Rating: R (very soft)
Summary: An average week in the City of Atlantis.
Author's Notes: Written for Lunasky on LJ for the SGA Santa exchange. She asked for John/Lorne, an anverage day, and plot with her porn. While there isn't any real porn in here, I'm pretty sure I got some plot going.
Any given Monday: 1537AST
He was in the control room when Major Lorne and his team went through the Stargate. It was another normal first contact mission that they had been given an introduction to on a previous trading mission. John watched them step through the event horizon, Colonel Carter standing next to him.
"You don't normally see the teams off," she commented.
John turned his attention to the woman standing next to him, raising his eyebrow. "I don't need to," he told her. "They all know that if something goes horribly wrong it's probably going to be me and my team coming after them. They don't need to know that I'm watching them leave too. Be too much like over protective parenting really."
She conceded the point and turned back to her office. John followed behind her. Stopping by to have a word with her was actually the reason he had been there in the first place.
As the door closed behind them, Sam glanced over to him, silently asking what he wanted. "There's a Sunday coming up," John began. "I know you've probably read the reports from the last one – that you know what happened. I just thought that I would point out that I think it's a bad idea for you to be pushing another one on everyone in the base."
Sam took a seat behind her desk, watching as John continued to stand just behind one of the chairs. She really hadn't expected him to bring an argument against another Sunday to her. John could see that much in the surprised widening of her eyes. "You said it your self before, everyone here needs a little R and R time. I don't see why having another Sunday would be such a bad idea. If anything, after what happened during the last one I would think people would be more cautious and would enjoy their downtime all the more for it."
John shook his head. "Look," he said in as respectful a tone as he could manage. "I know you've got a lot of experience with the Stargate and dealing with alien cultures and technology and blurring the line between military and scientist. But for all of that you're just a rookie out here."
It was Sam's turn to raise a questioning brow and John explained. "You're used to having all the resources that Earth can provide to in a moments notice. We went for almost a year completely on our own." He leaned his weight into the chair before him, trying to make himself clear. "No one is going to tell you that you're doing a bad job, because you're not. You're doing a pretty damn good job considering everything.
"But the point of the matter is, is that you don't really know us," he told her. "Don't push another Sunday on us. No one here who came with the first wave or was here for the last Sunday is going to thank you for it."
Sam considered him and what he said, as well as everything he hadn't said to her. There were a lot of reasons John hadn't wanted Elizabeth's job after they'd been forced to leave her with the Ansureans. Not the least of those reasons was that he didn't think he could actually do what she had done, what Colonel Samantha Carter was now doing. He was pretty sure he would have opened a wormhole back to Earth, dumped everyone who didn't want to stay through it, dismantle and destroy the midway station, block Earth's address and then move the city so they couldn't be found (couldn't be used and abused and taken advantage of).
He wouldn't have had to explain any of this to Elizabeth, she would have known, would have understood why organizing another Sunday wouldn't have worked. But Samantha Carter was not Elizabeth Weir and she was new come to Pegasus and the superstitions that the first wave and those that had come just after the siege held. So he had to explain it to her, had to spell it out almost some of the time.
"We still need to have set scheduled down time for everyone," she pointed out. John didn't say anything; just let her make her own way to the right conclusion. "Everyone's stress level is climbing through the roof. I've heard Dr. Keller warn you about your blood pressure in the mess of all places." When John still didn't say anything, still didn't drop his stand against another mass Sunday, Sam sighed. "It would have been easier to just get everyone's down time done and out of the way you know."
"Yeah, I know," John agreed. "But it doesn't work that way here."
"Apparently not," she said with a roll of her eyes. "And apparently my decisions have to be passed through a majority vote too. We'll do a rotational mandatory Sunday. Break everyone up into two or three groups and set a schedule."
John finally nodded and smirked, pushing away from the chair. He had paper work to do and a new rotation to finish for Sunday groups. Heading towards the door, John was stopped when Sam called after him, "Colonel?"
John turned back at the door and waited for whatever she had to say.
"You could have just made the suggestion you know," Sam told him. "It would have saved some time."
John shrugged a little. "I knew you'd see things our way. It was better to let you come to the realization on your own. Less friction."
