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Again and Again

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This, Cam reflects as he’s trying very hard to concentrate on not pulling all of John’s hair out, is definitely worth his while.

John is currently on his knees with his mouth around Cam’s cock, hands on the back of his thighs, moaning as he takes Cam deeper and deeper into his mouth. Cam’s been home from work for, oh, about three minutes, and it had been one hell of a day. As soon as he had walked in, John had taken one look at him, asked, “Bad day?” and had started to unbutton his pants.

Cam‘s thinking that he could definitely get used to this, oh yes, coming home to a blowjob against the door after a day at work. Fuck those guys at the precinct whose wives always have dinner on the table. This is way better, Cam’s thinking, and then John does something crazy with his tongue and makes a sound and Cam’s not thinking at all, he’s flying.

“Want to talk about it?” John says when Cam’s come far enough down to remember his own name again. He pulls a face and slides to the floor, sitting next to John, who never got back up.

“New case,” he sighs, and John just looks at him, because really, what else could it be? “Well, new connection between old cases. I think we’ve got a serial killer on our hands.”

John shifts beside him. “Serial killer? In Chicago?” He grins. “Thought it was all single homicide, gang-related shit here.”

Cam shoves him in the side. “Gacy operated out of Chicago in the seventies.”

John frowns. “He was the one with the clowns, right?” He shuddered. “I hate clowns.”

“Anyway,” Cam says, “three homicides in the past month, no more than ten days apart. Victims didn’t know each other, and they were in different parts of the city, which is probably what kept us from noticing it for this long.” He shakes his head. “We’ve got no leads, and the serial thing is just a theory Sam and I are throwing around, but we’re bringing in some special agents to help with the case."

“You brought them in to find me,” John points out with a sly smile. “Didn’t end up needing them.”

Cam smirks at him. “Made my job of keeping your ass out of jail a little more difficult, actually,” he says. “They’re good at their jobs.”

“You getting the same guys?” John asks, standing from the floor, and Cam nods.

“I requested them,” he says. “Agents Jackson and Mal Doran. They’re both great agents, but when they’re working together…”

John snorts. “That good, or that bad?”

“Both,” Cam grins. “They drive each other insane, but they have this weird way of making each other work better or something.” He shrugs as John hauls him to his feet. “They’re also fucking like bunnies, but I don’t officially know that.”

“I’ll keep my mouth shut,” he says, grinning like it’s hilarious, and maybe it is. Cam can’t imagine a situation in which John would come into contact with the two agents; at least, not one where John isn’t in handcuffs. Cam grins darkly at the thought. Handcuffs aren’t always a bad look for John.

Cam is still sort of wondering when the other shoe is going to drop, when John is going to be arrested again, or when he’ll come home to an empty apartment and no note and half his sweatshirts missing (John has appropriated most of them at this point) – but it’s been four months since he’d accidentally caught John in the middle of that robbery, and if anything, John’s showing signs of settling in more fully, not of wanting to sneak out while Cam’s otherwise occupied. It’s kind of nice, Cam thinks as they walk into the kitchen and he finds that there’s dinner, too. He’s just not sure if it’s smart to get used to it.

-0-

“Mitchell!”

Cam smiles as he turns, spotting Agents Jackson and Mal Doran from across the bullpen. The former is strolling casually though, looking at ease and relaxed, while Mal Doran bounds across, grabbing him in a tight hug. “We’re going to make the charges stick on this one,” she mock-threatens as she pulls back and gives him a peck on the cheek. “So don’t go falling in love with our suspect again, okay?”

Cam blushes and rolls his eyes as Jackson walks up to them. “I had nothing to do with those charges being dropped,” he says again, for the hundredth time, even though he knows that she already believes him. “There was an investigation.”

She looks at him, eyes narrowed in mock thought, then nods. “I mean it, though,” she says as she walks to Sam’s desk and sits in the chair. “You already have one pretty man at your disposal. Don’t steal all of them.”

