?" Evan asks, torn between exasperation and hope and weariness. "Unless what?"
Kyril gestures to the Well. "If one with a strong spirit were to take his place, the Ancestors might spare the other's life."
Evan's so used to the words that he doesn't even think before walking the few steps to the pool and wading in. He's got the Gene, after all, so it's not an issue.
It's only when he's waist-deep in the water that he recalls that he's not in Pegasus any more, and that the Ancestors of this planet aren't the Ancients, and then he feels dizzy, weak, and everything's cold and wet and-
"Hey," Evan says when he comes to, because Cam is propped against Evan's side of the bed on the floor, head dropped down to his chest. Cam's face snaps to Evan's when he hears the word.
"Hey," Cam replies, stretching his shoulders. "Any better?" His hands wander to the garbage can, and Evan has a clear memory of Cam asking that before, of his body reacting a little violently. He closes his eyes and takes stock before replying.
"Better," he finally agrees. "Why am I here?"
Cam grins, though his tone is mock-hurt. "You got sick, and I make some damn good chicken soup." Evan rolls his eyes, and the smile slips from Cam's face as his voice gets quieter. "You jumped in a lake and got some sort of virus, Evan. It almost killed you."
A virus. Of course the lake had been infectious. "Corrigan?"
"Was luckier than you," Cam fills in. "According to Janes, he was only in up to his ankles. He woke up the next day."
Evan frowns. "How long was I out?"
"Three days in the SGC infirmary," Cam informs him. "Once Lam was sure you were on the upswing, she gave me some pretty explicit instructions before I got you out of there. You've been here another four days."
A week. Hell. Still, though- "Why didn't she want me in the infirmary?" A thought crosses Evan's mind. "Am I infectious? Shit, Cam, did I get you sick too? What the hell were you thinking, bringing me home when-"
"Chill," Cam advises, laying a comforting hand on Evan's thigh. "You're not infectious." Evan waits, because Cam will explain it eventually, especially if Evan lets him know he isn't giving up. "And you might have gone from semi-comatose to hallucinating and talking in your sleep."
Evan knows his tendency to mix reality and dreams has gotten him into trouble before, and there's no doubt that it will again. But for Lam to send him home with Cam, he must have- "What did I say?" he asks slowly, almost not wanting to hear the answer.
From the way the tips of Cam's ears are turning pink, he definitely doesn't want to hear the answer. "You might have outed us."
"Um," Evan says. "Shit."
"Lam's the only one who heard," Cam assures him. "She kept the rest of the nurses out after you started thinking she was me."
"Oh," Evan says after a minute, because he's not really sure how to respond to that.
"Yeah," Cam responds. "It's fine. She's okay."
Evan sighs and sits up in the bed. "A week, huh?"
"A week," Cam confirms, then grins. "So, now that you're feeling better, I'd like to point out that the last time you bathed was in those virus-infested waters, and that it's been a week since even that-"
Evan smacks Cam's head lightly. "Are you telling me I smell?"
Cam stands and leans down to help Evan swing his legs over the edge of the bed. "Too much of a gentleman," he says seriously, but his eyes are smiling. "If you're going to say it, though, I'll agree with you."
Evan leans into Cam as they walk to the bathroom. "Help me?"
"Always," Cam promises.