They walked until dusk, then found a likely spot and set up camp. Not that there was much to set up, since they didn’t have much in the way of gear to unpack, and they weren’t planning on staying there for more than a couple of days, max, anyway. Lorne went to find some running water to (hopefully) fill their canteens, while Sheppard got their dinner ready and dragged some brush over to give them something a bit softer than the ground to sleep on. There was a definite chill in the air by the time the Major returned with their topped off canteens.
Rummaging through his tac vest, John tossed his second-in-command some water purification tablets and after unlacing and removing his boots, he lay back, rubbing the back of his neck absently. He made sure that he kept his P-90 within easy reach, though, as he huddled inside his jacket, pulling his knees up to his chest in what would undoubtedly become a very uncomfortable position in a few minutes.
Taking a swig of the water and grimacing at the taste, Lorne passed the canteen to his CO and followed Sheppard’s lead, stretching out on the pile of brush and leaves in a position that was a little colder, but definitely more comfortable. He glanced over at the Colonel questioningly, and smiled in thanks as he followed the other man’s hand gesture to the MRE waiting for him. He ate in silence for the most part, taking an occasional sip of water.
As it started to turn to full dark, Sheppard rolled onto his side gingerly and asked tentatively, "Do you know of any ways to conserve warmth besides, erm, you know…"
Clearing his throat awkwardly, Lorne answered, "Erm, no, sir. Not besides the, um, obvious. Sir." He was extremely thankful for the fact that it was nearly too dark for the Colonel to see the furious blush creeping up his neck and across his face. As it was, it was too dark for him to see the fact that his CO was wearing an equally dark shade of crimson.
"Do you think–" John started to ask, then stopped himself, unsure how to voice what he was thinking. Sure, he liked the Major, maybe in more than a strictly platonic way, but Evan was more than likely straight and feeling completely out of his depth. While he had the ‘out of his depth’ part right, he had no way of knowing that his second-in-command wasn’t exactly straight as an arrow, either.
"Um, yeah. Uh, my place or yours?" he asked jokingly, trying to diffuse the awkwardness between them. He sensed more than saw the Colonel’s grin as he replied.
"Mine, I think. I’ve got the comfier bed."
The brown-haired airman inched closer, stopping a few inches away, unsure if the Colonel was actually willing to follow through on the idea. Instead of saying anything, John lifted an arm in offering, and, after taking a deep breath to calm his rapidly beating heart, Evan slid into the gap between his CO’s outstretched arm and the ground. John shifted a little closer, until the space between them was nearly non-existent as they lay on their sides under the open sky. Emboldened by his commanding officer’s actions, Evan pressed his torso back into the other man’s chest, grateful for the warmth that immediately banished the cold permeating his upper body.
Tentatively, Sheppard rested his upper arm against the Major’s side, and when the shorter man didn’t object, tightened his grip minutely, drawing the other man a little closer. In answer Evan reached back with his foot and jammed it between the other man’s calves, trying to warm up his feet. He grabbed his jacket from where it lay beside him and draped it over their legs, accepting the answering half of Sheppard’s jacket with a sleepy smile.
"Thanks," he murmured; burrowing closer to the other man, seeking more warmth, until they were pressed flush against each other. Yawning, he rested his head on the messy-haired pilot’s shoulder and let his eyes drift closed, suddenly feeling warm and drowsy.
The next morning, Sheppard awoke to find his 2IC nestled in his arms, still fast asleep, mouth half-open but no sound escaping it. Trying not to move too much, he leaned across the other man to grab the canteen, unusually aware of the toned flesh beneath him as his stomach brushed the other man’s side.
As if on cue, the younger man stirred, rolling over to face the other man. Still half-asleep, he leaned forward casually and kissed him, snuggling closer and running his tongue along the other man’s lip teasingly. Sheppard stiffened in shock, and Evan picked up on it, pulling away. Eyes widening, he pinched himself, hard, and an expression of panicked horror overtook his adorably sleepy look. Closing his eyes, trying desperately to compose himself, he asked with feigned casualness, "I’m not dreaming, am I?"
Lorne pulled away entirely, looking miserable. "I’m sorry, sir. It won’t happen again, I–" Sheppard cut him off with one of his patented ‘shut up, will you?’ looks and leaned in, bridging the gap between them. With uncharacteristic gentleness, he brushed his lips against the other man’s own, effectively silencing him.
After a moment, he pulled away, and, raising an eyebrow, said, "Don’t be."
