Pairing: Evan Lorne/Jonas Quinn
Word Count: 10,561
Warnings: depictions of major character with PTSD-induced amnesia may be triggering for some readers.
Disclaimer: Stargate: Atlantis, Stargate: SG-1, and their characters do not belong to me, but they are awfully fun to write about! :-D
Author's Notes: Santa Claus is back in town! Merry Christmas, hon. :-) Also, this work is extraneous to SGU, as I have not seen it.
Summary: Upon Jonas’ arrival in Atlantis, he seeks out Evan Lorne, the first real friend he made the year he was a part of SG-1. But Evan doesn’t remember Jonas—and he doesn’t remember joining the SGC, either.
( If Memory Serves, Part One of Two )
Evan Lorne remembers Jonas Quinn’s smile.
He remembers he could never quite capture it in images, which were always still where Jonas’ smile was moving. He remembers that it always reached his eyes, that there was never a time when Jonas smiled and didn’t mean it. He remembers the way it filled the room, the way it pushed away the darkness, the way it made Evan feel like home was anywhere Jonas was.
Evan Lorne remembers his team.
Captain Serra, fresh off the Daedalus, her life entrusted to Evan’s hands as if no one else could handle someone so green. Sergeant Thomas, SGC veteran of nine years who finally made the switch to Atlantis when his sister joined the city’s medical staff. Dr. Emerson, a brilliant biochemist, whose advances in the last year proved there was a link between bioluminescent life forms and the function of the ATA gene.
Evan Lorne remembers Atlantis.
He remembers the city lighting up for him for the first time, and the odd delight he felt at setting foot in such an alien environment and feeling so much at ease.
Evan Lorne remembers all of this.
Evan opened his eyes to the soft, warm light of the infirmary, his head pounding and his heart racing. He tried to shift in the bed, but the sensation of pins and needles was too painful to allow it. He managed to grab the call button and pressed it firmly, three times for good measure.
He was surprised to see Dr. Keller walk around the curtain.
“You’re awake,” she said, and Evan hoped that the chipper quality of her voice was an assurance that Jonas made it out okay. She checked the machines by his bed, then his IV.
“Yeah,” Evan said. “What happened to me? I feel like shit.”
“Are you in pain?”
“A bit,” Evan said. “Feels like my skin’s crawling right off my bones.”
“Beckett said you passed out in the Jumper,” Keller informed him. “You were delirious from the fever.”
“We managed to bring your temperature down, but you gave us a bit of a scare for a minute there. ”
“Beckett brought him out of his last surgery a few minutes ago. He’s still out, but he’s stable for now.”
“Right. Good,” he said, rubbing at his forehead. Painkillers would be good right then. “Bolus said there was something in the water that made people sick. He had something that his people use to counteract the effects of it.”
“Sheppard’s team went back through the Gate a few minutes after bringing you back,” Keller said. “Woolsey said it would be a good idea to keep the Soje informed about Jonas’ condition.” She grinned then. “They brought back a weed that Dr. McKay claimed was aggravating his allergies.”
“That must’ve been it,” Evan said. “Bolus told me he would bring some of the stuff they use to fight the sickness. He said the villagers get it when they visit the water under the falls.”
Keller shook her head. “We ran samples of the water from your clothing, just to be safe. There’s a virus present that’s likely the culprit, but we’re not one hundred percent sure. Either way, the illness works a lot like the flu, and your body’s already fighting it on its own. Nothing to be concerned about, except to keep an eye on your symptoms, make sure you get plenty of rest and liquids.”
Evan sighed, releasing a tension in his entire body he hadn’t realized he’d been carrying. “How long are you keeping me here?”
“Probably twenty-four hours, just to be safe,” she replied. “Now get some rest. I’ll have someone bring you lunch in a couple of hours, if you’re hungry then.”
Alone once more, Evan felt himself drifting towards sleep. His memories had ceased their war with each other, and he now fully recalled the incident that cost him his entire team. Dr. Rutledge would be thrilled.
In his dreams, Evan remembered Jonas’ blue lips and Dr. Emerson’s soot-smeared face, and their blood on both his hands.
Sitting on the edge of his bed to pull on his boots, Evan felt relieved to be finally free from the infirmary. From what Keller said, Jonas was in and out of sleep, though mostly in, and hadn’t been very coherent when he was out.
