[identity profile] sgasesa-admin.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] sga_santa
Title: In From the Cold
Author: [livejournal.com profile] rabidfan
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] moose_happy
Pairing: John/Cam
Rating: PG-ish? Maybe?
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own or control anything Stargate related. It's a pity because it's been on my Christmas list for years. Come on, Santa! Give a girl a break!
Author's Notes: Moose_Happy wanted (among other things) Cameron Mitchell paired with John Sheppard with a smattering of SG-1 thrown in for good measure. It was my pleasure to give it to her for her Christmas enjoyment. Merry Christmas to her as well as our hard working mods and my lovely beta, [livejournal.com profile] lexstar29. My Christmas wouldn't be as sweet without you all being a part of it!
Summary: Cameron was looking for something to pass the time. It wasn't exactly what he found, but he wasn't complaining.

In From the Cold

It wasn't the first time that Cameron Mitchell had spent Christmas alone. He'd been deployed in dozens of places around the world, worked in ops so black that he didn't report to a living soul for days, sometimes weeks at a time.

No, Cameron had spent Christmas away from family and friends before, but always because of duty. This time? It was because everyone had plans, and none of those plans included him. He knew he was being unfair. A little melodramatic. But it was depressing, dammit! His parents were on a cruise, his sisters involved with their own husbands and families, Carter off with her father, O'Neill and Jackson ice fishing in Minnesota. That left Cameron on call.

At least it hadn't been required that he stay in the mountain. That would have been the straw that broke the camel's back. No, he was free to take some recreation time, as long as he stayed in Colorado. So he'd packed some hastily borrowed ski clothes and headed for Telluride. He'd wanted to see it since moving to the state nearly five years ago. There was no time like the present. Last minute? At Christmas? Well, that ensured his hotel room was smaller than his closet on base and just about as appealing. It was at least cheap enough not to make Cam hyperventilate.

Too bad it wasn't closer to the ski runs.

Cameron stepped off the crowded shuttle at the foot of the mountain and let the cold, clean air fill his lungs. Beautiful. Truly worth the expense and the uncomfortable lodgings. He hefted his rented skis onto his shoulder and turned towards the gondola that would take him to the mountain top.

And promptly stepped directly into the chest of a fellow skier.

A hot fellow skier. Tall, rail thin; with glorious gold/green eyes that were smiling at him while Cameron stumbled through an apology for running into him.

"No worries," Hot Stranger said, steadying Cam effortlessly. "You okay there, buddy?" He released Cams arm when it appeared the danger of falling had passed.

Hot Stranger was balanced easily on expensive Rossignol skis and dressed in designer label ski wear. Rich, then. With that wild and enthusiastic head of hair, clearly not military. Hell, yeah. Cameron was going to try to get lucky.

"I'm good. Thanks for the rescue." He smiled and extended his hand to Hot Stranger. "I'm Cam."

Hot Stranger shook the offered hand and didn't immediately let go. "John."

"I got the chance to come up here at the last minute. I thought it sounded a lot more fun than sitting around my apartment over Christmas." He let himself show Hot Stranger...John...that he was interested; getting it out there so there was no misunderstanding.

"Cool." John smiled and coyly eyed Cam for a moment all but declaring 'message received, let's get on with it'. Cool, indeed.

John gestured towards the gondola, "Shall we, then?"

"Hell, yeah." Cameron was on board for that. Enjoy the sun, the fresh powder, the company. And if everything worked out the way he wanted? Enjoy getting laid for the first time in a long time. "Lead the way."


They'd stayed on the runs until dusk. The weekend ahead would have night skiing, but midweek the runs shut down as darkness fell.

"I'm starving!" John declared. "Let's go up to my place and get some dinner." He gestured up the slope towards the private homes and estates bordering the ski run.

"Your place? You live here year round?"

"Well, it belongs to the family. I'm pretty much the only one that uses it, though." John stopped and turned to look at Cam. "And no, I don't live here. I have the time to kill while I wait for a...business...call to come through. Once I get that I'm gone again, but for now I'm enjoying the snow just like you."

"So, interested in dinner?" he repeated. Cameron thought he looked nervous.

"Sure." Why not, Cam thought. It was just dinner. "Lead the way."


Cameron started to feel a little awkward when they stopped at the door of a house that could have been at home in the south of France. More chateau than home, it towered over the two of them while John fumbled with his keys. Before he could make an excuse and go back to his own hotel the door opened from the inside and an elderly man in a butler's uniform greeted them.

"Master John."

"Thanks, Miles. My fingers are frozen." John casually stepped into the soaring entry. "Miles, this is Cameron. We're hungry. Got anything going for dinner or should we forage?"

The butler assured John that a meal would be available "momentarily", and that warm, dry clothes had been laid out in his room.

"Would you like something for your companion, sir?" he enquired.

"Sure." John eyed Cameron up and down. "He looks like he's the same size as Dad. Maybe something out of his closet?"

"Very good, sir."

With that the older man left the two of them to head up to John's room.

"So. This is awkward." Cameron said. Awkward wasn't the half of it. The social gap between the two of them made the casual hook up Cameron was hoping for suddenly seemed a lot less fun and far more mean; cheap, like a pity fuck. It made him squirm.

"You're over-thinking things, what ever you're thinking about." John ran his hands through his ridiculously tousled hair. "Look. You're attractive, single and interested. I'm single and interested and there's a big, comfy bed upstairs that we can take full advantage of while we have the time to do so." He looked up at Cam through a filter of lush, black lashes. "Let's not strain something trying to make more out of this than we have too, okay?"

Cameron had been half-hard all day and the idea of walking away from what John was offering seemed stupid. Why give up on a good thing just because his family owned a big house? Sitting alone in his tiny hotel room wasn't going to do much for his Christmas depression. He might as well have some fun while he could.

"Hell, yeah."


Cameron almost rethought that once they'd made it upstairs and discovered that John's 'room' was actually a wing. An entire floor of the house was his, with two bedrooms, a sitting room and a pool table.
The panic fled when John leaned in, cupping his hands on Cam's cheeks and kissed him. It wasn't a hard, dirty kiss like he expected. It was gentle, exploratory and sweet.

It was really, really nice.

By the time Cameron made it out of the shower the borrowed clothes and the promised meal had arrived. John gestured towards the clothes with a wince, "Sorry about the style. My father doesn't have any, to speak of."

Cameron eyed the jeans and polo and thought privately they were much like what he had in his own closet. Probably best to keep that to himself.

"Hey, at least they're dry and warm! If I was that picky I would have just gone back to my own hotel."
"Well, we wouldn't want that, would we?" John waggled his eyebrows at Cameron. "I'll leave you alone so you can get dressed. Miles had dinner laid out in the sitting room when you're ready." He closed the door on the way out, leaving Cameron the opportunity to look around.

As soon as the door closed behind John Cameron pulled on the borrowed clothes. It felt odd to wear another man's clothes but he was at least warm and dry. Dressed in record time, Cameron took the opportunity to look around the bedroom. It was a large, well appointed room, dominated by a massive, river rock fireplace. At the moment there was no fire burning but one had been laid in expectation. Cam shivered at the thrill he felt thinking about stretching out on the decadent bed, naked, the fire crackling and bathing the two of them in flickering light. He was a little unnerved with the depth of his feelings for John. They'd only just met. They knew nothing about each other and yet Cameron wanted him in a way he hadn't wanted anyone in far too long.

He couldn't resist the urge to peek into the bedside table drawer, both pleased and pained to see the needed lube and condoms were waiting there. Quietly closing the drawer, Cameron took a deep breath. Time to face John.


Cameron shifted back in his seat, eyeing the remnants of the feast John's staff had laid out for them.

"There's enough food left here for four more guys, you know. Big ones. I think your staff over-estimated what we could put away."

John smiled ruefully. "Well, tomorrow's Christmas. They're probably hoping we'll live on left overs until dinner so they can really throw themselves into the preparations. There usually isn't a member of the family in residence for the holidays." He tilted his head in thought. "They could be showing off a little." John pushed his own plate back with a sigh. "They worry about me. They think I'm too thin." He shrugged. "I let them."

"You look pretty good to me," Cam teased. "Real pretty."

The scowl aimed his way was sexy as hell and had Cameron out of his chair and rounding the table before he was aware of moving. He fisted his hands in John's shirt and yanked him up into his embrace.

"Really pretty. Christ, I want you." He pulled John forward into a demanding kiss.

They vied for dominance at first, each one wanting to take charge. After a moment Cameron could feel John shifting, acquiescing to Cam's control, eagerly accepting the tongue that demanded entrance into his mouth.

"Jesus, oh Christ, John," came whispered, wrecked.

"Not quite, but close enough for government work."

Cameron laughed, caught off guard by the wave of affection he felt. How did this man become so important to him so quickly? How in God's name was he going to walk away when this was over?

John rapped him on the forehead. "You're over-thinking things again. Cut it out." He stepped back, holding a hand out for Cameron to take. "Let's go to bed."

"Hell, yeah.


Cameron quietly slid out of bed and padded to the bathroom, hoping not to wake John. He was exhausted, but it was hard to be angry over the lack of sleep. The sex had been fantastic; by turns fierce and dominant then gentle and nurturing. Never had he felt what he had while entwined with John. Never.

