skidmo_fic: (dean - sin)
[personal profile] skidmo_fic
Title: The Compass or the Clock
Rating: R
Pairing: Evan Lorne/Dean Winchester
Word Count: 6095
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me...sadly
Feedback: yes, please.
Summary: “It’s been months since Lorne ran into the Winchester brothers up in Wyoming and learned there are some monsters that don’t come from other planets” – a follow-up to Priorities
A/N: Written for the [ profile] spn_teamfic prompt: Crossover. Many thanks to [ profile] misslucyjane for the beta and the epigraph.

What comes first, the compass or the clock? Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going....Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going.


It’s been months since Lorne ran into the Winchester brothers up in Wyoming and learned there are some monsters that don’t come from other planets, and to be honest, he never expected to see them again. He’d exchanged numbers with Dean before heading back to the SGC, but he figured between being on Atlantis for most of the year and not having a good excuse for calling Dean, he’d never need it.

Even when he finally took some leave, visiting his mom and sister in Kentucky, he couldn’t think of a good reason to dial that number. What would he say, anyway? “Hey, if you happen to be somewhere around Walnut Green, how about stopping by and meeting my mom?”

Not gonna happen.

So he decides, instead, to just enjoy his vacation. It’s his nephew James’s birthday, and he thinks the best present in the world is having Uncle Evan there for it. (Lorne bought him a bike anyway.) There’s cake and ice cream and some sort of game that seems to involve every child there tackling Lorne and trying to bring him down.

And it’s good to be home, really. He hasn’t been in far too long, feels like he’s missing out on seeing his nephews growing up, and he knows they’re as close as he’s ever going to get to having his own kids, and that feels just a little too much like waiting for his own dad to get back from assignment, months at a time with just him and his mom and his sister.

These are the only times he ever so much as considers retiring.


It’s a few days after the birthday party when Emma tells him about the noises.

She and the boys live in an old, three-storey farmhouse just down the street from their mom’s. They moved in just a few months back, and Emma tells him that in the last few weeks she’s been hearing strange noises. She thinks it’s the wiring.

“Or maybe the pipes. Anyway, do you think you could take a look while you’re here, Ev? It’d save me the trouble of calling a repairman.”

And the expense, she doesn’t say, but Lorne knows she’s struggling since her husband left.

“Sure. No problem. I’ll stop by tomorrow morning.”

That night, a wardrobe in the attic falls over, very nearly on top of Liam, and Emma calls their mom in tears.

Over a steaming mug of tea, with the boys tucked in on the sofa, Emma admits it’s not the first time something like this has happened.

“I figured I just hadn’t set up the bookshelf right when we moved in. I came out to the den one morning, and it was on the floor, books scattered everywhere. And now this…and the noises. Ev, it’s creepy in there at night.”

Their mom listens in sympathy, nodding. “It can be a bit rough living on your own, sweetheart. I heard noises in our house in McChord for months after your dad went on assignment.”

Emma shakes her head. “This is different. Something weird is going on.”

Their mom looks to Lorne for support, knowing he’s always been the least likely of the three of them to jump to ridiculous conclusions, but Lorne’s seen more than his share of weird in the last few years and he just nods.

“You and the boys stay here tonight,” he says. “I’ve…got some friends who might be able to look into this. I’ll give them a call in the morning, okay?”

Emma nods and finishes her tea, and Lorne kisses her forehead and ruffles her hair before heading off to bed.


Dean is barely out of bed when his phone rings, and he assumes it’s Sam, asking something ridiculous like if he should bring back donuts.

“What?” he says when he answers.

“Ah, there’s that sunny voice I’ve been missing,” comes the reply, and Dean frowns and shakes his head.

“Who’s this?”

“It’s…uh…it’s Lorne. Evan Lorne? We met a few months back in Wyoming?”

They more than met, as far as Dean recalls, and though he hasn’t really thought of Lorne much since then, he finds himself smiling anyway.

