Author: RowenaR

Rating: M

Category: Action/Adventure, Drama

Disclaimer: Stargate belongs to Gekko and… all those other people making money with it. Anyway, I don't. Honestly. So – I don't own, you don't sue. Deal?

Summary: What could be worse than Wraith and Goa'uld for Laura Cadman and Evan Lorne? Oh right... a future mother-in-law. Part II of the family visit.

A/N: So we're still on Earth with Laura and Evan since there's still the visit to Laura's family missing. I'm a bit anxious about this story because it's a follow-up to the events from A Little Place Like Kokomo and... ah, I guess you have to see for yourself ;) Again, thanks to mac for betaing the major part of this story at break-neck speed (i.e. in just one day) and giving me some of her best snark lines ever. Seriously, she outdid herself. I didn't even know that was possible until two or three days ago...

Also, I'd like to give a big thank you to everyone who reads and reviews (okay, even to those who only read) since you might have seen that this is the 10th Protect and Survive story (How the hell did that happen? When did I write all those stories? Why did I do it for Lorne/Cadman of all pairings?) and I'd like to use that milestone to tell you all how I enjoy and value all your reviews, even the one-liners. You've been a very generous and commited audience so far and I hope it will stay that way :)

Anyway, as always: Not a native speaker, so please excuse any weird grammatical constructions, run-ons and typos. Feedback will earn you a cookie, flames will roast my marshmellows.

PS.: Translation for the lyrics is at the bottom of the chapter, as per usual when I use German lyrics :)

Protect and Survive X: A Little Happiness

"Gib mir Sonne
Gib mir Wärme
Gib mir Licht
All die Farben wieder zurück
Verbrenn den Schnee
Das Grau muss weg
Schenk mir ´n bisschen Glück."

Rosenstolz, "Gib mir Sonne"


He knows it's stupid but he keeps wishing the flight would have taken just a little longer, for various reasons. For one, he'd still been tired – by now it really starts getting on his nerves because the whole Goa'uld ordeal was almost two weeks ago and shouldn't he be back on his feet now? – and he could have used the additional sleep. Being on a plane with Laura also meant being able to be close to her without the prying eyes of vigilant big brothers or fathers or sharp-sighted mothers.

But yeah, now it's over and they arrived at another airport… this time it's on Laura's turf and despite having been to Chicago before… he feels a little nervous. Of course he doesn't have anything to be nervous about, right? Okay, so Laura has two older brothers and there's her father to consider as well but… they're all grown-up people and this is not the Middle Ages anymore and… "You don't have anything to be nervous about, you know."

A little annoyed he frowns at Laura. "And I'm not."

She just shrugs and replies, "Oh, sure. Of course." And just when he thinks she won't say anything else, she goes in for the kill. "I take it then that it has nothing to do with being nervous that you can't stop playing around with that tag on your bag?"

Dammit. When did she become so perceptive? Or rather… when did he become so easy to see through? "I'm not…" She raises her eyebrow. "Okay… I am. A bit. Maybe. Anyway, can we go to the exit, please?"

He can see that she tries very hard not to laugh but in the end a snort makes it through the barricades. For good measure he gives her a glare but she just knows him too well to be afraid. Additionally… he's glad that she seems to have recovered relatively fast from everything that happened with the Goa'uld and on the backlash mission. He was genuinely afraid there could be any long-term after-effects, both physically and mentally but she seems to have bounced back like she always does. It would have been hard to bear if it had been any different.

"Seriously, Evan, they won't eat you." Well, okay, if he's honest… right now he does wish she'd be a little more subdued. Or at least would show a little more confidence in his… Where the hell is she going?

He wants to call after her but in the same moment he sees her practically jumping a man with an ear-piercing squeal and he's pretty sure they just found their taxi driver. With a sigh, he picks up the duffel bag she dropped the moment she must have seen her brother and walks over to them. When he joins them, they're already in an animated conversation about… he doesn't even know what it's about since they're both talking at the same time and at break neck speed – the same tone Laura only uses when she's very excited… usually about a new toy from the armory or the scary cauldrons of that witch's kitchen they call the Explosives Lab.

After another moment of nearly incomprehensible babbling – he only catches some fragments that don't make any sense to anyone aside from those two – he takes the liberty to clear his throat and immediately the babbling ceases and Laura blushes a little. "Oh, uh… sorry. I was just… anyway: Matthew, this is Evan Lorne, my…"

"Significant other," her brother finishes for her, smirking. Obviously, he wasn't the only one being amused about Laura being just a little uncomfortable with using the word 'boyfriend' in their video recording.

She frowns at him but obviously decided not to dignify it with a comment. "And Evan, this is Matthew Cadman, my…"

"Brother," he finishes for her and immediately gets another smirk from her brother as reply. Ignoring her glare – that's just a little more vicious than the first one – he extends his hand to Matthew and says, "Pleased to meet you."

For a moment, he's afraid that Matthew might go into big brother mode… but in the end he simply shakes his hand, smiles at him and replies, "Likewise." Okay, so now that they got that over with…

Matthew turns back to Laura. "Say… everything okay, sis? You look a little out of sorts… both of you, I mean." Damn. And here he thought no one would notice it. He wants to answer, give something non-committal back… but Laura's faster.

"Gee, we're happy to see you, too, Matt." He knows that tone. She's annoyed… annoyed that her brother had seen what she'd obviously tried to hide… just as he had. The worst thing is, though, that… Matt's right. She does look a little tired and it occurs to him that he might not be the only who'd had a little trouble sleeping lately.

But yeah, just like her, he doesn't want to dwell on it any longer, so he hastens to add, "We just a long day, that's all. We'll be fine." It gets him… a thankful look from Laura – huh? – and another worried glance from her brother… but he doesn't comment on it further.

Or rather doesn't get to do it because Laura grumbles, "Okay, pleasantries are over, can we go home now?" Ah, someone didn't like the little bonding? He can't help looking at Matthew again and sharing a grin. Of course… she sees it and he's sure that she's just that close to punch them both in the arm or some other form of physical violence… but she leaves it at rolling her eyes and resolutely picking up her duffel to march towards the exit.

It makes Matthew clear his throat. Huh? "Uh, Laura?" She turns around and her brother takes great care to keep his face straight. "Short term parking is over here."

When she waves it away irritated, though, Matthew can't help snorting and it prompts her to stick out her tongue. Yeah, he thinks, very mature, Captain Cadman. But then again… for some reason he loves it when she does that so he keeps quiet. He's got enough on his plate with trying not to jump her, like he always wants to do when she does that. So instead he simply hangs back a little and enjoys watching her bantering with her brother and seeing her fully at ease for the first time in weeks. It's his turn to become a little anxious now but… he doesn't really mind because it's all part of the game and it also most probably means he'll get to see a few new sides of her and as of now… that sounds like a great thing.

"Give me the sun
Give me warmth
Give me light
Give me back all the colors
Burn away the snow
The grey has to go
Give me a little happiness."

Rosenstolz, "Give me the Sun"