Prompt Used: coming out to team or family
Warnings: Bit of coarse language, extreme fluffiness
Length: ~2300 words
Summary: Cam heads home to introduce John to his parents.
A/N: I haven't written any Stargate fic for a long time, so I hope this turned out okay.
Cameron Mitchell knows it’s unreasonable to be so nervous about this. He has experienced so many worse things - survived a plane crash and the resulting injuries, battled with countless creatures and peoples from other worlds, had his mind screwed with via memory injection, and yet still the sweat on his palms now makes it hard to grip the steering wheel properly. Despite how much danger he might face from his job everyday, the idea that he is now on his way home to tell his parents that he is bisexual and introduce them to his boyfriend is anything but a pleasant one.
To be completely honest, he doesn’t know how they’re going to react. His mom and dad have always told him that they accept and love him no matter what, but of course they never expected it to come to this. He thinks of his grandma and how religious she was, and however much he misses her, a tiny part of him is glad she’s gone now and won’t have to deal with this.
Cam nervously fingers his cell phone lying the seat beside him and mentally goes over the plan for the thousandth time. He will arrive at his parents’ house, meet and greet and allow his mom to fawn over him like she always does when he visits, then he’ll sit them down and spill the news. If they take it well, John will be along after an hour or so, and Cam will introduce them, and hopefully they’ll all get along and have a good evening together. If things go south, he’ll hightail it out of there and call John, tell him to meet back at their motel room so they can drown their sorrows with the beer John had stocked the fridge with last night.
As he rounds the corner and his childhood home comes into view, Cam takes a deep breath in an attempt to steady himself. He rolls into the driveway, parks the car, and gets out. He hasn’t even made it to the porch before the front door swings open and his mother appears, all smiles. “Cameron, I’m so glad you’re here!” He jogs up to meet her and gives her a hug, fervently hoping it won’t be the last. “Come in, come in,” she says, ushering him inside. “I just took an apple pie out of the oven.”
Cam smiles as he steps into the kitchen and catches the strong scent of cinnamon and apples. He’s instantly back in his childhood, having smelled it so many times, and it makes him think home.
“Welcome home, son. It‘s been awhile.”
He turns to see his father in the opposite door, smiling at him. “Sorry, Dad; I’ve been busy.”
“The Air Force will do that.” The older man rolls his wheelchair forward to take a spot at the table and accepts a piece of pie from his wife.
“Tell us what you’ve been up to, Cameron,” she says, returning with dessert for herself and her son.
Cam sits, unsure if he can eat anything with his stomach turning so nervously. “Well, nothing special really. A lot of routine stuff. Drafting reports, mostly, and I’ve been helping with some cadet training.” These half truths are as close as he can tell them, but as always there’s that niggling background fear that they’ll see through his façade and ask what he’s really doing. Before they can, he moves on and says, “What about you guys? Been doing anything exciting?”
“Not really,” his mother answers as she savors a bite of her pie. “Your brother and his fiancée were over to visit the other day. I still think the engagement was a bit fast, but she seems like a nice girl.”
“Speaking of which, Cam, when are you going to meet some pretty young thing and bring her home to meet us?” his father asks.
It feels like the amount of acid in his stomach has suddenly doubled. This is his opening; there won’t ever be a better time to say this. “Actually,” Cam begins, praying he doesn’t sound as anxious as he feels, “that’s what I came to talk to you about.”
A slow, sly smile spreads across his mothers face. “Is that right? Oh, Cameron, so you have met someone! I’m so happy for you. You have to tell us all about her.”
“Who is she, son?” his father adds.
Cam looks down at his plate, stabs distractedly at his dessert. Then he forces himself to look up, because, damn it, he’s a military man and he can handle coming out to his own family.
He forces himself to say the words calmly. “Actually, there is no she.”