“Yeah, hey! How’s it going?”

“Not too bad,” Lorne says, and then Dean can almost hear him shaking his head. “Actually…if you’re not busy, I may have a job for you.”


Dean listens while Lorne tells him about the noises and furniture disasters in his sister’s house.

“You have the worst luck on vacations, don’t you, man?” Dean says once he’s got the gist.

“Hey, I’m just glad I was here when this happened. Emma’s freaking out.”

“I bet,” Dean murmurs. He can’t picture Lorne’s family. Can’t picture him even having a family. Of course, at the moment, all Dean can picture is how Lorne had looked when he’d left that night, stretched out, relaxed and naked on the motel bed, smiling lazily up at Dean.

“So can you help?”

“Yeah,” Dean says, looking up as Sam walks in the room. “We’ll be there later today.”

Sam gives him a curious look, and hands Dean a donut as he puts away his phone. “Got a job for us.”


They make it to Walnut Green a little after one, and Lorne’s mom takes one look at the boys and insists they come in for lunch before doing anything else.

“That’s really not necessary, Mrs. Lorne,” Sam starts to say, and Dean elbows him in the ribs.

“Don’t be a party pooper, Sammy. If Mrs. Lorne really wants to feed us, let her,” he says, because he can smell the ham, and he’s pretty sure he sees half a pie sitting on the kitchen counter.

“I absolutely insist,” she says, smiling up at Sam and giving Dean a cheeky wink. “And please, call me Maureen.”

Over ham sandwiches, potato salad, and a healthy slice of rhubarb pie, Emma tells the Winchesters about what’s been going on in her house.

“Evan says you have experience with this kind of thing. I don’t even know what this kind of thing is.”

It takes Dean a second to realize that she’s talking about Lorne. He’d forgotten Lorne must have a first name.

“We…well,” Sam starts, clearly not sure how much he can tell them without sounding insane.

“They’re ghost hunters, Em,” Lorne says. “Or, well…they hunt those things that go bump in the night.”

Dean expects Emma and Maureen both to laugh, but Emma just raises an eyebrow and Maureen nods seriously. After a few seconds, her face breaks into a grin. “You’re John Winchester’s boys, aren’t you?”

Sam’s jaw drops, and Dean returns her grin. “Yes, ma’am. You knew him?”

She nods and turns to Lorne. “Evan, your daddy worked with John a couple times when he was in the Marines. I only met him twice. Once when he was still in the Corps, and once after.” Her smile fades. “I’m so sorry about your mother,” she says. “We went to the funeral, James and I. Evan probably doesn’t remember. John said there were some strange things going on about her death.”

Dean and Sam murmur polite thank yous, and Maureen says, “Never saw your daddy after that day, but he and James used to write occasionally. He’s how you boys got into this, no doubt?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Dean says again, nodding.

“Well,” Maureen says, standing to get them both more pie. “I’d never have guessed those two, sad-looking little boys would grow into such fine young men. Eat up.”

Dean looks at Lorne over his pie, and they share a smile.


Lorne can see that Dean is eager to get this taken care of, but the boys want to show Sam their tree fort, and Maureen isn’t anxious for her company to be putting themselves in mortal danger, so they all get herded out to the back yard. Lorne’s about to follow when Dean stops him with a hand on his arm.

“Hey,” Dean says, pulling Lorne back from the door and into a little alcove off the entryway.

“Hey,” Lorne says back, his heart picking up speed, and his voice coming out a little breathy.

“Haven’t had a chance to catch up,” Dean says, and the way his eyes flick to Lorne’s lips and the way Lorne is pressed against him despite there being more room than that in the tiny nook make Lorne think he isn’t necessarily wanting to make small talk about their lives.

“No,” Lorne says, his voice low as he leans even closer. “We really haven’t.”

