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The project of the day was tweaking one of the Puddle Jumper's systems in order to maintain a large diameter force field bubble that would allow the biology department a chance to study the oceanography and marine life at the bottom of Lantea's oceans in relative ease and safety. But it turned lunch time and the two were famished.
"That's incredible," Radek interjected during the pause. "What a coincidence that you and Colonel Sheppard knew one another back at the academy."
"Well," Lorne replied, lifting his glass to wash down his last swallow, "it's not like there's dozens of Air Force Academies popping up all over the place. The choices are pretty slim."
"Of course. Go on, please," Radek requested with a bit of a grin, his eyes lit up anxiously awaiting this tale.
"You do know that you're not even supposed to ask about such things, right?" Lorne asked, knowing full well Zelenka knew about the don't ask, don't tell policy of the United States military.
"I know, but... one little secret... what's the harm?" he smiled openly and sat up straighter, listening intently. Lorne shook his head with mild agitation... very mild agitation, because he was having a great time sharing this story with someone. And it was Radek after all... I mean, who cared. Right?
"You know you're just way too eager to hear this story. That worries me a bit. It's not like it ever happened again... and it's not likely to ever happen again," he wanted to make that clear.
"I know, I know! I just find it intriguing that both of you... the military commander of Atlantis and his second were.... you know..." Zelenka shrugged, at least having the decency to pretend to feel sheepish about the topic. Lorne shook his head with a small grin and then chose to continue the trip down memory lane.
"Sheppard was...... John was a senior at the academy. His last semester and needed to graduate with high honors if he hoped for a slot in the Flight School. He wanted to be a pilot so bad the very thought of it was like caffeine to his system."
Zelenka grinned as he listened, understanding the colonel's love for being in the air. That was one thing about Sheppard that was the only part of his heart and soul that the man wore proudly on his sleeve.
"Anyway... he was majored in History and I had a minor in it. The guy's a whiz with numbers... math?... yeah. He aced all the mathematics courses without even cracking a book I'd heard. Some sort of genius savant or something..."
Radek chuckled lightly at that but didn't interrupt.
"So anyway, I went to his room one night to see if he wanted to grab a bite to eat and maybe a movie on post, but when I got there... well, I had to bash on his door a few times before he opened it and I sort of figured something was wrong..."
~ * ~ * ~
"What??" John shouted as he pulled open the door. Without waiting for an answer he noted Evan on the other side and simply turned back into his room muttering to himself.
Evan's brow knitted together as his new friend walked away, leaving him standing in the hall, as he continued to mumble to himself. One hand played around his ear and temple as if tuning in a radio for better reception... or a schizophrenic vying with the voices in his head for a moment to be heard above the din.
"Hey... hey! What's the matter with you?" Evan asked as he quickly stepped inside and closed the door behind him so no passers by would see the state Sheppard was in.
"I can't think."
"What?" Lorne asked.
"I can't think! I can't think!" John shouted at him, knocking himself in the head with his own fist.
"Stop that!" Evan said, grabbing his hand to make him stop. "Tell me what's wrong."
"I can't remember any of this stuff...!" John told him, his voice cracking with the strain of mental exhaustion and frustration.
"You're over doing it," Evan told him again, for the huindredth time this week. "Finals are still months away, John. You're gonna have nothing left if you keep this up."
"I have to pass. I have to graduate with high honors! If I don't... if I fail even one course---!" John told him and Evan wasn't sure if he realized he was shouting. He scowled at him, concerned.
"Look... you need a break," he told him calmly and ignored it as John shook his head before he was even done talking. "Yes," Lorne insisted, grabbing a jacket from the closet and pushing it into John's hands.
"No, I can't. I have to study. Ancient history..."
~ * ~
"Ancient history?" Radek asked, surprised.
"Not that Ancient history.... Earth's ancient history... I know, weird, huh?" Lorne replied. "Anyway..."
~ * ~
Evan refused to take no for an answer and ushered his friend out of the dorm and physically pushed him along down the corridor to keep him moving. He got John outside and into a taxi that pulled up at his hail. Evan requested they be brought to the small bistro that John loved to spend quiet time in. He'd found him there often, pouring over his books, and balancing his studies and socializing with friends that popped by his table to give him a needed distraction.
