Rating/Word count: NC17/approx. 2000
Warnings/Spoilers: Set during The Return; vague spoilers for season 10 of SG-1.
Prompt: Lorne/Sheppard, "Life on Earth"
Author's Notes/Summary: After working together for eighteen months they'd gotten repression down to a fine art. But Sheppard isn't playing by the rules anymore.
Life in Pegasus is a never-ending rollercoaster of triumphs and failures, and just to prove it, shortly after Atlantis adds Replicators to the roster of challenges, the expedition finds a whole damn shipful of Ancients. Almost before they can blink the entire expedition is booted back to Earth. On the plus side, Captain Helia borrows the ZPM from Tria and dials direct (don't let the energy shield hit you on the ass on the way out). That means Lorne doesn't have to spend two and a half weeks aboard the Daedalus trying like hell to avoid Sheppard because there is nowhere on that tin can that gives idle passengers enough privacy to jerk off.
(He'd learned that the hard way on his very first trip, a week after he'd met Sheppard. Back then he'd hoped his crush was just a shallow, physical thing that'd pass once Sheppard had an ugly day. It hasn't happened yet.)
Debrief is hours of boredom during which they only manage to cover the bare bones of what they've seen and done and what the threat level is. Especially considering they've been forced to leave a lot of dangerous information in the hands of a people who'd been driven to the brink of destruction the last time they were in charge. By the end of the day Lorne is wrung out, craving fresh air and natural light. Sheppard doesn't look much better; his back is parade-ground straight, and when he smiles at Landry his face stretches grotesquely, like he consciously has to force the muscles to do his will.
"I think that's enough for one day," Landry says, smiling apologetically. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a dinner to get to." He gathers his things and rushes out, already calling out for Sgt. Harriman.
Dr. Weir is still and quiet, and she pushes her way out of the conference room without so much as a backward glance. McKay wanders away mumbling something about a cat, and the rest of Atlantis' defunct command staff head off to confirm travel arrangements. And then there are two. Lorne is just drawing breath to make small-talk when Cameron Mitchell swings into the room.
"Hey, Lorne. I heard you boys were back." Then he draws himself up straight and snaps a smart salute at Sheppard. "Colonel. Welcome to the SGC, sir."
Sheppard rolls his eyes. "You know, that stopped being funny months ago."
"Well, if you hadn't been so damn full of yourself the last time you were Earthside..."
"Did you stop by for a reason?" Lorne cuts in. He's known Mitchell long enough that they skip the niceties when they're off the clock; Lorne essentially owes his F-302 cert. to Mitchell's tips, generously offered while the guy was supposed to be focusing on rehab, but Mitchell calls it square since it kept him from going "bug-fuck insane."
"As a matter of fact. I am fresh off the Odyssey, and I'm dying for a steak and a beer. Wanna join me?" He addresses the question straight to Sheppard, confident Lorne will follow wherever Mitchell leads. Some things never change.
Sheppard quickly agrees, and they start for the door.
"Wait," Lorne calls after them. "Dr. Jackson isn't tagging along, is he? I'm pretty sure I'm still on his shitlist."
Sheppard and Mitchell both turn to stare at him; right, that was before their time. "P3X-403," Lorne explains. "I may have moved some artifacts to get the mining operation underway."
Mitchell winces. "Yeah, that'd do it. And no, he's glued to his books."
They swing by the temporary quarters where Lorne picks up his duffel, and Sheppard and Mitchell take off in the Mustang while Lorne signs out a motor pool car. He almost takes the opening to back out - Sheppard's not someone he's ever hung out with, for a long list of good reasons - but he'd still have to face Mitchell tomorrow. Southern boys don't take kindly to being snubbed, so Lorne just curses his choice in friends and hits the road.
By the time he gets to O'Malley's a plate of buffalo wings is waiting on the table. Lorne takes a second to choose the lesser of two evils - sit next to Sheppard, or have to watch him all night - and slides into the booth opposite Mitchell.
They take it easy on the drinks. All of them have to be at the mountain bright and early tomorrow morning and besides, the shitstorm that would result if Lorne had to leave the borrowed car in the bar's parking lot would have him back on trinium-mining detail as fast as Landry could rubber-stamp it. But at least with Mitchell around conversation is typically easy. They swap notes, in the vaguest possible terms, about the people they trained with, and Sheppard lights up with stories of his own when Mitchell lets slip that Corbell is still running the flight school at Area 51. It's by far the most animated Lorne's seen him since Helia set foot on Atlantis.
They raise glasses to the fallen - to many good pilots from Prometheus and Korolev - and then Mitchell abruptly changes tack away from "shop talk." They've come back to Earth right in the middle of Major League baseball season, and he considers it his solemn duty to fill them in. Lorne exchanges a glance with Sheppard - apparently this is one thing neither of them has missed about home - and when Mitchell's cell rings Sheppard heaves an exaggerated sigh of relief, making Lorne grin at him like an idiot.
Lorne clears his throat and looks away, trying to ignore the way his heart is thumping in his chest. "So, you're staying on-base?"
Sheppard's pressed close enough that Lorne can feel it when he shrugs. "Looks like it."
"I've still got an apartment," Lorne hears himself saying before he can stop himself. "No-one's claimed the couch yet."
