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McKay isn't the first Uni that Lorne's ever known.

It isn't until he's already been with the SGC for a while that it occurs to him how statistically unlikely that is; but then he remembers that he takes day trips to other planets for a living, so he's probably just beating the curve in general.

It wasn't even really a big deal growing up, probably because hardly anybody knew about Mrs. Langston; Lorne only knew because his mother was her best friend. She was just constantly having children- she and her husband had seven kids by the time Lorne was in high school, all of them unrealistically well behaved and sharp as knives, constantly shadowed by their nanny.

When she was pregnant, she was Lorne's favorite. She'd ruffle his hair and give him ginger snaps, compliment his drawings even when they weren't very good, cheer louder than anybody at his football games. Lorne never quite got over how she touched people all the time, safe- he realized later- in the knowledge that nobody could set her off or lock on.

When she wasn't pregnant, she barely even came to the door. She just wouldn't answer until he or his sister yelled that it was alright, that it was just Sarah Lorne's kids. Evan couldn't stand the way she'd look, hunted and sad, her face looking tight and drawn without its usual glow. She just looked so exhausted, all the time.

As Lorne got older, she stopped answering the door even for him.

And then he'd come back to town one weekend while he was in college, and she was sitting at the kitchen table, having a cup of tea with his mom, looking cheerful and bright in a way that didn't match her flat stomach. She actually came over and gave him a hug, bare arms and all; and if Lorne hadn't just spent most of a week on his back in his girlfriend's bed, he'd have had a heart attack from shock.

"So, how far along is she?" he asked his mom after she'd gone, helping her with the dishes. She just sort of looked at him, and Lorne felt like he was missing something.

"She had an operation," his mother said delicately. "She can't have any more children."

It clicked. "I thought there was a reason she looked so happy," Lorne replied, and his mom flicked him with the dish towel.

He didn't really get the last part of the puzzle until all the kids had moved out and all three of them- Mr. Langston, Mrs. Langston, and the nanny- were still happily cohabiting; but Lorne had always been a live and let live kind of a guy.

So when the recruiter for the SGC tells him they've got a Universal on staff, listing him off like he's a fucking amenity or something, Lorne gives the guy his best "one day, I'll outrank you, and then your ass is mine" glare and pretends he hasn't heard.

It is harder to find somebody once he's stationed at the Mountain, but Lorne's not very picky, genetically speaking. He matches pretty decently with that Marine from SG-23- Ford- as well as one of the med techs and a couple of the science types, so he usually just calls one of them up a day or so beforehand to see if he can work something out.

There are surprises, too- completely on accident, he spends a raucous six days with Dr. Weir, just before she goes off to Atlantis. Lorne is more than a little sad to see her go, for reasons that have nothing to do with her command abilities.

He avoids ever having to use the Receptor-in-residence's services, which is the way he likes it. Every time he thinks about it, all he can see is Mrs. Langston's sad, tired eyes. He'd rather be reduced to groping people in the hallway than contribute to that.


And everybody's got a story about the weird planet that made them do it. It's almost a matter of pride, like you're not really a member of the SGC until it happens to your team. And except for that time SG-16 accidentally had an orgy, every one of these stories ends the same way- everybody pairs off, and if anybody's left over, they go tear-assing into the gateroom like a crazy person, occasionally without any clothes on.

Lorne turns out to be the crazy person of SG-11.

About an hour into being stuck in this ridiculous hellhole of a planet, Lorne starts to realize what makes the crazy person crazy. He's keeping the natives back and convincing Ritter and Woeste not to wander off into the bushes and trying to explain what's happening, both to the locals and Command- and for the gods' sake, he's a geological engineer, not a babysitter. He isn't paid nearly enough for this shit.

Coupled with the ache in his head that makes him feel more like it's day four and not hour one, he's pathetically grateful when they're finally cleared to come back through.