And then Dean closes the distance between them, kissing Lorne hard, pushing him back against the wall, and Lorne licks into his mouth, remembering the taste of him, the feel of Dean’s muscles under his hands, and he wants more than they can have right here, but he can see the boys dragging Sam around the yard through the window out of the corner of his eye, and he knows they don’t have much time before his mom comes looking for them (and it makes him feel like he’s back in high school, hurried handjobs under the blankets, trying to keep quiet so his parents wouldn’t hear), so he shoves a hand between them, working Dean’s jeans open as quickly as he can and wrapping his hand around Dean’s already hard cock.

Dean groans quietly into his mouth, and Lorne wonders if he’s had as much practice with this sort of thing as Lorne has, if he’s had to settle for quick fucks behind dumpsters and in closets, afraid his dad or his brother would walk in on him at any moment.

And then he doesn’t wonder anything else, because Dean’s shoved his hand inside Lorne’s jeans and is enthusiastically returning the favor.

It’s too rushed by far, and Lorne would be ashamed of how quickly he comes if Dean weren’t right there with him.

They stand for a minute, foreheads leaning together, catching their breath, when Lorne hears his mom yell, “Evan! What are you boys doing in there?”

He mumbles, “Shit,” and grabs an old handkerchief from the closet next to them to wipe off their hands as they hastily tuck themselves back in and button and zip.

“Be right there, Ma!” he calls back, and then he catches Dean’s eye and they both collapse in giggles.

Liam asks them what the joke is when they finally make it outside, and that just sets them off again.


Maureen had asked them what they needed as far as supplies go, and she’d shown them a pretty impressive closet full of crystals and candles and books. Most of it was junk, but there were a few items in there that Dean could tell Sam was itching to get his hands on.

“I was a hippy once,” Maureen confesses, blushing somewhat.

“Was?” Lorne teases, and Dean smiles fondly at the two of them, wondering if this is what he’d have been like if things had turned out different.

“Thanks, Mrs…Maureen,” Sam says. “But I think we’ve got this covered. Rock salt and a lighter ought to do it. Sounds like a pretty average haunting. What do you know about the previous owners of the house, Emma?”

While Emma fills him in and Sam takes notes, Dean looks over at Lorne. He’s sitting in an armchair, Liam in his lap, showing him a strangely shaped twig he found outside. Liam leans sleepily against Lorne’s chest and Dean smiles softly as he watches them. He thinks of Lisa and Ben and how much he’d wanted that life for the few days he was there, and he envies Lorne and Emma and Maureen for this quiet domesticity they fit so easily into.

Lorne looks up from Liam to give Dean a curious smile, and Dean shakes his head and looks away.

“Well, we’ll look into the family history and the history of the house, and see if we can’t find anything,” Sam is saying, closing his notebook. He nods at Dean. “We should probably see about grabbing a motel room. Know anywhere that gets wireless?” he asks, turning back to Emma.

“Oh, nonsense,” Maureen says. “If I can’t make room for an old friend’s boys, what kind of a friend does that make me?”

“We really don’t want to be a bother,” Sam says, and Dean wishes he were close enough to elbow him again.

“Not a bother at all,” Maureen says. “The boys can sleep with Emma in her room, and you two can have the guest room, if you don’t mind sharing.”

Dean smirks. “Well, Sammy does kick an awful lot,” he begins, meaning to add that it’s nothing he hasn’t lived through, but Maureen cuts him off.

“You can share with Evan then. He won’t mind, will you, sweetheart?”

Lorne glances up from Liam’s twig with a surprised look on his face.

“You won’t mind if Dean bunks with you for a few nights?” Maureen repeats, and Lorne shakes his head, still looking stunned.

Sam makes a face at Dean, silently asking what’s going on, and Dean waves his hand dismissively, but he catches Maureen’s eye for a moment, and she winks at him, and he can’t help chuckling.


Sam didn’t find anything on the internet that night, so he’s planning a trip to the library in the morning.

Dean is planning a massive breakfast and some time with Lorne, naked or otherwise.

