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To The Letter

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If anyone understood work ruining a day off, it was Evan Lorne. That didn’t mean he wasn’t annoyed as all get-out when Colby’s cellphone went off moments after Evan had fallen asleep. There was a rustle of sheets, a thump, a curse, and then, “Granger here. Yes, boss. Be right there.”

Evan made a wordless sound of protest when Colby slid out of the bed, taking his delicious warmth with him.

“Sorry, babe,” Colby said. “Duty calls. You know how it is.”

Evan grumbled, reached out blindly. Colby curled his fingers through Evan’s and squeezed, pressed a kiss to Evan’s hair, and Evan fell asleep before Colby was gone.

Evan had wakened slowly when the sun was high in the sky, bright light streaming in through Colby’s window. He managed to tug the curtain shut far enough that he wasn’t being blinded, and then he remembered, Colby had gotten a call from work. He sighed and reached out, tugged Colby’s pillow close. It was cold, but it still smelled like him. Evan inhaled deeply and sighed. He had so little time on Earth every year, and he did his best to maximize his time spent with his family and Colby, but just because he was on vacation didn’t mean the rest of the world was.

According to official SGC records, Evan was crashing with his sister in her condo near Golden Gate Park, but Colby’s apartment in LA was ostensibly his home when he was on Earth. Evan supposed he ought to do something useful around the place till Colby called and let him know what his day was shaking out like. He could tidy up, do some laundry, maybe even make some food that stored easily and was good reheated.

But he wanted to stay in bed a little longer. Sleeping in was not a luxury he was often afforded, certainly not at the SGC, not even on his designated Sundays, and not at home on the commune or at Natalia’s place either, because her kids were noisy and woke him up while they were getting ready for school.

Even if he wasn’t sleepy anymore, cuddling pathetically with Colby’s pillow was the best he was going to get of Colby for the foreseeable future, so he lay there, drowsing and happy.

Until he heard the front door open.

Evan silenced his breathing, listened. Not Colby’s footsteps. Someone tentative, stealthy. Someone sneaking.

Evan slithered out of bed and across the room, tugged on his boxer briefs with one hand, snagged his sidearm off the nightstand with the other, cocked it as quietly as he could manage, and then pressed himself against the wall just inside the door, listening. Waiting.

One set of footsteps. No, two. Moving in a familiar rhythm - they were clearing Colby’s apartment. Colby was ex-Army, but as far as Evan knew, he hadn’t made any enemies there. On the other hand, Colby was current FBI, and it was all too easy for work to follow him home.

Evan shook off the lassitude of post-coital slumber and tensed, ready for action. The footsteps came closer, closer, into the doorway -

“Freeze!” Evan barked.

The two men in the doorway were wearing kevlar vests with FBI printed on them. The first man - tall, black, strong - aimed his gun right at Evan, unflinching. The other man - white, shorter, leaner - had his gun drawn as well, but as soon as he saw Evan, he lowered it.

“FBI! Lower your weapon!” the first man snarled.

Evan lowered his gun slowly, but he didn’t relax, didn’t de-cock it.

“What the hell are you doing here?” The first man looked Evan up and down.

“I was asleep when I heard someone not Colby Granger enter his apartment and proceed to clear it,” Evan said. “I know he works for the FBI and surmised someone hostile could have found out where he lived. I’m assuming since you work for the FBI as well you’re not hostile to him.” Evan swallowed hard. He knew Colby wasn’t out at work. Dammit. “How about we all put down our weapons and have a friendly conversation?”

“What’s your name?” the second man asked. His gazed fixed on Evan’s dog tags.

“Evan Lorne.”

The second man glanced at the first. “Did Colby tell you he was having friends in from out of town?”

“Colby doesn’t tell me a lot,” the first man said, and Evan realized. These weren’t just random FBI agents. They were Colby’s team. The first man was his partner, David Sinclair, which meant the second man was likely his boss, Don Eppes.

“Look, I’m going to put my gun down and then put some clothes on,” Evan said. “Is that all right with you?”

“Please, put some clothes on,” Sinclair said.

Evan de-cocked his gun and set it down very slowly, then reached into his duffel bag, heart pounding. He pulled on jeans and a clean t-shirt. Sinclair and Eppes watched him warily the whole time.

“Let’s see some ID,” Eppes said.

Evan fished his driver’s license out of his wallet and handed it over.

“He is who he says he is,” Eppes muttered, handed it back. He holstered his weapon, and Sinclair did the same. “When was the last time you saw Colby?”

“His cell phone went off at crap o’clock in the morning, some kind of work call, and he left. I went back to sleep.” Evan eyed the two men. “You work with him. Shouldn’t you know where he is?”

“He never made it into the office,” Eppes said, “and he’s not answering his phone. We went to the crime scene in case he misheard us and went to meet us there, but he wasn’t there, so we tried tracking his phone, but we got nothing, so we decided to come here. Have you heard from him?”

“I haven’t heard my phone since he left, but like I said, I just woke up, so -” Evan turned away, fumbled in his duffel bag for the cheap cell phone the SGC had given him so they could always contact him. His hands were shaking. Something was wrong with Colby. No. He found it and flipped it open. “No. No missed calls, no text messages.”

Sinclair looked Evan up and down. “How long have you and Colby known each other?”

“We met right after he started at the field office here in LA,” Evan said. “I was on - vacation, visiting family. He was trying to learn how to surf.” He’d nearly said on leave.

“He knows how to surf just fine.” Sinclair frowned.

“Because I taught him.”

Sinclair scanned the room. He was an FBI agent, observant. Like Eppes, he’d noted the model of Evan’s sidearm, his dogtags, his dress blues hanging up on the closet door.

“Is Colby all right?” Evan asked.

“Not sure if he is or not,” Eppes said. He handed Evan a card. “Let us know if he contacts you, all right? We need all hands on deck for this case.”

“Yes, Agent.” Evan sighed.

Eppes smiled tightly. “I’m sure he’s fine. Sometimes the director likes to reassign my agents without telling me, remind me who’s boss.” He nodded at Sinclair. “Call Megan. Let’s roll out.”

Sinclair and Eppes were gone as quickly and quietly as they’d come. Evan sank down on the edge of Colby’s bed and stared at the business card. Then he picked up Colby’s pillow and hugged it, mind racing. Where could Colby have gone?

He was startled out of his musing when his phone rang. He scooped it up. “Colby?”

“Major Lorne.” The voice on the other end would have sounded distorted to most ears, but Evan knew, whoever was speaking to him, was a Goa’uld. “We have Agent Granger. If you want him back alive, follow our instructions to the letter. Tell anyone about us, and he dies.”

Evan’s heart leapt into his throat. “What do you want?”