Right now, a distraction was the one thing John Sheppard needed and Evan Lorne would see to it that he got one. They ate a quiet meal,after Lorne finally chose something for John since his companion was brain fried and just staring out the large picture window at the darkness outside the restaurant as if in a trance.
He finally got John's attention long enough to get him to start eating and once his belly recognized what was dropping into it as food it apparently demanded more and John began to shovel the food in, nearly gasping for air between bites.
"Slow down. You're gonna make yourself sick," Evan warned. When John didn't heed the warning, he reached over and grabbed his wrist, knocking a forkful of food off his fork and John looked over at him as if surprised. "Slow down, I said. There's no time limit here... we got all night."
John realized that his friend was right and took a deep breath. He looked exhausted and Evan worried about him a bit. When he remained staring at him, his hand gripping John's wrist, Sheppard finally asked, "You gonna hold my hand all night?"
"Hmm? Oh! Sorry," Evan shook himself and let go of John's wrist. "Hey, what'dya say we go for a walk after? It's a nice night and you need time out of that dorm. Get some exercise."
"Sure," John agreed, feeling a bit better with a full stomach and realizing he had a pretty good friend in Evan Lorne. Now here was a cadet that would go places, John was sure. "Sure, Lorne, whatever you want."
That answer made Evan arch one eyebrow with interest. "Whatever I want?" he asked to be sure.
John nodded without really thinking about it, afterall, he trusted his new friend. Lorne had been a good friend since they'd met a few months ago. He was always there when John needed him, regardless of what John needed. Sometimes he was a study partner, sometimes he was his practice-tester and other times he was just a friend who came along with a needed distraction and John appreciated all of it.
"Sure, within reason, of course," John added.
"What does that mean?- 'within reason'?" Evan wanted to know. He had to admit, to himself if to no other, that he'd found John Sheppard quite attractive from the moment they were introduced by a mutual friend. However, the military frowned upon same gender attractions so Lorne kept that little tidbit to himself. However, he often wondered how Sheppard hadn't picked up on his interest, but then again... the guy might be a math genius but he was no rocket scientist, now was he.
"Well... you know... within reason..." John expounded in his usual manner of repeating the same thing twice as if the same words, simply repeated, would make themselves more clear by their own virtue. Lorne grinned at him wryly, he had to admit that was one of the qualities he found most endearing of the future air force officer... his playfulness and innocence in a lot of ways.
"Right. I guess I'll just figure out what that means on my own," Evan offered with a smirk and John gave him a crooked grin and shrugged.
So after the meal was done and paid for, they took a stroll down to the park nearby. It was pleasant and peaceful there, even in the middle of the afternoon. It seemed an unspoken agreement to all who visited the green and the swan pond to keep it serene. Students spent their study time in the park, getting much needed fresh air and indirect social activities while not neglecting their school work. Friends came to the park for exercise and activities such as tossing a frisbee and lovers came to the park for their picnics and... other activities.
So the two cadets walked together silently as they entered the park. There were street lamps along the stone walkways that stood like sentinels keeping watch over park visitors. They allowed a peaceful glow to light the way around the pond, to their right benches were placed a few dozen yards apart from each other and to their left the sidewalk was lined with decorative bushes and gardens that broke at intervals to allow strollers access to the open grassy areas of the park without having to climb through the landscaping if they chose to exit the sidewalk.
They walked a short way around the pond when John veered off toward one of the benches and took a seat. Evan followed him and they enjoyed the quiet for a few minutes: John simply taking in the silence, but Evan was surveying the area, listening for hushed voices or lovers making out in the bushes nearby. He relaxed when he decided they were alone out here.
"This is nice," he offered quietly.
"Yeah it is. Thanks," John replied.
"You know... for getting me out. Getting me away from the books for a while. I thought I was losing my mind there for a bit. I guess I've been kinda overdoing it," John admitted, relaxing against the bench and draping his arm over the back, as he watched a couple walking on the sidewalk under the street lamps on the other side of the large swan pond.