At a quick knock on the wall, Evan looked up to see Sheppard approaching his bed.
“You free yet?”
“Yes, sir,” Evan replied. “Doc just released me.”
“Rutledge come by?”
Evan nodded. “I take it you’re the one who sent him.”
“Did you talk to him?”
“I said hi,” Evan replied. “There’s an understanding between us.”
“Let’s take a walk,” Sheppard said.
“I was about to go sit with Jonas a while,” Evan said. “Sir.”
“Won’t take long,” Sheppard replied. “Come on, you need the air.”
He walked out before Evan could say anything else, so instead he stood and followed him. They walked down the corridor to the balcony, taking in the ocean view.
“You were talking about Emerson,” Sheppard said. “Like he was the one who was injured instead of Jonas.”
“All my memories were sort of bleeding together by that point,” Evan said. “It was a little disturbing.”
“I can imagine,” Sheppard said. “Did it all come back?”
“Yes, sir,” Evan said. “Every last moment, every dying breath.”
“You couldn’t have done anything more for your team than what you already did.”
“Thank you for saying, sir, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel responsible.”
“I know,” Sheppard replied. “That’s what makes you a good leader.”
They shared silence for a moment, catching glimpses of ant-like activity on the pier as people bustled back and forth with inventory from the Daedalus.
“We got some news today in the data burst that I thought would interest you,” Sheppard said. “The president signed a repeal of DADT.”
Evan caught himself against the balcony railing.
“Of course, it won’t take effect for a few months,” Sheppard said, “but I thought you might care. You could tell Jonas, too. I hear he soaks up news like a sponge.”
“Yes, sir,” Evan said, his tongue thick in his mouth as he spoke.
Sheppard laid a hand on his shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “He’ll be glad to see you next time he wakes up.”
Before Evan could find the words to reply, Sheppard was gone.
Despite the cast, the bandages, and the IV dripping God-only-knew what kind of crazy-making painkillers into Jonas’ veins, Sheppard was right—Jonas was glad to see Evan when he woke up.
With slow movements and half-lidded eyes, Jonas gave Evan a sleepy smile and squeezed Evan’s hand to his own, reaching over with his other hand to ruffle Evan’s hair. Evan lifted his head off the bed, and a grin overtook his face.
“Hey,” he said, lacing their fingers together. “You’re awake.”
“Yep,” Jonas agreed.
“You feel okay?”
“I’m kinda loopy,” he replied. “Feels like morphine.”
“I think you’re right,” Evan said with a smirk.
“How long have I been out?”
“It’s been three days since MX4-722,” Evan said. “You’ve been mostly out of it since then, and of course there were the surgeries.”
“Surgeries? As in, more than one?
“Three in all,” Evan said. “They got that stick out of your back and then you crashed on the operating table when they were working on your leg.” Evan paused and drew a deep breath, the effort to recount Jonas’ injuries clearly an effort. “One of your lungs had collapsed.”
“I’m good now, though. Right?”
“Dr. Beckett said you’re out of the woods.”
“I was in a swamp,” Jonas said.
“Yes, I know, it’s an expression on—” He stopped when he noticed Jonas was grinning at him. “You know exactly what I meant, don’t you?”
“I told you I spent time studying Earth phrases.”
“And you’re a very quick study,” Evan said with a smile.
“Very quick,” Jonas whispered, gently tugging on Evan’s hand. Evan stood and leaned over him to claim a kiss.
“I don’t know,” Evan said. “I’m pretty quick myself.”
“When I can sit up on my own without exhausting myself, you’ll show me how quick.”
“It’s a deal.”
Evan kissed him again, slow and stalling, grinning against Jonas’ lips when he heard the beeping of his heart monitor gaining speed.
For the next few days, Jonas grew increasingly restless in the infirmary as he waited out the end of his recovery time. Whenever Evan was free, he visited Jonas, drawing on his cast in brightly colored Sharpies or bringing him things to read.
When Jonas was finally released to his quarters, his cast was a rainbow of sunsets, ocean waves, and Stargates. He was also half-way through Sheppard’s copy of War and Peace.
“Extended stay in the infirmary plus escort to your quarters,” Evan said. “You’re definitely one of us now.” He gave Jonas a hand out of the wheelchair and wrapped an arm around his waist to steady him. He brought his other hand to Jonas’ face and pulled him in for a kiss.
