Word count: 9080
Don't owe anything.
Jack O'Neill had been called to the IOA office pertaining what they called official matters. What that was supposed to mean Jack had no idea, but he had the suspicious feeling it had something to do with the city of Atlantis currently being parked off the coast of San Francisco.
"General O'Neill." He was greeted once he was led into the large light conference room, where every important IOA person was gathered awaiting his arrival.
"Mr Banvard." Jack greeted back. He had net the man on a few occasions previously and couldn't say he was a big fan of the IOA chairman.
"Have a seat General. We have a preposition for you."
John Sheppard stood out on one of the balconies overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. They had been on earth a little over a month now, a month since the earth was almost attacked by the wraith, a month since he had almost scarified his life in order to save the planet he had been born on.
John turned around and saw Major Lorne standing in the doorway.
"Major, can I help you with something?"
"General O'Neill and some IOA people are here. They want to talk to the senior staff." John could see worry deep inside the Major's eyes. Had he not known the man as well as he did he wouldn't have seen it, but after four years of working and living together in the Pegasus galaxy they had learned to read each other well.
"You could have just called for me Major. No need to come all the way out here."
"Trust me sir had that been an option I would have but it would appear you're not wearing your headset." Lorne said with a smirk when John touched his ear with his hand and noticed the Major was right.
"Sorry about that."
"Don't worry about it sir. We still not on duty and I didn't really mind the walk."
"You said we had visitors?"
"Yes. I think they have finally decided what to do with us." The worry was back in the Major's eyes more present this time. John had known it was only a matter of time before a decision about Atlantis future would be taken. He had only hoped he had more time. If he wouldn't be allowed to stay in the city that had become a home to him he didn't know what he was supposed to do with his life. How did you go back to whatever normal life was after you had spent years fighting with aliens in another galaxy?
"Well better get this over with then Major."
"I am glad you could all make it." John wasn't overly impressed with the man obviously in charge of the IOA representatives. He had come to respect and maybe even like Wolsey on the time they had both worked in Atlantis but he thought he would never even be able to even stand this man.
"Certainly Mr Banvard." Wolsey said showing a respect John could tell he wasn't feeling. It would seem he wasn't the only one who did not like this man.
"As you probably have guessed this – situation, has given us, and every country associated with the Atlantis project the opportunity to look over your situation and your future and we have come to a decision in regards to that future." John felt uneasy, but one look at General O'Neill told him there was more to the news than that they were unceremoniously being thrown out.
"We have decided that Atlantis will become independent from the countries now controlling it." a gasp traveled through the room.
"What do you mean by interdependent?" Rodney asked with the same cutting voice he always used when he was feeling threaten.
"You will be given your own government, your own laws and you own nationality. You will become the first real colony that the earth establishes." There was what might have been a smile hidden in the corner of Mr Banvard's mouth.
"Seriously?" Dr Keller asked dumbfounded. John hid a snicker and noticed from the corner of his eye that Lorne were trying to suppress a smile. Those two really were meant for each other.
"Yes Dr. Keller we are being very serious." One of the IOA women said, not bothering to hide her smile.
"We wanted to begin with informing you of these changes." Mr Banvard said continuing from where he had been interrupted.
"How will this affect us?" John turned to look at Lorne. It was a good question. There had to be changes right?
"That is the reason we are here. To inform you of the impending changes you will face. Those of you who will feel these changes the most are the military personnel. As well as the senior staff. General O'Neill has been offered and has accepted a position here on Atlantis."
"As what? If you don't mind me asking sir?" John asked turning to his superior.
"Well, from what I can understand, and I assure you colonel that it is all very vague. It's a desk job."
John thought he heard a low sigh coming from Banvard. "General O'Neill will be something like your minister of defense or joint chief depending on how you choose to look at it. The Atlantis military will answer to him." Banvard explained while O'Neill simply shrugged. Why a man like General O'Neill would want a job like that John didn't know but he wasn't complaining it hasn't him.
"So what will happen to us?" Rodney asked slightly if not much less defensively.
"You will of course be allowed to stay." The woman who had spoken to Keller a few minutes earlier said. "Everybody currently stationed on Atlantis will be given the opportunity to stay." John felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He hadn't realized just how afraid of having to leave he had been.
"In exactly which capacity, that is something that will have to be determined." Banvard said.
"On that note I wonder if it would be all right with everyone if I could talk with the Colonel and t he Major somewhere else?" O'Neill said. "There is no reason for us to stay here."
"Of course." Banvard said with a nod.
"Sir?" John said. They had walked out onto one of the city's many balconies. This one just like the one John had been on when Lorne came to get him had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"Didn't have this nice a view last time I visited." O'Neill said before sitting down on one of the chairs that had been placed around a small table on the balcony.
"What was it you wanted to talk to us about?" John pressed.
