Walk on Water
a Stargate: SG-1 story
by dirty diana
beta magic by [info]sffan. Jack who? That's what I say.
Snow had hit the entire state, late in the night, and Denver International had gone under. Cameron's connecting flight to Memphis was delayed, and then canceled. He calls his mother to wish her a merry Christmas, and then chats with a slow succession of nieces and nephews, ninety-seven minutes on the phone.
"You doing alright there in Arizona?" his cousin asks him.
"It's Colorado," Cameron tells her. The less he tells them, the less that they ask him, and the less he has to lie.
There's a dusting of snow outside his window. Cameron's been stationed all over the world, but snow is one of the things that he can't get used to. He'd rather be in Tennessee.
"Too bad you're missing dinner." His brother yells at someone behind him, to pipe down. "Momma's been cooking for two days."
He eats his processed turkey and canned cranberry sauce silently, opposite Lieutenant McMann, who tells cheerful and lengthy stories about each of his kids. Cameron bumps into Daniel Jackson on his way out. Literally, with one arm stretching out to keep either of them from falling.
"I figured you'd be celebrating with your family."
Jackson's mouth pulls into a thin line, for just long enough to let Cameron know that he's said something wrong.
"No," he answers quietly.
Cameron braces for a lecture on Christmas as pointless pagan ritual, but none comes.
"Sam tried to get me to dinner with her family, but..."
Jackson shrugs, but whether it's a dismissal of turkey dinners, or family in general, Cameron doesn't know. "Teal'c?" he asks.
"He's with Sam. He loves eggnog."
"Of course," Cameron says, and then he's run out of things to say.
They're drunk four hours later. Not drunk enough to fall over, but drunk enough to know it's time to sit down. Jackson calls gin, and lays his cards down over the rings that the beer glasses have left on the table.
Jackson's got long legs, and he slouches, so that his knees are touching Cameron's as they play. Jackson's place is neater than Cameron would have expected, smelling faintly of incense. Jackson slouches in his seat. The more he drinks, the more that he talks, about everything and nothing, things that Cameron doesn't understand but would like to. His eyes crease at the edges, in drunken concentration.
It's only when Jackson gets up to clear the table, leaning over and letting his fingertips brush the back of Cameron's hand, that Cam has a feeling of just how fucked he really is.
Cameron doesn't watch him for too much longer before he makes up an excuse and goes home.
The last time Cam had a crush this bad, he was forty thousand feet in the air, flying training missions over Wyoming. His wingmate was Joe, from Virginia, with pale blond hair and a knack for never being where he was supposed to be. If Cameron told him to hang back he throttled up, and if he told Joe to go, he stayed, and wouldn't shut up.
It took months for them to graduate from frantic handjobs in the back of Cameron's Firebird to staying the night.
"It ain't fair."
"No, it ain't, Shaft," Joe would agree, putting out his cigarette in a half-full glass of water. Cameron would trail behind him after he was gone, putting everything back where it belonged. "It ain't a bit fair, but you can't fix everything."
Cameron had never really believed that, which he knew was half his problem.
Joe died the first week into Operation: Enduring Freedom. On an asphalt highway, doing 165 on his refurbished Indian and driving headlong into a sixteen-wheeler.
"Fucking pilots," Cameron muttered when he heard the news, and got very drunk.
Sam smells like vanilla.
"It's just soap," she tells him, and leans closer, to move her stones across the imaginary checkerboard drawn in the sand. There's not a lot to do on P3X 981, and Cameron wishes they were all like this.
"No, you don't," Sam tells him, but he thinks that he does.
Her stones jump over his own mismatched brown pebbles, and he sighs. Cameron doesn't remember the first time that he met Sam. He's just always thought of her as the smart one, the one that made the F-302 fly.
"So, Cam. You seeing anyone?"
"No," he answers casually, studying his rocks. He hates this, the fucking lying. He always has. "You?"
He takes Carolyn to dinner. She's sweet, even if she does root for New England, even if she is the general's daughter. Cameron walks her to her door, and they stand there uncomfortably, before she starts to laugh at him.
"I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"Okay," Cam says, kissing her quickly.
