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Title: P3X-279 aka Blizzard Planet
Rating: PG
Pairings: Lorne/Zelenka
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Spoilers: n/a
Warnings: offstage death mentioned
Word Count: 1952
Summary: Evan Lorne and Radek Zelenka are not together anymore. So what happens when they are stuck in a Puddlejumper on a planet that is having the biggest blizzard ever?
Beta: [ profile] malinaldarose who is forever awesome
Author’s Note: Written for the Snowed In square for Trope Bingo

“Sir, I would like to protest this assignment.”

“Denied. Now get in that jumper, Lorne.”


“Denied, soldier.” Colonel Sheppard, now a full colonel and base commander of the Atlantis Colony glared at Lt. Col/ Lorne. “You are going to fly Scientist Zelenka to P3X-279, assist him in judging the planet for suitability as a Beta site, and return in a week. Do you understand?”

“Sir, yes sir!” Lorne snapped to attention and turned on his heel to exit the office.


Zelenka was already in the puddlejumper, muttering in Czech over his computer. He didn’t look up when Lorne settled in the pilot’s seat, nor when he went through the pre-flight checklist. He didn’t flinch when the marines strapped two crates of supplies in the back.

Lorne thought two crates was a bit much for only a week on a habitable planet—sadly decimated by the Asurans—but he supposed that at least one crate was scientific equipment for Dr. Zelenka.

“Jumper Three, ready for takeoff.”

“Jumper Three, you are cleared to go.” Lorne guided the jumper to the ‘Gate, and Dr. Zelenka punched in the coordinates. The whoosh of the Stargate thrilled him just a bit, as it did every time he went through.

In moments, they were soaring over a once thriving valley. Now the stone houses were piles of rubble, the trees blackened from fire, and the fields mere bare patches of earth.

Lorne checked the Jumper’s life signs detector. “Not much, a few things that might be animals, but they are all pretty far away.”

“A planetary scan,” said Dr. Zelenka curtly. “That will give us more information.”

“Sure you don’t want to…”

“Planetary scan now.” With that, Dr. Zelenka went back to his computer.

Lorne sighed. Things had been wrong between them ever since they returned from leave on Earth. They had planned to spend two weeks in their respective hometowns of San Francisco and Prague, and then two weeks traveling around Italy and France. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and when they returned Radek moved out of their shared quarters and into his old ones. The scientific staff treated Lorne with scrupulously polite coldness, and he just couldn't take it any more.

Obviously, he had been an idiot. He just didn’t know how. Apparently everyone else, including Sheppard, knew what he did, and this was going to be his chance to set things right.

If only he knew what he had done…

“Planetary scan, coming up.” He lifted the nose of the jumper to the sky and rose above the ominous cloud cover.

The planet had only one large continent with a spray of archipelagos bracketing it on either side. The people who used to live there—the Manni, Lorne reminded himself—were great fishermen, and mostly traded fish for anything they could not make for themselves. They did grow some crops and raised animals similar to goats, but the primary industry was fishing.

Until the Asurans came. The scans showed plenty of life in the oceans, and a lower population of land animals, but no humans.

“I’m kind of surprised that the Asurans didn’t destroy the Gate.” Lorne muttered to himself.

“They probably planned to use the planet for themselves,” commented Zelenka.

Lorne whipped his head around to stare. “That’s the first time you’ve spoken to me since…”

Zelenka’s eyes turned stony. “Don’t remind me.”

“Of what? Seriously, I have no idea what I did!” Lorne pleaded with his former boyfriend. “You know how I feel about you.”

Radek’s lips thinned. “Apparently not.” With that, he left his seat and went to the rear of the jumper, closing the door.

Lorne blew his breath out and concentrated on his instruments. One beeped a warning—the meteorology scanners. Lorne swore and pushed the jumper to the limit to return to the sheltered valley.

Zelenka burst through the back door, swearing indecipherably. “What are you doing?”

“Big snowstorm brewing, Doc. We have to get down and solid before it hits, and we don’t have a lot of time.”

Zelenka threw himself into the passenger seat and swore at the meteorology charts on the computer. “Not just any storm. Blizzard, with high winds and heavy snow.”

“I’ll get ‘er down. You watch the weather.” Lorne gritted his teeth as they slipped into the valley. There was a small clearing, a sheltered hollow, that he remembered from the original quick survey. The trees were sturdy enough—he hoped—to stand up against the wind and the weather.

They landed, and Lorne had just enough time to mentally order the clamps to lock into the ground before the storm hit.

The wind shrieked through the trees, blowing the snow sideways. The inertial dampeners kept the Jumper from moving, but Lorne was still worried about trees. “Doc, we’re pretty well sheltered here, but what about using the shields in case a tree comes down?”

“We cannot leave the shields up for a week.”

“A week?

“That is how long the storm is projected to last.” Dr. Zelenka closed his laptop with a snap. “We’re stuck.”

Lorne sat back in the pilot’s seat and ran his hands through his hair. “A week?”

Zelenka eyed him. “I will send a databurst to Atlantis.” He collected his laptop and second datapad and went into the back section of the Jumper.

