Category: First time, christmas
Summary: Ask a seemingly silly question and get a perfectly serious answer.
Notes: Part of the SAC-2004 (Slash Advent Calendar)
Thanks to: Various people on AG and LJ, who helped out with this one. And Snowdrop as always spotted my grammar abuse *g*
'Pleased to meet ya. Name's Sheppard, John. Major in the USAF and right now I'm as homesick as it gets...'
John sighed and made a face at his reflection in the glass of the control center. He had woken this morning feeling oddly askew with the world and when he had checked the date... well, the date it would be on Earth, he realized that although he didn't have that much family left back on old mother Earth, he really would miss them... especially considering it was December 21st today... So close to Christmas.
Grimacing at his own state of funk, he reminded himself that even if he *had* been back on Earth, he probably would not have spent Christmas with his family.
Then why should he be missing Christmas? The bright lights? Oh, they had bright lights here. He could even light most of them up without breaking a sweat, hell, without touching any switches. The snow? Well, he'd had enough snow during his assignment to McMurdo and he'd gone through plenty of non-white Christmases.
So, with all these people here, why had no one prepared for Christmas? John rolled his eyes as he slipped out unto the outside walkways, breathing in the salty sea air. Because they'd been busy with the Wraith attacks and because not everyone among the staff were brought up to celebrate Christmas, that was the kicker with several different religions in play. Heck, they now even had an actual 'alien' in on the whole thing as well. John frowned. Though technically for once, they were actually all aliens when you thought about it.
Damn, some days he had the ability of giving himself a headache. John frowned and wondered if he could blame that on genetic heritage from the Ancients... Nah, probably not. That was entirely a Sheppard thing.
John frowned when he heard the steady footfall of military boots heading his way. He really would have preferred to stay outside on his own for a bit longer, to clear his mind a little.
"Feeling homesick?" The question was softly asked and John relaxed as he recognized the voice.
Turning his head a little, John watched how the light lend Ford a healthy glow. Or maybe it was just the man himself. There was something eternally peaceful about the lieutenant, but also something he could only describe as pure mischief.
A good man and a good team member.
"Don't we all sometimes?" John answered with a shrug.
"I'm gonna miss Christmas," Ford admitted softly, echoing John's thoughts.
"Maybe some things," John admitted.
"I'm gonna miss my family," Ford continued, obviously up for sharing personal stuff. John was less than sure about how to handle that. He was a private man himself, but no fool. Being away from home would do this to some people, and he would be neglecting his role as leader of the military portion of this mission if he just ignored it.
And oddly enough, he wanted to know more about the younger man.
"Gonna miss the family, too." Ford sighed and shifted as he leaned against the railing next to John. "Not for the presents, but for the company."
"I haven't really celebrated my last couple of Christmases any other way than with a bottle of Scotch," John found himself revealing, wondering how his young Lieutenant had managed to get under his carefully erected defenses. And so easily.
"You think Weir would let us decorate the place?" Ford turned a little and the spark of mirth in the dark eyes made John smile.
So much enthusiasm it almost hurt to look at him.
"And while we're at it, why don't we ask the Wraith to postpone any encounters they have scheduled with our off-world teams." John suppressed a grin. "Just in the spirit of Christmas."
"Oh yeah," Ford grinned back, nudging his shoulder against John's, making Sheppard wonder when he had moved to stand so close. "You think they'd do that for us?"
Jon snorted. "Right, of course they will."
Ford laughed outright and John had a hard time trying to keep a straight face and finally gave in.
It felt so good to do this, to let go and laugh a little. As much as John tackled the world with humor, it was never quite this way. Sure, he tried to defuse bad situations with it, it was a kind of safety valve to him... But this?
This was joy.
John chuckled as the thought struck him, that if he could bottle Ford's laughter he could make a fortune. He really should not get this close to the other man -- they were part of the same team, and John was no fool. He knew perfectly well why he felt hot and cold all over right at that very moment.