"Your new positions. I take it you both want to stay." He looked at both John and Lorne intently.
"Yes sir." They both said without hesitation.
"Good. Have a seat." He waited until both his subordinates were seated before continuing. " Mr Banvard didn't tell you much about what these changes will entail. Let me clear it up a little. He said that the military personnel will go through the biggest change this is true. You will no longer serve the country you were trained to serve. You will no longer belong to the USAF."
"But sir..." Lorne began, but O'Neill held up his hand stopping him.
"You will become Lantians, you will have a Lantian nationality and you will serve the Lantian military. You will retain your American membership since you were born there but essentially you will no longer belong there."
Put like that there was both obvious and quite terrifying to John. He had left earth behind when he went to Atlantis the first time. Now he had to cut the last few ties still binding him to the planet on which he had been born, but still he knew he had to do it.
"Sir, permission to speak freely?" Lorne asked.
"Why did I decide to come here?" O'Neill said guessing the Major's question. Lorne nodded.
"To do something I love while at the same be able to be with the man I love." O'Neill looked amused at the surprised look John knew he was sporting. "Yes Colonel I did say man. One of the perks of no longer belonging to the US military. No Don't Ask Don't Tell."
"Dr Jackson must be happy." Lorne said with laughter playing in his eyes and John felt even more confused.
"I told him we were moving to Atlantis and he pretty much dragged me off to bed so yeah. Though I can't say I wasn't willing."
"Too much information sir, but I am happy for you." Lorne said with a laugh. "You ok sir?" Lorne said this time to John.
"A bit surprised is all."
"Sometimes it's obvious you never worked at the SGC."
"For you information Major me and Daniel were never together while we were both working at Stargate Command."
"Sometimes sir, it's not what you do but how you feel that is the main thing. It was obvious to everyone who bothered looking that the two of you were in love despite the rumors flying around about you and Colonel Carter."
"That is true." O'Neill cleared his throat signaling a change in subject. John wasn't complaining he didn't care about people's sexual orientation but to talk about General O'Neill's sex life was throwing him for a spin.
"What I really wanted to talk to the two of you about was what jobs you might be interested in from now on. I have a few, well actually two position that I have thought might fit you." he turned to look at John with a look that seemed to indicate he was thinking intently about something or maybe he was just trying to scare John.
"The position I would like you to take is technically a civilian job, but I think you would be the best candidate."
The first thing that popped into John's head at the words civilian job was the two last years of high school when he had worked extra in a super market. That was the only civilian work experience he had and hardly the best experience at that.
"What kind of job is it?"
"With these changes the military won't have the same power within the city as it has now. A police force will take care of the primary security inside Atlantis. I and the IOA with me believe you would be the best man for the job of. I don't know what you what to call it, chief of police maybe." John was slightly speechless. Him, a cop? They were joking right.
"It would mainly be a desk job I am aware of this, but a job with more action would considerably lower your rank within the new city structure, and take this from someone who's been there, you're not getting any younger."
"What exactly would I do?"
"You would create and coordinate the Atlantis police force. A SWAT team might be a good idea considering. I have a feeling you might win over a few of your old men there." John looked at the older man for an explanation to that statement. "I know what working close with the same people for a long time under stressful situations can do to create bonds between people. We may get a more open policy but I will not accept fraternization in a direct chain of command."
"So this would be an opportunity for those who have relationships they can't be open with because of their position within the military." Lorne said with a nod.
"Yes and that leads me to the position I would like you to take. Unlike John I would like it if you stayed within the military. You'd be answering to me and not to Colonel Sheppard, and Colonel if I didn't make that clear you'd be more or less equal to me in rank but within a civilian capacity, if you were to accept. The position I am suggesting to you Major is fairly similar to your current duties. Since I know you're the one doing most of Sheppard's paperwork." John glared at the two men who were both smirking at him. "One of the differences will be that there will be a division within the Atlantis military force. One part will be more ground bound and the other will be a mix between navy and air force and will have ships at their disposal. I would like you to be the commanding officer over the navy, air force division Major."
"But, don't you need someone with a higher rank than me for that?" John wanted to ask the same thing, and why wasn't he offered that job? After all he had been the highest ranking officer in Atlantis for five years. So maybe he was sounding like a petulant child but at least it was only in his head.
"I can do whatever I want and I believe more in experience then I do in rank."
Evan thought life was great at the moment. He had accepted the job the General had offered him right then and there. Sheppard had decided to take a few days to think about it. Evan could understand why his CO was a bit skeptic at being given a civilian job. He had been, was great at what he did and it must have come as something as a shock when his 2IC got the job maybe he thought he should have had, but Evan could see why O'Neill did as he did and thought as he thought.
John could be even better in his new position. He couldn't wait till his friend figured this out for himself. A crease appeared between Evan's eyes, if he did accept the job that is. Sheppard could be too stubborn for his own good sometimes.
