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

Chapter 4

Cameron watched the doors of the lab that'd been converted to a ballroom open and he couldn't help but take inventory of who entered. He knew he'd purposely sat on the side of the table that would allow him to watch the door, but he was trying not to dwell on that either.

Seeing everyone in the room dressed up was more than strange. There were many here that he'd never seen outside their uniform. Cam did a double take when he realized the woman walking through the door was Dr. Lam. She looked incredible dressed as she was to the point he almost missed the fact that Major Lorne was holding the door open for her.

He couldn't help the slow smile that spread across his face, the mystery major, he thought to himself, as he watched them walk together to the tables on the far wall with food and beverages covering them.

Now for the elusive Dr. Keller, he thought, turning to scan the room one more time. He was brought up short when a voice on the opposite side of him captured his attention. He turned in time to see the doctor in question plop down quickly in an empty chair on his left.

"Wait, wait. Stand back up," he instructed, motioning for her to stand. "I want to see the end product of all those bags I helped you haul home."

Jenn rolled her eyes at the use of the word 'haul', but slowly stood anyway looking around to see if anyone was paying attention to them. She tried to ignore the warm feeling of a blush she knew was infusing her cheeks due to his slow perusal of her attire. "I keep getting stared at, it's very disconcerting," Jennifer admitted, her eyes continuing to dart around the room.

"Well I can see why," Cam replied, "you look beautiful," which was actually an understatement in Mitchell's opinion. The deep maroon dress looked amazing on her and it wasn't often that she wore her hair down. He was having a hard time not staring at her himself.

Jennifer quickly took a seat, mindful of his look and trying to hide some of her blush at his words. "You look really good too," she replied awkwardly, suddenly at a loss for any other words and starting to rethink her rash decision to sit next to the Colonel. He did look good though, dressed in black slacks and a deep gray sweater. Even in the dimmer lighting of this make-shift ballroom, his eyes stood out.

Cam smiled at her discomfort and set about trying to ease it. "Would you like something to eat? Punch? A cocktail maybe."

Jennifer looked up at him suddenly, but caught his grin and had to grin back. "Sorry, just a little ways outside my comfort zone at the moment."

"Well, I did see Dr. Lam arrive just a few minutes ago. I'm pretty sure she arrived with the Major in question. Major Lorne?" he asked with lifted brow.

"That would be the one," Jennifer grudgingly conceded.

"Well, they haven't danced yet, so I think you have some time," he laughed, hoping to get another smile out of his nervous table mate.

"Actually, whether she showed up tonight or not, I was still going to ask someone to dance. It really is the only way to get that woman to let it alone."

Cameron opened his mouth, ready to offer to dance with her. The thought of being in closer proximity was quite appealing. He also didn't want to give any of the other men in the room a chance to come ask her, which he was sure was a given considering the amount of attention she'd gathered when she'd entered. Before he got the chance to ask his question, Jennifer stood up.

"Okay," she started nervously. She looked around the room, not really actually seeing anyone, before sitting back down. "How do guys do it?"

"Excuse me?" Cameron asked, a bit confused by the lack of context in her question.

"How do guys summon enough nerve to ask a girl to dance or to go out on a date?"

Mitchell thought of a few responses to that, but upon seeing her honest bafflement he chose to give her question the best answer he could come up with.

"Truthfully?" He turned in his seat and met her nerve racked gaze straight on. "For some guys… or gals it is about self confidence. If you've got a lot of self confidence you're usually a bolder person. We also live in a society where it is more the norm and expected that men do the asking, so us 'guys' aren't having to step out of the norm really."

"Oh," Jennifer responded. That actually made sense, because when it came to men and her appeal to them, she wasn't all that confident. Sure they looked appreciatively at her when she dressed up, but that was more about how she was dressed, not about her. And although women did ask men out from time to time, he was right, it was traditionally more of the men's role.

Cameron heard his words in his head, and though they were true, he knew it wasn't a complete answer, or at least not the one that Jennifer needed to hear.

"Sometimes though, Doc.," he paused to make sure he'd caught her wayward attention, "it just boils down to the worth. Is the person worth the risk?"

Jennifer was staring Cameron right in the eye when he said those words and she found she had to bite her tongue to keep from saying 'yes' right then and embarrassing herself. "Okay."

The Colonel watched her stand up again and although he didn't regret making her feel more confident, he didn't like the idea that she was going to go and ask some other guy to dance. He stood up as well, deciding to take matters into his own hands.

"Jennifer." "Cameron." They both started at the same time.

"Go ahead," Mitchell allowed with a nod.

Jenn blushed at the awkwardness, but then plunged ahead, "Cameron? Would you dance with me?"

Cameron couldn't help but find her discomfort adorable. The fact that he was the one she was asking made his breathing hitch slightly, but he recovered quickly with a smirk. "Darlin'," he drawled playfully, "I wasn't gonna let you dance with anyone else tonight anyway." He grinned at her surprised look before he grabbed her hand and led her out onto the dance floor. He heard the beginning strains of a Bing Crosby classic as he pulled Jennifer into his arms and began to sway to the music.

Jenn rested her head against his shoulder for a moment as she tried to slow her racing heart. The knowledge that Cameron was interested in her as well was a bit overwhelming. Dancing with him like this was so worth the risk, but knowing that this was probably just the beginning of something more between the two of them had her grinning into his shoulder. She felt him slowly maneuver her back enough to gaze down at her, probably concerned by her quietness.

"Sorry, just happy," she grinned at him.

"Same here," he replied with a wink, pulling her in closer as he heard the beginning of a Nat King Cole song fill the room.


Lorne watched Carolyn grinning with a look of delight as she gazed upon the dance floor. "What's got your attention?" he asked.

"Just happy. This party was a good idea. I like seeing everyone relaxing and enjoying themselves."

"Speaking of enjoying themselves," he began as he placed his punch glass on the table. "I think I remember hearing you say something about hoping for an opportunity to ask me to dance tonight."

Carolyn saw the amusement in his expression and it warmed her, "Yes I did," she confirmed, standing and turning toward the Major with a flair of formality. "Would you like to dance?"

"Been hoping you'd ask," Evan chuckled.

Lorne took her in his arms and they swayed around the dance floor. Neither spoke much for a few minutes, instead they enjoyed the closeness and the festive feel of the room.

Evan wanted to chuckle when he noticed Carolyn maneuver them to the left a bit. "Was I not doing a good job?"

"No…," Lam let the word drag out. "My father just arrived."

"Glad to hear the General is taking the time to join in," Evan commented nonchalantly.

"Not worried about how being seen dancing with his daughter will color his view of you?" Dr. Lam challenged.

"Nah, I'm sure he'll warm up to the idea of me dating his daughter eventually."

"You sound a bit confident that there will be more than one date," Carolyn scoffed.

"Yes, ma'am." Evan replied casually.

"Maybe we should see how this date goes first before you start planning multiple dates, Major."

Lorne knew that Carolyn was baiting him, although there was only a slight hint of mischief in her expression. She was doing a good job of keeping a stoic expression.

Evan lowered his voice as he leaned in close, "I'd say that this date is going great… and I already know its going to end well."

Carolyn watched Lorne pull back far enough to meet her eyes. His cocky smirk accompanied by a quick wink caused her cheeks to heat. The image it generated of that goodnight kiss he'd already warned her would end their date, flashed through her mind. She moved in closer to hide her face against his shoulder and could feel the silent chuckle vibrating lightly in his body.

Lorne gathered her closer and leaned his head against the top of her's and let song after song carry them as they danced.

The End