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Pilots Having to Act Discreet

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“Boys, get in here!”

Dean, who was on leave from the Academy for the weekend before final exams, came dashing into the den. Dad had sounded urgent.

Sam was a little slower to respond; he’d been eyeballs deep in a new fantasy novel, and when he got lost in a book, getting him back out of it was difficult. Kid didn’t even get hungry when he read. It was unnatural.

“What’s wrong, Dad?” Dean asked.

Dad was standing in front of the television, where a news story was playing. There had been a great fireball in the sky, and then something crashed into Frisco Bay, and now the Navy and Coast Guard were setting up a blockade.

“I bet it’s aliens,” Sam said.

“No such thing as aliens,” Dean said absently, the response reflexive and automatic even though he knew damn well that what he’d just said was a lie. It was the SGC’s party line. No such thing as aliens.

The anchorwoman spoke of how there were grainy satellite images of explosions in space. Dean sucked in a breath. He wasn’t quite sure, but one of them looked like a freakin’ Wraith Hive. Then there was an aerial view of the navy blockade, and Dean calculated the diameter of the blockaded area relative to the size of the boats, and - Atlantis. Was back on Earth.

“I think the North Koreans or the Russians tried to nuke us,” Dad said.

“In an unprecedented move,” the anchorwoman continued, “the Joint Chiefs have released a statement officially repealing what is commonly known as Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. LGBT rights advocates are pleased at this move toward equality in the military. Political opponents and other critics believe the repeal is an attempt to distract from the bigger picture, which is the massive mobilization of military forces in San Francisco Bay. We go to Kyle Bregman, live from San Francisco.”

Bregman had a microphone in hand and his curly hair ruffled in the wind. He talked about how the locals were curious, but had been rather forcefully rebuffed when they’d tried to approach to see what was behind the blockade - apparently nothing. Divers had also been rebuffed, since people were suspecting that the blockade was actually hiding something under the water.

The blockade was in the background. Bregman’s scripted statement cut off when a chopper approached from the direction of the blockade. Black-clad special ops men rappelled down from the chopper and began herding Bregman and his cameraman away from the end of the pier so the chopper could land.

Dean squinted, trying to figure out which model of chopper it was, and then two figures hopped out. Both wore Air Force flight suits.

“Zoom in, zoom in!” Bregman hissed.

The special-ops men, Dean realized, were also Air Force.

“What’s the Air Force doing with the Navy and Coast Guard?” Sam asked. He cast Dean a look.

“Don’t look at me,” Dean protested. “I’m still a cadet.”

Sam peered up at Dad. “What do you think?”

“I think whatever this is will be too big to cover up,” Dad murmured.

“I mean about repealing DADT,” Sam said.

“Oh.” Dad blinked. “Um, well, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I’m sure guys I served with were queer, even if I didn’t know. As long as they’re good soldiers, I -”

“What do you see?” Bregman asked.

“I’m seeing Major Lorne, USAF, and someone named O’Neill, but no rank,” the cameraman replied, voice muffled.

Dean blinked. Lorne? And O’Neill? Jonathan and Evan? Had Jonathan gone to Atlantis? Because the last time Dean had seen Lorne a few months ago, Lorne had no idea where Jonathan was.

Lorne was issuing orders to the special ops guys. They were commandeering the pier as a loading point to fly supplies out to the ships in the blockade so they could maintain it indefinitely, if needs be. Jonathan spotted the camera, swatted Lorne on the shoulder to get his attention, and Lorne made a beeline for the camera.

“Sirs, you need to evacuate this area immediately,” Lorne said.

“Why?” Bregman asked.

“Because traffic here is about to get heavy, and we can’t have you underfoot with the heavy equipment we’re bringing in,” Lorne said. “This pier is temporarily under the control of the United States Air Force.”

“Does this have to do with the blockade?” Bregman asked.

“No comment.”

“What is the military hiding?”

“No comment.”

Dean glanced at Sam. Sam’s eyes were narrowed. Did he recognize Lorne from that one time they’d met at the art festival in the park two and a half years ago?

“What do you think about the repeal of DADT?” Bregman pressed.

Lorne frowned. “What?”

