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TITLE: If it's not Chernobyl, and it's not John Wilkes Booth...
FANDOM: Stargate Atlantis
PAIRING: Parrish/Lorne
CHARACTERS: Evan Lorne, David Parrish, Rodney McKay, John Sheppard
WORDS: 2,172
NOTES: Written for the SGA Saturday prompt "mark".
SUMMARY: Evan keeps a calendar to remind him what day it is on Earth.  When David moves in, he uses the same calendar and marks a day that Evan doesn't know what it represents - so he does some digging.

Sometimes it is hard keeping track of days on New Atlantea, and how different the length of the day, week, and year was as compared to Earth, especially since the planet had a 25 hour day, 9 day week, and 477 days in a year.  In order to keep track of time better, Evan always remembered to keep an Earth calendar.  He hadn't at first, but when he'd forgotten his sister's birthday (which was easy to do.  Julie was a late-Summer baby, though at that time it was deep Winter on New Atlantea, so he hadn't given it another thought), he ordered a calendar to be shipped to him in Atlantis at the same time as when he transmitted an order for a present to be delivered to his sister in an effort to make up for the tardiness.

Soon after David moved in with him, he, too, found use for the calendar.  Evan walks into their quarters one evening to find David poring through the calendar, marking different spots.  After claiming a kiss, Evan looks at the pen in David's hand and nods to the calendar.  "What're those?"

Starting from the month of March, the month it currently was on Earth, David ticks off the different dates he'd marked, Evan trying to read the small print as he follows along.  "Parent's wedding anniversary, my niece's birthday, my brother's birthday, Deb's birthday, and finally your birthday," he says as he comes to the end of the calendar.

"Wait, wait, wait," Evan says, turning back to April and pointing to a date.  "What's that one?"

Shaking his head, David says, "Oh that one's nothing really."

Raising one eyebrow, Evan asks, "Boo?"

David stands, tacking the calendar back onto the wall.  Shaking his head, he says, "It's nothing," he dismisses again, then tagging on, "It's stupid..."

Not wanting to push, Evan just says, "Okay."  But before he can push any further, David reaches for his hand and says, "C'mon, I'm starving.  Let's go get some dinner," so Evan allows himself to be pulled out of their quarters, his mind still on the red circle around April 26th.


Since it's only about six weeks out, Evan does what he can to try and figure out the source of the date.  He first stakes out Kati Brown and Deborah Kiang, hitting them up for information, though neither of them know anything about it.  They offer him suggestions, but nothing seems to fit the clues, and it frustrates him endlessly.

After hitting a brick wall, and not being able to find anything, Evan decides to try some of Atlantis' leadership.  He hits up Elizabeth first, who pulls out some obscure facts about the date, like that on April 26th, 1564, playwright William Shakespeare was baptized.  Or that the 26th was the date that John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's assassin, was shot dead by Union soldiers.  But nothing useful.

Over the next few weeks, Evan tries a few other people on the expedition, but the date was quickly approaching, and he was running out of options.  So, one morning after David and the rest of SG-6 leave for a trip to AR7-PXT, he goes to his personal stash, pulling out some really good Kona from his footlocker.  He uses his coffeemaker and brews up a pot of coffee, pours it into a thermos, and then heads off to the science labs where he finds his commanding officer, and the person he was actually looking for, Atlantis' CSO.

"What're you-" Sheppard asks, not moving from where he's sprawled across a chair, one leg propped over the armrest.

"What is that?" Rodney demands, abandoning his laptop and quickly striding over to Evan's side, head bobbing back and forth, with grabby hands to match.  "Oh my god, that's the good stuff, isn't it?  I can smell it." Rodney asks, his face looking almost orgasmic as he removes the lid from the thermos and takes in a deep breath of the piping hot brew.

"Kona," Evan says, grinning when Rodney pulls the thermos close in response to John reaching out for it.

He waits for Rodney to take a sip, knowing he's golden when the man closes his eyes and groans quietly.

"God this is..." Rodney says, then darts his eyes to Evan.  Putting the thermos down, Rodney crosses his arms.  "What do you want?" he asks, obviously figuring out that the coffee was more of a bribe than an offering.

Taking a breath, Evan says, "Just your brain," then lets out a sigh as he pulls up a chair.  "Trying to figure something out, but it's been impossible."

Taking another sip, and dodging Sheppard's outreached hand (again) as it tries to grab the thermos, Rodney replies, "Okay...  What ya got?"

"What do you know about the date April 26th?" he asks.

Almost instantly, Rodney replies, "Easy; Chernobyl.  Or at least, what the world thinks was Chernobyl.  It was really just a coverup of the SG-"

"It's not Chernobyl," Evan replies, cutting off the man.  "David has no connection to Chernobyl that I know of."

"Hmm," Rodney replies and goes to his laptop.  "Let me see," he says, and Evan walks up behind him, looking over his shoulder.

Recognizing the logo on the screen, Evan asks, "Wikipedia?"