'Fuck, John, don't even go there...'
"What?" Ford was eyeing him with a slightly amused smile.
John raised an eyebrow. "You're in an awfully good mood today."
"My shift's over, it's all nice and quiet, and I figured I could get away with enjoying the rest of the evening," Ford admitted. "What's there not to be happy about?"
John stopped himself before he could offer to keep him company. He really did like Ford... a lot. But maybe, if all he needed was some kind of ...release, then maybe one of the civilians would be better...
Or maybe he should just stick to his right hand. The kind of society they had here was fragile if everyone slept around with everyone. They were too few to keep something like casual sex a secret.
"Wanna join me for a little relaxation?" Ford asked with a sweet smile.
John did a double take and stared hard at the other man for a moment.
"What did you have in mind?" he asked warily. This was an act of balance. He did want to spend time with Ford, but he knew perfectly well that if he was not careful, he would get himself into a world of trouble.
"I think I still have a little Scotch I smuggled along," the Lieutenant offered.
"You brought Scotch?" Sheppard asked, telling himself that alcohol and company right now did not go well together.
Or maybe it went a little too well together.
Ford chuckled and walked to the entrance, turning and watching Sheppard with an unreadable look. "I've still got quite a bit left."
"Thought you might want to save that for celebration when the Wraiths surrender," John joked lightly, but pushed away from the railing.
"I don't mean to sound negative, but that might be a long time coming." Ford turned and fell into step with him as they walked down the stairs and through the embarkation room. At this time it was illuminated sparsely and very few people were on duty. "Besides, I think we can have a little pre-Christmas celebration of sorts." The last came out a little wistfully.
"And you wouldn't want to do that alone," Sheppard finished for him with a soft smile.
"Actually, I'd prefer it if you joined me... that is if you want to?" Ford's voice held a hint of uncertainty.
John wanted to say no, opened his mouth to say no, but much to his surprise, he said: "Sure, lead the way."
'I'm a glutton for punishment,' John sighed to himself. Then again, the broad smile that was aimed at him was worth anything. Including John's good sense...
It seemed so very easy to joke around with his Lieutenant and John steeled himself, vowing that he would not do anything that would be considered 'conduct unbecoming'.
No matter how hard... pardon the pun, his young friend made it.
Two hours later, John was trying hard to remember what it was he had promised himself. The quarters were not exactly big and roomy, so they had both sat down on the bed, kicked their boots off and as they regaled each other with strange tales of their lives, John realized that they were sitting a little too close for his comfort. Or at least a little too close for the combination of his libido and the Scotch.
"So," Ford slurred with a happy grin. "There we were, all of us green recruits, and this scha-sadistic ass of a drill sergeant drags us out of the barracks at 02 shit in the night, because someone had filled his sleeping bag with frogs."
"So you were all punished for a prank only a few of you were involved in," John finished with a grin. "Ever find out who was behind it?"
"I was sworn to secrecy," Aiden said with a wide grin, his dark eyes shining with mirth.
"Right, you mean you were one of them," John laughed happily.
"Schhhhhhhh," Ford chuckled conspiratorially.
For a moment they simply laughed until suddenly Ford stopped and turned a pair of very serious eyes on John. Or rather, as serious as he could manage in his state.
"So... what do you want Santa to bring along this year?" he asked.
John blinked a couple of times, trying to clear his mind. "I don't know," he admitted. "A trip home?" he said, only partly joking.
Ford pondered for a moment then nodded. "That the Wraith get a one way ticket to hell," he said with feeling.
John nodded. "Good one." Then he tried to come up with another one. "Mmmm, another bottle of Scotch," he said with a laugh.
Ford joined his laughter and although it was not overly funny, they kept laughing, every time one would wind down, a chuckle from the other would set him off again.
