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TITLE: Delicate Findings
FANDOM: Stargate Atlantis
PAIRINGS: Porne (Parrish/Lorne), mention of McShep (McKay/Sheppard)
CHARACTERS: Parrish, Lorne, Sheppard, McKay, Teyla, Ronon, Sam Carter
WORDS: 2,125
RATING: Hard PG/PG13
NOTES: This originally started out as a comment-fic community prompt by clwilson2006.  The prompt read: "SGA, Lorne/Parrish, Somehow Lorne found paper on Atlantis and all he does with it is send love letters to Parrish."  I loved that prompt so much, but I never got a chance to write it.  Well, here it is - finally.  Also, in the meeting scene, there's a link to a McShep story that I've inserted Lorne into, as a person also in the meeting.  You don't have to read that story, but it might help if you're curious as to exactly what was going on under the table.
SUMMARY: Evan finds a stash of Ancient paper, and tries to figure out what to do with it.
WARNINGS: NOT BETAED!  Also, schmoop.

~*~*~


It's Lorne that spots the stash first. 

Zelenka had been assigned to fix a power conduit in a relatively unused part of the city, and Sheppard had tasked Lorne to go with him.  Finishing earlier than expected, the pair decides to explore the area for a few minutes before heading back to the main part of the city.  It's on their way out of an Ancient lab that their eyes find the treasure.

"Is that..." Zelenka starts.

"I call dibs," Evan says, walking over and then reaching into the Ancient, long lost cabinet to grab the ream of paper.  Grasping it, he realizes it resembles Earth paper only at first glance.   Feeling the heft of roughly 200 sheets in his hand, Evan can't help but notice the slight plastic feel of the sheets.  That, and the fact that besides being pale lavender, the paper is of a particularly heavy weight.  Evan pulls a single sheet from the stack, studying it intently before handing a second one to Zelenka to feel.

"Pity," Radek says with a nod to the stack as he judges the find.  "I know Earth expects us to be completely digital, but there's still some things I can only do with pen and paper." Lorne nods in agreement a moment later.

Evan and Radek walk out of the lab after finding nothing else of import, and start heading back towards the main part of the city.  They make small talk until nearing the residential wing.

"So tell me," Radek starts, "how are you and David enjoying your new apartment?"

Giving the scientist a curious look at the oddly-timed question, Evan replies, "It's great.  Why..."

Interrupting Evan, Radek finishes his previous thought as the two continue their slow walk towards the hallway near their respective rooms.  With a mischievous grin, Radek adds, "Would be a pity if it suddenly the shower started sending out only ice-cold water.  No?"

Lorne cuts his eyes at the man, his look met with an impish smile.  Without missing a beat, he pulls about half of the paper off the top of the stack, handing it over to Radek.

"Major," Radek says with a nod as he accepts his prize.  He winks at Lorne, and then turns, heading for his room.  Rolling his eyes, Lorne heads towards his and David's quarters, in search of an appropriate place to stash his find.

~*~*~

It's nearly eighteen months of bad trade deals, tribal wars that Atlantis is somehow thrust into the middle of, and an outbreak of what McKay dubs, "Space herpes.  Except without the sex," before Evan has a chance to pull out a sheet of paper and figure out what to do with it.  He's attending one of the monthly staff meetings, Carter allowing someone from biological services to subject the group to about a bajillion PowerPoint slides about the beginnings of a recycling program, when he pulls a mechanical pencil and sheet from the stash of paper he keeps in his tablet computer's portfolio case (thank you Stargate Command).  Sheppard eyes the paper, raising an eyebrow at first, then throwing Lorne a "gimme" look.  Evan responds back with a look that distinctly tells Sheppard to 'get bent', in his most professional manner, following it up with a barely verbal, "Sir," and nod before he gets to work.

It's been so long since he'd had the chance to just doodle that he stares at the blank page for a good three minutes before he knows what to do.  With clean, artistic strokes, Evan starts with a stylized "D".  After putting the finishing strokes on it, he goes on to finish the rest of David's name, all the while keeping an ear out for anything interesting the engineer may bring up (something that won't happen until the engineer announces the end of his lecture).

Evan had noticed Sheppard watching him intently as he began the drawing, but glancing up, Sheppard seems to now be in a world of his own, wearing what someone had dubbed his "Very Serious Leader" face, Rodney typing one-handed next to him.  It doesn't take much to figure out what Rodney's other hand is doing under the table, so Evan turns his body slightly, ignoring what's going on between the two, and puts a few finishing touches on his drawing.  Just as he's messing with yet another "one last change," Colonel Carter announces the end of the meeting.  Sheppard looks dazed (and possibly post-coital), so Evan decides to let him be, and instead of reminding him of their afternoon scheduling session, heads out of the office to find Ronon.

Lorne trades some of his stash of paper to Ronon for the Satedan to make him a small wooden frame, carved from a few pieces of driftwood picked up from MC4-X78.  He frames his drawing, giving it to David as a present; a nameplate for his desk.

After that, Evan uses the paper a little more freely. 

When he gets stuck on the night shift, that's invariably when David has to help germinate part of the Athosian's yearly crop, gets assigned to search other planets for plant-based protein supplies, or has to help with some other botanical crisis.  So most of the time they get to spend together while on these opposite schedules, one of them is invariably asleep.  When Evan is supposed to be, but can't sleep, he passes the time by sketching David's fingers as he types, the crook of his elbow as he tends the plants in their quarters, or the way David's messy hair camouflages an ear as David enjoys his first cup of coffee of the day on their balcony.

One night, Evan is at the foot of their bed, sketching, when David wakes up.  "What're you doin'?" David asks, mouth clumsy from sleep.

"Nothing," Evan lies, putting down the sketch of David's right foot.  He glances at his watch, then gets up, kissing David before he leaves for his shift.

Evan's David sketching sessions go by he wayside when he wakes up to quieted voices and the shuffling of papers in their quarters.  "Are you sure you don't mind... What's this?" he hears Katy Brown ask.

"Oh shit..." David replies, then there's a frantic shuffling of papers.  And from David's tone, he figures out what Katy had stumbled upon. 

Evan knows he should have tucked his nude drawing of a sleeping David somewhere safe instead of leaving it with a stack of other drawings in their makeshift entertainment center.  He gets up under the ruse of getting a glass of water, David giving him a look, Katy's face holding a deeply-red blush. 

"Sorry to wake you," Katy starts.  "I needed David to get-"

"No worries," Evan replies.  With a wink to Katy, he steals a kiss from David (whose expression is a little embarrassed, but not upset at all), then heads back to bed.

From that day on, Evan sticks with love-notes and anatomically-modest drawings. Whenever he has the chance, he jots something down from a book he's reading, the lyrics of a song that reminds him of a slow dance they shared, or something about how David's hair lit up in the sunset of the mostly beach-like planet of T7X-Q45.

No matter what the message, Evan would sneak the paper under David's pillow or in a desk drawer at work, letting the man find it at his own leisure.

About two years into finding the stash of papers, Evan realizes he's running low, so he takes to rationing.  "It makes it all that much more special," David says when Evan had confesses he was almost out of his supply.  "Besides," David adds, "I only need to look at you to know you love me."

~*~*~

When he gets down to his last sheet, Evan contemplates for weeks about what to do.  Being the last page, it has to be special; it has to be worthy of his love for David, and to show how important David is to him.  Words from a book seem too contrived, and no song lyric truly showed his love.  So what to do?

He wakes up one morning, catching David enjoying a cup of coffee while gazing at the photo Miko had taken for them, and his team had had framed as a "housewarming" present when they'd moved into their new quarters together.  In that one moment, he realizes exactly what he'd like to do, then closes his eyes, and releases himself back to slumber, a smile on his face.

~*~*~

The Athosian fall harvest was in full swing, David spending most of his time helping the people bring in their crops and readying the fields for the next season.  Evan spends most of his time continuing off world missions, but works on his present whenever time allows.