"Does that mean what I think it does, sir?" Lorne asked carefully, his brain apparently turned to mush by the (slightly) older man’s reaction to his behavior. John met his eyes and replied:
"If you think it means I like you, then yes. Actually, make that a hell yes," he corrected himself, smiling. Evan relaxed at that, and returned the smile. For some reason, hearing those words out of John’s mouth made everything else just a little more bearable now. He ventured closer again, moving so as to straddle the other man, being careful not to put too much weight on his ribs. Smirking up at his 2IC, John wriggled his hips playfully, causing the other man to make a strangled noise and lean down for a searing kiss.
An hour later, Evan had officially decided that John Sheppard was definitely his favorite CO.
The next two days followed much of the same routine; find water, clean up their wounds, find somewhere else to set up camp, and have some fun before bedtime. And in the morning. And the afternoon. And in the evening, too. On their fifth day on the planet, though, their luck finally ran out. (Not surprising, considering neither of them were particularly lucky to start with.)
They were working their way back around to the stargate in the rough equivalent of a giant circle, in the hopes that by the time they got back, the guards there would’ve thinned out enough for them to shoot their way to the gate. It seemed like they weren’t making as much headway as they’d thought, though, because when they reached the edge of the clearing the stargate was supposed to be in, it wasn’t there. When they looked more closely, they found that the clearing was similar to the one the gate was in, but not identical. Lorne knew for a fact that there were no fields like this near the stargate, and when he realized that they’d probably drifted from where they’d originally planned to go, he kicked the nearest tree in frustration.
"Easy, Evan. I need you to be my pack mule, and if you break that foot, I’ll have to actually carry my own stuff," Sheppard joked, but his voice was tense and he didn’t even crack a smile when Lorne snorted loudly and kicked the trunk again for emphasis.
"Take a deep breath and count backwards from a thousand. If you feel like it, count by the prime numbers first and then go back through the rest of them," Sheppard said, completely seriously. "It’s what I do when I get pissed off and shooting the hell out of the problem isn’t an option."
"Yeah, well, I’m not the closet math geek here, John," the Major retorted, making a face that under different circumstances would’ve been childish, but at the moment it fit the situation perfectly. John shot him a wounded look and then, as if just realizing something, dropped the canteen he was holding.
"How did you know I was good at math?" he asked.
"It’s not exactly a secret, I mean, McKay was going on about you helping him in the labs during dinner a few weeks ago. I think he was telling Zelenka he could borrow you in exchange for chocolate," Evan replied, screwing up his face in thought as he tried to remember the exact wording.
"Was he now?" Sheppard muttered, eyes narrowing in a way that had the Major shooting him a nervous look, even though he knew he wasn’t going to be the recipient of some horrible form of revenge. Clearing his throat awkwardly, he leant over to retrieve the canteen lying abandoned in the grass. There was a strangled growl behind him and, raising an eyebrow playfully, he straightened up with a little more motion than was strictly necessary. The sound was repeated, then choked off, and he turned to find his CO’s eyes riveted on his southern regions, a glint in the hazel orbs he’d come to recognize as lust.
Sheppard took a step closer and slid an arm around his waist, resting his hand comfortably on his hip. Evan cast him a not-quite-questioning look and the Colonel shrugged, smirking.
"What? I need a little assistance, ok? I mean, everybody needs somebody solid to lean on sometime, right?" And he leaned against the other man’s side, pressing their bodies together and catching the other man’s ankle. With an answering smirk, Evan slid his left arm around Sheppard’s shoulders and rested his head against the closest area, which happened to be the crook of the messy-haired Colonel’s neck. Breathing in his scent, Evan smiled deviously and poked out his tongue, licking his way up the Colonel’s neck. He tasted like sweat and dirt, and just a hint of soap from washing in the stream. He followed his tongue with his lips, mouthing his way up to the Colonel’s chin, leaving a trail of hickeys in his wake.
He then proceeded to latch onto his bottom lip and suck, smiling slyly the entire time. From there he turned his attention to the taller man’s ear, nipping and sucking on it with the ease of someone who’d done it numerous times before.
"Mmm. You taste good…" he murmured, still occupied by the other man’s ear.
"I taste like I haven’t showered in days," Sheppard snorted, but he allowed the Major to finish with his ear all the same. Hands trailed over his body, sliding under his shirt and- oh god- toying with the waistband of his pants, and he looked down at the other man with a glint in his eyes and said, "Any time now would be nice." Lorne just grinned wolfishly and replied: