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Title: Presents Under the Tree
Author: rubygirl29
Recipient: rinkafic
Fandom: Stargate SG-1/Atlantis
Rating: PG13
Pairing: Cam Mitchell/Evan Lorne
Characters: Cam Mitchell, Evan Lorne, Daniel Jackson, Dr. Carolyn Lam
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my words and the Breakaway AU

Author's Note: Apologies for the late posting, but RL had to come first. Also, might now be as porny as requested, but I hope it's sweet and just a little hot.

Presents Under the Tree

The cast had been off Evan Lorne's leg for three weeks, and the time spent in intensive PT had paid off. The muscle atrophy from months in a cast was barely noticeable; unlike the long angry scar running the length of his thigh. The infection from the debris of the collapsed wraith complex and subsequent surgeries to repair the bone had left their mark.

Dr. Carolyn Lam tested his reflexes, gently manipulated Evan's leg, listened to the pulse in his femoral artery and finally stepped back. "You've healed well, Major."

"I won't say it was easy." He gave her a slightly wry smile. "And, I don't want you to think I'm ungrateful, but when can I go back to Atlantis?"

"Not for another two weeks." She wrapped a band around his bicep to raise his veins. She drew a vial of blood. "We're still monitoring you for any signs of infection. We still don't know why it was such a virulent strain of bacteria. You're lucky you kept your leg, much less survived." She labeled the tube and put a cotton pad and a bandage over the small puncture.

"O-kay ..." Evan sighed. "How about when am I officially on sick leave?"

"As soon as the papers are typed up and submitted to General Landry."

"How long?"

"An hour. Meanwhile, you can go to the cafeteria and get some lunch. You still need to gain back the weight you lost."

Evan rolled his shirtsleeve over the bandage. "I'm tired of Salisbury steak and 'Tater Tots."

She touched his shoulder. "Go. I'll send the papers to you when I get them back."

After she was gone, he slid off the examination table. His leg ached, but it no longer felt like it would give way under his weight. He was supposed to use a cane, but leaned on in less and less. Cam had been away for three weeks; the last time he had seen Evan, he was still bedridden in a cast from his ankle to his hip, and still on heavy pain medications. In a way, Evan was glad that Cam had missed most of his recovery, but he can't say there were times when he would have sold his soul to have Cam at his side.

Dutifully, he went to the cafeteria and ate the tasteless food, drank a cup of the fairly decent coffee, and finished up with a piece of pie a la mode. Once he was back to his fighting weight, he'd be back on heavy training to keep from gaining. Life was just not fair. His phone buzzed and he answered it.

"Your papers are here, Major." Carolyn Lam informed him. "Pick them up and you're a free man."

"On my way," Evan wished he really was as eager as he sounded. The calendar on the wall said it was December 23, on the way to Christmas Eve. He was tempted to stay on base to avoid spending it alone. His sister and her family were in Germany this year, so he didn't have that refuge. Cam ... Cam was somewhere, and Atlantis was two galaxies away. He did, however, have a key to Cam's condo and a jeep in the motor pool. He might as well take advantage of that. At least the bed was comfortable.

He packed up his gear, grateful that he had jeans and shirts at Cam's place. He'd rather go into a Wraith lab then the mall this close to Christmas. He was heading to the elevator when his name was called. "Major Lorne, wait."

Daniel Jackson was heading out of his workroom. Lorne paused, turned. Jackson was on Cam's team, and he was here. "Dr. Jackson --"

Jackson holds out his hand. He's not as scary as McKay makes him out to be, at least he seems to be a decent kind of guy, not one of those pissy scientists who think Lorne is nothing but a grunt. "Please call me Daniel. You're looking better."

"Thanks, I am -- at least medical discharged me. I thought SG-1 was off -world."

"We are -- I mean, they are. I'm back with some tech to analyze."

Lorne stepped back involuntarily. Exposure to alien tech had caused him more than one headache, literally. Jackson shook his head. "Easy, major. Nothing to cause your gene to react."

"That's comforting, I think." He looked around. "I don't suppose you have any idea when Mitchell will be back?"

"Sorry, I don't. Landry usually tries to get the off-world teams rotated every holiday, but you know that doesn't mean much when things get weird."

"Yeah, I know." He sighed. "Well, I'm heading out. I have a key to Cam's place and a jeep waiting. Merry Christmas, doc."

