David shifted in his seat, his legs already starting to get uncomfortable even though they were only ten minutes out from the last rest stop. They had at least another three hours before they reached Topeka and they'd been on the road all that day and most of the day before. He wasn't about to tell Evan that his beloved Honda Civic was not necessarily the best car for a long road trip, but he was starting to wonder if it would be physically possible to maybe stick one of his knees out the side window or something. At least when they were taking long trips in a Puddle Jumper he could get up and walk around the vehicle.
"You alright?" Evan asked, glancing over briefly. They had turned off the radio a few hours earlier, content to drive into the evening dusk in near silence.
"Great. Do you need me to drive? If you're tired we can stop in the next town," David asked, probably with more enthusiasm than was required.
"I'm still good to drive, just like when you asked me ten minutes ago," Evan said, his smile reassuring David that it wasn't his driving skills on anything other than a flat straight road that he was objecting to.
David nodded abruptly. "Right, of course."
"You had fun in California, right? You seemed like you were," Evan asked after a few more minutes had passed.
"Absolutely. Your mom is really nice, and your sisters are…" David trailed off as he tried come up with exactly the right word. They had a full week and a half of vacation before they would report back to the SGC and then travel back to Atlantis with the new members of the expedition. It was nice to be back on Earth, even though he was still readjusting to cars and stores and tons of people again.
"My sisters are my sisters," Evan finished. "But they liked you, and that's a nice change."
David rolled his eyes and shifted in his seat again. "That would be because I'm not just dating you because I think you're a cool and hip artist who has a dashingly dangerous job." He had heard the stories of Evan's previous girlfriends and boyfriends and was not impressed.
Evan turned to David, his eyebrows raised in mock sadness. "You don't think I'm a hip artist with a dreamily dangerous job?"
Batting Evan's arm so that he would turn his full attention back to the road in front of them, David fought the grin that wanted to come and lost. "The only reason your job doesn't give me a heart attack is because I'm out there with you almost having a heart attack for myself," he said with a dramatic pause. "The art is nice though."
"I'm glad you think so," Evan said dryly.
"Very nice," David quickly amended.
"Uh huh." Evan was only slightly better than David at keeping a smile from his face.
David turned to look out the window, watching as the sign for the next small town approached and was quickly passed by, the puddle of light over it becoming a speck in the rear view mirror. "We really can stop for the night. It's getting late."
"I know it's been a long drive, but we're almost there," Evan said before glancing over to David. "If you're really tired though, we could try to find somewhere close."
David shook his head. "I'm good. It's just dangerous to drive when you're tired, almost as bad as driving while intoxicated."
"I'm not tired. I had a very nice three days of lazing on the beach and napping under an umbrella," Evan said. It took a few more minutes before he tried again. "I thought you wanted to go visit your family?"
"I do," David said, and then sighed. "I love them, a lot. They just don't understand me very well."
Evan nodded. "You're worried about how they're going to react to you having a boyfriend?"
David snorted. "No, not really. They've met some of the guys I dated in high school and at the university."
"Okay," Evan agreed.
They sat in silence for another seven miles before David broke. "I don't want you to feel like they don't accept you. Because they will, because I love you and they love me, and eventually, after they get to know you, they'll love you too. They just don't show it very well."
Evan nodded cautiously. "Alright, thanks for the head up."
David sighed and moved again, pulling one of his legs up so that his foot was resting on the dashboard and his knee against the passenger door. He didn't think he was doing a very good job of explaining himself. "I just didn't want you to expect them to be like your family," he finally offered.
"David, it's alright," Evan said, reaching out and taking one of David's hands and holding onto it. "My mom is a peace and freedom loving hippy who spent most of her time teaching me and my sisters to embrace beauty and love in every way possible. I'm very aware that they're not the norm."
"They acted like I was already a permanent part of your family," David said, his chest feeling tight with the words.
"That's because you are, and they know it just by seeing us together. If your family doesn't see the same thing right away, that's fine. It doesn't matter to me what they say, and it won't change how I feel about you," Evan said, squeezing the hand that was holding David's.
David turned to look at Evan, trying to assess how true that statement could possibly be. "My brother is probably going to try to maneuver you into a fight at some point over the weekend. It's what he does," he explained glumly.
"I promise to return him to your family mostly unharmed," Evan said calmly.
"My sister will probably try to hit on you," David continued as if Evan hadn't spoken.
Evan smiled. "And I'll let her down gently and explain that I'm already taken."
"Don't be surprised if my cousin Jeremy tries to hit on you too. And he won't be so easily deterred," David said, starting to smile.
"And he'll quickly realize that I'm not his type," Evan promised.
"My mom's casserole is only just barely edible at all," David said, a last ditch effort to convince Evan to turn around and take them both back to California.
Evan laughed. "Can't be as bad as my mom's tuna loaf."
David took a slow breath. "My dad probably won't even look at you."
Evan tightened his grasp on David's hand. "We'll figure it out. Together."
"Promise?" David asked, even though he already knew the answer.
"I'd no more leave you in Kansas than I'd leave you on a Hive Ship or a Genii occupied planet," Evan said solemnly.
David nodded, tightening his grasp on Evan's hand briefly before bringing it back over to the steering wheel and leaving it there. "Well, we only have two more hours. I think I'm actually starting to recognize some of the scenery," he said. He felt a little shaky, but a lot better than he had when they'd first crossed the state line.
Evan squinted out into the darkness surrounding them. "How can you possibly recognize the scenery? There's nothing out here but fields in every single direction."
"Exactly," David said, and started laughing with the pleasure of a simple joke from his first home.