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cheerful
Entry tags:
ficathon, lorne/zelenka, sga

SGA: "Let It Show"
Title: Let it Show
Author: [info]bethynyc
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Pairing/characters: Evan Lorne/Radek Zelenka, Sheppard, OMCs
Rating: PG-13, language, violence
Disclaimer: I don't own them, MGM does. Written for fun, not for profit.
Prompt: #1216 Stargate: Atlantis, Evan Lorne(/Carson Beckett, or /Radek Zelenka), Lorne knows who he is, but no one else does and no one else ever has. Coming out turns out to be a lot easier than he'd ever imagined. The repercussions, however, almost make him wish he'd never said anything. Almost.
Summary: After living a double life for years, Evan Lorne finally has a reason not to hide.
Warnings: Homophobic language and epithets
Author's Notes: Set during SGA S2. Written for [info]lgbtfest. Many thanks to [info]malindalarose for her beta.
Word Count: 2724

 

Some secrets stayed secret for a reason.

Evan made it through fifteen years of military service by not thinking too much about sex, except under certain very clearly defined situations. Cultivating a relaxed facade, the guy everyone was friends with, was the best protective coloration ever. Whenever he got a long leave, he'd tuck all evidence of military life away in a locker somewhere, use his civilian ID, and soak himself in the gay life of New York, London, Prague, San Francisco—anywhere he could find a thriving scene where no one asked for last names.

Then he made Major, got recruited for the SGC, and learned about aliens with a yen for power trips and bad eye makeup. Thinking back, he realized that this would seriously curtail his extracurricular activities, but the Gate travel was worth it. Then came Atlantis.

As a result of a stupid injury (and really, who trips over a tree root on an alien planet and breaks their ankle? Obviously, him.) he wasn't part of the original expedition, but when Colonel Everett asked for volunteers to be part of the Daedalus force, Lorne was first in line. He had plenty of gate experience and the gene, so Everett tapped him as one of his sub-commanders and gave him a couple of squads to command.

Atlantis was...everything he thought it might be. His gene wasn't as strong as Sheppard's, but at least as strong as Beckett's, and the city hummed to him sometimes. Lorne wanted to paint it.

There wasn't time, at least in the beginning. Too much to do, too many bodies to identify, Marines to regroup and find housing for, supplies to check in—every moment on the edge, wondering if the Wraith would come back, if they would survive even the next five minutes.

They did, and got through the next crisis, and the next, and the next. The search for Lt. Ford was ongoing, but there were days that became ordinary, training in the morning, paperwork in the afternoon, meetings, and assisting the scientists in their projects.

He had assisted Dr. Zelenka a couple of times before, as part of a group, and shared a couple of staff meetings as the respective seconds for their departments, but didn't really know the man. The accent always made Evan smile, remembering a week in Prague years before.

The current question was the last thing he ever expected from Dr. Zelenka

"Have I changed so, Evan?"

They were both underneath Jumper Four, Lorne handing Zelenka various tools and occasionally initializing bits to figure out why that particular jumper was so sluggish in high atmosphere.

Lorne startled at Zelenka's casual use of his first name, and banged his head. "What?" He stared at Zelenka, who blinked at him in confusion before shaking his head sadly.

"Ah, well. Ten years is long time..."

That brought Lorne out of his shock. "R-Radek?"

And there was the smile, that delightful smile full of joie-de-vivre that Evan unpacked from his memory every so often. "Of course."

"But, how did you get here?"

Radek raised one eyebrow. "I walked through Stargate with Doctor Weir and many other people."

Evan rolls his eyes at that. "You know what I mean. Recruited?"

"As engineer with interest in physics and practical skill set, yes." Radek smiled. "And you?"

At that moment, footsteps echoed through the repair station. Radek quickly pointed to a tool. "The socket wrench, Major?" Lorne handed it to him as Sheppard's voice wafted under the Jumper.

"How's it goin'?" Sheppard peeked in at them with a smile.

Radek muttered something uncomplimentary in Czech before scooting out from underneath. "As well as expected, Colonel." Lorne followed him, and the brightness of the jumper bay made him blink. "Major Lorne has been great help, and will be part of test flight."

Sheppard nodded. "Great. Let me know how she runs." With that, he sauntered out, calling for a report from the duty team.

Evan turned to Zelenka, and his mouth suddenly went dry. Yes, Radek's hairline was higher, and his face showed the cares and worries of the past, but this was still the one he remembered when all his previous encounters were forgotten. Radek started to speak, but Evan shook his head. "Not here. Not now. After...this evening? After dinner, we could..."

With a nod, Dr. Zelenka slid back under the Jumper, and Major Lorne followed him.

~*~*~*~

Prague, 1997

Finding the scene in Prague wasn't as easy as in Paris or London, but Evan finally found a bar where he felt comfortable and ordered a Staropramen Garnet. The man next to him turned to look at him in surprise.

"American?"

