A/N: Last chapter, folks... There will be a follow- up, which is why this chapter might seem unfinished, but I'll start a new series after this... I just wanted to say Thank you so much to all those that reviewed... squee
Part 4- Eat Me
On her way to the women's locker room, Carolyn is overrun by Samantha Carter and Vala.
"Are you going to get dressed up?"
"Are you going to get dressed up for dinner with Cameron?"
"Maybe. What's it to you?"
"One of our team has a private life, and we live vicariously through him. And since Cameron won't spill the beans tomorrow, we will need as much details as possible to talk about your dinner date during movie night."
"Ah. What if I don't know yet?"
"We could help you pick something out?"
Carolyn chuckles and Sam and Vala just grin.
"I was gonna wear a skirt and a v- neck sweater."
"Why no heels?"
She rolls her eyes.
"I'm coming over to his place for dinner. We're not going out or anything. I don't want to overdress."
Samantha looks at Vala.
"She has a point."
"Plus, they are one of Cameron's favourite pairs."
Vala smiles at her genuinely.
"I hope dinner goes well. I really do."
"So do I."
Carolyn cannot help but be touched.
"If we promise to buy you lunch tomorrow, will we get the details?"
It is a better option than the team musing about what happened and make up things.
"And we won't share it with Teal'c and Daniel. They are already set on pestering Cameron."
"He has special ops training. He won't break."
Samantha looks at her, unimpressed.
Yeah, she's right.
"Enough said… But now I really have to go. Still need to pick up antipasti."
"Oh, take your time. The meeting is still on, and from the looks of it, it doesn't look like it'll be over any time soon."
"Well, I still have the key to his place, so I can wait over there."
"Good woman. Have fun tonight."
"Night. Have fun with the movie."
"Let's hope so. The last three movies Teal'c selected were awful."
"So, what do you think they are going to do tonight?"
"Far be it for me to speculate about my team leader's love life-"
"As if you have ever let him lead, Daniel."
"It's not my fault that he is not as experienced as we are."
"Teal'c, what do you think?"
"I would think that dinner and a movie sounds appropriate. I will not think about ColonelMitchell's night with DrLam until after the movie."
"But you will think about it?"
"If I do not fall asleep after the movie, I might consider a few thoughts."
"And talk. They have a lot to talk about."
"You all lack imagination."
"No, we don't. But the thought of Mitchell with Dr Lam is slightly nauseating, so I'd rather not dwell on that."
"I seriously don't think that they will sleep together tonight. She hurt him pretty badly and as much as he loves her, they have to sort out their issues first."
"I agree, ColonelCarter. Could we now watch the movie?"
"Good idea, Teal'c."
"Vala, stop pouting. Watch the movie."
Carolyn is not surprised when nine o'clock arrives and Cameron hasn't turned up yet. So instead of waiting in front of the apartment, she lets herself in. No point in sitting outside in the chilly night air when she could be inside. Meetings of all team leaders can take a day if they have a lot to discuss, and her father wanted to speak with Cameron personally about the events in Kansas; she does not envy him.
She settles herself down on the sofa in the living room and checks to see if anything has changed. Aside from two more books on the coffee table, nothing has changed. Cameron's anal nature shines through in the way his books, dvds and even the magazines are arranged. Nothing is out of place on the shelves, and even the clutter, the small knickknacks and picture frames are arranged.
She's not really interested in watching tv, so she picks up one of the books, What happened before he shot her by Elizabeth George. Carolyn grins. Cameron loves science fiction over everything, but a good crime novel has always sucked him, and he's become addicted to the Elizabeth George- novels that she introduced him to.
She turns the book around. If she gets started now, she won't be able to tear herself away, as usual, but there's the whole matter of the book being an appealing book and her really wanting to get started and maybe she will just read the first ten pages, or at least until Cameron comes, and after that she won't have time to think about the book anyways, because Cameron will cook for her, and they will talk, and they will start mending bridges, and screw it, she will read.