"Don't make me have to stitch anything," she says. She's never been half as scary as she pretends.
When he makes it through the next mission without blood or bruises, Carolyn offers him a smile. He takes her out again, on Friday.
Cameron's been on SG-1 for a few months now, and already Jackson's tried to die on him three times. Cameron's read the mission reports. He wonders what it feels like to be resurrected.
"But you died." Jackson lowers his gaze, conscious of treading into a subject they've never discussed.
"Almost died. Not the same thing."
His heart stopped for eleven and a half seconds, or so the doctors told him. Cameron imagines that when he dies for real there will be more to it than falling.
The fourth time that Jackson tries to die on him, they're pinned down and under fire, a hundred yards from the gate.
"Damn," Sam mutters, and Cameron echoes the sentiment, with different words.
"What do you reckon we did to piss them off?"
Sam shrugs. "I'm sure Daniel will tell us later."
Jackson is to Cameron's left, reloading his clip. It gets harder to think of him as one of the scientists.
"I'm dialling," Cameron announces, firing once more from the line.
Sam is already shaking her head, but Jackson nods.
"I'll go," Teal'c suggests.
Cameron shakes his head. He appreciates the offer, but it's not anyone else's job. He says a prayer under his breath.
It's not many steps to the DHD, but it feels like a marathon. One blast goes past his ear, and Cameron ducks late, feeling the heat.
Two enemy targets are taken out by the wormhole as it opens. Cameron turns away, but can't quite evade the stink of burning flesh.
"Stargate Command, this is SG-one. We need assistance out here."
Landry's voice over the two-way is warbled.
It is a laser weapon that gets him, in the shoulder. Jackson, breaking cover to take out his attacker, takes one in the thigh and another in the belly, and topples to the ground.
Sam is yelling both their names when the Marines arrive, in the nick of goddamn time.
They have neighbouring beds in the infirmary. Jackson loses a lot of blood, and his skin is pale, nearly white, for days. Carolyn doesn't blush, though, when she tells him that Jackson is going to be okay, and he takes it as a good sign. She's a terrible liar. Worse than he is.
"When can I get out of here?"
"When you're ready," is her only answer. She tells Jackson the same thing, every day. Teal'c comes to see them, and apologises solemnly to them both. Sam brings Jackson cookies, and they talk in code, about things that Cameron doesn't remember.
"You play chess?" Jackson asks him, around hour twenty-six, when they're both bored out of their minds.
Cameron shakes his head, trying to ignore the curve of Jackson's mouth as he talks, or the sounds that he's been making in his sleep.
Must be the painkillers.
"I'll teach you," Jackson says, and Sam brings them a set the next morning.
Cameron plays the white pieces, moving them in a steady line towards Jackson's king.
"You have to learn to think a few moves ahead," Jackson explains, as he wins again.
Turns out that the people of M2Y 446 had a thing about strangers.
"They've been enslaved by seven different System Lords in 3000 years," Jackson explains, pointing to the scribbles on his notepad. Cameron doesn't look, just waits for Jackson to finish. "They're a little wary of any strangers coming through the gate. Especially ones speaking to them of gods."
"We were just trying to warn them." Cameron says. The scar on his
shoulder is a neat line that itches whenever he thinks about it.
He brings Jackson a present. Fifty-year-old whiskey, the bottle his dad gave him with his last promotion. Cameron doesn't reckon he'll ever have a reason to drink it by himself.
Jackson wrinkles his nose. "What's that for?"
Cameron holds it out, waiting for Jackson to invite him in. "Mark the first time you saved my life."
"It's not the first time," Jackson tells him, but takes it anyway.
They play Scrabble, and Cameron surprises himself by winning. Later, when he's whiskey-drunk and can feel the tiredness that's in his bones, his mind won't stop racing.
"How are you feeling?" he asks Jackson, who is leaning against the table, watching the Scrabble tiles. "Seriously."
Jackson's eyes narrow in response, and his gaze isn't quite level. "Seriously?" he asks. "I feel fine."
Cameron doesn't believe it a bit, and knows it shows on his face. "You were shot."
