Pairing: Cameron Mitchell/John Sheppard
Word Count: ~1500
Summary: For selfinduced, who asked for fluff featuring a hot-and-bothered Cam. (It seemed like a good idea after all the apocafic.)
Cam looked around the echoing stone temple, and prayed desperately for an emergency. He wasn't looking for anything major--he certainly didn't want anyone to die or anything. He just wanted a small, manageable emergency. One that would distract him from the smirking, slouching, all-too-attractive man beside him.
It was a ridiculous. He was nearing forty, with years of experience in suppressing inappropriate desires. He was not going to be undone by one goddamn flyboy who couldn't even keep his hair at regulation length, and who was probably straight anyway. Or maybe gay and sleeping with McKay. He'd seen the way the two of them were with each other, all familiar bickering and suppressed affection. If they weren't sleeping with each other, they were thinking about it. Like O'Neill and Jackson whenever O'Neill was on the base, giving off that weird domestic vibe, and okay, Cam was not going to think about the General's possibly rule-breaking sex life. And he was definitely not going to think about Sheppard, and the way Sheppard's hands had looked cleaning his gun last night, quick and sure, and the way they were cradling his P90 now, and what those hands would feel like on...
Cam tore his eyes away from Sheppard's hands and fixed his gaze firmly ahead. McKay and Carter were still at the opposite end of the temple, kneeling in front of the elaborate altar while Daniel and the High Priest studied the heavily carved walls. The two scientists were jabbing away at their tablets and communicating in excited sign language. It didn't look like they were going to be done anytime soon.
He turned his head slightly to look toward the side of the temple and the line of red-robed priests, chanting steadily in low voices. The SG teams had only been allowed in here on the strict promise that they would keep quiet and not distract the priests from their chanting, which apparently had to continue without interruption for the entire lunar cycle in order to appease whatever gods these people worshiped. (Cam wasn't sure how a planet with three moons calculated lunar cycles, but they seemed to have a system that worked for them.) Cam tried to distract himself by remembering which gods they'd said this temple was devoted to. Animism, Jackson had said. And all that red. Maybe it was the God of Fire?
He heard a rustle of movement to his side, and then felt Sheppard's lips nearly touching his ear.
"Looks like they might be a while," he said in a low voice. Cam shivered at the contact and nodded mutely in agreement, hoping Sheppard hadn't noticed his reaction. He was thinking about gods, he reminded himself, and not about the things you don't do in church. He didn't think it was the God of Fire. Maybe the God of the Sun? The sun here had a kind of reddish cast to it...
He was interrupted again by the return of Sheppard's mouth right up against his ear, and why the hell did the man have to keep leaning in like that? The universe, Cam decided, must be out to get him today. Clearly it was punishment for leaving Teal'c to deal with Vala by himself. And really, what had he been thinking volunteering to stand guard with Sheppard? He'd known the man was trouble from the first moment he stepped onto Atlantis and heard that low, amused drawl.
"Are you betting on LSU or Ohio this year?"
Cam swallowed hard at the heat of Sheppard's breath and tried to ignore the fluttering of his stomach. This time he couldn’t get away with a simple nod. He leaned forward reluctantly, knowing that Carter and McKay would kill him if he got them all kicked out of here by talking too loud, and angled his mouth toward Sheppard’s ear. His nose brushed against that dark, spiky, entirely non-reg hair, and he could smell whatever product Sheppard used to keep it looking like that. It smelled weirdly good, clean and lightly sweet, and how the hell could Sheppard's hair smell so fresh after they'd walked through a dozen clouds of incense to reach the inner chamber?
He pulled back quickly, but Sheppard had already leaned in again, arms now crossed, mouth still twisted in that familiar smirk.
"You're setting yourself up for disappointment, you know."
"Have seen Boeckman throw this year?" Cam whispered back, drawn in despite himself.
Sheppard shook his head slightly. "Boeckman folds under pressure. He won’t do them any good at the final."