Jackson grimaced. "I'm kind of a Grinch."

Lorne remembered that Jackson's wife is dead. He felt an ache of sympathy that he doesn't think Jackson would appreciate. "Well, I'll see you around. Maybe get you to Atlantis one of these days."

"Now, that would be a Christmas miracle," Jackson grinned ruefully. He's been waiting for years to get to Atlantis. He probably hates Lorne right now.

The outside air is so cold and clear that it's like taking a hit of really good grass. No wonder they call it a Rocky Mountain high. Lorne breathed it in cautiously; one of the complications of his injury was a pneumonia-like lung infection. He hasn't coughed in weeks, and he doesn't want to start it up again. He started the jeep and drove from the base to Colorado Springs. By the time he parked in Cam's driveway, it was already past twilight.

The condo development was tastefully decorated and lit with cheery lights, but Cam's unit was dark. Evan fumbled with the keys, managed the lock and shoved the door open with his knee. He flicked on the light. It's chilly; Cam has turned the heat down while he's away. Evan turned up the thermostat and took his gear into the bedroom. It's neat, the bed made, the furniture dusted.

In the kitchen, Evan found a stash of decent frozen dinners in the refrigerator. He started a pot of coffee and put one of the entrees in the microwave. While it heated, he went into the living room and turned on the TV and the fireplace. It was a poor substitute for Cam, but at least it warmed the air. He ate as he watched the news -- same old. It's not as if they had any notion of what lay beyond the Milky Way.

Evan sighed. It was going to be a cold, lonely Christmas without Cam. He was tired and the fatigue made his leg ache. He looked outside. No stars tonight, just clouds and the cold mountain air. Even closed the drapes, turned off the TV and fireplace, and went to bed. The pillow next to his still smelled like Cam's shampoo -- faint and fragile. Even tugged the pillow closer and breathed in the scent. He was asleep in minutes.


He woke to sunlight and a ground covered with snow. He showered, shaved, dressed in his jeans and one of Cam's sweatshirts. After a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee, he headed out. Just because Cam wasn't here for Christmas didn't mean Evan couldn't have a holiday. He wasn't a man made for self-pity and misery.
He brought a small artificial tree at a hardware store. He didn't think he'd be around long enough to take care of a real tree and he didn't want Cam to return to a brittle reminder of a Christmas he didn't have.

A search of the storage area at the condo resulted in a pulled muscle in Evan's back and a box filled with ornaments. He wrestled it upstairs and opened the box. Every ornament in it spoke of family, of friendship, of Cam. There were fragile old glass ornaments that must have been in the Mitchell family for years, ornaments fashioned by childish fingers; Cam's nieces and nephews had been busy the last few years. There were carved airplanes, starting with biplanes and running the gamut of aeronautics history to jet fighters, ornaments from Cam's father; handmade and irreplaceable. There was a silly ornament from Sam Carter of a chubby rocket and a blond-haired astronaut and with "Rocket Man" on the side. There was a sparkly guitar from John, and last year's red Mustang ornament from Evan. There should be more, Evan thought.

He hung the ornaments, but didn't put the star on the top. He had an idea. After heating up another frozen dinner, he pulled his art supplies out of the office closet and went to work. When he finished, he stood back and looked at his handiwork with a critical eye. To an outsider, it looks like a fantasy city in a circle of light; to Evan, it is Atlantis surrounded by her beautiful stargate, more graceful and light than the rockbound Earth gate in Cheyenne Mountain. He's left off the symbols -- he's not an idiot -- and in their place he has inscribed the date and their names. It's only made from watercolor paper dusted with white and silver like a snow globe, but the lights of the city reflect in the water, so realistic that it's a temptation to touch it and expect it to be wet. Evan doesn't often look at his own work with a critical eye, seeing flaws more than perfection, but he was pleased with this, and he hoped Cam would be, too. He set it on the treetop, wincing as his back gave a wicked twinge and his leg muscles protested at being stretched after the inactivity of the last hour.

It's a nice tree, and putting the decorations on it made him feel as if Cam were close enough to touch. He laid down on the couch, pulling the afghan over his shoulders and watched the lights and ornaments sparkle in the dark. It's Christmas Eve, he realized, and exhausted, he fell asleep.


