In a supply closet, 5 minutes after Colonel Mitchell's arrival:
Cam followed John down a corridor, both men walking at a fast pace with a determined stride. After several turns and at least two sets of stairs, John muttered, "the hell with this." He grabbed Cam's arm, and pulled him through a random door.
John barely had time to wave his hand over the controls to close the door before Cam grabbed his shirt and pulled him closer, crushing his mouth to his. Their hands were everywhere and John pushed forward until Cam's back was against the wall.
As much as he had desperately missed this, John slowed the pace. "Cam?" John pulled back slightly, still gripping Cam's hips.
"We're..." he looked away nervously.
Cam became wary. "We're what?"
John turned back to face Cam, looking slightly uncomfortable. "We're... more than..." he gestured randomly, "you know, more than this. Aren't we?"
Cam looked John in the eye for several moments. "Yeah," he reached up and touched the side of John's face, "we're more."
John buried his head in Cam's shoulder and they wrapped their arms around each other. They hadn't seen each other in months. Frantic groping was replaced with simply holding on.
A short while later in the mess hall, before the mission briefing:
It was between meal times and there weren't a lot of people around. They each poured a cup of coffee and wandered off onto the balcony. A small table off to the side provided a moderate amount of privacy.
Cam talked about how he was now reading mission reports at least two weeks in arrears. He calmly confessed to his near breakdown when he realized John was missing and he was a galaxy away not able to do anything.
"I know you trust your team, Sheppard," Cam said, keeping the habit of reverting to a last-name basis in a public setting, "and I know they're really good. It wasn't really about them, you know?"
John nodded. "I'm sorry."
"That's just it. You've got nothing to be sorry about. You're just doing your job and I'm just doing mine." Cam paused and stared at his coffee cup. A boyish grin slowly spread across his face. "We do have pretty amazing jobs, don't we?"
"Says the man who went missing while undercover last month." John smiled when Cam looked slightly surprised. "Yeah, I read mission reports, too. Good idea about holding off until the next batch comes in." He lifted his mug and took a drink.
"Well, mission reports only say so much." Cam folded his hands on the table and studied John. Over the years, he had learned that John wasn't one to stop a groping session for a cup of coffee unless something was on his mind. "What happened?"
John reached into a pocket and pulled out the worn picture of the two of them graduating Advanced Flight Training. He told Cam about the desert planet with the malfunctioning DHD and handed the picture to Cam.
Cam turned the picture over and saw where John had hastily scribbled tell Cam. "What were you going to tell me?"
John shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "That... you know... I just wanted someone to tell you what happened." And that my last thoughts were of you. Oh, and after all these years I think I'm in love with you, but doubt I'll ever be able to actually say it.
Cam looked at the picture for a moment and then turned back to John. John couldn't be positive, but he was pretty sure that Cam could hear what he wasn't saying. Cam merely nodded.
They were interrupted by a call from Dr. Weir saying that the briefing regarding the Odyssey's mission was about to begin. Cam handed the picture back to John and they made their way to the conference room.
Back in the mess hall after the mission:
When the Odyssey returned triumphantly to Atlantis, there was a small celebration in the mess hall. Folks were cheering wildly over having vanquished enemies in both galaxies with one stroke.
Finally noticing a break in crowd congratulating SG-1, John walked over to Cam and nudged him in the arm, grinning broadly. "Show off."
They stood there, off to the side, drinking fruit punch in companionable silence and enjoying the sense of victory. Smiling at the various antics of their respective teams, Cam decided that this was okay.
They may be saving different galaxies, but they were okay. They still clicked, they still understood each other and, at least for today, everything was okay.
Cam nudged John's arm with his elbow. John nudged him back.
Touring the 302 bay on the Odyssey:
"I didn't realize you hadn't seen the 302 bay on a Daedalus-Class cruiser, Colonel." Sam appeared a bit surprised.
"It never seemed to be a good time to play tourist." John replied.
"Well, now is as good a time as any. Rodney and I are are going to help fine-tune some of the hyperdrive repairs. It'll probably be a couple hours before we're ready to depart."
John followed Cam to the 302 bay, which was crowded with pilots and technicians. Cam was outlining the technique for landing a 302 on a cruiser, how the lack of gravity made it completely different than landing on something like a Navy carrier back home. John talked about flying jumpers and his brief stint of flying a Wraith dart.
Crouched between a bulk head and a box of spare parts, Cam and John spent over an hour talking about all manner of flying contraptions. Every now and then, one of the other pilots would wander by and listen in or offer up a comment or two. Between the two of them, the could only come up with a handful of things they hadn't flown.
"You've never flown a Cesna?" John asked incredulously.
"Do I really need to?"
"You've got to mark it off your list. My father has one. Next time I'm on Earth, we'll take it a spin."
"Seriously? A Cesna. What's the point? I'd rather take a spin in one of those jumpers you seem so keen about."
Sam rounded the corner just in time to hear the last comment. "I wouldn't mind getting in on that." She smiled as Cam and John both stood up. "We're all set. Time to go pry Daniel away and go home."
The scene in the gate room looked like organized chaos. People milled about and it was hard to hear over the chatter and laughter. Cam and John stood waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Sam and Rodney walked from the control room debating some technical detail while Daniel tried to convince Vala that photographs were sufficient souvenirs of her trip to Atlantis.
"Have you gotten one of Mitchell yet?" He asked her, determined to keep her occupied.
"Fine. How about one in front of the gate?" Vala pushed Cam into position, apparently not bothering to wait for his input on the matter.
"Hold up a second." Cam called over to John, "Sheppard, why don't you get over here?" John stood next to Cam and they slung their arms across each other shoulders, John desperately tried to act casual. Vala waved at them to move to their left and stepped back several paces.
Cam's voiced dipped into a drawl, a signal to anyone that knew him that he was about to launch into a tale of some sort. "You know, that kinda reminds me of that guy from flight school... the one with... " Cam leaned into John, acting like divulging the identity of this person was a state secret. Instead of a name, he whispered, "I love you, too."
Without missing a beat, Cam continued his tale, "...you remember him, right? Well, he somehow had this idea that an AH-64 Apache was superior to the RAH-66 Comanche. So, after only one week into simulation exercises..." Cam told Vala about how this 'nameless' student had taken a bit of a joyride in an attack helicopter and had almost gotten caught. John laughed, remembering that night and Cam cussing him out for not letting him in on the stunt.
Vala took a photograph while various people said their goodbyes. In the photo, John's gaze was focused on Cam, not the camera, and Cam was leaning into John.
"At least both of you have your eyes open." Vala declared, putting away the camera and joining Sam and Daniel in the middle of the room to beam up to the Odyssey.
Cam and John shook hands. "I'll email you a copy," Cam promised, and joined his team.