Maureen smiles to herself when Lorne and Dean both claim it’s been a long day and head up to Lorne’s room shortly after Emma puts the boys to bed.

“She know about you?” Dean asks when Lorne shuts the door behind them. “Your mom, I mean?”

Lorne shrugs. “Hard to tell sometimes. She knows most things, though. She…uh…well, yeah, I think she probably does know.”

“But you never told her.”

“Never had to, and it seems pointless now.”

Dean nods and sits on the edge of the bed, toeing off his boots. Judging from the size of Lorne’s bed, he figures Maureen must at least suspect. They’ll have to be awfully close to both fit comfortably, and the thought makes him smile.

“You’re really good with James and Liam,” Dean says, shrugging off his flannel shirt while Lorne sits to take off his shoes.

Lorne smiles in a way that reminds Dean of Lisa a little bit. “They’re good kids, you know? I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like.”

“Must be hard,” Dean mumbles through his t-shirt as he pulls it off.

“Yeah, sometimes,” Lorne agrees, and then he’s got his shirt off as well, and they don’t talk much for the rest of the night.


Sam doesn’t make it to the library until that afternoon. Maureen keeps him busy in the kitchen all morning, helping her freeze green beans and peas and corn while Lorne shows Dean around the property a little bit.

“It was my granddad’s place before he died,” he tells Dean, taking him out past the creek that runs behind the back yard and up a hill to the old barn. “He used to keep horses until he couldn’t take care of them on his own anymore.”

“So you didn’t grow up here?”

“Nope,” Lorne says, lifting the bar holding the door shut and opening it for Dean. “Spent most of my summers here, though. Growing up, we lived all over, so this was…kinda the closest thing I had to a home.”

Dean nods, but he looks at Lorne like he doesn’t really understand, and Lorne smiles and takes his hand. “C’mon,” he says. “I wanna show you something.”

He leads Dean back through the barn to a ladder leading up to the hay loft and climbs up, trusting Dean will follow, and taking his hand again once he’s at the top.

They have to stoop a little in places to avoid hitting their heads on beams, but Lorne pulls Dean back to a corner cleared of hay. There’s a military cot and a small easel, a couple of shoeboxes and some old coffee cans filled with paintbrushes and colored pencils.

“This was the closest thing I had to a hideaway,” Lorne says, tugging the blanket off the cot and spreading it on the floor so they can lay on it.

“You paint?” is the first thing Dean asks as he settles down next to Lorne, and Lorne smiles, realizing how little they actually know about each other.

“Yeah, a little. My mom was an art teacher for years. We spent our weekends painting more often than not. Don’t have much time for it now.” It’s on a very long list of things Lorne doesn’t have much time for now. Right up there with having anything even resembling a normal relationship, but he figures Dean probably gets that too.

“Huh,” Dean says, looking thoughtful. “Do you miss it?”

“Sometimes,” Lorne says, and he tilts his head, regarding Dean for a moment—the way the light catches his eyes and makes them brighter, the way the sun glints off his hair, the shadowed, stubbly portions of his jaw line.

Dean ducks his head, smiling. “You missing it right now?”

“Yeah,” Lorne says, softly. “I kind of am.” And he figures he can’t lose anything if Dean says no, so he asks, “Can I draw you?”

“Sure,” Dean says, shrugging, and Lorne digs through one of the coffee cans until he finds a pencil that’s not broken and opens one of the shoeboxes, rifling through Polaroids and old copies of Playboy (“It was my hideout,” he reminds Dean, blushing a little.) until he finds a couple of blank sheets of paper.

“Take your shirt off,” he tells Dean, settling himself back against the wall where he won’t be blocking the light.

“Oh, I see how this works,” Dean teases. “’Come up to the hay loft, little boy. Let me draw you.’ Should have known you were just another creepy old man wanting to get into my pants.”

Lorne chuckles and throws a bit of hay at Dean. “Careful, or I won’t let you get into my pants.”

“Yes, sir,” Dean says and peels off his shirt.

