Pairing: Evan Lorne/Jonas Quinn
Disclaimer: SGA doesn't belong to me.
Summary: Evan paints for a reason.
Author's Note: I have been trying to write you this story from the moment I saw your signups, but it just wouldn't come. It's still a lot shorter than it should be - so much more happened between them! - but at least it exists. I hope you enjoy!
He studied the sky for a moment before swiping his brush across the canvas one more time. Smiling to himself, he set the brush down and turned towards the door that opened onto his balcony. "Hey, Doc."
Zelenka nodded to him and moved forward to examine the painting. "This is very good," he said softly. "Is this ... one of Rodney's whales here? Under the waves?"
"Good eye. So what's up?"
"I was just passing by. I did not mean to disturb you."
Evan turned his gentle smile on the other man. "You're not disturbing me at all. It's been so long since I had an audience for my painting."
Zelenka's eyes had not moved from the painting. "I could use the fresh air," he said cautiously.
"I could use the company," Evan replied. "Usually I just look a little crazy, I guess, talking to a piece of canvas all alone."
"A little crazy can only be expected on Atlantis."
Evan grinned. "A little crazy can only be expected of an artist, J-- someone used to tell me."
Zelenka nodded and stepped back from the painting, turning his scrutiny on Evan. "Thomas used to say that of me. My programs were art, to him. He once composed a symphony based off--" The man broke off suddenly. "People like us should stick together," he said forcefully.
"Artists?" Evan schooled his face carefully.
Something shuttered over Zelenka's eyes. "What else could I have meant?" He turned to go back inside the city, but Evan laid a hand on his arm, sighing.
Surprisingly understanding eyes met his. "Am I wrong about your Jonas?"
Evan felt his eyes widen.
"You have only said his name once," Zelenka said softly. "Yet you speak of him often."
"You're not wrong." Evan realized his hand was still on the scientist's arm, but he couldn't bring himself to remove it just yet.
"And you have noone to tell about him. Noone except your paintings."
Evan smiled softly and squeezed Zelenka's arm. "Every time I put brush to canvas, it's for him. I would be honored if you wanted to stay, talk while I finish this scene."
Evan smiles tiredly at the man glaring down at a sheaf of papers. "Mind if I?"
"Hmm?" He glances up, then smiles, entirely too alert for the hour. "No, of course, sit, please. Jonas."
Evan chuckles to himself as he slides onto the bench, dropping a bowl onto the table in front of him. "Yeah, I know."
"Right, the newest alien on SG-1. Everyone knows."
Jonas doesn't sound upset about the fact; if anything, he's slightly exacted. "Lorne."
"Is that a common Earth name? It's nice."
"Uh, it's my last name. Sorry. Evan. Which is a fairly common Earth name, I guess."
Jonas smiles at him and turns back to the papers in front of him. "I hear that Jonas is also a name on Earth."
"Yeah." Evan takes a bite of steaming oatmeal with relish. "Not as common as Evan, but not unheard of."
"On Kelowna, it is ... unheard of." Jonas grins down to the papers. "Was that right?"
Evan nods around another mouthful of oatmeal, eyes closing as its warmth slowly returns human feeling to him. A moment later, a hand on his wrist startles him.
He shakes himself awake. "Yeah."
Jonas studies him briefly. "You should finish your meal so you can rest properly."
He nods. "Yeah."
Jonas quirks half a smile and takes the spoon from Evan's unresponsive hand. He loads it with oatmeal and holds it in front of Evan's mouth.
"Right, yeah." Evan takes the spoon and smiles at his tablemate. "I can do it. Thanks."
What seems like an eternity later, the spoon returns to his mouth bare, and he opens his eyes to an empty bowl. Jonas laughs quietly and restocks his papers. "Come on. Let's find you a bed."
"Just like that?" Zelenka asked, and Evan had to laugh.
"Nothing like that. In fact, once he installed me in temp quarters on base for the night, I didn't see him again for at least another week."
He glances up from his sandwich and smiles at the man standing uncertainly by the table. "Jonas! Hey." He surveys the rest of his team before gesturing to an empty chair. "Join us."
Jonas sighs in relief as he sinks into the seat. "Thanks."
"I never got to thank you for last week. Anything I can do in return?"