Evan took note of John's relaxed position and discreetly slid closer to him. Not so much closer that there wasn't space between them still, but enough so that when Evan leaned back he'd be resting against John's arm.
When he did lean back, the touch of his back against John's arm made Sheppard shift and pull his arm back down. Evan tried not to overtly react to his withdrawal and tried to sound nonchalant when he said, "Oh sorry. You can put your arm back if you want. I don't mind."
"Nnnno, I'm good," John remarked and purposely looked everywhere else but at Lorne. So Lorne slid closer to him, his eyes glued to John's face to gauge his reaction. John's brows raised a bit when he felt the pressure of Lorne's thigh against his own. His eyes wandered around, not really looking at anything in particular.
"Is this all right?" Lorne asked, purposely keeping his tone conversational and friendly.
"Hmm? Oh yeahsureit'sfine," John rattled off, but the tension in his body belied his attempt to sound relaxed. So Lorne pressed in closer and John's eyes wandered to him finally. "Lorne?"
"Call me Evan, John."
"Evan... what are you doing?" he asked with a non-accusatory tone.
Lorne stared at him up close, studying the shadows and angles of John's face in the glow of the soft lights and the night's shadows. He watched as John's tongue came out to wet his lip, another endearing thing he did that made Evan crazy. He slowly leaned toward the taller man and John's eyes widened a bit, one brow arched high.
"Evan..." he offered his first name again as he leaned toward that lush mouth, his hand coming down on John's thigh...
"Whoa!" John called out as he started and bolted up from the bench. Lorne jumped up and followed him as Sheppard backed away... wandering a bit as if unsure which direction to go and what the hell was happening here.
"What? What's the matter?" Lorne asked him. John shook his head and wandered in a circle and Evan reached out to grab his arm. "John..."
"No, no... nononono..." Sheppard muttered as he happened to find an opening in the segmented landscape and walked through toward the park. Lorne chased after him, worried that he'd lost a friend, but more concerned that he'd only added to John's worries and frets.
He followed him, catching him as he stumbled in the dark and wandered blindly totally unfocused.
"Where are you going?" Evan asked as he caught up to him.
"I don't know," John answered automatically. Lorne reached for him and John pulled away, stumbling over a tree root in the dark and Evan caught his arm. He wasn't able to keep him on his feet though because John was taller and a bit downhill from him and Lorne was dragged down to the ground with his friend.
In the dark, on the cool grass, John came to a stop on his back. He stared up at the star speckled sky, feeling Lorne's presence nearby.
"You okay?" Evan asked, lying on the grass nearby.
"Yeah...... you?" John answered.
"Yeah. We okay?"
"......... yeah. I guess so," John replied then sighed softly. "Why'd you do that?"
He listened to the sounds of Lorne sitting up and then moving closer until his face appeared over him. John moved his eyes from the starry sky to look up into the shadowed face of his new friend. He gave Evan time to think about it and waited for the answer.
"Because....." Lorne started slowly, unsure, "I really like you."
"Well..... I like you too, Lorne."
"Yeah," Evan remarked with a tight grin, "but I like you a lot more."
John stared at him, still not wanting to really admit what he was sure he was certain that he thought he might know. - What??- exactly. The next thing he knew, Lorne was moving in and he slowly closed the distance until he'd planted his lips on John's.
"Mmm!" John exclaimed, quite surprised.
Lorne simply planted the kiss on John's mouth and then didn't move for the longest three seconds of his life... until he felt John's mouth relax under his and his lips moved and opened and Evan didn't ask any questions.
Their kiss deepened rapidly and heatedly, although John didn't move otherwise. Lorne got the distinct impression that kissing other guys wasn't really John Sheppard's thing, but something inside him was crying out for the contact... guy, girl, whatever... at this particular moment in time it didn't matter and Evan took advantage of the offering.