“I think you’re getting a little too used to this,” Jonas replied, his mouth drawing up to form Evan’s favorite smile.
“Nothing wrong with that,” Evan said as he pressed their lips together again, teasing Jonas’ mouth open with his tongue.
When they parted for a moment, Jonas sighed. “There is if we get caught.”
“I need to tell you something,” Evan said, guiding Jonas to the bed. He supported him as he sat down, and then knelt to undo Jonas’ lone boot, his left foot bare where it stuck out of the cast. “With all those memories that came back,” Evan started, “there was one that stood out. Something you didn’t tell me.”
Jonas watched Evan unlace his boot and didn’t meet his eyes, pretty sure he knew what was coming.
“I was the one who gave you the uniform codes,” Evan said. “Why didn’t you mention that?”
That took Jonas by surprise. Now that Evan reminded him, Jonas remembered Evan giving him the thick manual the first day after they began sparring together, but that was certainly not what he had in mind for Evan to say.
“I didn’t think it mattered who gave it to me,” Jonas said. “You were trying to help me. Would it have made you feel better or worse if I’d mentioned it?”
Evan sighed. “I gave it to you because I knew.”
“How could you have known?”
“You were flirting with me pretty hard in our sparring sessions,” Evan said, unable to suppress a grin.
“Yeah,” Jonas acknowledged, pulling off the white scrub shirt he’d been wearing for far too long. “So were you.”
“I wanted to do more than flirt,” Evan said, “but I couldn’t risk it. I was still too new, still afraid of what Paul thought about me.”
Jonas pushed himself back on the bed, resting against the headboard. He wrapped an arm over his chest, laying his hand over the bandage on his back. “Now the question is, how do I get these pants off?”
Evan smiled. “I guess someone’s just gonna have to help you.” He reached for the waist band and gently eased the extra large pants down Jonas’ hips. Carefully, he rolled them over the cast.
“Whenever you get me alone, I end up naked,” Jonas said with a smirk.
“Hey, what can I say?” Evan asked, settling onto the bed beside Jonas. “I like to play to my strengths.”
“Getting people naked is a strength?”
“Getting you naked is a strength,” Evan replied. Then he sat up and pulled off his own shirt. “Speaking of which, it seems only fair that I get naked, too.”
Swiveling his legs over the bedside, Evan pulled off his boots and then his pants. He returned to his previous position by Jonas’ side.
“I’m really glad Sheppard gave you a half-day,” Jonas said.
“Me, too.” Evan leaned in for a kiss, then paused when he remembered what Sheppard had told him the week before. “That thing I was going to tell you,” he started, only inches from Jonas’ face, “Sheppard told me a message came through the last data-burst, something we’d both like to know.”
“What was that?”
They’re yanking that code,” Evan said. “In a few short months, we won’t even have to worry about it at all.”
“And Colonel Sheppard thought we’d like to know?”
“He’s known about me for a while,” Evan replied. “I just forgot about it.”
“If he knows…”
“Why did he never say anything to anyone? Get me kicked out?”
“He didn’t care?”
“He did care,” Evan said. “He’s in the same situation.”
“That’s not very surprising,” Jonas said. “He’s always bringing Dr. McKay coffee and power bars in the labs. Now I know why.”
Evan grinned, burying his face against Jonas’ shoulder. He quickly pulled back. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you stink.” He made a face of disgust when Jonas looked at him.
“Hey, you spend several days in the infirmary and see if you come out of it smelling like roses,” Jonas said with a smack to Evan’s cheek.
“I could… sponge you down?” Evan said.
“You know, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were trying to seduce me,” Jonas said.
Evan was already halfway to the bathroom. “Who says you do know better?”
“Because you don’t need to seduce me,” Jonas said when Evan returned. As Evan ran the warm wet cloth over Jonas’ skin, he shut his eyes and let out a moan. “When it comes to you,” Jonas continued, “I’m pretty easy.”
Evan leaned over his companion and pressed gentle kisses to his face, down his throat and over his chest. With every move further down Jonas’ body, he felt him quiver at every touch of his lips. He paused when he reached Jonas’ belly button and glanced up to see Jonas biting his lip, gripping handfuls of sheet off the bed.
“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind,” Evan said, and he continued further south along Jonas' hip before venturing into the black tufts of hair set in vivid contrast against Jonas' olive skin.
He could definitely get used to the sounds Jonas was making.