It was more than just sex, though. He'd spent hours just touching John...being touched in return. He couldn't remember a time he'd wanted to just hold someone next to him in bed like that. To hold on and never want to face letting go. That first night had flowed into the next day, neither one willing to get up and break the spell they'd weaved around them in the safety of John's bed.

In the end, hunger had driven them up around noon and they showered together, just leaning on each other, willing the contact to go on. When finally they entered the sitting area Cam had been surprised to see his luggage had followed him to find a home with John.

"What's up with this," Cam asked.

John shifted from where he'd been leaning against the door and cupped the back of his neck. Cameron already knew that meant he was embarrassed.

"It seemed a waste of cash for your clothes to have their own room so I had Miles go get them and settle up for you while you were sleeping." He winced. "Wow. That sounded even more creepy and stalkerish than I thought it would."

Cam was silent while he thought things over. On the one hand, it was pretty high-handed of John to make those kinds of assumptions. On the other, with what he knew of John, it was as much a declaration of his interest in Cam as he was capable of giving. Words were not his friends.

"Yeah, it's a little creepy. But kind of sweet, too." At John's outraged squawk, Cam burst out laughing. "Sweet and pretty. Boy howdy, I bagged me the prettiest girl at the dance, now didn't I?"

John threw a pillow from the sofa at him, laughing. "Asshole." He keyed the intercom, "Miles! We're starving! What do we have to eat?"


Cam looked up from his examination of the rather spectacular hickey on his neck to see John leaning elegantly against the bathroom doorframe.

"I could have sworn I left you in bed when I came in here to take a shower. I thought the plan was to stay there for a while longer."

"About that." John ran his hand through his unruly hair. "I got that phone call I've been waiting for while you where showering. I need to head out at O'Dark tomorrow so we should probably talk about stuff while we can." He shifted uncomfortably. Talking about 'stuff' hadn't been high on John's agenda over the last several days, Cameron thought. This couldn't be anything good. He swallowed down the lump in his throat.

"We not going to see each other again, are we?" It was more a statement than a question. Cameron knew once he left John's house the reality of his life would make that nearly impossible.

"There's stuff about me you need to know, Cam. I should have told you straight up when I found out you were Air Force, but I was too much of a dick to fess up."

"John, what are you talking about?"

John stepped forward and thrust out his hand to shake Cameron's. "Major John Sheppard. Nice to meet you."

"You're Air Force, too." It was a statement. A cold dread flashed through Cam's bowels before reason took charge. John wasn't going to say anything that would get Cam in trouble. He wasn't that kind of person, and it would only hurt his own career besides. Pushing the panic away, Cameron pulled on the hand he still held in his.

"Tell me now. I'm listening."

"I'm no one's favored son with the brass, Cam. You'd be better off pretending you never met me." John looked serious...he meant that statement.

"What did you do?" He didn't know John well, but he trusted what he did know. He was pretty sure he still would after John said what he needed to.

"I've got a black mark, brand spanking new, for failure to follow orders. It almost got me cashiered, but after a lot of discussion the decision was made to send me to Antarctica. Lots of time to contemplate the error of my ways." The bitterness was there, along with pain and loss. Cameron sat down, tugging John down next to him.

"There were two of us. Two units, two choppers providing cover. In. Out. Simple. Only it turned into a clusterfuck and the lead chopper went down." John looked sick, swallowing hard and sweating. Cameron kicked the trashcan closer to him. Just in case.

"Thanks." John reached over for the beer he'd left on the table. "We were ordered to return to base. No rescue attempt was to be made." Cameron sighed. That sucked. He'd been there, too.

"The others were ready to turn around but I just wanted to be sure. I had to be sure." He picked at the label, dropping bits on the floor in front of him. "Unfortunately, all I could confirm in the end was the hostiles on the ground had good aim. We took fire and impacted right next to Major Pax's bird. Pax, Mitch, Dex, Holland, Thompkins...all dead. Riley, Wilkes and I were the only ones that made it out in the end. I was flying, it was my call, my bad." He scratched his head, clearly still confused.

"I have no clue why they didn't throw me out on my ass. I know that's what my CO wanted to do." He shrugged, "I guess I'm lucky all I got was a mark and a dead end orders." Sheepishly he continued, "At least I think that makes me lucky."

"John, do you think you did the right thing?"

"I think," John shoved his hands deep into his pockets in frustration. "I know I did the only thing I could do and still live with myself." His expression when he looked at Cam was heartbreaking. "It wasn't enough."

