Word Count: 967
Summary: Days on Atlantis never stay good for long.
Spoilers: Coup d’Etat
Warnings: Mentions of death, suicide and general badness.
Prompt: For October 23rd challenge at slashing_lorne: ‘write a drabble/ficlet where Lorne’s lover welcomes him home after a long mission’. And ‘030: Death’ for fanfic100.
Disclaimer: So not mine!
Kavanagh woke up feeling it was going to be a good day. It was pretty rare that that happened and rarer still in this city he’d grudgingly come to think of as home.
There was no real reason, he mused, as he had breakfast alone on his regular table, just something felt right. Of course, he realised this was Atlantis and statistically that feeling couldn’t last much longer. He smiled at a random pair of soldiers as he walked down the corridor and even greeting Simpson “good morning” as he walked into the lab, determined to stretch out the good vibes as long as possible. He thought if he could avoid both Weir and McKay, he should be good for an hour or so.
When the blow came though it was so much worse than anything he could have imagined.
Two of the new scientists, whose names he hadn’t bothered to learn yet, were complaining that this wasn’t what they signed up for. He recognised the conversation as one he’s had with himself plenty of times. He almost sympathised. Until they used Miall as an example of how it wasn’t safe, even for scientists. Miall was on Nick’s team and Kavanagh started to feel his good mood crumbling around the edges.
“First, what are you talking about? Second, stop wasting time and get back to work.” Kavanagh ordered, looking up from his laptop and working hard to keep his concerns to himself.
“He was fine until yesterday, then he went off with those military grunts and now he’s dead.” One of the scientists replied, not looking as cowed as Kavanagh was hoping for.
“Dead?” Kavanagh asked, the rest of the ‘good day’ feeling collapsing down on him. “What happened? Was anyone else hurt?” Again, he kept his tone curious rather than alarmed.
The other scientist looked at him strangely. “You haven’t heard. The whole team was burnt to a crisp. Beckett’s doing the autopsies now.”
Kavanagh sat and stared at the two scientists. Then he stared some more. Some part of him told him he should be upset. Another part was screaming at him to hold it together. A much larger part refused to believe it was true. Most of him though had gone numb. He could hear thoughts run through his head, but they didn’t feel like his own. And there was no emotional response to go with it. He just sat and stared.
“Doctor Kavanagh?” The first scientist said eventually, an unspoken question in his tone.
“Hmmm yeah, I’m fine.” Kavanagh replied mildly, surprised as hell it was true. “Go back to work.” He ordered, doing the same himself.
It was over an hour later when his, still spiralling, thoughts were interrupted by an incredibly hot flashback of Nick doing a strip tease, from two nights ago. That seemed to break the emotional dam, allowing other memories to flood back. Nick’s smile. His dry humour. His soft murmurs of affection. The sex, oh god the sex. Nick’s teasing laugh. His strong arms. His lickable neck. All things he would never have again.
Losing control, he let out a loud, wracking sob. The whole lab turned to look at him. He coughed weakly, hoping they’d believe that was what it had been and left.
He doesn’t remember what happened next. Doesn’t know how he ended up on the balcony of Nick’s room, gazing at the calm water below. It seemed wrong. Like everything should be stormy and dark. Things shouldn’t be so normal when he felt like the universe was being torn apart. He wondered how easy it would be to step over the railing. The thought was attractive enough to scare him into backing into the room and locking the door behind him.
The bed still smelled of Nick and he wrapped himself in one of his sweatshirts and laid down, burying his nose into the pillow. He couldn’t sleep. He just lay there. Lost in an almost trancelike state. Not asleep, but only on the edge of wakefulness. Hiding in a place where emotions couldn’t get. He had no idea how long he stayed like that, curled up into himself and all he had left of his lover.
When Lorne walked in, muddy and scruffily dressed, he was sure he’d slipped into hallucinations. Moving for the first time, he rolled over in bed putting his back to the apparition.
Lorne frowned and walked over to the bed, leaning over his lover. “Sure, I don’t look my best but what kind of a welcome is that?” He asked, smiling gently and kissing his cheek.
The contact sent a shiver down Cal’s spine. His basic psych knowledge let him know it was definitely not good that he was feeling, as well as hearing and seeing. Biting his lip, he turned away, determined to ignore this cheap shadow.
Worried now, Nick turned Cal’s face back toward him. “Guess I scared you, huh?”
The small sparkle in Nick’s light eyes got through to him and he blinked. “You’re real?” He asked, his voice trembling with uncertainty.
Lorne smiled wistfully and climbed into the bed, dirty boots and all, pulling Kavanagh into his arms. “Yeah, I’m real.” He whispered softly.
Cal nuzzled as deep into the other man as he could. Nick held him, stroked his hair and back, reassuring him it was true. Slowly, things started to feel right again.
“You really need a shower.” Kavanagh said eventually, scrunching up his nose and pulling away just enough so he could actually take in Nick’s appearance.
Lorne laughed in reply. “Help me?”
Kavanagh kissed all of Nick’s cuts and bruises as the hot water sprayed over them. Later, in bed, Nick kissed away Cal’s deeper, harder to see, hurts. Turned out it was a pretty good day after all.