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Title: Interview
Author: [livejournal.com profile] bethynyc
Characters: Evan Lorne/Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1990
Notes: This is somewhat linked to my Lorne/Wesley story In The Library, but you don't need to read that to understand this story. Written for [livejournal.com profile] slashing_lorne, 12 Days of Lorne
Summary: Lorne gets to interview potential Atlantis personnel. He meets someone who is vaguely familiar.
Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Sandman are all owned by their respective copyright holders, and no infringement is intended.
Beta: The ever-wonderful [livejournal.com profile] malinaldarose



Lt. Colonel Evan Lorne looked over the files of the potential candidates for Atlantis, which was a colony now, at least in the eyes of the governments of Earth. To the people of Pegasus, she was a beacon of hope and progress throughout their galaxy. Lorne was proud to have been a part of that growth over the last six years, despite all of the problems that came with change.

But now they needed more people, and a wider scope of people who could work with the varied cultures of Pegasus and bring their own expertise to a galaxy eager to move past the horrors of the Wraith. They needed more than just one-trick ponies; they needed flexible minds with broad scopes of knowledge.

The first few applicant files for were pretty standard. Recruited from across the world, they were uniformly boring in their widespread jobs and interests. Graduated from (insert Ivy or other prestigious university,) worked three years for (insert NGO or non-profit) in (insert third world country or under-served population) (teaching/digging wells/healing the sick/etc.) Moved to (large city) and went to graduate school for (PhD/MD/MFA) in (insert scientific or creative endeavor). Now looking for a new challenge. All the same—invariably bright, kind, motivated, and boring. Pegasus would eat them alive.

This one, though, was different. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, former member of the Council of Watchers, then a private detective specializing in “unique” situations, then head of a department at the Los Angeles Branch of Wolfram and Hart. Some years blank on the c.v., then short term consulting positions with MI5, UNIT, and Torchwood. Something about the name seemed familiar, but Evan couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

He called in the sergeant. “Pass these potentials on to Zelenka and Jackson, see if they can use any of them. This one, though, I’d like to interview him personally.”

The sergeant nodded, and exited with the files. In a minute, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce walked in. He was taller than Lorne, probably at least as tall as Sheppard. His medium brown hair was shot through with grey, and his blue eyes had seen too much. Lorne knew that look; he saw it every morning in the mirror. Here was someone he could work with, if he passed the tests.

When Wyndam-Pryce entered, he scanned the room in an instant and chose a chair that would allow him to see both the door and Lorne. He sat with the habitual hitch of someone who has hidden weaponry, and Lorne was willing to bet that there was some kind of weapon on him that made it through the very thorough screening. The last person to get something through was Ronon.

“Your resume was very interesting, Mr. Pryce. May I ask about how you heard about the Atlantis project?”

The corner of Pryce’s mouth twitched very slightly. “A number of places. Torchwood thought I’d work out with the Stargate project, and UNIT thought the same. They supposedly put letters of recommendation in my file.” His accent was definitely British, and again Lorne got a sense of something he had once known and forgotten.

He returned the wry look. “Yes, the one from Torchwood was scrawled on the back of a pizza delivery receipt and said 'Hire him, you won't regret it.' and the one from UNIT was much more professional looking, but essentially said the same thing.”

“Is that a problem, Colonel Lorne?”

Lorne cocked his head thoughtfully. “Not really. The fact that you have experience with several different secret organizations—or at least secretive organizations—is a plus in my book. It means you're probably used to dealing with the strange and unusual.”

“I am at that,” acknowledged Pryce.

Lorne pulled out the c.v. again and glanced over it before meeting Pryce's gaze. “So. What happened in the blank spot from 2004 to 2007?”

Pryce shifted in his chair a little bit. “I was dead.”

“Dead?”

“Dead.” He shrugged. “Well, mostly dead, I suppose. I did come back. How I got from Los Angeles to Wales is a mystery to me, but still. Dead.”

Lorne flipped the file shut. “Okay.”

“Okay?” Pryce looked confused.

“We get a lot of guys back from the dead around here. It's the falling into alternate universes that gives me the creeps.” He stood and stretched a little. “Let's go check out the shooting range.”