It's possibly the worst idea he's ever had - damnit, he used to be smarter than this - but it's too late to take it back now. Out of the corner of his eye he can see Sheppard staring at him, way, way longer than he should, and Lorne has to take a long pull on his beer. This isn't how it's supposed to go. After working together for eighteen months, they'd gotten repression down to a fine art: Lorne pretended not to look, and Sheppard pretended not to notice. Come tomorrow they'll both be assigned to gate teams, so it should be even easier to maintain distance. Except that Sheppard isn't playing by the rules anymore. When Lorne risks a glance at him Sheppard's eyes are fixed on the Dodgers, playing on a set in the corner, but he's smiling. And Lorne is royally screwed.
"Well, guys, I'm out," Mitchell says, snapping his phone closed. "Jackson's had a breakthrough. You need a ride back, Sheppard?"
"No, I'm good."
Just like that, it all becomes real, and Lorne has to dig his nails into his palm to keep from embarrassing himself in public. He's just cruised his former CO right in the middle of O'Malley's bar. While a superior officer was sitting right in front of them. It's the stuff bad porn is made of. He keeps it together long enough to settle the tab, tosses Sheppard the car keys, and ducks into the bathroom to slap some sense into himself. No staring, he tells his reflection sternly. And no grabbing anything until we're behind a locked door.
The drive to his apartment is torture.
Lorne unlocks the door and steps inside, Sheppard close behind. There's an awkward moment where they stand there staring at each other, long enough that Lorne starts to worry he's read this wrong. And then one of them moves and they're kissing, hard and desperate, all teeth and tongue. In the back of his mind Lorne wonders if this whole damn thing is just sublimation - if they're using each other so they don't have to think about the sudden backslide in both their careers - and then Sheppard sinks to his knees and Lorne stops caring about what it does or doesn't mean.
He's shaky and sweating by the time they make it over to the couch, and there's no way this is a fantasy because the Sheppard in Lorne's head was nowhere near this filthy. There's no such thing as a perfect first time, but what Sheppard lacks in finesse he more than makes up for with sheer enthusiasm, pinning Lorne down with kisses that turn into light, scraping bites over his chest. He arches up reflexively when Sheppard flicks his tongue over a nipple and then - oh fuck - their dicks are sliding together. Lorne always misses this the most - strong, sure hands on his body, and solid weight holding him down. If he'd had even the slightest clue this was where he'd end up tonight... well, he'd love to find out some day how well Sheppard fucks.
The couch is a tight fit for the two of them, and Lorne doesn't dare move too much for fear of tipping Sheppard onto the floor. But Sheppard doesn't seem to have a problem with taking the lead. He sets an easy pace at first, building them both up slowly; then Sheppard starts thrusting harder and faster, jerky movements like he can't help himself. It's the closest thing to a universal tell Lorne's ever found in the guys he’s been with. He smacks Sheppard on the ass to get his attention, and pushes him up enough to get room to wriggle down. Sheppard moans and curses when Lorne's lips slide over his dick, and he holds himself rigid, thrusting shallowly, until Lorne grabs his hip and yanks him forward. And he's gone, fucking Lorne's throat three, four, five times and then coming in thick bursts. Lorne swallows fast but there's too much to make a neat job of it and his face ends up sticky. Sheppard shifts then, and kisses him, chasing the taste of himself. It's too much, too fucking much, and Lorne jerks himself off frantically. He comes hard, cupping the head of his cock against his stomach, Sheppard's face pressed into his neck.
They lie there for a minute, breathing hard, sweat pooling everywhere they touch. Lorne reaches out with his clean hand and grabs his T-shirt (at least, he hopes it's his; Sheppard doesn't have a change of clothes) to mop up the worst of it. Sheppard shivers and presses close. They should probably move soon, and get into bed, except... Lorne starts laughing.
Sheppard lifts his head and frowns at him. "What?"
"Sorry, I just remembered; I gave my blankets to Goodwill."
Atlantis was supposed to be a long-term posting, and this place had always seemed to attract moths, so it made sense when he was packing up - no room to take them with him, no point in leaving them in storage. Now, not so much.
Sheppard grins. "And I thought you were such a Boy Scout."
"You thought I had this whole seduction scenario planned out?" Lorne sweeps a hand wide to encompass the bare room, the now-damp couch and Sheppard's naked ass. "Wow, you do think highly of yourself."
Sheppard yanks a cushion off the couch and whacks him hard for that, but his smile doesn't fade. "I guess that means no coffee tomorrow?"
"Sorry. I would've picked some up, but this lunatic dragged me off to a bar."
"I'll tell him you said that."
He probably won't. Contrary to his reputation, everything Lorne's seen suggests that Sheppard cares a whole damn lot about his career, and they can't afford to appear too buddy-buddy. Especially not when they're about to become outsiders, 'stealing' gate team spots from people who've worked long and hard to get this far.
He's distracted from his spiraling thoughts when Sheppard kisses him again, more measured this time. Lorne slides a hand up the back of his neck and curls his fingers in Sheppard's hair. Then they get up and drag clean sweats and hoodies out of Lorne's duffel, curling up together on his bare mattress. He thinks maybe life on Earth won't be so bad, Ori and Lucian Alliance and run-of-the-mill bigots notwithstanding, as he falls asleep bundled against the early morning chill.