Cameron once told her that books are evil, and she agreed.
Still does, in fact.
Reality disappears, and Carolyn finds herself in England.
When Cameron comes home at quarter to ten, she still is in England, and does not react to him gently calling her name when he enters. He takes off his jacket in the hallway, hangs it on the rack by the door, toes off the shoes, places them on the shelf, keys and wallet go into the small wicker basket his mother gave him when he moved into the apartment, and goes into the living room.
Carolyn is sitting on the cough, completely absorbed in the book he bought yesterday, feet tucked under her, wearing a blue v- neck sweater and her favourite denim skirt, he pale blue flats with the criss- cross pattern beside the sofa.
To Cameron, she is a vision, and if they didn't have to talk and he wasn't starving, he would join her on the couch for a cuddle, and make her read to him.
"Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet home Alabama… Where the skies-"
A groan interrupts his purposely off- key rendition.
"I was in the zone. And now you decide to come home? You couldn't have come home before I saw the book?"
"Had I know you would come over, and that you would be over before me, I would've hidden it, I can assure you."
He chuckles and bends down to brush a light kiss to her lips.
"Hey yourself. How was the meeting?"
Cameron comes around the couch and plops down beside her.
"Stressful. And we are scheduled for an early off- world mission tomorrow."
He hits his head against the sofa a couple of times.
"Be careful with the head. That's a nasty bump you got there, mister. You sure you are fit enough?"
"Yeah, yeah. I don't have a concussion or anything. And we need to return to the world, to convince them that the Ori are not the way to go."
"You are going back?"
"Yeah, the General wants us to. Says that they are only scared. He thinks that maybe when we are coming back after being attacked, they can see that we are sincere."
"You don't agree?"
"Well, the cut on my head doesn't, but we need to try. The more allies and less worlds for the Ori, the better."
She touches the wound on his head lightly, and he leans into her touch.
"I always am."
"And that's why you have had seven concussions, four sprained ankles, fifteen broken ribs-"
"You're keeping count?"
Carolyn can feel herself blush.
"That is cute."
"Oh yeah, very cute, that I know exactly how many times my boyfriend has been in the infirmary with wounds, where they were, how severe… You name it, I know it."
She tries to cover her slip up, but his enquiring stare tells her that he more than noticed it; the light in his eyes tells her also, that she likes it. And yet, with the delight, there's also a good dose of doubt mixed in.
"So am I your boyfriend again?"
"You know how much I despise the word 'lover'."
"Oh yeah. I don't think I will ever forget those thirty minutes where you went on a rant about how the term 'lover' is such a stupid word, and so degrading as well."
His smirk makes her blush even more.
"To come back to your question. Yes, you are my boyfriend again. And if you want me to, I will advertise it in the papers."
His left hand has wandered over to her feet, and with a swift but gentle pull, they are on his lap, and he starts massaging them, one of his favourite pastimes when they are on the sofa.
"I don't need you to do that. I just want to meet your friends. You don't have to shout it out from the rooftops. But if we share each other's lives, we should do it completely so."
"You really want to meet my mother?"
"Hell yeah, I do."
"Okay. She's coming over in two weeks. We always have dinner on the first night that she is in town, at this very fancy French restaurant that you have to book years in advance for. I'll ring them tomorrow and tell them that we need one more chair for the table."
She leans over and lightly brushes a hand through his hair. Cameron closes his eyes in appreciation to the soft movements.
"You look tired. Shall we have dinner another night?"
"Nah, I'm hungry. And I doubt that you have eaten."
Given his knowing look she doesn't need to answer that question.
"We'll just have something quick if that's alright. I'm too tired to cook up a storm, sorry."
"That's alright. We're having dinner. That was the plan."
"Come on then. I'll whip up a salad."
He gets off the couch and reaches for her hand, and together they head over to the kitchen area that is separated from the living room by a counter.