"So were you," Jackson says, in the even tones that mean he's losing patience.
"I'm not the one claiming to feel fine," Cameron points out, and Jackson shuts up.
"My leg hurts," he admits after a while, squinting slightly at Cameron as if surprised to see him still there. "Maybe you should stay."
Cameron's hands tighten into fists.
"Or I can call you a taxi," Jackson adds.
Cameron nods quickly. "Sure. Good idea."
"Sure?" Jackson asks, glancing over at his couch. "It's pretty comfortable.
Cameron pauses, with no idea what to say. General O'Neill hadn't warned about minefields like this. "Just try to stay on your toes," he had said, and then winced, at his own inappropriate pun. "You'll be okay."
Cameron doesn't feel okay. He feels sick to his stomach. Might be the whiskey.
"I think I should go," he says.
Jackson nods, and then he stands, unsteady on his feet. He rests a hand on Cameronís as he rises. "I'll call a taxi."
On Valentine's Day, Carolyn wears red. She looks good in red. He takes her to a nice restaurant, and she teases him about having lost their bet on the Superbowl.
She's beautiful, and Cameron wishes he liked her just a little bit more.
When he takes her home, she invites him in, and they make love in a room that faces east, on cool cotton sheets. Her panties match her dress, and when he slides them off she presses her whole body closer to him, and whispers his name.
He goes to church early the next morning, with a lot to pray for.
On P5Y 092, Jackson performs a wedding ceremony. These people have no priest since the Goa'uld were run to ground, Jackson tells him, and no faith to speak of.
"Seems like a hard way to live."
Jackson watches him. Nods. "Yeah."
It was the bride who came to ask Jackson to speak. She is a teenager still, with shy eyes and a soft voice. Cameron can see that Jackson wanted to say no, but didn't know how.
"If I'd known it was a party, I would have brought my camera."
Jackson glares at him, but doesn't look offended. He looks at home, in the formal clothes they brought him, long desert robes, white hemmed by black. Cameron reaches out, and tugs at the folds.
Jackson watches him, and doesn't speak. The ceilings are low here, and he has to bend his head slightly to stand straight, watching Cameron through clouded eyes.
Thick clay walls shut out all the sound from the outside, and Cameron is thinking about something else, something else entirely. He takes Jackson's hand. He studies the empty palm, upturned, imagines that the lifeline is broken in places. His thumb brushes the stem of Jackson's, warm.
Jackson watches him. The stillness is contagious. "What are you doing?"
Jackson's palm is flushed, at the base, where the blood rushes and throbs. "Can't say I know."
"Okay." Jackson speaks slowly. He's patient. "Are you sure you want to do it here?"
Cameron lets go, suddenly, and finds he has to catch his breath.
Jackson wrinkles his nose, then nods, seriously. "We'll talk."
Cameron doesn't know if he likes the sound of that.
The bride wears tiny flowers in her hair, and practically bounces, on the balls of her feet. Jackson is eloquent, though Cam doesn't understand the language.
To the left of him, Sam shifts slightly. Weddings would make her nervous, he thinks, but doesn't know what to say.
The Ori come during the dancing. The ground shakes without warning, six or seven on the Richter scale. Cameron keeps his head down, and says nothing.
They finish the bottle of whiskey later that week, in near silence. There's snow on the ground.
"Think that's the last of winter?" Cameron asks him, and Jackson shrugs. His hands twitch gently.
When Jackson kisses him, Cameron is surprised, completely. His whole body freezes, then there is nothing there but Jackson's mouth, warm, and his hands, hot, and Jackson's glasses, bumping against Cameron's cheek.
Cameron hasn't been kissed like this in ages, and he reaches for it, grabbing one of Jackson's strong shoulders and pulling him closer. Inhaling the whole of him, like oxygen.
Jackson pulls away. His face is red, but his eyes are calm and staring.
Cameron can hear his own pulse racing.
"Yeah," Jackson murmurs quietly. "I had a feeling."
Cameron's tongue is tied, still tasting of Jackson and things he can't say. "I'm sorry."