They kissed hot and heavy for a long time and then finally a hand came up and grabbed the back of his head and Lorne's heart raced. John held him there and devoured his mouth like a starving man offered a feast. And while Sheppard was totally focused on the kiss, and he was quite a good kisser, Evan noted, gasping for air when he got the chance... his hands got busy unbuttoning John's shirt.
Once he'd gotten through the jacket and the shirt, Lorne's hands glided over his torso, feeling the blanket of hair covering his body as his hands roamed over John's chest and belly. Their kiss turned into necking as their mouths wandered aimlessly, hungry for the taste of heated flesh and human contact.
Lorne noticed right away that John's actions were more gentle and romantic with his passion, whereas Evan was just fixated on getting what he wanted before John changed his mind. His hands flew to Sheppard's belt buckle and flung it open, fumbling in his excitement for the buttons of the blue battle fatigue pants. Their heated kiss had aroused both of them... no surprise where Lorne was concerned but he was pleasantly surprised to find it had the same effect on his friend.
When John realized what he was sensing was Lorne's hands he began to protest a bit but Evan shushed him, assuring him everything was fine. Then Evan's hand slid inside his waistband and John sucked in a breath and froze. Lorne chose to distract him by coming in for another kiss and it worked.
He let his hand work unhurried as he received another very hot and passionate kiss. Sheppard was a hell of a kisser and there was a strength in his hands that surprised Evan. He knew that John needed some downtime to decompress from the heavy workload of studying, exams, and worrying so much about losing his dream on this last course. But he hadn't quite realized just how wound up his friend had been until now.
Evan continued working him slowly with a skillful hand until John was moaning and writhing slowly under his weight. Lorne slowly broke their kiss and trailed his mouth down John's throat, to his chest, played around a nipple peeking from the dark matte of hair and continued past his ribcage.
John's hands roamed in Lorne's hair as he drifted blissfully in the heated passion his friend created for him and guided him toward a climactic conclusion. His belly trembled at the touch of Evan's lips as he passed over his navel and then nuzzled his face across his hipbones.
Sheppard gasped, his fingers curling into Lorne's hair almost painfully as he changed his method of attention. His mouth was hot and wet and quite capable and Evan knew what he was doing, that was evident. He'd work John slowly, picking up his pace now and again until he'd sense his peaking arousal through the tensing of his body and raspy breaths. Then he'd back off dramatically, allowing John to relax and catch his breath.
However, after half a dozen moments of believing that release, and relief, was imminent only to have Lorne suddenly stop to change his tactics and make him hold off, Sheppard began to get frustrated again. At first his groans in response to the teasing was fun, for both of them, but when the sound turned more toward an angry growl, Lorne decided enough was enough. He'd gotten what he wanted and now it was time to give John what he needed.
His hands stroked and massaged carefully and John had begun to relax into the rhythm when Evan looked up. He watched Sheppard's long, lithe form, exposed to the night as his shirt and jacket lay open to his sides, his body writhed like a rolling wave in heightened arousal nearing its peak. Lorne smiled in appreciation and then took him in again.
John nearly arched off the damp ground as Evan took him all the way in. His hands clawed into the ground as Lorne worked him fast and finally determined to give him what he needed. Sheppard yelled out, his cry echoed back at them through the night's quiet as he felt the powerful push rising. His eyes rolled over white and the air froze in his lungs as he released the powerful orgasm that Evan had built up inside him.
He cried out again as he felt Lorne's throat pulse around him and knowing he hadn't pulled away only spurred his orgasm up a few notches. His hands clutched at Lorne's head, his hips forcing him deep inside that hungry mouth and John lost himself in that moment of pure ecstacy. No longer attentive or caring of being heard or seen, he voiced his intense pleasure with each pulsing surge into Evan's hot mouth.
Sheppard raised his head from the ground as he hit the summit of his orgasm and watched Lorne. It was just erotic as hell to actually see the guy taking it all in without complaint or indecision. "Ahhhhh!" John shouted with a last strong throb of constriction. Lorne waited the few seconds for the offer to expel onto his tongue and then he slowly pulled away, giving him a last sensation of suction before breaking contact.
