[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: Flightless Bird
Author: [livejournal.com profile] clwilson2006
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] camshaft22
Pairings: Laura Cadman/Alison Porter, John Sheppard/Cameron Mitchell, Evan Lorne/David Parrish (pre-slash), implied past Evan Lorne/Jonas Quinn, mentions of Landry, Clone O'Neill and Beckett.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Nothing related to Stargate: Atlantis belongs to me.
Notes: for [livejournal.com profile] sga_santa. Superpowers AU. I really hope you like this, Merry Christmas [livejournal.com profile] camshaft22. Beta by [livejournal.com profile] calcitrix, thank you!
Summary: Lorne is a Psychic in the Air Force, but he hasn't flown for months, he needs a psychic partner for that, when he's reluctantly paired with David Parrish, a grounder, Lorne doesn't hold out much hope. But one simple training session changes all that.

~~~OOO~~~


John and Cam were idly shoving a quarter back and forth across the table with their minds when Evan dropped into the chair next to Cam.

"Hey," Cam said cheerily.

Evan just grunted and popped the top of his can of soda with so much psychic power that it fizzed up and frothed down the sides and onto the table.

"What's wrong with you?" John asked, floating the quarter off the table so it didn't get wet.

"Got my new partner." Evan sighed.

John and Cam shared a look; they figured it wasn't a pilot, otherwise Evan would be much happier.

"A botanist," Evan shrugged. "Another fucking grounder." He swigged the remainder of the can and then squashed it flat with his fist.

Nobody dared to mention Jonas, Evan's last partner. Jonas had been a scientist who worked and fought purely on the ground. More than four feet up and he freaked out, meaning Evan had already been grounded for months now. Sometimes the wisdom of the psychologists at the SGC was astounding.

A botanist didn't even sound like someone capable of fighting. John felt sorry for Evan; it was bad enough that he was grounded, but this could take him away from the front line as well.

"I have a clean room training session this afternoon," Evan said into the silence at the table.

"You want some support?" John asked.

"Please," Evan asked. He hardly ever asked for anything, John answered the mental nudge from Cam and the warmth flowed between them.

"We'll be there," John assured him.

"Thanks, guys," Evan replied, still slumped in his chair.

"You gonna go get ready then?" Cam nudged the quarter towards Evan.

"Don't need to, don't need to read up on some stupid botanist."

Evan glared at the quarter in front of him until it melted into a shiny disc the size of a dinner plate.

~~~OOO~~~


Evan really considered being late for his training assignment, or not going at all, but his mother had raised him to be a good little soldier, so he was there on time, leaning against the wall outside the room, floating a pencil in front of his nose.

He pushed away from the wall and peered down the corridor when he heard laughter and feminine voices.

He groaned when a group of people turned the corner and walked towards him. He knew the two women, Alison Porter and Laura Cadman - he'd lost numerous training scenarios to them before. They were a formidable pair - fire and ice blending flawlessly after their fifteen years or so together. He didn't know the tall guy between them.

He was thin and pale, with light brown hair that was far too long for a military man, and he wore a green T-shirt with two brown hand prints on the front and the words "Play in the Mud" in childish block letters. And cargo pants, cut off at the knee.

Evan stared. Well fuck, the guy may as well have been hugging a tree right there.

"Lorne!" Cadman grinned at him. "This is David Parrish," She said.

David unwrapped his arm from around Laura's shoulder and held his hand out.

"Hi," he smiled.

Evan ignored him, the pencil in the air vibrating.

"Be nice," Laura said, and the pencil burst into flames and clattered to the floor.

"Laura!" Alison gasped, and the burning pencil turned instantly to solid ice, the frozen flames oddly beautiful.

Reluctantly Evan reached out and took David's hand to shake, though he didn't say anything and
David had stopped smiling.

Evan grunted at him.

"I've read your file, I'm really looking forward to working with you," David said shaking Evan's hand. "I think we'll be a good match."