Evan took a swig of the slightly bitter beer. "Yes, um, ano." He glanced at his neighbor, and was met by a cheerful smile and a pair of brilliant blue eyes.

The man leaned towards him. "Good choice. Most Americans go for the Budvar." He held out his hand. "Radek."

Evan took his hand and shook it. "Evan."

Small talk led to making out in a dimly lit booth at the back of the bar, to staggering to Radek's flat near the University, to a frantic hand job on the couch and a much more relaxed session in the bedroom. As he drifted off to sleep, Evan realized that this was nothing that he had ever expected.

Waking up in the gray light of morning, he almost put his covert ops training to work to get out of the apartment, but something stopped him. "Dobré ráno!" Radek was already awake. "Leaving?" he asked softly.

"Do you want me to?" Evan replied.

"How long are you in Praha?" Radek countered, a little smile starting to creep over his face.

"Are you going to answer every question with a question? And a week—Oh!" Evan grimaced as he realized that he had lost the Question game.

Radek pulled him gently back into his arms. "So, my guess is you are on Spring Break, and I am as well. Do you have...other plans?"

And here was the moment. All Evan had to do was say yes. He was meeting friends in Paris tomorrow, he had a train ticket to Budapest in two hours, he had to wash his hair—anything to make this a one night stand.

Here was the strange part; he liked Radek. Radek was fun and smart and sexy and they fit together so well. Evan took a deep breath. "No. No, I don't have any other plans for the week."

~*~*~*~

Lorne ate dinner with his team and begged off poker, saying that he didn't have any coffee or chocolate left to lose. He saw Dr. Zelenka (Zelenka in public, remember that!) eating with Dr. McKay and Dr. Beckett, arguing about something technical. He smiled a little bit as he left the mess hall, just barely catching Zelenka's eye as he headed for the transporter.

Almost an hour later, the door signaled, and Evan breathed a sigh of relief. He opened the door, and Radek came in. "Hey, thanks for coming. Um, do you want to sit out on the balcony?"

Radek shifted uncomfortably, before following him. "I looked for you." They sat on two chairs that Lorne liberated from a rarely used conference room.

"What?" Evan was surprised; this wasn't what he expected.

"Best week of my life, and I wanted more. I gave you my card, asked you to write, to call—anything, and nothing." Radek leaned forward. "Was it just...nothing...to you?"

"No!" Evan stood and paced, thinking frantically. "I was military! Get caught on leave with another guy, and it wouldn't matter if they didn't ask and I didn't tell, I'd be out before they could say 'dishonorable discharge!'"

Radek leaped from his chair and got right into Evan's face. "So you lied to me."

"Not exactly—I just didn't correct your assumptions." Evan ran his hands through his hair, but didn't back up. "Okay, shitty thing to do. I'm sorry. Pro-promiňte?"

"You could have told me." Radek was still angry.

Evan shook his head. "I couldn't. The only way I could—get through—was to hide. Be a different person on leave, with guys."

Somehow, that softened Radek. He reached out, touched Evan's shoulder. "I don't understand, but, all right." Radek looked him in the eye and said quietly, "JÁ chybit tebe."

Evan allowed himself to be pulled into Radek's arms, and once again, felt like he fit there. Like he belonged. It had been too long, and life in Pegasus was too crazy. Evan whispered "I missed you, too." and kissed him.

He didn't want to hide any more.

~*~*~*~

That feeling disappeared two days later during his weekly briefing with Sheppard, as they went over the duty roster and discussed the needs of the military contingent. After they finished, Lorne asked, as usual, "Anything else, sir?"

Sheppard looked distinctly uncomfortable. "You, um, you know my quarters are just a level up from yours, right?"

Lorne sat back in his chair. "I think so, yeah."

"Sound...can really carry on those balconies." Sheppard looked away.

Realizing what this was about, Lorne stood at attention. "Sir."

"Aw, crap," Sheppard said. "This is coming out all wrong. Lorne, Evan, it's okay."

Lorne remained at attention. "Sir, request permission to leave, sir."

Sheppard slapped his hands on his desk. "No! Sit down and listen to me! That's an order, Major!"

Lorne sat. His insides roiled with fear and tension, and he hoped Radek wouldn't get into trouble because of him.

"Now, Major." Sheppard sighed. "Lorne. Just...listen, okay? I had three people come to me yesterday to tell me that you and Doctor Zelenka were fucking. Two were giving me a heads up in case anyone tried to take you down, and the third one made it clear that if I didn't report it, he would." Sheppard pushed his seat back and fiddled with a pen. "I asked him if he really liked helping the scientists keep the sewerage systems running, and that if anyone was going to get kicked out, it wouldn't be an officer who had distinguished himself above and beyond the call of duty." With a sigh, he set the pen down and picked up a piece of paper.

"When this expedition was first formed as an international group, General O'Neill went through the Uniform Code of Conduct and made alterations specifically for this expedition. He worked it out with Hammond and...Sumner, and checked the codes of conduct for every country included on this mission. He dropped a lot of the crap, but kept what worked, what was important. So, as long as you aren't being coerced..." Sheppard eyed Lorne, who shook his head a fraction, "...then, officially, that's no one's business but your own."