Any Given Monday: 2652AST
He opened his eyes to a dark room, not sure what had woken him up in the first place. His hand had crept to his nightstand where his sidearm rested on the surface before he'd even come fully awake. He laid there and listened for what it was that had driven him out of a sound sleep.
The faint chirping noise came from his desk, where he'd tossed his radio after he'd come back from his office. He hadn't bothered to hook it up to the miniature speaker system that would have acted like a speakerphone. He and his team weren't on call for rescue missions tonight. It was their regular evening off. Rodney had projects he needed to catch up on and reports he had to go over before he started assigning out new ones. John had the endless stack of paper work that usually waited for him on the rare days off. Teyla had her meditation sessions and the lessons with some of the base personnel, and Ronon liked to do training sessions with the marines.
Swinging his feet out of bed John leaned towards his desk and snatched up the little radio, setting it snugly in his ear, opening the frequency to answer the chirps. "Sheppard here," he groused out.
"Sheppard, this is Carter. We need you are your team to gear up."
John blinked himself further awake, and pulled his body out of bed, already reaching for clothes to throw on. "What's going on?"
"AR2 failed to make their second scheduled check in on time. We sent through AR4 when we got no response from Major Lorne or another member of his team."
"Have they radioed in yet?" he asked, already pulling on his socks and reaching for his boots.
"No. They were only twenty minutes over due for a check in, but Chuck had a bad feeling about it and we dialled in before their allotted one hour. We got nothing but radio static for our troubles."
John paused with one arm through the sleeve of his shirt at that. Peter used to get funny feelings about check-in's when he'd been manning the controls during that first year. When Chuck had taken Peter's place he'd developed the same sixth sense. John was a little surprised that the former member of SG1 had taken the man's intuition seriously.
"We'll be ready to head out within thirty minutes," John told her, jerking his shirt over his head. Picking up his side arm and its holster from the nightstand, John strode through the door to go collect the rest of his team.
Any Given Tuesday: 0017AST
When the Stargate flashed to life, Sam had to remind herself that the Pegasus Stargate's didn't rotate into being. They just lit up. But she had been waiting for word back about the rescue mission Sheppard and his team had put together to go collect the two missing reconnaissance teams. She wouldn't have cared if the Stargate clattered like a tambourine as it came to life, just as long as the mission had been a success.
She'd been mindful of the things John had said to her before. About how she didn't really know them. It wasn't all that much of a surprise statement to her, because she didn't know these people. Not even Rodney McKay, at least not the Rodney McKay who lived and worked here in Atlantis. What surprised her was the fact that he hadn't called her an outsider looking in, with her face pressed tight to the glass window. He'd given her the benefit of the doubt that she wouldn't just plough over them, that she would give them and their way of doing things and honest chance before she started making changes to a system that had worked for them (over and over).
It was the reason she had listened when Chuck had radioed her to tell her that he thought they should dial in early. Even when he couldn't explain why they should. She'd seen an almost sick light in his face when she'd finally arrived that she agreed. Because John Sheppard was right.
She didn't know them. Any of them.
"IDC?" she asked when the wormhole stabilized.
Chuck frowned at his computer as though he could make the mess of background activity shape a known code. Finally he shook his head. "None, ma'am."
He turned concerned, tired eyes in her direction and for moment, Sam was caught. She knew what she was supposed to do, what procedure and protocol called for. And she knew that if she gave those orders, Chuck would follow them, without question or hesitation, because she was the commander of this base. But she also knew that if she let those words pass her lips she'd lose any respect and trust she'd managed to build here – break it the same way the ocean broke against the city walls.
In the end the choice was taken from her.
From the radio static came an unfamiliar voice. "City of Atlantis. My name is Padtek Lo. We call to ransom back your people."Any Given Tuesday: 0748AST
Stumbling through the wormhole, John tripped on the smooth, even floor of the 'gate room. He came to a swaying, blinking halt in the middle of the room where the sunlight came streaming through the windows, splashing the floor in an array of colours. The rest of his team spread out around him, Major Lorne and his team following with the AR4 skidding in behind them.
He knew that the ransom negotiations had gone well, and that everyone had come back unharmed with all of their weapons and possessions returned to them. But it was only a dim awareness to the way his senses sharpened to the colourful light he was standing in. He even heard someone saying his name, though for a moment he couldn't figure out who was talking to him since he knew the voice didn't belong to anyone who had been on the planet with them.