Lorne chuckles again, testing the hardness of his pencil on the corner of one of the sheets of paper.

“How do you want me?” Dean asks, and Lorne does not think about the myriad ways he could take that.

“Just like you were before,” Lorne says, and Dean nods and shifts onto his side, propping his head up on his hand.

“You don’t want my hand in my pants or anything?”

“I’m sketching you, not directing a porno,” Lorne says, rolling his eyes.

“Just thought you might want to pull this out later to jerk off to or something.” Dean smirks at Lorne, and Lorne just barely stops himself from admitting that Dean shirtless is more than enough for him to jerk off to, hand in his pants or no.

“Just relax,” he says. “Don’t pose. Be natural.” And he starts to sketch.

Dean is a talker. Lorne knew this already. But he doesn’t talk about anything real. He just talks to fill the silence.

Still, Lorne picks up on things. Dean loves his family, which Lorne knew already. But he also wishes they could all be different. It’s no surprise he’d rather his parents hadn’t died, but the way he talks about Emma and the boys, and even Maureen, makes Lorne think Dean is envious of them, and it’s all Lorne can do not to tell Dean that, if he asked, Maureen would take him in like a son, Sam too, give them as close to a normal life as she could.

And Dean likes things simple. His life is getting complicated, Lorne thinks. He talks about hunts they used to have, ghosts and vampires and reapers, but nothing within the last three years, and he sounds almost wistful when he talks about those hunts, like they were the good old days, and he wants to get back to that. And he praises Maureen’s pie and talks about his car, and the burger he had last week at a diner in Pittsburgh. Simple things. Easy things.

Lorne lets him talk, sketching leisurely, pencil dragging over the paper the way he remembers his hands dragging over Dean’s skin. And Dean doesn’t get restless, which Lorne takes as a sign he’s getting comfortable around Lorne. The last time they’d met, Dean had always been antsy, wanting to be out and doing something. Like relaxing was a waste of time as long as there was a job to be done. (He’d relaxed plenty when the job was over, but not before.)

When Lorne finally puts his pencil down, Dean asks, “Finished already?” and smiles, wide and lazy as Lorne sets aside the sketch and slides across the floor to him.

Lorne has just started kiss him, slow and deep, when he hears Sam’s voice from down below. “Dean? You in here?”

“Shit,” Dean mutters, pulling away to tug on his shirt. “Up here!” he shouts back, and in a few moments, Sam’s head pops up through the door to the loft.

“Oh,” he says, quietly, taking in the scene before him, Lorne and Dean reclined on a blanket on the ground, a little flushed and, in Dean’s case anyway, with a few stray strands of hay in their hair. “Uh…Maureen wanted me to get you for lunch,” he says, pretending not to be embarrassed. “And I’m off to the library after if you wanna come.”

“Nah, I think I’ll stick around here until you find something,” Dean says, smiling, and Sam nods.

“Okay, well…y’know…lunch.” And he disappears back down the ladder.

Dean looks at Lorne and cracks up again, and Lorne joins him if only because Dean’s laughter is infectious.


“What’s up with you and Lorne?” Sam asks as they drive to the cemetery that night.

“What d’you mean?” Dean says, feigning ignorance.

“Oh, c’mon, man,” Sam snaps. “I saw you two all cozy up there. What’s going on?”

“It’s nothing,” Dean says, shaking his head, and he feels a weight settle into his stomach at the thought.

It is nothing. It can’t be anything. Lorne’s headed back to his assignment in a couple days, and Dean will be back on the road with Sam, and it’s…nothing. Never will be.

“Dean,” Sam says softly, giving Dean his ‘I’m the understanding, sensitive brother’ look. “It’s okay, really. I don’t care if you’re…bi or whatever.”

Dean sighs then smiles over at Sam. “It’s nothing, Sammy. Really. He’s a cool guy, that’s all. I think he’s lonely.”