As the words tumbled out of Parrish's mouth a warm tingle spread from his hand and crawled up Evan's arm. Evan yanked his hand away as soon as he realised what was happening; he did not need to psychically connect with this blabbering stranger. He stared at his hand has he flexed his fingers. The psychologists on base had said he might not be able to connect any more - the shock of losing two partners had damaged him. Not that they used the word damaged; they called it a stress-related shut down.

"Evan!" Laura prodded him in the chest.

"Huh? Oh sorry, just thinking." He'd completely missed the end of whatever Parrish had been saying.

"Is everything all right?" Parrish asked, the concern easy to read in both his voice and on his face.

Evan looked at him and suddenly noticed how clear and blue his eyes were. Evan stared until he felt dizzy and then forced himself to look away. This was bad. He'd only just met the guy. He was a grounder for god's sake. Evan was determined to dislike him.

"Let's go," Evan snapped, and turned towards the doors of the training room, which barely whooshed open in time. As he crossed the threshold he clearly heard Parrish behind him.

"He doesn't like me."

~~~OOO~~~


"What the hell?" Evan muttered when he got inside the training room - the usually bare metal floor had been completely covered with grass, and he was staring at it when he heard his name called.

John and Cameron were flying around the room and when they saw him, Cam yelled and swooped towards him. Evan held his hands up, knowing from experience that Cam would pick him up so he could get some time in the air. He couldn't fly on his own--John or Cam needed to carry him, or he needed a strong psychic bond with another flyer.

Just before Cam reached him, a huge wall of brambles sprang up around Evan. Cam didn't react fast enough and crashed into them, tumbling to the floor, cursing.

"Fuck!" yelled Evan and turned.

Parrish was crouched, one hand on the grass the other held out in front of him.

"Are you doing that?" Evan shouted at Parrish. "Stop it."

Parrish took his hand off the grass and the wall of brambles sank back into the ground and disappeared. John landed next to Parrish.

"That was so cool," John said, slapping Parrish on the shoulder.

Cam stood up; he had scratches on his arms and face but was grinning.

"Great responses!" Cam said.

"Sorry," Parrish murmured, wiping his hands down his pants. "I thought he was attacking you."

Evan stomped right up to Parrish and jabbed him in the chest. "He was going to take me flying, you idiot." Evan prodded Parrish again. "We haven't even started and already my friend is hurt." With another poke to Parrish's chest, he added, "this is a training room!" Evan was shouting now. "You are a danger to your own team." He stalked away from Parrish to check on Cam.

"I'm sorry," Parrish said looking at the floor.

"Stay away from me!" Evan shouted over his shoulder.

Cam had blood running down his cheek; he touched two fingers to it and looked at them. "Do you know how long it is since someone made me bleed?" he asked Evan, a huge grin splitting his face. "This is so cool."

"You had better go to the infirmary, get that cleaned." Evan told him.

John took Cam's arm to lead him out of the room.

"We'll come back later, take you flying when you're done." John said, dragging Cam away.

"Did it have to be thorns?" Cam asked Parrish as they passed.

"I'm sorry," Parrish apologised again.

"It's okay," John said, "Don't worry about it."

Parrish just kept looking at the floor.

Evan stood in the middle of the room, glaring at anybody who looked his way.

"Well come on then," he snapped. "Let's get this over with."

Alison gently took David's arm and pulled him to stand next to Evan. "It's alright," she told him.

David followed her, but he didn't smile.

~~~OOO~~~


The buzzer sounded indicating the start of the training session--a simple capture the flag scenario, and the four them immediately separated into their assigned pairs. Evan looked around, searching for the flag; he found it in one corner, where the two walls met the ceiling.

"How the fuck do we get up there?" he whispered, "I can't fly without help."

"We could climb," Parrish suggested.

"Climb what?"

"I can make you something to climb." Parrish headed towards the corner. He took three steps and a huge ring of flames burst up around them. Evan stepped forward, his hands splayed in front of him, and a gust of wind rapidly spun into a small controlled tornado that quickly blew the flames out. They dashed past the singed soil only to see Alison kneeling on the floor beneath the flag, hands twisting and waving in the air as a perfect set of icy stairs formed in front of her.

"Oh no you don't," muttered Evan, and directed the tornado right at her, blowing her over and making her roll a few meters away from the steps, which immediately started to melt.