"Yes, yes," Rodney replies with a dismissive hand.  "Every time we call Earth, I have a little sync program that runs in the background to give us a local copy of Wikipedia.  It may be mostly crap, but there are some good basic facts out there."  Typing into the search box (as Evan makes a mental note as to where the Wikipedia servers on their intranet by URL in the addressbar), Rodney's screen paints the entry for April 26th and he starts to call out a few memorable items.  "1607, British colonists make landfall in Virginia.  1925, the guy the Hindenburg was named after elected president.  '62, Ranger 4 crashes into the moon after sending back pictures.  '64, the country of Tanzania is established.  '91, the only recorded F5 tornado of that year destroys a community in Kansas.  '94, China Airlines flight-"

"Wait," Evan says.  "Kansas?"

Looking back at the screen, Rodney reads, "1991 - Seventy tornadoes break out in the central United States.  Before the outbreak's end, Andover Kansas would record-"

Evan cuts him off as Sheppard takes advantage of his and Rodney's concentration and steals the thermos, pouring some into a cup for himself and earning a dirty look for his sneaky deed.  "David's from Kansas; maybe that has something to do with it."

"Well if he's from Andover-" John drawls.

"No, no, no.  He and his parents are from Colby, out near the Colorado boarder," he dismisses.  "Pull up Kansas," he asks, pointing to the laptop screen.

Rodney does as Evan asks and quickly scans the page, looking for anything with an April date.  "Nothing," he says, then types a few more things into the searchbox.  "Only thing I come up with is April 26th is when Kansas celebrates Arbor Day."  Pointing to the screen, he reads, "Kansas celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday of April."  Looking at the calendar, Rodney says, "And this year, that's April 26th."

"That's gotta be it," Evan says.  "Thanks, Doc," he adds with a smile.

"Arbor Day?" Rodney asks, voice not hiding his questioning tone.  "What's so special about Arbor Day?" he asks as Evan strides out of the room.

Evan stops and turns to reply, but Sheppard beats him to it.  "Duh, Rodney.  Parrish is a Botanist."

"Yeah, but plants aren't trees," he hears Rodney counter.

Evan decides to retreat from the office, leaving his commanding officer and the scientist to fight it out themselves.


Knowing the connection - finally - Evan figures out the perfect gift.  He and David don't celebrate every little holiday, but Evan figures out that since it's Arbor Day back on Earth, he'll get David a nice sapling and put it in a really nice pot that can sit on their deck.  He barters around for the pot, giving up a 2 pound bag of Kona, for a dark red clay pot.  He keeps it hidden in his office until he and Kiang can do a quick offworld trip to find David just the right sapling (Deborah there to help steer Evan away from the ones that will grow into 200 foot giants).  He and Deborah transplant the tree, and Evan manages to find enough white ribbon to tie a large bow around the tree trunk.  He waits until he can sneak the tree out onto their deck, and then thinks the door to their balcony locked with a picture password that only he and Atlantis knows.  It's only a few days until the 26th, but he doesn't want David stumbling into his present too soon.

Evan wakes up early on the 26th and, as gently as possible, escapes from David's clutching hands as the man sleeps.  He'd never been one to snuggle, though David was definitely a sleep cuddler.  It was nice, and something he missed when he was offworld without the man.  He quietly makes a pot of coffee, then takes the carafe and two mugs out to the door, thinking it unlocked and then settling down on the Ancient version of a rustic metal sofa while waiting for David to wake up.

The unmuffled sound of the waves below, plus the increase in temperature, makes quick work of rousing his boyfriend based on the quiet, "Ev?" that Evan hears called a few minutes later.

"Out here, Boo," Evan says, barely able to contain his smile.

David pads out to the balcony, rubbing his eyes as he walks.  "Good morning sweetheart," he says as he walks up to Evan.  He starts to lean down to claim a kiss, but his attention is suddenly shifted, and his eyes are wide open as they try and focus on the offering.  Evan grins, then looks at the sapling, the white ribbon flapping gently in the warm breeze.  "What's that?" David asks.

"Happy Arbor Day, Boo," Evan says, quite proud of himself.  He pulls David down into a kiss, though the man barely takes his eyes off the planter.

"Arbor Day?" David asks.

"Yeah," Evan says.  "April 26th?  Last Friday in April?  I figured out that it was Arbor Day for Kansas, where you're from.  You circled it on the calendar and then wouldn't tell me what it was for; you said it was 'stupid'".

"Oh," David says.  "Well actually Kansas and the US share the same day for Arbor Day."  Blushing, he continues, "But that's not while I circled it."

Evan gives David a confused look.  "But," he starts, then look at the tree, and then back to David, the only words coming out of his mouth being, "...Arbor Day..."

"Oh Ev...  Sweetheart," David says as he takes a seat next to Evan.  He leans in, placing his hands on Evan's cheek and claims a quick kiss, then gives Evan a smile and leaning his forehead against Evan's.  "Yeah, it is Arbor Day on Earth.  But it's also..."