Jackson raises his eyebrows then, as if he's got a question to ask, but Cameron never finds out what it is. He licks his lips. "It's just that generally," he begins, "when I'm seeing someone, I like to be told about it."
Cameron just shakes his head again. "We can't."
Jackson frowns again, like he's heard something he doesn't understand. "Your plan is just to grope me on missions every now and then?"
"I wasn't..." Cameron begins, and can't continue.
The seconds pass by. Cameron takes a breath, and then he pushes Jackson against the wall, with both hands tight on Jackson's hips, his chest pressed close enough to Daniel's own to feel him breathing. Unsteadily, Cameron can tell with some satisfaction, before pressing his mouth against Jackson's. Hard, tasting the salt of his slick, wet tongue.
"Shit," Cameron murmurs, roughly, and then pulls back, one hand still pinning Jackson down. "It's not that I'm scared. It's not."
"Of course it isn't," Jackson answers quickly, quickly enough that Cameron feels the blood rising to his face. He hasn't let go of Jackson's hips, and he presses harder, his thumb finding fragile skin between Jackson's belt and shirt. He runs his mouth over the rough contours of Jackson's cheek, and when he kisses him it's slower, and gentle. Jackson pushes back against him, grabbing hold of his shoulder, and when Cameron finally pulls away, they're both breathless.
"Still think I'm scared of you, Jackson?" his whispers harshly.
Jackson shakes his head.
His baby sister comes to visit him in March, just when it seems like winter will last forever. She rearranges most of his furniture, and buys him a new dish rack. She brings him photographs from Christmas, an album full, and more from her engagement party. Her arms are draped around a pale-faced man that Cameron has never met, and her smile is bright.
They go for Chinese, and she steals all the shrimp from his plate. "So," she asks him. "You seeing anyone?"
He shrugs, and she squeals, dropping her chopsticks. "You are. Who is she?"
"I don't want to talk about it," is all Cameron tells her.
When Cameron tells Carolyn that they shouldn't, not anymore, she doesn't cry, or even seem to hear him. She fumbles around her neck, for the necklace that he gave her.
"Keep it," he tells her, meaning it.
It looks pretty on her.
P3Z 348. Cameron's been there once. The Ori have been there twice, and a crack runs up the spine of the land, underneath the stargate, a relic from their visit. The people say they worship no gods, false or otherwise. Cameron tells them that it was the right thing to do, and secretly wonders if he is telling them the truth.
Jackson's eyes are blank. "You get the feeling we might be losing this one?"
Cameron doesn't have an answer.
He and Jackson don't argue about much. They disagree about goddamn near everything, but they don't fight.
They fight in the briefing room though, on a Wednesday, in front of Teal'c and Sam, and a silent SG-9. Cameron reckons Jackson might be irritable from a lack of sleep, from working overtime. He reckons Jackson might be right.
They fight over P6Y 127. It's one of the planets they didn't get to fast enough. The list is growing too fast for Cameron to keep track.
Jackson rubs his arm silently, as he raises his voice. "We can't just give up on them."
"It's a big universe. We have to pick our battles."
"Yeah?" Jackson asks him. "Who said that?"
Cameron's generally pretty patient with Jackson, as patient as he is with anyone. Sometimes, Jackson knows just how to set him off.
Sam tries to interrupt. SG-9 drink their coffee, and don't say anything at all.
When Cameron was a kid, straight through till he was thirty-one, all he wanted was to fly. The sky seemed like the last frontier, the end of everything.
Later he got recruited to Area 51, and learned his way around the throttle of an F-302. Learned he could go into space. Then all he wanted was to join SG-1, and see the worlds that stood through the stargate. That seemed like the end of the whole fucking universe. Cameron wanted it bad.
Now there's only one thing left that Cameron wants. Or maybe it's many things, wrapped up to look like one, blue eyes and constantly moving fingers.
General Landry has lunch with him, once a week. Cameron chews carefully, and keeps his personnel files to the left of his plate. Mission files to the right.
"Mitchell, you settling in okay?"
He's asked Cameron that every week for six months. When Cameron points that out, Landry only grins. "I figure if I keep asking, one day you might give me an answer that's true."
