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Let Me Count the Ways

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“Sheppard, what is this?” Cam asked from the doorway of John’s new Cheyenne Mountain office, holding up a sheet of notebook paper.

John looked up and smiled openly at Cam. “It’s a poem,” he said matter-of-factly, and continued to scribble in his notebook.

“Yeah, I got that; my question is why are you writing me poetry?” Cam asked, and glanced again at the sheet of paper in his hand, and continued, “And by the looks of it, love poetry.”

Cam moved further into the office and shut the door. “John, what’s going on here? This… this isn’t like you,” Cam said, worry creeping into his tone.

“I don’t know.” John shrugged, and continued, “When we got back from P3X-481 I just suddenly felt like doing… something,” he said and went back to writing furiously.

“Is that another poem?” Cam asked when he realized John was busy writing. John glanced up distractedly and nodded at him.

Cam sat heavily in the chair across from John and watched in silence as he continued scribbling.

When he was done, John triumphantly tore out another sheet and handed his latest masterpiece to Cam.

Cam took the proffered sheet and began reading. John sat back with a satisfied smile, and watched him.

As Cam read, a slow smile began to creep across his face. He looked up at John and their eyes meet for a moment, he felt his cheeks flush. Cam broke contact and studied the paper in his hand. He still didn’t know what to make of John writing him love poems.

“John… you wrote th--” Cam started fondly, and stopped mid-thought as realization dawned.

“Hold up, you were alone with that alter woman, that priestess from the temple. Whatshername-- Kalie… Kaalita! What did she do to you?” Cam asked, jumping up from his seat and eyeing John.

The spell was broken and John’s own smile faltered.

“What are you talking about she didn’t do anything. I just talked to her, and when we were done, she said goodbye,” John explained then paused, and tilted his head to the side as a thought occurred to him.

“Well, she touched her forehead to mine, kinda like the way Teyla and her people greet each other, and told me to… ‘cherish my beloved’,” John added hesitantly.

“Come on,” Cam said, and went for the door.

“Where’re we going?” John asked, getting up from behind his desk, following Cam anyway.

“Dr. Lam. Obviously this lady did something to you, and the post-mission check missed it,” Cam said.

John tugged on Cam’s sleeve and stopped him from leaving. “Cam, I’m fine, I promise. Kaalita said goodbye the traditional way her people say goodbye, that’s all,” John said quietly, and moved into Cam’s personal space.

“Look, she told me to ‘cherish my beloved’. And I just thought I’d do something completely different to show you… to tell you how much I… how much I love you,” John explained quietly, before ducking his head.

And just like that Cam’s suspicions of Kaalita and any boyfriend tampering she might have done suddenly vanished.

Feeling incredibly touched Cam smiled. He slipped an arm around John’s waist, and pulled him close. “John… I… thank you,” he whispered and kissed his Shakespeare.

“Hey, if the poems really sucked, I was totally gonna blame the alien priestess,” John said when they parted. Cam laughed and reeled his man in for another longer, steamier kiss.