David stops, looking out to the water.  He reaches out and takes Evan's hand in his, giving it a squeeze.  "It's also the first time we had dinner together."

Furrowing his brow, Evan thinks back.  "But that was, like, around June or so," he says, recalling the memory.  "It was just after you stumbled on that dead Wraith.  I came to check on you a few days later, and you asked me out to dinner."

David's voice is quiet as he says, "I told you it was stupid."

"Boo," Evan says, waiting until David looks into his eyes.  "If you're involved, there's nothing even remotely stupid about it."  With another squeeze of David's hand, Evan says, "Tell me about it."

David nods for a second, then leans into Evan, so Evan puts his arm around the man, pulling him close.  "Remember coming to Atlantis on The Daedalus?" David asks, earning a nod from Evan.  "Well that was a long three weeks.  We ran into each other in the hall a couple of times, but mostly we didn't see each other.  Hell, we didn't even know each other yet."

"Okay, so..."

"So it was the night before we got to Atlantis, there was a big celebration in the mess."

Nodding, Evan says, "I remember that night.  I was sitting across from Cadman, who was giving me a rash of shit.  And next to me was...  Kingman?  No, Koenig.  But I don't remember who was sitting next to Cadman.  I just remember someone who had their nose buried in some sort of plant or botany journal the whole-"

Evan stops talking and smiles, realizing just who was sitting across from him that night.  Pulling David closer, he drops a kiss on David's head.  "We had our first meal together that night, didn't we?"

"That night, yeah," David quietly replies.

Evan squeezes David again, enjoying the warmth against his side and just replies, "Cool..."


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 8th, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
Awww, Evan gets an A+ for effort and a teeny life lesson - when you're in love, those spindly saplings can seem like giant redwoods. *sighs* I do love how you write them.

Also, kudos to Ev for going right for Rodney's weak spot - loved John's sneaky move. ;)
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
when you're in love, those spindly saplings can seem like giant redwoods.

Better words have never been spoken! ::happy sigh:: Thank you!
Nov. 9th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Awwwww! This made me smile! :D
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Nov. 9th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)

You know it's love when you celebrate the first time you met!

Nov. 11th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Absolutely! ::happy sigh:: Those two boys...

Thank you!
Nov. 9th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Aw, this is so sweet. I love Lorne's determination in finding out the significance of the day and his desire to mark it with the appropriate gift, and I love, love, love that Parrish is celebrating just sitting at a table with Lorne for the first time. *beams and draws hearts around this story*
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
EEEEEE!!!!! Thank you, sweets! I love these boys; they're as much fun to play with as John & Rodney, but because of the mystery of them, they're sometimes easier to make that much more romantic. ::happy sigh::
Nov. 11th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)

Because we have so little information on Lorne and next to none on Parrish, you've really been able to make them into your own characters. :-)

That icon ROCKS.
Nov. 9th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
Awwwwww..... just lovely :-)
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Thank you! :)
Nov. 9th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
awwww, man. Evan gets ALL the points for trying. so cute!!
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Evan is such a little romantic! ::happy sigh:: Thank you!!!
Nov. 9th, 2013 07:11 am (UTC)
Such a sweet story, Evan is such a sweetheart for doing that for David ^_^ And Evan's investigative work paid off in the end, even if it didn't quite hit the mark ;) Loved the idea of the calendar, I've often wondered how people handled the difference in time. And loved the little John/Rodney thing you sneaked into the story ^_^
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Loved the idea of the calendar, I've often wondered how people handled the difference in time.

I know! They have to have some way of doing it, because not every planet is going to be 24/365 like Earth! That's what always got me about the series.

Thank you!!! :)
Nov. 9th, 2013 01:08 pm (UTC)
oh gosh, I'm all squishy on the inside now - how do you do that every time?

silly daft fluffy boys, absolutely loved it!
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
EEEEEEE!!!!!! I live for making you all squishy on the inside! I've had such fun with his pairing, and owe you so much! :)
Nov. 10th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
So adorable! Thanks for the read and making me grin. :)
Nov. 11th, 2013 01:29 am (UTC)
Yay for grins and happy days! ::hugs:: Thank you, sweets!
Nov. 12th, 2013 07:32 am (UTC)
Too cute! Arbor Day... *g*
Nov. 14th, 2013 12:34 am (UTC)
Awww, thank you! These boys can be so sweet!!!
Nov. 12th, 2013 09:33 am (UTC)
So romantic & squishy-in-love! (Tho' I think both men might reject that description. ;-) Love Evan's persistance, & that he knows how best to approach each person for info--important skills for a squishy major! <3
Nov. 14th, 2013 12:35 am (UTC)
Thank you!!! And yeah, they may reject it, but I love it. There's something fun about these two, and I have extra fun being mushy. And yep - Evan's all about what's important for his man! :)
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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