When it was finally time for the Fall celebration, most of Atlantis shuttles over to the Athosian village, only tiny skeleton crew staying back to man the city.  Evan shuttles the last of the people from the city to the village, then finds David and takes his hand, guiding him to the edge of the gathering where Evan pulls out a blanket from his overstuffed backpack, laying it on the ground and then guiding David to sit.

They watch the Athosian children perform a traditional skit, then sit through prayers and rituals, Evan never letting go of David's hand.

Everyone watches as Teyla gets to her feet and takes her place in front of the gathering.  She explains the next part of the celebration, eyes darting to catch Evan's for a moment, as she invites all in attendance to come forward and give thoughts about years past, and what they're looking forward to the coming year. 

The crowd stills for a moment, and Evan finally lets go of David's hand, then stands, holding his backpack.  "I would like to come forward," he says.  Teyla smiles, nodding to him and gesturing him to join her.  When he does, the two share an Athosian greeting, then Evan sets his backpack down and turns to the gathering as Teyla sits on the periphery of the group.

Clearing his throat, Evan says, "I know this gathering is more about our people, as a whole, coming together and working through the struggles of the year and talking about our continued joy of life.  But I hope you will indulge me, and allow me to be a little selfish.  Because without David," he says, gesturing to his partner, "for me, there would be no joy."

Evan sees McKay, tucked towards the back of the group, roll his eyes.  He smiles when he notices Sheppard dope-slap him, then pulls McKay's hand into his own.

"Three years ago," he continues, "love quite literally stumbled into my life."  He grins when he cuts his gaze to David, seeing a blush suffuse the man's face.  "The next year, I asked for that man to share a home with me.  And ever since then, my love for life, like my love for him, has overflowed.  The last year has given us - all of us, Athosian and Lantean - challenges.  But we met them; we overcame them.  David was my rock, and is the reason I'm still here."

Leaning down, Evan reaches into his backpack, pulling out a dark wooden frame, his present to David encased within.  Turning his gaze on his lover, Evan says, "David Allen Parrish, my one, my kultana," - Evan darts his eyes to Teyla, her beaming smile proving his Athosian pronunciation was perfect - "I love and respect our lives together in the past, and look forward to many years together in the future."  Evan wipes at his eye, suddenly moist with a tear, and says - his voice breaking slightly - "You once asked if this could be real.  If we were really together; if I were really here.  And as I fell asleep in your arms that night, you kissed me, and asked if that day would never end.  If you could be with me, and I with you.  Always."  Clutching the drawing to his chest so that the audience can see it, Evan says, voice barely above a whisper.  "Well I would be honored to do that.  To share my life with you.  And to be there for you.  Always."

Walking from the front of the room to where David sits, Evan first hands the sketch - a drawing of two hands, fingers entwined, each showing a sparkling band on the ring fingers, with the word, "Always" inscribed beneath - to David.  He then goes to one knee and reaches into a pocket, his hands trembling.

"David Allen Parrish," he starts, looking into his lover's eyes.  "Will you marry me?"



Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
clwilson2006
Sep. 29th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
oh, oh, oh, oh

how wonderful, I'm all warm and fluffy inside, what a beautiful story.

well worth the wait
londonsabre
Sep. 29th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous!
calcitrix
Sep. 29th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Aw, that's adorable. I love how the stash of paper runs through and all of the things it's used for.
altyronsmaker
Sep. 30th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
sweetness! Yay! While I'ma Lorne/Zelenka girl myself *cough* This was LOVERLY! The foot thing...Evan sitting there drawing David's foot...rawr. *sniff* I have a foot thing...don't judge! :D
popkin16
Sep. 30th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
That is so sweet ♥
ami_ven
Sep. 30th, 2012 07:45 am (UTC)
Oh, this is lovely!
fififolle
Sep. 30th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
*squeeeeeeeeeeeeee*
Oh, that's wonderful!!! I love it. <3 *happysigh*
And naughty Radek! *g*
sexycazzy
Oct. 7th, 2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
made me cry but don't worry these were happy tears! :-D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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