“Sheppard’s a criminal, Vala,” Jackson reminds her, and damn, Cam has forgotten that Jackson can be a real downer. He opens his mouth to defend John, then closes it; it’s true, after all, even if John swears up and down that he hasn’t stolen anything since the arrest.

Mal Doran just grins. “He’s a devastatingly attractive criminal, darling,” she says, and Cam has to agree.

The rest of the afternoon and much of the night is spent going over the details of each case again, tying them together and ripping them apart, rehashing every minute aspect of each case. The victims, two women and one man, hadn’t appeared to know each other; they didn’t live near each other, weren’t the same ages, were found in different parts of the city. They’d each been killed with a single gunshot to the head, and they’d each been put on their knees first; it reminds Cam of gang assassinations, but he doubts that gangs had anything to do with this. He runs his fingers through his hair again, smiling as he catches Sam yawning on the other side of the room, and stands.

“I’d like to be done here for the night,” he says, seeing Sam rise from the corner of his eye and start to gather papers together. “Let’s plan on meeting bright and early, say 0730, and we can dive back in.”

Mal Doran groans. “Can we at least make it 0800?” she pouts, and Jackson taps her on the arm with a small grin. “I need my beauty sleep.”

Cam grins at her. “Hate to see you ugly in the morning,” he teases, and is rewarded with Mal Doran sticking her tongue out and a laugh from the other two in the room. “0800 good with everyone?”

There’s a general consensus, and Cam is exhausted when he walks into his apartment half an hour later. John’s slouched on the couch, something on the television, but he stands gracefully and greets Cam in the hallway.

“Miss me?” he asks, puling back, and Cam pulls him in or another kiss.

“Like air,” Cam agrees. He steps back and fishes his case folder from the table just inside the door, where he’d set it to take off his shoes. “Meetings all day.”

“Sucks,” John offers. He walks back to the couch, gesturing invitingly, as if it isn’t Cam’s couch to begin with. “Sit, talk, vent, whatever.”

Cam grabs a beer from the kitchen and sits next to John, propping his feet up on the coffee table. He sighs as the tense muscles in his back finally stretch and twist out, and he leans his head against the back of the couch.

“These are your victims?” He can hear John’s frown and opens his eyes to see it there, on his face as he looks at the pictures he’s spread across his lap. Cam makes a halfhearted swipe for the file, knowing he won’t get it back until John’s good and done with it.

“You can’t look at that,” he attempts, but John just waves a hand in his general direction.

“You said serial killer,” John recalls, flicking back and forth between the headshots of the victims. “They just look like dead people to me.”

“All killed the same way,” Cam explains. “Forensics people say they were all shot with the same weapon, and the shooter was the same height for all three victims. It’s enough to make it a workable theory.”

John’s frozen, looking at three pictures on his lap, eyes flicking back and forth between them. “This isn’t part of your theory?”

Cam’s awake again in less than a second, leaning over John’s shoulder to look at what he’s found. John had made a very good if less-than-honest living as a thief, and his eye for details is incredible. It’s entirely possible that he’s picked up on something that Cam and his team have missed.

As he looks at the pictures, though, he still can’t tell what it is. “Hands?” he finally ventures, and John points to the tips of the fingers on each of the three victims. Cam takes the pictures and studies them closely. John is already rooting through the rest of the pictures.

All three victims have their fingernails cut down to their fingertips, closely enough that it meant it had been done no more than a few hours before they’d died, a day at most. John is already shoving another picture at him, of the first victim, a pretty blonde with her arm around her husband in a photo he’d given them, taken a few days before she’d turned up dead. In the picture, her fingernails are long and painted.

Three victims with close-cropped fingernails, one of whom had had long nails just before she’d been killed. Serial killers like to take bizarre trophies.

Cam looks at John and sets the photos on the coffee table. “Good catch,” he says, eyes flicking down to the pictures again. “Wasn’t part of the theory, but it sure as hell is now.”

John leans in and presses a kiss to Cam’s mouth. “Reward me,” he says, low in Cam’s ear, and yeah, okay, he can do that.