"Hey!" yelled Laura behind them, and David crouched, running his fingers through the grass as he followed Evan towards the flag.

Behind them, thick agile vines popped up from the ground and wrapped themselves around Laura's legs. She waved a ball of flame at them, missing David and singing Evan's hair as he ducked at the very last moment. David turned back towards her, and with a flick of his wrist the vines snapped tight and yanked her backwards, pinning her against the wall as more vines crawled up her body and held her arms motionless.

"Parrish!" she screamed.

"Be quiet!" Parrish snapped, "I'm trying to concentrate." A vine wrapped itself over Laura's mouth.

When he turned back, Evan was trying to climb what remained of the ice stairs, but couldn't find a grip as Alison worked to smooth the surface from a distance.

Parrish crouched again, touching the grass, and more vines wrapped themselves around Alison, she screamed as she was also bound to the wall by vines.

Parrish stood by Evan, who was sliding off the bottom step.

"I have a better idea," he grinned. Kneeling on the floor, he placed both of his hands flat and closed his eyes.

A sapling sprouted from the floor in the corner, growing fast, and soon it was taller than both Evan and Parrish, the trunk and branches thickening fast as the tree swept rapidly towards the ceiling.

"Well, get on!" David hissed at Evan. "I can't hold a tree of this size very long."

Evan grabbed a branch as it formed in front of him and began to climb. He only needed to climb one branch, and found that he could reach the flag. The branches of the tree had reached the ceiling and were spreading out in whatever room they could find.

"Got it!" called Evan as he began to look for a way to climb down. He need not have bothered; as soon as David took his hands away from the grass, the tree began to 'un-grow,' shrinking back down to a sapling that could no longer hold Evan's weight in less than half a minute. Evan tumbled onto the floor, laughing.

"Got it." held up the flag. "That was so easy."

David was still kneeling on the floor, pale and shaking.

"Are you all right?" Evan asked him.

"Yeah, I just used too much energy on the tree is all." Parrish sighed and hauled himself to his feet.

He swayed a little and Evan moved to take his arm in support; it was a move that probably saved his life, as a huge ball of ice shattered against the wall right where he had been standing.

"Fuck!" Evan and Parrish said at the same time.

Alison had one hand free, and ice was literally flowing from the ends of her fingers. It poured from her hand onto the floor and spread rapidly, turning the whole arena into an ice rink.

"I can'.," Parrish looked aghast at the floor. "I can't use my power if I can't touch some earth," he explained.

"Then we move." Evan pulled him along and they started to slide across the ice, only needing to get the flag to the door to win.

Suddenly the ice was not as smooth; large icicles started breaking through the surface, trying to impale them.

"Do we both need to make it to win, or just one of us with the flag?" Parrish gasped.

"I don't know," Lorne yelled as he dodged out of the way of another icicle. "I'm not leaving you behind."

"Take the flag and go," Parrish ordered. "I have an idea."

Parrish grabbed the top of the nearest icicle and used it to spin himself around, then he used his body's momentum to push his fist through the ice. He needed to reach the ground underneath.

"David!" Evan screamed at him, seeing blood spray around the hole Parrish had made in the ice.

"Just go!" Parrish snapped and closed his eyes.

The ground started to groan and undulate, the ice cracking into huge great big slabs. Evan turned and ran.

He couldn't believe it when the ground in front of him curled back to the side walls, like the parting of the Red Sea. The ice shattering amid the roar of the turf rolling itself up, Evan sprinted across the clear floor and bounced into the door.

"Yes!" he shrieked, waving the flag in the air. "Yes! We won. David, we won..." The words died on his lips as he turned back to survey the room.

The vines holding Laura and Alison had vanished, as had the ice, the grass was all piled up down the sides of the room, and lying motionless in the middle of the metal floor was Parrish.

"David?"

Evan dropped the flag by the door and dashed back across the room to David's side, ignoring the buzzer sounding the end of the training scenario, and both of the girls who were limping towards them.

"David!"

Evan knelt beside David, his hands roaming across the prone body looking for signs of life. David's pulse was weak and thready and he was barely breathing, but the psychic connection was still there, as strong as it had been when Evan first met David less than half an hour ago.