"How's your team? Dr. Jackson recovering okay?"
Cameron nods. "Yes, sir."
"I heard you and he got into it a couple weeks ago. That doesn't sound like him."
It's not like me either, Cameron wants to say. He scoops up the last of his gravy with his bread. "No, sir."
Landry stares for a while. Cameron chews, resolutely. "Long as you think you've got it under control," he says. Cameron thinks he does.
They move onto Sam's file. She's got an evaluation coming up. Landry prods him for forty-five minutes, but Cameron can't think of anything negative to say.
"Everyone's got areas that could use some improvement, son," Landry says as he leaves. "Try to remember that."
"Okay." P93 018 has no air pollution, no smog, and no acid rain. Everything is green, and Cameron has to remind Jackson twice to take his antihistamines. "Explain this to me again."
"It's not a test of actual fire. That's just the closest translation."
Cameron raises his eyebrows, but Jackson is dead serious. Teal'c sits silently, and Cameron knows that he's ready to break them out, if Cameron gives the order.
"That makes me feel better," Cameron says. "Sorta."
"It's more a test of strength," Jackson continues."
"Great. We'll get Teal'c to lift a log over his head, and go home."
Sam and Jackson shaking their heads in unison let him know it's not that simple.
"What if we don't want to take their test?"
Jackson shrugs. "We're free to leave."
"Great." Cameron reaches for his hat.
Sam clears her throat. "They're an advanced people. They'd be good allies to have on our side."
"Instead of their side," Jackson adds, meaningfully.
Cameron lets his hat drop. "You really think these guys can stand against the Ori?"
Jackson's mouth twists. "No, not really. But maybe we can stand together."
That's the kind of thing that Jackson likes to say, and coming from his mouth it sounds halfway believable.
That's how Cam finds himself in the town square, in the rain, unarmed and stripped to the waist. "No offense," he mutters, "but why isn't Teal'c on my wing for this one?"
"You might need a translator," Jackson answers casually. He too is down to his BDUs, t-shirt sticking damply to his chest. "But you're welcome to try it alone, if you prefer."
Cameron doesn't answer. He puts Jackson on his right, a side he can more easily guard. At first, only two of them come.
"What's the deal?" Cameron asks, over his shoulder. "Is this an exhibition sport, or are we allowed to kill them?"
Jackson shakes his head. "Not if we can help it."
"Are they allowed to kill us?"
Jackson shrugs. "Probably."
The first blow is a full body hit to his torso. Cameron exhales a grunt and pushes back. There's no dance here, none of the finesse he learned with the Sodan. Cameron fights with fists, with his elbows and knees. Long fingernails open a gash on his skin, across his bicep.
Beside him, Jackson holds his own. The second man staggers back, and Cameron breaths a triumphant whoop, along with something obscene.
A drum sounds. The natives surround the ring, silent, eyes wide and bodies unmoving.
Two more enter the rings.
Cameron groans. "Great."
Jackson says something in the foreign language. Cameron can just interpret the sound as a question. A man in red that Cameron has long identified as the man in charge, a priest of sorts, answers back, and Jackson shakes his head.
"What?" Cameron asks.
"He wanted to know if we want to stop."
"No fucking way."
When the first two fighters lunge forward once more, the second two follow him. When the first man holds him down, Cameron sinks his teeth into his arm to get free.
Jackson, on the ground, spits out blood and gets up again.
He's asked another question. This time he turns to Cameron before he replies.
"No." Cameron shakes his head. His chest is burning with something familiar, the refusal to quit. "We keep going."
Another question follows the first, and Cameron looks up in surprise. His fingers are slick with mud, with rain and blood. "What now?"
Jackson's brow knots in concentration. "He's asking what you hide..." Jackson pauses, and changes his mind. "He's asking whether you're scared."
Cameron tries to dry his hands on damp pants. He hadn't been expecting philosophy quizzes. "No," he says, finally.
The crowd whispers a noise. Underneath the clouds, the colour of the sky is bright, like fire.
"He wants to know what you are afraid of."
"We going to chat over tea, or finish this?" Cameron asks him.
Jackson shrugs, in the direction of the priest, and receives a shrug in return.