Lorne stared at his reflection in the window. He didn’t think he could last a week with Zelenka not talking to him.


They made up a schedule of cooking, sleeping, and reading the instruments. The first day both of them were anxious enough about the storm to be completely professional, Unfortunately, the second day Zelenka was testy and muttered in Czech under his breath every time Lorne did something he didn’t approve of.

After a strained lunch, Lorne stood. “I’m going to take a nap. Let me know when you’re ready to stop making passive aggressive comments I can’t understand.”

I’m passive aggressive?” Zelenka made a frustrated noise and dissolved into Czech again. Lorne just shook his head and headed to the rear section. They had divided it in half, with the sleeping area closest to the rear hatch and the rest of the housekeeping closer to the cockpit.

Evan stripped out of his uniform and curled up in his sleeping bag. It was only day two, and he wasn’t sure whether or not he would kill Radek, or if Radek would kill him first.


He dreamed.

He and Radek had fallen in together naturally, being the seconds to the Military and Science departments of Atlantis. They hadn’t gotten together until after a ritual friendship ceremony with another alien civilization involving the Pegasus version of a sauna and a ceremonial drink that ended up being roofies. Evan admitted his attraction, Radek did the same, and since DADT and DOMA had gone by the wayside some years back, they dated and in three months were sharing quarters.

He loved Radek. He hadn’t told him, but thought it was clear.

They had been together for a year and were on leave in San Francisco, seeing the sights and enjoying everything the city had to offer. After a blustery morning at Golden Gate Park, they stopped in a little coffee shop for some lunch. They lingered over coffee and the conversation meandered.

“So. This is your home city?” asked Radek, a smile curving at the corner of his mouth. “What next?”

Evan rubbed the back of his neck with one hand, trying to think of the best way to phrase his dilemma. “I have some…family things…to do. Kind of on my own.”

Radek’s smile disappeared. “So I will not meet your family?” he said quietly.

“No.” He took a breath to explain, but Radek stood suddenly, face a blank mask.

“Excuse, I have…a conference. Rodney invited me. In Stockholm. I should go early, keep him from destroying the physics community.” He tossed some bills on the table. “That should cover me.”

Evan stared at him in confusion. “You didn’t mention the conference.”

Radek shrugged. “Just remembered.”

“Okay,” replied Evan. “Then we can meet up in Europe…?”

“No.” Radek cut in. “I have no time. Will see you back on Atlantis.” With a curt nod, he left, leaving a very confused Evan Lorne in his wake.

When Evan got back to Atlantis, Radek had already moved out.


Evan woke with a gasp, blinking rapidly. He sometimes suspected some of the Ancient technology of possessing a certain level of sentience, and he was no stranger to vivid dreams while sleeping in the Jumper, or even in Atlantis herself. Usually the dreams revealed something he was hiding from himself, or gently suggested a course of action. He didn’t always act on these dreams, but when he did, the results were generally good.

He needed to tell Radek everything.

The hum of the Jumper told him that Radek had turned on the shield, which should help melt the snow that was rapidly drifting against the small ship. Hopefully, that would keep them from being buried completely. It wouldn’t be impossible, but Lorne preferred to avoid that difficulty.

Radek was in the cockpit, watching the snow melt off the window and sipping his mug of coffee. There was hot water in the kettle—a blessing, since Radek could have emptied it—and Evan mixed up some instant coffee. He sat in the pilot’s seat and stared at the window, collecting his thoughts.

“I never told you about my parents, did I?” Evan began in a calm, conversational tone.

Radek murmured something Evan couldn’t quite hear, but he took it as a negative.

“I grew up in San Francisco, normal childhood for an only child, a little heavy on the arts, but still. When I went into the Air Force, my folks were scared for me, but they were supportive, and always encouraged my painting. When I was in my third year at the Air Force Academy, there was an accident.”

Evan glanced up at the window from his coffee cup, to see Radek’s reflection staring back at him. “A gas leak. No explosion, they just died in their sleep. I had to take a semester off, sell the house, store everything. You come from a big family, but we…my grandparents were gone, and I don’t have any aunts or uncles or cousins.” He took a gulp of his coffee, feeling the burn loosening the tightness in his throat.

“So when I said I was going to see my parents, I was going to the cemetery. And I’ve never brought anyone to the cemetery.” Evan bit his lip and blinked quickly.

Radek was at his side. “Evan, I’m so…I didn’t know.”

“How could you? It isn’t like I go around telling everyone.”

“I should have understood.” Evan could hear the guilt in Radek’s voice, and pulled him close.

“No. I should have told you. I need to tell you things. It’s just hard, because I’m not used to it. Never had anyone to tell.”

Radek wrapped his arms around Evan. “We both need to learn that. To talk. It hurt so much, because I was falling in love with you.”

Evan looked into Radek’s kind eyes. “Really? Me too. It was growing into more than just companionship.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“I’m sorry too. Will you move back? And the next time we’re on leave, I can bring you…to the place.”

“Yes. Yes, of course.”

At that moment, Evan was very glad that they were stuck in a blizzard for the rest of the week.
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