Thursday, March 13th, 2008 11:40 pm
This is (a) written for [ profile] sg_rarepairings, for their fic battle, for the prompt 'quiet' and (b) part of the Return'verse (current order of stories at the bottom, but this provides its own context), and actually taking place during The Return.

Early Morning Freak-Out

There’s a whole long list of things that John is finding hard about being back on Earth, but, honestly, most of the top few are too big to think about; the only one that doesn’t make him feel like he left behind something vital when he stepped through the gate is how it’s never quiet. And okay, on Atlantis there was a seventy-thirty chance of being radioed at any given moment, and sometimes he’d get woken up by one of the many base-wide alarms that Rodney liked so much, but basically, once he closed his door, a Wraith army could have marched past his quarters and he wouldn’t have known about it till morning.

Earth isn’t like that. It’s half past three in the morning, and he can hear a car going by every couple of minutes; a dog down the street; something electrical humming; a clock ticking; and Cam breathing, next to him.

So maybe it’s a little more that on Atlantis, there’s never anyone breathing in the same bed as him.

And the thing is, it’s kind of late to be freaking out about this. He’s been back on Earth for the better (or worse) part of a month, sleeping with Cam for nearly that long, and they’ve even stayed over a few times, since John accepted reality (or got sick of Rodney nagging) and moved out of the Mountain. So there’s really no reason for him to be freaking out about how he’s in bed with Cam at half past three in the morning, Cam pressed up against his back, one arm slung loosely over John’s waist, his breath tickling across John’s shoulder every time he breathes out.

He’s not really freaking out, he tells himself. Not really. Just because he woke up with adrenaline running sharp through his veins, straining for the sound of a Wraith attack, a call to defend the city, just because he’s been lying awake for an hour, talking himself out of getting up and leaving (mainly because it would wake Cam, and John has no idea how he’d explain why he needs to leave); none of it means he’s freaking out about this… thing… that they have.

Except that he is. He’s totally freaking out, and if the space outside his head is quiet behind the normal Earth noises that most people don’t even hear, the space inside his head is loud and chaotic.

He remembers being nineteen and sleeping with a guy for the first time, how normal it felt, for all that he knew plenty of people who thought it meant a whole lot of bad things. It felt like sex with girls, apart from how the actual mechanics were a bit different.

John wonders idly if this is a long delayed oh-my-God-I’m-bisexual freak-out and manages a slightly strained laugh at himself.

It’s not even that he’s having a help-I’m-having-more-than-casual-sex-with-someone freak-out, because he’s know that since he got run around a planet by SG-13 for a day, since he went back to his office and sat staring at the door for an hour, feeling like he just wanted to cry, then walked to Cam’s in the rain, because Cam was the only person he both wanted to and could see in that moment. It felt good, waking up on Cam’s sofa with the curtains closed and the lights out, and Cam sat next to him, watching an old film with the sound down low. Since that was weeks ago, John’s had plenty of time to accept that, whatever this is, they’re going to keep doing it for a while. Unless…

He’s not thinking about that. Acceptance as the first step to moving on, Kate said when she cornered him having dinner in the mess a few days ago, throwing it into the conversation like it wasn’t pointed at all. John wasn’t really looking for advice, but he figures she knows what she’s talking about and he might as well give it a try. It can’t be any worse than the way he feels right now.

Cam shifts, making a low, meaningless noise, and John realizes he’s drifted, lost his hyper-awareness of the background noise. Is maybe even getting close to falling back asleep, which would be nice, since he has to be up at 5, and has a day full of briefings and training with his team to look forward to. If he doesn’t kill any of them first.

The truth is, he knows exactly why he’s lying awake at nearly four in the morning. He just doesn’t want to admit it, even to himself, because it sounds so lame.

He’s freaking out because last night, he and Cam had a date.

Well, as much of a date as they could have when they were accompanied by Vala and Sam, and at a public carnival. But, even leaving that aside, it had all the hallmarks of what John remembers of dating: he asked Cam in advance (well, that morning) rather than just swinging by his office at the end of the day; Cam bought him food (cotton candy, but it’s classic carnival date food); there was touching, when they were in the haunted house and no-one could see, Cam’s mouth close to John’s ear as he muttered, you need me to hold your hand through the scary bits? and John bit his tongue so he wouldn’t say yes. They went out, which they haven’t done since the night Rodney left, when Cam took John to a bar to try and drown his sorrows (it didn’t work, just got him drunk enough that he relaxed and let Cam kiss him). They had an awkward conversation about whose apartment they were going back to.

It was a date.