Cameron's fingers are becoming numb from the cold. When the eighth man enters the field, Cameron gets the feeling that it's not just practice.
He's vaguely aware of a change in the mood around him, a change in direction. By the time the sixth blow strikes at Jackson's chest, Jackson is making a sound that Cameron has never heard before. It's a struggle to move through the mud, but Cameron manages it, pulling a man off Jackson and punching him angrily in the face. He's swearing now, at the fighters in the arena, at the rain, at Jackson, at himself.
There's no pause, no noticeable beat, before three more fighters join the fray. The priest bows solemnly in their direction, and all three make a beeline for Jackson, who has scratches covering his forearms. He raises arms and fists to protect himself, and the scramble then is fierce.
Cameron curses loudly, as he tries to get in front of Jackson to cover him, fighting blows and kicks.
The drum beats.
Cameron's voice is hoarse from screaming, and he can't make out his own words. Until he hears Jackson's voice, stronger than his own, in the language he doesn't understand. The drum stops.
Everything stops. The arena is silent.
The priest bows to him, and Cameron gets the feeling he might have found the right answer. For once.
Cameron wakes up in the dark, in a cool bed that could almost be his own. When he moves something stirs from the corner, and then Jackson is beside him, laying a hand on his arm. "Where does it hurt?
Cameron's mouth curls. "Funny, Jackson."
It hurts to breathe, but not so much that he thinks any ribs are crushed, just bruised.
"I'll get you water," Jackson says, and he does, ice cold water out of a cool metal cup that he holds up to Cameron's mouth.
Cameron coughs, then winces. ""I guess I didn't pass."
Jackson pauses, long enough that Cameron knows he's not going to like what comes next. "Actually, you did. In fact, I think it may have gone a little longer than it needed to."
"An ally who thinks there's nothing to be scared of isn't precisely the kind of ally that they're looking for," Jackson says, and Cameron can almost see the smile in the dark.
"Fuck me." Cameron starts to shake his head, then thinks better of it. "You mean all I had to do was cry uncle?"
Cameron licks his lips, and shifts slightly, to get comfortable. His head is slightly woozy, and he doesn't know if that's from the thumping he just took, or from something else.
Jackson hasn't let go of his wrist.
"So, what?" Cameron asks. "I don't rate an actual nurse?"
Jackson clears his throat. "To these people, tending battle wounds is a big deal. It should be done by someone...close to you."
"They seem to feel I'd earned the right." Jackson pauses, and Cameron feels watched, stripped of his skin. "I guess you figured out what you were scared of."
Cameron exhales. It's not so bad, to talk about it. "I knew what I was scared of. They didn't ask the question properly."
Jackson nods. "Thanks. Anyway."
When Jackson gets into bed with him, laying the length of his body against Cameron's, he is shivering. "What did you give me?"
Jackson's shoulders shift slightly against Cameron's chest. "They said it would ease the pain."
"It's doing that." Cameron can barely trace his own thoughts now, each one looping back in on itself, shifting and disappearing. "I can hardly feel anything."
Jackson's fingers tighten on his hip. "You feel that?"
His skin tingles where Jackson touches him.
"Fuck," Cameron says, to no one in particular.
They breathe in silence for a while.
"There haven't been that many...people," Jackson tells him in a whisper. "After my wife."
Cameron inhales, the pain welcome, sharpening in his mind. "I'm not really in good shape to have this conversation, Jackson."
"I know. I just wanted to explain that." He pauses then, fingertips on Cameron's chest. "You were really scared, though, weren't you?"
"I wasn't scared at all."
Cameron shifts onto his side, the side that doesn't hurt at all. His eyes follow the contour of Jackson's jaw, the colour of his throat, and everything hurts less still. Jackson's face shows the beating he took. Bruises and cuts, a slightly swollen mouth. "That doesn't hurt?"
Jackson shakes his head, too quickly for Cameron to guess if he's lying. "Not anymore."
"I want..." Cameron begins, and stops, stuck on words that aren't there.
