A/N: A one-shot that I wrote for Flyboy Day over on the Team Flyboy thread. It was inspired by a prompt I'll list in the author's notes at the end of the short story. The story has not been beta'd, but hopefully there aren't any glaring mistakes that I missed after all of the edits I did do.
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis and Stargate SG1 or any of their wonderful characters.
Spoilers: All of Stargate SG1 and SGA
Dr. Jennifer Keller took a deep breath of the mountain air as she peered out into the darkness toward the trees she could just make out at the edge of the property. She single out the individual trees, it was far too dark for that, but she could definitely make out where the rigid tips of the trees met the starry sky above.
She could hear the music from inside General Jack O'Neill's cabin. She couldn't make out the actual words of the songs, but she was still able to identify most by the melody and rhythm. Laughter and voices complimented the music, some louder than others, but all sounding joyful and happy. Jennifer smiled as she leaned her head back against the seat she was occupying and let her senses take in her surroundings for a spell. While being involved in the Stargate program, the young doctor had not found many moments like this and savoring them seemed the only way to properly honor the moment.
The lulling moment was broken a fair bit later by the sound of the screen door protesting against its hinges as it slowly opened. The light from inside the cabin illuminated enough of the man's features to know that it was Colonel Cameron Mitchell joining her on the porch. Her heart felt as if it skipped a little beat and she was thankful for the poor lighting that would hide any corresponding blush.
There was no denying that Col. Mitchell was a good looking man. He was physically fit, a deserving leader in the military and he had a very engaging smile. Jennifer hadn't spent much time getting to know him, but he had the type of personality that made you consider him a friend more than an acquaintance almost immediately upon meeting him.
A shared lunch a few weeks ago in the mess hall had been the highlight of her day. They seemed to have enough in common that the awkward silences were kept at bay for most of the time, at least until it had been time to say their goodbyes and get back to their respective tasks.
"I'm not bothering you am I?" Cameron asked, disrupting her thoughts. He'd watched the young doctor slip through the door earlier in the evening, but with almost twenty minutes passing without her return, he'd decided to check on her.
"No, not at all," Jennifer quickly assured him. She made a motion for him to take a seat and held her breath waiting for his response. She'd love to spend some time talking with the Colonel. Listening to his voice in the dark could almost be considered a fantasy realized. Jennifer sat up straighter and tried to reign in her wayward thoughts as he took a seat next to her.
"You doing okay?" Cam asked. He'd been wondering for the last several minutes if something had happened to drive her from the party.
"Yes," Jennifer immediately responded, startled when she realized that her absence might convey the wrong impression. "I'm sorry if I worried anyone."
"I don't think anyone's worried, they're all too busy celebrating at the moment. When I left Sheppard was debating the finer points of Johnny Cash with one of Lorne's men. I just happened to notice you leave a while ago. Checking on you gave me a good excuse for fleeing before I was asked to weigh in on the "Man in Black" discussion." He wouldn't frighten her away by mentioning just how close an eye he'd kept on the door since she left, wondering when she'd come back inside or what he could use as an excuse to join her on the porch.
Although they rarely had a chance to interact one on one since the return of Atlantis to Earth, he did find each encounter more intriguing than the last. That hadn't happened to him in a long while. He was at a disadvantage in trying to subtly seek her out though since she spent most of her time on Atlantis.
"This might sound a little silly," Jennifer began relaxing a bit when she noted him leaning back in his seat as if he had no plans to go back inside any time soon.
"I doubt that."
Jenn blushed just a bit at his words but continued, "I miss the smell and sounds of this part of the country. Atlantis is beautiful and really… who wouldn't love living on a floating city, but I grew up in the next state over. As much as the smell of the ocean is unique and actually wonderful, the smell here brings on feelings and memories of home."
"I get that," the soldier acknowledged with a nod of his head. "Kind of like the smell of dried grass in fields makes me think of Kansas. There is just this warm smell in the air when the hay is ready to be baled."
"Exactly," she grinned. "I also love the smell of rain when the ground is really warm, especially on asphalt. It is such a distinctive smell and it only lasts for the beginning of a rain."
Cameron smiled into the night. He hadn't thought about the smell associated with rain hitting the road in a long time.
"Listen to me going on about smells," Jennifer laughed self consciously. She felt so unsophisticated she wanted to bury her face in her hands. While on one hand it irritated her that she couldn't have come up with a more interesting topic to discuss, the other part of her was relieved. At least if she scared him off now it was because he'd seen the real Jennifer.
"I actually hadn't thought about it much, but I can't remember the last time I thought about the smell of rain." He glanced at her to gage if he was reassuring her at all. "Of course the next time I do experience a bit of rain you can bet I'll also be breathing in deep through my nose and appreciating the moment. All thanks to you," he added with a quick wink.
Jennifer wondered for a moment if he was flirting with her, but quickly dismissed the notion and tried to change the subject. "It was kind of the General O'Neill to offer his cabin for this engagement party."
"It was," Cam agreed. "I think I've only been here for funerals and retirement gatherings. I'd have to say that even the retirement get-togethers were a bit depressing as well, usually brought on by politics, not the happy occasion it should be."