-0-

The case moves forward slowly; Cam’s revelation brings in a psychologist, a profiler from the FBI named Teyla Emmagan who Cam likes but Sam doesn’t. Her points are valid, though, so Cam tells Sam to deal with it, and is too tired to care about the glare he gets in return. Nothing happens for three days, and that’s when the next body shows up.

This time, Cam brings the file home on purpose, hoping that John’s sharp eyes can pick out something else they’ve missed. He isn’t prepared for John’s gasp, for the file falling to the floor save the one paper clenched in John’s hands.

“I knew him,” John says to Cam’s unasked question. “Ford. Good kid. We worked a few jobs together two years back.”

Cam takes the photo from him gently. “I’m sorry,” he says, closing the file firmly. “I didn’t know.”

“It’s okay,” John says, but Cam knows it isn’t, and for the first time since he found John in his apartment all those months ago, Cam’s afraid that when John next leaves his sight, he’s going to be gone.

-0-

Cam’s right, this time, and knowing that he’s right doesn’t replace the sick feeling in his stomach when he walks into his apartment the next night to find half the beer gone, his favorite sweatshirt missing, and no John.

-0-

“Cam?” Sam’s leaning against his doorframe, hanging half-in and half-out of his office, and Cam beckons her in. She closes the door behind her and sits across from him, twirling a pencil idly in her hands. Finally, she ventures, “What’s wrong?”

Cam smiles weakly. “I’m a damn fool,” he says, trying and failing to maintain a grin. “And a fourteen year old girl.”

“He left,” Sam concludes softly, rising from the chair to come around the desk and give him an awkward one-armed hug. He doesn’t rise from his chair, and she releases him a second later. “I’m really sorry, Cam.”

Cam nods jerkily. It’s been four agonizing days, and he tries to tell himself that he’d seen this coming, that he knew it was more than a minute possibility, but the truth is that he hadn’t been expecting it, not any more. He’s just going to wallow in self-pity for a little while longer before he pulls himself together.

“You want to grab some coffee?” Sam asks him, going for cheerful. “Jack’s picking me up at shift change, but I’ve got time before that.”

Cam shakes his head. “I’m just gonna look through these again,” he says, gesturing to the piles of photographs strewn across his desk and pinned to the board on the wall. “I’ll head home soon.”

Sam frowns lightly at him. “Okay, but you’re coming out with us this weekend,” she says firmly, and overrides him when he starts to talk. “No buts, Cam. We’ve been friends for too long for me to just watch you wither up and die.”

Cam gives her a smile, a real one, because she’s so much like his Momma sometimes, and that just might be a part of why they’re friends. “Yes, ma’am.”

-0-

Cam is more than shocked when he walks into his apartment an hour later and finds John on the couch, just as he was all those months ago, barefooted and wearing Cam’s missing sweatshirt.

“Hey,” John says, rising to greet him in the hallway like always, and Cam’s suddenly giving him a bone-crushing hug. “Whoa, hey, what’s up?”

“What’s up?” Cam breathes into John’s hair. “You flip out and disappear on me for four days, and you want to know what’s up?”

There’s silence, and Cam finally releases John, puling back to look him in the face. “God, John, where have you been?”

“You thought I left,” John says instead, eyes wide and honestly surprised. “You really thought I was gone.” Cam has to nod, because it’s impossible to lie to John, and he doesn’t even want to, wants John to know.

John smiles at him crookedly, one corner of his mouth lifting high, and he leans in and kisses Cam like he never has before, light and chaste and weirdly almost sweet. “Sorry,” he murmurs against Cam’s mouth. “I didn’t think – I went to the funeral, talked to a few people. I’m sorry, Cam.”

“You were at the funeral?” Cam says stupidly. “We were there. I was there, but I didn’t-” He breaks off and shakes his head; if John didn’t want to be seen, then nobody would have seen him. “Just – tell me? Please,” he adds, hating himself for feeling so relieved, for needing to hear what John won’t say, what he’ll never ask of John, because there are so many reasons that he can’t ask John not to leave him.

