rosiedoes: (Stackham: Stay With Me)
[personal profile] rosiedoes posting in [community profile] damagereport
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] darkmoon711 & [personal profile] shiny_starlight
Prompt: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.
Word Count: ~1100
Rating: G
Author's Notes: You may need a tissue; and not in a kinky way.




Four Seasons
You take the weather with you.



Spring


It appeared to be spring when they arrived on Atlantis. There was nothing but ocean as far as the eye could see, but there was a paradoxically warm chill to the air. It felt like spring, even though the other planets they visited seemed to be on the brink of winter. It felt like expectation and it felt a little bit like hope.

Adam had learned a long time ago that hope was the greatest weakness he had. He didn't believe in hope, any more. Hope was a way of dealing with a future you couldn't have if you didn't pass through the now, and you had to learn to deal with the now first.

But that first spring in the Pegasus Galaxy he began to believe in hope again. It started with a tiny seed knotted in his stomach when he caught Markham gazing at him across the rec room with his chin on his hand, and began to unfurl its petals through the weeks as Markham started waiting for him before meals and offering to partner him in PT sessions. He'd come to hope that they'd be friends.

They spent the cool spring mornings racing each other in opposite directions around the perimeter of the city's petal-shaped piers, and developed a sense of playful competitiveness that they didn't share with the others. Perhaps it was the competitiveness that made Markham grab him as they met on the last stretch, one morning, dragging him backward and causing them both to trip and twist and land in a sweaty, breathless, laughing pile at the end of the southern reach. But it wasn't competitiveness that made Markham pin him to the floor and kiss him, right there by the lapping waves and the smell of salt and distant flowers.

The tentative smile on Markham's lips as he climbed to his feet and held out his hand to pull Adam up, was warm in the morning breeze. As he took hold of Markham's hand and returned the smile, Adam thought he could feel the beginnings of summer in the air.



Summer


It was a long time since summer had meant lazy days on the beach or playing frisbee in the park; years, perhaps. Summers were rarely spent at home since he'd joined the Marines. His parents had raised him late, and had passed long ago, as if waiting for the Corps to take their place. The cousins that had been like siblings to him had grown up and moved out of town, and as an only child who'd left for the military as his friends left for college, there weren't many people left on the occasions he did make it back.

Lounging on balconies under the setting of an alien sun, his head on Markham's shoulder or Markham's back against his chest, more than made up for the absence of family picnics and outdoor games. As the days grew, so did the hours they shared in quiet comfort, until they found they had seen the passing of an entire lunar month from their nook, high above the waves.

The nights on the mainland, after days bronzed on exercises and playing with the Athosians children, were cool and easy. Propped against rocks in the golden light of a beach fire it was easy to let the heat seep through them as burning kisses and touches that left invisible scorch marks. It was easy to say honest things, half-hidden in the dark to hide their warmed cheeks, without the bright, summer sunlight to blind them.

And it was beneath the stars of Pegasus, on the familiar drift of wood smoke and seaweed, that Adam realised he'd found his family, tangled in marpat and boot strings.


Fall


Fall felt like security, like the familiarity of home and pride in the reflection of the year. On Atlantis, it felt like a universal affection had grown, to return to as the days drew in.

Their balcony became a memory of a time to recapture when once again the flowers bloomed, and instead they tucked themselves away, ensconced in arms and blankets when the heating system failed; keeping each other warm through long nights and frozen noses until someone located the thermostat.

Fall was to fall back on that which they had nurtured, safe in the knowledge that theirs was a bond that would see them through the dark before them; an open fire to recall their beach nights and the safety of a familiar smile to wait out their return. It was the reassurance of soup brought to fight Adam's flu and the soothing chill of Adam's hands against Jamie's burning forehead when he caught the bug himself.

They joked at times, that the months had aged them years; and for every sun that rose, sixty had passed them by. But neither of them minded knowing the tenderness of ministering hands and the love of an equal would hold them steady as time catherine-wheeled into winter.



Winter


The first weeks of winter were bleak. The expanse of unrumpled sheets was as cold and barren as the Antarctic snows that Adam had once known so intimately. The chill stuck in his throat and rested leaden in his stomach from the moment he woke, each colourless November morning. The shine of metallic walls seemed too clinical in a city that rang hollow with his steps, but each day he made his way to their balcony and waited for the warmth of a sun that never came.

The faces in the mess hall and the corridors still gazed at him with owlish curiosity, wondering at the frozen expression of stoicism and the waters that must run beneath its surface. None of them asked; few of them knew. After a while, it seemed that they stopped caring, too; their own losses and turn to winter piling like snowdrift against their walls.

In time, he took to walking the paths they had raced; treading the familiar courses on which love had once unexpectedly found a way to run smooth. He sat silently for hours where once they had lain laughing, and lost himself in thoughts of bronzed days and firelight as the wheel turned patiently around him.

He barely noticed as the sun crept closer and gently melted the frost that had formed on the surface. It was the smell of salt and early pollen in the air that stroked his forehead and finally drew him to his feet, dipping his hand into the warming seas to scoop out the bud of a spring flower travelled so far from where it belonged.






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