John doesn’t date, not really, or at least he doesn’t date men. Given that being seen on a date with a guy could get him fired, this isn’t exactly news, but… and this is where the freak-out comes in… he kind of wants to with Mitchell. Kind of a lot. Kind of enough that the prospect of getting caught and discharged isn’t the deterrent it should be.

And that’s what’s freaking him out.

“You know,” Cam says sleepily from against John’s shoulder, making him start. “You’re welcome to lie awake all night if you want to, but could you try to think a little quieter? Cos I’d like to be sleeping, even if you wouldn’t.”

And what’s freaking him out even more is that, all things considered, it’s really not freaking him out all that much.

John turns his head just enough to kiss Cam softly, then curls his hand round Cam’s, squeezing it gently. “Sorry,” he says quietly. “I’m done now.”

“Good,” Cam mutters. He sounds half-asleep already, but rouses himself enough to ask, “Everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine,” John assures him, and closes his eyes, listening to the inside of his head as it finally, finally goes quiet.

The current order of the stories is:

During The Return:
The Morning After
(Mis)Adventures in the Milky Way Galaxy
Keep On Living
Early Morning Freak-Out
Not One Word

During SGA Season 4:
That Which I Should Never Say
Speak Of This
Thursday, March 13th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Ooh, Cameron/John! *glees* Such a fun pairing.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC)
They really are :)

Thanks for commenting.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)

I actually went back and read the carnival part after because I apparently missed that one! Love John being all thinky about his relationship with Cam.

Also, I can't wait for your bigbang fic! I'm so excited that they added extra pairings so you could write John/Cam.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I'm so excited that they added extra pairings so you could write John/Cam.

Me too - I started what might be very loosely termed planning something out this morning, and my excitement all came back, which was nice :)
Friday, March 14th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
Earth isn’t like that. It’s half past three in the morning, and he can hear a car going by every couple of minutes; a dog down the street; something electrical humming; a clock ticking; and Cam breathing, next to him.

And this is just gorgeous writing, so beautifully built, and with such perfect rhythm...
Friday, March 14th, 2008 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That's such a nice thing to hear.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 08:28 am (UTC)
Totally awesome! You make me like John/Cam more and more.

Now I have to go read all the stories again, not that I'm complaining or anything. :)
Friday, March 14th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
You make me like John/Cam more and more.

Yay! It's a secret conspiracy (of one!)

Thanks for commenting.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
I love how you thread Cam's presence through the fic, he's sleeping and quiet but he's wrapped around the entire piece.

And how John, to be freaking out about the emotional, committment aspect of the relationship.
Friday, March 14th, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

And how John, to be freaking out about the emotional, committment aspect of the relationship.

Yeah - I think he's the kind of person who's totally fine until he realises that, oh, other people might know. This is an actual thing :)
Saturday, March 15th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
This is fabulous! I went back and read the rest of this series (I can't believe I missed it before!) and I really like the way you've developed their relationship while keeping the character voices. It's a very believable reaction by John.

Now I have to go back and read the rest of your John/Cam fic....
Saturday, March 15th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed the series. It started from the first thing I wrote with the two of them, so I have a kind of nostalgic affection for it :)
Monday, March 17th, 2008 02:04 pm (UTC)
So i was surfing the net, trying to find some good Sheppard stories to read, when i stumbled across your Sheppard/Mitchell stories. I have to confess, although i adore McKay/Sheppard, i very often read Sheppard/ when i saw your stuff, i thought 'now there's an interesting pairing' and clicked.

I absolutely love the way you've been writing these guys, and i think this pairing is now close behind the McKay/Sheppard in love. Seriously great stuff you've been writing - and i look forward to reading more from you in the future! ♥
Monday, March 17th, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm hopelessly in love with this pairing, so I'm gald you're enjoying my take on them :)
Monday, March 17th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC)
Nice addition to the series :)
Monday, March 17th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
I love the various types of freakouts that John thinks he should be having, and that he's not really freaking out at all. sweet and quiet.
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Sunday, March 30th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
I just want to say how much I'm enjoying this series. There's a completely believable ease to the relationship between the John and Cam that you've written and it makes me squee. :)
Sunday, March 30th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
*glee* I love that he's totally freaking out, but not... ;)
Thursday, August 7th, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm never sure if he wants to freak out but can't, or doesn't want to but can't quite help it.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 09:23 pm (UTC)
This was just.....sigh. Perfect. So sweet, and I love how Cameron is fine with John freaking out.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

Cameron is fine with John freaking out

Cam's known John a long time- he's kind of had to get used to it :o)