It feels like a betrayal to say that, but he can’t explain to Sam that it’s Dean who’s lonely and wishing there were more to it than just two guys enjoying each other while they could.

“Okay,” Sam says.

And then they’re at the cemetery, and it’s digging, salting, and burning. Just like always.


“What’s up with you and Dean?” Emma asks him, sitting out on the front porch swing after the boys and Maureen have gone to bed.

“What d’you mean?” Lorne asks, pushing off with his foot to set the swing moving gently.

“Oh, c’mon,” Emma says, rolling her eyes. “He’s gorgeous, and I know you wouldn’t be sharing a bed with a guy that good looking unless there was something going on. I don’t care how much Mom pushed you.”

Lorne rolls his eyes. Sometimes Emma knows him a little too well for his comfort.

“It’s nothing,” he says, which isn’t an answer, and he knows she won’t accept it as one, but he doesn’t know what else to say. He doesn’t know what is going on with him and Dean.

“It’s not nothing,” Emma says. “Christ, Ev! A blind man could see how much you like him.”

“So I like him. It’s not a crime, and it’s not a wedding announcement.”

“So you two aren’t…dating?”

Lorne gives her a Look.

“Okay, okay. Not dating.”

Lorne sighs. “It’s nothing, okay? I’ve got the Air Force, and he’s got hunting, and…that’s it. Nothing could come of it. Just…drop it, okay?”

“Okay,” Emma says quietly, and she reaches over to ruffle his hair, earning a long-suffering smile in return.

They both sit out on the porch until the Winchesters get back.


Dean wants to shower when he gets back, but he smiles through Emma’s questions and lets Sam handle most of them until he can get away and into the bathroom and strip off his dirty clothes and step under the hot spray.

Lorne joins him after a few minutes. He doesn’t say anything, which Dean is grateful for, just picks up a bar of soap and starts scrubbing the dirt and ash from Dean’s skin. He leans back heavily against Lorne and Lorne wraps his arms around Dean’s waist and kisses the back of his neck, tongue darting out to catch the drops of water beading on Dean’s skin. Lorne turns him gently and starts washing his chest and his shoulders and down his arms to his hands, kissing each bit of skin as he rinses it clean, and Dean watches him, wanting to feel detached, but not able to stop himself from wishing he could have this all the time.

When Lorne is finished, he turns off the water and grabs a towel from the rack, drying Dean carefully and knotting the towel around his waist before drying himself and doing the same. He picks up Dean’s discarded clothes and carries them back to his room.

Dean follows.

He lets the towel fall as soon as the door is shut, and drops onto the bed, and Lorne joins him, pulling the blankets over both of them and spooning up behind Dean, kissing the back of his neck again.

“Sleep,” Lorne murmurs, and Dean nods and does.


“We should stick around another day,” Sam says at breakfast the next morning. “I mean…I’m pretty sure we got it, but sometimes we miss something, you know? Like…if there’s a lock of hair or a toenail clipping hanging around the house, then the ghost could still be hanging around.”

Dean knows Sam is doing this just for him, just so he can have a little more time with Lorne, and he’s grateful. He nods. “You should be safe going back tonight, though, Emma. I wouldn’t worry about it.”

Emma nods, and Lorne says, “Why don’t you and the boys stay here tonight, and I’ll go over to your house to see if anything’s still there?”

“No!” Dean says, too quickly and too loud, he realizes when everyone turns to look at him. “I mean…Emma’s the one who knows what to look for, and…well, it should be fine anyway.”

Lorne gives him an odd look, and Dean ignores it. “Okay.” Turning to Emma, he adds, “But if anything happens, anything at all, you get the hell out and call us, got it?”

Emma gives him an amused smile as Liam pipes up, “Uncle Evan said a swear! Dollar for the swear jar!”

Lorne pulls out his wallet and takes out a dollar bill. He kisses the top of Liam’s head as he passes to put the dollar in a jar on top of the refrigerator. “That’s the kind of swear that’s worth a dollar, squirt.”