When the blond woman came into his line of sight, John smiled brightly to her. Then she said his name again, and John knew she'd been the one calling to him. "Glad to be back," he told her, turning his attention to the windows. "Don't think we'll be going back there again."
The woman frowned at him and said something more but John wasn't following her words. Instead he heard Lorne answering her with a giggle in his voice. John turned his attention to the other man, realizing he'd never heard him giggle before. "I don't think I've even been this stoned before," John heard Lorne say.
John swayed his way over to him and slung his arm about his shoulders to steady himself since Lorne had the bad sense to be swaying counter to John's on motions. "Just wait until the munchies hit."
Any Given Tuesday: 1722AST
"I think I'm going to keep you all for observation over night," Dr, Keller said in what Lorne was sure was a deliberately loud and grating tone of voice.
"Hey, doc," Lorne rasped to her. "Try talking a little more softly, 'kay? I think my brain is trying to crawl out of my ears right now."
Sympathetic eyes turned in his general direction and Lorne tried for a charming grin. His didn't have anything on Sheppard's, but since John was busy blocking out the light with his pillow, he figured he'd give it a try.
"Alright, Major," she answered to him with a much more respectable indoor voice. "We'll leave you to get some rest and turn down the lights for Colonel Sheppard. Just give a call if you need anything. I'll have some supper brought in for you shortly."
Lorne nodded and watched as the lady doc left the little isolation room he was sharing with Sheppard and McKay. When the door hissed shut behind her and the lights dimmed, Lorne glanced over to there Sheppard was curled up in bed. McKay was down for the count, snoring softly from his bed. Lorne was a little too wired to be sleep and his skin still felt like it was trying to crawl off his body in rebellion against the scratchy scrubs that they'd all been given to wear.
A nurse stopped by a few minutes later with some food; smiling kindly to them all before she left too. When the door was closed for the last time, Lorne made his way over to Sheppard's bed with two trays of food. He was a little steadier on his feet now that the drugs had finally begun to wear off. But he was still left with the mother of all hangovers.
"Hey," he said carefully, setting the food down on one of the little wheelie carts they'd been given. Nudging Sheppard's hip, Lorne made room for himself on the bed and found that his skin stopped trying to leave his bones behind as soon as he came into contact with Sheppard. "Foods here," he told the huddling man.
Sheppard mumbled something through the pillow and then set it aside. Wide hazel eyes that were more green than brown at the moment stared up at him. Lorne realized he was waiting for an answer to whatever question he'd muttered. "Didn't catch that last one."
"What kind of grub?"
Lorne glanced at the trays and shrugged. "MREs."
Sheppard made a face and wriggled a little on the bed, drawing away the contact he had to Lorne's body briefly before moving back in to wrap more securely around him. "Not really all that hungry right now. I don't think I would actually be able to keep any of it down."
Lorne nodded, settling back against Sheppard. Lorne had never been a very big on cuddling. It wasn't that he didn't like holding on to or being held by another body. It was just not something he actively sought out. It felt a little odd, trying to find ways to form new contacts between his body and Sheppard's. Thanks to the drugs they had been given, Lorne didn't think it was all that fair to be trying to cuddle with his CO when he wasn't a natural cuddler to begin with.
"You know," Sheppard whispered. "I miss cooking. Like full meals from scratch cooking. I used to really like doing that."
Lorne looked down to the man lying on the bed. He hadn't known that about Sheppard before, that he liked cooking. "You know, there are some suites four levels up from the current living quarters with what looks like kitchens in them," Lorne pointed out.
John nodded against his pillow. "Yeah, I know. But it would be a waste of space to move into what amounts to a three bedroom apartment just so I could have a kitchen. And a waste of power and food resources."
Lorne hummed his response, picking at the sheet on the bed. "Those suites have some great lighting. I miss having a room to paint in. Not that I have a lot of time for painting now." It was some thing he hadn't really thought about after he'd left those suites of rooms. It had been a realization while he was there, but then gone in the next moment, lost to the next series of emergencies, rescue missions, and trade negotiations while rationing out power supplies and counting inventory and filling out paper work.
"Food?" Sheppard asked.