He handed Lorne the paper, and Lorne glanced over it. The paper reworded the rules, describing all personal relationships that were mutual and not forced as not the business of the command staff of Atlantis. However, it was only for those stationed in the Pegasus Galaxy—anyone transferred back to their respective armed forces would have to abide by their original rules.

Hope bloomed in Lorne's chest, and it must have shown on his face, because Sheppard smirked. "Now, officially, I'm still not supposed to ask. But if you need to talk to someone, you need a friend, someone who has been where you are," and the raised eyebrow contained oceans of meaning, "I've got your back." Sheppard gentled his expression into a real smile.

Lorne took a deep breath. "Is there—will there be any problems? Sir?"

With a shrug, Sheppard answered. "I can't do anything about the rumor mill, but if you have any real problems, I'll do what I can."

Lorne stood again and saluted. "Thank you, Sir."

"G'wan, get outta here!"

~*~*~*~

It wasn't easy. The rumor mill on Atlantis worked overtime, because when they weren't fighting for their lives, things could get a little boring. His team was mostly indifferent, but they were all long term veterans of the SGC.

Some of the newer recruits were more of a problem, even a few scientists made scornful remarks well within his hearing. There were occasional pranks, and pushes, but Lorne could live with that.

(McKay stopped him in the lab one day, and asked, "You and Zelenka? Really?" At Lorne's noncommittal shrug, he muttered "Huh," and returned to his work.)

Those who needed to know, knew. It wasn't anyone else's business. That's what he kept telling himself.

Then a new contingent of Marines arrived, and they seemed determined to push every button on Sheppard and Lorne, and make a few new ones. This particular group hadn't spent much time at the SGC, and had only bare-bones off-world experience. But, being new to Pegasus, they believed that they were much better than the pansy-assed faggot flyboys who were the CO and 2IC, and said so repeatedly, despite the warnings of more experienced Marines.

Lorne ignored them as much as he could, until his first training session with them when Ronon was off-world with SGA-1.

Six of them, all six foot plus, all Marines full of attitude and muscle, just waiting for an excuse to mock the gay Major. Well, he'd told Sheppard that he could handle it, and he would.

They lined up, waiting for his order, not perfectly at attention, but he decided not to call them on it. Lorne led them through a warm up, katas, stretching, and a five minute jog in place at double-time. They didn't break a sweat, and the highest ranked of them—a sergeant—wore the ghost of a smile that mocked Is that all you've got, Major?

Lorne simply paired them up and supervised the sparring. He corrected a hold here, showed a variant of a block there, and in general paid no attention to the muttering that grew subtly louder.

Finally, the sergeant stood at attention. "Sir, Major Lorne, sir."

Here it comes, thought Lorne. "Yes, Sergeant Browne?"

"Sir, I respectfully request to spar with you, sir."

Lorne shrugged. "All right, then. Gentlemen, please step back," he said pleasantly.

Lorne and the sergeant circled each other, the sergeant testing Lorne's defense with a couple of obvious feints and kicks, which Lorne dodged easily.

Browne was good; Lorne knew that. He would never have been in the SGC if he didn't have what it took to survive. However, his fighting tells were clear as Atlantis windows, at least to Lorne, and it didn't take long to figure out the sergeant's style. He stretched it out, though, not wanting to humiliate the man in front of his squad.

After about five minutes of this, Browne growled "You gonna fight, Major?" slurring the rank into an insult. He followed up with a combination that rocked Lorne back a few steps.

"Okay," was all he said, and proceeded to go on the attack. Lorne dodged most of the punches easily, and hit Browne solidly in the chest and shoulders. Finally, he swept the Marine's legs out from under him, and the sergeant went down heavily.

He heard a gasp from one of the other Marines, but Lorne wasn't done yet. He jumped on top of Browne and placed his hand on the man's chest. "I'm a Wraith, and you're dead," Lorne said calmly. "It doesn't matter how good you were in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or even the Milky Way. You will learn from a pansy-ass faggot flyboy," and Lorne saw Browne pale at hearing his own words said back to him, "or you are dead. And I refuse to let that happen."

With that, he stood up and offered his hand to Browne, to help him up. Browne ignored it, looking away. Lorne shook his head and walked out of the training room, taking the transporter to his own quarters.

Radek was there, arms crossed. "What were you doing?"

"You watched?"

"Always." Radek continued to watch as slowly, Evan stripped off his workout clothes and wrapped a towel around his waist. "Is it worth it?" Radek asked.

Evan smiled. "Most of the time, I think. Join me?"

Radek's wordless answer was enough for Evan to realize that yes, it was worth it.

 

Czech lexicon
ano = yes
Dobré ráno = Good morning
promiňte = I'm sorry
JÁ chybit tebe = I missed you