"But LSU? Come on, they don't even belong at the National Championship!"
"They're better than the analysts give them credit for."
Cam jumped as Sheppard got a little too close and his tongue flicked Cam’s ear. Cam realized abruptly that his head was nearly touching Sheppard's, the two of them leaning close enough to kiss. This really wasn't a position he should be in right now.
"We'll see," he whispered, and pulled back.
Sheppard must be straight, Cam decided, watching the other man from the corner of his eye, because if he were gay, he'd have noticed Cam's reactions by now and he wouldn't be torturing him with all the leaning in and standing close and why the hell couldn't Cam get just one minor disaster on command?
And then Sheppard leaned in again, and this time his hand landed on Cam's wrist as he spoke, warm and calloused, and Cam barely noticed what he was saying. It didn't matter, Cam decided, because clearly Sheppard was a sadist who was getting off on Cam's discomfort, and the words were just a cover.
He tried to keep his attention on Carter and McKay, but he could feel Sheppard's eyes on him, waiting. Guilt piled up at the seconds ticked by, and he broke in less than half a minute, turning to look apologetically at the other man, knowing he was being ridiculous, and intending to ask him to repeat what he'd...was Sheppard staring at his mouth?
Sheppard turned away hastily, a faint flush creeping up his neck. Cam felt a slow grin spread across his face. Maybe he wasn’t on the outs with the universe after all. He looked around the room cautiously, but McKay, Carter, and Jackson were still fully engaged in their various activities, all of them with their backs toward him and Sheppard, and the priests seemed pretty focused on their chanting.
Cam leaned in, putting his hand on Sheppard's shoulder as if for stability, and then let his fingers glide down the other man's back as he asked him to repeat what he'd just said. He could feel Sheppard shiver beneath his fingertips, and his grin broadened. He straightened up, letting his hand trail along Sheppard's lower back as he pulled it away.
Sheppard turned to him, eyes wide with shock, studying him openly now. Cam met his gaze, heart racing, trying not to let too much show. Finally, Sheppard leaned in again.
"Ohio, huh?" he said, voice low and just a little rough. "Wanna make it interesting?"
"What were you thinking?" Cam whispered, lips brushing Sheppard's ear. He couldn't quite contain the grin that was threatening to split his face in two.
Sheppard smiled suggestively, resting his hand low on Cam's back. "I imagine we can come up with something for the loser to do."
"Yeah, but I'll be back on Earth by then." Cam tried to keep his voice light, but he knew his tone was betraying him.
"I've got some leave coming. We could watch the game at your place." Sheppard slid his hand a little lower.
"Winner collects faster that way," Cam agreed, trying unsuccessfully to keep his breathing steady.
"I was thinking half-time bets, actually."
"That works too."
Sheppard leaned his head against Cam's. "And if LSU wins, I'm thinking..."
At the other end of the temple, lights began to flash on the altar. McKay's voice floated back to them.
"But I didn't do anything!"
Cam winced. Both he and Sheppard turned to look at the line of junior priests, but they seemed to be carrying on their elaborate chants despite the interruption. Cam began to relax. Then a piercing alarm began to wail, and the chanting stopped. All of the priests turned to face toward the altar, covering their ears.
Cam sighed resignedly, hands already moving to his P90.
The High Priest began shouting at the scientists.
"Damn," Sheppard said. "Always an emergency just when you don't want one."
"Yeah," Cam agreed.
Smoke was beginning to fill the room, seeping out of a dozen hidden locations. Carter and Jackson were packing up, but McKay was still arguing with the High Priest. Cam wondered idly how Sheppard put up with the man.
"Let's go," Sheppard said, also eyeing the altar. "We can finish this later."
Outside Cam heard the pounding of footsteps. War, he remembered suddenly. This was the temple of the God of War. And that meant the red was for....
He broke into a run, racing for the altar with Sheppard close behind him. Ahead of them, McKay was now backing away from the suddenly sword-wielding High Priest.
Why the hell did these things always happen to him?