I do not own the Buffy verse or the Stargate verse. That’s Joss Whedon and MGM.Author’s Note:
Formerly of Bits and Pieces.
Major Lorne flinched at the laughter he could hear through the door, glancing out of the corner of his eye at his CO. Sheppard’s jaw was clenched and he had guilt written across his face.
Lorne sighed. He hated doing this. He especially hated doing this today of all days. But as the two people at the head of command of Atlantis’s battalion, they couldn’t spare more than three days Earthside. Being the bearer of bad news on Christmas Eve sucked, though.
Finally, after three minutes of standing out in the chilly Cleveland evening air, Lorne knocked on the door and just managed to shift back beside Sheppard before the door was yanked open. The girl standing in the doorway was glowing
with good humor. Lorne wanted to turn away, to just leave
. He didn’t want to ruin this girl’s Christmas. But he stayed because she and the others in the house had a right to know.
Dawn kept smiling brightly at the solemn men. “Happy Yule! Are you here for a donation?”
“Ma’am, we need to speak to the head of the household, please?” Lorne asked courteously.
Her smile faded a bit. She waved her arm, indicating they should come in as she said, “He’s on the other side of the room and it’s cold out there.”
Lorne followed his CO and watched as the girl slowly progressed across a room full of celebrating girls, men and women. Either they noticed his and Sheppard’s dress blues or they picked up on the girl’s body language because the room got quieter the farther in she got. She finally reached the oldest gentleman in the room and leaned in to whisper in his ear.
The gentleman pushed out of his chair and moved swiftly towards Lorne and Sheppard. “How may I help you this Eve, gentlemen?”
For the first time, Sheppard spoke. “I’m sorry to inform you that three days ago, Riley Finn died in combat. As his commanding officer, I want you to know he died bravely, saving my life as well as the lives of three other people.”
A petite blonde stepped up, a tear running down her cheek and said, “Please leave.”
Sheppard nodded and Lorne pulled his coat together to ward against the sudden cold. There was no more celebration to be heard coming from inside. Back in the car, Sheppard winced, “I always feel like I’m lying when I do this.”
Lorne sat back as the car started down the street. “You can’t tell them he was killed by space vampires, sir. Not only is it classified, they’d probably think you were crazy. Besides, you told them the part of the truth they could handle. He died a hero.”