"Sleep," was Lorne's answer.
Any Given Wednesday
Wednesday was lost like the ugly t-shirt John had once owned before his divorce. He wasn't even sure how he had made it back to his own room, but somehow he had managed the trek.
Any Given Thursday: 2906AST
Somehow the next crisis had been able to wait long enough for everyone to get over their drug hangovers and get a decent few hours of sleep before crashing the power grid. John had woken up to the sudden silence in his room. Not a whisper, not a sound except for the ocean outside his window. It had been eerie. Even the radio system had gone down.
It had taken Rodney and his team of scientist three hours to figure out what had happened and then fix it. All by the glare of a flashlight and the flickering flames of candles. Rodney had muttered darkly as he and Radek had gone through the new power coding that one of the new arrivals had added to the system without permission. John hadn't felt any kind of sympathy for the idiot as he stood cowering before Rodney's outrage and the tide of Czech that had rushed at him.
He was in the mess, enjoying a cup of coffee now that everything had been fixed, trying to get himself ready to go back to sleep. His team had a mission in the late morning and he didn't want to go out sleep deprived. He'd already done that during the first year when they had been desperate for resources and information. They had a surplus now – slight though it was – that meant he didn't need to spend all night bent over a planning grid trying to figure out what necessity they were going to be cutting next while drafting out the things they were going to be asking for in trade on their next mission.
"Mind if I join you?"
John glanced up from his coffee mug and grinned up at Lorne, kicking out a chair for the other man. "Don't mind if you do."
Lorne took a seat with his own mug in his hand and leaned back, kicking his feet up on the table. "So McKay got the power problem fixed I take it?"
John nodded. "Forbes, one of the new scientists, had added a new coding index over the one that Rodney and Radek had put in. It caused the Ancient version of the blue screen of death."
Lorne winced, taking a sip from his mug. John saw the little sting hanging down the side and smelt the faint tang of spiced tea. "What happened for Forbes?"
John shrugged a little. "He got the sharp end of Rodney's tongue and Radek gave him a version of 'they'll never find the body if you ever do something like that again'. I don't think we'll be keeping him much longer actually."
They were quiet for a few minutes. The silence stretching out comfortably while both relaxed into their own thoughts. Lorne was the first one to break it. "You notice that we seem to be getting a lot of inexperienced people in these last few batches?"
John nodded carefully. Lorne was well aware the number of men – and some women – that had been sent back to Earth just from the military staff. "I think I'm going to have to get together with Rodney and plan a way to bring up those kinds of concerns with Colonels Carter and Caldwell. We nearly lost Adams last week because one of the marines accidentally set off a grenade near the docks."
It was Lorne's turn to nod carefully before answering. "My team is being run through the mill trying to get their trained enough just to patrol the city."
"Yeah, I know," Sheppard replied, looking into his empty mug. "Well, I think I'm heading back to sleep now, Major."
Lorne glanced over to Sheppard as he stood. "Mind some company on the walk back? I need to get an early start tomorrow just to finish the requisition forms still waiting."
Sheppard smirked at him before saying, "Wouldn't mind the company at all."
Any Given Friday: 1125AST
Sheppard's team left for their trading mission to M7E-449. No one seemed to notice the sated expression he wore expect for his team. And no one paid any attention to the fact that his usual smirk up to the control room was for once aimed at someone in particular this time.
It was just a routine mission after all.
Lorne whistled his way down to the office he shared with Sheppard to get started on the requisition forms.
Any Given Saturday: 1359AST
Sheppard's team arrived back unharmed from their mission the proud new owners of some broken Ancient technology and a shiny new trade agreement.
Dr. Keller broke out the big needles and took extra scans to make sure they had gotten back the right team.
Any Given Sunday: Unknown Time
"Fuck," someone grunted. Who, they couldn't be sure. But the bed scrapped on the floor, knocking at the wall more insistently than the moment before. One of them whimpered almost brokenly while the other gasped.
And the small dark room, filled with the scents of sweat and sex was still and silent for a moment, save for the ocean rushing against the city walls below the open window.
"You know," Lorne mumbled as he flopped onto his side. "I think I might like this new idea of the alternating Sundays."
Sheppard panted a soft chuckle as they rearranged themselves on the tiny bed.