~*~*~*~

Pryce proved to be proficient with most firearms, though he did have a little trouble with the grenade launcher. By the end of the shooting session, they were Evan and Wes and put off the hand to hand combat (weaponless, knives, and improvised weaponry) until the next day.

~*~*~*~

That night, Evan had the library dream again. He hadn't had it in a long time, since those lonely days out on the edge of Pegasus with a bunch of crazy scientists and even crazier Marines.

He walked through the stacks slowly, tracing his fingers along the spines. He wasn't looking at the books; instead, he was looking for a very special set of double doors. And there they were—just past the trio of comfortable chairs set in a semicircle. The gangly, white-haired librarian was perched on a high stool next to an even higher desk, making notations in a book with a quill. As Evan passed him, the librarian spoke, without looking up, “He's been waiting.”

Evan opened the huge double doors of dark oak and stepped out onto one of his favorite balconies on Atlantis. The sun was just beginning to set, touching everything with a golden glow. A man stood at the far end of the balcony, looking out over the ocean, and the light shone around him like a halo.

“Wesley,” Evan breathed. The man turned, and it was his Wesley, young and whole and smiling. He held out his arms, and Evan walked into him, holding him tight. “You weren't here. I looked for you.”

Wesley sighed. “I'm sorry.”

“I missed you.”

“I missed you.”

Evan bit back the 'what happened?' that threatened to spill from his mouth. Instead, he smiled. “Just glad to see you.” He cupped Wesley's head in his hands and pulled him down for a kiss. “I never knew I could miss a dream,” he whispered, and kissed him again.

When the kiss ended, Wesley dropped his head onto Evan's shoulder and sighed. “You still smell of the ocean.”

Evan had to smile a little at that. “Which is strange, because I'm in Colorado.”

Wesley's head snapped up, and his intense gaze bore into Evan's face. “Where?”

“Colorado Springs. I...Wesley, what's wrong?”

“What's your name, your last name?” Wesley gripped Evan's shoulders tightly, a desperate expression on his face. “Please, Evan, I need to know!”

From far away, Evan heard the warning beep of his alarm. “Lorne, Evan Lorne! US Air...”

Everything dissolved around him, Wesley, the balcony, the ocean all dissipating into blackness.

~*~*~*~

“Force!” Evan sat up in the darkness of his bedroom. His alarm was beeping insistently. “Whoa. That was weird.”

Ever since the sleepwalking incident, Lorne had kept a voice activated recorder near his bed. He fumbled for it and tried to remember everything. “I had the library dream again for the first time in years. Wesley was there. He looked so happy, and I was happy to see him. I've missed him, even though it was a dream.” He paused for a moment. “Okay. First I walked through the stacks, then through the doors onto the West Balcony in Atlantis. The sun was setting, and Wesley was there. We kissed, and he asked me my name. I told him, and then I woke up.” He breathed deeply. “I know there was more. I just wish I could remember it.”

With that, he turned on the lights and dressed for his morning run.

~*~*~*~

His first appointment of the morning was hand to hand testing with Pryce. He'd managed to put the dream out of his mind, but when he entered the nearly empty training room to see Wes standing to one side, looking at the weapons rack, a surge of deja vu swept through him.

Wes turned around, and the look on his face was so despairing and familiar that Lorne blinked a few times in surprise. “Evan,” Wes breathed, and the way he said Lorne's first name threw him back into the memory of the dream. “Please tell me you're real.”

Evan stepped towards him. “I'm real. I think I am.”

“I'm not dreaming?” Wes's voice held a tinge of hope.

Evan shook his head and pinched himself. “No, don't think so.”

Wes closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Evan moved a little closer; something about the way Wes held himself was tantalizingly familiar. He could almost touch it.

When Wes opened his eyes, the clear blue of them stunned Evan. He knew those eyes. “Evan, I need to ask you a question, and please, answer it honestly.”

“All right.” Two more steps, and they were an arm's length from each other.

“Evan. Have you ever dreamed of being in a library, a library filled with books that have never been written, with double doors that opened onto a balcony containing the most amazing view of the ocean and a city?”

Realization slammed through Evan's mind. “Wesley? You're real?

A genuine smile spread over Wesley's face. It was Wesley, his Wesley, his dream lover for so long before disappearing from his dreams. “I am. And you, you're real too.”