Evan left his quarters and went looking for his still, for at least a few more weeks, CO. He found him in the gym sparring with Teyla. If Evan was honest with himself. Something he rarely allowed himself to be when it came to John Sheppard. There were few things more beautiful or sexier than the sight of Sheppard sweaty and focused like he was now. Unfortunately John Sheppard was as straight as Jack O'Neill was gay. Thought that might not be the best comparison considering General O'Neill had been married to a woman before joining the SGC.
The stirring he felt in his pants as he stood there was the reason he did not work out with John if he could avoid it, and he definitely did not come to watch.
With a few fast movements Sheppard ended up on his back and Teyla stood there looking down at him smiling like the Cheshire cat.
"Something on your mind John?" She asked sweetly. Since the meeting the day before everybody had noticed that something was up with the military commander, but he had refused to tell anyone what exactly O'Neill had said and Evan knew it wasn't his place to do so.
The other three members of the senior staff had been as far as Evan could tell pleased with their new jobs. McKay had been offered to head the Physics department. Pretty much the same as he did now, but he would only have to focus on the thing he loved the most and could leave the rest up to someone else. He had been offered a higher position that would mean he would have to oversee the entire science department. Which would leave no time for his own job. He had vehemently refused and Evan secretly thought everybody was happy for that.
Dr Keller would become the new head of their new ER and they would hire a dean of medicine that would handle the paperwork and politics for the entire hospital section. Wolsey's job was the one that Evan had the hardest time getting his head around. They apparently would honor the Ancients by using their government structure. Instead of one president, prime minister or Governor they would have a seven chairmen council that would handle the city's politics. Wolsey had been offer one of those seven positions.
John sat up and glared at too cheerful woman. "I'm fine."
"Sir?" Evan said to get the other mans attention. John turned around still sitting on the floor. "Could I have a word with you?" He looked up at Teyla. "In private." He added.
"Certainly." Teyla interrupted whatever excuse Sheppard might have come up with and left the room with a quick smile at Evan that he returned. Seeing it for the encouragement it was.
He took a few more steps into the room and offered his hand to the other man.
"Thanks." Sheppard grunted as he was helped to his feet.
"Sir I wanted to talk to you about what General O'Neill said yesterday." No point in beating around the bush.
"What about it Major." Sheppard walked over to the side of the room and placed the fighting sticks down on a bench before sitting down.
"I don't think you quite realize just how perfect you would be for this job." Sheppard looked at him without saying anything and Evan decided to continue. "No one knows this city like you do sir. You're the one everybody turns to. Had you been given the job I got you would essentially have been cut off from the civilian population. Who would get McKay to stop acting like an ass if you were off training the military somewhere? The scientists listen to you in a way they wouldn't with anybody else, and you know how Atlantis works. You'll still have plenty interaction with the military. For example you won't get rid of me that easily."
"I take it you think I should take the job." Sheppard said and he was smiling.
"Yeah." Sheppard said slowly. "In that case I think you should drop the sir. It will actually be nice to have a few more people than Teyla using my first name again."
"Yeah, not even McKay uses John much right."
"No he doesn't."
"Well then if I get to call you John I think it's only right if you call me Evan." Evan smiled back at his friend when he grinned at him.
Fucking Evan. Fucking Evan and fucking O'Neill. It had been one week since he had accepted the job and John was stuck with folder upon folder with potential hirings. As soon as the news had been released to the Atlantis population at large Sergeant Bates had approached John about a position on the city's new SWAT team and John had been happier then he could express at having him. Not for the first time in the past week John was very jealous at his former XO. The little deserter had run off with his men and left John to put together a completely new group of people, civilians at that, to work with.
John let out a sigh and let the folder he'd been holding fall down at the table. It seemed Evan Lorne had taken up a lot of his thoughts lately and it was slightly unnerving to tell the truth. Because it wasn't like when he usually thought of one of his buddies. Like thoughts of Rodney or Ronon wasn't accompanied with weird, irrational, unexplainable feelings. Like when Evan had convinced him to take this damn job and had said that he wouldn't get rid of him. He had gotten this warm and almost tingly feeling and then Evan just ran off with his, John's men, like he said he wouldn't do and John would never admit to feeling hurt. The worst part was when John had overheard Evan talking to one of the marines. As part of this new colonization thing, the people working and living on Atlantis would be allowed to bring their families with them. There would be schools and someone had even mentioned a mall. How they would pull that one off was a mystery to John but that wasn't the point now the point was that Evan had some girl coming. It had been approved and she'd be arriving by the end of next week from what John had gathered from the overheard conversation. Evan had been really excited. He guessed he should be happy for the younger man. After all a relationship strong enough to last four years of separation could probably pretty much anything. Yet John was far from happy for his friend, he was pissed and he refused to look to closely at why he felt the way he did. He probably just wished he had some girl he could ask to come and share Atlantis with him.