He gives Dean another odd look as he sits down, and Dean blushes and ducks his head.


Lorne insists on going with the Winchesters when they drop Emma off that night. He wants to make sure she’s set up and can get out easily.

“Salt and iron,” Sam tells her. “Those are the things to keep handy, anywhere you go.” He sets a shotgun and some shells on the kitchen table. “You ever fired a gun before?”

Instead of answering, she picks up the shotgun and chambers a round. Lorne beams with pride.

“Natural-born hunter,” Sam says, smiling. “You’ll do just fine.”

She smiles then, but grimaces when she sees Dean creating a trail of salt in front of the door and then making a little salt pathway from the door to the couch.

“This is so you can get out safely if anything goes wrong. I’ll make another one from the front door to your car.”

“It’s gonna be a bitch to clean up,” Emma complains, and Dean laughs.

“Y’know, I’ve never thought of that. Bet it is though. Sorry.”

“It’ll be easier to clean up than your guts would be,” Lorne says bluntly. “You shouldn’t be doing this, Em. Let one of us stay.” He casts a quick glance at Dean, as though daring him to argue.

“I’ll be fine,” she insists. “I know you’re my big brother, but this is my house, and I won’t let some ghost scare me out of it. You hear that?” she says, addressing the house itself. “I’m not going anywhere!”

Lorne shakes his head and kisses her forehead before leaving with Sam and Dean.

“She’ll be fine,” Sam says from the front seat of Dean’s Impala as Lorne leans his forehead against the glass, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.

Dean says nothing all the way back to Maureen’s.


It’s three hours later when they get the call. None of them have even gone to bed. Lorne’s been flipping through channels non-stop for the past thirty minutes, and Dean thinks Sam’s about ready to toss the remote across the room when Lorne’s cell phone rings.

He answers it on speaker.

“Evan!” Emma’s voice is more determined than frightened. “Evan, it’s back! Come quick, it’s… Get back you ugly son of a bitch!” There’s a loud bang that Dean recognizes as the shot gun even through the phone's tinny speaker. “Evan, can you hear me?”

“I hear you,” Lorne says. “We’re coming!” And the call drops.

Dean stops Lorne at the door. “You’re staying here.”

“That’s my sister!” Lorne insists. “I’m coming with you.”

“You’re not,” Dean says, ignoring the look Sam gives him. “I don’t have time to argue with you about this. I will tie you up if I have to. Sam and I know what we’re doing. You’d just hold us back.”

“You were happy to have my help with that vampire back in Wyoming,” Lorne says, pushing against Dean to get out to the car where Sam is unloading weapons from the truck.

Dean growls and pushes Lorne back inside. “You’re not coming, Evan!”

The use of his first name seems to shock Lorne into silence, and Dean says fervently, “Please. Please, just stay here and trust me to get her back for you. I’ll bring her back safe. I swear.”

Lorne nods, and turns to go back inside, but turns after a few steps and goes back to Dean, grabbing his face in both hands and pulling him in for a hard kiss.

“You bring yourself back safe too,” he mutters, and slams the door on the way back in.


It’s torture waiting for them to get back. An hour passes, then two, and Lorne wonders if he should wake Maureen just in case.

And then he hears the rumble of tires coming up the gravel drive, and he’s out the door like a shot, reaching the car before it stops and wrapping his arms tight around Emma when she gets out of the passenger seat.

“Oh, god…oh, fuck. You’re okay. Are you? You’re okay?”

“I’m fine,” Emma insists, pulling away from him just a bit. “They did their…” she waves a hand vaguely, “hunter thing, and everything’s good.”

Lorne nods, and hugs her again, keeping an arm around her as they walk back to the house.

Only once they’re there, and she’s settled in a chair with a mug of tea (Maureen heard the commotion and immediately started the kettle), does he look around at the Winchesters.