John gasped, sucking in copious amounts of air as he tried to get his lungs working smoothly again. Lorne simply watched him as he raised up on his knees by John's feet and smiled to see the complete and uninhibited reaction to his ministrations. He waited and watched quietly for a few minutes and then John's entire body relaxed and his chest expanded deeply as he finally took in a cleansing breath.
Evan rested his hand on John's shin to remind his friend where he was. John turned his head right and left, checking the area and Lorne did the same, the realization triggered by his friend's sudden awareness.
Still lying on the grass, John's hand came up and flopped on his belly, scrubbed lightly against his chest and then reached down to tuck himself back in. With shakey fingers he slowly secured the five buttons of his pants and Lorne simply watched him. He had a great body and he wasn't just skinny, Sheppard was built like an athlete; a runner, or a skier. He was in great shape and alot sexier disrobed than even Evan had imagined.
"First time?" Lorne finally asked simply. John's hands stopped moving and a moment later he replied.
Lorne grinned at the offended tone John took. He sort of figured Sheppard wasn't a virgin, I mean, the girls were nuts over this guy, right? But that wasn't precisely what he meant.
"I meant, first time with a guy?"
"Oh," John commented, still lying on the grass, and Lorne smiled. "Ummm.... yyyyyyeah," he answered hesitantly.
"Yeah, I kinda figured."
"What?" John said, sounding offended again. "What does that mean?" he raised his head to look at Lorne who simply shrugged and grinned back as he got to his feet. "Wait. Where you going?" John sat up, pulling his air force belt secured and spun onto his knees before getting to his feet. His knees were still a bit shakey and he felt like he was walking on a thick rubber mat as he followed Lorne down a small sloping hill.
"Nothing. I didn't mean nothin' by it. I just meant you didn't seem the type to go after guys," Evan mentioned off-handedly as he walked away purposely making John struggle to keep up as he re-buttoned his shirt and shoved the hem into his waistband, trying to get himself straightened out. Oh that's a good one, John... straightened back out. Versus what? Being gay?
"I'm not gay," John blurted out.
"I know that," Lorne told him honestly.
"Wait." John stopped suddenly and the thud of his footfalls on the ground suddenly halting made Evan stop and turn around.
"I wasn't gay," John said as he calculated what it meant to have done what he just did.
Lorne grinned at him, placing his hands on his hips and informed John, "You're still not gay."
"I came onto you. I seduced you. You didn't stand a chance," Lorne told him. John blinked, looking openly confused and the expression only made Lorne chuckle.
"I'm not gay?"
"Doubt it," Evan replied.
"But," John paused, turned to look back up the hill to "the spot", then turned back toward Lorne. "But that was... that was... really good."
"Thank you," Lorne smiled wide. "Just don't ever expect it again," he said and turned to walk away again. That jarred Sheppard and he blinked then ran on long gangly legs to catch up.
"Wait," John said as he came up beside him, "I didn't know you were gay."
"I'm not," Lorne replied.
"Then what was that all about??" he asked and Evan turned his face to him without missing a step and smiled.
"I've always had a weakness for Sheppard's Pie."
John blinked and curled his lip at that image. "That's disgusting!"
Lorne broke out laughing and John shoved him, pushing him across the sidewalk and over the other side.
"Feel better?' he asked as he came back alongside him.
"I just hope when I get out of here I never see your ugly mug again," John told him and Lorne smiled, knowing it was a lie, but the thought did make him realize...
"You know what the odds are we'll ever see each other again?"
"Yeah," John nodded, "but then again, the odds are never on my side."
~ * ~ * ~
Radek's eyes went wide and he laughed as Major Lorne finished his story. He sat back against the chair and nodded, still smiling. "What are the odds, eh?" he repeated. "What did Colonel Sheppard say when he found out you were gonna be his Second In Command in another galaxy??"
"Nothing," Lorne said with a shrug, raising his mug to sip. "I don't think he remembers me."
Radek's eyes went wide again and he blinked at Lorne wondering if that was true. With Sheppard's stoic manner it was so hard to read him sometimes. Lorne simply sipped his coffee and answered with a grin.
~ End ~