Evan was really excited. He would finally go and pick up Cassi. He couldn't wait to see her again. It was weird really he had been on earth one and a half month and he hadn't been home to see his family. It had just been so much with everything else going on. First it had been the problem with finding a power source that would allow Atlantis to fly again. Once they had finally found what appeared to be some kind of Ancient outpost that had had three almost full ZPM's almost a month had passed. A considerable short time considering they had tried finding even one ZPM for five years in Pegasus with little result and when they had the problems had usually started. It would appear ZPM's weren't as high value in this galaxy and with the help of Dr Jackson thing had run smoothly.
Then it had only been not even two weeks where Evan had thought several times about going to see his family but it never seemed to be a good time to actually leave before the news had arrived, and now here he was finally on his way.
He knocked the front door. It had been almost a year since he'd last been here. The door was slowly opened and Evan looked down at the small girl barley tall enough to reach the door handle.
"Cassi!" He picked up the little girl and spun her around.
"Daddy!" She squealed straight into his ear but he didn't mind.
"Hello Evan." Emily stood in the doorway to the living room.
"I had forgotten how good you look like that." Evan said looking at his childhood friends rounded stomach.
"You may think I look good pregnant Evan, but I assure you it's not a walk in the park." Emily said with a smile when she came over to give Evan a hug.
"Women are amazing." He said giving her a kiss on the cheek
"And still we do nothing for you. I'm almost offended." the obvious teasing in her voice only made Evan laugh at her.
"Evan. I hear you are here to kidnap Cassi." Patrick, Emily's husband came down the stairs.
"Nah, just borrowing." Evan said and looked down at the two year old leaning her head against her dad's shoulder. She looked so much like her mother. Her brown hair was wavy almost curly and close to impossible to control, her skin was light and her eyes were big and a warm brown. In Evan's eyes she was the most beautiful little girl he had ever seen, but which father didn't think that?
"How come you're suddenly allowed to bring Cassiopeia with you to where ever it is you are stationed?" Patrick asked. "I thought it was all secret and classified and all that military mambo jambo." Inwardly Evan shook his head, Emily and Patrick sure was a match made in heaven.
"It still is secret, but we're trying something new." Evan said.
"Which is?" Emily pressed.
"We're changing the structure a bit. Bringing in more civilians. Families. The entire project's seems to be going domestic. Even my CO recently switched to a civilian position."
"John." Emily said with a leer. Evan had mentioned John's name once and she had immediately figured out he had it bad for his commander, and she would not let it go.
"Why don't you follow his example and then you go down on your knees and beg him to take you. Hard."
"Emily!" Evan hissed covering his daughter's ears. The other two adults only laughed and the little girl looked like she thought grownups were very strange beings.
Evan had been forced to stay for dinner before he was allowed to leave with Cassiopeia. He wondered just how amusing the people on Atlantis would find his daughter's name. In fact first he might have to actually tell them he had a little girl.
Cassi had been a mistake really. He and Emily had gotten together a night while he had been on earth almost three years ago, and they had both gotten beyond drunk. Ended up sleeping together, and nine month later Cassiopeia was born. Due to the Ancients found in stasis Evan had actually been on Earth when his daughter was born something he had always been immensely happy and still. Not even then had he told anyone of his colleagues about her. On some level he knew he'd go back to Atlantis. In the time between Emily got pregnant and Cassi was born Emily had met Patrick. Evan knew his little girl would be properly looked after and loved. He did still have shared custody of Cassi but he'd thought that as long as he lived on Atlantis Cassi would be solely in her mother and stepfather's care he had been wrong. Also the fact that Emily had let him take Cassi had surprised him a bit. He knew Emily was very open minded and light hearted apparently so were her husband, but he had called her a week ago and told her he wanted to take Cassi for an undetermined amount of time, in undisclosed location. She had simply said yes. Thinking about it now on his way back to Atlantis, Cassi at his side, he thought she had almost sounded relived. He pushed dose thoughts away and continued his way back home.
McKay stumbled into John's new apartment. Apparently as a part of the "new" Atlantis you had to be able to cook in your own home. Therefore all Atlantis personnel had been moved out of their old quarters and into larger fully equipped apartment located around the city.
"What's wrong Rodney?" The other man looked, terrified, and when he did not immediately answer John got worried. "Rodney?"
"Jennifer." Rodney said with a shaky voice.
"Has something happened to Jennifer? Is she hurt?"
Rodney mutely shook his head.
"McKay, snap out of it!" John said loudly his voice pulling Rodney back into the present.
"She's pregnant." Rodney blurted out staring at John like deer caught in the headlights.
John's face slit out into a large grin. "That's great buddy." He said and pulled Rodney into a manly hug for a moment.
"But I don't even like kids." Rodney whined. John only laughed at his friend. It would be fun to see him come around.