"Any really insane wishes for Christmas?" John finally asked, sleepily rubbing his eyes. It was not overly late, but the alcohol and the comfortable sprawl on the bed were lulling him into a near sleep state.
Ford mumbled something and John frowned. "What did you say?"
The other man looked a little flustered and John tried to clear his head a little, but with little success.
"Come on, you can tell me," John wheedled.
Ford took a deep breath and shook his head as he sat up on the bed, scooting forward until he was sitting with his back to John.
So... John figured he could either let it go or...
Poking a finger into Ford's side he managed to find a nice ticklish spot.
"Come on, Aiden, spill."
Ford squirmed away from the teasing fingers, but John was just drunk enough to not think before following. They ended up tumbling around on the narrow bed, more than once nearly rolling off.
John laughed as he managed to pin the other man under him, instinctively going for the most ticklish spots. They wrestled for a few more heartbeats until Ford went uncharacteristically still under him.
The lack of fight made John stop, but he kept a wary eye on the other man. Their bodies were like fused together, with only their clothes to keep them apart. A short, panicked thought hit him as he realized that he was as hard as ever and that it had been the case since their little wrestling match had started.
The only thing that kept his panic at a manageable level was the fact that he was not alone. Tendrils of want snaked their way up, winding their way around his spine and without thinking about it, he rocked against the mirrored hardness, hot and insistent in its answer.
John sighed as he looked down into the dark eyes. He had to smile a little, if sadly, at the near panicked look that greeted him.
"It's okay," he mumbled as he forced himself to pull back. This was still salvageable. They had been drinking, wrestling around... "I should go."
"Don't..." The hand gripping his lower arm, stopped John.
"This isn't the world's brightest idea," he tried to argue, but it was not easy to concentrate with the warm body underneath him and the flicker of hope he saw in Ford's eyes. "Aiden..."
"No..." Ford closed his eyes for a moment, biting his lower lip. He continued as he opened his eyes again and John had no problem reading the honest face. "The answer to what I want, is 'you'."
"It's a foolish..." John began, but was stopped by two fingers covering his lips.
"Don't..." Ford said, part warning, part plead. "I want this and..." a shadow of the previous mischievous smile flickered across the face. "Apparently you do too."
John could not help but smile at that. What could he say? Ford was right. Although it would complicate matters. "I can't risk all this, our working relationship, for a fling," he warned, partly hoping Ford would back down. Partly that he would persist.
The warm fingers returned to cover his mouth and John tilted his head to the side, reveling in the feel of the slight slide of callused skin against his lips.
"'s not a fling," the younger man whispered. There was a sweetness and stillness to him that John had rarely noticed.
John drew in a deep breath. Maybe a fling *would* have been easier to handle.
"I know there are fraternization rules," Ford said as he slipped the fingers from John's lips to caress the slightly stubbled jaw.
"Then you know *why* this is such a bad idea," John argued, though he was aware of how convincing he was not.
"We're so far from home," Aiden continued, a small, sad smile formed on his face.
John breathed in deeply, held it for a moment and then let it go, slowly exhaling. He caught the light scent of soap, sweat and musk from the other man and he enjoyed it, wanted it, *needed* it.
Instead of trying to argue a case he did not feel was awfully strong, John leaned down and brushed his lips lightly over Aiden's, feeling and hearing the sigh that left the strong body.
"And even out here," John whispered, "you're hoping Santa'll find you."
Aiden broke into a wide grin that made John's heart jump. A strong hand wrapped itself around his neck and pulled him down for another soft kiss.
"I don't think it matters where you are," Ford said with a smile when they broke apart.
John laughed out loud. "Next thing you'll be telling me that you've seen Rudolph around," he accused lightly.
Aiden did not answer, he simply leaned back up and nipped at John's lips.
"God, you're weird," John muttered before he let his lieutenant drag him down again.
Who'd have thought? Sometimes wishes *did* come true and this year, Christmas would not be quite so lonely.