The other man looks startled. "I didn't help you to get a favor."
Evan nods. "All the same."
"Hey, you're the new kid on SG-1?" Marks turned away from the discussion the rest of the team was having. "From, uh, Kowlan?"
Jonas looks startled all over again. "Kelowna. Yeah."
"Cool. Hey, we're going out tonight if you want to come. Shoot some pool, drink some beer. It's not just SG-9, so don't worry about feeling like the fifth wheel. Any friend of the Captain."
"That's nice of you," Jonas answers, startled shifting to overwhelmed. "I don't know--"
"Just think about it." Evan grinned as his teammate turned back to the argument about their destination.
Jonas turned towards him. "He's nice."
"Yeah, the team's all good guys."
"What is a fifth wheel? And why will you be shooting pools?"
Evan quickly stuffs the remainder of his sandwich into his mouth to keep from laughing inappropriately. Not Jonas's fault he doesn't know all the possible Earth idioms yet.
"I'm not really allowed on Earth without ... someone with me, yet," Jonas says matter-of-factly. "I hope you have a good time, though."
Evan's laughter turns into a loud snort of disbelief. He swallows quickly. "They let you offworld, fighting for the planet, but you can't go out and see the people you're saving without some sort of guard?"
Jonas shrugs. "A guide, maybe. It's for my own good."
"Well, screw that. I'll be your guide. You can even crash at my place if you want, after." He hesitates, studies the other man's face. "If you want to come, that is."
"You'd do that?" Jonas's whole face lights up, reminding Evan of a puppy he'd recently given to his nephew. "I haven't seen anything of Earth other than a drive through this city with Major Carter."
"That really settles it. You can't just look at a society, right? You've got to really see it, experience it properly. And more than once, too."
Jonas reaches out and squeezes Evan's hand briefly. "You might be the nicest person I've met on Earth yet."
Radek smirked at Evan, who blushed immediately. "Oh, shut up."
"One day, I will tell you of Thomas, and you may have many such looks at me. I am only taking advantage while I can."
Evan grinned. "In that case, I'm looking forward to turning the tables on you."
"Speaking of tables...." Radek's eyebrows wriggled suggestively, and Evan instantly blushed again. "You didn't!"
"No! I mean, not yet. And not there."
"So you took him back to your place and showed him your skills ... on a table."
Evan swatted at his friend, uncaring of the smear of blue paint added to his hair. "It's not like I planned to do it that way, okay? And you're jumping ahead in the story!"
"By all means, continue." Radek leaned against the balcony rail, smirk still firmly in place.
"I had a really nice time with your friends," Jonas says as they wait for the elevator in Evan's building.
"We do this every Tuesday night," Evan answers, stretching an arm out to hold the elevator door as a few other tenants exited. "Half of them have a mid-week weekend, and the rest of us show up whenever our offworld schedules allow it. You could come any time, you know."
Jonas's smile looks startled again, and Evan jabs the elevator button more sharply than intended. Alien world or no, he shouldn't be surprised whenever someone's friendly. He's never met O'Neill, but the man's people skills are rumored to be a little better than that. More importantly: team's team.
"It's up to you. And, hey, if you wanted to see more of Earth than just that bar, I was going to try to go for a run offbase tomorrow after I get my paperwork done. You know, if you want."
Jonas's startled smile turns into a shy grin. "The novelty of a machine to run in one place has worn off," he admits.
Evan snorts. "Probably the only thing you've gotten tired of."
"Maybe the commissary food."
Their matching laughs keep them company from the elevator to Evan's door, and he fumbles briefly with his keys. "Well, um, it's not much, but since I spend so much time away...."
Jonas stops just clear of the door and looks around the small apartment, eyes wide. "Did you make this yourself?"
He grins as the door clicks shut behind them. "I used to paint. My brother made me those frames, though."
"These are nice."
Evan laughs and toes off his shoes. "You think everything is nice."
Jonas shrugs. "Earth is nice. Your paintings are nice. You're nice.
"Yeah, well, you're not too bad, yourself." He runs a hand through his hair, grimacing. "Um, you need anything? I just ... I'll...." He pushes gently past the other man and heads into the kitchen.
"No, I'm good," Jonas answers from right behind him, and Evan drops his half-filled glass in the sink. Swearing, he turns the water off.