Evan stepped on into the jumper that would take him and Cassi to Atlantis. Cassi refused to be set down but still looked around herself curiously.
"Were we go Daddy?"
"To Atlantis." He had seen the Disney movie Atlantis in a bookshelf in Emily's home and was amused by Cassi's large round eyes when she heard the name of the city.
"Yes we are going to live in the great city of Atlantis." Cassi squealed and jumped up and down in delight in Evan's arms. Evan heard snickering behind him and turned and saw Lieutenant Miller standing there with a big smile apparently it would be Miller who'd be flying them from the harbor to the city.
"Cute kid. Whose is she?"
"She's mine. Cassi this is Rob. Rob, meet Cassiopeia." He introduced them.
"You named your kid after a star constellation." Miller said with a smile. "That's very fitting sir."
"Yeah I thought so too."
"Hello Cassi." Rob said to the girl who hid her face in her father's chest and mumbled a shy "Hello." Into the fabric.
"I didn't even know you were a father sir." Rod said when they both sat down in the chair and got ready to fly the short distance to the cloaked city.
"No I haven't really told many people in the city. I never thought I'd really get the opportunity to be there while she grew up so there wasn't much point."
There was a short pause as they flew over the water.
"Hey kid look out the window."
Cassi lifted her head off her father's chest at Miller's words and her eyes grew big when a city appeared in front of them seemingly out of nowhere.
Jack was standing in the middle of Daniel's apartment in Colorado Springs. The place was literally covered in boxes.
"Danny, do you really have to bring all this?!" He called into the bedroom where Daniel were in the middle of packing even more things.
Because of all the new people that would be added to Atlantis. A few people at the time would have to move in. it would take months more before they were finally ready to leave Earth.
"Yes. It's not like we're going on vacation Jack or even going on a job. We're moving. I can't just leave things behind."
"I threw a bush of stuff out." Jack said shrugging his shoulder. Despite standing with his back towards his lover Jack could feel those blue eyes boring into the back of his skull. "I'm just saying."
Jack felt Daniel wrap his arms around his waist from behind and he leaned back into the embrace. It'd never cease to amaze him how simply right this felt. Daniel burrowed his face in jack's neck and soft kisses to the junction between Jack's neck and shoulder. Jack let his head fall back against Daniel's shoulder as the ministrations of his neck continued. Jack didn't even notice that Daniel had opened his trousers until he felt them being pushed down and cold air hit the sensitive skin on his erect penis.
"Danny." Jack breathed and was answered with a low throaty laugh, he didn't know if he was whining, begging or ordering. He just needed – something.
A hand wrapped around his erection while the other kept moving in soothing circles on his stomach just above the leaking head. Slowly Daniel started to stroke him. Bringing Jack steadily closer to completion. It didn't take long before Jack came with a shudder and a groan.
Daniel placed a last kiss on what Jack just knew was a hickey high up enough on his throat not to be covered by anything other than a scarf or a turtleneck. Neither of which Jack could wear in California without suspicion.
Jack groaned again this time in annoyance. Daniel chuckled and placed a kiss on Jack's cheek before he let him go.
"I have to continue packing you should get cleaned up." Daniel said with a cheeky smile once Jack turned around still with his trousers halfway down his thighs and cum staining his shirt.
"Yeah you get on that." Jack said knowing he'd never persuade Daniel to part with his beloved artifacts. Before Daniel turned and walked back to the bedroom. He leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on Jack's lips.
"By the way you look incredibly hot like that."
John had just finished calming down an irate Jennifer Keller. Apparently Rodney had run away and hid somewhere in the light of new developments. His girlfriend was not happy. John had had to slowly and patiently explain to her that Rodney was not rejecting her or their child he just needed time to process. In a few hours he would emerge babbling about names and diaper brands. She just needed to give him some space right now.
He turned a corner and saw the traitor walking towards him. It had been a over a week since they even talked. Wasn't his girlfriend supposed to arrive soon? That's when John noticed that Evan had something, or rather someone in his arms. A girl judging by the length of the hair and the pink and red in her clothes.
"John." Evan said and stopped in front of the other man.
"Evan." John said back looking at the girl.
"Ehm, John this is my daughter Cassiopeia. She'll be staying with me for a while. Probably until we leave for Pegasus again."
The words "Her name is Cassi." ran through John's head. Evan didn't have a girlfriend he had a kid. Only John couldn't decide which was worse.
"I didn't know you had a Daughter." He finally said.
"Well, no I didn't really want to talk about her when I couldn't be with her more than maybe a week a year." He said subconsciously holding the girl closer to him. "Cassi this is John. He's a friend of mine."
"Hi there Cassi." John said he could definitely see the other man in the little girl. She looked at him intently before opening her mouth and saying the last thing he ever thought she'd tell him.