"Stand back, lad." Dr. Beckett gently pushed Evan to one side; he hadn't even heard the base doctor arriving.

Evan watched in shock as medics loaded David onto a gurney and wheeled him away.

"Good job, Lorne," a gruff voice said next to him. Evan turned and then snapped to attention when he saw General Landry standing there.

"I... sir?" Evan questioned.

The general patted Evan on the shoulder and smiled at him.

"You passed."

Evan stared dumbfounded as Landry left the now destroyed training room. Passed? how had he done that? He'd sacrificed his partner so he could win a damn game. It wasn't a pass in Evan's eyes.

~~~OOO~~~


Evan sat by the side of David's bed, not even noticing that he was holding the botanists hand, or that he'd stopped thinking of him as Parrish, and was now calling him David - at least in his head.

Dr Beckett assured him that David was fine, he'd just drained himself of too much energy pulling that one last stunt. He had IV bags of glucose and fluids hanging at the head of his bed, and just needed to sleep it off. Evan just wanted him to wake up so he could apologise.

He was just drifting off to sleep when David stirred on the bed.

"Hey," Evan whispered when David blinked his eyes open.

"Wh..." David croaked and then coughed. Evan picked up the paper cup of water and offered the straw to David. He took a long gulp of water and tried again.

"What are you doing here?"

"Waiting for you to wake up. I was worried," Evan replied.

"Oh." David looked away.

"Hey." Evan gently touched a hand to David's chin and turned his head so they were looking at each other. David sighed.

"You should probably stop touching me," he said. "We don't want this psychic bond to form."

"Yes, we do." Evan stroked his fingers down the side of David's face.

"We do?" he asked.

"Yes," Evan said firmly.

In the silence that followed David rested the hand that wasn't being gripped by Evan on his stomach.

"Hungry," he whispered.

"Oh. Well there's a pudding cup for you." Evan picked it up and pulled a face. "Ew, Butterscotch."

"My favourite." David smiled.

Evan helped him sit up and peeled the lid off the top of the pudding cup for him. David ate three spoonfuls and sagged back on the bed.

"Why?" Evan asked.

David frowned.

"Why did you drain yourself like that?"

"You needed the win," David said, "The rumours about you, said that if you didn't win they were going to kick you off active duty."

"Rumours?"

"I thought I could help you," David said quietly, "Let you fly again."

Evan swallowed around the lump in his throat.

"I was just trying to help." David closed his eyes.

Evan put his hand back on the side of David's face, letting the link between them flow.

"You do make me fly." He whispered, but David had already fallen back to sleep.

~~~OOO~~~


"You wanted to see me, Sir?" Evan asked, standing at General Landry's open door.

"Lorne! Come on in," Landry said, but he didn't offer Evan a chair so Evan stood at parade rest in front of the desk.

"Congratulations," Landry said, pushing a brown file across the desk towards Evan.

Evan picked the file up and checked the name "Jonathon O'Neill" it said. He flipped it open--the picture was of a very young, very handsome Air Force officer. One word leapt of the page at Evan - Pilot.

"Sir?" Evan asked, closing the folder and dropping back on the desk.

"Your new partner," Landry told him.

"I have a partner," Evan insisted, thinking of David in the infirmary.

"No, that was just a test," Landry chuckled, "You don't think we'd put someone like Parrish on the front line do you?"

Evan tensed.

"He's my partner, we're a good match."

"I thought you wanted your wings back?" Landry frowned at him.

Evan paused. This was his chance, whatever he decided right now would shape his career, his life. He pictured David lying motionless on the floor and he suddenly knew what kind of person he wanted to be.

"A flightless bird is still a bird, Sir," He said, standing to attention.

Landry looked at him for a long while, then he pulled O'Neill's file of the desk and dropped it into a drawer.

"Dismissed," Landry snapped.

Evan executed an about face and got himself out of there. When he was safely in the elevator he relaxed, slumping against the wall. He felt good about himself. He pushed the button for the floor where the infirmary was, and headed back to wait for his partner to recover.

END
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