His mother’s look slides into a confused frown. “But you said-”
Here it goes, now or never. “It’s not a woman. It’s a man.” He barrels on before they can interrupt. “Mom, Dad, I’m bisexual, and I’m dating a man.”
His big secret finally out in the open, Cam waits for his parents’ reactions. Now is the moment of truth. He’ll learn how they feel, have them either accept or reject him. He holds his breath.
For several moments there are blank looks, then his mom and dad turn to look at each other, exchanging a silent conversation. After what seems like half a lifetime, his father speaks gruffly.
“Have you always been attracted to men, Cameron?”
“It’s been a while now,” he answers, feeling a little better. A recrimination hadn’t been the first thing said, and he had expected questions even with a positive reaction. “This is the first time I’ve acted on it.” He notices his mother’s pale face and feels butterflies in his stomach again. “Mom?”
“This is…a surprise, sweetheart,” she says haltingly. “Are you sure it’s what you want?”
He hadn’t expected that question. “What do you mean?”
“Living this kind of lifestyle is hard, son,” his father answers. “There are going to be people who don’t understand, who can’t accept it, especially in the military.”
Cam hardly dares to believe his ears. “And you’re not one of them?” He lets out a nervous little laugh that sounds stupid even to his own ears. “You two aren’t going to disown me or anything?”
“Cameron!” his mothers cries, looking absolutely appalled. “How could you even think something like that? You know that your dad and I love you no matter what. We would never turn our backs on you because of who you love in turn.”
“Dad?” He wants to hear it from his father, too.
“Your mother is right. I may not have chosen such a life for you, and I may find it a little shocking and take some time getting used to the idea, but you’ll always be my son. You have my blessing.”
“So, um, tell us about him, then?” Cam’s mother suggests.
Feeling lightheaded with relief, he says, “His name is John Sheppard. He’s a pilot stationed at McMurdo; I met him on a mission about four months ago, and we just got along really well. We have a lot in common.”
“Do you love him?”
Cam would have expected to hear this come out of his mom’s mouth, so frankly, he’s shocked to hear the man sitting across from him speak the question. He thinks about it for a moment. He pictures John’s smile, the way they can talk for hours on end, how just being in the same room with him brightens Cam’s spirits. He smiles and answers, “Yeah. Yeah, I do.”
His parents look pleased. “That’s all that really matters, honey,” his mother says gently. “If the two of you are happy together, you shouldn’t let any else, even us, discourage you.”
Cam tells himself that there’s something in his eye, because he’s not getting teary from that little speech. “Thanks, Mom; that means a lot.”
“So when do we get to meet him?” Cam’s father asks. “Even if you think he’s the cat’s meow, I still want to check this guy out for myself, make sure he’s right for my boy.”
A grin stretches across Cam’s face. “Actually, he’s on leave now, and I told him to stop by today so he could meet you, if you wanted.”
“Of course we do,” his mother says. “When is he going to be here?”
There is a buzz from the doorbell, and Cam’s smile turns sheepish. “Now?” His mom laughs as he stands up. “I’ll get it.”
“Sit down, Cameron,” he father says as he backs away from the table, a mischievous glint in his eye. “I’ll handle it.”
Cam sits back down and watches his father disappear into the front hall. “Be nice to him, Dad!” he calls after him.
“Don’t worry, Cameron. He just wants to have some fun with him. If your boyfriend can handle you, I’m sure he can handle your dad.”
Cam can’t hear the conversation that takes place in the hall, but when his dad returns with John in tow, his partner looks as nervous as he was when he arrived. When he sees Cam, though, his face calms somewhat. “Hey, Cam.”
“Hey, John, thought you’d never get here,” he teases, and John sticks his tongue out at him.
Laughing, Cam’s mom approaches. “So you’re John.”
“Yes, ma’am.” John shakes her hand politely. “And you must be Mrs. Mitchell.”
“That’s right. Now, would you like some pie, dear? It just came out of the oven.”
“That would be amazing. Thank you.”