“I told you I was.” Evan stepped forward, and now he could see his dream love in the real man. “You look older.”

If anything, Wesley's smile grew wider. He reached forward, brushing part of Evan's bangs where he knew there was a streak of grey coming in. “So do you,” he said, ever so gently. “Is this unwelcome?” Wesley asked as his hand drifted down to Evan's face.

“Not at all.” Evan relaxed into the touch, before a thought occurred to him. “Though perhaps we should talk in my office. A little more privately?” Just then the sound of a squad of Marines quick marching through the hall sounded through the walls of the training room, and Wesley dropped his hand with a nod.

~*~*~*~

In Evan's office, borrowed from a fellow officer who was on a long term off world assignment, they held each other. “I can't believe this is real,” Wesley murmured into Evan's hair. “When I woke up this morning, I thought maybe. But how can you be real?”

“The bigger question is how did we dream each other?” Evan asked. “Psychic connection? Alien influence?”

“Something supernatural perhaps?” They grinned at each other; it was an old argument from their dream meetings.

“I'm, I'm sorry, I have to....” Evan ran his hands over Wesley's face and pulled him close. The kiss—their first non-dream kiss—was awkward and a little sloppy, but they adjusted quickly. When it drew to a close, they rested their heads together.

“So glad you're real,” said Evan, running his hands along Wesley's shoulders. “This is better than dreaming.”

“You do realize,” said Wesley, “That we don't actually know each other.” They both laughed a little at that fact.

Evan stepped back to look into Wesley's face. “Will you take the job in Atlantis? We can get to know each other there, and I can show you that balcony.”

“Yes,” said Wesley. “A new start with you.”

~*~*~*~

Off in the library of the Dream-King, a tall librarian with white hair smiled to himself and closed the book.

Date: 2012-12-16 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clwilson2006.livejournal.com
oh how wonderful.

I hadn't read the first one either - they're both superb.

is there fic of Wesley at Torchwood? because that would also be awesome!

Thank you for sharing and taking part in the Lorne fest :-)

Date: 2012-12-16 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bethynyc.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I don't know if there is a Wesley at Torchwood fic, but the concept is so tempting! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the story--I enjoyed writing it!

Date: 2012-12-17 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rinkafic.livejournal.com
*LOVE*
Awesome story, I lol'd at the pizza box note and references to UNIT and TW. Great concept!

Date: 2012-12-17 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bethynyc.livejournal.com
Thank you for commenting! So glad you enjoyed it! I had fun thinking of all the places Wesley might have worked!

Date: 2012-12-17 11:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bethynyc.livejournal.com
You know I couldn't let Wesley stay dead forever!

Date: 2012-12-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eriah211.livejournal.com
Great story, I love the Dream Library idea ^_^
LOL at the letter of recommendation from Torchwood!

Date: 2012-12-31 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bethynyc.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! The dream library is actually from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series of graphic novels--definitely worth checking out!

Date: 2012-12-29 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fanficfan123.livejournal.com
Went back to catch up with the Library story first and then enjoyed both.

Date: 2012-12-31 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bethynyc.livejournal.com
Thank you! So glad that you enjoyed them!

Date: 2013-01-04 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fanficfan123.livejournal.com
You're very welcome.

Date: 2013-02-19 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dine48.livejournal.com
A wonderful treat that I managed to discipline myself not to read until I completed my project then rewarded myself to read, and not to post any comment till at least 2 weeks after first reading it so that I won't be gushing. The latter did not seem to work as I re-read what I wrote below.

Thank you so much for writing the sequel to "In the Library", which for those who have not read it, please do yourself a favour, it is a beautifully written, non-sappy, not contrived love story of 2 very similar yet dis-similar men. Not an easy feat, but bethynyc managed anyway.

Sorry, I digress. Now that you have given us part 2, which is another brilliant piece, any chance for a third? Now that they know the other not only exist, but also within reach? Especially for Wes, the sad story of his life is he keeps trying but nothing he wants seems within reach or just barely out of reach.

Thank you for writing Wes again, even though it was a more Lorne-driven project I gather.
If you don't already know, I LOVE your Wes...actually having probably read all your Atvs based fics, I love everything you have written...Anything from the School!verse possibly? Well, anything Wes...
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