"Daddy loves John. I love John too." Before holding her arms out expecting him to take her. Instinctively he did while staring at Evan with big eyes while Evan stared at his daughter horrified.
Had she just said what John thought she had? She had hadn't she. Oh my god, Evan loved him? John was close to hyperventilating and Evan seemed to be close to the same state. When they were interrupted by a group of marines coming down the corridor. John hurriedly handed the child back and almost ran down the corridor.
Evan didn't know what to do he should find John and tell him it was all misunderstanding. But the problem was he didn't want to. He'd been in love with the man for four years now. True, his daughter tactlessly blurting out he loved John like that might not have been the way to go about winning a completely straight man over to his side. Had she been older than two he might even have gotten angry with her. As it was now having a father who was more or less uncommunicative was more than enough punishment for the toddler.
Ronon sat on a chair in the soon to be closed commissary and looked from one side of the room to the other. Something had happened when Major Lorne had brought his child to Atlantis some weeks earlier. He had thought that maybe finally after that stupid military regulation some of the officers on Atlantis had had to abide to was removed, Lorne and Sheppard would finally see each other like they were, in Ronon's opinion, supposed to. At first it had seemed to go well. Then things had just gone to hell, as Sheppard would put it.
Ronon didn't know what had transpired between the two men he had subtly tried asking without success. Things had gone really bad when Cassiopeia had arrived but he could not blame the men's behavior on a baby.
Ronon sighed and put down his spoon. He needed help to figure this one out. He was man enough to admit he had no clue what to do with matters regarding romance. He looked around the lunch filled room looking for someone who could help him.
Ronon had filled Amelia and Laura in on his thoughts and suspicions and wasn't sure he should be happy or terrified at their eager willingness to help pair the two men up. Apparently the thought of two hot military men was very – exiting. He had seen similar reactions in Atlantis female population when O'Neill and Jackson had moved in together a week earlier.
Sitting in Amelia's apartment plotting, Ronon for a moment wondered if the four men currently being discussed had it right after all, but one look at his girlfriend told him that no, he still preferred women to men.
"I don't think we should do it too complicated." Laura said.
"No, Evan might be able to follow but we'd lose John halfway through." Amelia agreed and Laura nodded like she knew exactly what the other woman meant.
"Step one is to get the kid away from daddy." Laura said.
"As cute as she is she's a real romance killer." Amelia said and again both women nodded. As on some hidden signal they both turned to Ronon and smiled sweetly. He knew he was domed before they even said anything.
"Ronon you will have to babysit." Amelia said.
"What are you planning on doing in the meantime?" He asked suspiciously not wanting either of his friends to be hurt by anything these women could come up with.
"Lock the two of them up somewhere?" Laura suggested.
"Somewhere where they have to talk." Amelia continued.
"Preferably somewhere romantic." Laura finished.
"And how are you planning on setting this up?" Ronon asked and was met but more smiles.
John sat I his new office working on a schedule that would actually work for everybody working under him. It was surprisingly hard. He had about thirty cops and a SWAT team consisting of twelve men that he had to somehow fit into a rolling schedule where everybody got the same amount of weekends off, and almost everybody wanted to work as little night as possible. He had even gotten four requests for Christmas day off, it was February.
He had at least hired a secretary. She would start next week, and hopefully she was good at scheduling. He wanted everything done by the time the last of his new people arrived in the city.
His door chimed and John was only happy at the distraction and reason to stop his working if for only a few minutes.
"Come in!" He called and the door swished opened reveling Amelia Banks. "Miss Banks. Something I can do for you?" He asked when the woman took a hesitant step inside the room and looked behind her as the door closed.
"Ehm, I don't know. I think that maybe someone's been in my apartment." She said hesitantly. "I mean I don't know but, do you think you could take a look?" she looked at him. Her brown eyes begging.
"Yeah sure I'll take a look."
"Thank you John."
Ronon and Laura walked down yet another corridor. Ronon had tried telling the women that it would look less suspicious if he had been with Amelia but had been likewise told it would be suspicious if Laura came and told John about a suspected break in in Amelia's apartment. So therefore Ronon was now hunting down his prey together with Laura Cadman, and again Ronon felt a bit sorry for the two men for sending the two on them, but hopefully the results would be worth whatever discomforts they'd have to live through now.
They spotted their prey and started walking faster in order to catch up with him.
"Evan!" Laura called, and the man stopped.
"Cadman?" Evan asked. Ronon's eyes were on the girl by the man's side. She was his job for the foreseeable future, and if he didn't do a good job he would not be forgiven easily, by at least three people.
"Evan I could really need your help." Laura whined.
"With what?" Lorne said with a chuckle. It was a well known fact that Laura held nothing back and didn't mind playing dirty when she wanted something.