His gaze slides right over Sam—who’s standing, so Lorne figures can’t be hurt too badly—to Dean. Dean who’s standing in his mom’s living room, pale and panting, bleeding a little near his temple, but alive and walking and looking at Lorne with something like fear, and Lorne swallows harshly.

He makes sure Emma’s okay one last time and leaves the explanations to Sam, grabbing hold of Dean’s jacket and pulling him up the stairs, not caring in the least what the rest of them think, not caring about anything but getting Dean alone and somewhere he can make sure Dean is really okay.

Dean lets Lorne manhandle him up the stairs and into his room, passively following until the door is shut, and when Lorne starts stripping off his clothes, pulling the jacket off his shoulders, Dean pulls Lorne close and kisses him hard and deep, and Lorne feels like he’s being devoured, sucked right into Dean, and it’s a tangled mess of clothes and limbs and lips and hands until they fall naked onto the bed, and it’s Dean who’s examining Lorne’s entire body instead of the other way around, and Lorne has a brief thought that he hopes the boys are heavy sleepers as Dean pushes roughly into him, and he can feel the groan torn from his throat as he clings to Dean, arms and legs wrapped tight around him.

And then they’re panting harshly, tangled up in each other. Half the sheets are on the floor, and Lorne is surprised he and Dean haven’t joined them.

“I’m sorry,” Dean whispers.

“Shh,” Lorne murmurs back, stroking Dean’s damp hair and down his back. “You brought her back. It’s okay. Everything’s okay.”

“I couldn’t let you…couldn’t risk you,” Dean says, his head tucked securely under Lorne’s chin.

Lorne swallows back his arguments—I’m an airman, Dean. I get in fights for a living—and just says, “I know. I know. It’s okay. Go to sleep, okay?”

And they both do.


Maureen insists they stay another day to rest and recover, and Dean gives Sam a hard look when it seems like he wants to argue.

Nobody suggests Dean takes the newly vacant room once Emma and the boys have gone back home.

They can’t really justify staying another day after that, though, and Dean has worn himself out trying to think of reasons to keep them there, so he just enjoys his last few minutes in bed with Lorne, not letting him leave for breakfast just yet.

Not that Lorne is trying to leave. He seems to be perfectly content just lying there with Dean, lazily kissing and touching.

“I’m gonna miss this,” Dean murmurs, kissing along Lorne’s collarbone.

“The sex? Yeah, me too.”

“Not the sex,” Dean says, shaking his head. “Well…not just the sex. This whole…thing. Y’know? This life. I…” He trails off for a moment. “I wish I could have this life.”

Lorne sighs and kisses his hair, sliding his fingers along Dean’s spine. “Dean…I don’t have this life. It’s just…just a pretty dream to visit sometimes, you know?”

“Yeah,” Dean says, quietly. He knows that, really. He just likes to think Lorne’s life isn’t every bit as dangerous and unpredictable as his is. “It’s a damn nice dream, though.”

“Yeah, it is,” Lorne agrees, and Dean kisses him until they both forget everything but the dream.


Two months later, Lorne is back in Atlantis, back in his daily, crazy routine, and he tries not to think of Dean, but it’s hard sometimes, and he wonders if maybe it isn’t time to think of retiring, even though he can’t imagine going to sleep every night without the soft crash of waves against the city outside his window.

When the Daedelus docks, there’s a package for him, and Lorne opens it and smiles when he sees Dean’s handwriting.

Found this in Dad’s journal, the note inside says. Thought you might like to have it.

Packed in with the note are a torn-out page from what Lorne assumes is John Winchester’s journal, and a copper pendant, old enough that most of the markings have worn off. Lorne turns the pendant over in his hand as he reads the page:

Maureen sent this with her last letter. Said James picked it up on his last assignment and never got around to sending it before he died. It’s for protection against ‘unknown evil’. Also broken hearts. Wish she’d given it to her boy. Too late for me.

Lorne smiles as he strings the pendant onto his chain next to his tags, and figures he can live with a dream a little longer.

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July 2012

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