"I can see how this place wouldn't hold many good memories then."
"No, not exactly." Cameron grinned for a moment remembering his time spent in this cabin with General Landry. "Even the not so fond times spent here seem to also hold some good memories. I'm sure you've read about the time I was here with General Landry?"
Jennifer nodded it had been an interesting mission report.
"I do have some fond memories of my team sticking around after the animal-things were eliminated. We played poker and visited until almost morning. It was… great actually."
"Wonder if that is what made Landry buy a cabin just down the road from O'Neill's."
"He did really enjoy himself here that weekend." Cameron chuckled as he thought about the bird watching the General had tried to interest him in. "I think his own cabin being so close to O'Neill's is probably why Jack offered his as a place for the engagement party. Doctor Lam can then spend the rest of the weekend visiting with her father. Having a ship in orbit with beaming technology was just a happy bonus."
"I'm not sure how those two found time to date," Jennifer thought out loud. "I mean, it's complicated to move back and forth between the Mountain and Atlantis and yet somehow Lorne was able to not only make it work, but look at them now, just a few months away from being married."
Cameron made a mental note to subtly ask the Major that very question. The thought of trying to date someone in Atlantis was becoming quite appealing. His mind was pulled back to the present when Jennifer continued talking.
"We've had a couple of meetings with the IOA and the department heads on both Atlantis and in the Mountain. I'm not sure if it's a secret or not, but Carolyn put in for a transfer to Atlantis."
"Would that mean a demotion for Lam?" Cam found himself very curious if Lam would give up the CMO position to move to Atlantis.
"That is where it gets complicated. The IOA doesn't see the need for another doctor on Atlantis. We still have Carson, Cole, Biro and myself. The teams are still leading missions into the Pegasus, but even with the Midway up and running it is a longer process and we have fewer teams in the field at a time. We do typically send a doctor with the teams though because the missions are longer. Even I have to admit that four doctors are probably enough."
"Will Lorne put in for a transfer if she doesn't get approved?" Mitchell could see how complicated it could become for the couple if they had to maintain their marriage from two separate, top secret facilities.
"Actually, Carolyn doesn't want him to. She realizes how much he loves Atlantis. She and I actually have spoken a few times about the possibility of trading places." Jennifer peeked at Cameron's face in the shadows of the porch curious what he thought.
"You'd be willing to leave Atlantis?" Cameron ignored the sense of excitement he felt at what she was saying and he hoped to clarify how okay she was with this new development.
"I love Atlantis, don't get me wrong, but since we've taken up residence here on Earth, I've felt a bit restless about what this actually means for me. Being in Atlantis was an incredible experience, but Earth was far enough away I didn't think about it much."
Jenn shrugged her shoulder's, not really sure what to add to that.
"And now, being parked just outside of San Francisco…" he prodded, beginning to see where her thoughts were heading.
Jennifer nodded, "Is a constant reminder that I am on Earth. We both know that if we traded we may not be able to continue to be the CMO at our new respective infirmaries, but it might be fun. I'd get to see my dad and experience Earth again, yet I could go on mission's through the gate still. Kind of the best of both world's in my opinion.
"Well, it'd mean I'd get to see more of you," Cameron threw out there. He added a soft chuckle hoping to lighten the moment if he'd been a bit too forward.
"Yeah," she agreed trying to hold back a blush, "of course I'm not sure that would be considered a good thing since that means you'd be in the infirmary."
Cameron grinned at her comeback, relieved to feel like there might be an opening here to explore something with Jennifer. "You won't always be in the infirmary," he retorted playfully.
Jenn felt her cheeks warm at his words, her eyes seeking the ground. He was definitely flirting with her, she just wasn't sure if it was harmless fun or actual interest in her. "I certainly hope not."
Jennifer's nervous laugh was interrupted by the screen door opening again.
"Was wondering where you two got off to," General O'Neill declared as he held the screen door open.
Carolyn, Vala, Samantha and Ruth, a nurse from the SGC all stepped out onto the porch, calling goodbyes backward into the cabin.
Once all of the women were standing on the porch Jack allowed the screen door to shut itself. He clapped his hands together before rubbing them vigorously. "So… anyone sleeping here is fishing in the morning."
"Which is why I'm heading over to Landry's cabin with the girls," Sam laughed leaning in and kissing Jack soundly before turning away.
"You, Mrs. O'Neill, are allowed to sneak back over here later," the General invited with a wicked grin.
"I don't think so. I happen to want to sleep in." Sam winked at him before turning to the left where Jennifer and Cameron were sitting. "You coming Jenn or were you thinking about fishing in the morning?"
Jennifer felt Cameron touch her arm and lean in, his voice low in her ear.
"Can I walk you back?" he whispered.
Jennifer couldn't ignore the quickening of her heart beat at the rough quality to his voice or how close he was to her. "I think I'll walk back," she told Carter.
"Suit yourself," Samantha said with a grin before leaving to join the girls who'd already settled in Carolyn's car.