“I’m sorry,” John says again, and the kiss this time is more insistent, more forceful, and Cam drowns in it, taking and giving and gasping. “I’ll tell you if I go again.”

Make-up sex is amazing, and reunion sex is amazing, and this feels like both; Cam takes everything achingly slowly, like they never do, and John is practically vibrating on the bed underneath Cam by the time Cam slides in. He wants this to last, wants it to be different, wants John to remember this when he thinks about leaving, wants John to use those detail-seeking skills of his and read between the lines of what Cam wants to say out loud. They’re both shaking and panting when Cam slides a hand between them to jerk John off, and he’s coming not long after.

“I have some information for you,” John says later, running his fingers through Cam’s hair. Cam’s head is resting on John’s stomach, and he’s facing up towards John, just taking him in. “Want to hear it now, or should I wait?”

“Go ahead,” Cam says, already shaking himself from his haze and chasing sleep from his mind. He hasn’t slept well since John left, but now John’s back and the sex helped, so he’s feeling better now than he has in days.

John starts to talk, and Cam’s listening intently, eyes narrowed in thought.

-0-

“I really don’t want to be here,” John says to him the next morning, sitting in the chair that Sam had been in yesterday. “Just so you know.”

“I know,” Cam acknowledges. “I’m sorry. I know this isn’t your favorite place.”

John just gives him a look, and Cam grins. Understatement, yeah, he knows.

Sam bursts in and stops short, seeing John sitting in the chair. John immediately stands, offering her the chair, but Sam stays where she is, eyes narrowed at John with an expression that Cam’s never seen on her before, thoughtful with a side of angry.

“This is your informant?” She’s speaking to Cam, but her eyes are still on John.

“Yeah,” Cam says evenly. “Sam.”

She finally looks at him, but it’s with that same narrowed, thoughtful expression she’d been using on John. “We’re going to talk,” she promises, and it sounds more like a threat than a promise, but Cam just nods.

They bring in the FBI agents when they arrive, and John looks pointedly at them before sending a smirk Cam’s way. He doesn’t, however, bring up Cam’s theory about their relationship, and Cam’s just thankful that there are no handcuffs involved. John explains his information twice, once to the group and again to a tape recorder, and Cam can see the look in Jackson’s eyes the second everything clicks into place, the way Mal Doran springs from her seat excitedly. They bring in Emmagan, and she studies John as much as she listens to the story. When he’s done for the third time, she nods.

“It fits,” is all she says, and then there are guns being strapped into holsters and backup being requested and squad cars to get to, and soon the only people in Cam’s office are himself and John.

“Thanks,” Cam says, and he means it. “For everything, for telling me, for coming here.” For coming back, he doesn’t say, but this time John’s hearing what he’s not saying, and he smiles that little half-smirk and says, “You’re welcome.”

Cam leans in and brushes a quick kiss across his lips, smiling at the surprised look on John’s face because Cam’s at work, and it might not be illegal but it’s certainly not the most conducive environment for their relationship. Cam doesn’t care.

“I’ll be home when it’s over,” he promises, and John nods.

-0-

John’s information is reliable, as Cam had known it would be, and they find the man responsible and bring him in for processing. They’re too late to save the fifth victim, but Cam consoles himself with the fact that there won’t be a sixth, that they’ve caught the bastard, that he can go home without this case hanging over him for the first time in weeks. He knows he has to thank John again, for catching the bit about the fingernails that cemented the serial killer theory in the first place and now for the information that led to the man himself; he isn’t sure how to say it, though, doesn’t have the words to express himself.

He says it with his fingers instead, ghosting over every inch of John that night in bed, and with his mouth, pressing messy openmouthed kisses to John’s chest. He pours the feelings into each thrust, tries to make his moans mean everything, wonders if John can tell as he swallows John’s cock down again and again and he jerks and writhes and comes.

John’s fingers are in his hair and Cam feels his head being pulled up. When John kisses him, slow and sated and languid, Cam can almost hear you’re welcome.