"It's art related, and I'm lost I know women are supposed to have good taste and all that. But, well I don't, and don't bother to even look at Ronon he's even worse than I am. Would you please please help me?" Looking more innocent than the 'other' two year old present.
"Fine I'll take a look." Lorne didn't even try to fight it.
"Great, I hoped you'd say that. That's why I brought today's acting Mary Poppins." Laura said pointing over her shoulder at Ronon. Ronon had no idea who or what Mary Poppins was, but judging by Lorne's face he suspected it was some kind of insult to him.
"I don't know Laura." Lorne hesitated.
"Evan I know it's all knew to you but you can't take here with you everywhere all the time. See it as an exercise. It'll take fifteen minutes and you'll know she'll be safe with Ronon. That's why I brought him. I did consider McKay first. God knows he'll need the training but I simply couldn't be that cruel."
Lorne laughed slightly. "Yeah ok." He knelt down next to the girl. "Will you be ok with Ronon for a little while sweetie?" He asked.
The girl looked at Ronon like she was assessing him before nodding.
Evan wondered what Laura really was up to. It wasn't his birthday so no party, that was a good thing. Needing his help with something artistic, that was just crap. He almost stops in horror when one plausible explanation surfaced. He really hoped she wasn't setting him up with someone. He didn't want to reject some poor girl on sight.
They reached their destination and Evan failed, though to never have been there before, to notice that they weren't at Laura's apartment but at Amelia's. What he did notice though was when Amelia came running out of the door and the two women pushed him into the room with enough force to make him stumble into a warm, solid body standing only a few feet inside the room.
He found his balance and pushed himself into a standing position with John Sheppard's face mere inches from his own. He quickly took a step back his mouth had in an instant gone dry and he felt him palms start to sweat.
He spun around and found that the door had closed behind him.
"And you two will stay in there until you've worked this out!" He heard Laura's muffled voice yell through the door. Despite knowing it was pointless Evan walked over to the door and waved his hand over the crystals that would normally make the door open, nothing happened. It stayed silent and closed.
"Banks is a damn good technician I doubt you'll get the doors open like that." John said still standing in the same spot he had when Evan had fallen into him.
"Do you know you they did this?" Evan asked spinning around to look at his former CO.
"Cadman said something about working something out didn't she."
The condescending tone in John's voice made Evan feel slightly nauseous. He leaned against the door behind him. "She probably meant the fact that we haven't spoken in over two weeks." Evan said. "It would appear people are starting to notice that things aren't exactly great between us."
"You're the one starting this whole avoiding thing." John crossed his arms over his chest.
"What?" Evan felt really confused. As far as he knew he'd tried to talk to John after the disaster in the corridor, but as soon as he got even remotely close to the other man john had run away.
"Don't give me that look." John said and turned around and started pacing the room. "You said that..." John trailed off with a frustrated groan leaving Evan even more confused. What had he said?
"What did I say?"
"It doesn't matter."
Evan knew an agitated John Sheppard wasn't the best thing to be locked in a room with but he needed to know what was going on in the other man's head. It would appear that what had John upset was not Cassi's statement but rather something Evan had said.
"It matters." Evan pushed off the door and took a couple of steps closer to John. "I care about you, of course it matters." this could either end well or spectacularly bad. Evan really hoped it wouldn't all go to hell.
"You care." John said with a humorless laugh.
"John what the hell did I do?" Evan was getting frustrated.
"You said..." Again John didn't complete the sentence.
"What did I say? Does this even have anything with what Cassi said? Because I thought that was why you were avoiding me."
John stopped his pacing and looked straight at Evan. "Was she telling the truth?"
Evan couldn't decide what he was seeing in John's eyes but decided honesty was the best way to go. "She's two. She doesn't know what a lie is."
"That doesn't mean it was the truth. If she doesn't understand a lie, how can she understand the truth?"
"It wasn't a lie." Evan held his gaze locked with John's. "It wasn't a lie. You don't seem to want to beat my face in so what did I do wrong? What did I say John?"
"I have no idea what I'm doing." John sank down on the couch placed behind him. He locked like a lost kid. Feeling brave Evan walked over to the couch and sat down next to John. Just a little bit too close for two men who were simply friends.
"How do you mean?" Evan asked when John didn't seem to be any more forthcoming.
"With anything. You said..." John took a deep breath. "You said you'd be there." He refused to look at Evan as he said these words.
Evan was speechless. John felt – abandoned by him?
"I didn't know." He finally said quietly. He remembered what he had told John when he convinced him to take the job, but then it had been so much with his own new responsibilities and then the whole thing with Cassi. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."
"I got – jealous." Evan looked at John in confusion. What was he talking about now?
"You never mentioned you had a daughter. Then I overheard you talking to one of the marines. You said that a Cassi would be coming here. I thought you were talking about a girlfriend. I got jealous. At first I didn't want to admit to what the feeling was, but, yeah." John was staring at his hands clasped in his lap.