Except that Woeste and Ritter really have wandered off into the bushes, and he can't even find the rest of his team, and his head is fucking pounding. One of the native women, desperately trying to help these weird people who've just come to their planet and gone insane for no reason at all, keeps touching his arm, his hand, his neck- if she does it one more time, Lorne is going to lose his shit completely, and if he loses it and rapes some woman who has no idea what's going on, he's going to just put his Beretta in his mouth and that's going to be that- but Lucast is dragging Peters back through the gate- the woman is touching his arm again- Lorne shoves her away and takes off at a run for the event horizon-

And he runs, full tilt, into Dr. McKay, bowling them both over.

"Oh saints, McKay, thank you," he says, feeling a hot wash of lust go right down his spine. "Thank you, thank you," he keeps muttering, fumbling himself out of his pants and boxers, his lips against McKay's neck. Some higher part of his brain registers surprise on the man's face when he pulls back, something Lorne is pretty sure he'd never seen there before; and then Lorne secures his place as an SGC in-joke by coming all over the gate ramp.

"Uh," he says dazedly, floating pleasantly in a sea of not-horny that may just be better than the orgasm that got him there. "Whoops."

"Come on, Major," McKay tells him, standing and pulling him to his feet with surprising strength, and Lorne imagines that he sounds just a little amused.


He stumbles out of McKay's quarters about a week later, feeling sort of dazed and very sore, but better than he has in a long time.

As he leaves, he feels like maybe he should say something, try and be polite, do something more than just collect his pants and go home. But what is he supposed to say? "I'm sorry"? He isn't really- not as much as he thought he would be. Lorne knows he's not particularly demanding, and he isn't much of a biter; so that puts him a cut above the average Zoomie, right there. And McKay seemed like he was pretty Sympathetic, so he doesn't really feel worse about it than he does normally. Maybe "Thanks for the memories"? That might be acceptable, except all Lorne remembers with any real clarity is how nice it felt to rub his face against McKay's belly and how oppressive all those bleak, white, institutional walls were.

All Lorne really wants is for McKay to know that he respects him as a human being, but he can't think of any way to say it that doesn't make him sound like the base shrink or a teenage girl with a crush.

So he does the only sensible thing: he calls his mom and asks her.


He knocks on McKay's door a few nights later, very much hoping the other man doesn't have company- he really doesn't want to get punched in the face by someone in a possessive rage. But McKay answers the door wearing all his clothes, which is a promising sign.

"Can I come in?" Lorne asks.

McKay raises an eyebrow at him, like he can't really decide what Lorne's game is; but he opens the door wider and indicates for him to step inside.

Lorne doesn't really know what to say, so he holds out the paper sack. "I brought you something."

McKay eyes the flat brown bag suspiciously. "It's not porn, is it?"

"No offense, doc," Lorne says, "but wouldn't that be a little like carrying coal to Newcastle?"

"You'd be surprised what people think I want," he mutters darkly, and Lorne wonders for a minute if he's pissed him off. But then McKay snaps his fingers at him, and Lorne passes it over.

"You could probably put it over the breezeway to the kitchen- it would be out of the way," Lorne says, looking around the room as McKay tears open the paper. "Or maybe over the TV? But the frame's real sturdy, so if it got knocked over I don't think it'd hurt it."

"Did you paint this?" McKay asks, half impressed and half suspicious, clearly not paying attention to Lorne's babbling.

"Yeah," he replies, with a self-effacing half-shrug. "It's P3G-589."

"Must've been nice," McKay says, examining the brushstrokes. It occurs to Lorne then that McKay, even though he's cleared for gate travel, hardly ever goes off world, and Lorne feels like kind of an insensitive prick all of a sudden.

"Actually? It sucks," Lorne tells him, confidentially. "They've got mosquitoes the size of satsumas. The sunset was pretty much the only decent thing about it."

McKay snorts at him, but he does smile. "Kinda looks like Tatooine."

Lorne grins. "It kinda does, now that you mention it."

He thinks he got his point across.