"Can you just--"
The towel appears in his hands as he turns around. "Are you hurt?"
"No, it didn't break. You just startled me."
Jonas frowns and slings the towel across his shoulder, taking Evan's hand in his own to examine it. "I didn't mean to."
Jonas turns the hand over and strokes the skin softly. Apparently satisfied that his friend is telling the truth, he slowly releases the hand. Evan shoves it in his pocket after an awkward hesitation. Jonas is standing too close for anything else.
"Your customs are not mine," Jonas says quietly, after a long moment, and Evan nods.
"Yeah, I'm getting that."
"On Kelowna--" Jonas studies Evan's face, then pulls away and sits at the table. "To allow someone else to enter your home before you is--"
Evan waits, but the rest doesn't seem to be coming. "It's just a courtesy here," he says honestly, carefully leaving his face open and encouraging.
Jonas nods, finally seems to decide to continue the thought. "It is significantly more to my people. Perhaps a ... declaration of intent."
"Of a willingness to start a relationship?" Evan asks hesitantly.
"Of an intention to." Jonas flushes slightly. "Of course, it's not just ... I mean ... it goes both ways." He studies the floor intently. "But not on Earth. Not for you. Your ways are different."
Evan sits for just a minute, sits and makes himself think about what he's about to do. "Jonas...." A finger under the man's chin, gently lifting, encouragement without force. "My ways may be different, but...."
"But I'll still do you on this table if you like," Radek quipped when Evan didn't finish his thought.
The Czech grinned. "Just helping the story along."
"Well...." Evan frowned as he felt himself blushing again. "Well."
"So what happened next? After the table sex, if you don't mind skipping what I'm sure is the best part."
"I don't kiss and tell," Evan agreed, then cocked his head to one side. "Well, I don't kiss and tell details."
"Used to paint?" Jonas asks as he slides into the bed. "You don't anymore?"
Evan shrugs and turns off the light. "No point. I can't paint anything on Earth now that I've seen what else this galaxy has to offer."
"Earth is so beautiful, though."
He frowns at the slightly wistful tone. "Yeah, it is. I hardly have time, anyway."
"You should make time for your hobbies."
"What about you? What are your hobbies?"
Jonas butts his head gently against Evan's shoulder. "I indulge myself regularly, but we're talking about you now. If you can't paint Earth, paint what you see offworld."
"I'm not very good at painting from memory."
"Take your paints with you."
Evan laughs. "Jonas, I'm on a search and rescue team. When would I have time to stop and paint the landscape? Oh, sorry, Mr Jaffa, but if you could just hold off on that whole killing-me plan for a few hours so I can get this on canvas--"
"Stop." Jonas rolls up onto an elbow and pokes Evan in the chest, hard. "You could find a way. Do guard duty on an archeological site. Take a rotation backing up a different team. I don't know, spend some time at your Alpha site."
"I don't know," Evan says quietly. "I just ... I don't know if I want the whole SGC to know about my painting."
"Because you don't think you're good enough, or because it's too private?"
He shrugs in the dark, sure Jonas will feel it through the hand now sitting gently on his chest.
"You are good enough. You're fantastic. But I can understand privacy. If it's really that, I'll let it go."
"I don't know," Evan whispers, unable to take the easy road Jonas handed him.
A soft kiss falls on his shoulder. "Then you practice at home until you know, okay?"
Another laugh bubbles out of Evan's throat. "The whole point of this was that I can't paint Earth anymore!"
"So you paint me." Jonas's voice is utterly unconcerned. "I'm not from Earth, and I can come to the privacy of your own home any time. And then you don't have to tell anyone else about the paintings, either. Our secret."
Evan gropes up the other man's arm and into his hair, pulling him down for a slightly desperate kiss.
"But he returned to his planet," Radek said quietly as Evan put the finishing touches on his canvas and stepped back.
"Not right away. And we keep in touch. He used to visit, before--" He sighed. "It was his idea for me to come here, you know."
"A very good idea for all of us," Radek interjected seriously. "You have done a lot for Atlantis."
"And Atlantis has done a lot for me. Doesn't mean I don't miss my secret alien boyfriend."
Radek shook his head and grinned. "When you say it like that, my stories of Thomas pale immediately in comparison."