“You hadn’t heard?” Bregman sounded gleeful.

“You need to leave now,” Lorne said, “or my men will escort you off the premises. Your choice.”

Jonathan sauntered over, took off his shades, and Dad made a strangled noise.

“Jonathan?”

“Looks like,” Sam said, expression still thoughtful.

“What’s the problem, Major?”

“Nothing, Doc,” Lorne said easily, the way he called every scientist ‘doc’, and it was Dean’s turn to blink.

“I always knew he was smarter than just a GED,” Dad muttered.

“Want me to call the guys over? Because -”

Bregman thrust his microphone in Jonathan’s face. “What do you think of the repeal of DADT?”

Jonathan’s eyebrows went up. “I hadn’t heard of it. Had you, Major?”

“News to me, Doc. This guy’s stalling, though. Sir, you have to leave now. And shut off that camera.”

“The people have a right to know,” Bregman insisted.

“No, they don’t,” Jonathan said easily. “Are you just yanking our chains, though? Did they really repeal DADT?”

Bregman handed Jonathan his smart phone. Jonathan stared at the screen for a moment, then handed it back. He fished in one of the pockets of his flight suit and found his own smart phone.

“Finally,” he said, “I actually get service.”

Lorne rolled his eyes. “Lucky you.” He glanced over his shoulder, beckoned, and two of the special ops guys trotted toward him.

“Sir?” one of them asked.

“Escort these two gentlemen off of the premises. Confiscate their footage while you’re at it,” Lorne said.

Bregman yelped. “Hey! You can’t do that!”

The camera footage went shaky as the cameraman struggled with one of the special ops guys.

“Check it out,” Jonathan said, showing his phone to Lorne, “guy wasn’t kidding. They really repealed it.”

Lorne stared at Jonathan’s phone. “Huh.”

Jonathan tucked his phone away. “You know what this means, right?”

Lorne blinked. “What?”

Jonathan grabbed Lorne and dipped him for a long, enthusiastic kiss.

Dad yelped and clapped a hand over Sam’s eyes. Sam swatted it away.

“It’s not porn, Dad.”

“Dean,” Dad said, “did you know Jonathan -?”

“Yeah.”

“Did he ever -? With you?”

Dean rolled his eyes. “No, Dad. No, it’s been Major Lorne since the beginning for him.”

“I wondered who Jonathan was sending love letters to,” Sam said. “I guess it makes sense, now. Why they were all coded. I knew they were probably for another man, but I didn’t think it would be someone that much older.”

Dean stared at him. “Love letters? What love letters?”

“After Jonathan went away, he sent me coded love letters to send to someone at an Air Force base.” Sam smiled. “I guess they won’t have to send coded love letters any more.”

Dean tilted his head. “Kinda looks like that V-day Kiss picture, huh? I never realized Lorne was so short.”

A wolf-whistle made Lorne and Jonathan break apart.

“Now is seriously not the time,” Lorne said, attempting to look stern, but he was smiling a little dopily at Jonathan. Then he cleared his throat, barked orders at the special ops guys, who scrambled to obey him.

One of them clapped Jonathan on the shoulder, though, and said, “Nice catch, Doc.”

And the camera feed went dead. It cut back to the woman in the news studio, but Dean ignored it.

Dad turned to Dean. “You know that Major Lorne character?”

“He was one of my mentors when I did my summer internship with Deep Space Telemetry,” Dean said. “And no, before you ask, he never hit on me. He had a broken leg and was cranky, remember?”

“It’s not really deep space telemetry, is it?” Sam cast Dean a look.

“Sorry, buddy, that’s classified.”

It didn’t stay classified for long, though. The Stargate Program was declassified, with the barest details, over the next week, again probably a distraction while the SGC figured out what to do about Atlantis, which was currently being described as a classified space-capable battlecruiser project. Ash, Lynette, and Lara all called to warn him: all the deep space telemetry cadets were being immediately recalled to the Academy and put under lockdown until further notice. They’d still sit for their exams.

Dean was so, so glad Jonathan was all right, but how he’d gone from wherever he was to being posted alongside Lorne, Dean had no clue, and he still had questions. He finally thought, though, that he’d be able to get some answers.