"Shall we?" Cameron asked as he stood.
"You do realize Hank's cabin is like… a mile away?" Jack pointed out sarcastically.
Cameron nodded absently as they made their way down the stairs.
"So long as you don't think staying out late will get you out of fishing in the morning," the General threw out to the departing couple.
Without turning around, Mitchell waved absentmindedly in the air.
"Don't stay out too late kids," O'Neill added before he waved dismissively at their backs and went back into the cabin.
"Are there even fish in O'Neill's lake?" Jennifer asked as they made their way out of the driveway and took a right hand turn at the main road.
"I guess there didn't used to be, but that was a different reality than this one."
"Really," Jenn laughed as she thought about that for a moment. "He sure seems to love fishing."
Cameron gave a short chuckle, "I've heard since he retired he starts all his mornings off fishing, almost like a normal person would read the morning paper while they drink their cup of coffee."
The couple walked in silence for a bit, each enjoying their darkened surroundings, and the company.
Mitchell finally broke the stillness. "I'd like to see you."
"It is dark and hard to see without street lights and all that." Jenn agreed looking down and checking the path in front of herself for any hazards.
Cameron chuckled nervously to himself. "I mean date… I'd like to date you."
"Oh…you would?" It wasn't that Jenn didn't want to shout yes, but she was still a bit startled to realize he actually wanted to go on a date with her.
"You're kind of hard on a man's ego there, Doc." Cam lightly laughed, still waiting for an answer.
"Sorry bout that," Jenn sheepishly replied. "I'd like to date you too." She couldn't bring herself to look at him yet, so she concentrated on the road. "It's going to be a bit hard though if I'm still working on Atlantis."
"That will make it trickier to plan dates, but until then… we could call the rest of this night our first date."
Jenn smirked at him, "So… I'll need to worry about you moving too fast, won't I?"
He was starting to love her smirk, and he really couldn't wait to experience it when he could see her better. "Well if you think that was a bit fast, you're going to be run over by this next bit."
Jenn's gaze swung to his quickly, not sure what he meant.
With a laugh Cameron reached for her hand before pointedly looking forward and continuing to walk. They could faintly see the porch light in the distance as they turned down General Laundry's driveway.
Their pace slowed as they neared the cabin, both knowing that the evening was quickly coming to an end. A few minutes later they climbed the four stairs to the porch and stood quietly their eyes adjusting to the brightness of the porch light.
Jennifer took a nerve-wracking breath before gaining the courage to turn toward Cameron. His face was fully illuminated and his expressions plain to see. The man had a knowing smirk on his face and she didn't know whether to grin back at him or yank her hand out of his. She found herself unable to do either as she continued to stare at him, her nervousness climbing as the moment stretched.
A second later that nervous energy escaped her in a shriek she tried to subdue when they were both plunged back into darkness, only the soft light from one of the windows giving them enough light to faintly see each other.
Jennifer found herself laughing, unable to contain her heightened emotions any longer.
Cam laughed along with Jennifer, wondering who was to be thanked for the small bit of privacy they now had. He looked down into her dancing eyes and felt caught in the moment.
As their laughter subsided Jennifer leaned forward and settled her lips against his. Cameron truly thought his heart had stopped for a moment, surprised by her move. He hunched his shoulders slightly as he slowly threaded his fingers through her hair and took the kiss deeper. The darkened world around them faded completely away as he concentrated on the sensations her kiss was igniting in him.
Cam briefly pulled back to take a breath before reclaiming her lips in a few lighter kisses before pulling back completely. "Sweetheart, with kisses like that you will definitely need to worry about me moving too fast."
Jennifer blushed hotly and hoped it didn't show too badly. She narrowed her eyes slightly and tried not to let the smirk she felt rising show. "Yeah, about that…"
"Hey," he interrupted, tugging her closer with their hands that were still clasped, "just remember you started it."
She couldn't keep the smirk from her face or the pride from her voice. "I did, didn't I?"
"But I'm not complaining," he replied with an answering smirk.
"Well, you might be in the morning when the General wakes you up to go fishing," she laughed.
"Worth it." Cameron dipped his head and gave Jenn one more kiss before letting go of her hand and stepping back.
"You'll be beaming back with us tomorrow evening?"
"I'll see you then. Sleep well Jenn."
"I will once I get past the four women waiting on the other side of this door," she groaned.
"Sorry bout that," he said, but his laugh indicated he wasn't.
"Worth it," she mimicked with a grin.
"Good night." They both said in unison before she turned for the door and he stepped off the porch. He took a few steps before turning to offer her a wave, then he began to jog away.
Jenn lingered with her hand on the door handle for a few moments until he was out of sight. She then took a deep, fortifying breath and stepped through the door.
A/N2: This was written for the Flyboy Day celebration today over on the Gateworld Forum for Team Flyboy (thunking, shipping, discussion) - Lorne/Mitchell/Sheppard/O'Neill. Come on over and help celebrate our favorite Stargate flyboys, now or anytime.
The prompt for the story was - A kiss in the dark.
Hope you enjoyed the story!