"You mean I can go home? For Christmas?" Cam's voice cracked over the link to General Landry. "Sir, this isn't some sort of ... joke Jackson put you up to?"

"Jackson? Why would Dr. Jackson do something like that? Don't answer that. Is there a reason you don't want to come home?"

Cam could practically see Landry wiggling his eyebrows. "No, sir! I'm just ... not expecting it."

"We'll leave the gate open for you," Landry said. It was a figure of speech, but Cam doesn't waste time. He got his gear together, and stepped through the Cheyenne Mountain gate in the blink of an eye. No matter how often he does it, it still amazed him.

"Walter, is Major Lorne still in the infirmary?"

"No, sir. He was discharged yesterday." Walter tapped a few keys on his console. "He requested the use of a jeep from the motor pool."

"Staying local?"

"I'm sorry, sir. I don't know. He's officially on sick leave."

"Thanks, Walter." Cam's disappointment showed in the slump of his shoulders. He went to the locker room, changed into civilian clothes and picked up his car from long-term parking. It was Christmas Eve and the roads were quiet. A few snowflakes drifted down, not enough to make driving hazardous, just enough to leave a light coating on lawns and decorations.

He drove on autopilot, not really paying attention as his body guided the car to his home. The jeep in the driveway made him slam on his brakes. He couldn't be so lucky, could he? He pulled into the garage, closed the door and went inside.

The house was quiet, but the soft glow of Christmas lights and the fireplace illuminated the living room. Cam stood looking at the tree that he hadn't brought, but that was decorated with the ornaments he loved. His eyes are drawn to the topper -- the Stargate and the turrets of Atlantis. He smiled, heard a soft snore, and smiled even wider.

Evan shifted on the couch, opened his eyes and blinked. "I'm dreaming, right?"

"No." Cam set his cold fingers against Evan's cheek.

"Ow!" Evan pulled him down, kissed him. "Lips are cold, too."

"I have to get the heater in the Mustang fixed." Cam murmured. "Merry Christmas, babe."

"What are you doing here? Nobody said you'd be getting back here." Evan sat up and studied him. You're all right? No problems, no injuries?

"Nope. I guess I just drew the long straw." He tilted his head. "What about you? How's the leg?"

"Good. I have two weeks of therapy, and then back to Atlantis."

"You miss it," Cam said quietly.
"I do. I had a lot of time to think and weigh my options if I couldn't go back on a gate team -- " When Cam looked like he was about to protest that, Evan hushed him. "You know it was a possibility, no use denying it. You wouldn't leave SG-1, and I would never ask you to."

"I hate the distance," Cam sighed and gathered Evan in his arms. "I hate not being with you, not thinking about the future."

"The future starts one second after the past, so maybe one day at a time isn't a bad idea."

They kissed in the soft illumination of Christmas lights. "It's Christmas," Cam said. "I have another good idea."

"Yeah? That's funny, so do I." Evan's blue eyes were wide awake and deceptively innocent. "You want to go to bed?"

Cam grinned. "I always got to pick one present at midnight. This year, I know exactly which one I want to unwrap."

"Mmm, I like that tradition," Evan whispered against Cam's lips. "Let's do it together."

They stood for a few moments, their arms around each other. Lorne leaned against Cam, and felt his strength holding him up. "Best Christmas, ever." He sighed.

"Let's go for the first of many," Cam smiled. "For the rest of our lives."

The End


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
SGA Newsletter - December 22, 2012
User neevebrody referenced to your post from SGA Newsletter - December 22, 2012 saying: [...] : Presents Under the Tree (Lorne/Mitchell, PG13) [...]
Dec. 28th, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
Is the title a reference to I'll Be Home for Christmas? Because that's kind of perfect.

"The future starts one second after the past, so maybe one day at a time isn't a bad idea."

As the young folks say, Word.
Jan. 1st, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
Awww.... That was sweet!
Jan. 2nd, 2013 04:21 am (UTC)
A sweet reunion, just in time for Christmas!
Jan. 5th, 2013 01:38 am (UTC)
awww so adorable! :)
Jan. 28th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
I got bogged down with stuff and only just found this. :/

Thanks so much! It was sweet and flyboys and yum!
Dec. 31st, 2014 10:54 pm (UTC)
*happysigh* adorable <3
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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