"It was more than anyone else did for them. It was what you could do." The relief and gratitude on John's face was overwhelming for Cameron. "We're going to meet again, John. We're both in the Air Force, for Christ's sake! We'll meet again because I'm going to make sure we do." He reached over and pulled John back to him, wedging him into the vanity to keep him in place. "This was the best week of my life, the best Christmas of my life. I'm not just going to give up and walk away."

"Look, as I said, I have to leave by 0'Dark tomorrow but you don't have to. You might as well stay and enjoy yourself. Miles and Daphne will take good care of you, and it would make me happy if you would."
Cameron didn't know what to say about that. He had just one more day himself.

"Thanks. I'm heading back the day after. I won't be too much trouble for them I hope?"

"No. They're here year round. They already said they like you. They'll probably expect to see you again since you're near by. Good luck trying to get out of it!"

He pressed a piece of paper into Cameron's hand. "This is my cell number. Once I ship out it won't be much good but my email is there, too. Leave my messages either place, sooner or later I'm going to get them."

Cameron grinned. He reached around John and walked to the bedside table and retrieved a card he'd left there the night before. "This is my contact information. I'll be waiting for your call, too." The silence that followed was awkward again, strained after they'd been so free with each other. It was, after all, a heady reminder that their time together was drawing to a close.

"So. We have one last night." John nodded.

"Let's make the most of it."


The elevator pinged and the doors opened on the fifteenth floor.

"Cameron, are you alright?"

Cameron didn't lift his head from where it rested against the elevator wall. "I'm fine, Daniel. A little tired. How are you?"

"Funny man. Welcome back. Come on, you two. We have a meeting with General O'Neill." Carter huffed when Cam shifted to stand upright. She reached over and gently turned his head to better display the hickey John had spent some quality time darkening before leaving for his new post.

"Wow. I want details," Daniel said with some envy.

"I don't kiss and tell, Daniel." He smiled at the snorts that got from his teammates. "I'm a gentleman, I'll have you know."

"Sure, sure. But I want details, anyway." It felt good to laugh with his friends, but a part of him was with John, struggling to settle in to his new assignment. It took some of the joy out of the moment.

They found the General leaning against Cam's desk, staring at the floor in the tiny office Cameron shared with Colonel Wintergate from SG-5. Cam had long ago learned not to be surprised by anything O'Neill did, so he just dumped his duffle in the corner and reached for his interoffice mail while the team brought General O'Neill up to speed on the gossip around the mountain. Of course a good deal of that gossip centered around Cameron and his mystery conquest over Christmas. About wholesome, country types that had hidden depths. Still laughing, the team headed out to the conference room for the promised meeting. When he moved to join them he was surprised when O'Neill spoke.



"Stay for a minute."

O'Neill shifted his feet and looked up at Cameron. "I'm not going to Ask, and I know you're not going to Tell, and that's good." Cameron held his breath, waiting for the anvil to hit him.

"The thing is, Sheppard is under my command, albeit loosely for now. I know where he is, I know what's going on with him and I'll make sure he's okay."

Cameron's imitation of a fish out of water amused the General into a genuine laugh. "I know; I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm not supposed to know about your week with Sheppard. I get that." He shifted to his feet. "The thing is, McMurdo isn't the end of the Earth, Mitchell. Well, it is, but it isn't, you know what I mean? Just saying."

Cameron had no clue what that was supposed to mean. Was he in trouble for hitting on one of O'Neill's officers, or just in trouble because the officer was a male, or not in trouble at all?

O'Neill sighed. He sucked at this, Cameron knew. He just wished in this one instance the General's well-known insanity were more decipherable.

"Sheppard's role in the Air Force is going to be changing soon. We've been paying attention to him for a while now. He's got the gene." He nodded at Cameron's astonished exclamation. "Yep. Strong, too. So. We're going to need him sooner rather than later."

From the door way he looked back at Cam, still standing with his mouth open. "In the meantime I'll take care of him. Okay?"

"Sir. Yes, sir." Cameron loved O'Neill. Loved him.

"Oh, and Mitchell? The brass is telling me that DADT will be a thing of the past within a couple more years. We've already been instructed not to enforce it within the SGC. Just thought you'd want to know." With a cheery wave, O'Neill left Cameron to work out his surprise in the privacy of his office. "Meeting in ten, Mitchell!" he yelled through the door.

Cam found he couldn't wipe the smile off his face. He'd probably look crazy for the rest of the day. He was okay with that. John was safe and would be relatively happy in Antarctica. He was being pulled into the SGC sooner rather than later and with that back into Cam's life...and Cam was totally okay with that. That they'd be working together and the possibility of developing this 'something' they had together was there was even better.

Cameron pulled out his phone. He'd make the call on the way to his meeting with SG-1. There was a lot he wanted to say.

"Hello, John?"
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