John sits down in the empty seat next to Cam and looks at him a bit anxiously. Cam reaches over to squeeze his hand under the table and smiles back in a way that plainly says what he’s known since his parents’ first reaction to his news: Don’t worry. They’re going to like you.
“So, John, Cameron tells us you’re stationed at McMurdo. What exactly do you do?” Cam’s father asks.
John gives his partner a quick glance before catching on. “Yes, sir. I mostly fly recon and observation, sometimes resupply runs.”
“How can you stand the cold all the time?” Cam’s mother asks as she sets a plate of pie and a fork in front of John before returning to her seat. “It must be dreadful.”
“Actually, I like it,” John says, not missing a beat. “There’s nothing like crisp, clean Antarctic air to wake you up in the morning. Makes me feel alive.” He takes a bite of his dessert, and Cam smiles as his face lights up like a little kid. “This is delicious, Mrs. Mitchell,” he says through the mouthful.
Cam’s mom giggles as she answers, “Thank you, John. You’re so sweet.”
“I have another question for you, boy,” Cam’s father says.
“Answer me this: How exactly do you feel about my son?”
It seems like everyone in the room is holding their breath as John swallows his latest bite of dessert and thinks for a moment. “Well, Mr. Mitchell, to be honest, I can’t really put it into words. Cam makes me happy. He’s like my other half; I’ve never felt this way with anyone before. I don’t know what I’d do without him. You could say that I love him.”
Despite his parents being in the room, Cam can’t help but lean over and kiss John right then and there. It’s those words said to his father; he tells himself he’s getting mushy and sentimental in his old age. When he pulls back, he sees that his parents are smiling, both pleased with John’s answer and Cam’s response.
* * *
The rest of the evening goes swimmingly. John and Cam’s parents get along perfectly, and John and his father spend hours swapping war stories and lists of planes flown and not flown. Cam sits back and watches them, happier than he can remember being in a long time. It feels good to finally have his relationship with John out in the open and these two important parts of his life united.
When it’s finally time to leave, the four of them gather by the door swapping hugs and handshakes. “I’m so happy for the both of you,” Cam’s mother says as she hugs he and John. “Promise me you’ll come visit again soon.”
“We will,” Cam says as he turns to open the door.
“Just one minute,” his father says. “You can go, but I need to talk to John. Alone.”
Cam notes the flash of panic across John’s face, just as quickly hidden, playing harmony to the confusion on his own. “Uh, sure. I’ll wait outside.”
He closes the door behind him and walks out to lean on the hood of his car, wondering what his dad could possibly be saying to John that he wouldn’t want him to hear. Long moments pass, and finally the door opens. John steps out, waving goodbye to Cam’s parents before closing the door behind him, then walks over to join Cam.
“What did he say to you?” Cam demands.
John is silent as he walks over to open the door of his truck. He’s grinning, though, so it couldn’t have been anything too bad. “It’s a secret.”
Cam pushes the door closed and pins his partner against it, hands braced on either side of his head. “John Sheppard, don’t you dare do this to me. I’m dying with curiosity here.”
John wraps his arms around Cam’s waist and shows that infectious grin of his. “He told me to look out for you, and promise to do everything I could to take care of you and make you happy. Otherwise he’d come after me.” He laughs. “I told him I would.”
“What you said in there,” Cam asks, reminded of it now, “that…wasn’t just for them? That’s how you really feel?”
“Sure. I love you, Cam, you know that. I’d do anything for you.”
Cam feels a wave of feeling for the man before him rush through him and leans in to kiss John deeply. The other man sighs into the touch, moving his hands to his partner’s shoulders to pull him closer.
“Now that we’ve survived this,” John says when they pull apart for air, “what do you say we go back to the motel, have a few drinks, and finish what we’ve started here?” He winks lasciviously.
“Oh, hell yeah!” Cam agrees as he throws himself toward his car.