"I would've proposed we keep them until the next time and then have the pasta, but that is good, too."
"I got them fresh from the market."
He gives her a smacky kiss on the lips.
"You're a star."
In response she slaps his denim- clad behind.
"I know. And you're a chef."
"I think they are having sex right at the moment."
"Me, too. Or they might actually be heaving dinner, depending what time Cam got out of the meeting."
"I say they are foregoing dinner and went straight to the sex."
"ValaMalDoran, please desist from making inappropriate comments."
"Remember the golden rule, Vala. No talking during the movie."
In the end, they still make pasta. Cameron had leftover pasta form a couple of nights before, so they just warm it up with the antipasti and prepare the salad in the meanwhile.
Usually, wine that would have been drunk, but since Cameron had to go off- world early the next day, they settle on juice.
"I missed this, this familiarity."
He nods while adding the spices to the salad.
"When do you want to tell my father?"
Cameron whips around so fast Carolyn suspects he got whiplash.
The deer in headlight looks is too amusing to her.
"When. Do. You. Want. To. Tell. My. Father?"
"Uhm. At our wedding?"
He clamps up all of a sudden.
He's very busy with the salad now, mixing in oil and balsamico vinegar.
"Did I say that?"
She'd chuckle if she wasn't so pleasantly surprised. There's also a side in her, though, that is mad at herself for ever even thinking about wanting to give this man up. It is par of the course by now.
"Yes, you did."
He turns around to her, places the salad bowl onto the small table on the living room side of the counter, adds cutlery and napkins and then finally faces her.
"The thought had crossed my mind once or twice. Or thrice."
Carolyn really would like to smack her head against a wall or the counter right now.,
"I'm an A+ idiot."
"We've been over this, hon."
He comes up to her and envelops her in a tight hug.
"You were afraid. Just talk to me. That's all you need to do."
They cling to each other.
"I learned my lesson, believe me."
She presses a kiss to his lips, he responds in kind and soon they are making out.
Almost back to normal.
"Do you think that you were a chef in a former life of yours?"
Carolyn moans as she forks up the pasta, devouring it.
"Maybe. But you know that my grandma was a chef, and whenever we were visiting, I'd be with her in the kitchen and watch her."
Cameron shrugs modestly.
"So, you like?"
She snorts as he chuckles.
"I love when you revert to caveman talk. You eat. Me hungry. You cook."
"That made no sense whatsoever."
"Piffle. It wasn't supposed to make sense."
Cameron plays with his food, obviously thinking about something. Carolyn has never been one with a lot of patience or was ever lacking in curiosity.
"I was just thinking."
"Oh, Lord help us."
More playing with the food.
"Cameron, don't play with the food."
She gives him a light slap on the wrist.
"What are you thinking about?"
"If I should ask you what I want to ask you."
She waits. Patience might not be her strongest suit, but sometimes you have to give Cameron time. She has time, so she can give it to him.
His face is tense, anxious, and his eyes are searching hers, looking for an answer before she actually answers.
She pretends to ponder and wonders aloud, just to tease him, though the playful smirk on her face gives it away.
"Shall I stay with the man I love, or shall I not? Cameron, what do you think?"
"I think you should."
"Don't you think it's too quick?"
"Babe, we've been spending the last three years at each other's places. And I've missed you. I can't stress that enough. I'm also not above using the guilt card. You broke up with me, you need to make it up, so stay."
"Well, if you put it that way… I need to get up early to the Mountain anyways. I hear one of the teams has an early mission tomorrow."
They smile dopily at each other.
"You haven't burned my clothes, have you?"
"Nononono. They are still in your drawer."
"Well then, Colonel, I would say it's set. I'm staying the night."
They start clearing the table and load the tiny dishwasher.
It feels so good to be back to normal, definitely, that Carolyn would like to dance and sing. Cameron probably wouldn't even bat an eyelash. It's not like she hasn't done it before.