Cam hears John give a low whistle as they finally get topside and into the SGC’s extended-away parking lot. Cam’s baby has been sitting there, under Corporal Ellison’s watchful eye, the entire time he’s been away. Cam’s only just gotten back from a two-week Ori-followers-cleanup mission on P7F-931, and he’d found John wandering the halls of the SGC, waiting for the Daedalus to leave in a few days’ time and offered his friend the use of his spare room for the interim.
Cam grins as he palms the keys to his Mustang, watching as John’s head whips to face him. Cam tosses the keys in the air, a perfect arc, and John’s hand reaches out at the last possible second to snatch them.
Cam just grins. “You break it, you buy it,” he says cheerily. If the government can trust his friend with billion-dollar experimental aircraft, Cam can probably trust him with an old Mustang.
John drives like enough speed will make the car take off, which doesn’t surprise Cam; he also takes everything into account, speed and curves and straightaways, and Cam suspects he’s probably thinking about things like the wind and the fading light, factoring in a thousand things Cam can’t even think to think about. It’s what always made John such a natural pilot, his ability to see everything about his environment and how it would affect his plane. And now he’s doing it here, on the ground, driving Cam’s car.
It’s hot, it’s hot as hell, and John’s wild, reckless grin and ridiculous laughter as he clings to a corner before peeling away from it make it even more so.
But that’s from the file of Things Cam Isn’t Thinking About (Because They’ll Get Him Court-Martialed And Make His Best Friend Hate Him). Cam can imagine how it would go in his head, him letting something slip, John’s eyes going wider by a fraction of an inch, Cam’s stilted apology, John’s stuttered acceptance. Cam trying to fix it when things get awkward, John hauling off and punching him-
Not that he’s thought about it. Much.
Cam sighs as John pulls onto a deserted strip of road and guns the engine, speeding the car along and tries resolutely to shut that file in his head. He fails pretty quickly, like he always does, and is mildly surprised when he notices that John’s pulled the Mustang into Cam’s parking slot at his apartment complex.
“Oh,” Cam blinks. “Home sweet home.”
“Yeah,” John replies, grin still too wide on his face, eyes light and open. “Took the long way, but we made it.”
Cam’s on the second floor – high enough that he doesn’t really worry about break-ins from the ground, but low enough that he’d get out pretty fast in a fire, or so his Momma had said approvingly – and he makes a point of not using the elevator unless his leg is pinching too badly. John beats him up the stairs and is already opening the door to Cam’s apartment by the time Cam rounds the corner.
Cam pushes the door open and steps inside, toeing off his shoes and reaching to the small table in the entranceway for the phone. Pretty much all he wants in life is a pizza and a beer.
Scratch that, he thinks a split-second later, because this is all he wants in life, John crowding him into a wall and pressing their mouths together and thrusting his tongue past Cam’s lips, this, this is what he wants-
But John’s pulling back, he’s looking horrified, and he’s still holding Cam’s keys as he stumbles backwards out the door. Cam’s still against the wall, wondering what the fuck, when he hears his car start up and drive away.
John doesn’t answer the cell phone that the SGC assigned him for the duration of his stay, and Cam doesn’t know how to ask Sam to look up where his subcutaneous transmitter is, so he’s kind of at a loss as to how he’s supposed to get John to come back and talk about what happened and maybe do it again. He sighs as the phone goes to voicemail for the ninth time.
Cam doesn’t want to leave a voicemail – it’s a government-issued phone, and he’s got no problems believing that there are any number of agencies bugging both lines – so he hangs up again, mind whirling to figure out what he might have to orchestrate to just get John to talk to him. The idea pings on like a lightbulb, along with that insistent little voice that tells him that this probably isn’t going to end well. He ignores that part of himself and picks up the phone, dialing a different number.
“Jackson,” he says easily when the other man picks up. “Listen, I need a ride…”
That little voice that Cam had so beautifully ignored pipes up again when John enters Jackson’s office at the SGC, because John’s face immediately closes off and his posture pulls him upright. Every inch of his body is screaming with the same want to leave, to run. Cam stands as John turns to leave, and he doesn’t know what John hears in his voice when Cam speaks, but John stops moving for the door.
“I’m not pissed at you,” Cam starts, stops, tries again. “I didn’t – John, I had no-”
“Surprise,” John replies with absolutely no inflection. “Your best friend has wanted to get you into bed for, oh, a decade or so.”
Cam doesn’t let himself reel at the information, though he locks it away for later. Instead, he walks deliberately until he’s standing in front of John. John meets his gaze dead-on.
“You just caught me off-guard,” Cam tells him quietly and, praying that Jackson’s right about the security cameras in his office not working, leans in and brushes his lips against John’s. He pulls back after a moment, backing out of John’s personal space with the same even steps he used to get close in the first place.
“We should talk,” Cam says and then, in what is probably one of the most difficult things he’s had to do in his adult life, turns and leaves Jackson’s office. He doesn’t stop walking until he’s topside, in Jackson’s passenger seat, and it’s only after he buckles himself in that he allows himself to take a shaky breath.
“You okay?” Jackson asks as he pulls out and heads back towards Cam’s.
Cam doesn’t answer for a moment, mostly because he’s not really sure what he’s supposed to say. He finally settles on, “Rain check.”
Jackson nods – they’ve shared stranger exchanges and still gotten their points across – and they make the rest of the trip in silence.
Cam’s expecting John to show up at some point before he heads out – if nothing else, he’s got Cam’s car and keys – but Cam isn’t expecting the knock on his door less than twenty minutes after he settles into the couch. John’s standing in the doorway, his hands balled into fists and shoved into his pockets, eyes closed as he pulls in even breaths. Cam opens the door and steps to the side, allowing John to walk in. Cam closes the door behind him and turns, waiting for John to speak.
“You’re sure?” he finally asks. “I’m not-”
“I made up my mind about you a long time ago,” Cam says honestly. “I’m sure, John.”
“Because if you’re not,” John continues, “I – can’t, Cam.”
Cam lets the words settle around them and waits until John meets his eyes to respond. “I’m sure.”
John lets out his breath in a rush and takes a half-step towards Cam before hesitating. Cam closes the distance between them and grabs John’s hand, holding firmly as he leans in to press their lips together.
It’s not fireworks or lightning or anything like that. Instead, it’s comfortable and easy as John kisses him back, like they’ve done this before, like they’ve been doing it for years. And somehow, Cam thinks as John squeezes his hand, somehow, that’s better.