"Why didn't you try and talk to me?" Evan said at long last.
"Everywhere you go you bring Cassi with you. I'm not blaming you I just didn't well like having this conversation in front of her."
Evan groaned and buried his face in his hands. Everything was such a mess. That at least explained why Laura had insisted on Ronon taking Cassi before dragging him off. She got what he didn't. You didn't talk about this stuff with a two year old around. No wonder single parents had a hard time get a date. The question was how did he fix it?
"You're right. She's with Ronon now by the way. I wonder who I feel the most sorry for?"
John let out a surprised laugh. "With Ronon?"
"Yeah, he's in on this too." Evan turned his head slightly and saw the frown on John's brow.
"I'm gonna have a talk with him once we get out of here."
"How did they get you here?" Evan asked.
"Banks claimed someone had been in her apartment and wanted me to look into it. You?"
"Laura wanted artistic advice. I figured something was up, but I was curious. I just hoped she wasn't trying to set me up with someone. And actually I believe she was." He studied John's face when he said the last part. He thought he saw John's lips twitch into what might have been a small smile but it could just as well have been his mind playing tricks on him.
"I've never," John began. "Been with a man. I've never had any interest in being with a man." Evan nodded silently. It was never fun having all your hopes and dreams crushed even if it was being done as gently as possible. Evan had come out and told John he loved him. Not liked, loved, him.
"And then you showed up." Evan looked up surprised. "Yeah, I didn't figure it out until after Cassi's outburst in the corridor. I don't think I ever would have allowed myself to without having some kind of confirmation that my feelings were reciprocated at least in some way."
"What exactly are your feelings?" Evan asked in a hoarse voice.
"I'm in love with you. I've been in love with you for quite some time now."
Evan would never know who moved first, but John's lips against his own felt like coming home
the two women looked at each other in satisfaction. They had decided against putting a microphone in the room, the boys needed at least some privacy. But it was amazing what you could get from just a live video feed. After all they needed to make sure they behaved and that the results were according to their wishes.
Evan was angry beyond words, and at the same time close to the happiest he'd ever been. It was a strange combination but he thought he had the right to it. He'd just gotten off the phone with Emily. There were three days before Atlantis would leave for the Pegasus galaxy. All in all they would be over 24000 people living on Atlantis. They were everything from politicians and scientists to receptionists and kindergarten teachers. The city was bustling with life in a way it hadn't done in over ten thousand years.
"What's wrong?" John walked up to him and wrapped his arms around Evan when he walked into their shared home with an angry expression. They'd been together exactly one week before John had asked if he and Cassi wanted to live with him. John's apartment was bigger than Evans and had three bedrooms, two with their own baths and one that worked as a shared office for both men. They had only lived there all three of them for a few weeks but since they were finally leaving earth Evan had contacted Emily in regards to Cassi.
Since he had picked his daughter up Emily had given birth to a baby boy.
"Cassi will be staying here with us." Evan said his eyes locked on a spot on the wall.
"But that's a good thing right." John had come to love Cassi in the time they had lived together and Evan knew Cassi's staying with them wouldn't cause any friction between them.
"Yes, that is a good thing. The fact that her mother don't care if she will ever see her daughter again isn't."
"I said that I could come and drop Cassi off sometime during the next two days, and she asked me if I couldn't keep her. I said that I could but I didn't know when or even if I would be in a position to get Cassi back to her. She didn't care she just said that that was ok. That she and Patrick had their hands full with the baby." John held him closer as Evan rambled. "We've been friends since we were kids I never knew she could be so cold."
"I am not trying to defend her or anything but it was harder on her then you think. You told me Cassi was an accident." Evan nodded. "Why didn't she make an abortion?"
Evan thought about it. "She knew I wanted kids." He finally said. "I got so excited when she said she was pregnant."
"Cassi is yours. She has always been yours. Emily knew this."
Evan felt the anger leave him. Maybe John was right, and even if he wasn't it made him feel better thinking Cassi was Emily's gift to him rather than a burden that she had finally gotten rid of.
"And you are ok with it?" He just needed to know.
John took Evans face between his hands making physically sure Evan was looking him in the eyes. "I have always wanted kids too. She may not be mine biologically, but I don't care. I love her as if she was my own, and I want the two you in my life for the rest of my life. I would have hated to see her go." John kissed away the single tear that had started to roll down Evan cheek before placing another kiss to his lips.
John pulled back and let his arms fall down around Evan's neck. "Do you think we should go find her and tell her the news?"
"Nah, I think Ronon can take care of her for a little while longer, and besides I want you for myself right now." Evan said with a wicked grin and started to pull John towards their bedroom.
I wrote this in one day. The last part I wrote while sitting in a mall looking at people shopping. personally I'm broke therefore I settled with watching and writing.
If you liked it or have constuctive critisism reveiws are muched loved.