Jackson waits, eyes still and mouth parted, and he's like that when Cameron kisses him, hard. He pulls away fast, but the way Jackson shifts towards him with a subtle sigh makes Cameron think he's not the only one who's been aching.
Jackson watches him carefully. Their bodies still touch. "I don't want to take advantage," he says. "Of your, you know." He purses his lips.
"Weakened state?" Cameron asks him.
"Take advantage of this." Cameron kisses his again, devours his mouth, tasting the salty warmth of it, Daniel's body a guard against the cold that he's feeling.
Jackson moans just slightly, at the pressure of Cameron's tongue against his. Cameron's fingertips fill with heat, hearing him, as he runs his hands up Jackson's arms. Jackson's arms move to cover him, drawing him closer. Cameron feels weaker, suddenly.
"I just wanted to..."
"Shut up, Jackson," Cameron tells him, because Jackson's eyes say he's serious but Cameron can't talk about anything, not right now. He can only kiss the outline of Jackson's mouth, drawing that same slight moan. Cameron makes his own desperate sound in response, and Jackson's whole body tilts forward, his hips pressing against Cameron's groin.
Jackson takes an order for once, shutting up and letting his hands slide under the back of Cameron's shirt.
Cameron's breathing is stilted. His mouth covers Jackson's mouth, Jackson's throat, sliding downwards into the hollow of his chest, feeling the warmth of his skin through the texture of his shirt. Cameron's mouth pauses, tracing the outline of a nipple, biting slightly. Jackson's hands grasp Cameron's thighs, a thumb brushing gently against Cameron's balls. Cameron can feel Jackson's cock rising, as Cameron's body moves against his. He feels the heat of him, wants to taste him, to take Jackson in his mouth until he surrenders, wants to be fucked hard, on his knees, and damn the bruises, wants everything at once.
His hands grasp Jackson's face, mouth moving to kiss him again. Jackson's hands slide down against his skin, down the length of his cock, so hard that he's shaking.
"Fuck," Cameron mutters, unable to concentrate or even breathe, or care about the way that Jackson's other hand presses against one of his bruises.
Jackson is stroking him now, with his own singular rhythm. Cameron moans his name, and pushes into his hand. Over, over, thrusting and tugging at Jackson's pants, until Jackson's swollen cock presses against his, and Jackson shifts and groans, losing his rhythm, flattening his palm so that his hand brushes his own cock. Cam lets go of Jackson's mouth for a moment, so that he can watch that, Jackson jerking them both off, and then he swears and comes, shuddering, spurting hot over Jackson's cock and thighs. Jackson moans, stroking himself faster, eyes half-closed as Cameron covers Jackson's hand with his own, following his own rhythm. Until Jackson comes, silently, the whole weight of his body shaking silently as Cameron kisses him.
Carolyn stitches his wounds and keeps him in the infirmary for a day and a half. She curses him out the whole time, but won't let anyone else change his bandages.
"You're a fucking idiot, Cameron Mitchell," she tells him, and he doesn't argue. The alcohol stings where she swabs his skin. "You'd think you could stay out of my infirmary for just one week. Why does it always have to be you?"
He doesn't answer that. "We should have lunch next week," Cameron says, flexing his fingers, purposefully not watching her face to see how it changes.
The break of silence tells him all that he needs to know.
"I don't think that would be a good idea," she says finally, but when he looks up she's smiling, a little. "But yeah. I guess we could."
Jackson comes over, once Cameron is home. He brings a case of imported beer. "I thought you said we couldn't really do this."
Cameron draws back from the hiss, his hand relaxing against the small of Jackson's back. "You never listen to what I say."
"That's true," Jackson agrees.
Cameron's mouth brushes Jackson's lips, for just one more second of surrender. "The world hasn't ended yet."
"We might even win this one."
"We don't have a choice."
"We don't," Cameron agrees, kissing Jackson's throat, where he smells like aftershave.
They let the beer get warm on the floor.
When the Ori come, the people of P93 018 fight. They don't win, but they fight, and that's something.
At lunch that week, Landry asks him how he's settling in. Cameron takes a breath. "Getting there, sir."
Landry nods, taking a bite of his salad, as if he's finally heard something he approves of.